Chapter 196751173

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Chapter NumberII
Chapter TitleLOST SHEEP
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article196751173
Full Date1887-03-04
Page Number4
Corrections0
Word Count5256
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleThe Port Augusta Dispatch, Newcastle and Flinders Chronicle (SA : 1885 - 1916)
Trove TitleBenbonuna: A Tale of Thirty Years Ago
article text

UVpOKIWAt

A TALE OF THIRTY YEAB8 AGO.

•:.0 CHAPTER II (continued). LOST SHEEP.

- Br BOBKBT BRUCE.

The sliort twilight was rapidly failing as Hawley sod Moses rode across the wide gam creek. Badger, 't&otigh he had drunk to repletion jost before, throat his nose into the first wajter. they came to, despite his rider's efforts Jo Jthe contrary, and did not remove it till the. usual dramming on his ribs bad been some time in • £*P<m'i let that.old brute gorge himself with any mora water," growled Haw]e$r from the steep- bank up which hiB horse was with difficulty scrambling, and which Hoses charged at the best pace he coald •crew ont of his unwieldy Badger. The horn got op. part of the ascent without much diffieulty, MOBBS standing in the stirraps and clinging tenaciously to the mans ; bnt wbentbepinch came, notwithstanding Hoses' exertions and his own nwiithly noises^ it seemed .for a moment that Badger's load of . water was abont to be backed into the creek again. Hpse^ eyps. ehowed as much white as an ordinary. sized oyster shell as he rsdoabled his labors; and ^Badger, making • supreme effort, daghiB toes desperately into the bank, 'and scrambled to the top. 1 I "Me banthjufc him no come up that that time, no gammon 1" said Moses. " And your own fault too, you fool l" was the graciona reply. - " Well, Mintab Hawley, spose yon ride 'em Badger, me think him plenty dripk time, all the same," said Moses stoutly, quite confident Of the .power of his irqnclad to resiat all attacks from mere steel and whipcord. Hawley laughed scornfully and rode on lor some time in silence . across th? base of the angle formed hy

the cre^ Badger keeping tip wonderfully well when he fonnd that he was really going Jiojme. Presently they came .to the ossk. againi pod as tliey rode along fita •ebolng stony bed under the deep night shadows of the giant gam trees, Moses fancied tbathe heard a distant shoot, and said «o to Hawley, who replied impatiently, "Who the devil should be shouting tbfcfot here "Weill me hear 'etn 1" confidently userted Moaes. " Yea, a wild dog most likely 1" replied Bawley aloud, then muttered to himself, " Good ! That infernal fool has lost him- •alf J" " No, me think it whitefellow, me ooo-ee along of him. Me think him lose himself long a scrub." , " Lose himself be hanged; you just come along. It's time the hones were turned ont; they've had quite enough of it for one day." " But me hear him sing out! no gammon I" reaolutely persisted the black. " Well 1 let him sing ont; it will help to amuse him if he can't go to sleep," replied Hawley as he quickened his horse's pace. Moses silently followed the overseer, hia ear strained to catch the next shout, whichheknew wonld be given if tbeshouter waa really loBt; but though several times he almost persuaded himself that the call was repeated, be could not be quite sure, and so did not venture to say more about the. .matter to Hawley, who presently began .asking about unimportant station matters. They had ridden for about two miles in the deep darkness, when the barking of a number of dogs was heard ; they tamed sharply to the right up the creek bank, and were presently met by two large honnds which bounded abont the horses' beada and tried to leap up on

