Page:The Visit of Charles Fraser to the Swan River in 1827.djvu/34

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cloud-capped mountains, particularly the one under which the town is erected, gratified the taste of every lover of the works of Nature in the most ample manner.

The town is well planned, and is extensive, considering the short time that it has been in existence (about thirteen years), and appears to be rapidly increasing. This town possesses some natural advantages over Sydney, which renders it a more desirable place of residence; it is not subject to those sudden changes from heat to cold, and the soil is far superior and much deeper than at Sydney. All the necessaries of life are to be procured here in abundance, particularly vegetables, which flourish during the whole of the year. They have not erected a market place, which is an evil much complained of by the inhabitants, making the price of provisions, although abundant, excessively high, little or none being brought in from the country; there is one now, I believe, in contemplation, which will shortly be built. During our short stay we had many visitors, and we received several invitations, the inhabitants being much pleased with our arrival, and anxious to show us every attention. Among those who came on board was the son of one of the principal chiefs of New Zealand. He was brought on board by Captain Wilson, late of the Hon. East India Company's service, now a merchant of this place. This young chief had the misfortune to be wrecked in New South Wales, in one of Mr. Wilson's vessels, and only escaped with his life by being an excellent swimmer. He had an intelligent open countenance, and appeared quickly to comprehend the use of the different things on board on being explained to him. On the Wednesday following we went down the river to await the arrival of the cutter, and came to an anchor between Beanis Island and Pierson's Point, sixteen miles from the town. As there was now no probability of getting to the town, we went ashore at these places shooting, there being many kangaroos, quail, parrots, a beautiful species of pigeon, etc. We thus passed our time agreeably till the 8th February, when the cutter arrived, having experienced a heavy gale of wind for ten days. She had carried away her boom and gaff in two places, and was otherwise considerably damaged. Several head of stock, including two cows, which she had on board for King George Sound, died. We immediately sent the carpenter and sailmaker on board; and, having completed the necessary repairs by evening, we weighed and stood out to sea in company with her. We had a fine moderate breeze at first, but the next day it changed to a fresh beating breeze with occasional squalls. The cutter continued in company till the 13th, when, finding that she proved a great drawback to our progress, we hove to, and sent a boat on board with orders for her to make the best of her way to Swan River. If, however, she could not round Cape Leeuwin on the 15th March, on that day to bear up for King George Sound; and, if she could not reach that place by the 20th, to shape a course for Sydney. We now filled and made sail, and lost sight of her. On the 4th March we