The Argus at KellyGang 11/11/1878

From KellyGang
Jump to: navigation, search
(full text transcription)





The early train from here yesterday took down to Benalla the seven troopers and the black tracker who were sent up to Beechworth by special train on Thursday morning. These men returned here on Friday morning, and with their horses were allowed a day’s rest. It was necessary to send them back to Benalla, in order that Superintendent Sadlier should have a reserve of men in the event of any contingency arising necessitating a start from Benalla. At this station there is a considerable number of troopers, who are continually coming and going in small parties, searching in various directions. This is, of course, necessary, as there are so many rumours flying about of the whereabouts of the gang. As a rule the rumours are of a very vague character, but whenever there appears to be the slightest appearance of truth or probability a party is sent to the locality to investigate it, but at present, unfortunately, without anything tangible having been learned.

Superintendent Nicolson arrived here from Benalla yesterday morning, in order to be on the spot in the event of any reliable intelligence being obtained in this quarter. The movements of various parties are necessarily kept as secret as possible, owing to there being so many of the Kelly family connexion in the district. These act as a kind of bush telegraph, and the news of any intended movement is forwarded to the parties interested with a rapidity that can scarcely be imagined. That such is the case was plainly proved by the recent trip to the Woolshed Ranges, as clear traces of the Kelly party having been recently in that direction were obtained. When these search parties were first organised there was great complaint made respecting the inefficiency of the arms and equipments of the men. The same cannot be said now. Each man has, in addition to his revolver, either a Spencer rifle or a double-barrelled breech-loading gun; and one or two of them have Snider rifles. The men give the preference to the Spencer rifle, because it has seven distinct charges which can be rapidly fired in succession, but it is a very heavy weapon and badly balanced. The breechloaders are far handier weapons, and as the cartridge contains about 18 large-sized shot, they would prove very effective at a considerable longer range than the revolvers. The men, of course, dress as they please, and their principal idea evidently is to make themselves look as unlike policemen as possible, so that their appearance is somewhat extraordinary.

Some strange statements are occasionally heard in the streets, but as a rule they are not worth listening to, while some of them are made in a spirit of mere bravado. For instance, one man has been heard to say that if the reward was increased to £3,000 he would go out and fetch the gang in in less than a week; while another individual, who pretended to possess an intimate knowledge of the proceedings of the Kelly family, plainly stated that since Mrs Kelly had been convicted at Beechworth, her two sons had been laying in supplies of tea, sugar, flour, and salt in various places in the ranges. With these they could remain out for months, as there are plenty of wild cattle to be shot. Another statement, on which no reliance is placed, was made to one of the search parties by a man whom they met. This was to the effect that Ned Kelly had broken his arm. He could, however, give no reliable authority for this statement. He had heard it from somebody who had been told by somebody else, and so on.


.1. , .2. ,

 ! The text has been retyped from a microfiche copy of the original.

We have taken care to reproduce this document but areas of the original text may been damaged.

We also apologise for any typographical errors.