The Argus at KellyGang 28/4/1879

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(full text transcription)



(from our own correspondent)


Mr Monk of the Wombat, has received another threatening letter. The following is a copy: - 'Melbourne, April 18, 1879 - Sir, I have seen by the papers that your dam is settled, and you will soon be the same, but it will not be water I will let out, but it will be blood. I am glad that the police are completely off the scent of the Kelly gang, and in the letter I received from Dan he made me an offer of £100 to do away with you, which offer I accepted with the greatest of pleasure, not only for the money, but for the pleasure of the thing. I am not writing this only to frighten you but I really mean to carry out my threats. I may not do it this month, but I shall by the next. I can only get out of town for a fortnight to do it, and if not when I can. I am not a very crack shot like Dan, but I shall take d-n good care to get near enough to pop you with my air-gun, as it is shaped like a walking stick, and they will not know I did it till they find your worthless old carcase. I will now conclude with my curse to you and love to wife. I remain-NEVER MIND WHO. Mr Monk Mansfield." On the inside of the envelope is written "Dan sends his curse to you." It bears the Melbourne post mark of April 18. The letters have been the cause of throw ing Mrs Monk into a state of dangerous illness.


As Mr Monk was proceeding from Mansfield to his saw mills at Wombat about 10 o'clock last night, and when within about two miles of his residence, a man suddenly sprang out from the scrub and called on him to bail up. Mr Monk's horse, which was young and spirited, shied off some few yards, but as quickly as possible Mr Monk fired in the direction of the man. The fellow then fired at Mr Monk, the ball entering the pommel of the saddle, and lodging in the stuffing. The night was exceedingly dark, and Mr Monk, not knowing the position of his assailant, set spurs to his horse just as another shot was fired at him. On reaching home he found that his horse had been shot in the hind quarters. News of the out rage reached Mansfield at an early hour this morning, and Sub inspectors Pewtress and Toohey at once started for the Wombat with a number of police and several townsmen. Unfortunately, the only black tracker stationed here left for Benalla yesterday. The town is in a state of great excite ment, and much sympathy is expressed for Mr Monk and his family. A few days ago a team of working bullocks employed at his saw mills were driven away during the night, and tracked to the head of the King River, a distance of 12 miles. The slip panels of his paddocks have been taken down during the night, with a view of allowing his horses and cattle to stray, and every means have been used by some unknown per son or persons to annoy and distress his family. Some of the police have just re turned, bringing with them the wounded horse, the bullets having been extracted, but they bring no news of the bushrangers. Sub- inspector Toohey and a strong party of police remain at Wombat to-night.

Particulars are given in our telegraphic columns of a dastardly outrage on Mr Monk proprietor of the Wombat Sawmills. He has recently received a number of threatening letters from friends of the KellyGang, and on Saturday, when on his way home he was shot at thrice and nearly wounded. The facts as described by our correspondent were communicated to the police authorities in Melbourne yesterday by telegram despatched by Captain Standish from Benalla.


The case of Mr. Edward Monk, of the Wombat Sawmills, has become urgent. Since we last wrote on tho subject Mr Monk has received a letter more violent than any which had preceded it, and this has been promptly followed up by a de- termined attempt upon his life. On his way to his home on Saturday night he was assailed by some miscreant who ?d at him repeatedly, and with ?h precision of aim that one bullet lodged in the saddle, while another wounded the horse upon which Mr Monk was riding. Intelligence having been received of the outrage, a party of police started from Mansfield for the scene, but in the absence of any clue, the result of the movement is quite un- certain. In the meantime the would-be assassin is at large, concocting perhaps with his friends fresh schemes against the life of his intended victim. For a grave feature of the affair is that there aro confederates in the plot. The writer of the first threatening letter was no sooner committed to gaol than another letter still more vindictive was sent to Mr Monk from Melbourne. Repeated threats have since come from the same source, and the last was received by Mr Monk a very short time before he was called upon to defend his life. The existence of some sort of organisation, not necessarily on a large scale, but nevertheless an organisation, is thus indicated, and it is this fact which makes Mr. Monk's position so serious. With a single enemy he would be in danger, but when the number is indefinitely multiplied, he cannot feel secure for a moment. As a brave man, however, Mr Monk stands his ground, and having a family depending upon him, he is naturally averse to disposing of his property it a sacrifice in order to enable him to remove to some morr peaceful neighbourhood. But in the meantime his property is being injured in a variety of ways by his cowardly foes, while the members of his family are suffering unspeakable mental distress from constant anxiety, resulting in the case of Mrs Monk in serious illness. Under such circumstances we feel it our duty to urge upon the Government more strongly than before the propriety, nay, the justice of making some arrangement by which Mr Monk may bo enabled to quit the haunts of the bloodthirsty crew by whom he is beset without losing the fruits of his industry. He did what was prompted by humanity, respect for the law, and regard for the interests of society, and the state is bound in honour to in- terfere on his behalf. To do otherwise would be not only unfair and unjust, but would discourage others from exhibiting that public spirit which has been so conspicuously and honourably shown by Mr Monk

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