The Complete Inner History of the KellyGang and their Pursuers (38)

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CHAPTER IX

continued

“You’ll have to take a small handsaw with you,” said Mr Kain, “in order to saw the root and get the chain free.” Their horses were shod, and every detail of the expedition carefully attended to.  A few days later the Kellys left Greta at dusk, and reached Burramine before daylight on Saturday morning, 8/2/79.  They pulled across the Murray in two trips and swam their horses behind them.  The swim refreshed the horses after their long ride.

They pushed on towards Jerilderie in the early morning and camped during the heat of the day, and reached Davidson’s Hotel, two miles from Jerilderie, in good time for tea.  Ned and Steve Hart rested off the track, while Dan and Joe went up to the hotel and had tea.  They talked to the waitress and inquired if the Kellys were over there.  They conveyed the impression that they (Dan and Joe) were afraid of bushrangers. “No, you need not be afraid of the Kellys, they won’t hurt anyone,” replied the waitress.  With this assurance Dan and Joe settled down to a good meal.  After tea they had a drink, and the waitress, who also served the drinks, sang one of the Kellys’ songs and wished the Kellys ‘wherever they were’ good luck:

We rob their banks,

We thin their ranks,

And ask no thanks

       for what we do.

“How many police have you here in Jerilderie?” Dan inquired.  “Only two, and they’re enough—Senior-Constable Devine and Constable Richards.”

Dan and Joe paid for their drinks and pushed on.  Ned and Steve now rode up to the hotel, and they, as strangers, also made reference to their fear of the Kellys, but they were reassured by the waitress that the Kellys would not hurt them.  They paid for their tea and pushed on to join Dan and Joe, who were waiting for them a little way along the road.  The four horsemen reached the police station just as the coach was leaving Jerilderie for Deniliquin.  As the coach was passing, one of the passengers was heard to say, “They might be the Kellys.”

The police had just gone to bed.  They had been very active during the afternoon and secured a drunk, whom they had placed in the lock-up.

Ned Kelly placed Dan, Joe and Steve in their positions around the police station.  He then rode back towards Davidson’s Hotel for about 250 yards.  Ned turned his horse round and galloped on the metalled road up to the police station, yelling out.  He pulled his horse up suddenly, and cried out wilding, “Mr Devine, there is a row at Davidson’s Hotel; come down quick; there will be a murder there.”

Ned talked excitedly.  Richards jumped out of bed, and, pulling on his trousers, hurried around the house to the front, where Senior-Constable Devine had already appeared at the front door.  The two policemen were now at the front together.  Ned Kelly dismounted on the off side of his horse to show that he was not used to horses, while the police eagerly sought more enlightenment about the row at Davidson’s.

Ned parleyed for a minute or two to see if there were any more police to come out.  Then, when satisfied that there were only the two constables, he presented his revolver and announced the presence of “The Kellys.” The other three had already closed in.  The police surrendered and were handcuffed and taken inside.  Ned Kelly inquired if there were any women inside.  Devine replied that his wife and children were inside.  Ned asked whether Mrs Devine was in a delicate state of health, as he did not wish to give her a fright.  Senior-Constable Devine replied in the negative.

Ned first secured the police firearms and ammunition, and placed the two policemen in the lock-up and brought the drunk out to sleep with them (the outlaws) in the dining-room.

These two constables were suspended from duty by Ned Kelly.  Ned told Mrs Devine that she had nothing to fear as long as she did not make a row or give an alarm.  Mrs Devine was required to show Ned over the house, so as to convince him that there were no more police in the place.  Mrs Devine was now told that she could go to bed to her children as usual.

Two of the Kellys slept while the other two kept guard.  Early next morning, Sunday, Ned Kelly and Joe Byrne donned police uniform, ready for duty—the maintenance of order.  They attended to their own and the police horses in the stables.  Dan Kelly assisted Mrs Devine to clean and dust the courthouse, which was on the opposite side of the street, and which would be used that Sunday by the priest who was due to celebrate Mass.

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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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