From Robert Kearney:
Twenty five years after "Tich" was killed next
to me in Vietnam, (he was the first conscript
from Western Australia to be killed) I mustered
up the courage to visit his family, very close
caring rural people.
As we sat at their large jarra table after
dinner one evening, one of Tich's sisters asked,
"what time did Tich die, Bob?" I thought for a
moment, puzzled at the importance she and the
rest of the family seemed to be placing on the
precise time of their brothers death.
"I remember we had to clear a landing zone which
took us a while, so it was almost dark when the
chopper finally got him out. I suppose it was
about 6 p.m.".
There was total silence as Tich's brothers and
sisters looked knowingly at each other. I
shifted uncomfortably in my seat for what seemed
a long time but was in fact only seconds.
Curiously I asked "why is the time important?"
"Well you see Bob, the night Tich was killed,
the 8th of July, his dog "Shadow" began to howl.
It was something he'd never done before".
"Shadow howled from about 9 p.m. until just
after midnight. He sat up on the hill where the
bulls roar and his awful, sad howling could be
heard all over the farm. We couldn't get him to
come back to the house and were all concerned
about his unusual behavior, the following
morning when the police officers told us about
Tich, we forgot about Shadow."
"Shadow went off his food and kept away from us
all. His behavior became erratic and within two
weeks he disappeared. We never saw him again,
neither did anyone from around the neighboring
farms or towns."
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