Dangerous Days...The four-part autobiography of a photojournalist.
Part 1 STORM RIDGE.
Wesley Auld, his best friend Graham Finlay, worst enemy, Scott Willis and sixty other classmates take part in a hike up a mountain track in the Victorian high country in late September during a Year Eight school camp. With Graham’s help he rescues Scott and nine others after they are caught out by a sudden blizzard. Together they spend a wild night in a small mountain hut. Wesley’s acts of bravery impress Scott, just as other events in the hut cause Wesley to think about the animosity between Scott and himself. They are drawn together by the crisis, and each confides in the other about his life as they await rescue. And after help arrives, Scott’s new regard for Wesley causes him to react just quickly enough to save the boy’s life when they are very close to reaching safety.
Part 2 PADDLE HARD.
Having survived the blizzard together, and settled their differences, Wesley, Graham and Scott are a tight group. They are going on an overnight canoe trip on a lake in the following January with Wesley’s teenage cousins, Dwight, Linda and Kim Hill. Dwight is still upset over the homicide death of an adult friend and mentor. Wesley’s uncle and aunt hope that the campout will help him grieve. But Dwight has a terrifying secret about the killing that he has kept to himself, until they are confronted by the violence of the drug trade whilst on the lake. For the next fourteen hours, the six kids play an overnight game of cat-and-mouse whilst being hunted in a classic contest between good and evil.
Part 3 OUTBACK HEROES.
Three months later, at Easter, the three boys, Wesley’s mother, Pam, and English exchange student, Emily Pontington-Hunt travel to an outback property near Broken Hill owned by Rhonda Adamko, an old friend of Pam. But Emily is now the target of foreign terrorists after a failed attempt in Paris to assassinate her father, Sir Nigel, a high-ranking civil servant. The Australian Federal Police, under the direction of a suspiciously-acting Chief Superintendent Venturi, mount an operation to protect her, which goes horribly wrong. Emily is captured and taken on foot across the desert, pursued by her friends, until rescued by a mystical, aboriginal tracker. It is only during the final battle with Australian Army commandos that the cynical Venturi’s deplorable, ulterior motive is revealed.
Part 4 ENEMIES WITHIN.
Sir Nigel is so grateful for Emily’s rescue that he invites the boys to go to England with Emily as his guests. Only Wesley and Graham can travel after a serious injury to Scott the day before departure. Wesley, though, also has an extra personal reason for going. He wants to know how the terrorists were able to follow Emily to the Australian outback so easily. From an exclusive private boarding school in the English countryside, through the labyrinth of London’s underground railway, to the city’s seedy East End, and finally into the very corridors of government in Whitehall, they follow the trail of mystery. But what they discover is an appalling, long-forgotten act of cruelty, a murder plot, a betrayal of friendship, and an obsession for vengeance in a world of power, privilege and affluence.
This final event also means an end to the danger that Wesley and his friends have faced.
The above incidents clearly show how Wesley’s path to journalism is established.