Chapter 62144380

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Chapter NumberI
Chapter TitleINTRODUCTION TO JOHN BBOWN AND ACHATES- CHARACTER AND CHARACTERISTICS OF EACH- LYNDHURST HANDSLIP, B
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article62144380
Full Date1884-08-02
Page Number6
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Word Count4908
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Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleClarence and Richmond Examiner and New England Advertiser (Grafton, NSW : 1859 - 1889)
Trove TitleJohn Brown and His Dog Faithful
article text

JOHN BRO WN :

- - AND >

BY

Bar. m. w. nun,

LAWRENCE, CLARENCE RIVER, N. 8. W.

CHAPTER I.

INTRODUCTION TO JOHN BBOWN AND ACHATES

CHARACTER AND CHARACTERISTICS OP EACH

"LYNDHURST HANDSLIP, BARRISTER.

" Truth is stranger than notion."

As I sit down to write this book-reminiscences of . days gone by of John Brown and moro than faithful

eanuie friend. I foel deeply the groat truth of the abo re trite saying. You must not ask me, reader, what year, too olnsely, the following story was enacted ; remember Melbourne is not so very old and again, soma of the players on the stage of the history I am about to relate are still LIVING. Some are dead-dead, and Home of those who aro living are on the verge of that bridge whose architect is God, Blending with hand raised, sheiling thoir eyes from tho bright effulgence of brightness, looking across thu there of Spirit land. Yes, a little time and they, too, will he at rest So, reader, let it sufDoo yon ut présent na regards dates of the commencement of the reminiscences, for mo to say they took place long ago-ah, long to tho young to look forward to, but how short to me to look back-how short-wry short to BS who have passed the meridian of Amiral ian

ur«.

Time-the aged put the post in the hollow of their . hand, while to tho young to look forward to it, is mach broader than the beean.

Tho pearl to the poet is a tear of tho sea ; but to the Oriental, it is a drop cf dew solidified ; while to the great connoisour, it is a jewel of valúe. So is life, to one a tear of sorrow ; to another, a dow that comes and goes a-mixture; while to another a jewel of priceless value of peaoo.* v: ' ? ' ' '

On a bright autumn day two gentlemen were walking on ono of the surburban roads of Kew, some three ' and a half miles from Melbourne! . Close friends and companions they were, so much so that they were spoken of as the iiwjiarablet. ! Tho' not millionaires, yet they woro men of means, so ttnanoi ally they wore independent of all, yet being true debonalrs, thoy never displayed the noni* homo of society. '* .

Both gentlemen had left England together to see the colonies, having heard so muoh in the old country of Australia's hugo dimensions, its 3,000,000 squaro miles. They were also moved to make the voyage by their great love of travel and adventure.

They wera both about the same age, i.e. turning the hand ot the dial , of 'time ' at twenty-five of Father Christmas. Beyond this, they wert) very unllko,-unlike in size, for one (John Brown) was five foot olovon, while his companion Achates waa below medium height. Thoy wore further dis- similar in money matters, for Achates', purse was a kind of Ohubb's look with a key marked »vlf, and a greater dissimiliarity was to be found in many other characteristics of tho two mon. ". ' , ...

. Tho former person was quick in thought and action, and had a habit of stroking his long silky beard whon thinking dooply ; whilo tho shortor was Blow whoa working but a problem" arid, ever during such tiraos, fooling tho fow straggling hairs on his upper lip. that formed his moustache or oise Bonding his noso up into close proximity to tho centre of his foro hoad, and a bringing or. lowering down his' chin as if scoking for a resting placo .on tho bosom of his shirt, suoh facial inovemonts gave anything but a pic- turesque view of his features. ! -

Altho' theso two porsons wcro so very different, so very , opposite, yot no two mon could have, boen moro kindly attaohod, cemented by tho bonds of the closest f riondship. Yes, such is according to all rules of contrast, ';

Aohateshad been for sonia time feeling his mous- tache us he walked alongside of his friend, when ho broko ont with a sigh, and said-.SCVwViii. i

" Solitudo is ohorming."

John Brown, looking at his friond's faoe, with a smilo, replied ; "Yes, but it needs a parson to whom you can say it is charming."

