|Newspaper Title||Singleton Argus (NSW : 1880 - 1954)|
|Trove Title||Bonshaw: A Moreton Bay King|
I JRoveltst* -
B O N S H A W : A MORETON BAY KING." ! ; ? .
- ? .... . CHAPTER I.
By MAGNUS BADGE.
MomoN Bay was yet comparatively un known. Oxloy, Surveyor-General of Now Boatli Wales, had buen there in 1823, and ?S5 then told by two timbor gottcra of tho
existence ol the lirisbano Itivcr. Ho explored il in hia whale-boat, and made known tho fertile land along its bunks. In tho following jfM a convict station was established at lled cliSe. or Humpybong. Many convicts es caped into tho bush, and were trer.tcd by tho natives with kinducss and hospitality. The country around thu mouth of tho nrcr is flat and uninviting; but tho ovur grecn mangrove fringes that, grow to tho water'sedge and adorn if.s Hides, its tribti tuj creeks, and bf.ys, and noblo reaches, reirah tho eye, and give hopo to the doubt ing heart of the emigrant. As tho river and its tributaries are ascended, the scenery bo eraies niora attractive. Amongst tho dense Birubs, and between its high, precipitous hints, crowned with nged timbor, it is beau liiul. In sight of tho mountains, it is grand. ltwas about liiteen years after Oxley had mado known the river that the events to bo nitrated took plneo. -Natives were thickly scattered over the din met. They wore not liku those that are to m Been now walking about the etroets of lijicewland towns. They wero splendid lalovs, and admitted by all who ?aw them to be grand specimens o( tho geniifi " homo." lhcy BUbsistcd wholly on tho produco of l&eir hunting and fishing. Fleet of foot and sure in aim, ihey never wanted for the' necos- BatiM of life. The river yielded the mullet, BQdeiUal, whiting, breiim, dagau, boygun, woulsn, shell?sh, and othcrn, to the emert toner; while the scrubs and tho forest-land Harbored tho kangaroo, wallaby, oppossum, Md native bear, for the hunter. Wild honey, Hie native fig, bunyn fruit, and various kinds ot berries, were obtainable with little effort. in the main, tho tribes of aborigines who ivcd in tho Baj district looked with con- Ktnpt upon work; and though objecting to toe occupation of their land by others, offered ??"ye passive resistance to the encroach ments ol tho white people. One tribe after another fell before thoener- TOing and demoralising influences of rum and immorality, until, at the present time, ?meof tho kings of those tribes wear a brass platoeusponded round their necks, on which i inscribed their narno and dignity—tJio Wcr to influence the ohaiity of pafsera-by. ?ine tribes that lived in tho level country won bowed the kueo to tho new -Miners, but were was a tribe among tho mountain ranges flat though offering no actual opposition, I r mV , e "? deal!n B 9 ???> them. This inoe lived in the mountain ranges about toirty miles to the north of where tho city of Brisbane is now built. The first white man who wandored into Ibis district has recorded hia wonder, aur- Prwe, and delight at the happy homes of thwe people, who seemed as free from care end worry as the sky nbovo them of clouds. He could not withhold his admiration for the noWe proportions of tho men, and the perfect eiaeucty of their every movement. Such J? organs of si.ht, hearing, smelling, and ?n ii ? ilowera of running, climbing, and walking; and with every nerve in theTr ih ,a ,DSsli "? with 6 e ns ?"on 1 There, in jue acefi gullies ft nd mountainous stoops,' D.i ? ,'? l } Mi ! ani ft I,a Pry lift, - Thi;v we.tlieirUttle plots of gardens, which were OMtivatcd with care. Civilisation had not .jet b foU gi lt its influence to bear on them, o n r .7 0 f th . oycouUnucdha ri>y aiLl contented. ?M of tho lirat ciJocts oi civilisation th.ut wmgs with it rum and gunpowder, iH to ex , inguish the first sparks of an ambition or 'ongiug for Eomtthing better. These cs s continued iv their happy way. Teats of strength were encouraged by the aged and rewarded by Die fair. As a tribe, they were feared by their neighbor fur their great ?fcrjgth nud unUiuching courago.
