Nat Gould

His life and books

Landed at Last

First published in 1899 by Routledge.

Reissued several times, even as late as 1935 and 1955.

The novel was particularly popular with the soldiers on the Western Front in the First World War, and its title became army slang for delayed reinforcements.

Will Banbury, owner of Rookwood Farm near Sydney, badly needs to "land" the Melbourne Cup "at last" to recoup his losses. His friend Jack Challis introduces him to Bruce Hendon whom he met when arriving on the steamer. Banbury employs Hendon as his secretary but there is some mystery about him, and he eventually absconds. A gold bullion robbery is planned by ne'er-do-well James Price and his henchman Mark Davis. Bel Oxley, Banbury's niece, joins her uncle at Rookwood. The story tells how Banbury wins the Melbourne Cup, and how the robbers are foiled.

An excellent story, with strong characters and memorable scenes. A very good read. (TA)