|Chapter Title||THE SETTLER'S FIRST JOURNEY INTO THE BUSH.|
|Newspaper Title||Launceston Examiner (Tas. : 1842 - 1899)|
|Trove Title||The Maxwells of Bremgarten|
CHAPTER VII. THE SETTLER'S FIRST JOURNEY INTO THE BUSH. THE joy of Maxwell when he found himself entitled by an order of Government to a large landed estate may be understood by those who, having passed through many years and stages of up-hill life, can imagine themselves placed in a similar position. His wife shared in his rejoicing, but did not forget to remind him that he had many toils, perhaps dangers, to encounter and privations to endure before he could sit down in peace, or see himself in the midst of plenty. As for Griselda and her brothers, they were delighted at the prospect of a country life, and talked incessantly of charming walks through beautiful forests and gay rambles over their own sunny hills. In- dulging in such dreams of the future, perfectly harmless in themselves and pleasant if though they might not be fully realized, the evening passed away, and the morning came which was to witness Maxwell's departure on his long journey. Having bidden adieu to his wife and family, he set forth in high spirits, commending them and himself, as he was accustomed to do on all occasions, to the care of an all-seeing Providence. He quitted Hobarton at a slow pace, cast- ing many a lingering look behind until he could see the town no more, and then boldly moving on at a trot, straining his eyes in every direction in search of objects worth attention. He saw none, however, except the smiling farm-houses here and there, the distant hills clothed to the tops with trees of light and dark green foliage, and the smooth waters of the Derwent which flowed tranquilly along to the right of his path. Crossing this river at Roseneath, not by a bridge but by means of a large ferry boat, he left it directly behind him and emerged into the open bush, without any other guide than the track on which he travelled. Attempts were being made to mark out the road, and repair the worst portions, by parties of prisoners, whom Maxwell passed while at work ; the sight of their careworn features and the sound of their chains of bondage making him start with an involuntary shudder, and filling his mind with gloomy reflections upon the low state of degradation to which it is possible human nature may fall. He rode rapidly past these revolting objects, and arriving at a town or village called by some imaginative person Bagdad, stopped at an inn in order to refresh himself and his horse. After having partaken amply of a lunch which deserved the justice done to it, our
traveller walked out to pass away an hour, thinking it as well to give his horse, a little time to rest. He bent his steps along a by-path loading towards a cottage, the external aspect of which said a great deal in favor of the taste and industry, of its occupant. The small verandah was adorned with thick clusters of Macquarie Harbor vine, and a little garden in front seemed to be set apart for the cultivation of flowers only. Around this garden there were two or three paddocks of various sizes on which the stubble stood thick and fresh, while a couple of neatly built stacks of wheat and hay had, in Maxwell's eyes, an appearance of agricultural comfort such as he had seldom seen. As he continued his walk he discovered a middle-aged man busily digging potatoes near the pathway, who, lifting himself up as the traveller approached, civilly touched his hat, and said—"A fine day Sir, glory be to a God !" " Yes," said Maxwell, "it is beautiful weather. You are living in a productive country, judging by the size of your potatoes." " Why, pretty fair for that, Sir," replied the farmer, "I am thankful to say that I want for nothing. My crops are generally good, and when they are not I take them as they come without grumbling." " You are quite right to do so," said Max- well ; "is this land all your own, then ?" " Yes, Sir, five hundred acres all here, which nobody can deprive me of, and more content am I with what I can call my own than every ten out of twelve of the gentry who own their thousands of acres, and who think of nothing day and night but planning and scheming how they can get more." " And that cottage is, I presume, where you reside ?" " Yes, Sir ; may be you'd like to walk up and take a cup of tea?" "No, thank you," said Maxwell, "I have just had lunch,—but if the interior looks as well as the outside, you must be pretty com- fortable." "Just walk up and look at it, Sir ; I'm tired of work, and I'm not the man I used to be when I handled my cutlass on board the old Victory, and witnessed Nelson's death. Time pulls down the strongest of us." "I am fortunate in falling in with one of