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Title: Memories of My Life - From My Early Days in Scotland Till the Present Day in Adelaide
Author: Allen, Mrs. J. S. O.
Language: English
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From My Early Days in Scotland Till
the Present Day in Adelaide



J. L. Bonython & Co., "The Advertiser" Office
King William Street




In a sense I am no stranger to you. It may be asked why I should bring
the names of people and the incidents of my life into book-form.
Loneliness is the principal cause. What would become of me if I could
not recall past years. I have written something of the history of what I
have lived through. Many times over I have promised to write a cookery
book from my colonial experience--I am talking about cookery all day. I
try to live on recollection, although occasionally it hurts me. Many
will discern in these pages some of the observations they have listened
to while I have been giving lessons on cookery. It has been habitual to
me to allude to by-gone days and customs.




My First Place                                 1

Life's Battle Begins                           3

I Return Home                                  7

On the Coal Mines                              9

I go to Glasgow                               13

I Change my Occupation                        16

The Country of Burns                          19

I go to a New Place                           20

I Leave Ayrshire                              25

Dr. Dykes, Dr. Guthrie, and Dr. MacLeod       27

Another New Place                             32

Abraham Lincoln                               34

The Isle of Arran                             35

Back in Glasgow again                         41

I Decide to come to Adelaide                  44

On an Emigrant Ship                           46

I Arrive in Adelaide                          52

My Father and Brother Arrive                  60

I go to the South-East                        65

I Leave the Station and Return to Adelaide    72

I go back to Sunnyside                        80

Prince Alfred in Adelaide                     82

I Leave Government House                      86

I Get Married                                 91

A Parting of Ways                             95

I Return to Scotland                          98

I Arrive in London                           104

I Return to my Old Home                      109

I Reach Adelaide again                       112

Housekeeper at Government House              115

I Return to my Husband                       116

Yet Another Parting                          118

Memories of My Life



We did not talk of a "situation" in those days but of a place. My
sister, who was a few years older than I, was out at a place five miles
from where we lived. She came home, as she had not been well, and my
father sent me to tell the people that Mary could not return for a few
days. They asked me if I could stay in her stead till she was better. I
was quite willing, provided that my father would allow me. They obtained
my father's consent, as he said if I was any use they could keep me; so
at the age of ten I began to be a house-servant.

We had no mother. She died when I was six years of age. The name of the
town was Denny, not far from Falkirk. The people with whom I went to
live were bakers and confectioners in a large way. With their sons and
journeymen and apprentices, in addition to the master, there were, all
told, 12 men living on the establishment, and the mistress, with one
daughter and myself, did all the work, except that a woman came to help
with the washing. Some of the journeymen and two apprentices slept over
the granary or store where the flour and other materials were kept.
Every night at 10 o'clock those men and boys had to be in their room;
one of my duties was to see that the door was locked and to bring the
keys to the master. The mistress would bring them to me again in the
morning at 4 o'clock, when I had to run up this long stone stair and
open the door and tell the men it was time to get up. I always went back
to bed again till 6 o'clock.

It was a busy house. There was a large shop facing the front street,
with two windows filled with beauteous cakes and confectionery. There
were five carts to load up every morning, for the establishment served
the locality for miles round with bread.

Stirling town was not far off, and the neighborhood was full of
historical events. The battlefield of Bannockburn was close by, and also
an old castle; I was told that once it was the stronghold of Bruce and
Wallace. I liked to wander through the old ruins on my way home from
Sunday-school. I got to like the place, and they were kind to me. It was
not displeasing to me when I learned that I could stop there for a time
and that my sister would live at home. I used to go home about once a
month. There were no tramcars or conveyance of any kind on that wild
moorland. Nothing but heather met the eye all the way from Denny to
Slamannan, which was the name of the village I came from. The Edinburgh
and Glasgow railway ran through it, and we could see Stirling Castle
from our door.

I did not have much wages, but the mistress saw to my clothes and made
some of them. I was taught to be careful and useful. One of the things I
liked was to go into the shop window to hand out all the nice cake and
confections. The work of bakers and confectioners has moved forward by
great strides since then. For weeks and weeks the daughter of the house
and myself had to help in the work-shop while some of the men and one of
the apprentices were away ill with measles.

I shall never forget the first morning I went to the bakehouse. There
was a long trough, which stretched the full length of the bakehouse.
Overhead there was a strong beam of timber, with ropes hanging down for
a balance. In this big trough I saw six men with their trousers up to
the knees, and they were tramping in the dough to make the bread. I put
up my hands and gave a scream, and someone threw a flour bag at my head.
I felt as if I did not want to eat any more bread. I did not like the
way that they made bread, but I soon got interested in other beautiful
work which was done, and I had to help. What I learned then I have never

The master told the mistress that she was not to give me any wages, as I
was learning more than the apprentices. So he said I was to have no
wages, but that I would have to pay him some "sil-ler" for what I was
learning. When he said "sil-ler" he meant money. I knew the apprentices
had to pay when they were bound for so long a period. Time went on and I
was happy.

There was one daughter who had a runaway marriage, sometime before I
went there to live. The old folks had forgiven her and she and her
husband came on a visit. It was the first since the elopement, and
everyone seemed pleased to see her again. Even I, the little maid, was
allowed to enjoy the gay times. They came from Glasgow, and had seen
some style in city life. The gentleman brought with him an apparatus
for taking photographs. It was the first ever seen in Denny. They fixed
up a studio in the garden for him, but he did not take photographs to
make money, but only as a pastime. It made quite a stir in the place.
Ministers and doctors and all kinds of people came to see this wonderful
thing. I will add here that this was 46 years ago. Things are different
now. I had my photograph taken without my knowledge.

I was sent with a cup of coffee on a tray in the morning as so many
people were round that the gentleman could not come to breakfast. Just
as I got to the gate I was told to stand still and look straight at what
proved to be the camera. I was told to wait and get something to take
back to give to Miss Isabel, and to ask her to put it in the shop
window. I carefully carried back the parcel, never thinking it was my
own photograph I had. It was taken on glass, and in some way it seemed
to have a kind of tar put on. However, there I was, holding on to the
tray, and on either side by the gate stood the doctor of the town and
the Congregational minister. After I gave the picture to the young lady
I could hear roars of laughing. All the bakers came running from the
bakehouse to the shop, and I saw the people staring at the window. So I
went to look, and when I saw my own picture was exhibited there I cried
till they took it out of the window. That was my first photograph. I
never saw it again.

I was interested in all I saw. It was new to me after our poor home. I
had one little brother three years younger than myself, and one sister
four years older. Father became addicted to drink after mother's death.
It was agreed that my sister and myself should go to service in
alternate years. So I was to stop at my first place for two half years,
or two terms of six months each. That was how you were engaged then. If
you left your place before the term expired you were liable to be
arrested, or at any rate, you would forfeit your wages.


To me life's battles began at the age of 10 years. I was known all about
as Baker Miller's "wee maid." The family all attended the Congregational
Church, and I had to go also. The minister's name was Dr. Jeffrey. The
"Manse" was close by, and I was often sent there with messages. Dr.
Jeffrey was a bachelor. I would find him sometimes digging in the
garden, dressed up very queerly. He liked to tease me about having my
photograph, which was taken with him that morning at the gate. What
attracted my attention to him was his hair. It was in long ringlets,
hanging down on his shoulders, and parted in the middle. When he was
working in the garden or preaching his hair would hang down beautifully,
like that of a lady. I went to his Sunday-school, and some words from
him helped me, too, to face the future.

I can truthfully say that I only knew the alphabet, and how to read from
a little spelling book, some words to my mother who died a few days
after I was six years old. My greatest misfortune has been the want of
schooling. There was a school in Slamannan, but it was a mile from where
we lived, and there was no one to care whether we went or not. People
were not compelled to send their children to school in those days. I
could read some easy words in the Bible and Testament. What I could not
make out I would ask someone to tell me. There were family prayers every
Sunday morning and evening, and all had to attend, or at least all who
lived in the house. We had to read a verse each as it came to our turn
all through the chapter, either in the Bible or the Testament, as the
master gave it out. I did try to be able to read my verse, for fear that
the apprentice boys would laugh at me--how I used to hope that my verse
would be an easy one. I was fond of reading, and they gave me nice
books, while there were so many old places about in connection with the
"History of Scotland" that it was pleasant to read about the deeds that
were done, and then to go and look at the ruins.

As the time went on I grew strong and hardy, and there was plenty of
good food. All had porridge and milk in the morning, with plenty of hot
scones and butter, and relishes of some sort. There was no waste, and
the mistress was a good cook. I was told that when she and her husband
began business that she did all the fancy cooking. Even in my time she
did a lot of things for the bakehouse. I used to help with the raisins
and currants and lemon-peel, and the meat for the raised Scotch mutton
pies and so on. Those Scotch pies produced more profit than any other
item in their trade. When I come to think of it, even now, I remember
that Saturday was the only day they made them. The large boards, on
which the bakers used to carry the bread into the shop, would hold about
eight or ten dozen raised mutton pies which were sold for two-pence
each. Ever so many of the great boards were filled with pies and sent to
meet orders all around. There was a fair in Denny every six months. Talk
about pies! There were no clothing factories or shirt factories in
Denny. There were, however, some cotton mills, to which I used to see so
many poor-looking people going every morning when I was attending to the
front of the shop and the private entrance. I often thought to myself
that I was better off than them. The girls had no hats, and some of them
had no boots, and they looked wistfully into the shop window. I know
they were hungry.

There were no sewing machines in those days. If a man wanted a suit made
he would employ a tailor. The tailor would bring an apprentice boy and a
large iron, called a "goose," and they would be there ever so long.
Sometimes they worked on the kitchen table. Everything was made by hand;
there was no machinery. I saw two dress suits made for the young
gentlemen of the house. While I recollect how they made the outside
clothing, it was evident to me that the tailors did not make the men's
shirts and under-garments. These were made by women, and if a man's wife
could not make his shirts, as well as wash and iron them, she would be
the talk of the place. Quite wee "lassies" could knit their own and
their father's or brothers' stockings. The wool was not dear. At a date
more remote they used to spin their own wool. There was often to be seen
in some lumber place the old discarded "spinning-wheel." Alloway was
famed for its fingering wool. The women of to-day should be thankful to
see how nicely they can dress their children and themselves.

I often recall the apparel of the dim past. You could see well-to-do
farmers' wives come to church, wearing a lilac or print gown in the
summer, and in the winter it was replaced by a "linzewince," with a
plaid or kind of woollen cloth or shawl. This was two yards long and two
yards wide, and was folded to hang three-cornerwise down the back from
the shoulders. And then the boys and the girls. I remember well seeing
quite big boys with petticoats and pinafores when 6 or 7 years old. I do
not mean the "kilt." It was just the same as that the girls wore. Of
course the mother could make things like that when she could not do the
needlework of tweed. There never was a time previously when dress was so
becoming for all as it is at present. Think of the old grandfathers with
knee-breeches and long stockings. I only saw my grandfather once, and
that is how he was dressed.

To say that I was always happy and had an easy life would not be true. I
was often in tears and in disgrace. I would break some thing, or put
things where they could not be found. I felt as if I belonged to nobody,
and would have a cry to myself. Still, I must confess that I received
kindly appreciation from all. The only daughter was about to be married,
and I knew that neither myself nor my sister would be old enough to do
the work when that time came. A healthy body makes a healthy mind
whether happy or not, so I began to think of going home after Miss
Isabel was married. What I had seen of my father did not comfort me. My
heart cried out for someone to show me how to write. Miss Isabel was
giving me lessons on a slate. From all I remember of our home life in
looking back into the past, after all these years, I know that I did my
best to gain instruction. I tried my hardest to find out for myself the
way to do things.

The months passed by, bringing the New Year. Christmas time was not much
spoken of then. My master noticed how earnest I was, and must have
thought that I should learn the baking. I could see that Miss Isabel
could work in the bakehouse like the men. I got to like going there,
too. What a time we had getting cakes ready for the new year. I remember
that one bedroom had the carpet taken up and all the furniture removed
and the floor cleaned, while the cakes were put in, and built on some
framework nearly to the ceiling.

It was the custom to give to the customers at New Year's time a fruit
cake. They called it a currant bun, but sometimes it weighed from 2 to 4
lb. There were all sorts of fruit in them, with boxes and boxes full of
raisins, candied peel, currants, and all sorts of spices. All of these
were prepared in the kitchen, and I used to help often till late at
night. I know that they were not iced like the Christmas cakes we see
here. But those bakers could do some lovely work with sugar. What I saw
then has been valuable and important to me all through my life to this
date, which proves that a special interest in the usefulness of cooking
may become a part of a young girl's training, as much as reading or
writing. I have been teacher of cookery for many years now, and I teach
without a textbook. Instead of giving pupils recipes, I teach that which
I have tried and proved by experience.

But I must keep to the bygone days. It was customary when there was a
funeral in the neighborhood, and the people were not too poor, for them
to send an order for a special kind of sponge biscuits, which had to be
made at once. Sometimes such a large quantity was wanted that all hands
had to help. If there were frost and snow about it was hard to whip up
the eggs, so they used to get a good-sized cask, half fill it with hot
water, and stand the mixing basin on that. The steam from the water
helped in the whisking of the eggs. If there were no heat the eggs would
be frozen while whisking. It was always my duty to whip the eggs. Then
some skilled hand would come and put in some of the sugar, and keep on
putting in more sugar time after time till the specific weight was used.
Then the flour was added. At last I got so experienced that I could add
the sugar myself by the appearance of the eggs, and, eventually, I could
add the flour and take the basin of mixture to the bakehouse all ready
to drop into the desired shape. I make sponge cakes in the same way yet,
only here we require no hot water.


I may burn this some day, but still I will put down the story, or, at
least, those parts that are most essential. I have no literary
attainments fitting me to write a long book, though my memory would
furnish me with plenty of material. I was in comfort and luxury in my
first place, yet I longed to go back to my humble home and to my wee
brother, who had not got into "pants" yet.

Miss Isabel got married before I left, and as I continue my story I will
have to tell some more about her. I got to like her so much that I would
do anything she asked me. I knew she liked to see things look bright and
clean, so I felt happy to be able to shine anything that I could. They
gave me some wages, and the time came when I was to leave. I had on my
best things, with the rest of my clothes tied up in a parcel, which was
not very heavy. So I walked from Denny to Falkirk to spend my first
money. It was not the only time I had been to that town. I used to visit
it with father when he bought things for us, so I bought something for
everyone at home, and my dear brother in particular.

I can remember my thoughts yet. I was a good deal worried about my
prospects. If I only had an oven I could make Scotch mutton pies to sell
in the village. The face that I made some subsequently serves to show
that knowledge and perception can be stamped on the mind of youth.

And so I found myself at home. My sister went to a place close by at a
farm. She had to help with cows and work in the field.

I remember I used to go and see her. They had all sorts of things
growing. Corn, wheat, and flax, which I liked to see. They pulled it up
by the root and let it stand tied up in bundles. When it was dry it was
thrown into a pond of water, formed by an inlet from the stream, and
left there till it got soft and pulpy. Then it was drawn out and left on
the bank to dry. The Scotch named the flax lint, and when the water in
the lint hole was drained off the smell was something awful. I think I
can smell it yet. What excited my imagination was that they told me that
the beautiful fine white linen was made from flax, or otherwise "lint."
It was taken in to the barn or hay house and thrashed by means of a
"flail," an instrument used then for thrashing corn or wheat. There was
no machinery for that purpose, at least in that district. This "flail"
looked like two broom-handles, and was as long with a hinge in the
middle. I never saw a woman doing the thrashing. It was always done by a
strong man, but the women did a lot of work from the first. Quite young
girls, from 12 years old upwards, were employed in pulling up the
"lint." They got 4d. or 6d. a day. It seemed hard work. I never tried
it, but I used to look on. Then, after it was thrashed, both old and
young women would be employed tousing or pulling it out. After this
"flailing" it was no longer a plant nor lint, but was called "tow." Then
it had to be carded. I helped with the carding, which is slow work. Then
I saw them spinning this tow into threads. It was no uncommon sight to
see several women carry their spinning-wheels to a neighbor's house in
the long winter evenings, and spin and laugh.

I never got the length of trying to spin. I did love to sit and watch
those that spun. There was the nice humming of the wheel, with no noise
to distract the reason or the nerve. When I think of it I see the women
sitting upright. It looked so easy, the wheel being very light, and made
of wood for the most part. There was no bending over. I have compared
the attitude since then with the attractive way a lady sits at the harp.
It is so graceful, and just like the spinning-wheel.

I may add here that a river in Scotland is always known as a "burn." The
water is not hard, and the people did not have water taps in their wee
houses, so we had to go to the burn for water. That would do for odd
things and washing. Just think of it. This lint water went into the
burn! Nobody wanted to wash clothes till that rolled off to the sea.

In the summertime the housewives would bring their washing to the
burnside and make a fire, and that was quite a picture. They would have
a big tub, and they washed the blankets in this way. They had the water
hot with soap melted in it. Then they put in the blankets, and a woman
would take off her shoes and stockings (that is, if she had any on), and
go in and tramp on the blankets. Young children were there as well as
their elders, as the mothers could look after them, or they could be
otherwise protected. We were not afraid of anybody with a camera taking
snapshots, as such a machine was then unknown. I have also washed in
that fashion.

I would not have anyone think that the burn was the only water we had.
Close by there were more than one beautiful well of spring water, but we
had to carry it. Those who lived near the wells were best off. We had a
yoke with a wooden frame shaped to rest on the shoulders. A portion of
rope hung from each end with an iron hook to hold the vessel for water.
The rope could be adjusted so as to make it suitable for a tall or short
person. I have seen Chinamen carrying their wares as we once carried the
water. It was the same in all the country places. But as if to make up
for the water carrying we had no wood to chop, the coal being so
plentiful and cheap. There were numerous coalpits all round and
ironstone. We had not long lived there.

I could just remember the nice home we had when my mother lived.
Everything seemed so changed. The little house we lived in was at the
end of a long row of houses all of the same size. The railway going
through from Glasgow to Edinburgh passed close by. How I used to look
out for the train, and particularly if the Queen was expected to pass. I
only saw her once with Prince Albert. That was at the inauguration of
the Loch Katrine water supply. Previously Glasgow had obtained its water
from the River Clyde.


My father! How can I write of him. He descended from being a
house-carpenter and having men working for him to the doing of rough
carpenter's work about those awful-looking coal pits. I used to go there
sometimes with his dinner if he did not come home. And then to see the
men coming up and going down into the pits! Some of them were hundreds
of fathoms deep. They descended in what they called a hutch, and the
coals came up in it. It had wheels. When it reached the top someone
pushed it off and wheeled it to where its contents were tipped out on a
great heap of coals. There was an engine working all the time pumping
water night and day. If it had stopped the works underground would have
been flooded. No one could go down and no one could live underneath if
the engine were not working all the time. I remember how I stared at the
men entering the trucks in which the coals were brought up. How queerly
they were dressed! On their heads they had a close-fitting cap made of
leather, with a place in front to hold a small lamp that would hold half
a gill of oil. It had a narrow projection at the side for a wick. Each
man had to have his own lamp.

I must say something about the manner in which those men and lads were
dressed. Some were laddies from eight to nine years of age. Ah, and some
were old men! In fact, there was nothing else for them to do, and they
came from all parts of the country to work in the pits. They did not
seem to mind it, but I had never seen pits before, and, while waiting
for my father, in fear and alarm I watched them going up and down. They
were the colliers, and rows of houses were built on purpose for them.
Wherever you saw a coal pit there also were the houses, built on the
same plan. Now about the clothing. I have mentioned the cap. Their
shirts were of a dark, thick, woollen material, while their trousers and
coat were of a warm material without any shape. They wore a leather
belt round the waist, to which was attached a flagon of oil to fill up
their lamps. If they had good, kind wives they would have on long
knitted stockings and strong shoes with big nails in them. It looked
horrible even to see them going down dry, but when they came up drenched
with water or perspiration and all so black and grimy it was worse
still. If there were frost and snow their clothes would be frozen on
them ere they got to home. Frost and snow lasted many months in the
winter in Slamannan. Each one had his own pick to take down with him and
he had to bring it back again to get it made sharp for the next day.
Some had more than one. They also took with them some food tied up in a
handkerchief. When they were washed and clean I did not know them to be
the same men and lads that previously I thought did not belong to the
human race.

The impression made on my mind then is as distinctly there now, even at
this distance of time. I got the idea that they were different from
ordinary men. Yet the children of the colliers took no notice of the
things that filled me with fright. All the pits were not so deep as the
particular one to which I had to go.

There was a heartrending scene one day when a rumor spread that the "New
Pit" was on fire. Thank heaven, all the men and boys had been drawn to
the top. It was no uncommon thing to hear of a pit catching fire,
through foul air or gas, which, if the miners were not careful, ignited
and rushed through all the spaces whence the coals had been taken. Some
of those pits had been working for years. But I never knew where coal
came from till we came to Slamannan. There were many old pits all about
that had been worked out. They were fenced around for protection. It
made a lot of work to fill the long train of waggons every day with coal
and ironstone, to be taken away to Glasgow and Edinburgh by rail. There
were many other men and boys employed about the works beside the
colliers. All the waggons and hutches for bringing up the coals were
made there, and that gave work to rough carpenters. Then blacksmiths,
engineers, clerks, timekeepers, and other men, many of whom never went
down into the pits at all, were on the mines. I learned also that there
were gangs of men who, under contract, cleared away the ironstone in the
nighttime, after the colliers had left the pit. The stone had to be
blasted out of its place with powder. It was as well, perhaps, that I
did not know at that time, although I often wondered what was in some
little barrels I saw stacked in the carpenters' shop. Years afterwards,
when I was in South Australia, I had a newspaper sent to me containing
an account of an awful explosion which happened in a carpenters' shop at
Benny Hill, near Slamannan. Many lives were lost, including those of
children who had come with their fathers' picks to get them sharpened.
I knew the place so well, and I felt thankful that I was not there.

How little do the people think as they sit at a bright fire what a risk
to life and limb is needed in order to get this coal when it is so far
down in the earth. I saw some very old women, who remembered when they
were young having worked in the pits. I saw a young man that was born
down in the pit.

When the dear Queen Victoria came to the throne it was made illegal for
women to work in coal pits. Here and there through Scotland a mine was
found where they could dig in from a hillside and find coal, and get
horse-power to haul the coal out, but never in such quantity as was
produced when they dug hundreds of fathoms under ground.

I am always grateful when I think how kind some of those colliers' wives
were to us two "mitherless bairns," as they called my wee brother and
me. In almost every house you would find a wood frame, on which the
women did work called tamboring on muslin, in window-curtain lengths, or
a hanging cloth for a bed. The pattern being stamped on, they tambored
it over with a needle, very like a crotchet-needle. They also used a
cotton made for the purpose. These women used to go to Ardria, a town
eight miles away. They could go by train for a very few pence, but, to
save that, I have known some of the dear creatures to walk there and
back. You will say that they would wear out as much in shoe leather as
they saved in money. But shall I tell you in a whisper that they would
take off their shoes and stockings and walk bare-footed till they came
near the town. They did the same on the way back. When the tamboring was
finished anyone could take it back and get the money. Some would send
their wee lassie on those messages. While I think of this long-ago time
and the wives of the colliers, the memory of them is always dear to me.
I found much kindness beneath what would appear a harsh surface.

As a rule both men and women married very young. It was no uncommon
thing to see a young girl of 16 or 17 with a cap, or what was known as a
"mutch." When married, this strange-looking headdress was donned. It did
not matter how beautiful the hair was, you could not see it for this
mutch. It was made of muslin, white, of course, and with two and
sometimes three rows of goffered frills all around, with long strings to
tie under the chin. The old women wore them too, but not with so many
frills. They were more plain, with a black band of ribbon around.

Every now and then a strike would occur. It always involved a severe
struggle between master and men, for a little more wages or some
alteration in the work, but it was always about the pay. These strikes
brought the workers to the lowest ebb. They never made complaints, but
it was sad to see a battalion of over 500 or 600 men, young and old,
marching about. They often suffered from hunger, for sometimes the
strike would last for many weeks, so that they were reduced to an awful
plight. On three different times a strike broke out while I was in that
place. I am sure that no negro for whose liberty America was then in
conflict was more miserable even in his bonds than those white slaves in
the thrall of some of the uncharitable coal masters, who lived away in a
grand place in great style in luxury. More than one of these poor women,
with hungry children and a hungry husband, has said to me, "See, Annie,
this is our last handful of oatmeal." There was some aid or relief
organised from a fund that other miners would send, for if they were on
strike their comrades in work would help to sustain them. There seemed
to be a league with a kind of "help one another club," a kind of
freemasonry. They would know if any were in distress, even so far away
as England. So few of them knew how to write, but yet they were so kind
to each other, were those colliers.

There was a church in Slamannan, with a churchyard for the burial of all
the dead. There were a few little shops here and there and a large
store, which was also a public-house. You could buy drapery, china,
wool, iron, or whisky. There, too, someone would bring his fiddle to a
big room, and they would dance Scotch reels. They would gather from
miles away, both the lads and their lassies. There were no law courts in
Slamannan, so if anyone broke the law they were taken to Falkirk to be
dealt with. There was only one policeman. He wore a tall hat and a queer
kind of uniform, and he was well liked, for he did not take many to
Falkirk if he could help it. There was a post-office, but such a thing
as a telegram was then unknown. There was also a school, and the teacher
was called the Dominie. He was not liked, as it was said he was cruel..
The schools were not so interesting in those days. Near those rows of
houses known as "Benny Hill" there was a general store, where provisions
of all sorts were sold, and whisky, too. Only to think of that maddening
beverage--we had to suffer for it, my brother and I.

All round the people were paid once a fortnight. How we dreaded the
pay-day. Sometimes we would not see my father for two or three days
after he was paid. He would go away with a lot of young fellows on what
they said was a "spree." He would come back, but all his money gone.
Sometimes with some more he would come into the house and bring a jar
full of whisky. Then my brother and I had to run to some kind neighbor
and stay there till they had drunk the whisky and got sober again. We
dreaded my father when he took whisky, but he was nice to us when not in
drink, and we loved him, and hoped he would soon get away from the coal
pits. He did not drink when mother was alive, so I know now it was not
habitual with him. I used to say then, and I have faithfully kept my
word, that if I ever grew up to be a woman I would not have any whisky
in my house. This was a strange, wild place. I wondered what brought my
father to "Benny Hill." I was there only a little while before I went to
Denny, and lost hold of the past. Almost a year had gone since the
terrible experience of my mother's death, which had an effect on me as
though I had been awakened from a dream. Some say that childhood's grief
is short-lived, but what I suffered then will till the hour of death
continue in my memory.

Things got gradually worse. My father had a little place fitted up,
where he did some carpentering work in the evenings, and people would
come for odd jobs. All about there seemed so many who had "fiddles" and
played, and many of them would get father to make a bridge for their
fiddle. Then they would play cards and send for drink, and to get rid of
the smell of whisky and tobacco we would drag the bedclothes over our
heads and try to sleep.

At last one night there was a fearful quarrel. We heard the things
getting smashed, including all the crockery and furniture. I looked in
and saw a man with his face bleeding.. I ran and picked up my little
brother, and carried him to the house of a woman who had been a good
Samaritan to us before. She made a shakedown for us in front of the
fire, and that was my last night in Benny Hill for some years.


I made up my mind that I would go to Glasgow to find Miss Miller, of
Denny, so I watched till I saw my father go away in the morning. Then I
went into the little place, which was awful to look at. Everything was
thrown about, and my hat had been knocked off from behind the door and
trodden on. So I had no hat. I knew where there were two shillings on a
shelf. I took the shillings, and as I knew that when my father was all
right he would look after my brother, I did not say anything to the kind
woman, but went off to the railway-station and got a ticket for Glasgow,
which cost one shilling and eightpence. When I landed in Glasgow I had
not the slightest idea of how large a city it was. I only had the lady's
address in my memory. Her husband was a wine and spirit merchant, Mr.
George Stirling. I made enquiries, and found the street, but was
mystified by the length of it. After wandering up and down for some time
looking for Mr. Stirling's house he saw me, and, happily for me, he knew
me as the little maid at the baker's. He said, "Little Susie, where are
you going?" I told him I was looking for Miss Isabel. He stared at me,
and asked me to come inside, while, sobbing, I told him all my trouble.
While he came to the house at Denny he always called me Susie, and I did
not mind. He said now, "Well, Susie, you cannot see Mrs. Stirling; she
is very ill, and you must not call her Miss Isabel now, but I will see
what can be done for you till my wife is better."

So he sent some food for me, and wrote a note, and got a boy to take me
to a friend of his in Argyle-street. This was a large place, known as
the "Steak and Chop House." The proprietress was Mrs. Wilson, a widow
with three daughters. In the note she was requested to find something
for me to do till Mrs. Stirling could decide what was to happen to me. I
was sent amongst the cooks downstairs, and I helped to do the vegetables
and other things. This was in a very busy street, and it was a busy
house. There seemed such a lot of people employed, both men and women.
Everything was different to me, and the whole world was changed, and I
did not care whether I was called Susie or Annie.

I had to work underground in a room always lighted with gas. I did not
see real daylight again for a long time. Through thick glass in the
pavement some light entered a room where another girl and I slept. All
night I could hear the people passing, and at first I could not sleep
for the noise. I had a lot to do, and I did not like my surroundings.
For instance, all the meat and similar food was brought direct from the
slaughterhouse. A man cut it up in the different portions allotted for
different purposes. He had the ox feet and the tripe for his
perquisites. This was all done where I attended to the vegetables.

How often I wished I were back again amongst the bakers. I liked that
better. In my anguish I often gave vent to my feeling in sobs and moans
when nobody could see. I could not write, but could only make symbols
that had no meaning to me. They were only strokes and crooks. I saw
nobody from Slamannan, and no one there knew where I was for the first
six months. I got no wages, but the mistress obtained for me some little
changes of garment, for which I was thankful. I did not see the mistress
very often. She kept a woman as manager, and I thought she was the most
awful woman I had ever seen. She used to take snuff. I never went to see
Mrs. Stirling, being afraid of the thronged streets, but I learned that
she was a little better, and had gone away for some months. So I
thought the best thing I could do was to stop where I was till someone
came whom I knew. There were always such a lot of people coming in and
out, for although there was a framed card in the large window, stating
that it was a "steak-house," there were all sorts of soups and roasts,
with pies, and frequently gentlemen would order large suppers for their
friends, sometimes on the premises, and at others to be sent to their
flats or rooms, as the case might be.

On a busy day I got to be helpful, and went into the rooms to assist the
waiters. The day that Sir Colin Campbell was made Lord Clyde was the
first time that I helped inside. That was a day never to be forgotten.
We all tried to see him in an open carriage as he was driven to the Town
Hall to receive the freedom of the city. I saw him going and coming
back. The streets were something to remember. It was stated that many
were carried out of their way, and did not get their feet to the ground
for ever so far.

I had been at this place for a year and some months when one day I was
sent a message, I heard someone say, "That is Anna McDonald." To my joy,
I saw two young men from Slamannan. I knew them at once. One was James
Simson, and the other William Robinson. I could only ask them to come in
and tell me if my father, sister, and brother were alive. They told me
that I had been given up as lost or dead, and that all the old
pit-shafts had been searched for my body. Still, through my
disappearance and the shock it gave him, my father had become a sober
man, and had entirely given up the drink. They never thought I had found
my way to Glasgow.

Both of them said together, "Your sister is in Glasgow to-day. We saw
her." I just stood rigid and helpless till one of them set out to find
her, and the other stopped with me until she was brought to me. Not a
sound could pass my lips. We kissed and looked at each other. She had
grown, and so had I. There was now no home, she told me. My father and
brother were in lodgings and my sister still remained at farm service. I
got permission for my sister to stay with me all night. She told me that
she had been in Glasgow two or three times before to see if she could
find me.

