Page:The aborigines of Australia.djvu/108

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.


CHAPTER XI.


MISGIVINGS — TRIBES OF BOTANY BAY AND PORT
JACKSON — MANLY COVE AND RUSHCUTTERS'
BAY.

When, on the 17th and 18th of January, 1788, the fleet destined for the colonization of New Holland, for the second time in the history of navigation dividing these waters with a European keel, passed through the heads of Botany Bay, the motley host of marines, sailors, and prisoners which crowded the decks to gaze on the surrounding scenery were greeted from the shore by loud shouts, uttered in a strange and unknown language. A little observation showed that these sounds proceeded from groups of the aboriginal inhabitants of the country, who, in threatening attitudes, their formidable spears resting on their throwing-sticks, seemed to menace from the land the ships and their occupants. Presently the people on board the fleet believed they could distinguish some of the words to which those singular landsmen gave utterance, and, loud above all others, they fancied they could hear the exclamation "Wara wara." These words were, as before observed, accompanied by threatening gestures and a display of every description of arms, indicating that the then possessors of the country were not pleased with the appearance of so formidable an array of those huge