Chapter 64219517

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Chapter NumberVII
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Full Date1891-10-10
Page Number2
Word Count324
Last Corrected2018-06-15
Newspaper TitleBathurst Free Press and Mining Journal (NSW : 1851 - 1904)
Trove TitleThe Mount Macedon Mystery
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CHAPTER VII. "MOUNTAIN MAG." "Alone with nature and with nature's God." Almost on the summit of the mount on the southern slope, stood a small bark hut embosomed in a grove of dogwood trees— or rather saplings— for these beautiful growths are as slender and straight as a fishing-rod, with bright red bark and vivid green foliage. In this lonely hut dwelt a strange old woman named Mrs. Argyle, but popu- larly called " Mountain Mag." Little was known about her, but the mere fact of her living in such a strange and almost inaccessible spot made her to some extent famous in the district. She had the honor on one occasion of entertaining vice royalty in her wild though picturesque residence, and the governor's wife (Lady Barkly) was pleased to have a cup of tea with the strange " old woman of the mountain." Once a week she trudged to Woodend or Macedon and laid in her supplies, which she laboriously shouldered to her elevated home. She led an almost solitary life, and the grunt of the wombat, the cooing of the wild pigeon, or the delusive calls of the lyrebird were the chief sounds she heard. Occasionally a passing tourist, a stray sawmill hand, or some of the government survey party would break in upon her lonely life, and to such she was always as hospitable as her resources would al- low. One evening in October, 1863, Moun- tain Mag was sitting at the door of her hut, when the oppressive silence that reigned was broken by a hurried footstep, and looking up, the old woman was startled to see a wild-eyed, haggard-look- ing man breaking through the dogwood grove that hid the hut , and coming rapidly towards her. As his furtive glance fell upon her he stopped suddenly, and was about to turn and retire ap- parently, when she cheerily bade him good-evening.— (To he continued) MM 2