A NARRATIVE OF FIVE YEARS' PIONEERING AND EXPLORATION IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA
TO MY MOTHER
"An honest tale speeds best, being plainly told."
The following pages profess to be no more than a faithful narrative of
five years spent on the goldfields and in the far interior of Western
Australia. Any one looking for stirring adventures, hairbreadth escapes
from wild animals and men, will be disappointed. In the Australian Bush
the traveller has only Nature to war against - over him hangs always the
chance of death from thirst, and sometimes from the attacks of hostile
aboriginals; he has no spice of adventure, no record heads of rare game,
no exciting escapades with dangerous beasts, to spur him on; no beautiful
scenery, broad lakes, or winding rivers to make life pleasant for him.
The unbroken monotony of an arid, uninteresting country has to be faced.
Nature everywhere demands his toil. Unless he has within him impulses that
give him courage to go on, he will soon return; for he will find nothing
in his surroundings to act as an incentive to tempt him further.
I trust my readers will be able to glean a little knowledge of the
hardships and dangers that beset the paths of Australian pioneers, and
will learn something of the trials and difficulties encountered by a
prospector, recognising that he is often inspired by some higher feeling
than the mere "lust of gold."
Wherever possible, I have endeavoured to add interest to my own
experiences by recounting those of other travellers; and, by studying the
few books that touch upon such matters to explain any points in connection
with the aboriginals that from my own knowledge I am unable to do.