Chapter 111163282

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Chapter NumberVII
Chapter Title
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article111163282
Full Date1863-10-10
Page Number3
Corrections0
Word Count2750
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleThe Newcastle Chronicle and Hunter River District News (NSW : 1859 - 1866)
Trove TitleCivilisation; or, Dark Scenes in Australia. A Tale Founded on Fact
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CIVILISATION ; CJR, DARK SCENES IN AUSTRALIA.

A TALE FOUNUED ON FACT.

13v ETir.NNB— Author of 'Rough Yarns from tho Bush,' ' Colonial Sketches,' 'Life at the Sonih.'

Chapter VII. THE LOSS OF THE SEA BELLE.

'Twas off Australia's rocky coest A gallant ship was tempest toss'd ; The rocks in fci^Iit appeared ; For many days she ttem'd the gale, Till lost and gone was every sail, Ac the tiark innd they uearcd.

ft ? ? W « «? Theii forward slrpp'd a tall grim chief— Few helped the pour woman's grief— lie took her by the hand. And led her to his gunyah nigh, Whilst slic-, alas, did nought but sigh When gazing on the strand. - , Unpublished poem, ' The Sea Belle.' The weather bnd been very rough at sea ; for days tlio wind had not changed, and stiil it continued blowing off the laud. The lit

tle crafts which usually trndo to nnd irom various ports on tho Australian coast had sought their harbours, and were all snugly anchored inside — all save one. small vessel ; a brig of i)0 tons, whioh, having left the Sydney .Heads with this once favourable breeze, had long since passed her destina tion, and was now boating about some miles above her desired haven. The Sea Belle — for such the render will understand this craft to be — had 8t one time been as staunch as any vessel in the coasting trndo ; but the number of her voynges, the storms she had encountered, aud the sandbauks in which she had struck, might have proved too much for a craft less fragile than the

Sea Belle ; so she laboured heavily, endea vouring to force her way against the pitti less wind aud waves .vliich were driving her far away from the Port of Gladstone. There were 13 persons on board, including the captain and crew, with two ladies and their children (32). These ladies were Mrs. Mury and Clara Wilson, who, as we have already shown, were on their way to join their husbands. Tho voyage, which ordi narily occupies four or five days, had al ready lasted more thun a fortnight, and still there appeared little likelihood of their being able to reach their destination. General anxiety prevailed on board, and grumblings were even heard among the crew at tho length of that voyage. In consequence of the boisterous weather tho cantain deemed

it best to run out to sea, lest at night they should get aground on some of the nume robs shonls which abound on this coast. Shortly after a lull was apparent ; and en couraged at so signal u favour, tho vessel's head was turned to the land, frrim which they believed themselves to be about a day's sail. Tho sea still continued rough ; large roller waves dashed with terrific violence against tho devoted ship as she kept her perilous course. Dense masses of clouds rising in the horizon as night closed in gave evidence of a coming storm, added to which, all objects were rendered indistinct from tho haze by whioh they wero surroun ded. Towards midnight the look out fan cied he saw a dark object looming through tho mist, and instantly went to report it to the mitto, who, coming on deck, was giving orders to wear ship ; but ere thoy could do so the grating ot rocks was heard

uu uui uvttuuii uuu out? di.1 uuiv uuiivity, uuu heeled over on her side, hulf full of water. The chafing of tho angry surge against the shore, tlie white foaming breakers dimly seeu through tho darkness, added to thoughts of the awful nature of their situation, made all on board tremble with fear. They rushed on deok just in time to save them selves from drowning, and huddled toge ther liko sheep, clung with the hardihood of despair to the dripping yurds and broken spars around them. Meanwhile, the crew busied themselves in getting ready tho boats, in which they placed all available necessa ries, and one by one descended over the side into the frail tenements that wero to bear them to tlw shore. The two ladies

and their infants wero made as comfortable as oircumshmces would, permit ; and all things ready, committing themselves to tho caro of a merciful Providence, they pushed off,' in tho darkness, they know not whither. But at this instant, as if to cheer their path, a gleam of light shot through tho western sky ; and ere many moments the dense clouds parted, and tho orb of night shone out in grout lustre on the dark and turbu lent sea ; and onward went those frail boats with their burthen of humnn livos, hoping to reaoh the distant shore in safety. Though mudo the sport of wiud and wave, still, as if lo cheer thorn, tho moon illumed their path, and by its light the shore was plainly visible. It was no longer a faint outline, but standing forth in bold relief appeared that strand in all the wildness of savage grandeur; they reached it without accident, and landed on its inhospitable beach. Drawing up the boats from the vvnf.m*. Qnnnn nf tllft nnaonnrrnvci Imailv an*

