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Our Story
by
Sam Wallace Madigan and Emily Katherine Madigan
First Sam will tell his story.Then I'll tell mine.
Sam's Story

I was born I think in 1857.That must be right because I'm about a year older then Emily and Hannah and Hannah was born in 1858.

I don't remember what happened to my father. I remember Mum a little bit. Emily looks a lot like what I remember. And me and Emily have our photograph halves so we now know what are parents looked like together.But we still don't know who they were.

Mum worked for the O'Banntons.I think they worked her to death.After she died I was left with the O'Banntons because I had no where else to go. They didn't like me and once Mr.O'Bannton chased me with a horsewhip and hit me with it,too! Boy,did that hurt!

After that this bloke came by and asked if he could teach me a trade. Mr.and Mrs.O'Bannton of course said yes,glad to get me off their hands I bet. The bloke was Fred Finnigan. He was a bushranger but he could be nice when he wanted to be. Anyhow he was my best friend in the whole world for a long time.

Couple of years after Fred took me,the Australia Express started up. This made me and Fred happy because it meant more people and maybe a holdup or two. Not that Fred could actually stage a holdup. He was a scaredycat about a lot of things!

I started taking some things from the Haven for me and Fred to live on. Lots and lots of good food! We lived like kings for a few weeks. Then Backer Bowman and his gang of bushrangers started causing trouble at the Haven.So Maggie asked Charley to take care of it. He sent the troopers who rounded up a bunch of bushrangers. They also got Fred. I'm lucky I wasn't in the cave that day else I wouldn't be writing this!

Anyway the troopers took Fred away. I followed them until they got to the Haven where they asked Maggie if these were the ones causing trouble. She said no. But the troopers took the bushrangers away anyway. I tried to rescue Fred but the troopers almost got me. Kate rescued me by saying,"Now,Jimmy,come on.Your mother will be looking for you!" The troopers believed I was Jimmy.

I've been at Five Mile Creek ever since. The O'Banntons tried to take me back but then they tried to steal from Con and Jack.They were bushrangers,too. But Con didn't let them have the gold or me. I got to stay at Five Mile Creek instead of going to the orphanage in Sydney because Con surprised Kate when he said they were engaged. Kate was really mad for a few days! I never showed them my half of the photograph for some reason. Maybe I could have found my sister sooner if I had.

We've moved to Emu Plains and now we're going to America. I'm going to be a coachman in America one day. Now it is Emily's turn to tell her story.

Emily's Story

I lived on the streets of Sydney for 8 or 9 years.I sometimes stole things and sometimes I worked. But most of the time I didn't have a job. Then when I was about nine some people found me and said I had to go to the orphanage. I didn't want to go. I had heard a lot of how awful it was. It was as awful as they said,too.

I had to wear this long brown wool dress at all times even in the summer. It itched and itched! And it was dreadfully hot. We never had enough to eat at the orphanage and we weren't taught how to read or write either. Whenever the superintendent came we were given enough to eat and put in the classroom. The man in charge of all the orphans,Mr.Wicker,said none of us were smart enough to learn anything.

When I was about eleven,Mr.Wicker said I was old enough to work and sent me to the mill. The mill was awful. I coughed all the time and I was always sick.But every morning at 7:30 I was at the mill whether I felt good enough to work or not. I was given wages but I wasn't allowed to keep them. The mill was the worst place I've ever seen. It was even worse for the orphan girls because no one cared if we felt well enough to work and although we were paid all the money went to the orphanage. I couldn't keep even a copper penny!

I had my half of the photograph that brought me and Sam back together.So one night I snuck out the window and ran away from the mill and the orphanage forever. I was determined to find either the man or the little boy in the picture or at least find out what happened to them.

I walked for days and days. It seemed no one recognized the man in the photograph or knew what happened to him or the little boy. I thought I was going to have to give up. I reached Emu Plains after a while and there a lady named Ethel said there was an orphan boy up at Five Mile Creek and that maybe he could help me.

I got to Five Mile Creek in record time let me tell you! But no one was home. So I sat down on the front porch and fell asleep. That's how Sam found me a few hours later. He saw me and shouted,"Emily!" At least he knew who I was. Now Kate and Con who are going to adopt Sam say they'll adopt me,too. I finally got the family I always wanted. I wonder what America is like? I always wanted to travel.