DESTRUCTION OF THE KELLY GANG
That Mr. RAMSAY deserves great praise for the energy which he has thrown into the administration of the police in connexion with the Kelly search is evident from the narrative which we published yesterday. And one of his acts most to be commended is the despatch of Superintendent CHOMLEY to Brisbane to organise a party of black trackers. Lieutenant O’CONNOR and his men have been a success, and we are the more pleased to record this fact because it was upon our suggestion that their services were obtained. The unpleasantness which it said to have arisen between the Victorian police and the Queensland force is a matter for regret, but it will not prevent our Government thanking the Queensland Ministry for its ready sympathy, and Lieutenant O’CONNOR and his men for their valuable assistance and their conspicuous gallantry at Glenrowan on Monday. But the important fact to bear in mind is that the trackers paralysed the gang. Since their arrival there has only been this last and decisive outbreak, and their destruction was the object aimed at in the Glenrowan episode. Prevention is better than cure, and therefore Mr. RAMSAY will do well to allow Superintendent CHOMLEY to proceed with his mission. We could not expect to keep Lieutenant O’CONNOR and his men permanently amongst us, and the proper course is clearly to organise a force of our own for service in the district during the next few years. For we have to face the fact that the Greta district will have to be exceptionally treated for some time to come. The Kelly gang has been disposed of, but the condition of society which rendered the Kelly gang a possibility remains. The country in question, it is unhappily notorious, swarms with sympathisers and with kindred spirits. The fact that blacksmiths could be found to secretly fashion armour for the men speaks for itself, and in a hundred other ways the residents in and about Greta have aided and abetted thieves and murderers. It is a matter of necessity, therefore, that the district should be kept under surveillance, and that the evildoers should be made aware that crime is not only wicked, but is unprofitable―that retribution will be swift as well as sure. It would be satisfactory if a number of the lawless spirits could be transferred to more open and more honest parts of the colony, and certainly such men as the armour-forgers ought to be brought to justice; and we shall hope to hear of a reward being offered for their discovery. But after the active sympathisers have been punished―and we trust no exertion will be spared to bring them to justice―a firm hand rather than a harsh will be required. Crime must be energetically repressed, so that the men who live by crime may be gradually pressed out of the district. And great care must be taken with regard to selection in the locality. The district ought in fact to be placed under a special board, on which the police should be efficiently represented, in order that they might exercise a veto on the applications of persons of whose loyalty they are not assured. And under any circumstances settlement should not be allowed except within reach of telegraph and police stations and the schoolhouse and the church, so that adults may be restrained from vice and the young may be instructed on virtue. Settlement should proceed from chosen centres, and not be allowed in isolated spots. The violence and lawlessness which we have had to deplore are symptoms of a disorder, and without proper treatment the disease cannot be expected to disappear.
Ned Kelly Bought To Melbourne
Death Of The Wounded Boy Jones
The excitement that was created in Melbourne by the intelligence of the latest outrage of the Kelly gang, and of their capture at Glenrowan, was intensified yesterday when it became known that Edward Kelly, the one survivor of the band of desperadoes, was on his way to Melbourne. Crowds of persons collected at the newspaper offices and at street corners, eager for further information. Rumours of a conflicting nature were in circulation, some affirming that Edward Kelly had succumbed to the injuries received in the last affray at Glenrowan. It soon became known, however, that the authorities had made arrangements for bringing him to town yesterday, and the utmost curiosity was manifested as to the probable time of his arrival in town. It was understood that he would be brought down by a special train, to arrive shortly after the ordinary midday train. In the anticipation of obtaining a view of the notorious bushranger, a large number of persons assembled at the Spencer-street station, and it was found necessary to bring the barricades used on occasions of unusually heavy traffic into use in order to keep the people clear of the trains. A goodly number of people also went to the Essendon station, believing that the prisoner would be removed from the train there, and taken as quietly as possible to the Melbourne gaol. At the North Melbourne station, which had been selected as on the whole the most convenient place for taking him out of the train, several hundreds of people had assembled to await the arrival of the train from Wodonga.
