Chapter 111167536

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Chapter NumberXVIII
Chapter TitleTHE BLACK POLICE
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article111167536
Full Date1863-11-28
Page Number3
Corrections0
Word Count4564
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 ; OR, DARK SCENES IN AUSTKAUA.

A TALK FOUNDED ON FACT.

By Etif.khe — Auinor of 'Rough Yams from the Bosb,' ' Colonial Sketches,' ' lafe at the South.'

Craptbr XVIII. THE BLACK POLICE.

The squatter goes forth his boundaries to measure, . And his Hocks tad herd* are brought to the spot. While the savsge is driven before his displeasure, ?Or, choosing to suy there, is ruthleuly shot. Sergeant 7i I z6g was tbe commander of the Native Police Force— an arduous and zealous officer in a bard struggle. He had twelve as fine nble blacks as anv one eonld find, broutrht

from the Port Phillip country, tutored in the school of civilisation. They had been taught that obedienoe to orders was one of tbe most important points of duty, consequently, when he «aid 'shoot,' shoot they did with a ven geance; all blacks wero alike to them. Shortly before tbe events above recordod bad taken place, our gallant commander and his com panions bad been stationed at tbe North in a most outlandish place among the mountains, bat there was no aid for it, and their spare time was spent in shooting whatever came be foro then. Of rations they had sufficient to last for some time, so they just oto, drank, and played just as they cliose, and still thought themselves hardly dealt by ; so they did no thing but grumble; even Pitzfig, Esq., was d is- oontended ; be, like bis black comrades, dis oovered there was something wanting, and began to long for the company of a certain dark-eyed little wench that he bad left in Port Phillip, and to whom he hoped somo day to unite bis monstrous self; so he thought of a plan, that is to say, hid fertile brain devised a plan which was as follows : That as so much time had been and was being wasted by him self and men they would take a tour inland. The glowing aocount of that country, whioh he had read in the narratives of Kennedy, Leichardt, and others who had explored thage spots bad fired his youthful mind with bright futures of ideality. Hardships was untuouglit of and care oast behind, as early ono morning the whole band set out on what he termed a pleasuro trip. Off went that troop of jovial souls laughing and obatting in their native tongue, which FitzGg, in the buoyancy of heart, joined in, as he rodo at their head. They proceeded on their route gaily, and a few days (bund them miles from tho camp. And well were tho travellers repaid by the magnificence of tho scenery whioh in each direction burst on their view, insomuoh that tho commander

was induced to extend nta wanderings farther than he had at first intended. One day, whilst slowly travelling in the vicinity of some tall mountains, they observed a donee cloud of smoke rising from some aboriginal camps in the vioinity, and FitzGg, thinking just then an encounter would not bo very advantageous, gave orders that the party should turn home ward, and also bade them halt at tho first stream to make a camp. They soon reaohed the desired spot, dismounted, and turned out their horses, ereoted tho tents, and made them selves snug for the night. The day soon closed, the tea wus discussed, and ere long tho whole party, excepting tho sentry, wero asleep. Our youthful commander always took turn with his men/ he did not, on account of rank, except himself from bearing the fatigue of watching ; so tb'at when tho next watoh camo he turned out and mounted sentry. Taking his carbine he slung it carelessly over his shoulder, and stood by the side of a tree near the tent. The full moon shone brightly, aud all objeots were as clearly distinguishable as though it were daylight. He foard no attack from blaoks, for though hia troopers bad ventured into their neighbourhood, be felt cortain they were un conscious of their presence. He felt weary, and would have slept, had he not remembered how many lives depended on him. Whilst he thus stood thinking, tho vision of that pour little oreature he had left behind in Port Phil lip came up before him ; he fancied, indeed, what sho would think ot her Cornelius, when l'lrt I in A ap Inffrot* 1ia*1 fAnniiAr) Vint* frit* on Innrv

