They are but the stuff of memory, history and legend. Gentlemen of the Flashing Blade celebrates and records those days with poignant effect, through a fictional character Branko Domanovic a displaced person cane cutter, an embodiment of the true Gentleman of the Flashing Blade. In the sweat and dust of a North Queensland cane field youthful hopes and ambitions died. But there, at least, he breathed freely and moved without looking over his shoulder. He could dream that when he made good money and his country was free he would go home. Bianka Vidonja Balanzategui, historian and daughter of a displaced person cane cutter, takes the reader on a graphic and authentic journey from International Refugee Organization (IRO) Assembly Camp, across oceans to the shores of Australia and deep into the cane fields of tropical north Queensland. In that journey two major themes of north Queensland history, immigration and the sugar industry, meet. When Branko arrived in Australia in 1949, the sugar crop of north Queensland was still cut by hand, by the oft mythologized Gentlemen of the Flashing Blade. Cane cutting was one of the least desirable unskilled occupations to which the displaced persons were allocated and one to which they made an invaluable contribution. Today the days of the manual cane cutter are no more. 158 pages.