THE KELLY GANG AND THE POLICE
To The Editor Of The Argus
Sir,—May I offer a few remarks bearing on the capture of the Kelly gang. There is, I think, little doubt that they, through foolhardiness and want of foresight, gave themselves into the hands of the police. They had plenty of opportunities to escape both before and during the fight, and it appears, from a paragraph in your yesterday’s issue, that but for the Chief Secretary ordering a special train, the police did not intend leaving Melbourne until the next day, thus displaying a fondness for warm beds and daylight and a reluctance to put the country to unnecessary expense that is quite touching. However, what I wish more particularly to draw attention to is this—from the reports I find there were some 30 or 40 prisoners in the house with the Kellys. These prisoners—men, women, and children—were not even given a chance to escape, but were fired on at once, and I think I may say that those that were killed were ruthlessly butchered. How would matters have stood had 20 of them been killed? After all what did the police do? They shot Byrne, and they wounded Ned Kelly, when he stood out to be shot at. It is doubtful whether the younger Kelly and Hart did not shoot themselves. Everybody is, of course, highly pleased at the dispersion of the gang, but it seems a pity that such inhumanity was shown towards the harmless prisoners. The end of the encounter was as ruthlessly conducted as the beginning. Ned Kelly was in custody, Byrne was shot, and the other two outlaws supposed to be dead. Yet these 30 or 40 valiant policemen were quite easily restrained from rushing the place, and determined on burning it down, quite regardless of the fact, of which they were well aware, that there was a wounded prisoner inside. The police were, of course, quite right not to expose themselves more than was necessary, but their caution in this respect contrasts unfavourably with their reckless disregard for other people’s lives. I suppose the blacks would look upon the affair as a “dispersion.” What about the black that was wounded? Being a coloured gentleman, I suppose he does not count, as I have not seen him mentioned in the list of casualties. —Yours, &c.,
T. H. B.
To The Editor Of The Argus
Sir,—Now that the Kelly excitement is cooling, some of its features begin to excite comment. People are heard asking such questions as the following :—
Why were the police permitted to fire into a slightly-built weatherboard house, which was well known to be crammed with men, women, and little children, killing and wounding indiscriminately? Again, who was it that permitted the police to burn the building when it was known that an innocent and helpless man lay there, and must be destroyed, and was in fact only saved by a civilians pluck and humanity?
Next, Who was it that permitted the bodied of Daniel Kelly and Hart to be handed to a defiant pack of thieves and lawless vagabonds, whose sympathy and help had so long saved them from the gallows?
Who allowed these bodies to be carted away before the inquest could be held? And why, when the tribe had got the bodies, and got drunk and insolent over them, did the authorities first claim them, and when denied and dared, recall their orders, and give these desperadoes best?
If it was necessary to hold an inquiry upon Byrne, why was it unnecessary to have one over Hart and Daniel Kelly? What a farce it would be to hold one over Edward Kelly when he has been executed, and yet this has been the rule, and is the law.
The police first promote a drunken orgie amongst a set of desperate rogues by improperly giving them the bodies to wake, and when the corpses are needed for the coroner they permit the law to be defied and insulted.
Are there any Kelly sympathisers in the force, or are they simply muddled-headed and craven? We shall next hear of the erection of monuments inscribed with expressions of admiration for the careers and sorrow for the fate of these outlaws. The stones will become shrines, and be venerated by the neighbourhood, tainting its moral atmosphere by exalting these murderers into heroes, in the eyes of the young in particular. Their graves should have been a nameless hole in a gaol-yard—out of sight, out of mind.
If we experience further difficulties with these people, let us thank our policemen.
Under all the circumstances it might be wise to utilise our garrison corps by quartering them at Greta for three months to overawe these people, and then the authorities should lock-up such characters as Wild Wright and his associates whenever their language or acts give a chance. The crew should be stamped out or dispersed as quickly as possible.—Yours, &c.
GEO. S. GRIFFITHS.
DESTRUCTION OF THE KELLY GANG
Ned Kelly The Murder Of Cherry
Further particulars of an interesting character relating to the tragedy at Glenrowan have transpired. The most startling item is that Cherry, the platelayer, was not accidentally killed, but was deliberately shot by Ned Kelly at the beginning of the fray, because he refused to hold back a window curtain in the hotel while Kelly fired at the police. As to the survivor of the gang, he was visited yesterday by Dr. Shields, who reports favourably of his condition, and his speedy recovery is confidently expected. No one else was allowed to see him, Mr. Castieau having received instructions from the Chief Secretary to admit no one without a special order.
