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Past and Present, and Men of the Times.

Chapter XI

page 69

Chapter XI.

In Western Australia—I meet my fate at last—Courtship and Marriage—I wed a, fortune—Bad luck—The fortune fades away—Death of an old friend—Sundry disappointments—My wife and I leave for Sydney—Extravagance—Debt—Disaster—My wife dies—Mr. Boyd again my friend—I catch the gold fever — Off to California—Sydney rowdies—Trouble on board—A second vist to Honolulu.

We had a good passage, and after discharging his cargo the captain proceeded on to India with the ship. I had eight stockmen with me to drive the mob, and we camped about four miles from a small village called Freemantle. I took one of the men and rode to another small town called Perth. At this day it is a considerable place, and the capital of Western Australia It is twelve miles up the river running through a large plain, bounded by hills, and the water was there dotted with large flocks of black swans, the rara avis of old naturalists. My journey was to see the owner of the station for which the cattle were intended. I found the overseer, a Mr. Black, who sent two men to assist, and we went down and started the mob on the road to Perth, to which place I returned with Mr. Black. He invited me to go with him and visit some acquaintance of his in the town. I said I would, but did not care to remain long, as I would have to look out for a camping ground for the cattle. He said, "Never mind, they cannot come to any harm, there is good grass anywhere;" and this was really the case. I have hardly ever seen such magnificent feed as the country of Western Australia presented in those days. I accompanied my friend to a very nice-looking house in a quiet part of the town. We were shown into the parlour, where two ladies were seated. One of them page 70arose, and came over and gazed very earnestly in my face. Mr. Black at once introduced me, when the lady instantly threw her arms around my neck and, yes, actually kissed me. Her friend and Mr. Black looked very much shocked and astonished, and, to tell the truth, being somewhat bashful myself, I felt the situation was rather peculiar; but presently she recovered herself, and said, "Do you not know me? My name is Brown," and then I recollected her perfectly. She was the captain's wife who was cast away with Winton and myself when the schooner was wrecked on the voyage from Port Essington to Sydney, as related before. I was very glad to see her, but her delight at meeting me was something wonderful. She told the story of the wreck, and of our residence on the beach; about the shell-fish, and the sealskin I procured to clothe her, and all the hardships we had endured; and praised and thanked me so much that I hardly knew what to say to stop the flow of her recital. I took the first opportunity I got of hinting at our departure, and succeeded at last, after having promised to repeat my visit on my return down country, in getting away, receiving from Mrs. Brown another grateful salute on leaving. Black and I, who by this time had become very friendly, rode down to the cattle camp and found the cattle unwatched; the men had gone into Perth, and were drinking in a public-house. It being late, we watched the cattle all night, and the men putting in an appearance in the morning, off we started, Blake accompanying us with four of his station hands. At this time there were only three stock stations at Swan River, and the one we were bound for belonged to a gentleman in Sydney, named Mr. Robert Towns. The country we passed through was very rough, and infested with black-fellows, who were not to be trusted, but seeing such a number of men with us they did not trouble us much. We arrived safely at the station in nine days. It was beautifully situated and well grassed, and, in addition to cattle, carried a large number of sheep. After delivering the mob and settling matters, Mr. Black engaged the eight men I had brought with me. The wages being higher than at Sydney, they were content to stop.

