Far Off eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 204 pages of information about Far Off.

But there is one great evil both in Sydney and in Adelaide, which is the dust blown from the desert, and which almost chokes the inhabitants.  If there were more rain in Australia, there would be less dust.

Australia is divided into three parts:—­

    I. New South Wales.  Capital, Sydney. 
    II.  Western Australia.  Capital, Perth. 
    III.  South Australia.  Capital, Adelaide.

   [13] The Australian mountains are about seven thousand feet high.

VAN DIEMAN’S LAND.

This island is as cool as Great Britain; yet it is not a pleasant land to live in; for it is filled with convicts.  There are no natives there now; they died away gradually, except a few, who were taken by the English to a small island near, called “Flinder’s Island.”  They were taken there that they might be safe; yet they never ceased to sigh, and to cry after their native land.

THE YOUNG SAVAGES.

Many travellers have tried to see the land in the midst of Australia, but hitherto they have not succeeded.  After going a little way, they have been obliged to return, and why?  Because they have found no water.

I will give you an account of the journey of Mr. Eyre.  This traveller wished to go into the midst of the land, but finding he could not, he travelled along the coast, at that part called the Great Bight (or the Great Bay).

He set out from Adelaide with a large party, but various accidents occurred by the way, and at last he found himself with only one Englishman, and three native boys.  The eldest was almost a man.  His name was Wylie, and he was a good-tempered, lively youth.  The second was named Neramberein.  I shall have nothing good to relate of him, but a great deal of evil; for he was indeed a very wicked boy.  The youngest was called Cootachah—­a boy who was easily induced to follow bad examples.

Mr. Eyre was the chief person in the party, and his English companion was Mr. Baxter.  Ten horses carried the packages, and six sheep were made to follow, that they might be killed one by one for food.

All these poor animals suffered terribly from want of water.  Sometimes they went a hundred miles without a refreshing draught.  The horses became so weak, that the travellers were unwilling to mount their backs; and as for the sheep, they could scarcely crawl along.

Many ways of getting water were tried.  One way was digging up the roots of trees.  A little,—­a very little,—­water may often be squeezed out of the end of a root; because the root is the mouth of the tree, and sucks up water from the ground.  Another way of getting water was by gathering up the dew in a sponge.  Enough dew to make a cup of tea might sometimes be obtained; but not enough for the poor beasts to have any.  When the travellers, by digging, could make a well, then they were glad indeed; for then the beasts could be refreshed as well as themselves.

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Far Off from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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