The World's News (Sydney, NSW : 1901 - 1955), Saturday 11 November 1911, page 19

Mysteries of the Australian Bush.
THE
WEIRD
(By
HAVE
rous

MIDNIGHT
FBAJTE
in these
some

MESSENGER.

XEEX.)
pages

penned
times stories
of.

at

different

of the wond in the I

of life

great
have of the Ihe
in
con

bushland sought wonderful,
the

Australia.

to picture the side the awesome,

mysterious,

fascinating; and as'I review mind my the unfolding panorama I am fronted with many To strange problems.

my

personal knowledge, the lands beyond our seas furnish no incidents of a like character. There the veldts are of Africa, the steppes of Si beria, the prairies and forests of America

North,
the astound
tne

the

jungles

and furnish

the

mighty
to

rivers
amaze

of and

South!

They

little

beyond
India, which

the of

ordinary;
the
far

and

it

is

only

East
China their the But

Thibet,

and

mystical
scenes

in approach occultism whereof I write.

the

latter are Australia None of my

of the Old is of the Austra

World,
new.

perhaps, rank with that I here propose to chronicle. It stands alone In its mysticism com and pelling power
Not
a
so

lian

stories,

of interest.

ago, years certain of one of part the federated States of Aus tralia, the exact location of

many

in

need not be recorded, man, young nearing his .9th year, was, one evening, engaged in trying to yard a number of cattle, during a terrific thunderstorm, in the immediate vicinity of a station homestead. He was
a a

which

lent disposition, and on this occasion was riding a par tially-broken horse. Again and cattle again the few the yard, broke away from and again and again, as he after them on raced his mount, he uttered the vilest Imprecations, showing his at being unable discomfiture to yard the beasts. Had he waited assistance awhile, to would have come hand, stirred but his impatience continued to action. him down. The time All the this rain poured the flashed. and thunder pealed Then, lightning The all at mice, came a terrific thunderclap. athwart lightning darted the sky in unusual brilliancy, and the few people near the home the to hurled stead beheld rider horse and
still! over and They ran and remain ground the man's almoat blackened found body young riding to from foot, a portion of the head ?addle burnt to a cinder, and the horse cut to pieces! The thoughtful residents of the locality the punishing, avenging hand of Provi read man dead terrible The this in

young

man

of

a

most

vio

National Library of Australia

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article128269598

man dead terrible fatality. The led a wild, dissolute life, caring little for else* less for anyone himself, and Zt Now, listen to the sequel to the fatality. the Early World. reads like a story from In that part of the country the settlements on extended for up either side of the road hundred that, the miles. After wards of one It was not held by the settler. country was blacks undeveloped, and occupied by the native Within stock. a herds of wild and certain miles there were hundred radius of one prob As the rainy and stormy sea ably 40 families. sons round, a few years after the terrible came of those recorded, residents incident I have tell some to stories of strange parts began seen the roadHe was on horseman by differ ent people. They either passed him by night, riding along the route, or he passed by them. Be never moke, and people could not make be It could wfco the straac* rider .was. Wt

dence in this lad for years

noted, however, that he a dark, swift-step ping horse, and he was a man* of youthful appear be 30 to 40 ance-might
rode years Who all the of age.
was was

question

he? asked

The
on

in sides. Everyone district was known. not be be could and If Ike And placed. to vu the a visitor district, where There was Ms abode? were men inch there who knew every of the country, so to speak. Gangs of young men their seniors and gathered in the night and patrolled the roads, sometimes catching a
.

( )

> J ] J j j '
<

glimpse
a

of
the

timber
to

stranger as Horses clump.

the

he
were

disappeared

in

gallop, but the to keep well clear of the chase. And managed this went for some on time. But nights, when the rain pelted on stormy the thunder boomed over plains, the down, the lightning lit up the sky, and the movements of. stock life foretold and the approachbush of to the war revealed ing elements, it was the settlers what the appearance of the strange horseman meant. Always at midnight on these wild nights, the thud of galloping hoofs would
.

put

immediately pursued always

i

<

(

(

(

(

<

the settlers would with who rode abroad and as the lighta night. such on \ despatch And, ( horse ning gleamed, they beheld the black
i

\

be heard hurry out

on

the

road, and

.

to

see

(
( /

the sward, his rider in full gallop oyer C crouching low his withers, and over through racer the magnificent ( the .settlements swept of Death the Courier night, but he was f of the
(

extended

; )

)

j

f

-always.
In storm the had

]

traces of the it was the grim found / died away, ) Destroyer had called at some home and taken ) someone a male, the fireside, sometimes from ) sometimes a sometimes or a sister, a mother ) child. ia the horseman the of gallop Always J the storm meant to some death family-meant
/

morning,

alter

all

:

j j

< < (

S one ) \
\

less

to

mourn

among

a

scattered

com-

munity.
than two years did the Messenger For more of Death ride through the land, and for more did the settlers live in dread years than two did it <11 his await and approach; What he mortal, was.the rider? Was Who mean? of the storm? or he only a wraith-rider was the community must through And pass why Then terrible ordeal? a people rememsuch of the end of the young nun the awful hered connection be There must some stockyard. of the incidents, and beyond that stage their not Bit, as the Decould speculation go. rounds terrible his continued Rider stroying saw and families of the stora in the tumult lessen, a terrible fear grew their numbers upon
( { t

(
(
( (

j

)
)

(
( (
( )

J

j j

)
)

j

>
\

\

I

them,

I

I

their in coarse
grown
no

and stock

lands, their taking Thttffc and belongings with them. had which of time, the broad acres,

they

vacated

I

I

I

.

I

,

.

> I |

werw in the golden wheat December, of lite wer« longer tilled, and the sounds The growth the old road. near no longer heard of scrub and creeper choked up the fences, and And fell to decay. the abandoned selections tilled till bund, the cune a new not to people it, reared their stock on it, and peopled It with their progeny, did the swift rides of the mid Then he disappeared cease. night messenger he and as' silently as came, as suddenly and betokened industry. the landscape more once rolled and, as the years prosperity, and peeee; by, the story of the dark horse and rider be

)
|

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I

[

but a memory. deduct from these what the reader may de be only one There can strange incidents? the of is: reminded are We duct ion, and that ter and wonderful sentence-"How majestic of beatd rible are the ways of the Creator
came

And

and

earth."

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