The Complete Inner History of the KellyGang and their Pursuers (26)

From KellyGang
Jump to: navigation, search

full text



No doubt, I am now placed in very peculiar circumstances, and you might blame me for it, but if you know how 1 have been wronged and persecuted you would say I cannot be blamed. In April last an information was (which must have come under your notice) sworn against me for shooting Trooper Fitzpatrick, which was false, and my mother, with an infant baby, and brother-in-law and another neighbour, were taken for aiding and abetting and attempting to murder him, a charge of which they are as truly innocent as the child unborn.

During my stay in the King River I run in a wild bull, which I gave to Lydicher, who afterwards sold him to Carr and he killed him for beef. Some time afterwards I was told I was blamed for stealing this bull from Whitty. I asked Whitty on Moyhu racecourse why he blamed me for stealing his bull, and he said he had found the bull and he never blamed me for stealing him. He said it was - (the policeman) who told him that 1 stole the bull. Some time afterward I heard that I was blamed for stealing a mob of calves from Whitty and Farrell, which I never had anything to do with, and along with this and the other talk, I began to think that they wanted something to talk about. Whitty and Bums not being satisfied with all the, picked land on King River and Bobby Creek, and the run of their stock on the Certificate ground free, and no one interfering with them, paid heavy rent for all the open ground, so as a poor man could not keep his stock, and impounded every beast they could catch, even off Government roads. if a poor man happened to leave his horse or a bit of poddy calf outside his paddock, it would be impounded. I have known over sixty head of horses to be in one day impounded by Whitty and Burns, all belonging to poor men of the district. They would have to leave their harvest or ploughing and go to Oxley, and then perhaps not have money enough to release them, and have to give a bill of sale or borrow the money, which is no easy matter, and along with all this sort of work, -, the policeman, stole a horse from George King (my step-father) and had him in Whitty and Jelfrey's paddock until he left the force, and this was the cause of me and my step- father, George King, stealing Whitty's horses and selling them to Baumgarten and those other men. The pick of them was sold at Howlong, and the rest was sold to Baumgarten, who was a perfect stranger to me, and, I believe, an honest man.

No man had anything to do with the horses but me and George King. William Cooke, who was convicted for Whitty's horses, had nothing to do with them, nor was he ever in my company at Peterson's, the German's, at Howlong. The brand was altered by me and George King, and the horses were sold as straight. Any man requiring horses would have bought them the same as those men, and would have been potted the same, and I consider Whitty ought to do something towards the release of those innocent men, otherwise there will be a collision between me and him, as I can to his satisfaction prove.

I took J Welshe's black mare and the rest of the horses, which I will prove to him in next issue, and after those had hem found and the row being Over them, I wrote a letter to Mr S., of Lake Rowan , to advertise my horses for sale, as f was intent to sell out. I sold them afterwards at Benalla and the rest in New South Wales, and left Victoria, as 1 wished to see certain parts of the country, and very shortly afterwards there was a warrant for me, and as I since hear, the police sergeants Steele, Straughan and Fitzpatrick, and others, searched the Eleven Mile and every other place in the district for me and a man named Newman, who had escaped from the Wangaratta police for months before April 15, 1878

I heard how the police used to be blowing that they would shoot me first and then cry surrender. How they used to come to the house when there was no one there but women, and Superintendent (Brook) Smith used to say, "See all the men 1 have out to-day. 1 will have as many more to-morrow, and blow him into pieces as small as paper that is in our guns," and they used to repeatedly rush into the house, revolver in hand, and upset milk dishes and empty the flour out on the ground, and break tins of eggs, and throw the meat out of the cask on the floor, and dirty and destroy all the provisions, which can be proved, and shove the girls in front of them into the rooms like dogs, and abuse and insult them. Detective Ward and Constable Hayes took out their revolvers and threatened to shoot the girls and children whilst Mrs Skillion was absent, the eldest being with her.

The greatest murderers and ruffians would not be guilty of such an action. This sort of cruelty and disgraceful conduct to my brothers and sisters, who had no protection, coupled with the conviction of my mother and those innocent men, certainly make my blood bail, as I don't think there is a man living could have the patience to suffer what I did. They were not satisfied with frightening and insulting my sisters night and day, and destroying their provisions, and lagging my mother with an infant baby and those innocent men, but should follow me and my brother, who was innocent of having anything to do with any stolen horses into the wilds, where he had been quietly digging and doing well, neither molesting nor interfering with anyone, and I was not there long, and on October 25 I came on the track of police horses between Table Top and the bogs, and crossed them and went to Emu Swamp, and returning home 1 came on more police tracks making for our camp. I told my mates, and me and my brother went out next morning and found police camped at the shingle hut, with long firearms, and we came to the conclusion our doom was sealed unless we could take their firearms. As we had nothing but a gun and a rifle if they came on us at our work or camp, we had no chance only to die like dogs. As we thought our country was woven with police, and we might have a chance of fighting them, if we had firearms, as it generally takes forty to one. We approached the spring as close as we could get to the camp, the intervening space being clear. We saw two men at the log. They got up, and one took a double-barrel fowling piece and one drove the horses down and hobbled them against the tent, and we thought there was more men in the tent, those being on sentry. We could have shot these two men without speaking, but not wishing to take life, we waited. Mclntyre laid the gun against the stump, and Lonigan sat on the log. I advanced, my brother Dan keeping McIntyre covered.

See previous page / next page

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

See previous Chapter / next Chapter ... The Complete Inner History of the Kelly Gang and their Pursuers ... Index