Earlier this week I was just settling down to a post luncheon nap at my desk when Strangways burst into the room, brandishing a printed broadsheet. The boy is very sweet on Jane, my daughter. Indeed, he has asked for my permission for her hand and since I was too shocked to say "no" he now considers himself her intended. But if he intends to be my son-in law then he had best learn to knock and see if I am sleeping before he thunders into my office again.
He seemed most excited and thrust the broadsheet into my hands. I looked at it and uttered an oath. Well, a number of oaths really and from the look on Strangways's face I gather they were oaths he had not heard before. Something else he had best learn about if he is intending to marry into the family.
The sheet was printed by the order of no less than James Hurtle Fisher and told - no, commanded the Colonists of South to ignore any Vice-Regal order of which they might have intelligence and continue to treat Mr John Brown as Migration Agent for the colony.
Ignore a Vice-Regal order!
Well this is nothing but sedition and republicanism and reminds one of the worst excesses of the French Revolution. And I presume we understand what that unfortunate movement led to?
I have instructed Gilles to stop Brown's pay from the date of his dismissal. Fisher has threatened Gilles with legal action if he does so and if he starts paying Bingham Hutchinson.
I'll give him bloody legal action!
Jeffcott has not yet arrived back from Hobart Town, where he is, no doubt, dallying with his fiance, Miss Kermode and so I have demanded from Mann, the Advocate General, that a writ of seditious libel be served on Fisher - the Jacobin Revolutionary! Ignore a Vice-Regal order indeed! And encourage others to do the same! The miserable, traitorous bastard!
No doubt he sees himself as some kind of Robespierre and me as King Louis, but in truth he is nothing but an impudent puppy and I will be the one to rub his nose in it. I have made inquiries with Mann to see if Naval Discipline might not be invoked? A taste of the cat would surely put the miserable Mr Fisher back in his place! Sadly, Mann seems doubtful, but I might ask Jeffcott when he returns.
Now I know how poor old Bligh felt in Tahiti. And no doubt Fisher sees himself as Fletcher Christian and is looking for an open boat to cast me adrift in. He'll be setting up a Republic next. Or worse still a dynasty and populate the government with his own loathsome offspring. No wonder he has bred up so many of the foul whelps!
Didn't this sort of thing happen a few years ago in Paris when barridades were set up in the street and students kept demanding to know if you could hear the people sing? I will not have Victoria Square turned into the miserable Rue Sainte Martin.
I have issued a Proclamation of my own confirming Bingham Hutchinson as Migration Agent and I will not brook argument from the Hurtle Fisher camp! I will have his resignation as a man unfit for office and if necessary will have a gaol built specially to hold the rebellious creature. Perhaps his multitude of children can be pressed into service as a workforce to build the thing!
I also asked Mann for a legal opinion regarding Fisher's immediate dismissal as a Magistrate. Mann has hummed and ahhed about the legal niceties of a "presumption of innocence" and needing to test the case before a jury, which is just typical! More humming and ahhhing has been produced regarding the nature of Brown's appointment. It seems that he was originally appointed by the Company, but then the Crown, knowing what a slimy, miserable, slippery piece of work he is, included his name amongst the lists of Crown appointments, as so that they could dismiss him more easily if needs arose. So I have a perfect right to dismiss his as I please, but Robespierre Fisher has decided otherwise.
Well, we wiill see about that!