Chapter 1317265

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Chapter NumberVI
Chapter TitleAFTER THE TRIAL.
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article1317265
Full Date1871-02-11
Page Number3
Corrections19
Word Count8913
IllustratedN
Last Corrected2016-10-03
Newspaper TitleThe Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933)
Trove TitleThe Hermit Convict
article text

THE HERMIT CONVICT.

By the Rev. William Draper.

Chapter VI.

AFTER THE TRIAL.

Judd, as a clerk, had given the reins to his selfish pleasures, and, as a natural consequence,

envy, because of the greater success and pros- perity which accompanied Stewart's uniform good conduct, fixed itself as a lodger in his heart, and he could not expel it. As a plotter against others, he repeated in his history the lesson which has so often been preached and taught—once get into the turbid current of iniquitous practices, and no power short of Omnipotence can snatch from it. But it was as a felon that the full venom which was in- herent in his nature shot forth as from a ser- pent's tooth, to poison everything with which he came into contact. He was conducted back to prison, and, heavily ironed, was put into a strong cell. The first fourteen days of his incarcera- tion were passed, in accordance with the sentence, in solitary confinement, the effect of which upon this hard man was chiefly of a physical character; the mental was untouched. The transition from the hypocrite to the un- masking was with him a period in which he had

bolted on to his nature a desire for merciless revenge. "Henceforth," said he to himself, "it shall be war to the knife between me and all the accursed race of man."

It was on the tenth day after his conviction that the governor of the prison, together with the chaplain, entered his cell. They found him in a perfect frenzy of passion. The Rev. Mr. Carlisle, a most excellent clergyman, a kind friend to the prisoners, and a zealous and con- scientious chaplain, approached the convict first, and spoke kindly to him. He was sitting on a fixed bench close to the wall of his cell, his head bowed down, his hands clasped convulsively together, and his whole frame quivering under the influence of excessive emo- tion. He looked up as the two officials entered the cell, but it was only for an instant. But he had trained himself to act well. From the most intense agony of spirit, which it was very pain- ful to witness, he passed, at an interval of a few seconds, into an atmosphere of the utmost nonchalence, and began to whistle a popular air.

"Come, my man," said the governor, "please to remember that you are not alone. Be re- spectful and orderly."

"I will, sir," replied the convict. "I will listen while you put your regulation questions to me. You are come to convert me. Oh! I quite understand your plans. But, let me tell you, I will answer none of your questions. Does the law compel me to do it, eh! governor?"

"The law does not," quietly replied Mr. Car- lisle; "but society, of which you are now de-

prived——"

"Yes, for life! Better hang me outright!" replied the wretched man, interrupting the chaplain, and speaking very loud. "Do you think I care a jot what becomes of me now? He, he! Yes, that thing who sat on the bench —he who said, 'For life, prisoner!'—he told me it was no use to hope for anything else. What, then, have I to look forward to? No, you may torture me, but I won't repent, you may tease me, but I won't ask for mercy, you may use soft words, but I'll admit nothing."

The bitterness with which these words were uttered cannot be expressed. If you have seen a tiger when the keeper has been tempting him with his food through the bars of his cage, you may imagine the snarl with which the words

were belched out.

The chaplain replied: "I am very sorry, Judd, to find such bitterness of spirit. When the anger of God falls upon us, wo should try and humble ourselves in His sight. Such ex- pressions of useless anger as those we have heard must only increase your wretchedness. We all desire to do what is possible to save you."

"Save me! save ME, me! you said, did you not? SAVE—ME! Pray cease your mockery, sir. Add not to this ridiculous scene, or to my sentence, by such hypocritical fulsomeness. If you were to come to me, or twenty like you, with—; but I don't know that I would thank you for that, and so I won't say it. I shall be answering your questions if I am not

careful."

"To what do you refer?" said Mr Carlisle. "If it is anything which relates to——"

"I tell you it is no good to expect anything

from me."

"Well, well," replied Mr Carlisle, "I hope to find you more disposed to listen to me when I visit you again. Think as you will, Judd, I assure you that you have my good will. I heartily wish that I could help you."

The good clergyman spoke with a faltering voice. No one felt more pity for hopeless misery than he did. He was accustomed to say that life cases always deeply affected him, for hope appeared to forsake the poor wretches who had nothing but misery before them.

Judd was silent for a moment, but evidently touched with the earnest feeling with which the good man spoke, he replied, "Sir, I dare say you may feel for me; I was wrong in thinking otherwise, but I am very bitter just now. Ah! you know not how hard I feel. I know I have been wicked but to be cut off from all hope, all!—this is more than I deserve. For life the judge said."

A tear stood in the wretched man's eye as he spoke, but it was quickly brushed away, as if he was ashamed of it. He arose and stood before the two officials, steadfastly looking into their countenances as if to read their thoughts.

