Part III: Conclusion
“I informed my mates [Jones & Kavanagh] that I should have the pleasure of introducing them to an old acquaintance of mine who lived on the Dromedary, named Mrs B—-n, and that in all probability they might shortly, while there, see Mrs Cash. Jones immediately exhibited a silk dress, which he had taken from Mrs Cawthorn’s, and expressed his intention to present it to my companion, but I told him that I would much rather he would give it as a present to Mrs B—-n. On the night following we all three repaired to the house, where we were most hospitably received. The family lived at a place named Cob’s Hill on the Jordan side, they were very poor and rented a small piece of land, which barely maintained them, having neither horses, cows, nor pigs, and were in all respects in the most abject poverty. They were all, both young and old, natives of the colony.
“We found Mr. and Mrs B—-n at home, together with other members of the family, and after partaking of some refreshment we spent a very pleasant evening, chatting over times past. Early next morning Mrs B—-n was on her way to town for a fresh supply of necessaries, also bearing instructions for my companion to return with Mrs B—-n, but as I did not know the address of the latter I told Mrs B—-n to call at the residence of Mr M—-t, opposite the Angel Inn in Argyle Street, where she would learn all the particulars, and being of opinion that the police were on the watch we did not consider it prudent to await their return. We therefore concealed ourselves about a mile from the house, where we remained until the afternoon, returning by a different route.
“Before reaching the house, we were met by Mrs B—-n who informed me that Mr. M—-t directed her at once to the house she was in quest of, and that my companion would arrive on the next morning, at the same time giving me a letter which assured me that she had been speaking to her, as it contained some of her hair, and also an assurance that she would join me at a time specified, remarking that her delay was principally occasioned by the fact of Mr. Marriott knowing that she had a visit from the country, although not in any way apprehensive that Mr. Marriott would trouble himself about the matter. Still, it was necessary to be cautious. … The day appeared to be very long until I should have an opportunity of seeing my companion, and at the dusk of evening we returned to Mrs B—-n’s who had been expecting us for some time and consequently met us on our way to the house. She informed me that my companion had not yet arrived which occasioned me (?) as I was not confident that it must be something very extraordinary that could have detained her; however, on getting close to the house she apprised me of the fact of her having arrived at ten o’clock that morning and that her first piece of news was to see how I would hear the disappointment. After expressing her ? for keeping one so long in suspense, we entered the house, quite prepared to meet either friend or enemy as under our circumstances we had always to observe the utmost caution. But on this occasion it was quite unnecessary as we found no person inside but those we expected. I was very much rejoiced on meeting my companion from whom I had been so long separated, and every person in the house seemed to enjoy themselves to the fullest extent, forgetting for the time our very desperate circumstances in the enjoyment of each other’s society.
“Having now refreshed ourselves, we returned to our fortress at Dromedary Park, which we had previously fitted up for the occasion.”
“On this occasion my mates took up their positions on the outside of the fortress in order to look out for the enemy. And here my companion resolved to share my exile, but to this I would not consent; however, she informed me that some two hours after Mrs B—-n had left, and while making preparations to join me the same evening, her attention attracted to two constables who were standing on the opposite side of the street, and who appeared to be intently watching her premises. Her suspicions being aroused, she kept them in view, and by and by was perfectly satisfied that her conjectures were correct, and that their movements must have been occasioned by Mrs B—-n, although never for a moment contemplating treachery on the part of the latter. Coming to the conclusion that the police were on her track she resolved to postpone her visit at least for present, but on finding that a coach started early in the morning for Launceston she took her measures accordingly, and about an hour before the coach started she travelled on before being still aware that she was under police surveillance; and on being overtaken by the coach, she was at once picked up and her pursuers were left behind, quite ignorant of her destination.
“We remained in quiet retirement for the next three days, enjoying the beauties of nature, until our larder began to show symptoms of a decline, on which we resolved to take the field and levy contributions. We therefore left my companion in possession of the Fortress with instructions to hoist a white flag on the battlement in case the enemy made their appearance; and directing our steps to the Back River, selected a large establishment occupied by Mr. Shone as the scene of our next operations.”
“[Within the house] I gave Jones instructions to procure a change of clothing for my companion, deeming it still my duty to provide for her in the only manner the laws of the country prescribed, left as she had been without a protector and totally unable to provide for herself.”
“We were heavily laden on our return to the fortress, where I found my companion seemingly in great anxiety respecting our safety. Jones displayed our newly-acquired property, comprising a variety of wearing apparel, among which were numbers of silk and satin dresses, shawls, handkerchiefs etc., which doubtless belong to Mrs Shone, and all of which he gave to my companion. We afterwards sat down and discussed several bottles of excellent port wine, and had a very pleasant night in our very exalted position, where we remained for the next three days enjoying the fruits of our raid.”
“On the third day after the affair at Mr. Shone’s we could see several parties of police and military scouring the country in search of us, taking all directions but the right one. We therefore decided on remaining passive for some time, holding ourselves in readiness to defend the fortress as well as we were able should our enemies attack it. What troubled me most was the safety of my companion, who, dearly as I prized her company, I wished anywhere but on the top of the Dromedary, and therefore resolved that she should return to town on the first opportunity. Feeling that should we be attacked, I could not act as I might otherwise have done while she was exposed to danger.
