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Introduction

Australia, that unique continent with its queer monotremes and marsupials, has been colonized by two races at eras infinitely remote one from the other. The first comers were black men, who, in some instances, show a close resemblance to that prehistoric type known as the Neanderthal. Though the skull is so ape-like, yet philologists attest that in brain capacity it is little below that of the average European. The Australian aborigines are held to be of Asiatic (pre-Dravidian) origin. But from what centre they came, what ancient race dispersal led to their migration, and in what kind of craft they faced the formidable barriers that separated the old home from the new, no one can say. But they arrived, and their dogs with them. Whether, in the absence of pressure from other intruders, they stagnated below their earlier condition, whether they advanced in some respects, and retrograded in others, are questions wrapped in the mystery that shrouds so much of our wonderful world.

The next migration to the continent was of a more dubious kind. A Volkerwanderung, even of the most primitive sort, is part of the trend of human history. But in the convict settlement of New South Wales we have the spectacle of a


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people disposing of a deplorably unfortunate section of their citizens, under conditions that were morally hopeless. “In point of expense, no cheaper mode of disposing of the convicts could be found,” was the consideration that weighed with Pitt in deciding on a Penal settlement at the Antipodes. This detachment from ethical responsibility for masses of the nation broken on the wheel of adversity is exemplified also in the utterance of another great statesman of the epoch. “The bulk of people must labour to gain what by labour can be obtained,” wrote Edmund Burke, “and when they find success disproportioned to endeavour, they must be taught their consolation in the final proportions of eternal justice.” There is a queer fascination in speculating how far consolations postponed to eternity would have sustained the eminent writer, if the pinch of his own life had reached the pangs of hunger. In the cause of liberty Burke held that Britain was the tutelary angel of the human race. It would seem that one of the gifts of the tutelary angel was the liberty to starve. Such an attitude on the part of those in power may have been an element in making the British people pre-eminent as colonizers.

After New South Wales was transformed into a Colony, free settlers came to Australia in ever increasing numbers. The site of Melbourne was first occupied in 1835. In the Public Library of that city there is a document in which aboriginal


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chiefs—so-called—make over to John Bateman in return for blankets, food, beads, etc., about half a million acres of land. Nothing in opéra bouffe can be richer in comedy than this treaty, with weird hieroglyphics standing for the signature of Jagajaga, Coloolock and Bubgarie, neither side to the bargain understanding a word the other spoke. A year later South Australia was proclaimed a British Colony under the Wakefield system. Not even the customary strings of beads seem to have changed hands on this occasion. A young Australian artist once drew a suggestive sketch of the scene. The new arrivals were gathered under the shade of a gum-tree, taking formal possession of the land. At a distance from them, some aborigines were huddled behind a ridge of sand near the sea-shore, where one of the Old Men of the tribe was supposed to make a short speech, that was transcribed on the margin of the sketch. “My inside is turned into water. They look as if they had come to stay. This country belongs to us. Here we have the right to walk about, to fish and to hunt; to say when the grass should be burned, and when the animals and the birds of the air should be killed. What will they give us, if they take all this?” Poor old man! He and his were gradually to learn that “all this” was taken over by the newcomers, in the spirit of the Highlander who, when charged with taking a cow not his own, maintained


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that he did not steal the animal but took her in the sight of all men as his own.

Queensland, the most extensive, and in some respects the most richly endowed of the States, came into independent existence in 1859.

As the new arrivals gradually took possession of the coastal region the old inhabitants died off or retreated further inland. Their chief memorials are now found in the Museums of the cities, that have grown to surprising dimensions in a comparatively short period. But the time has gone by for Australians to exult in this. The growth is too reminiscent of the lion-cub that was the pride of the household until it became the terror of the inmates. It may seem strange that such increase in size and importance does so little, even in the largest cities, to stamp out the provincial spirit. Australia, however, is not only removed from contact with the old-world beyond all former precedent, but the elements inseparable from such remoteness are reinforced by the magnitude and singular geography of the continent. Thus each centre has a subtly woven tendency to be its own prime universe, immersed up to the ears in its own affairs. The inevitable prominence of material concerns in a new land make them more absorbingly one-sided. Things of world-wide interest—art, literature, abstract thought—have but a hunted and precarious existence. Men compromised by such matters acquire the reserve of devotees, whose


