Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 14, 1903.djvu/379

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343
Western Australia.

incantations. First he drew out the skin of his own stomach with both hands as far as it could be stretched, then let it go back with a smack; did the same to Dobbin, then proceeded to chew an imaginary something from Dobbin, cast it away and spat out. He did the same to the elbows and other joints, and finally declared him all right now; "more better come sit down along a camp." The man, although in collapse from loss of blood, was carried along to camp, where the same proceedings were gone through night and morning. In a fortnight or three weeks the man was walking about. Here the natives are dreadfully frightened of debil-debil; and it is not a night fear, he comes in the day-time too. It appears the debil-debil is invisible also, for on inquiring what he is like I get no answer. In our old Mary's case debil-debil pulled her hair, pulled off her blanket and such-like things. Next morning she was "plenty sick along a head" (I put it down to nightmare); we could get her to do no work, and in the afternoon she got Josepha to walk up and down her chest and stomach by way of cure.

Cannibalism is supposed to be non-existent here, but is it? I asked Mary if she had eaten a baby? She said no, but told me of another woman who had. Although as much is done as possible to prevent infanticide, one sees but few girls about. . . .

Yesterday we wished you had been with us, for we went to a native fight. A short time ago there was a little upset next door to us with the natives, when Jimmy tried to kill Gilly because she would not live with him, she being his given woman, and preferring instead a man named Daylight. Jimmy was taken to prison, and whilst he was away Daylight took Gilly. On Jimmy's release he cleared away into bush, and Jimmy wanted Gilly to live at camp with him. She refused, and a good deal of bickering went on. Then Gilly went to a man named Morgan, remained with him, and was sent by Mrs. Ellice to Mr. Pigott, where