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For six weeks I led this life, which would
have tried Robinson Crusoe; confined to my
hut, except when I was obliged to go out to
purchase necessaries, counting the flight of
time by the course of the sun by day, and of
the moon by night. I dared not leave to go
down to Melbourne, as my wounds required
incessant care, and water was not always to
be had upon the journey. I dreaded mortification,
but at last the wounds closed. I
resumed the spade, but found my hand
unable to sustain the shock of digging. I then
determined to quit Bendigo. Disposing of all
my tools for half the amount they cost me, I
packed up my knapsack, sewed my money
under my arms, filled my havresack with
bread and meat, and so bade farewell to the
golden soil.

It was most necessary that no time should
be lost on the journey, as if I had any relapse
upon the road I should be worse off than
ever. I was of course very much weakened
and reduced. My face, which, two months
before, had become copper-coloured from the
exposure to the sun and air, was almost
white. Loaded with the impediments
essential to bush travel, I started on Tuesday
at noon, and camped outside Melbourne on
Friday night, having walked in three days
and a half one hundred and thirty miles, of
which the greatest part lay through hilly
and forest country. I completely wore down
both my shoes and stockings to the ground.
Several times I was obliged to stop, when I
found a stream, and wash my feet, which
were very painful, and became encased with
dirt and blood. A pair of socks, that I
bought at a store in the way, were cut to
pieces by the end of the day because my
shoes afforded them no shelter. At one
time during my journey I had to rub on for
twenty-four hours without tasting food. I
had taken the wrong track in the Black
Forest, and so missed the bush inn where I
had hoped to replenish; and having finished
my last biscuit on Thursday morning, it was
not until two o'clock on Friday that I ate
anything more.

After getting into Melbourne, I spent
nearly a whole day in hunting through the
town to get a lodging. What I at last did get
was a room containing nothing but a bare
mattrass, a cane chair, and an empty box for
table. For the use of all this, and food, I
was to pay two pounds a-week. Money would
scarcely purchase vegetables or fruit, of which
I was in great need. My landlady sent all
over the town to get me a cabbage for my
dinner, but not one could be procured for any
price. The governors of the hospital at that
time were indeed advertising for some one to
contribute a few cabbages for the poor
patients. The diggers' diet prevailed very
much, perforce, in Melbourne: mutton,
damper and tea. The miserable accommodation
I have just described was in a few
days taken from me, the owner wanting
the room for himself; so I then camped in
Canvas town until I finally returned to


All travellers who have journeyed from
Zemlitza on the Danube to Bucharest, agree
in painting the country they are obliged to
traverse in the most sombre colours. Once
out of sight of the lines of trees that border
the Danube, you enter upon an interminable
dismal plane, with a level horizon that
surrounds you like a circle, of which you are
ever the centre. There are no objects behind,
to mark your progress by their gradual
disappearance; there is nothing ahead, to
encourage you on; no mountains of blue
rising higher and higher, becoming substantial
as you advance, breaking up their long line
into peaks and valleys bristling with crags or
clothed in forest. If you would know that
you are in motion, you must look upon the
ground beneath your feet and see the pebbles
and plants pass slowly backwards as your
waggon moves sleepily on, or whirl dimly by
as the karoutchor pursues its mad career. In
winter time, an additional dreariness is given
to this desert by the absence of the sun, which
is hidden from view by one vast cloud
stretching from horizon to horizon, low down, so
as almost to resemble a mist just risen from
the earth. Here and there, a few slight
elevations, a foot or two high, indicate the
presence of an underground village. At
various distances, tall poles rise into the
air, marking the positions of wells, around
which the sky is speckled by flights of
crows and vultures. Now and then you
meet parties of peasants clothed in sheepskin,
and wearing prodigious moustachios,
wandering across the level. At night the only
sound is the wind whistling through the low
bushes, occasionally bringing to the ear the
reports of a volley of musketry fired by some
party of travellers who amuse themselves in
this martial way.

It is not uncommon in crossing these sad
plains to come upon groups of wild-looking
individuals, black as Ethiopians, scantily
covered by old rags, stepping jauntily out,
waving their arms, nodding their heads,
rattling fragments of songs, and clattering
together as they go the blacksmith's tools
which they bear upon their backs. Further
on, perhaps, when night has fallen, an hour
or two after these odd-looking people have
gone ahead of your waggon (they take two
strides for one of your oxen) the ground
ahead will probably become spangled as with
glow-worms; and presently a sort of whirlwind
of strange sounds, half song, half shout,
will be borne by the night breeze, to mingle
with the buzz of your own caravan, and the
creaking of the wheels. You have come upon
a village, an encampment, a burrow of gipsy
troglodytes (dwellers in caves), who are either

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