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An Historical Journal of the Transactions at Port

Co al by drew the splice of his rope from the shackle


two old men who were picked up when very ill with the small-pox, at the time _A-ba-roo_ and _Nan-bar-ry_ were found, (and whom we believed to be the fathers of the children) died very soon. Poor _Ara-ba-noo_, who was at liberty to go where he pleased some time before he died, was so well reconciled to us, that he never showed the smallest inclination to go from us; he unfortunately did not survive the small-pox, and the girl and boy were now so accustomed to our manner of living, that it was not at all probable they would relish that of their own country.

We soon discovered, upon the arrival of these two strangers, whom the children called by name, that one was a chief, or distinguished person, among those of the tribe of -Ca-di-gal_; his name was _Co-al-by_; he was a man of about 35 years of age; the other was about 25 years old, and was called by several different names, such as _Ba-na-lang, Vogle-troo-ye_, or _Vo-la-ra-very_; the first we thought his proper name, the others we understood from himself were names by which some of his particular connections were distinguished, and which he had, upon their death, taken up: this man was a very good looking young fellow, of a pleasant lively disposition.

The presence of _Co-al-by_ seemed to be a check upon the chearful temper of _Ba-na-lang_, which inclined us to think that he paid a kind of deference to him; he was always very silent in his company.

justify;">Seventeen days after these people were taken, they appeared so well satisfied, that their keepers began to be less apprehensive of their attempting to make their escape, which they did not fail to notice, and had no doubt laid a plan to avail themselves of, for they were very far from being destitute of observation and cunning. One evening, when it was pretty dark, their keepers were sitting within the door of their house, eating their supper; _Ba-na-lang_ was within also, and employed in the same manner; _Co-al-by_ was at the door, sitting just on the outside, and had with him something for his supper, which he pretended to be employed about, the end of his rope was in the hand of his keeper; while they in the inside were thus amused, -Co-al-by_ drew the splice of his rope from the shackle, and in a moment was over the paling of the yard, and out of sight; an immediate search was made for him, but without effect, we saw him no more: however we heard afterwards that he joined his friends again, and will no doubt be careful how he confides hereafter in us: his friends would certainly be something surprized to see him so well cloathed, for he carried off his whole wardrobe. I suppose it would cost him some trouble to get the shackle from his leg, which was riveted on.

The other man was much more chearful after _Co-al-by-'s absence, which confirmed our conjecture, and the children's account, that he was a man more distinguished in his tribe than -Ba-na-lang_.

In the month of January, 1790, in every company, the conversation turned upon the long expected arrivals from England, which we had been for some past in daily expectation of, with a supply of provisions; our store here was now in a very exhausted state, much more so than we ever expected it would have been: for it was the general opinion, that I should the last year, on my arrival at the Cape of Good Hope, have there met with store-ships bound to this country, as it was always understood that the settlement would never have been reduced lower than one year's provisions in store.

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