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Our Australian Cousins
Chapter XV

The railway terminus two miles from the sea—Amazing redtapism— How not to do it in Australia—The railway—Paramatta—Yiews along the line—John Chinaman—Beauty of the scenery—The great Zigzag—Govett's Leap—The Blue Mountains—Hartley Vale—Dargan's Creek—Mineral wealth of the district —Kerosine shale deposits—The Sugar-loaf estate—Reports by Professor Dawkins and Professor Tate—Openings for capitalists.

Having traversed the harbour in one of the innumerable wheezing snorting little steamers that disgrace its waters, the visitor to the New South "Wales metropolis is not allowed to rest till he has seen the famous Zigzag. The harbour is the first lion of the Sydney native; the second is the grand engineering work that they call the Zigzag. After these come lesser lions, such as the lovely scenery on the Hawkesbury River, the Fish River caves, the Port Haching waters, the river and valley of the Paterson, and other bits of natural scenery, but the Zigzag is par excellence, next to the harbour, the great lion of the country. And here again, there is an excuse for pardonable pride and not a little exultant self-gratulation. The Zigzag, as a mere engineering work, is of sufficient magnitude and excellence to give it a claim to the respectful consideration of the professional student, no less than to the mere sight-seer; but when to its marvellous construction is added the fact that it lies right in the heart of most magnificent scenery, and affords one of the finest combinations of the wonderful work Of man, blended with the noblest natural displays of the wonders of the Creator's hand, it may well stir the curiosity of the most apathetic, and it is certainly well worth a visit.

A trip to the Zigzag includes the scenery of the famous Blue Mountains; it implies a visit to the fairy beauties of the Weatherboard Falls, and the weird fascination of Govett's Leap. Of these anon. On the occasion of my first visit to this pet show of the " Water," I had the advantage of travelling by a free pass, granted to me by the courtesy of the then Commissioner for Railways, Mr. John Rae. Being a sort of special commissioner for my old friend and master's paper, The Pioneer, I had made it my business to procure every information relative to the route, and the objects of interest on the way, and I found the officials courteous, sympathetic, and eager to afford me every help I wanted. Mr. Whitton, the Chief Engineer, showed me all the plans, diagrams, and drawings of the line, and primed me full of information on gradients, cuttings, and other engineering mysteries. I need not weary my reader with these, as the probability is he would forget them as rapidly as I did.

There was a keen wind blowing from the mountains, suggestive of sleet and snow; and my old enemy, the rheumatism, warned me by an incessant fusilade of sharp twinges and skirmishing attacks in the joints that a general engagement along the line was imminent, but my curiosity had been so excited by the repeated description of the wonders of this famous traverse of the rocky mountains that barred the way of the first pioneers to the far interior, that I determined to face the caller mountain air, and on a fine sunny but sharp morning in July I left the city behind me, and started for the Zigzag.

We leave the dingy-looking overcrowded railway station and yard at Redfern—that melancholy evidence of narrow vision and utter lack of prescience and common forethought. It leaves the terminus of a national system of trunk-lines and loop railways, the great arterial feeders of a giant's life, cut off from the heart as it were, beached high and dry like a stranded hulk a short distance from its natural termination, the sea shore; this was a most insane piece of work on the part of the original projectors of the railway policy of the country. The slightest thought, one would imagine, would have sufficed to demonstrate the foolishness of the scheme. With deep water close to the shore and a harbour such as nowhere else exists on this planet, the terminus of the vast prospective railway system of a great nation is left isolated and apart from the shipping and the wharfs by a gap of some two miles of city streets. The city intervenes its breadth between the water and the railway terminus. The accumulated wealth of natural produce of the continent, as also the cargoes of the great fleets employed in supplying the countless wants of Australia from the outside world, must be clumsily and laboriously dragged through the crowded city's streets by the primitive traction of oxen and horses, all for want of the bridging of this little gap. Year after year slips by and nothing is done. Indignant remonstrance, fiery declamation, practical hard-headed demonstration of the awful waste of money, time, and labour, which the continued existence of the gap implies—hot-blooded comments of the press, general chorus of harassed travellers and defrauded merchants, beat like the idle thundering of the frothy surf against the impassive walls of official routine, departmental phlegm, and executive apathy. For years the promise of every fresh ministry (and changes of ministry are almost as common here as pronunciamentos in Chili) has been the bridging of this lamentable gap, and the extension of the railway to the shores of the Pacific, at Circular Quay. For the present it would almost seem as if the omnibus-owning and cab-driving interests, and the rapacity of owners of city properties along the proposed routes were to be allowed to override the express desire of the body of the people. How much longer this anomaly is to be allowed to continue I know not, but the Redfern terminus will long remain the symbol of New South Wales' stupidity. Several schemes have been mooted, any one of which, if carried out, would confer an immense benefit on every individual of the travelling public, while the saving to the shippers, importers, breeders of stock, producers of grain, wool, and other national staples, and to merchants generally, would repay the cost of construction (costly as that must now necessarily be) in probably less than two short years.

