Australian Search Party - A Record Of Discovery, Geography, And Adventure By Charles Henry Eden


Beautiful as the scene always was, it struck me that day as being of
unusual splendour.  The tall gum-trees - Page 20
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Beautiful As The Scene Always Was, It Struck Me That Day As Being Of Unusual Splendour.

The tall gum-trees, with their naked stems, and curious hanging leaves that exasperate the heated traveller by throwing the scantiest of shadows, glistened dew-beaded in the rising sun.

The laughing jackass, perched upon a bare limb, was awaking the forest echoes with his insane fits of laughter, alternating from a good-humoured chuckle to the frenzied ravings of a despairing maniac. Suddenly ceasing, he would dart down upon some hapless lizard, too early astir for its own safety, and, with his writhing prey in his bill, would fly to some other branch, and after swallowing his captive, burst forth into a yell of self-gratulation even-more fiendish than before. The delicate little "paddy melon," a small species of kangaroo, turned his gracefully-formed little head, beautiful as a fawn's, and, startled at the strange figure in the verandah, stood hesitatingly for a few seconds, and then, bending forward, bounded into the scrub, the noise caused by the flapping of its tail being audible long after the little animal itself was lost to sight. The white cockatoos, alarmed by the outcry of the sentry - for, like the English rooks, they always tell off some of their number to keep a look-out - who with sulphur-coloured crest, erect and outstretched neck, kept up a constant cry of warning, rose from the maize patch, the spotless white of their plumage glancing in the sun, and forming a beautiful contrast to the pale straw-colour of the under portion of their extended pinions.

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