the heroes of Trafalgar," said Maxwell. " And a very humble one he is, Sir. To judge from your appearance you don't know much about our country ?" "No, I have only been in it about six weeks." "I thought as much : coming to settle or only travelling for pleasure ?" " I am come to settle, and do as you have done—make myself comfortable on my own estate." " I'm glad of it ; Sir," said the farmer, who seemed to be a man of sense as well as ex- perience in his present pacific profession. " We want a few gentlemen like yourself to settle amongst us. It is a fine country for the settler, the climate is healthy, the land pretty good though there is a good deal of bad, and the chances are that you will succeed and grow rich ; but there is one thing necessary for the success of any man in this country I might say in any country, but especially this." " And what may that be ? Industry, I suppose," said Maxwell. " Why, that is necessary, certainly, and good judgment too, towards getting on in life ; but the thing I mean is sobriety. The courage to keep away from sense-robbing and death- dealing tap-rooms ; they have been the ruin of hundreds, and they will be the ruin of thou- sands." " You are right," said Maxwell, " some of them would be indeed a disgrace to a Pagan community, and what shall we say of them in a civilized and Christian nation?" By this time they had entered the cottage, and, the farmer drawing a chair from beside the wall requested his visitor to sit down. A well-looking woman in the prime of life rose up as they came in ; she had been knitting but stopped her work and curtsied respectfully to the stranger. " My wife, Sir," said the farmer, "is always busy amongst the cows, pigs, or children." Just then a row of happy and healthy faces appeared at a door leading into another apartment, and the farmer continued, —" run away my children and play, shut the door, for I am tired." And the children ran away. The traveller's eye glanced round the room : it was furnished in a comfortable manner, although Tasmania being then in a somewhat uncivilized condition, many of the appliances of an English house of a similar character were wanting. It was carefully white-washed, and a few interesting pictures hung upon the walls. But a portrait of a female over the mantle-shelf attracted Maxwell's attention forcibly, and he rose from his seat and went to look at it more closely. It was of small size but bore the stamp of a high order of talent in the execution. The features it dis- played were fair and sweet to look upon, the rich dark hair brushed back from the high forehead after the fashion of the latter part of the eighteenth century, the elegantly formed nose, the delicately tinted cheeks, and the rosy lips round which an almost divine smile played, filled the beholder with emotions of strong interest. He was about to ask the proprietor of the cottage who the original of this portrait was, when the wife said somewhat hastily— " Will not the gentleman take anything, Thomas ?" " Do let my wife make you a cup of tea, Sir," said the farmer. " No thank you," replied Maxwell, resum- ing his seat ; " but I will take a glass of milk if you have any, but if not—" " We have plenty, Sir," said the mistress of the house, leaving the room. " May I ask if the young lady whom that portrait represents is or was a relation of yours ?" said Maxwell to the farmer. The handsome but weather-beaten face of
the latter became flashed for an instant, and he replied—"No, Sir, not a relation, but a very dear friend." The wife re-entered the room, bearing a jug of milk, a tumbler, and a plate of small cakes. " How far do you intend to travel to-day, Sir? if I may make so bold," said the farmer. " Why, perhaps about twenty miles farther on towards Campbelltown, at which place I intend to turn in the direction of Fingal." " Then you'll sleep at Spring Hill to-night, Sir." " I hope there is nothing objectionable in that locality," said Maxwell. " Oh no, Sir, not that I know of; but Oat- lands is the best place to stop at, only it is rather too far for the horse. The townships are the safest ; but there is not much danger now—we are pretty free from bushrangers at present, and the natives only give a little trouble now and then." " You are certainly very comfortable here," said Maxwell, with another glance at the attractive portrait. " I built this cottage myself, Sir," said the farmer, " with the help of another man, but the comfort pf it is all owing to my good wife there." " Indeed, Thomas," said the dame, "how do you think I could manage without your help?" Maxwell looked at his watch, it was three o'clock. He rose in haste and bowing to the mistress of the house took his departure, ac- companied down to the road by