These people, though provided only with one small boat, had made some excursions; and it appeared by their accounts, that this part of the coast of New South Wales was formed entirely by a group of islands, extending as far as they had seen to the westward of them, and interspersed with many shoals. Hence, and indeed from observations which he had made when on that part of the coast himself, the governor thought it highly probable that there were many passages or straits quite through to the ocean westward, making Van Diemen’s land, the southernmost part of New Holland, an island.
Captain Hamilton had left a cow with his people, but she had died; a mare that he had been more fortunate with was brought away in the Francis.
Notwithstanding the severe trial which Cole-be had been put to for the death of Ye-ra-ni-be, the friends of that young man had not thought it sufficient to atone for his loss. One of them, Mo-roo-bra, in company with some other natives, meeting with Cole-be, made an attack upon him, with a determination to put an end to the business and his life together. Cole-be, not yet recovered of the wounds that he had received in the last affair, was unable to make much resistance; and, after receiving several blows on the head, was supposed to have been dispatched; but Mo-roo-bra, as they were quitting him, seeing him revive, and attempting to rise, returned to finish this savage business; which so exasperated another native, that he snatched up a spear, and in a rage threw it with all his force at Mo-roo-bra. The spear entered his right side, just over the hip bone, and went inclining downwards quite through the body, penetrating the bladder in its passage. Of this wound he died in about an hour. On the same evening this generous fellow was attacked by the friends of the deceased in the usual way; and, as might be expected, defended himself with great gallantry. He was, however, speared twice through the thigh, once through the leg, and received a bad wound in the right hand. The spear entered at the side of the hand, rather on the back part of it, came out in the palm, entered again under the ball of the thumb, and came out on the back of the hand, near the tendon of the forefinger. The very little inflammation that attended these painful wounds was remarkable.
Both the officiating magistrates at Sydney being at this time much indisposed, so great an inconvenience was felt, that the governor found it necessary, through the want of other magistrates, to take upon himself the execution of some part of their troublesome office. It must be observed, that the governor for the time being is a justice of the peace, by virtue of his Majesty’s letters patent.
Towards the latter end of the month, he went up to Parramatta, attended by his aid-de-camp, to examine the progress of the works carrying on there.