" Truo for ¡/mi, John Brown, but I was just think- ing bf what happened on Brighton boaoh yesterday, at tho jotty hoad, for better bo alone than havo that hugo shark for a companion, as that old English

fisherman Jonah like."

"Yes, Achates, it was very sad. I blame that lawyer fellow-boarder of ours, in exciting tho fisher- man to undortnko such work. Our warning was of no avail ; tho only roply wo got from tho poor fellow was, 'Oh, ah, I havo tackled plenty of sharks before with only my knlfo ;' and his wife told mo afterwards such was tho case." ? . *v;? ;-r.i

" Weil, John, in his quiok fish like movements, ho did two or thrco times Btriko tho shark with his knlfo but. tho shark dropped down to his diving and manoe- uvres, so watched for the old salt dive and came open mouth, so rocoivud him oloan ; it was a horrid sight."

Aftor a pause, " I nm glad wo succeeded in getting the. shark so as to get out tho old sailors' body, for decout burial ; but let us leave the Bubjcot of the shark. What do you think of this fellow-boarder of ours, Lyndhurst Handslip, tho Lincoln's Inn man?"

" Afc proBcnt I cannot Bay, AohatOB. Yesterday was tho first time wo have. mot outside of our hotel. To make a friend; of him, I feol I novar could, thoro is something repellant about the mah, shifty look of tho oyos, that shows craft, cunn- ing, a kind of àngiii* in kerba", (a snake in tho gross,)

" I boliovo you are right, John ; an unprincipled

fellow."

" Yes Aohates, and suoh ls tho very worst kind of mon, humanity nt largo (malo or-femalo) have, to copo with ; a porson dovoid of moral prinoiplos, is n very Mophistopholcs towards all olasscs. Tho higher his position, the woree for human kind ; he sways his sccptro but for villsinly bath towards divine and human laws, aiming to ruin tho starnor or weaker sex, ojeoting a snhtlo poison with hi« band of con- federates-parasites of evil,-that flows onward into the ohnnnols of overy day lifo, tho privato home and tho publio resort, the germs of high morality sapped up ; tho key stone bf high and noble principles removod,cauBÍngthofabrlo-workmanshipofGod-to titter on its throno, leaving an. insidious, treacher- ous - Hydra, with its sovon heads shooting out its forkod tongues to tho four cardi-"l points of tho .compass, to striko with ; deadly goliath power tho spinal marrow of all that is high, noble and good, diametrically opposed, or oppo "ito to

Christian ethics, , 1

" Think of what I havo said, Achates, and remember Lyndhurst Handslip is a barrister, not fledge Í by a back door entrance, but a B.A., a mombo; of Lin- coln's Inn, Tho' wo met yesterday for rurallalng togothor for tho first time, away from tho hostelry, yet for some fo w weeks daily wo have root at meals. I hopo lam wrong in thinking what I have said applies , to our fellow-lodger, if only for the sake of his alma mater ; but you drew out my remarks by your words ' unprincipled follow,' so my words ore rather a giving my opinion of an unprincipled per- son, female or male." . ' '

Aohates' nasal "organ had ;. been working very rapidly during our hero's wotds, In ftot his facial movements wsro very ludicrous. >?_.' .'.:-.

'i-Tnaaka, John Brow», for your Tie««, I will con- sider tb«m pro. eoai oca. . I Ilka -ta aaar you .peak, my friend, for yon are straight from the shoulder, and don't like too many."

"Compound for atm they «nt tooti ned to,

- Br dam nine chow thor nave no mind ta"

" I am eompelled to admit at all times your pre- mises are sound, and reasoning to the point, remind- ing one what you once told me of a remark made to you by your father's Scotch gardener. When you asked him to prove that honesty was the best policy, he said, in reply to your query, ' I have just tried VIN b'iitr' not that you have made such ocular demon- stration your own."

