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For 16 years, lusty cane-cutters Roo and Barney have been spending their 5-month layoffs in Sydney with their mistresses, Olive and Nancy. Annually, Roo presents Olive, a barmaid, with a doll as a souvenir of their idyll, but this year Roo has quit work after a fight with a young coworker, Dowd, and has no money. Furthermore, Nancy has married. Although Olive recruits in her stead the widow Pearl, the substitute lacks enthusiasm for the arrangement. The carefree gaiety of summers past is difficult to recapture, and there are numerous conflicts. During one such altercation, Roo questions Barney's virility, and Barney derides Roo's waning strength and leadership. Pearl and Barney part, and Olive and Roo, while lamenting loss of youth, decide to marry.