At the Government Well Reservation, Jimmy repairs shoes as Gran and Milly sew. Sam and Joe enter and sit. Joe has brought back fat, potatoes, and onions to cook with, but they do not have money for meat.
As is always the case at mealtimes, everyone in the family does his or her best to contribute to the wellbeing of the group.
Joe announces he’s seen the Sergeant, who told him Cissie is ready to be taken home from the hospital. Milly wonders why Joe didn’t ask the Sergeant for a lift home, but Joe just laughs. Jimmy says the only time the Sergeant would give Joe a ride is taking him to jail.
Jimmy recognizes that the local law enforcement officials and bureaucrats have no desire to help the Aboriginal people under their jurisdiction because of their prejudices.
Jimmy volunteers to go ask Herbie to borrow a cart. He also plans to steal a sheep while he’s there. Joe volunteers to help, too. Gran warns Jimmy to be careful, or else he’ll go back to jail.
Borrowing a cart from Herbie will require the men from the family to do additional manual labor, and stealing a sheep could lead to jail time, but feeding and transporting the family is more important than any individual’s wellbeing.