The Last of the Bushrangers by Sup Hare
The next exploit of the gang was the Euroa Bank robbery, on the 11th Dec 1878. Euroa is situated on the main railway line between Melbourne and Sydney, about one hundred miles from the former. The town at that time had about three hundred inhabitants; there was a police station, where one mounted man was stationed, and it had two hotels and some substantially built buildings in it. A court was held there once a month, and the town was built close by the railway line. The bank that was stuck up was stuck up was within fifty or sixty yards of the railway station, and trains are constantly passing throughout the day. The nearest townships on each side of Euroa are Lowground on the Melbourne side, about nine miles distant, and Violet Town on the north side, about eleven miles. A considerable amount of business is, however, done in this place. It is the outlet for a large agricultural district, reaching down the valley of the Goulbourne river; at the back of it, and but a short distance away, are the Strathbogie ranges, which are covered with thick scrub, and heavily timbered for thirty or forty miles, reaching to near Mansfield, giving excellent cover for any persons trying to escape justice.
About noon on Monday, the 18th of December 1878 , an employe named Fitzgerald, on Mr. Younghusband's station; was sitting in the hut eating his dinner, when a man who looked like an ordinary bushman guietly sauntered up to the door, and taking his pipe out of his mouth inquired if the manager, Mr. Macauley, was about. Fitzgerald replied, "No, but he will be back towards evening. Is it anything in particular? Perhaps I will do as well." The bushman said, "No, never mind; it is of no consequence," and then walked away from the hut. Fitzgerald continued eating his dinner without taking any further notice of the man; but he happened to look up, and saw the bushman beckoning to some person in the distance. About five minutes afterwards, two more rough-looking cbaracters joined the bushman; they were leading four very fine horses, in splendid condition, they were three bays and a gray. The three men went to the homestead, which was olose to the hut, and walked in. They met Mrs. Fitzgerald, the wife of the employ already mentioned, who was engaged in some household duties.
The old dame was considerably surprised at the strangers walking in without an invitation, and asked them who they were, and what they wanted. One replied, "I am Ned Kelly, but you have nothing to fear from us, we shall do you no harm; but you will have to give us some refreshment, and also food for our horses. That is all we want." The old lady was naturally very much surprised, and called out to her husband to come to her. Fitzgerald left his dinner at the hut, and walked over to the house, when his wife introduced him to the strangers, saying,"There is Mr. Kelly, he wants some refreshments, and food for his horses." By this time Kelly had drawn his revolver, evidently to show them there was no joking on his part; and Fitzgerald, no doubt thinking discretion the better part of valour, accepted the inevitable, and resigaedly said, "Well, if the gentlemen want any refreshment, they must have it."
Shortly after this conversation had taken place, the station hands began to drop in for their dinner. Joe Byrne took up his position outside, keeping watch over the place, and Dan Kelly found the horse-feed, and was attending to the horses. Ned Kelly and Hart, as the men approached the homestead, made prisoners of all of them; Ned took possession of a detached building, which had been used as a store room, into which he put Fitzgerald, and each man that came up to the station was served in the same manner, and the door locked. The women on the station were in no way interfered with, and they were all assured that no harm was intended to anybody; as each man walked up for his dinner, they were very quietly ordered to " bail up," and were unresistingly marched into the store-house, no violence being used towards any of them, as they went quietly. Ned Kelly put several questions to each of the workmen,, making inquiries about every one on the station, so as to test the credibility of each of them; their answers appeared to satisfy him, he was very quiet in his manner, and kept telling the men they had nothing to fear, provided they did not interfere with him or his companions.
About five o'clock in the afternoon Mr. Macauley, the manager of the station, rode up to the home stead (he had been to one of the out-stations), and when crossing the creek which led up to the station he noticed, with some surprise, the quietness which reigned about the place, and the absence of the station hands about the huts. However, he did not give it a second thought, and proceeded on his way, until nearing the storehouse, when he suddenly reined up. This was in consequence of Fitzgerald calling out to him from the building, "The Kellys are here, you will have to bail up." He could not believe this at first, but almost at that instant Ned Kelly came out of the house, and covering him with his revolvers, ordered him to "bail up." Macauley without dismounting said, "What is the good of your sticking up the station? We have got no better horses than those you have." Ned Kelly replied, "We are not going to take anything, we only want some food, and rest for our horses, and sleep for ourselves."
Macauley, seeing it was no use offering any resistance, at once dismounted, and surrendered. They did not treat him as they did the others, but allowed him to remain at liberty for some time, but always keeping a watchful eye upon him. Even then Macauley did not believe they were the Kelly gang, but when Dan Kelly came out of the house, he recognized, as he said, "his ugly face " from the photos he had seen of him. Macauley said, "Well, as we are to remain here, we may as well make ourselves as comfortable as possible, and have our tea." The outlaws however were too cautious, and only two of them sat down together, whilst the others kept a look-out, and then they relieved each other. They also took great care that some of their prisoners should taste the food first, being apparently afraid of poison being put in.
This document gives you the text of the report about the KellyGang for this day. The text has been retyped from a microfiche copy of the original. We have taken care to reproduce this document but areas of the original text may been damaged. We also apologise for any typographical errors. This document is subject to copyright.