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"MOONDYN " The Secret of the Mountain of G0 14 ':A Story of Early Western Austra?a. HELife: Story: of JOE GILCHRIST, a convict, transported by the En lih Government Tiq -Ito Western Australia, for.some trivial offence, is one of the most stu dous and heroic J portrayals of a man's' life-sufferings ever; divulged to a public.: ilch stwas a man of wonderful personality and ability ;i an' exemplary pirisoner, and oso whose, conduct earned both the respect of the officials and his fellow convicts. His story is not mere' fiction, for.it is a reasonably true account 6f the man aiid the conch ions surrounding the convict life of that period, in Western Australia-which was then " Crown Colony anid ruled by Military Despotism. Gilchrist, known as Convict 406-convicts ere: only.known by numbers-has earned the enmity of a fellow prisoner, named Isaac Bowma for some calise unknown. . Bowman, an utterly selfish brute, always seeking trouble, and of a d gning and crafty nature,.determines to wreck the prestige of themnian .he hates, and concocts robbery from a Settler's Home,:endeavouring to cast suspicion on Joe Gilhrist;i his plot, howev r, fails and he is lashed at Ithe triangle,. while. Gilchrist counts the strokes . ?' ? Later, having served ?is sentence, Bowman `is released as:a fre settle , and takes up a selection, :away back on the outskirts of the Vasse Valley. All --ifree :settlers had a right' to ,select a convict:servant,-known as bondman, .who was virtually the slave of his. master, and in:' his life's mission of revenge, Bow an selects Joe Gilchrist,. Fr aF term Gilchrist lived his life regardless of. the brute man who was is master. One . day, the. nature of Joe cried "enough, and he struck his enemy down. :This offe , by an assigned - servant, meant the chain gang at Fremantle for life-one of the most hideous and readed of pun ishments so Joe took to the bush. Befriended by the Natives of the Vasse Valley, for years he lived ini heir stronghold; . and was named by them "MOONDYNE," the Great White. Chief. We' must re mention that the Natives, when .visiting the more' populated: districts, were fieq~uently, s wearinig- crude * golden ornaments' Governor Hampton, .on the .28th June; 1848, issued a Pr amation offering £5000 .Reward- for the discovery of the', Mine from which the-:Natives of tI Vasse obtained their ,gold. The effect of this was fruitless;; but the Whites were ever on the lert to trace the source of this mysterious wealth. :, Moondyne,: as one, of the; Vasse Tr, has 'learnt the Secriet. 'One day, on the summit of the iranges, a Native, sees a Police. P rty, and knows their territory is 'endangered:; he':informs the Chief-Te-Mana'-Roa. Moondy e, with a party. ?. .: proceeds to investigate.: The party are ambushed and Moondyule is recai?tured, d to his horror ..once more discovers :his life's ,enemy," 'Bowm an, -who, retiredi from the: land has '-become :a'... Sergeant of Police. He is manacled to 'Bowmian's'horse, and the cavalcade proceeds to re to ciilisation. On the roal, Moondyne;, realising only:a living death before hi?arouses theu ' ty of Bowman and 'informs him ihe is in possession of the secret of the Mountain of .Gold- the ce is his free doni. Bowmaniaccepts, and effects the escape of Moondynei, nd! accompanies n to the Vasse Valley. She Chief, onh the return of Moondyne, agrees to respect his promise d discloses secret of the',Golden Mountain to Bowman,. but refuses to permit his departure. ater, howeve. Bowma, inii,the absence of Moondyne, half kills the Chief, seies as mucii h gold as can carry and rides~off.' Moondyne-is'banished by the tribe, and rides for his revenge on the tro of his enemy.. I. + Bowman loses the track, and perishes on the verge of the plains, but not before oondyne has found him anid instead of killing, endeavours to succour Bowman with his last dr of water. NeIt morning, a Native discovers two forms :lying still upon the pla Moondyn lived to returifo the' Vase Valley and the le of h friendly Natives ____ _ __+

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State Library of Victoria
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