Графични страници
PDF файл

things, the aborigines seemed to en- ture. We had passed the limits of the tertain a sort of superstitious belief in territory open to the selections of settlers, the virtues of all kinds of physic. I in crossing the Liverpool range ; and the found that this distressed tribe were more remote country is not likely to come also strangers in the land' to which into the market soon : such stations as they had now resorted. Their meek. this of Loder were held, therefore, only ness, as strangers, and their utter ig, by the right of pre-occupancy, which has norance of the country they were in, been so generally recognised between the was very unusual in natives, and par

colonists themselves, that the houses, ticularly excited our sympathy, when

&c. of such stations are sometimes discontrasted with the prouder bearing

posed of for valuable considerations, aland intelligence of the native of the

though the land is still liable to be sold plain who had undertaken to be my

by the Government. A native named

Jemmy,' whom I met with here, agreed guide."

to conduct me, by the best way for carts, On the 6th they continued their

to Wallamoul on the Peel, for which serjourney, crossing low ridges of rich

vice I undertook to reward him with a earth, branches from high ranges on

tomahawk. It was necessary that we their left, and came upon a portion of

should ford the Cuerindie, which flows to the plains. The wide expanse of open the north-west, and, notwithstanding the level country extended in a northerly steepness of its banks, we effected a pasdirection as far as human vision could sage without difficulty, guided by Jemmy.' reach, and, being clear of trees, pre- One mile beyond this, another creek lay sented a remarkable contrast to the in our way. It was smaller, but much settled districts of the colony. The soil more formidable and difficult to cross, for of these plains looked well, the grass the bottom and banks consisted of blue good, and herds of cattle, browsing mud or clay, half-hardened on the surface, at a distance, adding pastoral beauty yet soft and yielding below. It was not to what had been recently a desert. without considerable delay that we effected Leaving the cart track they had been the passage of this, for a wheel of one of following, and which led to some

the carts stuck fast in the mud, and it was cattle station, the party again entered

necessary to dig the earth from before the the woods, and turned a little to the

other wheel before we could release the north, their object being to reach the

vehicle. At length every thing was got bank of Peel's River at Wallamoul,

across, and we, fortunately, met no other

impediment for six miles. We then crosswhich had been laid down as holding

ed the channels of two rivulets, neither of a northerly course, and therefore

which contained any water. At half-past likely to lead to any greater river

four I wished to encamp, and the natives flowing to the north-west, as reported having at length found a green mantling by " the Barber." Crossing a deep pool in the bed of the united channel of dry bed, called by the natives “ Naza. The two water-courses, there we pitched bella,” they encamped near some of our tents at a place called "Burandua.' its ponds, at a shady spot where the Bad as the water seemed to be, Jemmy' long grass had been burnt, in other soon obtained some that was both clear parts reaching to the heads of the and cool, by digging a hole in the sand horses, and remained there another near the pool. This was a quiet and senday to recruit_“ the rich soil of the sible fellow; he steadily pursued the course valley being nearly as deep as the bed he recommended for the “ wheelbarrows" of the rivulet, which is twenty feet as he termed our carts; answering all my lower than the surface."

queries briefly and decidedly, either by a

nod of assent, or the negative monosyllaDec. 8.-A road or track which we ble bel,' and shake of the head. His found at about half-a-mile east from the walk was extremely light and graceful; camp, led us very directly on the bearing his shoulders were neatly knit, and the of 335° to Loder's station, which was dis. flowing luxuriance of his locks was retant about six miles from our encampment. strained by a bit of half-inch cord, the two Here stood a tolerable house of slabs, with ends hanging, like a double queue, halfa good garden adjoining, in charge of an old way down his back. He was followed by stockman and his equally aged wife. This his gin and a child, which she, although it man was named by the blacks · Longanay' was old enough to walk, usually carried (Long Ned). This station was situated on her back. on a fine running stream called the Cuer. “ The air of the evening was very reindie, and the state of the sheep and cattle freshing, and the sun set with peculiar about it proved the excellence of the pas brilliancy. We had travelled during the VOL. XLIV. NO. CCLXXVII,

