She’d been a journalist more than half her life. A week out of high school she walked into The Albury-Wadonga Border Mail with a handful of photos of Black Springs Creek at the start of a dry spell. A photo of a dried sheep carcass in the middle of the barren creek bed, with the Albury Cemetery in the distance, made it onto the front page. Editor Bob Carlisle asked if she could put a couple of hundred words together to go with the photos. She went home, dug out her old geography text book and began two years of reporting on what would become the drought of the early ’90s. Carlisle had been her mentor ever since.
Then there was a move to Sydney, where she reported for The Herald another two years, while in the evenings she did a diploma in TV production at a dubious private college. In her early twenties she went to
Tell me about them.
Maybe I will.
She looked around the plane. I just happen to have a few hours. You’ve time for plenty of detail.
He looked back out the window as though gathering his thoughts, but fell into the meditative distance once again, somewhere toward the scraggy backbone of the country.
When he finally returned to his food tray she continued.
Gerome was pretty impressed by the donation you extracted from Liliane Bettencourt.
I didn’t extract anything. I’m bewildered. I think she chose to give me the donation as some sort of gesture, I think because I’m American, I don’t know.
It’ll be put to good use, that’s all that matters
The flight steward came past, filling their coffees.
Madame Montagne and Lilly were out spraying the plants again when I left. Checking to see if you were there again in the morning I’m sure.
Oh? I’m sorry to disappoint them.
She frowned at him sideways and caught his eyes.
Not sorry to disappoint me? she said, holding his gaze.