I remained a few days and got company back. I arrived safely at Perth, and lost no time in fulfilling my promise of seeing Mrs. Brown at Captain French's. I forgot to mention the name of her lady friend who was with her when I called the page 71first time. She was the daughter of the above captain, an old whaler, who had left the sea and taken to sheep-farming at Swan River. Miss French was very good-looking, and had a very pleasant manner, which quite took my fancy, and, to tell the truth, I was conscious of a new feeling in my breast, which I have since thought must have been "Love at first sight." Heigho! My life has been since then a chequered and stormy one, but a thrill of pleasure still passes through me at the remembrance of that time. The old captain and I became fast friends. I gave him my history, and he was greatly interested in the recital of my adventures. I found he was acquainted with most of my friends, and knew personally all the ship-owners and whaling captains in Sydney. Nothing seemed to please him better than to spin yarns of the bye-gone time when he had been a whale-fisher himself. Miss French soon became quite like an old friend. I frequently rode out with her and Mrs. Brown, and an intimacy daily ripened into a deeper feeling on my part. Her father used frequently to rally me on the subject, saying I was likely to oust Black, who I now found out was a suitor for her hand. Captain French asked me if I would go with him and see his station, which he was about to visit. I said I thought it was about time I was thinking of returning to Sydney, but he would not hear of it, and, to tell the truth, I wanted little persuasion to stop. Well, we started on our journey to his property, which lay 100 miles north of Swan River. We travelled mostly by the coast, and had a pleasant journey. The station was well situated, and carried a large number of stock. We remained ten days, and visited every part of the run, and returned by sea in a small cutter of fourteen tons burden.

As we went up to the captain's house we met Mr. Black leaving. I fancied he looked rather grumpy, and Captain French did not improve his looks by saying jocularly, "Hullo, Black, you must look out, or you will have Barry running off with my daughter." He muttered something I did not catch, and departed rather hastily, although pressed very hospitably to return to the house with us. Miss French received us at the door, and gave us a joyful welcome home. Her father passed into the house, and she detained me chatting about our journey, &c. Shortly after, Black unexpectedly returned, and, seeing us in conversation, went inside. Miss French seemed to me to wish page 72to avoid him, and presently remarked, "I wish he had stopped away." I asked, "Who?" "Mr. Black," she replied. "Why," said I, "I understood you and he were shortly to be married; at least I got that impression from Mrs. Brown, your friend. You are treating the poor fellow rather coolly, if such is the case." At the same time my heart was beating like a steam-hammer at the thought that I might have a chance ef winning her. She said, rather spitefully, "If Mrs. Brown led you to believe that such an occurrence was likely to take place, she did so with an interested motive, and that is, to clear the way for a marriage with you. She is very artful; but, if I may express an opinion, I think she is decidedly too old for a young man like you." "By Jove," thought I, "this is plain speaking with a vengeance"; and, having got my cue, I determined to enter the lists against the formidable Black. We broke up our conversation and went inside. Her father was rather jocose, and uttered some rather sly inuendoes as to what had kept us so long outside; and on looking at my rival I saw he looked "Black" indeed,—in fact, for the rest of the evening he became quite sulky. When supper was removed he wanted me to accompany him to Perth, where he lodged; but Miss French interposed, and said authoritatively that Mr. Barry could not be spared that night, but to-morrow he could ride with her to Perth, as she had business there, and Mr. Black could then see him. He took this unkind shot, and left without bidding Miss French or myself good-night. I took no notice of the omission, but she did, and a conversation ensued on his merits, which must have caused his ears to burn on his lonely ride home. I kept my ears well open, and heard her say to her father, "He has asked me several times to marry him, but I do not like him, and will not have him." This appeared to me decisive, and my hopes were raised to a great height. I retired to bed to dream of a happy future, in which Miss French was the prominent feature, and determined to push on the siege vigorously, especially as I imagined I detected some little reciprocity of feeling; and that I was not wrong in this conjecture the sequel will show.

