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    quokka
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Challenges of Farming - 8. CoF Ch 8

Once Loretta had made the call to Ambulance headquarters in Perth, requesting the rescue chopper, and received confirmation, that it was on its way, with an eta of about 40 minutes, I followed Loretta and the gurney back into the cottage. I decided that I would not be of much use, so I jumped into my vehicle and raced back to the main shed, where I looked for and found some bright orange spray paint, that I recalled seeing before, and with that in hand, I headed to the paddock gate down the road, where I unlocked it and swung it open, before driving out into the paddock, where I stopped near the centre.

Standing on the tray of the farm ute, I looked around and decided that it was close to the centre of the paddock, and jumping down, I started to spray a giant letter ‘H’ on the ground, that is about ten metres in size. Happy with that, I returned to the gate, where I sprayed the top five centimetres of the gate post with the paint, as a marker for the ambulance, before I checked my mobile, to get exact coordinates of the paddock, which I wrote down.

Back at the cottage, I gave the coordinates to Loretta, and told her about the giant ‘H’ that I painted in the middle of the paddock, and she passed that all onto headquarters, so they could relay them to the rescue chopper. Myles was already loaded into the ambulance, with the ambulance officer taking care of him.

“I have marked the gate post with orange paint on Hunwick road, heading towards my front gate, to where the chopper marker is located in the middle of the paddock,” I said to Loretta, as she climbed into the driver seat of the ambulance, and I jumped into my Ute, and led the way out of the property, and down the road.

I stopped just past the gate, and indicated to Loretta to turn off the road here, which she did very slowly and carefully, and she stopped just after the line of trees about twenty metres in, and turned on the flashing lights, to indicate to the chopper the location of the paddock.

After what seemed to be a very long time, but was only ten more minutes, we heard the approaching chopper, and with the police car now parked next to the ambulance, also with its flashing lights on, I watched as the chopper came closer and after circling the paddock as it descended to the ground, getting louder and windier as is arrived.

Once the chopper had landed and the blades started to slow down, Loretta drove closer to the chopper, stopping well before the blades, and she opened the back door, and helped to lower the gurney, just as a man in blue overalls with the word ‘Doctor’ on his back approached, and the paramedic started to tell him all the information needed.

I watched from near the gate, as Myles was loaded into the helicopter, and the chopper to start up again, as Loretta moved the ambulance away, and it eventually took off, and headed north. The police officer informed me that they had finished processing the cottage, and its surrounds.

I informed them that Myles was a new employee, who had moved away from home, where his family were only just tolerating him, and he was studying at Ag College and working part time on the farm. I also mentioned that the damaged quad bike was farm property, and that when I last saw it last night after dinner, it was in perfect working order, when Myles rode it back to the cottage.

After locking the gate to the cottage and shed on the corner block, I headed back to the house, locking the gate behind me, and I looked back at the security footage from both my front gate and the gate to the cottage, and found nothing.

I called Matt the local hardware store owner, and asked him if he had any more of the security cameras with the sensors, and he informed me that he had only two left. I asked him to keep them aside for me, as I would be into town in the next day or so.

As I ended the call, my mobile rang, which made me jump a little. “Hello Mitchell speaking,” I said into the phone, as I didn’t know who was calling. “Hi Mitchell, this is Sam speaking, I just wondered if you knew about the big yellow chopper that landed in one of your paddocks,” the caller said.

“Hi Sam, yes I did know, I painted a giant ‘H’ on the ground for the spot where it could safely land. My farm hand was badly assaulted last night, and I discovered him, this morning. The ambos decided he needed to go to Perth, so the rescue chopper was called,” I explained.

“I see, well I hope that he recovers well from his cuts and bruises and what ever,” Sam said to me, before ending the call, and I stared at the phone for a few moments, thinking, how the hell did he know what injuries Myles had received. I jumped again, when my phone rang again, this time the caller ID said it was Loretta.

“Hello dear, I just wanted to let you know that the rescue chopper was taking Myles to RPH High Dependency Unit, and we also received feedback from the chopper pilot, informing us that the farmer who marked the paddock, did a great job of it,” Oh good, I have heard that it is the best place for him to be, and thanks for the input news.

