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  • Anonymous 1 Aug 2011 at 15:22
    Eyewitness account of the Kelly gang's foray into Jerilderie.

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8 corrections, most recently by anonymous - Show corrections

MR. LYVING'S NARRATIVE. I

I am teller of the Jerilderie branch establishment of the Bank of Now South Wales. On Monday, at midday, I was sitting at my desk, and Mr. J. T. Mackie, the junior clerk, was standing at the front door looking into tho street. At about ten minutes past twelve I heard some one poking about the back. The back door was open. I know that Mr. Tarleton, the manager, was there, and I thought  

that it was he moving about. I listened, and I heard some stamping. I slid round on my stool, and some fellow walked in with his hands down,

looking rather stupid, as if he had been drinking. 'I said, " What the devil do you mean by coming in at the back door like this? If you have   got anything to do, come in at the front door." He

looked at me, and then round the room. I got off my stool and walked towards him. When about four foot off, he suddenly levelled a revolver, began breathing hard, and said ''I am Kelly." I replied, "You be blowed ; you are humbugging me". He replied, "I am Kelly. Come on quick. What firearms have you got ! Put up your arms." I afterwards discovered that he was not Kelly, but Byrne. I told him that we had no fire arms. Just

then Mackie came in from the front, and to him

Byrne said "You jump over the counter, young

fellow." I told Mackie to yield as we were stuck up. Byrne next told us that the police were all bailed up. After, in reply to a question, I had told him that there was no one else in the establishment, he took us to Cox's Royal Hotel, where we met Ned Kelly, who escorted us inside, but immediately afterwards fetched me out again. Ned said to me, "Where are the others? Where is Tarleton?" Upon my relying that I thought Mr. Tarleton was in his room, Ned said, " Come on ; we will find him," and took me back to the bank. Mr. Tarleton could not be found at first, and Ned threatened me,

telling me I would have to find him. I began to think that Tarleton had got the alarm and cleared out. Ned then said "Come on round the back and show   me the bathroom," and ordered mo to see if the mana- ger was there. I opened the door, and found Tarleton having a bath! I said to the manager, "We are   stuck up at last ; the Kellys have come. It is no use resisting ; the police are all bailed up." Byrne then came and fetched Hart, who was left in charge of the manager, whilst Ned Kelly and Byrne took me into the bank, and made me give up the revolver out of my drawer. Ned asked me what money we had got, and I replied, " We have only got a little; we have sent it all away. We have got £600 or £700. "Oh," replied he, "you have got nine or   ten thousand here." I again denied that we had mere than six or seven hundred, and gave him the tailor's cash out of one drawer, some £691 or so. At that juncture, Mr. Elliott, the schoolmaster, came into the bank through the front door. Kelly

said to him, "Here, young follow, over the   counter you jump, quick." I said to him", "We are stuck up, old man ; you had better come. " Elliott replied, "I can't jump over the counter," but upon Kelly reiterating his com- mand and levelling his revolver he got over very quickly. Then he rammed the teller's cash into bags. These not being large enough, Ned Kelly went away and returned with a sack. Elliott and one of them held the sack and I put the money in. Ned then said, "You have got more here," but I   denied the statement. He went to the safe. There were two drawers in the safe, of one of which I had given him the contents. The other was the Treasury drawer, which contained the reserve cash. Ned asked, " What is in this drawer?" To which I I replied, '"There is nothing in there but a lot of   papers and things, they are no good to you." He   started, "Open it." I said, "I can't open it ; there is nothing of any good." He sternly repeated, while menacing me. "Open it." I got my key and turned     it in the lock of the Treasury drawer. The lock was a check lock, and I could only half unlock it. I said, "There, I have done all I can, and I cannot unlock it." Byrne then suggested that a sledge- hammer should be procured and the safe burst open. I protested against that being done, and told them they better fetch the manager. Ned   accordingly went and fetched Mr. Tarleton from

the Royal Hotel. The Treasury drawer was then   unlocked, as it was no use our resisting any further, and Ned Kelly took all its contents exactly £1400. Ned then got down a large square deed box, which

contained various documents in the shape of deeds, stock, mortgages etc. Being informed of the nature of the documents, Ned said, "I do not want all those ; I will burn all this lot." Mr. Tarleton, agreed with him, and as Ned was putting a document into the bag, the manager said, touching it "This is no good to you." "In with it," ex- claimed Kelly, apparently impressed with the idea that it was very valuable. Kelly threatened to burn all the books in the place, and, leaving the rest of the deeds where they had been deposited, said that he would return to examine them, re- marking, at the same time, " I want deeds of town allotments!'. He made me search for the manager's revolver, which I found for him, and took us all

