One morning at the Moore River Settlement, Jimmy wanders around outside Mr. Neal’s office as Neal, hungover, arrives for work. Neal chastises Jimmy for leaving quarantine, and Jimmy fires back that the “quarantine camp is a load of bullshit, so don’t try and tip it over.”
Jimmy frequently acts out in an attempt to fight back against the many restrictions placed on him as an Aboriginal man. He enjoys calling out governmental lies and hypocrisies.
Neal promises to deal with Jimmy later, and enters his office. Matron Neal is angry that Neal was secretly drinking in a hotel room somewhere while she was at the quarantine camp checking everyone for scabies. In the end, only four of the eighty-nine Aboriginal men, women, and children had scabies. This infuriates Neal. He’s “busted [his] gut” to get the camp ready, and now he feels “the whole job’s a waste of time.”
Matron Neal recognizes that the Aboriginal families were sent to Moore River primarily to move them out of Government Well. This frustrates her because these people were not sick and did not need to be moved. Neal is more frustrated by the loss of his personal time.
The Matron says the dogs are the only true health hazard in the camp. Neal agrees, and calls Billy into the room. Neal grabs a gun and ammunition from his cabinet, and tells Billy to prepare “horses and a length of rope.”
Although Neal does not care about the health of the Aboriginal community, he is interested in killing their dogs, which is more of a display of power than a genuine concern for public health.