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THE DEE MUSSEL FISHERY. ■♦

DISTRICT AND PARISH COUNCILS.…

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RAILWAY MYSTERY. ———*———

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RAILWAY MYSTERY. ———*——— SAD FATE OF A HESWALL LADY. HER MUTILATED BODY FOUND. Mrs. Bryan, the wife of a medical practi- tioner at Northampton, left London on Friday night by the Scotch mail train for Northampton. She was the only occupant of a first-class compartment. At Northampton it was found that she was not in the compart- ment, and, on a search being made, her body was found on the line near Tring, shockingly mutilated, apparently by the train in which she had been travelling. Mrs. Bryan was the daughter of Captain Robson, of the Royal Navy, whose family reside at Heswall, Cheshire, and although only 29 years of age she had been married 12 years. For some time past she had been unwell and been medically attended for an affection of the heart. When she left home on Monday she was in good spirits, and wrote cheerfully on Tuesday morning. The circumstances under which this terrible occurrence happened have not yet come to light. There are three theories. The un- fortunate lady may have fallen from the train accidentally, other trains then passing over her; or there is the possibility of suicide j or there is the still more terrible supposition of murder. All these possibilities have been the subject of consideration and investigation. It is right to state at once that the indications discovered up to the present seem, happily, to negative the suggestion of outrage. The lady was well-known in Northampton. She had lived there for many years, and her husband, Dr. Bryan, bad succeeded his father in a practice of long standing. She had friends in London to whom she occasionally paid visits. Early as last week she left Northampton for a brief holiday at Eastbourne, as her health was somewhat delicate. She is known to have seen her London friends on her way to the seaside. She returned to the metropolis from East- bourne late on Friday afternoon. That evening she left London on her return to Northampton. She was seen to enter the Scotch express which leaves Euston at 8.50 p.m., and is due at Northampton at 10.18. Except for a brief stop at Willesden Junction this fast train runs through to Northampton. Mrs. Bryan travelled in a first-class carriage. It is known that she was the only occupant of that compartment when the train was leaving Willesden, for at that place she called one of the guards mamed Gaskard to bring her some refreshment. Northampton was reached about 10.20 p.m. There the guard passing along the platform observed that the carriage which the lady had occupied was empty, but that various articles— her hat, cloak, umbrella, and a basket—were lying on the seat. Her friends waiting could not find her. The doors of her compartment were both properly closed. These facts gave rise to the belief that something was amiss. Inquiries were made of the passengers in the adjoining compartment, but they had not seen or heard anything of the lady during the journey. Information was then immediately telegraphed along the line. A special went back from Northampton. From Willesden a light engine was sent to search the route, and close to Tring Station the discovery of some mutilated remains was made. First an arm was found on the metals, and further on a portion of the body of a well-dressed woman. A few yards away from this were found other terribly mangled remains. Portions of cloth- ing were strewn along the line for a mile. Not until Saturday was identification completed, when Dr. Bryan attended at Tring and recognised his wife. With a view to acquirmg some additional particulars, a reporter called upon Mr. Edge, stationmaster at Willesden Junction, who made the following statement:— We have ascertained that the lady did ask for refreshments and was supplied with them, but beyond this we can do nothing at present but surmise. Personally, I cannot see how Mrs. Bryan could have been murdered. The com- partment when it was examined at Northamp- ton bore no signs of a struggle. The lady was seen alone in a first-class carriage when the train left here, and even supposing that she had not been the only occupant of the compart- ment, it would have been impossible for the assassin to have made his escape before the train reached Northampton, where some of the clothes of the deceased were discovered immediately the train was at rest. The measurement from one compartment to another is about 10 feet, and in these carriages there are no handrails or ledges by the aid of which a passenger could attempt to gain access to another carriage. Moreover, the speed at which the express was travelling would rendere operation a most dangerous one to the most practised hand. Had any one jumped from the carriage it would have been impossible for him to have escaped the observation of either of the search parties, as the railway approaches be- tween Tring and Northampton are of the roughest character, being for a great distance cut out of chalk, and a terrible injury would certainly have prevented the escape of the assassin. On the other hand, I do not see how the lady can have fallen out of the carriage, for, as the point at which she was discovered is in a deep chalk cutting, she would scarcely have been leaning out of the window for the purpose of observation. "The whole affair is enveloped in the greatest mystery, and before we