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Turning Back the Pages

Burglar’s last job ever

Harry W. Watrous, a New York artist, at 2 a.m. June 16, 1913, discovered Frank and Joseph Cardinal, of Hudson Falls, engaged in burglarizing his summer home, “Camp Inn,” at Hague and opened fire on them with a Colt automatic revolver. Two bullets struck Frank Cardinal in the abdomen, inflicting wounds which caused his death in the Moses Hospital in Ticonderoga at 3 p.m.. The brother jumped through a window and escaped. He was pursued by Sheriff Richard Bolton and was captured and lodged in the County Jail at Lake George.

Mr. and Mrs. Watrous occupied a room in the second story of the cottage and the latter was first awakened by the noise the men made in their operations. She aroused her husband who took a flashlight and a revolver and went to investigate the cause of the noise. Entering the dining room, clad only in his nightshirt, Mr. Watrous flashed his light and its rays fell directly upon the crouching figure of a man. Not knowing if the intruder was armed, Watrous fired at him and at the same instant his thumb slipped from the button of the flashlight, leaving the room in darkness. He again flashed the light and saw what he thought was a different man, so he aimed and shot at him. The man fell to the floor with a groan and at the same time a crash of glass was heard as the other man plunged through a window in another room and fled in the darkness.

(Note: Harry Watrous was a founder of the famous Lake George Club. He was a well known painter from New York City and at one time was president of the National Academy of Design.)

In the summer of 1906, Col. W.D. Mann constructed a large “wooden trout” in order to play a joke on his friend Watrous and the man retaliated by constructing a wooden sea-monster which was worked by a system of pulleys and levers. “George the Sea-Monster” created a panic among the summer residents which soon turned to amusement. George was bought by Mrs. William Bailey in 1962 and left Lake George to live in the Virgin Islands.)

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

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