A Story and Its Sequel.
At a recent meeting of ministers held at Auckland to consider the Social Purity Question, the chairman (Bishop Cowie) made a remarkable statement, which sent a thrill of horror through the meeting. He stated that two young girls (whose names he gave), who had been Sunday school teachers in Auckland, but not of his church, had been at one of the public places of amusement, and had been decoyed and spirited away by two young men to Henderson, where they were being held in duress. They had written a letter stating that they were unable to escape, as their clothes had been taken from them, and imploring that they might be rescued. The young men were desperate, and suitable precautions would have to be taken in approaching the place to effect a rescue. The bishop announced his intention of acquainting the police with the facts, and, in the event of their inaction, of going out to the rescue single-handed, and he vacated the chair amid many "God speeds" to go to the police station on his mission. Some two or three hard-headed practical men had their doubts about the incident and the utter improbability of such doings at a country settlement, on the line of railway, and within three hours' walk of Auckland.
The police authorities were duly informed, and when the detectives got the names of the ex-Sunday school teachers, "they had saen them before"; but to make assurance doubly sure Detective Herbert and Constable Finnerty went out yesterday morning to Henderson. They found one of the young women had gone on a visit to town, and the other was at the house. The detective found matters as he had surmised. The girls had never been decoyed or abducted, but of their own free will were living with the young men, all in the same house. The young men were working at gumdigging, had promised them marriage shortly, and were treating them well. They were living comfortably, and had no desire to leave. The officers, however, deemed it better to bring the girl into town to await Inspector Broham's instruction. On being brought to the station she repeated the former statements, said she was eighteen, knew hor own mind, was her own mistress, and was far better living quietly with the gnmdigger than wandering about the streets of Auckland to all hours of the night, with the possibility of injuring her health. As a further effort, the police sent
for the girl's sister, to see if she could induce her to come to town. The sister sent word that it was no earthly use. She had done all she could to reclaim the girl, and nothing more could bo done. The girl explained the story about wanting clothes by saying that, on leaving home, she had not taken he spare clothes, and had sent the letter to a friend asking for them ; but the father replied that she would have to come for them herself. In answer to questions, the girl said she was never a Sunday school teacher, or her companion either. She was a Wesleyan, and her companion a Church of England woman. As the police could do nothing in the case, the girl was released, and went back to Henderson again by the afternoon train, feeling anything but thankful to the (bishop for having her brought to town by the police, and having to pay her passage back to her present home again. The other girl also went back, so the duress spoken of must be a complete delusion, and the bishop must in some way or other have been thorougly victimised, as both girls were well known to the police.— 'New Zealand Herald.'
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A Story and Its Sequel., Evening Star, Issue 8053, 1 November 1889
A Story and Its Sequel. Evening Star, Issue 8053, 1 November 1889
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