News From The Interior (From Our Own Correspondents.)
The Sydney Morning Herald
14 September 1848
How true is it that "one I swallow does not make a summer "
By reference to my last communication it will be seen that we were exulting at the supposed victory of the bright and beauteous goddess of the spring, before whoso sunny smiles we had hoped the icy deity had disolved and passed away!
Our song of gladness, however, must have irritated the old churl, as he was indignant under petticoat government, for he has assuredly "turned in his track," and exerted his expiring efforts to such purpose, that we arc fain to acknowledge the folly of "hallooing before we were out of the wood."
The old gentleman has rallied most of his retinue, and literally blown our slanders against his supremacy down our throats! Such a "pitiless pelting" as he has given us, has certainly induced an acknowledgment of his power, though I question if it has increased our love for him as a ruler.
Old OEolus, as usual, has been his staunch supporter, and verily he is the most consistent "puffer" and "weathercock" we know.
Mr Lowe might take lessons from the son of Jupiter with the prospect of advantage.
For the last week we have had nothing but a series of hurricanes, accompanied by violent rain, and showers of sleet and hail.
The cold has been intense, and much snow has fallen on the Tumut ranges, towards Goulburn.
The earth is completely saturated, and the creeks swollen. The river is rising fast, but we do not fear a flood.
The effect of such weather as we have had upon the lambs, is sure to be severe, and will, no doubt, lead to much loss.
Two mares were stolen from the township a short time since, under cover of night.
At dawn of day, two, men were met by the driver of the mail from Yass, riding horses, which answered the description of those stolen, but as the thieves were not known, and could not be identified, and as the police here did not know the stolen horses, one of the proprietors volunteered to accompany the constable, who was immediately started in pursuit.
The chase was unsuccessful, however, as the thieves had had at least sixteen hours' start, but within half an hour of positive information being given, the police were away.
We have heard that the stolen horses were seen a day or two since, making their way back towards Gundagai, and there is no doubt that although the men were not apprehended, the promptitude of the pursuit caused them to abandon their booty.
A horse was stolen from a dray a few nights since, and the thief actually passed through this township riding the animal.
The owner was in pursuit, and although he knew the horse was stolen, knew the man had passed through Gundagai not ten minutes before he reached the village, he would not apply to the police, but pushed on and recovered the property from the scoundrel at about ten miles from this.
He returned to the township, and but for the circumstance of a respectable inhabitant hearing the particulars, and reporting them to the police, the owner of the horse would never have moved in the matter.
From fear of the consequences, however, he gave his deposition, and a warrant was issued forthwith.
A policeman was despatched in pursuit of the thief within an hour from the information being given, and which was after nine at night.
There is no doubt but that the fellow will be apprehended, but had the owner of the horse acted as he should have done, he would have been taken with the animal in his possession.
This is only one of many cases in which the reluctance of persons to prosecute offenders is carried to an extent that ought properly to subject them to punishment for compromising felony.
There is apparently a "fellow-feeling which makes some people hereabouts" wondrous kind to all sorts of villanies, and the police have, of course, a hard task to perform.
Some false statements in the Goulburn Herald, in reference to the taking of the two horses which I have alluded to, show how apt this particular class of persons are to censured unjustly, instead of assisting the police, as they are bound to do.
Our respectable Chief Constable, Mr. Henry Macdonald, (an old soldier, highly recommended,) is really not able to carry out his duties as he would desire, having only two constables at his disposal.
This police station receives prisoners from Wagga Wagga, Tumut, Albury, and Moulamain, and with the business of the Gundagai district itself, our two ordinary constables are constantly performing escort duty.
The police station of Gundagai, is the most important between Melbourne and Yass, and requires as many constables as the latter place.
Having only two ordinary police, we can never command one for local purposes, as they are almost continually on the road.
With such force as he has at command, Mr. Macdonald does his utmost for the peace and good order of the town and district, as a proof of which I need only observe, that he has made enemies of all the worthless and disreputable characters of the locality, whilst the respectable and discerning portion give him due credit for his exertions.
He is a stranger to the class of people he has in many instances to deal with, and is not quite so "wide awake," it is said, as he ought to be; but with an earnest desire to do his duty, and a fair share of shrewdness, we have no doubt he will, ere long, be quite as " wide awake" as those could desire who now take advantage of his inexperience.
Since commencing this, the two horses first stolen have been recovered by their owners; but one of them is almost worthless from the ill treatment it has received.