Royal Commission report day 17 page 10

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The Royal Commission evidence for 10/5/1881

(full text transcription)

(see also introduction to day 17)

Constable Dowling giving evidence

5000 How long after the people left the hotel?— I am not positive whether it was before or after. I will not swear to that.

5001 By Mr. Sadleir. —You say it was about two o'clock when you last saw an outlaw?— Yes.

5002 Do you remember the occurrence when I was assured by a man in front that Mc Hugh's last shot, and probably yours, brought down one of them—did you hear anything of that?— I heard some of them say one of them fell down in the chimney.

5003 Was that the shot you are speaking of now?— No.

5004 Can you say at what hour that occurrence was?— No.

5005 I suggest that it was about two o'clock—could it possibly have been about two o'clock?— It may have been. I would not swear, because I had no watch, and did not take notice at the time.

5006 Was there not a great confusion about the time that day. What time did you turn out that morning—were you in bed that night at all?— I was, for a little time.

5007 What time did you leave Beechworth—was it not very early in the morning?— It was. We arrived at Glenrowan between eight and nine.

5008 Is not that likely to confuse any man's notion of the hour of the day getting up at unusual hours?— Yes, it is.

5009 You cannot speak positively as to any hour you have given?— No.

5010 You have said that the prisoners were let out between twelve and one—would you be surprised to hear they were let out at ten?— I would not.

5011 Then the confusion as to the time I have spoken about would account for that?— Yes.

5012 You have stated that I gave you orders to fire two feet from the floor—where did you stand at that time?— Immediately after we came out of the train I think it was.

5013 Then Senior-Constable Mullane would be present. I saw him jump out of the train, and you all came with him—he must have been present when I gave those orders?— I could not say whether he was or not.

5014 Considering the confusion of the hours, is it possible that those orders were given to you after the prisoners escaped, and that the order had reference to Cherry, and who was supposed to be lying on the floor?— It is.

5015 By the Commission. —That occurs to you now from what the officer asks—that that is possible?— Yes.

5016 By Mr. Sadleir. —You conscientiously think you may have been so far mistaken that the orders may have been after the prisoners escaped?— I do not recollect the hours. I had little sleep that night, and none for two or three nights before that.

5017 By the Commission. —And in such cases time might go quickly or slowly without your observing it?— I think it would go very slowly.

5018 You say you had a Spencer rifle on that occasion?— Yes.

5019 Had you much practice with the Spencer ride previous to this?— I had none whatever.

5020 Had you much practice in firearms previous to this?— Previous to joining the force I had a little practice

5021 When a Spencer rifle is loaded, and you know how to put the cartridges into the magazine, is there much trouble except pulling the trigger and holding it straight?— No.

5022 And then you have only to load again?— Yes.

5023 By Mr. Sadleir. —From your position, could you see the front door—that door facing the railway?— Yes.

5024 Were you not rather at the end and back rather than the end and front?— I was more at the north of the building; all the time.

5025 That is taking the chimney as the north?— Yes.

5026 Were you not more north and west than north and east?— I was.

5027 By the Commission. —Were you stationed more towards the back fence or towards the front of the house?— I do not know the back of the fence.

5028 You know the verandah is on the front?— That would be the east.

5029 By Mr Sadleir. —You could not look into the front door at any time without shifting your position?— I could see it on one or two occasions.

5030 Then you shifted your position so as to enable you to do so, because the house does not turn round?— I was moving about all the time.

5031 Where were you then when Father Gibney went into the building?—(No answer.)

5032 By the Commission. —Did you see him going in?— Yes.

5033 Did you see the door when he went in?— I saw him go in.

5034 By Mr. Sadleir. —He was approaching the building. Did you see him step on the verandah and go in at the door?— No, I did not.

5035 He was out of view for those few steps?— Yes.

5036 Did you see me during this time?— No, I will not swear that I did.

5037 You did not see me while the priest was approaching the building?— No, I did not.

5038 Might I not, from the other end, have rushed to intercept the police without your seeing it?— Yes, you might.

5039 Did you see anything going on at the other end of the building—did you see Johnson?— No; but I saw the priest approaching, and I think I saw Mrs. Jones. ....

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