Boy Scouts Beyond The Seas
Presently there came riding by, on a roughly groomed, but well-bred, wiry-looking horse, a man so bronzed with sun and weather as to look almost a black man. But a white man he was, free and happy and healthy, with his pack of mongrel dogs around him, living the life of the open bush; and I felt the longing to do the same.
These bushmen are fine, hefty fellows, and, as they showed themselves in the South African War, ready to serve their country at any cost to themselves.
On one occasion last year a lot of townies in Brisbane were persuaded to go on strike about nothing by a few fellows who had the gift of talking.
The townies listened and believed every word; instead of doing the manly thing of hearing the other side of the question and making up their own minds for themselves, they let these agitators make up their minds for them. They went on strike, and as the police and military forces were weak, they began to get rowdy.
But the Governor knew his men. He sent word round the country that he wanted a few good loyal men to help him, and the bushmen came pouring in from all parts. They brought all their own food and equipment along with them, and they did not come the roundabout way of the roads, but came straight across country without a moment’s delay, and they settled the trouble in very quick time.
In Queensland there are about 2500 Boy Scouts, and besides those in Brisbane I saw some at Ipswich, at Warwick, at Toowoomba, and Stanthorpe.
Here and there, as one journeyed through the country, one met with the huge farm waggons pulled by their teams of sixteen oxen along the rough tracks of the back bush, and the stock-riders swinging along on their hardy horses handling a mob of cattle with their stock whips as a huntsman moves his pack of hounds at home.
I just envied them and felt that I would gladly come and be one, too, in this great free country (for Queensland is five and a half times the size of Great Britain) in its eternal sunshine and its richness in crops and cattle, fruit and gold.
The only thing that it wants is more men to take up the vacant spaces.
Presenting King’s Flag to the 1st Gympie (Queensland) Troop