The Last of the Bushrangers Chapter 10 page 7
The Last of the Bushrangers by Sup Hare
Mr Curnow's account
In order that the reader may have a clear idea of the events happening at Glenrowan, I break off here my own personal narrative to insert the account given before the police commissioner afterwards, by Mr Curnow, one of the sixty two prisoners confined in the hotel by the gang.
"On Sunday morning, 27th June, 1880, I determined to take my wife, sister, and child out for a drive along the road from Glenrowan to Greta. We left the school in a buggy at about eleven o'clock in the morning, accompanied by David Mortimer, my brother in law, who rode on horseback. When we got in sight of Mrs Jones's hotel, and opposite the railway crossing, through which we intended to pass, we noticed a number of people about the hotel, and at the crossing. I said, 'Mrs Jones must be dead; she has been very ill.' As we got near the hotel, a man ran out of it towards Mrs Jones’s stable, distant about twenty yards from the hotel. I drove past the hotel to the crossing, and, seeing Mr Stanistreet, asked him, 'What's the matter?' He replied, 'The Kellys are here; you can't go through.' I thought he was joking, and made a motion to drive through the gates, when a man on horseback, who blocked up the crossing, and was talking to a young man whom I knew to be named Delaney, wheeled round his horse and said to me, ‘Who are you?' I then saw that he had revolvers in his belt, and was convinced of the truth of Mr Stanistreet's statement that the Kellys were there. I replied that I was the teacher at Glenrowan. He said, 'Oh ! you are the schoolmaster here, are you ? and who are those?' pointing to my wife, sister, and brother-in-law. I told him. He then said, 'Where are you going?' I answered, 'Out for a drive.' He then said, 'I am sorry, but I must detain you,' and directed us to get out of the buggy, which we did. He then turned again to Delaney and resumed his conversation with him. I afterwards found that the man who had addressed me was Ned Kelly, the outlaw. I noticed another armed man near Ned Kelly, and I afterwards found out that he was Byrne.
"When we got out of the buggy, I led the horse off the crossing, and tied him to the railway fence alongside, directing Mrs and Miss Curnow to go into Mr Stanistreet's house, which they did. As soon as I had fastened the horse, I joined Mr and Mrs Stanistreet and others, who I was told had been taken prisoners by the gang, and was informed by them that Glenrowan had been stuck up since three o'clock that morning, and that the gang had forced Reardon and others to tear up part of the railway line beyond the station, for the purpose of wrecking a special train of police and black trackers, which the outlaws said would pass through Glenrowan. Some person—I believe it was one of the boys who had been bailed up by the gang—then told me that the Kellys had been at Beechworth during the previous night, and had shot several policemen.
"After some further conversation, we all listened to what Ned Kelly was saying to Delaney. The outlaw was accusing Delaney of having, some short time previously, ridden a horse from-near Greta into Wangaratta to oblige a policeman, and of having sought admission into the police force. He threatened to shoot Delaney for this, and pointed a revolver at him several times. Ned Kelly declared to all of us who were listening to him, that he would have the life of any one who aided the police in any way or who even showed a friendly feeling for them, and declared that he could and would find them out. He said that a law was made rendering it a crime for any one to help them (the outlaws), and that he would make it a crime for any one to aid the police against the Kelly gang. The women, who were listening to what Kelly was saying, asked him to let Delaney off. After keeping Delaney in a state of extreme terror for about half an hour, the outlaw made him promise never again to seek admission into the police force, and finally said, 'I forgive you this time; but, mind you, be careful for the future.' Byrne then produced a bottle of brandy, and offered some in a tumbler to all adults there. Some accepted it. Byrne drank some himself, and gave Delaney twothirds of a tumbler, which he drank. Ned Kelly refused to take any, and directed some of his boy prisoners to take my horse and buggy into Mrs Jones's yard, which they did.
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