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3 corrections, most recently by ralphw - Show corrections

The Legend of Red Jacket Swamp.

CLARE.

The city of Brisbane was not always as it is now; the burying-ground of Paddington was outside the city then, and the little boys used to play "hide and seek" all over it without

going near a road. These little boys were clothed by their mothers in 50lb. flour bags, which had been received from South Australia, the garments being constructed in the following easy manner, namely:—A hole was cut in the top to allow the head to protrude, and the two upper corners were cut off for the arms. With these on, they joyfully played pitch and toss, peg-knife, marbles, and other common but popular games. Some of these flour bags were branded "Dunn," and others "Hart" ; consequently     great enmity prevailed between the two sets, called respectively the "Dunn Club" and the   "Hart Club."   Two members of the latter club were one day playing about the large swamp, which is situated in the suburb now called Milton. Their names were Bill and Mac, and they were actively engaged in capturing a brown bull-frog, which persistently hopped away as the greasy fingers of the "Hart" youths endeavoured to   close around him. At last Mac, creeping unawares behind Mr. B. Frog, was in the act of grabbing him, when Bill excitedly yelled, "Mac! nab that frog," and straightway fell into a peculiar-looking pool of water, which apparently was tinged a dark red by the infusion of some mineral substance—probably iron. By the aid of his friend, Mac, he came to dry land again, but, behold! his once white flour-bag suit was of a dull red. This so caught the fancy of his fellow members that they likewise dipped their coats in the pool, and this circumstance was the origin of the name "Red Jacket Swamp."   Owing to the length of time which has elapsed since the young people of Brisbane "did the block" in flour-bag suits this legend   is known to very few, and it is believed it is now on record for the first time.

According to the Aberdeen Journal a plebis cite has been taken on the question, " Who are the most popular living novelists?" On the question there appears to be very great diversity of opinion. For example, Newcastle awards first place to Miss Braddon; Man chester, to J. M. Barrie; while London gives the premier position to Dr. Conan Doyle. The next favourites in each locality are Rudyard Kipling, Walter Besant, Clarke Russell, and Hall Caine. The Rider Haggard " boom" has died away, and Robert Louis Stevenson, George Meredith, Justin M'Carthy, and Christie Murray are not in the running. The total result has confirmed the general belief that the confirmed novel reader, after long indulgence, loses his taste for literary excellence—if he ever had any—and reverts to tawdry sensa tionalism, or to the newest star of the moment. The Canadian Parliament has, it is said, decided to adopt nickel coinage for small currency in lieu of copper.

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