Page:The aborigines of Australia.djvu/118

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CHAPTER XII.


CONFIDENCE AND CAUTION— CAPTURE AND ESCAPE
OF BINNELONG AND COLE-BE — SUBSEQUENT
HISTORY OF BINNELONG.

No sooner had the ceremony of inaugurating the settlement been gone through, at the head of Sydney Cove, on the 26th January, 1788, than a tribe of aborigines made their appearance among the surrounding wood, peeping cautiously through the trees at the new occupants of the beach. They had been attracted to the spot by the firing of the military, three volleys from whose muskets announced the planting of the British ensign among these solitudes, and they came, as might be expected, completely armed and prepared to act on the defensive. Governor Phillip, wishing to cultivate in every possible manner the goodwill of the aborigines, leaving the encampment, approached unarmed the foremost of the tribe, for the purpose of allaying their apprehensions and obtaining an interview. As soon as the object of the Commandant became understood, one of the savages, who appeared to be the chief, laying down his spear and other arms, approached half-way to the interview, and the Governor having made him understand by signs that he was desirous that his people and the blacks should live as friends, invited him into the encampment for the purpose of inspecting the objects