EDWARD KELLY BEFORE THE POLICE COURT
When the last train arrived to-night the blinds of a second-class compartment were found to be down over the windows. The guard on opening the door expected to find some passenger asleep inside. But a surprise awaited him; the door on the opposite side of the compartment was standing wide open. On this side the blinds were also drawn down. The lamp was covered with a piece of newspaper, and under the seat was discovered a billy can containing a shirt, a dipper, and some food. The occupant had fled. At first it was thought a suicide had taken place; but the guard remembered hearing a footstep on the outside of the carriage when he was opening the door. Search was at once made about the station yard by Detective Ward, but no stranger was discovered. The surmise is that it must either have been a man travelling without a ticket, or a sympathiser of the Kelly gang who desired to reach Beechworth unnoticed.
(BY ELECTRIC TELEGRAPH)
(FROM OUR OWN REPORTER)
The hearing of evidence in support of the charge against Edward Kelly of murdering Constable Lonigan was resumed this morning in the Beechworth Police Court, Mr. W. H. Foster, P.M., presiding. Mr. C. A. Smyth and Mr. Chomley appeared for the Crown, and Mr. D. Gaunson for the accused.
Robert Scott deposed,―In December, 1878, I was manager of the National Bank at Euroa. On the 10th December the prisoner visited the bank. There was a knock at the door, and immediately afterwards he walked into my room, followed by Hart. They were armed with revolvers. Prisoner asked me to bail up. I said, “No hurry, I suppose,” whereupon he pointed his revolver at me, and said, “Throw up your hands,” and I did so. He robbed the bank, ordered me into a spring-cart, with himself and my servant. He took us to Younghusband’s Faithful Creek Station. On the way he spoke about the murders of the police, and I asked who shot Lonigan, to which he replied, “Oh, I shot Lonigan.”
To Mr. Gaunson.―Miss Shaw was in the spring-cart all the time.
Robert MacDougal deposed,―I am a ware-horseman, living in Melbourne. In December, 1878, I was a bookbinder in the Government Printing-office. On the 10th of that month I was in the neighbourhood of Euroa. There were four of us, Mr. Dudley, Mr. Casemont, and Mr. Tennant. We were returning from a shooting excursion in the Strathbogie Ranges. Three of us were in a spring-cart, and the fourth was on horseback. We were passing through Younghusband’s station. A man came riding up behind us, armed with a revolver, and cried out, “Turn your horse round, the station is stuck up.” That man was the prisoner. Mr. Dudley said, “What authority have you got for sticking us up.” We all jumped up. Prisoner, addressing Mr. Casement, the owner of the cart, said “You are Ned Kelly, where did you steal this cart?” Mr. Dudley said, “We did not steal this springcart; we are honest men.” The prisoner produced a pair of handcuffs, and said, “Look here, I’ll put these on you if you’re not quiet,” and Mr. Dudley replied, “Look here, I’ll report you to your superior officer,” thinking he was a policeman. (Laughter) Mr. Tennant, the one of our party who rode the horse, then came up, and asked what was the matter. Dudley said, “the station is stuck up.” “Come then,” he said, “let us get into the spring-cart and load the guns.” The prisoner said, “Don’t you get into that spring-cart.” We still continued to think that the prisoner was a policeman. He took us over to the station. There was another person with the prisoner by the name of Byrne. This person was also armed with a revolver. On arriving at the station a party by the name of Stephens, one of the station hands, introduced us to the prisoner, saying, “This is Mr. Edward Kelly.” Another young fellow, short, and about my size, named Dan Kelly, I think, came forward and searched me. We were then put into the storeroom. During the time we were there the prisoner was present keeping guard over us. He was visiting us every now and then. During one of his visits Dudley and I were standing near the open door apart from the other prisoners. Prisoner said to the old man Dudley, “Look here, isn’t it bad enough to be called proscribed outlaws, and not taking cheek from the likes of you?” Dudley, when first taken, was giving the prisoner tremendous cheek. The prisoner then produced a watch―a big gold watch―and said to Mr. Dudley, “This is a nice watch, ain’t it?” Dudley said “Yes.” Prisoner then said, “That was poor Kennedy’s watch. Wasn’t it better for me that I shot the police than have them carrying my body int Mansfield as a mangled corpse.” He had a policeman’s rifle―a Spencer―strapped around his shoulder.
