EJANZH: Hulme Chapter Three

Volume 3

‘Margaret’ To Van Dieman’s Land Visiting convicts and Chartists The ‘Faith’ almost to Pitcairn The ‘Star’ goes a-trading South Sea ponies The ‘Swallow’

In being paid off from the American schooner ‘Pride of the Seas’, I enjoyed a few days run ashore, taking in the sights of Sydney, for at this stage of the old Colonial days Sydney was the Queen city of all the Australian colonies, with many of the attractions to be found in Liverpool or London, in the shape of amusements, and I may also add with a large share of all the vices imported from the Mother Country. I, however, spent three or four days very enjoyably rambling through the Government Gardens and the Zoological Gardens with a picnic to Botany Bay and another to the South Head and Watson’s Bay. These daily attractions and the theaters at night though always leave a pleasant reminder of the many pleasant times I have seen in Sydney, N.S.W. This time too, I had the pleasure of riding on the first railroad opened in Australia, only a short line of eighteen miles from Sydney to Parra Matta; a small beginning surely but to it was the germ of a railway system destined at no distant day to spread all over that fair Southern land and banish forever as a locomotive agent those long lines of bullock teams and the unwieldly stage coaches.

Having promised before leaving England that if I ever had the opportunity to go to Van Diemen’s Land (as Tasmania was then called in honor of the Dutch Governor who had sent Tasman to discover it), I would do so and try to see and find out all the information I could for friends at home, about some relations of theirs who had incurred the displeasure of Queen Victoria’s Government for the part they had taken in the Chartists’ Riot of 1848 and had been banished from England to Van Diemen’s Land for terms of years – some for seven and some for fourteen years and at this time were undergoing their sentences as convicts; some of them on Norfolk Island and some of them in Van Diemen’s Land; for at this time Van Diemen’s Land was still a Penal settlement of Great Britain and general dumping ground for everything that was criminal or obnoxious to the Home Government; the Colony of N.S.W. having only a short time before declared against and done away with the penal laws and convict system that had been in vogue from the earliest settlement of the Colony; but those laws and the same system were still in force in their sister island of Van Diemen’s Land; but the day was not far distant when the people of that island rose up in their wrath and power and refused to receive any more of the filth and scum of society from the Old Country. The gold rush of 1852 signaled the end of convict shipment to any part of eastern Australia. Western Australia still anted English criminals for labor, and a model system of receiving and rehabilitating convicts continued there until 1868.

Van Diemen’s Land now known as Tasmania is the smallest state of the Commonwealth of Australia, a large shield-shaped island separated from the S.E. coast of Australia by shallow 140-mile wide Bass Strait, just below the 40th S Parallel; area (including dependent islands – most of which lie in Bass Strait) 26,304 square miles.

However having made up my mind to go to Hobarttown (later shortened to Hobart) I was not long hunting up a vessel for that port, and after being ashore less than a week, shipped in the Brigantine ‘Margaret’ of Sydney, Capt. Baker; she was not yet finished loading and two days were used to good advantage filling her with an assorted cargo made up of everything imaginable in the form of merchandize suited to the colonial trade.

However we got her loaded and under way; her sailing qualities were not of a very high order; we had fair wind down the Bay, but after getting outside the heads we had head winds for two or three days which finally wound up with a southerly gale and we went to anchor for shelter, in Two Fold Bay. Two Fold Bay at that time being quite a rendezvous for whalers and a large establishement there for Bay whaling, a regular lookout being kept on the Heads for whales; as soon as whales were raised boats were launched and some lively races could sometimes be seen, to find out what boat was going to get fast, for there were rival companies, though they would generally all assist in towing in the dead whale when they got one.

When we left Two Fold Bay with a leading wind from the South-west and made fair head-way across Basses Straits, off Swan Island, we spoke a new iron built screw propeller seventy-five days out from Glasgow, the ‘Wonga Wonga’ bound to Sydney; she was one of a fine line of Clyde built steamers sent out for the Australian coasting trade.

On the morning of the seventh day out from Sydney we made Hobarttown Heads and had a long beat up Storm Bay Hobarttown being right up at the head of Storm Bay at the mouth of Derwent River, a splendid bay some forty miles long and from five to ten miles wide, but the Bay is divided almost the whole length of it by Brune Island, forming on the South side of the Bay that is known as the South-west Passage or De Entrecastroux’s Channel.

But tack for tack the Margaret was beat up Storm Bay working right in among the shipping, of which there was a large fleet to anchor, and at the wharves; we came to anchor off the Government wharf and next day she was hauled in, moored to that wharf, as I found out she was loaded altogether with Government stores.

Right ahead of us lying at the same wharf was a small, clean looking barque of about 300 tons called the ‘Lady Franklin’, that I was informed belonged to the Colonial Government of Van Diemen’s Land and kept running between Hobarttown and Norfolk Islands with convicts and government stores; and the yarns I was told about that barque and the scenes of violence enacted aboard of her beat all I had ever heard about the African Slave Trade for deeds of cruelty.

As I wanted to stay ashore for some time I claimed my discharge from the ‘Margaret’ and went ashore to find a boarding house, never having been in Hobarttown before.

As Hobarttown is a great rendezvous for whalers both American, English and Colonial, for both Sydney and Hobarttown owned and sent out a number of vessels in that trade, for both the coast of Australia and Van Diemen’s Land are good sperm whale fishing grounds; from the fact of its being a rendezvous for whalers I knew there would be no lack of sailors’ boarding houses; but as I preferred going to a private boarding house, I kept clear of Sailors’ Town, as the part of Hobarttown in the vicinity of Liverpool Street is known; some parts of Hobarttown having an unsavory reputation among sailors all over the colonies, and I had been told by ship mates in Sydney, if I ever went to Hobarttown to give ‘Peg Legged Johnson’ a wide berth (the name the keeper of one of the sailors’ boarding houses on Liverpool Street was known all over the colonies by at that time; and I think if half of the yarns told of him are true, that the Captain of every American whaler that ever went into Hobarttown had some experience with him).

But the general run of sailors’ boarding houses are queer institutions any way; I, however, found a nice quiet boarding house on the New Town Road and next day after coming ashore took a one horse team down to the wharf for my dunnage that I had left aboard, and found the vessel in charge of a Government officer and a gang of convicts unloading both the ‘Margaret’ and the ‘Lady Franklin’.

I here saw for the first time men working in chains, for the men worked in pairs chained together, and I had to give an order from the officer in charge to go aboard for my sea chest.

During the day I got paid off and now felt at liberty to make inquiries about the parties I wished to find. At supper that night I told Mr. Hartly the man with whom I was boarding, the reason of my leaving the brig, and asked him what steps I should take to find out if those men were in Van Diemen’s Land or on Norfolk Island.

His first question was to ask me if I knew what vessel they came out in and what year. As one of the men I wished to find was a relation of mine who had become mixed up the in Chartists’ demonstration and was sent out in the same batch of prisoners with Smith and O’Brian in 1848, I had good reason to know what vessel he came out in.

He told me to go to the superintendent at the Government Barracks, for there they kept the resident address of every man in Van Diemen’s Land who had ever been a Crown prisoner, whether he was a Bass holder Ticket of Leave man or emancipated, if he still remained in Van Diemen’s Land for I now learned more about the convict system than I ever knew before, from Mr. Hartly, who was himself an emancipated man he having been sent out on a fourteen year’s sentence; whatever the crime was he made no mention of it in the course of conversation. After supper he told me it would be hard to find a man in the city of Hobarttown who had not come out at Government expense.

Next morning after breakfast I strolled over to the Government buildings, prison or penitentiary I though would be a more appropriate name; however, I found the superintendent and on stating what I wanted was furnished with the address of every man whose name I gave him.