The king of tho tribo vra? named Uonshaw. Jlo_waa. the most muscular and attractive man amongst hia people. Ho had been elected king many ynars ago for tho heroism and sucbom which ho displayed in tribal die piitcs. Ho wan ft noblo typo of his people. 110 stood fully r> feet hi/jh. and built in pro portion, and his carriage was dignified and easy. A.'fierce pride rmgncd in his breast, find a dark flash ehot from hia fine oyo us hn stood on any of tho eminences of hia country, and looked cv tho urido expanse around. To tho south he saw here and thcro tho white man clearing and turning up tho aoil of the primoval ecrube, and tho smoko from his own village huts risinj; peacefully in tho clear air ; and here and thcro, dotting tlie plains and cleared bite of land, tho strangora' cattlo feed ing whoro a few yearn ago tho kangaroo nnd wallaby alone fed. To tho onat ho saw the distant ocean, and in the bay ho saw largo chips of another race clear and distinct against tho whito sand banke of Moreton Island. To the north he looked at the more hilly, but woll-woodcd, couutry; and to tho weal hia own n&tivo mountains*,
CJIArTER 11. 4
Tick Seantans have now been on tho Tina Crook Station for soveral years. Tho family constated of Mr. and Mre. Scanlan, one daughter, Annio, and two sons, Thomas and James. ?Thoy kit England about 12 jo.ire ago, when Mr. Seanltin had been engaged in tbo India trade, but in ona of thosi periods of trade depression and financial failure ho lock heavily. Just then Iho colonies wore Attract ing attention. America held out her hind for immigrants, offering large tracts of land ; while sunny Australia, on tho other side of the globe, offered land and a more equablo climato, and a golden romance clung around the very name. It was a name wherewith to conjuro up a fortune. To Australia the family came, and seleoted the station which thoy called " Pine Creel:." Their houeo was situated in fine, fertile, forest land. Only a few yards from tho door there was a chain of wnterholes. that were filled in tho dryest weather and tho longest drought. A littlu further on was tho Pino lUver, and still further on tho almost im pasiublo range*. A atrong cookaloo fonco bounded , in tlia houeo and garden. Tho house was well built pi cedar wood. It had eight rooms, and though thc?o wcro not largo they ware Buflicient. No costly mansion reared itself in tho vicinity, and Micro being no other .house to compare it vrltli for miles round, it .waa really the best houso in the distriot. A grapo vine, passion fruit, and a creeping plant with large red blossom* completely en circled the houso and made it look gorgeous in its green and red coat. Tho garden waa a sight that delighted the heart of many a weary traveller—nest to tho station hospitality. Oraugc?, bananas, peaches, loquats, mulberries, lemons, guavas, and ponio?raoitoa srow in abundanco; whila roses, geraniums, fuehias, violets and many homo and colonial flowers gre?v limiriAntly. Nor must the melons and pine apples bo forgot that grow between the orange grovo nnd the yard. It was diflicult to keep things living, far lose fresh, in the hot, dry summer months, but Annie was unwearied in her labors among the flowers, and tho boys amongst the vege tables and fruit. George Sutton, the Ron of a. neighboring station-holder, was a great lover of llowere, and in his frequent visits gavo Annie valuablo assistance. " And yet, , ' as Tom remarked drily, with a twinkle in his eye, "it waa wasting time for both of them to go down to tho creek with that small pan nikin, that George alone could have carried on hie littlo finger." One delightful summer's afternoon, when tho breeze was cool and invigorating, a small patty of aquattors and selectors met at Scan lan'u houso. Some were interested in tho stock and general working of the place, whilo others took advantage at the Binning hour by devoting their wholo attention to tho ladies. George Sutton, of course, was there, and Tom Macdonnld, and Frank Allison, along with four now chums who had recently taken up land in tho district. After the garden had been explored and a rivalry had sprung between Frank Allieon and ona of the new churus, it was time to join the " stock " party. Tho conversation became general, and tho .subject of tho natives was discussed as u?ual. " I don't belicvo they've got souls," said Mr, Scanlan, " although for getting honey, stripping bark, and bullock-driving, rucoui mend mc to a blnckfollow." " There's Bosquet," said Frank Allieon ; " I am of his opinion, they aro just another epr.ciefl of the ourang-outang, and tho sooner they aro out of the country tho better." "I don't know about that," said Jlacdonald. "If thoy aro all as good as the man I have got now, there couid uot bo enough. Of course some won't work, but this is their country." "That's it, Mac," said George Sutton; " tho country is theirs. We have no right here. We are really interlopere." A loud burst of laughter and derision was tho only answer for a few tuiiiutcs. At last some one said : " What good can the blaokfellows do with the land?" " Thoy live on it in their own way, as wo do. Wo make a better use of it than they do. England is overcrowded, and she must have somewhere to send her surplus population." " That is no reason why England should como and steal this land. Did that hold good, a man whoso houso was largeenough for him when he got married " (Tom Macdonald gave a roguish cough and glanced at Annie. The wretch ?) " but finds it to bo too Email now that his family has grown up—that man would be entitlod to say to his sons, ' Go my eons, and got a house lor yourselves. Yonder, over tho crook among the gum trees and cedar in a houso butter than this one, and tho peoplo in it don't know how to uso it. Hero is a gun and hero is rum, go forth and take it. If you can't got in without killing eomo of the inmates, got in by killing thorn,' and so they go forth nnd slaughter the poor devils who have no other means of protecting them wives from tho devil's own engines than by falling to the ground or holding up an opossum skin between them and the tearing shot. But never mind, it is reckoned capital sport; nnd us for the right, let it slide 1 so long as \v? have got religion and tho right end of tho slick !" Tho discussion began to got heated, as it always does whon tho faith of ono sido is shaken, lieason lays down tho cudgols; piojudico takes them up. The favorite theory of the squatter that tho natives were more aiiimr.ls—certainly, improved animals ; but still brute animals—was quoted as conclusive evidence of their inferiority. They did not belicvo in evolution—probubly had never heard of it. " The Kubject is a vile ono any way you liko to look at it," said Frank Allison, as tho wholu party roso to take tea, and tho " vilo subject " wns dismissed with a laugh. A short mooting between Annio nndGoorge Kutton behind tho ortinge grovo and George mounted his horso. ' '? " You may see Tom and Jim, who have gone that way," said Annie. Georgo galloped oil down and across the creek, and waved his handkerchief to Annio, who Btood watching him as ho disappeared behind a clump of pino treea.