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Ghostly White Bull

Ghostly White Bull

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Published by draculavanhelsing
Melbourne Argus 1951 (August 3)
Melbourne Argus 1951 (August 3)

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Published by: draculavanhelsing on Jun 24, 2010
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The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848-1954), Friday 3 August 1951, page 2National Library of Australiahttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article23055827
A
TRÜ?
GHOST
'^JJW
BY
*
GORDt^^lUlAMS
.^^É>
^
^
^
M.
&
_-__
#
...
and
through
the
gfoom--<3gloom
¡n
midday-they
saw
a
huge
*
bull
Immaculately
white,
its
eyes
blazing
.
"fiTELL,
that's
that/'
ww
sighed
Police
"
*
Superintendtnt
Martin
of
Yass
 
MartinBrennan,
of
Yass
and
Queanbeyan.The
last
spadefulofdrought-dryearth
had
fallenupon
themoundthat
rose
above
poor,
murdered
McCarthy,
the
humble,
religious,slightly
pathetic
shepherd
whohad
for
so
long
tended
Davis'
sheepalong
the
Murrumbidgee."McCarthy
never
injured
manor
beast,
and
there's
going
tobe
no
rest
for
any
policeman
inthisdistrictuntilthe
man
thatfinishedhim
offis
pickedup."
"Aterrible
business,in-deed,"
Trooper
Mcintosh
murmured,
"and
never
a
signwho'twasthat
blewoff
the
gun
intothepoormannie'shead
and
then
carved
half
of
hisskull
off
with
a
sheath
orsome
otherknife
and-"
'
"AUright,MM."
Brennan
wasterse.
"We
heard
enough
ofthegorydetails
atthe
inquest.
Andthough
it's
acase
of
murder
by
some
person
or
persons
un-
known,
it's
not
going
to
stop
that
way.""The
coroner
wouldn't
letme
say
it
incourt,butI
cantell
you
who
tolookfor."
Brennan
turnedto
the
quiet
man
besidehimwho
stoodalmost
in
theshade
ofthemurderedman'scrudelogcabin.
"Yes,Mr.Davis?Well,speak
up,
then.Remember
suspicions
never
hanged
anybody,though."
"I
think
you
should
startlook-
ing
for
TomRobinson."
.
"Thathell-hound?We've
been
trying
getthedrop
on
that
fellowfor
a
dozen
things
...
Tom
theSoldier,
they
call
him;
Waterloo
Tom
.
.
.
but
tellmenow.
Has
he
beenaround
the
Washpen
here
atall?"
"He
hasbeen,
as
Icould
have
toldyoubefore,
had
I
been
let.
.
The
nightbefore
poor
McCarthy
was
murdered
I
found
theruffianinmykitchen.Igavehim
a
shakedown.
I
noticed
he
had
a
gun
with
a
barrel
sixfeet
long
ifitwasan
inch.
'LongTom,'
hecalled
it."
"Did
heknow
McCarthy?"
"He
asked
me
where
Mac
was
...
if
he
was
still
at
the
Wash-pen.Itold
him
hewas,andnext
morningwhen
I
came
outI
could
seeno
sign
of
Robinson.He,
mustha'clearedout
early
...
andfunnily
enough
Xmissed
acan
ofstrychnine,
and
one
ofmyleft-footboots."
'.'Any
bad
blood
between
him
and
McCarthy?"
"Not
that
Iknow
of.
But
Robinsonwouldn't
havetobein
badblood
to
killa
man.He'sjust
a
lowfiend.
Crazy.
'
Aborn"I
know
hisrecord."
Superin-
tendentBrennan
thought
a
while.
"Lagged
outfrom
England
toVanDiemen'ELand
.
..
livedwiththe
aborigines
...
kidnapped
younglubra«.He
migrated
toNewSouth
Wales
whenhistime
was
up
...
tramped
aboutthe
coun-try,
boasting
ofhisprowess
as
a
soldierand
a
marksman,alwaystalking
about
thethousandshe'd
killedinbattle.
Lived
on
birds,
possums,kangaroos;prowled
atnight,
robbed,purloined,
terror-ised
.'.
.
Maybe
he'sbehind
thestoryof
a
few
missing
menon
ourfiles.
Iwouldn'tbesurprised."A
maniac,
I'dsay.""There'syourman,then.
Oughtn't
tobehardtocatch
up
withhim.He'ssix
foot
four,
gangling,
his
ears
flap,
andthatbeardofhismakeshisface
as
murderous
as
BloodyMorgan's.
Ypu
should-.""Weknow
him,
all
right.And
we'll
gethim.Butwill
we
getthe
evidence?
That'sthepoint.""Ithinkyou
will,"
saidMr.Davisquietly.
.
THE
hunt
began.
Through
the
drought
-
strickenYass
-
Queanbeyan
area
.thepolicemovedupanddownin
a
gauntly
browncountry.
Everything
seemedtobeburntout...thegrass,
the
creeks,and
even
the
cattle
that
once
roamedthe
bush.
...
"Not
even
a
beastieaboutto
break
the
monotony,"
complained
TrooperMcintosh,
on
patrol."Seemsunreal.
Always
find
a
few
cows
about
tomake
things
more
friendly
like
on
a
ride
likethis.
Poor
McCarthy
was
veryfondof'em.Almost
as
fondof'em
as
he
was
of
hli>
«heep.
Al-had
one
hanging
aroundhis
 
