[The S is a letter which they cannot pronounce, having no sound in their language similar to it. When bidden to pronounce sun, they always say tun; salt, talt, and so of all words wherein it occurs.]
It was observed, that a soft gentle tone of voice, which we had taught him to use, was forgotten, and his native vociferation returned in full force. But the tenderness which (like Arabanoo) he had always manifested to children, he still retained; as appeared by his behaviour to those who were presented to him.
The first wish they expressed to return, was complied with, in order to banish all appearance of constraint, the party who had conducted them to Sydney returning with them. When we reached the opposite shore, we found Abaroo and the other woman fishing in a canoe, and Mr. Johnson and Barangaroo sitting at the fire, the latter employed in manufacturing fish-hooks. At a little distance, on an adjoining eminence, sat an Indian, with his spear in his hand, as if sentinel over the hostages, for the security of his countrymen’s return. During our absence, Barangaroo had never ceased whining, and reproaching her husband. Now that he was returned, she met him with unconcern, and seemed intent on her work only, but this state of repose did not long continue. Baneelon, eyeing the broken fish-gig, cast at her a look of savage fury and began to interrogate her, and it seemed more than probable that the remaining part would be demolished about her head had we not interposed to pacify him. Nor would we quit the place until his forgiveness was complete, and his good humour restored. No sooner, however, did she find her husband’s rage subsided, than her hour of triumph commenced. The alarm and trepidation she had manifested disappeared. Elated at his condescension, and emboldened by our presence and the finery in which we had decked her, she in turn assumed a haughty demeanour, refused to answer his caresses, and viewed him with a reproaching eye. Although long absence from female society had somewhat blunted our recollection, the conduct of Barangaroo did not appear quite novel to us, nor was our surprise very violent at finding that it succeeded in subduing Baneelon who, when we parted, seemed anxious only to please her.
Thus ended a day, the events of which served to complete what an unhappy accident had begun. From this time our intercourse with the natives, though partially interrupted, was never broken off. We gradually continued, henceforth, to gain knowledge of their customs and policy, the only knowledge which can lead to a just estimate of national character.
The arrival of the ‘Supply’ from Batavia; the State of the Colony in November, 1790.
Joy sparkled in every countenance to see our old friend the ‘Supply’ (I hope no reader will be so captious as to quarrel with the phrase) enter the harbour from Batavia on the 19th of October. We had witnessed her departure with tears; we hailed her return with transport.