Kilmore Free Press at KellyGang 1/7/1880 (3)
The rattle of the rifle ball was repeatedly heard on the helmet and armour, and occasionally, as Ned Kelly advanced, he was noticed to stop suddenly, or quiver a shock evidently produced by the force of the bullet coming against the iron plating. Finding his body cased in impenetrable stuff the order was passed round to fire low, and the wisdom of this course was soon apparent. As the shot took effect in his arms and legs he increased his pace forward slightly till within about ten yards of Senior Constable Kelly, who gave him the benefit of a Martini Henry ball in the face from the effects of which he staggered visibly.
The scouts were pegging away at the man in the iron mask, with telling effect, and a few minutes before half-past eight Sergeant Steel rushed upon him from behind a tree, Senior constable Kelly coming up about the same time, closely followed by the others, and in the first flush of victory the outlaw and Steel were sent sprawling upon the green sward together. Kelly was at once secured, when it was found that his body, head, and shoulders were encased in quarter inch steel plough-share plates, the only vulnerable points being his arms and legs. The cool manner in which the outlaw walked to his doom startled and surprised everybody. He was removed to the Railway station under medical treatment.
AN APPEAL TO KELLY
When Kelly lay on the floor in the railway van, Inspector Sadlier appealed to him to send some signal to his comrades and spare further bloodshed, but he replied, "I cannot; they will never give up, and you cannot take them alive."
Inspector Sadlier : Now, Ned, I know you can influence those foolish fellows if you like to do so come, give them some signal, and put an end to this.
Ned Kelly : Oh no they will not give up. They all have armour on, and you can't take them.
Inspector Sadlier : I do not speak for ourselves, but for the lives of innocent men and women who have been taken to the house.
Ned Kelly : I can't help that. The boys won't give up.
Reporter: How came you out of the house, Ned ?
Ned Kelly : I have not been in the house since the special train came. I heard you coming, and went down to meet you, I could have shot you, but I di[d]n't. When I saw the engine stop down in the cutting, I went up close to you, and had a look, but you put the lights out, and you moved slowly on, I came ahead, and walked up the station platform just before the train arrived. I went round the station and over to Jones', where I stood and saw the men come over.
Reporter : But you ran away after the first volley.
Ned Kelly : I didn't run away. I was shot in the foot in the first volley, and in the arm, and I wanted the boys to go with me. I thought they would follow and got on my mare and rode quietly up along the fence over the hill; and as they did not come, I turned back.
Reporter : Your revolving rifle was found stuck in the earth on the side of the hill.
Ned Kelly: Yes; I could have got away if I wanted: but I wouldn't leave the boys.
Reporter : Are they in the house now?
Ned Kelly : I think so. Byrne is hurt, but they cannot hurt the others — they have armour.
Reporter : It did you little good. Come, Ned, why don't you comply with Mr. Sadlier's request, and send the boys a signal to give up.
Ned Kelly : Don't ask me. They will never give up.
SEARCHING THE OUTLAW
The duty of searching the outlaw was entrusted to Senior-constable Kelly, who only found a three- penny piece, a silver watch, and a few chains on him. On asking the outlaw what he did with Kennedy's watch, he said that he wouldn't tell.
The armour which the outlaw worn weighed 1cwt. exactly, and consisted of six plates of ¼in. metal manufactured from ploughshares stolen from the farmers around Greta. On the armour there were eight perceptible bullet marks on the breastplate, five on the helmet, three on the shoulders, and nine on the backplate. These were mostly all deep dents in the steel plates.
The scouts kept up an occasional fire on the hotel until about one o'clock, when an order was given that if all the persons in the house did not come out they would be fired upon, and immediately about twenty or twenty five boys, and old and young men ran out, holding both hands up in the air, to where the scouts were posted behind trees for fear of treachery. On coming close to the scouts the prisoners were made [to] lie on their faces and hands, and they were called away one by one and released. Their terror was most abject, and seeing that they were lying on their faces all day expecting death every minute. Two lads named M'Auliffe were arrested from this batch for being associates.
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