ways
had
one
hanging
aroundhishut,poorbloke."It
was
thenthat
the
policefoundthe
missing
pieceof
McCarthy's
skull.
Newsearchofhiscabin
un-
earthed
a
can
of
strychnine
-
the
one
supposedlytaken
fromDavis'
byRobinson;
then
a
left
foot,boot
.
.
.
Robinson's
lair
in
a
hollowlog
near
Duntroon
was
discovered
...
Robinson
was
nearby.
Robin-
son
and
Long
Tom
...
Hefired
."'.
.
andfiredagain.Thistimehisaim
was
bad.Tom
was
takenafter
a
sharp
struggle.
"Why,"
asked
Brennan,
"didyouwanttoshootus?Youknowotherswouldhave
got
you
..
."
"I'veshotthousandsInbattle,"boastedTomtheSoldier."It's
got
thatway
now
thatIcan't
seea
man
passing
without
wanting
tomake
a
targetofhim
..
."
Tom
was
wearing
left-footboots.Andhisblankets
were
those
once
used
by
McCarthy.
So
far,
it
was
a
plain,
if
hor-
rible,
story
of
cold-blooded,
maniacalmurder.Butthen
It
becamenecessarytoopen
McCarthy's
graveto
re-cover
blanketsplaced
therewith
thebody:
onewas
theblanketTomRobinson
had
stolenfromDavis.
SuperintendentBrennan,
In-
spectorBrennan,
a
trooper
from
Yass,
and
Trooper
Mcintoshwenttothe
Washpen
ona
"beautiful,clear
day,"
when
"everything
seemed
still
inthelocality
save
thesheoaks
..
.
whichgaveoutdoleful
murmurs
Inthe
zephyr.
"The
suns
rays
shone
uponthe
serpentinewindings
oftheriver
..
."
But
suddenly,dramatically
all
this
was
changed:
"Scarcely,"wrote
Superinten-
dent
Brennan,
"had
we
stoodbe-sidethegravewhen
an
extra-,
ordinary
cumulo-stratuscloud,
or
woolpack,
descendedand
en-
velopedthe
Washpen
in
com-
parative
darkness
-..
."
The
party
was
a
little
shaken,
buttheworkof
exhumation
wenton.
Then,
just
as
the
digging
trooper's
spade
touchedtheslabthatcovered
McCarthy'sbody
the
ground
rockedto
the
forceof
a
terrific
explosion
...
theearthseemedtoripple,sink,thenheave
...
"My
dod!"
shouted
Mcintosh.
"It's
a
thunderbolt,
or
an
earth-
"It's
a
thunderbolt,
or
an
earth-
quake
1"
There
came
an
awesome,
rumbling
roar
that
filled
theentirevalleywith
an
eeriesound.Thepolice
party
were
shattered
...
Inthe
midday
darkness,theyknew,they
felt,
that
here
was
no
natural
phenomenon.
They
crowded
togetherwaiting
...
waiting
....
butfor
what?
None
knewafterward.
Thenfromthemountain
top
thatreared
above
themthere
cameone
long,
thunderous
roar.It
echoed
and
fell
arid
rose
along
thewallsofthevalleyuntil
it
seemedthatthe
ears,
could
no
longer
receive
its
volume,
orsense
resist
its
impact.Then,
just
as
suddenly,
came
quiet
...
a
quietthat
wasmore
terrifyingthanthehell-roarsof
a
momentago.Silencethatcouldbe
felt,
that
wrapped
itself
round
a
man'slimbs,
holding
him
motionless
inthe
middle
of
a
nightmare
.
.
.
"Look
there
I"
whisperedMcintosh.
"Look
there
...
MyGod,
see
how
itcomes1"
And
through
the,
gloom
-
gloom
In
midday
-
a'huge
bull,
immaculately
white,
its
eyes
blazing
and
its
feet
throwing
asideearthandpebble,
came
charging
...
Came
charging
...
but
no
hoofbeatsounded.
For
a
while
thepolice
party
stoodparalysed.
Then
fearfinallysetthem
running
totheshelterof
trees,
revolversdrawn.Butthe
greatwhite
bull
passed
them
by
...
Itracedtothegrave,
silently,
intently.
There
it
stopped
motionless.
With
headerect
it
surveyed
the
countryaround,pawed
theearthfuriously,
but
all
in
deathly
silence,
moanedpiteously,
fell
Andthere,
bythe
open
grave
of
McCarthy
the
Shepherd,
McCarthy
theanimallover,
it
died.After
a
whilethepolice
party
came
out.
.Theyglanced
atthe
great
carcase
withoutapproach-ing
it.
The
fearofthesuper-naturalheldthem
all
...
but
there
was
no
life
inthatgreat,white
body.
The
great
red«yes
were
openanddead.There
was
no
breath.
"Come,"whisperedInspector
Brennan."Let'sfinishthisghoul's
job
andgetoutofthis/'
They
did
..
.
feverishly..*
.
days
later
Trooper'

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