Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Sunday, 14th May, 1837

What a miserable, filthy little pig Fisher is.

I have seen more likeable blood sucking leeches and rat turds with greater charm.

I am astonished by his latest treachery.

In Council this week - held in Light's hut -  he had the unmitigated gall to announce that "Officers of the Government were dependent upon him for the payment of their salaries". Dependent upon him, if you please! According to this upstart, "Officers of the government" - myself included - are to line up and tug our forelocks and be grateful when he doles out our allowances.

As if I - the King's representative - am going to allow myself to be dependent on some twopenny lawyer who, in London, would have been hard pressed to be instructed in a case pf petty theft, but who has ideas above his station here in the colony.

The thing smacks of treason and of republicanism! The Royal representative - and by extension, the King - expected to come cap in hand to him so that we can be paid a few pennies to live on. The man thinks he is Cromwell and wishes to place me in the Charles Stuart role. Well, I won't be needing two shirts to stop from shivering! I'll shiver him, the bastard!

I have let him know that I have written to London and expressed my displeasure at his conduct in strong terms.

In retaliation he has asserted that the land used by the Buffalo Sailors to build outhouses and to lay out a garden for Government House was not a part of the land set aside by Light for that purpose and hence I have encroached upon - a polite way Lawyers have of saying "stolen" - public lands and should be charged with trespass. And again - the Kings's representative putting Crown Lands to good use. The jumped up pillock!

And then he tried to block me on the Proclamation of Port Adelaide.

I had prepared a proclamation declaring the port to be a legal port and describing and naming its boundaries. He has come out and declared that I have no right to name any part of the colony or any land within the Province and that he would devise names for the port and that I could stick it in my pipe and smoke it,

To which I replied, with quiet dignity, that if  he thought that I was about to tolerate a know nothing land lubber ignoramus such as him making an utter mishmash of describing an ocean port when a sailor of forty years experience, a naval hero and a friend of Nelson (I meant myself) had already, with one hand behind his back, done a better job of it than he could dream of doing then he was a complete arse and a fool to boot.

I told him that I had written to London once and could do it again and I would seek instructions from the Colonial Office as to who was in the right and whose plan for the port was the proper one.

At which point he snatched up pen and paper and scribbled out a note stating that it was his intention to resign his position, then flounced out of the hut, shouting "I just cannot work under these conditions. I am surrounded by amateurs!"

Well, what of that? I had the miserable man's resignation, was rid of him and wished him a sailor's farewell - goodbye and be buggered!.

Well, clearly when he got home Mrs Fisher had a word in his shell like, because a day or two later I received word from him that his letter only stated his intention to resign and was not an actual resignation and since he had now changed his mind he now intended to resume his position.

Well, I wasn't having any of that! I had the miserable sod's resignation and that was good enough for me. I called upon Mann, the Advocate General and asked for legal advice. Of course I should have consulted Jeffcott, but Mann is, after all, the Chief Lawyer in the colony. Mann concurred with Fisher that the letter only stated that he intended to resign and was not a resignation. I said that having learned of his intention then the resignation was implied, but apparently Mann thought this would not stand up in Court. I couldn't help thinking that if I slipped Jeffcott a couple of pounds then it probably would, but reluctantly instructed Gouger to send Fisher a letter notifying him of my decision to graciously overlook his rash foolishness and allow him to return to his position. I also included a paragraph or two expressing my opinion that because I chose to overlook his resignation he was included in Council at my behest and I expected some signs of gratitude in future. I chose not to rub it in, but I did just point out the facts.

I have since learned that Gouger gussied the letter up somewhat, omitting much of what I wrote and telling him that I would appreciate Fisher's wise counsel and advice and ready assistance despite me specifically saying that such slop was not to be included.

And so the foul excrescence is back in the  Council and we are no further along to naming anything or proclaiming a damned thing.

The little turd.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Sunday, 7th May, 1837

That blight on the face of the earth Fisher announced in Council this week that the naming of the streets in the new town would be the sole prerogative of the Company and, since he was the Company's chief representative in the Colony, he would undertake decide on names by himself.

Will he, by God? Will he buggery!

Every man, woman and mongrel dog in the place has suggestions about what to call the streets and parks on old Light's map and if Fisher thinks he can take over the whole show then every man woman and mongrel dog will undoubtedly have a few suggestions about where he can stick Light's map.

I intend my own plan of naming the streets after naval victories to be the one that is definitive, but I know, only too well, that if it has my name attached then Fisher will do his damnedest to bollocks it. To prevent that I have asked Jeffcott to take my list of street names on and present it as his own. By this stratagem we will yet stroll down Quiberon Street and Finisterre Parade or I'm a dutchman.

The Marines have not responded well to Mrs Hindmarsh's lambasting of them over what is being referred to around town, with sneering irony, as "the Vice-Regal Mansion".

They refuse to do any more work on it, since they say that their efforts went unrecognised and unappreciated  - "We work and slave with no thought for ourselves and this is the thanks we get!" I overheard one of them say - and I have had to press sailors from the Buffalo into service in putting in the fireplace and chimney and building the outhouses.

As a result the work is being done quickly and efficiently and I expect that we will have a fireplace soon that will not burn down the house and outhouses that will not fall over in the first high wind. I could not have said as much if the Marines had done the work.

The fellows seem to be sulking like schoolchildren. They have hit the drink fairly hard and when you realise how much they drank normally, this is saying quite something.

Gilles - no stranger to a drink himself - told me a story about the Marine Sam Restorick who had been allocated the not too difficult task of guarding the Treasury. "Guarding the Treasury" sounds awfully grand, but since the Treasury consists of an old safe that Gilles lent us sitting inside a ratty old tent it is not as exalted a task as it sounds on first hearing.

Gilles told me that he had business elsewhere - probably off to lay in a fresh supply of Indian Rum - and left Private Restorick alone for about an hour. When he returned he found the man in a drunken stupor; so drunk that he thought he was back on the Buffalo; probably because his legs were so unsteady he could barely stand. Gilles told me that "This Marine, meant to guard the wealth of the Government from would be thieves, simply curled up in a ball and went to sleep." Since Gilles also reminded me that "the wealth of the Government" consisted of one shilling and sixpence there was probably little harm done. But even so - the man was on duty and will need to be punished.

Of late it has become more and more necessary to deal with the Marines in this way and I have had to tie one of them to the large tree at the back of the hut. I find that leaving them there over night allows them time to regain their sobriety and consider the error of their ways.

It has come to my attention that Widow Harvey has been sneaking out at night. I shudder to think that she is involved with some man, if only for the sake of the man, but I find myself wondering where on Earth she can be going.

To be honest I have tried to avoid thinking about her doings as much as possible, but admit that my interest is piqued.