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his eye and manner, which had a curious effect. was evident that the gold was formed someThe hunt for gold is, after all, a sort of where else than in the alluvial deposits from gambling with nature, and though the ways which they now worked it. It was, therefore, and details of the stakes are different, yet the washed down by streams from its original site, same influences affect, in varying ratio and or had in former times been so washed down, degree, the professed gamester at Homburg or and thus was always found either in the beds Baden and the Australian digger. A blind of rivers, or in the valleys made by streams subserviency to simple chance has a deterio- now dried up. The form in which they found rating influence on ordinary labour, and by its it, whether in dust, grains, scales, or nuggets, disloyalty to the laws of nature, which are of was always water-worn, and such as to show that code under which men are truly taught that it had been carried by the currrent, and to look for their daily bread, leave room acted upon by the friction. Purely natural for vices to grow, and weaknesses to harden agencies, of which water-action was one, at work into vices. It is often seen that men whose through long series of generations, had without intellects are acute, and whose reason is strong doubt dissolved the rock in which the gold was in other atmospheres, will bow round the born, but had no action on the metal, and the
ming-table with childish obedience to some particles of gold were carried forward amid vague theory of chance which they could not the débris of the rock, and finally mingled with find a reason to approve. All the circumstances it when it became a deposit of clay in the bed are different with the Australian digger, but of the river—which might be running now, or his nature is the same, and in degree is affected which might have ceased to run, leaving a by the same cause.
becomes so valley, or gully, such as those from which they absorbing that other things are forgotten. In were now accustomed to work it by washing. every other sphere labour is accepted as a task, Now gold is at least seven times heavier than and yielded as a price to be paid, and rest any rock, and not being subject to decay by from it is sought by men- - by some whenever water, or time, or ordinary natural agencies, it may be taken on the other side of the line of the portions released, however minute, must be duty, by others from idleness. The digger of much greater weight than the particles of for gold finds such feelings absorbed in his disintegrated rock which formed the clay. pursuit. He has a diseased craving for the on this very principle that they now work. Different natures are of course bent washed the clay in their cradles. It was fair differently by the same strong influence, but enough and natural to suppose that a violent all are bent. In some the strain wreaks ample current would have amply sufficient strength ruin, and vice and crime grow rankly ; but in to hurry even considerable portions down, and others, though the influence is felt, the roots there might be, or have been, agencies with are not displaced. It was, therefore, curious, which we are not acquainted which would but not strange, that when Philip spoke with transport large isolated pieces. But, he argued, all his earnestness his three companions gra- it was equally fair to suppose that those larger dually listened to his speculations almost as nuggets or masses which had been set free by though he were an oracle, and that, had they the disintegration of the rocks in which they confessed truly to themselves, they did so were born, and which had not been carried because of an indefinable and simple belief in away by some exceptional agency, had settled his lucky star! James and William Burlow down by natural laws, either on their original were inen of long experience in the colony, and site, or been removed perhaps by the first had been at the diggings from the first dis- violence of the torrent which broke up their covery ; Gordon had almost an equal expe- rocky covering, not far from it.
The larger rience of gold-finding, if not of colonial life; the pieces the shorter the distance they could but Philip had been with them barely for two have been removed by such natural forces, months.
unless exceptionally. Where should they seek Philip's enthusiasm certainly for the time-how could they find such sites ? had a strong effect upon them all, and they The companions drew closer together, and began to discuss his views in the most sanguine there was a momentary silence ; but the goldmanner. They were all seated just inside their fever was intensely plain in a burning red spot tent when they commenced the division of the on each cheek, and in the fiery earnestness in gold; but when they proceeded to talk over every eye.
