THE POLICE MURDERS
The Mansfield Guardian states that last week Mr. Kitchen wrote to Mr. Graves, M.L.A., requesting him to bring under the notice of the Government the desirability of erecting a suitable monument in the Mansfield cemetery to the memory of the three brave fellows who were so foully murdered by the Kelly gang while in the execution of their duty at Stringybark Creek. The Chief Secretary has favourably entertained the application, and steps will be at once taken to carry out the object in view. The Chief Commissioner of Police has written to Mr. J. Tomkins, J.P., to thank him and other gentlemen for the valuable assistance they rendered the police, especially in connection with the finding of Sergeant Kennedy’s body.
The report of our special reporter at Benalla published on Friday last stated that “when Captain Standish arrived by the train in the evening, two of the Lloyds and Isaiah Wright were seen on the platform.” We have received a letter from Isaiah Wright in which he states that on the day in question he was at Mansfield from the morning until 12 o’clock at night. Next morning he commenced shearing at Mr. Chenery’s station at 6 o’clock.
(BY ELECTRIC TELEGRAPH)
(FROM OUR SPECIAL REPORTER)
Benalla, Tuesday, 10.30 P.M.
This has been another Barren day, although there has been plenty of hard work doing. The information brought into Wangaratta by one of the search parties on Sunday was of such a nature as to warrant a reconnaissance en force, as it was fully believed that the gang were not to far distant. When I say not far, I mean that their tracks ― or those supposed to be theirs ― had been picked up about 12 miles from Wangaratta, on one of the spurs of the Warby Ranges. This being the case, a strong party under Superintendent Nicolson started at dawn this morning from Wangaratta, proceeding down the road towards Glenrowan, where they were joined by Superintendent Sadlier, who had gone up by the early train from here. The party then proceeded to the spot were the tracks were last seen, and the two black trackers were lain on. There is no doubt there were tracks there, and these were followed through all their doublings for a considerable distance, always being round the foot of the ranges. In two places it was seen that a fence had been crossed to and fro with the evident intention (if the tracks were the right ones) of misleading. After several hours’ hard work, however, the tracks were lost in some bad ground which had been subsequently ridden over, and late in the afternoon the party returned to Wangaratta, having previously divided into two, one taking the top of the ridge, and the other keeping along the foot. The day’s work was comparatively unsatisfactory, as the great expectations of the men when they started were not realised, but some important results may follow, and many of the police are sanguine of soon coming up with the gang. The country is, however, of such a frightful character for horses to travel over that I am sure it will be a matter of time to arrive at the desired result, especially if the ruffians are well supplied with provisions and ammunition. They have certainly the advantage of knowing every foot of the country, owing to their long experience in cattle duffing, but they must ere long show themselves, and then a good trail will be struck. The police, though kept continually going day and night, are ready at a moment’s notice to take part in any expedition, and only appear too well pleased to be called on for work, their great desire being to quickly capture these desperadoes, and so put an end to the excitement that now exists.
Some men and horses were sent up the line towards Beechworth to-day, and this gave rise to the rumour that something definite had been heard in that locality. It appears, however, that these men were only returning to their stations between Everton and Beechworth. Until some more trustworthy information comes it is not probable that any important move will be made, but in the meantime parties are out in several directions, and information of importance may be received at any moment, on which future movements will of course depend.
The Mansfield court-house has been kept open all day for the purpose of permitting the Kelly gang to surrender, in accordance with the Felon’s Act. Mr. Sub-inspector Pewtress, with a constable, having been in attendance, but none of the party have put in an appearance. Some here have cherished the thought that the two unknown men might have come forward, and by some statements saved their lives; but others think that, however strong the desire might be to do so, the two Kellys would not trust them out of their sight. The impression is stronger here than ever that the gang never went 10 miles from the place where the murder was committed, and that the murderers are still in the mountains. Several anonymous letters have been sent to the police tendering all sorts of information, and suggesting various persons and places that should be watched, as well as directing the police to move to certain extreme places where they will be sure to find the murderers, but the police wisely take but little notice of what is evidently being done to mislead them. The man Lynch, who is in the lock-up charged with writing the threatening letter to Mr. Monk is very reticent, and refuses to give any information, or even to answer questions. He seems fully to understand his position since Mr. Pewtress informed him that the penalty against aiders and abettors was 15 years’ imprisonment. The identity of the writing in the letter signed “E. and D. Kelly” with one found amongst the correspondence at the shire office signed “Walter Lynch” is unmistakable. There appears to be no attempt at concealment or disguise in the handwriting, and the culprit displayed no cunning in effecting his clumsy job. I have just been informed that neither of the Kellys can write. An expert is expected here to give his opinion, but the thing is as plain as a pikestaff, and one of Lynch’s old mates recognised and identified the handwriting as that of Lynch’s before he knew the man, was locked up. Great sympathy is felt for Mrs. Monk, who is near her confinement, and is with her children in the lone house with such a horrible threat over her. Some of the Mansfield people will try and persuade her to come into town with her family. The Government should make some provision in a case like this, and see that Mr. Monk is not a sufferer either in pocket or life for the assistance he gave in guiding the police to discover the bodies of the murdered police. As for the statement that Mr. Monk volunteered to go in search of the Kelly gang, there is no truth in it. He simply said he would act as guide, out of humanity, to find the dead bodies, and told Mr. Pewtress that he would not stir for a thousand pounds to track the murderers. The people here cannot understand why all the police and the head-quarters are at Benalla. Nothing has been done there, and nothing is likely be done, either by the bushrangers or the police. Here, in or near Mansfield, is likely to be the scene of action, and yet the police cannot be obtained at any price. There are no men here to send out if wanted, nor yet to relieve any party that might come in. If men are telegraphed for round here, the reply comes that they are not to spare. Surely some men could be obtained from Melbourne for an emergency like this. I have just heard that this Walter Lynch has been before the Police Court on five different occasions.
PROPOSED REMOVAL OF THE MELBOURNE GAOL
On Monday morning after the 6 o’clock officer’s parade was over, Mr. Castieau addressed his staff, and stated that he had a most unpleasant duty to perform, which was to read a memorandum he had received from the Penal-office relative to the proposed removal of the gaol. The governor than read the memo., which was to the following effect:―“That it is proposed to reduce the number of male prisoners to a maximum of about 60, and the male officers in proportion. The Chief, senior, and ordinary warders were to receive a general intimation that they would probably shortly be transferred to other gaols.”