Page:Last of the tasmanians.djvu/315

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280
THE LAST OF THE TASMANIANS.

and receiving explanation of the dresses worn by the ladies. Flora appeared at the door. She was called in to give me an illustration of the charms of a holiday attire, such as may be seen in the photograph taken by the Bishop of Tasmania. Without a judicious regard for the proprieties, or from an antiquated piece of coquetry, she suddenly untied a string, and let fall to the ground her only serge garment Then she proceeded leisurely to enrobe herself in the finery, and was evidently gratified at my expressed satisfaction.

Patty, alias Cooneana, the Ring-tailed Opossum, might have been from fifty to fifty-five; though, in the account of her death at the Hobart Town Hospital, in July 1867, she was said to be seventy. She left but two women behind her. She was the wife of Leonidas, of whose literary acquirements notice is given in the chapter on Flinders Island. Patty belonged to the Kangaroo Point tribe, of the Derwent. Her distinguishing feature was a very broad nose. Emma, rather younger than Patty, was of the Patrick Head tribe, and had been married to Albert Caroline, commonly called Queen Caroline, was the relict of the renowned chieftain of the Big River Natives, Roumetewah, or the Wombat. Her native name was Ganganinnanah. She appeared one of the most aged among the party, and sat away from the others crying in an imbecile manner. The Coal River tribe had been her childhood's friends.

Bessy Clark, called after the wife of the Catechist, was then under forty years of age, and was the best-looking of the sisterhood. There was no projection of the lower jaw, and her good-humour gave a pleasant expression to her swarthy features. Her native name was Pinnano bathæ, the Kangaroo head. She had not led a forest life with her people, having been rescued in early childhood. When Mr. G. A. Robinson was out with his son and others seeking after the Macquarie Harbour tribe, a family was disturbed at their roaring fire so suddenly, that a mother in her fright forgot her little girl whom she had left near the warm embers. The deserted infant was placed on the back of young Robinson, and ultimately confided to the care of a country-woman on Flinders Island. When old enough, she was sent for education and training to the Orphan School at Newtown, near Hobart Town. It was thought she would there be removed from the temptations of aboriginal life. Subse-