|Newspaper Title||Sydney Mail (NSW : 1860 - 1871)|
|Trove Title||Tales of Barranjuee. No. 1. Morouya, the Black Eagle of Colo|
TALKS OF BA.URA.NJUEE. I
Jhtfltor cf ' Yo- Yo.' ' Mil Holiday.' &c.\
No. I. MOROUYA, THE BLACK EAGLE OF COLO. Chai'tkb XII. — Planniko.
Fhom the «ccount given by Everington, it appealed that, co soon as ihe black. hsd been fotced to retreat, ?fta* their attack upon the bouse, the first thought of Kalph had been for hit daughter, and he at once pro claimed to Everington his intention to follow the trail of the blacks and attempt her rescue. The young man needed no inducement from Ralph to urge him on to speeiy exertion, and he therefore at once agreed with Halph's proposal, and proffered his aid in the expedition, Their arrangements were quickly made, and taking with them a reinforcement from the men's huts, —as before mentioned, they at once started in pursuit. TTnliba V. ? ? ?
took none of those precautions that the two old bush men bad found necessary. Tbey simply followed on the track ol the retreating blocks, assuming that the whole force bad fallen back in a body. In this, as our readers know, they were mlsnken ; whilst, owing to the complete manner in which the tribe of blacks had broken up and dispersed, they found it difficult to follow their retreat, and travelled for a considerable -iistsnce without eo much bs hearing, still less of seeing, their toes, _ They had taken, though by accident alone, a direc tion only slightly differing from that wbich Long Sick and bis party had followed only a short time previously. fhey were then on the summit of the main range, just at the time when the b-niy of the blacks camped by the watcrhote in the '.hick brush of one of its descending gullies. Had it been day light, or bad the whites been more cunning bushme'n, i lie culling smoke from the fire. of the blacks might have been perceived ; as it was, they continued their course, putting the point at which only a descent to tbe spot was practicable, and only halted when the prolonged echo of the shot fired by Dick in his laBt fatal encounter struck upon their ears, whilst the wild 1 shrieks of the natives that followed on the report directed them more particularly towards the Bpot. Increasing their speed, and turning oS the range by j the first dctccnding spur that seemed bearing towards I the desired direction, tbey seemed now certain ol J fnlKnff hi UtlVi tVlkiv nnimw lint
tions were erroneous. The ridge by which they had descended, after many sinuosities, terminated in the Apple-trie Flat, on which they had cncouatcred the Birdcatcher and Morouya, at a point considerably more distant from those they Bought than that they had left on starting from the range. On icutung the ilat, they had folio wc«l along it, in the dijtction from which they judged the sound had proceeded* in the hope that they might again hear or we score feign by which tbey might be guided on their path. It was thus that they had encountered Morouya and his companion. Having received these particulars, the Birdcatcher was only puzzled to account lor the uhot the other* hod besid. Taking Morouya into his counsel, the two conversed together for some time in the native ] language ; then, the Birdcatcher turning to the oiher6 informed thim of the conclusion that had been come to. 'Morouya agrees with me,' said he, 'that the shot must have been a-bign&l; if eo, we may depend that the bushrangers have been rcintorccd. and we may perhaps have to face besides a dozen or two of the yelling Broken Bay dcviU. If, then, wu are to have any hope of success, and even of saving our own lives in this encounter, it will be nccessary that you should obey exactly the directions I shall give. Wc have fixed one plan and by that all must act.' The others asseutiag to this, the Biidcatcher pro ceeded to point out to Everington and those who accompanied htm the exact position of tbe spot where the water hole was situated. He then directed them to procecd as noiselessly as possible, to the foot ot the gulley, half way up which was the small verdant glen, in whose bosom lay the never failing spring eo celebrated throughout the district. They were to proceed up this gulley until they reached the heavv brush that surrounded the spot, on the edge of which, and without entering it, fur fuar of the noise they must necessarily make, tbey were to a trait the concerted signal. 1'iomUing implicit obedience to these instructions, the two parlies separated ; Billy and Morouya te mount the ridge, Eveungton and hLi companions to follow round the flat. 11 Remember ! M said Billy, as he quitted them, 'tbe fourth gulley ; and be bure not to advance into the brush, until ysu hear a fehot from above. Any hurry may ruin all.' In a abort time, 60 fpeedy yet withal so noiseless, was their progress, the Birdcatcher and Moruya had reached the crest of the ridge. With careful steps, and with senses all alert to guaTd against surprise, they treaded their way amongst the black and lichen covertd rocks that crowned its summit, until at last thev reached a spot directly overhanging the leafy sheltered glen. Looking over the steep descent, they now peered down into the gulley. The bright glare of a fire was'dis tinctiy visible,~iightiogtiptheiofty tops of tbe cabbage tn.ee, and bathing the dark trunk6 of the vast deni zens of the forest in a flood of golden tints. The ver dure, howe ver, was 60 dense that not a foi m could be discovered. Long they gazed, taking in every note worthy feature, but not & word was uttered until they had withdrawn themselves from their point of obser vation and wcTe sheltered amongst the huge boulders that were piled around, and that served to deaden the sound of their voices. 'That U a wbitefellow's fire,' whimpered the Bird catcher, still preserving his caution. '* Even a Broken Bay man isn't such a fool as to light up such a signal cs that to fcuide his foes to his camp.' 41 The iiarar-juee sit down with the croppies,' answered the black, in the 6amc eubdued tone as his companion. i4 Marouya can count many fires.' ' No doubt, no doubt,' said the Birdcatcher, ' you are cleverer than me in that matter, Morouya ; and I give in to you in quickness at seeing sign. The gun then must have been a bignal.' °* Good !' responded Morouya ; then after a pause, he asked, ' Shall we go down into their camp. The old man ia waiting for his daughter.' 'Yes,' said HUly, 'let us go. And as you go Morouya, if you have a God, pray to Him, lor this ion'* -n*r»rlr wo nrp nn tn-niffht. anil the both of
