Page:Last of the tasmanians.djvu/167

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140
THE LAST OF THE TASMANIANS.

was to drive the Natives from other parts into the county of Buckingham, then forming the southern, settled side of the island, and through that to the neck of Forrestier's Peninsula.

This isthmus of land, called East Bay Neck, is rather flat, and only a few hundred yards in width. It could, according to the scientific opinion of Sir William Denison, be easily cut through, and so save a dangerous passage to Hobart Town round Tasman's Peninsula, and through the Storm Bay. It unites to the main the peninsula of Forrestier, so called by Commodore Baudin after the French Minister of Marine. That again is connected with Tasman's Peninsula by Eagle Hawk Neck, a smaller isthmus than the other. At the time that Tasman's Peninsula was occupied by convict penal stations, to prevent runaways getting into Forrestier's Peninsula, and so on to the main, fierce dogs were chained across Eagle Hawk Neck, in addition to the guard of soldiers. East Bay Neck was placed in Admiral D'Entrecasteaux's charts as a channel, connecting Tasman's Frederick Henry Bay and the Storm Bay, and making Tasman's Peninsula, Tasman's Island. Though flat, its immediate neighbourhood is high land, and scrubby, miserable country. The rocks are chiefly silurian and carboniferous strata, broken by granite hills, pierced by greenstone veins, or altered by basaltic contact to a geometrical parallelism, like the tesselated pavement of Eagle Hawk Neck. A bay divides the Forrestier's Peninsula from the granite land of the east coast, terminating in Schouten's Island, two-thirds of which consists of granite and one-third of greenstone. Its neighbouring peninsula, Tasman's, exhibits the volcanic element in great force, causing disruptions among its anthracitic coal beds.

In the arrangements of the Line, Mr. Dodge was to be despatched to the peninsula for observation on its coast. But, said Colonel Arthur, "Mr. Dodge is on no account whatever to make any movement which could by chance drive back to the main a single Native, who would otherwise have gone on to the Peninsula. He is not to run such a risk even for the sake of capturing a few on the Neck; for should one Native escape back, he would be the means of preventing others from attempting to pass the Neck." It so happened that Mr. Dodge was spared the temptation. However, the few settlers on the Peninsula were compelled to withdraw.