The Argus at KellyGang 12/12/1878 (3)

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Now that the desperadoes have emerged from their concealment, and shown themselves so openly as to leave a good trail for their pursuers to follow, and since they could only have had about seven hours start the police may be fairly expected to run them to earth without much further delay.  


Mr Robert Scott, the manager of the National Bank at Euroa, came down to Melbourne yesterday, arriving here by the afternoon train. He proceeded at once to the head office in Collins street , and had an interview with Mr Smith, the general manager, and several of the directors. After he had given them a narrative of the affair several members of the press were admitted, to whom he related his adventures as follows: -

"At about five minutes to 4 o clock on Tuesday afternoon a man carne to the bank door and told the accountant that he wanted a cheque cashed. He entered, and presenting a revolver at the accountant a head, ordered him to bail up. He then forced his way into my room, and I found that it was Ned Kelly. Taking his stand near the end of a table at which I was sitting, he presented his revolver at my head, and called upon me to bail up. He was followed by another man named 'Steve,' or 'Stephen Hart, who had a revolver in each hand. I did not bail up at first and they called again upon me to do so. I had a revolver, but it was lying on the opposite side of the table from me, and I could not reach it without placing myself in the certain danger of being immediately shot. On their again ordering me to throw up my arms I said, 'It is all right,' and raised my hands to the armpits of my vest. Hart then kept guard over me, and Ned Kelly ransacked the bank, and took possession of what money we had in use, which amounted to £300 or £400 in notes, gold, and silver.

Kelly next proceeded in the direction of private apartments, where my wife, family, and servants were. Fearing that he would do them harm I said to him 'Kelly, if you go there I'll strike you, whatever the consequences may be.' Thereupon Hart presented his revolvers at my head, and Kelly passed through. My wife and family, contrary to my expectations, took the visit very calmly, and were not injured. On returning to the bank Kelly said he now knew I had more money than they had got, and demanded it. I refused to give him anything, and he made the accountant give him the specie and notes in the safe. He took in all about £1,500 in notes, about £300 in sovereigns, and about £90 in silver, besides 31oz. of gold. He also entered the strong room, but left the bills and securities undisturbed.

Frequently he remarked that there was no use resisting, as he had eight armed men outside when he could call to his assistance in a moment. The story about the eight armed men was, however, only a pretence. I afterwards found that they bailed up a hawker and his boy at the station, and took possession of his cart. They rehabilitated themselves from his stock, and called for his bill, which they promised to pay ' if they were lucky.' They had also taken a spring cart from a farmer. In approaching the bank the two Kellys came in the spring cart, and Hart upon one of Younghusband's horses, whilst they made the hawkers boy drive his van, which was a covered one, to my back yard. As Ned Kelly and Hart were entering the bank in front, Dan Kelly went round to the back and spoke to my domestic servant. Before this I had heard nothing about the gang being in the neighbourhood. Stephen Hart tied his horse up at De Boos's Hotel, where he afterwards had lunch.

After the fellows had appropriated all the money in the bank, and my revolver and cartridges. Ned Kelly requested me to harness my horse into my buggy. I said, 'No, I won't, and my groom is away. 'Do it for yourself ' He replied, 'Well, I will do it myself.' He accordingly harnessed the horse, and put Mrs Scott and the family into it. He then said to me, 'Will you get in' but I refused, saying, 'No, I wont, it is too heavily loaded already.' Kelly rejoined, 'Now, none of your larks. You will, then, have to go with me,' and pointing his revolver at me, he made me enter the spring cart with himself and my servant. Before this I had asked the fellows to have a drink, and they accepted the offer, but made me drink first, no doubt to make sure that I was not attempting to drug them. I also tried to bustle them about in order to gain time, but it was no use, and they drove us away to Younghushand's station.

Every person about the bank was taken. There was myself, my wife and her mother, my seven children-four boys and three girls the eldest being a boy 13 years of age - the accountant, clerk and two servants. The hawker's van was placed in front, then followed my buggy, which Mrs Scott was driving. The spring cart, driven by Ned Kelly, came next, and Stephen Hart brought up the rear on horseback. I may say here that when the bank was stuck up my wife and family were all in one room, preparing to go out for a walk, and was making ready to attend a funeral. Our arrangements were, however, rudely upset and it appeared for the time that my own funeral would be the next. The distance between Euroa and Younghusband's station is about three miles and a half.

On the way thither I had some conversation with Kelly, and he chatted away very freely. I asked him, 'What would that fellow Hart have done if I had struck you when you were going into my private house?' He replied, 'He would have shot you dead on the spot.' In reply to a question by me he admitted that it was he who shot Constable Lonigan, and I saw a gold watch in his possession said to be Kennedy's. I afterwards found that he told some at the station that the watch he wore was Kennedy's. He further said that he had heard a good deal about me, and had been told that he would find me a difficult person to deal with, and that whilst the hawker he bailed up had been bad, I had been worse, and was, in fact, the worst and most obstinate fellow he had ever met with. The hawker, I believe, was very impertinent to him. He also said, 'I have seen the police often, and have heard them often ' He did not seem a bit afraid of the police, but, on the contrary, laughed at them and at their efforts to capture him and his mates. The other ruffians appeared to have as little dread of their pursuers.

I asked Hart which way he was going when he left the station, and Kelly answered carelessly, 'Oh, the country belongs to us. We can go any where we like.' He said, however, that he was getting sick of bushranging life. In reply to a question as to how Constable M'Intyre behaved when his comrades were murdered, he simply said that that officer made no resistance. He would not say where he and his gang had been concealing themselves, nor what they as outlaws wanted with the money he had stolen. I presume, however, that they intend the money for their relatives. As we were moving along I remarked that I knew the road well, and asked permission to drive. Kelly at first refused, and soon afterwards got into bad road, and in going up a rough bank the cart was upset. We were nearly all thrown out. I jumped out, and got hold of the horse, and Kelly lifted out the servant. He then got the horse released, harnessed it again, and we started afresh. After driving a little he said, 'You drive very well, you had better go on.' I was then proceeding to take a short cut to Younghusband's station-for we had been informed that it was our destination when Kelly, suspecting that 1 was mislead ing him, said, 'If you play me any pranks, I will make it hot for you.' I told him that the others had taken the wrong road-or rather a longer one-and he allowed me to proceed. The notes stolen from the bank were lying beside me, and I felt sorely tempted to regain them, but restrained myself.


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