The Complete Inner History of the KellyGang and their Pursuers (39)
ROBBING THE BANK AT JERILDERIE
Mrs Devine prepared breakfast for all hands, and in order to give the outside public the impression that the Devines had gone out for the day the blinds at the police station were drawn down, and everything appeared to be going on as usual. No one missed the police, Devine and Richards. People saw the new relieving police, Ned Kelly and Joe Byrne, and fine types of police they were, too. Dinner was served by Mrs Devine, and everything in connection with “police protection” at Jerilderie seemed to the outside public to be in “order.” During the afternoon Constable Richards was brought out of the lock-up, and, accompanied by the two new uniformed constables, Ned Kelly and Joe Byrne, patrolled the town. Richards was instructed to introduce Ned and Joe as visiting police to anyone to whom they chanced to speak. Ned took particular notice of the position of the Bank of New South Wales and Cox’s Royal Hotel. The bank and the hotel were under the same roof.
It was fortunate that no one wanted police help that day, but if anything had cropped up the four new constables were prepared to attend to it in an effective and intelligent fashion. They were determined to see that order was maintained. Senior-Constable Devine was kept in the lock-up. He was a determined character, and could not be trusted to “go quietly” if he were taken out to patrol the town. He was regarded as a man who would put up a fight and so disturb the peace as to imperil the success of the Kellys’ mission to Jerilderie. For business reasons, therefore, it was considered safer for everybody to keep him in the lock-up.
The Kellys were about early on Monday morning. Joe Byrne, dressed as mounted trooper, took two of the Kellys’ horses to the blacksmith to get their shoes removed and replaced with new shoes. The blacksmith promptly attended to this customer. The police horses were always shod there, and the blacksmith knew that his money was sure. He was struck by the superior type of these two “police” horses, and as he was looking over them took notice of their brands. These horses showed breeding. The horses were shod, and the cost charged to the New South Wales Government, whose police force had boasted what they would do with the Kellys. Joe Byrne took the horses back to the police station.
Preparations were now made for the return to Burramine, but before starting they had to see the manager of the Bank New South Wales. Senior-Constable Devine was still kept in the lock-up. Constable Richards was taken out and accompanied Ned and Dan Kelly on foot to Mr Cox’s Royal Hotel shortly after 12 o’clock midday. Joe Byrne and Steve Hart rode on horseback. When they arrived at the hotel Constable Richards informed Mr Cox by way of formal introduction: “This is Ned Kelly and this is Dan. That is Joe Byrne and the other young man is Steve Hart.”
Ned informed Mr Cox that he wanted the use of one of the large rooms of the hotel for a little while to have a “meeting.”
The large dining-room was selected, and Cox was told to go in with Richards, the local constable. Everybody about the place was required to attend the “meeting” in the dining-room. The barmaid was told to remain “on duty.” Dan Kelly went out to the backyard, where the servant girl was washing the clothes. She had not been long out from home, and had the company of a young man, who considered he was doing a “mash.” Dan joined them, and, after a few remarks invited the girl and her admirer to come in and have a drink. “No,” replied this recent arrival from the old land; “I don’t drink with strangers.” “But,” persisted Dan, “your friend here will come with you.” “No, I won’t drink with strangers,” protested the girl. Dan Kelly could now see that his attempt at diplomacy had failed, and said, “Well, you’ll have to come in; I am Dan Kelly; we have this place stuck up, and we must trouble everybody to come into the dining-room.” At the same time Dan produced his revolver. The girl nearly fainted; she wiped her hands with her apron, and, with her admirer, walked into the dining-room, where they joined Mr Cox and Constable Richards and many others. Dan now took charge of the bar, and talked to the barmaid.
Joe Byrne went out the back, and, looking over the fence which divided the bank from the hotel, saw the bank teller, Mr Living, enter the bank through the back door. Joe vaulted over the fence and followed the teller into the bank.. Mr Living heard someone coming in from the back, and was somewhat incensed with such rudeness, and said in a rather autocratic tone: “You have no right to come in that way; you should come in through the front door.” Joe Byrne presented his credentials by covering Mr Living with his revolver with a much more autocratic demand: “Bail up! Throw up your hands! We’re the Kellys.” Mr Living promptly obeyed, and so also did Mr Mackie, the junior clerk.
Ned Kelly had already entered the bank by the front door. Ned and Joe collected the firearms and ammunition of the bank and demanded the cash. There was something like £650 in the bank’s drawers, and this was secured by Ned Kelly. Mr Living put up a splendid defence on behalf of his employers, and tried to bluff Ned Kelly into the belief that that was the total amount the bank held. Messrs Living and Mackie were taken next door to the hotel. Ned wanted to see the head, and inquired for the manager, Mr Tarlton, who so far could not be found. Mr Living was required to come back to the bank and search for the manager. After a little while Mr Tarlton was discovered in the bathroom. He was requested to dress and come out, as the bank had already been stuck up by the Kellys.
Mr Tarlton would not credit this statement, but, nevertheless, he hastened out of the bathroom, and was confronted by Ned Kelly holding a revolver levelled at him. Mr Tarlton produced his key of the safe, and with the other key, secured from the teller, Ned opened the fireproof safe and collected the balance of the bank’s cash, which made the total of £2300. The money was put into the seventy-pound sugar bag, and securely tied up. Ned now thought he would do a good turn for the poor struggling settlers in that district. He secured a package of mortgages held by the bank, and, taking them out the back, burnt them. He was not aware that copies of these documents were held by the Titles Office in Sydney.
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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