Alexandra and Yea Standard, Gobur, Thornton and Acheron Express at KellyGang 26/12/1879
NED KELLY IN NEW ZEALAND AN AMUSING TALE
The Poverty Bay Herald has the following: -A very remarkable occurrence happened In Gisborne at the close of last week, which, at the instance of the local authorities, and n telegram received from the Premier at Wellington, we suppressed, in order that the ends of justice might not be defeated.
It will be remembered that when the Waxwork Exhibition opened in tile Masonic Hall. there was the figure of Neil Kelly, the celebrated bushranger. The figure had been modelled in wax from a photograph it possession of the Commissioner of Police in Melbourne and the model bore a very accurate likeness to the photograph In question. On last Friday evening, a gentleman waited upon the Sergeant of Police, who was then at his quarters, and communicated the startling fact that he could lay him on to the arrest of Ned Kelly, but he would not do this until he had received a written memorandum that he should, when the desperate bushranger was captured, receive one-haft of the £5000 reward Sergeant Kidd said he would at once telegraph to the Minister of Justice at Wellington for instructions. This he did without delay.
Here again, was another difficulty. The Minister of Justice did not feel himself at liberty to say how the Victorian Government might feel disposed to deal with the matter. However, he at once cabled a message to Mr Berry the Prime Minister of Victoria, and received an immediate reply that £2500 would be paid to the person who should cause the arrest of Kelly, and £2500 to those who should capture him. Whereupon Sergeant Kidd communicated with the gentleman who had brought him the information, and it was agreed that the informer should point out Ned Kelly, and the latter should arrest him, no others being allowed to be in the secret. In short, the two were to share the £5000 between them.
The gentleman then stated that he had discovered Ned Kelly through his likeness at the Waxworks' Exhibition. He was going by the name of Jim Johnson, and was acting as stableman, or rather was, a day or two previous, at a public-house in Ormond. Both pursuers, having armed themselves with revolvers, and each with a bowie knife, started for Ormond. On reaching the hotel and enquiring for a man of the name of Johnson, the two pursuers were informed that lie had left the previous bay fur Mr Mulloolly's, Tologa Bay. Nothing more was said; the pursuers turned back and engaging fresh horses lost no time on a long and harassing journey. They were greatly delayed by the bad state of the roads and rising creeks. After a protracted and exhausting journey, during which they were without any refreshment for fifteen hours, they reached Mulloolly's place only to learn that "Jim" had left there and engaged himself as a shepherd on Black's station Thither the pursuers proceeded, and on a stool in a hut was Jim Johnson, alias Ned Kelly. He hall his sleeves turned up; he was unarmed and was drinking tae out of a tin pannikin. Sergeant Kidd immediately presented his loaded revolver and said "Kelly, you've been run to earth. Surrender at once and save the price of six bullets through your carcase.”
The man seemed scared at first, and then looking Mr Kidd hard in the face broke out into a laugh. "'Why Sergeant," he said, what's your little trouble now, and who is it that's wanting ? And the it was that Sergeant Kidd recollected the man whom he had seen as a station hand at sundry places, and at different times during the last five years. A more inoffensive man never existed. It was clear that Jim Johnson was not the Ned Kelly. Greatly discomforted, the two pursuers returned to town and interviewed Mr O'Brien, the proprietor of the waxworks as to the wax representation he had labelled Ned Kelly, the celebrated bushranger. For there was no doubt whatever but that the wax figure was in appearance the exact "spit" of Jim Johnson. Mr O'Brien then explained with much regret that in the hurry of setting out the figure for the opening show he had put the Rev. Mr Spurgeon's ticket to Ned Kelly and Ned Kelly's ticket to the Rev. Mr Spurgeon. Two or three other errors he had committed in his haste; for instance he had dressed up Constable Kent, the eminent orphan murderess, as Her Most Gracious Majesty Queen Victoria.
We may slate that Sergeant Kid has considerably recovered since the occurrences here related, and was seen on tile Gladstone road yesterday afternoon, looking as well as could be expected.
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