A DAY AT ERINGA.
EXTENSIVE MAIL CONTRACT
When the last article closed Mr, Kidman was telling tho story of the partnership with his brother Sackville. He continued Then in addition to
the butchering and the dealing we went in for mail contracting, and James Nicholas was with us in this. We had all the Darling mails. We had the mail from Booligal to Wilcannia, to White Cliffs, Milparinka, and Tiboo burra, from Tibooburra and Milparinka to Broken Hill, and from Broken Hill through the back country down the Anabranch to Wentworth, and from Wentworth to Pooncarrie, Menindie and Wilcannia, and from Menindie to Broken Hill. For 18 mouths we car
ried passengers the 70 miles for 2s 6d a head. We had the Wentworth, Euston and Balranald mails, and car ried passengers 140 miles for 7s 6d
a head. We ran the mail from Mor
gan to Wilcannia and back twice a week. Then we had the mails from
Farina to Innamincka and Haddon
Downs, and from Hergott to Birds ville, also the Cobar and Wilcannia contract. Wo had something like 1,200 horses working, and were re
ceiving over,£22,000 ayear subsidy from the New South Wales, South Austra-
lian and West Australian mails. It was other people tendering and cutting the prico that made us sell out our plant and go west, where we ran under the name of Cobb & Co., and drew £10,000 a year. We received £3,150 for 90 miles from Kalgoorlie to Men zies, and ,£2,200 from Esperance Bay to the Norseman, a distance of 80 miles. We were also running the mail from Southern Cross. It cost us £500 a month for condensed water for
£140 horses. Chaff was proportion ately dear. At last we fed the horses
on equal portions of oats, bran and1 chaff. That is the cheapesfc and best way of; fecdmg horses where cartage is high. We had all the gold escorts. 1 Here is a photograph of £65,000 worth
of gold on the coach travelling from Malcolm to Menzies. I brought horses from MacDonnell Ranges when they were cheap and put them on to our mails. I camped out everywhere. There was no drinking bear and eating peaches in those days. Many a night I have gone to bed hungry and with out sufficient blankets. I must con fess that I often lived a lot harder than I needed to. We were still deal ing a bit in cattle, horses, and running our butchering business.
START BUYING STATIONS.
" Then we bought a station or two, and on my brother's death I took over the few places we had. I must tell you that my other brother, C. N. (Charley) joined us, and we carried on our dealing and butchering as Kidman Brothers. My nephews and myself still run the business at Broken Hill. I took all the stations, and I have been battling ever since and dealing heavily. Sometimes there has been a lot of loss and at other times a big profit. I bought Annandale in the drought at 8s 4d per head for the cattle and horses. At the finish of the drought it had 500 cattle left out of 6,000, and to-day it is carrying 20,000 cattle. I bought Carcary station. Before the drought it had 5,000 cattle. I reckon it was a record smash in Queensland. I arrived on the station when there was not a
foot loft. I paid the hands off and xvont up the gulf country and bought cattle. T made ,£10,000 on that trip in dealing. That saved me.
