The Dangerous Pea-rifle

The Gundagai Independent and Pastoral, Agricultural & Mining Advocate

28 July 1919

Never poke a winter night's fire with a machine gun or a pea rifle barrel. A member of the Harden 'Express' staff, Mr Sidney Page, was using what he believed to be the derelict barrel of a pea rifle on Friday as a poker. It was only when the barrel exploded, and a bullet whizzed by his ear, burying itself in the woodwork of an outhouse, he came to the conclusion that he had gone very close to providing a subject for another 'curious fatality'. Also, he learned a lesson that even, apparently, 'dead' pea rifle barrels are likely to be dangerous, and should be investigated before using. The last time the barrel in question was used cannot be even guessed at. It was worn, rusty, and generally a wreck. But it retained its 'sting'.