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By a resident of Coonamble.
A Night with the Kelly
On the '29th June, in the year 1880, I, in company with two companions, started -towards the small township of Glenxowan, in the north-eastern portion of Victoria, with the intention of having a day's sport amongst the hares. We were a jolly trio, enjoying the health, and spirits of early youth, with scarce a care on our minds. Our intention was not to go to the township itself, but to pick up some more chums that lived some distance away, with the avowed intention of getting, them to join us. Arriving at our friend's residence, we/were very much sur prised to see or near nobody about, though .the place showed signs of recent habitation. Our first thoughts were that the whole family had been seized with a sudden desire to become religious, and consequently had gone to church; but, again, this was scarcely
SOBSible, as there was no church of their
enomination being held in the town that
day; and, also, we thought it very improbable that all should go and leave the place unpro tected. After some more futile efforts to
guess the cause of the disappearance of the inmates, we decided to leave them to their amusement, or whatevar else they might be after and go out after the hares. Acting upon this resolution we immediately started in pursuit of the game, but had not gone far when the mysterious disappearance of the Reardon family again cropped up. After eome discussion we ultimately made up out minds to postpone the hunting excursion, "turn back, and find what had become of the
"By Jove!" says Jack D., one of the com pany, " there may be some fun on up at the ?township. Let's go up and see if they are
" Agreed," we cried, and started at once. .A short walk back of about half an hour brought us within sightof the station master, Mir. S. 's residence, about which and also the hotel (Mrs. Jones,) further up, there
seemed to be an uuusual amount of life and bustle. This served as food for further -conjecture, and especially on Sundays, as usually the township of Glenrowan was one of the quietest little hamlets possible to imagine. Naturally, we quickened our pace, but had not gone above 29 paces when we -observed a man mount a large grey horse from in front of the house, ride towards us. As he neaxed us my friend, Jack D , exclaimed, "My God ! it is Ned Kelly." " So it ifij" I also exclaimed, for we both knew him. He rode quietly up to us, drew rein, and said, "Well, what are you-chaps .doing here P"
"Oh, nothing," I replied, as he seemed to address me, "Just been out hunting."
" Well, I am Ned Kelly, and you are my prisoners; if you attempt to run away I will shootyou."
We expressed ourselves as ready to do anything ho wished. "Well, now, come with me, I want some of you fellows." As he said this he took a sidelong look at Jack D , which just then I did not under stand. We followed him to the station master's house, at which was also the -railway crossing. Kelly here threw himself off his horse, and coming to Jack D , said " Come here, young fellow, I want to have a .settling with you. I find, on good authority,
(in fact I have seen you myself,) that you hare been seen with the police showing them the haunts in and around Greta. Now it is not a d-<1 bit of use in your denying it, because as I said before I have seen you myself, and could have shot you, and also the police that were with you had I liked. I didn't Him just then, but I intend shooting vou now-so you can make your peacc with
This announcement fairly fltaggerecl me, as though myconscienoewas cloar on the grounds that he was accusing Jack I)-- of, but that he might have charged me with
some imaginary offence, especially as he: found me in the company of Jack D*-.
I had, before meeting ^ith Ned Kelly, lentJack my clay pipe to have a smoke, he having lost his own, and when Kelly was threatening, him with death, the terrible excitement under which the poor fellow was suffering caused him to shake and quiver with real terror; my pipe coming in for a share of rough treatment. First he broke the stem into seven or eight pieces, and, by degrees, he fairly crushed the whole of the
pipe into fine powder. j
During the time Ned Kelly was summing up against Jack, Mrs. S., the station master's wife came out of the house, and hearing Kelly say he that was going to shoot Jack D. , she immediately ran inside again,
to where Joe was quietly sitting, and, falling I on her knees to him, implored him to warn Ned Kelly not to shoot Jack D .
At this Byrne came outside and said to Ned Kelly: " Don't shoot the poor devil, Ned, I don't think he is likely to do the same again, and anyhow you have nearly killed him with fright.''
" Well, I don't like letting him off, but I suppose I may as well, " but, by the Lord," turning to Jack, "if ever I catch you at the same again, you may look upon yourself as a gone coon."
