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Haunted Pool (1919)

Haunted Pool (1919)

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Published by draculavanhelsing
The World's News 1919 (Sept 6)
The World's News 1919 (Sept 6)

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Published by: draculavanhelsing on Nov 09, 2013
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05/30/2014

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The World's News (Sydney, NSW : 1901 - 1955), Saturday 6 September 1919, page 11National Library of Australiahttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article130598790
TheHauntedPool:
A
Queensland
BuskMystery.
~T^T~OBODY
whoknewthe
story
connected
IX^
withthespot
ever
went
nearit,un
less
it
might
be
insearchof
a
stray
cowor
bullock.Never
horses;
they,
for
some
unaccountablereason,avoided
it,
although
upto
the
timeof
thetragedy
itbadbeen
one
of
their
favoritecamps,
always
waterin
some
of
theholes,
except
after
a
prolongeddrought,
and
plenty
of
grass
even
inthe
summer
months,
andinthecool
shade
ofthe
ti-treesthere
was
always
partial
escape
from
the
scorching
blasts
of
a
red-hotMarchwesterly.Theswamp,
or
pool,
was
not
threemiles
fromthe
road,
but
outside
the
limits
of
thedrover
with
his
travellingstock,
and
the
only
track
near
it
led
to
a
sheep-station
on
therun,
whichhad
long
beendesertedinfavor
of
higher
ground.
The
headstation,known
by
itsnative
name
of
 Turrawingee,
wasat
that
time,
manyyearsago,
one
of
thefarthest
outin
West
Queensland.
It
was
60milesfromthe
nearest
township,
whichconsisted
of
a
pub,
store,
and
blacksmith'sshop,
and370
miles
from,thenearest
railway
station.Theowner, oldArchie
Cotter,
as
he
was
always
called,
wasone
ofthewhitest
all-round
men
inthe
colony-a
genial,
open-handed
soul,withthe
kindly
heart
of
a
woman,
the
iron
grip
of
a
pile-driver,
tenacity
ofpurposewhich
substantiated
his
claim
to
Scottishdescent,
and
a
temper,whenfairly
roused,
that
might
have
been
an
ornament
tothe
worst
of
the
border-raiding
ancestors
ofwhom
he
proudly
boasted.Mrs.
Cotter
was
simply
a
dear
Old
lady
ofthedomesticatedtype:
small,
neat,precise,
and
§ilver-haired.
Her
home
was
her
pride,
and
her
husband
her
idealofall
that
was
noblest
andbestin
man.
They
had
no
childrenoftheir
own,
and
veryfew
knewthat
sweet
NellieCotter
was
theirs
only
byadoption.
 As
a
doubly-orphaned
infant
they
hadtakenher,and
asa
dearly-loved
childofthe
house,
they
had
reared
her,
and
welldid
sherepayall
their
care
and
loving
kind
ness.
She
was
then
barely
18,
short,
not
by
any
means
beautiful,but
a
picture
of
healthand
happiness-asweet-tempered,
sunshiny
naturethatjustradiated
happiness
inalldirections
around
her.
The
seasons
were
exceptional,
wool
was
up,
and
the
market
for
all
classes
of
stock
satis
factory.ArchieCotter
was
clear
of
debt,his
lambing
promised
a
highpercentage,
and
tile
prospect
iij
every
direction
was
bright.Some
months
 
