Page:Last of the tasmanians.djvu/371

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THE LAST OF THE TASMANIANS.

or knock them down with our bullets, or the axes of our woodcutters."

Two Tasmanian Natives, Robert Jimmey Smallboy and Jack Napoleon Tarraparrara or Timninaparena, had been induced by their friend, Mr. G. A. Robinson, to go with him, from Flinders Island to Port Phillip, upon that gentlemen being appointed Protector of the Aborigines in the latter place. He thought the presence of some civilized Tasmanians might be of service to him with the wilder Australians. These two men were accompanied by three female islanders; viz. Truganina or Lalla Rookh, Fanny Waterfordia, and Maria Matilda Natopolina. Truganina was the special companion of Mr. Robinson in his successful mission to capture the Blacks of the island. The other two women had been sealers' gins, and had also rendered important service to the Government The two men, Bob and Jack, were two useful Tasmanians, who had accompanied Mr. Robinson for a dozen years, and were well known in Hobart Town.

It is not necessary to our story to say why they left the service of their Protector in Melbourne. In November 1841, they were down in Western Port District, where they formed acquaintance with some runaway sailors, or whalers. To supply their civilized necessities, they robbed the huts of some settlers. After a quarrel, the Blacks charged their European sailor friends with having fired at them; and, ultimately, the assault ended in the murder of William Cooke and Yankee, two of the whalers.

The police were soon on the track of the murderers. The women showed Mr. Powlett, Chief Commissioner of Police, the graves of the dead. All five were captured, and brought up for trial in Melbourne. The case was clearly proved against them. I was in Hobart Town at the time of the trial, and took much interest in the proceedings, because my artistic friend, Mr. Duterreau, was so attached to those Aborigines of the island. The old gentleman shed many tears at their fate. Judge Willis saw the difficulties connected with their position as Natives, and much excitement prevailed about the question of legality. The women were set free, and sent back to Flinders Island, but the men were condemned.

Their friend, Mr. Robinson, bore honourable testimony at the trial. Of Bob, who had been with him for eleven years, he declared, "I never knew him guilty of any dishonest act." He