A frightful affair, which took place on the high seas, is reported in dispatches dated Sydney NSW, the 2nd ultimo.
On the ship Southern Cross arriving in Sydney Harbour, it was reported that the cook had to be killed in order to save the lives of the remainder of the crew.
According to the statement made, it seems that about a week before the arrival of the Southern Cross in Sydney, the cook, a Chinaman, barricaded himself in the galley and commenced to fire from a revolver at anyone he saw on deck.
The captain and the mate endeavoured to induce him to come out of the place, but their attempts were only met by pistol shots being fired from the windows and holes of the deck-house.
It was said to be dangerous for any of the crew to be on deck whilst the cook was in the stronghold.
Believing the man was insane, and after all efforts to get him out of the galley had failed, it was decided to fire on him, as there was no other way of securing him. This plan was therefore carried out, shot after shot being fired into the galley.
It was finally found out that the man had been killed. This, however, was not effected before a very large number of shots had been fired, as on arrival at Sydney it was found that the deck-house, in which the maniac had barricaded himself, had been completely riddled with bullets.
The mate of the vessel, who gave an account of the terrible affair, said he believed the unfortunate man had become insane through the constant and excessive use of opium.
The Southern Cross is an American ship, and was bound to Sydney NSW from New York.
The Swindon Advertiser, March 9, 1889