11 / 9/1871
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THE MYRTLEFORD MURDER
The inquest on this case was opened at Myrtleford on Wednesday by Dr Dempster, coroner. Several witnesses having been examined, mainly to show that a pipe found at the scene of the murder had been a little while before bought by the prisoner James Quin, the following direct evidence was adduced, as reported by the Ovens Advertiser:-
Thomas Cole, 11 years old, deposed,-I live at Palmerston, about three miles hence, to- wards Beechworth. Remember Sunday, 27th August. I went to church at Myrtleford that day, just after dinner; Amie and Freddy Hamilton and Fanny Cole, my cousins, were with me. Directly after church we returned home together. As we were passing the bridge over Myrtle Creek, two Chinamen in a cart, with a grey horse, passed us going towards Beechworth. I saw two Chinamen driving pigs before we saw the cart, and I saw them stop and speak to the men in the cart. Those men then came on and met me. They asked us to drive on seven pigs which were following them, as they were not their property. I, with my brother and cousins, drove the pigs back "a good bit." They took to the side of the hill, and we all followed but the little boy cousin. When we had done so for a very little while, heard some cries proceeding from the Beechworth-road. There was a bank, but we were not far off the road. Went on in the direction of the cries, the girls with me. I walked on till I got to the brow of the hill, I then saw the Chinaman beating a man, and the man beating him. The man was a European. The Chinaman was one of those who had passed us in the cart. The Chinaman was throwing stones and dried mud at the European; the latter was several yards off him. The man was beating the Chinaman with something like a stick. He struck him several blows on the body. The little girls then ran away, and went up the hill. The Chinaman was crying out loudly at the time. I then lay down on the brow of the hill and watched; there were some ferns in front of me. I then-a minute or two afterwards - saw the man hit the Chinaman on the head with something like a tomahawk, and his head bled. I was not near enough to sea what it was. The blood ran down the Chinaman's face, I got frightened, and ran away then. As I went away another Chinaman came up the hill. (Ah Cow was called.) That is the man. He ran up towards me, and I ran away to the opposite side of the gully, where the children were. I waited there a little time, for I was out of breath, and in a little time the man who had been beating the Chinaman carne up. He said something, but I could not understand what he said. I could recognise him if I saw him again.
Mr Barclay.-Is he here?
Mr Barclay.-Which is he?
T. Cole.-That man, pointing to prisoner.
At Mr Barclay's request, prisoner turned his head, showing the back, and witness again identified him.
Witness continued.-I never saw the man afterwards till I saw him in Beechworth gaol with several other men on September 1. They were all dressed in ordinary working clothes. I told the man by the back of his hair when he was fighting, and by his face. That is the same man.
The inquiry was adjourned, and on Friday, as previously reported by telegraph, terminated by the committal of Quin on the charge of murder.
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