Summarised Events -
Thornhill and Sal come to the realisation that the neighbouring aboriginal tribe has not acted in accordance to what was expected, that being that the tribe vamoose and continue on in their travels and in doing so leave Thornhill's Point. Hence, Thornhill is compelled to travel along up to Blackwood's place in order to consult with him as to what should be done in the case of their unwanted guests, who in Thornhill's mind have well overstayed their 'welcome'. Upon discussing his predicament with Blackwood, Thornhill encounters a menacing aboriginal woman, who appears as if though she is disgruntled by his presence. Thornhill soon notices the small child wrapped around her leg and deduces that, in consideration of the child's appearance, Blackwood must have conceived it with the tense aboriginal woman who stood before him. (Kate Grenville does not mention this in an explicit manner, but rather in Thornhill making the inference, so too do we). Thornhill returns home and brings Sal into the loop of this new-found bombshell, she then concludes that Blackwood is no longer an ideal reference for their particular predicament. Dick becomes involved with the aboriginal children, stripping naked and frolicking about in the water with them. Naturally, Thornhill and Sal do not approve of this behaviour and warn him to never re-offend, when Dick protests Thornhill takes him over his knee and belts Dick as punishment, (Thornhill had never laid a hand on his children before this). Dick sits in on a fire-making 101 class with a group of the aboriginal children, and finds it to be a total mesmeriser. Thornhill ridicules the exercise at first but is soon left eating his words as fire erupts from the aboriginal man's hands and he is left being shot a somewhat smug look. Subsequent to this, Thornhill catches his son Dick red-handed as he is attempting to start a fire with the bare necessities as the aboriginal man had, at first Thornhill is infuriated in response to the sight of this, but he manages to suppress what could have been another spanking session coming on and aids in Dick's efforts to mimic the aboriginal method of making fire. It winds up being a miserable failure on their part, but bonding time is achieved all the same. Nevertheless, these few pages are foreshadowing to some extent on the basis that later on, Dick abandons his place with the Thornhill's, preferring to instead bunk with Blackwood.

Pages 189- 203
Thornhill finds Sal giving pork and such to the Aborigines, and becomes angry at the gesture. He feels that the aborigines haven't moved on quick enough for his liking, and that giving them things, will just encourage them to stay near the family, rather than move on. Due to his feelings of anger and disapproval of the aboriginal community, he confronts them about this and warns them that they are not to step foot on his territory. Meanwhile Sal tries to develop a relationship with the women, giving them nicknames and exchanging items with them too.

Racial conflict
Thornhill portrays the view on aborigines that many European settlers had at the time, that they were unequal to Europeans, and that he didn't particularly enjoy heir presence on what he considered, his land. his is sown through his actions of confrontation and anger towards them, as well as degrading attitude reflecting statements like " We give them something every time, we'll never see the end of it ..... they'll be want want wanting, till we got nothing left" (192) "Youse lot best bugger off" (194) " Best stay away out of it... out of our place" (194) and " I could fetch me gun and blow your heathen head off easy as anything." (195)

Pages 220-234
Thornhill and the others have realised that someone has lit a fire and completely runied a certsin area. Thornhill went out and tried to catch a kangaroo but could not manage to catch one unlike Long Jack and Black Dick did so very well. Even though he didnt catch any kangaroo for his family he traded flour for kangaroo, even if it was a paw, its better then what they usually eat. Thornhill had discovered that because the blacks accepted his offer of flour for kangaroo, they can be considered as living in a normal society. At the same time trade was starting to pick up for Thornhill with Smasher Sullivan one of his regualrs. 

Racial Conflict turned Social, (partial 'food-chain' or 'pecking order' - white supremacist delusions) -
Thornhill’s 'hired' slaves, Dan and Ned are without a doubt at the bottom of their social order. However, alongside an outside member to their order, (an aboriginal) the two feel as if though even their status sits above that of the inane and uncivilised mind of a native. This snootish behaviour is exemplified in quote, '..a dog has more of a modest way about him!' (page 203).

Sal even suggests treating them as convicts, (nothing, not even a limbo-champion, can stoop below the low status of a convict) and she does so in the following quote, 'We could put them to work, Will, civilise them enough to use a spade and that.' (page 203) It is this quote of Sal's which also outlines the common deluded belief of European settlers at the time, that an aboriginal person would have interest, in the slightest, in becoming 'civilised' - one wonders who of the two parties, (Europeans and natives) is in actual fact the more demonstrative of what it is to be, 'civilised' when bearing in mind the slaughter and carnage which was brought down upon the aboriginal people, and thus this quote of Sal's is ironic and is accountable for putting things into perspective.

Additional Ironic point, in reference to Thornhill's quote, 'Come out of the blue [speaking of aboriginal people].' This is almost laughable, Thornhill claiming that the aboriginal tribe which set up shop on the perimeter of his land came out of nowhere or 'the blue'. We of course know that it was the European settlers who came out of the blue for the aboriginals, in both senses (European's arrived by sea). So therefore, Kate Grenville might be highlighting the ignorance of Thornhill with the quote in question. This notion of Thornhill's ignorance and misinformed perception that the land he occupies belongs to him, and him alone, is furthered in supplement, 'He [Thornhill] wanted to explain the airless feeling of having the blacks so close. The way they treated the place as if it was their own.' (page 207)

As for what the true definition of, 'civilised' is, Sal throws out her own proposition which might be a representation of what is believed throughout the greater whole of her kind, '..We're civilised folk, we don't go round naked.' (page 215)

With aboriginals filling the basement of 'rock-bottom' Dan and Ned would of course feel it upon themselves to act as 'gentry' and criticise the lower-class, or more so mock them, but there are also others who perpetrate in this pretentious habit. Thornhill, (perhaps due to the blow his pride sustained in seeing the level of skill exhibited in the aboriginal fire making-class) made it his business to take down the rep. of 'Long-Jack' as he's known, down a notch. He executes this belittlement and mocking snide in quote, 'You're a fine fellow Jack.. Even though your arse in as black as the bottom of a kettle'. (page 214) However, Long-Jack turns it around, flipping it back at Thornhill making him the subject of the joke, and the whole thing backfires.

Inner-Conflict -
In response to Dick's defiance or rather insult toward him, Thornhill gives Dick a good what to. Though later he is torn-up about it, wondering if he was right to hit his son how he had. He turns to Sal with this concern, 'You think I shouldn't have..' (referring to beating Dick) (page 216) Thornhill piped up while breaking the silence and tension between him and Sal. Thornhill's conflict surrounding the thought of punishment being dealt out to his son takes another turn, Thornhill discovers Dick mimicking what he had learnt in making a fire with nothing but a couple of sticks and experiences a brief moment of aggravation exclaiming, 'Do I got to get the belt out again lad?' (page 217) but the bulging vein in his forehead soon recedes back to where it was once hidden before, and Thornhill shifts his stance, 'I beat you once, that were enough.' (page 218)

Conflict with the Environment -
The Thornhill's all seemed quite keen on marking out the land which was thought to be 'theirs'. This could, to some extent, be evidence to the idea that the Thornhills demonstrated their desire to have land for themselves which was distinguished as being under their ownership and not inhabited by a sole who was there without their consent. Conversely, Blackwood made a conscious decision to not clear his land in order to mark out what was his, and this might be due to him being an advocate for sharing the land, as opposed to the Thornhills who could not bear to even consider the thought. Thornhill makes this observation of Blackwood's place, 'There was no bald patch defined by heaps of dead wood that marked where civilisation began and ended. This was a place where clearing and forest lived together on the same ground.' (page 206)