The Warwick Argus.
[PUBLISHED TWICE A WEEK.]
WARWICK : SATURDAY, JULY 3, 1880.
THE KELLY OUTLAWS.
MELBOURNE, June 29.
THE following is the account of the final scene of the capture of the Kelly gang :– The siege of the hotel was kept up all Monday fore- noon and until 3 o'clock in the afternoon, when the firing from the hotel ceased. Thereupon the police, who were then acting under the direction of Superintendent Sadlier, deter- mined to take a decisive step. Accordingly, at quarter past 3 o'olock senior constable Johnston, of Violet Town, ran up to the gate of the hotel with a large bundle of straw. He advanced under cover of a continuous fire from his comrades directed at the doors and windows of the building. Having ignited the straw, he retired, his retreat being protected by a fire similar to that which covered his advance. The straw soon flared up and set the house on fire. After a short time the
flames were seen flickering through the bullet holes in the roof. As the fire travelled rapidly, all eyes were turned on the burning building, silence being only broken by the crackling of the flames. The circle of besiegers now be-
gan to close in rapidly on the house, some dodging from tree to tree, and others, persuaded that all within the hotel must be hors
de combat, coming out into the open. Mrs.
Skillion, sister of the Kellys, at this juncture attempted to approach the front of the burn-
ning house. She had arrived on the scene
almost simultaneously with the setting fire to the building,and her object in trying to reach the house was apparently to induce the survi- vors inside, if any, to come out and surrender. The police, however, ordered her to stop, and she obeyed, but very reluctantly. She, how- ever, went to where a knot of besiegers were standing on the west side of the house. Not many minutes elapsed before smoke was seen coming out through the roof, and flames were
discerned through the window on the western
side of the building. A light westerly wind was blowing, which carried the flames from the straw underneath the wall and into the house. The building being lined with calico, the fire spread rapidly. When the house was seen to be fairly on fire, and still no signs of life within the building appeared, Father Gibbey, who had previously advanced towards
the building, but had been stopped by the
police, walked up to the front door and entered. At this time the besiegers all rushed
to the building. Father Gibbey, at much personal risk from the flames, advanced into the room, at the left of which he discovered two bodies lying on their backs side by side,
He touched them, and found that life was extinct. The bodies were recognised by him as those of Steve Hart and Dan Kelly. The rev. gentleman expressed the opinion that
from their position they must have killed each other. Whether they did so, or that one or both committed suicide, or that both being mortally wounded by the besiegers, they lay down determined to die side by side, will never be known. The priest had barely time to feel the bodies before the flames forced him to make a hasty exit from the room. After he retired the flames made such rapid progress on the western side of the hotel that the few people who had entered the building
close on the rev. gentleman's footsteps dared not attempt to rescue the two bodies. After
the house had been burned down the two bodies were removed from the embers. They
presented a horrible spectacle, nothing but the trunks and skulls being left, and these
were almost burned to a cinder. The armor worn by the men was found near their bodies. Joe Byrne's body was found in the entrance to the bar-room, which was on the east side of the house, and there was time to remove it
from the burning building, but not before the right side was slightly scorched. This body
also presented a dreadful appearance. It looked as if it had been ill-nourished. The
corpse was quite stiff, and from its appearance and the position in which it was found, cor- roborated the statement that Byrne died early on Monday. He is said to have received a fatal wound in the groin while he was drink- ing a glass of whisky at the bar. He had a ring on one of his right-hand fingers which had belonged to constable Scanlan.