“Mandragora” written by David McRobbie Sample

David McRobbie’s Mandragora ( Mammoth Australia ) is another modern-day novel with links to a historic shipwreck. the sinking of the Dunarling. Adam and Catriona have found a cache of four little dolls made from mandrake roots. The dolls were left in the cave by two other adolescents. Jamie and Margaret. who had survived the wreck of the Dunarling. Transcribing a journal from that same ocean trip. Adam and Catriona learn the power of the curst mandrake roots. power that destroyed the Dunarling in 1886 and that is resurfacing in the town of Dunarling today.

Chapter One. Here we are told of the trecherous journey of the ‘Dunarling’ . it’s crew and passangers.

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Not much information is really given here on the ‘Dunarling’ as such. more of the two subsisters.

James Ramsay. a crewman aboard the ship. and Margaret Colquhoun. an immigrant edge for Adelaide escaped the wreck of the ‘Dunarling’ and rested in a little cave until forenoon when they brought the first intelligence of the destiny of the ‘Dunarling’ . it’s crew and riders.

When returning to the beach at which the cave was situated. they were unable to happen the cave. Over many old ages. the cave still remained buired. and many beleived it was merely ‘a psychotic belief on their part’ . and people used it to depict a strech of the imaginativeness.

When the four discover the bantam caskets. some have uncertainties about the caskets ;

*Catriona and Adam suggest to go forth the caskets as they are.

*Catriona. whilst back uping Adams statements. Adam is “suprised to see how pale she was” .

*After detecting the contents of the caskets. “Relief was apparent in his ( Richards ) voice” .

*”Adam found himself looking non at Richard but at the doll’s face and he shivered briefly” .

*”It’s ( the dolls ) look seemed to hold changed to one of triumph”

Chapter Two. Hamish Leckie was a comparative fledgling in the Dunarling community. Hamish was a former sergeant in the Royal Engineers and an explosives and destruction expert.

On page 11. Hamish is foremost mentioned by Catriona. “We should travel and acquire Hamish Leckie from the museum before we do anything. in instance we find – you know – artifacts and stuff” . after Catriona’s breif explaination. Adam explains to Richard. “he’s the curator” .

Further into the book. Adam talks more to Hamish as he continues to work on the journal of Ewart McColl. “He’d ever regarded Hamish as an ally” .

Tam Dubh was the doll Adam and Catriona managed to salve from Richard and Mike. When he foremost introduces himself to Adam. he is lying in his casket on Adam’s bedside tabular array.

Tam Dubh was described by Adam as ;

*Having “Quite a nice expression” .

*Also holding. “The oral cavity painted off to one side ; as if whoever made it wanted to give it a wry. cheerful look”

*Being different to the one Richard had taken. “There was a brightness about this one” .

Tam Dubh effects Adam. when Tam Dubh is about. Adam has dreams about the hereafter. As if Tam Dubh is demoing him what will go on so that Adam can make something about it.

Tam Dubh is able to utilize Adam to forestall state of affairss and ( as on the coach ) when Adam doesn’t. Tam Dubh can take over.

Chapter Three. Harmonizing to Hamish Leckie. the dolls have many different intents ;

*”Some of them were purportedly made for good intents – they were kind of ship’s spirit. carried by the captain and looked after. you know. bedded down in the captain’s cabin and given a box to populate in. even nutrient to eat and the captain would speak to it and confer with it on ship affairs. In return. the bitty mandrake would protect the ship against dangers” .

*”Then there’s another theory that says these small figures were revenge dolls. Bought and sold to people who belived in such things and put to work in revenge for existent or imagined grievances” .

