Royal Commission report day 37 page 21
The Royal Commission evidence for 20/7/1881
(see also introduction to day 37)
[[../../people/peB/barryEllenMrs.html|Mrs Ellen Barry]] 'giving evidence'
13394 What message did he send you with to the men in the bedroom?— He told me to go in and bring the man out of the bedroom, for my daughter had told him it was a working man looking for work, and said his name was Duross.
13395 What did the police do when you brought that message to them?— They were looking for their firearms. When I went in the room was dark; in fact it would be very hard to know what they were doing; they were stooping looking for firearms, and beckoned to me to go outside. (JJK)
13396 They did not want to make a noise?— That was it. When I went out then, Byrne sent my daughter after, and he fired a shot in through the side of the room where the police were, and my daughter told him about this man looking for work; and after he sent her in this time we heard the men whispering in the bedroom and the clicking of their firearms. When he heard that he turned to me, and said, “How many is in that room?” and I was frightened to say there was only one, and I said there were two; and he asked were there more. and I said no. He said, “What are their names?” and I said, “I do not know.” He said, “How green you are; and if you be telling me lies I will murder both of you.” So after her coming out he asked her again. Then he sent my daughter in, after a bit, and while she was in he heard them whispering and the clicking of the guns. So when she came out again, after my telling him there were two men—I was frightened to say one after he heard the clicking, because he would have murdered me. She came out, and he asked how many were in the room, and I nudged her, and she said nothing. And he said, “If you tell me lies, I will be murdering the both of you.” He fired through the place again; and said he would riddle the house; and he sang out to them to come out or he would shoot them down like dogs.
13397 What was the house built of?— Weatherboards and shingles.
13398 And how was the inside finished?— A kind of plaster inside the weatherboards.
13399 Were there any sticks nailed on to the uprights to hold the plaster?— Yes, I think so; it was weatherboards all round.
13400 What happened then when the police would not come out?— He used to place me in front of him, and when he sent me in he used to put my daughter in front of him—that was Byrne, but Kelly did not do that; and he went round soon after that to look for bushes to set fire to the place.
13401 Could the police have fired at them at any time with certainty?— If they had their firearms ready at the time Byrne came in after Aaron, if they had come to the door and fired then; but they could not have had their firearms ready then, it all happened so quickly.
13402 What did the police do with you?— Byrne sent in my daughter after some time, and she was kept inside.
13403 Did you go in after that?— I did after some time.
13404 Did they keep you inside sometimes?— Well, they just got me by the clothes, and one of the men—Dowling—said, “Stop inside, and if they set fire to the place, they would let the both of us out.” They said they did not think they would set fire to the place while women were inside, so I stopped in.
13405 Did they put you under the bed for security?— No, I was not under the bed, I was alongside. Duross put his hand to me and just shoved me slightly, but not under the bed. My daughter was under the bed.
13406 I suppose they thought that the securest place for you to be?— Yes, very likely.
13407 Do you remember what occurred after?— Before I came in the last time, Dan Kelly had the bushes outside the room where the men were; he took out a box of matches and struck a match, and the wind blew it out. When I saw him strike the match I said, “If you set fire to the house, and the girl gets shot or burned, you can just kill me along with them.” Dan said nothing at the time, but some time after he sang out to Byrne to send me inside, and I said it was no use my going in—that I would be burned with the rest; and he said he would see about that. So I went in, and we all remained inside till daylight.
13408 Did you think they would be able to burn the house at the time?— Well, I could not say, I am sure. Byrne asked me if there was kerosene in the place, did we burn it; and I said, “No, we burn candles.”
13409 Did the police have any consultation as to what was best to be done when you were in the room?— Well, I heard Constable Armstrong say, “Well, boys, I will go out, if you will come with me,” and the other men said they could do no good, that if they went out they would be shot, the night was too dark, and that they had better wait till morning.
13410 Was he not in charge?— Yes.
13411 Are you quite sure he said that?— Yes, I am quite sure he said that, because I heard it. I was not far from him at the time.....
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