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Honiara

Last edited: February 06, 2002   (C)  Under construction

 

The staff of Dr. Rutter, the chief medical officer, who welcomed us for the short time we were in Honiara waiting passage on the mission vessel Southern Cross to Port Vila.

While we were here, Crass, remember him? detailed me to investigate a murder on the other side of the island, something he should have done himself, but understandably, as I found out, didn't want to.

The ship ran around the southwest tip of the island, and the villagers crowded around as I disembarked.   Immediately I came down with one of the worst bouts of fever experienced to date, but I took some statements, observed the grave, and took in charge the poor culprit who was in a state of uncontrollable shakes and shivers.

The weather had come up too, so the ship was no longer off the bay. We had no idea where it was, so we trudged along the shore line, a miserable unhappy party, in teeming rain. Eventually it found us.

When I returned to Honiara Crass said "Did you exhume the body?" I hadn't and didn't even know it should have been.  "Then how are we to prove the case?" "There are plenty of witnesses, all here."  The poor fellow was tried, and as was the case those days, hanged.  I was supposed to attend but refused - Crass could do his own dirty work.

BELOW:  H.M.S. Adamant draws up to the Lunga wharf, Honiara, to "show the flag" at the end of the war.  While the U.S. fleet was still based at Tulagi, another cruiser visited, and treated me, as rep of the British administration, with due honours.  Some of the officers wanted to see what it was like on the ground, so I had fun taking them to a nearby mangrove, struggling up a muddy track to reach a village.  They were glad to get home.