Men are dangerous when crossed their prospects and proposals, William Burlow at times like these. Then there followed a carefully drew together the canvas flaps which rapid and desultory conversation, full of were used to close the entrance to the tent, sanguine speculations. James Burlow drew and then they spoke in an eager undertone. apart, sat a little back in the tent, and beThe gist of Philip's speculations was this. It
He was making a great struggle,
such as only a strong man cares to initiate, to have defrauded Richard Gordon's father of against the seduction of passionate speculation, a large sum by an ingenious transaction, the
a and the too hasty desertion of facts and reason. particulars of which had never seen the light; But it was easy to see that Gordon and and in this he was said to have been helped William Burlow now spoke to Philip with a by a certain Major Cutler, of a native regiment sort of deference in their manner and their stationed at the same place. Philip knew as ideas akin to subserviency. The weak moment much as this of the matter, but no more. On had supervened, and they were offering un- the first day of his arrival, when Philip was conscious homage to his lucky star, and the inquiring for his friends, he had got from many homage seemed growing kindred to a blinded of the diggers but short answers and no infortrust. So they conversed of probabilities till, mation, till he asked a tall man, who, muddy elated, Philip in a louder tone said that he felt to the eyes, was working a cradle with great he could lead them where such might be found avidity, and who, unlike the rest, stepped -he felt he should be so fortunate if they forward for a moment with some politeness, would explore.
and pointed to the very next claim, where At this moment they were stricken, as it James and William Burlow were working. were, into a momentary silence. They heard, Philip had remembered the strange courtesy, first a snap, as of some one treading on a dry and returned it, as he was working, in a hasty stick, outside the tent ; then the sound as acquaintanceship. The man was called William something touched an old tin dish which lay Brisbane. Before they knew each other's outside, and after that, of rapidly retreating names, in some light talk Philip had alluded footsteps. Some one had been listening. In to Brisbane's lameness, when he said carelessly a moment they were all outside the tent. that “ he had been in the army, and got a ball Gordon and William Burlow were first. It in his right knee in a duel at Bareilly ; but was almost dark, but Philip, looking in the he had left the army now.” Some time after opposite direction from that in which the step this, one evening, Philip went across to a small had been first heard, saw a man just entering store a good distance off to fetch something, the belt of trees near to which the tent was where he saw Brisbane, who was drinking and pitched. He called out and pointed. In an playing cards ou a barrel-head with another instant both Gordon and William Burlow fired digger. Brisbane cheated, and Philip saw their revolvers Gordon twice—but without the trick. The two players quarrelled, and a effect, and the man, whoever he was, was gone. drunken fight ensued, in which each used
“Who was he ?” asked James Burlow. furious words, and Philip heard Brisbane's " Who can he be ?” echoed Gordon.
opponent use these, “ You thieving hound ! “I did not see his face; I only caught sight You daren't use your own name.
I don't care of him for a moment as he went behind the who knows it, Major Cutler. That's your name trees," said Philip.
-Major William Brisbane Cutler !” Cutler Probably one of the ticket-of-leave turned his eye on Philip's face in an instant, scoundrels,” said William Burlow
we must and a drunken reconciliation and a restoration look out.”
followed. Philip departed, but had not gone But Philip knew, although he said nothing far toward his tent before Cutler limped after more.
him, and overtaking him, said, "I say, Fraser, He had noticed that the man was more than I want to say a word to you—and you had ordinarily tall, and that he had a peculiar better stop to hear me,” he added, fiercely. limping action with the right leg. He knew
began Philip with some him, but to have said so might have brought hesitation, to light a weakness under which he suffered. “Call me Brisbane, you know,” said Cutler, As they were to move, to be silent could have with a nasty chuckle.
“I don't want any in it no harm. He was silent, though he felt his quarrelling unless you do. I know more about face burn. He covered a first weakness, which you than perhaps you think ; at all events to have made known would have so detracted I know you well, for I knew your father in from his present exaltation, with another weak- India. You heard what that man said to me ness, and said nothing more.
just now, and I could see you knew my name The fact was this. Philip's father was when you heard it. Well, it is my name. captain in the —th. The regiment was long Have you heard it before ?” stationed at Bareilly, in the Indian service. “I have heard it before.” To his poor wife, Philip's mother, John Fraser “So I thought. Well, other people don't had behaved with brutal meanness, and the know it here, and it suits me that they shouldn't. dissolute rascal spent her
but I shall be much obliged if you won't menbe spent also more than hers. He was known tion it, especially in your gang,” he said ;
and the same chuckle stretched the thin lips | yield was not only not improved, it had grown under his heavy moustache over his white less. The spot seemed an unfortunate one, for teeth ; “I shall be much obliged, you know. not one single pugget, of even ordinary size, But if you should mention it, I can quit you had they found ; nor could they hear that by telling a good deal about your father. Yes, others had. At last, when they had laboured I knew Jack Fraser well—a good deal about three weeks thus, some one said the claim was Jack Fraser-and I could tell Gordon some- a failure ; and it was acknowledged so. The thing too. So don't you mention my name, reaction was severe after their undue elation ; excepting Brisbane ; and I don't want to quar- but, though a sort of carelessness and disconrel, or have anything unpleasant."