“On the following morning, finding the coast clear, I told her to get ready and me and my mates accompanied her, while coming within sight of the road that leads to the Falls from New Norfolk. But previous to this while getting a drink of water, my mates made some remark to my companion which I could not hear; however, before we parted she recommended me to be on my guard as she judged from the remarks that my comrades made were not kindly disposed towards me, stating also her opinion that they would part with me when they knew more of the country. I told her to make herself quite easy on that head? as I was aware they could not do without me, and requested to know the nature of the remarks alluded to. She answered that my mates endeavoured to persuade her not to return as she previously intended, observing that it might bring her into serious trouble (in which I perfectly coincided), but this did not appear to satisfy her, having taken a different view of the matter. I cautioned her against taking any of the articles we had given her to (?)(as the police would be awaiting her return, and on her assuring me that she would make away with them on the road, we parted, with a promise that she would return again in a fortnight.”
“We now resolved that we would give the district of Hamilton an opportunity of contributing towards our support … The following morning we started pretty early, keeping to the most unfrequented part of the bush until we arrived at Dunrobin, where we resolved upon attacking the residence of Mr. Charles Kerr.”
“At the dusk of evening we all, being five in number, proceeded to the house, where I saw a young lady with whom I became acquainted in after life, and shall have again to introduce to the notice of the reader in the latter part of my memoirs. Immediately on seeing us she retreated to the house, exclaiming, ‘Here’s the bushrangers!’ and then fainted. I left Kavanagh in charge of the men in the kitchen and returned to the drawing room, where I found Mrs Kerr in company with the young lady, who appeared to be quite recovered. … When we had them all safely secured in a room we untied Mr. Kerr, at his own request, ordering him at the same time to sit down, and, having procured writing materials, Jones wrote the following letter to His Excellency the Governor:
Messrs. Cash and Co. beg to notify to His Excellency Sir John Franklin and his satellites that a very respectable person named Mrs Cash is now fasely imprisoned in Hobart Town, and if the said Mrs Cash is not released forthwith and properly remunerated, we will, in the first instance, visit Government House, and beginning with Sir John administer a wholesome lesson in the shape of a sound flogging; after which we will pay the same currency to all his followers.
Given under our hands, this day, at the residence of Mr. Charles Kerr, at Dunrobin.
“Jones also addressed another letter to Mr. Shone, at the Back River, warning him not to prosecute Mrs Cash at his peril, as we were given to understand that she was apprehended on arriving in town, with some of the articles which we had given her still in her possession. Jones having read these letters in the presence of all hands, the contents of which elicited a smile from the ladies, next proceeded to business, in which he displayed more ability than in his capacity of correspondent.”
“Mrs B—-n, on one of her visits to town for supplies, informed me on her return that she had seen my companion in the street, but being aware of my intentions respecting her, she did not speak. I assured her that I had not the slightest wish to hear from her or her paramour, observing that, as she had been discharged from custody there was very little danger of her getting into any more trouble on my account in future. It appears that she was discharged by proclamation, though the articles found in her possession were fully identified and sworn to as the property of Mr. Shone at the Back River. On referring to the newspaper extract, it will be seen that the Government discharged her in the hope that by watching her movements, they would come by a knowledge of my haunts and thereby capture me; but I was of opinion that they were influenced by far different motives and that her discharge was mainly attributable to the threatening letters which I had sent from Mr. Kerr’s, so the imbecile Governor knew well that I was a very likely person to carry my threats into execution. If she was discharged through the before mentioned motive, why did they apprehend her? It appears rather singular that they did so and kept her in gaol until my letters reached the Governor, when she was discharged in a day or two after by proclamation.”
“[Jone and I] returned to the house, where we found Mr. and Mrs B—-n, both of whom appeared to be rather out of temper, the former asking me, in a menacing tone, if I was going to take his sister away from the house. I answered that if his sister wished to go home to her father I could not see what I had to do with it. He replied that it had everything to do with him, observing that she should not leave, whereupon Mrs B—-n remarked that it would be more creditable for me if I would go to Hobart Town and take my own wife, adding that many people believed that another person had taken my place. Her last observation stung me to madness and I answered that she should not be the first to rake up the follies of her sex, and taking up my gun I left the house. Jones followed me outside and asked where I intended to go, I could scarcely reply, but intimated that I intended to proceed to Hobart Town, upon which he coolly informed me that I should find him at the Dromedary on my return.”
[Goes to town]
“My reader may feel surprised at my acting so imprudently. I must therefore inform them that I intended to commit a crime which I ever regarded with the utmost abhorrence, and to which I was driven by the cruel taunt which I had received from Mrs B—-n. The demon of jealousy had entered my soul, and I now shudder at the thoughts of the murder I then contemplated. I wrestled hard with my feelings, but the taunt rankled in my heart, setting my brain on fire. In a word, I had come to Hobart Town fully intending to shoot my companion and her paramour.”
[Instead he was recognised by police, shot & killed a constable, and was sentenced to hang.]
And what happened to Eliza? I don’t know. She might have stayed with Pratt (the “paramour”) or moved in with someone else and took their name, or left the colony. I am sure I read in one book that Pratt was only her landlord, and that by the time Martine returned to Hobart Town (after a stay on Norfolk Island), she had gone elsewhere. But I can’t find it.