They were all Ticket of Leave men enjoying perfect freedom in the Colony so long as they did nothing to conflict with the laws; they were under Government surveillance.

I found out that the parties I wished most to see were then living at Three Hut Point and Flower Pot Bay, down the South-west passage; and on inquiry I found there was a small Clyde built iron steamer called the ‘Vixen’ made daily trips to Reserche Bay at the southerly entrance of Storm Bay, stopping at all the settlements along the south shore of the Passage, which is one pretty bay after another, so I was told.

Next morning found me aboard the steamer ‘Vixen’, and at 7 O’Clock her lines were let go and she started on her daily run, her sharp bows cutting and curling over the deep blue waters of the Bay as she quickly passed through the large fleet of vessels at anchor, heading straight for the head of Bruni Island.

As we neared the island the entrance to the passage began to open out, having more the appearance of a river than an arm of the sea, not being more than a mile wide from shore to shore.

Our first landing was made at Oyster Bay. Here I saw what I took for the starting of a nice little village from the number of houses; but an inquiry found that here were gathered together all that remained of the once numerous aboriginal natives or Black-fellows as they were called of Van Diemen’s Land. After years had been spent waging war of extermination against them by the Colonists, quarter not being shown by either side, through the whole struggle, the offer of a man named Robinson was accepted to gather all that was left of the black-fellows and deliver them up to the care of the Colonial Government.

I was told this man Robinson, a number of years before when a Government man or convict, had absconded and taken to the Bush, and had gone among the black- fellows living among them for years, becoming a sort of chief among them; but becoming tired of that kind of life had returned and given himself UD. and it was well known that his power and influence among them was great, and when he made the offer that if the Government would give him his freedom, he would gather every man, woman and child to any point designated.

His offer was accepted and he went into the Bush among the black-fellows and it took him two years to accomplish what he had agreed to do, but he brought them all together at a point on the South coast, less than 100 all told, and when the Government first took charge of them they were taken to Maria Island in Bass Strait and buildings erected for them and good men put in charge over them with a resident physician and they were established as wards of the Government. They were kept on Maria Island for a few years, but the Island not turning out to be a suitable place for the natives, Oyster Bay was selected and buildings erected for them and they were moved there. I was told they had been there at that time about three years and there were then only Twenty-four of all ages and sexes alive at that date.

We did not stay long at the wharf put off some stores for the establishement and then steamed on down the Passage which gradually widened out, some parts of it being three or four miles wide.

Our next stopping place was Birches Bay nothing here but a saw mill and a few houses.

Our next landing was at Flower Pot Bay about eight miles from Birches Bay, at which point I got ashore and made inquiry for the men I wanted and found myself talking to one of them, Mr. Joseph Hollond.

I introduced myself and told him the object of my visit. He was overjoyed to see one from his native village in England, and one too, who could go and come as he pleased, free as the air. He and the rest of his companions were free to a certain extent.

There were some four men from my native place living in the neighborhood of Flower Pot Bay, their sentences unexpired yet but having almost perfect freedom in the Colony; being all ‘Ticket of leave’ men, they were permitted to find their own work and make their own bargains for wages, but must stay in a prescribed district and not leave it without police authority; in fact, perfectly free in that certain district. These men were all earning good wages and living comfortable; not only them but hundreds of others of the same class.

This part of Van Diemen’s Land known as the Huon district is heavily timbered with a valuable kind of tree known as a Stringy Bark; they grow from 100 to 125 feet without a limb, and I have seen them six feet across the stump when chopped down, and the grain of the tree is so straight that it will split the thickness of a shingle almost the whole length of the tree, and the bark is so tough that when a small strip is started at the butt and run up the tree, it will run thirty or forty feet up the tree before it can be torn clear from the tree. In Australia I have seen stringy bark used in place of ropes to bind loads of wool bales bringing them to Melbourne and Sydney from up the country.

I found the principal business going on down the Huon was the getting out of square timber. These men would work in pairs going into the Bush and felling one of these large trees whether gum tree or stringy bark, and wherever the tree falls they dig a trench and make a saw pit right under the tree, and then whip-saw them up into whatever they want it made into, plank or square timber, and then with bullock teams haul it down to the nearest point on the South-west Passage, to be shipped to different ports in Australia; but most of it goes to Melbourne and Sydney.

I spent about two weeks in the neighborhood of Flower Pot Bay and Three Hutt Point five miles lower down the Passage. I hunted up every one of the men I had been requested to see and conveyed words of fond remembrance from wives and mothers, probably the last direct communication some of them ever received from home, for the heart of the exile is always yearning for the land of his birth, and no matter how comfortable his surroundings may be in the land he is banished to, and knows that he cannot with safety return to his native land, to see any one from his old home or to receive a letter from home always strikes a tender chord in his breast no matter how hardened in crime he may be – the fact of my coming across from Sydney or from England (the Old Country as they said) to bring kind words to them from friends, some of them never expected to see again and some I know never did, impressed them with the idea that I had done them a kindness they could never repay, and the same feeling seemed to pervade every household I went into, for what ever house I entered during my stay down the Huon, I was treated like a prince, and I do not believe there was d man or woman at that time in the Huon district that was not or had been in penal servitude.

I, however, enjoyed my visit of about two weeks among the ‘old hands’ as they termed themselves – good fishing in the Passage – snapper and red fish and mullet bite freely and cockatoos were plentiful to shoot; but at the end of two weeks I began to think it was time for me to be off to sea again; and when I went around bidding my friends good-by, I could see my going away was like severing another family link though I told them I would see them again before I made another passage to the Old Country, and I had to refuse no end of invitations to stay another week and had to tear myself away to get down to the wharf in time to catch the ‘Vixen’ on her return trip and get myself back to Hobarttown again.

Editor’s Note: William Hulme’s brother-in-law, last name Mayall, was lioving in the Mathinna, Tas. area as late as 1900 (I have a letter sent from him to William Hulme dated in the middle of that year).

Next morning after getting back to town I went down to the Government wharf to see if the ‘Margaret’ was gone or not, as it was too dark for me to see anything as we passed through the shipping coming up the night before. When I got down town I found both the ‘Margaret’ and the Government barque ‘Lady Franklin’ gone and a barque about four hundred tons lying at the wharf and a gang of convicts loading her.

On walking aft to her stern I saw she was called the ‘Faith’ belonging to Hobarttown, and on making inquiry I found she had been charted by the Colonial Government to go to Pitcairn Island in the South Sea, and remove the descendants of the mutineers of the ship Bounty to Norfolk Island as that island was to be broken up as a penal settlement and the ‘Faith’ was to assist the ‘Lady Franklin’ in removing the prisoners and officers and stores from Norfolk Island to Hobarttown. On my finding out for certain that that was the trip she was going on, I lost no time in hunting up the captain of her to find out when and where he was going to ship his crew.

When I found him I found he was not going to ship his crew for three or four days, but was promised a berth in her when he got ready. So I had nothing to do but lay around town and take in the sights of Hobarttown; there was not much in the shape of amusements, the one theater in the town performing three nights a week.

The town is well laid out on a level triangular shaped piece of land formed between the Head of Storm Bay and the River Derwent, the streets wide and well paved, the buildings mostly of stone, though there were some fine brick blocks, and all the roads leading into the town from the country, were well built and macadamized, all done with convict labor. I don’t know that I ever saw nicer or better built roads than the roads leading to Launceston, New Town and Green Ponds.

The ‘Faith’ was loaded on the Saturday of the week I came up from Huon, and on the same day we signed articles, six men of us before the mate being already on board. We signed Articles to go to Sydney, N.S.W. and from there to Pitcairn Island, and from there to Norfolk Island and back to Hobarttown.