The governor now spoke: "The judge, my

he th

ab du

M lin

man, did not make the law, and there was no recommendation to mercy. If you were to—"

"Confess. Ah! I knew all along what was coming," said the convict. "This is what you do with all your wretched victims. You take good care that a poor bailed beast has no chance of escape, and then you set your dogs on to get him into the confessional. I don't confess; I will not admit anything. You have my answer. If you will have your pound of flesh, prisoner though I am, I can prevent you from drawing from me one drop of blood. Do let me alone; I have had worry enough for once."

"Worry!" replied the governor, "that is a strange thing for a criminal to talk about. You have made your own bed, and upon it you must lie; and depend upon it your haughty spirit will find a tamer before long."

"Mr Sumner, is it a part of your duty to add to the sentence which has been passed upon me?" said Judd, turning round sharply to- wards the governor as he spoke.

"No, certainly not," replied the officer; "nor do I wish to do so, but let me tell you this: it is a part of my duty to see that you be- have yourself respectfully and properly, and as

long as you are under my charge, I intend to do that duty."

"Mr Sumner will excuse me," said the chap- lain, "for interrupting this conversation, and for saying that we had a special object in visit- ing you to-day. It is best that you should know it and I hope you will see that only obedience and good conduct can now avail you. The judge is anxious that you should, if it lays within your power, do a simple act of justice towards James Stewart and David Argyle. If you know anything which may alter the posi- tion of those young men, your own case can be none the worse if you confess it. It may do them a benefit, perhaps yourself also; but at least it will remove from your own soul that which, if you are guilty of injury to them, must

be a terrible burden to bear."

"Sir," replied Judd, after a brief pause, during which he sat down and kept his eyes fixed upon the floor of the cell; "Sir, I do not admit that I am guilty. Stewart has told a lie, may a blasting curse rest upon him and his curssd religion. Now, don't be angry, I can't help it!"

"Well but, Judd——"

"Now will you please, sir, to hear me," resumed the convict. "I appeared against him; he re- taliated. It is the old tale—tit for tat; and I think he has the best of it. I hated him for his prim exactness. Let him go, as well as I. We may meet, perhaps, where we can settle this affair in our own way."

"My poor mistaken fellow creature," replied Mr. Carlisle; "revenge can only add to your guilt, even though it is in thought. It can do you no good whatever. Restitution may serve you."

"What have I to restore, sir?" replied Judd, with great bitterness.

"That which is better than money," said Mr. Carlisle, in a deep and solemn manner: "a good name, liberty, character."

"Sir," replied Judd, "I shall say nothing more—be assured of this; nothing—nothing— no nothing—in this land of chains and dun- geons."

"Then my blood is clear of you," said the reverend gentleman. "You are to be removed very soon, and may the good Lord have mercy on your soul, and lead you to repentance."

"Amen," said the governor, and so the fruit-

less interview ended.

Judd was soon removed to another gaol, where he remained until the period of embarka- tion. Nothing, however, made any impression upon him; he still continued to be the same hardened, desperate villain. Proficient in every evil work, he concocted several daring schemes to escape, and, being punished, he was yet more hardened than ever, so that every official in the prison rejoiced when the day arrived which was

to rid them of him.

CHAPTER VIII.

RECOGNITION AND ESCAPE.

Stewart and Argyle had been about twelve months in Moreton Bay when the ship arrived by which the convict Judd reached the scene of his future career. The former had been engaged as secretary to Lieutenant Colonel Tomlinson, the commandant of the troops quartered at Brisbane, and so well had he conducted himself that the colonel was already his warm friend. The story of his accusation had been sent by Mr. Hartlop to the commanding officer at Moreton Bay, and this being shown to Lieu tenant Colonel Tomlinson, he at once sought permission to engage him in his own service. But hearing from Stewart, in a very artless manner, the particulars of his early life, and bereavements, he promised to be his friend as far as consistent with his duty. One day, after he had been about four months in the colonel's house, filling a very menial position, there was a dinner party, and Stewart officiated as man ser- vant. His former habits of life and the three years of convict experience were no great quali- fication for the duties which devolved upon him. Nevertheless he discharged them exceedingly well, and attracted the notice of several gentle-

men by his suavity and attention. Some of the guests made inquiry respecting him, and, at a subsequent hour of the evening, Colonel Tom- linson related what he knew. "But," said he, as the tale was concluded, "you shall hear from his own lips that which I believe to be about as rascally a piece of villainy as a novelist ever un- folded." Stewart was thereupon summoned,

and his master kindly inquired if he would have any objection to tell the guests the particulars of his calamitous accusation, trial, and convic-

tion.

