The True Story of the KellyGang of Bushrangers Chapter 13 page 5

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When morning came Ned Kelly and Joe Byrne dressed themselves in the constables’ uniforms and moved about the yard and barracks in sight of anyone who might be passing, without attracting any attention. From Mrs Devine they learnt that she was accustomed to sweep and get ready the court-house in which a Roman Catholic Church service was held, and to avoid exciting suspicion she was allowed to do so as usual, Joe Byrne in uniform accompanying her and escorting her back to the station. In the afternoon Hart and Byrne, both dressed as constables, took Richards out of the lockup and made him accompany them in a walk through the town, that they might learn the run of the streets and the position of the buildings. Richards was warned that if anyone accosted the party, under penalty of being immediately shot through the head, he was to introduce the bushrangers as new constables just sent up to Jerilderie to give the town extra protection against the Kelly gang. On their return to the police station Richards was reincarcerated, and the bushrangers, making Mrs Devine prepare their meals, spent the remainder of the afternoon and the night undisturbed.

On Monday morning Joe Byrne, in uniform, took two of the horses to be shod by the police farrier, who did the work but apparently was rendered somewhat suspicious by Byrne’s manner, for he was careful to note the brands of the horses.

About eleven o’clock Ned and Dan Kelly, wearing police costume, took Richards with them into the town, while Byrne and Hart followed in their own clothes on horseback. Their first move was to take possession of the Royal Hotel, adjoining the Bank of New South Wales which they intended to rob. Mr Cox, the proprietor, was introduced by Richards to Ned Kelly, who told him he must give up to the gang some rooms in the hotel for the reception of anyone he might take prisoner. Mr Cox, who showed Kelly over the place, was confined himself in the big dining room as a beginning, and the other three bushrangers, taking up positions in the bar and elsewhere, marched off the servants and everyone who came near the hotel to the dining-room. When a mob of prisoners had been secured the bushrangers turned their attention to the bank. Mr Living, the accountant, hearing someone at the back door, went to tell him that he must not enter there, and found himself confronted by Joe Byrne with a revolver in his hand. To an inquiry as to who he was Byrne answered, ‘the Kelly gang,’ and ordered Living to give up all firearms in the bank. Mr Mackin, another clerk who had been standing in the street, on hearing the noise entered the bank, and was ordered by Joe Byrne to jump over the counter and join himself and Living. Since Byrne was pointing two revolvers at him, Mackin promptly obeyed. He and Living allowed themselves to be conducted to the hotel next door and were confronted by Ned Kelly, who asked them where Mr Jarleton, the manager and only remaining official of the bank, was to be found. The clerks said he had just returned from a journey and was in his dressing room, whereupon Ned Kelly and Byrne went back to the bank but failed to find him. Ned therefore called Living away from the hotel and told him he must find Mr Jarleton promptly. As it turned out, he was in his bath preparatory to dressing himself after a long dusty ride. Living told him the bank was stuck up and that he must dress as quickly as possible and surrender himself, which Mr Jarleton was forced to do, Dan Kelly coming over from the hotel to take charge of him.

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