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4-234 (Raw)

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addressee author,male,Dampier, Alfred,43
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Fotheringham, 1985
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"Some unborn sorrow, ripe in Fortune's womb,
Is coming towards me"
Shakespeare (Richard II [II, 2, 10-11])
Bush scene: House set L (bark hut). Fence (rustic,) across stage, at back with gate, or sliprails, C. Tree clump R. C. Trees, saplings, &c about stage. Cowshed R.U.E.
(Music for curtain. Lights full up. Limelights. Papers in Act I: Newspaper for George, Warrant for GORING.)
NORAH MARSTON discovered, seated at hut door,
Enter JIM MARSTON R. C. with axe on shoulder.
Note: "Jim - 6 feet 1 inch dark hair and eyes. He was a careless, happy-go-lucky chap, always in a good temper, always jolly, always ready to laugh or chaff, or go on with tricks like a monkey. "
Boldrewood [Ch. XX VIII]
JIM: (R. C.) Well, mother. (Jolly smile on face)
NORAH: When are you going to work?
JIM: Ain't I going to work now?
NORAH: I mean, to work reg'lar for your livin' like George Storefield.
JIM: (Laughing) Oh, George? He never sees any life. He's just like an old poley bullock, that walks up to the yoke in the morning, and never stops hauling till he's let go at night. This is a free country, and I don't think a fellow was born for that sort of thing, and nothing else.
(Cattle Bell heard)
NORAH: This country's like any other country. A man must work and save when he's young, if he doesn't want to be a beggar and starve when he's old. [6]
JIM: But a man must have a little fun while he's young. .
NORAH: Just what DICK says. Oh you're a fine pair. What one says, the other swears to. You ought to have been twins.
JIM: (Laughing heartily) Not my fault we weren't.
NORAH: Go along with you.
(Cattle bell)
NORAH: (Jumping up and looking off R) Ah there's one of them cows. She'll be in the garden. (Jim laughs) Ah, it's no laughing matter. So mind and see that the gate's fast, then get some water from the creek, and chop some wood.
JIM: Oh, I'm wood and water - Joey I am. (Going)
(Lively music till GEORGE and DICK on)
(Enter GEORGE STOREFIELD R on horseback)
(Enter DICK MARSTON following)
GEORGE: (Dismounting, and tying horse to fence) Ah, lads, I'm afraid we're going to have a dry season.
DICK: I think you're right George. We haven't had any rain to speak of for a couple of months, and that bit of wheat of ours is beginning to go back. The oats look better. (Unsaddling GEORGE'S horse)
JIM: Bill Dawson came in from outside, yesterday, and he says things are shocking bad: all the frontage bare, and the water drying up.
(Places saddle on stage and exits with horse in stable)
DICK: (Sullenly) It's always the way, as soon as a poor man's got a chance of a decent crop, the season turns against him, or prices go down, so that he never gets a chance.
GEORGE: It's as bad for the rich man, isn't it? It's God's will, and we can't make or mend matters by complaining.
DICK: (Sullenly) But it's not as bad for the rich man. Even if the squatters suffer by a drought, and lose their stock, they've more stock and money in the bank, or else credit to fall back on; while the like of us lose all we have in the world, and no one would lend us a pound to save our lives.
GEORGE: It's not quite so bad as that. I shall lose my year's work and most of the cattle and horses besides unless rain comes but I shall be able to get a few pounds to go on with, however the season goes. [7]
DICK: Oh, if you like to bow and scrape to rich people, well and good, but that's not my way. We have as good a right to our share of the land as they have.
(Re-enter JIM)
GEORGE: If we pay for the land as they do, certainly.
DICK: But why should we pay? The Almighty made the land and the people too, one to live on the other. Why should we pay for our own? I believe in getting my share somehow.
GEORGE: That's a sort of argument that doesn't come out right. How would you like another man to come and want to halve the farm with you.
DICK: I shouldn't mind. I should go halves with someone who had a bigger one.
JIM: (Laughs) My colonial.
DICK: More money too, more horses, more sheep, a bigger house. Why should he have it, and not me.
GEORGE: That's a lazy man's argument, not an honest man's.
NORAH: You're a naughty boy, 
DICK. Isn't he, Jim?
JIM: But he doesn't mean all he says, and very likely we'll have lots of rain after all. (DICK and JIM are going off R.U.E., when NORAH calls after them)
NORAH: Small wood mind Jim.
JIM: All right mother! (Exit JIM R.U.E.)
AILEEN: (Off L.U.E., with pail of milk) Hi, DICK.
(Then with the high pitched Australian cry) Coo-ee-e!
DICK: Coo-ee! What is it?
AILEEN: Let out those milkers.
DICK: Allright, Aileen. (Exit DICK R.U.E.) (Music swells)
(Enter AILEEN L.U.E. (Not seeing GEORGE, who is down R.)
AILEEN: Such a splendid pailful. Daisy gives eight quarts now. Here you are mother. Porridge this morning you know. (Music stops) [8]
NORAH: (Taking milk) You are a good girl, Aileen. I wish your brothers were like you.
AILEEN: Don't you say a word against my brothers, mother. They're the best and bravest and handsomest brothers any girl ever had. Real currency lads, and I'm a currency lass; and proud of it.
NORAH: Ah! There's no holdin' the cornstalks.
(Exit NORAH to house L. with milk)
AILEEN: No holding the cornstalks. Of course there isn't. They grow, and grow, and as long as they grow straight they're allright, never Fret. (Cattle bell and noise of' whip cracking)
JIM: (Outside) Whoa - Molly. Steady there, Buttercup.
