Narrative of the Overland Expedition of the Messrs. Jardine from Rockhampton to Cape York, Northern Queensland eBook

Francis Lascelles Jardine
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 195 pages of information about Narrative of the Overland Expedition of the Messrs. Jardine from Rockhampton to Cape York, Northern Queensland.
intervals, with instructions for their course, so that the party hitting the east and west line would be guided to the junction of the first one leading into the Settlement.  The east and west line, it has been seen they overran, the rapid tropical growth of the scrub having so far obliterated it as to make it difficult to notice, or find, even if sought for.  Yet through any depression that might naturally be induced by the delay, whatever his fears might have been for the success of the expedition, he felt none for the safety of his sons, well knowing and relying on their dauntless pluck, energy, and fitness for the work.  His parting injunction to them had been, that whatever might betide, ‘they should keep together’.  He knew that he would not be disobeyed, and felt firm in the faith that, should the party by misfortune be reduced to their own two selves, with only their tomahawks in their hands, they would make their way to him.  Thus, firmly reliant on the qualities of his boys, he waited with patience, and his faith was well rewarded.  On the morning of the 2nd of March, Mr. Jardine being employed in some matters about the house, during an “evendown” pour of rain, was disturbed by a loud shouting, and looking out saw a number of blacks running up to the place.  Imagining that the Settlement was about to receive another attack, (for the little community had already had to repulse more than one,) he seized his gun, always in readiness for an “alerte” and rushed out.  Instead, however, of the expected enemy, he had the pleasure of seeing his long-looked-for sons, surrounded and escorted by their sable guides.  For a long time previous, the natives who visited the Settlement had been made to understand that Mr. Jardine expected his sons with horses and cattle, and had been familiarized with their names, “Franco” “Alico” as also with others such as “Somerset,” “Cape York,” “Salamander,” and “Toby,” (Mr. Jardine’s well-known retreiver) the intention being that these should act as pass words when they met the party, a wise precaution, which, as it has been seen, probably prevented a collision.  Thus, on nearing the Settlement the blacks set up the shouts that had alarmed him, screaming out his name Joko, Franco, Alicko, and such was the eagerness of each to prove that he (smiting himself on the breast) was “Kotaiga” or friend, pointing at the same time to the Brothers, as a witness of their truth, that it was with some difficulty that the Father could reach his sons to greet and welcome them.  But for the horses they bestrode, even a father’s eye might have failed to distinguish them from the blacks by whom they were surrounded.  Six months of exposure to all weathers had tanned their skins, and so reduced their wardrobe, as to make their appearance primitive in the extreme, their heads being covered with a cap of emu feathers, and their feet cased in green hide mocassins.  The rest of their costume was ‘a l’ecossaise,’ their pantaloons
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Narrative of the Overland Expedition of the Messrs. Jardine from Rockhampton to Cape York, Northern Queensland from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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