|Chapter Title||AN EPISODE IN TASMANIAN HISTORY.|
|Newspaper Title||Launceston Examiner (Tas. : 1842 - 1899)|
|Trove Title||The Maxwells of Bremgarten|
THE MAXWELLS OF BREMGARTEN. A STORY OF TASMANIA. [Founded on Facts.] (ALL RIGHTS ARE RESERVED.) (Continued from Saturday, 27th June.) CHAPTER L. AN EPISODE IN TASMANIAN HISTORY. SOME months of apparent inaction on the part of the Government were allowed to elapse since Colonel Arthur had condescended to in- form Maxwell that he had concocted a great plan, the execution of which would most assuredly relieve the colony of an intolerable burden. Our settler was somewhat mystified at the time by this portentous announcement, and when, expecting to be enlightened by Mr. Earlsley on the subject, he applied to him for information, he was told in a vague manner that the time for action had not arrived, and until it did it was better not to speak of the affair lest its premature pub- licity might lead to unfortunate results. But he had not to wait until the magistrate's supercilious reserve broke down, for meeting with the loquacious carrier one day, he was informed that the Government was preparing a grand trap wherein to catch the trouble- some natives, by stretching a net of people right across the country in order to drive them like sheep into a corner of Tasman's Peninsula, and then ship them off with presents of blankets, tea, sugar, tobacco, and spelling books, to one of the islands in Bass's Straits. This scheme was the result of long and anxious deliberation in the councils of the Lieutenant-Governor. Some decided course of action was rendered necessary by the still continued and fast increasing robberies and murders which were perpetrated by these ignorant and ill-used creatures. They were supposed, when their existence was first dis- covered, to occupy the very lowest position in the scale of humanity. They lived in a per- fectly wild and savage state, their knowledge of architecture being limited to the act of placing a sheet of bark across a stick in such a way as only partially to shield them from the cutting blast. Gigantic trees, whose trunks were hollowed out by successive fires, they often found to be ex- cellent substitutes for huts. Until blankets were introduced by their European invaders, the use of clothing was altogether unknown, and possibly its superlative comfort never missed. They roamed about in the perfect freedom of barbarism, now diving for fish amongst the rocks and seaweed of the coasts, and now hunting kangaroos far away in the interior, free from the cares of civilisation, but not from the hostile collisions incident to both conditions. They climbed the largest trees in the forests by means of steps five feet asunder, cut with sharp hatchet-shaped stones. They were totally ignorant of agri- culture, but not so of the use of offensive weapons ; and the precision with which they threw the too-often fatal spear was early noticed as their most formidable accomplish- ment. The color of their skin was jet black, and they are described as having been subject to a disgusting cutaneous disorder. And yet with all this apparent destitution and wretchedness they were not without a certain air of urbanity and happiness, for when the French naturalist Labillardière landed in 1792 he was received with a graceful polite- ness that surprised him. He testifies to the fact that the women and girls were interest- ing, the latter decidedly good looking, and both far from being ungentle or immodest. They dived for fish while their sable lords sauntered indolently about with their right hand passed behind holding the left fore-arm in its grasp. When tired of diving they roasted the fish and warmed themselves between two fires : the women caressed their younger children, while the girls raced with the French seamen on the sands, and sought by such innocent gambols as hiding behind rushes and climbing into trees to amuse the visitors, concerning whom the power to ex- press their thoughts of astonishment, except in chatter intelligible only to themselves, was denied them.* The friendly disposition of the natives con- tinued for some time after the first party of English prisoners and their guards formed a settlement on the banks of the Derwent, though not without a few sanguinary inter- ruptions. In May, 1804, five hundred blacks assembled on the hills overlooking the camp, and advanced towards it with hostile demon- strations. The military fired upon them, and it is said that upwards of fifty fell. The work of retaliation speedily commenced, and prisoners were speared in the woods while hunting ; but a marine named Germaine, who, through a scarcity of provisions, became a professed kangaroo hunter, met with them frequently in his excursions, and was never molested in any way. The prisoners having been dispersed to forage for themselves, pene- trated into the interior in bands, thus laying the foundations of bushranging, a practice fatal to the peaceful abori- gines. These were commonly shot down like wild animals, and in some instances taken alive and tortured. A villain calling himself Russell has been consigned by the historian