The Argus at KellyGang 8/11/1878 (3)
The birds had evidently received warning and had taken their departure. Of course the man Sherritt put on a virtuously indignant air, and asked whether he ought to be suspected of harbouring such persons after having been in the police at home. As it was evident nothing was to be got at this place, a push was made for another selection some little distance off, belonging to Sherritt, jnr., a son of the last visited individual. Upon entering this hut young Sherritt was not found, and from the appearance of the squalid den, the sole furniture of which consisted of a large bunk, a rough table, and stool, it was evident that neither the proprietor nor any of his acquaintances had been there that night. No time was lost in speculating upon possibilities, but the party pushed on over the ranges, and descending a precipitous and dangerous gorge about 800ft., came upon a green valley known as Sebastopol, having a creek running through it, and overshadowed either side by the high ranges known as the Woolshed Ranges.
A sharp turn to the left brought us in front of a slab hut situated in a nicely-cleared piece of land. This was the hut of Mrs Byrne, who is also known to be most friendly to the Kellys, and is further said to be connected with another of the gang. She appeared at first greatly scared at seeing such a large party surround her house, but finding that she was not herself required, she became very bold and impudent. She could not, or more probably would not, give any info rmation, and, in fact, denied all knowledge of the Kellys.
It was now plain that information had been already forwarded to the gang that this locality was not safe for them, and that they had consequently shifted their quarters, for those who speak on authority are certain, from the information afforded them, but which unfortunately arrived too late, that the Kellys had been about this part within the last few days. That they have not crossed the Murray is quite certain; but at present there is some doubt which direction they have taken, the general opinion being they are doubling back to their old position. Whichever way they do take, they must sooner or later show themselves, to obtain provisions, and be pounced upon. In the meantime, the police officers and men are working their hardest to secure the ruffians. As nothing further could be done for the day, the whole of the men being pretty well tired with their last few days’ work, the party dispersed at Byrnes’ hut, Captain Standish, his officers, and some of the men returning to Beechworth, while the others separated and went to the respective points where they are stationed and from whence they were summoned.
As showing the absurd character of the statements which are made to the police officers, it may be said that Dr Cleary, of Beechworth, went to Superintendent Sadleir about half-past 10 o’clock last night, and reported that while driving from Everton during the evening seven shots were fired at him, and he showed a small scratch as the effects of one of them. Of course his extraordinary story was set down to the effect of imagination, but it shows how men who are supposed to be endowed with a little common sense may be carried away by the present scare. Captain Standish returned to town by the afternoon train. The men who were out to-day were greatly pleased to see him with them in the field.
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