the riders, evidently to the great delight of Moses, who greeted them lovingly with " Hilloo old man 1 Hilloo old woman 1" bending down to them at the same time; Hawley merely saying, " Down, you brutes I" though not in an unknidly tone. When they reached the top of the bank a number of lights scattered about showed to the left on what was apparently a.little plain entirely surrounded by bills, only the outlines of which, dimly defined against the star-lit sky, being visible. They did not ride directly towards the lights, but parallel with them till it almost appeared aB if. they were about to pus' the plain altogether; but suddenly turning short round they crossed a steep narrow creek, and rode back in the . direction of the brightest of the lights, stopping suddenly before what proved to be the verandah of a long low hut showing no signs of present occupation. Dismounting before tbis building Hawley and the black each removed his own saddle, the former rubbing his horse ' caressingly over, the eyeB as he removed the' bridle which he tossed carelessly on the saddle, which he placed with its cantle against A verandah po?t and its gullet on th«:. ground. Moses bad meanwhile detached a. pair of hobbles from a peg on the wall, and was about to adorn Badger with the usual bangles, when Hawley said compassionately, " Let the old brute [0 loose for once in a way ; he's done a ! ong day's work, and it won't do to knock him up. Moses did as he was told, inwardly respiring to send bis old mother after the horses in the morning, with the view of saying his own legs ; and Badger, switching bis tail sharply, followed the example of the chesnut-'—which bad taken a good roll—and -disappeared in the darkness as Hawley muttered to himself, "Well, if be is ont, be'll have a good start, for tbereli be no borseB in before mid-day tomorrow." With tbis humane reflection the overseer was abont to enter the hut, which was hia own residence, when Moses, who was hanging np.the saddles and bridles in the verandah, said in a Belf-convinced manner " Whitefellow no bin come up, MiBtah Hawley. Him all the same me bin hear sing ont long a hill." " PerbapB the saddles are on the horse rail," suggested Hawley, feigning a sudden interest in the matter. " The divil a saddle's there, av that's phwat ye mane," eaid a man who had advanced unobserved from the nearest but. " Wur ye afther expectin' any one. Misther Hawley ?" 11 Yes, Mick. I started a young fellow to bring in Peter from juBt abreast of the Flagstaff three hoars ago, and I oan't see how he could IOBB himself between there and here in broad daylight." " Not widout he turned up the Wirra cowje crake, aa lots of thim do. An' sure now, wasn't it the same way that the poor craytare as losht himsilf wint? Him as died ont in the plain this toime twilvemonth ? Share an' it was, now," said Mick, answering the question he had him self propounded. M This one whitefellow no walk along a that one creek," put in Moses decidedly, 41 it was him me bin hear sing out along hUl, when me first time tellum you, Mistah Hawley. Me plenty sore me hear 'em No gammon." " He's not lost, most likely he's over at 4 Government bouse' comfortable enough," oonfidently asserted Hawley, who seemed determined that no harm could have happened to Frank. " Oh the divil a ethranger, barrin' ye's two,-.has come here tbiB good avenin'" persisted Mick, " widout he follied round ths crake to govermint house unbe knownat to me; an' the dogs 'nd have lit jne know-if he did ;" and with this con evincing argument Mick entered the hut, 4v$»ch was Hafrley's abiding place, and •striking a match lit a couple of fisiim io tip cttodleitu&i, wbiob w*r*

placed conveniently on. the table. Hawley entered after him, whilst Moses Btood resting his shoulder and cheek against a door post, and gazed from one to the other in silence. " Well," said Hawley, as he took some unopened letters from the mantleshelf— where correspondence bad been accumulating in his absence—and ran his eye over the various handwritings, " If he is out, there is nothing for it now but to wait till daylight. I am sorry now I did not keep him with me; bnt who'd have thought of hiB losing himBelf." And anddenly seeming to recollect the circumstance, " Not a horse hobbled I Hang it, that. is unfortanate. Moses, don't yon think you could catch Badger yet ?" " No-o 1" said Moses, bis eyes and mouth opening to their widest. "Sposing me ketch 'em wilkab, me ketch 'em Badger, him plen-ty run away." " Suppose I abtart the b'ys to light fire on the knob, while I'm frying ye a chop, Mr Hawley ? Maybe he'll see it," suggested Mick, hopefully. " Yea ; and cause him to break his neck through looking at it instead of where he was going," sneered Hawley. " No. Til start the blacks first thing to-morrow morning, and go myself directly the horses come in. So get a bit of supper ready for me, Mick, while I go and have a talk with Mr Asbby. Moses," he added, "yon'd better get 'em tuck ont, and then tell'm all about blackfellow to start pickaninny daylight to look out whitefellow." " Sure an' all the blacks is cleared out, barrin' MOBCS* mother. They've gone .to wake ould Mrs Dirtybutter, rest ber sowl —av she bad one," said Mick. For be it known that the natives, like the Irish leasantry, make night hideouB with their amentations on the death of one of the tribe, often going twenty and thirty miles in order to add their quavering notes to general bowL " Oh, they have ?" said Hawley. "Well it doesn't matter in the least; ws're Bare

