The Sacred Secret
Chapter 18 - Sacrosanct
'Am I dreaming?' said John Wynd, as if to himself. 'Is this a part of
the great Dreaming Time? Am I transported back into the long, long ago,
when my people walked the world in the shadow of the First Ancestor
'Nah!' said Priscilla, nervously tugging at his arm. 'You're right here
with me watching those shadowy things coming straight at us. Gees! Get
with the programme! Some of those critters look like wild dogs... wild,
hungry dogs! And I don't wanna be their snack-time!'
'They can't see, smell or hear you,' said Harry, matter-of-factly
through their Hand Activators.
'But they can feel by touching, and touching can lead to tasting,' said
Priscilla, her eyes widening as the phantoms drew nearer.
'Then don't get touched, and don't get touchy. Warragal, what do you
want to do?' Harry asked.
'Just watch,' replied Warragal, enthralled by the approaching group who
now resolved into solid shapes.
There were five human beings accompanied by two animals loping silently
at their heels. As they emerged from the darkness Priscilla saw that
the stocky figures were almost naked, covered only by what looked like
skins of some description. She couldn't tell if they were men or women,
although she registered that they were all rather short and their hair
appeared to be woolly and gleaming as if coated in grease or fat. The
two four-legged creatures with them moved soundlessly with a stiff,
deliberate gait; their ears were large and erect and their heads
tapered to long noses.
Now again she heard the husky coughing sound repeated, and realised
that it came from the animals.
'Tigers. Those are Tasmanian Tigers! See the striped markings on their
coats?' whispered Warragal, his voice filled with awe. 'And those
are people from the Tenth Tribe, the unknown tribe of the Lagunta
'What are you on about?' said Priscilla agog, as the group drew closer
and then passed the two onlookers by.
For an instant she caught her breath when one of the animals halted and
turned about to stare blankly back toward where they stood. Its nose
quivered, and she could hear the sound of in-taken air and the same
husky cough as it was expelled.
'The Tiger senses something,' said John, gripping Priscilla's wrist.
One of the human group also stopped and seemed to hesitate, turning
head and tilting it, before grunting and beginning to walk on.
'If you're telling me those are Tassie Tigers and the guys with them
are from some weird aboriginal tribe of the long ago, then I think
you're... Anyway! If the zebra-dogs are so good at sixth-sense, how
come they all got extinct?' exclaimed Priscilla
'Did they?' said John. 'Doesn't look like it to me. Come on, we have to
go this way.' He began to draw Priscilla forward.
'This isn't the way out!' she protested. 'Haven't you seen what you
wanted to see?'
'You haven't seen what I wanted to see and what I wanted you to see.
Come with me Priscilla. Don't be frightened,' he urged.
'It's alright Priscilla,' said Harry's voice from their Hand
Activators, 'you're not in any danger and you still have plenty of time
to continue. Put your trust in Warragal, he's with you... '
'Yeah, yeah, and you're not with us every step of... '
'The way,' ended Harry, 'now you're getting with it. That's the spirit!
Lots more ta see on the guided tour.'
'But I don't want the guided tour, I wanna get outta here!' wailed
Priscilla, reluctantly following John Wynd.
As the pair stepped through the craggy opening into the large vaulted
gallery and felt their way toward the level where the group had
recently passed, Harry said, 'You two guys notice anything strange?'
'Strange!' repeated Priscilla, gob-smacked. 'Are you the master of
understatement or what? How much stranger can it get!'
'Well, as a matter of observation, doing a little homework here, I have
a couple of things that don't equate with the conditions you both
should be encountering... '
'Cut to the chase Harry,' said Priscilla, struggling to keep up with
Warragal over the uneven surface.
'No, it's warm in here,' John answered. 'I thought it was just from our
walking, but it isn't cold. If anything it's quite humid.'
'How about breathing? Does the air seem alright? Any strange smells?'
Warragal and Priscilla exchanged looks. 'I haven't noticed. It's warm,
a bit sticky, but fine. There is a faint smell of something though,
what would you say it was Priscilla ?'
'Sour, something off,' said Priscilla, wrinkling her nose.
'Right,' said Harry, 'but the air is fit enough to breath and that
means there is a regular supply of oxygen. What I don't understand is
how glow-worms work in the day-time. They're nocturnal, only lighting
up at night, and did you know that there are no cave bats in Tasmania?'
'Oh yeah! So what were those flying things we just saw?' muttered
Priscilla, grimly clinging on to Warragal's pack.
'They were bats,' said Harry, ' and they shouldn't be in Tasmanian
caves anywhere, least of all in the southern reaches... unless... '
'Unless what?' said Priscilla irritably, wishing she was back on the
cliffs with Monique.
'Unless the climate is warm enough to support them and support the food
they need to survive. I think... wait... I've got some more information
coming in... now... yes... all bats in Tasmania are insect-eaters and
mostly live in trees, barns, occasionally rocky crevices, and... yes,
it's got to be warm!'
'We've got warm!' said Priscilla, getting annoyed. 'So what?'
'So, where you're going is capable of supporting bat colonies. If it's
warm enough to do that, it's warm enough to do other things. Something
is making that happen. You need to find out more.'
'So thanks a lot! Shecchh! All I need to know is what makes bats and
glow-worms do their thing in underground caves!' grumbled Priscilla,
trudging doggedly on behind Warragal.
They progressed slowly down the slope until it levelled out on the
floor of the cavern where a deep stream splashed over and around rocks
worn smooth by ages of continuous flowing water.
Warragal halted and kneeling down, dipped his hand into the stream and
lifted it to his mouth. 'This is fresh. It must come from inland.'
'That figures,' said Harry, 'there has to be a supply of drinking water
for people to survive. But what do they eat?'
'Not those zebra dogs, I wouldn't think,' Priscilla answered, peering
over her shoulder. 'They looked too friendly.'
'No, if they're tame enough to accompany humans, somehow they've been
domesticated over long ages,' muttered Warragal. 'When the Secret was
passed on to me there was some mention of Tasmanian Tigers and their
relation as tribal totems, but then I was having a hard enough time
actually believing what I was being told without that part.'
'What were you told John,' said Priscilla gently, concerned that she
might disturb his thinking out loud.
Warragal sighed, then took a deep breath and looked directly at her, as
if making up his mind. 'Well, after my parents... died... ' he paused
and Priscilla decided not to jump into the space, instead keeping a
watchful eye about the vast chamber.
