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coat hanging in shreds. They would answer
no questions, but cried out, "The luggage!
all the things!" Oh what a job it was!
They accuse me of deserting the luggage, it
was they who had deserted me! Found most
of it, and in a pretty pickle. We had to
carry it ourselves up to the town, with the
exception of a large heavy chest of Arrowsmith's
which we left at an old shackety shed
of planks and dirty canvas called a "store,"
for which he was to pay ten shillings
"entrance," and half-a-crown a week.

Went to a one-storied, yellow-ochred,
impudently squalid place in Flinders Lane, a
sort of gin-shop, beer-shop, lodging-house,
eating-house, and coffee-shop all in one,
where they also sold potatoes, tin-pans, and
oats, outside at a stall, and bought gold to any
amount. Here (our luggage being bundled
into a muddy yard at the back, where there
was already a chaos of boxes, bundles, and
rubbish) we got some very muddy coffee,
with the chill off, some remarkably dirty
brown sugar, stale bread, bad potatoes, the
filthiest knives, forks, and table-cloth the
house could afford, and a huge dish piled
up with at least nine or ten pounds of
smoking hot fried beef-steaks. We were all
fiercely hungry, from what we had gone
through since yesterday afternoon, but the
hopeless toughness absolutely made us all
leave off with aching jaws long before our
craving was satisfied. We finished, therefore
upon stale bread and potatoes, with some
rancid butter, and lots more coffee. We paid
seven-and-sixpence a head. I asked to be
shown to my bedroom, and was answered by
a grin from the bearded brute who
condescended to act as waiter pro tem. " You
see it before you," said Arrowsmith, " and
here" (tapping the table) " are our bedsteads.
They will find us blankets of some kind or
other." I asked him if he and Waits had
slept here last night. He said no, he had not,
and he now proceeded to tell us (he and
Waits having lost each other) why he had
not returned to me on the wharf, and what
had been the adventures of the night. I shall
give it in Arrowsmith's own words, as nearly
as I can recollect.


Everybody, said Arrowsmith, from all I
can hear, is astonished and disgusted with the
first night in Melbourne; but the first night
of the arrival of three ladies, perfect strangers
in the place, will show the extraordinary
state of affairs here in a peculiarly strong

Arrived in the town, I at once began to
hunt for lodgings, and went from street to
street in vain, till at last, finding a house
where they agreed to find room for three more
dead or alive, as the landlord invitingly
saidI was on my way back to the wharf,
when who should I see paddling along in the
mud but our fellow passengers, Mrs. Watson,

Miss Dashwood, and Mrs. Pounderby, who had
very knowingly left the Rodneyrig with the
earliest boat, in order to secure lodgings
before they were all taken. They came
luckily without any luggage but their night-
bags. They had been from house to house
almost, and during six or seven hours had
been treated with such insult or unseemly
ridicule at nearly every door, that each
fresh applicationwhich they undertook in
turnhad been a greater effort, they said,
than going to a dentist with an aching tooth.
It had rained more or less the whole day, and
they were wet to the very bones, as Mrs. Watson
expressed it. Mrs. Pounderby was crying
indeed they had all cried several times
in concert. Captain Watson had come ashore
with them; but, never dreaming of this difficulty,
had gone to dine and sleep at the
private house of a merchant in the bush, with
whom he had some business. And here they
were! They besought me not to leave them,
as they were sure they should be all dead
before morning. So of course I could but
remain with them, and try after lodgings
once more.

We renewed our inquirieshumble
solicitations, preparatory overtures, cautious
advances. If I had had you two fellows with
me, it might have been managed more than
once, but directly they found that women
were in question (the term ladies was
absolutely dangerous to breathe, as it instantly
received an inverted interpretation from these
brutal householders) all hope was dashed out
in a moment. I ought as a gentlemanas a
manto have engaged in five regular fights,
besides countless tortures of passive self-command,
in consequence of the atrocious,
unmanly, ten times worse than black savage
replies that were made to my request touch
ing my three dripping, bedraggled, half-
fainting companions. The answersdivested
of all their gold-mania ferocitywere to the
effect that they wanted no women or children
here, and they might all just go to a place
which the speakers considered infinitely
worse than Melbourne! "Well, these things
are not merely accidental adventuresI
know that numbers have experienced the
samethey are historical, and very bad bits
of history everybody must admit them to

By this time poor Mrs. Pounderby, being,
you know, very fat, was sobbing and puffing
as though she would burstand no joke to
see, though ridiculous to relate. Mrs. Watson
with her hands clasped, continually referred
to the Captain dining in the bush; and Miss
Dashwood, having good Irish blood, still
tripped along, sore-footed as she was, with
tears in her eyes, but saying that surely,
perhaps, Providence after all would stand their
friend. Now, in my own mind (I could have
made that girl an offer on the spotbut that
by the by), I had fully prepared myself for
passing the night in the streets. I went on,