The Argus (15)

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The Argus continued with its reports of the KellyGang and Glenrowan.

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I came down in the same van as Ned Kelly. He spoke very little, and seemed like a man in a trance, and glared at any strangers he saw. He had had no sleep all the previous night. Most men wounded as he was would have been far more prostrated than he was, but he has a splendid constitution. More over, his body looked as if it had been well nourished. When I asked him if he had been pretty well fed, he said he had, but he did not add where he had got the food. I expected to find him, after the life he had been leading, very dirty; but his skin was as clean as if he had just come out of a Turkish bath. I attended to his wounds, and now and then gave him some brandy and water. He seemed grateful, but gave me the idea that he wished to die. Of course in attending to his wounds, I gave him temporary pain, but he never complained in the least. His wounds would not be likely to prove mortal in an ordinary case, where the patient had as strong a constitution; but the prisoner is likewise suffering from a severe mental shock, and moreover wants to die. That must be borne in mind when considering his chances of recovery. Under ordinary circumstances a strong man with such wounds might be expected to be able to walk about – not to run about and not to have the free use of his limbs – in some two months’ time. With regard to his wounds, his left arm is pieced by two bullet holes, one above and one below the elbow. I feel confident that both wounds were caused by one bullet, which entering below the elbow while the arm was bent at above the elbow. When I asked him if his arm was bent at the time he received that wound, he said it was. There are also two slug wounds in the right hand, and seven slug wounds in the right leg. One of the slugs I got out. I don’t think the wound in the right groin is very dangerous. There is a nasty wound in the ball of the big toe of the right foot. I saw him at 5 o’clock pm in the gaol. He seemed better then than during the journey down, and much less feverish. In the train his pulse was 125, but at the gaol it was only 114. He told me he didn’t think that his brother and Hart shot themselves, because they were ‘two – cowards,’ and hadn’t enough pluck to kill themselves. He said that Byrne was plucky enough. The prisoner’s breath smelt as if he had been drinking very bad liquor. Superintendent Hare is getting on very well. His wound is a very nasty one, and seems to have been caused by a conical bullet, revolving at a very rapid rate. The bones of the left wrist are very much shattered, and some portion of them has been ground to powder by the bullet. Still I don’t think amputation will be necessary. He will probably be able to use his left hand in time, but there will be a stiffness in it, particularly in the thumb.’


The following is the medical report on the condition of Ned Kelly by Dr Shields:-

‘The prisoner Kelly was rather feverish on admission to the gaol hospital, the temperature being 102deg and pulse guick. Kelly is a tall, muscular, well formed man in good condition, and has evidently not suffered in health from his late mode of life. The principle injuries are, first, a severe bullet wound near the left elbow. There are two openings, one above, the other below, the joint, the two apertures having probably been caused by the bullet traversing the arm when bent. The right hand has been injured near the root of the thumb, and from this I removed one large slug shot. In the right thigh and leg there are also several wounds, caused by the same kind of shot. These however, seem not to be of a dangerous nature. The right foot has received a severe injury. The track of the bail here is marked by two openings, one on the top of the ball of the great toe, and the other on the sole of the foot. The bone is damaged. The last wound and the one near the elbow joint are those of the greatest import. There is, however, no immediate danger, At the same time it is very necessary that Kelly should be kept perfectly quiet, and free from all avoidable causes of excitement.’ A SHIELDS

‘Medical Officer, Melbourne Gaol’

Mrs Kelly, who was no doubt very much grieved at the fate of her sons, was anxious to see Edward, but in consequences of the recommendations of Dr Shields, Mr Castieau declined to allow her to see him, but promised she should visit him as soon as the prisoner was better.

About half past 10 last evening Kelly was quiet, and appeared to be resting peacefully.