"I have nothing to hide," replied Stewart, "and that my story should be known I greatly desire; for I have strong hopes that by some means God will yet send me deliverance." In the relation of the circumstances, which are known to the reader, he demonstrated the warmest affection and gratitude towards his late employer. There was no murmur on account of the prosecution; no appeal for mere sympathy; he told all that was in his heart, and to a greater effect than when his master heard the same tale upon a former occasion, for the next morning Stewart received from the colonel an intimation that in about two months he would promote him to a position which he hoped and believed he would fill honorably and creditably. The promotion duly came, and Stewart, in the capacity of pri-

vate secretary to the colonel, saw before him a prospect of complete deliverance at some early period. He exerted himself to the utmost to please, and he did please. It was a few days before the ship arrived which conveyed Judd to Moreton Bay, when Lieutenant-Colonel Tom- linson one morning, expressing his satisfaction with Stewart's conduct during the six months that he had been in his new position, inquired whether he could be of further service to him. Stewart, ever unselfish, thought of his friend Argyle rather than of himself, and pleaded the cause of the young farmer so successfully that the colonel promised to help him, if an oppor- tunity occurred.

One bright, clear, but very hot morning, about a week after this conversation, Colonel Tomlinson (as he was always called, so for brevity sake, we will allow the prefix to remain in the shade) entered the office where Stewart was busily engaged copying some important des-

patches for transmission home, and, holding a letter in his hand, said that a ship had arrived during the previous day with convicts on

board.

"It will be the last load of human wretched- ness which will enter this port, thank God," said the colonel, "but I learn that there are some desperate fellows on board I am going down to the bay, and you will please to get ready to go down also. I shall require the despatch book, and the copy of the new regulation orders. The cutter is to leave the wharf in an hour."

"Your instructions shall have my best at- tention, colonel," replied the secretary.

This was a treat to Stewart which he had not

anticipated, the first glimpse of liberty which

he had yet had, for he was still under strict orders not to leave the settlement without a pass. In fact, tho odious brand and its accompanying restrictions still rested upon him and all his

actions.

With a fair wind and an ebbing tide, the little cutter soon reached the bay. Here the Berkley was anchored—the only ship which had entered the port for more than a month pre- viously. How solitary she looked, as she rode upon the vast expanse of water, where a thousand ships could find a safe and commodious haven. Stewart looked upon her with a heart brimful of gratitude. Only twelve months ago he had arrived under similar circumstances—a convict with eleven years of misery before him.

During the settlement of some preliminary matters, and the interchange of the usual com- pliments and congratulations between the officials, Stewart took a turn round the ship, more for the purpose of passing the time than to look upon scenes which he remembered too well. He had walked from stem to stern, and back again, and was standing near the compan- ion which led to the cabin or saloon, when a loud cry reached his ears. Attracted by it, he again proceeded towards the forecastle, and listening for a moment, he heard a low moaning, as if some one was in pain. Still peering into the many nooks and corners which abound in a ship, he saw a man lying in a berth which was enclosed with iron bars and a very strong iron- plated door. A strange infatuation prompted him to a closer investigation, and he went near enough to look through the grating. This was contrary to orders, as he soon found, by a challenge from the sentinel; but he had seen more than he wished. A wretched man lay in the bunk, fettered, and in a strait waistcoat. It was thus that Stewart and Judd met in More- ton Bay, the latter a most violent maniac. No less than seven weeks of the voyage had been spent by the wretched man in as many separate sentences of solitary confinement, tho last of the seven being preceded with a severe flogging. Fever had ensued, during which reason tottered and finally fell with a crash, which levelled the brutal man to the ferocity of a beast, and ren- dered an iron-bound cage an absolute necessity.

Most painful were the reflections of the young man as he turned away from the place. His arch enemy was there; they might—yes they would surely meet again on this far-off shore. What would be the result? "Ah, well, God hath not done so much for me to destroy me

now. Who knows——"

The sentence was not completed, for at this moment he was summoned to the saloon.

Here he found a numerous company seated around the tables, which were covered with papers at one end, and decanters, glasses, wine, and an abundance of fruit at the other. Stewart was addressed by the commander of the ship, who told him that he had been summoned to hear that which he hoped would be to his ad- vantage. He then called upon the surgoon to make the statement to which the company had previously listened.

"Well, sir," replied the surgeon, "as I have already told you, the man was as mad as a March hare, and very violent. I was standing by his berth one day when he cried out, 'He

did not do it.'"

"Sometimes people in this state will reply very correctly if you speak quietly to thom, and so I said, 'Who did not do it?'"

"'Stewart,' he replied, 'I paid the cheque away; no, not paid—got it cashed.'"

"Here he stopped and lay perfectly still for some minutes, during which time, Captain, you recollect you passed by and I beckoned to you. You heard for yourself what he said next."

"Are you speaking of a man who is on board, sir, may I ask?" said Stewart, addressing the surgeon. "As I was walking over the ship, I saw a poor creature whom I once knew——"

"What is his name?" inquired the captain.

"When I knew him," replied Stewart, " he was called Julet, he changed this name to Judd. I do not know which is correct."

