J L * n 3 ,J.
RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES IN
AUSTRALASIA, CANADA, INDIA, &c.
THE AUTHOR AND MR. WILSON IN THE " DEVIL'S COACHHOUSE.
Rambles and Adventures
in Australasia, Canada,
ST MICHAEL -PODMORE, MA
(Jesus College, Camb.), F.Z.S., F.R.G.S.
Author of " A Sporting Paradise," " Ozunkein," etc.
Corresponding Member of the Royal Society of Tasmania,
late Artist to the South Australian Government,
and Hon. Member of the Royal Geo-
graphical Society of Australasia.
This Book is dedicated to my Father,
THE REV. JOHN BUCKLEY PODMORE, B.A.
(Jesus College, Cambridge),
THE HONOURABLE WILLIAM WILSON
(Late of Melbourne),
at the request of his eldest Son,
WILLIAM WILSON, ESQUIRE,
who accompanied me across the Blue Mountains.
L. UPCOTT GILL, BAZAAR BUILDINGS, DRURY LANE, W.C.
Enured at Stations' Hall.} [Copyright 1909.
OF MY DEAR FATHER
THE REV. JOHN BUCKLEY PODMORE, B.A.
LATE RECTOR OF COWFOLD, SUSSEX.
THE object of this book is to provide an
interesting and reliable guide to emigration,
travel, and sport. The author has spent twenty
years abroad, and resided for a considerable
time in Australasia, Canada, U.S.A., &c.
He returned from his last expedition in 1908,
after an absence of five years.
" Rambles and Adventures " should appeal to
public men and others who have the opportunity
to influence the future of young people. The
author has adopted a conversational style, and
his book teems with stories of incident and
adventure. Government literature has a tendency
to be cramped, and emigrants are sent indis-
criminately throughout the Empire, while the
best land often remains neglected and unknown.
It is only by private enterprise that exceptional
chances occur. This book brings them to
The illustrations are chiefly from photographs.
I. THE GREAT SOUTH-WEST COUNTRY OF
WESTERN AUSTRALIA .... I
II. THE MARGARET RIVER, WESTERN AUS-
III. THE UNPEOPLED COUNTRY (QUEENSLAND) 47
IV. EMIGRATION TO SOUTH AUSTRALIA AND
THE NORTHERN TERRITORY ... 65
V. THE BEAUTIFUL ISLAND OF TASMANIA . 88
VI. EMIGRATION TO NEW SOUTH WALES . 99
VII. A SPORTSMAN'S PARADISE . . .119
VIII. AN ADVENTURE WITH A TASMANIAN
IX. IN CANNIBAL LANDS 174
X. A VISIT TO FIJI 197
XL A TRIP TO THE BLUE MOUNTAINS . .212
XII. NEW ZEALAND, BAY OF ISLANDS, THE
THREE KINGS 230
XIII. ADVENTURES IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA, TAS-
MANIA, VICTORIA, ETC 246
XIV. INDIA AND CEYLON 267
RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
IN AUSTRALASIA, CANADA,
THE GREAT SOUTH-WEST COUNTRY OF
THE South- Western district of Western Australia
I consider the best country in the Empire for
small capitalists to visit. The climate is cool
and healthy, the soil fertile, and droughts are
unknown. Western Australia has an area seven
times that of England and Wales, and a great
variety of climate and conditions. This fact
is not generally known. The central parts of
the State are subject to terrible droughts, but
in the Margaret River district there is a splendid
rainfall every year.
The choice land in New Zealand, Canada,
New South Wales, and Victoria often realises
2 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
fancy prices, but in Western Australia first-class
land is to be had practically for the asking.
After four years' ramble in Australasia, I
returned to Fremantle last April, and was
amazed to find a dirty, dreary town transformed
into a neat, prosperous port. Journeying on to
Perth, the capital of Western Australia, I was
equally impressed with the wonderful advance
this city had made. I decided, therefore, to
delay my return to England until I had made
some investigations into the possibilities of this
go-ahead State. The Western Australian
Government has a perfect organisation for
receiving immigrants. When the steamer
approaches Fremantle, which is the port for
Western Australia, a Government agent goes
out by the pilot steamer, and boards the ship,
making himself acquainted with the needs of
the passengers. The immigrants are taken by
this officer to Perth, where they are handed
over to the Lands Department. A free-pass
railway ticket is granted to the vacant land,
and the free services of a guide to conduct
them to the vacant homesteads. This is of
course confined to a few days, unless the
immigrant wishes to pay the guide himself.
WESTERN AUSTRALIA 3
When land has been selected, the following
payments must be made: First instalment
survey fee, i los. ; office fee, i ; stamp
duty, is. Total, 2 iis. The money being
paid, the land can be immediately occupied.
The second instalment of the survey fee, \ IDS.,
is due at the end of the first year. The
practical cost, therefore, of 160 acres is $ is.
The settler, however, must reside upon his
land, build a house, fence his property, and
commence to cultivate. When he has spent
in labour and capital an amount representing
80, he can obtain his freehold.
The cost of building a small cottage is about
,50 in the Margaret River district, and fencing
of 1 60 acres ^35.
The Windsor Hotel, South Perth, is the best
and cheapest place at which to stop. The
charges range from 255. per week, and the
locality is attractive. It is within a few yards
of the beautiful Zoological Gardens, and accessible
to the Government offices. The fare to cross
the river is 3d.
I explored the King River, Tor Bay, Denmark,
and Margaret River districts, travelling through
the country by rail and following the advance
4 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
of civilisation to the virgin forest, and, on
horseback and on foot, explored hundreds of
miles of good country where there was scarcely
While journeying along the sea-coast, where
no one had yet built a home, I passed lovely
bays and inlets, with sandy beach, recalling what
Brighton, Eastbourne, or Bournemouth may have
been before the houses were built.
The route to the King River, Tor Bay, and
Denmark countries is via Albany. The incon-
venience of getting up at 5 a.m. to catch the
6.10 a.m. from Perth can be avoided by leaving
on the previous day by the 5 p.m. express for
Spencer's Brook, and spending the night at the
Brookton Hotel. The accommodation is simple
but comfortable, the rooms are clean, the food
satisfactory, and the charges moderate. A train
leaves Spencer's Brook for Albany at 9.30 a.m.
This line passes through the great wheat-
growing country, and the scenery is hilly and
We arrived at Dalebridge at 11.25 a.m.,
where I had an opportunity of seeing a military
encampment, and was favourably impressed with
the smart-looking men and officers.
WESTERN AUSTRALIA 5
During the day I travelled with Mr. Newman
Hall (York, W.A.), who has penetrated far
into the wilds of Australia. On one occasion
he was encamped at Lake Darlot, where dingoes
were numerous. Every night their howls
rendered darkness hideous and sleep impossible.
They prowled around the camp-fire and snatched
all food within reach. A shot or shout would
scare them for a time, but they soon returned,
their fierce eyes appearing in the distance like
balls of fire. At length their boldness increased,
and they ventured to steal provisions from the
tents. One huge dog discovered a half-empty
meat-tin, and, forcing in his head greedily to
devour the meat, found it impossible to withdraw
it. Every effort to free himself failed, and
the more he struggled and fought the firmer the
tin became fixed. Pain and anger soon drove
him frantic, and he rushed blindly about the
clearing, charging into the baggage and tent-
pegs. The din and confusion soon aroused the
campers, but the ridiculous sight the dingo pre-
sented prevented anyone from shooting straight,
so they merely gave chase. The dingo, alarmed
by human foes, rushed across the open space
with the speed of a fox, until he was brought
6 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
up by collision with a huge tree. He soon
recovered, however, and started off in another
direction, burrowing like a rabbit when ' he
encountered a steep bank. At such times his
pursuers overtook him, and he turned to bay,
biting fiercely inside the tin and then darting
off to repeat his extraordinary antics. During
one of these mad runs he was mercifully shot.
Another time Mr. Hall had a visit from
blacks, who demanded food and pilfered every-
thing they found. Their conduct in due course
became unbearable, and he determined to put a
stop to it.
One day he concealed himself and watched.
Soon he heard stealthy footsteps, and observed
several blacks creeping towards the tents. Picking
up an old rusty revolver, which had been
discarded, he ran towards the savages pointing
the weapon at the head of their leader. The
ruse utterly failed. The grim-looking warrior
merely laughed, and, holding open his two
hands, said, "Give me shilling?"
The threat of instant death with the cold
muzzle at his head did not produce a tremor,
but rather increased his amusement, and he
laughed until the tears rolled down his cheeks,
WESTERN AUSTRALIA 7
shouting, " Me civilised black-fellow, me been
in jail!" This black was an ex-convict who
had recently been charged with spearing his
About lunch - time we arrived at Beverley,
where meals are provided at 2S. 6d. per head.
Brookton, which lies some few miles further on,
has made wonderful progress. About three
years ago it was all bush-land, but now
represents a flourishing settlement, with good
hotel, two churches, stores, and State school.
Northam, Pingelly, Cuballing, and Narrogin are
important corn centres.
Barton and Highbury produce good cattle.
Wagin is a country town with good hotels,
public buildings, and stores. I left the train
here to explore the inland districts, and visited
several settlements. The Honourable C. A.
Piesse received me kindly, and allowed me to
examine his splendid estate. He is an advocate
of intensive culture. I walked over many miles of
his land and passed through eighteen acres of vine-
yards, four acres of fig-trees, and twenty-one
acres of apple orchard. The fruit I picked and
tasted was well-shaped, sound, and of excellent
flavour. He has 3,000 acres set apart for mixed
8 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
farming, and estimated his annual profits at
,800 per annum.
There is some good land open for selection
about six miles from Wagin. In this district
wheat averages sixteen to twenty-four bushels
to the acre, and oats twenty to thirty.
Mr. J. G. Taylor, an Englishman, resides in
this neighbourhood, and kindly answered the
" What do you think of the possibilities of
this great South- Western country?"
" There's plenty of room here, and no one
" How long have you been out from England? "
" Twenty-two years."
"How long on this farm ?"
" Sixteen years."
14 How did you take up your land?"
" On conditional purchase."
"How much orchard land have you?"
' Ten acres."
" Do you make a living out of ten acres?"
1 Yes, and have brought up a family."
' What do you consider is your present
annual income? "
" I get upwards of ,400 a year, and com-
WESTERN AUSTRALIA 9
menced without a penny. I landed in the
Colony with 305. The first job I got was on
the railway as a navvy. When I had saved
up sufficient to pay my survey fee, I took up
a homestead block and 200 acres on conditional
" Have you any complaints to make against
the Western Australian Government?"
" None whatever."
" Have you experienced any droughts here
during your sixteen years?"
" No, we don't know what they are."
"Are you satisfied with the cost of freight?"
" No, I am not, and that is keeping us back.
We are well treated with our fruit, but general
freight is unsatisfactory. I am a free-trader,
and consequently I resent this abominable tariff,
but my opinions are not held locally."
Mr. Taylor grows some of the best fruit in
Australia, and is noted for his honey.
The other interviews I had were similar to
Mr. Taylor's. Everybody seemed happy,
contented, and prosperous.
During my drive to Woodanilling I observed
several beautiful bronze-winged pigeons, and
noted a picturesque lake in the neighbourhood.
io RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
At Moojebing I was amused to witness a
game of tennis in the bush. The ladies wore
white dresses and the men flannels. The sight
was ludicrous. It seemed as though fashion-
able life had been deposited by an airship to
dwell in the wilds. With the exception of a
good court, there was no sign of habitation.
Katanning is one of the most important
centres between Perth and Albany, and Mount
Barker has 1,066 acres of apple orchards, and
exports 1,000 cases monthly.
Albany should be a second Perth, but it is
in reality a sleepy, inactive place. Instead of
being one of the great fruit-exporting cities of
Australasia, it contents itself w r ith the regular
revenue realised by tourists and the shipping of
the port. The situation is delightful, and the
surrounding country represents valuable agricul-
tural land uninhabited and neglected.
Within thirty miles of Albany there are
100,000 acres of land open for selection, and
beyond is the rich Denmark country, with a
mere handful of people, and hundreds of
thousands of acres to be practically given away.
The Freemasons' Hotel is the best place to
stop at in Albany. Taking this city as a centre,
WESTERN AUSTRALIA n
I explored the country in three different directions,
and visited the caves in the neighbourhood,
which are interesting on account of their wild
and romantic surroundings. I found it difficult
to procure a driver to these caves, and did not
start from Albany until 10 a.m.
It was a lovely day, with a cool breeze
blowing from the ocean. After proceeding a
short distance along the main road, we turned
off to the harbour and drove across the sands.
The tide was high, and we often splashed
through the shallow water to avoid the sloping
beach. The opposite shores to Albany are
uninhabited, and represent a hilly landscape.
Beyond the harbour's mouth are sea-girt islands,
where wildfowl build their nests and rabbits
breed in great numbers. Wallaby are plentiful
in the scrub above the high - water mark,
especially in a place called " The Sandpatch,"
and Mr. George Bagg, who acted as my guide,
knows where to find them. Wallaby hunting
is rather uncertain, because these marsupials are
nomadic. One day the country may be scoured
for miles without success, and the next day the
same places will be found alive with them.
When we had driven some distance through
12 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
shallow water and had entered a deeper spot,
the horse suddenly stood still and refused to
move. Mr. Bagg was forced therefore to wade
ashore to procure a " gad." This produced
a wonderful effect upon the horse, who dashed
through the water until I became so wet that
I had to insist upon the pace being modified.
Many snakes are supposed to inhabit these
swamps, and stories of encounters with them
have been related by almost every traveller to
these parts. These snakes were conspicuous
by their absence during my trip, and though I
collected skins elsewhere, I failed even to see
As we continued our journey the tide rose so
high that I expected we should be obliged to
leave the trap and swim ashore. How we got
along was a mystery, because the greater part of
the way I had my legs in line with the seat to
keep them out of the water.
There are many dangerous bogs in the vicinity
where people and horses have been lost. In
spite of danger, my driver gave a spice of
humour to the trip by ridiculous remarks to the
horse. These remarks were always accom-
panied by gad-physic, such as, " I'll fetch
WESTERN AUSTRALIA 13
you up, you old rat, before I've finished,
unless you go bung on me altogether." When
a sounding smack fell upon the poor brute's
back he remarked, " Billy, that ought to fetch
you up; it's like a leech to your blood, you old
rat." He would then give me a dig in the
ribs and a knowing wink.
Convict labour is still to be traced along the
shores of the harbour, and the shrubs they
planted to keep back the sand-drift are in good
condition. Driving in view of this work I had
to cling to my seat to prevent myself from
falling out of the trap, and, when these bumps
and jerks were over, we arrived at a broad
stretch of dangerous-looking water.
" We'll never get him through this," I ven-
tured to suggest.
" Oh, yes, we will," replied Bagg, " it's only
up to our knees."
I entered this forbidding water with many
misgivings, and we had not proceeded far before
the horse began to sink. My driver now
became desperate, and, looking nervously around
him, began to divest himself of his clothes, and
in a semi - nude condition made a murderous
attack upon the horse. The water flew in all
14 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
directions with the language, and I began to
feel every minute the conveyance would collapse
and that my notes and photographs would be
ruined. Suddenly the horse made a bolt for
land, upsetting Bagg by this unexpected action,
and as I had no means of checking him, I
stood in readiness to jump into the water. He
pulled up, however, after a few yards, and in a
short time we were out of our difficulties.
On the mud-flats we flushed wild duck, snipe,
and many aquatic birds, and the whole trip was
exciting, but no tourist should attempt it
without a good local guide.
The pedestrian is directed to the caves by a
signboard. The path leading to them is the
home of the wattle-bird, bandicoot, wild turkey,
emu, and dingo.
A view of the sea. is obtained along the route,
and the cliffs and headlands are bold and
rugged, not unlike parts of North Devon. The
caves are situated in a grand bay, where the
ocean waves dash with fury upon the beach.
No habitation is to be seen, though the sur-
rounding hills would furnish an ideal site for a
gentleman's seaside home. Here is Nature as
the Great Hand fashioned it, and the air is
WESTERN AUSTRALIA 15
pure and invigorating. Sleepy Albany, how-
ever, is dead to such sentimental appeal, and no
one has had sufficient enterprise to build an
hotel or even a house. Eclipse Island is a mile
from the mainland, and is a good place for
seals and groper. Groper is a large fish often
weighing icwt., and it is found all along this
After lunch, we commenced to climb over the
huge boulders of granite in the direction of the
sea. The entrance to the caves is intricate, and
barely wide enough to admit a big man. The
sides sheer downwards perpendicularly, and,
close by, there is a deep hole where, without a
light, one might stumble with fatal results.
Mr. J. E. Angove, the Government Land
Inspector, is a good athlete, and it is to him
that I owe my safe conduct through these weird
caverns. It would be monotonous to describe
the many adventures I had. Once my guide
failed to drag me through a narrow passage,
and though I crawled on hands and knees, I
had a narrow escape of being fixed in the rock.
Squirming backwards, with many grotesque
movements, I finally released myself, and
emerged into daylight with torn clothes, cuts,
16 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
and bruises. We used four candles during our
explorations, but some of the chambers were so
spacious that very little could be seen. I
occupied my time chiefly in searching for
marsupial bones, which are fairly plentiful in all
Australian caves. In the afternoon I visited the
Devil's Cauldron, the Natural Boat, and the
The Cauldron is an open space in the pro-
jecting rocks with precipitous sides, which are
of considerable height. The waves dash into
this space with great force, so that the water
appears to foam and boil.
The Natural Bridge represents a mass of
granite hollowed out by the action of the waves,
and the Natural Boat is a mass of stone about
the size and shape of an ordinary lifeboat.
The Blow Hole is three miles distant, and
resembles similar places of this name elsewhere
in Tasmania, New Zealand, &c.
Our return to Albany can only be described
as hard work. My driver suggested it was like
a man working his passage to England, and
once he shouted, " Old rat, stop putting your
feet down in the same place."
Mr. W. Bede Christie, the Government Land
WESTERN AUSTRALIA 17
Agent of Albany, was exceedingly kind to me
during my residence in his district. On another
occasion I explored the country in the direction
of Tor Bay. The road was good near the city,
but further on it was very bad. In some
instances huge trees had fallen across the path,
and it was only with considerable difficulty we
managed to avoid them. 1 discovered some
good vacant land about six miles from Albany,
and then drove on through many miles of rich
uncultivated flats. A fine range of hills extends
to the coast resembling the Downs of Sussex.
Mr. E. Barnett, who has a small holding in
the Tor Bay district, said: "A man with a
capital of ^1,000 or less would do well. He
will be perfectly safe, and prove a benefit to
himself and the country."
I walked over four acres of Mr. Barnett's
cultivations, and found the fruit and vegetables
perfectly free from disease and of good quality.
Grassmere Lake is an attractive spot a few
miles beyond, and surrounded by uninhabited
hills. Sportsmen come here to shoot wild duck,
which are plentiful in the reed-beds. The water
is used for stock, and some thousands of acres
in this neighbourhood are open for selection.
1 8 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
I observed some of the cattle here fed entirely
upon the native grasses, and were in excellent
condition. The wonderful flower known as the
bottle-washer is a feature of this locality.
Driving on, I examined the Crown Lands on
the border of the Denmark country, and found
the soil admirably adapted for fruit and root
crops. The timber was light, and a strong
man could easily chop down an acre daily.
Farming, however, has hardly commenced at
present. Mrs. W. Reilly, who owns a small
farm, told me she was well satisfied with every-
thing, and that her crops were doing well.
"What is the climate like?" I asked her.
" Oh, beautiful, that's the reason why we like
to live here. The temperature is never over
godeg., and we have no severe frost."
" Have you been successful with poultry and
" Yes, poultry and all imported grasses do
Some miles further I interviewed Mr. T.
Knapp, who is a splendid type of a working
" How much do you estimate you cleared last
year from your orchard?"
WESTERN AUSTRALIA 19
" Seventy-five pounds clear."
"How much orchard-land have you?"
"Five acres; but my trees are only two to
four years old."
" What other revenue did you realise last
" I cleared 60 from butter, ^25 from eggs
and pork, ^75 from potatoes (four acres), and
,50 from cattle."
"Do you employ much labour?"
" No, with the assistance of my wife I practi-
cally do all my own work,"
" How much land have you? "
" I have 610 acres on conditional purchase,
and 1,000 acres on lease, for which I pay
i per 1,000 acres annually."
" Are you perfectly satisfied with the treat-
ment you receive from this Government?"
" Yes, but I think the freight should be
'What apples do you find pay well?"
" Rookwoods, Dunseedling, Cleopatra, Rome
Beauty, &c. We have absolutely no disease or
" Do you think a man with ,500 capital
would succeed here?"
20 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
" Yes, I think that would give him a fair
start, but he would need local experience."
"How could this be obtained?"
"If a practical man of this description was
anxious to learn and willing to work, I would
instruct him and provide board and lodging
free, and other farmers like myself would do the
" Is there any land about here suitable for
" Yes, there are small patches of vacant land
in all directions containing twenty-five to fifty
acres, but I should advise new settlers to go to
the Denmark country."
" Are you satisfied and contented on your
farm, Mr. Knapp? "
" Perfectly satisfied. I find a good market
for all I can grow, and everything I've tried
has done well. There is no frost to speak of,
and the climate suits. We have a heavy rain-
fall during the winter. Our average is about
" What did it cost you to build your com-
fortable house? "
I had the pleasure of being the guest of Mr.
WESTERN AUSTRALIA 21
and Mrs. Knapp, and during a conversation
they informed me they both had parents living
who were over eighty-four years of age.
The Denmark country now has a million acres
open for selection. Some large rivers flow
through this land, which include the Rivers
Hay, Kent, Frankland, Deep, &c., &c. These
rivers contain good drinking water. The forest
abounds in game : tamma, kangaroos, emu,
wallaby, wild-duck, pigeon, and squeaker are
plentiful. The soil is suitable for fruit, root
crops, and intensive culture. The population of
this immense district is at the present time only
300. There is a post-office, and a public school
is in course of erection.
Another trip I took was to the King River.
I left the Freemasons' Hotel at 9.30 a.m., and
proceeded along the Perth Road. I arrived at
the King River Tea Gardens at 10.20 a.m.
The banks of the river are thickly lined with
trees, and a few rough boats can be hired at
is. per hour. The river winds and twists itself
into graceful curves and bends, and a few
islands appear here and there. This is an
attractive place for a day's outing. Mr. Newman
has a well-managed property near the small
22 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
Agricultural Hall, and a visit to his farm gives
a good idea of what can be raised successfully
in this district. I found his fifty acres pro-
ducing splendid crops, and had the following
interview with Mr. D. Moss:
" How much land have you under cultivation ? "
" Fifty acres."
" What is the average potato crop in the
King River? "
"Six to seven tons to the acre."
"What crops do you cultivate?"
" Potatoes and apples chiefly, but all fruit
and vegetables do well."
" What capital do you consider a man would
need here? "
" He could not start comfortably without ^400."
A few miles farther on I entered the virgin
forest, and found the soil exactly the same as
that on Mr. Newman's land. The few scattered
settlements along the road were doing well, and
the settlers gladly answered all my questions.
Mr. P. Brown, who cultivates a small vege-
table patch and keeps a few bees, informed me
that his income last year was ^150.
Mr. Geake lives on the border of the forest,
and does all his own work. He is fifty years
OX HORSEBACK THROUGH THE BUSH.
WESTERN AUSTRALIA 23
of age, and his only companion is a faithful
dog. We had the following interview:
" Are you satisfied with your home in the
wilds, Mr. Geake?"
" So far I am very well satisfied, but I have
only had this land for seven months."
" Do you recommend men to take up land in
the King River country?"
" I think they might do worse. If a man
is willing to work he will never regret taking
up land here."
" You have not, of course, sold anything off
your land at present?"
" Only about 5cwt. of potatoes, but there is a
good deal of stuff ready for market. I bought
this clearing with a few fruit-trees upon it, and
have since added sufficient to make me inde-
pendent in a few years."
I explored thirty-six miles of the King River
country, and found it practically uninhabited.
The travelling was rough, but there was no
place where a man could not ride on horseback.
Denmark, Tor Bay, and the King River coun-
tries represent an area sufficient to support half
a million people in comfort and contentment,
and yet the people have not commenced to
24 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
arrive. The opportunities are now, and later
on men who have taken up land will be wealthy
and independent. No Government literature will
convey an idea of the country from an English-
man's standpoint, nor can an agent give advice
unless his travels have qualified him with com-
parative knowledge. I know of no part of the
world where a lover of country life could find
more contentment, healthier surroundings, or
wider scope for enterprise and success. He
must, however, be a true man, fearless, deter-
mined, strong, and healthy. A person suffering
from catarrh will obtain immediate relief in
Australia, and in a few months be entirely
cured. The out-of-door life will build up the
constitutions of young men who require pure
air and exercise.
THE MARGARET RIVER, WESTERN
MR. LE SOEUF, the Director of the Perth Zoo,
accompanied me to the Margaret River. This
district is reached via Busselton, and a train
leaves Perth at 9.5 a.m. The railway accommo-
dation is very good, and corridor carriages are
After leaving Perth the route is through some
very poor country, which does not convey any
idea of the rich fertile land of the great South-
West. Large flocks of swans and pelicans are
to be seen swimming on the Swan River, and
some good gardens along the river banks.
These gardens belong to Chinamen, who almost
entirely represent this industry. They raise a
considerable revenue from their crops, and Mr.
Le Soeiif purchases 70 worth annually for the
Zoo. Further away from the river the soil is
26 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
sandy, but as the journey is continued the train
passes through some agricultural land worthy of
attention. The Darling Ranges border this
land, and small townships are dotted here and
there along the line. Maddington five years
ago was nothing but bush, but now it has
become famous for its delicious pears.
The mountain scenery is grand, and yet there
is no residential township corresponding to
Mount Lofty in South Australia. Perth's
proximity to these romantic glens, ravines, and
valleys would suggest the establishment of a
mountain tourist resort and country homes for
business men. The mountains are within
driving distance of the city, and special morning
and evening trains would open up this attractive
neighbourhood. The highest elevation is about
1,400 feet above the sea-level, and good sport is
to be had here. During the winter numerous
cascades and water-falls add to the beauty of
the place, and in the spring the fields and
woods are carpeted with exquisite flowers. Mrs.
E. Rowan chose this locality to paint her
The flora alone render the journey interesting
to the tourist. The drum-head black-boy is an
ON THE ROAD TO THE MARGARET RIVER.
WESTERN AUSTRALIA 27
extraordinary tree, which belongs to the coal
period, and is common everywhere. In appear-
ance it resembles the head-gear of a savage,
and takes many years to attain its full growth.
Its green top provides cattle with nourishing
food, and by cutting well down with an axe
into the tender shoots a palatable growth is
reached, which is wholesome for human con-
sumption. The blossoms of the white gum
supply bees with honey, and during the season
hives are moved from place to place where these
trees are plentiful. The famous Christmas-tree,
which is the true mistletoe, represents a golden
mass of blossom. These trees would be valuable
for ornamental purposes, but no one so far has
been able to transplant them. The other trees
abundant on the route to the Margaret River
are the common black-boy, she-oak, banksia,
&c. When the black-boy grows with many
heads it is a sure indication of good land.
The journey as far as Pinjarra is somewhat
monotonous, but compares favourably with
Ontario and other countries in their undeveloped
state. Fruit-trees grow here to a considerable
height, and some families support themselves
entirely by their orange-groves.
28 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
Mr. Richardson, who is a fair authority upon
agricultural interests in Western Australia, re-
marked to me : "I have been in this country
for twenty years, and have more faith than ever
in its future. Tracts of country once believed
to be useless are now producing wonderful crops
of wheat, fruit, and grass."
There are no rabbits in Western Australia
except upon the islands off the coast, and,
so far, insect pests have not attacked the
At Pinjarra Station a substantial meal is pro-
vided in the refreshment-room, and ample time
is allowed to passengers to partake of it.
Settlement is taking place rapidly in the neigh-
bourhood of Brunswick Junction, and I was
interested to notice two aspects of the country
along the line. On one side was the virgin
forest, and sometimes on the other flourishing
homesteads. At Picton Junction inquiries must
be made for the through train to Busselton. I
observed there were good roads all over the
settled lands and where there was no railway
driving was easy and enjoyable. In this
respect the States of Australia are far superior
to U.S.A. or Canada.
WESTERN AUSTRALIA 29
The Black River district, with Elgin, Capel,
&c., represented prosperous communities.
We arrived at Busselton at 5 p.m. This is a
seaside town quite equal to Littlehampton. It
has a good promenade, which extends for over
a mile into the sea, and comfortable hotels,
where the emigrant or tourist will feel quite at
home. The sport consists of good quail and
duck-shooting, and plenty of deep-water fishing.
There are athletic clubs and golf links.
The following morning we left Busselton at
9.30 in a motor-car for Yallingup Caves, twenty
miles distant. This is a long roundabout way
to the Margaret River, and should be avoided,
except by the tourist. The road is good, and
passes through a fine natural avenue of pepper-
mint-trees. The wild-cherry is fairly plentiful,
and has particular interest to the botanist,
because its fruit grows with the stone outside.
We passed several bulls in the bush, who re-
garded us with fierce indignation, but did not
care to tackle a motor.
Proceeding across a creek famous for wild-
duck, we obtained a view of the sea. This
creek is navigable, and follows the road for
several miles. The scenery improved as we
30 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
advanced. Densely-wooded hills appeared in
the distance, and soon we entered a thick forest.
I observed here the spear-wood tree used by the
blacks, and the native pear hanging in tempt-
ing clusters. We passed several pioneer dwell-
ings built entirely of bark with cross-pieces of
hard wood. The Government has thoughtfully
provided public shelters along this road for the
free use of the traveller.
We reached Yallingup about 11 a.m. There
is a fair hotel here, and the accommodation is
satisfactory. It is, however, wise to notify the
proprietor beforehand if a large party intends a
visit. Mr. Dawson, the Government guide, is
a well-informed man, and has the happy knack
of making a visit to the Yallingup Caves very
enjoyable. These caves were discovered by him
on the nth October, 1900, so they are practi-
cally unknown to the world.
Dawson was roaming through the forest in
search of a runaway horse, when he narrowly
escaped falling into the Amphitheatre of the
Foot Cave. The entrance to this cave has now
been made safe and easy by the erection of a
massive stairway, and ladies can undertake the
trip without much fatigue or inconvenience.
WESTERN AUSTRALIA 31
The chief attraction of the Foot Cave is the
chamber called the Amphitheatre. Here are to
be seen a splendid collection of stalactites and
stalagmites. The latter are formed into huge
massive columns, and the former assume every
variety of fantastic shape. Some recall historical
characters, such as the Madonna and Child,
Mary Magdalene, a statue of Memnon, and
figures of a Buddhist priest, &c. Elsewhere can
be seen the most delicate drapery of gauze,
or bulging forth in disordered confusion cauli-
flowers and other vegetables.
The Amphitheatre is fifty feet high, seventy-
five feet long, and seventy-three feet broad, and
to those possessed of comparative knowledge
fully repays the journey from Perth. We
walked a mile through the Foot Cave, and
found it very interesting. We left Yallingup
at 2.50 p.m. in a two-horsed vehicle to drive to
Burnside, and soon after our departure found
ourselves in a splendid uninhabited country
open for selection. The forest trees were lofty
and grand, and vegetation flourished to per-
fection in the rich soil. In some places the
timber would have brought a fortune if it could
have been exported. The tuart-tree, black-butt,
32 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
white karri, banksia, jarrah, red - gum,
wandoo, &c., were freely distributed. The
black cockatoo and parrakeets, especially the
bird known as "28," or the yellow-collared
parrakeet, were very plentiful. Australian
robins and richly-plumaged finches sang in the
woods, and the voice of the carrion crow and
leaden crow-shrike added an accompaniment to
their music. The dingo and kangaroo find a
safe refuge here, and the driver told me they
sometimes approached close to the road, as
though prompted by curiosity to examine him.
Snakes are very scarce all through this country,
but reptiles of the lizard variety are numerous.
The so-called magpie, which is such a delightful
companion in the Australian forest, was con-
spicuous everywhere, and the coo of the bronze-
winged pigeon floated towards us with the rustle
and strange whisperings of the tree-tops. Some-
times we could pick out the graceful form of
the wallaby, or the swiftly-retreating emu as she
led her half-grown young to a place of safety.
Butterflies and gorgeous flowers gave a perfect
tone to the beautiful forest scenery.
We arrived at Burnside just before dusk, and
were welcomed by Mrs. Brockman, who had
THE FOREST TREES ARE LOFTY AND GRAXD.
WESTERN AUSTRALIA 33
kindly prepared a comfortable m'eal for us. Some
of the settlers called to see me, and I had the
following interview with one of the most reliable :
" Would you kindly tell me your first experi-
ences in the Margaret River district?''
" I took up land here without any money
about three years ago. I have now a nice
home, horses, cattle, pigs, &c., and forty acres
ready for the plough. My present debts
represent ,300, and my property is worth
, 1,000. I estimate my annual income at ^200,
but when I have sheep and more cattle I shall
have no difficulty in making ^400 per annum."
" What steps did you take to obtain this
" First I took up 160 acres homestead, and
when I had earned a few pounds locally I
obtained additional land on conditional purchase,
viz., IQS. per acre, spread over a period of
' What sort of treatment have you received
from the Government?"
" I think the treatment has been very good.
When I have had difficulty in carrying out
their requirements I have always met with just
34 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
" How about a market for your produce and
"Very good; I have no difficulty in selling
all I can grow."
" What do you consider the best crops to be
raised in this locality?"
" Potatoes, root crops, fruit, maize, and
grasses do well."
" Have you ever experienced or heard of a
drought in this district?"
" No, we always have plenty of rain and to
"Is it true that a man can provide himself
with fresh meat here if he can handle a gun?"
"Yes; this is true. There are thousands of
wallaby all along the coast from Cape Naturalist
to Cape Leeuwin, and in the sea plenty of fish."
' ' How far are you away from the sea ? ' '
" My homestead is two-and-a-half miles."
" How much land is there vacant in your
" There are several hundreds of thousands of
" Is the cost of freight on produce high ? "
" I think it is too high at present, but I sup-
pose they will rectify this as time goes on."
