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The Statement of SERGEANT CLIFF'S MAN (1849)
On the twenty-seventh of June last, I received instructions from Sergeant Cuff to
follow three men; suspected of murder, and described as Indians. They had been
seen on the Tower Wharf that morning, embarking on board the steamer bound
for Rotterdam.
I left London by a steamer belonging to another company, which sailed on the
morning of Thursday the twenty-eighth. Arriving at Rotterdam, I succeeded in
finding the commander of the Wednesday's steamer. He informed me that the
Indians had certainly been passengers on board his vessel--but as far as
Gravesend only. Off that place, one of the three had inquired at what time they
would reach Calais. On being informed that the steamer was bound to
Rotterdam, the spokesman of the party expressed the greatest surprise and
distress at the mistake which he and his two friends had made. They were all
willing (he said) to sacrifice their passage money, if the commander of the
steamer would only put them ashore. Commiserating their position, as foreigners
in a strange land, and knowing no reason for detaining them, the commander
signalled for a shore boat, and the three men left the vessel.
This proceeding of the Indians having been plainly resolved on beforehand, as a
means of preventing their being traced, I lost no time in returning to England. I
left the steamer at Gravesend, and discovered that the Indians had gone from
that place to London. Thence, I again traced them as having left for Plymouth.
Inquiries made at Plymouth proved that they had sailed, forty-eight hours
previously, in the BEWLEY CASTLE, East Indiaman, bound direct to Bombay.
On receiving this intelligence, Sergeant Cuff caused the authorities at Bombay to
be communicated with, overland--so that the vessel might be boarded by the
police immediately on her entering the port. This step having been taken, my
connection with the matter came to an end. I have heard nothing more of it since
that time.
The Statement of THE CAPTAIN (1849)
I am requested by Sergeant Cuff to set in writing certain facts, concerning three
men (believed to be Hindoos) who were passengers, last summer, in the ship
BEWLEY CATSLE, bound for Bombay direct, under my command.
The Hindoos joined us at Plymouth. On the passage out I heard no complaint of
their conduct. They were berthed in the forward part of the vessel. I had but few
occasions myself of personally noticing them.
In the latter part of the voyage, we had the misfortune to be becalmed for three
days and nights, off the coast of India. I have not got the ship's journal to refer to,
and I cannot now call to mind the latitude and longitude. As to our position,