The Odd One Out
Copyright © 2015
by Gary Conder
All Rights Reserved
by Gary Conder
All Rights Reserved
The Cumberland Hills were around thirty kilometres to the north, with a final short dog leg to the west on approach. At first the road wound through pine plantations, their needle tips uniformity pointing to the heavens, row after row in perfect alignment, before passing through an area of rich red soil and farming land. Some of the land was dairy country with docile cows filling their udders with rich creamy milk as they fed on the abundant grass. Further on the country became poor and rocky as it led into the ancient hills, where Bunya Pines spiked out of the slopes like quills on the rear of some giant echidna.
The Cumberland's weren't really hills, nor were they mountains, only reaching around seven hundred metres at their highest point and during the summer were cool and damp, while in winter it was common to find a light dusting of snow on the higher points.
Colt had found Dennis willing to feed the horses and as Mavis suggested at a price. Six days at one hundred dollars a day he quoted but being family he settled for beer money. Even then Colt had well stocked his refrigerator with grog for him and enough food for a month.
In the back of the utility were the tent, food and beer, a gas refrigerator, sleeping bags and a couple of foldaway chairs and other items in boxes, not necessary relating to the trip. Also the props in the guise of fishing gear and Colt's twenty-two rifle, of which neither had any intention in using. He hadn't even packed ammunition.
While filling the tank with petrol they chanced upon Eric Chambers who couldn't resist peeling back the utility's cover for a peek. "What's all this, are you going camping or moving house?" He commented in his usual laconic manner.
"Shifting house mate." Colt agreed.
"You better be back for the cricket." Eric grunted and moved on. At distance he called back. "Who's looking after the farm?"
"Dennis," Colt answered.
"You're brave the nags will probably be starved by your return."
"No he has promised to do the job." Colt didn't sound so assured.
"You should have asked me." Eric suggested.
"I thought you were busy with Sandra." Colt was becoming concerned.
"Don't sweat mate, I'll look in on him now and then."
Once back in the utility's cabin Charlie spoke. "Can you trust Dennis?"
"I think so," Colt paused, "I hope so, besides he has looked after the stock before without incident." He concluded.
The summit of Bald Hill, the highest peek in the row of low extinct volcanic hills, could never be considered a wilderness. There was a caravan park, camping area, gas barbeques even a residence and a seasonal restaurant, with a communal shower block, with plenty of hot water, somewhat a home away from home.
Bald Hill obtained the title because no trees grew on its almost flat summit, with the cleared area encircled by tall Bunya pines. It was believed the reason for the hill's baldness was because over centuries native tribes had cleared the ground for their annual corroboree, and when the Bunya nuts were ripe the natives would come from hundreds of miles, to feast, exchange stories and look for a woman; somewhat an Olympic of eating and sex.
Usually Colt would camp well away from the summit and the tourist area but seeing it was Charlie's first experience in living rough he chose the summit ground and although late in the season there was quite a spreading of tents and vans. Mostly grey nomads escaping from the southern winter chills while spending their children's inheritance.
Colt set up their camp a short distance from a larger tent, occupied by three young fellers who didn't have a much to say and pointed a lot but by their giggling and grunting appear to be a happy bunch.
By the time all was ready and the air mattresses pumped it was growing dark. Seeing they had missed their lunch, both were feeling quite hungry.
"What do you want to do, eat at the restaurant?" Charlie suggested, poking his head through the flap of the tent into the fading light. He caught the scent of frying steak wafting on the light breeze. It immediately commenced to work on his juices, causing his stomach to rumble. "I could do with a great big steak right now, smothered with onions and tomato sauce and mashed potato and peas." He said taking in a deep breath of the cooking smells.
"I don't think so I've brought enough food for a dozen." Colt opened the portable refrigerator and peered into its darkness, "would you light the lamp, I can't see a thing in here."
Charlie quickly pumped life into the primus lamp, holding it hight above the refrigerator.
"What have you got in there?" He asked bringing his head closer.
