A quaint life in the wilderness
In New Zealand, a visit to a gold-digger allows Colin Ross to toy with the clichés of the sensational and adventurous.
This is an example of the kind of little stories Colin Ross occasionally finds on his trips and likes to use in more than one medium. Ross plans to present the gold-digger with a bottle of whiskey, on the assumption that every digger drinks whiskey. But the gold-digger and his wife prove to be a quaint family: they are teetotallers and members of the Salvation Army in Queenstown, on the Southern Island. What’s more, the digger’s wife commutes between their remote hut and their town house. Thus, as often in Ross’s writing, a sense of adventure in the great outdoors is brought into the fold of domesticity. The digger is identified by Ross as one of a dying breed, as the big gold rush in New Zealand has been long over.
Ross mentions that on the trip to the digger’s mining sites, he and his family were accompanied by a carrier for Ross’s big Bamberg film camera, a reminder of the multiple media channels which Ross used to immortalize even the smallest of stories.
Colin Ross. Der Goldgräber von der Heilsarmee. In: Haha Whenua - das Land, das ich gesucht. Mit Kind und Kegel durch die Südsee. 4. Aufl. Leipzig: F.A. Brockhaus; 1933; 25–8, 16 verso.