I visited Bruny Island
A sailor stabbed her mother. A soldier shot her uncle. Sealers stole her sisters. Wood cutters cut off her fiancee's hands, killed him, then repeatedly raped her.
Sailors, soldiers, sealers and wood cutters. These men had names, and addresses. They probably have living descendants.
Aussies like victims. We like to think of her as a woman who life just happened to. Shit happens and she had heaps of it, right?
When she was twenty nine, she joined with four friends to wage a guerrilla war against the invaders. They robbed huts, shot settlers and ended up killing two sailors.
They were stockpiling weapons.
She didn't wear a metal letterbox helmet, but she took em on. She was not a moderate. She was extreme. She was a bushranger, a rebel, an armed revolutionary.
How could she have been anything else?
When she disappeared, she wanted to be buried behind Mount Wellington. One hundred years later, her bones were returned from England. Her body was cremated and scattered on the same stretch of water on which she saw her fiancee killed.
Her dust is in the sand. And that sand is still in my shoes.
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