The Last of the Bushrangers by Sup Hare
THE events in connection with the outbreak of the Kelly gang, from the murder of the ill fated party of police in the Wombat Ranges, in October 1878, until the capture and death of the bushrangers at Glenrowan, in June 1880, are still too fresh in the minds of the public to need more than the briefest recapitulation as an introduction to my own experiences in their pursuit. Perhaps there was no one who had a better opportunity of obtaining information concerning their career than myself. Not that I wish to take any special credit, but I am merely mentioning facts that came to my knowledge and experiences during the search for the Outlaws. For nearly ten months I was engaged searching for them, and both before I went to the north-eastern district and after I was relieved, Captain Standish, the Chief Commissioner of Police, consulted me concerning all the information that came to hand.
Ned Kelly, the leader of the gang, was born in 1854, at Wallan Wallan. At an early age he took to criminal courses, and was regarded as a horse and cattle stealer from his earliest boyhood. He was known to steal carriers' horses at night, "plant" them in the bush until a reward was offered for their recovery, and then in the most innocent manner claim the reward. Afterwards he took to stealing and selling any horses he found straying about. When he was sixteen years of age he joined Power, although he never assisted in any of his sticking up cases; still, he was with him on two or three occasions when Power committed some of his depredations. He merely took charge. of Power's horses at a distance, but he could not be recognized by any of the victims, and consequently he was never tried for any offence in connection with him; but he served two or three sentences for horse and cattle stealing. When with Power, Ned Kelly was a flash, ill-looking young blackguard. He told me the reason he left him was because Power had such an ungovernable temper that he thought Power would shoot him. He told me that when they were riding in the mountains, Power swore at him to such an extent, without his giving him any provocation, that he put spurs to his horse and galloped away home. It was generally supposed by the public that Ned Kelly gave the police some information which led to Power's arrest; but this is entirely untrue. Power would not at that time have trusted Kelly with the knowledge of his where-abouts. Power had a very poor opinion of Kelly's courage, and told me that once or twice Ned Kelly suggested that they should surrender, more especially when Kelly and he were trying to steal some of Dr.Rowe's horses at Mount Battery station, Mansfield , and Dr. Rowe fired on them with a long distance rifle. Power said Kelly turned deadly white, and wished to surrender. He had the greatest difficulty in getting him off the ground, he was in such a fright. Between the interval of his exploits with Power, and the time of the outbreak of the gang of which he was the leader, Ned Kelly had grown into a man, and had become so hardened in crime as to be perfectly reckless.
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