Page:The aborigines of Australia.djvu/79

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66 THE ABORIGINES OF AUSTRALIA.

The character of the latter appears to have been violent and bad in the extreme, and it is said that he often vented his ill-humour in the cruelty which he inflicted on his sable leman. In the course of time, the former, flying from the consequences of some felonious act, was necessitated to take to the bush, where he led that precarious and perilous existence inseparable from the mode of life which he had adopted. It was now that the fidelity of the aboriginal female was put to the test. Notwithstanding that he had uniformly ill-treated, and had on several occasions brutally assaulted her; notwithstanding that he was now placed in such a position that she had nothing further to expect from him, she did not for a moment evince the slightest inclination to desert him. On the contrary, she renewed her assiduity in ministering to his wants; she frequented the stations in the neighbourhood for the purpose of procuring food and clothing, which were carried to the fugitive in his retreats; and no comfort or necessary which it was in her power to procure was wanting to render the hardships of his life as light and endurable as possible. The police being put in motion for the purpose of recapturing the offender, the latter eluded their pursuit for a period of some months, chiefly through the vigilance and sagacity of his protectress, who, on several occasions when they were almost within reach of him, succeeded by some stratagem or other in diverting their course or turning their attention. On one occasion, in particular, when his capture