are inclined to be sullen and morose and dive for hours without
speaking a word ; indeed, the quantity of shell brought up varies
greatly with the disposition prevailing among the men, the happy mood
generally producing the best results. A kind of freemasonry exists
between the men, and at times they agree amongst themselves not to
bring up shell, although they are well aware that failure to do so,
will not lesson the necessity of their pretending at least to seek for
it, and at the same time will entail a loss of the small benefits that
they receive for a successful day's work.
notable instance of this fact occurred with the divers of four vessels.
These men, although on what afterwards proved to be good ground,
persisted for days in declaring they could find no shell. At length,
the vessels left for other ground, and shortly after another craft with
Malay divers came upon the vacated ground, and secured a large quantity
of shell, that was found stacked in heaps at the bottom by the divers
of the other vessels.
aborigines possess fine constitutions, and contrasted with the natives
to be seen in the southern parts of Australia, are of high physical
development. There is but little sickness amongst them, but they are
unrivalled adepts in simulating