Aftermath - Cover


Copyright© 2010 by Pedant

Chapter 4

I called Beazley's office. A pleasant voice took my name and was back on almost immediately. "Mr. Beazley will be right with you, Dr. Hollister."

"Dr. Hollister? This is Kim Beazley."

"Gordy, please, sir. I'm honoured to talk to you."

"Now you're dishing guff. Don't forget I'm from Perth, not from an eastern city. Anyroad, I want to speak to you. I think it's important that people become aware of how underhanded this government has become."

"Yes, sir."

"But more important is your well-being. How's the arm?"

"Okay, sir. My wife's a sister and has been taking good care of me."

There was a hearty laugh. "Ah, yes. The fair Rowena. But she's not really a Saxon lass, is she?"

"No, sir. More a Celtic warrior queen." I got another laugh.

"I heard a number of good things about you. From the Wine Growers, the University, the military, and – of course – from the CSIRO. And now this. You're not going into politics, are you?"

"No, sir. Not a chance of that. I'm too busy helping where I can."

"Is that what you call it? Well, then I won't feel threatened. But I want you to know that I won't forget. Nor will Kevin, though he's a Queenslander."

"I suppose I'm a Queenslander, too. I was born near Roma and my dad's a pastoralist just west of there."

"Well, then. Now take care of yourself. We want you fully recovered. My very best to Rowena and that boy of yours."

"Thank you. Thank you very much."

"Oh. One last thing. I hear you're talking to The Australian. Feel free to say anything. But try not to insult anyone overtly."

"No fear, sir. Thanks again."

No reporter yet. Should I have told Mona it wasn't Jimmy Stewart? No. She'd be embarrassed and I'd come off as officious. Who cares, anyway?

The phone buzzed. "Yes, Mona?"

"There are two gentlemen here from The Australian."

"Good. Show them in." More farce.

Luckily I recognized one of the men. "Nice to see you again."

"Good to see you, though that sling detracts from the 'good'. This is Jacky, my photographer."


"Won't you sit down? Did Mona offer coffee?"

"Yes. Jacky. What do you think?"

"Sittin' ahind the desk, lookin' a bit to the right. I'll get the desktop, the arm an' the doctor."

"Can you do that?"

"Why not? Just snap away, Jacky."

"Okeh. Try not to blink at the flash ... C'n you turn a bit more? ... Great. Now look at me. Fine. Thanks. That's all. I'm off to the office. Thanks again." And he was gone. Mona came in with a 'Guest' cup and my 'Boss' mug.

"Thanks, Mona. Now, what can I say to you?"

"Well, you could give me an exclusive that would win an award..."

"Unlikely. Unless next year's plans for SciTech are what you mean..."

"No. But you asked me. First, can I turn on my recorder?"

"Of course." He pulled it out, turned it on and placed it on my desk.

"You and Mr. Robert Scott flew north. There had been suspicious activity about the export of raw materials."

"Right. At the ore ports, the trucks and the ore cars are weighed as they arrive. The ships are loaded and the tonnage of the load is calculated from the displacement."


"And there had been a consistent discrepancy over several months between the weights: more ore was leaving on the ships than was being carted to them."

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