Before daylight on the 30th of October in 1878, desperate for provisions, Joe, Ned, Dan and Steve rode to the home of a man named Neil Christian and struck him up. Christian later reported the matter to the police on the 2nd of November, and the incident was reported in the Ballarat Courier. ‘Kelly and … Continue reading The Sticking up at Bungowannah
Out in the ranges of Strathbogie,We do fiercely roam,The caves we seek, our hiding place,Are a wild and barren home.Two thousand pounds are on my head,The bloodhounds on my track.I’ll make them pay and rue the dayTheir mothers gave them birth.I’ll shoot them down like prowling dingo, hawk or carrion crow,Or any other miscreant that … Continue reading The Ranges of Strathbogie
On the 25th of October 1878, Ned, possibly joined by Joe, rides south across Toombullup to visit Johnny Byrne, a distant relative of Joe. Near the Byrne home, possibly alerted by Johnny, they discover the tracks of police horses heading deep into the ranges. Later, as the sun begins its decent over the North East, … Continue reading The Day before Tragedy
My name is Joseph Byrne and I have been a prisoner inside the granite walls of Beechworth gaol for close to three months now, my survival down to nothing but water, bread and gruel. It is far from pleasant fare, but it has given me the strength to work, so for that I feel I … Continue reading Walls of Granite
Q1 Anita Condon – I love reading your writing, research and posts. What made you start on this journey? A – Thank you Anita, I appreciate your support and I’m glad that the question you posed allows me explain how An Outlaw’s Journal came about. For a number of years, I had toyed with the … Continue reading Questions and Answers (June 2020)
The heels of Joe’s polished bluchers clip over the cobblestones as he walks up along Camp Street toward Bray’s Photographic Studio. His pipe hangs lazily from the corner of his lips, swirls of tobacco smoke drifting into the crisp autumn air. Feeling proud in his appearance, in tweed jacket and trousers, waistcoat and a crisp white shirt, Joe holds his head high, his blue eyes focused firmly ahead at the bustling cross roads.
Hobbling Music in the thick scrub of the gully, Joe begins untying the rope that secures the rolled up overcoat to the pommel of the saddle and unfurls it, revealing the shotgun that has been hidden within the fabric. The bitting chill of winter sends a shiver from his lips and he wraps the coat around himself, turning up the collar to hide the bushy beard that frames his face. Slinging the weapon across his shoulder, Joe unbuckles the girth and removes the saddle from Music’s back, resting it against the rotted stump of a pine tree. He strokes his hand along the glistening mark at her side, causing her to twitch and flatten her ears in response. Aware of what has made the bloody wound, Joe lifts his leg behind himself and rubs a finger against the pointed tip of his spur, the iron smeared with blood. He shakes his head and removes her bridle, the tom thumb bit falling from her mouth with a clatter. Music grinds her teeth and rubs her forehead against his shoulder, leaving a speckled patch of white on his woollen overcoat. “Enough of that,” Joe says, pushing her head away. Laying the bridle on the stump, he begins his descent down to the flat of Sebastopol in search of rest.