A Double Buggy at Lahey's Creek

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"A Double Buggy at Lahey's Creek"
Author Henry Lawson
Country Australia
Published in Blackwood's Magazine
Publication date February 1901
Preceded by "Brighton's Sister-in-law"
Followed by "Water Them Geraniums"

"A Double Buggy at Lahey's Creek" is a short story by Australian writer and poet Henry Lawson, first published in 1901. It was Lawson's second story to include the character of Joe Wilson; however, chronologically, it is fourth and final in the Joe Wilson series. The story recounts the events that befall Joe Wilson and his family, and which ultimately lead to his buying a double buggy for his wife, Mary.

Plot summary[edit]

The story begins with Joe's earlier, unsuccessful attempts to acquire a double buggy, and how Mary's suggestion to grow potatoes becomes a profitable venture. Following a string of good luck, Joe decides to buy a double buggy for Mary, to show his appreciation for all the sacrifices she has made over the years of their marriage. The surprise gift strengthens what had been a somewhat unstable marriage.

Publication[edit]

Lawson finished writing "A Double Buggy at Lahey's Creek" in August 1900.[1] It was first published in Blackwood's Magazine in February 1901,[1] and again that same year in the short story collection Joe Wilson and His Mates.[2]

Characters[edit]

  • Joe Wilson
    • Narrator of the story. He is a typical Australian "battler," and experiences the ups and downs of late nineteenth century living. He cares greatly for his wife, though her opinion counts for little when it comes to making a living. He considers himself quite resourceful.
  • Mary Wilson
    • Joe Wilson's wife. She is quite an intelligent woman, and likes to have her opinion heard, to the point that Joe considers her to be obstinate. She rarely complains about her dull, lonely lifestyle.
  • Jim Wilson
    • The only child of Joe and Mary. His real name is John Henry Wilson, after an uncle godfather, but they'd called him Jim "from the first (and before it)." Though Jim plays a larger part in other Joe Wilson stories, particularly "Brighten's Sister-in-law," his role in this story is only marginal.
  • James Black
    • Mary's "young scamp of a brother." He keeps Mary and the family company when Joe is on the road. He helps out around the property.
  • Bill and Robert Galletly
    • Two brothers, the "biggest men in the district," who own a coach shop. They offer Joe a double buggy that he can pay off over time, whenever he can.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Paul Eggert (2013) Biography of a Book: Henry Lawson's While the Billy Boils Sydney University Press: Sydney, NSW. p241.
  2. ^ Henry Lawson (1901) Joe Wilson and His Mates Project Gutenberg EBook, published online 27 July 2008 [EBook #1036]. Retrieved 16 July 2016.