The Argus at KellyGang 13/12/1878 (5)
While at the station Ned Kelly made several inquiries respecting a man whom he knew very well, but ultimately learned that he was at present at a place known as "shingled hut", some few miles away. It was thought that the party went in that direction when they left the station but if they did so, subsequent information has led to the belief that this was only done as a blind, and that after going a short distance in that direction they doubled back and proceeded along a totally different road. Before leaving the station they made one of the hands burn the clothes they had discarded after supplying themselves with a fresh suit out of the hawkers cart. A some what comic episode occurred near the homestead yesterday afternoon, owing to a sudden panic that unaccountably took possession of some persons not belonging to the station, but whose business took them there. Among them were several men engaged in repairing the damage done to the telegraph wire, and some platelayers on the line. Some rumours were abroad that the Kelly's were coming back and without waiting to ascertain how much truth there was in the statement they made for the shelter of a standing field of corn. A gun was at the time discharged by one of the station hands, and this added to their terror. They bolted as hard as they could run, making in the direction of the railway, with the view of stopping the train going to Euroa, and to be carried out of danger. They succeeded in their attempt, but what with fear, and the exertion of running at such a rate in the hot sun, they were dead beat by the time they got into the train. The platelayers ran along the line in such terror that the engine driver had to put the breaks hard down to prevent them being run over. Most of the party have been laughing heartily over the affair today, but it was anything but a joke to them when it occurred.
Today there have been innumerable rumours flying about, but none of them have any truth in them. At first it was stated that the telegraph line between Longwood and Mansfield had been cut, but no sooner had the operators proved this to be false, than another rumour got abroad that the line to Murchison had been cut; this, like the other one, proved false. Superintendent Nicolson returned here at daylight this morning, and by the forenoon train Captain Standish, the chief commissioner of police, came up. They have been all day in close consultation. Superintendent Hare arrived here to night.
During the afternoon a telegram was received from Violet Town stating that a resident of that place had been stuck up and robbed of £16, but little reliance is placed on the statement. In compliance with the earnest request of that township, Captain Standish has decided to station two more constables there and they proceeded there by the evening train. Some information has reached the authorities this evening which will probably enable them to at once pick up the trail of the gang, if it proves true. They are not very far away, perhaps not more than eight or nine miles, in the direction of the Strathbogie Ranges , near a place called the Wombat. From what can be learned it appears that four men were seen to camp in the the ranges. Three bay horses were noticed with them, and more than that, it is known that the men, who live in the ranges near where their camp was seen, are friends and sympathisers of the Kelly's. Captain Standish proceeded on to Benalla by the last goods train.
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