The young men went back to Slamannan that night and told my father where
I was, and a little while after my sister left, my father and my dear
little brother arrived. That was the first time I saw my brother in
pants. My father looked so different and so young-looking and well. I
had no wish to go to Slamannan to live, so that was settled. I was still
hoping to go and live with Mrs. Stirling when I would be a little bigger
and stronger.

I was very troubled about my throat, for I could hardly speak without an
effort, it being very painful.


A change came that I did not expect. One day a lady came in for some
refreshments, and I was in attendance. She knew us, and she saw that I
was not looking as well as my sister. She asked if I would come with her
and help her with her children. Her husband was a contractor, and
undertook railway works. With his partners he had a contract to build a
railroad from Maybole to Wilmington, in Ayrshire. Wilmingtonn was close
to "the banks and braes of bonny Doon." As some nice houses were on the
route of the line, and would have to be pulled down, he lived at
different places till the five and twenty miles of line was finished. I
thought it would be nice to see once again the green fields and flowers,
so I promised to go to Mrs. Scott. She had been a servant lass herself
once, but she had a good husband and they were comfortable. She was then
on her way to one of the houses near Maybole, which had to be pulled

I had two more months of my time to serve, as I had agreed to stop for
six months with Mrs. Wilson, and they did not like to part with me, but
I would not agree to stop on after the term. I was to get as wages 30/
for the six months. We could not give a week's notice and leave.

To give some idea of how this kind of business paid, I may say that Mrs.
Wilson had a summer-house in a place at the seaside, "doon the water,"
as it was termed. The name of the place was "Killmunn." Another girl and
myself were sent there to get some of the rooms in order, the youngest
daughter, Miss Jane, being ill, and the doctor having recommended that
she should be sent to the seaside. It was a good distance from Glasgow.
We went in the steamboat "Iona," and saw Balmoral Castle as we passed.
Mrs. Wilson's house had 40 rooms altogether. It was a beautiful place
and very interesting with its house-boat and other conveniences. There
was some lovely furniture, but it was all covered up with holland, and
all the carpets had been taken up and carefully put away. The mistress
and the young lady came two days after us, and they said that I would be
able to do all that they would require for a week or two, so the other
girl went back to Glasgow. Life was then brighter than it had been since
I left Benny Hill. It was a new experience to me to see the ships
passing. Many persons had their summer-houses there, and were beginning
to arrive. I was sent up to Glasgow with some message all by myself, but
it was pleasant, and I was not a bit afraid. A man and his wife acted as
caretakers during the winter months. They were very old, but still
useful. I used to go out with Miss Jane to carry her books and other
things, and I watched the excursions or pleasure trips up and down to
Killmunn. There were villas and what were called "self-contained"
houses, let whole or in part, with sometimes "a but and a ben," which
were filled to overflowing. All faced the sea and were close to the very
water's edge, and so were nicely suited for summer visitors. What with
the yachts and skiffs and the glad voices of the mothers and their
children on the beach the place was very merry. There was nice shade
from the trees. I did not think the five weeks we stayed there a long
time. We returned to Glasgow a week or so before the end of my term.

I saw Mrs. Scott again, and she told me that if I would stay with them
till the railway was finished that they were going back to Slamannan,
and I could go with them. So she gave me the address to put on my box
and the money to pay my fare to Maybole. I went through to Slamannan to
tell where I was going, and with whom. I had hoped when Mr. and Mrs.
Scott came back that my father would have a house, and that I would live
at home. He was still in lodgings, but I knew that I could stop there
for a few days. It seemed like "auld lang syne" to me. And those dear
kind women, how pleased they were to see me, and to tell me how I had
grown! How different their speech, too, to the dialect of Glasgow! They
said it was a long journey to Ayrshire, and tried to persuade me not to
go. However, I liked the appearance of Mrs. Scott. She looked so
motherly and kind. I was all excitement; I would have to go to Glasgow
again, but I knew that I could get a train from the station at Glasgow
right through to Kilmarnock, and change for Maybole, where they would be
waiting for me. I went and saw my sister, who was still at the same
place. I thought whatever I had to do I would never be a farm servant.
It was rough and hard feeding and milking cows, attending fowls and
horses and other animals. Sometimes she would harness a horse and go
harrowing in the field after the men had ploughed it.

I took my departure from Benny Hill, caught the train in the early
morning, but had to wait till the afternoon, as I missed the train in
the forenoon. I got a third-class ticket for 3/3 for 35 miles. I had a
whole compartment to myself for the last part of the way, and went to
sleep and did not hear them calling out to change at Kilmarnock for
Maybole. I woke up and came out at the next station and asked where I
was, when a guard told me I was in a train on its way to London. Then I
cried, and asked for my box, and the man looked in the van, but there
was no box of mine. He asked if it was addressed, and I said it was. He
then remembered that it had been sent on to Maybole, and he said I
should have had an address put on me too, as then I should be
comfortably in my bed. It was then midnight. Some more men gathered
round, and they were sorry, for me. They did not often see such a young
girl so far away from home. They took me into the station, where a nice
fire was burning, and obtained some rugs and brought me a cup of coffee
and some bread and butter. Then they told me to go to sleep, as a train
would be coming from London in the morning, and they would wake me up. I
did not sleep, but cried all the time, for I thought I had lost all my
clothes and my box. It was the first box I ever had, and I was so
pleased with it. I did not look at the name of the station I had
reached, as it was dark, but it must have been a long way, as I did not
get to Maybole till about 8 o'clock in the morning. I found my box was
there, and the people were anxious as to where I was. Mr. Scott made
enquiries, and the railway men said that they saw a little girl asleep,
but they thought I was with someone who was travelling by the train.
They never thought of me as a lone passenger.

I felt quite at home with Mrs. Scott and the dear children. It was my
first experience amongst children, and I was delighted. We got into the
trucks that were used on the line, and got pushed along as far as the
line was made. Mr. Scott and Mrs. Scott also came sometimes. It was
great fun. We nearly lived out of doors all the time. It was a grand
house, but had to be pulled down, so there was not much trouble taken
over it. I was very happy at changing from work by stifling gaslight to
the light of day. A daily governess came a few hours to teach the
children, and I also had lessons with them. It was a new life for me.

I never heard Maybole called either a village or a town. It was only
"Maybole." It was close to the house; it must have been very old. The
buildings looked so gloomy and dark. There were no bright gardens or
flowers, and, oh, the people were so poor! The only industry I saw was
that of the weavers. The people all had looms in their houses--big,
clumsy wooden structures. Men, women, and children all worked at the
looms in such small places, and they lived and slept there. To me it
seemed as bad as the collieries. There came a depression in the weaving
trade, but I never knew the cause of it. It might have been that
machinery was constructed to do away with hand-weaving. At any rate, I
had once again the awful dread of seeing people perish with hunger. They
broke out and took everything they could obtain in the way of eatables,
while they tore off the palings and fencing, and armed themselves with
sticks. They came to our place, and we could only stand and look at them
divide the flour. I remember we had what was known as the American
flour. It came in large barrels from the United States. Mr. Scott was up
the line when they came, and they took everything in the way of food,
but nothing else. They broke into the bakers' shops, and the grocery
shops, and butchers', so we were told, and cleared away with all they
could lay their hands on.

I did not see much of Maybole, being afraid to go there. There were no
tall chimneys to the mills or factories, or we could have seen them from
the house. I saw the castle from which Sir James Fergusson brought his
wife, Lady Edith Fergusson, who died in Adelaide, whence her body was
taken back to the vault at the castle, near "Maybole." Meanwhile we
tried to be ignorant of the excitement stirred up, as we knew we would
not be long there, but the touch of melancholy was felt by all.


This was the land of Burns, and the district of Ayrshire. It seemed to
be a large, plain, open country. The town of Ayr had a castle once, and
the walks about Ayr were pleasant. I did like to go there. There were
some old buildings, which people come from all parts to see. Churches
are still preserved there as ruins traditionally famous.

There was no smoke and dust in Ayr, as at Glasgow, and visitors could
get easily to any of the places of attraction, either by train or
steamboat. Ayr was nine miles from Maybole. Mrs. Scott was most ardent
in every object about Burns, and she took us with her wherever she went.
On one occasion, when at Ayr, we had luncheon at a tavern, the name of
which I forget, but we were shown three such queer-looking old chairs,
with high backs, and in the back of each were portraits. In the middle
was Robert Burns, and on either side was Tam o' Shanter and Suter
Johnnie. The chairs were only for show. They told us that those three
jolly men used to meet in that room, and sit in the chairs. Girl-like, I
did not pay much attention then, but in after years, as I grew older, it
gave me joy to think I had seen them. The influences of those times
entered into my being, and have grown up with me. For myself, I made it
a rule to visit all the objects of interest, and I would go round and
round them till I was tired. We all went another day to see Burns'
monument. I gathered a few pebbles from the foot of the monument and had
them for years. They are lost, but the journey lives in my recollection
as if it was only yesterday. I saw a very old lady walking about and
talking to the people. She had on what was known as a sow-backed mutch.
Mrs. Scott told us that was the youngest sister of Robert Burns. Her
name was Mrs. Back. I read the account of her death in the paper some
years afterwards. Then we went to see the Burns' cottage. And, again, on
my own account I visited it, and took all the children with me, from
where they were building the railway.

We were in the waggon with Mr. Scott and some other gentlemen. I heard
them say, "That is Burns' cottage over there," and when they were not
looking I started off for the cottage. It must have been quite three
miles, and I had to carry the youngest child on my back all the way to
and from the place. Mr. Scott was cross, and gave me a severe talking
to, and told me if ever I did such a thing again I would not be allowed
to come out in the waggon. It was cold weather. Little maids were
dressed then in a print dress with short sleeves, low at the neck, and
opened at the back. I was cold, and so were the children, and we kept
them waiting so that they could not go back in the waggon without us.
The gentlemen were either engineers or directors, for they had on tall
hats. At least they were in position over Mr. Scott. They came from
Glasgow to look at the new line.

There were a lot of navvies working, and they had little tents all along
the line. Anyhow, I saw the cottage where Burns was born on two
different occasions. I saw both the outside and the inside. It was not a
grand place to look at, but merely a whitewashed wee house. To think
that a man born there would have a monument like what I saw made me
think of my earlier years. I can yet remember the names of the places in
passing to and from the place.

Ayrshire has plenty of rivers, and on the Clyde years afterwards I saw
where it began just a little burn. It was pointed out to me while I was
in the train travelling from London to Glasgow. But I must keep to the
far-away times. Ayrshire is divided into districts, and what always
perplexed me was when a neighborhood was called a burgh. I liked the
parts, such as the rough high hills and the Ailsa Craig, which you could
see from a long way off.


The winter came in and we had to keep in doors, but the line was getting
near to an end. Mr. Scott got another contract on the Dumfries line, so
I was to go back to Slamannan, but Mrs. Scott said she would be going
through for a trip and I could go with her. Before the time came for us
to go a friend of Mr. Scott's came on a visit from Grangemouth, near
Falkirk. She was about to be married to a gentleman living at the
railway terminus at Dalmellington. This was her second husband, although
she was quite young. She and Mrs. Scott thought I would do nicely for
her little maid. She had a little boy, whom she hoped to have with her.
Mrs. Scott knew my home troubles. They asked me if I would go to
Dalmellington with her when she got married. I liked the lady and I said
I would go with her, or, at least, she was to come for me. It was agreed
that when she went to Falkirk that I would go with her. So she came for
me. The name of the gentleman she married was Mr. Macblean, and he kept
the new Railway Tavern. It was all taverns, or inns, then, and seldom
you saw a hotel. Neither Mrs. Macblean nor myself had anything to do
with the drink traffic, for which I was thankful. Before I left Maybole
we all went to have something woven by those poor weavers. I chose the
colors I would like, and saw them put into the loom. I had that skirt in
Adelaide as a reminiscence of that time of mixed feelings. Mrs. Scott
also knew the housekeeper at the Earl of Cathcart's, on the banks of the
Doon. I thought I would try any of the places rather than go to
Slamannan, or stop at Maybole after Mr. and Mrs. Scott had gone. I did
not seem to fear the people. I knew that I would have to go amongst
strangers wherever I went. So it was all the same to me.

I never regretted going with Mrs. Macblean, but, young as I was, I
think I was right in my idea that she regretted having married a
tavern-keeper. He was very unwilling to have her little son taken there,
as he did not want the people to know that he had married a widow. I
know she was not very happy, although he seemed a nice man. She had
every comfort, but she did long to see her son. I was beginning to want
to see my friends, and I missed the children, who were with me at Mrs.
Scott's, and the out-of-doors life in the waggons. I had agreed to stay
for six months, so I was made useful in the house. There was a big maid
as well, but I kept with Mrs. Macblean for the most part. She was a
stranger, and, as I knew no one there, we often went for long walks
together. The place was delightful, and the absence of poverty a relief.
I could see as the weeks went on that if her little boy was not allowed
to come I would not be wanted there. The next week Mr. and Mrs. Scott
and children came to stop at the tavern for a few weeks, and that was a
great joy to me. They took me everywhere they went, while the children
were affectionate and pleased to see me again.

Then for the first time I saw that beautiful locality "the banks and
braes o' bonnie Doon," which was about two miles or so from
Dalmellington. The road was good, and there was pasture land, with
plenty of cattle and sheep, and high knolls covered with grass and the
sheep on top. The Loch Doon is said to be seven miles long and seven
miles wide. It flows to the sea near to Ayr, and it is "banks and
braes" all the way. I have often tried to tell my first impression. But
this is the first time I have written about it. I know I cannot say
much. There were two paths, one was close to the water and the other on
top of the hills. The Earl of Cathcart's seat was most romantic. He was
noted for his love of hounds and huntsmen. He kept stags and deer there.
They would look at you and rush up the rugged height and get caught in
the bushes with their wonderful horns. There were trees growing all the
way up the side of the bank, so that on the top walk you could put up
your hand and pull off nuts from such tall trees. I did not go to the
top walk that day. But again and again I found myself on the braes of

Mrs. Scott went to see the housekeeper at the earl's, and took the
children and me. I thought it was the lady countess. She was dressed in
black satin, with a lovely lace cap and white hair. She went to that
family when she was a girl about my age. The place looked magnificent,
and I learnt afterwards that 20 men were employed to look after the
stags and horses and hounds. There was a page boy and ladies' maid, but
no children. The ladies went also to the hunt, and I used to go and see
them. The earl and countess only came there for the hunting season. It
made me think of the colliers in Slamannan and the weavers in Maybole,
and to wonder. There was a lot of queer talk about the earl. We had a
peep into the kitchen, and never shall I forget it. There were men cooks
and women cooks. The men always went wherever the earl went.

Loch Doon was a favorite excursion, and for the fishing season some
noblemen would come there and have tents erected with men-servants in
attendance. The loch is famed for the trout and salmon, and is a good
place for fishing for those who are allowed to catch them. Both coal and
ironstone are found in many places in Ayrshire.

At Dalmellington there was a large ironworks, where they smelted the ore
into iron, and whence they sent it to all parts of Britain for making
railway iron. They put the ore in a great blasting furnace. Then they
made beds of sand all around to receive the melted iron in moulds while
it was hot. It was generally well known when this iron would be let out
of the furnace and the people would rush to see it and to watch the men
gauging that red hot melted iron, so that it would run in to the moulds.
It seemed awful. It was said those men never lived long, and no wonder,
seeing how they worked amidst that fluid. I only went once, but we could
hear when the iron was cast off. It always made me shudder.

The tavern was not far from the railway-station, and on the road leading
to Loch Doon. Mr. Macblean seemed to do well. Some refreshments were
also obtainable, and there were a few rooms to let. After the Scotts
went away I felt lonely. Sometimes I saw a drunken man, and on the
Saturday nights such a lot would be about. Both Mrs. Macblean and I
would shut ourselves in a dark room and cry. I knew that I was a long
way from where my sister and brother were. If I could have seen them
sometimes it would have been something to look forward to. Mrs. Macblean
could not see her way to leave her husband and home for a week or so. We
talked the matter over, and it was arranged I should go. I knew
Grangemouth was close to Falkirk. I could go thence for a week's leave
and see my friends and take some things to Mrs. Macblean's boy, she
paying for my return ticket to Glasgow. I had some nice new clothing and
was growing tall. I thought for 14 years of age I had seen the serious
side of life and some of its vicissitudes, and had gained experience
from my trials. I felt happy to go back, and I knew the places. I was
not likely to get lost on the Caledonia and Glasgow line. I could write
a little, but I did not let them know I was coming home. I thought I
would take them by surprise. What wonderful possibilities lie in store
for the young!

I was glad to find that my father kept from the drink, and my dear
brother, how he had grown! I did not see my sister for a day or two, as
she had gone to a place further away. My brother came with me the next
day, and we walked all the way to Grangemouth. It was a shipping port,
with good-sized vessels lying at the quays. We had no trouble in finding
the house of Mrs. Macblean's mother. Although close to the dock, it had
a nice appearance. They knew by letter that I was coming, but they did
not know on what day during my week's leave. I shall never forget the
dear little son of my mistress. He was five years old. He wanted to be
taken to his mamma. They were gracious and kind to my brother and me. I
have seen many shipping places since then, but none so clean-looking as
Grangemouth. They wished to keep us for the night, but we walked back to
Slamannan that night. It was late, but we were not afraid. It was eight
miles there and eight miles back. That made it sixteen to walk in one
day, so we were tired the next day. I am quite sure that on some of the
other days we walked just as far. I know that we went to Linlithgow to
see someone we knew. We went all along the railway line and it was a
long way, but we had no money to pay for train fare. It must have been
more than nine miles there and nine miles back. From Slamannan the
youngsters would think nothing of walking to Castle Carrey, a wood where
a queer-looking berry grew wild. It was called a blea berry, and grew on
short stems low down, not bunchy. The people used to send their children
there in the season to pick those berries and make jam with them. They
had to take a can or a jar to carry them. The juice of the berry was in
itself a perfect dye, and it was amusing to see the hands and lips and
teeth of those who picked or eat the berries. My brother and myself
went, and our teeth were soon black like coals with juice. In Scotland
we did not know anything about snakes. At that date I had never heard of
them, so we could wander about without fear in the woods.

My week soon came to an end, and I returned to Dalmellington. I did not
like being so far away, so when I got to Glasgow I saw Mrs. Stirling.
For her home she wanted someone who could do everything in a house. She
thought I would be too young to be left when she went away. However, if
I wanted to come to Glasgow she promised to do what she could for me,
and then I would be nearer to my friends. It cheered me to know that. I
had still three months to stop with Mrs. Macblean. I was taught to work
and be handy and tidy, but I did not like the idea of being in a tavern.
Mrs. Stirling advised me not to engage for another term, but to go to
Colonel Cathcart's, if I wished to live in Ayrshire. I had no fault to
find with Mr. or Mrs. Macblean. They were kind and good to me.

The warm, bright weather continued nearly all the time. Mrs. Macblean
and I had long walks all round in the evenings. If anyone was met whom
she knew there was only a brief, respectful salutation and she passed
on. I am quite sure she was a lady, and she was beautiful.

We had no garden, not so much as a pot-plant about the place, but close
to the end of the house a good, wide burn ran under an important looking
bridge, or, as they were called, "brig." It was wide enough for two
large vehicles to pass. The roads were splendid, but the buildings were
strange. They must have been very old, and were built here and there
along the roadside. Sometimes the end of the house would face the
street, and often the side or back of the house would be next the road.
Mrs. Macblean called my attention to them, or I would not have heeded
them. The place had no pretence to the rank of a town, yet it was not
called a village. There were two churches and a school. I took notice
that, even if it were a tavern, the minister came and asked the lady to
let me come to the Sunday-school, and I went to church with Mrs.
Macblean. I never went to Sunday-school or Bible-class all the time I
was in Glasgow.

What with being healthy and strong, I began to take a bright and hopeful
view of life from every point. I could write a little, and was fond of
reading and knitting. It was merry and lively. There was a large room
upstairs, where one evening every week meetings were held of some lodge.
No women went to meetings of that kind in those days, but the men seemed
to enjoy themselves. You could tell that by their laugh and song. There
was always something to make one laugh. We had a gentleman up to stop
for a few days. There was a gate which opened on some steps to go down
to the water of the burn. We used it for some household purposes, but,
as in Slamannan, the water for cooking had to be carried from the
springs. One evening the gentleman opened the gate, thinking he was
going into a garden, but he fell in the stream and was carried under the
bridge. Luckily, some men saw the accident, and rushed after him and got
him out of the water. He was nearly dead and the incident made a great
stir. He was ill for some time. There was a heavy rain once while I was
there, and it was something awful to see how the water swept along that
burn. The cattle were carried away too. I saw some sheep rolling away
under the bridge, and learned that cows were drowned also. The whole of
Dalmellington lay nicely on a flat surrounded by a group of hills and
valleys. After I had left I received a letter to say that a waterspout
had burst over the place, and that people had left their houses and had
taken their belongings to the tops of the mountains. A log of wood
floated into the end window of the tavern and all the rooms downstairs
were flooded. Some poor people, who lived in small houses, had their
rooms full of water.

The autumn was passing, and I thought I would not like to be at this
place in the winter. I had really no one to care what I did with my life
or where I lived. There were no Christian friendly societies for young
girls at that time. I felt the want of sympathy and approval in what I
did. I saw the housekeeper at Colonel Cathcart's, and hoped when I was a
grown woman to return there. I was old enough to admire the lovely
scenery, but not old enough to disbelieve in witches and warlocks and
fairies. Ayrshire is so full of glens and caves that I expected to see
natural wonders, and not the work of man, for the imagination runs riot
at times.

Gipsies I saw in plenty, and was afraid of them. They did not live in
houses, but only in the wood; quite large numbers of them all together,
and there were children, young girls, and youths who had never lived in
a house. They came and went at will, and nobody seemed to take any
notice of them. They were travelling tinkers. They made tinware, and
sold it as they went through. The older women would come about to tell
fortunes, and they would steal fowls or anything else they could lay
hands on. The farmers always lost sheep and lambs when the gipsies were
about, while one heard tales of them stealing away children of the
high-class people.


It was the end of October when I left Ayrshire, and Mrs. Macblean's son
had not come. I know she was grieving acutely about him. I promised that
I would go and see him again when I returned to my own people. I found
myself in Glasgow, and left my box at the station, and paid a penny for
a ticket, for which they agreed to keep my box till I came for it. I saw
Mrs. Stirling, and stopped there all night, and read the paper with a
long column of advertisements for all sorts of working-girls. One, she
thought, I might enquire about. It was from a lady and gentleman at No.
5, Florence-place, who wanted a young country girl, who must be useful.
So I went. I found it was a furnished flat in a stylish part of the
city. I told the lady that I had come from Dalmellington the day before,
and that Mrs. Stirling would speak for me. I was engaged to come that
evening. They only intended to stay in Glasgow for three months, but I
thought I could get something else at the end of that time. They seemed
rich people, but were in trouble. Their name was Skirven. They had one
daughter at home. I was not long there before I learned that it was
through another daughter that they came from their home in Fifeshire.
The youngest daughter, while going to boarding-school, fell in love with
a young medical student. She ran away with him and got married, and came
to Glasgow. He was a Roman Catholic and an Irishman, while her parents
were Scotch. As they were married by a Catholic priest, Mr. Skirven said
it was no marriage. That is what brought him to Glasgow. He came to find
those two runaways, and to make them get married again in their church.
Mr. Skirven had his gun loaded to shoot the young doctor if he objected.
His name was Dr. Reily. They found the young lady and took her to
Florence-place, and the doctor was not allowed to come near her. It
seemed so sad. She was a pretty little lady, and so young. A strict
watch was kept on her, and she saw nobody. She soon found that she could
trust me with a letter, and many times a letter came for her in my name
from the husband. I even saw him, and brought messages to her from him.
He was waiting for his diploma, and he had a good practice in view. Then
he intended to show that they could not keep his wife from him. It was
my first experience of the fact that love can destroy happiness.

I never knew how matters were fixed up, but the old folks went back to
Fife, and I got another place as under-nurse with Dr. Fargus, in
Elmbank-street, off Sauchihall-street, Glasgow, close to where I had
been living. Dr. Fargus was eminent in his profession as a medical man,
and of great distinction. And his wife--How can I write about that
gentle lady? It was a Christian home, and well appointed. The nurse had
been with them ever since they had got married, and there were three
children. It was a large, new house, four storeys high, with everything
up to date, and so convenient. There was no carrying water, for both hot
and cold water were in all the rooms, and there were bathrooms right up
to the top, where the nurseries were. The lady's mother had died a week
before I went there. There were other servants, and we all had
mourning, a dressmaker being in the house. I had a black-and-white
print, and a black stuff dress, with a cape and hat to match, because I
had to go out so much with the children and the nurses. We were well
looked after, both as regards our bedrooms and our food. And there was a
whole pew for us in a church in Cudoging-street, not far from the Clyde.
They had a summer residence, about seven miles from Glasgow, and a man
and his wife to keep it always ready for them. The children were all
small, and if the doctor thought they wanted a change, the nurse and I
very often went to this old castle, some of which was in ruins, but
there was plenty of room for us and lovely grounds for us to romp about
in. The lady would come sometimes and stop for a few days. The locality
was Eastkillbride. There was no railway. On the way we passed through
the very old towns of Rutherglen and Hamilton. All along near at hand I
could see the coal-pits, like Slamannan. But there were none at
Eastkillbride. The doctor would sometimes bring his wife in his
carriage, or in the omnibus, the only way of conveying passengers to
that part. She was kind to the poor and the sick. There were no district
nurses heard of then. Every day she took some broths and dainties to
those who needed them. One poor woman appealed to me. She was in bed for
seven years with rheumatism. She had the use partly of the right hand
and that was all. I often went when I could, and tried to do something
for Mrs. Kennedy. If Mrs. Fargus was not there the nurse looked after
her poor pensioners all the same. The houses were spread about with
quite a distance between. There was no interesting scenery, but only an
old ruin.


Close by there was a church with a manse. It seemed out of keeping with
all the rest of the place, for it looked new. It had an air of freshness
about it, and belonged to the Free Church of Scotland. The minister was
quite a young man and a friend of Mr. and Mrs. Fargus. He came much to
the house, and the children knew him, so that we often found him
rambling about with them. His housekeeper used to be his nurse when he
was a child. We went to the manse often. The minister was the Rev. Dr.
James Oswald Dykes, and he came out to Australia many years ago. The
church in Eastkillbride was his first appointment. His fame as a
preacher and a good man spread all about. The way he filled that church
with the scattered people was wonderful. He would go miles and miles
after parishioners. He had a persuasiveness in his preaching, although
it was homely and plain. I went to the Bible-class, and he explained
things to me of which I was formerly ignorant. After months of
catechising I became a member of the Free Church of Scotland. It gave me
thoughts which enabled me to resolve to do the common things I had to do
well, and to be happy in doing what was right.

I was in the manse one night with Mrs. Clark, his housekeeper, when he
came in all wet and muddy. He had found a man and woman living together
who were not married. The man was ill end likely to die, and he thought
the children would be guarded from some threatening injury if the father
and mother were married. The man, however, did not care what became of
woman or children. He turned his face to the wall, and for a long time
would not listen to the minister, but Dr. Dykes got him face-to-face
with the woman and a witness, and married them while the man was still
in bed. Dr. Dykes was very upset about this event. Happily, in Scotland
such things are rare.

One of the maids had not been well, and Mrs. Fargus thought I might do
for the house in town for a week or so, so as to let Elsie come to
Killbride. The climate there was mild and healthy. The doctor arranged
to dine out, so I had only to get breakfast for him and take any
messages and write them on a slate. By this time I knew how to do many
things neatly. The lady would come and go to see how I got on. She had
not been long in one afternoon when a fearful ring came at the door. I
opened it, but could see nobody. I went away, but the bell rang again. I
looked over the other side of the street and saw a tattered looking
sailor. He came over and asked if Elsie was in. I answered in the
negative. He could hardly speak. The lady came to see what was the
matter; he told her who he was. She told me to take him downstairs and
get him something to eat. Then she told me that he was Elsie's
sweetheart, and that Elsie had heard that he was wrecked and drowned
four years before. She went in mourning for him. The ship in which he
had arrived within half an hour before had also been reported a wreck.
There was such excitement. Mrs. Fargus wrote to Elsie to look out for
her lost lover the next day. His ship was at the Broomilaw, whence they
had sailed long ago. The man had come back well off, but he was brown
and rough. The next day he had other clothes and his whiskers were
trimmed. Elsie had been with Mrs. Fargus for a long time, so Mrs. Fargus
said that she would like her to get married there. The date was settled,
and the Rev. Dr. Oswald Dykes was to perform the marriage ceremony. We
had plenty to talk about, for it was the first wedding for me to see.
Elsie came to town, and I went back to Eastkillbride.

Mrs. Fargus was skilled in botany and the natural history of insects as
well as plants. She had a museum full of all sorts of things. While at
Killbride she would take me with her to carry her things, and talk to me
so nicely all the time. We went down deep dells and to all the
out-of-the-way places hunting for specimens. One day, in a deep dell,
she found a gooseberry bush, with large gooseberries on it quite green,
although the season for the berry was over. She sat down and explained
why that berry was not ripe. She said the sun had not shed its rays on
that bush, as it was far down in the dell. Some birds had dropped the
berry, and it grew into a bush, but the fruit would always be green and
sour. She compared this with some poor people whom we visited. They were
hard and sour, and she thought if their environment were more bright
they would not be so sour. She meant spiritually and temporarily. It was
new to me to listen to so grand a lady. She would get us all in her
beautiful room and kneel down and pray and read with us. God's best
blessing rest on her if she is living, or on her memory if she is dead.

It was drawing near time to go back to town, and there was Elsie's
wedding to look forward to. It was a common occurrence to let the
servants have a party two or three times a year. We had had one already,
and the wedding was to be the next. We were to have games and dancing,
and Elsie was to be married in the best drawing-room, upstairs. By this
time I had seen the sailor many times and many of his relations. His
home was in Dundee. The Rev. Dr. Oswald Dykes had received a call to go
to a grand church in Edinburgh, but he agreed to come for the wedding. I
was passionately fond of dancing, and I knew that we were to have
dancing, but I thought, being a member of the church, I must not dance
any more. I met Dr. Dykes in the corridor and asked him if I could dance
at Elsie's wedding. He said--"Yes; by all means. Those who can dance,
let them dance, and those who want to play games, let them play." Then
he showed me how dancing could be made both wrong and sinful, if we went
to objectionable places to gratify the pleasure of dancing. How little
did I think that in so short a time I would be out here all alone,
without any of this moral directing power to act upon.

So the wedding night came. Elsie looked lovely, and the sailor looked
splendid. He had some trouble to get off his white kid gloves. Mr. and
Mrs. Fargus, and also some of their friends, were present. The cake was
cut in the drawing-room, and then brought down to the hall, where the
supper was laid, and all the place was filled with plants and bunting.
We kept the gaiety up all night. In the middle of the fun our master and
mistress and the minister came to have a look at us. The minister said
if he could dance he would have a dance with the bride, just to show
that it was good recreation. Elsie had some lovely presents. The master
gave her a kitchen range, while the mistress gave her a chest of
drawers and a dressing-table and washstand. She had something from all.
The servants from all round were kind, and we spent a good time.

After Elsie went away the nurse took the children to her own home, which
she often did. They were too young for instruction, and only childish
books were read for them. There were two boys and one girl, the girl
being the oldest. I shall say more about them later on.

