The Argus (42)

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The Argus continued with its report of the KellyGang

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[[#_Toc43994061|]] [[../../people/peH_J/harePsup.html|Superintendent Hare's Report]] continued

“He informed me that he had no engine which could run to Beechworth, that line requiring peculiar engines. I requested him to get the engine which was to come down to Wangaratta from Beechworth the following morning to get up steam at once, run down to Wangaratta, and wait there till my arrival, so that it could act as pilot thence to Beechworth. He consented to do this, and also to have trucks ready to convey the horses and men from Benalla to Beechworth. “I then returned to the telegraph office, where Mr. Sadleir had remained during my absence. We made arrangements for horses and provisions to be ready for the trackers, and told off the following men to accompany me to Beechworth:—Senior-constable Kelly, Constables Arthur, Barry, Gascoigne, Canny, Kirkham, and Phillips, leaving a party behind us all ready equipped, with two black trackers, for Mr. Sadleir, in case anything occurred while I was away. I remained in the telegraph office until 10 o clock p.m. Having completed all arrangements I went to lie down for two or three hours, as I expected to reach Sherritt's house by daybreak the next morning to commence tracking from there.

“At 1 o'clock I went to the railway station, had the horses put in the trucks, and waited the arrival of the special, which reached Benalla, I think, about half-past 1. Mr. Rawlins, a gentleman residing at Winton, asked me to allow him to travel in the special to Beechworth from Benalla, as he had a pass on all the railways. I told him I had no objection to his doing so. The engineer in charge of the Benalla station suggested that I should put a constable in front of the engine, to keep a look-out dong the line. I accordingly told off Constable Barry tor this duty, and saw him securely fastened on the engine. I afterwards ascertained that the engine that brought the train from town had become disabled on the way up, and it was decided to send it as the pilot, and send the Benalla engine to Wangaratta with the train. The engine-drivers refused to allow Barry to go on their engine, so I recalled him. The occupants of the train from Melbourne were as follows:—Mr. O'Connor, his wife and sister, five Queensland trackers, and six gentlemen connected with the press.

“My party, already mentioned, joined the train here. Previous to starting I asked the stationmaster to give me the key of the railway carriages, as the guard insisted on locking us in. He complied with my request. The pilot engine started about five minutes before our train. We went along at a rapid pace without interruption until within two or three miles of Glenrowan station I heard our engine whistle. I put my head out of the carriage, looked ahead, and saw the pilot pulled up within 300 yards of us. I immediately unlocked my carriage, jumped out of the train, and walked towards the pilot. When about a few yards beyond our engine, I a man walking towards me from the pilot with a lamp. He came from the pilot engine, and told me that he had been stopped by a red handkerchief being held up, and lighted by a match held behind it. When he pulled up he saw a man without coat or hat approaching, who appeared greatly excited, and told him that the line had been broken up either this side or the other of Glenrowan. He said the man told him the Kellys had taken possession of everybody in Glenrowan, and that they said they were going to attack the police on their arrival. I asked him where the man was. He said after giving the information he ran away into the bush, as he had left his wife and family at home, and that he was a schoolmaster at Glenrowan. He said, ‘I invited him to go on the engine, but he declined.’ I then ordered all the carriages to be unlocked, lights extinguished, and gave the occupants the information that had been given to me, and to be ready for any emergency. I at once walked towards the pilot, taking with me three men, leaving Mr. O'Connor and his men with Senior-constable Kelly and the remainder of my men. I walked along the line myself, and distributed the men on each side, telling them to separate and keep a sharp look-out. When I reached the pilot the engine-driver repeated the story about the schoolmaster, and I told the driver to go on quietly in front of the train. He declined doing so until I jumped on the engine myself and brought up the three men with me. I placed the men in the best position, and told them to keep a sharp look-out and be ready for anything that might occur. I took up my position at the opening of the engine, and then told the driver to go ahead cautiously, and be ready to go ahead or backwards at any moment in the event of my directing him to do so. He said his engine was in a very disabled state, having lost its brake, and could not be depended on. He advised that he should shunt back to the train,, and that the two engines should be hitched on together, and so take on the train. I consented to this, and we shunted back. I then directed Senior-constable Kelly to jump on the other engine with three men, and to put them in the most secure places, prepared for any emergency. I gave information to Mr. O'Connor of what I had ascertained and done, and we started off at a slow pace towards Glenrowan. When we reached the station everything was in darkness, not a soul moving anywhere. I got off the engine and told every man to jump out of the train and keep a sharp look-out. I then started off in company with Mr. Rawlins to the stationmaster's house, which was about 70 or 80 yards from the station, where I saw a light in the window. I knocked at the window, and looking through saw a woman and children. She asked, ‘Who’s there?’ I answered, ‘Police; open the window.’ I asked her where her husband was. She replied, ‘They have taken him away into the bush.’ She was greatly excited, and for some time could scarcely answer me. I begged her to be calm and tell me who had taken her husband away. She said, ‘The Kellys.’ I asked in which direction they had gone, and she pointed in the direction of Warby's ranges. ...


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