To Mr. Gaunson.―Cannot swear that it was a policeman’s rifle. On our shooting excursion in the Strathbogies, we had a double-barrelled fowlingpiece and a rifle. We had a lot of ammunition, and 80 or 90 bullets. We were kangarooing, and had no idea of hunting the Kellys. Tennant offered to load the guns to help the police. “We’ll help you,” was all he said. We had no idea at all that the Kellys were about until we reached the station. The gold hunting watch you (Mr. Gaunson) now produce is like the one shown by the prisoner. I can’t swear that that is not the watch. Mr. Tennant, who has rather a hasty temper, wanted to fight the prisoner, but he did not do so. Prisoner treated us very well, and offered us no violence. I did not see my rifle afterwards; neither did I ever see again a bottle of whisky we left in the spring-cart. (Laughter.) It was only a lemonade bottle we had got filled with whisky at a hotel on the way.
Henry Dudley, ledgermaker, employed at the Government Printing-office, stated.―On the 10th of December, 1878, Mr. MacDougal, Mr. Casement, and myself were driving over Younghusband’s station, and Mr. Tennant, who was on horseback, went ahead to open the railway gates. The prisoner at this moment rode up to us, presented a revolver, and said the station was bailed up. I took him to be a policeman in plain clothes. I felt irritated when he said to us, “Where did you shake the cart from?” and said to him, “How dare you accuse gentleman of stealing a horse and trap?” and I told him I would report him to his superior officers, whereupon he told me to hold my tongue or he would blow my brains out. He took us all to the station, and locked us up in the storeroom. When we arrived at the station he made a person named Stephens introduce him to us “because,” he said, “these gentlemen don’t seem to understand or comprehend who I am.” We were then informed that he was Kelly. He paid us several visits in the storeroom. On one occasion MacDougal and I were standing near the door. MacDougal remarked, “This is a bad joke,” and the prisoner opening the door came in. The prisoner showed us a gold watch. I took it to be a double-cased one, and he said, “Isn’t that a fine watch?” I replied that it was, and he said, “That is Kennedy’s watch,” and added, “Wasn’t it better for me to shoot the police than have my mangled corpse carried into Mansfield?” he did not name the police.
To Mr. Gaunson.―When I returned to Melbourne I was interviewed by reporters, and gave them statements. The gentleman who subpoenaed me did not ask me about this case. He simply gave me the subpoena, and departed in peace. (Laughter.) We had three tails and the hind part of a kangaroo, and at the time we were bailed up we were just joking about having a feed. There was also a bottle of whisky in the cart. It was intended for me, but I never saw it again. (Laughter.) When we arrived at the station Mr. Stephens introduced me to the accused, saying, “This is Mr. Edward Kelly, the bushranger.” Then, as it is vulgarly termed, I tumbled to it. (Laughter.) When stuck up by Kelly I asked the accused, not knowing who he was, “Are the Kelly’s about?” He said they were. Tennant then came up, and addressing me said, “Harry, what’s the matter?” and I said “Why the Kellys are about;” and he, being a Scotchman, said, “Eh, mon, let’s get up and load our guns.” (Laughter.) Edward Kelly took great care that we should not get into the cart, and wise, too, on his part. When I was irritated and giving Kelly―well, call it impudence if you like, he pulled out a pair of handcuffs, and the sight of them settled me at once. (Laughter.) We were all locked comfortably in the storeroom all night, with nothing but a bucket of water and a dipper to drink with. (Laughter.)