Shortly after 2 o’clock the ordinary train arrived at North Melbourne, and the passengers soon informed the excited crowd that Kelly was in the van of the train. Despite all the efforts of the police and the railway officials, who had been extremely reticent, and had adopted every precaution to prevent a crush at the station, the crowd interfered to some extent with the officers. The platform was rushed, and the crowd tried every means of obtaining a glimpse of the prisoner. Kelly was in charge of Senior-constable Walsh, Senior-constable Coghlan, and Constables Griffin, Bunker, and Waldron. Dr. Charles Ryan also travelled in the van in order to give Kelly the medical attention he required. Dr. Ryan was unremitting in his attention to his patent during the long journey. On the arrival at North Melbourne station, Inspector Montford took charge of Kelly, who was placed on a stretcher, and lifted into a waggonette in waiting for him. His removal was to some extent impeded by the crowd which pressed round the van, and was with difficulty kept back. The patient lay perfectly helpless. His face wore a wan appearance, indicative of prostration, and his hands and feet were bound up. Although he looked at the crowd with some interest, all the look of bravado had gone. There was no demonstration of any sort made by the crowd, although the female section expressed commiseration for the worn-out, broken-down, and dejected appearance of one who had become known to them as a man of reckless bravery and of great endurance.
The waggonette was rapidly driven by a direct course to Melbourne Gaol. Along the route numbers of men, women, and children rushed out from factories, shops, and private residences, and followed the wagonette, eager to obtain a glance at the prisoner. At the Gaol 600 or 700 persons had assembled. The waggonette drove up at a brisk pace, and was taken into the gaol-yard before the people had time to obtain even as much as a glimpse at it. As it entered the gaol-yard, three cheers were called for, and mildly responded to by the crowd, but the manner in which they were called for and given left it a matter of doubt whether they were intended as a recognition of the success of the police officers, who drove up behind their captive, or as a manifestation partly of sympathy with and partly of recognition of the prisoner’s reckless daring. When safely lodged within the gaol walls, the prisoner was given over into the hands of the governor, Mr. Castieau, who had him immediately removed to the gaol hospital. Dr. Shields, of Hotham, the health officer for the gaol, was sent for, and was soon in attendance. He found the patient to be in a feverish state. A wound on the left foot showed that a bullet had passed through it. In the right arm there were two serious wounds, which had been caused by a bullet going right through the fleshy part of the lower arm. The right hand was seriously injured, and in the right leg there were found no less than eight or nine slug-shots. Dr. Ryan was also in attendance, and the opinion of both medical gentlemen was that Kelly would in all probability recover from his injuries, serious as they were, and notwithstanding the despondency and loss of spirit shown by the prisoner, who has never concealed the fact that he would rather die in any way than allow the law to take its course. During the afternoon the prisoner’s condition improved, and he became more communicative than at the time of his departure from Glenrowan. Almost immediately after his admission to the gaol, Kelly was visited by the rev. J. P. Aylward, who had a short interview with him. Upon the rev. gentleman devolved the duty of conveying to Kelly’s mother, who is undergoing her sentence in the same gaol, the first intimation of the destruction of the gang, of the death of Dan Kelly and Hart, and of the capture and removal to Melbourne of Edward Kelly. On the journey to Melbourne and after his arrival Kelly conversed tolerably freely at times with those round him, but divulged little that was new with regard to the proceedings or intentions of his gang. He was specially reserved in his references to his late mates, and as a rule declined to say anything about them. In reply to a question as to whether he had on any previous occasion been in Melbourne, he said that he must decline to answer it. He stated that the police had taken the gang unawares, and that finding that the police had discovered their whereabouts through the murder of Sherritt, the attempt to upset the special train was had recourse to as a desperate last resource. Kelly spoke frequently of his determination to bring the black trackers to grief, and alluded to that as one strong motive for the act in question. At a late hour last evening Kelly was progressing favourably, and his medical attendants considered him out of danger.
Superintendent Hare returned to town by the train in which Kelly was brought, which was, as previously stated, an ordinary passenger train, and brought down a very large number of passengers. The superintendent proceeded direct to Spencer-street. The large crowd, which had gathered there in anticipation of seeing Kelly himself, soon recognised Mr. Hare, and cheers were given for him with enthusiasm as he alighted from the train. He was in a weak state, having suffered from great loss of blood through the wound in his wrist, which proved to be much more serious than was at first thought. Fears were entertained that amputation of the left arm would be necessary, but Dr. Ryan, who was attending him, held out strong hopes of the hand being healed without serious permanent injury. Superintendent Hare, immediately on his arrival in town, proceeded to his residence in Richmond, and was in an improved state of health last night, though still weak.
