By Ron Bunney
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Additional info for All That Glitters
The woman sighed wearily. ’ Oh-oh! What had she done this time? Martin didn’t inquire. He thanked the woman, went back to his horses and headed directly for the goldfields. He wanted no more procrastinating. No more fighting off demanding would-be prospectors. He stayed clear of the town and camped several miles up a small stream running into the Avon River from the east. He cooked himself a brownie from flour and treacle and a generous sprinkling of currants following one of his mother’s recipes.
Still, they always waited until it was dark before Martin led the horses in to a waterhole for a drink, and they camped even further away from public places. Footsore and weary, they finally reached Southern Cross, where they soon discovered that the rumours on the track were well founded: the area was never as good an alluvial field as Coolgardie or the more recently discovered Hannans, and deep mining had already taken over while the alluvial miners had rushed away to new finds. Deep mining needed money and experience, and most of the men still in Southern Cross were employed 103 in mines established by syndicates or companies.
Christine told them how they had travelled by dray from York. She had been closely guarded — until four nights ago. It seems they considered there was now no place for her to run to and had relaxed their guard. Christine had grabbed the first opportunity and run. The subsequent days and nights had drained her. Hiding on the outskirts of watering points she had seen only men. They had all looked to her to be hard, tough and dirty. ’ she cried from her heart. 76 Martin had to protest. ‘No! ’ Beth glared at him.
All That Glitters by Ron Bunney