Chapter 111163155

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Chapter NumberVI
Chapter Title
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article111163155
Full Date1863-10-03
Page Number4
Corrections0
Word Count2514
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleThe Newcastle Chronicle and Hunter River District News (NSW : 1859 - 1866)
Trove TitleCivilisation; or, Dark Scenes in Australia. A Tale Founded on Fact
article text

[CIVILISATION; OB^DABK SCENES !;V '/?'. /. ?;?-*!: in Australia.

.'A TALE FOUNDED ON FACT.

-BtEtibnnb— Author of 'Rough Ya-lii from tht !; V ;? ' Bu»h,' 'Colonial Sketches,' 'Life at the South.'

Chapter VI.

?v;ij- K-A.lohgj'ide, which terminates in anin ?|^pvierestirig adventure. ;|iif;-: ?.'?;'.' '. 'These v»le», where now the sarage dwells, V~';-:''; *' Uncivilised, remote, arid rude, ;'.J,; '^ ?'?-'?,; '. ?'? Shall smile with pleasant hamlets then, f-VA'-'- V', No longer lost io solitude. . ;:;-;;,?.?,'*.;' ' . Unpublislie dM. S;

K-' ;? :?Ji)-moTt win his loud tomahawk be plied for our relief '?^??'iv-Noir mouniatn streams reflect again the shadow of their *rtf$$:: chief j , ..: ;'';.'j.,-'Xhe fading track of his fleet foot shall guide him not as ^V-'-i'.j'.sV. -'before, ? ?' ? s;.y .. lAiid the echo of the mountains shall answer ltimno :/£'???:''- ?'?'?mote.' ? i ??.?., ClIABLES IlAXPER. ^J-V,Vv.The brothers had been to Gladstone, but *;\Kjiad returned without gaining any intelli & - igence of their wives. The.' Sea Bello' had ??'?V.I. riot arrived; she was ldng since due, and '[ ;?„?' still no account of the cause of her delay ?.;.'. ? bad reached tho settlement. The suspense . /and agony of mind which all endured are ? ; too great to pourtray here ; still, amid that, there was a faint hope, and that was, the \ delay which might have occurred to the ?'? ; vessel by which they were expected ;. what ?else could happen? Mick, the honest ? ?-..'.: hearted, sympathised with his masters' grief, 'for said he, in speaking of the matter to his . 'Miutmates-^-' They're both a good sort, and .;.' ?'; I pitys 'em.'.' And Mick was making things ?I .right with Mrs. Scrodgings. Old nuss hnd r-~i been a widow now ribout three years, still, ;.? ''.'?? she lmd .never been plagued with small en cumbrances, which aretheusnol attendants of married life. - Tru«, she liked a glass fas .many another old gall does), especially the nursing fraternity, just to keep the cold out; and she felt flattered and pleased to find . there was one man. of sense in that outland ish place. Old Mick told her 'she was ' beautiful ;' and she believed it, but where her beauty was to be found it was hard to say ; certainly not in her face, whereon waR fixed the most beautiful red nose that Bacchus . ever assisted in making. She was fat; too, . ' fat, fair, and fifty — fat^ because sli3 had lived well; and though (as Mick once remarked) ,'^ she bad 'plenty of slam,' still, he kissed ' her cheeks, and agreed to marry her. But the interesting ceremony could not take .place for some time, not only from tho ab . ? bquco of a minister, but from there being no vacant huts on the station ; so th£ lovers bill'd and coo'd, and kissed, and' -all that sort of thing, as the golden hours glided by. It was early one morning that Mick's reverie of the ideal and beautiful was broken into by Mr. Charles, who, entering the (pens' liut, bade him nccompnny him out on tlie~ ?'? v only going round to look at the herd.' — Ai ?few moments later the two were in the sad dle and off to the run. Biding slowly on ward they at length arrived at the regular camping ground of the herd ; but they were all gone, not a hoof was to be seen. 'Thev'ro at tho Bald Ridge,' said Mick j and off they rode to the spot named, but found no trace of the cattle. It was a high mountain that, towering far above its fellows in the light of that lovely spring morning; - lielnw lnv deen cullies, their stillness only

