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Book details
  • Genre:FICTION
  • SubGenre:Romance / Contemporary
  • Language:English
  • Series title:Ben
  • Series Number:1
  • Pages:114
  • eBook ISBN:9781483510668

Ben's Story

An Australian Romance

by R L Humphries

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Young University graduate Ben Dixon has always wanted to be a newspaper reporter, even though he's from a farming background, so he goes to the editor of Queensland's biggest morning daily, the Brisbane Courier-Mail and asks him for a job--not the usual path followed by aspiring reporters. Gray admires the young man's unorthodox approach and tell Ben to go out into the city and bring back a story. Ben dresses in old clothes, moves into a home for destitute men and lives with them for three days, writes his story and presents it to the editor. His story is published and Gray employs him. But Ben is totally untrained and unprepared for the job. It's nothing like he thought. He gets off to a bad start when he clashes with beautiful Milly Bartlett, a rising star at the paper.She's known as Miss Icechip. Other reporters, seeing that Ben needs some guidance, help him find his way and even Milly thaws and befriends and helps him. Ben quickly becomes a competent reporter. He and Milly become friends and then lovers. He takes her home to his parents' cattle property near the Great Dividing Range and they are married. When they return to work Milly has received a big promotion, putting her in the executive class and on her ambitious path to the top. Ben then mistakenly raises the question of children and Milly fiercely disillusions him. There is no room for children in her plans. The dispute almost ends their marriage but Ben concedes to Milly's ambitions. But she later changes her mind and they try unsuccessfully to become parents until Ben, realizing Milly is becoming distressed at their failure calls their plan off. Milly becomes a special writer and is becoming famous around Australia. Her fame consumes her and she totally neglects Ben and their marriage. Ben offers her a divorce and she accepts and Ben returns to his parents' cattle property, finished with journalism and now a cattleman. But Milly, now aware and frightened, has other plans.
Young University graduate Ben Dixon has always wanted to be a newspaper reporter, even though he's from a farming background. He approaches the editor of the State's biggest paper, the Brisbane Courier- Mail for a job.The editor, J.L.Gray, admires the young man's tenacity and unorthodox approach and tells him to go out and get a story anywhere in the city and bring it back. Ben dresses in old clothes and joins a group of homeless men, sharing their booze and sleeping at the Salvation Army Home. He returns with his story, which is published, and Gray gives him a job. But Ben is unprepared for his lack of knowledge and quickly loses confidence. On his first day he clashes with the beautiful Milly Bartlett, a rising star in the paper. Gradually, with the help of other reporters he picks up the rudiments and even Milly thaws and helps him. He quickly becomes a competent reporter. He and Milly become friends and then lovers. She seems to be alone in the world, but won't discuss her life. Ben takes her home to his parents' cattle station, proposes and they are married. When they return to work Milly has received a big promotion putting her firmly on her ambitious path to the top. Ben too is achieving success and he mentions the possibility of a child. Milly fiercely disillusions him, saying there is no place for a child in her plans. She changes her mind, however, but their attempts at parenthood fail. When Milly accepts that they can't have children, she resumes her journey to the top as a special writer, her work being displayed all over Australia. She is consumed and totally neglects Ben and their marriage. They rarely see each other. Ben decides their marriage is over but becomes ill and Milly rushes to his side. She nurses him but returns to her work as he becomes stronger.Ben offers her a divorce and she accepts. Ben, still recovering, packs up and returns to the cattle property, deciding he's no longer a journalist but a cattleman. When Milly finds him gone she collapses and is hospitalized, She's determined to get him back and when well enough resigns from her job and drives to the property and asks Ben to have her back. He agrees with reservations but she assures him she's a cattleman's wife now. Because of previous work Ben's landholder friends ask him to write stories on matters troubling them and he and Milly, now pregnant , work together very successfully. Then they start to write a column together which catches on and they become celebrities, having to live in Brisbane. Milly's beauty carries them on to TV and they are famous throughout Australia. Ben is still receiving calls for help from the rural areas and worries that the life they're living is meaningless. Milly agrees and when she becomes pregnant again all their contracts are cancelled. They return home and Ben goes alone to report on issues facing his fellow farmers. They are many and Ben eventually gets to the muffled story of farmer suicides. He's asked to publicize them and does so but is traumatized by the stories he is told and has to report. J.L.Gray and Milly persuade him to return home, telling him his work is done. He wins two of Australia's top awards for reporting and is no longer the nervous tyro journalist. He and Milly settle on the property but Milly, the happy housewife, still engages in journalism projects from time to time, but never without Ben.
About the author
R L Humphries lives beside the sea on the coast of Queensland, Australia not far from where the Great Barrier Reef begins and near where he was born and raised and received training as a newspaper reporter. He worked as a general reporter on a provincial daily paper for a while and then moved to the capital city , Brisbane, to work on the Brisbane Courier-Mail as a reporter and sub-editor. He moved to Papua/New Guinea as a reporter for Radio Australia and while there covered such world stories as the disappearance of Michael Rockefeller, son of Governor Nelson Rockefeller of New York State and later vice-president of the U.S. In that story his copy was sold by his employer to United Press International and his name was by-lined around the world. He also covered the invasion of Dutch West Papua by Indonesia and the handing over of that country by the U.N. He later returned to Australia and became a political reporter and then was offered a job in Queensland Government as an administrator. He later retired back to his home area to write, read and fish.
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