Cookson, 04 09 1911 3
4 September 1911
A MURDER AND A CORPSE THAT WALKED
"Aaron and his brother Jack didn't agree. Once there was trouble over a saddle, and as a result Aaron rode to his father-in-law's place, four miles away, to see Jack about it. Jack, it appears, saw him coming, and left. There was a long chase. They were both fine horsemen, but Aaron caught him, plucked down a big, heavy sapling, and laid Jack out, leaving him for dead in the road. Then he galloped into Beechworth and rushed into my store. He looked so terrible that I called out to him, 'What's the matter with you?"
"I'm after murdering Jack." he said and his face was white and drawn, and hid voice trembled. 'I've come to see Mr Ward give myself up he said.
"You fool" I told him. "Clear out of this -get over the border! Don't waste time!
"But he wouldn't move. So I gave him a big tumbler full of whiskey and he drained it-just slid down. Then he had another. Then he started to tell me all about it, just as I've told you. And whilst he was at it who should come walking into the shop but the murdered man himself no less.
"Well you can believe there was dismay. He looked dead enough to have been buried day before yesterday. Pale he was, like a ghost, and the blood not yet dry on him. After a while the corpse looked hard at Aaron and said. 'You - wretch, you thought you'd murdered me!' Well I thought, he came pretty - near doing it, anyway.
"Well, for a while it looked like there was going to be ructions. But they were both pretty sick of it-Aaron with the mortal fight that was put into him with his brother lying up there dead on his soul; and Jack with the flick he got across the skull with the sapling. And there's a lot of real friendship in whisky anyway. I sent for a doctor and he sewed up the hole in his head almost like new. Then Ward came in and gave them booth advice that they never took and never intended to. Then there was more whisky - nothing like whisky for a broken head, you know. And they went away as loving as two turtles.
The mystery of the saddle was cleared up later. No one had thought to leave a saddle in those parts - a saddle or a horse. There were folks there that would never think of taking anything else who couldn't see a horse or a saddle wanting someone to look after it. Strange the ? had for horses.
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