Mission Station, Condah, Oct 28 1873
My dear Howitt
I have been long in sending you these
few answers, + even now they are not complete. I will however
D. V. send you the other list "A" as early as possible. It is quite
likely that some of these answers or names may not be correct, as
the aborigines seem to have forgotten many of their words, + they
constantly use English representations for their native terms. I put
these questions to a number of blacks all being seated at their
leisure round a table in the dormitory, + having obtained the
best answer available, I set it down. We were two hours in
going through the lot, + this time was equally distributed over
two sititngs. Probably you know how difficult it is to make
these people understand what one means in presenting a question.
Sometimes also even when the question was understood, they
had to think + talk before the right word came. I tell you this
in order that you may see that I have done the best in my
power to make these answers correct, + if you find any difficulty
in classifying them, the real cause may be that there is some error.
However I have kept a copy of this, + you can refer to any word
by the figures, + so get a little cross questioning done. I am not
studying the language of the blacks, as I cannot use it for instruction
+ the people are fast forgetting it.
My spare time is mostly devoted to classics + elementary mathematics
with a view to teaching my children. I wish I had a mapping + drawing
faculty like yours, for my geography lessons.
Can you tell me (1) Into what lake does the Murray River flow/ Victoria
or Alexandria or something else) 2. Is Taylor the butcher using or abusing my
paddock in the gully on your side of the river. I can get no rent. When is the
next county court at Bairnsdale
We are all well, + join in kindest regards to you + Mrs Howitt + children
I remain yours faithfully
A. W. Howitt Esq P.M.
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