Following the Equator - Chapter XXII
Text and images from The Oxford Mark Twain and The Gutenberg Project.
Locations and dates for the most part are from Mark Twain Day By Day, a massive work by David Fears
(See notes marked MTDBD).
Twain spends most of this chapter illustrating the strengths and weaknesses of the aboriginal peoples, whom he believes are all but extinct. He never met one on his travels in Australia. He stresses the talents of these people, particularly their ability to discern minute details of the landscape, making them superlative hunters and trackers. He describes their ability in drawing as somewhere between De Maurier and Boticelli. Twain gets particular delight in discussing the aboriginal's tolerance for physical pain as well as their adroitness. Twain closes the chapter with some examples of Australian slang: "No Man's Land"; "Never-never Country"; and "My Word".