Chapter 9. Alone
Mark gave Greg some time before asking him to go through everything he saw. Greg was traumatised from what he had seen but did his best to tell the story.
He was riding his bike along a fire trail which was a short cut home, he was about a kilometre away when he heard a gun shot. He knew Steve had run out of ammunition some time ago so the shot made him nervice so he got of the bike and approached the house on foot. He took his bow and arrows with him as he kept to the bush. As he got closer he could see two military style trucks parked near the house and once he got to about one hundred metres away he saw Steve and Peter tired to the fence, they had been shot.
Greg watched from the edge of the bush for a while to see how many there was, there seemed to be three of them. To get closer he would have to break cover so he waited till all three were out of site and then ran about fifty metres to the back of the shed. He was now only a few metres from his dead friends, he looked around the corner of the shed but could not see anyone. Then one of them came out of the house with Mandy, she had blood all over her and could hardly stand. Greg lined him up with his bow and arrow and let it fly, hitting him in the chest, he went down without a sound. Greg ran over to help Mandy but before he got near her another one came out of the house, Greg let fly another arrow which found it target but not before he called out to his friend.
Greg took cover behind the water tank which was to one side of the back door just before the third one of them ran out to see what was going on. He was staggering and had a beer bottle in his hand so he must of found Steve’s home brew, Greg let fly another arrow and it was over. He ran over to Mandy but she was dead, he then checked inside where he found Joan also dead. Greg then hurried back to Mark’s place to warn him.
Mark had no words to help Greg deal with what had happened so he said nothing. They both just sat on the Land Rovers tail gate for a while before Mark said, “let’s go down to the house.”
They drove the old Land Rover down to the house where Gail was waiting, she hugged Greg and they both went into the house. Mark headed straight to the shed were everyone was waiting to hear the details. After tell everyone what had happened he outlined what he thought was the best course of action. Having lived and worked together for such a long time they had become a close knit team who worked as one towards a common goal and this situation was no exception.
Within an hour Mark and John were on their way to Steve’s place riding bush bikes. They would not get that far before dark but time was of the essence, they had to get there as quickly as possible. They camped over night before continuing their journey first thing the next day, arriving at Steve’s place at about 9.00 am. What they found was worse than they had expected, it was like some sort of war zone
Mark was very uncomfortable with John at his age seeing such disturbing sights but John had grown into a strong young man and Mark could not get it done without him.
The first job was a grizzly one, they had to wrap the bodies in what ever they could find and load them into the trucks belonging to these bad guys. Steve, Mandy, Peter and Joan into one truck and rest into the second truck. They then needed to make the place look normal, as if nothing had happened. Mark loaded anything of use into the first truck while John court and loaded the chooks as well as some goats, he also cut a hole in the fence so the cows could escape. They both had a walk around looking for anything they might have missed before leaving. The house was left open so it would look deserted before Mark and John drove away in the trucks.
It was mid afternoon as they drove towards home hoping there were no more bad guys in the area. The sun was going down but they continued into the dark at a very slow speed due to the poor road conditions. It was just after 11.00 pm when they got home with both of them completely exhausted.
While Mark and John were away the others had dug four graves for Steve, Mandy, Peter and Joan. So first thing the next morning they were berried with a short service. The animals and supplies were unloaded before Mark and Greg drove the two trucks, while John drove the old Land Rover towards the Stuart River. The river was in the opposite direct to going to the camping area or to town so Mark had not driven in that direct during his time on the property.
Not long into the trip they came upon a small tree over the road which made them feel a lot safer as it meant no one had been along here in a very long time. They pulled it out of the way with the land Rover and continued on their way. They made good time as the road was bitumen and travelled through flat farming country but the time seemed to pass very slowly. After driving for about half an hour they arrived at the Stuart River but there was no way of running the trucks into the river as there were too many trees on the river banks next to the bridge on both sides. The bridge had high guard rails so they could not run the trucks of the bridge so they continued for about a kilometre where they found a drive way into a farm.
Following the drive way they came to a farm house but they did not stop, they just continued on across the paddock heading towards the river. Once at the river they drove parallel to it for a few hundred metres where they found a suitable location to drive the truck of the river banks into the river.
They stoped about a hundred metres from the river and lined one of the trucks up. A large rock was places on the accelerator peddle, the steering wheel was tired in the straight ahead position and a stick was used to push the clutch to the floor. A piece of rope was tired to the stick, the engine started and hand brake released. It was a down hill run so the truck started to roll but only slowly, Mark pulled on the rope there by releasing the clutch. The truck picked up speed as it rushed towards the river and launched its self of the river bank and into the river. The same process was followed with the second truck which contained the bodies of, (for the want of a better way to describe then), the bad guys.
The river was not deep enough to completely hind the trucks, part of the back ends could be seen but they were a long way from the road and so it was highly unlikely they would be found. Mark, John and Greg headed home in the old Land Rover, stoping to drag the tree that was over the road back onto the road. They got home just on dark but there were still things to do if they were to be safe from the outside world.
The next day they all headed to the property boundary where the drive way meets the road. The road had a deep drainage ditch on each side and there was a large concrete pipe covered with earth which made the drive way into the property. Using the tractor, and people power with shovels the pipe was removed and dragged away. The drainage ditch was cleaned out and the whole area made to look like the drive way had never been there. The gate was also removed and taken away, replaced with some old fence post and wire. They all stud back to look at their work, you could hardly tell that a drive way was once there and give a few weeks you would never know.
Everyone started the long walk home while Greg drove the tracker back, but Mark and John had one more job to do. They drove the old Land Rover towards Mark’s old neighbours where they planed to leave it. On the way they dragged an old dead tree over the road. When they arrived at the neighbours place they parked the Land Rover in a shed, removed the battery and hid it and then removed one wheel, letting the air out while they were at it. They put a cover over the Land Rover and covered it in dirt to try and make it look like it had been there for a long time. They had the foresight to bring their push bikes with them so they could ride home.
With a bit of luck they were now as safe as they could be from anyone who may wish them harm. But just in case they did set up an emergency plan covering what they would do if one day some bad guys showed up. They put emergency kits together that conceited of back packs, tents, bows and arrows, water containers etc and then put them in an old bush cabin which was hidden away in the bush about a kilometre away. If something was to happen everyone would meet up at the cabin and either make their escape or decide what to do.
It took a bit of time but eventually everything got back to normal and everyone relaxed a bit even though the fear that bad guys would show up never left them.
Copy Right 2022