The Kelly Gang
May, 1874 . Ned's sister Annie is dead; his brother Jim is in prison (five year for stealing cows) , and his brother Dan is in trouble too. There are new faces at home – a new husband, and a new baby, for Ned's mother.
"Ned ? is that you ? oh, Ned!" Ellen Kelly ran to the door. Ned, now nineteen years old, tall and strong, was home from prison. He put his arm around his mother.
Hello, ma, " he said.
"Oh Ned, it's good to se you" said Ellen
"I heard about Jim," Ned said his mother. She was so ill after she had the baby, and we couldn't do anything to help her. And poor Jim got five years!"
'Yes, that's hard.' Said Ned.'and what's about you, ma? I hear you have got a new husband.' He looked at the sleeping baby in his mother's arms.
'he's a good man, Ned. Little Ellen here – she's his daughter.'
Ned touch the baby's little hand.
'I am happy for you,ma. And I am happy to be back.'
Ned soon found work. He moved from farm to farm, cutting down trees and helping with the horses and cows. He often came home to see his mother, and he and Geoge King, Ellen's new husband, were soon friends. Geoge was from California, an was only five years older than Ned.
On one visit home, Ned talk to Geoge about the police. " why do they give me all this trouble?' he said.
'I don't know,' said Geoge. 'they just don't like you.' 'It's true,' Ned said. ' when somebody loses a cow or a horse , the police always come to me with their questions. And they always go late at night, when you are all in bed. It isn't right.'
'well, come and work with me,' said Geoge. 'why not? You're good with horses, and I don't have any trouble with the police.'
'what work are you planning to do?' said ned.
'sell horse – lots of them.'
' and where are you going to get all these horses form , Geoge?' ashed Ned.
Geoge smile and Ned laughed.
It was an exciting work. ' we stole 280 horses' Ned said later. Then we took them across the Murray river and sold them in New South Wales for a lot of money,'
The police got angrier and angrier. They couldn't stop the stealing, and they couldn't catch Ned kelly or Geoge King with the stolen horses.
In august 1877 a new policeman came to Benalla. Alex Fitzpatrick liked horses, girls, and drink, and for some weeks he and Ned were friends. Ned's sisster Kate was a beautiful girl with long black hair. She liked Flitxpatrick too, at first. But soon there were angry words between him and Ned , and then a fight. A Policeman could not be a friends of the Kellys for long.
April 1878 came. The Police had questions about stolen horses for Dan and for Ned's best friend, Joe Byrne. So Fitzpatrick rode out to the kelly's house, to find Dan. Perhaps he wanted to see Kate too- but did Kate want to see him ?. on his way their he stopped and had two or three drinks. When he arrived at the house, he felt very stong and brave.
'Dan kelly, you're coming with me to the police station,' ha said.
'I'm having my dinner,' said Dan. 'you can wait.'
Fitzpatrick sat at the table, waitting for Dan, but his eyes were on Kate all the time – on her long black hair, on her beautiful body. The small room felt very hot.
Then Kate walk past the table, very near him, and he put his arm around her.
'you are a beautiful girl, Kate,' ha said. ' let's take your hands off me,' said kate. Suddenly ned was at the door, with a gun in his hand. He fired at Fitzpatrick
and hit him in the wrist.
Flitxpatrick ran out of the house and rode through the night back to Benalla.
The next morning there were ten policemen at the door. They found Ellen at home , but not Ned or Dan.
'Ellen kelly,' they said. You and your sons tried to kill policeman Fitzpatrick.'
Nobody tried to kill Fitzpatrick.' Said Ellen. You just want to make trouble for me and my family. She had a new baby in her arms, her third child by Geoge King. But Geoge did not live with her now.
'Mrs kelly, where are your sons?' said a policeman. Ellen looked into the policeman's eyes. 'I don't know', she said.'you want them, you go and find them.'
When Ned and Dan left their mother's house that night, they rode away into the Wombat Hill. At Bullock Creek, miles from anywhere, they built a small hut. They lived wild, and looked for gold in the river.
Joe Byrne , Ned's good friend, went with them, because he needed to hide from the police too. And in June, three months later, Steve Hart, another good friend, came out of prison. He , too, got on his horse and rode to Bullock Creek. So there were four of them.
Then, in octorber, Ellen's brother came to find them, with some terrible news.
Your mother going to prison, Ned. For three years. Because she and you and Dan tried to kill Fitzpatrick, the judge said. And the police are looking for you and Dan. Becareful, boys-stay in the hill!'
For a second Ned's eyes were red like fire. He spoke slowly and coldy. 'they can look,' ha said, 'but they can't catch me out here.' He looked at his brother and best friends Joe and Steve. These policemen, these judges – they're worse than dogs! They put my mother in prison, and what did she do? Nothing! From now on, we're the kelly gang. We're free men and we staying that way. Are you with me boys?'.
And that was the beginning of the Kelly Gang.