Published in Overland Issue 213 Summer 2013 Uncategorized Treausre hunt Anne Elvey The silver glints in the ti-tree. A clue is wrapped in foil, peeled from the lining of the cigarette pack and rolled into balls. The clue says, look behind the beach hut. The rosaries clack as sister strides through the yard. The bell swings with her right arm. A boy’s hands are full of paper. Ten paces from the chapel a blue cape. On Sunday afternoon we play monopoly. I land on community chest. That’s Victor’s dog, Dad says. A Jack Russell explores the walkers and wheels. When I was a boy, Dad tells me, I made treasure hunts for the other children. What was the treasure? I ask. There was never any treasure. Sister Gertrude sees his cuffs are frayed, the singlet and shirt tucked into his shorts, his socks pulled up in shoes he gives a lick and polish at the gate. Five boys and a girl gather. Once upon a time, Joe says, there was a rider on the moor and mist hung all around. A bird called out a single note and nettles stung. The bell. Dad lies in bed. The TV shows an old war movie. We used to watch Saturday matinees, I say. Hmpph, says he. Forgive me, she says, as she bustles past in the corridor tight with dinner carts and walkers. She’s a nice one, Dad says, likes my little funnies. Dining, Dad sips chardonnay. We’ll get there, he says. Joe writes on the back of an old composition. At lunch, a horse whinnies on the moor. Water pools in the asphalt and the shoes. Joe, Joe, a boy yells, I found a clue: under our lady’s toe, the crushed head of the snake. I got it Joe. I got it! How many clues are there? I can’t wait to see the treasure. A personal attendant admires the picture on his wall: beach huts in a yellow light. I painted that, Dad says, forty years ago. For an hour today, he tells me, they left me in the corridor. I used to be top of my class, Jim says. Jim’s lost it, says Dad. The virgin’s foot covers a clue. The wattle’s gold hides another. We’ll get there, Joe tells the children who eat clues for lunch. His mother leaves the church with mop and broom. Sister Gertrude drops a few coins in her hand. A grey shawl hangs on the moor all day. I might be a modern-day Dickens, he writes. Under the crocheted rug at the foot of the bed, the gap for a toe is a word that just escaped him. We’ll get there, Dad says. Small fingers wrap clues in silver foil. Anne Elvey Anne Elvey is author of White on White (Cordite Books 2018), Kin (FIP 2014) and, with Massimo D’Arcangelo and Helen Moore, co-author of Intatto-Intact (La Vita Felice 2017). She is editor of hope for whole: poets speak up to Adani (Rosslyn Avenue Productions 2018), and managing editor of Plumwood Mountain. More by Anne Elvey Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places. If you like this piece, or support Overland’s work in general, please subscribe or donate. Related articles & Essays First published in Overland Issue 228 2 December 20222 December 2022 The university In search of lost bargains: An interview with Scott Fitzgerald, Ryan Mead-Hunter and Francis Russell of the Bargain Hunters podcast Scott Robinson and Danni McGrath We discovered Bargain Hunters: The Curtin NTEU EBA Podcast as our own university, Monash, and the local branch of the NTEU) enter their own bargaining round. After years of workers bearing the burden of rapid COVID changes, cost of living pressures, overwork and decades of growing job insecurity, this bargaining round feels different: an opportunity for workers to articulate a vision of the university against the neoliberalised, corporate managerialism that dominates the sector and most workplaces in the country. First published in Overland Issue 228 1 December 20221 December 2022 Reviews Calling the racist a racist: Janaka Malwatta’s blackbirds don’t mate with starlings John Kinsella Malwatta is a skilled and motivated user of tone and tonality in expression, and he shifts between perpetrator and victim with a disturbing but powerful ease: we hear the racists in the hospital, we hear them at the barbecue, and we hear the racism coming from the mouths of white leaders and dissemblers.