to pick him up." Moses moved off after the Irishman, who muttered as he went " The divil a care he cares av the poor boy's losht or not, the black-hearted villian," adding aloud, " Come on Moaes, ye great glntton. We got a 'jumbuck' and • kittle ovtav for ye( all hot, and sure ye may as well ate it in the kitchen, seeing it's too dark for ye to make yer teeth meet outside." To tbis hospitable proposition, Moses, who neually discussed hie meals sitting on his heele outside, gave a grunt of approval and followed bis friend into the welllighted kitchen, where we will leave them for the presenti CHAPTER III. BUSHED. We left our hero very miserable and aneasy, for though be still fancied he could find his way to the station by making his way back to the creek and following it up, he did not know how far the chase of Peter might have led bim astray, for that animal bad not run in any particular direction, but had dodged backwards and forwards amongst the hills in every conceivable direction ; and now darkness was fast falling on the landscape. As he had thrown himself down in a deep hollow, he of course, could not see the western range to which he tru6led S6 the beacon to direct hie course to the creek ; and so shaking off hiB weariness.by a great effort, he started to bis feet and clambered to the summit of the next hill, from which to his great dismay, be could see nothing but a confused labyrinth of scrubby ridges, the intervening valleys between which were blotted from sight by heavy masses of shadow, thus defeating his attempts to recognise any landmark be bad noticed while it was still light. Was bis hair lifting biB hat ? and had bis heart suddenly

ceased to beat ? as turning rapidly round several times he fruitlessly attempted to identify come prominent feature of the landscape, and had at last to own bitterly to himself that he was " lost 1" Startling indeed was the conviction, for though the pulsation of his heart seemed to be suddenly suspended, every vein in his body tingled from the rapidity of its life current; and had he not possessed a well balanced mind he would have been quickly reduced to that state of panic which aparently deprives its victim of all coherent reasoning power, causeB bim to look at a tolerably familiar object without recognising it, and to rush madly about while he has any strength left to do so, without Btopping to consider the proper conrse to pnrsue. It was perhaps fortunate for Frank that bis long day's journey and subsequent chase of Peter had rendered him so utterly weary that, notwithstanding his extreme uneasiness— I might almost add fright—he felt a re6t absolutely necessary, and so threw himself, again, on the ground, his mind agitated by a whirling chaoB of conflicting emotions which jostled each other with such lightning-like rapidity that be found it impossible to concentrate hia thoughts for an instant on any one subject—a mental condition only too cloBely allied to the state of panic previously alluded to. Gradually, however, his mind recovered its equilibrium; but what a sickening sense of loneliness he experienced as he listened breathlessly in the expectation of a friendly shout from those whom he began to hope Mr Asbby might have sent out to seek for him. But he heard only the beating of bis heart and the mysterious and all pervading murmurs of the night, broken occasionally by the strange popping noise made by the kangaroo rats which hopped familiarly about bim. With what cold indifference the stare, which now thickly studded the Bilent depths of the firmament, seemed to regard him ; though often while at sea in the tropics, and on his journey up, he had, dreamily reclining on his rug, gaged steadfastly up at their placid loveliness till he could almost see in them the gloriouB eyes of the guardian angels of the universe. It iB strange how circumstances control the fancy. On his voyage out Heslop, whoBe frank manners soon won the good will of the sailors, had been taught by them "to hand, reef, and Bteer," the latter often with a particular star for a guide. The thought suddenly struck him now. Why should he not turn bis experience to account, especially as only the evening before be bad noticed a very brilliant star in the western Bky, for which he immediately began to make a careful search, and soon, to his great satisfaction, found it. Now that he bad decided on a particular course it was wonderful bow Boon his coolness returned, in evidence of which he found himself lighting his pipe, the existence of which he had forgotten up till then, and from which he now took a few whiffs as be started on what soon proved to be a journey that bad far better have beenleft till morning—a course any genuine bushman would have adopted, but exactly the last one a " new chum" would think about. First and foremost, he quickly found that he could, by keeping his arms well in advance of his face and looking searchingly before him, avoid being mnch hurt by the living branches of the mulga ; bnt not BO with the dead ones, for on these, often as sharp pointed as a black's spear, he ran great risks of being impaled, or of having his eyeB put oat. The first intimation he received of their whereabouts was generally a painful one, and consequently be bad to proceed at a very slow pace, occasionally shouting in ti e faint hope of being heard by someone. But the dead mulga branches were not the only inconveniences be bad to endure, for the country waa full of wallaby and kasgsroo ret boles, wbicb leveral times

