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Escape From Prison To Join The Blocks

If the convict* who have escaped from Victorian prison* recently bad escaped a cen tury ago, they would probably have joined a tribe of aborigine* and lived in freedom for yean;

Probably the most famous of all the white men who went bush with the abo rigines was William Buckley. In England Buckley had been convicted of receiving stolen property, and had been sentenced to transportation for life. Soon afterwards he was lent to Australia In an expedition which was to occupy Fort Phillip under the leadership of David Collins. Shortly attar they landed at Sorrento Collins made Buckley, who waa 6ft 6ln. tall, one of his servants. A few days later Buckley and three other convicts slipped away into the bush and joined the aborigines. In the next few weeks they were joined by another 17 escapees. But for many of them their freedom was short lived. Most of them were re captured, or, finding life In the bush too hard, returned to the British settlement of their own accord. Buckley and the two or three companions who did not return were thought to have perished at the hands of the blacks. But 32 years later a party of whites at Indented Head was visited by a party of blacks, among whom was a man of huge stature and European features, and on whose arm the letters 'W. B.' were tattooed. He was Buckley, who had

lived with the Geeiong tribe of aborigines for over 80 Buckley was' pardoned, and was made a collet constable and Interpreter to the blacks, but he proved unintelligent and untrustworthy. He fell from a cut and was billed a few yean after parting from the black tribes James Bracefleld and James Davis were two convicts who escaped from Moreton Bay and Joined different tribes ot aborigines. A man named Petrle, who had heard tales ot the two white men living with the blacks, found BraceBeld In 1842, 16 years after he had escaped. He wu known to the blacks as Wondl, 'the great tauter.' Bracefleld was overcome by the alght of his rescuer and avidfor news of the outside WWlth Bracefteld'a help, Davis was soon found. He had become a wild white man in every way. He was completely naked, and had all the ways an- mannerisms of the tribal At his departure the tribes men who had sheltered him chanted a wild farewell lament, and he replied with a tremulous animal howi. Later he received a pardon, and settled down to civilised ''' -JAY EMARR

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