Excerpt from Sequel to “Nor the Years Condemn” – Now Published in Print-on-Demand Paperback at Amazon & at Dymocks Bookstores
An excerpt from “GHOSTS OF THE EMPIRE”, the sequel to Justin Sheedy’s latest novel, “NOR THE YEARS CONDEMN”.
Having trained in Australia where he has seen friends die already, gained his Wings, crossed and narrowly survived being torpedoed in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, Mick O’Regan is in Wales, at his Operational Training Unit in Llandow, Wales, last stop before his combat squadron in the UK…
Llandow itself being only fields and farmhouses, as the mild Northern Hemisphere summer hinted, then arrived, more and more Mick took the opportunity with the odd free hour or two to walk into the nearby village of Cowbridge. This had been against the advice of his batman, who warned that the inhabitants of Cowbridge were none too keen on aircrew types. Some made no secret of the fact, he assured, certain shopkeepers pretending, at the mere sight of a blue-grey RAF uniform, to understand no English at all, only Welsh. So Mick was relieved to find that the darker blue of his RAAF uniform and cap seemed to make all the difference, encountering hardly a pair of eyes whose first look didn’t dart to the white AUSTRALIA lettering on his battledress shoulders, then become welcoming eyes. In fact, it came as no small surprise to Mick how chatty some of the locals were: Though he heard their Welsh tongue – a strikingly odd sound, he thought, these words that went on forever – they all spoke perfect English, and they spoke it rapidly, though with every word so deliberately pronounced. When they discovered Mick was from New South Wales they insisted on first-name introductions, which to Mick seemed only practical anyway as they were all evidently surnamed either ‘Jones’ or ‘Evans’.
Though it was Mrs Llewellyn who with her husband ran the high street’s cake shop who took a special shine to Mick. He wasn’t the first Australian they’d known, she admitted… They had, as it happened, known quite a few – She and ‘father’ always looked out for the Australians when they came through, she said, ever since the first ones they’d met, earlier in the war: from what Mick could make out, a very new Wellington bomber pilot and his crew.
‘He was such a lovely boy,’ she smiled towards the light of her shop window. ‘Ahnd such a help touh me ahnd father; we lost our own son, youh see, at the very beginning of the war… We had tea with Peter’s whole crew on one occasion.’ She sided her smile to ‘father’, who smiled back, then she looked back to the window. ‘Then their training was finished and they were off touh their first squadron.’ She paused a moment. ‘We never heard anything more of Peter…’ Another pause, longer now. ‘He was always smiling.’
* * *
JUSTIN’S LATEST BOOK, “NOR THE YEARS CONDEMN”, IS NOW PUBLISHED & AVAILABLE AS PRINT-ON-DEMAND PAPERBACK AT AMAZON, PLUS AMAZON UK, ALSO THE BOOK DEPOSITORY, ALSO ON BOOKSTORE SHELVES OF DYMOCKS SYDNEY, CHATWOOD, MACQUARIE CENTRE, BROADWAY, BONDI JUNCTION, ROUSE HILL & CAMBERWELL (MORE STORES TO FOLLOW), AND AS E-BOOK AT SMASHWORDS!
AND NOW AT GLEEBOOKS, BERKELOUW BOOKS PADDINGTON & THE AUSTRALIAN WAR MEMORIAL
To Read Another Excerpt of “Ghosts of the Empire”, CLICK HERE.