Cannibals and Gold
The Merkin killed an untold number of prospectors, eating many of them.
Their favorite fare however was Chinese flesh which they described as ‘long pig’. They found it far more palatable than European flesh and this may have had something to do with the fact that the Chinese lived mainly on a vegetable diet supplemented with fish, whereas the Europeans subsisted on mostly bully beef and damper.
No one will ever know how many prospectors were killed by the Merkin but some of the tales that came out of the wilderness at that time were enough to chill the blood of the bravest men.
Meat quickly spoiled in the tropics but the Merkin had an ingenious way of combating that problem. Capturing their prey alive, they would break the arms and legs of their hapless victims rendering them incapable of escape and thus keeping them as a living larder.
This practice was not known about until two brothers were captured and one was forced to watch as the other was killed and thrown upon the fire before being devoured.