gaged in obtaining materials to make a firo, whilst othors sought for somo spring to ob tain water to allay their thirst. This ap peared unobtainable, and tho wood near tho shore consisting of mangrovo bushos (33), they were compelled to go farther from tho beach than they intended. ' Ero long, to the satisfaction of all, two good logs were burn ing with a hlazo that oast a oheering influ ence round the hearts of .the shipwreokod mariners. This socurity was not long felt, for shortly afterwards a sound as if tho howl of a nalive dog was heard ; but ns theso animals abound in groat munbors in most parts, of Australia thoy did' not think it worth notice, but continued near their firo, till tt wild yell startled tlio assembly, mid caused even tho stoutest to tremble. The ory was rcpontod, and taken up ,simultnn cously by a hundred tongacs. The fugi tives wore about to fly to regain the boats, when a tall savago was observed oreoning

out from the brushwood, followed by, at least, fifty others; they were all painted, as if for war, and advanced toward tho party, apparently with hostile infent. Unly four muskets had been brought from. the wreck, and distributing these among his crew, the cuptain prepared to make a stand against the enemv. A shot fired from these arms

kid prostrate the tall savage, and for a few moments checked tho impetuosity of his companions ; but they soon recovered, and again came on, evidently resolved to exter minate the whole party. The men fought bravely, and so did their antagonists ; boomerangs, nullah nullahs, and spears were hurled in all directions, whilst the loud crack of tho muskels as their barrels belshed forth firo and ball, somewhat damped the ardour of the savages. But then they were fifty to ten; their number overpowering the white men, the whole of whom fell before

the murderous attack ot their toes ; nna then was heard the yell of triumph for the victory they had gained, and tho wnil of anguish for the warriors which had been sfain in that sanguinary conflict. Poor Mary and Clara, with their children, were uninjured, haying been placed by the cap tain at some distance from tho battle scene ; but now all was over they turned to fly ; their limbs refused their office, and they sank exhausted on the sandy bench, horri fied at the massacre to wliich they hud been witness. Suddenly they were perceived by one of the savages, who, rushing towards them, uttered some unintelligible words, at

the same instant attempting to place Ins arms round Clara's waist; The poor crea ture shrieked with horror at the monster, who, withdrawing his hands, laughed and made signs t.- another of his companions] two of these sable wretches now approached, and, seizing both ladies by the wrists, dragged,' rather than led them to thoir camp in the scrub. It was now morning, and the orb of day rose in all its beauty from the main ; the winds were lulled to rest, and the waves merely rippled on the shore with a low plaintive moan, us if to sound the re quium of those murdered forms whose re mains were still lying on the bloodstained

beach ; the rising tide soon covered them, and ero long scarce a vesuge^af the tragedy which had been enacted the preceding night was visible. The females had littlo time for observation ; they knew that thoy wero prisoners in the hands of savages, in a spot from which there appoared little chance of escape. True/ they bad heard of a settle ment at the north, to which their vessel was bound, but of its whereabouts they knew nor.. Admittinrr snoh thinr/s. it annenred

to them impossible they could escape to that settlement, destitute as they were of provi sions and the means of prosecuting a jour ney. These thoughts passed rapidly through their minds as they were dragged by their captors to the scrub. What subsequently happened — their sufferings and eventual fate — will be detailed in the following ohapters. v ' (To be continued.)

Dahin'o Escape oir Prisoners. — Qn Friday last; the prisoners Cummings and Patrick Daiey, convicted at the late Asaiae Court, at Goulburn, for robbing with fire arms, and sentenced each to fifteen years' hard labor on the roads, were sent under es cort en route to Sydney, At Berrima, taking advantage of the escort, which, we believe, was then reinforced, five prisoners who had been sent to Berrima gaol from the penal establishment of the central district, in valided, were returned to head quarters (Darlinghurst). The seven convicts were

couuuuicu in saieiy io oaiiipoeiiiown, wuere we he'icvo the country escort was either wholly or partially'relievcd by a correspond ing detachment of the Campbelltown force. The prisoners were placed in a second-class carriage at Campbelltown, to be conveyed to Sydney by train. The police escort, five in number, were in tho carriage with them, and the whole of the seven prisoners were, or were s ipposcd to be, on the ehiitn, linked together with .han'dscuffs and leg irons. The names of the prisoners so travelling were

Cummings and Patsy Dalyy, and five in valided prisoners, taken up at Berrima and sent to Sydney under the escort. Their names were Fahey, Hnllard, and Williams, all under long sentences, for offences for which they were confined in the metropoli tan penal establishments, but sent to Ber rima as invalids There were two others, a man named McKay, tried in Maitland, in 1862, for robbing with firearms. Prisoner tried to procure witnosses to prove an alibi,

