The True Story of the KellyGang of Bushrangers Chapter 18 page 1

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It was about one o’clock on Sunday afternoon when a telegram with the news of Sherritt’s murder reached Mr Hare at Benalla. Since the outlaws had broken out once more they needed no longer to be encouraged by the black trackers’ absence, and Mr Hare therefore wired to Captain Standish to send them up immediately by special train to Beechworth. Mr O’Connor and his men had then retired from their temporary Victorian service and were to leave in a few days for Queensland. A request by wire from Captain Standish to the Queensland Commissioner for permission to send them again on duty was refused, but Mr Ramsay, the Victorian Chief Secretary, intervened, and pointing out the urgency of the case, obtained authority from the Queensland Government for Mr O’Connor to act with the Victorian police. Mr Ramsay therefore wired to Mr Hare that he would send the men up next morning, and Mr Hare, with pardonable irritation, replied that if they did not start that night they need no come at all. Thereupon matters were expedited a little and a special train, with Mr O’Connor, some lady relatives, his black trackers and several pressmen, was despatched from Melbourne for Benalla, en route for Beechworth, about half an hour after midnight.

During the day Mr Hare was kept more or less in forced idleness, waiting for the trackers and the men. He greatly regretted that poor Sherritt, who had been married only six months or more, had fallen a victim to his zeal in assisting the police. There was a certain retributive justice in his suffering vengeance from the men he had betrayed, but to Mr Hare he had always been a faithful and active assistant, and with all his faults he seems to have won regard from many people who knew him, while his wife and his old mother were overwhelmed by grief at his death.

Meanwhile Dan Kelly and Joe Byrne, allowing their decoy, Anton Wicks, to slip away to his home, had left Sherritts’ hut some time after midnight on Saturday and ridden hard across country to the township of Glenrowan, distant about forty miles from the scene of the murder. At Glenrowan, which lies on the main Sydney line, nearly midway between Wangaratta to the north and Benalla to the south, Ned Kelly and Steve Hart had already established themselves in undisputed possession. The township was a small one, consisting of little more than hotels and the schoolhouse, store and blacksmith’s shop which compose the nucleus of so many Australian bush hamlets, but near the railway station there were in addition the residences of the stationmaster and one or two other railway employees.

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This document gives you the text of the report about the KellyGang for this day. 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. This document is subject to copyright.

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