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41
Share your writing / Re: Just a couple of poems
« Last post by Maidenscombe on August 26, 2013, 11:44:07 pm »
Verse   284  to Verse  302      VIXANA AND THE PIGS                               
                           
VIXANA MEETS THE PIGS

284
Ruby watched Sergeant Wentworth put the sheep onto his horse.
She saw how he looked at the other policemen leading Joe away.
All that she could do was smile and wave to Joe when he looked.
“Chances are you knew about Joe but I wasn’t told to arrest you.
I’ll walk you back, is there anyone you can be with?” he asked
“Only my childhood friend, she’s like a sister to me; Samantha.”
“I only know one Samantha, are you who she was speaking off.”

285
Charles looked at the sheep on his saddle, he rubbed its fleece.
“If I go to the house that Joe and I had, I might get arrested.”
“I would recommend that you disappear from here, I wonder
if you are who Samantha meant, about the house you mean
is it amid the trees opposite the town’s peoples horse’s field?
We saw so many men there this morning, are they still there?”
“Joe had us paint the trees to look like lots of men were there.”

286
“I must admit, if that is as you say, that is clever, very clever
maybe if you aren’t seen by the magistrate you could be safe.
Samantha told me of the time Joe had you disguised as a man
so that some men wouldn’t recognise you. Would you do that?”
“No, I wouldn’t want to, but if the magistrate doesn’t see me.
That won‘t be too hard, we don’t keep the same circle of friends.
What about you though, will you be alright?” asked Ruby.

287
“Me? I’ll be alright I could even say I’m keeping you honest.
Samantha and I have been getting close, maybe we could do it,
if we live together and her friend is the maid, even if you’re not.”
“Thank you, I know Samantha enough to say that she’ll agree.”
“Before, you said Vixana is your friend, how are you friends?”
“Because of Joe and because we are kind to animals,” said Ruby.
“I met her one day getting the magistrates horse from four men

288
we had to go and arrest them, no more than a few days ago,
someone told us they had stolen his horse and rebranded it.
Looking back I realise they were set up, I don’t know who by
but I wish I knew who. When we got there we found the horse
and it had been illegally branded, so we arrested the four men,
we were on the track coming back when we met a pretty girl.”
“Did she have long blonde hair, pretty like you’ve never seen?

289
If she did then you saw she was Vixana. Why was she there?”
“Seven other policemen on horses and I were escorting the men.
This girl who we had seen walking along the side of the track
went to the middle of the track. I didn’t know how she did it,
it was as if the whole width of the track was blocked by her.
I said who we were, what we were doing, why she should move,
she didn’t, she started to stare at us she then smiled toward us

290
I don’t mind admitting it, something about her was very scary.
She just stood there, standing her ground, I can still see her,
she told me that I could pass, and she’d allow my men to pass
but she’d never let our prisoners pass. What did she call them?
Oh right, she referred to them as pigs.” Ruby breathed in deep.
“I said I had arrested them, that I was taking them to the lock up,
that didn’t change her mind she wasn’t going to let them pass.

291
That is when I thought she was the witch everyone said about
it was as though she was there because she had been asked to be,
for someone who was a friend.” “What did she do?” asked Ruby.
“She said that she was going to kill them, before I could protest
She began to change, her hair became like old brittle straw.
Her clothes lost their colour, they changed to be like potato sack
And her skin, she appeared like an evil old hag, like the books.

292
Her body seemed to get old, she bent forward on a walking stick
I could have sworn it looked more like a bone. Her demeanour,
on God’s word I felt dread, it was as if she looked at my soul,
and what she said, no I don’t think that I will ever forget that.”
“What was it, what did she say?” asked Ruby. “She said … no,
that wasn’t how she spoke, it was like she spat the words at me.
I am thee Vixana. I order you to leave now or be like them, dead.

293
Now I do consider myself a God fearing man, but what I saw,
I felt as though I was looking at the very essence of evil itself.
Then she said, I don’t understand why she did this even now,
it was almost as though she was showing a kindness to me,
she said that I would not want to see what she was about to do 
I didn’t want to be there but I had to, they were my prisoners.
She waved her hand over the front of my face. I was blind.”

294
“What was it that you heard?” asked Ruby, “Please tell me.”
“Why would you want to know I only heard what she said
and why she always referred to them as pigs, I don’t know.
She sounded as though she enjoyed hearing their screams
and his screams seemed to echo inside my head, even now.
Then when she said he could go, the man’s screams stopped.
She said he was ready for him, but I don’t know who him is.

295     
After I couldn’t hear that one, she called for the next one.
Once again she called him a pig I wish I knew why she did.
I heard a scraping on the ground, like being pulled by a rope.
What Vixana said next was probably a reference to that one.
Because she accused him of causing her friend pain and fear.
She said he would cause him to feel more fear and more pain
I heard what sounded like bones breaking, again and again,

296
he was in agony, I heard his screams it was as though I felt pain
and all the time I heard her laughing, such infectious laughter.
Then she said about that him again, that his fires awaited him.
I was glad that only two of them were left, I was felt worn out.
She wasn’t though, she was laughing, joking at their expense.
Then she said ‘two more piggies to go, which of you will it be.”
“When I heard that, I felt the last two had been just a warm up,

297
if I could have moved my hands I would have covered my ears.
Thankfully I didn’t need to, she said that he couldn’t scream.
Though I think he did, I just never heard him, what Vixana said
I was not surprised, she said she was going to seal his mouth.
It went so quiet, so very quiet, even that silence was deafening.
I think I heard him swallow something, but I never knew what.
Then she called for the next pig at last, she said that he’d know

298
how true horror felt, that she wanted him to see what was done
but he was to be given a choice, he could have all done to him
or he could apologise to her about whoever it was, to her friend
I never knew what happened next, I didn’t hear anything at all.
She said she would send him, as he was, to him, for his fun.
She said an apology was nice but it didn’t change anything
he should not have done what he did, he’d pay for it, always.”

299
“It went quiet after that. Vixana did something, for I could see
but those four men were nowhere to be seen. But I did ask her.
She said she’d sent them to him, holding her hand pointing down.
“So there I was, on the track with Vixana, just the two of us there.
She walked away, she changed to be a pretty young girl again.”
Ruby hugged Sergeant Wentworth. “Now I will explain that,
I wanted to know that they have gone, but not what happened.

300
I think I know who asked Vixana to get them, I think it was Joe.
Those men, that horse was caused to be there by Vixana or Joe.
I knew each of those four men, I was the first to call them pigs.
They did such vile horrible thing to me, my body, my person.
When they were too drunk to stand, I got free I made my escape
I was running from them, I had been running for two whole days.
Joe saw me, he captured me and hid me from them, he has done.

301
I believe it was Joe who asked Vixana to get those men, for me
I’m glad I’ll never fear them being near, or to see them again.
as for the one Vixana would call him, I know who that him is
it might do you some good to know of him, of Vixana’s friend
I know you think God exists but you are not sure. I can help.
They speak of God and talk of the Devil, with one is the other
I know for a fact he exists, the Devil is Vixana’s special friend.

302
Though he is only a platonic friend, so if he exists so does God.
They stopped walking, he looked to Ruby. “That makes sense.”
I’ll show you to where I live then you can go and get Samantha
we can have a meal together and afterwards see the living space.
I have a second house there, that you and Samantha can share,
one day when Samantha and I are married she’ll live with me.
And to think all I my plans are thanks to him, Moondyne Joe.”

TO BE CONTINUED

42
I think I have come up with what is a new 'monster'. Well, I hope I have.
Best part of it is, the 'monster' a future possibilty of human development.
Deliberately created by NASA to survive on another planet, and by that I mean genetically modifying humans. And having them be acceptable to be seen by humans as human.
What is happening at present is that NASA are developing ways for humans to survive for extended space flight times to distant planets, how to survive the suns constant radiation (as a cockroach does). For the skin or an astronauts suit to be similar to wet-suits in appearance.
Relating that to be slightly scary, acceptible and believable is the hard part, yet it could be fun to write.   
43
Share your writing / Re: Just a couple of poems
« Last post by Maidenscombe on August 23, 2013, 01:55:56 am »
Verse   247  to Verse  254      THE STEAM ENGINE HOUSE                                           
Verse   255  to Verse  283      CAPTURE                                           

THE STEAM ENGINE HOUSE

247
Walking away from the town towards the where Samantha
and Ruby were from, taking in in turns to ride on a horse
they carried with them a few bags of food for the people.
“Who are the people we are going to see?” asked Samantha.
“Ruby and I went there once do, we both thought them nice
I saw a steam engine in a shed on what was a farm,” said Joe.
“Yes, I know who you mean, that is Graham Sanders farm,

248
His wife Susan and their children Ruth, Alexander and Brian
Graham was helping a village farmer to fit a gate when a bull
in that field kicked the fence. The gate he built fell on his arm.
It was broken quite badly and it was never repaired quite right.
That injury to his arm has stopped him from doing more work
so count me in with anything help that you want give him,”
Samantha smiled, “I’ve been there before, his kids are great.”

249
Approaching the house, Joe saw Graham’s family in a field,
seeing Joe, Ruby and Samantha they all came to meet them.
“I did say that we would come back for a visit,” said Joe.
Samantha gave the food bag to them. The children smiled,
looking in the bag, exclaiming aloud. “They brought us food.”
Saying what it was Graham and Susan joined with excitement
they put their hands in the bag, happy at finding more food.

250
Wanting them to stay Mr. Sanders asked if they wanted a drink
“While we are here can I have a look at your steam engine,”
Joe asked, “What was it you used to do did you make anything?”
“Farm fences, gates and when I was asked I would make seats
for people to sit on and tables for people to have a picnic on.”
Ruby looked at Joe. “Now that would be nice, I’d like that.”
Mr. Sanders took them into the barn so they could have a look.

251
“When the money became a problem I tried making furniture
for the people who lived hear here, then others wanted more.
But cutting wood became very arduous and time consuming
I built tables so the steam engine could cut what wood I’d need.
And it was made to make short cuts of wood for chairs or tables.
I even made it to do long cuts when I used a trunk of a tree.
Unfortunately though, I soon found I needed two good arms.”

252
Joe looked to him, to his arm then he looked at the machinery,
trying to think of ways to make it easy to use with one arm.
“Before the engine can be started I need to get the water here,
I used to bring two buckets of water at a time, now it’s just one.
Bringing two at a time took me a lot of the day, so one at a time.”
“That is okay, there are ways I can help, I do think of things.
So four of us with you, we’ll make a way to bring water to you

253
And keep spare water so it remains topped up through the day.
I dare say that we could sort this place out for you and your kids.
If you want to pay us how about making some garden furniture
Ruby has said how much she would like a long table,” said Joe.       
By the end of the week the house and windows were all cleaned,
the yards and the gardens reflected the pride the owners had.
Martin, Edward and Garret had done what repairs were needed.

254
Joe and Graham made the steam engine able to be run by Graham
by himself. Ruby had been given a promise of a long table for her. 
Going home after finishing Joe asked Samantha about the police.
Not knowing Ruby had told Joe. “Why ask me?” asked Samantha.
“I know who you’ve been going to see, and who you want to see.”
“I told Joe that you are sweet on the police sergeant,” said Ruby.
“You don’t mind?” asked Samantha, “I won’t tell him about you.”

CAPTURE   

255
The next day, Ruby and Samantha had gone to the bridge
Alice was playing on the bank of the river; they joined her.
Time seemed to go past slowly, Ruby watched the bridge
Making sure nothing was on the bridge, while with Alice.
After Alice went home they went to hide in a bush and wait.
Only being a few minutes when four men came behind them.
Thinking they’d been found out Samantha was about to run.

256
“It’s alright, it’s only us, bit nervous aren’t you?” asked Joe
Samantha admitted she was. “The food wagon hasn’t passed.”
“I think it best that you leave, now go to be with the horses.”
Edward and Garret waited until the wagon had gone passed.
Joe and Martin were at the other end, ready to do the hold up.
Martin was the most lively and outgoing of them, they agreed.
Seeing Edward’s signal, Joe told Martin to prepare himself.

257
They watched as the wagon moved on the bridge towards them,
Martin jumped from cover to stand at the middle of the track,
standing in front of the horses, showing the drivers the pistol.
“Stand and deliver,” he shouted, “Your money and your food!”
Garret and Edward following the wagon tried not to laugh,
the wagon drivers saw they were hemmed in front and back,
they dropped the reigns staying where they were as ordered.

258
“Half empty the wagon,” Joe shouted, “That’s all we need.
Then put it at the side of the track, I’ll tell them to leave.”
Joe said he knew they’d be back. “By then we’ll be gone.”
So carrying the food bags to where the girls were waiting,
they sorted out the food for them and bags for the hungry.
Samantha and Martin went one way, the other two the other
Joe and Ruby carried two food bags each, back to the camp.

259
Joe and Ruby were walking to the track heading to their camp
as the wagon came past again, they’d been walking too slow
The driver of the wagon looked at Joe. “I forgot this before.”
Ruby and Joe watched as a smiling Norham got off the wagon.
“I know who you are, as many people here know who you are
if either of you repeat this I’ll deny ever saying it, here’s thanks
that magistrate takes food he likes, many times he doesn’t pay

260
but you take from him and send money to the owners of shops
they got together, to give this wine from Houghton’s Winery.
In case you have a birthday or an anniversary to celebrate.”
Joe said they were close to town, he bid Norham be on his way,
watching the wagon leave Joe saw some policemen on horses
that were heading towards them, he told Ruby to hide herself.
“I’ll lead them away, near to the river, where we used to live.”

