Page:Wongan Way by Lilian Wooster Greaves, 1927.pdf/12

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tions in the social, financial and intellectual world. Their wives had been gently born and used to hardship. Yet when changing conditions induced their husbands to take up land, and develop it themselves, the women cheerfully left behind them the ease and nicety of city life, braved the wilderness with equal courage; perhaps greater; for only women know how much it costs a woman to be brave.

Here, four years ago, after the railway had been opened, we first visited the women in their homes at West Wongan. Our drive was only thirteen miles. Their's had been forty-six miles, via Goomalling; or sixty-four miles, via Toodyay. To us there was no enshrouding, encroaching blockade of forest; for man and fire had made vast clearings, and established communication with the outside world.

Here we first realised the quiet heroism of the "Lady on the Land." We wish that she would write her own story; but she does not think it very wonderful. She sees nothing heroic in leaving a comfortable house ("all conveniences," as the advertisements say), and a large friendly and social circle, for a cycle of loneliness in a primitive camp; baking her own bread, sometimes in a camp-oven to begin with; dependent to a great extent on tinned foods for long periods of time; gladly taking up increased work as a cow can be purchased, or men hired for harvesting.

Her special pride is in her children—Ted's first kangaroo; Billy's first duck; how the boys provided Christmas fare—one duck, one pigeon, and two parrots! How Tom cut a path through the bush for his sister's daily walk to school. How little Jean set out on an array of jam-tins during a shower, to catch some water for Mother—Margaret's bread baking; Fanny's riding; the boys' carpentering and plumbing and plastering; the girl's gardening, white-washing and upholstering.

They are just what we would expect from the sons and daughters of these particular mothers.

Some day the first white woman and the second white woman, and their neighbours will reap their reward.

The Farmer's Daughter

Guess I'll stick to washing dishes,
Sweeping, cooking, darning socks;
Having literary wishes
Gives a girl too many shocks.

I think thoughts just like those bookmen;
Dream sweet dreams from morn to night.
I see folks just like their spook-men
In the evening's ghostly light.
I'd have loved a life of learning.
But whene'er I go about