As Kelly seemed to have no more persons to have a settlement with, the crowd gradually melted away; some going up to the hotel where Steve Hart and Dan Kelly were, and some staying behind with Ned Kelly and Joe Byrne. Amongst the latter I found myself, and naturally feeling a little inquisitive as to what brought the Kellys there, I very soon gathered all the information I wanted. I learnt the reason of the Beardon disappear
It seems that about 12 o'clock on Saturday night, Beardon was awakened by somebody knocking violently at the door. He got up and went to the door and inquired who wanted him at that hour, was met full in the face by Ned Kelly, who, presenting a re volver at him, said, "Come on with me, old fellow, I have a job for you," telling him at the same time who he wag. Beardon
hurriedly dressed himself and prepared to follow him. When he was ready, Kelly said " By the bye we had better bring the missus and the youngsters. Go back and tell them to dress and come too ; it would scarcely do to leave them behind, especially as you maybe a long time away, and, also, they might raise an alarm."
Beardon went back, and gathering all his family together, followed Kelly up to the
station. In the meantime Steve Hart had been on the same lay as Kelly, and had suc ceeded in rousing up two other line-repairers (Beardon being the ganger,) and when Kelly arrived with his batch, , they imme diately gave the women and ohildren into the custody of Hart, and led the men away under threats of immediate death, made them open the tool box, tret the necessary tools, and marching the men in front of them, they came to a spot about half a mile from tlie station, and here they superintended the pulling up of two lengths of rails. The spot where these rails were fpulled up was admi rably situated for the purpose for which the blood-thirsty villains^ihtended it for. At the extreme end of a very large cutting the line took a very sharp curve, crossing a deep ravine, over which was erected a sort of culvert; it was on the top of the embank ment over the ravine, and there they had the rails torn up, and over which the train con taining Superintendent Hare, Inspector
O'Connor, wife, and another lady, five or six I troopers, some six or seven Queensland black trackers, besides horses and ammunition; wonld passj; and would, most certainly, have toppled over had it not been for the heroic conduct of Mr. Curnow, the local school master.
When the Kellys came back with the men from tearing up the line, Ned Kelly and Joe Byrne suddenly thought they had left con stable Bracken unmolested at the police station, so, jumping on their norses, they rode to the barracks, a dis tance of about a | mile from the station, and rudely awakening
Bracken from his sleep, they forced open the door and immediately made a prisoner of him. At first Byrne was for shooting him right off and having no more trouble with him, as he said; but- Kelly would not hear of it, saying it was no use killing a man they had nothing against; and, besides, they would have enough killing by and bye. So they made
Bracken dress and follow them to the hotel
where the bulk of the other prisoners were. I think I may as well explain here the reason and the object the Kellys had in view in coming to Glenrowan, tearing up the rails, and laying siege to the town. The scheme was a bold one indeed, and if they had only been allowed to carry it out, there is no doubt but that it would have startled the whole civilized world. The plan was this : they had strong reasons to believe that Aaron Sherritt, an old companion of theirs, had turned " dog" (to use their own expression) on them, and they,Jtherefore, determined that he should die, at the same time making his death an instrument to their further designs. Sherritt lived near Beechworth, about forty six miles from Glenrowan, and four police,
men were always, or nearly always, in | Sherritt's house at night, presumably for the double object of protectiug Sherritt, and also to be on the look-out for the gang. The Kellys were perfectly aware of this, but it did not serve deter them from their determina tion to shoot Sherritt. Accordingly, JoeByrne and Dan Kelly were portioned off to shoot Sherritt, and then to come on to Glenrowan with all haste and join Ned Kelly and Steve Hart, who had preceded them there. This
ithey did,earn© to me door, and quietly made their escape the policemen under the bed,not mating the : idightest moye 10 intercept them. (As for one
at least of the troopers in Sherritt's house at I the time of shooting, I can vouch for thefaot .that lie wanted to. go out and engage with
them, but the roan in oharge of the f onr, forbade himto makethe slightest move.) But to follow their plan. During the time these two were at Beechworth, the other two were down at Glenrowan, arranging for the line to be torn up, and generally making arrange* ments for the reception of the train-load of police and black trackers, which they guessed would be immediately dispatched frogi the head-quarters (Benalla,) as soon as the information that the Kellys had been seen at Beechworth had been known there. They did not interfere with the telegraph lines, as they had done before at Euroa, when they robbed the bank, so that the information would get to Benalla with the least possible delay. At Glenrowan they were to await the train, and when it had gone over the embank msnt, slaughter everything that the shock had not killed, rifle the carriages of their contents, more especially the firearms and ammunition, and then ride on to Benalla, about 15 miles, set fire to the court-house, open the gaol and let what prisoners that were there loose, rob as many banks as they could find, shoot everybody that interfered with them, and generally play havoc with the entire town. They knew full well that the most of the police would be 6ent along in the train to follow up the track at Beechworth, and these, along with the contingent of Queensland black trackers, would be killed in the melee at Glenrowan; where they intended going after dismantling Benalla, I do not know, nor do I think they knew ex actly themselves, but I have no doubt but that they could have eluded capture for some
time to come. This in short was their
scheme for a grand finale, and explains Kelly's appearance at Glenrowan on Saturday night or Sunday morning, the sticking-up of lleardon and family, besides others of the line repairers who were intended to be used as tools in the futherance of their scheme.
