EDWARD KELLY BEFORE THE POLICE COURT
The notorious leader of the Kelly gang of bushrangers was brought before the Beechworth Police Court yesterday, charged with having on the 26th October, 1878, murdered Constables Lonigan and Scanlan, at Stringybark Creek. The prisoner was brought from the gaol in a cab at 8 o’clock, unknown to anyone, and was kept in a room in the courthouse until 10 o’clock, when the court was opened. Mr. Foster, P.M., presided. Mr. C. A. Smyth, Mr. Chomley, and Mr. Gurner appeared for the Crown, and Mr. D. Gaunson for the defence. Captain Standish and Superintendent Sadleir were also present. The chamber was crowded, and the gallery packed with ladies. The accused was carried into the dock, and as he is still lame, a chair was given to him. Mr. Gaunson, having only taken charge of the defence on the previous night, applied for a remand. Mr. Foster refused a remand, but adjourned the Court until 2 o’clock, to give Mr. Gaunson an opportunity of posting himself up in the facts of the case. On the re-opening of the Court, Mr. Gaunson again applied for a remand for a week, on the ground that the facts of the case as published in the Argus were so numerous that he required time to digest them. The remand was again refused, and Mr. C. A. Smyth having indicated the line of evidence he intended to adduce for the prosecution, called Constable McIntyre as the first witness. McIntyre was then examined. He gave an account of the expedition of the unfortunate party of police who started from Mansfield in search of the Kellys, and he had got as far as the time when the gang were waiting for the return of Sergeant Kennedy and Constable Scanlan from their reconnoitring tour, when the Court was adjourned. Kelly was immediately conveyed back to the gaol by a party of armed police. The examination of McIntyre will be continued this morning at 10 o’clock.
(BY ELECTRIC TELEGRAPH)
(FROM OUR OWN REPORTER)
At 8 o’clock this morning the prisoner, Edward Kelly, was handed over to Sub-inspector Baber by the governor of the Beechworth gaol, and was conveyed in a cab to the prisoners’ room in the court-house. Several troopers accompanied the cab, but the transmission of the notorious bushranger was conducted so quietly that it was scarcely observed by the townspeople. Mr. Gaunson was in close consultation with the prisoner all the morning. The court did not open until 10 o’clock, but by 9 many persons managed to secure admission to the building, and by 10 o’clock every part was crowded. Respectable persons and ladies were admitted by the side and back doors, and the front entrance was kept closed. There was quite a rush of ladies, and whilst over 100 of them were crowded into the gallery, about 30 more were accommadated near the bench. Captain Standish occupied a seat alongside the police magistrate. The great bulk of the crowd were excluded, but they remained all the time in front of the court-house discussing the case, and making a good deal of good-humoured noise. Mr. Foster, P.M., having taken his seat on the bench, the court was declared open, and Kelly was carried into the dock. The prisoner limped into the end of the dock and looked furtively round the court until his eyes fell on Mrs. Skillian and Tom Lloyd, and then mutual signs of recognition passed between them. Mrs. Skillian and Lloyd at first took seats at the attorneys’ table, but before the proceedings commenced they shifted to the front seat in the body of the court, within a few feet of the prisoner.
Mr. C. A. Smyth, Mr. Chomley, and Mr. Gurner, appeared for the prosecution; and Mr. David Gaunson for the defence. The police officers present were Captain Sadleir, and Sub-inspector Baber. Two charges were preferred against the prisoner, the first being, that on the 26th October, 1878, he murdered Constable Scanlan at Stringy Bark Creek; and the other, that at the same place and time he murdered Constable Lonigan. The following was the charge as read to the prisoner:—
“The information and complaint of Thomas McIntyre, of Melbourne, . . . constable, taken this 30th day of July, 1880, before the undersigned . . . who saith that Edward Kelly, on the 26th day of October, in the year 1878, at Stringy Bark Creek, in the northern bailiwick, feloniously, wilfully, and of his malice aforethought, did kill and murder one Michael Scanlan.”
(The second information was in exactly the same terms, with the exception of the name of Thomas Lonigan being substituted for that of Scanlan.)
After the charge had been read,
Mr. Gaunson asked that the prisoner might be accommodated with a chair in the dock, seeing that he was still lame and maimed.
The application was granted.
