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. ATTEMPTED EXECUTION AT FIJI.
(From the Fiji Times, Jun 1st.)
A Horrible and brutalising spectacle was witnessed
last Tuesday morning by a number of persons who went to see tho execution of the man Franks for the murder of Mr. Thomas Muir on board the Marion Rennie. He had been sentenced to suffer the extreme penalty of the law, and was to have been hanged on Monday, the 27th ultimo, but a gross miscarriage of justice was allowed to occur. The time appointed came and went, but the execution did not take place, for the simple reason that it did not suit the convenience of the sheriff. The poor wretch, who had by anticipation suffered the horrors of death, was then left in all the harrowing and unimaginable anxiety and uncertainty as to his fate from hour to hour until late in the evening, when he was informed that he must be hanged in the morning at six o'clock. Every preparation was made tho night previous, tho ropo fixed, and tho noosa adjusted. Kain foll, howovor, and wet tho ropo, which was a vory thick ono, and in tho morning it had to bo dried boforoa uro. Tho timo carno, tho rope was again Axed, tho oulprit and tho hangman wore on. tho scaffold, and boinro slipping tho noose over tho wrotolied man's head, tho hangman had to eit down and placo ono of his foot iii it and pull it with all his might, to moko tho knot run, thon after plaoing it over Franks' head ho had tho ut- most difficulty in making it flt anything Uko tight, but not nearly . so ; tight as it BIIOUIII havo been. Then the drop foll, and whon tho ropo tightened with a low dull thud Franks was apparently dead for about three.minutes, when, his limbs bogan tb move, and he gave several groans and then spoke. He prayed of . those around him to put him out of his - agony, to let him meet MB Maker;.in peace. Then,"
through being improperly pinioned, he raised one arm and got hold of the rope, and BO partly relieved him- , self from tho fearful strain upon his ncck^ . Ha still continued to beg tobe put out of his misery, telling thom he forgave them for; tho " black job " they had made of it. But the frightful scene was not yet over. One of tho officials (the deputy was nut to .bo found), on tho impulso of tho moment, ran and cut : tho man down, when he fell heavily to the ground, thero not being any 'attempt to oaten him in his fall. Franks was then removed to tho prison. TIIUB ended this " black job," which for horror is almost unparal- leled. Its effect upon the spectators was such that ono strong man aotually fainted away. Thus tho majesty of tho law in Fiji hnB been asserted. Its most torriblo sentonce-death, boen attempted to bo indicted and signally failed. First, thoro was moBt inexcusable and oondomnablo laxity, and then the. grossest bungling and guilty carelessness. Tho wretched man, after : tho . terrible ordeal through ' which ha passed, has been reprieved, Had another
attempt been made , to hang him, so strong was the feeing of indignation on tho beach, we fully behove, there would have Been a riot.
Tile question arises as to what must be done with tho man. Ho hos to all Intents and purposes suffered tho penalty of the law. Twice he has experienced horrors the like of which no man can imagine, and after being hanged and cut down by tho ofHoials,., surely his punishment haB ceased. The sontonco was that no was to bo hanged until " dead," but lnsten¿af hoing so hanged, the officers of the law cut him dowit before death. The man should bo free, for it must bo clear that tho law cannot punish him twice for tho samo offence. Tho best way to do now would be to pay his passage out of tho country, and bo rid of such a fellow from amongst us.
