The Age (8)

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Ordered to the hotel

"Just before the special train arrived I was ordered to the hotel by Hart, who was on and off duty all the time, to follow him to Jones's, and not signal the train. I went into the back kitchen, where Mrs Jones and daughter, aged about fourteen, and two younger children were. There was also a man there named Neil M'Kew. By this time the train had arrived, and firing was going on furiously. I did not see Ned Kelly in the room. I with others stood in the chimney. I did not hear any remark passed by any of the gang, and they disappeared. A ball passed through the hut, and grazed Miss Jane Jones, fourteen years of age, on the forehead. The girl said, ‘Im shot,' and turned to me. I saw the blood and told her it was nothing. The mother commenced to cry, and soon afterwards I left the kitchen, and went into the back-yard. I then saw three of the gang there standing behind the chimney. They had their rifles in their hands. One of them said, I don't know which, 'If you go out you'll be shot.' I walked straight down the path towards the house. The firing was then going on all round me, but I was uninjured. One of the police very nearly shot me, but I said 'Station-master' when he challenged me. I forgot to mention that during Sunday afternoon Steve Hart demanded and received my revolver."

Robert Gibbons

Robert Gibbons states—" I am a farmer, and have recently been stopping at Glenrowan with Mr Reynolds. I came to the raiIway station about eight o'clock on Sunday night with Mr Reynolds to ask about his little boy, who had not been home. When we knocked at the door, Mrs Stanistreet told us then Mr Hart was inside, and that they had been stuck up ever since three o’clock on Sunday morning. We followed her in, and saw Steve Hart. She told him who we were, and he then put his fire-arms down, giving us to understand that we were not to go out. We remained there about two hours, when Ned Kelly came, and Hart ordered us to come out of the room. Ned Kelly then told us that we would all have to go down to the police barracks with him. He kept us waiting there for about two hours, he having gone for Bracken. He returned to us with Bracken. He kept us waiting there about an hour and a half. Byrne at that time was with us. There he told me and Mr Reynolds we would have to go to Jones’s Hotel. We went to the hotel, and he told us to get into the bar parlour. It was then about ten o'clock on Sunday night, and we remained there until the train came. During that time the KelIys were going about the place making themselves quite jolly. Byrne was in charge of the back-door, the other door being locked. A little after three o'clock the train came. Prior to that the gang drank quite freely with the others. When the train arrived, Ned came and said, 'You are not to whisper a word that has been said here about me. If I hear of any one doing so I will shoot you.' He went to the door of the room and said, 'Here she comes,' and then the gang busied themselves in making preparations, but for what I did not know. They came back and said the first man who left the room in which we were would be shot. Two of them then mounted their horses, and rode away, but I could not tell which two. They came back in about ten minutes' time. When they came back, I saw that Dan was one of the two who had gone away. Dan went into a back room. All four in turn went into the same room. Very soon afterwards a hurried move was made, and firing commenced. There must have been about forty men, women, and children in the house then. The women and children commenced to shriek, and Mrs Jones's eldest daughter was wounded on the side of the head, and the eldest boy shot in the thigh. The bullets rattled through the side of the house, and we laid down. We were packed so close that we had to lie on our sides. It was those who laid next the door who prompted us to come out, and we did so because we feared that the bullets would come through faster than ever. We also feared a cannon would be used; and about ten o'clock we ran out. I heard some of them say that Byrne, or one of the gang, was lying dead in the back. I know that Dan was alive when I left."

Mr Steele

Arthur Loftus Mauld Steele states—"I am a sergeant of police at Wangaratta. I arrived here with five men about five a.m. We were at once challenged by police, and answered, 'Wangaratta police.' My men were then distributed around the hut, and I got to the tree near the back door of the hut. There was no firing then. A woman and child came to the back-door screaming, and I told the woman if she ran in quick she would not be molested. A man then came to the back-door, and I asked him to throw up his arms or I would fire on him. He was only about twenty five yards distant. The men stooped and ran towards the stables and I fired. He then turned and ran back to the house, and I fired again. I am certain I hit him with the second shot, as he screamed and fell against the door. There was then some hot firing, and' the bullets whistled all around me. The firing was kept up for some time, and some of the men behind me called out. It was then breaking day. I looked round, and saw a man stalking down. I thought he was a black-fellow, and called on the others to be careful. I then saw him present a revolver and fire at the police. I could see the bullets hitting him, and staggering him for a moment, with no further effect. I therefore thought he had armour on, and determined to have a close shot at him. I ran towards him, and when within ten yards of him he saw me, and turned round to fire at me. I then aimed at his legs, and he staggered, but he still tried to aim at me. I then fired the second barrel on the legs. We were then in the open. He fell, and cried, 'I'm done, I'm done.' I ran up to him then, and he again tried to shoot me, but I caught the revolver and pushed it down. I was behind him, and he could not turn on me quick enough to shoot me. Whilst I held the revolver away from me he fired the revolver. Senior-constable Kelly then came up and assisted me to secure him. So did O'Dwyer, and a host of others at once followed. We only found one revolver on him, and a bag of ammunition. We divested him of his armour. I was strained after the scuffle which ensued."


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