Cookson, 13 09 1911 4

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13 September 1911

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KATE AND HER SISTER "Perhaps I might say here that the press accounts of the startling happenings of this sensational time were often incorrect where Kate Kelly was concerned. That happened this wise. The police were accustomed to regard every woman on horseback whom they encountered in those stirring days in circumstances suggesting that she was rendering assistance to the outlaws as Kate Kelly. They were frightened of Kate Kelly, as a matter of fact. Some of them were more afraid of her than of her brothers. There may have been reasons for this, because they knew that Kate never forgot nor forgave the insults which she alleged Fitzpatrick had offered her on that fateful April afternoon. And they knew Kate went heeled. Really, however, Maggie Kelly, afterwards Mrs Lloyd, who was the best horsewoman in the whole family, was often mistaken for Kate. As Jim Kelly has told me time after time, Maggie was the one to whom they were chiefly indebted for sustained and unselfish assistance, rendered in circumstances often of desperate hardship, which were the means of subsistence for them in those times of mortal peril. Without the assistance of these two courageous girls the outlaws could not have remained at large for any length of time.

KATE AND THE CARTRIDGES

"Let me give you one instances," said Mr Grovenor, "of what Kate Kelly was capable of. After the tragedy in the Wombat Ranges, whilst the outlaws were in strict hiding from the police, who were overrunning the country, there came a time when they ran very short of ammunition. They could have got ammunition by force in various places, but they did not know of any place where they could get cartridges of the calibre of their own weapons. These were not to be bought in Glenrowan certainly; they were not even procurable in Benalla or Wangaratta. Melbourne was the only place where they could be obtained. And to Melbourne accordingly Kate Kelly was sent to buy them.

"Now, however unsuccessful the police were in locating the male members of the Kelly family, they managed to-keep a pretty strict watch upon the movements of the girls. Kate Kelly's visit to Melbourne kept the telegraph busy for quite a long time. But she seems to have been able to avoid the attentions of the detectives in Melbourne because she managed to purchase there a small portmanteau full of the ammunition that her brothers and their associates needed.

"Perhaps the police thought they would be able to intercept these munitions on the way back. Certainly it is that Kate was not interfered with in any way until the train in which she was returning reached Winton, a small place a few miles from Glenrowan. Here a couple of detectives accosted the outlaw's sister, and took charge of the portmanteau that she had with her in the carriage. One of them said, 'Is this all the luggage you've got, Kate. The girl replied; 'You! That's my clothes, what do you want with them? The detective replied, 'We're just going to have a look if there's anything else here." Kate pretended to be indignant, but the men took the portmanteau away, leaving her in the carriage. No sooner had they gone than the girl opened the window on the other side of the carriage-that furthest from the platform-and whished quietly to a man who was waiting there. To this man she handed the smaller portmanteau that contained the ammunition, no one noticed what she did. The man ran up the line, crossed into the bush and returned to where he had a buggy and pair waiting. Kate left the carriage, made some more indignant remarks to the detective who had taken her luggage away, and then joined her confederate in the waiting vehicle. Within an hour the portmanteau full of cartridges was waiting for the outlaws in the lonely rendezvous in Greta Swamp.

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