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that would give liberty in the colony, in seven
years, and when I saw so many who had been
prisoners riding about in their carriages, or
driving teams of their own, as good as the
'Squire's. Indeed, those that had good masters
got on very well, but it was commonly thought
that Major Z——never parted with a good
man if he could help it. He was sure to
make up some charge and get him flogged,
so as to put off the time for his getting a
ticket of leave.

' I had driven oxen at home and soon got
into the ways of the colony, when, one day,
the master came down to see a new piece of
land I had been breaking up near a house he
was building, and was so pleased that he
began to talk quite kindly, although every
second word was an oath, and asked me all
about myself. Well, I told him, and made
bold to say that, as he was going to build a
large dairy, if he would send for my wife
and child we would serve him for any wages
he choose, all the days of our lives. He
turned on me like a tiger, he cursed me, he
told me he wanted no women or brats on his
estate, no canting saints, no parsons, all he
wanted was men that could work, and work
they should. "If, you fool," he said, "you had
asked for a gallon of rum among the gang
you might have had it, and drowned all your
troubles, but I 'll have no women here, wives
or no wives."

'I think at that moment Satan took possession
of me. I was ready to do anything for
my liberty, or to be free from my tyrant, and
there were tempters enough all round me.
A few days afterwards one of my fellow
servants, an old hand, who had heard the last
part of my master's speech, came to me in
the evening, and, after telling me that he
supposed I had found out that nothing was
to be got by fair means, that my master was
a rogue, in fact that every one was a rogue
who was not a fool, he began to hint that he
could tell me a way to get my wife out and
my liberty too. I swallowed the bait, I
listened; then he went on to show how with
money anything could be done in the colony,
told me instances of tickets and conditional
pardons, besides escapes managed by bribing,
and then, when I was thoroughly poisoned,
he swore me to secrecy and explained how,
out of a thousand bullocks, a few pair
would never be missed; so that all I had to
do when I took a bullock team to Sydney
was to yoke an extra pair of young bullocks,
making ten or twelve pair, instead of eight
or tena butcher, near where the drays
generally stood, was all ready prepared to take and
pay for, as many pair of bullocks as I chose
to drive in. They were worth from £10 to £12
each, and I was to have £6 for every pair.

'I refused point blank.' "Well," he said, "I
rely on your honour not to peach." He knew
he had caught me. My master took an early
opportunity of having me flogged on a charge
of insolence; the magistrates were two friends
who had been dining with him. My tempter
came to me again, and, on the next opportunity,
I drove in the bullocks and became a
thief. Having begun I could not stop; my
tempter became my tyrant; to drown care I
began to drink and to associate with the old
hands, and then the money, for which I had
resigned body and soul, melted away. What
I saved up I knew not what to do with, and
so I went on getting worse and worse, until
one day, just as I was driving a pair of young
heifers into the butcher's yard, I was arrested,
tried, and convicted on the evidence of my
fellow-servant, who, having been found out in
another robbery, saved himself by turning on
me. I was sentenced to three years hard
labour in an iron gang on the Blue mountains.
What I sutfered in those three years no
tongue can tell. I was coupled with a wretch
who had been a thief from his childhood, a
burglar, and a murderer, but there was one
man, a political prisoner sentenced to the iron
gang for striking his overseer, who saved me,
and spoke words of comfort to me; my term
was shortened a year for rescuing a gentleman
from a bush ranger, and Major Z——- having
left the colony, I was assigned to my present
master. In another year I shall have my
ticket, but what I shall do heaven only knows.
I have had one letter from my wife; she
was living as dairy-maid with one of the Miss
Caltons, who had married a country gentleman;
they were very good to her, and I think
her letter, full of good words, helped to save
me from total ruin. But you, sir, are almost the
only gentleman that has spoken a kind word
to me in the Colony. We live like beasts of
the field, working and well-fed, but nothing
more. On many stations the prisoners don't
even know when Sunday comes round, and
we die like dogs.'

Here he paused: and I felt so much affected
by his melancholy story, that I could not at
the time answer him, or offer any words of
comfort.                * * * *

In my various wanderings I lost sight of
Carden for two or three years; but one day
as I was going down to Sydney with a mob
of horses of my own for sale, at a roadside
inn I met Jem Carden, at the head of a
party of splitters and fencers doing some
extensive work in the neighbourhood on a
new station; he was looking thin, haggard,
nervous, and was evidently ashamed to meet
me. In fact he was only just recovering from
a drunken spree; I taxed him with his folly;
he owned it, and showed me the cause. He
could earn with ease at piece-work, from £5
to £8 a week, building stations and stockyards.
Twice he had saved, and paid into
the hands of apparently respectable parties,
£40, to remit for the passage of his wife and
daughter. The first time the dashing Mr.W—
was insolvent two days after receiving the
money. In the second instance he was kept
nine months in suspense, and then learned
from England by letter and in the Sydney list