In the Phaeton, an investigation

The first song off The Doomed Bird of Providence album A Flight Across Arnhem Land is a song called In the Phaeton.

Based on a news report titled :

Attacked In Home

Later Shot Dead

Alighting from Vehicle

Labourer Arrested

…it tells the story of Frederick Westbury who was shot dead as he got out from his horse cart, a Phaeton. Stopping the horse cart the lone gunman called out, “Is that you Westbury?”

Westbury responded and was shot dead.

The altercation.

Looking at a few other articles on the murder (it seemed to be well covered by various news sources), it seems there was a back and forth that culminated in the killing.

It followed an altercation the night before where Westbury was attacked by three men at his house. The motive for the attack appears to do with another incident earlier in the day where it was suggested Westbury stole some coats at a hotel. This wasn’t taken further by the police but three men took it upon themselves to retrieve the coats (which they themselves didn’t own) even though it was accepted that Westbury had nothing to do with it.

Whatever the case may be, Westbury managed to drive out the attackers with a gun.

In retribution it appears, one of the attackers on the following night shot him dead.

Frederick Westbury’s wife and another witness identified the killer.

His name was William Dashwood and was sentence to death for the murder.