The Argus at KellyGang 12/12/1878 (2)

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The latest exploit of the Kelly gang of bushrangers is characterised by a great amount of daring and impudence. They evidently hold the police and then arrangements in contempt. We have received accounts of the affair, partly from persons who have reached Melbourne and partly through our special reporter, who is on the spot. Mr Younghusband's station was stuck up about midday on Monday, and more than 20 able bodied men were made prisoners by the four desperadoes. The station is situated close to the railway line and about three or four miles from Euroa and was evidently seized as a vantage ground from which to descend at leisure upon the branch of the National Bank in the township. The outlaws carried out their plans in broad daylight with complete success. Their pursuers were all far away and at the local police station there was only a single constable. After passing the night at the station and regaling themselves on the good things there obtainable, the two Kellys and Stephen Hart, one of the hitherto unknown offenders, drove down to the township in the afternoon and coolly stuck up the bank, made all the inmates prisoners and carried away some £1,900 in notes gold, and silver without any outside person in the township becoming aware of their presence. Mr Robert Scott, the manager of the bank, his family, clerks and servants were driven to Mr Younghusband’s station, and were placed among the other prisoners. The gang rode off about 9 o clock, after ordering their prisoners, on pain of severe retribution, not to leave the station for three hours. They went in the direction of Violet Town , but a black tracker has found that they doubled back towards the Strathbogie ranges. The fourth offender proves to be a man named Joseph Byrne, and he was left in charge of the prisoners at the station whilst the bank was being robbed. Ned Kelly was very communicative, and admitted that it was he who shot Constable Lonigan. He further stated that Sergeant Kennedy made a brave and determined resistance before he was overcome and shot. Superintendent Nicolson, who is conducting the police operations, arrived at Euroa yesterday morning, and has concentrated a number of the force in the district.

The Chief Secretary had several interviews with Captain Standish yesterday on the subject of the bushranging outrage. All that the political head of the department could do was to impress upon the permanent head that he has carte blanche in the matter, and that no effort ought to be spared to avert the disgrace which the impunity the bushrangers bring upon the colony at large. A re organization of the police force, with a view to promoting its efficiency in country districts, is now one of the certainties of the future.


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