The True Story of the KellyGang of Bushrangers Chapter 9 page 5

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Permission to ride on the engine was granted by Mr Gorman, and Mr Wyatt left shortly afterwards by the train going north towards Benalla. Though evening was coming on it was still daylight when the train reached Faithfull’s Creek, and was stopped for Mr Wyatt to jump off the engine. The guard of the train also alighted, and between them, he and Mr Wyatt finding both the Government and the railway’s telegraph wires in a hopeless tangle, and satisfying themselves that they were cut and not broken, twisted off and brought away with them a number of the ends as evidence of the fact. To the guard Mr Wyatt said, ‘It is clear the line is cut. I believe the Kellys are about. Say not a word to the passengers or anyone, but say as I told the driver and fireman and Gorman to say, that it looks like a whirlwind.’ To the passengers who made enquiry, Mr Wyatt replied with his diplomatic formula: ‘The line is down and it looks like a whirlwind.’

At Violet Town, the next station, Mr Wyatt told the stationmaster to say nothing to passengers or other people, but to telegraph to Melbourne that the line was down, which could be done in spite of the break in the wires by sending the message northward to Albury, whence it could go to Denilquin in New South Wales , and southward by another line to Melbourne.

From Violet Town to Benalla is a distance of sixteen miles, and at the latter place, when the train arrived at seven o’clock, Mr Wyatt met and talked with Mr Nicoloson as already described. Unfortunately he made no mention of Watt’s failure to return from his inspection, and said nothing of the man who had used bad language to him at Faithfull’s Creek, nor did he succeed in conveying to the police officers his own certainty that the Kellys were in the neighbourhood, while his precautions as to secrecy had been so efficacious that from the guard and fireman Mr Sadlier could get not a word beyond, ‘It looks like a whirlwind.’ Later on, after some scruples as to whether he should interfere with police plans, Mr Wyatt, who remained at Benalla, wired to Captain Standish the news that the lines were broken and that Mr Nicolson and Mr Sadlier had gone on to Wangaratta. To a constable named Whelan he told his suspicions, and finding Whelan much impressed by them, asked if he could provide a special train to return to Faithfull’s Creek. Whelan had no authority himself to order a special train, but wired asking for it both to Captain Standish in Melbourne and Mr Nicolson in Albury, and finally a telegram arrived from the former in consequence of which at 1.30 am a train started southward, carrying Mr Wyatt, armed and eager for fight, and Senior Constable Johnson, Detective Ward, Constable Whelan, one or two other constables, black trackers and horses. Mr Wyatt rode on the engine, keeping a lookout with powerful field glasses lest the railway line should be injured, but without accident the train pulled up opposite Faithfull’s Creek. From the homestead two men were seen approaching, and the occupants of the train found that one of them was Mr McCauley, manager of the station. They had a sensational tale to tell of the late presence of the Kellys at Faithfull’s Creek, which fully justified all Mr Wyatt’s alarm. He delayed the train for about half an hour to take the men’s depositions to be forwarded for the use of Captain Standish, after which, since horses could not be taken out of the trucks away from a platform, the train started again and in a few minutes reached Euroa where matters were considered concerning the pursuit.

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