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Authors: Sulari Gentill

Miles Off Course

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A note from the publisher

Dear Reader,

In
Miles Off Course
Sulari Gentill brings together art, money, crime… murder, conspiracy, trespass and kidnapping in an extraordinary tale that continues in
1933.

Miles Off Course
is the third book in the Rowland Sinclair Series. The first in the series,
A Few Right Thinking Men
, was shortlisted for the 2011 Commonwealth
Writers’ Prize for Best First Book in our region.

She had me hooked from her very first page, and I couldn’t put the story down. Here’s what other people are saying:

“continues the sparkling crime series…”
– THE AGE

“glossy, original and appealingly Australian”
– Women’s Weekly

“. . .makes us think of Miss Marple or Inspector Poirot”
– ABC Radio

If you haven’t picked up a
Pantera Press
book before, you should know that simply by enjoying our books, you’ll also be contributing to our unique approach:
good books doing good things
TM
. We’re passionate about discovering the next generation of well-loved Australian authors, and nurturing their writing careers. We’ve
also given our business a strong ‘profits for philanthropy’ foundation, focussed on literacy, quality writing, the joys of reading and fostering debate.

Let me mention one program we’re thrilled to support:
Let’s Read.
It’s already helping 100,000 pre-schoolers across Australia develop a love of books
and the building blocks for learning how to read and write. We’re excited that
Let’s Read
now also operates in remote Indigenous communities in Far North Queensland, Cape York,
and Torres Strait.
Let’s Read
was developed by the
Centre for Community Child Health
and is being implemented in partnership with
The Smith Family.

Simply buying this book will help us support these kids. Thank you.

Want to do more? If you visit
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you can personally donate to help
The Smith Family
expand
Let’s Read
, find out more about this great program, and also more on the other programs
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supports.

Please enjoy
Miles Off Course.

And for news about our other books, sample chapters, author interviews and much more, please visit our website:
www.PanteraPress.com

Happy reading,

Alison Green

First published in 2012 by Pantera Press Pty Limited
www.PanteraPress.com

Text Copyright © Sulari Gentill, 2012
Sulari Gentill has asserted her moral rights to be identified as the author of this work.

Design and Typography Copyright © Pantera Press Pty Limited, 2012
PanteraPress, three-slashes colophon device, and good books doing good things are trademarks of Pantera
Press Pty Limited

This book is copyright, and all rights are reserved.
We welcome your support of the author’s rights, so please only buy authorised editions.

This is a work of fiction, though it is based on some real events. Names, characters, organisations, dialogue and incidents are either products of the author’s
imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual people, living or dead, firms, events or locales is coincidental.

Without the publisher’s prior written permission, and without limiting the rights reserved under copyright, none of this book may be scanned, reproduced, stored in,
uploaded to or introduced into a retrieval or distribution system, including the internet, or transmitted, copied or made available in any form or by any means (including digital, electronic,
mechanical, photocopying, sound or audio recording, and text-to-voice). This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, re-sold, hired out, or
otherwise circulated in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition being imposed on the subsequent recipient.

Please send all permission queries to:
Pantera Press, P.O. Box 1989 Neutral Bay. NSW Australia 2089 or
[email protected]

A Cataloguing-in-Publication entry for this book is available from the National Library of Australia.

ISBN 978-0-9870685-2-1
eBook ISBN 978-1-9219970-3-7
Cover and internal design: Luke Causby, Blue Cork
Front cover images: © Kirn Vintage Stock/Corbis [42-28578080] and © Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales [hood_03806]
Back cover image: © Sulari Gentill
Printed and bound in Australia by Griffin Press
Author Photo by J.C. Henry, Lime Photography

Pantera Press policy is to use papers that are natural, renewable and recyclable products made from wood grown in sustainable forests. The logging and manufacturing processes
are expected to conform to the environmental regulations of the country of origin.

To those with the courage to stay on course, and those with the imagination to wander.

