Several of the neighbours thought Gemmy to be dangerous. On a practical level, some settlers fear that Gemmy is a spy sent by the aborigines, who are thought to have massacred settlers elsewhere in the new territory. The girl's power was entirely her own. That he was some sort of a spy for the blacks aborigines who raised him and intent on doing them harm.
For his own safety, Gemmy moves further out of town to live. Suddenly, it's 50 years after. And this time too the intense pleasure he felt had a disturbing side.
In Remembering Babylon episodes and objects have a way of doubling. Their parents had long died. But has Gemmy merely stumbled into colonial territory or has he come there with a purpose—and, if so, what is it? Their interpretation of this is that Gemmy is a spy for the natives. What are the consequences of this tendency?
The sea, in sight now, ruffles, accelerates.
Why might Malouf have chosen to do this? It was a power that belonged to him because he was a boy; because one day, the authority he had claimed in raising the stick to his shoulder would be real.