to an infamous celebrity, and it is satisfactory to know that the outraged people themselves inflicted upon him the punish- ment of death which he deserved. Successive Governors—Collins, Davey, Sorell, and Arthur—issued proclamations and orders in- numerable denouncing their atrocious deeds, and threatening the perpetrators with the vengeance of despotic authority, but in vain. Cruelty did certainly, in a few instances, meet with its deserts, but in general the deeds were done in the solitude of the bush ; and few cared to run the risk of being recog- nized as informers. A curious enquirer might be glad to know what was the mysterious origin of these creatures, but there is nothing to help him to an answer. An antiquary would feel interested in knowing something of their ancient history and habits, how they lived without money, how they arranged their affairs of government, how they contracted marriages and buried their dead through suc- cessive generations from time immemorial, but the researches of the antiquary will be vain. There does not remain in this island, it is presumed, one stone standing upon another as a testimony of aboriginal skill. Some of them have undoubtedly been taught to read ; but there is no record, not even a skeleton hieroglyphic, to enlighten him as * Plans were early adopted to tame the savages, and music was recommended. The musician of the Recherché carried his violin on shore, and played plaintive tones. The natives took no notice. Lively airs and quick measures were then tried, and the barbarians put their fingers to their ears. The Frenchman dropped his fiddle in despair.— West.
to their past history. A pyramidal struc- ture of poles and bark was found on Maria Island in which the ashes of burnt human bodies were discovered. It was known that each man could keep two wives if they would marry him : they courted with flowers, but it is uncertain how the nuptial rite was solemnized, though it is probable that a few good blows of the waddy enforced the neces- sity of conjugal obedience. The barbarous husband sometimes starved his wife and chil- dren, but the patient woman has been known to feed her children first while she was weak with hunger. The women in general were not deficient in maternal tenderness ; they met their relatives after long absence with tears of affection, and wept over the remains of their little ones. They were grateful for kindesses, but cruel in their resentments. They visited with confidence the dwellings of the early settlers, and sat down and ate their opossuns at their doors. Dr. Ross, a settler of 1822, whose respected name is a house- hold word in Tasmania, had been in the bush for a considerable time without seeing a single native, but one morning he was astonished to perceive a crowd of them emerge from the forest, and gather round his door. They lit fires near his standing corn, and per- ceiving his dismay and exertions to preserve his farm from a conflagration, they concen- trated their force, put the fires out and re- moved to a safe distance. When their game was sufficiently cooked they offered the doctor a share, which attention he reciprocated by giving them bread ; but at the sight of mutton their disgust was excessive. Enlightened settlers like Dr. Ross were then rare, and very soon the infant colony began to suffer. When such villains as Lemon, Jeffries, and Dunne took up arms and roamed through the country as monarchs of the wood, it was not to be expected that the natives who attempted to defend their hunting grounds, their wives, and daughters would be spared ; but the cruelties of the invaders were not confined to blood-thirsty outlaws. Shepherds and stock- keepers in private service, constables and others in government employment, emanci- pists who had become farmers, and old pen- sioners reeking with the fumes of the rum- cask, contributed their quota of brutality. It is scarcely credible that men with hearts of flesh would persuade ignorant black women to climb into trees, and shoot them when there. As if on purpose to rouse their spirit of hostility and revenge, their children were torn from them, their women seized and detained by force, and they themselves hunted from place to place and shot down like wild beasts. Parties of armed settlers and their servants, designated commandoes, were formed from time to time, and the smoke of a fire became the signal for a black hunt.