"Prawns, prawns and more prawns, I bought two kilograms of the little buggers." Colt bragged. "There's plenty of other stuff as well."
"Are they cooked?" Charlie asked.
"Sure are, I tell you what, you get them out, while I get water for coffee."
Colt had been gone for some time and seeing the tap was at the side of the restaurant only a hundred meters away, Charlie began to become concerned. Moments later Colt returned laughing.
"What's going on?" Charlie asked, poking his head through the fly of the tent into what was now country darkness, such as you would never find around cities or towns.
"Come on grab the prawns and the lamp, were having a party."
"Why do you need the lamp?"
"You'll see come on follow me." Colt said while collecting a dozen tins of beer from a large eskie in the back of the utility.
Colt directed Charlie to the adjacent tent with the three young fellers who said little and pointed a lot. Taking control of the lamp and holding it close to his face he introduced Charlie, then Charlie to Bert, Robert and Peter. All three were deaf and dumb and lacked a light of their own, while needing light to converse.
"They are supplying the conversation and cake; it is Peter's birthday and we're supplying the light and prawns." Colt declared.
Fortunately both Colt and Charlie knew the basic deaf and dumb alphabet. Conversation may have been slow but the boys soon learnt shortcuts for all the dirty words and in general by waving arms around seemed to get most meaning across. Besides their host could lip read as long as each word was well rounded and there was light the conversation flowed.
Although the lads couldn't hear, they could make sound, so their happy racket came out more like a troop of excited monkeys swing through the Bunya pines, while their party lasting long into the night, well past the consumption of alcohol and prawns Colt had supplied.
With the morning as Colt was on his way to the shower block he was greeted by an elderly couple from a van further along the row.
"You lot sure had a party last night." A big breasted woman lazing in a foldaway chair declared.
"Sorry about the noise." Colt apologised.
"No worries but by the sound of it, you must have all been quite drunk."
Colt gave a deep laugh and shook his head, "no not at all, the blokes in the next tent are deaf and dumb and can't hear themselves."
"Oh I see." The woman answered somewhat confused, as Colt continued on his way.
"What would you like to do?" Colt asked while lying back on his air mattress, gazing vacantly through the opened tent flap as his friend applied his rarely activated cooking ability.
The small gas stove burnt noisily beneath a pan of eggs, sausages and bacon, while Charlie took charge of breakfast, cursing the stickiness of the ancient frying pan as it dissolved the sausage casings, leaving behind what appeared to be curly dollops of fried mince and singed lengths of bacon.
"I don't know what's around?" Charlie answered and cursed once more at the sticky pan. "You'll have to have broken eggs, as for the sausages, they are a scrambled mess, they look more like fried dog shit."
"No worries but there are lots of things, there's a water fall not far away, rare plants, animals clean air, stinging nettles or if you prefer we could take the gear and go fishing." Colt announced his list of activities without comment from Charlie. "Well?" Colt followed not receiving any suggestion.
"I don't know, I'll leave it to you, I wouldn't mind having a look at your waterfall."
The waterfall was a good distance from the camp site, along a rough bush track infested with nettles and large red ants that milled and stung at the slightest interruption to their daily routine but if you didn't stand still for too long they could be avoided.
Often lizards of all kinds, including the occasional goanna, would laze on the narrow path, using the bare earth as a sun trap. Giving travellers the belief they were on the set of some bad Australian film, where every animal conceivable had to be crammed into as little film footage as possible but the encounter of a King Brown snake warming itself on the path, soon removed any misconception to where they were. As they approached it quickly slid into the scrub and was gone, leaving Charlie to gingerly pass by.
"Don't worry mate, it is more scared of you than you are of it." Colt bravely assured.
"How much would you like to put on that?" Charley nervously answered.
From the tall trees Bellbirds donged their voices, mixed with a multitude of unknown calls, while amongst the undergrowth the scrub turkeys, with their midnight black feathers and bright red and yellow heads, quickly ran for cover at the slightest sound of human voices.
