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$ The travelling reporter of the “ Bendigo Advertiser” writes ; —“About Christinas time a case of being lost in the Mallee occurred to Miss Lange, a young lady about 20 years of age, daughter of a selector residing at Litcle Lake. It appears that she, feeling unwell, left her home for a walk, reading a book, about 2 o'clock in the afternoon, and being deeply interested in what she was perusing, wandered out of sight of the house. On finding this she experienced no great alarm, and turned quite unconcernedly to go as she thought in the direction of her home, but after travelling some distance through the scrub without seeing any signs of civilisation, the alarming suspicion that she was lost flashed upon her mind. She made some marks and started in a different direction, but found she came back to it again, thus showing, as is common with people in similar situations, that she was travelling in a circle. She tried again, and again with a like result, until at last she found an old fence, and wisely resolved not to leave it. Notwithstanding her terrible position she retained her presence of mind, and in walking along selected the safest ground, so as to leave a good trail for the search parties which she was sure would be sent for her. She also made a covering of leaves for her head and shoulders —having left home bareheaded—to keep off the glare of the hot sun, and at intervals made small heaps of sticks to guide searchers. She continued this until night, following the fence all the time, when she sat down exhausted, hungry, and thirsty, to satisfy the cravings of which she sucked Mallee leaves. During the night she heard two different mobs of wild cattle, and two packs of wild dogs. On daylight reappearing she continued following the fence and looking vainly for water, the want of which now occasioned her much suffering. At one time she came to a gate in the fence, but observing there was no track through it, left a heap of sticks near it and passed on. About 2 o’clock in the afternoon, or 24 hours from leaving home, she heard a commotion of animals’ hoofs close by, and was terrified thereat, thinking it was another mob of wild cattle coming on her, but before she could see what it was, heard a welcome voice utter the words, ‘ thank God, here she is. ’ This was Mr. Forster, overseer of Lake Meeran station, in charge of a search party, calling out to the person nearest him —a station-hand named Connelly. They fortunately had a water-bag with them. When found she was nine miles away from home in a straight lino. The general belief is that had she followed the fence in an opposite direction she would have never been found alive, nor if she had entered the gate previously mentioned. The searchers state the various marks she made were of great assistance.”

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Bibliographic details

Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 55, 31 January 1880

Word Count

LOST IN THE BUSH. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 55, 31 January 1880