The Sawn-Off Shotgun Affair

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The Sawn-Off Shotgun Affair

Post by Terry » Wed Jun 24, 2020 12:27 pm

The Sawn-off Shotgun Affair

Val and I were working out at Pinjin station and finding a bit of gold. We had been there two or three weeks when we decided to go to town and do a bit of shopping to replenish our supplies.
We were going to go into Kalgoorlie as it was the closest town and only about 150 kilometres from where we were. This was about as close as we ever worked near Kalgoorlie preferring to work areas well away from big towns. But Pinjin was an old favourite of ours and had produced reasonable gold for us over several years. In fact, it was where Val found her first nugget some years before.
Val and the kids had joined me up bush for the school holidays and was trying to tune her detector without success. So, I went over to see what was wrong and looked down on the ground where she was attempting to tune it and saw a half ounce nugget lying on the surface below her detector coil. When tuning a detector, you raise and lower the coil a few inches of the ground while adjusting the threshold. Val had been doing this right on top of the nugget mentioned. This was long before she joined me prospecting full time where she quickly became a real gun detector operator.
But back to the story; we headed off to Kalgoorlie as planned and when we arrived, we did our shopping and bought a feed of fish and chips for lunch. Kalgoorlie maybe a long way from the coast but in this modern age they are only hours away from the city, so fresh food stocks are not a problem.
We then set of to head back to our camp at pinjin and was about fifty kilometres from home when we snapped the bolts holding the axle to the rear wheels. It was in a bit of sand dune country near a large salt lake.
After a bit of thought I decided to remove the axle where the blots had snapped and then sealed the hole to stop sand and dust getting into the sump. Next, I disconnected the tail shaft so I could drive on the front wheels only when in four-wheel-drive mode.
It was as I was nearing the end of these repairs that a freezer truck drove up which seemed just a little strange as there were no towns or anything else much out this way. I knew it wouldn’t be going to Pinjin as it was more or less abandoned at the time with just a caretaker going through the motions of looking after things.
The driver got out on the far side of his truck then walked around the front of his vehicle brandishing a sawn of shot gun. This caused just few a heart palpitations as we didn’t know what to expect next, were we being held up or worse? Fortunately our worries were put to rest when the chap told not to worry he was not a murderer or anything like that, which was a relief to hear. He reckoned you had to be careful stopping and getting out of your vehicle in isolated places, there could be others hiding out of sight and ready to jump him. This sounded a bit strange to us, we reckoned he was up to a bit of no good somewhere and a bit jumpy.
Thinking about it later we guessed if you took a freezer truck into that sort of country you were expecting to pick up something that has to be kept chilled. In this case that probably meant beef from a bit of illegal bush butchering from modern day cattle rustlers.

© T.E. Piggott

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Re: The Sawn-Off Shotgun Affair

Post by Shelley » Wed Jul 01, 2020 7:33 am

Good yarn, Terry - and nice to see you posting in this section of the forum.

Enjoyed reading it, and you've certainly had your share of adventures over the years. I think I'd have got the jitters too, looking at the shotgun and thinking it might be my carcass that was destined for the refrigerated truck!!
Shelley Hansen
Lady of Lines

"Look fer yer profits in the 'earts o' friends,
fer 'atin' never paid no dividends."
(CJ Dennis "The Mooch o' Life")

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Re: The Sawn-Off Shotgun Affair

Post by Terry » Wed Jul 01, 2020 11:05 am

Hi Shelly
Yes it was a bit scary, You don't see people brandishing a sawn-off shotgun every day do you.
There were so many strange happenings we came across over the years that in the end nothing really surprised us.
Glad you enjoyed the yarn Shelley.


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