Royal Commission report day 33 page 9

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The Royal Commission evidence for 28/6/1881

(full text transcription)

(see also introduction to day 33)

[[../../people/peH_J/johnstonCPC.html|SConst Charles Johnston]] 'giving evidence'

12435 Did you call him-again?— I called him about six.

12436 Did you call him again?— No.

12437 Was he ill?— I am not aware of it.

12438 Was he fit for duty?— I do not know.

12439 What do you think?— It is hard to form an opinion. He was in bed.

12440 Did he get up at nine?— I saw him about half-past eight.

12441 Did you see Mr. Nicolson that morning?— I did not.

12442 Do you know whether Mr. Nicolson sent to see if the party had gone?— I told Kitt we could not get away, it was a shame to keep us waiting. He said he would go and tell Mr. Nicolson.

12443 Is he an old constable?— Yes.

12444 Did he tell him?— I was told by the constable that was with Mr. Smith, named Broderick, that Mr. Nicolson came down to the hotel and ordered him off after we had left. The party was gone before Mr, Brook Smith started.

12445 Did Mr. Nicolson take any action from the time you gave him the information the night before that you had the police horse till you started the next morning, to see the party were off?— I am not aware of it. I never saw him. Mr. Brook Smith overtook us on the road.

12446 How far were you on?— We were about two miles out when he overtook us. He rode on in the direction of the ranges in front of us.

12447 Was he by himself?— Yes, he was; the party was after him until we got within about two miles of Bryan's place.

12448 Was it where you left the tracks?— No, we wanted to turn off on to the left, and get up the gully, and not go near Bryan's place at all, for the purpose of setting on the tracks where we had left them, we got on near to the foot of the range when Mr. Smith ordered us to “form up” again, and he asked me where I was taking him to. I said, “We are going up this gully, and we will get on the tracks where we left off yesterday in about twenty minutes.” “No,” he said, “you will come this way,” and turned us to the right. He said, “You must go to where I lost the tracks myself, I will follow them up there.”

12449 Where had he lost the tracks?— About between four and five miles from Bryan's place, further back in the ranges, about ten miles further back than we had tracked them. We turned to the right and went to Bryan 's.

12450 Contrary to the wishes of the men and yourself?— Yes, contrary to the wishes of the men and myself.

12451 In fact, contrary to your knowledge of what ought to have been done?— Yes, quite contrary to what we thought ought to be done.

12452 You had been over the ground and knew where you were going?— Yes. Dixon was the guide with us that thoroughly knew the country.

12453 He could have taken you to exactly the spot?— Yes.

12454 Mr. Smith ordered you the reverse way, and you were bound to obey the orders of your officer?— Yes.

12455 What occurred when you went back that ten miles?— We again picked up the tracks where we had left off the day that Mr. Smith was with us, and followed them on to where we had left them off the night we got the pack-horse.

12456 You had then done the ten miles four times over?— Yes. We then picked up the tracks again, and ran them in the direction of Taminick station.

12457 That was on the Sunday?— Yes.

12458 That would be about the 10th?— Yes, on the 10th.

12459 Was Mr. Smith with you at this time?— He was; he remained with us then.

12460 How far did you get on the tracks that night beyond where you had been on them the night before?— On the Taminick station–about 15 or 20 miles.

12461 You had followed them up 26 miles that day?— Yes, about that; the trackers were very slow. They walked; they could not track unless they were on foot. It was two of the Coranderrk trackers we had; and we camped at the Taminick station that night, and the following day we picked up some tracks again, and ran them in the direction of Glenrowan. We started very early the next moving, just after daylight.

12462 Was Mr. Brook Smith with you then?— He was.....

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