Page:Diary of ten years.djvu/200

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tons of flour amongst other things. It is singular that, owing to monopoly, everything keeps up a high price yet. The enormous sum of £25 per ton is demanded for potatoes, though they are rotting in the bags, people being unwilling to submit to such taxation, and the sellers refusing to lower the price. Another vessel has touched here, and inquired of the pilot if England was at war with the Dutch. On being informed of our blissful state of ignorance, she proceeded on her way to Batavia.

I left Perth about four o'clock, and rode the back way, and arrived here with a glimmering of light (between twilight and moonlight), distance about fourteen English miles. Both horse and man (the nobler animal first) were very hungry, neither having eaten from an early breakfast hour. No letter in this vessel that I have heard of.

Four of my sheep have had lambs; it is early yet, by six weeks, for this is the most trying season: we must manage better another time. My present shepherd is very attentive, but must not be interfered with in any way: he dresses the sheep frequently for the scab, which the new flock brought with them—spirits of turpentine and tobacco-water are his remedy.

After an early dinner, I rode back to the hills this day, to my northern boundary; got on a high hill, with a level top, and had great difficulty in descending by another route: I was quite surprised to find how much of my time it occupied to reach the summit, and how much more rugged and higher it is than I had fancied.

The soil to the very highest points is reddish loam. There is very little mahogany on my grant; and where there is any, it is much intermixed with red gums, which indicate that the sub-stratum is clay at no great depth. The trees are principally white and red gum. Towards the tops of the hills we find grass (kangaroo and other sorts), lucerne (so called here), chrysanthemum, &c., &c.