Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 14, 1903.djvu/399

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359
Western Australia.

was molested unawares, and having nothing with which to defend herself was badly hurt. She had two terrible gashes on the head. I gave her warm water to bathe her head, food, and tea; but she was too sick to take anything but the tea. Next morning Jack looked at her head and had the doctor to her, who said such blows as she must have had would have killed any ordinary person. She is pretty well again now, but oh! the revenge she is going to take out of those women when she "phinish belong sick pfeller.". . . . .

I heard the other day of another big Kobba-Kobba, and the blacks "suppose I liked to go all right." When Jack returned he also felt inclined, and told a Mr. and Mrs. Bauer, who had expressed a wish to attend one. Off we tramped in single file, Mary and Magdalene leading, a long way into the bush. We reached the place just as the Kobba-Kobba was commencing and before the fires were lit. There were great numbers of blacks there, men, women, and children. It appears there were two other tribes besides Roebuck Bay natives. Most of the men were in full war paint; their numbers were increasing every minute. At first they stood in aline with their backs to us, and each one held in either hand a bunch of grass or twigs. Then the singing began. It seemed as if one voice commenced a verse, gradually all the others joined, and one man did a pas seul, and by the end of the verse he was facing us, the grasses held in his hand covering his face; and so it went on until all were facino- us. You know how high-stepping a thoroughbred horse is; well, it was an action something like that, only the man's body was bent too. As soon as all were facing us, all the women ran up and formed a crowd facing the men, as if peering to find out who each one was through the grass hiding their faces. Then the singing commenced again. And the men did pas seuls until all had their backs to us. When the last man had turned, all the women ran and sat