After this protest we may continue our trip to the Zigzag. A word of caution to the unwary traveller whose sanguine nature may lead him to neglect the filling of his pocket pistol. He will do well to lay in a modest store of sandwiches and sherry. On the New South Wales railways the refreshments are conspicuous by their absence, and are conducted on a very near approach to Maine Law principles.

The first place of any importance reached is Paramatta. This is at the head of the navigable part of tho Paramatta river, and is the oldest town in the colony. It was formerly the seat of the Governor's residence, and many of the old houses have a quaint, familiar, home-like look. It is a dnll, stagnant little town, and its nickname of Sleepy Hollow pretty accurately describes it.

At Paramatta Junction, the Great Southern line branches off to the left, and having now reached Wagga, 304 miles distant from Sydney, will eventually join the Victorian line at Albury, the fruitful vine-growing district on the Murray river. On the right, the Richmond and Windsor line diverges through the bush; and straight on, leading direct to the Blue Mountains, we follow the track of the Great Western line. The carriages are exceedingly comfortable; the permanent way is splendidly ballasted with free-stone; the engines are powerful, some of them of colonial make; and the employes are civility itself.

At New Glasgow we pass a small tweed factory, destined, no doubt, when population increases and abundant labour can be got, to become a busy manufacturing centre of industry, but at present presenting only very modest proportions indeed. Leaving Paramatta, we encounter some rich and lovely orangeries, the golden fruit forming a beautiful contrast to the dark foliage. There are considerable clearings all along the line; but the dense bush yet claims sway over the greater proportion of a vast extent of country. The soil seems poor, and there is but little area of land under crops. Hares are abundant. They are a brown lanky animal, very flavourless, but give excellent coursing. A Mr. Lamb has purchased an estate of 3000 acres, at 11. per acre, and is busy clearing it for a coursing-ground. Coursing has taken a decided hold on the sporting community, and bids fair to become a very popular pursuit. An annual meeting is held at Bathurst, "the city of the Plains," and great crowds of enthusiastic devotees of the pastime are attracted thither. The dogs might compare favourably with greyhounds at home, and a colonial Master McGrath, or winner of the Waterloo Cup, is as much a possibility as was a champion of the oar in Trickett, or a cricketing team that more than held their own against the cracks of Mother England. We pass a few muddy-tinged streams. What a waste of water here! Irrigation and artificial stores of water are bound to come by-and-by, but not yet, so long as labour is so scarce and at prohibitive rates. The houses you see are very miserable-looking; rooms are small; roofs, shingled, or covered with unsightly stringy bark, held in its place with an unhewn chevaux-cle-frise of heavy logs, morticed together at top by wooden pins. The fields are lined with the inevitable post and rail fence, a rough massive structure, one panel of which would keep an Indian villager in firewood for a twelvemonth. They are, however, strong, go as straight as an arrow for miles in places, and no doubt admirably fulfil the object for which they are constructed. At intervals we whisk past a broad bush-road, with unsightly gnarled stumps and charred logs, reminding one of joltings and shakings, and that McAdam has not yet come here. As we glance at the deep ruts in the red clay, we thank our stars for the iron horse, and think gruefully of our ride through the bush into Maryborough.

