Page:The aborigines of Australia.djvu/126

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PARLEY WITH NATIVES. 113

for the appointed place. And now, reader, you behold a scene which perhaps you could hardly have deemed possible — the founder and Governor of the colony, the representative of King George the Third and a commodore in the Royal Navy, proceeding in the most ceremonious manner, surrounded by several of his chief officers, to hold a parley with a rude aboriginal of the coast of New Holland. The spot fixed for the interview was one of those bays of the harbour lying towards the Heads, the usual places of assemblage for the aborigines in those days. Here the Governor and his party were met on landing by Binnelong, who, true to his promise, had proceeded thither at the appointed hour, accompanied by a number of his companions and friends. The meeting was cordial and frank on both sides, the Europeans evincing no inclination to allude to Binnelong's former breach of confidence, while the latter, on his part, met the advances of the former without the slightest appearance of distrust or dread of treachery. As a considerable portion of the day had been spent in proceeding to the place of meeting and in the subsequent interview, the party resolved upon dining on the spot, and bringing forth a stock of provisions which they had carried with them, they partook of a meal seated on the green sward, under the shade of the surrounding gum trees, Binnelong and his companions sharing the Governor's hospitality. At the termination of the rustic feast, the Governor presented the aboriginals with sundry gifts, and having obtained