Excerpt: "Bill Hardwick was as fine a specimen of an Australian as you could find in a day's march. Active as a cat and strong withal, he was mostly described as 'a real good all-round chap, that you couldn't put wrong at any kind of work that a man could be asked to do.' He could plough and reap, dig and mow, put up fences and huts, break in horses and drive bullocks; he could milk cows and help in the dairy as handily as a woman. These and other accomplishments he was known to possess, and being a steady, sensible fellow, was always welcome when work was needed and a good man valued. Besides all this he was the fastest and the best shearer in the district of Tumut, New South Wales, where he was born, as had been his father and mother before him. So that he was a true Australian in every sense of the word. It could not be said that the British race had degenerated as far as he was concerned. Six feet high, broad-chested, light-flanked, and standing on his legs like a gamecock, he was always ready to fight or work, run, ride or swim, in fact to tackle any muscular exercise in the world at the shortest notice. Bill had always been temperate, declining to spend his earnings to enrich the easy-going township publican, whose mode of gaining a living struck him as being too far removed from that of honest toil. Such being his principles and mode of life, he had put by a couple of hundred pounds, and 'taken up a selection.' This means (in Australia) that he had conditionally purchased three hundred and twenty acres of 2Crown Land, had paid up two shillings per acre of the upset price, leaving the balance of eighteen shillings, to be paid off when convenient. He had constructed thereon, chiefly with his own hands, a comfortable, four-roomed cottage, of the 'slab' architecture of the period, and after fencing in his property and devoting the proceeds of a couple of shearings to a modest outlay in furniture, had married Jenny Dawson, a good-looking, well-conducted young woman, whom he had known ever since he was big enough to crack a stockwhip."