Wednesday, February 13, 2019

"They Were on the Look Out for an Individual More Conspicuously Melodramatic"

"The Evasion of No. 527."
By C. W. Edwards (?-?).
Illustrations by W. F. Southcott.
First appearance: To-Day, July 23, 1898.

Short short short story (3 pages, 3 illos).
Online at Hathi Trust (HERE).

     "No. 527 made up his mind to do it if he had to swing for it."

Every prison escapee can't be a Jean Valjean or Richard Kimble, now can he?

~ No. 527:

  ". . . at any moment he expected to see the hated forms of the square-capped men, with 
guns at cock, ready to shoot him with as little remorse as if he were a rabbit."
~ Mrs. Battledown:
  "Happily, the candle had been of a sudden blown out, and a few minutes after old Mrs. Battledown, the sole inmate of the house, was seen to leave it with a bucket."
~ The constable:
  "No objection to a pipe o' bacca, ma'm, I hope?"

Comment: We've read that the Victorian authorities had trouble overcoming a generalized tolerance, if not a romanticized sympathy, on the part of society for bad guys, and our story is a good example of it.


- We can find nothing anywhere about C. W. Edwards or his/her illustrator, W. F. Southcott.

- For a better class of escaped prisoner see (HERE) and (HERE).


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