A Lady's Visit To The Gold Diggings Of Australia In 1852-53 By Mrs Charles (Ellen) Clacy




















































































































 - 

Ah, skipper! times isn't as they used to was, shouted one, addressing
the captain of one of the vessels then - Page 9
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"Ah, Skipper!

Times isn't as they used to was," shouted one, addressing the captain of one of the vessels then lying in the bay, who was rowing himself to shore, with no other assistant or companion than a sailor-boy.

The captain, a well-built, fine-looking specimen of an English seaman, merely laughed at this impromptu salutation.

"I say, skipper, I don't quite like that d - - d stroke of yours."

No answer; but, as if completely deaf to these remarks, as well as the insulting tone in which they were delivered, the "skipper" continued giving his orders to his boy, and then leisurely ascended the steps. He walked straight up to the waterman, who was lounging against the railing.

"So, my fine fellow, you didn't quite admire that stroke of mine. Now, I've another stroke that I think you'll admire still less," and with one blow he sent him reeling against the railing on the opposite side.

The waterman slowly recovered his equilibrium, muttering, "that was a safe dodge, as the gentleman knew he was the heaviest man of the two."

"Then never let your tongue say what your fist can't defend," was the cool retort, as another blow sent him staggering to his original place, amidst the unrestrained laughter of his companions, whilst the captain unconcernedly walked into Liardet's, whither we also betook ourselves, not a little surprised and amused by this our first introduction to colonial customs and manners.

The fact is, the watermen regard the masters of the ships in the bay as sworn enemies to their business; many are runaway sailors, and therefore, I suppose, have a natural antipathy that way; added to which, besides being no customers themselves, the "skippers," by the loan of their boats, often save their friends from the exorbitant charges these watermen levy.

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