The Age (19)

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Before this he directed my mother to go and open the front door. She did so, and just then Dan Kelly made his appearance there. He had a revolver with him which he kept pointed at me. Byrne then called my mother out to the back door and stood talking to her with Weekes between them. He asked her why I had not brough the man out. I told him the man would not come. He then sang out to Dan Kelly, 'Look out there are windows at the front.' Dan replied, 'It's all right.' And stepped to the cover of the door, sticking his rifle into the room all the time. He fired two shots into the bedroom where the men were. Byrne sent me in side two or three times to get the man out, but … himself … by the forms of Weekes and my mother. About the same time he was ………………………….. up towards the bush at the back whistling and calling to someone, and asking them to come on, as there men in the place. When he came back something with their rifles, for he said to my mother, 'There's more than one man there, and if you don't tell me the truth I will shoot both of you and your daughter.' He also said that he would burn the place down, and Dan Kelly went about gathering bushes. They did not set fire to the bushes.

We then went in and remained in the house all night. About two hours after my husband was shot one of the policemen came out of the bedroom, closed the doors, and shifted the box against which the head of my husband's dead body was resting. The first message sent to Beechworth was at eight o'clock. It was given to Mr O'Donohoe. Before that they tried to send a Chinaman, but could not do so, as they could not make him understand what they wanted. They then sent the Chinaman to Mr O'Donohoe's with a letter. Mr O'Donohoe came to the place with the letter and said he would go straight to Beechworth. He however, soon came back and said he could not go. I heard ……. that a man galloping up and down the … had prevented him from going. The police men said they were afraid to leave the house earlier because there were few enough of them there in case the place was attacked again.

When O'Donohoe came back they sent a message with another man; but Constable Armstrong said he would not trust this person and so left the place himself to go to Beechworth.

To Mr Foster: There were no shots fired at the police. I was in the bedroom with the police. Two of them were standing with their rifles ready. In order to fire on the outlaws they would have had to come out through the calico door, which if they had attempted to disturb they would have been at once been shot down by Dan Kelly. On the other hand, if they had rushed out and tried to shoot. Byrne at the back door, they would have shot either my mother or the German Weekes. There were about five or six shots fired in addition to the two which killed my husband. These were fired from the front of the house. About half an hour elapsed between the time my husband was shot and when my mother returned after speaking to the outlaws. We thought the other two confederates of the outlaws were there because Dan Kelly and Byrne made themselves so noticeable. We had no other reason for thinking so.

To a juryman: The police did not come out of the bedroom until two hours after my husband was shot. When it was daylight they went out and looked round the house to see if the gang were about. (Laughter) This was the first time they went out of the house. The outlaws would have been able to see the police, the police could not see them. Constable Armstrong, who was in charge of the police party, said: We stopped in a hut occupied by Sherritt during the day time, and during the night we were engaged watching Mrs Byrne's house. We generally left at night o'clock in the evening, and returned between three and five in the morning. I remember Saturday last, we were at Sherritt's house. We usually occupied the bedroom.

Constable Duross was in the kitchen having his tea. At half past six o'clock a knock came to the door, and Duross walked into the bedroom. Our instructions were to remain close all day and avoid observations. We were never to venture out except at night or early morning. After the knock came, I heard a voice say, 'Sherritt, I have lost my way!' Mrs Sherritt said, 'Go out there and show him.' I then heard a shot and immediately after another one. About two seconds elapsed between the two reports. I said, 'Take your arms my boys and get ready. We had doubled-barrelled shot guns and revolvers. The guns were loaded with swan and duck cartridge, and were better for night work than rifles. The next thing I heard was Mrs Barry saying, 'Aaron's shot.' I went to the front (bedroom): window to fire out, but could see nothing in the darkness. A bullet passed from the front of the house , quite close to my head: I afterwards picked up the bullet on the floor; five or six shots were also fixed during various subsequent intervals. I next heard a man call, 'Come out and surrender or else we'll roast you.' We all replied, 'We will die first.' These words were said loud enough for any one to hear. I went towards the door in order to fire in the direction of the voices. Mrs Barry and Weekes were however in the way. I then said, 'Boys, can we break not holes in the boards.' We tried but could not succeed.


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