The Argus at KellyGang 14/3/1879

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We intend if possible to have the honour of capturing the Kelly gang, and the Sydney steamer which left on last Saturday took Inspector O'Connor and some black troopers who have seen several years' service in Northern Queensland , protecting miners and squatters from the Myalla, and occassionally punishing the latter severely. He is a good officer, and discriminates between "niggers and "niggers," which not all native police officers do. He has had the hardihood to enter into conferences and treaties with the Myalla, and to tell them they should not be harmed by his "demons," while they spared the settlers and did not spear their cattle. For this he is by many accounted a visionary, but at any rate he has been the man selected at the desire of the New South Wales and Victorian Governments, to render help in running down the outlaws whose non capture for so long a time is a disgrace to Australia. His second in command is Constable King, a native of Queensland , and so skilled in bush craft as to be himself a match for a Myalla. Six black trackers accompany them, trained human sleuth hounds, who have served with O'Connor for years, and will do his bidding with as little hesitation as hand-reared mastiffs. They may be shot down, but they will scent the Kellys miles away, and while life lasts they will never leave the trail. Its bloody work and hazardous, but the peace and credit of the colonies demands that it shall be done, and these men will do it if not anticipated by the Victorian police, which looks unlikely.


Sir,-I am of opinion that the Kelly gang are making tracks for the far north, and do not think that it was ever their intention to recross the Victorian border after their last bank robbery. There are large steamers constantly leaving Cooktown and other ports for Hong Kong, by which. "possessing as they do plenty of means," they can easily make good their final escape. Do you know, Sir, if the police have taken any steps with reference to this movement of the outlaws, because I happen to know that the department coincides in my opinion? Would it not have been wise of the Government weeks ago to have despatched Constable M'Intyre or some other member of the force personally acquainted with these murderers, and thereby manifested a desire to effect their capture? The Government should remember that, from the very moment those three poor men were shot down, now nearly five months, in the Wombat Ranges, to the present moment, not one iota of positive information has been obtained by the police relative to the movements of the Kelly gang. Perhaps it may not be too late even now to have the northern ports watched, and, if possible, prevent the ultimate escape of these wretches -Yours, &c , ETON.



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