" No, Achates, I cannot say I have yet tried the Scotchman's plan, still I deeply value his words and the lessen I drew from his remark. We can always leam-if we will-dally, from the little child at our knee to the hoary headed, yea from the poor tempted one that hates the sin thut ho still pursues, to those who seem to be surrounded with a halo of goodness. Ever my friend Achates, strive to take a brood view of your surroundings. I feel that Ood's power never produces what his goodness oannot embrace, for He throws a zone of morey around the world, and unworthy is that person to the name of man who would narrow it by a hair's breath. My motto is

" Witt thou drnw neur the nature of the God'i, Druw near them tuon in being uiorclfuL "

Keep to tho highnr horizon where dwelt the Great Master, tho' Hu trod tho earth, going in and out daily among poor tottering humanity ; ascend with Him the mountain, and thore inhale the pure rarefied air, but bring it back with you to the throb- bing heart of your follow creature, diffusing it by ennobling their better nature. Stand not on the lofty cliff looking down upon tho shipwrecked mariner stranded below, but climb down tho rugged precipice-ovon if you are.wounded by tho sharp rocks-and kneol upon tho'sand by his. sido, making evory.flbro of your bolng respond to .tho Bufferer's groans." 1

; Achates, looking very solemn-a very unusual thing for hin^jepliod,_M)hj I soe John_Brown, youare giving mo a hit straight from the shoulder. Well I'know I wont' it,- but'havo 1'dorie14 anything spécial to call forth your little homily f " '-'

.'No, Achates, only I should' like to see you more decided, with a stronger purpose' in life ; loss flokle heartod regarding the fair sox.''^ '?;

'; : With tho gravity of a judgo Achates spoke, >.

" God bless their little hearts I I do love them all, and only wish I was tho only malo in tho world," and after a pauso, "excepting you, dear John Brown, because you don't caro for them-hate them like." After another, kind of hiatus, " Because-because I would Uko you to bo near me and guide me manag- ing of thom. I novar want to havo a wife-only talk with them,'and seo their pretty cherry lips, and admire their handsome faces, and-" _

. ' " Stop, Aohâtos, did ,1 not know you do not mean what you aro saying, I.would rebuke you verj strongly, for well I know that knowingly you would not bring a blush to any maiden ; hut you made one remark I must tako notioo of, and it was, that ] hated womankind. Such is not so-manylhighlj respeot ; but for. love,1' with a strongly suppressed sigh, "that is another thing. You, Aohatns, run away with tho fallacious idea that it was tho best rlt of Adam that Evo was made of-a kind of ivory rib It may bo so, bot no I" with a sigh that did not escapo Achates, " It cannot .be, or else--'.' Let ut change the subjeot. ' Yes, by tho by, it is 'nosrdinnoi time ; got book, and nco what the old dog is up to."

[Tho two friends returned to the hotel to dinner tho'. old dog," as ho was frequently oallod, meeting his master by jumping through an open window., Herc we leave the trio (far wo must include the dog Faith ful, ho having a prominent part to play in the fol- lowing pages) for a timo to introduce another char- acter who will figuro notably by and by.

» » . » ' ». :,* ,..;. «-; ». - t ».,, , I must waft my readors to tho shoros of Tasmania lt is evening.

Twp mon wearing folon's garb, leave their hidinf place. Tho ocean ls oahu and still.

:" Timo writes no wrinkle on its azure brow."

," Woll, De Wert, if I had not have dropped acros you, I would novor hávo got those iron dogs'off ¡ '. feel a free man already; a oloso shave, for lt j usei my sharpened spoon to a purpose The dogs to" trj to, Btop one - of hor Britannia Majesty's royal-no' loyal, mark you Do Wort-subjects in leaving thi walled palace. , Aha,'olia, aha !" . ; . ;

., De-Wart looked hard at his companion for i 'minute or two, before ho replied. ?'!

" Booohus, I hopo you did not take life 7"

" Hallo, Do Wort 1 Chicken-hearted are you, woult take your mammy's apron to hide your pratty faoi from blood I" ; ' '

"No, Bacchus" (said in firmness) "I am no ohiokon-heartcd, but I am not a hardened criminal and rathor than take lifo ' would have rnmained am sorved my time, tho' tho tteatmont I have gon through on this Island was quite onough to make i better man than I am shod blood.",

... With quivoring lips, Do Wort went on, "I hav beon sufforing an unjttBt imprisonment."

