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A mechanic's tour round the world : being notes and sketches about life in South Africa, Canada (including… Lowe, T. 1886

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 A MECHANIC'S
 TOUR 
London
WYMAN & SONS, Great Queen Street,-
Lincoln's-Inn Fields, W.C.
1886. THE LIBRARY
THE UNIVERSITY OF
BRITISH COLUMBIA MECHANIC'S  TOUR  ROUND
THE WOELD:
BEING
NOTES AND SKETCHES ABOUT LIFE
IN SOUTH AFRICA, CANADA (including BRITISH
COLUMBIA), UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
AUSTRALIA, etc.
 
By   T.   LOWE.
\
"There's freedom at tfcy gates, and rest
For Earth's down-trodden and opprest 
A shelter for the hunted head,
And for the starved labourer toil and bread."—Byant.
LONDON:
WYMAN & SONS, 74-76, GREAT QUEEN STREET,
ft LINCOLN'S-INN FIELDS.   1886.
I 
WYMAN AND SONS, PRINTERS,
GREAT QUEEN STBEET, LINCOLN'S-INN  FIELDS,
LONDON, W.C. INTRODUCTION.
-*o+-
4 T such a time as the present, when so
many thousands of people are interested in emigration and the British
Colonies, an apology for trying to give a
little more information, from a workman's
point of view, upon those important subjects is hardly necessary. I have attempted
to write a plain and unbiassed tale for my
own class, and those most interested in
emigration, viz., the toiling masses of
Great Britain.
The   recording   of    my   " Notes   and
Sketches55 has whiled away many a long
11
EŒ
rr__—   -r:~^=z    . iv A Mechanic's Tmn\
hour on land and sea, and if the accounts
of my travels afford any amusement and
benefit, or help to show the reader what
he may expect to see and undergo should
he visit the same places, my labour will
not have been in vain.
The work of writing has been principally
done in the evenings, as a recreation after
the toil of the day; and any claim to
literary merit or classical language I leave
to abler men, who may have more spare
time and better opportunities than the
writer. CONTENTS.
Introduction ... ... ... ...    page in
■ I CHAPTER I.
Voyage to South Africa.—Cape Town.—A Compliment. — Work. — Buildings. — Eruits. — Table
Mountain and "Devil's Peak."—The |Masher |
on the Jetty.—Page 1.
CHAPTER II.
Journey to the Diamond Fields.—The Railway to
Beaufort West.—Necessary Cooking utensils.—
The Wagon Passengers.—Ostriches.—Journeying
on the lonely Wastes.—Orange River.—Thunder
Storm.—Bread.-—The Diamond Fields at last.—
Hotel Life in Kimberley.—-My Shanty.—"The
sweet Comforts of Life." — Work. — The first
Diamond.—The Mines and Mining.—The Natives.
—Illicit Diamond-buying.—Food and Clothing.—
Money.—The Market Square.—" Knighthood."—
The  Mule-drivers. — Moonlight   Nights. — Dust vi A Mechanic's Tour
Storms.—Fire and Water.—Rush bo De Kaap
Gold Mine.—The Transvaal.—The Australian's
Story. — Heat. — Return to Cape Town. — Our
lost Food. — Good-natured Thieves. — Robinson
Crusoe.—Home.—Page 12.
CHAPTER  III.
Yoyage to Canada.—Ice.—Our Steerage.—Cold.—
Concerts.—The Seat of Honour.—" The Song."—»
Quebec.—By Rail to Toronto.—Work.—Dollars
and Cents.—Toronto.—Winter in Canada.—Red
Indians.—Page 39.
CHAPTER  IY.
To New York State.—Niagara Falls.—Albany.—
Cohoes.—Cotton Mills.—Work.—" Don't take off
your Hat."—Hudson River.—Greenhorns and
Tenderfeet.—Page 50.
CHAPTER  Y.
Journey to Chicago.—Baggage-smashing Fiend.—
Englishmen.—Different and " indifferent " Ameri-
cans.—Equality.—Work. —Chicago. —Page 5 6.
m    '«'■•■«   CHAPTER  VI.    .*-*Vv*-Vi-'
Overland to California.—Railway Cars.—Agreeable
Travelling   Companions. — Food. — Pioneers. —
Rocky Mountains.—Sixteen Wives !—Leaving the Bound the World. vii
CHAPTER  VII.
By Sea to British Columbia.—A Table for " Men "
and a Table for Chinese.—Victoria, Vancouver
Island. —Work.—Delightful Land ! — Straits of
Georgia.—The Fraser River.—Fish.—Lumber.—
Farms.—Canadian Pacific Railway.—"The Terminus."—Paper Cities. — Cheap Land. — Rough
Life.—"The old Gown."—Indians.—Chinese in
British Columbia.—"Let it be a Home for Men
only."—Page 82.
■:§§§ CHAPTER VIII. ^^^^^«
The " Golden Gates."—San Francisco. — Hotels.—
" Frisco " Runners.—Buildings.—Indian's Scalp.
—California.—Revolvers.—China Town. —Sunday
in San Francisco.—Good Wishes.—Page 96.
CHAPTER  IX. '^^^H
Voyage to Australia.—The Steamship Zealandia.—r
The   Steerage. — Feeding-time. — " The   old,   old
Story."—Bathing  under  Difficulties. — Sandwich
Islands.—Work. — King's  Palace. — An  Ally.—
old Home.—"Go West."—Sierra Nevada Mountains. — Snow.—Cape . Horn.—California.—Sacramento. —Work. —Hotels. —Insects.—Gold.—Off to
San Francisco.—Vineyards.—The Chinese Agony.
—" Washee, Washee."—Presidential Elections.—
English at "'Orne."—Pagre 63.
ff
I
i viii A Mechanic's Tour. a
Fruits. — Sunday Morning. — The Natives. —-
Flowers. — Peace and Plenty. — Amusements. —
Samoa. — Auckland, New Zealand. — Trade. —
Glimpse of Home.—" Did you come from Yorkshire?"— Page 103. f     | ':
CHAPTER  X.
New South Wales —" Our Harbour."—Hotels.—!
Travellers' Receptions.—New Chums.—My Capital. —Work.—Genteel Occupations. — Women.—\
" Longings for vanished Smiles."—Food.—Chinese.
—Black Men. — " Bloomin' Parsons."—Circular
Quay.—George-street. —Buildings.—Rents.—The
Gardens and Harbour.—Easy to ridicule and find
Fault.—Botany Bay.—Paramatta River.—Kiss in
the Ring.—Sydney.—Climate.—Loyalty.—" Convict Taint."—Eight Hours Demonstration.—Page
115.
I;        I       CHAPTER XL
" Marvellous " Melbourne. —Yarra Yarra. — Gold-
mining.—Buying and selling Land.—Collins-street.
— Merchants. — " Doing the Block." — Bourke-
street. — Promenading. — Young Women.—Marriage.—Bachelors.—Chinese.—Cabbages and Car-
grots.—" Push."—Hot Winds.— The Bay. — St.
Kilda, &c. — Buildings. — Gardens. — Rivals. —
" How do you like Melbourne ?"—Melbourne Cup.
—Christmas at the Seaside.—Jackals and Free
Selectors.—Page 133. A MECHANIC'S TOUR BOUND
THE WOBLD.
•0+-
E
CHAPTER I.
ARLY in the summer of 1881, three
— I friends and myself left the shores of
old England for South Africa. We chose
one of the Castle line of steamers, and,
after safely crossing the dreaded Bay of
Biscay, saw our first bit of foreign soil in
the beautiful island of Madeira. Our ship
took in coal here, and while that pleasant
operation was going|on many of the
passengers, myself included, went on shore
to see the sights of the town and suburbs
of Funchal. When our little boat had
been safely landed, after much pulling and
shouting by those on shore, we were beset 2 A Mechanic's Tour
by dozens of natives, who wished to act as
guides through the town. We engaged
one, whom we christened "Jim"; and
this good fellow took us over the most
interesting parts. The atmosphere reminded us of hot-houses in England, and
we were not surprised to see luxuriant
flowers and fruits blooming and flourishing
by the roadside. During our visit we
spent some time in the fruit-market, which
was the principal attraction, and, our time
ashore having expired, after purchasing a
stock of fruit, we returned to the ship.
Those who had remained on board were
amused by Madeira boys and young men
diving from their little boats into the
water for any small piece of silver that
was tossed into the sea by the passengers.
The divers, however, knew their price, for
the person who tossed a copper coin in
was  quietly told  to jump  in  after  that
himself.   «BBBii^
J| Leaving Madeira, and passing the Canary
Islands, the snow-clad peak of Tenerifie
tvas presented to our view.    In crossing Round the World. 3
the Equator we had a visit from old King
Neptune and his men. jjThe sailors had
erected a large canvas tank on one side of
the ship, and when the tank was full of
water, King Neptune, seated on a gun-
carriage, was hauled into sight by half
a dozen sailors, dressed in fantastic costumes. The sailors (and some passengers
also) who had not crossed the | Line "
before were then shaved and " ducked "
in the tank. The passengers who were
not shaved had to pay one shilling each,
the salors buying a " drop o' the cratur "
with the money. There were very few
passengers without a shilling. The unfortunate one who preferred being shaved
was placed upon a seat, with his back to
the tank, and asked various questions.
Directly he attempted to speak, a man
standing near would shove a large brush,
covered with nice soap-suds, into 'his
mouth. After the questions,*! the man
with the brush began to lather the victim's
face and head ; then he took a large
wooden  razor,  the  blade  of  which  was
Bi- . i b2 ï '!■ ' f . 1   i
til 4 A Mechanic's Tour
about two feet long, and with it roughly
scraped his face and head. When the
shaving was over, the man with the razor
took hold of the shaved one's feet, and
toppled him into the tank, where two or
three sailors, already in the water, made
it as lively as possible for the poor fellow.
At night Neptune's baptising ceremonies
were finished off with a grand concert in
one of the cabins.     •
Seven or eight days after our departure
from Madeira, we arrived at the small
island of St. Helena, famed for its having
once been the uncongenial home of
Napoleon Bonaparte. Many of us went
on shore, and regaled ourselves with the
delicious fruits that grow there. Having
stayed at the island about six hours, we
once more got up steam, and put to sea,
there being no other calling-place for us
until we should reach the mainland of
South Africa.     '■*
Early one morning we sighted Table
Mountain and the Twelve Apostles of the
famed Cape of Good Hope. Round the World. 5
To those who are unacquainted with
South African history, it may be interesting
to know that South Africa was first colonised by the Dutch in 1652. In 1795 the
English took it from them. In 1802 it
was restored to the Dutch ; and in 1806
it once more became a British colony, and
is likely to remain so. A look at a good
map will give a better idea of the position
and size of the colony than will unwelcome
figures—figures which sometimes answer
for one day, but not the next.
We were soon in the dock at Cape
Town (the capital of the colony, and
containing some 35,000 people), after a
pleasant voyage of twenty-one days.
Everything seemed very strange as we
lolled on the rail of the ship, and looked
at the mixed group of humanity on shore.
One could not help noticing the number of
black men. Some of the dark-skinned
Cape boyj were showing off their agility,
some ware sparring, and quite unexpectedly
one would hit his opponent a sharp slap
on the face with his bare foot. 6 A Mechanic's Tour
At the Custom House we had very little
trouble, simply answering  certain  questions, our trunks and boxes being allowed        m
to pass without any unpacking.    We took
it  as   a  compliment,   for  it is   said  the
Customs   officials   can  tell  by   a   man's        m
appearance whether he is likely to deceive    jfl m
them.    Although it was the South African ]
winter, we were glad to get in the shade f
of the houses, the heat of the sun being
very great to us newcomers. We were
soon nicely housed, however, and put to
rights, after our long journey. G-ood
board and lodging for a single man could §
be had for about £1. 2s. per week.
■ As we had not taken the voyage to
Afric's coral strand simply for pleasure, ;
the question of employment was the first J
consideration,   ft- m
^ Fortunately, we had not long to search m
for   situations.    I  commenced  work  the 1
following Monday morning in one of the I
joiners' shops of the town.    The average j
daily wages were about ten shillings for 1
ten hours' work, leaving at two o'clock on \ Round the World. 7
Saturday. There are various engineering
establishments belonging to the different
steamship companies. The railway workshops, which are situated at Salt River,
employ many workmen. Wages range
from seven to ten or eleven shillings per day.
Trade had been very good for a year or
two, and workmen of all kinds were in
demand. The development of the diamond-
mines at Kimberley and other places had
been the means of creating quite a " boom "
in trade and business in all parts of South
Africa.    #
A stranger to Cape Town is not
long in finding his way to the fruit-market.
Grapes, peaches, bananas, melons, oranges,
and many other tropical and semi-tropical
fruits were in great abundance. The
fruit-stalls are attended mostly by Malay
women, who are dressed in very gaudy
colours. On a Saturday night the marketplace, Plein Street, and other principal
thoroughfares wear a lively aspect, as
crowds of people, of all colours and
nationalities,   stroll    about,   chatting   in
MII —*
A Mechanic's Tour
i
their different languages. In some of the
side-streets and back slums are canteens
crowded with black Kaffirs, Cape boys, and
other dusky natives, drinking their cheap
Cape wine and beer, and making night
hideous with their drunken shouts.
In the shop windows ready-made clothing
seemed to be marked reasonably cheap.
Measured goods were nearly double the
English cost. Most of the better-class
furniture is imported from England.
There are many fine churches, chapels,
and other public institutions, such as are
usually found in a busy, thriving city.
The Wesleyan church is a handsome stone
structure.
Building operations were going on in all
parts of the town, the buildings of the
Parliament Houses and the Standard
Banking Co. employing many men. As a
rule, the smaller houses in Cape Town are
not- very good-looking buildings. Many
6Î them are built of sun-dried bricks,
and iwhite washed, the roof being usually
flat.    Of course,  the better-class houses Round the World. 9
are built either of brick or stone. In many
of the houses there is only one fireplace,
and that one in the kitchen. Fires are not
often required to warm the houses in Cape
Town. Wood is used for fuel to a great
extent. The streets of the city are laid
out at right angles to each other. The
fashion of building a wall about four feet
high at each end of the house, and extending from the front of it to the edge of the
side-walk, is a particularly inconvenient-
one. I believe the old Dutch inhabitants
are to blame for that style. With the
exception of about half a dozen streets in
the city, a pedestrian has to walk in the
middle of the road on account of the old-
fashioned stoeps. Doubtless it is pleasant
for the occupants to sit in front of their
houses in the cool of the evening, protected
from the annoyance of passers-by by the
low walls ; it is anything but pleasant for
the poor wayfarer, who has often to trudge
along in winter time ankle-deep in mud ; and
it does rain in Cape Town in winter time.
The principal pleasure-grounds of  the m~
10     jj'      A Mechanic's Tour
town are the Botanical Gardens, where
the band of the regiment stationed in
Cape Town plays selections of music each
Friday afternoon, when the fashion, youth,
and beauty of the place are seen at their best.
The scenery around Cape Town is most
enchanting. A moonlight picnic around
the Kloof is one of the principal recreations
of the young people. Then there is the
grand old Table Mountain, with its smaller
companions—Lion's Hill, Flagstaff Hill,
and Devil's Peak, all standing guard over
the town. A view of the surrounding
country from the side of the Devil's Peak
will well repay the trouble of climbing up
the hill. On the left is the beautiful Table
Bay, in shape almost like a horse-shoe,
with the shipping riding safely at anchor.
Away to the right can be seen the waters
of Simon's Bay, and in front lie the pretty
villages of Rondebusch, Newlands, Wyn-
berg, and other places, nestling peacefully
among the trees. There are to be seen
the large suburban houses of the rich
merchants of the city, as also the less pre- Round the World. 11
tentious houses and cottages of mechanics,
probably owned by the occupants, each
house surrounded by its large garden,
where the \ owner can calmly and truly sit
under his own vine and fig-tree. Beyond
the villages is a stretch of open country,
dotted with the white houses of the
farmers. The one line of railway reaching
into-the interior can be traced until it is lost
amidst the rugged blue mountains, which
form a good background to the picture.
The "Jetty" is also a favourite place
of resort. It is pleasant to sit there in
the evening, after the heat of the day, and
watch the moonbeams play upon the calm
waters of the Bay. Here, too, amusement
may be found in observing the dusky
masher, with big cuffs, as he strolls along*
with his equally dusky girl, rolling their
eyes, and showing their white teeth.
Doubtless it is the " old, old story," that
is told as they speak to each other
with their eyes—and their teeth ! I found
the old residents of Cape Town a sociable*
easy-going class of people. til' 12 A Mechanic's Tcur
f
CHAPTER II.
I had been offered a situation under
Government at Kimberley, in the diamond-
fields, and as the pay was more than
double the Cape Town pay, I thought it
advisable to go. So, leaving in Cape
Town all luggage that was not absolutely
wanted at the fields, I commenced, early
in March, the railway journey to Beaufort
West, the terminus of the line, being
distant from Cape Town about 300 miles,
while Kimberley was about 700 miles
from the same place.
