The Great War ended six years ago, but not for me. I relive it in my dreams. If that isn’t enough for any man, sometimes I wake up miles from home after sleep-walking. The time I found an axe in my hand convinced me to move to western Queensland – beyond the end of the railway line. It’s safer for others that way. Now I’m a cattleman running my property with just a couple of temporary stockmen and a cook. I keep to myself. It’s best that I stay away from people.
Well, that’s what I thought until Fleur Armitage, an English nurse, turned up in town. Now, I’m torn between keeping true to my promise to stay clear of people and my compulsion to see her, to hear her soothing voice, to inhale her rose scent that reminds me of gentle summer evenings in England before my war began.
I’ve come to western Queensland to forget the past. As a nurse, I worked in clearing stations and general hospitals during the Great War and saw a lot of suffering and death. My fiancé was killed in action in 1918 and my sister and her daughters died in a bombing raid on Margate in England. I went home to mother in 1919, but she caught Spanish Flu and soon passed away, like so many others. I felt adrift in the world and didn’t dare get close to anyone in case they were taken from me. Until Jack Edgarson. He saved my life. Now I want to know who he is – to solve the enigma. He’s not making that easy.