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5 corrections, most recently by Trevor.Poultney - Show corrections

Trial of Ned Kelly.

The trial of Ned Kelly is now proceeding   at Beechworth. We take the following   from the Argus August 5.   Two charges will be preferred against the

prisoner—first, that he murdered Constable     Lonigan, and, second, that he murdered Con- stable Scanlan; and it is the intention of the   prosecution to adduce separate evidence in support of each charge. Mr. Foster, P. M., will preside, and Mr. C. A. Smyth, Crown Prosecutor, and Mr. Gurner, solicitor for the   Crown, will act as prosecutors. Mr. Zincke, M.L.A., has up to the present been retained for the defence, but he states that he has thrown up the case. It appears that the   friends of the prisoner fancied that it would be better to have two solicitors, one belong- ing to the Constitutional party, the other belonging to the party at present in power. They there communicated with Mr. D. Gaunson, desiring him to act with Mr. Zincke. The latter, on hearing this, at once retired from the case. The friends seem to think that if they employ a supporter of the existing Government for the defence the prisoner will have a better chance, and they themselves will be afforded better facilities for visiting him in the prison. Mrs. Skillion,     Tom Lloyd, and a few sympathizers have already arrived Beechworth, and more sym- pathizers are expected.           According to the surmises of a gentleman behind the scenes, and, consequently a good authority, the reason why Mr. Gaunson has been engaged is, that he may be able to acquire a private interview between the                     prisoner and his friends. It is asserted that     the gang carried away a great deal more money from the Banks they stuck up than was reported by the officials. There is no doubt the balance of the booty is planted, and that Ned Kelly is the only person alive who knows where the plant is concealed;   hence the desire to have a private interview between him and his friends. Mr. Gaunson,   on his arrival, proceeded at once to the gaol, and had a long interview with his client. It   is probable that he will apply to-morrow for a remand once more. An incident has leaked out about the career of the gang. Kelly has stated that they had been amongst snow, and that in fact they had to clear several feet of snow off a hut they lived in, and the deduc- tion is that they have lived for some time amongst the Bougon Ranges. It is now the unanimous opinion of the police authorities that the Kellys were never, as was popularly supposed, in the Strathbogie Ranges. Their principal hauuts were between Glenrowan, Greta, and Sebastopol. More- over, they never travelled on horseback except when on some exploit. Their general custom was to carry a small tent with pro- visions in fine weather, and camp in the middle of some large scrubby paddock. They would shift their tents for a short dis- tance every night, but would not make a great change unless they had reason to sup- pose they had been seen. When their pro- visions became exhausted they would have     resort to their friends, and in wet and stormy weather they generally sought some friendly shelter. It is now known for a certainty that Byrne often slept on the premises of a man who lives within two miles of Beechworth. This man, on hearing of the destruction of   the gang and the death of Byrne, absolutely shed tears. A singular story is told by one of the constables who was present in Sherrit's hut on the night of Sherritt's murder. He states that a conversation was being carried on between Sherritt, Mrs. Sherritt, Mrs. Barry, and himself, and that the subject of their remarks was Joe Byrne. Sherritt then proceeded to tell a yarn about Bryne and himself having once been arrested on a serious charge. He said they assaulted a Chinaman and nearly killed him. The Celestial, in- deed was so new death's door that he had to be fed with a silver tube. He himself was arrested some time after, but Bryne suc- ceeded in evading the police. Whilst he was lying in the Beechworth lockup one night he heard some one knocking outside, and on asking who it was, heard Joe Bryne reply, "It is me; I am going to help you to escape."   Sherritt said hs replied, "The Chinamen is   getting better, so you had better give your self up, and do not be a fool." Byrne took his advice, surrendered, and secured legal assistance, and was acquitted. Just when Sherritt had finished this story a knock came to the door, and, as is now well-known, it proved to be the intimation of the final visit Sherritt was to receive from Byrne. The maker of the armour which the Kelly gang wore at Glenrowan has not yet been discovered, and, according to some reports received, the police believe it was manufac- tured by the gang themselves, whilst experts deny the truth of this statement, asserting   that it is the handiwork of an experienced blacksmith. This much, however, is known, that the manufacture of the four suits occupied four or five months, that a good deal of time was wasted in experimenting with different material; that circular saws   were first tried and found wanting in resist- ance to bullets; that iron tacks were also   tried and found to be not bullet proof; and   that the moulds of ploughs were ultimately adopted. It has likewise transpired that the first suit made was defective, and was there- fore thrown aside. The armour was used for the first time at Glenrowan, and must have been carried to that place on pack horses.     The lad Reardon, who was wounded at   Glenrowan, has now been discharged from   the Wangaratta Hospital. The circum-

stances under which he was shot have been considerably elucidated. It will be remem- bered that his mother escaped from the hotel before daylight. She ran out of the back door and came round by the gable of the house to the Railway Station. About a minute after, her son, a tall youth, en- deavoured to escape in the same way. Sergeant Steele, who had arrived by that time, and had taken up a position close up to the rear of the building states that he saw the figure of a man and he called upon him twice to surrender and throw up his hands. The person, however, simply stooped and continued to run, and he (Sergeant Steele) then fired at him. The shot he fired was a charge of slugs, the most of which lodged in intervening fence, but one pellet entered the lad's shoulder—it afterwards proved to be     young Reardon—and after striking the bone     passed into his breast under the ribs. Reardon states that when struck he simply felt a kind of blow, and did not know that he had been wounded. Afterwards, however, he suffered great pain. He still continues to suffer a little, owing to the surgeons at the Hospital having been unable to extract the slug. Whilst the fight was going on bullets were flying in all directions, striking the Railway Station, the train, and McDonald's Hotel, and, as has been subsequently dis- covered piercing the goodshed in several places.

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