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THE MAUNGATAPU MURDERS.

v 110 measure is the public excitement Vyed respecting the murders" of the four ■-fortunate men, Matthieu, Dudley, Kempthorno, aud Pontius; and gradually are.circl }instantial proofs thickening around the four prisoners who are known to be among Hie most noted villians in the Australian Colonies- Unhappily, as yet, the bodies of ,v murdered men have not been found, although the search party have been indeijtjirable in their exertions, and have, we Ujeve, searched the bush and ravines below jig road for a distance of about six miles. flfhe upper part of the road, that is the bush above tho road way,—is now being examined jj a systematic manner and by sections, and the men appear resolved not to quit the jgarcli until the bodies are found. Since our publication on Friday morning several articles have been discovered. -We i {lien announced the finding on the previous wof the body of the horse shot with I bullet through the forehead. The bullet fia found lodged in the animal's neck, much fattened and misshapen by contact with the frontal bone. It is of the size and weight o f ß n ordinary revolver bullet. On Friday their was discovered lying at {be foot of a tree about fifty yards from the Ipe, a double-barreled gun, short barrels loft loaded, the piece reminding one of the iborfc guns that poachers use in England, {]i (l which are adapted to be carried with l|j 0 " butt resting in an inside pocket of the W jtjßO that by a man of ordinary stature the thole piece could be concealed without the barrels protruding above his coat collar. On tie same day a Crimean shirt of a purplish B lor marked with black spots, was found a jjorti distance away. People from Deep Creek areprepared to deponethat this was the jjiirt which Levy wore when he visited that township on Sunday fortnight. Yesterday a cloth gun-cover was found, jjdit is said that evidence can be produced to prove that it was seen in the possession of one of the party. Various reports are of men being seen early on the irening of Wednesday week not far from |c top of the Maungatapu. The whole tlain of evidence as it is, bit by bit, here a Sltle and there a little, gathered together, goes to fix the strongest possible suspicion ft the men now in custody. They were ped by Mr. Birrell on Thursday in the pvious week, on their way from JNelson up Id Canvastown; he did not meet them I ping into Nelson as was at one time lilted. They arrived at Canvas Town on Saturday, the 9th of June. On the followisi Sunday Levy went to Deep Creek, which ieleft on Monday morning. Next morning inly Mr. Jervis saw them preparing to cross k river, after they had silently left Canvas Imrn, with the intention, no doubt, or" filing away unseen. Nor was this the What was seen of the prisoners, as was ilSrsfc supposed. Mr. G-alloway, of Picton, tioieft Nelson for Picton we believe on ItMuesday, and travelled a great portion (h distance on Wednesday, reports that bet the lost party at the Peloru? Bridge kominodation House, and took breakfast ithem there. Mr. Galloway had preiislymet "four suspicious looking tramps " ifew miles in advance. &t. Jervis, of Canvas Town, who l'eturned pa Saturday from the Wangapeka, where he withe police were searching, identified all the iltj, particularly one of them, Burgess, to [/in when at his place he gave medicine to |fl» dysentery. On entering the man's dJerris at once recognised him, aud asked

itewas cured, Burgess replied that he was. fcis said that he wished he had given la a dose of poison instead of the medicine, tfoii which, Mr. Jervis says, the man with a exclamation, made as if he would have toted at him; but the officer prudently jiW Jervis out and locked the cell door. «. Jervis also identified the particular ipsum rug of the three he saw with those tffl when at his place. It has a black 'jiog squirrel's skin in the centre; and this fe noticed at the time and spoke of to one Me party. ■ -I It appears from careful ...examination of '■8 evidence, that the four men now in fiody arrived in Nelson, without doubt, B the evening of Wednesday, the day of fe outrage, and not on that of Thursday, as 'Mat first supposed. The statements of & persons at whose houses three at least of torn arrived, indubitably prove this. And Way, further evidence was obtained, three men of suspicious appearance Jsh the house of Mr. Jones, at Winter's % a little beyond the Rifle Practising ■wind, en Wednesday night about nine 'nock, Mrs. Jones, we are told, was out * ™ time and saw the men pass, and on filtering the house she said to her Wand that three bad-looking men had and she was glad they had gone by. •'men were not together ; but passed one 'I one at some distance from each other, •M this was remarked at the time. The ptwas clear, and it is probable that Mrs. y will be able to identify them. As a of doing this, the fact being clear p dress considerably alters a man's prance, we would suggest that as the '*) whose activity in town has been Ned by the seizure of nearly, all the mt worn by the men now in custody, *oI when nest they are brought up have 113I 13 dressed in the garments they wore on ! nignt of their return to town. rjs known that the men appeared at l different lodging houses about ten k° c S two of them are known to have weir feet and trowsers wet, which is 1 oof of r i ver crossing. This very much %r S 8 me at (suPPos^nS cne rea^ k Brers are *n custody, and every one ,j( a ! es. they are,) elapsed between the J, . au|i their arrival in Nelson. The S Q! lon is *hat little time was left *lie «erers to dispose of their victims' bodies. l c Wme when the four lost men were Jjj 3t e®n was about noon of the Wednesday. kj ay. SUBP^ous-l°oking men were on I oad before them is proved, and probably Iff th y ' who was *he last P Brs? n tnat k, .? on the road in the morning, will «Hfi Ft up from Picton to identify them C . The P lace where Matthieu and ( wpamons were seen last, was as, we Cl° rmerly said 'at Franklyn's Flat, where L gßaw them taking dinner, the last meal bf tt a^8 ' an<* *^c man an<* woman w-h° ."W afterwards, met them almost T^aftw.ttogf left ftelH averj

