John H. W. Pettit letters to his family in England, illustrated with sketches by the writer, 1852-1868 - Page 127
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in the Bush about 2 miles dist: from Torraville Have several times been lost coming out at night from missing the track, and upon two occasions did not reach my destination until next day - spending the night amongst the scrubs - but from previous training & drilling, this is no great hardship, provided the night is fine = Am often on horse back - but the worst of that fun is the generality of horses have certain little weaknesses and peculiarities of their own, viz Bolting, Shying, Buck jumping etc etc. but of a [?] the Bucking is the worst - the brutes put their heads down make perfect arcs of their backs, then plunge, buck kick with most furious, frantic, violent manner - the devil himself could hardly expect to keep on and mighty few can, or will even try to ride these beauties - A mare of Mr Gibson's has twice bolted with me - and a few days since was capsized & spelt in the most ungraceful, unceremoniously manner while out on a young horse - it took fright and bolted - shied when amongst some trees bringing me with a crash against a leaning [?] clearing it himself but knocking me out of the saddle yds away - didn't know whether I was smashed or not at first & escaped with but a few bruises & scratches - the brute has since killed himself = but I was fortunate enough to be clear of that job = I have been a little chaffed for these exploits = but no thought but little of herd - this sort of fun is common.
You no doubt heard of the shine at Ballarat between the diggers and the Military, it was rather a serious affair = There is some talk of Sir C Northam's resigning and returning again to England = He has become rather unpopular of late = he promised too much at first - the [Crimean?] War is an all engrossing topic out here [?] little time since news was brought of the fall of Sebastapol which caused great excitement but it turned out [?] unfortunately = what a fearful loss of Officers has accompanied the engagements = this war really assumes a most serious aspect = Some of the accounts are fearful =
Suppose the work at Fakenham is drawing to completion hope it has answered your expectations =
Xmas etc this makes the third spent in this Country =
Must now draw to a conclusion - With Kindest love - to Dr M[?] [indecipherable] - to all at No. 13 - Kind Regards etc to all who remember