The Argus at KellyGang 17/12/1878 (2)

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The Argus


... part of the KellyGang story

(full text transcription)

see previous

Death of the police

A gentleman who is in a position to be well informed on the subject has supplied us with the following information which he has gleaned from what he believes to be reliable sources: - "Sergeant Kennedy was not shot dead by Ned Kelly, but by his brother Dan. The death wound was inflicted by the shotgun gun which was carried by Dan. Whilst Ned was only two miles four or five days before the Euroa outrage it was known amongst the Kellys' friends that they intended to stick up and rob a bank at Euroa, Violet Town , or Benalla. The original intention was to pounce upon the bank at Violet Town , but when the gang got into the district, they ascertained through their friends that the gold and silver of that bank were in the Euroa branch, as also a large quantity of gold from Mr. Meade's claim. Some preconcerted plan had been decided upon between Kelly and his relatives, for at the time the bank was to be robbed, one of his sisters went to Delatite, another near relative to Mount Victoria and the second sister remained in their own house Greta. The object of this arrangement is supposed to have been that Kelly should be able to communicate with his relatives as soon after the robbery as possible no matter which of the three banks was stuck up. Immediately after the robbery was committed, the sister stationed at Delatite proceeded home. It is believed that the gang is now broken up, and that whilst the two Kellys have elected to remain in their own haunts, and are now probably in the Puzzle Ranges, Hart and Byrne are endeavouring to make their way to New South Wales. Hart is thoroughly acquainted with the neighbouring colony, as he was a long time there droving cattle. It was in consequence of his knowledge of that country that the gang first attempted to cross the Murray, but on approaching the river, they learned to their surprise that Constable McIntyre had escaped alive, and that their crimes were known, and being therefore afraid to trust themselves in open country, they returned to the ranges near Mansfield . They always travelled during night, and rested in some concealed stronghold during the day, and there was always one of their number keeping guard".




Everything has been very quiet today, and for a wonder there have been very few rumours respecting the whereabouts of the Kellys afloat. A large and well armed search party loft here last evening, but the direction they intended taking was, of course, kept secret. Today, two parties came in to Benalla after being out in the ranges for several days. The weather has been frightfully hot of late, especially in the bush, where there is no circulation of air, and the close, oppressive heat has had great effect both on men and horses. Many of the latter are completely knocked up with their exertions. One of these parties searched the ranges as far as Mount Separation, which is about 20 miles to the rear of Euroa. At only one place did they come upon any- bearing the slightest resemblance to the trail of the gang. At an old deserted hut, traces were found of a party having encamped there within the last two or three weeks, and the reason it is thought that this was the Kellys was the fact that on the trunks of many of the trees surrounding the hut were the marks of bullets as if some target practice had taken place. An apparently trivial circumstance occurred in this township on Saturday, but as every trifle has to be carefully attended to in this affair, the matter is now being enquired into.

A small selector living near Merton, which is close to the home of the Kellys, and who is also known to be an acquaintance of the family, was in here on Saturday afternoon drinking in some of the hotels. At one place he spent 15s., all of which was paid in sixpences. It was also noticed at other places that he was well supplied with small silver. No notice was taken of the occurrence at first, and it was only when some person happened to remember that about £20 worth of sixpences was stolen from the National Bank at Euroa that it was deemed advisable to notify the matter to the police authorities. By that time, the man had left the township, but a full enquiry will be made.

The criminal sessions commence here on Thursday, when the principal case in the list is the trial of the man Walter Lynch, who was committed for trial from Mansfield on the charge of having sent a threatening letter signed "E and D Kelly' to Mr Monk, of the sawmills, near Mansfield. The police authorities here recently made an application to have the venue changed to Melbourne, and it has been semiofficially notified this evening that the application has been acceded to, and that the case will be tried in Melbourne. At all events, it is not intended to proceed with the case here at the coming session, but an application will be made to the judge for a postponement until the next assizes.

Superintendent Hare has just returned from Avenel, where he was met by Sub Baber, who is stationed at Kilmore. This officer reported that on Saturday afternoon a charcoal burner came into Broadford and unformed the police there that he had seen four men sitting on a log with guns in their hands. This was about four miles from Broadford, in the direction of the ranges. As soon as this man noticed the gang, he concealed himself behind a fence in order that they should not perceive him, and made the best of his way to Broadford. The police constable there, knowing that Inspector Baber was in the neighbourhood of Yea, at once sent a message for him. Upon his arrival in Broadford, he organised a party and taking the man who had given the information with them, proceeded to the spot. This was found to be a   retired place in a bend of Sunday Creek, and a very likely place for the gang to take a rest in, as it is very seldom visited. The logs on which the four men were sitting were pointed out by the charcoal burner, but although a careful search was made until late last night, no trace of any men or horses could be found Inspector Baber has been instructed to make a further and more extended search tomorrow.  


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