In my previous books the endeavour was to give exact if prosaic details of life on an island off the coast of North Queensland on which a few of the original inhabitants preserved their uncontaminated ways. Here is presented another instalment of sketches of a quiet scene. Again an attempt is made to describe--not as ethnological specimens, but as men and women--types of a crude race in ordinary habit as they live, though not without a tint of imagination to embolden the better truths.
he related plants do not occur in those parts closest to other equatorial regions in the geographical sense, but in localities in which climate and physical conditions are similar. Probably there are more affinities in the coastal strip of which this isle is typical than in all the rest of the continent of Australia. One prominent example may be mentioned-viz., "the marking-nut tree." When the distinctiveness of the botany of the southern portions of Australia from that of the old country began to impress itself on the earliest settlers, the miscalled native cherry was the very first on the list of reversals. The good folks at home were told that the seeds of the Australian cherry "grow on the outside." The fruit of the cashew or marking-nut tree betrays a similar feature in more pronounced fashion. The fruit is really the thickened, succulent stalk of the kidney-shaped nut. The tint of the fruit being attractive, unsophisticated children eat of it and earn scalded lips and swollen tongues, while their clothi
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