*From page 105 – 106. “These bantam figures were fashioned out of mandrake roots ( Mandragora Juss ) and were about surely brought to Australia aboard the ailment fated immigrant ship ‘Dunarling’ which was shipwrecked off the seashore in the storm of Monday 14th June. 1886. Their exact intent is ill-defined but it is thought they were used by crewmans as amulets or good fortune appeals. In other instances. they were brought and sold for evil motivations. likely to demand retaliation for a existent or imagined grievence. The works itself was besides used to concoct love potions or to do adult females fertile. The mandrake has been mentioned in the Bible and has appared in the plants of Shakespeare and John Donne. Throughout the old ages. many superstitious beleifs grew up about the Mandragora works. Some people thought it was certain decease to draw a mandrake root from the land so a rope was teid to a Canis familiaris and the unfortunate animate being. on being chased. pulled out the root and died. Mandrake roots were besides supposed to express a scream when they were uprooted from the Earth. These present illustrations were found in the late discovered cave in which James Ramsay and Margaret Colquhoun. the ‘Dunarling’ survibors. sheltered after the play of the shipwreck” .

In town. there was a intentionally illuminated fire at the Dunarling museum. On the ‘Dunarling’ there was another intentionally illuminated fire. on Sunday 4th of April 1886.

In the Dunarling News. this narrative appeared ;

‘Arson Attempt Fails’

Late last dark an effort was made to put fire to Dunarling Museum. Mr John Morrison. a dark displacement baker on his manner to work. discovered the fire in the back street between the railroad station and the bordering museum.

Mr Morrison raised the dismay and the fire brigade arrived shortly after and managed to convey the blazing under control.

Mr Hamish Leckie. conservator of the museum said that the harm was superficial and confined to a little country of the museum near the brick wall which formed the dorsum of the strong room. ‘Had the fire been lit against the wooden portion of the wall. it might hold been a different narrative. ’ Mr Leckie said.

Dunarling Station-master Mr Charles McKew said harm to the station was little and would non impact readyings for the Railway Centenary Re-enactment which would travel in front following month as scheduled.

A constabulary interpreter stated that this is the 4th instance of incendiarism in Dunarling in the last two hebdomads. Forensic experts have been called in from Melbourne to help with the probe.

There is a batch of incendiarism traveling around town ; the consequence of the mandrake doll ‘Swith’ . Swith has besides caused the fire on the ship which Adam found out about whilst transcribing the journal.

Chapter Four. The sergeant came to the high school to inform them about the explosives and detonating devices stolen during the housebreaking at the railroad works section. The visit was to convert anyone who knew anything about the housebreaking to come frontward to the constabulary.

On Adam’s category feild trip. when the brakes failed. they found out they had been cut with a slender object with a saw-toothed border. On the Dunarling it was found that when the mizenmast broke in the strom. the overseas telegrams had been cut half manner through.

Chapter Five. When the coach crashed. everyone saw an older adult male in a nineteenth century crewmans costume. When Adam was walking down the aisle to maneuver the coach out of danger Ms Mullins had said “Who are you and what are you making man” . Why hadn’t Ms Mullins recognised Adam?

From the household Bible. Adam and Catriona find out that Adam Colquhoun was merely 17 when he had Margaret. From this they assume that Margaret is Colquhoun’s illicit girl.

Chapter 6. Adam has a dream of his female parent and Catriona imbibing poisoned H2O. In his dream. Adam hears Tam Dubh stating him Smeddum is doing mischeif at the topographic point of the H2O. When he arrives at the H2O distribution Centre ( where they had been on an jaunt earlier that twenty-four hours ) . he finds person pouring white ant slayer into the H2O pump.

Chapter Seven. After Adam brought Hamish his latest transcript of Ewan McColl’s diary Tam Dubh’s look turned into a listless. downcast face. Yet. Swith. who had caused the fires. seemed to look healthier.

*”Adam paused in forepart of Tam Dubh’s show and leaned on the rail. gazing at the bantam figure ; he was suprised to see how plae the doll had become” . “Some of them were purportedly made for good intents – they were kind of ship’s spirit. carried by the captain and looked after. you know. bedded down in the captain’s cabin and given a box to populate in. even nutrient to eat and the captain would speak to it and confer with it on ship affairs. In return. the bitty mandrake would protect the ship against dangers” .

