The Age (15)

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Benalla…Evening .

The police have played an undoubtedly silly part in the matter of the remains of Dan Kelly and Stephen Hart. When the charred bodies were taken out of the fire. Richard Hart, brother of the bushranger, requested that the remains should be handed over to him. The request was acceded to, and just at dark the Harts, and Quinns and the Lloyds carried the bodies to the residence of Mrs Skillian, at Eleven Mile Creek. A wake was held, the coffins were ordered, and yesterday it was suddenly determined by the authorities that no inquest was necessary. Richard Hart received intimation of that at Glenrowan, and at once said that the bodies were in their possession, and they would not give them up. Other reports came in relative to the intentions of the relations of the dead outlaws.

This morning a strong party of police were ordered to go to Greta and take possession of the bodies until the inquest had been held. When they arrived at Glenrowan, however, they received intelligence that it was unnecessary to go to Greta as the intention to hold an inquest had been abandoned, and the necessary warrant to bury the remains had been issued. Had an inquiry been held it would have been purely of a formal nature, but the police were certainly foolish to hand the bodies over to the relatives and friends in the first instances. Probably the intention to hold the inquest was abandoned because of the desire to avoid provoking a conflict, but it is the general opinion that the police should have taken the bodies from the friends. Their threats had forfeited all their claims to condemnation, if they ever had any, and they should have been treated in a manner which would have shown them that the police had no fear of them. As it is they possibly imagine that the police are frightened of them. I hear that it was in consequence of instructions received from the Crown Law officers that it was determined not to hold the inquest this morning.

The mare ridden by Ned Kelly was found about six miles from Benalla. The saddle and bridle were still on the mare. The saddle … was a tolerably new one, had been made by Bullivant, of Wangaratta. The mare had recently been shod, and so also had the other horses used by the outlaws, showing that the Kelly gang must have some friend who was a black …, probably the same man who made the armour for them. The mare, is a beautiful animal, and is the property of Mr Michael Ryan of the Major Plains. She was stolen from him, with other horses found in McDonald's stables on Tuesday morning, about a fortnight ago. The mare is by Hermit and is a very fine jumper as also is the chestnut horse which Byrne rode.

Reports reached Benalla today which show that there have been some very disorderly scenes at Greta since the gang were captured. The neighbourhood swarmed with friends of the outlaws, and their anulhflation and the wake appear to have driven them to drink to excess. Many of the friends, it was stated, were at an early hour this morning mad from drink, and more than one made the threat that they would have revenge on the police for what they had done to the Kellys. Two police came in to day from the neighbourhood of Greta, and reported that the population there was very excited; that Richard Hart had ………………. The proceeding night decaled that if the police came for the bodies of Dan and Hart they would have to fight for them. This morning a near relative is reported to have made an ………………of the members of the gang. It is represented that when in the presence of Kate Kelly he raised his right hand and swore that he would avenge the death of her brother. When making this declaration he was standing over the charred corpses of the reckless outlaws. All this tends to show that the work of the police, and under the circumstances it seems a pity that the expeditions of the police to Greta to-day was stopped.

These threats cause the impression to be formed that mischief is brewing, and the police in Benalla to-night became very active. A party of six men, all well armed, under the command of Senior-constable Kelly, left to night for Glenrowan. They intend to stop all nigh at the Glenrowan police camp; and although the authorities here are reticent on the subject, it is known that this step was considered advisable in consequence of threats made to roast Constable Bracken as the police had roasted Dan Kelly and Hart.

It was very likely that Bracken will, as soon as possible, be removed to some other part of the colony, and it would also be wise to remove the railway guard, Dowsett, to some other district. Glenrowan was to day visited by a number of people, who were anxious to see the scene of the fight. They eagerly cut out bullets in the trees and fences. Everything there was very quiet, and I do not think that anything need be apprehended. However, the public are not at all satisfied that the police did not go to Greta to day and teach the sympathisers a lesson. It is believed they do not intend to go there until the people have recovered from the efforts of the drink they have taken.


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