Page:Life and Adventures of William Buckley.djvu/49

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26
LIFE OF BUCKLEY.

been recently killed in a fight, in which his daughters had been speared also. As I have before said, he was buried at the mound I saw, and my having the remains of his spear with me, confirmed them in this opinion. To this providential superstition, I was indebted for all the kindnesses afterwards shown me. In a short time they went away, making signs for me to remain; and on returning, they brought with them several large fat grubs, which are found buried in decayed trees, and more particularly about the roots. These grubs they gave me to eat, and by this time, so changed was my palate, that I did so, thinking them delicious.

I remained with them all that night, but in great anxiety, not knowing their intentions. I thought several times of endeavouring to make my escape, but in my weak state it was impossible. The women were all the time making frightful lamentations and wailings—lacerating their faces in a dreadful manner. All this increased my anxiety and horror, which was added to in the morning, when I saw the frightful looking demons they had made themselves. They were covered with blood from the wounds they had inflicted, having cut their faces and legs into ridges, and burnt the edges with fire sticks. I understood by their signs, and manner, that they wished me to accompany them to the tribe they had left to procure gum, which was in great abundance at the spot where they discovered me. I consented, and after journeying for some time through the scrub, and over plains, we