The True Story of the KellyGang of Bushrangers Chapter 13 page 3

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In the beginning of February, when the Beechworth gaol was still full of sympathisers, Aaron Sherritt, the agent engaged by Mr Sadlier early in the pursuit, came to Mr Hare in Benalla with important news. Mr Hare was greatly impressed by the men’s personality and honesty of purpose, and flattered himself that his feelings were reciprocated. Describing their interview later, he wrote: ‘Somehow or other, I made a most wonderful impression on him. I had some drink with him, and saw that my influence over him was very great.’ Whether Sherritt was as greatly impressed as Mr Hare believed or not, he communicated important news to the effect that on the previous afternoon at his hut, which lay among the hills near Beechworth, midway between the elder Sherritt’s and Mrs Byrne’s, he had met Joe Byrne and Dan Kelly. Dan, he said, had been suspicious and kept at a distance; but Joe Byrne had jumped off his horse and entered into a long conversation, during which he had asked Sherritt to join the gang and accompany them to Goulburn, a town in New South Wales, where the Kellys had relatives and which they proposed to visit. Sherritt refused, whereupon Byrne admitted he was right not to mix himself up with them and get into trouble and rode away with Dan Kelly. Sherritt noted the brands of their horses which he gave to Mr Hare, and told him that one outlaw rode a bay and the other a grey, both very fine animals. Giving Sherritt two pounds for his information and advising him not to let himself be seen in Benalla, Mr Hare immediately sent warning telegrams to the Victorian police on the border and to the police of New South Wales . News shortly arrived that on the evening of the day named by Sherritt men supposed to be Byrne and Dan Kelly had been seen riding towards the Murray, and a police party was sent up the river to watch a crossing place where a chain of hills on either side of the river runs all the way to Goulburn.

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