To Touch the Clouds : The Frontier Series 5

BOOK: To Touch the Clouds : The Frontier Series 5
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CONTENTS

TITLE PAGE

COPYRIGHT PAGE

PROLOGUE

CHAPTER 1

CHAPTER 2

CHAPTER 3

CHAPTER 4

CHAPTER 5

CHAPTER 6

CHAPTER 7

CHAPTER 8

CHAPTER 9

CHAPTER 10

CHAPTER 11

CHAPTER 12

CHAPTER 13

CHAPTER 14

CHAPTER 15

CHAPTER 16

CHAPTER 17

CHAPTER 18

CHAPTER 19

CHAPTER 20

CHAPTER 21

CHAPTER 22

CHAPTER 23

CHAPTER 24

CHAPTER 25

CHAPTER 26

CHAPTER 27

CHAPTER 28

CHAPTER 29

CHAPTER 30

EPILOGUE

AUTHOR NOTES

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

 

Peter Watt has spent time as a soldier, articled clerk, prawn trawler deckhand, builder’s labourer, pipe layer, real estate salesman, private investigator, police sergeant and adviser to the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary. He speaks, reads and writes Vietnamese and Pidgin. He now lives at Maclean, on the Clarence River in northern New South Wales. Fishing and the vast open spaces of outback Queensland are his main interests in life.

Peter Watt can be contacted at
www.peterwatt.com

 

Also by Peter Watt

Cry of the Curlew
Shadow of the Osprey
Flight of the Eagle
To Chase the Storm
Papua
Eden
The Silent Frontier
The Stone Dragon
The Frozen Circle

 

Excerpts from emails sent to Peter Watt since his first novel was published:

‘I’ve never contacted an author before but after reading
The Frozen Circle
I felt I needed to congratulate you on an outstanding novel, your best yet and I’ve read them all. The way you combine your fictional characters with history is amazing.’

‘I’ve just finished reading your
Cry of the Curlew
series and it was absolutely fabulous! I had trouble putting the books down.’

‘I have really enjoyed all your books.’

‘I have a lot of trouble putting [your books] down. The only problem is nothing gets done around here when you write one. Can’t wait for the next.’

‘You make history come alive . . . I especially enjoy the human side of war you portray in your stories.’

‘Another brilliant read.’

‘I love the way you have intertwined the characters through all the books so far and tied them all into the early settlers in this country. The history has been great and the stories superb!’

‘I have just finished reading
The Frozen Circle
, [and] in my opinion this is your best work yet. I loved the way you used time and distance to bring your story to a suspenseful and unexpected end . . .’

‘I wish to convey my congratulations on the quality of your stories. I find them difficult to put down and look forward to reading the next one. Well done and may there be many more.’

‘I have now devoured every one of your books and am eagerly awaiting your next publication . . . Thank you for the hours of pleasure you have given me.’

‘[
Eden
is] one of the greatest books I have ever read.’

‘I have recently discovered some of your wonderful stories and have been captivated by the characters, their lives, loves and exploits. Your love for the historical adds such power to your books, you almost feel you are there. . . . [
Papua
] brought me to tears on more than one occasion.’

‘Keep the pen writing, my man!’

‘Thank you for your wonderful tales. I have just finished
The Stone Dragon
. . . You bring the characters alive and make me feel part of the story. Thank you for many, many hours of pleasure.’

‘Your books make me look forward to getting on the train in the morning. Keep up the good work!’

‘Love your work.’


Cry of the Curlew
kept me reading into the small wee hours by candlelight . . . I was so engrossed in your story telling . . . Good on you for telling your tale . . . it has given me a greater sense of being and more so a strong ambition to impart on my children self worth and strength in their beliefs!’

TO
TOUCH
THE
CLOUDS

PETER
WATT

MACMILLAN
Pan Macmillan Australia

First published 2009 in Macmillan by Pan Macmillan Australia Pty Ltd
1 Market Street, Sydney

Copyright © Peter Watt 2009
The moral right of the author has been asserted.

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted by any person or entity (including Google, Amazon or similar organisations), in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher.

