WAS HE REALLY A BUSHRANGER?
(FROM THE OVENS ADVERTISER, FEB 27.
On Monday last the usual equanimity of one of the most philosophic of the Wahgun- yah bonifaces was rather rudely disturbed by the entrance into his hotelry of a stranger with a rather Jack-Sheppard like head and face, who announced himself as being from the land of bushrangers (New South Wales), and expressed his intention of trying his hand in that way on this side of the Murray,
as "sugar was scarce on the t'other side." He made inquiries as to the pro- bability of his being able to gather a little heap on this side, but the landlord paid little attention to his vapourings as his experience of many characters - for he had studied man- kind and not books during rather an event- ful life - had led him to thoroughly coincide with the Hon the Attorney-General, that it is the "still man" ( and as he naively remarked, the d-----d roguish one too) that was most to be dreaded. Perchance, however, he saw the muzzle of a pistol peeping from the stranger's pocket, and considering that further companionship with such a fellow would not conduce to maintain his character as an honest man, he left the
would-be highwayman in sweet dalliance
with one of the fair maids of his establish- ment, and went to attend to some business in the bush. He had not been long gone when the unknown made inquiries after him, and muttering threats of revenge, ordered his horse, and proceeded in the direction the landlord had gone. The landlady felt any-
thing but easy at the strange conduct of her guest, and at once informed the police of it, and expressed her fears for her husband's safety. Senior-constable Buckmaster pro- ceeded to investigate the matter, and, having first assured himself of our landlord's safety, whom he sent home with a whole skin, went in search of the fellow who had caused such a hubbub. A stern chase is invari- ably a long chase, and it was not till he reached Rutherglen that he found the party he was searching for, comfortably seated in one of the hotels of that lively and in- teresting township, enjoying some refresh- ment. At first he did not appear disposed to account for himself, but being called upon to produce a receipt for his horse he did so, and also gave his name. He was then accused of carrying a pistol, and at once admitted the fact, and produced a very dangerous-looking firearm, but a careful inspection of the article rendered it doubtful whether, when charged, it would have been more dangerous for the person who stood before or behind it. How a strange change came over the man's talk; he said no more of bushranging, even denying having done so, and finally assumed an air of injured respectability. He was then warned that such conduct as he had been guilty of would not be t0lerated, even in that minor stage, in Victoria, as little sins some- times led to great evils, and he was advised to be more circumspect for the future. But, was he a bushranger? He has since given the Beechworth people a touch of his quality by trying to shoot Mr. Evans, the grocer, in the street, and in broad daylight.
[The man is now supposed to be a lunatic ]