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a gracious southland nature. These happy
and hospitable people almost invariably
became their guides to new discoveries.
With eagerest enthusiasm, men and women
mounted their horses, and led the way to
distant rock, river, mountain, or morass,
where were to be found the peculiar productions
of the district. And, for many a long
year yet, will come back on their memories,
snatches of romantic country, bits of solitary
forest, the sounding shores of the ocean, the
scalp of the naked hill overlooking worlds of
woods, and illimitable sea, where the feathered
hat and flying veil led the way,—or some
bewitching face flushed like a rose at the
presentation of some glorious new thing; or the
manly form of the Tasmanian gentleman on
his sure-footed steed, pioneered the track
down the shelving declivity or across the
rushing stream.

But now their travel drew to a close, for
the year drew to a close. The myriad flowers
had disappeared, except the crimson epacris,
and a few other natives of sheltered glades;
and they were on their way homewards,
warned by rains, and winds, and sharp
nights.

The scene in which they found
themselves, was wild and remote from life.
They had made their way up profoundly
silent and spectral forests, along the banks
of the Mersey, rank with most luxuriant
vegetation, over steepest rocks, and through
the grimmest outlets of precipitous ravines,
and to the lofty table-lands of the Tier.

Their way was still through dreary forests,
in the glades of which already lay patches of
snow, where stringy bark-trees of such bulk
and altitude still met their view as even,
after all they had seen, awoke fresh astonishment.
They were in search, as the evening
came on wild and stormy, of a resting-place
which they had occupied on a former
occasion. It was a rude hut erected of
boughs and bark, probably by bushrangers
or convicts who had fled hither at some
time when government was keen in its
pursuit of them. It was raised against
the face of a rock in a little green glen
which bordered a mountain lake, whose
dark deep waters increased the awe-inspiring
gloom of the scene. Having reached it, they
turned out their tired horse, and proceeded to
kindle a fire in their hut. Fritz, the younger,
obtained a bright blaze of dead leaves and
twigs in the chimney, which dazzled their
eyes by its sudden lustre, and then fetched
the tears into them by filling the place with
smoke. But presently the flame bore the
damp air upwards in the chimney, and all
became clear; and the active Fritz was not
long in cultivating the fire into a generous
glow. Around the wretched tenement were
seats formed of posts driven into the ground
supporting a rude framework of branches.
These, covered with a mass of boughs and
leaves of the gum-tree, were to constitute the
beds of the travellers, as they had done those
of their unknown predecessors.

While Fritz was collecting this luxury,
the professor, his companion, forgetting
his learning and his early-won fame in
the scientific world, drew from their
baggage a small frying-pan, and a tin pan
bearing the familiar name of a billy, and
proceeded to slice a solid piece of ham into
the frying-pan. Anon, there commenced a
lusty frying and crackling over the fire.
Fritz brought in the billy full of water, and
set it to boil; and the place, with its two
cheerful faces, and a very savoury smell
floating through it, assumed a wondrously
home-like aspect. Fritz, humming some
favourite Studenten Lied, threw a handful
of tea into the billy as it began to boil, set,
on the nearest bed, tin pannikins and sugar,
and the two comrades sate down to tea.

The wind roared, as if it would carry
the struggling trees all away together.
Fritz declared it was dark even now, and
they mutually congratulated themselves on
having reached this shelter while it could
be seen. But hark! at the moment that
they were setting about to enjoy
themselves, the sound of a horse's hoofs on the
rocky ground caught their ear. At the same
instant came the thump of a heavy whip or
stick on the rude door, and a loud "Hillo!
there, within!" Fritz started up, and, as he
plucked open the hurdle, in stepped a tall
man, stooping, as was needful, from the
humility of the portal.

"What! Fritz? what, mein lieber Herr
Professor?" exclaimed a tall, gentlemanly
man, in dark green riding-coat and handsome
jack-boots, vehemently, shaking the
hands of the strangers. "Well, this is
a surprise; though one ought not to be
surprised to meet you in any savage spot. I
saw a light here, to my great wonder, and
determined to take refuge from the storm,
though it were with bushranger or devil.
Oh! what a nightdark as the lowest pit of
Erebus, and with a suffocating wind, that
sends the dead branches down about your
ears in most perilous style. Had it not been
for my faithful Jack, I must have given it
up; but he tumbled along, courageously,
over stock and stone."

"But what in the world," said the two
naturalists, "leads you here, Doctor, in such
a night? Sit down, and tell us all about
it, over a pannikin of tea."

"But, first, my horse! Jack," exclaimed
the doctor, who was the medical man from
a township, some twenty miles distant;
and, stepping out, he brought up his horse
to the light of the door, took off his saddle,
girthed his own rug round his smoking
body, and hung to his nose a little bag of oats
that he had carried with him. This done, the
three friends sat down, and commenced an
animated conversation which ran through the
recent adventures of the two friends and the

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