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4-393 (Raw)

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author,male,Twigg, James Hamilton,25 addressee,male
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Plaint Text :
Private Written
Private Correspondence
O'Farrell, 1984
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4-393-raw.txt — 2 KB

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Gold has been found within one mile of old Wright's on the road to his house, a fine big micaceous schist formation and some 12 miles further good reefs are crushing 3 ozs. regular. My place is just off the line (north and south) of the same belt of country and I am so tied down that I can't get off to prospect. One must have a little capital to take up a lease and develop it. 
Of course land is going up like smoke and, if I can, I mean to stick to the farm. I will have a tight squeeze for the next twelve months and if I can wriggle through, I can then manage. My fruit trees are all in and making growth. Tomorrow I am going to ring-bark for a neighbour about 8 weeks solid slogging with the axe 200 acres at £16 by myself camped out 3 miles from a human being. 
Of course if I can let the big paddock next year I will be much better off as I won't have to save £25 for Government rent [...] 
This is going to be a wonderful country. The mineral wealth is only just being tapped and in 5 years the output of gold will mean three times what it is now. This country down here will be harder to prospect, it is so thick and rough, very like the Welsh country with giant trees added, but once found, mines should be easily worked as all the needful, barring the battery, would be on the lease. 
Towns spring up here like mushrooms in a night and the first thing one thinks is how they all live. About 5 pubs and 20 stores in a mining town of 1,000 about 400 in the town and the residue scattered in tents over say 5 miles square coming in to get drunk every night. The Boer War is now on. I pity the Boers and in fact a number here sympathize with them. 
Horses are very dear here now, that is the draught stamp. Of course ponies of 14.2 or 15.2 are still cheap say from £5 to £15. Some of these bush reared things make excellent hacks and as hard as nails doing better far on grass then chaff and oats. [102] Medium draughts fetch now from £20 to £25, in fact can't be had. Heavies are very little more, being unsuitable for the majority of the farmers, there is no demand. You see a farmer likes something he can turn out when not in work and the heavy horses being all imported can't get their own living except when the feed is at its best. 
Prices generally are coming down for farm produce and should we be forced to federate on the present terms it will just about ruin us around here, all the newly started industries for a certainty such as vineyards, orchards, etc.