January 6th, very hard to leave home in Adelaide and head back to the desert.
Tuesday 9th January in the art centre, the usual rush of artists wanting to know where I have been and did I bring any money back with me.
I need to take my co-worker to The Rock to fly out for her leave, I check in with the office to let them know we are leaving the community for a couple of days. There is a fax advising that two men are missing somewhere between Kalgoorlie and Tjuntjuntjarra. The office worker asks if that can be Mr. Dawson from Wingellina, yes I say, that is him, there should be no worry, he is a wonderful old bushman, he knows what he is doing.
An uneventful trip to Uluru, we meet the plane OK, I send some paintings off with bus-freight and drop in on Maruku with some art and to talk a little business.
I decided to come back by "The Middle Road" so I ring my Community Adviser and let him know my route, we agree that if I am not back by 8.00 pm he will come looking for me.
There is quite a bit of water on the last 30ks or so of the middle road and I am cutting it fine to be home on time. Happy I hit the Wingellina to Blackstone road, there are some of my mob broken down. I stop, they say the will be OK, need water and some of the group want a lift back. I hand over some of my water and pick up a few passengers.
My thoughts have been on Mr. Dawson, they tell me he has been found. I am greatly relieved. Tired, I sleep well that night.
Saturday afternoon, Jimmy comes to my donga looking for diesel. I am angry at the interruption at home on the weekend, about to give him a mouth full when he says he needs to get to Wingellina, "sorry camp", that old man he says.
Not Mr. Dawson, he is a good old bush man, I say. Jimmy simply says, too hot, they find him too late.
Mr Dawson and his nephew are both dead, found somewhere along the dog fence at the top of the Nullabor, 350 ks or so from Kalgoorlie. The loss is not measurable, the sorry too great.