When they had everything in readiness for the arrival of the train, and as no train made its appearance, they seemed to have got a bit anxious, and I think it was this that made them make a prisoner of Bracken and every body else that happened to come their way. Suuday morning dawned, and still no sign of the train. As the morning advanced, people began to stir about, and as surely as they came within sight of the hotel or station, so surely were they called over and placed under the bushranger's care.
I have explained my appearance among the crowd, which was about ten in the morning, coming into the town quite unintentionally.
After things had quietened down, after the Delaney episode, and there seemed to be no cause to apprehend danger from the Kellys as long as we kept within boards, the prisoners (?) gradually became reconciled to the situation, and some of them, myself among the number, began to look upon the whole affair as a huge joke and a grand bit of fun. Certainly the Kellys were by no means strict gaolers as they gave as much grog as we wished, and I think we can attribute our sudden change of opiniou to the effects of the above. Every prisoner was aware of their plan, or at least all that took the trouble to enquire, and consequently for a time- we looked rather anxiously for the train, but as it did not make its appearance the anxiety gradually wore off and we spread ourselves out to pass the time as pleasantly as possible, one or two of the gang joining in tiie games at intervals. Jumping formed a great portion of the programme, Ned Kelly joining us with great gusto, having a six barrelled revolver in each hand to serve as weights. One of the company did a very good jump and Kelly tried three or four times in vain to beat it. " Damn it all!" he said, '. I ought to be able to beat that," and taking off his coat he tried again but could
not reach it.
" You seem a bit off today, Ned," said Joe Byrne, who was standing near.
" I'm a bit handicapped; these fellows are a bit too good for me."
And he was handicapped with a vengeance
When he took off his coat I could see the
armour under his waistcoat. It completely covered the front portion of his body, and also had a corresponding piece on his back to protect that. You can get a very fair idea of the weight he was carrying when you imagine a piece of wrought iron sufficiently large to cover a man's front and back, and a quarter of an inch thick. It is no wonder he could not beat the jump with that on, though I believe he was a very good jumper,
and in fact a first class athlete all round.
We were allowed to come in and out of Mrs. Jones's hotel whenever we felt so dis posed, and also to go to Mr. Stainstreet's house, where one or other of the gang was ! always stationed. Steve Hart was here most
of the day, lounging on the sofa smoking ; during the day feeling his feet rather sore, and cramped (with new boots on) he asked someone standing by to pull off his boots. When they were off he looked dozily down and said, " By Jove, my feet are dirty ; have you got any warm water tliere, missus ?" addressing Mrs. Stainstreet. On her answer ing in the affirmative, he said, " Put some in a basin and wash my feet for me." And she did, though it was plainly seen that the job was not exactly to her liking.
With the exception of an occasional passer- I by being bailed up and run in, nothing extra occurred until night.
With the advent of night-fall, all the crowd were called inside and threatened with immediate death if they attempted to get away. I do not think there were many that were very anxious to get away, except it might be to get a square meal, as the bush
.utmost civility -and were ,<sver -willing topless refreshments in the shape of liquors upon, ^uch of the male portion as were likely to indulge in them.
It was shortly after dark as far as l oan remember, that Mr. Curnow obtained leave from Kelly to go home and keep his^wife company. I did not hear Mr. Curnow ask .Kelly, but missing him from the crowd I casually asked where he had gone to.
" Oii, I let him go home to his wife," Ned Kelly replied, and as nobody seemed concern ed about the matter, it was very soon for gotten.
When the lights were fairly alight,_ Dan Kelly gave us a sample of his vocal abilities in the shape of a song about the Kelly gang. I only remember one verse of it which is as follows; tune, Wearing of the Green:
Oh, Faddy, and did you hear the news
that's going round ?
