this ‘ower true tale’ of the wilder aspects of Australian life to my old comrade R. Murray Smith, late Agent-General in London for the colony of Victoria, with hearty thanks for the time and trouble he has devoted to its publication. I trust it will do no discredit to the rising reputation of Australian romance. But though presented in the guise of fiction, this chronicle of the Marston family must not be set down by the reader as wholly fanciful or exaggerated. Much of the narrative is literally true, as can be verified by official records. A lifelong residence in Australia may be accepted as a guarantee for fidelity as to local colour and descriptive detail. I take this opportunity of acknowledging the prompt and liberal recognition of the tale by the proprietors of the ‘Sydney Mail
’, but for which it might never have seen the light.
117 Collins Street West,
Melbourne, 12th December 1888.