Page:The aborigines of Australia.djvu/121

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108 THE ABORIGINES OF AUSTRALIA.

and conciliatory treatment. Sometimes an individual would be induced to stay among his new companions for a day or two, but just as his teachers and guardians would deem that they had succeeded in domesticating their unsophisticated ward, Nature would resume her sway over her élève and he would fly to her arms amid the depths of his native woods. Repeated experiments were thus made, and terminated in the manner just described, until the authorities at length perceived that some other method must be resorted to besides allurement for the purpose of subjecting one or more of the natives of the country to the yoke of European customs, and imparting to them a knowledge of their intentions and wishes. Accordingly the only course now left, that of a gentle compulsion, was determined upon, and a party was thereupon despatched down the harbour in a boat, with instructions to seize the first intelligent-looking aboriginal they might come across. In pursuance of their orders this party proceeded to one of those bays to which they knew the blacks were accustomed to resort for fishing and other purposes, and there they met with a small party of those for whom they sought, and in a short time succeeded in bringing them to a parley. A few of the crew of the boat, having been previously instructed by the officer in charge how to proceed, now stepped ashore, and, watching their opportunity, seized one of the best-looking of the blacks at a moment when he was separated from his companions, and