Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Way out west.

Tuesday April 10th 1930:

Left early this morning for Riversleigh, taking serum for inoculationg bullocks and other stuff they were wanting. Left Mr Foster in hospital. Took Gladys and Glen Reilly. Had ‘smoko’ at No 1 on Rocklands. A few miles further on had a blow out, a couple of the tyres not too good. My own stupidity, cost me a blow out in the spare when taking it off, so then had to mend the first blow out and then had no spare. Went back to No 21 but they had no tubes. Went on again and met young Naughton, owner of Riversleigh returning. A bit of a know-all. Made a great fuss about our tyres, reckoned we would never get there. Seemed very concerned about getting the serum there. Went on and pulled upnat Gallipoli station. While there Naughton returned and said he would take the things on and we had better return to Camooweal. Did not like his manner so in the end said we would go and he could follow if he liked. He liked and followed. Called in for a few minutes at Herbertvale. 10m miles on was the last we saw of Naughton Did not go back but kept going. Had some tea with Billy Walker at The Springs and went on to do the last 15 miles. Took some time to find the crossing at the Gregory. Eventually reached Riversleigh at 10 pm. All in bed. Got them out and soon found beds and into them. Gladys very pleased to be home.

Friday April 11th 1930:

Spent most of the morning getting the tyres patched up and greasing the car. Went down to the yards and watched the inoculating for a while. At lunch time Naughton arrived. He had had tyre trouble himself and a 5 mile walk. We had the laugh on him. Was not sorry for him. Had a sleep after lunch until smoko, then all boarded the car and went 3 miles down to the falls. Went fishing for half an hour with the boys and got seven between us, got 3 myself. Home for tea and had a musical evening on the gramaphone.

Saturday April 12th 1930:

Left Riversleigh at 9 am. Had ‘smoko’ at The Springs with Billy Walker and reached Herbertvale in time for lunch. Went on and called in at Gallipoli just as a cup of tea was on tap. Left there and reached Camooweal at 6 pm after a good run. Went up to Hospital and saw mMr Foster and gave him all the news. The country looks wonderfully well now. Plenty of grass and just about a plague of grasshoppers. Cattle are being mustered on all stations prior to being taken in hand by drovers.

Sunday April 13th 1930:

The usual Sabbath routine. Had Sunday School in the morning, a read and sleep in the afternoon and service at night. A nice number were out at the evening service. A very quiet day in the town, most of the folk remaining indoors. The Dr and Shire clerk left yesterday by plane for Kajabbi where there is an outbreak of typhoid.

Monday April 14th 1930:

Spent the morning in getting the car in running order for the road and the afternoon in doing all my ironing. Got the car loaded up and ready to start off in the morning. Did some writing at night.

Tuesday April 15th 1930:

Left Camooweal at 8 am en route for Anthony’s Lagoon 270 miles west. Reached Avon after a 2 hours run. The road very rough in places. Has leaving picked up a simple, harmless looking poor wretch who wants to reach Darwin. Goodness knows what he will do when he gets there if he ever does. Arrived at the rankine at 1 pm and pulled up at the Police Station and had lunch. Played a couple of games of billiards afterwards. Called over at the store and met there the folk from Alexandria and Brunette who had arrived a little time previously. Put oj another passenger here in the person of Mounted Constable Deviney and moved off. Had a good run to Alexandria , 42 miles, the road for the most part being fair. Arrived here right on ‘smoko’, showing great judgement and did justice to the dainty repast set for us by Miss Thorpe. Unloaded some goods I had for this station and at 4.30 left to do the 60 miles to Brunette. The first 20 miles was good but the last very rough owing to cattle traveling it in the wet weather. Reached here just as the book-keeper was preparing to eat on his own as the family was on the road behind us. Had an excellent tea and as the night was so cool with a fullmoon making traveling most pleasant we decided to keep going and reach Anthony’s Lagoon another 60 miles on. Left Brunette a little after 8 pm and had a great run to the first bore 17 miles out along a freshly fireploughed road. From here the road was very rough and traveling very slow. 20 miles out met Constable Hall from Anthony’s riding into Brunette to do business bt wireless. Had a yarn to him and went on. Eventually reached Anthony’s just on midnight. Pulled up at the Police Station and took charge in the absence of Constable Hall. Unrolled swags and were soon lost in slumber.

Wednesday April 16th 1930:

Did not arise very early but when Molly the gin ranfg the dressing bell (a cow bell) and a gfew minutes later the breakfast bell (a real one ) we soon tumbled out. Provisions are a bit low at present and Molly not expecting visitors had done no baking but had a good breakfast on porridge and scones and bread and jam. Went up and called on Mr Cotton and Mr Wilson at the cattle station homestead and then across to Mr Biondi at the Anthony’s Lagoon store.

Had lunch up at the cattle station ranch. Spent the afternoon attending to the needs of the bus. Cotton, Wilson, Deviney and self went for a swim in the lagoon before tea and very nice.

Molly gave us a good tea of corned beef and stewed fruit and custard. Ent up to the ‘Cotton’ ranch at night to ‘listen in’ (to the wireless is my guess) but were disappointed as she would not work. Anthony’s Lagoon is at present very up to date, comprising on one side of the creek a general store run by Mr Biondi, who in reality is Count Mario Charles Perifano Biondi of Italy and who during my stay here is to be married to an aboriginal half-catse by name, Queenie Cresswell. On the oyther side is the Police Station where is stationed mounted Constable Hall and further up the road is the homestead of the Anthony’s Lagoon Cattle station, where reside the manager Mr Cotton, Mr Wilson a pilot with a Moth, the property of the owners of the station, and not forgetting Mrs Murphy the cook. There are of course numerous blacks about the place.

Thursday April 17th 1930:

The mail plane arrived from Camooweal this morning , bearing all the latest news of the outside world. After a stay of 5 minutes it continued its flight to Daly Waters. Mr Cotton and M r Wilson hopped over by Moth to Brunette this morning to use the wireless over there. Mr Deviney and self went looking for ribbon stone until lunch time but did mot get a great deal that was much good. After lunch took Nipper the black tracker with me in the car and went out 4 miles where he said was plenty ribbon stone. Got a fair bit some good stuff amongst it. Called and saw Biondi and made all arrangement for the wedding in the evening. Deviney and self dined again this evening up at the station ranch. All went over to the wedding, where in the store, behind the counter amongst boxes, tins, cobwebs and dust an Italian count and an australian aboriginal half-caste were joined together in holy matrimony. The dusky bride wondered what was going to happen to her but came out very well with ‘I will’. The bridegroom in his grey flannel shirt and working trousers was in no ways flustered as he leaned with one elbow on the counter and his head supported in his hand. During the ceremony a one-eyed, fat, greasy dirty individual, who lives with Biondi and who evidentally was not impressed, leant across the counter and in an audible whisper asked Doug Cotton if he had any Elliman’s embrocation as he was suffering from rheumatism again. The bride was able to sign Queenie, although she printed it. When it was all over Queenie was dismissed with the injunction not to lose that, that she had on her finger and she wasted no time in fleeing. Thte the men celebrated the occasion in whiskey and lime juice. I thought of suggesting when the ceremony was over, thatv the 10 or 12 children should be brought in and baptized but deemed it neither appropriate nor advisable.

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