'Anyway, that was nothing to do with what happened next,' he continued,
the tone of his voice changing, 'when I went to stay with my Aunt,
before they took me away and made me a state ward, a lady came to
visit. Her name was Karthina. She was a very old lady, or I thought so,
maybe she's still alive, anyhow she wanted to talk to me. What she told
me is something that I have never told another living person, until now
Priscilla. The Secret is so important, so Sacred, that I can't
understand how others like the eagles and Harry have found out anything
'We aren't part of the usual outfit, young man, we don't count,'
reminded Harry. 'In case you haven't noticed, we don't conform to Human
regulations, and we have our own information retrieval systems.
Incidentally, I'm now getting input from both of you; temperature has
stabilised out at about nineteen degrees centigrade, within the range
for preservation of cave art and probably bats. Further ahead, your
body sensors are predicting higher temperatures with humidity factors.'
'Thanks Harry,' said Priscilla, somewhat abruptly, annoyed that he had
cut in on Warragal's thoughts.
John Wynd seemed not to notice, going on, 'Karthina said that I had
been especially sought out, that only a very few were ever trusted with
the Secret, and that I was one so privileged to be given the gift of
the Sacred Story. And this is what she told me; once, in the Dreaming
of long ago, the ancestors of the Dream Time peoples came to this
place. Then it was not an island. It was joined to what we now know as
mainland Australia. During a time when much of the oceans were locked
up as ice, the sea levels were a lot lower and caves, which had been
formed hundreds of thousands of years earlier by water erosion, were
exposed around the coastal areas. Some of those very early peoples
chose to live in the great cave systems that extended back into the
interior of the land. Then, they had refuge where they could retreat
and survive on the fresh-running waters flowing from inland underground
rivers; and from those caves they had ample supplies of shell-fish,
nesting-birds, fish swimming up and down the waterways, and hunted
seals and sea-lions around the breeding and resting ledges along the
southern sea boarders.
At the end of the last ice age, Tasmania had become separated by the
rising ocean, cut off from the mainland. The peoples who had come here
after The Dream Time had little choice but to stay. They didn't want to
try to cross the water and instead went their own ways as tribes of the
island. Karthina told me that thousands of years later, when the White
Men arrived and began to claim the land for themselves, they counted
nine tribes in all of Tasmania, totalling only four or five thousand
people, and that in those early years of white settlement most of them
were either killed by disease, or because of terrible treatment at the
hands of the invaders, and the remainder were simply herded up and
removed to other places where they eventually died off. Karthina said
that the last of the full-bloods were asked to bring forth all the
aboriginals, still hiding in various places, for transport away. That
was about a hundred and seventy years ago, and all of them went...
except for the tenth tribe. The tribe nobody, not even most of the
remaining aboriginals, knew existed. And that was because the Lagunta
Totem were hardly ever seen. They had been able to survive down here,
in these caves, for thousands, tens of thousands of years. Now I know
that they still do. They are The Sacred Secret.'
Priscilla felt a sudden thrill run through her entire body. An
aboriginal tribe living, hidden away, beneath the ground for thousands
of years. How could that be possible? For a moment or two she was
rocked by Warragal's words.
'When Karthina told me all this, I wondered if what she was saying was
nothing more than a story, a part of The Dream Time,' he continued, as
if in a dream himself. 'After all, how could a tenth tribe have never
been discovered? But she assured me that when the White Men came, the
northern tribes had long forgotten about their distant, cave-dwelling,
southern-most kin, and those of these areas, the few who did know, had
no desire to tell what they knew, especially when they saw what was
happening to their own people. So, it became a secret, The Sacred
Secret, kept alive by those few who passed it on, generation to
'But how? Why? Errmm!' Priscilla shook her head in bewilderment. 'I
still don't get it! How did you work out that you needed to get here?'
John Wynd sighed. 'There have been many mentions of sightings of Tigers
over the years, and recently more than usual. I studied up on that.
Karthina told me that they were the totem animal of the tenth tribe,
that over the thousands of years a line of these animals had become
their familiars, like dogs and dingos. Why do you think I call myself
Warragal? One of its meanings is "wild dog". The so-called wild dog of
the tenth tribe is the Lagunta, the Tasmanian Tiger. When I heard that
your father and Monique's dad were coming down here after hearing
reports of Tiger sightings, I felt concerned that it might have
something to do with The Secret!'
'And well you should Lovey,' said Adelle the sea-eagle, chiming in from
the Black Eagle, where it still waited above the interior sea-entrance
of the hidden caves. 'Gavin and me have been watching over these parts
for a long time now, and we picked up on the odd emergence of humans,
foraging across the cliffs in the early hours or around sundown.'
'What are you saying?' said Priscilla.
'Well Lovey, these folks only come out just before sunrise or at dusk.
They emerge singly, or occasionally in pairs, and they always bring
Tiger skins that they pull over their bodies. I suppose that's their
idea of disguise? After all they wouldn't know that Tigers have become
extinct and instead of blending they're drawing attention to
'Of course! That's what I was afraid of,' said Warragal. 'The skins
would be what they wear for rituals and also for venturing beyond these
caves, especially if they had been warned to stay hidden.'
'Well don't look now,' said Priscilla, nudging him, 'but here come some
more of your shy mates.'
Warragal followed her gaze and saw a shadowy group, only a short
distance away, walking slowly parallel to where they stood. After a few
moments he could make out the shapes of what seemed to be several
infants and ten or twelve others that he guessed were mostly women,
speaking together in an incomprehensible language. One of their number,
whose hair was coloured a coppery red, raised her voice in what seemed
to be trilling laughter.
'Look at what they're carrying!' hissed Priscilla as the group closed
to within ten or so paces. 'That looks like bottles! Glass bottles!'
Warragal nodded and holding her arm, said, 'Let's follow them
Reluctantly, she let him have his way, and trudged along at his back in
the wake of the receding group.
After some minutes, the people before them rounded a spearing forest of
stalactites and stalagmites that seemed to rear up from the cavern
floor and pierce down from its ceiling, and there Priscilla and
Warragal were confronted by a fantastic sight. Light, daylight, lanced
down from a lacework of tiny openings high above, bathing this new cave
with a misty, pale radiance that gave it an almost ethereal look, as if
it was some ancient cathedral's inner sanctum. The group they had
followed were now descending a gentle slope toward many others;
standing and kneeling, gathered randomly around and about indistinct
indentations in the cavern's floor. And from those rifts came soft
murmurings and wisps of what appeared to be smoke or steam. Many of
them were chattering away to each other as if all this was the most
natural thing in the world.
