Page:Life and Adventures of William Buckley.djvu/87

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64
LIFE OF BUCKLEY.

the man who had ran sway with the girl of our tribe at their head; the whole body following him in something like close column, so that I saw clearly there would be another battle.

In the first place, they seated themselves on their rugs, in groups of half-dozens, or thereabouts, keeping their spears, and shields, and waddies all ready at hand; our party being prepared also. At length the young man already mentioned, advanced towards us. He had bunches of emu's feathers tied to different parts of his body by a kind of yarn they make by twisting the hair of the opossum; he was cutting the most extraordinary capers, and challenged our men to fight—an offer which was accepted practically—by a boomerang being thrown at him, and which grazed his leg. A spear was then thrown, but he warded it off cleverly with his shield. He made no return to this, but kept capering and jumping about, until one of our men advanced very near to him, with only a shield and a waddie, and then the two went to work in good earnest, blow following blow, until the first had his shield split, so that he had nothing to defend himself with but his waddie. His opponent took advantage of this, and struck him a tremendous blow on one side of the head, and knocked him down; but he was instantly on his legs again, the blood however flowing very freely over his back and shoulders. His friends then cried out enough, and threatened general hostilities if another blow was struck; and this having the desired effect,