Aaron Sherritt, Andrew Goerge Scott, Australia, Ben Hall, Bill Skillion, Bushranger, C.C. Rawlins, Captain Moonlight, Captain Thunderbolt, Captain Waldo, Constable Fitzpatrick, Constable Hall, Constable Lonigan, Constable Scanlon, Dan Kelly, Dan Morgan, Frank Gardiner, Frederick Wordsworth Ward, Glenrowan, Glenrowan Hotel, Harry Power, Inn, Joe Byrne, John Fuller, John Jones, Johnny Gilbert, Kate Kelly, Martin Cash, Martin Cherry, Matha Jones, McBean, Mrs. Jones, Ned Kelly, Sergeant Michael Kennedy, Steve Har, The National Archives of Australia, The Victoria Institute of Forensic Medicine
My first introduction to lawmen was on 15 October 1869. I was 14 years old. “Assualt and Robbery” was what they said I did. I say it was self defense.
Ah Fook, a pig and fowl trader from a Chinese camp decided to take a stick to me. Big mistake. I took his baton away from him and beat him into submission.
By time the story came out in the newspapers they were saying that I was somewhere near twenty. At that time I was about five feet seven inches tall. However, anyone who thought I could not protect myself had another thought coming.
I was very scrappy.
They tried to arrest me for the Ah Fook incident. They sent a very large trooper to do the job. I had the upper hand until several men nearby saw me beating the pulp out of him. They all jumped me and beat me into unconsciousness. The newspapers later said that the trooper weighed 240 pounds. Could be. I never noticed. I was too busy wailing on him.
I needed a mentor!
Harry Power and I stuck up and robbed Mr McBean. It was a nice day, 16 March 1870 if I remember correctly. Harry Power was one hell of a good bushranger. I introduced you to him a few days ago.
I hate to keep on depending on Wikipedia to tell you the facts. But what am I to do? As a member of the dearly departed I can’t pick anything up or speak directly to you. So you will have to keep putting up with my use of Wikipedia, The National Archives of Australia, The Victoria Institute of Forensic Medicine and old newspaper articles or illustrated rags of the day.
By the way, wasn’t that a great cat-scan that VIFM did of me? I am glad they did my portrait from my good side.
You see the difference when they took a picture from my bad side? I just couldn’t seem to pull myself together for this photo session.
A couple of months after the McBean incident I was charged with robbery. That is when they announced that I was Big Harry Power’s apprentice. The McBean party must have been too busy keeping an eye on Power. I don’t blame them; he is a nasty looking fellow. None of the McBean party could ID me. It was my lucky day; the charges were dismissed.
They decided to try another method to get me behind bars. “Robbery Under Arms” was the new charge. They couldn’t dig up a single witness. Once again they had to let me go.
Then they tried to pin a third hold-up on me. It seems as though Power had someone who looked just like me with him. Power and this other guy had robbed Mr. Murray. I can’t remember the exact reason but the outcome was the same; “Charges Dismissed.”
Finally they were able to piece together some charges and make them stick. It was my own fault. I left evidence and there were witnesses.
It was about six months after the McBean incident. I had a fistfight with a loud mouth salesman. His name was Jeremiah McCormack. He accused my friend Ben Gould of stealing his horse. Ben just borrowed it for a short time.
I didn’t get enough satisfaction out of beating the Eucalyptus juice out of McCormack. Ben and I made a plan.
In the end I was arrested again for two things; assaulting McCormack and sending a note and a gift to McCormack’s wife. Well – – – the note was not really a nice love letter and she took offense to the gift; a set of calves testicles.
Gould wrote the note for me. I had my cousin deliver it, along with the gift, to Mrs. McCormack.
That episode cost me six months in jail. And I didn’t even rob nobody.
I was only out of jail for three weeks before they tried to dredge something else up on me.
Now the police were keeping an eye on me. Like Ben Gould I had simply borrowed a horse to get somewhere. Of course somebody noticed it was not my horse. There was a notice out describing the “stolen” horse and Constable Hall decided that he was going to arrest me.
The constable tried his best to arrest me. That was not going to happen!
After a short fight I got the upper hand. I had to take his gun away because he was going to shoot me. I told him that since he was going to take the horse I was going to ride him instead. I jumped on the constable’s back and dug my spurs in. By that time a crowd had gathered and they were laughing and howling like wild dingoes.
Poor Constable HaIl; I had to pity him. That was not very nice of me.
Well, that version of the horse story was not quite as long as the version I told the court. I pettifogged the whole thing by saying that my brother-in-law had permission to borrow the horse and that I had just borrowed it from him and so on and so forth.
It didn’t work.
My brother-in-law and I were sentenced to three years of hard labor. They said we had “Feloniously Received a Horse”. We were just taking turns riding it.
I think the constabulary had their minds made up that we Kellys were horse thieves. We never stole a horse. We did borrow a few though. I was in prison with my brother-in-law when they went after my brothers. Constable Flood arrested my brothers Jim and Dan for stealing a horse. Again, they were only riding it.
Well – – – these old bones are getting a little tired.
Get it? I made a “sick joke.”
Come back for my next post and I can tell you how they kept on persecuting me.
By the way, don’t get me upset. Just punch the “FOLLOW” button so we can remain on a friendly basis. Otherwise – – – well, you know.