H On our way in the train to Beaufort
West, we passed many small towns and
villages, including Paarl, with its numerous
orange-groves, vineyards, and quaint whitewashed Dutch houses. The scenery along
the railway is grand in many places.   Our Round the World. 13
train, with a couple of engines attached,
travelled round the sides of  mountains,
along  green valleys,   up   steep  inclines,
puffing and snorting as we worked  our
way almost in  a circle up the  different
wild mountain passes until we reached the
top, when soon all was changed to the
lonely wastes of  the  Great Karoo.    No
green verdure there met the eye, all was
parched and dry ; the only vegetation one
could  see was  a  sort of   scrubby sagebrush.    However, night came and put a
stop to whatever sight-seeing there might
have been;   so we settled ourselves into
our corners to dream of brighter scenes.
We were soon awoke by the stopping of
the train and shouting.    A heavy downpour of rain had washed the loose earth
from under the rails for about half a mile,
we had, therefore, to trudge over the desert
to some other carriages on the other side
of the wash-out.   These sudden floods and
wash-outs are not at all uncommon.   Rain
falls in torrents, and floods the dry slcots
and creeks, washing all before it. ■   Soon 14 A Mechanic's Tour
the waters run away, the sun shines with
true African fierceness, and in a short
time everything is as dry and parched as
though there had been no rain for months.
The one great want of South Africa is
said to be a constant supply of water;
there being often months of interval between the rain-showers. Water, however,
is sufficiently plentiful if it could only
be preserved to irrigate the land when
necessary. We reached Beaufort West
after   being   twenty-four   hours   on   the
way. fe^|Ky^^ ' i§
à| There are two or three modes of travelling to the fields from the terminus of the
railway. |A Scotchman, who had been
my companion in the carriage from Cape |
Town, and who had been to the fields f^M
before, proposed that we should travel SI
together on one of the freight-wagons, il
It was necessary to get a good supply
of canned meat, milk, &c, some tea,
coffee, sugar, and bread; also to provide j
ourselves with kettles, cans, plates, and        1
other utensils, as we should have to cook il
Round the World. 15
our own meals on the road. At dusk,
after a great amount of shouting and
flourishing of whips by the black drivers,
our mule train, consisting of two large
wagons, each drawn by twelve mules,
moved slowly out of the town for the
interior. There were three other passengers on the same wagon as ourselves,
one of whom travelled on the top of the
luggage; the other two shared with us
the " comforts" of the small tent at the
back of the wagon,—a tent large enough
for one to occupy comfortably, but possible
for three to lie at full length packed after
the manner of sardines. The fourth saloon
passenger had to get where he could, while
the other three attempted to sleep as the
heavy springless wagon jolted along the
rough road. It was during the two or
three hours the mules were outspanned at
night that we relied upon for having a
little sleep ; then we stretched our limbs
upon the dry ground. Thus we travelled
along, snatching a little sleep when we
could, walking  and riding,  cooking  and
if
u 16 A Mechanic's Tour
eating our meals when the teams were
outspanned and fed. We sometimes found
it difficult to obtain bread from the Dutch
Boers whose solitary farmhouses we passed
on the way. They often charged us
three shillings for a dirty-looking loaf I
would not have given twopence for in
England.
We saw many herds of wild spring-bok,
but they managed to keep clear of our
guns. Tame ostriches would sometimes
pay us a visit when we were out-spanned.
They seemed to be able to digest anything, from a tenpenny nail to half a
brick.    It was comical to watch the big
bones we tossed to them work their wav
1/
down their long, thin necks. Many persons
are engaged in ostrich-farming in South
Africa. In 1881 there were 193,612 lb.
of ostrich feathers exported.
■ On our arrival at the Orange River, we
found that we could not cross over on the
punt or ferry-boat stationed there, on
account of the heavy floods from the rains
of the upper country ; so we were obliged Round the World. 17
to wait there two days until the waters
subsided. While waiting, that necessary
article of diet, bread, once more ran short,
and as there was no house (excepting one
across the river) nearer than Hope Town,
three or four miles away, two of us set
off to that place in search of the staff of
life. On reaching the little town we found,
to our great disappointment, that it was
impossible to obtain any of that commodity, all the stores being closed in strict
observance of the Sabbath-day ; so we
retraced our steps in the direction of the
wagon, with the hope of feeding on what
we could get for a day or two. When
we had proceeded about half-way on our
return journey, the heaviest thunder and
rain-storm I ever experienced overtook us ;
and, there being no shelter of any description on the road, in less than five minutes
we were drenched to the skin. The water
rushed in torrents down the slopes into
the river, forming, by its force, "sloots"
across the road, through which we had to
ford our wav.   The wind and rain were so
m
o 18 A Mechanic's Tour
powerful that we were almost taken off
our feet. Our condition was anything but
pleasant by the time we arrived at the
wagons, in which we lay in blankets until
the storm allowed us to get a fresh supply
of clothing from under the waterproof
covering of our store. During our journey
we passed many pleasant evenings sitting
over the camp-fire, telling yarns, singing
songs, and other amusements.
^t The country we had travelled over was
very thinly populated. | For miles we pursued our way without seeing a habitation,
and the only vegetation the eye could rest
upon was s age-brush M We could always
tell when we were drawing near a spring
or stream of water, by the luxuriant
growth   of   grasses 1 and   small   bushes
around. ^^^^^^KI^^^^^^^^^^^hR^ :
■ After crossing the Orange River, we
came to the wide but shallow Modder
River, which the'mules forded ; and early
one Saturday morning the houses and
mining-gear of the mines appeared before
us.    The first sight of the " fields," with n
Round the World. 19
the blue ground piled up in heaps, and the
winding-gear of the mines in the distance,
reminded me of the " Black " country at
home. We passed through Bultfontein
and Du Toits Pan, on to the New Rush,
or Kimberley, and there our journey ended,
after having been fifteen days on the road,
and costing about £13 each.
I was recommended to a certain hotel,
which was said to be very comfortable for
Kimberley. There were four bedsteads in
the room ; the floor was a bit of bare
Africa, and not the levellest part at that.
The door, which' was hung outside, and
opened into the yard, could not be more
than half closed ; and when one was lying
in bed at night, the dogs and other cattle
came into the room from the yard, sniffing
and lying about the floor. 1    ftli^p
As. one wanders over the face of this
little planet of ours he becomes acquainted
with some strange bedfellows. Of course
I allude to human beings. About one
o'clock one morning* I was awoke by
hearing some one stealthily walking about
" I c 2
— 20 A Mechanic's Tour
the room. It was a rough-looking stranger,
who had been sleeping on the bed near
the door. He wandered over to a gentleman sleeping in the opposite corner of the
room, and awoke him by tumbling on to
his bed. I noticed that the stranger was
not quite quick enough to get hold of a
pocket-book which the gentleman had
placed under his pillow, and which the
stranger had seen him do. Of course this
strange bedfellow apologised for disturbing
the other, saying he was in the habit of
walking in his sleep, w'wl
& For the I excellent " accommodation
and board provided by this " comfortable "
hotel I paid £2. 15s. per week. However,
I only put up with it for about a month,
and then removed into a house of my own,
which I had built in the evenings or any
spare time obtainable, jf I felt very snug in
that shanty, after having experienced the
hotel life of Kimberley. My house, like
dozens more on the fields, consisted of
one room, nine feet by twelve feet. The
frame  was of wood,  covered   with  gal- Round the World. 21 if
vanised iron.    I had put down a wooden ||
floor, which was the envy of many of my   , |||
morning callers.    The inside of the house !»
was lined with white lining. For furniture, l|
there was a wood and canvas stretcher
for sleeping on, a table, chair, three-legged
stool, and my clothes-chest, which answered well for a seat when I had a
crowded " at home."    In the corner was a J   i
cooking apparatus, and with the addition
of a few pictures around the walls the
place looked very cosy. An old Australian
came along to my place one Sunday afternoon, and after looking around the room, Ifillll
said half to himself, "Ah! it is nice to lËp
have the sweet comforts of life." ilRt   1
There are many canvas houses still in flRf'
use at the mines. When the first " rush " -flEf
to the fields took place a few years  ago, ^^^J
canvas tents were the only kind of cover-     j
ings to be had.    There are no trees of any |g{§      ' j
consequence   near   Kimberley,  therefore § I
rough wooden shanties were out  of  the I
question.    All wood and galvanised iron j
had to be drawn on wagons from the coast,
A oo
A Mechanic's Tour
\
so miners took their tents with them. At
the present time, however, there are many
fine brick and stone buildings in the
town.
I commenced work the following Mondav
morning after mv arrival on the fields.
The wages paid bv the government were
from £6. Is. 6d. to £6. 9s. per week.
The hours of labour were ten hours per
day, excepting Saturday, when we left at
one o'clock. A fter having worked a week
I was fortunately placed in a position of
some trust, with a little increase of pay.
There were various public works going
on at that time, employing many men.
Mechanics working in and around the
mines received higher wages than the vneu
in i lie town, for various reasons. There
was hardly a day passed without some
poor fellow in the mine being hurt and
sometimes killed.
I may say here that the first diamond
is said to have been found in Griqualand
West in 1867. There are many stories
concerning the first "stone.'     One is to Round the World. 23
the effect that it was seen in the hands of
a child at the house of a farmer named
Jacob. The man who saw it was one
Van Niekerk, who wanted to buy it from
the child's mother. She would not sell
such a trifle, but gave it to Van Niekerk,
who had an idea of its being a diamond.
He sold it to one O'Reilly, who took it to
Cape Town, and, after much discussion
concerning it, it was finally examined by
Dr. Atherstone, who pronounced it to be
a diamond. It weighed twenty-one carats,
and was sold for £500.
There was soon a rush of diggers from
all parts of the world into Griqualand
West.f; Men left their ships as they did in
the old gold-digging days of Australia.
Digging was carried on in various places,
but the New Rush or Kimberley mine has
surpassed them all in richness. The old
days of private digging have gone by, it
being too expensive for private individuals
to go any great depth. The mines are
now worked by companies, with all the
latest machinery and necessary plant. The 24* A Mechanic's Tour
principal mine is at Kimberley. There
are many smaller mines, including Du
Toits Pan, De Beers, and Bultfontein.
Various companies have claims in the
Kimberley mine, and the united exertions
of these companies have managed to make
one of the largest artificial holes in the
world. To a person standing on the edge
of this huge cavity (shaped almost like a
huge basin) the black natives at the bottom
and around the sides look like black specks
moving about. 1 These niggers, or " boys,"
as they are called, fill the large buckets
with the "blue ground" or earth containing the diamonds, fl When the buckets are
full they are drawn to the top of the mine
by means of strong wire ropes or pulleys.
The blue ground goes through various
processes before the final sorting for the
diamonds takes place. ff|j
S Each gang of five or six native diggers
is watched over by a white overseer, who
has to see that they go on with their
work, and also to see that the dusky
labourers   do   not   pick  up  any  of   the Round the World. 25
diamonds that may lie about. But notwithstanding all the precautions that are
taken to keep the niggers from stealing,
many valuable diamonds are stolen. The
stolen diamonds are generally sold far
below their proper value to white men,
who often make fortunes by this illicit
diamond-buying, but who oftener get five
or even ten years' penal servitude for
buying stolen property. Detectives are
employed to find out who does buy the
stolen property of the various companies.
When they think a person is secretly
buying diamonds, the detectives set what
is called a " trap " for him. The trapping
usually takes place at night. § The detectives engage one or two natives to take a
diamond to the man in his house, and
while the natives are endeavouring to sell
the diamond, the detectives are secreted
around the premises, probably watching
the whole transaction through some small
hole in the galvanised iron. If the man
purchases the trap stone, they pounce-
upon him and convey him to the " trunk." 26
A Mechanic's Tour
i
He is then tried before judge and jury,
and if convicted is fined heavily, besides
having to go to prison for some years.
m To show to what extent the diamond
industry is carried on at the fields, a few
figures will not be amiss. The gross
weight (avoirdupois) of diamonds contained in packages which passed through
the Kimberley post office in 1880 was
1,440 lb. 12 oz., valued at £3,367,897.
m After one has lived in Kimberley some
time, he cannot help noticing the small
pieces of shining glass scattered about the
streets. § I do not know whether it is on
account of my living on the 1 diamondi-
ferous " soil or not that caused me to think
there never were so many bits of broken
glass anywhere as at Kimberley.
?j| Money was not scarce at the " camp "
in those palmy days. One clever person
used to go swaggering about with a hatband made out of £5 and £10 notes. The
same man was almost destitute when I left
the fields. Another man, after receiving
£6 or £7 for his week's wages, would be Round the World. 27
" hard up " on Monday morning.    Most ||
single men found and cooked their own
meals ; by doing so, they could live almost |[
as cheaply as in a boarding-house in Cape !
Town. We sometimes got our meals at
the International Hotel, costing £1. 15s.
per week. A large amount of canned
meat, fruit, &c, is used on the fields, and
it is a novel sight to see the little mountains fill
of empty cans on the level veldt in the B|§
outskirts of the town. i       $
Provisions and articles of all kinds were ]
dearer than in Cape Town; on account of
the   expensive  freightage.    We paid 6d. Ullf
per lb. for potatoes, Is. 6d. for a small tin Ëfi§|
of jam, the same for milk, 4s. 6d. for a   |H
small tin of chicken, Is. for a small loaf of HI
bread ;   meat,   however,  wasf reasonably WÊÊm
cheap, but most drinks in the hotels were gfi       j
Is. each.    If one went into a shop for a)|       !
cigar he would be asked if he would have |||
one at sixpence or a shilling.    Sixpence |||.       !
was generally the smallest coin recognised. | j
Clothing was an exception to the general     ;iBf
run of things, and was sold in the market- 28
A Mechanic's Tour
place astonishingly cheap. A friend of
mine bought what seemed to be a good
pair of trowsers for seven shillings.
The market square, upon certain days
of the week, wears a very lively aspect.
Amongst the noisy crowd can be seen the
glib-tongued auctioneer, trying to impress
upon the open-mouthed nigger the advantage to be derived from purchasing some
trinket, shirt, or perhaps a pair of boots.
It is not an unusual sight to see a nigger
strutting proudly along the middle of the
road, dressed solely in a shirt and one boot !
A wight he was, whose very sight would
Entitle him mirror of knighthood,
That never bow'd his stubborn knee
To anything but chivalry.
He was well staid, and in his gait
Preserved a grave, majestic state ;
And yet so fiery, he would bound
As if he grieved to touch the ground.
Manv wild beasts' skins are brought in
from the upper country by hunters and
traders. The skins are usually sold by
auction in the market-place.    The wood Round the World. 29
which is used for fuel is also taken there
by the Dutch Boers, who carry it from the
Transvaal Free State. The large wagon of
the Boer is drawn by about thirty oxen, led
by a black boy, who walks in front of the
first pair. The native blacks make very
good teamsters, to which employment they
seem better adapted than to any other
kind of work. They do not like steady
employment, many of them remaining
only long enough to save a few pounds,
when they go back to their own country
and set up on their own account, each
purchasing a few cattle and, probably, two
or three wives to work for him. There
were about fifteen or twenty mule-drivers,
who lived in a shanty about thirty yards
away from mine. These boys were very
fond of their Cape Smoke brandy, and on
a Saturday night they would be particularly noisy. Many a big, excited nigger
has knocked at my door and asked me to
go over and stop the revellers from almost
killing one of his companions during one
or another  of  their drunken  orgies, as 30 A Mechanic's Tour
some of them think the powers of the
white man are unlimited. Thev live on
very simple food, " mealies," or ground
maize, made into porridge, forming their
principal article of diet. About five or six
boys feed out of one can, each slowly
taking a spoonful while the others are
chatting, i The same large pot in which
these gentlemen cooked their porridge
was also used as a bath, regularly every
Sunday afternoon. They would fill the
pot with water, and then each "boy" would
wash himself in it from head to foot,
regardless of all passers-by, and without
once changing the water. They seemed
to thrive and get fat on such living, sickness being of rare occurrence amongst
them, much less, indeed, than amongst
the white people, for Kimberley is not
one of the healthiest places in the world ;
camp fever is very prevalent in the hot
weather, and it is a serious thing^for a
man to be sick for any length of time on
the fields, sWitïî^-àj^.^î|^j^f
I The heat during the daytime is often Round the World. 31
intense, but the nights compensate for any
inconvenience during the day. Such clear
moonlight nights it will be difficult to find
anywhere else. Then it is pleasant to sit
outside the house and enjoy the cool air,
though the quietness of the night may be
broken by the distant shouts and singing
of the black men around the mine. Sometimes may be heard another and more
welcome sound, that of the bugle as the
English mail-cart dashes into the camp,
perhaps with a letter from one's mother,
Bister, or some one else's sister. And
what a disappointment is felt when one
has been told there is not a letter for
him. Ah, well ! one for him will be sure
to come by the next mail, which is the
usual solace, though the expectation is not
always realised. v^l^^^K^Éi^^^fe^Pi
Dust-storms are very prevalent in Kimberley. One can see them travelling over
the " veldt " like clouds of darkness.