* In the silence of night while they clustered round their fires, afraid to move for fear of attracting the notice of a spiritual enemy which they called "Debble," their pursuing foes cautiously approach. A watch- ful cur gives the alarm : the hopes of a blood- less capture, if any, are disappointed. They rise to fly, but the deadly fire is poured in ; some are massacred, the infants are cast into the flames alive, and the bodies of the slain similarly disposed of. + A party of natives throw stones at some constables ; the latter fire and then charge with the bayonet ; the blacks are destroyed. With a terrible fate before them the exertions of the unfortunate wretches to escape became a science. On the first intimation of danger they would suddenly disappear and pass along amongst the branches of trees. They would crouch down on the brink of fearful precipices, and on the open plains throw themselves into fantastic shapes, so as not easily to be distinguished from charred stumps. It is all apology for England and a consolation to us when we reflect that their remorseless butchers were with few exceptions the sweepings of British gaols, the abandoned and ignorant outcasts of a densely peopled realm. We have given in the course of this work, though at the risk of offending the good taste of our readers, a great number of instances of power grossly abused, and sanguinary revenge executed, sometimes upon those who were innocent of shedding blood. Goaded to mad- ness and fury by the wrongs they suffered from roving bushmen, the natives appeared to cast off all reserve, and conducted themselves as if they had determined upon a war of extermination. It is estimated by a writer in an almanac for 1829 that upwards of one hundred Europeans fell victims to their rage during the previous year. At an earlier period they mustered in bodies of a hundred and upwards, and laid siege to settlers' home- steads with some show of military skill. The premises of Mr. Hobbs, at the Eastern Marshes, were attacked, first by a party of sixty, who watched the servants deliver their fire, and then rushed upon them with demoniacal shouts. Again they returned in numbers about a hundred and fifty, advancing in two divisions ; the English were now better armed than before, and maintained their post for five hours, but thought it time to escape when they saw their enemies preparing to use the terrible auxiliary of fire. This farm lays in the track of both natives and bushrangers, and was pillaged three times in one season. As hostilities continued without any prospect of cessation, the enemy grew more cautious in their warfare, and dispersing themselves into small parties roamed from one inac- cessible retreat to another, watching with unwearied patience the dwellings which happened to be in their way until the owners, compelled to attend to out-of-door business, left them comparatively defenceless. Then the work of pillage and violence commenced, and the unfortunate farmer when he returned to his home in the wilderness found his little comforts gone, his arms destroyed, in some cases his wife and children covered with blood, dying or dead, and in others his late happy dwelling house reduced to ashes. The frequency of these painful occurrences roused the entire colony to a pitch of un- governable rage and resentment. Travelling became extremely dangerous, and staying at home or keeping a family in the bush was invested with terrors of no ordinary kind. Numbers of country residents fled from their homes and took refuge in the towns. Colonel Arthur listened to the outcry with anxiety, but so great were the difficulties in which he found himself, that he almost despaired of being able to reunite the broken and dis- organized ties which had bound society to- gether. He had in the first year of his administration sanctioned an act of judicial severity by bringing two aborigines to trial by the Supreme Court on a charge of murder. These were the famous Musquito, a Sydney * West's listory. + Melville's History of the Adminstration of Colonel Arthur.
native, and Black Jack, a Tasmanian. The first of these had been transported from New South Wales for the murder of a woman, and was frequently employed in tracking bushrangers. In a little time he took to the bush himself, and became chief of the Oyster Bay tribe, whose fierce warriors he led upon more than one bloody expedition. To arrest and bring him to justice became objects from which the peace of the colony was inseparable. Teague, an aboriginal boy, and a constable, overtook the formidable champion with no other retinue than two native women. The boy shot Musquito, who had sought refuge in a tree, and wounded him in the groin ; the captured savage was conveyed to Hobart Town to be tried for his life, while the happy youth who had served his employers so well was rewarded by a grateful Governor with the promise of a whaleboat and several other things. Poor Teague might as well have been promised a living whale, for he never got the boat and died of the disappointment in a short time.* Meanwhile Musquito and his coadjutor Black Jack were tried by Eng- lish laws, which they imperfectly understood : the former was found guilty of two murders ; the latter of one ; and were sentenced to death. The execution of the sentence was regarded in many quarters as an extraordi- nary precedent which would fail in its desired effects. In less than two years two more of the un- lucky race were arraigned on a charge of murder, were subjected to the mockery of a trial, though assisted by an interpreter and defended by counsel, and were found guilty by a military jury of seven. The in- terval between the execution of Musquito and Black Jack and that of Jack and Dick was filled up with the average number of outrages on either side. It was the avowed determination of Colonel Arthur to make an example of the two