"Panpanpanella," Colt spoke as a Bellbird sounded some where above their heads.
"What the hell is that?" Charlie asked catching him up from the rear.
"That's what the aborigines called the Bellbird, Panpanpanella."
"That's a mouthful for such a small bird." Charlie commented.
"Suppose it's named after the sound it makes and not its size but I don't see how they would arrive at Pan, I should think more Bing." Colt paused and gazed into the canopy he could hear the bird but couldn't see it.
"Another thing, the expert's reckon that Australia is the home of all the world's song birds and the Bellbirds continuously sound off to keep others away from their feeding trees."
"You would think with all that chatter, they wouldn't have time to feed." Charlie commented.
"You seem to know a lot about aborigines and birds." Charlie perceived.
"Not really, when I was a kid dad had an old black feller who did odd jobs around the farm. Old Bill was a wealth of information and told stories like you wouldn't believe. Bill was the one who showed me where to find the caves and the artwork. He could make the trees come to life and the wind talk. I would sit for hours listening to the stories of his ancestors."
"Very poetic; how far is it to the waterfall?" Charlie asked, believing he could hear the sound of tumbling water through the multitude of tall trees and scrub.
"Not far now, around that bend ahead.
The bend opened onto a flat grassy patch overstanding a short drop into a large pool, while far above their heads water tumbled down a rocky embankment from some sixty meters, sending spray all about, creating an environment where rare ferns and bogwort grew in abundance.
"It's like taking a shower." Charlie commented, feeling the refreshing spray across his face. He closed his eyes while breathing deeply from its sweet freshness. He felt alive and could feel his entire body relax into the essence of nature.
"You should see it after rain, you wouldn't stand here."
"Can you swim in there?" Charlie pointed to the deep pool below the waterfall.
"Sure can but too many rocks for diving and its freezing cold even on the hottest day."
"Want to go in?" Charlie suggested.
"If you like, there doesn't appear to be anyone around."
Colt's description of the water temperature was most accurate. Charlie dived straight under. Doing so felt his balls dash for cover, as his scrotum shrunk to almost non-existence. Colt followed, surfacing to stand in the shallows, appearing somewhat comical, his dick held its length but appeared to be missing its mates, like Charlies' they had also taken cover away from the instant chill.
After a quick wrestle in the coolness of the water and race across the pool the boys sat in the shallows where the water was warmer and with the sun on their face and shoulders, most pleasant. Charlie boldly outstretched his hand and gave Colt's member a squeeze, Colt smiled but didn't resist.
"Not the place for that." Colt warned, searching the bank for visitors to the waterfall; there appeared to be none. Charlie released his hold and once again swam across the pool before returning beside Colt.
"You know Colt there is something that fascinates me about you."
"What would that be?" Colt asked. His eyes fixed on the distant bank. He thought he had seen movement within the scrub close by where they had left their clothes but on closer scrutiny, there was nothing. Possibly their naked state in a public place was making him edgy.
"Your name or should I say names,"
"I've told you the story behind them." Colt answered.
"No, not how you got the names but who uses them. I've noticed your family seem to use the name East, your close friends call you Colt and most others call you Russell. Doesn't it get confusing?" Charlie paused, "what did your parents call you?"
"Mum called me Russell and dad called me Colt – Sometimes. Other times they just called me the kid, or hey you, or clicked their fingers into my direction, expecting me to respond like some prize poodle."
"As I said very confusing, but I like Colt it suits you." Charlie gave his friend's member a second squeeze.
"Cheeky bugger," Colt feigned complaint but didn't flinch away from his friend's touch.
For the moment conversation had dried, except for Colt occasionally describing the sound of some distant bird call and who it belonged to, he also knew the names of most of the trees and shrubs that grew around the water fall. Charlie listened amazed at his friend's knowledge while making ripples with his arms, watching as in never ending circles they died at the far bank. Eventually he spoke.
