Joe Millimurra Quotes in No Sugar
JOE: ‘The—blood—was stirred…as if by a trumpet… by the history-ical…Headed by a tab-leau… […] ‘…Commemorating the pioneers whose lives…’ […] ‘…Were a steadfast performance of duty in the face of difficulty and danger. With them was a reminder of the dangers they faced, in the shape of three lorries…carrying Aborigines.
[They all stop what they are doing and listen.]
JOE: All right! ‘…Dancing…to a brass-band.’
SAM: Koorawoorung! Nyoongahs corrobereein’ to a wetjala’s brass band!
JIMMY: Ah! That beats everythin’: stupid bloody blackfellas…You fellas, you know why them wetjalas marchin’ down the street, eh? I’ll tell youse why. ‘Cause them bastards took our country and them blackfellas dancin’ for ‘em. Bastards!
JOE: ‘The pag…page…page-ant pre-sented a picture of Western Australia’s pre-sent condition of hopeful optimum-optimis-tic prosperity, and gave some idea of what men mean when they talk about the soul of the nation.’
SAM: Sounds like bullshit to me.
MILLY: Whose idea was it to stop the soap?
SERGEANT: The idea, as you call it, came from the Aboriginal Department in Perth.
GRAN: Mister Neville?
MILLY: I just can’t believe it: no soap!
SERGEANT: Your trouble, Milly, is you got three healthy men bludging off you, too lazy to work.
MILLY: Where they gonna get work?
SERGEANT: They’re afraid to look for it in case they find it.
MILLY: Cockies want ’em to work for nothin’.
GRAN: They not slaves, Chergeant!
SERGEANT: Well, they’ll have to work if you want luxury items like soap.
MILLY: Look, last week my Joe cut a hundred posts for old Skinny Martin and you know what he got? A pair of second-hand boots and a piece of stag ram so tough even the dawgs couldn’t eat it; skinnier than old Martin ’imself.
CISSIE: [holding her throat] Hurts, Mum, here; hurts when I cough.
MILLY: Well, no school for you today, my girl. [To SAM] You ain’t goin’ post cuttin’ today, and David, you walk to school.
DAVID: Aw, Mum!
MILLY: Don’t, ‘Aw Mum’ me. Joe, you git on that bike and go and ask Uncle Herbie for a lend of his horse and cart. We takin’ her to the doctor straight away.
[JOE takes the bike from DAVID.]
SAM: Aw Mill, can’t you and Mum take her? I only want another hundred posts and I’ll have enough boondah to pay me fine.
Mary: I don’t like the way [Mr. Neal] looks at me.
Joe: Well, you got me now, for what I’m worth.
Mary: He’s always hangin’ around where the girls are workin’; in the cookhouse, in the sewin’ room. And he’s always carryin’ that cat-o’-nine tails and he’ll use it, too.
Joe: Bastard, better not use it on you or any of my lot.
Mary: He reckoned he was gunna belt me once.
Joe: What for?
Mary: ‘Coz I said I wasn’t gunna go and work for guddeah on a farm.
Joe: Why not? Be better than this place.
Mary: No! Some of them guddeahs real bad. My friend went last Christmas and then she came back boodjarri. She reckons the boss’s sons used to belt her up and, you know, force her. Then they kicked her out. And when she had that baby them trackers choked it dead and buried it in the pine plantation.
[He picks up inji sticks. The Nyoongahs, SAM, JIMMY and JOE, dance with them. BILLY joins in. They dance with increasing speed and energy, stamping their feet, whirling in front of the fire, their bodies appearing and disappearing as the paint catches the firelight. The dance becomes faster and more frantic until finally SAM lets out a yell and they collapse, dropping back to their positions around the fire. JIMMY coughs and pants painfully.]
BILLY: This country got plenty good dance, eh?
JIMMY: Ah, yuart, not too many left now. Nearly all finish.
BILLY: No, no, no. You song man, you fella dance men. This still your country. [Flinging his arms wide] You, you, you, you listen! Gudeeah make ’em fences, windmill, make ’em road for motor car, big house, cut ’em down trees. Still your country! Not like my country, finish… finish.
[He sits in silence. They watch him intently. JOE puts wood on the fire. He speaks slowly.]
BILLY: Kuliyah. [Miming pulling a trigger, grunting] Gudeeah bin kill ’em. Finish, kill ’em. Big mob, 1926, kill ’em big mob my country.
DAVID: Eh, brother, you want my pocket knife? You might need it.
JOE: No, Brudge, I can use glass if I wanna gut a rabbit.
[SAM hands JOE a home-made knife.]
SAM: Here, son, take this one.
JOE: No, I’ll be all right.
SAM: Take it. I can git another bit of steel and make another one. Here, take it.
[Magpies squawk. GRAN begins to sing. They farewell each member of the family, then walk off into the distance.]