Snowy River: The McGregor Saga – Season 2 Ep 2 – The Savage Land

[hawk shrieks] Hey [clicks tongue] [auctioneer] Now here’s something special Lot 35 Fourteen shillings [cows mooing] Fifteen Come on, gentlemen, what am I bid for these fine polled Hereford cows? Sixteen? Seventeen shillings a head for this lot Eighteen Nineteen for Mr. McGregor there One pound from you, sir, at the back Twenty-one Twenty-one shillings Twenty-one once twenty-one twice Lot 35 sold to Matt McGregor from Langara Station [cows mooing] [auctioneer continues, indistinct] Don’t worry, Matt We’ll get them there for you Follow the coach road south, then east to the Snowy [auctioneer] Thirty-two, do I hear? Is the river still running? Well it’s dried up in places, but we’ll get through Not much water the way we came. [chuckles] Took the shortcut through the desert, did you? Well, no need to push ’em I want them there in reasonable condition Good luck Thanks Thank you You can’t get them there any sooner? If you want ’em dead, yeah I want ’em there in six weeks, and I want ’em alive All of them Oh, McGregor. Luke Oliver I didn’t think you were gonna make it I didn’t see you on the coach No, we got held up with the branding, so, we took the shortcut [chuckles] You crossed 200 miles of desert? It’ll be 400 with the return trip [scoffs] [accordion playing in saloon] You’ll go back in the coach, surely? Ah, the shortcut’ll get us there sooner What’s the attraction of sitting in the saddle all day? It’s better than a coach You people must love the desert [chuckles] Ah, not much We’re mountain men [owner] Mr. Blackwood? Oliver Blackwood, Esquire? I’m Blackwood Telegram, Mr. Blackwood Do you want something? Oh! No, sir No, I never presume to anticipate a gratuity for so small a service And you’re right The giving of gratuities demeans both giver and receiver Yes, sir Bad news? It’s from Frank I’m needed back at Balmoral, urgently A matter of papers to sign Could lose a parcel of land if I don’t get back there fast And Frank can’t sign for you? No Frank can’t sign I don’t believe in giving my power of attorney to, uh, business partners or members of my family or anyone This shortcut of yours– how much time does it save? Two days, maybe three I’ll accompany you Only if you’re equipped by the time we leave What do I need? Horse, bedroll, provisions for a week As much water as you can carry [distant chatter]

Now, what are you after, Jackie? Salt tea, and a bit of sugar And how do you reckon you’re gonna pay for that, Jackie? And what’s a desert black like you doing with white man’s money, eh? I did some work We got a right one here Don’t you know to call a white man “boss,” Jackie? Name is not Jackie And you’re not my boss Come on, darling, let’s dance One, two, three, one, two, three, one, two, three– [woman] Manulpuy! Manulpuy! Manulpuy! -Let her go! -Hey-ya! Hey! Hey! Aah! I’m arresting you for attempted murder What?! She was defending herself He pulled the knife Give us your hands Trooper what’s your name? My name’s Clark Trooper John Clark What’s yours? Matt McGregor Luke McGregor We witnessed this incident We’ll give evidence in any court where this woman’s to be tried Well, that’ll be Echuca They do a very nice trial there They usually end up hanging ’em all the same So you’re telling me you’re gonna go all the way back to Langara, then back to Echuca for a native woman’s trial? Well, if we don’t, they could hang her You heard the trooper’s version of it What’s in it for you, McGregor? Natives don’t vote You wouldn’t understand, Oliver Gentlemen! I’m told you’re heading across the desert to Hooper’s Crossing I thought I’d travel with you Safety in numbers Especially with blacks about Well, if you’re dragging her along like that, you’re not Oh I’ll make sure she keeps up Yeah, I bet you would You can only join us if the woman rides

You’re obviously new to this country, sir Blacks don’t ride Unable to, or simply not allowed? You wanna come with us, she rides There’s no horse for her Well, then Mr. Blackwood and I will buy her a horse You can’t be serious Look, I tell you what When we get back, you can keep the horse That’s a reasonable offer All right, the woman rides Twenty years ago, there were slaves in America There were convicts in Australia And there were serfs in Russia Now they’ve all been abolished Why? Yes, Jeremy? -‘Cause it’s unfair, missus -What’s unfair? Taking people’s freedom off ’em and making them work for nothin’ Mm Yes, Doreen? We’re against it ’cause we’re a democracy Aha. Now, what is a democracy? Where everyone’s allowed to vote -[Kathleen] Mm-hmm -Teacher’s pet Everyone. Everyone Are women allowed to vote? Australia’s the first place in the world to give women the vote Well, only one state so far So, do we all think this is a good thing? My dad says it will just lead to petticoat power Oh, really does he now? All right, I think that’s enough for today, school is out Teacher’s pet! Mummy’s boy! -What was that all about? -Nothing I wish you weren’t our teacher, Mum [sighs] I promised to do it until they found someone else I’ve got something to tell you What? Come on, what terrible dark secret is it that you can’t even tell your own mother? I’ve got a job A job?! And what about school? Not during school hours, Mum What is it? Printer’s devil at Mr. Gleeson’s newspaper He says maybe I can write things He says Mark Twain wrote for the newspaper, and Charles Dickens and Banjo Paterson Please, Mum [Michael] It’s all back to front Not when you print it, it isn’t Now, first we ink the plate Now carefully put the paper down, just like putting pastry on top of a pie. Uh-huh Now the packing And now the big roll You do it Whoa, it’s heavy [chuckles] Right now we peel it off And… hey presto Master this, and we’ll have you writing next. [chuckles] I thought you said you’d finished your homework What are you writing? It’s a secret Don’t look, Mum I said don’t! [Kathleen laughs] [horses snorting] [snoring] [whispering] Over there -[snoring continues] -[coyote howls] [coyote howls]

