Joe waits outside the Superintendent’s office as Neal rifles through his drawers. Neal finds the paper he was looking for and calls Joe in. Joe begins to read the document but Neal, frustrated with his slow pace, takes it from him and reads it to him. The document declares that Joe will not return to Northam, and if he does, he will be brought back to Moore River. Joe clarifies that “if I put me name on this, me and Mary can take off.” Neal confirms this.
Joe is so excited to be able to legally marry Mary and leave Moore River that he is unconcerned with the fine print of the document. Neal counts on this, and counts on Joe not reading carefully, using the denial of full literacy as a method of control. Joe cares most about leaving Moore River, and so does not notice that he will be unable to return to Northam.
Neal calls Billy in to act as witness. He asks if Billy understands the paper. Billy does not. Neal is happy to hear this, and has Joe sign the document.
Neal counts on Billy’s illiteracy to keep him from counseling or warning Joe about signing the document.
Billy walks Joe out and asks what the document said. Joe explains that it will let him and Mary leave Moore River, with the condition that they do not return to Northam. Billy thinks they should return anyway, as “that is your country.”
Billy sometimes takes a while to relate to his Aboriginal peers. Although he enforces the law professionally, he sees the land of Australia as belonging to Aboriginal people, and thinks they deserve to claim what is rightfully theirs.
Billy tells Joe to watch out for Mary, as she is still an Oomboolgari girl even though she has married into a Kargudda family. Billy gives Joe his whip as a gift. Joe gives Billy some cigarettes in thanks. Joe walks off and Billy stays behind. Neal calls to him, and Billy answers.
Billy cares about Mary, especially because they are from the same Aboriginal cultural group. Although earlier in the play he violently tracked the couple down, now Billy takes a moment to honor their union and bless their journey. Still, by responding to Neal’s call he demonstrates that he remains loyal to his white boss.