The Settlement At Port Jackson, By Watkin Tench

 -   The sergeant
(from a foolish trick which had been played upon him when he was a boy)
was excessively timorous - Page 150
The Settlement At Port Jackson, By Watkin Tench - Page 150 of 247 - First - Home

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The Sergeant (From A Foolish Trick Which Had Been Played Upon Him When He Was A Boy) Was Excessively Timorous Of Water, And Could Not Swim.

Morunga offered to conduct him, and they got into the canoe together; but, his fears returning, he jumped out and refused to proceed.

I endeavoured to animate him, and Morunga ridiculed his apprehensions, making signs of the ease and dispatch with which he would land him; but he resolved to paddle over by himself, which, by dint of good management and keeping his position very steadily, he performed. It was now become necessary to bring over the canoe a third time for my accommodation, which was instantly done, and I entered it with Deedora. But, like the sergeant, I was so disordered at seeing the water within a hair's breadth of the level of our skiff (which brought to my remembrance a former disaster I had experienced on this river) that I jumped out, about knee-deep, and determined to swim over, which I effected. My clothes, half our knapsacks, and three of our guns yet remained to be transported across. These I recommended to the care of our grim ferrymen, who instantaneously loaded their boat with them and delivered them on the opposite bank, without damage or diminution.

During this long trial of their patience and courtesy - in the latter part of which I was entirely in their power, from their having possession of our arms - they had manifested no ungenerous sign of taking advantage of the helplessness and dependance of our situation; no rude curiosity to pry into the packages with which they were entrusted; or no sordid desire to possess the contents of them; although among them were articles exposed to view, of which it afterwards appeared they knew the use, and longed for the benefit.

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