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faith is a sort of treason against the great Gospel of “getting on.” The more ideal pursuits are in the main regarded as exotics, to be treated like the mermaid found on the sea-shore by a Dutchman, who took her home, scraped the sea-weed from her skin, dressed her as a woman of Holland, and set her to spin and to bake bread. Even in the affairs of the market-place, there is often a narrower and more embittered spirit than elsewhere. Workers regard the Capitalist as a greedy and crafty parasite, that should be in some way eliminated from the social system. The Capitalist, on his side, looks on the Labour Party as a sort of heathen fortress, stuck all round with the Christian heads of employers, who have been slain to make a Paradise for working men. But this is too much like embarking on a “dim and perilous way.” It is better to get out into the country, and go Outback in a leisurely fashion.

Some of the older agricultural districts, with wide wheat fields, varied by vineyards, by orchards and gardens, in their season swathed with mists of delicate blossoms, full of the hum of bees — flocks and herds feeding here and there, have all the charm of scenes immortalized in the idylls of the old world. But the invariable background of trees gives a stamp of its own to the Australian landscape. The woods, too, largely composed of eucalypti, have a more sombre tone than in other lands. The eucalyptus has been


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acclimatized in so many countries that it now holds its own as a citizen of the world. Yet it is surprising how many remain ignorant of its claims to supreme distinction.

In waterless country it is more like a spectre brooding on life than a living member of the vegetable kingdom. Indeed, in all places habitually dry, the spare form, the meagre foliage, the dull colouring—something in its outlines, as of concentrated detachment from a glancing gaiety — mark the tree as a creature that has kept hold on existence through harrowing destitution. But close to water unvisited by drought, it rivals an English oak in the density of its gracious shade. For one of the most distinctive traits of the tree is its almost human responsiveness to any change of environment. In this it gives support to the belief that plants may be endowed with an instinct akin to consciousness. Each different contact produces some alteration of form, some divergence in the leaves, in the oil-dots, in the colour and veining; some diversity in the arrangement of the unique cup-formed blossom-buds, with closely fitting lids, whose appeal to the French naturalist's imagination led to the beautifully descriptive Greek name. This Protean quality has made the Eucalyptus the despair of classifiers, but to the mere laity such endless variations have a great fascination.

The blossoms of the myrtle order, with a delicious


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fragrance, as of mingled syringa and wild honey, have more sameness of outline, but great fertility in shades of colour, from waxen white to deep cream, from faint pink to fiery flame. These gradations do not occur in the same soil, nor do the various kinds of the tree blossom in the same season. There is probably not a month in the year in which some may not be found somewhere in bloom. The blindness of the early comers to the attractions and qualities of the eucalypti, which most of them lumped together as “the queer things called gum-trees,” was part of the nostalgia of people who still longed for the old country. Eyes accustomed to the strong—almost metallic—verdure of Northern lands, to the picturesquely rent, cleft, furrowed and scalloped leaves of deciduous trees, could not do justice to the smooth narrow leaf, evasive in its hues of grey-green and grey-blue, ranging in shape from the faint crescent of a moon one night old to the round curve of a reaping hook. A leaf exquisite in its grave simplicity as a lotus bud on the shrine of Gotama. It is as if all the contrasts in the life of European and Australian trees were gathered up in their leaves. Those that slip from their buds in Spring to fall in discoloured clouds in Autumn can well afford to indulge in fantastically ornate edges. But how far other it is with those that often have to face rainless years, to live through droughts that suck the life out of the earth, till it is barren as


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the sea-shore, bleached and sinister-looking as if overtaken by the fulfilment of the dark prophecy: “on tree and herb shall a blight descend, and the land shall become a desert.” But through it all the Eucalyptus lives on and on, until once more the rains pour down. Is this capacity of braving the prolonged fury of sunshine, which draws the sap out of every other growth, knit up with the unrivalled properties that make the eucalyptus a tree for the healing of the nations? Not only the oil so mysteriously secreted, but the leaves in their raw state, and the gum or kino, have great medicinal qualities. In fact, many of those best qualified to judge affirm that the hygienic value of the tree is still but partially understood.

