The Argus (37)

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The Argus continued with its report of the KellyGang at Glenrowan

see previous


Carrington's account

When the pilot engine got back to us we then learned for certain that the line had been really torn up about half a mile beyond the Glenrowan station, but it was not known by whom. Superintendent Hare and two men then got on to the pilot engine and went slowly ahead. In the press carriage we did all we could in case of attack. The representative of The Argus in the pluckiest manner possible climbed out through the window, pulled the lamp out of its hole, and came back with it into the carriage. We then barricaded the windows with the four big cushions and waited in silence for the next move. We had no arms except one little revolver, and the carriage doors were locked, so that if the Kellys had descended on the train at that time they could have shot us all without any chance of our escape. All lights having been put out, the train moved along slowly till we reached the station. Superintendent Hare at once gave orders to get the horses out, and the men had barely commenced to do so, when a man in the most excited state ran up to those who were standing on the platform, and gasped out in a series of convulsive jerks :— “Over there—the Kellys—not five minutes ago—stuck us all up—the four of them— quick, quick !"

Superintendent Hare at once seized his rifle, and calling out “Come along, boys," dashed across towards the house, which could just be dimly discerned about 200 yards away. The men followed him at once, and the horses, left to themselves, bolted pell-mell into a paddock at the Wangaratta end of the platform. A second or two afterwards the first shot was fired from the east end of the verandah —instantly followed by a dozen others, until the whole of the front of the house seemed in blaze of light. The police replied instantly, but, not having had time to scatter, the whole of their fire came from one spot. After two or three volleys the firing ceased altogether.

We non-combatants waited at the station under cover. Presently we heard a step on the gravel, and saw a tall form coming towards us. It proved to be Mr Hare. He was bleeding profusely from a wound in the wrist and he said as we got up to him, " I'm hit." We plugged each end of the wound with some cotton waste, and bound it up with a handkerchief, and Mr. Hare again essayed to start for the hotel. He had got about fifty yards when he turned back and reeled. We ran to him and supported him to a railway carriage, and there he fainted from loss of blood. Some of the bullets from the verandah came whistling and pinging about us; one struck the train just where we were standing, and another took a piece off the top of the station fence. It must have been this ball, by the line, that passed over or through the train, and struck M'Donnell's Hotel on the other side of the railway. The shot went clean through the weatherboards, and took a knob off the moulding of the mantelpiece. Everything remained quiet for about an hour, except an uneasy movement now and then amongst the horses in the paddock, as if some one was trying to catch one. At the end of that time, in or near the hotel we heard a woman screaming in the most heart-rending manner, " They've killed my child, they've killed my child; Oh! the wretches, they've killed my child."

Independent firing now re-commenced, and we heard men's voices yelling out from what seemed the back part of the building, "Fire away, you — , you can't hurt us," followed by a noise like the ring of a hammer or an anvil. About half an hour after this a woman commenced screaming again, and the screams gradually drew towards us, and two figures emerged from the smoke of the powder, which hung close to the ground, and came to the station. They turned out to be the guard Dowsett and Mrs Reardon with an infant in her arms.


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