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4-045 (Original)

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author,female,Jones, Lucy,un addressee
Narrative Discourse
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Private Written
Frost, 1984
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West Wimmera, Victoria
18th May 1883
My dear Aunts, Uncles, Grandma, Cousins, Nellie Tucker, and Birdie Price This must be passed round to you all.
My Diary
1st Day Started from near Goolwa on a Monday going up a hill dray pin slipped out, dray tipped up with furniture, fowls &c. Took Pa and boys over an hour to prop it up fasten pin and secure with chains, I drove spring cart, two horses. Scenery, trees and sand.
Camped in an old deserted house. Pa and Will got in broken window. Unscrewed door lock. Fine paddock, good well water. Ma and I slept in cart, boys and pa under dray. Too many fleas in old house. Slept in clothes and boots.
2nd Day Rose at moonlight, started sunrise. Cat got out box rode rest of way on bedding in cart sometimes on cart seat Very rough road, horses took bad drinking muddy water, one fell down in dray shafts. Pa took him out, physiced him and whipped him along to keep him warm. Another horse fell down. Camped near fence, physiced all horses. Scenery, gum trees. Bad road. Camped at Mulgundawa opposite hotel. Passed lots of wild turkeys and native companions. Slept as before.
3rd Day Started 6 o'clock a.m. Very cold, ice on water. Coorong on one side. Good road till reached Wellington, then hill of sand above axles, horses on noses pulling. Unloaded dray at Jetty, crossed in punt to pretty landing place, willows and tall grass on either side. A long drive. Wellington properly styled 'The Sand Hole' is a small place houses half buried in sand. Stores some yards from road. My gloves fell off, worn out with driving. Hot day, faces and lips nearly blistered. Wrote the above on stockyard rail Wellington while men reloaded dray. Picked up a tramp, gave him 4 miles ride. Camped at fenced paddock, good feed for horses, boys had to take them. 3 miles to water. Slept as before.
4th Day No water to wash faces, enough for tea. Road puzzling, perfect circle round dry salt lake, could pick up handsfull of salt. Missed top of lantern Will rode back three miles Chinaman coming same way picked it up gave it to Will. Pa went up a steep sandy hill, sand up to axles, to a cottage. Asked an Irish woman if we were on right road, she replied, 'You great big silly, why didn't yer go to yer left insted of comin' up this 'ere 'ill.' [231] Good road for some time, then a steep sandy hill with stones half a yard above ground. Again good road along Coorong. Fine scenery, green grass, birds of all species swarming on water. Passed flocks of dead and living cattle and sheep. Reached Meningie at sunset, mail steamer arrives at night there. Camped in hotel yard. Ma and I slept in hotel, men in cart. Landlady asked me to play, her husband with the station master and two other young gentlemen spent the evening with us singing and playing, the lady was very fond of my waltz asked me to play it three times over, did so. I played all accompaniments.
5th Day Started at sunrise, made another circle round dry salt lake came to banks of Coorong midday. Turkeys, pelicans, swan, fine great geese and other birds on water. Sheoaks, Gums and pretty trees on side of road. Kangaroo dog chased a sheep down, tied him behind cart. Camped under Sheoak tree poured with rain. Will cooked chops. Slept as usual, but pa watching horses all night. Ma fretted, could not find kerosine or matches for some time.
6th Day Caught enough water on top of canvas over cart to wash faces in. Started at sunrise. Jack's birthday. Continued by Coorong, scenery the same as before. Dogs chased kangaroo 'no catch him'. Several hares sprang over road. Stopped at Wood's Wells, bought milk. White girl buried there who was murdered by Mileky Martin 20 years ago. Bad road, lots of Teatrees. Passed several dead and living cattle, pigs and sheep. Camped at Salt Creek where Mileky Martin murderer of the white girl lived. Water salt in Creek. Slept as before.
7th Day Sunday Woke at 3 o'clock a.m. Poured with rain all bedding &c. soaking through, flood all round cart, horses strayed away. Took me till 10 o'clock a.m. to bail water out of cart, found horses 3 / 4 mile away. Stopped all day in cart. Will cooked chops, pa waited on us in cart. Rained all day, wind blowing, rocking cart like a cradle. Blacks camped near us their dog ran away with our boiled beef out of boiler on fire. Jack's straw hat smashed, table broken with wind. Kept awake all night by wind and rain. 'Cart too muchy rocky'.
