“I was rather wild,” he says, “ in my young days, and my father, a Scotch minister, with a large family and a small stipend, was bothered what to do with me. I liked to tear about on ponies, and we had no ponies at the grange.
Ha! ha! the dear old dad!
He put me on board a ship for Sydney, paid my passage in the steerage, and sent me with a sixpence out into the world.
Landing in Australia
without a penny in my pouch, I had to take service, anything that offered.
A sheep farmer hired me, and I went up country to the runs.
A wild life suited me, and after a spell at the diggings, I returned to the runs as partner with my late master
, and remained with him three or four years. A man from California
gave me the notion of settling here, and I came over with some money and more experience.
I stayed in San Francisco
five or six weeks, looking round, and feeling for an opening, but the sharpers of that city would have peeled and picked me to the bone.
I came down south, and finding two or three ranches in this valley built by English fellows, I thought the place would suit me, and I stayed.”
“ How long ago?”