last named delinquents. He flattered himself that suffi- cient means had been used to make these men acquainted with their responsibilities as British subjects. Their execution, while struggling desperately for life, served only to rekindle the flames of resentment in the minds of their ignorant brethren. The Go- vernor immediately published a vindication of this unhappy transaction in an official notice ; " he hoped that this example would tend not only to prevent the commission of robberies and murders by the aborigines, but to induce towards them on the part of the colonists a conciliatory line of conduct. And he expressed his determination to visit with the full penalties of the law those individuals of either race who should be found guilty, of violating the common law of mankind." The total failure of these severe measures in terrifying the roving tribes into submis- sion, rendered it necessary that other expedi- ents should be resorted to ; and after a long interval, during which the exertions of the Government seemed totally paralyzed, the celebrated "Demarcation Proclamation" made its appearance. In this document the Governor announced his intention to estab- lish a chain of military posts around the set- tled districts of the colony ; and he thereby commanded " all the aborigines immediately to retire and depart from, and for no reason or on no pretence, save as hereafter provided, to re-enter such settled districts of the colony, or any portions of the lands cultivated and occupied by any persons whomsoever under the authority of his Majesty's Govern- ment, on pain of forcible expulsion therefrom and such consequences as may be necessarily attendant on it." The happy idea conveyed by this proclamation was, that the Governor modestly took possession of the richest and most beautiful portion of the island and insisted that the rightful proprie- tors should content themselves with impene- trable forests and inaccessible mountains. The military posts were necessarily twenty or thirty miles asunder, and no fences were erected to mark the boundaries of the for- bidden ground ; and yet the natives were coolly commanded to retire beyond those boundaries, and not to make their appearance within them except under protection of a general passport signed and sealed by the Governor. The laughter of the colonists, as well as that of Black Tom, who was admitted to a familar conference with his Excellency, was excited. His Excellency certainly never believed that the black population, with whom the whites had no intercourse but that of mutual destruction, would or could read his proclamation, or understand it if they did ; or that soldiers and constables in the interior would be troubled to explain it to them. In justice to him, however, we must observe that as a Governor of a distant colony his respon- sibilities were great, and he was bound to leave no means untried which might possibly restore the blessings of peace to a distracted land. It is easy to criticise the actions and motives of governors, and when the criticism proceeds from a felon's gaol it is natural to expect that it will be not only adverse but bitter; but Colonel Arthur deserves every credit for his constant efforts to restrain the sanguinary spirit of the excited and alarmed colonists. The demarcation document having, as was generally foreseen, been written and published in vain, resort was now had to martial law, which, even more than the preceding step, had the effect of exciting the ire of the gaol-bird historian. " The destruction of these crea- tures," he says, " became as it were authorised by the chief authority." And again : " Within twelve months after the proclamation of martial law two-thirds of the remaining aborigines were destroyed." How he arrived at this last conclusion is left to the reader's imagination. During this period, and for two subsequent years, two gentlemen exerted them- selves in a most praiseworthy manner to bring the troubles of the rising colony to a peaceful termination. In company with civilized blacks and soldiers they traversed the bush in the hope of falling in with and quietly securing the detached parties that issued from time to time from thick jungles and plundered the settlers' homesteads. In a rude hut, situated in a remote wilderness, where pro- bably an European foot had never before pressed the soil, a number of natives, headed by a chief named Eumarrah, were discovered. Mr. Gilbert Robertson effected a capture, but not before a shot was fired which wounded the chief, and the musket of a soldier was broken over his head. Black Tom, the guide, ad- vised Mr. Robertson to put these prisoners to death, as they were, he said, a bad lot ; but the Englishman assured them they had nothing to fear, and when they began to * From an old settler. Melville's History. The reader will be good enough to bear in mind that Melville was in bitter opposition to the Lieutenant-Governor, having been imprisoned several times as well as heavily fined for libels. His history was written in the Felon's Gaol, Hobart Town, in 1835, and his unenviable em- ployment was editor of the Colonial Times.
