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The Young Berringtons The Boy Explorers   By: (1814-1880)

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The Young Berringtons, by W.H.G. Kingston.

This is quite a short book that had been published in parts in a children's magazine. One branch of the Berrington family had been established in Australia for a long time, and had built up quite a profitable station. Another branch of the family had been living in a wealthy style in London, when their business failed, and they had just enough money left to make their way to Australia, to join their cousins.

They find that life is not going to be all that easy. A mob of original inhabitants were in the neighbourhood, and were threatening them. Who can blame them? A terrible storm comes, and blows the roof off the house. Then the river floods, much higher than it had ever done before, and the house is destroyed. So is much of the stock. The decision is made to look further inland for a better place to start a new station. That is the part of the story that gives the book its second title, "The Boy Explorers." They do find a suitable place, but are once again attacked by aborigines, whom they beat off with great difficulty.

Eventually they make peace with the aborigines, and all begins once more to go well. The various people, adults and children, are well drawn, especially two rather tiresome ones: Hector, one of the children brought from Britain, and Mrs Berrington, the wife of the original settler, who has a dreadful habit of fainting every time anything stressful occurs.




"I wonder what sort of fellows these English cousins of ours will turn out?" exclaimed Harry Berrington, as he rode up alongside his elder brother Paul. "Judging by their photographs, which Uncle Frank sent us out last year, I have an idea that they are mighty fine young gentlemen, who will be apt to turn up their noses at us colonial `corn stalks.'"

"Hector and Reginald are good looking fellows, I should think, and wear fine clothes but beyond that whether they are dark or fair, have blue eyes and pink cheeks, or whether they can ride, and shoot, swim, and play cricket, or can only dance and sing, or draw, or suchlike girlish things I have not the slightest notion," answered Paul. "We shall, however, soon know; for, according to the letter father got yesterday their ship ought to reach Moreton Bay in the course of three or four weeks; and I hope that I may have the chance of going down to Ipswich to meet them."

"I don't think you will be so lucky," observed Harry. "I heard father say that he intended going himself, as he expected poor Aunt Augusta would require a good deal of attention, as she has been accustomed to live luxuriously, and has never done anything for herself. From a remark he made, I suspect that both the boys and girls have been brought up in the same fashion. Although they may get into our ways at last, they won't like our style of life at all when they first arrive."

"They must learn to like it, somehow or other," observed Paul. "Poor Uncle Frank! I really pity him; he has lost nearly all his fortune; and to be obliged, at his time of life, to begin to work hard! And work hard he must, like the rest of us."

"Yes, indeed; I have heard mother say that they lived in a large house in London, with butlers, footmen, housekeeper, nurses, and all sorts of servants; and had carriages and horses, and saw lots of company," said Harry.

"They'll not have much of that out here; they will have to be their own servants, or consider themselves fortunate if they can hire an Irish girl, or get a black gin to do the rough work. We must try and help them, however, as much as we can, until they get accustomed to our ways," observed Paul... Continue reading book >>

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