Corporal Larnach’s Report 31 January 1833. Supplement 3
By White Dwarf
There were three torches, and under them wiry black bodies with big bushy beards and hair. We each fired, striking two of the torch bearers, they fell and dropped their torches. The third torch was abandoned when the carrier retreated. Angry yells came to us out of the darkness.
The two women were struggling with Mr Bigge again. I made the mistake of ignoring their situation in favour of reloading my weapon. I blame myself for what happened next. While my attention was outside on the raiding party when Mr Bigge, having freed himself from the bindings, pushed aside the women and attacked Private McDougall from behind with a hand axe. Stubbs had seen the attack also too late, but quickly came to McDougall’s aide. Bigge didn’t respond to blows received by Stubbs’ rifle butt, and upon turning away from McDougall, he dashed Stubbs into the cabin wall.
Betty panicked and fled through the back door of the house. I cried for her to stop, but there was no time for anything else, Bigge had advanced on Stubbs with the hand axe. I fired into his chest below his raised arm. There was a brief moment when Bigge wondered what had hit him, and seemed to consider falling over, but then his gaze fell on me. His eyes were burning coals. I have tried to reconcile those eyes, the same eyes I had seen in the dark bush the previous night, desperately seeking the earthly cause for their hellish appearance, as like the reflected embers in the hearth, but I don’t know for sure, and it torments my soul.
Stubbs took Bigge to the ground from behind, while I used my rifle butt to silence him. His head was sunken by the time his struggling ceased; his wife screaming her horror. We left him to her, and she collapsed upon him.
McDougall was gravely wounded, but in good spirits. We administered rum and Stubbs did what he could to clear the wounds and stop the bleeding.
It began to rain.
In the following lull, I have had time to write my account of what has led us to this desperate place.
The black bastards are still outside, and with them is that treacherous dog, Flynn.