Before dark Saturday night we towed away from the wharf out into the Bay, and came to anchor, the wind blowing fresh up the Bay all day Sunday. After dark Sunday night two schooner Lighters came alongside loaded with baled hay, or what was called hay there, oat and wheat straw cut while the oats or wheat were in bloom and cured like hay. The two loads made up a pretty fair deck load.

The wind having died away during the night some though still ahead, we got under way at daylight and began to work down the Bay. I found out to-day that with the exception of the second mate, a Russian Finn named Jansen who had been in her the voyage before to the Mauritius, that we were all new to the vessel. The ‘Faith’ was owned by Murrey, Baker & Co. of Hobarttown, the same firm owning several vessels in the Sperm Whale fishery, and Captain Baker had been shifted from the whaling barque ‘Terror’ to the ‘Faith’, to make this voyage to move the Pitcairn Islanders, being well acquainted among the Islands and I heard also a relative of one of the owners.

We were two days working out of the Bay, for the ‘Faith’ was one of the old times build of vessels and not very fast, and after clearing the Heads the wind held from the Northward and Easterly and we went off on the port-tack heading about S.E. by East, sometimes coming up a couple of points higher, but all the time making a South-easterly course.

The second day out we passed close by the lone rocky island of Pedro Blanco, some seventy-five miles off the South-west coast of Van Diemen’s Land. Approaching it from the north or western side it has the appearance of a straight rocky pillar rising perpendicular from the Ocean’s depths and when first raised is often taken for a vessel close hauled on the wind, but when raised from the north and eastern side it has the form and appearance of a full rigged ship under all sail, the white color of the rock helping the delusion until drawing nearer shows Pedro Blanco to be nothing but a bare naked rock, the home of the stately Albatross and Cape Pigeons.

The third day out the North Easter all died away and was followed by a whistling breeze about due South, that rapidly increased, bringing a long rolling sea with it, but with her spanker and gaff-top-sail in and main sail hauled up, the ‘Faith’ made good headway for the N.S.W. coast and daylight Monday morning showed us Jarvises Bay about 65 miles from Sydney, the land not more than ten miles distant on our port bow; the wind however increasing and sea making all the time so that when we passed Wollongong we were running under double reefed topsails and foresail and the long rolling sea of the South Pacific tearing after us as though every sea with its white foamy combed head was trying how near it could roll up to the old barque without breaking over her poop, but she seemed to settle before them as though they were all a little too short, for never a drop of water came aboard, and before dark without waiting for or looking for a pilot, ran inside Sydney Heads leading almost up the Bay on the first tack.

We made one tack over to Wooloomaloo Bay and came to anchor off Pinch Gut. Next morning early the old man was landed at the Circular Quay and the boat ordered back to the vessel. When we got alongside we found a custom house boat alongside, the officers of the boat in the cabin with the mate. We gathered from their conversation there was something wrong about the hay on deck. The Custom House boat however went ashore and about eight or nine o’clock the old Man came off with a tug and gave the order to man the windlass, and the tug took our line and when the anchor was apeak, took us to the Circular Quay at the foot of Pitt Street and we commenced to unload the hay.

Soon after getting started at putting the hay off a messenger boy came aboard with a letter for Captain Baker. He went ashore with the boy and did not come aboard again until after-noon and from the gloomy look he and the mate wore it was easy to guess there was something wrong. The hay was all ashore but no work was done that day.

Next morning after breakfast we were called aft and Captain Baker told us that our voyage was ended so far as going to Pitcairn Island was concerned. He made no explanation as to why she was not going, but simply said that whoever did not want to stay in the vessel could come to Brown’s shipping office on Lower George Street next day at ten o’clock and get his pay and discharge. So nothing was said as to what trade she was to be kept in or where she was going.

I concluded to leave her and so went forward to pack my dunnage and went ashore to my old boarding house the Family Hotel, where I found a hearty welcome from Mr. Briars and wife. I knew three of my ship mates were also going ashore for they went along with me to my boarding house, but on our going down to the shipping office next day we found that all hands forward had left her.

I felt disappointed at not making that voyage having read the story of the Mutiny of the Bounty years before T went to sea, and from articles I occasionally read in the colonial papers about the Pitcairn Islanders I knew the Home Government was looking about for a more suitable location for them as the population of the island had increased so much that the island was too small for them.

We got our discharge and were paid off. The taking on of that deck load of hay was the cause of the charter being taken from the barque, her owners thinking as she had to come to Sydney she could Just as well carry that hay and thereby earn a little more, but they over- reached themselves for they lost the charter through it and I heard before I left Sydney that a heavy fine had also been imposed upon her owners for breaking the charter.

But I don’t think anyone felt the disappointment more keenly than I did. I had now been away near six weeks from Sydney on my pleasure trip, as I called it, and made up my mind to stay ashore until I found a chance to ship in some vessel to go down among the South Sea Islands; and spent several days hunting up the vessels that were in the Island trade.

I had been one day among the South Sea traders and whaling vessels at Capt. Town’s wharf on Daw’s Point, watching the oil and bone coming ashore out of them when I got into conversation with what I took for an old Scotch man, an old gray and weather beaten man who looked to me too old to be still sailing; but I was never more deceived in a man in my life, for on leaving the wharf and going over the Rocks, as that part of the city is called, we went into a liquor vault to have a drink together, and in our talk between drinks, told me he had spent a good many years amount the Islands, both in whalers and traders.

‘There is an old barque at the dock now that I made my last whaling trip in, the ‘Equator”. He had just come ashore from her when we met each other. Since leaving her, he had made another voyage to the Society Islands in an American built barquentine, called the ‘Louisa’, for yarns and fruit, and he had now been ashore four days and was ready to ship again and proposed that we both go to the shipping office together, ‘For’, said he, ‘I was going there to see if I could meet the Captain of a little barque called the ‘Star”. We had been aboard of her and seen the mate who told him the Captain was going to ship his crew that forenoon; so with very little persuasion I turned around with him with the intention of shipping in her with him, if there was an opening. The Mate of the ‘Star’ had described the Captain to old Martin (that being the old man’s name) so that he would know him if he met him on the street, for at this period of Colonial times it was not an unusual occurrence for a Captain of a Colonial vessel to stop and talk with sailors on the street to try and ship them, or for sailors to stop the Captain of any vessel he might want to ship in, if he knew him when he saw him. But those times did not last long for before I left the Colonies the Captain of a Colonial coaster had as much style and consequence about him as though he was sailing a 2,000 ton Clipper ship.

However we did not see Captain Leslie (that being his name) until after dinner, when we found him aboard the vessel where we had gone, not hearing or seeing anything of him about the Shipping office, we had been on board some time talking with the Mate, a small sized but very fleshy built man who looked more like a farmer than a sailor, we had been trying to find out where the barque was going to but could get no information from the Mate more than that she was going on a trading voyage among the islands Old Martin had been in about every trade that a vessel could be engaged in among the islands and he could not imagine any trade she could go into what there need be any secrecy about; but wherever she was going we concluded to try and go out in her.

While we were still aboard three men came on board of her, a slight built man, a tall sunburnt mean-looking man who spoke English with a decided French accent, and a Malay or Manila man. The Frenchman and the Malay walked aft to the cabin, while the other and older looking man stopped on deck talking to the mate. We concluded this was the old Man and went aft to see if he had shipped his crew yet. His answer was ‘No, do you fellows want to go in her?’ We told him yes and asked him what wages he would pay. He replied ‘#10 per month, but if the vessel is sold before we come back, to be paid #12 per month’. But from him we could not find out where she was going more than that she was going trading.

Old Martin had gotten it into his head that she was going into some smuggling business on the coast of China, and as that promised some adventure and probably more money than the mere wages, we made up our mind to run our chances in her and told the old Man to count on us two in.

We were told to get on board next morning as she was all ready for sea and weather permitting would go to sea next day.

