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A  DIGGER'S DIARY.

IN OCCASIONAL CHAPTERS.

[This is really a pleasant narration from actual
experience. It is written by an old contributor to
these pages, and reaches us in portions as it is sent
from Australia.]

Monday, May 10th, 1852.—Met my old
school-fellow Isaac Waits, on Tower Hill, with a
very thick walking-stick in one hand, and an
iron screw-and-pincer looking thing in the
other. The smoke-coloured bowl of a Dutch
pipe was sticking out of the top of his breast-coat
pocket. Hadn't seen each other since
we left school. Usual remarkssome, rather
stupid on both sidesstill, really glad to see
each other. Looked hard at the iron
screw-and-pincer instrument. Waits told me he was a
clerk in a merchant's house. Thought he had
an odd, rough appearance for a clerk, but had
always been rather odd and dry in his ways.
Asked him several questions, to which he
returned abrupt and yet unsatisfactory answers.
All the time we were talking, his mind
seemed busy with something else.

"And so," said he, after staring awhile at
the door-post of a Jew slop-seller's, where a
pair of shiny black waterproof trousers were
swinging to and fro overhead, "and so, you're
apprenticed to a silversmith. How d'ye
like it?"

I said, "Oh, pretty well enough."

"What's silver an ounce?" said he, swinging
his great walking-stick, like a pendulum,
between a finger and thumb, with a careless
and indifferent air.

"About four and eightpence in pure rough
ore," said I, "and five and eightpence fine
silver. Apropos, what a thick walking-stick
you've got!"

"Yes," said he, "it's a camp stoolopens
into three legs at the bottom; but I don't see
the apropos."

Explained that I was just thinking what a
good stick it would be for a handsome
ferrule, and chased silver top. Asked him
what the heavy iron instrument was that he
had in his other hand?

"This," said he, holding it up with a convincing
look of great judgment, "this is worth
its weight in goldor will be. It's a
screw-wrench."

"And where the deuce," said I, "are you
going to work with this valuable screw?"

"Ah," said he, half winking one eye,
"that's tellings. And so silver's only five
or six shillings an ounce! Not worth
picking up."

A sudden thought flashed upon me. "You
are going to the Diggings!" said I.

"Of course I am," said he, relaxing his
hard features into a sort of commiserating
smile, "Of course I am! all the pluck of
London's going there, or will be, soon."

''All the dissatisfied pluck of London, you
mean," said I.

"Well," said he, "are you satisfied? I am
not. By the bye, what brings you up Tower
Hill among the marine Jews?"

Assured him that I had only strolled up
there to look for a chest that I could turn
into a pigeon-house for some almond tumblers
my aunt had promised me. Waits made a
shrug with his shoulders; said the best thing
I could do was to turn the tumblers into a
pie, fill the chest with shirts, and socks, and
things, and go with him to Australia. I
laughed at the joke; almost took my breath
away thoughit was so abrupt. Said this
was all stuffmy prospect as a silversmith
was too good to leave. Besides, there was a
great want of water in Australia, wasn't
there? and this would soon put a stop to the
gold riddling and sifting, wouldn't it? Port
Phillip was also such a long way off! Waits
wished me good day at this, saying over his
shoulder as he was  going, "That was the place
for a fellow of spirit and strength who had
some headpiece" I laughed at him.

Returned to business. Very unsettled all
the rest of the day. The articles in our cases
did not look so bright as usual, and had rather
a poorish white effect upon the eye.

May 11th.—Misdirected a chased silver
salver, of seventy-three and a half ounces, and
a dozen fiddle pattern forks, to Isaac Waits,
Park Place, Peckham, instead of Colonel
Thwaites, Park Lane, Piccadilly. Never found
out the mistake till Waits brought them to
rne privately in the evening. Waits said, with
provoking composure, that he saw my mind
was not in its usual state. Very glad, though,
to get back the plate so quietly. The
governor would have put on his spectacles to
ask me no end of questions, as to what I

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