I found where the Dr. and Mrs. Reily lived, and saw them. They were well
and happy. Mrs. Stirling was not in good health in Glasgow, so she was
often away. I was happy anyhow, and hoped for courage to face the life
that lay before me. I had a holiday, and went to Slamannan, and learned
that my sister was to be married very soon, so the dresses I had for
Elsie's wedding would just do. It was at New Year's time, and I was the
bridesmaid. They were married at the Old Established Church of Scotland,
and in the evening the snow was falling, and thick on the ground. I felt
glad for my sister's sake. It was not much of a prospect, but they were
young. My brother was my whole care; I did not know what my father was
going to do with him. He was growing up and learning nothing. Father
kept off the drink, and we all the time thought that some news would
come to us from our relatives who had gone to "America." These were
uncles and aunts; we had no grandparent living. For myself, I knew that
I had to work hard for everything I got; but I could not see how to help
my dear brother. I was afraid that my father would take him down into
the pits to work. If only my mother had lived she would have put him to
some useful pursuit. I suppose the mind seeks something upon which the
emotions may grow as we get older. One thing I was nearer than if I had
stopped in Ayrshire. I could do some things for him. There seemed no
"self-help" for him.

I got back to my work again, feeling inspired with the idea that I would
try and get my brother to Glasgow also. At Dr. Fargus' the Sundays were
properly observed. We set aside toil for that day and were not allowed
to do anything that could be avoided. Our own clothing had to be laid
all ready to put on. The dinner was cooked the day before. Such peaceful
days I have never had since. We went to the Rev. A. N. Sommervil's
Church. It was near to the shipping part of the city, and the church and
congregation were large. Other ministers would come some times. Dr.
Guthrie came from Edinburgh. He was a real friend to the servant girls,
and pleaded with the mistresses to be kind to their handmaids and see to
their general wellbeing and the cheerfulness of their surroundings.

Dr. Thomas Guthrie was then a popular preacher. He started the ragged
school movement in Edinburgh, and his efforts to suppress vice and to
promote temperance made him a power on social questions. He used to
hold services in the open air and in barns, or wherever people would
come. While on his visits he found so many houses without a Bible or any
book at all. He often stood in rooms bare of furniture, where father and
mother and half-a-dozen children had to sleep, the destitution being all
through drink. The stories he told were sad and true. Wherever he
preached, there you would see the serving-maids and the persons of every
rank in life. He had a good voice, and would sometimes describe in his
sermon natural scenery, showing the wisdom of God, and that the earth is
full of beauty. We had Dr. Norman Macleod, who preached to the Queen
while she was at Balmoral. I could not follow his speeches like Dr.
Guthrie's, although he wrote books and was the editor of "Good Words"
and others, as well as a leading minister.

The misery I suffered, by reason of seeing so much of human woe and want
and sin, made an old woman of me at the age of 16. I shall never forget
one Sunday after church I went with some other girls to see their
"district," if it could be called a district. In some instances there
were foul underground cellars, where the inmates never breathed the
fresh air. The children were covered with rags, and hunger reigned
everywhere. This afternoon a starved-looking boy had broken a street
lamp, and the policeman was taking him to the lock-up. One of the girls
knew him, and asked the man how much it would cost for the lamp. If 7/6
could be found he said he would let the boy go. I told them to wait and
I would get the money. I went to my mistress and to my Bible-teacher and
to some others that I knew, and got the 7/6, and the boy was released,
or, at least, I thought so. We took the money to the boy's mother, and
told her to go to the office and get the boy back. That was on Monday
evening. I went to see on my own account if the boy had got back. It was
so dark that I could not find my way to the cellar. I went to a shop to
buy a candle to see the underground room.

The man in the shop said, "Are you the youngster that found the 7/6 for
that awful woman that lives down in that cellar?"

I said, "Yes."

"Well," he said, "that woman has been drunk ever since. She did not go
for the boy, but has been quarrelsome and is making such a noise."

To my view it was sad, but not singular. I went down to the cellar and
saw the sweetest and prettiest little girl I ever saw in my life
stretched on the floor sleeping. There was no mother or anyone else
there. I learned that the father was a sailor, and that was why. The
girl was eight years old. Oh, what a picture she was as she lay calm in
sleep, forgetful of her sorrows!

The daughters of well-to-do farmers and mechanics went to service to
help themselves. There seemed no other way. Then through Elsie and the
nurse I got to know a number of nice girls. We could come and go to each
other. In different homes there were different rules. There was always
plenty to be done. I know the sanitary part of the work was a study at
the doctor's house. The furniture was mostly carved, and that meant some
polishing. Then the wide halls and bannisters must be kept free from
dust, while the fireplaces and the steel had to be kept bright. I was
not old enough to have charge, but I learned how the work was done. In
the winter it was hard, but I felt as if I were getting taught
everything. My mind was full of hope the more I knew.

Unaware of what had happened, we went to church on a Sunday morning and
found it all draped in black. The news had come that very morning that
Prince Albert, the Queen's Consort, was dead. It cast a sadness over all
the place, as he had been in Glasgow not long before to lay the
foundation-stone of some public building.


I had nothing to grumble about, but still the array of so much sorrow
among the people round me made me wonder what failure or success lay in
the future for me. Independence is so fondly sought after. Reluctantly,
and with a touch of uneasiness, I heard of a place that I thought I
would like. The lady was a friend of Mrs. Fargus, and the house was
close by, while a smaller girl than myself would do for Mrs. Fargus'
children. Then, too, I would have a little more wages. It was spoken of
between the two ladies, and I was engaged to go in six weeks, when my
term ended. Mrs. Mouncey was the name of the lady, and there were three
in family. Mr. Mouncey had been married twice, and had one grown-up
daughter by the first wife, with a son and daughter by the second
wife--a boy of eight and a girl of ten. It was not a large house, and
was on Victoria-terrace, facing the West-End park. From the windows
could be seen the pleasure ground of the city, with its shrubs and
monuments; that was its beauty spot. The West-End looked like the
country yet in a few minutes one could be in the Trongate or
Buchanan-street. I thought those two streets seemed the most busy, at
least, with fashionable folk. Mr. Mouncey was the editor of some
publication, and also wrote for some magazine. He seemed a man of
independent means. They did not live in a showy manner, but they
travelled a good deal. "You will have plenty of hard work," my fellow
mates used to say to me, but I thought I would extract some happiness
by coming to see them, and I would be gaining fresh experience.

Before I went to my new place I had an excursion to Slamannan. Glasgow,
like all large cities, had its grievances and distresses in some of the
dark and destitute parts. I had seen a little of both sides of the
picture. I wondered at the goodness of those ladies, who went to the
squalid and neglected. One had only to read the newspapers to learn that
evil was not confined to the poor and degraded. Close to where I then
lived the daughter of people in high rank was arrested for giving her
lover poison. Her name was Madeliene Smith. So widespread was the
interest felt that people chipped bits of the stone window-sill, where
she passed the poison to him which caused his death. Her trial took
place in Edinburgh. "Not proven," was the Scotch verdict returned. I saw
a book with the whole account when I came to South Australia. I found
comfort in going to see my own friends. A whole week before going to Mr.
Mouncey's there was trouble in the air. A fresh gloom was over the
place, as war in America was threatened, and people were rushing back
from America as fast as the boats could bring them. In less than two
weeks one could get to America.

We made the most of my holiday at home. I went once more to work. It was
a mixed kind of position to rely on, but I determined to do my best. I
found no difficulty; the mistress said, "Come along, my lass, you are
welcome." I had a comfortable bedroom, and everything was convenient.
The mistress undertook the care of providing and attending to the
cookery, that nothing should be lost by carelessness, and there was Miss
Mouncey with me to help to keep the house beautiful, and in a state of
cleanliness. I could go to the same church and see my friends at Dr.
Fargus'. I soon learned that Miss Mouncey was looked on as a rich woman,
and that her mother's money would come to her. She had a mind of her
own, and did not intend to marry. I think the condition of the homeless
and uncared-for children was her special care. She would come and sit
with me and tell me about the wretched little urchins she found amid
dirt and disease, while the parents of the poor creatures were drinking.
I confess many things seemed to me hopeless. It was depressing to hear
of evil about everywhere I went. Mind and memory in moments of solitude
tell me still how much I owe to the impression and influence of that sad
time. In after years, when one or another would say what happy times
they had when they were young, I thought "no, I would not like to be
young again if this is all." I could not shut out of mind the long years
that lay before me in that far-away time. In the present, all the world
is behind me, and what does it matter?

Such a lot of people came to see Mr. Mouncey. Some wished to see Miss
Mouncey particularly, and some she wanted to avoid. She only laughed.
She was 22 years of age, fair, and accomplished, without a touch of
vanity, and with the sweet name of Mary. The youngest child went to
school. They liked to tell me of the good times we would have when we
went to the Island of Arran, where they spent the summer months. We had
family worship night and morning. By that time reading was no effort to
me. I could read writing and write a little, with the aid of Miss

I brought a canary songbird from Slamannan to Mrs. Reily. I had no cage,
but I had a strong paper-bag, and cut some tiny holes in it for air. I
knew she had a cage, so I went one evening to see her and to learn how
the bird was getting on. The doctor opened the door, and did not speak.
He led me into a room, and there, in a coffin, lay Mrs. Reily. I flung
myself on my knees beside her and cried bitterly. The doctor stood by
and said, "Weep, girl, weep, for that is the first tear I have seen shed
for my wife." He told me that her father, mother, and sister had come
only to see what of her jewellery they could take and then they went
away. He sent for the nurse, and I saw a little baby girl, which he said
was all he had left. He had a good practice, and was growing rich, and,
as he stood there with bent head, he looked sad and cheerless, but young
and handsome. Such is the inevitable! I saw the little bird that I gave
her; it was hanging in the window of the same room. My heart was full of
compassion, as I remembered the beautiful face of that young wife. She
was only 20 years of age. All must have courage to submit to their own


Preparations for going away for the summer were hurried on, and there
seemed more visitors than usual. I was pleased at the idea of going to
the Island of Arran, which had many attractions for visitors, I longed
to see the place, having heard so much about its hills and mountains.
Miss Heslip, a young friend of Miss Mouncey's, was with them for the
summer. From that day things were pleasing and mirthful. One evening,
while I was passing the cake-basket in the drawing-room, I held the cake
to a tall and dark gentleman. In place of taking some cake he took hold
of my hand and shook it warmly. I was not used to shaking hands with
people in the drawing-room. I felt so confused that I nearly let the
basket and cake fall. I could see that the act was noticed by the smiles
on the faces. I knew that Garibaldi was in the room, for I had seen him
there before, but who could this be? When Miss Mouncey came out I asked
her, and she told me I had shaken hands with a great man. He was the
President of America, Abraham Lincoln. She told me then that there was
going to be a civil war. I did not know what that was.


It was so delightful to see Iona again. We left in the morning and
called at so many places. There seemed quite a crowd, and such beautiful
scenery. We arrived in the afternoon at Lamlash. There was someone to
take the luggage, and we walked by the sea. The name of the house was
Oakbank, and it was right on the top of a hill, with steps leading down
to the boating-house, and there we could see the house-boat. The boat
was called Oakbank, too. The house seemed small after Glasgow, with its
little green gate, but the people only wanted somewhere to sleep. We
lived outside, either on the water or on the mountains, there being
plenty of caves as well. It was the month of June. The people who
belonged to the house lived on the place in some way for the time. We
could get milk and butter and eggs and poultry from them, but all the
rest of the provisions came from the city, and the lovely fish they
could get themselves in plenty. What a different life for the people who
lived there when compared to that I had seen in the city. Whether they
took me with them or not I had very little to do, there being a lot of
people on the island known to each other. They would go off in the
morning and take provisions with them, and I would not see them again
till dark. Very often they took me as well. I could climb on my hands
and feet, and did not trouble if I rolled down, so long as the sea was
not immediately underneath me. How the people lived has often puzzled me
more since than it did at the time.

It seemed that the whole, or nearly all, the island belonged to the Duke
of Hamilton, and he was said to be eccentric. He would not let people
make any alteration, but wished every place to remain in its wild state.
It was known that coal could be got there in any quantity, but they dare
not dig to get it. Some of the old people, with whom I liked to talk,
told me that they were born on the island, and had never been out of it,
even to cross the Clyde, and they hoped to die there. Only in
summertime, when visitors were there, they spoke in English. To each
other they spoke in Gaelic. The language was very strange to listen to,
and more so when they made blunders, for one must laugh. The church was
at Brodic, and it was quite two miles and a half to walk there. The
minister preached in the morning in Gaelic, and it was good to see the
old men and women coming over the hills to hear this Gaelic. I went one
Sunday with the people of the house to hear the preaching. The minister
was Mr. Davis, and he did look so cross, and railed at the dear
creatures, who had come six and seven miles to hear him. I used to like
to hear some of the old stories about the place.

It interested me when they told me that the deep valleys we were then
passing would be filled up with snow in the winter months, and they
showed me places here and there where some poor shepherd had perished in
the snow, while he was looking for his sheep. They also said that for
many months in the year they could not go to see anyone, and no one
could come and see them because of the snow. There were no roads, but
only footpaths on top of the hill or at the bottom. On seeing the place
one could understand what it would be like after a heavy fall of snow.
Then it would roll down from the mountains. The habits of those people
were plain and without art. They let their houses in the summer, and
that brought them a little money. They had little patches of land on
which they grew flax and all sorts of things. It was rare to see a
ploughed field between Lamlash and Brodic. The Duke of Hamilton's palace
was at Brodic. It looked a grand place. He need not stop shut in it all
the winter, however, for he had other places. Then the people had to
make provision for the winter. They killed a sheep, and had it dried in
some way. I saw some of it. They called it braxxie. Then there was the
fish, also dried, in plenty. They made cheese and they had bacon. Those
who were too far back from the sea had to have stores inside their
homes. From Oakbank one could clear away the snow from the steps and get
to the ships in a small boat, but none of the steamers could come near,
although they would come as close as they dare in the rough weather. We
counted as many as fourteen one morning, after a stormy night. There
were all sorts, some being good-sized sailing vessels and yachts.

One more thing I found, and that was that the people made the linen from
the flax that grew on the place. The bed-linen that they had in use for
the visitors they said was a hundred years old. I saw some that was
newly made. It would be something to remember to sleep between sheets
newly made. I ought to explain that these ships I saw came in for the
shelter of the hills from the fearful gales. I think now that was the
most enjoyable time I ever spent. One way and another I got to see a
good deal, and was learning to know that there was both dignity and
independence in the labors of a house-servant. The charm is to feel
assured that your services are approved. I am quite sure that Mr.
Mouncey could get plenty of inspiration for his magazine; he was always
taking notes, and was not above calling my attention to things
interesting or instructive if I were with them.

Miss Heslip came from near Falkirk, and knew all about Denny. Both she
and Miss Mouncey often took me with them. I rejoiced in a scamper, so
one morning we took the two children and tracked off to climb a hill
called Goat-Fell. We had some lunch with us. Mr. and Mrs. Mouncey had
gone somewhere else; at any rate, we began to climb, and kept on
climbing and resting for I do not know how long. Well on in the
afternoon we had lunch, and started to come down. We did not go to the
top. It was awful, perfectly awful to see the sheep browsing about on
those hills. They looked like mere specks. My wonder was that they did
not roll into the sea, which foamed at the foot in some places. We were
to be there from June 1 till the last day in August. The beach was a
picture, with the cliffs above and underfoot the Scotch pebbles and
shells and the rocks and seaweed. I had only to sit and think.

Many people came to the island on a Saturday afternoon and brought tents
with them, and stopped till Monday. The caves were used as well. Some
minister would come from the city and preach in the open air. We all
went on the hilltop to hear him. It was like a fairyland. From there you
could see the Ailsa Crag, which looked as if it were in the clouds.
There were no public buildings, no fine arts, and yet few places have so
much natural attraction for the holiday season as the Island of Arran.

While bathing I made the acquaintance of a young girl, who, like myself
was with some visitors from the city. She could swim and float on the
water for ever so far. She told me that her father and brothers were
fishermen, and that she had been often away with them for weeks at a
time, and they had taught her to swim. I used to watch her in terror
when she would go under water and come up in another place. Her name was
Annie Smith, and she took me in hand to teach me to swim. I tried to do
as she told me, but one morning I went too far. I could not see her, and
I felt myself being carried out to sea. I was helpless, and the seawater
was in my mouth and ears, and I was trying to catch hold of some
seaweed. All at once Annie got sight of me. She gave a scream, and,
coming out, pulled me to the shore. I did not know how I got there, but
I found myself in bed with all the young people and the master and
mistress in my room. I soon got alright, but never again went beyond my
depth in the sea. It was a strange feeling, and for days I could hear
the roaring of the water. I felt that I should always remember that girl
who saved me from drowning. Annie could manage a boat and use the oars.
The young ladies often went for a sail and took me with them. They had
gentlemen friends, and sometimes we had the Scotch bagpipes on board. I
thought what a pity it was that such glorious days should pass so

Mrs. Pringle, from whom we rented the house, would let me come with her
to the dairy, and I helped her sometimes with the churning. The butter
was made differently then. She had fowls and plants and a vegetable
garden. Everything was speckless and clean. All this gave me an insight
into the ways of the world not to be regretted. She had three children,
and her husband and her brother, who was an elderly man, worked about
the place. They had some hay growing some distance from the house. Mrs.
Pringle let the young couple and me go to see the haymaking. We would go
off in the cart and come back on top of a load of hay, which was put in
the loft for the winter. The fresh sea wind and the smell of the hay
were beautiful. How one can enjoy life in the open air! I looked forward
to coming again the next year.

It looked such a short distance from where we bathed to cross over to
The Holy Isle, which was once the burying-place. The dead were taken
there in boats, and there was an old monastery where the monks lived,
and where many of them were buried. It was much patronised by visitors.
There was but one house there with people living in it, and that was a
public-house. All our people with some friends went one afternoon. It
was not convenient to take me, although it had been promised that I
should go to The Holy Isle before we left.

That memorable summer was nearly ended. Mr. Mouncey had gone to Glasgow.
Mrs. Pringle's brother and his nephew got the boat. I made arrangements
with Annie Smith to come with me to see the isle. The days were still
long, so we got there in time to see the ruins of the abbey, and to try
and read the indiscernible names on the tombs. There were no headstones,
but all were lying flat, and were covered over with moss. Such were the
graves of the monks. We rushed about to see all we could. The moss was
more than a finger in length, and there were feathery-like ferns. The
higher up the old building the more dainty they appeared. I asked the
young man if he thought he could get some for me from the top, for I
wanted some pulled up by the root to plant. At some risk he went, and,
to my grief, he just pulled the ferns off. I brought different curios to
keep in remembrance. We went into the house. I only saw one woman, and
she did not look very bright. No wonder, either, surrounded by the sea
and its deadliness. Mr. Cook, who was with us, spoke to her in Gaelic,
and she brought in some scones and whisky. Neither Annie Smith nor I
drank whisky, nor were we asked to, but the scones I shall never forget.
They were made of flour, ground from green peas. I tested them, and I
asked Mr. Cook afterwards what they were made of. He said they had a
field of green peas, which, on being, gathered, they dried and ground
after the Bible custom between two stones. They were as green as grass,
but not bad to taste.

Mr. Cook was well acquainted with the isle, and he showed all the places
of antiquity. The people who lived there had boats, and some more than
one, and ran to and fro from Lamlash and Brodic. They made a good
living in that way in summertime. We went back to our boat, and the tide
had gone and left it high and dry on the side, such a long way from the
water. Mr. Cook stood and looked in despair. He forgot that the tide was
receding, as we were in such haste to get ashore, and he told us
afterwards that he had never been on the isle after dark. The men who
lived there had gone either to Brodic or Lamlash. The young man who was
with Mr. Cook was named Cooke also. The strength of the four of us could
move the boat, but it could not be dragged down the side of the rocks
for fear of damage. So three we had to wait till the tide came in. It
was moonlight, and the mental visions that passed through my mind are
there yet. The people were anxious about us. Mr. Cook had only one eye,
and they thought that some mishap had occurred. We got home alright, and
I was glad I had seen The Holy Isle.

While it is fresh in my mind, I may add here that many years after I was
telling a friend about my trip to The Holy Isle. A friend of hers came
in and sat down. She begged me to finish the incident, and I went all
through about the ferns, and so on. Someone called to the man that sat
by me. I looked to see if he were going. He called out to the questioner
that he would not move till I had told my experience of that night on
the isle. He then said he was the young man that climbed up the ruins to
get me the ferns. His name was Cook, and he was employed in a
confectioner's shop in Adelaide. He had a wife and children. I hoped to
see him again, but I was away from Adelaide for some time. When I
returned I made enquiries, and was told that he bought a place near
Blackwood. It was laughable that, not knowing the man, I should be
telling a story in which he had a part. If he is alive and sees his name
in print I hope he will pardon me.

I still love the beautiful and the true. Nothing lasts, pleasure least
of all. I knew the joy of living and of my freedom, with no one to make
me afraid. My name was then Anna Macdonald. The name gave me an entrance
amongst the people of Arran, as I was one of them. I understood that my
by-gone relations had all drifted from Scotland through some religious
matter, but that did not trouble me.

But I must not linger over by-gones. I felt a sort of responsibility to
myself and those I loved. I had only myself to depend on for my food and
clothing and to help others. It seemed very well for the preachers to
tell you of the lilies of the field that toiled not, neither did they
spin, and so on. Scotland is not the place for that style of life. This
is not meant ironically.

The time for going back to town was drawing nearer, and we had only two
more Sundays. I used often to go with some of the people to church in
the morning, although I did not understand the Gaelic. They had Gaelic
Bibles as well. The same minister would preach in English in the
afternoon, and then we often saw people from Glasgow. I saw a young
gentleman one Sunday from Mr. Somervill's church. His name was Malcolm
White, and he was studying to be a minister, but was not yet ordained. I
told the young ladies on the way home. I was so pleased to see him,
although I was not near enough to speak to him, as I would like to have
done, as he was my teacher at a Bible-class.

Miss Heslip said she wished that she had seen him, as he had been one
time tutor to her brothers. He had just published a book, of which he
was the author. They asked me many things about him when they saw that I
knew him. We all knew at the class that he was a young man from amongst
the working people. It was he who helped me to gather the money to pay
the fine for the little boy who broke the lamp-glass one Sunday. I had
to tell him of the sad sequel at the time, and he told me to try and
forget it. I had been thinking of all the questions I would ask him when
I got back about Arran. One very old man told me that when the apostles
were sent "far hence," that some of them landed at Arran.

Soon the time of our stay concluded. We were getting some pebbles and
shells and seaweed, and I dearly wanted some ferns with the root
attached. There were a lot of large ferns growing near the
bathing-place, so I got Master Robert and Miss Annie Mouncey to come and
help me. Miss Annie and I held them back and Master Robert, in the hope
of finding some tiny fronds, pushed right through till he entered a
large cave. He ran and called his father, and then Mr. Cook came and
made a clear way into a place that went ever so far in the rock. There
was a strange-looking thing, like a lamp, hanging from the roof. Mr.
Mouncey could stand upright in the place. Neither Mr. Pringle nor any of
the others knew anything about it. How we wished we had found it in the
early part of our stay, but we hoped to examine it the next year, and
begged the people to let it remain hidden till we came back. No doubt
something could be discovered about it to tell a tale. It seemed natural
that we should think of all the countless cruel deeds of olden times
wrought by a blind and brutal humanity.

The thought of "home, sweet home," brought happiness to the young
people. Annie Smith promised to come with me to Slamannan when I went,
and to tell my relatives how she saved me from the deep sea. After many
kind good-byes, we were once more on board the Iona, and the Isle of
Arran was far away. As it was well towards the end of the season there
was a scene of excitement coming and going between the shore and the
boat. We had to go in small boats. How it has all clung to my memory.
There was one laughable incident. Some economist had been saving or
buying eggs till he had a hamperful. Because they were not packed well,
or owing to the heedless way they were carried, they tumbled on the
deck. The eggs began to roll about. Like that of some sudden explosion
was the effect, and both ladies and gentlemen got up on the seats.
Anyone who saw those sailors mopping up the decks and cleaning away the
eggs would never forget the look on their faces. Every now and then,
when they thought all was cleared, the lurching of the ship would send
some more eggs rolling out from under the seats. The comic episode
caused laughter to everyone but the sailors and the person to whom the
eggs belonged.


I could not help being glad that I was back in Glasgow again. Everyone
seemed so happy. Yet all was strange, and in the midst of my happy
feelings I could not forget the uncertainty at home, or the trouble as
to what we were going to do. My dearest ambition was to live at home
with my father and brother and sister. But I had a dread of the pinch of
poverty, and Glasgow was then in a fearful state. The war in America had
broken out, and hundreds and thousands of people were thrown out of
employment. All the cotton-mills were stopped, as the raw cotton came
from America. Then all the commerce or trade from Glasgow to America was
at a standstill. I thought it bad enough before we went to Arran, but it
was worse then. Every day persons were coming to the door begging, and
one could see tradesmen and mechanics digging in the West-End park for a
shilling per day. How often I have found, too, in the morning sleeping
in the archway some poor boys that had been there all night. They had no
home. I was all the time in sadness, but what could I do? No efforts of
mine could lessen the sorrow of even one human being. I should assist my
own people first. And despair sometimes possessed me.

Miss Heslip went to her home, and Mr. Mouncey went away to Italy, and
when we had things straight I was to have a few days and go to
Slamannan. I went and saw my friends at Dr. Fargus', and to the
Bible-class, and told Mr. White that I had seen him at Brodic, and I
told him about Miss Heslip being a visitor with Mr. Mouncey's people.
Mr. White said he knew Mr. Mouncey, but he had never met Miss Mouncey.
Before Miss Heslip went there was a concert at the Queen's Rooms, close
to us. Jenny Lind was the singer. It was a guinea to go in to hear her.
She gave all she got for that night and many other nights to the relief
of the poor and the distressed. Our two young ladies were in
evening-dress, and I was to bring wraps. While I was waiting, together
with some other girls on the same errand, the man at the door asked us
if we would like to see and hear the singer, there being a place on the
ground-floor from which we could both see and hear her without being
seen. We were glad, and thanked the man. There was only Jenny Lind's
husband with her to play the accompaniment. She had just commenced to
sing "John Anderson, my jo, John," and her husband was at the piano. He
seemed older than she was, and his head was bald, but the singing and
the playing were beautiful. She sang a Swiss song, too, and that was all
I heard. Could anyone ever forget the voice of that woman? And it seemed
no effort for her to get the Scotch words so nicely. The ladies were
pleased that I saw and heard her, even ever so little. I thought that
Miss Mouncey and Miss Heslip sang very well, but both said that they
would never sing again after hearing Jenny Lind.

Glasgow was a manufacturing city and crowded with human beings in the
struggle to live. Edinburgh did not seem to me so bad, but I never lived
there. There was some restless discontent going on in Italy. The world
must move on. Life's destiny lay hidden from me. Mrs. Mouncey was good
and kind. My sister came to see me. She had a baby girl! I was allowed
to go out with her and show her some wonderful places about, and she
stopped with me all night. My father and brother called to see me now
and again, and my sensitive nature was keenly alive to every act of
kindness shown to them.

In conversation with Mr. Malcolm White I told him that Miss Mouncey was
going to Miss Heslip's for a time. He said he wished that he was
acquainted with Miss Mouncey, as he had something to send to Miss
Heslip. It came out very unexpectedly that I heard Miss Mouncey express
herself equally anxious for an introduction to him, so I said, "Why not
come to-morrow afternoon, Miss Mouncey will be at home?" I went into her
room when I got home that night, and told her that Mr. White was coming
to see her the next day. She could not understand it, and questioned me
a lot as to what I said. She was perplexed, but not angry. He came, and
I opened the door to him, and led him to the drawing-room. I found Miss
Mouncey and announced her and shut the door, and I learned that the Rev.
M. White became Miss Mouncey's husband two years after I came to
Adelaide. He was a gentleman, according to my standard, and in every
sense of the word she was a lady. Everything came about as I hoped. She
often said that if ever she married she would like to marry a minister.
I knew that she was sought for by others. I did not forget to ask about
the apostles landing at Arran. I asked Mr. Somervill, as well as Mr.
White. I had some things made plain to me which need not be added here.

The time came for me to go to Slamannan. All was turmoil there. I had
not long been in the little house when my father came in and said,
"Anna, why don't you go to Australia?" He had seen two young girls whom
I knew, and they had only that day received a reply from London to tell
them they were to sail for Queensland in two weeks' time. I sat and
looked at him. I thought he was joking, and I said, "No, father, I will
do all I can for you, but I will never cross the sea so far."

Later on, when I went out with my brother, I said, "Well, Mac, what
would you say if I went to Australia?" He told me how he wished he could
go somewhere out of Slamannan. I learned for the first time that he was
working down in the coal-pits. And the next day when I saw him come in I
made up my mind to come to Australia if they would take me. No one but
myself knew my thoughts. My brother was a little over 14 years of age,
and I was not 17. When I returned to Glasgow I knew that there were
bills all about in the streets notifying that free passages would be
given to capable young women as domestic servants to three different
colonies, Queensland, South Australia, and Victoria. The notice went on
to say that a doctor and a matron would be on board, and that the ships
were fitted up with sanitary and other arrangements according to rule. I
had often seen the advertisement before, but I never read it. I went to
the place in Hope-street, and saw the agent, and asked if I could get my
brother to come with me. When I told him the age he said "No," but added
that if I had some friends out in the colonies they could send a grant
or get an assisted passage for my brother. I said I had no one out

"Well," he said, "we will take you, and you can soon send for your
brother." He talked to me for a long time, and gave me some papers to
get filled in and to bring them back to him again. I took the papers,
but I did not like to say anything to Mrs. Mouncey. That night I went to
friends at Dr. Fargus', and they tried all they could to persuade me not
to go to Australia. The Dr. and Mrs. Fargus were in London at the time,
as there was a great exhibition there, and they had gone to see it.

I had no wish to see the world, and doubted if I would have the courage
at the end. I mistrusted myself, but still I had the papers filled up.
Some said I had lost my senses. When I explained the facts to my master
and mistress, and showed them the conditions of the voyage in a printed
form, they added their names as to what they knew of my reputation. Then
the minister's name and the doctor's name were put on in addition, and
the forms were sent to London.


Meanwhile I had gone to hear a man who was lecturing. He dealt with all
the colonies in turn, and when he referred to South Australia and
Adelaide, so pleasing were the pictures he drew of the country all
round, that they made a deep impression on me. I knew no one in
Adelaide, and I knew no one in that lecture-hall, but as I sat there my
mind was made up to come to South Australia, having the choice between
it and either Melbourne or Queensland. I told the Rev. A. N. Somervill,
when I showed him the papers, that I would like to come to Adelaide, and
he said that a college friend of his was in the city of Adelaide. His
name was Dr. Gardner, and they wrote to each other. From Dr. Gardner's
account he thought it would be a nice place to live, and when I left
Glasgow Mr. Somervill gave me a letter to Dr. Gardner, who was minister
of Chalmer's Church, North-terrace.

I was healthful, sound of body, and free from disease, and I did not
think so much of the trouble of the voyage.

It seemed, such a short time after the papers were sent away till I had
an answer back to say that I was to hold myself in readiness to sail
from Liverpool or Birkenhead in a ship called the Morning Star. That was
near the end of October. I had not told them at home what I had done in
regard to applying for a passage, and I was to be at the place of
embarkation not later than November 2. With a fluttering heart I went to
Slamannan. They would not believe me. Then they did not want me to go. I
was sorely tried. I wondered at the maze of difficulties; the only thing
which determined me was that it was too late to draw back. I craved for
their sympathy, and asked them to let me go. I overheard a man speaking
to my father. He asked if it was true that I was going out to the
colonies. My father said "Yes." He replied, "Surely you will not let
your daughter go." My father said "Yes." The man had some family
himself, and he then said, "If it were a daughter of mine that wanted to
go to that wild, outlandish place I would take her to the plantation and
take a gun and shoot her rather than let her go to such a place."

I heard it all, and had a cry. I did not know enough to realise the
distance or the time I would be on the sea. The Morning Star was a
sailing vessel.

