Page:Life and Adventures of William Buckley.djvu/189

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166
LIFE OF BUCKLEY.

landed alone, and unarmed. Out of the way of the inflowing wave, he seated himself on the sand, sailor fashion, regardless of all personal consequences. As the natives commenced jumping and dancing before and around him, shaking their spears and knocking their clubs about, he began to shout "Go it ye cripples;" which cry, they repeated readily, and apparently with great delight. Presently he took off his neckerchief, and flung it amongst them, with a "Go it ye cripples;" then something else went flying, with the same shout, until it became a kind of peaceful, although most uproarious, Corrobberree. At length he came on board again, but "Go it ye cripples," as a friendly salutation, did not leave, and probably never will leave the natives of the Western coast.

To shew this, and how useful that sound was to me some months after, I will relate the following rather perilous adventure:—

In eighteen hundred and thirty-three, several of the tribes round about the Swan and Canning Rivers had become very dangerous, several of the settlers having been massacred, and the flocks and herds having suffered severely. On one occasion intelligence was brought to me, as Resident Magistrate of the Perth district, that a flock of sheep, belonging to Mr. Brown, the Colonial Secretary, whose farm was about eight miles above the capital, had been driven away by black fellows. As was my duty, I dispatched several armed parties in search, accompanying one of them myself. After a wearying march of several hours under a hot sun, I found, about four o'clock in the afternoon, that by having taken what I thought would prove a short cut to the Helena rivulet, I had lost my way, and all my party, excepting a Mr. Clelland, a strong-nerved intelligent Scotchman, on whose courage I could rely in any case of emergency. After cooeying for some time to no purpose, we consulted together as to what had better be done in the event of falling in with the natives, and especially those of whom we were in search. Each of us was well armed with a double-