The Complete Inner History of the KellyGang and their Pursuers (14)

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Fitzpatrick.-Because I told him if I saw him on my way I would take him to Greta, bring him in to Benalla, and remand him to Chiltern the following day. I suggested that to him.

Question.-Have you read Sergeant Whelan's evidence on that point?


Question.-Then you say you had told the official who gave you the instructions that you would arrest Dan Kelly if you got the chance?


Question.-Was it he who told you of the warrant being out, or did you yourself see it in the "Gazette" notice?

Fitzpatrick.-I fancy I saw it.

Question.-Did you go direct from Winton to Greta upon the Greta road that morning?


Question.-Were you at Lindsay's public house on that occasion on the morning of your being shot?

Fitzpatrick.-No, not in the morning: it was in the afternoon.

Question.-When you left there (Lindsay's) what road did you go to Greta?

Fitzpatrick.-I turned off to the right by the Eleven Mile Creek.

Question.-When you were fired at that time what occurred?

Fitzpatrick.-Ned Kelly prevented them from doing any more, and I fell down on the floor insensible.

Question.-What really did occur afterwards?

Fitzpatrick.-After I got up Ned Kelly examined my hand, found a bullet in my wrist, and said, "You must have it out of that," and I asked him to let me go into Benalla to let the doctor take it out and he refused; and I saw he was determined to take out the bullet. He wanted to take it out with a razor, and I took out my penknife and he held my hand and I took it out. It was not very deep in; it was a small-sized ball.

Question.-What did you do after that? Did you leave the house immediately?

Fitzpatrick.-No; I could not leave for some time. They kept me till 11 o’clock , after I came round, and would not let me go.

Question.-Where did you go from there (Greta)?

Fitzpatrick.-To Winton-through Winton to Benalla.

Question.-You said that Williamson and Skillion had revolvers. How do you know they were revolvers?

Fitzpatrick.-I could swear it.

Question.-What position were they in?

Fitzpatrick.-Just coming in. Skillion alongside with Ned Kelly with a revolver in his hand, and Williamson came in out of the bedroom with a revolver.

Question.-How long before that had you seen Williamson chopping wood?

Fitzpatrick.-Fifteen. minutes.

Question.-Had he a revolver then?

Fitzpatrick.-No, I did not see one.

Question.-How did he get into the house before you?

Fitzpatrick.-I do not know.

Question.-Were there two doors to the bedroom?

Fitzpatrick.-There was only the one entrance.

Question.-How did he get in before you and Dan Kelly?

Fitzpatrick.-He may have removed a sheet of bark at the back and come in. I did not see him come in.

Question.-You said if Williamson got into the house he might have got through by removing a sheet of bark. Was the house bark or slabs?

Fitzpatrick.-Bark and slabs.

Question.-Where was the bark-on the sides or on the roof?

Fitzpatrick.-I cannot say whether the outside walls were of bark.

Question.-Then they had no particular reason for firing at you?

Fitzpatrick.-Any constable would have been in the same position.

Such was the evidence of Constable Fitzpatrick before the Commission which sat in 1881 to inquire into the cause of the Kelly outbreak and the management of the police during the pursuit. It is noticeable that Fitzpatrick swore to the following:-

(1) Ned Kelly, at a distance of less than five feet, failed to strike Fitzpatrick at the first shot, although Ned Kelly was acknowledged to be an expert marksman.

(2) Ned Kelly, at such close range, failed again to strike Fitzpatrick's body with his second shot, and struck his wrist, which Fitzpatrick had at the moment raised above his head to shield himself from a threatened blow, which blow was not delivered seeing that the defending left hand was in no way injured by the fire shovel.

(3) Ned Kelly, a clever marksman, missed Fitzpatrick altogether with the third shot at a similar range.

Now although, according to Fitzpatrick, Kelly fired on him at a range of less than five feet, the alleged bullet wound in Fitzpatrick's wrist was only skin deep! A bullet wound from a revolver used, in those days would have smashed right through Fitzpatrick's wrist the exceptionally close range of a yard and a half. It appears perfectly clear, therefore, that Fitzpatrick’s statement in evidence was ridiculously false, although it was deemed sufficiently satisfactory to lead to the prompt conviction of Mrs Kelly, Skillion and Williamson. Fitzpatrick's injured wrist, which was attended to by Dr John Nicholson, who, giving evidence during the trial at the Beechworth Assizes on October 9, 1878, said:-

"On April 16 I was called to the police barracks Benalla, to see Constable Fitzpatrick. Examined his left wrist, found two wounds, one a ragged one and the other a clean incision. They might have been produced by a bullet-that is, the outside wound. There could not have been much loss of blood.” (In the doctor's opinion the other wound could been caused by a bullet.)

To Mr Bowman (for the defence).-"I didn't probe the wound, so do not know if the two wounds were connected. There was a smell of brandy on him. A constable present said Fitzpatrick had had some drink. It was merely a skin wound.”

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This document gives you the text of this book about the KellyGang. The text has been retyped from a copy of the original. We have taken care to reproduce this document but areas of the original text may been damaged. We also apologise for any typographical errors. JJ Kenneally was one of the first authors to tell this story from the KellyGang's point of view

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