Early Australian History.
Being a Series of Historical Sketches, bearing upon Australian Colonization and Convict Life in New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land.
By "Chatterer," (C. White)
Part IV.--- The Story of the Bushrangers. ----------------------- FRANK GARDINER, THE "KING OF THE ROAD." (Continued.)
Who dressed Gardiner's wounds and nursed him back to health has never been disclosed, but that he was nursed back to health in a comparatively short time is proved by the fact that within a few months he was again reported as being "on the road," robbing travellers, in company with another noted bushranger named Jack Piesley and a couple of other
freebooters, the following Government proclamation concerning them having been in the meantime published in the Gazette and the newspapers throughout the country : — "It having been represented to the Government that two armed bush- rangers, named Francis Clarke, alias Jones, alias Gardiner, and John Piesley, and three others whose names are unknown who were concerned in an affray which tcok place at Fish River, on the 16th instant, with Sergeant Middleton and Trooper Hosie, of the Western Road Patrol, are still at large, a reward of fifty pounds will be paid by the Government to any person who may, within six months from the present date, give such information as shall lead to the apprehension and conviction of the above parties." For the special information of the police, the following announcement was made in the Police Gazette of January, 1862 :— ONE HUNDRED AND SEVENTY POUNDS REWARD. ATTACKING AND WOUNDING THE PATROL WITH FIREARMS. BATHURST DISTRICT. Vide Report of Crime of 29th July, 1861, and ante. On the 16th July last Sergeant Middleton and Trooper Hosie, of the Western Patrol, were attacked and severely wounded at the Fish River by Francis Clarke, alias Jones, alias Christie, a ticket-of-leave holder, illegally at large from his district ; a native of Goulburn, New South Wales, 31 years of age, 5ft. 8½in. high, a laborer, dark sallow complexion, black hair, brown eyes, small raised scar in left eyebrow, small scar on right chin, scar on knuckle of right forefinger, round scar on left elbow joint, two slight scars on back of left thumb, short finger nails, round scar on cap of right knee, hairy legs ; wounded in the above affray on left temple by pistol ball or whip. He was captured and afterwards released by two armed men of the following description : — John Peisley, a ticket-of-leave holder, illegally at large from his district ; a native ot Bathurst, New South Wales, laborer, about 28 years of age, about 5ft. 10in. high, stout and well made, fresh complexion, very small light whiskers, quite bald on top of head and forehead, several recent marks on face, and a mark from a blow of a spade on top of head ; puffed and dissipated-looking from hard drinking, invariably wears fashionable Napoleon boots, dark cloth breeches, dark vest buttoned up the front, large albert gold guard, cabbage-tree hat and duck coat. Sometimes wears a dark wig and always carries a brace of revolvers. He was in Sydney some weeks ago in company, it is supposed, with Zahn, alias Herring, of the Abercrombie. The other man is about 26 years of age, and about 5ft. 6in. high, light hair and whiskers, and small light moustache, sallow complexion. A reward of £20 is offered for Gardiner's apprehension, and £50 will be paid by the Government to any person who may, within six months from the present date, give such information as shall lead to the apprehension and conviction of the said John Peisley, and £50 will be paid for the apprehension and conviction of each of the other offenders. But, leaving Gardiner for a time, I must turn aside to give the history and exploits of the man whom Hosie declared was chiefly instrumental in his rescue from custody.