Royal Commission report day 15 page 15

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The Royal Commission evidence for 4/5/1881

(full text transcription)

(see also introduction to day 15)

Constable Duross giving evidence

3814 How many were there?— That has never been solved, for they were whistling.

3815 Could you not fire through?— The shot would not penetrate.

3816 Why not through the window?— We might fire through the window.

Cross-examined by Mr. Hare

3817 You say you had a shot-gun. Would not a shot-gun be more effective at night than a Martini-Henry ride?— Yes, at night amongst the bushes.

3818 Do you think a man could fire with a rifle, unless he was a very good shot, at night?— No.

3819 Do not you think a shot-gun is more effective for night work than a rifle would be?— Yes, when you are outside, when you have fair play the same as they would.

3820 And far more effective than a rifle?— Yes.

3821 And you distinctly said Ward suggested to you to tell that untruth to me?— Yes, I can prove it, because he sent Mrs. Sherritt to the other men, who were chopping wood, to tell them to clear before Mr. Hare got down to Byrne's house to do us a good turn.

3822 Did the other man hear that?— Alexander did.

3823 Did you go with me and Alexander?— Yes.

3824 You remember we took a long time, got into a difficulty on the way?— Yes; Alexander was leading and I was behind you.

3825 And we found Armstrong and Aaron Sherritt there?— Yes, and Constable Dowling.

3826 You said something about not being able to use a double-barrelled gun; if you could fire a rifle, could you not fire a double-barrelled gun?— I did not say I could not; I said I never did.

3827 Did you object to take it at the time?— No.

3828 You made the statement that you were given a double-barrelled gun, and your rifle was taken from you; I suppose, if you could use the rifle, you would be a better shot with the shot-gun?— Yes; but I think it would have been better if two had rifles and two shot-guns.

3829 By the Commission. —Did you delay for a time in order let Armstrong and Dowling get to the house?— No, we never had such a thought.

8830 Did you hear any of the police make any suggestion about going out and fighting the men?— No; only Armstrong said once, “Shall we go?” and we said we were willing to go if he thought it advisable.

3831 What time was that?— About nine o'clock at night. I think it was Armstrong who said it —one of them said would we rush out, and we said we were agreeable.

3832 Why did not you go?— He thought afterwards it would not be advisable; that we could not get to either door before we were shot.

3833 At any other time, during the time the Kellys were there, was there any talk about going out in pursuit of them?— No; we had no horses at all, we were on foot.

3834 You say that Mrs. Sherritt and Mrs. Barry were under the bed all night—were they not allowed out at all. Surely it was a miserable thing to stick them there?— Yes; they had their heads out from under the bed.

3835 Were they upon the hard boards?— Yes.

3836 Was there a floor at all except the earth?— There was a wooden floor. I think the women came out before daylight, one of them, and got on top of the bed.

3837 Did they complain much of being kept in this position?— No, not after the shots, they did not complain at all.

3838 Did either of them faint?— No.

3839 When you came home from the watching, what did you usually do?— Lie on the floor.

3840 Did you not turn the women out and lie on the bed?— No, the women were not there. Sherritt came home, and lay with his wife, and we lay on the boards with our feet to the fire.

3841 Where was Mrs. Barry?— At her own place, a mile and a half off.

3842 Could any one have got in?— When we were sleeping there, any one could have pushed the door in, and come on us; there was no lock on the door; we put a bit of a log to keep them closed.

3843 No one sitting up to watch the remainder of the morning?— No.

3844 All asleep?— Yes.

3845 I heard you mention that the man who shot Aaron Sherritt asked the women to come outside?— Yes....

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