Edward Kelly now awaits his trial for the series of outrages b which he and his late companions attained their notoriety. He has been brought to Melbourne on a remand warrant requiring him to appear before the Central Criminal Court at its sittings commencing on the 5th prox. It is very doubtful, however, whether, even if his recovery be assured, his condition will permit of his removal from the gaol hospital for some time to come, and it is probable that his trial will have to be postponed.
DR. CHAS. RYAN’S STATEMENT
“I came down in the same van as Ned Kelly. He spoke very little, and seemed like a man in a trance, and glared at any strangers he saw. He had no sleep all the previous night. Most men wounded as he was would have been far more prostrated than he was, but he has a splendid constitution. Moreover, his body looked as if it had been well nourished. When I asked him if he had been pretty well fed, he said he had, but he did not add where he had got the food. I expected to find him, after the life he had been leading, very dirty; but his skin was as clean as if he had just come out of a Turkish bath. I attended to his wounds, and now and then gave him some brandy and water. He seemed grateful, but gave me the idea that he wished to die. Of course in attending to his wounds, I gave him temporary pain, but he never complained in the least. His wounds would not be likely to prove mortal in an ordinary case, where the patient had as strong a constitution; but the prisoner is likewise suffering from a severe mental shock, and moreover wants to die. That must be borne in mind when considering his chances of recovery. Under ordinary circumstances a strong man with such wounds might be expected to be able to walk about—not to run about, and not to have the free use of his limbs—in some two months’ time. With regard to his wounds, his left arm is pierced by two bullet-holes, one above and below the elbow. I feel confident that both wounds were caused by one bullet, which, entering below the elbow while the arm was bent, passed also through the arm above the elbow. When I asked him if his arm was bent at the time he received that wound, he said it was. There are also two slug wounds in the right hand, and seven slug wounds in the right leg. One of the slugs I got out. I don’t think the wound in the right groin is very dangerous. There is a nasty wound in the ball of the big toe of the right foot. I saw him last at 5 o’clock p.m. in the gaol. He seemed better then than during the journey down, and much less feverish. In the train his pulse was 125, but at the gaol it was only 114. He told me he didn’t think that his brother and Hart shot themselves, because they were “two bloody cowards,” and hadn’t enough pluck to kill themselves. He said that Byrne was plucky enough. The prisoner’s breath smelt as if he had been drinking very bad liquor. Superintendent Hare is getting on very well. His wound is a very nasty one, and seems to have been caused by a conical bullet, revolving at a very rapid rate. The bones of the left wrist are very much shattered, and some portion of them has been ground to powder by the bullet. Still, I don’t think amputation will be necessary. He will probably be able to use his left hand in time, but there will be a stiffness in it, particularly in the thumb.”
THE OFFICIAL MEDICAL REPORT
The following is the medical report on the condition of Ned Kelly by Dr. A. Shields:—
“The prisoner Kelly was rather feverish on admission to the gaol hospital, the temperature being 102deg. and the pulse quick. Kelly is a tall, muscular, well formed man, in good condition, and has evidently not suffered in health from his late mode of life. The principal injuries are, first, a severe bullet wound near the left elbow. There are two openings, one above, the other below, the joint, the two apertures having probably been caused by the bullet traversing the arm when bent. The right hand has been injured near the root of the thumb, and from this I removed one large slug shot. In the right thigh and leg there are also several wounds, caused by the same kind of shot. These, however, seem not to be of a dangerous nature. The right foot has received a severe injury. The track of the ball here is marked by two openings, one on top of the ball of the great toe, and the other on the sole of the foot. The bone is damaged. The last wound and the one near the elbow joint are those of the greatest import. There is, however, no immediate danger. At the same time, it is very necessary that Kelly should be kept perfectly quiet, and free from all avoidable causes of excitement.
“Medical Officer, Melbourne Gaol.”
Mrs. Kelly, who was no doubt very much grieved at the fate of her sons, was anxious to see Edward, but in consequence of the recommendations of Dr. Shields, Mr. Castieau declined to allow her to see him, but promised she should visit him as soon as the prisoner was better.
About half-past 10 last evening Kelly was quiet, and appeared to be resting peacefully.
(BY ELECTRIC TELEGRAPH)
(FROM OUR SPECIAL REPORTER)
Benalla, Tuesday Night.