261
Carrying a bag of food Joe ran over a field towards the river,
hoping to find lots of cover. But the police kept chasing him.
Joe could only take solace; the others weren’t being chased.
He ran near town, through the trees towards a river crossing,
watching them as he ran, wanting the police to be after him.
He didn’t notice that one had gone, heading into the town.
Joe ran alongside of the river, try as he did they were closer.

262
Having passed by the end of town he ran the river’s shallows,
onto a path he knew well, the trees branches would cause grief
glancing to the police, seeing they were about to cross the river.
The police horse’s shied; they had refused to cross the river.
Despite the many attempts by their riders to keep them going.
The water began to bubble and foam then shooting into the air
the vast sprays of water continually soaked the policemen.

263
Confused, frightened, looking to each other, awaiting a reason,
an explanation how it could happen. Asking what could cause
the disturbances. The rivers turmoil ceased; it became normal.
The horses settled, Sgt. Wentworth ordered his men to cross.
“I will continue along the side of the river.” Then he saw her.
A pretty young woman was on opposite bank. “Listen to me,
cross here but you will not see who you seek, I will speak him

264
I will not allow you to go further than these bushes behind me.”
Sgt. Wentworth ignored her, he called to each of the policemen.
“Go across the river onto the other bank, go to near the sheep.”
Moondyne Joe ran along the path, clutching the bag of food.
“You can put that down.” Joe looked to see who was speaking.
Vixana appeared just in front of him, walking towards him.
“Slow down now Joe, they won’t catch you, they can’t see you.”

265
Joe looked to where the policemen were stood, on the trail.
“Thank you, but I can still see them so they must see me.”
Vixana sat down by the track, she motioned Joe to sit as well.
“You can rest here with me, they can’t see you, trust me Joe, 
close they might be, what they don’t know they can’t see.”
Joe looked to them, they were all looked in all directions.   
“Would you like some nice fresh drinking water,” she said.

266
Thanking her he took a sip. “And something to eat?” she asked.
Joe smiled to her. “Thank you.” “You are like me at times Joe,
it isn’t often that I get to sit,” said Vixana, “Because I choose
who I want as a friend very carefully I see it as important to me
that when I do, that my friend has a drink and something to eat.”
“It is good that I can sit and rest awhile, I am a bit exhausted.
I know that Ruby will want to thank you and know I’m grateful.”

267
“Joe, keep that quiet, if people could hear you say I’m kind.
What sort of a reputation would I have?” asked Vixana.
“A lot of people here know of you, and they do respect you.”
“Oh no,” replied Vixana, “What have I done to deserve that?”
Joe smiled to her. “I know you as a nice person, as a friend,
though not a special friend. Ruby is my only special friend.
However, about you, know your reputation precedes you.

268
Many people who live near here used to mistreat their animals.
But no anymore, their fear of you seeing them scold animals
they own, that you might be near, they are kind to all animals.”
Vixana smiled. “That is good for the animals. Maybe not me.”
“How afraid of you do you think the people are of you. You
have no reason to worry, your reputation here is quite safe.”
“Well thank you, go to the Wading Pool, a sheep needs rescue.”

269
Vixana grimaced as Joe walked away. “I’m going to miss you.”
Joe went across the river he looked, tried to hear the sheep.
Seeing Ruby he headed towards her, greeting her with a hug.
“I just saw Vixana she said there is a sheep in trouble here.
Have you seen any of the policemen on your way to here?”
“No,” replied Ruby, “But several times I thought them near.”
she looked around, listened, only hearing sound of the trees,

270
the sound of water cascading over smooth rocks in the river.
“There, I heard a sound, like an animal that is calling for help.
Ruby pointed straight ahead, further along of where they stood.
Walking that way the cries of the animal began to be clearer.
“I can hear the animal’s cries, it sounds near but I can’t see it.”
Joe stopped Ruby walking, he looked to his side, then down.
Ruby looked at where Joe looked, caught in a pit was a sheep.

271
“I don’t like this, this whole thing feels wrong, how did it get in.
I can‘t see where it went in, there are no marks on the edge.”
Ruby looked at the pit. “You are right, is it a trap set for you?
It doesn’t look as though this trap was built for the sheep,
if anything the sheep seems to have been placed in there.”
Ruby faced Joe, “Could the police know about us being here?”
“It would make sense,” admitted Joe. Ruby looked at the sheep.

272
Then she looked to Joe. “It was bound to happen sometime.”
A few tears ran down her cheeks from her eyes. “I’ll miss you.”
“And I’ll miss you, and being here.” He looked along the river.
Mind you, we have had fun here, just think who we’ve met.”
“I upset the wrong people, probably that magistrate as well,
I dare say he’ll have his revenge. “Will I see you again Joe?”
“It’ll be nice if we do meet again, but don’t expect it,” he said.

273
Ruby indicated behind them. “It sounds like a horse walking.”
“And there is a policeman on foot, next to it, look,” added Joe.
Ruby turned, she watched as the lone policeman reached them. 
“Joe, he is by himself you can still run, to get away from him.”
“I could I suppose but why, I wouldn’t be with you, or here.”
“I am Sgt. Wentworth are you going to give me any trouble?”
“I take it that you know who I am, so you know what I’m like.

274
No, I’ll give you no trouble I’ll go quietly, as always,” said Joe.
“Good,” replied Sgt. Wentworth getting ropes from a saddle bag.
“If you don’t mind though, I do have one last request,” said Joe.
“You are being good to me, okay I’ll be nice to you. What is it?”
asked Sgt. Wentworth as he pulled the ropes out of a saddle bag.
“Oh please, you’re not going to tie Joe up are you?” asked Ruby.
“Can you wait until after I have rescued the sheep,” said Joe.

275
Sgt. Wentworth was surprised. “Even now you’d help the sheep?”
“He will,” said Ruby. “That is one of Mr. Barton’s sheep I’d
be grateful if you would return the sheep to him,” stated Joe.
“The rope wasn’t for you I only brought it to set the sheep free.
Getting the sheep in there was easy,” said Sergeant Wentworth,
“I didn’t know the sheep belongs to Mr. Barton, I’ll see he get it.”
“The rope is for the sheep? Was the pit your idea?” asked Ruby.

276
Sgt. Wentworth leant against his horse. “No, the magistrate
came up with the idea, he said you’d help an animal in trouble.
I admit though, I’m surprised to hear that you want to help it.
I am, well I didn’t realise how much you would care for it,”
he looked at Joe, “If I’d known of your attitude towards sheep,
I’d have warned you not to be here,” said Sergeant Wentworth
Ruby looked to Joe, smiling. “He does seem to appreciates you.”

277
“Ruby, you’d best hold his horse while we rescue the sheep.”
Joe jumped down into the pit, holding the sheep, comforting it.
He held the sheep above his head, allowing it to escape the pit.
“I bet it isn’t every day that you see that is it?” asked Ruby,
“The man you’re to arrest, doing what he can for a sheep.”
Sgt. Wentworth looked at Joe. Taking his rifle from its sheath
“Before I help you, will you promise this as well?” he asked.

278
“If I can I will,” said Joe. Sergeant Wentworth faced Ruby.
“And you as well?” “Yes, I‘ll do what I can,” she replied.
“I know who you are, I know you are that Moondyne Joe
So please, neither of you repeat any of this to the magistrate,
I’m not doing this so I can say I’m the one who arrested you,
I like to say to my grandchildren that one day I helped you.”
He held his rifle down to Joe. “Hold this, I’ll pull you out.”

279
Joe looked up, at the dangerous end of the barrel of the rifle.
“Is there a reason that you are offering me that end?” asked Joe.
Sgt. Wentworth saw what he was doing. “Sorry, I didn’t, sorry
this is the way I normally hold it,” he turned the rifle around.
Joe looked at the butt of the rifle. “Odd, I feel even worse now. 
Problems, problems, problems. It might if we do it this way.”
Joe stood on tip toes then held his arm up as far as he could.   

280
“That’s a good way,” he said pulling Joe up and out of the pit
to the surface. Ruby hugged Joe they looked to the policeman,
he was putting his rifle back in its sheath by the horse’s saddle.
The policeman held his open hand to Joe, Joe smiled to him.
They shook hands. “The tales I heard of you at Fremantle jail,
all that was said of you in the police reports, to be wary of you.
Good thing you‘ve haven’t heard what the magistrate says of you.”

281
“If it’ll help, as you were kind to the sheep I will tell Vixana.”
“Wait, you know Vixana! My God,” said Sgt. Wentworth.
“What a name dropper I am; we are good friends,” said Ruby.
“You’d say good things about me, considering why I’m here?
Hand me the sheep now, I’ll take it to Mr. Barton now,” he said
“If we do meet again, how should I to speak to you?” asked Joe
“If there’s no one else is around, we can use each other’s names.

282
If other people are about, it is best if we use our correct titles.
What can I say.” Apologetically looking to Ruby then to Joe.
“I am sorry for this, but you made quite a few people angry.”
“When I’m here, the earth around me, I prefer to be known
as Moondyne Joe, but there, in the city, that name isn’t me.
Mind you, it does get that comptroller general all wound up.”
“The other convicts in that jail, they know you by that name,

283
so do more than half the people who live in Perth, they secretly
have a soft spot for you; mothers or even hardened criminals.
Those that see violence as an answer: a man, woman or child.
They have you in common, I wouldn’t say they have a fondness
but they do have respect for the man known as Moondyne Joe.”
Fifteen policemen rose from the field quickly running to them.
“Joseph B. Johns, I charge you with escape from Fremantle jail.”

TO BE CONTINUED
44
Share your writing / Re: Just a couple of poems
« Last post by Maidenscombe on August 19, 2013, 03:06:31 am »
Verse   209  to Verse  238      THE FOOD WAGON                               

THE FOOD WAGON

209
Walking down the hill from their home early the next morning, 
Ruby and Samantha kept a few paces behind Joe. “He’s happy.”
They made their way on the new track to Dumbbarton track,
Joe told them most of what he had done the previous evening.
At where the robbery was to be Joe pointed to three horses,
“They are for our escape, not to ride but to carry the food.”
Climbing part way up a tree he peered along the track to town.

210
“Here comes the food wagon now, you two should go and hide, 
“It shouldn’t go wrong, but my best laid plans can go wrong.
As there’s no need for you to get caught, go to the horses now.”
Looking to Ruby and Samantha. “Are you young ladies ready?”
“Did you hear that, Joe referred to us as young ladies, out here?
He’s in a good mood. What have you planned Joe?” asked Ruby.
Joe smiled. “I’m looking forward, the next two hours will be fun.”

211
Ruby guided Samantha to the horses. They listened to the wagon
Hearing it trundle passed, then it stopped. It went back to town.
Joe called them to get the food. “As you said, give the food away.”
When they left Joe went to the track, leaving with three convicts. 
Ruby and Samantha took some food on a horse to a lonely house.
They walked up to the front door of the house. “Is anyone in?”
A woman opened the door hesitantly, she walked from the house.

212
“What is it?” she looked to them, “What is it that you want?”
“I don’t want anything from you, but I do have this for you.”
Ruby gave her the bag of food, the woman stared then smiled.
“It’s you! The cards told me to expect you today, so thank you.
and please, thank him as well.” Graciously she took the bundle.
“Here, for the food, I only have two pennies, when I have more.”
Ruby held her hands up in defence. “No, the food, it is a gift,”

213
Ruby looked at her eyes. “Although a gift, please keep it a secret.” 
“I know of that, I know to keep you a secret, and especially him.
But where you took the food from, though the food was for him
the magistrate, he will have taken the food without paying for it,
so please take the money I gave you and give it to the butcher.”
“I see what you mean, we had not thought of that,” said Ruby,
“But you keep your money, should we... accidentally find some

214
I’m sure the butcher as other shop owners will, get some money.
Do tell me, when you said him, who do you mean?” asked Ruby.
The woman turned her head, looking from the corner of her eye. 
“I mean Mister Johns, Moondyne Joe,” she said, “Please wait.”
The woman went into her house, soon coming back outside.
“I never said his name how do you know of him?” asked Ruby.
The woman grinned to her. “As with you I like to help people,

215
Using my cards I can see what a person is thinking, those cards,
they tell me tales. They told me that you would be here today
with Samantha.” “I only got here yesterday,” said Samantha,
“How could you know my name?” Ruby looked at the woman.
“If you know that, please tell me more of my friend,” said Ruby.
“You want me to tell you about your special friend, him, the man
Joseph Johns, he who to many people is thee Moondyne Joe?

216
No, that is not what you’d like to know. You should ask her,
she who I aspire to. That pretty young girl known as Vixana.”
Ruby was stunned as was Samantha. “You know Vixana, how?”
Neither Joe nor Ruby knew, just how well known Vixana was.
“When I first came here, from there, it was to be near Vixana
And with several others, we choose to live throughout these hills
though not for her respect nor for her favour will we follow her.”