Mr. Hare’s wound has not proved quite so serious as was anticipated, and there is every prospect of his shortly recovering the use of his arm. He is staying at Sunbury now as a guest of the Hon. W. J. Clarke.
A report was circulated in town yesterday that a fresh outbreak of bushrangers had taken place at Stanley, near Beechworth. On inquiries being made it was ascertained that the police authorities had received no communication on the subject, and that the report was without foundation. Since the tragedy Glenrowan has been visited by crowds of people, who have inspected the ground in the vicinity of the house in which the outlaws took refuge with eager curiosity, but there is a sufficient force of police on the spot to keep order. Superintendent Sadlier is still at Benalla, and reports that everything is quiet there. Among those who contributed a share towards the destruction of the Kelly gang, Mr. H. E. Cheshire, acting postmaster at Beechworth, deserves to be mentioned. There is no telegraph office at Glenrowan, and Mr. Cheshire, therefore, on hearing that the Kelly gang had broken out there, proceeded with the Beechworth detachment of police by train on Monday morning, and on arrival had the wires cut, and connected with a small pocket telegraph instrument, thereby placing Glenrowan in telegraphic communication with the city. He did all the telegraphing himself, on his own account, and it must be admitted that he rendered a very important service in the interests of justice and humanity. The engine-driver and fireman of the special train which was despatched on Sunday night also deserve some recognition for the readiness they displayed in placing themselves in a position of danger. It appears that in running through the Craigieburn gates, damage was done to the gear of the brake, rendering it entirely useless. The pilot engine being provided with a brake, the driver of the special train, H. Alder, suggested that this engine should take the train, at the same time volunteering his services as driver of the pilot engine. The fireman of the special train, H. Burch, also volunteered his services for the pilot engine. After running at a fair speed for some time in front of the train containing the police party, speed was slackened on account of the curves, and in order to keep the train that was following in sight. When a strange signal was observed the pilot engine approached cautiously, and on the nature of the signal being ascertained, a stop was made, and the driver then went cautiously back and related to Mr. Hare what he had been told by Mr Curnow.
THE PAST YEAR’S PROCEEDINGS
Ever since the Jerilderie affair many people imagined that the gang had finally left the colony, and were accustomed to shake their heads and look as sagacious as possible when told that the police authorities had positive information that the outlaws were still hiding in the North-Eastern district. Of course the authorities in question could at any time have proved their words if such a course had been judicious. Assistant-commissioner Nicolson, who had charge of the police in that district from May, 1879, up to the beginning of June, 1880, has stated that never a month passed without his receiving authentic information of movements of the outlaws. Such was the terrorism, however, that the latter caused, and such their cunning, that in most instances the information received by the police came too late to be of any use. It will be remembered that very soon after Mr. Nicolson took charge of affairs the permanent garrison men were withdrawn from the district, and the police force there was considerably reduced, the number of constables left being 60. With this reduced force Mr. Nicolson improvised a new system of operations, which new system was continued in force after his removal to another district, and until the destruction of the gang. Previously to the introduction of the new plan the course adopted was to send large bodies of police—numbering perhaps, a dozen, with 15 horses—out into the district to look for the Kellys. These troops would have no idea when they started where or in what direction the Kellys were, and would have no such idea when they returned to the point of departure. They attracted much attention, cost a lot of money, were sufficiently numerous to feel tolerably secure, and in fine weather enjoyed themselves immensely. The leading feature of the new system was the dispersal of the force in small parties of four men, or fewer, stationed in places likely to be attacked or haunted by the gang. These men were not in uniform, and it is, by the bye, a singular fact that policemen in uniform were often able to pick up more information than those in plain clothes. In what is known as the Kelly country, a stranger is, because he is a stranger, and no matter how he is dressed, an object of suspicion to such persons as the Kellys and their friends, and they have been so much on the alert that no one would have been thought to have dreamt of sending a constable in uniform to obtain particulars regarding them. Knowing this, men in uniform, when ostensibly engaged in performing ordinary routine duties, have often been able, simply because they were not suspected of having any other designs, to obtain genuine information as to the proceedings of the gang. The small parties of police scattered through the country received instructions to act on their own responsibility, and sometimes had to conceal themselves for weeks, when watching a place. Prior to the withdrawal of the black trackers, Mr. Nicolson found them so useful that he reported, about three weeks ago, that if they were taken away the gang would be most likely to commit another outbreak. The black trackers not