Chapter 166692128

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Chapter NumberIV
Chapter TitleTRAPPED
Chapter Url
Full Date1862-06-07
Page Number2
Word Count3543
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleSydney Mail (NSW : 1860 - 1871)
Trove TitleTales of Barranjuee. No. 1. Morouya, the Black Eagle of Colo
article text


{By Hit Author of the Yo-Yo, My Holiday, $o.)


rlOflOONF.ii had the two parties, whose conversion we have narrated, got out of hearing, than Morouya stepped from behind the tree that had concealed him from their view, and pointing up the range said the one word ' Croppy ' ' MorouVa.' sadly exclaimed the Bird catcher, 'the whites pretend to set an example to JOUX COUntrvman. and a Tpn- nrpttv nnn flioo

loo. Why, if they only followed one half of the 1 ae«oriB of villainy that are given thorn every day by such rascals as these, eoodncss knows what would become of ua all.' ' Good * ' responded the black. ' All blacks are not alike. AU whites are not alike. All birds are not eagles. There are good and bad. The Colomen arc eagle hawks, they pounce upon their foe and strike him in the light of day. The Hdrranjuee men are native cats. They hide by day and sneak upon their enemy in the darkntss. The Barraniuce aie bla-k croppies ! ' _ ' Ves, yes ; they're b»d enough in all truth. But it's the bushranger^ and the like of them that have made them worse nor they would have been, and put them up to half their mischief. Even the Broken Bay men have been made woree by bad whites.' 'The Barranjuees are rats,' replied Morouya; ' they arc sneaking flying foxes. They steal by night and sleep by day. There is no good man amongst them. They have always been prowling rats.' 'Well, you ain't no reason to love 'em,' said Billy, ' and I can't expect you to give 'em a good word. But cone, let us at all events have a pcen down into their camp.' Theabore conversation had been held in an earnest but suppressed whisper, and when it was thus brought to a conclusion by the Birdcatcher's prop Dial, the two companions Healthily resumed their course. Mount ing the spur, they at length stood on the main range, and advancing only a few paces, for the crown of the ridge wes here exceedingly narrow, they weir enabled to look down upon the country on the other side. Here a scene of unrivalled beauty broke upin their sight. On the opposite side of the ridge to that by which th sy had ascended, two spurs, exactly corresponding with tkose on the ether .side, ran down to withir. a few hundred yards of the shores of the lake. Ttiesa spurs gradually open'd out from cach other as they receded from the main range, leaving at the entrance of the valley or gulley they thus formed, a broad flat, thinly covered with a few scattered gum-trees, dwarfed by exposure to the Bea air, and twisted and gnarled by the (nice of many a gale. Beyond this again, and reachirj: down to the very margin of the lake, was a thick feinve of swamp oaks, the proximitv of the lake affording the moUiure in which these graceful trees so much delight. In this grove and on the edge of the flat within its shelter, the camp fires of the blacks had been lighted. Beyond the grove spread out the broad waters of the lake, lying still and unrippled, its sur face smooth as a vast sheet of polished glasB, reflecting the rays of the numerous stars that now studded the dark blue vault above. In the dim light, the bluff headlands of the promon tories that jutted boldly out into the lake were scarcely discernible, whilst the opposite shores loomed grey and indistinct in darkness and distance,— the last remnants of the light of the departed day just barely tinting the summits of their hills with a fast fading purple. Almost facing the onlookers, but a little to their left across the sheet of water, was the narrow belt of low sandy ridges, which at that spot alone separates the lake Irom the wide waters of the I'acific ; and over these the black mass of ocean was just per ceptible, forming a dark and regular line upon the horizon. It was a moment of nature's deepest repose. All was hushed and still, and naught disturbed the quiet air save only the hollow murmur of the never tranquil deep, whose surfs, as they beat upon the long flat beach ol Cabbage Tree, sounded low and mournful in the distance. Morouya had thought only for his enemy, and his eye was at once tixed in bitter hatred upon the spot where, like stars of earth, the small carn'p fires of the blacks twinkled in the distance. ' Murroo !' he exclaimed, holding out his hand threateningly towards them; ' Muiroo, liitran juee ! ' The Birdcatcher hardly heeded the ejaculation ; his gaze had not been turned upon the flit below, but bad been cast around the whole of the tranquil scene that presented itself ; and though he had often looked upon it before, and though he knew every hill and ridge that the little light suffered to