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Mr. H. Pass, who returned to Gerald ton last week from the Nor'-West, talks interestingly of the topography and pros pects of that part of the State. It will be ; remembered that Mr. Pass left here
on the 21st June last per s.s. Austra-lmd, intending to bring cattle overlaaid from the Ivimberley district. - In' chatting with a representative of the 'Express,' since his return, Mr.. Pass expressed himself very dissatisfied with all nothern ports south of Broome. 'My trip,' he continued, ''was an ex tremely pleasant one from the first day I left Geraldton. This was largely con tributed to by the officers of the Austra lind, -. who were exceedingly kind and courteous,' audindeed I would recom mend anyone travelling north to go by the Australind, where .the officers com bine , so inuch civility with nautical effi ciency. At Broome I was especially struck Svith the excellent water service, and could not help thinkine; what a boon
a similar scheme would be to Geraldton. Going further north we ended our sea voyage at Derby on King's Sound, and travelled overland to Yeeda Station on the Fitzroy River: Here our cattle were obtained. We procured a mixed herd, and were well satisfied, as we had the privilege of picking some 660 head from a- herd of about 10,000. From Yeeda we had to follow the stock route almost west to Broome across the Fitz roy River, and along the Fitzroy plains. We crossed the Fitaroy at Lukin's cross ing, and what struck me was that no notice whatever is given strangers of t'he danger which attends the crossing of that river, except at certain times. It abounds with 'ALLIGATORS. ? 'Great murderous-looking reptiles, a sort of fusion of a goanna and a shark. An ordinary notice stuck up on a pole would 'serve a humane purpose in en
lightening new-chum travellers of the danger to be apprehended in crossing, except when the tide is out. One night I Jeft a schnappsr hook and line in the Menie Creek. The next morning I ' had hooked a confounded alligator, and had to despatch him with a toma hawk. What did I think of the land? Well,' across the Fitzroy plains it is ex cellent. You could' run a plough nearly the whole way across, and the soil is about eight feet deep.' It would not, on account of the intermittent rainfall, be much good for agricultural purposes.
The tropical rains are no good for agri culture, they' don't come often enough, and are too violent when they do come. It' is an ideal country for pastoral pur pases, but owing to the coarseness of the herbage cattle do much better than sheep'.- There is a splendid fresh-water lagoon, known as Taylor's Lake, on the plains, - the only drawback being the prevalence of poison in places. At Eda Lake we left the western route to Broome, and came south by the stock route via Roebuck and Le Grange Bays, and 011 around the Ninety-Mile Beach. At .Le .Grange Bav there is a hospital
kept for fick and infirm natives. The expense is borne by the Government, ;and it is' most ably supervised by Mr. and Mrs. Tuckett, and a Miss Sampson.'. How did you get on for \ WATER in that country? — 'Oh, there are wells about every eight or ten miles along the route. But there! was so little water in them that we had to divide our cattle into two 'mobs. The -stronger cattle were taken on ahead, and I followed Be hind with the weaker ones, and the day or two which would intervene between our arrivals at the 'different 'wells en abled both lots to be .supplied with water. Wallal, which wp next reached, is' a telegraph station, and possesses also
an institution for natives 'similar to the one at Le. Grange Bay. Near Condon, further south, we camped on the De Grey Station, owned by Grant and Ed gar. - This is one of the finest stations, not only in the Nor'-West, but one of the finest' I have seen anywhere. The entire work of the station is done by about 60 natives, and as shearers, team sters, cooks, and 'even waiters, they seem to be perfectly at home. The Aus traliud is the only boat which calls at Condon, and is skippered by Captain Richardson, who used to take the Ara bella into the port years ago. At Lalla Rhook, 30 miles from Port Hedland, there is a new mineral rush, principally financed by the inevitable A. E. Mor gans, but a large number of men were, I understand, Seing placed in employ
ment. 'While on the subject of mining, I may tell you that at Balla Balla Mr. Wight, who went with me from Gerald ton, fell in with an old prospector who had a claim six miles out from the port. The stone showed free gold, and. would, we judged, go not less than 2oz. to 2ioz. to the ton. As the ' old fellow was iu need of funds, and Wight had a keen scent for a good spec, they established a partnership, and Wight is now engaged in Taising, five tons of stone to send away for treatment.. However, con tinuing our journey, south from Port Hedland, we encountered many station houses, and experienced a great deal of kindness and hospitality. vThese stations include Hardy and Richardson's, S. M'Kay's, J. Fischer, George River, and J. Meares, Sherlock Statidn. At Munda Bullena, the estate of Mr. . S. M'-Kay, some splendid stud stocky and sheep arc being raised. A blood horse..
Corsican, and several brood mares would be hard to beat. There are also some fine stud rams — imported and the pro geny of imported. We came on, to the Eastern Harding River, and are now de pasturing the stock on the run of Gil lam, and Church, which has not had a hoof on it for the last four years. I in tend that they will remain there until after the autumn rains commence and feed. is more plentiful, which will enable me to return and bring them into Ger aldton in good condition.' What do you think of the PROSPECTS ' ? of the Nor'-West altogether? our repre sentative asked.
'As far as I could judge it has a great future before it. None of the pastoral, properties are half stocked, and the min eral ;prospects appear enormous. While I was at Broome a mission schooner from Beagle Bay arrived with timbe^, which is known as Cadgibutt, or Ti Tree. It is well adapted for ordinary building and general purposes.' And how did you leave your ma;tes ? 'Oh, as hard as nails! Wight being an old dog proverbially fitted for a hard road, is in the pink of condition, but Jack Kidd — Trail, he's in good health, but he hasn't quite decided whether cat tle droving or Boer hunting is the harder work.