Biraban becomes Threlkeld’s principal assistant

Biraban becomes Threlkeld’s principal assistant, and a friendship based on mutual respect and affection develops between the two men. Biraban teaches Threlkeld his tribal lore and language. Threlkeld has genuine interest and appreciates his tutor’s patience and skill: “One advantage has been obtained in an Aborigine [McGill], who attached himself to us from the first, and whose knowledge of the English language is sufficient to render him highly valuable, and the pains he takes that my pronounciation may be correct, affords a convincing proof that they have an equal share of intellectual power with others of the human race”. (LMS Report, December 1825; in Blair, 2003, 51)