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2 corrections, most recently by brucehowlett - Show corrections

[COPYRIGHT.l   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.) It was a situation from which Middleton could see no   escape. There was no person living near upon whom he could call for assistance, and delay was only making matters worse, as there was no likelihood of anyone calling at Fogg's house upon whom they could with success call in the     Queen's name, to escort them and their prisoner to a place of safety, while there was every probability of some of Gardiner's companions making a visit, in which case only one   thing, and that the prisoner's rescue, was to be expected. So   Middleton mounted his horse and faced for Bigga, giving Hosie instructions to start with his prisoner in the same direction as soon as he had recovered a little strength. The journey from Fogg's house to Bigga, which under, ordinary circumstances would have occupied Middleton about an hour and a half, was not accomplished under five hours, and during   that time events were happening in the neighbourhood of the   house where ho had left his companion and his prisoner,   which extended in their evil influences down the course of   many years— events which culminated in the escape of the   man whose arrest had been effected with so much trouble     and at so great a risk, and in the subsequent formation of a   gang of bushrangers more bold, more reckless, and more   bloodthirsty than any which had preceded it in the days when every second man in the colony was kept under espionage and had his conduct regulated by the lash. When Middleton rode slowly away he left Gardiner lying   on the floor of the house, handcuffed and so badly hurt that   he believed him to be dying ; but if all that was subsequently   stated by the man in whose charge he had been left be true,   he was very far from dying, although it would have been a   good thing for the colony if he had been; actually dead. How   the escape was actually effected has never yet been made known with sufficient clearness to satisfy the minds of an inquiring   public. At fte time and for many years afterwards contra-   dictory stories were told, some of them not at all to the credit   of the officers concerned, but the version that was officially   put forth to the world as the correct one was that it was a   case of rescue by other bushrangers with whom Gardiner had   been associated, and who formed part of the gang of which he   was chief. Without offering any opinion concerning its   correctness or otherwise — each reader will be able to weigh   the probabilities for himself— I give the story as told by Hosie at an inquiry held before the magistrates at Carcoar,   when Fogg was brought before the bench on a charge of   obstructing, the police in the execution of their duty. Here     is the evidence given by the two policemen around whom   common interest had gathered, and who at the time were the   subjects of thought and conversation from one end of the   colony to the other :—   John Middleton, being sworn, stated: I am a sergeant of   the mounted police stationed at Tuena ; from information I   received I proceeded to the prisoner's residence in company   with Hosie, on the 16th July, for the purpose of apprehending   a prisoner of the Crown illegally at large, of the name of Gardiner ; I found him there in an inner room in the house ;   Gardiner said the first person that comes in here I will     shoot, and when I lifted the calico that hung at the door I   was fired at and wounded in the mouth ; I fired in return ; he   also fired several other shots, three of which entered my   body ; Hosie then came up, and I told him to try and get in   at the back ; he tried, but could not; I then told him to come   to the front and take his chance with me ; Gardiner then   came out of the room and he and Hosie fired together ; Hosie   was knocked down from a wound in the head and I thought that he was killed ; Gardiner then rushed at me with, the   butt-end of his revolver ; I had a heavy handled whip in my hand, with which I struck him over, the head ; Hosie then   recovered his senses and got up and held Gardiner behind, .   and we all rolled outside the house ; Hosie seized Gardiner   and was struggling with him, and I was striking him on, the   head with the end of my whip ; Fogg repeatedly got between   me and Gardiner and laid hold of my, hand so as to prevent   the blows from taking effect, begging me not to do any more,   and not to kill the man ; the struggle continued for some time   longer, when Hosie and Gardiner fell down, Hosie uppermost ;     I threw my handcuffs to Hosie who got them on one of Gardiner's hands, but not on the other ; Fogg and his wife   assisted us to take , Gardiner into the hut, and Fogg   persuaded him to allow himself to be handcuffed,   which he; did,; I was at that time disabled in one hand, and was under the impression that I was mortally wounded ; I then asked Fogg to show me through the house, so as I I could see there were no more of the gang there, which he did, but I found no one ; I asked , Fogg to send for assistance to   Bigga ; he said that there was no one there who knew the   way; I asked him also for the loan of a horse ; he said that he had none ; I then went myself, and left Hosie in charge of Gardiner, and to do the best he could ; in going was so   confused from the loss of blood and my wounds, that I got   astray, and instead of going in in about an hour and a half, it   took me four or five hours ; did not call upon Fogg to render   us any assistance in taking Gardiner ; I never saw Gardiner   before, but from the information I received, and hearing Mrs,   Fogg call him Frank and Gardiner, I was sure it was him ; I   never spoke to Gardiner in Fogg's house, as before I could do   so I was shot.       (To be Continued.)