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.