WESTERN AUSTRALIA 35
" How did you manage to obtain your
ploughs and farm implements?"
" The Agricultural Bank at Perth, which is
a Government institution, furnished me with
cash at 5 per cent."
" How did you start to work your land? "
" I ring-barked the timber to bring water to
the surface. The bank values this at 2s. 6d.
per acre, and I easily earned 8s. per day."
" Do you wish me to understand that you
are paid for clearing your own land for occupa-
" Yes. Suppose you have 100 acres of land,
and you wish an advance, they will have it
inspected, and their agent will say, ' Yes, it is
worth the money to do this work,' or you can
get some reliable person to certify for you, and
you receive the money you apply for without
deductions when you sign over a mortgage on
your property. Then you inform them you
wish to have some ploughing inspected, and
they will advance whatever sum the work is
" What would be your advice to intending
emigrants with reference to personal effects,
furniture, &c., brought from the Old Country?"
36 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
" Leave your stuff at home and bring money.
Make shift with your own manufacture until
you can afford to furnish properly. Plenty of
timber abounds everywhere."
"What is your yield per acre for potatoes?"
" I have had ten tons, but seven to ten is a
"What was your harvest this year (1908)?"
" This year I had fifteen tons. I could have
grown more, but our chief trouble here is want
"What wages do you pay?"
" We pay 8s. per day even for unskilled
Next morning I visited Cowaramup Bay.
This romantic seaside land is reached via
Ellensbrook, and should not be omitted by the
tourist. The journey is best taken on horse-
back through the bush and along the wild
uninhabited coast. This beautiful bay has a
fine sandy beach, and would make an ideal
home. Huge rocks jut out into the sea and
afford good fishing ground. A cool, clear
stream of fresh water flows through a creek
and empties itself upon the beach. Wild and
tame cattle come here to drink, and the solitude
WESTERN AUSTRALIA 37
has rendered it popular for game and wildfowl.
During the day we shot many edible birds and
other game. We had an exciting bungarra
hunt, and though we " treed " it, it finally escaped
by springing to the ground and entering im-
penetrable scrub. This creature is like a huge
lizard, and should not be interfered with by
Cowaramup Bay is entirely uninhabited, and
contains good soil for root crops near the fresh
water, and the higher land is suitable for
poultry and stock. I believe there are some
reserve conditions existing, but these could be
removed in the event of a person wishing to
take up a homestead. Sheep farming would
be unwise at present on account of the dingoes
which dwell in the caves here. Tamma abound
everywhere, and the dingoes have a cunning
way of hunting them. One dingo acts as a
sort of leader, and entering the thick scrub,
dashes through it with fierce howls, while the
rest occupy different positions outside. When
the quarry breaks cover it is immediately seized
The swamps and plains of Cowaramup Bay
are frequented by rare birds. I managed to
38 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
stalk down and wing the dark reef -heron,
which has never been secured for any zoological
collection. I presented this bird to the Zoo-
logical Society of London, but it died on the
road within a week of its capture. This heron
was about the size of a domestic fowl, and I
discovered it feeding upon small fish in the
pools among the rocks. Creeping upon hands
and knees, and hiding in the long grass, I
watched it for some time unobserved, and when
it took to flight I managed to pinion the right
wing. A young black fellow then came on
the scene and helped me to chase it down. It
was very savage when caught, and gave us
some nasty pecks with its long, sharp-pointed
Our return journey was marred by the loss of
our dog, who picked up some dingo-poison.
The effect of this terrible drug was painful to
witness. At first his legs seemed to act as
though they were entangled in a net, and
after a few erratic struggles he fell panting to
Mr. Le Soeiif immediately ran to the dog's
assistance, having furnished himself with a plug
of tobacco and the driving-whip, and with the
WESTERN AUSTRALIA 39
latter he forced some of the tobacco down the
poor creature's throat. His limbs had already
commenced to stiffen, but the tobacco produced
wonderful results, and in a few minutes he was
on his feet running about as though nothing
had happened. The poison was strychnine, and
the exercise proved fatal, for soon the dog was
seized with another attack of convulsions and
we were obliged to leave him to his fate.
Along our homeward path were many evi-
dences of the dingo, and as the sun began
to set the lonely woods were awakened by their
howls. A few days previous to my arrival a
huge dingo attacked the sheep at Ellensbrook,
and stood his ground when Miss Bussell en-
deavoured to frighten him away.
She shouted and waved around her a long
riding-whip, but the brute, instead of showing
fear, approached with fangs displayed and the
hair bristling about its head and neck as
though prepared for a fight. Assistance arrived,
however, and a rifle shot removed the danger.
The wild, romantic coast-line which extends
along the Margaret River district provides
charming views which recall familiar watering-
places at home. The Margaret River Caves
40 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
are very wonderful and situated twelve miles
from Burnside. Mrs. Brockman drives tourists
there at a reasonable charge.
The cave road passes through some splendid
forest-land where there are only three small
clearings. One of these belongs to some half-
caste blacks. Mrs. Brockman's farm extends
practically to the Margaret River, which is
crossed by a substantial bridge. After we had
travelled this road about four miles we flushed
an enormous iguana over 4ft. long, but before
we could effect its capture it disappeared into a
hole under a fallen tree. Large flocks of black
cockatoos almost deafened us with their harsh
cries, so we paused to bag a few.
These birds breed freely in the Margaret
River district, and nest in the most inaccessible
holes in the highest eucalypts. They procure
their food by tearing off large branches of
trees, and rip off chips and bark in an
astonishing way. When a flock settle on a gum-
tree, they strip the thick bark down, and leave
much of it hanging in ribbons many feet long.
While at work they keep up an incessant con-
versation, which is amusing to listen to, and
as each one gets on the track of a juicy grub
EAGLE'S \VINGS, MARGARET RIVER CAVES.
WESTERN AUSTRALIA 41
he notifies the fact with a squawk that brings
half-a-dozen others to dig it out. Then there
is a commotion that can be heard half-a-mile
away. If one is shot the rest will hover round
and round, calling to it, so that the shooter, if
he is sufficiently heartless, can bag them all.
After we had returned to the road and walked
back a few miles we arrived at Mr. Connelly's
homestead. He had only occupied his land
about nine months, and the clearing was a
mass of vegetable wealth. Some of the carrots
I pulled weighed lib., and the parsnips measured
ift., and everything else was in the same pro-
portion. This was a practical proof of what an
industrious emigrant might accomplish with a
free-grant homestead in a short time. Mr. Con-
nelly had a nice comfortable cottage built,
which he told me cost him ^50. He possesses
little capital, but has availed himself of assist-
ance from the Agricultural Bank.
Mr. Connelly made up a party for a day's
tamma shooting. The tamma frequents the
swamps and flats, and to procure them one has
often to climb through tangled growth where it
is dangerous to proceed with a loaded gun.
When we had passed through the worst of the
42 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
bush, we emerged on an open glade where
there was running water. Here I took up a
position on a fallen tree, and had barely
balanced myself before I heard yells from the
blacks and saw a tamma rushing in my direc-
tion. I hastily loaded my gun while my eyes
remained fixed on the quarry, and succeeded
in bringing it down at forty-five yards on the
other side of my log. This extraordinary fluke
excited the blacks, who clapped their hands like
children as they shouted to Mr. Le Soeiif, " This
new chum will never starve in the bush."
AVhen we examined the tamma we discovered
I had shot two, because there was a well-
developed young one in the pouch.
Next day we drove from Mr. Connelly's to
the caves. The first one we visited was the
Lake Cave. This is situated in a gigantic
hollow, and represents an immense hall with
a collapsed roof. Trees grow in the fissures of
the rocks and the floor of the space is clothed
with rank herbage. The karri, witch-hazel, oak-
wattle, and hazel scrub are dotted here and
there among handsome ferns. The Lake Cave
was discovered by Mrs. Brockman. She was
riding through the bush when suddenly her
WESTERN AUSTRALIA 43
horse stood still and commenced to tremble.
Hastily dismounting, she advanced cautiously
until she found herself standing on the brink
of a precipice, and, looking down, was amazed
to behold the wonderful beauty of the scene
below. Marking the spot, she reported the place
to Mr. Connelly, who bravely descended into
the dangerous abyss, and in due course reported
the Lake Cave both to the discoverer and to
the Government. This cave has since been
recognised as the chief sight of the locality. A
substantial flight of steps has been erected, and
the descent is safe and easy. Mr. Le Soeiif
found here the bones of the extinct giant
kangaroo rat. This terrible hollow must have
acted as a death-trap to countless creatures, and
some of their remains date back before the time
of historic man. This place, therefore, affords a
rich field of study to scientific men, and it is
to be hoped that naturalists and zoologists will
make a special trip from Europe to investigate
here. They would have ample scope for original
work, because there exist numerous caves unex-
plored and unknown. We frequently examined
the entrance and conditions of some of these
during my rambles. Men who act upon this
44 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
suggestion must be prepared to work alone and
risk their lives in making discoveries. No new
venture is ever safe.
The door of the Lake Cave is so narrow that
only one person can enter at a time. The cave,
however, is one of Nature's masterpieces, and
delighted me more than anything I saw in
Australia. It represents an almost perfect dome,
the ceiling and sides of which scintillate with
myriads of pointed pendants, the crowning
feature being "The Suspended Table," whose
dimensions are isft. long, 7ft. wide, and lin.
thick. The table is suspended about 2ft. above
the middle of the glassy waters of a subter-
ranean lake, from which the cave takes its
name, and is attached at either end to the ceil-
ing by two large stalactites, one of which
measures fully 8ft. in circumference. By means
of magnesium, Mr. Connelly lighted up the
magic beauty of the table, and its icicle-like
stalactites were brilliantly reflected in the spark-
ling water, and the marvellous spectacle
resembled the dazzling splendour of an Oriental
display, blending memories of the Mammoth
Cave of Kentucky with the Blue Grotto of
Italy and the Alabaster Temples of Egypt. The
SHAWL, MARGARET RIVER CAVES.
WESTERN AUSTRALIA 45
photographs distributed through this chapter
convey a poor idea of the real beauty of the
caves. We visited other caves which resembled
in detail those I have referred to in my chapter
on the Blue Mountains and Kia Ora.
On another day we explored the Margaret
River. There is a comfortable rowing boat at
the service of persons staying with Mrs. Brock-
man, and in this we followed the course of the
river to the ocean. We flushed many wild-
duck and other aquatic birds and shot some
fine specimens. This river is famous for marron,
a kind of crayfish or fresh-water lobster, and is
caught with fresh meat and a noose. There are
special spots where excellent sport is to be
obtained. While Mr. Le Soeiif " yanked " out
the fish I lighted a fire and got the water
ready, and by the time it was boiling we had
enough for lunch. Salt must be used in cooking.
The banks of the river are thickly bordered
with trees. In some places the rushes grow
many yards from the shore, and elsewhere the
water spreads itself out in swamps and lagoons,
where the growth is so dense that it is im-
possible to penetrate. Here waterfowl find a
safe retreat for breeding and feeding, so it will
46 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
be many years before they become scarce. Not
far from this river Mr. Le Soeiif has turned
down some deer, and the Zoological Society are
forwarding a few wood-pigeons, &c., from
England this year (1908) to add to the rough
shooting of the place. There is a large house
near the mouth of the river, which was once
occupied by the first inhabitant of the Margaret
River district. This gentleman was an Oxford
man named Bussell, who gave the name to
Busselton. The house is now rented, with the
adjoining land, by two emigrants who are in
partnership. We landed at their clearing. The
fruit-trees planted years ago have grown into
giants, especially the figs, which were the largest
I have ever seen in the world. They were
heavily laden, and the fowls and pigs were
feeding upon the dropped fruit. Sea salmon are
very plentiful in the ocean at the mouth of the
river, and I saw some splendid hauls during
the day. ,
It was late when we returned, and our row
back was very exciting. Dingoes and other
nocturnal wanderers kept swimming in the water,
and we lighted our way home by firing the
THE UNPEOPLED COUNTRY (QUEENS-
QUEENSLAND is rightly called "The Unpeopled
Country." It has an area of 429,120,000 acres
and a population of only 546,850. Few people,
however, realise the resources of this State. In
the interior one can obtain nearly every mineral
known to science, and almost every variety of
climate. The charm of the winter weather is
its extreme dry ness.
The mining and agricultural possibilities of
Queensland remain undeveloped because some of
the choicest spots are inaccessible. Opalton, in
the far west, where 200 men are engaged mining
for opals, takes weeks to visit, and a great part
of the journey must be undertaken by camels.
Queensland has over a hundred different kinds
of timber, varying from the hardest and heaviest
to the softest and most useful. The supply is
48 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
nearly inexhaustible, but the uninhabited condi-
tion of the country renders it impossible to
bring this timber properly to market. About
8o,ooo,oooft. were milled last year. Parts of this
State have a steady rainfall and never suffer from
drought, but when one occurs in the intervening
country the stock cannot be driven to market.
Queensland has a coastline of 2,000 miles, and
its splendid fisheries are in an undeveloped
state. Three large shires or counties have an
area of 1 18,876 square miles, which is 14,000
square miles more than the whole of New Zea-
land, with the Cook and other islands included.
The railways cover 3,137 miles, and are the
property of the Government. Most of the land
available for settlement is not far from the lines,
and the policy of the Government is to build
light railways wherever agricultural settlement
justifies the expense.
The nature of the Queensland soil varies with
the locality. All the northern and eastern lands
are fertile with vegetable mould. The Darling
Downs contains 4,000,000 acres of good black
soil, principally decomposed basalt. The soil
in the Maranoa district is lighter and more
suited to wheat-growing and vines.
In parts of the north the blacks are still
troublesome, and cattle stations represent the
only form of settlement; but in the south the
blacks have practically disappeared, and country
life is as safe and enjoyable as in Great Britain.
The climate of the south has been much mis-
represented both by ignorant writers and those
who are jealous of Queensland's advantages.
The winters are superior to those of Southern
Europe, Egypt, or Florida, and even the heat
of summer bears no comparison with the damp
and unhealthy climate of India. In the north
it is very hot, but in the mountainous districts
the temperature is cool and not unlike that of
England. I explored the country as far as
Cooktown, and visited the wonderful Glass
Mountains, Darling Downs, Barron Falls, and
the magnificent scenery of the Great Dividing
Range. The twelve months I spent in this State
will rank among the happiest days of my life.
The death rate in Queensland is the lowest
in the Commonwealth. It is only 9.56 per 1,000.
Mr. Thomas Podmore, an uncle of mine, emi-
grated with his family many years ago. He was
seventy years of age at the time, and recently
died in Brisbane in his ninety-third year.
50 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
The part of Queensland I should recommend
to the notice of emigrants is the Kingaroy
country. This district is practically uninhabited,
and is situated near to Brisbane. The climate is
healthy and cool, the soil rich and deep, and
there is a reliable rainfall.
The route to the Kingaroy is via Brisbane to
Killevan Junction, or by coach from Esk. Land
can be purchased here partly improved and
fenced for ,250 per 160 acres, or a British
subject can select a free homestead on liberal
conditions of residence, &c.
The conditions to be fulfilled, before a title
can be secured, require the fencing of the land
within five years, or improvements made equal
to the value of such fencing. The deposit on
a farm of 160 acres is ,3 i6s. when the value
of the land is IDS. per acre. Such a farm can
be made freehold in five years.
A man with ^250 to ^300 can start dairying
in a small way and gradually increase his herd.
The price of a good cow is from .5 to 8,
and the number to commence with is generally
The most successful Queensland farmers I
interviewed carried on mixed farming, such as
dairying, agriculture, sheep, pig, and poultry
rearing, horticulture, and bee-farming.
The Agricultural Bank of Queensland is a
Government institution, and advances money to
settlers at 5 per cent., repayable in twenty-five
years. The applicants for an advance must give
a mortgage on their holdings. The bank
advances 123. in the pound on the total value
of the land and improvements. The emigrant
can also borrow money to purchase stock. It
must be remembered that all the States of
Australia have not an Agricultural Bank, and
that they are self-governing and independent.
I have taken care to mention the individual
advantages of each in their order to prevent
any confusion or disappointment.
Mr. J. H. Wall, who is a farmer in Kingaroy,
granted me the following interview:
' What do you think of the Kingaroy
" I have travelled extensively in other parts of
the world, and consider the Kingaroy could not
be beaten for farming purposes."
' What kind of farming do you recommend
for the district?"
" Pig-raising and dairying."
52 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
"What crops do well?"
" All fruit crops, especially grapes, citrous
fruits, potatoes, and vegetable produce. Maize
grows to perfection."
"Have you any pests?"
"No; we have neither flying foxes, rabbits,
nor noxious insects at present in the Kingaroy
" What do you consider the chief speculative
attraction ? "
" The wonderful timber. Some persons have
already gained large sums on their holdings."
" Have you visited other parts of Queens-
"Yes; but I prefer the Kingaroy country to
any other part I have seen."
Mr. J. H. Wall, Kingaroy Post Office,
Queensland, will, I am sure, be a valuable help
to any emigrant taking up land. He has a
farm in the neighbourhood, but all letters
are called for at the office, as there is no
delivery in the country. This gentleman
informed me that he had never expected to find
such g'ood land so near to Brisbane, and that
there is practically no rock.
The soil I examined was brown chocolate and
NORTH QUEENSLAND BLACKS.
of remarkable depth, as I noted from a new
well. Wells supply most of the drinking-water,
but it is not necessary to sink more than 4oft.
to I2oft. The water is generally pumped to the
surface with the aid of small windmills, as
The Queensland Government grants a free
pass to persons wishing to inspect the land.
The cheapest and best place to stop in Brisbane
is "The Union Club," Charlotte Street, where
the rates are from 28s. per week inclusive, and
everything connected with the place is perfectly
respectable, clean, and comfortable. A married
man could safely leave his wife and family here
until he decided upon his land and had a suit-
able house built for their accommodation. There
are reduced rates for families.
The best route to Queensland is via White
Star Line to Sydney, and then overland by
train, or by the Howard-Smith Line s.s. " Bom-
bala." The lowest rates per adult are ,20,
and there are no suffering and privation on
these boats. Persons who go steerage on
German boats will find themselves with sur-
roundings and hardships which render the
voyage a martyrdom, and the food is often so
54 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
disgustingly cooked and served that they are
obliged to purchase provisions at every port.
This exceeds the cost of the extra fare by the
White Star fleet. Further, there is no discre-
tion used in associating passengers in berths
and at the tables. Frequently one finds one-
self sitting next to an Italian or a Greek whose
habits are far inferior to those of the average
If an emigrant can afford to pay first-class or
second-class rate, the P. and O. Line or Orient
Royal Mail Line will be found equal to any
When the emigrant arrives in Sydney he can
safely entrust his luggage to a recognised agent,
and if he decides to go overland to Brisbane it
is wise to send luggage by steamer, as the
overweight charges are very heavy on the rail-
way. I took this course, and found it answered
well. Should a delay be made in Sydney, my
chapter on New South Wales should be read
as a guide to cheap apartments, &c. " The
Union Club," Charlotte Street, has a telephone,
which should be used to arrange an interview
at the Enquiry Office, Lands Department, Bris-
The taxation in Queensland is about one-third
less per head than in New Zealand, and the
annual imports are 4 per head less and exports
4 per head more. Some of the taxation I
found was peculiar. There was a stamp duty of
55. per ,100 payable on all mortgages, and
the same duty when the mortgages were
released. A penny receipt stamp on all receipts
between i and 2, and between 2 and ,50
a twopenny stamp had to be used. Queensland
is very particular about the adulteration of food
and drink. No preservative, not even boracic
acid, is allowed in butter for export.
Sanitation and health conditions are carefully
studied. Wherever you go in the towns you see
notices displayed in conspicuous places, " Do
not spit on the footpaths. Penalty ,20."
Queenslanders are intensely loyal to the
Crown, and most of the societies are called
Royal this and Royal that. The libraries are
generally called Schools of Arts. In Toowoomba
there is a School of Arts Hotel.
The market is near Roma Street Railway
Station, and is a large building, with iron roof.
In the centre of the asphalted floor are the
stands or stalls for cart-carried produce. Lines
56 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
of railway are laid down the full length and
on each side of the building. The farmer
having filled the truck with potatoes, chaff,
pumpkins, or other produce, the truck is
brought into the market and the produce sold
without being handled. I saw a truck full of
bananas, brought 300 miles from the north, sold
in Brisbane, and then forwarded to Toowoomba,
100 miles inland, without being touched, and
there was apparently not a bruised banana
amongst the lot.
The daily papers announce in their produce
report not only the price realised, but the name
of the farmer who sent the produce and the
number of the truck.
Most of the residences in Brisbane and else-
where are made of wood and perched upon
house-blocks seven or eight feet high, with an
inverted tin plate to keep the white ant from
climbing into the house. The white ant soon
destroys a building, and great care must be
exercised in examining supports, flooring, &c. A
special preparation is sold to eradicate them
from places where they have commenced their
ravages. No farm should be without a supply
The German and Scottish elements are very
pronounced in Queensland, and a large number
of the leading people are descended from one
or the other. I do not know why so many
Germans went to Queensland in the early days,
but they were so numerous that at one time
there was a German edition of the Queensland
Fish is very expensive in Brisbane, and yet
private parties obtain enormous hauls of schnap-
per and other fish when they go out for
pleasure. The Queensland crabs and oysters are
famous throughout Australasia.
The shops in all the large towns are good,
and the prices less than elsewhere in Australia.
There is no State Church, but perfect religious
equality for all denominations. The Brisbane
Grammar School provides an excellent educa-
tion, and is conducted by an Oxford M.A.
There is some talk of establishing a State Uni-
versity, but it is to be hoped that this will be
delayed until the population justifies it. Queens-
land needs physical development at present, and
the professions can easily be maintained by
persons educated in Sydney University, which is
so near at hand.
58 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
The Acclimatisation Society's Gardens are one
of the sights of Brisbane, and should not be
neglected by the tourist. They contain hot-
houses full of ferns and orchids and a splendid
collection of tropical plants growing out of
doors. Experiments in hybridising are being
carried on here. In the hope of creating a new
variety, thousands of pineapple plants are grown
from seeds. Pineapples with seeds, especially
those that will germinate, are very rarely found.
Mr. J. Edmiston, a selector, of Alton Downs,
near Rockhampton, is considered absolutely
reliable by the Government. He bears testimony
which shows that Kingaroy is not the only part
of Queensland where the emigrant can prosper.
" Do you think there is a good prospect for
anyone coming to Queensland?"
" I think there is a splendid prospect if they
go on the land and start farming much better
than in the Old Country," replied Mr. Edmiston.
' What could a labouring man make at farm-
ing here? "
" He could easily earn about .200 a year at
it. I have made that myself. I had experi-
ence on a farm at home, but that is not
" Do you think farming is the best thing for
new settlers to turn to in this country?"
" Certainly. In fact, I would not advise
people to come here to settle in the towns.
They should come prepared to begin farming
at once or to make preparation for starting a
farm of their own."
" What amount of capital should a man bring
with him to begin farming?"
" A man could easily make a good start here
with about ^150. That money would be used for
paying the first instalment on his land purchase,
buying a few cows, and putting up his house.
Of course, a pioneer does not spend much on
his house at first until he has made some
"How did you begin?"
" I began with ;ioo about ten years ago.
I have paid for my land, and I reckon that at
the present time I am worth about ,2,000 in
land and stock."
" Is there any chance for a man without
' Yes ; he could get assistance from the Agri-
cultural Bank of the State Government if he
wished to begin straight away on the land, or
6o RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
he could buy land from the Government on
conditional purchase and then put in some time
with the neighbouring farmers, and in this way
save a little capital to enable him to begin on
his own land."
" What kind of market is there for butter and
other produce in Queensland?"
" There is a splendid market always ready for
butter, and there is no difficulty in selling
" What other produce besides butter have you
grown and marketed?"
" I have grown oats for hay, maize for horse
and fowl feed, English and sweet potatoes,
poultry, various kinds of fodder plants,
ground nuts, fruits, and other kinds of produce.
On the Darling Downs and in the West Mdre-
ton districts large quantities of lucerne, wheat,
and barley are grown."
" What kind of return do you generally get
from your crops? "
" Sweet potatoes yielded about forty tons per
acre, and they fetch from i IDS. to 3 a ton.
English potatoes, five tons to the acre, value
6 per ton. Then I grow lucerne and several
kinds of millet. The Hungarian and French
A BAG OF KANGAROO.
millets are splendid feed for cattle and poultry.
I have grown ground nuts, which yield about a
ton to the acre, and sell for 3d. per pound,
equal to ,28 per acre."
The reader will notice from Mr. Edmiston's
statements a marked difference in the value of
Queensland and Western Australian produce.
Living on a farm is very much the same all
over the world, and can be made expensive or
trifling. The stuff sold in the markets is con-
sumed in the towns and cities. Foodstuffs in
Brisbane are cheaper than in any other Austra-
lian city; in fact, cheaper than in England.
Mr. John Curtis, President of the Middle
Ridge Shire Council, Middle Ridge, Too-
woomba, made the following statement:
" After an experience of forty-seven years,
during which I have reared a family of
twelve, most of whom are now settled down
in life, I am quite satisfied that there is no
greater country than Queensland on the face
of the earth. I speak from practical experience
of agricultural life in this country. No finer
opportunities await the emigrant in any other
part of the world."
The people of Queensland are kind, hospit-
62 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
able, orderly, and very democratic. They
appreciate all persons of worth, but are quick
to detect humbug and deceit. Any attempt to
pose as their superior is resented, and aristo-
cratic claims are viewed with contempt and
I made two visits to Queensland from New
South Wales. The second was in December,
1907, during a severe drought in Parramatta and
neighbourhood. This drought covered a large
area of the State, and the land through New
South Wales was dried and parched, but when
I had passed the border and entered the State
of Queensland everything was different. The
farms were flourishing and the woods and fields
looked fresh and green.
Explorers who are paid to undertake expedi-
tions always write books. These books generally
represent in graphic detail every minute difficulty
and inconvenience. To give spice to the narra-
tive, deprivation of food and water is referred
to, &c., and, basing supposed accurate know-
ledge upon such testimony, the most deplorable
ideas of Queensland and the Northern Territory
are current in England and other European
countries. I quite expected to find Queensland
like the country between Bombay and Madras,
but it was the very opposite.
The neighbourhood of Port Augusta, South
Australia, is a veritable wilderness; here I
encountered the mirage of the desert, and saw
houses and buildings covered with sand as
Canada is covered with snow; but in Queensland I
found fertile, delightful country, capable of sup-
porting twenty times the whole population of
Australasia. In the interior there are dreary,
barren wastes, but so there are everywhere, even
in Old England. The injustice done to Queens-
land has been through the magnifying of the
dreary wastes and overlooking the rich, fertile
districts. The latter would support nearly the
whole of the white people in the British
Empire. Persons, therefore, need take no alarm
from reading fictitious stories of adventures with
blacks, snakes, &c., because they can, if they
use proper discretion, live a. lifetime in Queens-
land without seeing either.
The tourist should take the trip to Gympie,
via "The Glass Mountains." This is a great
gold-mining town, and within twelve miles there
is some of the best quail-shooting in the world.
Mr. Austin, " Wyandra," Gympie, is a thorough
64 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
sportsman and personal friend, and would, I am
sure, advise people if they communicated with
him and mentioned my name. Mr. Moody,
Violet Street, Gympie, is another reliable
authority on this subject.
The best place to stop at in Gympie is
" Wyandra," Chalmers Street, or the Metro-
politan Hotel, which is in the same street.
Provisions, cartridges, &c., can be best obtained
from Cullanane and Co., in Mary Street.
Another trip should be taken by water to
Cairns. July and August are the suitable months
to go north.
EMIGRATION TO SOUTH AUSTRALIA
AND THE NORTHERN TERRITORY
THE climate of South Australia is one of the
healthiest in the world. No serious epidemic
has ever visited the State, which shares with
Tasmania the lowest death-rate in the Common-
wealth. In midsummer, when the heat is
greatest, the air is generally clear and dry. The
extreme heat rarely lasts more than a week
without a cool change. Dwellers in Adelaide
can within an hour reach localities in the sur-
rounding hills or at the seaside where the
temperature is always pleasant. The summer
may be regarded as extending from October to
March. The weather during April and May is
perfection. The coldest months are June, July,
and August, but it is never necessary to house
and feed the sheep, cattle, or horses. Fruits
and cereals of every kind grow luxuriantly, and
live stock are generally free from disease.
66 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
The population of South Australia is only
350,000, but its area is seven times larger than
the United Kingdom. The railways extend for
i, 800 miles, and 18,000 miles of telegraph and
telephone wires are employed. Three million
acres of soil are under cultivation; 21,000 are
vineyards. The sheep number 5,000,000, cattle
225,000, and horses 165,000. The staple export
trade is ,4,768,947. The foundation of sheep-
breeding and wool-growing was laid by the
South Australian Company importing Merinos
from Tasmania and New South Wales; also
rams from Mecklenburg. The first fleet which
sailed had on board some Leicester and South-
down sheep, and purchases were also made at
the Cape of Good Hope, where sheep were then
selling at 55. each. Heavy losses occurred
during transit, but the company and private
individuals persevered so that within two years
the flocks numbered 28,000. In 1851 there were
over 1,000,000, early in the sixties 3,000,000, and
in 1891 the flocks aggregated 7,745,541. To the
capitalist in search of investment, the pastoral
industry in South Australia offers exceptional
South Australia was called for many years the
SOUTH AUSTRALIA 67
granary of Australia, being the first State to
export breadstuff s on a large scale. The climate
and soil of the southern portions of this
country are eminently adapted to agricultural
pursuits. In 1906 I had the honour of re-
ceiving a small commission from the Govern-
ment to collect and furnish drawings of the
protected birds. This work enabled me
thoroughly to explore the hill country as far as
the Murray River, and took me to localities
rarely visited and little known. Port Augusta,
260 miles north of Adelaide, has in its neigh-
bourhood a flourishing ostrich farm, where I
remained nearly a week. This industry is only
in its initial stage, but there is ample oppor-
tunity for development. Life on an ostrich
farm is full of interest and excitement, and I
doubt if any part of the world suits the birds
better. Fruit, vegetables, and cereals are suc-
cessfully raised in the vicinity, but the part of
the State I would recommend is the hill country
south of Adelaide. Land legislation, under the
excellent leadership of Premier Price, is on a
liberal basis. Small blocks in certain localities,
chiefly near the centres of population, are open
for leasing by working men in lots not exceed-
68 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
ing twenty acres. In this arrangement personal
residence of the lessee or a member of the
family is required. Leases, with right of
purchase, which is exercisable after six years'
tenure, are allotted for a term of twenty-one
years, with right of renewal for a further like
period. The right of purchase may not be
exercised at a less price than 53. per acre.
The system of leasing Crown lands, however,
has now been abandoned in favour of a plan
whereby the tenant may obtain the freehold.
Taking the freeholds and Government leases
jointly, the average area occupied by each
individual of the population is about seventy
acres. This is exclusive of pastoral lands.
In the 400 miles of country which extend
from Mount Gambler or Penola in the south-
east to Wirrabara in the north there are
thousands of acres of land specially adapted to
fruit-growing. I examined the ten-acre blocks,
where strawberries, cherries, apples, pears,
walnuts, gooseberries, plums, apricots, peaches,
loquats, almonds, olives, figs, grapes, oranges,
lemons, and mulberries had reached the highest
state of perfection with no other aid than that
afforded by the rain and sunshine. These
SOUTH AUSTRALIA 69
blocks were situated within driving distance of
Adelaide, and many rich gullies remained
In the ranges near Cape Jervis, which extend
to Gumeracha a distance of 100 miles abun-
dance of good land suitable for fruit-growing is
to be had. This district has a rainfall varying
from 25in. to 35in. per annum. It is heavily
timbered, and although it may be purchased as
low as 3 per acre, the expense of clearing it
is considerable. This locality, however, has the
great advantage of being within easy reach of
the Adelaide markets, and to the port of ship-
ment by steamers trading with European and
other oversea countries. Land for grape, fig,
peach, and apricot-growing can be obtained
within five or six miles of Adelaide at from
;io upwards, but the rich alluvial soils suited
for citrus-trees range from ,50 per acre.
A little further north is the Barossa district,
situated in a range which runs almost con-
tinuously from the Mount Lofty range. Here,
around Augaston, Keyneton, Nuriootpa, and
Tanunda, large tracts of land are available.
The capital of South Australia is situated
about half an hour's journey by rail from the
70 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
port. The landing-place until recently was one
of the chief drawbacks to Adelaide's progress.
The large boats were obliged to anchor a long
distance from the shore, and the passengers
were landed by a small launch, which was often
a dangerous undertaking in rough weather.
The commodious harbour, which has been con-
structed since I first visited the country, cost
,500,000. Adelaide is one of the prettiest cities
in the world, and well merits the title of the
" Queen city of the South." The streets are
wide and admirably kept, and the drainage
system could not be improved. Living is very
cheap; a man with small private means can live
in comfort and independence. Within the con-
fines of the city are ninety miles of streets, and
thirteen miles of roads through parks. There
are 170 miles of footpaths and twenty-seven
miles of promenades. Close to the railway
station is a clean, respectable hotel, where board
and lodging can be procured for 6s. per day
or 255. to 303. per week. This is called
" Grayson's Coffee Palace." Lodgings (bed-
sitting-rooms) vary from 75. 6d. per week, with
use of kitchen, wash-house, and firing. Accom-
SOUTH AUSTRALIA 71
modation of this description can be obtained in
The Government officials are exceedingly kiri'd
and friendly to strangers. Any questions asked
receive careful and reliable attention.
The great desire* of the South Australian
Government is to settle people in the country
districts, and, while the chief demand is for
skilled agriculturists, mechanics who are willing
to go into the country may rely upon work and
good wages. In the chief manufacturing centres
the average earnings per week are 2 2S. to
2 55. for men, and 173. 6d. to 205. for
Clerks, shopmen, and warehousemen are
advised not to emigrate to Australia, but if they
insist on doing so, experience has proved that
able, determined men do very well. Work will
not come to them ; it must be sought. The
emigrant who avails himself of the columns of
the " Advertiser," inserts a sensible advertise-
ment describing his abilities, and calls daily at
the employment bureaux, will succeed, no
matter what his former occupation may have
One of the most striking features of South
Australia is the large area of land waiting to
be opened up by new settlers. The Govern-
ment offers good agricultural land on the rent-
purchase system, the terms being easy and
convenient. These lands are either let under
perpetual lease or disposed of under agreement
to purchase by payments extending over thirty
years; or, if the tenant so desires, the purchase
money may be paid off at the end of six years.