clamour for bread and sugar, Tom was the first to supply their wants. Their hut was guarded by five furious dogs, and blankets and other spoils of their predatory incursions were numerous. Eumarrah had stolen his name as well as blankets from the European invaders, and the euphonious patronymic of Hugh Murray was thus corrupted to suit native pronunciation. T'he Governor threatened to put him on his trial for life, but Mr. Robertson respectfully represented that to put him to death would be to equal his crimes. One of his com- panions in captivity nicknamed " The Lawyer," from being described as good at consuming the provision which his brethren hunted down, was a merry diverting follow. Afflicted with lameness he could neither hunt nor fight, and Mr. Robertson took him to his home near Richmond, where be became useful in furnishing amusement to the children. Here the captives were visited by Mr. Attorney-General Stephen and a legal friend, Mr. Pitcairn, " The Lawyer" was intro- duced : Mr. Stephen bowed politely and said —" Good morning, Mr. Lawyer." " Good a morning, Matta Lawyer," replied the native, mimicking Mr. Stephen's bow and wave of the hand. " How the devil does the fellow know that I am a lawyer ?" asked Mr. Stephen of a bystander. " How do debble dat fellow know I am a lawyer ?" said the savage immediately, point- ing to Mr. Stephen and addressing Mr. Robertson. Here Mr. Pitcairn pointed to " The Lawyer's" dress and said—" Our learned brother looks very respectable." To which the black replied, pointing to Mr. Pitcairn— " Our learna bruder look a murry speckt- able." Mr. Robertson was succeeded in his labors by Mr. G. A. Robinson, and with their names, we must record as benefactors of the colony those of Messrs. Batman and Jorgenson. There is no doubt that these persons were in- strumental in saving the lives of many Eng- lishmen, as well as Tasmanians, and conse- quently are entitled to the gratitude of colonial posterity. In the meantime the work of extermination went on slowly, it is true, but not less surely. In vain did Colonel Arthur issue order after order, and rave in the Council and Gazette against the negligence of the farmers, the cruelties of their servants, and the indifference to shedding blood displayed by those armed with authority. A second proclamation of martial law with accompanying threats against those who should wantonly use vio- lence was attended with as little success as the first. Occasionally, indeed, a lull in the sound of the thunder from afar would take place ; and the harassed cultivators of the soil breathed more freely, and congratulated themselves on the return of peaceful days ; but it was only for a time. The vigilant foes had only gone to the sea-coast on their periodical migration for change of diet : they would find their way back again, and woe betide the unfortunate European who met them on the road. Very soon indeed the cries of agony, grief, and alarm were again heard. Sad tales which will never be for- gotten by those bereaved families in which vacancies were left, were circulated daily, nay hourly, in the capital. The wives of well- known settlers stood on guard with loaded guns for hours, and kept the infuriated blacks at bay. Sawyers and splitters in the bush were speared while at work. Children were murdered within a few yards of their parents' doors ; and the enemy nowhere to be seen. From amongst a number of instances with which we might verify these statements, we select the following as eminently illustrative of the sagacious decision which the sable marauders could occasionally dis- play. Mount Morriston on the upper Macquarie, the residence of Geo. Scott, Esq., was left undefended, save by two unarmed men-servants. A party of soldiers had left on the previous day, and Mr. Scott himself was, perhaps fortunately absent from home. One of the men went down to the river, where there is a shallow ford, and perceived a party of a dozen or more savages on the opposite bank. Spears were levelled at him ; terrified, he called to the other man at the house to bring down the gun, to which the distinct reply was—" There are no guns—the soldiers took them all away." As soon as the blacks heard this welcome news, they transfixed the man at the river through the neck, who fell and died instantly ; crossed the river with a few wild bounds, rushed up to the house and attacked the remaining servant with their waddies. The beating they gave him was frightful : his body was a mass of black and bloody bruises, and they left him, for dead, and plundered the house. They were per- sued by Mr. Scott and R. Q. Kermode, Esq.; most of the spoil was recovered, and their dogs were shot, but they themselves made good their retreat. Strange to say the poor beaten wretch recovered, and left Mr. Scott's ser- vice, but returned after a year's absence, telling his former master that he felt the hand of death upon him, and had come back to be buried beside "Old Charley," his mate, who had been speared. In a few days he died, and was buried according to his last wishes. We dwell at some length upon this exciting page of our colonial history because we con- sider that to the thousands of English readers who