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The Twillingate Sun:

Twillingate Sun. Aug. 25, 1881.

Three Fugitives Captured.


Mr. Editor: Will you allow me space in your valuable paper to make a few remarks relative to our trip to Point Limington sawmill, West Arm, New Bay, on the South side of Notre Dame Bay.

At 4:30 PM. on Monday the 8th. inst., we left the Government wharf at Tickle Point in the iron boat belonging to Wm. LETHBRIDGE Esq. She was ably commanded by Capt. STENSCOMBE. His crew consisted of Chief Officer Capt. BEALE, Second Officer Sergeant WELLS, Lookout and Cook Samuel ANSTEY, (an hardy old fisherman of Newfoundland), who acted with the assistance of Sergeant. WELLS, as pilot.

We shaped our course for Western Head about seven or eight miles distant, where we reached about 7:30 PM. And at 8:30, we tied on our boat to Mr. RIDEOUT's stage head in Whale's Gulch, about three miles Southwest of Western Head. We were informed by Mr. RIDEOUT that the fugitives had taken breakfast there at 8 am. on Saturday, and left again for Exploits Harbor en route for Little Bay Mines.

We lay by Mr. RIDEOUT's stove all night, but as Mr. RIDEOUT had no fuel provided for the night, we were obliged to lie by a cold stove. But we must not forget Dr. FLYNN's kindness, (who was there on a sick call), and who so kindly offered to give Sergeant WELLS room in his bed. About daylight, the Sergeant's teeth began to clatter and STENSCOMBE began to snore, and BEALE began to moan, so the poor old lookout thought it wise to try and get a fire, in order to put an end to such an unearthly scene.

But, in doing so, he was obliged to take some dry boughs, which lay in the corner, and which formed part of STENSCOMBE's pillow. This caused the unfortunate Captain to make a most dismal sound, which caused the family physician to dread the stars as though some commanding officer in the rear had given him the word of command to "double" for, I assure you Mr. Editor, the Doctor came down as though he had been "shipped by the run" to follow our cook (which is the course I advise every sailor to pursue). He, seemingly regardless of what was going on, was doing his best "to put the boil on the kettle" as the fishermen sometimes term it.

After partaking of such good things as Miss RIDEOUT could prepare, we sailed away for Sansome's Island Tickle, which lay about Southwest, a distance of four miles. The wind being contrary, we did not reach the Tickle 'till 11 am.

We landed on the North side of the Tickle but, as the persons on that side could give us no information respecting the fugitives, we resolved to call at Mrs. BURT's on the opposite side. On entering, we were greeted by a lady of about middle age. Of course, Sergeant WELLS did the initiatory part of the work, and after a few questions and answers, the good lady informed us that the deserters had taken tea at her house on Saturday.

After an hours delay, we left again at 3 PM. for Exploit's, Burnt Island, which place her husband had pointed out to them. Mr. BURT fitted them out with tholes, &c., one of them having used a sheath knife for that purpose until it broke. After we had taken a cup of tea, (or rather I should have said, after taking six cups of good strong tea, for I believe I have a memorandum of BEALE drinking six cups of tea at Mrs. BURT's), we left again at 1:30 PM. for Exploit's Harbor, under reef foresail and jib. Before we reached Matthew LINARD's Island, we had to haul the foresail off her with the wind about Nor - East. However, we succeeded in reaching Exploit's Harbor and landed at the wharf of Josiah MANUEL, Esq., J.P., at 4 PM.

We remained that night at the house of Mr. T. MANUEL, where we got comfortable lodgings. All were soon asleep and slept well 'till about 3 Am., when all in the house were aroused by a dismal sound. I said all in the house, but it is questionable if all in the harbor were not aroused! Poor BEALE had to get out of his comfortable bed and walk the street, and poor WELLS, who was in the next room, had to sit up in the bed horrified, expecting every minute to have to put the cuffs on STENSCOMBE, to stop him from snoring. I was informed that WELLS said at the breakfast table, it was the only soothing syrup that he could give him.