On the head of bold Ned Kelly they have
placed ten thousand pound ;
On Hart and Joe Byrne a similar they'll
But though the sum was doubled, sure
the Kelly boys would-live.
There were about a dozen verses, recount ing their doings and what they intended doing before the police would get hold of
them. The redoubtable concertina was
brought into requisition, and with the player perched upon a chair in the corner of the room, from where he dispensed crude music, to which we all danced from time to time. Where ladies were found to be scarce, those desirous of dancinghad to pick a " buck part ner." We had also had some Irish jigs, highland reels, and several other dances that I would not like to explain for fear that I could not do them justice. When dancing flagged a bit, cards were brought into requisi tion, and served to pass away the hours till midnight.
The crowd were not, as it may be sup posed, all in one room, but were divided into three lots, each lot being presided over by one of the gong; the fourth bushranger was doing duty down at Mr. Stainstreet's house, about 60 yards away, where some more folks were, including most of the women .folk and Stainstreet's family^
About half-past one or two o'clock on Monday morning, the word went around that the KeUys were going to clear out, they hav ing got sick of waiting for the train; at the same time they thought that perhaps the police had got word of their being there, and were going to surprise therh from a different
The announcement that they were going away was received on all sides with evident satisfaction, as despite the rather novel ex perience and the fun that we were most un doubtedly having, many, in fact, I may say all, were longing for a good sound sleep and
Upon making enquiries from Ned Kelly as to whether the report was true or not, he said " Yes, my boy, " (he always addressed me familiarly)'' we are off directly, and when we are gone you can clear out as soon as you like."
I felt this rather comforting at any rate, and made arrangements to go home at once. When all was in readiness to go, and all waiting for them to clear out, Ned Kelly came out of the room where they had stacked all their accoutrements, and called out
[ " Everybody come into the dining-room, I
have something to say and want everybody
1 to hear it."
We all crushed in after him, wondering I what it might be that he was going to say.
After a few preliminaries, such as mounting | a chair and getting off again, he proceeded
"First, I wish to tell you all, that if I should hear of any one of you present here to-night telling the police of any of our doings or sayings, or showing the way we left, or in fact telling anything whatever about us, I shall make it my duty to visit them some day and have a settling with them, and I can promise you that it will not be such a settling as I had day with young Delaney there. I let him off, but, by God, I'll notlet anymore off the
way; so you know what to expect from me if any of you should let out any of our plans that you have heard here. ,1 am not a bit afraid of the police, and know that if they alone hunted me I would never be taken ; but what I am really afraid of is those d 4 Queensland black trackers; those boys I hon estly fear, for I know what they can do; they can track me over bare stones, and a white man stands no chance with them all; it was mainly l» kill ib ise tb.i: I iore up those rails do.wn there, and in fa..-.'. what brought me here. I knew very -\veJl that when tliey heard that we were down in Beech worth, they would pack those incarnate devils after us, and I was prepared to meet them, but only half way; I can't make out what has delayed that train, and think they must have taken a different route, but ft.ga.iti I don't see how they are to get there, especi ally as tliey are not accustomed to the coun try. No, I think they have got information of our being here and are leaving it till they are positive. Well, anyhow, let them come when they like, we are ready for them even now. I suppose some of you people would like to know what I have been doing latuly, and how I have managed to escape capture so long. Well, I don't mind telling you & little. It can't do any harm, and it will pass away a few minutes. A lot of people im agine that after robbing the Euroa Bank, and before slicking up the Jerilderie, that we were out of funds, and had to stick up the Jerilderie Bank to supply ourselves. Nothing
of the sort. I had no more intention of rob bing the Jerilderie Bank a fortnight before than I have now of flying. What brought us to Jerilderie was this. I was after that infernal scoundral Sullivan that turned
Queen's Evidence in New Zealand. I heard that he came up the north - eastern, and was told of his being at Rutherglen. I followed him there, but he was too quick for me and had gone on to Uralla. Up to Uralla we went, and found out that he had gone to Wagga, and there lost sight of him. We thought he had gone up Hay way from there, and consequently made for there; but aban doned the chase, and when coming home through Jerilderie, it struck us to stick up the bank, which we did as you all know. I don't know how much money we took away from either Jerilderie or Euroa, but a con siderable deal more than they said in the papers. Anyhow we lost sight of Sullivan,
ana I would sooner have met him than have robbed a dozen banks. I consider him to be one of the greatest villains unhung, and moreover the first time I come across him the Lord pity him. I won't shoot the hound, it is too good for such as he, but I will hang, draw, and quarter him-kill him by inches.
