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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 199 pages of information about A Complete Account of the Settlement at Port Jackson.

CHAPTER VIII.

Transactions of the Colony in the Beginning of September, 1790.

The tremendous monster who had occasioned the unhappy catastrophe just recorded was fated to be the cause of farther mischief to us.

On the 7th instant, Captain Nepean, of the New South Wales Corps, and Mr. White, accompanied by little Nanbaree, and a party of men, went in a boat to Manly Cove, intending to land there, and walk on to Broken Bay.  On drawing near the shore, a dead whale, in the most disgusting state of putrefaction, was seen lying on the beach, and at least two hundred Indians surrounding it, broiling the flesh on different fires, and feasting on it with the most extravagant marks of greediness and rapture.  As the boat continued to approach, they were observed to fall into confusion and to pick up their spears, on which our people lay upon their oars and Nanbaree stepping forward, harangued them for some time, assuring them that we were friends.  Mr. White now called for Baneelon who, on hearing his name, came forth, and entered into conversation.  He was greatly emaciated, and so far disfigured by a long beard, that our people not without difficulty recognized their old acquaintance.  His answering in broken English, and inquiring for the governor, however, soon corrected their doubts.  He seemed quite friendly.  And soon after Colbee came up, pointing to his leg, to show that he had freed himself from the fetter which was upon him, when he had escaped from us.

When Baneelon was told that the governor was not far off, he expressed great joy, and declared that he would immediately go in search of him, and if he found him not, would follow him to Sydney.  “Have you brought any hatchets with you?” cried he.  Unluckily they had not any which they chose to spare; but two or three shirts, some handkerchiefs, knives, and other trifles, were given to them, and seemed to satisfy.  Baneelon, willing to instruct his countrymen, tried to put on a shirt, but managed it so awkwardly, that a man of the name of M’Entire, the governor’s gamekeeper, was directed by Mr. White to assist him.  This man, who was well known to him, he positively forbade to approach, eyeing him ferociously, and with every mark of horror and resentment.  He was in consequence left to himself, and the conversation proceeded as before.  The length of his beard seemed to annoy him much, and he expressed eager wishes to be shaved, asking repeatedly for a razor.  A pair of scissors was given to him, and he shewed he had not forgotten how to use such an instrument, for he forthwith began to clip his hair with it.

During this time, the women and children, to the number of more than fifty, stood at a distance, and refused all invitations, which could be conveyed by signs and gestures, to approach nearer.  “Which of them is your old favourite, Barangaroo, of whom you used to speak so often?”

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