Mr John Underwood, son of Mr William Underwood, of the Fox Inn, Baxter Gate, Loughborough, joined the Marine Artillery about nineteen years ago, and in February last went abroad.
He was seized with an attack of paralysis which took away his speech, and every effort that medical skill could devise was tried to restore him but without success. He returned home about four months since but quite dumb.
On Monday last, being very fond of sport, he went out fishing in the neighbourhood of Loughborough, and had not been at the waterside many minutes before he caught two small fishes.
Immediately after this he succeeded in hooking a large pike, and after a long time trying to get it ashore, it suddenly made a bolt, breaking away his line, and he of course lost his fish.
He felt so much enraged at this that he actually in a stuttering manner uttered an exclamation. Believing it to have been some one behind him who had spoken, he suddenly turned round but could see no one, and therefore came to the pleasurable conclusion that it must have been himself.
He put up his rod at once, fell down on his knees, thanking God for the happy release he had experienced, and then made the best of his way home. Feeling so delighted at the thought of being able to talk, he used his tongue very freely to himself all the way. On arriving at home he fell into his mother’s arms and cried out in a burst of ecstatic joy, “Thank God, I can talk.”
Berkshire Chronicle, November 23, 1861.