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The Rock-itt : March 2010
HOBART TO HOLLYWOOD Despite the hunger for company of his own kind and the lack of all of the things that he was used to, Errol gradually adopted this new way of life and as time went by grew accustomed to the everyday running of a copra plantation. However, one day a Kanaka came running into the camp with eyes rolling madly in his head, and jabbering away to the workers with fear of death written all over his sweat glistened face. Errol calmed the native down enough to understand what he was saying. Apparently one of the fierce mountain tribes had come down and raided a local coastal village nearby. Their object was to steal the much coveted salt product that the coastal villagers produced and which was used as a type of currency when the Papuans traded. They probably would have rounded up the women and children from the village and taken them as well to use them for trade. Errol knew he must do something to help these unfortunate people and organised a rescue mission to investigate what could be done. He set off with a party of Kanakas arming himself with a revolver and they tramped through the jungle for most of the day until they reached the village that had been attacked. Only Errol in his own words could accurately describe what his young eyes saw. It was a scene of death and carnage. "Half of the place had been burned, there were charred bodies, guts were strewn all over. Children lay around decapitated. All had their skulls cracked open: the normal custom, for the brains were taken away and eaten. The worst sight of all was where a half-dozen tall pointed stakes had been driven into the earth. Pregnant women had been impaled on these points: the baby on top of the stake, on the sharp point, and the mother's body with the stake right through it. The flies were there in their swarms working on the entrails." What a terrible sight to face at such a young age. The scene must have burnt itself deeply into Errol's mind and I'm sure at different times in his life the nightmare of what he had witnessed that day would have woken him from his sleep and made him cringe with distaste. Unable to do anything to help, all they could do would be to clean up and start back to the plantation. But on the way not far out from the decimated village Errol came upon something else which would start another chapter in his life. Just off the track Errol noticed someone hiding in the jungle. Drawing his revolver, he warned the others to take care as he thought it might be an ambush by the mountain tribe. But as he approached and pushed aside the foliage he found a young teenage girl crouching and cowering with fear. Errol assumed straight away that she had escaped the massacre and had fled for her life, hiding until the fighting and bloodshed had finished. She was terrified and hysterical, contemplating that she was about to suffer the same fate as the rest of the villagers. One of the Kanakas spoke her native tongue and Errol got the message across to her that she was in no danger and they were Errol Flynn 1927 A typical village by the sea which collected salt for trade. A highland raiding party which in Errol's time could hav e attacked the village.