AILEEN: Why, there's George Storefield. (Runs to him) Oh, George I'm so glad to see you. (Shakes hands) You're just in time to put a set on the breakfast.
GEORGE: (R. C. Shaking hands) Aileen! All well? (Aileen nods) That's right . Where's Grace?
AILEEN: (L.C.) Grace? She's in the dairy.
GEORGE: I've come for her.
AILEEN: Oh that's too bad. She's only been here a week and we're such mates.
GEORGE: I really can't get on any longer without her.
AILEEN: I thought your were a don at bachelor management.
GEORGE: I might have been before Grace came home, for good, but now I see how necessary it is for a house to have a good woman for its mistress. Ah! Aileen.
AILEEN: Well, Mr Longface?
GEORGE: If you would consent to be that mistress.
AILEEN: And turn out Grace?
GEORGE: (Turning hat round nervously in hands) Think it over! There's live hundred sheep, three cows, seven horses, two carts and a wagon. And then there's the selection. One thousand acres conditional purchase with a creek running right through. Well cleared, and the main part fenced and Grace loves you as a sister, and I - I love you.
AILEEN: As a brother.
GEORGE: No Aileen, not as a brother, as a - as a - 
AILEEN: (Laughing) Oh George, how awfully funny you do look. [9]
GEORGE: You do not love me. Better say it at once, I can bear it.
AILEEN: You'll have to, Mr Broadback. There! (Putting her hand in his) Let it be brother George and sister Aileen.
(Enter GRACE)
GRACE: And sister Grace. (Arm round AILEEN) Always sister Grace. (Crosses right and sits on tree stump) Well George what's the news? I'm sure you must have plenty.
GEORGE: No. I'm no gossip-monger. The only time I feel inclined to yarn is round the camp fire, and then I generally fall asleep in the middle of it.
GRACE: (Laughing) In the middle of the fire?
GEORGE: No - of my story. But here's the Sydney Morning Herald full of all the latest news. Stocks - shares - racing reports - row in the House - bits of scandal - (about to give paper)
GRACE: Thank you. I'm so fond of scandal, of course.
GEORGE: I don't mean that - like my stupidity. There's one thing tho' that will interest you both for the whole country's ringing with it.
AILEEN: And pray what is that?
GEORGE: You'll find it in big type, like a Government Proclamation. (Half opens paper) Here it is. (Reads) "Robbery under Arms. Another daring outrage by the notorious Starlight and his gang - the Police once more baffled" and so on. (Gives AILEEN paper) There, read it. I'd read it for you, but Aileen don't care two straws for me.
GRACE: Oh yes she does care a whole haystack for you.
AILEEN (Aside) But not that way.
GEORGE: Ah well. I'll look at the big bay horse your father talks so much about.
(Exit GEORGE L.U.E.)
AILEEN: (Watching him off and then to GRACE) Poor George! There's not a better fellow this Sydney side. (Looking at paper) Oh. This horrid bushranging!
(Enter BEN MARSTON R.U.E. unnoticed by AILEEN)
NOTE: BEN MARSTON - A square-built man - wonderfully strong for his age, and quick on his pins. Afraid of nothing. [10] 
Hair & beard, iron-grey. Wears old pilot-coat, he is cutting up tobacco as he enters and fills pipe and lights it during the ensuing dialogue.
AILEEN: (To GRACE) How I hate the very name of it, and sometimes, I think that father - 
BEN: (Beside her) Well, what about father?
AILEEN: (Both startled for a moment) Nothing! I was wondering where you were.
BEN: (L.C.) Thought I'd gone on the wallaby again eh?
(AILEEN crosses to BEN puts arm round him and kisses him)
BEN: (Looking round) Home's a jolly place after all. I am going to stay ever so long this time and work like an old near-side poler. See if I don't - Let's look at your hands Eily. (Business) My word you've been doing your share.
GRACE: Indeed she has - it's a shame that it is with two big brothers, she has to take an axe in her pretty little hands and cut.
BEN: All that wood over there I'll go bail I nearly broke my neck over it.
AILEEN: How do you know I cut wood - you are always going away no one knows where and when you do come home it's at night - like - like - 
BEN: As if I was ashamed of where I'd been. Spit it out if that's what you mean.
AILEEN: I don't mean anything but what's kind and loving you naughty old dad - 
BEN: (To Grace) Was your brother here just now?
GRACE: Yes Mr Marston.
(Cattle bell)
BEN: (Suspiciously) Anybody with him?
GRACE: No - no one.
BEN: (Aside) George seems a bit mooney-like lately. Got a lip on him like a motherless foal. He's in love, he is. I fancy I know people in love when I sees 'em. (Chuckles) Strange as it may 'pear I was once a fool of that kind myself. (Aloud) What does George want?
AILEEN: He came for Grace.
BEN: Where's Jim and DICK. (Noise of chopping wood R.)
AILEEN : Jim's chopping wood. DICK'S down at the big waterhole, trying for fish. [11]
BEN: When will them boys learn to make money?
AILEEN: Soon enough I daresay and honestly too, I hope.
BEN: Them make money? Bah!
AILEEN: There's better things than money, dad - 
BEN: Not in this world.
AILEEN: Bye and bye then. (With afar-off look)
BEN: (Aside) Choppin' wood! Fishin' in the waterhole! When they ought to be fishers of men, as the parson cove says.
(Lively music till DICK and JIM on)
AILEEN: (Clapping hands) Ah, here they come. (Goes to meet them with GRACE)
(Enter JIM and DICK R.U.E., arm-in-arm lovingly. JIM with axe and bundle of wood. DICK with rod and fish.)
DICK: Here Aileen, take these to mother. They're just in time for breakfast.