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4-223 (Text)

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author,male,Maxwell, John,29 addressee,family
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Plaint Text :
Private Written
Private Correspondence
O'Farrell, 1984
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4-223-plain.txt — 5 KB

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Perhaps the remarks which I may make, may not be as smooth to your mind as the ought to be but you will excuse me for my rude way of addressing all of you, knowing that all my surroundings are in their wild - or almost so - primieval state it is natural that I would borrow a little of their wild roughness  
David and his wife did not come here for I have no accommodation for married people. The house I am living in is all in one room and has to serve the threefold places of kitchen dining room and bedroom. Had I enough money I could put a partition and make a pretty comfortable little place out of it but as I am very scarce of that much desired commodity, cannot afford to do it now. 
In truth since James started storekeeping we have had a hard struggle to get ends to meet. If we had had about another £100 it would been different but James withdrew his help when we had almost reached a position which a little more would have made the place keep itself. You know 345 acres of country fenced and covered with a good coat of grass will not make you any money without you can buy stock to grow, increase, and fatten. We are just like a cart without a horse. 
Had David been a single man we could have found tucker for him till he got a job or had I had a proper house the both could have come here provided she was not too heavy footed. In that case it would have been great folly for the nearest doctor is 40 miles away which would have to be traversed by coach or horse back and a visit of a doctor would cost £10. Of course you have no idea of what back bush life is in Australia, therefore thought they would be all right if they were here. 
Always when you think of Yambulla, fancy you are in the midst of a big forest, thousands of square miles in extent with the trees growing as thick as they are in Portavoe and that you are looking down from the top of a very big hill, very steep on the side you are looking down, that you see a creek (a burn) flowing in towards the big hill and when it runs right up against it, it bends round at right angles to your left and flows about half a mile then joins the waters of the Tambo. In front of you is another nice hill which slopes gradually back for about half of a mile; about a hundred yards up this sloping hill from the creek, imagine you see a very little house with walls built of small trees laid parallel with one door one small window about the size of the window above the slop trough, looking out on your back grounds. This little house has an iron roof. Not far from this little house imagine you see a shed about 20 feet and 15 feet wide built of bark. When you do this you will form a better idea of how new selecters are housed in Australia. 
Although I live in this humble way I have no reason for complaint for we have got on very well in the time, this being the most improved block of land in the district. It can boast of what no other can about here, a garden. But you all have had enough about this place so we will speak of something else. Well I must say that it is now you will perhaps deem me a little bold in my remarks. Those remarks bear reference to your action with David (perhaps I should say father's action but I now speak to all of you). In the first place for your own sakes it was unwise.  Remember I quite agree with you that David did what was not much to his credit, but it was an unwise thing for father to send away his last son. It was like taking the last prop from the family. You must undoubtedly fall for what is to prevent you. Father is an old man and who will take his place and attend to the management of the farm when he is no longer blessed with strength and energy. I say it was absolute madness. Do you girls imagine for one moment that you are capable of managing the farm? If you are it will be one of the exceptions for I never saw a well managed farm that was managed by a woman. I do not mean to cast discredit on women but when a woman is out of doors she is like a fish out of water. Another thing father did very wrong by sending David to Australia without giving him what he has worked for. It is height of injustice to expect a man to work the best days of his life in drudgery and when he commits an error to kick him off to Australia with only his passage money. The law may justify you but the law of justice will not. And another thing is you had no right to throw your refuse on our door. We have a little self respect as well as you and you must not think that our acquaintances in Australia do not know as much about it as we do ourselves. By sending them here you did not hide your disgrace one bit and you have threw it on us more than otherwise it would have done. If instead of rushing at things headlong and after you had made up your minds to send him to Australia  you had first asked for advice, you could have kept David on the farm for a bit and if you found you could not endure his wife you might have made arrangements with him about the working of the farm. I am very sorry for all parties concerned. I will draw this disagreeable letter to a close with the sincere hope that none of you will suffer from your imprudence and that you may enjoy better health