“Before you called, I had a very strange call from Sam, the guy who leases the vineyards down the road. He enquired about the chopper landing in one of my paddocks, and at the end of the conversation, after I mentioned that my farm hand had been badly assaulted last night, he said he hopes that he recovers from his cuts and bruises, like he knew what had happened,” I said to Loretta.

“That does sound strange, I suggest you call the police and tell them about that phone call,” Loretta responded, “I was going too, but you rang me first. By any chance, do you know if they are Catholics?” I asked, “Why yes, I think they are, why do you say that?” Loretta asked.

“Because Myles’ family are Catholics, so I was thinking maybe it is related incident to the family situation. Do you know if Malcolm has renewed the lease with Sam?” I asked, “Not sure dear, why do you ask?” Loretta replied, “Never mind, I am planning to come into town and collect the two extra field cameras, and also to bring in my quad bike to be fixed, and have the moped bike checked over, so I will see if I can catch up with Malcolm then,” I said.

“Ok, I see what you are getting at… By the way, our visiting friends, are absolutely loving the cottage that they are staying in, and enjoying the kayak on the river too. So thankyou for allowing that to happen; I may see you in town then, bye for now,” Loretta said before ending the call.

After hitching up the trailer to my own vehicle, and with Jack lying down on the back seat, we drove down the farm track to the cottage, where I loaded up the quad bike and the moped bike, and strapped them down. After a quick look around the cottage, I spotted the still unpacked suitcase, which I picked up and after I checked all the windows and locked the doors, I drove to the gate, closing and locking it behind me, and I headed for town.

After I had unloaded the two bikes to get repaired, I headed to the police station to make a report on the telephone conversation that I had with the neighbour who leases some of my land, and I was informed, that unless I had more proof, there was very little that can be done.

Feeling a bit disheartened by that, I left the police station and headed to the hardware store, where I collected and paid for the two cameras, then I headed over to Malcolm’s office, but he was out on a customer call out, so I went to the bakery to buy myself and Jack a treat.

With nothing else to do in town, we headed back home, and we went directly to the corner block, unlocking the gate to get in and closing and locking it behind me, as I would take the farm track to get back home. I parked near a tree opposite the front of the cottage, where I secured the first new camera, so it had a clear view of the front and part of the side of the cottage.

Once I was happy that it was working, I moved the Ute closer to the cottage, where I unlocked it, and I spent the next twenty minutes collecting all of the boxes and belongings of Myles’ as I had decided that he would be staying at the main house for a while.

Back at the main house, I carried all of Myles’ belongings into one of the guest bedrooms at the front of the house, and I made the bed, and placed a fresh towel on the top, before I had some lunch, and I decided to just relax for a bit of the afternoon.

I enjoyed spending a few hours on my patio reading a book, and when it was almost time to go and so the afternoon chores, Jack and I headed to the ute and drove down to the shed, with the cows gathered at the gate waiting for me to let them out of the paddock, and like usual, they made their way to the shed to be milked.

After dinner, I spent some time in my office doing some work in there, before showering and heading to bed. When I woke to the sound of Jack growling, as he stood near the window looking out, I called him to the bed to calm him down, and moments later I heard high powered gunshots, which made me roll out of bead.

Hitting the floor hard, as I wanted to keep my head down, as the shots sounded very close, I crawled out of the bedroom and down the hallway to the kitchen, with Jack doing the same, which I found quite funny to see that he was copying me.

Once I had the phone in my hand I dialled the number for the local police. “Hello, this is Mitchell Watkins speaking, I have a property on Hunwick and Redmond West Roads, I wish to report high powered gun shots been fired on or near my property,” I said when the call was answered.

“Are you the Mr Watkins who had a medical emergency on your property with the rescue helicopter came?” was the response, “Yes that is correct. I am Old Man Watkins grandson, and I also had some unknown people attempting to break into the property a few days earlier. The main house is at No 1 Hunwick Road, on the corner of Keith Road,” I replied, “Ok, we will send out a patrol car to your location, but it will be at least an hour,” the police officer informed me.

When I ended the call, I noticed that there was no more shooting happening, but I would wait for a while before doing anything, and in the mean time I walked back to my bedroom and dressed, and it was then that I saw that it was nearly 4 am in the morning, which made me groan.