217
Ruby touched the woman’s shoulder, smiled then walked away.
Only stopping to turn and wave. The woman returned the wave.
“Thank you,” she whispered to herself, “And your special friend
good on yer Moondyne Joe.” She looked to the food in the bag.
Ruby and Samantha stopped at other houses on the way home.
When Joe returned there was five people sat outside the house.
Ruby greeted him. “Have we got some rum tales to tell you.”

218
After the evenings meal, sitting outside under the sky of stars
Edward thanked Joe, Ruby and Samantha. “I’m feeling alive,
this freedom is good the best I’ve had, being here I have hope.
One of those groups of stars should be named after you Joe.”
Martin quietly cheered. “There was one thing I wanted to ask,
When you came here, how did you find the way,” asked Ruby.
“We didn’t, not being used to the area, we did what natural,

219
we got ourselves lost, luckily Joe had said the direction. Still
there we were walking along a path, until we faced a fork,
none of us knew which way to go. We stood there guessing.
Then I heard a voice calling to us, a young woman’s voice
She said the police were coming this way; I should trust her.
She told us which path to take, where to hide to see the police
and sent us on our way here, she told me to say hello to Joe.”

220
Wondering who it could be. “What did she look like?” asked Joe.
“A lovely young woman. A picture worth a thousand smiles.”
Joe faced Ruby. “She helped them, without us asking her to.”
“She had well groomed long blonde hair, I won’t forget her.”
“We’ll introduce you to her, if we can. She is old not young,
And you won’t believe it when I tell you about her,” said Joe.
“She helped us avoid the police,” continued a thankful Garret.

221
“When I say old, I really do mean old, at least several hundred
the woman who helped you was none other than our Vixana
as witches go she is the most evil, but she does has a good side
I’d say because you moved those cows; she loves all animals.”
“Are you serious?” asked Martin, “you believe she is a witch?”
“Not only me, everyone here knows of her and her special friend
though he isn’t her lover, I hope. He is a friend, he is the Devil.” 

222
“You can choose not to believe us, that’s okay. You just wait
tomorrow we will take you to the river to let you meet Teara
The Goddess of the river, I know for a fact they are friends.
About Vixana, you don’t use her name, only her friends can.”
“She’ll tell you if she’ll let you can use her name,” said Ruby
“What can we do for her to see us as friends?” asked Martin
“Simple, be kind to animals, like you did with the cows.”

223
“About tomorrow Joe, after they have met Teara and Vixana
We need to find somewhere better, this place is good for three
But it is far too small for six, everyone should get privacy. So
Can we have a look at places that might be better,” said Ruby.
Stood at the river the next morning by the Wading Bird pools. 
They waited for Teara to come to introduce her to Joe’s friends.
They waited, sat on the bank, dangling their feet in the river.

224
Edward and Garret often looked behind, they weren’t convinced
she lived in the river, they were so surprised as she rose to them,
seeing no ripples on the surface only compounded that surprise.
When the introductions were made, allowing a future friend
Ruby told Teara about their plans for finding a new place to live.
“I know where would suit you good, at the other end of town, 
where people take their horses for them to have a relaxing time.

225
Opposite there, up the hill a bit, there is a place of water lays
that ducks go for the quiet, I know because they told me so,
I could meet you at the bend in the river near there near Alice.
Ruby turned to Joe and asked what he thought, Joe grinned
“Given who made the recommendation I’d be a fool to say no.”
Going uphill to their house Ruby led them over the hill tops
skirting about the town they went to the ducks relaxation pool.

226
Standing at the edge of the trees Joe looked at the landscape.
“It is good here, nice views to the river. And look at that hill
If there’s a cave near the top, it would make a good lookout
And these trees, there is something I’d like to do with them
Call the River gums or Ghost gums, but for what I’d like to do
Calling them ghost gums would be good; they’ll be as a ghost
painting the shape of a man on each, and a well-placed stick.

227
And fix to the tree with a nail so that it will stay there if shot.”
“A stick that appears as a rifle, why do that Joe?” asked Ruby.
“Imagine how it will seem should the police visit in the dawn?”
“Lots of people waiting for them, they would behave as ghosts
no matter how many times they’d get shot, they’d still stand.
Joe,” said Ruby, “I have got to admit it, I do like that idea.”
Samantha smiled to Ruby. “And there’s even water for horses.”

228
“So we have a new place to stay, oh we’ll need food for a party
Lucky for us that magistrate keeps getting deliveries of food.”
“That poor magistrate, his wine cellar is going to get a visit
I hope he doesn’t mind,” said Ruby. “He will,” said Samantha,
“especially if I leave a thank you message from Moondyne Joe.”
During the following days Garret and Martin took possessions
From one house to the new one while Edward and Joe built it.

229
Joe found time to plan their encounter with the food wagon
After an evening meal Joe told them. “Party night tomorrow.”
The morning saw them all waiting near the Dumbbarton track
Ruby and Samantha were asked to take care of their horses
the men hid behind a group of trees until the wagon was near
Joe stepped out onto the track, noting the two men sat on it.
Taking the pistol from his jacket, pointing it to the ground.

230
“I hope you are going to stop,” he said standing his ground.
Gerald and Norham the drivers of the wagon stopped it quick.
“Why are you stopping us? All that we have on here is food.”
“Yes I know that,” said Joe, “And I do know whose food it is,
it is for the magistrates table, that’s why I wanted you to stop.”
“You know what we have got, and yet you want to stop us?”
“Just drop the reigns, do as I want, you’ll be okay,” said Joe.

231
When the wagon was empty, Joe went to Gerald and Norham
“Thank you, you’ve done as I asked so you can go,” said Joe.
“We will have to turn around a bit further along the track.
We will need to go and get some more food to take to him
the magistrate won’t want to hear excuses,” said Norham.
Joe watched them go. “We’d best wait until they’ve gone.”
When Ruby and Samantha looked, they weren’t too happy.

232
“I think that you have taken too much food,” said Samantha.
“I never thought that there would be this much,” stated Ruby.
Joe, Edward, Martin and Garret looked at the parcels of food.
“It is a bit much, maybe too much for us if we take all of this.
They’ll know we are giving it away,” he looked at Samantha,
“If the police arrest people for taking our help, it won’t be help.
What else can we do?” “You could take less,” said Samantha.

233
“The wagon was stopped when you stole the food,” said Ruby,
“so stop the wagon again.” “Can you imagine what I would say.
Sorry to stop you again, I took too much so here’s some back?
take what we need Ruby plus a few for who we’re going to help.”
Trying not to laugh Joe waited for the wagon to give some back
When finished he went to the horses, where the food bags were
Ruby patted one of the horses as she tied a food bag to its saddle.

234
“You never did say where you got the horses from,” said Ruby.
“When I went out that evening I did a few other things first
Then on my way back I found them while I was walking.”
“Really, you happened to find three horses with saddles on,
now I know that you are lucky, but even so,” exclaimed Ruby.
Joe smiled to them, noting their looks of disbelief. “Maybe
they were at the jail, I asked them if they’d like some grass.”

235
What they didn’t know, they were being watched by some boys
who had been playing amongst the trees, stopping their game
they watched the robbery, they saw the food sorted and divided.
The boys then followed Ruby and Samantha towards a house.
To where one of the boys lived, he was worried for his mother.
“Who should we tell, what should we do to warn my mother?
Even a policeman wouldn’t get here in time,” said Nathaniel.

236
Andrew the eldest told Nathaniel his mother should be safe.
“We can tell the policemen later, if you want to do that but
I don’t think you do, I was in Perth with my father last week
I saw a picture of a wanted man. It was one of the men we saw,
Moondyne Joe, my father said good luck to him,” said Andrew.
“But I have to warn my mother that he is near,” said Nathaniel.
Running to the house, stopping when they saw Ruby was there.

237
Waiting until Ruby had left, they ran to Nathaniel’s mother.
She saw her son, and held out the food bag for him to see.
“It’s our lucky day, look at what that woman just gave us!”
“Mother, that is stolen food, it belongs to the magistrate.”
Nathaniel’s mother looked surprised, she smiled to herself.
“Then that woman, she must be a very bad,” she said aloud
“And she mixes with bad men, one is that Moondyne Joe.”

238
Andrew looked to where the woman had gone. “Very bad.”
“So she is with them,” she looked at her son and his friends,
“Then you ought to thank her Nathaniel, she gave this food
Which means you can enjoy the food we’ll have tonight,
All we had to eat before, was your pet chicken,” she said. 
Tears formed in Nathaniel’s eyes, he thought of his chicken
then looked to the woman. His head held low. “Thank you.”

Verse   239  to Verse  246      FUN IN TOODYAY                         

FUN IN TOODYAY

239
Joe looked about, curious about where Samantha had gone.
“She is learning about the enemy, about what they’re doing
and with any luck she will be keeping them away from here.”
“That’s good to hear, someone on the inside,” said Joe.
“Yes, Samantha is always thinking of others,” added Ruby.
“Do you have plans for us three, for today?” asked Edward
“Not really,” replied Joe, “But I have plans a few days after that.”

240
“If it involves us, that’s okay if it doesn’t we have a place to go
We would like to stay here, near the town with our own friends
We do have one or two women that we’d like to know more
they don’t live to far away, but away from a policeman’s eye.”
Joe looked to Edward. “I agree with you not being seen is good
annoying the magistrate is more of Ruby’s and my thing, but
there are people I’d like you to meet before you go,” said Joe.

241
“This morning I overheard Ruby say that the food level is low
We will always be near to help, but freedom is what we seek.”
Joe looked to Edward. “It was good seeing you, to be friends
and it’ll be good to know you’ll stay free, as free as you can.
After the following few days, take as much time as you want,”
He turned and faced Ruby, “Is Samantha of the same thought?
Does she seek a new life for herself?” Ruby smiled. “She does.”

242
“When I said she is with your enemy I wasn’t being correct
She has a friend with one of your enemy, Sergeant Wentworth
He’s as much a friend to her as she wants him to be,” said Ruby.
“The police aren’t my enemy, some of them I see them as okay
not that magistrate though, what he did to Alice I won’t forget
and many more people here, he takes food from them and wine.
But if Samantha wishes to be with a policeman, this is her life.”

243
“What plans have you got so far?” asked Edward, “Can I help?”
“There is some work to do for the first robbery, so yes thanks.
The second time we get the wagon should be easy to do though,
after the first one there is a family that I’d like you to meet.”   
“That poor magistrate, this is going to be a bad week for him,
having the food bound for his table taken twice, he’ll have
to stop wasting his time and eat at work,” announced Ruby.
 
244
That afternoon Joe and Edward went to a track near to the town
where they sat down, Joe said of his thoughts what they’re to do.
As with many of Joe’s carefully made plans, all went well.
Together they found the cows guiding them to a nearby stream
Where the water flowed near the track they built a dam there,
big enough for that the water cross the track the next morning,
so that it would form a ditch in the loosely replaced soft soil.

245
At a bit before midday they sat waiting for the wagon to come
Ruby and Samantha waited away from them, with the horses
While three watched from the tree limbs Joe was by the stream
On getting the word Joe made a small ditch from stream to track
The water washed away the soft earth, quickly forming a gully.
The driver of the wagon saw it and brought the horses to a stop
stepping out, asking him what was wrong. Norham looked to Joe

246
“Oh, it’s you again. Are you going to empty wagon this time?”
“No, I don’t want all of it I’ll just take what I need,” said Joe.
“I shouldn’t say this and if asked I didn’t, word of what you do
Is out, word of you giving the magistrates food to the hungry
If you want to know of more people,” Norham gave Joe a list,
“if you and your friends ever want, I have some wine for you.”
He moved to the side and gave Joe the wine. “It’s Houghtons.”

TO BE CONTINUED
45
Share your writing / Re: Just a couple of poems
« Last post by Maidenscombe on August 19, 2013, 02:41:23 am »
                               
Verse   182  to Verse  208      RUBY’S PARENTS                             

RUBY’S PARENTS

182
Early the next morning as they were preparing a warming meal
Joe asked Ruby if she’d made any plans for the day. “No why.”
He smiled to her asking. “Would you like to see your parents?”
He held her bag towards her. “We can leave now if you want?”
Ruby took hold of the bag, casually rose to her feet, smiled.
“Well come on then Joe. Why are you still standing here?”
Ruby began to lead the way, walking with a spring in her step.

183
Joe tried to catch up with her, calling to her. “Are you happy?”
She didn’t turn back to look at him. “Yes, you might say that,
I haven’t seen my mum and dad for nearly a month, so yes
I am happy,” walking on her merry way, what could go wrong.
“I suppose,” Joe said, “I should be grateful for small mercies.
At least you’re not learning how to whistle, and the wind is
blowing your way.” Joe smiled Ruby now walked in silence.

184
Without warning Ruby stopped, guiding Joe to behind a tree.
She pointed through the trees, to a large house nestled ahead
“Can you see the house, does anyone live there?” she asked.
“I can only see what might have been a nice big house once.
But it looks like a derelict now. Still, we’d best be careful.”
Moving quietly they kept watching the old sad looking house.
With curiosity raised they crept closer, looking for signs of life.

185
Standing next to a tree on the farms boundary, both looking.
“Nothing tells me that this farm has been worked for years.”
“I’m not so sure,” said Ruby, “We can’t be that far from home,
I can’t remember anyone saying of an empty house out here.”
“The wood on the house is as weathered as the fence,” said Joe.
“We ought to take a closer look Joe there might be a well here,
I am a bit thirsty, I could do with a drink of water,” said Ruby.     

