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2 corrections, most recently by jhempenstall - Show corrections

THE KELLY GANG. We take the following from the Mel- bourne papers :— 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 manufactured by the gang them-   selves, 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 re-   sistance to bullets that iron tanks 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 therefore thrown aside. The armour was used for the first time at Glenrowan, and must have been car- ried to that place on pack-horses.   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   haunts were between Glenrowan, Greta, and Sebastopol. Moreover, they never   travelled on horseback, except when on some exploit. Their general custom was to   carry a small tent with provisions in fine weather, and camp in the middle of some large scrubby paddock. They would shift their tents for a short distance every night, but would not make a great change unless they had reason to suppose they had been seen. When their provisions became exhausted they would have re- sort to their friends, and in wet and stormy weather they generally sought   some friendly shelter. It is 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 Sher- ritt's hut on the night of Sherritt's mur- der. He states that a conversation was   being carried on between Sherritt, Mrs   Sherritt, Mrs Barry, and himself, and the subject of their remarks was Joe Byrne. Sherritt then proceeded to tell a yarn about Byrne and himself having once been arrested on a serious charge. He said they assaulted a Chinaman and nearly killed him. The Celestial, indeed,   was so near death's door that he had to be fed with a silver tube. He himself was arrested some time after, but Byrne succeeded n evading the police. Whilst he was lying in the Beechworth lock-up one night he heard some one knocking out- side, and asking who it was, heard Joe   Byrne reply, "It is me ; I am going to   help you to escape." Sherritt said he re-   plied, " The Chinaman is getting better, so you had better give yourself up, and   do not be a fool." Byrne took his advice,   surrendered, and secured legal assistance,   and was acquited. Just when Sherritt had finished his 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 Joe   Byrne. 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 deduction is that they have lived for some time amongst the Bogong Ranges. A number of people who saw Kelly in court at Beechworth on 5th inst. recog- nised him as a man they had seen during the career of the Kelly gang. At the Ox- ley coursing matches last Easter he was sitting on a fence, and about four months ago he was drinking in the bar of Dreyer's Hotel, Beechworth, but no one who saw him knew him then except sympathisers. Sergeant Steele had also a few words with the prisoner after the police court was ad- journed. To him he said that M'Intyre had given his evidence better than he ex- pected, and from other remarks that he made he appeared to derive great satis- faction from the large attendance of ladies at the court. It is stated on good authority that in July, 1879, Kelly visited Melbourne, and that he slept one night in the National Hotel, Bourke- street. It is said that he talked a little about the Kelly gang, and stated that he came from the north-eastern district, and that he cleared away before daylight. In- formation was given next day to the police, but the suspected person could not be traced. In an interview with his lawyer, Mr Gaunson, on the 6th instant at Beech- worth Gaol, Kelly is thus reported to have spoken : —" All I want is a full and fair trial, and a chance to make my side heard. Until now, the police have had all the say, and have had it all their own way. If I get a full and fair trial I don't   care how it goes ; but I know this—the public will see that I was hunted and hounded on from step to step ; they will see that I am not the monster I have been made out. What I have done has been under strong provocation." In another interview Kelly gave a full version of the Fitzpatrick affair. He says   that Fitzpatrick went to his mother's house at Greta to arrest Dan Kelly, and Dan said, "Well, if you have a warrant   I suppose I must go, but wait till I have something to eat." Mrs Kelly asked Fitzpatrick if he had a warrant, and Fitz- patrick said he had not, but he had a tele- gram. Mrs Kelly thereupon said Dan need not go unless he chose, as there was no warrant. Fitzpatrick then said, pulling out a revolver, "I will blow   your brains out if you interfere." Mrs   Kelly then said, "You would not be   so handy with that popgun of yours if Ned were here." Fitzpatrick then said, "Here he (Ned) is coming along." While he was pretending to look out of the window for Ned, Dan cornered Fitz- patrick, took the revolver from him and made him prisoner. Kelly denies that Fitzpatrick ever tried to take liberties with his sister. He also asserts that he (Kelly) was not near the place when the affray took place. Upon the false evidence of Fitzpatrick, Kelly says his mother, Skillian and Williamson were convicted. A reward of £100 was then offered for his (Kelly's) arrest for an al- leged offence with which he had nothing to do. It was the unjust treatment that exasperated him, and led to his taking to the bush. In Beechworth many people discredit every statement made by the Kellys and their friends.