Corporal Larnach’s Report 31 January 1833
By White Dwarf
We are in a dire way. Lord, deliver us from evil.
The events of the past days have left me shaken to the very core, for the sights before my eyes could not have been imagined by the most twisted of minds, such that a sickness fell upon me.
We had taken to stealth, taking cover and observing before moving on silently. The moon was waxing and minimal cloud allowed the light to shine and reflect off the great, white, ghostly trees.
Private Stubbs spotted them first, a pair of low glowing embers in the black space between trees. Our rifles at the ready, we waited for a target to present itself. As the moments passed and those glowing coals hovered in the black, like those of demon’s eyes, I felt their gaze upon me, just as I watched them, and stared into the void, they looked right back into me. And then the glow faded.
But something large came crashing in from on high, breaking branches as it rushed toward us. Stubbs called for us to take cover. A tree branch the size of a horse’s leg brought down the scrub around us. It was only luck that we were spared the impact. We advanced in formation. Shadows crossed from tree to tree, but we were never presented a target. We gave chase, only to be lead like fools. They had drawn us away from our camp. The shadows were gone, but out of the night came the screams of men, blood chilling, and agonised.
It was Mr. Bigge screaming. I nearly shot him. He was covered in blood, the moonlight making him look like one of them. He howled and howled. We found Constable Thompson is a horrific state. I struggle to describe the butchery without my stomach becoming unsettled. The poor fellow must have suffered tremendously; he was opened belly to neck, many ribs were broken outward, and his organs scattered about. Flynn, Sudds and McBride were gone.
We took cover in a natural trench until it was light enough to move, and proceeded to track the missing men. We discovered the corpse of Mr. McBride only a hundred yards away, wedged into the fork of a gnarled old tree, his body twisted ridiculously. We took the man down. The best we could do for him was cover his face with Studds’ handkerchief, say a prayer, and keep on moving.
Private Stubbs assisted Mr. Bigge, who again had fallen into a semi-catatonic state. MacDougall took the rear guard; with me in the lead. We lost the trail of broken ground and blood after only half a mile. It was then purely by chance we stumbled upon what we found next, a nightmare campsite of the natives, reeking of death.