Memory pictured the past, aud the bright days thby had spent together on the banks of the Yarra, and the delightful pic-uies to Brighton or Riohmond. These and sundry other dreams from the golden past eamo crowding on liU mind, and in the Btillncss of the night lie beard soft voices singing ; so he listeood, and the sound of tfce oorroboree, or native song, was borne by tbe winds to his oar ; and he know well tbero were savages there, who, if they came in their men would shoot. To morrow his trodpera would bo off; but there was muoh to tako plaoo ere the morrow ; for, whilst be lietoned, suddculy a wild shriek rang out on tbo stillness of Ihe night, waking evory eoho, and then another wild and torrifio in tho extreme. And then arose one fearful yell, as if from a thousand tongues ; and if the shrieks had made him start because it was uttered by a woman, these shouts did inoro — thoy causod the whole troop to start from slumber, saddlo horses, and prepare for aotion. FitzGg moun ted and rodo off, followed by his men. Tbe woman's shrieks were still heard, and bo paused not to consider h'lB odds and ohanoes against the wild men he was about to encounter, as dashing the spurs into his thorough bred, ho was borno rapidly to that sad scene. He reaohod it at last, and saw — yos ! he saw the murder of Enowra by her father. Tho dreadful drama had boon enaoted, and tho loud vail of sorrow was heard on all sides. Tbo assembly woro two muoh oaaupiqd/ with their sorrows to notiee the approach of tho white man. The young aommandor rodo into thoir midst and, raising his pieoe, fired at tho old chief, who was wiping his tomahawk with grass after completing his bloody work. The Bound of tho rifle startled and rondo that vast orowd fly like frighted sheep beforo the party. The troopora wero muoh annoyed at not being al lowed to firo on tbo retreating ' myals,' as

they termed them y but FitzGg gave no ordors, so they just sat still, and saw their proy glide harmlessly away. All wero gono — all save tho body of tho old savago and his daughtor En- owra, and near them, leaning mournfully over their romains was a tall and soominff motion loss form. Tho party rodo up, and the com mander dismounted, and apoko to him in the native toaguo ; ' 1 am a wlrito man,' said ho, 'no blacks' talk for me; I wus a Gov'ment man to — , my natno's — but never mind that — they call me Maokawanda hero ; any way ' I'm your prisoner.' ' Yes,' roMuned the other; ' I suppose you're ono of thoso esoapees, and I must do my duty. Well, lad, I'm sorry, but what's to bo dono ? If I was to lot you go, and say nothing about it, my men would report it. Thoro's no alternative, so you'll have to go

with us.' ' Certainly t will,' said William Thompson, ' I'm Btck of this life, especially after what I've seen here this eight.' He tben related in a hurried manner full particu lars of tbe loss of the Sea Belle, the escape of the females, and the murder of EnOwra by her father, ending by remarking, sioco that occur rence he had searched, on all sides, but could

find no trace of tbe child, adding that he feared it bad been murdered by tbe blacks, who had often eyed the little creature with hatred. -The commander then explained mat ters to his men, and the whole party searched tbe camps, but without Gnding trace of the missing (child. Tho morning now dawned, and, not wishing to risk encounter with the formidable body of tbe preceding night, order was given to retreat. The men vrcre in high glee at/the termination of their adventures, and the feat they bad accomplished in the cap ture of /tbe white man. As they set our, be observed two native dogs sneaking towards the inarjimite bodies of the old chief and his daughter; and almost immediately after saw them rash forward and commence tbeir hatred feast, i The descent into a deep gully bid the scene from his eyes. But otfen afterwards, in civilisation, as be lay on bis bed, memory re called that dreadful bour when Enowra fell to save the white man's child, and her reward was ? no matttcr. The actions of the good are ' never lost or forgotten. The world may render ' them evil for all they have done; but there is a higher power, whoso eyo notes everything, ' and whose aageU note it down in those ever- ' lasting records to reward the Just. !

? Chapter XIX. In which the author mattes himself at home with the reader, and in which an old hand shows his super tot ity. But let that pass, mother matter Now claims attention of my muse ; Kud in the present she may scutter Some thought* which may some fire infuse Into my lines. As you peruse, {leader, excuse mistakes and blunders, i-'or when one writes just to amuse, lYouknow you must not look for wonders. ? ????????? i From ' The Shepherd,' a poem by Etienne.

Hid it been my fortune, dear reader, to have' given this narrative to tbee in a book form, I should here have ended my first book, have; drawn, as it were, a veil over my oharao terafor an instant, and then coramonoo anew; ondired, added to the sorvioo rendered to the inisiing women and children, Boon procured turn1 favourable notice, and his passage and ex pcDBes were defrayed to Sydney by an old goat, calling himself Devoreux. By the in infiuenoe of this persou, be succeeded in ob taining an oxcellont situation in an office in the city, aud shortly afterwards the old gentle man, on bis deathbed, informed Thompson he wbb his uncle, and had sought him in Austra

