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Turning Back the Pages

The pot was set boiling and Mrs. Smith soon served a savory dish of mutton to the hungry crowd and the remainder was put in cold storage for future use. To remove all traces of the theft, Pa Asa buried the head and entrails of the animal in the cellar. The boys wanted to sell the pelt but foxy Asa sunk it in the nearby Hudson River. Later he dug up the entrails in the cellar and in a weighted bag, dumped them in a well. Mr. Whittemore missed a sheep from his flock and suspected the Smiths but could find no proof against them.

One day Mrs. Smith came to the village to visit her daughter and brought along a piece of the mutton for dinner. There ensued an argument among the women about where the youngest Smith child, Dewey, 12, who was staying in town with his sister and going to school, was going to stay for his better welfare. Mrs. Smith wanted to take him home and the old woman finally got her way, taking Dewey back to work on the farm. Knowing of the theft of the sheep, Mrs. Fleming “got back” at her mother by informing Judge Hodgson of all the details that had been confided to her. Acting on Mrs. Fleming’s information, warrants were issued and all of the culprits were arrested by Constable Milon U. Brown. Allen made a complete confession and received the same sentence as the others and was fined $25. He was also compelled to pay Mr. Whittemore $15 for the sheep. He complied with these conditions and his sentence was suspended for good behavior. Constable Brown took the four prisoners Dec. 13, 1912 to the pen in Albany where father, mother and two sons joined the eldest Smith boy who was already incarcerated.

Readers are welcome to contact Adirondack Journal correspondent Jean Hadden at jhadden1@nycap.rr.com or 623-2210.

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