Page:Melbourne Riots (Andrade, 1892).djvu/28
THE MELBOURNE RIOTS.
our adversaries. Each spy shall carry a bomb to protect his life in case of emergency, but not for purposes of aggression. Near each spy we shall put a group of secret soldiers, each of whom shall be well armed with bombs and other weapons of destruction carefully concealed about their persons; their dress shall also be disguised to make them resemble ordinary working men carrying on their usual occupations, and as messengers of the plutocracy carrying letters and messages; they shall also be sworn in as Special Constables under fictitious names, and shall now and then furnish secret reports of bogus plots to influential public personages. We have full lists of all the jurymen and witnesses who assisted the judge in ordering the murder of our comrades, and have already a number of trustworthy men and women watching their every movement and in many cases in close confidence with them. In fact, since the trial first came on, we have been carefully working up an organization similar to that hoax called the Knights of Revenge, and have met with unexpected support and encouragement. Comrade Slymer can corroborate my words.”
“Yes,” said Slymer, “Smythers is correct; and although it would not be prudent for me to say much about it here, because ‘walls have ears,’ I have no hesitation in saying that our success is certain. I gladly support the proposition.”
“Am I to understand that these persons of whom you speak, the spies and ‘soldiers,’ are under any organized direction from some executive body or other recognized authority?” asked one.
“I can only answer Mr. Millar's question by stating that all who have volunteered those duties, and are now performing them, have hitherto done so solely under the supervision of myself and Slymer, and two others who for certain reasons dare not be present. We are mainly met here to consider what to do in the present crisis, and to see if we can appoint such an executive out of the present meeting.”
After a considerable amount of talking, the proposed executive was formed and the majority of those present swore in their adherence to the new body; the remainder, among whom were Hypatia Stephens, Harry Walton, and Fred Wilberforce, taking their departure. Then the remainder proceeded to “business.” The new organization was named The Band of Justice; but they also adopted another name by which to be known to the outside world—The Excelsior Mutual Improvement Society. The adoption of this latter name would enable them to stave off the curiosity of the public, and to conduct private meetings without raising suspicion, even in the ante-rooms of public halls. Then the necessary arrangements were made to carry out the objects of the Band by appointing each to his particular office, having the necessary pass-words and grips, fixing the dates and places of their future movements, and attending to many other details that were necessary to deal with on the occasion.Special pains were taken to avoid the finding of any documentary evidence of any members of the Band by any of the authorities or spies; and for that reason an easily remembered cypher was adopted to express several important words that would be in frequent use by them, and the secretary, Felix Slymer, was instructed to keep no minutes or accounts of the Band's