Conversant in Proper English

‘You know, you really don’t speak well, do you Lee-Anne, not very ladylike, not ladylike at all,’ Tony sneered.
‘See what I mean? See what I mean?’
By this time, we’d reached a waterhole. Scattered along the edges of the pool, our old friends, the paddy melons.
I looked through Tony’s broad curly topped head, avoiding his spectacle-framed eyes. ‘What’s wrong with ‘what’?’
‘You should say ‘I beg your pardon’.’ Tony leaned forward and stabbed a finger in the air. ‘Haven’t you learnt anything on this trip? How will you get anywhere in life with gutter manners like you’ve got?’
‘I—’ slowly I bent down, ‘beg—’ and picked up a melon ‘your—’ and then straightened up, ‘pardon?’ Then I positioned my missile ready to throw at this self-proposed teacher of elocution and manners.
I took aim.

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My older cousin, C1 called, ‘Had a little accident, Lee-Anne?’
All three lads fell on their backs and rolled on the sand laughing so hard their faces turned bright red and they wheezed after losing the ability to breathe.

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I stomped back into camp. The sun had set and Dad clattered around the campfire in the dull grey of post twilight.
‘Where have you been?’ He stirred the pot of soup so hard water splashed out and hissed in the coals.



The near setting sun bathed the land in hues of gold. Was this the right place? I recognised that bush, and those cliffs. After my exploration of the hidden valley in Mt. Palmer, I feared I’d become lost.

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