Page:Life and Adventures of William Buckley.djvu/164

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141
LIFE OF BUCKLEY.

he should like to see the coat; for he remembered having given a coat of the kind with other things to a native, for carrying his chests up from the Geelong beach in the manner already mentioned. We listened with great interest to his statements, and he afterwards fully proved the identity of the coat; and that the stains of supposed blood upon it were red paint marks, occasioned by himself when wearing it in his trade at Launceston. He afterwards clearly identified the prisoner as the native to whom he had given the coat and trousers; so that after an unavoidable short delay, he was discharged, greatly delighted at being liberated; although, on finding himself once more at liberty, he cried loudly and bitterly, like a child.

I make no remark upon the conduct of his accuser, who had so nearly sacrificed the life of another; but I must do the Commandant, Captain Lonsdale, the justice to say, he did all he could in the matter to administer justice free from prejudice; and that, after the case was dismissed, he ordered me to take the native to his own house, where he was received and treated with great kindness. After eating as much as he pleased, at my recommendation he was given blankets, tomahawks, and other things as presents, added to which, he received a quantity of bread and meat, to help him on his way homewards to his tribe, about fifty miles distant, over a portion of which I accompanied him, leaving the poor fellow at last in high spirits and good humour. It was a very lucky escape for him, and the circumstances are additional proofs of the danger