"Well, this is important," said the captain. "But to finish the matter, gentlemen," con- tinued the surgeon. "After the lapse of a few minutes the man again broke out into the strongest invectives I ever heard; but the state- ments which he made were very extraordinary. We did not know then to whom they referred; but perhaps you can supply the information, Mr. Stewart. The wretched man at intervals broke out into loud cries, and then followed detached words and sentences, which have been put together, and I now read them to you by the captain's desire:

"' 'Twas James Stewart, I say he was inno-

cent.' "

" ' Argyle was a jolly fellow, after all.' "

" ' How could I help doing it? 'Twas that or tearing up the deed.' "

"' Blood! blood! Go to bed, wife; 'tis nothing. See, I wash;—'tis gone.' "

" ' No, no; 'tis come again! I had a mind to take the whip, but——'"

"He said no more, but opened his eyes, and, looking intently at me, screamed out, 'You are Argyle's father; I know you are;' and became so violent that we were obliged to leave him."

The surgeon ceased, and the commandant, turning to Stewart, said, "I am very glad on your account, young man, that my first opinion about you promises better things than even I expected. I thought at the time it was a doubtful experiment, but you have behaved well, my man. All we can do is to mention your case in the next despatches, which will leave in about a week, and I am happy to Inform you also that the young follow, Argyle, will be men- tioned favorably. In the meantime, he will be sent to Limestone. His position there will be greatly improved."

"May it please your honor," replied Stewart, "God Almighty is just and merciful. I thank you from my heart. This expression of good will to me and my friend compensates for much of the ignominy through which it has been our unhappy lot to pass. I thank you, gentlemen, again—all of you."

"Bravo, bravo!" shouted Colonel Tomlinson, "well said. Captain Fitzsimmons, may I be so bold as to beg that the young follow may have a

glass of wine."

"By all means, Colonel, by all means; and now, gentlemen, I think our business is done. When shall we commence to discharge?"

With these arrangements our tale has nothing to do, if we except one out of the 320 convicts which were destined to work out their sentence in the colony. This man was to be sent ashore on the morrow, in the ship's whale boat.

The day dawned with a heavy fog. It was also intensely hot. As the sun arose the fog lifted to reveal a mass of ominous looking clouds hanging like a pall over the land, and entirely obscuring the hills. About 10 o'clock the boat was ready to start. Judd was carried on board,

he was too weak to walk, and sail being hoisted, the boat's head was turned towards the Brisbane River, the pilot of the port being the steersman. There was not much wind, however, and at the mouth of tho river the men had to take to the oars. It would be quite proper to describe every point and headland, even every mangrove tree, amongst the many millions which so curi- ously choose to flourish where any other respect- able tree would be sure to decline even the sha- dow of an acquaintance, but the pen is not in a humor to descant upon swampy geography, mud islands, and stunted, storm beaten trees. The mouth of this Brisbane is not pretty no, not

at all.

Distant thunder soon began to peal forth, and by the time the boat reached Eagle Farm, a storm threatened to close around them. The men plied their oars, exerting their utmost strength, but as Breakfast Creek was reached down came the tempest with tremendous hail and rain; and fierce flashed the lightning, and incessant were the awful peals of thunder, and hurricane-like roared the wind; heaven seemed to be bombarding earth. It was an awful tem-

pest.

"Pull in boys'" shouted tho officer, "we can't stand this. There, back her just round

that corner."

It was done, and not a minute too soon. Several of the men were severely wounded, and the convict Judd, had several ghastly wounds from the sharp flattened masses of ice which, though very beautiful, were dangerous to en- counter. Into the scrub on the bank of the creek they all crept, carrying with them the now senseless body of the convict. To all appear- ance he was dying or dead; they moistened his mouth with brandy, poured some down his throat, put some of the hailstones on his fore- head, chafed his hands, but all seemed of no

avail. There was a pulse, but no other sign of

animation.

"Hang the fellow," said tho officer, "he was always a plague. If he goes off the hook now, it will save a precious lot of trouble up along. Do these storms generally last long, Mr. Jones?"

"Not one like this," answered the pilot, "and I think we are nearing the bottom of this buster. It is a tolerable good specimen of a colonial storm, but I have seen heavier."

"God save us from many like this," said one of the men. "It looks very like a choker for

my hearty, there."

"Good luck to the rascal, I say," said an- other, "he deserves all he'll get, I reckon."

"I should have liked, anyhow, to have got him ashore," said the officer. "But leave the fellow, my men, and get the boat bailed out. Then come up and fetch him. If possible, we will get him up to the barrack, dead or alive."

The sailors at once obeyed the orders of the lieutenant, and were hard at work clearing the boat from the large quantity of water and ice which had fallen into it. But before they had half performed their task a loud and terrific yell, as if a thousand demons had suddenly risen from the ground, reached their ears, there was the report of a pistol, then another, and this was followed by a third. But at this mo- ment a shower of spears fell round about the boat, and Lieutenant Harbone, with one stick- ing into his coat sleeve and minus his gold laced cap, rushed down the hill, followed by the pilot, who had come out of the contest without any loss; for a contest it was most unmistakably, and with fearful odds, two white men to a hun- dred great blackfellows armed with nulla nullas, boomerangs, clubs, and spears, and commanded by a perfect Amazon.