Edward Richard Living deposed.―In February, 1879, I was teller of the Bank of New South Wales at Jerilderie. On the 10th of that month the accused and his mates stuck up and robbed the bank. I heard them afterwards talking to a number of people in the hotel. The accused showed a revolver, which he said had been taken from the police who were shot. I could not swear that I heard him mention any particular constable. Other people were asking him as to the shooting of the police, and he said that the gun he shot them with was an old gun, but a very good one. He said it was bound about the lock with string or wire, and that he could shoot round a corner with it. The accused said to me, “You come along; I want to see about the bank’s books.” He also asked where the newspaper man could be found, and we went to look for Mr. Gill. We went to his house, and found Mrs. Gill in the yard. He asked her where her husband was, and she told him she didn’t know. He then told her that he wanted her husband to print something for him, and he produced a roll of manuscript. Handing it to me he said, “Get it printed; it is a bit of my life. I have not had time to finish it; I will finish it some other time.” Part of it has been published―not the whole. It referred to the murders of the police.
Mr. Smyth said this was the document that he thought might not be received as evidence, so at present he would not push it any further.
Senior-constable Kelly deposed.―I was present at the capture of the prisoner at Glenrowan. The prisoner appeared in the bush about 7 o’clock in the morning. He looked a strange sight. He wore an oilskin coat and some head gear. Some of the police challenged him, and ordered him to go back. He took no notice of them, so they fired at him, and he fired back with a revolver either at Constable Phillips or constable Arthur, who were nearest to him. I came round from the east corner of the hotel. Several other constables came forward and fired at him. He fired on them several times, and then went behind a tree. We fired more shots at him there, but they had no effect on him except when it shot his hand, which was round the tree. He then walked to a dead log 10 yards distant. Sergeant Steele then came from the hotel side, and got within 15 or 20 yards and fired two shots at him in succession. I was about 20 yards away from the prisoner, and I saw him stagger under Steele’s shot. I said to Constable Bracken and others, “Come on, and we will rush him.” With that Sergeant Steele rushed forward, fired, and Kelly staggered. Steele fired again, and he fell, saying, “That will do.” Steele, I, and others ran up. Steele seized him first, and I second. We disarmed him, and found him clad in armour. We took it off, and Sergeant Steele at once recognised him as Ned Kelly. When the men ran up, Kelly said to Bracken― “Bracken, save me; I saved you.” I said―“You showed very little mercy to poor Kennedy and Scanlan,” and he replied―“I had to shoot them, or they would have shot me.” I searched him on the spot, and asked―“Have you Sergeant Kennedy’s watch, or tell me where it is, as I promised Mrs. Kennedy to get it for her.” He replied―”I can’t tell you; I would not like to tell you.” The armour was made of steel mouldboards, I believe. The helmet was open at the top, with a slit for the eyes. The breast and back plates came right down to his thighs, and there was a flap hanging in front. Some of the pieces were marked with the name of Hugh Lennon, the ploughmaker. The prisoner, when fighting with the police, struck his helmet several times with his revolver, and it rang like a bell. I had charge of the lock-up from 2 to 7 o’clock on Tuesday morning. About 7 o’clock Constable McIntyre said he would like to see Kelly, and I took him over to the lock-up. I said to the prisoner, “Ned, do you know this man?” He replied, “No; is it Flood?” McIntyre said, “The last time we met you took me to be Flood.” The prisoner then says, “I know you now; it is McIntyre.” McIntyre said, “I have suffered a great deal over this affair, was my statement correct?” Prisoner replied, “Yes.” McIntyre said, “Did I not tell you I would sooner be shot myself than tell you anything about the other two if you intended to shoot them?” The prisoner answered, “You did; and you asked me why we went near the police when we knew where you were, and I replied that you would have soon found us out and shot us down.” The prisoner went on to say that they had no money or horses, and wanted to make a rise. McIntyre remarked that the prisoner had him covered with his gun, and turned round suddenly upon Lonigan. “No,” said the prisoner, “Lonigan was behind a log, and had his revolver pointed at me when I shot him.” McIntyre said, “That is all nonsense.” Before McIntyre came I visited the prisoner at 3 o’clock in the morning in the presence of Constable Ryan. I gave him a drink of milk and water. I then said to him, “Ned, what about Fitzpatrick; was his statement correct?” He said, “Yes, it was I who shot him.”
