... part of the KellyGang story
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THE MONK INQUIRY
[BY ELECTRIC TELEGRAPH]
(FROM OUR OWN REPORTER)
The investigation of Monk's case was resumed this morning.
William Bullock, carrier, living at the Wombat, about a quarter of a mile on the Mansfield side of Monk's place, being interrogated by Mr Smyth, said that on Saturday, the 26th ult., he went to bed at 8 o'clock. About half an hour or less afterwards heard a horse galloping down the hill, and a voice sing out, "Bullock, Bullock, Bullock."
Knew it was Monk's voice. He also sang out, "I have been shot at twice on the top of the hill." He also said, "I believe my mare is wounded," but he did not mention where she was hurt. He likewise said - "Look out for yourself, old man," or something to that effect. Witness did not get up because his wife was frightened, and he had great trouble in keeping her quiet. Witness was frightened himself. Went down to Monk's on Sunday morning, and said to him, " That was a rum occurrence last night."
Monk called his attention to a shot mark in the saddle, and to a wound on the mare's leg. Asked him about the affair. Monk said the man rushed out from behind a tree crying "stop" or "bail up," and "I fired at him," He very nearly had hold of my bridle. He fired instantly at me, and my mare shied. He fired directly afterwards; my mare gave a cow kick, and bolted into the scrub I then got on the lower or Billy Martin's track, and rode home." In reply then to a question by witness as to the height of the man, Monk said he was a dark low set man, who had either a mask or a veil on. Witness said, "That is strange; it must have been someone who knew the place well.
Somebody must have followed yon or known you were coming from Mansfield. Monk said "I don’t know, I have no idea." Witness inquired, "Do you think it was the Kellys and Monk replied, "There was only one and I don't think it was any of the Kellys." He said the man rushed in front of him from behind the tree and raised his arms. Witness advised that the bullet in the mare's leg should be left there until the police came, and Monk expressed a desire that the bullet should be removed. Witness how ever, could not remember which observation was made first. Before he left Monk asked if he would come down again and assist him to take the bullet out. He promised to do so, and went home. Shortly afterwards Sub inspectors Toohey and Pewtress and Constable James called on him, and asked about the various tracks. Witness was in the bush near the place of the alleged shooting on Saturday, looking for straying bullocks and saw no stranger or strange tracks. He went out at 8 o'clock in the morning; was out about four hours, and all round the scene of the encounter.
To Mr Panton - A hundred men could have passed up from Mansfield without being seen by me.
To Mr Smyth -The police went to Monk's and witness followed. Monk asked him to throw the mare and take the bullet out. Witness threw the mare, and the bullet was cut out by Mr Pewtress. The bullet had only made a flesh wound. Witness had had experience in horses for a good many years. By a flesh wound he meant that the bullet only went inside the skin, and had not injured the bone. Had it lodged on the bone, the task of getting it out would have been a very difficult one. Had cut bullets out of live bullocks frequently. It did not follow if a bullet lodged in a horse's thigh bone that the animal would be lame, but he would be lame if the bone was fractured. Monk's mare was not lame. The bullet in this case entered in front of the thigh, went with a slant backwards and a little downwards passing through a little flesh, and lodged under the skin on the back of the thigh, traveling in all a distance of 6in or 7in.
At this stage the mare was examined in the courtyard and witness pointed out the place where the bullet entered and the point where it was cut out. Having now seen the mare and measured the wound marks witness found that the distance between the two points was 7in exactly.
Witness continued - The bullet entered about tile middle of the thigh and not in front as he before stated. It was very difficult to state how the mare had been standing when wounded. Had her flank been directly in front of the man who fired, the shot would have gone straight in until it struck the thigh bone. If the bullet had been fired by a person standing directly on the mare's side it would have gone into her flank at right angles. Believed the bullet produced was the one cut out. It showed no mark indicating that it hid struck any hard substance. Had seen the saddle at Monk s place but did not ex-amine it until Mr Pewtress asked him if he had seen any powder mark on the saddle. (Saddle produced ) Looked at the saddle and saw a discoloration round the bullet hole, and said it looked like a flash of powder. The discoloration was darker and fresher when it was first brought under his notice by Mr Pewtress thin it wais now. Was present when Mr Panton visited the scene of the alleged shooting. Saw Monk put his valise on his saddle, mount his mare, and take up the positions he occupied when fired at.
Mi Smyth - From the description of the affair as given by Monk to yourself, the man springing out in front and firing and taking into consideration the facts that whilst the saddle was discoloured Monk was uninjured, the valise not touched and his clothes not scorched, can you account for the hole in the saddle?
Witness - It would be according to the position of the man who fired.
Mr Smyth - Take the position as Monk described it to you-the man in front of him.
Witness -1 cannot account for the shot I was present in the court-house yard on Friday last and saw a constable get on a box about 2½'ft high.
Mr Smyth - Supposing then that a revolver was fired from that elevation, suffi ciently near to discolour the saddle-do you think that the bullet must have gone into the wither or back of the mare?
Witness - Yes, if the man was standing in the same position as the policeman. Knew Monk for a good number of years. He was a very good bushman. Valises were always strapped on both ends. If a valise was torn open by the branches of trees it would show signs of injury. The things it contained could not get out unless a strap broke or got loose.
To Mr O'Leary - Had his gun loaded when Monk galloped past his house. Had said that in consequence of what had happened to Monk, he would not for a thousand pounds ride down the Wombat track that night. Thought that if any one were waiting to shoot Mr Monk they would have concluded that witness was going to lay an information; considered therefore, that if he went, his life would have been in danger. It was quite possible that Monk had been shot at, but it was a hard thing to explain the shot marks. It was possible to fire through a saddle, but witness could not see how under the circumstances already stated the bullet could have passed through the saddle without entering the mares wither.
