by W. E. Johns



7.         A DEATH AT WALLABULLA  (Pages 108 – 119)


An hour passes and then Worrals sees, what appears to be an animal approaching.  It is in fact a native Australian, cleverly moving like an animal to disguise his approach.  Before Worrals realises, he is at the back of the house and trying the back door.  Then he goes inside.  Worrals is about to get up and go after him, thinking this is Charlie, when she sees another native Australian approaching, whom see recognises at Yoka.  He is carrying a spear and has a bandaged head.  He goes and waits by the back door with his spear raised, intending to stab the first man when he comes out.  The first man then reappears and slowly starts to come out.  “There was only one thing Worrals could do.  She brought the rifle to her shoulder, took quick aim at the spearman, and squeezed the trigger”.  The spear leaps into the air and the man is hurled over backwards.  What in fact has happened is that Worrals has hit the spear by chance and not the man.  The man in the house jumps out and then sees Yoka.  Yoka, now without his spear, gets up and runs for the bushes but the man throws his boomerang which strikes Yoka a deadly blow to the back of the neck, apparently killing him.  The man “let out a shout of triumph.  It was short-lived.  A shot rang out.  He spun around twice, and then fell sprawling in a grotesque attitude across the threshold.  Worrals was aghast.  Where the shot had come from, she had no idea”.  Maginty, the dog runs towards the fallen man and Worrals runs after him, not really realising the folly of what she is doing.  Worrals drags the shot man inside the house and finds that although a piece of scalp has been torn clean off, it was only a glancing blow without penetrating the bone.  She cleans the wound and bandages it.  Worrals presumes it must have been either Raffety or Barola who has shot the man.  Worrals looks at her watch, it is half past five and she settles down to wait.