“Do you know the way back to town from here?” I asked Matthew as we headed back from rescuing Lars and Coby from the hole they’d managed to drive themselves into.

“Sure.” Matthew replied. “Follow this track back to the main road and then just keep heading north west until you get there. Why?”

“Because after silly comments like that I’m happy to stop, kick you out and let you walk home!”

For those still catching up my statement was in response to Matthew’s suggestion that it takes a ‘certain type of rescuer’ to do what he did as a part of us rescuing Lars and Coby. I figured if he wanted to make wild and silly statements like that maybe he’d like more time to think about it, the kind of time it takes to walk the thirty five kilometres we had to get back to town.

“I’m sure Coby and Lars will stop for me. They at least appreciated my efforts.”

Given that the boys were following us back to town he was probably right, they would probably pick him up if I was to leave him stranded.

“Oh I appreciate your effort.” I said before being interrupted.

“Doesn’t sound like it,”

“Well bite ya bum, I do. But lets not get too excited about it taking a certain type of rescuer to do such a job.” I’d missed my chance to stop and kick his butt out so I decided to keep the conversation going as we bumped and rattled along the dirt track.

“Oh, don’t get me wrong I wasn’t suggesting I was the only person present that could have done the same thing.” His response was slightly better but he was still being a smart arse I could feel it in me waters! “I’m sure Coby could have done it too!” he added.

“And you wonder why I’m happy to let you walk home!”

“No I don’t actually, because I know you are the mean one in the family, that’s why you live up here away from us!” Matthew was firing pretty well considering he was in threat of walking home.

“Hey, you live away from Mum and Dad too, you do remember that don’t you?” I said as I reached for a bottle of water.

“Not as far away as you.”

“Well I can’t help it if I wanted as much distance between the two of us as possible!”

Matthew really had upped his game since his rescue, maybe he was trying to get a few points back on me after my conversation about his celebrity crush on the way out, I wasn’t sure but I had to give his some credit especially when he hit me with the next response.

“Well if you showered more maybe we wouldn’t need such a distance!”

Now I guess I could have come back with something about saving water, or maybe even that not showering was part of my plan to keep them away but it really was Matthew’s day because I decided to let him win the conversation and take the kudos for the rescue.

I took the last swig from my water bottle, swallowed and said. “One a serious note, I’m thankful for what you did today. Getting wet like that and dunking yourself in that dirty water all without being asked. I really appreciate it.”

“So you admit it was a superb effort by an expert rescuer?” He said with a smile.

Honestly I know my dear bother can be a cocky little bastard at times but if I had known he was going to be as cocky as he I’d have stopped him from getting in the bloody water. Because I couldn’t go back and change time I tossed the empty water bottle at him. It wasn’t a well aimed shot but it still got him in the chest then bounced off to the floor.

“Hey, you could have taken my eye out with that!” Matthew said in a grouchy voice which I knew was put on grump. “So much for being all about safety!”

“Take your eye out? I was trying to take your whole head off!” I said with a laugh but didn’t take my eyes off the road because I knew he’d be making some sort of weird face at me.

I slowed the Beast down below twenty kilometres per hour as we approached where Duncan Road intersected with the track we were on, not far east of China Wall. Oh, one day I ought to take you out to China Wall just to show you that anything other countries can do we can copy! Anyway back to the story at hand.

Despite the intersection being clear and visibility being very good I still slowed down, not just because Coby and Lars were behind me but also because there used to be a large dip where the two roads joined and force of habit after years of using the track has rubbed off.

When we were about ten kilometres out of Halls Creek I radioed Stephen at the servo and asked him to change channel down to one that we locals all used to keep the main road channel free. Once on the local channel I gave him a brief run down of the situation with Lars and Coby’s Patrol, told him that they’d be following me into town and asked if he was able to have a look and possibly replace the battery if it needed it. After finishing my chat with Stephen I switched back to the road channel ad although I was fairly sure the boys would have followed me to the local channel I called them to confirm Stephen’s availability.

Just before we hit town I radioed the boys again to point out exactly where the Stephen’s service station was. Once again they thanked us for our efforts, even gave Matthew a bit of an ego stroke by thanking him specifically for the efforts he put in diving under the water and under the bonnet, (honestly some times I wonder why I show up!), and then bid us farewell.

“Guess I ought to show my appreciation of your superior efforts today by taking you to the pub for dinner and a beer.” I said to Matthew as we turned left at the main intersection of town.

Previous Outback Rescue story here.