Authors: Peter Watt
Peter Watt has spent time as a soldier, articled clerk, prawn trawler deckhand, builder’s labourer, pipe layer, real estate salesman, private investigator, police sergeant and adviser to the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary. He has lived and worked with Aborigines, Islanders, Vietnamese and Papua New Guineans and he speaks, reads and writes Vietnamese and Pidgin.
Good friends, fine food, fishing and the vast open spaces of outback Queensland are his main interests in life. Peter lives at Finch Hatton in Queensland and is currently working on the sequel to his novel
Peter Watt can be contacted at
Excerpts from emails sent to Peter Watt since his first novel was published:
‘At last Australia has its own Wilbur Smith! Keep on writing (PLEASE!).’ Mike, Australia
‘Thanks for coming to the rescue. I have just finished all of Ken Follett’s books, have read all of Clive Cussler’s books, and then was stumped for someone new.’ Noel, South Africa
‘I have read the novels and series of many authors including Wilbur Smith, Bryce Courtenay, Jeffrey Archer and Jean Auel and right down to Len Deighton’s spy series and thoroughly enjoyed them all. But the enjoyment I derived from your trilogy surpassed all of the aforementioned . . . don’t make us wait too long for another novel.’ Martin, Australia
Also by Peter Watt
Cry of the Curlew
Shadow of the Osprey
Flight of the Eagle
For my much loved aunt Joan Letitia Payne, nee Duffy,
of Tweed Heads, one of Duckie’s Daughters
First published 2003 in Macmillan by Pan Macmillan Australia Pty Limited
This Pan edition published 2004 by Pan Macmillan Australia Pty Limited St Martins Tower, 31 Market Street, Sydney
Copyright © Peter Watt 2003
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any
form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, including photocopying, recording or
by any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in
writing from the publisher.
National Library of Australia
Watt, Peter, 1949–.
To chase the storm.
ISBN 0 330 36485 5.
Set in 11.5/13 pt Bembo by Post Pre-press Group
Printed in Australia by McPherson’s Printing Group
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recyclable products made from wood grown in sustainable forests. The
manufacturing processes conform to the environmental
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These electronic editions published in 2007 by Pan Macmillan Australia Pty Ltd
1 Market Street, Sydney 2000
The moral right of the author has been asserted.
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To Chase the Storm
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s always, my special thanks for the hard work of turning a manuscript into a novel go to my publisher at Pan Macmillan Cate Paterson, ably assisted by Chris Mattey, my editor Simone Ford and patient copy editor Jan Hutchinson. For the artwork my thanks again to Deborah Parry and, for the ongoing support with regards to publicity, to Jane Novak. Special thanks go to an old friend – also my agent – Geoffrey Radford of Anthony Williams Management. I would like to extend my thanks to Rea Francis of RF Media for her continuing support as well as Brian Cook from the Manuscript Appraisal Agency. For ongoing technical advice from my old mate Phil Murphy in Cairns, my many thanks. Also to my sister and brother-in-law, Kerry and Ty Mckee, for helping in the transfer from Tweed Heads to Finch Hatton. To my wonderful mother, Elinor Watt, and all my family for their unstinting encouragement to keep writing – I cannot
thank you enough. To my old
Robert Bozek and Nadine, whose flow of information in cyberspace keeps me up to date on so many matters, my thanks.
Since the publication of my last novel,
, I have lost three very important people from my life. I would like to acknowledge their importance to me personally and professionally. My wonderful agent, Tony Williams, who passed away October of 2002: I will miss his company and conversation as much as his sound advice. To his sister Leonie and family in Perth I send my heartfelt thoughts. Beverley Harper, a truly great writer in this genre, also passed away last year. I will miss the times we spent around the barbecue laughing at ourselves and discussing the ins and outs of being authors. Fortunately Bev lives forever in our memories and in the words she has written. Finally, my aunt Marjery Leigh passed away last year and I will miss the support she gave me when I was struggling. Like some of my Aboriginal friends, I believe that their spirits now shine as brightly as stars in the constellation of the Southern Cross. We see them forever.
Not least of all my love and gratitude goes to Naomi Howard-Smith. She is there when times get hard.
And he sees through the rents of the scattering fogs
The corroboree warlike and grim
And the lubra who sat by the fire on the logs
To watch, like a mourner, for him
‘The Last of His Tribe’, Henry Kendall
he woman wore an old cotton shift that recorded the circumstances of her life. It had been torn and patched many times and the red dust of the brigalow scrub plains had turned the once white dress to a deep pink.