the honest farmer. "The next time you pass this way, Sir," said he, "don't go to the inn yonder, but come up here ; you will find a hearty wel- come, and your horse plenty of the best ; and —if your family--you have a family I suppose?" "Yes, and as soon as I get settled they will be coming up this way." " Then, Sir, tell them to come here and rest themselves as long as they like ; good by, and God speed you. Remember my name, Thomas White—I never disgraced it ; and yours, Sir, is —?" "Bernard Maxwell ; good by." So say- ing he shook the kind farmer's hand cor- dially, returned to the inn, called for his horse, and resumed his journey. Travelling onward over a hill dignified by the name of Constitution, the settler not altogether insensible to the dangers of the bush, entered a wide and fertile valley, the name of which he was told by a pedestrian was the Cross Marsh, and the village at the foot of the hill Green Ponds. He greatly admired this pretty vale for its natural beauty, extent, and perceptible fertility. The evening advanced apace as he commenced to ascend Spring Hill, on the southern side of which a respectable hotel had been built, though the inviting stone house which stands there now was not then erected. He felt in common with most travellers a feeling of satisfaction as the hour of rest drew nigh. At such a time an inn, making any pretensions to re- spectability or comfort, is a welcome sight. Your horse, if he be not utterly stupefied and dead to the pleasures of the world, pricks up his ears and accelerates his pace ; the ostler runs and touches his cap while he seizes your bridle, and the bust- ling landlord smiles paternally as you cross his threshold. In the present case mine host of Spring Hill, as soon as the traveller alighted, broke out into a torrent of words of welcome and recognition. "How do you do, Sir ?" he exclaimed, "I am so glad to see you ; how greatly improved you are since I last had the pleasure--was sure it was you when I saw you coming up the hill—and how is Mrs. Thompson and the family ? Glad to hear she has had an addi- tion. I hope she is very well, and your father, Sir, how is the benevolent old gentle- man ?" " You are under a mistake," said Maxwell smiling, " my name is not Thompson." "What !" said the innkeeper,with an air of utter astonishment, " not Rowland Thompson of Glen Pickimup ;'' do my eyes deceive me? And yet the resemblance is most remarkable. But walk in, Sir, I beg your pardon for the mistake." " No offence whatever," said Maxwell, entering a well furnished apartment. "From Hobarton, Sir ?" asked the inn- keeper. " Yes, started this morning." " And how are our friends in that locality ?" "Pretty well, I believe, I am not aware of any particular case of illness among them." " From England lately, Sir ?" pursued the inquisitive host. " From Ireland.'' " O, indeed ! bless me, yes ; exactly, ex- actly. And how is poor old Ireland getting on. Mr.—I did not catch your name, Sir." " No wonder—I have not mentioned it ; my name is Maxwell." " The Maxwells of Kildare, the most sport- ing family on the Carragh ?" " No, from Dublin." " Ah, yes, exactly ; I know great many of that name in Ireland. I'm an Irishman, too, Sir ; 'was born close to the Giant's Cause- way—that's the reason, people say, why I have a big soul. I love old Ireland—I wish I was back there again. But it is not a very quiet place for a peaceable man to live in." " Well, with the exception of a fierce dis- play of party-spirit, and the payment of rents with leaden bullets occasionally, I always found it a very quiet place," said the traveller. " Yes, certainly, exactly," said the host ; " though I'm an Irishman I'm a good British subject for all that. I'm bound to England by the most extraordinary ties of gratitude-- there is no rebel blood in me, Sir. I have served in the British army man and boy for forty years ; and by individual merit was promoted to the exalted rank of Sergeant-Major in the royal regiment
of Flying Bearskins, in which capacity I had the honor to be present when Wellington gained his great victory over that prince of human tigers, Bonaparte ; and a good job it was for the world that he did gain it." " Yes it was," replied the guest, "and I am glad to meet with one of England's brave soldiers in this far country. I take it as an auspicious omen that I have become acquainted with a hero of Trafalgar and Waterloo in Tasmania on the same day." "A hero of Trafalgar ! Who is that, Sir ?" " Mr. Thomas White, of Bagdad." " Yes, exactly, a very respectable man." " I would like a cup of tea, Mr. ——, I have not the pleasure of knowing your name." " Yes—certainly—by all means—I beg your pardon ; here John—Catharine, get tea here for this gentleman directly. My name, Sir, is Augstus Flynn—excuse me, I'll stir them up a little." " Try a chop, Sir," said the waiter; " we have some nice 'am, Sir, spiced round of beef, and pork pie, Sir."' " I will try a chop and a little ham, if you please," said Maxwell. " Chop and.'am, Sir ?