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auction. It is well not to bid for it yourself ; employ a respectable land-agent, and no one will know but that he is bidding for one who is already lord of thousands of acres in the immediate vicinity of your section, and whom it would be useless to oppose.
Some of the rich landed proprietors let out farms on clearing and improving leases. Have nothing to do with them. Many a poor fellow has lost all his money and much labour in this way. Whatever quantity of land
you cultivate, let it be your own; you will then be in good spirits, and exert yourself right earnestly to improve what you know is to descend to your children's children. Besides, by becoming a freeholder, you will probably quite extinguish that “love of birth-place,” which, though a natural and laudable sentiment, should be banished from your breast the moment you set foot on your adopted land. Many colonists, by foolishly cherishing this sentiment, completely retard their own advancement.
Another mode of occupying land is to squat —that is, lease a certain tract without the boundaries of the counties, for purposes purely pastoral, no attention being paid to agriculture, except to supply the immediate wants of the squatter. If you require a sheep or cattle pasture, you must, unless you buy one already discovered, search until you find one, and that too with all possible secrecy, or other settlers may be on your track, and perhaps succeed in obtaining the run you have, at much trouble and no little expense, discovered—for it is valuable property.
The annually renewable licence of a run, although according to law not transferable, was formerly sold for from £100 to £300; and now that fourteen years' leases are granted to heirs-atlaw, with compensations for improvements on the termination of the terms, such leases will doubtless sell for far greater sums. Indeed, the colonial lawyers have pronounced them to be almost as valuable as freeholds, and expressed an opinion that much of the land held under them will never again return to the Government.
When you go in search of a run, you must push beyond the furthest out-stations, and if possible take a friend with you who is used to bush travelling, and who has some knowledge of the district where you wish to have your station; and above all take a good supply of tobacco, for, vile weed though it be, it is the only circulating medium in the bush among both whites and blacks. There everybody smokes, male and female, old and young. Indeed, as you travel onward, you may glean much valuable information from the shepherds and stock-keepers, who, on the receipt of a few figs of tobacco, will give you a cordial reception, pronounce you“ all the go,” become extremely communicative, and provide you with the best accommodation their hut affords. If you have a few English periodicals, or newspapers of a late date, by all means take them with you ; they will be much prized by the bushmen. On arriving at the furthest out-stations, stipulate to give a trifle to one of the shepherds or stockmen, on condition that he shall accompany you,
and endeavour to find you a good run. The following are the requisites : Well-watered grassy plains, or well-grassed open forest-land,
in the wet seasons, nor deficient of a good supply of water in the dry seasons ; sufficient timber growing on the spot for building and fencing, and, if possible, a distance from your nearest neighbour not exceeding seven or eight miles.
Immediately you have selected your run, apply to the Commissioners of the Crown Lands for a depasturing lease, describing in the application as nearly as possible the boundaries of
your run, and the number of square miles you claim. This will secure your run for six months, and afterwards you must pay an annual license of £10; and, in addition, a halfyearly tax on all stock at your station, of a halfpenny a-head for sheep, three halfpence for cattle, and three pence for horses. You must be careful not to lay out your run on too extensive a scale, as before you get your license, two persons—one appointed by the government, and one nominated by yourself—will survey the run, and if they report it capable of supporting more than 4,000 sheep, or a proportionate number of cattle, then you will have to pay an increased annual sum of £2 10s. for every extra thousand the run is adjudged to support, though you have them not. The license will give you a right to the run and to the