also the good fortune to escape from his Western Australian prison and the terrible perspective of twenty years' imprisonment.
On the 18th of February I escaped, seized a boat and went to sea, but had to return to land in the morning. I then lived in the "bush" for some time, and eventually put to sea again, and before long was picked up by an American whaler. The captain knew who and what I was, and installed me as a cabin passenger, and as he was on a six months' cruise for whales, I remained on board for that time, and every day had a fresh instance of his kindness, and that of the officers, and all on board. I had some very close escapes from being retaken when on board, but the officers determined I should not. In one English island at which we touched the governor came on board and demanded me to be given up, as he had instructions that I was on board. The chief mate answered him by pointing to the "Stars and Stripes," which floated at the "half-mast" (in sign of mourning), and said, "I know nothing of any convict named O'Reilly who escaped from New Holland; but I did know Mr. O'Reilly who was a political prisoner there, and he was on board this ship, but you cannot see him—he is dead." And he was forced to be content with that. Since then I have received help in money, when it was found that I could not escape without it, and now, sir, I presume to ask that should anything happen to me, that gentleman who assisted me shall not lose his money. (I give his name, but not for publication.) I know my countrymen will not misconstrue my motive in writing this. I send this to England by a safe means, where it will be posted for you. The captain's name is Captain David R. Gifford, Bonny Street, New Bedford, Mass. I am not in his ship now.
Thanks for publishing my "Old School Clock." I saw it a day or two since. I am making my way to America. I am hurried in writing. Good-by! God speed you all at home in the good cause.
Ever truly yours,
John Boyle O'Reilly.
I am going where I am unknown and friendless. Please let me have an introduction through your paper to my countrymen in America,
To return to chronological sequence, the year 1885 opened with a renewal of so-called dynamite outrages in London. Westminster Hall, the Houses of Parliament,
- Mr. Vere Foster's memory was evidently at fault when he reported the poet as having said that he had not known of the publication until informed by Mr. Foster.