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THREE BRISBANE GIRLS

MISSING

Long Search Through

Scrub

The knowledge that there are savage dingoes in the ranges about Mount Coot-tha adds to the anxiety felt for three young girls who have been missing since 3 o'clock on Saturday after- noon and may be in that locality.

Throughout yesterday and last night parties of mounted and foot police from Petrie Terrace Depot and residents of Too- wong and Upper Paddington, aided by a black tracker, combed the scrub for the girls, but without success.

The girls are Margaret Fraser (14) md Dorothy Fraser (12), of Stephen- son Street, Rosalie, and Joyce Olive James (14), of Ward Street, Soudan Estate, Upper Paddington.

When Margaret Fraser and her sis- ter Dorothy, left the residence of their gardians, Mr. and Mrs. W. A. Gil master, on Saturday afternoon they said that were going to the fete at the Milton State School grounds with Joyce James. It has been learned that they did not go to the fete, and that, as early as Thursday of last week, they had been discussing with a boy next door plans for a hiking excursion to Wynnum. No trace of them could be found at the seaside resort, and yes- terday, when descriptions of the girls were broadcasted, information was re- ceived that three girls answering their description had bought drinks at the Mt. Coot-tha kiosk, and had been seen later by a driver of a service car going In the direction of Simpson's scrub.

Police Search Scrub

The police consequently concentrated on this locality, and the dense scrub, with its steep and boulder-strewn gul- lies was searched, but without result. Motorists who were picnicking in the vicinity were given descriptions of the girls, and were asked to assist the police. Many of them formed independ- ent search parties, and penetrated the scrub. Wherever there was a wisp of smoke the searchers went, and, know- ing that the girls, if they were in the vicinity, would have to come down to the creeks for water, a keen watch was kept on all likely spots. The black tracker operated with the mounted men in the region of the Dams, as it was thought likely that the girls would call at that spot for water, or possibly might feel safer In a place so often

visited.

Danger From Dingoes

Residents of the Mt. Coot-tha dis- trict were anxious for the safety of the girls when darkness fell, as they say that there are quite a number of dingoes to be found In the ranges, and some of them are very daring and have been known to attack calves. The police, risking injury through falls down steep embankments, continued the search last night, but it was con- sidered too dangerous for the mounted men to search in the darkness.

Rowed Across Creek

Late yesterday afternoon police were notified by a man, who had been fishing near the Cannon Hill meatworks, that he had rowed three girls across a creek.

"I cannot understand Joyce doing a thing like this, she has everything she wants at home, and has never talked of going hiking before," said Mrs. W. H. James, the mother of one of the girls yesterday. On Saturday, she said, the girl told her that she was going to the fete, with Margaret and Dorothy Fraser, and would be home for tea before going to a local picture theatre. The other two girls were late in coming, said Mrs. James, and she offered to go with Joyce to the fete. As she was getting dressed. however, the girls came along, and Joyce decided to go with them.

Mrs, James said that she heard the girls whispering outside the house for a few minutes, and heard Dorothy say, as she pointed toward Stuart nolme Convent, "wouldn't it be nice to go hiking over there." Her sister agreed that it would be, but Mrs. James told the girls not to go in that direction, and as far as she knew the matter was dropped.

"When Joyce did not come home for tea I thought that she might be having tea with Margaret and Dorothy, and would then go on to the   pictures." continued Mrs. James, she and her husband waited up for the girl, and Mr. James went to the pic-

ture theatre to meet her and bring her home, but was shocked to find that she had not been there. He then went to see Mr. Gilmaster, and found that Margaret and Dorothy had not returned.

"I was very worried," said Mrs. James, "and did not know what to do. Mr. James and Mr. Gilmaster went out, and searched the district, but without result. It was not until daylight that Mr. James returned, and he waited only long enough to have a little food before setting out again.

Had Packed Suitcase

"Margaret is a very unruly girl." said Mr. Gilmaster, and is very diffi- cult to manage. She is a big girl for her age, and very strong. She had been staying with him for only about five months, and her sister had been with him for two months. Their father was a telegraph linesman, em- ployed in the country, and he came to see them every month.

The girls must have been planning their walk for some time, as they had talked it over with the boy next door during the week. The children, he said, evidently intended to take some clothing with them, as a suitcase con- taining clothing was found under an outbuilding. Margaret and Dorothy had no money with them when they left home, but he thought that the other girl had some. The girls had talked of going to Sydney. They were not likely to be frightened at the prospect of being in the bush at night. as they had travelled about a good deal. The youngest girl had broken her leg recently, and walked with a limp. When Mr. James came to see him on Saturday night, Mr. Gil- master added, he was very worried, and after the police had been notified he walked about the district until day- light. There appeared to be no clue to their whereabouts.

Girls Described

The descriptions of the girls are as

follows:

Margaret Fraser (14, looks l8), blue dress, with white facings; tan shoes and stockings, and cream beret.

Dorothy Fraser (12), white voile dress, tan socks, tan shoes, cream

beret.

Joyce Olive James (14), white dress, tan shoes and stockings, brown beret, red string of beads about neck, gold filling in two front teeth.

At 11 o'clock last night, when the search was discontinued until to-day, there was still no word of the missing girls' whereabouts.

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