Next morning after breakfast I went up to the house where Martin boarded with old Jim Farrell, a Circular Quay water man and he wanted to and would pull us along with his boat and carry our dunnage round to where the barque lay at Dawe’s Point at the entrance to Darling Harbor.

When we got on board we found all hands were four more men before the mast and a second mate and cook; the Malay it appeared was a servant to the Frenchman who we were told was going out as purser or super-cargo.

We signed Articles on the vessel to go on a trading voyage for a period of twelve months, unless the vessel was sold before that time, in which case we were to be paid off at #12 per month.

It was now near the end of August and I thought we should soon be off the coast into fine weather and miss some of the heavy gales that are frequent on the Australian Coast during their winter season, mostly strong southerly gales though I had not missed them so far having had d taste of them on our passage out in the ‘Margaret’ and on the return passage in the ‘Faith’ from Hobarttown.

We had no difficult time making the acquaintance of our ship mates before we got outside. She carried one quarter boat and we were sent ashore to tow off a large heavy launch or surf boat sharp at both ends; she had not carried it before for there was nothing to fasten or secure it to until we had spiked down strong cleats to the decks to lash it to on the main deck aft the cook’s galley.

By the time this was done and the water casts on deck secured, it was near dark, but a fair wind to go down the Bay, and as the old Man did not need a pilot, the anchor was weighed and said made and the ‘Star’ with all her canvas drawing began moving down the Bay. There was nothing fast about her, the breeze was light and it was after eight bells of the first watch before we were clear off the Heads and the Port watch to which I belonged went below.

Old Martin being in the star-board watch when we came on deck at four o’clock the wind was still light – I asked Martin as he came forward from the wheel how he was steering, South by West. Says he, ‘We are not going among the South Sea Islands steering that course’.

It was all conjecture with us forward as to where we were bound to, the other four men in the fore-castle being strangers on the coast not having been in a Colonial vessel before having run away from an American ship some eight months before and had been on the diggings but having poor success had started for Sydney to go to sea at Parra Matta; they had fallen in with the mate and second mate who had also been at the gold diggings they had come down in answer to a letter from Captain Leslie to come to Sydney and go with him in the ‘Star’, they having held the same positions in a barque with Captain Leslie five or six months previous, that they had lost in Torres Straits on the grand Barrier Reef, Mr. Shaw the mate, promising if possible to make a berth for the men in the ‘Star’.

He kept his word with them but if he knew, neither he nor the second mate ever let a word fall that would indicate where we were bound to – we still steered south until we rounded Cape Howe and hauled her up to the westward through Bass Strait, the wind hauling to the eastward we passed Cape Shank close aboard and were close enough to Melbourne Heads to look up into and see vessels in Hobsons Bay.

It now became plain to us that we were bound to the westward round Cape Leuwin. After passing Cape Otway our fair winds left us five days out from Sydney – we now had a week or more of light baffling winds mostly ahead; we then got the wind about west north-west for another week, running us away south of our course, running us into cold weather and then the wind hauled more to the westward and then began to blow in earnest, the sea running like a mountain; for three days we were hove to under a close reefed main top-sail and fore top mast stay-sail, then the wind would light up some and we would get the close reefed fore top-sail and sometimes for a short time a reefed fore-sail and the standing jib.

We had this kind of weather for two long weeks, sometimes hove to under close reefed top-sail and stay- sail and then for a few days we could carry a little more sail, and she would head reach a little and not make so much lee way for all this time we were drifting South.

The continual bad weather we were having seemed to create some unpleasantness aft, for Mr. Tousaint, the Super-cargo, would come forward and talk more with us than he did with those aft, he talked mostly with old Martin in Spanish, for Martin was a great linguist, born in Italy when a boy, the Captain of a Scotch brig belonging to Dundee had taken a liking to him and with his mother’s consent had taken him with him home, and had kept him sailing with him until he was almost a man grown, and had taught him navigation.

He had made one voyage as second mate of the brig when something occurred that caused a quarrel and he had drifted pretty much all over the world since.

He spoke English with a Scotch accent and he spoke his own native language, Spanish, Portuguese, Bengalee, some Malay and over a dozen different dialects of the South Sea Islands. Such was old Martin at sea, full of jokes and fun and a thorough seaman, but ashore an inveterate drunkard – when paid off with thirty or forty pounds sterling scarcely ever looking ahead far enough to provide himself with a decent suit of clothes or the necessary outfit of sea clothing, any more than he could get from some of his months advance note.

I am more particular In describing old Martin and his peculiarities as it explains his practical joke that he played on the Super-cargo. One day Martin after he had been relieved from the wheel, the vessel under reefed fore-sail and two close reefed topsails, stay- sail, and jib rolling her yard arms most in the water, and taking plenty of water on deck, he had climbed into the Long boat to keep his feet dry, taking a rope yarn out of his pocket was measuring the beam of the boat without any object more than to see how wide she was, but the Super-cargo had been watching him from aft and came over to the side of the boat and asked him his reason for measuring the boat – Martin answered without any idea of scaring him that he was measuring the boat to see if she were not too wide to launch through the gangway in case we had to abandon the vessel and take to the boats.

After that he gave the old man no peace until he got him to square her away and run back; we were most four weeks out from Sydney and the westerly gales still continued and a heavy sea running – such a sea as I think can only be seen in Southern latitudes, with the whole sweep of the South Pacific Ocean and the water cold enough to make the seas run heavy.

We ran for three days under a close reefed main top-sail, and reefed fore-sail, when the wind eased down so that we shook out reefs, and gave her the fore top- sail, and fore top-gallant sail, though the ‘Star’ took plenty of water aboard on the wind, both when she was head reaching and when she was hove to. She ran before those mountain like seas, without taking a drop of water on her decks.

Whatever had come between Captain Leslie and the Super-cargo I don’t know, but I do know one thing – the Frenchman was thoroughly scared for old Martin had impressed him with the idea that the barque could not last much longer if she was kept by the wind, and the weather did not ease down, and one things that made him place more confidence in the old sailor than in the Captain’s judgement was that her running rigging, was all giving out with the heavy pitching and rolling for the last two weeks lifts and braces were being carried away all the time and nothing aboard to replace them with, for intending to sell the vessel, the owners in Sydney had put as few boatswain’s stores on board of her as possible, and there was nothing suitable for either lifts or braces and most all of her other running gear was in the same condition and full of splices so that in wet weather it was hard to work to get anything through the blocks.

The Super-cargo could see this and hear the continual grumbling about her rotten old ropes and he imagined she was in a worse shape than she was sailors as a class are professional growlers anyway, though as a rule the more they growl the harder they will work.

Aside from her running gear the old ‘Star’ was not in bad shape ‘or though she made some little water while she was pitching and straining herself when she was hove to, after we got her before the wind she made very little and was altogether a pretty comfortable cld vessel. But the mischief was done, Mr. Tousaint had got it into his head that she was not safe and wanted her run back, where to we did not know, and another thing made Captain Leslie more willing to run back was the provisions were not going to hold out a great while longer there had been some blunder in that line made by some one.

Our westerly winds died out leaving us with a heavy rolling swell that shook up the old barque thoroughly, but before the sea ran down we got a warm breeze from the northward and eastward that send her through the water out close hauled; as we neared the coast the wind hauled more to the eastward. We went about and stood into the land and made Cape Northumberland and next day while standing off shore, there was a fine large clipper ship stood across our stern; she passed close enough for us to read her name the ‘Schomberg’; her decks crowded with passengers anxious to get ashore on Australian soil.

We stood away to the southward and east, and as the old Man saw no chance to make Melbourne without beating for it, he let her go free for Launceston, Van Diemen’s Land.

