previous
next

Ouranie

Ouranie, the Lindsay sheep station near the little town of Buda, borders an immense plain which, "sixty miles" to the n.e., turns into arid salt-bush country (64:12). This would locate it in the general region of Booleroo Centre (see map A), and it is possible that Martin had in mind one of the sheep stations in this area. The best known of these, Pekina, was about 274 kms n. of Adelaide, near present-day Orroroo, and had a permanent water source in Mucra Springs (cf. 41:32). There was a property known as Bouda Hut in the same area. An early explorer of this region reported that, on leaving the Narien ranges (which lie e. of Bouda Hut and the Pekina run), and steering "north-east across the immense plain", his party was "quite astonished at the extent of the plain which lay in our course. In a north-easterly direction not a hill was to be seen, and the level plain in the blue distance looked exactly like the sea".note The novel's "Buda" shares the fate of Yatina, near Pekina, which dwindled after being bypassed by the Quorn-Terowie section of the Great Northern Railway line (cf. 48:16): as the Jamestown Agriculturist and Review of 23 August 1881 reported, this had the effect of "completely damning any prosperity that might ultimately accrue to the town".note The possible identification of Ouranie and Buda with this area of SA is perhaps also supported by its regional landmarks, e.g. Mt Robert and Murraytown (recalling Ouranie's manager, Robert Murray), and by its early residents, the White brothers, cattle-station owners who, like the novel's Mr White of Noomoolloo, had been unfavourably known for their dealings with Aborigines.note What connection Catherine Martin might have had with this region is not known, but there may have been a link through her brothers' pastoral ventures.

previous
next