Page:The Eureka Stockade.djvu/20

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10

would take upon himself the selfish trouble to sink six inches more in Paddy's hole, which feat was called "jumping;" and thus, broken noses, and other accomplishments, as aforesaid, grew in proportion to "tips" and "toddy" drunk on the sly.

I frequently saw horrid scenes of blood; but I was now an old chum, and therefore knew what was what in colonial life.

I had a Cameleon for a neighbour, who, in the garb of an Irishman, flung his three half-shovels out of a hole on the hill punctually every morning, and that was his work before breakfast. Then, a red shirt on his back, and a red cap on his head, he would, in the subsequent hour, give evidence of his scorning to be lazy by putting down some three inches deeper another hole below in the gully. "Full stop;" he must have a "blow," but the d——d things—his matches—had got damp, and so in a rage he must hasten to his tent to light the pipe; that is, to put on the Yankee garb and complete his forenoon work in a third hole of his, whose depth and shape recommended him as a first rate grave-digger.

And what has all this bosh to do with the Eureka Stockade?


VIII

FIAT JUSTITIA, RUAT CŒLUM


As an old Ballaarat hand, I hereby assert, that much of the odium of the mining community against red-tape, arose from the accursed practice of jumping.

One fact from the "stubborn-things" store. The Eureka gutter was fast progressing down hill towards the Eureka gully. A party of Britishers had two claims; the one, on the slope of the hill, was bottomed on heavy gold; the other, some four claims from it, and parallel with the range, was some ninety feet deep, and was worked by day only, by three men: a fourth man would now and then bring a set of trimmed slabs from the first hole aforesaid, where he was the principal " chips." There was a Judas Iscariot among the party. One fine morning, a hole was bottomed down the gully, and proved a scheisser. A rush. Eureka style, was the consequence; and it was pretended now that the gutter would keep with the ranges, towards the Catholic church.

A party of Yankees, with revolvers and Mexican knives—the garb of "bouncers" in those days—jumped the second hole of the Britishers, dismantled the windlass, and Godamn'd as fast as the Britishers cursed in the colonial style. The excitement was awful.