Sydney Sun, Cookson, 30 08 1911 3
30 August 1911
A SISTER'S FATE "Poor Kate could have told you," he presently went on, very slowly, and regarding his hands the white-hands that could have gripped and held, and thrown a wild steer. "Kate could have told you what our people had to put up with from the police from the beginning. She could have told you how cruelly they ill-used us all, especially the girls. But Kate is dead. . . . It is all over, now. Besides . . . . Dear, loyal, brave little Kate! . . . Of course she helped her brothers in their trouble. Was it not on account of her-to protect her-that they got into trouble? She'd have helped them anyway. Yes; she fooled the police time after time. They drove the girlishness out of her. And instead of the girl they found that they had to do with a woman; and not an ordinary woman, but one who knew the bush and knew no fear, and who loved her brothers with as great a love as woman's bosom could hold. Poor little Kate! . . . To think of all this dreadful trouble over one young policeman's folly! . . . . Well, it's done. Kate is dead-and Ned, and Dan-all dead. But there'll be a reckoning yet, I think."
A slight gleam as of hope slowly lit up the sombre face. Again the steadfast, penetrating gaze was turned upon the distant ranges, whose wooded slopes had re-echoed the roar and crackle of the shooting on the fateful night of the Battle of Glenrowan, 30 years before.
"But Kate?" we ask. "Had she no friends?"
The kindly brown eyes grew stern. "She married a blacksmith. They lived at various places. Then they went to Forbes. There was no one, it seems, with her when she had her last baby-only the children. The husband, we have heard, was away. It must have been awful for her. . . . They found her dead, in a waterhole. . . . The doctor said it was milk fever, and she had gone mad. . . . .The baby . . . . did not live . . . Both were dead and buried when I got there. Though I hurried. Yes . . . I hurried. Oh, God! Yes . . . .But . . . . someone will answer for all this. Many of the people who brought about our ruin are dead. They are answering for it now. . . . We've done with the opinion of the world on what has happened. The courts and the royal commissions, with the help of the police, have decided that."
The bushman's voice took on a tone of intense sadness.
"And yourself-have you never thought of leaving here and of starting afresh-of making a new name for yourself-"
"This place is our home. No other place can be like it to us. Over there is our old homestead, where we were children. No; there is the old woman to think of. She does not want to go away from here. And I do not. The police have done their worst. I want people to know that we are not as bad as they have made us out."
That was the actual reason of the decision of Jim Kelly to remain in the district where his family had lived and suffered. He wanted to live down the infamy that had become associated with the very name. He would not try to escape, but would remain and face the consequences, be they what they might. At least, men should respect him if they executed the rest of the family.
And it is not going wide of the mark to say that he has materially succeeded. No finger is pointed at him in scorn or contumely. His courage, life-long devotion, and scrupulous honestly have won him a name all to himself-and the respect of his fellow-man with it.
See previous page / next page
|!||The text has been retyped from a microfiche copy of the original.
We have taken care to reproduce this document but areas of the original text may been damaged.
the previous day / next day . . . BW Cookson in the Sydney Sun index