They pass away as quickly as they come,
leaving everything covered with a thick
layer of dust.    Some people will tell you 32  3; A Mechanic's Tour
that the dust-storms clear the air, but
where there is no proper sewerage, and
where all kinds of rubbish lie baking in
the fierce heat of the sun on the sandy
desert, dust-storms do not do much good.
The air in the district is usually clear:
in fact, too clear to be comfortable some-
times, for it is seldom a cloud obscures
the sun's rays. There is very little I
vegetation in or near Kimberley, except ■ j
a few small trees in what is  called the       i
park. :^^^^^Ri^ft^^^^fc^ ' 1
p About one o'clock one Monday morning
I was awoke by the tramping of feet along
the road, and on going to the door saw
clouds of smoke floating overhead.    One I    j
of the best blocks of building in Main §f    I
Street was on fire. § It was sad to see the
firemen  waiting  for  the  water-carts   to if    j
bring the water, and then have to put it v    j
into a tank before they could pump any       j
on to the devouring flames.    The supply
of water was not half equal to the demand,
the water having to be brought from wells
some distance off.    Water-pipes, however, Round the World. 33
were then being laid to the Vaal River, so
that, no doubt, by this time river water
will be flowing through the streets of
Kimberley. ' -
There are many churches and chapels of
all denominations in the town, and many
coloured people attend the English church ;
while the week-nights were spent in billiards, drinking, and " free-and-easies," §i|
which were in full swing in the gaily- j
lighted saloons and canteens.
During my stay in Kimberley there was
what is called a " rush " to De Kaap, a
newly-discovered gold-field in the Trans-ftfff
vaal Free State.    Nothing else was talked
about, and people were going in crowds ^BBBii
wagon-loads of  diggers were to be seen
going daily, the men singing and hurrahing, ifi»
glad that something had turned up at last, f jh^
for  trade  on  the  fields  had   been  very Pfi§B|
depressed for some months.    An old Aus- !■■''!
tralian digger, whose mind seemed to be   ■-. "*"•■§
fired by the news of gold waiting to be
picked up, was very anxious  for  me  to pP§ji |
accompany him to the new El Dorado; tM
D
Mil 34 A Mechanic's Tour
he had already made a cradle for washing
the gold, and bought his tent and other
ncessary articles, all of which I could share
with him if I would go. Fortunately, I
could not sell my house just then. In a
week or two many of those who had gone
away with such bright hopes, returned,
very much down in spirits and lighter in
pocket. Those who could not afford to
pay their wagon fare back again had to
foot it or stay in the Transvaal. The old
Australian was one of the latter. The
splendid gold-field had proved to be a
swindle, a hoax, it was said, got up by the
Transvaal Boers to bring a little money
into their poor country. A short time
ago, when the British had possession of
the country,.wages for mechanics in the
town of Pretoria averaged £1 per day;
since the Dutch have taken over the control of the country it is difficult to get
work at any price.    So much for British
ru^e • • '■■'■■' lit ';^HK-iï * * HK^ ■
I  I felt sorry for the old  man.    When
young he left England for Australia, where Round the World. 35
he had seen many ups and downs connected
with gold mining. On a calm Sunday
afternoon he would drop into my shanty
and while away an hour or two chatting
about his gold-digging experiences and
adventures in the Australian colonies. He
had found a considerable amount of gold
in his time. Once he went home with a
small fortune with the intention to marry
the girl he had left behind, but instead of
going straight to his waiting and trusting
sweetheart, he took Punch's advice with
a vengeance, and " didn't." The attractions of London were too many for him
with a full pocket ; freely indulging himself with these, he loitered about town
until his money had slipped away, and
then, being ashamed to meet his lady
love, he started once again for the gold-
fields. • He is now over sixty years of age,
and still single, and as eager to make his
pile as ever he was ; thinking, like all old
gold-diggers, he is sure to do so sooner or
later. Whether he will go home once
more to keep his plighted troth with the
d 2 I    IÎ r
36
A Mechanic's Tour
lady of his choice, if she still lives, remains
to be seen.
*\è On Saturday afternoon crowds of people
assemble on the cricket ground to see
cricket matches, though many a batter
has had to retire on account of the heat.
It certainly does get warm on the fields
as Christmas draws near. Fortunately I
had not lost a day through illness since
my arrival, but with continued hard work,
often working from six in the morning
until ten at night, I had felt anything but
well lately, and had thoughts of getting*
down  to Cape Town for  the Christmas
holidays. w^Kvl^^^^l ï^B^#;'^^^^^B
The inhabitants of Kimberley, at Christ-
mas time, generally take a trip to the
Vaal River, some twelve miles distant.
Another favourite resort is Alexanders-
fontein. Hope Town, on the banks of
the Orange River, also comes in for a fair
share of patronage. I One of my friends
who came out with me, and who had been
ill with the camp-fever, had decided to
leave the fields, so we travelled together Round the World. 37
down to Cape Town. The wagons generally do the distance to Beaufort West
in seven or eight days, having no heavy
merchandise to carry ; a few skins and
the passengers' luggage being the heaviest
part of the cargo. The back tent was
occupied by a married woman and her
family ; the front part of the wagon had
also been made into a ladies' compartment,
and in the middle of the wagon were nine
men, all huddled together with our boxes.
There were three wagons with this train,
each drawn by the usual number of mules.
The wagons were crowded, there always
being more people leaving the fields at
that time than were going up. The
passengers on one of the wagons were
principally black men. 1 The first night
after leaving the camp, some one kindly
cut our provision bag, which hung at the
side of the wagon, and extracted all our
food with the exception of one can of
Libby's canned beef. It was very thoughtful and good-natured of the thieves to
leave that one can for us to keep us from 38 A Mechanic's Tour
feeling hungry until we could get more,
bless 'em, and I should have liked to publicly thank them for their thoughtf ulness,
only I could never find out who the good-
natured people were in that miscellaneous
crowd. I hope their consciences did not
upset their digestion. § We reached Cape
Town on Christmas Eve, and were not
known by the black servant at the old
house in Sir Lowry Road, on account of
being so badly sunburnt, but after a brief
scrutiny we were at last welcomed with
outstretched arms by the old landlady.
m I stayed in Cape Town a few months,
then embarked for England in one of the
Union Company's ships. In the second-
class cabins there are only two bunks in
each berth on the large new steamers.
The man who shared the small bedroom
with me had been cast upon a desolate
island somewhere down south. He was
the mate of an American seal-fishing ship
which had been wrecked on the island.
The crew had been fpicked up by an
American man-of-war sent to search for Round the World.
them, and landed at Cape Town. The old
sailor's story reminded me of Robinson
Crusoe, f He made up for lost time in the
way of drinking grog. The very smell
of rum for weeks after would make me
shudder. At last we sighted the green
shores of old England, and were safely
landed at Southampton after an absence
of almost two years.        It      fr f§
j     CHAPTER  IIL? ■
Aftee my return from South Africa I
worked in England for about a year.
Having long had a desire to visit Canada
and the United States, W. and myself
procured steerage passages to Quebec, and
after purchasing in Liverpool sundry tin
plates, cans, wash-basins, mattress, pillow,
&c, we weighed anchor, and in the fair
spring-time my second voyage to a distant
land commenced. 40
A Mechanic's Tour
There were not many opportunities of
having a look at our fellow-passengers
for the first day or two, and we almost
imagined there were a lot of Red Indians
on board from the peculiar sounds of
I whoop, whoop," which rose from all
corners of the ship. With fair weather
the deck was soon crowded with passengers, and time passed pleasantly until we
neared the banks of Newfoundland, where
the usual fogs at that time of the year
were encountered. *fg§m'•'■"i-:^M^M^I §É|É
m In the gulf of St. Lawrence we fancied
ourselves in the region of the North Pole.
As far as the eye could reach there was
ice,—   ^^^B: '■. ;w 'R ';^R : ::-ÊÈ lElM"
Ice to the right of us,
Ice to the left of us,
Vblley'd and thunder'd.
I When we were below, the noise the ship
made in pushing its way through the huge
masses of ice, was very much like thunder.
The cold down in the steerage was very
severe, and we needed lots of blankets to
X Round the World. 41
keep out the cold, as we lay in a draughty
place. The ship was used as a cattle-ship
on the return-voyage from Canada, when
all bunks would be taken down and long
rows of cattle-pens put in their places ;
so that the steerage could not possibly be
one of the most comfortable for passengers.
There certainly was a hot steam pipe
about eight or nine feet long, with a seat
over it, in the centre of the cabin, but
that had no effect in warming the place.
The hot seat was generally besieged by
a cold crowd in the evening. It was
comical to watch the twisting and contortions some selfish fellow would go
through, sooner than relinquish his hot
seat as the heat became almost unbearable. That seat was a sort of throne each
evening,—the throne of the king of darkness, one might fancy, after sitting on it
a short time. Around that seat have been
held many rowdy concerts, each man in
his turn singing a song. One of the
company knew only one song, and as
regular  as  clockwork  he  would  sing  it 42 A Mechanic's Tour
each time he was called upon for a song,
which would probably be two or three
times a night. Oh ! the words of that
song ring in my ears still. No matter if
one stuffed the blankets into his ears and
tried to sleep, the dulcet strains of "Thes
a nuther jolly row down stairs " would be
sure to rouse him. ^^^R^^S"       •§
■ With considerable shoving and pushing
we got clear of our Arctic surroundings,
and reached Quebec early one fine morning
in May, when we had the satisfaction of
knowing that we were the first passengers
that had arrived by steamer from the
Atlantic that spring. I There is some
rivalry between the different steamship
companies in trying to get one of their
steamers first to Quebec, as the first
steamer which arrives there each spring
is allowed certain privileges for the remainder of the year until the winter frost
once more stops navigation on the River
St. Lawrence. -^^^S:'  '^^^^H^S    '^^
■ After waiting a few hours at Quebec we
were soon rolling along in the railway cars Round the World. 43
to our several destinations. These cars
are altogether different from the railway
carriages in Great Britain. The American
car has a door at each end and leading on
to a small platform, which platform is
attached to a similar one on the next car,
and so on the entire length of the train.
One is able to walk the whole length of
the train, there being a footpath through
the centre of the car, with seats capable
of holding two persons arranged crosswise
at each side of the footpath. Each car
is capable of holding from forty to fifty
people. §
Naturally to a new-comer the farms
seen by the roadside, with the old stumps
of trees studded about, the rough zig-zag
fencing and the unpainted wooden farmhouses had a poor and wild appearance
compared to the brick and stone houseSr
and the green hedges of the well-kept and
highly-cultivated farms we had just left
in old England. j|*     M       %
After passing many towns and villages,
we arrived in Toronto about three o'clock
J 41 A Mechanic's Tour
in  the  morning,  having  been  thirty-six
hours m the cars.
During the first day in this city I saw
two or three of my old fellow-passengers,
including a mason, who said he had tried
to get work at various places and had
failed; he was, therefore, going back to
England in a few days. A carpenter and
his wife also seemed very dissatisfied with
their newly-adopted country. The lady said
her husband had left ninepence an hour in
London to come out to this country, and
he could not get much more than that
here, where living and house-rent were
dearer ; they were not going to stay.
Old residents have said that if they had
had I enough j money, | when § they first
landed, to carry them back to the old
country, they would have gone by the
next steamer. JBut when they had been
here a while, and got used to the ways of
the country, they were more contented,
and would be very sorry to go back to the
overcrowded cities of Great Britain now.
I heard of a woman who had kept a trunk Round the World. 45
packed for eighteen | months after her
arrival from England, and she was determined she would not unpack it until
she got back there again. She has been
in Canada about eighteen years now, and
is likely to stay.
Many of the new arrivals also expressed
dissatisfaction with the prospects the
country afforded them. They complained
of the very glowing descriptions some of
the Government guide-books gave concerning Canada. They had been led to
expect too much, and their disappointment
was correspondingly great. The Canadian
Dominion is said to be nearly as large as
the whole of Europe ; and the 5,000,000
of inhabitants already in Canada have,
therefore, plenty of elbow-room.^^^^^^^w
I obtained work without any trouble,
at wages of two dollars per day of ten
hours. On Saturday we kept up the
British custom of having half a day'&
holiday, with the loss of half a day's paj^
We had breakfast before commencing
work at seven o'clock, dinner from twelve 46 A Mechanic's Tour
to one o'clock, and supper at six in the
evening. There are many advertisements
for mechanics of all kinds in the spring,
summer, and fall ; in the winter it is not
so easy to get work, and wages are not so
good.
S: Good board and lodgings were to be
had for three dollars and a quarter—or
about thirteen shillings and sixpence in
British money—per week. My landlady
was an Englishwoman, and had been in
Canada about two years. jJShe grumbled
considerably about the dollars and cents.
She still had to compare the Canadian
money with the British money, when purchasing anything, before she could arrive
at the true value of it. If an article cost
fifty cents she would say, | That is about
two shillings in English money." | It is
well known in Great Britain that a dollar
is equal in value to four shillings and twopence, and that there are one hundred
cents in a dollar. | A cent is of the same
value as a halfpenny. ^^^^^^Hp^ H
m Toronto is  surpassed by only one city Round the World.   C     '      47
(Montreal) in Canada in the number of its
inhabitants. There are some splendid
stores and warehouses built of brick and
stone in the principal thoroughfares ; the
old wooden structures are fast disappearing from the central parts of the town.
In the suburbs and side streets the inhabitants have a fashion of building wooden
houses and putting one course of bricks
over the fronts of them ; they call it brick-
veneering the houses.       "\'b_   §    ^ïèp|3
Horse tram-cars run to all parts of the
town. Many of the streets are lined with
trees, which give an agreeable shade in
summer time. The trees are also appreciated by the English sparrows that some
benevolent person imported once upon a
time. The sparrows have increased to
such numbers that it is a debatable point
whether they are a blessing or otherwise.
They seemed to enjoy the fine spring
weather after the frost and snow of the
last winter. They have a harder time of
it than their little cousins in England. §|g|
From the numerous pictures one sees in
j 48.      ;        A Mechanic's Tour
England about Canada and its wintertime, one is likely to think there is hardly
anything else in that part of the world.
It certainly must be cold when the weatherglass sometimes shows 20 degrees below
zero. I However, the winter is a most
enjoyable time with many. § At any rate,
the Canadians (particularly the young
ladies) have a good-looking and healthy
appearance. Canadians appear to be a
thrifty and economical class of people, and
there is not that terrible competition
between the store-keepers that one finds in
Great Britain. The clothes marked in the
windows of the stores were about as cheap
as similar goods in Great Britain ; the same
with the commoner kinds of furniture. gj|g|
§| Toronto is sometimes called the city
of churches ; four churches were clustered
together in the same street as that in
which my boarding-house was situated.
The city has earned the proud distinction
of being the second best in the world in
regard to keeping the Sabbath-day holy.
There are many good parks and places of Round the World, 49
resort. The little River Humber, some
three miles out of town, is a very pleasant
place to have a day's outing in the summer
time. As one gently rows his boat along
the smooth stream, his thoughts are likely
to wander back to the time when Red
Indians, in all their fiery war-paint and
flowing feathers, swarmed over that part
of the country. Not a hundred years ago,
where one can now sit at ease in his well-
made boat, " let out at so much an hour,"
the Indian's rude canoe glided swiftly o'er
the stream. At the present time, however, one seldom or never sees a red man
in the locality. The race is gradually
dwindling out of existence.
Ah ! the Indian's heart is ailing,
And the Indian's blood is failing ;
Red men and their realms must sever ;
They forsake them, and for ever !
M'Clellan.
E 5*0 A Mechanic's Tour
CHAPTER IV.
Being desirous of paying a visit to some
friends in the state of New York, U.S.,
we purchased a through ticket to Albany,
and commenced our journey southward,
with the intention of staying over at
Niagara Falls for about six hours., The
southern part of Ontario has a richer and
better cultivated appearance than has the
province of Quebec. The country around
Niagara seems specially adapted for growing fruit, particularly apples, large orchards
being very numerous. At last Niagara
was called, so with a small hand-bag and
stick we bravely pushed our way through
the terrible  line  of  cabmen   and   other
touters.   ¥iu^^^ffl^aSBBK-' 88-  '
B As we neared the world-famed " Falls,"
we could hear the roaring waters and see
the spray rising in clouds. 1 At the Falls
the water is said to have an abrupt descent
of   165   feet, and it  has been calculated j£ Round the World. 51
that 670,255 tons of water break every
minute over the mighty precipice.
