'Arrival in Melbourne' records first impressions of Melbourne in 1855: Bourke-street; the Albion Hotel; rich crude diggers; the Argus office and James Semple; Fitzroy and a betrayed husband; buses and coaches; journey to the diggings.
'Kangaroo Flat' records daily life on the diggings; a shanty keeper's murder of his 'partner' and her lover's revenge; and old Irish shanty keeping couple; then Ballarat; M. H. F.'s first association with the press (poetry in the Mt Alexander Mail); Castlemaine and a sly-grog trial at the courthouse.
'Buninyong' records Taradale, White Hills, Buninyong and the journey and settlement there; characters met including a faithless wife rejected by husband and lover; false rushes; Green Hills, Buninyong Advertiser and W. W..
'Chinaman's Flat' records the goldrush ; Victorian summer heat and travelling; a mother's infanticide; murder buried in a mind shaft and a happy woman's consequent fever and death; a madcap wedding on the diggings; a comic false rush; (Irish characters abound); English brothers, one of whom dies of a heart attack on discovering gold.
'Inkerman' recalls the Kingower and Inkerman fields; a goat milkman; a listless young mother and wife complaining of her circumstances (very little sympathy for W. W.) who turns to alcohol and whose neglected child dies; also a horse-thief and murderer. (PB)