Perth Courier, October 28, 1870
The Queen Versus Peter Cairns—On the 21st day of August last, the prisoner was playing with one Simmons and a young boy named Thomas Lowe, son of Mrs. Lowe who keeps a boarding house at Carleton Place. Thomas Lowe got hurt and began to cry, and the prisoner took down a double barrel shotgun from the wall and said he would shoot the boy if he did not stop crying. Simmons told him to take care, the gun was loaded. Notwithstanding the warning, the prisoner raised the gun and fired at the child, the charge passing through his chest and he died in a few minutes. There being no evidence of malice aforethought, but a clear case of criminal negligence, the grave charge of murder was withdrawn and the charge of manslaughter was returned. Sentenced to 12 months in the common gaol at hard labour.
A hand with the index finger pointing upward symbolizes the hope of heaven, while a hand with forefinger pointing down represents God reaching down for the soul.
Seen as an important symbol of life, hands carved into gravestones represent the deceased’s relationships with other human beings and with God. Cemetery hands tend to be shown doing one of four things: blessing, clasping, pointing, and praying.