Mr. Gaunson then said he had to ask that a remand might be granted to the accused in order that he might have a fair opportunity of preparing his defence, an opportunity he had not been afforded up to the present time. He did not desire to say anything in support of his application that could be construed into an unfair endeavour to awaken sympathy for the prisoner, or into any reflection upon the constituted authorities, but he Mr. Gaunson) was charged with the great responsibility of guarding a human life, and was not therefore in a position to yield tribute to any authority that was illegitimately exercised, and he was therefore bound to say that the Government, in refusing permission for the prisoner’s relatives or those friends in whom he had confidence to see him, had departed from the beaten track. They had not given the prisoner that fair play to which he was entitled to enable him to prepare his defence. It was true that a professional gentleman did see him on gaol in Melbourne, but it was also true that from the time of his arrest there had been an amount of doubt as to whether he would ever come to trial at all—whether indeed he would live—and steps which might have otherwise been promptly taken to prepare his defence were therefore delayed. Moreover, his friends were never able to discover where the preliminary examination was to be held. At one time Melbourne was mentioned, and at another Beechworth, and they were always kept in doubt. The offences were alleged to have taken place at Stringy Bark Creek. The nearest court of petty sessions was that of Benalla, and the preliminary investigation should therefore have been held at that place. However serious or dark the circumstances surrounding the prisoner might be, they had to bear in mind that after all he was simply a prisoner awaiting his trial, and the humanity of the British law insisted upon a man’s innocence until his guilt is proved. In accordance with the spirit of that law, then, opportunities ought to be afforded to the prisoner to see his friends and to prepare his defence. Of course, if the authorities did not take every precaution in dealing with the prisoner they would be doing wrong to the community at large, but surely it was a hardship that the prisoner’s sister was denied an opportunity of talking with him through the bars of his cell—say, of asking him whether he was satisfied or not with his legal adviser. The gentlemen representing the Crown were present in full force, and he (Mr. Gaunson) was single-handed, and unacquainted with the case. He therefore insisted that justice would not be done unless a remand was granted.
Mr. C. A. SMYTH said he had to oppose the application. He understood that another professional gentleman was retained by the prisoner, and that he was in communication with him in Melbourne and Beechworth. He referred to Mr. Zincke, who had been afforded many opportunities of consulting with the prisoner. The prosecution had nothing to do with the change of the prisoner’’ attorney. They had given the prisoner due notice of these proceedings, had told him that all the witnesses for the Crown would be in attendance, and that the case would go on. When informed of this, the prisoner expressed no desire for a remand. The case was one of a very exceptional character, and it would be inconvenient and positively dangerous if these proceedings were not gone on with. Regarding what had been said about preparing the prisoner’s defence, he would remind Mr. Gaunson that this was not a stage for going into the defence at all. As to the attack made on the government for not allowing the prisoner’s sister to see him, he (Mr. Smyth) had nothing to do with that, and all he could say was that the prisoner had been frequently seen by his professional advisers. There were no doubt very weighty and important reasons why other persons should not be allowed to see the prisoner. With regard to the remark that the ordinary course had been departed from in not having the case tried at the court of petty sessions nearest to the scene of the murders, his worship was of course aware that the jurisdiction of his court extended over all the northern bailiwick, and that, according to law, it was not necessary to conduct the proceedings in any particular court, or even in a court-house at all. The reason why the prisoner had been brought to Beechworth instead of Benalla was that he would be in safer custody in the Beechworth gaol. All the witnesses for the Crown were in attendance, many of them had come great distances, and as he had already said, a remand would be both inconvenient and dangerous. After the witnesses for the Crown had been examined he would have no objection to remand being given to enable Mr. Gaunson to call witnesses on behalf of the prisoner.
Mr. Gaunson.—How could I cross-examine unless I knew the facts of the case?
Mr. Smyth.—The facts are pretty well known to everybody, and you must have seen the statement of the principal witness when it was published in the press.
