Set in the interior of a hut in the Gippsland forest, in the 1850s, the play has six characters. Donald Cameron, an honest dour Scot, and Mary, his wife, whom he picked off the boat at the wharf, are pioneers sharing a strange, strong love. Thad McNab, the double-crossing shanty keeper, and McLaughlin, a trooper, pursue two escaped convicts, Dan and Steve. Mary befriends them during Donald's absence. Donald, McNab and McLaughlin return. Mary successfully conceals the fact that the convicts have been at the hut from all but Donald. He cannot understand her charity and humanity, but admires her strength of character. (Abstract adapted from The Campbell Howard Annotated Index of Australian Plays 1920-1955)
First produced by the Pioneer Players at the Playhouse, Melbourne, 3 December 1923. Produced alongside three other plays. The Drovers : A Play in One Act (Louis Esson), Travellers (Vance Palmer), and A Disturber of Pools (Furnley Maurice--not Australian)
MARY: Hilda Bull.
Later produced by the New Theatre at the Mechanics Hall, Frankston, 31 October 1955.