The Argus at KellyGang 31/12/1878 (2)
THE MANSFIELD MURDERS
(BY ELECTRIC TELEGRAPH) '
(FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT)
In some telegrams I sent to The Argus a few days ago, I mentioned about one of the Kelly’s gang being seen between Yea and Seymour . The report has since turned out to be correct, as I have been informed on good authority that the whole gang occupied a hut in the Switzerland Ranges for a week, while the party of police under Senior-Constable Irvine were searching within a few miles of them. The Kellys left their hiding-place last week, and it is supposed that they made direct for Mansfield, as early one morning four horsemen, each carrying a gun before him on the saddle, were seen galloping at a rapid pace through Molesworth towards Alexandra. The person who saw them says he feels certain that they were the Kellys, from the description of the men and the arms they carried; but as it was only just daybreak when he saw them, and as they rode very fast, he could not get more than a passing glimpse at their faces. This statement is confirmed by a report that four men, all well armed and having three bay horses and a grey, were seen on the same day near Yarck, and about eight miles from Alexandra. If these men were Kelly’s gang, it would seem as if they were making almost directly back to their old haunts, as by crossing the Puzzle Ranges, near Merton, they could then very easily get to either the Strathbogie of King River ranges.
While writing on the subject of the Kellys, I may mention some particulars which have reached me, and which may, perhaps, be interesting to your readers. It will be remembered that some articles of female clothing―a hat, veil, &c., were found at Younghusband’s station after the Kellys had left. These, it afterwards transpired, were worn by Steve Hart, one of the gang, who was in the habit of going about in female attire, in order to reconnoitre and get all the intelligence possible of the movements of the police. Hart usually went on horseback, and his slender figure and boyish face, together with his general good looks, gave him altogether the appearance of a woman, and dressed as such he was in Jamieson a few days before the Euroa robbery without being recognised by anyone; and I have been told also, he actually walked through the police in Mansfield, and then rode away towards the Wombat, leading another horse, which he was taking to his mates. He was met a few miles from Mansfield by some persons, who, surprised at seeing, as they thought, a lady riding out unattended in that direction, inquired if he was not afraid of meeting Kelly’s gang, to which Hart replied that he was not, nor of meeting the police either, as he had plenty of arms, at the same time displaying two revolvers. He then galloped away leaving, the persons he met in a state of wonderment at the courage of, as they thought, a young lady returning alone into the stronghold of the bushrangers.
The Wyndham Shire Council at its meeting yeslerday, voted £2 2s to the Murdered Police Memorial Fund.
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