I decided that it would be safer to drive around on the main road, instead of cutting through the paddocks, and I took my personal vehicle, because of the spotlights it has on it, and although I wanted Jack to stay at the house, he refused to leave my side, so I let him jump into my vehicle.

After exiting through the main gate, I closed and locked it behind me, and drove along Hunwick Road, stopping at the gate with the orange paint on the post to make sure that the gate was still locked, which is was, but as I approached the corner, I began to smell smoke.

Stopping on the roadside, I climbed up onto the back of the vehicle to look around from a high vantage point and I could see an orange glow coming from the direction of the corner property. Jumping down I retrieved my mobile from inside and dialled a familiar number.

“Fire, on the corner block, possibly the cottage,” I said when the call was answered, “Honey, it is for you, our friendly young farmer, he says there is a fire at the corner block,” I heard Malcolm relay to Loretta in a sleepy voice, “Hello Mitchell, can you unlock the gates but stay away from the fire, we will send out a fire unit as fast as possible,” Loretta said to me before ending the call.

Instead of going towards the fire, I turned back and headed for home, where I locked the gate behind me, and raced to the shed, where I drove out the farm ute, and connected it to the fire unit trailer, which already has a full tank of water in it. I checked that the fuel tank was full and cranked it to start to make sure it was working properly, before shutting it off.

I told jack to stay in my vehicle, as I closed and locked the shed, and I raced down the farm track towards the corner property, with some of the surrounding bush now alight, with the wind coming from the south east, which was not good, as there was lot of bush next to the corner block.

By the time I had passed through the final open gate, into the corner block, I could see that there was a lot of the bush burning, just north of the big shed, which is still empty, with the fire having jumped the paddock fire break and was now in the neighbouring paddock, burning in a north west direction, almost directly towards my home.

Following the track, I could now see the smouldering remains of the cottage, and I was glad that I had taken out all of Myles’ belonging yesterday, as I drove past it and headed to the gate, which I unlocked and swung open, before I turned around and headed back in, stopping near the cottage, where I glanced up to see the surveillance camera still in place.

I got to work to start putting some water onto the cottage, to stop the smouldering, before going to the large water tank near the shed, and topping up the tanker. Once I had done that I headed back the way I came, through the bottom corner gate, and along the fire break, to get around in front of the fire, to try and dampen down the bush, but I could see that I should have really brought the tractor and the plough to make fire breaks to try and slow down the fire.

I made my way back towards home, and with the next gateway, being the one with the orange marker, I decided to unlock and open that gate too for better access for the fire fighters, as I noticed the fire smoke getting darker, meaning that it has reached the swamp country.

Once I was back at the main shed, and I had let a very anxious Jack out of my vehicle, I pulled out the tractor from the shed, with Jack in the cab, where he remained while I connected up the plough, and once done, I headed back down the boundary track towards the fire.

Once I had passed through the gate out the east side of the triangle paddock, I immediately began ploughing along the western fence line, then the northern fence line, and as the fire was fairly close to me, while I was doing the northern fence, I turned around to make a double width break, and I came across two vehicles, with fire units on the back, who were starting a back burn along my freshly made fire break, to try and control the fire.

Copyright May 2021 All Rights Reserved, Preston Wigglesworth
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Wonder what the  new security cameras will pick up, lets hope there is plenty of evidence!!

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Let's hope the new camera gets the evidence required. It seems the work of the same person who hurt Myles.

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My granny always said you can't fix stupid; but in my experience you can't fix people that are full of hate and religious bigotry either...  I hope that the fire does not destroy the camera before a sims card can be removed; or does this transmit to a central unit?  

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Mongrels I hope they get burnt in the fire they lit. You never do things like that to anyone. Period!!!!!

 

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5 hours ago, centexhairysub said:

My granny always said you can't fix stupid; but in my experience you can't fix people that are full of hate and religious bigotry either...  I hope that the fire does not destroy the camera before a sims card can be removed; or does this transmit to a central unit?  

The cameras send an alert to his phone, so I wouldn't be surprised if they record offline to the cloud or his phone.

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ONCE AGAIN...............A GOOD READ FROM A ESTABLISHED AUTHOR !    STAN

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