Features of great interest in the earlier stages of the journey Outback, are the country towns. With their municipalities, churches, schools and libraries; their annual shows of stock, grain, flowers and vegetables, etc., revealing from season to season the capacities of adjacent districts; their well conducted newspapers, full of local colour, yet with surprisingly comprehensive epitomes of world news, they form communities that are largely self-governing, and afford many avenues of decent competence. They often have naive survivals of village life, such as an inexhaustible interest in the lives and doings of neighbours, chiefly because they belong to the same Parish. There is too, in some of them, a complete suspension of the mistrust and the intermittent


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growls that too often mark the intercourse of diverse Sects. If this goodwill among the various denominations could be carried to a basis of union, that would abolish futile divisions, much might be effected for the more isolated regions that now remains undone. An Anglican Bishop, speaking of his Diocese some years ago, said that even in townships of very moderate size, he found five separate houses of prayer, where five very scanty congregations were ministered to, by five underpaid ministers, who rode on five underfed horses, to preach what is substantially the same Gospel.

It may be urged that places of worship so much sterilized by offering bundles of words smeared with honey, in place of the bread of life, are hardly of value enough to make their absence a matter of great importance. But this view is discredited when face to face with far inland Bush townships, whose social relaxations centre in a squalid little public-house, and occasional horse-races, without a single outward witness for man's inner life or better aspirations, save a poor little shack of a school, in which no religious teaching is given. It is surmised that within the limits of man's terrestrial career, we must anticipate changes of belief as fundamental as those that at present separate us from primitive man. But those who crave for the impulse of spiritual life, often look back rather than forward. Though “gross and obscure mists” have spoiled so much in the past, yet the heart


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turns to the records of early simple worship, with the longing of a child for a lost home. To the informal meeting together for prayer, the simple address that, that at times breathed the love of God into whole assemblies, the breaking of bread that symbolized the sacredness of human fellowship…Despite all—something of these survive in modern churches. They still cherish ideals of faith and love and hope, to rouse the soul from the torpor of material aims, to bring some release from the common routine of common life. Nowhere in the world are such influences more sorely needed than in lonely little settlements Outback. It has been an unfulfilled dream to found Centres in such places that would combine worship, hospitals and libraries. Something has been done, and though not on these lines, yet it is a hopeful beginning.

In leaving the more settled districts, two great wants are increasingly revealed; the sparseness of population and the lack of means for conserving the rainfall. Though good seasons sometimes come in succession, cradling men in the hope that the hard times have gone for good and all, yet the spectre of drought never really goes away. It has been, and is, the family ghost of innumerable Australian homes. Not until wide-spread and combined action is taken, can the periodical calamities of drought be mitigated, if not overcome. There is alluring hope in the fact that when droughts break up, it is as a rule in a way that seems a literal


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fulfilment of the old promise: “Prove me now herewith…if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” The rivers are flooded, creeks overflow, tanks, dams and reservoirs pour over, native wells are submerged, swamps become lakes, lakes like inland seas; waters not marked on any map, make for a time an appearance of imposing dimensions. Thus from time to time oceans run to waste of the country's most coveted wealth. Much has already been done to serve as an inspiration for future action. Western Australia in a notable instance leads the way. The Mundaring reservoir is capable of holding four thousand million gallons of water. From this is pumped daily, through a steel conduit, five million gallons to the two gold-fields of Kalgoorlie and Coolgardie, also to places en route. Anyone who has stood at Mundaring, and watched the sheet of surplus water pure and clear, flowing over into the Helena Vale river, carries away an enduring memory of the marvellous feats skill and labour can achieve, in collecting and distributing water to support life, and a great industry in the heart of a desert rich only in gold. But in dealing with the country at large, the conservation of water is one of the many problems that can be solved only with a greatly increased population.

Many elements have conspired to keep back the more rapid peopling of Australia. Chief among


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these is the determined drift city-wards. It is as if the old pioneering instinct of our race had suffered a serious decline. This is possibly an outcome of the industrial era; the multiplication of machinery in all directions inducing a diminution of will power. The automatic quickening of exterior life, tending to restlessness, and the more sensational life of crowds, making country work distasteful, and solitude all but unbearable. It is as if the price paid for the monotonous cunning swiftness of the machine was in part a deadening of the worker's interest and initiative; as if with the ever-growing subjection of the senses to artificial appeals, active intelligence is gradually being bred out of the mass-mind.

