Mr and Mrs Campbell
We, the undersigned, inhabitants of Forbes and the surrounding country, having perused in the public journals a detailed statement of a most atrocious and blood-thirsty attack upon your household at Goimbla, and of the destruction, by an act of incendiarism, of a considerable amount of property, beg to tender you our heart-felt sympathy for the loss you have sustained, and, at the same time, to congratulate you upon your escape from the murderous bullets of your assailants.
In assuring you, however, of the warmth of our sympathy, and the sincerity of our congratulations, permit us to express our unmixed admiration of the heroic courage and high personal daring manifested by you, throughout a contest which was marked, on the one hand, by a ruthlessness and recklessness of consequences, whether as regarded life or property, and on the other, by an unconquerable resolve to defend to the death your family and fireside from the invasion of a band of remorseless and ruffianly freebooters.
And whilst thus paying you a well-merited compliment, we desire you to understand that we are fully alive to the moral results, which must inevitably accrue from the success with which Providence crowned your efforts in defence of our home. Until of late, the career of the bandit gang who selected you as an object of special vengeance, has known nothing of failure, and thus emboldened, they have dared to trample upon all law, and set all authority at defiance. The retribution, however, which has been visited upon the most cruel and desperate of their band by means of your skill and valour, will at once convince the survivors that their game is as hopeless as it is lawless — that is a war against society and that every honest man and loyal subject is armed against them. Re-assured by your noble example, other defenders of the rights of life and property will be found when occasion arises, and we now feel justified in entertaining the hope that the healthy impetus, thus given to public sentiment, co-operating with the ordinary legal agencies of repression and punishment, will speedily banish the cause of bushranging from the land.
In conclusion, we beg to assure you of the lasting claim you have established upon our esteem and admiration, not less by the modesty with which you bear your victory, than the heroic determination by which it was achieved.
That you may live long and happily in the enjoyment of these and other kindred sentiments, not only of the community in which you have cast your lot, but of all who have heard of your daring and valour, and may continue to the end of life's journey, to partake of the superabundance of God's choicest gifts is our sincere and heartfelt prayer.
[Followed by 92 signatures across two pages]