Shortly after 8 o’clock this morning a springcart emerged from the local police barracks, and was driven down the street at a slow pace. It was accompanied by eight armed policemen on foot, and the curiosity of the townspeople was naturally excited as to what the vehicle contained. A peep over the side showed that inside, on a stretcher, lay the wounded outlaw Ned Kelly, formerly the terror of the district, but now reduced to the weakness of a child. The police were conveying him to the railway station, and were all fully armed least any attempt might be made by sympathisers of the late gang to rescue the arch villain. On the arrival of the train he was carried into the guard’s van, and laid on the floor. A Miss Lloyd, cousin of the outlaw, was the only relative present, and as the train left she cried without restraint. It is understood here that Kelly has been conveyed to the hospital of the Melbourne Gaol.
Just before Kelly was taken away from Benalla, Senior-constable Kelly had a short interview with him in his cell. The senior-constable said, “Look here, Ned, now that it is all over, I want to ask you one question before you go, and that is, did you shoot Constable Fitzpatrick at Greta when he went to arrest your brother?” The prisoner replied, “Yes, I did. I shot him in the wrist, and the statements which have been made that Fitzpatrick inflicted the wound himself are quite false.” This, it will be seen, bears out the statement made by Fitzpatrick, and subsequently by Kelly’s sisters. Of course it will be remembered that the shooting of Fitzpatrick was the original cause of Ned and Dan Kelly taking to the bush. The senior-constable also talked with the outlaw about the police murders. He told Kelly that Mrs. Kennedy had telegraphed to know whether he had got a letter for her from her murdered husband. Ned replied that he had got no letter from Sergeant Kennedy, and that Kennedy never uttered a word after he was brought down, except “God forgive you.” “I shot him,” continued the outlaw. “He kept firing all the time, running from tree to tree, and tried to kill Byrne until his ammunition went done.”
During the forenoon the body of Byrne was brought out of the lock-up where it lay, and was slung up in an erect position on the outside of the door, the object being to have it photographed by Mr. Burman, of Melbourne. The features were composed in a natural way, and were easily recognised. The face was small, with retreating forehead, blue eyes, the upper lip covered with a downy moustache, and a bushy beard covering the chin, whilst his hair had been recently cut. The figure was that of a tall, lithe young fellow. The spectacle, however, was very repulsive. The hands were clenched and covered with blood, whilst blood also covered his clothes. The police therefore had the body soon removed from the public gaze. The officers, policemen, trackers, and gentlemen then at the barracks, who were present at the encounter, were also photographed in a group. During the day Detective Ward proceeded to Glenrowan, and on making some inquiries discovered five of the horses of the gang stabled at McDonnell’s Railway Hotel, which stands on the east side of the line, opposite to the scene of the fight. They had evidently been fasting ever since they had been stabled there, which, of course, was on the arrival of the gang two days ago. Why McDonnell did not give voluntary information to the police concerning these horses has not been explained. They were all brought to Benalla, and two of them were identified as horses which were stolen within the last fortnight from Mr. Ryan’s farm, on the Major Plains. One of the two was ridden by Joe Byrne when he committed the murder of Sherritt at the Woolshed, near Beechworth, on Saturday last; a third was recognised as a packhorse belonging to Mr. Fitzsimmons, of Benalla, that was stolen from his farm near Greta about 12 days ago. The other two have not yet been identified. Ned Kelly’s grey mare has also been caught, and will be brought on to Benalla to-morrow. On one of the horses was found one of the Government saddles taken from the police horses on the occasion of the Mansfield murders. Another of the saddles, the one on Byrne’s horse, was found to have been made by Mr. Bullivant, of Wangaratta. It may be here mentioned that the Kellys brought packhorses with them for the purpose of carrying their armour. There is some mystery as to what has become of Sergeant Kennedy’s watch. It is known that Ned Kelly wore it for a time, but the only one found on him was a small silver lady’s watch, and it is supposed that he has been exchanging with somebody. Two chains were attached to the latter, one gold and the other silver. All the members of the gang were comfortably clad, and they wore boots which were evidently made to order. Ned Kelly had riding boots, which showed well how he prided himself on having neat feet. When the doctor was dressing his wounds the boots had to be cut off. It was found that he wore no stockings. The gang all have the appearance of being well-fed, and Byrne stated to one of their prisoners that they had always lived well, but that the want of sleep which they had often to endure was very trying.
THE SCENE OF THE ENCOUNTER
With the view of gathering any fresh particulars obtainable concerning Monday’s encounter I revisited Glenrowan to-day. I found the débris of Jones’s Hotel still smouldering, and a crowd of people fossicking among the ruins for mementoes of the gang. Two brick chimneys were all that remained standing, and the black ashes of the building were covered in part by the sheets of corrugated iron which had formed the roof. The iron was pierced with innumerable bullet and slug holes, and on the chimneys were also a number of bullet marks. The wrecks of two iron bedsteads and of a sewing-machine and a few tin cans, some of which contained shot marks, were the only recognisable objects in the débris.
