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hearty cheer rose from the ship when the letter lighted upon the boat, and was answered by a counter cheer from the boat's crew, as one of them held aloft the precious missive, whilst poor Pat, with bis rough hand, wiped away the tear which started involuntarily from his eye as he thought of the distant ones so anxious about his welfare.
In a few hours the stranger ship became a mere speck upon the horizon, and as the shades of evening drew near we were no longer able to discern it. Onward, and onward, still we went. Then we crossed the line, which many on board actually expected to find a palpable reality,—two or three even going so far as to ask for the glasses that they might see it more distinctly! Then we got into the Trade Winds again, which bore us on our course with railway speed. Now we approached the Cape, and, rounding it, entered the Indian Ocean. The winds being still favourable, it was not long before we reached the welcome “half way house” between the Cape and Australia—the island of St. Paul; and in another week every eye was straining for a sight of the “promised land flowing with milk and honey," which was to be our future home. During the past day or two the men had been engaged in scraping the masts, poop, &c., clearing the decks of all lumber, and shifting the horse-box and cooking apparatus, to make room for the chain-cable, which from the depths below was now brought to light.
Nothing in the voyage could exceed the stirring interest which was excited by the announcement of Land ho! at the termination of our course. The lucky sailor who had given the information, in coming down the rigging, would have had grog enough for a week’s consumption if he had accepted all the offers that were made to him; and although the desired point, or headland, could not yet be distinguished from the deck, a general hubbub was running through the cabins, and a display of caps, ribbons, collars, &c., all most eloquently proclaimed that we soon expected to be safely disembarked.
Soon the west cape of Kangaroo Island was made; the high land of Cape Jervis and Rapid Bay speedily came in sight; and now the ship glided smoothly over the shallow waters of St. Vincent's Gulf. On the left hand, as the ship sailed north, we saw the low and distant coast of Yorke’s Peninsula, whilst, as we neared the right-hand or eastern shore of the gulf, the green and picturesque hills of the Mount Lofty ranges attracted and deserved our attention. The scene is beautiful at any season, but especially in the spring, about September, October, and November. After sailing up the gulf, a pilot was seen making for the ship from Holdfast Bay, and presently came alongside, then on to the quarter-deck, and our captain was no longer commander. A few hours more and we were in the city of Adelaide, the capital of South Australia.
THE COLONY OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA -- ITS EARLY HISTORY AND
PRESENT CONDITION—ITS PORT AND CAPITAL, THE CITY OF ADELAIDE-ITS MINERAL RICHES-ITS GENERAL FEATURES AND CAPABILITIES
It was in the year 1805 that Captain Flinders first explored that portion of the Australian continent which is now known as the Colony of South Australia. He landed first on
Kangaroo Island, which acts as a natural breakwater to the Gulf of St. Vincent. This island, which received its name from the large number of Kangaroos that were found upon it, is about 100 miles long, and at the widest part about 25 miles broad. It is very hilly, and the general appearance is uninviting. There are in the island extensive lakes, the water of which is salter than sea-water, and in the summer season the evaporation causes a deposit of salt upon the banks, which is collected and sold in Adelaide. It was upon this island that, in the year 1836, the first colonists landed; but they soon became dissatisfied with their locality, and sailed over to the mainland at Rapid Bay, near Cape Jervis, and there founded a settlement. They at once commenced the cultivation of the land, and were so enraptured with the beautiful appearance of the country that, overlooking many natural disadvantages, they determined upon establishing there the future capital of the colony. It was not long, however, before the more sagacious amongst them began to perceive that, however little those disadvantages might be felt at first, they would prove seriously detrimental when the colonists became more numerous. They, therefore, again started off, and, sailing towards some hills seen to the north at a distance of about forty miles,