Bourke, New South Wales,
There is about 220km of blister-inducing country between Bourke and Hungerford. There aren't many people out there, but everyone you meet has a heart of gold.
“One of the hungriest cleared roads in New South Wales runs to within a couple of miles of Hungerford, and stops there; then you strike through the scrub to the town. There is no distant prospect of Hungerford —you don’t see the town till you are quite close to it, and then two or three white-washed galvanized-iron roofs start out of the mulga.”
- Henry Lawson (1896). Hungerford, While the Billy Boils.
Steinbeck's George and Lennie.
“Steelman was a hard case, but some said that Smith was harder. Steelman was big and good-looking, and good-natured in his way; he was a 'spieler,' pure and simple, but did things in humorous style. Smith was small and weedy, of the sneak variety; he had a whining tone and a cringing manner. He seemed to be always so afraid you were going to hit him that he would make you want to hit him on that account alone.
Steelman 'had' you in a fashion that would make your friends laugh. Smith would 'have' you in a way which made you feel mad at the bare recollection of having been taken in by so contemptible a little sneak.”
- Henry Lawson (1901). Steelman’s Pupil, The Country I Come From.
Wishing for an end to my suffering on the way to Hungerford.
dead a few
was so sorry
about it, and
that I was
such a good
sort of a chap after all, when I was dead that—that I was sorry I didn’t stop dead. You see, I was one of them chaps that’s better treated by their friends and better thought of when—when they’re dead.”
- Henry Lawson (1896). Brummy Usen, While the Billy Boils.
With Moz early on in the 2011 tramp: Half dead and realising mid-way through Day One that we are in way over our heads.
“And, oh! it’s a terrible thing to die of thirst in the scrub Out Back.”
- Henry Lawson (1896). Out Back, In the Days When the World Was Wide and Other Verses.
Being carried along by my brother on the way back to Bourke.
“I don’t hold that a man’s salvation is always in his own hands; I’ve seen mates pull mates out of hell too often to think that.”
- Henry Lawson (1902). The Story of “Gentleman Once”,
Children of the Bush.