only frightened the Kellys, but caused them much inconvenience and hard work. For instance, it is well known that bushmen of the Kelly type object to walking much, and always ride on horseback if they get a chance. The presence of the Queensland aborigines in the district often compelled the gang to walk, in order to avoid giving the aborigines a chance of following horses’ tracks, when they would otherwise have ridden. Some time ago people used to wonder how the bushrangers when mounted, could cross the railway line or bridges without being seen. It was ultimately ascertained that the plan they adopted was to ride up to the railway fence, say, and then dismount, hand over their horses to sympathisers, and cross the line on foot. The sympathisers would ride the horses boldly through the nearest level crossing, and no one would suspect that the animals were those of the gang, the members of which would receive back their horses at some spot agreed upon. During the past few months traces of the gang were often discovered by the black trackers. Sometimes the trace would be the marks where bridles had been hung round a tree, and sometimes a gunyah. If a track was new, and had not been crossed and recrossed, the blacks could follow it with unerring certainty; and their astuteness in that direction astounded and terrified Ned Kelly, than whom there are few better white bushmen. Although the bushrangers were in the district, they were seen by comparatively few of their friends. There were various signals by which the gang communicated with their friends. Sometimes a couple of stones placed in a peculiar position would be the signal, and sometimes an eccentric horse-track. Thus, one of the gang would ride in a circle near a sympathiser’s hut, and then jump a fence, and again ride circuitously, and finally strike off in the direction where the outlaws were hid. The sympathiser, on seeing this track, would carry provisions in the direction indicated. When carrying provisions for the gang, the sympathisers would adopt all sorts of devices to avoid discovery. Occasionally they would pretend to be drunk, and make night hideous with their cries. Hearing the wild fellows about, honest residents of the district would retire into their homes; but the gang would also hear them and answer with a peculiar signal. All of a sudden, when time and place suited, a member of the gang would appear, take the provisions, and hurry off out of sight in a moment. The precautions devised by Ned Kelly were so elaborate that some very experienced police officers doubt whether one of the gang could have betrayed the others into the hands of the police. When they extinguished their fires, they would remove the ashes and scatter them far and wide, and cover over the black spot with earth. But their fires were always small, like those made by wild aborigines. As an indication of the caution with which the gang worked it may be mentioned that they used to draw up and reduce into writing elaborate details of their proposed plan of operations prior to making a raid. It is known that the arrangements to be followed, both in the Jerilderie and Euroa affairs, were fully made beforehand and committed to paper, the object in doing so being to assist the memory. The deceased Joe Byrne, who was the best scholar in the gang, and who, when a boy, distinguished himself at school for this ability, was the secretary. For some months past the police have been gradually closing up sources through which food was conveyed to the bushrangers, and the latter were suffering from an insufficiency of food. Dan Kelly and Byrne, in particular, presented of late a very emaciated appearance.
(BY ELECTRIC TELEGRAPH)
(FROM OUR SPECIAL REPORTER)
The bodies of Dan Kelly and Hart were interred by their friends on Wednesday in the Greta Cemetery. About a hundred friends and sympathisers were present, but there was no disturbance. Etty Hart, sister of Steve, was, however, very excited, and fell into hysterics. It has transpired that the unfortunate line repairer Martin Cherry was not shot by the police, but by Ned Kelly, and that intentionally. The fact was at first suppressed by those who knew it out of fear that they might be marked men if they made the disclosure. Three of the prisoners have, however, ventured to tell the police, on the condition that their names should not be published. They were interviewed separately, and their statements all correspond. This is the fifth deliberate murder committed by the gang, and it was perpetrated under the following circumstances:—When the gang fired their first volley from the verandah of the hotel, they retired inside. Ned Kelly, as is already known, was wounded on the foot and arm. He went to the window of the front parlour to fire again on the police, but the blind was down, and having one arm wounded he could not hold it aside and fire at the same time. He therefore ordered the old man Cherry to hold the blind up whilst he fired. Cherry refused, and Kelly at once shot him with his rifle in the groin, and he fell. Kelly may have intended to fire at the poor man’s legs, or being disabled, he may simply have been unable to raise his rifle higher. The fact, however, remains that it was he who did the deed, and that he thus added one more fiendish murder to the black list against his name. It seems that immediately after this he made his escape by the back door, and got into the bush before the police got the house surrounded. The coat which Ned Kelly wore was a long grey mackintosh. It covered his armour, and is full of bullet and slug holes. Senior-constable Kelly and his men returned from Glenrowan this morning, and reported that during the night perfect quietness prevailed there.
