The Argus (3)

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(From Another Correspondent)

Constable Armstrong, one of a search party, rode into Beechworth at half past 1 o’clock to day and informed the police that the Kelly gang had been at Sebastopol on the previous evening (Saturday) at 6 o’clock, and that Joe Byrne had shot Aaron Sherritt through the eye and killed him. The gang brought a German to Aaron Sherritt’s hut handcuffed, there being a number of the police in the hut at the time, and forced him to ask Sherritt the road to Sebastopol . As soon as Sherritt opened the door a ball was sent through his eye and another through his chest. The gang also fired balls into the sides of the hut, and kept the police prisoners for 12 hours.

A party of five police left here at 3 o’clock in charge of Senior constable Mullane, but no further particulars are to hand yet. Mr Foster, police magistrate, proceeded to the scene of the affray to hold an inquest, but decided to postpone it until to morrow. The police are very reticent. It is thought that Sherritt was shot in order to check disaffection amongst the outlaws friends.


The house at which the affray took place is situated about seven miles from here on the Eldorado road, and is within half a mile from the residence of Byrne’s mother. It is a two roomed slab house, and at the rear there is a stable. In front there are several large trees between the house and the main Eldorado road. At the time of the outbreak, about half past 8 , there were six people in the house – Constables Armstrong, Alexander, Duross, and Dowling, Aaron Sherritt and his wife. The German (Antoine Weekes), who was brought to the house by the gang, is a resident of the place, and Sherritt, it is supposed, recognised his voice. He opened the door, and was immediately shot down by Byrne, who said, ‘You’ll not blow what you will do to us any more,’ Sherritt died instantaneously without a struggle. About eight shots were fired by the outlaws. The marks of the five balls are visible on the outside wall of the house. Three of the bullets passed through. After Byrne shot Sherritt the gang retired behind trees, and called upon the police to ‘Come out of that you – dogs, and surrender.’ The police said they would sooner die than surrender, and one of the gang then threatened to burn down the house and roast them inside. Numbers of persons have visited the scene of the murder this afternoon, and those present at Sherritt’s house this afternoon was one of the sympathisers who was in Beechworth gaol some time ago. When he saw that he was recognised he sunk away.

(From Our Own Correspondent)

Murchison, Monday 2am

Rumours are flying about that the Kelly gang have visited this district. A swagman arrived here last night with the news that he had met the Kellys at a deserted hotel, four miles on the Seymour side of Nagambie. The police went immediately to the but the men were gone. A pursuit was at once commenced. The swagman describes the men as being heavily armed. They were inside the house at the time. Four splendid mounts were outside with a pack horse.

A further report just received states that one pursuing party came on the outlaws, that shots were fired, and that one of the pursuers were wounded. Rumours of the vaguest character are in circulation.

After the lapse of several months the Kelly gang have re-appeared, and as will be seen by the particulars given elsewhere, have added another murder to those they committed at Mansfield . It appears that during the past few months an old associate of the band, more particularly of Joseph Byrne, a selector named Aaron Sherritt, has been in the employ, of the police, and has given them important info rmation as to the movements of the outlaws. These facts evidently became known to the gang, and they seemed to have formed a determination to murder the man. On Saturday night the outlaws called at Sherritt’s hut, with a German whom they had captured, and whom they compelled to ask deceased to come out. Sherritt recognising the voice, came out of the door, and Byrne instantly shot him dead. There was a search party of police in the house at the time, but from the position taken up by the outlaws they were unable to fire on them. The Kelly’s remained about the hut until 6 o’clock yesterday morning, and about seven hours afterwards info rmation was taken by one of the constables into Beechworth.


Saturday The yield of gold from Chiltern Valley Gold Mines Company’s claim for the week ending to day amounted to 172 oz.


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