'It's hotter here,' whispered John, loosening his cover-all collar as
best he could.
'Darn tootin' it is,' said Harry from their Activators. 'And what
you're both looking at is the reason. Thermal springs! That's hot water
down there! These guys have their own plumbing! Wanna boil your socks
or cook a fish? Step right up. No wonder bats like it in here, they
must have cave crickets and the like to feed on and a warm roost all
year round. And as for the glow-worms, no lights on. Maybe they work in
'Cut the crap Harry, this is just awesome,' said Priscilla earnestly,
straining to take in all the sight below where the shifting, dappled
light of day mottled and coloured the expanse that stretched before her
'O.K. I take your meaning Miss Priscilla, you're there and I'm just at
boring, old home. But don't forget that you're there, curtesy of the
Black Eagle, and that you're one of the BlackEagle Girls.'
'I'm sorry Harry, sometimes I forget that you're not just a little
black dog,' said Priscilla, still avidly watching the scene below where
scores of people; men, women and children, were occupied in various
activities: some seemed to be preparing food and some, mostly children,
were splashing in pools at the far end of the cavern, while others were
busy working with chips of stone sharpening crude spear-points. And she
saw that most were naked, which didn't seem to bother any of them.
'Phew! I'm not real used to seeing men in the raw,' she managed,
squinting with one eye so that it would only be half as shocking.
'Part of growing up for humans,' Harry answered, and Adelle added,
'Can't see what all the fuss is about really. And see, whatever it is,
fish probably, they're cutting up pieces and tossing the scraps to
'Looks like that's what the Tigers eat,' said Priscilla, fascinated as
she watched the shadowy forms of several Thylacines snatching up the
offal. Then a thought struck her. 'Anyway, how come both of you can see
'Because you two are our eyes,' answered Harry. 'Whatever your vision
takes in is what we can see. It's an alien thing. Put it down to
'Harry?' said John Wynd, staring fixedly at the people and their
interactions below. 'I don't know what is... that is... how everything
has happened... is happening... but I have to ask you... and O.K. I
don't know the rules here but... I want to make contact with these
folk. Is it... can I? It's important, more important than anything
else. This isn't just a game of go see whose living the Sacred Secret,
this is real. These people are real, and they need protection, not only
from the outside but from themselves. If they think they can emerge
into the outside world and remain unnoticed by wearing Tiger skins,
then sooner or later they'll be discovered. I've got to find a way to
'I understand that John,' Harry answered, 'and what you're suggesting
is of worthy and humane motivation that just might help to preserve
these folk and their way of life for a time to come, but it is a
dangerous thing to attempt. What if they decide to attack you? They
don't know who you are and how you got here, and to all intents and
purposes you have the appearance of a white boy, certainly not of their
blood. How will you communicate with them? You don't know their
language, do you?'
'Well no,' admitted John, 'but I do have some knowledge of hand-sign,
and what I've seen on the cave walls tells me that they used to use it
once when they had contact with other tribes. Maybe they still do. It's
pretty basic, but it might be enough.'
'What about the bottles?' said Priscilla, watching as a couple of the
womenfolk called to the children splashing in the shallows of a distant
pool, and when they took no notice both women stood up and began to
scold them in stern tones, so that the youngsters hurriedly clambered
out and began to run toward the group.
'The bottles?' said Warragal.
'They must have come from somewhere,' said Priscilla. 'I don't think
these people could have made them.'
'Priscilla has a point there Lovey,' said Adelle.
'Yes,' Harry answered, 'but that's beside the real point. The rules are
that none of our travellers are permitted to show themselves in an
attempt to alter the course of future events. Remember Warragal and
Priscilla, you have never been here. Tomorrow it's back to school for
everybody. You've completed your task in helping to aid Mathew and
Jean-Michael and in so doing, Warragal, you broke the rules by
revealing yourself. Only the death of that man Shorty, stopped the
whole mission from being aborted. You've seen all that you wanted to
see about the Sacred Secret. You know now that everything you were
compelled to keep silent over was true... '
'I can't just let it go like that Harry,' said John Wynd and his voice
seemed to take on a deeper, stronger quality that made Priscilla turn,
startled by his conviction and emotion. 'These people may only have a
short time left before civilization destroys them. Look at them through
my eyes, that's how you see them isn't it? They seem happy enough,
living their simple existence. You know what will happen when they're
found. I have to do something to hold that off for as long as I can.'
He sank to his knees and bowed his head. 'Harry, I've never begged for
anything before, never asked God to help me even after my Parents died,
but I'm asking now. And I'm asking you. I don't know what you are or
where you and the others come from, I only know that I need your help
now.' He lifted his face, staring upward. 'I don't want to alter
history. What will come will come. I only want to stall it a little
longer... that's all... '
Priscilla saw the tears begin to well from John's eyes and knelt down
beside him, her arm reaching about his shoulders. 'Harry, please?' she
said through trembling lips.
There was silence for some time, broken only by the chatter and
laughter of the people below, then Harry said, 'I can't let you do
this... without a little bit of a warm-up. After-all, you don't want to
scare them off do you? Priscilla, you'll remain hidden, I'm bending the
rules enough for one. Now just bear with me a minute... yeah... always
wanted to play this... '
Faintly at first, so faintly that Priscilla thought it was a trick of
her imagination, a sound began to rise about them; it was like
electronic music, pulsing and throbbing, slowly growing in intensity so
that the peoples below turned their heads as they caught the strains of
its repeated rhythms. It was a compelling, continuing, repetitive
theme, winding backward and forward, overlayed with twisting, haunting
I know this music, Priscilla absently thought, watching the reaction of
the men and women, older folk and children, and even the Thylacines
that prowled restlessly in the deep recesses of the cave as the
hypnotic melody slowly grew around them. At first there was absolute
shock that sent children skittering to the adults, and adults standing,
open-mouthed, turning this way and that as the music filled their ears
and echoed uncannily through every cavity around them. Then, as the
moments passed, and nothing further eventuated but the insistent,
repetitive tune, they began to accept the sound that surrounded them
and to calm themselves and their children and old folks. The Tigers
ceased their padding back and forth.
'Alright John,' said Harry, 'Now or never. Look to your Hand Activator
and click off the buttons, click three on each to unlock.'
Warragal was now on his feet, with Priscilla at his side. Slowly and
deliberately, he began to switch of the buttons: Hearing, Smell and
Sight. To Priscilla's eyes nothing changed, but to those below she
could plainly see that they registered this transformation. One or two,
who were still wildly gazing about, suddenly caught sight of him and,
with hands gesturing and mouths uttering calls of alert, brought the
focus sharply to the apparition that had appeared above.
