Search over 450 titles and 1.2 million pages
The RUTHIN Illustrated Magazine. & M0HTHLT mmm&h FOR Jkhh CMSSEg. To Inform. To Instruct. To Amuse. No. 22. Vol. II. NOVEMBER, 1880. TWO PENCE. A LETTEE FROM AUSTRALIA. We have been favoured by Mr. David Jones, Agency Offices, with the following extracts from a letter he has received from his son, who left this town some 18 months ago for Australia :— " As I am now going to write you a long letter I commence a week before the mail goes, and for the same reason you must excuse this paper as the ordinary note paper is too heavy and the " foreign " is not procurable. I am now nearly 1000 miles from Melbourne, (where I first landed) and 300 from Sydney. Kempsy, my present location, is situated on the bank of the river Macleay. The population is only about 1000, but it is increasing, as the Silver and Antimony mines are beginning to attract people The main street is about 80 yards wide, and there are some very creditable stores in it, but of course they sell everything, " from a needle to an anchor ". It is a good plan, I think,as you can get everything you want without going from one place to another. Provisions are about the same price as at home except Meat which is very cheap—2d. per lb. for the best pieces,—and fruit is to be had for the asking almost,—Oranges—splendid ones,—you pick for yourself off the trees, on the plantations for 2d. per dozen. People here are so very different to people at home, that any one coming straight into these parts, evbn from Sydney, would be astonished. Bank Managers think nothing of walking across the street in their shirt sleeves. I must say I dont like many of the ways and manners out here. People in all classes of society—even ladies—make use of very bad lan¬ guage, and little children learn to swear as soon as they learn to talk. The capture of the Kelly gang of bushrangers is still the principal topic of conversation here. I was in Sydney on the night that the news arrived, and there was great ex¬ citement. I sailed for Newcastle the same night, and on arrival there we were besieged for news¬ papers and information. Newcastle is a busy place, but the Coal Miners there are only recover¬ ing from the recent strike. The streets are nearly all built up-hill, and are so steep in some places that a horse cannot go up or down. There are lots of Blacks in this district—they are a great nuisance, continually begging tobacco. The publicans are not allowed to supply them with drink, but they manage to get drunk for all that. During the greater part of the journey from Maitland, I had only a rough bush track—in many places, the telegraph poles were my only guide, and in some places I lost them. One day I lost the track early in the morning. I had a map with me so I took the bearings by the Sua of where 1 expected the track lay, and after walk¬ ing many miles, just as the sun was going down I saw smoke in the distance ; I made for it and found that a party of men were encamped there, and that I was quite close to the track. I can assure you that I was glad to find myself once more on the right road. At Port Macquarie, I again saw tne Pacific Ocean—there is something about the Pacific different altogether to the Atlantic—the sun seems to shine on it with better effect. Port Macquarie is one of the oldest settlements in the Colony, and the principal source of trade is the exportation of Cedar. Port Jackson is a far finer harbour than Hobson's Bay, and the the scenery of the former is something to be remembered when once seen. I went to Botany Bay when in Sydney, and saw the spot where Captain Cook landed. I am going out Kangaroo shooting next week. You can tell Sergeant Watts, that, thanks to the Drill and Practice at Coed Marchau, I can shoot Kangaroos at 200 yards. Rifles are used for these. Shot will not penetrate their skins unless fired close to them, which is next to impossible, as they are so very sharp, and to get within even 200 yards of them is no easy matter, and the moment they hear or see anything, they bound away at an enormous speed. A person "roughing it" here gets some very queer experiences and meets strange people. When I have " camped " all alone in the bush without a house or even a human being within 20 miles of me, I have thought a good deal about home—so much, that on going to sleep I have dreamt that I was at home, and on waking in the morning I could hardly convince myself that I was in the wild bush, but the necessity of lighting a fire and preparing my breakfast soon brought reality back."