"Pull like the devil, boys, if you value your lives," shouted Lieutenant Harbone, as he jumped into the boat."

The sailors did not want a second command, but with a few strokes they sent the boat ahead until mid-river was reached; here, by command, they rested on their oars.

"That was a warm brush, Mr Jones," said

Lieutenant Harbone.

"Middling, middling! If we had only had another or two with us we would have made the whole lot of varmints cut their lucky. Pity 'twas," continued the pilot, "I left my bawbies at home; they should have danced a jig or

two, I know."

Of course the sailors wanted to know all about the action as they called it, but Pilot Jones only laughed at them: "Action, my boys, we call such things only a lark here."

"Rather a sharp lark, master," said one of the men pointing to the spear which Lieutenant Harbone had drawn out of his coat. Fortu- nately it had not wounded him.

"Oh! as to them things," replied the pilot, "the darkies seldom come near enough for them to do any harm. Hang the varmints, they have caught me napping for once, but as I was look- ing down at the rascal yonder, they rose up all around like mushrooms. Hang me, if I don't think that they knew I had not got my bawbies. They have had a touch of them before."

"If it please your honor, we should like to have a slap at the fellows if you don't object."

"We can't go, sir, without looking for the rest of the cargo," said the pilot. "I should say, let us do as the men propose. I warrant if they should not have bolted we will have some fun."

"With all my heart, pilot," replied the officer. "Pull in, boys. Get your cutlasses and pistols ready; on ye go. Pull into this more open place, these black devils won't show out there,

I think."

So, armed to the teeth, the lieutenant, the pilot, and six of the sailors jumped on shore, the other two pulling the boat a few yards from shore, with orders to pull in again the moment they were hailed.

The contemplated action, however, never was fought; when they reached the place where they had left the body of Henry Judd it had vanished, and with it all traces of the blacks. They had gathered up all their implements of warfare and the dead and dying, which Lieutenant Harbone felt confident he had left behind, although, be it known, that so sudden was the onset, and so un- like the enemy to any that that gentleman had ever conceived in his brain, that his courage upon this occasion was little better than an

illustration of the proverb:

He that fights and runs away Will live to fight another day.

So Henry Judd landed, his penal servitude for life ending much sooner than even he, or any of his numerous censors, had deemed possible. The boat went on to Brisbane to report the cir- cumstances, and soldiers were sent out at once in search of the blacks, who were known to be in the neighborhood of Breakfast Creek, but although the search lasted several days, no Henry

Judd could be discovered.

CHAPTER VIII.

MOGARA AND HER TRIBE.

We must retrace our steps a little to visit a

blackfellows' camp of the olden time. There may have been Roman noses, and lovely eyes, charming lips, nicely turned arms, and superb swan-like necks, in the camp of natives to which Mogara, a half-caste woman, belonged, but if there were such pleasing excellencies, they were most likely hidden under some striking peculia- rity of dress, paint, or other ornament. About this everlasting subject dress, how inexhaustible are the terms which one must learn before an attempt is made to launch forth on this ever restless sea. A new name is coined, it is heard everywhere from the cottage to the palace. Take it into the study and attempt to solve its deriva- tion, and this is just as possible as it would be to publish to tho world the true history of the sphinx. Fustian and cloth no doubt were fashionable fifty years ago, as a suitable material to make coats and breeches for a very huge por- tion of Britain's subjects, but if the Court mil-

liner could be clever enough to describe the dress of some of tho natives of Australia, he or she (which is right?) would hardly be bold enough to recommend it as suitable costume for fashion- able life. Certainly it is frequently the most primitive of all clothing, and, if report is true, and there is every reason to believe that it is, two of the oldest and best known of all the people that have ever lived in this world, were clad in this costume before any such thing as sin entered into their thoughts.

Eagle Hawk, as he is sitting on his throne, which is a glass sward, with a huge gum tree against which to rest his back, would say that he has always found this primitive dress the cheapest, the most comfortable, and the easiest to wash and get up, of any that was ever in- vented. The old man, nevertheless, had an eye to fine clothes once, and was tempted to covet them quite as strongly as Eve was tempted to take the forbidden treasure. He had picked up a convict's dress, which had been discarded for a most indefinite period by one of His Majesty's most humble servants, who, singularly enough, had a remarkable preference for liberty versus serviture. As the dress would have been ex- tremely inconvenient in the new sphere of action which this gentleman had chosen for him- self, even without consulting those who might possibly have urged some objections to his de- parture from certain food and lodging, he gener- ously left it on the side of the road which led to the opposite direction to that which he intended to take. Old Eagle Hawk had found it, and was exceedingly pleased with his prize. It is true he perspired rather freely under the influence of such an extraordinary addition to his usual wardrobe; but, as use is said to be second na-

ture, so tho old man continued to sport his new costume for some months. One day, in an ab-

stract mood of admiration of the red coats at the convict camp, he drew near enough to them to be seen. The alarm bell was rung, and he was pursued. His swift legs and better know- ledge of the country saved him from capture; bur when he reached the camp, he vented his rage on the offending dress by stuffing it full of dry grass, and, after sundry remarkable military exercises with spear and shield, supposed to be a peculiar and extremely original sort of tourna- ment between himself and the stuffed convict, he finally set it on fire, and danced a wild orgie until it was consumed. Eagle Hawk never wore any dress after that day.

