The Argus at KellyGang 9/8/1880 (7)

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Editorial continued

Kelly has been making a number of statements about his career, but many of them are so contradictory that it is difficult to distinguish what is true or false. This, however, is proved, that for some time the gang lived in a house that was frequently covered with snow, and that Kelly had to clear the snow off the roof to prevent it from falling in. The conclusion, therefore, is that at one time the gang lived either in the Buffalo or Bogong Ranges . The following narrative can also be taken as a statement of facts:―About four months ago, or at the end of the harvest season, two men were out opossum shooting some three miles from Wangaratta. One of them was named Smith, a carrier, and the other was named Morgan. As they were wandering through the bush near the Three-mile Creek, and in the vicinity of a house which is tenanted by relatives of the outlaw Hart, they saw two men approach them behind the trees. Smith said to Morgan, “Let us see what this means,” and they advanced on the men. They then saw that one of the men had a striking resemblance to Dick Hart. They at first, in fact, concluded that he was that individual, and sang out, “What is the use of larking in this way?” The two men then came out from behind trees and bailed them up. Both carried firearms. One was then recognised as Steve Hart, the outlaw, and the other was a stranger, who was certainly not one of the outlaws. The stranger carried a rifle and two revolvers, and assisted Steve Hart to bail-up Morgan and Smith. The four then went to Hart’s house. There Dan Kelly was found washing his head and chest. Shortly afterwards Byrne turned up, and a general conversation ensued. The circumstance of Morgan and Smith mistaking Steve for Dick Hart occasioned a laugh. Supper was provided, in the form of steak and onions. The strange man stayed outside most of the evening, but he eventually entered the house, and reported that the “captain” was coming. Soon afterwards Ned Kelly entered, and the company passed a jovial evening. Ned stated he had missed his way, and had almost walked into the lion’s mouth, for he had stumbled upon a railway crossing where a gatekeeper lived. Mrs Hart and her daughters were present, and it may be mentioned that Morgan was a relative of the Harts, his mother and Mrs Hart being sisters. There was another person present, a sympathiser who was armed with two revolvers, and who assisted in keeping Morgan and Smith in subjection. Smith was allowed to go at about 11 o’clock on account of his wife and family, but the sympathiser referred to made him first kneel down and swear that he would give no info rmation to the police, gave him two £5 notes, and firing a revolver over his head, said that if he split upon them he would be shot like that. Ned Kelly was asked who the strange man was, and he replied that he was a man they had on trial as an associate, but one who he did not think would suite. The gang left at 2 o’clock in the morning, and Morgan was kept under surveillance by sympathisers for several days. The matter was not reported to the police until a month had elapsed, when it was reported the gang and their friends suspected Morgan, and he having heard of this has not been seen since. From the above statement it will be seen that at one time there was a fifth member of the Kelly gang, and that a certain sympathiser was once acting with them when armed. Something further will be heard of this in course of time.

According to the information received about the manufacture of the armour used by the gang at Glenrowan, it was made in the vicinity of Greta. They tested it by firing balls at the inside of it with rifles, and the marks they made in this way are easily distinguished.


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