broken by tho tinkling note of the beil bird, or the shrill whistle of the coachman (80). The Bald Ridge derived its* name 1 from the absence of trees on. its summit; ! and from that spot the traveller obtained a clear view of tho surrounding country. Far taway ,in the calm horizon a thin blue smoke i. curled upward through tho gum trees ; to | the unitiated it appeared but a mere mist I or cloud in the ethereal sky, but to the old f hand, aocustomed to the bush and its teaoh | jugs, there was an unfathomable depth of [mystery in that smoke. He quietly [ observed it for some moments and then pointed it out to his companion. 'Blacks!' / said he; 'and that's how it is there's no cattle at tho camp this morning.' *' 1 thought as much, said Charles, ' I had my suspicions when we were at the other camp; the vagabonds have ? been driving them off; what's to ' bo done now ? You see, 'Mick; I trust all to your judgment ' ' Done !' said Miok, 'Done ! why go after 'em ; 'taint likely, as we're a going home to ait down quiet after this ; you'vo axed my '' 'jpinidu, so I'll tell you Master Chauley, I'm for going to that smoke and chasing them ore warrigals for their Jives ; the road is bad hero, so mind old Ball don't come down on tho -rough track down this ridgo' . And a —rough road it was, truly, to descend into that gully on either Bide of the tra«k which the cattle had formed as they ran, for the wateroourse was a ateep precipice, rising an nlraost perpendicular wall of rockB ; great caution was therefore necessary to make ?tho descent in safety. The travellers alighted, and leading their stumbling brutes with great difficulty, at last reaohed the bottom, whore they ro mouutod, and pur sued their way toward the locality from which, tho smoke had risen. ' Spare your speed,' said Miok to' his companion, who wus about to gallop off, ' wo shnl^-want all our wind yet; those darkios are slippery fel« lows, and' ran like eels.' ' Your advice is good,' said Charles, ?' and wo, as well, will husband our strength now. Do you know, .aa I was coming down that last ridge, I thought it would save a deal of time and trouble if wo oould manage to got ono of tbesri self-samp blaokfellows and tame him, he would bo to useful to us in mustering or tai'ing; and'thero's so many things he oould do to assist tho women at tho station ; what say you. Miok.' ' No, Master Chaules, I : icW.t give sanction to that ere, oause I'vo

knowed them cannibals afore to-day (31); and they're treacherous too ; I mind one on 'em telling me never to go afore him, cos he felt tempted to kill anybody that did so ; so I never liked them near me arterwards. I shouldn't devise nothink of the kind, not but what a servant would be well enough for the missus, same as I've seen 'era on the Natnoi, like slaves, jist for their grub and slops. I've known squatters there as had twenty on 'em at work, all for nothink; but then,, they was tame enough there ; here, they're wild, and don't know what we say ; and tho wretches have got the knack of 'pearing friendly with you, and stealing your things for their mates in the scrub ; they want everything, shirt, trowser, backer, pipe, rations, and money; and fancy they can eat. I had a bull-pup once, and he had a good appetide, but he was no count long side ono of them, so I don't think one of them would bo much good ; howsomever, if we get tho chance, we'll try.1' Charles did hot reply, but continued riding along in silence ; he was in deep thought, a sort of elysium, where good and faithful servants waited to do their masters' bidding. On a sudden, his companion uttered an exclamation which caused him to turn his head — ' There they are !' And there they were sure enough, to the number of some twenty individuals, all black, and in a state of Nature. Giving their horses rein, the two dashed into the camp; they had no firearms, biit the terri fied wretches fled before them in nil direc tions. Raising his stockwhip, Old Mick brought the lash down with great violence on the bare shoulders of a sqreeching female, who, encumbered with her babe, was far behind tlia^etreating party; she vainly jyagshHHo eseajje the stroke which cut the skin, and brougfifcuthe blood in torrents down her bare backTSHer yell of pain star tled the foremost savnge^ who, seeing their pursuers now at some distahe, turned back, hurlei their spears,- nnsl thenSxan with all speed to the dense scrub surrouadjng their encampment. Old Mick would m*^e fol lowed them had he not been checkedby Charles, who strove U- make him leaveoie spot. ' Not afore I've 'zamined this erfe camp,' said he, alighting from his horse/ and overturning the gunyahs and pieces of bark which had been erected by the natives. A few fish bones, some muscel shells, to gether with broken spears, some boome rangs, and mogos (stone hatchets), were all their possessions, and even these were denied them by the white man. After dis persing the live embers of their fire, they left the camp and its treasures and pursued their way homeward. When not far from this spot they observed a single tlock lying on-his face, near the border of a small plain ; he was evidently watching some wild tur keys, who, feeding there, were unconscious of his presence ; presently, he rose up, and was about to hurl his spear at them, when Old Mick, who, all this while, had been making a noose in the thong of his stock whip, rode with all speed toward him. The clatter oLJiorses— k»*— ~ creivi ???-«*-— ? j ^ ?2art»;ra3Mg*!»««»'*nrTilins nnnr. Ann nil onnnnn

