'The Loaded Dog'
The goldfields were a setting very familiar to Lawson. The main characters Dave Regan, Jim Bently and Andy Page are good-natured. The escapades of Tommy, the black retriever dog establish the plot of the narrative. Tommy's good nature and the challenge of a game with his friends build into a chase scene which has become synonymous with bush larrikinism and legend.
The male characters hit on an ingenious plan to catch fish, by blowing them out of the water with a special cartridge made from explosives. The cartridge is retrieved by Tommy who chases the men that are running away from the inevitable explosion.
Tommy, however, is saved by a 'vicious, yellow mongrel cattle dog' a dog despised by all. The cartridge is dropped by Tommy and claimed by the cattle dog when it explodes. The cattle dog dies but Tommy is saved with much irony since Tommy begun the situation.
'The Drover's Wife'
The drover is forced to leave his wife and four children in a 'shanty on the main road'. The hardships forced on the drover's wife and children who are left to cope with geographical isolation and the natural elements of the environment.
Time passing through the night is a structural device used by Lawson to allow the drover's wife the opportunity to reflect on the loneliness of her life and the only way she can now achieve any of her dreams is by living through a magazine.
The dog and its loyalty to the family is significant. A loyalty so devout that the dog is prepared to give up its own life to save that of the family, and is expected that some day he will be bitten by a snake and die.
The drover's wife maintains a sense...