Today I continue with my look at American crypto-strangeness with a report from San Jacino Bottom, which I presume is in Texas, and also the Santa Ana River in California.
The first report is from The Houston Daily Post for August 13th 1901, which I reproduce here verbatim:
'Strange Adventure that Befell Commissioner Bucher in San Jacino Bottom. Commissioner J. C. Butcher, who came in from Harrisburg yesterday to attend a meeting of the commissioners` court, was engaged during the recess hours yesterday in relating a strange adventure which befell Mr C. L. Bering and himself a day or so ago while they were hunting in San Jacino bottom. In there search for game they penetrated deeper and deeper into the recesses of the wood and in a spot where the foliage and the long grass were so thick as to almost block their passage, they came face to face with a wild man.
'The strange creature of the wood had long mane like hair falling far below his shoulders and he shook a mat of it from in front of his eyes and glared at the hunters as if intent on disputing their right to the wilds.
'The wild man was clad principally in a yard of sunshine, which struggled through a rift in the trees, and a devilish smile of defiance. Additional to these the strange creature was attired in a breech clout of leaves.
'The hunters were so taken aback by the unexpected presence and the uncouth appearance of the stranger that before they had time to test the conversational powers of the wild man he glided away into the dense forestry without more ado' (1)
Now from The Los Angeles Herald of January 1st 1909:
'Tramps Frightened By Big Alligators. Monster Saurians Appear Among Willows on Santa Ana River and Wayfarers` Camp is Hurriedly Evacuated.
'Either a bunch of fifteen tramps had an extra supply of barleycorn on tap last night, or the willows along the Santa Ana river this side of Riverside are peopled with strange creatures on the monster order. At 2 o`clock this morning a number of hobos arrived here out of breath and thoroughly alarmed,having run most of the distance between Riverside and this city [i.e San Bernardino - R]. They tell of having suddenly been attacked by two immense creatures resembling in general appearance lizards. They were about a campfire at the time, when one of their number suddenly emitted a frightened yell and bounded through the fire, disappearing in the darkness. His companions looked to where he had been seated, and, catching a glimpse of the strange creatures,they too fled. The report was investigated this morning and disclosed that in all probability the creatures mentioned are two big alligators which escaped from a Riverside man recently. Word from Riverside states that the alligators have not been seen since, though a systematic search has been instituted.' (2)
These two stories were found on the website I mentioned a day or two ago.
1 The Houston Daily Post August 13th 1901
2 The Los Angeles Herald January 1st 1909
All for now, Richy
Steeleye Span Hard Times of Old England
Come all brother tradesman that travel along
O pray,come and tell me where the trade is all gone
Long time have I travelled,and I cannot find none
And sing all the hard times of old England
In old England,very hard times