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4-374 (Raw)

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addressee,male author,male,Twigg, James Hamilton,23
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Plaint Text :
Private Written
Private Correspondence
O'Farrell, 1984
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4-374-raw.txt — 2 KB

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My dear father, this is the first place I have got a show of sending mail since soon after leaving Princess Alix. Three of us started out from there with three big horses and a strong cart and about 5 months supply of flour etc. for the Earlstown Creek via Mount Margaret', Hawk's Nest and British Flag'. [94] Not finding any good country about the Earlstown we took the bush for it and got into the desert. We steered north-west and as we had no map we didn't know where we would hit out but after travelling for over 200 miles we have just struck Lake Way. We were lucky enough to get water and only did a perish twice and then only for the horses. We saw no blacks but could see their tracks fresh sometimes in the morning. We had a dog and she kept them off in the night as unless a nigger can make a dead certainty he won't tackle you. We had 3 revolvers, 2 rifles and a 12 bore shot gun. We found water by ranging out 5 or 6 miles from the line the dray took, one on each side and sent up smoke signals when we noticed signs of Blacks or found water, which latter were usually got on flat granite rocks and unless one tumbled right bang on top of it he might miss it. The sand was up the spokes half-way to the nave and as we always kept our 100 gallon tank full (half a ton) you can imagine that we had a job. 
We are at present on a small patch of alluvial and are making tucker. As for wages it is impossible to get work; the country is flooded with men out of employment. 
Do not write to me as I may be on my way to the Territory or Kimberley in a month. 
We have been the furthest east of any dray and I expect the police will be sent out to look for us from Princess Alix as only three months before we left a man I knew called Reison was killed by the niggers on the Earlstown Creek.... 
This country will be in a bad state shortly. The mines are going bung but you wouldn't hear about that as the papers make such a noise about the few good mines in Western Australia. Anyone in England would naturally think it was a grand place for the working man but it takes a very few men to work even a mine like the Boulder until they get down to 2,000 or 3,000 feet which won't be for 15 or 20 years at the present rate and there are thousands in the country who can't get out of it. 
I will drop you a line now and again from such points of civilisation as we may touch in our trave1s. There are about 500 niggers here always cadging tucker [...] When I see any prospects of our being anytime in once place I will write to the Alix for my mail, and if you people have acted up to my expectations I should get a good budget. 
There are lots of ducks, swans, and geese on the lake but without a canoe one stands no show of getting them. I've got a lot of native weapons but goodness knows if I'll ever be able to take them home.