But as was said by one of old, it would be a great toil to discuss all particulars—more especially those that are obscured by so many cross currents. Suffice it to say that though a feeling of anxiety has been for some time latent in Australia, because of the ever increasing additions to the parasitic city populations, combined with what, in some directions, has been all but an arrest of settling in the country, yet no effective action was taken to remedy these evils. There was need of some strong impartial influence to overcome the apathy of centres, widely separated, not only by distance, but lack of mutual sympathy. Australians owe a great deal to the distinguished visitor, who has done so much to awaken the general consciousness of their country, to the vital necessity of attracting to


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it a selected flow of immigration, to possess and develop land that needs only human industry and judicious management to turn it from empty spaces into prosperous homes. To stress the fact that this necessity rests in the last analysis, not alone—not even chiefly—on economic grounds, but on the naked question of race survival, was a masterly appeal to emotions that are the most deeply rooted in a virile nation.note

The interest of travel Outback is much increased, when trains are exchanged for a mail-coach or motor. The contact with mother-earth is closer, and in the greater leisure of driving, every aspect of life assumes a new importance. A little township with a garden here and there that has shrubs and bloom in spite of continual heat; a small clearing where a cereal is being nursed into life; men employed in putting up a fence, in droving sheep or cattle, in digging a well, putting down an artesian bore or cleaning out a dam—all have the importance of pushing further the frontier of new development. Even the sounds that tell of


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human settlement, the bleating of sheep, the lowing of cattle, the meditative tinkle of a camel or bullock bell—above all the fluting voices of children at play near some homestead—have the appeal of the first sparse web of colonizing gradually laying its seal upon the wilderness.

In such remoteness from the ordinary turmoil of affairs, everyday events are often charged with new meaning. Wavering lines of waterfowl, seen in flight against an evening sky, speak of the links that make the whole world kin. They sow not, neither do they gather into barns, but like man they are at times overtaken by the measureless thirst of the desert. They wing their trackless way, to work out their own destiny in some chosen haunt, like the men who by shore and far inland, are the forerunners of future comers; all obeying the wonderful mandates of life—depth behind depth—by which, unconsciously or of set purpose, the toil and hardships of one generation are endured to make the homes or nesting places of the next…But some sights have a glamour that raise the heart above all the traffic of this earth. When the dawn, “rose red with beatings in it as if alive,” steals into the East, above the silent woods of an unbounded plain, while the stars wane, and the moon withers, it is as if Eternity had dropped into the midst of time, and sorrow had been turned into a tale of derision.

Many of those who blazed the first tracks to


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the outer regions of Australia, are men of marked personality, and have contributed much to the forms of settlement, for which these regions to begin with are fitted. Like poets, pioneers seem to a large extent born with the intuitive qualities that fit them for their career. But instead of living in the world of ideas, and adding to its emotional and spiritual delight, theirs is the sterner task of developing, and carrying on in country under conditions, that to begin with have little correspondence with civilized existence. They and some of their descendants form the most distinct type that Australia has yet produced. Few problems are more fascinating than the growth of national characteristics, or more complex and baffling. The ordinary enquirer as to cause and effect, is soon reduced to the tactics of the Actor-manager, when he said of a costly scene: “Imagine all this to be done already. We cannot produce a house covered with pearl-embroidered brocade, and a lady in beaten gold.”

But it lies on the surface that Outback is a territory, in which a man cannot make headway without facing issues that probe character to its depths. At close grips with untamed surroundings, that are as destitute of luxuries as a raft in mid-ocean, he is schooled to hardship and self-reliance, to make as light of danger in an emergency as if he were on a battle-field. There are no wastrel, parasitic and servile callings Outback. Almost all are in the open air, worthy of a sane mind in a healthy


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body—avocations that bear the stamp of man's primeval needs, rather than the mark of Dagon, impressed on so much of the wares that flood the ephemeral markets of furious competition.

It is often a trait of the Outback man, that he can find his way in country quite strange to him, as if he knew it by heart. A faculty that at times seems as clear cut as the instinct of an infant swallow that, a few days out of the shell, cowers with fear in the mother's absence, when a sparrow-hawk hovers above her nest. It seems established that the human race in developing intellect, lost largely on the instinctive side. When this is so curiously active, it is as if drawn near to that formidable heart of nature, where life and death are so closely neighboured, the earlier safeguards were once more called into play.

