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Authors: Robert G. Barrett

The Boys from Binjiwunyawunya

BOOK: The Boys from Binjiwunyawunya
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Robert G. Barrett was raised in Bondi where he has worked mainly as a butcher. After thirty years he moved to Terrigal on the Central Coast of New South Wales. Robert has appeared in a number of films and TV commercials but prefers to concentrate on a career as a writer.

Also by Robert G. Barrett in Pan

YOU WOULDN'T BE DEAD FOR QUIDS THE REAL THING THE GODSON BETWEEN THE DEVLIN AND THE DEEP BLUE SEAS DA VO'S LITTLE SOMETHING WHITE SHOES, WHITE LINES AND BLACKIE AND DE FUN DON'T DONE MELE KALIKIMAKA MR WALKER THE DAY OF THE GECKO RIDER ON THE STORM AND OTHER BITS AND BARRETT GUNS 'N' ROSÉ

ROBERT G.
BARRRTT
The Boys from
Binjiwunyawunya

This is a work of fiction and all characters in this book are a creation of the author's imagination.

First published 1987 in Pan by Pan Books (Australia) Pty Ltd This edition published by Pan Macmillan Australia Pty Limited 1 Market St, Sydney

Reprinted 1990, 1991, 1992 (twice), 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009

Copyright © Robert G. Barrett 1987

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted by any person or entity (including Google, Amazon or similar organisations), in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, scanning or by any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher.

National Library of Australia cataloguing-in-publication data:

Barrett, Robert G.

The boys from Binjiwunyawunya

ISBN 978 0 330 27165 3.

EPUB ISBN: 9781743548981

I. Title

A823.3

Printed in Australia by McPherson's Printing Group

Papers used by Pan Macmillan Australia Pty Ltd are natural, recyclable products made from wood grown in sustainable forests. The manufacturing processes conform to the environmental regulations of the country of origin.

DEDICATION

 

Ex painters and dockers and old SP bookies aren't bad blokes — and neither is my Uncle Artie in South Melbourne.

This book is dedicated to him.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

 

The author is donating 10% of his royalties to be divided between Greenpeace and The Aboriginal Inland Children's Mission.

CONTENTS

 

THE BOYS FROM BINJIWUNYAWUNYA

ST KILDA KOOLER

The Boys from Binjiwunyawunya

 

 

Price Galese rarely if ever got a full-on case of the shits. He might get a bit stroppy when he was tired now and again and again. But the shits. Hardly ever. There wasn't really a great deal for the suave, silvery haired casino owner to get the shits about. He was a millionaire several times over. He owned a mansion in Vaucluse, had a charming, attractive wife and three fine sons. His string of thoroughbred racehorses kept winning like it was going out of style, much to the grief of every rails and SP bookmaker in Sydney. And his gambling casino — the Kelly Club — staffed with employees who literally loved him, was almost a licence to print money. Apart from that, he was a doyen of Sydney society, idolised by the church, charities and just about every other citizen of that rather large, bustling city between Newcastle and Wollongong known affectionately as ‘The Old Steak and Kidney'. So what reasons would Price Galese have to get the shits?

Naturally, in his line of work he'd have to get rather serious now and again when different things were on his mind... like having to order a hit, chase up a defaulting punter or sort out a dicey cop or politician. But these little ‘business matters' were generally sorted out pretty smartly, with a minimum of fuss, and Price would soon be back to his ever-smiling, urbane, likeable self. However, this particular Saturday night in the Kelly Club office after closing time, it was obvious to the small group of trusted employees gathered around him for an after-work drink, that Price had a dose of the shits something good and proper. His jaw was clenched tight and his dark brown eyes were glowering as he spun the dial on the safe after closing it. And when he flopped down in the padded leather seat behind his desk and took
a sip of his Scotch and soda as he scowled at nothing in particular across the highly polished oak top, his normally happy face looked about six feet longer than the Great Wall of China.

There was silence for a few moments after Price sat down. George Brennan glanced across at Eddie Salita, sitting in the corner absently picking at his nails, then over to Billy Dunne sipping on an Old Grandad and Coke next to Les Norton, who was seated comfortably with his eyes closed as he savoured the delights of his second chilled stubbie of Fourex. Actually George had noticed over the last couple of nights that something seemed to be eating at Price, but they'd been busy and he was a bit toey about asking him. But it was quiet in the office now, the week was over, and with only Price's closest employees grouped around him George decided to put it on him.

‘Price. Is everything all right old mate?' he asked quietly.

Price Galese glanced over at his manager, then just as quickly looked away again. ‘Yeah, everything's sweet George.'

‘You sure?'

‘Yes George. I'm sure.'

Billy Dunne decided to put his head in as well. ‘Yeah, bullshit Price. Something's on your mind. What is it?'

‘I just bloody well told you. Nothing. Jesus, what's up with you blokes?'

Finally Price caught Norton's eyes, which were now half open and giving him one of those ‘Come on. Don't piss in our pockets. We know you better than that' kind of looks. Staring back at the big, red-headed doorman for a moment, he raised his hands, palms up, before slapping them down on the edge of his desk as he shifted his gaze across to Eddie Salita.

‘Yeah. Righto,' he sighed loudly. ‘I suppose I might as well tell you what's going on. Eddie knows, so you boys may as well know, too.'

‘That's a bit more like it,' smiled Les. ‘Now what's up?'

Price glanced around the room before taking in a deep breath and exhaling it angrily through his nose.

‘I'm being shafted boys. Blackmailed. Getting it well and truly shoved right up my arse and taken to the cleaners. And when I say blackmailed — I mean just that. Fuckin' blackmailed.'

There was an astonished silence for a few moments before Les spoke. ‘Who the bloody hell's doing this?' he asked in
disbelief as he sat upright in his chair.

‘Who?' replied Price. ‘A dirty, rotten bloody Aborigine in Redfern — that's who.' Price glared around the room at the three speechless faces in front of him. ‘Yeah that's right,' he continued. ‘An Abo. I'm being shafted by a rotten fuckin' boong. And I don't like it one little bit.'

The silence in the already hushed office seemed to double in intensity, if that was at all possible. Not only was it unusual for Price to let go with such an outburst, but to think that someone — an Australian Aborigine of all people — was blackmailing one of the most powerful men in Sydney was almost too astonishing to contemplate. Norton was about to speak when Price cut him off abruptly with a wave of his hand.

‘Yeah all right Les, I know,' he said tiredly. ‘You've got a soft spot in your heart for the Aborigines because you grew up with them in Dirranbandi or wherever that joint is you come from. And I've got nothing against them either. They're an unfortunate people. But believe me. This guy is just an out-and-out cunt. He's shoving the pineapple right up my date. And getting away with it.'

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