Authors: Dawn Millen
Gordon Under Attack
Book four in the
Outback Exodus Series
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events or locales is entirely coincidental.
All Rights reserved
Copyright © 2012 by Dawn Millen
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Table of Contents
Jenn’s Diary Entry
31 January 2014
saw the settlement come face to face with a shocking incident and I am still reeling from the impact
so are many others. We came under attack from a marauding band of thugs from one of the cities.
happened late in the morning, we were at our most vulnerable at the time.
The day started out bright and very warm with beautiful clear blue skies
a lovely breeze to combat the enervating humidity. Once the washing was finished and the lunch made I headed outside with the twins in their pram. James was sitting in his usual spot
I pushed the pram over and we placed the babies on the blanket on the ground while we chatted
Things seemed normal as we watched the rest of the village go about their
day. There was singing from the school room and I could hear the clatter of the hammer over in Raymond’s
orkshop, where smoke was rising from the newly built forge. There were other women hanging out washing on the lines that stretch among the trees behind the first row of cottages and small children ran around playing chase and riding their bicycles. It was just a normal summer morning in the small village of Gordon.
A sudden commotion out on the river flats drew my attention and I spun around at the sound of shots and shouting. A loud shout from the observation tower that pointed in
and was a counterpoint to the disturbance. Thomas had spotted where the kerfuffle was coming from
was standing in the tower pointing to the south west with a shaking hand. His voice slid up and down the scales as he cried out. "Raiders, we have raiders coming up the road from the old highway."
I quickly run to the tower and climb the ladder hand over hand
my feet slipping on the rungs
my haste to see what is going on. I hear footsteps pounding across the grass as Gavin heads towards the tower
am almost at the top when I feel the ladder shake below me as he starts his climb.
I enter the tower proper and walk over to Thomas against the south western side. His hand is still pointing and his face is pale with shock and horror. "Aunty Jenn they are shooting the cattle and are chasing someone down there. She is trying to hide from them but she can’t get away from the motorbikes. There are not enough trees to hide behind." His voice shakes with terror as he tells his story.
In an instant Gavin is there and we peer down as I wrap my right arm around Thomas and pull him close. The binoculars are fixed to Gavin’s eyes and his mouth takes on a grim line as he watches what is happening. "I’m going to get Steve and we are going to have to head down. If I can get a couple more of the boys too it will help as there are at least 10 of them out there. It looks as if they are chasing Sally; I just hope we can get there in time. I don’t like the look of this at all."
With those few words Gavin is off across the platform of the lookout tower and sliding down the ladder as quickly as he can, feet only touching every few steps and hands leaving flesh on the rough wooden rails of the ladder.
I grabbed the binoculars that Gavin had dropped to the floor and place them against my eyes. Sally is still running, but I can see that she is slowing as her energy reserves are falling, she is staggering and I can see the motorbikes starting to circle around her. Hanging the binoculars back on the hook I start towards the ladder guiding Thomas down too. I will send up an adult to watch the road to town
. Small boys do not need to see what may happen next.
Gavin, Steve, Raymond and Rhys are already headed towards a 4 x4. All carry rifles
are checking loads and safety catches as they walk. They seem calm but are moving quickly. Everything checked they get into the vehicle and speed off down the hill towards the area where the attack is taking place.
I call out to Paul and he comes running over with a rifle slung over his shoulder. Explaining what is going on quickly I ask him to take the watch in the tower and once I have his agreement Thomas and I head off towards James and the babies on the blanket. James has already started to pull the pram towards him and is
forward to pick up the first of the babies as I arrive.
"I heard the shots Jenn and saw Gavin and the boys leave. Thought I’d better start getting these kids up off the ground and in their pram so we can all get somewhere safe. James
elderly voice is calm and controlled although his face has taken on a strained look and his eyes have hardened. "If you will pick up young Jacqui for me Thomas
I will get Jenn to push me and you can push the pram
head for the school house as it is brick and more solid than most of the houses." James encourages Thomas to move and to help with the movement of the babies and within moments the children are picked up and placed back in their pram.
