Diverged assimilation converging and accommodating
" In furtherance of the desire that light may shine upon certain phases of the character of the Australian aboriginal, space is allotted in this book to selected anecdotes. It possesses a well-sheltered haven (herein to be known as Brammo Bay), and three perennially running creeks mark a further splendid distinction.Some are original; a few have been previously honoured by print. S., the official botanist of Queensland, for the scientific nomenclature of trees and plants referred to in a general way. It has a superficial area of over three square miles. To this proposition it will be for these pages to find answer. CONTENTS PART I INTRODUCTION CHAPTER I THE BEACHCOMBER'S DOMAIN OFFICIAL LANDING OUR ISLAND EARLY HISTORY SATELLITES AND NEIGHBOURS PLANS AND PERFORMANCES CHAPTER II BEACHCOMBING TROPICAL INDUSTRIES SOME DIFFRENCES ISLAND FAUNA CHAPTER III BIRDS AND THEIR RIGHTS A CENSUS THE DAYBREAK FUGUE THE MEGAPODE SWAMP PHEASANT "GO-BIDGER-ROO" BULLY, SWAGGERER, SWASHBUCKLER EYES AFLAME THE NESTFUL TREE "STATELY FACE AND MAGNANIMOUS MINDE" WHITE NUTMEG PIGEON FRUIT EATERS AUSTRALIA'S HUMMING BIRD "MOOR-GOODY" THE FLAME-TREE'S VISITORS RED LETTER BIRDS CASUAL AND UNPRECISE CHAPTER IV GARDEN OF CORAL QUEER FISH THE WARTY GHOUL "BURRA-REE" FOUR THOUSAND LIKE ONE THE BAILER SHELL A RIVAL TO THE OYSTER SHARKS AND SKIPPERS GORGEOUS AND CURIOUS TURTLE GENERALLY THE MERMAID OF TO-DAY BECHE-DE-MER CHAPTER V THE TYRANNY OF CLOTHES SINGLE-HANDEDNESS A BUTTERFLY REVERIE THE SERPENT BEGUILED ADVENTURE WITH A CROCODILE THE ARAB'S PRECEPT CHAPTER VI IN PRAISE OF THE PAPAW THE CONQUERING TREE THE UMBRELLA-TREE THE GENUINE UPAS-TREE THE CREEPING PALM MAUVE, GREEN AND GREY STEALTHY MURDERERS TREE GROG CHAPTER VII "THE LORD AND MASTER OF FLIES" A TRAGEDY IN YELLOW COLOUR EFFECTS MUSICAL FROGS ACTS WELL ITS PART GREEN ANT CORDIAL WOOING WITH WINGS THE GREED OF THE SNAKE A SWALLOWING FEAT PART II STONE AGE FOLKS CHAPTER I PASSING AWAY TURTLE AND SUCKERS A "KUMMAORIE" WEATHER DISTURBERS A DINNER-PARTY BLACK ART A POISONOUS FOOD MESSAGE STICKS HOOKS OF PEARL "WILD" DYNAMITE A CAVERN AND ITS LEGEND A SOULFUL DANCE A SONG WITHOUT WORDS ORIGIN OF THE SOUTHERN CROSS CROCODILE CATCHING SUICIDE BY CROCODILE DISAPPEARANCE OF BLACKS CHAPTER II GRORGE: A MIXED CHARACTER YAB-OO-RAGOO: OTHERWISE "MICKIE" TOM: HIS WIVES: HIS BATTLES "LITTLE JINNY": IN LIFE AND IN DEATH THE LANGUAGE TEST LAST OF THE LINE CHAPTER III ATTRIBUTES AND ANECDOTES COMMON AND INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS THE "DEBIL-DEBIL" CLOTHING SUPERFLUOUS BROTHER AND SISTER THE RAINBOW SWIMMING FEATS SMOKE SIGNALS THUNDER FACTORY THE ORACLE A REAL LETTER A BLACK DEGENERATE JUMPED AT A CONCLUSION PRIDE OF RACE "YANKEE CHARLEY" MYALL'S BAKING EVERYTHING FOR A NAME THE KNIGHTLY GROWTH HONOUR AND GLORY FIRE JUMP UP SLOP TEETH A FASCINATED BOY AWKWARD CROSS-EXAMINATION THE ONLY ROCK SAW THE JOKE ZEBRA'S VANITY LAURA'S TRAITS ROYAL BLANKETS HIS DAILY BREAD HUMAN NATURE AN APT RETORT MISSIS'S TROUSERS DULL-WITTED STRATEGY LITERAL TRUTH MAGIC THAT DID NOT WORK ANTI-CLIMAX LITTLE FELLA CREEK SAILOR A FATEFUL BARGAIN EXCUSABLE BIAS THE TRIAL SCENE A REFLECTION ON THE HORSE TRIUMPH OF MATTER OVER MIND THE RUSE THAT FAILED THE BIG WORD MICKIE'S VERSION HONOURABLE JOHNNY THE TRANSFORMATION MONEY-MAKING TRICK HONOURABLE CHASTISEMENT "AND YOU TOO" PARADISE CHAPTER IV AND THIS OUR LIFE Does the fact that a weak mortal sought an unprofaned sanctuary--an island removed from the haunts of men--and there dwelt in tranquillity, happiness and security, represent any just occasion for the relation of his experiences--experiences necessarily out of the common?You shall judge of the type by what is related of some of the habits and customs of the semi-civilised survivors. Within the tropics heat is inevitable, but our island enjoys several climatic advantages. Blow the wind whithersoever it listeth, and it comes to us cooled by contact with the sea.Dunk Island is well within the tropical zone, its true bearings being 146 deg. Here may we drink oft and deep at the never-failing font of pure, soft, beneficent air.Why invoke those long-silent spectres, white as well as black, when all active boorishness is of the past? Geraldton has in its immediate background two of the highest mountains in Australia (5,400 feet), and on these the monsoons buffet and break their moisture-laden clouds, affording the district much meteorological fame.Civilisation has almost fulfilled its inexorable law; but four out of a considerable population remain, and they remember naught of the bad old times when the humanising processes, or rather the results of them, began to be felt. Again, 20 miles to the south lies Hinchinbrook Island, 28 miles long, 12 miles broad, and mountainous from end to end: there also the rain-clouds revel.
From the moment the sun illumines our hills and isles with glowing yellow until it drops in fiery splendour suddenly out of sight leaving a band of gleaming red above the purple western range, and a rippling red path across to Australia, the whole realm of nature seems ours to command.Not that it is good or becoming that many should attempt the part of the Beachcomber. Few can be indifferent to that which men commonly prize.All are not free to test touchy problems with the acid of experience.They must have been a fine race, fine for Australian aboriginals at least, judging by the stamp of two of those who survive; and perhaps that is why they resented interference, and consequently soon began to give way before the irresistible pressure of the whites. The long and picturesque channel which divides Hinchinbrook from the mainland, and the complicated ranges of mountains away to the west, participate in phenomenal rain.Possibly, had they been more docile and placid, the remnants would have been more numerous though less flattering representatives of the race. Opposite Dunk Island the coastal range recedes and is of much lower elevation, and to these facts perhaps is to be attributed our modified rainfall compared with the plethora of the immediate North; but we get our share, and when people deplore the droughts which devastate Australia, let it be remembered that Australia is huge, and the most rigorous of Australian droughts merely partial. During the partial drought which ended with 1905, and which occasioned great losses throughout the pastoral tracts of Queensland, grass and herbage here were perennially green and succulent--the creeks never ceased running.
Here then I come to a point at which frankness is necessary.