A certain writer calculates that the Falls*
have been in existence over sixty thousand
years, a mere shadow of time compared
with the age of the coralline limestone
over which the water flows. The same
writer also says it will take ten thousand
years for the water to cut away a mile of
rock. Such figures make one feel very
insignificant. Many able and accomplished
writers (from Mr. Trollope down to the
man who called it a "tasty " sight) have
given to the world their ideas concerning
the Niagara Falls, so it is not necessary
for me to give a long description of them..
The guides and hackmen spoil one's? peace
to a certain extent, for as one looks on'
and listens to the continuous roar that has
been going on for ages one is inclined to
have a long day-dream, as thoughts of the
shortness of life, compared! to this never-
ending work,, flit through his mind,, and
thoughts of the uselessness of all the pride*
malice, and fretting one seres around.
'%'  ï        e 2 52 A Mechanic's Tour p
After crossing the suspension bridge
over the rapids to the American side,
where our baggage was examined by the
United States Customs officials, we
travelled over the fertile state of New
York, and arrived in the city of Albany
early one morning. Albany, the state
capital, is situated on the western side of
the noble River Hudson, and is 144 miles
distant from the city of New York.
Steamers | run between the two cities
regularly. Immigrants who land at New
York, and want to travel north, generally
go by the river steamboats, as the fare
is | somewhat    less | than    the    railroad
fare. '^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^B^^tti
|H There are some fine buildings in Albany.
The Capitol is one of the best buildings in
America, ft The town of Cohoes, where I
had the pleasure  of   staying for  a  few
weeks, is situated a few miles to the north
of Albany, and is celebrated for its cotton
industries. § The water of the surrounding
rivers and streams is  the   motive-power
which is mostly used to work the machinery Round the World. 53
in the mills. Many females are employed
in these mills, some of whom are paid
more for their week's work than mechanics
get in Great Britain. It is often the
case that a woman can earn more money
in the mills than her husband can at his
trade. One stout lady was pointed out to
me who (my informant said) preferred
mill work to house-keeping ; § so she
allowed her husband to stay at home to
look after the children and household.
America is noted for its strong-minded
women, and no doubt that lady was a
prominent member of the "Women's
Rights Association."       ,. §   ,fff|i
House-joiners in the district earn from
two to three dollars per day. Cabinetmakers do not fare so well as that. Many
of the men in the cabinet factories are
Germans or Swedes. Machinery is used
for every possible thing, as it is a well-
known fact that Americans will not do
anything with the hands if it can be done
with a machine. The working hours are
ten   hours   per   day,   Saturday  included. 54 A Mechanic's Tour     S
There  are  numerous iron-works   on  the
banks of the Hudson River. I
it An E-nglishman who has been in the
country about twenty-six years, and who
has worked at the same establishment
during the whole of the time, told me that
the first time he entered the office for his
wages he took off his hat, as he used to
do in the " old country," The gentleman
in the office told him to put his hat on
again : he had worked for his money, and
he need not take his Jiat off for it ; he was
not in England now, | pi • fcatf pi
J|§ There is generally a plentiful supply of
labour in the Eastern States. I I heard of
a contractor who had hired a lot of Italian
labourers to work on a road near Troy, at
the rate of eighty or ninety cents a day.
Good board and lodgings for a single man
can be had for four or five dollars per
week. I Good clothing is dearer than it is
in Great Britain» -^B^^^^^^^^^^K^^
I The shops, or I " stores," and other
buildings in the principal thoroughfares
are  built   of  brick  and  stone ;   wooden -T*^T-=- =^ ^-^^.^^^
Round the World. 55
houses are numerous in the side-streets
and suburbs of the different towns in the
locality. In the market-places there is
abundance of fruit at all times of the
year. Oranges, apples, pears, pine-apples,
bananas, and other fruits are quite common.
The state of Florida is a great fruitgrowing country, within easy reach of
New York, and when the latter place is
covered with snow, the New York people
are able to have the most delicious fruit
from the sunny state of Florida, where the
snow never falls. Hundreds of delicate
and invalid people in the Northern States
go south to escape the generally severe
winters of the north, when the Hudson
River freezes over, and continues so for
weeks. Then one appreciates the warmth
from the stoves which are in such general
use in America. It is seldom one sees the
open fireplace, such as is used in England.
Accompanied by a friend, wc paid a
visit to a farmer a few miles out of Cohoes,
and during my conversation with the lady
of the house (who was of Dutch descent, ■B
56 A Mechanic's Tour
and had inherited the farm from her
father), I mentioned my being a stranger
in the country. I could not help smiling
at the reply she made. She said, " Is that
soPiYou don't look like a greenhorn."
The Americans look upon all newcomers
as greenhorns, and sometimes the newcomers are described as I tenderfeet."
Many of the farmers in the district are
well-to-do personages, most of the land
being very valuable, on account of there
being so many manufacturing towns and
villages scattered about.
o
-♦<>♦-
H    ^M CHAPTER V-^^^^p: '
Having stayed a few weeks in the I garden
spot of the state," I commenced my
journey westward, travelling through the
well-populated states I of Pennsylvania,
Ohio, Indiana, to Chicago, in the state
of  Illinois.     One   soon  notices a great
i— *\
Round the World. 61
toward heaven.' Even if this do not
happen, a large fortune divided into several
portions becomes distributed among several
persons. The soldier, the author, the
statesman cannot receive a title from
majesty, to be handed down to his eldest
son after him. The son of the soldier
must win his own epaulettes. The son of
the statesman must make his own speeches.
The son of the author must write his own
books. No man can profit by his father's
reputation, save to the extent of the presumption it creates in favour of his education, whilst the chances are, that in making
a name for himself he will be completely
outstripped by the son of some blacksmith,
cobbler, or hod-carrier, who never dreamed
of being father to a senator or a genius.
Thus the personnel of American aristocracy
changes so constantly that it is too
transient ever to endanger the liberties of
the people." ■
But from all this one must not think
America a perfect country, and that all
Americans are  honourable and just, for 62 'A Mechanic's Tour
the well-known " smart " men are as
numerous in the States as they are in any
other country. Chicago is a growing and
busy city of nearly 700,000 inhabitants of
all nationalities. It has many handsome
buildings, immense stockyards, good parks,
splendid drives, large hotels, and all the
paraphernalia of a fast, modern city»
Since the great fire that occurred there
some years ago, the authorities allow no
wooden buildings within certain limits to
be erected. |-lfel^§|. i .ofeo^ ' |'
J§§ Chicago has been called the champion
city of the world for divorces, on account
of so many divorces always taking place.
The labour market was well supplied with
all kinds of mechanics. Joiners get from
two and a half to three dollars per day of
ten hourSr Good board and lodging for a
single man costs five dollars per week..
People work very hard in this district;
there could not be a greater contrast
between any two countries, in the way of
working, than there is between the United
States and South Africa. ii ""^-■■■f^W». nui | A
*Ti
Round the World. 63
There is a considerable shipping trade
done at Chicago. Vessels can load there
and sail to Montreal in Canada, over the
fresh-water lakes, Michigan, Huron, Erie,
and through the Welland Canal, to escape
the great obstacle of Niagara Falls, into
Lake Ontario,, and down the River St. Lawrence to the port of Montreal. This traffic
cannot go on in the winter time, on account
of the lakes freezing over. During my
stay in Chicago the heat was intense.
The following winter of 1884-5 was very
severe, the thermometer reaching ta many
decrees below zero.
■+0+-
J CHAPTER VI.
After working some time in Chicago, I
began, at twelve o'clock one Monday
morning, the great overland journey to
Sacramento, the state capital of California,
on the Pacific Ocean ; a distance of over 64 A Mechanic's Tour     Iff
2,000 miles. A through ticket cost me
fifty-three and a half dollars. In America
a man can buy his railway ticket days
before he wants to travel. It is not necessary to go to the railway station to purchase it; agents in the town are always
willing to sell tickets to all parts of the
world. Those for long journeys are not
unlike small folders of views, and one has
to tear a view or ticket off and give it to the
conductor at various stages of the journey.
H There are numerous railways by which
one can travel from Chicago to Council
Bluffs. We chose the Chicago and Rock
Island Railroad. We travelled in the
well-known second-class car peculiar to
the country as far as Council Bluffs,
where we were transferred to the Union
Pacific Railroad Company's cars, which
are made especially for the great overland
journey. One of the company's notices
will be sufficient to describe the cars :—
" Emigrant sleeping-cars are attached to
express-trains leaving Omaha (four miles
from 1 Council    Bluffs)! daily   for    San "*\
Round the World. 65
Francisco,   running   to    Ogden   without
change.    The new cars of this class are
fitted with upper and lower berths.    The
upper berths swing freely on iron rods, and
when not in use can be hung upon the roof
of the car, where they are not in the way. The
lower berths are formed from the seats,
and are made up after the manner of first-
class sleepers by turning down the backs.
The chief difference  between these cars
and first-class sleepers is that the former
are not upholstered, and passengers must
furnish their own bedding.    Especial care
is  taken by depot  passenger  agents  at
Council Bluffs to place only people who
will be agreeable travelling companions in
the same sleeping-car." ^^^^^^^^^^^p
We managed  to  get  an "agreeable"
company in our car, including two English
families and  some women going out  to
join their husbands in the Far West.    I
obtained a couple of large cushions at the
depot, which, combined with my rug and
eoats, was as  much  bedding  as a man
without " encumbrances " needed. 66 A Mechanic's Tour
People generally take a stock of provisions for the journey, although meals can
be had along the road. It is well to provide oneself with one of the lunch-baskets
and other little necessaries which are to
be had at Council Bluffs.
[0 There are numerous " Guides and
Tourists" published to explain the points
of interest along the road. The nautical
and American phrase of " All aboard !" is
sounded, and we move off to the region of
the setting sun. The land, both east and
west of Council Bluffs for hundreds of
miles, is flat and treeless, but very fertile.
We passed many flourishing towns and
villages. As one looks at his " Guide
Book," and reads about the dangers and
hardships experienced by the pioneers of
this country, he is apt to be glad he waited
until the railroad was put in good working
order across the country. 'p: ' ■'^-■i ''■.
|| About two hundred and fifty miles west
of Council Bluffs the agricultural land
begins to diminish, and we entered the
great grazing region of the west.    In that Round the World. 69
door-plate two miles away. One could
almost believe him if it had been stuck
up somewhere in the Rocky Mountains.
A considerable amount of sage-brush
grows for many miles on both sides of
the Black Hills and Rocky Mountains.
The scenery in many places is wild and
desolate. Game of many kinds is said
to be found on the mountains and in the
valleys; they wisely keep clear of the
railway. The only wild ianimals that
were to be seen from the train were a few
little prairie dogs. A few years ago herds
of buffaloes were often met with on the
track, but the onward march of civilisation
has cleared the plains of those animals. ÏM
Passing through many gorges land
canyons, we at length arrived at the
town of Ogden, Utah Territory. The
town has a population of 6,500, mostly
Mormons. At Ogden is the junction of
the Union and Central Pacific Railroads.
The distance from Council Bluffs, 1,036
miles ; from San Francisco, 882 ; from
Salt Lake City, 36 miles.   All passengers, 70   ^1^^ A Mechanic's Tour    ]H˧ .
baggage, mail, and express, change cars
at this station. I The waters of the river
Ogden are conducted through the streets
of the town, and used in the gardens and
fields for irrigating, the result of which is
that the city is in the midst of one great
flower garden and forest of fruit and shade
trees. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^H
%: Utah Territory was first settled in 1847.
In that year about three hundred Mormons
entered Salt Lake Valley, and laid out
Great Salt Lake City, lit has since grown
to a place of great importance under the
fostering care I of that fatherly person,
Brigham Young. iBrigham Young, the
Mormon leader, said lin one j of his
sermons : I Many persons are curious to
know how many wives I have.! I will
satisfy their curiosity by saying I have
sixteen wives. If I have any more hereafter, it will be my good luck and the
blessing of God. 11 have forty-nine living
children, and I hope to have a great many
more." ^^^■^H?^<fSK . IIhHhPI
Again  "All aboard ! " is shouted, and Round the World.        jf     71
we roll along in the cars, the Great Salt
Lake being on our left. After passing
the Lake we journeyed for miles over a
sandy desert. When travelling through
such uninteresting places the passengers
take the opportunity of giving attention to
the inside of the car. The members of one
of the English families were very good
singers, and often in the long evenings
did they cheer us with their sweet voices
as they sang some well-known hymns and
ballads. I have seen the tears come
to the mother's eyes as the young people
sang of home, peace, and rest. Doubtless
her thoughts wandered back to the scenes
they had left, where they learned to sing
those sweet melodies. ^^^xïJ-'-j^-^^i^i-
H We did not travel so quickly on the
Central Pacific Railway as we did on the
Union Pacific Railroad, as our cars had
been hitched on to what is called a fast
freight train. The emigrant trains we met
going East seemed to be as crowded with
passengers as were the trains going West.
There seemed to be many who were not 72     • A Mechanic's Tour
satisfied with Horace Greely's advice of
" Go West, young man, and rear a
family." vfS^-
■ After passing through the silver-mining
State of Nevada, we ascended the Sierra
Nevada Mountains. Our train went winding around the mountain sides, up, up,
among the trees, through long snow-
sheds, with the beautiful Donner Lake on
our right, until we reached the summit,
the highest point passed over on those
mountains by the railroad, 7,017 feet above
sea level. 1^^;^^^^^^^^^^^^^^»
I The change from the dry plains at that
time of year (the hottest part of summer)
to the mountain top was pleasant in the
extreme ; the everlasting snow lay all
around, and with the cool streams that
rippled down from the higher peaks, made
our short stay a most refreshing one. The
snow sometimes falls fifteen to twenty feet
deep on the mountains, and to keep the
track clear they have built strong wooden
sheds over the rails for miles. ^^^B H
I As we rolled down the western slope of Round the World. • 73
the mountains into the golden State of
California, there was a sharp scream from
one of the English women as she ran to
the opposite side of the car ; the cause
of the commotion was the train rounding
Cape Horn, the grandest scene on the
whole line. The railroad is cut out of the
solid mountain side, and to the left of us
we looked down an almost perpendicular
precipice to the bottom of the yawning
abyss, 2,500 feet below. On our right the
mountain towered into the sky. We
passed many old gold-mines, some of
which were being worked over again by
Chinese. i^HHR
Our car began to have a deserted
appearance soon after entering the " Sunny
State," as many of the passengers had
alighted at different stations. At last
Sacramento was announced about one
o'clock on Monday morning, after a
journey in the cars of about six days and
a half. Early in the next morning I
sought out some old friend, and com-
menced work the   following  day in  one r*8
OWI
Si
74 * A Mechanic's Tour
of the many sash and door factories in the
town. Wages are from about two and a
half to three dollars per day of ten hours.
The principal machine shops of the Central
Pacific Railroad are situated in the city,
and many men are employed there. |
m People live well in California; excellent
board and lodgings can be had at the hotels
for five or six dollars per week. As a
rule there are not many single men who
live with private families on the Pacific
coast, they generally live at the numerous
second-class hotels to be found there.
Many married people also prefer hotel
life to the cares of a household  of their
own. v-i>;-«, r^K .i^tt 'JWi-vlMi^iz/uiiXv'"
|| Oalifornians are a go-ahead, restless
class of people. At the hotel where I lived
a fair specimen of the pushing, impatient
Yankee store-keeper used to patronise
the same table as myself ; the man would
hardly allow himself two minutes to eat his
dinner or any other meal. On one occasion
a I tenderfoot," or new arrival, was sitting
next me, and when he saw the American
% Round the World. 75
jump up from the table, he wanted to know
if he was offended with his dinner as he
had left it so soon.
The town has a population of about
25,000 souls, and it is noted for its quiet
beauty, its gardens, orchards, vineyards,
and its shaded streets. From the top of
the Capitol one has a splendid view of the
Sacramento valley and the surrounding
country.
The mosquitos in Sacramento valley are
very industrious little things, and their
musical capabilities are of no mean order.
As one lies ensconced under the sheets to
keep them from caressing him with their
playful stings, he can fancy himself at a
promenade concert in old Covent Garden,
while a dozen or so sing around his head
with their different notes, until one cute
fellow manages to get beneath the covering, and dispels the dreams and illusions
of his victim ! .    I     fmU
Sacramento is the favourite hunting-
ground of millions of insects and small
flies of all kinds.   The electric lights which 76 A Mechanic's Tour
adorn the streets and hang over the store
fronts attract the pests from the damp
and marshy country around. The pedestrian often has to move off the footpath
as thousands of flies buzz around a light
hanging overhead, and the flies which have
successfully burnt their wings lie thickly
strewn upon the pavement, m The mean
annual temperature at Sacramento is sixty
degrees, and for months in the summer
time there is not a cloud to be seen ; the
winter is the rainy season. Snow seldom
or never falls. :'Ciy^%MM^A^^0%
H During my stay the " Native-Born Sons
of California" held a demonstration in
the city, and in the procession we had the
pleasure of seeing Mr. J. W. Marshall,
the man who first found gold in California.