"Colt what's the go with us?"
"What do you mean?" Colt froze. It was a question he did not wish to hear. He knew its answer but wished it unspoken. The answer should be in action not words. Words were cheap and meant nothing. He had heard them spoken so many times in the past, by so many, only to die in discontent or in desertion. His own parents had used such words liberally only to end in argument, while declarations of love were bandied about as if they were boiled lollies.
"Are we as Wayne suggested an item?" Charlie rephrased his question.
"I like being with you." Colt answered with an irritated sigh, which caused Charlie to wish he had avoided the subject altogether.
"Sorry I shouldn't have spoken." Charlie attempted to retract away from Colts changing mood. His thinning lips, his folded arms forming a physical barrier and the silent stare turned towards the fall of the water.
"You really want me to say it don't you?" Colt forced a smile but couldn't face his friend. Charlie didn't answer.
"Christ kid, I love you, is that enough!"
At last the words were spoken and oddly Colt didn't feel bad with their announcement. Quite the opposite a flood of emotion filled his chest while tears formed in his eyes. Scooping water in his hands he secretly washed them away. He smiled and swallowed at the hard lump that had formed in his throat. His mouth felt dry, even within so much water, as more tears formed. Again he washed them free and diving under the water furiously swam to the far bank and back and repeated the action once more - then again. Returning he spoke. "We should be going." He declared and stood from the water, giving Charlie a tender pat on his backside as they waded to the bank.
Once on the bank they discovered someone had stolen their clothes. They had been placed in a pile behind a slight rise and some scrub, so if anyone chanced to arrive they could use the scrub as a screen as they dressed.
"I thought I saw someone earlier." Colt growled, looking about for the culprit but they appeared to be alone. Searching further they found no sign of their clothing.
"What do we do now?" Charlie asked his voice distressed.
"There's nothing we can do but walk back to the camp naked."
"That could prove to be somewhat embarrassing." Charlie added.
"Only if we are seen, I know a path that will bring us out directly behind our tent."
Along the return path Charlie happily followed the naked form of Colt, watching the well formed cheeks of his arse move separately from each other and the dusting of fine black hair hiding within the crevasse between.
"Nice arse," Charlie commented.
"Stoop watching me; I could feel you watching."
"Really nice arse," Charlie repeated.
"Stop it." Colt growled.
"Why, it's true."
"That's why," Colt complained, turning supporting an erection. "Now cut it out and you can walk ahead." He paused, "Shush, someone's coming."
Quickly Colt guided Charlie into the scrub where they went to ground. No sooner had they done so two women passed, deep in conversation about the lovely shrubs and beautiful song birds.
"I think I heard a scrub turkey." One commented to the other, her eyes directed towards where the boys were hiding. They crouched even lower to the ground.
"Where, I can't see anything." The other answered straining her sight in the suggested direction.
"The noise came from over there." The first woman pointed a long bony finger in the direction of the boys. Charlie held his breath.
"It's gone now." The first lady concluded before the two walked on towards the waterfall.
"Don't move backward," Colt demanded in a whisper, roughly taking control of Charlie's arm. "There's a stinging nettle plant almost touching your arse."
The path, as Colt predicted, came out directly behind their tent and finding no one close by the two made a dash for cover. Once inside the tent, they found their clothing neatly folded, while supporting a message written in red texter pen held to the clothing by a small stone. Colt read the message.
'Can't you two read? The sign says no nude swimming.
Next time it will be a heavy fine.'
The message was signed Joe Hayes – Park Ranger.
"Did you see any sign?" Colt asked while dressing.
"I did see one but didn't read it; possibly it said no nude bathing." "Well it could have been worse he could have kept our clothes or dumped them in the recycle bin."
The following day they did revisit the pool, this time keeping their shorts well and truly attached to their bodies and on reading the Ranger's sign, the very last entry declared, 'No nude bathing will be permitted.'
On returning to the camp Colt had a proposition.
"Do you mind driving the ute along a rough track?"
