Page:Melbourne and Mars.djvu/17

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
15
YOUTH AND EARLY MANHOOD.

Father soon got better, freedom and the presence of his dearly-loved wife wade him forget his pains. In ten days from that memorable morning we all met in Sydney again. We were as poor as ever, or nearly so; but we were all healthy, happy and free from the stigma of crime. Mother's journey was over.


CHAPTER III.


Youth and Early Manhood.

OUR hero's diary is pretty full of particulars as to the settling of his family and their progress in the new country, but his story for the next few years is not very sensational, or out of the common run of experience. The Government authorities gave the pardoned man a choice between a passage home and a small grant of land in the vicinity of the infant city. His parents chose the latter, and the father and mother, for many years, made a good living by keeping a few cows and growing vegetables.

The elder girls got married early, the other two children came from England. On the whole things went well with the family of Jacobs. If they had held on to the piece of land granted by the Government their descendants to-day would have been very rich. As it was they were much better off than they could ever have hoped to be in England. The old man lived to be seventy, and his wife nursed her great-grandchildren, and was alive in Sydney in 1875. We have nothing more to do with the family life. None of them either made a fortune or attained distinction. They lived simple and honest lives, such as their ancestors in Lancashire had done for generations.

Adam Jacobs worked for a time with his parents, and made himself useful as a farmer and gardener until he was about eighteen years of age. He then joined a shipping firm, and underwent some adventures while sailing in the South Sea Islands and trading with the Maories in the North Island of New Zealand. Some of his scrapes and escapes would bear recording, and would be given a place in his book if they had not been eclipsed by later adventures of much greater importance that must he recorded.

When about twenty-three years of age we find him running a small business of his own as ship chandler and outfitter, and his diary gives a few hints

regarding a powerful incentive to settle down and remain ashore in the form of a blue-eyed daughter of a sea captain whom he frequently visits.

violence with which he whirled himself round on it to strike the quivering and wealed back, out of which stuck the sinews, white, rugged and swollen. The infliction was 100 lashes at half-minute time, so as to extend the punishment through nearly an hour. The day was hot enough to overcome a man merely standing that length of time in the sun, and this was going on in the full blaze of it. However, they had a pair of scourgers, who gave each other spell and spell about, and they were bespattered with blood like a couple of butchers."