In Monk's ride from Mansfield his valise might have shifted on his saddle. It all depended on the way it was strapped. Witness had seen a few bushrangers in his time. In 1860 Morgan threatened to shoot him for having taken the police to the King River.
Was asked by Mr Pewtress to help the police to search for the bodies of the murdered police in October. Replied that he would have nothing to do with it. It was the night Monk piloted them across the ranges.
To Mr Smyth - His reason for not going out with the police in October was because of Morgan's threat for similar services. One threat of that kind witness considered ought to be sufficient for any man for his life time.
To Mr Panton - The night of the 26th ult was dark and cloudy. The tree pointed out by Monk was two miles from witness's house. A man could ride down from it in 10 minutes or a quarter of an hour. The night was so dark that a person could not see more than 20ft off.
To Mr O'Leary - Had known Monk for 12 or 14 years. Had always considered him an honest and straightforward man. Witness was of opinion that Monk was shot at on the night of the 26th ult Had told Monk that he had a lot of enemies in the Wombat.
Henry Jebb, farmer at the Wombat, examined by Mr Smyth, said he lived three miles beyond Mr Monk. Was at Monk's place on the evening of the 26th ult. Monk returned home about 9pm. Was talking with Mrs Monk when he heard Monk call his man Duncan from Lobdale's hut, and say "Duncan, I have been shot at." Witness went out. It was so dark that witness could not see Monk, but he called out, "Ted, what is the matter?" Monk then came up to him on horseback and said, " Hurry, old man, I have been shot at." He got off his horse then and witness said, "You don't mean it." Monk replied, "So help me God, I was."
He called on Duncan to unsaddle the mare and put her in the stable, and went in to tell Mrs Monk. He seemed to be very much afraid and excited. He came out again, and brought with him a double barrelled gun, and said he would go to the gate, and see it anyone who might have followed him were outside. Asked him if he was wounded, and he said, "No, but I think my horse is."
Asked him where it was hurt, and he said he thought behind, and that his mare had halted behind when coming down hill. He also said he thought that a shot had hit the saddle. After that Duncan unsaddled the mare. About 20 minutes after his arrival
Monk told witness to look at the saddle, to see if it had been shot at. By this time it had been taken into the kitchen. Monk, when he made the request, was standing at the kitchen door. Duncan and witness went then to examine the saddle. They found it under the table in the kitchen. Duncan picked up the saddle, and said "It is shot at." Witness looked to see if the bullet had gone altogether through. He found the bullet in the off side above the pad inside the lining. He put his two fingers in to feel how far it had penetrated, and it rolled out in his hand. He gave the bullet to Duncan, who remarked that he thought it was a revolver one, and passed it to Charlie Beattie, who observed that it was not bruised. Believed Monk was in the kitchen all the time. The bullet produced was the same as the one he took from the saddle. From the front of the saddle to the place where the bullet was was five and a quarter inches. There was a hole in the lining large enough to admit three fingers, but he could not say whether it was a torn hole or not. When the bullet was taken out Monk said he would keep it for the police. Did not take particular notice at the tune they examined the saddle but thought the valise was strapped on the saddle as it was when now shown n court. It was now strapped on both sides Monk about half an hour after his arrival and after the bullet was taken from the saddle, said that when coming down the hill he lost some things from his saddle.
To Mr O'Leary - Monk stayed up armed all night on the 20th ult.
Re-examined by Mr Smyth - Saw the bullet hole on the near side of the saddle. Observed the discoloration round the hole. It was fresher then than now. Did not remember if he had to lift up the valise to see the hole. Monk said the man who fired at him was a dark, stout man, with black bushy beard. In the account Monk gave him of the affair, he said the man jumped out from the tree, and put his hands up in front of him. He never said anything to him when he fired.
To Mr O'Leary - Had been a neighbour of Mr Monk for 18 months, and had always found him a good principled man.
John Duncan, sawyer, employed by Monk, said he was in Lobdale's hut when Monk returned home on the night of the 26th ult. Witness heard a horse galloping down the hill, and remarking that something must be wrong, he rushed out, and heard Monk calling him by name. Went and found him leading the mare near the premises. He gave corroborative evidence as to what was said and done that night. He took the saddle off the horse, and observed that the near or left hand end of the valise was loose. He placed the saddle in the kitchen, and did not then notice that it had been injured. On his way back to the mare he met Monk, who asked, "Did you find anything wrong." Witness said, "No." Monk rejoined. I'm sure the mare must have been hit somewhere by the way she kicked. Jebb then examined the mare and found the bullet in her leg. Monk thereupon asked witness if he had examined the saddle. Witness now did so, and at once saw the bullet mark. Was sent to Mansfield on the following morning to report what had occurred to the police. Reported what Monk had said to Mr Toohey before he left. Monk gave him his revolver, which was loaded in all the six chambers. Did not fire at all on the way, or interfere in any manner with the weapon, but when he got back returned it to Monk in the same condition as when he received it. On his way to the township, and when fol lowing the beaten track he picked up a bottle of salad oil about a quarter of a mile before reaching the tree at which Monk said he was attacked on his way home and when about 150 yards from the tree he found a packet of nails lying burst open on the ground. Mr Toohey wrote out a telegram for Captain Standish, which witness considered correct.
The inquiry was then adjourned until next day.
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.