Chapter 4

Written by: Sumanda Maritz

“Shouldn’t have hit him so hard, Toby,” the lanky man told his partner. Jake was stretched out on the ground with a nasty looking gash on the back of his head where he’d hit a rock. Mary, first stunned when the big guy took out Jake, started planning her escape. The bushrangers had become more confident in the last few years.

“You think he woulda just let his horse and woman go, Bryan? Now we get to have some fun tonight.” Toby leered at Mary who was inching away from the men. “No need to run, Sugar, we’re just gonna catch you again that’s all,” as he took a big step closer and grabbed her by the arm.

“Toby, let be!” Bryan appeared to take charge. “We’re taking what we need. If we take the woman, there’s not going to be any fun until we reach camp. It gets decided at camp as with everything else.”

“Aye, but a guy could hope to get lucky.” It was said reluctantly, but Toby loosened his hold on Mary.

She watched them take everything of value from Jake as he lay unconscious; his boots, jacket, shirt, even his leather belt. She knew that she couldn’t get far enough away before they caught her. Her only hope was to go willingly and wait for the first time they went to sleep.

She revelled in secret delight when the two men started swearing as they tried to get the horse to move. They even tried to put her on the horse to see if it would move. Finally they removed the tackle and put a lead rope on the horse. Even with the other two horses trying to lead, the stallion stood his ground.

Sweaty and miserable the bushrangers gave up. They took the saddle and saddlebags off the horse. With the loot bundled behind Toby and Mary settled on to the back of Bryan’s horse, they set off. She took careful note of the direction they took. She would need it later.

The horse started grazing close to Jake’s unconscious form as they entered the bush.

 

***

 

Trussed up like a hog, Mary was led into the bushranger camp on the back of Bryan’s horse. Neither of the two had any patience left for her. Her first attempt to escape caught them by surprise. It took them half the night and well into the morning before they found her. Both of them got her knee in the groin at some point or other and agreed that they would be glad to pawn her off to someone else at camp. They had scratches, lumps and bruises in various places. She fought them tooth, nail and once with firewood every chance she got.

A tall dashing figure stepped out of a crude hut. Dark hair with blazing blue eyes watched as Bryan dumped her on the ground in front of him. Toby placed the takings from the ambush next to her.

Comments

Well at least the story is at last moving into another phase. Three chapters about how a young girl is kidnapped away from a man she doesn't want - by two more men who want her at first and then don't. Now she is, we hope going to meet the love of her life - unless he gets rid of her in a card game. Gosh this is exciting. At least Sumanda has tried to bring life to this lack-lustre serial. My opinion is we left this too long for it to be booked and in the meantime the serials 'moved on' Written with good description and a knee in the groin to move it forward, Sumanda has breathed some life into the story and woken the characters' up. Well done Sumanda
Very pertinent comment. I think the problem I'm thinking outback Australia, early 1930s period and then something happens and I have to rearrange my thinking. Tricky story well handled Sumanda.