Cookson, 05 09 1911 1

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5 September 1911

(full text transcription)




WATCHHOUSE KEEPER IN A FIX "People were badly scared of the Kellys ? days, for all the heaps of police that were about, and there were some funny things happened at times. One night a magistrate? heard the cook drop a saucepan on the floor in the middle of the night, and he ? out and climbed a tree and stayed there until he saw the woman come out to get water for the kettle in the morning. And people ?ing after dark always had their hands ready to throw up if anyone on a horse rode by. If you stopped a man on the road and asked him the way, or the time, or anything, he'd hold his hands up before he'd tell. ? see that gang was pretty sudden, in?. It didn't do much thinking-just did anything that it happened to be thinking of at the time. Lots of people who met the gang always saved themselves from being shot by pointing out things about the business that the Kellys hadn't thought of. Once the Kellys met a fellow who wouldn't put his hands up quick enough. He was just looking along the barrel of his pistol for a good ? to let the life out of him when the ? said, "Here, you - fool, if you shoot me, who's going to take Father - home at night?" Ned hadn't thought of that. It seemed that the man worked for Father -, and when the rev. gentleman felt more timid than usual was in the habit of giving him a shoulder home. Ned said he supposed the father wasn't to stay in the street all night, so he let the man go. But he told him next time he got any instructions to get busy on them quickly, or else his head would jump off before his hands got going. The man promised he would.

"One night there was a party at Father X-'s. Most of us were there. It was a fine time. Also, afterwards, nearly everyone got swamped. While it was on Sam Maud came up with the news that the Kellys had stuck up and robbed the bank at Euroa. Sergeant Whelan was at the party. He and I left in my card for the police camp. I said to him as we were getting there, 'Say Sergeant, wouldn't it be a joke if we found the Kelly crowd in charge of the police station.' Whelan said he couldn't see any fun in it at all. 'But they may be there.' I said, 'I shouldn't wonder,' he replied; 'but I'll do my share. I'll mind the old grey mare and see no harm comes to her, while you go in and see if there's anyone there.' "

'You're afraid of getting shot,'

I said. "'I'm not,' he said.

"Well, it was getting on to daylight now. I felt someone catch me by the leg. It was Mr Wyatt PM. He wanted to know if there were any police there. There weren't. That was the fact.

"There was a lock-up keeper down there who was very anxious to get the reward for the capture of the Kellys. One night someone told him that a man had been seen climbing over the fence of one of the banks.

"Don't let them beat you for the reward," we said. He collared the first old gun he could find, and turned the whole town out. He said he'd have that reward or -. "It's my case! It's my case!" he yelled.

And he meant it. They searched the place. But the only place they didn't search was the servant's room. Man under the bed-her man.

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the previous day / next day . . . BW Cookson in the Sydney Sun index