This may belong to the domain of conjecture, but it is certain that the Outback man is curiously free from that form of self-will which clings to illusions because they are pleasant. He loses the art of veiling the tragic side of life with the evasions that are popular in cities all the world over. The sequence of iron laws, serenely indifferent to human fate, make their own mark on one, who now and again has come upon a scattering of bleached bones and tattered clothing—all that was left of some Pilgrim who took the wrong direction, and was stamped out of existence like a superfluous lizard. Such experiences breed a habit of stripping


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optimistic theories to the skin, with a ruthlessness that has little in common with the tact of the man, who was said to take down our idols from their pedestals so tenderly, that it seemed like an act of worship.

Not that the Outbacker is at all morose, or prone to impose his own opinions upon others. His latent sense of humour is too strong for that. But he has ridden so many solitary days from sunrise to sunset, that meditation has become a second nature to him, and though he has learned to draw quiet enjoyment from the various aspects of nature and the sparse deposit of events around him, yet there have been few currents in his days to submerge the realities that lie so close to him. When drawn into talk, he speaks from his own knowledge and observation, instead of reflecting borrowed thoughts as a mirror gives back the shadows that cloud its face…Frequently he has the love of books that gives him a refuge in his mind, as one that has roamed in many realms of thought. It is fortunate for our pioneering and adventurous race, that literature—in some ways the most comprehensive and poignantly expressive of all the arts—is the one great gift of the Muses that can be cherished at the most remote outposts, “giving a forgetfulness of evil, and a truce from care.”

Where an arid region has reached its barest phase, there is no form of agriculture or fruitgrowing. Gardens are unknown save on some head station, favoured with an abundant supply


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of permanent water and a skilful gardener—usually a Chinaman. Townships have dwindled down into a few straggling huts built of iron and rough timber. Now and then tracts of country are seen that are like pictures of the legend in which a god vanishes, taking with him all the known gifts of the earth. There is no landmark, no point of arrival or departure; nothing to cast a shadow at the rising or the setting of the sun. There is no sight or sound of any living creature on the earth or in the air. Yet sometimes in such a waste a strange vision of beauty suddenly transforms the scene: rising high into the air a fountain of artesian water crystal-clear, that as it falls flows away in an enchanting little stream, bordered with verdure and alive with birds. Among these at times are grebes, that have come from a far distance. Having but very limited powers of flight, it is a problem how they compass such long journeys.

The marvellous effect of water in the midst of sterility explains, in part, how the theory of sympathetic magic for the growth and maintenance of the food supply, has been more thoroughly and elaborately carried into practice by the Tribes of Central Australia, than by any other race in the world. The rituals that they observe with such amazing assiduity have been exhaustively revealed in the invaluable work of Messrs. Spencer and Gillen. Though these laborious ceremonies were often manifestly as resultless as more polished


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beseechings, that two and two should make five, yet the fact that sooner or later the worst drought broke up, and the desolation of death was replaced by an abundance of plants and animals, profoundly established the faith of the Tribes in their traditional magic. It is a significant instance of the way that the order of nature may, in a confused fashion, be apprehended by the primitive mind, though it may never sufficiently evolve to recognize the universal reign of law.

Artesian bores contribute largely to the occupation of the more arid regions Outback. Also the strong natural grasses, the many varieties of the drought-resisting salt-bush, and the tracts of edible scrub that afford valuable reserves of fodder in the vicinity of water-courses and creeks, even when these are quite dry. For in such country sheep and cattle runs form almost the only centres of activity. On many of these Stations, Aborigines may still be found under very tolerable conditions, being to some extent in touch with their old traditions and observances. The routine of work yearly repeated, in the care and breeding of flocks and herds, is soon acquired by the able-bodied natives. When a certain latitude is allowed them—to “go bush” or on holiday—at such times as station work is least exacting, they are often faithful retainers, year after year. In all the States—save Victoria, the “cabbage garden” of the Commonwealth, in the sense of being compactly near the


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coast, with most of its land fit for cultivation—there are far inland squatting districts that owe part of their prosperity to these workers, who are paid in food and clothing. Their dependents are also given a certain quantity of rations. Their women are sometimes employed for domestic work on the Stations, and, as a rule, very kindly treated by the mistress. Something of this is incidentally shown in “The Incredible Journey.” But frankly, the sole motive of my little book is to put on record, as faithfully as possible, the heroic love and devotion of a black woman when robbed of her child.