In each case the Local Land Board fixes the
price, having regard to the carrying capacity of
the land for stock, the value of the land for
agriculture, or its proximity to the railway.
The Land Laws of the State are worked on a
liberal basis; elasticity and sympathy with the
settler characterise their administration. There
is a genuine desire to encourage settlement.
In order to meet the growing demand for
partly-improved agricultural lands, the Govern-
ment has recently repurchased large estates
within good agricultural districts, which they
are disposing of to settlers on very easy terms.
Small annual payments are made, and 4 per
cent, interest is charged on the unpaid balance.
About 250,000 acres have been set aside during
the last few years for such purposes.
SOUTH AUSTRALIA 73
Married couples without children, strong
youths for stations and farms, haymakers, men
able to work binders and strippers, shepherds
and drovers, men-cooks for stations, country
blacksmiths, garden hands, milkmen, and
ploughmen are always in demand. Fruit-
growing and wine-making offer to men of
capital and experience favourable opportunities,
which are capable of unlimited extension. Ex-
perienced fruit-growers with a capital of ,500
to ;i,ooo should do well, but it is better to
work at wages, or to help a friend for a time,
than to plunge at once into farming in a
country where soil, climate, seasons, and the
mode of farming are different to what the
new settlers have been accustomed to. The
delay incurred in learning these differences will
be more than compensated by the experience
South Australia needs people to inspire the
country with the spirit of enterprise and en-
thusiasm. Closer settlement is needed. The
Government, ignorant of the value of its land,
foolishly disposed of enormous tracts in the
early days to speculators and others. Among
the places I visited Lobethal appealed strongly
74 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
to me. The people appeared to me to possess
too much land, and the scrub and bush were
out of all proportion to the fields under culti-
vation. The farmers apparently were content to
cultivate such portions only as were necessary to
supply them with a livelihood. The village of
Lobethal occupies a delightful position, and re-
sembles England. It possesses a flourishing
woollen factory, under the admirable superin-
tendence of Mr. Redpath. This gentleman
entertained me during my visit, and drove me
many miles through the country. He represents
the typical Scotchman who has done so much
to build up the success and stability of our
Colonies. The general feeling in Australia is
that a Scotchman is worth two average English-
The lands bordering the Murray River are
claiming much attention. A scheme for drain-
ing the flats is already on foot, and much is
expected from it. Steamboats ply to and fro
to the different townships, and the crops raised
in this district are the best in the State.
Murray Bridge is the nearest town, and the
Bridgeport Hotel is the best place to stop.
The land north of Adelaide consists of wheat-
SOUTH AUSTRALIA 75
growing soil. A fertile belt extends to Gawler
and Roseworthy. At Roseworthy there is an
experimental farm and college. The Minister of
Agriculture kindly drove me to this part of the
State on the Government motor-car. I visited
the dairy, wine cellars, fermenting-rooms, engine-
room, farm buildings, and piggeries, and after-
wards drove through the fields to inspect the
barley, wheat, and stock. Everything I saw
represented scientific farming of a high order,
and the appearance of the produce and cattle
was excellent. Labouring people have excep-
tional privileges in South Australia. The Hon.
T. Price, the Premier, is a strong Labour man.
This political party in Australia is much mis-
understood in England. The labouring classes
in Australia are well educated, capable, and in-
telligent. Many of them have received a college
education, and are fitted for any responsible
position the country can offer. Labour, there-
fore, is honoured throughout the State. There
are practically no loafers or so-called gentlemen;
the person who lives an idle, useless life is
despised. Working people are the country's
greatest need. No one is wanted who desires to
remain a drone or non-producer. The capitalist
76 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
and employee enter into a close relationship
where apparently they possess mutual interests.
The farmer works side by side with the labourer.
There is no patronising or domineering.
The South Australian Government has fixed
the minimum wage of a working-man at one
shilling per hour; no one can be employed for
more than eight hours daily. When disputes
arise they are decided by a Court .of Arbitra-
tion. All this sounds strange to an insular
Englishman, but the system works well in
South Australia. The workman has plenty of
money to provide himself and family with good
food and home comforts. The result is, he
accomplishes twice as much as the ordinary
labourer at home, and what he undertakes he
does with a good heart.
The total area of the Northern Territory is
about 335,116,800 acres, or four and a half
times the size of Great Britain. It lies between
the 1 2Qth and i38th deg. of east longitude, the
southern boundary is the 26th parallel of south
latitude, and the most northerly point of land
nearly reaches the nth parallel. The population
of this vast region is only 3,884, of which about
1,000 are Europeans.
NORTHERN TERRITORY 77
The Northern Territory is practically unex-
plored. Not a year goes by scarcely a day
without some new addition to the map of some
range of hills, or a lake, or other discovery.
The late Duke of Manchester, after an inspec-
tion of this country lasting several weeks, said :
" I have seen other parts of Australia, and I
must say before coming to Port Darwin I had
certainly thought Queensland the finest part of
Australia; but I now consider, as far as I can
judge by that portion of the Northern Territory
which I have seen, that it is superior to
Queensland, inasmuch as the vegetation seems
richer, the grass thicker and of a more perma-
nent character, and the country much better
The Northern Territory possesses all sorts of
country and many varieties of climate. Port
Darwin, in the north, has an average annual
rainfall of over 6oin.; Charlotte Waters, the
most southern point, has about 6in. The
traveller between these two localities encounters
stony wastes and spinifex, waterless plains, and
rocky, barren ranges, alternating with well-
grassed downs, rich, well - watered districts,
heavily-timbered hills, and on the north coast
78 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
large navigable rivers. There is a vast tract of
splendid cattle country in the north of South
Australia, only the fringe of which is occupied.
Difficulties of access alone hinder its develop-
ment. Oodnadatta, the terminus of the railway,
is surrounded by the driest belt of country in
Australia; the rainfall is 6in. Proceeding north
of Oodnadatta, I observed the rainfall gradually
increased, and there were belts of good country
with some natural waters. The MacDonnell
Ranges beyond have a beautiful climate, and
much mineral wealth will, I think, be found
here. The Arltunga district is already proved
to contain payable gold-mines; but the problem
is to convey supplies and machinery 400 miles
on camels or waggons. Still on northwards,
the rainfall increases at every stage until one
passes through pastoral country capable of carry-
ing 30,000 cattle. East of Powell Creek there
is a magnificent pastoral country stretching away
to the Queensland border, having many natural
waters and capable of carrying about 900,000
cattle. To the westward, to the border of
Western Australia, there is some fine sheep
Newcastle Waters is situated in a large
NORTHERN TERRITORY 79
pastoral area. At this station there are at
present 7,000 fat cattle, but no means of getting
them to market. Mr. Ernest Favenc, a recog-
nised authority on Central Australia, states that
from the Powell Station to the head of the
Nicholson River he found "a large quantity of
valuable cattle land permanently well watered."
The country on the southern slope is of a
nature known all over Australia as being of the
best description for sheep. The country drained
by the coastal rivers is of a different character;
better watered, not so well grassed, and only
adapted for cattle. The country I would
suggest as the only desirable part lies from the
i6th to igth parallels of latitude. The rivers,
though rough and not exactly trafficable, are
full of large, deep, and permanent lagoons. In
the spinifex ridges there are any amount of
herbage and plenty of vines, which are very
fattening for the cattle. The spinifex itself is
valueless, but the country on which it grows is
often rich in different kinds of herbage and
A profitable industry of the Northern Terri-
tory is that of pearl-fishing. The whole
northern coast from Cape York to North- West
8o RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
Cape a stretch of coast of about 2,000 miles
is the natural habitat of the pearl oyster.
Pearl-shell to the value of ,20,497 was shipped
A large portion of the Northern Territory is
utterly unfit for cultivation, and inexpert persons
have given the country a bad name by estab-
lishing plantations on unsuitable land. Plan-
tations in the north should be kept within a
belt of about eighty miles wide round the coast.
Rice would grow well in this region. The
curator of the Botanic Gardens at Port Darwin
made the following report: "The plot reserved
for rice was cropped last year, with the usual very
satisfactory results, and is now again under crop.
This cereal is destined to become one of great
importance to the Northern Territory in the
future. Three varieties of rice are indigenous
to the Northern Territory, and we have a great
area of land eminently suited for such cultiva-
tion. Such land, being low-lying, is inundated
every wet season, and this fact, considered by
many people as a detriment, is, on the contrary,
the condition demanded by the swamp variety of
rice, which is the most prolific and profitable."
The Victoria River district on the west has
NORTHERN TERRITORY 81
been eulogised by many reliable authorities.
Mr. Wilson stated: "In no part of the world
have I seen grass grow so luxuriantly, and Mr.
Gregory observed to me during a ten days'
journey, when I accompanied him and his
brother to the Upper Victoria, that he had seen
more grass land than during all his life before.
An aggregate of 5,000,000 of acres came under*
the observation of the party, and may all be
considered w r ell-watered pasture land."
Captain Carrington wrote on the Victoria
River: "Perhaps the value of this magnificent
stream as a commercial highway may be better
shown by comparison. In making the com-
parison I have only in view its capacity as a
harbour and easiness of access. I have no
hesitation whatever in saying that the Victoria
is superior to the Thames, the Mersey, or the
Hoogly." The Northern Territory is suitable
for the growth of sugar-cane, rice, maize, lin-
seed, tea, coffee, indiarubber, tobacco, cotton,
millet, and cocoanuts; but up to the present
immigration remains at a standstill. Australia
has yet to realise its great duty to this
wonderful land, comprising so many fertile
plains. The country has been very little im-
82 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
proved since the Portuguese visited it in 1500.
This is remarkable. Portuguese, Dutch, and
English have all been unanimous in their praise
of the country's natural beauties, the brilliancy
of the tropical flowers, the rapid fecundation
of tropical fruits, the grandeur of the jungle,
and the luxuriousness of growth everywhere
to be seen. It lies in the same latitudes
as Mozambique, Samoa, Abyssinia, and Sene-
gambia. Some white men who have never lived
in India complain about the climate, and affirm
that no Europeans can stand field work in it.
Their remarks apply of course to the neigh-
bourhood of Port Darwin, but in the Mac-
Donnell Ranges the climate is beautiful. In
the same way we might condemn England
because it is in Europe and the climate of
Northern Europe is unbearable in winter.
Personally, I believe the territory presents the
last great field for fortune - hunters. Professor
Tate, F.G.S., declared: "The development of
the mineral resources of the Northern Territory
is but in its infancy, and I believe rich stanni-
ferous lodes will yet be found. Rich auriferous
lodes abound over a large tract of the country."
Mr. H. Brown, F.G.S., said: "At the mouth
NORTHERN TERRITORY 83
of the Fitzmaurice I saw likely country for
gold." He refers also to the Alligator River
and the Nicholson as worth prospecting.
The qualifications necessary for successful
emigration to the Northern Territory are
peculiar. A man must be restless, roving,
masterful, hard-living, and hard-working. He
must be self-reliant, courageous, a good shot,
cool-headed, able to ride, to cook, and to shift
for himself. Sometimes his life will depend
upon doing the right thing at the right time.
The Northern Territory might be termed " An
Adventurer's Paradise." The immediate neigh-
bourhoods of Palmerston in the north and
Oodnadatta in the south are free from hostile
blacks, but to those who are willing to risk their
lives in seeking for gold or rich fertile land
the black fellow must be taken into considera-
tion. Dangers arising from this cause have
been exaggerated, both by explorers and tragedy-
seekers. The former always report the most
trifling friction, and the latter describe them as
cruel savages. The fact is the black fellow is
what the white man makes him. If a timid,
hysterical party fire their guns in the direction
of an approaching mob, the blacks will re-
84 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
taliate, and probably sneak behind one of them
with a spear. If the blacks are allowed to
enter camp and do as they like, they soon
become an intolerable nuisance. The best
policy is to treat them with a reasonable amount
of leniency and kindness, combined with abso-
lute rule. One must have no fear. This does
not mean that an appearance of courage is
sufficient, but the heart must be genuinely
fearless. A savage can read a white man
better than an educated person can read a black.
The immigrant soon becomes accustomed to
blacks, and if he gains for himself the title of
" batchee, berragood," meaning " good white-
fellow," he can travel where he likes in safety.
The black fellow can discriminate between good
and bad, and, though very immoral, he soon
learns to respect a self-restrained, noble character.
Three years ago I came across some natives
in their haunts. The man and his gin were
sitting on a log, a piccaninny sprawled on the
grass, and a dingo was coiled up in the shade.
When the man saw me he bounded to his feet
as if he had received an electric shock, uttered
a terrified yell, and ran off through the trees.
The woman also yelled and started, but turned
NORTHERN TERRITORY 85
and dashed round, picking up the piccaninny in
her sweep. This was no unusual experience.
They soon forsake the white man's neighbour-
hood and avoid him in every possible way.
When they become friendly, it is wise to keep
them at a distance, and never to expect grati-
tude or reliable services from them. A black
fellow sometimes works steadily on a station for
months, and then, without reason, demands his
wages and takes his departure at a moment's
notice, to join himself to a travelling mob.
Quoting from the journal of another traveller
(1905): "A long walk was before us, the
going was pretty heavy, and the day hot; boots
and leggings were taken off and handed over to
the blacks, who proudly carried them. Cer-
tainly, Williamson never saw his boots again,
but this was the exception." Again : " Loman
sat down on the sand and listened quietly to
the incessant jabber, &c. This pleased our
black friends very much, and the one who
appeared to be the proud chieftain, a power-
fully-built savage, announced that he had
bestowed the hand of his daughter a charming
young lady, whose costume consisted of a smear
of red ochre over the face and a medium-sized
86 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
bone through the nose on a member of the
party whose size had evidently aroused his
admiration." Some reference to the blacks
cannot honestly be omitted from an account of
the Northern Territory. It is no place for
families or young children at present, but
fortunes are awaiting development, and much
reward may be reaped by the adventurous.
The route to the Northern Territory is via
Port Darwin by steamer or Adelaide by train.
The terminus is at Oodnadatta, 688 miles from
the capital. Provisions and candles should be
provided for the journey, because meals cannot
always be obtained at the stations, and the
lamps have an awkward way of going out.
There is no good land near Oodnadatta, but
some eighty to a hundred miles northward the
good country begins. Oodnadatta contains two
Government buildings constructed of stone and
wood, but all the other dwellings are of
whitened galvanised iron. The town is very
healthy and clean. The ground is not loose
enough to give off the dust, and the air is
fresh and invigorating. There is a fair accom-
modation-house called the " Transcontinental
Hotel," as well as a school-house, where some
NORTHERN TERRITORY 87
thirty to forty children are educated. Some
Chinamen have a flourishing vegetable-garden in
the neighbourhood; they produce very choice
tomatoes, which they send to Adelaide three or
four months before the southern crops are due.
Tomatoes are raised all the year round. The
bore- water in the town is sold to the inhabitants
at 5d. a hundred gallons. The water is hot
and has a peculiar taste, but it is wholesome
Dalhousie Springs, eighty-four miles from
Oodnadatta, is a famous district for horses.
Here many racers have entered into retirement,
such as Sardine, an Adelaide Grand National
winner, Little Boz, St. Elmo, &c. Macumba, a
cattle and horse station, is about forty miles
from Oodnadatta. It is the first stopping-place
for the night of the Arltunga coach.
The climate of the Northern Territory is
tropical, except on the table-lands, where the
temperature is lower. There are two seasons
the dry and the wet. The wet season lasts from
November to April, with an average rainfall of
63in. at Palmerston, decreasing southward to a
minimum of 6in. During the wet season the
heat is tropical, but at other times of the year
88 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
the days are bright and clear and the weather
Land suitable for cotton-growing is offered by
the Government in blocks of 5,000 acres, rent
free for seven years; afterwards at a rental of
i|d. per acre, with the right to purchase at
2S. 6d. per acre.
The emigrant should visit the Territory and
study its conditions before embarking on any
definite plan. I have described where the
best-known land is situated, but a few days
should be spent in Adelaide for consulta-
tion with the State authorities. The Crown
Lands Office will provide reliable information,
or the Agent-General for South Australia in
London would prove a valuable help. Cattle-
raising or ostrich-farming would be encouraged
by the Government. Ostriches of a splendid
type can be purchased from Port Augusta
Farm, and cattle under the advice of the
Hon. L. O'Laughlin, M.P., Adelaide, who
is the Minister controlling the Northern Terri-
tory and also an expert farmer.
THE BEAUTIFUL ISLAND OF
TASMANIA has an area of 26,215 square miles,
and a population of 180,163 (1907). It is
situated south of the mainland, and the voyage
from England costs no more than to Western
Australia. This beautiful island is more English
than the other States. Its surface is remarkably
uneven, being a succession of hills and valleys
of great height and depth, with peaks and
glens. The scenery includes the snow-capped
mountain, the glassy lake, the wild shore, the
barren tract, the green valley, the extensive
sheep-land, and the wild expanse of agricultural
land studded with neat homesteads and made
pleasant to the English eye by the subdivision
into fields and highly-cultivated gardens and
orchards, fenced by hedges such as adorn the
landscapes of England. The whole island is
watered by never-failing rivers.
90 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
The valleys and plains richly repay cultiva-
tion, and there is a large area of grazing land.
In many localities good land remains un-
occupied and not yet opened up by roads.
The soil in the Ringarooma and Scottsdale
country and along the north-west is a chocolate
loam of great depth. The only difficulty to
settlement lies in the dense forests. The same
applies to the North-West and Huon districts,
wherein the sturdy settlers, wrestling with the
forest giants, are steadily increasing the culti-
vation of the land. The conditions are similar
to those of Canada, without the long, cold
winter. The high central table-land is com-
paratively treeless, but the soil is poor.
Scottsdale is the terminus of the Launceston
and Scottsdale Railway line. It is thirty-nine
miles north-east of Launceston, and one train
runs daily to and from the city. Coaches
connect with these trains and convey passengers
to Ringarooma, Braxholm, Derby, and Moorina.
These places all represent good agricultural
land, very sparsely settled. St. Helens lies
about twenty-five miles south-east of Moorina,
and is rapidly becoming an important centre for
export. A steamer trades here every alternate
THE AUTHOR LECTURING ON THE TASMAXIAN FAUNA.
[ECIDNA, PLATYPUS, TASMANIAN WOLF, ETC.]
week to Hobart or Launceston. The chief crops
grown in this neighbourhood are wheat, barley,
potatoes, peas, &c. Sheep, horses, cattle, and
pigs do well.
The north-west coast has recently attracted
many people, and I was surprised at the
amount of settlement which has taken place
here. I think this part of the island affords
the best opportunity to the emigrant. In East
and West Devon the country has been well
opened up, and is supplied with good roads,
railways, and deep-water ports, so that the
settlers have no difficulty in getting produce to
market. In the county of Wellington, which
lies beyond, the farmers are not so favourably
situated, but appear in a prosperous condition.
On the Inglis, Calder, and St. Mary rivers
large tracts have been selected, and areas of
first-class land still await the emigrant. The
Union Steamship Company runs a boat bi-
weekly between Devonport (Tasmania) and
Melbourne, and one weekly to Sydney. This
enables the new settler to avoid the train
journey from Launceston, and lands him direct
from England in the splendid agricultural
county of Devon.
92 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
New Norfolk and the Huon district are
within easy jeach of Hobart, the capital of
Tasmania. These are celebrated orchard centres,
the soil being admirably adapted to fruit culture.
The ground must not be too rich, or the trees
run to wood and become barren. It is a re-
markable feature of the fruit industry throughout
the island that the best crops are produced from
trees of stunted growth. Tasmanian apples
rank high in the markets of the world. The
American and Canadian fruit is often dry and
lacking in flavour, though when eaten fresh
from the tree it is different. Tasmanian apples
retain their quality for many months, and reach
England in prime condition. During the fruit
season Hobart is the scene of much activity,
and the picturesque River Derwent is alive with
the world's shipping.
The climate of Tasmania is delightful, and
the winters are mild. The island suffered
severely for many years from the terrible depre-
dations of bushrangers; but these horrors have
long ago disappeared, and the aborigines are
The marsupial wolf and devil once played
havoc with the flocks, but now the shooting or
trapping of these carnivora is considered a great
event, and one must go far into the pathless
wilds to search for them. The island is com-
paratively free from pests, though rabbits are
very plentiful in the Cambridge district, near
Hobart. Potatoes often fetch a high price in
New Zealand and the other Australian States,
and at such times Tasmanian farmers have
made fortunes by selling their crops. The
potato harvest is practically certain, though the
returns depend on outside markets.
Beaconsfield (Devon County) is the chief
centre of the gold -mining industry. The
Tasmanian Gold Mining Company has proved
itself to be one of the most productive in the
southern hemisphere. The other leading mines
are the Amalgamated West Tasmania, Ophir,
&c. Forty thousand ounces of gold have been
produced from one of these mines annually, and
much mineral wealth remains undiscovered.
Experts believe that only the fringe of Tas-
mania's wealth has been touched.
The general method of clearing land in Tas-
mania is first to ring-bark the large trees,
which begin to die at once, and then to remove
all the indigenous vegetable growths. The
94 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
smaller scrub must be grubbed up and burnt,
and the larger trees dug around until their roots
are exposed. They are then either pulled down
or burned out. The instrument used for the
former is called " a forest devil." When the
trees are down they are cut into manageable
lengths, piled together, and burned. Most of
the native timbers will burn green, and there is
seldom any difficulty in getting rid of them.
All roots must be " run " and removed to a
depth of i8in. or 2ft. Clearing, to an English
emigrant, is a big undertaking. It is usually
done by contract, and the cost varies with the
nature of the work. There are many men who
make a regular business of it, and provide the
necessary appliances, from " forest devils " and
bullock teams to blasting powder.
It is preferable to have clearing done by
contract, to prevent delay. The selector should
take care to see that all roots are removed to
the stipulated depth and the general conditions
complied with. It is usual to include the clear-
ing and first ploughing in one contract. The
roots of some Eucalypts penetrate to a great
depth, and after trees are ring-barked a stream
of fresh water frequently flows through the
land. I discovered the roots of trees in some
cases more than moft. below the surface.
After trees have been ring-barked some will
burn while green, and others within twelve
months. The value of labour in clearing land
is estimated at from IDS. to 2 per acre.
Cleared land is valued at from 3 to 2$ per
acre, according to the soil, proximity to markets,
and other factors. The word " cleared " is
often applied to land on which all the scrub
has been destroyed but which is still studded
with dead trees killed by " ringing." These
trees are sometimes blown down by gales and
cut into lengths and burnt where they fall.
" Partially cleared " refers to land some of
which remains in its original condition of
Many farmers in the north-western counties
engage entirely in potato-growing. It is a
popular method of procuring ready cash under
easy circumstances. I had an interview with
one young emigrant, who had just rented a
farm with the object of making a home for
himself. Potatoes were very cheap and his
funds only amounted to 8. With this sum
he purchased enough seed to plant sixteen acres
96 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
of potatoes. When digging time came he had
a splendid crop, and his harvest brought him
Another example of good luck happened to a
farm labourer who was " humping his bluey "
in search of employment in the bad times
which prevailed at the end of 1906. Money
was very scarce, and although labour and out-
side help were very necessary on plenty, of the
farms he called at, the owners had not the
wherewithal to pay, and so he had to pass on.
At length he found a farmer who was willing
to furnish him with free board and lodging,
with payment in kind. The terms were that
in return for preparing a few acres for the
plough, and planting with seed potatoes, he
should have half the crop. " Spuds " were then
fetching only 155. to i per ton. The man
went energetically to work, and in due course
prepared and planted a good area of land.
The crop turned out well, and the net result
to the man totted up to something over ^120
for three months' work, potatoes having risen
to a fancy price. In 1907 they fetched 20
per ton, and were retailed in Auckland at 3d.
The possibilities and probabilities of potato-
growing came under my notice in the case of
a farmer in the Pine Road district, near Penguin
(Devon). He was accustomed to plant large
areas of his farm with the tuber, and, as a
rule, found the results most satisfactory. This
particular season he had a very fine planting
of some eighty acres, and they were estimated
to yield at the rate of ten tons per acre. This
farmer received and refused an offer of ,3,000
for his potato crop as it stood in the
paddocks, the buyer to do all the digging, find
bags, and cart the produce to market. The
owner considered the offer was not good
enough, and preferred to wait for the predicted
boom prices for. June and July, which eventually
During my trip from Bellerive to Sorrell
and^Colebrook, in the counties of Pembroke
and Monmouth, I was the guest of Mr. P.
Murdock, who drove me for many miles
through the country. I interviewed several suc-
cessful farmers and walked over extensive sheep-
runs. The land is well farmed in these
counties, and the conditions compare favourably
with those of Great Britain. The fields are
98 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
separated by hedges, and the country lanes are
similar to those of England. The regular rain-
fall gives a delightful appearance to the fields
in spring, and wheat, barley, oats, &c., yield
good crops. Land can be bought in Cambridge
at a reasonable cost, but there are no free
I resided in Tasmania for twelve months, not
only exploring the country wherever there was
a railway, but penetrating into the virgin forest
and vacant Crown lands. Some parts of the
island I found almost impossible to journey
through, and more than once became hopelessly
lost, being rescued by search parties.
The cheapest route to Tasmania is via Mel-
bourne on the s.s. " Waretea," of Holyman's
White Star Line, but the most comfortable is
by the Union Steamship Company. -
EMIGRATION TO NEW SOUTH WALES
THE New South Wales Government has
made special arrangements with several shipping
companies for reduced rates of passage money
to their State for persons anxious to engage
in agriculture. The emigrants must be de-
sirable in every way and approved of by the
Agent-General in London before these con-
cessions can be recognised. The lowest rate
to Sydney is from 6 to g third class, and
from 26 to 28 second class. Only those who
have been accustomed to the roughest kind of
life should travel third class.
The State of New South Wales comprises an
area of 198,848,000 acres, and is more than
two and a half times the size of Great Britain
and Ireland. The population is only 1,600,000,
so there is plenty of room for more people.
Sydney, the working-man's paradise, is one
TOO RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
of the most beautifully-situated cities in the
world. The harbour, parks, gardens, and
recreation grounds are well placed, so that
artificial landscape harmonises with Nature.
Not only is the city itself full of interest and
amusements, but there are so many cheap
pleasure trips in the neighbourhood that for a
few pence a person can visit a different spot
every week in the year. It is quite impossible
to compare these pleasure resorts with anything
English, because, summed together, they com-
bine Coney Island, Dieppe, Naples, Ilfracombe,
Margate, Rottingdean, and the Canadian Lakes.
Manly, Como, the National Park, the Hawkes-
bury, Bondi, &c., &c., are among the most
popular, and within easy distance.
The climate of the State is very hot in
certain parts, especially in the neighbourhood of
Parramatta, but in winter it is ideal everywhere.
The valleys and hills of the Blue Mountains
furnish a cool, pleasant refuge during the
summer, when the temperature is very much
the same as it is in England. Here there is
a regular rainfall, and much uninhabited land
containing rich belts of soil. The small
capitalist with a few pounds of certain income
NEW SOUTH WALES 101
would find life in one of these choice spots
unequalled anywhere for health, profit, and
The peculiar advantages of the uninhabited
valleys of the Blue Mountains have not yet
been made known, because few persons have
ever explored them or thought about them.
The tourists and holiday-makers who take the
long road-trip from Katoomba to the Jenolan
Caves have either driven or walked along the
I explored the Blue Mountains far beyond
the range of guide-books and conveyances, and
it was during these expeditions that I was
surprised to discover so many beautiful and
desirable localities without a sign of human
habitation. It may, of course, be the policy of
some persons to discourage settlement here, but
mountain scenery does not deteriorate with the
introduction of green fields, golden corn,
picturesque homesteads, and romantic-looking
homes. Nothing adds more to the charm of
the Jamieson Valley than the home and sur-
roundings of Lilianfels.
One trip I took was from Nellie's Glen,
which is situated about two and a half miles from
102 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
the Carrington Hotel, Katoomba. Conveyances
can be hired for a couple of shillings to the
" Explorer's Tree," but the rest of the journey
must be taken on foot. I do not consider the
path is safe for a horse, and should not advise
any person to attempt to ride; there are so
many dangerous spots which only a native
understands how to avoid.
After emerging from the glen and ravine the
road begins to ascend, and in a few hours
good land will be discovered on both sides of
the path. Cattle and mixed farming would
pay well here, and there is plenty of beautiful
There are practically no good roads through
this country, but there is a movement on foot
to build them when settlement advances. The
good agricultural land commences about twelve
miles from Katoomba.
Katoomba is a famous summer resort sixty-
five miles from Sydney. It contains large
hotels, boarding-houses, and lodging-places, and
furnishes a good local market for eggs, poultry,
vegetables, and dairy produce.
The great mistake many emigrants make is
taking up land far away from any city. My
THE BLUE MOUNTAINS ARE THE HOME OF THE WALLABY.
[PHOTOGRAPHED NEAR KIA ORA.]
NEW SOUTH WALES 103
advice would always be to examine the land
close at home before going further afield.
New South Wales does not offer the same
opportunities as Western Australia, Queensland,
or Tasmania, but it possesses peculiar attrac-
tions which these States do not.
Sydney is the metropolitan city of the
Commonwealth, and has a population of
500,000. The farmer is within easy access of
the best market in the southern hemisphere.
The city itself is entirely European, and there
are fewer foreigners here than in the ordinary
large towns at home. The hum and activity of
modern enterprise centre in Sydney, and the
scientific farmer is in touch with the latest
machinery, fertilisers, and improvements. If he
wants a change he can find every form of
excitement, amusement, and pleasure to be
found in London or Paris. The Royal Society,
the Royal Geographical Society, and a host of
others associate men of like tastes, and the
clubs are well managed and comfortable. Cloth-
ing and stores are cheap or dear according to
the locality, which applies to all large capitals
throughout the world. The settlers I inter-
viewed in the valleys of the Blue Mountains
104 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
were prosperous and contented. They were
engaged chiefly in growing maize, root crops,
fruit, and in dairying. Some of them had
introduced imported grasses with wonderful
results, and their cattle looked in excellent
The Governments generally urge emigrants
to go some distance away for settlement.
Politics, perhaps, influence their interest in the
matter, and my experience has been, during
twenty years of travel, that all Government
literature is misleading in every part of our
Empire. The only reliable advice can proceed
from those who have no personal motive in
There is no good land available along the
road within four miles of Katoomba, but the
emigrant who has the courage and energy to
visit the locality I have referred to will be able
to ascertain what land is vacant and make his
The country between Sydney and Parramatta
represents some of the worst land in the State,
but a few miles beyond the fruit farms are
reached, and the soil improves as the train
nears Penrith. Penrith is " the gate " to the
NEW SOUTH WALES 105
Blue Mountains. No idea can be formed of
the districts from a railway journey, because
throughout Australia the good land always lies
beyond the railway line.
New South Wales possesses large areas of
land open for selection in different parts of the
State. These lands have in many cases been
acquired from their original owners by pur-
chase. In the early days enormous tracts were
bestowed indiscriminately upon unworthy indi-
viduals, who either lived out of the country or
fed a few cattle upon it. In this way some
of the best agricultural land remained locked,
with no possibility of development. These
estates have now been sub-divided into home-
steads, and can be purchased from the Govern-
ment from 2 to 3 per acre, small deposits
being accepted and liberal terms granted.
Where land is far away from a railway it is
practically given away.
The average yield of wheat throughout this
State has been ten bushels to the acre for a
number of years, and 25. 6d. per bushel is
the lowest price ever realised.
The Government of New South Wales some-
times recommends the small capitalist to com-
io6 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
mence his operations with wheat-growing, but
I am sure mixed farming is the only safe
investment in this climate.
Farming in this part of the world commences
with ploughing in February and sowing in
March. Hay-harvesting takes place early in
November, and is followed by the cutting of
maize. December is the month for getting in
the wheat from the fields. The chief shearing
season is October and November.
The New England district produces not only
good wheat, but excellent potatoes, and some
farmers have realised gross returns of ^40 per
acre. The cost of stocking a small dairy farm
of 100 acres in New South Wales has been
estimated at about ,400. Such a farm would
represent thirty cows, ten heifers, two plough-
horses, three pigs, cart and harness, plough, culti-
vator, sundry tools, separator, cans, buckets, &c.
The Australian system of farming differs
from the English in not being so intense. The
British practice, with modifications, could be
successfully followed in Australia. Instead of
making provision for a long, cold winter, as
in England, the farmer must provide for the
dry summer of Australia.
ENTRANCE TO A CAVE. BLUE MOUNTAINS.
NEW SOUTH WALES 107
An instance of quick returns from virgin soil
was brought under my notice in the case of
Mr. T. G. Adamson, of Tamworth. This
gentleman bought a block of 220 acres of
uncleared land at the end of March, 1906. The
land was cleared of its timber, and a crop of
wheat and barley put in. At the end of
December, 1906, Mr. Adamson took off 695
bags of wheat and eighty-one bags of barley,
and in January, 1907, received a cheque for
,380 for the proceeds. Tamworth is one of
the districts in which the New South Wales
Government is making arrangements to resume
large areas which are at present lying unculti-
vated in the hands of private owners. On the
western slopes lying at the back of the moun-
tain ranges some of the best land in Australia
can be found for the production of fruits for
canning and drying purposes. Australian dried
fruits are often considered superior to the im-
ported article, and the few hundred tons sent
to London have been very favourably reported
The local fruit trade is of considerable
magnitude and commands a fair price.
Mixed farming must represent fairly good
io8 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
land and a reliable rainfall, and where this is
to be found results are safe.
Mixed farming minimises the risk. It allows
of monetary returns being received more often,
and provides for a division of labour for both
men and teams throughout the year, which con-
siderably relieves the monotony. The principal
produce to be aimed at is wool, mutton, wheat,
butter, bacon, and fruits.