The discovery of gold was made on
January 19 th, 1848, in the mill race of
General Sutter. | The announcement of
the gold discovery caused the greatest
gold fever ever experienced in the civilised
world. I People in the Atlantic States
chartered    ships    to    got round    South Round the World. 77
America and so get to the diggings that
way, and numbers, in the excitement,
started to cross the great continent on
foot. Many a poor fellow never reached
the new El Dorado, being either killed by
the Indians or worn out by the difficult
journey.     / |J
I informed my employer of my intention
to finish the overland journey by going to
the seaport of San Francisco. He said
I should find it difficult to get work in
that city, for San Francisco was one of
the worst places in the world for a stranger
to get employment. I had heard some
such statement before, and from another
source. It was with a feeling of sadness
I parted from that American gentleman.
He was a native of one of the Eastern
States, and had been settled in Sacramento
about eight years, and had managed to
work his way into a very comfortable
position. '     '  ;|j-~     ..■'.. • wRpf
On our way in the train to San Fran*
cisco we passed many fine farms and vineyards.   California is one of the best wheat
■Bfi 78 A Mechanic's  Tour
and fruit-growing countries in the world :
in fact it is hard to say what will not
grow in such a favoured land. In the
vineyards were dozens of "Heathen
Chinee," picking and curing the grapes.
The Chinese are in great numbers all over
the Pacific coast. The United States
Government have prohibited any more
Chinese labourers from landing in the
country. There are many reasons, from
a workman's point of view, why the
Chinese are not desirable residents in any
country but their own. They live on fifty
cents or one dollar a week, and are therefore able to work for very little, and what
money they do earn generally goes to
Ohina. It is difficult to see how a good
and solid country can be built up by a
working population of Chinese,—men who
seldom marry out of their own country,
.and who live and. dress in such a miserable
fashion as to completely outdo the white
man. | It is not always easy for a white
man to get work in the Golden State.
Notwithstanding its gold and good climate. ^s
Round the  World. 79
many of the Eastern States can show as
great a progress in the same time as can
California. One would naturally suppose
that a newly-settled country like California
would be a good place for servant-girls ;
but the Chinese do most of the girls'
work; they are the cooks, dishwashers,
and so on. All over the Pacific coast they
monopolise the washing of clothes and
household linen. A fastidious person had
better not watch them while they iron his
underclothing, for when they want to
damp anything they fill their mouths full
of water and squirt it through their teeth
over the clothes. Such a person, in regard
to his old shirt, would be inclined to say
in the words of Shakespeare,—   ^^^^H
Hather bear those ills we have,
Than fly to others that we know not of.
At Benicia, on the Straits of Carquinez,
we had our*first sight of the waters of
the Pacific Ocean. To save a long roundabout journey to San Francisco the railroad
company have built the largest steam f erry-
--—— 80 A  Mechanic's Tour »
boat in the world. It is capable of taking
forty-eight freight cars, or twenty-four
passenger cars, across the Straits (a mile
and a half across) to Port Costa, where the
train once more rolls along on terra firma,
to the City of the Golden Gate. |
H At the town |of Oakland the train
runs along an immense pier into the Bay
of San Francisco, and at the end of the
pier we bade good-bye to the cars and
went on board one of the fine ferry-boats
that convey the passengers across the bay
to the city.l At last we touched the landing-place, and getting ashore, soon went
along the busy, bustling streets of the
extreme western city of the | States, a
young city of about 300,000 inhabitants.
The first house was built in "Frisco"
in 1835. A stranger cannot help noticing
the eager rush and bustle of the passers-
by in the streets, j Go-ahead and hard
work is the order of the day. There are
always lots of workmen to be had here, jg
■ While in the city there was great excitement in regard to the election of a *
Round the World. 81
president for the United States. I went
to many of the Republicans' meetings.
Most of the Republican orators spoke upon
the one subject of Free Trade, and the
evils that would be sure to ensue from it,
if the Democratic candidate were elected.
Great Britain came in for a fair share of
abuse from these gentlemen. They almost
made one believe that hundreds of British
ships were waiting outside American ports,
ready to flood the country with their
merchandise so soon as Mr. Cleveland
was elected. My American friend apologised to me for the abusive remarks in
which the speakers indulged concerning
England, and said it was a "catching"
subject with many people. '^^^^^^^^H
The American people speak the English
language in a better manner than the
" masses " of England do. There are few
of the localisms and peculiarities of dialect
that one hears in the different counties of
Great Britain. The Americans have a
standing joke about the way most English
people drop their h's; though they seem
G —
i:
82 ;f|§f| . A Mechanic's Tour WÊÊË
to forget their own idioms and sing-song
mannerisms that are so amusing to the
British.
 »o^
' ^^^^E I 0HAPTER VILBfclll>:''
■lifl^P' I DIr> not stay long in "Frisco" on my
I  JB^I   first visit, so will defer any lengthy de-
| j^Hj    scription of the town for the present.    We
p|jl   shipped in the   steerage  of a  passenger
H      steamer bound for the province of British
H   Columbia, the most western part of Canada.
I ^^B   The fare from San Francisco to Victoria,
H| Vancouver Island, is ten dollars steerage
W^Ê and twenty dollars first class. | Since the
HH opening of the Northern Pacific Railroad,
r WËËÊ passengers from the east need not take
1; 1    'IPPff the sea rcmte to get to British Columbia.
if    BliS ^e comf°rts of this sea voyage were
1     WÊÈ. n°table by their absence. | Our cabin was
j '^mEI furnished with two long tables suspended
dHH by ropes from the ceiling, and when not «^
' Round the World. 83
in use they were hauled up out of reach.
One table was for "white men," the other
for Chinamen ; and when the meals were
served, we had to stand around the
swinging table-tops. To see the frantic
efforts that were made to keep ourselves
and the table steady, as the ship rolled and
pitched about, was most laughable. Sometimes, when the ship gave an extra big
roll, we went flying about like so many
drunken men, some clutching wildly at
the tables, and sending the tin-ware and
delicacies flying. The suspended tables
must have been profitable contrivances, for
many who were not sea-sick could not
endure the sight of the swinging appliances
always in front of them.i After a some-
what stormy passage of about three days,,
we arrived at Victoria. :^^^^^^H^Bft|J
Victoria is the capital and largest town
of the province of British Columbia. The
town is situated on the south-east coast of
Vancouver Island.*? The island is about
three hundred miles long, with an average
breadth   of  thirty   to   fifty  miles.    The
g 2 84  tlll^ A Mechanic's Tour  - !??
population of the whole province is given
at something like 80,000, including 30,000
Indians and 10,000 Chinese. The town of
Victoria contains a population of near
12,000, | more fthan one-quarter being
Chinese. The town has grown rapidly
within the years 1882-3-4. The next
largest town on the island is the coalmining town of Nanaimo, in the mines of
which many Chinese are employed.«p
ftf Victoria and the southern portion of
Vancouver Island have the finest climate
in the whole province. The winter of
1884-5 was the severest known for twenty-
three years, the coldest day being 10 degrees
above zero. Of the climate, the Marquis
of Lome said in 1882 : " No words can be
too strong to express the charm of this
delightful land, where the climate, softer
and more constant than that of the south
of England, insures at all times of the year
a full enjoyment of the wonderful loveliness
of nature around you." It may be fair to
say that the " land of wonderful loveliness "
has been described as a "sea of mountains.' I
Round the World. 85
The island is not overburdened with
good agricultural land, and what there is
is being rapidly taken up. In different
parts of the island and on the mainland
a man can have a hundred and sixty acres
of unimproved land for one dollar an acre
by settling upon and improving it to a
certain amount, and by complying with
the land laws in force in the province.   |||§;
There are numerous factories and mills
in the town, but they generally have a
plentiful supply of workmen.   p^^Sk^f
Joiners' wages are about two dollars and
a half up to three dollars and a quarter
per day of ten hours. Good board and
lodgings for a single man can be had for
six dollars per week. :^^U^$^'i^H:é^'?S^.
After staying two months in Victoria,
I went to work on the mainland, and
remained there all the winter and part of
spring. ^^^Éi^^^^^^    ;^^^^^S
To get to the Fraser River on the
mainland (distant about sixty miles), we
had to cross the straits of Georgia. 1 On a
fine day, this is one of the pleasantest sails 86 A Mechanic's Tour
it is possible to have. Our good old
steamer, the Yosemite, glided along upon
the smooth water, wending its way among
the innumerable islands, covered with
their green verdure, with now and then a
settler's hut peeping out from among the
trees. ft.^|^;^^4 ■&**>: /Hi>##. «|ltyi|! •.
fi.At the small town of New Westminster,
on the north side of Fraser River, the
winters are more severe, with greater snow
and rainfall, than at Victoria. We had
some good skating on the Fraser River,
which was frozen over for two or three
weeks. The Fraser River is a favourite
run of three or four different kinds of
salmon. They make their appearance in
March in such numbers that some of them
are often bruised and crushed on to the
banks of the smaller creeks. One of the
principal industries of the province is the
catching and canning of these fish. ^frff!!
H Another important source of wealth to
the province is the lumbering business.
The most important trees are the Douglas
firs.    Cedars, alders, and many other kinds ■^
Round the World. 87
of trees grow in abundance. As previously mentioned, a man who would like
to own a homestead of his own in the
province can take up a hundred and sixty
acres at the low rate of one dollar an acre.
However, any one but a courageous person
is apt to be dismayed when he goes on to
his newly-acquired ranch, in a thickly-
wooded part of the country, for he sees
trees ten to twelve feet in thickness, and
often two hundred and fifty feet high ;
while many fallen trees lie around, which,
combined with the undergrowth, make it
most difficult to clear the land. When a
person has cut down a certain number of
trees, the next thing is to get them into a
heap and set fire to them, that being the
quickest way of getting rid of the immense
mass of lumber. § Of course, the roots of
the trees cause the most trouble to the
farmer. There are various methods used
to get them out of the ground. Some dig
them out, others burn them out, and, if
not too large, they are sometimes pulled out
by oxen.    Fir stumps take years to decay 88    ' ^\*T A Mechanic's Tour
away.I At the mouth of the Fraser River
and at Chilliwack there are thousands of
acres of low-lying prairie or lightly-wooded
land, all of which is either settled upon or
held by speculators. ^^^^W# ■
I On the present timber-land, fruit, vegetables, and stock-raising is the farmer's
principal work, as the moist climate of the
country is not so suitable for growing
breadstuffs as is the climate east of the
Rocky Mountains.! In all probability, as
the country gets settled upland the
immense timber growth is cleared away,
the climate will get drier and considerably
improve, as it is a well-known fact that
trees always assist the rainfall. ^^^^^^H
I Between the Cascade Mountains and the
Rocky Mountains, the climate is hotter in
summer and much colder in winter than
it is in New Westminster district. In
British Columbia the sportsman can have
some good shooting and fishing.! In
different parts of the province are many
wild birds, water-fowl, and animals. The
various   public   works   going  on  in   the Round the World. f 89
province give employment to many men.
That great enterprise, the Canadian
Pacific Railroad, will probably be opened
for through passenger traffic early in 1886.
Port Moody, at the head of Burrard
Inlet, was selected as the terminus of the
railroad on the mainland of British
Columbia. Doubtless, at some future
time, the line will be extended to Coal
Harbour, near the entrance to Burrard
Inlet. Speculation in town lots along the
inlet has been very brisk for the last few
years, and much money has been lost and
won. It is surprising to see the number
of fine cities that are flourishing—on paper
—along the banks of the beautiful Burrard
Inlet, each to be the great terminus city
of the future. As one looks at the plans
of the different town sites, and sees well-
known names marked on the different
streets and avenues, he can fancy he hears
the rush and bustle of another Babylon.
At present, the future cities are composed
of a few wooden buildings and many large
trees. 90    ' Sfpi ; A Mechanic's Tour |jj
In North America, the holding of land
until its value increases is one of the
principal means of acquiring wealth. Many
men who obtained possession some years
ago of some supposed worthless land are
now wealthy through the sudden boom or
growth of some town on their land.
HI The being able to own a farm or homestead of his own, at very little cost, is one
of the principal inducements a poor man
has for leaving Great Britain for North
America. Mechanics do not always better
their condition as well as poor farmers do
by leaving Great JBritain for America.
The work is hard and the hours of labour
are ten hours per day, Saturday included,
there being no such thing as Saturday
half-holiday in America. ;,.- vr^lA 'life■■
9 It was Horace Greely who once said,
" Go west, young man." But that advice
is not so good as it used to be. The railways are scattered all over the country,
and have reduced it (in regard to work
and wages) to nearly one common level.
As soon as it is known that trade is good "i
Round the World. 91
in a certain part of the country, crowds of
men flock there, and men in America
think no more of travelling a thousand
miles than those in England do of travelling
a hundred.
The Canadian Pacific Railroad will be
the means of opening out the great Northwest Territory of Canada to the products
of British Columbia. To the treeless
plains of the North-west Territory will be
sent the lumber, fruit, and fish of British
Columbia, in exchange for their good grain
and bread-stuffs. In the wild regions of
the Rocky Mountains, the work of making
the railroad is very difficult and dangerous,
and the men employed there have a very
tough time of it.    ^   ^^fe^^^R.   %^¥f|B
Who has not heard the story of the
young man who, after being many months
among the mountains and woods, returned
to the more settled parts ? As he approached a house, he saw, hanging on a
line, a woman's calico gown. He was so
affected by the sight of it, that he sprang
off his horse, and kissed the hem of the 92   ^^^ A Mechanic's Tour Hpi    f
garment. | The old gown was the emblem
of that good and gentle society from
which he had been so long absent,—of
the love and tenderness of his mother,
sister,   and  sweetheart in  his  home far
away. ^^^^fl^^^^^^^^^^^^^B^ .
I The goods in the shop-windows are
marked dearer than similar articles in
Eastern Canada. Doubtless, when the
railway is opened for traffic, it will be the
means of reducing the price of goods, and
also the rate of wages. It may also be
the means of reducing the price of hair-
cutting from fifty cents down to a more
civilised charge. I A ten-cent piece was
the smallest coin in general use. ft^^^^
■ There are many churches, public and
private schools, hospitals, and other public
institutions in the province.;^^^^^tei^H
p The I noble " Indians (or Si washes, as
they are called) are quiet and law-abiding.
They are as clever in their canoes as were
their ancestors, about whom we used to
read in days gone by, and who are now in
their   " happy I hunting-grounds." |  The Round the World. 93
women are as skilful with the small
paddles as are the men. The Indians
like the Chinese as much as they like
"pison."
; There are many Chinese in British
Columbia, who are employed in every
imaginable way. They are farm hands,
gardeners, washermen, domestic servants
of all kinds, labourers, and general hewers
of wood and drawers of water ;|in fact, it
is hard to say what they do not do in the
labour line. | They earn from seventy-five
cents up to one dollar a day. Of course,
the difficulty for a Christian is, particularly
if married, that he cannot live on such
wages in British Columbia; and if a
white man did lower himself and his family
to the Chinese standard of living, so as to
successfully compete with them in labour,
it would mean a dreadful fall from that
high state of civilisation which the Christian
race is supposed to have attained down
into the depths of degradation and pollution. One has only to read the reports of
the commission appointed to inquire into 94   f A Mechanic's Tour    f
the Chinese question in San Francisco to-
enable one to rid himself of many kind
and philanthropical ideas concerning the
Heathen Chinee. fiJohn" has a very
meek and cunning way about him when
he is obliged to move abroad in the streets
and public places (a way which is apt to
deceive the passer-by), but in his own
crowded haunts and dens his life is most
revolting. | There are very few Chinese
women in the country, and these never
work as domestic servants, ^pi^ftl
H The Chinese have some peculiar customs, particularly in regard to their departed brethren. In New Westminster,
on Good Friday, a crowd of these almond-
eyed gentlemen carried to the graves of
their departed countrymen about half a^
dozen whole roast fpigs, some apples,
oranges, cakes, whisky, and hundreds of
cigarettes, f-i Some spirit, or spirits, in the
unknown world, were supposed to take a
"good square meal " from the food. There
was a large bonfire burning, and into the
flames a Chinaman tossed the whisky, and Round the World. 95
hundreds of square pieces of paper, of
various colours, covered with their peculiar
writing.   %    fp -ff
I stood watching the ceremony for over
an hour, but the roast porkers did not
diminish in size during that time. One
could plainly see the fruit disappearing
quickly; the youngsters playing around
made short work with a lot of that. After
a certain amount of chanting and wringing
of hands, the Chinamen picked up what
remained of the food, and took it into the
town to satisfy their own hunger. §
Soon after my return to San Francisco,
there was a long account in the newspapers
there concerning a demonstration held by
the working-men of Victoria against the
Chinese. Many hundreds walked in procession through the principal streets,
carrying flags with mottoes inscribed on
them after the following style :—" Boycott
the Chinese employers," " They are not
with us, but against us," " No yellow
slave shall eat our children's bread,"
" Cut out  the Chinese cancer," " Down 96 A Mechanic's Tour
with the dragon flag," " Let British
Columbia be a home for men only,"
1 Let no Chinese leper cross our thresh-
hold."   311       1 1
-•<>♦-
■■■[ CHAPTER VIII.