Warragal slowly lifted his hand, one finger curled into the palm. The
insistent electronic music began to fade.
Priscilla held her breath.
There came a series of husky, coughing barks from the anxious Tigers,
who were now milling at a distance in the darkest shadows. Then, one of
the people below took a cautious step forward and said,
Priscilla was caught off-guard. The language was intelligible but
sounded flat and sing-song like a long rehearsed chant.
'Hello,' said John Wynd.
The stocky, naked speaker stared blankly back at him.
Except for a few low mutterings from one or two in the background and
the cut-off coughing sound of the Tigers the cavern had fallen into a
nervous silence that extended so long that Priscilla began to feel
tension building like a solid wall dividing them.
'Can you speak English, my language?' John asked.
The stony silence remained unbroken, but Priscilla noticed several
other men below shifting their stance from foot to foot, one actually
picking up what looked like a long, spindly fishing spear.
'Don't like the look of this Harry,' she whispered, chewing at her
'Give him time, John knows he can use the Hand Activator if need be,'
said Harry reassuringly.
'Warragal,' said John, trying again by pointing his hand toward his
'Warr... agal?' repeated the other man.
John lifted his hands and made several signs with fingers slowly and
The other man appeared slightly surprised, but in hesitant actions,
began signing back. 'Manganer,' he said aloud, tapping his own chest,
then added 'Karlare,' his arms lifting to indicate everything about him.
Then, turning around and pointing to an old woman, who stood, supported
on both sides by two other younger women, he said, 'Laoonana,'
Beckoning, he signed that Warragal should follow him.
'Priscilla,' said John, taking a step forward, 'you can stay here if
'I don't think so,' Priscilla bravely answered, though in truth her
heart was hammering in her chest, the heat and the sour smell from the
hot-pools making her feel a little queasy. 'Come this far, guess I'll
As she followed behind, she noticed that Manganer was not much taller
than John and neither were any of the others, men or women, that she
could see. Much to her relief, they did not crowd around but kept their
distance as the trio reached the elderly lady. Manganer said something
to her in a speech that sounded slightly nasal and clipped, indicating
John with a jab of his hand and saying, 'Warr... agal' in that
In response Laoonana nodded and waved John to follow them, then,
assisted by her two female companions she turned and began to struggle
off. All those around parted, women-folk drawing their children back
out of the way as the group passed between. They took a path that
brought them down through the pools of gurgling, bubbling waters and
along a narrow channel that ended in another smaller chamber where more
art-work adorned the walls and stalagmites and stalactites joined each
other to form a pillared cathedral where great formations like shawls
spread and folded into the depths.
Nervously, Priscilla noted a curious Thylacine, bolder than the rest,
trotting stiffly a short distance behind.
'I've got a Ti... Ti... Tiger on my booty,' she said, trying to keep up
with John and not touch anybody.
'Stay close to me, ' John answered casually, as if he were admiring the
wonders of the cave.
'I'm so darn close I'm practically in front of you!' she said, almost
bumping into him as he suddenly halted.
Holding on to John's back-pack and peering round his body, Priscilla
could see why he had stopped, for even though the filtered rays of day
behind them cast only faint light into the gloom, the night-sight
goggles they wore clearly defined what lay beyond. Laoonana and her
female helpers stood to one side, the old woman beckoning Manganer,
indicating things on the floor of the cave. Yet it was not to those
objects that Priscilla's eyes were drawn, but to the outline of a
chair. It was carved and adorned with scroll work, though the lustre of
the timber had long ago faded and was now cracked and greying. Beside
it was what appeared to be an ornate, upright desk; the drop-down
writing lid lay open, revealing little drawers and empty compartments
At that moment, Manganer dragged a large chest out of a jumble of other
items and began to open it. The rusted iron hinges creaked and
Priscilla was thankful to see that the inquisitive Tiger behind her had
turned tail and was shambling off in a kind of canter. Inside the box
lay an assortment of dusty books that had once been leather-bound but
were now decidedly worse for wear. Reaching in, Manganer took hold of a
large volume, rather like an old-fashioned accountant's ledger, and
held it forth, offering it to John.
For a moment Warragal hesitated, lifting the goggles to wipe sweat from
his eyes then, replacing them, he took hold of the book, surprised at
'Umm, heavy,' he muttered, gently opening the cover, which cracked
softly where its binding glue crumbled along the spine. ' "This be the
Journal of Annie Kelly. This is my first entry, I think it to be about
Eighteen Twenty-Nine." ' he read aloud, ' "I was born in the year of
Our Lord, Eighteen Hundred and Three, at Waterford in Muster, Ireland.
Accused of complicity in political activities, a trumped-up charge to
further dis-credit my family, tried and sentenced to transportation
from Exmouth, England. Arrived upon the west coast of Van Dieman's Land
Eighteen Hundred and Twenty-five. Confined with other females to
Grummet Isle, off the main convict settlement on Sarah island in
Macquarie Harbour, for a short time. Released in the custody of
William Spangles, who was himself a convicted felon, but had served his
sentence and become a free-man timber-logger in the far south, I was
subjected to a life of servitude, punishment by beatings and other
un-nameable horrors. Driven to despair and the brink of insanity, I
determined to escape and at need to die in the wilderness rather than
continue to submit to such vile cruelties. With only my meagre
possessions and what I could steal I spent many days in the wilds,
surviving on little more than the running waters of streams and
pitiable little else I could find that was edible. I believe that I
came close to death before I was found by three native women and nursed
back to life. These people had some scant knowledge of my language so
that it was possible for us to converse. When I explained my plight,
they told me that they could take me far away to a place where I would
never be found. But if I should want to do so, I would not again see my
own kind. Being so desperate, I complied. And so I was guided over many
miles of rough and wild lands, for some nine or ten days I should
think, and at last brought to the ocean-cliffs and this tribe, the
Lagunta, who have become, over some time, my people.