Sugar-cane can be grown successfully in the
northern counties of Rous, Richmond, and
Clarence. In the southern districts maize,
millet, oats, rye, potatoes, &c., are raised. On
the soil of second-rate quality in the undulating
country nearer the foothills, pineapples, bananas,
oranges, lemons, grapes, peaches, apricots,
plums, passion fruit, and different berries can
The alluvial soil of all the coastal rivers is
w r ell adapted for the growing of lucerne, maize,
and other fodder crops, and the higher ground
furnishes ideal grazing for cattle. The greater
portion of the Western Plains is given over en-
tirely to stock-raising, except around the artesian
bores in the north-west and along the irrigation
canals of the Riverina, in the south-west.
THE INTERIOR OF A CAVE, BLUE MOUNTAIN'S.
NEW SOUTH WALES 109
Outdoor life is the rule in New South Wales,
and the windows and doors of houses are
generally left open day and night. Most of
the houses have verandas, in which much time
is spent. Owing to the climate, outdoor exer-
cise is freely indulged in. Cricket, football, and
cycling are everywhere, and golf is spreading
marvellously. Boating and bathing are common,
owing to the numerous harbours and long
coast-line. Riding is very common, because
horses are good and cheap. The postman
brings your letters on horseback, the butcher-
boy your meat, and the lamplighter goes his
round in the same way.
The four seasons of the year are not so
marked in this State as in Europe. Few of
the trees lose their leaves in winter. With
spring they get a new set of leaves. Summer
and winter are marked enough because the
winter is absolutely perfection, but the inter-
mediate spring and autumn are not so. I
consider there are only two really bad months,
but these are not so troublesome as our bad
months in England. When it is very hot for
a few days it is always followed by a southerly
wind to take away the effects. Spring months
no RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
are September, October, and November;
summer, December, January, and February ;
autumn, March, April, and May ; winter, June,
July, and August.
The emigrant who wishes to take up land
should call at the Intelligence Department in
Sydney as soon as he arrives. Concessions are
granted on the railways to all those who desire
to engage in rural work, both with regard to
tickets and effects. Board and lodging can be
obtained in Sydney for single men from 123.
to i8s. per week, but married couples will find
it cheaper to go into lodgings at from IDS. per
week upwards. Meals can be purchased in the
city at 6d. each, but those who can afford an
extra 3d. will be wise to dine at Her Majesty's
Restaurant in Pitt Street. Two of these meals
daily, are quite sufficient for health in the
summer. The breakfast can be prepared over
an oil stove at the lodgings.
Victoria Street, Darlinghurst, will be found
a reasonable and respectable locality for lodgings.
The cars run from King Street direct for id.,
and if a person walks along Victoria Street
he will see cards placed in the windows giving
notice of vacant rooms.
NEW SOUTH WALES
The small hotels and boarding-houses should
not be attempted unless acting under the recom-
mendation of an immigration officer.
There are several labour bureaux in Sydney,
the majority being in Bathurst Street. There
are a few in Castlereagh Street and one at the
top of George Street. The daily papers should
be carefully scanned by those seeking employ-
ment, and if qualified persons really want work
and diligently apply for it they will not be
many days in New South Wales before they
have a settled position. Work is easier to
obtain in Sydney than it is in London.
Much harm has been done to emigration to
New South Wales by the indiscriminate choice
of persons for reduced passages and the small
amount of information given to them. Nearly
all the literature issued by agencies in England
has been written by persons paid to do the
work. These writers are often Australians or
Canadians who do not understand English
people or their customs. Every pamphlet I
have studied has been misleading. Working
men arrive in Sydney and elsewhere expecting
to be snapped up for work at higher wages
than they can get at home. For instance, I
ii2 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
have before me a publication of the New South
Wales Government with a table of wages for
working men: Bricklayers, is. 4^d. per hour;
carpenters, is. 3d. per hour; masons, is. 4^d.
per hour; plasterers, is. 3d. per hour; painters,
is. 2d. per hour; blacksmiths, los. per day;
&c., &c. These wages are quite correct, no
doubt, but everybody cannot remain in Sydney
and obtain them. The English emigrant does
not appear willing to understand this, and
remains in the city waiting for a job to turn
up, or tries in vain for a situation in the place,
which is overcrowded because men will not go
elsewhere. Sydney is a friend hard to part
with, and I doubt if the most callous can leave
it without some regret. The English working
man, therefore, is to be commiserated.
Then there are worthless, lazy, unprincipled
persons who lounge about street corners, and
plead a long story about the unemployed and
the English workman who has driven him from
work. These people are often thieves and pick-
pockets, who would not stick at anything longer
than a day or two.
Men are often to be seen sleeping out-of-
doors in the Domain without money or homes.
A TYPICAL FOREST SCENE.
NEW SOUTH WALES 113
A few of these may belong to the helpless
class of which we have so many in England,
but the majority I found represented the men I
have alluded to.
Just before I left Sydney in 1908 it was
reported to me that a number of emigrants
had arrived who could not get work, and were
trying to persuade the shipping company to
allow them to work their passages back to
England. This appeared to me a serious
matter, if it was true, so I determined to
investigate it. I visited the labour bureaux
first, and was surprised to find large numbers
of advertisements for men and women all over
the State. These emigrants had not applied at
any of these places for work, nor did they
know of their existence. Had they applied
regularly and made even an ordinary effort to
interview employers they would not have
brought this unjust accusation against the
country. An ordinary person who is worth a
wage can earn a wage in Australia. We have
a section of society in England among the
working classes who obtain wages and never
earn them ; in fact, during their whole lives
they never try to add a penny to the income
ii 4 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
of their employer nor look beyond their own
selfish demands and needs. These people
generally end their days in the workhouse at
home, but in Australia they would probably
do so in prison. Australia needs men able to
work, willing to work, and anxious to do their
own part in adding to the country's advance-
ment and strength.
No person should arrive in Sydney without
^"5 clear of his steamship expenses, and unless
he travels by the White Star Line he should
have $ extra to spend on necessary food and
equipment during the voyage.
The easiest job to secure is a situation for a
married couple on a farm, where the wife does
the cooking and the husband the ploughing,
&c., &c. Ploughing is an important qualifica-
tion for farm work. The wages for such
employment vary from ,75 to ;8o per
annum, with board and lodging. The appli-
cants should be between twenty-six and thirty-
five years of age. The small capitalist with
^400 to ,1,000 should exercise the strictest
economy, and not communicate his plans or
wealth to anyone during the voyage or in
Sydney. It is far better to appear an honest
NEW SOUTH WALES 115
person seeking employment than a person with
money to invest.
Mr. Proudfoot, Redfern, Sydney, is a reliable
person to look after luggage. His carts are
generally on the wharf, but, if not, he can be
easily communicated with by telephone. He
stores private property and ships it carefully to
any address sent him. I always found his
charges more reasonable than anyone else's.
When the luggage is disposed of at the wharf
the emigrant can easily walk to King Street
and take the car to Victoria Street to look out
for his lodgings. Should the steamer arrive
after dark I should advise that the first night
be spent at the Alliance Hotel, at the corner of
Castlereagh and Parke Streets. Trams from
the railway stations pass the door. The rates
here are 253. per week or 45. per day. If this
cannot be arranged I should suggest that the
night be spent on the ship. Stewards may
object to this, but they have no authority what-
ever, and can be entirely ignored. When a
party of emigrants are on board I should
advise them to send a telegram to the Intelli-
gence Department, Sydney, from Melbourne,
with the words: "Please send an officer to
n6 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
meet party on s.s. ' .' ' Arrangements
can be made with the shipping companies for
the emigrants to remain on board for not more
than three days after arrival in port without
The small capitalist will find the Alliance
Hotel very comfortable.
- TO THE SPORTSM/tffe PARADISE-
tzhzHomz ct the Moose
/"\NE might think that the builders
^^ of the Canadian Pacific Rail-
way had a special eye to the moose
hunter, so completely does this system
cover the range of this noble animal.
From New Brunswick to British
Columbia, the Canadian Pacific tra-
verses every district where moose
can be found. One third of New
Brunswick is good hunting ground :
Quebec is well supplied: over 100
moose are brought out of Ontario each
year by the Canadian Pacific. British
Columbia and Yukon moose are the
largest in the world. Owing to the
excellent regulations for the protection
of game, the numbers are increasing,
especially in the Cassiar district of
Deer, caribou, wapiti, mountain
sheep. Rocky Mountain goat, musk
ox. black and grizzly bear, panther,
antelope, and innumerable kinds of
small game are to be had in con-
siderable numbers in the great sporting
districts served by the Canadian
As to fishing, British sportsmen who
have not tried their luck in Canada
cannot realise what awaits them if
only they go there. Suffice to say that
Canada has more than satisfied such
an experienced angler as F. Q. Aflalo.
There are excellent fishing grounds
only a week's distance from England.
Among the gamest fish of America
are the maskinonge and ouananiche,
both to be found in the province of
The cost of a camping trip for a
party of four for ten days may be
estimated as follows :
Two canoes, 50 cent per day ... SI 0.00
One tent and fly, 50 cents per day 5.00
One tent for guides, 25 cents psr
Wages for head guide, $2.50 per
Three other guides, each $2.00
per day 60.00
Camp outfit, including camp cots,
tables, chain, axes, p^ks traps,
and cooking utensils, &c. 7.50
Making a total of $110.00
Dollar = about 4. 1 Jd.
Write for Pamphlets, " Fishing and
Shooting " and " Camping and Canoe-
62-65, Charing Cross,
A SPORTSMAN'S PARADISE
"WHERE can I get good sport?" This
question has been asked me frequently. Some
hunters, perhaps, would suggest a distant land,
where only the rich and leisured classes could
go; but my visit to Canada in 1904 furnished
me with knowledge of lakes and forests easy of
access, and within the reach of all who have
six weeks to spare annually and one hundred
pounds to spend. I have recently discovered
unfished waters and virgin forests where no
woodma'n's axe has ever been heard, and where
the wild animals seem barely to heed the pre-
sence of man. This sporting paradise is situated
in the district of Lake Timagami and Lake
Abbitibi. Moose, Virginian deer, caribou, bear,
and wolf are plentiful. The waters teem with
120 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
fish. Huge salmon, speckled trout, black bass,
pickerel, pike, and maskinonge disregard the
subtlety of the hook ; while the reed-beds and
covers abound with feathered game.
Timagami can easily be reached in a fort-
night from London. The route is by the
Allan Line to Montreal, and the Grand Trunk
Railway to North Bay, with a brief journey on
the new line to Timagami. The journey by
C.P.R. to Mattawa, and thence by canoe,
occupies three or four extra days, but is
Lake Abbitibi lies north of Lake Temis-
camigue, and is reached by steamboat from
Lake Temiscamigue station to New Liscard, and
thence by guides through the bush and by
canoe. This journey occupies much time, and
can only be undertaken by those capable of
enduring rough open-air life. Lake Timagami
has been described as the Koh-i-noor of all
Canadian lakes. It is larger than all the re-
nowned Muskoka lakes combined, and dotted
with thirteen hundred and forty-four islands of
wondrous beauty. An area of 1,400,000 acres
in this country, including Lakes Timagami,
Evelyn, Rabbit, Obabika, and others, has
A SPORTSMAN'S PARADISE 121
recently been withdrawn from settlement, and
constituted a timber reserve under the Forests'
Reserves Act. Hence this large tract will
remain a wilderness and a perpetual resort for
the sportsman. The shores of these lakes
belong to a land where neither the settler nor
the lumberman has penetrated. The traveller
can enjoy the forest scenery as it looked when
only the red man held sway and the Hudson
Bay Company planted their first trading forts.
Timagami, too, is the safest of all lakes for
canoes, owing to the close proximity at all
times of islands, any of them making a good
Bear Island, on which is situated an Indian
village and a Hudson Bay Company trading
post, is eighteen miles down the lake. Small
steamers run from Timagami Post Office to this
The fall, or autumn, is the best time of the
year to hunt the moose. The weather at this
season is bright, clear, and bracing; I doubt
if any climate can compare with this district
during September to November. This is the
rutting season ; and the Indian, imitating the
amorous roars of the cow, which she utters
122 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
periodically to make known her whereabouts to
the bull, can with care and patience secure a
shot. The most successful hour for moose-
calling is between sundown and dark.
The procedure for shooting moose is some-
times as follows. The nearest man takes a
decided aim, as nearly as possible under the
forearm and through the neck, and fires ; or,
if fronting the beast, in the centre of the breast.
If he only wounds, the second hunter fires
also, and perhaps the third, and the animal
succumbs at last, though it sometimes manages
to run, scramble, and stumble for miles. The
hunters, after the first shots, should run forward
as fast as possible and shoot again and again
until the moose drops. In this way many
animals that would otherwise be lost are ob-
tained. The sportsman must not be led astray
by the ease with which he can fire half a dozen
shots from his repeater; but he should aim as
carefully with each shot as if it were his last.
During the open season cf 1903 (November i
to November 15) it is estimated that ten
thousand deer and one hundred moose were
killed in Northern Ontario, in which Timagami
is situated. It is somewhat marvellous how the
A SPORTSMAN'S PARADISE 123
stock of deer keeps pace with the number
killed, but it seems that each year they are
becoming more numerous, and there is an
increase instead of a diminution. This is
accounted for by the shortness of the open
season, and by the strict prosecution by the
Ontario Government of anyone transgressing the
laws. The cost of a licence is $, which
extends from the first to the fifteenth of
November, both days inclusive. Each licence
is supplied with two coupons, one of which
must be attached to each deer killed, and the
carrier is obliged to cancel these coupons when
deer are delivered to him for transportation.
Timagami is one of the loveliest regions on
earth. No matter where one paddles he is
always in sight of lordly pines and mountain
peaks by day and within hearing distance of
the unwieldy moose's crash and roar by night.
Here are immense tracts of rocky and well-
wooded territory which can never be brought
under cultivation, and which, so long as the
forests are not denuded, will continue a
veritable sportsman's paradise. The naturalist
will note the presence of many beautiful birds
in this neighbourhood. The following are the
i2 4 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
most abundant: Black duck, mergansers, teal,
scaup duck, buffle-head, ruddy duck, bittern,
heron, sand pipers, yellow legs, hawks, owls,
ruffed and Canada grouse, osprey, king-birds,
blue and Canada jays, raven, crow, blackbirds,
grackles, sparrows, juncos, chickadees, robins,
cedar birds, and drake wood-duck.
The earliest time to visit Canada for sport
is July. A few days can be profitably spent
at Ste. Anne de Bellevue, situated about twenty
miles from Montreal. The hotel is good and
charges very much less than those in the city.
The Grand Trunk Railway system enables the
sportsman to make the journey in an hour.
Fishing here is very good. Black bass and
wall-eyed pike (dore) are the most plentiful,
while the ferocious maskinonge, that prince of
game fish, is found in reasonable abundance;
in fact, the maskinonge grounds which lie
about seven miles below Ste. Anne are be-
lieved to be the very best in Canadian waters.
In 1904 the record fish tipped the scales at
57lb. I had two very good days here with
Ludger Pilon", who is an excellent guide and
Mr. Monteith (Monteith House, Lake Rosseau)
. , . .
A SPORTSMAN'S PARADISE 125
has kindly undertaken to organise an annual
hunting party to Timagami, and to furnish
local information. He is one of the cleverest
woodsmen on the North American Continent.
He swims like a fish, runs like a deer, and is
a dead shot. He has tracked down and killed
three bears in one day. Once he narrowly
escaped death from an infuriated moose. The
animal had been stunned by a bullet, and when
Monteith approached to attack him with his
hunting-knife the wounded moose jumped to his
feet and they both fell struggling into the lake.
Even in these dangerous circumstances the wily
hunter preserved his presence of mind and
succeeded 'in stabbing the brute through the
Muskoka lies en route for Timagami. This
romantic region is easily reached from Montreal
by booking to Gravenhurst Wharf, where the
Muskoka Navigation steamers await the arrival
of the trains. There is nothing anywhere else
like Muskoka. It stands alone in its particular
individuality and beauty, and there are few
spots to be compared to it in loveliness.
"The old axiom of 'See Naples and die,' 1
writes an enthusiast, " does not apply to
126 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
Muskoka; a more appropriate saying might be
suggested, 'See Muskoka before you die,' and
the visit will probably prolong your life." This
region is a panorama of delightful scenes in
lake and stream, and wood and sky. Those
who have visited the Thousand Islands say that
Nature was lavish when she gave birth to that
creation, and lovers of the Adirondacks say she
was careless in leaving so much that is beau-
tiful among the Highlands of New York ; but
if this is true, she certainly was prodigally
extravagant in Muskoka, for one finds the
islands and woods combined in a wealth of
scenery almost too much for any one resort.
Crane Lake and Blackstone Lake are my
favourite fishing waters. The route is by
steamer to Port Sandfield and Gordon Bay, and
then by canoe with a guide or by waggon road
through the bush from Port Cockburn. Fish
are most abundant in these waters, and a good
catch is certain even to inexperienced anglers.
Green frogs and minnows are the best bait.
Pickerel, black bass, and maskinonge afford
excellent sport. We were content to average
about thirty pounds' weight daily, though
others, of the " terror type," boasted of slaying
A SPORTSMAN'S PARADISE 127
one hundred pounds' weight. Deer, bear, and
wolf are to be procured in the backwoods of
this locality, though they are not to be com-
pared in numbers to Timagami. Dave Lawson,
a forester, told me that he was chased by
wolves one winter near Blackstone Lake. He
shot his two deer during a hunt of three and
a half hours. Lawson saw the traces of several
moose in this neighbourhood. It is no un-
common experience to get within range of eight
moose during a day's trip near Timagami.
The illustrations are from photographs taken
recently in this " haunt of big game and fish."
Here I found the forest beaten down into solid
paths. These paths had been used for centuries
by wild animals passing to and fro from the
lakes to drink. To shoot the wolf the hunter
lies concealed near a run-a-way, and awaits the
wolves as they pass in pursuit of deer. The
bush is so dense in Timagami that it is im-
possible to run wolves with hounds. The
famous Louis Scholes hunts regularly in this
sporting paradise, and his father, who never
fails to procure his legal game, told me that
all I could write would not exaggerate Tima-
gami 's charms for a sportsman.
128 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
The Muskoka district consists of 800 lakes,
though there are not more than three navigated
by the large steamers. Thousands of youths
confine their shooting and angling to these
waters, but the English sportsman should not
be tempted to delay longer here than is
necessary to prepare for his expedition through
the wild tangle of smaller lakes and streams,
where, with his gun and canoe, he will reach
the "silent places," and be alone with Nature
in a virgin state. The lakes vary in size from
forty miles in length to small ponds covering
an acre. I have resided in this locality for a
year and a half, and revisited it again and
again, and as recently as June, 1904.
Muskoka is a place of which the sportsman
never seems to tire. The very mention of the
word has a strange effect upon anyone who has
ever been under the spell of its fascinations.
Its altitude, the peculiarly beneficial properties
of its waters, and the piney fragrance in the
air are most conducive to health and enjoyment.
August and September are good months for
visiting these lakes. The passage should be
booked to Gordon Bay via Port Sandfield.
Mr. Cox, the proprietor of a good hotel at this
A SPORTSMAN'S PARADISE 129
port, is a sportsman, and if written to before-
hand will arrange for guides.
Dave Lawson (Falding, P.O. Muskoka) or
Vankoughnet are good shots and woodsmen.
A son of Vankoughnet would meet the steamer
at Gordon Bay or Port Cockburn and escort a
party by waggon through the bush to Black-
stone Lake, or by canoe and portages from
Gordon Bay. The latter route is preferable,
and some good sport can be had during the
trip through this sparsely settled country.
Long Lake, Clear Lake, Silver Lake, and
Portage Lake should be visited. The shores of
these lakes are capital specimens of the primi-
tive wilderness. The few who have visited
these teeming waters have mostly been genuine
fishermen, who are happiest when far away
from civilisation. Few clearings break the
majestic sweep of the grand old forests; within
the sheltered bays the loons laugh undisturbed,
and the wild birds splash in the marshy edges
or upon the sandy shores. Giant pines and
hemlocks cast their dark shadows upon the
sparkling water. The sweet odour of rasp-
berries, huckleberries, and other fruits greets us
as we pass the large islands, where, perhaps, a
1 30 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
she-bear is guarding her cubs. No sound, save
the croaking of bull-frogs, or the harsh voice
of the blue-jay, disturbs the solemn stillness.
The beaver and otter may be seen here,
and rare fur-bearing animals. We frequently
hear the heavy splash of a stag as he swims
from an island to the mainland. When he
reaches the shore he shakes the dripping water
from his flanks, and stands for a moment with
turned head displaying his handsome antlers.
As we paddle on and turn a sharp bend of the
islands, a wild duck, with low, agitated flight,
hastens with her young brood from danger.
As night approaches, we perceive a fox skulk-
ing beneath the shadow of the rocks, watching
a large hare that has left his shelter and is
feeding upon some rich, tender grass. Soon
an unwary movement causes alarm, and with
four bounds he has nearly gone; but now, for
a moment, he stops, his ears are erect, and
every instinct alert ; then he slowly vanishes.
The bright, gleaming eyes of a racoon attract
us to the hollow log, and the long-drawn moan
of the wolf warns us that the hour is late.
The illustrations represent the usual experi-
ence of average rifle-shots. Twelve thousand
A SPORTSMAN'S PARADISE 131
deer were procured in Muskoka during 1903,
and recently, during my rambles through the
bush, I discovered deer-sign more plentiful than
ever. Every night I heard the weird scream of
the lynx and the uncanny bark of the fox.
Grouse were abundant, and the coveys of young
strong and healthy.
I have never failed to catch fish in Muskoka.
In 1904 I had good sport from Point Kaye
Wharf, where trout, white fish, and pickerel
were numerous. I took some fifty photographs,
but, unfortunately, the majority were ruined
during my rough life in the bush. A good
split bamboo rod, 9jft. long, quadruplex reel
and braided line, 2ft. of medium-sized copper
wire, a No. 4 spoon with double hooks, and a
good gaff, represent the outfit necessary for
On May 2ist, 1904, while trolling off One
Tree Island, with some 3oyds. of line astern,
I felt a crunch at the spoon, and the line
began to slip away from the reel at a terrible
pace. I had hooked a huge maskinonge. The
fight for ten minutes was the most exciting of
my life. The first run would have snapped my
line had we not backed the boat gently. This
132 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
sent us into deep water. Two or three times
I managed to turn his head and reel in the
slack-line, but, by foolishly under-estimating
the weight of the fish, he snapped the hook
and got away.
Deer - shooting in these wilds is always
associated with excitement and charm. I will
give a short account of one of my experiences.
We left Mr. Vankoughnet's house on Black-
stone Lake at an early hour. After a paddle
of a couple of hours we landed at a small bay.
Here the party separated, two men having
previously been landed some miles higher up
The position I selected was a fairly open
spot, where tall trees had rotted and fallen.
This swamp covered about ten acres, and
on the north side the ground rose to a
considerable height. The place was bounded
by a few tall, handsome trees, and it was
behind one of these on the south side that I
took up my stand, about thirty-five yards from
the thick bush. This neighbourhood is one of
the wildest and most solitary places in the
world. For ten minutes a deathly silence
reigned, and my thoughts were occupied with
plans for shooting across the swamp. I
A SPORTSMAN'S PARADISE 133
was expected to drive the deer back to the
guns and prevent them from reaching the lake.
The first awakening to life was the squall of
some blue-jays, evidently startled by the hunt-
ing party, and I had an opportunity of
observing their restless habits. They approached
so near to me that I could have hit them with
a stone, and then, as though disgusted, they all
flew away chattering. Soon a large kingfisher
crossed and recrossed the swamp, giving me an
easy shot and a desire to add his gorgeous
plumage to my collection of birds. This king-
fisher created some stir and animation in the
dark waters of the swamp. Innumerable little
heads popped up, and now and then a heavy
splash startled me. Suddenly there sounded a
hideous bellowing, introduced by a deep, gut-
tural voice and chorused by thousands, until I
began to fear that a deer would escape from me
during the din. They were huge bull-frogs;
but what caused their wrath or terror I could
not conceive, until it dawned upon me that
they had only recently recovered from the noise
made during the landing of our party. Seizing
a piece of rotten wood I hurled it into their
midst, and they immediately became silent.
134 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
Scarcely had the frogs disappeared, when I
heard the approach of the hounds; their deep
baying sounded almost sepulchral in the virgin
woods. I now became alert, examining gun,
cartridges, safety-catch, &c., and then listened
intently. I gazed on all the deer-runs, and
stepped backward to allow space for a swinging
shot. Once or twice I heard the sound of
snapping twigs; but after waiting in readiness
for a long time, I concluded that the stag had
" broken away." Another monotonous silence
followed, and I was tempted to follow in the
direction of a ruffed grouse, whose call sounded
close by in the deep undergrowth. I had,
however, only proceeded a few yards when my
footsteps were arrested by a deep baying, and
before I could regain my hiding-place there
came the whirr and report of a flying bullet
as it struck the distant rocks. My plan had
been to remain in hiding, and then to rush
forward and discharge my rifle into the
breast or neck of the quarry. There was a
delicious sense of danger and uncertainty in
my position. It might be a bear, wolf, lynx,
or moose. These animals are all terrible foes
when wounded, and as I stood far away from
A SPORTSMAN'S PARADISE 135
my comrades my chances of becoming the
victim instead of the victor were not improbable.
I had not long to wait a brief notice of
snapping twigs, and then a huge buck appeared,
with his head almost bowed to the ground,
and his handsome antlers directed at me. I
fired immediately. The wounded animal took a
bound forward, and as he fell I ran toward
him. I had approached him within six yards
when he amazed me by struggling to his feet
and charging. This was a dangerous position.
Some sportsmen, ignorant of big game, have
been utterly confused under such circumstances;
but having had some experience in keeping a
cool head, I quickly stepped aside and brought
him to the ground with a bullet through the
At sunset, when our party reassembled on the
shore to embark, we presented quite a picturesque
sight, for each hunter appeared dragging his
game to the boats. The paddle back to camp
took some time with our heavily - freighted
A few years ago the shores of Troat Lake,
near the northern branch of the River Ottawa,
swarmed with bears. The bears were harmless
136 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
enough if unmolested, but their unpleasant
prying disposition frequently gained for them a
character they did not deserve. They would
creep up under the cover of a thick bush and
watch a fisherman for hours, and follow a
camping party at a distance for miles. This
habit of curiosity resulted in many a weird
story of narrow escapes, which were purely
One day I was left in charge of a camp.
The men had gone into the forest to hunt.
My work was to tidy the shanty and prepare
supper before dusk.
When I found myself alone, and the deathly
silence made itself felt, I walked out a little
way to view the lake. The bright sunshine lit
up every bay and creek. The quivering voice
of the loon arose from the reed-beds, and a
large brood of half-grown wild ducklings
sported themselves under the shadow of a rocky
Across the carpet of green which bordered
the lake wandered the trails of many creatures
the stately, regular prints of the partridge;
the series of pairs made by the squirrel; those
of the weasel and mink, just like the squirrel's,
A SPORTSMAN'S PARADISE 137
except that the prints were not quite side by
side, and that between every other pair stretched
the mark of the animal's long, slender body.
The damp ground showed the print of a baby's
hand that the racoon had left; the broad pad
of a lynx; the dog-like trail of wolves.
Strange sounds broke the stillness, causing
me to start with nervous dread. The black
and white woodpecker hammered noisily upon a
hollow trunk, or the ribald blue jay chattered
with unexpected suddenness overhead. The
pines, that extended as far as the horizon, were
beautiful and solemn and still. The smooth
surface of the water was constantly convulsed
by the black bass, as he sprang upward and
fell with a loud splash into the cool depths.
I stood gazing at this calm picture of
Nature, overawed by my surroundings, having
only recently left my home and native land.
Turning my head carelessly to note the distance
I had wandered from the camp, I perceived to
my horror a large, black bear watching me
from under the shelter of a rock only a dozen
yards distant. Expecting to be immediately
attacked, I rushed away toward the hut, not
daring to look back until the door was reached
138 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
and barred then I peeped through the chinks
in the logs, and discovered he had disappeared.
For an hour I remained indoors, expecting he
would reappear, and then shame for my
cowardice made me bold, and I seized a loaded
rifle and cautiously approached the spot where
he had given me such a scare. He was not
there, nor could I find any sign of his presence
in the neighbourhood.
Returning to my retreat, I commenced to
prepare for my comrades' return. Soon I had
a fire blazing, and a savoury mess of trout,
venison, and baked potatoes cooking in the pot
I had been busy for some time, and had
forgotten my unwelcome visitor, when an un-
expected growl made me look up. The bear
was watching me from a fallen log. Again I
hastened away to my retreat, glancing over my
shoulder to observe if I was followed. My
surprise, however, was great the bear was
rushing away with the speed of a racehorse in
an opposite direction, and the crash of his
heavy body through the thick undergrowth sug-
gested that he was, if possible, more frightened
A SPORTSMAN'S PARADISE 139
Now had I been content to congratulate
myself with this fact I should have left the
harmless creature alone, but, like many foolish
overgrown boys, I was anxious to show off to
my comrades. Seizing a rifle I ran in the
direction of the sounds. Sometimes I stumbled
and fell, when the projecting branches and un-
even ground, acting like snares, tripped my
Once while scrambling over the top of a
fallen log the weight of my body broke through
the rotten bark and I disappeared half
smothered into the hollow centre, but I still
persevered until I arrived at the edge of the
thick forest where there was an open glade.
Here some three hundred yards distant was
the bear; he was shuffling along and rooting in
the ground so that he looked like a great pig.
He appeared to be hunting for small reptiles,
insects, and other food. A moderate-sized
stone he would turn over with a single clap of
his paw, and then plunge his nose down into
the hollow to gobble up the small creatures
underneath, while they remained dazed by the
The big logs and rocks he would try and
140 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
worry at with both paws ; once, over-exerting
his clumsy strength, he lost his grip and rolled
clean over. Under some of the logs he evi-
dently found mice and chipmunks; then, as
soon as the log was overturned, he would be
seen jumping about with grotesque agility, and
making quick dabs here and there, as the little
scurrying rodent turned and twisted, until at
last he put his paw on it and scooped it up
into his mouth. When he smelt mice under
some hiding-place he would cautiously turn the
shelter over with one paw, holding the other
ready to strike.
While he was in this attitude I lifted my
rifle to the shoulder and fired. The bear was
hit, and blood trickled from his side. For a
brief moment he stood trembling, and then the
pain of his wound seemed to drive him mad.
He rolled himself over and over, tore up the
earth with his sharp claws, and bit savagely
in the direction from whence he felt pain. I
aimed and fired again. Then the unexpected
happened. The second wound brought the
maddened creature to his senses, and, stagger-
ing to his feet, he charged with fierce, open
jaws. I endeavoured to fire again, but an
"l HURLED THE USELESS WEAPON AT THE BEAR'S HEAD."
A SPORTSMAN'S PARADISE 141
empty cartridge jammed, and I held in my
hand a useless weapon. I had, however, some
consolation in knowing the bear was badly
wounded and that my companions might hear
Hurling, therefore, the worthless gun at the
bear's head, I took to my heels and ran. The
bear paused to examine the rifle and then bit
and worried at it.
I did not pause in my flight until I had put
a mile between us, and then, hearing no sound,
I sat upon a log and lighted my pipe. I had
scarcely made myself comfortable when I be-
came conscious of something approaching.
Believing it was a friend, I hastened to
meet him, convulsed with laughter at the
thought of my recent adventure, but I soon
came to a standstill as the angry growls of a
bear reached me. The growlings increased as
he approached, and when he caught sight of
me he stood erect upon his hind legs tearing
fiercely at the air and scratching his bleeding
One glimpse was enough, so, giving a loud
shout for help, I took to flight. The bear
gained upon me rapidly, and in a few minutes
142 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
would have had me in his power had not a
chance accident prevented it. Feeling warm
and encumbered by my heavy coat, I flung it
off, and to my relief observed the bear pause
to rend it into a thousand fragments. This
delay gave me a chance which enabled me to
put several hundred yards between us and to
take refuge in a thick clump of hemlock, where
I hoped to remain hidden. The bear, however,
soon got on my track again, and came directly
towards me. I was forced, therefore, to hastily
quit the spot and run on again. By this time
it was evident that the movements of the bear
were sluggish, and he several times nearly fell
to the ground, until during one of these seizures
he tumbled over dead.
On another occasion I had a narrow escape
from wolves. I have told this story once
before as the adventure of a young trapper,
but the trapper was in reality myself. I was
encamped with a friend one winter, far north
of Lake Timagami, on the shores of an
unknown and unnamed piece of water. We
had a long line of traps, which extended
for several miles, and being overtaken on one
of our rounds by a storm, we lost the track
A SPORTSMAN'S PARADISE 143
and became hopelessly lost. To add to our
dangers, the wolves became very troublesome,
and, driven by hunger, pursued us for many
miles. The details are as follows: It was
almost dark when the howling of wolves alarmed
us. Jack led the way, and I endeavoured to
follow him. I could not refrain from admiring
his cool courage, but men inured to the woods
are often heroes of many noble deeds. Sud-
denly he stopped and held up his hand. The
din was awful, but he addressed me in a calm
voice, " I am afraid we're in for a hot time.
I've travelled this road many years, but never
heard wolves like this."
" I suppose they've tracked us for certain,"
" They've tracked us sure enough," said Jack,
" and we'd better be off before they get any
"Can't we make a stand against them?" I
" I don't think we can do anything except
spend the night in a tree," replied Jack, "and
then we shall have the chance of freezing this
cold night. We'll keep on our legs as long as
we can. I expect they will circle us before
144 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
they attack, and then we must do a ' guy ' up
" I have always heard wolves won't come near
a good fire. Why not get some dry wood while
we've time and make a big pile?" I suggested.
"It's too late; we ought to have thought of
this long ago in fact, it was foolish to leave the
place where we had supper," remarked Jack.
The prospect of spending a whole night in
mid-winter freezing and cramped on the branches
of a tree was a terrible alternative. The thermo-
meter at this season falls below zero, and unless
circulation could be maintained we ran the risk of
freezing to death.
All wild animals have a peculiar fascination
over their victims. It is on this account that the
benighted traveller secures himself firmly before
entertaining thoughts of sleep and rest. Wolves
prowl round a refugee in circles, and they seem to
possess a peculiar magnetic power. One feels an
almost irresistible inclination to fall into their
midst. The cold of night is difficult to combat.
