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Source:From Spangles in the sawdust by R P Whitwoth, 1880.


Chinaman’s Track

“In the early grey dawn I made a fresh start and by the time the sun was above the ranges I had, by a good happening, struck a ‘chinaman’s track’. Did you ever see a ‘Chinaman’s track’? No? It’s a curious thing, simple yet sufficient. It’s done this way. Chinamen in travelling over new country, march in Indian file, one with a compass – always an experienced bush hand – leading the way. As hey go each man in his turn picks up a bit of stick and leans it against the next tree, stone or what not. on alternate sides of their line of march and thus the track is marked. Every Chinaman following the track afterwards is bound, if he sees a stick fallen down or knocked away, to replace it. It’s easy enough to follow but very difficult to find if you once lose it.