It may not be too late to explain here that the hotel was a wooden building of one story, and contained a front parlour and bar, and two bedrooms at the back. At the rear, and separated from the front tenement, stood the kitchen, a rough wooden structure. It stood about 130 yards from the railway station, at about the same distance from the railway line on the west side, and on the rising ground which leads up to Morgan’s Lookout, which is the nearest peak of the Warby Ranges. The station-master’s house stands on the line immediately below the hotel. The only other houses in the immediate vicinity are McDonnell’s Hotel and another small private house, both of which are situated on a track running about parallel with the line, at a distance of say 150 yards on the east side. The police station, post-office, and state school of Glenrowan are about a mile south of the railway station, and the same side as Jones’s Hotel. On the east rise the Greta Ranges, and the township of Greta is only four miles away.
THE ATTEMPT TO WRECK THE TRAIN
The place where the rails were pulled up is exactly half a mile beyond the station, and not a mile and a half as at first reported. It was chosen with diabolical fitness for bringing about the total destruction of the special train. The line takes a sudden turn down an incline and is then carried over a gully on an embankment. There is a little creek in this gully, and to carry it under the line a substantial culvert had been built. This culvert is situated just at the end of the sharpest part of the curve and at the foot of the incline, and it was just at this point that the rails were torn up. Had the special train continued its journey without any warning having been given, it would have been impossible for the engine-driver to see the breach in the line until too late, and the inevitable result would have been that the train, with its living freight, would have rushed over the embankment into the gully beneath; if it had gone on the left side, it would have had a fall of about 20ft.; and if on the right, a fall of about 30ft.
Reardon, the line repairer, who was ordered by Kelly to take the rails up, gives the following narrative:—“I was in bed with my wife and family, as my wife has already informed you, when Kelly called at my house. I was awakened at about 20 minutes past 2 o’clock on the Sunday morning by my dog barking and subsequently hearing a horse galloping, I thought it was one belonging to a friend that had got loose, and I therefore got up and dressed, and went out to catch it. I was met in the yard by a mate, who said he had been arrested. I asked him what trouble he had fallen into, thinking he had been arrested by the police. Ned Kelly then stepped forward, and presenting a revolver at my head ordered me to bail up and tell him who was inside. I did as he desired, and all in the house were then bailed up. My children had to come out half dressed. He then told me that I had to tear up some rails, and that if I refused he would shoot me. The tools necessary were in a box which was locked up, and I pretended not to have the key. The lock was broken by some one and I was directed to take out the necessary tools and to accompany a party down the line. I took along some tools, but not all that would be required; and six or seven other men were brought along woth me to assist. Kelly pointed out the spot where he wanted the rails lifted, and ordered me to proceed with the work. I remonstrated with him, and begged to be excused, owing to my position on the railway, and on account of my wife and family, whom I would not be able to support if I lost my billet. He repeated his order in a preemptory manner, and told me I was a dead man if I refused. I then asked that the other men should do the work, and said I would direct them. To this he agreed. I accordingly showed them how to unscrew the bolts, and so cut off one rail on each side. I then directed them to remove the pair of rails with the nine sleepers to which they were attached. I thought that by removing sleepers and all there would be less danger for the train. Kelly objected to this plan, and talked to me again fiercely. I represented to him that the danger would be increased if the sleepers were also removed, and that if the set of sleepers and rails were pitched over the culvert, 30 men would be unable to raise them again. I also protested that I had not the tools by which the rails could be detached. He fired up on me again, and asked if I could not draw out the bolts with my teeth. I appeased him by replying that he could not do that himself, although a stronger man than me. He persisted, however, in having the rails removed singly, I then commenced hammering at them, making a great clanking noise. He at once interfered, and said he could not stand that. The rails and sleepers were then removed together and thrown over the embankment, and we returned to the hotel. My boy was shot by the police in the shoulder when out trying to escape with his mother. I have heard from Wangaratta that he is improving, for he was able to take a good breakfast this morning.”