The next morning she asked me to drive her out, and I was only too happy to get the opportunity. We had not gone far when I noticed a peculiar change come over her. She became quite condential and tender in her con-page 73versation. I had hitherto not been much in female society, and was as bashful and awkward as a school boy in all matters connected with the tender passion; but she came boldly to the point, and saved me a world of trouble. Some may think my companion showed a slight want of delicacy, but they must bear in mind that the colony was young, and society was not regularly defined in its habits. She had no mother to guide her; and last of all, eligible young men were probably scarce; so let my readers place the most charitable construction on her conduct they are able. Miss French suddenly turned, and looking straight into my eyes, said, "Mr. Barry, I am going to get married." "Hallo!" thought I, "My hopes are blighted, it is all up with my castle building;" but I managed to stammer out an inquiry as to when the auspicious event was to come off. She replied, "You know that best." I confess I was, metaphorically speaking, "Knocked into a cocked hat," and scarcely knew how to act in the emergency. However, I collected my senses, and said, "I thought there was to be a match between you and Mr. Black." She replied indignantly that it was untrue. She would never have him. Then said I, "Will you have me?" She replied without hesitation; "Yes, and you can name the day." So here was my wooing abruptly brought to a conclusion, much to my delight, and I may say astonishment at the fact of being able to win a wife so easily, and to get the weather gauge of such a superior fellow as I imagined my rival to be. The next hour was spent in delightful conversation about our future, and it being time to return, I asked her to mention the matter to her father. I was even so cowardly as to ask this. She said if he did not consent to our marriage she would wed in spite of him, and go with me to Sydney.

Two days later, Captain French, who by this time had grown apparently as fond of me as if I had been his son, said, "Barry, tell me the truth. Have you felt any affection for my daughter, for the devil's in the girl; I believe she is going mad about you?" I confessed at once, as well as I was able, that I was entirely bound up in her, and would feel proud and happy to make her my wife if he would consent. I had loved her from the first day I saw her, but not liking to take advantage of his hospitality and confidence I had refrained from mentioning it. The old fellow appeared overjoyed, and calling his daughter in joined our hands, and gave his hearty consent to our speedy union.

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The day was fixed, and we were looking forward to the happy time, when my joy received a severe check. Miss French was a daring horse-woman, as, indeed, the colonial girls are generally. Four days before the date fixed for the wedding, we were out riding, and started a kangaroo. We both went off at a racing pace after it, and came to a fence. Without hesitation, my intended took the leap, but the horse she was on unfortunately struck the rail and came down a cropper, falling on his rider, who lay as if dead. I immediately dismounted and raised her up, and with the help of some farm people, near at hand, carried her home and sent for the doctor, who found that her leg and four of her ribs were fractured, and her body badly bruised. My poor girl lay for nine months before she became convalescent. During that time I never left her, except to attend occasionally to the captain's business. We had fitted out some whalers, that is, boats' crews, with boats and all the necessary implements for catching black whales, which then abounded on the coast, from Swan River to King George's Sound, and a very profitable game it was at that time. I was constantly getting letters from Mr. Boyd from Sydney, requesting me to return, and wondering what had detained me. I replied, and informed him what had happened, and told him how I was situated with Miss French. The weary days passed, and she began to mend slowly. I frequently drove her out, which seemed to do her good, but she always complained of a pain in her chest. At this time her poor old father took bad and was laid up, and my hands were full. I at last thought of Mrs. Brown, who was living at Perth at this time, and immediately went for her. She came gladly and nursed the captain, and took a good deal of trouble and anxiety off my mind. Both our patients were much better, so I thought I could venture to leave for a time. The shearing season was on at the station, and the captain wished me to go down and superintend the operations, so I departed, and arrived all safe and got the work in hand in a few days. I had been there a week, when one day I saw a lady coming towards the station, accompanied by two men. When she was near enough, I found it to be my fiancée, who had brought a young man down to take my place, and told me that her father wanted me at home. To hear was to obey, and I soon delegated the work to my successor, and prepared to accompany my love to the schooner in which she had arrived. We had a quick run up to Swan River, and page 75I was delighted with the improvement in my intended wife. She was nearly hale and well again. The first man we met on landing was my future father-in-law, who looked astonished at seeing me. My partner said to him, "I told you I would soon have him home again." I said, "Did you not send for me, captain?" And he replied, "No, it is all this madcap's doings, the sooner she is off my hands the better; she is getting too much for me; it is rank mutiny." We all walked home together, and in the afternoon the old man asked me to go with him and look at some horses he was about to buy. On the way to the stable he turned to me and said, "Barry, the sooner this wedding is off the better, and I shall get peace, Hannah (his daughter) will drive me mad before long; she wants a firm hand to manage her." I said, "I will try and be that one at the earliest possible date." Hannah and I rode out that evening into the country a few miles, and I had hard work to restrain her from leaping the fences with her horse. She certainly has plenty of mettle I thought; that last spill has not yet tamed her. We fell into a quiet conversation at last, and I broke the ground about our speedy marriage, and we decided at last to leave the date to her father. We returned home and laid the case before him. He named that day week, and on that auspicious day Hannah French and I were made one, and the next few weeks passed like a dream.