Mr. Gaunson said the remark of the Crown prosecutor that this was not a proper time for defence was not only not warranted by law, but was opposed to common sense. His worship was to all intents a judge and jury, to find out whether there was a prima facie case against the prisoner, and if he was not satisfied that there was a prima facie case, it would be his clear duty to discharge the prisoner. It was therefore highly important that he (Mr. Gaunson) should cross-examine witnesses on the prisoner’s behalf, but this would be impossible unless he was fully seized of the facts. If he ever did read McIntyre’s statement it had faded from his memory, and he was not sufficiently instructed for going on at once with the case. With regard to the conduct of the Government in preventing the prisoner’s friends from seeing him, whether there were reasons for it or not, his worship would be unable to get over the fact that the ordinary course ad been departed from. The prisoner, under the gaol regulations, had a right to see any person, but he could not see even his own sister. This was a monstrous tyranny, and he (Mr. Gaunson) would fail in his duty if he failed to denounce it. The solicitor for the Crown had just remarked to the Crown prosecutor that he (Mr. Gaunson) had no right to go on at all. He might or he might not have any right to be there, but if this was the style in which the prosecution was to be conducted e would venture to predict that the prisoner would be acquitted by a jury.
Mr. Foster.—Under the circumstances of the case, I will grant a remand, but it will be but for a very short period. I only do it in consequence of the serious nature of the case. I remand the prisoner until 2 o’clock this afternoon.
The Court was adjourned accordingly.
Before Kelly could be removed from the dock Mrs. Skillian and Tom Lloyd stepped forward and shook hands with him. He remarked to Mrs. Skillian, “It looks as if they won’t let me see you—good-bye.” Mrs. Skillian replied, “Never mind, Ned, they are a lot of curs,” to which the prisoner rejoined, “There’s one native that’s no cur, and he will show them that yet.” He was then removed and the Court-house was cleared.
On the Court re-assembling at 2 o’clock, Mr. Gaunson thanked the police magistrate for the adjournment he had granted, and said that he had since been busy reading the accounts of the murders in The Argus. He now, however, found himself placed in a still more difficult position, by the immense mass of facts which had been collected by the Argus. It was utterly impossible for him to digest these reports in the time he had at his disposal, and he was, therefore, driven to beg his worship to remand the accused for a week, so that he might be able to consider carefully the defence that should be made on his behalf. It was only a preliminary investigation, but, as the Crown prosecutor well knew, the evidence taken at such enquiries invariably decided the case. Unfortunately, owing to a premature order which had been issued by the late Chief Secretary, and which had not been cancelled by the present Chief Secretary, no person had been able to see the prisoner except professional gentlemen, and, in consequence, the prisoner had not had that fair opportunity of preparing his defence which the law entitled him to. That order was to be respected, but it ought not to be continued. The Chief Secretary had no more authority to issue such a mandate than his worship had to order the prisoner to be taken at once to the back yard to be platooned. In this case, however, might had been right, and law had been disregarded. Even the inspector-general of the penal establishments could not have made such an order legally, for the accused at present was only the prisoner of the sherriff―the governor of the Beechworth gaol. His worship had power to issue an order, on a statement by the gaoler which would justify such a course, that no person should be allowed to visit the prisoner, and he could also issue one that relatives of the prisoner should be allowed to see him. If the remand now asked for were not granted, he (Mr. Gaunson) could not enter his protest that fair play had not been accorded to the prisoner, and that he (Mr. Gaunson) was consequently defending him under great difficulties. The prisoner was safely enough secured, and the extraordinary care the police were taking was not reasonable or proper. Montaigne, in one of his essays, demonstrated that cowardice was always the mother of cruelty, and one would imagine that this particular case was an illustration of that fact. Why should officers with loaded weapons have been seen about the court? The thing was simply ridiculous.
Mr. Foster said as to the admission of friends to see the prisoner in gaol, that it was a matter over which he had no control, seeing an order had been issued on the subject by the head of the department. With regard to the application for a remand, he would grant it if he thought that the case of the prisoner would otherwise be prejudiced; but as he did not think so, he had to refuse the application. At some future stage of the proceedings there might be occasion for repeating the request.
