THE EDITOR'S POST-BAG
J.T.M., Canterbury, writes:--
Martin Wiberg did not purloin 20,000 sovereigns; only 5,000. He did not escape from prison; he served four and a half years at Pentridge, and was released at the end of 1883. Being a free man then, he had ample time to spring a plant-if he had one. The late Inspector Mackay, then senior detec- tive had charge of the case in Victoria, and he arrested Wiberg near the Pow- lett River, Gippsland, on October 20, 1878.
Detective Mackay left for England in November to prosecute inquiries in con- nection with the Wiberg robbery, and returned to Melbourne in March, 1879. During his absence the little drama be- tween Inspector Secretan's party, De- tectives Duncan and Mahoney, and Wei- berg was enacted, a jocular saying at the time being "Wiberg said to Mahoney this is the spot, keep it dark." Wiberg went "bush" for a little over two months. In May, 1879, Detective David Edelsten and Constable Taylor rearrested Wiberg at Cape Patterson, and brought him to Melbourne.
M. Hunter's story is very confusing, as no dates are given. Evidently his in- formant -is referring to the time when Wiberg was a free man, about 1883. Rumour had it that a little time after he was released from gaol he sailed from Port Phillip Bay in an open boat and was drowned at sea. M. Hunter states that Wiberg roamed the bush, his clothes being ragged and replaced by possum skins, and that he had plenty of money. He had no money when Detective Edel-
sten arrested him, and his roaming
lasted a few months only.
C. T. White's letter stated that in September, 1879, Wiberg and he had a couple of meals together, and that Wiberg slept in his bachelor quarters. Can this be correct? C. T. White also tells us how suspicion fell on Wiberg. However, the officer in charge of the case was too discreet even to mention it, especially when a lady was concerned. It is curious that neither M. Hunter nor C. T. White has informed us of the amount of gold stolen. I trust the in- formation in this letter will add to their store of knowledge in this amazing Wiberg-Avoca gold robbery.
W. H. Ferguson, Camberwell,
Martin Wiberg, or Wyberg, lived for a time in a cave under Cape Lip- trap, where he was befriended by a local resident. Police could never find Wiberg there because this friend, when visiting the cave, always walked backward, so that when tracks were seen they were always as though they were made by a person coming away from the cave.
Police and others considered that Wiberg got away from Australia, and possibly reached Norway. Others have good cause to believe otherwise. Wiberg
probably ended his career at Waratah
Many years ago Mr. James Dewar, who was then manager of McCrae's lime kilns at Waratah Bay, told me that when his father was manager of the kilns there was a great southerly gale one day. Wiberg arrived there in his boat. The gale increased in force. Wiberg said that he was going to sail away. The Dewars, father and son, and other residents did all they could to stop him, but he insisted on going. He was in a semi-intoxicated condition, and he had a bottle of whisky in the boat.
For a long time those in the little township watched the white sail from the cliffs until it was completely lost in the white-topped waves. The Dewars believed that no small boat could live in such a terrible sea. Later, on the beach near Shallow Inlet, Wiberg's whisky bottle, his cap, and some other relics were found, and there seems no reason to doubt that the fury of the gale stopped Wiberg from ever having a chance to spend the remainder of the stolen £ 15,000, which may yet be "planted" somewhere between Ander- son's Inlet and Waratah Bay.
From Amy Small, 20 Crown street,
Sir,-Referring to the letter in the Week-end Magazine of January 29, con- cerning Martin Wiberg, it was my grandfather, Detective (afterwards In- spector) Mackey, who captured Wiberg, and found some of the sovereigns hidden
in bars of soap. Detective Mackey also played a part in the capturing of the
Phoenix Park murderers.
"A PULPIT IN THE DARK"
"Reason" (Trafalgar) writes:-Pro- fessor Murdoch's wonderful article, "A
Pulpit in the Dark," last Saturday, in ' the Week-end Magazine, must have made a deep appeal to thousands of readers. Yes, racial antipathies are a myth. On a casualty train after the
Battle of Ypres was a mixed lot of men Allies and enemy A young Bavarian shot through both arms was not a wt case but the pain of movement «a, saved by Diggers themselves woundcr? who attended to his wants Hatred of
the Turks did not exist on Ga fin. /
despite reports elsewhere The uro? io
victory in battle did not havf £
genesis in nor was It stimulated bv hatred of the opposition Incredible though it may seem to the uninitiated rather was it a case of a Job to be done at any cost Foreigners who S become assimilated in all parts 0f Am tralla naturally retain some interest .n their nationals but they also prove the truth of the case of the Governs?.
lady and Judy O Grady \hTZZ
Is to be congratulated in permitting Professor Murdoch to bring light to I pulpit in the dark b gnc w a