Gone Fishin' - Cover

Gone Fishin'

Copyright© 2010 by Pedant

Chapter 5

"You'll never guess!" Weena burst into the kitchen.

"So, tell me."

"Aren't you going to try?"

"No. You said I'd never guess. Why should I make a fool of myself?"


"You should have married a woman."

"Not my thing."

"Well, then..."

"Very well. They're not shoving me about or demoting me. What they want is to 'take advantage' of my talents."

"Now hold on! I'm not sharing!"


"Well, I know what your 'talents' are."

"Idiot!" She punched me in the shoulder ... not very hard.

"Okay. Which talents?"

"There's a class of nurses at Shenton Park who want to know more about bush nursing. And they've asked me to work up some talks. Three to five. If they work out, they're going to have me lecture all the nursing classes in Western Australia!"

"Well, I'm not blown away ... except that it's taken so little time for them to recognize your ability. Will you teach 'em how to chew leaves?"

"You ... you ... you!"

I started to laugh and gave her a hug.

"Will you help me write a syllabus? They want a syllabus by next week."

"Are there any books?"

"I only know one. It cost a fortune years ago, when I returned to Laverton from Adelaide. I know where it is..." She trailed off as she went into another room, returning a few moments later with a smallish volume. "Here." She handed it to me.

"Traditional bush medicines : an Aboriginal pharmacopoeia," I read. "Richmond, Vic.; Greenhouse Publications, 1988. ISBN: 086436167X. Maybe it's still available, or reprinted. There might be something new." I handed it back. "But this is great! Really great! My wife the authority!"

"I was so worried! I was sure they were going to demote me or even fire me! And I guess they're promoting me."

"I guess it could lead to that. How about a special dinner?"

"Can we afford it?"

"We'll work it out when the credit card and bank statements come. I'm not even certain what our bottom line is?"

"Our bottom line?"

"What the Government of Australia and Royal Perth Hospital put into the bank in 10 days. We know the nominal salaries, but who knows how much the governments will pillage."

"O-o-o-h. I hadn't thought of that."

"I wouldn't worry. Anyway, how about that seafood place I went to for lunch?"

"Matilda Bay?"

"That's it."

"I'll go change."

"'Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds.'"

"Stop it!" She ran up the stairs. I went to the phone to book.

We had a fantastic, expensive meal and another bottle of the Amberley Chenin Blanc. Weena was bubbling like a high-school girl on her first date, but I was aware that it was the high from her previous depression.

"Am I being silly?"

"Perhaps a little, but only a little."

"This has been a weird week for both of us."

"Yes. By the by, I hired a part-time secretary."

"Someone I might know?"

"No. A botanist. She'll work 20 to 30 hours a week."

"So you've staffed fully."

"For now. I expect more by October."

"That fast?"

"Mmmm. Kevin wants WA and NT coordinated. First he'll put me in charge of the nearby stations. Then the ones further away, like Broome and Derby and Wyndham. Then the Territory. That place in the Alice, for example. It'll be a lot. And we'll have to do the ghastly political party rounds."

"Of all the political parties?"

"No, ninny ... all the parties politicians throw."

"When did this come about?"

"There were all sorts of hints from Kevin and Janice. But it was Dr. Friedel who gave it all away."

"Do you want this?"

"'Some have greatness thrust upon them.'"

"You should read someone else."

"Oh, I can quote 'Holla, ye pampered jades of Asia' or 'This way the noise was, If mine ear be true'?"

"Anything after 1700?"

"Sure. How about: 'The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good.'"

"Dr. Johnson?"

"Full marks." I gestured for the bill. Weena glanced at it and gasped.

"Can we afford this?"

"'Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.'"

"Who's that?"

"Oscar Wilde."

"Boy! You really read a lot."

"I'd take a book with me when doing fieldwork. And several when flying about. I really read a great deal. Everything from mysteries to Shakespeare. And you, my pretty, are now my victim!"

Weena giggled. I had to help her down the stairs. A few minutes later we were home.

"I'm horny," she said.

"Hold that thought while I shower."

I did and she did ... and we did.

"Did you watch 'Monty Python'?"

"On television? When I was a kid?"

"Yes," she giggled. "There was one that ended with a card reading 'The Ant: An Introduction.'" She giggled again and fell asleep. A few moments later, so did I.

I got up in the morning and was on my second cup of coffee when a dishevelled Weena appeared. "Two aspirin and at least one glass of water."

"Did I drink that much?"

"You were well-lit. But seriously, two aspirin – or whatever we have – for the headache and plain water because alcohol dehydrates."

"Yes, doctor." She left and came back with a bottle. In the meantime, I got a glass of water and two ice cubes. "Thanks."

It was after eight. "Are you going to be okay?"

"Just give me another five; then I'll bathe; then I'll be fine."

"Right. Finish that water and I'll get more. Can I get a kiss?"


"I'm going to leave soon. I'm meeting both kids: Des and Shirl. I'll be home at some point, most likely fairly early. What's your day like?"

"I'm researching. I'll be here trying to extract info from Google."

"Right. Now drink that water and upstairs to the shower. And brush your teeth."

"You ... you ... you..."

I left.

It was barely nine when I got to my place. But both Des and Shirl were waiting.

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