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Monster Of Issoir

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[ For many years it is undeniably stati ed that in the fourteenth arrondissement of Paris - called the tomb of Issoir - a number of persons living in that qnarter had mysteriously and periodically disappeared. The most careful reI eearches, the most minute inquiries, the i most skillful agents of the pólice had I failed to discover the least trace of them. Every year successively some inhab itants of this qnarter would suddenly disappear, leaving tlieir friends overwhelmed with grief and anxiety. It is ! also statéd that these strange, inexplicable facts always occurred in the early I spring- froru the 2Oth to the last of March - and without regard to age or sex. First a notary disappeared. It was thought he had used his client's funds and fled to parts vmknown. Then an old woman, returning late one night from market, was the next victim, then a laborer going home from work. The last #ictim had been a yonng girl - a flower maker out late delivering her goods. From that time she had as completely disappeared as if the earth had opened and swallowed her up. Strange to say, no children had been among the vicj tims. This peculiar fact was accounted for i in this way. These mysterious disappearances always occurred late at night, when the children were at home asleep. As thé time was drawing near for one i of these periodical mysteries the chief i of pólice became very anxious and in■ stituted a strict surveillance, confiding I the matter to a number of the most skillí ful of his assistauts, hoping the combined eff'orts of so many zealous agents would surely be crowned with success. You will now see the result. One night - this fact can be verified by applying to the office of the prefecture-a policeman about 3 o'clock in the mornihg heard a distant musical song, which seemed to come from the bowels of the earth. He listened and fancied the sounds came from au opening in the center of the street, at the foot of an enormous rock called the tomb of Issoir, or the Giant's cave. It may be interestlug to state that this rock derived its name from a legend that a great giant had been bnried there many years before the Christian era, and this rock had been placed there to mark the tomb. Surprised at this strange discovery - for the opening had never been noticed I before - the policeman waited, listening : to this peculiar song, when he suddenly I saw a young man approaching. He knew from his costurne that he was a ! countryman lately arrived in the city. This young man also seemed to hear the subterranean sounds, first walking slowly with a peculiar wavering step, as if in cadenee with this musical chant, then faster and faster as he drew near the fatal rock, until he rau with such velocity that in spite of the warning cries of the policeman he was swallowi ed up in this mysterious opening. WithI out taking a moment to consider the policeman recklessly followed, first firing his revolver and giving one or two vigorous blasts on his whistle. At this sigual several of his comrades quickly arrived. The musical chanting had ceased, but they could hear in the dark, cavernous depths the muffled sounds of a desperate struggle. By the aid of ropes and ladders they succeeded in entering this mysterious chasm. The light of their lamps revealed a sickening sight. The countryman was lying on his back writhing in the grasp of an unknown monster, whose horrible aspect i froze the agents of pólice with terror. It was as large as a fu 11 grown terrier, covered with wartlike protuberances and bristling with coarse brownish hair. Eight jointed legs, terminated by formidable claws, were buried in the body of the unfortunate victim. The face had already disappeared. Nothing could be seen but the top of the head, and the monster was now engaged in tearing and sucking the blood from his throat. As soon as they recovered from their horror and surprise a dozen balls struck the body of this sanguinary beast. He raised up on his legs, a greenish, bloody liquid flowing from his wounds, ! and, with a frightful cry, expired. The first policeman, who had given i the alarm, was lying unconscious in one ' corner of the cavern, where he had j en, a distance of 30 feet. It was with great difficulty they ' ceeded in removing the two bodies and the unknown monster from the cavern. The poor countryman was dead, but the policeman was soou restored to life. The agents immediately sent for the I commissioner of pólice, who summoned Í a naturalist in great liaste. The first established the identity of ! the victim; the seoond declared the ! creature lying before him was a gigantic spider. The species had been considered extinct for ceuturies - ever since the days before the deluge. It was called "Arachne gigans" and was said to havo ! the power of enticing its victims by a j peculiar musical song. None had been j seen or heard of for ages, but it is now believed some of these sanguinary i beasts still exist in the deepest I leries of the catacombs. The dead body of the spider was conveyed to the Museum of Natural History, where it was carefully prepared and stuffed and is now on exhihitinn. -


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