8th Day Started 8 o'clock a.m. Poured with rain, miles of deep sand, miles of road covered with 4 feet of water. Plenty Kangaroos on side of road. Pa told me to drive on to Kingston 32 miles ahead for food, he took one of my horses to ride back and help the boys through the sand. Ma and I in a fever, sand up to axles - my horse done up went some miles - came to Coolatoo hotel. Camped, horse's back all raw, Pa came galloping after us for fear we could not get on, glad to see us camping, galloped back for boys who had camped, Tackled up again came 8 miles through heavy sand and water pitch dark raining. Ma and I waiting with clenched hands, reached hotel, had tea, slept there, bedding in cart too wet, dried some blankets in hotel. Will's accordeon box smashed, tied it up in one of my dresses. [232]
9th Day Started at sunrise, rained all day. High wind blowing. Road fearful 9 and 10 miles through deep sand and water, in one place above the axles of the dray in sea sand and stones, to avoid newly metalled road. Dray horses done up, left them in paddock, dray on side of road with all in it, 8 miles from Kingston. All went on in spring cart through a river of rain on road, could not find road but for water shining, pitch dark. Reached Kingston 8 p.m. had tea at Mrs Tuff's hotel wife of Mr Tuff's brother of Currency Creek. I was playing at Mrs Tuff's request my pieces, when three gentlemen, musical gentlemen, asked her to allow them to come and hear me. She introduced them, one a doctor, a very musical widower, he had one of his thumbs shot off some time ago, he was delighted with my pieces, said 'My dear, keep up your music, the Almighty has endowed you with a wonderful gift, if you only keep it up your fortune is made, I only wish I were younger &c, &c, &c.' Flattery, flattery, Oh the gentlemen! One of the young gentlemen played some quadrilles, the other sang a nice song. Slept in hotel, men in cart.
10th Day Pa went back for dray. When starting from hotel the Dr gave me a book. Started midday, boggy stony rough road, Sheoaks on either side camped under tree.
11th Day Started at sunrise road boggy sand hills and rough stones, beautiful trees on one side Lost one of pa's hats. Camped on roadside splendid feed for horses, had to go over a wide deep ditch for wood. Passed several flocks of living and dead animals during day, went through river up to axles. Slept as before.
12th Day Started after sunrise, lovely day. Road stony and stumps half a yard above the ground. Reached Lucindale 12 o'clock a.m. Pretty little place, nice stone buildings. Road continued boggy sandy and stony. Kangaroos in great numbers, too fleet for dogs to catch. Beautiful trees. Malee, Tasmanian Blue Gum, Red Gum,. Honey Suckle Teatree, Sheoak, Stringy Bark and others, Rosellas and other birds. [233] Lost stirrup off saddle coming through thick scrub. Some of the limbs had to be chopped down to allow us to pass. Camped under tree. One horse bad, physiced her.
13th Day Started after sunrise. Bad stony road through thick scrub then good road. Lake on either side, good grass, native companions feasting in grassy paddocks. Reached Naracoorte about 4 o'clock p.m. Pretty place fine buildings good gardens, fine government buildings with livery stables. Found a horse's bit in thick scrub. Camped at a native well. Little cat rode on my horse's back for a little distance. Poor fowls bumped about, glad to have some fresh grass put in cage.
14th Day Sunday Started early, went 10 miles on metal road. Met some young gentlemen out shooting. They told Pa we were 8 miles on wrong road, turned back to proper crossing and bad road, one of my horses lame. Pretty trees, several fine stations with fine fruit gardens. Camped under gum tree.
15th Day Started about 10 o'clock a.m. Horses gave us a hunt of five miles for them first. Fearfully rough road rest of way. Reached Binnum, a wretched place with 3 hovels and a station in it about midday. Found our things which had gone by sea all exposed to all weathers, the piano case bottom upwards and partly prized open and ma's large sea chest ditto. Clara's and my drawings exposed on top in a box to wet and heat. Camped in paddock, pa went 17 miles for Mr Beard and his bullock waggon to cart our house, could only carry half. Then had to go several miles in dark for chaff for horses. Slept as before.