short distance, as some of them it is said ■ were still eating.. -About, a .mile.and a quarter on this side of the fiat is a rock some -ten feet • -high, and. roughly, from ■ fourteen to sixteen feet square. This is close ;by the side of the track on the right hand going out from Nelson. This is a favorite camping place, and was often used as such by road parties. In front of this rock is a small flat with herbage. From behind this rock a portion of a spur rises, not very steep, and one up which a horse could bo driven without difficulty. Here was found a quantity of gunpowder mixed with, water into a paste, which is believed to have been used to blacken the faces of the assailants. A piece of soap was also found at the same place, and two tin plates almost new were discovered among the brushwood. Each side of the rock is quite bare of bush; on one side, that next Franklyii's Plat, some ten or twelve yards are clear, and then there are some large trees and dense scrub. On the other side, that nearer Nelson, there is a greater, distance open, and a good command of the road from the rock. The road approaches this place in such a way, that if a party coming from the flat were allowed to pass the trees and come near the rock, they could be placed between two fires, and the general opinion is, that here the attack was made ; here the unfortunate men were stopped, probably pinioned, or at least marched off with pistols at their heads, and most likely driven up the spur and into the bush out of sight of the road, the horse being also taken up the same way, as, on the ground, marks of a horse's hoofs were seen both going up and coming down, and these marks correspond, we were informed, to the hoof of the horse which was cut off and tried in the impression, and it is almost certain that the robbers aud their victims were up here when Mr. Bowen passed the one way, and also when Muller who was following his friends to take back their horse, passed in the other direction. We know that the horse was taken down afterwards, and shot half a mile further on the road. Where the meu were taken is yet a mystery, but dense though the bush is, aud manifold the opportunities of making away with murdered men, we hope the bodies will befound, under the diligent search which is now going on. Some think it probable that the murdered men were lured to go on quietly under promise that their lives would be spared, and that they would be tied up in a place where they could be found next morning; and thus taken away from the vicinity of the spot where the horse was shot, aud around which much time would of course first be occupied in searching; and that the capital offence was committed nearer to Nelson than at firstsight may appear. Such conclusions can only be set at rest by the finding of the bodies, and we learned late last night, that, Hemi Martin, the half-caste, had struck on a new trail yesterday, and was following that up with some hopes of success. - We copy below an account of a passage in the life of Burgess and Kelly, who have been lawless and noted scoundrels for years, and who when in Otago were captured by Sergeant Trimble, now the landlord of the Masonic Hotel in Nelson, who has seen r.nd identified all the characters. On the occasion when he captured these two men as narrated below, while in their tenfc at Wetherstoues in Otago, Sullivan and we believe Levy also had only recently left them. They had then three tents in different parts of the country on the road to the diggings. Trimble had previously exchanged shots with them at a place many miles distance, and was then following them up with his companion. When Trimble crept into the tent with a pair of revolvers in his hands, he found the men sleeping ; Burgess opened his eyes and never moved a limb, simply remarking with the utmost coolness: "Eh ! you've awakened us rather early this morning." After being handcuffed and on the journey down, he said: 7 to Trimble, with equal sang froid: " You ought to thank' God that we were asleep when you came up, else we should have shot you both, taken your horses and rode off." This same Burgess, who is said to be a man of great shrewdness and ability, was iv Hokitika last Easter Sunday, and he was heard to boast that it was the first Easter Sunday he had been at large for the last seventeen years ; and in celebration of that circumstance he gave a champagne supper to a number of his acquaintance. The following is the extract referred to from the Otago Daily Times, of 16th June:—