nearly dislocated bis ancles and sent him sprawling. Amongst a group of these holes he received a very severe fright indeed, for as he was proceeding cautiously along, he heard a rustling noise close to his feet, which made him spring back with a violent shiver, for he knew instinctively what produced it; and as he retreated he could just make out the form of an immense serpent slowly inserting itself into one of the burrows. It was a 12 foot " carpet-snake"—an Australian python of nocturnal habite, which entering the holes of the smaller marsupials preys upon them. But to the startled eyes of the new chum the snake, exaggerated in dimensions by the dimness, appeared to be considerably bigger than it really was; and as the mendacious Hawley had described all enakes as venom- OUB it may well be imagined that this little incident had not a steadying effect on Heslop's nerves. Onward he struggled, Beeming to feel his flesh creep, and expecting every minute to tread on some venomous reptile and to feel its deadly fangs in his legs ; and he was fast becoming a convert to Hawley's often expressed opinion, that the North was only for blacks or galley slaves to live in. ThiB did not deter bim from continuing to fight his way through the Bcrub, though once or twice he nnwittingly descended into nearly precipitous blind creeks in a sitting posture*—a peculiarly unpleasant mode of progression when the slope was covered with prickly dwarf shrubs or "porcupine grass," aB was most frequently the case. Heslop was beginning to wonder if be had any available space left for another blister or spine, when suddenly from the darkness, and in close proximity to him, came a sound, long drawn and dismal enough for the cry of a banehee, which brought him to a sudden standstill and set his hair hat-raising again, as he threw tip hiB arms and vociferated " Heugh 1 be off, you brute !" almost expecting some

horrible thing to appear. It was only the howl of a dingo, or native dog, but as Frank had never heard one before he might very well be pardoned far being a trifle soared. Of coaroe a little reflection satisfied bim as to the real authorship of the music ; bat the fact of several wild dogs, perhaps a whole pack of them, prowling about and following his steps, did not lighten bis heart. He felt about with his feet for a stone, and finding none, drew a spring bowie-knife (which a knowing friend had persuaded him to bring out, as the correct thing for Australia) from hiB pocket, and opening it, carried it in hie hand, desperately resolved on dingo slaughter should the brutes come to close quarters with him—and thereby runnipg a very considerable risk of impaling himself on his own weapon the next time be met with a rat hole. What an infernal place the bush seemed to bim 1 but the more difficulties he encountered, the more determined he was to surmount them ; and so, knife in hand, he resumed his tedious and wearisome march westward, only once or twice hearing from the dingo, and each time from increasing distances; BO, finding a real danger in the open knife, he prudently closed it after cutting a large stick from a mulga tree, at much trouble to himself and at the expense of sundry gaps to hiB dagger; for the stick was full of fibres and hard as wire. This stick proved a Rreat acquisition, for not only was it a trustworthy weapon of offence and defence, but proved most useful to bim in feeling his way over dangerous ground, saving him from many a tumble, and giving him, in addition, a feeling of security which he had previously lacked, wondering the while that be had not thought of so providing himself before.