16th Day Old dumb tramp came along gave pa a paper begging. Pa gave him a shilling, he picked up his swag with the arm the paper said was useless, and trudged on. Took Pa and boys till 2 o'clock p.m. to turn piano case right way up and unload trucks, which had our belongings on. Bad road heavy sand stones, &c. Reached Mr Beard's at dusk. Mrs Beard kindly sold us bread and pork.
17th Day Started with Mr Beard's two sons for guides with bullock waggon, about 8 o'clock a.m. Heavy sandy road, thick timber, had to cut some down. Camped near 'Bring Albert' station, a fine place situated on the bank of a fine lake, beautiful fruit garden. Pa rode on to find road. Slept as usual.
18th Day Started sunrise, bad road, pretty trees, lots of birds. Pa went before with axe to cut a road through thick Stringy Bark scrub. [234] Reached our land about noon. Scenery like Currency Creek. Fine dam on Clara's block. Plenty tadpoley water for use. Plenty wood. Spent rest of day rigging up galvanized roofing for hut to put luggage under. Lots of wild birds.
19th Day Will shot wild duck and rosella. Cooked bread outside. I made a mud fireplace and washed socks in Tadpoley water. Several parties of surveyors and station hands passed here, boiled their tea on the land.
Ma and I still sleep in cart, men under iron huts. Pa went 7 miles to post yesterday received letters from Uncle Will and Ethel Uncle's advice came too late, but his letter was welcome. It was the anniversary of Pa and ma's wedding day yesterday. I am kneeling on the men's bedding by a box writing this, ma is cooking outside. The boys gone chopping trees, & pa gone for a sheep for 'muttony'.
We are like a lot of bears let loose in a desert, and will have to go 30 and more miles over fearful roads for provisions. We have kept pretty well excepting colds which Jack and I have. Please tell Burnet the Australian stamps are no use to Victorians so I have returned them, excepting two which pa wanted. Now with much love to all I must say farewell.
It is cold, and I must go to sewing, fancy we have had to go for days without washing our faces or hands. Plenty water now. Hoping you are all well now and happy, as we are not yet and with love from all to all,
I remain
Your loving relative and friend
Lucy Jones
27th May 1883
My dear relatives and friends, You will see this epistle was written on the 18th, Pa took it to Booroopki Post Office then to post it. When turning out his coat pocket yesterday 'Lo and behold!' There was this letter, so I opened it to add this.
Will went out shooting a day or two ago, shot at an old man kangaroo, wounded him, he turned to scoff Will but he hit at him with the butt of his gun splintering it in the act, but killing Mr Kangaroo with such vigor that a piece of that brave creature's head bone entered the woodwork of Will's gun, and remains there. [235] [236] Will mended his gun though it was badly splintered.
Ma manages to cook a damper, pancakes, and meat outside. The piano which pa and Jack brought the other week from Binnum is out in hail rain &c only a tarpaulin over it. No room under iron for it. Pa and boys commenced building chimney today. No stone here. The chimney is to be made with Bulloaks and filled with pugg (mud). The Squatter's sons came here yesterday, they seem very nice. We see station folks pass every day, nearly all come up to have a chat.
I have been washing today. The clothes are completely spoilt [with] iron-mould and mildew and some rubbed in holes.
I helped dig a small waterhole yesterday, chopped down several trees and wood, so you can imagine what nice hands I shall have for piano (If it be any good after the exposure!) We had a letter from Walt on Thursday, he was well and busy. It seems so unpleasant, here we are with our things all tossed together sleeping in [the] cart with rain sometimes soaking our pillows, or ice on water, and piano &c exposed to rain, our clothes all mouldy. We cannot change those we have on either for the water is full of, toads, and our clean clothes are mouldy in boxes.
I believe the journey through rain has ruined £20 worth of bedding and clothes. When uncle Will comes over he will come by mail and not see the horrid roads. A good thing too! He would be too disgusted to get here. Of course, we came a different way.
Please Nellie tell Fred the boys will write when their busy time is over, they are always saying 'My word, wont we have fun when Fred comes over to stay with us by and bye.' Nellie you should see the poor puny looking folks here. Of course I have not seen many. There are two Squatters living not far from here. Mr Hamilton and Mr Broughton. The former has a daughter who plays the piano, so we heard. Her two brothers called here yesterday, one is 22. There were 7 young gentlemen here one day.
Must close this with love to all relatives, I remain,
A conglomeration of wonder and hope!
Also your wellwisher