Bacchus replied, in deop irony, " Unjust imprison ment ; forsooth that is good, Did you over know ; man that got the darbies on, logs or paws, that wa not ready to toke MB-his-Oh,'AlfredDavid,'tho is . the word I wanted, thu' it is not tho ohio won with the uppor nino-I make up the ton., -Well, t BOBO your mind, and mako you my pater confessor,';

don't think that iron spoon gave tho quietus to an; of, tho hounds in tho governor's konncl; I was th fox-sly fox," placing his hand on his heart am bowing. - , ;

, " Well, Bacchus, if we aro to leave this Island, w must think out some plan to do so. Tho vary atmos phere of this land, stifles mo. Tho orew I had to (Bacchus interjected, ' Crow, I wish wo had a gooi boat and crow')-doal with in this living hell, th imprecations nnd sights ; and when I complained would force mo to bo a ilagellator. Oh, horror I th scored bleeding backsl witnossod ; they would make m witness it. Thon tho powers that bo-calling them selves mon-telling mo to proparo for noxt day t flog a man. This I could not stand, I broke throng! aU bounds that night, and bolted, scratching on m; tin plato with n nail tho reason I quitted that panda monium, Had I brokon any rule of the place, I wa willing to suffer for it. This I told tho officer, ant the only reply I got was-'You mustoboy.' Obey Bo a dog ! Sink my manhood I Bo a servila wrotoh

For what 1"

Bacohus replied as if interrogated, "You woulc have got a bit of bacca and a pinch of toa-all thi flavour boiled out first, mato-and the curse of Hei Majesty's royal subjects."

Do Wert wont on heedless of Bacchus' romark,

" For what ? To ploose my superiors ; harden m] heart ; steol my nerves ; quonoh my soul ; disenthroni my higher feelings tho Great Maker of tho unlversi has given me. Bacchus, I cannot speak now of all j have seen hero in this nursery of all that ls harden- ing and daily carried out, making mon worso than

serfs of the under world."

" Ah my boy, I could a tale unfold likowiso, bul what is the use I Tho' I was in a different depart- ment to you, our notes would be like Darby and Joan I havo seen men openly commit a crime so as to bc hanged to get out of ufo ; but lifo is swcot, as thc cow said when Bhe broke through a fence and wai eating the standing oom. You know this is the land bf milk and honey-I mean hominy and lash."*

lavabo* audry aajtaad speakiag »hes he amid :

" Look, Da Wert, taara ia a «eaonnar ia the offing -, good for aa Ik* saooa ia ao bright ; eau yon not aee her, my hearty f"

" Tea, she ii aja/aaler if I mi«take not, bat what good will abe do na with these self-oonvioting gar- ments on, and even if we were received on board, her oil will be discharged in Hobart Town ; then on landing there we would be spotted, so arrested."

"Ko, my dear fellow, I wish I had been your father, and I would have taught you in your by-bye cradle as your mother rocked, the word sanguine, and another word nil detju-nimlum ; one your morn- ing prayer, and the other your evening prayer, being a long word that you might have the night to sleep with it. Let us take our chance ; I know whore to get some clothes. Ton know I was here a week be- fore you came. At night I went exploring, and came across a farm house, but with those chains on could do nothing. The place is two miles from here. You keep an eye on the vessel, while I go. Ta, ta."

AB Bacchus went along he commenced to solilo- quise.

" Not a bod ohap, tho' rather raw : ho will try to cut the painter from me if Aro reach Holbourne safely, but I must keep him in tow. I'll want a mate to add to my exchequer, and he being raw I shall bo able to mould him, and make him a credit to me."

Do Wort's soliloquy while alone was as follows :

" Bacchus is good natured I think, but at present I know but little of him, still I do not think we are made for each other. If we get safe away I will be able to work for a living ; there is a stain on my name for what was done by-, well I must not get away into such thoughts. Time will-, there I go again. Poor Ledne, how she must sulfur ; shall I ever see her again ?"

"Hallo bid boy, in a brown study? I got them togs quicker than I expected ; met an old ohum, a tioket of leaver, a close and sure card I oan trust) and he gave mu these two trousers and ¡shirts ana some prog, with his paternal blessing."

