Cookson, 14 09 1911 2

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14 September 1911

(full text transcription)

THE RESTORATION OF KENNEDY'S WATCH "One thing more that I'd like to clear up, said the man from Glenrowan. "Is the mystery of the restoration of Sgrgeant Kennedy's watch. It was a gold watch and a very valuable one. After the tragedy in the Wombat ranges Ned Kelly wore this watch for a long while. Mrs Kennedy was very anxious to gain possession of it, and she enlished the assistance of a man named Wallace, who had been in the police force, and who at that time was keeping the Broken River Hotel. Acting on her suggestion, Wallace let it be known amongst the friends of the outlaws that he would give £10 to anybody who returned the watch to him. One day a little girl about 14 or 15 years of age - I know now that she was a cousin of Ned Kelly - went into Wallace's hotel, and told him that she had come for the £10. Wallace tried hard to find out from the girl who she was or what her antecedents were, but she would say nothing but that she had come with the watch, and that she was not to be interfered with. Wallace had sense enough to know that strict compliance with the letter of the compact was his safest course, so he handed over the £10 to the child and received the watch in return. Not long afterwards it was in Mrs Kennedy's possession."



"It was not often that the police could catch Kate Kelly unawares," remarked old Mr Grovenor, with a thoughtful sort of smile, "but they nearly did one day. And to this very time the members of the family believed that the police came out winners on that solitary occasion. It was after that robbery of the bank at Jerilderie and the whole country was full of police searching likely and unlikely haunts of the outlaws for some of the plunder. Of course they went to the old homestead amongst other places, but this building could not be approached by strangers without the inmates knowing about it, and Kate who was the only inmate of the place besides the mother of the outlaws, saw the troopers coming. She picked up a couple of buckets and started to the creek, a quarter of a mile away, for water. Before leaving she picked up a mustard tin full of sovereigns that had been left there for the family sustenance and slipped it into her pocket. On the way to the creek she dropped the tin just as it was into a hollow stump. There has been a good deal of mystery associated with the outlaws in various ways, but the mystery of those sovereigns has proved one of the most exciting of them all. The police searched the house and left unsatisfied, but when Kate went to look for the tin of sovereigns it was not there. She was certain of the stump she put it in, or thought she was. Anyway, all the stumps in the neighbourhood that had hollows in them were carefully chopped to pieces in the search for that money, but it has never been found. "Kate always said that the police must have watched her as she went to the creek, and have seen her drop the tin into its hiding place. Of course it would have been easy for them after Kate had returned to the house to lift the gold, divide it round amongst the party, and depart as they had come. "It's significant." Added Mr Grovenor, "that though the police put up a very thorough search for any booty that might be concealed about the place they made no attempt to look for the outlaws.


"I don't think you know that Kate Kelly's eldest son is still at Glenrowan," said the visitor that historic vicinity, in conclusion. "But he is, and he's a most exemplary citizen generally. He started on scratch with nothing. Now he's got a bee farm, he's got money in the bank, and he's going to be married to a nice young lady belonging to a respected family. He works hard. He doesn't smoke nor drink, and in many respect he's a good practical lesson in quiet citizenship to a lot of people down there. There was not much the matter with Kate, except affection for her brothers, who had been outlawed for protecting her."

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