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The Scranton tribune. [volume] (Scranton, Pa.) 1891-1910, April 12, 1895, Image 6

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By HENRY COttti; OmftHrtf" Dittio(o May ; ,fc.
. x -f- as L ,
r -'- mm...... iT tir A t HTT i
P-h raw. vtntmtM . . I t . I" T i
, 3 -0 Or "I J, ' .
IThMB short erlnl stories are copyrighted by Baclieller, Johnson A Bach
tier and are printed InTheTrlbune by special arranirement, simultaneous with
their appnarauco in the leading dully Journal of the large cltlen).
Then my uncle und Mr. llnrdwlck
turned on ititin Hewitt with doubt
and many question. "Why do you
call It HulclileV" Mr. Hardwlck aked.
"It Is plain the Fosters were with him
at the time, from the trucks. Do you
mean to suy that they Htood there and
watched Sneathy huntf himself without
"No, 1 don't." Hewitt replied, llht
liiK a rlirur. "I think 1 told you that
they never aw Sneathy."
Yes. you did; and. of course, that's
What they said themselves when they
were arrested. Hut '.he thlnn's Impos
sible. Look at the tracks:"
'The tracks are exactly what re
vealed to me that It was not Impossi
ble." Hewitt returned. "Ill tell you
how the case unfolded Itself to me,
from' the beaiunlnK- As to the Infor
mation you KUthered from the Kan
worth coachman, to bclu with, the
"So, I Won't," Hew lit Kcplied.
conversatioa between the Fosters
which he overheard might well mean
something less serious than murder.
"What did they say? They had been
sent for in a hurry and had just had a
hort consultation with their mother
and sister. Henry said that 'the thins
must be done, and at once.- ulso, that
s there were two of them It would be
easy. Robert said that Henry, aa a
doctor, would know best what to do.
Now you, Colon-l Brett, had been say
ingbefore we learned these things
from Mr. Hardwlck that rineathy'a be
havior or late had become so bad as to
se-m that of a madman. Then there
was the story of his sudden attack op J
a. tradesman In the village and eiiumy
sudden running away exactly ihe sort
of impulsive, wild thins that madmen
do. Why, then. iirfffOt it mc be reason
able to suppese thatS2athy had be
come mail more especially considerins
all the circumstances of the case, his
cojirnvrclal ruin and dUgruV and his
horrible life with his wife andher fam
llv? Had become suddenl much worse
and quite uncontrollable, so that the
two wretched women, left alone with
him were driven to send In haste for
Henry and Robert to help them. That
would account for all. The brothers
arrive Just after Sneathy had Kone
cut. They are told in a h'urrled inter
view how analrs stand, and It Is de
cided that Sneathy must be at once se
cured and confined In an asyfum before
something serious happens. He has
Just gone out something terrible may
be happening at that moment. The
brothers determine to follow together
at once and secure him wherever he
may be. Then the meaning of their
conversation Is plain. The thing that
must be done, and done at once, Is
the capture of Sneathy and his confine
ment in an asylum. Henry, as a
doctor, would know what to do in re
gard to the necessary formalities. And
they took a halter In case a struggle
Should ensue, and It were found neces
sary to bind him. Very likely, wasn't
'Well, yes." Mr. Hardwlck replied,
"It certainly is. It never struck me In
that light at all."
"That waa because you believed to
begin with that a murder had been
committed, and looked at the prelim
inary circumstances, which you learned
after, in the light of your conviction.
But now to come to my actual observa
tions. I saw the footmarks across the
fields and agreed with you (It waa In
deed obvious) that Sneathy ha1 gone
that way first, and that the brothers
had followed, walking over his tracks.
This state of the tracks continued until
well into the wood, when suddenly the
tracks of the brothers opened out and
Troceeded on Mch side of flneathy's.
The simple Inference would seem to be,
of course, the one you made -that the
Fosters had here overtaken Sneathy
and walked one at each side of him;
but of this I felt by no means certain,
Another very simple explanation was
available, which might chance to be
the true one. It was Just at the spot
"where the brothers' tracks separated
that the path became suddenly much
muddier, because of the closer over
hanging of the. trees at the spot. The
path was, as waa to be expected, wet
test In the middle. It would be the
most natural thing In the world for
two well-dressed young men on arriv
ing here to separate so as to walk one
on each side of the mud In the middle.
On the other hand, a man In flneathy's
state (assuming him, tfor the moment,
to be mad and contemplating suicide)
would walk straight along the center
of the path, taking no note of mud or
anything , else. I examined all the
tracks very carefully, and my theory
was confirmed. The feet .of the broth
ers had everywhere alighted In the
driest spots, and the steps were of ir
regular lengths which meant, of
course, that they were picking their
way; 'whllo Sneathy's footmarks had
never turned aside; even for the dirtiest
imddlo. Here thn, were . the rudi
ments. of a, theory. .