Mr. C. A. Smyth then proceeded to open the case for the prosecution. It would be affectation, he said, to assume that his worship was not acquainted with the case, yet it would be necessary here to touch briefly on the history of the prisoner. He would not enter into the details of the history, however, but would briefly refer to that portion of it in connexion with which evidence would be adduced. He proposed to deal with the case in the same manner as with any ordinary case of murder, and in the first instance, would proceed on the charge that the prisoner wilfully and deliberately murdered Lonigan. Lonigan was a constable of police stationed at Mansfield, and was one of a party of four police who started in October, 1878, to arrest Edward and Dan Kelly, for whom warrants had been issued. Edward was the prisoner in the dock, and Daniel was now no more. (Ned here looked at his sister, rose up, and smiled.) The Mansfield police party consisted of Sergeant Kennedy, and Constables Lonigan, Scanlan and McIntyre, and the latter was the only one who escaped, and would give evidence to the effect that the party left Mansfield on the 25th October, 1878, and after travelling 20 miles, camped on Stringy Bark Creek on the 26th. Kennedy and Scanlan went away on horseback to scour the country in search of the Kelly’s, whilst Lonigan and McIntyre remained in charge of the camp. About 5 o’clock in the evening the latter two were attacked by four men, the prisoner and his brother being two of them. McIntyre being entirely without arms threw up his hands when called upon to do so. Lonigan, on the other hand, had a revolver, and when he was running for a tree and trying to draw his revolver he was shot, and died soon after. McIntyre would prove that it was the prisoner who fired that shot. McIntyre would also narrate certain conversations between him and that prisoner whilst the gang were ransacking the camp, and waiting for the return of Kennedy and Scanlan.
At this stage all the witnesses were, at Mr. Gaunson’s request, ordered to leave the court. The prisoner intimated to his attorney that he had no objection to Senior-constable Kelly, who was guarding the dock, being allowed to remain, but Superitendent Sadleir considered that the senior-constable should also leave, and he therefore did so.
Mr. Smyth, on resuming, said the McIntyre’s statements would be corroborated in a singular manner by a variety of witnesses. When Kennedy and Scanlan were heard returning, the prisoner, who was leader of the gang, said “Hist, boys, here they are.” The prisoner had promised McIntyre that he would not shoot these two men if they surrendered, and McIntyre therefore stepped forward and asked them to surrender. Kennedy, however, was almost immediately fired upon, and Scanlan was shot dead soon afterwards. Seeing a horse near him McIntyre jumped on his back and escaped, and as he galloped away he heard a number of shots fired. He eventually reached Mansfield, and search parties having turned out, the dead bodies of Lonigan, Scanlan, and Kennedy were found. Of course, the country was intensely shocked and horrified at such wholesale and cold-blooded murders, and great efforts were made to capture the murderers, but for a long time without success. Nothing was heard of the offenders again until the 9th or 10th of the following December, when they stuck up Mr. Younghusband’s station, near Euroa, bailed up a large number of people, and robbed the Euroa bank. Three of the persons then made prisoners would be called to give evidence as to certain admissions made to them by the prisoner. Amongst other things he admitted to them was the fact that it was he who shot the unfortunate Constable Lonigan. The gang next made their appearance at Jerilderie, in New South Wales, where they committed an outrage similar to that they perpetrated at Euroa. Persons who were bailed up there would also be called to give evidence as to admissions made by the prisoner, and their statements would leave no doubt as to the facts he (Mr. Smyth) had already narrated. A certain document would also be given in as evidence against the prisoner if it was admissible. After this the prisoner and his companions kept themselves in hiding until five or six weeks ago, when they turned up at Glenrowan and attempted to wreck a special police train they expected. They had murdered a man in the neighbourhood of Beechworth on the previous night, and the evidence would be given that the prisoner himself said he expected a train with police; that he had had the rails pulled up, and that he intended shooting every man who might escape from the wreck. The gang put up on the Sunday at an hotel in Glenrowan, bailed up all the people, and awaited the train. The train came, but was warned, and the hotel was surrounded by the police. Evidence would be given that early in the morning the police were suddenly startled by seeing a figure come out of the bush and fire upon them. That figure proved to be the prisoner, armed with a revolver and clad in armour. The prisoner during his bushranging career had never appeared in the open except when he had his victims covered with his rifle or revolver, or on this occasion, when he wore bullet-proof armour.
Mr. Gaunson objected to this remark, but it was allowed to pass.
Mr. Smyth proceeded―Eventually Sergeant Steele fired for his legs, and he was brought down and captured. Afterwards the prisoner was interviewed by McIntyre, in the presence of Senior-constable Kelly, and he said that McIntyre’s statement about the murder of the police was correct. He would now proceed with the evidence, and would, in the first place, call Constable McIntyre.
