Monday, January 4, 2016

Working Late

The date was April 20, 1961, it was a Thursday. Two legal secretaries, Mary Brown and Shirley Parsons, were working late at offices on the top floor of 508 Hornby Street. They were busy typing documents needed for court the next day. The sounds of the clacking keys were the only sounds in the empty building.

That is until at little after seven o'clock. Mary stopped typing and beckoned for Shirley to do the same. The two women waited in silence a few moments until they heard the sound again.

Coming from one of the floors below them was a series of muffled bangs followed by a voice calling, "Help, help, call the police."

At first, the two women thought someone had accidentally been locking in one of the building's other offices and they were shouting to be let out. However, when the shouting became more frantic, Mary and Shirley grabbed their keys and went downstairs to investigate.

They reached the ground floor and the shouts became louder but seemed to be coming from outside the building. They went outside onto Hornby Street to check through the windows of the secretarial office on the ground level. The sounds had stopped but the women looked through the windows and saw nothing.

Next door to the office building was the lighted window of a tailor's shop. The two women walked over and looked inside. They saw a man dressed in a tweed jacket, at the back of the store, striking at something on the floor with a cane.

When the man moved aside, they saw the 'something' on the floor was another man. He was thrashing about on the floor, trying to avoid the blows.

Shirley ran back to phone the police while Mary tried the door to see if it was open. It was. Mary Brown stuck her head in and yelled at the attacker who turned and looked at her. He stopped hitting the man on the floor who lay still.

Mary then noticed a man walking on the sidewalk. He was wearing white overalls and coming her way. She called out to him, saying a man was being beaten.

The man in the overalls opened the door and looked inside. As he did, the man in the tweed jacket with the cane, walked to the door and said, "He had a fit."

"He did like heck," Mary said, "I saw you hitting him."

What an interesting story to start the New Year! I'll tell you more on Wednesday. Thanks go to Joe Swan and his book, PoliceBeat, for the above information.

I hope you all had a great Christmas and let's make 2016 our best year yet!

I hope you find the beauty around you.

Karen Magill