Some
months
previously
Archie
had
decided,
after
much
deliberation,
to
receivethe
son
of
a
widowedsisterliving
Inthenorth
Eng
land.
He
was
said
tobe
indelicate
health,
threatenedwith
consumption,
andunfit
for
office
work.Hehad
heldseveral
good
appointments,
buthadbeen
compelled
to
give
themup,andit
was
thought
that
an
out-doorlifeinAus
traliawould
bethebest
thing
forhim.
Archie
reluctantly
consented
forhissister'ssake,
and
Mr.Harold
Huntley
arrived
in
due
course,
tiewas
warmly
welcomed
as
a
relative,
an-1
droppedeasilyenough
into
the
everyday
lifeofthe
family
circle
and
theroutine
ofstation
work.Notintheleastlike
an
invalid,heclaimedthat
his
health
hadbeen
vastly
im
proved
by
thevoyage.
He
was
about24yearsofage,tall,
dark,
witheyesof
peculiarly
pierc
ingblackness,
a
pleasant
manner
whenhe
sawfit
to
exhibit
it,
athletic
in
build,
and
alwaysready
todowhateverhe
was
asked,
and
ap
parently
wellqualified
to
become
a
general
favorite.Yetnobodylikedhim.And
the
strangestpart
of
itwas
that
nobody
could
tell
why.
The
reasons
given
were
always
vague,and
generally
about
on
a
par
with
thatof
grizzled,
old
SandyMacVean,
the
overseer,
whosaid:- I'm
no
althegither
hatiu'tlie
young
mon.
but
I
wadnatrust
himthe
length
o'
theslip-rail
I
ha'
gotten
in
ma
hand
So
itwas
with
Archie,
and
soitwas
withdear
old
Mrs.
Cotter,although
she
would
nevar
openlyadmit
it.
In
the
meantime,
Harold
paid
the
most
deTotedattention
to
Nellie.
Theyrode,sketched,
andsang
duets
together.Ostensiblythey
were
cousins,
and
that
fact
helpedlargely
to
apolo
gisefor
the
growingintimacy
betweenthem,
but
Archiefidgeted
uneasily,
andat
length
persuadedhis
wifeto
warn
Nellie
against
pos
sibledanger..Her
answer
tothe
gentle
re
monstrance
was
as
disconcerting
asit
was
un
expected:- Mother,
dear,
there
are
times,
whenHarold
ianot
near
me,that
I
think
I
positivelyhate
him.
YetI
don'tknow
why.
He.isalwavgnice,
kind,
and
gentlemanly;
but
what
I
don'tunderstand
is
thathe
seems
to
beabletomake
me
do
thingsagainst
mywill.
Oftenwhen
I
don'twantto
ride
or
goto
the
piaco
with
him,
hejustlooks
at
me
andI
seem
tohave
to
obey
him.Oh howI
wish
he
had
nevercome
here
at
all And
thetime
slippedby
in
pretty
much
the
same
way,marked
only
byoccasionalevidences
of
less
cordiality
on
the
part
oftheold*people
towards
Harold,
until
one
dayabout
 
people
towards
Harold,
until
one
dayabout
tenmonthsafter
hisarrival
on
thestation.Old
Archie
hadbeen
out
draftingsheep,
and
on
the
way
home
he
saw,
tohis
utter
astonishmentand
dismay,
Harold
and
Nellieseated
on
a
logby
the
creek.
His
armwas
round
her,herhead
rested
on
his
shoulder,
theirhorses
were
hitched
to
a
sapling
near
by,and
a
sketchingpadlay
on
theground
in
front
of
her.
They
neither
sawnor
heard
him
until
hehadthe
bridle
of
Nellie's
ponyinhis
hand,when
he
said:- Ye'lljust
becomin'bamewi'
me
thenoo',Nellie,and
I'll
be
wantin'to
speak
wi'
you,
Maister
Harold,
inthe
officewhenye
getback.
There
was
a
stormy
interviewin
the
stationoffice
that
evening
betweenthe
two,
andwhenthe
door
opened
tolet
Haroldout,Archie
was
heard
to
say:- Ye'rejustx?aethin
but
a
ne'er-do-well,Harold,
an'
I'mthinkin'ye
werenever
aught
else.Gae
your
ways,
mymon,and
never
let
me
seeye
mair.
Ye
can
tak'
thehorse
ye've
been
ridin'and
sell
it
when
ye
get
to
Rockhampton,
and
the
cheque
will
keep
ye
alive
till
ye
get
something
else
todo.
Harold
pack
his
valise
andleft
within
an
hour.Nellie
was
in
hermother'sroom,butdid
not
seem
inclined
to
talk,
so
good-night
waa
said
and
they
parted
forthe
night.
Atbreakfasttime
the
followingmorning
she
had
van
ished-vanishedcompletely
andleft
no
trace.
Every
available
hand
on
the
station
wassoon
in
thesaddle,
Archieand
oneman
following
the
tracktothe
township.
But
noone
had
seen
Harold
or
the
horse.
Word
was
sent
to
the
neighboring
stations,
and
willing
volunteersjoined
inthesearch.Not
a
sign
ofeither
Harold
or
Nellie
couldbe
found;
even
t'ne
blaekboys
were
at
fault.
Mrs.Cotterbecame
dangerously
ill,-
and
a
messenger
was
sentforthenearest
doctor,
a
hundredmiles
away.
Whenhearrivedshe
was
insensible
and
failingfast.PooroldArchieremained
grief-strickenby
her
bedside,
while
the
unavailing
search
was
continued
bythe
others.
Ten
days
elapsed
before
the
unfortunate
lady
was
releasedfromher
sufferings,and,
whilst
preparation
for
thefuneral
was
being
made,
Billy,
thestation
blackboy,
whohad
been
out
on
the
run
looking
forthe
working
bullocks.
suddenly
appearedandstartled
everybody
irlQltheassurance:- Mebin
see
irn
Missy
Nellit
longa
waterholelike
it
'wamp.Mine
think
it
that
bin
tumble-down(dead).
Baal
me
bin
see
im
track,
mytoo
much
me
binfriten. It
was
truly
a
mournful
procession
that
brought
the
remainsof
thewell-lovedgirl
back

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