Glimpses Of Our Ancestors In Sussex - online book

With Sketches Of Sussex Characters, Remarkable Incidents &c

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2oo               Glimpses of Our Ancestors.
examined at the inquest, but from whom nothing intelligible could be gathered as to the state in which he first found the body—though that must have been early after death) up to the present moment, his name, country, occupation, whence he came or whither he was going, are a mystery. No eye had marked his approach to the spot on which he was so suddenly and so mysteriously to close his existence; by what terrible means there can be little doubt, for upon this evidence did rise up sufficient to remove all moral doubt that the man was foully dealt with. "Just after the inquest," said a party who had taken an official part in the inquiry, in answer to our questions, "just after the inquest, I was telling an old man, who is very deaf, all about it; and when I had done, 'Ah, yes,' he said, ' I remember very well seeing the blood along the road about that time;' and," continued my informant, " no sooner had he uttered the words than I, too, recollected seeing a line of blood along the road by the gate, and others even said they recollected seeing blood on the gate itself." " How long," we enquired, " was this before the body was found ?" "About four months, which must have been the time of the man's death. I supposed," continued our informant, " at the time that somebody had cut himself, or had bled at the nose, and took no further notice. But of the fact I had a perfect remembrance, and it left no doubt upon my mind that the man had been murdered—attacked in the road most probably, and dragged over the gate to the spot where he was found."
Another circumstance strengthens this opinion, and at one time seemed to give a clue to the discovery of the murderer. A pedlar's box, stripped of its contents, was found in a low part of Southover, and was sent to the Lindfield authorities, who still have it. The keys of the deceased did not fit this box; but it seems to point to the occupation of the man and to explain both the motive for the crime, and the reason why the body was never owned. The man was a wanderer— perhaps a foreigner ; he travelled from place to place, late and early. In his journey to Lindfield he was either tracked, or
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