So it happened. All of the upset people were pacified and the company even provided a new Volume One to replace the damaged one when the full set was delivered. Horrie said nothing further on the subject, unless you counted the two years of ear-splitting expletives emitted from under the car as he maintained a desperate battle to keep it running. And through it all, I read on through the various volumes with such rigid regularity that I didn’t discover the alphabetical index until I got to the end of Volume Ten. But that didn’t matter because I didn’t need it until then anyway. From it all, I probably learned nothing in particular, but that didn’t matter either. What I had gained was a general, if somewhat distorted, picture of everything I would ever want to know, and I felt safe in the knowledge that I could find anything I needed to know in those books, any time I liked.
As far as I know, those encyclopedias weren’t paid off for a long time. I still have them—the only thing I still possess that my parents bought for me, over sixty years ago. And I still use them too, if the information I need is simplistic enough and will not be bothered by being dated or biased. Mostly I use them to remind me of the way my world was, before the invasion of the Americans.
Three Australian movies of the time, and not bad efforts overall if you allow for a lot of cringe-making moments. At the bottom, two posters for Chips Rafferty's New Guinea patrol officer movie; the one on the left for Australian audiences, the one on the right for the Americans.