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51
the Kŭrnai and Black Thursday fire
Mr McAlpine

On the morning of Black Thursday (at Tarraville) it became
almost dark at about 9am - it then cleared up a
little and about 11 am had become quite dark -
after clearing up at 12 noon so that we could see the
sky it again became so dark with smoke
that one could not see one's hand held up
before one's face and it was so stifling
that the youngsters had to get under the house
on the ground in order to breathe freely.

At about 9am before it became dark
there was a peculiar red streak across the
sky near the sun and at this the blacks
who were camped near were much alarmed
and said "big fire coming and by and bye
big one dark come up". They all ran into
their camp and standing up screamed out
something and waved their hands - motioned
with them towards the sun as if warding something
off, or driving something away. Old Morgan
and Darby were there with them. They kept
up this shouting [from - crossed out] for an hour or more
that is from when it first became dark till
about eleven. Then when it became dark
again about twelve they recommenced
and as dark set in kept it up more or
less all night.

Cooing of a pigeon
The cooing of a pigeon at night was regarded as
a very bad omen - foreboding a death to someone

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