186
Moving along barren wooden fencing rails, watching about
looking to see if there were any signs of life in the house,
they were surprised to see a family leaning against a fence.
“Hello, we only came here hoping to find a drink of water.
We didn’t realize that anyone was still living here,” said Joe.
After having a drink of some water they went on their way.
Waiting until they thought they were out of hearing range.   

187
“Did you notice, they had next to nothing to eat,” said Joe.
“I did, I didn’t know that there were people that lived like that,
though I doubt that you’d call living, maybe call it surviving.”
“Would you like to go back, we could do, in a day or two?”
“Yes I would like that but what could we do?” asked Ruby.
Joe started to tell Ruby what he had seen in the storage shed.
“Caked in dust was a sheet, under the cover was a steam engine,

188
those things aren’t cheap, they must have been well off once.
That and the empty cattle yards, I’d say they were quite big.
The house is the same, decent size but in need of lots of work.”
“With children that young, the blokes arm it looked broken and
it never set properly, could be he can’t do work,” stated Ruby.
“So, we go back in a few days,” suggested Joe, “To help them.”
On the track too Ruby’s home, it passed by a field in the open

189
Joe saw a woman working in the field. “Do you know who it is?
If not we’d best keep away, the fewer who see us the better.”
“You are really suspicious of people aren’t you,” asked Ruby.
Ruby ran towards the woman field. Despite Joe’s call’s to her.
Concerned what the person might do, Joe’s fears were allayed.
“I’m glad that Ruby knows you, I was so worried,” said Joe.
“I’m sorry I caused you concern, but you really should trust me

190
not to give you any reason to fear what I’m doing,” said Ruby,
“Joe this is Samantha, we’ve been friends since we were kids.”
“And who is this fine man with you Ruby?” asked Samantha.
“This is Joe. Those men, the pigs? What happened to them.”
Ruby looked around, worried about where they might be
“Have you seen any of them, him or his brothers?” she asked.
Samantha saw Ruby’s fear. “They were here, a few days ago.

191
They came looking for you but as you weren‘t here, they went.
Everybody here thought you dead. I’m so glad to see your not,
and you have a man to look after you, so what is his name,
you said that it’s Joe, but not Joe who?” asked Samantha
“I don’t know his name, most people know him as Moondyne.
Samantha looked to Joe, quickly turning to face Ruby. “What.
He is the.... ” Samantha was in disbelief. “Moondyne Joe,

192
you’re with him.” Samantha looked nervously to him, to Joe 
“I know, I’ve had to pinch myself at least once well,” said Ruby.
“How come you are with him? Are you two, you know, lovers?”
Samantha smiled coyly to Ruby. “Or are you friendly friends.”
Ruby grinned to Samantha, standing by Joe she hugged him.
“So Ruby? This friend of yours, an introvert is she?” asked Joe.
“The quiet shy retiring type?” Ruby smiled, “You noticed that?”

193
Ruby and Joe began to laugh. “Ruby, the stories I’ve heard,”
Samantha faced Joe, “Those story’s, he’s a vicious criminal!”
“A hard vicious criminal?” Ruby faced Joe, “You didn’t say!”
Ruby kissed Joe, she turned and with a smile to Samantha, she 
grinned and looked away. Suddenly, Joe grabbed Samantha.
“What you said, you all thought her dead? Ruby, your parents,
what must they think!” Thinking what Joe said hit Ruby hard.

194
“Samantha!” Ruby exclaimed, “Where? I have to see them.”
Samantha pointed to a house. “They’ll be with the animals now.”
About to run, Joe stopped her. “Samantha, will you get them,
bring them here?” he asked, “And please don’t tell anyone else.” 
She looked to Joe. “Yes,” she hugged Ruby, “I won’t be long.”
Ruby and Joe lay on the ground waiting for Samantha to return,
occasionally one of them rose above the ears of wheat to look.

195
They’d waited for ten minutes, when Joe pulled Ruby to him. 
“You’d best stand up, so they can see where you are,” said Joe.
Ruby kissed Joe. Getting up, running to her parents, arms wide.
She ran into their loving arms. Samantha kept walking passed, 
stood next to Joe. “I think it’ll be best let them have time alone.
I am glad that you are not afraid to show your feelings for Ruby.
I know she’ll like that, I dare say you know, Ruby loves you.”

196
Joe slowly faced Samantha. “Do you think so? She hasn’t said.”
“Her parent’s names, they are Ethel and David,” said Samantha.
Joe felt a hand on his arm, looking he saw that it was David.
“So you’re the man in my daughter’s life,” said Ruby’s father
“From what Ruby has just said, you have looked after her well.
Any time you two are near, you’ll be welcome,” said David.
Joe nodded to him. Appreciative of being accepted as a friend.

197
“What about me?” asked Samantha, “I would want to see them.”
They looked to her. “Hasn’t Ruby said?” asked Ruby’s mother,
she put her weight against her husband, her lover, her friend.
“I’m surprised, she hasn’t said she wants you back, with them.”
Samantha looked to Joe, too Ruby. “You were going to ask?”
Joe looked to Ruby. “Were you going to ask me, I mean ask?”
They looked to each other then to Samantha, they laughed.

198
David looked at Samantha. “I can think of a young woman,
she wouldn’t have liked to see you go without her, would you?
I take it that you will be going to leave today?” asked David.
“It feels good to know that Ruby is alive and well,” said Ethel,
“About you going with them Samantha, I think they’re waiting
for you, be a dear and get some clothing to take with you.”
Samantha looked to them. They were quiet for a moment or two.

199
“Still waiting,” Joe said to Samantha. “Oh, back in a minute.”
Samantha ran to the village, in a few minutes she came back.
“I’ve got all the clothing I’ll need for a while,” said Samantha.
On the way back Joe told Ruby they’d need some more food.
“Do you mean because that I’ve joined you?” asked Samantha.
“I hadn’t thought of that, haven’t we got enough?” asked Ruby
“And there I was, thinking that Joe was a hardened criminal.”

200
Joe faced Ruby. “We’ve enough for a few days, not much more.” 
“There’s not much money left either, finding sheep is good
but it doesn’t give regular money, how else could we get food?”
Joe grimaced, apologising with his eyes knowing his options.
“We don’t have much choice, I’ll be back to my old ways.”
“When you say old ways?” asked Samantha. Ruby faced her.
“I hope you don’t mean you’ll rob someone?” asked Samantha.

201
“Not in the way you seem to be implying, I’m not violent,
although if that is what people think of me, those false beliefs,
could be put to use, I’ll have to be careful though,” said Joe,
“We need food, I know where to get some, but not too much
I don’t like wasting it, we didn’t get enough in jail to waste.”
“So if we get too much, we give some away.” Ruby smiled.
“When I was younger food was given to people who needed it.”

202
“I remember that, it felt good giving food away,” said Samantha.
“Remember Alice, being forced from the bridge?” asked Joe.
“Oh right, you mean to steal the magistrates food,” said Ruby
“Well I did say I’d get him for what he did to Alice,” said Joe.
“Taking the food from the magistrates table? Yes I do like that.
And if there is any extra food I dare say the family near here
they would know how to make good use of it,” declared Ruby. 

203
Keeping off the main track, heading to Ruby and Joe’s home.
They kept playing games on each other as they walked along.
While they were playing tag Joe noticed Ruby had fallen behind,
he saw her crouching near some bushes at the side of the track.
“Wait here,” Joe told Samantha, he went to where Ruby was.
“What is it?” he asked. Ruby told him to look passed the bushes.
“I heard those people, but I don’t know what they’re doing.”

204
Joe looked to the field. “They are beyond that line of trees.”
creeping passed the bushes motioning Samantha to join Ruby.
“Ruby you’d best keep Samantha close, to avoid being seen.”
He carefully moved into the field trying not to make a sound.
“I can see several people, the police have a convict gang there.”
“They have? What is there for them to do?” asked Samantha.
Joe and Ruby looked to each other. They crept a bit closer.

205
“What do you think it is Joe?” asked Ruby. “I’m not too sure,
they seem to be clearing a wide path, I can’t think what it’s for.
Unless they are redoing all the old track to make it smoother.”
They watched as convicts moved rocks and dug up tree roots.
“Who wants it smoother. I wonder, if that is the reason why, 
the magistrate lives this way, they might be doing it for him.” 
Deciding to stay and make sure, they watched to find out why.

206
Samantha pointed to some of the convicts. “Look at those three 
they are moving those cattle away from where they are working.”
Joe looked at them then to the stream near the bushes. “Handy.”
“What is it Joe, you’re much too interested in them,” said Ruby.
“There’s a good reason,” said Joe smiling, “I know those three.”
“You do? I can guess where you know them from,” said Ruby.
“It is obvious isn’t it, a convict work party, and me an escapee.”

207
Those three moving the cows, they have helped me to escape.”
“Do you mean escaping Fremantle jail?” asked Samantha. 
“They are Edward, Garret and the tall one is Martin,” said Joe.
“Let me guess, do you want to return the favour?” asked Ruby.
Joe looked at the convicts then towards where the police were.
“If I could, trouble is they are guarded by the police,” said Joe.
“I could move the cows tonight, put them back there tomorrow.”

208
Joe didn’t say a word going home he was planning what to do.
“I’ll make sure you get back okay, then I’ll go out. People to see.”
Joe wandered passed the town and over the hill looking for a fire
On the way back he visited the police stables then the station.
He was pleased with himself as he neared the nice little home
Acting as if butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth he kissed Ruby.
“I see you’ve had a good evening,” said Ruby. He even whistled.

TO BE CONTINUED
46
Share your writing / Re: Just a couple of poems
« Last post by Maidenscombe on August 19, 2013, 02:29:18 am »
Verse   146  to Verse  181      THE BARTON CHILDREN                                                     

THE BARTON CHILDREN

146
Mr. Barton, his wife and three children ran to the farm’s gate
the children were excited, their favourite sheep were returned.
Mr. and Mrs. Barton were intrigued why they would bother.
“Thank you, we didn’t think we’d see them again,” they said,
“Come into our house, if there’s anything we can do for you.”
Going to their home Mrs. Barton asked Ruby and Joe why.
“How did you know to bring them here?” asked Mrs. Barton.

147
Ruby said that Joe was finding stray sheep for Mr. Armstrong, 
“The last group of sheep he took, some he took were these.
One of the farm workers, he said these sheep were from here.
Joe told him that he would bring them here, so here we are.”
Mrs. Barton looked, curious she didn’t recognise her voice.
“Why is it that you look like a man but sound like a woman.”
Ruby smiled to her about to explain, but she was interrupted.

148
“Please forgive me, I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to offend.”
Ruby smiled to her, taking off her hat. “I am a woman.”
Mrs. Barton was confused. “So why do you dress as a man?”
Ruby looked for Joe. “There’s some men who want to hurt me.
Dressing like this was Joe’s idea; so they won’t recognise me
and it will work but,” she held a finger to make the point,
“I think it’s a good idea,” grinning, “But don‘t say that to Joe.” 

149
The children who were standing nearby began to laugh aloud.
They ran on the track to be near the sheep. Following them.
“I can see he is your youngest son, he didn’t make any sound,
why? I hope there nothing very wrong with him?” asked Ruby.
Mrs. Barton looked to her boy. “There is, my poor little thing,”
Turning with tears in her eyes, “Last year he caught a bad cold
and all the coughing he did, it that left him without a voice.

150
My poor boy is happy enough though, at least he hears alright.”
Ruby hugged her, she saw Joe and Mr. Barton walking to them,
she stepped back as they walked passed them towards the gate.
Joe opened the gate. “We’d best leave Ruby, times getting on,
we should be making a move.” Opening the gate for her to go,
he closed the gate behind them. Mr. Barton pointed up the hill.
“When I first saw you, were you bringing the sheep from there.”

151
Joe looked to the path up the hill. “Had you been over the hill?
I always go the long way nothing could tempt me to go there,”
Mr. Barton declared. “And I won’t let him,” said Mrs. Barton.
“Why, what is up there?” asked Ruby waiting for Joe to answer.
Mr. Barton looked to Joe. “Tell me you’ve heard of the witch.
Even the farmer who owns that land, he never goes up there
as he’s said to people in town. “She can kill you with a look.

152
And she is beautiful, not an old hag as witches are said to be.”
“We didn’t see anyone, we must’ve been lucky,” said Ruby,
“we met a pretty young girl though, but it couldn’t be her. 
She was a nice person, she liked your sheep and they liked her.”
“Could you describe her some more?” asked Mrs. Barton.
“Sure, very pretty young woman, long blonde hair,” said Ruby,
“She said that she didn’t think anyone would help her though.”

153
“Considering her looks, most men would be willing to help.”
“Okay, if it isn’t who I think, she is in danger just being there.
But from how you do describe her, she is who I think it is.
That was the witch Vixana that you met. You can’t miss her,
like you said, a very pretty young girl, lovely blonde hair.”
Joe and Ruby smiled to each other and said. “It wasn’t her.”
“Where ever you live, I’d suggest you go there another way.”