terit had come over them, they were not hope“ I don't want to interfere with you in any less by any means. At least, they had plenty way,” said Philip ; and he turned away, hu- of speculation left. The seed sown at their miliated, and with a sickening sensation of last conference, at Bendigo, was not forgotten, rage and insult, made powerless by those feel- but was cultured now ; and it was proposed ings which had grown from the ruins of bafiled and voted, while they covered what they knew love and respect. He blushed to be ashamed to be a weakness with much laughter and of his own father. The feeling held him still, jeering, that “Lucky Phil.” should try his and he was silent now.
hand and choose another claim. Philip chose The determination which the companions another, much higher up the gully ; and to ultimately arrived at was, that they would sud- work they went. denly start for Queensleigh, and try their best The spot that Philip selected was purely his to get a first chance there before the place be- own choice. It was just below where a concame much known. There was a sort of com- siderable and sudden rise took place in the promise in this, just enough of chance in it. ground, over which, perhaps, ages and ages ago James Burlow had endeavoured to talk down a torrent might have flowed ; but it seemed to
l the desire which the younger men had to en- have little of the ordinary signs of likelihood gage in a more simply speculative plan, and to recommend it. It was a considerable dishis discretion soon ballasted their ideas. The tance from the tent, and a good way from any next day they quietly made their preparations, water wherein they could fix their cradle to and long before dawn on the following morn- wash the soil recovered. They divided the ing they had started, with all their traps party for labour thus :-One sank the hole, packed in a small, strong cart, through the and threw up the soil to be washed ; one took bush for Queensleigh. They reached the place the soil in a barrow and wheeled it down to on the 11th of January, 1855, and were in the cradle, where the remaining two washed the best spirits when they pitched their tent it and sought for the gold. On the first mornon a slope, at the bottom of which ran the ing they went gaily enough to work, and each shallow, intermittent stream, The spot looked one lent a hand at opening the claim ; then most likely ; and they soon enjoyed the ex- they divided the party, set up the cradle, and citement of prospecting, with a sinall tin dish commenced in earnest. They did not get any in hand, for the choice of a claim. James gold at all the first day ; but on the second Burlow chose one, and the very next day they and third they came upon a stratum of pipewere at work. Only a few of the inevitable clay, in which they found the ore. But it did Chinamen, and not many diggers, were as yet not seem to be in greater quantity than they there, and they had plenty of freedom in the couid find anywhere almost. Still, no one said choice. But every day several more diggers so, and the work went on. On the fourth day arrived; and two or three days afterwards, when it came to Philip's turn to work down in sauntering back to the tent, Philip was sur- the hole ; Gordon and William Burlow were prised to find Brisbane accost them, asking, with stationed at the cradle ; and James Burlow an ill-concealed anxiety in his tone, “ What went between. luck? Where's your claim ?”
