Lawson writes about the remote town of Hungerford, which straddles the N.S.W. and Queensland border. Lawson's story is derived from his visit to Hungerford in January 1893, when he and James Gordon (and possibly Ernest de Guinney) walked there from Torale shearing shed, near Bourke.
Steelman poses as a geologist, with Smith as his offsider. They are offered accommodation in a railway camp and stay for several days, but decide to move on when they discover they are not the only tricksters in the camp.