Now we pass Penrith, a pretty village with neat, Aveather-board houses, and a very romantic-looking red brick church, reminding one of the village shrines in the dear old country. Through the dense belt of bush, we get frequent glimpses of the Blue Mountains, stretching like a seemingly impassable barrier directly in front, and far on either hand the hills densely wooded, with here and there a line of weather-beaten crag showing out boldly from the dense mass of sombre vegetation. At the various roadside stations we see numbers of Chinamen; they are neatly dressed in English clothes, and look sleek and contented. Many of them have their hair cut quite a la militaire, and some few look like most respectable and prosperous gentlemen. Nothing comes amiss to John. With all his filth, and fondness for opium, and dishes of mysterious concoction, and abhorrence of soap and water, John has many good qualities, and forms a by no means undesirable colonist. As a pedlar he is patient, plodding, and thrifty. As a cook or domestic servant, he is quiet, tractable, and hard-working. As a gardener or miner, or petty shopkeeper he is industrious, clever, frugal, and not exacting in his prices for his wares. Nevertheless he is a sore subject to the working man here. He is an utter abomination to the unionist and publican, and politicians know not what to make of him. In Queensland, the miners have tried to repress him vi et armis, and the horizon altogether seems cloudy for John. It is a pity. He supplies a much felt want in that he gives to the country cheap labour to develope its resources, and the working men, who have a monopoly of political power, are determined to have no cheap labour, to suppress immigration, and to institute a reign of " carpet-baggers" and protectionists, which will hamper the wheels of progress, and tie round their own necks the millstone of retrogression and decay.

The working men here, instead of being labourers, might bo employing labour themselves, and getting rich; but they can't see that cheap labour means cheap living, increased production, and augmented wealth.

Now we are crossing the Emu Plains, with the Nepean river winding sluggishly through the fertile reaches. The numerous marks of devastating floods, however, show what this seemingly sluggish stream can become when the water comes sweeping down from the mountains; floods are frequent and most destructive.

On ahead there is a fine viaduct, ending in a gloomy gorge, which opens straight into the mountain; and now we commence the long and laborious ascent, the engine puffing hoarsely, and struggling and straining as it slowly drags our train along. On the plains, green crops smile, and orangeries and vineries give evidence of the fruitfulness of the soil. Houses dot the plain, and cattle and sheep browse quietly on the short brown herbage. It is a lovely and a peaceful spot, and the river does look beautiful as it meanders slowly along. Altogether it is the most peaceful pastoral scene we have yet seen in Australia. Abrupt gorges, with fallen trees spanning them, and rocky hollows now start up on every hand; the face of the hill is scarped sheer off; the bright yellow sandstone glinting in the sun. Magnificent gullies open up, with grey boulders and weather-stained buttresses projecting like the jagged teeth of some old Giant Despair. The water-courses are heaped up pell-mell in a confused mass of drift timber, sleepers, logs, and huge trunks, that have been swept down by the torrents during the late floods. Beneath sleeps the peaceful valley. In the far distance is the swelling coast-line, leagues of bush intervening, and a filmy haze softening every outline, till the dark mass fades into the misty horizon. We sweep through some heavy cuttings, and go round some sudden curves, and ever and anon a break in the rugged wall of rock reveals fairy-like glimpses of the beautiful panorama of smiling plain, and winding river, and waving forest far below; and we can look back on our track, uncoiling itself like a huge serpent far behind us. The scenery is delightful. This is the first zigzag. It is certainly fine; but I am not yet in hysterical raptures, and the majestic grandeur of the western ghauts above Bombay is much finer.