We sighted Kings Island about forty miles south from Melbourne Heads, passing south of the Island; after getting into the straits we began to catch plenty of fish, the barracuta, splendid eating; they take a trolling hook baited with red flannel or red cedar very readily; we soon had more than we could eat and split them up and dried them. We had every available spot covered with them drying.

The third or fourth day after we passed King’s Island we sighted Tamar Heads at the mouth of the Tamar River; Launceston being some thirty miles up the River, we signaled for a Pilot and soon saw a whale boat coming out of the River, for at this time the only pilot boats Launceston had were six oared whale boats manned by convicts.

One of the oldest Pilots on the Tamar River came out to us – old Jack Williams of George Town. After getting him on board and his boat towing astern, he assumed charge of the vessel by filling away the main top-sail, and letting her go for the River.

George Town is a nice thriving little village on the south side of George Town Cove, about four miles up the River. On the south side of the River is the home of the Pilot and some of the Captains of the coasting schooners. As we were only going in to get supplies, the Pilot brought us to anchor in George Town Cove.

That there was some serious trouble between the Super-cargo and the Captain, was plain to all hands for they had frequent wordy quarrels aft, and after we came to anchor, he left the vessel and went ashore taking his Malay servant along. The following day he took the steamer for Sydney, after he had sent instruction off to the vessel to Captain Leslie to get what sea store he needed and any repairs he needed to do to the vessel and come on after him back to Sydney.

The old Man went up to Launceston on the next boat going up the River and sent down by return boat some new boatswain stores and a ship carpenter to do some needed calking and other necessary repairs, and as soon as completed and the wind favorable we got under way for Sydney.

We made a splendid run from the Tamar, sighting Cape Howe the second day out, and on the morning of the fourth day out we ran through the Heads into Sydney Harbor. But though we had the wind fair and fresh outside, about east south-east, we were close hauled to get up the Bay, and it was dark when we dropped our anchor in Sydney Cove and ended the only voyage I ever made either before or since without knowing to where we were bound to for not a man forward knew any more to what port we were bound or what the object of the voyage was when we got back to Sydney than we did the day we left, after being two months away, for we had worked up our months advance and had a trifle over #10 coming to us when we were paid off two days afterwards.

All hands left but the Captain – I saw Mr. Tousaint one day after I had been ashore two or three days; he spoke pleasantly about the trip, was very sorry we had no success – ‘by and by try again’ said he in his French Patois. I saw very little of Martin now for near a week.

I did not know but that he had shipped and gone to sea, but a visit to his boarding house revealed the fact that he had been on a protracted spree ever since being paid off from the ‘Star’ until that morning he had sobered up and had been at work roping a sail, a new one that Mr. Farrel had made for one of his sail boats. I stayed and had dinner with Martin and his folks as he called them, for both Mrs. Farrel and her husband treated him more like a brother than a mere sailor boarder. Mr. Farrel, himself, being one of the oldest established water men at the Circular Quay Landing.

When Mr. Farrel came up to dinner he brought a copy of the Melbourne Argus with him and after dinner he took it up and began reading a detailed account of the loss of the fine clipper ship ‘Schomberg’, Capt. Forbes, and of the intense feeling expressed against Capt. Forbes by all classes in Melbourne, for there were many lives lost with her, and it was freely talked of that he had purposely lost the vessel for there was no need of his standing so close in shore on a bright moonlight night as to have her stern pounding on the bottom while in stays–The wind was light, and she missed stays and falling off got broadside onto the beach and stuck there; and while the water was smoothe he made no effort to get passengers ashore until the second day when the wind had freshened and the sea had got to running heavy, he then made an attempt to land the passengers and some of the boats had capsized in the surf and most of the passengers and crew lost, and by the time assistance could be obtained from Melbourne, the ship was breaking up, a brand new ship on her first voyage. She must have been lost soon after we passed her; she was lost on Moonlight Head, about 150 miles from Melbourne.

After Mr. Farrel had finished reading Martin and I went down town. We stopped at the Shipping Office for a while and were walking down George Street when we met Captain Leslie; his first inquiry was to know if we had got through with our money yet and were ready for another month’s advance. We asked him in what vessel. ‘In the ‘Star’ again’, says he. Mr. Tousaint and he had become reconciled again and he was going to try to make the same voyage yet that we had failed on before. ‘But’ says the old Man, ‘We will try a different route this time.

He now told us the ‘Star’ was bound through Torres Straits to Timore or some of the islands near there to trade for ponies and take them to the Mauritius, or rather to Port Louis in the Isle of France, one of the Mauritius group of islands lying about 600 miles North- East of the Cape of Good Hope. She was bound there when we left Sydney before, but having such a hard time of it getting to the Westward round Cape Leeuwin, they had concluded to go through Torres Straits this time – wages the same as last voyage and if the vessel was sold, we were to be paid off with #2 extra wages.

Martin and I concluded to make the voyage in her and told the old Man to count us in. He then told us the mate and second mate had gone back to the Diggings again and that we should have new officers.

It was arranged that we should sign articles on the following Friday (this was Wednesday) near the end of October. He wanted us to try and find our other two ship mates if we could, but we were too late to get them for they had both joined the Navy, having shipped soon after leaving the ‘Star’, on H.M. ship the ‘Calliope’ a 36 gun frigate; she had been at the Australian Station for the last five years and was ordered home to Spit Head to be paid off, but was short handed, over one third of her crew having deserted and gone to the Gold Diggings, and #12 Sterling per month was offered for sailors who would ship in her to get her home, to be paid off at Spit Head; but sailors were hard to get for the Royal Navy for no one believed there would be any paying off done, but that she would be re-commissioned and sent up the Black Sea to take part in the Crimean War that was then in full swing. In fact at that very time the Russian frigate ‘Diana’ was being chased by a part of the South Sea squadron until they got her blockaded in a Russian port north of China where she remained until the close of the war.

However, Saturday fore-noon we signed Articles again in the ‘Star’, two new ship-mates forward and two new officers aft. The mate was a pleasant tempered little Englishman who had just left a large London ship through some disaggreement with the Captain of her and this was his first sailing in a Colonial vessel, but I found Mr. Holladay a kind agreeable officer and a thorough seaman and a gentleman; the second mate was a brawny Scotchman from the Clyde, but he had been sailing out of Sydney in the coasting trade for some years.

Sunday morning at daybreak we were called to ‘man the windlass’ and get under way. In short time the anchor had broken and sail made and the old barque with a fair wind though not strong, made her way down the Bay. We got outside before noon and after getting five or six miles off the land, her yards were checked in on the port tack and the ‘Star’ was fairly started on her voyage with a fair wind for a starter, and every one fore and aft feeling buoyant and confident that this time the ‘Star’ would complete her voyage.

The unpleasantness which had existed between Captain Leslie and Mr. Tousaint from the time we were having the bad weather off Cape Leeuwin was forgotten or laid aside, for they were now on the best of terms and Mr. Tousaint was more friendly than ever with old Martin and spoke freely with him about the venture he was engaged in.

It appeared Mr. Tousaint was a native of the Island of Borbon one of the Mauritius group of Islands, his father being largely interested in the cattle trade then being carried on between the Island of Madagascar and the different islands of the Mauritius, the largest of which are the Isle of France, Bourbon, Roderique and St. Pierre, and his father had sent him to Australia to hunt up a small barque or brig that would be suitable for their cattle trade and to charter her to go to some of the islands of the Malay Archipelagoes and to trade for or buy a load of the horses or ponies that are native to those islands.

They are small, active and tough, and when well broken, make good buggy teams and stylish ones too, for the wealthy sugar planters of the Mauritius and their intention was after the voyage was made if they could make terms with the owners of the ‘Star’ to purchase her and put her in the cattle trade.