Wednesday morning at 8 Am., we left again for Fortune Harbor en route for the mines. Calling at Webber's Bight, we were informed by Mr. CARROL that the fugitives had taken tea at his house on Sunday, and passed on, with the intention of going to Point Limington sawmill. We bore away again for New Bay Head, with the wind about South.

After calling at Fleurrie's Bight and one or two more coves, we finally reached Mrs. SPENCER's which, is half way between New Bay Head and Cottrell's Cove. Mrs. SPENCER informed us that the fugitives went up in South East Arm on Sunday, and returned to Cottrell's Cove on Monday and was taken up to the mill on Tuesday. In the meantime, Mrs. SPENCER had prepared tea &c. After taking tea, which we did with a good relish, we set sail again for the mill with the wind about South Sou' West.

We reached our destination at midnight, rather earlier than we intended, but as neither of us had a watch about us, and our boat sailing faster than we anticipated, we came in on the fugitives about an hour too soon, for, as one of their chums was out on a "courting expedition", and just strolling home, he was just in time to give the alarm. When we got to the house where they should have been, lo and behold! The bird had fled! Their nests were quite warm! You may imagine, on discovering, that they had fled in the bush. A looker on could see a smile on the face of the friends of the runaways, as they lay in their beds and watched Sergeant WELLS, going through the rooms with a light in one hand, his hand cuffs in the other; indeed I was obliged to smile myself! They remained under cover, or rather, in the bush, all that day and night.

The next Morning, we thought we would give them a chance to come out, so about 9 am., we hoisted our sails and run down the Arm about seven miles, and lay under an Island for an hour or two, while our cook boiled the kettle, or rather I should have said, boiled the beef can, for we had no other kettle on board. The can would contain a pint of water, which would give the crew one half pint each, while they were drinking this, the cook would have the can boiled again.

After satisfying ourselves in this manner, we saw a boat coming from the mill, and, thinking that our treasure may be shipping on board her for the mines, we very cautiously lay under cover 'till she came down broad side, when, like pirates, we dashed out, with all canvas set and four oars across, and in less than ten minutes we were alongside the boat.

She was owned and commanded by one, Mr. WHEELER of Point Limington, who had on board a Mr. BRAZINGTON, who was bound for Thimble Tickles. After satisfying ourselves that the runaways were not on board, we bore away for Cottrell's Cove, in search of the Jolly boat which the runaways had sold to one Robert CLARKE of that place.

We reached there at noon, and after calling on Mrs. Abram RICHARDS, who kindly prepared tea for us, we proceeded farther up the Cove to Mr. CLARKE's stage where the boat was lying. At first, Mr. CLARKE felt disposed to charge $3 for the boat, but after Sergeant WELLS had given him a bit of his mind, and showed him the awkward position he had placed himself in by receiving stolen property, knowing them to be such, and that he would be under the necessity of calling on Mr. CLARKE some other day, he then gladly gave up the boat, (but not 'till then), and would be very thankful if the Sergeant would call on him no more!

We left Cottrell's Cove with the Jolly boat in tow at 2 PM., bound for the mill again. At 6 PM., we went on shore at Stocking Harbor Point and remained there for an hour or so, while the cook boiled the "beef can" again, after which, we rowed up under the shore as far as Barr'd Island. The two Captains and Sergeant WELLS, left Mr. Beef Can and my friend ANSTEY in the iron boat, they taking the Jolly boat with them.

It was now about 11:30 PM. At 2 Am., they reached the mill, after rowing and travelling two miles, through drift timber from the mill, which lay scattered along the beaches. The Sergeant got some private clothes from J.W. PHILLIPS, Esq., J.P., and lay in ambush 'till 6 Am., when the men were going to work. We bounced on them and at 8 Am., bore away for Twillingate, where we reached at 4:20 PM., the same day, a distance of about 45 miles, having the Jolly boat in tow.

Friend ANSTEY cooked tea for all hands, (seven), in me, the "Beef Can" on the way. STENSCOMBE said he would rather have a drop of brandy than all that was cooked in me, but I say no! Yours, &c.,

Beef Can.


Contributed by George White (2002)

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