At the great -Zigzag, which we next reach, after a long, uneventful ride through densely wooded mountain scenery, numerous stations being passed, the scenery is unspeakably wild. Looking sheer down, you can see the roof of the pointsman's hut far below, like a toy-house. There are three very fine viaducts, and in some places retaining walls had to be put in, so little room had the engineers in which to work. During the survey, the surveyors had to be let over the cliffs with ropes. Altogether it is a stupendous construction, and worthy of all admiration. The crag scenery reminded me somewhat of the magnificence of the rocks at Loch Coruisk, in the island of Skye. It only wanted flashing cascades and the beauty of falling water to make it equal, in my opinion, to any rock scenery I have ever seen. Farther on we enter the Lithgow Valley, where valuable coal-mines have been discovered, and are being worked. Here I left the train, and coming back in the brake-van of the mineral train, stopped at Perry's comfortable hotel for the night.

The sunset on the mountains was very grand. A dull grey curtain of cloud was coming from the south and east, gradually forcing tlie light- back, until at length the last red streak sank swiftly behind a peak, and mist and gloom settled on forest and ravine and gorge and peak, wrapping them in weird obscurity.

The night was bitterly cold, and blazing coal fires, with a modest jorum of punch, were most appreciable comforts. Among the famous sights in this neighbourhood are the "Weather-board Falls, a succession of magnificent cascades, plunging sheer down an enormous depth into a gulf of verdure far below; and Govett's Leapj another waterfall of surpassing beauty, surrounded by scenery of great grandeur. Govett, according to the popular tradition (this tradition, like a good many others, is strongly believed to be mainly apocryphal), was a famous bushranger, who, escaping from the police, was hotly pursued, till he came to the verge of this tremendous chasm, when, preferring death to capture, he sprang from the giddy height into the abyss below, and gave his name to the locality. Accordingly it was called Govett's Leap, and Govett's Leap it remaineth to this day. We drove—that is myself and a fat Jesuit priest—we drove in a buggy, drawn by a rough-haired, sluggish steed, over six miles of fearful road, by gloomy gorge and bush, and valley and hill, till, after a dull ride through thick scrub, the startling grandeur of the Leap burst like an enchanter's vision on our sight. The view was magnificent. A tremendous subsidence had evidently, in some mighty convulsion of nature, taken place, and the result was a chasm or abyss of appalling depth,, and yet of such strange, fantastic beauty, as to call forth unbounded expressions of wonder and delight from the spectator.

To the right, over a mossy, weather-beaten amphitheatre of frowning cliff, a cascade comes leaping and tumbling in broken flakes of spray, reflecting back the rays of the sun in bright prismatic hues; and over the yawning gulf below, a rainbow hangs suspended, looking like the genius of beauty bending in lonely loveliness over the desolation of the scene. Water drips from every overhanging crag—here, in a perfect living torrent of liquid silver, there, in flashing jets of sapphire and pearl, and again in single drops, large, and brilliant as a huge diamond. What a carpet of moss, heath, fern, and grasses! The .shapes and colours are lovely in the extreme. The freshness of this living carpet contrasts, too, so beautifully with the rugged, scarred, and weather-beaten rocks. Far below stretches the winding valley, with such lavish wealth of shrub, tree, fern, and evergreen, as tongue could never do justice to.

The valley is bounded on each side by massive frowning walls of rock—perfect battlements of red sandstone. They are not unlike, in contour, to the Salisbury Crags in Edinburgh, although on a grander and more stupendous scale. At our feet, sheer down hundreds of fathoms, the wall of solid rock extends. There is no access this way, and the valley is said to have never felt the tread of human foot. In some parts, in the retiring angles of the mighty battlements, the shade is gloomy, and dark as is the mouth of a vast cavern, and again in parts the white and red cliffs flash back the radiance of the meridian sun with a blaze of light which is positively dazzling to the eye.

The waterfall is very lovely. It looks but two or three feet wide from where we stand, although in reality of considerable volume, and fully twenty-two feet wide at the point where it projects itself from the cliff. Long before it ends its fearful leap it has become no longer a coherent mass, but filmy wreaths of finest mist. It falls like a fine lace veil, and we can see the scarred face of the cliff peeping forth at intervals like a Gorgon.

