The Column trudged its way along the dirt road, (if you could call it a road), leaving a substantial dust cloud behind it.
Wagons, civilians on foot and horseback, natives trackers and a few Iracow Indian auxiliary, and the only elements that added a military appearance to it, three Company's of soldiers from the 4th Regiment of Foot's 1st Battalion and a Troop of 4Pdr Guns from Bree's Battery. Except for the lack of any children, the column had all the apperance of a settler's train.
Ahead of the column road two Troops from the 1st "Royal" Dragoons, and following up marched the two "Flank" Company's of the 4th with the Regiments Colours. Scattered along the line of march were the Yarra Militia in Platoon "lots"; their "march discipline" not as strong as the 4th's or the Gunners.
In the Militia ranks marched Gary White. He'd been with the "colours" for only about a year. This was his first time away from his home town on Craigieburn.
"Sarge, can ya explain to me's again what we're do'in ere"?
"Aw for Gawd's sake lad, I's is already told ya twice now", Sergeant Grubbs exasperation was not well hidden.
SGT Grubbs had been with the Yarra Militia for just over 10 years, he was a veteran of Vinegar Hill, and he had the scares to prove it.
"I'll tell's ya all I know for the last time. We's are going up to Wodongatow help the Ginger Beers build a bloody stockade to bloody look across a bloody river at them bloody Sudlanders".
Pte White pleaded with the old NCO;
"But I don't know how to build a stockade!"
The Sergeant snapped:
"You Bloody Twit, we won't build it, the Bloody Engineers will"!
At the head of the Column rode Colonel Ann.
"You know Corporal Blunt, this "road" makes a rather poor track".
"Indeed Sir" agreed the Corporal.
Colonel Ann wasn't to happy about the mission he was given.
"So here I am, covered in dust and sweat from head to toe, just so the King has a fort built on the border and Doctor Alba Tross can buid a large furnace, for what reason I know not"
The Corporal took his que:
"Tough job Sir, tough job indeed"
The Colonel continued:
"And WHY did I get this Job? All because of a slight indiscretion with an officer of the Maiden Guard! Anyone would think I shagged the entire Regiment!"
"Tough Job Sir, tough job".
Colonel Ann agreed; and the column truged on through the dust and the heat,...