rained.  We should have been in a pretty pickle. The dew was very heavy & the night cold  -  There was an eclipse of the moon that night  - watching which afforded us amusement until we fell asleep & it was not long before we were all fast enough  -  our days work being a good sleeping draft  -  the distt.ce [distance] accomplished however was not more than abt. [about] 24 miles  -- the state the roads were in rendered it equal, to double distce [distance] in Eng. [England].  Had forgotten to mention 4 of our party left us at 'Hagans Gap' on our second [?] March in consequence of the slow rate we should only be obliged to travel at  -  walking ahead thinking to reach their destination some time before us  -
We were off again at Sunrise reaching the Commencement of the F.C dig. early in the forenoon using a hill shortly after - a most envious picturesque scene opened to our [?] - as far as the eye could reach every gully [?] hills and the valley through which road laid being dug full of holes in all directions.  Thousands of tents, all sizes and shapes -  immense numbers of all kinds of [primitive?]machines for [?] & hoisting of the soil - patches of trees were [words crossed out] standing throughout the scene  -  Hills in the dist.ce [distance] were covered with them  -  the mountains filled up the background  - Our road laid thro' [through] all this up hill down  - the inhabitants of this singular place, were a rough strange looking lot the greater portion with long beards[?]  - after going a few miles through this   We reached our Company's tent and future home  -  as we passed along, all were busily engaged some digging, some picking, carting, and whenever we sighted the creek or water, there were men, washing for gold  -
The Company were all out to work except 2.   The tent keeper K.S. Sexton who by the time we had a one loaded [?] the rest came home to dinner, they were all well  - We went round in the afternoon to see what was going forward in our neighbourhood  -  after which Robt. Myself and one of the others took down the small tent, fixed up the larger one, placing the smaller one inside  - which we have filled up with rough berths to sleep upon which is infinitely more comfortable than lying on the ground, not so dusty - for many [?] moon - previous to this arrangement here got up [word crossed out]  with one side of my face covered with dust, from rolling my head into a little heap during the night  - we [?] so for beds they are almost out of the question, one or two of manage to exhibit an apology for one  -  Mine consists of a piece of dried bark of a tree (about 14 ins wide) which is very tough & about as hard as [?] laid on a couple of poles arranged horizontally  -  all [?] to the shape of bedclothes as a blanket,[ indecipherable] with a bag for a pillow  -  as night covering had required a habit of always slipping off into the dust & leaving me uncovered  -  I sewed one side of my blanket together so as to form a large bag  - this I lay on the bark working my way into it spread.g [spreading] the Covers[?] over me  - The nights are sometimes very cold but I am getting used to it.  I often think too people at home would think  [indecipherable] here  -  I really believe you would not give me old crown for all the clothes I know not at this time while at my [?] a pair of ragged canvas trousers, my old straw hat, is almost falling to pieces - a pair of old boots cracked and burst every way  - I was [?] them when at home { stockings flannel & a dirty blue short jacket, coat, waist coat neck tie - everything of this kind are quite out of question  I need [?} anything of the sort & trousers are kept up with a belt or a piece of string { but anything is good

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