In spite of my impulsive nature it was hard to give up all the humble
joys of youth, and I thought I could face the future better in Scotland.
What would a strange land hold for me? It is no use to tell how the
colliers and their wives and friends crowded to see me, as they said to
mix up the sour with the sweet. We were living in the main street of
Slamannan then, and my sister and her husband, as well as the colliers
and others, gathered together and got the large hall and arranged a
concert on my behalf. I felt grateful to many whom I had never seen
before. All round I was asked such strange questions, and was told I was
rushing to destruction. Some thought I would get eaten when I got out

The final morning came. It was dark and cold on November 2. All my own
relations travelled with me to Glasgow, but at the railway-station at
Slamannan there were the people again with their hearty farewells. I
told them I would come back and see them some day, and I did so. The
brave spirit which sustained me gave way, and I went in tears to say
good-bye to my friends in Glasgow. Oh, the bitterness of that hour! To
see the old scenes of my daily life and say the last word. I saw Dr.
Reily, and he gave me some useful advice for ship life. In Scotland the
days are short in November. The train left at 5 p.m. It was dark, and
every familiar object grew dim. There was no one in the train whom I
knew. I was told that it would be 7 o'clock the next morning before I
would get to Liverpool. All night the train journeyed on, and at some of
the stations we picked up some more weeping passengers. It seemed to
console me when I saw others who I learned were going to Adelaide in the
Morning Star.

When we got to Liverpool we were taken to Birkenhead. There was a
queer-looking building where we were taken. I soon found that plenty of
people were there to the appointed time for the voyage, and they did not
seem afraid to travel to the fair land beyond the sea. Such a mixed lot
of strangers I saw. There were Welsh and English married couples with
their families. There were Welsh and English single young men and Welsh
and English single young woman. Then there were Scotch and Irish married
couples, and also their families, and single young Scotch men, and
single young Scotch women. I can still remember how many single women
there were altogether. There were 105. We had nothing to complain of.
There were separate divisions for all the young women in a department by
themselves with the married couples next to us. Then the young men were
at the other side, and in the ship the same plan was carried through all
the way on the voyage.

We did not sail till November 19, but there were no unreasonable
restrictions. We went in and out at will. I went about with some of the
married people, and clung to them all the way out and after. I go and
see some of them at this date when I can find the time. The ship was
brought alongside of the depot, as this place was called, and I thought
it looked so splendid, so clean and nice; but, for all that, more than I
thought it might be our last resting-place. The touch of kindness in it
all was wonderful to me. One lady, also a free passenger, was elected as
matron. She was an English lady, and she endeared herself to all. The
doctor had all our names on a roll, and he called them over every
evening and morning, and we had to answer to our names to see that none
of us got lost. The doctor acted as chaplain. He was a bachelor, and had
many years' experience of sea life. There was a punt that went to and
fro from Birkenhead to Liverpool, and vehicles of all kinds with horses
attached passed over on this punt. It cost a half-penny for each
individual. We often went in companionship in that way, and we saw many
things to surprise us in Liverpool.

We were watching to see when the Morning Star would sail, and wondering
why we were there so long and were provided for, without payment, with
good as well as suitable food. The last afternoon before we sailed we
had our tea on board the ship. Some were skilled in music amongst the
men, and they formed in a harmonious way and marched on board in order
playing some lively tunes with flute and fiddle. Only to think that we
must gradually get settled and be pent up within the walls of a ship for
three months and not see land in that time! We girls were arranged so
many for each table, and the table had a number. We took it in turns to
keep the utensils and vessels that we used clean. The sleeping
convenience, too, was adjusted for sleeping only. There were comfortable
hammock-like beds, and two shared a compartment together. A young
English girl came to me and said her name was put with mine for sleeping
in the same division. I had not seen her before, as she came on board
only in time to sail, as her home was in Liverpool. She cried bitterly
at leaving home and mother. She was about 20 years of age, and so
beautiful and pleasing, and she could sing. We went to sleep, and in the
morning when I awoke I found the ship moving gently. We were being towed
out of the dock by a steamboat.


It was a foggy morning. I could see the boat and I learned that we were
in the River Mersey. How different it looked from the River Clyde! I was
on the poop and a man was standing waving to a woman in the boat, who
was also waving a handkerchief. He was a tall, strong-looking man, with
such a tanned face. I looked up at him and saw the tears standing on his
brown cheeks. That was our captain. When we got fairly out to sea a
great many felt ill. Strange to say, I did not, and was able to be
helpful and to go here and there and assist the others. Some were never
on the deck for weeks, but rough or fine I never missed being in the
open air for one day during the voyage. I loved to watch the wheel that
controlled the helm and guided that great ship in a direct course to
Adelaide. A few verses, written by one of the married men, will give
some idea of the high opinion we all had of the captain. They are still
in a legible state, although written so long ago. I will add them here.
The author of them is dead, but in his lifetime in South Australia his
name was popular and high in public favor. Here are the lines:--


     Come, let us be cheerful, at last we are afloat
     Alone on the ocean, where battles were fought
     By England's true sons, to memory so dear,
     Whose cannons were never yet seen in the rear.
     Brave Captain Mathews, he is truly a hero,
     His barque is his pride on the wide, rolling sea.
     His voice through the tempest sounds strong and clear,
     And the deck is his cabin when danger is near.
     No favor yet asked has he ever refused,
     In the fair weather all the young girls are amused.
     Always so cheerful, with a sweet, pleasant smile;
     See him romp with the children, the time to beguile.
     Mr. Granger, the first mate, like the captain, is free,
     Always happy when he sees some amusement and glee.
     Amongst the young women he is nothing amiss--
     I judge by the number that I've seen him kiss.
     Mr. Hudson, the second mate, has a fitness of mind,
     In his place he is ever upright and kind.
     Truth and sincerity you discern in his face,
     He will never the cause of old England disgrace.
     Then may success attend those three brave sons of the sea,
     May fortune befriend them wherever they be;
     When old age comes on may their pillow be soft,
     When called from below, God grant their souls go aloft!

When scenes and places were pointed out to us I began to realise how far
away I was. When the captain gave orders that we were to be kept below,
as the ship would get a tossing in the Bay of Biscay a solemn silence
fell on us all. The dear old Morning Star ploughed her way through that
awful water, and I could see no bay, but only stormy billows. All our
things swung to the other side of the ship, and the things from the
other side came over to us. We soon regained confidence, and there were
merry peals of laughter to see the plight of the passengers when their
goods and chattels were rushing from side to side. Fancy us being afraid
of sea or storm after that. If any other ship that flitted across the
horizon was near enough the men got out some flags and signalled to her,
and in that way found out who she was and where she was going. If she
was close enough and was homeward bound we could send letters. An
American warship came close by, but when the captain discovered that we
were a ship full of people voyaging to Adelaide he let us go. I learned
that they were bent on plunder. The warship was the famed Confederate
privateer Alabama. I used to read about it and the desperate things
Captain Semmes did on the high seas, not sparing either boats or
schooners, but overhauling them in a most merciless manner. Our captain
knew who they were, but we did not at the time. Although I saw the name
I was not the least disturbed, and years afterwards, when reading a
description of the Alabama, I knew that I had seen her.

The doctor read the Anglican Church service every Sunday forenoon, and
usually we all attended, sailors as well. How sweet the singing sounded
on the sea. It was so solemn and so mysterious with only the sky for a
roof. The ways and the saying and the doings of those on the Morning
Star were very peaceful in that never-to-be-forgotten time. Health and
contentment were unspoilt by contact with the world. I, for one, too
often turned with regret to the old times in Scotland, although our days
were full of excitement. If any isolated places could be seen as we
travelled along the captain would let us have his telescope in turns,
and would tell the name and the situation and all particulars. We
learned that he had children at home, and that when I saw him first he
was waving good-bye to his wife and children. He would come up in the
afternoon with his pockets full of sweets and put them on a canvas to
see us scramble for them. He was beloved by the sailors, and it was good
to see how they would run when he called. He always said, "Come along,
my boys, and let that go every inch."

We were a long time at sea before he knew that I had no relatives on
board, and when I told him I knew no one in Adelaide his voice trembled.
"Oh, well, be brave," he said, "you are young, and you must take your
part in labor and in life." The days seemed to pass so quickly, and as
day followed day the companionship grew more strong, as we were grouped
together with only the noise of the waves to listen to. How little did
some think of the deep shadow of sorrow that would reach them through
those bright, rolling waters. Scarlet fever had already seized some of
the young children, and one by one they were lowered down into the
bitter waters. They would be enjoying their hours of play in the
sunshine on the deck one day and the next they would be gone. The
trouble continued till twenty-seven had died. A man died also, and one
family lost six children, some of them grown up. After seeing so much of
the troubled horrors of the deep we were heavy-hearted, and no wonder.
Everything passed like a mist, and we did not know who would go over

Captain Mathews showed much sympathy for the grief and suffering. How we
watched him as he sat with his telescope, and anxiously wondered how
long it would be ere we got to Adelaide. Wild winds would toss the ship
with such cruel force that we were very anxious. Once we saw icebergs
floating about in the sea, and it required some skill to steer clear of
them. They looked awful. There was a skylight just above where the other
young girl and I slept, but it was always shut and made fast every night
at 10 o'clock. One fearfully rough night when the wind was blowing
strongly the water came rushing down the ladder. It was sea water. Our
berth was getting full, and I could not go on deck for the hatchway was
locked. I called, as loudly as I could, but could not get anyone to
hear. So I thought of a plan, and I found a mopstick and tied my towel
on it, and poked it up through the bars of the skylight, and rattled it
to and fro with such vigor that the captain, who was at the wheel, came
running and calling what was the matter. I said, "Please, captain, will
you put the cover on the skylight to keep the water from coming down the
steps?" He said I would have to appear before the doctor in the morning
to answer for the fright I had given him, and I was sent for in the
morning for the first time.

Fever was in the captain's cabin; the doctor was there and the mates.
The captain said he had been to sea for thirty-three years and had met
all kinds of incidents, but that he had never before had such a fright
as I gave him with that broomstick. He was horrified to see this white
thing come up in the middle of the night. I promised never to offend
again, but I received a good scolding. He said it looked like a goblin,
and he pretended to be angry, but I could see the smile on his face. I
could only look from one to the other, for if the ship had got wrecked
they said I would have been to blame, for the captain was at the wheel
himself, and he let it go when he saw this white object thrust out in
the darkness, while the sound disturbed him as much as the sight of the

I shall never forget that time. Sometimes doubt and despair were at war.
I felt that I could not undertake the journey again, for the task I had
undertaken seemed harder than any I had learnt before.

A lot of nonsense was talked about "crossing the line." What dreadful
things some of us thought we would see! We feared the Equator and the
Southern Cross, but there was, after all, only fun and merriment, there
being nothing strange to see. The ship went on steadily just the same,
but when they told me a certain constellation of stars was the Southern
Cross, and I lost sight of some stars I was familiar with, I knew we
were making our way to the new land. After crossing the great dividing
of the seas we often had it very hot. This was new to me. Often in the
tropics the ship would just roll to and fro, and sometimes make no
headway. Then we would see the tar boiling in the seams on the deck. We
had plenty of time for dreams and fancies, as we longed for the first
glint of freedom, so as to start into life again. It was getting on
towards the end of December, and we thought of the New Year on board
ship, and set to work to form some plans for being joyous.

Christmas and New Year's Day were festive times. Some of the young girls
who had friends amongst the married people were allowed to go to their
quarters to spend the day, and we had all sorts of enjoyment by
direction of the captain. We were well content with the arrangements,
and the whole time was restful and quiet, despite the monotony of the
voyage. The share of joy and sorrow that comes to every life was not
absent on sea. What troubled me was that I was growing tall, and I
wondered what I should do for clothing. I grew in height and got
broader. I could only with difficulty get on some of my garments that
fitted me well before I left on the long voyage. Some actually laughed,
and asked me why I came before I had stopped growing. I only had one
hat, and that blew over the side of the ship. I stood and watched it as
far as I could see it with tears in my eyes. That had fitted me alright.
We got up our boxes every now and then to look through them. But I must
not keep on about my discomfort, although what seemed droll to others
was to me a matter for serious thought. I had a new pair or boots and
would not wear them on board, but was saving them to go ashore with. I
put them in what I thought a safe place in a corner where we slept, but
when I went to get them the rats had eaten all the kid off them. There
were only left the canvas or lining and the leather on the toes. I took
them and showed them to the captain, and he said it was good to have
rats on board ship, as it indicated that we would not get wrecked on the
voyage. I had been so helpful to the matron all the way that the doctor
told me I would be rewarded with some payment when we got to Adelaide. I
was thankful for that, because I had no money.

We were told that it would take to the middle of February, supposing
everything went right, before Adelaide would be reached. Many on board
were travelling to relations or friends, and there was no home-sickness
amongst them. They counted the moments until their arrival. Neither the
captain, the doctor, nor any of the mates had ever been to South
Australia, nor had any of the passengers been either, so we had no one
to tell us of anything encouraging about this new country. We could
only have hope and courage. Everything was done for our comfort. When
the weather was too hot awnings were spread to protect us from the sun,
and we always seemed to have a reasonable supply of water. I never saw
the least sign of whisky or grog, as it was called, in the case of any
of the officers of the Morning Star.

Cleanliness was universal, and every precaution was taken against
infection by the use of carbolic. That South Australia was a place for
men and women who believed in themselves was recognised, and the
question was often discussed. There were men of culture and training on
board the ship, and so they proved themselves afterwards. It made me
proud to think of having come a sea-voyage with them. The same remark
applied also to the women, with but few exceptions. We had all signed an
agreement to stop in the colony for two years. The thoughts of a return
to Great Britain were shared with many of us, and they gave me hope.

The most painful experience I ever had on that deck was one Saturday
morning. I was sitting in my usual place, when I saw a seaman going up
in the rigging. All at once I heard a fearful cry, and I saw him fall
into the sea. They shut down the skylight to keep the people from
causing confusion. On either side of the ship a lifeboat was lowered in
a moment, and before I had time to look round I could see the mates and
the men in the boats, and the lifebuoys thrown over. The captain had the
ship heaved to. It was awful. They did not rescue the sailor, and it was
affirmed that a shark had pulled him under, as one had been seen that
morning. Sharks were often seen. The sight of that man falling into the
water has lived in my memory. I had not seen him before, except amongst
the others, when they were all together pulling the ropes, but I could
see his face so plainly as he fell that I would have known him again.
This occurred on January 17. The sea was calm, and there was no breeze.
We all felt sad, and the flags were dropped half-mast. All the man's
chattels were given in charge to the steward. He was a young Scotchman,
from the Orkney Islands, and a single man. How I shuddered at the sight
of a shark after that! They followed us nearly all the way. Anyone who
has heard the cry of the sailors when a man falls overboard will never
forget it forever. Then there was the confused mingling of the people,
with the murmurs of "hush, hush."


It was a glorious sight on February 14 when we came on deck to see the
land of the south. There was such intense excitement, and the scene is
beyond my description. Dr. Duncan and some other officials came on board
soon after we reached the anchorage. They had puggarees on their hats
and hanging down their backs. That was the only foreign sign in the
clothing. It was a hot day. I, for one, quite expected to find that the
people dressed differently, and that the houses were on some other plan
from those at home, considering the long distance from Scotland. After
the officials had convinced themselves that everything was satisfactory
the gangway was let down for the people from the shore, who came in
numbers to welcome the friends whom they had not seen for so long.
Amongst the very first was the head-gardener from Sir William Milne's,
at Glen Osmond. The gardener came to meet his sister and her husband
with their family. He had instructions to employ a young girl to do
laundry work at Sunnyside, Glen Osmond, and he pointed out the place
from the side of the ship under the hills. It looked so nice, and he
told me they were a Scotch family. I knew that I was strong, and that I
could do laundry work nicely. He tried amongst the older girls, but came
back to me, and I agreed to go to Sunnyside when we got to the shore.
The captain, the doctor, and the matron were pleased, as there was a
home found for me before I left the ship, and such a dear home it proved
to be.

The married people and the single men went off first, with such of the
young women as had friends to receive them. The next day we were brought
to Adelaide, where a few of the single girls had gone. We were all on
deck next morning in good time. There was no railway from Port Adelaide
to the Semaphore then, so everything was left in its place. All were
making preparations to leave, with hearts full of gratitude to the
captain. While he was sitting looking through his telescope, not
thinking of what was going on behind his back, one of the girls slipped
up quietly and cut off the tails from his old blue serge frock coat. She
then cut it into little bits and gave it to us to remind us of that
grand man. The look on his face when he saw what was done was good to
see. The young woman who did the cutting became a captain's wife two
years after we arrived, and she and I were friends all the time to her
death, which occurred a short time ago. The doctor was very kind to us
all, but not with the hearty interest that touched the captain for the
forlorn condition of some of us. We saw four large omnibuses on the
beach, and in a tempest of sobs we were brought ashore. The doctor had
been to town in the morning. He and the captain came to see that we were
all in the buses safely. We all came to Adelaide that way and got into
King William-street, some inside, and some outside.

I had no hat to wear, and the matron, who was with us, promised to get
one for me that day. The air of cheerfulness amongst these girls was
splendid, and some of them were singing on the way. We were taken to the
home for servants, which stands yet. It was a little way from the
railway-station in King William-street. When I pass it now the past all
comes back to me just as it was as I was getting out of the omnibus. I
could not go back from the thought of what my life and work would be. A
new gladness came to me, for Adelaide seemed a wonderful place. We
admired the brightness of the sky and the splendor of what we saw coming
along, as well as the grape vines about the houses. We had plenty of
fruit of all sorts sent to us on the Morning Star, with many grapes. I
had never before seen a grape-vine growing. The very earth seemed new.
We were kindly spoken to at this home, and everything was done for our
comfort. A committee of ladies were appointed; one, I remember, who was
so nice was Mrs. Henry Gawler. She was so sympathetic. I told her where
I was going, and she knew the lady. Mrs. Gawler took a fancy to me, and
for years afterwards I used to go to her if I was in any difficulty.

It was on a Thursday afternoon that we arrived, and on the Saturday
after tea the coachman was sent to take me to Sunnyside in a
spring-cart. I was shown into the mistress' room, and the first words
she said were, "Dear me, you are young!" It was the same complaint as I
had heard in Scotland, and I wondered if I would ever get older. I
showed the lady the letters and papers I had to give in proof that I
could do what was likely to be required of me willingly. They were a
large family, some were grown up, but there was a baby in arms. There
were other servants. One I found in the kitchen had only been in the
colony a month, but a housemaid who showed me to my room had been in
South Australia all her life. She brought me some grapes, and was so
anxious for my comfort. I am quite sure that thankfulness for the
kindness of them all touched me with a sense of security.

I was early astir in the morning. What a scene was spread out to view.
As far all round as I could see there was nothing but grapes and fruit
trees. I was told that two-and-two the girls went out on Sundays, and if
I liked I could go to town with the cook, and that I should stay home
the next Sunday with the cook. I knew where to find some of my shipmates
if I could get into town. So it was settled that I should go that
morning, because the other girl knew all about Adelaide. There were no
tramcars then. There were two carriage-drives to the house at Sunnyside.
One led to Glen Osmond and the other towards town. We got on a road and
kept the town in view till we got there. I found my way to
Wakefield-street just in time to see some of my friends getting ready to
go to the Port and get on the Morning Star, which was not going away for
some time. They asked me if I would like to go with them, and, having
been so much with this lady and her children, I was pleased to go. I
showed my fellow-servant where and when to come for me, so that we might
go home together, and I went gladly once again on board the ship. They
had got into Port Adelaide and everything looked so different. Most of
the sailors had deserted, which was no unusual thing in those times.
When the captain saw me he said he thought I had told him that I had a
place to go to. I replied that it was my Sunday off. He could not
understand, and the lady I was with tried to explain to him, but he
merely laughed, and his face was a study.

Such a lot of the people who came out with him went to see him again.
The ship did not leave the Port till March 17. I never saw the captain
again, but I liked to hear about his safety and that of the ship, as
well as that of my shipmates, with whom I felt most at home. There were
five brothers, three had wives and families. One was a widower and one a
youth. They had a young Highlander always with them who wore the kilts,
and when we got back from the Port the young man in kilts was there.

I waited and waited, but the young girl from Sunnyside did not come at
the promised time. I was distressed, not knowing my way to the Glen. We
were all strangers. I went to the servants' home, and I met one of the
young girls, and she said she would go with me to enquire the way to
Sunnyside. We returned to tell my friends, and the young Highlander with
one of the brothers said that they would see that I got safely home. So
we all started off, and they made enquiries for the road to Glen Osmond.
The young girl came as well. It must have been the first time for a man
to have kilts on in the colony, for everyone stared so fixedly at him. I
had been so used to see men dressed thus that I could not understand
what the people were so rude for. We kept along till we got to the Vine
Inn. They asked there for the house, and we had to pass into quite a
plantation of trees, which did not look anything like what I saw when
going to Sunnyside the previous night. It was bright moonlight, but
never a body did we see. I caught sight of the house when we got to the
top of a rise. Oh, the joy of the discovery!

At one entrance was the coachman's house and at the other the house for
the gardener. The coachman's house was overgrown with a lovely creeper,
and the Highlander, wanting to know if this was the right place, tried
to get to the door. We could see the light. He was tall. There was a
woman sitting inside with a baby on her knee. She saw only the kilts as
the Highlander had to stoop down to get in. She ran and screamed. It was
the coachman's wife, and she had never seen anyone in kilts before. She
made such a scene, and brought her husband out of bed. The gardener told
me afterwards that his first thought was to lay hold of his gun; but
when he saw me the matter was soon explained. I saw the mistress when I
went in and told her that Lizzie, the cook, did not call for me, and how
I got home. It appeared that Lizzie had a lover, and they thought that
two was company and that three was none.

Just a word about the dear friends that brought me home. There being no
bright gaslight to show the road distinctly they got out of their way,
and travelled on till they came to Glenelg, and did not reach home till
near morning. There was a committee meeting about it and such a lot of
talk, for the young girl was staying at the home in King William-street.
But when they went into the details there was nothing to say, except
that we were "new chums." Such were the events of my first Sunday in
South Australia, which appear vividly among the strange happenings of
the past and the planning for the future.

I began to work the next day. Through the skill and kindness of some of
my friends I got over the trouble about my working clothing. Only I had
short sleeves and my arms were burnt by the sun. I did not mind that. I
felt well and strong, and the look of the place was an inspiration. From
where I worked I could see the sea over which I had come. How I watched
the ships coming in and going out, and wondered when I would cross it
again. But the people I was with, well, they were kindness and goodness
itself, and the children--How I did love to scamper over the hills with
some of them when I could get the chance, even if I had to carry them
part of the way. It was a well-appointed and happy home. They
entertained a lot, for there was a grown-up family with such gay and
pleasant manners. They must have been welcome guests wherever they went.

Sir William was in Parliament, and was Minister for Crown Lands and
Emigration. Sir Dominic Daly was the Governor then. The Government House
party came to Sunnyside on festivals and on other days. There was the
Governor and Lady Daly, with two sons and two daughters, young ladies
and gentlemen. The sons in stature and height were so unlike their
father. He must have been brave enough, but he was neither tall nor
stout. I was often in the room as an attendant. I liked to hear the
Governor talk. I always helped in waiting on the assembled guests. How
the times have changed since then! The young ladies from Sunnyside and
the Miss Dalys and many others belonged to an archery club. Shooting
with the bow and arrow was a favorite sport both for ladies and
gentlemen. There were targets all about. One was at the Government farm,
which is now called the National Park. More than once I have been sent
to assist in spreading lunch there when they had their customary
meetings. How exciting it all looked to me. The bright activity of the
young people and the scenery were so entrancing that I was glad I came

Lizzie and the cook got married. I used to go to town once in every
three weeks, but soon found where to get the omnibus both in and out of
town. I always went to the home to look for my young friends of the
voyage, and we were so pleased to learn of each others' welfare. I found
many who had not got such a nice home as I had. And I told my mistress
of one young girl that I thought would do in Lizzie Ross' place. So the
lady asked the master to call at the Servants' Home and ask this girl to
come. He did so and told the matron to send her on my recommendation,
and she came and stopped at Sunnyside till she also got married. That
girl grew very attached to the family of Sunnyside and kept the respect
all her life. Only to see some of them was a joy for Mary. She came from
Scotland, and she and I got into the same train at Glasgow. So we went
out on the same Sunday every other week and came to town together. All
was well for a long time, but Mary had given her affection to a young
man on board the Morning Star. He was the baker of the ship, and when we
landed in Adelaide he went out with some exploring party.

I received some letters from home and I sent some. I had good news to
tell of what I had seen in Adelaide. Those were prosperous times. The
gas was getting laid on in the streets, but in some streets they had
only oil lamps. Four of the brothers already mentioned went to work as
plumbers and gasfitters at first. They were all plumbers and painters
except one, who was a mason. There were no unemployed in the streets in
those days, and no poor children without boots. Everything, too, was so
cheap. So many of the houses have been pulled down in all the streets
and the place has so changed that if one had not seen the alterations he
could not believe it to be the same place. All the time I was hoping to
get my relatives here. I gave a full description to my master of the
reason I had come out to the colony and had left all my friends. He told
me to rely upon him to do what he could and showed much sympathy. I was
anxious to get all the family out together, so as not to have any more
partings. A great peace settled on my mind when I found that Sir William
would use his influence in securing the dispatch of six persons with
assisted passages to Adelaide. There was a lot for me to do, as it would
at least cost £20 for me to send the land grants to them, and may I add
here that I saved that in one year from 10/ a week. After subscribing
for the voyagers, it amounted to just the same, as my wages in Glasgow,
which were six pounds a year, so I had enough for my needs.

It is hard to explain about the kindness of the people of Sunnyside.
The gardener and his wife and family lived on the domain. As he was the
very first man I had spoken to of the South Australians, I used to go to
him and his wife, and tell them of my hopeful desires. I saw that man
the other day in town, and he looked as upright as he did many years
ago. And we talked of the long ago days. If it were not for the craving
of the lone heart for love and for kindred, there would have seemed
nothing but brightness, peace, and plenty at Sunnyside, Glen Osmond.
Satisfaction being mutual, the year went by so quickly. If this should
fall into the hands of any of this household, concerning which I have
such happy reminiscences, I hope they will pardon me if I refer to a few
of the incidents that appealed to me.

It was good to see the fruit that grew there of every kind. Some I had
never seen before. My chief wonder was at the grapes, and the making of
wine. I had read about the wine-press, but I then saw a great number of
people gathering in the grapes, and then watched them crushed and the
juice put into a large vat. I was not long there before it was known
that I had a terror concerning snakes. There were some about, even
amongst the vines. The boy from the stable saw a dead one at Sir Thomas
Elder's place and dragged it all the way to put in the laundry to give
me a fright, but the coachman saw him and took it from him, and brought
it to where I was, and told me not to be afraid. It was such a size when
he put it down at its full length, and told me if I saw anything like
that to get away from it. I was thankful I did not see it unawares. The
boy thought it would be fun. A governess came daily on horseback to
instruct the youngest child. The eldest son went to college. The young
master and some other youths about his age would ask in a gentle way if
they could melt some lead to form bullets for their guns. The laundry
was not far from the carriage house. While working I could hear them
tell of their playful merriment and of the birds' nests, just like the
boys in Scotland. It may not be out of place here to add that some of
those youths so full of frolic, are men of dignity to-day in this State.
The young gentleman used to bring his trifling property and ask if I
could let them stop there where he could find them, as the housemaids
were always putting his trappings where he could not find them. All had
horses who were old enough to ride, and so had the ladies also. If no
man were there I would help the ladies to mount if they wanted help, and
very pretty they looked.

The eldest daughter married a gentleman who owned a farm, near Port
Augusta. It was a gay time. The Parliamentary caterer and his waitresses
were there for days, and there was a breakfast in great magnificence for
a hundred guests, with a ball in the evening. Such wealth and beauty I
never saw before. The wedding service was performed at the Scotch Church
in Wakefield-street. How feeble it all looks in written words. Only in
some way to show the experience gained in early years, I had taken the
letter I brought from Glasgow to Dr. Gardner, on North-terrace, and I
often went to Chalmers Church with the friends who were so kind to me on
the voyage. One of the gentlemen took a leading part in the singing, and
I went with his wife and family. All of those five brothers mentioned
went there, and many others who came in what we called "our ship." On
more than one occasion the master and mistress took me and left me at
the Manse the night before a tea-meeting so that I could help. My work
was always done at the end of the week, and I gladly helped the others,
answering the door, bell, or otherwise, and amongst ourselves we had
merriment in the home-time. One of the housemaids was married, and I got
another of my fellow-passengers to come to Sunnyside. I knew by that
time that some treaty was in hand to obtain the earliest passage for my
people in the first ship that would come with assisted passengers. I
began to be busy in preparation to meet my relatives. The time would be
coming soon when I would want to go away, and the thought way
disagreeable to me. I did leave Sunnyside, but went back years
afterwards. One Saturday afternoon I was in attendance, and I was told
to bring in the decanter and cake to the library. There were two or
three men there looking so weary and dusty. I learned while in the room
that one of the men was John Macdouall Stuart, the explorer. I hardly
knew then what exploring meant. At any rate those men looked broken
down, but the master was so pleased to see them.

I had a letter to say that my people were coming by a ship name the Art
Union when there were the number required. I cheered up, for although I
had plenty of everything and friends included, when I saw other girls'
eyes fairly shine when they talked about home, I hoped to begin life
afresh and to forget about the past. I looked forward not the least
discouraged. When I thought of what a sea of water divided us, I tried
to be practical. I came to this distant land in the hope that they might
better their fortunes and that happiness would be ours. But I must soon
turn out of the home where I had been sheltered and happy, and where I
led a new life in this new land which was still strange to me. Anyone
who lived in the full safety of family ties could not understand the
dread I had to leave Sunnyside. In all the years past I could yield to
the wishes of others, I had so far cared but little for my own
preference. Now I must decide for myself what I ought to do.

Time passed on. The young master went for a long visit to his young
married sister at Port Augusta. He brought back a good sized kangaroo.
He asked if I was at Sunnyside yet, and being told I was he wished the
man to take the kangaroo out of the hamper and let him loose in the
laundry. It was late, and I did not know anything of this. But the young
master was so used to putting his odds and ends in there that he thought
I would not mind. I went in the morning and opened the door, and when I
did so this kangaroo made one bound for the opening. I had never seen
one, even in a picture before. The sudden spring it made for the door
and the length of its tail frightened me, and I was insensible with
terror. I ran shrieking to the house, and the kangaroo rushed through
the vines down the gully. All the bedroom windows were thrown open, and
everyone had seen "him." I leave anyone to guess what I thought I had
seen. They had some trouble to find the kangaroo, but it was not put in
the laundry again.

On looking back from now I intend to say a few words to young serving
maids. If any of the incidents which happened to me in my early life
also happen to you, the fact that I got through them may convey some
courage to you. I think you will see that pleasure is possible in life
as a domestic servant. Only let our needs be natural, and let us lead a
life without vain, empty show, not trying to appear richer than we
really are, or to spend all our money on dress and amusements. I noticed
the difference between this colony and Scotland. The pleasant evenings
we passed would not be understood now. Pleasure with unrest has led and
will lead our young girls to spend money they cannot afford to make a
show. How did they manage before there were so many clubs and the
so-called friendly societies? They all go to the club now, and the home
is too dull. The hearth is solitary. Men and women are spoiled for home
life. Many would have us believe how good it is to be seen smiling and
talking on some platform, and to care no longer for home in the old
sense of the word. In the rush for and the love of excitement very heavy
demands are made on the endurance of the working woman. Perhaps I do not
see the humorous side of life, but that no doubt is because it has been
all so real to me.

