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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 15, Issue 2 (May 1, 1940.)

A Struggle for Freedom

A Struggle for Freedom.

But the prisoner was awake now and recovering from his knockout rum which would have killed most men. He was struggling with his bonds. Barlow put his revolver to his head and threatened to shoot him. “Come on,” he called to his wife, “drive him along.”

By the time they trotted into the sleeping township the desperate Maori had got rid of all his ties except the handcuffs. He rolled off his horse on to the road between the two public-houses, Tom Anderson's and Pat Corboy's. An oil lantern burned above the front of each house. The flame was pale in the strengthening daylight.

Barlow was off his horse in a moment, wrestling madly with his prisoner, who had shed most of his clothes. It was difficult to get a grip on his sweating naked body. Barlow's wife had seized the reins of the horses, and was calling loudly for help.

A Constabulary man, Finnerty, came running down from the military redoubt. He jumped into the struggle, and with his powerful help the Maori was subdued. His captors forced him up the rise to the barracks which then stood within the parapets of the redoubt. There he was padlocked to an iron bedstead, and was given a blanket against the shivers of early morning. He covered his face with the blanket; silently he accepted his fate.

* * *

The rest of Winiata's story is in the police records. He was taken in the Constabulary wagon, under armed guard, to Te Awamutu, where Barlow delivered him over to Constable Gillies. Thence the inexorable law held him until the death sentence passed in the Supreme Court was executed upon him on the gallows in Mount Eden Prison on August 4th, 1882.

That June 27th, when Winiata was brought into Kihikihi, was a thrilling morning for the lads of the township and the farms. We boys attending the little school that stood on the roadside below the redoubt hill were too late to see the prisoner taken off by Barlow and his daring wife and the Constabulary to Te Awamutu, but we saw the scuffled-up dust in the road where Winiata all but escape from his captor, and we heard Constable Finnerty's narrative on the very spot. Big “Fin,” good old bushma and carbineer, had to tell his thrille many times that day.