It is a commonplace that the significance of a tale does not depend on its being a slice of life. But there are some narratives that would never be written unless they had happened, and this is one of them. It is in the main as related by one who knew the details at first hand. A touching story vividly told bites into the hearer's mind. But in cold type emotion is as if stiffened beyond the reach of words, and words themselves so easily become a series of signs that mock their writer, with a dismayed sense of failing to carry their real message. Yet “when other petty griefs have done their spite,” impulses remain that make writing on a certain theme a necessity—almost as if apart from the writer's will. Despite the feeling of failure that induced rejection of one version after the other when committed to paper,


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Iliapa's story clung obstinately to my mind as one that must get told.

It is said that in the beginning magic and words were one. Certainly there are times when words feel like something more than mere symbols of interpretation. Thus it was now and then, a little like a spell, that when Iliapa was put aside, and half forgotten, the memory of an Aboriginal phrase, or a stave from a Corrobboree chant, should suddenly summon her once more into the sunlight…But in reality, the ground-root of this teasing importunity was the influence of a mother who, so far from looking on the Blacks as outcasts or untouchables, treated them with the unfailing kindness of a gentlewoman in contact with lowly and very destitute kinsfolk, many of them with estimable and even lovable qualities. Here was a notable instance establishing a point of view that to many was almost an offence, or at best an eccentric fad. To shirk the trouble of recording the story—though it might quite probably evoke but scant enthusiasm—felt like a sort of treachery. All the more that the implacable rigours of their native surroundings often made the finer traits of the Australian aborigines seem to the present Masters of their country, but part of the equipment of grotesque figures on a lantern slide. Let one instance speak for many.

In an interesting little book written some years


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ago by an able Australian ornithologist, he relates that having to cross part of an unknown desert, he secured a black fellow as a guide in the matter of native wells. The guide was accompanied by his wife, who was followed by five dogs. She was told that these must be destroyed, or left behind, as no water could be spared for them on the journey. She was carrying all the requisites that even aboriginal needs raise to a considerable load, her man limiting his share to a few weapons. But she would not have her dogs killed or leave them behind to perish. She had a vessel which she filled with water, and carried on her head for more than fifty miles. When the party halted, she would be seen under a bush, giving water to her dumb mates, one after the other out of a jam tin, reserving a little for herself out of the ration. It is all told in the manner of an indifferent spectator, with casual mention of the fact that the black man relieved himself of his weapons now and then by adding them to the woman's burden—apparently with no protest from the victim or the onlookers—certainly with no appreciative word of her unselfishness.

There is no moment of life, in which one is more tempted to regard the career of our race, as a “discreditable episode in one of the meaner planets,” than when brought into contact with the ill-usage of dumb animals. “Talk of fame, honour, wealth,” wrote Darwin on one occasion, “all is


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dirt compared with kindness.” The kindness of the Aboriginal woman is of peculiar ethical value. Nature so often terrifies us, in the guise of a power that is no more concerned with the good or ill of human creatures, than she is with the subtle device of a serpent's sting, or with the insects that swarm by the million into existence on a tropical night—tiny flames of life lit in the midst of infinity—only to be quenched in a few brief hours, leaving a refuse on the verandahs, of grey and brilliant little corpses in drifting heaps, that touch the heart with an unbearable and haunting pang of kinship. In the presence of such ghastly waste, dark questionings arise as to any beautiful end being set before the world and its inhabitants.

But that a wild woman of the lowliest race which has struggled to the rank of humanity, should, for the sake of her poor despised dogs, add so much to her deadly load, while she panted on half naked for a woeful distance over burning sand—this in a glimmering fashion seems a pledge that Nature has some affinity with good as a development of her order. For the gesture was as beautiful in its way as the Koranaic verse: “There is no beast on the earth, nor bird which flieth with wings, but the same is a people like unto you. Unto the Lord shall they return.”

Unto the Lord have returned innumerable powers and nations that have been cast upon the dust-heaps of the earth, like the playthings of a wanton child.


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The Australian aborigines are fast dying, and when they have vanished, their passing will form but a minute entry in the record of extinct races. To those who have ears to hear, it is worth telling, that even among this people there have been those who were in a measure liberated from the thraldom of the lower nature. Iliapa and others have borne witness to this, with a selfless devotion akin to that of Saints, whose relics have been treasured to ward off disease, crime and sudden death.

C. E. M. M.
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