"No as long as we don't get bogged; why?"
"There is someone who lives in the scrub not far from here, I would like to visit."
"Who is that?"
"Just someone I knew when I used to come here as a lad, I don't even know if he is still around."
"What does this fellow do?"
"Nothing; just collects his army pension and lives in a humpy but once worked for my granddad before he was called up, he's some kind of artist."
"Called up to what?" Charlie asked.
"National service, conscription, he went to Viet Nam way back before I was born."
"What's his name?" Charlie asked.
"George Denman but most just call him Scrubby."
Colt wasn't misleading when he said his friend lived down a rough bush track. It was hardly wide enough to fit a vehicle, while as they travelled branches scraped a little more faded white duco from the utility's panels. The track was also full of ruts and large obstacles. Occasionally they had to stop to remove tree branches from the path, believing their positioning across the track appeared purposeful, as if to deter adventurers.
Eventually the track ended in a clearing, carpeted in grass and containing an iron shed of sorts and a rudimentary bark hut with a corrugated metal roof, its iron sheeting held to the rafters by large rocks and not nailed.
On entering the clearing a large black mongrel dog came to welcome their arrival, long before human life was evident.
"It looks deserted." Charlie commented.
"This is the place, pull up anywhere."
Charlie brought his vehicle to park beside an old sky blue, badly dented rusting pickup and was about to alight when a gruff unwelcoming voice bellowed from somewhere behind.
"What do you flaming lot want. Get out of here!"
Colt was first out and approached the angry man. "George it's me Colt." He spoke from distance while casting his eyes towards his adversary; a man in his last third of natural life, almost naked except for what appeared to be a table cloth wrapped around his wrinkled slender girth. His hair long and greying, dangling like rat tails in a semicircle around a sunburnt, spotted balding scalp, while the rest of his wiry body was blackened from years of exposure to relentless sunshine.
Hearing Colt speak his lined and angered expression took on a more genial appearance.
"Colt Blake?" George queried.
"That's me," Colt assured.
"Well I'll be buggered, it's the little feller and growed up. How's the old man?" George enquired and offered Colt his hand. While the dog bailed up Charlie at the utility's door.
"Get out of it you flaming mongrel!" George demanded, sending the animal back towards the shed, turning occasionally in case the boss had a change of heart. "Don't mind Dan he's more lick than bite." George assured.
Colt related the demise of his parents in as few words as possible before introducing Charlie.
"Come in, can't offer you beer, I've run out and haven't been into town for supplies, I have coffee but only powdered milk and the ants got into the sugar." George offered.
"No worries," Colt declared and reached into the back of the utility retrieving half a dozen tinnies.
"You lot come prepared." George remarked, his eyes opening wide at the sight.
The exterior of the slab hut had a transient appearance but once inside it was obvious George was there to stay. The floor was hard clay, made so from years of foot travel, while the hut consisted of two rooms, with a strongly constructed framework, the smaller room was his bedroom and his bed a Hessian bag threaded along two poles; both rooms being furnished in simple but well crafted rustic wear. All of which George had honed from what timber he found in the forest.
Seating was at a premium as George didn't suffer visitors but with the rearranging of a number of boxes they all managed to rest their posteriors around a plank table, scattered with art equipment, empty cigarette packets and stained by many years of spillage of everything from oil paint to porridge.
"So what are you two doing half way up the Cumberland's?" George asked, rolling a cigarette from his small supply of tobacco, which once alight filled the room with the telltale aroma of dope. Taking a heavy draw, he held his breath and on releasing, coughed and offered the rest to his visitors.
"We're camping up on Bald Hill." Colt explained, declining the offer.
"Not shooting I hope, I notice the rifle in the back of the ute."
"Na just camping and enjoying the view."
"Just as well young feller."
George had been a conscript in the Viet Nam war and was badly affected by the sight of the number of civilians killed. Before being conscripted George was what was known as a rising star in cricket, a promising batsman but on his return had lost his skill and wasn't trained for anything other than playing cricket and the art of warfare.
