Herald (29)

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The Herald continued with its reports of the KellyGang and Glenrowan.

see previous

' It was shown by many of the remarks he let fall that the gang had been kept well posted up in the movements of the police when in pursuit, and detailed many private conversations which had been overheard, and the outlaws apprised of them—proving that the outside communications which they had established were of the most complete nature. Chinamen, he stated, could keep secrets better than any white man, and he would therefore sooner trust them; and they had rendered him valuable service at various times. He bragged about his skill in horsemanship, and how he could in a very short time bring the very wildest animal under his control—instancing the favorite bay mare used by him. He also boasted that he had manufactured his own cartridges, bullets and powder, and asked Sergeant Steele if he had ever used any of the latter; and on being answered in the negative, said that he (Kelly) had never seen better, and if a person once tried it he would never use any other. When questioned as to the murder of Aaron Sherritt at Sebastopol by the gang, Kelly expressed it as his confident opinion that Byrne did not shoot him; but although he stated that as Sherritt was nothing but a “crawler and a traitor” and he would not scruple to have killed him if given the opportunity, he would not say who was the perpetrator of the foul deed.

When asked by one of the police whether he thought that Hart and Dan Kelly had shot themselves, as had been reported, the prisoner scornfully repudiated the idea; and when in sight of the Strathbogie Ranges meditatingly looked upon the very familiar scene and wondered aloud as to whether he would ever be there again—an expression which caused the other occupants of the van to smile, and exchange significant glances. When questioned with regard to his murder of Sergeant Kennedy at Stringybark Creek, Kelly justified his action by remarking, “We were poor men and Kennedy a rich one; and what right had he and his b—— traps coming out after us poor men to shoot us. Therefore we shot them when we had the chance.”

As, while waiting for the arrival of the train on Sunday afternoon, our representative overheard a person express a doubt as to whether Kelly had, when captured by Sergeant Steele at Glenrowan, called for mercy to be extended towards him, as he was wounded, the opportunity was taken to put the question to that officer later in the evening, when engaged in conversation. The sergeant’s reply was to the effect that when he had Kelly on the ground, with one hand upon his throat and the other clutching the hand containing his (the outlaw’s) revolver, Kelly exclaimed, in piteous accents, “I’m done; I’m done; for God’s sake, have mercy and don’t shoot.”  “Did you not,” our representative asked, “feel inclined to give him no quarter, and there and then give the wretch his quietus? “Yes,” replied Steele, “I had for the moment’ but I afterwards considered that, having the fellow at my mercy, it would be a cowardly thing to do, although he certainly deserved that I should have extended not the slightest mercy towards him.”

As the cab containing the prisoner and his guards was being driven past the Empire Hotel in High-street, the former lifted his hat and waved it over his head to a number of persons standing on the balcony at the time among whom were Mr Zincke, MLA, and also Mrs Aaron Sherritt and her mother, but whether he recognised any one person among the group was difficult to determine.

On Monday morning persons from outlying localities, who had heard of the arrival of the prisoner, arrived in Beechworth, and together with a large number of townspeople, assembled in front of the police court, expecting that he would be brought up that morning; but they were doomed to disappointment, as Kelly will not be put upon his trial until Friday next, when the three charges of murder against him will be fully investigated.

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