The True Story of the KellyGang of Bushrangers Chapter 7 page 2

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This was not a hopeful beginning for the capture of the outlaws. Mr Sadlier says the noise of shod horses in that country was unavoidable, but Mr Nicolson, who felt the want of discipline and the go as you please nature of the affair very keenly, regarded it as a wild goose chase, and thought the police were only bringing ridicule upon themselves by the proceeding.

After crossing the range the party reached low ground again, and came in sight of a dwelling which they understood to be the Sherritts’ hut. Up to this point Mr Nicolson did not even know where they were going beyond that they expected to find the Kellys somewhere in the vicinity. Mr Sadlier and Captain Standish had been talking together. Mr Nicolson busied himself in trying to knock the cavalcade into some kind of shape and grumbling about ‘the confounded noise,’ but now Mr Sadlier came up to him and said, ‘Mr Nicolson, this is the house of the Sherritts. The outlaws are said to be here.’ He continued to give some instructions, when Mr Nicolson took his turn at command, saying, ‘You send some men into that paddock’ - there was a large paddock behind the house - ‘and see the men do not escape by the back.’ Then, turning to two or three men, and calling to them by name, Mr Nicolson ordered them to follow him, and galloped at full speed up to the front.

The object of the expedition had been to take the Kellys asleep. If they were still there they were doubtless by this time wakened by the thunderous noise of the cavalcade, and nothing was to be gained by delay. Accordingly, followed by his men, the police officer charged the house, flung himself from his horse at the door and broke it in. One of his party, Constable Bracken, tried to go first in the rush into the dwelling, but Mr Nicolson, resenting any attempt to precede him, thrust the constable aside, with the result that the gun carried by the later was exploded—the only shot fired upon the expedition, and one which created great excitement among the cordon of police surrounding the hut. Mr Nicolson’s party searched it rapidly from room to room, but found not a soul.

Disappointed there, the police, riding on, reached another hut, which was rushed in the same manner, and though the Kellys were not there, a man, who was said that he had heard the party coming a mile away. A little further on, again, was the house of Mrs Byrne, mother of Joe Byrne, a member of the gang, and this house was empty like the others.

By this time day had broken some time, and the scanty population of the neighbourhood was astir. It took the police some time to satisfy themselves that none of the property of the murdered men was concealed in Mrs Byrne’s hut, and when the search was over, there strolled up first to join the party a very fair and tall, high shouldered young man, whom Constable Strahan introduced to his officers as Aaron Sherritt. ‘Here is a man,’ he said, ‘that knows the Kellys well, and will be of use to you; he knows all that is going on.’

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This document gives you the text of the report about the KellyGang for this day. 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. This document is subject to copyright.

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