Chapter 52034343

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Chapter NumberXXXVIII
Chapter Title
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article52034343
Full Date1884-11-12
Page Number3
Corrections1
Word Count1245
IllustratedN
Last Corrected2011-12-13
Newspaper TitleMorning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Qld. : 1878 - 1954)
Trove TitleRonald Walton: A Tale of Early Squatting Life in Moreton Bay
article text

lates flatt MtitthM.

RONALD WALTON. I

' A TALE OF EARLY SQUATTING LIFE IN

QUEENSLAND

BY THE " AUTHOR OF ADVENTURES IS QUEENS-

LAND."

CHAPTER XXXVIII.-BON AND FLORENCE IN

SYDNEY.-RICKETY DICK AND HIS WIFE. CooxBRoriGiE STATION.-Boen LETTERS TO AND FROM GIOVANNI.-THROSBY EN- DEAVOURS TO CONCILIATE THE BLACKS. .. No COMPULSION, ONLY YOU MUST."

WITHIN four months after the wreck of the Sovereign the young nair of lovers again em- barked for Sydney, but this time,1 the steamer being safely navigated, and the weather toler- ably fine, there were no very stirring events to record on the voyage. A little after sunrise on thc fourth day from Brisbane, the steamer entered Sydney Heads, and sped up the mag- nificent harbour of Fort Jackson-perhaps toe most beautiful in the world.

Ron and Florence stayed at the same house, which occupied a most delightful site in the neighbourhood of Hyde Park, overlooking the Domain, Botanical Gardens, the city, and much of the lovely harbour. They were astonished and delightful at every turu. Everything was on a scale so much grander than that tiley had been accustomed to, und there was entirely so much that was new to them. For the first twelve months they were instructed by tutors at home, after which they were sent to school. Ron, as may be supposed, was not so far advanced os the town boys of hu age, and with the natural tyranny inherent in boy nature, they did oil they, could tomake him feel the inferiority of his attainments, by rough banter and practical jokes. His fiery temper, activity, and great personal strength, however, soon silenced his persecut- ors, not a few of whom were some years his seniors. They quickly discovered that he was made of material that rendered hun much safer os a friend than au enemy ; and some declared, after a fight, in which they hod been boxed about and put off tbeir legs in a manner they had never been accustomed to, that they

would not " tackle that'wild little devil

again for anything. He thus quelled his foes by physical force, and then by his generosity converted them into staunch friends. Having lived so long with the Wockogos, who led a simple, healthy, active life, his bodily devel- opment was almost perfect ; and his courage, naturally firm, strengthened with bis growth, as did also his knowledge of how, when, and where to use it. JJ'liu last throe items boys are apt to regard as unnecessary, which is un- fortunate, because courage should, like every other valuable quality, be under command. That is to say, a boy should not allow himself to be goaded by foolish taunts to display it unnecessarily ; nor should be withhold it when he feels called upon to use it, for fear of being brought prominently into notice. The courage meant hero, is of course brute courage, which is, it cannot be denied, an estimable quality when guided by moral

courage.

Ron and Florence were as happy as happy could bc. They hod most cozy little Walks together in tho Gardens and Domain, and rambles and scrambles about thc many beauti baj'B over the rocks and through the bush in the suburbs, gathering shells and flowers, and killing snakes. Like her mother, Florence was passionately fond of flowers and being a bilah girl, was not a bit afraid of snakes, and never hesitated to kill them when they oame in her path. She was a» amiable girl, and hor influence over Hon was so great that, what would otherwise have been an im Íiossibility-his reduction to an almost pcr

cctly civilised being-was accomplished by her precept and example in a comparatively short time. The only remnant of barbarism .that bc retained after a three or four years' residence iii Sydney, was his delight in the use of the weapons of war, and of the chase, used by tho Wockogos. His exhibitions of dexterity with thc spear, boomerang, and paddy-melon stick ; and his agility and quick- ness of sight, seemed something wonderful to his schoolfellows, und many others who wit- nessed them ; for he bad taught some of his particular friends how to throw the weapons, and would defend himself against the com-

bined attacks of two or three. Of course he

became acquainted with the two poor old creatures - the last representatives of the Sydney blacks - Rickety Dick and Mrs. Snow- ball who lived on the South Hoad Rood. He cheered and delighted their hearts when recounting his adventures among the Wockogos. They, in their turn told him about their early life, when there were but few white men in Sydney, and they of a very bad class. In thc holidays he often went long distances a foot, hunting kangaroos, cutting out 'possums and "sugarbag,"and fishing. He soon found to his cost that the English bees, unlike tbe wild ones of the north, were not to be robbed with impunity. In this difficulty he applied, with swollen face and hands, to Rickety Dick, who laughed heartily at his misad venture, and told him to "smoke 'em out," which valuable hint he acted on with perfect success in future,

Not long after the capture of Ron, Throsby  

took the stock out to Coongbroggie. The

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site fixed upon for the house was on the opposite side of the lake to that where the

blacks usually camped. Throsby met some

blacks on the run. a few months after he took the stock out. The meeting was un- expected on both sides. He had been wishing for an opportunity to communicate with the

blacks for Borne time before. He assured them of his pacific intentions, and enquired about tho white-man. They disclaimed all knowledge of such an individual, but when cross-qucsrjoned more closely, they said he was dead. Hut ho knew their tactics too well to believe them, and at last, seeing that he was not to bc hood-winked, they confessed that Giovanni was not dead, but he was a long way off. Throsby then wrote a - few lines on a leaf of his pocket-book, and gave it

to one of tile blacks, who promised to deliver - it to Giovanni, for which he was liansomely rewarded with a few figs of tobacco, and a Íiromiso of more when they met again, if he ulfillcil his errand faithfully. The note was au invitation to Giovanni to come into the

head-station as soon as possible, as the writer

wished to hold a conference with him re-

specting the blacks. About six weeks after, Throsby received a note, Buch as the reader has never received through the post, and such a few beBides pioneer bushmeu ever received. at all. It ran thus :-" Sir, I received your note by bearer of this. I once worked for you and know you to bc a gentle- man, therefore, if you will pledge me your word, that I shall not bo in any way molest- ed, detained or informed against, I will meet you a week hence, where you met Bearer.

GIOVANNI." The " note" waa written with

a sharpened kangaroo bone on a piece of bark about a foot square, stripped for .the occasion from a gum tree. Throsby sent 'the required assurance, and at thc appointed time and place, met Giovanni. The latter was SB nude, aud almost as black as his (two companions. . ,

(To he continued.) l3