The Alexandra and Yea Standard, Gobur, Thornton and Acheron Express at KellyGang 2/11/1878 (4)
No additional police have arrived. Great indignation is expressed by the residents. The search party has not yet returned. The stores are all closed, and business is at a dead stand still. Mr Inspector Montfort, the officer in charge of the Russel street barracks, says the Telegraph , received the following telegram from Constable M'Intyre, stationed at Mansfield, last night:- " Warrants have been issued to-day for the arrest of Edward and Daniel Kelly, and two other men whose names are unknown, for the wilful murder of Constables Michael Scanlan and Thomas Lanogan, near Mansfield, on the 26th inst. First man, name unknown, about twenty-one years of age, 5ft. 9in. high, slight build, very fair complexion; whiskers, beard, and moustache thin; mild expression of features. Second man, about nineteen, stout, with only a few straggling hairs on face, sinister expression."
The Kelly family (says the North Eastern .Ensign ) are notorious in this district, and their names are familiar as household words. The father (a man of ill-repute) died some years ago, leaving the widow (now in Pentridge), the two sons Edward and Daniel, and four girls. The house of the family has been the rendezvous of thieves and criminals for years past, and, indeed, has been the centre of a system of crime that almost surpasses belief. They lived on the Eleven-mile Creek, between Winton and Greta, and there can be no, doubt made a living by horsestealing and theft generally. They were surrounded by neighbours of the same bad reputation, and it was notorious that to obtain evidence, or arrest the accused, owing to the network of confederates for miles around, was almost impossible. The scoundrels were principally engaged in horse stealing-a work that, owing to the poor police protection afforded in the district between their haunts and the Murray, could be carried on with impunity. It was the habit of the gang to steal horses wholesale for scores of miles around and cross the. Murray with them, and there, among the "old hands" and settlers, "swop'" or sell them. This profitable trade was carried on for years, but the outrage upon Constable Fitzpatrick, the outlawry of the brothers Kelly, and the consignment of a batch of the horsestealers to Pentridge, appeared to have broken up, the unlawful business, and the district began to breathe freely after being. relieved of a terrible incubus, when word came of this daring crime only a score or two of miles away.
Regarding the escape of mounted constable Meehan, the North-Eastern Ensign says:-"He had got as far as Barjarg on his way along the Mansfield road, towards Benalla, when he observed fires ahead, and a horseman came out on the road, riding on a horse with a bell round its neck. The constable, suspecting he had come upon, the camp of the bushranging party, who he thought had determined to cut off connection with Benalla, turned back, and was followed at a quick pace by the horseman who had intercepted him. He first called at Allan's, but finding no one there, went on to Hickson's. Opening the creaking gate, and riding round the house, he found no one in, but observed the horseman, who had followed him, and who, he is quite certain, was Ned Kelly, pull up in front of the gate. To have gone out by the gate, which was the only outlet, would have been dangerous, and so he pulled the bridle off the horse, slipped off his boots, which wore creaking, and jumping a brush fence. and going through a cornfield, got away on the track to Benalla. He had a series of unpleasant adventures. Soon after leaving, he heard the gate of the farm creak, as the horseman who was after him went into, the farm, and saw him go towards the place where the horse had been left. This convincing proof of the man's curiosity gave Meehan a further incentive to travel, and barefooted he faced the long. journey. For two hours he stood in a swamp, listening to the growling of a native bear and watching the camp, fire of, as he supposed, the bushrangers.
|!||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.