154
Ruby closed the gate turned and was about to walk away,
but she stopped, then she turned and faced Mrs. Barton. 
“We will do as you’ve suggested and go back another way.
But if she is as evil as you say, why was she nice to us?”
“That I can’t say, what she was doing when you met her?
Was she collecting wood for a fire?” asked Mr. Barton.
“Yes,” said Joe, “We offered to help her and she accepted

155
she didn’t refuse our help. It was more that she welcomed us
to help her after that she had made sure your sheep were ok.”
“I can’t explain that, but I will say that it was her,” he said,
“The person she is rumoured to make the fire for, is the devil.”
Ruby looked up to the hill. “Well I’m glad she was nice to us.”
Saying their farewells Joe and Ruby began to walk away
along the main track from the entrance to the Barton’s farm.

156
“I think we’d better start a map of where these people live,
it will help us both know where people we like live,” said Joe.
“But how do we think of names for the tracks,” said Ruby
“Something my father once said, of a friend who couldn’t talk.
He was wrong, saying he was dumb because he couldn’t speak
just like the child, but if we called this track the Barton track,
Remembering their child it could be the Dumbbarton track, 

157
if it’s alright when we get back,” said Joe, “I’ll start the map.”
Walking on the track, more than once they looked to the hill.
“Oh look, a river, I hope that neither of us gets wet,” said Joe
smiling to Ruby, playfully he pushed her towards the water.
About to get even, Ruby saw the Barton’s children at play
seeing Alice running onto the bridge, Ruby pulled Joe aside
“When I was a child I liked to watch other children at play.”

158
Keeping low in the verge as the magistrates coach passed by
They kept out of sight on an animal’s path going to the river.
Seeing the coach, Alice ran to get out of the magistrates way
the drivers of the coach slowed as they approached Alice.
But the magistrate leant from the coach, he called to Alice.
“Get out of my way you fool I have important work to do.”
Without regard for her safety he forced her out of his way.

159
Opening the stagecoach door she had to jump over the side
He smiled as he watched. “That’ll teach her to be in my way.”
Alice had tried to jump clear, but caught her foot on the top
causing her dive become an uncoordinated fall to the water,
hitting the river like a stone. She began to sink, unconscious.
Ruby and Joe hearing the splash knew something was wrong
they started to run on the track that led down to the river.

160
Alice’s brothers were playing on the bank; skimming stones
when they saw their sister fall; her scream abruptly stopped.
They dived in, swimming to where they saw she’d fallen in.
They dived for her, returning to the surface gasping for air,
They kept diving for her. Benjamin searched downstream.
Shouting her name when he surfaced, Harry was in a panic,
calling to Benjamin he disappeared below the rivers waves.

161
Both of them surfaced, when they couldn’t hold their breath.
They looked, hoping to see that the other had found her,
About to dive again they heard her faint cry. “Please help me.”
Both of them span about, looking about on the river’s surface
Alice was crawling up out of the river not far from the bridge.
Surprised to see her, they were so glad that she was alive.
They swam as fast as they could, then ran to where she was.

162
“When I couldn’t find you I thought you had died in there.”
Benjamin so wanted to speak to her he nodded his agreement.
“But I don’t understand it though, how can you be here?”
Harry looked to the swirling waters by the base of the bridge.
Alice looked as well. “I, I don’t think that I was alone in there,
I’m sure I felt two hands on me, as if I was being pulled here.”
“By who, there is no one else, there was no one else,” he said.

163
Alice looked to her elder brother, her eyes began to form tears.
“I’m scared,” she said, “What else could be living out there?”
They looked at the swirling waters the surface began to still.
A woman slowly rose up from the river; she faced Alice.
Her feet in the water yet they saw her walk towards them.
“I am sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you. But you needed help.”
Even at the river’s edge her feet still didn’t touch the stones.

164
Scared by what happened, scared at the sight of the woman,
scared by the woman who was standing in front of her now.
“Did you save me?” asked Alice, “When I fell into the water.”
“I was passing by, I saw you fall, I knew that you’d need help.”
“Who are you? Why didn’t see you as I fell?” asked Alice.
“The best friend I have here, she knows me well as Teara,
my two other friends, they now me as the Goddess of the river.”
.
165
Alice tried to wipe some water of her clothes, she shivered.
A sheep went to stand against her, rubbing her with its fleece,
trying to dry her. “I see that sheep likes you,” said Teara.
“When the sheep were lambs, Alice would spoil them rotten,”
he looked at the sheep, “None of them seem to have forgotten.”
“As you are all wet, my best friend she could make you dry,
if it’s okay with you, would you like to be dry?” asked Teara,

166
“All I ask is when you do meet her, you show her no fear.”
Alice looked to her brothers, she blushed then looked to Teara.
Teara smiled. “It is okay you don’t need to off any clothes.”
As Harry and Benjamin watched their sisters clothes dried.
He looked at her, at their clothes. “But how?” asked Harry.
Teara pointed to a young woman walking from the bushes.
“You dried our clothes, how?” Alice ran to her to thank her.

167
But she stepped back. Harry watched as his clothes dried.
“How, why?” he asked. “Teara asked me too,” said Vixana.
Alice moved forwards, she wanted to hug her, to thank her.
Unused to people being nice to her she was about to retaliate.
Alice slowed. “Sorry, I only wanted to thank you, to hug you.”
Alice slowly stepped forward, she hugged her. “Thank you.”
Stepping back added. “Who are you?” Alice was in awe of her.

168
“My real name is Vixana, I won’t let anyone use my name,
only those that I consider to be my friends,” said Vixana.
“Vixana, oh I like that, I think that it is such a pretty name.”
Vixana stepped back. “You do? I didn’t think anybody did.”
Alice faced Teara, just in time to see her dive into the river,
her legs changing to be like a fish’s tail. Alice faced Vixana.
“That’s your friend, she, she’s a mermaid!” exclaimed Alice.

169
“There is a mermaid, living here, in the river?” asked Harry.
Looking where she’d gone, “I didn’t thank her,” said Alice.
“Before, you said she is a mermaid, why would you say that?
Vixana looks to Benjamin. “And why don’t you speak to me?”
“He can’t,” said Alice, “Benjamin cannot speak to anyone,
he got ill last year, a bad cold that in his throat, he can’t talk.”
“Alright.” Vixana looked to the sheep, to the three of them.

170
“The sheep must like you, to stay so near, and Teara did she
liked you, for her to let you to see her. Okay, that is enough.”
Vixana stared at Benjamin. “So, do you think I am pretty?”
Benjamin wanted to talk but he couldn’t make any sound.
“What was that, I did not hear your reply,” said Vixana.
Harry was about to say something in his brothers defence
Vixana held up her hand, not wanting him to say anything.

171
Benjamin tried to speak to Vixana; his voice was croaky.
He forced sounds from his lips. “I, I, er, er,” he replied.
“I still can’t hear you.” Vixana stood she touched his throat.
“Benjamin, have a good cough, then try to answer me again.”                 
Benjamin coughed loudly, feeling pain he held his throat.
“I felt, now that was a......” He looked to Alice and Harry,
“I said something, I can talk, I can really talk again, yay!”

172
He turned to face Vixana. She held her hand up to him.
“I can hear a horse and cart on the track, coming this way.”
Vixana vanished. Alice and her brothers faced each other.
Hearing the horse and cart on the bridge they turned to it, 
“Mother, father, we’ve just met two wonderful people.”
The horse and cart stopped, their mother leant to them.
“These people, tell me their names?” called Mrs. Barton

173
“One of them was Teara, she’s The Goddess of the river.”
“Yes dear,” said her mother, “Very believable, the other?”
“She said that we could use her name Vixana,” said Alice.
Her mother clambered from the cart, to the top railing.
“Alice my girl. What have I told you about telling lies?”
“Yes, I’d like to hear your excuse as well.” said her father.
“But Alice is telling you the truth mother,” said Benjamin

174
“Do you really expect me to… Benjamin! You can talk, how?”
“Mother, she did, it was Vixana, she did she gave me my voice.
She said that because the sheep liked us and Teara liked us.”
Mrs. Barton stared at him. “She gave you back your voice?”
“Yes mum, and she told us Teara is the Goddess of the river.”
Mrs. Barton turned to look their father, he held the reigns.
“I think now is a good time for us to leave, to go to town.”

175
“What can we say? We won’t be too long,” said their father.
When their parents had left Alice looked to her brothers.
“I could tell from mother’s expression, that confused her.”
“Is that what really happened? Is that what you really saw?”
Alice and Harry looked around. “What who’s voice was that?
“I don‘t see anyone,” said Alice. “Neither do I,” said Harry
Benjamin stared. “It was that bush. That bush spoke to us.”

176
They all faced to the bush. “What did it say?” asked Alice.
“The bush asked if that was what we saw,” said Benjamin. 
Alice looked to the bush. “I said that Vixana is a nice person.”
Ruby walked from the bush. “Good, we agree with each other.”
“Do you know what they say that Vixana is?” asked Alice.
Joe walked from the bush. “It was your parents who told us.”
“Joe and I saw you meet her, although we didn’t see Teara.”

177
“You didn’t see her, you couldn’t have missed her, she is lovely
And she was wearing a lovely crown of flowers,” said Alice.
“Thank you,” said Ruby, “It was me who made her the crown.”
“Know this Alice, regardless of if you choose to use her name
or not to her face, only those who she likes will she’ll allow. 
Your mother and father said she’s an evil person,” said Ruby,
“For that reason I’d recommend you never repeat any of this.”                     

178
“And please don’t repeat it even to your best friends,” said Joe.
“You can count on me, I won’t tell anyone,” said Benjamin.
“So tell me, I’d like to know how you met her?” asked Joe,
“I can’t imagine Vixana would just allow you to use her name.”
“We were told by Teara that she’d dry our clothes,” said Alice.
Joe faced her, then to the river. “Why were your clothes wet?”
“It was that new magistrate he forced me from the bridge,

179
I wanted to jump but I caught my foot, instead of dive I fell.”
“As I fell down I heard him laughing, I really don’t like him.
I didn’t know who it was underwater, but Teara saved me.”
“You do have good friends, best not repeat this day though
as your school friends some might repeat you,” said Ruby.
Joe faced Ruby, he whispered to her. “Best not say too much, 
to ask that of a child, or an adult.” Then Joe laughed to her.

180
“That magistrate, he is going to pay for doing it,” added Joe.
Leaving them Ruby and Joe went towards the rivers shallows.
Ruby was about to step onto a rock close to the water’s edge,
she stopped and smiled to Joe. “You’ll push me in won’t you?”
Joe’s face lit up, he looked to her. “I hadn’t thought of that,
mind you. How about we walk side by side? Okay,” said Joe.
Holding each other’s hand they carefully stepped on the rocks.

181
Joe let go of her hand as he stepped forward onto the next rock.
Ruby nearly joined him. “Oh, oops,” she almost overbalanced.
“There isn’t as much room on this rock as I thought, is there.”
She pushed him in. “There’s plenty of room on the rock now.”
Smiling, she held her arm to him, as he rose up out of the water.
As he was about to grab hold of her hand. “On second thoughts,”
Ruby said taking her hand away. Joe fell back into the river.

TO BE CONTINUED
47
Share your writing / Re: Just a couple of poems
« Last post by Maidenscombe on August 16, 2013, 06:44:45 am »
Verse   102  to Verse  145      RUBY WELCOMES HER NEW LIFE                     

RUBY WELCOMES HER NEW LIFE

102
As quietly as she could, Ruby put Joe’s cutlery in his bag,
a spoon fell against a rock it caused a noise in the camp.
Ruby looked at Joe, hoping the noise hadn’t woken him.
He began to move, Ruby froze, waiting for him to settle,
rolling over he pulled the blanket back over his shoulders.
Tidying where she had slept Ruby caused a twig to snap
she knew that type of sound would make him our Joe stir.

103
Joe did move, Ruby faced him, watching his eyes open,
she kept quiet willing him to settle and fall back to sleep.
Ruby could relax, almost everything was put in his bag.
Ready to leave, all that was left was for a mornings drink.
Carefully and silently she lifted Joe’s bag off the ground
setting it down, it fell over against one of the camps walls.
That sound like a broken twig made Joe to start to wake up.

104
Quickly Ruby turned to face Joe, he was trying to sit up,
he tried to look about with his sleep heavy blurred eyes
Ruby saw and he knew he still needed another hours sleep.
He looked to the left then to the right unsure what it was.
Ruby smiled to him. “You do want a drink before we go?”
Joe smiled to her when he remembered the previous night
“Yes thank you I’d like a hot drink, but you don’t have to.

105
This isn’t something I’m used to. I normally do it myself.”
Joe handed her his mug, he smiled as she filled his mug.
“What is it, why are you treating me so well,” he asked.
“What you saved me from, I would not want that again.
I wouldn’t want to live with the memory of it afterwards,
I did this so you will think I am worth keeping near you.”
Looking to him, with her eyes she almost pleaded to him.

106
Joe wouldn’t complain, even if he wanted to he couldn’t.
“What you did with the stew last night, that was good.”
Ruby shrugged to him, she thanked him. “That is okay.” 
He looked to her, he could see she wanted to stay with him.
“If you can do that again you can stay as long as you want.”
Ruby smiled, she knew she could, she knew he had more.
When she used the herbs she saw other flavours in the bag.