Here, I must add that I have the good fortune to begin my journal, only
because of the mis-fortune of others. This book and various items,
including the desk and chair, are all that remain of a Dutch ship that
foundered at sea with the loss, I suppose, of all hands during a
terrible storm some time ago. Up until now it has been difficult for me
to keep track of time and indeed there was no pressing need, but since
these articles were discovered by my adopted tribe, I have gained the
ability to record the days once more. The Van Veendan was the ship's
name according to the log salvaged from this water-proof chest where it
and much other flotsam had blown ashore during and after the gale,
there to lay half-buried in sand until discovered and brought to these
caves by my people. And I say 'my people' with good reason. But I am so
overcome with joy at being able to practice my hand-writing again, of
which as a child I was exceptionally proud, that I must lay down my
quill and give thanks to the All Mighty." ' At this point John
Wynd ceased reading, somehow sensing that the old Lady Laoonana was
becoming distressed at standing for so long. 'Please,' he said, placing
the open Journal onto the writing lid of the desk and indicating, 'sit
here and be comfortable.'
Those around him seemed to puzzle at his words, though Laoonana herself
appeared to take his meaning, and with some effort and the aid of her
two female companions, lowered herself into the high-backed seat.
Slowly, almost regally, she placed her wrists along the ancient, wooden
arms of the chair and a smile flickered across her face.
'What do we do now?' said Priscilla, though of course only John could
He scratched at his scalp, ruffled his hair and shook his head. 'Don't
know,' he muttered, reaching for the journal again. 'Read on, I
suppose.' He carefully turned a brittle leaf, 'Here's a list of what
was salvaged from the ship: glass wine-bottles, jars of somethi...
medicaments and ointments I think... the writing's very pale... seven
small, and one large, water casks, assorted tools, the chair and
desk, a number of corked ink-bottles. Annie Kelly writes, "In my
stay so far I have never traversed much further than these caves
closest to the outside, but the Lagunta dwell in all the vast caverns
that honey-comb these cliffs and wind back beneath the mountains. There
are, from what I have ascertained, a score or more of families
numbering ten or twelve to each group, and they have the ability to
travel through the regions with little sight, aided only by the glimmer
of those odd fire-fly creatures that, everywhere, infest the caverns.
The Lagunta have no means to make fire, nor would they wish to even if
they could, for smoke issuing from the cliffs would be dangerous.
Indeed their staple diet, boiled at need in the hottest of the pools,
is mostly seafood: oysters, crabs, lobsters and various fish. When it
is safe on the outside ledges, they hunt penguins, seals, sea-lions,
and occasionally cliff-dwelling birds and even bats that inhabit these
caves. Thus they live mainly off the ocean and the rivers that run
underground to it. Their only companions are the Lagunta, the
Tiger-wolves, and these my people have kept as companions and living
totems from time beyond their memory. At first I was afraid of the
creatures, but gradually I have found them to be mild of nature so long
as they are fed. Even so, all the Lagunta sleep in higher chambers
where the Tigers cannot come. Since arriving, I have learned
something of the Lagunta speech and in turn have taught those willing a
little English. Now that I can write again I intend to maintain my old
language as best I am able.
It will take a long time to read all of this,' John said, 'but perhaps
the last entries will be the most important.' He began to turn the
stiff, yellowed pages until, near the end of the log, he came to the
last ones. 'This is dated Eighteen Seventy-Nine, that would make her
'Seventy-six,' whispered Priscilla. 'Golly, she'd lived with them for
over fifty years.'
'Seventy-six, yes, "even Lagunta Chacka, the oldest of the Tiger colony
here, died recently and, as is their custom, they stripped him of his
fur for curing and sent him on his last journey. I made it my business
once again to instruct my Daughter Emma-Woori that they must always
remember to wear the skins when venturing outside and never to leave
anything else of themselves that could lead any white folks to think
that they were other than the wild Tigers of the mountains. I am just a
foolish old woman, of course, for it has become a part of Lagunta lore
to do that ever since the coming of the White People. I call them White
People now for I do not think of them as my own. The Lagunta, whom I
have lived with for longer than I ever did amongst white folk, are all
I have, especially Emma-Woori. She is now a mother of two and much
older than the age I was when I came here and I wish her father Woori
was still alive to see how she has grown..." ' John carefully turned
the page and read on, 'I have been unwell for some time now, yet the
feebleness of my body does not cloud my mind. I still like to be helped
to this place where I can sit upon a chair as I did, when a child, long
ago in my family home, far away over the sea. But now that vision is so
indistinct as to be almost a dream of another world. Sometimes I begin
to think it is another world, one that belongs only in my
mind..." The entry ends there,' said John, again turning a page,
'But here is another,' "When first I wrote in this Journal, I began a
calendar of sorts and marked off the days, according to the sleep times
of my people, over the passing of weeks and months, and so through the
passage of years. I have always kept my comments short lest the supply
of ink ran out, though even after all these years some few bottles
remain. Oh how thankful I am for the bounty of those poor souls who
lost their lives in the shipwreck that bore this provender. Glass and
metal plate have stood the test of my lifetime as have some timbers and
even these ledgers, but the black ink diluted with river water, with
which I still write, continues..." ' Turning the remaining pages,
John muttered, 'These are all blank, there are no more entries.' He
closed the book, and to Priscilla it was like closing a life. She
stifled a cry because, even from behind, she saw his head bow and heard
the escape of breath that was almost a sob.
'Other books there are with child's words put in.'
Startled, Priscilla looked again at Laoonana. The old lady lifted her
hand toward John, 'I listen to your words. They wake me. I... ' she
seemed to falter, 'In my life, I have... keep a memory of Great Mother
Anniekelly-Woori. She give it to her child, her child give to her
childs. They give to theirs. I am of their childs.'
Through her hand, resting upon John's shoulder, Priscilla could feel a
ripple of shock.
'Laoonana,' he managed, his voice shaking, his hands and fingers
fumbling to make the signs so that Manganer could follow, 'you know the
The old woman slowly tilted her head. 'Anniekelly-Woori teach the words
when she come. She teach her writing. All time after, our people teach
the words, from one down to the next of her childs. Long time back,
they were told by our own out-side people to stay hidden from the white
folk or be taken away from Karlare. When Anniekelly-Woori come, she too
warn us. And she say that even so, one time other white folk will come.
We must be ready when they come. It will be no use to kill them, they
are many more than we. Now you Warr-agal, in strange skins, are here.
Where are others?'
'Do you see any others,' asked John.
The old woman slowly shook her head. 'You come to us, a... boy...
alone. How can this be?'
'I will tell you that, but first tell me what happened to
'She grow old, old as me maybe, and die. When that happened my people
of long ago did what is still done, what has always been. The Dead
return to Dream-Time in the Waters where they are sung to sleep. So it
will be with me, unless your white folk come to take us away.'
'I will do my best to make sure that won't happen,' said John gently.
