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An Historical Journal of the Transactions at Port

Colebe returned the soldier his gun


On

the 4th of June, the anniversary of his Majesty's birth-day was celebrated, and, on this occasion, an addition was made to the daily ratio of provisions; a pound of pork and a pound of rice were given to each man, half that quantity to every woman, and a quarter of a pound of pork, with half a pound of rice to every child.

Some refreshing showers of rain had lately fallen, but not sufficient to bring up the wheat that was sown in April and the beginning of May; however, some came up well where the ground, lying low, had a little moisture in it.

The Supply's main-mast being got out was found very rotten, and that vessel wanted repairs which they found difficult to give her.

A soldier of the New South Wales corps, going from Parramatta with some of his comrades for the purpose of procuring sweet tea, left them to go after a pattegorong, and lost himself in the woods: after roving about for some time, he saw a number of the natives, who fled on seeing his gun, except one that had frequently visited the settlement, and was known by the name of -Botany-Bay Colebe_. This man joined the soldier, and was followed by one of his companions; the soldier, to gain their good-will, and in hopes of inducing them to show him the way to Parramatta, offered them some of his cloaths, which were not accepted; he made them understand where he wanted to go, but they were on the point of leaving

him till he offered his gun, which the native, who was known at the settlement, took, and then conducted him to Sydney; making him understand that Parramatta was a great way off.

When they drew near to Sydney, Colebe returned the soldier his gun, and, bidding him tell _Beanah_, (the governor) that he was _Botany-Bay Colebe_, he left him, without even taking what the soldier had first offered him as a present.

As the natives frequently caught more fish than was necessary for their own immediate use, and such of them as had lived amongst the colonists, were very fond of bread, rice, and vegetables; some pains had been taken to make them carry the surplus of what fish they caught near the head of the harbour, to Parramatta, and exchange it for bread, etc. Several of them had carried on this traffic lately, and Governor Phillip had reason to hope that a pretty good fish-market would be established the ensuing summer. Amongst those who thus bartered their fish, was a young man that had lived some months with the governor, but had left him from time to time in order to go a fishing: his canoe was a new one, and the first he had ever been master of, so that it may be supposed he set no small value on it.

Strict orders had been given, that the natives' canoes should never be touched, and the interest which both the soldiers and the convict had in inducing them to bring their fish, which they exchanged for a very small quantity of bread or rice, would, it might have been supposed, have secured them from insult; but this barter had not been carried on many days, when the young man just mentioned, came to Governor Phillip's hut at Parramatta in a violent rage, said the white men had broke his canoe, and he would kill them: he had his throwing-stick and several spears, and his hair, face, arms, and breast were painted red, which is a sign of great anger: it was with some difficulty that he was made to promise not to kill a white man; which he at length did, on the governor's telling him, that he would kill those who destroyed his canoe. A short time afterwards, the villains were discovered and punished: they were convicts, and the young native saw the punishment inflicted, yet it was thought necessary to tell him that one of the offenders had been hanged, with which he appeared to be satisfied; but, whilst these men were under examination, his behaviour showed, that he thought it belonged to him to punish the injury he had received; and three weeks after the loss of his canoe, when every one thought he was sufficiently repaid for his misfortune by several little articles, which Governor Phillip had given him, by his seeing the aggressor punished, and by his supposing one of them had been put to death, he took his revenge; which confirmed the general opinion, that these people do not readily forgive an injury until they have punished the aggressor.


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