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spring out of fissures at the tree-roots. The Firm is absolute owner or leaseholder of this grand district. Its members were its pioneers in days when the Wide Bay blacks were fiercely hostile. Not far from the scrub in which we are riding in Indian file, my companion, years ago, was kept prisoner for four-and-twenty hours in a hut surrounded by blacks lying in wait for his appearance but afraid to face his rifle. Those days of peril are gone never to return, and the timber-getters follow their callings in peace.
Through the festoons of vines and other creepers which make the scrub so funereal and cool, I espy a stately, round, smooth, straight, brown column, eighteen feet or thereabouts in circumference, and rising high above all surroundings. It is the Noosa pine. The eye follows this apparently finished piece of gigantic lathe work, seventy feet upwards, without a break or fault of any description, until it rests upon the branches of its head. We dismount, and, without moving from one spot, can count twelve of these grand pine trees. One is a patriarch that cannot be less than twelve feet in diameter at the butt. The barrel is somewhat short in proportion, the branches, so far as one can judge, being not more than sixty feet from the ground. These columns are of solid timber, and they taper very little; the wood is free from knots, handsomely marked, and capable of taking a high polish. It is largely used in Queensland, and exported to the other colonies for linings to houses-an important consideration, indeed, in a country which has not emerged from the wooden era of architecture. I have seen furniture made of Noosa pine equal in richness of marking to the finest bird's-eye maple.
The Noosa pine district and the Firm who is developing it are worthy of the space I give it, if only as an illustration of the manner in which colonies are made. When the companion of my ride was pioneering for his co-partners, the country was inhabited only by hostile blacks, with here and there a settler. The Firm now have their mills at Cootharaba, a dépôt at Tewantin lower down, and large mills fitted up with costly machinery in Brisbane. They run their own steamers and schooner, have laid down tramways from the scrub to the mills, and give employment to about two hundred persons. It is impossible to say how many of these nuble pine-trees await the axe in the district ; but the Firm once began counting barrels in the big scrub, and, having counted up to 500, relinquished the undertaking. An average-sized Noosa pine contains six thousand feet of timber ; and latterly the Firm has produced close upon three million feet of timber per annum.
One pleasant night we spend at Cootharaba after breaking up
camp, and next morning we are homeward bound. Numbers One and Two elect to voyage in the gig down the chain of lakes and river to Tewantin, the bundle of skins we have secured not being sufficient to satisfy them. Kings Brady and Brown, however, have been improving the shining hour after their own fashion with illicitly procured rum. One is too drunk to take his place at the boat, the other sober enough to make a start. Having pulled in an erratic manner for a couple of miles he droops, and has to be revived by a dose of weak rum and water. Number One, who is toiling at the other oar, administers this mixture every half-hour. The sun is blazing hot : the pelicans are wild and unapproachable. They accordingly have a trying time in the boat, and some eight miles out His Majesty swears he has pulled two thousand miles and collapses in the bottom of the boat. Number Two-who, from the stern sheets, has hitherto placidly surveyed the scene through his eye-glass, throwing in a word of advice and consolation now and then, and by his smiling nonchalance driving Number One to the verge of distraction-has now to finish the day at the oar, and pull hard too, until they catch the tide and subside into silent drifting.
The little “ Alabama” departs in the afternoon, and I take passage in her, preferring the companionship of the skipper, his sharp blue-eyed boy, and the men and women who are going down to Brisbane to see the world. We, however, like our friends gone before, do not find everything plain sailing. The water in the lakes, since we have sojourned in the district, has fallen a few inches, so that when we reach the lower lake we begin to scrape the ground. We of the sterner sex get overboard and assist the “Alabama” over three sand-banks, and the skipper has to work like a slave, managing his engine, and piloting a couple of pontoons laden with sawn timber. It is the mission of the useful little steam drudge to tow the produce of the scrubs to port in this manner, and the convenience of the passengers is necessarily a secondary consideration. Towards dusk we run aground in earnest. The “Alabama” is backed and put at the bank in vain ; in vain we use poles and get out and push; in vain the little engines snort and struggle ; in vain the skipper perspires and transfers the coal to one of the pontoons. We are fast on the bank. Then the skipper adopts a bold resolution : he backs into deep water, puts the engines at very full speed, and literally makes the “Alabama” charge the bank. The gallant tour de force was deserving of better result.
