Cookson, 10 09 1911 2

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10 September 1911

(full text transcription)




NED KELLY LODGED IN GAOL continued After this the police authorities had another violent attack of hysteria. The reward for the apprehension of the outlaws was, with the assistance of the banks and the New South Wales Government, raised to £2000 per man. And the police relied more and more on Aaron Sherritt. It seemed that in this acknowledged miscreants treachery the police placed their sole hopes of success. So a party of them, under his leadership, maintained guard over Mrs Byrne's house, in the hope that the outlaws would visit it for several nights. Another party watched one of the Kellys old camps. All this was in the thick of the mountain forest country. But Mrs Byrne outwitted the whole lot of them, and a few words that she had with Sherritt, consequent upon a discovery that police were in the neighbourhood, provoked the treacherous scoundrel to the fearful threats that a few hours afterwards cost him his life.

The author remembers the thrill of horror with which the news of Sherritt's death was received all through the southern State. People thought only of the one more murder added to a fearful tale of bloodshed. They did not know as much as is known now about that, and a few other matters. But, as it was, the police were spurred to further efforts. The whole country became alarmed. Then came the move in the game - the despatch of the special train full of police and pressmen - and ladies from Melbourne to Glenrowan.

No needed to repeat the closing scenes in the grim tragedy. How the gang decided to wreck the train and kill the police, how this desperate purpose was frustrated by the courage and devotion of the schoolmaster, Curnow, how the outlaws made their last stand in the Glenrowan Inn, and all but one perished miserably - these facts have all been recorded, in the course of these articles, with a vast amount of thrilling detail that has never previously been published.

Remains, now, to follow the career of the bold leader of the ironclad bushrangers to his doom. Badly wounded, incapable of further resistance, his comrades dead, the people of a whole continent clamouring for his life, Ned Kelly was sent to Melbourne in heavy custody of superfluous men and unnecessary weapons. The news of his coming blocked the vicinity of the Spencer St Station with excited people; including vast throngs of excited people; including many sympathisers. But the police, to avoid the crush, took their prisoner out at North Melbourne, the station up the line. From the train the outlaws chieftain was carried on a mattress arranged as a stretcher to a waiting vehicle. In that he was taken to the gaol at Russell St, and placed in the gaol hospital. From there he went to his trail, at Beechworth, and from there back to the Melbourne gaol to his death, of which more hereafter.

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