Ned Kelly's Son
Ned Kelly was pleased with the success of his plan although the entire funds from the bank barely filled one saddle bag. Not a shot had been fired. And forever, the good people of Jerilderie would have something to talk about.
As nightfall approached, Ned and his men were joined by the fifth man who had been guarding their horses. Their retreat was not challenged. But knowing that word of their escapade would soon reach the traps in Albury, Wangaratta, and Benalla, despite having cut down the telegraph lines, the five riders brutally urged their horses through the moonlit night. As if understanding the value of that freedom their Walers bravely kept to their tasks.
About an hour before daybreak they reached the Murray River. After two hours rest, they crossed the river then headed for their familiar sanctuary in the Warby Ranges. Their ultimate destination was still at least seventy miles distant but the final leg of that ride could wait for a few days.
Ned never engaged in such sport within the Buckland Valley Goldfields, which is at the foot of Mt. Buffalo in North-Eastern Victoria, although this valley had several goldmining communities at the time and was arguably within ‘his’ territory. This valley meant something much different to Ned: a place of refuge rather than easy pickings and probably the only place where he ever felt at peace and safe. Unsurprisingly, therefore, Ned’s whereabouts and activities during his visits there produced very little recorded history. What has been recorded is not in dispute — however, it is incomplete.
Looking up the valley from the flats of the Buckland River, green takes on a blue-grey tone. The distant mountain peaks, when devoid of snow, become a hazy white mantle when set against an azure summer sky. And much of what Ned would have seen and smelt on each occasion he visited the Buckland Valley, during his last summer of 1879/80, remains to be experienced today.
On a summer’s afternoon, shadows cast by the ancient red gums of the Oxley Flats near Glenrowan unfailingly creep across the parched earth: inevitably those shadows will diffuse into night. And as each year inexorably sheds its seasons, regrettably many worthy historical events will become vague and are thus fated to be lost forever.
But not always!
What then are the odds that a chance meeting of like souls in 1958 would result in the resurrection of hidden accounts of a mother and her son, whose amazing lives challenge the legend of Australia’s most iconic bushranger?
Available on E-Book: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/403880