I often went to the coachman's house to see his wife and children, and
more so when the carriage was out late. She was a nice, pleasant woman,
and there were some pretty little children. We often laughed about the
man with the kilts. My shipmate, Mary, the cook, was sought for in
marriage by the baker of the ship. I was her bridesmaid. They had the
goodwill of everyone. I sorely missed her. She was older than I, and so
bright, and we went out a lot together. The man went to work at his
trade at Unley, and I went to see them at Goodwood in their little home.
Goodwood and Unley were then in their littleness. There were but few
houses here and there, and no tramcars. How changed all is! One of the
housemaids had her home in Glen Osmond, and kindly took me to see her
parents and brothers and sisters. What pleasure they all gave me, and
they wished to make me glad, because I was a lone girl, so far from all
I knew. My fellow-servant belonged to the Anglican Church in the Glen. I
went with her sometimes. Our lady mistress gave a tray in aid of
something for the church, and had suitable provisions sent there. Then
she graciously allowed the housemaid and myself to attend, as she could
not go herself. The retention of the memory of those days is easy,
seeing that only the other day I saw my helper at that tea-tray looking
so well. She has been a happy wife for many years. Many others with whom
I got acquainted at that time, and who were well satisfied with being
house servants, could be named to-day.

Letters came to say that my people were on the way out. I got restless
and ill at ease, anxious to make some household arrangement for them. I
thought Glen Osmond and the hills were beautiful, but I knew that they
could not come there to live. I could get an afternoon to visit town now
and then. I could have done so more often than I did if I had cared to.
I came to town one afternoon, and went to the home in King
William-street to learn about my ship friends. While I was speaking to
the matron a gentleman came to ask if she knew of a young girl who would
do for a house of business at No. 10, Rundle-street, in the city. She
asked me if I knew of anyone. Impulsively I offered myself, as it would
mean that I would be in town to look out for some place for my relatives
when they landed. The gentleman, too, spoke with such a Scotch accent.
As it would all be a possible help, there seemed to be nothing to do but
to accept the offer, although anguish and indecision was there also.


So I came to Rundle-street, No. 10. It was a butcher's shop then. My
employer had been the shopman, and had bought the business from his
employers, who had lived on the premises. Being a bachelor, he, too,
lived there, and my duties were to attend to his needs and to those of
his shopman, and some youths who slept on the premises, and to prepare
plain meals for them. It was odd to me at first, for everything was
upstairs, except the dining-room. The rooms were plainly furnished, and
I had a lot of time to go out and in. There was no one to say an unkind
word to me. My master had some brothers in a different business. They
came frequently, and were so good to me that I claim them as friends to
this day and will while I live.

I had the hope that I would live with my father and brother when they
arrived. I understood my own intentions, but what would I have done then
if I had thought that men could be so cruel--cruel as I find what the
spirit of bitter cruelty is now. All the world seemed to me so true
then. Although I was thousands of miles from every one who knows me or
cares for me, all the time I felt so guarded and so happy in my efforts,
and I had everything necessary for a decent and comfortable existence.
The lady from Sunnyside would come out in her carriage and see how I was
getting along, and some of my fellow-servants would come and see me. We
could go up to a room and look out into Rundle-street. I was not at all
lonely. And as the time went on, how I watched for that ship to come. It
was expected to arrive about the middle of August, and not in hot
weather like we had.

At last it was nearly due. I had engaged a house for them. It was small,
and I had only taken it for a time. I had some of my shipmates to help
me fix it up. I had to pay two weeks' rent before they landed, awaiting
the arrival of the Art Union. I was there one morning, but the ship was
a long way out in the bay. There being no railway from the Port, I
walked along with my basket full of all sorts of things for them. It was
so rough that no one would go out to where the ship was anchored, except
the health officers. They went, and I waited until they came back, to
learn if all was well on board. In the afternoon someone came with a
boat, and told me if I did not think it too rough he would take me to
the ship. It being decided that no one should be landed till the next
day, I went out in the boat, and I never had such a rough time on the
sea. When the boat got alongside the big ship it banged against the side
and bounded out again ever so many times. I looked up and saw my dear
brother. He was the first I saw. They let down the gangway, and my
brother descended, and when the boat hove to again he caught me, and I
got on the steps and soon found myself on the deck with all my kin once
more. It was quite a year and a half since I saw them. My sister's
little girl knew me, and held me by the skirts. I talked to my father.
The dear man, how pleased I was to think that I had them all here, and I
thought all my trouble was over, which, however, proved not to be the

The boat that I went out in came and went two or three times between the
ship and the shore. I waited on deck, hoping for a calmness, so I could
get them all to come ashore. My sister had a little baby girl that I had
not seen before. She would not run the risk of being wrecked so near the
beach, but my father and brother landed with me. How delighted my dear
father was when he felt his feet on land again. We had to walk to the
Port, and it was dark and cold. When we got to the station the last
train had gone, and we had to get lodgings in the Port all night. I knew
that at No. 10 they would do the best they could till I came. They all
knew where I had gone, and were sympathetic. So I brought my brother and
father to Adelaide, and showed them where the house was that I had taken
for them, and they did not go into a house without something being
provided for them. My master sent a man with a butcher's tray with the
choicest of meat on it for them. He said that the burden I had to carry
was too heavy for my young shoulders.

I was disappointed, and failed to see why my father would not settle in
Adelaide. He wanted to go all over the place. My brother-in-law went to
work at once in some blacksmith's shop, but my father and brother went
up to Moonta. I had promised to go, and be their housekeeper when they
got settled. But learning that Moonta was a mining place it got mixed in
my mind with Slamannan. I could see that my father, at least, did not
like South Australia. I thought that if I went from place to place with
them I would be penniless and without a roof. Still, I felt sure that I
must do what was right, even if I did not know where I was going. So I
wrote and told them I would go to Moonta. Accordingly I went to the
Port, and saw Captain Wells, of the steamship Eleanor. He went to Moonta
regularly. I did not like leaving No. 10, Rundle-street. It was a very
restless time. Captain Wells asked me a lot of questions, and told me he
thought I would not like Moonta, if only because of the scattered
thinness of the population. I got my trappings on board the Eleanor. I
was the only girl passenger on board. In fact, there was no other woman
at all. Captain Wells talked to me about bringing out the Eleanor all
the way from England entirely, and fully under his own control. I then
asked him if he knew Captain Matthews, who was the captain of the
Morning Star, and he told me that he had known him in England. I thought
Captain Wells just such another good man. He was kind to me, and saw
that I was comfortable. He pointed out all the places, and told me the
names. We saw Port Wallaroo and Port Wakefield. The Eleanor ran into
Port Clinton, and there being no jetty, I got into a little boat. Then a
horse and cart came into the sea a good long way, and I got out of the
boat and into the cart, in which I got to land. I could not see any
houses, but was told that there was one house at Port Clinton. A
conveyance was there to take me to Kadina. It went no farther that day.
I stopped at the Wombat Hotel, and how pleased I was to find one of my
shipmates there as housemaid. I was covered with dust. It was my first
experience of the country in Australia. In the morning some other kind
of public vehicle carried me on to Moonta. I got there in the
afternoon. My father and brother were waiting for me on the roadside.
They did not live in Moonta township. Once more I was glad, realising
that they had missed me, and were pleased to see me again.

My father worked at a building in Moonta, some large hotel, as a
carpenter, and my brother, with some of his shipmates, was again in the
mines. Just fancy his coming to Australia only to go in the mines again.
Alas, for my castles in the air. There were scarcely any women or girls
about, and particularly where we lived they were all mining men, many of
them waiting for their wives and families, who had been sent for. Ever
so many seemed to live in one or two little houses like the one we had.
And just think of it! Some men had places dug in the ground and covered
in some rough way. I used to feel so troubled. There was nothing that I
could do except cook and take father's dinner into Moonta every day. The
wee house we had had no garden attached to it, or anything bright about
it, and there were only earth floors. The same kind of houses and
buildings were everywhere, set down anyhow. Some end to end and some
sideways. For the most part they were whitewashed. There were a lot of
trees and scrub, and the worst of it was that my father was so
uncomfortable about the heat, and reproached me for bringing him out to
South Australia. My brother was nice, but it was a hard time for me.
Tears would come as I tried to realise what it all meant. At last when
we had been there about six months, father came home before dinner and
told me that he was not going to work any more at Moonta, but was going
with someone to Angaston, and that we were all going to that town. I did
not know before that he had partly bought the house, but he said that he
had sold it again. I admit that I was glad beyond words. So father
arranged for my brother and me to return to Adelaide, and to take his
tool-chest and all the movables while he fixed up about the house. It
was not smooth and bright for me, as everything had gone wrong, and I
feared that what had begun badly would go on badly. The truth crossed my
mind, and a keen disappointment ensued, for I feared they would upset
all that I had arranged for their benefit. I was not twenty years old,
and anyway I was used to fitting myself into a work-woman. I could see
people were sorry when I went away, and glad to see me again and I had
not been badly treated as a servant.

We had to buy water and go and fetch it, and then it was condensed
water. I felt glad when the time was fixed for leaving Moonta. I saw no
evil. The people seemed frank and kindly, but the fewness of women made
me miserable. I only saw three in the place where we were. Two elderly
women and a younger woman. On the other hand, there were hundreds of
men, and when I had to go anywhere it seemed as if I had to pass
through a long procession of men. I was shy, but they were offenceless.
How many times I have wished to see Moonta again, to see the progress
that has been made. I thought my father so terribly foolish, and I was
fond of him. He was comparatively a young man. Brother and I got on
board the steamer and we arranged that we would stay with my sister till
father came. We were both in doubt what we should do. Some mischance
happened to our boxes, which left me in a state of hopelessness. We had
a tool chest, which did not look large, but it was a great weight, and
the man moving it did not know that, and somehow he let it fall into the
little boat with such a force that it upset the boat, and the men and
all our boxes were floating about in the sea. All our things were
spoiled, and the tools as well.

My mind was made up I could not live in such a fashion and comply with
the request to go to whatever place the others chose. So when I got to
Adelaide again I told some ladies I knew that I would go to service
again. And at once I was engaged to go to the Government farm for a
month or six weeks, to be the attendant of Sir R. D. Ross, who had just
married, or was on the eve of getting married, to Miss Baker. It is
called the National Park now. It was very lonely. I was there a few days
and nights before they came. The house was a little way from the
principal buildings, that being the caretaker's place. An elderly man
and his wife lived there. She was so deaf that she had to have a horn to
her ear all the time. It was a beautiful place. There were two houses,
one being called the old farm, and the other the new. All that I had to
do was to keep good fires in the rooms to make them warm. It was cold
weather. At last the bridal party arrived, and the lady brought a lady's
maid with her. What a gentleman Sir Robert Ross was, and the lady, how
gentle of manner! The troopers' horses were left on the farm to run when
they were not wanted. They told me that from east to west the distance
was nine miles of extended wood. That was the length of the "farm." I
slept in the old farmhouse all by myself for nearly a week. In the
daytime I never went far from the house for fear I would not find it
again. I was taken there in a waggonette with a lady and gentleman. And
they were afraid they would never find the place. It was almost dark
when we got there, and the roads were not very distinguishable. The lady
and gentleman did not stop all night, but the caretaker's wife showed me
where I was to sleep. I slept, but I did not then think that I was all
by myself in that large building, with nothing having life except the
troopers' horses, the opossums, and the wild cats. When I got older I
could not do such a thing.

Sir R. D. Ross and his lady were fond of horse-riding, and horses were
brought for them. The Government farm was an ideal spot for a honeymoon
then. It was just the sort of place to escape attention. During the rest
of the time I enjoyed the friendship of the lady's maid, and we strolled
together through the woods. She was a colonial, bright and full of
adventure. Her name was Martha, and she fairly danced along like a wild
bird. It was a great treat to me after my solitude at Moonta. Martha did
not know whether her young mistress would settle here or not. For my
part I hoped they would, and that they would think me likely to be
serviceable to them. But such was not to be. Sir R. D. Ross had to go to
Maoriland rather hastily. War was either in progress or some hostility
with the Maories was contemplated, and he had some command in the
military forces. He took his wife to New Zealand with him. The brightest
is the fleetest. I was left alone at the Government farm. That would not
matter, except that I shrank from going home. I was to stop for a week
to put all the things in their place, and to leave it all tidy. Some
goods were to be sent for from Morialta.

One evening while I was sitting in the verandah listening to the
opossums, I heard a footstep and a cough. I was preparing to run to the
caretaker's, when I found that it was my brother. He had been all day
trying to find the farm. I was pleased to see him, and he wrote home and
told our people that he would stay with me till I had finished there. He
helped me a lot. He told me that father had taken a little workshop in
Leigh-street, off Hindley-street, where he was doing some carpentering
work. They went to and fro to my sister's house for meals. My brother
was still young, and he felt bitterly upset. He recognised what I must
feel, and that I was not happy with father. What a failure I had made!
My brother told me not to fret, as I had done the best I could ever
since he could remember. In a few days I packed up, and in two or three
weeks I was on my way to the South-East.


I had not been long out from Scotland before, after some experience in
and around Adelaide, I found that I would get more wages in the country.
So I made enquiry at a labor office, kept by Mr. Malcolm, in
Hindley-street. About this time there was a great demand for good
willing servant-girls. Mr. Malcolm told me that he wanted two young
girls for a sheep-station in the South-East, near Bordertown. The
station was called Wirrega, and was owned by a Mr. Binney. I was not
well posted up in the geography of the country, and when I was told that
we would go to our destination in a steamboat, the Penola, I took it for
granted that it would be like going from Glasgow to the seaside. I was
quite willing to go provided that he found another girl to go with me.
In a day or two he sent for me to say that he had found a companion for
me. She was to be the needlewoman, and I would be the laundress. Our
employer paid our passage-money, and we signed an agreement to stop for
a year.

We got our little trunks ready, and Mr. Malcolm came to see us off at
the railway-station. We found our way to the steamboat, hoping that we
would reach our journey's end that night. But, to our disgust, we had to
spend the night on board. Luckily it was in the month of November and
was not cold. The next day we landed at Robe. The landlord of the Robe
Hotel sent on board for us, as he had instructions to take charge of us
until we were sent for. We were surprised, for we thought that our
journey was over when we stepped off the boat. However, there was
nothing to complain of at the hotel, and our employer was paying our
expenses. But we were anxious to get to work, for we had but little
money, and, of course, our wages would not begin till we reached the
station. It was the shearing season, and the wool was brought to Robe
from all the country round. We used to sit on the jetty and watch the
loaded ships going out.

We had been there for two weeks before a man called to say that he was
instructed to take us girls back with him. We had been told that it
would take us three or four weeks to get to the station from Robe, and
that our way lay through a wilderness of sand. What we had seen of
bullock-drivers made us shudder lest they should send for us to travel
under their tender care.

We came downstairs to interview the man. How vividly I can see him even
now. He was ragged and covered with dust. His hair was projecting
through the top of his hat, and he had a whip in his hand. We asked him
what conveyance we were to travel by. He replied, "In a carriage and
six," meaning the bullock-dray.

At this information both of us began to cry bitterly. We refused to go,
and thought of returning to Adelaide by the steamer, but my companion
told me we would be put in prison if we did that. We made such a scene
that the landlord and his wife came out to see what was the matter. When
he learned the state of affairs he comforted us and told us he would
write to Mr. Binney; so we awaited the result of his letter. A week
later, on a Saturday evening, a strange-looking vehicle, drawn by wild
horses, came into the yard. This was to be our conveyance. As the driver
was a pleasant, respectable, married man, and promised to take as much
care of us as he would of his own daughter we were much relieved in our
minds, but the difficulties of the road and the savage aspect of our
team still caused us dismay.

Early on Sunday morning we started, for we were told that if the horses
had a whole day's rest no power on earth would get them into harness
again. They had never been stabled, and as they pranced, foaming at the
mouth and making the sparks fly from the cobblestones, they attracted
much attention from a large crowd of onlookers. As they bounded out of
the yard we held tight to the seat and said our prayers, for we thought
we had not many more minutes to live.

Twelve miles of good road brought us to a small hotel called The Stone
Hut. Here we halted for a few seconds, and then made a dive into a sea
of wild ferns that extended as far as the eye could reach. Suddenly,
without any warning, the vehicle stopped with a crash, and our driver
disappeared from our astonished sight. We had struck the hidden root of
an old tree. Presently he reappeared from under the feet of the horses,
and congratulated us on having sufficient pluck and presence of mind to
hold the reins.

After this incident all went well, and at about 8 o'clock we arrived at
a sheep station, where many men were shearing and where no white women
had ever been before. The shearers took out the horses and brought us
some tea in a pannikin. Our vehicle was turned upside down and covered
over with rugs. Under that rude shelter we spent a sleepless night.

The next day's journey took us through a wilderness of sand. Now and
then a few blacks would appear from behind a hill and fly precipitately
at the sight of us. About 9 o'clock that night we reached the home
station, fatigued and dusty. Mr. Binney was in Melbourne, so Mrs. Binney
met us and gave us a good scolding for the trouble we had caused in
order to have us brought from Robe. But she was Scotch, and we were
Scotch, and so our explanations were soon accepted.

When the morning came I found myself in the Australian bush. Another
young girl, who was housemaid, took me with her. Her father and mother
were at the station as house cooks. They consoled me by telling me that
I would like being there when I got used to it. Truth to tell, I was
anxious to begin my year's service, and so was up betimes. Numerous wild
birds, among which I distinguished the magpie, deafened me with a
bewildering clamor.

With very mingled feelings I went to the laundry. It was built of wood,
but had many of the usual conveniences. The water I had to draw up from
a well by a windlass.

The family consisted of Mr. and Mrs. Binney and five children--three
sons and two daughters. In addition there were a sister of Mr. Binney,
acting as governess to the children, and a Mr. John Binney, a cousin of
the owner, who was manager or overseer of the station. The comfortable
dwelling-house was one storey in height, and was built of stone. There
were several outbuildings and a large store, where all sorts of things
were kept for sale to the employes of the station. The place looked like
a little village.

It was a common sight to see a man with his wife and children living in
a sort of gipsy van. The husband would be employed in "grubbing," or
clearing timber off the land. When the contract was completed the family
would pack up their goods in the van and journey to another station. At
stated times the families of some permanent employes, who lived a few
miles away, would come in on horseback for their rations. Our employers,
and, in fact, everybody about us, were very gentle and considerate in
their dealing with us.

At first I was afraid of the blacks, of whom there were a great many
about the house. They all had nicknames, and had been trained to be very
useful. One morning I plucked up courage to venture near their
"wurlies." I shall never forget the scene. A number of little black
babies were crawling about in the wet, dewy grass, and the sunlight was
glistening on their naked little backs. But the children were afraid of
us, and would creep under the bushes when they saw us coming. We used
all go to see their "corrobories." Sometimes they would be away for days
fighting with another tribe, but no strange blacks ever came to attack
them. They were fond of showing us their implements of war, of which
they had a great variety. I was surprised to hear them talk in fairly
good English, and sometimes with a broad Scotch accent. Even the
children spoke English well.

They were remarkably agile, too. They would mount perfectly wild horses
that would have succeeded in killing a white man. As soon as they were
fairly mounted they would fly in the air like rockets, but, like cats,
they always landed on their feet. They were splendid mimics, and used
their powers of imitation to play many tricks. Some of them would go off
among the bushes and imitate the hens. This would bring out the old cook
with her basket. When she found the trick that had been played on her
she would be very cross, much to the delight of the blacks. But
sometimes they would do her a good turn. If she wanted a wild turkey she
had only to tell them so, and one of the blacks would dress himself up
with boughs and lie down where the wild turkeys came to drink. When the
unsuspecting bird came close to what he imagined was a bush a black hand
would shoot out and grab him by the leg. So, after all, it paid the cook
to be friendly with the blacks.

This was an ideal place for a naturalist. The blacks used to bring in a
wonderful variety of eggs, and the place was famed for its bird-life. We
had many pets. In fact, what with tame kangaroos, opossums, and emus
the place resembled a menagerie. I made a pet of an emu, which used to
wait for me at the laundry door every morning. I dressed it up in an old
pinafore, and it was so pleased that it followed me wherever I went.

In the early days the wild dogs had been a great pest. Wild cats were
numerous, but no one minded them much. At the end of the laundry there
was a slab hut, where they kept the beef and mutton hanging. The cats
would come here in dozens when all was dark and quiet. If a light was
brought they would immediately scamper off. They were beautiful
creatures, partly black and partly white.

I marvelled at the bravery of the men who opened up the interior. Mr.
John Binney, Mr. Clark, and Mr. McLeod were the first white men to form
settlements on that great expanse of country. With so many hostile
blacks around they must have had a fearful time. Mrs. Binney showed us a
tree, in the trunk of which Mr. Binney used to hide from the blacks. Our
nearest neighbors were ten miles away, and the Tatiara township was
about sixteen miles from the station. The police had their quarters at
Tatiara, which, in those days, was composed of huts. I went there once,
and found only one substantial building. It was an hotel. Once in every
three months a bush missionary held services in this hotel. We all went
to these services, some on horseback and some driving.

The months passed on, and I grew to like the life. Everybody was busy,
for there was plenty to do. The lowing of the cattle, driven in for
branding, became familiar music to my ears. But, isolated as we were,
and simple and rough as the life was, I could not complain of any
monotony. Sometimes a hawker would visit us with a large van drawn by a
team of bullocks. He would camp for days, and do a brisk trade as a
general provider of the wants of the little community. He found good
customers among the blacks, for they earned a little money during

Nor were we entirely devoid of the amusements of town-life. More than
once a travelling Christy Minstrel Company came to the station. The
performers would stay all night and give a theatrical show in the
laundry, which I gave up to them for the purpose. From miles around the
place station-hands would come to see the show.

The young girl, who went up with me and myself got on nicely together.
In the light of added years I can look back now and feel grateful for
the hard training I went through then and the lessons those early days
taught me. Sometimes we caught glimpses of the many mysteries of the
silent bush. The presence of troopers and black-trackers about the
station would tell us that something unusual had happened. It might be
that the dead body of a man had been found a little way from the
station. A consultation of all hands would be held, and the unknown
would receive a decent burial, while efforts would be made to discover
his identity. When any of the station-hands died they were buried in a
little enclosure near the station. If they had lived far out on the
boundary of the run they were buried near their huts.

What the blacks did with their dead puzzled us. Mr. Binney insisted that
they must be buried, and the dusky relatives would obey. But, shortly
afterwards, the graves would be rifled, and the corpses would
mysteriously disappear. I asked a very old lubra to tell me what was
done with the dead, and she horrified me by replying, "Big one, cookem
on sticks."

While I was there Mr. Binney sent a mob of horses to Adelaide. Some of
the blacks went with them to help the drovers. They came back by water.
Then it was amusing to hear them describe what they had seen in
Adelaide. They called the steamboat "Big one wheelbarrow." They said
that something pulled them along with "tether ropes on the big one

There was one old lubra called "Kitty, the postman." When Mr. Binney
first came into that part of the country, Kitty showed him where to get
water for his oxen, and on that spot he began his life as a
sheep-farmer. Kitty would carry letters for him to his friends as far
away as thirty miles. He could always depend on her honesty and
efficiency, so she became a privileged character. She must have been of
a great age when I saw her, for she remembered well the time when no
white man could be seen in the land. She had free entry to any of the
buildings, and loved to smoke her pipe in the men's hut, for all the
aboriginies, both men and women, smoked. She told me that the blacks did
not hate the white men so much as they did the blacks of other tribes.

The cook at the men's hut was frequently visited by "sundowners." He
told me that many of these stated that they were sons of doctors or
clergymen, and were well educated men. I had a strange experience with a
"traveller." One evening, when our candles were lit for the evening
meal, a boundary rider brought in a woman whom he found wandering about
by herself. There was a vacant place by me and she sat down. As she had
a sunbonnet on I could not see her face well. Every visitor that came so
late would stop all night, so the question arose "Where was she to
sleep?" Not one of us was willing to share our room with her, so Mrs.
Binney said she must sleep in the laundry. I took here there and she sat
down while I prepared her bed. In order to see her face I put a lighted
candle close to her, but she immediately blew it out. Then she took out
a pipe and began to smoke. From a glimpse I caught of her features I
thought she looked like a man. So I went to tell Mrs. Binney. As the
laundry was full of valuable clothes I thought something might be
stolen, or the place might be set fire to by the sparks from the
stranger's pipe. I was really afraid of her; and so it was decided that
she was not to sleep in the laundry. The needlewoman came with me, and
we told her that she might sleep in an unused hut beyond the fence. In a
voice like thunder she said, "Show me where I am to sleep." The hut had
no door or glass in the window, so I pinned my apron over the window,
and then we fled in terror.

She did not wait for breakfast, but went away in the early morning with
one of our teamsters--the man who had found her. When they had gone
about six miles she jumped out of the dray, and ran into the bush. The
driver went on to Tatiara and told the police. After that I was worried
by troopers and blacktrackers. The questions they asked me would have
filled a book. They picked up the tracks near Wellington, but lost them
again. They all thought, as I did, that our strange visitor was a man
dressed in woman's clothing.

But there were pleasanter incidents than these. The arrival of "her
Majesty's Royal Mail" was looked forward to with eagerness by all. The
coach was a queer-looking vehicle, with a large "V.R." painted on it.
The horses were changed at the station, and the coach went on to Tatiara
township, calling at other stations both coming and going. How quickly
"mail day" seemed to come round again. Bushranging had been prevalent,
but the coach had always luckily escaped molestation. I like looking
back after all this time.

It seemed lonely, for we were far from the sight of anybody we knew, and
visitors were scarce. The needlewoman and I used lo take the children
out amongst the tall gum trees. We had no perambulator, but there was a
little Scotch pony for the baby to sit on. The foliage of the trees was
dense, and they were close together, but we could always find the
tracks. One day we went a long way, and the little pony stepped into
what seemed to be a circle of snakes. He stood still, and so did we, for
we were too frightened to move. The snakes fairly leaped from the ground
and bounded in amongst the young bushes. I never ventured so far into
the woods again, but I saw more snakes after that. A dog was a very good
protector, for by his barking he would always show us where the snakes
were. The housemaid, whom I have alluded to, found a snake under her
pillow one night when she was going to bed. We shared the same room, but
I am happy to say I never saw a snake in the room. The bedroom was right
outside the house, and there was nothing to hinder the snakes from
entering it, so that it may easily be imagined that we were careful
where we stepped.

Our time was passing away. We could see by the preparations at the
woolshed that the shearing season was near. The loneliness and silence
of the bush gave place to the bustle and hum of human beings hurrying
about. There were supposed to be altogether about a hundred men in and
about the sheds, and where all the people came from was a mystery to me.
What with woolclassing and woolwashing and woolsorting and the packing
the wool into great bales ready to send to England there was a lot of
work. In the middle of it all came the surveyors with a staff of men to
cut up the land in allotments, as Mr. Binney's lease had nearly expired.
Now the train to Melbourne runs through what were then desolate wilds.

They wanted me to stop for another year, but I would not. Mrs. Binney
said I was the only girl who had ever left the station without getting
married. I told her I had a suitor somewhere else. The young girl who
went up with me was married to a "cockatoo" farmer. I hope she has been
happy, for she was a nice girl. I have been a wife now for 26 years.
Life is full of changes. It was not stated in the agreement I made that
Mr. Binney should pay our expenses back to Adelaide. I had not thought
of that when I was engaged to go the South-East. I thought the journey
was such a short one that we could come and go when we liked. It was
settled that I would return by the mail coach and wait at the hotel for
my trunk, which was to be sent by the wool-dray. There was no other
choice for me. By this time I was well acquainted with the driver of the
mail, as he used to have lunch with us sometimes. He was a middle-aged
man with a wife and family, and was understood to be reliable. So far I
had trusted everybody, for I was young and happy, and I did not feel the
least afraid.


From this time the days flew by quickly till the last night I was to
spend in the bush came round. Truly, I never knew till then that I had
so many friends. People came from such a distance to say "Good-bye," for
the coach started early in the morning. I had a cheque from Mr. Binney,
and I had never had so much money before in all my life. I was told to
get it cashed at Robetown, as Mr. Binney had no banking account in
Adelaide. I had a nice present, too, from Mrs. Binney, and one from Miss
Binney, which I have yet in my possession.

In the morning they were all up to see me off, and there was a scene of
great excitement. Amongst the rest there were blacks from all round,
shouting at the top of their voices, "You white lubra, what for you go
away from my country." I had a very kindly send-off, and with tears in
my eyes, I bid adieu to all. All the way along the driver pointed out to
me places of interest with such queer names, such as "Biscuit Flat,"
"Black Joe's Corner," "Binney's Lookout," and many others which I have
forgotten. What interested me most was, however, the name of the place
where I was to stop for the night. It was called "Mosquito Plains," and
I wondered if any mosquitoes were there.

That evening we reached the "Mosquito Plains." I forget the name of the
hotel where we stayed for the night, but I remember that the old
landlord was making way for a new one and that there was a great crowd
in and about the bar. Mr. Sinclair, the mail-driver, took me to the
woman of the house and asked her to find a room for me, as I was leaving
by the mail in the morning. I never saw him again.

I slept little that night, as the people were pacing about the hotel all
night. The woman I had seen before told me that the coach would start
about 3 o'clock in the morning. Daylight was just breaking as I wearily
got ready for my unknown journey. The driver of the mail was a quiet
young man. There seemed a lot of parcels and luggage, but I was the only
woman among the passengers. I hoped to reach Kingston that night. I was
not much interested in our stopping-places, as I was longing to be back
in Adelaide.

I had no one to talk to, so I stood by the coach while the horses were
being got ready. I heard a gentleman say, "Has anybody thought of
getting a cup of tea for this girl?" and the answer was "No." Then he
said, "I will." In the bar they were all drinking by the lamplight, and
he held a little saucepan over the lamp and made me a cup of tea. I
watched him from where I was standing, with grateful thoughts that could
not find expression. I often saw that gentleman afterwards in Adelaide.
I was often tempted to go up to him and thank him for that cup of tea,
but I did not like to do so, as I never learnt his name.

At last we were off. The inside of the coach was filled with luggage, so
the passengers all sat outside, and the arrangement was not very
comfortable, as there was nothing to rest one's back against. Some of
the men who mounted the coach that morning were the worse for drink.
Still, no one said anything unpleasant to me. We went speeding along
through desolate scrub. The road, or, rather, the mail track, was very
uneven, and I expected every moment to be thrown out. I asked the driver
what I was to hold on by. He laughed and answered, "Hold on by your
eyebrows." There were places on the wayside for refreshments, and about
8 o'clock we had breakfast at one of these.

I would have liked to stop at Mosquito Plains to have a look round, but
on account of the change of landlords the hotel was topsy-turvy, and I
did not care for the woman I saw there. I was disappointed, for I knew
that I would have to wait at Robe till the wool-dray came with my
things, and there are some very interesting caves near Mosquito Plains,
which is now called "Narracoorte."

We arrived at Kingston and drove at once to the Kingston Hotel, which
was kept by an ex-trooper from Adelaide. To my astonishment a
nicely-dressed little blackgirl met me at the door. She came to see what
I wanted. She was about 12 or 13 years old, and was the only female
attendant in the hotel. I was a little upset, but I thought that I must
not be too particular for one night, so I told her I would like some
tea. She brought me quite a nice cup of tea on a tray and told me that
the master would come and see me soon.

Presently the landlord came in. He was evidently in difficulties. He
told me that his wife had been dead two months, and his sister had been
keeping house for him; but that, owing to the sickness of his little
son, she had to take the boy away to his grandmother. He said she would
return on the following day. I asked if there was no other white woman
about the place. He answered--"Yes, there is one; but she is ill in bed:
and I am at my wit's end." I asked if I could see her, as, being a
working-girl myself, I thought I might do something for her. The man was
much agitated and replied--"Yes. She is a married woman and has been in
my employ for six weeks. She had a baby this morning."

He led me through a long billiard-room and a kitchen, where some
black-gins were sitting round a fire smoking, into a little back-room in
the yard. There lay the poor woman and her face lit up with joy to see
another white woman. I soon learned her story, which was like that of
many other wanderers. Her husband had gone away to look for work, and
had forgotten to come back. I sympathised with her trouble and did what
I could for her that night.

