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WALK TALL MY SONS AND DAUGHTERS 

walk tall cover

Throughout Australia’s history, ships have brought folk to this Great South Land.  On such a vessel from Scotland destined for Queensland was an uncustomary commodity – eight orphans.  Bewildered over their plight they clustered together as waves crashed. The kindness of others, living near Breakfast Creek, Albion, unknowingly becomes their guiding light.

Hayden, a youth from the ‘forgotten generation’ befriends Jacky, an Australian aborigine from the ‘stolen generation’. Their friendship grows – but, will it survive a property overseer’s pressure?

Young Marigold, teaches the other six orphans and provides them with friendship and guidance, which is no easy task.  The word ‘defeat’ is never considered an option for this strong young woman. 

From 1930 to 2002, this drama, with romantic twists and adventures had the lure of rainbows, which diminished for many. As the missed opportunities and scandals of the first generation evaporated, the next appeared with new ideas and adrenalin-filled lifestyles.  

When a detective discovers a friend involved in criminal activities; will he choose the law or risk his own career? A teenage son stirs up controversy over his seduction of a daughter from within the family – to escape the embarrassment and vexation he runs away from home – searching for him dead or alive pushes the family to the limit.  

Will re-discovering Coolangatta beach be the anchorage so long awaited?  

In Store Price: $AU38.95 
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ISBN: 978-1-922229-26-7    
Format: Paperback
Number of pages:506
Genre: Fiction

Cover - Clive Dalkins

Author: Evelyn Gordon Dyson
Publisher:
Zeus Publications

Date Published: 2014
Language: English

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Evelyn was born in Western Australia and raised on a vineyard in the Swan Valley grape growing region of Perth, she also shares her time on the Gold Coast in Queensland.  Her experiences from living in a rural setting, and diverse interests including travel, have all come to the fore in this well-constructed novel:

WALK TALL MY SONS AND DAUGHTERS

With research, interpretation and her usual thoroughness Evelyn has written a powerful rendition of eight orphans from the ‘forgotten generation’ in Scotland being shipped to Australia—their past and future lives are thought-provoking.

Evelyn bridges the culture gap of a ‘forgotten generation’, Hayden, with a ‘stolen generation’ aborigine, Jacky, by revealing a different side to perseverance, humour and hopeful endeavours. Marigold, befriending the battered bruised and untrusting youngster, Toby, and educating him and standing by him through thick and thin, shows the author’s depth of understanding. As well, this young woman’s aptitude to develop through an era of incredible change, which in turn builds merit to each character.

Adrenalin unfolds when the next generation appears, Evelyn has them trailing through events, whether they be war, the elements, controversial marriages to seductions causing scandal.

As the years progress toward the new millennium the human conflict, attitudes, lifestyles and careers are captured magnificently; closing with a brilliant finish making a classic read of family drama and romantic intrigue.

 The Rules of Compliance

CHAPTER ONE - part sample

Aberdeen to Brisbane

 

Hayden observed Marigold running out of the rambling old manor, stop sharply and then glance back at the building which had served as an orphanage for many years. It had also been their home since birth. The orphanage, known as a ‘residential special school’, was visually a bleak looking building, redecorating was desperately needed. Facelifts unfortunately cost money and for that to be achieved hopes were pinned on the board of directors who would be arriving shortly to have their annual meeting where maintenance, along with other items, would be discussed.

Ellen Duncan, known to the children as Ma Duncan, was the housemother and a school teacher; she was also the only mother Marigold had ever known. Ellen had informed her adopted daughter, now thirteen years of age, that this year’s budget was going to cause the usual rowdy upheaval all afternoon. She pessimistically assumed the same result would happen—only enough funds to feed the children passing through and a little left over for second-hand clothing, bedding and towels. This indicated to Marigold the manor’s refurbishment would be disregarded as an unnecessary expense. She predicted the directors’ attitudes would be, ‘there is no need to spend money on glorifying a building for orphans’.

Turning her attention away from the building she paced across the yard to their large vegetable garden. She wanted to ask a favour of Hayden. Spotting him in the pumpkin patch, she approached. Hayden was two years older than Marigold and had also been at the orphanage since birth.

“Hayden!” She called to catch his attention. “Ma Duncan said the board meeting is to be held in the dining room. They’ll want afternoon tea, so I have to help.”

Standing upright, a grin of mischievous defiance broke across his face. “I know what that means. You want me to feed the animals and hens this afternoon, right?” He watched her hopeful nod. “Shall do, on the condition you go and harness the horse and small cart, and bring him over here.”

“Oh, you are beastly paying me back like that,” she groaned. “That means I’ll have to do it right now, because Ma Duncan will be finishing class in a minute and I have to pack up the sandwiches for lunch because she doesn’t want bread crumbs and crusts floating around the dining room with this meeting. I have to take the littlies for a walk into the meadow to eat.”

 “Off you go then, my green eyed vixen. Just tie the horse up at that post over there. By the sound of things I won’t be seeing you until supper.”

“I don’t think so, you mean old thing.” Obliging Hayden by harnessing the horse with the small vegetable cart he had proudly made, she walked the horse to the post and hitched it securely.

Hayden stood up from his crouched position and watched on intently, admiring her strength and capability. He knew he was being a rat, so he threw her a cheeky kiss. With hands on hips she gave him an annoyed stare and then began to walk back to the manor. In doing so she saw Ellen Duncan had obviously finished the lesson as she was now entering their private quarters from the rear of the building to change into a business suit for the meeting. She deemed a comfortable plaid skirt, blouse and cardigan not impressive enough attire to confidently argue her point with the board.

