The Argus at KellyGang 18/8/1879

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Nothing positive has been discovered as to the identity of the men who robbed the Commercial Bank at Lancefield on Friday, but the police have reason to believe that they are two escaped prisoners from the batteries at Sandridge, named Cloverly and Gostick. The latest intelligence regarding the robbers is that they have been traced by the black trackers to within a few miles of Heathcote. The account of our special reporter, which appears elsewhere, supplies full particulars of the pursuit.





Further inquiry confirms the statement made in The Argus on Saturday as to the route taken by the two men who stuck up and robbed the Commercial Bank. They were traced to the westward for about six miles, where they were seen at a point on the Monument Creek and the conclusion was that they were making for Woodend. The question may very naturally be asked why did not the townspeople turn out and pursue the offenders immediately after the news of the robbery was circulated? There is little doubt that if they had done so, and traversed the various roads on horseback, they would have soon overtaken the fugitives, for the latter conducted their flight on foot in a most leisurely manner. It is true that a constable and a volunteer gave chase during the day, and followed the trail of the two men for some miles, but they unfortunately turned back to await the arrival of the black trackers. Their excuse was that Superintendent Hare had sent a telegram asking them to "preserve the tracks," and that by following they would have obliterated them. This, however, was a misinterpretation of the telegram, for the trail could have been followed without being destroyed Mr Hare never meant to interfere with any party who might have been tracking the marauders, but simply to secure the preservation of the original tracks for Lieut O'Connor and his "boys." By the way, these Queensland aboriginals consider themselves insulted if they are called "blackfellows," and "boys" is the term they like best.

The townspeople, who might have been expected to pursue the offenders, congregated about the bank, and gazed upon it in idle curiosity; but no doubt many of them would have willingly volunteered their services had there been a leader present able to grapple with the situation, to organise parties, and to direct their movements, Mr Z W Carlisle, the manager of the bank, seems to have a decided grievance against the offenders because they neglected him. He would much rather have been bailed up than have been kept in such total ignorance of their visit. A clue appears to have been obtained to the identity of the two men, for the police authorities here state that there is good reason to believe that they are two escaped prisoners from the Sandridge batteries, named John Cleverly, alias Clevery, and Jas. Gostick, alias Costick.


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