The character of "Saltbush Bill" is introduced in this poem as a drover of sheep along "the track of the Overland", who stretches the "the law of the Great Stock Routes" by allowing his sheep to make use of all the good grass they find. On the occasion described in the poem, Bill's sheep have spread across a squatter's property. A Jackaroo arrives and attempts to drive the sheep back into the accepted "space of the half-mile track". An argument and then fight ensues between Bill and the Jackaroo, and, while Bill concedes after a marathon fight, in the end he achieves his aim of finding his sheep a good feed.
Saltbush Bill is again droving his sheep when he happens "on Take 'Em Down, the station of Rooster Hall." Rooster Hall is a follower of cock-fighting and Bill challenges him to a contest: his Australian bird against Hall's, a "clipt and a shaven cock, the pride of his English Game". But Bill has a trick up his sleeve and wins the contest by forfeit.