Authors: Di Morrissey
Table of Contents
Di Morrissey is Australia’s most popular woman novelist. Her first book, Heart of the Dreaming, launched her bestselling career and paved the way for
The Last Rose of Summer, Follow the Morning Star, The Last Mile Home, Tears of the Moon, When the Singing Stops, The Songmaster and her latest novel, Scatter the Stars.
Well known as a TV presenter on the original ‘Good Morning Australia’, Di has always written – working as a journalist, advertising copywriter and screen-writer.
Di has two children and lives in Byron Bay, NSW, where she devotes herself to writing, in between travelling to research her novels.
Di Morrissey can be visited at her website:
Also by Di Morrissey
Heart of the Dreaming
The Last Rose of Summer
Follow the Morning Star
The Last Mile Home
Tears of the Moon
When the Singing Stops
Scatter the Stars
First published 1995 in Macmillan by Pan Macmillan Australia Pty Limited
First published 1996 in Pan by Pan Macmillan Australia Pty Limited
1 Market Street, Sydney
Reprinted 1996, (twice), 1998 (twice), 1999,2000 (twice), 2001, 2002 (twice), 2003 (twice), 2004 (twice), 2005 (twice), 2006
Text copyright © Di Monissey 1995 Illustrations copyright © Ron Revitt 1995
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted 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
Tears of the moon.
ISBN 0 330 35781 6.
Typeset in 11/13pt Bembo by Post Typesetters, Brisbane
Printed in Australia by McPherson’s Printing Group
This novel is a work of fiction. Names and characters are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
These electronic editions published in 2007 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.
Tears of the Moon
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The Continental Hotel, Broome
Val Burton, Broome Historical Society
Broome Tourist Board
Bill Reed, Linneys Pearls, Broome; Peter and
Jean Haynes, ex-Broome; Brenda Anderson, Byron
Bay, for checking the manuscript
Ted Johnston for proofreading
Les Johnson, Albany (war historian)
the staff of Pan Macmillan
throughout Australia especially James Fraser,
Nikki Christer, Madonna Duffy, Roxarne Burns,
Peter Phillips, Jeannine Fowler and
Lyndal (Charlie) Charles.
The man I love who makes me joyful and suggested the idea for this book.
Jim Revitt for his critical and creative input—which goes back to showing a very young niece the magic of writing.
My children, Gabrielle and Nicolas who are my best friends, best critics, and with whom I share unconditional love.
My mother, all my dear family and those who count as family.
And Uncle Ron Revitt for his terrific illustrations.
In memory of all those claimed by the sea …
According to Indian mythology it is believed
that pearls are formed by the tears of the moon
dropping into the sea …
WESTERN AUSTRALIA IN THE 1800S
he deep-sea diver moved in slow motion, a heavy weighted boot kicking up small clouds of grey sand. All he could hear was the hiss of air down the hose and his own rhythmic breathing as he was towed above the sea bed by the lugger. He exhaled, a cluster of bubbles pushing upwards towards the surface, thirty fathoms above. The clear capsules of trapped hot breath smelling faintly of chilli and black sauce, eventually burst on the surface of the Indian Ocean close to the drifting lugger.
To the sleepy-eyed tender, vigilant despite his slumped and somnolent pose, the steady cluster of bubbles indicated all was normal. Through his fingers ran the coir signal rope and life line which acted as umbilical cord between the two men of two worlds. Ignoring the clatter of the hand pumps, the noise and chatter of the shell opener, the tender followed the footsteps of the diver, guiding the drift and
direction of the lugger as the diver explored below.
The Japanese diver worked alone, secure in his ability to stay deep, keep steady and ‘see’ shell. He trudged across the sea bed, his rope basket almost filled with the broad, flat grey shells that were for some so difficult to spot. For nearly an hour he stayed in a world of intense strangeness and beauty, unaffected by the secrets and magic that unfolded about him. The novelty of the underwater world had waned early in his career. Inattention could result in missed opportunities or an accident.
The hiss of air was a constant noise in his head. Like a creature from some other planet, the bulbous form with the glass-windowed copper helmet made his way through water space, a stranger in an alien world.