107
Ruby began to relax, she was beginning to feel at home.
“But I am still afraid that those pigs will still be after me.
Look at me, they’ll easily see this white dress in the dark.”
Joe put his arm around her shoulders. “Maybe they’ll try.
But they don’t know me, while I am not a violent man,
I’m sure that I could make an exception just for those men.
I am fairly resourceful, I learnt a few things while in prison.

108
For now we’ll see about changing the colour of your dress,
maybe get you more clothes. Don’t you worry about them.”
Joe knelt in front of Ruby, he held the front of her dress,
to feel the quality between his thumb and his fore finger.
He smiled to her, checking to see how much coffee was left
he had another mouthful then poured what’s left on the fire.
He told Ruby to get herself, to be ready to go to the river.

109
“I am going to try and change the colour of your dress.” 
Joe moved his bag he put it down near his folded blanket.
“I think it will still be here when we get back, later today.”
Ruby went to the river with him, passing near some sheep.
“We’ll take them to their owner before the day gets old.”
Ruby was confused she looked to Joe. “What’s he mean.”
They went to the water’s edge, standing on the rocks there.

110
“You will need to be careful,” he looked along the river,
“In the water there’s, have you heard of strange things?
Like witches, fairies and well, something big in the river.”
Ruby looked to Joe. “Are you being serious? How big.”
“I saw things down in the valley, and I felt something big.”
Ruby looked along the river. “Like people in the water?”
“Yes but it was underwater and never came up,” said Joe.

111
Ruby saw a woman in the water, in the corner of her eye.
“Do you mean like her?” asked Ruby, “Oh, she’s gone.”
Joe looked at the river, for a disturbance. “Where was she?”
Ruby pointed to where it was that she saw the woman,
“I don’t understand it I can’t see any ripples on the water.”
“Come on,” said Joe, “Let’s get on with I have got to do.
I need to get your dress wet, then mix berries with water.”

112
Ruby sat on rock by the river she looked at a nearby rock.
“Those berries Joe, do they grow on a bush?” asked Ruby
“Yes, why,” replied Joe. “There is a pile of them here.” 
Joe went to her he saw the pile of the berries on the rocks.
“When I sat down here, I don’t remember seeing them.”
“Those are the ones,” Joe smiled, “So she wants to help.”
They stood facing the river, Joe’s hands on Ruby’s back.

113
Ruby span away from him. “Don’t you dare push me in.”
“But I do need your dress wet,” said Joe apologetically,   
“That seemed the easiest way and a bit less embarrassing.
and I dare say it’d make your hair turn to a nice colour.”
“Flattery will not help, you are not pushing me in there.”
“I could to ask you to remove the dress, but I doubt that,
the other way would be to rub the berries onto the dress.”

114
Ruby looked at herself. “I wouldn’t want you to do that.”
“They’re the choices, that I rub your dress with you in it,
to ask you to take the dress off, or push you in the river.”
“I won’t let you rub these, Ruby pointed to her breasts.
“I don’t believe this,” said Ruby going to behind a bush,
She started to take off her dress. “Don’t you dare smile.”
Hiding behind the bush she handed him her dress to him.

115
He took her dress to the river making it as wet as he could.
“Pushing you in seemed like the least embarrassing to me.”
“A tip Joe, next time you say you are sorry, don’t smile.”   
Joe put some of the berries and a bit of water on his hand,
as he crushed them the skin on his hand changed colour.
Showing it to her. “Okay, but don’t take long,” she said
Joe made a mixture that he quickly rubbed onto her dress.

116
When finished he held the dress so that she could see it. 
“There, I’m done, what do you think,” he said proudly,
“it isn’t exactly the colour I was hoping for, but it’ll do.”   
Ruby put on her dress, looking to be sure no one else saw.
Suddenly she grabbed Joe’s arm, and she spun him about. 
“Look.” Joe saw a woman was waist height in the water.
Grabbing Ruby’s hand Joe ran to where they’d seen her.

117
When they got near to where they saw her she was gone.
“I don’t understand where has she have gone?” asked Joe
“There isn’t any ripples on the water either,” said Ruby, 
“She can’t stay underwater for this long, where is she?”
“She isn’t anywhere,” said Joe, “In or out of the water.”
“I wonder,” said Ruby, “It might do to treat her nicely.”
Ruby sat by the water’s edge making a ring of flowers.

118
Joe looked to where he had seen her. “Now that is odd.
Where we saw her, the water is too deep there to stand in,
another thing how could she manage stay waist height
when most people I know can only rise to shoulder high.”
Ruby said about the sheep that they had passed in the field
“They didn’t look at either us as we walked passed them,
I remember now, they were watching to here, at the river

119
“I wish my memory would work, I have seen her before
I know I have, was she one of the two women that I saw.”
“When do you mean Joe, on the way here?” asked Ruby.
“It was two or three days ago, after I saw the stone circle.”
“Do you think we could make up a name?” asked Ruby.
“What do we know she’s the woman we saw in the water.”
Joe sat next to Ruby on the rock, they looked to the water.

120
“What we do know about her is strange to say the least.”
Ruby glanced at Joe. “I agree, a woman who disappears.
When I was a child my father would read a bedtime story
it takes me back, told a story about men in shining armour
riding fine white horses who sought to protect the people,
of the lady of the lake holding a sword above the surface
Joe, can we call her the Goddess of the river?” asked Ruby.

121
“Is that who you’d like her to be? A goddess?” asked Joe.
“Maybe the rivers goddess? What’s the name of the river?”
Joe thought of all the people that he knew, of the farmers
of the police, even other men he’d met on the work party.
“Those men I met from the sheep place, one of them said 
I should look on the banks of this river, for more sheep.
he said I would find some on the banks of the river Arvon.”

122
“What a coincidence, in that story, the friends of the king
lived not far from a town by the river Avon,” said Ruby.
Joe smiled, he looked to the river. “River Arvon or Avon.
Would you like it if we call her Goddess of the river Avon?”
“Yes,” Ruby’s eyes lit up, “would you mind if I change it?”
“I would only want to change it to Goddess of the river?”
smiling to each other. “D’you think she’ll like the name?”

123
Joe pointed to what Ruby had been doing. “What is that?”
Ruby proudly held up the ring of flowers she had made.
“Putting one through the other, it makes a ring of flowers.”
Ruby put the ring of flowers on her head, she faced Joe.
“I thought I’d give it to the Goddess. What do you think?
It should look good I hope it will fit her like it fits me.”
She laid it on a rock. “What are you smiling at Joe?”

124
He looked to the ground. “I’m not sure.” He looked at her.   
“Was it because of the flowers or was it me?” she asked.
Joe looked at her, he realised just how much he liked her,
but he wanted to hide his feelings. “Yes,” he replied.
Slowly he raised a finger. “What is it Joe?” asked Ruby.
He looked to the river, he started to point downstream.
“Her, the Goddess, I think I saw her rise from the water.”

125
Ruby faced her; waist high in the water, smiling to them.
“Isn’t that where the water is too deep to stand in Joe?”
Joe kept looking to the woman. Perplexed he faced her.
“I know what I saw, you just rose up out of the river.”
“Joe,” said Ruby tugging at his clothes, “Look, the water,
there are no ripples by her, anywhere on the rivers surface.”
“Is it alright if we know you as the Goddess of the river?”

126
“Thank you, and no I don’t mind, but my name is Teara.
If you want to know me by another name as well, you can.”
Ruby carefully stepped on the rocks to the water’s edge.
She picked up the ring of flowers. “I made this for you,”
Ruby watched the woman drop beneath the water’s surface
then rise again a few feet from her, looking at the flowers
Ruby carefully put the ring of flowers on the ladies head.

127
“Joe, look at where sank there isn’t a ripple on the water.” 
Ruby still looked towards Joe, saw the sheep behind him.
“We ought to take them back, but before we do, about you
I know of you, that you’ve been in prison, what did you do?” 
“I do have this habit of upsetting the authorities, quite often
the main reason they don’t like me is that I keep escaping.
My last escaped was from Fremantle jail a short while ago.”

128
“You escaped from jail, that’s right, you’re Moondyne Joe,”
Ruby smiled and hugged him. “You don’t mind?” asked Joe.
“You saved me from those pigs so I am glad you are here, 
is there anything else about you that I really should know?”
“Probably, but that will have to wait until another day.”
“So you will tell me all about yourself one day will you?”
She kissed him. Surprised by her reaction he stepped back.

129
“One day,” said Ruby, “That means you want me to stay?”
Joe looked at the sheep she had suggested they take back.
“When we do take them back, you’d best keep out of sight,
one of the men that works there might know those pigs.”
Joe counted the sheep. “Good thing they’re from over the hill.
I never asked how to move more than two sheep at a time.”       
“That is easy,” said Ruby calling to the sheep, “Home James.”

130
Surprised at the animals reaction, Joe looked at it then Ruby.
“When I was young I had a pet sheep, her name was James,
The sheep followed me everywhere,” said Ruby with a smile
Joe looked at the sheep, one had started to walk to the track.
Looking at them again, where one had gone the rest followed.
So Joe and Ruby followed them towards the owner’s house.
He told Ruby to wait out of sight when they neared the farm.

131
When the farm could be seen Joe saw a worker approach.
He was surprised that several of the sheep had been found,
on inspecting, the markings of four sheep were not theirs
he said that they were from the towns other sheep farm.
“That’s the Barton’s farm, that’s at the other end of town.
Near the Northam track across the rivers bridge,” he said.
About to leave Joe asked where to get some more clothes.

132
“These ones, they are not really suitable for living out here.”
Daniel said “Wait, I have some spare clothes here, use them
until you can get some more.” Walking away with clothes
in a bag Joe opened the bag and looked in. “Oh dear,” he said,
“Ruby won’t like these.” He looked at them again. “Oh no.
I’d best offer to make the meal tonight, and make a nice one.
Still, I guess those pigs won’t recognise her wearing these.”

133
Joe led them away from Mr. Armstrong’s sheep property,
once out of sight from Daniel he signaled Ruby to join him.
Together they walked along the path, Joe wondered they
should cross the river near the town and cross the river there.
Seeing the hill beside the town, knowing she’d like the view.
He went towards the hill top. As they drew close to the town,
knowing he needed be nice to Ruby he told her to look down.

134
Joe was looking down the other side of the hill, he noticed
that he was watching a pretty young woman stood in the field.
He called Ruby to join him, waiting until she was at his side,
Joe pointed to the girl who was near a discoloured pile of rocks.
“Do you recognize who she is?” he asked, while Ruby looked. 
“I can’t think who it could be, out here by herself,” said Joe.
“What is she doing there,” asked Ruby, “Just looking around?”

135
Wanting to get a closer look, they moved down the hillside
towards her. When they were near enough Joe called out.
“You look like you are trying to find something, can we help?”
The girl stopped what she was doing, she looked up to them
she waited until they were close enough to talk to not call to.
“Who are you? No one from here has ever offered to help me
why do you two think that you can do to help me?” she asked,

136
“Those sheep, are they yours, is that why they follow you?”
Ruby faced the sheep. “No, we’re taking back to the owner.”
“When we first saw you I thought you had lost something, 
that’s why we offered to help, if you want us to just say so.”
The girl looked to the sheep then she looked to Ruby and Joe.
“Okay, thank you, I come up here to meet my special friend.
I make a fire so he’ll know I am here, but I need some wood.”

137
The girl moved towards them but then she went to the sheep,
standing in front of them, she looked to them, quietly speaking.
Joe was about to interrupt her, when she started to speak to him.
“The sheep will wait here? They do seem to like you” she said.
Ruby looked to the girl. “What is it that you want us do to?” 
She guided the sheep to a shaded area where there was water.
“Now I’d like it if you’d help me by collecting some firewood.”

138
“I didn’t think anyone from here would want to help me,”
she said to Ruby, “Where is it that you are taking the sheep?”
Ruby said they had just taken some sheep to another farm
a person there said these sheep were from where we’re going
looking at the sheep, that these belong at the Barton’s farm.
But I’m not sure if we’re leading them or they’re leading us.
I noticed they seem to be looking, watching us,” said Ruby.

139
“It does look as though the sheep like you,” replied the girl.
The girl and Ruby were talking while Joe collected the wood.
The girl was thankful for their help and for showing kindness
as Ruby and Joe were about to leave, the girl looked to them.
“You can use my name, it is Vixana, and know me as a friend.”
Going to Barton’s farm both Joe and the sheep wanted to lead. 
But to Ruby watching them, they were just playing a game. 

140
Over the hill tops and down the sides they walked and ran.
But several times Ruby looked to the bag that Joe carried.
When they got to the flat ground, Ruby called out to him.
“I’m sorry Joe but I really can’t contain myself any longer, 
can you tell me what you have in the bag?” she asked Joe.   
“Sorry, I was hoping to wait until later when we were home,
this evening; in the bag I have a change of clothes for you.”

141
“You have there is oh thank you!” exclaimed Ruby happily.
Joe knew that taking the sheep back, it would have to wait.
Ruby was excited to have his gift of some different clothes, 
Joe felt a shiver of fear down his neck as she opened the bag,
putting it down on the ground Ruby held up men’s trousers.
“Joe,” she said as she glared at him. “Why Men’s clothes?
I’m a girl, do you really expect me to wear men’s clothes?”

