The Russian Scare in Auckland.
The Daily Times' correspondent in Auckland supplies the following : The "town talk" is an article in the mthm Cross, announcing, in sensational headings, " War with Russia," and " Captare of Auckland by the Russians." Two columns and a half were devoted to a very circumstantial account of the arrival, durmg the preceding night, of the steamer of ff ar Kaskowiski, the capture of H.M.S. Blanche, and the landing of a body of men *'ho had seized as hostages most of our bling citizens. Contributions were levied ci the Banks, but they proved insufficient o gratify the greed of Admiral Herodskoff -the officer in command, —and he was therefore going with all haste to overtake tJ ie Wonga Wonga, which had sailed with * large quantity of gold the day before. Heaven help the passengers and crew of Je Wonga Wonga ! was the aspiration of w Cross, and the part of the article which 'xcited the most genuine alarm among ■hose who had friends on board. Of course, areful or practised readers saw at once oat the whole thing was a hoax. But the > reat majority, deceived by the genuine °«nd of the first few paragraphs, lost their «ts before they got any further. Women 'toted, riflemen rushed out armed and «outred, ready to skirmish their way into he city and relieve the bailed-up bank 'rectors; wives hung about their husbands J keep them at home'; the coach was topped from entering the town / n its way ro '« Onehunga, and riders from all parts in during the day, approaching the
city stealthily lest they should fall into the hands of the enemy. Schools were hastily dismissed, and all ihe old maids in the place were in a state of fearful alarm. Of course, those who read coolly, or beyond the first few paragraphs, saw that the whole affair was a hoax, and succeeded in pacifying their neighbours. Among a large number of people the alarm was, however, genuine and serious ; so much so that it is asserted several ladies are suffering still from the effect. There, were in the article some very good local hits, and the name of the Russian steamer was soon put into the vernacular as " Cask o' Whisky." The knowing ones are amused, those who were deceived are more angry than ever, and the affair is likely to be the topic of the next few days. The • morning after the hoax the Cross came out with the bold avowal that it had been done deliberately to arouse Auckland and show us our defenceless state,—a praiseworthy object, ' and one which it is to be hoped will be followed up by some reasonable suggestions for enabling us to take better care of ourselves in future.
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Cromwell Argus, Cromwell Argus, Volume IV, Issue 173, 4 March 1873
The Russian Scare in Auckland. Cromwell Argus, Volume IV, Issue 173, 4 March 1873
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