——yes, Sir," and the waiter vanished. The tea was laid by a buxom wench, and our hero for the nonce (we are weary of re- peating the name of Maxwell) fell to with vigorous appetite, making Mr. Flynn's viands disappear with a promptitude that spoke volumes for the salubrious climate of Tas- mania. His repast being concluded, he went to see his horse bedded down, and spent the evening in reading a book he had brought from home with him. His loquacious host did not come near him again that night. On the following morning, remembering Colonel Arnott's advice, he took care to lay in a good breakfast, and bidding his host good day, started for Campbelltown. Travelling now over rough stony tracks, now through sandy hollows, dusty and dis- agreeable, our hero passed through Oatlands— now a respectable town, but then a poor as- semblage of miserable huts. On his left he saw, stretching out at a great distance towards the north, the picturesque western mountains, covered with dense and dark forests. Pro- ceeding through an amphitheatre of hills called St. Peter's Pass, he found himself on an extensive plain, where the luxuriant food for sheep and cattle was burnt up to a yellow color by the hot sun of a Tasmanian summer, succeeded by a sultry autumn. Nearly in the centre of this plain there stood a house or large hut, built of wood, with a board nailed up near the door on which was painted in large letters, "The Angel Inn,' by Peter Muff. Good en- tertainment for man and beast." Into the house of Peter Muff Maxwell insinuated him- self, having previously given his steed into the charge of a curious nondescript of an ostler dressed in nothing but a shirt and pair of greasy breaches. The traveller saw no one as he entered, but he heard voices in a room on his right, the door of which was shut. On his thumping upon it pretty loudly with his whip handle it was opened, and the rough head of a bloated man, with a shapeless face, something like the color of raw beef, appeared at the opening, which emitted a foul concoction of the fumes of stale beer, rum, and tobacco smoke, accom- panied by a torrent of oaths, curses, and foul language too horrible even for a decent goose-quill to record. This man was Peter Muff ; and the projectors of the oaths and foul language were harvest men, spending their hard earnings for the exclusive benefit of that respectable individual. " Can I have lunch ?" said Maxwell. " Lunch !" growled the raw-beef-faced inn- keeper, " yes—go into next room—'tend to you directly." His speech was thick, and his tone rough. " Poor man," said Maxwell to himself as he entered the room pointed out, " he is far gone ; it would be casting pearls before a pig to speak to him ; and yet I must speak to him ; he has got a young girl there, his daughter I dare say, listening to all that vile language. What an atmosphere for a young female to breathe !" The girl he had seen in the bar entered the room with a cloth, which she spread on the table. Maxwell asked her if she was the daughter, of the landlord, and she replied in the affirmative. The lunch was brought, con- sisting of the remains of a cold boiled leg of mutton, half a loaf of stale bread, a piece of suspicious-looking butter, and an atom of mouldy cheese.' " What will you please to drink, Sir ?" said the girl. " Water, pure water, if you have any." "Yes, Sir." The lunch finished, Maxwell rang a small bell that had been placed on the table, and the girl appeared. " Tell your father I'm going." Mr. Muff presented himself. " Four shil- lin'," he stammered ; " two shillin' lunch, two shillin' horse. No holy, dollar, but a whole un."* " What do you mean ?" asked the traveller. " Only four shillin,'--split me if it aint cheap ; would have charged six last month." " Here is your money. That young girl is your daughter, I believe ?" " Yes she's my darter—you'll be a teetotall'r, or preacher I s'pect ?" " No, neither the one nor the other ; what makes you think so?" " 'Cause I hates teetotall'rs, the sight on 'em turns my stomick ; and as for preachers I. can't a-bear 'em, whenever they comes here, they allers enquires arter my darters." " Do they ever advise you to keep your daughters away from the bar, where so much profane language is used ?" " Yes, they has adwised that ere, but I * The holy-dollar, as it was called, is now obso- lete. It was a silver ring, valued at three shil- lings and threepence, if I recollect rightly. The portion cut out of the centre was called a dump.