Over all there is a sighing, pulsating sound, a subdued and pleasing melody. The air is clear, and the atmosphere keen and bracing. A haze of the loveliest blue rests over all, softening and tinting each harsh outline. The eye is sated with beauty. It is a scene of unequalled grandeur and loveliness. Such a scene as a man may gaze upon but once in a lifetime, and keep fresh in his memory for ever.

While I was drinking in the majestic beauty of the scene my sacerdotal friend drank two bottles of porter, demolished a full-grown fowl, two or three pounds of mutton, a bit of bacon, some unknown quantity of bread and vegetables; and when I left he was only beginning on the cheese.

The railway consists of but a single line of rails. The first station-is some 700 feet above sea level. The gradients are in some places 1 in 30, and on to Mount Victoria, or rather to the summit of the Clarence range, some forty-six miles distant from Sydney, there is a steady and continuous rise, till the extreme altitude of 3658 feet is reached. It is a splendid piece of engineering, and no winder the " Walers" are proud of it. There are dells and dingles of rare beauty, rocky gorges like bits from the Western Highlands of Scotland; but over all, the melancholy solitary bush. It is a perfect ocean of verdure, but all of a sombre and uniform dull green. It again reminds me of iny ride up to the Darling Downs in Queensland.

We seem quite lost in a wilderness of bush. There is an occasional patch of stray green clearing, with the nondescript cabin of the selector; and a good metalled road, with pucca bridges, runs alongside the thin white line of rail for some distance. All else is utterly lonely and solitary. We might be in the heart of the Brazilian forests, or amid the desolate wilderness of the Hudson's Bay territories. There seems not a single hoof of cattle or foot of flock. Not even the rapid flight of a bird, or circling swoop of hawk or eagle. It is a dreadful solitude. We are keeping along the ridge, and ever climbing up. Not even the purling of a forest cascade to break the stillness. At intervals you can faintly discern a thin curling haze of smoke, from some lonely hut hid away in some sequestered valley. The chief feeling, however, is that this is perfect solitude—that here we have left the world, and are on the verge of the unknown, and untrodden.

Far away, to the limitless .horizon, the endless waves of foliage rise in dense masses, till they melt and become absorbed in the distant haze. The trees are all gnarled, and twisted out of all shape. They stretch their gaunt and leafless arms as if in mute appeal to the wintry elements. Hundreds he rotting among the boulders and luxuriant ferns. Some have their leafy tops shattered and wrenched off as if by a mighty tempest.

On all the trees nearly there are marks of fires. Near Falcon Bridge, a solitary station on the line, we pass a party of bronzed, hardy bushmen, clearing a bit of ground. Huge log fires are blazing all over the allotment, and axe and saw busy at work, reclaiming the soil from the grasp of nature; but the land seems stony and uninviting, and we cannot help wondering at the hope that sees a distant fruition from such an unpromising present.

As we speed swiftly along, billows of shadow and floods of sunshine chase each other over the ridges. We pass gullies of tremendous depth, clothed with gloomy bush, and dank undergrowth. Ear off, bluffs and abrupt knolls pierce the sky-line, and then again a dull grey over-hanging sky closes in, imparting a still more funereal hue to the landscape..

Here we pass a herd of goats, the first life we have seen for some time. They are fit denizens of such a rocky wilderness; but we think the long-haired variety might be successfully introduced, and prove a remunerative venture. What a country for red deer, or even hog and spotted deer. Sheep will never utilize these wastes. Here then is the opportunity for the Australian sportsman. The country would make a glorious deer forest. It is cut out for it. The vast extent is so solitary, so still, so death-like in its silence, it seems set apart and consecrated to the genius of solitude.