UUb WU3 BUIILUUWU LU SUVI^ll JUUIE, 1111 W1U roads. The last {was a man named Carr, who was suspected by the police of burgla riously entering the house of Mr. Brown of Darliughurst. He was pursued by a con stable, of the name of Sutton, and at the top of William-atreet, Woolloomooloo, he turned and fired a pistol at Sutton. He was tried in 1861 for shooting with intent to murder, nnd was convicted and sentenced to seven years on the roads. While the train was proceeding between Fairfield and Parramatta these two last-mentioned prisoners contrived to slip their handcuffs, and disengage them scjves from their leg-irons (said to bo cut through at Berrima, with a view to esonpc on the road). Thus freed from their fetters, they plunged through the open window of the cari'iiiire. aud effected their csenne into

tho huah, One of the escort constables (we believe his name is Eggerlon) jumped after them, but was too much injured in his lull to be able to pursue tho escapudes, but was able to inform us to tho direction they had taken. Tho train proceeded for about half a mile, and then returned to the) spot with two or three constables, who, by seurching

anuwutomng, in about two Hours succeeded in capturing Carr. The account ho gives — and helloes not seem to rnako muoh con cealment — is, that he was seriously shaken by the fall ; that he cruwlcd into the bush with his companion, finding himself neither able to walk or run, but no does not appoar to havo sustained any severe injuries from his fall. Up to a late hour last night ino intelligence hud boon ruccived of the ar

rest of McKay. As inspector Jtead 'and L^fi^i body ol the police nra scourinK the co»ntry'*^i'f^4 he is not likely to escape. M'IC/y, altliougli''^^ he limps a little from a gunshot wbundre-^*^ eeived in a somewhat chequered career, !?„% SJSjf^jj first-rate horseman and an expert biishmaii f3|$p§j and if he finds a horse in his way, which is '*^-^\ very likely, he may lead his puisueraa long -t *jL; chase. The rest of the prisoners under ea--^ - $E cort were lodged in Darliughurst gaol t-w jjV^ Saturday night.— Abridged fromMonday's ;$ra Empire. — [The capture of McKay had not ~J$. been reported up - to last night. A ,^ prison vest, and a hat, a'nd a pair trousers, rLn% supposed to belong to him, have been p'cLcd ' '^ up and forwarded to Sydney.] f f\ ' j Murdehoos Assault at the Gum' — On.' \J Tuesday last information reuclicd Moruya ^ fliat- n m-vertn nninprl I'lmii* llnd llHGIl st.nbbefl ' (VW

with'a knife on Sunday^ morning,, and had 4,f died in consequence of the wound. Tt ftp* * *: pearcd that a goose, belonging to Mr! White t ' *. of Nerrigundah, had been shot; Mrs White t 'T went out from her house to make enquiry as * n to who had fired the gun, when a person r^ named Bryan, well known on the Gulf by , ^0 the name of ' Charley,' informed her that ^ it was the deceased (Phair), who had turned * upon Bryan, and, after some quarrelsome - ^J demonstrations, kicked him.' Bryau then t * struck Phair on the head with, a knife, and ^ ' tlie appalling catastrophe was completed. --? _ The wounded man lingered until nine o'clock ** on Mouday evening, *when he expired. * , A trooper was dispatched at once with the r ' ^ information to W. Caswoll Esq., the coroner. The trooper reached Moruya at six o'clock x on Tuesday morning. On receiving the in

formation, Mr. uaswen accorumgiy pro ceeded to Nerrigundah, and held an inquest on the body, at the Court-house, the same day. The following are the principal fca- n tures in the evidence : — William Tolman Btated that he heard deceased and Bryan quarrelling; heard deceased threaten to kick Bryan, and immediately saw the former kick \ the latter; Bryau instantly turned and struck his opponent ; Bryan turned to assist ' \ witness in supporting the wounded man, and ? afterwards went away when other assistance 'i had arrived. Mrs. White stated that she went to some men to inquire who had shot r' one of her geese; Charles Bryan suid v 'Jemmy Phair had done it;' after some t^ words with Phair, he went towards, Biyan,'^ ^ who kept going back, Phair still fol Jo wing,.' **J him until near Bryan's door; Phair kept Y squaring at Bryan with his fist [close to \ Bryan's face; Phair asked Bryan '' what ' \ are you going to do with the knife?'.'/ Bryan t answered: 'Go away and Jet me alone/' ^ nnd afterwards added : ' Remember, if you * , hit me I will stand in self-defence;'' Phaii , then turned to go away, but returned ' .- and threatened to kick Bryan, afterwards did ^' so; they then both struck each other on the head ; Phair fell ; Bryan endeavoured to * lift him up and others went to assist ;. neither ' spoke. Other witnesses gave evidence to -. the same efFect. Verdict — ManalaaglTEcrr''^

Bryan was then committed to take his tnal -, at ttie'Darliughurst gaol, on Decembei 19th, v| and was afterwurds admitted to bail , him- ' self in £200, and two sureties in £lfl() each. ,' — Braidwood Odserver, Oct. 3. ~'*«5^