'And even though you see me as white, I have the blood of your peoples
too. There is much for me to say if your folk will allow me to stay
here with you.'
'What!' exclaimed Priscilla, 'You can't stay! We've gotta get outta
here!' she implored, refraining from grabbing hold of his arms with
Laoonana, hearing only John's words, said, 'You name yourself
Warr-agal. That has a sound, a meaning to me, to us,' she indicated
Manganer and the two women with her. ' Stay here, we will make talk to
our folk so that they can know and give answer.' Heaving herself to her
feet she began to totter, aided by the women and attended by Manganer,
toward those gathered in the main cavern.
Suddenly, John Wynd and Priscilla were left alone beside the ancient
chair and writing desk and the castings of ship-wreck from a
'What the heck are you on about?' demanded Priscilla. 'You can't stay
here! Have you gone troppo?
'I can't go back... I can't go back to being a Ward of The State,' John
replied. 'This is what I have to do Priscilla. Don't you understand
that yet? These people need me and I have so much to tell them. It is
my mission. I have to try to protect them, at least for a little
'But... but this is crazy...' she stammered. 'The school knows that you
were with Monique and me. What are we gonna say? That you just
'You won't have to say much,' he answered evenly, 'because when I asked
to go back to Hopewell I made sure that I was seen by as many students
and teachers as possible, and when I got to my room as well as packing
some stuff, I left a note in my bedside table. I sort of figured that
if I came back I could tear it up, if not, then someone would
eventually find it. The note just says that I'd decided to run away on
my own, it's part of your alibi. So you and Monique have nothing to
worry about. School is the last place that I was seen, all you'll have
to say is that you went to visit Tsuang Tsu and I went back to Hopewell
'All we'll have to say!' spluttered Priscilla. 'Look, even if they
allow you to stay here how will you live, how will you get out if you
ever want to?'
John turned to the jumble of objects that were piled in disarray, idly
lifting various items, 'There must be ways other than how we got in,
probably just big enough to squeeze through along the cliffs. And as
for living, well these people seem to have done a pretty good job of
that for the last twenty thousand years. A diet of sea-food mightn't be
'You're right about other ways to the outside,' said Harry's voice from
Priscilla's Activator. 'And if the Lagunta accept you, I won't object.
I think what you want to do, to educate them as to what they will face
eventually in the outside world, is a worthy task and one that will
take quite some time... '
'But Harry, you said we aren't permitted to alter the course of events
for humans, that conditions apply,' protested Priscilla.
'And those conditions have been met,' answered Harry gently. 'John Wynd
is prepared to give up some, perhaps all, of his life to help these
folk. He takes on this missionary role voluntarily, releases his rights
to the outside and becomes truly the Warragal of his Sacred Secret.
Those are conditions enough.
Now time is running out and I've just heard from Skewer that the search
party are on their way. Best say your goodbyes Priscilla and get ready
to start back. Adelle will be watching for you. You can't get lost
because the Activator will draw you to the BlackEagle, oh and John,
you'll have to give up your Activator and goggles. We can't afford to
leave alien devices in your keeping. No one must ever know the truth
about how you found your way here.'
'That's O.K. Harry,' said John, handing them to Priscilla, 'I'm pretty
good at keeping a secret.'
Stunned, Priscilla took the two objects and stuffed them into her pack.
When she turned back John was holding out a Tiger skin. 'This is an old
one by the look of it, but I have an idea that Fon Jien will know what
to do with it. Sorry I can't give you a real parting gift Priscilla,
but this will have to do.' Before she could think, he pulled her closer
and kissed her full on the mouth, then released her and stood back.
'Goodbye Priscilla. Take care of yourself. You're now the Third Keeper
of The Sacred Secret, and you mustn't tell any one else, not even
Monique. I trust you with the knowledge and the secret because you were
right, we do have things in common. More than we might ever really come
He turned to peer down into the depths of the cave. 'Laoonana is
beckoning to me. I think they will let me stay.'
Without turning back, he took a few cautious steps forward, feeling his
way with his feet, until several of the people came forward to greet
him and lead him off toward the light of day that still feebly crept
into the larger cavern.
Suddenly on her own, Priscilla began sobbing as she folded the Tiger
skin and fumbled it into her pack.
'That's it Lovey, have a teary, but mind yourself, we can't have you
tripping and breaking a leg,' said Adelle as the strange electronic
music began again, at first faintly, then slowly rising so that the
Lagunta surrounding Warragal drew back in astonishment whilst
Priscilla, wiping the tears from her eyes, stumbled past, back the way
she and he had travelled. Fleetingly she wondered if John Wynd was
still able to see her, but whether that was so or not she never knew,
although upon his face was the most beautiful, serene smile. The music,
which seemed to be projected from her Activator, faded.
It was only after she had trudged as far as the gallery filled with
ancient paintings and rock inscriptions that she realised how thirsty
she was. Halting, Priscilla shrugged off her pack and pulled out a
She was in the midst of taking a long swig when she noticed them. A
pair of Thylacines. They came out of the shadows, ears erect, tails
extended, padding along from the direction she had just come. For some
inexplicable reason, the Tigers suddenly stopped, almost as if waiting.
Cautiously, Priscilla stowed her water bottle and pulled on the
back-pack. Taking a few tentative steps she glanced back to see that
the Tigers had begun to move again. She began to break into a run,
stumbling and almost tripping in her effort to put some distance
between herself and them. 'Harry! Adelle! I've got Tigers on my tail! I
don't know how they know I'm here but they do!'
From somewhere ahead she caught the sound of yapping, repeated twice
every few seconds, and from behind came the echoing reply.
'Take it easy Priscilla, don't stress,' said Harry, 'you're almost back
to the climb up to the cave where the Black Eagle is waiting. Just keep
'Keep going?!' panted Priscilla, 'but there are more of them!' She
could see phantom shapes emerging from several directions, and dimly
she recalled reading somewhere that Tasmanian Tigers slowly hunted
their prey to exhaustion before the kill.
'Ughh!' she stumbled and fell, landing with a thud against a hard
shoulder of ancient crust. Scrabbling to regain her footing, she caught
a glimpse of eyes staring up at her. The insistent yapping was now
coming from all directions, filling her ears with fear. Shuddering,
Priscilla paused to look at what she'd almost landed on. It was the
size of a puppy. It whimpered. It was a Thylacine pup.
'Oh bloody hell!' she said, realization dawning. 'You poor little
critter.' Instinctively she reached out to touch the lost baby.