I have not given him up yet, and will hunt | the till I die. I .mil give £500 to the
man who tells mo where he is. I don't want j to have him brought to me, only to be told j where he is. I would follow him to England
if I knew he was there.
After coming down from Jerilderie I took a trip to Melbourne and bought some fire
arms, these revolvers and some Winchester 1 rifles, besides as much ammunition as we wanted."
Kelly's narrative was broken off rather short, as at this moment the shrill whistle of a train was distiuctly heard a short distance away from where we were.
" By God!" exclaimed Kelly, " that b Curnow has deceived us!" and at once jump ing1 down from his seat he hurried outside, and there mounting his horse, rode down to where the train was stopped, returning in a few minutes. He said, ''Yes, Curnow has
stopped the train and told the police, and j they are now coming up here, so we must be ready."
" Dan," addressing his brother, " you keep your eye on these folk whilst we get ready, and then you can fix: yourself up
So saying, he led the others into their arsenal-if you can call it such-and there they immediately put their armour on and
generally got themselves in readiness for the
ray. We could hear the knocking of the
armour and the smothered curses when a thing would not fit to their satisfaction. In a comparatively short space of time they emerged from the room clad in their sombre armour. This was the first time that I had seen the men in their " frill dress," and the thought inwardly struck me that the police would stand a very poor show indeed, when opposed to these desperate men, clad as they were in what soehied complete armour.
Whilst Dan Kelly was " doing bis toilet" Ned gave us a bit of advice, viz ; he ordered all the lights to be put out, the fire to be ex tinguished, and generally to make the place look as natural as possible, and he also told us that there would be some heavy firing, and the Best thing we could do was to lie down as close to the floor as possible and on no account to try to escape, as by so doing we ran the double risk of being taken for one of the gang by the police, and for one of the police by some of the gang.
We heard the train slowly steam into the station, the officers giving orders, and the noise made by the horses getting out of the trucks, and then we could distinctly hear the police walk down the line to Mr. Stainstreet's house and ask some questions. Mrs. Stain street immediately told them that the Keilys were up in Jones's hotel and had half the town with them, and then closed the door in their faces.
The excitement now waxed intense as we heard the police outside, in front of the hotel. After a delay of a few moments, one of the police called out to the Keilys-who were by this time arranged in a row on the verandah to surrender in the Queen's name.
" Surrender, be d !" they called out, rattling the points of their revolvers oh their iron breasts, "you can shoot at us for bLZ
months and never hurt us."
The firing now began, but whether it was the police who began first or the Keilys I am not quite sure, as they seemed to begin to gether. Almost as soon as the firing began, we heard one of the Keilys exclaim, " My God, I'm shot!" It turned out to be Ned who was shot both in the elbow and in the
foot; but the firing did not seem to abate at all, both sides keepmg up a brisk cannonade, meanwhile all us poor unfortunates lying down full on our faces and expecting every minute to be the last, when our firing abated, which it did at intervals. At this Constable Bracken effected his escape from the house and found the police, and it was well that he did BO as both Dan Kelly and Joe Byrne eame in immediately after and nrndb repeated inquiries as to where he was. Their object was, no doubt, to shoot him, as they both seemed to be in a terrible rage when they were convinced that he had es caped. I made an attempt to get away, thinking, and no doubt rightly, that it was a little safer a bit farther away, when I was met at the door by Joe Byrne, who asked me where I was going. I told him that I wanted to get away from the house. "Well," he said, " you can go if you like, but if you take my advice you will stop where you are, the place is surrounded with police, and ten to one they will take you for one of us and shoot you. Stop inside and you will be allright." Accordingly I went back again, though rather reluctantly, and had scarcely got in side when the firing again began. Creeping on my hands and knees, I joined the others and laid very low, very low indeed. There were about 30 or 35 in the room, not one of whom ever expected to get out alive. The
position I occupied was just inside the par- I
or door against a couoh, and in a good posi tion should any ohanoe arise of getting out. The bulk of those in the room were praying, and some few were sleeping, especially the young fellow who went asleep almost a< soon as the firing commeiioed, and did not awaken till we wore all leaving the place.
However, again some of the more daring of those present got up and had a look out Bide, but only to be frightened back again by the shots which were being fired continually into the house by the police outside.
