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Early Days in North Queensland by Edward Palmer

EARLY DAYS IN NORTH QUEENSLAND

[Illustration: (Signature: Edw^d. Palmer.)

_From photo, by "Tosca," Brisbane._]

EARLY DAYS IN NORTH QUEENSLAND

BY THE LATE EDWARD PALMER

SYDNEY ANGUS & ROBERTSON MELBOURNE: ANGUS, ROBERTSON & SHENSTONE 1903

TO THE NORTH-WEST.

_I know the land of the far, far away, Where the salt bush glistens in silver-grey; Where the emu stalks with her striped brood, Searching the plains for her daily food.

I know the land of the far, far west, Where the bower-bird builds her playhouse nest; Where the dusky savage from day to day, Hunts with his tribe in their old wild way.

'Tis a land of vastness and solitude deep, Where the dry hot winds their revels keep; The land of mirage that cheats the eye, The land of cloudless and burning sky.

'Tis a land of drought and pastures grey, Where flock-pigeons rise in vast array; Where the "nardoo" spreads its silvery sheen Over the plains where the floods have been.

'Tis a land of gidya and dark boree, Extended o'er plains like an inland sea, Boundless and vast, where the wild winds pass, O'er the long rollers and billows of grass.

I made my home in that thirsty land, Where rivers for water are filled with sand; Where glare and heat and storms sweep by, Where the prairie rolls to the western sky._

_Cloncurry, 1897._ --"_Loranthus_."

_W. C. Penfold & Co., Printers, Sydney._

PREFACE.

The writer came to Queensland two years before separation, and shortly afterwards took part in the work of outside settlement, or pioneering, looking for new country to settle on with stock. Going from Bowen out west towards the head of the Flinders River in 1864, he continued his connection with this outside life until his death in 1899. Many of the original explorers and pioneers were known to him personally; of these but few remain. This little work is merely a statement of facts and incidents connected with the work of frontier life, and the progress of pastoral occupation in the early days. It lays no claim to any literary style. Whatever faults are found in it, the indulgence usually accorded to a novice is requested. It has been a pleasant task collecting the information from many of the early settlers in order to place on record a few of the names and incidents connected with the foundation of the pastoral industry in the far north, an industry which was the forerunner of all other settlement there, and still is the main source of the State's export trade.


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