Royal Commission report day 21 page 23
The Royal Commission evidence for 17/5/1881
(see also introduction to day 21)
Const Barry giving evidence
7906 We halted about sunset, and we had tea; and about the time we had tea we were ready to turn in; was it not the custom of the men to begin making their beds just at night where they were going to stop?— Yes.
7907 Were not the horses let out then?— Yes.
7908 Was there any clashing of the horses when we and our horses moved from where we had been feeding to were we were going to camp?— One night there was.
7910 Were we not looking for the hut then?— We had had our tea. This was outside Greta and we were looking for a certain slip panel, and could not find it. Senior-Constable Flood was looking for it and I was sitting on my horse with a bag of flour in front of me.
7911 Was that the custom?— It was not kept up for a long time.
7912 What was kept up?— That practice of changing the camp after we had had our tea.
7913 It was kept up all the time I was out with you, unless we came and camped in a paddock, when we were out any distance in the ranges?— No, it was not; we did not catch our horses again and shift, the same as we did on that occasion at Greta, that night we were lost.
7914 What night was that?— I do not recollect exactly. [ The witness looked at his pocket-book.] About the 23rd December 1878, that is very near it. I might say that that time, as far as the party were concerned, none of the men knew where they were going or anything else.
7915 By the Commission— How can you say that with regard to Senior-Constable Flood?— He was in charge, but at that time we never knew where we were going.
7916 You are speaking of your individual knowledge?— I did not hear it.
7917 Did not Senior-Constable Flood know?— Yes, he did; but the men did not. We followed him, and he said where to go.
7918 Senior-Constable Flood had been then in the district for years?— He was not much the better for it.
7919 By Mr. Nicolson— Did Flood say so?— He always said he did know the country.
7920 By the Commission— You believe he was not speaking correctly when he said he knew the country, and that did not know it?— Yes, that is the fact; he did not.
7921 By Mr. Nicolson— In the first search party did we not go astray very often?— Yes; we were on the top of the Bald Hills, near Kelly's, and did not know it; that was in the broad daylight, with Senior-Constable Flood.
7922 Did you know the country?— No.
7923 Did any of the men?— No; but we soon knew it much better than the men who pretended they did.
7925 Did I not enter into conversation with you?— Yes.
7926 Did you ever tell me that you thought the cave party was discovered?— I only always told you what was true—what came to my knowledge. I always reported to Detective Ward, or Senior-Constable Mullane, and it would not be my place to report it to you, as I would presume that you knew whatever I told them.
7927 Do you remember when you withdrew from the cave altogether and came to Benalla?— Yes.
7928 Do you remember the conversation with me after it was all over?— Yes.
7929 Do you remember that you said the men, just before being withdrawn from the cave, had been obliged to move over to that house of Sherritt's from the cave just a few days before they left?— Yes.
7930 What was my expression on hearing that—did I appear to have known that before?— I do not know.....
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