So much for the lifting of the rails. How we received such timely notice of the plot when approaching in the special train is still surrounded with a degree of mystery. The man who stopped the train turns out to be Mr. Thos. Curnow, the local schoolmaster. Mr. and Mrs. were stuck up at about 11 o’clock on Sunday morning by Ned Kelly and Byrne at the railway gates as they were driving towards Greta. Their horse and buggy were put up at Jones’s Hotel, and they themselves were lodged in the stationmaster’s house. When bailing them up Kelly said, “I am sorry, but I must detain you.” They were detained until about 10 o’clock at night, when Kelly and Byrne took them to the hotel, requested them to get into their buggy, and then accompanied them to the police station, where Kelly told them to go home and get to bed, and to remain quiet, otherwise he would shoot Mr. Curnow. How Mr. Curnow heard of the rails having been pulled up has not yet been explained, and it seemed strange, seeing that he had been set at liberty before the deed was done. He, however, did receive the information, and took the risk of earning the hatred of the Kelly gang by utilising it in the interests of humanity. His house stands quite close to the railway line, and he was, therefore, able to hear the pilot engine approaching. On doing so he immediately ran out with a red handkerchief, which he held up with a lighted match behind it. By this action the special train was warned, and the locale of the gang discovered. Next door to the police station is the post-office of Glenrowan, and on the Sunday night Mr. Reynolds, the postmaster, was interviewed by Kelly as to where Constable Bracken was to be found. Kelly, by his remarks, showed that he had a full knowledge of the constable’s habits. He pointed, for instance, to a sofa, and said he expected to find him sitting there. Finding after bullying Mr. Reynolds that Bracken was really not there, he left without making Reynolds a prisoner. When he stuck up Bracken at the police station, he went into Bracken’s bedroom, and found Mrs. Bracken in bed with her little son. He shook hands with the little boy and said, “I may be worth £2,000 to you yet my child.” He then demanded handcuffs and cartridges from Bracken, who, however, defended his office where these things were by cunning evasive replies. Had Kelly got the handcuffs he would, in all probability, have put a pair on the constable, who would then have been unable to escape from the hotel as he so opportunely did. There are several tents between the railway station and the hotel, inhabited by a number of stonebreakers. These men were of course also bailed up, but in a rather startling manner. Kelly, without warning, fired into one of the tents, in which two men were sleeping. Fortunately neither of them was hurt, but the bullet passed through a portion of the blankets.
CONSTABLE BRACKEN’S STATEMENT
The following are further particulars from Constable Bracken, which during the excitement of Monday he had not time to supply:—“When we were held prisoners in the hotel Ned Kelly began talking about politics. ‘There was one —— in Parliament,’ he said, ‘whom he would like to kill, Mr. Graves.’ I asked why he had such a desire, and he replied, ‘Because he suggested in Parliament that the water in the Kelly country should be poisoned, and that the grass should be burnt. I will have him before long.’ He knew nothing about Mr. Service, but he held that Mr. Berry was no —— good, as he gave the police a lot of money to secure the capture of the gang; too much by far. He then asked me, ‘What was the policeman’s oath?’ I replied, ‘that policemen were sworn to do their duty without malice or favour, and to deal evenhanded justice all round.’ He rejoined, ‘Constable ——, of Greta, once told me that the oath was that a policeman had to lag any person, no matter whether it was father, mother, brother, or daughter, if they were but arrested.’ He also asked if there were not 19 or 20 men in the force who were as great rogues as himself. I of course concurred with him. He then said, ‘We are just after shooting one —— traitor,’ alluding to Aaron Sherritt, ‘and we now want that —— Detective Ward, but he is not game to show up. The next I want are those six little demons,’ alluding to the black trackers. ‘Then O’Connor and Hare. If I had them killed, I would feel easy and contented.’ He questioned the ability of the blacks to track in the Victorian bush, and said he himself could track an emu in Queensland. The prisoners were then all called together, and Ned said, ‘If any of you ever hear or see any one of us crossing the railway, or at any other place, and if the police should come and ask if you had seen any such party, you must say, “No; we saw nobody,” and if I ever hear of any of you giving the police any information about us I will shoot you down like dogs. I do not mind a policeman doing his duty so long as he does not overdo it.’ I remarked that the police were only earning an honest living, and asked how he, if he was an honest man, could get on without them? He turned upon me, and demanded, ‘And am not I an honest man.’ I replied, ‘I’m damned if you are,’ and nearly all laughed. Kelly next called a man named Sullivan before him, and said, ‘I have seen you somewhere else. Have you not been in Wangaratta lately.’ Sullivan replied in the affirmative. Kelly then asked if he had ever been in New Zealand, and received a similar answer. ‘How long ago?’ he next asked, and Sullivan replied, ‘Ten or twelve years ago.’ In answer to other questions Sullivan said that he was in New Zealand when the notorious murders were committed there by strangling, but denied with truth that he was the Sullivan who turned Queen’s evidence on his mates, and who is understood to be living in this district at present. Kelly then said to me, ‘£8,000 has been offered for our capture. I promise to give you a similar amount if you tell me where that Sullivan is to be found, and the same amount for information as to where I can find Quinlan, the man who shot Morgan.’ Between 12 and 1 o’clock on Sunday morning one of Mrs. Jones’s sons sang the Kelly song for the amusement of the gang, and his mother occasionally asked him to sing out louder. Most of the prisoners were then cleared from the front parlour and the gang had a dance. They danced a set of Quadrilles, and Mr. David Mortimer, brother-in-law of the school master, furnished the music with a concertina. Ned Kelly had the girl Jones for a partner, Dan had Mrs Jones, and Byrne and Hart danced with the male prisoners. Thinking they heard a noise outside the gang broke away from the dance abruptly, and Dan went outside. It was at this time that I secured the key of the door. Doubling up my trousers at the feet, I placed the key in the fold, and when I heard the special arrive I raised my leg, picked out the key stealthily, unlocked the door, and bounded away. When the train was heard stopping Kelly said, ‘You will see some play now, boys. We will shoot them all. When the constable’s escape was discovered Byrne who noticed it first, exclaimed, ‘Let me but catch him, and I will make a bracken of him.’”
INCIDENTS OF THE FIGHT
The prisoners heard Byrne fall at the bar when he was shot. He dropped down dead without uttering a word, and the bullet must have entered at the bar window. A difference of opinion exists, however, as to the hour of his death. Some say that he fell at daylight, others that it was about 9 o’clock in the morning. At 10 o’clock, when the prisoners made their escape in a body, they saw Dan Kelly and Hart standing in the passage fairly cowed. They looked gloomy and despairing, and said nothing to the prisoners as they left. The gang had all been drinking, and Ned has stated that he took too much liquor. His idea was that he and Byrne should clear away from the hotel after the first attack unobserved, that Dan and Hart should remain; that in the morning he and Byrne should return and charge the police, who, he argued, would then leave the hotel and engage them, and that Dan and Hart should then sally forth and take the police in the rear. He accordingly called on Byrne to follow him into the bush, but Byrne’s courage failed and he declined.
The trees behind which Kelly stood when fighting in the morning are all pierced with bullets and slugs, and the place where he fell is saturated with blood. He had evidently passed the night under a fallen tree a little further up the rise, for there were found the marks of his feet and much blood.
The boy Jones has died at Wangaratta. He was shot when lying on the ground in one of the bedrooms. The bullet is said to have come through the wall, entered at his thigh, and passed into his body. Cherry was shot early in the morning, and his wound was dressed by some of his fellow prisoners. None of Ned Kelly’s wounds are of a deadly character. What were supposed to be shot marks in the groin are, Dr. Nicholson states, only grazings. The charred remains of Dan Kelly and Hart were handed over to their friends, and taken to Mrs. Skillion’s place at Greta, and are there now. John Grant, undertaker, of Wangaratta, was employed by their friends to provide coffins of a first-class description, the cost being a matter of no consequence. He arrived with them in a buggy at Glenrowan yesterday afternoon, and they were seen to be high-priced articles. The lid of the one was lettered “Daniel Kelly, died 28th June, 1880, aged 19 years,” and the other “Stephen Hart, died 28th June, 1880, aged 21 years.” How the remains are to be distinguished from each other is a problem that will not be easily solved. During the afternoon Inspector Sadlier telegraphed to the local police that the remains were on no account to be interfered with until the magisterial inquiries were held, and steps were at once taken to carry out these instructions. The inquest on the body of the unfortunate Sherritt will be held to-morrow (Wednesday) at Benalla.
THE MAGISTERIAL INQUIRY ON BYRNE
In the morning Captain Standish intimated his intention of holding a magisterial inquiry upon the bodies of Byrne and Cherry some time during the day, but afterwards it was decided to hold the inquiry upon the body of Byrne alone, and hold an inquest upon Cherry’s body. Mr. Robert McBean, J.P., was called upon to officiate, and the inquiry took place in the court-house. The proceedings were somewhat of a formal nature, but little evidence being required. So quietly was the whole affair disposed of, that no one was made aware of it, and the courthouse was almost empty, two or three of the police and some others who were at the courthouse at the time constituting the audience. Captain Standish sat upon the bench with Mr. McBean, and assisted in conducting the inquiry.
