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If it be fair to take one's impressions from English books and papers, I am surely justified in supposing that the average British "tramp" is a despicable loafer or an abandoned ruffian. The Australian "trav'ler" is on a different footing. Ragged prowlers do not hide behind Australian barns and watch for unprotected females to insult or blue-eyed babes to kidnap. Our girls can usually look after themselves, and our infants are saleable only at starvation prices. And yet the country is full of moneyless men who "pad the hoof" from place to place, and drift backward and forward, always begging, occasionally stealing, seldom finding rest, and in some cases quite undesirous of a more settled fortune or a less precarious mode of existence. These men belong to the vast army of The Unemployed. When a poor tradesman or labourer is out of work, he must move on or starve on the spot. He therefore rolls up his "bluey" and starts off, billy in hand, "on the wallaby track" in search of a job. But countless others are engaged in the same quest, and jobs are scarce. Some wanderers are eventually enthralled by the irresistible charm of nomadic idleness, and are unable to return to a definite and cabined way of life.
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