The story of four Frenchmen who have been set upon and brutally injured by a mob near Cinderford in. the Forest of Dean, as related by a correspondent of 'The Western Morning News,' reads like an old tale of medireyal cruelty inspired by the ignorant of a barbarous time. It seems that the unfortunate men were itinerant showmen, getting their living by exhibiting the antics of two Russian bears whom they were leading chained and muzzled. Some how, in that mysterious fashion in which false rumors originate, it was whispered abroad that a child tftd been killed by one of the animals, and a woman seriously injured. There was not, as far as appears, an atom of truth in this story, but when do mobs who have been stirred to righteous indignation wait for evidence? Forthwith the Frenchmen were followed along the road by crowds of men and boys determined to avenge these imaginary wrongs. Unable to explain themselves in English, tho poor Frenchmen knelt down and implored for mercy at the hands of their cowardly assailants—now some 200 in number. The reply was showers of stones and blows from sticks. One of the victims received a serious blow in the neck from half a brick. Thus did the unequal struggle rage for two miles, the bears meanwhile becoming greatly excited and difficult to restrain, till one was killed outright by a stroke on the head from a heavy pole. Two of the Frenchmen, it is stated, then escaped into a wood, while the other two, worn out with fatigue and fright, fell to the ground, letting the second animal go free to be shot dead soon afterwards by one of the assailants. It affords some little gleam of satisfaction to learn that there were humane persons who took pity on the strangers in their miserable plight, and gave them shelter.—' Daily News.'
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Cockney Inhumanity., Evening Star, Issue 7946, 29 June 1889, Supplement
Cockney Inhumanity. Evening Star, Issue 7946, 29 June 1889, Supplement
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