We were certainly very happy. Would that it could have lasted! Well, here I was at last, married, and apparently anchored for life. My wife did not come to me empty-handed; her father behaved very liberally, and gave her £1000 and 20,000 sheep. He also gave me permission to run them on the station, and, crowning his generosity, he appointed me manager at £400 per annum. So, taking all matters into consideration, I felt as if I had drawn a prize in life's lottery, and was very grateful for my good fortune. I took up my new position as soon as possible, and my wife followed me in a few weeks. The blacks in that part of the country were considered dangerous neighbours, and had in fact hitherto given a good deal of trouble; but I succeeded in making friends of the tribe in our immediate locality, and we got along pretty well. They certainly occasionally stole a few sheep, but I generally shut my eyes to their offences when not too glaring, and maintained peace and quietness by this means. The property was well watered and page 76pleasantly situated, which rendered it a very comfortable residence.

I had been up about six months when one day my wife received letters from the settlement, and coming to me, said she wanted to go to Swan River. Her father was ill, and her uncle had arrived from Port Phillip. She had heard her father say that long ago he had borrowed a large sum of money from her uncle. From the tenor of the letter she imagined that there was something wrong. She was all anxiety to be off, so I decided to take her up to town. We made the passage in a small coaster, and on arrival found the old man very ill, and the doctor attending him told us he had very little hope of his holding out many weeks. His brother was in the room, and I was introduced to him. We remained in attendance on the old gentleman for about two months, and he still lingered. He had been a very strong, hearty man all his life, and fought a hard battle with the King of Terrors. I left the house one day to go down to the bay to a schooner going northward coastwise, as I wished to send up some things to the station, when a man on horseback galloped after me and told me I was to return at once, as the captain was in a fit. I took the horse and hurried back, but was too late to see my dear old friend again in life. He expired a few minutes before I reached the house. My wife was very nearly districted, and I had the utmost difficulty in getting her calmed down and to cease her vain regrets.