But time had sped rapidly, as it always does with people in a hurry, and Frank's star had sunk beneath the horizon and had been replaced by another, when, to his intense relief, in answer to one of the shoutB he sent out at intervals, there came from the direction of the creek a faint "coo-e-e," distantly resembling the wild dog's long-drawn note. Heslop's heart bounded with joy, as he shouted several timen with the ntmost power of his lungs, and then waited breathlessly for a repetition of the welcome cry, which came immediately and Beemed to promise a speedy deliverance from bis disagreeable dilemma. In his excitement, shouting aB he went, he pushed forward with far greater precipitation than prudence, Bud denly to find himself in a confused heap at the bottom of a steep blind creek, from the opposite bank of which dashed down with the speed of lightning two large dogs, which bounded about bim with apparently ferocious intent. Springing to his feet, Frank made a frantic counter-demonstration with his stick, swinging round like a dancing dervish while 60 doing; but this only seemed to increase the agility of hie assailants, who now became such io reality; and he would no doubt have been bitten severely but for the opportune interposition of a grotesque figure, which with loud cries of " Down Nep ! down Needle 1" burled itself, fire stick in hand, into the midst of the fray and drove off the dogs, which scampered up the bank and there crouched, lolling out their tongueB and gazing curiously at the stranger. How the new comer did laugh, as he danced about, wonderfully amused, till Frank, catching the infection, laughed heartily too, while the dogs, arriving at the conclusion that be must be a friend of the family, came down and fraternised cordially, after a preliminary sniff or tvro, O my God!" laughed the apparition, " me think 'em doggy eat 'em you all about." Then addressing the hounds, he inquired, " You think him ole man kangaroo, eh ?" to which they replied byleaping on bim and licking his face—an attention he seemed greatly to relish. " Well ! and who are you, my friend ?" inquired Frank, as he surveyed the new comer by the light of the flame which the dry mulga fire stick gave out, after being waved swiftly backwards and forwards Beveral times and then held stationary. "Me Moses 1" replied that aboriginal worthy, immediately adding " You want 'em water?" disengaging as he spoke a tin canteen, hung by a leather strap to his neck, and handing it to HeBlop, who seized it eagerly and nearly emptied it at a draught; exclaiming breathlessly as he removed his lips from the vessel, " By Jove! that waa fine. I was thirsty I" " Yes, walk along scrub no goode. Too much make 'em tirsty," waB Moses' reply, and be immediately appended the question, " Where you bin put 'em Peter ? and where your ' nantoo' sit down. You lose 'em ?" " No, tbey lost me, or rather Peter did —the infernal old brate ; he led me a nice dance, and I knocked up my own horse following him," said HeBlop, correctly guessing that" nantoo" was native for horse. MOBCS evidently enjoyed Peter's exploit, for he laughed till the teare ran down bis cheeks as he once or twice ejaculated the name in a tone and with an emphasis that more eloquently expressed bis intense appreciation of Peter's cleverness than if he bad spoken for an hour on the subject. " Oh, it's all very well for you to laugh, Master MoBes," said Frank, finding it impossible to avoid joining in the merriment, " bnt if you had had the running about that I have had after yonr favorite, yon'd be more inclined to kick him, especially if he had added insult to injury and kicked yov, as be did me." "Him kick 'em you, eh? ah! ah 1" laughed Moses, adding with conscious superiority, "He po kick 'em me, you

know. Me plenty ketch 'em wh«n him i got him bridle on, only him plenty look out long anew chum :" then suggestively, " Yoa got 'eui bacca ?" Heslop, strongly as he already objected to the term " new chum," merely replied, ''Oh, you could, could yon ?" and produced his tobacco pouch, from which his now friend, after curiously examining the, to him, strange " ready cut" tobacco, applied himself with great perseverance and ingenuity to the task of inserting as much of the weed into hie small cutty as would suffice for three ordinary churchwardens." On seeing this Frank—with all his gratitude fresh upon him—bade Moses appropriate the remainder, and that worthy after another admiring survey, pocketed ponch and all with such evident delight that the giver, though be had not quite contemplated the alienation of the whole, could not find it in bis heart to ask for the restitution of the pouch, thinking (mistakenly) that he could easily replace it. He seated himself beside Moses, who getting his pipe in full blast, gathered a few sticks and made a small fire which blazed merrily, and then stretched himself like a huge lizard beside it. A pause ensued and then Frank asked, " Who else did Mr Aehby send out after me ?" " Mistah Ashby no Bend 'em anybody ! Him tbit down long a house 1" replied Moses, with a look that greatly puzzled bis hearer, who felt exceedingly hurt at the palpable indifference which his father's friend had shown to his safety, when he must have known that he was lost. He mnsed on this for a little while and then inquired " Do you know what he said at all ?" "No, me no see him; him all about tliit down long a bouse" replied Moses, diligently applying himself to the reduction of hiB stock of tobacco. Did Hawley Bend you, then ?" " No-o! him tellum me ' Moses, you ketch 'em tuck out, and you walk along camp;' and he tellum Mickey, 'No make 'em fire long nob !"' You see Mickey say " Me think it whitefellow make 'em fire long there, so you look out and come up?" " Oh, Hawley was so kind as that, was he ?" said Frank, thinking he had got into a truly Christian community, and feeling ail the more grateful in proportion to the unknown " Mickey" and his sable friend as he inquired, "Who did send vou, then ?" " Miseie Ashby send 'ein me. She plenty very good white lubra. Yoa see, she come up 'long a camp, and she say, ' Moses, me want 'em you look out 'long a poor white fellow, him lost.' And I say, ' Yes, me hear him long Holowelluna as me come up long creek,' and she say, ' Ab, you find him then.' Plenty glad she say it; and I say, "Yes, me look out pickaninny daylight,' but she say, " No, you must walk along now, p'raps you no find him to-morrow, and bim die. Me give it you all about everything, s'posing you find him. Now, you must walk, Moses, because I want you to and she give 'em me canteen, and she push 'em long a arm ; so me walk, but me no like it, though. No good walk long a night," said Moses honestly in conclusion. " Bless her 1" ejaculated Frank, at once prepossessed in favor of the young lady, whose portrait his fancy painted in the most glowing colors, and whom he immediately endowed with all womanly virtues. Springing to his feet he inquired, " How far is it to the 6tation, and how long will it take ua to get there ?"—already in imagination thanking Miss Ashby for her kindly interest in him. The hounds seemed to share in his enthusiasm, for they sprang up at the same time, and with ears cocked watched for the wave of his hand which should direct them to their quarry ; but meeting with no response to their

