The Argus at KellyGang 20/12/1878
Elsewhere we publish a circular adopted by a committee of gentlemen at Mansfield, inviting contributions towards a fund for the erection of a monument in memory of Sergeant Kennedy and Constables Scanlan and Loingan, who were murdered by the Kelly gang on the 26th October last. We have been requested by the committee to receive subscripptions for this very laudable purpose and we need scarcely say that we shall do so with the utmost pleasure.
As will be seen from a telegram by our specal reporter, the report that the house of a selector on the Kilfera road had been stuck up by armed men supposed to be the Kelly gong of murderers arose only from a practical joke on the part of a fiiend, and from the ludicrous flight of one of the selector's sons. No definite trace of the gang has yet been discovered. It is reported that Mr Healey, of Strathbogie station, has been missing for three days, and although the statement wants corroboración, it is feared that the gentleman has fallen into the Kelllys hands.
THE MANSFIELD MURDERERS
(BY ELECTRIC TELEGRAPH)
(FROM OUR SPECIAL REPORTER)
BENALLA, THURSDAY .
The case of sticking up on the Kilfera-road, which was reported to the police authorities at an early hour this morning by the son of a selector named Bamford, turned out to be a simple enough matter, but was greatly magnified by the fears of the informant, who has made himself the laughing-stock of the whole place in consequence. The facts of the affair are as follow:―About five miles from here resides an old one-legged selector named Bamford, having with him his wife, two sons, and a daughter, all of whom are grown up, the sons being about 23 and 25 years respectively. At no great distance from them resides another selector, who has staying with him at present his stepson, an engineer named George Cunnington, aged 21 years. About 9 o’clock last evening he proceeded towards Bamford’s house with the intention of having some talk on business matters, and thinking that he would possibly get a shot at an opossum or native bear, he took his gun with him.
When he got to the hut, he saw one of the sons standing outside, and it being then dark he called out “bail up,” and at the same time clicked the lock. The other son, who was inside the house, without making any remark to the family, or waiting to see who was at the door, rushed out of the back door, and made his way straight across country to Benalla to info rm the police. He was in a most excited state when he reached here, and had kept as far from the main road as possible. He was under the impression that he was being followed by one of the gang on horseback, and on more than one occasion he lay down amongst the trees to evade pursuit, and to allow the fancied horseman to pass him.
He says that a horseman did overtake and pass him while he was hiding on one occasion, but this is doubted. Even when he got to the vicinity of the police camp he was not more reassured, and he made his entry into the camp in such an erratic manner that he was near receiving the contents of a rifle. Instead of going to the front gate he climbed over the fence belonging to the grounds of the sergeant’s quarters, and thence climbed over the other fence into the police camp reserve. The sentry on duty at once covered him with his rifle, and it was not until he had fairly recovered breath that he was able to give an intelligible account of what had happened. As soon as the police authorities were made aware of what had taken place, a party of seven troopers under Senior-constable Johnson was despatched to the spot, taking Bamford with them as a guide. It should be stated that some little credence was given to the story, as the Bamfords are known to be very respectable people. In the meantime the cause of all the alarm had been recognised by the Bamfords, and entered the house, where he remained for some time before returning to his own residence.
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