Philip felt a sort of thrill which he could not “Ah! so you've tried a move,” said Wil- well define as he stepped in and began his liam Burlow, laughing. “Well, it's pappy work. His choice had not fructified as yet ; enough to work in ; but it doesn't seem to but he was to put his own hand to it now; wash out much.” And they passed on. and whether it was hope he felt, or a sensation
William Burlow was right ; and they all more akin to that with which a man watches came gradually to confess the disappointment the turn of the card at rouge-et-noir, he hardly to themselves, if not openly to each other. It ventured to ask himself, nor did he express it was a great disappointment. The move ap- | in the least. He worked patiently thr«ugh the peared to be a failure. They tested the place morning and on into the afternoon, sometimes with hard and patient work ; but the average simply delving and sometimes wielding a short
* We must be careful of this, and not let it
pick. Every now and then James Burlow knelt down to examine it with an unerring came to load his barrow with the selected soil, instinct. or to help clear the hole of what was mani. James Burlow paused for a moment, breathfestly useless. The hole was sunk, in its ing hard, with his hand on the projecting mass, deepest part, more than thirteen feet, when it which stood out three or four inches from the became apparent that the seam of pipeclay was clay in the recess which Philip had hollowed failing. Philip having cleared right through out. He then took up the knife, cleared a the seam at one end of the claim, turned and little more, probed it further where Philip began working with his pick at the other. He pointed out the widening surface, and hastily had plunged it so often into the sticky soil took up a bit of the wet clay and dabbed it on with the same unvarying amount of resistance, the spot, covering the gold up again. and the same dull thud, that he was continuing the action almost mechanically and in an be known ; stay here quiet a minute while I abstracted mood. One, two, three, and then prospect.” And in a moment he was out of he wrenched the end of the pick from the clay the hole, and Philip lost sight of him, as after a somewhat deeper stroke. Again, one- Burlow gazed cautiously, and with apparent but the next blow sent a thrill through him, carelessness, around. He looked for a minute ; for the point struck, not deeply, but against then, as it seemed mechanically, took up his a hard, firm substance. What was this ? He spade, put it into the barrow, moved the barknelt upon the wet detached pieces of clay row a little nearer to the edge as though to and tore at the place with his hands. He felt, load it again, and, taking the spade, got down as he cleared it, a rounded point. He took into the hole. off his cap and held his head sideways, to let “ The coast seems pretty clear. Now listen the light shine against it, and he saw the score to me, Phil. We two must dig this out quietly of the iron in a bright line on the pure gold. and quickly. Stop. I know what you are He had then found a large nugget. At the going to say,-you think it is an endless mass. sight he felt his face flush and burn under the We must prove it, if it is ; but, above everyeyes. He rose, by an uncontrollable impulse thing, we must be self-possessed now. If this of joy, thirsting, so to speak, to communicate should be a big lump, and it gets known we've the news of his prize ; and he placed one foot found it, it will make a panic here. We're out on the rough side of the hole, by which he far up here, recollect, and have to protect ourcould ascend. But he went no further. What selves. We should be murdered for it ; and, was he leaving? He was weak and foolish. besides, if we get this out safe we may find Why not dig it out ? He knelt again and put more, which we can never do if this gets kuown. his hand on the gold, and forced his fingers Take a drop of brandy now, and keep yourself round it. He then took his knife, opened it, quiet. Don't let your spirits get too high, or cut away the clay, and cleared it from around your expectations too great ; and, whatever the gold with frenzied eagerness.
we do, don't let us betray any difference in to move it, and prize it out with his knife. He behaviour.” thrust his fingers round it, and he felt the James Burlow spoke without a falter in his edges broadening inwards, and it resisted him voice. He was a very strong and discreet as firmly as a rock. The conviction flashed man ; but his chest heaved, notwithstanding, upon him that it was a firm rock of gold,-the ' and his eye sparkled, as though the anxious reality of his speculations,—and his hand fell spirit within were strongly bound, but strugfrom it. He sank back upon the little heap 'gling to get free. Philip had regained enough of clay behind him, and leant for support of his self-possession, and they set to work. against the side of the hole, while a cold faint- Rapidly and dexterously Burlow excavated ness crept over him ; and he gazed up help- a large space in the side of the hole above the lessly at the hot day above him, as one might gold, and then began to uncover the mass. look from the depths of a grave. At this Philip worked on one side of it, and for some moment James Burlow looked over the edge time not a word was spoken. They had unof the hole. Philip felt his face flush again, covered more than a foot of the clear, pure and said, in a husky voice, “Come down slab of metal, when Burlow paused and took here?”
off his cap, and as he did so his hand trembled. “Why, what's the matter now, Phil ? Are Philip looked up and saw that he was pale, you ill ?” said Burlow, as he got down into and the perspiration standing thickly in beads the hole.
