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1-201 (Text)

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addressee author,male,Broadside,un
Newspaper Article
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Plaint Text :
Public Written
Newspapers & Broadsides
Ingleton, 1988
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Whereas, on Saturday Night last, the 15th Instant, between 9 & 10 O'clock, at the South End of Prince-street, Mr. Robert Howe was most barbarously and cruelly stabbed with an old Rusty Bayonet, by some Ruffian, with an evident Intent to murder him: - The above Reward of Fifty Pounds will be paid at the GAZETTE OFFICE to any Person or Persons, who will give such Evidence as shall lead to a Conviction of the Perpetrator of this bloody Deed.
Few transactions are recorded in the annals of human guilt that are stamped with so deep and horrid an atrocity, or so destitute of every circumstance that could soften and mitigate the crime, as that which it is now our painful task to relate.
On the evening of Saturday last, the 15th instant, a little after 9 o'clock, as Mr Robert Howe, the printer and publisher of the SYDNEY GAZETTE, was walking from the Mission-house, in Prince-street, he observed a suspicious man crossing the street, opposite the chapel; but, apprehending nothing serious, he proceeded along the foot-path, and the man continued to walk before him, at the distance of six or seven yards; till on coming to an abrupt curvature in the street, the villain suddenly turned back, rushed on Mr Howe, plunged a bayonet into his breast, and instantly disappeared.
The dreadful cry of "Murder!" alarmed the whole neighbourhood - multitudes hurried into the street - but it was too late to overtake the cowardly assassin, who, concealed by the dark mantle of night, but too well eluded pursuit.
Mr Howe ran as far as Mr Scott's door, where, exhausted by the effort, he fell into the arms of his dismayed friends, and was carried into the house, weltering in his blood, and apparently in the agonies of death. Surgical aid being immediately called in, it was ascertained to be a ragged triangular punctured wound, about two inches from the left breast externally, perforating into the cavity of the thorax. The lung appeared, very fortunately to have escaped Unwounded; a circumstance perhaps solely attributed to the point of the instrument having been broken off. Had the wound perforated the viscus, there is too much reason to dread, from its proximity to the larger blood vessels, that its effects would have been instantly fatal.
The weapon with which the foul deed was perpetrated was found in the street, at a short distance from Mr Howe's hat; and it was truly the most horrid kind of instrument which could be thrust into the human body. It was an old bayonet, fastened to the end of a poll about four feet long; the blade thickly encrusted with rust, about an inch of the point broken off, and the edges hacked like the teeth of a saw. When picked up it was stained with blood about four inches deep; which shews with what desperate force the stab must have been given, and how narrow was the escape from instant death.
But from what motives could this deed of horror have been perpetrated? It is obvious that the cold-blooded assassin sought only his defenceless victim's life; for no sooner had he given the deadly thrust, than he uttered a shout of exultation, threw down the weapon, and, without the least attempt at robbery, hurried from the spot.
His only motive must have been - REVENGE. But Mr Howe's character was too just and inoffensive to have given any reasonable cause for so diabolic a passion. The infatuated man must have long brooded over some fancied injury, till his passions were wrought into a frenzy, fit for the most ruthless deeds.
Though the night was too dark for the ruffian's person to be distinctly recognized, Mr Howe had an instant suspicion of one of two individuals, both of whom were immediately lodged in custody; but one has since been liberated, being able to prove that he was in his own house at the time the attack was made. The other remains, under suspicion, for futher examination.