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THE MANSFIELD MURDERS
(BY ELECTRIC TELEGRAPH)
(FROM OUR SPECIAL REPORTER)
BENALLA, FRIDAY, 9 PM
Another quiet day has passed, without a single sensational rumour relative to the whereabouts of the Kelly gang having been received. Another party of troopers left the township towards evening, but their destination was kept secret. The number of detectives at Wangaratta was also strengthened during the day. It is understood that the detectives will not go out with the search parties, but will work on their own plans, with the view of obtaining some reliable info rmation as to the movements of the outlaws. I saw a resident of Wangaratta to-day who is quite positive, from what he heard at the time, that Joseph Byrne, one of the gang, was in a public billiard-room in that township one evening during the present week. He says that Byrne was recognised by a young man who knows him well, and that when he saw he was noticed he left the room, and, having given a whistle, was joined by another man, and they then rapidly made off before any info rmation could be given to the police authorities. The usual excuse is given when the question is put, “Why was he not seized by those in the room if he was recognised?” They all say, “Oh, very likely he might have had a revolver about him.” No credence is attached to the statement, for those who know Byrne well say that he would not have the pluck to enter Wangaratta with a price set upon his head.
The young man Cunnington, who was arrested early yesterday morning, for the alleged sticking-up of Bamford’s house, on the Kilfera-road, was taken before Mr McBean, JP, this morning, and at the request of Superintendent Sadleir was discharged with a severe reprimand for acting in such a foolish manner. It will no doubt be a caution to him and other young fellows not to go playing practical jokes. There have been so many contradictory statements relative to whether the police can or cannot participate in the reward now offered for the arrest of the outlaws, that it is as well to state authoritatively that the police regulations provide that in the event of any reward being offered, and any trooper, constable, or non-commissioned officer showing special intelligence, energy, and acumen, it is in the power of the chief commissioner of police to recommend the reward, or any part of it, being paid to him. Officers of police are, of course, prohibited from receiving any portion of such reward. In this case there can be no doubt but that those troopers who are fortunate enough to be present when the outlaws are captured or shot will have the reward distributed amongst them. It may also be said that in the event of any civilian giving info rmation of the whereabouts of the gang, and that such info rmation should prove correct, he will receive his proportion of the reward without his being present when the capture is made.
It is not intended to proceed to-morrow with the case against the hawker, Ben Gould, who was arrested last Saturday at Euroa by Detective Ward, under the Outlawry Act on the charge of aiding and abetting the Kellys. In order to save the trouble and expense of bringing him from Beechworth Gaol to Euroa, he will be taken before the magistrates at Beechworth to-morrow, and a further remand of one week applied for.
I am glad to say that the safety of Mr Healey, of the Strathbogie Station, has been assured. It was feared, owing to his unexplained absence from home, that he had fallen into the hands of the Kellys. It turns out that he was unavoidably detained from home by business matters.
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