allers tells 'em to go and mind their own beg- garly business." Our hero once more resumed his journey, having had quite enough of the Angel Inn by Peter Muff. His reflections were dismal, but by recording them here we would only swell our simple story to no purpose. He now moved steadily on through the town of Ross, where a gang of prisoners were employed in building a substantial bridge across the river Macquarie, and without stopping on the way, arrived at Campbell Town just as the sun was going down. The beauty of the country through which he had passed since leaving the Angel Inn, served to restore him to his wonted gaiety of spirits. He found accommodation in a respectable hotel, and after quenching his thirst with a few cups of tea, commenced wri- ting a letter to his wife, thinking it prudent not to neglect an opportunity of sending one by post, which might not soon occur again. He described the scenery of the country, related his adventures at Bagdad, Spring Hill, and the Angel Inn ; and concluded by giving Mrs. Maxwell some advice with respect to the journey which he supposed she would soon have to undertake, telling her not to forget calling on Mrs. White, not to be afraid of any respectable house, such as the one at Spring Hill, and to avoid, if possible, entering the Angel Inn, even as if the sign-board conveyed the information that it was the residence of the Evil Spirit. In the morning, having received directions from a civil landlord, he turned off to the right, towards the upper valley of the South Esk. A genial shower of rain had fallen during the night, which had the effect of clearing and cooling the atmosphere, and boldly and beautifully the distant, lofty crags of Ben Lomond appeared towering against the bright blue sky. The philosophic mind of the traveller was charmed with this prospect which reminded him greatly of the mountains in Wicklow, though the absence of the emerald hues of his native fields deprived the scene of half its beauty. Still it appeared a land of promise, smiling like a fair and rich garden. The hills on either side were covered with trees, whose dark foliage lay upon them like a sombre mantle. The level tracts displayed a thick coating of grass, dotted with hundreds of sheep and scores of cattle, and likewise ornamented with countless gum-trees, and wattles or acacias of various species and sizes. Here and there a belt of dense honeysuckles impeded the view of the distant plains, and the road occasionally led him over banks of deep sand on which tall ferns grew luxuriantly. At length, as it seemed, to compensate the ex- pectant settler for his fatigues and troubles, the river—the giant river of his dreams, but now dwindled to a dwarf, though by no means a contemptible one—appeared, peacefully flowing between the wooded hills. It was, however, no less welcome than if it realised the splendid picture its name had presented to his imagination. He was on the banks of the South Esk ; that fact was enough. He alighted from his saddle, led his horse down the steep bank, and both drank deeply of the cool and excellent water. Had Maxwell been a poet he would then and there have fished out his pocket-book and pencil, and indited an ode or sonnet, or some other effusion under one of the many phases of poetical nomenclature, in honor of the welcome river ; but as his talents did not lie in that direction, he merely sat down on the bank, and allowing his hungry horse to crop the herbage which thickly carpeted the river's bank, fell into a reverie of melancholy thoughts. Did he think of the pleasant land- scapes which had a thousand times surfeited his eager eyes in the fair and far land of his birth ? or of the friends who would gladly have flown to comfort him if they could see him thus weary and alone ? Or did he picture to himself a home of happiness, love, and plenty, perhaps on the banks of this dark Tasmanian stream, where no more the curse of cankering dare or the bitterness of blighted hopes might cross his path? If he did it was but a vain dream. It is doubtless the unfortunate lot to which man was born to meet with cankering care, and perhaps to pursue the shadows and realities of life with a withered heart, even though he attain