But while we have been describing his ad- venture, the old man has arisen from his primi- tive throne. If it is possible to look two ways at once, he must have been doing so; for one might have taken an affidavit that he was in- tently watching something straight before him, whereas, in fact, he was keenly and closely cal- culating how soon the boat which was convey- ing Judd up the river would reach the point of the creek near to which the camp was pitched. At length he spoke: "Ballu! Boat—no get up; storm, thunder, rain!" These words were spoken in the native tongue, but instantly the camp was on the qui vive. A dozen black- fellows, very ugly, but far more powerful men than those which walk about the streets of Australian towns at the present day, answered the old man's summons. White people had not educated them to be drunkards then—at least, this remark applies to the Moreton Bay district —very rarely indeed could they obtain "the fire drink." Their hand was also against the white man. They would have exterminated all the race if they had had the power. The language of these people is very musical, but exceedingly vague and unintelligible. If an illustration of the musical is required, it may be found in the highly romantic names of the Australian dis- tricts. The ring of those words upon the tongue is the essential accompaniment of musical sounds. True, it is all very rough, severely savage, but there is method in the asperity of the dialect, as well as in the originality of their habits. Vices of course abound—hellish vices —which have cruelty for their author, and the supreme court of hell alone as their defender. But what has the white man done to try to teach them better things? We found the black man on the soil; we did not buy the land—no, not even nominally, with justice to him; we forced him back—now a little, then a little more —until to-day the poor wretched creatures are most deplorable outcasts. Hundreds of men must go down to the grave, and to the bar of inflexible justice, with the red blood of many of these poor creatures on their heads. There are men in the colonies who say calmly that there is no remedy but shooting the wretches down, as you would a kangaroo or a dingo. We glory in our freedom; but, knowing what will be the result, we deliberately drive these aborigines into destruction, and rejoice over the undoubted fact that they are dying out of the land. It is a dark picture—a terrible crime—a dreadful page to read in the book of retribution; and yet, what have ministers of the Gospel or Christian professors done to stem tho torrent of this iniquity? There has been no Elijah to face this hideous Baal. "Thou hast killed and taken possession!" is the charge, and the only answer we make is, "It is expedient."

Many of the tribe to which Eagle Hawk be- longed had been cruelly massacred bj British troops, without the slightest provocation. That the blacks retaliated is only the natural sequel.

Hence it was all alike to them; stranger or no stranger, a white skin was the target for their mark. In the desire for revenge, they were con- stantly stimulated by the extraordinary influ-

ence of their absolute queen, Mogara. She was a remarkably fine specimen of female symmetry and savage beauty, her mother being as tall as herself, and her father—an officer in the British army—a man as tall as a life guardsman, and of gigantic strength. It is not necessary now to allude further to the cruel deception of which he was guilty, or to the wrongs of the mother, which the daughter tried her utmost to revenge.

Two years after the death of her mother, the tribe to which Mogara and Eagle Hawk be-

longed migrated northward, and settled in tho Moreton Bay district. A long standing quarrel was the primary cause of this exodus from the Hunter River district, to which they had gone about five years previously. The particulars of these quarrels it is extremely difficult to ascer- tain. But the day of battle was fixed, and both sides used the interval in the most formidable preparations. Boomerangs, currywong wattles, and spears were manufactured by the hundred; tomahawks, shields, and clubs were collected together; and, when nearly three hundred were thus equipped, externally the respective armies appeared invincible. Upon the day when the struggle was to take place, both tribes marched up in single file to the appointed place, which was an open sandy flat upon the borders of the river, near what is now known as "Umpie Bong." Here they sat down at a distance of about forty yards between the two lines. For some minutes not a word was spoken on either side, but at last one of the men of the Mogara tribe (the term is not correct, but it will serve as a distinction) arose, and after a very rapidly delivered address, he pointed to Eagle Hawk, who then rose, and stated the cause of the dis-

pute, ending his speech with a flourish of his boomerang, which he threw from him with great violence, but with the usual skill of the natives, so that it performed its circle of flight, and returning, fell close to the warrior's feet. He then challenged to single combat the man whom he accused as the offender in the dispute. The speech was delivered in a most vehement manner, and with the frequent use of the word yambel, by which he intended

to charge the whole tribe with lying and mean-

ness.

As he concluded, the whole of the men on both sides arose, and shouted with indescribable vehemence, which was their method of expres- sing their assent to the trial by single combat, as Eagle Hawk had proposed. Then a tall, muscular blackfellow on the opposite side stepped out of the ranks of his country men, and walked half way across the space which divided the hostile armies, Eagle Hawk in like manner advancing to meet him, and all the war- riors again sat down to witness the struggle.