Young Reardon, who was lying next to me, feeling rather stiff from lying so long in oye position, got up to turn round, and while doing so received a shot in his shoulder, he fell back moaning that he was killed, and calling on his father to come and Bee where the wound was. "With the aid of a few matches we examined the wound; it seemed to be a revolver bullet that had struck him, the hole being a very small one. Of course we could do nothing for the poor fellow, and consequently he had tb endure the pain. Almost immediately after young Reardon was shot, Mrs. Jones came running fran tically into the room, crying and exclaiming that her son Jack was shot and was dying.
She asked if there was a man in the room
who would help her to carry him to bed. For a time nobody seemed to be anxious to run the risk of being shot to carry the boy to his bed. When Martin Cherry, (who was afterwards shot dead himself) said to me, " Come on, lad, we'll carry him in." Ac cordingly Martin and myself followed Mrs. Jones to where her boy was, and taking him up we carried him to the back part of the house, and laid him on the bed. The wound was a frightful one, and even to our un practised eyes it was easily seen that he could not long survive it; the bullet went in his left hip, and travelling in an upward direc tion came out in his right side through the ribs. After doing all we could for the poor lad, we again retired to our place of safety if it could be called such. The firing now seemed to be more intense; as a matter of fact more police had in the meantime come to the scene of action, and of course every new arrival, as soon as he got into position, fired as many shots as he possibly could into the unfortunate building, with the hope of kill ing the bushrangers; one of the shots struck the clock on the mantel-piece and started it striking. It struck I suppose about 40 before game enough to attempt it should any one be ready to join him. I forget the time exactly,
but think it was about 6 o'clock in the morn
j ing, that Joe Byrne came into the room, and ' asked how we were getting on. Several
appealed to him to get them away, but he said, " Stop where you are, you are a
sight better off than we are." He then went into the bar for the purpose, I think, of hav ing a drink. Almost immediately I heard a dull thud, and turning around saw him lying . at full length on the floor. He was the.-jfirst of the gang to fall. The wound he received must have proved fatal in a few minutes after receiving it. He was lying about four feet from where I was situated, and his presence there did hot in any way tend to reassure me as to our own individual safety.
About an hour after Byrne paid the penalty of his crimes, some one in the room heard the police calling out to us, and on listening at tentively wo heard Bomeone outside calling
out that all civilians would be allowed ten minutes to got out. When it was explained to everybody thit we were allowed a time to get away, some of them were 'so much ter rified that they would not agree to it, saying
that we were almost sure to be killed if we attempted to leave the place.
" Well," I said, " we may as well be shot outside as in, and I for one am going," and so saying, I got up, and rushing to the door, which I opened, made at once for a covered spot which I knew of in front of the hotel. The example being set, the rest soon followed and on making their appearance were called upon by the police to hold up their hands, and when they had got a short distance away from the hotel they were told to lie down on the ground and hold up their bands. In the meantime I had separated from the rest, and continuing my run, jumped into the drain, inside the railway enclosure. As it happened I had^ jumped fairly into the midst of Inspector 0 Connor's detachment of black i trackers, who, immediately on seeing me closed around and presenting their revolvers to my head, called upon me to surrender. I ex plained as well aB I could under the circutn 1 stances that I was not a bushranger, and
seeing O'Connor, appealed to him. He re leased me from his men and instead of letting me go to some place of safety, made me go back the way I had come and join the rest, who by this time were lying on the ground, and being examined by the police. Accord ingly I passed in front of the hotel again, and joined my comrades. We were examined one by one by the police, and then allowed to take our own course. Naturally I made I began to count them, and then I counted 60 odd, when another shot shattered it and laid the fragments on the floor. I am not at all superstitious as a rule, but this I will say, that I looked upon that cloak striking as a sort of a death knell. One of those in the room, thinking the fire-place a safe retreat, accordingly got up it, but upon seeing one of the bricks displaced by a Martini-Henry bullet, changed his mind and once more joined in the crowd upon the floor.
