On Tuesday I did a post about a buffalo hunter named Tom Cole. The last we saw of Mr Cole was as our little boat steamed away, leaving him on a platform surrounded by 50 miles of floodwaters. He had his saddles, six months of supplies, some tobacco and whiskey, and a portable gramophone. He was also surrounded by my imaginary hordes of hungry crocodiles.
I held out little hope of finding any more articles on Tom Cole, partly because of my imaginary crocs, and partly because the best stories don’t always have a second chapter in the papers.
Apparently there is no keeping a good man down and it wasn’t hard to find other articles about the amazing Tom.
This time we catch up with Tom as he is wandering into Darwin with a limp and a few tales of near misses. I think Tom Cole is one of those blokes referred to when people say ‘they breed ’em tough in the bush’.
Dragged a few hundred yards by a horse? He’s fine. Neck stepped on by a horse, knocking him unconscious for hours? No problem. Horse stomped on his leg? No need for a doctor!
The story of Tom Cole is a real rags-to-riches one. Turning up in the territory with no money and having to borrow 25 pounds to go buffalo hunting, ending up 12 years later with two cattle stations and thousands of pounds.
He was right though, in his belief that cattle had a future in the Territory. These days cattle is a major industry there.
Superhero and a good businessman!
When I was looking for information on Tom Cole I found this book, ‘Hell West and Crooked’ that seems to be the autobiography of this amazing man.
I was disappointed to find it was not available for my kindle, we are going camping for the weekend and it would have been the perfect thing to read sitting around the campfire.
I will look out for it in print though, I would love to read more of Tom’s adventures. If you read it please let me know what you think of it (and if it really is the same Tom Cole!).