Cross-examined by Mr. Gaunson.―Have been 19 years constable in the police. Kelly was lying on a mattress in the cell at Benalla when I spoke to him, and his hands had been dressed by a doctor. It is the duty of police to carry their revolvers always in their belts. Don’t think I would have left mine in the tent as McIntyre did. I did not hear Bracken say to Mr. Hare at the Glenrowan platform that the Kellys had a large number of prisoners in Jones’s Hotel. All I heard him say was, “The Kellys are in Jones’s Hotel; surround them.” Every time a shot was fired from inside of the house the police replied. When screams were heard inside the house, Mr. Hare, who had been wounded, sang out, “Stop firing, and for God’s sake, Kelly, surround the house.” I sang out to my men to stop firing. The black trackers were more active in firing than the police. They were told to stop several times, and they would not. I told them myself, and so did Constable Gascoigne and others. I had not had time to surround the house before Mr. Hare left. Reinforcements did not arrive until about 5 o’clock, when Sergeant Steele and his men arrived from Wangaratta. Mr. Sadleir, from Benalla, arrived about the same time. By 6 o’clock the hotel was properly surrounded. Between 6 and 8 o’clock shots frequently came from the front and back windows, and the police fired back in reply.
Mr. Smyth pointed out that this line of cross-examination was irrelevant.
Mr. Foster concurred with the Crown prosecutor, and remarked that however desirable it was to investigate the Glenrowan affair, it had no relevancy to the murder of Lonigan.
Cross-examination continued.―No one pulled out a portion of the prisoner’s beard when he was captured. Constable Dwyer gave him a kick, and Constable Bracken threatened to shoot any one who injured the prisoner. When the hotel was fired it was known that three of the outlaws were inside, and it was believed that at least two of them were alive. It was also known that Martin Cherry was in the back kitchen, and not in the hotel.
Mr. Smyth intimated that this was the case for the Crown, and submitted that a primâ facie case had been made out, and asked that the prisoner should be committed for trial at the Beechworth Assizes in October next.
Mr. Foster said that he considered a primâ facie case had been made out, and as there was only one course he could pursue, viz., to commit the prisoner, he presumed the defence would be reserved.
Mr. Gaunson replied in the affirmative.
Mr. Foster asked the prisoner, in the usual way, if he had anything to say against his being committed for trial. The prisoner said, “No.”
Mr. Gaunson said the prisoner wished to say nothing, except through his counsel in the Supreme Court. The prisoner was then formally committed for trial at Beechworth, on the 14th of October next.
The second charge against the prisoner, viz., that he murdered Constable Michael Scanlan in October, 1878, at Stringybark Creek, was then proceeded with. Constable McIntyre was called upon to repeat his evidence, and had not concluded his statement when the Court was adjourned until next morning.
After Kelly was remanded yesterday afternoon, Mr. Gaunson made an application to Mr. Foster, P. M., that the prisoner should be supplied with the newspapers of the day. Mr. Foster replied that he could not grant the application, as the matter did not come within his jurisdiction. Mr. Gaunson said that he would then have to waste time reading over the newspaper reports to the prisoner in gaol, as he indeed had been doing hitherto.
A rumour is very current in Beechworth at present that some difficulty has arisen in connection with the plant of the gang. That there is a large amount of their loot planted somewhere is undoubted, but where it is remains a mystery. If it is concealed in the bush, no one but the members of the gang knows of it. Ned Kelly is of course the only person alive who can tell where it is, and even had he an opportunity of giving his friends the desired information it might be, after all, as difficult to discover as the pot of sovereigns which were hidden by Weiberg at the Tarwin River. On the other hand, it may have been concealed in a place he could easily explain to his friends. The rumour is that a certain friend has managed to learn where the loot is, that he has “sprung the plant,” and that he has disappeared. By whom this statement was originally made is not known to the authorities. So far as can be ascertained, it must either have come from a sympathiser, or have arisen from peculiarities that have been observed in the conduct of certain relatives of the gang.