Last Great Cattle Drive auction, Longreach, 1988
A look at the Stock and Station industry from the inside by a bloke who has been there and done it!
If you've ever had anything to do with bloody agents you'll either find people you know in this book or know others exactly like them - you might even be in there yourself!
You will meet agents and graziers, drovers and buyers, as well as read how motor cars stood up in the conditions and how Finance was arranged. There's even a chapter about a dog! While the grammar may not be textbook English, it's a very readable yarn in understandable language about things that really happened to real people....and you're guaranteed to find a laugh in it somewhere.
The author John Gilfoyle - 35 years an agent
What The Readers Are Saying
"I rate a book by whether I want to read it a second time;
this one Iíve already read twice!"
Marie Mahood "Cattle Camp" Nebo..
"Thank God someone has written about this marvellous industry. Your stories and humour are priceless." Stewart Otton, Hamilton, Vic.
"I sat down for a quick scan and was at once cheerfully immersed for over an hour ... an excellent read. Many thanks." Professor Roly Sussex, Brisbane.
"While waiting for the spuds to boil last night I decided to read a couple of chapters. The bloody spuds boiled dry, the meat was burned, I failed to make two important phone calls, finally got to bed at 3am. Absolutely fantastic read. Good on ya!" Warwick Butler, Roma.
"Heís captured a part of Australia that belongs to folklore but given it the presence of truth. Well it's really a great read." Paul Murphy, Manilla, Philippines.
"I bought a copy for my grandfather. He started reading it and didnít stop till he finished; he read the lot, non-stop. As for me, I liked the chapter about the dog best." Sandra Patch, Roma.
"Iíve only read four stories so far and found only one problem Ė I laughed so much I couldnít see to read the pages." Denise Smith, Chinchilla.
"Iím over 90 and Iíve never been out west but I started Johnís book and couldnít put it down. Itís very well written, beautifully worded and a delight to read." Miss Kathleen Brennan, Brisbane.
"I got so interested in reading for 3-4 hours after lunch that I clean forgot the molasses tank filling up on my trailer; 3-400 gallons later Ė oh, what a mess! Bloody Agents!!" Ken Scott "Piber" Roma.
Selections from Bloody Agents!
John Schumacher was working at Head Office in Adelaide he visited Mick Clarke in Alice Springs and the pair had a drink - as you do!
Then with a carton of beer on the back seat, Shoey raving on in the front, Mick driving and lighting a smoke, they ran into the back of vehicle outside the convent. The impact fractured the fuel tank of the car in front.
Shoey jumped out and chucked the carton over the fence; the dazed driver of the first car got out and stood back to survey the damage; Mick clambered out but went on lighting his smoke, flicked the match onto the ground and Ö whoompa Ö sent the lot up in flames.
The other driver was flabbergasted. His jaw dropped as he stared at his burning vehicle in disbelief then he shifted his gaze to Mick and said, "Iíll say this for you, mate. Youíre thorough!"
Now to fix those burning piles!
Jeans around your ankles, knickers around your knees, a big squirt of the soothing cream on your finger, liberally apply that to the area where it will do the most good and wait for relief to strike.
But no! Pain shoots up your spine, thereís pain in your brain, your forehead is thumping, and through watering eyes you inspect the tube Ö itís the Macleans!!!
We went out to look at 600 "Nosnillor" steers south of Charters Towers. It had been raining and the Campaspe River was in flood. The arrangements were to leave our car near the river, use the Land Rover to inspect the cattle, drive back to town and do the business over the phone.
Well, we bogged the car first, then we bogged the Land Rover pulling the car out. It rained another five inches.
I swam the river, walked up to the house and rang Bush Pilots. They sent out a big twin engined Beechcraft and when that arrived we bogged the bloody plane!"
What a couple of old agents said:
"I absolutely loved it. I read it on a flight to Taiwan, wasn't able to contain myself and felt compelled to share it with other passengers. The whole yarn just flooded me with delightful memories Ė people, cars, places, country, roads, smells, cattle, everything." Jack Gleeson, Adelaide
"J.G. knows how to tell a story. His knockabout style and intimate knowledge of the bush enables him to relate to the people and recount the funny incidents that happened during his time as a stock and station agent in an industry brimming with characters. This book is a beauty; youíll enjoy it!" John Robbins, Bribie Island
What The Readers Are Saying - Continued
"I'm not a reader, but I started it and it brought back so many memories, so many characters, that I just kept going till the end; you read it and itís just like being there. Itís an insight as to how agents operate and contribute to the industry. I heartily recommend it to anyone and everyone." Bill Burton "Whyworry" Roma.
"Many thanks for the book which I couldnít put down; anxiously awaiting the sequel. You can bank on me to buy it when you have finished so please keep me in mind." Bob Chomley, Eumundi.
"When I closed the book I was so disappointed that I had finished - I wanted it to go on - surely he must have more stories to tell - can't remember when I have laughed so much - a great five-hour read!" Maggie Lee, Newcastle.
An interesting link
Retired Qantas pilot, Captain Bill Anderson, has done for "old pilots" what we did for "old agents" and collected the stories of 13 Qantas captains who all started as cadets in 1967. He has recorded their experiences in the air and on the ground over forty years and released "A Lifetime in Longhaul" in January. Anyone remotely interested in flying will enjoy their experiences. Check it out at www.BillAnderson747.com