The Argus at KellyGang 12/12/1878 (7)

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The homestead consists of a comfortable well-built house, while the men's quarters and storehouse are built of slabs, and closely adjacent. From what can be learned it appears that shortly after noon on Monday one of the employés on the station named Fitzgerald was just sitting down to dinner in his hut, when a bushman quietly sauntered up to the door, and taking his pipe out of his mouth, inquired if Mr Macauley, the overseer, was about. Fitzgerald replied, "No, he will be back towards evening. Is it anything particular? Perhaps I will do as well." The bushman said, 'No, never mind; it is of no consequence, and then walked away from the hut door. Fiitzgerald contined to eat his dinner without taking notice of the man, but happened to glance after him. A minute or two subsequently he saw him beckoning to some person in the distance. About five minutes later two more south looking characters joined the bushman. They were leading very fine horses, in splendid condition. There were three bays and a gray.

The bushman then proceeded to the house, and walking in met Mrs Fitzgerald, the wife of the employe mentioned, who was engaged in some household duties. The old dame, considerably surprised at the stranger walking in without an invitation, asked him who he was, and what he wanted. He said, "l am Ned Kelly, but don’t be afraid; we shall do you no harm, but you will have to give us some refreshments and also food for our horses. That's all we want." She was naturally surprised, and at once called out for her husband. Fltzgerald left his dinner in the hut, and walked over to the house where his spouse introduced him to the stranger, saying "There’s Mr Kelly; he wants some refreshment and food for his horse." By this tune Kelly had drawn his revolver, evidently to show them that there was no joking on his part, and Fitzgerald, no doubt thinking discretion the better part of valour, accepted the inevitable, and resignedly said, " Well, of course, if the gentlemen want any refreshment they must have it." Ned Kelly then entered into conversation with the people making several inquiries about the station and the number of men employed on it. To all his questions satisfactory answers were given.

While this was going on, the other two men-one of whom was Dan Kelly -found out the horse feed, and were busily engaged feeding the horses, while it was noticed by Fitzgerald and his wife that a fourth man was standing at the gate, evidently keeping watch. After getting all the information he could out of Fitzgerald, Kelly made the man go into a building used as a store and fastened the door on him, leaving the woman at liberty, and at the same time repeating the assurance that no harm was intended to anybody. As the station hands came up to the huts to get their dinner they were very quietly ordered to bail up, and were unresistingly marched into the storehouse and locked up with Fitzgerald, no violence being offered them, as they went quietly. Later in the afternoon, Mr Macaulay, who had been to one of the out stations, came quietly homewards, and when crossing the bridge over the creek which led up to the station, he noticed with some surprise the quietness that reigned about the place, and the absence of the station hands about the huts.

However, he did not give it a second thought, and proceeded on his way until nearing the storehouse, when he suddenly reined up. This was in consequence of Fitzgerald calling out to him from the building, "The Kelly are here; you will have to bail up." He could not believe this at first, but almost immediately Ned Kelly came out of the house, and covering him with his revolver, ordered him to bail up. Macaulay, without dismounting said, 'What is the good of your sticking up the station? we have got no better horse than those you have." Ned Kelly replied, "We are not going to take anything; we only want some food and rest for our horses and sleep for ourselves." Macaulay, seeing it was no good to offer any resistance, at once dismounted and surrendered, but they did not treat him the same as the others, allowing him to remain at liberty, but at the same time keeping a watchful eye upon him. Even then Macaulay did not believe it was the Kelly gang, but when Dan Kelly came out of the house he recognised, as he said, 'his ugly face' at once from the portraits he had seen of him. He said to them, "Well, as we are to remain here we may as well make ourselves as comfortable as possible, and have our tea."

The Kellys were however, too cautious and would not all sit down at once. Two of them had their meals while the other two kept watch until they were relieved. They also took great care that some of the prisoners should taste the food first, being apparently afraid of poison being administered to them. About this time a hawker named Gloster who has a shop at Seymour, but is in the habit of travelling about the country with a general assortment of clothing and fancy goods, drove his waggon up to the entrance of the station, and- according to his usual custom - unharnessed his horses, and made preparations for camping out for the night. Having made all in readiness he walked up to the station to get some water to make his tea with.


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