My feet were frozen. I curled up, knees to my chin to gain some warmth. However, the action was futile, I was completely cold and wet. Water was rushing all around and over me. I gulped a mouthful of sand. Am I drowning?
Then. Thump! Thump! Thump!
I bolted upright.
Dad scrambled out of his cocoon like a scalded cat. ‘What’s that?’
He waved a torch in every direction.
I attempted to sleep, but instead tossed and turned. I was on the mystery trail and no closer to sleeping. My mind spun round and round, thoughts rotating like in a tumble dryer. Those days and weeks before she passed, she shared her story—but not this. When I asked why it all happened, she went silent.Read more "Out of the Chocolate Box (46a)"
Clang! Clang! Clang! ‘Wake up! Wake up!’ Dad yelled.
I dragged myself out of the tangle of grey army blankets and shuffled to the door. The thin worn lino stung cold on my bare feet.
Dad marched past hammering a saucepan with a wooden spoon. ‘Get up! We have to get an early start!’
Mr. B stumbled to the bathroom and grumbled, ‘It’s too early, surely we could’ve had an hour’s more sleep.’
‘No, we must get going! We have a lot of ground to cover.’
At seven in the evening, I scampered down to the kitchen and attempted to scrounge some scraps from the kitchen hand; some weedy adolescent wearing a hooded windcheater. What was he hiding? Pimples? He kept mumbling, ‘You’re too late, Miss’.
In the end, I mumbled in reply, ‘This retreat is not a retreat, it’s more like a boarding school or even a concentration camp’.
The former Captain of the Sister Ship, Commander Driver, appearing more foreboding in a habit, glared at us. ‘What, do you think you are doing?’
Günter and I jumped apart and stared at our boots as if we were naughty school children who had been sprung.
‘Hey, Rick, look!’ I pointed. ‘The Gosse Range, it’s just like the painting Grandma’s got in her lounge room.’
From the front of the Rover Mr B asked, ‘Did you say, David that you met the famous Albert Namatjira when you lived up in Hermannsburg?’
‘Oh, of course. My father-in-law was a great supporter of Albert’s art.’
‘How did the Gosse Range come about?’ I asked my audience from the back of the Rover.