Excerpt from “My Wicked Wicked Ways” by Errol Flynn ~~Murder~~

picture-MyWickedWickedWays-FlynnOnce I was with a party of seven boys about three days’ march inland. My carriers, going down those precipitous gorges moved in a narrow, snaky file. There were two boys in the lead with machetes. My other Kanakas, armed with guns, brought up the rear.
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I was tiring. I felt malarial: knees weak, head dizzy.
Without a word of warning, spears streamed our way. Ambush! Ateliwa got one right through his belly and it came out low down his back. He writhed to the ground. I jumped behind a tree, with my revolver in my hand. All my other boys, instead of staying there and firing, threw their packs away and ran down the red clay mountainside.
I fired as soon as I could and hit one of the raiders right in the neck. He dropped, squealing like a pig. I fired twice more, and that was the end of that.
I didn’t even feel the poisoned arrow in my foot, the mark of which I still carry.
As soon as I got over the shock I grabbed my knapsack from the dead Ateliwa and hobbled after my boys as fast as I could. They were sitting down in the next clearing, having gone as far as they could run after they had thrown their packs away. Then I learned that one of the other boys had got a spear in the neck and he was gone. That left six of us.
It was dusk and I could hear the garramuts. You could hear voices on all sides talking, and they sounded ominous.
It started to rain – with an equatorial madness. We had nothing to eat, not a thing. We were high up and cold. My foot hurt, and I feared infection. My malaria was working in me hard. I was freezing and sweating at the same time.
Throughout the night the garramuts dinned in our ears. The crocodile-skin tom-toms kept going, sometimes loud, sometimes seeming to beat softer, as if the tribesmen were trying to make up their minds whether to come and get us. They were letting all New Guinea know that the white invader had shot and killed again.
I stayed awake. I had time to think and listen and to feel fear. Mostly it was the anticipation of what might happen. I could picture myself with spears through me, impaled, de-gutted, as I had seen others in New Guinea.
I decided that the raiders had looted the abandoned packs and maybe that satisfied them. Maybe the firearms scared them. Whatever, their garramuts died down and they didn’t return.
Shivering and shaking, I passed my most terrifying night in New Guinea.
In the morning, the drum sounds ceased.
We struggled down, falling, sliding, cursing, sweating, to the New Guinea coast.
At Salamaua I was arrested and charged with murder.

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1 Comment

Filed under Literature, Non-Fiction

One response to “Excerpt from “My Wicked Wicked Ways” by Errol Flynn ~~Murder~~

  1. Errol Flynn was born in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia on 20 June 1909, and died 14 October 1959, aged 50 years. This autobiography was published posthumously in 1959.
    He spent most of the years between 1927 and 1932 in New Guinea. He was put to trial for murder, but found not guilty.

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