Furs may be warm and plentiful, but the icy atmo-
sphere penetrates everything, and soon a person
feels a numbness in the hands and feet. Jack's
proposal appeared to me only a feeble substitute
A SPORTSMAN'S PARADISE 145
for warding off the wolves by means of fires
It was a beautiful night, and the stars shone
brightly, lighting up the path where the tree-tops
permitted. Every hour was important in dimin-
ishing the sufferings that appeared imminent, so
we nerved ourselves to prolong our flight.
The casual swinging gait we assumed at the
start was soon changed to rapid speed. Men
who have run for their lives know what this means.
Although it was very dark, we managed to keep
together until we reached the borderland of an
extensive lake. Pausing here before entrusting
myself to the frozen surface, I was aroused by the
voice of Jack shouting, " Come on, don't stop
a second! Our only chance is to cross the lake
and look out for a large oak."
The wolves had gained so rapidly upon us
that their howls deadened my voice as I shouted
a reply. Turning my head, I perceived they
were now visible. Their glaring eyes shone
like fire in the darkness, and they were so
numerous that I gave myself up for lost. I
still struggled on, however, though I felt like
one fighting in a dream. Just as I reached the
shore I heard Jack's voice urging me to climb a
146 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
tree. But I could not stop to attempt this. We
had separated at the lake and taken different
directions. This somewhat baffled the wolves,
who, arriving at this spot, where they discovered
two scents, began to scamper in all directions
around the shore.
It was at this opportune moment that I came
upon a small clearing with a rough log-hut.
Breaking cover, I exerted all my strength to
reach this place, hearing the cries of a huge
dog-wolf close upon my track, and knowing
that the whole pack was not far off.
Barely had I reached the hut when this wolf,
which was far in advance of the rest, made a
spring. The timbers creaked and groaned as
I hurled my body against the door and avoided
this first attack ; then, with a loud crash, it
fell in, and I was free. Jumping to my feet, I
quickly blockaded the entrance, dealing heavy
blows with an axe I picked up upon the wolves
that tried to force a passage.
Robbed of their prey, the wolves ran round
the hut, trying to discover some other means
of reaching me. They sounded their hideous
snarls at every chink in the logs ; but as time
went on and they still continued merely scraping
A SPORTSMAN'S PARADISE 147
and tearing at the stout timbers, I began to
feel the more pressing danger was over.
Once I fancied I heard a piteous, despairing
shriek, and my thoughts turned to my brave
friend. The sound seemed like the voice of
a man whose last hour had come and the death
which he had to face was of an awful character.
I tried to picture Jack safely hidden away
amidst the branches of a huge tree, but in
reality I had little hope. A man overtaken
by so many wolves would have been killed and
devoured in a few minutes, and, under-estimating
the speed of my flight, I dreaded lest the
wolves, having devoured Jack, might be now
hurrying after me. It was a dreadful thought,
and the horror of returning home without him
almost urged me to go forth into the night and
perish. Weary, cold, and miserable, I finally
huddled myself among some empty sacks, and
It was broad daylight when I awoke, and my
limbs were stiff and sore. The wolves had
entirely disappeared, and as I pulled away the
barriers from the door I saw Jack, pale and
fainting, leaning against the side of the hut.
At first I thought he was dying, but after I
148 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
had dragged him into the shanty I perceived
he was in a half-frozen stupor. I wrapped
round him every possible covering I could find,
and as I lay by his side he fell into an easy
sleep. I now began to look about me and
examine the crude dwelling that had proved
such a "tower of refuge" against the wolves.
The timbers were carelessly hewn, being
squared and fitted with no other tool than the
ordinary backwoodsman's axe. Mud and boughs
had been rammed in the open spaces, though
daylight was visible here and there. Standing
as a fixture in the centre was a table supported
by huge blocks. Upon this table still remained
the rude appointments of a simple meal. The
fat adhered to the frying-pan, and the flesh of a
fat buck remained unconsumed in the midst.
An unwholesome-looking loaf was uncut, and
the preparations appeared as though made for
an expected visitor. A large hunting-knife
and steel were hanging from a nail ready for
use. There were no windows, but on one side
was a sliding door, used probably for light and
ventilation. This room was partitioned by a curious
screen composed of deer-hides and old sacking.
My attention was particularly attracted to this
A SPORTSMAN'S PARADISE 149
screen. An extraordinary fascination caused me
to gaze at it. I contented myself for some
time with the furniture, but the weird-looking
screen seemed to overawe everything. I had
no wish to intrude upon the privacy of the
owner, but a sickly, oppressive odour permeated
the atmosphere and produced a feeling of in-
tolerable nausea. I attributed this to the death
of some unfortunate dog or cat that had been
My hand had already seized the huge screen,
and I was about to draw it impulsively aside,
when a noise suddenly arrested the act. Why
was it I started and turned pale ? Is there a
power within that can speak ? I drew rapidly
away and went to the door for fresh air.
While standing here a few minutes I perceived
Jack raise himself upon his elbows and look
searchingly at me before he asked: "What is
the matter with that screen?" I have been look-
ing at it for the last five minutes. I can't make
it out; it seemed to wake me up."
Having recovered from my unaccountable
nervousness, I asked Jack, with a laugh, " Did
you see a ghost?"
"A ghost!" he exclaimed, springing to his
ISO RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
feet. " I have heard of ghost stories, but this
atmosphere is so thick I believe we could cut
slices out of it with a knife."
"Well! never mind, old man," I replied
reassuringly, " let us have a pipe and disinfect
We had our pipes and talked of everything
we could think of except that screen, but I
noticed my companion looking at it continually,
and he too detected me a dozen times doing the
same. Finally, we both asked, almost together,
"What is behind it?"
The sun was now well up, and the warm rays
fell upon the roof of the hut, and as the heat
increased the atmosphere became unbearable. We
walked together round the building a dozen times
and tried to peer into that mysterious recess and
to unearth the mystery without the necessity of
pulling aside the screen, but without success.
Still we hesitated. There are horrors in the
appearance of death that the bravest shrink from,
and though we had both so narrowly escaped,
yet that screen, with its weird shadow and awful
something hidden, made the very thought of
investigation repugnant. The old-fashioned de-
cision of tossing a coin in the air occurred
A SPORTSMAN'S PARADISE 151
doubtless to us both, but to carry it out was a
concession to cowardice that neither would admit.
Jack was evidently working himself up to
desperation, though he could not keep his eyes
off the screen. Taking me by the arm, he said :
"Come on! Let us buck up and do it."
We entered the hut without a word. The
atmosphere appeared worse than ever, but we did
not pause until, as though by mutual consent,
each had grasped a portion of the screen and
given it a violent wrench. The result was both
alarming and remarkable. A terrible blow
struck me on the brow, and, staggering backwards,
I fell to the ground. I was knocked insensible,
and, when I recovered, Jack was bending over me
and wiping blood from a wound upon my head.
My first words were: "What has happened?"
The disorder and wreck around answered the
question. Our united efforts had destroyed the
whole structure, and a heavy pole had inflicted
a severe blow on me as it fell.
My friend had not escaped entirely without
hurt, for he told me he had also been stunned by
a mysterious blow. Our nerves, however, were
in a far more reasonable condition after the
accident than they were before. We therefore
152 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
once more approached the couch which lay half
covered by the fallen screen, and, carefully lifting
the corners, looked underneath.
Oh, horrors! A most dreadful sight greeted
us. The face of a young woman, half devoured
and in a terrible state of decomposition ! The
poor creature had doubtless been seized with
sudden illness and staggered to her bed, where
she had helplessly suffered and died. It would
appear from the half-prepared meal that her
fatal attack had overtaken her while engaged in
an effort to make ready for her husband's
Leaving this chamber of horrors, we hastened
to the neighbouring outbuildings, only to find
the doors barred and locked. A few heavy
blows, however, from a club soon revealed a
dead cow, a hog, and a few fowls. The hog
had evidently been the last to die, a half-eaten
chicken and even rents in the cow's carcase
testifying to his last effort to support life.
Our position was extremely painful. The
body of the woman was in too terrible a con-
dition to move, and we had no materials for
making a coffin. The only alternative appeared
to be to set fire to the buildings and their
A SPORTSMAN'S PARADISE 153
contents. Jack agreed to this arrangement,
because it appeared to us both that the scoun-
drel husband who had brought his wife into
these wild forest regions had secretly left her
and entered a lumbering camp, surrendering
his wife to her fate.
Gathering all the dead wood we could find,
we piled huge heaps on each side, and then
applied a flaming torch, and in the solemn light
of that weird fire, with heads uncovered, we
proceeded silently and sadly to retrace our way
Deer -hunting will continue famous in the
neighbourhood of New Ontario for many years.
Immense tracks of virgin forest, containing in-
numerable lakes, will take a century to occupy.
An old hunter tells the following story of a
fatal encounter with a bull-moose:
" While hunting near the Cceur d'Alene
Mountains with a mining prospector named
Pingree, late in November, there came a heavy
fall of snow. It was just the weather to bring
ordinary quarry to a standstill, although not
deep enough to hamper a moose's movements.
" We started at an early hour to the borders
of a lake to kill deer. In the thicket near to
154 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
the water we suddenly flushed a bull-moose.
He was a lean old fellow, but very fierce and
threatening. Pingree, who was nearer to him,
fired at close quarters, but not fatally. The
moose, with blood streaming from a wound,
rushed straight at his opponent and knocked
him down before he could get out of the way,
and, as he lay helpless, began to pound him
on the chest with his terrible forefeet.
" This event had occurred in an open glade,
hidden from my view, but the piercing screams
of my companion quickly summoned me to the
spot. I rushed round the thickets and fired
several shots from my repeater into the body of
the squealing, trampling monster. He turned
upon me immediately, and I had to swing
myself into a small tree to avoid his rush as he
went crashing and plunging into the dense
forest and disappeared. I hastened to the
assistance of my poor wounded friend, but soon
discovered he was past all help, for his chest
was beaten in, and he died in a couple of
The cougar is not plentiful in Canada, and
only once did I discover one. This was in the
early part of December, 1889, when I chanced
" BEGAN TO POUND HIM WITH HIS TERRIBLE FOREFEET.'
A SPORTSMAN'S PARADISE 155
to be driving from Utterson to Port Carling.
The snow had fallen and frozen hard, and the
sleighing was decidedly good. The roads were
splendid, and my Indian ponies drew me
swiftly over their smooth surface. After pass-
ing the clearing of George Mahon I suddenly
became aware of some large cat-like animal
bounding towards me from a sloping bank on
the left. The moon was shining, and as I
looked at the strange creature I became alarmed
to observe its extraordinary speed. I was
driving very fast, but the bounds of the wild
cat made it appear as though the sleigh was
stationary. At first I mistook the brute for a
large bloodhound, and got my long whip ready.
Scarcely had I prepared to strike, when the
cougar sprang at me from the back of the
sleigh. The horses bolted, and the cat, missing
its mark, fell heavily in the snow. I had a
large frontier revolver in my belt, and in an
instant I fired two shots in quick succession.
Both appeared to take effect, but did not pre-
vent a second attack. This time he nearly
reached me, and got his terrible claws into the
thick buffalo robe. Fortunately, I did not lose
my head, but fired at him at close quarters
156 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
before it was possible to be mauled, and he
suddenly relaxed his hold and slipped off. For
a moment he lay on his side, apparently dead.
I did not delay to examine him, but drove on
as rapidly as possible, thankful to have escaped
with my life.
Next morning I proceeded at an early hour
to pick up my cougar. There was a patch of
crimson on the snow, and blood-marks led me
to a swamp, whence I followed the trail for
some miles, until it disappeared amongst some
huge boulders where it was impossible to climb.
A famous hunter related to me how two men
were attacked by cougars. This occurred in the
month of January while they were returning to
camp after a successful hunt. Each carried on
his back the saddle, haunches, and hide of a
deer. About dusk, as they were passing through
a narrow ravine, the man in front heard his
companion utter a sudden shout for help, and was
dumbfounded to see him lying on his face in
the snow with a cougar, which had knocked
him down, standing over him, grasping the
venison, while another brute was bounding
towards him. The surprised hunter swung his
rifle round instantly and shot the first one in
"A LARGE, FLAT, HIDEOUS FACE WITH GLARING EYES."
A SPORTSMAN'S PARADISE 157
the brain, and it dropped motionless, whereat
the second paused a moment, and then rushed
off in an opposite direction. There are few
instances of cougars attacking men, and Mr.
Roosevelt is of the opinion, in this case, that
the animals were young, stupid, and very
hungry. The smell of the raw meat excited
them, and they probably could not make out
what the men were, with the deerskins on their
backs. Evidently the cougars were merely
striving to steal the venison, and not to attack
The lynx I once discovered peering at me
from the shelter of a thick bough. I was
travelling north-east of Lake Rosseau in the
direction of Fairy Lake. I had ridden about
ten miles from Rosseau Village, when my
attention was drawn to some tree-grouse feed-
ing on a bank some fifty yards ahead. I
quickly dismounted, and, creeping stealthily
towards them, bagged one and wounded another.
Following on this bird's laboured flight I was
suddenly startled by hearing a noise overhead,
and, looking up, saw a large, flat, hideous face
glaring down upon me. I fired, and hit the
creature. It was a huge lynx, and with a
158 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
bound it sprang at me from a bough, missed
its aim, and fell sprawling in the snow. The
awful rage it displayed was horrifying, as it
worried and destroyed everything within reach
of its cruel claws. A more ferocious creature I
had never seen. Its strength and destructive
power were enormous. For a considerable time
I heard its fiendish screams after I had ridden
away from the spot.
The big game hunter has many exciting
adventures in Canada. Winter is the season for
moose and deer, and terrible storms sweep over
the forest. I have survived two cyclones one
in Canada and another in South - Eastern
Illinois. In the former experience I was accom-
panied by a man named Herbert, who shortly
afterwards perished in a storm on Lake
Muskoka. The prelude to this cyclone was an
oppressive, sickly sense of warmth, followed by
icy waves of air. Then came a deathlike silence
and a fearful consciousness of danger. Suddenly
strange rumblings sounded in the distance, in-
creasing in volume, until it seemed as though
some infernal machine was tearing up the
mountains, and hurling trees and rocks through
space. Snow whirled around us in blinding
"AFTER THE CYCLONE."
A SPORTSMAN'S PARADISE 159
clouds, carrying in its embrace the most deadly
missiles, and we were both hurled to the
ground, blinded, choked, and gasping for
breath. The snow-dust cut our faces, and pene-
trated through everything we wore. The noise
and confusion overhead baffle description. An
overwhelming desire to sleep seized us, but we
fought against it, and, staggering to our feet,
plunged through the storm. More than once I
stumbled and fell, having no energy to rise,
and I am unable to narrate the circumstances
that once more enabled me to battle on. In a
half-blinded and stupefied state I continued to
plod on for an hour, moving mechanically.
The ground was in places almost bare or piled
up in massive hills of snow. More than once
I collided with the forest trees or fell helplessly
into a moving mound of icy dust. It was so
dark that at times I could not even see my feet.
Sometimes the whirling snowclouds lifted and
the sun appeared, but these lulls were followed
by cyclonic outbursts more terrible than before.
I felt when these were repeated that I could
not survive the strain, but the last cloud, as
dark as night, at length passed over, and the
storm ceased. My companion found me half-
160 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
dead in the snow, and but for his noble assist-
ance I should have perished.
The lakes of Canada are in March coated
with four to six feet of solid frozen surface,
composed of good ice, which is the frozen lake-
water, then snow partly melted and partly
frozen, then snow melted and entirely frozen,
and covered with deep snow upon which
a few inches of ice have formed. When this
surface ice melts it is no uncommon sight to
see a man driving over lakes apparently covered
with water. A sleigh driven over the ice in
these circumstances looks like a huge water
monster sporting in the lake. I shall never
forget walking from Gregory to Port Sandfield
during the month of April, 1889. The first
half-mile was delightful, the ice being strong
and smooth. Then the top ice began to crack,
and after a time to break through, giving me a
drop of nearly two feet into the biting-cold
water above the foundation ice.
Mr. Gregory, who was my companion, re-
called this adventure to my memory in 1904,
when I revisited old haunts. He had the
greatest difficulty in urging me on, because my
sensations at every step reminded me of a
A SPORTSMAN'S PARADISE 161
recent experience in England when I narrowly
escaped drowning. There was really no danger
in this respect, but I believed that every step
of that terrible journey would be my last. Had
I fainted, however, no power on earth could
have saved my life.
The Queen's Hotel, Toronto, is the best
place to put up at. This hotel is old-fashioned,
reasonable, and extremely comfortable. The
proprietor of the Queen's Hotel takes a keen
interest in sport, and gladly renders his assist-
ance and advice. My rule has been to make
the Queen's Hotel a permanent Canadian
address during residence in the country, and a
centre for trips to Muskoka and Timagami.
Other places may appear cheaper, but after
twenty years' experience I doubt if they will
be found so in the end. It might be well to
mention my books when requesting an inter-
AN ADVENTURE WITH A TASMANIAN
THE Tasmanian Devil, whose habitat is con-
fined to the wild, uninhabited portions of
Tasmania, is almost extinct. The circumstances
and adventures associated with my coming into
contact with this rare and ferocious marsupial
may be of interest to my readers.
" He never returned." These were the last
words of my companion when he said good-bye
and left me to continue my journey alone. We
had been discussing an expedition to the Crown
Lands on the banks of the Emu River, and his
remark referred to the mysterious disappearance
of the last adventurer to these wilds. Search
parties had failed to discover the slightest clue
as to his fate, and though months had passed
to years he never returned. It was a lovely
cool day, and the waves were breaking with a
gentle murmur on the beach, as I stepped
THE TASMANIAN DEVIL 163
along briskly over the smooth sands. In about
half an hour I reached the delta, where the
blaze path is somewhat difficult to find. Here
huge tree-ferns grow to immense height and
flourish amidst the rank, decaying vegetation.
In some places monster trees are piled in
massive heaps and present formidable barriers.
The country, too, is intersected by brooks and
streams, and the low gullies are dangerous
swamps where a false step means a loathsome
plunge into black, oozing mud. This pathless
wilderness so hampers the pedestrian that he is
often forced to leave the river banks for the
higher ground, where he can only proceed by
jumping from rock to rock.
The woods, however, are full of charm to the
naturalist, and the weird solitude gives a
romantic touch to the place. Frequently I
would pause to gather the delicate flowers of
the white cluster or to admire the pale greenish
bell-flowers of the Billiardera longiflora; the red
conia, spacris, blue-berry, and cherry blossomed
to perfection in this natural garden. Bird life
was much in evidence, and ground doves, wood-
hen, quail, wood-thrush, and honey-birds re-
lieved the deathly silence.
164 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
While I stooped to gather ferns I was sud-
denly startled by a great commotion, and,
looking up, perceived a small herd of wild
cattle thundering down a grassy slope. They
were handsome, fierce-looking creatures with
long tapering horns and strong, well-shaped
bodies wild descendants of a domestic breed.
For a moment I gazed at their wild careering
with wonder, and then looked anxiously for a
place of safety. There was no shelter near, so
in despair I turned and ran towards the river,
stumbling and scrambling through the tangled
vines. The herd had sighted me and were in
hot pursuit, rendering the forest hideous with
their bellows. I had now reached some tall,
closely-growing reeds, and only their waving
tops marked my flight. The infuriated brutes
pressed on, splashing the mud about them in
showers. The sparkle of the shining river was
visible, but a terrible obstacle stood in my
way. This obstacle was a perfect net-work of
fallen tree-ferns, covered with green unwhole-
some slime. Half-blinded and choked I hurled
myself against it, hearing the rush of feet
behind me and too terrified to turn my head
a false step or fall and I knew I should be
THE TASMANIAN DEVIL 165
gored to death. I clutched, slipped, fell, and
rolled, herbage broke with my weight, and to
my amazement I found myself safe on the
other side, where the ground sloped gently to
the river. My pursuers were thus baffled, and
soon I heard them returning on their tracks.
Working my way to the river, I reached the
mud-flats, where platypus and other amphibious
creatures had left marks of recent occupation.
The food of the platypus or duck-bill consists
of shrimps, beetles, worms, and water fleas.
They are chiefly nocturnal, but as the afternoon
advanced I observed a few rise to the surface
to devour their food. The platypus is one of
the most remarkable of living animals. It has
a broad, duck-like bill, webbed feet, and a body
covered with rich brown fur; to which is added
a bushy tail like a beaver. It lays eggs and
suckles its young. When swimming the fore-
paws are expanded and the hind-paws and tail
seem to take little part in propelling. When
diving they throw their heads rapidly beneath
the body and the front paws are used until the
bottom is reached. The water being very clear,
I observed them turn the sand over rapidly
with their bills, and a train of bubbles marked
i66 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
the spot where their movements were taking
place. Their burrows I found just below the
surface of the river. These animals are very
shy and difficult to approach, and to stalk them
successfully requires time and patience. The
Tasmanian bush is not a desirable place to
find oneself benighted, so I left the river at an
early hour to retrace my steps to Burnie.
Daylight had somewhat minimised my difficul-
ties of travel, but trudging back was a different
matter. Frequently I slipped and fell into the
slime and mud, and soon found myself bruised
and bleeding. When possible I kept clear of
the swamps, and tramped through dense scrub
on the dry ground. Progress was slow and
painful, and after a long toilsome effort I sat
down to rest, feeling very weary. In this
neighbourhood forests had lived, fallen, and
decayed, and the rotten wood lay thick and
deep. Every great fern which thrived in this
fattening pasture was at once a fern and
fernery, and parasite ferns clung everywhere.
I had taken up a position on a huge platform
of fallen trees when I became gradually con-
scious that I was sinking into the ground, and
then, without further warning, the rotten wood
THE TASMANIAN DEVIL 167
gave way. Down I went, in spite of struggles,
into a dark, gloomy space with my throat
choking with blinding dust. It was an awful
moment, and when I found myself lying in
slime and mud, I recalled the words: "He
never returned." Battling with reeking rubbish
I cleared the bark and broken boughs from my
arms and shoulders until I could manage to
stand. Looking upward through the disgusting
debris, I caught a faint glimmer of light.
Mustering my strength, I made several desperate
efforts to climb up the rotten sides of my
prison. Once I nearly reached the top, and
when I paused to breathe the fresh branches
broke, and I fell backwards half stunned. My
ultimate deliverance was accidental, and hap-
pened from my clinging, during a slip, to the
other side of the gap. Here my foothold re-
mained firm, so I drew my hunting-knife, and,
with much labour, cut a way through the
fallen boughs, and thus managed to work a
passage for my body. Through this I squirmed
with elbow and knees, while the sharp wood
cut into my flesh. Once safely outside I
looked around me. The forest was a perfect laby-
rinth of vegetation, tropical in its luxuriance and
i68 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
variety, partly due to the favouring influence of
humidity and the fertile soil, enriched by the
accumulated humus of incalculable centuries.
Water oozed out from the moist ground in all
directions, tinkling as it fell and making quiet
music of its own as it descended into the hollows,
where the tree-ferns grew, and then gurgled
onwards to the river.
All that had delighted me during the day now
became a source of dread. The muddy pool and
sluggish spring were signals of horror, and the
trees looked like spectres as they waved their
gaunt arms glaring ghastly white. In a perfect
bath of perspiration I regained the river bank,
devoutly thankful to have emerged from that
gloomy mass of decaying life. Hungry and
miserable, I set about looking for a place to
camp. Close to where I stood were the marks of
wild cattle. One bull had apparently stopped
within a few yards to stamp and paw the ground
suspiciously as the hoof-prints showed, and then,
unwilling to proceed further, had turned back on
his tracks. The land on the other side of the
river was steep and rocky, and huge boulders
projected from the hillsides. In the deep earth
large blue gum trees grew to a great height and
THE TASMANIAN DEVIL 169
the ravines were thickly covered with te-scrub.
After careful consideration I decided to cross
over and pitch my camp. The sun had set and
dark shadows had veiled the distant woods. I
experienced some difficulty in effecting my
passage across, and more than once I was nearly
swept from my feet by the swiftly-flowing water.
Steadying myself with a stout stick and occa-
sionally clinging to a rock or overhanging
bough, I managed to keep my balance. The
scramble through the tall rushes occupied some
time, and when I gained the hill-side my arms
and face were bleeding from fresh wounds and
my clothes severely torn. I found, to my dis-
appointment, that I had hardly improved
matters, as far as travelling was concerned, and
wandered about for several hours seeking in vain
for an open glade. About 10 p.m. I found it
impossible to proceed further without a torch, so
I fired some dry wood, and by its light
endeavoured to pick my way. Sometimes I
caught a glimpse of a ring-tailed opossum as he
ran across my path and scuttled up into the
trees, or a rustle and jump announced the
proximity of a prying kangaroo, and stealthier
sounds made me apprehensive of the dreaded
1 70 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
devil or other carnivora. It was while passing
over some rocky, broken ground that I took a
false step and, before I could recover, fell from
a great height, striking against tree and rock
until I reached a broad ledge, where I remained
in a semi-conscious state for several minutes.
At length I dragged myself to my feet, and
found I could only stand on one foot, the
other being so painful that the slightest
pressure was agony. I struck a match and
peered over the edge of my resting place. It
was only a few feet down to a level spot, so
I descended painfully and commenced to gather
fuel for a fire. I was obliged to make several
trips, but when I had procured a good blaze
its warmth made me drowsy and I soon fell
About one o'clock in the morning I was
rudely awakened by a fierce growl, and turning
over on my side found myself face to face with
a fierce, hideous creature, whose eyes seemed
to glow with a murderous light. He had a
huge head and sharp, glittering teeth, and his
parted jaws added to his savage aspect. As I
observed him closely, with the aid of a fire-
brand, I noticed his body was covered with
THE TASMANIAN DEVIL 171
thick black hair, a white patch extended from
his chest to the ribs, and a similar mark
appeared above a long, coarse tail. His
shoulders seemed to quiver with excitement and
his attitude was most threatening. Had I been
uninjured I might have taken a delight in the
advent of such a strange visitant, but in my
present crippled condition I viewed his coming
with nervous excitement, and would have given
anything to tempt him to depart. Shouting
and threatening noises made no impression, so
I shuffled close to my fire and commenced a
bombardment with burning sticks. The sparks
flew in all directions, and when I paused from
sheer exhaustion my fire was nearly out, but
my unwelcome guest still remained almost in
the same position he had formerly occupied.
His attitude, however, was more aggressive and
he took a few short, defiant steps nearer to me,
accompanying this action with a horrible growl.
Then followed a series of antics which held me
spellbound. They could be likened to a worried
dog snapping viciously at tormenting flies.
Several times he sprang upward, bringing his
jaws together with a loud, resounding snap.
His size was doubtless magnified by the un-
RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
certain light, and I felt at the time I had never
before seen a more terrible sight. When he had
ceased his exertions he composed himself into
a defensive attitude, as though he were afraid
to attack me while I remained prepared.
Whenever I moved he followed my example
like one engaged in a pugilistic duel. Weary
of this long inactivity I decided to commence
the battle, and aimed carefully with my revolver
to strike him between the eyes. There was a
loud report and a vivid flash a deadly silence
followed; but when I looked to ascertain if my
bullet had hit its mark I was amazed to per-
ceive the devil still glaring upon me with
increased fury and apparently unharmed. I had
still five undischarged cartridges and a huge
stone handy. I moved forward, therefore, to
renew my attack at close quarters, anger over-
coming fear". This time I fired every shot
without a pause, determined to rush upon him
with a stone and hunting knife if unsuccessful.
Three shots took effect, but still he stood his
ground with feet wide apart and widening with
every hit. His jaw dropped lower and lower,
blood flowed from his mouth, and hatred was
depicted in every gesture; then there was a
THE TASMANIAN DEVIL 173
scrambling and shuffling noise, and I held my
sharp knife ready, expecting him to imme-
diately rush upon me, instead of which he
appeared to double up and collapse, and with
a yell of pain rolled and tumbled from the
ledge, nor did he pause in his disordered flight
until a splash announced that he had reached
the river. My adventures now came to an end.
The noise of the firing directed the footsteps
of a search party, and in due course I was
rescued from my perilous position.
The body of the Tasmanian Devil was sub-
sequently found, and the preserved specimen
was exhibited in London at the Franco-British
IN CANNIBAL LANDS
THE cannibals of the most daring type are those
who do not merely procure human flesh as
animal food, but seek for victims that they may
get human blood for ceremonial purposes, and
on such occasions, when they fail to secure
victims from an alien tribe, they select them
from among their own kin. This phase of
cannibalism is the most difficult to combat. It
is not merely a matter of showing these can-
nibals the undesirability of hunting, killing, and
eating their fellows, but to uproot their deeply-
imbedded idea that human blood is an essential
to their ceremonial rites. The natives of the
Purari delta of British New Guinea are
examples of the most savage people holding
these tenets. To their untutored minds the
blood-shedding of Christ confirms rather than
dissipates their principles. These wild tribes
IN CANNIBAL LANDS 175
are locally known as Naman natives. Terrible
as the curse of cannibalism is among them,
their recognised system of immorality is hardly
less terrible. The female sex receive no form
of respect ; daily they are subjected to the most
degrading form of barter, and are made the
victims of the most horrible phases of im-
morality during the period of cannibal orgies.
In the New Hebrides the natives, though
still determined cannibals and very treacherous,
do not kill and eat white people without excuse.
They may murder you if they take a dislike
or if you have in their opinion called down a
curse on the country by your presence, and so
caused the death of someone belonging to their
tribe, or if some other white person has angered
the gods, and you happen to be the next who
comes along; or if they have lately been seized
with a desire " to make themselves strong " by
shedding white man's blood. But if they rather
like you on the whole and they do not think
you have cast spells upon them, you may
mingle freely among them in confidence without
a maxim gun for a companion. The Male-
kulan tribe often carry poisoned arrows. These
can always be recognised by the leaves wrapped
176 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
round the arrow points. I have handled one
of these arrows. It had a long unbarbed point,
clotted and dark with some thick liquid.
Essence of decaying human corpse is said to
be the poison employed. Death almost always
follows a wound from one of these arrows ; it
commonly occurs on the ninth day.
During my rambles among the Pacific Islands
Herr Schlehahan was cruelly murdered by the
man-eating natives of the Admiralty Group.
He had for many years resided on St. Gabriel
Island. He received no warning of the inten-
tion of the natives. Suddenly he was ap-
proached from behind by a savage who dealt
him a severe blow on the head with a club.
The unfortunate trader fell senseless, and,
while he lay on the ground, his body was
terribly mutilated by the natives armed with
tomahawks. What eventually became of the
remains is not at all clear, but from the fact
that the inhabitants of the whole of the Ad-
miralty Group are cannibals it is presumed that
the body was devoured at one of their feasts.
The Trinidad Islands appeared to me chiefly
noteworthy because of the horribly diseased
state of the inhabitants. Loathsome disorders
IN CANNIBAL LANDS 177
seem to have been spread through the islands
by noxious Asiatic coolies.
Calling upon some of the leading natives, I
obtained much useful information respecting
their feelings toward immigrants.
In answer to my questions an old chief
replied as follows:
"How are you and all your people?"
" Don't like coolies coolies no good. China-
men no good."
"How do you like the English?"
"We don't want to lose our land; if land
go then we cry very much. White settlers do
the crooked. Good English very good; some
English no good."
This was all I could get out of him beyond
a special message to His Majesty the King,
which I fear would be of little interest. My
time was limited, so I was obliged to check
the elaborate preparations he ordered for my
entertainment; but when I took my departure
he said, "You come back; you stay week."
In Sydney I met, at an obscure boarding-
house, the famous Captain Weaver, who, for
alleged piracy and murder on the high seas,
was condemned to death in Fiji.
i;8 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
He informed me that while cruising among
some islands off the coast of New Guinea he
landed upon one notorious for cannibalism. The
natives were very hostile at first, but after a
few days, and numerous presents had been
received by them, they professed friendship, and
requested him to attend a conference on shore.
These natives were ruled over by a popular
king who was old and seriously ill. The con-
ference was convened, therefore, to request
Weaver to remove the evil spell under which
he was suffering. Captain Weaver knew from
the curiosity of the people that no white men
had visited this island, but he determined to
risk his life to win the inhabitants to friendly
trade and intercourse. Fortifying himself with
drugs from the ship, he travelled alone several
miles through the dense forest to the native
town. Here he found that the king was
suffering from fever. Knowing the immense
importance the natives attached to ceremony
and incantations, he performed grotesque and
humorous antics which delighted his beholders,
who called to each other to watch the magic
of the great medicine man. When he had
finished these deceptions he requested the people
IN CANNIBAL LANDS 179
to retire, and entered the king's hut to ad-
minister a few grains of quinine. This simple
but wonderful remedy soon had the desired
effect, and in a few days the king was restored
.Weaver now became the wonder and admira-
tion of everybody, and so rose in public favour
that he ranked next to the king on all cere-
monial occasions. When the king died, a few
weeks afterwards, Weaver was so popular that
it was considered the life of the old man had
only been prolonged to fit him to become his
successor. Weaver, therefore, was made king,
and ruled over these people with a wise and
cautious hand. He taught them the use of
firearms, how to build houses and fortify their
towns. In a short time the white king became
immensely wealthy, and, being ambitious, he
determined to sail to Sydney to purchase
articles for the development of his kingdom.
During the voyage his ship was lost on a
reef, and Weaver arrived in the city penniless.
Nothing daunted, he approached several wealthy
people and related his extraordinary experiences
with so much cleverness that they advanced
him money to purchase another ship. The
i8o RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
exact position of his island he kept secret, not
knowing whom to trust, and having much
wealth hidden there. Discontent arose among
his crew soon after he had cleared " The
Heads," and long before he reached his destina-
tion he discovered a plot to murder him and
take the ship.
Weaver, however, determined to be on his
guard, and, having bribed the cabin-boy to
reveal the plans of his enemies, he turned the
tables on them by shooting the ringleader. For
this act he was seized by a British warship
and imprisoned for many years in Suva, Fiji.
When the islanders found their king did not
return, they scoured the Pacific for news of
him, and finally discovered he was in Fiji.
These devoted people managed to hide them-
selves and to enter into communication with the
Captain Weaver was ultimately liberated, and
affirmed his act was justified, and he was inno-
cent of crime.
