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By Nevil Shute

Stanton Laird, a tender American geologist with a mystery, involves the Australian outback to go looking for oil. There he meets an unconventional farming kinfolk and falls in love with their Mollie Regan. in spite of the fact that cultural changes among Stanton’s and Mollie’s worlds strength the 2 fanatics to make tough judgements.

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Then Chuck shot. The herd wheeled around, and came galloping up the glade towards Stanton, headed by an antlered buck. He drew his bow, waited till they were within fifty yards, and stepped out from behind the tree. The buck checked at the sight of him and wheeled, stationary for an instant and presenting his flank, and at that moment Stanton shot. As he shot he noted a wound already in the flank, rather low down. His arrow sped true and hit the beast just behind the shoulder, going in about six inches and lodging there.

I dunno. ' 'I made out all right/ said the geologist. ' Chuck said sleepily, 'Maybe so. You got the book learning and turned into somebody. I got Ruth and turned into a bum. ' Stanton laughed. ' 'Okay. ' They set off next day soon after dawn and made their way on horseback to retrieve the head and antlers of the buck. On the ridge above Cooper's Gully they met a forest ranger riding down towards his cabin, and told him about the buck. The ranger had two-way radio at his cabin, and they gave him a telegram to Stanton's father asking to be met with a horse truck at Reaver River dude ranch next morning; this was fifty miles from Hazel hut was the shortest way out of the Primitive Area for them, and would save them a couple of days on the homeward trail.

He looked up, grinning. ' Three weeks before the end of his leave Chuck Sheraton arrived from Texas, his Chcv full to the brim with wife, four children, two dogs, a pushcart, luggage, camp kit, and appurtenances. The Sheraton home was in Lindbergh Avenue two blocks from the Laird home on 2nd St, and Stanton strolled round to visit with them the morning after they arrived. As he approached the house a boy of eleven came out of the basement garage sucking a Coke through a straw, and Stanton got his shock.

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