by H.M. Barker
ISBN 0 85905 197 8, (1994 reprint of 1966 edition), Soft Cover, 140mm x 215mm, 124pp, illustrated, 175grams
$22.00 + POST
The acute powers of observation and vivid recollection of years spent in the bush that characterised his Camels and the Outback are again delightfully shown by H.M. Barker.
After highlighting the achievements of some of the best known of the early pioneers - Hawden, Tyson, de Satge, Sutherland, Gray, Buchanan, Christison and Cotton - he introduces the pleasures, rigours, vagaries and discomforts of droving as he experienced them.
There is the same richness and variety of incident, the same strange and expert knowledge - this time cattle, sheep, horses and the men whose job it was to get them from place to place - and the same simple yet nonetheless philosophical reflections that were so marked a feature of his earlier book.
Within these covers extremes meet. The practical efficiency and expertise of 'Boomerang' Jack Brady as a horsebreaker or the skill of Sharkey and Sharper as horsemen can be set against the eccentricities of Nugget Wilson and Paddy Lennon; the excitement and danger of a rush (stampede) at night against the peaceful poking along of cattle at a snail's pace during the day; the petting of a motherless lamb against the butchering of a bullock in the open air on the ground. And the whole is told in Barker's direct and refreshing style.