probably know as much about the history of Tasmania as they do of the mystic mind of Napoleon the Third, it might possibly be an interesting subject. To the antipodean student of such stupid chronicles it will be nothing new. To the former it will convey a faint idea of the labors, the difficulties, the deadly perils, and the ruinous losses which beset on every side the fathers of the Aus- tralian Empire. It will be accompanied by that interest which commonly attaches itself to a recital of deeds performed by our adventurous countrymen in a distant and barbarous territory. Our readers will be glad to trace the footsteps of the stout-hearted pioneer as he carried civilization into unknown wildernesses ; and will dwell with some pleasure on his hopes, his fears, and his ulti- mate prosperity. They will perhaps heave a sigh over his hardships and privations, and will undoubtedly rejoice when the bloodless victory over a savage race is won. We of the second generation can only imagine what these hardships and privations were, but all chronicles, though they differ widely in other matters, unite in telling us they were severe. And now approached that important day when, all pacific measures having failed, the bidden springs and little wheels of the mighty engine which was destined to accomplish such astonishing results, were to be put in motion. The time arrived when the settlers were aroused from their suicidal apathy by the active genius of a gallant Governor, com- manded to take the field, and by one great and united effort, surround their slippery and restless foes ; and, by taking them all prisoners,
without the effusion of blood, place it in the Governor's power to ship them off to an island where they would become peaceable subject of the British crown. This was the only way to bring peace and plenty once more to their doors. The important proclamation con- taining the details of the plan, and the most explicit instructions, was published. The memorable day upon which operations were to commence was fixed. Depôts of provisions were established in the interior ;and heavily laden drays began to move from the southern and northern capitals. Meat, flour, and potatoes rose to an exorbitant figure. A river of money began to flow from the public treasury. Military men were seen to make preparations with ominous and important gravity, and commissariat officers rushed from office to office with bundles of papers tied up with red tape. Hundreds of civilians were observed cleaning old rusty muskets, and drilling each other at various corners. The blood of the British Lion was up, and the chivalry of Tasmania, animated by that heroic blood, rose in arms as one man. While the valiant citizens of Hobart Town were arming under the eye of their chieftain, and debating in warlike assemblies while they armed, our friends on the South Esk made preparations on a less extensive scale. Mr. Earlsley, having been early favored with a copy of the proclamation, had visited the principal settlers within his jurisdiction, and explained to them the views of the Governor. Every settler, whether freeman or emanci- pist, was requested to attend the expedition ; if the helpless members of his family depended upon him for protection he was expected to send his sons if he had any fit for service ; and as many of his prisoner servants as he could spare. Arms were freely put into the hands of ploughmen and bullock-drivers, and they received preliminary instructions in the use of the musket. The note of preparation resounded from St. Patrick's Head to Campbell Town on one side, and from Campbell Town to the base of the Western Tiers on the other. The lieges of Launces- ton, the farmers scattered through Patter- son's and Norfolk Plains, the colonists who dwelt on the banks of the Elizabeth, Lake, and Macquarie Rivers, held themselves in readiness to move at a moment's notice. The call to arms flow with lightning speed along the valleys of the Derwent and Coal River, was heard far away on the banks of the Jordan, the Clyde, and. the Shannon ; and was echoed back from the desolate peaks overlooking the dark woods on the Gordon, and the waters of Lake St. Clair ; and on the appointed day, the 7th of October, 1830, upwards of five thousand men, including a large proportion of officers, took the fold. In the formation of the line between Campbell Town and St. Patrick's Head, Mr. Johnson Juniper and Charles Maxwell bore each a conspicuous part. They were both elevated to the position of officers attached to a division under the command of a military officer. Their companies consisted of ten men each, and in Juniper's company Baxter the carrier had been nominated sergeant. Charles Maxwell's company was made up of a number of his father's and Mr. Earlsley's men. But neither Maxwell nor Earlsley ac- companied the expedition. On the morning, when officers and men, heavily laden with arms and knapsacks began to flock to their musters and take up their positions, the Avoca carrier was nowhere to be found, and Charles Maxwell having put his men in order, volunteered to go over to the carrier's cottage, and see what was become of its owner. He went accordingly, and approached the place