In 1906 he was busy collecting money to fit
out a ship, and offered me the post of Prime
Minister and Secretary at an enormous salary.
I took some days before giving him an answer,
IN CANNIBAL LANDS 181
being fascinated with the idea of new experi-
ences and adventures. Happily, however, I
decided to decline. When I returned to
Sydney in 1908 I discovered many persons were
anxiously awaiting some news of his ship.
Fiji was once the most notorious cannibal
land in the world. An Englishman named
Pickering fell into the hands of a hostile tribe.
He soon became aware that they were making
preparations for a cannibal feast, of which he
was to be the principal dish, though these
preparations would not have been noticed by any
one less versed in their customs. He knew that
before they proceeded to kill him a bowl of
kava would have to be made and a prayer said
over the beverage when ready, and the person
saying the prayer could not be eaten. Pre-
tending utter unconsciousness of what was
going on, he eagerly watched for the moment
when the preparation of the kava was advanced
to the stage at which the prayer had to be
said, then suddenly, to the utter dismay of his
enemies, he pronounced the well-known formula.
No one now dared to take his life, and he had
the keen satisfaction of partaking of the yams
and fruit provided for his own funeral.
1 82 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
A cannibal feast is conducted as follows:
The victims are made to sit upon the ground
with their legs drawn under their thighs and
their arms placed close beside them. In this
position they are bound so tightly that they
cannot move a joint. They are then placed
in the oven upon hot stones and covered with
leaves and stones, and so roasted alive.
When the body is cooked it is taken from
the oven and the face painted black. It is
then carried to the Bure, where it is offered
to the gods, being afterwards cut up and dis-
tributed to be eaten by the people. Women
seldom eat human flesh.
The Fijians once indulged in horrible rites.
At the burial of a great chief the body was
laid in state upon a spacious lawn in the
presence of an immense concourse of people.
The principal wife, after she had been properly
adorned, then walked out and took her seat
near the body of her husband, when a rope was
passed around her neck, which eight or ten
men pulled with all their strength, until she
was strangled and dead. When this was done
the second wife came and seated herself in the
same place, and she also was killed. A third
IN CANNIBAL LANDS 183
and a fourth became voluntary sacrifices in the
same manner, and afterwards they were all in-
terred in a common grave. One body was
placed above, one below, and one on either side
of the husband. The reasons assigned for this
barbarous custom was that the spirit of the
chief might not be lonely in its passage to the
Human sacrifices were common before a war
took place. The only weapon with which the
procurers of sacrifices were armed was a small
stone concealed in the hollow of the hand.
With this they would strike their victim a
stunning blow upon the back of the head, when
others, who were in readiness, would rush in
and complete the horrid work. The body was
then carried amid songs and shouts of savage
triumph and offered to the gods. At other
times the king's gang of desperadoes would
arm themselves with spears, surround the house
of their victim, and enjoy the sport of spearing
him through the apertures between the poles
which encircled the house. In these circum-
stances the object of their savage amusement,
frenzied with pain and dread, would rush from one
part of the house to the other vainly seeking pro-
1 84 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
tection ; but wherever he ran he found a spear
entering his body, and at length, perceiving no
possibility of escape, he would cover himself in
his cloth, throw himself upon the floor, and wait
until a spear would pierce his heart.
At Raratonga two human victims were in-
variably offered at the birth of the son of a
principal chief. Another circumstance which
rendered this practice still more dreadful was
that as soon as one of a family had been
selected all the other male members of it were
looked upon as devoted to the same horrid
purpose. It availed them nothing if they re-
moved to another island, for they would be
sought after and often pursued with dogs
whenever a sacrifice was required.
The capture and massacre of the " Port-au-
Prince's " crew at Hayti on December i, 1806,
ranks among the most awful fates which befell
sailors among the Pacific Islands.
At 9 a.m. Tooi-Tooi, the Sandwich Islander,
came aboard and invited Mr. Brown to go on
shore and view the country. He immediately
complied, and went unarmed. About an hour
after he left the ship Mr. Mariner, who was in
the steerage, went to the hatch for the sake of
IN CANNIBAL LANDS 185
a light to mend his pen, when, looking up, he
saw Mr. Dixon standing on a gun, endeavour-
ing by signs to prevent more natives coming
on board. At this moment he heard a loud
shout from the savages, and saw one of them
knock Mr. Dixon down with his club.
Too surely convinced now what was to happen,
he ran into the gun-room, when a native caught
hold of him by the hand; but, escaping from his
grasp, he ran down the scuttle, where he found
the cooper. Considering the magazine the
safest place, they ran there, and, having con-
sulted what was best to be done, they came to
the resolution of blowing up the vessel.
Bent upon this desperate enterprise, Mr.
Mariner repaired to the gun-room to procure
flint and steel, but was unable to get at the
muskets without making too much noise, for
the arm chest lay beneath the boarding-pikes,
\\hich had carelessly been thrown down the
scuttle the previous evening; and the noise
occasioned by clearing them away, as the uproar
above began to cease, would undoubtedly have
attracted the savages' notice. He therefore re-
turned to the magazine, where he found the
cooper in great distress from tire apprehension
1 86 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
of his probable fate. Mr. Mariner now pro-
posed that they should go on deck at once and
meet their death like men, while their enemies
were hot with slaughter, rather than, by delay,
subject themselves to the cruelties of cooler
barbarity; and after some hesitation the cooper
consented to follow if Mr. Mariner would lead
the way. The latter thereupon went to the
gun-room, and, lifting up the hatch a little, saw
Tooi-Tooi examining Captain Duck's sword and
other arms that were in his state-room. Their
backs being turned, he lifted off the hatch en-
tirely, and jumped up into the cabin. Tooi-
Tooi, instantly turning round, Mr. Mariner pre-
sented his hands open, to signify that he was
unarmed and at their mercy; then, uttering
"Aroghah," he asked him, partly in English
and partly in his own language, whether he
meant to kill him, as he was ready to meet
his fate. Tooi-Tooi replied in broken English
that he should not be hurt, as the chiefs were
already in possession of the ship, but that he
wished to be informed how many persons there
were below. To this Mr. Mariner replied that
there was only one, and called up the cooper,
who had slowly followed him. Tooi-Tooi then
IN CANNIBAL LANDS 187
led them upon deck towards one of the chiefs,
who had the direction of the conspiracy.
The first object that struck Mr. Mariner's
sight on coming upon deck was enough to
thrill the stoutest heart. Upon the companion
was a short, squab figure, about fifty years of
age, with a seaman's jacket soaked in blood
thrown over one shoulder and on the other
rested his iron-wood club, spattered with brains
and blood, while the frightfulness of his
appearance was increased by a constant blinking
with one of his eyes and a horrible convulsive
motion on one side of his mouth.
On another part of the deck there lay twenty-
two bodies perfectly naked, and arranged side
by side in regular order, but so dreadfully
bruised and battered about the head that only
two or three of them could be recognised. A
man had just counted them and was reporting
the number to his chief, immediately after
which they began to throw them overboard.
On Mr. Mariner and the cooper being brought
before him he smiled, probably on account of
their dirty appearance. Mr. Mariner was then
given in charge of a petty chief to be taken
on shore, but the cooper was detained on
1 88 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
When Mr. Mariner arrived on shore he saw
Mr. Brown, the whaling master, lying dead on
the beacli, his body naked and much bruised
about the head and chest. Finow, however,
took a great fancy to Mr. Mariner, and spared
Tahiti is situated 2,200 miles from Auckland,
via Cook Islands. The voyage occupies about
ten days, and there is a monthly service of
boats. The scenery is considered by many to
be the most beautiful in the Pacific. It com-
prises lofty mountains, romantic valleys, and
ravines. It is surrounded by a fine reef, and
has a good harbour. The shore-line is covered
with cocoa-nuts, and inland the vegetation is
very rich and attractive. Bread-fruit, mango,
ginger-trees, and other tropical plants flourish to
perfection, and the oranges will compare with
any grown in the world. Papeete, the capital,
is a well-built town containing about 2,000 in-
habitants. There are two fair hotels, and a
band plays twice a week for the benefit of the
public. There is a beautiful avenue here called
Tahiti will ever be famous for the " Mutiny
of the Bounty." The women, when half-castes,
IN CANNIBAL LANDS 189
are very handsome and fascinating. They have
exquisite figures, dark eyes, and jet-black hair.
One can almost make an allowance for the crew
of the " Bounty " falling victims to their charms
if they excelled the lasses who smile upon every
fresh arrival who calls at this port. The true
type of native, however, can only be studied
by visiting the adjoining islands and getting as
far away as possible from the white settlements.
During my four years in Australasia I made
inquiries as to the inhabitants of Pitcairn, where
the mutineers spent their last days. There are
at present 77 males and 92 females (1906). The
affairs of the island are conducted by a Parlia-
ment of seven members, with a president, vice-
president, and a judge. The islanders now
own a cutter (14 tons), which plies between
Pitcairn and Mangarewa, whence there is a
communication with Tahiti and New Zealand.
In religion they appear to be chiefly Seventh-
day Adventists. Education has been much
neglected since 1896. The products of the
island are sweet potatoes, yams, taro, melons,
pumpkins, oranges, bananas, pineapples, and
arrow-root which is prepared in limited quan-
tities with antiquated appliances. Excellent
190 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
coffee is grown here. The island has only an
area of two square miles. It contains about 200
goats and a small stock of chickens.
The fate of the mutineers and the subsequent
discovery of their descendants once created a
world-wide sensation ; it may therefore be of
interest to narrate the circumstances once more.
On the arrival of the " Bounty " off Tofoa, one
of the Friendly Islands, on April 28, 1789, a
dreadful mutiny broke out among some of the
ship's officers and men, with Fletcher Christian,
the master's mate, at their head. He was of
a respectable family in the North of England,
a young man of talent, and of a quick, daring
On the evening before the mutiny Bligh had
invited Christian to supper in his cabin, an
invitation which was declined by Christian on
the grounds of ill-health. He, however, used
the time to win over the crew to mutiny.
At the dawn of day they roughly awoke
Bligh, who, starting up in amazement, saw two
men around him armed with cutlasses and
pistols. He called loudly for assistance, de-
manding an explanation.
" Hold your tongue, sir, or you are dead this
IN CANNIBAL LANDS 191
instant," was the answer he received. His
hands were tied behind him, and he was forced
on deck in his shirt, not having been given
time to dress.
The boatswain and others having been com-
pelled to hoist out the launch, Bligh and
eighteen men were forced to go into her, and
were quickly veered astern of the ship by a
rope. Having flung them a few pieces of pork
amounting to 32lb., isolb. of bread, 28 gallons
of water, six quarts of rum, six bottles of wine,
four cutlasses, a quadrant and a compass, with
a quantity of twine, canvas, and cordage, the
mutineers sailed away.
The island of Pitcairn is 1,200 miles from
Tahiti, and the names of the mutineers who
landed there were: Fletcher Christian, Edward
Young, John Mills, Matthew Quintal, William
M'Coy, John Adams, John Williams, Isaac
Martin, and William Brown. They had not
resided long upon the island before it became
the scene of every evil passion. They began to
hate and to be hated. First there was a deadly
strife between them and the Tahitian men, who,
after practising shooting at a mark, plotted to
murder them all. This murderous plot, how-
192 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
ever, reached the ears of their wives, who
warned them by adding to one of their songs
these w r ords, " Why does black man sharpen
axe? To kill white man."
Deathly struggles followed, Christian, Mills,
Williams, Martin, and Brown being murdered
in 1793 by the Tahitians. Christian was the
first who fell. Mills was next. Adams was
shot, the ball entering at his shoulder and
coming out at his neck. He fell, but suddenly
sprang up and ran. They caught him, and a
blow was aimed at his head with the butt-end
of a musket. This he warded off with his
hand, having his finger broken by the blow.
On his again escaping he ran down the rocks
toward the sea; but his pursuers called out to
him that if he would return he should not be
hurt. He returned, therefore, and they troubled
him no more.
All the Tahitian men were killed in the same
year, one of them having been destroyed by
Young's wife with an axe. As soon as she
had killed him she gave a signal to her
husband to fire upon the remaining Tahitian.
This was done with fatal precision. This woman
died at an advanced age in 1850. She was the
IN CANNIBAL LANDS 193
last survivor of the " Bounty." In 1794, when
only four men, Young, M'Coy, Adams, and
Quintal, were left alive, the women of the place
were holding in their hands the five skulls of
the murdered white men. They were only com-
pelled, after some difficulty, to give up the
heads to be buried. In that year the women
made an attempt to escape from the island in
During 1794 trouble followed trouble. The
women, having failed in their attempt to escape,
deliberately planned the destruction of the four
white men left among them. This dreadful plot
was discovered in time by the men, and a
partial and suspicious peace was brought about.
But other horrors were yet to come. In 1798
M'Coy, in a fit of delirium tremens brought on
by drunkenness, threw himself from the rocks
into the sea and was drowned. Matthew
Quintal, after threatening the lives of his com-
panion*;, was killed by Young and Adams, who
in 1799 struck him with an axe in self-defence.
Thus six of the mutineers were murdered and
one committed suicide. Edward Young died of
asthma in 1800. Only two of the fifteen men who
landed from the " Bounty " died a natural death.
194 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
In 1800, Adams, having reached his thirty-
sixth year, found himself the only man on the
island. The young community consisted of
twenty children. About ten years after this
Adams claimed to have had two remarkable
dreams which alarmed his conscience. He
turned his attention to religion, and became a
sort of patriarch and parson to the whole com-
munity. Subsequently Mr. Shillibeer wrote an
account of how the " Briton " had accidentally
stumbled upon Pitcairn Island and gleaned their
The history of the remaining mutineers is
On March 23, 1791, three of the men, who
had remained at Tahiti nearly two years,
namely, Joseph Coleman, Peter Heywood, and
George Stewart, came on board the " Pandora "
and surrendered themselves to the law. The
captain succeeded in taking eleven others at
Tahiti. There were twenty-five men who re-
mained on board the " Bounty." Two of the
mutineers, Churchill and Thompson, who had
landed at Tahiti, were no longer in existence
when the " Pandora " arrived. Within a short
period of their quitting the " Bounty " one of
IN CANNIBAL LANDS 195
them, the ship's corporal, had become a king,
and both had been murdered. Thompson,
envious of Churchill's honours, and angry at
the fancied insult, took an opportunity of
shooting him, and the natives rose in anger and
stoned Thompson to death. The "Pandora"
heard nothing of the nine remaining mutineers.
The Island trips provided by the Union
Steamship Company furnish an unrivalled oppor-
tunity of visiting numbers of places famed for
their beauty. The different routes are as
i. Auckland to Tonga, Haapai, Vavau, Apia
(Samoa), Fiji, and thence direct to Auckland.
Cost, 20. Time occupied about twenty-eight
days. This gives a day each at Tonga, Haapai,
and Vavau, possibly two days at Apia and
nine or ten days in Fiji ; but while awaiting
transhipment at Suva to direct steamer for
Auckland passengers must maintain themselves
for about eight days. Good hotel accommoda-
tion may be obtained for about IDS. a day, or
at boarding-houses from 305. a week.
This trip may be taken in the opposite
direction for the same fare, but it is necessary
to stop in Fiji for about eighteen days awaiting
196 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
connecting steamer, and the time given at the
various points of call between Fiji and Auckland
is somewhat less. The trip would take about
2. Auckland to Tonga, Haapai, Vavau, Apia
(Samoa), Fiji, Sydney, and thence direct to
Auckland. Cost, 23. Time occupied about
thirty-three days. This gives the same amount
of time at the various island ports as in trip
No. i, with the exception of Fiji, where the
time spent is between two and three days. At
Sydney passengers must maintain themselves for
about five or six days awaiting steamer for
This trip, also, may be made in the opposite
direction, and will take about the same time.
3. Same as No. 2, via islands to Sydney,
thence to Melbourne and back to Auckland via
Hobart, Bluff, and New Zealand coastal ports.
Cost, 28 IDS. Time occupied about forty-two
days. Maintenance for three or four days in
Sydney or Melbourne must be reckoned on.
A VISIT TO FIJI
No artist, photographer, or journalist can convey
to the uninitiated public any perfect conception
of the peculiar fascination of a visit to the
South Pacific Islands.
The artist will realise the youthful sensations
of romance, beauty, and dreams; the novelist
will receive new and unexpected inspiration ; and
the prosaic and practical will find the luxury
and ease of his experiences different in their
character and strangely invigorating to mind
and body. Personally, I am conscious of some
regret that I ever ventured among them. They
have the power to bewitch and captivate those
mentally constituted like Stevenson, and to chain
them as victims. Our return home is dull.
The waving, feathery plumes of the coco palm
appear like a mirage, even when the last island
has faded from view ; the merry voices and the
198 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
laughing eyes of the natives mock us as we
gaze over the solitary waters; and the roar of
the angry surf upon the coral reef still echoes
in our ears, as though to express indignation at
our departure from one of the most beautiful
regions of the earth.
My first sight of the South Pacific Islands
was disappointing. A cool, gentle breeze was
blowing, and the eastern sky was marked with
the first rays of the dawn. Suddenly there
started forth upon the horizon rich, glowing
streaks of gold, which flashed and moved like
lightning until there appeared to be war waged
in the heavens Nature struggling with death.
Gradually the darkened space became wounded,
and brilliant lights spread their radiance further
afield until their bright reflection danced upon
the rippled waters. Death seemed to contend
with life for one brief, final struggle it was
but for a moment, and then, with glory,
majesty, and power, the sun seemed to lift
itself from its couch and a new day was born.
Now, all eyes are turned towards a black mass
looming ahead like a forbidding cloud it is
Kadavu. How disappointing it appeared to
mel All my conceptions of romance and poetry
THE AUTHOR AND HIS FIJIAN GUIDES.
A VISIT TO FIJI 199
were dissipated. A boy's imaginations, gleaned
from his story books, and still clinging to man-
hood, seemed to whisper the whole world was a
lie. Nearer and nearer we approached until the
great bulging mass swept downward into shapes
and forms. I gazed with disgust, it was nothing
new, the Bay of Islands was far better the
Bass Straits gave me more delight the Thousand
Islands have spoilt me. I return, therefore,
to my state-room to finish my sleep and await
the summons to breakfast. But I am restless.
The warm, bright sunshine streams through the
broad glass window of my deck cabin. I
cannot sleep. Outside voices are eager in con-
versation, and those who possess glasses are
describing beauties I cannot recognise. I seize
a book, the letters dance, so I decide to walk
outside upon the deck. The scene has com-
pletely changed. Mount Washington stands out
boldly amidst a mass of rich green, where
tropical flowers, fruits, and ferns flourish as
weeds. Below is a snowy-white fringe of foam
extending like a signet-ring around a natural
harbour, where the roaring, plunging waves end
in a lovely coral island, upon whose summit
coco palms and mangoes are mingled in
200 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
picturesque confusion. The scene is romantic.
Angry, breaking billows caress its shores, leaving
a narrow entrance in perfect calm. In sheltered
spots, bordered with sparkling silver, palms of
many varieties cluster. The background of
these fairy bays rises with gentle curves
and undulations, or merges abruptly into a
deep ravine teeming with vegetable life. In
one of these sheltered spots the Fijians have
found a home, and quaint houses peep out from
the shadows of cocoanut trees. Two small,
rugged capes protect the harbour. Upon one of
these a lighthouse has been built, and the
whitened walls toned up the multi-coloured back-
The shape of Kadavu appeared at one time
like Gibraltar Rock, but every mile changed its
aspect, until its outline was pressed and pushed
into erratic curves and hollows, above which
towered majestically Mount Wellington (2750^.)
and Mount Challenger (2i8oft.). The area of
the island is 124 square miles, and it is separated
from Ona by a small channel. The islands
beyond are Mbulia, Tankuvi, Dravuni, Nmaru,
North Rock, &c. To comprehend the wonderful
beauty and detail of a Pacific island one needs
A VISIT TO FIJI 201
to supply the clouds and blue of a tropical sky,
the shades of grey, green, black, and blue
blending into that perfect harmony which only
the resultant labours of a patient and skilled
artist could paint; in fact, I believe an exact
portraiture would win world-wide fame. It is
this tone that the photograph lacks and the
picture fails to reflect.
Bega is the next island of importance. Here
Nature seems to have reversed the order by
putting the background of a good picture in
front, and half hiding the palms of Storm
Island and other beauty spots. Now Viti Levu
is visible, and one is surprised at its size.
As we approach we perceive boats pulling
towards us, manned with mop-headed rowers,
and upon the wharf a miscellaneous crowd are
collected, consisting of Europeans, coolies,
Fijians, Samoans, Tongans, &c. Everybody
wears white, and the natives display their dark-
skinned legs and arms. The only females are
represented by a few Europeans, whose pretty
dresses tone with tropical shades of green. The
Fijian's hair can only be described as a mop.
No one seeing it for the first time would imagine
it was real hair. They look a happy and con-
202 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
tented crowd, and carry heavy luggage with
apparent ease, Swinging tin trunks over their
shoulders, and often carrying a portmanteau at
the same time. Small native boys only wore
the sulu, and their smooth-skinned backs shone
in the sun.
The Fijians are a pleasant-looking people, but
could hardly be called prepossessing in their
features. Their broad nostrils spoil what other-
wise might be a handsome face. They are,
however, tall and well-built, and have a dignified,
stately bearing. Sometimes a wild expression
passes over the face, conveying an idea of what
they were in their untamed past.
The women are of the usual type of tropical
lands, and have their figures very fully de-
veloped, and often comely. They recall the
coloured people of Florida and Mexico. My
first trip in Fiji was up the Tamavua River,
and I had an opportunity to examine the rich
flora which grows upon its banks. The mouth
of the river has, on either side, a dense growth
of mangroves, but on the higher land coco
palms, mangoes, bread-fruit, tree-ferns, bamboo,
oranges, lemon, &c., grow as weeds. This river
is one of the prettiest in the neighbourhood of
A VISIT TO FIJI 203
Suva, and some fine banana plantations can be
viewed, together with native dwellings and other
matters of interest to the tourist. I stopped to
examine a clever fish-trap, and to watch natives
spearing. The scenery was wild and beautiful.
In the distance lofty hills and mountains ex-
tended to the horizon, and curious freaks of
nature bulged into fantastic shapes the nearer
Butterflies, with gaily-painted wings, relieved
the weird surroundings of impenetrable bush,
and the wild cries or song of native birds broke
the silence, or mingled their voices into delicious
harmony with the strange buzz and hum of
insect life and creatures whose whereabouts were
hidden from view. Land crabs were very
plentiful, and their burrows in the soft bank
looked like the home of the sand-martin.
Flying foxes haunt these solitudes, and with
the first shadows of night struggle through the
air with clumsy, bird-like flight, and the mon-
goose lurks in every thick-set scrub.
Suva is a township buried among trees. It
is more like a small village than a town. The
residents are kind and hospitable, and few
tourists fail to be welcomed to their comfortable
204 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
clubs. Half-a-day can be profitably spent in
visiting the botanical gardens, Town Hall, and
native quarters, with a drive to Government
House and the racecourse.
My drive from Suva to the Rewa Hotel was
one of the most interesting experiences I have
ever had. The bush is a natural food store,
and fruits, yams, &c., are to be had for the
seeking no one can starve in Fiji. The
bananas and oranges did not appear to me to
be superior to the products of Florida and
California, but pineapples, cocoanuts, cocoa, and
tobacco have, I believe, a splendid future. The
" Lauthe " or candle-nut tree grows in wild
abundance, and the " Ndakua " or Fijian kauri
is a marked feature of the bush.
One matter which struck me forcibly was the
extraordinary prolificness of the soil. The three-
acre allotments were, without exception, bearing
the finest crops per area I have ever seen, and
produce support for a family. Rice, cane, and
cotton do well, and the castor oil plant grows
to perfection. The rich fertile soil of Fiji has
been formed principally from decomposed vol-
canic rock. The eruptive action must have
been of considerable antiquity, no recent out-
A VISIT TO FIJI 205
burst being perceptible, although hot springs
exist in Viti Levu, Vanua Levu, and Ngau.
Fiji is the healthiest tropical climate in the
world. I had several interviews with men who
had resided there for upwards of thirty years.
Their appearance was robust and healthy.
Much injury has been done to Fiji by mis-
representation, and I must confess I visited the
islands with certain qualms. We had a gentle-
man on board the s.s. " Navua " who com-
menced the voyage in an appalling state of
health, but the round trip acted upon him like
magic, and I believe the Union Steamship
Company has provided the best restorative in
the world for lung and bronchial troubles.
Many tourists have been restrained from ventur-
ing upon a coral reef by reading accounts of
its dangers. I strongly recommend everyone
who can do so to visit the reef. I walked all
over the dry coral reef and waded knee-deep in
the water without any accident or inconvenience.
I was accompanied by four natives, and
followed them everywhere. The submarine
formations of coral, with their myriad life, have
been, perhaps, somewhat exaggerated by the
sentimentalist and neglected by the naturalist.
206 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
To the majority of the British people very little
is known concerning the Colony of Fiji. It is
reached via Auckland, New Zealand; a regular
fortnightly line of steamers ply between this
port and Suva, the distance from the New
Zealand shores being about 900 miles. Some
people still believe Fiji is inhabited by canni-
bals, its climate is fearfully hot, and it grows a
few bananas and cocoanuts, and produces a little
sugar. The fact, therefore, that this colony is
attracting the attention of speculators all over
the world and is fast developing important
industries and agricultural enterprises will be a
Fiji consists of about 250 islands, of which
about eighty are inhabited. The largest are
Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. The total area of
the islands has been estimated at 7421 square
miles, so they are about equal in size to
Wales. Viti Levu claims about half of this
area and is thus larger than the island of
Corsica. The Fiji Islands are of volcanic
origin, well wooded, and very fertile, the south-
eastern or weather-side being the most luxuriant,
owing to the heavier rainfall. Here the country
is covered with a dense jungle, unbroken except
A VISIT TO FIJI 207
by the clearings of planters. Most of the
islands are high and mountainous and rise
abruptly from the sea. There is nowhere much
level land, hills and lovely valleys succeeding
each other from the shore toward the interior,
while lofty peaks rise in every direction. The
islands are remarkably well watered, and the
two larger have numerous streams, many of
which are navigable by boats for a considerable
Fiji possesses one of the largest sugar-mills in
the world, and thousands of acres of sugar-cane,
bananas, and cocoanuts are being cultivated in
the most scientific manner, with up-to-date
appliances, by practical farmers; there are also
large herds of cattle grazing over as fine pasture
land as can be desired, and there is a regular
monthly communication by means of large
ocean-going steamers to the Commonwealth and
A great deal of misconception also exists with
regard to the climate of Fiji. As the place is
in the tropics its climate must naturally be
warmer on an average than countries beyond
those limits; but the extremes of heat and cold
are never experienced. During nine months of
208 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
the year the refreshing, exhilarating south-east
trade winds blow over the colony, and only
three months of bad weather is experienced.
These three months are called the " hurricane
season," and during that time a blow or
hurricane may be expected, but happily this
does not occur more than once in several years.
There is no malarial fever in any part of the
colony. The appearance and physique of the
natives and pioneer settlers speak eloquently in
favour of the climate. I never saw men looking
healthier in any part of the world.
For men with small capital there are many
openings in Fiji, and now that legislation has
made it easy to obtain land from the natives,
either by lease for long terms at a low rental
or by purchase, the present opportunities are
The cultivation of fruit, bananas, mandarins,
oranges, pineapples, mangoes, &c., will always
be a profitable industry. Fiji bananas are
acknowledged to be the best in the world.
Tinning pineapples, drying bananas, and pre-
serving mangoes and guavas, either as jam,
jelly, or chutney, will be profitable under-
takings, for there is an unlimited supply of
A VISIT TO FIJI 209
the raw article to be procured and an unlimited
demand for the manufactured article in the
markets of the Australian colonies, New Zealand,
and British North America. Cattle and horse-
breeding pay well. Horses are increasing in
demand owing to the opening up of the country
by roads and the increasing area of land coming
under cultivation. There is also an unlimited
demand for poultry, Auckland alone sending
about 5000 head to the colony annually.
Dairying and pig-rearing are industries that
give handsome returns.
There is plenty of first-class house-building
timber on the islands, including the famous
kauri, and there should be no necessity for
importing large shipments of timber from
America. An up-to-date saw-mill would be a
fortune to its owner, for the demand for fruit-
cases alone is increasing rapidly. Thousands of
these cases are imported monthly from New
Zealand and America.
Fiji is the home of the sugar-cane, several
varieties growing wild. Five large mills are
kept busy crushing the cane day and night
during the season, from July to December;
another large one is being now erected by a
210 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
British Columbia company, and there is room
for a dozen more equally large mills. Rice
grows as well in Fiji as it does in Java or
India, and very shortly will become an im-
portant export. Maize grows well in the drier
parts of the colony. Cocoanuts supply most
valuable assets in the shape of copra, which
frequently realises 1$ per ton in the colony.
Cotton does well, and vanilla, cocoa, tea, coffee,
spices, tobacco, and rubber can be grown to
advantage. New Zealand imports much cocoa,
&c., from Suva (the capital). Of course cheap
labour is the great essential to success where
plantation or farming work is being engaged in,
and there is an ample supply of this article in
the shape of Polynesians and coolies at present
in the colony.
The ordinary necessaries of life, such as
clothing and provisions, are no higher in price
than in New Zealand, and vegetables can be
successfully grown on the islands. So, with a
healthy climate, land to be easily and cheaply
obtained, and a score or more of different
industries to choose from, I am quite safe in
recommending persons with small capital to
emigrate to Fiji.
A VISIT TO FIJI 211
The Fijians are a well-behaved people, but
possession of property renders them very inde-
pendent. Beyond the cultivation of small plots
of land they appear to spend most of their
time in fishing, bathing, and enjoying them-
selves. They cannot be relied upon for labour.
THE BLUE MOUNTAINS
FEW tourists have visited the Blue Mountains,
probably because the scenery along the railway
through Australia is so uninteresting that they
doubt the existence of pleasure resorts worthy of
their notice. Throughout the Australian States
the railways have been constructed purely on
business principles, without regard to tourists.
The journey from Melbourne to the South
Australian border, or from Sydney to Queens-
land, is monotonous, and even the most sanguine
cannot become enthusiastic.
The Hawkesbury, Como, Glass Mountains,
&c., are happy exceptions to a dreary Australian
journey; but a ride or drive are the only means
of enjoying the charming physical features and
attractions of the Island Continent.
The Blue Mountains and Jenolan Caves
compare favourably with any other part of the
THE ENTRANCE TO THE "DEVIL'S COACHHOUSE."
THE BLUE MOUNTAINS 213
world, and the most indifferent must concede to
them a character and claim peculiarly their own.
Govett's Leap and the Devil's Coach-house
pleased me more than anything else.
The Carrington Hotel, Katoomba, is the best
centre from which to view the mountains.
Excursion trains run from Sydney three times
weekly, and the cost is IDS. 6d. first-class,
55. 5d. second-class. The railway journey is
flat and uninteresting until Penrith is reached.
Here a pause can be made for a trip up the
Nepean River, where wallaby and other
marsupials frisk and gambol at sunset, undis-
turbed by the steamer's homeward return.
Proceeding to Katoomba, the route does not
convey an adequate idea of the lovely ravines,
craggy heights, and magnificent water - falls
hidden from view, but broad expanses of forest
growth are to be seen where mountain succeeds
mountain, and the lesser heights appear to wave
and bend like the troubled waves of a restless
At Katoomba the train is met by an army of
porters anxious to secure patronage; but if the
tourist is wise he will go to the Carrington
Hotel. The train arrives at lunch-time. My
214 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
first trip was to Echo Point. This is a short
walk from the Carrington down the hill, where
a splendid view is obtained of the Jamieson
Valley. A gate is passed on the left which
leads to the Lilianfels estate, and the path
through the woods" is surrounded by magnificent
views, with Leura Falls in the distance. The
Leura Falls can be reached a nearer way, but
the road is not so interesting.
Another day I visited Katoomba Falls,
driving as far as the Cascades, and then pro-
ceeding on foot. The path leading past the
Cascades is visible from the road, and the walk
is enjoyable. Lizards of various sizes and
colours appear on all sides, and, if one pauses
to rest, they creep out from their hiding-places
and perform amusing antics, reminding one of
the children's game of puss-in-the-corner. They
possess much curiosity, and approach within a
few yards, but dart away to hide on the
slightest movement. Bird life is in evidence in
this locality, and near the Federal Pass grow
rare and beautiful ferns. The Government has
provided generously for the comfort and enjoy-
ment of tourists, but vulgar vandalism is
hideously conspicuous. There is a steep, wind-
THE BLUE MOUNTAINS 215
ing path leading to the awful-looking valley
below, but the stairway and ladders are perfectly
safe. Signboards direct the tourist everywhere,
and the Federal Pass extends for many miles
along the outskirts of a dense forest, consisting
of gigantic tree-ferns and semi-tropical vegeta-
tion. Th'is wild region often represents im-
penetrable bush, where the lyre-bird dwells and
the prowling dingo is safe from molestation.
Delicate and fragrant orchids grow wild, and
ferns and flowers luxuriate in the crevices of
Lunch should be provided for this trip.
There is plenty of pure water everywhere. To
explore the wonders of the locality a whole day
should be given to it, which would allow short
detours from the beaten track.
The Pass terminates at the foot of Leura
Falls. The climb to the main road is more
difficult and laborious than the ascent* at
Katoomba. Some of the steps are so steep that
I found myself obliged to cling to the railings,
and I should advise nervous or delicate persons
to avoid this expedition.
Nellie's Glen is reached via the Explorer's
Tree. It is about a couple of miles from the
216 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
Carrington Hotel. The Explorer's Tree bears
the initials of Blaxland, Lawson, and Went-
worth, who first discovered a passage across the
Blue Mountains in May, 1813.
Nellie's Glen has a great reputation for
snakes; but though I explored it from end to
end, I only came across three. The best walk
I took was via Glen wood, Mark Foy's, and
Blackheath, and then by train to Katoomba.
Mr. Wilson accompanied me in all my expedi-
tions, rendering valuable assistance from his
wonderful knowledge of the Australian bush.
