The West Australian (Perth, WA : 1879 - 1954), Saturday 24 November 1934, page 5

THE

ROTTNEST

to a glade near the centre of they came the island. »Here, at midnight, the duel left dead man was was fought: here one his friend, aghast at what and he had done, galloped back to the coast, there to throw over himself the cliff at Bathurst Point. 'But. where does the ghost come in?' the old resident was 'asked. 'I'm coming to that,' 'he said. 'Thi* duel, S3 they say, took place at mid It's a night. funny thing, but even today, if you at are awake can the time, you hear just before midnight the sound of a horse going towards the middle of the is all. land. That's not About twenty hear a horse gallop past twelve, you can along towards the Point, and stop there!' Eight years passed. in the Again I was con bakehouse, though it had ehanged siderably. Batches of pies, pasties and were buns The furniture being baked. had altered and there was a window, easily lifted, through which the needs of were residents supplied, but the atmos the same. same phere was The bluster che building. It ing wind roared round was the same time^ going on for mid night. And a the same old resident little more was the temples grey round again telling the storv of the Rottnest ghest. Again it missed nothing in the telling. In fact, it gained. As he went sud on, denly, ir. a lull in the wind, we heard the clippety-clop of a horse's hooves. Past the bakehouse out towards the xthey went centre of the island and it seemed that the wind, sighing eerjly, followed them. was room There a silence in the warm and then we talked of all things. Then about twenty minutes past the hour, the and was sound heard Nearer again. th.i ghostly horse, now nearer came loud, now faint, as che wind caught the sound. of the on Round the corner store and it towards the Point. Suddenly
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night: 12 years ago ten or. a dozen v/of us sat In the old convict-built bake house and at the Rottnest settlement of The scene weU set for a w is particularly ghost story. The early October 'equinoctials,' blustering and howled squally, round the bakehouse and, inside the warm a with the- big fire roaring and room, fresh bateh of loaves ready for the oven, there was ; a distinctly receptive atmos phere. Thei time (as it should be in all just before .mid good ghost stories) was (again- as it should night; the narrator old' sea-faring 'man, be) was and an withal .one who on had lived for' years its. historv the island arid knew 'In England, where I come from,' he said, 'you hear a lot about ghosts. ?/ Alhas one— most for what every old house I 'never believed in them they are worth. ?. before I. settled here, but now Well, .' this one takes a bit of explaining Immediately he was pressed for details, though, to teU the truth, he needed little pressine. 'Well,' he said, 'you'll probably hear it for yourself as well tell soon, so I may

f)NE

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ago— a arrived off Rottnest. It of some con was following in the wake Caledonia and vict ships bound for New had fetched up far too far south. How was a pleasing ever, the sight of land to those oh board, for it meant, thev one thought/ fresh water and, perhaps, fresh fruit. officers, it meat and two To of suspicion meant the end of a voyage and, jealously, of friendship changed to All their lives they been had enmity. friends but before the voyage started they had both fallen hi love with the same girl. Neither this until the ship knew had sailed and through long days and at their nights sea friendship -had changed into bitter hatred. Just before sighted, their Rottnest was smouldering hot words jealousy had flared up and were Duels were on forbidden spoken. shipboard but with land in sight it was decided that they should and go ashore should return. that only one Secretly, some time before midnight their way ashore. vessel The they made horses, and these had had. carried some been landed were exercise for and tethered on the beach. Taking one each, their way inland the officers made until to a glade near the centre of they came French frigate

£ about, it.' with and due 'regard Slowly, dramatic quiUties of the story, what he told:— before— a .century or so Years
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to the this i»

stopped.
There said the There and the

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was a

a

loud knock

on

the window.
Bill,'

'I'll take

couple of pies home,

Ghost. Rottnest is a signal station o.vi Rottnesl signalmen relieve each other at midnight. They ride to and fro from the settlement to the station in the centre of the island just before and after the

hour.

National Library of Australia

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article32801628

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