The " persons named" are three daring scoundrels well known in Otago, being no others than Richard Burgess alias Hill, Thomas Kelly alias Hannon, and John Joseph Sullivan, who, in the early days of Gabriel's Gully, stuck-up some \nen near Wetherstones, and afterwards fired upon the police. The three men were captured here, by Sergeant Bracken (now of Hokhika), and Sergeant Trimble. The officers traced them to a tent at the outskirts of Wetherstones; but they bolted as the officers neared the tent, and Burgess (or Hill) and Kelly (or Hannon) escaped. Trimble had previously noticed a very lonely tent four or five miles from Wetherstones, and he made up his mind to search it. He and Bracken got to the tent just before daylig! I. Bracken got off his horse, undid the tent, crept in, revolver in hand, and found the two men asleep. They awoke to find themselves completely covered by Bracken's revolver; and they believed in the earnestness of Bracken's threat, that the first that stirred would certainly die on the instant, and that the chances were strongly in favor'of. the fate, of the second being similar. Meanwhile, Trimble had crept in behind the villains, and taken from under their heads two revolvers and two guns. Then their capture was easy. Burgess and Kelly were found guilty of shooting with intent to kill, and also of stealing a gun ; and they were sentenced to penal aervitude for three years and a-half. They were discharged 'from prison on the 11th September last. Early iv 1863, Burgess once or twice caused great danger in the Dunedin Gaol. Once, he contrived to communicate with the notorious Garrett and others, so as to concert a breaking out; and he contrived to break through a thick stone wall and to enter the adjoining cell. On another occasion he and Garrett each barricaded the door of his cell, and set the officers at defiance until the doors had been battered down. Those doors and others in the Gaol, then opened inwards—a stupid arrangement, which was spceJily altered. Burgess waa flogged; and he bore his punishment with seeming indifference. It may be said here, that Garrett, who for a long while absolutely would not do work of any kind, has for some time been thoroughlywell behaved, and has worked regularly and hard.

Sullivan was found Not Guilty ; and as soon as he was at liberty he sailed for Sydney. The telegram received last evening was the fust intimation, to the Police here that ho had returned to New

Zealand ; and now, unfortunately, he nnd his.mates are charged with murder. All three of the men havo undergone long..periods of penal servitude in Victoria ; and Burgess's wound in the back was received while lie arid several others were attempting to escape from the hulk in Hudson's Bay. Burgess was formerly a mate of the notorious Capt. Melville; and he has the reputation of being one of the most cool and daring criminals in the Australian Colonies.

It may be added that, after the arrest of the three villains here in Otago, it was, assertained that they had been some time waiting for a favorable opportunity of sticking-up a gold buyer who was in the habit of passing from Wetherstonea to Waipoii.

The Marlborough Press of Wednesday laet, contains the following paragraph:—We have .ascertained that Mr. Galloway, of Picton, when returning from Nelson, on Wednesday last, met, break fasted with Mr. Dudley and his-three companions Ma t tii-u, Kempthorne, and Pontius, at the Pelorous BrHge Hotel, having previously met four suspicious looking tramps a few miles in advance. Mr. Dudley told Mr. Galloway that they intended to camp that night about nine miles from Nelson. We are afraid our worst fears may bo realised as to tho fate of our unfortunate friends, who weie all well-known and much respected in the Wakamarina, Havelock, and Picton.

The Gazette of the 15th instant notifies that the ■Hon. Mr. Stafford has resigned the office of Colonial Trarsurer, and that the Hon. Edward Jollie, of Canterbury has been appointed to that office, of date 12th June.

The Boundaries of Nelson and MARLBOROira-H Provinces.—: Mr. Brunuer, Chief Surveyor, Nelson, and Mr. Joseph Ward, of Biookby, Wairau, havo been appointed Commissioners under the " Boundaries of Provinces Act, 1858," to ascertain and report on the boundaries between the Province of Nelson aud the Province of Marlborough, with a view to having such boundaries defiuod.

Mr. W. H. Piluet lias been appointed Returning Officer for the Election of Members of Council of the Province of Marlborough for the District of Pelorus. A Treaty of Commerce between England and Austria is published in the New Zealand Gazette.

Financial Promptitude.—The following notice, issued from the Treasury, and bearing Mr. Stafford's signature, appears in the Gazette: —" In - order that the accounts of the financial year ending on the 30th June next may comprehend and include all transactions relating to that period, it is requested that persons having claims on the Government will send in their accounts to the Sub-Treasury of the Province before the 30th instant. Collectors of Revenue are required to pay in their collections promptly; aud officers holding advances under imprest must forthwith render their accounts and refund any balances in their hands."

The Home Government and the Fenians.—ln tho House of Commons on 24th April, in reply to L)rd Dunkellin, Mr. Cardwell Btated that no official intelligence had reached the Government of an attack by the Fenians on any of our North American colonies. Preparations had, however, been made by the Imperial and colonial authorities, both by sea and laud, to provide against an occurrence of the kind.

