The Age (3)

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see previous Just before Superintendent Hare was wounded, Constable Bracken, the local policeman, who had been made prisoner in the hotel, courageously made his escape, and running towards the railway station, quickly spread the information that the Kellys, with about forty prisoners, were inmates of the hotel, which was a weather board building, containing about six rooms, inclusive of the bar. Behind the building there was a kitchen, the walls of which were constructed of slabs. Into this the police fired. When about sixty shots had been sent into the walls of the building, the clear voice of Hare was distinguished above the screams of the terrified women and children who were in the hotel, giving the order to stop firing. This was now repeated by Senior constable Kelly to the men who, under cover, were surrounding the house at the back, but the Kellys fired three or four more shots, after which one of them gave vent to coarse and brutal language, calling to the police, "Come on, you —-wretches, and you can fire away; you can never harm us." A few straggling shots were then fired, the sharp sounds of the rifle being echoed from the mount called Morgan's Lookout, at the foot of which the fight took place.

Innocent Victim

Then all was silent again, and after the lapse of about a quarter of an hour Superintendent Hare approached the station and stated that he had been wounded in the wrist. The wound was a very bad one, and was bleeding very much. There was no doctor present, but the representatives of the press succeeded in stopping the rapid loss of blood. During the trying ordeal, Mrs O'Connor and Miss Smith remained unwilling witnesses of the terrible scene. They retained their seats in the railway carriage, and the courage which they displayed, notwithstanding that the bullets from the outlaws whistled past the train, surely ought to have had a good effect on the men who were facing death in the execution of their duty. Seeing the wound, the ladies implored Mr Hare not to return to the fight, but he did so. His reappearance in the trenches was the signal for renewed firing, and the valley was soon filled with smoke. Mr Hare then became faint from loss of blood, and was compelled to leave the field. He went back to Benalla on an engine in order to have his injury attended to, and to send more men to the front.

A long and tedious interval followed, during which time Mr Stanistreet, the station master, suddenly left the hotel, where he had been kept prisoner with the other residents of Glenrowan. He walked boldly away, and had a narrow escape of being shot by the police, but he saved himself by proclaiming he was the station-master. He reported that the gang were still in the house, and that the shots of the police had struck the daughter of Mrs Jones, a girl fourteen years of age, on the head, whilst the son, John Jones, a boy of nine years, was wounded in the hip. Very soon after this, painful, hysterical screams of terror were heard from Mrs Jones and a Mrs Reardon, both of whom were walking about the place, disregarding the danger to be feared from the volleys which the police, at short intervals, poured into the hotel Mrs Jones's grief occasionally took the form of vindictiveness towards the police, whom she called murderers. The police frequently called upon the women to come away, but they hesitated, and Mrs Reardon and her son were afraid to accompany Mr Reardon to the station. The poor woman was carrying a baby only a few months old in her arms, and she eventually ran to the station, where she received every kindness from the persons there assembled. She was then in a very terrified condition, and told the following story, which serves to show the manner in which the gang took possession of Glenrowan.


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