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Melancholy Accident

Wellington Independent, Volume XXI, Issue 2360, 12 May 1866, Page 5

Last week Mrs. Tankersley, junr., of the Opaki Plain, met with a most distressing accident.

From what we can learn it appears that the unfortunate lady was alone in her house, her husband having gone to his father's station, a distance of some four miles. While moving about the room she discovered her dress to be on fire. Dreadfully alarmed, she fainted and fell on her face. When she came to every particle of her clothes, even to her shoes, were consumed, and the flames mounted so high as to burn a string of apples suspended from the ceiling.

Being quite alone she was almost helpless, but had the presence of mind to crawl to the door, scrawl a few lines on a piece of paper and fasten it to the neck of a dog who was there chained up. She was unable to detach the collar but succeeded in unfastening the chain from where it was made fast, and coiled it round the animal's neck. The dog ran off for a short distance and then sat down and howled. Mrs. Tankersley threw a piece of wood at him and he then started off in search off his master.

On reaching the farm of Mr. Tankersley, sen., the dog saw the lady's father-in-law, and although in the habit of shunning him, on this occasion he leapt up on him and made demonstrations of fondness. Mr. Tankersley observed the piece of paper on the animal's neck but could not decipher its contents. He took the scrawl to the house, but the dog bounded off to his master who was in an adjoining field.

Mr. Tankersley, junr., then went to his father's house and hearing of the incident of the paper, imagined something was the matter. He at once saddled his horse and galloped homewards. On reaching his house he found his wife standing up, terribly burnt and perfectly powerless, the wounds having stiffened. Mr. Tankersley, sen., arrived soon after.

Dr. Spratt was sent for, and every thing possible was done to alleviate the sufferings of the unfortunate lady, who, as soon as possible was removed on a stretcher to her father-in-law's residence. We regret to say that the injuries Mrs. Tankersley has received are so severe that but little hopes are entertained of her recovery. Mrs. Tankersley is the daughter of Mr. Alfred Renall of Masterton, and has only been married a few months.


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