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2-209 (Raw)

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author,female,Franklin, Jane,48 addressee,male
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Private Written
Private Correspondence
Clarke, 1992
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2-209-raw.txt — 2 KB

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We have arrived safely at this important point of our journey and I must commemmorate the event by dating a fresh sheet to you from it. Our last stage of 14 or 15 miles from Joe Slack's station was performed in about 5 hours, our progress having been somewhat interrupted by numerous creeks, and the descent from steep and awkward banks, into the reedy and occasionally inundated flats.
The first few miles run along the lower declivities of some lightly wooded banks projecting from a range of hills which obtained a higher elevation on our right as we proceeded, but were only partially seen through the foliage of the intervening plain. .[...] 
The river here makes a deep bow, the bight of which is towards the E. and a little below it is the crossing-place or ford. The banks were not lofty, but were rather steep. They descended however in the present state of the river not into the water but upon a flat beach of shingles, which was a great advantage to me in crossing. The water in the deepest part did not come above the horses girths, and the current was not sufficiently strong to render it a matter of any difficulty to stem it. The water here may be 80 yards across, and the stream tho' thus easy of passage, was much more rapid than any we had hitherto seen. In times of flood it is dangerous on account of this rapidity as well as on account of the steepness of its banks. We were told that parson Docker's drays had been overturned in it, and one bullock drowned on the occasion. Accidents to human life have also occurred at this passage since it has become the high way between the old colony and the El dorado of Port Phillip. [135] On the right bank of the Murray are two inhabited dwellings, and a smaller unfinished one, the latter belongs to a Mr Lewis whose cattle station we had passed 2 miles on the other side of the river. Of the former, one is the spacious hut of a Mr Brown erected for a store, and standing on the forest plain near the water, and the other is the station of the mounted Police perched upon the steep declivity (which a few hundred yards below Mr Brown's rises from the edge of the water) of the lofty and undulating bank. On a flat enclosed paddock between these two dwellings and meant as a reserve pasture for the horses of the mounted police we pitched our encampment rejoicing to have passed that formidable river which had hitherto been represented to us as the greatest obstacle we had to fear and at the same time to have accomplished half of our journey to Yass or 200 miles exactly in a fortnight...