Tricks upon Travellers
15 February 1868 Sydney Mail
The fallowing little bit of extortion is recorded in the Gundagai Times.
With the bushranger on one side, and the voracious publican or coach driver on the other, the poor traveller's lot is a very hazardous one:-
Our readers (the Gundagai journal says) are aware that if they travel with less money than they require they are apt to be inconvenienced, but perhaps they do not know that having more money than they need is also liable to subject them to annoyance.
The experience of Mr. D. Murray, the vocalist and pianist, who lately visited Gundagai, may enlighten them.
That gentleman arrived at Tarcutta from the Adelong Crossing-place on Wednesday last, and desired to proceed to Wagga Wagga.
The coachman demanded his fare of £1, in compliance with which request Mr. Murray tendered a £5 note.
The coachman had no change, declined crediting his passenger until he arrived at his destination, and even rejected an offer to leave the £5 note in his hands, meantime, as security.
The fare was £1, and that sum he required before he would accept Mr. Murray as a passenger. Mr. Murray, under these circumstances, applied for change at the coach office, but here again a difficulty arose, and he was informed that change was not given without a percentage being deducted.
The result was that Mr. Murray received four pounds fifteen shillings for his five-pound note, satisfied the scrupulous driver, and departed deeply indignant.