S: My Diary of the Gold Rushes
FC: My Diary of the Gold Rushes By Isabella Serra-Jones
1: This is me when I was 7. I am now 17 years old, and is my fathers personal slave. I wish I could escape, but know that is out of the question. You see, my father treats me badly because I am a girl and he would have much preferred a son. | This is my mother. She was a kind hearted woman and loved me for who I was. She died 10 years ago when there was a deadly illness going around. I think my father hates me so much because I look so much like my mother. | This is my father. He was once a kind man, but when my mother died he changed a lot. Everyday I plan my escape from his clutches, but because I have been so unsuccessful he beats me when he finds out what i've been up to.
2: This is the street where I live. I live on a street where rich people surround me, so my family sometimes, if we are running low on supplies make me steal things from the families with ricger heritage than us.
3: April 5th One day we heard about this thing called a Gold Rush | April 5th
4: 7th April It was decided that next morning my father told me what he was going to do, and that it would be a great opportunity for the both of us. I agreed to go, to be honest I was relieved to go because my father would not be there to boss me around and tell me what to do. There was only one problem with the plan, I had no money to buy a plane or a boat ticket, I didn't even have
5: enough money to get me started once I got there. My father refused to take me, so I had no other choice but to walk. It was about a 4 hour walk from where I live. I was exhausted, it took me 4 and a half hours to walk. When I saw a bench inside the airport I raced inside and was glad to be finally able to sit down. I was about to stand back up again when an old lady approached me and asked me how old I was and where I was going. I had a funny feeling that I should tell her everything, so I did. When I had finished she nodded her head and smiled at me. | She gave me a large sack and left through the front doors without a backward glance. That was really strange, I got up and decided I would go a place a bit more private that where I was currently standing so I made my way over to the bathrooms. once in there I locked myself in a cubicle and slowly started to undo the drawstring that held the opening closed. Once I had opened it as far as it would go I looked inside and was shocked at what I saw.
6: Inside the sack was a little bit of money. I estimated it would get me my ticket and some tools, maybe if I was really lucky some food. I took the money out and stuffed it in my pockets. When I looked back down in the sack I noticed a piece of paper, I picked it up only to find it wasn't a piece of paper, it was a one way ticket to Ballarat, Australia. Nothing could down hearten me now it looked as though I was getting some luck in 17 years.
7: I boarded the plane and shortly after the plane took off. I was my first time on an airplane, so I was really excited. It was a 24 hour flight to Ballarat, Australia so I got comftorble and slept. I woke with 20 hours left to go.
9: 9th April Ballarat was like nothing I'd ever seen. It was so beautiful and clean, I instantly felt like this was the place I should be. There was a bus down the road from the airport where a man was standing and calling out to passers that his bus took you to the town where the Alluvial mine was. That's where I had to go so I got on the bus with some other people from different cultures. I reached into my bag and got out a single sheet of paper and a pen and started writing down things I would need once we got to the town. | My list included things like tools and food. The man driving the bus called out to his passengers that the first thing we should get was a permit. He then continued on saying that without a permit you would be able to mine but if you find gold and the mining officers come and you don't have a permit you would not be able to keep the gold and you may not be able to mine there anymore. After he had finished I added a permit to the top of my list.
10: When I got to the town a little girl was handing out pictures of what an Alluvial mine looked like. I went up to her and got one. It looked like hard work but with my mind set right I was positive that I could do it.
11: I went to the permit store first and got a permit. It was not cheap but I was sure I had just enough money to get my tools and supplies. As I had predicted I was right, but I only had one shilling left.
12: Later that night I was on another bus to take me to the Alluvial mine. When I arrived it was not as I had expected it to be, people were everywhere children playing with each other, women mining with all their heart and there were a lot of men working hard to find even the littlest piece of gold to show there wives. There was a vacant spot so I took it, I placed all my belongings down, got my tent out and started to make it. It was a lot harder than I thought it would be but I managed it in the end. | I was too tired to start mining in the afternoon, I wouldn't have much time and I really needed to rest. No sooner than I had laid down I heard a gentle voice saying excuse me out side my tent, I didn't know if the voice was talking to me but I got up and went outside to have a look anyway. A girl around my age was standing outside my tent. I was about to ask her what she wanted when she sat on the floor and started to cry. I didn't know why she was crying but I felt a sudden rush of sympathy for her. I sat down beside her and asked her what the matter was.
