No corrections yet
Bush Brigands A.
XXXI V.~ The Wild Scotchman THE WILD SCOTCHMAN.
One 'or two other cases occurred.'' but they were all of a paltry character, until the Celtic blood of Alpin Macpherson, alias John Bruce, alias Mar, alias Kerr, alias Scotia or Scotchie, generally known as the Wild Scotchman, was utirrod to emulate the heroic deeds of Hall, Gil bert, and Co. Macpherson was born in Scot land, and was taken to Queensland when very young by his father. The elder Macpherson worked for Mr. McConnell at Cressbrook, and
was generally respected by those who knew him. .His Bon Alpin wkb sent to school in the town, and was a favorite with his teachers on nccount of his diligence. Wh«n old enough he was apprenticed to Mr. Petrie, a stonemason in Brisbane, and was again wall-liked by his mas ter and the members of hia family. Alpin was a diligent reader nnd.a fluent speaker. He be came a prominent member of the Debating Class in the Brisbane Mechanics' School of Arts. When Mr. Lilley, afterwards Attorney-General, was attacked at 'a. political meeting at the Val ley .with mud, over-ripe tomatoes, and other missiles, on account of his Militia Bill, whicli was strongly opposed, young Macpherson de fended him bravely,-1 receiving some bruises. Soon afterwards; without any apparent reason, he ran away from his apprenticeship and took to the roads. He begaii his bushranging career by sticking. up Wills'. Hotel, on '-.the Houghton River, after the manner popular with the Hall and Gilbert gang. From thence he went to New South Wales to 'fight a. duel with Sir Frederick Pottinger,' the head of the police force in that colony. This determination he announced himself. The records of this por tion of his career are somewhat obscure. It is known that he did exchange shots with Sir Frederick Pottinger and some troopers, and that he received a slight wound, but it is doubt ful whether he ever joined Hall and Gilbert, and commited robberies in their company, as he said he did. However, he did hot remain in New South Wales very long. He returned to Queensland, and robbed the malls, stuck up travellers, stole racehorses, and otherwise en deavored to' work up to the standard ideal of the real Australian buBhrangers. . He had been thus employed for some months, when Mr. W.j.Nptt, manager of the Manduran Station, saw him In a paddock be longing to the station, 'and recognised himi Believing that he was there with the- intention of stealing some of his horses, Mr. Nott hastily collected a party . and started in pur suit. The party consisted of Messrs. Nott, Curry, Gadsden, and J. Walsh. They came in sight of their quarry about five miles away, as he was travelling along the Point Curtis road. He was riding slowly when first seen, but, on observing the pursuers closing upon him, Macpherson let go his packhorse, wheeled off the road, and galloped down the side of a steep range. WILD SCOTCHMAN CAUGHT. His pursuers followed. When he reached the level ground at the foot of the range, the Wild Scotchman pulled up, and began to un strap the double-barrelled gun which he car ried across the pommel of his saddle. Before he could succeed, however, Mr. Nott ca;»i close up and cried, 'Put up your hands or I'll fire.' The rifle barrel was only a few feet away, and as the other men came up at once with arms ready for use,: the wild Scotchman
yielded. 'All right,' he said, 'I. give up. 'I knew you were not policemen,' he said later, 'by the way you came down that ridge, but you wouldn't have caught me if my horse had not been done up.' They took away his arms, and then returned to the station, two of the captors riding with the bushranger be tween them, while the other two rode close behind. In the pack on the horse which he aban doned was found a beautifully-fitted case of surgical instruments, with lint and other necessaries for treating wounds. He also carried a pocket compass, an American axe, and some other useful articles. The axe was required for cutting fences or for making tem porary stockyards to catch horses in. COMMITTED FOR TRIAL. A warrant had been issued for his arrest for his attack on Sir Frederick Pottinger and the police in N.S.W., and the Wild Scotchman was, therefore, extradited to stand '.his trial in N.S.W. on a charge of shooting with intent to do grievous bodily harm. His arrival in Sydney was coincident with resignation of that officer as already related. Sir Frederick, however, was summoned to appear against him, and it was on his journey to Sydney for this purpose that the accident happened which
put an end to Sir Frederick's life, and the prosecution against the Wild Scotchman at the same time. The Wild Scotchman was returned to Queensland in charge of the police. He was sent from Brisbane to Port Dcnison, and was there committed for trial and remanded to Rockhampton, the nearest assize town for that purpose. lie was shipped on board the steamer Dii.*iantina in charge of Constable
Maher. He was accommodated with leg irons, his hands being so small that he could easily slip them through any ordinary handcuffs. ' In fact he boasted freely that the handcuffs to hold him ' had not yet been made.' (TO BE CONTINUED.)