George
Freeman was a Sydney crook who became quite high up in the pecking
order. Very high. And he liked to cultivate important friends. Murray
Farquhar, the chief magistrate, was one. Kerry Packer was another.
George said he used to call in on Big Kes at Palm Beach (the opposite
end of Sydney to where George lived).

The relationship
terminated thusly: Kerry had a horse set for a race in Melbourne and
had a commission agent at the track to make a last minute plunge. For
some unknown reason, another commission agent, known to do some work
for George from time to time, interfered with Kerry’s man getting
Kerry’s bet on. Kerry was furious and on Monday, settling day, rang
George and wanted to know what he thought he was trying to do. In
Kerry’s usual colourful and forceful manner.

George knew nothing
of what had gone on – nothing to do with him at all – and was unable to
explain because he didn’t know what Kerry was on about. This only
further infuriated Packer who said: “You know, I could get someone
flown over from the States to fix you up within 24 hours.”

To
which George, known to be “willing” (work that out for yourself),
replied: “Oh, you up at Palm Beach, are you? Yes? Well, I could get
someone up there to sort you out in an hour.”

And he probably could have, but we won’t talk about that.

Peter Fray

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