Volcano of Wrath (Part 2 of 2) - Amanuensis Monday

(Original Text, Copyright (c) 2011 Cynthia Shenette)

Amanuensis: A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.

Thanks to John Newmark at Transylvanian Dutch for providing the idea for Amanuensis Monday.

This is part two of the article transcription I began last week.  Please forgive any inconsistencies with this post.  Blogger editor has been giving me grief for two days, plus the spell-check function doesn't seem to be working.

Boston Journal, April 16, 1901, p. 6.

VOLCANO of WRATH (Continued)

Hotel Men Protest.

Mr. M. C. Needham, proprietor of one of the hotels here, the Coldbrook House, said: "The attack of Mr. Talmage was wholly unnecessary. It seems to me. The only result is the stirring up of bad feeling. It seems as though the man must be crazy to talk as he is reported as having talked. I was not present at the funeral."

Mr. J. C. Bemis, proprietor of the Spring House, which hotel it is said Mr. Talmage alluded to when he spoke of a drunken broil, when asked what he thought of the minister's address said: "Rotten! A mean assault upon this village. There has not been any drunken broil in this hotel. Mr. Talmage's statement is wrong."

Mrs. J. W. Beamis, daughter-in-law of Mr. J. C. Bemis, corroborated the statement. She said: "I am sure there was no drunken broil in the place or I should have heard of it."

One of the citizens of Coldbrook informed the Journal correspondent that the story of a drunken broil probably came from a little altercation between a visitor to Coldbrook and one of the villagers, in which the latter said something that displeased the former, and was slapped in the face for it. He did not return the blow, and that is all there was to the so-called "broil."

Much feeling is displayed here also over a recent letter to the Barre Gazette from Assistant Medical Examiner Henry J. Walcott, Jr. in which he says he was unable to find a woman to help the unfortunates on the day of the murder. He was obliged to telephone to Barre for two women, he says, to help wash and lay out the children. Coldbrook people say that when Mrs. Spooner came through Coldbrook Mrs. R. F. Parker, Mrs. O. D. Webber and Mrs. H. S. Howard all volunteered to go to the house. But they were told it was no place for women, and that no help was needed.

Dr. Walcott also writes that it was almost impossible for him to secure half a dozen old sheets for use at the Naramore house. Here at Coldbrook it is stated for a fact that on the first call for white sheets Mrs. M. C. Needham gave 13 and three pillow cases. Mrs. H. B. Webber and Mrs. H. B. Parker gave clothes, and Mrs. J. W. Bemis supplied many things needed. Several others contributed, too.

In Mr. Talmage's Sunday address Mr. Naramore was made to appear as a shiftless, ne'er-do-well fellow, who shifted much of the burden of supporting his family upon his wife, and was also quarrelsome and intemperate. Naramore was said, by Mr. Talmage, to be almost wholly responsible for his wife's crazed condition of mind, when when killed the children.

Husband Says He Lies.

Mr. Naramore was seen this morning at Mr. Clarence H. Parker's lumber mill, where he is employed. He was hard at work with overalls, jumper and an old cap on, helping to saw apart huge logs of wood.

"I have not read the address and know nothing about what Mr. Talmage said of me except what I have been told by those who heard it or read it, " said Naramore.

A copy of a newspaper containing the address was shown to Mr. Naramore by the Journal correspondent, and he read with interest. Then he said with much seriousness:

"I am an ignorant man or I would reply in writing to that as it should be replied to. It is full of misstatements regarding me and my family. It is true that I am lazy; I have never denied and I cannot help it, but I don't suppose I am the only lazy man in the world.

"I am not a drinking man though, and nothing disgusts me so much as to see a man intoxicated. It is true that I have taken a drink occasionally, but I never was drunk but once in my life, and no one would have known anything about that if I had not told them about it. Go to any one I have worked for. I don't want you to take my word for it, but make inquires for yourself; go to Rutland and see Mr. F. S. Hunt, in whose mill I worked as a fireman of the engine for 13 1/2 months. In all that period I only was absent from work 11 days. I received $12 a week."

"The money I earned went to my family; my grocery bill at Mr. Parker's store was on the average about $5 per week, sometimes $1 to $1.50 a day. Mr. Hunt will tell you that I was not a drinking man."

"Why did you leave Mr. Hunt's employ?" asked the Journal correspondent.

"He sent me to Worcester to get a piece of machinery. Before I went a fellow employed at the mill asked me to bring back a gallon of rum for him and I agreed to do so. The man's name was Charles Faulkner. I brought back the rum and Mr. Hunt learned of it and discharged me. I ought not to have agreed to get the liquor.

Has Gained Friends.

"I am not entirely innocent, and I don't want you to understand me as trying to make you believe so.

"I don't want to put all the blame on my wife, for that would not be right. I have no doubt that she was insane when she killed the children. When I married her she was one of the best women I ever knew, and I loved her. She came of good people. I know that.

"She was nervous and naturally jealous. There was a woman in the neighborhood here who kept telling her false stories about me going about with other women and getting drunk. She finally came to believe them and I could see a change in her behavior toward me. She would believe this gossiping woman and not believe me; that was what caused her to go insane, I believe.

"But this minister, Mr. Talmage, has made an ass of himself, in my opinion. Suppose I am guilty, it don't justify him making it so prominent in a public address. He's only gaining enemies by it. I have gained friends and not lost one by what he has done. He wrote me a ridiculous letter which I have not paid any attention to," and Mr. Naramore exhibited the letter, which at some length called upon him as a man who had failed in his duty to his wife and children, not to deny the facts, but, by deeply repenting, and make thorough reformation.

"A man here in Coldbrook has reported around that I was seen on the streets of Worcester with a certain woman living in this village one night before my wife committed the deed. That is a lie. I have always had a particular dislike for this woman; if this sort of thing keeps up, I have been thinking that I shall go to Worcester and consult a lawyer about it.

"I never struck my wife or abused her. We did jaw each other once in a while, but that was all. My wife wanted to move and I had planned to secure the Mason Luce place if possible, which she had always liked. I was going to arrange to buy the place on installments, and when I told her she appeared much pleased.

"For the past two years I have not been out of work, altogether, more than six weeks. I had been at work for a week at Mr. Parker's mill, when the end came. My wife knew I was earning money enough to support the family and there was enough in the house to eat for her and the children the day the children were killed. I never deceived my wife; never told her one thing and got a friend to tell her another story, as Mr. Talmage says I did.

"One time when I was not working she told told me she would go to work herself if it wasn't for the children. I said that if we could put the children out among good, kind people, to live then she could go to work, and I would go somewhere else for work. Then we could come together again later. I told her I would do the best I could to bring us all together once more under the same roof. She seemed to be pleased with the idea. I thought.

"Mr. Talmage's statements about screams being heard coming from my house at 12 P. M. the night before the murder, is a lie. I was sound asleep in the house at that hour. It is not likely I could have been ill using my wife or quarrelling with her."

Volcano of Wrath (Part 1 of 2) - Amanuensis Monday

Other Posts You Might Like:

Flu 1918 (Part 1 of 3) - Amanuensis Monday
Madness Monday: The Stuff We Throw Away, and...
Tombstone Tuesday: Jacob Riis, Riverside Cemetery, Barre, MA
Tombstone Tuesday: Francois Chenette, Civil War Soldier


Susan (Nolichucky Roots) said...

I'm so glad you added this to the material you posted earlier. It's impossible for me to discern any absolute truths out of this tragedy - a moral in and of itself.

Cynthia Shenette said...

Susan - You are so right. The more I read the more confusing the story becomes. Where the truth? Who knows. In the end, it's still a tragedy.