There were numerous suggestions from different people in the room, as to a means of escape, some suggesting that we should all make a rush to the door, and holding up our hands, call out to the police for protec
tion. This seemed to savour of too much
danger to the majority, and was abandoned ; one daring individual suggested that we should borrow some arms from the Kellys, and retaliate on the police. This again did not meet with much favour, and I question very nmch if the individual referred to was
for the railway station, where there Beamed to be a crowd, and was at onoe seized upon by reporters who wanted to know what had passed inside. After satisfying these, I asked lor something to eat, as it must be remember ed that we had fasted for nearly twenty-four hours. The police were pretty well provided in the line of refreshments, and after.satifify ing the inner man, I went round to the back part of the station buildings to see Ned Kelly, whom I had heard was captured, before we liad got out of the house. Coming into the room I saw him lying on his back on a stretcher, guarded by about half-a-dozen troopers. He Beemed to be covered with blood, and looked very down-hearted. I stood looking at him for a time, and was about to turn away when he turned round and looking me full in the face, said, " Well I'm done for now, old man, my race is run," and falling back, seemed to go in a sort of faint. I left the room then, and mingling with the crowd waited the advent of further excitement. We had not to wait long as the police directly all the Chilians had left the premises commenced firing from all points into the hotel, with the hope of shooting the two surviving bushrangers. Byrne they knew was dead, for we told them that after getting out. Some idea of the amount of shooting that now took place may be gained when you consider that about 45 or 50 police each armed with a breech-loading rifle were firing as quick as they could load into all parts of the house. Whilst the civilians were in the hotel the police had orders to fire high but now the order was to fire where you liked, and there is no mistake about it they did fire where they liked. For a short time a few answering shots were heard from the build ing, but these soon relapsed, and for a long time before the place was set on fire no shots
were heard from the inside.
News went around that a cannon had been sent for and was now on the way up from Melbourne, the object in getting a cannon was to blow up the building and everything in it; much to our dissatisfaction that cannon did not arrive, as we had prepared ourselvss for a bit of sport. It seems that the weapon was actually dispatched from Melbourne, but had got only half way up when the news that the place was burned down and the two bushrangers were burning in it, stopped it at Seymour.
About four o'clock in-the afternoon one of the police set fire to the building with the object of smoking them out; it being a wooden building the fire burned right royally and very soon demolished the whole fabrication; as the fire got a good hold of th& building, and the bushrangers did not make their appearance the crowd gradually moved up to it, until they almost surrounded the fire; numerous offers were male by different people in the crowd to rush the building and get them out if dead, and capture them if alive, but the police would not countenance anything of the sort; by and by some one said that Martin Cherry was in the house. This proved to be only too true, in our anxiety to get away we never thought of the poor old chap and consequently he was in the house with Dan Kelly and Steve Hart during all the heavy firing, and was now in a fair way to be roasted. I think it was about this time that Father Gibney went up to the house holding the crucifix in his hand. Lots soon followed him and went inside. Almost im mediately the dead body of Joe Byrne was dragged out, and also that of poor old Martin Cherry. Several attempts were made to find Steve Hart and Dan Kelly, but the flames by this time had too great a hold of the place, and oar farther efforts to g©t them out had to be abandoned. Consequently they had to wait till the fire burned out, and then amidst the blackened ruins the charred remains of both Dan Kelly and Steve Hart were found, and lying beside them was a poor old dog who had followed me into the place and being too much afraid to go out, had no doubt crept near to them for protection, any way they wore all three burned tpgether. The bodies presented a sickening sight, the legs and arms being half burned away, and it was impossible to distinguish them.
Little more needs to be said. With the ex ception of a few relic-hunters, the scene of the fray was soon deserted and nothing re mained except the black wall mass that marked the place where the hotel once stood, and here and there the dead bodies of about a dozen horses that had been shot. Some of these were the Kellys' horses, some belonging to private individuals who had been bailed up, and their horses put in the yard, where they were shot from time to time.
Kate Kelly, I think, took charge of the bodies of Hart and her brother, and Byrne's was taken away by the police.
Such was the end of this notorious band of bushrangers, who for years eluded all efforts of the police for their capture, and who for a time held a rod of terror over the whole of the north-eastern district.
Ned Kelly paid the penalty of his crime in Melbourne some months afterwards, he being hanged in Melbourne gaol.