. " Good, we are fortunate Baochus. Next move ?"

"I have not told you all, he is in his masters good graces, so trusted especially as his time is within a week of being up, when he can go to Molbourne as a free man after his soven years here. Hi» master is away in Launceston, so he will be able in an hour's time to put us off in a boat, or dingy, for the Govern- ment won't permit anyone to keep a boat large enough to cross the sea in case escaped convicta should rob it. So boy, cheer up, there is some light eyed lass looking for you."

. On board in due time, the two went and were received as deck hands, the master of tho whaler prof citing to believe the two men's story, that they were not escaped convicts. Ho made up his mind to olosely watoh them, that they did not escape ; then after, his voyagé to hand thom ovor to tho Hobart Town authorities. While their intontion .was, when tliey found the ship was a whaler and consequently would in due time return to Hobart Town, to escape if an opportunity occurred-in Bacohus' mind at any price. " ' .['.'..'.'

Before break of day the whaler set sail for her rendezvous and work. Hobart: Town (now «ailed Hobart, was a great receiving dépôt for whale7 oil in those days, and is still to a limited extent. "

. Do Wert worked and noted so well as to gain tho good opinion of the skipper, there was a true ring about hU actions that did not esoapo the notice of his. ohlef ; upright, manly, and fearless, so much so ¿nat the old salt several times said as he leaned over the taffrail with'a short clay blaok pipe watching tho men at work, " That fellow's got grit in him.','.

¡But Bacchus did not give such satisfaction to the king of; the crew.. Tho old man was strongly sus- picious, he was a Uro brand in the forecastle, and further that ho was trying to bring about a mutiny, so muoh so, that on one occasion tho skipper called Bacchus before him, and gave.him, a pieoe of his mind in the following words,

( " Split my sides, Sirrah, but you aro worse than the parson's dork ¡ I believe; you to bo a two-faced villain. I will send a harpoon into you, then obuok you overboard, you doubly-dyed villain, if I hoar any moro of your canting villainous work in the fore- castle. Look, ont Sirrah, or by tho mother of Moses you'll lose the number of your mess." ' ' V /'What have I done ?" jerked out Bacchus. -

" Don't answer me, you land lubber, I havo boon told what you ara about, I know what you aro trying to'do. 1 don't try, but I do, so take that."

And down came the skipper's fist like a sledge ham- mer full between Baoohus' two eyes, sending him full length on the deok. Bacchus after a time pioked him- self up, muttering a deep curse between his teeth.

Baoohus remembered, the, blow. De Wert at this time was confined to his bunk with a sprained ankle.

The next day all the: men but Bacohus wore sent off in the only two boats after a shoal of whalos. Ono boat.was stove in towards the end of tho day's work.

That night tho old dry rotten whalor was on firo from stem to stern/ Tho oaptain rushed hero and there, frantic The old oroft was saturated with oil. The master of the whaler called out immediately ho saw the hopeless state of the ship, " Whero is that villain Bacchus » . This is his work ¡ ' where is ho ?"

.! ."Thoro," said tho man of tho watch, pointing to a prostrate form on tho deok. "There bo the follow. I caught him in the dog-watch, taking the boat from thc davits, and BO sont him sprawling with a baok handor undqr the oar and a kick in his bread bag."

The Captain, giving Baoohus' body a kiok, said " Remain there you dog, and perish in your work."

: Now for tho boot, boys. No time is to bo lost, or we are done for," quickly oalled out the master, and away all rushed, forgetting Do Wert in his bunk. The whole was but tho work of a few minutes, and not till the rowers got milos fromjtho ship did thoy remember him. Thoy reached the Island in two days, but had to land, for safety, forty miles from Hobart. When Bacohus came to, ho found De Wert Blooping almost tho sleep of death. On dook ho brought him, and dung to him, being the only living porson on board. Bacchus never told De Wert that ho was tho incen- diary-tho one who had sot fire to the ship-yea, rather denied it when asked by Do Wort, and further said he had pleaded with the Oaptain to take De Wert and himself in tho boat, and that the reply he got, with an'oath, was that they, both bolng escaped conviots, might perish in the fiarnos. Ono thing De .Wert was certain of, that if Bacohus had not taken ;him from his* bunk, he would hnvo perished tbore. No doubt of this, so he was consequently drawn to Baoohus. Tho roador will, in due time, soo what vrra the consequence''of this, friendship to Do Wert. I need not describe tho fire on board the whalor, but at once hasten on to show, how the two men escapod.

