Cookson, 18 09 1911 1 (2)

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18 September 1911

(full text transcription)



MR TURNER'S NARATIVE CONTINUED continued "Well," I replied, "I have not been personally acquainted with you long enough to form an opinion of you; but I can't say I am glad to meet you."

"How long have you been a 'trap?' inquired Ned.

"I am not a 'trap,'" I replied indignantly.

"What are you, then?"

"Overseer on Mount Battery Station"

"You might be overseer and a 'trap' too. You're not the first one that has worked on that station. What are you doing out this way so far from your boundary?" inquired Dan.

"Looking for lost cattle," I replied.

"That 'pitch' won't do us," said Ned. "You stand over by that stump, and if you attempt to shift you'll get three bullets in your carcase."

I went to the place indicated, and stood facing my captors.

Ned and his two companions stood close together, conversing in an animated undertone. From their gestures and frequent side glances in my direction it was evident that I was the subject of discussion, and I could not dissipate the though that my fate hung in the balance. The conference ended. It was evident that Dan did not agree to the decision of the other two. He stood away from the others, his heavy brow clouded with anger, and his thick lips pouting in sullen disapprobation. Presently he went over the side of the projecting rock, and leading three horses, each animal being fully equipped for riding. They were animals of the hack type, possessing substance, bone, and in one instance especially a strain of good breeding. Dan handed the reins of a beautiful flea-bitten grey to Ned, and a bright chestnut to Byrne; his own mount, a dark brown, with Roman nose and roach back, he made fast to a sapling, at the same time untying old Bismarck, and leading him to the spot where the others were standing. He called me to them.

"Look here," said Ned Kelly, "you look as much like a 'trap' as you do look a station hand. You might be one, and you might be the other. We know you've got one of the station horses, but we're not going to take any chances. Dan here wants to settle matters by potting you at once, but me and Byrne are going to take you to the camp, where you can do the cooking for a day or two. If you belong to the station they'll soon miss you, and we shall hear about it. If they don't miss you, you are a 'trap' and if you're a 'trap' you'll go to Kingdom-come!"

"That's all right" I replied "I'll take the ride with you on those conditions, if you are determined to make a prisoner of me. But why not release me on parole?"

"What's that?" said Ned

"On my honor," said I

"No fear," replied Ned. "We don't take any honor. We are going to take you. Bring his horse, Dan," continued he, addressing his brother

I was in the act of taking the bridle reins in my hands when Ned Kelly said: "Drop that, put your hands behind you," and producing a piece of green hide he began to bind my wrists together. I knew that resistance would be useless, but I appealed to my captors not to adopt any such harsh measures, promising not to attempt to escape.

"We don't want any promises, and we aren't going to give you the chance of getting away," was the reply.

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