The Lonely Ghost by Evelyn Cull 1968
Throw another log on the fire, boys,
A billy of tea we’ll brew
And while we drink a tale I’ll tell
Of something strange but true
I was camped one night out Malcolm way
On the side of a sandy hill,
I was sitting beside my fire, mates,
For the night was cold and still
I hadn’t seen a soul for days
As I was off the beaten track,
When now I felt a sudden fear
And chills ran up my back.
He asked me could he sit awhile
And share a friendly smoke.
We spoke of happy days bygone,
He seemed a nice old bloke.
We both knew all the same old mates
‘Twas strange that we didn’t meet,
We’d camped on the same old diggings
And walked the same old streets
He told me his name and where he was born
And even the day of his birth
Then strangely said we’d never meet
While I still lived on earth
Twas getting late and blowing cold
My friend got to his feet
The fire had died and I missed the cheer
And comfort of its heat
With a happy ‘So long’ he left me there
And I listened but didn’t hear
For without a sound he covered the ground
And again I shook with fear
When morning came I travelled on.
I’d hardly gone a mile
When I found a wind blown cemetery,
I decided to stop a while.
I walked among the forgotten graves
Of diggers long since gone
I read of names I ‘d never heard
Until I came to one
It seemed it was quite a familiar name.
I had to think for a time
As the man in the grave had been dead for years
And his tombstone covered with grime
The name on the stone was the name of the man
Who’d sat by my fire last night.
His age was the same and the place he was born.
Once more I shook with fright.
Now if you go out Malcolm way
Be sure you never stay on that same old hill,
When nights come chill
And strangers roam and stray
Authors note:- This was written after a visit to the Grand Hotel at Kookynie, where I explored the old ghost towns between Kalgoorlie and Leonora and saw there the neglected Kookynie and Malcolm cemeteries. Evelyn Cull