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Authors: Sulari Gentill

Paving the New Road

BOOK: Paving the New Road
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Paving the New Road

A note from the publisher
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Happy reading,
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First published in 2012 by Pantera Press Pty Limited

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

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good books doing good things
are trademarks of Pantera Press Pty Limited

This book is copyright, and all rights are reserved.

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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.

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

ISBN: 978-1-921997-07-5

ISBN-13: 978-1-921997-14-3 (eBook)

Cover and internal design: Luke Causby, Blue Cork

Cover images: © Gamma-Keystone/Getty Images and ©
Australian War Memorial # 098187

Typesetting: Kirby Jones

Printed and bound in Australia by McPherson’s Printing Group

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.

For those who take the road less travelled.


The Rowland Sinclair Series:

A Few Right Thinking Men

A Decline in Prophets

Miles off Course

Paving the New Road

The Hero Trilogy:

Chasing Odysseus

Trying War


Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
Chapter 19
Chapter 20
Chapter 21
Chapter 22
Chapter 23
Chapter 24
Chapter 25
Chapter 26
Chapter 27
Chapter 28
Chapter 29
Chapter 30
Chapter 31
Chapter 32
Chapter 33
Chapter 34
Chapter 35
Chapter 36
Chapter 37
Chapter 38
Chapter 39
Chapter 40


o! For God’s sake, no! Rowland Sinclair cannot be trusted.” Freddie Middlemiss was adamant and furious. His lips puckered and pressed into a disconsolate line. “The man’s a disgrace. We still can’t be sure he’s not a bloody Red.” He stubbed out his cigarette, agitated. “If I had my way, we’d shoot him and be done with it!”

“What Charles is suggesting may be tantamount to shooting him,” Maguire observed. It was hard to tell if the surgeon was necessarily unhappy with the proposition.

Senator Charles Hardy pushed his fingertips together as he considered the warning. The select meeting of loyalists waited for his response in the private meeting room of the Riverine Club. A dozen men sat around the polished board table, ashtrays and scotch within easy reach. The air was heavy, a smoky, conspiratorial fog. It was a testament to Hardy’s growing influence that the venerable men in attendance had travelled to Wagga Wagga at such short notice, and that they had done so without the knowledge of Wilfred Sinclair.

A throat was cleared. Frederick Hinton tapped the table impatiently, his chin dimpling as he dropped it into his fleshy jowls. Sir Adrian Knox mopped at his brow with a handkerchief as if he were searching for the judge’s wig under which his balding crown was so often hidden. Even Goldfinch pulled restlessly at his moustache. Only Maguire remained rigid, unmoving.

“I believe Rowland was cleared of suspicion,” Hardy said finally. “And the Sinclairs have always been true to King and country.”

A general murmur of agreement.

“There is not a man here who would doubt Wilfred,” Middlemiss returned. “He’s a decent chap, but Rowland is another matter entirely. I doubt even Wilfred trusts him.”

“Rowland has skills that could be very useful,” Hardy said, sensing the mood was against him. It would take a great deal to convince these men to act against Wilfred Sinclair. “Rowland is fluent in French, Spanish and, most importantly, German. Not to mention the fact that the very associations which cause some of you to doubt his loyalty may make him privy to valuable information.”

Frederick Hinton’s round face puffed. “Surely you are not suggesting that we should endorse his enlisting the Reds to help …”

“No, of course not,” Hardy said hastily. “But his ability to move among the vermin may be useful. Let us remember, gentlemen, why we need to place a man in Germany.”

“We have not forgotten, Charles.” Knox pointed at the Senator. “It’s why we need a man we can trust, who is unimpeachable. It’s why Wilfred is our man … whether or not he speaks German.”

“One should also remember that the ability to speak German didn’t really help Peter Bothwell in the end,” Goldfinch added.

Hardy pulled the unlit pipe from his mouth. He spoke carefully. “You may be right, gentlemen. But let us not deceive ourselves—this operation is not without risk and Wilfred is both very valuable to and inextricably connected with our movement.”

“What are you saying, Hardy?”

“I am simply making the observation that if things were to go wrong, Wilfred is inseparable from this organisation … he is closely linked to every man at this table. Rowland Sinclair, on the other hand, is a known renegade—there was that business last year between him and Campbell and then that nonsense with the
Theosophical Society. No one will doubt that he was acting of his own accord.”

Hardy’s proposal was considered. The Senator waited.

It was Maguire who first broke the pensive silence. “Wilfred won’t like it. He won’t allow it.”

“He could be made to appreciate the wisdom of it if we were resolved. We really can’t risk a good man like Wilfred.”

“And how do you expect to get Rowland Sinclair to agree?” Maguire asked. “You have hardly endeared yourself to him.”

BOOK: Paving the New Road
6.71Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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