Frontier and pioneer life in Australia, for young readers.
very close together, for we could easily see through them anybody coming on horseback. Joe and I used to play at counting the stars through the cracks in the roof.
The day after we arrived Dad took Mother and us out to see the paddock and the flat on the other side of the gully that he was going to clear for cultivation. There was no fence round the paddock, but he pointed out on a tree the surveyor's marks, showing the boundary of our ground. It must have been fine land, the way Dad talked about it! There was very valuable timber on it, too, so he said; and he showed us a place, among some rocks on a ridge, where he was sure gold would be found, but we were n't to say anything about it. Joe and I went back that evening and turned over every stone on the ridge, but we did n't find any gold.
No mistake, it was a real wilderness--nothing but trees, "goannas," dead timber, and bears; and the nearest house--Dwyer's--was three miles away. I often wonder how the women stood it the first few years; and I can remember how Mother, when she was alone, used to sit on a log, where the lane is now, and cry for hours. Lonely! It WAS lonely.
Dad soon talked about clearing a couple of acres and putting in corn--all of us did, in fact--till the work commenced.