tig may never meet again alive.' M Morouya is ready to die at any moment,' answered the other. ** lie has no fear. He knows fear only from the talk of the whitefellows. If Morouya falls, BiUy will placc his body where the light of the full moon may fall upon it.' ' ' Seeing that there's no harm in it, as I know, if anything should happen you and I should get safe through, I'll do it, you may depend.' And as the black gave a grunt of satisfaction, he added, ' Still its a great easement to a man's mind to say a short prayer or eo, if he happens to know one. Bat you don't understand me, as how should you, and I'm only wasting time as well as words.' So Eaying tbey commenced the descent of the spur, though on the opposite eide to that on which the Barra&juees lay to all appearance soundly sleeping in security. Whilst the whites are thus silently closing m on them, let us see how matters hare progressed in the camp of the blacks. For tome time after reaching the camp, Long Dick remained insensible, the two heavy wounds he had received in the course of the night having affected even the hard head of the aboriginal. Soon, however, his young and Bturdy frame yielded to the continued exercise of the rude surgical 6kill of his comrades, to whose satisfaction, for they had already looked upon him bb their leader, he at length opened his eyes. Looking wildly around him, he appeared to recall tvith difficulty the events that had recently taken place. 44 la the white thief de&dr' at length he asked, 11 Have my brothers taken the kidney fat of the coward who wished to rob by their hands. The pale-faced dog feared to steal for himself/' With some hesitation, they told him the result of the contest, and his rage was excessive when lie heard that Dick had escaped. He had sworn the death of this man, a6 to him and to his plan only was to be attributed the attack upon Wyong ; and upon him therefore, the native in his rude reasoning, threw the whole blame of the defeat and of the heavy Iobb tbe tribe had suffered. Already he had pUnacd with his fellows, whilst on the retreat to this spot, a scheme of vengeance, of which the death of Dick Watson and the bushrangers formed a leading feature ; and to see his plan thwarted almost at the very moment of its success, was rather more than his aboriginal stoicism could bear. In his anger he leapt to his feet, though the action caused him to shudder with pain ; and was about to vent his rage in words, when, for the first time, he caught sight of Jane, whose features were but just recovering the hue of animation. With a look of astonishment, which changed into wild joy as he recogniscd her lineaments, he swallowed the words of fury that had already risen to his lips, and hastily questioned his companions until he had learnt the full particulars of the circum stances under which she had fallen into their hands. After receiving this information, he remained for a
time apparently buried in deep thoueht, hii eyes fixed upon the girl's countenance, now suffused with the fitBt tokens of returning life. Having made up his mind how to act, he called bis fellows about him, and pointing to Jane, said, 41 The white man has long arms. The black c&n not escape him. They reach him in the thick scrub, on the high ? hills, or on the wide waters. The feifomon of the blaok cannot guard him from the bullets of the white. ? The young gin will preserve the black better than a htitaman. No shot will, teach him whilst she is before him. Then, let the Barran juee men be careful^of her. She shall save their tribe from the anger of the whites.' This speech was received with loud plaudits by the tribe, who vociferously acknowledged the prudence of the course proposed. Having rescued her from the bushrangers, there was no doubt that, on her being handed over unhurt and unharmed, she would be received as a peace offering by the whites, and her safety be made to act as a counterpoise for the injury inflicted during the night. So Foon, then, as Jane returned to conscious ness, the blacks gathered round her, offering protesta tions of friendship and protection ; whilst Long Dick himself addressed her, recounting how his tribe had slain her captors and rescued and tended herself, and desiring her to keep her mitid at ease as to ttie future, since it was the intention of himself and big comrades to restore her to her home with the coming day. All now hastened to ahow their consideration for tbwr captive. Two or throe sheets of bark were hastily stripped from the trees around, and placed against a rock in such a manner as to form a rude gutiyaft or hut to shelter her. Here an opossum cloak was spread, and satisfied from the manner of the tribe, that she had no more to fear, Jane laid her self down with comparative contentment and endea voured to court the repose she so much needed, and that was to give her strength to reach Wyong on the morrow. The blacks too, wearied with the excitement of the night, and fancying themselves in security in this holding the hostage they possessed, also stretched themselves before their fires, not to court, but to em brace that repose which only came upon them too readily. Soon all were still* and quiei, the heavy bieathirgs of the prostrate figures showing that sleep had overcome them, and that they h&d no suspicions that avenuing hands were slowly aud silently, but certai/ily,' closing in upon them from above and below. (To be continued)