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Saturday, 11 January Louis de Rougemont, who "rode winged wombats" They are artifacts of their time and are presented as such. This writer in no way agrees with them. London, July Considerable interest has not unnaturally been felt in the genesis of M. Louis De Rougemont, whose Curious-couple rougemont.
Swinging. adventures in Central Australia or, rather, the northern, territory of South Australia are commenced in this month's 'Wide World' magazine, and guaranteed veracious by the able editor of that periodical. Whether viewed as a tale-of-the-century Robinson Crusoe, or simply as an extra-special, gilt, edged, copper-bottomed, double-first liar of unique capabilities, M.
De Rougemont, it must be confessed, is a phenomenon. How Australia's editors, not to mention our precious Henniker, who saw him first, came to overlook such treasure trove in the way of "copy" I can't imagine — Perhaps Mr Heaton may have been struck, as I was when beginning the story, with the similarity of M. De Rougemont's adventures to those of Robinson Crusoe.
A reader of that romance might possibly have, with some personal experience, vamped those opening chapters up. If so, the work has been capitally done, for the wealth of detail is remarkable. Mr Fitzgerald editor of the magazine thus describes discovering Rougemont A man with a strangely weather- beaten face entered, and gave me a letter of introduction from Mr Henniker Heaton.
He started to tell me his story, and before he had proceeded far I realised he had a remarkable story to tell. Ever since his return to civilisation he had been trying to get people to listen to his story; but on every side he met with complete scepticism. And when on his journey to this country from Australia the friendly captain laughed his story to scorn, he vowed he would never mention it to anyone again.
I may mention that M. De Rougemont has already appeared before such eminent geographical experts as Dr J. Scott Keltic and Dr Hugh R. Curious-couple rougemont. Swinging., who have checked bis story by means of their unrivalled collection of latest reports, charts, and works of travel. These gentlemen are quite satisfied that not only is M. De Rougemont's narrative perfectly accurate, but that it is of the highest scientific value. De Rougemont, it seems, worked his passage from Australia.
Proving a gentle and amiable fellow, with a record of unique adventure, be became quite a favorite with the rest of the crew; and when he was about to quit the ship the sailors got up a subscription for him, but he was too proud to accept it, and slipped away secretly and penniless into our vast City of London.
For three weeks he was in dire straits, sleeping out at nights, and wandering despairingly by Curious-couple rougemont. Swinging. through strange streets. He who, on a barren tract of sand, kept himself alive for two lonely years, came very near starvation in the heart of a great civilisation. He came to us worn out and almost hopeless. But the chief of the firm gave directions that he should have all the money he required, and no time was lost in putting bis story into form.
He became a daily visitor at our offices, slowly describing the experiences of thirty years. A shorthand clerk took down everything he said, and in three weeks we had a fairly complete narrative. This narrative, I may add, will occupy several months in publication.
At a meeting of the British Association, M. Louis de Rougemont read a paper describing the customs of natives in Northern Australia, amongst whom he lived for many years. The cautious introductory address of the President, Professor Crookes, aroused much comment.
Received Sept. Rougemont read a second paper regarding his remarkable experiences in Northern Australia. He expressed the hope that he would be enabled to lead a prospecting expedition to districts in the interior of Australia which he believed to be rich in minerals and precious stones.
Dr Forbes expressed himself as sceptical as to the genuineness of M. Rougemont's statements, but several other Australians present appeared to be convinced that he was justified in his assertions. Mr Luik, of Geelong, expressed surprise that M. Rougemont, in the course of his wanderings, had never struck the overland telegraph line.
It is also stated that he spent some time in New Zealand. The first portion of the true story of M. Louis de Rougemont's adventures is given in the August of "The World Wide Magazine," which came to hand yesterday, and on reading this, it is not surprising that some doubt was expressed by the members present at the meeting of the British Association. Away back in the sixties he went pearling with a Dutchman in the South Seas, and was wrecked upon a desert island in the Sea of Timor.
The island turned out to be but a mere spit of sand, and on this desolate waste M. His next residence, though happier, was not a very Curious-couple rougemont. Swinging. improvement on his former one. For a quarter of a century he dwelt on the Australian main among the cannibal blacks. His life and adventures in this out-of-the-way region will also form a portion of the narrative.
It is stated that to test the of his story M. With all the means at their command these specialists checked M. The Frenchman Louis de Rougemont, whose name has been prominently before the public lately as author of two papers read at a meeting of the British Association, was in Wellington at the time of the wreck of the Tasmania.
He claimed to be the inventor of a diving bell, which he was particularly anxious should be used with the object of recovering the,mails and specie from the sunken vessel. In the story of his adventures with which M Louis de Rougemont is creating a sensation in England, the returned Frenchman states that with four blacks he made a voyage of miles in a frail canoe, the journey lasting 18 months, at the end of which time the navigators found themselves back at the point from which they started. He claims to have discovered the lost explorer, Gibson, in Central Australia, and alleges that he found two English girls as the wives of a cannibal chief.
There is but little doubt that M. Louis de Rougemont, who lately contributed to the Wide World Magazine sensational articles about personal adventure when exploring in Australia, and who also presented papers of like tone to the British Association, is identical with Henri Grien, a late resident of Sydney, who some years ago spent his time in the South Seas and Torres Straits fisheries.
