Frank Leward: Memorials
Frank to Mrs. Leward
Frank to Mrs. Leward.
My dear Mother I havnt written to you for a long time but I got your last letter all right. I was very glad to get it. You were staying at Grandmammas. Poor old Kittos gone at last how fond I used to be of him."We have had splendid rides here. The Governor lets me have one of his horses whenever I like and I know a lot of people. I stayed at Government House for a week and then I and Jones went right up to the north to a place called Longford and a lot of other people's houses near there. They are very glad to see you here in the country and treat you awfully well. I do like Lady Franklin she gave me a lot of books to read one called Clarissa I like tremendously. I hate that fellow Lovelace and dont think such brutes ought to be allowed to live.page 57
Edwards second mate has made a lot of money with his tobacco he is called baccy Edwards and has bought a lot of land and is going to build a house and is not going home with us. So Clark third mate is going to be second and Edwards told me the skippers going to make me third just for the voyage home which is awfully lucky considering this is my first voyage, what a swell I shall be. We are going to start next month nearly all our cargos on board only a lot of our men have run away they always do here. Theres a wooden legged fellow who gets them into his house makes them stump up all the money theyve made coming out hides them away somewhere till the ships gone and then they can make double as much as they can at home.
We shall have to go home round the Horn I believe its awfully cold there. First we have to go to a place called Port Philip a new place in Australia to get some wool. We had great fun in the north shooting oppossums they come out at night and you see the beggars on the trees and blaze away at them they always look you bang in the face and never move only if you shoot one the others go a bough higher up looking at you all the time. Some are called ring-tailed possums they hang by their tails to the branches. I shot one the other night and the beggar wouldnt come down so I kept blazing away at it and it didnt move so I went up the tree and crawled along the branch and it was hanging by its tail stone dead. They have jolly skins, awfully soft and warm I brought a lot back and Lady Franklin has had them made up into a rug for you. Some of the people are beastly cruel. I saw some young fellows get a white page 58parrot with its wing broken and they hung it up by its broken wing to the tree the poor beast made a fearful swaking row and a lot of other parrots came swooping round it to see what was the matter and the fellows shot them as fast as anything. The rest flew away for a bit but soon came back again when the other parrot began swaking again and then a lot more got shot till I couldnt stand it and shot the poor beast on the tree.
I hope Grandmamma will be all right when I come back she is more than 80 now I suppose.
We had a trip to Port Arthur the other day but I didnt like it, there are such a lot of prisoners and they seem so wretched it made me down in the mouth. The officers here are an awfully fast lot I have had dinner with them twice at the barracks. There was a big ball at Government House on the Queen's birthday Lady Franklin made me go but I hate dancing its such rot. The girls here are just like English girls only prettier. Jones was asked but wouldnt go hes awfully spooney on a girl here shes not a lady and he wants to come back and live here and marry her. Shes a very good sort of a girl. Thank you for the money it was very useful. I suppose I shant hear from you again before we start its a tremendous long voyage round the Horn.
I shall be glad to see you again. Your affectionate son,
Jones got a letter from his father the other day I believe he pitched into him tremendously. The poor beggar was awfully cut up when he read it and wouldnt speak a word all day.