The Little Black Princess: A True Tale of Life in the Never-Never Land

The Little Black Princess: A True Tale of Life in the Never-Never Land

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This historic book may have numerous typos, missing text or index. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. 1906. Not illustrated. Excerpt: ... CHAPTER VI THE "DEBBIL-DEBBIL" DANCE We were going to a Debbil-debbil dance. The King himself had brought the invitation to me in the garden. "Missus," he said, "spose you come longa Debbildebbil dance, eh?" "No, thank you, Goggle Eye," I answered. "Might it the Debbil-debbils carry me off?" He roared with delight at my joke and explained, "this one gammon Debbil-debbil." "Oh, well," I said, "if you are only going to have gammon Debbil-debbils at your party, I'll come." "Dank you please, Missus," he said, guessing at my meaning. Then he asked if I would go and see the dancers being dressed for the performance, and I said I would, for I always like to see a blackfellow getting into clothes of any sort. I went in the afternoon and watched, noticing directly I arrived that two of the gentlemen had headaches. Poor Bett-Bett had to stay at home because of Goggle Eye. It took two or three men to dress one dancer properly. They laid him flat on his back to begin with, and pricked him all over with sharp stones and pieces of glass. As they sat pricking Billy Muck, they reminded me of cooks pricking sausages for frying. When little beads of blood oozed out, they were smeared all over the man, face and all. Then tiny white cockatoo's feathers were stuck up and down and round and round him, and the blood was used as gum. They made wonderful patterns all over his body, back and front, ending up with twirligigs down both arms and legs. The gum stuck splendidly; if you want to find out how well blood sticks, cut your finger and tie it up with cotton wool. The face also was covered with down, and a huge helmet, with a long horn of emu's quills, was fixed firmly on the head. The finishing touch was a wreath of leaves at each ankle. Ordinary leaves were not nearly good enough fo...

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