Page:Australia, from Port Macquarie to Moreton Bay.djvu/120

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95
THE RIVER KARUAH.

of the Company's young horses. They had fastened ropes to the horses' legs to regulate their paces, but the practice seemed to me useless and objectionable. On continuing my ride, I passed the Company*s chief horse establishment, where I dismounted for a few minutes to see their imported stallions. They were lodged in a substantial brick-built range of stables, commodiously divided, well ventilated, and appeared to be kept in very good order. I next passed the elegant cottage of Mr. Ebsworth, the treasurer of the Australian Agricultural Company, which is situated on an eminence near the river Karuah at Booral, where a tract of ground is under cultivation. I crossed the Karuah, over a shingly bed, overgrown with swamp-oak, and then entered on a level tract of country, tolerably grassy, but of very inferior soil. The red gum began to predominate here, and the Xanthorrhea was prevalent on some of the eminences. The native cherry-tree, (Exocarpus cupressiformus) was very common also hereabouts. I met a black on horseback some distance farther on, belonging to the Port Stephen tribe, who had been despatched somewhere on a message. On inquiring his name, he told me it was "Mutton." As I approached the Hunter, the forest became intersected by a great many cattle and dray-tracks, and I passed two or three farms; but the soil still continued very inferior to the banks of the Hunter, at the village of Raymond-terrace, which