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1 correction by peter-macinnis - Show corrections

KKWS FKUM THti LNliSliiOK.

FLOOD AT THE LACHLAN,

(From the Bathurst Free Press.).

WE have been permitted to glean the following particulars from the letter of Mr. Joshua Hughes to his suter, referred to in another place.

The writer w<*s awoke about 3 o'clock of the morning by his host, who informed him that the river wa» bank high. Anxious to learn how two flocks of sheep were faring, which were camped about half n mile from the house in charge of a watchman, they hastened to the spot. By the ' time they arrived, the back

water h d overflowed its banks from above the crossing-place, Bnd in an inconceivably short t>pace of time, had inundiitcd the country for a mile or more in extent, the sheep standing in I water a foot deep. Having " boxed" the flocks

i together, th* y commenced driving them to the higher ground, but were suddenly surrounded by the waters of the increasing deluge, which reached to their waists. Having left the sheep upon a small island of about half an acre, they waded their wiy to the house, and after some difficulty and not a little danger, arrived in safety. At this time day had not broken.

Atday-break Mr. Hughes and Mr. M'Diarmid took a horse each and proceeded to the sheip. The flood was then at its height, and another foot would have drifted them off their camping ground towards the Murrumbidgee. Whilst gassing on the extraordinary scene which pre- sented itself, they were hailed by human voices coming from the direction of the riverbank, After exchanging cooyes several times they espied a man clinging to the limb of a tree, and upon a closer examination of its other branches, observed several more in the same situation.

After shouting on the top of their voices for a length of time, the roaring of the water« ren- dering extreme exertion necessary to be heard, it was discovered that there were' five souls al- together in the tree, consisting of two men, a woman, and two good-sized children. They had been surrounded by the water whilst asleep at camp, and the suddenness of the inundation preventing their escape to high ground, they had been compelled to take refuge in the man- ner described. The rapidity of their movements might be gathered from the circumstance that the female was attired in mt-n's clothes, and the heads of most of them were adorned with nightcaps.

Horror-struck at the spectacle, Messrs. Hughes and M'Diarmid returned to the house, and by dint of persuasion, backed up by a pro- mise of tea, sugar, tobacco, and white money, they induced a black-fellow to construct a canoe of a sheet of bark, and steer for their rescue. With surprising dexterity he paddled his frail skiff to the trunk of the tree, and would speedily have effected the deliverance of the strangers from their dangerous position, but for the pre- cipitancy of one of the men, whojumped down so hurriedly, that the bottom of the canoe split, and it immediately sank. The white man regained the tree, but the darky struck out manfully for the shore. In this, however, he was foiled, the strength of the current carried him down the t-trenm about 300 yards, when he buffeted his way to a tree where he had to perch, in a state of complete nudity, until the following morning, when the waters subsided, and they all made their way to shore in safety, after two nights and a day spent in hunger, expo- sure, and danger. In a tew minutes tho whole party were collected round a huge blazing fire to warm their chill frames, and tho cooking apparatus being speedily called into requisi- tion, »very short ti.no saw them cheerfully > occupied with grateful countenances, adminis ' tering to their ravenous appetites. Such are j among-t the dangers of the bush.

Since the foregoing was written, we learn  

from an individual just arrived from the Lach- lan, that the floods on the lower part of the river have not been nearly so high as towards its head, a large portion of the waters it ap-   pears, as usual during floods, being absorbed

by the back creeks, lagoons, and billabongs, before they disappeared in the immense  

swamp near its junction. Timely notice of the flood having reached the settlers they speedily cleared out of their residences wherever they were exposed to inundation, and betook them- selves to the higher ground. In some instances the huts nearly disappeared in the height of the flood, whilst in others it fortunately happened that the precaution of removing was unnecessary, the dwellings not being reached by the water. Many parties were unable, from the continuance of the flood, to return to their homes for a week or more, having in the mean time to camp underneath their drays, make temporary gunyahs, or avail themselves of the hospitable shelter of their neighbour's roofs. Wefaro glad, however, to learn, that there has been no well authenticated logs of

life on the river, and very little loss of pro-

perty.

The skeleton of a human body, still bearing the clothes of deceased, was found a few days ago in a hollow log at Mogang, near the Lachlan, having either crept in or been placed in feet foremost. Decomposition had com- pleted its work, and in the attempt to take off one of the boots, the bones of the leg separated. How the body came there, or whether death had resulted from violence, it was of course im- possible to say, owing to the complete decay

of the frame.

Digitisation generously supported by
Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation
Digitisation generously supported by

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