December.] The temporary barrack which had been erected within the redoubt at Rose Hill, formed only of posts and shingles nailed or fastened with pegs on battens, going fast to decay, and being found inadequate to guard against either the rain or wind of the winter months and the heat of those of the summer, the foundation of a range of brick buildings for the officers and soldiers stationed there was laid early in the month. The governor fixed the situation contiguous to the storehouse lately erected there, to which they might serve as a protection. They were designed for quarters for one company, with the proper number of officers, a guardroom, and two small store-rooms.
On the 10th, John McIntire, a convict who was employed by the governor to shoot for him, was dangerously wounded by a native named Pe-mul-wy*, while in quest of game in the woods at some considerable distance from the settlement. When brought in he declared, and at a time when he thought himself dying, that he did not give any offence to the man who wounded him; that he had even quitted his arms, to induce him to look upon him as a friend, when the savage threw his spear at about the distance of ten yards with a skill that was fatally unerring. When the spear was extracted, which was not until suppuration took place, it was found to have entered his body under the left arm, to the depth of seven inches and a half. It was armed for five or six inches from the point with ragged pieces of shells fastened in gum. His recovery was immediately pronounced by Mr. White to be very doubtful.
[* His name was readily obtained from the natives who lived among us, and who soon became acquainted with the circumstances.]
As the attack on this man was wanton, and entirely unprovoked on the part of McIntire, not only from his relation of the circumstance, but from the account of those who were with him, and who bore testimony to his being unarmed, the governor determined to punish the offender, who it was understood resorted with his tribe above the head of Botany Bay. He therefore directed that an armed party from the garrison should march thither, and either destroy or make prisoners of six persons (if practicable) of that tribe to which the aggressor belonged, carefully avoiding to offer any injury to either women or children. To this measure the governor resorted with reluctance. He had always wished that none of their blood might ever be shed; and in his own case, when wounded by Wille-me-ring, as he could not punish him on the spot, he gave up all thoughts of doing it in future. As, however, they seemed to take every advantage of unarmed men, some check appeared absolutely necessary. Accordingly, on Tuesday the 14th a party, consisting of two captains, Tench, of the marines, and Hill of the New South Wales corps, with two subalterns, three sergeants, two corporals, one drummer, and forty privates, attended by two surgeons, set off with three days’ provisions for the purpose abovementioned.