When he did return to the game, his mind played tricks and while facing his first ball, George became a psychological wreck. Believing the ball to be a hand grenade he fell to his batting crease in fetal position crying like a baby. He never played again.
What hurt George Denman most was being forced to fight in a war he didn't believe in, to kill people for a cause not his own and after doing so, expected to fit back into society as if nothing had happened. Without even a simple thank you or could we help you readjust.
George couldn't readjust and went bush, where he painted hellish scenes from his nightmares. Yet the walls of his hut were covered with art of a serene genre. So picture book was his work, unless you knew they were in oil paint, a viewer would believe them to be photographs. Those of his nightmares were kept facing the walls in the tin shed, away from his own sight or that of visitors, hidden from the light of day, or the darkness of the night by thick heavy canvas sheeting.
Colt had chanced upon George's nightmares as a lad and had encountered much resentment in doing so. At first he believed George was about to strike him, His arms high his fists clenched, while his voice became more animal than human but as the canvas sheeting again covered his abomination George had settled.
"How's your Mavis?" George asked while pouring ale from his beer can to a glass. George had an obsession about drinking from the can or bottle, saying the brew tasted better from a glass and the sight more pleasing to behold a good head on his ale, rather than a small dark hole on the top of a can or bottle.
"You know Mavis much the same." Colt answered.
"I used to date Mavis." George admitted with a smile.
"It seems everyone dated Mavis, you're not Dennis' father – or are you?" Colt cut in.
"Shit no, some said it was the team's full back but she was a right good looker back then."
"Who was the full back?" Colt asked.
"Can't rightly remember but it was only a rumour."
"While we're on that subject, do you remember anything about my parents having a second son, Toby?"
At last Colt's actually reason for his visit surfaced. Seeing George had returned to work for the Blake's around his and Toby's birth, possibly he knew something about his brother. Unfortunately George did not, as he had gone bush soon after Colt's birth and found his peace among the trees and animals of the hills.
George soon became tired of conversation and showed his visitors around his claim. He had a small vegetable garden and squirreled away within a clearing deep in the forest, a small number of marijuana plants, declaring smoking the stuff helped him forget, while assuring he never sold any of it but admitted the rangers did help them selves on the occasion to a plant or two.
"What about the rangers, don't they try to evict you?" Charlie asked.
"Na, I've been here so long and do them a favour, keeping out the red-necked hunters, they pretend I don't exist." George answered somewhat proud of his honorary position as unofficial park ranger.
Another walk around the clearing and inspection of George's vegetable patch and it was time to leave. Colt retrieved a full slab of beer from the back of the utility and offered it to George. "Suppose we should make tracks."
George didn't answer but accepted the slab with a smile.
"So you don't know anything about Toby?" Colt once again asked.
"Afraid not, after you were born I sorta lost contact with your dad for a while, he bought some fancy car and said it didn't drive well along the bush tracks."
"That would be the Citroen'." Colt assumed while releasing a grunt of agreement. He hated that car with its stupid hydraulics, having to wait for ever while it lifted into driving position.
"That was the one – some fancy foreign rubbish."
By the time they arrived back from visiting George the camping ground was almost empty of tents and vans but a new tent was in its first stage of set up close by, or to be more accurate, it was out of its holder, on the ground and hovered over by two young English backpacking girls.
The boys watched as they squabbled over what part went where. A good twenty minutes later the tent remained flat to the ground, only the poles had progressed and that was from one girl's hands to the other.
Girl one, a buxom blond with an infectious smile, place her tent pole down onto the flaccid tent and turned towards where the boys were sitting watching the farce. She quietly spoke to girl two, also blond but from a bottle and somewhat on the lean side. She nodded her head towards the boys. Both girls smiled and approached.
"Could you give us a hand with the tent? The buxom blond sweetly asked, using her female sexuality to entice them into action.
