I love the concept of the written word. Film and Television are both wonderful Media but they are someone else’s vision…not your own. When you read and picture a scene or a character as described by the author, your mind’s eye and imagination will turn that vision in to something totally unique to you the reader. We can all read the same sentence but all visualise it our own way. This is a snippet from one of my short stories, I wonder if you see what I saw.

In the year of our Lord, Nineteen Hundred and Eighteen, the township of Cripple Creek was at best, a blot on the landscape in the vastness of the Australian Outback.

The main building was the hotel, a meandering sort of building that had been extended several time in its lifetime, unfortunately not in the same style or materials. a ramshackle mix of brick, wood and corrugated iron. It resembled an Architect’s worst nightmare, such was its elegance and style.

Its saving grace was the bar, which in the typical Aussie style was a men only Establishment. If a lady wandered in requiring liquid refreshment. She was advised in no uncertain fashion to look elsewhere.

The Clientele was composed mostly of cattle drovers, hunters and the odd townsman. As with all outback bars, it was strictly spit and sawdust with few frills in evidence. Its customers like the bar itself were of the rough and ready variety. It stank of sweat and stale beer, but to its regulars it was a home from home.

Excerpt from The Legend of Walkabout Joe by Damian Grange


4 thoughts on “

  1. This hotel and bar in the Australian Outback that’s described here sounds like many of the hotels and bars in the Red Deer River Badlands of southern Alberta where I was born.

    During our several trips to England that my dad and I took, we befriended a retired C. of E. clergyman and Oxford history don Canon John Bryan.

    He came to visit us in Canada 🇨🇦 a couple of times and one time we took him on a tour of the Red Deer River Badlands (my dad had moved our family from the place when I was 2).

    He had to go to the washroom so we had stopped off in the Badlands town of Wayne (appropriately named for a Wild West town) and he went into a hotel bar very much like the one described here.

    When he came out again, he was looking very pale and said in his best impersonation of a Wild West drawal, “I wouldn’t let my woman folk in there.”


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