As most of the islands are subject to the Government of Holland, it was decided that the ‘Star’ should first go to Copang, the principal town on the Island of Timor, and there find out at what island he would be most certain of securing his load.

Our Easterly winds lasted for four or five days and ran us well North, but finally died away and left us becalmed off Wide Bay, and for nearly a week we had nothing but calms or light head winds; but we stuck a light air from the Southward that strengthened into the South-east Trades and we soon shortened the distance to the Straits.

The old Man had decided to take the Rain Island or Beacon Passage, so called from a large pile of stones that have been picked up and piled in pillar like form on the ridge of a small promontory that projects from the South-east side of Rain Island and marks what may be called the entrance of the Rain Island Passage through Torres Straits. Here we came to anchor for the night, and next morning at daybreak we were under way with a look-out on the fore top-sail yard. This is the shortest of the three Passages through the straits, and I think the best, for though coral reefs were plentiful I did not think we ever got so close to them, or the channels through them so narrow as we had them the first two days in the Inner Passage, in the ‘Pride of the Seas’.

Sometimes the bottom seemed very close to us so clear is the water, but the lead that was constantly kept going told us all the time from eight or ten to twenty and sometimes more fathoms of water, so no danger of rubbing the barnicles off her bottom there.

That night we came to anchor on the East side of Harvey’s Island. There are no natives on any of these islands in Torres Straits that I ever saw except Mount Adolphus. Daylight saw us under way again; ‘Sail ho!’ was called out from aloft after breakfast, and as we drew up with her we found she was a stranded vessel, a large full rigged ship apparently left with everything aboard of her; we passed within a quarter of a mile of her but her stern was away from us so we could not read her name.

She looked like an American ship, from her white cotton canvas and general appearance. We saw no sign of anyone being on board of her and so did not stop or delay as the old Man was anxious to make Banks’ Island that night. The ship had been left with all her canvas set just as she struck, her cross jack and main sail were hauled up, her three top sails were set but the three top-gallant sails had been settled down on to the caps; she was on the star-board tack and all the lee braces had been let go, but the main top-sail brace for all the sails, but the main top-sails were aback, the jib top-sail, halyards had been let go but the sail was only half down, the rest of her jibs were all set and full. She did not appear to have been long there. We made Banks’ Island that night. ‘One more day’ the old Man said and we should be through as the Rain Island Passage is the shortest of the three passages through, but it is also the most dangerous.

Next morning the sun rose in a hazy kind of vapor that did not promise a very nice day. First, the old Man did not care to leave for it is dangerous navigation even on dull cloudy days, but the wind freshened up after breakfast and he gave the order to get under way, and we left before noon.

We passed two more wrecks, one of them a brig, was dismasted a short distance above the decks; the other one, a barque, her canvas was still on her but all stowed. Keeping away from the Barque we kept off a little too far and grate, grate went our own keel on a coral reef; she partially hung for a few minutes and then went clear – ‘A close shave that’, said the old Man, ‘Could not you fellows see that reef from aloft?’ sung out the old Man, ‘No’, replied the second mate ‘I canna see Muckle o any thing we a this lowrie weather aboot us’ the lead had been cast only a few minutes before and no bottom. We all felt relieved at our escape for it was a close one, and I was glad when Mount Adolphus Island hove in sight after passing a small wooded island that had prevented us from seeing it sooner.

We had a nice fresh breeze and soon ran past the southern point of the Island and let go the anchor in the same little bay that we anchored in with the ‘Pride of the Seas’. We stayed there two days, filled up our water barrels that were empty and got some shell fish, but we saw no black fellows.

Capt. Leslie did not have the same disposition to go ashore that Capt. Hodges of the ‘Pride of the Sea’ had – he never went ashore at all, but the Super-cargo was ashore once with his Manilla servant shooting cockatoos, that being all the game they could find.

The third morning we got under way with light trades, the sea had scarcely a ripple on its surface. The second day from the straits we passed Booby Island, but did not go ashore.

The old Man watched the Island closely with his glass to see if there were any of the ship-wrecked vessels’ crews there or not, but seeing no signs of any one on the Island, we kept right along.

We had very light winds now for a week or more – we saw some of those ringed water snakes but not so numerous as on a former voyage in the ‘Pride of the Seas’. We were ten days out from Mount Adolphus Island before we raised the sharp peaks that were outlined in deep contrast with the deep blue of the sea, as they rose up from the Ocean’s depths on the South West side of the Island of Timor. As we drew nearer we saw that those ranges of hills that at a distance appeared to be heavily timbered, were nothing but bare rocks, over two thirds of their distance to the summit, vegetation not extending apparently very far up those rocky sides.

The wind continued very light and it was noon the following day after rounding a small rocky point on the North-east side of the Island that we opened out the town and harbor of Copang.

The town had a straggling appearance looking at it from the vessel as we steered into the Bay and came to anchor about one mile from shore, right opposite the largest group of houses from one of which the Dutch flag was flying Timor being one of the Dutch East India Islands.

It was to this place, Copang, that Captain William (‘Breadfruit’) Bligh navigated his open boat over three thousand miles, after being set adrift along with all who were not concerned in the Mutiny of his vessel the ‘Bounty’ nineteen all told. The Bounty, a Ship belonging to the British Navy was sent in 1777 under command of Lieutenant Bligh to collect young plants of the Bread Fruit tree among the Society Islands and carry them to the West Indies. While at Otaheite most of her officers and men formed attachment with native girls and with her first Lieutenant Mr. Christian for ring-leader, concocted a plan to capture the vessel and stay there. Some days after the vessel had sailed with her cargo of bread fruit all completed, Captain Bligh was surprised one night in his cabin and he and eighteen more who would take no part in the mutiny, were compelled to go over the side in one of the ship’s boats – some small arms and ammunition were given them, a quadrant and some bread and salt meat and some water, sufficient to last them with care for ten or twelve days.

Captain Bligh attempted to land on several islands but finding the natives hostile, was forced to leave, and finally after untold privations reached Copang in Timor, from which place the Government sent them in a Dutch Man of War schooner to Batavia, and from there to Hong Kong.

The Mutineers after getting possession of the vessel returned to Otaheite and taking their native girls and some native men, sailed away in search of some desert island to settle on. They found what they wanted on Pitcairn Island where after taking all that was valuable from the ship she was destroyed, and though the British Man of War ‘Pandora’ was sent out to hunt them up and was herself lost on a coral reef in the South Sea.

No trace of the mutineers was ever found for more than thirty years when the American brig ‘Topaz’ on her voyage from Australia to Valparaiso, got becalmed off Pitcairn Island, laid down on the chart as a desert island, was suprised to receive a visit from the island by what the Captain took top be South Sea Islanders, but who spoke perfect English, and told him that they were descendants of the Mutineers of the ‘Bounty’ and that he who was then talking to the Captain was the son of Mr. Christian the ringleader of the Mutineers.

The American Captain reported on his arrival at Valparaiso his discovery to the Commander of the English Man of War, who went out to investigate, and since that time the Pitcairn Islanders have been wards of the British Government and their number having increased so that the Government had decided to remove them to Norfolk Island, the garden of the whole South Seas, and I was not yet over my disappointment at not going on that voyage in the barque ‘Faith’.

As soon as we were to anchor and sails stowed a boat was lowered and the old Man and super-cargo went ashore to make arrangements about our load of ponies, and a permit obtained to go to an island called ‘Rota’ about 24 hours sail from Copang, lying about North-east from us.

But the first thing to do before we went was to get overboard all our empty water casks, tow them ashore and fill them with freshwater and tow them back and hoist aboard again and lash them securely in their places on deck. The getting of the water occupied up most of two days and we did not get away for one cause or another for four days.