 

The children regarded being escorted to a picnic lunch as a special treat. They skipped and trotted jovially alongside Marigold toward the meadow which had a large shady tree. A few covers were thrown over the grass which allowed them to giggle and laugh at the freedom away from their regimented routine. Today the weather was crisp—autumn was approaching for the residents of Aberdeen. Lunch was soon over and with a dozen children scampering around her ankles Marigold began to coax them back to the classrooms in military fashion. A lesson with Jock Duncan, known to the children as Pa Duncan, was planned for the boys. He taught woodwork, gardening and basic husbandry skills. At any given time these lessons could be on the subject of sheep, cattle, pigs or chickens—even lessons on how to saddle and ride a horse were slotted into the already-heavy schedule.

For the remainder of the afternoon, as far as the girls were concerned, they would be learning basic cooking skills with Mrs Jamieson. This caused a stir, as all were hoping they would be given permission to eat the results. These choices of curriculum were all in an endeavour to keep the children quiet and well away from the powers-that-be meeting. Mrs Jamieson called the board, the ‘old foxes in grey suits’. They owned the farms and the cotton mills; consequently they owned the workers and their families and like old foxes, they were cunning and only interested in making money. She had a habit of muttering unpleasant remarks as her bulky body bounced around the kitchen setting up the evening supper and preparing lunch for the following day. The kitchen was now bursting with little girls. Marigold placed a clean apron over her dress and left the giggles and flour puffing over little fingers and faces behind.

On entering the dining room to set up the crockery for the afternoon tea she was aware the room was very austere. It could be a beautiful room, she thought, if only. If only the members of the board would authorise funds to have it painted, that alone would give a great boost to everyone. She smoothed a tartan cloth over a server before placing out cups and saucers on small trays. She then positioned individual teapots and milk jugs on each tray. The voices of two men startled her as they entered the room.

Turning, she recognised the tall men from previous meetings, not that they had ever been aware of her on those occasions, but today they had arrived early. As each walked in they simply ignored her presence. Knowing she was forbidden to be in the room when the board members entered, she had anxious thoughts of making herself scarce. She quickly returned to her duties as the men, dressed in grey suits and highly coloured tartan ties with matching waistcoats, strolled over to their favourite positions at the table. Both eased a chair away from the table and carried on their conversation, completely undeterred by the fact a young woman was on the far side of the room preparing refreshments.

“Have you heard the latest news on the cricket? I missed this year’s tour by the Australians,” asked William Brimmond of his long-term business friend, Hamish Seafield.

“In the last update I heard that Australian chappie, Donald Bradman, had scored 974 runs in only seven innings.”

“Blimey! You’re not joshing me are you, Hamish? I say, what a shemozzle.”

“There’s no doubt about it, aye—top drawer batting from the Australians.”

“For crying out loud, they’ll be beating us at our golf next.” William scoffed, showing his exasperation.

“Not quite. That Jones fellow has won four major championships this year.”

“Did he now? Jolly good show. Aye, first class.”

“How’s everyone in the Brimmond household these days? I haven’t seen you since the last meeting. You were saying you’d just returned from a long trip to the colonies.”

“Aye, quite, quite.” William sighed. “Everyone is fine. I missed summer here altogether unfortunately. My time has also been taken up with the National Trust. Owners of castles and large mansions want to become tourist destinations to give them desperately-needed funds for maintenance. The trip to Australia was long but I found it to be very rewarding. My investments in Brisbane on the east coast in Queensland are still giving me a rosy return. Nice cattle country around that neck of the woods. Aye, I also made a few new deals while I was there.” He stood upright puffing his chest out like a peacock, full of boasting egotism, he then turned to open his portfolio in readiness for the meeting.

After placing the agenda onto the table, William took a gold fob watch from his waistcoat pocket. He glanced down at it and then replaced it carefully, allowing the gold chain to remain visible as a status symbol of superiority and wealth.

He then asked of Hamish, “Have your coffers been filling handsomely since I saw you last? Or has this 1930 stock market crash in American affected you?”

“No, it hasn’t directly affected me; because fortunately I had been forewarned there could be a big crash so I quickly manoeuvred my funds elsewhere. The fishing fleet is doing well up at Cullen, also the farms down here at Aberdeen, so I can’t grumble. Feel sorry for the poor blighters who had all their eggs in one basket though.”

“Quite. I’ve put in a mechanism which I hope will prevent any backlash on my funds also. There will be hard times in New York for many years I’d say; poverty and pessimism always goes hand in hand when the market crashes. No jobs. Aye, a dreadful business. President Hoover’s got his hands full, I’m glad it’s over there and not here. I assume you’re planning to stay on in Aberdeen for a few days, Hamish? It’s not prudent to return to Cullen in the dead of night.”

Hamish responded with an air of satisfaction. “Quite right, we drove down yesterday so I wouldn’t be rushing for the meeting. My new vehicle has plenty of horsepower and handles the terrain and distance well. I have to admit, the journey is quite pleasant going back and forth these days, but regardless of that, we still like to stay a couple of days so the wife can shop in Aberdeen.”

“I agree, the improved stamina and comfort of road transport has made distances much easier. Where are you staying in Aberdeen?”

“Remember? I still own a property over on the Chanonry, it’s that very pleasant granite structure; so we still choose to stay there when we come down. My eldest daughter, Charmaine, you will recall, married a few years back and has given us two granddaughters. I’m very happy to report a few weeks back she gave birth to a son. I opened my big mouth and promised her, if she produced a boy this time, I would rejuvenate this manor here for them to live in.”

Hamish’s eyes immediately peered upwards to inspect the condition of the ceiling. “I think they will spread out as a family quite nicely here. The husband is experienced at managing farms, so this estate will be better managed with a good man living on the job.”

William turned sharply in surprise. “Congratulations on a grandson, a boy in the family! That’s marvellous.” They shook hands. “This new grandson, has he been given a name yet?”

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