The scene opens in Government Well Reserve. Gran builds a fire, David prepares for school, and Milly cooks breakfast—fried fat and damper. Sam complains that Jimmy, who is still in prison, is probably eating better than he is. Joe returns to camp with empty rabbit traps. He is disappointed that he has been unable to catch anything.
The economic depression continues to negatively affect the Millimurra-Munday family. Still, they all make do and do their best to contribute what food they can to communal meals.
Cissie is feeling sick. Milly can tell that she has a fever, and tells Cissie she is not going to school. The whole family is concerned. Milly sends Joe off to borrow a horse and cart from their neighbor, Herbie. Sam has been cutting posts for the neighbor for money, and is close to paying off his fine. However, borrowing the cart will put him in debt again. Milly insists they borrow the cart anyway. She also tells Sam and Joe to work on patching up their home and insulating it against the cold. Sam picks Cissie up and they leave for the hospital.
The whole family rallies around Cissie to make sure she gets the medical care that she needs. Everyone is happy to make personal sacrifices if it will save the life of another member of the family. Even though Sam does not want to do extra work, he understands he must in order to help save his daughter.