April 4 1906 (Wednesday)
ANOTHER SARAH, PLAIN AND TALL: The great Sarah Bernhardt has been on tour. A description of her recent performance in Convention Hall in Kansas City (written by Ed. H. Smith) has been picked up in numerous papers. Mr. Smith originally wrote it for the Chula News in Missouri. It's the Show-Me state, and Sarah surely showed Smith something. Here's some of what he wrote: "Making love and dying are Sarah's two long suits. She may be better at dying than she is at making love, but if she ever wants to give me a private demonstration of her art I shall not ask her to die. That's sure as God made little apples."
NO, HE'S NOT THE TEA GUY: Earl Grey, the governor-general of Canada, and his wife, the countess, visited the White House yesterday. They came from New York, where he had made an eloquent speech dealing with the close relationship between the U.S. and Canada. Evidently nobody ruined the mood by reminding him that we in the south have tried to invade Canada quite a few times -- in the Revolutionary War, in the War of 1812, in the Patriot and Aroostook wars in the late 1830s and in 1866.
FATAL SHOOTING IN ATLANTA: This paragraph from today's front page of The Atlanta Constitution says it all: "The story of the shooting, the fight, the death and the love of the dead man for the woman he attempted to kill is one of the most dramatic that has been brought to light in Atlanta for a long time." It's talking about the death of L. Ben Wilmouth, who was stabbed to death by Walter Hightower, who was enraged at the injury to his sister Carrie Bryant, who was shot in the hip at the boarding house of her mother Mrs. Joe Johns, who had offered room and board to L. Ben Wilmouth, who was stabbed to death by.....
Well, you get the idea. It was dramatic. Wilmouth, 30, was a night watchman for the Southern railway. He had loved Carrie when she was little. After she married W.L. Bryant, Wilmouth ran off to join the Army. He returned about three years ago and was an occasional boarder at the home of Carrie's mother. Recently, Mrs. Johns had fallen ill and Carrie had been helping out at the house. That was OK, because Carrie was estranged from her husband. (It's amazing what the "Constitution man" -- e.g., reporter -- discover while sitting at Carrie's bedside after the shooting.) Sensing a romantic opportunity, Wilmouth -- especially when drunk -- would warn Carrie not to return to her husband; otherwise, he'd have to kill her. (OK, that's NOT the best pick-up line, but it's a start.) Well, according to police, he tried to do just that -- kill the woman he loved.
Yesterday evening, as Carrie Bryant and her brother Walter Hightower and another boarde were sitting in a room reading the afternoon paper (evidently, they were reading about the strike of Atlantta painters), Wilmouth walked in. He nodded at Carrie, aimed a pistol and shot at her. The article says "THE SHOT STRUCK AN ORGAN." Fortunately for Carrie it was an organ of the musical kind. Carrie ducked behind a chair. The ailing Mrs. Johns rushed in; the shooter pushed her aside and fired again. This shot hit Carrie in the hip. Walter Hightower, enraged, then chased Wilmouth from the house. Wilmouth fired at him. In turn, Hightower emptied both barrels of his derringer at Wilmouth. No bullets hit their targets. Hightower caught him about 100 yards from the house. Put simply: "When Hightower had wore himself out in stabbing and cutting Wilmouth he rose. The man was dead." Hightower surrendered to Deputy Chastain and is now behind bars in the Tower. Coroner Thompson will hold an inquest today.