OME six months I put in at 고소득알바 Woodlark Island, acquiring during that time a fine strong brand of malaria, a crop of boils, which had spread like wildfire among the mining camps, catching Europeans and natives alike, a little gold, and a large amount of experience; all of which were most painfully acquired.

Sylvester, after having suffered some particularly malignant bouts of malaria and having developed some corroding and fast-spreading mangrove ulcers, parted company with me and went to New Zealand. The mangrove ulcer, commonly called New Guinea sore, is, I think, quite the most beastly thing one has to contend with on those islands; it is mainly caused, in the first instance, by leech or mosquito bites setting up an irritation which causes the victim to scratch; then the poisonous mud of either mangrove or pandanus swamps gets into the abrasion, and an indolent ulcer is set up, which slowly but perceptibly spreads, as well as eating inward to the bone, for which I know no remedy other than a change to a temperate climate. Painful when touched during the day, it is agony itself when the legs stiffen at night.

The method of obtaining gold, at the time I was at Woodlark Island, was primitive and simple in the extreme, and was performed in this way. Having located a stream, gully or ravine, in which a “prospect” could be found to the “dish,” the “prospect” consisting of one or more grains of gold, the “dish” holding approximately thirty pounds weight of wash dirt, i.e. gold-bearing gravel, the miner—or digger, as he is more generally called—pegged out a claim of some fifty feet square. When he had done this he put in a small dam, to the overflow of which he attached a wooden box some six feet long by twelve inches wide, having a fall of one inch to the foot, and paved with either flat stones or plaited vines. Into the head of this box was then thrown the wash dirt, from which the action of the water washed away the stones, sand, etc., leaving the gold precipitated at the bottom. The larger the flow of water, the more dirt could be put through, and the more dirt the more gold.

The title to a claim consisted of a document called a “Miner’s17 Right,” which permitted the holder to peg out and keep the above area, or as many more of similar dimensions as he chose to occupy or man. A miner’s right cost ten shillings per annum and ipso facto constituted the holder a miner—sex, infancy, or nationality notwithstanding, the only ineligibles being Chinese. “Manning ground” consisted of placing a person holding a miner’s right in occupation thereof, the wages that person received being immaterial. Thus a man employing ten or a dozen Papuans, at wages ranging from five to ten shillings a month, could, by merely paying ten shillings per annum per head for miner’s rights, monopolize ten or a dozen claims. The wages of the European miner ranged from twenty shillings a day and upwards, this, of course, being the man contemplated by the Queensland Mining Act, and adopted by New Guinea, as the person likely to man and work ground held by the miner holding ground in excess of that to which his own “right” entitled him.

In theory, it is of course manifestly unfair, that the native of a country should be classed as an alien, and debarred from any privilege conferred by law upon Europeans; but in practice, the granting of miner’s rights to them merely means that the European able to employ a number of natives can monopolize claims, to the exclusion of other Europeans. The native gets no more wages for his privilege of holding ground, and were the privilege withdrawn would still obtain exactly the employment he gets now, as his labour in working the claims is necessary and profitable to his employer, and the supply of native labour for the miner is never equal to the demand.