The True Story of the KellyGang of Bushrangers Chapter 3 page 3
This report is important, as showing the class of men with whom the police had to deal, and the fact that responsible officers well recognised the gravity of the position, long before it culminated so tragically.
The Kellys belonged to a very numerous clan, most of whose member had been more or less in bad odour with the police. John Kelly, the father of the bushrangers, and a native of Ireland , had begun his troubles in the old country, whence he was transported for fifteen years to Tasmania , on his own account for no worse offence than being concerned in a faction fight at a fair. From Tasmania, on his release, he emigrated to Victoria, and, after following various occupations, mining among them, he settled on the Eleven mile Creek, near Greta, where his family continued to reside after his death. In Victoria he received, at one time, a sentence of six months’ imprisonment for being in possession of beef, presumably the carcass of a stolen bullock; but he appears, on the whole, to have led a fairly peaceful and harmless life. His wife, and the mother of the bushrangers, belonged to a large family of Quinns, many of whom had a bad record. It was near their house on the Glenmore run, on the upper reaches of the King River, that the bushranger Power was captured by Superintendents Nicholson and Hare in 1870, and it was well known that the Quinns were in league with Power, and always gave him warning of the approach of the police to his haunts. Mr Hare relates that, besides numerous dogs of various breeds which barked loudly on strangers’ approach, and could be heard by Power in his hut or ‘gunyah’ on the mountain near by, the Quinns kept a peacock, whose scream was also a danger signal to the outlaw. It was only because the police, who were forced, by trackless scrub and flood-swollen creeks, to pass close by the Quinns’ house, did so on a night of storm and rain that the sentries, which had taken shelter from the elements, failed to warn Power when the search party was creeping up the mountain to arrest him.
Ned Kelly, in his boyhood, spent much time with his relatives at Glenmore, and appears to have been on intimate terms with Power, though he was associated in none of his robberies, never getting further than helping him to reconnoitre the country, or taking charge of Power’s horses at a distance. At this time Kelly was a boy of about sixteen, of whose courage or daring Power thought very little, while he, on his part, was afraid of Power’s ungovernable temper, and always ready to leave him at a moment’s notice.
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