The Lion in Goose Creek Township
To this day, says Judge W.O. Lemmond, the people in the Union Grove section in Goose Creek township believe that a lion or some other ferocious animal was at large in the woods back of the store of Lonnie Helms, now of Charlotte, which he used to keep in August, 1903. It was about a week after the circus had been in Monroe when several of the residents of that section, including Crawford Ford, Cy Ford and George Rowell, who were sitting around Helm’s store, heard a noise that sounded like a lion roaring. They were frightened but stayed at the store a while longer to discuss the unexpected phenomena. A few agreed that it was a lion in the woods, while others were equally positive that it was a tiger. Anyway, all concluded that it was a wild animal and that it had escaped from the circus.
The next morning the whole neighborhood was stirred over the news that a wild animal was in the wood back of Helm’s store. A few went so far as to positively state that they had seen tracks where the lion had crossed the road. Mothers warned their children to keep away from the woods. Men oiled their guns. Lonnie came to Monroe after some shells loaded with large shot. The community was armed, ready for the menacing foe.
A still larger crowd gathered at the store that night. A few doubted the tale, but they were quickly convinced when they heard a low growl, a cry sounding as if it came from a choked animal. It sounded louder than it did the night before, and everybody was visibly frightened. Action was needed, and the gathering dispersed that night, but not before all had agreed to meet the next night, armed to the teeth, to search out the lair of the animal.
At this point Judge Lemmond stopped his narrative long enough to acquaint his hearers with the real state of affairs. His grandfather had brought a huge horn over with him when he came from Ireland, and it was still in the family. Tom Lemmond, his brother, had discovered that a noise, similar to the growl of a wild animal, could be made by pouring a pint of water down into the horn. A visit to the circus the week before had given him an idea, which resulted in the scare thrown into the crowd gathered arund the store, as has been related. Tom Lemmond had secreted himself in the woods back of the store, and was the cause of the devilment. No one, except Judge Lemmond, was taken into his confidence. The community, to this day, does not know the real story.
It was a noble little band of warriors that gathered the third night to hunt for the lion. Lonnie Helms was commander-in-chief. The army was divided into companies, each company having a captain. They scoured the woods but it was a vain search. They had about given up the hope of finding the animal, and had started back to the store when from down in the swamps came the now familiar growl. Instantly they were back in the woods. Judge Lemmond, who had a part to perform, slipped off from his company, and wandered into the woods, where he found his brother Tom. They waited there until the valiant army had gone back to the store, concluding that the lion was not to be found. Then Judge Lemmond threw a black laprobe over his shoulder, creeping to the edge of the woods as he did so. Tom followed him. When they reached the edge of the woods, on which spots numbers of anxious eyes were riveted, hoping to secure a glimpse of the animal, Tom blew his horn, and Judge Lemmond, dressed like a bear, jumped from the bushes. This act threw consternation in the camp. Lonnie Helms raced down a pasture, through a branch, and over a fence, refusing to stop until he was exhausted. Others raced to their homes, barring their door after they got in. At this point Judge Lemmond dropped his role, fired his gun into the air, and raced down the road. Anxious eyes peered out from windows at the racing figure, feeling certain that he was being pursued by the vicious animal.
“And,” finished the Judge, “it was a long, long time afterwards before people felt perfectly safe in that community.”
Sarah Redwine Sets the Example
Miss Sarah Redwine, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. R.B. Redwine, is a patriotic young lady. Besides serving the Red Cross in many ways, she practices economy at home. During the war she as decided not to drive her automobile for pleasure in order to save gasoline for the government. Her example is worthy of emulation by other Monroe people. There is entirely too much joy-riding, and it should be stopped. Everyone knows how difficult at times it is to secure gasoline for necessary purposes, and if every car owner would cut down their gas consumption a gallon a day the saving would be enough to provide against such a shortage.
Must We Be Reminded to Pray?
Do Christian American people have to be reminded to pray for their boys? All over the country it seems that the good people have decided that a whistle must be blown or a bell rung to remind them that it is time to pray for Allied success. This is a Mohammedan custom, but one would never have thought that Christians would have adopted it. In the land of the Sultan a bell rings at certain hours, and the Mohammedan population drops to its knees to offer supplication to their god. The Christian has never needed a reminder to pray; his prayers are usually offered in the quiet of his home during the evening hour. And is there a mother who hasn’t offered a silent prayer every day, every hour, for her son in France?
Oh, Johnny! Why Do You Lag?
Oh, Johnny! Oh, Johnny! Why do you lag?
Oh, Johnny! Oh, Johnny! Run to the flag!
Your country’s calling, can’t you hear?
Don’t stay behind while others do all the fighting.
Start to Oh, Johnny! Oh, Johnny! Get right in line,
And help to crush the foe,
You’re a big husky chap,
Uncle Sam’s in a scrap,
You must Go! Johnny, Go! Johnny, Go!