The Complete Inner History of the KellyGang and their Pursuers (13)

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The fear that the baby would die in gaol was apparently the motive for now granting bail.

Constable Fitzpatrick, before the, Royal Commission on July 6, 1881 , said:-

"When I first went to the place (Mrs Kelly's) Dan was not there-only Mrs Kelly and some of the younger children of the place, and I entered into conversation for a while to see if there was any chance of Dan putting in an appearance. Mrs Kelly knew who I was, and I drew her attention to the sound of someone cutting wood behind the hut on the creek where they lived, and I said: 'I'll go up and see who they are.' I went up there and found Williamson, a man that used to live with them, splitting rails, and asked him had he a licence, and he said, 'No, he did not require one splitting wood on selected land'; so after I had spent a few moments with him I was heading for Greta. I was going straight there--the station I was en route for; I was on horseback. I had occasion to pass by Kelly's new hut at the time-the one they were living in at the time. As I was passing I noticed two horsemen entering the slip panels in front of the old hut. I rode round to where they were, and by the time I got round one of the men disappeared, and Skillion was holding one horse by the mane and had the other horse-the one he had been riding with the saddle and bridle on-he was holding that, and third horse he had caught in the panel just after coming in. The horse that had been ridden had the bridle off. I asked Skillion who was riding the horse. He told me he did not know. I examined the mare and saw it was the one Dan Kelly was riding two or three days previous to that, when I had seen him. I said, 'That is Dan Kelly's mare,' and he said, 'Yes,' I said, 'Where is he?' and he said, 'Up at the house, I suppose.' That is the new hut. So I rode up to the place again and called out, 'Dan.' He came out, and as soon as saw him I walked up to him. He had his hat and coat off and a knife and fork in his hand. I said, 'I' am going to arrest you on a charge of horse stealing, Dan.' 'Very well, you will let me have something to cat before you take me?’ I said, 'All right.' He said, 'I have been out riding all day.' So he went back into the hut, and I followed him in. As soon as I went inside Mrs Kelly accosted me, calling me 'a deceitful little .’ She said she always thought I was. She said, 'You will not take him out of this to-night.' I said it was no use talking that way, that I had to do my duty, and Dan said, 'Shut up, mother! that is all right.' I was scarcely in the place three minutes when Ned Kelly rushed in and fired a shot at me and said, 'Out of this, you ---.' Dan was sitting down to have something to eat. I was standing up alongside him with my right side to him. Ned fired a second shot and it lodged in my wrist. With that I turned to draw my revolver, and just as I slewed to the right Dan Kelly had my revolver pointed at me. He had snatched it while my attention was drawn to his mother and Ned."

Question.-Where was Williamson?

Fitzpatrick.-He had come to the door of the bedroom and Skillion was with him; they both had revolvers in their hands. They were not in the hut when I came in.

Question.-Were they in the hut when you were fired at?

Fitzpatrick.-Yes; just as the third shot went off.

Question.-Was Skillion in the hut?

Fitzpatrick.-He came to the hut as soon as Ned Kelly found out it was me. Williamson came out of the bedroom door and had a revolver in his hand, and Skillion just came to the door while he was forcing himself where Ned Kelly was standing.

Question.-Then you had three men to fight besides Mrs. Kelly?

Fitzpatrick.-Yes, and Ned Kelly said, "That will do, boys." If he had known it was Fitzpatrick he would not have fired a - shot.

Question.-When you left Benalla that morning were you under instructions to do any certain duty?


Question.-Who gave the instructions?

Fitzpatrick.-Sergeant Whelan.

Question.-What were the instructions?

Fitzpatrick.-The instructions came from headquarters.

Question.-What were they?

Fitzpatrick.-To take charge of the Greta station temporarily in the absence of Senior Constable Strahan.

Question.-Was Strahan away from his station?

Fitzpatrick.-He was.

(12824). Question by Commission.-How far (away) was Ned Kelly when he fired?

Fitzpatrick.-About a yard and a half from me, he had just come from the side of the hut door. As soon as he had fired the first shot Mrs Kelly seized an old shovel that was at the fireplace and rushed at me with it.

(12825). By the Commission.-He missed you the first shot?

Fitzpatrick.-Yes; she rushed at me with this shovel and made a blow at me, and smashed my helmet completely in over my eyes, and as I raised my hand to ward off the shovel Nod Kelly fired a second shot and it lodged in my wrist. With that I turned to draw my revolver, and just as I slewed to the right Dan Kelly had my revolver pointed at me. He had snatched it while my attention was drawn to his mother and Ned Kelly.

Question.-When you left Benalla it was for the purpose of taking Strahan's duty?


Question.-Did you ever do that duty? Was it your first time of being ordered to do duty of that character-sole charge of a station?


Question.-Would it not have been your duty to have gone direct to take charge of the station where the man was not in charge?

Fitzpatrick.-The sergeant agreed with my suggestion by telling me the complaint against Dan Kelly and telling me to be careful with him.

Question.-Did the officer at Benalla, Sergeant Whelan, know when you left that morning that you were to arrest Dan Kelly if you got the chance?

Fitzpatrick.-Yes, he was aware of it.

Question.-How was he?

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This document gives you the text of this book about the KellyGang. The text has been retyped from a copy of the original. We have taken care to reproduce this document but areas of the original text may been damaged. We also apologise for any typographical errors. JJ Kenneally was one of the first authors to tell this story from the KellyGang's point of view

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