Tuesday, May 3, 2016

New stuff

Tonight I cleaned the lanterns with precious newspaper that the copper gave me.
I lit one lamp and set the other glasses on the table in front of me. I read the paper by the light and then I tore the newspaper into thin, cleaning strands.
Three pages I kept, and folded them neatly into my breast pocket.

Coulter and Treffene Found Guilty and Sentenced to Death
The Verdict

The cleaning takes an age: careful squeaks on charcoaled glass. Glass waisted and curved like a woman, with fancy, fluted edges. Imagine if I were to break a glass, a lantern that would no longer fire, with the wind as it is here.

I kindle my night fire with the dried leaves of the marris or the tea tree that I keep stacked in tight bundles against the back wall, never a newspaper. Blackboy shards too. That copper rarely gives me a newspaper on his monthly sojourns to the inlet. But he was sure that I was to have this one.

I am not a fugitive, Iris. I am not guilty of murder. I am a Witness Of the Crown. That is why I am here. I am not a fugitive, Iris. I am not.

The foreman added the rider: We wish to add your honour,that we very much deplore the fact that Mr Clarke is not in the box too.

So the jury wanted Mr Clarke to swing as well. Mister Clarke. This I learned as I cleaned the lamp glasses tonight. This is what made me pen my letter to you, dear Iris. You may have heard many a story about me over the years but you were just a babe when I left. I want you to know what happened, Iris.


  1. So you know the story of Camfield being the last refuge of the Crown Witness for the Walsh & Pitman murders? Have been meaning to mention it to you as possible material for future writings. Alb Ad had stories about him in late 70s when he was still living there. When is Sound being launched? Looking forward to it eagerly.

  2. Oh wow, I'd love to track down those articles. That was part of my impetus in moving there.
    The Sound will be out around the winter solstice. Very excited and kinda nervous too! Thanks Crispin.

    1. They were in the Advertisers of 1 & 6 April 1976. Not sure if thats on Trove but definitely on microfiche at library. Journo had tracked him down as an ancient hermit living out there 50 yrs on.