Both the combatants were fully armed, and were renowned as experienced warriors. As spectators of the fight there were nearly 600 men, besides women and children. Boomerangs were the first weapons, for the order of battle was previously arranged. These simple, but effective implements of native warfare were de- livered with sure but terrible effect. Eagle Hawk was struck, and his left shoulder was laid open, his opponent's cheek was struck, a ghastly wound being the result. The cries of the spec-

tators hereupon became exceeding loud, but not one moved from his place. Blood had been drawn, and they knew that the fight must soon come to an issue. The spear was the next wea- pon; retiring back from each other, until a con- venient distance was reached, both the comba- tants threw at the same moment. The blood which flowed from the cheek of Eagle Hawk's opponent nearly blinded him, so that his aim was not so sure as it otherwise would have been. Not so the aim of Eagle Hawk; his spear entered the left side of his opponent, he gave one leap off the ground, and fell down dead.

Instantly there was a rush to the centre, both sides joining in an indiscriminate struggle. How long it would have lasted, or how it would have ended, no one could have told, but in less than a minute from the death of Eagle Hawk's opponent, fifty muskets were levelled at the savage group, and most of them had marked a victim. With a cry of horror the rest fled, one only, besides the dead and the wounded, was left behind. Concealed behind a rock about a quar- ter of a mile away, Mogara saw the massacre, and as her tribe fled, calmly, but with the visage of a tigress, she stood her ground. In a few minutes the military detachment issued from the scrub from which they had dealt out their deadly fire, and slowly defiled upon the field of battle. Here a horrid sight presented itself. Nearly fifty of the poor wretches had received gunshot wounds, several were dead, and as many were mortally wounded.

"A useful lesson, Brown," said the officer who commanded the soldiers. "We had to do this several times down South before these black devils would leave the settlement."

Sir Englishman, how many innocent white men and women have been murdered because of your cruel work? Mogara, perhaps, with her keen, arrow-like, speaking eyes, watching your retreat, could tell. History cannot.

CHAPTER IX.

TEN YEARS AFTER.

Convict life at Moreton Bay is not a plea- sant subject. Let it rest in the grave where so many poor wretches found deliverance, at least from the cruelty of men, the mercy of some of whom had its only voice in the lash. It was a hell, and if Dante had seen it he would have probably given it a place amongst the torture chambers of the lost. Probably this is the his- tory of such establishments generally, and no doubt there is much to be said in extenuation when the desperate character of convicts is con- sidered. Ten years from the day when Judd so mysteriously disappeared had wrought won- drous changes in the history of the settlement. The convict establishment was entirely broken up, and the convicts were removed, the march of civilisation began in the establishment of trade, commerce, steamboat navigation, the first newspaper, and representative government. Brisbane also enlarged its border, and strength- ened its importance, and last, though not least, the Artimesia arrived with a load of free immi-

grants, and the Fortitude supplemented this welcome batch of honest citizens shortly after.

James Stewart, Esq., is a squatter, and David Argle, Esq., is his partner. Their address is Leyton Station. It ought to have been Argyle

and Stewart, for the bulk of the capital which was employed in the partnership had been put in by the former, but he would not have it so. To Stewart he owed his liberty much sooner than he would have obtained it, and not a word would he hear of any inequality between their positions. So well had Mr. Boodle managed the Argyle estate that a sum of five thousand pounds was realised by the sale of the farm, and this, with nearly £20,000 of actual cash in hand, formed a noble capital with which to begin the world again. Both the young men decided not to return home, and Mr. Hartlop had assisted Stewart with a loan of money without interest, when he heard of his determination to settle in Australia. The great disparity between this sum, however, and that which Argyle had re- ceived, Stewart was determined to meet as far as possible by acting as manager to the station without any participation in the profits, at least for a time. To this Argyle consented after much discussion The partnership was there-

fore arranged upon the following terms: Stewart put in one thousand pounds, Argyle ten thou- sand. The former to share in the profits at the expiration of three years. The firm to be Ste- wart and Argyle. But so well had the young men prospered that at the expiration of three years Stewart was, in equity, entitled to receive a thousand pounds. This money Argyle insisted he must receive, and he agreed to do so. His position then was one of equality with his part- ner, and for years the partnership existed on the most satisfactory understanding, and variable, but on the whole, substantial profit. Both of them soon received that which was tantamount to a release, for though in the absence of Judd no further evidence could be obtained about their innocence, yet so well had Colonel Tomlin- son interceded on their behalf that a few months after the mysterious disappearance or death of Judd they received from the Commandant free passes to go where they liked provided they did not leave the colony. This privilege was supple- mented, at the expiration of twelve months, with a free pardon, or remission of the remain- der of their sentence. In the interim, the ar- rangements already mentioned were made, and thus tho two young men, whoso fortunes were most mysteriously united under one series of painful events, began life in the colony to which

they were banished, as squatters, wool growers,

&c.

