A Darker Shade of Moonlite

A Darker Shade of Moonlite

by Craig Cormick

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Captain Moonlite (Andrew George Scott, 1842-1880) was an adventurer, fraudster and fabulist who found a respectable post in Victoria as a lay preacher in Bacchus Marsh. Things went haywire after he was convicted of various crimes - at least some of which he probably committed. Long story short he ended up in Melbourne's Pentridge Gaol where he met the love of his life, James Nesbitt. Scott seems to have been a remarkable public speaker. When he directed these skills to prison reform, the authorities put every possible obstacle in his way. The life of a bushranger beckoned, and his gang of young companions set off for New South Wales.

The adventure ended with the inevitable shootout with cops and armed locals at Gundagai, NSW. In the book, Cormick describes Scott's love for Nesbitt, and the emotional impact of loss. In his letters, Scott describes he and his mate as being 'united in every tie that could unite human friendship, we were one in hopes, one in heart and soul and this unity lasted until he died in my arms'. This narrative of Scott's life reveals that love, loyalty and rebellion were as important in the past as they are for us.