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Attempted Murder in a Diving Bell.

A rather good hint for novelists of the Jules Verne type (observes the Globe ) was provided recently by an incident which occurred on the Seine near Choisy-le-Roi. The river is here to be crossed by the new strategical railway destined to run through the environs of Paris and connect the outlying forts, and workmen are being busily employed in sinking the foundations of the new bridge. Amongst the men enrolled for service are a number of ill-conditioned vagabonds of Italian nationality, and it was a band of these last which was engaged in the escapade in question. Five of them were sent down in a diving bell under the command of an inspector of works, who, after a while, found it necessary to object strongly to the style in which his subordinates did their work. These men, however, instead of attending to the observations made to them, took it into their heads to resent all such advice, and bethinking themselves that the time and place were favorable, suddenly formed a design of making away with the obnoxious inspector. They attacked him accordingly with their knives, but met with a strenuous resistance, and apparently showed as much cowardice as could well he expected from any five men, even in a diving-bell. The inspector, having discomfited them in their first onset, managed to make good his escape from the scene of the conflict, and getting hold of the chain attached to the bell, climbed up to the surface of the water, where he shouted for assistance, and was soon gratified by the sight of a boat pulling off to his aid. On getting to shore he naturally sent for the police, who arrived in due course, and secured the five unsuccessful desperadoes as they came out from the bell when it was hauled up. They had probably been counting upon the certain death of their intended victim, and congratulating themselves upon having got rid of him without the necessity of more violent proceedings; and they, therefore, were somewhat disagreeably surprised to see him alive and well, with the policemen at his back. As for the inspector, the masterly manner in which he effected a difficult retreating movement, and turned the table upon his adversaries, seems to show that the contractors knew pretty well what they were about when they appointed him to superintend works of a strategical nature.

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Bibliographic details

Attempted Murder in a Diving Bell., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 279, 26 February 1881

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Attempted Murder in a Diving Bell. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 279, 26 February 1881