Thomas McIntyre deposed,―I am constable of police, at present stationed at the Richmond depot. In October 1878 I was stationed at Mansfield. On the morning of the 25th of that month I left Mansfield with Constables Scanlan and Lonigan, in charge of Sergeant Kennedy. We left at about 5 o’clock in the morning to search for Edward and Daniel Kelly. Warrants had been issued against them. The Edward Kelly we were in search of was the prisoner now in the dock. We camped at Stringy Bark creek, about 20 miles from Mansfield. All four of us travelled on horseback and were armed. At Stringy Bark Creek the country is thickly timbered, but we camped on a clearing. The photograph produced shows a portion of the ground. There had been a hut on the clearing, but only remains of it were left standing. A number of logs were lying about. The opening was about an acre or two in area; we camped immediately behind the old hut, erecting a tent there. Nothing occurred that night. On the following morning, the 26th of October, after breakfast, Sergeant Kennedy and Constable Scanlan left to patrol on horseback, and Lonigan and I remained in charge of the camp. Scanlan carried a revolver, and Kennedy a Spencer repeating rifle. Lonigan and I had a revolver each, and one double-barrelled fowlingpiece. During the day I was occupied for some time in baking bread and working about the tent. Lonigan was looking after the horses, and sometimes reading a book. He had also two saddlehorses and a packhorse to look after. Kennedy and Scanlan left about 6 o’clock in the morning. About 12 o’clock Lonigan called my attention to some noise in the creek. I went down the creek to search, and took my fowlingpiece. I could not find the cause of the noise, and thought it was a wombat. On my way back I fired two shots at parrots. I reloaded the gun with small shot, and placed it in the tent. About 4 o’clock in the afternoon Lonigan and I kindled a large fire to guide Kennedy and Scanlan, and prevent them from getting bushed. This fire was lite about twenty yards from the tent, and was at two logs which crossed each other. About 10 minutes to 5 o’clock I went to the tent for a billy to make tea. I had the tea made, and Lonigan was standing on the opposite side of the fire, when I suddenly heard some voices calling out, “Bail up; hold up your arms.” I quickly turned round, and saw four men, each armed, with a gun at his shoulder, and pointing it in front of himself. I noticed the man on the right of the party particularly and saw that his weapon was in a fair line for my chest. I was unarmed, and held out my arms horizontally. I then saw the same man point the gun more to his right and fire. He fired at Lonigan, who had started to run towards a tree. He was about 14 yards from Lonigan when he fired, and I heard Lonigan fall immediately the shot was fired. He had only run four or five steps. I heard him breathing stertorously and heavily. The man at the right of the party was the prisoner at the bar. The bushrangers were in a line, two or three yards between each other. When the prisoner had discharged his gun he threw it into his left arm, put his right hand behind his back, and drew a revolver, and called out to me―”Keep your hands up.” I raised my hands above my shoulder. At this time my revolver and fowlingpiece were both in the tent. The prisoner and the three others rushed up to where I was standing, stood at a distance of about three yards from me, and covered my chest with their firearms, three of them with guns, and the prisoner with a revolver. Prisoner said to me “Have you got any firearms?” I replied, “I have not.” Lonigan was plunging along the grass very heavily, and as the bushrangers rushed up to me, he said, “Oh, Christ! I’m shot!” The prisoner was within hearing distance. Six or eight seconds afterwards Lonigan ceased to struggle, and to breathe a few minutes afterwards. I saw him stretched out on his back, and that he was dead. When I replied to the prisoner that I had no firearms, he asked, “Where is your revolver?” I said it was at the tent. He then said to his mates, “Keep him covered, lads.” They kept me covered with their guns, and the prisoner himself searched me. He passed his hands all over my body, and under my coat. Finding nothing on me, he jumped across a log to where Lonigan was lying. He remained away a moment, and then returned with Lonigan’s revolver in his hand. He said, “Oh dear, what a pity that man tried to get away.” One of the others―Dan Kelly―said, “He was a plucky fellow, did you see how he caught at his revolver?” and moved his hand at the same side as Lonigan had done. The prisoner went over to the tent, and in the meantime the other three had lowered their firearms, but still kept them pointed in my direction. When he returned from the tent he had my revolver, and he told his mates to let me go. They then all went to the tent, I remained standing near the fire. Daniel Kelly returned to me with