2 Y

whole day on good soil, and the ploughed ing around their route, the conflaappearance of the surface was very remark- gration having been quenched by able in various places, particularly a little a seasonable fall of rain. At Wallato the South of Loder's station, where the moul, “ Jemmy," the native guide, hollow seemed to terminate in a common received his promised tomahawk, and channel. I noticed, also, that the direction so did « Monday," his brother, who of all the water-courses was towards the met him there ; and his place was north-west, and it was evident that they supplied by a native, named “ Mr occasionally overflowed their banks."

Brown," who agreed to accompany On the 11th they reached the bank the party, on condition that he should of the Peel at Wallamoul, the lowest receive blankets for himself and his cattle station upon the river, occupied " gin," and a tomahawk, or small by Mr Brown, who had there about hatchet, so valuable a substitute for 1600 head of cattle. On the 9th they their stone-hatchet, that almost all the had passed over an open and grassy natives within reach of the colony plain, skirted with wood, where there have them, even where the white was abundant water in a channel called man is known as yet only by name, by the natives “Carrabobbila ;" but the and as the manufacturer of this most water, at the spot where they en. important of all implements to the camped, was hot and muddy, from Australian natives. On the 13th, all which the blacks, however, knew well arrangements being completed, the how to obtain a cool and clear draught, encampment was broken up, and the by first scratching a hole in the soft party proceeded into the Terra Incog. sand under the pool, thus making a nitu, in pursuit of the course of the filter, and then throwing into it some Peel river. " We soon advanced, tufts of long grass, through which they with feelings of intense interest, into sucked the cooler water thus purified the country before us, and impressed from the sand or gravel. The gin with the responsibility of commencing quenched her thirst with still greater the first chapter of its history. All satisfaction, by rushing into a pool, and was new and nameless there, but by drinking as she sat immersed up to this beginning we were to open a the lip. On reaching the top of the way for the many other beginnings range separating the basin of ihe Peel of civilised man, and thus extend his from that of the waters falling to the dominion over the last holds of barLiverpool plains, they were agreeably barism." surprised to find that the opposite side On the 16th, they encamped on the of the hills, and the whole face of the river Nammoy. This stream, having country beyond them, presented a very received the Conadilly from the left different appearance from that through bank, had here an important appearwhich they had passed. A gently ance; the breadth of the water was sloping extremity lay before them for 100 feet, its mean depth 11 feet; the a good many miles on their proposed current half-a mile an hour, and the route, and there were no intervening height of the banks above the water gullies. The range they had crossed 37 feet. The course of the Maseemed to extend from the Liverpool luerindie, from the junction of the range to the northward, as far as could Peel to that of the Conadilly, is then be seen; but the native guide said somewhat to the southward of west. that it soon terminated on the river Below the junction the well-known “ Callala," or Peel, whose course, he native name is Nammoy. said, turned westward, a fact corrobo- Their route from Wallamoul to the rating, so far, the statements of “ the Nammoy had lain throngh tracts of Barber.” During several days of this promise_the bank, at the ford of journey, before their arrival on the Wallenburra, presenting a section of Ilth at Wallamoul, the fire was one at least 50 feet of rich earth-and on day's advance of the party, and thus an extensive open track, named Multhe flames having cleared every thing luba, the undulations were as great as away, their camp was not exposed those which occur between London to danger. But on the 9th the and Hampstead, the whole bearing a country seemed all on fire around remarkable resemblance to an enclosthem; and the hills they crossed ed and cultivated country. The ridges on the 10th had been all in a blaze exactly resembled furrows in fallow the night before, and trees lay smok, land; and trees grew in rows, as if connected with field enclosures-parts hills appeared at no great distance to where bushes or grass bad been re- the right of that line; but the country cently burned looking red or black, between Tangulda and the lowest and thus contributing to the appear- part of the horizon seemed so gentle ance of cultivation. The soil was and undulating, that he felt it his indeed well worthy of cultivation, for duty, before tracing the Nammoy furit consisted of a rich black mould, so ther, to explore the country in the di. loose and deep, that it yawned in rection so particularly described by cracks as if for want of feet to tread the Bush-ranger. Quitting, therefore, it down. But the want was of water the line of the Nammoy, they pro-one small and dry channel appear- ceeded in the direction north-east by ing to be the only line of drainage in north from Tangulda; and, after jourwet weather from the extensive open neying some twenty miles on the 18th, country of Mulluba. But it could early in the morning of the 19th they not fail to strike Major Mitchell, encamped at the stream of the valley, that much might be done to remedy which the Major named Maule's river. the natural disadvantages, whether Leaving the cattle to be refreshed du. of a superfluity of water lodging on ring the day, he proceeded, with the the plains in rainy seasons, or of too native and two men, to examine the great scarcity of moisture in dry mountains. After climbing about a weather, by cutting channels on the mile and a half, he reached a lofty lines of natural drainage, which would summit, where he hoped to have observe to draw off the water from the tained a view beyond the range, or, at plains, and concentrate and preserve a least, to have discovered how it might sufficient supply for use in time of be crossed, but was disappointed; dis. drought.

