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Bill Collins on Bushrangers


From the correspondent from the “Port Augusta Despatch.”

It is not many days since a boot maker in a festive mood, at Farina, proceeded to the Police Station and locked it up, taking the key away with him. Upon meeting the worthy conservator of the peace he demanded 5s. from him. The demand was of course indignantly refused, upon which the incautious ‘snob’ said he had something in his possession worth more than ‘five bob.’

When the trooper arrived home he found the premises carefully locked, so that he could not get in. Remembering the conversation with the son of Crispin, he at once hunted him up and found the key in his pocket. By way of keeping the joke up the boot maker was locked up for the night, and next morning the presiding Justice inflicted a fine of £2 upon him for the perpetration of the little joke.

The sequence of the tale goes beyond a joke, though. Smarting under the infliction the foolish fellow proceeded to simulate the career of the Kelly’s.

After stealing a revolver, loaded in one barrel, from a harmless ‘heathen Chinee,’ he borrowed a horse from a colt-breaker, and rode bravely up to the door of the Police Station and challenged the trooper to come out and be shot.

This very polite invitation was not complied with, however. Mr. Snob then rode off, and meeting the owner of the steed was requested to dismount. This he refused to do, and discharged the revolver at the indignant proprietor.

Fortunately his aim was unsteady, and no harm was done. Putting spurs to his horse he made off into the bush, and was last seen at Blanchwater, where his equine companion appeared rather knocked up. He would probably make a change at that place, and proceed to Queensland, unless intercepted by the myrmidons of the law.