Axes wore quiokly used to build a raft-if raft it cbuld.be called-and on it the two got, lashing them- selves to tho^f rail structure. For three and n half days they were tossed at the mercy of tho waves, without water or food but a f ew sea blsouits, that wore soon saturated with the saltwater, making them worse than unpalatable. Some six hours after thoy left tho ship, they thought they were on a rook. It wai some thing of huge dimensions. De Wert romotnberod to have read of OlaUs Magnus, and his animal of the sea, a mlle long ; also that a pious bishop of Nidros built an altar on a rook, and when thoservioe of song was ended, the rook walked into the sea. The sup- posed rook was a poulps of tho sea. Another, Bishop Ponts, who told of a sea monster on which a regi- ment of soldiers fought a battle. All these, and such

Hb atariat, were called to «lind ay De Wert, bat the nek oa which they war*, or rather the raft, waa atattoaarj jaat aboTe water, and not abo TB a ahip's cable length. They untied themselves, to puah their raft off, fsaWag the rack was BO abiding place for them. Jost aa they aaoeeeded tn getting their craft off, the nek gave way under their feet-it was a huge whale. Beth men were precipitated into the water, and had to swim for life, as if Neptaae him- self was after them. Twa hean were they ia the water before they both regained their raft. The next day at noon, a porpoise, ia bia skipping and gambols, lighted on the centre of their deck. Quickly were their knives oat, and sliced a pieos af flesh off before the porpoise wriggled back into the sea, rather surprised: this they were about to eat when knives and meat were washed away by a wave, and at the same time tightening the lashings they wore fastened by. By the movement of their bodies wedged liko, they dare not free themselves, at the time, so had to bear their Bufferings from the cords. So things went on, everything-above, below-add- ing intensity to their sufferings. Hurricanes after hurricanes they passed through, with whirling motions of the waves, ohasms and vortices, till all hope died within thora. On the third day their raft was followed by a shoal of sharks, their Sns appearing everywhere, looking and waiting for a meal. These followed daring tho who'e of that day and night. Next day the two raen saw them still surround ing their raft. Early that morning De Wert pointed with his finger ta a ship, pointed it out to Bacchus, but Bacchus only stared at his companion with glar- ing eye balls, his gaze was piercing ; a pieroing look that froze np the blood in De Wort's veins. Bacchus tried to clutch his companion as if to drink his heart's

blood.

, " Oh heavens," said Da Wert " the man is mad 1" Bacchus all. tho time struggling to get free of his bonds and at De Wort. ' De Wert freed himself, and lashed himself to tho further end of the raft, for- getting for a short time the ship. Thon, he sprang up on his feet and halloed till he was voiceless ; he gesticulated with his arms to the ship, and the only reply he got was the maniaoal laugh of Bacohus. Onward went the ship, leaving the men to their frite, for no one on board had Been the raft in the trough of the sea. Bacohus became so bad that De Wert was forced to lash him more firmly and secure his hands. After doing this De Wert was again compelled to lash himself and hardly had he done so when the raft parted in the middlo eaoh partaking a mau, so the two were separated. With straining eyes De Wert watched Baoohns' portion of the raft in deop anguish.

Ho would have plunged into the water to have saved j

BaochuB, but such a courso would have been aertaiu death, for the sharks around were in myriads, part going after BaoohuB, and'part remaining with Do Wert. Towards noon, the two portions of the raft were washed together, again, when by great effort De Wert commenced to fasten them «ide by sido, but his efforts were 'in vain for the small rope soon gave way, so again eaoh raft went on ita way with its living freight on its deck.

'For farther Information on prUon Uft tn Taaawla, I would

r^mr^raadjrjJjMjnotherof my worto, "Otear Suianburi, or