Tho melancholy procession started from tho gool towards tho scaffold, led by the Hov. J. Ncttloton reading tho burial service. When he took his .stand under the drop, the prisoner handed a paper to In- spector .Martin, to bo road to tho crowd. It was aa follows :
"Now that the time has.come for mo to die, I wish to say that tho do»d transacted on board the unfortu- nate Marion Hcnnlo, I solemnly Bwear to God my Maker,was dono in tho heat of drunkenness and pas- sion, from being struck by tho deceased man whilst telling him thnt ho had no business to interfere with tho girl that I had, and bringing grog, on board to make them drunk and nutting all our lives in .danger. He struck me for saying this, and tho blow caused my evil passions to rise. I would have fought it out on deck, but wo were parted. Being parted only-roused* tho evil passion more, and when I was released from tho mate, who held me, Iran into tho. cabin and' found tho ono I had a love fbi- was not thore. T then wont up tho Bama minute in a boil- ing heat, and wont forward lo soo if tho mnn had got her in tho forecastle. I stood on tho forecastle eonttlo
and deliyorcd a powor of wioked oaths, and called out, ' Whoro is tho man that insultad mo? ' I could seo him standing down below. Somo ono on deck told ma ho had gono ashore. I told thom it was a lie, I could BOO him. I then put my hand into the galloy for tho knife, in thc placo whoro it was always kept when not in usc. I throw myself down tho forecastle. I told him I would cut lils throat, being in a burning raga of madness. Hu then grabbed mo by tho neck with ono hand, and in tho Bonillo ho got a iow stabs as I lilted up tho knife. Ho thon foll on tho top of mc, I falling on tho steps of tho forecastle. I thon felt tho knifo bend. I said, ' Oh Clod I it has gono through you.' Ho then eluokcd lils hold, and released his hand from my nook, and as ho WOB full- ing back I laid him in a sitting position on tho locker. I then carno to tho soutllo to como up, and Murdoch laid hold of my wrist, and nulled ino up. AB I sprang on dook, Murdoch said, ' Don't cut my hand with that knife.' I thon said,'No i thero ÍB ono cut already.' I was thon, cooling down. I then wont into tho cabin and burled my faco m tho pillow, and was trying to pray to God, when two of tho men, Peter and Sam, como down and asked mo if I know what wus dono ? I told thom ' YOB,' tho poor mnn was stabbed ' and asked thom to send for a doctor. - They said he'was dead. From thal time I remember no more, till Mr. Harding carno on board. I told him tho man wasstabbed. Ido not
remember saying anything moro to him, nor do I tomcmbor anything from that time till taken to tho polico "station. t lam quite willing to die for the deed I committed, although by tho law of any country it would only bo manslaughter, Wo wera till drunk, and tho only ovldenco thero was, wns that given by Black Bill, who at tho Inquest said ho was on deck, afterwards he said ho WOB III tho forecastle, when giving evidence boforo the Supreme Court, so thnt if tho laws wore carried out strictly and judge and jury lind acted on evidence, tho oaso would almost havo boen ono of ncquittal. I nm now firm ina sober state, and havo prayed to God my Maker for ropent anco. I am now willing to die, having repented of nil my sinB and looking to God for morey, through Jesus Christ my .Saviour, and I hopo to moot (Jod in Heaven in peace. Let my Untimely fate bo a warning to you all to refrain from drinking.
" ANTONIO FUANKS.
" Witness to signnture-J. Nettleton.
The papor concludod, ho lookod at tho company ond said, Well, good-bye, one and all. My, wo. meet in a bolter world." ' ? . , .
"Whoh tho bolt wai drawn and ho foll; ho says ho thought ho folt something- brook nt tho back of his ' nock, and ho'was praying and thinking of God and
Hoavon. Then the memory of n wrock from willoh . ho was'resouod passod boforo his mind, ' Ho saw himsolf ding to tho chains till washed away : thon seizing o» ropo, nttacliod to a floating spar, nnd clinging to it till waBhod .back again on dock by "a heavy sea!. AU tho dotuila of tho'wreck pnBBod
though , his mind, and tlion carno tho thought Wliy;d6 I not dio P And Anding ho could broatho tho Bu'spqctod foul play and an intontion to torturo him by/prolonging his sufferings. Thon he spoko ondclutchod tho ropo, willing and wishing to die, but not a prolonged doath. Altor ho was cut down ho said, " It is a black dood you havo dono, but I ibrglvo you oil. ? Lot mo go to my Makor. I havo ropontod of my sins, and God in ' Hoavon will rooolvo mo in ponce."
Tho olinpol usod by tho Hov. P. P. Agnow, at BilBbi.no for the colobralion of divino BOVICO Tor tho mouibors of tho Proa Church of England, ls now closed to that congregation, it havlnpr baan pur- chased by. tho Hov. Thomas Jonas, vicar of All Saints, Wiolihom. Torrnoo. In his fnrowoll Harmon Mr. Agnow said ho has beon invited to olllolalo at Maryborough. Tho coat of tho building and tho loaaa to Mr. Jones waa only £2C0, ao it would oppoar that Froo Church funds aro not vory flourish-
Tho donth of Lord Audley, in ¿iii CC th yoar. is announced. Ho was tho twentieth baron of that namo, and was a count of tho Holy Hornau Etnulro. Tho doooaaod ia auccoodod by bis brothor, William Boas', born 1821. Ho waa mnrriod first at Sydney, in 1857, to Emily, tho second daughtor of tho Into Oolonol 61rThomaaLivltigHtonoAlitohi.il, Stirvnynr Oonoral of Now South \Vak». This indy tiiod in 1800, In 1808 ho niurrlod Mnrgnrot Anno, widow
of tho lalo Jimios Mr. W. Smith.