Saturday, 13 December 2014

Winter 1901 - Royal Mail Hotel Braidwood

“Down near Dalgety they found a dead tailor.”

The old man cleared his throat loudly, and repeated: "“Down near Dalgety they found a dead tailor.”

Sounds in the pub softened as the regular patrons turned to look at the stranger. The old man coughed as he cut some tobacco to fill his pipe.

“Under the dead man’s saddle they found bags containing silk, thread, scissors, tape measures, thimbles, needles, and a light colored colonial tweed vest, half made. They also found enough coin in his pockets to buy a couple of loaves of bread and some tea. They would have us believe he was a pauper, this bloke. Without so much as a knife to cut his tobacco.”

“They called him the Long Tailor. They suppose he died one warm Thursday afternoon near the Snowy River, on the road to the high country, in the Summer of 1867.”

“They held an inquiry, on a Sunday would you believe. At a sheep station up in the mountains. The police magistrate rode down from Cooma with a doctor. He said the death was accidental.”

“But he knew it was not so. I heard him say as much. Don’t believe everything you hear. The Long Tailor did not die the way they tell. I know what really happened, because I was there.”

“Draw close. Keep my schooner full. And I will tell you what really happened to the Long Tailor and all his gold and his woman. The man who called himself Jemmy, the warrigal”.

(you can keep following this story by clicking the links at the bottom of each of these chapters)

<Return to the Start of the Story

Peter Quinton
December 2014

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