Australian Town and Country Journal at KellyGang 7/9/1872 (3)
Leaving the Isabella Reef I followed a track do the Johannah Creek, which soon widened out descending the range. About five or six miles distant the Murray Valley was again reached, and a little above Ournie home station, the residence of A Elmslie, Esq, JP, peeped prettily between the trees. Glen Ken is the proper name of the station which is owned by Messrs. Strachan and Elmslie. The residence of the former gentleman is a short distance higher up the river. Mr. Elmslie's house is a romantic station; high mountains rising abrupt from three sides, the broad Murray River flows between, and a stretch of green fields on the fouth side combine to render the scene a very fine one. The residence is a comfortable building. Abundance of fruit, including grapes and figs in the garden; barns filled with the riches of the soil, and warm hearted hospitable people I found at Ournie.
A few good stations higher up the river I was compelled to leave till another day, notwithstanding the bright picture given me of magnificent country, grand scenery, land flowing with mille and honey, and happy people. Up there I was also told of walls of rock as high as Govett's Leap, through which escapes the head of the Murray, there called the Indi, and near which were found petrified black fellows. I preferred drawing an imaginary picture of all these things for the present and leaving the pleasures and dangers of a visit to a future day.
While turning my horse's head down the Murray for Albury it may be as well to at once endeavour to show a little difference between New South Wales and Victoria in the roads. Here are two sides of the river, for forty or fifty miles having equal difficulties in road-making. The one side, Victoria has a first-class road, and the other, New South Wales, a dangerous cattle track. From that followed a train of other comparisons which forced themselves on the traveller and tended to show gross neglect on one side, care and attention on the other. Travelling was so difficult in New South Wales that I was glad to take the first opportunity of getting into Victoria by crossing the Murray, about a mile below Mr Elmslie's house.
The river was about forty yards across here, and the greatest depth, up to the saddle-girths. It was quite a relief to got on the good road, and I cantered along pleasantly for half an hour, and arrived at a pretty homestead five miles from Ournie. This is Walwa, Mr S C Watson's station. A fine row of poplars shade the lawn before the house, and acacias and willows are flourishing at the rear near the river banks.
As I am now in the centre of a 'spiritual world' and my mission embraces notes on everything within bounds of probability, perhaps the editor of the Town and Country will permit me to now touch on a matte which I have hitherto avoided. I promise to 'naught exaggerate or aught set down in malice. The Upper Murray people to a considerable extent are believers in Spiritualism. Mr. Watson, a gentle man of unimpeachable honour, has written an elaborate work on the subject, in which he makes some extraordinary revelations, and which, if true will upset all received theological doctrines of the present day. I may state at the outset that I labour under the disadvantage, being an unbeliever in Spiritualism; and that I will confine myself strictly to stating the facts which came immediately under my notices at two séances.
The first was by table rapping. Five persons including your correspondent, sat round a square table. After the lapse of twenty minutes the table began to shake. Then was no visible agency at work. For half an hour afterwards one corner rapped out answer after answer in a wonderful manner. The way the answer was obtained was by taking the letter of the alphabet and the medium pronouncing each letter. The spirit gave three raps when 'yes' and one rap when 'no' was meant. The question principally related to affairs affecting our future. I watched most intently and I must in justice say that there was no trace whatever of deception or trickery so far as I could judge. Whatever theory may be advanced to account for the phenomena witnessed, no candid person, after once seeing the table moving, can have the shadow of a doubt but that there is some agency at work that we are unacquainted with. With our hands scarcely touching the table it rose up, knocked out answers and gave good advice.
The second séance was by a medium where deception I should think was highly improbable. A little girl, Miss R., scarcely eight years old, who can only spell and write in large hand words of one syllable, held a pen in her hand, and the questions were put. The pen hold by the child ran along the paper, and on examining the result at each question a plain answer was found to have been written. The advice 'Love God' was one of the answers given; and a number of things were said but they were matters I think known to some one of the company. I thought that a kind of mesmeric influence was exercised in this case.
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