'What happened then?' he asked. We could not answer, nor speak, nor did we wish to hear.
This Certain Man kept his life; he were transported to Van Diemen's Land. And with that Sergeant O'Neil strode out our door into the night.
Mother said nothing further she did not move, not even when we heard the policeman's mare cantering along the dark road up the hill to Beveridge I asked her what was meant by This Certain Man and she give me such a clip across the ears I never asked again. In time I understood it were my own father that was referred to.
The memory of the policeman's words lay inside me like the egg of a liver fluke, and while I went about my growing up this slander wormed deeper and deeper into my heart and there grew fat.
Excerpted from True History of the Kelly Gang by Peter Carey . Excerpted by permission of Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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No Man's Land
by Simon Tolkien
Inspired by the experiences of his grandfather, J. R. R. Tolkien, during World War I.
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