This walk occupied two days, and we spent the
night at Glenwood. Next day we traversed
some of the most beautiful scenery in the
world. The road ascended gradually up a
steep declivity and wound its way through a
mighty chasm. There was a solemn stillness
in the midst of these mountains, which seemed
to breathe the atmosphere of another world.
Occasionally there arose the weird cry of the
lyre-bird, or the mournful note of the bronze-
winged pigeon. During our lunch a flock of
black cockatoos flew chattering and screaming
overhead, and the growl of wombat sounded
sepulchral beneath our feet. Upon the ledges
STALAGMITE FORMATIONS. JEXOLAX CAVES.
THE BLUE MOUNTAINS 217
above inaccessible rocks eagles and hawks had
built their nests, and at the foot of the precipice
I found the bleached bones of their prey. In
one place was the skeleton of a large kangaroo
which had probably been killed and devoured
on the ground, because it was too heavy to be
conveyed to the dizzy heights. During our
tramp I stalked a handsome lyre-bird, and
watched its graceful movements for a consider-
able time. Another interesting trip I took was
from the Carrington to the Kanimbla Valley,
where I traced in the green depths our expedi-
tion to Glenwood, which stretched out like a
Blackheath is the station for Govett's Leap,
and the distance is only a short drive. The
hotels here are very second-rate, so the trip
should be taken from Katoomba by rail. The
Jenolan Caves are situated some considerable
way from the Carrington. The cheapest route
would be by rail to Mount Victoria and then
by coach. Motor-cars can be hired, but unless
a person is anxious to be treated like a school-
boy, and to feel conscious hourly of the great
condescension of the driver in permitting one
to enjoy oneself, he had better hire a two-horsed
2i 8 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
conveyance. I drove with Mr. Wilson in a
carriage and pair, calling at the Hydro.
Medlow, Blackheath, and Mount Victoria.
When we had passed these places the scenery
was grand. A blue haze hung like a thin veil
over the mountains, and wonderful lights played
upon the valleys, plains, rocky gullies, awful
fissures, and precipices. No description could
do justice to this magnificent panorama, and no
one has seen the world until brought face to
face with this sublime handiwork of God.
Hartley is an interesting village on the way
to Jenolan. Mr. R. McGarry possesses a com-
fortable inn, and does his best to make a stop
here enjoyable. He undertakes to supply the
sportsman with a few days' good shooting, and
his charges are 75. per day, or ios., including
the Use of horses and conveyances. He has
plenty of poultry, fruit, and fresh vegetables on
Hartley is the seventh oldest township in New
South Wales, and was once a large and im-
portant convict settlement. The surrounding
mountains concealed many a notorious gang of
bushrangers, and the doors and walls of the
inn, called the Royal Hotel, still show the
MYSTERY, JEXOLAN CAVES.
THE BLUE MOUNTAINS 219
bullet holes made by Gardner during his last
raid, forty-five years ago.
We visited the old Court-house, and examined
the cells where the bushrangers had been im-
prisoned. The names and scribbling were as
plainly visible as though the work of yesterday.
I copied the following:
W. H. Crossing THAT is
8 DAYS TWO
A DAMN GOOD ADVICE
IT is JOHN GUINN
W. DAY. McKEWin.
Mr. McGarry showed us the leg-irons and
other interesting relics of old barbarism. A
few hours spent in Hartley fully repay the
Mr. McGarry will meet parties at Mount
Victoria if notice is given him beforehand, and
the Imperial Hotel is a good place to stop at
in Mount Victoria if the tourist should desire
to break the journey there.
220 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
"THE DEVIL'S COACH-HOUSE" AND "GRAND
Among the names I observed on the cell
walls at Hartley was that of McKewin. This
bushranger evaded capture for a very long time.
He carried on his depredations in different parts
of the Hartley and Fish River districts; but
although frequently tracked to the mountainous
region, then unexplored, he always managed to
disappear in a most mysterious manner. At
last two mounted troopers, accompanied by Mr.
Charles Whalan, managed to solve the mystery.
It was concluded that McKewin 's retreat must be
in one of the numerous gullies, and the party deter-
mined to explore them thoroughly. After much
labour his hut was discovered on a little flat in one
of the most secluded mountain gorges. It was
surrounded during the night, and the bush-
ranger was captured. Next day the party made
its way down the gully, and came suddenly
in sight of a huge cavern in the hillside whose
entrance was nearly 3Ooft. in height. Passing
into it, they clambered over gigantic boulders
to a tunnel-like passage at the other end, which
led them to the banks of a creek, which
emerged from a similar cavern to their right.
STALACTITE FORMATIONS, JEXOLAN CAVES.
THE BLUE MOUNTAINS 221
Thus were first discovered the great caves now
known as the Devil's Coach-house and Grand
For many years it was believed that
McKewin had a secret hoard among these hills,
and many a hunt there was after it; but all
that ever was found was the remains of a rum-
keg. In a cave not very far from his hut
there has since been found a set of bullock-
bows, which he stole from one of Mr. Whalan's
teams. McKewin was lodged in Hartley Gaol,
afterwards tried by a Sydney jury, sentenced
and transported to Norfolk Island, where he
The district beyond Hartley was full of wild
cattle. Parties of sporting men came here
merely for the purpose of " beef -hunting," as
it was called, and it was during some of their
exploits that they came in contact with the
wonderful Jenolan Caves. They, however,
rarely penetrated far, and nothing was done
practically until Mr. Jeremiah Wilson and party
explored them, submitting to all kinds of hard-
ships. Mr. Wilson was afterwards appointed
Keeper of the Caves by the Government.
The Blue Mountains furnished retreats for
222 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
many famous bushrangers, and scarcely any
desolate ravine was without its story of robbery
In June, 1859, the mail coach was on its way
from Bathurst to Sydney. There were only
two passengers, one of them being the Hon.
L. H. Bay ley, Attorney-General for the Colony.
When they were slowly ascending a long hill near
Mount Victoria, the driver was startled by the ap-
pearance of a man with a gun and a peremptory
order to Stop. The unarmed driver was forced to
obey, escape being impossible.
"Chuck out the mail-bags!" was the next
"I must not do that," said the driver; "if
you want them you must take them yourself."
All this time the bushranger, who had a piece
of blanket or bag over his head, with a hole
cut in it to Bee through, kept his double-
barrelled gun presented. Three times he re-
peated the order, and was disobeyed; at last he
said, "I have asked you three times; I don't
want to shoot you; but, by God, if you don't
give me the bags I will." The driver then got
upon the box and threw the bags out, the gun
pointing at his head the whole time. When
MR. COOKE, OF KIA ORA.
THE BLUE MOUNTAINS 223
all the bags were on the road in a heap, the
bushranger, still keeping his gun ready, and
with a large horse pistol sticking out of his
belt, ordered the driver to proceed. This he
did, and then continued on his way to Hartley,
where several mounted troopers happened to be
at the time, and reported the matter.
Kia Ora is the best stopping- place for
Jenolan Caves. Coaches from Mount Victoria
pass the door just before the descent of the Five
Mile Hill. Mr. Cooke, the proprietor, is a
keen sportsman, and marsupial game abound in
The district is outside the limits of reserve
where game is protected. The zoologist,
naturalist, and hunter can explore these forest
glades, and will find them a sporting paradise
for marsupials. A mountain path, winding
through exquisite scenery, brings one to the
home of the wombat. We spent some time
examining their roomy excavations, and heard
their fierce growls when the dog attacked them
in their dens. These creatures are like a fat
bear in dwarfed proportions, and, though sleepy
and harmless, are armed with sharp claws,
which render them formidable foes to the
224 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
average dog. We passed many wallabies.
Sometimes we discovered them in small mobs
of four and five, or singly, as they paused to
regard us with their dreamy eyes ere they
bounded away to the mountain retreats.
I stalked one wallaby, and stood watching
him unobserved for a long time. He appeared
to combine the actions of a monkey and a
rabbit. He would seize with his front claws
the low-growing branches, and, drawing them
down, feed upon the tender leaves, or, rabbit-
like, munch the grass and herbage. While we
were sitting on a boulder at the entrance of the
Devil's Coach-house, a handsome rock wallaby
darted past us into the cave. At night-time
we heard the strange cry of the koala or
Australian bear. The voice of this marsupial
is so human that the most experienced persons
are deceived by it. These animals are fre-
quently found on the land adjoining Mr. Cooke's
house. We spent delightful evenings in the
woods hunting opossum and flying squirrels.
The former hang by their tails to the branches,
and are easily detected in the moonlight.
The silver opossum somewhat resembles the
Canadian racoon, and half-a-dozen skins make a
THE BLUE MOUNTAINS 225
nice present to a friend. The flying-fox looks
like a huge crow as it wings its way after sun-
set to its feeding-grounds. As we walked
through the forest we would occasionally flush
them. Their movements were somewhat startling
as they darted towards us, and then clumsily
disappeared in an opposite direction.
Lyre-birds are plentiful near Kia Ora. Their
numbers here are believed to be increasing, and
the young birds, driven from their breeding-
grounds, wander within view of this place.
The wanga - wanga, which is the largest
Australian ground-dove, is often heard in the
neighbourhood, and the dingo prowls in the
secluded valleys, only venturing near man's
habitation when seeking a change of diet.
Their wolf-like moans echo through the moun-
tains at night, and convey a romantic sense of
danger to the surroundings. They are difficult
to approach, but Mr. Cooke knows where to find
them among the mountains.
The caves near Jenolan are very numerous,
and only a few have so far been explored.
Dark hollows and mysterious recesses appear
everywhere one goes. Their approach, however,
often requires a difficult and painful climb.
226 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
The Jenolan Caves were discovered at the
beginning of the last century. Near Kia Ora
is Wild Bull's Creek, famous for wild cattle
in years gone by. These animals were once a
common menace, and many a pioneer had
narrow escapes. Sometimes it happened that
the bulls were slightly wounded, and, smarting
with pain, took to flight. These brutes never
forgot their wounds, and would afterwards
scent, and track down, everyone who approached
their haunts. Wild cattle are now scarce, but
considerable numbers dwell in the mountain
retreats beyond the frequented roads.
Eight miles from Kia Ora some fair fishing
can be obtained on the Duckmaloi River. This
place is considered an excellent fishing-ground.
Bass averaging i5lb. to 2olb. are sometimes
bagged. The mixed fishing consists of rainbow
and brown trout, perch, and Murray cod.
Mr. Cooke undertakes to meet passengers at
Mount Victoria Station if he receives a few
days' notice. The fare is 2 is. return. The
terms for board and lodging are 6s. per day.
Mr. Cooke can provide horses, guns, and
rifles. His shot-guns require 12-bore cartridges,
and rifles Nos. 22, 32, and 44. Ammunition,
A NATIVE BEAK SEEN AT KIA ORA.
THE BLUE MOUNTAINS 227
wines, spirits, &c., must be provided by the
Kia Ora is scrupulously ctean, and contains
seven comfortable rooms. No extra charge is
made for making up luncheons for shooting
parties. Mr. Cooke is an excellent photographer,
and one of the best all-round sportsmen to be
found in Australia. He showed us plenty of
game, and we made up a good bag.
Kia Ora is 4iooft. above sea-level, and over-
looks magnificent scenery. To the botanist the
local flora will provide ample interest. Among
the most noteworthy is the Venus Fly-trap.
This carnivorous plant grows within five miles.
The sensitive plant can be obtained within
eighteen miles, and it has been estimated that
there are no less than 385 varieties of local
With reference to creatures of reptilian char-
acter, huge iguanas are found measuring 5ft.,
and carpet and diamond snakes of immense size.
Bats are well represented, from the beautiful
flying-philanger to the cavern-haunting varieties.
The Jenolan Caves are very similar to the lime-
stone formations found elsewhere. The lime-
stone belt extends from the Grand Archway for
228 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
three miles in a north direction, and is dotted
here and there with caves. Some of these are
very beautiful, but difficult of access. The most
distant are the Bushranger's Cave and McKewin's
Hole. A little over a mile from the Grand
Archway, on the eastern side of McKewin's
Creek, is the entrance to the Mammoth Cave.
This cave is very extensive, but difficult and
dangerous to explore. It contains many vast
and gloomy caverns, whose floors are strewn
with huge rocks. Here and there are awful
chasms, which descend to the level of the
present underground waterway. Lower down
McKewin's Creek, on the opposite side and
nearly half-a-mile from the Grand Archway, are
the Frenchman's Cave and Glass Caves. Both
these contain many beautiful deposits, and may,
in the future, be opened to the public, especially
if they are found to be connected with the
Imperial Cave. Half-a-mile south from the
Grand Archway is the Bottomless Pit, said to
be over three hundred feet deep, and to contain
some fine formations.
The Imperial Cave was discovered by Mr.
J. Wilson in 1870. He descended a chasm in
the Elder Cave and landed on the floor of the
THE BLUE MOUNTAINS 229
Imperial Cave. Further investigation revealed
an entrance from the Grand Archway.
The Grand Archway may be considered the
gate to the Jenolan Caves. Here the tourist
enters subterranean chambers where through
long ages eternal darkness reigned. These are
now lighted up with electric and magnesium
lights, and all the hidden beauties of grotto and
cavern are revealed.
Near one entrance is the Wool-shed Chamber,
where the roofs and walls resemble fleeces of
wool. The stalactites and stalagmites of other
caves are fine, and the shawls, sparkling cascade
formations, translucent white pillars, showers of
glistening pendants, and wonderful mysteries are
remarkably beautiful. The photographs convey
a good idea of these formations, and in no
respect exaggerate them.
NEW ZEALAND. THE BAY OF ISLANDS.
THE THREE KINGS
NEW ZEALAND comprises two principal islands
and some smaller ones, between 33deg. and
53deg. S. lat. The North and South Islands
have a total coast line of 4020 miles. In North
Island the land is so narrow in places that
the ocean is visible on both sides of it.
The climatic conditions in Auckland are very
erratic, and the winters cold, damp, and un-
suitable for persons subject to rheumatism and
kindred complaints. New Zealand, unlike
Australia, has snow-clad mountain ranges, active
volcanoes, and hundreds of boiling springs. In
South Island the lakes depend for the water
supply upon the melting of the snow upon the
Wellington, the capital of the Dominion, is
situated in an exposed position in the south of
A MAORI WOMAN, NEW ZEALAND.
NEW ZEALAND 231
North Island, and is subject almost daily to
cold, violent winds.
New Zealand has been over-advertised and
ridiculously exaggerated. During the twelve
months I spent in the country I experienced
many disappointments. The scenery is decidedly
beautiful, but when compared with other parts
of the world, it is insignificant, and the railway
service in North Island is inferior to any other
part of our Empire.
A person is apt to be attracted to farming in
New Zealand on account of the superiority of
the exported meat. Australian mutton and
lamb are equally good when killed on the land,
but deteriorate sadly on account of the long
distances the animals travel before they reach
the slaughter sheds. One finds that exported
meat from the Argentine is often superior to
Canterbury lamb when it has been killed near
a seaport. I have eaten lamb killed on farms
in all three countries, and found very little
difference in the quality and flavour.
The Waikato Plains are fifty miles south of
Auckland. Here there are good opportunities
of obtaining land at low rates, but these cannot
remain long. This locality represents the
232 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
turnip-growing district. The soil is light and
dry, and can be worked at any time. The
rain finds no lodgment, but is absorbed rapidly.
There are no high, cutting winds as in South
Island. The winter is fairly mild, and satis-
factory returns are obtained from cows, the
average during the best months being from
i 53. to i los. per cow per month.
In respect of the quality of the land for
dairying, though Waikato is not so fertile or so
productive of grass as other parts, it has many
compensating advantages. The mild climate of
this district enables dairying to be carried on
throughout the year. The ease and cheapness
with which heavy crops of swedes can be grown
ensure an ample supply of winter feed. Young
cows can be purchased from $ to 7 IDS.
per head. The Waikato land is worth from
2 to 4 per acre in the rough, and from 6
to 12 in a cultivated state.
The vicinity of Hamilton and Frankton
Junction offers special advantages, because it is
accessible to the best stock and produce market
in the district. At Hamilton from 150 to 200
fat cattle and from 500 to 1500 sheep are sold
fortnightly. Hamilton stands in the centre of
NEW ZEALAND 233
the farming interests. The lines run north to
Auckland, south to Taumarunui and Wanganui,
east to Cambridge, Rotorua, Te Aroha, the
Thames, and Waihi. All trains converge at
Hamilton, and run as feeders eighty miles to
Auckland, and the same distance to Wanganui,
Rotorua, and the Thames. The coal from
Huntly passes through this town to the Waihi
goldfields and other points, and the timber
from the King Country for all points east;
hence Hamilton has cheap coal and timber.
More progress has been made in land settlement
in the neighbourhood of Hamilton during the
past five years than in any previous fifteen,
and it is my opinion that this town might be
made the most important centre of the agricul-
tural industry in New Zealand, and investment
here is absolutely safe.
During my explorations of the Waikato
Plains I was the guest of Mr. J. Gordon, of
Eurek#. This gentleman possesses a magnificent
estate, about ten miles from Hamilton. He
landed in New Zealand forty years ago without
capital. Procuring work as a farm labourer,
he gradually worked his way up until he
became the chief man. He avoided the com-
234 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
pany of intemperate persons, and in due course
saved from his earnings sufficient money to
purchase a few acres. This land he tilled and
managed single - handed. His harvests were
successful, and his stock brought him good
returns, so that he was able to increase the
size of his homestead. He possesses now a
beautiful country house, and from a labourer
has become a most influential man in social
and political life, with all the natural refinement
and gentility which educated people love. I
spent harvest-time with him, and was amazed
at his splendid hay-crop.
Mr. Gordon is wealthy and independent, but
he still continues to work side by side with
his farm-hands. His orchards and vegetable
gardens were in excellent condition.
The Waikato is the best place just now for
the capitalist, but for general work I should
recommend Poverty Bay. The conditions pre-
vailing elsewhere do not justify me in mention-
ing them. Fortune-hunters should give New
Zealand a wide berth unless they have several
thousand pounds to invest.
The most enjoyable pleasure trip I had in
New Zealand was to the Bay of Islands, &c.
A SHARK CAPTURED IN THE BAY OF ISLANDS, NEW ZEALAND.
NEW ZEALAND 235
This excursion is hardly referred to in the
guide-books, though it is worthy of the first
place. In the early days, the Bay of Islands
was New Zealand's best - known harbour.
Captain Cook named the port from the cluster-
ing islets which are grouped to the seaward
opening. The locality is famous for historical
tragedies and events. In 1772 the natives
barbarously murdered here the unfortunate
Marion de Fresne and his crew. At Karorareka
the first rude settlement was formed, the
inhabitants consisting of runaway sailors,
escaped convicts, and other desperate characters.
In 1814 the Rev. Samuel Marsden preached
his first sermon here, and, on recommenda-
tions from subsequent missionaries, Great Britain
gradually assumed the right of supremacy.
The country was not easily subdued, and
many spots mark the sites of murder, blood-
shed, and battle. At Waitangi are the ruins
of the old British residency, and on the oppo-
site side of the river the Monument and Treaty
Hill. The church at Russell shows the marks
of bullets, and some of the early settlers' houses
still stand. The surrounding country is sparsely
settled, the population being on the decrease.
236 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
Leaving the Bay of Islands, the steamer
passes by some picturesque island groups, and
then enters the harbour of Whangaroa. The
passage is through a narrow gap between lofty
cliffs, undermined with dark archways and many
weird caves. Huge tree-ferns grow in the
ravines beyond, and the surface of the land-
locked water is adorned with romantic islands.
Rocky heights tower above the shores, forming
fantastic shapes and figures. This harbour is
one of the beauty spots of the world, and yet
it has been the scene of the most barbarous
cruelties and cannibal orgies.
On a picturesque island near the entrance the
Maories once dragged some hapless sailors and
butchered and ate them. Underneath the shadow
of Mount St. Paul lies the wreck of the
" Boyd," still visible near the water's surface.
The massacre of her crew took place in 1809,
and was an act of vengeance rather than deliber-
ate cannibalism. "George," the son of a
Maori chief, had a grudge against the captain,
who had ordered him to be whipped on board
for some trifling offence. This cruel treatment
became known to the natives, and a plot was
formed to murder the whole crew.
NEW ZEALAND 237
The " Boyd " visited Whangaroa for timber.
The captain and Some of his men were con-
ducted by the natives up the Kaeo River to a
fine forest of Kahikatea. Here they were
suddenly attacked and slaughtered.
The Maories took the bodies of their victims
to Square Hill, close to the site of the present
hotel, and there feasted upon them. When they
had finished their loathsome meal they dressed
themselves in the sailors' clothes, and, taking
the ship's boat, went down to the harbour to
the " Boyd." As they approached " George "
hailed the ship, and, going alongside, easily
took possession. Everybody was killed without
mercy, except a woman and a boy. The ship
was then rifled, and old Maories relate how the
goods were sampled. Sugar was rejected because
it looked like sand, but they chewed the soap
until it frothed out of their mouths.
The natives tried to tow the " Boyd " to their
settlement at Pupuke, and for a time succeeded
fairly well, but she grounded near Yellow Island,
and then, by some means, caught fire, and ulti-
mately sank. Within the memory of some old
settlers I interviewed, her forlorn timbers stood
out of the water at low tide. The trip to the
238 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
Bay of Islands not only furnishes scope for the
artist and photographer, but supplies the angler
with the finest sea-fishing to be obtained in the
Canada's ferocious maskinonge is represented
by the voracious shark; Florida's plunging
tarpon by the weighty load of a mighty har-
puka; Scotland's fighting salmon by the frenzied
struggles of the kingfish.
The s.s. " Clansman," of the Northern Steam-
ship Company of New Zealand, undertakes the
Island voyage every week, and carries on board
an oil launch, which is generally placed at the
free disposal of the passengers. On one occa-
sion I started with a party for Stephenson's
Island, and anchored about three miles from
the mainland. Scarcely had we let down our
lines, baited with shark and beef, before the
fish commenced to strike, and the hauling in
of harpuka was rarely accomplished without
assistance. There was no playing the fish or
need for skilful handling of the line, but
from beginning to end a hard tug-of-war.
When I got my first bite I fully believed my
hooks were entangled in a rock, and summoned
an experienced fisherman to my aid. We then
NEW ZEALAND 239
commenced to haul in with our united strength,
and it was not until a hideous head appeared
above the surface that I knew for certain it was
not an anchor or rock. The fish weighed
loolb., and the dragging of the monster into
the boat nearly upset it. The harpuka remained
dazed for a few seconds, but before it was killed
fought desperately, lashing furious blows with
its tail and causing considerable excitement.
Persons who are ignorant of the strength of this
fish should be careful in striking it quickly on
the head. During the afternoon we bagged four
harpuka, weighing from 27lb. to loolb., and a
good haul of schnapper and rock cod. This sport
is rather wet and painful work without rough
gloves and mackintosh. My hands were bleed-
ing before I landed the first fish, and subse-
quently I could scarcely handle a line.
At Mongonui our party shot a dozen brace
of wild duck, three pheasants, and some
beautiful native pigeons.
Two or three miles from Mongonui is Doubt-
less Bay, the landing-place of the Pacific cable.
The gentleman in charge of the station gave
me a hearty reception and made my visit
exceedingly interesting and instructive.
2 4 o RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
The Northern Steamship Company's office is
opposite the wharf. First-class tickets for the
round trip are sold for 2 125. The complete
voyage occupies five days, and is the best
money's worth to be found in any part of the
Rotorua has been so elaborately described that
it is unnecessary for me to do so. Generally
speaking, I found the published photographs of
this place created disappointment.
The Maori girls ruin their appearance by
dressing like Europeans, and reminded me
somewhat of sacks tied round the middle.
New Zealand's remarkable fauna is rapidly
disappearing. The ornithologist must travel to
Stewart Island to enjoy himself. Here the
indigenous birds are fairly plentiful. All over
the ranges south of Paterson's Inlet the large
kiwi is as abundant as in pre-European or
pre-Maori days. Over the shrubs and sedges
of wet lands the fern-bird is found. The
Maori-hen greets the wanderer with friendly
welcome whenever he pauses to rest. Flocks
of godwits soar above the waters of the
inlet, and the lovely native pigeon can
frequently be seen high in the pine-trees,
THE HARPUKA CAUGHT NEAR \VHANGAROA, NEW ZEALAND.
NEW ZEALAND 241
banqueting on the berries of the miro. The
bushman's friend, the robin, will almost feed
out of one's hand.
The kaka is conspicuous, the tui and mako
mako fill the forest with melody, and a keen
observer will discover numerous small birds,
such as the rifleman, wren, &c.
Sea-fowl haunt the seashore. The Stewart
Island shag, with its handsome white breast,
is a striking feature of the wild coast. The
morepoke sounds his mournful note at night,
and the white heron stalks majestically among
The kea is found in the Otago country,
and has a very bad reputation. It has been
known to attack both sheep and cattle. A
traveller related the following incident to
me. A man exploring the ranges north of
Lake Wanaka fell from the mountain path,
and was instantly killed. A search-party was
organised to ascertain his fate, and, when
his body was found, a number of keas
hovered around the spot. These birds flew
from the corpse, which they had attacked.
The clothing was torn open, and both
kidneys had been removed. Shortly after-
242 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
wards the keas attacked a pack-mule, tethered
close to the camp, and the animal could
only rid himself of these fierce birds by
lying down and rolling.
The Three Kings are passed during the
voyage to New Zealand via Sydney. These
islands are much dreaded by navigators, and
are surrounded by dangerous reefs and
sunken rocks. Many terrible tragedies have
taken place here, and on the last occasion
of my passing them I became acquainted
with a survivor from the wreck of the
" Elingamire." The " Elingamite " struck upon
a rock during a dense fog. Immediately it
became impossible to stand on deck without
support, but the waves did not break over
her until she was on the point of settling
down. When the water reached her boilers
it shot up like a geyser. All the loose
fittings came adrift and an empty horse-box
floated astern. She hit a rock about 100
yards from the cliff, and finally rested on a
ledge thirty yards distant. The " Elingamite "
had ,17,000 on board. She now lies 175
feet below the surface.
" The first intimation I had that something
NEW ZEALAND 243
was wrong," remarked the narrator, " was
the appearance of the rudder-head through
the deck, her double steering-wheels having
snapped off. I had my money in a leather
strap, but many passengers lost everything.
While I endeavoured to collect some of my
personal effects the boat continued to bump, and
the water soon rose level with the portholes."
The passengers now showed themselves in
their true colours, the true gentleman being
in evidence in contrast to the cowardly,
selfish sneak. Above the shouts and screams
could be heard the vilest language.
Many persons perished when the ship went
down. Some appeared to go mad and jumped
overboard before a boat could be lowered.
The old people were thrust aside in the
general rush without consideration for their
misery and despair. It was a struggle for
life. Those who kept their heads and remained
cool were chiefly among the survivors. The
general conduct appeared as though everybody
thought only of himself. Even in this hateful
condition of things the people could be classed
into three divisions:
i. Those who grasped the whole position
244 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
and realised that in trying to preserve their own
lives they would probably save others.
2. Those who only wanted to save them-
3. Those who determined to save themselves
even at the sacrifice of others. These loathsome
characters had to be watched. They were
responsible for the most awful calamities. They
fought and grappled to get a place on the
rafts, and even pushed others off to make
room for themselves.
Persons who did the least to save others
talked the most afterwards.
The sailors seized a case of gin and got
drunk. This led to quarrels and fights.
On the middle island seventy people were
landed, with the captain in charge. There were
only three boats. One was smashed and the
other steered for New Zealand.
The survivors possessed a few apples and
some stimulants. Some of the better-class women
gave their clothes to the children, and then,
when they shivered with cold and wanted to
huddle among the mothers, the mothers objected
and showed no gratitude whatever. Some women
made fishing-tackle out of their stay-laces and
NEW ZEALAND 245
hooks from hair-pins, and managed to catch a
few fish from the rocks, which they ate raw.
My friend managed to drift on a raft to the
nearest shore, and suffered many privations. He
explored the island, but only found a few flat-
tailed lizards, sea-birds, and a small black land-
bird like a sparrow.
He finally discovered some wild goats, but
they were so wild he could not capture them.
He fed chiefly on shellfish, and managed to find
fresh water. After three days of suffering all
were rescued and taken safely to Auckland.
ADVENTURES IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA,
TASMANIA, VICTORIA, AND THE
THE State of South Australia only requires
proper advertisement to render it famous as
a health resort. Near the northern border the
conditions are somewhat similar to the land
east of Bombay, but the beautiful mountains
which surround Adelaide produce some of
the best fruit in the world.
The tourist and ornithologist will find the
Adelaide Mountains a birds' paradise, and a
trip to Murray Bridge will furnish sport for
rod and gun.
On November 22nd, 1905, I drove from
Adelaide to explore the hill-country. The
road lies through Unley, and magnificent
views of sea and forest extend on all sides.
After driving through beautiful woods, I arrived
THE MOUNTAIN ROAD, S.A.
SOUTH AUSTRALIA 247
at a deep gully, where a stone wall guarded a
yawning chasm. Here a dreadful accident once
occurred to a picnic party. The coach upset at
the bend of the road, and all the passengers
were hurled into the awful abyss and everyone
English song-birds have been liberated in
the locality, and the voice of the skylark,
goldfinch, thrush, and linnet fill the woods with
sweet melody, which is very refreshing to an
Belair is the central railway station for the
Mountains and National Park. I had a Govern-
ment licence to shoot and collect native birds for
scientific purposes. The shrike-tit is a very
ferocious and handsome little bird, and, when
wounded, will fight fiercely for life, even attack-
ing its pursuer. The lovely kingfishers act in
the same way, uttering defiant screams.
Some distance beyond Belair is the habitat of
the wonderful emu-wren. This bird has a small
body, but a tail of remarkable length and shape,
which it carries erect. The emu-wren is fairly
tame and can be studied here.
Aldgate possesses a fair hotel, where lunch
can b had at a reasonable cost.
248 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
I returned to Adelaide via the " Eagle-on-
the-hill " and the Devil's Elbow. Serious
accidents have occurred at the latter spot, where
the road descends abruptly and turns off at
acute angles. The scenery on the summit is
beautiful. The mountain path winds and turns
among hills, valleys, ravines, glens, and precipices,
and beyond appears the city nestling in an open
The round trip requires a whole day. Con-
veyances can be hired for i y but if taken at
noon I2S. 6d,
During my rambles in South Australia I
spent some time on the Murray River, putting
up at the Bridgeport Hotel, Murray Bridge.
The river is spanned by a fine bridge, and
waterfowl frequent the swamps and mud-flats.
Duck, heron, ibis, stork, plover, coot, curlew,
and mudlarks can be flushed everywhere. There
is an island about two miles from Murray
Bridge which I named Snake Island. This is
a famous breeding-place for land-birds. I pro-
cured here the King Edward parrot, diamond-
birds, reed-birds, and some rare hawks. Land-
ing one morning to follow some rare finches, I
suddenly found myself face to face with a wild
SOUTH AUSTRALIA 249
bull. He seemed as surprised as I was, but
soon recovered, and came at me, pawing the
ground, lashing his tail, and bellowing furiously.
I was obliged to crawl for safety through some
dense tangled scrub, where the bull could not
follow me. When I had got beyond his reach
I found some difficulty in extricating myself,
and was thoroughly exhausted before I arrived
at the boat.
Snake Island is about a mile long. The best
place to land is near the centre, on the opposite
side to the mud-flats. The swampy side of the
island is full of snakes, and it is necessary to
be careful in walking. I always gave snakes
plenty of time to get out of my way, which
they appeared on most occasions anxious to do.
Sometimes a young Englishman accompanied
me, who made a great noise with a stick,
striking the bushes. I frequently warned him,
but he ridiculed my advice. One day, while he
was lashing some small shrubs a few yards in
front of me, he struck a huge snake, which had
coiled itself on the trunk of a tree.
The enraged reptile darted forward to bite
him, but, fortunately, missed its aim. I had
just emerged from some thick ti-tree, when I
250 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
heard a shout of warning, " Look out for a
snake! " This advice came just in time. The
creature was retreating in my direction. Its
movements were extraordinary. It appeared to
jump backwards rather than glide, and had
evidently received a violent blow.
When the snake perceived me, it lifted up its
hideous head and prepared to strike. It was
a critical moment, because I was not aware
that diamond-snakes were harmless. Death seemed
to stare me in the face. My gun wabbled as
I lifted it to my shoulder. I fired twice in
quick succession, aiming at the snake's head.
A great commotion in the tall grass was the
result, and, when this ceased, I ventured to
approach it. My first shot blew off the reptile's
head, and the second perforated the skin. My
friend had rather a bad time of it, being in
the line of fire, though some hundred yards
Snakes are never visible on cold days. A
half-dried swamp is their favourite haunt. I
have seen them in great numbers in such places,
and heard them disappear into their holes with
a disgusting, slimy sound.
Queensland snakes attain to a great size, but
the Murray River varieties vary from four to
nine feet. The black snake is the most
venomous. Sometimes battles take place between
the iguana and the snake. I had an oppor-
tunity of witnessing one of these encounters, in
which the snake was killed.
The Tasmanian Lakes afford excellent sport.
Platypi, wolf, and devil are found in this
locality, and the mixed fishing is good. The
route is via Hobart and New Norfolk to
Macquarie Plains, and then by coach to the
lakes. Arrangements must be made beforehand,
and provisions, &c., provided. Mr. J. Clarke,
at Ellendale, provides accommodation, but does
not possess a licence to sell beer, &c.
The journey to New Norfolk along the River
Derwent is delightful. Summer is the only
suitable time for the lakes. Their locality is
associated with many historical tragedies of the
early days. Both natives and bushrangers con-
gregated here to harass the pioneer settlers.
On one occasion two separate parties of con-
victs absconded from Macquarie Harbour in
June, 1824. They managed to seize a boat,
and when they had rowed twelve miles, they
moored it to a stump, and wrote across the
252 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
stern, " To be sold." Some of these men were
never heard of again, but Brady and his fol-
lowers soon became notorious for cruelty and
A surgeon who fell into their hands was
stripped of his clothes, and only escaped
flogging by the intercession of Brady, who took
a fancy to him. Some escaped convicts actually
became cannibals, and Alexander Pearce was
hanged at Hobart for this and other crimes.
