Page:The aborigines of Australia.djvu/124

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ESCAPE OF BINNELONG AND COLE-BE. 111

iron shackle" and placed along with Binnelong. The two friends being now placed in communication, the first thing they turned their attention to was the concerting of measures for their escape. This they could not hope to effect either by force or stealth, and they accordingly resolved to employ stratagem. Pretending, therefore, after a few days, to become more reconciled to their loss of liberty, they succeeded so far as in some degree to lessen the vigilance of their keepers; and one evening, while they and their guards went to their evening meal. Cole-be, on some pretence, obtained permission to sit outside the hut, the man who held the cord attached to his leg sitting inside with Binnelong and his companions. The latter, as previously arranged, succeeded in engaging the attention of the inmates of the hut — among whom was Cole-be's keeper — by chaunting aboriginal songs and going through divers entertaining antics, while Cole-be slipped the cord off the shackle, and, clearing at one bound the fence which interposed a final barrier between him and liberty, was in a moment beyond the reach of pursuit After the escape of his companion Binnelong appeared to be more contented than before, and dissembled so well the irksomeness with which he submitted to his condition that in a short time his guard was removed and he was permitted to roam at liberty over the premises in which he lived. One day, however, he was missed by the people about the Governor's residence, where he had latterly been living; and a search