The Argus at KellyGang 22/4/1878
MURDEROUS ATTACK ON A CONSTABLE
(FROM THE NORTH-EASTERN ENSIGN, APRIL 19)
The Eleven-Mile Creek and its neighbourhood, about midway between Winton and Greta, has long been famed as the resort of notorious characters. It was a well-known occasional trysting-place of the bushranger Power during the committal of his exploits in this neighbourhood some years ago, and ever since that time the place has been looked upon as the nest of some expert horse-stealers, cattle-duffers, and general robbers. On Monday evening Mounted-constable Alexander Fitzpatrick, stationed at Benalla, proceeded to arrest a young ruffian named Daniel Kelly, who resides at the Eleven-Mile, under a warrant issued from the Chiltern Bench, charged with horsestealing. The young trooper rode up to the place occupied by Kelly's mother her family, which consists of a brother named Edward and four young sisters, besides the culprit who was wanted. Daniel Kelly shortly appeared on the scene, and was immediately arrested by Fitzpatrick.
At Kelly's urgent request the constable permitted him to enter the hut to get his supper, as he stated he had been riding all day and was very hungry. While standing inside nearby the door, keeping guard over his prisoner, the constable heard another man rush in and a shot fired close to his body. Turning rouud instantly a second shot was fired, which took effect in the troopers left arm, about two inches above the wrist. He saw that his assailant was Edward Kelly, an elder brother of the prisoner. In a moment he grasped at the ruffian's pistol, which again went off, the mother simultaneously crashing in the constable's helmet with a heavy iron fire-shovel. Before he could recover himself, two other men, whom he recognised, named Williamson and Skillian, rushed in, and presenting revolvers at his head, attacked and bore him down in an insensible condition to the floor. This all occurred in less than two minutes, and when Fitzpatrick regained his senses he found himself a prisoner, his revolver and cartridges taken from him, and his arm much swollen and very painful. His captors were standing over him, and the elder, Edward Kelly, expressed his regret at having wounded him, " as he was about the civilest of the troopers around, and had it been any other of the -s he would not have gone away alive." At first, Fitzpatrick thought the bone of his arm was broken, but on feeling and examining the wounded limb he found that the bullet had glanced off the bone and lodged itself just under the skin of the upper side of the forearm, where it could very plainly be felt and its position seen. Upon observing this, Edward Kelly demanded that it should be immediately extracted. He would not leave the lead there to be evidence against him, he said, and offered to cut it out with his pocketknife. This, however, the trooper refused, preferring to perform that operation himself if it must be done, and on seeing that the other was determined, and it would be extremely unsafe to refuse, he gallantly made an incision and squeezed out the bullet, of which Kelly immediately took possession. In the meantime the two men, Skillian and Williamson, had left the place before the constable regained consciousness, and it may readily be imagined that he was particularly anxious to get away from such a den before worse befel him, leaving the capture of the villains to a future opportunity, and after being compelled to promise Kelly that he would not inform of the shooting affray, he was allowed to mount his horse and depart, his revolver being returned to him with the charges drawn.
After riding about a mile the constable noticed that he was followed by two horsemen through the bush, and fearing further mischief he galloped off, but was pursued nearly to Winton at full speed; these horsemen he states were Williamson and Skillian. Arriving at Winton he induced a farmer there to accompany him into Benalla, where he arrived shortly before midnight, and the services of Dr Nicholson being procured, his wounds were dressed, and we are glad to state that he is now progressing favourably ; the only danger is of inflammation ensuing. On Tuesday several constables were despatched from the stations at Benalla, Wangaratta, and Greta and they succeeded in arresting the woman Ellen Kelly, Williamson, and Skillian the same evening, who were lodged in the Benalla lockup during Wednesday afternoon. A fourth prisoner was also brought in, arrested on warrant for horse-stealing, named John Lloyd, who is also known to be one of the gang.
Yesterday morning the prisoners were brought before Mr F M'Donnell, JP, at the police court, Ellen Kelly, William Williamson (alias Brickey), and William Skillian being charged with aiding and abetting Edward Kelly in the attempt to murder Trooper Fitzpatrick, and were remanded to Friday next, 26th. John Lloyd, on a charge of horsestealing, was remanded until to-morrow, Saturday. Nothing could be seen or heard of the two Kellys by the police party, but it is generally supposed they are hiding amongst the caves and fastnesses of the mountains in the vicinity. Edward Kelly was a mate of the notorious Power, and he makes it a boast at times that he accompanied him in some of his most profitable and adventurous expeditions. He was committed for horsestealing in 1875, and sentenced to three years' imprisonment. He told Trooper Fitzpatrick that it would be no use the police attempting to hunt him down, as he was too well acquainted with the country, and could watch the police without himself being seen. He also stated that he would never again be taken alive.
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