Alexandra Times at KellyGang 27/9/1873
(FROM A CORRESPONDENT)
Having every confidence in your urbanity of disposition, and power of whiffing forth on scented breezes through the medium of your valuable journal the productions of any person who might be troubled with the cacoethes scribendi--or, as your mature discretion may suggest, consign such productions to that oblivious, but very useful, receiver of the minds of men, and I suppose of women to, the waste paper-basket-should you consider this production worthy the light you will confer a favor on the writer.
About the middle of the year 1868, I, amongst many others who made gold-digging their vocation, started as did the Pilgrim Fathers of old to face the vicissitudes of life with this difference, that they (the Pilgrim Fathers) went in search of the unconverted, and we went in search of the convertible. Never had the sparkling eyes of an Indian idol more temptation for the profane plunderer than had the sight of tub and cradle for me! "Rush, oh!" had much the same effect upon me as must have the sound of the tocsin that peels forth from the Mahommedan temple to summon faithful worshipers to its shrine. I started from Palestine - but I may inform. your readers that I do not mean the Pales tine of old, but the holey land a few miles the other side of Grant's station - and after a two-days' journey arrived safe at Pennington's rush.
Alter having dismounted that monument of absurdity, i.e., my swag, I made myself as comfortable as circumstances would permit for the night. On the following morning I took a walk over the rush, and was pleased to find that there was plenty of gold to be had in the shallow ground, and I was very sanguine of making a rapid fortune in a very short time. But, alas for all human expectations, I was doomed to disappointment. After having put down a few dozen holes and obtaining but a poor reward for my labor, I once more heard the sound of the tocsin from a now direction, mounted my monument, and fell in with the train; but little did I think that on the very spot upon which I had camped tons weight of gold waited only the energetic and strong right arm of the horny- handed sons of toil to yield a rich reward for their labor.
"Masters' commands come with a power resistless
To such as owe them absolute subjection,
And for a life who wilt not change his purpose So mutable are all the ways of men."
A change came o'er the spirit of Pennington's rush, and after the lapse of a few years the word is onward again - this time to Gobur. What a change since the day upon which I paid half-a-crown for a three pound stale loaf of bread, and camped under a gum tree on Pennington's rush! Hundreds of acres have been robbed of their golden treasures, and thousands of acres still remain untouched; extensive plants have been erected, second only to our best Ballarat standard, and extensive mining operations have been carried on.
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