upon his forehead, and dripping from the hair No, no ; but I have found gold—the gold by his ears. He wiped his face and said, in —there,” said Philip, thrusting himself nerv- a curiously quiet tone, “ If this should be as ously against Burlow, who had in a moment you thought, Phil, a great system of it, it may
prove disastrous to us." It was evident that one of the settlers, strolling along the seahe was stricken with a belief in the delusion shore, “perceived a great shadow over his which was burning in Philip's very heart. head, the sun shining out clear. Casting up They resumed the work; but as they un- his eyes, he saw a monstrous bird soaring covered more, the form of the mass began to aloft in the air, and of a sudden all the ducks narrow again, then to get broader, and finally and geese, there being a great many, diving terminated, showing as one immense piece of under water, nothing appearing of them but gold apparently without a speck of alloy. By their heads. Mr. Hilton, having made ready prizing it gently with the pick it moved ; and with his piece, shot and brought her down to then, getting their hands under the edges, with the earth. How he disposed of her I know a great effort they raised it from its place, not, but had he taken her alive and sent leaving the clear mould of one-half of it in the her over to England, neither Eartholemew nor pipeclay wherein that part had been embedded ; Greenwich fair could have produced such and they placed it on the ground—the richest another sight.” Here we have a sportsman nugget that had ever been seen, perhaps, by of Charles the First's time, who shoots flying, any man since men had hunted, or laboured, with a single ball, for as well might he have or fought for the precious earth.
pelted a bird of that size with peas, as with (To be concluiled in our next.)
small shot. An old tract, speaking of the arrival of the Ambassador from Morocco, A. D. 1637, says :
“He is so good a shot with his ARCHERY.
piece, that he will shoot eight score at a
mark as big as an English sixpence and hit it.' The archery of England, famed throughout There is plenty of evidence, beside, to the same
close of the seventeenth century, her greatest It is obvious enough that the bowman,
battle-fields have been won, is an institution when opposed to combatants so completely dating back from William the Norman. It! armed as the mediæval chivalry, had a far was during the long-drawu struggle between more difficult game before him than has the Charles and his Parliament that our chronicles modern rifleman ; for, unless his shaft would made their latest allusion to this grand old punch a hole clean through their shields and
breastplates, it was wholly ineffective, being It is a remarkable fact, that for at least two splintered or glancing off.
" Thrice did centuries after the invention of gunpowder, Locksley bend his shaft against De Bracy,” and gradual improvement in the construction writes Sir Walter in his story of “ Ivanhoe," of firearms coexistent with it, the bow should "and thrice did the arrow bound back from continue to hold its own as a valuable arm of his armour of proof. • Curse on thy Spanish the service. Bows were found on board that steel coat,' shouts the enraged yeoman, had redoubtable man-of-war, the “Mary Rose,” an English smith forged it, these arrows would sunk in an action with a French squadron at have gone through as if it had been silk or Spithead, temp. Henry VIII. ; and one or two sendal.' Our archers, therefore, adopted a of those very rare specimens of old English shrewd expedient to get more on an equality with missile weapons, found in the vessel's arm- their foes. During the heat and dusty whirlchest by the divers employed to remove her wind of oft-repeated charges, the man-at-arms, timbers and those of the “ Royal George,” are with barred helmet tightly secured, and swelnow preserved amongst the most recherché tering beneath eighty or a hundred pounds of curiosities of the Tower and of the United iron, concentrating the rays of a mid-day Service Museum.
summer's sun, occasionally sought to refresh It would be a great error to suppose that himself with a mouthful of the pure element, this long lingering affection for the weapon of and opened his visor. But a hundred and their forefathers, in preference to the “hell- more of reinorseless spirits, with eyes sharp as born murderer,” as Carew quaintly styles the those of the lynx, are watching the chance, musket, which was destined to supplant it, and have seen it. A hundred shafts with arose from the imperfection of the latter. lightning speed have left the string, to be More than two centuries ago, at all events, buried in the brains of as many incautious English guns and ammunition are proved to foemen. Thus fell Harold on the shores of have been far from despicable. In an enter- Kent, pierced through the eye ; at the Battle taining narrative of the struggles and dangers of Barnet, during the Wars of the Roses, endured by a few hardy pioneers who, in King Henry takes refuge in a poor man's 1621, sought to establish a home on the North cottage, wounded in the face by one of a storm American coast, it is said that “Mr. Hilton," of arrows that flew “like a snowdrift around