Posted by: Loren Coleman on July 8th, 2012
New Orleans Times-Picayune
August 3, 1879
A Mysterious Monster.
Remarkable Midnight Gunning by Two
Geneseo Hunters for a Strange Beast –
Escape of the Varmint.
[Correspondence Chicago Times.]
GENESEO, Ill., July 30. — Esil Clouse, a well known merchant of this city, and a man named Hefner, from Rock Island, Ill., met with an adventure in the Rock River forest, adjacent to Penney’s Slough, seven miles north of here, on last Friday night [July 25], that savors strongly of the marvelous. Everybody in this city knows Clouse. He is a sober, quiet, honest young married man.
Clouse and Hefner were fishing in Penney’s slough on Friday night, and about midnight they were startled by a series of the most hideous yells, emanating from the old Indian burying-ground, just over the edge of the precipitous bluff that rises a few rods back from the slough. Hefner said: “There is that animal again.” On being asked to explain, he related that he had seen a large, strange animal in that neighborhood about a year previous. Both then seized their guns (double-barreled breech-loaders) and, leaving a young man named Lawson in charge of the camp, clambered up the bluff, and were soon in the old burying-ground.
Each had a lantern, and by the light of these soon saw an animal about the size of a large Newfoundland dog standing erect on its hind feet on one of the Indian graves. Clouse says that the beast had no hair, but seemed to be covered with large bony plates or scales. Two large white stripes ran down his back. His head was small, and surmounted by a pair of long pointed ears, which he flapped up and down with great facility. He stood and stared fiercely at the men, blinking in the lights of the lanterns. He pounded his breast vehemently and with his fore paws. Both Clouse and Hefner fired into his body with BB shot from a distance of about three rods. The effect was to knock the animal over; but he was immediately on his feet again, and howling like a demon. Clouse describes the sound of the shot as they struck the body to be similar to striking a hollow stump. They gave him another load each. He then took to racing frantically up and down an old hollow tree, about the center of the grave yard. While this was going on they gave him in all a dozen charges of heavy shot. Finally he ran into a hole in the tree. Determined to kill him if possible, the men ran to the camp and procured a couple of axes, with which they soon felled the hollow and rotten tree. The screams of the brute as the tree fell were absolutely horrible. He rushed from his lair and into the forest, returning several times and making at the men as if to attack them. He finally departed and was seen no more. The men visited the ground next day, but could detect no trace of blood. In the hollow the tree they found the sleeve of a coat, a pocket and some buttons. Bear-traps and various devices are now planted about the brute’s haunts, and hopes are entertained that he may be captured.
Thanks to Jerome Clark