Early Australian History.
Being a Series of Historical Sketches, bearing upon Australian Colonization and Convict Life in New South Wales and Van Dieman's Land.
By " Chatterer," (C. WHITE)
Part IV.— The Story of the Bushrangers. FRANK GARDINER, THE " KING OF THE ROAD." (Continued.)
By Mr. Serjeant (prisoner's solicitor) : I did not say any thing to Fogg ; I was shot first in the hand ; I went outside and got the revolver from Gardiner ; I am quite certain that I did not call upon Fogg for any assistance ; Fogg said ' Do not kill him !' and told Gardiner to allow himself to be quietly handcuffed ; I had no warrant with me, and I did not accuse
Gardiner of any crime ; I did not produce any document to show my power or authority ; I was dressed as a police officer ; I was never at Fogg's house before, and never saw him before ; I knew that the person I was fighting with was Gardiner, and I consider that there was plenty of charges against him to warrant my apprehending him ; I did not hear Gardiner call upon Fogg for assistance ; when I left, Gardiner was lying on the floor of the house, and I thought he was dying ; Fogg said " Thank God the others are not here." William Hosie, being sworn, stated : I am a trooper in the mounted police ; from information that we received we proceeded to Fogg's residence; on going up to the house Middleton went in, when I heard the report of a pistol ; Middleton rushed back to me, and told me to try to get in at the back of the house ; I obeyed the order ; came back and told him I could not get in ; he told me to come to the front and take my chance with him ; I made a rush and covered Gardiner ; I told him to surrender ; we both fired together, and I dropped down senseless ; when I recovered I saw Gardiner making towards Middleton with the butt end of his pistol ; I rushed and caught Gardiner from behind ; when we were in the yard we struggled together and I threw him down and disarmed him ; when I had him down Fogg tried to prevent Middleton from striking Gardiner on the head with his whip handle ; we went to Fogg's in search of bushrangers, Gardiner being one of the men we wanted for a mail robbery ; I did not know that he was illegally at large, or that he had absconded from his bail. I cannot say how many shots were fired ; we put Gardiner in handcuffs; Gardiner was in the yard and we had him down when Fogg interfered ; I put one handcuff on, but could not get the other on ; Fogg, his wife, and myself took him into the house, and Fogg offered to put the other handcuff on ; we had to assist Gardiner into the house ; Middleton called on Fogg to shew him through the house to see if there were any more men in the house, and when he had done so he left for Bigga to get assistance ; in about an hour and a half I found myself getting faint and called upon Fogg to take Gardiner in charge, which he did, and when I recovered I found Gardiner in the same place as when I fainted ; I do not know whether he made any attempt to get away from Fogg, but shortly after I recovered he tried to get away from me ; he attempted to throw me down, and we struggled together for a quarter of an hour, when he got away and rushed towards the river, which was flooded, when he turned and got a sapling and rushed at me with it ; I fired at him and overcame him ; Fogg then assisted me again, and we took him back to the house and gave him some refresh- ment; as Middleton did not return with assistance, I thought he must have died on the road, and I asked Fogg to assist me to take Gardiner to Bigga, which he did, and got two horses, one for himself and the other for Gardiner to ride ; Fogg led, Gardiner's horse, and I rode behind ; when we had got about 3¾ miles on the road toward Bigga we were attacked by two bushrangers, one of them I believe to be Piesley, who demanded Fogg to let go Gardiner's horse, or they would shoot him ; he did so ; they then fired at me, and I fired at them — the only charge I had —when they both rushed at me and covered me with their revolvers ; Fogg rushed up and I begged of them not to shoot me, but to spare my life, and I believe they would have shot me only for Fogg's interference ; they then left, taking Gardiner with them ; after they left Fogg accompanied me for about a quarter of a mile on the road for protection. By Mr. Sergeant : I was at Fogg's house once before; did not say what we went to his house for : after the firing was over I called on Fogg to assist, which he did; remember Fogg saying do not kill the man ; he assisted to take Gardiner into the house ; I had some trouble to get the handcuffs on, when Fogg told Gardiner to let them be put on ; Fogg did not interfere in any way until Gardiner was knocked down by Middleton ; did not tell Fogg that I was a policeman ; I called upon Middleton to use his whip ; Fogg did nothing towards rescuing Gardiner from begining to end. What magistrates could convict a man on evidence such as this ? The case against Fogg was dismissed, and another charge which had been laid against him by Middleton, of harbouring prisoners knowing them to be illegally at large, was withdrawn. The two wounded troopers were " off duty " for some time after the accident, under the care of Dr. Rowlands, of Carcoar. He extracted a bullet from Hosie's head, it having found lodgment between the scalp and the skull, and when taken out it was as flat as a coat button. The bullet that struck Middleton in the mouth could not be found, as I have said, although it was said that several scaley pieces of lead were extracted from between his remaining teeth a week after the conflict. An effort was made to raise a purse for the two policemen, who had certainly at the outset acquitted them selves bravely, but the attempt was not very successful. Hosie subsequently left the police force. (To be Continued.)