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Authors: Robert G. Barrett

The Day of the Gecko

BOOK: The Day of the Gecko
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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 BOYS FROM BINJIWUNYAWUNYA THE GODSON BETWEEN THE DEVLIN AND THE DEEP BLUE SEAS DAVO'S LITTLE SOMETHING WHITE SHOES, WHITE LINES AND BLACKIE AND DE FUN DON'T DONE MELE KALIKIMAKA MR WALKER RIDER ON THE STORM AND OTHER BITS AND BARRETT GUNS 'N' ROSÉ

ROBERT G.
BARRETT
The Day of
The Gecko

As usual, the author is donating a percentage of his royalities to Greenpeace.

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

First published 1995 in Pan by Pan Macmillan Australia Pty Limited 1 Market Street, Sydney

Reprinted 1996, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2006, 2010

Copyright © Psycho Possum Productions 1995

The moral right of the author has been asserted.

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 day of the gecko.

ISBN 978 0 330 35722 7 (pbk.).

EPUB ISBN: 9781743549001

I. Title

A823.3

Typeset in 11/13.5 pt Times by Post Pre-press Group Printed in Australia by McPherson's Printing Group

This book is dedicated to my English teacher at Randwick Boys' High School, Mr William (Bill) Neeson, for the odd clip across the ear, boot in the backside and those wonderful
,
warm words at the Bondi Beach Public School reunion
,
when I proudly gave him two autographed copies of my books
— ‘
Barrett
,
you were the biggest ratbag in the class. And you were the only one that learned anything.' Thanks
,
Bill
.

A MESSAGE FROM THE AUTHOR

After ten years of writing Les Norton stories, and a lot of enquiries, I feel it's time I cleared up a couple of things for my loyal and loveable readers. Firstly, a lot of people are wondering why the last two Les Norton books were set overseas. Am I now turning into some millionaire, jet-setting, Harold Robbins type of author, Concorde-ing round the world? Florida, Jamaica, Hawaii one minute. Next it'll be Paris, Rome, London, Zurich. The only reason I set two books overseas was because I knew people there. I knew a bloke in Florida and I do have an Aussie mate who's a cop in Honolulu. The Jamaican thing happened because I wanted to visit Cinnamon Hill Great House, the ancestral home of Elizabeth Barrett Browning. While I was there I thought I'd write a Les Norton story. As for me being a millionaire — hah! Though I have met some in my travels. But the majority I've met haven't impressed me all that much. So basically I just go where I think I can get a story. And as I'm not real keen on travelling out of Australia, you can expect plenty of stories set here from now on. But going by the letters and by talking to my readers, I think Les should go over to England at some stage and see how his mate Perigrine is getting on.

Secondly, I'm also getting heaps of readers asking me if there is a Les Norton fan club? The answer is a
definite NO! I don't like the term ‘fan club'. Madonna and Kylie Minogue have fan clubs. So do Take That and Rod Stewart. I like to think I have
readers
. And a good team of readers at that. So we came up with an idea — Team Norton T-shirts. I took a few with me on my last book tour and they tore the last one off my back outside the hotel in Cairns. Initially, we were going to distribute them through bookshops. But that way any mug can walk in off the street and buy one. Therefore we have decided to keep them exclusively for my readers. So here's what the deal is. You get a choice of four white T-shirts. On the front in full colour is the cover of either
YOU WOULDN'T BE DEAD FOR QUIDS, THE BOYS FROM BINJIWUNYAWUNYA, MELE KALIKIMAKA MR WALKER OR THE DAY OF THE GECKO
. Printed across the back is
TEAM NORTON
. Send a cheque for $32, along with your size (M, L, XL), choice of T-shirt and address it to Psycho Possum Productions, PO Box 3348, Tamarama, Sydney NSW, 2026. We'll cover the postage. Remember though — these T-shirts look absolutely sensational and they're for Les Norton read-ers only. So if any mugs ask where you got them, don't tell them, or they'll all want one. But just think of it — you walk into a pub or a club or whatever, wearing your
TEAM NORTON
T-shirt and you spot someone else wearing one. You've got an instant mate. You're part of a team — Team Norton.

Thanks for giving me ten years of enjoyment. I'll see you in the next book.

 

Robert G. Barrett August 1995

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nestled in the very comer of North Bondi, where Ramsgate Avenue begins its climb towards Ben Buckler, is a small cafe and take-away food business called Speedo's. It's about two doors up from North Bondi RSL and set on one side of two buildings — a private hotel and a small block of apartments. Two black awnings, split in the middle by a blue and white sign saying Speedo's, have S
PEEDO'S
C
AFE
in white painted on one and T
AKE
A
WAY
painted neatly on the other. Above the two signs, the brown wooden tiles of the hotel balconies cling to the stucco concrete face of the private hotel as they climb towards the roof. Floor-to-ceiling glass doors face the street, there's a blackboard out front which says coffee, juices, salad, focaccias, etc, and beneath the glass doors, built at an angle onto the footpath to allow for the rise of Ramsgate Avenue, are two long, narrow wooden tables and stools. A sign shaped like a world globe on the cafe door says
SPEEDO'S CAFE TO THE WORLD
and inside are more stools, counters, chairs and tables lorded over by a large red coffee machine. Small framed posters hang
on the walls, there's a full blackboard menu and the ubiquitous coffee shop notice-board with small ads for writers' workshops, aromatherapy, skin care, therapeutic ryoho yoga, etc, etc. The take-away side just has a refrigerated drinks cabinet, the take-away menu, another coffee machine and whatever. For its size, Speedo's does a thriving business because the food is good and the coffee is arguably the best in Bondi, which isn't a bad rap because restaurants and coffee shops are just about cheek-by-jowl now all over Australia's most famous beach.

BOOK: The Day of the Gecko
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