At the watercourse, of course, the
footmarks ceased, because of the hard
gravel. The body lay on a knoll at the
left a knoll covered with grass. On
this the! signs of footmarks were al
most undlscoverable, although I am
often' able to discover tracks In grass
that are Invisible to others. Here, how
ever, H was almost useless to spend
much, time In examination, for you
and your man had been there, and
what slight marks there might be
would be undistlngulshable one from
another. Under the branch from
which the man had hung there was an
old tree stump, with a flat top, where
the tree had been sawn off. I examined
, this, and' it- became fairly apparent
that Sneathy 'had stood on If. when
the rope' was about his neck his
muddy footprint was plain to see; the
mud was not smeared about, you see,
ns It probably would have been If he
hud been stood there foivlbly and
pushed o(T. It was a simple clear foot
print unother hint at auliide.
"Hut then arose the objection that
you mentioned yourself, liuinly the
brothers Foster were following Sneathy
und came this way. Therefore, If he
hanged himself before they arrived, It
would seem that they imisrt have come
across the body. Hut Tow I examined
the body Itself. There was mud on the
knees, and clinging to one kuee was a
small leaf. It was a leaf corresponding
to those on the IhikIi behind the tree,
and It was not a dead leaf, so must
have been Just detached. After my ex
uminuliou of the body I went to the
bush, and there. In the thk k of It, were,
for me, sutlUieiitly distinct kuee marks,
in one of which the kuee hud crushed a
spray of the bush against the ground
and from that spray a leaf was missing.
Behind the knee marks were the In
dentations of boot tops In the soft, bare
rami unuer me uuxu, uuu inus tne
thing was plalu. The poor lunatic had
come 111 sisiii 01 me uaiigiiug rope, uiij
the temptation to suicide waa trresltf
ble. But al that moment he must hjw
heard the steps probably the volSua
of the brothers behind him otJ the
winding path. He Immediately lild In
the bush till they had passe It is
probable that seeing who the ien were
and conjecturing that they. 'were fol
lowing him thinking also, erhaps, of
things that had occurred btnween them
and himself his liuilyfetlon to self
destruction became completely ungov
ernable, with the result that you saw.
"But before I inspected the bush I
noticed one or two more things about
the body. You emember I inquired if
either of the brothers Foster were left
handed, and was assured that neither
was. But clearly the hand had been
cut off .y a left-handed an with a
large, sharply pointed knife. For well
away to the right of where the wrist
had hung the knife-point had made a
tinv triangular rent In the coat. So
tbat the hand must have been held In
the mutilator's right hand while he
used the knife with his left clearly a
left-handed man.
"But most Important of all about the
body was the Jagged hair over the
right ear. Everywhere else the hair
was well cut and orderly here it
seemed 'a.i though a good piece had
been, so to speak, sawn off. What
could anybody want with a dead man's
rigni hand and certain locks of his
ir. men It struck me suddenly
ke man was hanged; It was the Hand
Then, you will remKmhor T .
four request to see the footprints of
".e r osiers on the part of the path
past the watercourse. h
.- muuuyin tne middle, and the two
.ou.er nau walked as far apart as
oun-.ugn nobody had walked
ucmeen mem. A Una r,r..,.f ir
were needed, of mv iho,.... ' ...
three lines of footprints.
Now! was to ennilHf . .
u.. . . . to aet at
T , ,1 wno naii taken 'he hand. He
, "'."nea ror the mutilation.
ut beyond that he wr,..M v.
as a witness. Now all th f..... ...
. i . . . u'n-iil.irJ
i LilC Vicinity JTad bM.n rnr.i.n.,l
There were those nf th kh,
of Sneathy, which we have been speak-
hi h h rustics looking on.
' ' a, ii l , i w a
oil, and did not Intrr.r. u ...
" - " I'll u I
ipnere.of observation. fhno ,.
man who had cut. straight through the
ouu wnen ne nrst saw the body and
uaj uiiic? duck me HfirriA win M.itk .
and our own, which we had been care
rui to Keep awav from the i,.o,
Consequently there was no track of tht
man wno naq cut on the hand; there
tore it was certa n that he mai
come along the hard gravel by
watercourse, ror that waa th
possible path which would not tell th
tale. Indeed, It seems quite a likely
patn tnrougn the wood for a passen
ger to take, coming from the high
ground by the Shepperton roaJ
( lis Hod l ava pod t
Drelt and I left you. and traversed tho
watercourse, both up and down. Wi
found a footprint at the top left lately
by a man with a broken shoe. Hlght
down to the bottom of the watercourse
where It emerged from tho wood, there
was no sign on either side of this man
having left the gravel. (Whero the
body Was, as you will remember, he
would simply have stepped off' the
gravel on to the grass, which I thought
It usitess to, examine as I have ex
plained.) Hut. at the bottom, by the
lane, the footprint appeared again. This
then was the direction in which I was
to search for a left-hunded man with rt
broken-sole shoe, probably a-gypsy, and
most probably a foreign gypsy be
cause a foreign -gypsy would be the
most likely to hold still the belief In
the Hund of alory., , I conjectured, the
man to be a straggler from a band of
gypsies one who probably had got be
hind the caravan and had made a shoit
cut across the wood after It, so at the
end of the lane' I look for a putiin.