lia; and had only just found him when death closed his career. The old man died rich, and bequeathed all his riches to his nephew, who shortly after married, and purchased a snug property near Brisbaue, on wbioh be now re sides. But all this timd I am keeping old Miok waiting, and the reader is well aware he is a grumbling old fellow. We left him beneath the Burface of tbe stream, into wbioh he had plunged, to escape bis blood-thirsty pursuers. As be rose, the branch of an over hanging tree afforded him sufficient hold to raiso himself from the water; and, in a few TninuteB, ho was on dry laud, shivering and sbakiug, like any ono may be supposed to do who has been- iu tbe water some time with his olotbos on. Ho had neither food or firing, and not far off were tho savages, from whom he had j ust escaped. In t-uoh unenviable position, men unused to life iu tho bush would at' onoe have given up, and lain down to dio without further consideration ; but Miok was not one of these chicken-hearted follows — he was an old band, who had seen all kinds of hardship, and was all well acquainted with the rough as the smooth side of life. On two former ocoa sions, he bad been in the hands of the blacks,

nun, turuwing ou mo yose or opprcgiion, no had taken to the buBU at tho M' In tyro River from tbe tribes in (bat neighbourhood; be had learned the seorets of thnt wild forest, and, oro many months, ho oould not only speak the Cumleroy language (54), but coald climb a tree, through a spear and other wotpoas, as well as tbe best of them; consequently, give him a tomahawk and flint, and Miok was all right, He might, did he so ohoose, live for years in tho forost, and never trojble his fellowmen, until compelled by want o: tobacco, to visit their habitations. The tld band lovod bit pipe ; it was his oonstant companion, and nearly always in his mouth. Hardship and suffering had as little effeot on htm as the (ire has on some old black dog ; it just stared bis outside, but failed to touoh a vital part; and, although ho emerged dripping from the vrator, all he required was ' his Bmoko.' Ho drew from his pookot his pipe, quite safe, and about a fig of nogrobead tobaoo, bat tinder box there was none, so he looked round for a grass tree, that being the shrub from vbiah the natives obtain fire when othor methods fail (55). He soon discovered one, with its long blaok stiok pointing upwards, and, sitting down on tho ground, divided it into two Halves, then rubbed them together for a fow minutes, and, aftor using tho nooessary precau tions, succeeded ia obtaining a light for hia pipo. This was bis first consideration,1 and, after a smoke and a rest, he resolved to put off his wot garments to dry, and get his gun. Tho spot was fully half-a-milo distant, aid tho olotbos would dry in his absanoo; so lie set off, and, ore long, had roaohed tho plaoo from' whioh ho had plunged into the water, but, eithor in his hurry, he had forgotlon b note tho exact spot in whioh ho had left the woa pon, or some ono bad taken it, (or Miok sought in all directions, without Coding tho missing artiolo, and he felt quito angry at tho loss to him just thon of bo valuable a posaoB Bton ; and there was Gomatking else which

mado him not only angry, but turn pah with terror. His pursuors had disoovered bin, and a party, near a hundred strong, woro now soarco two hundred yards, diattant. liaising his hoad, he perdoivod tboir rapid approaob and fiendish determination; saw also thoro was ohanoa for him without firearms in any struggle, so, turning on his hools, ho fiod fur life ; and his advorsaries, poroeiving tbii, like wise \aoretsod their pace, hurling each iuattvnt every woapou of whioh thoy wero poisessod. Noto (54.) Tho various dlaleotsat the north ate Cum. loroy, WalUroy, Y.ilUroy, Wiriullrri, and Couradlrri i but there aio s- longer variety of others. Note (55,) ,1 have observed several natives use this mothod of proourlng fire, but thoy will not adopt It If they can ptocuro mutohei, flint, and steel, &o. ilubbins twu piccn of wood tojither is often tried to gtt fire.

Speer, boomerang, and nullah nullah whirled harmleKBly round the white man'* head* as, followed by his pursuers, be kept on, neither turning right or left, but at length, one by ooe, they hung back, till at last only a few vip.rf. enirnverf in that utAtiann Mftlr. Mick fait

all bis cliaoce lay in being able to hold out, aud io distanoe the whole party J add, un eumbered by clotheB, be ran swiftly, scarce knowing wittier be was going. Trees, bushes, and underwood vanished before him, yet be recognized not the spot he thus hurriedly passed; all bo wished wbb release from the juvages, and that was accomplished at last. The aoise of tbe baffled wretches, calling tbeir fatigued Comrades, was heard in the distauop, and this gradually died away ; then, and not till then, did the old man pause to tako breath ; he was safe. As it was now quite dark, and there being no possibility, that nigbt, of bring nblo to reaoh tbe spot in whioh he had left his clothes, be lay down to sleep on tho ground, with no other cover than tbe starry skies above him, for he had none, and, even had he possessed means, he dared not

