Page:Diary of ten years.djvu/347

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After a little, they proceeded in search of a victim, and Bellick, unsuspectingly, followed them a little, through curiosity. When they got out of sight of the house, some of the party turned upon him, dragged him to the ground, and endeavoured to kill him, but others interfered, and carried him off back to my place, wounded in two places. The spears had been turned by his ribs. The party rushed on, and soon fell in with old Barragim, or Yellagonga, and he fell dead under nine spears. All this occurred in a very short space of time, and the running, the shouting, the shrieking, the wounds of the boy, the lamentations around him, and the consternation and confusion of the natives when the death of Barragim was known, altogether formed a scene which you in the regular routine of civilised life could hardly picture to yourselves. After dinner we went out to walk a little, when we happened to come to the spot where old Gear was burying the body. The grave was about three feet deep, the body placed on its back, with the legs doubled up. He lighted a fire in the grave, singed off part of the beard, stripped off the nails of the thumb and little finger of the right hand, and tied the finger and thumb together; covered the body with sticks, then trod on the earth; made a hut over the head of the grave; tore the bag into fragments and strewed them on the grave, and then burst into a cry of grief, whilst his wife sung and scraped her nose and rolled on the ground. And so the ceremony ended. He said the finger and thumb were tied that he might not throw any more spears,—rather an unnecessary precaution, one would think. The grave is close beside Mr. Tanner's early residence, which is now a ruin.


Sept. 23rd.—A melancholy accident occurred here this week. A young gentleman (Mr. Creagh), who came out in the Hero, was drowned. He had gone out boating for pleasure; the current drove the boat on the bar at Fremantle, and the boat upset. There are some circumstances connected with his