inquiring glances they yawned and lay down again, Moses not troubling himself to move as he answered, with a yawn that ought to have filled the hounds with envy, " Only pickaninny way : but yon see me plenty tired—very good thit down here, long a tintoo jump up°." Frank reluctantly Bat down again,obliged to admit that Moses was right, for no doubt everybody at the station would be in bed ; and changing the subject he questioned Moses about the probability of finding the horses and their gear next day. " Oh ! them all right, you see Peter walk along mob, and come up long a all about station nantoo? My mother look out long a them to-morrow. You bin put 'em hobble longa your nantoo ?" " No,"admitted Frank, " bat he won't go away, will he ? He is too much knocked up." " S'pose you no ketch 'em b-e-e-g one early, me tink you find him long ' Undenyaka',long a water," replied Moses, evidently not greatly impressed by his companion's cleverness Now aa Undenyaka—which being interpreted means the place of the stone ; deriving its name from a huge solitary rock in the midst of a water-hole—was the place where Frank and Hawloy had camped the previous night, and was nearly thirty milts distant, Heslop at once felt that he had been guilty of a piece of foolishness which would be very acceptable to Hawley as a weapon of ridicule to use against him. After chewing the cud of this uncomfortable reflection for awhile be found, on on turning to Moses in order to make further inquiries, that the black boy was fast asleep beside the kangaroo dogs ; so stretching himself on the ground, he prepared to followed so sensible an example. He could not fall asleep, however, for some time, and fell to wondering what sort of a man Mr Ashby would prove, and whether he would roceive his instructions from that gentleman or from Hawley, predicting to himself a speedy rupture in the latter caBe. Then he thought of Miss Asbby, and what he should say to her on the morrow, and so dropt off. It was no wonder that with his nerves so overstrung he should dream, and dream extensively. In dream land he anticipated hie introduction to Miss Ashby, made love to her, and with success ; but as he gazed on the lovely face hie dreaming fancy pictured, he was seized by a huge serpent, whose hideous bead gradually assumed the malignant features of Hawley. After a terrific encounter, in which he was aided by Moses, he succeeded in slaying the monster, and thereafter wandered in an elysium of rapture with the kind and lovely girl. While Frank dreamt, the shadowy presentment of his brain pictures flitted across his countenance, and hiB exclamations attracted the attention of the kangaroo dogs, which licked bis face as an expression of canine sympathy, though their kind attentions did but add to Frank' 's dream illusions, as the sympathetic licks were credited to the slimy tongue of the snake which just then enveloped him in its foIdB ; but at last, as the flickering flames of the little fire died out, the fatigues of the day fully asserted themselves, and Frank slept" the sleep of the weary," and his mind, in qnieon with hie body, was at rest. •Sun rise. Labouchere, Bradlaugh, and Howell, Radical members of the House of Commons, accuse the Corporation of London of wholesale bribery and corruption in Parliamentary elections, with the view of securing the return of members pledged to oppose the reform of the City Corporation. Sir Bobert Fowler, M.P. for the City and ex-Lord Mayor, flatly contradicts Labouchere & Co., and invites the minutest investigation. A Select Committee of the House will probably be appointed to ioveetigtte the charges.