The beardless man

A St Louis woman waked up the other night and putting out her hand touched the smooth face of an unknown man. She jumped out of bed and screamed for help.

Her brother, who slept in the next room, entered, and not finding any matches, seized the intruder by the hair of the head, pummelled him soundly, expressing at the same time in the most vigorous terms, his opinion of a scoundrel who would be guilty of such an act. Then he dragged him into the middle of the room, thumped him, kicked him, and threw him out of the window into the yard below.

The neighbours, aroused by the noise, came in, and a light was procured. Nothing had been taken, and attention was directed to the miserable object who lay groaning in the yard.

It would, says the St Louis Republican, be useless to describe that face, with its nose spread all over the middle of it, one eye bulging out and the other closed up, both covered like an indigo bag, an open mouth, and a row of twisted teeth, much less to recognise it: but as the excitement slowly subsided and cool reason began to reign, a thought suddenly struck the wife that made her turn pale with horror. ‘Why it can’t be – it must be – yes, it is John! He has been to the barber’s!’

It was true, he had. He was her husband, and on his way home in the evening, feeling his long and heavy beard oppressive in the heat, he had it shorn. His wife was asleep when he crawled into bed, and he soon fell into a comfortable nap, from which he was rudely awakened to the experience above recorded.

She is now making the best poultices and chicken soup for him she knows how.
Supplement to the Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser, November 11, 1882.


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