A few days after, the captain was consigned to his last resting-place. We stopped at the old home, and endeavoured to get the affairs of the deceased wound up. My wife being a better scholar and naturally knowing more of her father's business than I, busied herself in this matter, but found, to her dismay, that everything appeared to be in the utmost confusion and disorder. Her uncle and herself had many consultations on the subject, and I found at last that they could not agree, and matters grew very unpleasant. At last one day he told her flatly that he claimed the entire property in liquidation of a debt of £12,000, which, he alleged, had been owing to him for years by his late brother. My wife fired up at this, and was very indignant, telling her uncle her mind very plainly. He took matters very quietly, and told her to moderate her language, for although she was his niece and entitled to his affection and consideration, he would not put up page 77with such language, and she would find it more to her advantage to listen to reason, and let things take their proper course. I thought it then time to interfere, and walking in from the next room, from which I heard all the conversation, I asked what was wrong. My wife immediately said that her uncle laid claim to all her father's property, and that he was not entitled to one shilling, or had anything to do with the estate. I turned to her uncle and stated what Captain French had bestowed on us when we were married. He replied that, if his brother did so, he was bestowing what was not his to give away. I said, appealing to feelings, "Mr. French, Hannah is your niece, the daughter of your dead brother; I trust you are about to do nothing wrong and will see that she obtains justice in the administration of her poor father's estate." My wife had left the room while we were speaking, and he replied that he had a large family of his own to provide for, and that it behoved him to see that justice was done to himself and them before considering the position of others; but he fully intended doing something beneficial for my wife if she would only keep quiet and not impute dishonest or avaricious motives to him, as she had been doing for some time past. I pledged myself for her better behaviour, and he informed me that I could continue in my position on the station, but I must leave the house and take my wife away to live with me. Shortly after this he left, and I accompanied him into town. On the road he gave me an insight into his late brother's affairs, and I found out that the story of the debt of £12,000 was correct. I was somewhat surprised, and began to think, selfishly enough, that the dowry of £1000 and the 20,000 sheep were slipping from my grasp. French was apparently very strict in money matters, and had managed to accumulate a good stock of it. It would seem that he had come out very early to the colonies, at the expense of a paternal Government. On becoming a free man, being a shrewd, far-seeing fellow, he took up land at Port Phillip, and was now the owner of two large stations in that part of the colony, which was then a dependency of New South Wales. He had originally taken up the station at Swan River for his brother, and stocked it and assisted him with cash; hence the debt, which I saw no use in disputing, but I did feel rather disappointed that my old friend, now dead, had not confided in me more fully. It would have saved a deal of unpleasantness. When we returned from Fremantle, my wife became page 78very abusive to her uncle, and ordered him to leave the house. He was naturally very indignant, and I had considerable difficulty in persuading him to remain, and pass over the insult. He told me he would give me £1000 and the situation of manager of the station if I would take my wife there to live, but this she flatly refused to do, and then for the first time in our wedded life we had a disagreement. I asked her to go for a trip to Sydney, as her health was not at the time very good. She still suffered from the effects of the fall from her horse. She would not go. She said, "Get what money you can, and we will leave Swan River for ever." I again saw her uncle, and on telling him our conversation, he said he was satisfied with her decision, and taking me to the bank he procured two drafts for £800 each, and gave them to me, telling me to give one to my wife and the other would make up any fancied loss I had sustained, and the £1600 would be a good start in life for us, as things were then in the colonies. I thought so too, and, thanking him, we parted, apparently without much regret on either side. We did not remain very long in Swan River after this. There was a schooner trading to Sydney, and I took our passages in her, and arrived once more in my old quarters. We lodged at an hotel for the first two months, and I then took a private house and furnished it. We had servants, and as my wife was rather fond of pleasure, and I did not like to deny her anything, I soon found out that we were rather exceeding our means. I saw the necessity for retrenchment, or at least of getting some employment to keep matters going. One day I met Mr. Boyd, my old employer, who was glad to see me again. We had a long conversation together. I gave him my history since we last met, and told him how I was now situated. He gave me some good counsel, and reminded me that my money would hot last for ever, and advised me to strike into some path of industry, and concluded by asking me if I would like to go on another whaling voyage. I declined this offer, and said I was thinking of buying a half share in a brig trading to Adelaide. He said he knew the brig, and recommended me to have nothing to do with her, as she was an old craft and in constant need of repairs. He then offered me charge of one of his stations, and, thanking him, I said I would let him know in a few days what I would do.

When I went home I told my wife of Mr. Boyd's kind advances, and suggested that we should go up country, but she page 79refused to entertain the idea. She liked town very well and would not bury herself in the country; so I was placed on the horns of a dilemma. My purse was getting rapidly exhausted, and still my wife eagerly followed up the pursuit of pleasure. I knew it must end some day in collapse, and yet I was too fond of her to be harsh and tell her the stern truth; so I let her have her way, and it was not long before a sharp warning was furnished.