Their staunch friend, Colonel Tominson, in- valided, returned to England after the final breaking up of the convict establishment at Moreton Bay. He had served his country with his regiment at the Cape of Good Hope, then at Tasmania, afterwards at Port Jackson, and finally at Moreton Bay, he had therefore seen much rough life, and not a little arduous service. His wife had died shortly before he left England, and thus he was a widower with one little girl. For some time he was undecided what he should do with the child, but through the good offices of a near relative, who was the wife of a clergy- man in Suffolk, a home was found for Julia Tomlinson during the period of her infancy and school days, and afterwards with an excellent woman, who was known as a widow living at the same place, which was a small market town

which shall be called Newlands.

This widow, whose name was Welland, lived quite as a stranger in the place; no one knew where she came from or what her circumstances were. The clergyman told everyone who made any enquiry that she had lost her husband, and wished to mourn over he bereavement in re- tirement and seclusion. This, with the majority of the people, was enough, but there were some busybodies who would pry into secrets, as they declared "there must certainly be," but they obtained nothing for their trouble but disap- pointment. Like all such unprincipled pryers, then they began to insinuate dark things. The widow took little notice of these hints, and so it came to pass that she lived on from year to year a quiet, blameless life, and after a while even her enemies ceased to trouble her. It happened also that a young lass, a little older than Julia Tomlinson, bearing the name of Alice, came to live with the widow, but no one knew anything about her surname. The clergyman, Mr. Long, one day happened to remark that her name was not Welland, but in the absence of positive in- formation the little maid was christened by the voice of popular opinion Alice Welland, and the widow did not oppose it.

After a lapse of fifteen years, which, though not particularly arduous, so far a military ser- vice was concerned, Colonel Tomlinson found the influence of the hot climate of Moreton Bay to be productive of ailings which at first he was inclined to neglect, but which compelled him to look towards home. Letters also demanded a speedy return, and the colonel applied for, and received, permission to resign on half pay, to commence at the date of the medical certificate that he was restored to his usual health, until which period he was to receive full pay.

Accordingly a house was secured at Brighton, to which Julia removed in anticipation of her father's return. This was delayed a full month later than he had expected; the voyage home was attended with great difficulties, and no small danger. Severe gales drove the ship out of its course, and at one time the safety of the vessel was almost despaired of, but, by the good providence of God, at length the anchor was cast out in the splendid Roads of Spithead, and soon after Colonel Tomlinson was ashore. The goold soldier was now materially worse that

when he left Australia. The voyage, so far from proving beneficial, had been productive of a serious, and it was feared, a fatal complaint. It was therefore with an emaciated countenance and many signs of great weakness that he reached his home, and met his daughter, after an absence of more than fifteen years. How de- lighted he was to see in her the living likeness of his much loved, lost wife. How happy the amiable, loving girl was, in the restoration of her dear father to her, may be imagined by those who have long been separated.

Julia Tomlinson was no stranger to her father by correspondence. The first attempt at pen- manship reached the colonel on a bed of suffer- ing, for he had been wounded in a skirmish with the Caffres, by a spear which had entered his leg. It was as follows:-

"Newlands, June 16 1834.

"Dear papa,—Your Ju is very well, hope you are so too. Come home to-morrow. Good-bye. From your Ju."

This very unimportant document had more music in it to cheer the sick father than can be expressed. "God bless and preserve the dar- ling!" was his first exclamation, as he read the letter again and again. This was the earnest of a new life as yet in embryo, but still one of in- tense interest to him. Mail days were not so frequent at that period as they are now, in fact the means of sending letters were very uncertain.

But every ship brought one from Julia to her

father.

The reunion of the father with the child was thoroughly blessed to both of them. In her the father found an inestimable treasure; in him the child gained an experience which she had never previously known—she found a father. What can compensate for the absence of the

parent?

But convalescence came, and with it the in- evitable result of a lengthened residence abroad. England and English life were too strait, too cramped, for the colonel's ideas of freedom. He had property in New South Wales; he thought be should like to end his days in the colony. In this idea he was greatly encouraged by an old friend at Rouen, who is, or was very lately, a squatter on the New South Wales fron- tier, who, in writing to him, announced his in- tention of proceeding to that colony to engage in pastoral pursuits. Colonel Tomlinson replied by a personal visit to his friend, Mr. Archer, and before his return home he had resolved again to go out to Australia. Of course the consider- ation as to what he should do there was not lost sight of, but this was a matter of secondary importance, the question whether Julia would accompany him was uppermost. This was very soon settled, however, by an immediate reply which she sent to her father, who had written from Rouen to tell her what he was contempla- ting: "Wherever you go, dear father," said Julia, "I will accompany you. We have been separated long enough."

So the colonel and his daughter, with Mrs. Welland and her adopted daughter, set sail from London in the month of May, 1851, and landed in Moreton Bay, by way of Sydney, about six

months afterwards.

[To be continued.]