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DOMESTIC FURNITURE.

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bield !" I have been in a house in Australia where there was no lock to secure my bedroom ; where the furniture was of the very plainest kind; where bunches of receipts were suspended from the roof, and books and drawings lay promiscuously amidst guns and constables' fetters; and yet the owners were among the élite of the colony, and would be found in the first circles of society in England.

Here, at Connobolas, we rejoice in one table of homely manufacture, fixed to the earthen floor, with a long suitable seat to match. A similar piece of upholstery, minus one leg, supports my desk and dressing-case; a stretcher (universally used in the bush) supplies the place of a bedstead ;-mine I have adorned magnificently with a curtain of mosquito-gauze. The rafters are our roof and ceiling, and slabs of bark our serking and slates. Glass windows we do not patronise; shutters outside are our only screens. The walls are slabs of bark, closely fitted upon upright slabs of wood; and the painting and papering are clean white sheets, nailed all round the room, to exclude in some degree the light and cold by night, and the sun by day. Two loaded guns stand, ever ready, in the corner; and pistols are always below my pillow. In the space betwixt my apartment and that of James Simpson, is the couch of my sons, where, beside another stretcher, may be seen saddles, bridles, ropes, rice, tea, sugar, tools of all descriptions, gig gear, preserves, butter, cheese, spirits, et multa alia. As to James, he and his wife slumber upon a very primitive elevation above the floor, prepared by him in half an hour, and find rest and peaceful oblivion

as weel as e'er they did at hame.” The cuisine is furnished with considerably fewer materials than would be held requisite at the Clarendon, or Gresham's; but there

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DANGERS IN THE WILD.

is merit in management, and I never dined more comfortably in my life than

life than among the mountains of Connobolas; nor has the fear of snakes (although the trail of one that must have been at least six feet long, and as thick as my arm, lay on our path to-day, betwixt the stations) of blacks or of bushrangers, yet cost me an hour's rest. There was a person in this neighbourhood, fifteen or twenty miles distant, who forfeited this station and his licence, in consequence of having allowed bushrangers from these haunts to come about his house-harbouring them, as it is called ; and it is not a fortnight ago since certain gentlemen (!) made use of the enclosures around for the purpose of branding their neighbours' cattle and calves with their own marks—a process carried on by the light of the moon, and a favourite pursuit in this colony. If my memory serves me, there is a motto on the borders of Scotland, “Reparabit Cornua Phoebe !”

The nearest town is Bathurst, distant from us about fifty miles; and there, also, are the nearest magistrates' bench, church, and physician. Our nearest post-office is at Boree or Peisleys, both of which places are fourteen miles distant, and the post is only once a week. At Boree, also, live our nearest friends. The shepherds' huts are scattered around in every direction, but some miles from us, and quite out of reach in any case of emergency.

Such is our present situation. Hitherto we have not been disturbed by night or day. No door as yet prevents intrusion ; a piece of unbleached linen alone excludes man and beast! Indeed, a door of sheet iron would be of little avail against the class of persons who sometimes demand admission from these mountains; and the linen portal is so much cooler, that we prefer it, as it acts like an Indian

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punka. We erected a tent, but I could not breathe in it. In this country, as in the East, tents ought to be double, to exclude the sun. My two youths intend to try it ; but I suspect that, what betwixt the cold by night and heat by day, they will be glad to flee to their storehouse again. Amidst all this exposure, which but lately would have appeared to me the life of a savage, with a blazing fire on the hearth in the ample chimney of bark slabs, we pass our evenings wonderfully well. Luke, as one of the watchers, sleeps under a few bark slabs, beside a large wood fire adjoining the sheepfolds, to keep off the native dogs. This is a duty rendered necessary by the frequent attempts made by these animals to get into the yards among the flocks. Throughout the bush it is the universal custom to fold all the flocks every night by sunset, to avoid the ravages committed by these native dogs-a species of jackal, and not unlike the fox. They roam and prowl about in packs; and if once successful in making their way into a yard, they kill and tear as many as they can reach, without being satisfied with what they can consume : their bite is very generally fatal. John does not dislike the job, preferring it much to the more serious charge of a shepherd by day. He is the only one of us that has suffered from ophthalmia, a complaint very common amongst the new comers to this colony. From being at so great an elevation above the sea, this place is considered nearly ten degrees cooler in summer than the lower station-a very important object in this country; while, in winter, being sheltered by the highest ranges of the Connobolas from the south wind, it is nearly as much warmer. In this elevated region snow occasionally falls, and in considerable quantities; but at Boree it is little known, and has only once been seen in Sydney.

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Upon the whole, it is not a disagreeable seclusion from the world ; but that is not the use and end of a voyage to Australia; and it is far too much cut off from assistance, in case of need or sickness, possibilities never contemplated by the youth of the bush. It is wild, grand, and beautiful;

but there is a silence about it, a singular loneliness, which, coupled with the impression that we are constantly within the ken and shot of the outlaw, give a tone to the mind and feelings not beneficial ; and which can scarcely be conceived by those who have never lived in forest scenery.

CHAPTER VI.

AUSTRALIA-LIFE IN THE BUSH.

Mude of spending our time-Rivers— The swamp-oak-Stalactite caves

- Difficulty of forming a decided opinion as to the merits of the colony-Advice to settlers — Appearance of the country — A bird's-eye view--Brittleness of the trees—The various species of trees common in Australia— The whole country one vast forest — The principal plainsLoss of a flock of ewes—Mode of “plantingcattle—Habits of the bushrangers—" Bailing up”— Recovery of the lost fock— Thunder stormExpected attack-Unfavourable views of the country-How viewed by the settlers—Visit of King Sandy-Dexterity of the natives in cutting bark— Their language and phrases—My horses lost again-Plagues of the bush-Extremes of heat and cold—Coals—Native superstition regarding fire-Effects of retirement-Out-of-doors improvements—Sporting in Australia-Bullock-hunting-Whip— Natural wonders—Sunday—My black boy, Jacky—“Tommy Come-last”---Our sheep-washing begins- A runaway convict— The mounted police.

Life is passed with us after a most primitive and pastoral fashion. We rise at six, and the early mornings are delightful; we see the flocks tended by James, and the other men set off for the ranges; then breakfast, read, write, shoot, lose a horse and seek and find it again, send off a dray on “a canny errand, to a neighbour town;" I write these notes of my wanderings, then dinner; after that, we walk a mile or so to a fall of the creek, among the hidden places of the glen, amidst rocks and solitary woods, making calculations and plans as to the future ; then tea, good-night, and to bed by ten.

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