On enquiry I learned that there was a doctor staying at the hotel. He
was attending to several men, who were suffering from ophthalmia after
shearing. But my sympathy was all with that weak woman and the dear,
little baby. I learned, also, that there were only a few white women in

Two young men who had been shipmates with me in the Morning Star came
into the hotel the next morning. Their name was Ring, and they were with
their father, Mr. Herbert Ring, who had a contract to facilitate the
shipping of goods at Kingston, as before that no ships could come in
near the shore. I was pleased to see them. They are both in Adelaide now
as sharebrokers. They brought their father to see me and it seemed like
civilisation again. But I had not yet done with the mail-coach.

As the coach left Kingston every day, I determined to stop with the sick
woman till the landlord's sister came home. Meanwhile the people about
were negotiating with the landlord to get up a supper as they wished to
celebrate the opening of a branch of some lodge. I think that the
Messrs. Ring were the principal officials in that lodge. So when the
housekeeper came I set to work and helped her prepare this bush
"banquet." I did not know very much, but every little was a help, and
they all said the supper was splendid.

Just in the middle of the preparations for supper a travelling dramatic
company arrived and began to get ready to hold a performance that
evening in the billiard-room. I never saw such a mixed lot of people
together. I looked for the doctor, expecting to see a man in decent
black clothes, but he was dressed in old, tattered garments, just like
the poor shearers to whom he was attending. I understood the reason of
this when I saw him staggering about. Be was a very clever man, but
abandoned to drink.

The little black girl was a great help. She could fetch and carry for
these poor men, who, I am afraid, were very much neglected. I saw a
little of the country about Kingston and liked the look of the whole
place very much. My stay at the hotel lasted from a Tuesday to the
following Saturday, when the landlord drove me into Robe in his own
waggonette. I had no bills to pay and received some remuneration for
being so helpful. For years afterwards, if anybody who knew me stayed at
the hotel, they heard kind things of me and brought me nice messages.
Neither my trunk nor the steamboat had arrived, so I had to wait till
the next Saturday at the Robe Hotel. The same people were there as when
I went to Mr. Binney's. I felt just as if I were at home with them, for
they were so interested in my experiences all through that year in the
bush. I had enjoyed good health all the time I was away, and I arrived
in Adelaide safe and well.

It was on a Sunday afternoon when I reached the Port, and my brother was
on the dock waiting for me. Father and he were living at Hilton. They
had a horse and trap, and my brother drove me to Hilton; but I was not
many days at home, when I found that my father seemed in touch with some
acquaintance I did not like; I felt outside of everything, and asked
myself why I came back if there was nothing to come back for. I was out
of sympathy with my surroundings, I learned that my father was about to
get married again, and I felt as if I was not wanted. I could see that
the old condition of things had changed. In any case, everything seemed
hard for me, and I could not put matters right for other people. At
best, there would be a muddle, and I thought if things came to an end
quickly it would not be so hard to go. I had to go forward alone, I
knew, and to face bitterness and desolation. When some one said, "I
wonder you sent for your people," I thought that it did not matter
whether or not I lived at home, for I could not skip out of their lives.
Wherever they were they were my relations. Still, if there are no
love-ties, that makes loneliness more solitary. There was no ill-will,
but my brother said that he would not live with father and his new wife.

So we had to do something. I told my brother that I must have some work
to do, and then we might manage some little business. What else could we
do? It was either that or we would have to go and live in a top-garret
somewhere. So we took a house with a shop attached in Rundle-street. It
stood this side of the Tavistock Hotel, but it was pulled down many
years ago. There is now a saddler's business there. I had it fixed up as
tearooms, and my brother made furniture. In any case I had to face a new
kind of life, and I had no right to grumble. When we were children I
remembered the happy comradeship which always existed between my brother
and myself, and I was glad to be alone with him. It was a splendid time
and we did fairly well, and had something to give thanks for. I could
not expect that happiness to continue, and when we had been there for
some time I had a strong belief that all the rest would come right in
time. It was a joy to feel that I was working for my brother. Such
trivial incidents may not seem worth recording, but that was my only
experience in business on my own account. Youth is full of hope, but I
did not know what I hoped for. There was the present and the future to
think about.

Just at that time a Scotch corps of volunteers were raised. It was the
first in South Australia to wear the kilts. There was such merriment
about this dressing every day. Mr. Buik had an ironmongers shop in
Rundle-street, and he was the captain. My brother also became a kilted
volunteer. The kilts were sent from Scotland partly made, and then
altered so as to make a suitable fit. They looked nice, only the
stockings were of some kind of checked tartan, with no shape or figure.
I knew how to knit, so I knitted a pair of stockings for my brother, and
set in the wool in different coloring and in diamond shape. They looked
unlike the others, and they were made to fit. Mr. Buik came to me and
asked me if I would do a hundred pairs. I was so surprised, that I
thought I would not knit any more stockings which could be seen. In the
Foot Police at that time there was a Scotchman who stood, so they said,
over six feet in height; his name was Archie Dixon. He had his own kilts
and knitted stockings, together with the bagpipes. He brought all the
equipage with him from Scotland, and truly he did look a picture in the
kilts. The past is, indeed, past, but it all comes back to me when I
want it.

The news spread about that in a few months the Queen's son, the Sailor
Prince, would visit Australia. I can trust my memory for that time. It
can never be forgotten. As for the people, it is no exaggeration to say
they were full of joy, as in some sort of way it appeared that this
visit was to be made a pleasure for all. I seemed to have no plans in
life except to see the Prince. In a few weeks the warship Galatea came
in to port. It was a fearfully hot day, and the Scotch Volunteers, with
Mr. Archie Dixon in the front playing the bagpipes, went all the way to
the Port, with other volunteers as well, to meet Prince Alfred. The town
was all one "festival." They marched in procession and came to the city.
In their route they marched around the spot where the new Post-Office
now is. I had a nice seat on some of the old buildings in King
William-street. The men who wore the kilts must have suffered from the
heat. However, there was the Queen's son, bowing and looking so
distinguished as he passed along to Government House. Sir Dominick Daly
was there, too. There was no electricity then, but the splendor of the
gaslight in the night-time will not easily be forgotten, nor the vast
crowds who gathered there.

The drawback all this gaiety had for us was that we had not much
capital. I did not want anything in the way of stock, but my brother's
work was different, for to make it he needed materials; worse still, he
let furniture go on credit, not realising enough to meet his debts. On
turning back to that time my thoughts were not glad. I could not be gay,
for I could see no brightness in the future. It was said by some that my
acts and life showed great self-denial, but if it did it did not bring
me any of the inward satisfaction which is said to come from such deeds.
I thought I must try and get a new place, for I could see that my
brother was seriously in love with a young woman. Then came the final
decision, and I went and saw Mr. J. N. Hines, at Parliament House, with
the hope of getting some employment daily, as he had so much catering to
do while the Prince was here and in other ways. I used to go to the Town
Hall, and also help at Parliament House. My first employer, at No. 10,
Rundle-street, had got married, or I should have liked to go back there.
Having to be independent and to take care of myself for more than eleven
years I had learnt to use my knowledge and be hopeful. I daresay there
are plenty who will remember the stampede of that time. There was a
sense of whirl during the whole time of that brilliant visit, and its
influence was considerable with us so far as ways and means were

We both made up our minds not to get into debt, and we did not, but as
matters went it might have been better to have gone to a situation at
once. I could not take any particular kind of work, but I could help
with most things generally. I can easily recall how little attempt there
was to understand anything regarding cooking, and there were no men
cooks in Adelaide then. The foundations of the Club House on
North-terrace were being dug out while I was at No. 10, Rundle-street,
and it was occupied when I came back from Moonta. A married couple had
the management of the Club, and I got to know the manager through being
at the Town Hall banquets and other places, so I went to help at the
Club. The cooking was very crude. The manager had been a steward on
board ship, and was not well up as a caterer. The work was not at all
delicately done, and I did not like either the manager or the
manageress. I did not stop long at the only club that was then in
Adelaide. Many years have rolled away since then. The affairs of myself
and brother were disposed in such a way that I had many doubts as to
what I should do; but youth is delightful while it lasts.

One thing, I could not be idle. I secured a situation with a lady at New
Glenelg, and was to undertake, with the lady's teaching, household
duties. There were no children. The lady was Mrs. Brind, and another
young girl was kept. It was a comfortable home. We had everything
suitable, and I had a nice bedroom. For the first time since I left
Scotland I found myself living close to the sea, and that suggesting the
great joy of bathing in the ocean once again. How I loved that exercise,
and the sea was only such a little way from the house. My sister had the
care of my brother, and he used to come and see me occasionally. There
was something kind and admirable about Mrs. Brind. She was a leader in
society, there could be no doubt. She went everywhere, and did all sorts
of things. She could sing and act and dance, and, with the number of
guests always at the house, she made a charming hostess. In figure she
was somewhat stout, but had such a nice face, with not a furrow of
anxiety or care upon it. Mr. Brind was her second husband. She found
time, despite her society arrangements, to do kindnesses amongst various
persons, and more particularly to the children. She was whimsical and
kindly, and one day she came and asked me if I would let her alter the
cut of the skirt I wore on Sunday. Gored skirts were worn then, and I
suppose mine must have been straight up and down. Anyhow, it did not
please her. I let her have it, and with her own hands she altered it and
made it look so different. This unexpected treatment of my clothing was
done so pleasantly that I could not be angry. In respect of dress I was
old-fashioned, and had but little choice.

I shall never forget one particular day. It was the other girl's day
out, and I had to attend to the bell. Mrs. Brind had also gone out.
Cards or messages I was to see to. I learned that Sir R. D. Ross and
Lady Ross and a baby girl were coming to stop for a few days. They had
come back from the Mainland war, and I confess I was pleased to get
everything in order for their arrival. It seemed so strange to think
that I was at the Government Farm to receive them the day, they were
married, and there I was again, two years afterwards, preparing for them
again. What a difference I saw in Sir R. D. Ross. His eyesight had
failed, and he could hardly see. But when he learned that I was in
waiting he came and brought his dear little daughter to show me. He
must have had exciting times in New Zealand, for he looked so worn and
worried. He had seen the Prince, and showed me a ring given to him by
the young Prince. I never saw Sir R. D. Ross again, but he was a
thorough gentleman, according to my standard, and he was Scotch. I
forget now where they had met the Prince first, but it was either in New
Zealand or in some of the other colonies. Any way, when the Prince came
back they were quite friendly. All this seems only the other day. I
confess to feeling fatigue in those years, but I have never felt myself
rusting, and even now I am hard at work, and, in apparent hopelessness,
will not despair.

I stayed on at Mrs. Brind's, and found comfort in my work by the
seaside. The picture of what Glenelg looked like then is in my
remembrance yet. There was no railway, and the only way you could get to
Adelaide was by a kind of mail coach at stated times. You could book a
passage beforehand, but if you lost this bus or coach you would have to
walk to Glenelg or stop in town all night. The driver was Mr. George, or
"Dick" George. He had a pleasing manner, which made him the friend of
all. What with his teams of four or six horses and his cheerful voice
ringing out he made the Bay-road very lively. His voice had a haunting
ring never to be forgotten. There was a charm and quiet about the place
which is not present in the much-altered Glenelg of to-day. I think of
the mysterious and resistless disappearance of the people whom I knew
then, and it gives a touch of seriousness to my thoughts.

But what a trial it was to me to have to mix so much with strangers;
still I managed to pull through. When we are very young we believe that
everyone has a heart. I brought myself to such a state that I had no
high aspirations except to live in a pure atmosphere. That remained,
even when all was gone, and I was left where the last tide had stranded

Many thoughts of the old time stir within me now. I can see a lady of
lofty lineage, who used to come so much to Mrs. Brind's. Her name was
Lady Charlotte Bacon. She looked dejected and laden with care. While she
was wandering about by herself sometimes she would come and sit down by
me on the sand, just as though she belonged to the disappointed and
ill-used of this life. I saw her some years afterwards sitting on the
steps of the Post-Office, in King William-street. She had a black bag in
her hand. I did not make myself known to her, and I heard of her death
not long after. Yes, there are noble sorrows on the high road. The lofty
are beaten by the tempests, which are as oppressive to them as they
would be to me, who am without defence.

So life went onwards by pleasant dreams to a comfortable future. When I
had been with Mrs. Brind for about a year she used to get me to come
and read for her, as she was not well. She was very fond of Scotch
stories, and I could read them easily. There were no trained nurses in
those days, and Mrs. Brind grew so ill that she was advised to go for a
voyage and change of air. So it was decided that the house would be
closed for a time. We had plenty of time to find employment. I can at
this moment recall that without any effort on my part I was sought for.
I did not lack either energy or sincerity. I would fain have stopped
with Mrs. Brind, but I could not.


I was told that someone was wanted at Sunnyside who could do cooking. I
knew enough for the place, as the family were growing up, and they kept
a lot of company. I was sorry for Mrs. Brind. She told me that she would
not live long. She had no relations in Adelaide, and her agitation
frightened me. She gave me a key and told me to unlock a drawer, and
showed me all her things ready for the last ordeal, if the worst should
happen. I felt a very great coward, and very uncomfortable. What a
relief I felt when the doctor said she was strong enough to go for a
change, and that he hoped for good results.

I went and saw Lady Milne, and I felt a sense of gladness I was to go to
Sunnyside. It was a strange change for me, but only what might happen to
anyone in ordinary everyday life and amid human influences, to look on
those loved faces again. I was to have skilled help for all the large
parties and balls, and I turned at once to the practical duties of a
cook in a gentleman's house. I cannot help adding here that I have been
able to get my living in that capacity ever since that time, and that I
will give lessons this afternoon on cookery. It was like going back to
the old home. I had a good, wise, generous mistress, who would tell me
to put aside the past and trust to the future. I hardly knew what I
expected in the future, but I was happy there. While in this position I
soon recognised that cooking did not come by nature. Even the most
simple things cannot be done till they are taught. I got a cookery book.
I used to puzzle half the night over them, and then I did not get the
rudiments from that.

People do not always remain the same, but are continually changing. This
can be said of everyone, and growing years make a great difference.
While I was away from Sunnyside the family, from being children, now
seemed to be men and women, most of them. This meant so much more
company. As I thought I could not fulfil the duties required of me, I
had many painful moments, although they had patience with me. I got to
dread the two caterers, who came alternately or both together. The
attention they wanted was more to me than all my other work. They took
such pains that I should not see anything of their skill, and I had hard
toil to learn even gradually. When I had been there more than a year I
felt I had learnt scarcely anything.

My brother had got married, and I knew that I had to give up all and
expect nothing. For me loneliness never had any terror. No one could be
less dependent on outward society than I was, yet I could enjoy it, only
I never craved after it, nor was it necessary for my existence--I was
one who have had always to stand alone. Perhaps the sharpest anguish is
that which nobody knows of. I have been so unaccustomed, to sympathy
that I can sit still and endure anything; I did everything at my own
risk. I have had to work for all I have ever received, and some have
done their best to hinder me, so that I hardly knew what to do, although
I am sure I was most unselfish. The marriages of my father and brother
altered things, and somebody else came in, so that the old relationships
were changed. For a time I felt a soreness.

Turning things over in my mind, I see that I could not have learned
anything at Sunnyside, as matters stood. More than once I thought I
would like to live in Adelaide again, and was tempted to take a post in
some of the business places. Only homely cooking would then be required,
and I could do that well. Then, again, sometimes I had to walk all the
way to Glen Osmond by myself if I lost the bus. It was a lonely road,
with scarcely a house where Parkside now is. All this was long ago.

While I lived at No. 10, Rundle-street, I got to know other girls, who
were also working housekeepers. One whom I used to see sometimes lived
at Messrs. Wigg & Co.'s, in Rundle-street. She told me that she was
going to be married, and asked whether she should speak for me. It would
be nice for me and cheery, she said, but she did not think it would be
for very long, as the place was to be rebuilt. My path appeared to be
made plain, and I came and saw Mr. Wigg. He was satisfied, and I came to
live at No. 12, Rundle-street. I had a comfortable room over the shop.
None of the assistants lived there. I used to see to their meals during
the day. Also under the heading of Messrs. Wigg and Co. there was a
chemist's shop, with doctors' consulting-rooms, in King William-street,
where the Beehive now stands. The chemists had their meals at No. 12.
The evenings were lonely, but there were plenty of books, and I could
either go out or sit and look into Rundle-street. I knew the engagement
would be only temporary, but I had always faced my fate with courage,
and faced it still. But there seemed nothing to face at Mr. Wigg's.
Everyone was bright and pleasant. So I was content to bask in the
present enjoyment, and I had given up troubling about what was to me a
hopeless future. I had some shipmates at Government House, and went and
saw them sometimes, and I found that if I left Mr. Wigg's I could go
there. So I was happy, and what more could anyone desire?

While performing my new duties I wondered how things would turn out. For
some time I had a busy life, with no time for regrets. The meals were in
three relays. The first was at 12.30 p.m., and so on. There was only one
young lady among the assistants. The shop was full of men and youths,
who served the customers. How different Rundle-street looked then. There
were only little tumble-down shops, but prosperity reigned, and there
were no poor-looking people or naked-footed children.

A change has come now--a great change--that reaches to the core of
things. We think we can endure anything, but every day the little things
of life drive us nearly wild. Pleasures and trials seem both smaller
when we have to face them each day.


There were no model schools in South Australia then. I do not know who
organised them, but the salesmen in Mr. Wigg's employ held classes for
reading and writing gratuitously in a building which seemed partly a
store, and was lit up with candles. The young gentlemen asked me if I
would come and help. They said I could at least listen to the small
girls reading. Having the evenings to myself I went gladly, and for a
time I had a little class all to myself, and I learned something from
the questions and answers that passed. The children all looked well-fed
and well-clothed, and I could not help comparing their condition with
that of the little ones receiving free teaching in Glasgow. Yet how the
people in Glasgow would fear to come away such a distance, for at that
time it was like dying to come to Australia. The people in the colony
then had to keep on working and thinking with their own powers. There
was not so much labor-saving machinery, and to succeed everyone had to
work to the best of his capacity, and the boys and girls, too, had to
help in making the most of their splendid inheritance.

One gets interested in the people with whom one is brought in contact,
even although temporarily. All was very real to me. I had been in the
happiest state of mind for months. Mrs. Wigg would come sometimes and
see if I wanted any comforts. She came with that good-natured sympathy,
and I looked forward to the days when the children would come with, her
when she was interesting herself with my department in such a kind way.

Just about that time the Governor, Sir Dominic Daly, died at Government
House. I do not remember whether a new Governor had been appointed, but
it seemed to me such a little time afterwards that Sir James Fergusson
arrived here. Then Prince Alfred was expected again, and the whole place
was in a stir once more. Sir James was a wealthy man, and he sent a
start of servants before him, so I thought it useless to think of the
Government House employment for me. How pleasant it was, therefore, to
be told I would be employed as an extra help between the kitchen and the
still-room. I saw the housekeeper, Miss Anderson, and I engaged to come
when they had all settled at Government House. In the meantime Mr. J. N.
Hines, from Parliament House, had charge of the catering with the two
caterers whom I did not like. If they had been there all the time I
would not have gone there. Sir James brought with him a French chef.
There has never since been such times at Government House. The house was
altered, and some new places were built.

In what grand style everything was kept up. The footmen, with their
powdered hair, knee breeches, and silk stockings, were a sight to see
when they went out in the beautiful carriage with the splendid horses,
and all were brought out from the old home. It was a lasting benefit to
me going there. I felt a little nervous amongst so many other servants,
for they looked a splendid lot of men and women, who did not think
service derogatory to them. They seemed happy and dignified, and went to
work accordingly. Each had his or her own work. They were not all from
the same country, but were different in tongue and manner as well. There
was no false pride, nor did they think that any kind of work in a house
was lowering, or that there was anything degrading in menial labor.

My task was to help in the still-room. I might make a slight allusion to
this still-room. It is a miniature "kitchen," where the housekeeper can
make all the preserves and so on. The housekeeper's room is always close
by, and there the linen and such like articles are kept. The still-room
at Government House was an important place then.

There were great preparations being made in view of the coming of the
Prince, who was expected to arrive at any time. Then such a lot of
things would have to be done in the still-room. Much of the fine cooking
for breakfast was done there, and the dessert dishes were garnished
there, and many of the ornamental biscuits and cakes for dessert were
made in the still-room. Sir James Fergusson had all his own household
silver and linen, as well as the dessert-stands. Some that seemed the
most important were twelve in number; they had to be taken to the butler
every night and locked up. Each one was in its own velvet casket, and
was carefully put away. They had been given to Sir James as a
presentation, and were said to be pure gold. One of the things I had to
do when they were in use was to see that they were in safety.

There was plenty of novelty in my surroundings at Government House. I
was sent here and there. The housekeeper became ill in the wearisome
days and nights, although there seemed nothing but pleasure to the
favorites of fate. They got some responsible-looking person to fill her
place, but she was not so clever as Miss Anderson. She was the wife of
one of the orderlies who was in attendance on Colonel Hamley. For we had
a regiment of soldiers here then, and Colonel Hamley was the commander.
There was a row of little cottages on the banks of the Torrens, where
they lived, but they have been all pulled down long ago.

I could not attempt to record each day and night at Government House.
The time flew by on golden wings. My ambition was to see to the cooking.
I was in the right place, for I had to go in the kitchen and help with
everything after the proper housekeeper left. I think Miss Anderson was
sent home again to Scotland. I grew interested in everything. I remember
now the two caterers, or cooks, came and asked me if I would ask the
French chef if he would let them see him dish up the beautiful
substances of his cooking. He seemed to work like magic. I asked him,
and he muttered something in French, while there was a look in his eyes
which said No.

Every detail of that time is stamped on my memory. I suppose what made
such, an impression was that I was, at any rate, where I had the chance
of seeing a professional cook work, while the secret of that knowledge
was not kept from me thus far. I remembered that the two cooks who came
to Sunnyside always had large cookery books with, them, and in their
exaltedness so acted that I could not get a glimpse of what they were
engaged in. As things now transpired, they could see that my new life
seemed to promise that eventually I would be able to give evidence that
I had gained knowledge in the period, when something could be made out
of my association with the French chef, and I felt glad that those two
cooks could only gaze in longing wonder where I was gathering
experience. Perhaps it gave me my revenge.

But I must tell something more about Government House and the Prince.
There was nothing but visitors; there were theatricals, with a real
stage fixed up in the ballroom, with balls, and evenings at home, and
garden parties, luncheons, and huntings. I grew interested in all that
happened about me; I was not hindered in any way when time allowed me to
have a look and see what was to be seen. How pleased I was to see Mrs.
Brind amongst some of the cast of characters who were going to play on
the stage. Truly, she looked well in her part. I took care to let her
know that I was there, and to ask her if I could do anything for her.
There were no professional actors, only "amateurs." It just seemed to me
as if everybody was acting.

The Prince had such a lot of other gentlemen with him, and amongst them
there was a Highlander, dressed in kilts, who played the bagpipes. He
used to play sometimes in the dining-room even while the dinner was in
progress. He stood behind the Prince's chair. Whenever I could get a
chance I liked to go and look in at the dining-room when the gas was
alight. They could not see me. I thought it so nice to see whether the
Prince ate his food in any way different from other people. He used to
sit at one end of the table, and Sir James at the other. For most of the
public functions Sir James wore his Court dress, as if in the presence
of the Queen at some festivities at home. He did not look a weak
amiability. How noble he was, I thought, and how his servants loved him.
And how lovely was Lady Edith Fergusson, and their beautiful children.
How nice they all were.

I remember that if I saw her ladyship coming I used to dart off in
another direction, and she told monsieur, the chef, to tell me not to do
so, as she liked to speak to us all when she met us. I did not try to
get out of her way afterwards. Such a strange custom the ladies all had.
It was to limp in their walk as if they were halting and lame. To get
that mode some had the heel of one shoe made shorter than that of the
other. It was called the "Alexandra limp." I could not help wondering at
this, and I learned that the Princess of Wales had a sore foot, and that
in the midst of all gaiety and glitter the society ladies all tried to
seem as if they had a sore foot.

Where the tall palm tree stands on the banks of the Torrens was the
vegetable garden for Government House. It was fenced all round with
hedge and wire, with a door in the wall, by which we got to and fro if
the gardener forgot to bring what was wanted. The door is still in the
wall, but the garden has gone. I have good reason to remember one time,
at least, when I was sent for something. It was dark, but I had a key
and a lantern, and was told to lock the door and take the key with me to
let myself in. I put the lantern down, as I did not require a light in
the garden. A key was available to others, as there were more keys than
one. While I was trying to open the door the Duke of Edinburgh came out.
He smiled at me, and I let the things fall and stared at him. He had no
attendant, but wore a soft felt hat. I stood and saw him pass out
amongst the populace just like one of themselves. He locked the door and
I unlocked it. I remember that as if it were only yesterday.

At the time there was a war in Paris, and monsieur used to get letters
that upset him fearfully. Some that were sent from his ruined home came
out of Paris in a balloon. I may add that the French chef was designated
as monsieur all through the house. He was a very young man to have such
a position, and he could not speak English at all well. I taught him
some Scotch words. He was lively, and would go on working sometimes till
midnight, but would not let me stay if he could help it.

The Prince and party went away inland somewhere for an outing. We had a
period of quiet, and I got a day off to go and see the Galatea. All the
kilted volunteers were going by special invitation, and in a kind way I
was not forgotten. They had Mr. Archie Dixon, with his bagpipes. It was
a nice day for an outing, and the whole ship was thrown open to us, and
a happy time was spent there. All was wonderfully clean and orderly. All
was explained to us, and we were told how the cannon and other
instruments of destruction were fired, with the force of the ball, and
the gunpowder, as well as what the sailors could do if they were
attacked. We saw the Prince's room, which was being done up ready for
the voyage home. One thing I noticed hanging up was a large portrait of
Prince Albert and the Queen. The only thing I saw to make me sad was
some men in chains made fast to the deck. They were white men. I can see
the look on their faces yet. They were there for some misdeed, but I did
hope that they would be released when they got out to sea. We went right
down to where the stokers worked to keep the engines in action. We
passed, I think, five decks to get there; I was glad to reach the top
again. Human hearts must be made of strong material, or else how could
those men live in chains, even for a day?

The time came when I felt sadness. After the Prince went away what a
change there was. Where life and merriment had reigned, amid the scene
of all the late festivities, there was now only silence. For in that
stately home Lady Ferguson was ill--seriously ill. She had not been
feeling well for some time, and it was rumored that Sir James would take
her back again to Scotland if she was strong enough to travel. She died
at Government House. I had left a week or so before.


I was only an extra one for the busy time, but I was told that if a
vacancy should occur I would be sent for. Use, we are told, is second
nature. I grew quite used to looking down the advertising columns of the
newspaper, where I read, "Wanted, wanted, wanted." I saw one day a
notice that there was wanted by a lady at Glenelg a young woman, who
must have some knowledge of cooking and good references. The direction
was to apply to Mrs. Wright, at "The Olives," Glenelg. Years afterwards
I went back to Government House as housekeeper.

I received a reply to my application to Mrs. Wright, stating that my
reference proved satisfactory, and that she would be glad if I would
come as soon as I could. As far as I can remember I was glad again to be
near the sea. It was not exactly what I wanted; I was restless and
dissatisfied. I had decided to seek a situation with some lady who
travelled, as I would have liked to go back to Scotland again. But,
still this would be something to do. On arriving at Mrs. Wright's I
found one of my shipmates as housemaid. It was a large house, in
pleasant, well-kept grounds. I was taken to my room, on the second
floor. It was large and comfortable, with such a nice view from the
window. I was, at any rate, pleasantly housed.

Could I but live that time over again! Could I but close my mind to all,
all that has happened since! Did I say happened? All that has taken
place has been of my own doing. I felt very happy, for, as I now review
my past, I know that I took the first step in the narrow path when I
left the Olives! Delusion really came into my life, and I was wise only
after the event. I am alone now with my ruined life and my lost
happiness. The wearisome years creep by so slowly.

I used to travel to Adelaide to attend Mr. Lyall's church every second
Sunday. I do not know why I did not give the name of my first employer,
of No. 10, Rundle-street. I think it was in my mind then not to mention
any names in such reminiscences as that I wrote of mine. However, my
first employer's name was Mr. T. Ballantyne. He died long ago, but his
brothers are still in the land of the living I am happy to say. One of
the Mr. Ballantyne's used to come to the same church in Flinders-street,
with his wife and family. They were always friendly to me, and show
friendship even now, after all these years. When I first made
acquaintance with Mr. W. Ballantyne he was in his brother's shop at 38,
Rundle-street, where Mr. Birks is now. He used to come to No. 10
sometimes. His was a merry face, with an almost perpetual smile. I used
to like to see him come in. So when I met him at the church he always
wished to know how I was, and whether I was comfortable. So one Sunday,
when I came from the Bay, he asked me if I would not like to come and
live in Adelaide again. He said that where he lived they wanted some one
at the shop to get meals for the young people who worked there. I told
him that when I left Mrs. Wright's I would see him, but I had no
thoughts of leaving them. He must have made a mistake, for I received a
letter from Messrs. Robin & Birks, asking me to come to them, as they
understood that I was leaving Mrs. Wright's. I could not understand, so
I called and saw Mr. Robin.

How sweet is the memory of the innocent evenings I used to spend at
Glenelg. I told Mr. Robin that Mr. Ballantyne had not understood me
correctly, for I did not want to leave Mrs. Wright's. Mr. Ballantyne
then came on the scene and talked to me, and I promised to go to 38,
Rundle-street. When I got back to Glenelg I repented of what I had done,
and sent a letter to say that I thought I could not take such a
responsible position. Meanwhile they had made their own arrangements and
they sent me a letter, in which they indicated that if I did not keep my
agreement there would be trouble. A strange thought came in my mind. I
told Mrs. Wright that if she would keep the place for me that I would go
to Rundle-street and stop for a week or so till they could get someone
else. I was so afraid of anything in the way of law that I was easily
terrified. I only took a few things with me and reached the place at
night. There was a small yard at the back of the premises. I found my
way to the door, and as I put my hand on the knob an immense dog thrust
his cold nose against my fingers. I gave a scream, which brought out the
person whom I was to succeed. She was waiting for me to arrive. Then I
laughed. Ah, me! could I but have seen my future at that juncture!

It was quite early in the evening. The dear woman stopped with me all
night and enlightened me on all the subjects of interest. She wished to
constitute herself my guide and friend, and remarked that I was so young
for such a position. I learned to like the dear, kind soul, and to go
and see her. The next morning began the eventful day. Even at this
moment, when I look back, there rises before my mind a picture of that
period. There were only a few at breakfast, and that was soon over. Mr.
Ballantyne called to see if I had come. He told me I could have a room
over the shop, which looked into Rundle-street, and that anything that I
wanted would be attended to if I mentioned it to him. There were 28 or
30 persons for dinner and tea, and some of the men in charge slept on
the premises. I had their rooms to see to, so there was a lot of work,
but I was strong, and I had the evenings, while I had more wages than I
had with Mrs. Wright. I was old-fashioned enough to see to that; so I
became quite reconciled. There seemed a happiness about the place which
soothed me. I saw Mrs. Wright, and had the rest of my things sent to 38,
Rundle-street, and for a time, at least, I was happy.

The shop kept open then till 10 o'clock on Saturday night, when all had
supper. On Sunday sometimes there was no one there. So I had every
Sunday. Thus week by week, and month by month, I grew into a kind of
home life amongst the people. My thoughts of going back to Scotland had
passed away. There was no lack of kindness on the part of the firm or
any of the partners. I remember there was a gas stove sent out to the
old exhibition, to be exhibited. It was the first one to come in South
Australia. Mr. Birks bought it and had it fixed up for me at 38. It was
splendid and such a help.

And the good, old dog that made me start the first night I came there
would stretch his grand old self by the door. I felt content when he was
there. I often took him with me when I went out. His name was Lion and
he always seemed so pleased with the part he played. Such drollery was
caused by this dog's sport. He would upset somebody by colliding with
them. Perhaps a complaint would be made, and then you would hear his
owner say that he would give Lion a talking to. That made everyone
laugh. I never knew him to bite, but he was such a size. Sitting as I do
now, so lonely and miserable, how I wish Lion was at the door; I would
not feel the darkness so much.

