Royal Commission report day 52 page 6 (2)

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The Royal Commission evidence for 4/8/1881

(full text transcription)

(see also introduction to day 53)

[[../../people/peC/curnowThomasT.html|Mr Thomas Curnow]] giving evidence

17611 What was your idea of Mrs. Jones's conduct towards the outlaws at the time?— Well, I thought Mrs. Jones and her daughter were acting foolishly, but did not think their actions were the result of criminal sympathy with the outlaws.

17612 That was not your impression?— No. I thought they were acting under the influence of fear, keeping their real sentiments concealed, as the outlaws were masters, and everybody would please them if they could. My impression regarding Mrs. Jones is that she was in favor of the police.

17613 Did you labor under the impression at any time that there were any other people there sympathizing with them?— The one that we thought to be a sympathizer was McDonnell, on the other side of the line, that was the impression of the people round.

17614 Do you know if they were seen at that place at any time—any of the outlaws?— No.

17615 Were they very observant during the whole period of confinement of the actions of all the men?— They were. There was always one on the watch, and no person could even go to the stable or privy without being seen by one of the outlaws; you could not go anywhere. There was always one of them outside.

17616 There was no desire manifested to get away by those imprisoned?— No; I think they all regarded it as useless making any attempt to get away.

17617 Did Ned Kelly or any of the gang state what their intentions were after they would have wrecked the train?— Well, I conceived it from the conversation of the outlaws that they were going to Benalla to rob the banks. That was my impression during the day, and it was received not direct, but from innuendo in speaking one to another. I remember hearing one of the outlaws express regret to another that there were no banks in Glenrowan, and saying that they would make up for it after they finished the train.

17618 Was it your impression, from conversation that took place, that the plan they had arranged was, first of all, to wreck the train, and then proceed immediately to Benalla, to rob the banks?— That was my impression.

17619 Did you hear of any ammunition being planted at McDonnell's for the purpose?— No. There a parcel Dan Kelly was searching for very anxiously; that was the only thing.

17620 Did you know this Delaney you spoke of?— Not intimately, but through seeing him at the post-office and going round different places.

17621 Did you gather anything from him as to whether there were any other makers of the armour?— I had no idea about the armour. My wife told me, after I had stopped the train, they had armour. She had heard it at the station during the day.

17622 I suppose the real fact was you did not know, when you were cooped up in the public-house, who were sympathizers or not?— I did not.

17623 And were afraid to speak to anybody?— Yes, I was afraid to speak even to my wife about anything I was going to do, fearing to be noticed.

17624 You could not tell that anyone you spoke to might not be an agent of the gang?— No, I could not. I was not afraid to speak to Mr. Stanistreet or Mrs. Stanistreet, but I was afraid to speak about my intention to get away and give an alarm, for fear of being observed and suspected.

17625 You did not feel certain of anybody?— No, I would not really trust anyone but Mr. and Mrs. Stanistreet and my wife, sister, and brother-in-law.

17626 By Mr. Sadleir— Were there any other armed men about besides the Kellys?— I heard from my brother-in-law that Tom Cameron had told him that during the early morning there was constant galloping between the station and the ranges on the right hand side; that is towards Kelly’s residence.

17627 Towards Greta?— Yes, as we were on the road up, I heard a horse walking on the other side of the line, on the right hand side going to Wangaratta, and we stopped and listened, and then we heard it start into a trot, then a canter, and then a gallop. That was when I was going up to see who was victorious after the first volleys were fired.

17628 Were you on the platform later in the day?— I was there about three o'clock.

17629 Did you see Wild Wright then?— No.

17630 Do you know Tom Lloyd?— Yes.

17631 Did you see him earlier in that day?— No, and I do not know whether I saw him at all.

17632 That young Delaney has been convicted of some offences; did he appear to be a sympathizer?— He was as white as a sheet. He was really frightened; he could not make himself so white and trembling as he was.

17633 He has been sentenced for some offence?— Yes.

17634 Is that the boy you referred to as applying for admission to the police?— Yes, that is what Ned Kelly said.

17635 You do not think it a ruse of Ned Kelly's?— I did afterwards. I did not at the time, but after I did think it was a ruse on Ned Kelly's part, though not on Delaney's. Delaney, I think, really thought Ned Kelly in earnest.

17636 Did you see any loiterers outside the crowd any time during the day?— Yes, while the firing was going on.

17637 There is a mystery about certain alleged armed men standing about?— I heard that from some of the onlookers that men had been down in that gully—not police—watching.

17638 By Mr. Hare— Did anyone call at your house that morning after the special train passed?— Mr.Rawlins.

17639 And mentioned my name?— Not whilst I was at home.

17640 Did your wife tell you that anyone called while you were away giving that signal, and mentioned my name?— No; when I came down from the station I called at a house to tell the people the outlaws were surrounded, and that it was all right.

17641 This was before the special came up, whilst you were away with the flag; had anybody been there during your absence?— No.

17642 Is there anything else you desire to tell the Commission?— Just now I do not think of anything.

The witness withdrew. ....

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