'Don't do that!' came Harry's voice. 'Leave it be! They're coming to
find it! Get out of the way! Climb! Move your butt!'
Half way up the incline, while the gathering of Tigers below her
coughed out their apparent joy at finding the stray, Priscilla
collapsed, her fingers digging at the limestone. 'Can't go... any
further... Harry? Beam me up Harry.'
'Don't you mean, "Beam me up Scotty?" ' said Harry.
'Don't be ridiculous,' Priscilla answered, on the point of passing out,
'You're not that breed of dog. Get on with it.'
'Too young for Star Trek then,' said Harry.
All that Priscilla could remember was the sound of the music rising
'There you are Lovey,' said Adelle, brushing her large beak against
Priscilla's arm, 'You're safe again inside the BlackEagle. Just get
your breath back before we take off.'
'Whoo!' Priscilla shook her head to get rid of the buzzing and the
butterflies. 'But John... Warragal... '
'Warragal will be fine. It's his destiny,' said Harry, from the
'Aww poo!' Priscilla answered, sitting up, 'We have to do something to
save those people. Eventually they'll all be discovered... '
'Exactly,' came Harry's sharp reply, 'and you would save them only to
destroy them! They are so extremely fragile, so delicately balanced,
that any interference from outside would be disastrous. Just imagine if
you or anyone else who made contact with them was carrying some kind of
bug and exposed them to it. They would be utterly decimated in a matter
of months. That's why you were sanitized incidentally. In any event,
history has already demonstrated how they would be treated. At best
they, and the Thylacines, would be removed for scientific studies and
their home reduced to a national treasure controlled by others in the
interests of all, except them. At worst, they would be socialized,
exploited, converted, assimilated and reduced to little more than
curios; finally destined to vanish forever. There is only one way to
'And what's that?' asked Priscilla, extracting the Tiger skin from her
pack and laying it out on the couch.
'Do nothing. Their existence must remain a secret,' Harry answered.
'You Priscilla, are now the only human outsider who has ever seen them.
You must pledge on your honour never to tell anyone else. The only way
these people can exist is to remain in hiding in an eco-system they
have made their own. Every minute, every day is a precious gift to
them. The longer outsiders know nothing of them, the longer Warragal
has to prepare them for the time when they are finally discovered.'
'What you really mean is that while we do the nothing bit, Warragal's
doing something, and maybe in a hundred or two hundred years from now
someone else who carries the secret will care enough to do what he, and
Annie Kelly before him, have done... did,' said Priscilla, rising from
the couch. 'Harry, before we go, I need to splash some water on my
face, I feel like I've been underground for weeks. Oh and what do I say
to the others about this?' she lifted the Tiger skin, which had been
kept supple by rubbing in oil or fat, yet had only a mildly rancid
smell to it.
'You won't need to say anything, I've already made them aware that you
are now the Keeper of the Secret and they will respect that. And,' said
Harry, mysteriously, 'as for the skin, Fon Jien knows what to do with
Priscilla nodded absently as she reached the cubicle door. 'Alright, I
understand about what I don't need to do. One last thing, that music,
what was it?'
'Oh that? It's the theme from Doctor No. You know the T.V. series where
he flies around in a telephone box, pretty interesting concept there;
looks like a payphone on the outside but inside, ooowee!'
'Harry, that's Doctor Who, and you know it.'
'Doctor Watson, Doctor Dolittle, just testing you.'
'Give me a break!' said Priscilla as the door slid shut.
Monique was the first to embrace Priscilla when she emerged from the
BlackEagle after it alighted on the cliffs. Judging by the sun it was
around five o'clock. 'You have been gone only for a few hours but I am
so happy to see you again!' Monique exclaimed, hugging Priscilla so
tightly that it literally took her breath away.
'Phew! Moni, you'll crack my ribs!' managed Priscilla, squeezing back.
'Girls, I think we should be on our way,' said Fon Jien in his usual
calm manner, while the others engaged in a group hug. 'There is nothing
more to be done here. Mister Skewer assures me that the search party
shall arrive before nightfall. Unfortunately our departure will cut out
any possibility of phone use, however the authorities have enough to go
'You have one little task left, Lovey,' said Adelle, dropping the Tiger
skin at Fon Jien's feet.
'Ah yes,' he said, bending to pick it up and examine it, 'but first I
think we need travel a distance from here toward the path of the
oncoming rescuers. Ladies,' he struck his palms together in a delicate
clap, 'you must thank our regal hosts of the air for their assistance
and guidance... '
'And for saving our Dads by shoving that bast... '
'Thank you Miss Priscilla for your kind thoughts,' interrupted Gavin
Skewer, preening at Adelle's rear feathers, 'but Missus Skewer and I
had better be off. You never know how humans will take the news that a
sea-eagle caused the death of one of their own, even if he was a bast!
Goodbye and safe journey to your own home nests.'
With that both Gavin and Adelle strode along the rocky promontory in
their ungainly hopping run, to launch themselves into the air, sailing
out on the wind's currents and flapping away across the cliffs.
'Now,' said Fon Jien, extracting a bag from his pack, 'these cans and
cigarette butts, which I collected from those two men, will do nicely.
We will leave them along with the Thylacine skin in the path of the
'Oh durr! Why?' said Priscilla.
'So that they will be discovered by those coming to save your fathers.
Let them then make of these objects what they will.'
'Do you mean, Monsieur, that they might think the skin a part of some
hoax?' asked Monique.
'That, or perhaps someone's idea of drumming up the tourist's interest
in Tasmanian Tigers,' Fon Jien answered, beckoning the girls inside the
'Like, they were using skins, pretending to be Tigers, but got scared
off when the posse arrived?' suggested Terri.
'That's the general idea,' said Harry's voice as the stainless steel
door slid shut behind them. 'Now, just one short stop to drop your
litter, then home. Girls, you'll just have time to gather your things
together at Fon Jien's house and then the BlackEagle will get you to
Hopewell Hall before curfew. It's been an interesting thirty-six hours.'
Golly Diary, a week has passed since Dad and Jean-Michael went missing
in Tasmania, and this is my first chance to bring you up to date.
