THE LEICHARDT MYSTERY.
The “ Sydney Telegraph ” says :—For thirty-two years the fate of Leichhart, the explorer, has been a mystery. Is it to remain so for ever? Some time since Andrew Hume told a strangr, tale of a white man living with the blacks in Northern Queensland. He had children and spoke with them in a tongue that Hume did not understand. From the age of the children it is evident that the roan hsd associated with the blacks for many years, and the circumstance that the language he spoke was not understood by Hume induces the belief that it was German, and that the; stranger was no other than the unfortunate Leichhardt.
Hume’s story was not generally credited though a search party was organised and sent out. The efforts of that party, however only resulted in failure, and here matters would have ended hut for a singular and unexpected confirmation of Hume’s story. A Mr. Skuthorpe, the owner of a station-in the far north, fell in with the identical tribe referred to by Hume, There were the children, the blazed trees, the evidences of iron hatchets having been used many years before, and everything to indicate that Leichhardt had been with the blacks, but he was not there then, The assumption is, that after seeing Hume he endeavoured to reach the settlements, and that he perished on his way. The object of the meeting convened by Mr Hu Faur, and held at the Academy of Art recently, was to raise funds for- the purpose of fitting out an expedition to bring in the half caste children, and ascertain what they know of their father. They may have a whole history to relate when the difficulties of translation have been overcome.
If they are the children of Leichhardt, the fate of the explorer will be known; if they are not some other mystery will be cleared up. Mr. Skuthorpe is willing to lead a,., search party, and the cost, it is estimated, will not exceed L2OO. That the money w will be subscribed there can be no doubt; 1 but such a work should not be left to" private patriotism. Leichhardt has a claim upon the country which nothing can discharge, and the least that the Government can do is to use every effort te trace out the melancholy end of one of our earliest explorers.
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