[snoring] Hey! Hey! Blacks! [laughter] Blacks attacking us! Sleeping Beauty [laughing] Take that grin off your face Yeah? Hey! There’ll be none of that! -They tried to kill us -Yeah? Well, you’d be dead if they had That spear’s a warning and an offer An offer? You crazy? You ever go to Sunday school? Read the story of David and Saul? No, I can’t say I did Well, David caught Saul defenseless Instead of killing him, he cut off a piece of his cloak That’s what this fella’s done -Is that right? -Yeah It’s an offer of peace and also a warning Well, I don’t take warnings from savages! [Luke] He wants his wife back Well, he can’t have her She’s innocent, Trooper Now, there’s still a lot of desert to cross out there It’s their country, not ours Why don’t you let her escape, huh? Needn’t be anyone’s fault You asking me to break the law, McGregor? If you had your way, the law would kill her for something she didn’t do And the law sometimes takes a while to catch up with justice, but it catches up in the end, don’t you worry In the meantime, he’s still out there watching her Best of luck We can rest up there Push on when it’s cooler Where’s the trooper? Let her go! [gun cocks] No woman born should be chained to a brute like you Unchain her! You get up Get up! Uhh! [muttering] You black-lover! [grunting] My father always told me about the stars Down Under about how all the constellations were skewed in the sky [chuckles] I always thought it was the whiskey talking till I came here and saw it for myself That big Southern Cross Just like he said Yeah

As long as you can see it, you’re never lost Funny thing I never figured this land would feel like home Well, I’m getting some shut-eye [coyote howling] [horse nickers] Hee-ya! Ya, ya, ya, ya! -[continues shouting] -Hey! [shouting] They’ve… s-scarpered! Luke, I’ll chase ’em on this one Easy. Easy. Easy [grunting] -[rifle firing] -Luke? Luke? [gunfire continues] Oh, Luke Well, my canteen’s full Yours? Almost. I had a drink last night Better start walking, then [snoring] Oh! Come with me [snoring] Ohh! Uhh! You, sir, are the lowest creature on God’s Earth You are a worm, Mr. Gleeson What is the meaning of this attack, Mrs. O’Neil? Mr. Gleeson, what is the meaning of this attack? You encouraged my son to– to write about what he’s learning at school– What you are teaching is revolution And then you use his words to write a scurrilous editorial on what’s wrong with education in this town To attack his own mother! You are indoctrinating our children with dangerous ideas, Mrs. O’Neil -Indoctrinating? -Votes for women You’ll be wanting votes for the blacks next And why not? Now, I want right of reply I shall print what I see fit And what I see fit is to expose to the public a teacher who is planting dangerously radical ideas in the minds of her students! That people are born equal, this is a dangerously radical idea? It is exactly that idea that started both the French and American Revolutions with their attendant barbarism and–and bloodshed I demand right of reply! You may demand what you like, madam The advertising rates in this newspaper are one shilling per line You may buy your right of reply in the form of advertisement The discussion is closed, Mrs. O’Neil Oh, it hasn’t even begun, Mr. Gleeson Come on, Michael Provisions for a week I thought you said this route was safe [chuckling] It’s madness! I’m gonna die for a piece of land Every time you open your mouth you waste moisture

You don’t really know where we’re going, do you? [Matt] Sun’s on our left [Oliver] We could be walking in circles! [Matt] Not unless the sun’s walking in circles with us He saved me from the trooper He got me unchained Nah You can’t trust him You can’t trust any Gubbas I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for him We’ve had our conversation, Mrs. O’Neil Well, we’ve had one conversation, Mr. Gleeson This is another Obviously, you’ve overextended yourself with the purchase of your new printing press so I’ve bought your debts from the bank You’ve what?! The bank can’t do that! They can, and they did Obviously, you want me out of here Well, perhaps not What good is a newspaper without a printer? Printer? I’ll have you know, madam, that I am the owner, manager, compositor, printer, and editor of The Chronicle Maybe that’s why you’re in this mess, Mr. Gleeson, too many hats I’ve never worked for a woman Well, times are changing, Mr. Gleeson Now, you may be aware that the railways plan to cross my property I reported the fact in my– in The Chronicle And the fees I receive will make me reasonably comfortable financially You will forgive me if I don’t congratulate you Paterson’s Ridge is about to expand, Mr. Gleeson, and it needs a newspaper And the newspaper needs you And I shall need my freedom Freedom to publish this? Certainly Alongside my rebuttal You let an unarmed, chained, Aborigine woman drive off the horses and escape from custody? There were others with spears Spears And where was your rifle? Oh, it was dark I was trying to fight them off And what were McGregor and the others doing while you were valiantly fighting for their lives? They might have been speared Might have been? Well, it all happened so fast! But not too fast for you to grab the one remaining horse and save your own skin, right? I did everything I could sir [sighs] You can take a fresh horse You can go back into the desert and you can find Blackwood and the McGregors They might all be dead In that case, I suggest you take one of the mules and bring back their bodies Don’t, don’t! Why did you come back? They only speak pidgin, McGregor Rubbish I heard him speaking English at Salt Springs He must have spent some time with the missionaries