| In Notes and Queries-a periodical which,
by-the-bye, takes its motto from one of Dickens' best-known characters, the re nowned Captain Cuttle, it was suggested that the familiar name of 'Career' was framed from the Greek, as so much is said concerning Mr. Carter's teeth. Dickens, however, re plied to this suggestion, stating that the coincidence was undesigned. We And it further suggested that the name may hare been constructed from 1 canker,' and 1 cark ing,r as in the expression ' carking care,' and thesa are certainly very expressive of tne blighting influences ascribed to Carker. As for the world-famed Pickwickian names of Wardle, JLowten, and Dowler, all these occur
in an account of the Duke of York's trial in the
" Annual Register." Apropos of the novel;
ist's methodical habits and (dogged perseve
rance, -we are assured, on the testimony of one - who .knew him well, that he never worked
" by fits and starts," but had regular hours*
for labour, commencing about ten. o'clock in . the morning and ending about two in the - afternoon; and, it may be stated, his works - which we read with so much ease wore by no ? means easily written; in fact the labour ex pended both upon their conception and exe
cution was prodigious. All his hours and days^ were spent by rule. He rose at a certain time, he retired at another, and, although no precisian, yet it waa rarely found that ms arrangements varied. His hours for writing were between breakfast and luncheon, ana when there was any work to be done, no temptation was sufficiently strong to cause it to be neglected. This order and regularity
followed him throughout the day. His mind . was essentially methodical, and in his long - walks, his recreations, and in his labours,, he was governed by rules laid down for him self by himself
It has been said that no writer ever set before himself more arduously the task of giving the reading public the very best. A celebrated artist, who once painted his
portrait while he was engaged in writing one of the most popular of his Btories, relates - that he was completely astonished at the
trouble Dickens apparently took over his work, at the number of forms in which he would jot down a thought before he hit out the one which seemed to his fastidious fancy the best, and at the comparative smaUness in the quantity of manuscript which each day's sitting produced.
Speaking of his manner of literary compo
sition, a writer in the issue of the Weekly - Dispatch for June 18, 1870, remarks:-" I remember well one evening, spent with him by appointment, not wasted by intrusion, when I found'him, according to his own phrase, picking up the threads of ' Martin. Chuzzlewit' from the printed sheets of the half volume that lay before him. This accouiits for the seeming incompleteness of some of his plots; mothers the design was 'too strong and sure to be influenced by any ~
In his own immediate literary circle, and amongst those who were on the most familiar terms with him, it is remarkable that the name of 'Mr. Dickens,' or 'Mr. CharleB. Dickens,' or even ' Charles,' with his most intimate friends, was never heard. The re spect felt for his genius-his superiority took a more striking, although more familiar - form. He was invariably spoken of as 'the chief.' At the office of All the Tear Sound, the question, we are told, was never ' Is Mr. Dickens inP' but, 'Is the chief in?' or, . Has the chief arrived ?'-Gossip.
The Aggrieved Tenor.
One evening when the opera of' Rigoletto' was being performed, Mr. Mapleson went home just before the termination of the third act. He had been at home. three-quarters of an hour when a servant hurried up in a cab to inform him that tho curtain had not
yet risen for the final act in consequence of some question with Mongini, who was brand ishing a sword and threatening to kill every body. At the theatre Mr. Mapleson found
the curtain still down and the audience tumul tuous. He buttoned his overcoat across his chest and went into Mongini's room.
' This time, Mr. Mongini, I hear you are right.'
With these prelimininary we got into con
versation, but he still remained walking up> and down with nothing but his shirt on and a drawn sword in his hand. He explained to me that the master tailor, who had been re quested by him in tho morning to widen his overcoat by two inches, had misunderstood, and contractedit by two inches. I wished to have a look at the dress, which, however, was lying on the floor torn to pieces. I as sured Mongini that the man should be cruelly punished, and he and his family put upon the streets to die starving early the next morning.
He then got calmer, and I casually ob served : 'By the bye, is the opera, over yet, Mongini V to winch he replied, ' No, it is
' Never mind that,' I continued; ' the public can wait. Every one, by the way, is talking of the magnificent style in which you have been singing to-night/
His eyes brightened, and he said he should like to go on with the opera.
' Not at all a bad idea,' I remarked.
'ButI have no dress,'said Mongini, rather sadly ; ' it is distroyed.' I suggested thathe should wear the dress of the second act, and' La Donna e Mobile' would make amends for the delay. He dressed and followed me to the stage.
The next day at twelve o'clock, as per ap pointment, Mongini came to my office to be present atthepunishment of the master tailor.
I had taken the precaution to inform the tailor, who was a single man, that he had a wife and four children. I called him into my room in the presence of Mongini, and told him gravely that he, with his wife and child ren, must now starve. Mongini at once sup plicated me not to let the children die in the gutter, as it might injure him with the public, and he ended by promising ,that if I would retain the tailor in my service he would sing an extra night for nothing.-Mapleson'*
When a man finds that he is getting to be too loquacious, his best remedy is to get married. He will notice an improrement right away.
A girl sued a man for breach of promise, and proved him such a Bcoundrel that the jnry decided that she ought to pay him something for not manyingher. ..