WEST RUTLAND, VT., JUNE 24 -- When Douglas Beane enlisted in the Marines out of Rochester High School here in the Green Mountains, he got a trip to Vietnam. When he deserted in 1970, days before the end of his tour, he took the first of several assumed names.

Today, he has an Australian accent; as many as nine children, according to Australian newspaper accounts; a literary agent and a discharge "under other than honorable conditions."

On Monday, the Marine Corps decided not to court-martial Beane on charges of desertion, black marketeering and threatening the life of the soldier who reported him. On Tuesday evening, Beane, who turned himself in two weeks ago and turned 40 last week, saw his native Vermont and his parents for the first time in 19 years.

"I live all right with the Lord," he said today. "My conscience is clear."

But he is not right with Kenneth Buker, the ex-Marine who says he caught Beane trading American dollars for U.S. military currency in a small village near DaNang.

"They should never have let him go," said Buker, now a bartender who lives in Wilmington, Del. "He was getting 40 cents on the dollar. The only thing I could figure was that the money was being funneled north to pay for the war. How many names are on that wall {the Vietnam Veterans Memorial} because of him?"

Sitting in his parents' sparsely furnished living room, surrounded by photographs of himself as a high school senior and a young Marine in uniform, Beane would not discuss the charges, except to say that if he had threatened Buker, "it would have been idle chitchat."

He was not bothered, he said, by veterans such as Buker and others who have expressed resentment that he got off lightly.

"I didn't make the decision," Beane said. "I asked for mercy, and it was given to me."

A spokesman at Quantico Marine Base, Va., said he was discharged "for the good of the service."

Initially, his mother said, Beane had planned to join the Air Force but changed his mind when friends told him "the Marine Corps really makes a man out of you."

Beane did not describe how he left the Marines or got to Australia. He said he lived on the run by working as a railway man, a forester, a gardener and at various other jobs. As a youngster, his mother said, Beane liked to hunt and fish and "was never scared in the woods. If he hadn't been brought up back in the country, he would never have survived."

Throughout his stay in Australia, Beane make periodic telephone calls to his parents, four brothers and a sister, and in 1980, his sister, Diana, visited him for six weeks. His youngest brother, James, is stationed in Korea with the U.S. Army.

After nearly 17 years, Beane says, his wife, Karen, persuaded him to apply last December for documents to return to the United States.

"My wife decided it was time to get it over with," he said.

He was arrested when he applied for a passport at the U.S. Consulate, but Australia's highest court blocked his extradition in April on grounds that the arrest warrant was illegal. He later surrendered to U.S. authorities and was returned to the United States June 8.

Beane has not decided whether to bring his family to the United States or return to Australia, where his wife is pregnant with their third child.

They are not his only offspring. Beane brought with him Australian newspaper clippings, one of which describes him as a "charmer" who fathered nine children by several women.

He acknowledged that he has other children from "other relationships," including twins in New South Wales, then decided that he had said enough and put the clips away.

Beane's mother, Christine, 59, is a supervisor at a glove factory. His father, Donald, 63, is a retired heavy-equipment operator who helped build Interstate 91 along the Vermont-New Hampshire border. He said he hopes his son will stay for deer hunting season.

Beane talked with a small mob of reporters today, and Joseph Singer, a New York literary agent, sat in on his interviews, interrupting frequently.

"We are trying to put together a movie deal," Singer said. "I think his story is fascinating."