Royal Commission report day 13 page 15
The Royal Commission evidence for 14/4/1881
(see also introduction to day 13)
Superintendent Sadeir giving evidence
2984 Do they bring back the horse?— No; there is so much chopping and changing, and altering of brands, that unless the owner drops upon his own horse, no person can know it by description. They are so clever at altering the brands that even when the brands are being described to the police, as I have seen at Benalla, it is not until you have shaved closely that you can see the brand was tampered with. They use brands dipped in scalding water, and cigar ends, and are up to all sorts of tricks that we know nothing about.
2985 As a matter of fact, with a bit of hoop-iron, you can almost erase any letter by heating it in the fire?— You can do that without heating it in the fire—you can do it by putting the brand in boiling water for a time, which will leave a little rise in the skin, and show no difference between the new and the old mark, and by pulling out the hair with the finger-nails you can easily turn a B into a D for instance.
2987 And put the best men you could find?— Yes.
2991 Dated in the middle of May?— May 20th was one of the dates I sent.
2992 How many did you send altogether?— Three.
2993 Because there are four besides the letter he put in evidence?— I was not aware of that; let me see the one you are speaking about. —[A letter was handed to the witness.]
2994 May 20th?— Yes, this is one of the letters I sent.
2995 How many did you send in all?— I sent one dated 26th February, one May 14th, one May 20th.
2996 Do you know where March 16th came from?—1881 that is; that is long after.
2997 July 13th 1880 —do you know where that came from?— No, that is after the Glenrowan business. I never saw this; they never came near my office at all—[the postmarks were examined by the witness]. —I never heard of them before.
2998 By Mr. Nicolson . —Those two letters never came through your hands at all?— No.
2999 By the Commission. —Those three are the ones you sent down, the ones of which the dates were given?— Yes.
3000 And those were in the drawer of the table?— And I did not look at them till I was asked for them by Mr. Nicolson.
3001 As soon as Mr. Hare was wounded you got the keys, and those letters would be in your possession till Mr. Nicolson asked for them?— Yes, and no one had any access to them.
3002 By Mr. Nicolson. —If it has been stated that there were six to eight letters from “Diseased Stock” left by me with Mr. Hare, is that true?— I cannot say. I do not think it was. I never heard of them
3003 By the Commission. —Do you know of your own knowledge of any other letter from “Diseased Stock” but those three?— Those are all I know of.
3004 You have seen all the documents?— There is nothing left now; you have before you every paper I have in the business. I do not know of any besides those three from the “diseased stock” agent......
The witness withdrew.
Adjourned: to Tuesday, 3rd May, at Eleven o'clock .
[~[[See report of Proceedings 14/4/81]|5904]~]
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