Introduction by John Marsden
Four English orphans—Cherry, Nigel, Brick and Nippy—migrate to Tasmania, to the care of their Aunt Jandie on her farm outside Hobart. Their arrival is greeted with enthusiasm by young farm boy Tas, and weeks of exploration and good times follow before Aunt Jandie goes to hospital, leaving the children in the care of Ma and Pa Pinner, her foreman and housekeeper.
A few days of tyrannical treatment by the Pinners forces the children to seek refuge in a secret cave, where they set up home to await the return of Jandie. Despite Pa’s repeated efforts to recapture them, the children stay, fending for themselves in the bush, until Nigel’s secret trip to town uncovers a plot by the Pinners to abandon the farm and swindle Aunt Jandie.
‘Another Australian treasure from the Text Classics series…The story is a cracking one.’
‘This is a good read. As an adult, rediscovering this book, I enjoyed it…for the pleasure of Chauncy’s descriptions, and the reminders that attitudes have changed.’