Contents

Prologue

1

2. KIDNAPPED

3. STUDY OF CIVILISED NATIVES

4. GREAT TOMB NOT TO BE BUILT

5. RIVERINA MOVEMENT

6. MR. LYONS

7. MINES AND METALS

8. BLACK COAT PROFESSIONS

9. THERMAL SPRINGS

10

11

12. OUR MOUNTAIN WONDERLAND

13. ELECTRIC LIGHTING AT YARRANGOBILLY CAVES

14. COUNCILS AND RABBITS

15. NIBBLING AT THE PARKS

16. ON THE TRAIL TO YARRANGOBILLY

17. ON THE LAND

18. Nothing else has its “TRIPLE HEALING” powers

19. THE BOGONG HIGH PLAINS

20. THE WOMAN’S WORLD

21. BURNS AND SCALDS

22. CATTLE BRANDS

23. THE NORTHERN GOLDFIELDS

24. SNAKEBITES

25. A FIRE-LIGHTING HINT

26. FIRST AID TO THE INJURED

27. STATION, FARM AND GARDEN

28. LISTER SHEEP-SHEARING MACHINERY

29. WOMAN’S WORLD

30. BRITISH ITEMS

31. HAND OF MOSCOW

32. JACK AND JOCK

33. IN THE NATIONAL GALLERY

34. DANGAR, GEDYE AND CO.

35. PUBLIC INQUIRY

36. MESS JACKET GAINING ON “TAILS”

37. UNDERWORLD RAID

38. CACHE OF LIQUOR FORFEITED

39. WORKERS BEWARE!

40

41. VANDALISM IN GARDENS

Epilogue

Prologue
WAVE OF ABDUCTIONS TERRORISES SYDNEY’S WEALTHY

The grisly discovery of the remains of the Lindbergh baby in May last year, some months after the child had been kidnapped from its nursery, caused
shock and outrage in the United States and across the world.

There is not a person in the civilised world who cannot feel for the anguish of Colonel and Mrs. Lindbergh, nor be repulsed by the brutality of the act.

The abduction of rich men’s sons is not a new crime, and our part of the world is not immune from those who seek to extort money from the well-to-do with this
sort of menace.

Sydney has in the past weeks fallen victim to a wave of suspected abductions.

In January, William Ainsworth of Ainsworth Textiles disappeared, as did Edward Carmichael of Carmichael and Sons Pty Ltd. Most recently Charles Wentworth—son
of the industrialist, Sir Alfred Wentworth, and a prominent businessman in his own right—was seized in broad daylight by persons unknown.

Despite the best efforts of Superintendent Bill Mackay and his Criminal Investigation Bureau, not one of these gentlemen has been recovered. Police remain baffled
and grave concerns are held for the lives of all three victims.

It is a stark reminder of the tyranny of the criminal that even the founding families of our fair city cannot feel safe in her streets. One can only wonder which
family will be next to have a son snatched away.

The Sydney Morning Herald, 1933

1

“N
orman Lindsay is a complete and utter bastard!”

Rowland Sinclair sat down and buried both hands in his dark hair as he vented his frustration. It had been a long day. He fell back and loosened his tie.

Milton Isaacs closed his book and rose from the comfort of his armchair to pour his friend a drink. He charged two glasses from the crystal decanters. The poet was nothing if not empathetic.

“What’s old Norman done now?”

Rowland took the sherry and drained it in a single swig. He felt a little better. Perhaps intoxication was the answer. “Rosalina Martinelli.”

“The model?”

Rowland simply groaned in reply, his temper exhausted by the trials of the day. The invitation to contribute a piece to the impending exhibition of classical figures at the Art Gallery of New
South Wales had been an unexpected recognition of his work. A portrait artist, Rowland had acquired a quiet but growing reputation for his paintings of the female form. He was considered, by some,
a protégé of Lindsay, though there were many who would say Sinclair had a lighter touch with oils, a greater finesse with the medium of paint. Rowland’s nudes were somehow
different, his work moved those it did not offend. He was a young man, and so he painted women as a young man would—with a kind of wondrous excitement that came out in the stroke of his
brush. There was, however, nothing wondrous or exciting about the last few hours.

“What’s the problem with Miss Martinelli?” Milton asked, refilling his glass. “She looked pretty enough to me.”

Rowland’s dark blue eyes flashed.

“Let’s just say there’s a reason why Lindsay was so damned happy to lend her to me… and it had nothing to do with being magnanimous. I swear I’m going to deck the
old blighter when I see him next.”

Milton smiled, intrigued. Rowland was most definitely put out. What on earth was wrong with the girl? Outwardly, Rosalina Martinelli was a very attractive young woman: blonde and fair-skinned
despite her Mediterranean heritage, with the kind of gentle rounded figure that Rowland preferred. Of course she’d been dressed when Milton had seen her leave. Perhaps there was some hideous
deformity hidden beneath the modest dress. How unfortunate.

BOOK: Miles Off Course
13.76Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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