Constable Jas. McArthur is the man Ned Kelly referred to as being an excellent shot. He gives the following interesting narrative of his experiences:—
CONSTABLE McARTHUR’S NARRATIVE
I was one of the first party of police who attacked the gang. As has been already stated, we were fired on from the verandah, and we returned the fire. Senior-constable Kelly stationed our men at different places round the building. He took me round in the bush to a point opposite to the north-western corner of the building. We approached by passing from tree to tree, and taking shelter at times under fallen timber. When 100 yards away from the building, we got behind one tree, and I stooped down to look round it, placing my hand on the ground. I was rather startled, for I touched a rifle, which was covered with blood. A pool of blood lay near it, and also a round skull cap. “Look here,” I whispered to Kelly, and we both held our arms ready, for we thought that one of the gang must be near. I indeed felt sure that Ned was behind the very tree we were standing at, but we soon found that he was not there. That he was quite close to us, however, there is now no doubt. I crept forward from tree to tree, and got within 80 yards of the house, finding shelter behind a fallen tree. I fired at figures of men I saw in the hotel for some time. There were several lulls in the firing, and feeling cold I filled my pipe to have a smoke. As I was stooping down doing so a bullet, fired from the hotel, ploughed the ground under my breast. I then changed my position, going behind another tree. After I had stayed there for some time, and still feeling cold, I stooped down to light my pipe. In the act of doing so I caught sight of a strange figure coming down the hill. My pipe fell out of my mouth, and I gazed at the mysterious being for a minute, not knowing what to make of it. The figure approached steadily, and I saw it was a man, with what I thought to be a nail-can on his head. Thinking he was someone who intended storming the hotel under the protection of the headgear he wore, I sang out to him, “Keep back, you damned fool,” but he still advanced, and only replied by firing at me with his revolver. I could see that he was unable to hold out the weapon and take a proper aim, and the bullet tore up the ground a yard or two away from me. I then fired at his head with my Martini-Henry rifle. The bullet hit his head and jerked off. I fired a second time with the same result, and he still advanced. Seeing a slit in the helmet for his eyes I aimed at it, and the bullet hit the mark, but as I afterwards found it only bruised and discoloured his eye. It was my other bullet that blackened his other eye. This he told me afterwards. By this time Senior-constable Kelly, Sergeant Steele, and Constable Phillips and Guard Dowsett were also pelting away at him, but with no better effect. Our feelings may be easier imagined than described, for it seemed we were fighting with a supernatural being. Dowsett exclaimed, “By God, it is the devil.” Senior-constable Kelly, after having another shot at him, replied, “No, it must be the bunyip.” Thinking that he might have no armour on his back, I made a track round to get to his rear, and in the meantime Sergeant Steele, Senior-constable Kelly, and Guard Dowsett closed upon him, brought him down, and secured him. Then, of course, we found that it was the veritable Ned Kelly. I came down in the train with him from Glenrowan, and we entered into conversation. He said that my bullets staggered him and injured his eyes. He also stated that when, during the night, he stood within a couple of yards of the senior-constable and me, that he could have picked us off easily. I asked him why he did not then do so. He replied, “It was not my game,” and explained that his intention was to get near the hotel and so attract the attention of the police away from the building. It would then, he said, have been the part of his mates to sally out and attack the police in the rear. He indeed did call out, “Come on, I am here.”
From what has transpired, it appears that the Kelly gang fully intended to make a raid on one of the banks in Benalla had their plan succeeded in upsetting the railway train. When Ned Kelly was asked whether he intended to rob the Colonial Bank at Benalla, he said, “Oh no; Brock, the manager, is a decent sort of cove; we wouldn’t harm him. We should have stuck-up the other bank though.” The other bank that narrowly escaped a visit from the Kelly gang is the Bank of New South Wales.