13: She replied and told me about herself and what she was doing outside my tent. There was silence as I thought about what I was going to do, I couldn't send her away when she was in a state so I made a deal with her. The deal was that we could work together to find gold and whatever we found we would halve it. The girl seemed to like the idea of that and so did I. It meant that we would have more of a chance of striking gold if we were in a team and it meant that I wasn't going to be lonely. The girl set up her tent beside mine and we made an agreement | That we would wake up early and start off the day when the sun had only just risen.
14: 10th April. As we had agreed we both got up at sunrise and began to set up our tools and dug our holes. There weren't many people up and mining yet. This is what we had hoped would happen. As the sun rose properly many more people begun to mine as well.
15: On our first day of mining we found a very small piece of gold. The mining officers came to check if we had permits, I was so lucky that I had bought one, but my partner didn't so the officers banned her from this mine. I felt really sorry for her, so now I don't have a partner. I decided to finish up for the day and go back to my tent to rest.
16: 11th April. The next morning I got up the same time as I did the day before because I thought that it would be less crowded and more of a chance of finding a good spot to begin my day's work. The day started off to a really good start. A gentleman next to me had to rush home because his wife had just died of a heatstroke and as he rushed back to his tent he dropped his gold nugget. I figured he wouldn't be back to mine for a while so I picked it up and before anyone could notice I slipped it into my pocket and as if nothing odd had | happened and got on with my own work. The rest of the day went normally and I didn't find a thing more. 12th April. The next day when I woke I felt an odd urge to call my father and check up on him. When I got outside I felt heavy droplets falling onto me like someone was pouring a bucket of water over my head from above. In the distance I could hear people cheering and even some people showering in the rain that so many had needed weeks maybe even days before had finally come at last.
17: There was a bus that was leaving later that morning that went into the town. I bought myself a ticket and got on. There was no point staying on that piece of land when you couldn't mine or had nothing else to do. Once I got into the town I went to the nearest telephone and started dialing the familiar number of our household phone, the phone was ringing for what seemed like hours but nobody picked it up. When I put the phone down I had an even stronger urge to call the local hospital to my town village. When a man picked up the phone | I asked him if he's heard of my father ever entering the hospital. There was silence for a moment it was making me feel uncomftorble and the silence was eerie. Finally the man on the other end of the phone said he was sorry and that my father had died over an hour ago. I put down the telephone and felt hot salty tears coming down my cheeks and blending in with the rain. That afternoon I caught the bus that came the earliest back to the mining field.
18: 13th April. The morning after I got back I woke just before sunrise to choose the best spot where I would start mining. It took me less time than it usually would to set up because by now I was used to what I had to do. The first spot I chose was unsuccessful, so were all the other ones I chose that day. I packed up and went back to my tent empty handed that day.
19: 23rd June Day 41 This is my forty first day at being at this mine. Yesterday I had an excellent day, in two of my holes I got nuggets, they were big ones and probably worth a lot of money.
20: 24th June Today I ran out of food. I was robbed last night and they took mostly everything I had including my food. It was a lucky thing though that I kept my gold in my pouch which I wear around my neck, so they had no chance of getting that without waking me up. So today I have to give up another day to go back into the town and go shopping for food and maybe visit the gold exchange shop to exchange my gold for money. I caught the earliest bus into the town and started with the exchange shop because the supply shop was not yet open for another twenty minutes. As soon as I stepped through the door a young man about nineteen called Frederick came and asked me if he could do anything for me. He was eying me with a look of like so I asked if he could exchange my gold for money. He took my gold and gave me 1 000 pounds for the three nuggets and the little piece of gold I had found on my first day.
21: 25th June. After that day for the next year we dated and sometimes he came and helped me mine. Together we made a great team. He was the bank managers son so any gold he | found while helping me he gave to me. We took a great liking to each other and had more things in common than anyone would expect. | When I was twenty years old I had earned a lot of money from just mining. One day Frederick asked me to go for a walk around the lake with him. As soon as we were alone....
22: Frederick asked me to marry him. I had always dreamed of the day I would get married and this was the perfect opportunity. So I said yes.
23: So on the fifth of April the next year Frederick and I were married.
24: We had a very happy life from then on, because Frederick was the bank manager's son and because of the money I had from mining Frederick and I were very rich. For once in my life I could get whatever I wanted.
25: That was my life experience of what happened when I went to the Gold Rushes. I had good days and I certainly had terrible ones but looking back on it now was a part of life. In the end I had got what I had always dreamed of getting, so my life wasn't total a misfortune.