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The story of the finding of an albatross on the coast of Western Australia, wwoh had around its neoka pieoe of tin on whloh was aoratohed a message In French, written by some oastaways on the Oruz.ts and of the despatch of aFrenoh maa-of w*t on an errand of relief will be fresh m the memory of our readers, Tns searching vesael, it now appears, was the transport It* Meurthe which found traoes of thu unfortunate castaways on Hog Island wbloh, however, they had loft, and doubtless perUhed m the attempt t» reaoh another island of the group. The following interesting particulars are from the report of the Lieutenant OommanJlug the L» Meurthe addressed to " tbe Captain Uummabdiug toe JNaVal Dlvlsluu In the Indian Ooeau" und published In the | "Hew Zealand G.zatte" :— Sib,— • . . But first of all I must Inform yon of the principal object of my voyage, the search for thirteen shipwrecked Frenohmen, and Inform you that 1 regret that I have returned without them. Toe shipwrecked man were no longer on the islands when I arrived. I say < " were no longer/ beoauie they had lived there for seven months, and the department was not wrong In supposing that they were tbe crew of the Tamarls; but they must have perished m an attempt whloh they had made to go from one island to another m the group, if they have not been picked up by a vessel. Her j are now the absolutely exaot particulars. I extracted them from a tatter signed *' Majon, Captain of the Tamarls," •which I found ou liog Island on the 2d December. "The Tamaiis, a three-masted iron vessel belonging to Bordeaux, ran on Penguin ißlaud, m a thick fog, on the 9>n March, 1887, at 2 a.m. She struck about j thrte miles from the south-south-west end of the ielaud, and the orew was saved and directed m two boats towards Hog lelaud, They readied it on the 11th Marco, having only had to got from thu ship a little water and 300. b ot biscuits " liog sland presents the most desolate aspect ono could imagine, so that | tue joy of the shipwrecked men must have been very yjeat wheu thoy pore ived on that dotert ieland a hur, und m tho hut tho provisions and clothing lett there by the English man of wnr comus m 1880. They livad on Hog luiaud from iiiu lltb March toshe 30 b fcepternbet. It wj» this Island from whloh, on the 4th Augun flow awny tbe aibatrosp, on the neck of whioh ono of the shipwrecked men had bnng a tin plate haviug these woide written on it : — " 13 shipwrecked Frenchmen are ref ogees on the Ortzat I hnds— 4.h August." _The albatross had flown to die on tbe shore of Freemamie ( AostralUV wh»>-« v nan docu vu luossud September. — JBu> nearly at the same time, when the presence of tbe shipwrecked men was revealed m a surprising fashion, they having exhausted the means of living on Hog Island, had deoided to proceed to Possession Island. Here are exactly the last sad lines which ended the letter of o»ptain M.jon: — " Seeing food diminish, these unfortunate men ha7e supposed that on Possession Island they wuuld fiod as much as here, which would enable them to await the summer, wheu they hope that some ships may come to pick them up. Those who read these lines are besought to instantly oouio and see on Possession Island if these on- 1 formcates still exist, and to make known this writing to the French Oousul at the port to whioh they go. Hog Island, 30th September, 1887.— Signed, P. Majom." When I had this document I no longer doubted of the sucoeta of my enterprise. I knew that there was plenty of food on Potfsesslon Island, but what was my grief when I found intact at Possession Island the provisions left by tbe Oomus In 1880, nothing having been touched. Afterwards I visited all the islands and recks, and on no part oould I find a trace of our countrymen. . . 13th December— To-day I anoho ed at Hog Island, where I had resolved to es'.abJteh a depot of provisions. I have placed m the hut, whioh is now absolutely full, 1020 kilos of preserved beef, 500 klloa of biscuits, 40 kilos of sardines, 2) blankets, 19 pairs ot shoes, 15 oloth trouserc, the whole well packed op m twenty-seven oases and three casks of clothing. I have also put In the hut two spades and two axes for use m killing altatross, penguins, and above all seals and sea elephants In the hut trill be found saaaepaDS and certain utensils whloh I have naturally left at the entrance to the hut, and also, where It is conspicuous, I have hung a board on whioh is painted, In Frenoh and English, the following words : — " Ihese provisions have been left by the Meurihe for tbe use only of shipwrecked crews. Fishermen must not touch them." Richard Fog

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Bibliographic details

Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 1983, 30 October 1888

Word Count

THE MESSENGER ALBATROSS Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 1983, 30 October 1888