Music and singing have always been a pleasure to me. It interested me at
favorable times when the young gentlemen who lived on the premises gave
a musical evening, with dancing as well. How I enjoyed myself. Life was
life to me then. There was a large room over the shop, and as in many
other business places the owners of the shops lived on the premises. I
was experienced enough to do a little catering for them, and, needless
to add, they set value on my efforts. I talk of the dear old times yet
when I see some of them.

We often get fond of people with whom we associate even temporarily in
this way. This happens in the everyday life, and some will influence us,
although we know not how. We cannot help thinking of them just a little.
So many different feelings one has to struggle against, one gets
attracted to a person sometime through gratitude, or it might be either
joy or grief felt in common. But if passion comes it leads to captivity,
and we cannot get out, even if we try.

In all that I have written so far there has not been one line about
love. I do not like to touch on my lost daydreams. I had a suitor in
Scotland, but did not take his attentions seriously, for while,
intellectually, he was above me, being such a splendid scholar, love did
not enter into my views at that time. But he used to come and give me
lessons in writing and I accepted him. But when it was resolved that I
should come to South Australia duty seemed to hold out strongly the
resolution that I must give my lover up. He implored me not to do so,
and wanted me not to come. He was manly and sincere enough in his love.
I told him my intention to come, and that he must wait seven years for
me, or come to South Australia after I had done what I wanted for my
relatives. And I gave my promise that I would be true. I wrote to him
all the time, and he also wrote to me till the year 1870. I had no
letters and felt forlorn. At this time I came in kindly touch with John
Allen at 38, Rundle-street. As we grew more friendly John Allen confided
to me his past and the lonely history of his life. He helped to redeem
the greyness of my life. I could not tell when it dawned upon me, but,
like other women, I was capable of loving, and the knowledge came. It
was pleasant to think I would share the ups and downs of life's
struggles with the man I loved, and who had aroused this feeling and won
my heart. It was the old, old story, and I managed to convince him that
I was not the least afraid of poverty. I told him of my engagement and
how it was ended. My heart had longed for practical sympathy, and it was
some happiness to think that John Allen and myself had much in common.
So far, I had not questioned my wisdom in thus allowing myself to be
carried away by my feelings, even although he was a few years younger
than I was. The thought came that, perhaps, I had been rather hasty as
matters stood, but when John Allen went and brought his mother's Bible
to show me that his father and mother were relatively of the same age as
we were, wisely or unwisely, I pledged myself to John Allen. Their names
and ages were written in the Bible.

Of course, I loved him. I have always loved him, and from that time to
this my mind has been filled with one individual--John Allen. It was
natural; we were in the same house of business. I did not try to get out
his way and he unmistakably did everything he could to get into my way.
We were together morning, noon, and night for more than two years. So I
resolved to cast in my lot with the man I loved. I looked to him. I did
not consider it necessary to consult my people. They had all done the
same, and did not hesitate or think of me. John Allen had no relations
with whom he was on friendly terms in South Australia. He seemed then as
if he thought only of me. I was very happy in a sense. There was a rest,
and yet an unrest. I knew that he had told me he would like to go to

You may picture my astonishment when John Allen came to me one day with
a letter in his hand that had been at the bottom of the sea for two
years. My name and address were only just legible, and the edges were
open like a book. It was from my friend in Scotland, telling me that my
seven years were up and that he wanted this point settled. I will not
pretend that I did not suffer. It seemed a destiny. I wrote to him that
it was useless to think of me, for I knew that my marriage with him
would be loveless. I told him I was wiser now. The man I loved was
perfect in my eyes. I had met other men, who had pleased my fancy, but
John Allen had a charm of manner that won my heart. What I regretted
most was to break my promise--a promise so marked and solemn, given far
away in Scotland, while sitting on the side of heather hill. If I had
been a designing woman I could have accepted for my husband the second
mate of the Morning Star, who waited till the two years I had
contracted to stop in South Australia were over. Then, what was so real
on the ship, seemed only a dream, when he wrote and asked me if I would
marry him and go back to England if he came for me. I knew then that I
had my dream of honorable love and marriage. It was not to be. Upon what
trifles events turn. If I had not gone to 38 everything would have been


In the year 1874 I became John Allen's wife. What has turned out so evil
seemed to me as good. I thought all well lost for love, for it is so. He
arranged it all; I left it to him. We were married very quietly at St.
Paul's Church in the morning. Not a soul was to know, and there would be
no fuss, or anything out of the way, but just our two selves. How all
comes back to me, as I think of those simple details. I thought how
happy I should make him; how hard I would try to be a good wife to him,
for I loved him so. In a week or so my husband went to London and I was
to work till he came back, which I hoped would be only a year
afterwards. But he stopped away for three years.

Long before John went to England new buildings had been put up for
business purposes only, but the firm still found provisions for the
assistants. I could have stopped on there, only there was no convenience
for me to sleep, so I found a situation in a gentleman's house, where I
could sleep at night. My mistress was Mrs. Arthur Blyth, of St.
Margaret's, Childers-street, North Adelaide. She wanted a cook, and I
applied. They were satisfied with my reference and I got the place.
There was only Mr., Mrs., and Miss Blyth. It was a well-appointed home,
and I had no washing to do or ironing. I was beginning to be a fairly
good cook and they were pleased with me. I had a comfortable home.

I knew I had married into poverty and I resolved to get as much as I
could before John came back. I could put up with anything, as I hoped to
have my rightful place with my husband some day. Mr. Blyth was knighted
and soon after that they went to England, where Sir Arthur was
Agent-General. Again for me were the shifting sands.

Speedily I got another home with Mrs. Murray, whose husband was a member
of the firm of D. & W. Murray's. Their house was at the corner of
Wakefield and Hutt streets. I had a lot more to do there than I had at
Mrs. Blyth's. I had all the washing and ironing to do. There was one
other girl, a coachman, and myself. They kept a lot of company and they
had only recently returned from London. Travel and voyages seemed to
bring such a lot of visitors. It was a relief to be done. I used to get
letters from my husband, but there was always delay after delay, and all
this time I had not told anyone that I was John Allen's wife. Such was
the beginning of my married life.

Does anyone love on purpose I wonder? I could not help doing so. It did
not bring me happiness. It made the whole difference when I had to tell
an admirer that I was a wife with no husband. Nothing could undo the
past. After all, I am John Allen's wife. I had any amount of pity and
blame, but cared for none of this, and I am now beyond caring.

But I must keep to that time. My brother was taken ill with rheumatism
and he could not move. He had a furniture shop in Hindley-street. He had
three little children, and, by the irony of fate, my sister-in-law met
with an accident and was taken to the "hospital." I used to go from
Hutt-street to Hindley-street, after attending a late dinner. There were
no cars then in the streets and I had to walk. I would try to do
something for those dear ones. And sometimes it would be nearly 11
o'clock before I could start back for Hutt-street. I may have many
faults, but I am no coward. I could face what awaited me, but truly
dismay would come if I saw a "group" of men or youths standing in the
street on my way to Hutt-street. I would run past. Only once a man I
tried to get pass stretched out his arms and caught me. He let me go as
quickly. I felt I was able to take care of myself so long as I was not
caught hold of. I felt lonely. I would sit and cry as if tears would do
anything. I cried and cried. The firm at 38, Rundle-street had another
shop in Hindley-street. Some changes were made and one of the firm went
to the shop in Hindley-street. He was my employer before, and I learned
that he wanted someone in the same capacity as in Rundle-street. I told
Mrs. Murray my distress at having to come so far so late at night. She
was very much put out. Still I think she realised my situation when I
explained that I was going back to my late employer.

All things considered, I had cause to be thankful. My quarters were not
at all uncomfortable, and there were some of the young people from 38
there to work and to live on the premises. Hutt-street was a more
pleasing-looking place to live, but how I dreaded to walk down there in
the night-time. When I see the cars now travelling to that part of the
city those dark and lone way-marks all come back. I was glad when my
sister-in-law got to her home again.

So the time went on. It certainly had a bright side, for I had more
time, and could go and see my friends at favorable times and on the
Sundays. The only drawback was some queer-looking old houses I had to
pass at the back, as I came out and in, for I saw some vicious-looking
people, which made me feel slightly nervous. I was often there all by
myself on the holiday time; no one else being in the whole place. I have
heard those people quarrelling at all hours of the night and making
darkness horrible. There was only a small fence with a right-of-way to
separate it from us. The shop was a drapery, clothing, and millinery
establishment, and the proprietor of the shop was responsible for the
rents of the old houses at the back. No one could have complained of the
place as dull in the daytime. From early morning till closing time I was
amused by some eventful excitement in what was taking place. The shop
was opposite to what is now the Skating Rink, or Ice Palace. At that
time there could be seen at the shop doors and on every available place
the goods put out in rolls for show and they had price-tickets on. One
Saturday afternoon I was looking out of the back window, when I saw a
woman who lived in one of the old houses going into her house with a
roll of tweed tartan over her shoulder and a ticket dangling loose to
tell how much a yard it was. It being tea-time, I called some of the
young men just in time to see it. They said it was taken from the front
door. The police were sent for and her place was searched, and it was
found she had enough stuff there to stock a shop.

All the things were brought into our place. There were rolls upon rolls
of all sorts of materials, with 27 suits of boys' clothing, and so on.
It turned out that there were the trade marks of many other shops on
goods there as well, and each one came and got his own. The woman was
taken to prison, and on the Monday morning the owners had each to go and
identify his own goods. All the things were taken to the station. I had
to go, too. I was summoned in the name of Macdonald. It was then that I
told my employer that I was John Allen's wife. I could not give a name
that I had no right to. There was no end of trouble about those goods,
and the case being more than could be settled in the Police Court the
matter went on to the Supreme Court, for trial. We had to go to the
Supreme Court when the time came.

Day after day before John went to England, he told me of some relative
of his who had married a second time in a very short interval. I only
knew what he chose to tell me of this friend. I thought this friend was
the cause of my husband staying away so long. I had a letter from him to
say that he would like to bring this relative with him to Australia when
he came back, and I was to send a telegram to say "Yes" or "No." I made
enquiries about the cost of the telegram, and was told that, with the
name and address, it would cost me over £6. The sending of telegrams
was very new then. I would have said "No," I am quite sure. Although I
would not wish to do an unkind action, behind this was my suffering.
John knew my opinions on that subject, and calm reason could have told
him I could not have acted differently.

Again and again would arise in my mind instances I knew of both at 38,
Rundle-street, and elsewhere, of marriages like mine, which had been
apparently happy, and where promises had been loyally kept, and both
were blessed. The objectless course my life was taking did not make
matters any better. Who was I that I could not do as others had done
without sin? Then I had to accept the unpalatable advice all round that
I should not have married. With one thing and another fresh difficulties
for ever seemed cropping up with regard to my husband. Has this sort of
thing ever been sufficient to satisfy a woman's heart I wonder? All the
forces of evil were arrayed against me at that time.

Then he wrote and said that he was coming back, and I thought after what
I had written to him that I had gained my point, and that he was
returning to me. I had formed my own opinion of the man I had married,
and I was impressed with the tone of his life when I first knew him.
There was nothing foppish about John Allen. He was courteous toward
women, and this contrasted well with the familiarity of some young men,
whom we both knew. I wanted no unwarrantable interference between him
and me. I knew I would do my best for him, but that if anything upset my
confidence in him he would find my convictions were strong, and that
strong they would remain, despite human affection, or soreness of heart.
People do wise things and foolish things for the sake of love, which
they would never think of doing at other times.

So I brightened up, and set about my work with a sense of duty. I was
happy; yes, a really happy girl once more. I had allowed myself to
believe that at last, after my many disappointments, my husband would
really come. He did not positively give the name of the steamer by which
he was coming, or when he would arrive. I felt a nameless uneasiness,
for I had bought over the goodwill of a boarding-house in Pirie-street,
and paid £50 for it. Several of the gentlemen already there remained on.
My reason for choosing this home was that I felt so full of energy, that
the thought of doing nothing, and being a helpless creature, was one
that did not suit me. I hoped John would see everything in the same
light. To me life in all its aspects was so real. I had no false pride.
One can never foretell events, and sometimes all things seem possible.
An any rate, it was my own money I used. I never troubled my husband for
any support. Perhaps that could not be helped, but I do know that I had
not a shilling in the world when John went away. I have no choice but
to speak the truth, and I think he will forgive me for doing so after
all I have gone through.

One day a business gentleman came to see if I could find room for a
young clerk, who was coming to his warehouse in Rundle-street. He asked
if I could have the room ready for that night, as the steamboat was
hourly expected. When evening came I waited and watched for this young
man. My anxiety made life a continual waiting for my husband. Day after
day, and night after night, I thought of him. I can scarcely bear to
think of that time. I felt that when he arrived he would go to some of
his friends, who would tell him my address in Pirie-street. On that
eventful night that the young man was to arrive I had gone to bed when a
knock came to the door. I opened the door, thinking it was the man for
whom the room had been made ready. In came my husband. He was but little
changed. I thought him better looking.

I will say nothing about this mad love of mine. John went always
straight to his point, whatever it was, and before he was in my room
five minutes he told me that his relative had come. It was the one we
had quarrelled about in our letters. I never quite knew what I said, but
whatever the words were he understood them. I lost all control of
myself. All my hopes were quenched in a moment, and the future seemed
most terrible to me. I saw everything, and it was not as I hoped it
would be. It never dawned on me that his feelings for me could be any
different from my own for him.


The next day I realised how great was the gulf which lay between us. I
hated concealment. After a few very unhappy weeks there came the parting
of our ways. John said it was all my fault. Truly opinions differ. He
told me his love was only boy's love. I don't dispute that, but still it
was love, and how was I to know that it would die right away. In vain I
tried to keep on as if nothing was the matter. Any hope of being able to
bear my burden in silence, in such a place as a boarding-house, was not
to be thought of. The rumor spread. I was ill for a time, and suffered a
good deal. I knew all joy in life was over for me. I was subject to all
kinds of comments as to the real reason why my husband left home. When I
got better I knew I would have to face life's duty again. I could not
bear my trouble on the spot; I thought to escape from the scene where I
had failed so. As my brother had supplied some of the furniture for a
consideration, I got him and his wife to come into the house. I thought
I would find pain more easily borne if I passed swiftly from place to
place, and I advertised for a housekeeper's position. Beyond that, I had
no plan just then, but I had a fixed purpose to leave Adelaide. Bitter
as had been my experience, now that my husband had left me, perhaps for
ever, I nerved myself to the struggle. I resented the blight, which was
on me while I was in Adelaide and breathing the same air as they; I had
a wish to be free. Something prevented me from giving up altogether, or
I might have been led into the depths, and have clouded my life for
ever; I loathed the very sight of evil.

I got a reply to my advertisement. It was a request to take charge as
housekeeper at the Clarence Hotel in King William-street. I did not have
far to go. I had commonsense enough to think that the excitement of
hotel life would be a possible relief for my troubles. Still, I used to
wend my way to the shipping company in the hope of getting a passage
anywhere. I knew I could travel well by sea, and as stewardess--if such
a post had been open--I would have gone without delay. The Clarence
Hotel was a busy place then. Underground there were large dining-rooms,
known as "The Shades," where hundreds came every day. There were very
few places for that purpose in the city then. What is now the Tivoli
Theatre, was then only "White's" Rooms. The proprietor of the hotel had
charge of those "shades," or dining-rooms, which were for the public. I
did not have any work to do there, but had only to see that it was
carefully managed. I had to deal with the tradespeople and to give out
the stores. I was employed there because the landlady was ill. There was
no family, except a little adopted girl. There was, however, plenty to
do, and existence had to be struggled for. It did seem a rush to get all
that was wanted for so many. There were both men and women cooks, and
men and women waitresses, with other employes about. Apart from the
"Shades" downstairs, we had both public and private dining-rooms
upstairs. I saw to the letting of the rooms, and also attended the
people who hired the apartments there. For the most part they were
either musical or theatrical people.

I can well remember Nellie Stewart's father engaging rooms for himself
and his two daughters. After all those bygone years I saw Nellie Stewart
the other day looking so young. Maggie Moore was staying there, too. She
was Mrs. Williamson then. There was plenty of delight and excitement
everywhere, and no restrictions were placed on my movements. I came in
contact with and was on speaking terms with many congenial people, and
was removed from the miserable sufferings which had made up my life just
previously. But all the amusements, to which I had a free "entree,"
could not make up for the human fellowship which was snatched from me.

My courage would sink when I saw my husband and his friend coming along
from the Post-Office in King William-street. They would be laughing and
looking so gay. Then my mind would go back to the time, unspoiled by
pain, which he and I had together. Surely when I married John S. O.
Allen it never occurred to me that it would be a union with one who
would in no way help me onward. He devoted himself to his relative, but
this did not lessen the pain that such a factor should have come to
another person's houses and sow discord. If I had found out in time I
would not have been in South Australia when they came. I was deprived of
all now, when I wanted companionship most; and from his point of view
everything I did was simply detestable. I could do nothing to please
him. He would tell me so with a sneer. My future was all a blank. I
learned from a conversation between my master and mistress that they
would like to sell over the goodwill of the Clarence Hotel. There was
again the inevitable. I did not mind much, because I was brought up in
the midst of real privations, such as affected myself only. But I could
not ignore the scandal or forget that the world might imagine that I had
been very busy weaving nets, and that I had caught myself in them, as
was sometimes told me. It was no easy matter to go out and in, and to
hear and see so much humiliation. I remained at the Clarence till my
employer sold the business.

I was sorry, for it was peopled with kindly human beings, whom I knew
well and could mix with, even to the maids. When I went there first, as
they told me afterwards, they had made up their minds not to like me. As
I was the first housekeeper to take charge over them they looked on my
coming with annoyance, but, anyhow, I felt confident that I would do
what was right for all, and I had, in various ways, seen to their
comfort, both in regard to their meals and their bedrooms. I was
grateful to those waiting men and maids when I saw how pleased they were
to help me in any emergency. The lady, when well, was very fond of going
out. I could not object to that, although I had no time for much outing,
but I had to go. I went everywhere with her. They had a private house at
Norwood. A man and wife lived there as caretakers, and all the hotel
washing was done there. I was always glad to go there, the garden being
a consideration. We drove about, too, wherever the lady wished. I never
before had such times. What with the theatre, and one thing and another
no one would think that I was a discarded wife. I had tried hard not to
be crushed, and faced my loss, only there was the discontent left, and,
so far, all effort to forget was of no use at all.

At last the valuation of the hotel was set about and the people who came
in did not require a housekeeper. My employers went to their house at
Norwood. I knew it would take all my courage to endure what was before
me, with no scrap of human kindness to help me. My only desire was to
find some hiding-place, where I would not hear the ceaseless "Poor Mrs.
Allen" spoken, as I heard it that day. Forlorn in spirit, I went to Port
Adelaide. A lady and gentleman whom I knew had taken the management of a
new club there. I thought if I could get a place till I could find a
ship that would take me away, I would be glad to do anything till then.
Life seemed no worse than at other times. I did not sit down and pity
myself. It was others with their pity that I did not want. My early
experience gave me the possibility of bearing real pressure, and I knew
what it was to be homeless. I am telling my story in my own way.

I went with the people I mentioned. They were kindness itself. They were
only newly married and did not understand housekeeping. I worked
henceforward with but one object in view, though it was long before I
realised it. At last the opportunity came to go as stewardess on a
sailing vessel. I would have liked better if I could have had the chance
to go on a steamboat. The ship I went in was the South Australian and
she was under the command of Captain Bruce.

I remembered who I was, and what I was, and why I was on board that
ship. It was a conundrum. I was not on pleasure bent and did not know
where I was going. The ship looked as if bound on an excursion, Captain
Bruce being a favorite with those who went sea voyages. He had on board
his wife and baby daughter, and a maid. The doctor was also a married
man and was accompanied by his wife, a little baby, and a maid also.
Such a number of people whom I knew were on board. All on one side of
the "saloon" was occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Matthew Goode and their
family. Amongst the other pleasing people on board were the Rev. Charles
Clark. He went as far as South Africa. Mr. R. S. Smythe was a traveller,
too. It was January 8 when they started and a fine morning, but when a
strong wind and a rough sea caught the sails I had plenty to do.


It was no hardship for me to be on the ocean, but for one thing there
was not much scope for recollection of my troubles for the first few
days. Little by little I began to feel the goodwill of the people on
board. What pleasure Mr. and Mrs. Harris, from Prospect, showed in
being kind to me who had so little to make life worth living. I got to
know Mr. and Mrs. Harris very soon after I came to South Australia, when
the future for me looked bright and sunny. I dared not cast a glance
into the future at times. The ship was so crowded that I had to sleep in
what was known as the deckhouse, and so did the doctor's maid. As the
South Australian steadily surged along there were many notes of mirth
and laughter, and they were loudest wherever the Rev. Charles Clark
happened to be. When it was nice and calm all would be invited to the
poop, where Mr. Clark would read and recite to us from Charles Dickens
and others. Then there were other amusements, such as concerts and
theatricals. I was under no restraint in the ship, but went about all
over it.

There was a tiny boy put on board just before we sailed. He was to be
given to his relatives when the ship reached London, but nobody seemed
to have any particular charge of the wee laddie, and I liked to know
that he was in bed every night before I went myself. He would get away
in the forecastle with the sailors, and I was frightened when I saw him
up in the rigging ever so high. I made little caps for him and mended
his clothes. Some of the ladies taught me some fancy work, and I taught
them how to knit stockings. I was asked by one lady if I would go on to
the Continent with them. This was opportune and the one thing I wished,
while I had plenty of time to think the matter over before we got to
London, if I could only decide what to do.

Until then I did not know how much woman can bear and live through. On
board the Morning Star I felt influenced by all that was best in me. We
cannot sever right from wrong. I knew my marriage was a failure, and how
I dreaded the by-and-bye. Was it to be like this, always empty of
happiness? Gone for ever were the innocent days of girlhood. I have
lived a lifetime since then. Although a sea rolled between my husband
and me, and I hoped in that way to forget him, my thoughts would revert
to him and his cousin. He consoled himself with her society for three
years in England, and he was not necessarily without her society now. I
sometimes wonder even now, in a dull dazed way, if this lonely wretched
being is really I. "It was very imprudent and impulsive of me to go to
sea," but calm reason told me I could not have acted differently. After
what had been told me by credible witnesses the underhand ways seemed so
intolerable. It was assumed that I had no right to resent it, and that
there should have been no more consideration for me than if I had been
an Indian squaw. To write about this is like living through that awful
time again. I let myself go away, and yet I loved that man better than
anything in the whole world. Life to me was hard and bitter and cruel,
but on that blue sea I prayed that I would not be beaten. In a
suppressed voice I declared "I won't be beaten in life so soon." It
seemed as if I was as a leaf driven before the wind, and so how could I
ask God to help me not to be weak and vanquished. It seemed to me as
though I could never know what fear meant again; yet I wanted a little
guidance just then.

I am typewriting most of this with some of the old writings before me
written on board the South Australian. That voyage nerved me to face
life with renewed courage. I could see that it was clearly meant that I
should live the rest of my life alone, with no human companionship.
Having faced that fact, the greatest bitterness was over, but learning
the lesson was hard. I was now strong once more.

The good old South Australian went along so gently, but one began to
long to see land again. The vessel called no where till she came to Cape
Town. And it took six weeks to get there from Port Adelaide. Only one
accident happened in all that time. One of the seamen fell overboard. It
was a fine morning and he could swim, and there was great rejoicing when
he was safely landed on the deck. I could just see his head such a long
way out in the sea. Every one came on deck, and some suggested that a
hot bath of sea water should be ready for him, but when he got on board
he simply laughed, rushed to the forecastle, and was up the rigging
again in quick time. "Going ashore at Cape Town" was the topic, and one
heard nothing else till the time came.

The South Australian was anchored nine miles out at sea. The passengers
thought this was on account of the rocky nature of the coast, but the
real reason was that the captain was afraid that the crew would desert
the ship and go off to the diamond fields. We were surrounded by
different kinds of boats. Our ship looked so high out of the water, with
those little boats near tossing about in the rough sea. It seemed as if
there were no means of getting into any of the vessels alongside. There
was no gangway or passage to the ships. They had a chair constructed out
of a cask and hoisted to the yard-arm. It was then drawn up to clear the
ship and the passengers were dropped into one of the little boats. Some
went ashore in that way the first day. There were better contrivances
the next, as the sea was not so rough, and I got ashore with the rest
and landed at Table Bay. I had often read about it, but when I saw it
everything looked so foreign. The captain, his wife, and child, and maid
took me with them to the George Hotel, where I lodged while ashore.

Cape Town delighted everybody. The next morning some of the captain's
friends came in a carriage and all went inland for a drive. I wandered
about all alone; I saw where the market was and many beautiful
buildings, and also the place where the ship's washing was done by men.
The people were all so different to Europeans in their dress and manner,
as well as in respect to the color of their skin. There were Hottentots
and Kaffirs, Zulus, and many others of all nationalities. To me it was
wonderland. And then there was Table Mountain, soaring to the sky. I
found the way to "Oak-avenue," a grove of oak trees of such a size
running on each side of this wide avenue which lead into the Botanical
Gardens and the Zoological Gardens. There were seats all about, so nice
to rest on during a hot day, and it was hot just then. From the
description of the animals at the Zoological Gardens as being fierce and
savage, I had decided not to go into the gardens alone.

Mr. and Mrs. Harris and another gentleman came along, and they suggested
that if I would lodge with them while we were ashore I would not be so
lonely. I gladly consented, but we had to ask the captain in the
evening, so I spent the whole day with Mr. and Mrs. Harris and their
friend. We all went to the gardens, and I did not think them so fine as
the Adelaide Gardens by a long way. But the sight of the animals struck
me with awe. The gentleman said he would like to see some of them on the
banks of the Torrens. I would not. The captain was willing, so I was
free to go with Mr. and Mrs. Harris. But before doing that I went back
to the ship again. They were lodging with a Boer lady. She was a widow.
The place looked beautiful and clean. The house must have been built
during the early Dutch settlement. It looked ancient, yet strong of
structure. It was flat roofed, and the first thing that I noticed was
that it had no ceilings, but only oaken rafters, in all the rooms. The
windows were fairly large, but with such tiny panes of glass. The floors
were bare, with only a mat here and there, and there were no ornaments,
but only just things for use. The floors were dark to look like the
rafters. The house was full of boarders, and the attendants were a
mixture of Zulus and Kaffirs and Malays. Those women are trained for
house work. The landlady's name was Mrs. Lund. She spoke English well,
and seemed anxious to know how we did things in South Australia.

I made it a point of interest to see the Dutch mode of domestic
management, so the next day she showed me all over the place. It was
considered a clean town, and the sanitary arrangements were good. There
was no deep drainage, although the house was in the middle of the town.
I saw the kitchen and other departments. No wonder that the Europeans do
not work much there, for they could get a well-trained help for five
shillings a month.

They had tramcars in Cape Town, although not running through the
streets. Many of the streets seemed all up hill. We got into a car drawn
by horses. You could travel inside or out, and we went to Sea Point,
about 10 miles along by the sea. There was a terrible mass of rocks
standing here and there in the sea which made one feel solemn. There
were grand looking houses, with large vineyards and strange trees all
about. We passed a large tract of land used for a burying ground, and
you could notice the difference between the graves. Each one had its own
singularity. Where we saw the tomb with a cross on it we knew it was
English. We could see this from the cars. There were houses being built
in some of the places we passed, and Mr. Harris was interested in them
as we saw natives working away at painting, carpentry, and masonry, and
all sorts of trades, just like other men. Only each one was dressed
according to his nationality. We passed a large ostrich farm, and saw
numerous "birds."

That evening in the verandah we heard joyful singing in Dutch voices. I
asked Mrs. Lund's sister what it was all about, and she told me that it
was the anniversary of the day when the slaves were freed from bondage.
I asked her what she thought of the times when people could be bought
and sold. She told me that as a child she had often gone with her father
to the market, and she pointed to the market place, and had seen him buy
the people he wanted. She herself would pick on some. All had something
to say about slavery. It gave me something to think about when I learned
that she did approve of the times when she could go and buy the slaves.
I forget the lady's name, but her home was at Natal. I liked Mrs. Lund
the best.

I told her how I was journeying, I knew not where, and she was the
kindest woman I have ever known. When I came ashore I thought it would
be cold in Cape Town, and so I had very thick garments. Mrs. Lund gave
me some of her outside garments, together with a sunshade, so that I
could go about, and said if circumstances should bring me back to Cape
Town again that I need not be afraid. I used to write to her, and I gave
some of her cards to friends. The kindness of this Dutch lady made me
grateful. Mr. and Mrs. Harris were also most kind, and took me with them
everywhere. We all went to the market one morning. Everyone was calling
out what he or she had to sell. To see how the way they dressed was
something wonderful. The native women wore sandals and the native men
also. I shall never forget going into a shop to buy some wool. Mrs.
Harris and I entered, and a man came to us and said, in good English,
that he knew that we would come for some wool. I asked him how he knew,
and he said he heard me say when passing that morning, "What pretty
wool." I remembered the remark. The man looked a picture. He had sandals
on, his doublet was of rich crimson, with green and golden colors for
the rest of his apparel. It did not matter what nationality they were,
they could all speak Dutch. What lovely fruit we got there. The
pineapples were very plentiful, while crayfish by the caskful were sent
on board.

The morning we were leaving Mrs. Lund sent some of her servants to
gather wildflowers for us. The wildflowers of South Africa were showy
and bright. We saw two camels, equipped for a journey in the desert,
with their Arabian drivers. It was February 24 when we landed there, and
the climate seemed very, like that of South Australia, only the tract of
country I saw looked dark. The poor old jetty or landing-place was very
primitive. The wood part of the jetty, from its appearance, must have
been very old. It seemed worm-eaten, and long moss was growing on it.
They have built a breakwater within the last few years, which comes out
in the sea thousands of feet, and in the stormy weather it is a great
protection. I scarcely knew what to take note of first. I saw any
quantity of donkeys in harness, and all sorts of strange-looking

While ashore it was all spare time to me, for there was only sightseeing
and writing to do. At every turn there was something to make one think,
if it was only to see some sailors eagerly clutching in their arms some
ostrich feathers as they made haste to get to their ships. Mr. H. M.
Stanley, the African explorer, had been at Cape Town just a little while
before, and from the many different photographs of him and his mixed
troops one saw he must have been on a good many occasions in Cape Town
while attempting to find Dr. Livingstone. I was ardent concerning every
object about Dr. Livingstone. Ever since I could remember I had heard
him spoken of in Scotland. I bought all the portraits of those two grand
men that I could afford, and took them to my friends in Scotland.

The buildings were most beautiful. But Table Mountain was the charm to
me. I could not keep my eyes off it. There was open war going on at
Natal, which brought such numbers of people to the Cape. That was why
Mrs. Lund's sister was there. Table Bay looked as active as if the
hostilities were there. One could constantly see the warships coming in
or going out. One ship came in the day we left with, I forget how many,
widows of the soldiers who had been slain at Natal. They were taking
those poor women to St. Helena. It was a sad sight. I saw that the decks
of the ship were crowded with women without any hats but only a
handkerchief tied round their heads.

Two things were stamped on my mind that day to remember for ever. One
was to see those sad-looking women; and the other was when Mr. Harris
went to pay Mrs. Lund for me. She would not charge anything for me.
Truly I was one who ventured out without gold or scrip. The woman meant
to be kind, but I realised the old motto, "Owe no man anything." It was
a new experience to me. I always did like to be free from obligation.
This unusual sympathy gave a human interest to the last glimpse of
loveliness that stretched out and about as far as the eye could see as
we got on board the old familiar ship again.

