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Old Colonials

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Published in 1891, this book by Alexander J. Boyd describes life in the Queensland bush as witnessed by him during his time as a school inspector and journalist.

The collection of sketches of Queensland life includes a stockman, shepherd, drover, pioneer, fencer, splitter, timber-getter, cockatoo farmer, barman, barmaid, larrikin, carrier, mailman, coachdriver, hawker, swagsman, loafer, digger, prospector, bush doctor, bush banker, pearl-sheller, bush butcher, sugar-boiler, independent schoolmaster, and school inspector. Other chapters cover the grog shanty, the gold escort, the native police, the noble savage, the Chinaman and colonial institutions. There are numerous black and white illustrations accompanying the text.

A LONG-SUFFERING, patient, much-enduring individual is the sugar-boiler. On him depends the fate of a crop which has taxed the time, the knowledge, and the labour of the planter. Woe be to the sugar-boiler if the coolers be not hard, if the grain of the sugar be not large, if there be an undue proportion of mollasses, if the sugar be too black, or too grey, and a great many other ifs. All the accidents, often unavoidable, are set down to the incapacity, imbecility, or obstinacy, of the sugar-boiler.