A NARRATIVE OF FIVE YEARS' PIONEERING AND EXPLORATION IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA
TO MY MOTHER
"An honest tale speeds best, being plainly told."
The following pages profess to be no more than a faithful narrative of
five years spent on the goldfields and in the far interior of Western
Australia. Any one looking for stirring adventures, hairbreadth escapes
from wild animals and men, will be disappointed. In the Australian Bush
the traveller has only Nature to war against - over him hangs always the
chance of death from thirst, and sometimes from the attacks of hostile
aboriginals; he has no spice of adventure, no record heads of rare game,
no exciting escapades with dangerous beasts, to spur him on; no beautiful
scenery, broad lakes, or winding rivers to make life pleasant for him.
The unbroken monotony of an arid, uninteresting country has to be faced.
Nature everywhere demands his toil. Unless he has within him impulses that
give him courage to go on, he will soon return; for he will find nothing
in his surroundings to act as an incentive to tempt him further.
I trust my readers will be able to glean a little knowledge of the
hardships and dangers that beset the paths of Australian pioneers, and
will learn something of the trials and difficulties encountered by a
prospector, recognising that he is often inspired by some higher feeling
than the mere "lust of gold."
Wherever possible, I have endeavoured to add interest to my own
experiences by recounting those of other travellers; and, by studying the
few books that touch upon such matters to explain any points in connection
with the aboriginals that from my own knowledge I am unable to do. I owe
several interesting details to the "Report on the Work of the Horn
Scientific Expedition to Central Australia," and to "Ethnological Studies
among the North-West Central Queensland Aboriginals," by Walter E. Roth.
For the identification of the few geological specimens brought in by me,
I am indebted to the Government Geologist of the Mines Department,
Perth, W.A., and to Mr. W. Botting Hemsley, through the courtesy of the
Director of the Royal Gardens, Kew, for the identification of the plants.
I also owe many thanks to my friend Mr. J. F. Cornish, who has taken so
much trouble in correcting the proofs of my MSS.
EARLY DAYS IN COOLGARDIE
CHAPTER I EARLY DAYS IN THE COLONY
CHAPTER II "HARD UP"
CHAPTER III A MINER ON BAYLEY'S
FIRST PROSPECTING EXPEDITION
CHAPTER I THE RUSH TO KURNALPI - WE REACH QUEEN VICTORIA SPRING
CHAPTER II IN UNKNOWN COUNTRY
CHAPTER III FROM MOUNT SHENTON TO MOUNT MARGARET
SECOND PROSPECTING EXPEDITION
CHAPTER I THE JOYS OF PORTABLE CONDENSERS
CHAPTER II GRANITE ROCKS, "NAMMA HOLES," AND "SOAKS"
CHAPTER III A FRESH START
CHAPTER IV A CAMEL FIGHT
CHAPTER V GOLD AT LAKE DARLOT
CHATTER VI ALONE IN THE BUSH
CHAPTER VII SALE OF MINE
CHAPTER I QUARTZ REEFING AND DRY-BLOWING
THE OUTWARD JOURNEY
CHAPTER I PREVIOUS EXPLORERS IN THE INTERIOR OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA
CHAPTER II MEMBERS AND EQUIPMENT OF EXPEDITION
CHAPTER III THE JOURNEY BEGINS
CHAPTER IV WE ENTER THE DESERT
CHAPTER V WATER AT LAST
CHAPTER VI WOODHOUSE LAGOON
CHAPTER VII THE GREAT UNDULATING DESERT OF GRAVEL
CHAPTER VIII A DESERT TRIBE
CHAPTER IX DR. LEICHARDT'S LOST EXPEDITION
CHAPTER X THE DESERT OF PARALLEL SAND-RIDGES
CHAPTER XI FROM FAMILY WELL TO HELENA SPRING
CHAPTER XII HELENA SPRING
CHAPTER XIII FROM HELENA SPRING TO THE SOUTHESK TABLELANDS.
CHAPTER XIV DEATH OF STANSMORE
CHAPTER XV WELLS EXPLORING EXPEDITION
CHAPTER XVI KIMBERLEY
CHAPTER XVII ABORIGINALS AT HALL'S CREEK
CHAPTER XVIII PREPARATIONS FOR THE RETURN JOURNEY
TO PART V SOME NATIVE WEAPONS AND CEREMONIAL IMPLEMENTS
THE JOURNEY HOME
CHAPTER I RETURN JOURNEY BEGINS
CHAPTER II STURT CREEK AND "GREGORY'S SALT SEA"
CHAPTER III OUR CAMP ON THE "SALT SEA"
CHAPTER IV DESERT ONCE MORE
CHAPTER V STANSMORE RANGE TO LAKE MACDONALD
CHAPTER VI LAKE MACDONALD TO THE DEEP ROCK-HOLES
CHAPTER VII THE LAST OF THE RIDGES OF DRIFT SAND
CHAPTER VIII WOODHOUSE LAGOON REVISITED
CHAPTER IX ACROSS LAKE WELLS TO LAKE DARLOT
CHAPTER X THE END OF THE EXPEDITION
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
(45 illustrations appeared in the original text, published in 1898.
They have not been reproduced in this etext.)
HON. D. W. CARNEGIE
JARRAH FOREST, WEST AUSTRALIA
GENERAL STORE AND POST-OFFICE, COOLGARDIE, 1892
THE FIRST HOTEL AT COOLGARDIE
THE "GOLD ESCORT"
GRASS TREES, NEAR PERTH
DEATH OF "TOMMY"
FRESH MEAT AT LAST
BAYLEY STREET, COOLGARDIE, 1894
CONDENSING WATER ON A SALT LAKE
FEVER-STRICKEN AND ALONE
TYPICAL SANDSTONE GORGE
CROSSING A SALT LAKE
ENTRANCE TO EMPRESS SPRING
AT WORK IN THE CAVE, EMPRESS SPRING
A BUCK AND HIS GINS IN CAMP AT FAMILY WELL
CRESTING A SAND-RIDGE
THE ONLY SPECIMEN OF DESERT ARCHITECTURE
THE MAD BUCK
A NATIVE HUNTING PARTY
PLAN OF SAND-RIDGES
EXAGGERATED SECTION OF THE SAND-RIDGES
CHARLES W. STANSMORE
NATIVE PREPARING FOR THE EMU DANCE
CLUBS AND THROWING-STICKS
GROUP OF EXPLORERS
JUST IN TIME
A WILD ESCORT OF NEARLY ONE HUNDRED MEN
ESTABLISHING FRIENDLY RELATIONS
THE TAIL-END OF A MISERABLE CARAVAN
A KARRI TIMBER TRAIN
A PEARL SHELL STATION, BROOME, N.W. AUSTRALIA
* * * * * * * * * *
PART I EARLY DAYS IN COOLGARDIE
EARLY DAYS IN THE COLONY
In the month of September, 1892, Lord Percy Douglas (now Lord Douglas of
Hawick) and I, found ourselves steaming into King George's Sound - that
magnificent harbour on the south-west coast of Western Australia - building
castles in the air, discussing our prospects, and making rapid and vast
imaginary fortunes in the gold-mines of that newly-discovered land of
Ophir. Coolgardie, a district then unnamed, had been discovered, and
Arthur Bayley, a persevering and lucky prospector, had returned to
civilised parts from the "bush," his packhorses loaded with golden
specimens from the famous mine which bears his name.