I have known Neil for fifteen years now since he was a schoolboy with ambitions for adventure and I was an earnest young hippie who merely wanted to start a club for people interested in unknown animals. Nothing much has changed over the years. We are just both a tad older...
Crypto Stories From The Illustrated Police News
From 1869 – DESPERATE ENCOUNTER WITH AN EAGLE: ‘A most miraculous escape from the talons of an eagle is reported in several of the French newspapers. Some children were playing at the base of Mount St. Gothard, when all at once a prolonged scream from their little throats occasioned some alarm to a carpenter who rushed out of his cottage, hatchet in hand, and to his dismay beheld a little boy between three and four years of age being carried off by an eagle. The voracious bird seemed to have some difficulty soaring aloft with its prey. The carpenter began to despair but with rapid strides he ascended the mountain and eventually succeeded in striking one of the eagle’s wings a blow with his hatchet. The wounded bird wavered and began slowly to descend. The carpenter managed to lay hold of the child’s clothing and endeavoured to drag the little fellow away, but the eagle retained a firm hold and it was not until he struck it further blows on the leg that it released its prey. The child was in no way injured but the agony of the mother who witnessed the conflict is easier to imagine than to describe.’
From 1870 – A CHILD STOLEN BY A MONKEY: ‘A local paper reports a somewhat remarkable case of purloining a child, which occurred in the small village of Manxbridge, in Somersetshire, on Monday last. It appears that Mr. Judcote, a gentleman of independent means, has for a long time past kept a large monkey, who has been accustomed to range over his master’s garden and grounds, as the creature was esteemed harmless, and to use a sporting phrase, “…was esteemed to be free from vice”.
On Monday last, Mrs Hemmingway, near neighbour of Mr Judcote, while walking in her garden, was surprised and horrified at beholding ‘Hulch’, Mr Judcote’s monkey, suddenly snatch her baby from the arms of her youngest sister Clara, who, as a special favour, had been permitted to take charge of the infant. The monkey gibbering and chattering, rushed off with its prize, and gained the roof of an outhouse with very little difficulty. Mrs Hemmingway was driven to the utmost extremity of despair, and she vainly strove to repossess herself on her last born. She beheld, to her infinite horror, the monkey pass over the roof of the outhouse, until he and his burden were both lost to sight. The anxious mother at once hastened to the house of her neighbour Mr Judcote, who appeared to be as much troubled as herself at the unlooked for disaster. His man servants were despatched in every direction in search of ‘Hulch’ who was, however, too wary to allow his hiding place to be discovered. In the meantime the parents of the child were kept in a constant state of anxiety and trepidation. It was impossible to say what had befallen the child.
The day passed without any news of either ‘Hulch’ of the infant, and it was by the merest chance that both the fugitives were discovered by some farm labourers in an adjacent wood towards eight o’clock in the evening. At this time ‘Hulch’ seemed to be tired of his companion, whom he purposely resigned to the farm servants. The delight of the parents upon regaining their child may be more readily imagined than described.’