Children of Appin stray into desert

Appin. " They were lost, and are found." “The townspeople of Appin and the surrounding districts have been thrown into the greatest state of alarm and excitement in consequence of three children having strayed into the desert at the back of Appin, on Sunday last, the 21st instant. A boy, six years old, belonging to a Mrs. Hogan, widow, the Catholic school- mistress at Appin, and two little girls of Mr. Kelly's, blacksmith one six years and the other only four years old. The children were missed immediately after divine service, at which time the search commenced, and was vigorously prosecuted until Thursday morning, when they were found alive and well, considering the long distance, and the thick and rugged scrub which they had passed over, and when found they were as if preparing for n fresh start, with their hands linked together, and the youngest in the centre. The spot where the fortunate party had found them was on the south-east side of Mr. Elliott's farm.

The fortunate prospectors were three aboriginals-Yellow Johnny, from Camden, and sent by Mr. Macarthur, with Charley and George, who were sent from Picton. With these sable sons of the soil were Mr. John Moon, jun. Mr. Frost's son, from near Campbelltown, and a young man named Josephus Moon. Frost picked up a tulip leaf and a small bunch of flowers, which he showed to the blacks, who said, "close up here." Mr, Macarthur’s Johnny had been on their tracks the evening before, when he had to leave off, but resumed his course very early on Thursday morning. Although the Picton blacks were the first who saw the children, Mr. Macarthur’s man was the person who ultimately led to their discovery, having found their tracks the day before in quite a different direction from the quarter in which the greater number of the people were searching.

The reward of £5 which was offered to the party finding the children, was equitably divided between Mr. Macarthur’s man and the other two blacks ; and a subscription to the amount of £4 was equally divided amongst them. On William Macarthur, Esq., being applied to for the assistance of the man Johnny, he promptly ordered him to proceed at once to Appin, and to remain until the children were found either dead or alive. All echo one sentiment in this quarter, and gratefully acknowledge the kindness Mr. Macarthur has evinced on this occasion, when the lives of three human beings were in complete jeopardy. (Trove)