All Canada has been thrilled by the story of one of the grimmest encounters ever recorded outside the realm of fiction.
The scene was laid in Beeton, a more or less remote settlement lying a dozen miles from the shores of Lake Simcoe.
Here in the farmstead of Alexander Hodge, two men engaged like wild beasts in a fight, which both knew could only end in the death of the vanquished. One was Hodge himself, a farmer, who left Glasgow 17 years ago to seek his fortune in the land of waving corn. The other was an unknown robber in quest of the 600 dollars Hodge had received for the sale of some cattle.
Awakened at midnight by sounds coming from the kitchen, Hodge went to investigate. He had no sooner entered the room than the robber sprang at him, and a terrific struggle ensued. Locked on one another’s embrace they struggled for mastery.
The kitchen became strewn with broken crockery and overturned furniture.
Both were bleeding from the terrific blows they received, and yet neither dared show the least sign of breaking under the tremendous strain. They armed themselves with anything which came to hand. Chairs were hurled across the ruined kitchen, and time and again each endeavoured to deal the other the blow which would end the contest.
The fight lasted 45 minutes before, under a succession of terrific blows, the robber collapsed, battered beyond recognition, and very shortly afterwards he died from the effects of the gruelling he had received.
When details of the battle became known, the whole settlement turned out to congratulate the farmer, whose exploit has been telegraphed throughout the length and breadth of Canada, and who is everywhere hailed as a hero.