Also in this section…?

John Gilbert diary entry

12 May 1845

Page 97. Volume 2

[in left margin]

Monday 12th.

Before the Fog from the Nights dew which was very heavy had fairly cleared off, the Natives made their appearance, and one fellow came up very near to us, and threw a Potatoe like yam, which Roper however immediately threw back to them, to show them that we wished to have nothing to do with them, and to let them see we had not forgotten their conduct in throwing spears at us, as the morning advanced their numbers increased, having many Women α children with them, who doubtless accompanied them to satisfy their curiosity of first seeing a white man, thus their intentions were so far pacific, and when Roper α Brown approached near them, the formost [sic] of the natives gave them some of their little ornaments, and introduced all his relations, for an hour or two we had a little amusement, Brown by his gestures, and motions induced them to dance a short corobbory, this was accompanied by a very lively song to time beaten on their spears, at this moment had we a limner597 in the party, a very beautiful and romantic picture might have been taken, intervening between the two low banks is the white bed of the river, with the water slowly trickly [sic] over the sand on their side, the spot of the bank they were dancing on was beneath a natural arch of the beautiful drooping Melaleuca, with its bright green foliage, while behind and around the back part was the dark foliage of the Casuarina, and the black skin of the natives in every variety of attitude, was finely contrasted by the greenness of the grass α reeds. They did not seem at all to tire at watching our every action, and after a long time spent in vociferous talking the greater number sat down in separate groups, doubtless conjecturing all sorts of things relating to our extraordinary appearance, we kept each a saddled horse and our arms in perfect readiness not knowing how soon we may have to defend ourselves, for not=withstanding their apparantly friendly manner, we have now seen sufficient to show that we cannot at all times place reliance in them. They however left us at midday, and again returned in the evening, bringing us a quantity of roots of two kinds, one a round bulb having a thin brown skin and when cut the inner part resembles a potatoe, and which when roasted a good deal

Note 597

Artist (from the French word enluminer, to illuminate, i.e. to portray by drawing or painting)