Charles felt relief as the coach pulled into Castlemaine. He had decided to try his luck at gold mining, so made the long trip from Launceston, believing you had to be in it to win it.
He looked around, and decided a cup of tea in the tearooms was first stop, asking for advice there too. The lady at the counter asked where he was from and suggested he go talk to Old Joachim who was sitting at a table nursing a tin mug of tea.
Joachim looked up when the stranger approached. In his strong German accent he invited him to sit and explained he was there for the day to stock up supplies. He was working his hole at the Forest Creek Diggings, a relatively new site that had proved successful for some. He offered to escort Charles there, and told him he would need to get a permit first.
Joachim remembered being the new fellow and how hard it was, so offered to share his tent with Charles and help him on his way. He seemed like a good sort, a family man like himself trying to get a break.
The two men worked side by side, talking about their families, how they missed their wife and children. Both men coming from not only other towns in Australia but having travelled weeks from other countries. Joachim from Prussia and Charles from England; both working hard for a better life for their children.
This is the first time I have done a work of fiction. Although Charles and Joachim are both direct ancestors of mine and both mined (Charles once in Bendigo and Joachim for most of his life in the Castlemaine area) they never met and this meeting is at a completely different time from their real life. It is quite challenging making it up but also nice to be able to embellish and imagine what their lives might have been like.