*”There was no twinkle from the oculus. merely a listless. downcast face” .

*”A small lower in the hill of sand the other doll. Swith. ballad in its casket and by contrast it seemed to hold become healtheir in general appearance” .

A transition in the journal shows Mr Colquhoun’s claim about the four devils and the ship’s expletive. He begged the captain to travel back to Scotland before they all perished.

*”He came upon deck this forenoon shriek and mouth offing that his Bible said the ship was cursed by four devils and he begged the captain to turn back to Scotland before they all perished” .

Chapter Eight. In the household Bible. the transition ‘Four devils I send wi’ ye. Adam Colquhoun. Bleeze. Mischance and Foulness. so All Fa’ Doon. ’ that Adam and Catriona found relates to the bad lucks on the ship and in the town.

The transition translates to ‘Four devils I send with he. Adam Colquhoun. Blaze. Mischance and Foulness so all autumn down’ .

Dunarling TownDunarling Ship


Bus CrashCut Mizzen

Attempted toxic condition of the Water SupplyPoisoned Water

Ship Sank

Upon seeking Mike’s garage. Adam and Catriona find a proverb. dressing smelling of white ant slayer and the two mandrake dolls Agley and Smeddum. Agley and Smeddum had possessed Mike two cut the brake line and toxicant the town’sH2O supply.

Chapter Nine. Adam has sinister ideas go arounding around the 5th doll and Richard. ‘What’s the betting he’s still got the doll? ’ . Adamshivered as a idea came to his head: Or its got him.

Adam finds it suprising when Hamish comes to his deliverance because Adam has said nil of the connexions between the dolls and the mishappenings around the town to Hamish. Hamish didn’t know of the visions or Tam Dubh.

Chapter Ten. The expletive set on Adam Colquhoun by his itinerant married woman. She gave the mandrake dolls names and in return they dolls would happen a retainer to make her dirty work. The dolls names were Swith. Agley. Smeddum and Snell.

*”Adam Coluhoun married Marie Catherine DeLairgo. Grove Street. Glasgow. 15th June 1883?

*”Adam waited and the cleft opened merely broad plenty to let a adult females to steal in mutely and shut the door behind her. She wore a shawl over her caput from which a strand of untidy ruddy hair escaped. Her face was white and her eyes flashed inexorable finding and Adam knew he had seen her before. non in a image. but in words. The expression on her face confirmed it ; a compound of hatred and victory mixed in one. She was the adult females of the journal ; The itinerant adult females on the dockside at the Broomielaw” .

*”Quickly and without a sound she crossed the room and knelt by the wooden instances. The smaller 1 was closed and secured but the larger 1 opened when she tried the palpebra. The adult females had a little fabric bag with her whcih she put on the floor by her side and took from it a little casket which she held in her manus with something kindred to motherly fondness. She prised off the lid” .

*”I shall gie thee a name. In return. ye’re tae find a servant tae dae my command. I shall call thee Swith” .

*”From her bag. the adult females produced a 2nd casket and in the same manner. named its occupant Agley. The 3rd she called Smeddum and the 4th. Snell. When all the caskets were hidden in the baggage to her satiffaction. she tenderly smoothed out the vesture as if she’d done such a thing before so put the palpebra back on the wooden box and crossed to the table” .

*”Adam had seen that Bible and he already knew what she would compose so he whispered aloud to her” .

One of the mandrake dolls saved James and Margaret from the shipwreck. James said the doll didn’t do the captain of the ship any fortune but it had served them good.

Chapter Eleven. Tam Dubh appeared to be dead and exanimate because while Adam was seeking to deliver Richard. Richard had hurt Adam. Tam Dubh felt bad that he has led Adam into problem.

When Adam was acquiring beaten up by Richard he had dumped his motorcycle in the long grass by the viaduct. When Hamish picked Adam up and Hamish told him to acquire his motorcycle. How did Hamish cognize it was at that place?

When Hamish foremost came to town an newspaper article had described him as a detonation and destruction expert.

