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rock; and of tracking the whereabouts of
runaways by signs imperceptible to civilized
eyes, is well known; and this man, Johnny
Crook, was famous for his skill in this
particular art of tracking. He had recently been
instrumental in the apprehension of several
desperate bushrangers whom he had tracked
over twenty-seven miles of rocky country and
fields, which they had crossed bare-footed, in
the hope of checking the black fellow in the
progress of his keen pursuit with the horse

When old Ben Weir made his appearance
in the morning at Mr. Grafton's house, the
black chief, Johnny Crook, was summoned
to attend. He came and brought with him
several of his subjects. The party set out,
old Weir showing the way. The leaves on
the branches of the saplings which he had
broken on the first night of seeing the
ghost were withered, and sufficiently pointed
out the exact rail on which the phantom was
represented to have sat. There were stains
upon the rail. Johnny Crook, who had then
no idea of what he was required for,
pronounced these stains to be "White man's
blood;" and, after searching about for some
time, he pointed to a spot whereon he said a
human body had been laid.

In New South Wales long droughts are not
very uncommon; and not a single shower of
rain had fallen for seven months previously
not sufficient even to lay the dust upon the

In consequence of the time that had elapsed,
Crook had no small difficulty to contend
with; but in about two hours he
succeeded in tracking the footsteps of one man
to the unfrequented side of a pond at some
distance. He gave it as his opinion that
another man had been dragged thither.
The savage walked round and round the
pond, eagerly examining its borders and the
sedges and weeds springing up around it.
At first he seemed baffled. No clue had
been washed ashore to show that
anything unusual had been sunk in the pond;
but, having finished this examination, he laid
himself down on his face and looked keenly
along the surface of the smooth and stagnant
water. Presently he jumped up, uttered a
cry peculiar to the natives when gratified by
finding some long-sought object, clapped his
hands, and, pointing to the middle of the pond
to where the decomposition of some sunken
substance had produced a slimy coating
streaked with prismatic colours, he exclaimed,
"White man's fat!" The pond was immediately
searched; and, below the spot indicated,
the remains of a body were discovered. A
large stone and a rotted silk handkerchief
were found near the body; these had been
used to sink it.

That it was the body of Fisher there could
be no question. It might have been identified
by the teeth; but on the waistcoat there
were some large brass buttons which were
immediately recognised, both by Mr. Grafton
and by old Ben Weir, as Fisher's property.
He had worn those buttons on his waistcoat
for several years.

Leaving the body by the side of the pond,
and old Ben and the blacks to guard it, Mr.
Grafton cantered up to Fisher's house. Smith
was not only in possession of all the missing
man's property, but had removed to Fisher's
house. It was about a mile and a half
distant. They inquired for Mr. Smith. Mr.
Smith, who was at breakfast, came out, and
invited Mr. Grafton to alight; Mr. Grafton
accepted the invitation, and after a few
desultory observations said, "Mr. Smith, I
am anxious to purchase a piece of land on the
other side of the road, belonging to this
estate, and I would give a fair price for it.
Have you the power to sell?"

"Oh yes, sir," replied Smith. "The power
which I hold from Fisher is a general power;"
and he forthwith produced a document
purporting to be signed by Fisher, but which
was not witnessed.

"If you are not very busy, I should like to
show you the piece of land I allude to," said
Mr. Grafton.

"Oh certainly, sir. I am quite at your
service," said Smith; and he then ordered his
horse to be saddled.

It was necessary to pass the pond where
the remains of Fisher's body were then
exposed. When they came near to the spot,
Mr. Grafton, looking Smith full in the face,
said, "Mr. Smith, I wish to show you
something. Look here!" He pointed to the
decomposed body, and narrowly watching
Mr. Smith's countenance, remarked: "These
are the remains of Fisher. How do you
account for their being found in this pond?"

Smith, with the greatest coolness, got off
his horse, minutely examined the remains,
and then admitted that there was no doubt
they were Fisher's. He confessed himself at
a loss to account for their discovery, unless it
could be (he said) that somebody had waylaid
him on the road when he left his home for
Sydney; had murdered him for the gold and
bank-notes which he had about his person,
and had then thrown him into the pond.
"My hands, thank Heaven!" he concluded,
"are clean. If my old friend could come to
life again, he would tell you that / had no
hand in his horrible murder."

Mr. Grafton knew not what to think. He
was not a believer in ghosts. Could it be
possible, he began to ask himself, that old
Weir had committed this crime, andfinding
it weigh heavily on his conscience, and fearing
that he might be detectedhad trumped up
the story about the ghosthad pretended that
he was led to the spot by supernatural agency
and thus by bringing the murder voluntarily
to light, hoped to stifle all suspicion? But
then he considered Weir's excellent character,
his kind disposition, and good-nature.
These at once put to flight his suspicion of