John H. W. Pettit letters to his family in England, illustrated with sketches by the writer, 1852-1868 - Page 257

You are here


Blue lines of Mountains.   All apparently jumbled together in the most hopeless confusion.   Some capped with snow others terminating in the clouds  -  My employment during a portion of the last few months has been to endeavor [endeavour] to trace the course of some of the Ridges to ascertain if they could be made available for a line of Road  -  To travel in a direct line across such country even on foot for any distance would I may say be impossible  -  any poor new Chum without any idea of the Bush, would be [?] lost and pretty sure never to get out  -   No doubt many a poor wretch has ended his life in that miserable way  -  if so far fortunate as to reach a stream  -  to trace it down would be more than he could do from the great natural obstacles opposing his progress.  he would be exhausted long before he could reach any signs of civilization even supposing any existed on such stream  -  A weak minded individual soon gets completely confused amongst interminable spurs & eventually go crazy  -  it is seldom they get far from the spot where lost, generally going round in circles (being under the impression all the time that they are keeping a straight course - I will never forget during the days of my early experience how disgusted I have been after walking hard for several hours in my own opinion
in the direction required and thinking Il must be very near my destination & suddenly recognize [recognise] some familiar mark and discover myself near where I started from  -  A new chum cannot help being struck with the great [?] and painful Hilliness of the Australian Bush generally.   No Birds warbling or other cheering sound -  In some of the huge deep nad [and] comparatively narrow gullies it is fearfully still [word crossed out] solemn and sombre yourself apparently the only living creature.
We have of late been regaled at night with music of any but a melodious character perpetrated by Native Dogs
 [Dingoes or Warraguls in Black fellows ling who howl singly and in concert most 'hideously' & discordantly - They never Bark - The wretches will sometimes [?] [silence?] about 100 yards or so distant and watch the camp and occasionally follow one on Horseback at night for miles regulating their movements by the horseman - The thoro [thorough] Dingo partakes some what of the nature of the Fox and Wolf - Cunning and Cowardly. They play old Gooseberry amongst sheep and unprotected spring [?] and in many parts poisoned baits (Strychnine) are hung up all about the Bush which settles a great many. They are easily overhauled by Horses and when done up will lie down when their [?] is generally but an end to by a Waddy or a heavy Stirrup -  Very tenacious life [?} you may hammer away

This page has its status set to Ready for review and is no longer transcribable.