nakealight, lest be should be discovered by ?is enemies ; bo he lay still, gazing Upward at he heavens, looking for the southern cro»B that lad so often beforo been bis guide in diffieul ies ; and, having found this, he Ml asleep as lalmly as ho would do in the best bed in Christendom. So much for habit. Me thinks [' hear a sentimental new ohum exclaim — ' Why, suoh a position would kill me ;' and o it might, but Mick was proof against every hing— hid was a constitution of iron, and he leeded it.

Chapter XX. MORE HARDSHIPS AND SUFFERING. No kind wife to soothe him— he struggled alone No father, no mother, or sister had he ; ' He was but an orphan, uncared for, unknown. And ne'er knelt in prayer at * font mother's knee. When Mick nwoke the day dawned, and he began to review the circumstances wbioh had led him into thnt strange position. Gradually the events of the preceding night came up before him ; but he soon forgot nil past dangers in the cravings of an empty stomach, and the utter impossibility of ob

taining food in that uninhabited place. He was fully aware that he was still forty miles from the nearest habitation, and the neces sity of bearing up, at all hazards, till he could reach it were every instant more pal pable to him. Evan had he known the spot in which his cun was secreted he could not

u ? — ? uow retrace his steps ; the delay would be too great; his clothes also were lost. Had he only possessed a tomahawk, he might obtain food from some gum or box trees', 'neath which his route lay. Opossums, igu annas, bandicoots, kangaroos, and other animals, started at intervals from the grass as he touched it with his leet, whilst birds of all kinds were there, but unobtainable to him, though famished for want of food. Though disheartened at the difficulty in procuring something to allay the craving of hunger, Mick continued his journey, and the day closed and found him still walking. Guided by the light of the moon, he made considerable headway, yet no station greeted the eyes of the wanderer, and, finding he would fail to reach it that night, he obtained a draught of water from some crevices in the rooks, and then lay down on the ground to sleep. A few hours afterwards dark clouds arose in the horizon and speedily overspread the clear moonlit sky ; tho wind veered to the north and blew with terrifio violence, tearing limbs from the trees, and spreading devastation in every spot ; the rain also descended in a perfect deluge.whilst the vivid gleam of lightning, and the hol low rumbling of the thunder, made up a soene awfully grand. Awaked from slum ber by the terrible deluge pouring around him, the old hand rushed to seek refuge beneath the foliage of some tall gum tress, which, judging from their venerable appear ance, must have stood many fearful storms ; but no«r they swayed and rocked like so many twigs in the blast, as a sudden, almoBt blinding, flash, followed by a thunder clap, louder than the roar of artillery, struck the tallest and rent it to tho base. The splinters flew in all directions, and Mick had much trouble in keeping clear of them, as also tho other limbs which 'vere falling around him. The whole bush appeared in one continual motion, the treos swaying and rooking with the terrifio hurricane passing over them. It lasted fully three hours, and tho breeze only died away as morning ap peared. Old Mick required no time to dress, as with the first light he resumed hia journey. It was not easy to travel now ; every instant he was compelled to wade numberless creeks and rivers, the lowest of whioh was up to his armpits, whilst not a AW linri nvp.rflnnmd Kin hanlra and warn

very dangerous to the swimmer from the quantity of trees and logs which wore swept by the ourrent with great violenoe along their course. But the white man quailed not. TheHe dangers might retard his pro gress, but he was determined to reach the goal of his expectations. Oftentimes before had he swam similar rivcro at flood tide merely for pastime. Fearlessly he encoun tered these difficulties now, and by mid-day he had reaohed the top of a high mountain, from which all the surrounding country was visible. The sight of n thin Btaoke, curling upward in the now clear blue hea vens from among the timber in the valley below, added to a large patoh of cleared land forming a paddock, and some snug huts, presented to the eyo, of the weary wan derer more pleasure than aught else could do at such a. time. He flew rather than ran down the stoop desoont, rushed breath less into the first hut, and in a few hurried words related to those there assembled the story of his sufferings and tho fate of his companions. There was no more work dono at that station during the day — no more work for the master; but the men did muoh for themselves, as thoy took down thoir double bnrrollod-pieces from the nail where, they had long hung idle, and fur bished them up for notion ; then they de sired old Miok to lend them on to vengennoo, for the tauguinnry deeds perpetrated by

