Category: Larrikins and Characters

Bringing Australia's History to Life

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Galloping Jones

  Queensland has produced a character or two over the years, but John Dacey “Galloping” Jones takes some beating. Apart from being one of the most talented rough riders of his generation, and one hell of a bare-knuckle fighter, he was famously light-fingered. Galloping Jones got his nickname from a horse race where he and…
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The Eulo Queen

More than a century ago, when the town of Eulo was a thriving centre on the Western Queensland opal fields, one of Australia’s most interesting women set out to make her mark. She was a short but striking redhead, spoke English, French and German, wore tight-fitting dresses over a voluptuous body, and had a fully-stocked…
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Paddy Cahill

Paddy Cahill: State Library of South Australia   Originally from the Darling Downs, Paddy Cahill made his name in the Northern Territory as a bushman, stockman and buffalo hunter. Paddy and his two brothers, Tom and Matt, all cut their teeth with the famous Nat Buchanan on one of Australia’s biggest cattle drives, from St…
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Harry Readford Part One

Some men are born bad, some become outlaws through persecution and desperation. Some, like Harry Readford, are opportunists, who commit their crimes through a sense of fun and love of a challenge. Even as a young man, Harry was an unusually tall and impressive figure, face shaded by his hat and protected by a thick,…
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Harry Readford Part 2

  Riding like the born horseman he was, across South Australia, through Victoria and into New South Wales, Harry decided that the best way to throw the police off was to lose himself in some nondescript country town. He was smart enough not to ride openly into his birth place of Mudgee, but found the…
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Harry Readford Part 3

  The story of Harry Readford has more twists and turns than an outback trail. The police nabbed him on the road to Sydney, and he was handed, with great fanfare, over to the Queensland authorities. But by then Harry was a folk hero. Every Australian loved the story of a man bold enough to…
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The Slave Ship

Charlie Gaunt was in his late thirties, veteran of the Northern Territory cattle trails, and a hard-fought Boer War, when he began several decades of international wandering. His willingness to work as a seaman took him wherever he wanted to go. Since Whistler’s Bones is essentially a novel about Charlie’s Australian experiences, there was no…
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Donegan and the Divorce

Mounted Constable Michael Donegan woke up in his cot at the Leichhardt’s Crossing Police Station, with a hangover so bad he’d been dreaming that he was back home in Derry, Ireland, where a huge shirtless man was hitting the side of his head with a ten-pound hammer. His sleeping mind had wandered back to a…
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