The few men of diseased brain who are working for revolution are not taken seriously in Australia by the trades unionists.
"Well," said Bill, as he sat to his breakfast one morning in 1927, "things was pretty willin' at the meetin' last night. Y' oughter 'eard Spuds, the sec'rity, sockin' it inter the fat man. Reel fire-eater, 'e is."
"Bill," said his wife, "are you sure there is no danger? There has been a lot of talk in the papers lately."
"Aw, danger!" answered Bill. "There ain't no danger - reely. Just talk, like it always is."
"But your gun, Bill!"
"Oh, they made me take a gun an' a bit of ammunition; but it's all bluff to scare the other side."
"But why, Bill? Your job is a good one."
"Course it is. But Spuds sez 'e can make it better. Can't turn down a bit more money these days. Don't you worry, ole lady. There'll be no revolution. It's just bluff!"
Suddenly the door opened and a pale-faced man entered.
"Get ready, Bill," he gasped. "It's on! The Day is here!"
A rifle shot sounded in the distance; then others, and the sound of many voices shouting.
"Bill!" cried the woman.
"Wot's doin', Spuds?" asked Bill.
"Its the Day, man -- the glorious Day!" shouted the pale secretary. "The boys are attacking the banks first, according to plan. Get your gun, Bill. You can't desert them."
"An' wot about your gun?" asked the unionist.
"It's - it's my misfortune," stammered Spuds; "but I can't be with you boys today. I have to go to Dingo Flat on urgent business. But believe me, my heart is with you. Solidarity for ever!"
The noise of increased firing came from without, and secretary Spuds turned a trifle paler. He hurried to the door.
"Farewell, comrade," he called. "I shall telegraph you instructions from Dingo Flat." And he was gone.
"Well, I dunno," said Bill. "It looks to me as though I've been the goat. . . . Gimme that gun!"
The Mooch of Life
|Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2002-03|