True History of the Kelly Gang

True History of the Kelly Gang by Peter Carey

Book: True History of the Kelly Gang by Peter Carey Read Free Book Online
Authors: Peter Carey
Tags: Fiction
he went out into the bush I heard him cry every foul word you could imagine thus must the outcast cry in Hell.
    There were sheet lightning but no thunder I slept very badly thinking how Bill Frost stole my land. Picaninny dawn were dry and dewless I woke to such a pain of homesickness that I cooked Harry johnnycakes and brung him his billy tea before giving him any particular attention. He had his 3 pistols and carbine laid out on the horse blanket and were measuring gunpowder from a patent flask.
    Now look here young Kelly.
    As he rammed home the ball and wadding I observed his general shine his beard were washed his eyes were peeled and lively. Now see here we’ll get you a nice gift to take home to your mamma.
    I thought he were referring to the remaining kangaroo meat.
    Let Bill Frost shoot her an adjectival kangaroo.
    Harry lay down his pistol he stood and tied a red handkerchief round his thick neck he said we was about to do something Bill Frost could never do. Jesus boy he said thrusting his pistol in his belt I’ll send you home an effing hero.
    You said she don’t want me home no more.
    No I never said that.
    Not liking to have my feelings played with I asked what my mother really said he pushed me away I shoved him in the chest and faster than the human eye he snatched his hobble belt out from his pants and brought it cracking down around my naked arm.
    You want a lashing lad said he begob don’t you never do that again.
    I wouldnt let him see how much it hurt.
    Now said he you go take off the hobbles and saddle up the horses then you’ll get them packs onto the pony.
    The pain was bad it were a considerable effort not to cry I said I would not be his slave but it were a weak rebellion and he knew it. He threaded his belt back into his pants then took a steel comb from his pocket and begun to preen himself. And you’ll effing do it tomorrow said he and the day after that and you’ll be effing proud to do it too you aint some barefoot Irish mutt no more you’re Harry Power’s offsider.
    You said she didnt want me home no more.
    By the 5 crosses I’ll whip you till you can’t sit down now listen when I talk to you you’ll break up that mia mia and pack the camp then you’ll keep them horses all quiet and steady and watch the show.
    I don’t know what show you mean.
    Harry didnt reply but I were soon aware of the thundering of hooves from the direction of Whitfield he urgently buckled up his coat thrusting 3 pistols in its belt.
    The show is called Dick Turpin said he then strolled down to the track his hair was oiled his grey beard combed and he stood astride the centre of the roadway with his sawn off carbine in his hand he were the very picture of a bushranger.
    I listened to a coach labouring up the last of the hill the driver shouting the whip cracking. Just hold them horses Ned cried Harry. A moment later a bright red coach come round the bend my heart were pounding in my chest all my anger suddenly abandoned. Bail up cried the famous Harry Power taking a pistol from his belt and firing it into the air then our packhorse reared and lurched dragging me 1/2 across the clearing towards the road and while I struggled I heard the coach brakes bite in a great screaming noise of steel on wood and my Waler reared and whinnied.
    The air was filled with dust and panic. Throw down your gold I’m Harry Power.
    I calmed the packhorse and the Waler but my own blood were stirred something awful. Throw down the effing gold cried Harry and I knew we would be rich and were v. happy.
    There aint no adjectival gold said a dirt dry voice I peered out through the wattle fronds and seen Hiram Crawford’s gleaming Yankee Coach still rocking on its queasy springs a tall thin stick of colonial driver were staring down through the settling dust.
    Harry pointed his one inch muzzleloader directly at the driver’s shirt. I will blow your effing innards out.
    But the driver were a Beechworth man named Coady he were one of them

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