Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 14, 1903.djvu/378

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Notes on the Aborigines of Roebuck Bay,

to anything we have, being circular instead of the pointed design. [Plate XV., fig. 23]. Another thing we have; Jack tells me it is of great value, and cannot imagine how I managed to get it out of the native as I did. It is a sort of sacred beheading-sword of very heavy wood, and has seen great service. Jack went to have a wangie (talk) with the native who gave it, with the weapon, to try and get him to tell him what the markings meant; but he was frightened lest some of the other natives should see we had it, and made Jack hide it under his coat. It appears now it had been stolen from a camp, and those natives from whence it came were then out hunting for it. I see no mention of such a sword in the Horn Expedition. [Plate XV., fig. 7.] It seems that our greatest treasure in the way of native things is the mask.[1] No one can believe we have such a thing until they see it; they say the natives are very particular to bury them after use. We keep that under lock and key. . . . .

The other Sunday Mrs. Ellice's girl's dress caught fire. She rushed out into the breeze and was burned from head to foot in consequence. Mrs. Ellice dressed the burns and had the doctor to see her. She got on as well as could be expected, when two days ago a very long deep wound was observed. The girl declared debil-debil had got to her heart and was burning it up; she refused to see the white doctor, and so the native doctor was called. He has begun his incantation, and she is already better. I would greatly like to have seen the man and his work of casting out the devil. Mr. Ellice, however, told me how he proceeded when Dobbin, the man who was so badly wounded on our first arrival, was treated. He was taken to the prison, where Dr. Vines saw and stitched up the wound, but that would not do at all; debil-debil had got him, he must see his loopen gullery-man. The man came, and after stripping both himself and Dobbin to the loin-cloth commenced his

  1. Plate XV., fig. 10. See further, p. 345, 354.