Page:Life and Adventures of William Buckley.djvu/40

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17
LIFE OF BUCKLEY.

CHAPTER II.

DISCOVERED BY NATIVES.—VISIT THE TRIBE.—ALARMED BY SEA ELEPHANTS.—NATIVE GRAVE.—FOUND NEARLY DEAD BY NATIVE WOMEN, WHOSE HUSBANDS MAKE ME PRISONER.—FIGHT.—CORROBBERREE.—UNEXPECTEDLY FIND SOME VERY EXTRAORDINARY RELATIONS.—THE FIRST PALETÔT.—ANOTHER BATTLE, IN WHICH MEN AND WOMEN ARE KILLED.—BODIES BURNT.—CHALLENGE TO FIGHT GIVEN AND ACCEPTED.—ELOPEMENTS, AND THEIR CONSEQUENCES.

"He stood alone,—beneath the deep dark shade
Of the Australian forest, where the trees,
A century old the youngest of them, made
Hollow and mournful music in the breeze,"


One day when I was indulging in these meditations, and gazing round from my Robinson Crusoe hut upon the surface of the waters, I thought I heard the sound of human voices; and, on looking up, was somewhat startled at seeing three natives standing on the high land immediately above me. They were armed with spears, and had opossum skins thrown over their shoulders, partially covering their bodies. Standing as they did, on an elevated position, armed too, and being myself