DR. NICHOLSON’S NARRATIVE
Dr. John Nicholson, of Benalla, gives the following narrative:—I was called early on Monday morning by Superintendent Hare, who said that he had been shot by the Kellys, and wanted me to go to Glenrowan, where the police had them surrounded in a house. He told me to follow him to the post-office and dress his wound, and he would go back to Glenrowan if I would permit him. I shortly afterwards went to the post-office, and ascertained that he had been wounded in the left wrist by a bullet, which had passed obliquely in and out at the upper side of the joint, shattering the extremities of the bones, more especially of the radius. There were no injuries to the arteries, but a good deal of venous haemorrhage, in consequence of a ligature which had imprudently been tied around the wrist above the wound. I temporarily dressed the wound, during which he fainted. Seeing the wound, although serious, was not dangerous to life, I made all haste to the railway station, and accompanied Mr. Sadleir and a party of police in a special train to Glenrowan. We arrived before daylight, but the moon was shining. The men, under Mr. Sadleir’s instructions, then immediately spread out, having first ascertained when the guard was weakest. A party headed by Mr. Sadleir went up the line in front of the house, and were immediately fired at. Three shots were fired in one volley at first, and immediately afterwards a volley of four. The fire was sharply replied to by Mr. Sadleir’s party, and also from other quarters where the police were stationed. I did not see any one come outside, and thought the return fire was at random. The firing on the part of the police was renewed at intervals, and replied to from the house, but never more than a volley of two after this. Mr. Marsden of Wangaratta, Mr. Rawlins, several gentlemen, reporters for the press, some railway officials, and myself were on the platform, watching the proceedings, sometimes exposed to the fire from the house in our eagerness to get a clear view of everything, and then, suddenly remembering that we were in easy range, quickly seeking nearest shelter. Things remained in this state about an hour, when a woman with a child in her arms left the house, and came towards the station, crying out and bewailing all the time. She was met by some of the police and taken to one of the railway carriages. From her we learnt that the outlaws were still there, and at the back part of the house. They had taken compassion on her, and had permitted her to leave to save her darling child, but she was too much excited to give any definite information. About 8 o’clock we (spectators on the platform) became aware that the police on the Wangaratta side of the house were altering the direction of their fire, and we then saw a very tall form in a yellowish white long overcoat, somewhat like a tall native in a blanket. He was further from the house than any of the police, and was stalking towards it with a revolver in his outstretched arm, which he fired two or three times, and then disappeared from our view amongst some fallen timber. His movements seemed so deliberate and reckless that we thought he was mad. Sergeant Steele was at this time in front of him. Senior-constable Kelly and Guard Dowsett on his left, and Constables Dwyer, Phillips, and another whose name I did not know, near the railway fence in his rear. There was also some one on the upper side, but I do not know who it was. Shortly after this a horse with saddle and bridle came towards the place where the man (whom we had by this time ascertained to be Ned Kelly) was lying, and we fully expected to see him make a rush and mount it, but he allowed it to pass, and went towards the house. Messrs. Dowsett and Kelly kept all this time stealthily creeping towards him from one point of cover to another, firing at him whenever they got a chance. The constables at his rear were also firing, and gradually closing in upon him, and we were all excitement. Exclamations of “Look out, he’s going to fire,” “There he is behind that tree,” “I can see him from here,” “He’s down,” “Look at little Dowsett, what a plucky fellow he is,” were heard on all sides; and then we saw Sergeant Steele rush towards him, quickly followed by Dowsett and Kelly, and a general rush was made towards them. We were perfectly astounded when we discovered that he was clad in a coat of armour of a most massive description. When I reached the place he was in a sitting posture on the ground, his helmet lying hear him, and a most extraordinary and pitiable object he looked. A wild beast brought to bay, and evidently expecting to be roughly used. His face and hands were smeared with blood. He was shivering with cold, ghastly white, and smelt strongly of brandy. He complained of pain in his left arm, whenever he was jolted in the effort to remove his armour. Messrs. Steele and Kelly tried to unscrew the fastenings of his armour, but could only undo it on one side. I then took hold of the two plates, forced them a little apart, and drew them off his body. Our operations were materially hastened at this time by being fired at from the house, one bullet striking close to us. He was then carried over the railway fence to the station. Senior-constable Kelly and myself brought up the rear with the armour. When we reached the station we laid him in the van, but he was shortly afterwards taken into the station-house, and placed on a stretcher. I then made an examination of his injuries, which I found to be as follows:—There were two holes in the fleshy part of the under and outer side of the left forearm, apparently produced by a revolver bullet which had passed in and out through the openings. There was a larger bullet wound about 4in. above the elbow at the back of the same arm. It had apparently entered from behind, and had not passed out, but is lying somewhere in front of the joint. There were several slug wounds on the outer side of the right thigh and leg, which had entered from the direction of his right side; one of them, after passing superficially through the skin at the upper part of the thigh, had grazed the skin on the lower part of the abdomen, but had not entered. Another bullet wound passed in a slanting direction backwards from the upper part of the great toe of the right foot, and terminated in a long slit-like wound at the sole, near the heel. A slug had also entered the ball of the right thumb, causing a wound, which he said was as painful as any of them, and prevented him holding his revolver. I dressed the wounds as well as circumstances would permit. He complained of the coldness of his feet, and said they would never get warm again. He was being questioned all this time, sometimes by the police, sometimes by the reporters, and sometimes by the general public, who were inconveniently crowding the room. He was besieged with questions, and very seldom had less than three to reply to at the same time. He was very weak, and replied in a listless way to most of the inquiries. His replies, as far as I heard, were in the main correctly given in the various reports. He said he had been lying in the same position nearly all night, and was cold and cramped, afraid to move, and unable to lift his revolver up for fear of making a noise with his armour, otherwise he could have shot some of the police during the night. None of the wounds were of a mortal character. He must have lost much blood during the night, as he said that the wound in his foot and the one in his arm were received at the first volley fired by Mr. Hare’s party. As they were bullet wounds, they must have been caused by either Constable Phillips, Gascoigne, or McArthur, who were with Mr. Hare when he was shot. Mr. Hare had a shot gun, which was taken from him by Rawlins. I attended to Edward Kelly during the rest of the day. He remained in the same listless, apathetic state up to the time he was taken out of my charge.