be visible, yet the prospect before him, seen midst the hallowed calm of evening, had for his untutored mind almost a holy charm, leading it, by that mystic chain of mental association which tew have not at times experienced, almost to the verge of that promised peace which is not of earth. The adventure oil which he was en gagtd, and the conflict tbat was now certain to occur later in the night, tended in a great measure to make his inind mote impressionable, and thiu for some few minutes he remained buried in con templation of the paner&ma that Nature had laid btiore him. In the meanwhile Morouya having re ceived no answering ejaculation regarded the IJird catchcr with unmistakeable utonishment, although he maintained a strict Bilence. At last thinking that the Bilence had lasted long enough, he asked : — ' Is Biliy counting the Uarranjuees 'No, no, Moroui a answered the Birdcitcher, ' I hadn't no idea of them : I was thinking of many, many things ; and amongst 'em I was thinking that God never gave so beautiful a country to man far him to commit crime and violence in ; nor spread out so pleasaiit a picture to his sight for him to soil it by the shedding of blood. But, dear me,' he continuad, suddenly recovering himself, ' you couldn't under stand what I mean, even if I wib to talk like a parson to you. And how should you, seeing that blacks and whites is differently brought up.' ' When the blackfellow sees his enemy, he knows that it is time to prepare for fighting,' said the black, Sroudly. ' Will Hilly go down to the camp of the arranjuees, or has the sight of theit tires frightened him-' ' Well, I don't see what good that will do, unless perhaps to put these skeery devils on their guard. Ko, Morouya, we know now all we came to learn — the number of our enemies, and the time of their attack ; and now the best thing we can do is to go back end report what we have learnt to the master.' ' If Billy is frightened of the Barranjuees, Morouya will go alone ! ' answered the black in a quiet deter mined tone, at the same time preparing to desccnd the hill. ' No, no,' said the Birdcatcher, catching Morouya by the arm, ' come back with me, Morouya is known to be too brave lor anybody to suspect that he is afraid of these miserable Broken Bay men. As for me, I do my duty, and don't care much what folks say, though Morouya ought to know that I'm not the man to turn tail when a scrimmidge is necessary. At present we must be careful, as otner lives besides our own depend upon our movements.' ' Good ! ' answered Morouya, ' Billy is no cow ard. He is wiser than Morouya. Morouya will re turn with him.' ' There now,' replied Billy, ' that's sensible and kind of you, Morouya, and no more than what I ex pected from you. You may depend that what I recommend is the best ; at all events, we ? ' Here be paused suddenly, and then crouched down slmoBt prostrate upon the earth, at the same time casting s sharp inquiring look in the direction whence bad come the noise that had alarmed him. Morouya's quick ear had also caught the same sound, and this bis experience told him had been caused by the break ing of a stick under the tread of some animal heavier ana larger than the opossums that habited the range. He also followed the precautions of the Birdcatcher, and, whilst thus lying on the ground, he ran his eye steadily along the edge of the hill, until it rested on a black mass, but ill-concealed behind the stem of a gum sapling. This, with a significant gesture, he pointed out to his companion. The human outline was too distinct for Billy to fail to recognise the form of an enemy ; so, without hesitation, seeing that the Bar ranjuee was thus on their trail, he drew his gun to bis shoulder, even ae he crouched, steadied the barrel for on instant, and fired. A wild shriek of pain showed that the shot had taken effect; but this shriek web followed by the yells of dozens of enemies, rising up on every side of the two'scouts, and drowning the reverberations of the explosion, that were sent back by the echos of the hills around. At the same time a number of spears flew over the head of himself and his companion, whilst several boomerangs whizzed past them ; these coming from so many points as to show clearly that the; were surrounded. Cool and collected, although the position in which he was placed was an almost hopeless one, the Bird- | catcher sprang to his feet and cast a rapid look around. Morouya did the same, and the yells of mingled rage ana triumph that greeted their appear ance, told him distinctly where tne different bodies of his foes had been ambushed. Tiiey were closing him I

