she had a hard pull up the range. The Sydney mail passed us at Spring Bluff, but we should have been ahead of her all the way to the border. we didn't stop at any of the important stations with being an express train we were hung up along the line to take water and pass other trains, and also have dinner at Nobby. The flies there were something awful, and it looked like as if rain hadn't fallen for many months. There were a few pubs there but we couldn't get over there to have a refresher, all on board hadn't had a strong drink for a month so God help the first pub I strike and the other boys the same.
we arrived at Ben Avis near Stanthorpe and had tea there which the residents provided for us. It was very welcomed by all. When we passed through Stanthorpe it was dark so we could not see much of the place. From Toowoomba until we arrived at the Border we got fruit and other eatables galore along the line and there were some pretty sights to be seen also.
In due time we arrived at W'Garra at 8 P.m, 4 hours late, and transhipped for Sydney. The second train left 5 minutes after we arrived there, and there was some noise with hurrahing then by the trains. The engines were squealing for all they were worth. We had some supper before we left there. I was hooked for a mess orderly but I didn't do much. I done a scale after I got my belly full. When the train left Spring Bluff it was decorated with green plants, limbs of tree etc. anyone could see that it was Xmas time, and that all was happy in the train. There were 500 men on the train and 15 coaches so the engine had her work cut out. There were flags of all descriptions hanging from the tra