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4-037 (Text)

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author,male,Curr, Edward Micklethwaite,63 addressee
Narrative Discourse
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Plaint Text :
Public Written
Clark, 1977
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4-037-plain.txt — 2 KB

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In the meantime I had learnt from the stockman at Wyuna, the station at which I had found my bullocks, which was also the outside station in that direction, that there was abundance of excellent unoccupied country close at hand, which, with the consent of his master, he volunteered to show me.  This was quite a godsend to me, and of course I accepted his offer, and, the day after my new overseer left with the bullocks, rode over Tongala Plain in his company; and, as it appeared to me well adapted for stock, I made up my mind to abandon Wolfscrag, and take it up as a run with the least delay possible. To do this there were, in those days, no hindrances of any sort, the custom being to drive one's stock on to any unoccupied country, and then apply to the Commissioner of Crown Lands for a license to depasture, the application being granted as a matter of course. The extent of land licensed by the Commissioner was proportioned, in a rough way, to the quantity of stock owned by the applicant; this permission to occupy country being renewable yearly, until the ground should be required by Government for other purposes, on the annual payment of £10 into the Treasury. Besides this fee for a license, which, except in the vicinity of Melbourne, everyone thought would last for a generation or two, there was also a small capitation tax payable yearly on the sheep. The extent of country which I applied for, when I got back to Wolfscrag, was fifty square miles, half of it on each bank of the River Goulburn.
Having determined to remove my flocks from Wolfscrag to Tongala, as I called my new run, I started with the stockman (to whom I gave £5 for his trouble) direct for the former run through the bush, by the places now known as Bundari, Coragorag, Colbinabbin, and Redcastle. By this time, as is usual with a little practise, I had become a tolerable bushman for a new chum, and the distance saved by the route I took going home, across entirely unexplored country, was about fifty miles, the distance through the bush from Tongala to Wolfscrag being about eighty miles.
Hence the reader will see that the most fortunate thing which befell me at that time was the loss of my bullocks, as it was the means of making me a bushman, and of my getting an excellent run; so right glad was I to leave the barren scrubs of Wolfscrag and its wretched creek for the well-grassed plains of Tongala and the ever-flowing Goulburn. The occasion was one of unmixed satisfaction; and the country between the two places being unoccupied, I took it for granted that the "Scab Act" offered no obstacle to the removal of my flocks in the proposed direction.