Cissie checks David for lice as Milly and Gran sew at their home in Government Well. The group is interrupted by the Sergeant and Constable, who arrive with Jimmy, Joe, and Sam. The Sergeant announces that he has warrants for the family’s “arrest and apprehension.” Milly is confused, as they’ve done nothing wrong. The Sergeant explains that they’re being transferred to the Moore River Native Settlement.
Gran says she won’t go, but the Constable tells her she’s “under arrest” and must do what she’s told. The Sergeant tells them they are under medical quarantine and therefore are obligated to leave, but Jimmy is skeptical of this claim. He suspects that the white Australians don’t want the Aboriginal families in their town, and that Jimmy Mitchell is trying to purge the region of its Aboriginal population. The Constable argues that Jimmy can’t vote and so can’t understand politics, and the Sergeant adds that “Jimmy Mitchell’s got nothin’ against blackfellas.”
In this passage Jimmy references some local politics. He suspects opponent that Bert Hawke will defeat incumbent Jimmy Mitchell for the Northam seat in the Western Australian Legislative Assembly. Jimmy believes Jimmy Mitchell hopes that by clearing Northam of its Aboriginal population, he will win crucial local votes. This is a clear intersection of personal and systemic racism.
Sick of arguing, the Sergeant threatens to charge the family with resisting arrest. Sam and his family will go by the road, but Jimmy, who has a heart condition, will go by train. The dogs must be left behind, but Gran threatens not to go without Wow Wow, as she knows the police will likely kill him. Frustrated, the Sergeant gives in, and tells Gran she can keep the dog. He leaves with Jimmy, who will be forced to ride the train without his family.