tant summits, more lofty and difficult A few hours after leaving the en- of access, obstructed the view towards campment on the Nammoy, the party the east, north, and even west ; the came on a very large stock yard, which only link connecting the hill they had the patives said had belonged to gained with those still higher being a George the Barber." They saw, very bold naked rock, presenting a besides, the remains of a house, and perpendicular side at least 200 feet in the “ gunyas,” or huts, of a nume- height. To proceed in that direction rous encampment of natives. The was quite out of the question. bones of bullocks were strewed about

“As we descended, we came suddenly

have descon in great abundance, plainly enough

on an old woman, who, as soon as she showing the object of the stock-yard,

saw us, ran off in terror. I ordered the and that of the Barber's alliance with two men who accompanied me to keep the aborigines. The whole country back, until Mr Brown' could overtake was on fire, and, though the guide fre- and speak to her, saying that we intended quently drew their attention to recent no harm; and she was easily persuaded, footmarks, not a single native was to after a brief conversation with our guide, be seen. Distant about two miles from to allow us to come near. She presented this stock-yard lay due north the Pic a most humiliating specimen of our raceof “ Tangulda," and as the Barber a figure shortened and shrivelled with age, had positively stated tbat the only entirely without clothing ; one eye alone practicable way to the “ big river saw through the dim decay of natureWas NE. by N. from Tangulda, the several large fleshy excrescences projected Major mounted the pie, and saw the

from the sides of her head like so many

from Nammoy's course through a cluster ears,

ears—and the jawbone was visible, through of bills, between which it passed to a

a gash or scar, on one side of her chin.

The withered arms and hands, covered lower country in the north-west. These

with earth by digging and scraping for hills were connected on the right bank

the snakes and worms on which she sed, with the pic, and also with a low range

more resembled the limbs and claws of a on the east and north-east, whose west

quadruped. She spoke with a slow nasal ern extremities appeared to terminate

whine, prolonged at the end of each senwestward on the vale of the Nammoy,

tence, and this our guide imitated in speakas far northward as he could see them

ing to her. The mosquitoes tormented in perspective. It appeared, then, that her much, as appeared from her incesthe lowest part of the range lay exact

