Lre. No. 6                        'Gold Diggings'
                                                   Forest Creek Victoria
                                           January 1853
                         I forget what day I commenced

My dr. Father and Mother,

We left Melbourne for these Diggings on Weds. Decr. 22nd.  our party consisting of 11  - A dray which is of very similar construction to an Eng. Tumball & both 2 horses took our luggage.  We walk d. getting out of Town about Mid day.  We commences our journey   for about 3 Miles the country was Woody, presents an appearance very like a park at Home, but more wild - after clearing this dist ce. [distance] the country was more clear for roads [?] farming [?] the trees are felled and rolled to the side to form the fences & We arrived at a little place named Flemington which consisted of a Gents house  - a public ho. [house]  - store or 2, & a few scrabby wood & [?] buildings  - the roads were what I would term in the { in the Old Country} very bad,which opinion I venture to express, the Carter looked at me in perfect astonishment & told me to exit till we made a few miles further.  Many men are employed mak g [making] roads  - felling trees clearing the ground at [?] per day, half a day - fellows carrying one of their gang who was dreadfully mutilated by one of the trees falling upon him  -  the accounts we heard about [?] were not very encouraging.  These fellows are almost always [?], and well armed, going in possies of 5 or 6    The country continued much the same, with little variety hills, holes bogs swamps [?],  We camped that night on the edge of Keillor Plains about 15 miles [?] in the direction [?] to cross.  We pitched our Tent on the edge of steep declinity of about 150 ft in depth which ran round [?] nearly forming a circle [words crossed out] a little creek ran round the base enclosing a little [?] plot of about 100 acres, on which was a pretty little homestead, the greater portion of this being cultivated  - our road to the right led thro' [through] a low valley rising to a steep hill on the other side  -  mountain in the distance  -  this view was one of the prettiest I have seen in The Colony, the low ground being very fertile  -  Our tent was soon pitched   -   the Wheel of the Dray formed one end fast to another [?] [small diagram], over this we stretched our tarpaulin - hanging up portion of our [?] tent at the end to rising on the other portion to lay upon  - on the edges of the tarpaulin we placed  pieces of rock[?]  -  stretched it round  -  accommodation for 5 or 6 in a few minutes  -  While some were pitching the tents other[s] were gone for water firewood etc  - a tremendous fire was soon blazing away  - tea & coffee was soon made & within ½ an hour of our coming to an anchor[?] We were taking our evening meal  - after which outcome the pipes & tobacco  - [?] round the fire for an hour or two afterwards talking[?] and listening to the tales of the old colonists  - it is very comfortable & pleasant -  We had some rain during the night [?] the most

Written across bottom edge :
my letters are written a small piece at a time  - a little now  -  & a little week after  - just what I can get a [?] generally getting [distribution?] every few [?] that you must not be surprised if you find much tautology[?] & many errors  -  as can hardly [?] from time to time adds I have [?]

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