I made some fiddles out of that peculiar Australian wood which splits into thin strips. The strings of the bow we made out of my own hair; whilst those for the instrument itself were obtained from the dried intestines of the native wild-cat. We lined the hut with the bark of the paper-tree, which had the appearance of a reddish-brown drapery.
These were next stopped up by handfuls of xanthorea leaves, or by strips of bark from the paper-tree. The lodging being pronounced perfect, and the sun being level with the horizon, we hastened the preparation for our meal; and hampers and boxes soon gave forth their stores of cold fowls, tongues, hams, and meat-pies.
On ordinary days we indulged in a variety of games, the principal one being a form of "rounders." I made a ball out of opossum skin, stuffed with the light soft bark of the paper-tree, and stitched with gut. We used a yam-stick to strike it with. My native women attendants often joined in the fun, and our antics provided a vast amount of amusement for the rest of the tribe.
The various manufactories of paper here and elsewhere in the country form one of its most extended industries, the basis of the material being the bark of certain trees; indeed, one is on this account designated as the paper-tree, and, being a species of the mulberry, it serves a double purpose, its leaves feeding the little insect which is so important a factor in Japanese products.
The head of a family takes the half-baked duck, opossum, or wild-dog, from the fire, and after tearing it in pieces with his teeth, throws the fragments into the sand for his wives and children to pick up. They are very fond of rice and sugar; and bake dampers from flour, making them on a corner of their cloaks. Fish and other things are frequently baked in the bark of the paper-tree.