santly slapping her limbs and body. Mr ly in the direction described by the Brown's' conversation seemed animated on Barber. Some bold and remarkable some subject, but not, as I at last suspect. ed, on that most important to us ; for, deavoured to pass to the northward ; when I enquired, after he had spoken a but, judging it nearly impracticable, long time, what she said of the · Barber' the leader wisely desisted from any and the way across the mountains, he was further attempt on the direction pointed obliged to commence a set of queries, evi- out by the veracious Barber, and dedently for the first time. She said horses termined on returning to Tangulda, might pass, pointing at the same time fure that, by following the Nammoy, he ther to the eastward--but our guide seem- might endeavour to turn this range, ed unwilling to put further questions, say

her questions, say- and so enter the region beyond it. On ing she had promised to send at sunset to

the 22d, having again encamped on our tents two young boys who could in

the Nammoy, six miles from Tangul. form us better. Even in such a wretched

da, at a spot favourable for the formastate of existence, ornaments had their charms with this female, when even the

tion of a depot—the waters clear and decency of covering was wholly disregard.

sparkling, the grass excellent, a hill

S ed. She had kangaroo teeth set round her

at hand overhung with pines, and lofty brow, these being fastened to the few re

blue gum-trees growing on the margin maining hairs, and a knot of brown fea

- Major Mitchell resolved to make a thers decorated her right temple. The voyage of discovery in canvass-boats roasting snake which we had seen in the

down the river—the channel of all the morning, belonged, as we now learned, to waters of the Peel, the Maluerindie, this witch of the glen.

and Conadilly. "The boys did not visit us in the evening, as Mr Brown' had expected, and

“ We passed along several reaches withhe appeared unusually thoughtful when I out meeting any impediment, but, at found him sitting alone by the water-side length, an accumulation of drift-timber at some distance from the camp. I was and gravel brought us up at a spot where then making arrangements for carrying the two large trees had fallen across the stream bulk of our provisions and equipment on from opposite banks. From the magni. pack-horses and bullocks, across this

tude of these trunks and others which, inrange, intending to leave the remainder of

terwoven with rubbish, and buried in graour stores at this spot in charge of two

vel, supported them, I anticipated a long men armed: and of this measure Mr delay, but the activity of the whole partv Brown' did not approve.

was such, that a clear passage was opened “ Dec. 20.— When the packhorses had

in less than half an hour. The sailors been loaded, and we were about to start, 5

swam about like frogs, and, swimming, leaving the remainder of our provisions

could cut, with a cross cut saw, trees under

cou in charge of two men, we discovered that water. I found I could survey the river our native guide was missing. I had pro- as we proceeded, by measuring with a mised him for his services, a tomahawk. pocket sextant the angle subtended by the a knife. and a blanket, and as he was al. two ends of a twelve-feet rod-held in ready far beyond his own beat as I sup

the second boat-at the opposite end of

the second boa posed, he might have had the promised each reach the bearing being observed rewards, by merely asking for them. We at the same time. By referring to one of had always given him plenty of flour, also Brewster's tables, the angle subtended by his choice of any part of the kangaroos we

the twelve-feet rod, I ascertained the diskilled. It had been observed by the men,

tance in feet. This operation occasioned that the intelligence received from the old

a delay of a few seconds only, just as the woman had made him extremely uneasy,

last boat arrived in sight of each place of and he had also expressed to them on the

observation. previous evening, his apprehensions about

“ Several black swans floated before us the natives in the country before us. I was

-apparently not much alarmed even at very sorry for the loss of Mr Brown.'

the unwonted sight of boats on the NamHe was very comical, as indeed, these

moy. The 'evenness of the banks and half-civilised aborigines generally are : he

reaches, and the depth and stillness of the liked to be close shaved, wore a white

waters were such, that I might have tracneckcloth, and declared it to be his inten

ed the river downwards, at least so far tion of becoming, from that time forward,

as such facilities continued, had our boats • a white fellow.' I concluded that he

been of a stronger material than canvass. had returned to his own tribe; and, that

But dead trees lay almost invisible under he had been unwilling to acknowledge to

water, and at the end of a short reach me his dread of the 'myall' tribes."

