The Perth gazette and Western Australian journal/Volume 1/Number 28

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The Perth gazette and Western Australian journal/Volume 1
13 July 1833

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James Keats, brother of the deceased, being sworn, stated that yesterday morning he went with his cattle in company with his brother and saw the natives coming towards Mr Bull's house for flour. On meeting them and observing the proscribed Native Yagan with the party, they then spoke and induced this said Native to turn back, which he did, and remained with the nearly all the morning. In the meantime, his brother the deceased attempted once to shoot him, but the gun stopped at half-cock. They then went on to the place where the other natives were making dampers, where they remained a short time; when the natives accompanied them over to the river, Yagan then refused to go any further with us and became vexed, threw his fire brand and digging stick down, and put himself in a threatening attitude. I then said to my brother, "If you wish to shoot him, now is the time," but he refused and allowed him to join the rest of his party. On reaching them my brother cocked his gun, and laid it over his arm, pointing the muzzle towards Yagan's head, and almost immediately pulled the trigger. The man directly fell, — the natives then began to fix their spears in their throwing-sticks, and on looking round I saw Heegan in the act of throwing. I fired at him and he fell; I again looked round and saw Weeip throwing — I fired my other barrel at him, but missed. I then said to my brother, "We must run for it." We started, he took round the side of a hill, and I ran straight for the river. I had dropped my gun and tumbled down twice in descending the hill. When I got to the bottom I turned round towards my brother; the natives were on the right hand. I called out, "Why don't you fire the other barrel?", he then came towards me and said something which I did not understand. He passed me and I observed three natives, running on this side of the hill, intending to cut me off. I then turned, and took the river; when I was some distance in the river, I looked back to see if they followed me. I saw none coming after me, but four, including Weeip, had surrounded my brother, and appeared to be driving their spears into his body.

William Cruse, sworn, states that when he heard of the affair he went up to the spot accompanied by six other. and found the body of William Keats lying close by the river. He saw no spears in the body but had no doubt the wounds were made by spears; there were many feet tracks of the natives about, and his head had been smashed, he supposed by a gun, which lay broken beside him smeared with hair, and blood. We then went on about 300 yards and saw the bodies of Yagan and Heegan; we were led to them by the moaning of the latter who was not quite dead. He was shot through the head and his brains were running out; one of the party put him out of his misery.


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