"We could but it would be more fun watching you do it." Colt answered cheekily.
"Please," Girl one pleaded.
Colt stood and followed the girls back to their tent with Charlie close behind. "By the way, I'm Colt, my mate here is Charlie." He introduced.
"I'm Sarah," Girl two introduced.
"Melinda," Girl one followed and continued, "Isn't Colt a small horse?"
"It can be but I'm not a horse." Colt answered and took hold or one of the tent poles, while Charlie collected the second.
"In some ways," Charlie mumbled out of hearing but Colt heard and flashed him a disapproving glance. Minutes later the tent was erected.
"Where are you girls from?" Charlie asked.
"Manchester," Both girls answered in unison.
"My Grandparents were from Devon," Charlie offered feeling a measure of affinity.
"Mine were crooks from Tasmania." Colt added as the finishing touch was made to the now erect tent.
Colt being the perfect host and having far too much food remaining, invited the girls over for dinner, as long as they brought their own utensils.
"Hope you girls like snags." Charlie asked.
"What are snags?" Melinda asked.
"You know bangers, sausages."
"You Aussie's sure talk funny." Sarah giggled.
The girls remain in camp for two days then on the third day they had the boys dismantle and pack the tent. When Colt made the comment they should follow on to erect it for them at their next camping ground.
On both nights the girls came to dinner and stayed drinking the boy's supply of alcohol. Neither much liked Australian beer but managed to go through most of the bottle of scotch Colt had brought.
After a few drinks both Sarah and Melinda were obviously becoming amorous and had previously decided their preferences. The buxom blond, Melinda, hung on Colt's every word, while Sarah settled for Charlie. Eventually it became obvious the boys weren't on the dinner menu, Charlie pleaded marriage, or to the point he was about to marry and the camping trip was his last before the happy event. Colt was just loyal to his woman. Disappointed? Maybe, but the girl's realised Australia had a litany of available men, even if the yarn were factual, that all a girl had to put behind her ears to attract an Aussie male was their legs, they had plenty of time to apply their charm elsewhere.
With the departure of the girls, the boys began to question their own sexuality. Were they gay or bisexual or experimenting at being gay?
"You know the girls were on the make?" Charlie said with confidence.
"That was more than obvious."
"Then why didn't you take your chance? I could have gone for a long walk." Charlie added.
"Why didn't you?" Colt answered his friend's question with one of his own, becoming somewhat serious in his approach.
"We should have, it would have been a new experience." Charlie declared without authority.
"Did you want to?" Colt added, now uncertain if his friend's suggestion were banter or a true reflection of his nature.
"Not really, would you have?"
Colt was slow in answering and when he did so, his words were from deep within and most serious.
"You know mate, all my life I believed I was the odd one out. I believed I was straight and in time would lose the urge to be with men but it didn't go. How could someone as masculine as I be gay. I love sport, I'm one of the boys I couldn't be a poof. So I decide to remain celibate and then you turned up and changed my entire life." Colt paused and not being one for deep and meaningful conversations redirected the subject, "I suppose we should be heading back tomorrow for you new job."
Charlie agreed as Colt shook his head and laughed.
"Do you remember the time you bowled me out for a golden duck?"
"Yea, I thought that was a good bit of bowling." Charlie bragged.
"In your dreams mate, I wasn't watching the ball. I was watching your balls and your dick bouncing around in your pants."
Morning broke in sunshine and after packing away their camp Charlie wished to once again visit the waterfall. Colt was surprised at his friends request as Charlie hadn't shown enthusiasm, except for swimming, on their previous visits but seemed to tag along without question.
Once at the waterfall Charlie stood for some time in silence then turned to go.
"Come on home time, better get you back to your horses." Charlie announced with a broad smile.
"No hurry, do you want to go for one last swim?"
"Nope – come on." Charlie answered without recounting his motive for his final visit to the waterfall and that was to hold onto Colt's previous commitment of affection. He would remember that moment always, even if it had already gone from his friend's recollection.
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