142
He tried to tell her no one would recognize her in the clothes.   
“People will walk right passed and not give a second look,
there is nothing odd about two men walking side by side.”
Joe pleaded with her, trying to get her to accept his reasoning,
“I’ll get you,” said Ruby taking them, too behind some bushes.
He wanted to help but when she returned and he looked to her, 
seeing her wearing men’s clothes, all he could do was smirk.

143
He noted she had even tied her hair up putting it under the hat.
“Well? What do you think? Will I pass as a man? WELL!”
He tried not to laugh, but all he could manage to say was “Yes.”
That was not the right thing to say, as he quickly learned.
“I was going to make you a nice meal before you saw them,”
he said to her, his hopeful words had fallen on deaf ears and
with a wicked grin. “You didn’t think this through, did you?” 

144
Wondering what it was she meant, cautiously he looked at her.
“Those pigs won’t look at me now, but as for you,” she grinned,
“There I’ll be looking like a man, I can now walk through town.
Even when the town is full of people that are mingling about,
and then if I was to give you a very passionate kiss, on the lips,
would the people look at me or would they see you kiss a man?
I’ll know it is me and you’ll know it’s me but what about them.

145
No one will know it is me, so what’ll they think looking at you
kissing me, liking being kissed by me, they’ll think I’m a man.”
Joe then realised what it was he’d done wrong. “Ah yes, oh.”
Ruby walked two steps ahead, while happily she sang to herself
occasionally she would turn back to look at Joe and she’d smile.
Joe sought help, he knew that only the sheep might give support.
“If you even look like you’re going to smile I’ll…, well I will!”

TO BE CONTINUED
48
Share your writing / Re: Just a couple of poems
« Last post by Maidenscombe on August 15, 2013, 01:10:22 am »
Verse    75  to Verse   92      JOE MEETS RUBY
Verse    93  to Verse  101      THE TOODYAY MAGISTRATE                               

JOE MEETS RUBY

75
Starting to eat, he heard the sound of running in the field.
He looked up to see a woman was running towards him.
He watched her. “Why would a woman running out here?”
He wanted to know what she was doing there at night?
He saw her look to behind her, after every few paces,
as she climbed the hill he noticed that she was limping.
The closer she came towards him the more she limped.

76
“She won’t be able to keep running like that much longer.”
Four figures below her running to her held his attention.
“So you are running from those four men, I wonder why.”
As he watched she turned to them; her limp was worse. 
“If you keep heading this way, you’ll bring them to me.”
He went from his little camp, keeping low to the ground.
Almost upon his camp he grabbed her and held her down.

77
He dragged her back. “Best keep quiet or they’ll see you.”
He held her down, and whispered. “Is it just four of them?”
She nodded her head. “Then we will wait here,” Joe said.
“You just keep still and stay quiet, until they have gone.”
Joe felt her body trembling. “There is nothing to fear.”
As reassuringly as he could, Joe whispered to her again.
“You’ve no need to be afraid of me, stop your trembling.”

78
Joe looked to the field, that the others were now closer,
she suddenly began to struggle to break his hold on her.
“Keep still or you might let them know that you are here.”
She stopped struggling. Joe was surprised how quickly.
“You’re that scared of them!” He felt her submit to him.
“Are you safer here with me than you would with them?”
He felt her agree. “If you want to be safe, don’t struggle.”

79
“When I free you, don’t make a sound they might hear.”
Slowly he removed his grip from her, she turned to him
she watched him pick up a small stone and stepped back.
Joe stepped to the side, he threw the stone to some trees
the stone bounced on a tree, the men to run to the sounds,
Joe and the woman held their breath as the men ran away.
When they were far enough away she happily hugged Joe.

80
“Thank you,” she whispered to him then started to cry.
Joe stepped back from her, he was surprised, confused,
he did not know how to react, seeing a woman crying.
Looking at him sniffing away her tears. “You saved me.”
Ruby looked about, sniffed the air then looked around.
Confused Joe looked to her, he sniffed the air as well.
He pointed to the pot on the fire. “You mean my food?”

81
He noticed how she looked at it. “Do you want some?”
She smiled to him. “Yes please,” she said between yawns.
Joe looked at her, he looked at where those men had run.
“How long is it that you have been running from them?
When did you last eat some food, or had a decent sleep?”
Looking at his food. “I have been running for two days. 
I’ve been too scared to stop and neither to sleep or eat.”

82
Joe looked at her he remembered when he’d been chased.
“I know how you have felt, here,” he pointed to his food.
“If you ever want some more, please, just help yourself.” 
“Can I, please?” she asked, she so wanted him to say yes.
She put her hand in the hot water for a piece of the potato,
Joe could see the redness on her hand from the hot water.
Taking hold of her arm, he poured cold water on her hand.

83
“Don’t do that, just talk to me when you’ve had your fill.”
Joe put some stew into a bowl, and a spoon to eat it with.
He smiled as she began to eat the food; her expression.
“You don’t approve its taste, I know I’m not a great cook.
But at least it is food. And you look like you need some.”
Ruby looked in his bag, she took out two pots of herbs
nervously she looked to him. “Do you mind?” she asked.

84
He smiled to her, then he waved her to continue. “Please.
If you make it taste better than it does, I’ll be thankful.”
Ruby put a few chosen herbs into Joe’s bubbling stew,
she stirred them in for a couple of minutes then tasted it.
Offering some to Joe on a spoon. “How did, that’s great!”
He looked at the stew in the pot he put some in her bowl.
“If you ever want some more, please, just help yourself.”

85
Ruby took a few mouthfuls, smiled, then visibly relaxed.
“My name is Ruby. I used to live a few hours walk away.”
Blankly looking to Joe. “What else do you want to know?”
“The men chasing you, why was it they were after you?” 
Ruby tried to smile to Joe, she ate two spoonfuls of stew.
Looking at Joe she tried to put some more into her bowl.
“Don’t be afraid to tell me.” Joe put his hand onto hers.

86
“Don’t be worried about the food, it’ll still be here later
after you say who they are.” Ruby looked then grinned.
“My father owed money to those pigs, he didn’t have any.
The pig said he would take me, my father had no choice
and he gave me to him, that was about three weeks ago.”
“He did? Like an arranged marriage or were you a slave?”
“A slave,” she said. Joe looked where the men had gone.

87
“The pig made me his personal slave, all I did was clean.
Two days ago he and his brothers got drinking; got drunk.
The pig forced me to pleasure him then all his brothers.
they took turns on me, one after the other, and together.
When they watched they called insults to me, about me.”
“After that they went to get some more drinks. I escaped
waited until they’d had a few then made my escape.”

88
“That was them, all of them. Those who were chasing you?
And you’ve been running from them for two whole days?”
He looked at her feet. “I can see why you were running.
“I thought that they would catch me, my feet were so sore.
Trying to keep going was so hard, especially when uphill,
it hurt so much, my energy was almost gone,” she sighed,
Ruby smiled to Joe. “That is when you saved me, thanks.”

89
Joe looked at her feet, again he took some animal skins
putting two bits under her feet then two more bits on top
tying twine through them he fashioned makeshift shoes
“They are not proper shoes, but they will help you walk.
I don’t have any proper ones but they should do for now.”
Ruby tried to stand, but Joe put his hand on her shoulder.
“There’s no rush, you can have more food if you want.”

90
Ruby held her bowl by the pot and put in a spoon of food.
Joe put his hand on hers. “You must be hungrier than that.”
He added several more spoonful’s to the one in her bowl.
“Thank you,” she said, “what is your name?” asked Ruby.
He smiled to her. “It’s probably best you don’t know that.”
Looking at him, she was thinking about a reply, “Alright.”
Ruby sat back, breathing in deeply, satisfied she smiled.

91
“Do you know, I haven’t felt this comfortable for days.”
Turning about, Ruby looked to the empty moonlit field.
“I never noticed it before, these fields, they do look nice.”
She looked up. “I didn’t notice that either, a full moon.”
Ruby looked around at the camp, at the trees then to Joe.
“Yet here you are, all alone, in the middle of nowhere.
Anyone else might think you are like me; trying to hide

92
I’m glad that you were here though. My luck is changing.
Sitting here under a full moon, in the middle of nowhere.”
She smiled to Joe. “Having a bowl or two of your stew.”
“Not exactly fine dining is it,” said Joe. “Yet here I am,
out here in the light of the moon, having a bowl of stew
not exactly fine dining as you said, I do like to dine out.”
Ruby looked at Joe. “To dine, the moon, it is you isn’t it?”

THE TOODYAY MAGISTRATE

93
Going into his office in the morning earlier than normal,
it was partly to read the letter he had from Fremantle jail,
partly because he wanted to be there when others arrived.
He wanted to make sure his people were starting on time.
He looked at his reflection in the mirror, the bits of dust
on his shoulders after combing his moustache and his hair
he was sat at his desk as the new police sergeant came in.

94
Sergeant Charles Wentworth looked to him, apologising.
“I received a report there was movement in these offices
that is why I am here, making sure no one’s breaking in.”
“Thank you, that is good to know. But while you are here
could you read an official letter to me: delivered yesterday
I can guess what it is, my request for the lock-up improved.
No doubt my request was filed away,” said the magistrate.

95
“Just in case I would appreciate it you reading the letter.”
“Yes,” replied Sgt. Wentworth, “I do remember hearing
something about that, didn’t some prisoner try to escape?”
“More than that, it was that Perth newspapers favourite,
that damned repeat absconder that man Moondyne Joe.
And not just one, he made an escape a few days before
but he was caught.” The magistrate looked at the letter.

96
Opening the envelope Sgt. Wentworth read all the letter
“Some parts of what is written here, it’ll be good news,
but some of it, some of it will not,” said Sgt. Wentworth
he looked to the magistrate, “So overall, I’d prefer not to
and I’d prefer not to be in the building when you read it.”
“That bad,” said the magistrate, “Please tell me anyway.”
Sgt. Wentworth breathed in choosing what to read first.

97
“Your request to have the lock-up improved was agreed
I’m afraid the work won’t be started for four few years,
that is all of the good news,” said Sergeant Wentworth.
“Don’t worry, I know it’s bad news,” said the magistrate.
“As you wish, the one who escaped from here was caught
with three other absconders, sentenced to Fremantle jail.
This letter is to warn you he escaped from jail last week.”

98
“What!” The magistrate stood up, slamming both hands
his desk reverberated. Quickly he gained his composure.
“Does it say how that absconder Moondyne Joe escaped?”
Sgt. Wentworth looked at the letter. “No it does not say,
but it says this, the method of escape was, embarrassing.”
The magistrate looked to the sergeant. “If I had said that,
So if I am not told how, it would have to be embarrassing.”

99
“Oh dear,” said Sgt. Wentworth, “I wonder if it could be
that the escape by Moondyne Joe could be the reason why.”
Puzzled. “What is it that you mean?” asked the magistrate.
“Being given the news that improvements to the lock-up
may be in part due to the man who escaped the lock-up.”
The magistrate looked at the newspaper, on the front page.
Moondyne Joe breaks more rocks to escape; the jail’s wall.

100
A repeat absconder breaks out of Fremantle jail, oh dear,
he knocked a hole in the wall instead of the rocks given.
Piles of rocks had been brought specially for him to break.
But he used them as cover to hide he was making a hole
he used his clothes as cover, to stop guards seeing him
Then took more clothes from the governors washing line.
“Yes,” said the magistrate, “Now that is embarrassing.”

101
“I doubt they wanted to argue the changes to the lock-up.”
The magistrate went to the mirror, brushing his moustache.
“Knowing my luck, that Moondyne Joe is coming here,
either that or he is already here if he escaped a week ago.
Tell your officers, I want to know of any strangers seen
or even heard of.” “If we do catch that Moondyne Joe
then the changes to the lock up will be done very quickly.”

TO BE CONTINUED
49
Share your writing / Re: Just a couple of poems
« Last post by Maidenscombe on August 10, 2013, 02:45:29 am »
Verse    35  to Verse   59      JOE MAKES A NEW LIFE                           
Verse    60  to Verse   74      PROTECTOR OF SHEEP

JOE MAKES A NEW LIFE

35
Though it was dark he felt the hills beckoning to him
with the moon in its third quarter, he could see his way.
Noticing the water flickering on rocks in the moonlight,
he kept going as the river seemed to welcome him home.
Walking on a track he stopped to feel the smooth trees,
looking to the tops of the trees then to the top of the hill,
he began the hard climb to reach the apex of that hill.

36
When he was stood on top of the hill he started to relax.
Looking to Perth he sat down, so glad he was on a hill,
leaning against a smooth barked tree, tired he fell asleep.
He woke in the sunlight could he feel the life in the tree
opening his eyes to below to the fresh red/ brown soil.
Suddenly he was wide awake. He looked at all around.
Then he remembered he had escaped jail the day before.

37
Breathing a sigh of relief he stood looking to distant sea
in the fields below he saw children playing in the fields.
“They’re nearly as happy as me.” He looked at the river.
“This is the land I prefer, where I can be Moondyne Joe.”
He began to make his way down the hill, into the valley
to where the trees lazily rested near to the river’s edge.
He breathed in clean fresh air and tasted the rivers water.

38
It was so much better than the strange water in the jail,
he cupped his hands and looked at the clear fresh water
casually smiling as he watched a bird flying over him.
Knowingly feeling the joy of freedom of where he stood,
he looked again at the bird as it flew from tree to tree.
“And I didn’t have to ask permission to watch the bird.”
he said gazing at the bird as it perched on a tree’s limb.

