An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales, Volume 1 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 744 pages of information about An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales, Volume 1.
committed in the night, the assassins, who were immediately known, were compelled, according to the custom of the country, to meet the relations of the deceased, who were to avenge their deaths by throwing spears, and drawing blood for blood.  One native of the tribe of Cammerray, a very fine fellow named Carradah*, who had stabbed another in the night, but not mortally, was obliged to stand for two evenings exposed to the spears not only of the man whom he had wounded, but of several other natives.  He was suffered indeed to cover himself with a bark shield, and behaved with the greatest courage and resolution.  Whether his principal adversary (the wounded man) found that he possessed too much defensive skill to admit of his wounding him, or whether it was a necessary part of his punishment, was not known with any certainty; but on the second day that Carradah had been opposed to him and his party, after having received several of their spears on his shield, without sustaining any injury, he suffered the other to pin his left arm (below the elbow) to his side, without making any resistance; prevented, perhaps, by the uplifted spears of the other natives, who could easily have destroyed him, by throwing at him in different directions.  Carradah stood, for some time after this, defending himself, although wounded in the arm which held the shield, until his adversaries had not a whole spear left, and had retired to collect the fragments and piece them together.  On his sitting down his left hand appeared to be very much convulsed, and Mr. White was of opinion that the spear had pierced one of the nerves.  The business was resumed when they had repaired their weapons, and the fray appeared to be general, men, women, and children mingling in it, giving and receiving many severe wounds, before night put an end to their warfare.

[* So he was called among his own people before he knew us; but having exchanged names with Mr. Ball (who commanded the Supply,) he went afterwards by that name, which they had corrupted into Midjer Bool.]

What rendered this sort of contest as unaccountable as it was extraordinary was, that friendship and alliance were known to subsist between several that were opposed to each other, who fought with all the ardour of the bitterest enemies, and who, though wounded, pronounced the party by whom they had been hurt to be good and brave, and their friends.

Possessing by nature a good habit of body, the combatants very soon recovered of their wounds; and it was understood, that Carradah, or rather Midjer Bool, had not entirely expiated his offence, having yet another trial to undergo from some natives who had been prevented by absence from joining in the ceremonies of that evening.

About this time several houses were attempted to be broken into; many thefts were committed; and the general behaviour of the convicts was far from that propriety which ought to have marked them.  The offences were various, and several punishments were of necessity inflicted.  The Irish who came out in the last ships were, however, beginning to show symptoms of better dispositions than they landed with, and appeared only to dislike hard labour.

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An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales, Volume 1 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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