‘Joe I can’t do this no more. You be working day and night and if you not be working here on the farm, you be out there searching for gold. I can’t stay locked away out here all the time. I won’t!’

‘For God’s sake woman, what do you want?  You’ve got the Hardimans at Benjeroop and the Hetheringtons are just down the way.  I don’t understand what you want.’

‘I want to be in town Joe. Where there be people I can talk to. Places I can shop instead of waiting four days to get me supplies.’

‘What would you say if we invest some money in town, say in a public house, would that help Annie? You can run it while I keep on here.  I’ll come down now and again to give you a hand.  You can take young Lennon with you.  He can do the heavy work.’

‘What about the children, will you be happy with Margarethe and Willy in a public house? Oh Joe, tell me you will.’

Annie hopped from one foot to the other, waiting for his answer. Looking at her he saw a glimpse of the young headstrong girl he’d married.  He couldn’t refuse her.  It would be a good investment, they had to look to the future.

‘Annie, calm down, calm down!’  Holding her, he kissed her.  ‘There’s a licensing hearing next week.  The Edinburgh Arms in the High Street needs a new licensee.  We’ll put in an application if that makes you happy.’

 

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