Beyond the Black Stump

We’re in a charming country pub on the Black Stump Way in NSW. We order a chicken parma. At the bar there is a cowboy, perfect fit jeans and cowboy hat, he nurses a beer and says not a word. The well dressed publican looks like a grazier and in fact he is and he has recently acquired the pub. His mother in law chats happily at the bar and knocks back three schooners while we have lunch. She’s visiting from Newcastle but dreams of the times that she has spent in Broome. They both know Nick Paspaley, a good bloke they say, who sometimes grades pearls on the veranda of his property. We leave while the publican and his wife bicker over the surplus of pub brooms. As we leave town we see a drover moving the publican’s new mob of cattle down the road. The drover sits relaxed in the saddle as the two dogs keep the steers in check. Their soft hooves making a kluff, kluff sound on the roadway. It’s all sheep and cattle around here.

The publican's cattle
The publican’s cattle

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