Melbourne Daily Telegraph (9)

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[By Electric Telegraph]

(From Our Own Correspondent)

Benalla Wednesday

The excitement consequent on the capture and extermination of the outlaws has not yet subsided.  Bodies of police are still moving about and around Wangaratta.  A sharp watch is kept on the relatives and sympathisers of the gang.  The scene of the fight at Glenrowan has, since Monday, been a constant source of attraction to people from all parts of the North eastern district.  By every train people arrive, and spend hours in examining the battlefield, taking sketches, and picking up relics.  The spot where Ned Kelly fell, and was overpowered by the police, is the great centre around which sightseers crowd, and the mania for possessing some memento of the notorious outlaws may be imagined when I saw to day several people trying to scrape up a portion of the earth with some drops of his blood on it.  The stains on the ground where blood flowed through the legs of his trousers and from his shoulders on to the bare earth, near the little creek where he fell, are still noticeable, and another horrible relic of the fight and the burning of the hotel is a foot of one of the outlaws who were roasted in the fire.  This was discovered amongst the debris of the house, and was shrivelled up almost out of all shape.  The terrible nature of the retribution which has so suddenly and effectually befallen the outlaws has been the subject of much comment here, and is looked upon only as another instance of the awfully realistic manner in which threats of the outlaws have recoiled on themselves.  It will be remembered that when they bailed up the police in the Wombat Ranges they threatened to roast M'Intyre, and expressed a similar intention if they got hold of Constable Flood. Neither of these, however, met this threatened fate.  Instead of this, however, the outlaws met their own doom by means of the very agency they so ardently wished to employ against others.


Cherry, who was supposed to have been wounded by the police when firing into the house, was, I am informed by one present during the whole dreadful time, shot by Ned Kelly himself.  My informant states that Kelly ordered Cherry to pull the blind of the window to one side so that he could get a better view of the police to have a shot at them.  Cherry appeared to be frightened, and hesitated, finally refusing to do it.  Kelly thereupon turned round and fired at the poor old man saying, “Take that you old - ,” and Cherry fell immediately, and was carried back into the kitchen, where he lay until the house was set on fire, and he was dragged out in a dying condition, another of the outrage.


The youth Michael Reardon still lies in a critical position in the Wangaratta hospital. I saw him to day, and he appeared to be suffering severely, although a little easier than yesterday.  The bullet has not yet been extracted, and its locality cannot even be discovered.  It entered near the top of the shoulder and glanced down along the collar bone towards the lungs from which its course cannot be traced.  Young Reardon is very feverish, even delirious at times, and I am informed, on good authority, that it is still questionable if he will recover.  He informed me that he was running after his mother and had just picked up his little brother, three years of age, who was following him, when someone called out, “There’s a man with a rifle,: and at the same moment a volley was poured into the house.  He turned to get inside, thinking he would be that if he still ran on, and just as he reached the door a bullet struck him and he staggered in, going through from the front to the back room, where all the others were, and where, being hustled and crushed against the wall and suffering intense pain, he remained unattended until the police called on them all to come out, or else they would be shot, and he with the rest of them rushed down to the railway station.


With regard to Mr Curnow, the State school teacher at Glenrowan ? ? ? ? the members of the Wangaratta police that when travelling through the districts, even before a police station was established, they experienced the greatest kindness from Mr Curnow – who at all times extended hospitality to them – and they regret that his sudden removal from the district has precluded the possibility of there being a chance to thank him personally, or to testify their appreciation of his services to them, as well as to all members of the police force, on the night of the 28th inst.


It appears that while in the gate house on Sunday, Steve Hart ordered some women to pull off his boots and wash his feet, which was done.


Today it was reported that Constable Wickham, who has been stationed at Stanley near Beechworth, but is about to be removed, reported to the officer in charge at Beechworth, but is about to be removed, reported to the officer in charge at Beechworth that Sherritt, sen, the father of the man who was murdered in such a cowardly manner by the Kelly gang on Saturday evening had applied to him for protection.  The old man said that Tom Lloyd, Quinn, Pat Byrne, and Dick Hart were “out” and himself and family were in fear of their lives, or of having their places burnt down.


On inquiry at the Melbourne Gaol at a late hour last night we ascertained that the outlaw continues to improve in health, and there is now every reason to believe that he will recover.  Ned Kelly slept well on Wednesday night, and was undisturbed during yesterday, being only visited by Mr Castieau, Dr Shields, and the Rev Father Donaghy.  He is treated in the hospital as an ordinary prisoner awaiting trial, with the exception of a strong guard being kept constantly watching him, to frustrate any attempt he might make either to escape or commit suicide.


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