a pair of handcuffs. Edward Kelly came up at this time, and heard his brother say, “We will put these upon the ―.” I appealed to the prisoner, saying, “What is the use of putting these on me? How can I get away while you are all armed as you are?” Prisoner said to Dan, “All right; don’t put them on him. This” tapping his rifle, “is better than handcuffs.” Then turning to me he said, “Mind you don’t try to go away, because if you do I will shoot you. If I had to track you to the police station, I would shoot you there.” Dan remarked, “The b—―s would soon put the handcuffs on us if they had us.” We then all went to the tent. They called upon me to go with them. I recognised Edward and Dan Kelly from the description, and a photograph we had of Edward Kelly. When I arrived at the hut the prisoner was sitting outside the tent with his gun across his knee. The other three were inside the tent. Prisoner said to me, “This is a curious old gun for a man to be going about the country with.” I replied, “It is, but perhaps it is better than it looks.” He then said, “You might say that, for I will back it against any gun in the country. I can shoot a kangaroo at 100 yards.” It was an old short-barrelled gun. It seemed to be rifled, and the stock and barrel were tied together with a waxed string, which covered three or four inches. At this time the prisoner took possession of the fowling-pieces I had left in the tent. He then said to me, “Who is that over there?” pointing to Lonigan’s body. I replied, “That’s Lonigan.” He said, “No; that is not Lonigan, for I knew him well.” I repeated, “Yes, it is Lonigan,” when he said, “Well I am glad of that, for the ― gave me a hiding in Benalla once.” Dan remarked, “He will lock no more of us poor ― up,” at which the prisoner smiled. I identified one of the two others as Joseph Byrne, whose body I saw at Glenrowan. Byrne asked me to have a drink of tea I had made. I did so, and then they all, with the exception of the prisoner, took some of the tea. Before they did so the prisoner asked: “Is there any poison about here?” I said, “No, why should we have poison?” Whilst the other three were having some tea, the prisoner took the cartridges out of the fowling piece, picked out the ends of them, threw away the shot, placed a bullet in each cartridge, and reloaded the gun. He then said to Byrne, “Here, you take this gun and give me yours.” They accordingly exchanged. Byrne’s gun was very old. The prisoner had now two guns, and he said to me, “There is one of these for you if you don’t obey me.” Byrne asked, “Do you smoke, mate?” and I replied “Yes.” He then said, “Light your pipe, and have a smoke with me,” and I did so. The prisoner asked me for a bit of tobacco, and I gave him some. All this had only occupied some 10 or fifteen minutes. The gang kept possession of their guns all the time. About this time the prisoner said―“That will do; now, lads, take your places.” He went himself close to the fire, taking the two guns with him. The fourth man (Hart) remained in the tent, whilst Byrne and Dan Kelly went on to some spear-grass which was growing on the outside of our camping-ground. It was on this same side that the gang made their first appearance. I lost sight of Byrne and Dan Kelly in the spear-grass. The prisoner concealed himself by kneeling down behind a large log near the fire. Immediately after he had concealed himself he called me over, and pointing to the front of the log which concealed him, said, “You stand there.” The log was about 3ft. high. I went up, and we had a conversation. The prisoner asked, “Who showed you to this place?” I said, “No person showed it to us. It is well-known to all the people about Mansfield.” He then asked, “How do you come here?” I replied, “We crossed Holland’s Creek, and came on in a straight line.” He then inquired, “What brought you here?” and I said, “You know very well who we are.” Prisoner said, “I suppose you came after me,” and I replied, “No I don’t know that we did come after you.” He said, “You came after Ned Kelly, then?” and I answered, “Yes, we came after Ned Kelly.” He then said, “Yes, you came to shoot me, I suppose?” “No,” I replied, “but to apprehend you.” “Then why did you bring so many arms and so much ammunition?” he inquired, to which I replied, “We brought the fowling-pieces to shoot kangaroo.” He next asked, “Who was shooting down the creek that day?” I said, “It was me shooting at parrots.” “That is very strange,” he remarked. “Did you know that we were there?” I replied, “No, we did not think we were within ten miles of you. We thought you were over there,” pointing in the direction of Greta. He then asked when Kennedy and Scanlan were to return to the camp. He had asked me where they were after he returned from Lonigan’s body. In reply to his last question I said, “I don’t think they will come tonight, as I think they must have got bushed.” He asked, “Which direction did they go in?” I pointed north-west