There is no help for it after dark, for ahead is the river entrance, and the channel can only be kept in daylight, and only then by a skilful navigator. A few of us, therefore, resolve to take the boat and try and feel our way into the river and so to Tewantin. After an hour of weary pulling, we get aground; it is too dark to see the one stake that directs to the passage, and after continually jumping overboard and hauling the boat over bank and shoal we are left by the falling tide in four inches of water, unable to retreat or advance. And there we shiver and keep vigil from ten o'clock until dawn, dozing and damp, cramped and hungry, the sharks plunging around, the big stinging ray flapping, and the mullet leaping. Two young mothers with children are of the party, and they do not utter a word of complaint. The forced inaction of that miserable night in the darkness and cold is, with the inability to sleep, a terrible trial of patience.
That miserable night, however, cannot efface or dim the pleasant remembrance of our camping out the fresh mornings when the grass glittered with dewdrops, the birds made the woods resound with their liquid notes, and the balmy breezes braced body and soul into a union of healthy vigour-the lazy gliding of our boat along the reeds, the noonday halt in some shady retreat, the tranquil employment of rod or gun when the fancy took us-and the peaceful evenings, with their wonderful exhibition of dissolving views illuminated by colours indescribable, their glorious stars, and their genial gatherings in the welcome tent. It was a perfect holiday.
HEN great principles are finally established it is difficult to
ginning. The vested interests bound up with ignorance and obstruction, which had to be swept away, were terribly hard to dislodge ; and it probably took years of patient endeavour before a truth, so self-evident when demonstrated as to make it a matter of wonder why it was ever opposed at all, could gain a sullen hearing or grudging leave to prove its own existence. Science and class justice have always been thus opposed; and it is not too much to say that every radical discovery in the former, every great principle of the latter, has had to make its way against doubt, derision, misrepresentation, and the unfailing cry of injury to the established order of things, religious or social, should this upsetting doctrine be received, this revolutionary change be effected.
The establishment of naval and military Hospitals, which, besides being healing places for the sick, should serve as training-schools for the medical officers of the army, is a case in point. The principle, now acknowledged to be one as important to the well-being of the service as a well-organised commissariat or a strict drill, was once
a fought against with the desperation of that kind of conservatism which fears all change and denies all need of improvement; and nothing but the untiring energy of strong conviction ever enabled the reformers of the old bad system of military and naval hygiene to carry their point.
In this work France took the first step by establishing both military and naval hospitals, of which medical schools were an integral part, for the special training of military and naval surgeons. So long ago as 1715, M. Dupuy, “principal surgeon at the port of Rochefort, found manifold complaints made of the ignorance and inefficiency of the surgeons embarked on the ships," and to remedy the evil, wrote to the then minister, suggesting the establishment at the Hospital at Rochefort of a naval medical school, where young medical students destined for the navy might learn their special duties. His suggestion met the usual fate of all reforms. It
was snubbed by silence and shelved with contempt. Once again that same year he made a second attempt; another in 1716; another in 1717; and in 1719 "permission was given to make demonstrations of anatomy in the hospital, and of chemistry in the laboratory, but no assistance was given either in teachers or money." M. Dupuy went in person to Paris to plead his cause before the authorities. “He represented that, by connecting a school of medicine with the hospital itself, students could become acquainted in advance with the various diseases and injuries received by mariners in all parts of the globe, in war and peace, and that this was a precious source of instruction, which it would be criminal not to utilise.” He urged more than this, but this was the kernel of the argument, and common sense prevailed so far that he was empowered to open his naval medical school if he could.
When he returned to Rochefort he found that he could not do much. The commandant would give him for his own use but one small room, dark, inconvenient and partly filled with invalids; from which evil, however, resulted the good of the great naval Hospital at Rochefort, the first naval medical school established in France, and formally opened in 1722 with much pomp and circumstance. “So immediate and cornplete was its success that the minister wrote to M. Dupuy, to express to him how much the king was gratified with his zeal for the good of the service, and with the wisdom of his views for perfecting the institution he had created." He also gave him licence to improve his school, and a title of nobility; but the most valuable recognition was in the foundation of other schools at Toulon (1725) and Brest (1731). A royal ordinance establishing
A these three naval medical schools was issued in 1768; and during the most stormy times of the great revolution they were not only unmolested but were continued by a special decree of "17 Nivôse, An IX." “It is an interesting fact, which may be mentioned here, that the medical corps of the navy of France owe to the spirit of equality which prevailed at this epoch the concession of a right which they had long sued for in vain, that of being assimilated in all respects with the surgeons of the army. Perhaps never in any other place than before this decree appeared with more appropriateness the notorious motto of the Republic :
" "LIBERTÉ, ÉGALITÉ, FRATERNITÉ."
12 Messidor, l'an troisième de la République Française une et indivisible (30 June 1795).
“ Les officiers de santé de la marine seront assimilés aux officiers de santé