We got liberty day ashore here. I enjoyed a good ramble ashore. The town itself does not differ from any other native town among the Malay Islands one long rambling street the houses are all built with bamboo and thatched with plantain leaves; every thing airy and well ventilated, for very often the sides are nothing but mats made of split bamboo. In fact, I don’t know what they don’t make out of bamboo and cocoa-nut wood.

Here too, we found the China man the leading merchant as he is all over the Indian Archipelago; where ever there is an opening for trade John is on hand. The Malay has no business instincts about him, and the China man is all business and they are swarming in every town in the Indian Ocean.

As Copang is the only town of any note among these islands, of which there are quite a number within two or three days sail from Copang. It contains the residence of the Governor who collects revenues from all the trade down among those islands from the native Rajahs as they are under the protection of Holland, and from what I could see, I should judge that country ruled them with an iron hand.

However, we got under way for ‘Roto’. We passed two large islands before dark and went through a large fleet of proah’s returning from fishing.

Having tow men on board who could speak Malay we learned from the Captain of a large proah that came alongside that ‘Rota’ was the next island we should make. Mr. Tousaint, the super-cargo, made the remark to-day that had he known he could get a man like old Martin, he need not have brought the Manilla man with him for interpreter, for Martin spoke both Spanish and Malay; though Mr. Tousaint spoke English with difficulty, he spoke Spanish fluently, and their conversations were generally carried on in that language.

>From the Captain or head man of the proah we learned that the two islands just passed were Sambwa and Batac-Sainbwa being the island to leeward of us.

As the wind continued very light we did not make Rota until noon the next day. Capt. Leslie had been advised to anchor on the North-east side of Rota, the Rajahs on that side of the island owning the most ponies. After getting to anchor the super-cargo was put ashore taking with him both his own servant and old Martin, to make trade. On going ashore Mr Tousaint ascertained that the rajah he would have to trade with was up in the country some five or six miles, so he and the Manilla man went up to see, and before dark were back, having made arrangements for a load of ponies, and next day from the vessel we could see the small horses coming down in droves, to the beach, but they were all picketed out as we were not ready to receive them yet.

Our large surf boat was now got out and taken ashore and the Malays were at work cutting down cocoa- nut trees and the logs were brought down to the beach and split in to halves and rafted – and bamboos were also brought down and rafted and taken off to the vessel which lay about two miles off shore.

The logs were hoisted aboard and sent down the hold and laid athwart ship with the split side up to form a floor, and the bamboo nailed and lashed to form stalls for the horses, as each horse had to have a separate stall for himself.

It was three or four days before we were ready to receive them and then the fun began.

The surf boat was taken in tow by the gig, and towed in shore and anchored about one hundred feet from shore, and two men left in her to make the horses’ heads fast; this was a method of taking horses on a vessel I had never seen before. A Malay mounted a horse with nothing but a rope halter and rode it for the water, and the horse not being broke, almost wild, it was not easily mounted and still harder to drive without bit.

Sometimes after getting them into the water when the surf ran up to them they would wheel like a flash and start on a run, but there being so many Malays on the beach, they headed them off and partly driving and leading got them out to where they had to swim, when a small line from the surf boat was made fast to the halter and the horse was steered that way alongside the surf boat, and his head made fast to the rising inside the boat’s gunwale.

In this manner we took three on each side of the surf boat and then we took the surf boat in tow with the gig towing her to the vessel; then with the regular horse sling we slung them in the water and with a tackle from the main yard ran them up a little higher than the rail, when another tackle that hung plumb with the main hatch was hooked on and the horse lowered into the hold without his feet touching anything after he left the shore until he landed safe in the hold and was then led to his stall.

In this manner we took aboard ninety horses; forty- five on each side of the vessel’s hold with their heads all facing out and a passage between them for feeding and watering them. We were more than a week getting the horses aboard and they filled the hold full, and the next question was, where the feed was to be stowed that would be required to feed that number of horses for five or six weeks.

The mate finally solved that question by sending ashore for some long bamboo poles and rigging them out from the side of the vessel to which they were made fast, and supported their outer ends by guys to the top mast heads. On these, split bamboos were laid fore and aft and guys from each end to steady them and the whole structure lashed so that it was a part of the vessel as it were – On to this staging, boat load after boat load of rice straw was brought from shore and piled on the staging on both sides, for both sides were fitted alike until the old ‘Star’ looked more like a floating barn- yard or straw-stack than she did like a vessel. Our water casks now had to be all filled again; they were all rafted that were empty and towed to a small creek that made out from the island about four miles east from where we lay. We had Malays plenty of them to help us at all this work and after the water was aboard Mr. Tousaint finished by sending aboard one hundred and twenty-five sheep – such sheep too, I had never seen before.

Australia was a great sheep country but there were none like these, for their wool was as straight as goats’ hair, but in every other respect they did not differ from other sheep – but they were fat and made good mutton.

We were now loaded and ready for sea when the rajah from who the whole load had been purchased, came off in a large proah singing and beating tom toms to get his pay for the horses and sheep.

I expected to see bags of ruppees come out of the cabin but instead we were called aft to rouse out some old boxes that old Martin and I had helped stow away when we first shipped in the ‘Star’. We notices at the time how heavy they were – they were broken up on deck and out of them were taken six dozen of old army muskets and as many dozen heavy knives or what the Spaniards call a machete, about half knife and half hatchet, and twelve bags of gunpowder and as many bags of shot. These were all turned over to the rajah or chief who received them with as many salams as though he had been invested with some Royal order. I learned afterwards that Mr. Tousaint had stipulated for the delivery on board the vessel of ninety horses and one hundred and thirty sheep and all the help necessary to get them on board and ‘Paddy’ straw as rice straw is called, enough to last them six weeks. But as only one hundred and twenty-five sheep were sent, fifteen dozen fowls or chickens were sent off; the old Man also bought about ten dozen and we men forward had traded knives and clothing for about twenty dozen more, and they were all turned loose down the hold, so we concluded to have curried chicken and chicken pot pie as long as any chickens were left, but we found out the chickens were destined to furnish sport as well as soup and pot pie, for the Manilla man had along with him knives and spurs made of steel to fit on to the roosters, and cock fights were fought every day on deck.

Mr. Tousaint and the Manilla man were enthusiastic on cock fighting. In fact, it is almost a national pastime in Manilla and all over the Philipine Islands amoung the Spaniards; their Sunday in Manilla being devoted altogether to cock fighting and gambling before and after mass or church time.

After everything was on board and water casks secured and decks cleaned, the windlass was manned and our anchor was lifted for the last time.

We got under way with a fair wind that we carried the whole of the passage for six weeks. Our starboard fore top mast studding sail was set the day we left Rota and never taken in until the Pilot ordered it taken in off Port Louis Harbor.

Going in we had a pleasant fine weather passage all the way – cock fighting every day as long as there were any cocks left to fight, and as long as there were any chickens left we had some forward.

Of the sheep, one hundred were taken ashore in Port Louis, the other twenty-five were killed on the passage. Of the horses, we did not lose one and only one got down so that we had to sling him up in his stall. It was a long time for them to be on their feet, but having such a fine, smoothe water passage they had not suffered anything from the vessel rolling or pitching, and having plenty of feed and water for them, they were landed in fine condition.

I saw some of them after we got ashore, for after the ‘Star’ was moored in the tier of vessels, she was ordered to, with two anchors down ahead and one astern from the port quarter and a chain shackled on to it from the star board quarter and her top-gallant yards sent down.

We were paid off, Captain Leslie telling us she was to be sold. So we took our discharge from the ‘Star’ and two months pay and a little over, for we had worked our months advance up and had near Twenty-five Pounds Sterling for a pay day.

My discharge from the ‘Star’ was dated Nov. 17, 1854. Old Martin having been here before was acquainted enough to know where to go for a good boarding house, so I let him pilot the way and he landed us at the Mauritious Hotel ‘Rue Dauphine’, right opposite the French market, at which house I boarded for nearly three months till my last shilling was almost gone.