Grien used to recount thrilling tales of his adventures to his children, one of whom bears the name of Cecil de Rougemont Grien. His wife recently received a letter from her brother-in-law in Switzerland, staling that her husband was then spending his holiday in that country. The wife has identified a portrait in the Wide World Magazine as that of her husband. The portrait of M. Louis de Rougemont published in the London journals bears a strong likeness to a gentleman who spent some time in Wellington at the end of last and the beginning of this year.
He was known in this city by the name of Grieg or Grien — one could hardly say which of the two names he uttered — and he spoke of himself as an artist with a family in Sydney. It was understood that he was living apart from his wife. When in Wellington he was an ardent spiritualist, and was said to be a strong "medium. Are not "inspirational" tales as possible as lectures out of the mouths of "mediums? From Our Special Correspondent. The general opinion with regard to the up-to-date Robinson Crusoe Louis de Rougemontwhom Mr Fitzgerald of the 'Wide World Magazine' is exploiting, seems to be that he really has had some adventures, and that his narrative — with the aid of Defoe, Hermann Melville, and a luxuriant imagination — simply improves upon them.
No one who has read 'Typie' and 'Omoo' — difficult to get nowadays — could possibly help being struck with the similarity of certain incidents. Mr de Rougemont was yesterday interviewed by the 'Daily News,' and gives that journal a strictly authorised version Curious-couple rougemont. Swinging. his adventure. The operator says:—. Charles Reade would have revelled in Louis de Rougemont, whose adventures are now the talk of the town. That novelist did himself drop a hero and heroine upon a lovely South Sea island, overflowing with tropical milk and honey, where they lived in a pearl-lined cave.
So, too, did this De Rougemont. But his island was a miserably sandy atoll in the Timor Seas, which wash the north shores of Western Australia. When little more than a boy be found himself with a few hundred dollars, ed forces with the Dutch skipper of a small schooner and went pearling. They were very lucky, and had Curious-couple rougemont. Swinging. their pile when. Where there are three there may be hundreds. Though the annual cyclones were due and it was time for the ship to be off, the mad Dutchman declined to budge from these happy hunting grounds.
Then came the tempest, and drove the ship, crew, captain, and De Rougemont ashore.
He and his dog alone were saved. When they came to their senses they found themselves on that miserable atoll, which a high sea could wash over, and did at times, for the land was not more than a few feet above the level Curious-couple rougemont. Swinging. the water. Imagine a ring of sand a hundred yards or so across; dump the man and dog upon it and you have the situation. But at low water the man was able to get to the wreck, and get out of it water, stores, and so forth, just like poor Robinson Crusoe.
With the pearl shells he built himself a house, and fed on the fish and flesh, of which Nature kindly yielded a plentiful supply. The atoll was a nesting ground for sea birds. Of their eggs they ate; and when the birds went a fishing to feed Curious-couple rougemont. Swinging. young and themselves, the man levied tribute on the distended pouches. What impunity man develops in stressful times! Turtles, too, visited the atoll, and provided them with a change of food which was most agreeable. As for water, the schooner's casks supplied them with it: and during the rains they were refilled.
Moreover, Rougemont distilled the sea in his kettle. He just lapped a bit of blanket round the spout, made a fire, and let the vapour hiss into the wool and squeeze the goodly liquor into his vessels. Crusoe notched a stake for the days.
Rougemont made himself an almanac of pearl shells. Thus, then, did he pass two long years upon that tiny speck of land, ever peering out across the shimmering ocean for sail or s of man. But for his dog he would have died. The depression, especially in the fierce heat of noon, was terrible.
Often he waded out towards the deep, yet always waded back — to life —to his dog. Out of the wreck he built himself a cockle-shell of a boat. That was wrecked in the launching. Then one day a, catamaran hove in sight, and in it were blacks who had been driven out to sea from the mainland.
At last relief had come. The blacks, the white man, and the dog put the cockle-shell to rights, embarked, and put to sea, and in time made the main at a point which, roughly speaking, Curious-couple rougemont. Swinging. the north-west boundary between West Australia and South Australia. And now began the remarkable thirty years de Rougemont spent amongst the cannibals who inhabit this remote corner of the globe. One by one his endeavours to reach civilisation were baffled, and slowly he drifted into the savage state himself. Let us not pity him. Let us not despise the savage, who, though a cannibal, eats not for the gratification of the appetite, but to acquire the prowess of his departed brother.
At least the wild man if he does not knock you on the head is a hospitable, sociable fellow. He gives you wives, temporary or otherwise; he teaches you woodcraft, the art of finding your meat, and a hundred other accomplishments.
Rougemont sighs when he talks of his old friends, and sotto voce compares the cold stones of London Town, the jarring roar or ceaseless traffic, the hard faces of the hurrying multitudes — each one thinking of itself — with the plenty, peace, silence, and manifold beauties of the wilds. Dig, you find the root so sweet and juicy; climb, you catch the possum; hunt, you catch the kangaroo; let fly the arrow, you bring down the birds of the air; fire the bush, you have the snakes tender and foul-like. The bees store their honey in the woods; the juicy maggot is a delicacy which would send a gourmet of the cities into raptures.
No postman knocks in the wilds; no telegraph messenger disturbs your peace; no news comes; the only books are in the heavens above. Fire and heat the sun gives; the stars are compass and sextant. No one wears clothes. There is no rent to pay —heavens! What a Paradise!Curious-couple rougemont. Swinging.
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