Foolscap folio, [unpublished?], ink manuscript.
 pages (one leaf); three horizontal folds (reinforced with clear tape in two margins that have started to split); paper uniformly tanned, with one horizontal band on the verso a little darker and slightly marked; in excellent condition.
A lengthy patriotic poem (twelve four-line stanzas) dated at the end 'Italia March 1900'. Under the pseudonym 'Arthur Ferres', John William Kevin (circa 1843-1903) wrote several Australian boys' adventure books and published one volume of verse. 'The Contingent', presumably unpublished, is very much a product of its time and place. 'From Richmond Brush to Old Man Plain, from Silverton to Broke, / The scions of a dauntless race from bush and city spoke. / ... / The stripling left his milking yard, the husbandman his team, / The drover left his lowing herd by Barwon's sluggish stream; / The shearer dropt his clinking blades, and sped the steaming shed, / The digger left the dirt unwashed within the river's bed. / ... / The crouching Boer behind the rock pours death on every side / And the gallant stand of the dauntless few is like the half-spent tide /... / The General sees with eagle eye how unequal is the strife - / "Fix bayonets - Charge." Then up the hill each man fights for his life; / The Austral spear and rifleman are there by England's side, / And the hero cheers their pluck and dash, and views their deed with pride'.