Bidding farewell, when the gentle spring
time came, to the rocky and picturesque
British I Columbia, I returned to San
Francisco. We entered the celebrated
I Golden! Gate I one gloriously fine
morning. I The Golden Gate is the name
given to the entrance to the Bay of San
Francisco ; | the entrance is about half
a mile wide. I The I Bay," like many
more I bays, j is | said to | be able to
hold at one time all the  navies  of the
world. HhHBHi:-.-f>ïilm'ly) ;Ma«MP^iÉi
I About six o'clock our ship got alongside
the wharf, and early as it was a crowd of
yelling and excited hotel runners, hack- •Tk
Bound the World. *| 97
men, touts, and others, were there to meet
us with that din which is only to be found
among " Frisco " runners. We managed to
find our man, and soon rolled away in state
in the free coach belonging to one of the
many large second-class hotels—hotels that
are excellent in regard to size, accommodation, food, and charges. Our hotel was
a long brick and stone building of four
storeys and basement. f^On the ground
floor were the offices and bar entrances—
the lounge for anybody—barber's shop,
tobacconist's shop, bootblack's shop, all
attached to the hotel, lined the front of
the building. For six dollars per week
I had, for my own use, a large bedroom
in the front of the building, furnished in
an excellent manner, and food. I If a
person occupies a bedroom at the top of
the building, the expenses are not so great.
There were three meals each day, and
at meal-time each person had his food
brought on a lot of little oval dishes, and
helped himself to whatever he fancied.
Any outsider could enter the large dining-
H ^_ A Mechanic's Tour ^^^^_
room and have a  "good   square meal"
for twenty-five cents. ÈmÊÊ
WjL San Francisco is noted for the number
and size of its hotels. | The Palace Hotel,
one of the largest hotels in the world, is
one of the sights of the town. Private
residences in I Frisco," as in Sacramento,
are mainly built of wood. Many of the
large and palatial houses are of excellent
design and workmanship ; others have a
very gingerbread appearance, on account
of having so many easily-put-up wooden
ornaments stuck about, f The buildings in
the principal streets of the city are built
of brick and stone. HHB if * I IBR^
H An afternoon's walk through Market
Street, Montgomery, Kearney, and two or
three other streets in the same locality, is
something to be remembered. I;In those
splendid thoroughfares will be seen a
throng of well-dressed people, and such
a show of wealth somewhat astonishing
to a new arrival in the I Far West." The
individual one hears so much about, who
expected to find wild beasts and savage ■^N
Round the World. 99
Indians prowling and lurking about in
the vicinity of the town, seeking whom
they might devour, must have been
agreeably disappointed as he walked
through the streets of one of the most
fashionable and "fastest" cities of the
world. Even many Americans in the
Eastern States seem to have a vague idea
as to what the new western city and its
vicinity are like. The minister of a Congregational Church in "Frisco " told a story
about a friend of his in one of the Eastern
States, asking him to send an Indian's
scalp, the Eastern man thinking that
Indians' scalps would be easily obtainable
in wild and distant " Californy." WSBBÊÊ
It has been said there are more rich
people in San Francisco, in proportion to
its size, than in any other city in the world.
The climate is the greatest item in its
favour ; the mean temperature is 54
degrees, the variation being but 10 degrees
during the year. In the summer time the
nights are cool and refreshing ; one does
not lose a night's rest through the op-
- f h 2 l€ô||f    |M Mechanic's Tour •     f "
pressive heat, as is the case in the State of
New York in summer time. One meets
with all sorts and conditions of men in San
Francisco ; people from all nations seem
to have made the city of the West their
home.
H From pictures and cartoons of Americans
one expects to find them all very thin and
lantern-jawed ; that idea is soon dispelled
in San Francisco, for a stouter and ruddier
lot of people it is hard to find. The young
women are more like their English cousins
than are any others in the States. In the
Eastern States the women have a pale and
refined beauty compared with their Cali-
fornian sisters ; but all, whether good-
looking or "homely" (as the Americans
call plain-featured young women), have
the same independent f and § self-reliant
manner. The American I small " boys
and girls are known all over the world for
their particular smartness and "cussed-
ness." As one walks along the streets
he cannot help noticing the number of
pistols and revolvers exposed for sale in *%
Round the World. 101
the windows of the pawnbrokers' and
second-hand shops. If each " shooting-
iron " had killed its man, there would have
been very few men left to tell the tale, as
the saying is. Carrying a " six-shooter"
is a fashionable practice in the States.
A friend of mine, as we left his home
together one night, turned back because he
had " forgotten his revolver." w^^^^^m
A walk into a photographer's shop will
amply repay the trouble, for the " glorious
climate " being well adapted to the photographer's art, excellent photographs of some
of the wonderful scenery of the State are
always on view and for sale. The fruit in
the   market-place   is   also   a   stranger's
delight. î^W^ÊÊ^^^^^^&^^^Ê^â^
San Francisco contains about thirty-
thousand Chinese, who mostly live in one
part of the city, and which is called
" China Town." The streets and houses
are decorated with lanterns and symbols
in true Celestial fashion. Most visitors to
the city " do " China Town, though it
is anything but a pleasant place to stroll ft
102    l||t||-4 Mechanic's Tour    fwfF"-
in. John Chinaman has a very hard time
of it in San Francisco ; he is persecuted
in a most unmanly fashion on every convenient occasion by the " hoodlums " and
toughs. I Ill-treating the Chinese will not
help the white man's cause against the
ready-handed Celestial, ^^m ' ' ^®HHB-w
m Sunday in San Francisco is a very lively
day ; the cable tramcars and other conveyances fare * generally crowded by
pleasure-seekers going to Golden Gate
Park or some other of the many pleasure
resorts. I The theatres, music-halls, drives,
and drinking-saloons are all in full swing.
During my three weeks and a half of hotel
life in the city, while waiting for the
Australian steamer, our better feelings got
somewhat tired of hearing the click of
billiard-balls on Sundays. However, with
all their gaiety, the Americans have no
barmaids ; men do all the waiting behind
the bars. fl^^^^B; :ft "')^^^'^'^.v
There are many fine churches and other
places of worship in the city. The singing
is often very good, the choir generally con- •   Round the World. 103
sisting of only four voices. At the Congregational Church, onrthe last Sunday of
my stay in San Francisco, was held a
choral and farewell service, not on my
account, but for the minister, who was
about to take a long holiday tour. As it
was near the eve of my departure for
Sydney, Australia, some seven thousand
two hundred miles away over the Pacific
Ocean, the service was most appropriate,
and by a little stretching of the imagination I was, doubtless, as much soothed
and consoled by the prayers and good
wishes as was the departing minister.   iH|
-•c*-
f   CHAPTER  TX.W|W
The Australian mail and passenger steamships sail from San Francisco ; so, after a
stay of about three weeks and a half in
the gay city, J procured a second-class or
steerage   passage   in   the   mail   steamer 104
A Mechanic's Tour
Zealandia. There are only two classes in
the Australian ships—first and steerage.
A steerage ticket cost me a hundred dollars,
rather an expensive journey when compared with the Orient steamships, which
sail from London for Australia and travel
nearly double the distance, and charge
eighteen pounds for a steerage passage. At
half-past two o'clock on June 6th we
slowly moved away from the American
shore. One of the crew standing near me
said, I When we leave Sydney there is a
good hearty cheer sent after us by those
on shore, but when we leave America the
people just quietly look on." There does
not seem to be much hurrahing in the
ordinary Yankee. BHH^H I 1 • lïfjï
I For the third time we pass through the
I Golden Gate," and watch the so-called
Land of Freedom fade slowly out of sight.
The first night out at sea was rather
stormy; it made one wonder why the
water we were sailing over was named the
Pacific Ocean. Trunks, portmanteaus, and
other things were knocked about like nine» Round the World. 105
pins, and one poor fellow was sent flying
out of his bunk, sadly to the discomfiture
of his nose. The following morning the
weather was all that could be desired.
The steerage passengers of the Zealandia-
fared much better than such passengers
generally do on many steamships, notwithstanding the assertions of the usual proportion of grumblers. | Fortunately we
were not overcrowded, the two long tables
in the dining-room being capable of accommodating all the men, with the exception of three or four, at one sitting. The
desire of not being one of the three or
four usually caused a crowd of men ta
assemble at the door of the dining-room
five or ten minutes before the dinner-gong
sounded. | When that! pleasant sound
reached the ears of the hungry crowd
there was a general rush for places ; doctors, ex-editors, .miners, cowboys, all
eagerly striving for a place ; and when
the place was secured, woe be to the man
who calmly took his soup before providing
himself with what meat and vegetables he IH;        •  106 1 A Mechanic's Tour
required. If any person did, unfortunately,
so far forget himself, and bring forward
that old-fashioned practice of first enjoying his mock-turtle liquid, he usually found
to his cost that the best, if not all, the
meat and other delicacies had disappeared.■
One man in particular was very desirous
of impressing upon the minds of the
others the uselessness of being in such
Sj hurry, saying, " It would be much better
to take it calmly; we should be just as
well off." 1 Alas ! he was generally first at
table. -^|h^H^?^^^^^^^^M
H There were only two lady passengers in
the steerage ; one going to her husband in
Australia, the other travelling with her
husband to the same place. § The ladies
usually dined after the men. An intimate
friend of mine in British Columbia first
saw the lady who is now his wife on board
of one of these Australian steamers, when
taking a trip to Sydney. ^^^^hhHf^?
H Ocean passenger-steamers have much
to answer for in regard to match-making.
Many a time has the sweet story of old Round the World.   . 107
been told in some quiet corner, and many
a time has some crusty" old bachelor or
woman-hater been reduced, through the
close and unavoidable companionship of
some pleasant and lovable creature, to a
languishing and sighing state of love-
sickness, after two or three weeks' rolling
over the ocean deep. However, there was
not much fear of anything so dreadful
happening at our end of the ship ; we
had to be contented with a few wistful
glances at the youth and beauty of the
saloon. Sl^ft^^H^ft
The one great drawback to the steerage
was the absence of a bath-room. The only
way one could have a good bath in the
warm latitudes was by getting out of bed
early in the morning, while the sailors
were scrubbing and washing the upper
deck, and ask Jack Tar to turn the hose
on to oneself. Jack was always willing to
do so, but his mischievous and funny
propensities generally came to the front,
the bather often paying dearly for his hose
bath. 108
A Mechanic's Tour
S We sighted the Sandwich Islands after
being out seven days and a half. The
Sandwich Islands have a more than
ordinary interest to me on account of my
home in England being in sight of the
monument that is erected on the Yorkshire
hills, near Middlesbrough, in memory of
that great navigator, Captain Cook, who
first discovered the islands in 1778, and
who was cruelly killed by the natives soon
after his landing on one of the islands.
There are thirteen islands.in the group,
with a united area of some 7,628 square
miles ; eight of the islands are inhabited,
containing a population of about 72,000. •
I We entered the harbour of the capital,
Honolulu, about two o'clock on Sunday
morning, and, dark as it was, many of the
passengers embraced the opportunity of
getting on terra firma once more. A
friend who had been there before, accompanied me round the town, and pointed
out some of the principal buildings, including Queen Emma's house. However,
we had to give up our attempt at sight- Si
Round the World. 109
seeing because of the darkness. • We
strolled back in the direction of the ship,
and, although we could not see much, we
could soon tell when we were in China
Town by the peculiar odour which always
attaches itself to where John Chinaman
lives. The Chinese are on the islands in
strong force, as in most of the other parts
of the Pacific, M There are alsofrmany
European and American mechanics on the
islands, whose wages range from about
three to four dollars per day. A considerable  export  trade  is   done  in  rice  and
sugar. W9ÊÊ    Ï      -IM
We had not long to wait for daylight,
it seemed to come upon us all at once, as
is usual in countries near the equator ; so
off we started again to see the sights of
the lovely place. I King Kalakua's palace
is one of the most interesting places to
a visitor. It is not a very large one, as
palaces go ; but, compared to his ancestor's
shanties, which probably had holes in the
roofs that answered for chimneys, windows, and general ventilators, the palace wif
%
ii 1
110 A Mechanic's Tour
[ sBB was a suPerb home. There was some talk
| -]HHi.-about the king having kindly offered to
It    ■fi^i"'^0 British Government, in case of war
being declared with Russia, the valuable
It IBKS services of his entire army of seventy
It ■^HilcLusky warriors. | Doubtless it was the
II ' '13^11 knowledge of that which kept the Russians
II r '^': ■'■>■'B from going too far ! i^fej^^^^^^^^M^.o^
If -BP^hK;: ^ere are Diany good residences belong-
If' IK 'flHBBHi ^S" to the European merchants of the
If I llfïtl town ; such pretty houses, with their many
|| I j S^| verandahs, the trellis-work covered with
i fcS^B gorgeous creepers, vines, and flowers;
it E^-fl.forming nice shady retreats, where one
Il ■II"-" 9Ê? I could have a pleasant smoke or read; and
If ri -m^Z in the gardens and along the shaded streets
I ^H an(i roads were to be seen growing bananas,
|| I . WBË the bread-fruit, | cocoa-nuts, tamarinds,
il ' IbBI mangoes, and many other fruits in abun-
II If IRE dance. Bl y^H^^ëêoitrl; :WÊÊÊ° fj|
H I IbBI; .About six o'clock the church bells were
I! ii ; ffifjM rung for morning service. | Many of the
1 hGHta^ an(^ well-proportioned natives were
1 I i H to ^e seen wending their way quietly to
M        •    H church ; the women with their long, flow-
£s Round the World. Ill
ing gowns, and dressed in a manner that
would astonish their old ancestors of a
hundred years ago, could they only see
them. As one thought of the change that
had taken place among the natives within
the last few years, it brought to mind the
poet's poem of the Buccaneer :—
" Inland now rests the green, warm dell ;
The brook comes tinkling down its side ;
From out the trees the Sabbath bell
Rings cheerful far and wide,
Mingling its sound with bleatings of the flocks,.
That feed about the vale among the rocks.
" Nor holy bell, nor pastoral bleat,
In former days within the vale ;
Flapp'd in the bay the pirate's sheet ;
Curses were on the gale :
Rich goods land on the sand, and murder'd men,,
Pirate and wrecker kept their revels then.
% But calm, low voices, words of grace,
Now slowly fall upon the ear ;
A quiet look is in each face,
Subdued and holy fear :
Each motion gentle—all is kindly done :
Come, li&ten how from crime these isles were won."' ff
112
A Mechanic's Tour
^l That lovely Sunday morning, as we
walked along the roads, with fruit-trees of
many kinds hanging over our heads, and
the fallen fruit lying all around, the many
plants and flowers blooming in all their
gay colouring, the warm and languid
atmosphere filled with the peculiar scent
of thousands of blossoms—all helped to
create an inclination to make a home on
that delightful island, away from the strife
of the outer world, and with the poet's
ideal life of love in a pretty blossom-
covered cottage, enjoy the | peace f and
plenty which seemed to be about the spot.
But alas ! there is generally to be found
some drawback to every country. Many
of the natives of the Sandwich Islands are
afflicted with leprosy ; those found to be
suffering from the dreadful disease are
sent away to some isolated island, and cut
off from all intercourse with the outside
world.   ^^»ïî^fe^S^^^^^^^^^H\X?^
After a sojourn of about six hours in a
place that can never be forgotten in this
workaday world, we once more put off to
it Round the World. 113
sea. Many of us had returned on board
staggering under the weight of huge
bunches of bananas and other fruits. A
few nights after leaving Honolulu, we had
a grand concert in the saloon, and were
fortunate in having on board the well-
known author and actor, Mr. Dion
Boucicault, and the members of his company. We had a further run of about
eight days, when we sighted the island of
Tutuila, one of the Samoan group of
islands. We only stayed twenty minutes
—about long enough to take up two or
three South Sea traders, who were quietly
rowed to the ship's side,!that dark
morning, by some half-savage natives. /|fl|ti
Our next stopping-place was the town
of Auckland, New Zealand. We arrived
there one Sunday afternoon, and after the
life and bustle of San Francisco, Auckland
had a very quiet and " slow 8 appearance.
All the shops and hotels were closed,
contrasting strangely with the other gay
city, where the saloons, theatres, and
music-halls are in full swing on Sundays.
I 114
A Mechanic's Tour
Our short stay was like a glimpse of home
as we wandered down the roads, with
something like hedgerows on each side,
the bright green of the country, and the
young men and women with their undoubtedly British faces. § John Chinaman
was not to be seen with his long hair
dangling at the back of his head ; he wore
the dress of the European. 4HnP9PR:'-
H The town seemed to have a prosperous
and well-to-do air, although I heard tales
of trade being anything but good just
then ; at any rate, the people we saw in
the streets during the afternoon dressed
much better than m^ny people do in
England when trade is what is called
good. One could not see the rags and
shoeless feet that are sadly too numerous
in many parts!of England.! Wooden
houses seem to be as fashionable in and
around Auckland as they are in America ;
but they are built in a much plainer style.
