Royal Commission report day 44 page 2

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The Royal Commission evidence for 9/8/1881

(full text transcription)

(see also introduction to day 44)

John Sherritt further examined

15220 By Mr. Nicolson — Do you remember your first meeting with me at Wangaratta?— Yes.

15221 Who accompanied you?— Nobody.

15222 Who came with you to me?— Nobody came with me to you.

15223 Do you not remember Wallace, the schoolmaster, and he came with you?— No, I do not; he did not come.

15224 Do you not remember about this time, the month of November 1879, an agreement being made that you could sleep in your garden instead of in your house?— Yes, I do.

15225 What was the object of that?— I was frightened to stop in the house, for fear of the Kellys.

15226 Do you remember the date of the agricultural show at Wangaratta?— I did not keep any dates, but I think it was the latter end of the year 1879.

15227 It was about April in 1879. After that you were in the habit of sleeping in your garden, to prevent being surprised by the outlaws?— I was.

15228 At that interview you had with Joe Byrne he had proposed you should join them as a scout?— Yes.

15229 And, in relating that to me, you objected very strongly to doing so; and one of the arrangements made for your safety to prevent it was to sleep in this garden at night; and you could also come in and give information to the police without being observed—was not that the arrangement?— Yes, that arrangement was made only on one occasion.

15230 The Commission— About what date was that?

Mr. Nicolson — I cannot give that exactly. It was 6th November 1879 he had an interview with Joe Byrne . When I met him first was the 12th September 1879 . That was at the agricultural show, and I believe this was after.

15231 By Mr. Nicolson (to the witness)— Was it after that interview that you had with Joe Byrne that you slept outside?— It was a good while after that. I and my brother had a row about his getting married to this Miss Barry . The police used to sneer at me in the cave, and I was not going to do any more duty for you, and I went to fencing; and Detective Ward sent you to me, and gave me £5, and it was on this occasion I was to sleep in the garden. I said perhaps the outlaws might carry me off, and I might be shot along with them if they went to the bank.

15232 By the Commission— How long was Aaron before the Kellys were caught?— He was only going to get married about this time.

15233 Was the time that Mr. Nicolson made the arrangement for you to sleep in the garden after the time that you rode into Beechworth and informed them that the outlaws had called in the afternoon?— I cannot remember.

15234 Was it before or after you had told Mr. Nicolson you would do no more for the police because they would do nothing with your information?— I think it was after.

15235 By Mr. Nicolson— What was the object then of your sleeping in the garden?— I was frightened of being carried away by the outlaws.

15236 Do you remember another arrangement that was made by me or by the police as a precaution against such a thing—do you remember your likeness being taken?— Yes.

15237 What was the object?— The object was, if I went with the outlaws, or was carried away with them, I would be recognized among the outlaws.

15238 And those would be distributed about the colony and New South Wales , and you would be recognised?— I do not know whether they were distributed.

15239 The object was that?— Yes.

15240 You were therefore very much afraid the outlaws at that time would come and compel you to join them?— I was frightened they would compel me, because seeing them so often at the time I was frightened they would take me away whether I liked it or not.

15241 By the Commission— You were pretending at this time to work with the outlaws?— Yes, I was.

15242 By Mr. Nicolson— You were speaking of something that occurred on the 13th November; did you fix the date?— I do not think I fixed the date.

15243 When you gave the information when Dan Kelly visited your house?— Yes, I recollect that well.

15244 Now, going back to your meeting with Byrne a short time before, did not Byrne make the appointment to meet you at Evans's Gap?— Yes.

15245 To meet you on Sunday week at Evans's Gap?— Yes.

15246 Did he meet you at Evans's Gap?— No.....

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