Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 14, 1903.djvu/377

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Western Australia.

savey, does not want to eat woman;" and although both sexes are frightened at the phenomenon, the men are more so. The sun does not count. Kelly calls the sun Waalk, while Billy, a Lagrange Bay boy, called it Buddhra. Mr. Rowe's version of the eclipses among his natives is, they think the moon belong sick pfeller, so goes black.

You ask is marriage by capture a real or sham fight? I should say, very real here, for when Kelly came to us he had his head very much bound about, the result of a fight for the possession of a woman whom another man fancied, and won. The victor, however, since there are police about to stop such fights, was taken and imprisoned; nevertheless, by right of conquest the woman belongs to him. So I have no woman about the place. A fight sometimes lasts, if not to the death, to very near it. Speaking with the magistrate the other day, he said probably Billie's other wife [see p. 335] was what is known as a given woman, being yet a child; and until of marriageable age would remain in his mother's care; then afterwards Maggie could make her drudge for her—to carry and fetch water, and so on. . . . . .

There seems to be a strain of the Mohammedan or Jew in these blacks, and I hear of it as being the same in South Australia; they will never touch pork, however hungry they may be. Even away hundreds of miles from civilisation it is the same. . . . .

A fortnight since, a boat containing three men was overturned near here. One man succeeded in swimming ashore, the others were drowned. The water policeman wanted ten niggers to go with him to scour the beach for the bodies, the reward a bag of rice and a pound of tobacco; but try as he would could not obtain the men, they having a fear of dead men. After much urging three or four were persuaded, including Kelly, and search was made, but no result. . . .

We have become possessed of another Bull-Roarer, or Whistling-Stick, the markings on it being entirely different