It's hard to decide if this story reads like an scene from Reefer Madness or as a prologue to Oliver Twist. While the 1904 papers are never reluctant to name names in suicides and other deeply personal miseries, why are all players in this story allowed the solace of anonymity? Where's the melodramatic backstory that led to this denouement? An epic novel could be penned from just the hints below.


In a down town refreshment house on Christmas day a man became too hilarious and despite his lameness started to do a "high kicking" stunt for the entertainment of his fellows or otherwise. He slipped and fell in a manner to wrench his knee severely. He had to be sent to the hospital. The man's wife is ill and has a young infant. She is in destitute circumstances and assistance will have to be given her. Dr. Jesse has called the attention of City Marshal Severson to the case.

- Press Democrat, December 27, 1904


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