Bennillong, the particular friend and companion of Cole-be, was present at this meeting; but, it was supposed, without intending to take any part in it either way. The atrocity of his friend’s conduct had been such that he could not openly espouse his quarrel; perhaps he had no stomach to the fight; and certainly, if he could avoid it, he would not, by appearing against him, add to the number of his enemies. He was armed, however, and unencumbered with clothing of any kind, and remained a silent spectator of the tumultuous scene, until the moment when the soldiers rushed in to save the life of Cole-be. His conduct here became inexplicable. On a sudden, he chose to be in a rage at something or other, and threw a spear among the soldiers, which dreadfully took effect on one of them, entering at his back and coming out at the belly, close to the navel. For this he would instantly have been killed on the spot, had not Mr. Smith, the provost-marshal, interfered and brought him away, boiling with the most savage rage; for he had received a blow on the head with the butt-end of a musket.
It became necessary to confine him during the night, as well to prevent the mischief with which he threatened the white people, as to save him from the anger of the military, and on the following morning he quitted the town.
This man, instead of making himself useful, or showing the least gratitude for the attentions which he received from every one, had become a most insolent and troublesome savage. As it was impossible sometimes to avoid censuring him for his conduct, he had been known to walk about armed, and heard to declare it was for the express purpose of spearing the governor whenever he saw him. This last outrage of his had rendered him more hateful than any of his countrymen; and, as the natives who had so constantly resided and received so many comforts in the settlement were now afraid to appear in the town, believing that, like themselves, we should punish all for the misconduct of one, it might rather be expected that Bennillong could not be far from meeting that punishment which he certainly provoked and merited.
During the time that Ye-ra-ni-be was alive, the attendance of the natives who were then in the town was called to the performance of the ceremony named Yoo-lahng Era-ba-diang, the particulars of which have been described in the preceding* part of this account. The place of meeting at this time was in the middle harbour; and the various exhibitions which took place were not observed to differ from those of the preceding years. The season of the year was the same, but not precisely the month, which confirmed the conjecture of their not being influenced by any particular motive in the choice of the month of February for the celebration of this curious and peculiar ceremony.
[* Vide Appendix to Vol I.]