A Town Like AliceDVD - 2012
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I have never heard of white mems working in the paddy fields.
-Have you ever heard of white mems marching and dying as we have marched and died?
Alice, the Aussie town, P1 of 3 from book:
"Alice, Alice Springs. Right in the middle of Australia, half way between Darwin and Adelaide."
-"I thought the middle of Australia was all desert?"
"Alice is a bonza place. Plenty of water in Alice; people living there, they leave the sprinkler on all night, watering the lawn. That's right, they leave the sprinkler on all night. Course, the Territory's dry in most parts, but there's usually good feed along the creeks. Come to that, there's water all over if you look for it. You take a creek that only runs in the wet, now, say a couple of months in the year, or else not that You get a sandy billabong, and you'll get water there by digging not a foot below the surface, like as not—even in the middle of the dry."
Alice, the Aussie town, P2 of 3 from book:
His slow, even tones were strangely comforting. "You go to a place like that and you'll find little diggings all over in the sand, where the kangaroos and euros have dug for water. They know where to go. There's water all over in the outback, but you've got to know where to find it."
"What do you do at this place Wollara?" she asked. "Do you look after sheep?"
He~shook his head. 'You don't find sheep around the Alice region," he said. "It'd be too hot for them. Wollara is a cattle station."
"How many cattle have you got?"
"About eighteen thousand when I come away," he said; "It goes up and down, according to the wet, you know."
"Eighteen thousand? How big is it?"
"Wollara? About two thousand seven hundred."
Alice, the Aussie town, P3 of 3 from book:
"Two thousand seven hundred acres," she said. "That's a big place."
He stared at her. "Not acres," he said. "Square miles. Wollara's two thousand seven hundred square miles."
She was startled. "But is that all one place---one farm, I mean?"
"It's one station," he replied. "One property."
"But however many of you does it take to run it?"
His mind ran lovingly around the well-remembered scene. "There's Mr Duveen, Tommy Duveen—he's the manager, and then me—I'm the head stockman, or I was. Tommy said he'd keep a place for me when I got back. I'd like to get back to Wollara again, one day..." He mused a little. "We had three other ringers—whites," he said. "Then there was Happy, and Moonlight, and Nugget, and Snowy, and Tarmac. . ." He thought for a minute. "Nine boongs we had," he said. "That's all."
"Black boys — black stockmen. Abos."
The scene when the lovers first set eyes on each other from the book:
"Which of you speaks English?" He spoke deliberately in a slow drawl, with something of a pause between each word.
Jean said laughing, "We're all English."
He stared at her, noting the black hair plaited in a pigtail, the brown arrns and feet, the sarong, the brown baby on her hip. There was a line of white skin showing on her chest at the V of her tattered blouse. "'Straits-born?" he hazarded.
"No , real English—all of us," she said. "We're prisoners."
He got to his feet; he was a fair-haired powerfully built man about twenty-seven or twenty-eight years old. "Dinkie-die?" he said.
She did not understand that. "Are you prisoners?" she asked.
He smiled slowly. "Are we prisoners?" he repeated. "Oh my word."
There was something about the man that she had never met before. "Are you English?" she asked.
"No fear," he said in his deliberate way. "We're Aussies."
Now you are prisoners. You stay here tonight. Tomorrow you go to prisoner camp perhaps. You do good things, obedience to orders, you will receive good from Japanese soldiers. You do bad things, you will be shot directly. So, do good things always. When officer come, you stand up and bow, always. That is good thing. Now you sleep.
You not go to Kuala Lumpur. You go to Port Swettenham. English destroy bridges, so railway to Singapore no good. You go to Port Swettenham now, and then ship to Singapore.
Who are you people? What do you want here?
-We are prisoners, from Panong. We are on our way to the prisoner-of-war camp in Singapore. Captain Yoniata in Panong sent us here under guard, to be put on a ship to Singapore.
There are no ships here. You should have stayed in Panong.
-We were sent here.
They had no right to send you here. There is no prison camp here.
She wants to get into Willstown.
-That's new. Most people wanna get out of it!
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