Old Martin was dead broke in two weeks and went away in a country ship belonging to Bombay, called the ‘Koinoor’ bound to Batavia; he went as second mate of her. AS she carried a Lascar crew his being able to speak Bengalle was of some service to him now. I could have shipped in the ‘Koinoor’ as Quarter-master but had made up my mind to get back to the colonies again.

I had chances to ship almost any day for London or Liverpool or some part of England or Scotland, or in Country ships for some part of India. There was a great many ships and barques owned by Parsee merchants in Bombay, Madras and Calcutta trading all over the Indian Ocean, manned by native crews, Lascar or Bengallees with a serang or native boatswain and white men for officers and quarter-masters – they are known as Country ‘Wallahs’. I could have shipped in one of those ships almost any time but did not care about them.

Captain Leslie was still retained in the ‘Star’; she unloaded her horses and sailed for Mozambique for cattle to Bourbon; there were none of the old crew stayed in her but the Captain and cook, the mate and second mate went away to London in an old barque called the ‘Orient’. Before I left Port Louis I was the only one of the ‘Star’s’ crew left then. There were several colonial vessels in port from Hobarttown and Adelaide and Melbourne, and I wanted to get away in one of those vessels.

I had been ashore some five or six weeks enjoying myself – generally, a party of seven of us all sailors would hire a rig to take us out to a noted resort for all visitors to Port Louis, about ten miles from town known as ‘Paul and Virginia’s graves’. The gardens are beautifully laid out and restaurants that are well patronized – their table service being a reproduction from Parisian restaurants – proprietors and servants all French and the French language almost the only language spoken there, although they could most all speak English if necessary, but the French language is the universal language used all through the whole group of the Mauritious Islands; those islands having been captured from the French during the last war between France and Great Britain. After seeing the principal attraction of these grounds, the grave of ‘Paul and Virginia’ the hero and heroine of the Island, the history of whose lives and their deaths in the wrecking of a French ship on the coast of the Island, is embodied in the well known novel of ‘Paul and Virginia’. The gardens too, are well worth a visit to see, artistically laid out and filled with the choicest of tropical flowers and plants. We spent a pleasant and enjoyable day out there and a ride back to town at night behind a lively little team of just such pretty little horses as we brought from Rota.

The time slipped by rapidly and while I had plenty of money, I never noticed the time going, for Port Louis is a very pleasant place to pass away a few months in, and a little money goes a long way, but after I had been ashore for about ten weeks, mine began to run short, and I began to think I should have to go either to some port in the Old Country or to some part of the East Indies, for there were chances almost every day to ship to those place, or to go to the United States, but back in Australia was where I had made up my mind to go if I had to stow away in one of the Colonial vessels there.

Port Louis is subject to very severe hurricanes, and as I said before, all the vessels lay in tiers moored head and stern, and when a vessel is to go out the Pilot who is to take her out goes aboard with his divers, Madagascar negroes who go down and unshackle the chains from the anchors that have probably been overlaid by half a dozen other chains from other vessels; the chains are hauled clear from underneath the other chains and then the divers go down again and reeve a line through the ring of the anchor, and comes along the bottom and bends on or makes fast to the chain again, which is then hauled out to the anchor and shackled on again. This has to be done with all her anchors before they can be lifted.

So when a vessel gets ready to go to sea, it sometimes takes a day or two to get her chains clear and anchors up, she is then hauled out to the loaded buoy, a buoy laid down with heavy moorings in a wide strip of open water that is always kept clear for vessels to pass in or out of the Harbor.

The tiers of vessels being on each side, sometimes a vessel after hauling out to the loaded buoy would lay there a day or two for some cause or other, business not completed ashore or some other cause.

I had kept pretty good watch on all the Australian vessels so as not to lose a berth in any of them, if there was an opening made by any cause or other, for there were other men besides myself who wanted to get back to Australia.

Among the Colonial vessels the first one to be ready for sea was a small brigantine of about two hundred tons, called the ‘Swallow’. She had hauled out to the loaded buoy and lay there all one day without making any move to leave. The next day her canvas was made and she lay there with slip lines to the buoy.

I got in conversation with some of her crew coming ashore to the landing, and found out that one of her men had got badly hurt the day before, and had been taken to the hospital and it was thought his leg was broken he was hurt so bad anyway that he would have to be left ashore. While we were talking the Captain came down to the boat, and his first word was to me, to know if I wanted to ship.

I told him yes, and I was so glad at the chance that I never asked him anything about the wages, for he told me to get my dunnage and get down to the boat as the pilot was aboard and he was ready to leave, and he had to leave his wounded man ashore.

I was not long going up to the hotel and bidding all who were in the house at the time a hasty farewell, loading my sea chest and hammock into a one horse cart, drove to the landing and went aboard.

As soon as my dunnage was passed over her side orders were given to take in the boat, and by the time I had taken my fixings down the fore-castle and changed my clothes and got on deck, the boat was on deck, and as soon as it was in place on chocks abaft the galley and lashed, the slip lines were let go and the ‘Swallow’ under way with all the canvas set and was not long in passing through the tiers of shipping, and getting outside the Heads to the sea.

The pilot took as small sail boat out with him towing astern, with two or three of his Madagascar negroes along, and after we got five or six miles clear of the Heads, he had her hauled alongside, and wishing us a pleasant voyage, made sail on his boat and went back to the harbor, as there was nothing in sight bound in.

We had a good breeze to leave with and the old Man made good use of it for four or five days and let her go to the South’erd and East’erd so as to get into the strong westerly winds, he could naturally look for further South.

I found the ‘Swallow’ to be a good, comfortable and a handy little brig, steered well and worked well and did not make much water; she was loaded with sugar, about the only product shipped from any of the Mauritious.

I now found the ‘Swallow’ belonged to and was bound to Adelaide, South Australia, and that pleased me for I had some friends there, having made my first trip on the Australian coast to Adelaide, in an old barque called the ‘Edward’, from Melbourne.

The day after we got to sea I had been called down the cabin to sign articles, and was then told that I should receive the same wages as the rest of the crew, Eight Pounds per month, the wages out of Adelaide; though the wages out to Port Louis were only Six pounds per month.

The ‘Swallow’ carried four men before the mast, mate and second mate, the old Man I was told owning a half interest in the vessel. His tongue would tell he was Scotch before I heard his name, which I now found to be McLeod. I found him a kind humane man and a sailor every inch, and I could not but admire and like him for the treatment we all received at his hands and the manner in which he handled the little brig in some heavy gales.

We took off Cape Leuwin and after we got on to the Australian coast she was loaded deep and took some heavy seas aboard. We got as far south as Forth-eight South Latitude, and for four or five days we had some cold weather, but that was soon changed when the old Man hauled her up for the coast.

As a sailer, I could not give her much praise, for I thought her very slow on the wind, but give her the wind about two points on the quarter so that all her canvas could pull and her lower and fore-top mast and top-gallant studding sails set, then she could get off about eight or nine knots an hour.

However, we were five weeks out from Port Louis before we made the high blue hills off Kangaroo Island at the entrance to the Gulf, up at the head of which, on the eastern shore, the river Torrens a small short stream, empties in to and seven miles up the River is the place we were bound to, Port Adelaide, the City of Adelaide being seven miles back in-land, connected with the Port by a good, well kept road and busses or stages leaving every hour.

We had a hard wind to get up to the anchorage with so that it took us the most of two days to beat up there, but when we got up to the anchorage we were fortunate to get a pilot aboard right away, who, instead of bringing us to anchor, kept us going for the River just as flood tide made, and that night we were made fast on the Oriental Company’s wharf.