Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

288

CLEVER CAPTURE.

“Now I want to tell how cleverly a young draper managed the capture of Dalton, when another day would have seen him safe off in one of the ocean steamers. His

person

and features had been very fully described, when it was known he had escaped to Melbourne, and everybody was on the look-out for him. One evening, just at dusk, though lights were put up in the shops, he went into one, and requested change for a £50 note. The shopman instantly recognized him, but took no notice, only saying he didn't know, but would ask his master. To the latter he divulged his thoughts, and begged permission to manage the capture.

His master consenting, the young man took his hat, and returning to the apparent stranger, said they could not change the note, but if the gentleman would permit him, he thought he could take him where he could get it done. The stranger thanked him, and the young man led him, at a quick pace, through back streets and byways, until they came to the back of the police-office. They

APPREHENSION OF DALTON.

289

You may

He ran up

passed into the back yard through a gate or
door. Here was the critical moment.
suppose

the young man did not loiter.
the steps, closely followed by the unsuspecting
stranger, who, in the gloom of night and closely
shut-up windows, failed to recognize what he had
only seen, perhaps, the front of, and by daylight
too. In they went. Still the appearance of the
clerks in the separate desks might make it pass
for a merchant's counting-house. The young man
explained the nature of their errand, giving the
officers time to bend all eyes on the stranger. It
seemed but a moment, ere the cry of Dalton!”
and the rush to secure him took place. The
convict was fearfully armed with revolvers, pistols,
and knife.

“He said to the young man, 'Ah! if I had only suspected your purpose, as we came up the steps, I would have shattered your head to pieces-blown

[ocr errors]

it to atoms !'

“He was brought over here, and both he and Kelly were executed at Launceston.”

VOL. II.

U

CHAPTER XXIV.

IRISH STATE CONVICTS.

WE sent some distinguished convicts to Van Diemen's Land, as the result of the Irish Rebellion of 1848. John Mitchel, who arrived there in 1850, met William Smith O'Brien, Thomas Francis Meagher, John Martin, Patrick O'Gorman, Kevin O'Doherty, and Terence Mac Manus, all men of renown.

The last, though least, had his body brought from California to Ireland, for interment.

Smith O'Brien, who was sent to Norfolk Island, suffered more than any of the state convicts. When first offered sort of conditional liberty, on giving his parole not to

a

WILLIAM SMITH O'BRIEN.

291

а

[ocr errors]

sons.

1

attempt to escape, he refused it; but finding his health breaking down, , he accepted ticket-of-leave, and returned from Norfolk Island to Hobart Town. He afterwards removed to the house of a Doctor Brock, a settler at Avoca, and commenced the instruction of his

Mitchel thus describes him :“We alighted at a decent hotel, and in a few minutes a gentleman passed the window, whom, after nearly four years, we had some difficulty, at first, of recognizing for William Smith O'Brien. We met at the door, as he

, entered, and our greeting was silent, but warm and cordial, although the last of our

[ocr errors]

intercourse in Ireland had been somewhat

distant. He seems evidently sinking in health. His form is hardly so erect, nor his step so stately. His hair is more grizzled, and his face bears traces of pain and passion.”

O'Brien's sentence was for life, but it was commuted, and he was allowed to return home a

few years ago.

292

THOMAS FRANCIS MEAGHER.

ور

Thomas Francis, now General Meagher, is a man of a different stamp, who accepted his ticket-of-leave, and endeavoured, like Mark Tapley, “to be jolly under creditable circumstances.” He married, settled down in a lovely spot, surrounded with wood and water, kept a boat, fished, farmed, and hunted the kangaroo, as it suited his whim

or purpose ; and when tired of this sort of life, rode boldly up to the police-office, armed to the teeth, delivered up his ticket-of-leave, bade the magistrate good day, and was away like the wind. He escaped without a touch on his

honour.

The part he has taken in the American war is, to say the least, not a consistent one for a man who was transported for endeavouring, by force of arms, to separate Ireland from England. But there is no denying his great merits, and Ireland may be well proud of him and his Irish brigade. We subscribe to every word of the following eloquent lines

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »