Author(s): Margaret Hall
Mary Kendrick lives with her family in their isolated community in South Westland. As this stand-alone sequel to Swag & Tucker opens, they await news of the conviction of the men who took the community's horde of gold at gunpoint, and hid it nearby. Daily life in the settlement - where the men dig gold on the beaches, and fell trees inland for cattle pasture, and the women are engrossed in domestic work and childcare - is woven through with the thread of anxiety that the robbers will come back for the gold, especially once news breaks that the dangerous John Southern has given his jailers the slip in Lyttelton Harbour.
Feisty, funny, affectionate and resourceful, Mary is seventeen, teacher to her siblings and neighbours, and anticipating her marriage to Nik who is away most of the time clearing bush and preparing their inland farm and house.
But a ruthless robber is biding his time, to return for the gold he's hidden and, if he can find her alone, for Mary. First published March 2009.
When Margaret Hall was twelve, her mother took her by sea to England to meet the aunts. Bored and lonely, Margaret 'worked her passage', sweeping decks and polishing officers' brass buttons. A life at sea became her great desire. However, she became a librarian first, then did Naval training in England and started up the first Girls' Nautical training Corps in Christchurch. She moved, after her retirement, with her father and sister to the house they designed at Fox Glacier, where she began to write.