Submitted by scott on Tue, 11/30/2021 - 09:51

November 18, 1895

Chapter 33, Following the Equator

We soon reached the town of Nelson, and spent the most of the day there, visiting acquaintances and driving with them about the garden—the whole region is a garden, excepting the scene of the "Maungatapu Murders," of thirty years ago. That is a wild place—wild and lonely; an ideal place for a murder. It is at the base of a vast, rugged, densely timbered mountain.
In the deep twilight of that forest solitude four desperate rascals—Burgess, Sullivan, Levy, and Kelley—ambushed themselves beside the mountain-trail to murder and rob four travelers—Kempthorne, Mathieu, Dudley, and De Pontius, the latter a New Yorker.

The Clemens party re-boarded the Mahinapua early in the afternoon, avoiding a crowd for the 8 p.m. sailing. Shillingsburg calls the crowd “well-wishers.” The Nelson Evening Mail on Nov. 18 published a few brief comments by Mark Twain, probably an interview by A.A. Grace (not in Scharnhorst). The Clemenses spent the night aboard the Mahinapua en route to New Plymouth [“Down Under” 25]. (MTDBD)

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