_(for they avare betwuou liiui mill Ct)e~ebrub) apparently cut off, ran across the plain, whilst the two white men, though well mounted, could but just keep pace with him (for be it known that a blaok can run as fast, and faster than any white man for about two hundred yurds, bu£ after that dis tance his strength is exhausted, and he tires, or knocks unj ; and it was so with this one, for a short time he appeared as though he would distance his pursuers ; but ere long his strength began to fail, though he still held out, as Old Mick, urging his courser to its utmost speed, passed him, and threw tho lasso over his head. The poor wretch struggled to escape from the thong which almost strangled him.- The old hand threw himself from his horse and grappled with the black, who bit, kicked, and scratched, as though ho were a fiend. ' It's no use my fine feljow,' said he, tripping him up, and placing his knee on the breast of the prostrate being before him. 'Here you aro Master Chaules, here's a sarvant for you, sir, aint he a nice un ? Pine tooth, too,' showing the blood trickling from a wound in his arm inflicted in tho scuffle. ' Now we'll get him home ; won't missus stare? mighty I a real live sarvant. There, ho's all right now,' said he, as he finished the task of binding the hands of his captive behind him ; he then lifted him by shear force on his horse, broke up the spear, whirled the boomerang into the middle of the. plain, and then, mounting behind him, drove the spurs into his beast, exclaiming — 'Now then, darkie, hold tight, for we're off.' Charles followed tho reckless being before him; logs, trees, and brushwood 3eemed not to impede his progress, as every ?ow aud then his rough voice made tho echoing bush resound with — ' Hold on iarkie; bold on tight ;' and then came the sound of laughter, the coarse laugh and jest \t the expense of the captive. At last they ?eached home; and then what talk there vns about Mr. Charles ; he was quite a lero ; he had enptured the black, assisted, )f course, by Miuk, and tho true'naturc of he story was unknown to all, except Mrs. iJcrotlgings, to whom her dear intended re ated tho whole occurrence ; and she do slarod it was a sba/uo pqor Mick should not

Note (31), — Cannibalism still prevails among the Aus tralian tribes i it is a recognised custom, and is known to be practiced at the present time in tliu Wide Bay and Burnett districts, where oven oivllked blacks have been found eating the flesh of their near relative. Tho follow ing cases may not bo deemed out of placo here ; they aro from an eye-witness :— ' A black, suspecting his pin of infidelity to him, resolved to kill her, nnd accordingly, ono evening stood outside his guny&li, when, without pro vocation, he cnught hold of her and struck her with his tonialmwk, breaking both her arms ; ho then broke her legs in a similar manner. Her screams woro heard by upwards of 200 aboriginal spectators, not one of whom stepped forward to snvo her. She fell exhausted to tho Kround, as tho wrotcli finished his sanguinary work liy hewing her in pieces with his tomahawk. He tlien dis. tributed tho flosli to all present, and ero many moments, it was hissing on tho coals, to the no small delight of its SOBsessors. My informant was about to turn away, when 10 murderer stepped forward with the remains of an arm half roasted, and invited him to partako of it, adding, that it pasted ' like bullock.' Need I add, ho was so disgusted at the sight that ho could not touoh meat of any kind for some months nflcTwardi.' On another oc casion, in tho vicinity of the Bunyah Scrub, .a black, who had been ailing forsoino weeks died, and was eaten by his tribe. Instance* without number (night bead, duocd^iieby the author in proof of his.aaaorlions.

get -that praise he had so justly earned. And Charles was proud of hh blackfullow, for in a few days lie seemed quite tame; but then he could not speak an intelligible word, or make himself understood by jiny one on the station. And time passed on, and he became kinder and kinder to them I all ; went where they bade him, fetched what they required, seemed to understand when spoke to, and was so quiet, and appeared to have as much affection us any other slave might have for his masters. Mamma and Mrs. Scrodgings both thought only foi the colour of his skin, and his being a sa vage, he was as well a looking fellow as many white men ; so they liked and trustee him ; and his name was Ulumbi. (To he continued.)