National Library of Australia
Cataloguing-in-Publication data:

Watt, Peter, 1949–.
To touch the clouds / Peter Watt.

ISBN 978 1 4050 3940 6 (pbk.).

A823.3

Set in 13/16 pt Bembo by Post Pre-press Group
Printed in Australia by McPherson’s Printing Group

Papers used by Pan Macmillan Australia Pty Ltd are natural, recyclable products made from wood grown in sustainable forests. The manufacturing processes conform to the environmental regulations of the country of origin.

 

These electronic editions published in 2009 by Pan Macmillan Australia Pty Ltd
1 Market Street, Sydney 2000

The moral right of the author has been asserted.

All rights reserved. This publication (or any part of it) may not be reproduced or transmitted, copied, stored, distributed or otherwise made available by any person or entity (including Google, Amazon or similar organisations), in any form (electronic, digital, optical, mechanical) or by any means (photocopying, recording, scanning or otherwise) without prior written permission from the publisher.

To Touch the Clouds
Peter Watt

 

Adobe eReader format

978-1-74198-656-3

EPub format

978-1-74198-768-3

Mobipocket format

978-1-74198-712-6

Online format

978-1-74198-600-6

 

 

Macmillan Digital Australia
www.macmillandigital.com.au

Visit
www.panmacmillan.com.au
to read more about all our books and to buy both print and ebooks online. You will also find features, author interviews and news of any author events.

 

For Naomi and Monique,
with all my love

 

 

 

 

For his eyes have been full with a smouldering thought;
But he dreams of the hunts of yore,
And of foes that he sought, and of fights that he fought
With those who will battle no more

Who will go to the battle no more
.
‘The Last of His Tribe’, Henry Kendall

PROLOGUE

Glen View Lutheran Mission Station
Central Queensland
1934

H
is black and scarred skin hung from his skinny bones and his eyes were opaque with blindness. The old warrior’s beard was white and his teeth stained yellow from years of the white man’s tobacco. Wallarie sat cross-legged under his favourite tree as the sun rose on his face. He could smell the dry, red earth around him and strained to hear the fading cry of the curlew deep in the brigalow scrub surrounding the mission station. He sensed his life was almost spent and he waited to join so many of those he once knew – now long gone. Locked in his memories spanning almost a century he toyed idly with the battered old wood pipe in his hand. It was empty and he hoped that someone would come and give him tobacco to light and suck the smoke into his lungs.

There was a sound and Wallarie cocked his head. The noise came from something the old Aboriginal had never seen but had smelled and heard many times in the past
couple of years. An automobile, the Pastor called this new thing, that came to Glen View station carrying people on its back. It ground to a halt not far away, raising a fine film of dust to swirl around him as he sat beneath the bumbil tree.

‘Wallarie, are you well?’ the man’s voice asked politely. It was a young voice, a lad in his late teens. ‘I thought you might like some tobacco.’

Wallarie’s face broke into a broad grin as he turned his blind eyes to his visitor. ‘You got baccy,’ he replied and reached out to receive the precious gift.

Although he couldn’t see the young man squatting in front of him, Wallarie knew he was waiting patiently until the pipe bowl was plugged, tamped down and lit from a box of matches Wallarie carried with him. He could feel the warmth of the sun flow over his body. As the young man waited for him to speak he sucked contentedly on the pipe until he could feel the euphoria the nicotine brought to his old body.

‘You want to hear the rest of the story?’ Wallarie chuckled, knowing that the young man scoffed at the curse of the ancient cave on the hill at Glen View. ‘Well, it was about twenty of your years ago,’ he said, knowing that his words would mesmerise his listener, for not only was Wallarie of the Darambal people a great warrior in his youth, but in his old age he had become a wondrous storyteller. ‘It was the time before you had the Great War,’ he continued, carrying the listener back across the years with his hypnotic words. ‘They had all forgotten the curse . . . except one . . . until it touched them. I will tell you of those times when the whitefella touched the clouds and lightning came down on the earth for many years. The whitefella who flew with the eagles knew that he must learn to do this ahead of what you whitefellas called the Great War.’

BOOK: To Touch the Clouds : The Frontier Series 5
5.77Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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