in the direction of Benalla, and said they were there, and the prisoner said, “That is very strange, but perhaps they will never come back, for there is a good man down the creek, and if they call on him you may never see them again.” He inquired their names and stations, and I said, “Sergeant Kennedy, of Mansfield, and Constable Scanlan, of Benalla.” He said, “I have never heard of Kennedy, but I believe Scanlan is a flash dog,” and I asked “What do you intend doing with them? Surely you don’t intend to shoot them down in cold blood; if you do, I would rather be shot a thousand times myself than tell you anything about them.” He replied, “Of course I like to see a brave man. You can depend upon me not shooting them if you get them to surrender. I will shoot no man who holds his hands up.” I asked “Do you intend to shoot me?” He replied, “No, what would I want to shoot you for? I could have done so half an hour ago when you were sitting on that log if I wanted. At first I thought you were Constable Flood. It is a good job for you that you are not him, because if you had been I would not have shot you, but would have roasted you on that fire. There are four men in the police force. If ever I lay hands on them I will roast them. They are Fitzpatrick, Flood, Steele, and Straughan. Straughan has been blowing that he would take me single-handed. How are these men armed?” I said, “In the usual way.” He asked what I meant by that. “Did they have revolvers?” I said, “Yes.” He then asked, “And haven’t they got a rifle?” I hesitated. He said, “Come, now, tell the truth; if I find you out in telling a lie I will put a hole through you.” I then said, “Yes, they have got a rifle.” He asked, “What sort is it―breech-loading?” I replied, “Yes.” “Well,” he said, “that looks like as if you came out to shoot me.” I said, “You can’t blame the men; they have got their duty to do.” He replied, “You have no right to go about the country shooting people.” He then inquired, “What about the Sydney man?” I knew he referred to the murder of Sergeant Wallings, and I said, “He was shot by the police;” to which he replied, “If the police shot him they shot the wrong man. I suppose some of you b―s will shoot me some day, but I will make some of you suffer for it beforehand.”
At this stage the court was adjourned until next day at 10 o’clock.
Before Mr. Foster left the bench, Mr. Gaunson made an application for an order to allow Mrs. Skillian to see the prisoner in gaol. Mr. Foster replied that he would be happy to have an interview with Mr. Gaunson on the subject during the evening. Subsequently Mr. Gaunson applied privately to Mr. Foster for an order to admit Mrs. Skillian to the prisoner’s cell, but he was again unsuccessful, whereupon he telegraphed for authority to the Chief Secretary in the following terms:―
“I beg specially to urge that this order of your predecessor, restricting Kelly’s right to freedom of access to his friends and relatives, should be cancelled as illegal, arbitrary, and unjust to a man standing for his life.”
No reply has been received up to half-past 11 this evening. Mrs. Skillian and Tom Lloyd have hitherto been living at the same hotel as Mr. Gaunson―the Hibernian―but as accommodation could not be provided there for Dick Hart and Pat Byrne, who arrived to-day, they have removed to another hotel, and the fact of these four friends all living together is regarded as significant. Detective Ward had a short interview to-day with Kelly in the cell at the Courthouse. Kelly reminded him of an incident that occurred in Wangaratta before the murders. He was riding an unbroken horse in the street, and Ward told him he had better find another place for showing off his horsemanship. Having heard that Kelly was a grand rider, he hade this remark with the view of making him show off; and Kelly did dig his spurs into the animal, but it only bucked. Kelly now said that ever since he bore Ward a grudge. A number of people who saw him in court recognised Kelly was a man they had seen during the career of the Kelly gang. At the Oxley coursing matches last Easter he was seen sitting on a fence, and about four months ago he was drinking in the bar of Dreyer’s Hotel, Beechworth, but no one who saw him knew him then except sympathisers. Sergeant Steele had also a few words with the prisoner after the police court was adjourned. To him he said that McIntyre had given his evidence better than he expected, and from other remarks that he made he appeared to derive great satisfaction from the large attendance of ladies at the court. It is stated on good authority that in July, 1879, Kelly visited Melbourne, and that he slept one night in the National Hotel, Bourke-street. It is said that he talked a little about the Kelly gang, and stated that he came from the north-eastern district, and that he cleared away before daylight. Information was given next day to the police, but the suspected person could not be traced.