Memories of a Traveller – By Daryl Morrow

It was early morning by the creek with the Bellbirds in full voice and the mist rising from the water when I glimpsed the overgrown dwelling hesitating I ventured further not knowing if it was still someone’s home or what maybe inside, the iron roof was very rusty and covered in fallen leaves, but the wooden door was ajar and no smoke was evident from the tin chimney it certainly looked abandoned so i crept into the darkened room when my eyes got accustomed to the available light I could see an old table with four chairs with a setting for one, an old tin plate, one bone handled knife and fork two Vegemite jars with nail holes in the lids for pepper and salt the single panel window had a fragile curtain barley hanging over a smoked glass panel, obviously cooking was done on the open fire in the tin chimney which still contained burnt wood ashes, now I could see much better, the walls were lined with old newspapers which told the date and news with pictures when the paper was added to the walls to keep out the cold winds.

The frame work was of timber saplings held together with wire and the ceiling was now of falling hessian.

The bed was also made from timber poles with old potato sacks forming the mattress and a Kapok filled bags to make it more comfortable .

The mantle piece over the fireplace still had the frozen wind up alarm clock stuck on 12, was this the end of life here or was it indicating the start of a new life.

I just had to investigate outside past the old galvanised tank leaning over to one side because the rust had weakened and it held water no more, the old chipped enamel washing dish was still wedged in the fork of a nearby tree.

I felt great concern as to what this family must have endured trying to survive during the great depression .

Inside again I saw three tin plates neatly arranged on one end of the mantle piece  and on the wall was printed Ruth, Billy, and Claire nothing else.

I decided it was time to leave when upon leaving I saw a hardly used path leading further down an old garden path, pushing aside the shrubs  I was able to see two rock piles with wooden crosses that had fallen over now with Ruth and Billy carved  into them I guessed with a Penknife.

I have been left wondering now for years what happened to Claire and her father with no name.

I also left the wind up clock on that mantle piece stuck on 12.

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