H After bidding good-bye to many of our
companions, who were going to stay in
New   Zealand,   we   left   Auckland,   and
1 ^
Round the World. 115
worked our way among the innumerable
islands, out to the open sea. We had
some strangers amongst us after leaving
the town, one being a tipsy Yorkshire-
man, who wanted to know if each person
he met came from Yorkshire. 'Iff
Sydney, New South Wales, was our
next and last halting-place—Sydney, with
its beautiful harbour, of which I had heard
so much from an Australian on board,
after my praising the Bay of San Francisco.
-*o*-
CHAPTER X.   p^^M
On a gloriously-fine, sunny morning,
July 3, the middle of the Australian winter,
we sighted the shores of New South Wales,
and entered the " Heads " of Port Jackson
soon after noon. My Australian friend
did not exaggerate when he said it was a
Co
beautiful harbour. After entering the
" Heads," our ship turned to the left until
1 ' i 2 SE    ' A Mechanic's Tour
we lost sight of the open sea entirely.
Numerous ships, of all sizes and jiation-
alities, lay safely anchored as we glided
along over the smooth waters, past various
islands, points, and bays of the harbour ;
past Watson's Bay, 1 Woolloomooloo "
Bay (what o's in a name !), until we arrived
at the Circular Quay, where our voyage
ended. There were soon a number of
hotel-runners on board, soliciting the
patronage of the passengers ; they each
had cards, with the name, address, and
cost of living of the various!houses.
Second-class hotel accommodation in Australia is not up to the American standard
as yet. 1 The average cost of board and
lodgings at houses where mechanics most
do congregate was three shillings per
day, or eighteen shillings up to one pound
per week. Of course that did not include
the washing of clothes. I As I was not
acquainted with any one in Sydney, I
went to one of those houses. •?*?&)^$£$^
I It is very nice to read about the receptions that some travellers like to tell us
Ml Round the World. 117
they received on landing in a strange
country : how the mayor and other important personages of the town came
down to the ship, with their carriages and
attendants, to welcome the newly-arrived
stranger, to convey him to their homes
and feast him, to make his heart glad, and
help him to forget that he is in a strange
land, some thirteen thousand miles from
home. Alas ! where there is one who
boasts of having been received in that
manner, there are hundreds, nay, thousands,
who do as I did ; that is, as soon as their
boxes and trunks are off the ship, get a
prosaic conveyance and go away quietly,
to help to swell the ranks of the | new
chums " who are continually arriving. f||§
By the time I had reached my Temperance Hotel, and paid all my expenses,
the man with the proverbial shilling was
almost as well off in the coins of the
realm as myself, for my ready cash was
reduced to eighteen shillings and sixpence
as my capital with which to begin life in
Australia.    My prospect was not one of 118
A Mechanic's Tour
the brightest, as thoughts arose of the
stories one often hears about men being
unable to obtain employment, and knowing
at the same time that I could not get a
remittance from England in less than ten
weeks from the time of sending for it.
However, the following morning (Saturday), there appeared § in the I Sydney
Morning Herald a suitable advertisement,
and fortunately I succeeded in getting
work in Wynyard Square, at ten shillings
per day of eight hours ; of course, leaving
at one o'clock on Saturday. | The job was
only a short one, but still better than
nothing under the circumstances, until
something else should I turn up ; so I
commenced work at nine o'clock that
morning ; and I may as well say here that
I had as much work as was wanted during
my stay in Sydney. ^^^^(^^jEEKmii
9 There are generally numerous advertisements for persons of all trades and professions. I One that appeared was for a
young man for office work, and, probably
as an extra inducement, the  amount of
-=- Round the World. 119
pay was stated, namely, one pound per
week ! It seems that young men for office
work are not too well paid in Australia, as
is the case in England. Of course, there
are good situations, but outsiders, without
friends or influence, cannot always get
them. The Browns, Joneses, and Robinsons in Australia, like their friends in
England, have the same desire to put
their sons into the so-called | genteel
occupations. Bricklayers receive from
ten to twelve shillings per day ; carpenters
from nine to ten shillings per day ; and
cabinet-makers receive, upon an average,
one shilling an hour. ■'■wmmKM
Domestic servants are always in good
demand, housemaids receiving from ten
to twelve shillings per week ; cooks receive
up to about sixteen shillings per week,
and so on. |, Complaints have been made
by domestic servants to the effect that
they work much harder in Australia than
they did in England ; the cook generally
having to do the laundry-work of the
household as well as her other duties.   By 120
A Mechanic's Tour
the number of single women immigrants
continually arriving, one might think the
domestic service market would be glutted,
but such is not the case. On one steamer
there arrived 208 single women, and 117
single men ; and there were 249 applications for domestic servants—single women
—but only 86 were for hire. fiÀ-^^MAB^
Jji We often hear men say that they can do
as well in England as they do in Australia,
and doubtless there are exceptional cases
of mechanics doing better in England than
in the Colonies, it being quite plain that
there are many trades not in much demand
in a newly-settled country.! Yet how
many emigrants there are who do much
better. If A married carpenter, to my
knowledge, is paying over a pound a week
for allotments of land that he has bought
in Sydney. ;f It is not always that a carpenter, particularly if he be a married
man, can save a pound a week in Great
Britain, if he is working for daily wages.
There is, however, often to be noticed
among those  who  complain a desire to I Round the World. 121
return to their home and kindred, the love
of their native land being so strong as to
create a feeling of discontent, and thus
prevent that determination to succeed in
the land of their adoption which should
characterise all emigrants. I was told of
a poor Scotch woman in America who had
such an intense longing to see the heather
on her native hills once more, that she
sickened and died. The same feeling is
said to prevail with the natives of the
Sandwich Islands when they are taken to
work in Queensland ; they lose all hope
through being away from their native
islands. But that tender subject should
be considered before one embarks for
"furrin" parts; and when it is a matter
of bread or no bread, as is the case with
many in Great Britain, such thoughts
should have no weight whatever.
In regard to the cost of food in Australia
people can live about as cheaply as they
can in England. For sixpence a person
can get a much better breakfast, dinner,
or tea in Sydney than he can in London. 122    IBS-4 Mechanic's Tour •
When working in Gray's Inn Road, London,
my dinner was often purchased in a
restaurant there, and for sixpence I could
get a small plate of beef, cabbage, and
potatoes ; anything else was extra. In
Sydney, when a person goes into one of
the 1 sixpenny " restaurants for his dinner,
he has soup, and after that he has his
choice of about a dozen different dishes
and joints, with plenty of bread on the
table ; when he has finished with the meat
he has a plate of whatever kind of pastry
or sweets are on the bill of fare ; he also
has a plentiful supply of either tea or
coffee, -ftMany single men rent private
rooms and get their meals at the sixpenny
restaurants. Good wearing apparel and
other goods are slightly dearer than similar
articles in Great Britain, inéé iffelflffec:
m As in New Zealand, the Chinese dress
in the European fashion, and one never
sees them washing white people's clothes
or working as -|j domestic § servants in
Australia ; they turn their attention more
to cabinet-making and market-gardening. Round the World. 12$
They are to be seen and heard working in
their workshops from early morn until late
at night, taking no notice of the European's
half-day holiday on Saturday. The Chinese
generally work with closed doors oni
Saturday afternoons, on account of the
|| larrikin " boys and young men, chaffing
and interfering with them, if the doors
are left open. Many of them sleep in their
workshops. Notwithstanding their cheap
labour, however, a considerable amount of
furniture is imported from England. |
One seldom sees a black face in Sydney ;
if he does it will probably be owned by
some Lascar sailor belonging to one of the
P. and 0. steamships. The black men of
Australia are certainly dwindling out of
existence ; Sydney contrasting strangely
with Cape Town, the latter place having
an inexhaustible supply of coloured gentlemen. Neither does one see so many loafers
about the quays and wharves, waiting for
any kind of work that may turn up, as are
to be noticed about those of San Francisco.
The cabmen who are to be found at the i!
124
A Mechanic's Tour
Circular Quay, upon the arrival of the
English passenger and mail ship, seem to
have a grudge against the newly-arrived
*' parsons." One cabman said to another
cabby standing near me, " Don't let one
o'I them bloomin' parsons get into yer
cab ; Sir Patrick Jennins writes 'ome
before they come out, and tells 'em all
about the cab fares and where to go.
The parson will take yer right out to
Woollahra and then give yer two bloomin'
bob."   I I |
I The buildings chiefly remarkable around
the Circular Quay are the immense wool
warehouses for the storage and convenience
of the most important article of New
South Wales exports. | Merchants' offices
and warehouses and many of the costly
Government buildings are also in the
neighbourhood. In the principal street
(George Street), one can see buildings
that would put to shame many of the
towns of the old world. The post office
is a particularly fine building, which is
supposed to  cost  some  £350,000  when Round the World. 125
completed. The work of pulling down
old and dilapidated houses and erecting
immense stone structures in their places,
is continually going on in George Street,
Pitt Street, and other important thoroughfares.
There are many excellent private residences in and around Sydney. M One
gentleman for whom I had the honour
of working has built for himself within
the last few years a house that would be
a credit to any city, m He landed in
Australia a comparatively poor working
man, and has since had some of the
highest, honours of the city conferred
upon him. He is a good example of what
perseverance, combined with a few other
necessary qualities, will do for a man in
a new country. ;/^.4!\^r.Hj -aitji-hitii^Ê&âKr
Many of the houses and shops in
Australia, as in other sunny lands, have
verandahs. New arrivals are sometimes
surprised at the high rents asked for
houses, with or without verandahs ; one
has to pay twelve or sixteen shillings per KHI 126 BBJBl^- Mechanic's Tour
||lf§| week for a house that could be had for
Mp|§ four or five shillings a week in a town
B^B of Sydney's size in England.
HI   ^^^^HTl16 population of New South Wales is
III   B^S now close on to a million; and Sydney,
HI   * - H with its suburbs, contains about a quarter
flEw^B ^ Ithat  number. § Besides  its  splendid
I II iG|pi buildings, there are many attractive parks
III   fl^fp' and gardens in the city; but the lion of
I^SI the place is the harbour. | Who has not
1 H heard of the beauties of Sydney Harbour
I ^^H and the Botanical G-ardens? §No matter
i ^■H what book of travels he may read, he is
I ^   /■ -"almost   sure   to   find   pages   filled  with
itl-J^Bf descriptions   of these  lovely  places.    In
^^B whatever part of the world he may be,
S     ^H ^e *s cer"tain to meet some one who will
|^S tell him of Sydney Harbour; and if the
M I .tt^B- exclamations  of delight that escape the
illH^B visitor's lips stand for anything, Sydney's
|||]*m. sights deserve all the praise they get.  The
l. JM Harbour and Gardens have a particularly
pMÉ pleasing effect when looked at from the
BiBl neighbourhood  of   Bourke's   monument.
^^B Doubtless  there  are  many persons who ^1
Round the World. 127
find fault with what they see, but assuredly
they may also discover many attractions
deserving admiration, and by which the
people who are not troubled with a too
sesthetical education, are pleased and
soothed, like the young man in the London
comic paper, when looking at the picture,
who did not know whether it was the outlining, the perspective, or the colouring
that  was   good,  but  still   he  liked   the
1 I pictchaw. ' ' ^^^Ï^^^^^^^^^^HMH
Botany Bay is another well-known
suburb of Sydney; it is reached by a
ride of a few miles, on the big, smutty,
steam tram-cars. Botany Bay is still a
wild, desolate-looking place. Although
discovered before Port Jackson, the only
notice that now seems to be taken of it
is on account of Captain Cook having
landed there. As one rambles among the
trees and crushes through the brushwood,
the innumerable ferns, plants, and flowers
of many kinds, his imagination leads him
to expect some black and yelling aborigines
to   spring out from some  dark lurking- w
128   fWÊ A Mechanic's Tour
place. So wild are some of the surroundings of the Bay that one might think that
few white men had been there since
Captain Cook and his band of explorers
walked upon its shores a hundred years
ago ; but after leaving the trees and getting on to the open sandy beach, all
sentiment about Cook's first landing-place
is swept away before the horrible smells
of   the  refuse  of   some  mills  upon  the
banks, ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^tefe ' * 'H
B A sail down the harbour to the little
town of Manly, with its good beach and
pretty wild flower-shows, will doubtless be
found a pleasanter pastime than a journey
to Botany. A trip to the town of Parrain atta, up the river of that name, is a
favourite ft excursion of many Sydney
people. Parramatta is distant from Sydney
some fourteen miles, and is celebrated for
its oranges and orange groves ; that part
is often called the " garden spot " of New
South Wales. | As we steamed up the
river one sunny spring Saturday, and saw
a picnic party of young men and women Round the World. 129
on the banks, indulging in the old English
game of | kiss in the ring," we had not
to stretch our imagination much to fancy
ourselves in  England.      When  one   remembers that in Australia he is about as
far away  from England as  he  can get,
the thought about extremes meeting is not
unlikely to come into his mind.    Certain
it is that Sydney is the most British-like
place I have as yet been in since leaving
England.     It has the same sports, and
games  of  cricket, football, horse-racing,
boat-rowing,   &c. ;    the    same   British-
looking   faces,   the   same   fashions—with
rather more wide-awake hats on the men's
heads—the same winding streets. I It pays
better wages for the general run of mechanics,   with   fewer   hours   of   labour ;
it has more ants, mosquitoes, sand, and
rabbits  in the   country   parts ;   there  is
more    cheap   meat,    much   buying   and
selling   of building sites and  allotments
of land ; less green covering on the face
of nature than in England ; but to make
up for that drawback there are the same 130 A Mechanic's Tour
BrR catchy  tunes  played   by   the   Salvation
If B / Army bands as they parade the streets on
■B| & Sunday morning. %
|]|lB^K^ The he&t is greater in summer time, the
^^^^^Bl atmosphere often  having a  drowsy  and
BÉA sleepy effect. § In the Free Public Library
pvy-"É at Sydney  visitors   are fj not   allowed to
flB| sit sleeping.    On a close day it is amusing
III; "'     I ^° watch the   efforts   of   some   to  keep
|m|^'<;. awake as they look over their books ;   if
vB they are caught napping they are ordered
|lj§||| to leave the room at once.    One sleepy
^B fellow, whose head had been swaying about
11 in a most suspicious manner, when aroused,
I IB 1 sa^5 11 was onty thinking." I The weather
i I ;   ^^^B ^ winter and spring is all that could be
11BB desired; in winter one is inclined to put
BB overcoats and other things on the bed to
jllfeBf keep the cold out.  I--; t^-i-^r'^^ftj^É^^I
11ll?-^^B^BThirsty souls are apt to think that the
! tlflB greatest drawback to Sydney is the closing
IfBHH of all bars and public houses during the
<B whole of Sunday.    Loyalty  seems to be
I Illl^B well to the front in Australia ;  one out of
§ ffm many instances was that the only motto
I    I ound the World. 131
hung upon the walls of the restaurant I
frequented was—" God save the Queen."
The house was kept by a Frenchman, and
doubtless he thought that would be sure
to touch the hearts and pockets of the
Britishers. f;:   |
One hears and reads a good deal about
the convict taint inAustralia, through convicts having been sent there in days gone
by. Be that as it may, it seems quite as
safe a placé to live in as America^ for one
seldom hears of those cowardly shooting
affrays which are so prevalent in the
States. I When I was working in Chicago,
a young man came to the building in
search of employment, and as he sat down
on a window-frame, his coat got disarranged, exposing the butt-end of a
revolver sticking out of his hip pocket.
Of course, such little incidents speak very
significantly to a "new chum." It is
doubtful whether one revolver would be
found on a thousand persons in the streets
of Sydney. The more peaceful sound of
the popping of corks  out   of bottles of
K 2  I
j m
132
A Mechanic's Tour
lemonade and other cooling drinks could
be heard in Sydney on October 5th, that
day being a great holiday. For some
years past a demonstration has been
annually held to celebrate the eight hours
movement :   ^^^^^^^^K^^Ê ■ ' "
Eight hours work,
Eight hours play,
Eight hours rest,
And eight shillings a day.
f That verse has a very fascinating and
tempting jingle to many a poor toiler in
England, t The eight hours work movement is also fully appreciated in Australia,
as was testified by the thousands of manly
mechanics who I walked m in «procession
through the streets of Sydney, amidst the
awful blast of scores of trumpets, and
waving of banners. All places of business
were closed during the day, and the
tradespeople enjoyed the holiday as much
as those in their employ.   f^^^^B '  IK^B Round the 1 Vorlcl. Î 33
3   CHAPTER XL f
Soon after what was called the Carnival of
Labour we left Sydney for a trip round the
coast to " marvellous " Melbourne, a city
founded in 1836, and at the time of our
visit containing, with its suburbs, some
300,000 people, A pleasant sail of a few
hours over the smooth waters of Port
Phillip brought us to the entrance of the
small but useful river Yarra Yarra.
