|Part 1 Chapter 1|
teased and called him names in his own tongue till the man grew so fierce that he chased the youngsters right inside. The girl got under a bed, and "Tom" up on a chair, where the blackfellow caught him, and taking his head in his hands started to screw his neck. One hand held the boy's chin and the other the top of his head, and in a few minutes more his life would have ended, but the screams brought the mother just in time. Father's neck was stiff for some time after this, and the children never tormented old "Kabon-Tom" again. They declared always that this man had a perfectly blue tongue, and the palms of his hands were quite white. It was said that he screwed his own little daughter's neck, and thought nothing of such things. However, he and "Tom" were generally friends, indeed this is about the only occasion on which the boy fell out with a blackfellow. "Kabon-Tom" must have been about ninety when he died, and was a very white-haired old man. He was found lying dead one day in the mud of the Brisbane river.
Later on in life, when my father employed the blacks, they were always kind and considerate about him. They are naturally an affectionate people, and he with his good and kindly disposition, and his fun - for the blacks do so enjoy a joke - was very popular with them all. Nowadays it is seldom one sees an aboriginal, but some years ago, when they would come at times and camp round about here (North Pine), it was amusing to see the excitement when they found their old friend in the mood for a yarn. To watch their faces was as good as a play, and to hear Father talk with them! - it seemed all such nonsense, and many a time has some one looking on been convulsed with laughter. A good-natured people they surely are, for amusement at their expense does not call forth resentment; rather would they join in the laugh.
Queensland is a large country, and the tribes in the North differ in their languages, habits, and beliefs from the blacks about Brisbane. Father was very familiar with the Brisbane tribe (Turrbal) and several other tribes all belonging to South Queensland who had different languages, but the same habits, ect. The Turrbal language was spoken as far...[continue Page 5]