By John Reddin

There's a story so they tell me
Of the not too distant past
Where the locals talk in whispers when they speak

Of the happening in Derby
When the mine shook with a blast
And the residue ran out into the creek

It was in Northeast Tasmania
In the early mining days
Where the legend had its "supernatural" start

Now it seems old "Digger" Evans
Had been dreaming up some ways
To remove some of the gold out, with his cart

"Chewy" Lu his Chinese helper
Was not party to the plot
But the part he played helped "Digger" with his dreams

Of a long and easy life
Away from fumes and lice and grot.
Not one miner knew a thing about the scheme.

It was early in the morning
And the shift had just begun
When our "Digger" swung his plan into attack

All he had to do, was put a stick
Of Gelegnite in one of
"Chewy's" boxes that were underneath a sack.

"Chewy" Lu would bring a box to work
Each day from where he lived
But he never took them home again at night

So the pile of boxes grew
Near where the area was sieved
For the gold, that was a poor man's pure delight.

"Digger" knew that all he had to do,
Was light the fuse that day,
And the vein of gold would fall into the creek

How was he to know that "Chewy"
Had been thinking of a way,
To do the same. At ending of the week

"Digger" lit the fuse and scurried
Out the back in sheltered lee
And with baited breath he waited for the sound

Of a single stick of Gelly
As the signal, so that he
Could go back, and pick up six or seven pound

Of the gold that would be flowing
To the creek-bed near the mine
But he hadn't reckoned on his Chinese friend

Having filled his old lunch boxes
With some Gelegnite so fine
That the total blast would nearly cause his end

When the Gelegnite exploded
There were rumours in the town
That the Armageddon day had come at last

And the Lord was sending soldiers
Through a mushroom cloud of brown
To forgive them for their old sins of the past

"Digger" scrambled to his feet
And when the dust had cleared away
He could see the damage that had just occurred

There were bits of gold all over
Which had made the local's day
And because of that, the trial was deferred

Now, whenever people travel
Out to Derby, down in Tas.
There are stories that they hear about the day

That our Lord came down from heaven
In a mushroom cloud of gas
And then paved the streets with gold, along the way

That's the way our uncle tells it
And we don't know if it's true
He's been known to stretch the truth from underneath

But when we walk down the streets
And start to speak of "Chewy" Lu
We get great big smiles from white and golden teeth.