in at the back, and at the two hides, whilst fron the camp another thrieking group was hurrying up to the scene of conflict. One look and his mind was made up, and he was prepared with all his energies to rf uh dv the fault into which he had bmn betrayed. Pointing to the spur of the ridge that lay to their left he briefly indicated to Morouya that by crossing that they could alone hope to escape. He then scix -d hit fowling-piece by the middle, and, followed by Morouya, dashed down the hill, as though he were about to make his way along the gulley. Seeing this, the blacks set up a wild shout of joy, for their comradcs from the camp had already blockol up Hie nairow passage. But the Birdcatcher and Morouya proceeded but a very short distance down the rugged declivity ; for, suddenly tar ing off tuwurds the spur that had been indicated, they pruoceded, with uo slackened siieed, to mount its side in a slanting direc tion. Their pursuers were close upon them, however. Two or three of them had run down the crown of the spur, instead of following the fugitives into the gulley; and now, as the two scouts reached its crest, a power ful black bad already gained the spot and was pre pared to receive them. The Bavage aimed a terrible blow at the Birdcatcher, who was fttst, but this liilly parried skilfully with his musket ; then, bringing the piece down suddenly to the charge, he made a thrust forward with the barrel with such force as to send his opponent rolling over completely Itort tie comb it. In the meantime, two others had come up. One of these was scixed by the powerful hand of Morouya, ajmost before he could check his onward progrts.. I'or an instant Morouya's tomahawk'glittered in the air, and the next moment, with giant strength, he threw the quivering bod* down amongst their pur suers. The Birdcatcher encountered the third black, who reached the spot only to meet the descending butt of Billy's fowling piece, and to fall without a groan to the earth. Their road was now clear before them, and the two again started forward, followed by a shower of spears and boomerangs, and by yells of the wildest rage. Thtj now continued their course, hotly pursued, down the sloping side of the hill, and evidentlv gain ing on their enemies, reached the flat. The* Bird, catcher finding himself so much more speedy than his pursuers slackened his pace a little to enable him to load his gun as he ran, directing Morouya at the same time to keep up his pace. The black was thus some distance ahead, when the sharp rattle of horse's hoofs behind them told them that another and a mure to be dreaded foe wbb in the field against them. Doubling back to reach the range, the Birdcatcher used every exertion to regain the hilly ground, know ing that there he would have had the advantage of his mounted pursuer; but he had got too far out upon the level to permit of his doing this, and before he hed gone a hundred yards, a hoarse voice, only a fe.v pucfB behind him, shouted : — ' Stop ! or by ? I'll ride you do wn !' (To be continued.) Aliif.ut Cricket Cllu.— The cricketing season having now closed, whilst at the same time the wea ther affords a fine opportunity for out-door sports, a number of the members of the Albert Club met toge ther on Hyde Park ou Saturday afternoon, and, having chosen sides, engaged in the enlivening game of rounders. Funebai. of the - iatp M-. E. J. Ban, v.— The mortal remains of the late Mr. E. J. Baily, chairman of the Municipality of Waverley, were 'interred on Saturday, in the Jtandwick Churchyard. The funeral was attended by the Mayor of Sydney, by several of the Aldermen, and by the chairmen and councillors ot several of the suburban municipalities, as well as by a great many private friends of tne deceased. A J.aii in Tuouiii.e.— On Saturday morning, a poor little fellow who had been engaged on a farm at Glen Williams, Clarence Tuwn, took his passage for Syd ney in the lllalong (a.) ; on being asked for his fare he presented a producer's bank note as the only money in his possession. However, it was afterwards ascer tained tliat the boy had been paid off the balance of his wages, amounting to a pound, for which he re ceived the note in question. Captain Adams brought the lad to Sydney free, and intends to enquire into the matter, as the boy declares that he received the spurious psper in the manner stated, and from whom he got it. The poor boy, it is Btated, cried from feu throughout the passage, and refused to eat or drink anything lest lie might get involved in further trouble. Sunday DisiTiuiANCns in Queen's -I'LAck. — Our attention has been called to certain proceedings, of a highly objectionable and improper character, which unhappily are of too frequent occurrence in some parts of this city. Scarcely a Sunday passes that a num ber of boys and girls do not congregate in Queen's place, and there continue to annoy the neighbours, as well bb insulting foot and other passengers who may happen to come that way. If a horse should ap proach, by way of a little amusement to themselves, thev truftdlc a large tui case or some other missile under his legs, to the imminent danger of whoever may be