"plenty of food for thought in that tin trunk".


It was at the end of August 1930, during another interminable wait at Illbila, that Blakeley admits to doing, "the meanest thing I have ever done in my life-I opened Harry's tin trunk", ostensibly to check that Captain Blakiston Houston's book on navigation was still there, (where else would it be?) Lasseter was absent on an exploratory walk south to the ranges while Blakeley went through his private papers, and marked seven rich gold specimens so that he would recognise them if they were used as bait in another fraud, the Captains book was there and Blakeley, "found plenty of food for thought in that trunk".

Blakeley delivered the trunk to the Alice Springs Police on 28/9/30, and it remained in their care for another twelve years until the exigencies of war forced a clean up of the police station and Lasseter's tin trunk came to light. Some persistent and clever police work traced Lasseter's widow, now the wife of Francis Green, and the trunk was returned to her in September 1942. Constable L.C. Hook at Alice Springs made an inventory of the contents of the trunk before its return to Mrs. Green and left the following record,

1 Copy of Browns Nautical Almanac
1 " " Wesleys Hymns
1 " " Holy Bible
1 Leather wallet
Private papers
1 cane knife
1 sextant
1 knife
1 fork
1 Church of England Mens Society Necklet
1 revolver
Remains of 1 camera
Part bottle of whisky
2 dry cells.

There is nothing untoward in these articles, the remains of the camera and the revolver were probably those found with Lasseter's body and returned by Bob Buck, the two dry cells are torch batteries and the part bottle of whisky would be nicely aged by now, the seven marked gold specimens travelled with Lasseter of course and Blakeley's food for thought lay in the private papers, although he left no record of what he found there, and to settle yet another rumour that has grown up with the Lasseter legend, there was no copy of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam found with Lasseter's body or in the tin trunk.


R.Ross. 1999-2006

Blakeley Fred Dream Millions 105/105. NTAS F68. Marshall-Stoneking Lasseter the Making of a Legend. 169.