Page:A Voyage to Terra Australis Volume 1.djvu/122

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[Prior Discoveries.

Bass and

and up a second time, their fear of the instrument,—the wild stare of their eyes,—and the smile which they forced, formed a compound upon the rough savage countenance, not unworthy the pencil of a Hogarth. I was almost tempted to try what effect a little snip would produce; but our situation was too critical to admit of such experiments.

Every thing being prepared for a retreat, the natives became vociferous for the boat to go up to the lagoon; and it was not without stratagem that we succeeded in getting down to the entrance of the stream, where the depth of water placed us out of their reach. Our examination of the country was confined, by circumstances, to a general view. This part is called Alowrie, by the natives, and is very low and sandy near the sides of the rivulet. About four miles up it, to the north-west, is the lagoon; and behind, stands a semi-circular range of hills, of which the highest is Hat Hill. The water in the lagoon was distinctly seen, and appeared to be several miles in circumference. The land round it is probably fertile, and the slopes of the back hills had certainly that appearance. The natives were in nothing, except language, different from those at Port Jackson; but their dogs, which are of the same species, seemed to be more numerous and familiar.

Soon after dark the sea breeze was succeeded by a calm; and at ten o'clock we rowed out of the rivulet, repassed Red Point, and at one in the morning came to an anchor in 5 fathoms, close to the northernmost of the two, first rocky islets.[1] In the afternoon of the 28th, we got on shore under the high land to the north of Hat Hill, and were able to cook provisions and take some repose without disturbance. The sandy beach was our bed; and after much fatigue, and passing three nights of cramp in Tom Thumb, it was to us a bed of down.

  1. These islets seem to be what are marked as rocks under water in captain Cook's chart. In it, also, there are three islets laid down to the south of Red Point, which must be meant for the double islet lying directly off it, for there are no others. The cause of the point being named red, escaped our notice.