Page:Life and Adventures of William Buckley.djvu/62

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39
LIFE OF BUCKLEY.

the fire, they kept them there until the hair was singed, they then took out the entrails, and roasted the bodies between heated stones, covering them over with sheets of bark and earth. After this process, which lasted two hours, they were ready for eating, and were considered a dish fit for an Exquisite. They handed me a leg of one, as the best part, but I could not fancy it; and on my smelling it, and turning up my nose, they were much amused, laughing away at a great rate. No doubt, they thought my having died and been made white had strangely altered my taste in such matters. As for themselves, they set to work with great zest, making all the time motions to me to fall too also. At length, I exchanged my portion with a neighbour, who gave me for my dog's leg a fine piece of kangaroo, my friend laughing very much at the idea of having the best of the bargain.

The natives consider the wild dogs, and kangaroo rats, great luxuries. They take the former whilst young, and tame them for hunting. The man who kills the game seldom claims the first portion of it, but of the second animal speared, if it be a kangaroo, he has the head, and tail, and best part of the back and loins. As for myself, they always gave me a share, whether I hunted with them or not.

My not being able to talk with them they did not seem to think at all surprising—my having been made white after death, in their opinion, having made me foolish; however, they took considerable pains to teach me their language, and expressed great delight when I