SAVAGE OUTRAGE IN THE SOUTH SEAS.
A Ship’s Crew Massacred by the Natives.
[by telegraph.] Auckland, To-day.
News' from Fiji reports a horrible massacre aboard the Auckland brigantine Borealis, owned by Mr. D. H. McKenzie and Captain Anderson. The particulars of the most horrible affair are as follows :
On Monday, 13th September, the Borealis was lying outside a small island called Uru, situated in a deep bight formed by the mainland, and separated from it by a channel about half a mile broad. About seven o’clock in the morning, a boat with Capt. McKenzie,. Mr. Hankin (Government agent), one European, and two Fijians as the boat’s crew, left the vessel for the purpose of recruiting for labor, leaving on board Daniel Creamer, first mate ; James Malherwed, and Wm. Kershaw, able seamen ; William McKenzie, the captain’s son ; Wm. Edward Huntley, apprentice; Geo. Ward, steward ; and Johnny, a Fijian. When he left the vessel, the captain states there were but six islanders aboard. He gave strict instructions to the first mate to keep a sharp lookout against surprise. After being ashore three-quarters of an hour, he heard screams, and immediately returned to his vessel. The recruits and an interpreter at once jumped over from the boat, and on the Europeans getting within hail, they found the ship in possession of the natives. The party were saluted with a shower of arrows and spears. The captain could see none of the vessel’s people. The four made every effort to retake her, until ammunition ran short, while at the same time canoes were rapidly approaching from the mainland. They then decided to pull for Sua Bay, about forty-five miles to leeward, where they hoped to find some other vessels anchored. They arrived some time after midnight, and found the schooners Flirt, Dauntless, and Stanley there. They ran alongside the Flirt, which quickly communicated with the other vessels, and all made sail for the scene of the disaster. Half a gale of wind was blowing dead ahead at the lime, and progress was slow. The Stanley arrived first, on the afternoon of the 15th. and found Ward, the steward, terribly wounded, but still alive, in the captain’s cabin. No bodies of other men were seen, but the decks on both sides showed evidence ofsanguinary work. A portion of an arm was found in the scupper. The ship was gutted from stem to stern, chopped, and hacked about in every direction. Everything lying on deck had been thrown overboard, and the stores and provisions broken open and scattered about the decks. As the Stanley’s boats came alongside, the natives were seen attempting to espape from the island. They were at once pursued and four were captured. The prisoners—two men, one woman, and a boy—are now on board the Stanley, and will be brought to Levuka. Statement by the Steward. The steward’s narrative is as follows :—After the captain left the vessel
all hands were engaged in setting up the rigging, putting the ship in order after the bad weather. . He was occupied in the galley. Saw some people arriving. Paid no attention to them till, while he stooping, he heard a signal given and heard a rush on the other men. Saw a native aim a blow at his head with a tomahawk. He partially dodged the blow, and received a fearful gash on the side of the head. It staggered him, but before it could be repeated, he aimed his revolver and shot the man who wounded him. Then tried to fire another shot, but found someone had emptied all the other chambers. He then seized a large knife and fought his way outside the galley. He found about eighty men on deck, who had evidently despatched the crew, as he saw none of them amongst the crowd. He defended himself with his knife until he received a cut from a tomahawk on each arm, which completely disabled him. He was knocked down the main hatch; but contrived to creep into a half empty water tank, where he remained for upwards of three hours, until the Natives deserted the vessel. He then crawled on deck, when he saw the bodies of all the murdered men, except the young apprentice and a Fijian, both of whom he supposed were killed in the fore part of the vessel. He managed to crawl into the captain’s cabin, where he bolted himself in, and remained for two days, until relieved by the people from the Stanley. During the interval, the natives repeatedly visited the ship, and knocked in the head of the tank, which formed his first hiding place, and actually smashed the skylight in the roof efthe captain’s cabin, but being a thick deck light, it still hung together, and prevented their discovering him. His escape is nothing short of a miracle, since, had they attacked the cabin door with tomahawks, nothing could have saved the poor fellow’s life. Happily, when the door is closed, it appears part of the main cabin wall. To this fortunate circumstance he doubtless owes his preservation. No reason whatever beyond thirst tor blood and plunder, can be assigned for the attack. From the Island, 900 recruits have been obtained during the present year, and it has been : looked upon as one of the safest cruising grounds. The Dauntless and Flirt arrived soon after the Stanley, and each sent hands to bring the Borealis back to Port Hutchinson. The unfortunate steward was transferred from the Stanley to the Borealis. The steward, whose life was so miraculously preserved, is rapidly recovering.
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