A stately beefwood, sixty feet high, with swarthy column furrowed a hand-breadth deep, and heavy tufts of foliage like bundles of long leeks in colour and configuration the first beefwood I had seen since leaving the homestead stood close to the water, making a fine landmark; but Dan's sense of proportion had selected the adjacent bit of yarran; and as I told the breakfast-party he had never concerned himself to know the difference between yarran and mallee.
However, next morning after verifying the tracks of the thirsty bullocks so near the gilgie that it seemed a wonder they hadn't walked into it I looked for the clump of mallee. I don't believe there was a stick of it within miles; but there was a clump of yarran where it should have been.
With that disregard for orthography in proper names which prevailed some three hundred years since, they are indifferently designated as Yarran, Yarranton, and Yarrington. The Yarrantons frequently filled local offices in that parish, and we find several of them officiating at different periods as bailiffs of Bewdley. Journals of the House of Commons, 1st July, 1648.
If he was such a swell too, he'd have a gold watch and perhaps a few more trifles. Anyhow, he was good for the day's expenses, and we thought we'd try it on. So we passed the cattle and rode quietly along the road till we saw his dogcart coming; then we stopped inside a yarran scrub, just as he came by a square-built man he seemed to be, muffled up in a big rough coat. It was a cool morning.
"Speaking of Dan, as you call him," said I; "by the foot we recognise the Hercules; and if he knows as much about all other historical subjects as he does about Cawnpore and the American Presidents, he must have ripened into an extraordinary man. But then, an extraordinary man should have learned the difference between mallee and yarran in five years of solid scrub observation."
Most of the acacias are of this kind the ACACIA PENDULA or myall, the brigalow, the mulga, and yarran. The CAESARIANSAE common all over Australia, under the name of the oak tree.