Spotlight: Ned Kelly Interviewed

[The following report was published in Cootamundra Herald, 3 July 1880. While some minor errors pepper it, this is one of the few times we get a somewhat choerent glimpse of Ned Kelly’s motivations at Glenrowan. ~ AP]
NED KELLY INTERVIEWED.
After the house had been burnt, Ned Kelly’s three sisters and Tom Wright were allowed an interview with him. Tom Wright, as well as his sisters, kissed the wounded man, and a brief conversation ensued, Ned Kelly having to a certain extent recovered from the exhaustion consequent of his wounds. At times his eyes were quite bright, although he was of course excessively weak, his remarkably powerful physique enabled him to talk rather freely. During the interview he stated: “I was at last surrounded by the police, and only had a revolver, with which I fired four shots; but it was no good. I had half a mind to shoot myself. I loaded my rifle, but could not hold it after I was wounded. I had plenty of ammunition, but it was of no use to me. I got shot in the arm, and told Byrne and Dan so. I could have got away, but when I saw them all pounding away I told Dan I would see it over and wait till morning.”
“What on earth induced you to go to the hotel?” inquired a spectator.
“We could not do it anywhere else,” replied Kelly, eyeing the spectators, who were strangers to him, suspiciously. “I would,” he continued, “have fought them in the train, or else upset it, if I had the chance. I did not care a — who was in it, but I knew on Sunday morning there would be no usual passengers. I first tackled the line and could not pull it up, and then came to Glenrowan station.”
Since the Jerilderie affair,” remarked a spectator, “we thought you had gone to Queensland.”
“It would not do for all to think alike,” was Kelly’s reply. “If I were once right again,” he continued,”I would go to the barracks and shoot every one of the — traps, and not give one a chance.”
Mrs. Skillian to her brother: “It’s a wonder you did not keep behind a tree.”
Ned Kelly: “I had a chance at several policemen during the night, but declined to fire. I got away into the bush and found my mare, and could have rushed away to beggary, but wanted to see the thing out, and remained in the bush.”
A sad scene ensued when Wild Wright led Mrs. Skillian to the horrible object which was all that remained of her brother Dan. She bent over it, raised a dirge-like cry, and wept bitterly. Dick Hart applied for the body of his brother, but was told he could not have it until after the post mortem examination.
The inquest on the bodies will be held at Benalla.
The wound received by Sergeant Hare pierced right through the wrist. It bled profusely, and he had to be removed for medical treatment.
The son of Mrs. Jones, landlady of the Glenrowan Hotel, was shot in the back, but not killed.
Ned Kelly was shot in the left foot, the left leg, the right hand, and left arm, and twice in the region of the groin; but no bullet pierced his armour.
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