either riding or in charge of the animal. Nor do they confine themselves to sports of this nature, but create all sorts of nuisances, which renders the neighbourhood liaidly tenable to the peaceable and well -disposed. It is much to be desired that the at tention of the police should be directed to this locality, particularly on Sundays, it being a crying evil that such proceedings should be longer tolerated or winked at by the conservators of the peace. Mubdeu KEAit Livkui'ool. — An inquest was held by the Coroner of the Parramaua district, on the 28th ultimo, on the body of a man, whose name was unknown, fount) on the preceding day in the bush, off the Liverpool Ho ad. The enquiry took place at George Shield's Victoria Inn, near Lansdowne Bridge. The principal evidence taken was that given by llobert Campbell, carrier, of Greenhills, near Liverpool, who deposed : Yesterday forenoon, about eleven o'clock, he was in search of his horse lost in the bush ; saw a track from a high road near the junction of the Dog Trap Hoad with the Sydney lluad ; it appeared as if a small log had been drawn along; witness followed the track, and came upon the body of a man ; did not handle it, or see the face, but went into Liverpool and informed the police ; the feet were naked ; looked at the place on the road from which the track started, and found a few drops of blood : found no marks of a light or scuflle ; witness went back with the consta ble and helped him to put the body in a cart ; he had no knowledge of deceased. A post mortem ex amination having been made, the medical testimony was to the following effect: — The deceased was remarkably healthy for his age, which I should say was between sixty and seventy ; the fracture might have been caused by the head of an axe or Bome other such instrument ; the blows must have been the result of very great force ; the blow or blows were probably from behind; no fall, except from a very great height, could have caused the injuries ; death muBt have been instantaneous ; the stock of a gun might have caused the injuries, but the stock would have alBO been broken I think. The coroner having summed up, the jury found a verdict of ' Wilful murder, by some person or persons unknown.'' The fallowing additional particulars have been published — ' A man who gave his name as Standish, and who was brought before the bench of magistrates at Goulburn on Tues day, is suspected of having committed the above murder. Application has been made to the Judges for a writ of haheat corpus, with a view to the prisoner being put on his trial in Sydney. The man is an Italian by birth, and has, it is supposed, given a false name.' Baptist Chiiicii, Liveui'Ooi.-stueet, — A public mooting was held on Tuesday evening in the New Baptist church (formerly a portion of the Sugar Company's pre mises), in commemoration of the formation of the church now worshipping in that building, and of the Bettlomont of the l'.cv. J. B. M'Cure, ns their pastor. At six o'clock, about one hundred and fifty friends of the cause partook of tea in tho church. Subsequently, a numerously attended public meeting was held, at which tho Rev. J. B. M'Cure presided. Tne proceedings commenced with devotional cxercisos; after which the chairman addressed the meeting, expressing his thankfulness for tho full realisation of the wishes for prosperity which were offered when they met on a similar occasion a year ago ; their success had indeed exceeded his most sanguine expectations. lie oould bear testimony to the prayers and earnest exertions of tho Chris tian friends who had laboured with him, and also to the charity and forbearance with which they had horno his weaknesses and failings. It was right that they should rrjoice together on their experience of the Lord's goodness towards them. Tho secretary, Mr. Joseph Clarke, thon read a report, which detailed the circumstances attending the formation of the Particular Baptist Church, (which at i first assembled in the Oddfellows' Ilall, in Suseax-stroct, and had two months since removed to the present building); the report nrooeeded to slate that the Church had increased from forty-eight to sixty-two members since its formationln July last,andthattho congre gation and the Sunday school bad likewise largely inoreased — also mentioning that Mr. M'Cure, had besides conduct ing his regular eervioe as their minister, preached sermons on board ship, in the Lyceum Theatre, and in other 1 places. The report further stated that the sum of £648 had been raised during the past year by the congregation — the cost of refitting tho new chapel having amounted to £109 4s, The meeting was also addressed by the Revs. C. Murray and Money mont ; after which the prooeedings were brought te a close with Binglngand prayer. Public Pound.— Ellington has been appeinled 'a place for establishing, erecting, and maintaining a publio pound.'