Page:Life and Adventures of William Buckley.djvu/134

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they had never seen before. I enquired if the strangers had any boat? and was told they had a Koorong, meaning a ship, but that she was gone, leaving the men behind;—that they had erected two white houses, which I supposed to be tents;—that they had plenty of provisions, blankets, tomahawks, and such articles;—that they had asked for some of the Kallallingurks (tomahawks), but were refused; although presents were made to the tribe near Indented Heads, of knives, and scissors, and other things.

The next piece of intelligence was very alarming,—the men saying they were in search of another tribe, to enable those they had left behind to murder the white people the more easily, and by doing so to get possession of their property.

That night was one of great anxiety to me, for I knew not how, without danger, to apprise the strangers of their perilous situation—as the least appearance of such an intention would, to the natives, have seemed like treachery. My reflections were very painful, for I was, of course, aware of having long since forgotten the language of my youth. I was at a loss what to do for the best, but at length determined on hazarding my life by going to them at the earliest opportunity, for their protection. So when the two men who brought the intelligence had left us to go in search of the other tribe, I hastened off on my journey to where the strangers were—which, as the natives had described, was about fifteen miles distant; but it must have been much more, for I did not reach it until the next day;