The Argus at KellyGang 6/8/1880 (2)

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BEECHWORTH Thursday 11.45 P.M.

By this night’s train Mr D Gaunson arrived to take up Ned Kelly’s defence, and Mr Chomley to assist Mr C A Smyth in the prosecution. Dick Hart by the same train, but no other sympathisers. According to the surmises of a gentleman behind the scenes, and consequently a good authority, the reason why Mr Gaunson has been engaged is, that he may be able to secure a private interview between the prisoner and his friends. It is asserted that the gang carried away a great deal more money from the banks they stuck up than was reported by the officials. There is no doubt the balance of the booty is planted, and that Ned Kelly is the only person alive who knows where the plant is concealed; hence the desire to have a private interview between him and his friends. Mr Gaunson, on his arrival, proceeded at once to the gaol, and had a long interview with his client. It is probable that he will apply to-morrow for a remand once more. An incident has leaked out about the career of the gang. Kelly has stated that they had been amongst snow, and that in fact they had to clear several feet of snow off a hut they lived in, and the deduction is that they have lived for some time amongst the Bogong Ranges .

Mr Gaunson had an interview with Kelly in the gaol for three-quarters of an hour. He found the prisoner in bed, but awoke and conversed with him freely. In reply to Mr Gaunson, Kelly said he had informed Mr Zincke that he had employed a new solicitor. Mr Gaunson will apply for a remand for a week, but is very doubtful if his application will be granted.




Constable Shanahan visited the caves situated in the Tallarook ranges again today and he discovered part of an old bible in which the name "Henricke Nelsen" is plainly written. It will be remembered that this was the name given by the suspected man when lodged in the Broadford lockup, so that there is very little doubt now of his identity with the mysterious inhabitant of the caves. When arrested he had in his possession a billy containing five pats of fresh butter, and a stocking with a number of eggs in it. He had also a dressed turkey, off which some steaks had been cut and some peeled turnips. The butter was stolen from Mr Michael Zwar, a farmer living at Broadford, and has since been identified by him, each pat being, marked with Mr Zwar's brand. Nelsen is a man of about 5ft 7in. in height and from 40 to 45 years of age. He is clean shaved on the jaw and upper lip and what whisker remains is of a rusty grey colour. He is remarkably taciturn and it is with the utmost difficulty he can be got to speak of himself or his doings. His statement is that he has just come from Melbourne , and that previous to that he was in Gipps Land . When asked in what part, his reply was, "Oh all over." He speaks with a foreign accent and says he is a Swede. The search for the still is being kept up in the vicinity of the caves, but there are so many nooks and crannies in the enormous masses of rock with which the range is studded that it will be a matter of some little time before it will he discovered, supposing it to exist.

Mullavey has been to see Nelsen in the gaol and has recognised him as the man he met on two occasions within the last 12 months in the ranges near the spot where the caves were found. The second time Mullavey saw him he set the dogs on to him, and brought him to bay. In answer to Mullavey he replied that he was fossicking and getting "good gold," and on work being offered him he declined. On nearing some dense scrub where Mullavey, who was on horseback could not follow, he saw his opportunity and made a bolt for it. He was soon out of sight and was not seen or heard of again until the time Mullavey raised the stone and heard the noise underneath. Well defined tracks of an unshod horse have been traced to within 50 yards of the cave and it is supposed that the "stuff" was got rid of with the aid of one or more pals outside. The barrel of sugar and the bag of peas must have been packed up as they were too heavy for any man to carry. The sugar is the best crystallised, such as is used in malting, and the peas are large brown ones. In the hut by the fireplace a large flat wooden spoon has been found that would suit admirably for mashing purposes. The remarkable neatness with which everything is finished, even to the little broom with which Nelsen swept out his hut, is astonishing and shows how very heavily time must have hung on his hands. The range abounds in kangaroos, hares, wallaby, and wild pigeon, so that there was no difficulty about an abundance of animal food. In the spring that flows down the side of the hill he had constructed a little dam, and had so artfully covered it with ferns and fallen branches that it could not easily have been discovered until quite closely approached.  

The ingenuity Nelsen has displayed in everything he has undertaken is simply marvellous, and shows that he must be a man of some ability and knowledge. The first cave where he lived and slept is black with smoke, and so is everything in it. It looks as if it had been in existence for some 10 or 12 years, and is now believed to have been first inhabited by the notorious Power, the bushranger. It is not half a mile from the place where Power stuck up the waggoners coming from Melbourne , and after he had eased them of their spare cash it is supposed he made direct for the cave on the range side. No casual observer would ever dream of looking for a human habitation jammed as it is between two enormous masses of rock and very few persons out shooting or hunting cattle would take the trouble to thread their way through the sheoak branches and numbers of artfully fallen sapplings, so that the spot has been passed and re-passed within a dozen or fifteen feet, and it was not until Mullavey took the trouble to get round on to the actual spot and lift the stone that the habitation was discovered. Great numbers of people from all parts are visiting the caves and nothing but surprise is expressed that such astonishing places can exist within a comparatively short distance of Melbourne . The spot is well worthy of a visit and during holiday time will no doubt attract large numbers of visitors from the city. The return fare to Tallarook is only 18s, and there are plenty of conveyances in the township to take visitors out to the scene. It is a charming drive along a picturesque road and can be done easily in a day.  


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