5 / 8/1876
... part of the KellyGang story
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On the first morning they rise and look at the magnificent forest, but they are wondering where the open ground is that was so much talked about. Their talk was of no use, they had to meet this difficulty in the face. Now imagine these two young men from the most fashionable house in Collins-street, standing with lavender kids on, and looking at one of these giants of the forest fully four feet through. Now what will selectors of this sort come to? They will surely end in being disappointed and poor. Though much has been said of Brandy Creek, M'Donald's Track, and Bass River, and no one can dispute the fact that the land and timber is really grand, I think there is too much timber for the selector, in fact the timber is so close in some places that it is scarcely possible to get at it with the axes. I do not say for one moment that the prospect of the right sort of selector is not good, but I am afraid it is overdone. The latest selections will cost £20 to clear and fence per acre.
My journey I commenced early on the morning of the 2nd, and retraced my steps; or rather my horse did, as I made up my mind not to walk if I could avoid it. The roads to and from this place are very bad, but not to the extent I was told by a worthy Scotchman of the Finmscoul school, who told me of an endless number of miseries which should come across my path, about roads, drains, rivulets, character and habits of the residents of the Bass District. He having dropped into a fit of mussing, and as his road lay the same way as mine, I took no notice of him for some time, but as he happened to be at home in every house he came to, I put him down as a very popular personage. His salutation at every door was to the following effect-" Mosey, Mosey is the best man in the country, by G-d. I'm true blue. The Queen is a la-ady. I'll toss you for a a'penny." Hearing that some lunatics had escaped from the Yarra Bend lately, I watched my companion closely, till we got on the Bass road, at or near Adam's Ribs, then my dreaming, always muttering friend suggested that we should go to old Bill Greening's, and to Mr Greening's we went. The usual salute was given -"Mosey's the best man in the country;" a voice answered "and the Queen's a lady, come in and tell us what has driven you here?" My friend said no, as we must push on.
Having tasted breed and cheese, in response to my enquiries where the cheese came from, the good lady showed me a room 20 x 20, well ventilated, clean and tidy, with about five tons of cheese of fine quality all ready for the market. My dreaming friend and I then passed on our way to that old township called Bass, but known in aristocratic circles as Woolamai. By-the-way, some person or other has had the impudence to say that Woolamai, that great and grand district, was brought into a greater degree of prominence than it ever could have reached by Cleeland's horse Woolamai winning the Melbourne Cup. I, sir, from my knowledge of the district, dispute that saying. I think it was brought to a state of perfection by a pupil of your own. But more of this hereafter.
My direct road now lay through the Lang Lang area, which I may say does not shine to advantage either as agricultural or pastoral. From this point we passed Lang Lang school house, which is a credit to all concerned. Nothing worthy of mention is met with till you reach Grantville, in olden times called Deep Creek. This place was formerly occupied for the timber trade by Messrs Woods and Miller, and conducted by one Thomas but, I believe, strictness of law on the manager's part, and shortness of funds on the part of the firm, prevented this industry taking that stride which it is well able to do under favourable circumstances, as the district contains the best timber in the colonies. Since that time the late Mr Graham, of brewing notoriety, was owner; his affairs here were conducted by Mr A Stewart, and were wound up with satisfaction to all parties. But a little more of this hereafter, and let me conclude with the information that I was just in time to here our old friend Mr D B Kennedy holding forth to a very good meeting as regards numbers, and evidently he had with his usual habits succeeded in having them all satisfied.
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