I was back to active work once more, and I was glad to see the little
tiny boy again. Now let come what may it was felt we would soon be in
London. Things ran all in the same groove, and sometimes the quiet grew
oppressive in a pause of the wind. We did not have the Rev. Charles
Clark after leaving the Cape. It made such a difference. All were now
talking about where they were going when they got to England. I was
asked where I was going; I did not quite know.

The only incident of any interest occurred when the ship anchored one
Sunday morning at St. Helena. Only the captain and the first mate went
ashore. We were so close that the people on shore could be seen. That
was the place to which they were taking those women we had seen a week
before. The island was a fortress in times of peace; the chief interest
was Napoleon's tomb and the Jacob's Ladder, from the shore to the upper
part of the island. How far away those times seem, and yet I saw by "The
Advertiser" this morning (as I write) that Mr. R. S. Smythe still trips
to and fro. He was the active manager for the Rev. Charles Clark in Cape
Town at the time of the events with which I am dealing in this story. He
has been there on the same kind of work since then.

The captain began to have some cleaning and painting done to the ship
before getting in to London. Some pots of white paint were left about on
the deck. The steward had a live kangaroo, which he was taking home to
exhibit, I suppose. It was in a place on the deck, and the little boy
whom nobody owned thought he would make the kangaroo think that the
white paint was milk. The animal sipped some and died. It was
mischievous of the child and for him it was a rude awakening. He had to
keep very quiet all the rest of the way.

I had nothing to complain of all the way. I was healthy. I loved to use
my strength and tired myself out, there being so much to think about and
wonder at; but I know that I was not happy. I was hardly ever idle. Mr.
and Mrs. Harris were the first to leave the ship when it reached
Plymouth, or Falmouth, I do not remember which. The ship travelled along
so gently and had the Isle of Wight in view so well. Then came the River
Thames. How careful the captain was all through that wonderful river; we
could hear his clear strong voice above the fog-horn as we passed
through so many other ships into the London docks.


And then? And then? I had never been in London before. Long ere the ship
was steadied at the anchorage Mr. Charles Goode came on board to see his
brother and his wife and family. He brought the letters that had come
from the colony. For me there were five, all in black. My dear brother
died soon after I had left Adelaide. There was one dictated by himself,
wishing that I would come back, if only to see how his five little
children would get along. The necessities of human existence had to be
grasped. This suddenly put all thoughts of the Continent out of my head.
I knew I would have to leave the ship. I was sorrowing; and everyone I
knew was going out of the ship. I thought I was going to be ill. So much
had gone wrong, and I was face to face with trouble. When I looked in my
lap I found a good few sovereigns that one and another had left there
while my eyes were filled with tears. Some of the ladies told me before
we got into the dock that anything they left in their cabins would be
for me either to sell or otherwise dispose of. When some people came to
see if I had anything to sell I told the carpenter of the ship to do
what he liked with them. I was in too much grief at my painful loss to
care for them. My brother was only about 30 years of age when he died. I
went and saw the Rev. Dr. Oswald Dykes, D.D., at Oakley-square. I had
some mourning made at once and went from shipping office to shipping
office to get a berth to return to South Australia any how I could
manage it. I had a nice letter with the signature of Captain Bruce. And
the passengers also subscribed their names to a testimonial as to my
capability on the sea. Then I had a parchment, with writing on it, from
the owners of the South Australian, from their head office in London. I
have that yet. It was a terrible time. If I could have got a chance I
would have returned at once. I did not care whether it was in a
steamboat or not.

After a few days waiting I saw Captain Alstone, of the City of Adelaide,
who was taking his wife and a little child in his ship to Adelaide. I
agreed to be the lady's maid for my passage back to South Australia. But
they were not likely to start for a month or six weeks. It was a sailing
vessel also, and I saw the captain's wife and her dear little boy. I
adore children. And the lady was the most perfectly lovely woman I ever
looked upon. So I had most of my things put on board the ship. The month
of May had just began. I had some letters of introduction from some
friends in Adelaide to their friends in Bradford, near Manchester. I had
also with me some letters from friends in Adelaide to their relatives,
with cordial wishes that I would go and see them if I went to Glasgow.
Before I left South Australia I formed the resolution to go and see my
husband's relations. I had their addresses through writing to John all
the long three years he was there. Their place was in Cambridgeshire. I
gave Captain Alstone the address that would find me if the ship went
before the month.

I have kept a record of that time by me ever since. I was close to the
Tower of London; and there was no charge, so I went in about 11 o'clock
and was there till 4 o'clock. I was on the move all the time, and then
did not see half of that stronghold. Oh! the grandeur and the horrors of
it. It was wonderful to think what strife and passion had done during
the events of the dark ages of violence and torture. There were men
dressed so queerly, with long staves in their hands--the Yeomen of the
Guard--who showed the visitors where persons we read of in history were
imprisoned. Then the various kinds of armor were arranged in distinctive
collections, according to the various periods; while there were all
sorts of weapon--swords, and daggers, and axes, with breast and back
plates. I saw the torture-room and the awful block and the axe which cut
off the heads. It was too grim an atmosphere in which to think of either
honor or glory in that fortress of chapels, and vaults and recesses,
with dungeons about and beneath the building. What scenes some must have
gone through while in their prison lodging. I saw the Queen's crown and
her sceptre, which is said to be made of pure gold, and ever so many
more things of which I have forgotten the names. There was quite a fence
all round them, and some of the guards were watchful all the time. There
were kings and knights on horseback, just as if they were off to the
war. It would have taken a week to see it all. One thing I will never
forget. Just as I was coming out at the gate one of the officials in
charge of the place came after me and touched me on the shoulder. He
asked if I had lost my keys. I looked in my handbag and found that I
had. He said if I would come back I could have them. I was thankful, for
otherwise I should have had to have the locks of my trunks taken off. I
asked him how he knew that I had lost the keys. He replied that he knew
that I was a stranger, as he had never seen me there before.

"But," I said, "the place was crowded."

"Yes," he replied, "but most of those people come here every day."

I only saw a few of the sights of London. I could not imagine being in
London as everything seemed so uncertain there. What a place to be alone
in London is. I decided to go to Cambridge, or, rather, a place a little
out of Cambridge, called March. All my curiosity in that great city of
London was lost amid my tangled affairs. I made enquiry and found out
about the train service. I determined that anyway I would chance seeing
the people, although I hardly expected that they would care to see me
after what had occurred. I knew I had loved and suffered, but I had not
sinned. Then why should I not see them? I arrived at what seemed a
wayside station when it was a bit late. I asked where Mr. George Allen's
house was, and was told that his farm was three miles distant. There was
an hotel there, and I asked for a room for the night. I did not want to
meet people who might show some aloofness till the following morning. In
my portmanteaus there was some printed matter, showing that I had come
from Australia. The hotelkeeper came into the sitting-room and made
enquiries as to whether I had come from there, and alone, and we had a
long talk. He knew Mr. George. All went very well, and he told me that
either he or his wife would drive me over there next day. It was quite
cold although only May 2, there being no fire in the room.

Both ladies and gentlemen, when Australia was mentioned, became
interested and the talk became general. I was asked all sorts of
questions. It came unexpectedly to me to learn how much the people knew
about the colony. I thought then that if the young girls and women in
Australia could have only heard the manner in which those Englishmen
spoke about them they would have realised that this is an age of
chivalry. According to them the colonial girl can do anything.

In the morning, after breakfast, there was the little pony carriage,
with a boy, to take me to Mr. Allen's house. It had the queer name of
Hook farm. It was a lovely morning and all the fields were white with
daisies. The house was of two storeys and near to the road side. The
people promised to wait with the carriage till I came out, if I could
not stop there for a day or two. Mrs. Allen came to the door and I told
her who I was. She sent for Mr. Allen, who was away on the farm. He soon
arrived on horseback. The very clasp of his hand made me long to claim
kinship with him. He went out and told the boy to bring my portmanteau
and I was kindly treated. I found that they had a photograph of me and,
as he said, I was no imposition.

There was a large family. The lady was his second wife, and she was nice
too. They brought their friends to see me and took me about. I only
wanted to stop for a couple of days, as I was anxious to get to
Scotland, where any letters would be waiting for me, but I stayed over
the Sunday. All the curios I had brought from the Cape Mr. Allen had
shown to the children at the Sunday-school, and altogether I had a
pleasant time, so far as they could make it one, but still there was the
thought as to why John had brought his cousin to Adelaide to me. It
seems that she left her own husband in Oldham. Those relations did not
think it was right.

How faithful and true I could have been if life had only given me the
chance. In three days after we were married he went to England and
stayed there for three years. What was the use of my married life? I had
hardly strength of purpose to carry anything through. I was sacrificed
by ruthless hands, which took from me all that I held dear, and left me
without any claim or right, except to submit to everything. Oh, the
happy women who are sheltered by a husband's faithfulness! What woman
could have had a more useful life than I?

Mr. Allen drove me to the railway-station. The address I had was for
some people in Bradford, near Manchester. In the train I had to keep
showing my ticket every here and there. I told them I was going to
Bradford, and settled myself to have a good view of that beautiful
country. When asked where I was going, I said, "Bradford." Trains and
carriages were changed en route, and at last I found myself in Bradford,
in Yorkshire. Then I showed my ticket and had it explained that the
Bradford I wanted was a continuation of Manchester. I learned when I got
there it bore the same relation as North Adelaide to Adelaide.

I had some tea in the town of Bradford, and got back to Manchester that
night at about 11 o'clock. The people I was to go to were well known, as
they kept the post and telegraph office. In this Bradford there was no
break, so far as buildings went, and when I saw it afterwards it all
seemed Manchester. Those kind folks had a letter from Adelaide to inform
them that I would visit them, and expressing the hope that they would
try and persuade the mother of the Adelaide lady to return with me to
Adelaide. I got a cab to take me there, but they had gone to bed. How
they did laugh when I told them I had gone to Yorkshire! I was
interested in writing in my note-book all the names of the different
places, but it was too much trouble to look at the ticket so many times.
However, it was a lesson for me not to neglect the precaution again.
Although the mistake was purely my own the railway company did not make
any charge, and I got all that way back for the Manchester ticket. Mr.
Allen got the ticket for me.

Only for that incident I would not have seen so many places. The train
stopped at Wakefield and Halifax. It was dark coming back, and I had
been in the train all that day, so that I was weary. I had the best
bedroom and some supper, and when I awoke in the morning there were all
the little children in the room to see the woman that came from aunty's
place over the sea. There was the grandma, too, that I was to take back.
She shook her head and said--"Na, na, I am a true Briton; I will never
cross the sea. Here I was born, and here I will die."

There was plenty to be seen in Manchester. Mr. Ride, with whom I was
staying, had a stationery and book shop, as well as the post-office, and
the high reputation of Mr. and Mrs. Ride was acknowledged everywhere.
They were well-known and respected. He seemed to have the "entree" to
all the warehouses. In some of them I saw some busy-looking gentlemen
from Adelaide hurrying about.

They took me to see the Bluecoat Boys' School. I made no note of that. I
can see those dear boys now. No one could forget them. Then we went to
Oldham and I did not like it so well. It looked a poor place and gloomy,
and the humble people wore wooden clogs on their feet. The noise they
made was distracting.

I stayed at Bradford with those people for a week. What with the people
I was introduced to, the places visited, and the hospitality and
amusement I received, it was enough to make me forget who I was. For
the month of May it was not so warm as I had known it in Scotland at
that time of the year. The eldest son had the charge of the
telegraph-office, and I had the inner workings explained to me.


It was easy to get a train from Manchester to Scotland. I went in the
night train and had a nice sleeping compartment, through to Glasgow,
which I reached about 7 o'clock in the morning. I had been away for ten
years, but the place looked so familiar, except that they had tramcars
running all over the place. I got in one and was soon at Dr. Fargus'
house. A male attendant opened the door and told me that Mrs. Fargus was
at their summer house at the seaside. I asked for the daughter, and was
told that she was at home. She was a married lady now. I saw her and she
remembered me. I brought some wild flowers and shells for her mother
from the Cape. She was pleased and told me that they expected her mother
back that night. She asked me to stay, and so the first night in
Scotland I was in what seemed to me my old, old home. It was a rest

Mrs. Fargus returned, and I had much to tell. My listeners looked
appalled; I saw tears in that dear lady's eyes, because of the
ungenerousness of my husband. They would have liked me to go back to
them again for all time, but I could not, however much I wished to do
so, and although it was indeed a home of gladness. I slept that night in
my same old bed. And the next day I went to see Mr. White, whom I had
letters for, at Mary Hill, with his sons. He was in a bank in Glasgow,
and he had a daughter in Adelaide. They had but one word to say--Would I
come there? They had no other daughter. How they came clinging close to
hear every word I could tell about their girl. There were three sons,
and they were in Scotch Volunteers and wore the kilts. In the evening
they brought a lot more in with kilts on to see a woman from Australia.
I had one letter sent there. It was from Captain Alstone not to let me
forget. I went then through the Slamannan, and after travelling about so
much it did not seem far. For a time the rush of memories was awful. I
got into the old identical train with a ticket for Slamannan. I cried
all the way. I got there early in the afternoon. I could see no one whom
I knew when I got out at the station, and I walked to the village. I saw
one man whom I knew, and I made myself known to him. He took me to his
home. His daughters and I were playmates as children. In walking along
with him I passed the house where we lived. The door was open, and I
could see the gooseberry bush that I had planted. I was not in Mr.
Boyd's house five minutes before there had gathered a crowd of the
people whom I used to know. Certainly I was the object of so much
eagerness and curiosity that it was a comedy. They said they came for
"auld lang syne." They questioned me as to whether I had seen Mr.
So-and-So, who had gone to Melbourne. And someone else who had gone to
Queensland. My brother-in-law's sister came and brought a large photo of
her brother's place near Geelong. I remembered the man before he went
there. They thought it strange I had not been to see him, as he was a
prosperous and a rich man.

In a way I wondered where the young man was who had for seven years
played so big a part in my life. So full of bitter memories was I that I
was thankful to learn that he had gone to Wales. I was glad I did not
see him. What would be the use? I shuddered at the thought. I was
neither a wife nor a maid; I was nothing. It was a hard fate; yet I
loved my own husband. He was so far from me and was lost for ever.

My visit to Slamannan was almost too much for me. I found many kind
friends to take me here and there till I was utterly weary. I spent
nearly all my time out of doors. As I stood again amongst the wild
heather for the time it seemed unreal and dreamlike.

After two weeks had passed I received a telegram, telling me to be in
London on a certain date. I knew where the ship was at anchor. So I only
stopped one more day in Glasgow and got back by train to London. On
board the City of Adelaide there were a good many passengers returning,
but I did not in any way have to attend or do any act of waiting, except
on the lady and her little boy. I had a nice cabin to myself and every
comfort, beside a free passage for my services. The vessel was a few
days in the London docks, and I stopped on the ship with the lady. I saw
more of London than I had ever thought of seeing, with the captain and
his wife. They took me with them, and they were very good to me. We all
went to a market one afternoon; and, just think of it, I saw the tops of
turnips sold at 4d. a pound. And as to the meat, I will leave that.

I felt by the movement one morning while in bed that once again we were
passing through the Thames. How gently those sailing vessels seem to go
along if the wind is favorable, but the City of Adelaide began to roll
about soon after leaving the river. There were more rough seas in her
than when I was in the South Australian. There was no note of calling
anywhere en route. The lady was a good sailor and they had a nice piano
on board, which the lady played and the captain sang. The captain and
his wife practised with firearms on the poop at night. She seemed to
enjoy it; they asked me if I would like to use the gun and try, so that
if a mutiny should rise amongst the seamen there would be us three with
pistols. I would not, and I could not. Thanks be to goodness they were
never wanted. I did not know what to think at the time, but afterwards I
thought that they were merely joking with me and never thought any
mutiny would rise. All went on so evenly with nothing but the glittering
sea about that I loved so well.

I had no time to write much. The little boy's name was Roland, and he
and I were great friends. We went all over the ship, and knew all the
sails by name. To hear Roland calling out to the men to "let go" this or
that made everyone laugh. There was a family returning to Adelaide, and
one of their sons died when about half-way through the voyage. It was
very sorrowful, for it came so suddenly. I knew the people. There was a
medical man on board, which made us feel grateful. So the days slipped
by. The captain said we were rounding Cape Horn, and anyway the ship got
into a regular shoal of whales. It was awful, for wherever you looked
you would see those horrid monsters. It was a nice calm morning, and I
had Roland in my arms. He was in high glee, and started to make a
hissing noise like them as they sent up jets of water, and the ship
shook. When the captain got his gun and began shooting at them we were
afraid of what they might do after being shot at. So much of them was
under the water that the shots might not have the desired effect of
killing them. I never knew if any were killed or not, but how thankful I
felt when they left off firing. The nearness of the whales dazed us.
Everyone said it was out of the common to see so many. There was only
the sky above and the waters around, while we were in what was like an
island of whales. There was a sense of gratitude when I felt the ship
glide gently away and leave those animals behind in a cluster. Roland
kept the memory up all through the homeward journey. He never tired of
showing what the whales did. The ship did not call in anywhere all the
voyage, but from the birds we saw there must have been land near at the

The young doctor's name was Clark. He was coming to Adelaide to
practice. Someone told him I had been in South Australia, and he got
chatting with me about the health of the people and the effect of the
climate. I told him I had been in South Australia for ten years, and
that it had cost me nothing for medicine in all that time, and that I
had never to consult a doctor. He said he hoped that there were not many
more like me in Adelaide, or he would have to go back. I learnt the name
of the place he went to, but I have forgotten it. He shot a large bird
and gave the skin to me. I had it made into a muff, and it is as good
to-day as it was at first.

All the talk was concerning the time when the ship would be in port.
Needless to say I had nothing hopeful to remember, and I knew there
would be little pleasure to have, as all had changed. Life had now no
allurements for me, and the outside world no temptations. I could not
help these feelings as the City of Adelaide was towed into Port


It was night, and I thought I would stop on board all night, but the
friends who gave me the letters to Manchester came on the ship to see me
and had my luggage taken to their place. I was glad, as Mrs. Alstone was
going to some friends. I sent word to my people where they would find me
in the morning. My few relatives were by my side when I awoke in the
morning, and seeing how happy they were I forgot my own sorrow. I knew
that life had once more its depths that not even the nearest could
sound. It would not bear thinking about. It was only to be borne. I felt
I must work, although I did not think I would begin that day, but I did.
Before I got out of the train at the Adelaide station the gentleman who
had the management of the club at the port where I lived up to the time
I went as stewardess came to me and said he was in trouble for the want
of someone to help at a banquet at the Semaphore. He had been to
Adelaide and could not find any skilful help. Would I come back with
him, he said; and I did; and let my friends take care of my belongings.
I had really done no work of that kind all the time I was away, and
after three months on the rolling ship it was so strange to find
everything firm under my foot. Both this gentleman and his dear wife
were friends to me through after years.

So I began work the first day I came back, and I have had to stick to it
ever since. Sometimes I have been in actual need of money. I had always
lent a helping hand in the years gone by, and sometimes those I wanted
to help did not seem to have the energy they might have had. What
knowledge I had gained I have paid a high price for, and I must confess
that the kindly appreciation that I have received from people of the
highest culture has often given me joy. If I could not get the kind of
place I wanted I determined to take anything to keep me going. A
position as cook at the Adelaide Hospital was offered to me. A
woman-cook could do the work then, and I went at good wages. I liked it
all right, except that it was so depressing. I saw too much of
sufferings, for I went all about the wards, and if anyone was brought in
whom I knew, whether it was fever or anything else, when I could get
the chance I would go and see them. If I was caught by the doctors I
would be severely reproved.

There were no indications that the broken pieces of my life as a wife
would be mended. Still a castaway, I went and saw my husband. He did not
want me. He lived with his aunt, and his cousin was there too. If a
husband is one to protect you, to watch over and defend and love you; if
such be a husband, then I have never known what it is to have one. For
me there was only solitude and bitter anguish, and yet nobody must be
made acquainted with the fact. I must put on a smiling face and go
wherever I might so long as I did not come in where I was not wanted. I
was not afraid of misery, but only of sin. I would not do anything
wrong, and I wanted to know how to do right when others do me a wrong. I
determined that I would try and get through life without reproach or any
stain on my reputation, and make the most of what I knew. I had lessons
on one thing and another. I liked to be dainty in my home and person and
dress, as well as I could in every detail. I am fond, too, of being a
good housekeeper. My employers spoilt me and often made a friend of me.

Some are here still who remember that I had the kind regard both of the
doctors and the nurses, as well as of the patients at the Adelaide
Hospital. They liked the way I did their food. It looked a big thing for
me to take in hand; but it was not so heavy as some would think, there
being three men in the kitchen to do all the cleaning. I had not a heavy
thing to lift. The only drawback was that the floor were stone and so
hard to stand on. The place has been much built upon since then, and is
so changed in the manner of employment in the office. When I pass the
place now all comes back to me so plain. In particular one night stands
out. I always left a jet of gas burning in my room. Once a woman patient
came in with her clothing tied up in a bundle and asked me if I would
come with her to catch the train. I could see that she was off her head,
so I quietly dressed and got the night-nurse. How she got on afterwards
I never knew. There are some things which I shall never forget. I became
accustomed to the situation and stopped at the hospital for some time.
It did not matter where I was in my tangled affairs.

I wrote to my brother-in-law's brother in Geelong and told him about my
visit to his relatives in Slamannan, and I made known to him that I
would like to see his nice place in Geelong, and his wife and family,
for they had twelve children. So he wrote and told me he would come to
Adelaide and bring one of his daughters with him, and take me back with
them to Geelong. Before they came I had got the position of housekeeper
at Messrs. J. Miller Anderson & Co.'s in Hindley-street, and for more
than two years everything went on smoothly. How delightful it would have
been except for some things I saw and heard. The Theatre Royal was so
close that I could see the cast of characters from my bedroom window at
night. There were more than a hundred assistants to provide for, but
only twelve for breakfast. I had a girl to help. The sweet memory of
those times remains. How earnest everyone was to make me happy. My
employers did not know that I was a discarded wife till I was there for
over two years. It was more to my taste than the Adelaide Hospital,
there being always something amusing to divert me. On more than one
occasion people have come into my sitting-room to enquire the way back
to the theatre. They got out in the right-of-way and got lost.

My friend and his daughter came from Geelong. It was a break for me, and
he was glad to learn something of the old home. I promised that I would
go to his place when I left Hindley-street, for it was rumored that the
place used as dining-rooms and for sleeping purposes would have to be
taken into the business premises. Then, as in all the other business
houses, the assistants would have to dine out. How I would like to give
a full account of those times. I was sorry and reluctant to say a last
good-bye. They all gathered together and gave me a generous present.
Then I went to Mr. MacHarry's place at Lara, near Geelong. I thought if
I liked it there I would try and get something to do. They were just
building the railway to that part then. I went by steamer, and Mr.
MacHarry came to Melbourne to meet me. His house looked a nest of
comfort I could see as we drew near. It was part farmhouse, and I was
perfectly at home with the hostess and her family at once. Both the
daughters and the sons had horses, and could ride and drive. Not only
that, but those girls could make their own bread and play the piano and
sing. So I had entertainers, and such lovely home-made bread. The You
Yangs Mountains were near. If I could have got to the top what a sight
it would have been. I did not care much for Geelong. It was all so
quiet, and I could see nothing to suit me, so that question was settled.
Those friends showed to me all the places of interest, and, in
particular, all the mills where blankets and other woollens and tweeds
were made. Mr. MacHarry was one of the town councillors, and no stranger
wherever he went. It was quite right about him being a rich man. He made
money by lime-burning. I have been there since by rail, and it is a nice
place. You can go fishing or shooting so close to Geelong and Melbourne.

There was only one thing to be said, and that concerns the
impossibility of breaking away from my relationships. The time came when
I could not bear to think that John should think them beneath him. What
was in himself that he was entitled to scorn my poor relations? Everyone
may not have the marvellous gifts that some think they have, but, at
least, we are human beings with our own necessities and demands no less
important than those of such marvellous persons. That is why we must
remember our obligations.


Before I came back from Geelong I learned that they wanted a housekeeper
at the Government House, Adelaide. I was advised to apply for the
position. The Frenchman who was chef there when I was there told me that
I knew enough for the position. It would be open for a month, and I put
my name down amongst a long list of others, and sent in my testimonials
even to that of being a stewardess and lady's maid. They sent for me,
and I told them that I was there before, only as a young girl to do as I
was told. I did not think I would be competent, but I promised to try
for a month, and said that I would like to have some skilled help for
all the large public functions. I knew so well what Government House was
in festive times. We were at Marble Hill when my month was up. They were
satisfied, and told me I could consider myself permanently employed if
agreeable to me.

It would not do for me to attempt to describe the sayings and doings of
that big house. I had to be in evidence at all times both to see and to
speak to distinguished visitors, and often eminent celebrities. I did
not find the work hard, but there was plenty of brain worry. After I had
been there a year and a half the Governor and the lady, too, thought I
was capable to arrange for all the banquets and large parties by myself.
It was overpowering sometimes because of the late nights and the want of
sleep. To cater for a thousand at one time meant a lot of consideration.
I have known a hundred for dinner. I had been at work all the time and
seldom ever went out. Government House had none too many appliances for
those big affairs. They have had both a duchess and also a countess
there when they were staying on a visit. They would come and see the
kitchen. One grand lady said that her cook could not do like that with
such appliances. I could see by the way the lady spoke that someone
wanted my position, and I thought it was like my fate. There was always
someone wanted whatever I had. So I left Government House, but not in
bad friends. I think they were doubtful whether the person would suit.
They asked if I would come back if my successor did not do things
rightly. I forget what I said, but I felt cross.

I went to see a gentleman and lady who had the management of the Largs
Pier Hotel. It was Mr. Hixon. I had lived with them at the Port Adelaide
Club before I went to England. Mrs. Hixon was not very well, and they
asked me if I would come as housekeeper. I admit that I rather liked the
idea of going there. It was a large hotel, and I would have to see to a
number of employes, to engage them or dismiss them, as the case may be.
I had found Mr. and Mrs. Hixon in past years straight and upright and
sincere. I felt at home with them. I was not long at my new duties
before I received word from Government House that the person who
succeeded me did not know enough for them there. I did not go back, as I
was very comfortable where I was, and Mr. and Mrs. Hixon had the
greatest confidence in me. It was a change and the sea was near, so that
we often went out for a sail in one of the many boats available for us
on the jetty.


Two or three times while I was at Government House I had seen my
husband, and had learned that the woman who rightly or wrongly had come
between us had gone back to her own people. One day someone came and
told me that John had gone to America. It upset all I was doing. It was
nearly ten years since I had become his wife. I did not know what to
think sometimes. It required some forgiving and forgetting, but if he
were in any trouble I am quite sure I would go to him. Guess my
astonishment when one evening a maid came to my room and said there was
a gentleman who wanted to see me. It was an unusual incident for any
gentleman to look for me in my own quarters, so I came and saw my
husband coming towards me. I hurried forward to meet him as if we had
never parted. He pleaded to let bygones be bygones, and come and live
with him. A feeling of reassurance and content took possession of me,
and I began to cherish hopes of happiness yet. I had often said to
myself, "How can I live in this world alone?"

In the morning I told Mr. Hixon that I was going home to my husband.
They were too humane to say no to me, so in a week's time I was with
John in a wee house in Childers-street, North Adelaide. The house had
only two rooms, and was back from the street. I hoped we would be able
to get something better some day. One of Professor Tate's daughters was
about to be married, and came one day and asked me if I would prepare a
wedding feast in Buxton-street. I did so. The ladies who saw me do that
work then for the first time in my life enquired if I would give lessons
on cookery. Mrs. Tate gave the use of her kitchen and stove, and my
first students were there. Soon I found myself with more employment than
I could manage in helping families in their own homes when they had
company. There was still dissatisfaction with the person who went to my
place at Government House, and I was sent for to see if I would come
back. They had changed more than once since I left. I did not know what
to do, but I promised her ladyship before she went back to England that
I would go to the Government House in case of emergency while she was
gone. The Governor was in the room at the time, and he must have thought
that I said I would come back permanently. He went away to some of the
other colonies and sent a telegram to me to say that he would expect me
to take charge as housekeeper when he came back. I was to send an answer
yes or no. I thought that I would go in and out daily, and that I could
still keep on our little home, and that I could explain everything when
I could see Sir William. I sent word, "Yes," and when he came back I was
sent for. Nothing would do, however, except for me to come in the house.
I asked him what was to happen to my husband, and he said, "Let him come
here too. There are plenty of rooms." He added that my husband could
live there because of my services, and it would make no difference in my
payment. So I went to where my husband was working and told him. He did
not seem over-pleased at the idea of living at Government House, but we
both thought it would not be for long, so we put our things in some
friend's place and we both went into the house. That was the third time
I had been there to live, and it did not seem strange to me.

There being no restraint on my husband we had nothing to complain of. He
had a nice large room, where he had meetings in his capacity as
secretary of the Rechabites, and he had his auditors there time after
time just as if he were in his own home. We lived there for more than
two years. My husband's work was in the city just close by. I never had
any time to join any of those societies. No one could be less dependent
on outward society than I was. I could enjoy it, but I never craved
after it, as it was not necessary for my very existence. I had to give
all and expect nothing. Still, I think that every individual has a right
to some festivity, even if he does not belong to some sisterhood or

The lady did not come back as soon as I had hoped she would, and Sir
William was restless. He was no sooner at Marble Hill than he would take
it in his head to be off to the Bay or somewhere else. I was all the
time rushing about with maids and men. I got weary of it, and gave a
month's intimation that I would like to leave if he could get someone in
my place. So my husband and I set about to look for a house, and decided
on the one in which I live. It was in a very unfinished state, and I
helped my husband to put it in order. We worked hard to make it a
comfortable home, which I thought was for both of us. I knew I could be
helpful. I went out to work wherever I could as a professional cook, and
had a ladies' class in the house. Then there was an advertisement for
someone to teach cookery at the School of Mines. I got that office, and
was there for 14 years as cookery instructress. In spite of the past I
worked on with pleasure, looking forward to that future which has never

Time went on peacefully for some years. Teaching brought me in contact
with people superior to myself and with the nicest of ladies. I was
pleased, for it was good for me, who had been tossed about from early
girlhood, and I was thankful for my home. But even when youth is past
life is still full of surprises. What a bitter thing is jealousy. If you
have one taste all that comes after is poisoned. That is the worst of


My husband took care that I should not see or enjoy any of the pleasures
in the many societies to which he belonged. And with curiosity I
wondered why others who were not sisters of the order were going here
and there. I was out of everything. Then I began to have anonymous
letters, which I would not take any notice of for a long time. But when
I saw things for myself all was at an end. One discovery led to another.
About three years ago I let him go where his heart is. He was nice to me
once. I am not the sort of woman to be satisfied with half-measures. We
parted. I get my own living the best way I can. In all those trying
years of my life I only once appealed to anyone to help me. I asked him
if he could help, as I thought he was a good man. Some plan was hit
upon, and he must have had a share in the scheme whereby I have been
left to struggle in bitterness all alone. When people have come to me
and told me to say nothing about what has been done to me, and that it
is golden to be silent, how little they have known the pain that is in
memory when all we prize has gone. Some have tried to console me by
telling me that "they are glad they are not me."

I need not say that all this sort of sympathy is madness. I am happy to
say that I have the best balm for sorrow. I have a busy life. There is
something sad in the kind of friendships that have to be watched by the
inquisitive who sit down and write about their suspicions to destroy
other people's lives. I could not bend to all without some resistance. I
was baffled at every turn. This "sisterly and brotherly" may be very
innocent, and if I had been allowed to go to some of the public
gatherings I would not have been so jealous.

We make environment and get blocked. Do not reproach me with
ingratitude, but I am at war sometimes with my long life of toil now I
am by myself alone. "Words, words, words." Some things are too hard
either to write about or to speak of.

J. L. Bonython & Co., Printers, "The Advertiser" Office, Adelaide.

|Transcriber's note:                                |
|                                                   |
|Obvious typographical errors have been corrected.  |
|                                                   |

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