Things have been pretty hectic at school after John Wynd vanished and I
haven't had much time to myself until now. Thank goodness it's Saturday
night and Moni and I are home with all our folks. Louis is here too,
because the cricket team have a bye this week. Granny Black is
organizing a barbecue in the back garden this evening and the weather
is just dreamy. Anyway, since last I wrote, there's been so many
different things. Well, where do I start? First there was
Mum's T.V. starring role in "Child's Play." Then a very scary time in
Tasmania when Dad and Monique's Dad were both hunted by a couple of
illegal loggers who were trying to kill them. Somehow, one of the bad
guys fell off the cliffs after being attacked by eagles, so Dad and
Jean-Michael said, and then they were found, and Mum and Monica, oh and
Henry, who had gone to Tassie with them, were able to bring them home
after they were interviewed by the police. Dad's got a broken leg which
will take some months to mend. He and Jean-Michael are still amazed at
how the eagles not only saved them from getting shot but also managed
to chuck a logger's pack over the edge down to where they were. Guess
what? Inside was a battery that fitted their mobile phone and, miracle
of miracles, they were able to make contact and get help. I guess Dad
was really out of it with the pain and everything, because he keeps
saying that just before those loony guys appeared he thought he heard
my voice screaming. Imagine that! Funny things can happen when you're
in terrible pain I suppose. Anyhow, now they've got a crew organized
down there, Jean-Michael and Monica, Monique's Mum, are going to have
to go it alone while Dad's laid up here. I think they've been talking
to Stefen Manns, who directed Mum. That could be really funny if he
goes over to Tassie in amongst all those rugged blokes, 'Never mind
Darlings, just chop down another one and smile like you mean it!'
Speaking of him and Mum's role, reminds me about why she was so
all-fired up about her part. It wasn't just her acting, she's actually
getting a credit for re-writing the script! And oh-boy is she wrapped!
Pity about Dad and Jean-Michael upstaging her but she's not letting
anyone forget, especially Granny. 'I'm not just an empty-head actress,
you know.' Secretly, I think Granny is quite impressed, although she
won't admit it.
About John Wynd. The school is buzzing since he disappeared last
weekend. After Mister Mitikovski found a note from him on Monday, our
Headmistress, Miss Poe questioned all of us, but of course John had
been seen at school Saturday afternoon, and me and Moni went to visit
Tsu Tsuang and stayed with Teri and Tsu overnight. Fon Jien said that
would be alright. So we didn't get into Hopewell Hall until almost
seven o'clock Sunday evening, just before Mum phoned to tell us our
Dads had been found. All the school is wondering where he might have
gone and of course the Police have been alerted. He seemed like such a
nice boy. I hope he finds whatever it is that he's searching for.
Oh Diary, one last thing. Monique's Mum found her wedding ring! It was
in one of the boxes of gear they had flown over from Africa! Gee, can
you beat that! She's really happy and so is Jean-Michael. Monique's
pretty pleased too.
Well Diary, that's about all I can tell you. It's still not the same
without my Missey, but I have my dear friend Monique, and now I have
Harry. He's different to Missey, that's for sure, but I guess all dogs
have their own personalities.
Last thing I want to say is... Oh God, and that's a big question mark
because I'm not even sure that I believe in You, although I think that
a person like John Wynd might, wherever he is; give me the strength to
grow and do what are the important things in life. Help me to help
myself and others. Show me how I can make something of my life, how I
can have a real meaning. Is this prayer? Guess it doesn't have to
happen in a church. Maybe Mum's got it right.
'You're doing just fine,' said a voice from the door. Priscilla turned
to find Harry looking in. 'But you'd better wind up, they're about to
send a search party for you. Sausages and chops are on the barbecue and
smelling real good. You gonna save one for me as a treat?'
She nodded at him, finding it hard to answer because of a lump in her
throat. Tears sprang to her eyes, but they were tears of joy, after all
it's not every girl that gets the opportunity to give an alien a
'Good, that makes six so far, just got to do a bit more pleading and
whining with Granny and your Mum and that's my dinner sorted and some
to bury as well,' said Harry, suddenly launching into a hearty scratch
as footsteps pounded up the hall and Henry burst in.
'Hey Sis, time to get your bum into gear! Stop being such a loner and
scratching away with your pen, although I see Harry's scratching along
with you, must need a bath!'
Harry stopped his rear leg action and suddenly looked very subdued.
'Crikey, you'd reckon they know what you're saying,' said Henry,
kneeling down and patting Harry, 'anyway Cilla, bring your pen along,
because everyone's going to write on Dad's cast. Funny isn't it how Mum
was told to "Break a Leg" for luck in the teleplay, and Dad went ahead
and did it.'
'Yeah, funny as a bag full of snakes,' said Priscilla dryly, brushing
her hand across her face to smear away the tears as Monique and Louis
'Get a rattle on Cilla, or you'll have Granny on your tail,' said
Louis, giving Henry a quick push with his knee so that his younger
brother toppled sideways onto the floor.
'Last one down's a Thylacine!' shouted Louis before racing out of the
room. Henry, who made a swipe at his brother's legs, scrambled to his
feet and charged off in hot pursuit.
Harry broke into a lot of barking, 'Raff! Raff! See you both at the
barbie, and don't forget you've pledged a chop and a sausage, raff!'
and took off, scampering down the hall.
'The police rang to say that some more men have been arrested at the
hidden logging site,' said Monique. 'Your Dad thinks one of them is
Tommy, the man on the cliffs.'
'I'm glad, aren't you?' Priscilla asked, closing her diary and
dithering a bit.
They both gazed at each other, almost in an embarrassed way.
'Look!' they managed together.
'You go first.'
'No, you go first,' said Monique, reaching out her hand to Priscilla,
who clasped it and drew it to her face.
'Alright Monique, I guess we've been dodging around this all week.
About The Secret; I feel so bad not being able to share what happened,
but I'm bound by my word never to tell anyone, anyone including you,
Dear Friend, until I know I must pass it on when my own life is close
to ending. Does that make any sense to you at all?'
'It makes perfect sense,' replied Monique, looking down at her best
friend's brimming eyes. 'Harry warned the three of us girls that we
should not seek to find out what took place after you and Warragal left
us. Of certainty we all have our thoughts, but the BlackEagle could
have taken you both anywhere. I feel sure that you are happy with
whatever happened. And as I have said before, a secret is a secret,
even from your own diary. I believe in that. This one is your secret my
Dear. You must bear it and keep it safe.'
A voice from downstairs warned of impending doom, 'If you both don't
get down here in the next two minutes, I'm going to give your dinner to
Harry! Move it!'
'That is Granny Black! She is very angry and will have our garters for
guttering!' said Monique, hastening toward the door.
Priscilla smiled. I do love you, Dear Friend, she thought, rising to
Here ends 'BlackEagle Girls and The Sacred Secret.'
'BlackEagle Girls and The Ice Angel of Death,' is next in the series.