Boy Scouts Beyond The Seas
One evening he was sent for by his foreman as a party of sundowners were there and were threatening him. When the owner arrived he found nine big, hulking fellows with one very angry one at their head, so he asked what was the matter.
The leader held out the ration which he had just received of a piece of mutton and a tin of flour, and he asked the owner if he was not ashamed to give men such food. He and his mates, he said, did expect that with a house like that, which had windows and floor to it, they should have had something better than mere meat and flour offered to them – and they thought at least some coffee, sugar, milk, and butter should be added to it!
It seems a laughable thing that a loafer, who had not the slightest intention of doing a stroke of work in return, should have the cheek to ask this, but he did, and they got their food because, you see, the owner if he did not give in would probably find his fences broken down or his grass set fire to.
But in this case the owner took care next day to remove the windows and floors from the rest- house so that new-comers should not expect so much luxury in the way of food.
The Australian Bight
The gale is howling through the rigging as I write this, and our ship is rolling and lurching along as the great leaden seas come surging and toppling towards her; and they part with a swishing roar as she splits her way through them. But every now and then they score by catching her heavily under the bow, or when with a crash they hurl a great dash of spray across her decks.
We have just crossed the Australian Bight, a bay nine hundred miles across, on our way from Adelaide to Fremantle on the west coast of Australia.
When you remember that it takes as long to do this voyage as that from Southampton to Gibraltar, you begin to see how great are the distances in Australia.
And it is always rough and stormy here. When we crossed from Sydney to New Zealand our little ship was running with water all over the decks, and came in late by twenty hours owing to the bad weather.
When we came back from New Zealand to Hobart in Tasmania again we met with gales and heavy seas. Now here we are again, once more delayed by storms and stress of weather.
It makes one wonder all. the more how those navigators of old came sailing here in their small ships with little food or water, minus charts, and with hostile, man-eating savages on land. Even in Captain Cook’s time, 1768, they must have been most gallant men, but far more so in Tasman’s time some eighty years before.
Upon the shore no railway yet is made to bring Perth, the capital of West Australia, into touch with Adelaide in South Australia, although it is all planned; so meantime one is obliged to go by sea across the “Bight,” which looks on the map as if a giant had taken another kind of “bite” out of the southern part of Australia.
All night we heave and roll, but just at dawn the ship steadies herself, we are in calm water, steaming into the harbour of Fremantle, the port of Perth.
A long mole, within which lie two lines of wharves, makes the harbour, backed by a widespread, low-lying town.
From here the train runs one in half an hour through suburb townships up to Perth. Perth lies on the Swan River, which here opens out to a wide lake with wooded shores. King’s Park runs down