The Condemned Criminals.—-At a meetiug of the Executive Council, held yesterday, it was determined that the extreme penalty of the law should be carried out on tho person of Crookwell, who was convicted at the late sitting of the Central Criminal Court of the murder of Constable Raymond, near Bargo Brush, ou the 14th April last, and* the 2nd of July has been fixed for his execution. The five other prisoners who acted with Crookwell, and who were also convicted of murder, are to be imprisoned, with hard labor, in irons, during the term of their natural lives ; and the Government intend that this punishment, which to many persons would be more terrible than death, shall be absolutely carried out. — Sydney Morning Herald, June 14th.

Mr. Crosbie Ward's visit to Panama is delayed in order that he may attend the Assembly.

The Postmaster-General haa issued a notice in the New Zealand Gazette, stating that in future the postage on letters from New Zealand to Ceylon will be, if not exceeding half-an-ounce, sixpence ; not exceeding one ounce, one shilling ; aud one shilling for every additional ounce or fractional-part .of an ounce. A notice appears in the New Zealand Gazette, intimating-that Sir G-eorge Alfred Arney has resigned his seat in the Legislative Council, and that his resignation has been accepted.

Valueless Bank Cheques and Overdrawn Accounts.—Before his Honor Mr. Dudley Ward, the Judge of the District Court at; Picton, Pearce Nixon, lately telegraphic clerk in Nelson, pleaded not guilty to a charge of issuing a cheque to Moses Fear, on the Bank of New Zealand, for goods received, when he had no reasonable belief of fuuds being in the Bank to his account at the time. His Honor (says the Marlboroxigh Press) said tbe indictment could not stand, as no conviction had ever taken place because of an overdrawn account. If he had never had an overdrawn account, and could be proved to know perfectly well no funds were there, the case would be different. Any man, however honest, might be charged in the same way for an overdraft of £2 or £500, at the mere caprice of-'a Bank Manager, although be may have made a previous arrangement to that effect. The prisoner was discharged.

Scab in Canterbury.—Fresh legislation is called for by the Lyttelton Times to meet the increase of scab in sheep in the Province of Canterbury. It says:—" In spite of all the sheep ordinances and scab prevention ordinances that have been passed, amended, repealed and renewed, during the last ten years, and in spite of increased fines and fresh iuspectors, the chance of scab being eradicated from the province seems even more remote than it was three years ago. At about that time the disease seemed likely to succumb to the active measures that were supposed to be taken against it, and it was believed that Canterbury might soon be able to say with Adelaide that not a single scabby sbeep could be found within the borders. These hopes have unfortunately proved to be without foundation, and the scab appears to be on the increase in the Northern and Middle districts of the Province."

The Otago Daily Times of the 13th inst. has the following intelligence .from the Arrow by telegram from Clyde ; —The Criterion Company obtained 950z of gold from a crushing of 80 tons of stuff, chiefly mullock. A severe shock of an earthquake, with a rumbling noise, was felt here on Saturday the 9th inst., at 9.15 a.m. Heavy floods took place on the Bth on the Shotover. The river claims flooded out. The Escort from Queenstown to-day takes 4200z. From the Arrow, 415bz.

The Superintended y of Canterbury.—A telegram states that, His Honor Mr. Moorhouse, the new Superintendent, entered upon his duties and the old Executive at once resigned. The following are the new appointments made : —Tancred, President : Stewart, Provincial Seci'etary and Secretary of Public Works ; Garrick, Provincial Solicitor. Casa is at present without office.

Teamway fkom Cobden to Point Elizabeth. — A meeting was held at the Garibaldi Hotel, Ealeigh, on Monday evening, at 8 o'clock, for the purpose of furthering the proposal to construct a tramroad from Cobden to Point Elizabeth. There was a numerous attendance, and Mr. W- J. Bull was voted to the' chair. He briefly explained the purpose for which they had been calied together, and urged that the proposed tramway would be of immense benefit to the miners and storekeepers, in providing easy and cheap means of communication. He, in conjunction with other promoters of the scheme, had prepared estimates, and drawn up a prospectus, which he called on Mr. Payne to read. Mr. Payne then read the prospectus, which fully set forth the advantages and profitable nature of the proposed line, and addressed the meeting in support thereof. It was shown that the line could be constructed in a substantial manner for the sum of £3500, and would bring in a revenue of above 120 per cent, taking the goods only at forty shillings per ton, —the present rate being £B—and would clear the cost of its conitruction in nine months. Names of persons willing to form a Working Committee were taken, and it was resolved to call a meeting of the Committee at an early date to take the necessary steps for carrying oat the project. We may add that the estimates iwero based upon the existing traffic, which would doubtless largely increase under the encouragement afforded by cheap conveyance. It is intended to construct the line along the Cobden road, and thence along the beach, passing the various stores, &c,

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/TC18660626.2.14

Bibliographic details

THE MAUNGATAPU MURDERS., Colonist, Volume IX, Issue 913, 26 June 1866

Word Count
3,846

THE MAUNGATAPU MURDERS. Colonist, Volume IX, Issue 913, 26 June 1866

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