Monday, December 05, 2011

Shut Up & Watch

The police station receives a report of a pretty fair brawl in progress, on a sheep station.

The report is received just on dark. By the time someone gets there it will be well & truly night. An officer is dispatched to attend the scene and investigate the possible disturbance.

It is 60 miles to the sheep station. All of it on unsealed roads.

Upon arrival the officer observes what appears to be a large scale brawl still in progress, there are upward of 80 people involved. It is also brutally violent.

Two men detach themselves from the melee and approach the police vehicle.

The policeman is wondering what to do. He is heavily outnumbered, the brawlers are all shearers, New Zealand Maori shearers. Clearly they are sorting something out amongst themselves.

["What idiot called the police?"] thinks the officer, with malice.

The two Maori who have detached from the blue boldly stride directly up to the officer, pick him up bodily & sit him on the bonnet of the police 4wd. One removes the officer's pistol from its holster & tosses it onto the front seat of the police vehicle.

The officer is petrified.

In a heavy NZ accent one of his minders advises the policeman to sit where he is, not move, do not intervene, do not attempt to use the police radio, and when it is all over he will be allowed to leave unharmed.

The minders then lean back on the police 4wd, one either side of him, fold their arms & do not move. They don't look at the officer again.

When the police officer arrives back in town in the early hours of the morning, he reports that at the scene were in excess of 80 persons, males & females who appeared to be New Zealand citizens, all of whom refused to talk to police, no obvious signs of a riot & nobody who had seen anything. There may have been an incident, but with 80 people saying they had no idea what he was talking about, his investigation inevitably came up no trumps.

He tells his comrades what actually happened. Nobody says a word. But for the grace of god it could have been any one of them...

... tomorrow, or next week, it could be.


RebeccaH said...

An historical aside that has nothing to do with your part of the world, except... maybe.

When I was a child, way back in the first half of the last century, there was a place out in the Texas mesquite barrens not so far from my home, where people called "Cedar Hackers" congregated. The place was called The Corral, and Cedar Hackers, FYI, were people who lived in a small hamlet nearby and who made their living cutting junipers down for fence posts. On Saturday night, they'd go to The Corral, and leave their axes outside the door, as per protocol.

Disputes took place in the parking lot, some with said axes. It was too far out for town police, and the highway patrol were "stretched too thin" (knew to stay away).

Unlike your Maoris, they've assimilated into 21st century civilization, owing to the fact that fence posts are galvanized metal these days.

RebeccaH said...

Btw, as for being called "Cedar Hackers", juniper in Texas is generally called "cedar", even though it isn't.