I awoke one night and found the house full of smoke. I was sleeping upstairs, and had only time to carry my wife out of danger when the flames burst out in every direction, and the place was completely consumed, along with four other houses adjoining. We found the remains of the servant in the ruins, charred to a cinder; and we supposed that the fire had probably occurred through her instrumentality. Female servants in those days were all convicts, and the majority of them had an inveterate habit of smoking tobacco in bed, which no amount of correction or punishment could overcome. Poor thing; if she was guilty of this filthy habit, she had paid dearly for it at last! We had not a vestige of clothing or furniture saved from the fire, and had to take furnished lodgings. I still had a few hundred pounds in the bank, and leaving my wife with a servant to attend upon her, I took a voyage to Port Phillip to look at a place I thought of settling on; but I could not arrange with the owners as to terms, and had to return to Sydney. When I arrived at home at night, my wife was at the theatre, and the servant was out; and I learned now, to my extreme sorrow, that my wife was becoming dissipated, and was in fact going the pace rather fast. In spite of my remonstrances, this state of things continued until poverty showed its ugly face rather plainly, and I had to sell what few things I had to pay her debts. She became a mother at this date, and being weakened by her excesses and trouble and anxiety, she was unable to rally, and breathed her last in my arms shortly after giving birth to a daughter. Notwithstanding all her failings I had loved her dearly, and bitterly regretted her untimely death. I felt that I was in some measure to blame, as I was hardly fitted by education or position to possess a wife brought up as she was. After she was consigned to her grave, I looked about for some one to take charge of my infant child. I found a kindly nurse, who willingly adopted her. I obtained some money from page 80Mr. Boyd, and gave her £50 to provide for necessary outfit, &c., until I should get into some steady employment, and pull myself together once more. I went to see Mr. Boyd about employment, and on going to his office I met my old friend Baird, who had been mate with me in the "Flying Fish," and he asked me to accompany him to his house, which I did. He was very glad to see me, for old acquaintance sake, and persuaded me to take up my residence with him; and in my then circumstances this was a great kindness.

We were walking down George Street one day and noticed a placard posted on the old barrack wall, "Gold, Gold, California," and then followed an advertisement that a vessel was to leave at a certain date for the new Eldorado. The announcement gave me a new idea. I would get there by hook or by crook, and said so to Baird. He commended the resolution, and told me he would let me have £100 to give me a fit out for the venture. At this time, 1849, great excitement prevailed about the Californian gold discoveries, and every one wanted to be off. I should have had some difficulty in securing a passage, but the captain of the barque was an old acquaintance and favoured me and so I got a berth in the "Eleanor Lancaster," the first vessel which left Sydney for California. She was terribly overcrowded. The present laws relating to passenger ships were not then in force I suppose, and men were taken like sheep, as many as the vessel could stow away. There were 560 passengers on board, and my readers can imagine that, coming from a penal settlement like Sydney, there was a tolerable admixture of doubtful characters in the crowd. These soon showed their true colours, and scarcely a day passed without a row or a stand-up fight. The P. R. seemed to be well represented in our ship, and the captain was powerless to preserve order, and generally let the rowdies fight it out. Ten days out, some of them came aft and made a lot of frivolous complaints about the provisions, and abused the captain roundly, saying they would have better food if it was to be found in the ship. The captain was rather alarmed at this behaviour, and spoke of arming the cabin passengers and some respectable fellows in the steerage. I dissuaded him from this measure, but cautioned him to keep a sharp look-out as quietly as possible. Ten or twelve of the most mutinous I had known years before as "ticket-of-leave men," and was well aware of their being very dangerous characters. They took but small account of human page 81life if once they were roused. I also cautioned the captain as to several of those in the cabin who were rather more respectable, but were still rogues, and who would require a good deal of watching, and the sequel will prove that I was correct.