The sergeant that came to the school told them about the explosives that had been stolen. Adam thought that Hamish was traveling to blow up the viaduct when the train went through it.

The train will incorporate all the people from the town because they are doing a re-enactment for a drama.

Chapter Twelve.

*Swith was brainwashed people to get down the fires.

*Agley was responsible for the coach clang and the mizenmast mast interrupting off.

*Smeddum was responsible for the toxic condition on the ship and in town.

*Snell had sunk the ship and was responsible for doing Hamish effort to blow up the viaduct.

The paper didnt experience the town could manage the intelligence of the dolls along with the fear of the incendiarism. The intelligence would hold been excessively upseting for the town to manage so the paper didn’t publish it.


Research 19th century shipwrecks on the Vicorian South seashore. including that of the ‘Loch Ard’ . Show your findings wither in a written paper. or as a talk to the category.

More than 6 500 wrecks lie merely beyond Australia’s surf-worn shores. Few of us will of all time see them. but each has its ain alone narrative and signifiers an of import portion of our heritage.

The unreliable seashores of Australia have claimed 1000s of lives of those aboard ships bound for new hereafters.

Amoung these wrecks is that of The Loch Ard.

In 1878. the Loch Ard set canvas from England for Melbourne. with 18 riders and 36 crew. Many of the riders were from the Carmichael household. who were migrating to the settlements because their male parent was ill.

After 13 long hebdomads. the ship was eventually within yearss of geting in Melbourne. One dark. there was bad conditions. and a thick mist off the seashore. When the mist lifted. the captain saw that they were merely two kilometers from the jaggy drops at the border of the H2O. The Loch Ard was manner off class.

The captain tried really difficult to avoid the drops. heading out to sea. and dropping ground tackles. but it was no good. There was a awful clang. and the ship ran into a little island. Mutton Bird Island. merely near the seashore. The Loch Ard sank in merely 15 proceedingss.

In that clip. people urgently clambered for the life belts. but there were merely plenty for six people. so the Carmichael household members were the first to catch them. The captain went down with his ship. which was the honorable thing for a captain to make when his ship was wrecked.

However. the seas were still really unsafe. and it was about impossible to acquire to shore.

18 twelvemonth old Eva Carmichael clung to some wreckage from the ship. and was entirely when she eventually came near the shore. Floating through immense twin drops. she found herself in a little bay. but she was excessively dog-tired to do it to shore herself. and was ready to fall in.

Fortunately for her. Tom Pearce. besides 18. was on the shore already. Exhausted himself. he swam out to deliver her. and brought her safely dorsum to land.

Then Tom climbed the drops to seek for aid. non seeing the stairss that were already cut into the cliff face. In clip. he found people to assist them. and Eva could get down to retrieve from her flooring ordeal.

Tom and Eva shortly discovered that they were the lone subsisters from the wreck. So did the Victorian populace and the newspapers. Tom was given decorations and money for his courage.

Peoples all through the settlement saw the state of affairs as romantic. They wanted Tom and Eva to fall in love and be married. stating that God had brought them together for a ground.

Tom and Eva. nevertheless. did non experience the same manner. and after three months. Eva went back to Ireland. to be with the remainder of her household – one brother. William. In 1884. Tom married another adult female. related to a adult male who died in the shipwreck. and started a household.

The little bay. surrounded by drops. was named after the ship that met its terminal at that place. Nowadays. if you drive down the Great Ocean Road to Loch Ard Gorge. you can see the topographic point where Tom rescued Eva. see the Gravess where a few victims were buried. and happen out more about the narrative.

Loch Ard Statistics

*The Loch Ard was a three-masted square-rigged Fe limiter ship.

*Built in Glasgow. Scotland. in 1873.

*It was 262 pess 7 inches long and had a beam of 38 pess 3 inches.

*It had left Gravesend. England. on March 1. 1878. with 54 riders and crew and lading valued at more than $ 100. 000.

*Three months into what had been an uneventful trip. catastrophe struck early on June 1. 1878.

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