with rapid strides. The door was shut and silence reigned within. But for a thin column of smoke that issued from the chimney, Charles would have thought that the place was deserted, and passing by one of the windows on his way to the door, he looked in and immediately burst into a silent fit of laughter. Sitting with her face to the fire at the extreme end of a form some four or five feet in length, was Mrs. Baxter, quietly sipping her tea. The form was a high one, and the legs were rather close together near the centre. Mrs. Baxter's feet did not touch the floor or anything else, but dangled pensively back- wards and forwards, keeping time to some internal music of their mistress, who now and again raised the cup of tea to her lips with an abstracted air. At the other end of the form, and with his back turned to his amiable spouse, sat the carrier, his black pipe in his mouth, and a new cabbage-tree hat stuck on one side of his head. At the other side of the table their daughter Mary ate her breakfast in silence. It was evident to Charles that things were not as they should be on Baxter's domestic hearth, and withdraw- ing hastily from the window before he was observed, he knocked at the door. The carrier, who was the nearest to the door, immediately opened it, but he had no sooner done so than there arose a shrill scream, succeeded by the clatter of a form, a woman, and a cup and saucer tumbling on the floor. Charles was ready to choke with smothered laughter. The matrimonial balance being disturbed, he saw one end of the form lifted to the ceiling, and the other on the floor sympathising with Mrs. B., who lay pouting and moaning amongst the fragments of the cup and saucer. Baxter and his daughter both ran to her assistance, but she told them to let her die in peace. Her husband, find- ing his proffer of assistance rejected with dis- dain, turned his attention to the visitor and asked him what was up. " Up," said Charles, " why everybody in the island who has legs is up. Mighty Cæsar's ghost is abroad with Até by his side ; they've come from a hot place and blow their fingers to keep them warm. Why, man, the cry is ' Havoc and let slip your dogs of war.' Captain Juniper is swearing away like a quarter-deck dragoon, and asking everybody what's become of his sergeant ? Come, look alive ! the men are paraded and ready to march. A captain's guard have arrived from Campbell Town, and Bill Jinkins, of my com- pany, was saluting them by presenting arms, when his musket went off accidentally and sent the ramrod through the crown of the district constable's hat." " The dog's whelp did it on purpose," said the carrier ; " and it's all very well to cry havoc, but I hain't got no dogs of war but a bull pup ; and as for Scissors and his ghost, with Katty by his side, I don't know nothin' about 'em." " Are you co ing or not ?" asked Charles. " Oh, I'll go in course," sai l Baxter, going behind the door, and drawing forth a heavy knapsack, which he begged Charles to assist in buckling on his shoulders. Then taking down, a musket from its place over the fire- place, he looked first at his wife and then at his daughter, balancing the weapon in his hand.
" Well, good-by, Betsy," said he after a pause. " I'll be away a month, and mayhap I might never come back." Betsy said not a word, but still lay on the floor moaning. " Good-by, Mary." " Good by, father," said Mary, running up to him and giving him several hearty kisses —"good by father, and take care of your- self—mother is angry now ; but she'll be sorry when you're gone." Kissing his daughter again, Baxter left his dwelling and walked on manfully by the side of Charles. He thought a little explanation of the scene to which the latter had been witness was necessary, and said— " My wife, Sir, has got upon the three legged stool of injured innocence and offended varture, but don't say nothin' about it, we must make allowance; she doesn't often get up, poor thing, and to give her her due, she soon comes down again." " She's down now low enough with a ven- geance," said Charles ; but checking his laugh he continued, " but I beg your pardon, I had no intention of joking on the subject. How long does she generally remain on that stool ?" " Sometimes a day, Sir, sometimes two days, sometimes three ; it's all accordin' to the intensity of the emotions that disturbs the reg'lar pulsations of the fascinatin' sex. But it's unbeknown to you, Sir, to what com- plaints and things these poor women is sub- jek." The conversation dropped for Charles had lit a cigar, and both the volunteers arrived at the place of rendezvous without making any further observations worthy of notice. When the numerous recruits had nearly all arrived and taken up their positions, the order to advance was given, and the memorable campaign commenced. Placed within sight or hearing of each other they were com- manded to form a line from the eastern coast to the banks of the Isis, a rivulet that flows perrennially through the dense woods and scrubs of the Western Teirs. Inhabitants of town and country, clerks let loose from their desks, and knowing gentlemen who knew the value of an open she-oak hill, and an al- luvial marsh, took part