Kilmore Free Press at KellyGang 12/8/1880 (3)

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Mr C A Smyth arrived yesterday, and is prepared to go on with the prosecution to-morrow, but there is great talk of a postponement being applied for by the defence, on the ground that sufficient time has not been afforded them to prepare an answer to the charges which have been preferred against the outlaw. A disagreement has already taken place between Ned Kelly and his solicitor, for what reason, however, it has not has not been made public, but it has been of such a nature that Zincke has thrown up the case, and positively declined to have anything more to do with the matter.

I believe the rupture occurred in consequence of the prisoner's friends having retained David Gaunson appear with Mr Zincke without the latter's knowledge or consent, their reason for so doing being that it was thought the member for Ararat would be enabled to exercise some influence with the Government on Kelly's behalf, while Mr Zincke would be expected to act in a similar manner with the political party in the Assembly of which he is a member. Mr Zincke warmly resented such a proposal, I am told, and threw up the case.

Mr Gaunson is expected to arrive by the night train, and as he will not be able to see the prisoner to receive instructions till the morning, he will probably apply for a remand till Saturday.

The Crown prosecutor will insist upon the case being gone into, and from what I can learn there is a probability of the desired remand being granted till next day. I believe there are other and more serious reasons which have influenced Mr Zincke in throwing up the case, but at present it is impossible to ascertain them, as the parties concerned are most reticent.

The police are mustering in strong force. Great activity prevails, and every precaution is being taken to prevent an accident or a demonstration of the friends and sympathisers of the outlaw, who are arriving hourly and can be seen hanging about the town in a most uninviting manner.

Kelly continues quiet and orderly in the gaol, but appears to grow impatient as the time for appearing in court arrives.

Mrs Skillion made an attempt to communicate with her brother this afternoon through the police, by bringing a new hat to the camp, and requesting it might be conveyed to Ned in exchange for the one which he brought with him on Sunday, but it was feared that the hat was intended as a sign of some dangerous import, and it was detained by the police and not conveyed to the outlaw as requested. It is anticipated that Kelly's friends will create a disturbance to-morrow — indeed, an indefinite something is talked of being done, but every precaution is being taken, and should anything occur the police will be prepared for the emergency.

With respect to the murder of Aaron Sheritt, it appears that immediately prior to the tragedy, Sheritt was sitting in the hut telling Duross that some short time before the murders on Stringy Bark Creek he and Byrne got into a row in which a Chinaman was nearly killed, and as it was feared the Mongolian would die, warrants were issued for their apprehension. Sherritt was arrested, but Byrne kept out of the way, and eluded capture. While in the log watch house awaiting his fate, he was visited by Byrne, who knocked at the wall about midnight, and wanted him to escape, but Sherritt said that the Chinaman was getting better, and advised Byrne to give himself up but the latter would not consent to do so, and disappeared in the bush as mysteriously as he came. Just as Sherritt had finished telling of this occurrence, a knock was heard at the door, and by going to see what was the matter the unfortunate man met his fate.

It has transpired that Byrne frequently slept at a well-known hut about two miles from Beechworth, and upon the news arriving of Byrne's death, the occupant of this hut was greatly distressed and quite inconsolable for days.

The outlaws and their friends were experimenting as to how best to prepare ball-resisting armour for many months, and although the person who finally succeeded in producing the necessary article is not known, it has transpired that four whole months were expended in making the sets of armour which the gang used at Glenrowan.


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