This is a sign that gypsies leave to
guide stragglers following up. Some-
TCTj.-r--.rc. i - i - t - j -
p & i p
-g- -fSS:s-T(0
1 0 1 4 - - X -
f - arzlsny
J r.
times it Is a heap of dead leaves, some
times a few stones, sometimes a mark
on the ground, but more usually a
couple oS twigs crossed, with the longer
twig pointing the road. Guided by
these patrlns we rame In the end on the
gypsy camp Just as l( was setting dow;n
for the night. We made ourselves
agreeable (us Hrett will probably des
cribe to you better than I can), we left
them, and after they hnd got to sleep
we rnme back and watched for the
gentleman who Is now In flie lock-up.
He would, of course, seize the first op
portunity of treating his ghastly trophy
In the prescribed way, and I guessed ho
would choose midnight, for .that Is tho
time superstition tcurhes that the
hands should be prepnrrd. ' We made
a few smnll preparations, collared him
and now you've got lilm. ' And I should
think the sooner you let tho brothers
Foster go the belter."'- '
"Hut why didn't .you toll ine all th
conclusions you had arrived lit, at thf
time?" nsked Mr. Hardwlck. ' ...
"Well, really," Hewitt replied, with n
quiet smile, "you were so' positive, and
sorno of the truces I relied on were so
small thut It would probably have
meant a long argument and, a loss of
time. Hut more than that, confess If I
hud told you bluntly that Hneathy's
hund hnd been tuken away to make n
medieval charm to enable a thief to
puss through a locked door and steal
plute culmly under the owner's nose
what would you hu ve suld 7" '
"Well, well, perhaps I should have
been a" little skeptlcul. Appearances
combined so completely to point to tho
Korters as murderers thut any other
explanation, almost, would have seemed
unlikely to me, and that Well 110, I con
fuss, 1 shouldn't have believed In It.
Hut It Is a startling thing tq find such
superstitions Hllve nowuUays", - , -
"Yes. perhaps it Is. 'Yet we find sur
vivals of the sort very' frequently. (Tht
Wallnohlatm, however, are horrbly su
perstitious still tho ' gypsies among
them are of course worse. Don't you
remember the case "reported a -,few
monthK ago In . which , a child,' was
drowned as a sacrifice in Walluchla In
order to bring rain?- And that was .not
MA ! XT ! m 4-?H-'-r-ffr-- 11 T , I I n-F
gfr- J iaj j-r: y f- I 0 f f p5Srgifl!5--K
h -j- r i 1 -3- i i t Li u 1 1 1 u-.a- ar2:
rrv 7. ' i r
tr l
or -ir
j - j
- m - 0 - 0m - 0 - m -
- J0-
- aiforTig - i. L P0f0fW
J0. J0.
m i 1
Copyright, 1894, by The New
done by gypsies, either. Even In Eng
land, ss late as 1X65, a poor paralyzed
Frenchman wus killed by being 'swjum'
for witchcraft that was In Essex. And
less atrocious cases of belief In wiz
ardry occur again and again even
Then Mr. Hardwlck and my uncle fell
Into a discussion as to how the gypsy In
the lock-up could be legally punished.
Mr. Hardwlck thought It should bo
treated as a theft of a portion of a dead
body, but my uncle funded there wus a
penulty for mutilation of a dead body
per se, though he could not point to the
statute. .As It happened, however,
they were saved In trouble of arriving
at u decision, for In the morning he whs
discovered to have escaped. He had
been left, of course, with free hands,
and had occupied the night In wrench
ing out the burs at the top of the back
wull of the little prison-shed (it had
stood on the green for a hundred and
fifty years) and climbed out. 'He was
not found again, and a month or two
later the Foster family left the district
The End
Kvldcntly Not.
From the Washington Star.
"Talk Is cheap, " observed the man who
believes In proverbs.
"Humph!" replied the man who doesn't.
"That remark shows that you never hired
a lawyer or rented a telephone." .
VJ" ""y urmt English Remedy.
O ffj Cray's Spwiflc Medicine
Wllty, Wasktiaaa of Hody and Mind, Sperms
torrhts, aud linpottncjr, and all dlaunos that
Ei kom orar liidul(uc and aeltabuas. as
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Prematura Old Aga and many otbsr dla'
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sad an csrly grava. write fir pamphlet.
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Nov. II. 18M.
Train leave Scranton for Philadelphia
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w '0rV.- a
ft ' grains win '
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