The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas, et Prevalebit. MONDAY, JULY 10, 1882. Winiata.
TOWN EDITION. [lssued at 4.40 p. m. j
The capture ol Winiata, the Maori murderer, who, until his meeting vvitli Barlow the half-caste, had managed to elude for six years the vigilance of his pursuers with so much success, has caused a wide-spread feeling of satisfaction throughout the colony. Any lingering doubts that may have existed as to Winiata’s guilt have now been dispelled, by tire action of Tawhiao, who pleads Mr Whitaker’s recent promise, at the Auckland banquet, that the hatchet should' be buried, and all differences between the two races forgotten. Under these circumstances the King regards the capture of the murderer of the ill-fated Packer as “ treachery,” and a breach of faith, thus tacitly acknowledging the guilt of the man he is endeavoring to screen. We are afraid his Majesty’s protest will not have very much weight in averting the punishment which Winiata apparently so richly merits. The murder with which he is charged—that of a fellow farm servant —was a singularly brutal one, and as objectless as it was bloodthirsty, and the way in which the murderer has set justice at defiance since the commission of the crime has been a standing reproach to the colony. After the murder at Epsom Winiata lay concealed close to the place where his victim lost his life, and, amidst all the hue and cry, got clear away to the King country, having completely baffled his pursuers. Nor was this all. At the recent Kingite meeting Winiata was again and again present, and seemed to take a delight in rendering himself as conspicious as possible. His capture was not attempted then, nor was the Maori King asked to deliver him up, because, had the one or the other course been pursued, a native rising, not easily quelled, might have resulted. The Government bided its time, and Winiata’s capture was accomplished by strategy. This circumstance appears to have considerably disgusted one of our North Island contemporaries. The Masterton evening paper, in a recent issue, in commenting on Winiata’s capture, attempts to ridicule the whole proceeding, afterwards referring to Barlow as “ the degraded half-caste, or rather out-cast,” and attributing selfish motives to him for the part he has played in bringing a criminal of the worst type to justice. We have referred to this matter to show that even a being like Wimata can awaken sympathy—or something that, if not sympathy, is uncommonly like it. Barlow may have been, and very probably was, tempted by fie
reward offered for Winiata, but his conduct was none the less courageous on that account. He had to deal with a desperate man, and at the peril of his life, be it remembered, he effected that man’s capture singlehanded. The sensational stories cir dilated about the chloroforming of the prisoner, and all the rest of it, have now been shown to be falsehoods, and those persons must be “ mawkish sentimentalists” indeed who can feel either pity for Winiata or indignation at the method by which he was caught.