Where the Outback Drovers Ride by Bruce Simpson
Stories, Poems and Yarns from the Bush

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In the first half of the 20th century, pack horse drovers - following in the footsteps of the early overlanders - took on the challenge of moving enormous numbers of cattle many thousands of kilometers across the country, overcoming extraordinary natural hazards and the tyranny of distance that stood between the far-flung stations and the markets. Droving was a harsh job; the men ate rough tucker and slept on the ground in thin swags but the sounds of hoof beats and stock whips, horse bells and hobbles, were music to a horseman's ears and it was a life most would not swap. This evocative collection of outback folklore, poetry and true accounts paints a colourful picture of a variety of adventurers, drifters, ne'er do wells and reckless characters who thrived in an environment where guts and self-reliance were essential for survival. Indeed, fatalities were frequent in the bush. Men, stock and horses were often drowned crossing treacherous waters, while raging floodwaters destroyed buildings and even swept trains from bridges. Horrible deaths - from those who perished from thirst, fire and tragic accidents, to those who were victims of murder or other unsolved mysteries - are detailed here in the incredible stories in this book. But there are also stories of the lighter side of the outback; drinking sprees at the pub, social dances, tennis and cricket and the thrilling antics of some of the country's best roughriders at local buckjump shows - all illustrated by original photographs from the period.

About Bruce Simpson

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Published January 1, 2005 by ABC.
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