Page:Old Melbourne Memories.djvu/35

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II
19
THE FAR WEST

wood trees. The Lake Purrumbeet was the great central feature—a noble sheet of water, with sloping green banks, and endless depth of the fresh pure element. On the western bank was built a comfortable cottage, where flowers and fruit trees by their unusual luxuriance bore testimony to the richness of the deep black alluvial.

We did a "lazyally" sort of day—the cattle knee-deep in grass, every one taking it extremely easy. Leura, another volcano out of work, surrounded by wonderful greenery, wherein the station cattle lay about, looking like prize-winners that had strayed from a show-yard, was passed about mid-day. Next morning saw us at Mr. Neil Black's Basin Bank station. Here we saw the heifers of the NB herd. They were "tailed" or herded, as was the fashion in those days, and a fine well-grown, well-bred lot they were. The overseer was either Donald or Angus "to be sure whateffer," one of a draft of stalwart Highlanders which Mr. Black used to import annually. Very desirable colonists they were, and as soon as they "got the English," a matter of some difficulty at the outset, they commenced to save money at a noticeable rate. A fair-sized section of the Western district is now populated by these Glenormiston clansmen and their descendants, and no man was better served than their worthy chief—Neil of that ilk.

From Basin Bank we drove towards the late Mr. William Hamilton's Yallock station, where we abode one night. Here, or at the next stage, the trail was not so plain. I have a reminiscence of our having camped one night at a spot not intended for