over into the Royal Hotel into the bar parlor. Dan Kelly was in the bar all the time, and had the bar and parlor covered with his revolver. Ned Kelly went back to the bank to got the bank books. While he was there Mr. J. G. Rankin, J.P., and Mr. Gill, a journalist, seeing the doors open, went into the bank, and Ned Kelly immediately told them to bail up. Both of them made a speedy exit from the bank, Rankin running into the bar of   the Royal Hotel, where he was of course bailed up, and ordered into the parlor. Ned Kelly ran after Rankin in a state of great rage, his generally hand- some features becoming distorted with passion, until he assumed a perfectly demoniacal aspect. He took hold of Rankin and said, "What the -- do you mean by running away, when I told you to bail up? Come on out into the passage and I will shoot you." He dragged Rankin into the middle of the passage, where he straightened him up. Stand- ing a few paces back, he levelled his revolver at the now thoroughly frightened man, when there arose a general cry of intercession from those bailed up in the parlor. Upon hearing this Kelly said, " Well, I will let you off this time, but if any thing happens you will be the first man shot." Leaving Rankin standing in the middle of the pas- sage, he added to Hart, who was in the bar " Keep this man covered, ' Revenge,' and shoot him if any- one attempts any resistance." I may explain that " Revenge " is the nickname given to Hart by Ned Kelly, who was heard to address him by that sobriquet on several occasions during the sticking up. Ned Kelly took away two of the men from the bar parlour, and made them light a fire in the back yard, at which he burnt three or four of the bank books. Ned then went to look after Mr. Gill, taking with him Trooper Richards and myself. The trooper was allowed to carry his revolver in his belt for the sake of appearances, but the cartridges had been carefully drawn from the weapon. We went over to Gill's house, .which was just across the street but Gill was not there. His wife was in the yard. Ned said, " What I wanted him for was to print a statement that I have here." He offered Mrs. Gill a written statement, but that lady de-   clined to receive it. He then gave it to me,saying   "This is a little bit of my life ; I will give it to, you. Mind you get it printed." I promised to do   so, and be added " All right; I will leave it to you   to get it done. You can read it. I have not had   time to finish it." I then urged upon him the necessity of his getting away at once if he wished to do so in safety. He went over to M'Dougall's Hotel, and took a race mare out of the stable,  

promising to send her back in three weeks. While walking with Ned Kelly he said to me. "I have made a great blunder over this affair. I should not be surprised if we were caught this time." He did not explain what he meant, but from other remarks I am of opinion that he had origi- nally intended to stick up the bank on Sunday, and regretted that he had not carried out his original plan. We next went to the telegraph office, where we found Byrne, who had all the wires out. Ned Kelly pulled them about, and satisfied himself that they were broken. He also knocked off the insu- lator placed at the office window with the butt end of his revolver. The telegraph master, Jefferson, and his assistant, whoso name was Rankin, were compelled to accompany us back to the hotel, where we left. Ned Kelly again visited the bank, and appropriated my saddle, which he put on Mr. M'Dougal's mare. He doffed his own riding breeches and donned those of Mr. Tarloton, helping himself at the same time to the latter's gold watch and chain, some trinkets of jewellery, a bridle and a whip. He next placed Dan Kelly on the mare. Up to this time Dan Kelly had been on guard at one door of the hotel and Hart at the other. Ned Kelly informed the telegraph master and his assistant that he would shoot them if they attempted to mend the lines before the next day ; also telling

them that be intended taking them out with him a few miles. Turning to us, he said, "You will have to stop here for three or four hours." We pointed out that everybody else in the township was running loose, and he replied, " All right, then, but you must not go out of the town for four hours," adding, " Let none of you go on the Deniliquin road. I am going to stick up tho Urana coach. " Byrne at that time had started off about an hour previously on the Murray-road, taking with him the "swag." We saw the others go up the road towards the police camp, and the manager and myself went for our horses. Others warned us that the Kellys had not yet gone, as they had made a large fire at the police camp. However, about twenty minutes after they left we get our horses, and I proceeded to Deniliquin to send telegrams. I left Jerilderie about half-past three, and arrived at Deniliquin about midnight by a short cut.

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