As we head across the green to the newly built school house I start to call out to the older men and women of the settlement. I request that all those with small children head into the school house and barricade themselves in with the children and elderly. I request that they take some food and water so there is no need to leave the safe place for a while. Mum and Dad head over quickly escorting their elderly charges and picking up small children along the way. Soon the school house is packed with people and Sandra is organising where everyone will go. James, Thomas and the babies go in with the children, elderly and some of the women
I sigh with relief as the door is closed and barricaded. Now it is time to organise those of us still outside into some sort of defence team in case of direct attack on the settlement.
We don’t have enough rifles to mount more than a token defence and I organise to have those placed in the houses around the village green and two of the more mature men are placed at the rear of the school house to defend it from that direction. I take up my own rifle and head off to the tower once more and join Paul to watch what is happening out on the flood plain.
"They did not get there in time to stop what was going on with Sally." Paul’s voice is filled with horror as he tells me that Sally has been raped and by more than one of the gang who are out there. "They did drive them off though; I don’t think they expected to have the boys turn up. Gavin and Steve certainly know their job; they had them all on the run within a minute. One is staying here though, he came off his bike and I think he is hurt." Paul sounds a little gleeful as he narrates this last part of the tale.
We stand there watching the group of motorbikes head back towards the buckled remains of the old highway and watch as the injured man and Sally are loaded into the 4 x 4 and I see Steve’s red hair and know that he is the one bringing the motorbike back to the settlement. There are at least two or three dead or dying cattle beasts out there at the moment and I make a note to send some men out to ensure that they are not suffering and to bring back the
for butchering. We cannot afford to waste the meat, but I, for one, would have preferred to have the beast still alive out there in the paddock and Sally not have been attacked and brutalised.
"Can you stay up here for a while longer?" I ask Paul.
"Yes Jenn I can do that. I’ll keep watch and make sure that they keep heading off towards the city. With the binoculars I should be able to see which way they head once they hit the highway. I’ll let you know if they turn around and come back." Paul says a grim expression on his face as he starts to turn back towards the old highway.
"Thanks Paul. I had better go back down and get Helen and Krystal
set up to help Sally and this idiot from the gang. Not that I feel like helping him at all at the moment." I say to Paul as I turn towards the ladder to descend to the ground once again.
"You men can stand down for the time being, don’t go too far away and please keep your rifles with you." I call out as my feet hit the ground and I start to move quickly towards the school house to fetch Helen and Krystal.
Knocking on the door I call out to say that it is me and that things are safe for the moment. The door opens
I instruct everyone to stay close together until we are sure that the gang has gone and to keep an eye on the children.
Asking Mum to watch the twins for me, I then head towards Helen and Krystal to enlist their aid for Sally and the gang member
They are both
going to need
My diary entry for the first of the gang attacks is something that I wish I had never written and a scene that I wish I had never witnessed. Being unable to help those trapped out in the fields was traumatic and to hear the screams of Sally as they caught up with her made me feel so helpless and so very afraid, not only for Sally, but for all of us women here in the village. Here is the full story of that day and of the many attacks that followed the first during that terrible few months when the gangs decided to attempt to gain control of our settlement.
The hours flashed by that afternoon as we dealt with Sally and with the wounded raider. The wounded raider had a gunshot wound to his buttocks as well as broken bones in his right leg and a broken nose from the fall from his motorbike. After Helen dug out the bullet and set the broken bones he
under guard in the front room at Mum and Dads with Rhys standing beside the bed with a pistol, Paul in the hallway and Danny outside the window. There is no escape for him from this room.
