by Bill Reed

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by Bill Reed

Seven years after King Billy’s death, Truganinni stood alone, a living relic of her race. She would walk the streets of Hobart Town, resembling Queen Victoria in her voluminous skirts and headdress. She quite enjoyed the curiosity and finger pointing of the townspeople.

Towards the end, she appeared to bear no malice towards her race’s persecutors. Growing stoutish, she smoked a pipe and enjoyed a daily jug of beer. But she began to grow ill and as her death loomed, so did the memories of what happened to King Billy’s body.

On May 8th 1876, at the approximate age of 73, Truganinni died.

She is said to have cried out, ‘Don’t let them cut me up. Bury me behind the mountains.’

Given her fierce spirit and perception of herself and her people, it would have been said with as much defiance as she could muster as much as being fearful.

Only hours after the news, body-snatchers in the Royal Society of Tasmania started to bark for her body. The government tried to fight them off.

She was off floating across Australia, raising hell with her beloved Nanna, on their Shag Magnet anyway. By then the mission on Flinders Island of Act 1, and McKay’s house in Hobart Town, were the least she wanted to put a bomb under...