Page:Diary of ten years.djvu/214

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THE COLONY.

SERVANTS—FARMING—THE NATIVES—SHEEP—WHITE ANTS—DEPREDATIONS OF THE NATIVES—WOOL—A BOY KILLED—DEATH OF YA-GAN.

Hermitage, Swan River, Western Australia,
June the
6th, 1833.


I closed my last letters to you this day at Perth, at one o'clock, in a very hurried way, as I had known nothing of the sailing of the vessel until I had gone down to attend my duties at court; it was fortunate that I had taken my journal with me, and every day's experience convinces me the more that this mode of writing a letter from day to day is the best I can adopt, though it may not be the most satisfactory to each of you individually; the arrangement of separate letters I never can accomplish, however much I may desire it; indeed they could be nothing but hurried pieces of unmeaning or unsatisfactory scribbling, and could never by that mode convey to you the least notion of my own occupations and the real condition of the colony.

My fears were not altogether groundless, for my shepherd informs me that he misses one of the sheep which James had in his charge, and he attributes the loss to the natives; but I have no clue to the truth: the native dogs prowl about like wolves, and might easily carry off a straggler from such a guardian as James. If the natives had been the delinquents, they would have taken more than one, in my opinion.

It may strike you as singular, that my servants do not send letters home. It arises partly from our knowing nothing of the sailing of the ships until it is too late, and greatly (I