Royal Commission report day 18 page 10

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The Royal Commission evidence for 11/5/1881

(full text transcription)

(see also introduction to day 18)

'Constable Alfred John Faulkiner' further examined

5495 Were there any men by when he said that to you?— I think so when he spoke about the Chinamen, but one could not hear what he said to the others because of the noise of the van.

5495a Did he speak to them?— Yes, he was speaking to them and singing all the way up from the time he got in the train.

5496 Did he appear to sing out of bravado?— It was a song made up about themselves.

5497 And their exploits?— Yes, “The brave Kelly gang,” during their time in the mountains, and something of that sort.

5498 Did he give you the idea of being a courageous man or a coward?— I believe he was a very plucky man and a very good man if he had put it to better use.

5499 Did he give any idea where they were?— No, except the reference to the Warby ranges.

5500 You stated you believed he was there during the first week in November, when the horse was found?— Yes.

5501 You also stated that he knew who was to bring in the horses in the morning?— Yes.

5502 That could only be acquired by a person on the spot?— Yes.

5503 Did he mention who it was brought them?— No.

5504 You do not know whether it was only brag?— I believe it was true because it was two men's work, and he said he knew the men who brought up the horses every morning.

5505 You did not ask for the names?— No, if I began to ask a question he stopped at once; if I began to ask a question he thought I wanted to know too much.

5506 He would not allow himself to be “pumped”?— No. With reference to the time the information was received on the 3rd of November, I believe it to be correct, that they would have been captured on or about that time; I had not this information given directly to myself, but I believe that.

5507 Did you see Senior-Constable Johnson on your way through Wangaratta at that time?— No, after we came back from Sebastopol then we saw him.

5508 Did he tell you anything about his trip through the Warby ranges?— No, he did not.

5509 Are you aware he was the constable with that party?— Yes.

5510 How long had you been at the cave party before you formed the opinion of the probability of your existence there being known to Byrne's family and others?— Well, I formed it gradually; after I was there a couple of months or so, I heard more and more, which convinced me towards the latter end.

5511 Do you remember any circumstance that first suggested to your mind that your being there was known?— I could not exactly say to a month.

5512 Was there any special circumstance about the first time that led you to that belief?— Simply because there were too many women mixed up with this cave party, Mrs. Barry and Mrs. Sherritt, and Mrs. Sherritt's family were continually visiting Byrne's.

5513 Was that the case from the first time you went to the cave?— Yes; Sherritts and Barrys I noticed.

5514 Were you called upon at any time, by either of your superior officers, to express an opinion whether you thought that your presence there was known or not before the time you were asked to send in that report?— No, never.

5515 So far as you were concerned you kept it a profound secret?— Yes, I communicated to no one

5516 When you went back to Beechworth, during the nine or ten days, did you have any complaints?— No.

5517 Did you write to anybody during that time to tell that?— No, never.

5518 At no time no communication, written or otherwise, passed from you that you were engaged in that secret cave party?— No.

5519 You stated that the two families that you mentioned, in your opinion, were aware of the cave party being there?— Yes.

5520 You said they visited from place to place?— Yes.....

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