39
He took three steps, stopped and looked towards the city.
“Goodbye Fremantle jail, I hope I never see you again.”
He walked and ran along the track into the quiet valley.
Finding a nice area he slowed to a stop, he looked about.
“This is nice.” Moving a few paces. “A very nice place.”
He looked around with more care, at the small bushes.
Then he noticed that there were no leaves on the ground,

40
looking at the first bush, he saw it was a broken branch
and that all the other bushes near there were all the same.
And all around that place, he saw many bare foot prints.
A large flat stone, four foot away he saw an upright stone
So he went to sit down. “It’s just the right height to sit on.”
Then he noticed there was eleven more rocks in a circle.
“Oh, I’m in a witches circle, I think I had better leave.”

41
Putting his hands on his knees, he pushed to help him up
then noticed the foot print between his boots, a bare foot.
“This one is a third the length of mine. Fairy’s as well.”
Trying not to move he looked to the base of each tree.
“I had better do something to prove that I am a friend.”
He saw several smaller circles around the stone circles.
“I’ll collect a big pile of twigs, to be kindling for them.”   

42
Stopping after an hour as he thought he’d done enough,
he looked at the tree covered hills rising from the river,
on the river’s edge and at the many large boulders, there
going towards them, starting to climb up them to the top.
Standing upright, looking as far as he could in the trees.
“That’s good I still can’t see anyone coming from Perth,”
looking the other way, “Still, I think I should keep going.”

43
Jumping from rock to rock he laughed aloud to himself,
it felt natural. “How many of you have I broken in jail?”
He kind of smiled to them, that was almost apologetic.
He liked them where they should be. “They are at home.”
He looked back at the rocks he had just jumped down.
“That was the first bit of fun I have had since I escaped.”
He began to hum the tune that had been written for him.

44
He laughed and shouted aloud, stopping to hear his echo. 
“That is a true echo, not like I heard in Fremantle jail.”
Walking alongside the river, as the evening approached
he saw two women lying on the rocks across the river.
“They look happy to be here.” He waved to both of them.
Thinking they were mother and daughter, looking about,
“They might live near I wonder if they have spare food.”

45
He looked again but they were gone, nowhere to be seen.
Joe walked away, the tension left with each step he took.
During the following days, when the sun was overhead
he sat by the river, he would take off his boots and socks
and watch the river course flow between plates of rock
to gently roll over his feet. He smiled at his good fortune.
“How many days ago did I escape from Fremantle jail?”

46
“Now here I am, on the run, dangling my toes in a river.”   
Walking through valley’s, he admired the surroundings
Walking across the grass covered ground that felt good,
different to what he had known in jail, this was freedom.
Finally he admitted to himself, “Such a nice area to stay.
Everywhere seems nice here, he looked down at the soil.
“Everywhere is nice compared to the tiny cell I was in.” 

47
Sat by the water’s edge he looked to an outcrop of rocks,
climbing onto them, he felt the merest hint of a breeze.
Standing upright, he looked to as far back as he could see
to along the track where he’d just been walking; to Perth
Not being able to see anyone trailing him he sighed. 
“When will I ever be able to that, to stop looking back?”
He knew the answer, he knew it’d only happen when.

48
“When I feel safe, when I know I’m at home,” said Joe
He laughed aloud then stopped, he listened to his echo
hearing it bouncing off the hills, getting further away.
“I don’t think I will ever forget my echoes in a hurry.”
Looking to the sky, he saw the merest hint of darkness
he decided to keep going, to find a grass covered hill
he noticed that the tree’s shadows were getting longer.

49
“I need to try harder to find a campsite for the night.”
Wading through water to a campsite that looked good,
watching water flow downstream from where he stood
he saw two women lazing on rocks, a bit further down
he stopped. “Are they are the same two I saw before.”
Waving to them, he was pleased they returned his wave.
“I wonder if they know it’s me, that they remember me.”

50
He called to them. “Do you know of a good campsite?”
They seemed to be pointing to the field, then up the hill.
He sat for a few minutes rest. A birds singing woke him.
He knew it was morning. His empty stomach told him.
Preparing himself. “Today will be the final days walk.”
He went down to the river’s edge for a drink of water.
Seeing reflections behind him, he expected the worst.

51
Two sheep, surprised at seeing them stopped a reaction;
two sheep were watching him. Half smiling to himself,
he half smiled to them, cupping water in hands for them.
Cautiously they moved closer, to see what it was he held,
after carefully tasting the water, they soon finished it.
Joe noticing they were staying, so he gave them more.
They were content to stay as he drank some himself.

52
Putting his hands into the river he felt something big
he voiced his surprise, then quickly he stepped back
he knocked one rock onto another. “What was that?”
Surprised at what had happened, he looked to the sheep.
He was puzzled to see them there, they hadn’t moved,
they seemed to have moved closer to the water’s edge.
The rocks knocking together should scared them away.

53
He looked at them looking at him, then into the water.
“So why are you still here, why haven’t you run away?”
He thought about what he felt, not being able to decide.
“Everything here is so weird, witches and fairy’s circle
then something big in the river that doesn’t have fish.
Now this, my hands were in the water, I pulled them out.
So why is there no ripple, no break in the water’s surface.

54
He realised he’d argued himself to accept something’s
not normal in this river. And did those two really vanish.
“I wonder what they know about what is going on here.”
Not being able to stop thinking about what he had felt,
not able to understand how the water was undisturbed.
Trying to put what just occurred to the back of his mind
he knew if he didn’t find somewhere he’d be at it all day.

55
Telling the sheep to follow him he left there quickly,
looking for a decent site, suitable for the nights camp,
building a fire he relaxed, waiting for the nights meal.
After eating the meal, he closed his eyes for a second,
gradually opening them, listening to birds in the trees.
Suddenly sat up, he heard twigs being broken nearby,
trying to see who it was he stood up. “Who is there?”

56
He looked about the camp site, but saw no movement.
“You’d better show yourself, I can hear you breathing.”
Hearing grass being ripped from the ground he turned,
only to see both of the sheep, happily chewing the grass.
He laughed at his reaction to them. “So you’re still here.” 
“I’m glad you didn’t come here to arrest me, mind you,
you have wandered about my camp without waking me.”

57
“I hope you haven’t brought any men in police uniforms.
It could be quite embarrassing if they caught me now.”
Joe laughed at himself, he altered the tone of his voice.
“Yes your honour, we tracked and found him in a camp
when we finally caught him he was talking to two sheep.” 
Squatting down near the sheep, he held his hand to them.
“Friends?” He put his Billie on the embers to boil for tea.

58
He looked to the sheep and smiled. “Now it’s your turn.”
Taking a bowl from his bag putting, pouring water in it.
“I’ll have to go down to the river if you want any more.”
Facing the fire, looking to see if the Billie was boiling,
“Just don’t you tell anyone that I’m being so nice to you.”
He put down a cup, started to make himself a hot drink.
About to sit by his fire, he realised what he’d just done.

59
“Did I really just ask them not to say I’m nice to them.”
He shook his head in disbelief unsure why he said that.
Looking at where he was, the open pastures and forests.
“I’m glad you can’t but if either of you sheep could talk,”
Joe looked to them. “Talking sheep? That’d be a novelty.”
He looked to the sheep. “What would my friends in think?”
After his drink, watching the fires flames flicker and die.

PROTECTOR OF SHEEP

60
He prepared a pile of twigs and sticks; mornings warmth.
“Come on you two it’s time to get up it’ll be a big day.”
He saw the sheep in the field munching on some grass.
“Talking to the sheep, now look at me talking to myself.”
He went down to the river. “Morning river, how are you?”
Looking about. “I think I have talked to everything now.”
He tripped on a rock, he looked to it. “I’m not that silly.”

61
Several steps and he saw that the trees were further apart,
the landscape was changing. He turned to face the sheep
he pointed to the large areas of grass a short walk ahead.
“You seem glad to be here. I’m not so sure about myself.”
“You go into the long grass if you want, I’ll stay here.”
He looked at the open pastures, not couldn’t remember.
“How long have I been on the run for, two days or four?”

62
Joe noticed four men on the path, walking towards him.
Standing his ground Joe stopped, he looked to each one.
“What do you want?” He took the pistol from his bag,
he wanted them to see it, that he could defend himself.
“Why are you in my way?” he asked in a threatening way.
“We don’t mean to be, we are here looking for our sheep,
“Four men for these sheep, no, why are you really here?”

63
Joe knelt down to the ground, the sheep moved to him,
“You want me to let you have the sheep, I don’t think so.”
“They look like they want you to protect them,” said one.
The man watched as Joe gently stroked both of the sheep.
“What you need to ask yourselves is who is the bravest?”
Joe raised the gun he pointed it towards the four men.
The man closest to him raised both hands in surrender.

64
“You have it wrong we won’t harm you nor the sheep.
Our boss sent us to try and find any strays that we can.
Then take them back to the herd,” said the man, “Honest.” 
“Though, seeing the way those sheep behave with you.
I think our boss would like to meet you. They like you,
seeing that in a person is a rare gift,” said another one.
Joe thought about it, he decided that they were honest.

65
Beckoning Joe to follow them. “It is just over this hill
our employer’s house there, it’ll only take half an hour.”
Joe saw the house in a clearing, the trees on three sides.
Two of the men ran ahead. “I’ll tell the boss you’re here,
while I’m gone is there anything I can get?” asked Daniel.
“Thank you yes I am a bit short of food and flavouring,”
he looked to the sheep. “As long as it isn’t sheep flavour.”

66
Watching the sheep go to the herd, Joe sat on the grass.
He waited for their boss. A stranger approached them.
Graham said he was their boss. They stood and waited,
Joe was asked if he was good with all animals or sheep.
“Daniel said you have a way with my sheep, can I see.”
Joe went to the field and the sheep went to stand by him
they stayed a while, then ran back to be with the herd. 

67
“Now that’s a rare gift, to be a friend to a wild animal
and for that wild animal wanting to be a friend to you
how it would consider you to be a friend I don’t know.”
He looked to his farm workers, Graham and Daniel.
“These two here they are my best men, and I trust them
to care for my sheep. But though I know nothing of you,
given the way the sheep seem to trust you, I don’t care.”

68
“Look at that field, there is four more fields like that,
and in those fields are the three thousand sheep I own.”
“Really?” asked Joe faking interest. He was impressed.
“The point I want to make is that these are all my sheep,
but the little dears regularly escape, they get everywhere.
I can’t afford for my men to keep watch at them all day,
I’d prefer them be here, than have search for the sheep.”

69
So it makes sense for me to pay you for their return.
If you like the work and you’re okay working for me,
we’ll have a trial for a week, just return the ones I own.
It’s true I don’t know who you are, I really don’t care.
If you’ll do the work I’ll give half a week’s pay now.”
“I’m not sure why you’re being nice to me,” said Joe.
Mr. Armstrong looked at where the sheep had gone.

70
“The smaller of those sheep, my daughter likes that one
so you bringing it back, made my life so much easier.”
Joe looked at him then towards where the sheep were.
“Okay, now that I can understand, for just a week’s trial.”
“I don’t mind if you live here or not, that is your choice.
Though just be aware I have several workers huts around,
they are in these hills, if you want, then use any of them.”   

71
“You know which they are as my name is over the door.”
Joe looked to the sheep. “I’ll make a start tomorrow.
How many of your sheep do you think are out there?”
“Fifty or so,” he said, “I’ll get Daniel to get some food.”
Joe went where he thought a camp site could be made.
Able to relax he at last, closing his eyes, he fell asleep.
When he awoke the sun had dropped past the horizon.

72
“I’ve slept too long again,” he looked to the evening sky,
“at least there’s no clouds, to hide the light of the moon.”
He made a fire, building a two rock high wall around.
“I’d better make a shelter for the wood, try keep it dry,
that will stop the smoke from giving the camp away.”
He walked a dozen paces down the hill, from the camp
making sure that the glow from the fire couldn’t be seen.

73
He made sure no one could see unless they walked on by.
Satisfied with what he’d done he went back to his camp.
He started to make a meal to clean and cut the potatoes,
the carrots peeling the onion made him look like he cried
He wanted flavour of the onion, not his tears in the stew.
Looking for something else to give it a bit more flavour.
“I need to add some meat, anything just not a sheep.”

74
Waiting while the broth began to bubble he made a drink,
hands held forward he accepted the warmth from the fire.
Putting some of what he referred to as a stew into a bowl,
he tasted a spoonful. “Not bad, I’ve tasted worse in jail.”
Sitting back, explaining to himself. “I cooked it myself.”
About to eat some more he felt something was wrong.
“I know the foods not good, I feel wrong in my bones.”

TO BE CONTINUED
50
Share your writing / Re: Just a couple of poems
« Last post by Maidenscombe on August 10, 2013, 02:32:54 am »

I've just finished doing an edit of it, trying to make all the lines about the same length, given that there is 327 verses that was fun! Some lines were changed to make more sense. Numbering the verses correctly was interesting and stating the genre of the poem: non-fiction, creative non-fiction, fiction, fantasy. Then the publisher wanted one poem per page .... I hope that includes one poem per book. The finished word count was 31,504.
Printing it was fun as well, guess who ran out of ink half was through!
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