Royal Commission report day 28 page 8

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The Royal Commission evidence for 9/6/1881

(full text transcription)

(see also introduction to day 28)

[[../../people/peA/arthurJPC.html|Const James Arthur]] giving evidence

11107 Did you believe he knew where they were at the time?— No.

11108 Did you believe he knew anything of their movements?— The way I thought he did it was he went to Mrs. Skillian and carried information to them.

11109 He was giving her information about the movements of the police?— Yes.

11110 How do you account for their hatred to him that led them to shoot him?— Well, the time that Mr. Nicolson’s party was up there, Sherritt was supposed to be seen by some of the sympathizers, and they took the word to Kelly afterwards, and that was the reason he was shot.

11111 Was it possible he was shot for being supposed to give information that was really given by others?— That was all I could make out the reason.

11112 Were you at the Glenrowan affair?— Yes, I went up with Mr. Hare.

11113 About three o'clock in the morning?— Yes.

11114 Where were you stationed?— At different places. First when I went there I was stationed alongside of Mr Hare, through the gate. He was partly through the wicket-gate when the first shot was fired—just going through. When the first volley went he was clear; he was struck on the second volley.

11115 Were you by when he was struck?— I was about five yards from him. His hand fell. I saw him loading with the gun between his knees, and I asked what was the matter, and he said he was shot in the wrist.

11116 Did he load and fire after he was wounded?— Yes.

11117 How many times?— I saw him fire twice.

11118 Was it a double barrelled gun?— Yes. He was in the act of loading when I saw him the second time. He had discharged the barrels before.

11119 Do you remember the women getting out before daylight?— Yes. There were some tried to get out just before Mr. Hare left, and they went back again frightened.

11120 Did you hear the screams as soon as the first volley was fired?— Not the first; but after the second or third there were screams, and then Mr. Hare gave orders to cease firing, to allow them to come out.

11121 Do you remember Mrs. Reardon coming out, and her son, and Mr. Reardon?— Yes, that was near daylight.

11122 Where were you stationed at that time?— About thirty yards from the house, on the Wangaratta side of Jones's hotel.

11123 Were you stationed towards the back or front?— Between the two, opposite in a line with the passage.

11124 That was about due north of the house?— Yes.

11125 Did you hear Mrs. Reardon cry out anything?— Yes, when she came out she screamed out. I could not make out what she said. She screamed out as loud as she could, and had a child in her arms, and when she came out Steele sang out, “Throw up your hands, or I will shoot you like a dog” and the woman was coming towards him, and he fired. (JJK)

11126 Did you suppose him to fire at her?— He fired direct at her; we could see it in the moonlight, and then she turned round, and then he fired a second shot, and then I spoke to him and told him not to fire—this was an innocent woman. I could see her with a child in her arms; and then afterwards he turned round and said, “I have shot Mother Jones in the .” Constable Phillips was on his right, on the right hand behind, and I heard him make some remark about a feather. I could not say what it was.

11127 Did you make any remark at that time?— I told him not to fire—it was an innocent woman. I said I would shoot him if he fired.

11128 How far were you from him?— About 20 yards.

11129 What door did they come from?— The back door of the hotel, out of the passage, and just as she came out of the passage Steele fired.

11130 Right behind the hotel?— Yes.

11131 Did you see her son coming out?— Yes, I saw the young fellow coming out, leading a child.

11132 Could you distinguish it was the figure of a man?— Yes, I could see it was a young men.

11133 It was light enough?— Oh, quite light.

11134 Was he crawling or walking?— Walking, leading the child.

11135 Had he his hand up?— After Steele called out to him, he hold his hand up, and Steele fired.

11136 After his hand was up?— Yes, and he turned round, and as he went into the door he was shot—I would not swear who fired it—and he fell.....

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