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Broadside concerning the apparent murder of a family by a beggar


Account of one of the most horrid murders committed by a beg-
gar man ever recorded; the father of the family was out shoot-
ing, and while absent, the beggar demanded of the woman the
money he knew, was in the house; the woman went up a ladder
to where it was lying, and pulled it after her, by which she
escaped from his bloody hands; he then took the two children,
cut off their noses and ears, and then murdered them; the cries
of the woman drew the attention of an officer who was passing
in a carriage, who sent his servant to know the cause of the
cries; the beggar plunged a knife in his body, and he fell; the
officer then advanced, and met the beggar, who cscaped from
him, after losing the fingers of his right hand with a sabre, and
meeting with the father of the children, said an officer had mur-
dered his family, and he had just escaped; the man flew home
in distraction, believing the beggar's story, shot the captain, and
on hearing the true account, fell down and died.

The following dreadful event lately occurred in the neighbourhood of Smolensko.
The owner of a lonely cottage being out on the chace, a beggar, to all appearance,
old and weak, entered it at noon-day, and asked alms of the woman who was at home .
with only her two young children. The kind hearted woman invites him to rest him-
self, while she goes out to get something for him to eat and drink. After the beggar
had Satisfied his hunger, he, to the no small astonishment of the woman, assumed a
different language, and with a threatening voice, demanded the money, which he
knew, he said, her husband had in the house. The wretch rushing on her with a
large bread-knife, to force her to acknowledge where it was deposited, she declared
herself ready to give him what money she had, and for this purpose mounted a ladder
to a trap door leading to the loft above. As soon as she had mounted she drew up
the ladder after her, so that it was impossible for him to get at her. Finding that she
disregarded his menaces, he seized the two children, and swore he would either kill
or maim them, if she did not immediately come down and deliver him the money as
she had promised. The woman, however, remained in the loft, and endeavoured to
force a hole through the thatch and call for help. While she was thus employed, the
monster cut off the children's ears and noses ; and at last killed the poor maimed in-
nocents, scornfully proclaining to the mother, the murder he had committed. The
latter having, with great exertions, made a hole in the roof, called for help. Her
cries were heard by an officer who was passing by in an open carriage, who sent his
servant, while he remaine sitting in the carriage, to inquire what was the matter.?
The servant, but on entering the cottage, was met by the mur-
derer, who phinged the knife into his heart, so that he fell and expired without a
groan. The officer, surprised at his delay, went himself to the cottage, where, per-
ceiving the horrid scene, he attempted to stop the flight of the murderer, and with
his sabre cat off all the lingers of his right hand, but was not able to hinder him from
embracing the opportunity to escape by the door as is stood open. The woman had,
while all this was passing, made her way through the roof, and run to the village,
which was at a considerable distance, to fetch assistance. Meantime the husband on
his way home meets the blood-stained murderer, whom he recognises as the beggar
who frequents that part of the country. The hypocrite, concealing his fears under
aflected lamentation, held up his mutilated hand, saying: ' Make haste ! there is in
your house a murderer, an officer, who has killed your children, and likewise a man
who attempted to defend them, and from whom I have narrowly escaped in the con-
dition you see.' The terrified countryman, while the atrocious villain hastens to es-
cape, flies, with his loaded gun in his hand, to his cottage; perceives thro' the open
door the officer, and the bloody corpses of his children, takes him, of course, for the
murderer, levels his piece, and shoots him-dead on the, spot!?The wife coming up
with the villagers, hears the shot, sees the officer fall, uttered a piercing cry, and ex-
claims : ' What have you done.-' You have killed our deliverer?not he, but the beg-.
gar is the murderer of our children !' The husband, whose whole frame was shaken
by the horror of the scene, and still more by his own rash deed, stands a few mo-
ments petrified and motionless falls back in a fit, and expires !------Taken from the

Literary Melange.                                                 Printed,by W. Carse, Glasgow.

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Date of publication: 1820-1836   shelfmark: L.C.Fol.73(018)
Broadside concerning the apparent murder of a family by a beggar
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