A Child in the Dark, and a Foreign Father


  • "It was so dark—with a smothering darkness—that even the low loom of the scrub-covered ridges, close at hand across the creek, was not to be seen. The sky was not clouded for rain, but with drought haze and the smoke of distant bush fires."
  • "these sounded more like the footsteps of one pacing steadily to and fro, and thinking steadily and hopelessly—sorting out the past. Only the steps went on."
  • "On the floor, between the sofa and the table, lay a boy—child almost—on a similar mattress, with a cover of coarse sacking, and a bundle of dirty clothes for a pillow."
  • "There you go again! Flinging your money away on rubbish that’ll be on the dust-heap to-morrow, and your poor wife slaving her finger-nails off for you in this wretched hole, and not a decent rag to her back."
  • "And the child knew he was watching him, and pretended to sleep, and, so pretending, he slept. And the old year died as many old years had died."
  • "And so the New Year began."

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