The tourist who explores the unbeaten paths
of the wilds may discover for himself ruins and
relics of these bushrangers. I found an old
rusty fetter which had been filed off, and came
across ruined huts. The uncertainty of these
chance discoveries adds zest to the Tasmanian
bush. A curious hut was found on St.
Patrick's Plains beyond the Great Lake. At
a distance it resembled a huge, fallen tree, but
in its centre and sides were doors which over-
looked the whole plain.
The notorious Brady became a perfect terror
to country farmers, and many abandoned their
homesteads, whilst others fortified and loop-
holed their dwellings, as in a state of war. In
July, 1824, some bushrangers under James
Crawford attacked a house on the River
Derwent, and, having plundered it, made the
occupants prisoners and compelled them to carry
the spoils to their retreat. On the road, they
met Mr. Taylor, jun., and forced him to
accompany them to his father's farm. The
family observed the bushrangers' approach, and
armed themselves. Young Taylor shouted to
his father, and managed to slip away. Then
the battle commenced, and many dreadful deeds
were done. Young Taylor, creeping up to take
his share in the fighting, saw a bushranger
holding a levelled gun at his father. He
bravely ran towards him, and, seizing the
ruffian by the throat, threw him to the ground.
This brought another villain to the rescue, and
in the struggle the son was killed.
On another occasion Brady captured Mr.
Kemp's overseer and used him as a ruse to
gain admission to his master's house. It was
a very dark night, and Mr. Kemp, recognising
his man's voice, opened the door, and the
ruffians rushed in. They robbed and plundered
the whole place.
One of the most daring exploits of the bush-
rangers was the taking of the town of Sorrell
254 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
and the capture of the gaol. A party of
soldiers were sent in pursuit, and they were
watched by spies. After wandering all day, the
soldiers sat down to refresh themselves, stacking
their arms. A signal was given to Brady, who,
hurrying to the spot with a few picked men,
took possession of all their guns and ammuni-
tion and locked the soldiers up in Sorrell Gaol.
These many outrages led to vigilant measures
by the authorities, which only increased the re-
vengeful spirit of the bushrangers. One of
their favourite pastimes was to force the people
who fell into their hands to drink to excess.
One man they compelled to drink a large
quantity of rum, with a loaded pistol at his
head. Then they led him off the farm and
left him. He was afterwards discovered by a
shepherd, who saw a dog fondly lick the face
of a prostrate man. When he approached the
spot he lifted the poor sufferer to a sitting
position, but he only opened his lips to request
a drink of water, and then fell back dead.
Large sums of money were offered for the
capture of these bushrangers, and the people
of Hobart formed themselves into a guard to
enabte the regular sotdiers and constables to
1YPICAL BUSH SCENERY, VICTORIA.
seek them in their haunts. The robbers, how-
ever, were mounted, and moved so rapidly from
place to place, that, as fast as their pursuers
arrived at one spot, they would be reported
plundering and murdering elsewhere. When
Jeffries was a prisoner at Launceston, the bush-
rangers sent word to the gaol that they would
carry him off and put him to death. Their
message, of course, was treated with contempt,
but they landed and advanced to the residence
of Mr. Day, who was then entertaining a
number of his friends. The bushrangers
plundered the house, and were packing up their
booty when Colonel Balfour arrived with ten
soldiers. The robbers retreated to the back
part of the premises, and fired into the rooms.
It was dark, and when the firing ceased they
were supposed to have retreated.
The Colonel, with four of his men, hastened
to protect the town, to which a division of the
bushrangers had been sent by Brady. As soon
as they had departed, some of the party again
showed themselves. Dr. Priest joined Mr.
Bartley and the remaining soldiers. Unfortu-
nately, his clothing being white, the robbers
were able to mark him. His horse was shot
256 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
dead, and he himself received a musket ball,
from which he died. Exasperated by these
crimes, the whole country rose against the bush-
rangers and sought them in every direction.
The Governor himself took the field and in-
fused vigour into the pursuit, and in less than a
month the leaders were in the hands of justice.
Brady, wounded in the leg, was overtaken by
the soldiers, and surrendered without a struggle.
Jeffries was also re-captured. A large crowd col-
lected to see these men, who were admired for
their daring as much as detested for their
crimes. Jeffries was reprieved to act as a
The Tasmanian aborigines are extinct. The
last pure representative of the race was
Truganina, who died in 1876. These wild
people are considered by some to have been the
nearest approach to primitive man. They
roamed about the forests and possessed neither
towns nor villages. During my rambles I dis-
covered several of their old camping-grounds.
These places were strewn with the shells of the
mutton-fish, oyster, mussel, &c. In the loose
sand I scraped up some interesting axe-heads
and other stone implements.
A ROAD THROUGH THE FOREST, VICTORIA.
The closing scene in the history of the
Tasmanians happened at Wattle Grove, Port
Cygnet, on Friday, February 26th, 1905, when
Mrs. Fanny Cockern Smith, the last half-caste
survivor, passed away. The deceased was in
her seventy-fourth year. She was held in great
respect, and left a grown-up family of sons and
Victoria possesses beautiful scenery, and
appears likely to become one of the world's
pleasure-grounds. The State can hardly be
described as a great field for general emigration,
but several instances have come under my notice
in which men materially improved their
prospects by living in this part of Australia.
The climate is ideal during the winter. The
air is dry, and there are practically no cloudy,
dull days. Persons with private means will
find residence in Melbourne delightful, and the
rural districts unrivalled for scenery and health.
Victoria possesses the most densely-populated
areas in Australia. Land is continually sold by
auction, and small farms can be purchased at a
reasonable cost. Large estates are being
acquired by the State and portioned out into
small holdings to encourage closer settlement.
258 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
The railway service is excellent, and all the most
advanced conditions of civilisation prevail.
Living is cheap and the hotels are good.
No tourist should miss a trip to the Gippsland
Lakes, Buchan Caves, and Western Port Bay.
A train runs daily from Prince's Bridge Station
at 7.52 a.m. for Sale, arriving at 1.30 p.m.
The fares for the round trip from Melbourne,
including the round of the Lakes, is 405. lod.
first-class, 305. gd. second-class.
The return journey may be made within two
months. The tickets, however, are not avail-
able for breaking the journey, and will not be
recognised at intermediate stations.
During the winter months there is no steamer
from Sale to Cunningham on Fridays, and no
boat from Cunningham to Sale on Saturdays.
The Buchan Caves can be reached from Sale
by steamer to Cunningham, coach to Lake
Tyers (where there is a " black " reserve), motor-
launch to Nowa Nowa, and coach to Buchan.
The aboriginal reserve at Lake Tyers is very
interesting and well managed.
During my rambles along the banks of the
River Avon, I flushed wonderful flocks of white
cockatoos, parrots, ducks, and pigeons. This
A BEND IN A FOREST STREAM, VICTORIA
river is their favourite drinking - place, and
towards evening thousands of birds assemble,
and the woods are alive with their screams and
notes. On one occasion I was caught in a
terrible deluge of rain, and the birds were so
drenched that they could not fly. I picked up
a handsome rosella, and, in spite of pecks, put
it into my pocket. For some days it remained
sulky and would not eat, but with patience and
kindness its confidence was inspired, and it
became a delightful pet. The trip from Sale
to Ramahyuck is worth taking for the sake of
the birds. In the early days the Victorian
blacks were a menace to the settlers, but now
they have almost become extinct. A few dwell
in reservations or wander about in a half-
civilised condition, always ready to receive
charity, but most reluctant to show any gratitude
for it. Fifty years ago, however, they boldly
attacked the farmers and wantonly destroyed the
sheep and cattle. They appeared to consider
all animals their legitimate prey, and when
interfered with became revengeful and dangerous.
One settler dwelling at " The Ovens " had his
ranch literally broken up by a mob of blacks,
and lost hundreds of pounds of property. The
260 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
country around had been generally forsaken,
and reports of the terrible blacks threatened to
ruin the cattle industry in Australia. It soon
became evident that unless confidence could be
inspired no shepherds or cattle -men would
venture from the towns. Several gentlemen
tried the experiment of living together in small
communities and riding long distances to en-
courage their shepherds and labourers by their
presence. They were obliged to employ a
horseman to continually perambulate the woods,
lest the natives should attack the herds unawares.
But even this had not the desired result, and
it became necessary for the owners themselves
to undertake this task. Once large numbers of
cattle were driven by the natives into a pond
and slaughtered with tomahawks as they en-
deavoured to scramble out. On another occasion
a flock of sheep was stolen, and when found
had been mutilated to prevent them from
An owner was one day riding with two
stockmen when they were suddenly surrounded
by hundreds of painted warriors. Their first
impulse was to retreat, but the narrow way was
blocked by natives, two or three deep, who
greeted them with a shower of spears. The
owner's horse bounded and fell into an immense
hole just as a weapon passed over the pommel
of his saddle. Then commenced a general
onset. The natives charged like furies, with
shouts of defiance. The white men took careful
aim, and fired a volley at close quarters, and
the foremost fell dead. This caused a momentary
check, but they soon recovered and renewed
their attack with increased rage. It was a
hideous sight to witness these naked savages
with their painted bodies and fierce aspect
rushing forward to death. Sometimes they
succeeded in inflicting a slight wound, and the
sight of their enemies' blood drove them mad.
Many who were fatally shot struggled on to
revenge their certain death, and were brained
or fell dead at the horses' feet. Gradually the
impetuosity of their rushes diminished, and
the fight became a sort of guerilla warfare,
lasting from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The children
and women assisted the black warriors materially
by dashing forward and picking up their spears,
even venturing under the horses' legs. The
unequal odds eventually began to tell, until at
length the blacks withdrew their forces to the
262 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
thickest cover. Some of the children, however,
were either too frightened or fascinated to retreat,
and one black boy was found hiding in a hollow
William Buckley, a private in the " King's
Own," lived for thirty-two years among the
blacks. He was originally transported to New
South Wales, and accompanied Governor Collins
in the year 1804 to the settlement at Port
Phillip. When the new colony was being
established, Buckley, with three others, ab-
sconded, and when the settlement was abandoned
they were left there, supposed to have died in
On July 23rd, 1835, Buckley was discovered
living as a wild white man among the blacks.
His life had been spared because he was be-
lieved to be the embodied spirit of a deceased
relation of the tribe. An interesting tradition
of his forest career is preserved in Victoria. A
cave, situated near Queenscliffe, towards the
Heads of Port Phillip Bay, is pointed out as
Buckley's Cave, in which he long resided with
at least one lubra of his choice.
Buckley's memory appeared to fail him as to
dates; but he believed he fell in with natives
THE NORTHERN TERRITORY 263
twelve months after his escape. The blacks
received him kindly, and accompanied him in
his wanderings. He had narrow escapes from
hostile savages, and often had difficulty in
procuring sufficient food. He learnt their
language and soon forgot his own, being unable
to converse in English for some days after he
was found. His clothing consisted of an
enormous opossum skin rug, and his hair
and beard were of great length. He carried
spears and other weapons like a native.
The wild blacks have been driven far from
the civilised parts of Australia. To study them
in their natural state one should take a journey
to Oodnadatta, which is 688 miles by rail from
Adelaide. This trip until recent times was a
rough experience. When night came the
passengers frequently found themselves in dark-
ness (1906). The oil-lamps had a mysterious
knack of going out, and the majority of people
held lighted candles. This novel sight was
positively ridiculous, but candles, food, drinks,
&c., are very necessary provisions for this
journey, which occupies three days.
Dalhousie Springs are eighty-four miles beyond
Oodnadatta. Along the road the country is
264 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
flat and hilly in turn. The Angle Pole is
interesting as a turning-point of the telegraph
line to Port Darwin. There is a water-hole
here. The Swallow water-hole is nine miles
further on. This locality is pleasing, and
swallows are plentiful. Ross' Hole, further on,
marks the spot where Ernest Giles started on
his successful expedition across Western Australia.
Macumba is three miles beyond.
During my residence in this locality a party
of blacks on their way to Niddie perished from
thirst. The weather was exceptionally warm,
and they were found dead within half-a-mile of
each other, at Wargidgea Swamp.
The blacks are generally plentiful near
Dalhousie/ Springs. On one occasion I
observed gins here who had smeared their faces,
arms, and hair with gypsum, and the men were
painted with yellow ochre. Their appearance
was rather terrifying, but they were only show-
ing respect for their dead. Wild dogs are not
destroyed here, because of the assistance they
render in preying upon the rabbits. Their
savage howls, therefore, are frequently heard
throughout the night. Nature plays strange
pranks at Dalhousie. In an area covering
THE NORTHERN TERRITORY 265
10,000 acres there are sixty-two springs, from
one of which enough water gushes out to supply
all the cattle of Australia. A mountain range
lies a few miles distant, and the springs exist
at a considerable elevation. Stony table-lands,
destitute of timber, appear in all directions, but
near the water the landscape changes. The
springs are separated by spongy sodium flats,
some of which are as dazzling to the eyes as a
dry salt-lake. No vegetation can live in such
soil ; but where the water appears most of the
springs are surrounded by a perfect jungle of
ti-tree, acacia, and silver wattle. This timber
is infested with wild cats, and the ground is
covered with couch grass and velvety moss,
while at the water's edge reeds and rushes grow
in tropical luxuriance. The water is wholesome,
though it tastes somewhat like flat soda-water.
In some places it is charged with sulphur.
A week can easily be spent camping among
these springs. Black duck and white crane are
plentiful upon the lake, and the thick growth
at the water's edge affords ample cover. At
one time 120 blacks camped near me. They
had come to thin out the rabbits, for whose
destruction they received 3d. per dozen. When
266 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
they received payment their conduct was amusing.
For some time they refused to part with their
money. Finding, however, the coins had no
mysterious charm or virtue, and could not be
eaten, they commenced to temporise. Holding
each coin separately in the palm of their hand,
they shouted outside the tent :
"Give 'em sugar for this fellow!"
"Give 'em flour for this fellow!"
Blacks are fairly honest in trading, but very
immoral. They generally wind up their business
with an offer of their gin, daughter, or some
ether girl for sale. They make good stock-
riders, and the women are useful in looking
after sheep and goats. The chief difficulty in
employing these people arises from their want
of stability. Their nature is nomadic, and
when the restless feeling possesses them they
will give up the best situations and depart
without the slightest reason at a moment's
notice. In their native state they travel con-
siderable distances, and rarely remain more
than two or three days at the same place.
THE CONDITIONS IN INDIA, BOMBAY,
SOUTHERN INDIA, AND COLOMBO
THE Indian Empire represents a population of
about 295,000,000, and these people are included
in Great Britain's mighty Empire of 393,000,000.
The tourist, therefore, will naturally anticipate
great things when he arrives at Bombay. His
expectations, however, will be doomed to dis-
appointment, and instead of finding himself in
a British country and among a sympathetic
people, he will wander the streets during the
greater part of the day without even encounter-
ing a single European. In Colombo, perhaps,
he may have thought the streets were crowded,
and have suffered some annoyance from the
importunate sharks who pestered him with
fictitious bargains. In Bombay he will be
exempt from this, but he will be thronged and
choked as he pursues his way by an unsavoury
multitude, consisting of Jain, Lingayat, Bhattia,
268 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
Hindu, Mussulman, Negro - African, Parsee,
A short stay in the city will soon disabuse
his mind of all he has learnt about India.
The old abominations of medievalism pervade
all ranks of society. Women are employed in
the most menial and degrading labour, and are
practically slaves, and the high castes style all
the labouring classes " vagabonds." The
bitterest hatred exists between the rival factions
of religion, and the few thousand British people
in India are tolerated because of the fear of
what would happen if their influence were with-
drawn. The Parsees, who are justly hated,
would be the first to suffer robbery and
massacre, and then Hindus and Mahomedans
would engage in a war of extermination. India
has never been conquered, and the country
to-day is practically in the hands of the native
people, who occupy positions representing every
department of civil life. This, to my mind,
has been the great weakness in Great Britain's
policy if India is to be regarded as a part of
the Empire. A possession which excludes the
labouring and middle classes of the old country
represents injustice to the British people. The
incompetence of the native is apparent every-
where. On the motor-car it is evidenced by
daily, or, I may say, hourly, accidents, and the
higher branches of influence, such as University
Professorships, with salaries of 305. per week,
have brought about the new teaching which is
antagonistic to the handful of British people
representing the Indian Government. Ninety-
nine per cent, of the population of India are,
perhaps, the most illiterate and credulous to be
found in the whole world. These people are
easily influenced by a clever scoundrel with a
l-ttle learning and tact, and the wholesale out-
pouring of graduates from Indian Universities
is the primary cause of the present unrest in
India. To serve their evil purposes, there are
many such persons travelling to and fro through
Southern India who have already convinced
credulous Hindus that the Government is spend-
ing thousands of pounds annually to propagate
plague, small-pox, cholera, and other diseases
for the destruction of the native people. Thus,
with lies and misrepresentation, if unchecked,
they will soon transform the present peaceful
working millions into a horde of raging,
2 7 o RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
" Why pay the tax, and why be subject to
a handful of foreign oppressors?" they ask.
" We could easily, if we wished, sweep them
into the sea."
The following is the copy of a manuscript
letter published in "The Advocate of India,"
May 28th, 1908:
" Ye damned English rogues, you thought
that, with the exposure of Barindra Ghose,
everything is undone. You are misled, not
even the hundredth part of the revolutionary
organisation is shattered. Rest assured it cannot
rest idle until Englishmen, male, female, and
children are mercilessly massacred to the best
interests of the country. If you dare, being
strangers in this country, to harass our com-
rades and persecute and prosecute them, is it
unjustifiable for us to kill as many of you as
can suit our purpose, until we are in a position
to create an insurrection ? You say secret
murder is no way to freedom. We admit it.
It simply creates confidence in the works of the
revolutionists. Everything does not end here;
there must be war, and with your blood the
barren ground would be fertilised, every obstacle
would be washed out, and if you will be a
nuisance in the way you will be no more in
" Yours faithfully,
" BENGAL REVOLUTIONIST."
To this letter was added another even more
violent, signed by Barindra K. Ghose, Hem
Chandra Das, and Ullas Kar Datta, containing
threats and warnings:
" Let every Englishman realise that in every
district life and property are insecure. We die
no objection to that, hundreds are to die before
the great bloody send-off of the white devils
takes place; but before we depart, let us hear,
and we will die with cheerful countenance, that
200 white-skins are sent to hell on the day as
the delivery of judgment. That is the practical
sympathy with our work. That will be the
fittest memorial of the occasion."
During my journey from Bombay to Tuticorin
I interviewed several influential native politicians
under similar circumstances to Mr. Keir Hardie.
Most of his interviews took place in second-
class railway carriages with Brahmin leaders.
Among others I interviewed was Raja Jopala-
chari, a gentleman of exceptional ability and
272 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
" What do you think will be the outcome of
the present unrest in India?" I asked.
" I think if the English people are made
aware of our existing grievances the unrest will
" Has education brought about the present
boycott of English merchandise?"
" Yes, it has made us think."
"What are your chief grievances?"
" i. A more popular form of government is
"2. We want a member of the Royal House
for our Viceroy. A more sympathetic treatment
of Hindus by Anglo-Indians. Social intercourse
between Europeans and Hindus."
" How can we have social intercourse when
you forbid us to worship with you in your
" You can worship in our temples. You are
' Why are notices written to forbid us ? Who
placed them there?"
'' I don't know who authorised such notices.
You can enter our temples."
" Do you think it possible that all religions
may become a matter of conscience, that those
A TAMIL GIRL.
who differ will respect and honour the scruples
of others, and that a national and united people
may be established in India?"
" Is there a general willingness among
Hindus to encourage scholars and liberal-
minded men to investigate the claims of
Hinduism on humanity?"
" Do you think Mahomedans and others are
equally liberal ? "
" No, Mahomedans are intolerant."
" Do you think the Mahomedans would throw
in their lot with Great Britain in the event of
" Yes, and, when successful, would immedi-
ately turn upon their allies and look for a
dictator from the north."
" Have you any solution to the problem of
rival factions? "
" I think the whole of India, with the ex-
ception of the Mahomedans, will present a
"Who are these thieving rascals in India?"
" They are merely the dregs of the population
of the various classes."
274 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
" How is it there are so many different
prices for the same article in India?"
" I consider it trade dishonesty."
" Are efforts being made to raise the tone of
true honour and just dealing among the
"What do you think of the missionaries?"
" I don't think they stir up strife, but they
will never succeed in India, because they are so
unphilosophical and often very ignorant men."
Raja Jopalachari informed me that an effort
was being made to break through " caste and
custom " exclusiveness and to form Associations
Mr. V. Rangasami Aryangar, B.A., testified
as follows :
" Would you like to see India independent of
" What do you dislike about the Govern-
" They should associate more with the
" Do you think if they did so the troubles
would cease? "
" Certainly. It is the snobbishness of
English officials I object to."
Mr. V. Narasinihacharri, a Brahmin, was
among my interlocutors.
"Do you think there will be war in India?"
" I don't think so, but there will be insur-
rections. When the military appear it will
"Are you a Brahmin?"
"What is your dislike of British rule?"
" Taxes on land."
" I want the same freedom people enjoyed a
hundred years ago. Educated people were then
employed regardless of their religion or race."
The interviews I have recorded represented
the general tone of what I might term the
moderate party. The snobbishness complained
of is ridiculously conspicuous in Bombay, where
society is divided up into numerous social
cliques, setting a miserable example to the
native people which is in perfect harmony with
their pride of caste. The pride, however, of
Bombay society is too often marked by the
size of the house and the length of the purse. In
276 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
spite of these facts, every sensible Indian recognises
that his country was never more prosperous
than it is to-day. Numerous institutions have
been established for his benefit. Electric tele-
graph and vast irrigation projects have been
undertaken ; more than 30,000 miles of railway
and over 150,000 miles of roads maintained.
Bombay contains some of the finest modern
buildings in the world, with delightful parks
and open spaces for recreation and amusement.
The sanitation in the European quarters is
excellent. This city was once a perfect death-
trap to the European. The traveller landing at
Apollo Bunder, about the year 1885, would
have found a foul and hideous foreshore. All
round the island of Bombay was one dreadful
cesspool, sewers discharged on the sand, and
rocks only were used for purposes of nature.
A ride home to Malabar Hill along the sands
at Black Bay was to encounter sights and
odours too horrible to describe. One was
obliged to leap four sewers, whose gaping
mouths discharged deep, black streams across
your path, and as one neared Chaupati there
were the choking fumes from the open, burning
ghat, and many an ancient fish-like smell. To
travel by rail from Bori Bunder to Byculla was
to enter into filth and stench beyond powers of
description. The living lived among the graves
of the dead, the roads were covered with rotten
fish and the dead carcases of household vermin.
Under these conditions plague wrought havoc
among the people. The Government has now
instituted a regular system of cleansing the streets
daily with marked improvement to the health
and well-being of the people. A terrible plague,
however, broke out in 1896. The population at
the time was 846,000, and in a few months it
was reduced to nearly half. Trade and com-
merce were at a standstill, grass grew in the
busiest thoroughfares, and it was no uncommon
sight in the wealthiest part of the native town
to find a dozen or twenty shops consecutively
closed and barred. Domestic service was so
difficult to obtain that English women had to
perform the duties of housework which are so
exhausting in this city.
Some idea can be formed of the ravages of
plague from the fact that had the victims been
Europeans more than the whole population
would have been destroyed annually. During
the years 1898, 1901, and 1903, more than twice
278 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
the present European population of Bombay
would have been destroyed. It is conclusive,
therefore, that plague is the outcome of in-
sanitary surroundings. The Government's task
is most difficult. The Parsees, clothed in their
splendid garments, driving in stately equipages,
surrounded with every outward display of
wealth and splendour, are perhaps the most dis-
gusting people in their habits. There is a
tendency among them to cherish rather than
destroy vermin, and in this they are well
supported by other inhabitants of Bombay.
The chief buildings in the city are the
Secretariat, Municipal Offices, Victoria Terminus,
General Post Office, British Indian Steamship
Company's Offices, &c.
Near the Marine Lines on the left of the
railway are the Parsee, Mahomedan, and Hindu
Gymkhanas. On the right side of the
Queen's Road is a high wall that encloses the
Hindu Burning and Mahomedan Burial Grounds.
A short distance up the Charni Road is the
All Bless Bagh, the principal place for the
celebration of marriages among the Parsees,
which is often brilliantly illuminated. The so-
called Hanging Gardens are a fraud, being
merely a small flower garden on the top of
Malabar Hill. There is an extensive view,
however, from this position, which renders it
worthy of a visit, as the islands representing
Bombay can be clearly seen. Other places of
interest near Bombay are Elephanta Caves,
Vehar Lake, Bassein, Thana, Kennery Caves,
Igatpuri, Nasik, Matheran, Chants, Khandalla,
Lanowli, Karli, and Poona. The Towers of
Silence are situated near Malabar Hill, and
there are some interesting Hindu temples near
Government House, which are rarely approached
by the European. It would be unwise to visit
this neighbourhood alone. I was accompanied
by Mr. Ward, a fine specimen of a fearless
Englishman, who not only guided me through
this dangerous neighbourhood, but ventured into
the most remote parts of the native quarters.
The priests greeted us with scowling looks of
hatred, and though we were careful to be polite
and considerate in our movements, the attitude
of the people was most offensive. Among
other places I visited were the Towers of
Silence. They are five in number, and can
be approached by way of the steps from Gibbs
Road. Tickets to the grounds can be pro-
280 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
cured from the Parsee Panchayat. The grounds
have an area of over 75,000 square yards. On
entering we notice the stone building set apart
for a house of prayer and the fire temple. The
Towers of Silence, the largest of which measures
276 feet in circumference, are surrounded by
high walls, about 25ft. in height, and having
an opening on the ground level through which
the dead bodies are carried. The corpse-
bearers are the only persons allowed to enter
the towers, but there is an excellent model in
the grounds, which is generally shown to
visitors. It will be found that the bodies of
the deceased are laid in grooves around the
well which is to be found in the centre of each
tower. The bodies of young children are laid
in the centre circle, those of females in the
second, and those of the men in the outer ring.
The bodies, after being exposed in this manner,
are in a short time stripped of flesh by
numerous vultures that are always found in the
vicinity, and then the bones are thrown into
the well, where they are allowed to decompose.
This disgusting and revolting method of dis-
posing of the dead often displays itself in the
mangled flesh and bones carried by the vultures
from place to place. Such a terrible menace
was this hideous feast to the public health, that
the reservoir became polluted, and it was not
until elaborate precautions had been taken that
Europeans ventured to freely use the water.
A true man can admire a brave enemy, even
if his opposition and hostility are hateful; but
the sneak and coward he can only despise.
The Parsees represent the true Englishman's pet
aversion. I could quote innumerable instances
of their despicable meanness; but it is generally
known everywhere that the average man who
enters into partnership with a Parsee has taken
his first step to ruin. Mahomedans and Hindus
hate these people, and sometimes are driven to
punish them in the public, streets. At such
times these cringing, cynical people fly to the
British for protection.
Two Parsees were recently walking with their
ladies in Apollo Bunda, when they observed
some Mahomedans following them. The men
immediately left their women and took to flight.
Meeting some Englishmen, they clung to them
for protection. So persistent were they that
my informant told me they could move neither
hand nor foot, and any attack would have placed
282 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
them entirely at the mercy of the Mahomedans.
When the Mahomedans arrived on the scene
the Parsees trembled and cried like children.
During my month in Bombay I received
invitations to attend various festivities among
the Hindus and Mahomedans, and rarely lost
an opportunity of doing so. Enormous sums
are spent on the wedding feast, and though
child-marriages are less frequent than they used
to be, few girls remain single after their
fourteenth year. Hundreds of guests are invited
on these occasions, and the most gorgeous
decorations and furniture are hired for the
occasion. In addition to this, the expense of
providing food and luxuries for the multitude
amounts to fabulous sums. Ten thousand
pounds is sometimes spent in this way among
the rich, and the poor are years recovering
from their outlay in doing honour to the
A funeral is a frequent occurrence in Bombay,
and the corpse, decorated with flowers, is
carried by the bearers exposed to public view.
The Mahomedans bury their dead, the Hindus
use cremation, and the Parsees suffer their dead
to be devoured by vultures. Invitations to
SOUTHERN INDIA 283
weddings, &c., never include the names of the
wives Eastern etiquette demands that their
existence be ignored.
Tiie best way to visit India is to take a
passage in one of the splendid boats of the
British Indian Steamship Company from
Colombo to Tuticorin and thence by rail to
Bombay. The entire journey occupies about
thirty-six hours, and affords convenient facilities
for visiting the historical districts and temples
of Southern India, the centres of the greatest
of the ancient Hindu dynasties. Unfortunately,
there is an absence of hotels, and the accommo-
dation at the stations is very limited; but at
Madura, Tanjore, Trichinopoly, &c., there are
rooms above the railway stations, and visitors
occupying these take their meals in the refresh-
ment rooms, which are all under the supervision
of Messrs. Spencer and Co., Madras. Even if
no stay is made, the agricultural industries and
the conditions of life in Southern India can be
conveniently studied from the railway carriage.
Much of the journey will be taken without
seeing a sign of the white man, though each
station is crowded with natives of every caste
and description. Huge idols, in stages of
284 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
decay and ruin, appear in the most unlooked-
for places, and numerous villages and towns,
with their walled battlements, recall past battles
and bloodshed. Many of these are deserted,
except by the jackal and hyena, which haunt
the ruins. Here and there will be seen monkeys
and other wild animals, but the dense popu-
lation has driven most of the local fauna
further north. Birds, however, are plentiful,
and the ornithologist will find ample scope for
observation and study.
Colombo may be seen in a day with or
without a guide; but thousands of passengers
who spend only a day ashore fail to obtain
any adequate idea of the place from want of
reliable advice and direction Local guide-
books teem with advertisements, and consign
one to the shops. The human guide does
little more unless you know what you want to
do, and insist on doing it. The best advice
I can give is to take a first-class seat in
front of the tramcar for the Grand Pass
terminus upon the Kelaniya River; next visit
Maradana and Borella by the same means of
locomotion. Afterwards hire a carriage, drive
along Galle Face, Union Place, Vauxhall
Road, the Lake, Hyde Park Corner, the
Cinnamon Gardens, the Hospital, Horton
Place, Gregory's Road, the Museum, Turret
Road, Polwatte, and Kolupitiya. Then, if
time permits, drive to Mutwall. The visitor
who follows this route will have seen
Colombo, and should it be his first visit to
the East he will have received new impres-
sions to dwell upon for the rest of his
voyage. Excellent photographs can be obtained
from Messrs. Skeen & Co.
A walk through the Cinnamon Gardens is
not easily forgotten. Here one may wander
under the shade of palms and figs, or rest
beneath clumps of graceful bamboo sur-
rounded by blossoms and perfumes of the
most enchanting kind. The huge purple
bells of the thunbergia creep over the arch-
ways, and gorgeous passion flowers, orchids,
pitcher plants, bright-leaved caladiums, and
multitudes of other tropical plants everywhere
flourish and abound. Both here and in the
neighbourhood will be noticed the curious
fan-shaped traveller's tree, often wrongly
described as a palm. Its long broad leaves
collect water, which filters into the close-set
286 RAMBLES AND ADVENTURES
sheaths at the base of the leaves, whence
by simply piercing them with a knife the
traveller can draw streams of pure water.
Whilst driving through the Cinnamon
Gardens many prettily-coloured birds are met
with, and amongst the most fascinating is
the black-headed oriole, or mango bird. His
plumage resembles the mango fruit, and is
relieved with beautiful yellow and black. The
orange-headed green barbet has a monotonous
note, which sounds like " Koturr, koturr."
This is a very handsome bird, whose plumage
assimilates with its leafy environment, and is
plentiful in the lesser-populated outskirts of
Colombo. The white-breasted kingfisher, the
brown shrike, the Indian koel, the king
crow, the green bee-eater, &c., will also be
Travellers who have not been in the East
before should remember to provide themselves
with a thick topee for the daytime and a
straw hat for the evening. The thin rubbish
offered at Port Said is useless in India,
and though the thick helmets may appear
unsightly, they are the only sensible head-
gear for the climate. Such a hat can be
procured in Colombo for five rupees. It is
necessary also to use an umbrella when out
of doors during the heat of the day.
Much annoyance can be avoided from
coolies and others by carrying a short cane
and applying it occasionally to the most
persistent. The police, however, have instruc-
tions to protect the stranger from all impor-
tunities to which he objects. Never argue
with a native or show the slightest sign of
fear, otherwise the result will be deplorable.
I found the use of my boot the most effec-
tive conclusion to all arguments. It is use-
less to moralise all such attempts are
attributed to fear, and directly the native
discovers a trace of this he becomes as bold
as a lion ; whereas I have known one
Englishman to disperse a crowd of fifty
One of the most regrettable features of
India is the roguery and thieving which
abound everywhere. No money or valuables
should ever be left about, or even carried in
baggage. Drafts of money are the safest
course. I had the misfortune to be robbed of
a considerable sum of money. To be stranded
in India is perhaps the most awful experience
which could happen to a stranger. There are
no cheap apartments or respectable lodging-
houses, and the impecunious one who cannot
pay his 355. per week will have no choice but
to sleep out of doors, or enter premises of the
most revolting nature. Work is practically im-
possible to obtain. The following advertisement
conveys some idea of the value of a University
" Wanted, an Assistant Professor of Mathe-
matics for Christ Church College, Cawnpore.
Pay, Rs.i20 (^8) per month. Apply to the
The average wage of a working man is
about 2d. per day, and European salaries are far
inferior to any in the world, judging from the
newspapers. Fifteen rupees are equal to one
Bangaroo! Bangaroo!! Bangaroo!!!
Is simple, exciting, and
It is likely to become
the Most Popular
Indoor Game in the
It can be played in
a small room with
rangs, price God. only,
or with Large Boome-
rangs in a park or
garden, price 1 5 /-
THE POOREST HOME CAN ENJOY
SO CAN THE PRINCE IN HIS PALACE.
Prices : 6fd., Is., 2s. 6d., 5s., 10s. 6d.,
According to size.
Sold at all first-class Toy Shops, or direct from :
BANGAROO COMPANY, LIMITED,
DnuRT LANE. LONDON.
DC SOUTHERN REGIONAL LIBRARY FACILITY
A 000 096 921 2