Him? He knows the story of David and Saul My guess is he learned it at one of the missions That is absurd, McGregor Smart fella, McGregor Well, I’m Matt This is Oliver Blackwood What’s your name? Better you don’t know our names Then you can’t tell trooper We’re heading for Hooper’s Crossing [hollow tapping] You’re not going to make it [hawk shrieks] -She say you helped her -Yeah If we help you, trooper don’t get her, all right? Yeah. You have my word White man promises, Gubba’s word If you don’t believe us, we’ll give you our guns Gun no use here Shoot us, and the desert will kill you Come on then I don’t trust ’em Yeah? Well, I do A soak Everyone knows you can find water under an old creek bed [Matt] Ah, food! What have we got? Lizard goanna…and quandongs -Mm -Bush tucker -Good for you -[grunts] You see what I see? Easy there, easy. Easy That’s my horse, the one I bought in Salt Springs Yeah. Must have smelled us or the water [clicks tongue] Good boy Well, let him drink, for heaven’s sake If the horse didn’t bring his own water, best thing to do is eat it The horse drinks Enough water for people, lizard, snake, birds I said the horse drinks Put it away, Oliver Unhh! Uhh [Matt coughs] [Oliver] Sorry about this but I gotta get back home Have you taken leave of your senses, man? I don’t need an excuse He act like children If he dies people come with gun and look for him Better he doesn’t die She’ll take you to Hooper Crossing -And I’ll go and look for him -Mm-hmm -OK? -OK “McGregor’s party attacked by blacks on 10th of Feb.” [grunts] But that’s two days ago Who’s this from, Frank? The police at Salt Springs Well, don’t they say what’s happened to Dad and Luke? Missing They’ve dispatched a search party -[Rob] For what’s that worth -What do you mean?

Well, Salt Springs is a tiny little Outback town, two men and a dog I don’t know what kind of search party they could organize from there [scoffs] Well, at least they’re on the spot We’re 400 miles away Yes, but we know the desert shortcut We did it with Dad four years ago Something bothers me about this whole story What? It seems so out of character What do you mean? Rob, remember the Aborigines we met in the desert? The gentlest people. I can’t see them hurting anybody Least of all Dad. He–he prides himself on getting on with them [Frank] I cannot, for the life of me, understand the way you McGregors sentimentalize the blacks! Maybe after this you’ll come to realize– How far is it to the desert, Rob? -To Hooper’s Crossing? -Mm Well, if left at first light and made good time, we could be there in, say, 15 hours [horse whinnies] [panting] Come on, get up Come on Come on, get up! Come on, come on! [hawks shrieking] [cocks rifle] [gunshot] [hawk shrieks] [panting] [Manulpuy] Let me help you! [cocks rifle] [gunfire]] We’ll head straight for the Eight Mile billabong It’s probably dry, but that’s where he’ll be coming through Well, if he’s not there by now, I don’t like his chances Hee-ya H-How much further to water? A while What? An hour? Maybe two, huh? We don’t go by clocks [laughing]

You’re here! Ha! How did you know? This is the last water before Hooper Crossing There is nowhere else here to bring you -Where’s Blackwood? -I tried to help him -and he tried to kill me -I’m sorry -Where is he now? -His horse died And now he will die Do you think I should have let him kill me? Make my wife widow? No, of course not Your friend was a fool If you don’t live with the land, you die with it -[gun cocking] -A nice thought to go out on, wouldn’t you say, McGregor? We meet again Come back to finish the job, eh, Trooper? Well you can’t expect me to leave any witnesses, now, can you? Yeah, but I’m not the only witness There’s these two, there’s Blackwood Blacks don’t count The desert will take care of Mr. Blackwood Now, this little transaction shouldn’t take long to settle Uhh! [Kathleen] Matt! [Manulpuy] We’re going now Well I can’t thank you enough Thank you Our home is called Langara It’s in the high country Everyone knows me up there, so if you’re ever up that way, you’ve got a family Boowa Goodbye [man] Matt McGregor! He made it after all! [excited chatter] Can’t get rid of me that easy Thanks, Tom I thought you might like to see the next copy of, uh your newspaper [Matt] Well, it’s not often a man gets to read his own obituary Look, uh, it’s your paper, I know, but can I make a suggestion? Of course Rewrite it for Luke