in it with pleasure. Considering the kind of enemy they had to deal with, their disinterested services must be remembered with gratitude, for there were no spoils of war to be expected ; but at Oatlands, the chief depot, three hundred pairs of hand- cuffs were kept in readiness to secure the prisoners to be taken. Here also one thousand muskets, and thirty thousand rounds of blank cartridges had been stored. Separate parties were sent out to scour the countries between George Town and Ben Lomond on the north, and Norfolk Plains and lakes Echo and Sorell on the west with orders to effect a junction with the main body at a given time and place. Armed with might if not right, accompanied by the prayers of religious men, and exhorted by both Governor and newspapers to avoid at their peril the wanton shedding of blood, this imposing British force moved on. The order of march was formed by the par- ties of civilians and military in alternate suc- cession, throughout the whole length of the line, but in truth the line was not yet formed in anything like order. The different com- panies started from places widely apart, and made in the first instance for the nearest provision depot, which hap- pened to be on Maloney's Sugar- Loaf, a rough hill on the southern bank of the Macquarie, which here flows to the west- ward. They had trudged bravely over the a verdant plains of Mona Vale ; passed the picturesque slopes of Syndal, surmounted with ease the grassy hills and shaded groves of a Mount Morrison ; and were now about to enter a wild and heavily timbered country with difficulties and fatigues innumerable staring them in the face. Stimulants from private sources to keep their courage up were not wanting. An influential settler, Mr. Snowywull, of the Salt Pan Plains, had agreed to meet his friend Mr. Walker, of Blanket Bottom, with a supply of provisions : and the smoke of a fire was to mark the place of rendezvous. In due time the smoke rose up, and Mr. S. started with men carrying baskets of eggs, bacon, mutton, bread, and wine ; but the smoke was lost sight of when the party got amongst the hills ; and, unable to find their friends, they turned their steps towards Maloney's Sugar Loaf where they found those of whom they were in search. The precious baskets were lovingly unpacked by Walker and his friends, and the provisions drawn forth with smiles. " Snowywull," said Walker, " do you ex- pect us to make a batter pudding with boiled eggs ?" " No," answered Snowywull, " I brought the eggs ready boiled to save trouble." " Because," said Walker, " they are ready beaten for a pudding, and in a very respect- able pulp." " Take them away," said Snowywull to one of his servants, a lantern-jawed man in Walker's company. " What be I to do wi' 'em, master ?" de- manded the man. " Why eat 'em, you herring bellied picture of misery, eat 'em, shells and all," replied his master, joining in the laugh that was raised on all sides. A considerable crowd was soon collected at Maloney's Sugar Loaf ; party after party arrived, weary, wet, and hungry. Rain had fallen heavily, and their store of provisions had been consumed for many hours. Amongst the number were young Maxwell and the sur- veyor with their respective followers. Charles was nearly knocked up, but he had resolved that he would die sooner than desert his trust. Juniper and Baxter being more accustomed to bush work bore the fatigues pretty well. A rest of forty hours revived the spirits of all, and they started again, spreading themselves out according to orders, but directing their steps from a mysterious internal impulse to the next provision depot at Hobbs's, in the Eastern Marshes. At night the various companies bivouacked round their respective fires, after placing sen- tinels at regular intervals to guard against surprise. The next morning the march was resumed ; and with the highest hopes of suc- cess and unabated ardor the volunteers scram- bled over the almost impassable rocks of the Swanport Tier, and dived into the all but in- accessible dogwood scrubs of the Wye and Meredith rivers ; and how they ever managed to get through some of them without leaving their skins as well as clothing behind is in- credible to us. But the military spirit that had been infused into them from the first gave them strength to overcome all obstacles ; and even if that had flagged, the presence of military men, both officers and privates, and the encouragements received from different police magistrates, who rode along the line, sufficed to keep the generous fire still burning. Day succeeded day, and the
cordon advanced slowly and cautiously, closing gradually the meshes of their terrible net as they emerged from the Eastern Marshes and crossed Prosser's Plains. In this neighbourhood it was judged necessary to call a halt, and wait for the Norfolk Plains division, which was daily expected to join the main body. The spirits of the men were still kept up by the belief that hundreds of natives were within the line. Social fires were lit, and friendly visits exchanged ; and for several days the impatience of the more sanguine of the volunteers to consummate their triumph was with difficulty restrained. (To be continued.)