where I awaited the re-appearance of the

second boat, we heard suddenly, confused The expedition then proceeded up shouts, and, on making to the shore, and the valley, or eastward, and en- running to the spot, I found that the boat

had run foul of some sunken tree-and fill. for an encampment. He came upon ed almost immediately. Mr, White had, on a slight hollow, and followed it down, the instant, managed to run her ashore but it disappeared in a level plain suracross another sunken trunk, and thus rounded by rising grounds. The prevented her from going down in deep search became anxious. One dry water, opposite to another steep bank. pond encouraged his hopes of finding By this disaster our whole stock of tea, water, and he continued his search sugar, and tobacco, with part of our flour along a flat where the grass had been and pork, were immersed in the water, recently on fire. From this, pursuing but fortunately all the gunpowder had

a kangaroo, he came upon a wellbeen stowed in the first boat. This cata

marked water-course, with deep holes, strophe furnished another instance of the

but they were all dry. Tracing the activity of the sailors : the cargo was got

line of these holes downwards, he at out, and the sunken boat being hauled up,

last was fortunate enough to find a a rent was discovered in the canvass of her larboard bow. This the sailmaker

deep pool of water. Here, therefore,

they encamped, and their good forpatched with a piece of canvass ; a fire was made : tar was melted and applied: tune was not at an end, for they soon the boat was set afloat; reloaded, and after found two very large ponds on a again under weigh in an hour and a half. rocky bed. In our verdurous climate • Once more upon the waters,' every thing we know little of the miseries that seemed to promise a successful voyage want of water occasions in others; we down the river ; but our hopes were doom- lose half the genuine enjoyments of ed to be of short duration, for, as I again simple nature by having them in too awaited the re-appearance of the second great profusion. These pools seem boat, a shout similar to the first again to have made every one happy; such arose, and on running across the point of, are the virtues of a draught of cold land within the river bend, I found her water. The very landscape enjoyed once more on the point of going down it, for the spot was covered with rich from similar damage sustained in the sturgrass, and was enclosed by shady board bow. It was now near 5 p.m., and thickets. " The prospect," says Mathe labours of th

ad been sufficient

jor Mitchell, “ of two days' repose for to convince me that the course of the the cattle in that verdure, and under Nammoy could be much more conveniently the

eniently those shades, was most refreshing to traced at that time by a journey on land,

' us all. It was, indeed, a charming than with boats of canvass on the water."

spot, enlivened by numbers of pigeons, On the 31st December they resume and the songs of little birds in strange their land-journey, and on the 5th of but pleasing notes." January arrive in the country beyond Still the heat was intense; the therthe mountains which they had in vain mometer was at ninety during the attempted to cross, having found an night. Few of the men could sleep, open and accessible way round their there was not a breath of wind, and ridges; and it now remained to be as- the heat was overpowering. Thus certained whether “ the large river," even night, which had previously af. as described by the Barber, was near; forded a relief from the day, was no according to him it was the first river longer their friend. The effect was met with after crossing the range formidable, weakening their cattle, north east by north of Tangulda. drying up the water, destroying their

One of the great difficulties of this wheels, and nourishing the fires in the country is the want of water; and, as grass and woods, which covered the the expedition travelled in the very country with smoke, until, in the parheight of the Australian summer, rator's words, “ humidity seemed to which is our winter, they voluntarily us the very essence of existence, watook the bull by the horns. The ther. ter almost an object of adoration." mometer was frequently at a hundred, The thermometer at this date (it was and the sufferings of the men and January) ranged from 96 to 101 durcattle were often dreadfully severe. ing the day; and, during the last five On the 6th of January we thus find nights, had stood as high as 90 from him searching for water. At length sunset to sunrise! From the time of the wheel of one of the carts, and the their leaving Sydney they had met axle of another, became unserviceable with only one day of rain. They The Major then rode forward for now left each “ friendly water-bole about three miles in search of water in the greatest uncertainty whether

« ПредишнаНапред »