the highest pinnacle of human ambition. After allowing an hour to slip by, Maxwell resumed his journey. A pleasant ride of about twelve miles, during which his attention was principally directed to the grand moun- tain scenery on the opposite side of the river, brought him to the small village of Avoca, comprising in those days a solitary inn and a curious knot of little buildings in which were included a watch-house, a police-office, and the quarters of a military guard. This village is situated in a beautiful pastoral district, at the junction of two rivers, the South Esk and the St. Paul's. Here Maxwell thought proper to rest his weary steed, and, by making a few enquiries, add something to his slender stock of information. He entered the inn, not un- like other inns of the period, a weather- boarded cottage with one room in the front set apart for genteel travellers, another occu- pied by the family, and a skilling at the back which answered the purposes of bar and tap- room. The traveller, called for some refresh- ment, which was supplied by the landlady-- there did not appear to be any landlord--and requested to be informed if that bustling dame, a good-looking, fat, middle-aged woman, was acquainted with a Mr. Johnson Juniper, district surveyor, residing in those parts. " Of course," said the landlady, whose name was Mrs. Trapfarthing, and whose dialect smacked strangely of cunning York- shile, " I know Mr. Juniper ; everybody this side of Cammeltoon knows Mr. Juniper, and a very good sober loike gentleman he is, too. Be you going up to him, sir ?" " Yes, I am going to see him ; do you think I can reach his place to-night ?" " That depends," said the landlady, " upon yourself, whether or no you be clever enough
to find it, Sir ; it's a sore puzzle sometimes to some folk. It is nine or ten good mile away from here, some folk says more, and that by no means the best of good roads neither. If John Trapfarthing was alive, honest man, he would no doubt attend you as far as the first turn or the loike, but I'll tell Jems, if you're bent on going the track to-night, to put you on the shortest way." " Thank you, I shall be much obliged to you," said Maxwell. He soon started in company with "Jems," an urchin about nine years old, and pro- ceeded in an easterly direction along a level track bounded on both sides by dark frown- ing chains of high hills so thickly covered with forest that a few isolated patches of bare rock could only be seen here and there. On his right lay a peculiar hill called St. Paul's Dome, of considerable extent and elevation, flanked by other large hills, though not equally conspicuous; and on the left the South Esk flowed silently, its opposite bank consisting of tiers of rock and forest, to all ap- pearance inaccessible to the footsteps of men.* His guide told him that Mr. Juniper's farm lay amongst those hills on the other side of the river. The idea of a road over them struck him with dread. Indeed the roads of the colony were then in a state of nature's own disposing, and many of them are so still. The slow hand of man had scarcely begun to disturb the primitive excellence of the public ways. In winter many an astonished settler observed with dismay that on ground upon which he himself could walk without incon- venience, his horse and his bullocks would sink and flounder up to their bellies in tenacious mud, while his loaded waggon, if he had one, was gradually disappearing into regions unknown. His case was much the same if he attempted to cross a marsh or lagoon. In summer, however, things were not generally so bad. Then, indeed, the poor toiling animals are frequently half choked with dust, dying of thirst, and ready to drop with heat and fatigue. Coming to a stony hill the wanderer in search of a home in the wilderness may follow with anxious eyes his lumbering dray containing his little all in bedding, chairs, tables. kettles, and frying-pans : his wife and children are seated on the top, but these, unless he wants them killed, he will pe- remptorily order to come down. Fearfully the wheels crash from rock to rock as the panting team reach the top where there is a dangerous sideling. Here the driver must be careful ; but it may happen that