The Argus (7)
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INTERVIEW WITH NED KELLY
After the house had been burned Ned Kelly’s three sisters and Tom Wright allowed an interview with him. Tom Wright as well as the sisters kissed the wounded man and a brief conversation ensured, Ned Kelly having to a certain extent recovered from the exhaustion consequent on his wounds. At times his eyes were quite bright, and although he was of course excessively weak, his remarkably powerful physique enabled him to talk rather freely. During the interview he stated:-‘I was at last surrounded by the police, and only had a revolver, with which I fired four shots. But it was no good. I had half a mind to shoot myself. I loaded my rifle, but could not hold it after I was wounded. I had plenty of ammunition, but it was no good to me. I got shot in the arm, and told Byrne and Dan so. I could have got off, but when I saw them all pounding away, I told Dan I would see it over, and wait until morning.’
‘What on earth induced you to go the hotel?’ inquired a spectator.
‘We could not do it anywhere else.’ Replied Kelly, eyeing the spectators who were strangers to him suspiciously. ‘I would,’ he continued, ‘have fought them in the train, or else upset it if I had the chance. I didn’t care a – who was in it, but I knew on Sunday morning there would be no usual passengers. I first tackled the line, and could not pull it up, and then came to Glenrowan station.’
‘Since the Jerilderie affair,’ remarked a spectator, ‘we thought you had gone to Queensland .’
‘It would not do for everyone to think the same way’ was Kelly’s reply. ‘If I were once right again,’ he continued. ‘would go to the barracks, and shoot every one of the – traps, and not give one a chance.’
Mrs Skillion (to her brother). –‘It’s a wonder you did not keep behind a tree.’
Ned Kelly – ‘I had a chance at several policeman during the night, but declined to fire. My arm was broke the first fire. I got away into the bush, and found my mare, and could have rushed away, but wanted to see the thing out, and remained in the bush.’
A sad scene ensured to the horrible object which was all that remained of her brother Dan. She bent over it, raised a .. like cry, and wept bitterly. Dick Hart applied for the body of his brother, but was told he could not have it until after the post mortem examination. The inquest on the bodies will be held at Benalla.
Michael Reardon, aged 18 years, was shot through the shoulder, but it is apparently only a flesh wound. The boy Jones was dangerously shot in the thigh. Both have been sent to the Wangaratta Hospital .
A cannon was brought up as far as Seymour , but as the burning of Jones Hotel had proved successful, it was countermanded
THE ATTEMPT ON THE TRAIN
According to Ned Kelly, the gang after shooting Sherritt at Sebastopol, rode openly through the streets of Beechworth, and then came on to Glenrowan for the purpose of wrecking any special police train which might be sent after them, in the hope of destroying the black trackers. They descended on Glenrowan at about three o’clock on Sunday morning, and rousing up all the inhabitants of the township bailed them up. Feeling unable to lift the rails themselves, they compelled the line repairers of the district and others to do so. The spot selected was on the first turning after reaching Glenrowan, at a culvert and on an incline. One rail was raised on each side, and the sleepers were removed. The diabolical object in view was the destruction of the special train. Having performed this fiendish piece of work Kelly returned to the township, and, bailing all the people up, kept them prisoners in the station master’s house and Jones’s hotel. By 3 o’clock on Monday morning, they gathered all their captives into the hotel, and the number of those unfortunate people amounted at one time to 47, as already stated. The police then arrived, and the prisoners escaped at intervals during the night.
The first attack of the police was a brilliant affair. They approached the house quickly, but stealthily. Their arrival, however, was expected, and they were met with a volley from the verandah of the hotel. Special trains were run during the morning between Glenrowan and Benalla, and Mrs O’Connor and her sister – who may justly be called the heroines of the day, for they behaved bravely – were taken on by one of them to Benalla in the forenoon. Ned Kelly after being secured quieted down, and became absolutely tame. He is very reserved as to anything connected with his comrades, but answered questions freely when his individual case was alone concerned. He appeared to be suffering from a severe shock and exhaustion, and trembled in every limb. Now and again he fainted, but restoratives brought him round, and in his stronger moments he made the following statements:-
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