COUNTRY EQUAL TO THE AHKA OF
" Ever since I have kept 'on dealing' and increasing the number of cattle, till to-dijiy I own or am interested in •50,000 square miles of country, which
is equal to the area of England. These tables will give you an- idea of the country I am interested in :—
Country hold by Sidney Kidman in South
Name of Station. So. miles. Acres. Mount Nor'-West ... 330 211,200 Clayton 18B 110,640 PandiePandie... ... 313 200,520 Coongyi 2,818 1,803,520 ISringa ... 1,088 ; 686,320 Tnnkiimarriuft... • ... 123 78,720 Russels ... 08 62,720 Mundoudun 828 29,920 Macumba 1,634 1,045,700 Mount (Unaon... ... 147 105,360 Morgan — BlO.OOO
7,567 4,717,880 Stations Owned by Sidney Kidman in
Antiaudalo ... 1,267 810,880 Dubbo Downs ..„ 885 666,400 Kalidunrarry .... 800 512,000 Sandriiiglium ... 3,068$ 1,964,600 Monkira. 1.324J 847,840 Ealnarara, .... v i , ,,..,,2,566? 1,642,720 NoratisicTo T 604 J 386,880' Carandottu ... ... 4,030$ 2,579,320 Roohedalo ;.. ... 200 218,000. Norloy ... ... 1,627} 1,041,600 Tluirgomindah . ... 1,117 711,880 Bulloo Downs ... 2,8478 1,822,560 Ticknlara ... 180i 115,520 Huddonsfield .... 123 78,720
20.642J 13,301,320 Country Held by Sidney Kidman with
Partners. Victoria River Downs
(N.T.) 10,954 7,010,560 Austral Downs (N. T.) 800 512,000 Carlton Hills (W. A.) 400 756,000 Newcastle Waters (N.T.) 3,874 2,479,360 Peake Station (S. A.) ... 4,779 3,058,560 Carrapundy (N.S.W.)... 200 218,000 Homestead Leases — 60,000
21,007 13,591,480 " In addition I W.ivo Mount Poolo sheep station, area 700 squaro miles, and Bei'lino, 200 squaro miles, in South Australia. I lropt on buying stations when other people would not touch them. Everyone said it would ruin
THOUSANDS OF HOliSKS.
" I liavo continued to buy stations till I must have over 7,000 horses on my places. I own ntoro horses than any person or firm in Australia. I
saw horses were in demand and I kept on buying and breeding till I was able to sell a couple of thousand evory year. I sent a mob of 380 to Dubbo in 1896, and 100 of them, colts from Queens
land, made the exceptional average of 1 £28 10s, while the whole mob, includ ing a number of light horses, made
about £18. I sent a mob of store: bullocks from Buloo Downs to Dubbo, and they averaged £9 18s 8d. There were about 1000, and that was a re cord for a mob of store bullocks. I
sent 800 to the same market, and they averaged £8 10s after travelling 1,700 miles. The largest distance I have travelled bullocks is 2,300 miles.
MAKING IT PAY.
" I have had to supply these stations and keep them going, and to make them pay I have had to deal very heavily in cattle. All the time the herds have been breeding up, and I have been increasing the holdings. I own more country and pay more rent on it than any other person or firm in Australia. In 1906 I paid the railways £17,333, and in 1907 £23,313, the most in one month being £3,620,
in November. In 1907 I railed some
thing like 11,000 cattle and 1,400
horses from Farina. I think that is more than was carried from all the other stations in South Australia. I
had on the road Inst year at one time 20,000 odd cattle. Thoy would be travelling to Sydney, Bourke, Tluir gomindah and Broken Hill, some would be going to the different stations, others, again, would be coming from the Northern Territory, and some
would be on the road to Adelaide.
CATTLE TO MELBOURNE.
"Last year I railed 3,200 bullocks from Farina right through Adelaide to the Fleraington markets at Mel bourne. They had previously travelled from Coongy and other places on the Cooper. This is the first time that any number of cattle had been sent
out of this state into Victoria. Some
of them made exceptionally high prices.
" I consider horses are increasing very fast over Australia, especially in Queensland and north of South Aus tralia. They will pay people in Queensland and in the interior to breed, even if thoy fall in price £5 to £8 per head. Station owners require to breed a sufficient number to supply their stations, and a few extra horses mean cheap labour. If you want to get full value out of the men, thoy must have plenty of horses to ride. Three men can do more with a good supply of horses than six men can do
with insuflicient and inferior horses.
I consider horses will fall very much in two or three years and then it will pay a man to breed them. I am breeding from 1,200 to 1,400 a year.
A MAN CAN'T GO WRONG.
" I consider I hold some of the best pastoral leases. I have long leases and low rentals. "With closer settle
ment and good seasons people are driven out into tliB interior, and any one can make the business pay 'if he lias a little capital, beeause you can get it so cheap. "With the pricux rul ing, and going to rule, for cattle '<i man can't go wrong. Of course, I might be wrong, but I certainly don't think