in spite of all his care the pole bullocks swerve and the dray suddenly reels over, dragging the terrified cattle down into the abyss, dashing the tables, pots, and kettles into fragments; and continuing its course with the gravity of a snowball, but with more noise than a Chinese band, to the lowest depth of the gully. His brain was busy with reflections like these when his guide paused--" Well, my lad," said he, " what road am I to take ?" " The one yer on sure," said the boy with a half grin. " Yes, but when it divides into two ?" " Left hand," replied the urchin ; " down fornint the river, crass Black Sail's Mash, over the foord, then crass Tinpot Mash be a hape o' stones in haner of ould Tom Kelly that was kilt be the blacks, over Skittle-ball Hill an' down into Murderers' Gully, where Nat Flanagan's brains was knocked out be the wheel of his bullock dray ; an' where if you meet any one enquire for the next turn." " Why you impudent young scamp," said Maxwell, wrathfully, " you are making a fool of me all this time." " No I ain't, Sir; I'm telling you true. If you take the right hand turn you'll get down to the say, or maybe get lost on St. Paul's Tiers ; but everybody doesn't know Mur- derers' Gully or Black Sall's Mash." " Go home, Sir," said Maxwell, " with your mash and your gully and your Skittle- ball Hill ; if I find out you have been telling me lies I'll make you repent it. Be off with you this instant ; I shall find out the truth when I see Mr. Juniper." The astounded youth who expected at least a shilling for his trouble returned home in a sulky mood, repeating to himself as he went —" Make a fool of you, is it ? that's done already there was one great blunderin' fool come into the world the day you was born." Maxwell proceeded on his way with a heavy heart. He was not disposed to return to Avoca, and was fearful lest he might lose the track to Juniper's house and be compelled to pass the night in the wild forest. For a considerable distance the road was distinct enough, but soon he came to a large level grassy tract where it became obscure. Here he turned towards the river hoping to find the ford and reach his destined resting place before night. The sun had disappeared behind the distant mountains, and he knew that the short twilight would scarcely last him an hour. The track which he still en- deavored to follow had become more indis- tinct, until at length to his dismay he lost it altogether; and tortured by anxiety he pushed his way through the thick belts of young acacias and other adjuncts of the primeval wood and sought the river's bank. Still buoyed up by hope, he followed the river upward as long as daylight lasted, and even when he could not see it in the dark he followed it by the gurgling sound of the flow- ing water; but no ford could he find. The darkness increased, and still he wandered on through the tangled scrub, away from the river, amongst the huge gum and peppermint trees, which, both alive and dead, stood, hav- ing breasted the storms of ages, and holding their arms like gigantic skeletons high in the air. Far away into the depths of an unknown forest, which had scarcely yet heard the sound of the pioneer's axe, surrounded on all aides by an awful solitude, the forlorn traveller kept * Those who have enjoyed the hospitality of Simeon Lord, Esq., will not readily forget the rugged scenery around his romantic residence.
on his way. His mind became full of the most gloomy apprehensions ; strange birds, startled by the appearance of such an unusual visitor, swept through the thick foliage, and filled the air with unearthly screams ; strange beasts, whose nature it was to shun the light of day, stalked amongst the underwood on their nightly prowl, but seeing the unwelcome apparition, fled away in terror. The wood became thicker and darker. The twigs of the stunted bushes that grew thickly amongst the greet trees were now more closely intermixed, so as nearly to terminate the farther progress of the traveller. Checking his weary horse, he descended from his saddle, threw the bridle reins on the ground, seated himself on a fallen tree, and burying his face in his hands, re- signed himself to the pangs of temporary despair. (To be continued.)