[Editor: A report on an amusing incident. Published in The Star (Ballarat), 12 April 1864.]
Life on the diggings.
— A somewhat extraordinary incident happened on Saturday evening, at the Emu Hotel, Oxley.
An inebriate, in a spirit of liberality, determined to treat his horse with a “nip” before he commenced his homeward journey and, with a view of carrying out his intention, brought his horse into the bar, when the weight of the horse proving to be too great for the strength of the floor, he first sank through it with one foot and, after a little struggling, succeeded in getting both legs so far into the cellar beneath that he lay helpless on the floor, with his forelegs in the verandah.
A number of persons soon congregated to the rescue of the animal, and, whilst in the act of lifting him out, the owner made his appearance, and objected to the animal being interfered with, and vehemently asserted that anybody who said or did anything to the horse said or did the same to him.
A friendly attempt made to remove him from his obstructive position resulted in a fight, and almost simultaneously a grand free fight took place, and about a dozen encounters were furiously raging from the animal’s ears to the very end of his tail.
In due course the various combatants subsided, and the work of liberating the steed was again proceeded with and successfully accomplished.
But the belligerent owner had taken offence at the manner in which some had now rendered their aid, which again resulted in another general melée, during which one of the chief actors disappeared down the hole from which the horse had been extricated.
This incident appeared to afford so much amusement to all present that it restored good humor and peace.
— Wangaratta Despatch, 7th April.
The Star (Ballarat, Vic.), Tuesday 12 April 1864, page 2