Thos. McIntyre, police constable, stationed at Melbourne, stated that he was one of the party who went out in search of the outlaws from Mansfield in October, 1878. On the 26th of the same month they encountered the Kellys and Hart and Byrne. He identified the body as being that of the outlaw Joseph Byrne, who was one of the gang that shot Constables Kennedy, Scanlan, and Lonigan on that date.
Louis Pyatzer, a contractor, who was one of those present at the capture of the gang on Monday last, stated that he was compelled by them to enter and remain in Mrs. Jones’s Hotel at Glenrowan. He identified the body as being that of Joseph Byrne, the outlaw, who was one of the gang. Byrne assisted the Kellys in resisting the police.
Edward Canny, a police constable, stationed at Benalla, said that he had known Joseph Byrne at the Woolshed and other places for over eight tears. The body now in the possession of the police was that of Byrne, the outlaw, who was one of the Kelly gang of bushrangers.
Inspector Sadlier produced the proclamation issued in the Government Gazette in October and December last, offering £4,000 for the capture of the gang of outlaws, consisting of Edward Kelly, Daniel Kelly, Joseph Byrne, and Stephen Hart—the two latter were at first stated to be men by the name of King and Brown, but were afterwards known to be Hart and Byrne. He also produced the proclamation issued in the New South Wales Government Gazette, offering a similar reward for the capture of the gang. He stated that the rewards were to be withdrawn at the end of the present month, but as the gang had been captured before that time the reward was still in force.
This concluded the evidence taken in the matter, and a verdict of justifiable homicide was returned by Mr. McBean in the following terms:—“The outlaw Joseph Byrne, whose body was before the Court and in the possession of the police, was shot by them whilst in the execution of their duty. The body was subsequently handed over to the friends of the outlaw, who were waiting in Benalla to receive it, and they conveyed it to Greta. They intend to bury it with the bodies of Hart and Dan Kelly in the Wangaratta cemetery, after the magisterial inquiry upon the latter has been held.
The boy John Jones died from his wounds in the Wangaratta Hospital this morning.
The burial of the remains of Dan Kelly and Steve Hart had been fixed for noon today, but it being found necessary to hold a magisterial inquiry the burial was stopped. Mr. Foster, P.M., and Mr. Wyatt, P.M., being both engaged with inquests, Mr. Bickerton, J.P., has consented to hold the inquiry on the bodies of the outlaws at Glenrowan to-morrow, and Mr. A. Tone, J.P., will be asked to hold the inquiry at the hospital.
The girl Jones is progressing favourably. The boy Reardon is lying in a critical state, and is not expected to recover.
SUB-INSPECTOR O’CONNOR AND THE BLACK TRACKERS
With regard to the part taken by the Sub-inspector O’Connor and the Queensland black trackers in the encounter at Glenrowan, Mr. O’Connor makes the following statement:—“I went down by the special train on Sunday night, at the request of Captain Standish. I collected my troopers, and started three hours after I received notice. I agreed to go on condition that the Government of Victoria would see me held blameless, as we were under orders to leave for Queensland. On our arrival at Glenrowan we heard that the rails had been taken up some distance further on. We thought the best course would be to get the horses and proceed to the spot. Bracken then appeared, and informed us that the Kellys were at Jones’s public house. Superintendent Hare, myself, and four or five men, rushed up to the house. When we got within 25 yards we were received with a single shot, and then a volley. We returned the fire. Hare said, ‘O’Connor, I’m wounded—I’m shot in the arm. I must go back.’ He left immediately. We remained, and our incessant fore drove the outlaws into the house, which we heard them barricade. Mr. Hare returned to the station, stayed a short time there, and then went to Benalla. I stood at my post until half-past 10 o’clock in the forenoon, when I was sent for by Superintendent Sadleir. I was within 25 yards of the house the whole time. At daybreak I got behind a shelter. One of my troopers was shot alongside me—cut across the eyebrows. He jumped on the bank, fired five shots into the house, and said, ‘Take that, Ned Kelly.’ It seemed to afford him great relief, but rather amused us. I was in charge of the men from the time Mr. Hare left until Mr. Sadleir arrived on the ground.”