Thence the trouble in getting to Melbourne
that night was very great as our steamer
wended its way along the narrow and
shallow waterway ; but after scraping and
sticking, on the bottom of the river many
times, we at last reached the youthful city
about midnight, lit . ii%ift'aSJ|#^S;j^S-'■
Melbourne, like San Francisco, was
I made " by gold ; it was gold that first
brought the great rush of people into
Victoria, and it is principally gold that has
kept them there., Most of the mining is 134  ;.  'wl&A Mechanic's Tour
f B now carried on by companies, who have
| feS brought the latest and most improved kinds
Illl 111 °^ machinery to extract the precious metal
l[|[ : |Bl fr°m its clothing dross. W&S%
Tpllli The process of gold-mining has been
lip described by nearly every man and woman
ii in /AIR wk° has written a book about Australia,
B| descriptions that are not always spoken of
I with respect by practical miners. At the
I present time private gold-digging is very
Illl uncertain work, and the average working-
Êp-man does better when working at some
ipl trade than he does at searching for gold.
1^ I Even in I the I palmy days of mining,
JI^Awhen gold was easily got at, more
|§l|B ^ortunes were made by shrewd men who
BH speculated in building allotments and other
BB land where Melbourne now stands. Many
^Bi arothe stories told of fortunate individuals,
BU who gave five or ten pounds for a certain
BBBpiPif^ of land, and in two or three years
Il ' BÉÉ so^ ^ for as many thousands. The mania
II || BB for buying and selling land is still as
I III Bm s^ong as ever in Australia. A building site
|||1    is the first investment to which a poor man Round the World.        .   . 1S5
generally devotes his savings. I By paying
five or ten pounds down at the time of
purchase, he is allowed to clear off the
balance at so much per week. One of the
causes said to have produced the severe
depression in trade in Adelaide and other
parts of South Australia was over speculation in land. Be that as it may, the value
of property is steadily increasing in Melbourne, the capital of the colony of Victoria.
On the following morning we landed,
and, after breakfast, commenced our
survey of Melbourne. % The streets of the
city are laid out at right angles to each
other, after the American plan. I One;
would find it difficult to lose oneself in
Melbourne, in strong contrast to the sister
town of Sydney, where the streets wind
about in all directions in true old English
style. J^llBfeBBBBBp?c ?**'"
Our first walk was along important
Collins Street, the street of large banking
houses, merchants' offices, first-class shops,
and other good buildings. It was alive
with merchants and their clerks, who were fil    Wi  136 BBl   A Mechanic's Tour
IffiB   hurryingj with truly metropolitan hurry,
III^hS   to their different offices.    One is almost
I    -Bp   forced to say, I What a wonderful city ! "
| [ f|B|   when he remembers that fifty years ago
black  men and wild animals roamed at
|I |?^p   large over the ground where now white
B.|pB   men, in black coats and tall shiny hats,
If   fl|   gravely  wend  their   way to   that high-
I     H   pressure work which generally appertains
■ ■;;•'-■'•■•   to their race. ':0^:^M^E'S$$ -    '■■%."  :
WÊmU^k In  a  certain  part  of   Collins  Street,
I      between the hours of one and four in the
\ JIB   afternoon, crowds of  fashionably-dressed
f^H   men and women are to be seen strolling
f|^H§ about, or what is called f doing the block."
B   Turning out of Collins Street we entered
ff^Bl Little Collins Street, a narrow street filled
I   with warehouses and offices, and running
BB   parallel with "big" Collins Street, j Next
;B   to  Little Collins Street is busy Bourke
IBh| Street, with its shops filled with all sorts
IJfeBBr°f things from all parts of the world, and
<'<BÉÉ with its beautiful arcades, in one of which
lllli-''< B I found some of my Zealandia companions
I &^^Ba^rea(ly established in business, i Collins laiMMMrfJHi'yi'i.
I Round the World. |   137
Street and Bourke Street, although differing greatly in their aspects—share the
honours of being the principal business
thoroughfares of the city, ft After six
o'clock in the evening, Collins Street has
a very deserted appearance, all business
places being closed. Bourke Street, on
the other hand, is all alive until midnight,
and thousands of young men and women
take delight in promenading up and down
the well-lighted street. «pjl ' %mÊÈË&&&
ft'What numbers of young women there
are ! Indeed, what a satire on the old idea
in England is here, as to young women
who desire to marry having only to |! go
out" to Australia, and there would be
some rich men sure to be waiting to make
them wives ! I heard one in England,
who seemed to be getting nervous about
being an | old maid," say she would
get married even if she had to go to
Australia to do so. | A steady young
woman can certainly do well in many
kinds of work ; she often does better than
many young men in some of the genteel Bl 138  I   I ^ Mechanic's Tour   ;
ill I ^BB occupations ; but an entire stranger in the
Bil country does not always get married as
BpPj soon as 1 might be expected ; in fact,
^H bachelorhood is getting so common in
JBê$ Victoria that one gentleman has endeared
BS himself to the hearts of the ladies by
^B introducing a Bill in Parliament proposing
Bp-the  taxation   of   single 'men  of   certain
JL'-'s ages. WÊ^^^^^^^^^W^ ^■
1 i B^N5 Continuing our walk up and down the
I "I.Jf^B streets, we turned Jinto Little Bourké
\ > I'Ï^bB Street, which runs parallel with its name-
\ | |'B -Sake. I We there found ourselves in the
I il %:K I haunts of the Chinese.! The Chinese do
I ||/^^B n°t monopolise any one part of Melbourne
K 11 S       or Sydney as they do in San Francisco;
] I ^^^B in khe latter place they have, as already
r  Il BE! mentioned,   their China Town, which is
II I j inhabited exclusively by Chinese. [In
II II :-^B Melbourne, Little Bourke Street is their
1 II BB favourite locality, but there you will find
I ||| B the white man also. As in Sydney, the
I II 1 . I Chinese principally pass § their timet in
| III Bb ^aking furniture of an inferior description
11|      /I and   in   market-gardening.     Poor   John ^1
Round the World. 139s
Chinaman's powers of endurance ought ta
create some kind of respect for him ; no
matter what gay holiday it may be, John
is seldom tempted out of his stuffy little
workshop, where he can be found at all
hours. But John's long and tedious labour
does not find much favour with the eight
hours working Australians ; they are even
legislating to make the Chinese stamp all
the furniture they make, and one Honourable Member comically suggested that
they should stamp all their cabbages and
carrots. - ' .«. :f;i . .I^^^^É- llfiS-:-"■•
|J Beyond Little Bourke Street are other
streets running parallel to it. Dividing
these streets into east and west is
Elizabeth Street, another capital thoroughfare. ^ Elizabeth Street has many fine
streets running parallel with it, and the
whole of the streets in the city forming
squares and blocks something after the
style of a large draught-board. Outside
of the city are numerous townships and
suburbs spreading in all directions. | É
Not only in the planning of the streets 140 A Mechanic's Tour
does Melbourne differ from the capital of
New South Wales, but also in the apparent
bustle and " go " of the inhabitants, and
the push and competition in business and
trades of all kinds, although wages are
about the same in both towns, as is also
the cost of living. There is also a con-
siderable difference in § the scenery of
Melbourne, which is not such a hilly place
as the other capital, while the country
around is flat. ^^fÊÊ^KHiK^^' » "*
HI When the hot winds blow, and the dust
fills fjpne's eyes, ears, and mouth, making
one feel dirty and sticky, one is inclined
to wish he could take a walk round the
corner, and refresh himself by a sight of
the briny deep, as is the case in Sydney ;
but to realise such a desire one has either
to drive or take the train down to Sand-
ridge, St. Kilda, Brighton, or some other
of the many watering-places on the "Bay,"
before the enjoyment of a cool breeze off
the salt water can be had. Indeed, St.
Kilda, Brighton, Elsternwick, Toorack,
and one or two other watering-places and Round the World. 141
suburbs   are very pleasant and desirable
places of residence. | :    .
Most of the large public buildings and
houses are built of brick or stone. Pine-
wood is rather expensive in Australia,
most of the pine being imported from
America; the Australian "hard wood"
does not stand the weather well, as it
cracks and warps, soon giving to the
houses an old and dilapidated appearance.
The wooden houses are generally plain
wooden structures, built as though the
owners had run them up until they could
afford to build with brick or stone. llBfll
I need hardly say that there are many
excellent public buildings in the city. The
Free Public Library is one of the best of
its kind in the world ; that is something;
for a city not fifty years old to be proud
about. A great peculiarity of the large
towns of Australia is the number of large
and pleasant parks and gardens for the
public. . Melbourne has its Botanical
Gardens, Fitzroy Gardens, and many other
parks and gardens in or near the town. w
I   142 A Mechanic's Tonr
BB|t The newspapers make one believe that
Ip   there  is  a certain jealousy between the
-jB   two cities of Melbourne and Sydney ; for
l|l   what reason a stranger cannot always tell ;
Illl • mm /an(^ strange to say, while there is so much
I    j    WË   rivalry, the different colonies are discuss-
;'    I    mm   ing the subject of federation.  The Sydney
I    mm   newspapers give figures to show that the
I       I   population of the colony  of Victoria  is
H || I  ' WÊ   not increasing, while the newspapers of
11||,p^^p Victoria say that their colony is far ahead
H 111    I   °^ ^e others, and is likely to stay so.
iBpl Many are the stories told in Melbourne
§ Ipli about the  Sydney   people  asking   every
iill^Bi 'Stranger who arrives, what he thinks of
Ij j§£->i   their harbour ? I If the Melbourne people
^ft     have no harbour, they are very proud of
fv^H   their town, and the question of "How do
Bh Jou ^e Melbourne?" is asked as often
WSBË as is the other good-natured inquiry.    All
IBB visitors are treated alike, and certain it is,
; E^^Bthat while standing on the pier at Sand-
JIBB T*3ge, I heard one of the water policemen
*  111© Bas^  a   Chinese   sailor   off  the f steamer
Sherard Osborne how he liked Melbourne.
ili ^™\
Round the World. 143
The policeman seemed satisfied when the
Chinaman answered, " Me likee welly
good."
Thé horse-race for the "Melbourne
Cup " is one of the great events of the
year in Australia, and the Melbourne
people are justified in being proud of that
great horse-racing, event. It is not for
me to go into the pros and cons of such a
subject, simply wishing to speak of events
as I find them. The most particular person could not help wondering at the change
that had taken place within fifty years, as
he was whirled along in the well-appointed
railway-carriage, and noted the excellent
arrangements existing in all quarters. And
when one stood on the Hill, and looked at
the thousands of people gathered together,
to witness the races ; the fashionably-
dressed men and women on the Lawn
and Grand Stand; and at the graceful
horses as they cantered round one of the
best race-courses in the world—one could
not but feel that the Australians were not
to be outdone by their European ancestors.
Ii jpp
I III 144 A Mechanic's Tour
i    j I I The man who left England for Australia,
j I with a lot of gaudy, flimsy jewellery and
IIBIll some  paste  diamonds,  saying  that they
m would  do  for  the   squatters'  wives and
1   other  Australians  who knew no  better,
i      fll would   surely   discover  the  folly   of   his
■III!        *BB enterprise. -fB^BBBl^-  ^IIP'     ' ' ""'" ■'
Bill f      "BkÉ -^et no man leave England for Australia
If      Bl-W^h the idea that he is going amongst a
!   Il-   £-B^°t  °^   nncultured  people;   he   will  find
I   *      fflB^hem his equals in intelligence, and pro-
BB bably g above    him   in   independence    of
!«■ manner,  Ép||| mââMr':^i£& .    .:. \ ': :.".
'wSÊm Christmas and New Year's holidays are
II   W^m Say an(l lively times in Melbourne ; many
II   «PS °^  ^e  shops  are decorated in the old-
-,     flijf country style as near as it can be done,
flpfand  for  weeks  before  the  holidays   the
fli^ stationers'  shop-windows are  filled with
111       PB? Christmas cards—cards which have to be
I |i      J§Hposted many weeks before Christmas, to
II ft^reach hi time that home far across the
[I      <ÏBMea9 the fair British Isles, which even the
I,     p:i colonial-born people still speak of as home.
ill   HBI Of   course   Christmas,   to   the   "new ^■^
Round the World. 145
chum " in Australia, seems to have lost
half its charm in the absence of snow.
Instead of the thick wraps, snow, ice, and
cold, blue noses of England, the Australians
have their thin, light clothing, and go
down to the seaside beach, or some other
cool place—such, for instance, as a trip,
on one of the many pleasure-steamers,
round Port Phillip. Many country cousins, |, |||
farmers, and " free selectors," make Mel- ;|J|
bourne their home during Christmas : and
a very welcome break it generally is in
the free selector's monotonous existence,
who probably has selected his two or three
hundred acres of Government land in some Wm
backwoods settlement. ■ ^'^■^m^^Ê^^:
Many of the "squatters," or men who BKIl
lease from the Government large tracts of |j|
land for grazing purposes, strongly object * «
to the free selectors or small farmers split- .f§|
ting up their immense tracts of country. {
The land laws concerning the purchase
and holding of land in Australia are
published in full by the different Colonial
Governments.    The lowest price for un-
L m
§B  146 A Mechanic's Tour
|1   B   improved and uncultivated land is about
11|      1»   °ne pound sterling an acre, payable in so
S»   many years.   B^KÎ$
III       kS One English writer thus ^ums up the
Illl     Jjjl   free selectors:  "At the squatter's heels
ill       111   follow the selectors, an impecunious tribe
1111      l§880f jackals armed with manhood suffrage,
H||||.   s|B who rob him of his hard-earned gains."
1 ''f^jBi ^hat seems rather hard on a man because
i   11   ^^■hé  happens  to  be  poor  and  desires  to
;   I^Pl Ii niake a home for himself, his wife, and
I jh: IB family. 1 However,  those   anything! but
j^B liberal   ideas   are not  appreciated   very
^B niuch in a country where Jack is as good
: ^l-I^^B as ^S m as ter. BBmbBBB^^^^^^^B
^^^B A man must have something better than
|JBB a jackal's heart when he selects,.as many
BBÉBdo.   forest  land  which   a  writer  to  the
jpBj   Melbourne Argîts thus describes :   " The
lft'B«l gum-trees and   messmate,  which   are  as
pBB thick as they can stand, are interlaced at
BIlÉÉi their base with an impenetrable scrub as
BHBB high as a man on horseback, and so solid
p:BB that a dog could not creep through.    The
r;:;BB trees and scrub do not grow in patches, ^
Round the World. 147
they cover just as many acres as the forest
settler takes up, and before he can put in
a plough he has to ring the trees, burn off
the dead wood, and cut down and burn
the scrub time after time." However, all
the land is not like that, some of it being
lightly timbered, and many of the selectors
do eventually own good homes. BBBBI
-+o*-
F^J^BM CONCLUSION. ggp3
As one travels round the world in these
matter-of-fact days—days of fast steam-
ships and railway-engines—he will doubtless come to the conclusion that the world
is not such a large and lonely place, after
all ; for no matter in what part of the
world one may be, he is almost sure ta
meet somebody he knows. I have accidentally met friends among the diamond-mines;
of South Africa; and friends and acquaint*
ances have been found in remote British m
148*        -| A Mechanic's Tour
Columbia and other parts of Canada and
America.! In | Sydney an old English
townsman of mine surprised me by sitting
near me in a restaurant and asking how
all were at home. And, in a sense, the
world is gradually getting smaller, for
men are continually building ships to do
the distance from one country to another
in less and less time. BBWBBr^'''
B One can step on to a steamship in one
of the ports of Great Britain, and have as
good attendance during a journey round
the world as he would have in his own
home. I There is an absence of those hairbreadth escapes, adventures, and rough
life which seem to have been the accompaniments of long journeys |in |years
gone by.
I trust that my 1 Notes and Sketches "
have helped to solve the difficult question
with many a man, of, 1 To what colony
or country shall! I pemigrate ? "—that
question which nowadays fills so many of
my countrymen's minds. No matter what
colony they may choose, to  them I can Round the World. 149
truly say, in the same words that a Rev.
gentleman in South Africa (to whom I
took a letter of introduction) said to me,
—" There is plenty of room for steady,
industrious, and God-fearing people."
And now my task, for the present, is
ended ; and if any kind reader does
venture forth to some other clime, that
he may have God speed is the best wish
of a Mechanic.
THE   END.
WYMAN USD  SONS, PRINTERS, GREAT QUEEN STREET, LONDON,  WfC    COURTLAND BENSON
Conservation Treatment
A Mechanic's Tour The paper has been repaired and guarded with Japanese paper and wheat
starch paste. The front cover has been
repaired and filled in with Japanese K
paper A new back paper has been cut 
to fit and put on (Barcham Green hand-
made paper.
January 1983 

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