Ovens and Murray Advertiser at KellyGang 24/7/1880 (2)

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He then said that we would not go, and I consented to dance with Dan.Shortly after Ned declared that he would go down, and bring Bracken and Reynolds, the postmaster, up to Jones’s.I laughed, and told him that I would rather than a hundred pounds that he would do so, and asked to be allowed to go with him. He gave me no reply then.I had ascertained from Mr Stanistreet that his revolver was still in his possession, and to gain the consent of the outlaws to my going home and taking my wife, child, and sister with me, and thus being at liberty to make a dash for Benalla, I told the gang in strict confidence that Mr Stanistreet possessed a loaded revolver from the Railway department, and that though I knew he would not use it against them, someone else might get it and do them an injury. I advised them to demand it of him at once, and I believe they did.With the same object in view, and after hearing Ned Kelly solemnly assert to Mrs Jones and others that he would not shoot Constable Bracken, I told him that he had better take Dave Mortimer, my brother-in-law, with him to call Bracken out, as the trooper knew his voice well, and would suspect nothing.

I also kept warning them to keep a sharp look out for enemies, and did my utmost to ingratiate myself with them. On obtaining a suitable opportunity I asked Ned Kelly again would he allow me to take Mrs Curnow, the baby, and my sister home when he went for Bracken, and I assured him that he had no cause for fearing me, as I was with him heart and soul.He then said that he knew that and could see it, and he acceded to my request.I think it was about 10 o’clock on Sunday night before the outlaws started for the police barracks, taking with them a Mr E Reynolds, Mr R Gibbons, Mr Mortimer, myself, wife, and sister.We reached the barracks, and Constable Bracken was taken by the outlaws without bloodshed.Ned Kelly then told me that I could go home and take the ladies with me.He directed us to ‘go quietly to bed and not to dream too loud,’ and intimated that if we acted otherwise we would get shot, as one of them would be down to our place during the night to see that we were all right. He had previously declared that they would wait at Glenrowan till a train came.

When we reached home, which was about 200 yards from the police barracks, I put the horse in the stable with the ostensible purpose of feeding him well, as he had starved all day. While supper was being got ready I quietly prepared everything, including a red lama scarf, a candle, and matches to go to Benalla, intending to keep close to the railway line in case of a special coming before I reached there. In overcoming Mrs Curnow’s opposition to my going, for she was in a state of the terror and dread, and declared that both I and all belonging to me would get shot if I persisted in going, and in securing the safety of my wife, child, and sister while being away, time passed, and just as I was about to start I heard the train coming in the distance.

I immediately caught up the scarf, candle, and matches, and ran down the line to meet the train. On reaching a straight part of the line, where those in the train would be able to see the danger signal for some distance, I lit the candle, and held it behind the red scarf. While I was holding up the danger signal I was in great fear of being shot before those in the train would be able to see the red light, and of thus uselessly sacrificing my life.The train, which proved to be a pilot engine, came on, and stopped a little past me, and I gave the alarm by informing those in it of the line being torn up just beyond the station, and of the Kelly gang lying in wait at the station for the special train of police. On being told by the guard that he would go back and see the special which was coming on, and seeing him do it, I ran home to appease my wife’s anxiety and terror, and to protect them as far as I could.

We had not the least hope of an escape from being shot dead, for we felt certain that the outlaws must have heard the whistling and stoppage of the pilot engine near our place, and would divine that I was stopping the train, as we were the only ones liberated, to our knowledge. We therefore felt sure that at least one of them would ride down and take revenge for my betrayal of their trust in me.Though I represented myself to Edward Kelly as a sympathiser, my sole motive in doing so was to save life, to uphold justice, and of course to secure as far as possible the safety of my family.


“Late of Glenrowan.”

[[[The Argus at KellyGang 21/7/80|see another copy in the Argus]]]


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