Page:Life of John Boyle O'Reilly.djvu/201

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HIS LIFE, POEMS AND SPEECHES.

(There is a good deal of unassuming chivalry in this last simple statement.)

The boat arrived at the Rockingham shore at eight o'clock Sunday evening. At daylight next morning they saw a party of five men working at a jetty about a quarter of a mile away.

"One of them came down and began questioning me; told him the same as I had told the men, that I was bound to Fremantle for an anchor to supply the place of one broken; had got so far and had stopped to rest. He did not appear satisfied, and intimated that we were deserters. Convinced him that we were not by showing him that I was master of the ship. On inquiry, I found that the men at work at the quay went there to load timber on the steamer Georgette, which was hourly expected to take it on board. Things now looked slightly squally; my boat's crew began to grow uneasy at remaining so long on shore without any apparent object. I told them to obey my orders and no harm would come to them. I told them, also, that when I gave the order to man the boat and pull off, they must do it in a hurry. This seemed to cause them more uneasiness than before; but it was now after ten o'clock, and I knew the men would be alongside soon."

Leaving Captain Anthony and his uneasy miscellaneous crew for the moment, we will let John Breslin take up his story. The following is his graphic narrative:

At 7 o'clock a.m., I went to Albert's stables and found the pair of horses I wanted, and a nice light four-wheeled trap already harnessed up and waiting. I told the hostler to let them stand for about twenty minutes, and then went and told Desmond to get his horses harnessed up and be ready to leave at 7.30 a.m. I had arranged with Desmond for him to leave Fremantle by a side street, which, after a few turns, took him on to the Rockingham road, while I drove up High Street, as if going to Perth, turning sharp round by the prison and on to the same road. King, being well mounted, was to remain after we started, for a reasonable time, and then to follow and let us know if the alarm was given. At 7.30 a.m. I drove slowly up the principal street, and, turning to the right, walked my horses by the warden's quarters and pensioners' barracks. The men were beginning to assemble for parade,