We are now on the summit of the Blue Mountains. Some bold, abrupt, truncated peaks pierce the sky, and all around lie the tumbling billows of wooded height, and frowning crag, and fathomless ravine. On the very summit of the mountains we come on a fine orchard. It is now the winter season; but during the autumn all the English fruits are grown here, and at Bathurst very fine cherries and other home fruits are both excellent and abundant. Bathurst is a rising town, the centre of a large agricultural population; fine duck and snipe-shooting can be had near, but in these wilds, only rock wallaby and kangaroos are to be found. Occasionally you may kill a cockatoo, or have a shot if so disposed, at the beautiful Blue Mountain parrot, and in some of the gullies an occasional lyre-bird or pheasant is to be found.

This is now the finest part of the line. There is an all-prevalent tint of deep blue resting on every peak and crag, which admirably justified the appropriateness and aptness of the name the region bears, the Blue Mountains. On a fine clear day every tree stands out, traced with beautiful distinctness against the dark blue background. Far away to the east, on the extreme verge of the horizon, the white sands of Surrey Hills, one of the southern suburbs of Sydney, can be distinctly seen, and at night travellers by the train can sometimes see the lights of the harbour and lighthouse. A keen, bracing, exhilarating air sweeps past us. Bold lines of red cliff jut out from the face of every gorge, and now the guard points out to us the famous Pulpit Hill, where Blaxland, Lawson, and Ranken, the three first pioneers who ever set foot in these solitudes, camped under the shadow of a great tree, and carved their names upon its gnarled stem.

The old guard was very communicative and obliging. He had been a stage-coach driver over the winding bush road, long before the steam whistle had wakened the shrill echoes from the surrounding crags. He pointed out to me place after place with strange-sounding uncouth names, where some solitary " Bush Pub," or roadside accommodation-house, had once stood; and at one point he showed me the ruins of an old stockade,-in which travellers had been wont to entrench themselves at night against the attacks of bushrangers or Aborigines. Thus does history grow.

The scenery here is truly magnificent. The ferns are splendid, and in their varieties multitudinous. Some specimens are over fifteen feet in height, perfect monuments of sylvan loveliness. Yellow and blue and pink flowers, spread a fairy carpet of gorgeous pattern amid the green mosses and dun-coloured herbage, which lies spread over the uneven surface of the gorges. The track winds in and out, threading its way among ravines, and along abrupt ledges and ridges; and in many places it doubles on itself, so that before and behind you can see the steep gradients, deep cuttings, and sudden curves and windings, that you have just passed, or are about to glide over. It is a superb panorama, and you congratulate yourself on having, after all, come to gaze upon the wondrous loveliness of the Blue Mountains and the famous Zigzag.

We stopped for refreshments at Mount Victoria. This is the favourite summer mountain resort of many of the elite of Sydney. It is the Simla of New South Wales. A little farther on we came to a small insignificant-looking siding. Down a fearfully steep incline we saw the small waggons descending into Hartley Vale, where are situated the kerosine shale mines. This is an active and important industry, and has a great future before it. The waggons are pulled up by a stationary engine and continuous wire rope; and by an arrangement of skips the small waggons are emptied into the large mineral trucks, when the top of the almost perpendicular incline has been reached.

At a wild bleak part of the view still farther ahead, named Dargan's Creek, the scenery assumes the most wild and fantastic character. The creek has cut its way through the yielding layers of sandstone, till it now foams and splashes far below, when* it is in flood, in a gulf of such gloomy depth and overhanging obscurity, that the eye cannot pierce the darkness of the profundity beneath. Great stacks of some of the harder layers of stone still stand, showing what the original level of the country must have been. These curious-looking monuments of a former state of things rise at frequent intervals down the course of the creek, looking like giant vedettes ranged in skirmishing array, or like the last grim sentinels standing with defiant front when all the imposing array of their mighty army has been vanquished and melted beneath the resistless onslaught of all-conquering time. All these pinnacles are more or less conical, bulging out, in some cases, at the top. Many of them look like great petrified mushrooms, and have a peculiarly quaint appearance.

