Page:Life and Adventures of William Buckley.djvu/136

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133
LIFE OF BUCKLEY

founding them as to my real character. At length one of them came up and asked me some questions which I could not understand; but when he offered me bread—calling it by its name—a cloud appeared to pass from over my brain, and I soon, repeated that, and other English words after him, Somehow or other I soon made myself understood to them as not being a native-born, and so the white men took me to their tents, and clothed me, giving me biscuit, tea, and meat; and they were, indeed, all very kind in every way. My sensations that night I cannot describe, and before I closed my eyes I offered up to God fervent prayers of thankfulness for my deliverance; for although I saw great danger to the new comers, in consequence of their weakness in numbers, compared with the strength which could be brought against them, yet I thought it certain they had resources in reserve, which might be made available, even if the first party was doomed to be sacrificed.

As I have already said, I was very anxious, but at the same time grateful, believing the period had arrived for my deliverance. My sensations I cannot describe; and, as I could not explain them in my mother tongue, I showed the initials W B on one of my arms, by which they began readily to sympathize and look upon me as a long lost cast-away seaman—treating me accordingly, by giving me well cooked food, shelter, and raiment. Word by word I began to comprehend what they said, and soon understood—as if by instinct—that they intended to remain in the country;—that they had seen