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Spectral Horseman (1909)

Spectral Horseman (1909)

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Published by draculavanhelsing
The World's News 1909 (Jan 2)
The World's News 1909 (Jan 2)

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Published by: draculavanhelsing on Nov 09, 2013
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11/09/2013

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The World's News (Sydney, NSW : 1901 - 1955), Saturday 2 January 1909, page 10National Library of Australiahttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article133969057
Mysteries
of
theAustralianBush.
SHESPECTBE
HOBSEMAH
OPOHE
TBEEPLAIN.(By
FRANK
KEEN.)
 Ntalesof
mystery
and
fascination
con
nectedwiththe
Australian
bush,
none
perhaps
thrillsthelistener
more
withits
^
weirddetails
thanthatofthe
ghostly
horse-
)
man
ofOne-tree
Plain,
a
locality
situateal-
^
mostin
the
centre
of
theStateof
Victoria,
and
lying
a
littleif
anything
towardsthe
South
AustralianborderofthatState.The
area
is
now
largely
under
pastoral
occupa
tion.
*
The
story
hasbeentoldroundcamp
fires,
and
exaggerated
andincorrectvariationsofit
seen
in
print
once
in
a
way,buttbe
ac
tual
ci
rcumstanees
are
true,
andmany
a
troverofthe
bygoneoverlandingdays,
when
immense
mobsofcattle
were
taken
to
thesouthern
mar
kets,
had
experi
ences
ofthelocalitywritten
of.
Ihavesetthecir
te
um
stancesdown
herein
story
formfrom
parti
culars
given
me
by
Mr.
HenryDavoren,
a
well-knowndroverofthesixtieswho
saw
thespectre
in
the
year
1849,while
taking
a
mobof
cattleto
thesouth
ern
markets.Mr.Davorenhas
atpre
sen
t
large
landed
I
n
t
ere
sts
intheNorthernTerritory.NorthernTerritory.TheOne-treePlain
Incidentforcibly
re
minds
one
ofthe
Headless
Horseman
ofC
a
ptainMayne
Reid's
splendid
tales
of
Americanadven
ture;
butthis
is
no
creationof
the
story-teller—it
is
a
record
of
facts.
In
a
fewyearssuch
a
name
didthislocality
come
tobear
that
overlanding
from
Melbourne
to
Sydney
and
farthernorth
-were
-wontto
make
a
wide
detour,awed
by
the
mysterious
and
terrifying
tales
xeaching
them
concerning
it.
The
explanation
oftheincidentofthe
spectre
horse
andrider
ofOne-treePlainis
attributed
(rightly
or
wrongly)
to
thecircum
stancesofthe
perishing
thereof
a
drover
coming
northwards.Helosthis
way,
and
wandered
(assumedly)days
and
nights
till
deathrelievedhim
of
hissufferings.
The
mere
factof
a
horseman
perishing
thuswould
not
alonehesufficient
toaccountfor
theafter
appearanceof
a
shadow
horse
and
rider,
hutdoubtless
the
inferencethat
having
losthis
/bearings,and
probably
maddenedwithfever
and
thirst,he
gallopedand
raced
frantically
 
and
thirst,he
gallopedand
raced
frantically
over
the
plain
till
deathclaimedhim,
mayin
some
degreeexplain
the
reappearanceafterwards
in
the
still
nights
ofthe
spirits
of
the
travellerandhissteed.Theincident
happen
ed
yearsago,and
no
additional
particularsthan
thoserecordedhere
have,
tothe
writer's
knowledge,
ever
been
forthcoming.
For
yearsmobs
of
travelling
cattle
camped
on
the
plain—animmense,
solitary,untimber
edarea,
save
for
one
tree
near
the
centre,
stretching
for
milesand
miles
on
all
sides—
were
scatteredin
the
deadof
nightby
asnow
white
horBeand
rider,
dashing
through
them
as
they
lay
quiet
and
guarded
by
the
men
on
watch.Horse
andrider
came
with
no
sound,pad
with
no
warning
of
approach—but
the
Cattle
scented.Thenthe
pickets
knew
theirmidnight
visitor
was
near,
and
prepared
forthe
rush
ofthemob.
Racing
across
thegrey
plain
at
full
speed,
thepickets
could
see
the
phantom
whitesteed
headingstraight
as
anarrow
forthemob.It
came
with
no
clattering
and
thudding
ofhoofs
on
theturf,
but
like
a
muffle-hoofed
spectre
ofthenight,
noiselessand
silent,with
ridersit
tingboldlyupright
and
still.
Then,
theal
ready
terrifiedcattlewouldbreakandstam
pede,
careeringand
bellowing
madly
over
theplain.
It
was
uselessto
attempt
to
stop
them.Itmeant
sure
death
to
theriders.
They
would
be
trampledbeneath
thousandsof
hoofs.Thespectre
horsewithriderraced
silently
on
in
the
night
likethewind.The
roar
and
the
rush
ofthecattlewould
arouse
allhandstoassistthe
pickets,
butlittlecouldbedone.It
generally
tooktill
morning
tocollect
the
scattered
mob,
whenit
was
time
to
continuethe
journey.
Thecattle
wouldbescattered
milesapart
by
the
spectre
steed.Thisaccountedfor
tne
manyhundredsofbeastsinthe
course
of
timefound
on
the
plainhaving
noowners
to
claim
them,
particularly
as
theymultiplied.So
far
as
thewriter
can
ascertain,
thereis
no
recordofany
attempt
toeither
stoptheflightofthesnow-white
steed
or
to
keep
pacewithitthe
picketsbeinggenerally
scared
outoftheirwits
011
its
firstappearance.
Mr.
Davoren
states,
in
the
case
ofhis
mob,
thatseveral
of
hishands
boldly
announced
theirintentionof
riddling
the
spectre,
ifit
came,
withbullets.On
its
appearance
they
mountedand
galloped
awayinthe
night,
their
principal
withthe
remaining
men
selecting
a
position
on
theplain,safefromthe
mob,
whichever
way
theymight
rush.
They
had
a
clear

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