THE KELLY GANG AND THE POLICE
Beechworth, July 1.
The excitement caused by the capture of the Kelly gang is gradually subsiding, although the matter still remains the all-absorbing topic of conversation. Mrs. Barry and her daughters still remain here, and have not yet returned to their residences. Aaron Sherritt’s house remains untenanted. It will be remembered that at the inquest Mrs. Barry said that Joe Byrne was talking to her about his mother, but she did not detail the conversation. It appears that Byrne asked Mrs. Barry how long it was since she had seen his mother, and Mrs. Barry replied not since Mrs. —s funeral, mentioning the name of a neighbour who died some weeks previously. Byrne affected ignorance of the death, and denied having seen his mother for some time. What his object in misleading Mrs. Barry was cannot, of course, be ascertained, but it is known that he was at the house several times recently.
Some curiosity has been expressed as to the causes which led Aaron Sherritt to turn against the gang, with all of whom he was once on terms of intimate friendship, and go over to the police. From inquiries from the deceased man’s friends and relatives, it transpires that Sherritt was on several occasions served very shabbily by them, especially by Byrne. A mob of stolen horses or cattle would be put on Aaron Sherritt’s selection, and left there until they could conveniently be sold, and when these were realised upon none of the money was given to Sherritt. This led to bickerings, and gradually engendered the ill-feeling which ultimately developed into hate.
In consequence of the controversy which is still carried on with much warmth, regarding the conduct of the police in Aaron Sherritt’s house on the night of his murder, the place itself has become an object of interest. The house is situated in the ranges at Sebastopol, about eight miles from Beechworth, at a spot exactly in a line with the “Devil’s Elbow.” It is a one-story weather-board structure, with a shingle roof, and comprises two rooms. One of these rooms, which was used as a kitchen, is 15ft. by about 9ft., and the other, the bedroom, about 11ft. by 9ft. There are two doors, one at the back, and the other at the front, nearly opposite to each other. There is no passage formed through the house, both doors opening into the kitchen, which is partitioned off from the bedroom by a wooden screen having a doorway cut in the centre of it. The partition does not reach to the ceiling, but there is a space of about 2½ft. There is no door in the partition, the opening being covered by a piece of grey calico, which hangs down like a curtain. There are two windows, both of which are in the front of the house. The bed on which the three constables were lying when the first shot was fired is a double iron one, and is placed directly beneath one window. In front of the other window is the table on which the candle was burning—an impromptu affair constructed of a zinc-lined packing-case with boards laid upon it. Directly opposite the table is the fire, which is an open one, for burning logs of large dimensions. The chimney, as in most bush houses, is built out from the house, and is close to the back door. It is built of strong weather-boards, the upper portion of the flue being constructed of pieces of kerosene tins. It was in the angle made by the lower portion of the chimney and the side of the house that Byrne stood when he made Weeks knock at the door. From the position of the rooms, both doors of the house being open, it would be impossible to pass from the bedroom to the kitchen without being under two fires if a man were posted at each door. Whether the doors could not have been shut from the bedroom without any one leaving, by some one leaning over the top of the partition, is however a matter of question. The house is surrounded by large trees, affording excellent cover, and it would be almost impossible from the house to hit anyone concealed behind them.
Ned Kelly’s armour has been on view at the police camp all day, and has been inspected by many of the residents and visitors from Melbourne and elsewhere.