Mr. Rankin accompanied me in my ride that afternoon, and we reached at a late hour the house of Charley Booth, distant about 25 miles from Bathurst. Some years had elapsed since I first passed a night at Charley’s hut or cattle station, then a resting-place for whoever might occasionally pass; and inhabited by grim-looking stockmen of whom Charley, as my friend called him, seemed one. Now the march of improvement had told wonderfully on the place. The hut was converted into a house, in which the curtained neatness and good arrangement were remarkable for such an out-station. Mr. Booth himself looked younger by some years, and we at length discovered the source of the increased comforts of his home in a wife whom he had wisely selected from among the recently arrived emigrants.
ROAD TO BUREE.
Here I at length took leave of my friend to pursue a long and dreary ride along the track which led to Buree. The wood consisted chiefly of those kinds of eucalyptus termed box and apple-tree, forming a very open kind of forest, the hollows being in general quite clear of trees. The farther I proceeded westward the more the country exhibited the withering effects of long drought.
The mountain mass of the Canobolas lay to the southward of my route; and on crossing the lofty range which here divides the counties of Bathurst and Wellington the summit was distant only four miles. The country in the neighbourhood of that mass consists of trap and limestone, and is upon the whole very favourable for sheep-farming. The region to the westward of the Canobolas is still unsurveyed, being beyond the limits of the county divisions.
ARRIVAL AT THE CAMP OF THE PARTY.
Before sunset I joined my men in the merry greene wood, and in my tent, which I found already pitched on the sweet-scented turf, I could at length indulge in exploratory schemes, free from all the cares of office.
Ascend the Canobolas.
Choose the direction of my route.
Ascend the hill north of Buree.
Encamp on the Mundadgery.
Cross a granitic range.
Cross Hervey’s range.
First view of the interior.
Parched state of the interior country.
The dogs kill a kangaroo.
Steep descent to the westward.
Search for water by moonlight.
Encamp without any.
Follow a valley downwards and find water.
Lifeless appearance of the valleys.
Luxury of possessing water after long privation.
Ascend Mount Juson with Mr. Cunningham.
Enter the valley of the Goobang.
Meet the natives.
Springs on the surface of the plains under Croker’s range.
Cross Goobang Creek.
The dogs kill three large kangaroos.
Wild honey brought by the natives.
Arrive at Tandogo.
Allan’s water of Oxley.