Things were not altogether so pleasant in the cabin as one might have expected. The tables not being sufficient for all the company at one time, one half dined before the other, and this continually induced jealousy and provoked rather severe bickerings at times. One day the steward was bringing some fowls on a dish to the cabin table, when some of the passengers seized the birds and threw the dish overboard. The steward made an attempt to rescue the dainties, and in the scuffle that ensued his assailants pitched him through the skylight, which was open at the time, and he landed on the table to the great detriment of the crockery ware and our dinner. Captain Lodge was frightened out of his senses almost at these daily occurrence's, and vowed this should be his last trip with passengers, at any rate, from the port of Sydney. We put into Honolulu, which I had visited formerly in the "Flying Fish." We laid there five days, and took in a large stock of fruit, sweet potatoes, &c. Most of the passengers landed. I went to an hotel kept by a Frenchman, who immediately recognised me as having been there before, and made me very comfortable during my short stay. Some of the passengers carried their rowdy proclivities ashore and got locked up by the French Government officials, and the ship sailed without them. We resumed our voyage to San Francisco, and a few days afterwards I found that my clothes' trunk had been ransacked. I told the captain that I had lost a gold watch and twenty-five sovereigns. Further enquiry resulted in finding that his box and those of three other passengers had also been opened and money taken out. My suspicions immediately fell on two cabin passengers, named Brown and Jones, who remained on board the whole time we were on shore at Honolulu. I fancied I knew of a plan to fix the right man, and advised my fellow-victims to keep the matter quiet until we sighted land. I told them I was morally certain I was right in my suspicions, and I would guarantee a restoration of the property, or know the reason why. It may look a little like boasting, but being a remarkably, strong and active man I was afraid of no one, and could hold my own with the best of them if it came to fisticuffs, and to this day I am rather inflammable.

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We sighted the coast of America late one evening, and I thought it was time to make a move, in the matter. I called the three passengers who had been victimised with me, and told them that the two men, Jones and Brown, were the thieves, and no one else; that we were close to port, and we had better make a search for our property. I cautioned them to arm themselves, as we might meet with resistance. The two men were sleeping in the same cabin, one berth over the other. I knocked at their door, and told them they were wanted. Jones called out, "Who are you, Sir, and what do you want with us?" I replied, "Come out, and you will see." He began to bully, and threatened that he would throw me overboard when he came out. I told them they were a pair of thieves, who had stolen our money while we were on shore in Honolulu. They immediately came out into the saloon, and Brown was evidently prepared for what was coming, for he had a "slug shot," or life preserver, in his hand. Jones came towards me menacingly, and I immediately knocked him down, and the weapon was taken from his mate. A number of passengers were aroused by this time, and crowded round us. I explained matters, and demanded that the men's boxes should be searched. They both strongly objected to this, and Jones made a spring at me, and caught me by the throat; but I was too strong for him, and he was easily mastered. The boxes were brought out, put on the table, and opened. In Brown's we found my watch and that of the captain, and the money apparently that we had missed. In Jones's trunk were two brace of pistols and a lot of powder and bullets, a purse with ten sovereigns and two rings belonging to the other passengers, and their crime was brought home to them beyond denial.

I said to Captain Lodge, "Put the handcuffs on these men at once; they must be made prisoners until we get on shore." Jones muttered, "I wish I had you on shore, I would soon put you on one side," and rushed at me; but, seeing him coming, 1 was prepared, and knocked him down with the butt-end of my pistol, and he and his chum were at once made fast and removed below. Three days after, we dropped anchor in the bay of San Francisco. Our captain on landing went on board an American man-of-war lying in the harbour, and reported the circumstances, and asked for advice from the captain. The latter told him he could not interfere in the matter; it took him all his time to look after his own ship's company. The page 83attractions of the goldfields were so great that crews deserted immediately on arrival. He advised him to take the affair quietly, and get his cargo landed at once, as he would assuredly lose his men. Captain Lodge returned, landed all his passengers, and allowed the two prisoners to go at liberty. It was useless bothering with them; everything about San Francisco was disorganised, and it would have been useless to seek redress.