Cookson, 16 09 1911 2

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16 September 1911

(full text transcription)


AN EPISODE OF THE KELLY TIMES continued The coach was now going down hill, at the bottom of which was the dry bed of a creek. "See that tree," said the driver, pointing to an immense gum tree. "That's where Power bailed up this coach."

"Indeed," I replied. "Who's Power?"

"He's a bushranger," was the answer.

"And is he about now?" Inquired I.

"Bout where?" said the coachman.

"Is he about his occupation as a 'bushranger?'

"No fear! He's in Pentridge,"

At this I felt reassured. I was safe from molestation from Mr Power. Before I left Melbourne an old colonist said to me, "You're going right into the haunts of the Kelly gang, and you will daily meet their sympathisers. It is quite possible you will meet the Kellys themselves while out at the back of the run. Whatever your sentiments are, don't think too loud. Everybody will have your measure before you have been a week at the station. Take my advice, and keep a still tongue, and attend to your own business, otherwise you may find things made very unpleasant for you." I intended to follow this advice. At the same time my youthful love of adventure determined me to glean as much information as possible in preference to the bushrangers. The coach stopped at Doon to change horses. Here I inquired of the driver if he would take some refreshments, to which he replied, "H!, presently" In asking the driver, it was not my intention to shout for the whole population of Doon. However, I walked into the bar followed to the driver, who called to the groom to come and get a wet, "Mine's a long beer." Said John, "What's your's, Bill? Yours, Tom? Yours, Jack?" In fact 'yours' everybody including the landlord to the tune of 7s 6d, which, as matter of course, I paid with the idea of impressing the band that I was accustomed to that sort of thing.

"Fill 'em up again," said the driver, but by this time I was at the door, and they had to find another person as green as myself to shout for them, or enjoy "Kentucky" (each man pay for himself). As I glanced at the bar window I saw a face with a long red beard and bloodshot eyes staring straight at me and I could hear the words "Special" and "Trap" coming from the bar. Whatever these words might mean. I concluded they must refer to myself, and my feelings were those of a somewhat suspected person.

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