Sally is going to have a very rough time. From what I have been able to make out she was raped by at least four of the
before our men
and there is a lot of physical damage to her internally. Helen is unsure if she has been able to repair the damage as well as she would have been
in the past, she has managed to stop the bleeding and has found enough drugs to sedate Sally for the time being. We do hope that she will be okay when she wakes. Helen knows there will be damage to her mentally, but with time she hopes we can overcome
e know Sally will never be the same girl she was when she left to work in the paddock this morning.
It is now late afternoon and the sun is starting to sink towards the horizon
the last of the fiery glow lighting the sky
he committee are meeting in the school house
. Rhys and Paul have been replaced as guards by other members of the community and
are present at this meeting. Helen gives her report on the injuries to Sally and to the raider and the report is met with both sorrows for Sally and with anger at the raider.
Gavin has spoken to the raider this afternoon and has gathered some information on both the raider who is injured and the gang that are raiding in this area currently. Gavin stands and walks quietly to the front of the room. His face is serious and his expression is one of anger. He straightens up and his blue eyes flash fire behind his glasses. Clearing his throat he draws himself up to his full height and starts to speak.
"We are in trouble folks and I want to run through the whole thing first and then we can have questions. Is everyone okay with that?" Gavin glances around the room and the chorus of ayes and the nodding heads give him leave to do it his way.
"Okay, first off this bloke is called Frank Danvers, from Sydney
runs with a gang of tough blokes from the Redfern area. They are all ex bikies and drug dealers and are looking for a place to settle
to grow their pot. They are under the impression that they can have Gordon for the taking,
did not expect the sort of resistance they encountered today. The leader of the mob is called Grant Francis. He is a nasty bit of work and someone I do know something about. He has been knocking around the gangs for years and I encountered him when I was in Sydney. He is 6 feet tall, shoulder length black hair,
teeth like tomb stones, well built. He has tattoo’s that almost cover
is entire body, but nothing on his face. There is a large spider one on his left shoulder and a lightning bolt on the right side of his neck. He wears earrings in both ears, six in the right and four in the left. This joker has a very bad reputation; at least four murders were directly linked to him and several more were suspected as his handiwork. Women are not safe with him and he has served time for rape in the past. This is not a good situation
from what Danvers has told me Grant Francis is planning to take Gordon
whatever the cost to the gang. I
for one am not going to let this happen so
will start helping with
as soon as it is daylight. Now questions please folks." Gavin stands easily with his hands by his side as he waits for the questions to start.
Paul is first to his feet and glaring around the room as if the gang were going to come through the walls he asks his first question. "Do you have any idea of how we are going to defend ourselves from this mob?"
"Steve and I have put our heads together with Raymond and Richard this afternoon and we will be building a stockade around the village starting tomorrow. I know it’s going to take time, but we have driven them off this time so with luck we will get the walls in over the next week before they come back for another try." Gavin replied.
Rhys then stands and addresses the committee. "I fought too hard to get out of John Creek and across the outback for this mob to push me out of my new home. We will be staying and I will help with the defence of the town. Can we take a vote as to who wishes to leave and who wishes to stay on Friday at the village meeting?"
"I was going to suggest the same thing." Gavin smiles at Rhys. "Knew you would be one of the first to dig in mate and I was right."
Dad then stands and looks around the room. "I’ve lived in Gordon all my married life and in the same house too, there is nothing on this earth that will move me either. I am staying and I will fight." His voice booms surely around the room.
Then I stand and once things are quiet I say my piece. "Gordon has been my home since I was a young girl and I will not be driven out of my home by others. I fought hard to come back here from the outback and like Rhys won’t leave now. Can I suggest that we hold the town meeting tomorrow morning instead of Friday, if we do that then everyone is on the same page sooner rather than later." I sit down quietly and let the debate I have started roil around the room.
"Okay, let’s have a show of hands to decide on the meeting." Gavin says as he draws the meeting back to order after a few minutes.
The show of hands is almost unanimous in favour of the meeting being held in the morning. The committee meeting breaks up and we all head off to our homes after those who are going to be on guard
over night for
are appointed and