can get any further information we shall have to await the arrival of the guards in charge of the train, who, if they are Caledonian men—that is to say, if they went right through with the train—will not return until Monday, or possibly Tuesday. The handles of the carriages are so arranged that it is impossible for them to open by a passenger leaning against the door, though the catches are so well fitted that, were a door to be opened, the wind would relatch it if the train were travelling at only a fair speed. The railway authorities are causing the most careful inquiries to be made, and it is thought that their efforts, together with those of the detectives who have been engaged in the matter since Friday evening, will throw some satisfactory light upon Mrs. Bryan's most remarkable death." The inquest was opened at the Royal Hotel, Tring, on Saturday night. The body was iden- tified by Leonard Masters, a cousin of the deceased, living at Lewisham. Inspector Haines, Castle Station, Northampton, produced articles found in the compartment in which the deceased travelled. They include a hand basket, which contained a purse in which was a second- class ticket from Eastbourne to Northampton, a sovereign in gold, some coppers, a silver watch and chain, and a telegram, which he handed to the coroner. The Coroner read the telegram, entered it on the depositions, and then gave it to Super- intendent Frogley, of the Hertfordshire Police. The Foreman of the Jury asked to be allowed to see the telegram, but the Coroner declined. stating that it would be made known in good time. Questioned by the jury: Haines said it would be impossible for any one to leave the compartment as the train was entering Northampton Station owing to the rate at which it would be travelling. Dr. Brown, of Thring, deposed to examining the body. The skull was all broken at the back, the forehead was crushed, the right arm was torn from the socket, the right leg cut off, and there were other injuries which might have been caused by a train passing over the deceased. It was stated that between the time the Scotch express passed through Tring and the finding of the body eight or nine trains would have passed the spot. The deceased's husband was in attendance, but was too much affected to see the body, and the coroner said he would call him at the adjourned inquest on September 16th. CLEARING THE MYSTERY OF THE TELEGRAM. It is understood that although a great deal of secrecy has been observed in connection with the telegram found among the dead woman's property, the wording of the message was not such as to cause the authorities to do their best to prevent its publication. We understand, however, that it may have caused great disappointment to the deceased, and may thus possibly furnish a motive for suicide. The telegram was signed with the sender's Christian name only—that of a man—but the letters found in deceased's handbag, bore the signature of only one letter of the alphabet. This signature does not tally with the Christian name on the telegram, but as the contents seem to indicate- that the letters and telegram came from one and the same person, the initial used may be that of the surname of the same writer. The theory of murder no longer finds any sup- porters. The other theory is that the lady may have accidentally fallen from the train, and in support of this it is stated that the curtain had been pulled over the lamp in the roof of the carriage. It is suggested that the lady then went to sleep, and, waking suddenly in the semi-darkness, instead of going to the lavatory at one side of the carriage, opened the carriage door at the other side, and so fell out. This is a most plausible suggestion, but it remains to be seen whether it can be made to dovetail into what will be disclosed at the adjourned inquest. However the unfortunate lady left the car- riage, it is pretty certain that the door was not fastened with the double catch when the train reached Northampton. This disposes of the suggestion that the door might have been closed by a second person. The police are, however, following up every clue which will throw any light on the sad tragedy, and they feel certain that in a few days' time the melancholy event will have ceased to be a mystery. Inspector Smart, detective of the North- Western Railway, has visited Northampton, and examined the dress basket of Mrs. Bryan. In it he found several dresses, a quantity of jewellery, and the letters already referred to. The body still lies at Tring Station. The date of the funeral has not yet been fixed. MORE ABOUT THE TELEGRAM. The Press Association wiring yesterday (Tuesday) said the telegram found among Mrs. Bryan's possessions was handed in at Exeter, and was signed Dick.' The telegram had reference to some appointment which the lady had apparently failed to keep. The sender expressed great disappointment, and asked Mrs. Bryan to write to an address given in the telegram. The body of Mrs. Bryan arrived at North- ampton to-day, and was met by Dr. Bryan, who was much distressed. Dr. Bryan says he was on affectionate terms with his wife, and many of the statements made are unfounded.

COUNTY POLICE COURT. ♦

CITY POLICE COURT. «.

MOLD PETTY SESSIONS. ♦-

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DEATH OF MRS. HAY-GORDON.…

PROPOSED COUNTY RIFLE ASSOCIATION…

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THE BURGLARY AT WHITCHURCH…

WEEKLY STATE OF THE CHESTER…

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