On the 25th of October they started on their fatal mission. Leaving Mansfield in the afternoon they proceeded some miles into the bush, where they ascertained, the Kellys were hiding. Towards evening they, reached an open space near a creek, and here they decided to camp for the night. The constables hobbled, their horses, lighted a fire, cooked their supper and went to sleep. About five o'clock the following morning they rose, and after breakfast they consulted as to their course of proceedings. Sergeant Kennedy decided that they would remain camped where they were for a couple of days, while they scoured the neighboring bush where the Kellys had their haunts.
It was next arranged that Kennedy and, Scanlan should prosecute the search, while M'Intyre and Lonigan kept guard over the camp and attended to culinary matters. After breakfast the sergeant and Scanlan mounted, and when leaving their companions stated that they were not, likely to return until the following day. As soon, as they were gone M'Intyre and Lonigan completed their camp arrangements, and the former set about making preparations for the midday meal, while Lonigan sat near the tent reading. While so occupied they were suddenly interrupted by a voice close to them ordering them to 'Bail up; hold up your hands. On looking round they beheld Ned Kelly with a rifle in his hand levelled at them, and near him standing his brother and two others, whose threatening aspect indicated mischief.
M'Intyre, who was some distance from the tent, and unarmed, felt he was completely at their mercy, and immediately obeyed the summons to surrender. Lonigan, however, attempted to draw his revolver, and thereupon was shot dead by Ned Kelly. The poor fellow had only power to exclaim, 'Oh, Christ, they have shot me,' when he turned over and expired. Ned Kelly, then addressed himself to M'Intyre, and ascertained from him, on pain of being treated like Lonigan, full particulars about Kennedy and Scanlan. The constable was given to understand that his life would be spared provided he induced Kennedy and the other constable to surrender their arms without resisting.
While engaged in conversation, the men were heard approaching, and soon afterwards Kennedy and Scanlan, quite unconscious of what had occurred, emerged from the bush, and stood in the open opposite the tent, covered by the rifles of the gang. Acting under the instructions of Ned Kelly, and feeling that he was utterly at the mercy of the miscreants, M'Intyre went forward and told the sergeant that they were surrounded by the Kellys and their confederates, and that to save life it would be better to give up their arms. With out exactly comprehending the situation Kennedy leaped from his horse, and Scanlan wheeling round sought to bring his repeating rifle to bear when a shot from one of the Kellys took effect under the shoulder, killing him almost instantly.
A general discharge of firearms occurred when Kennedy went forward in the direction of where the assailants stood, partly screened by the trees. Upon this M'Intyre suddenly leaped upon the sergeant's horse, and amidst a discharge of rifles dashed off, miraculously escaping unhurt. He alone of the party survived the attack. Poor Kennedy, seeing two of his men dead, the third having left him to his fate, seems to have made up his mind to sell his life dearly. Although, nothing reliable has yet been published to explain how he actually died, yet from various circumstances it would appear that he sought shelter behind a tree, and under cover continued to exchange shots with the murderers.
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