savages had kindled tbe dot blood in those young hearts, and stirred up a living firo that could only bs appeased by satisfaction * ' * 4t m . M

tt had been my original intention, ia laying out the plan of this story, to give the reader a long account of all that Iran* spired when Old Mick reached the station —how the young men thereof, well armed, accompaned him to the scene of tho mas sacre, and then and there did l'eek tlieir ' ' vengeance on those they sought. It would be a tedious task for me to relate, and to ~ you, dear reader, to hear particulars of how many sable wretches were left weltering in their trore: sol beer, with votir normiasion

to drop a veil on this scene. Old Mick experienced much lundness from his new* found friends, with whom he remained some few weeks, and then set out for Gladstone, on reaching which place he was informed a new and valuable gold-field had just been found — the name of this El Dm ado was Cnnoonn, — and a town was mpidly forming near it under the head of Rockhnmpton. Vessels of all kinds were pouring in from Sydney, crowded with adventurers bound from the mines, apparently certain of suc cess. The old hand hesitated not to join the party, and ere long reached the golden goal to which all eyes were then directed. But like most others who were deluded to

that ?' ill-starred rush,'* ho found the pre* oious metal hard to be obtained, tt was quite true it was there, but bo patchy as to ill repay unyone for his work . ft was, ap parently, only one small patch which hod yielded anything remunerative, and this was all taken up. Round it prospectors

were vainly trying to obtain a livelihood, and night after night beheld them return ing to their tents wearied and dishearteued at their ill luck ; yet, notwithstanding this and the sad tidings of failure, men poured in as heretofore, believing themsalveBon the high road to fortune. At last came the crisis, when the whole of that vast con course appeared awake to their unfortunate situation. Famine stared them in the face, and grumbling was heard on all sides; men engaged with settlers merely for their rations, and Borne even were refused at this low rate. New chums and others unused to the duties of stations could obtain nothing. Then came the return rush. Ships were crowded with those who were now as eagar to get buck aa they had been to come. It was indeed a sorrowful sight, and long will it be remembered in thn nnnnln nt Ana.

tralia ae the 'Fort Curtis Hoax.' Old Mick was nrnong]tlio unfortunates ; never before had he been iu such a strange pre dicament; bitterly he cursed the hour he had set out for this tempting spot. W.ork was so scarce and unobtainable ; every sta tion wbb full handed; what prospect had he now ? About this time two settlers, who were about to proceed to the interior with a view to take up new runs arrived nt the town, and hearing of the old hand and his experience, at once engaged him as their guide. A few days after they set out on their journey. The Bottlers were perfectly satisfied iu the acquisition to their parly of so valuable a personage as Old Mick. They saw he knew the ' lay of the country,' and was well informed in all pertaining to bush life. It would, however, occupy too much time to relate here all that occurred on thnt long and eventful journey — the rivers they crossed, the mountains over which they passed, or the blaoks they encountered; suffice it to say, ere long, they reached Terimbool, the same spot from which, a few months before, Old Mick had just es caped with life. His sole reason for again visiting that spot appears to have been to

iwobo hid uiiici wruuga no unu Buiiereu at the hands of his savage fows. Tommy was yet alive, and till his deuth was accom plished Old Mick could not be satisfied. The two settlers were muoh pleased with the aspect of the country whioh formed their station, and testified the same in high terms of approval to him who had guided ' them thither; but observing his eyes were fixed on the blackened logs, of what ap peared to have been onoe a habitation, they enquired tbe meaning of his abstracted manner, and wherefore he ga^ed on the charred ribbs before them. Without de mur, he related in an unvarnished manner the history of that station, and the murder of its inhabitants, ending with a recital of his own onse, his trials.Bufferings, and even- . - tual escape from his black enemies. They both listened attentively to his narrative, and agreed to render him every assistance in obtaining bis revenge.

? ? ? # * « Six months afterwards the tbin blue smoke from several hu to curled upward among the gum trees surrounding the sta tion ; they were.all tenanted, and Old Miok was among their ocoupants. He was now head stookman, and had, as heretofore, whole management of the fine herd of cattle ' on the run. These ho visited every day, and rendered perfect satisfaction to his emplov ers by atteutton to his duty. (To be continued.)