[By Electric Telegraph]

(From our special Reporter)

Benalla, Tuesday Night

Shortly after 8’clock this morning a spring cart emerged from the local police barracks, and was driven down the street at a slow pace. It was accompanied by eight armed policeman on foot, and the curiosity of the townspeople was naturally excited as to what the vehicle contained. A peep over the side showed that inside, on a stretcher, lay the wounded outlaw Ned Kelly, formerly the terror of the district, but now reduced to the weakness of a child. The police were conveying him to the railway station, and were all fully armed least any attempt might be made by sympathizers of the late gang to rescue the arch villain. On the arrival of the train he was carried into the guard’s van, and laid on the floor. A Miss Lloyd, cousin of the outlaw, was the only relative present, and as the train left she cried without restraint. It is understood here that Kelly has been conveyed to the hospital of the Melbourne Gaol.

Just before Kelly was taken away from Benalla, Senior constable Kelly had a short interview with him in his cell. The senior constable said, ‘Look here Ned, now that it is all over, I want to ask you question before you go, and that is, did you shoot Constable Fitzpatrick at Greta when he went to arrest your brother?’ The prisoner replied, ‘Yes I did. I shot him in the wrist, and the statements which have been made that Fitzpatrick inflicted the wound himself are quite false.’ This, it will be seen, bears out the statement made by Fitzpatrick and subsequently by Kelly’s sisters. Of course it will be remembered that the shooting of Fitzpatrick was the original cause of Ned and Dan Kelly taking to the bush. The senior constable also talked with the outlaw about the police murders. He told Kelly that Mrs Kennedy had telegraphed to know whether he had got a letter for her from her murdered husband. Ned replied that he had got no letter from Sergeant Kennedy, and that Kennedy never uttered a word after he was brought down except ‘God forgive you.’ ‘He kept firing all the time, running from tree to tree and tried to kill Byrne until his ammunition went done.’

During the forenoon the body of Byrne was brought out of the lock up where it lay, and was slung up in an erect position on the outside of the door, the object being to have it photographed by Mr Burman, of Melbourne . The features were composed in a natural way, and were easily recognised. The face was small, with retreating forehead, blue eyes, the upper lip covered with a downy moustache, and a bushy beard covering the chin, whilst his hair had been recently cut. The figure was that of a tall, lithe young fellow. The spectacle, however, was very repulsive. The hands were clenched and covered with blood, whilst blood also covered his clothes. The police therefore had the body soon removed from the public gaze. The officers, policemen, trackers, and gentlemen then at the barracks, who were present at the encounter, were also photographed in a group. During the day Detective Ward proceeded to Glenrowan, and on making some inquiries discovered five of the horses of the gang stabled at McDonnell’s Railway Hotel, which stands on the east side of the line, opposite to the scene of the flight. They had evidently been fasting ever since they had been stabled there, which, of course, was on the arrival of the gang two days ago. Why McDonnell did not give voluntary information to the police concerning these horses has not been explained. They were all brought to Benalla, and two of them were identified as horses which were stolen within the last fortnight from Mr Ryan’s farm, on the Major Plains. One of the two was ridden by Joe Byrne when he committed the murder of Sherritt at the Woolshed, near Beechworth, on Saturday last; a third was recognised as a packhorse belonging to Fitzsimmons, of Benalla, that was stolen from his farm near Greta about 12 days ago. The other two have not yet been identified. Ned Kelly’s grey mare has also been caught, and will be brought on to Benalla to morrow. On one of the horses was found one of the Government saddles taken from the police horses on the occasion of the Mansfield murders. Another of the saddles, the one on Byrne’s horse, was found to have been made by Mr Bullivant, of Wangaratta. It may be here mentioned that the Kellys brought packhorses with them for the purpose of carrying their armour. There is some mystery as to what has become of Sergeant Kennedy’s watch. It is known that Ned Kelly wore it for a time, but the only one found on him was a small silver lady’s watch, and it is supposed that he has been exchanging with somebody. Two chains were attached to the latter, one gold and other silver. All the members of the gang were comfortably clad, and they wore boots which were evidently made to order. Ned Kelly had riding boots, which showed well how he prided himself on having neat feet. When the doctor was dressing his wounds the boots had to be cut off. It was found that he wore no stockings. The gang all have the appearance of being well fed, and Byrne stated to one of their prisoners that they had always lived well, but that the want of sleep which they had often to endure was very trying.


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