The rock all over this country is permeated with bands of ironstone, and much mineral wealth lies sealed up in every rocky ravine and gorge, waiting the touch of those modern magicians, labour and capital, to unfold their treasures. Already coal, iron, kerosine shale, fire-clay, and other valuable minerals, are successfully worked, and evidences of lead, antimony, and even silver, are not absent. Of course nearly all the country has been snapped up, and acquired by capitalists long ago. It may probably yet form the Black Country of Australia.

Already the kerosine shale, better known, perhaps, to home readers as Boghead Cannel, is being exported to England for the purpose of being used in the manufacture of gas. It fetches about 41, per ton. For years it has been used in the various colonial gas works, to improve the illuminating powers of the gas, and has also been exported to China, California, and other foreign parts. These mines belong to what is known as The New South Wales Shale and Oil Company, who have very large works established about three miles from Sydney, for the manufacture of illuminating and lubricating oils,, kerosine, and other shale products. A protective tariff of threepence per gallon on American oil gives rather an advantage to the colonial product. The oil is a great favourite with merchants and consumers, in consequence of the highness of its flashing test, and its general excellence.

In the same district, and nearer to the Mount Victoria railway station, being only two and a half miles distant, is another property, underlying what is known as the sugar-loaf mountain, which has been thoroughly prospected and tested; and the results of the preliminary surveys and tests give evidence that a veritable mine of wealth here lies concealed. It belongs to Dr. W. F. Mackenzie, of Sydney. The property comprises about 420 acres, and the cannel is supposed to underlie about 400 acres of the property. To give some idea of the future that lies before this district, it may interest many, who are casting their attention to Australia as a field for profitable investments, if I give the opinion of a well-known expert on this subject. I have seen a report on this property, written by Professor W. B. Dawkins, of Owen's College, Manchester, from which I extract the following :—

"On a minute examination I find that the stratum of cannel may be traced on all the sides of the precipitous mountains, except the south, where it is obscured by extensive landslips, which prevent absolute certainty as to the presence, on that side, of so variable a mineral. I believe it to be there. It is geologically identical with the adjacent deposit at Hartley, which has been worked for several years for the sake of the kerosine oil, as well as for gas-making purposes. The quantity of cannel in the property is as follows :—

"Average thickness of cannel (best), 12 inches. Average of tops and bottoms, 5 inches.

"These yield—taking the average specific gravity at 1"2 and the area at 400 acres—respectively, 583,392 and 117,774 tons."

It needs little calculation to find out what an immensely valuable industry might here be initiated. This is only one other instance—out of many which I have outlined in this volume—of the great field which lies open in New South, Wales for the remunerative investment of capital in many ways.

Mexicans, Peruvians, Egyptians, Spaniards, Erie Rings, et hoc genus omne, have swallowed already far too mucli of solid English gold. It is high time capitalists, turned their attention to

"Fresh woods and pastures new."

While on the subject of shale, there is yet another property, further along the line,, at Wallerawang, the central station in all this rich tumbled country of mineral wealth, which merits notice. It lies about twenty-eight miles to the west of Mount Victoria, about one mile from the main western line, and some 100 feet above its level. Here again we see the same formation. "Bottled sunshine" here lies hid by the ton. On one property of 2000 acres,, belonging also to Dr. Mackenzie, there is a proved deposit of shale, exactly corresponding, in all chemical constituents, to the rich Boghead cannel of Bathgate in Scotland.

Professor A. Norinan Tate, of Liverpool, tested specimens from this deposit, and in a certificate, which I have seen, he states that it yielded at the rate of 17,000 cubic feet of gas to the ton, of an illuminating power equal to thirty-six candles. In close contiguity, and on the same property, ironstone and coal are found in rich profusion. It needs but little prescience to picture the future of such a magnificently endowed territory. Under wise and liberal dispositions, perhaps, I may yet live to witness this tract of country the scene of clanging workshops, busy factories, reticulating tramways, and all the accompaniments of a mighty mineral industry, in full swing. This district is but the counterpart of others in the colony, where other natural products are waiting development, to make New South Wales one of the foremost manufacturing countries in the world.

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