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A Gamekeeper's Daughter

Anecdotes Home




The Gazette of Augsburg for January, 1820,
contained a singular account of the heroism and presence of mind displayed
by the daughter of a gamekeeper, residing in a solitary house near Welheim.
Her father and the rest of the family had gone to church, when there
appeared at the door an old man apparently half dead with cold. Feeling for
his situation, she let him in, and went into the kitchen to prepare him
some soup. Through a window which communicated from the kitchen to the room
in which she had left him, she perceived that he had dropped the beard he
wore when he entered; that he now appeared a robust man; and that he was
pacing the chamber with a poignard in his hand. Finding no mode of escape,
she armed herself with a chopper in one hand and the boiling soup in the
other, and entering the room where he was, first threw the soup in his
face, and then struck him a blow with the hatchet on his neck, which
brought him to the ground senseless. At this moment a fresh knock at the
door occasioned her to look out of an upper window, when she saw a strange
hunter, who demanded admittance, and on her refusal, threatened to break
open the door. She immediately got her father's gun, and as he was
proceeding to put his threat in execution, she shot him through the right
shoulder, on which he made his way back to the forest. Half an hour after a
third person came, and asked after an old man who must have passed that
way. She said she knew nothing of him; and after useless endeavours to make
her open the door, he also proceeded to break it in, when she shot him dead
on the spot. The excitement of her courage being now at an end, her spirits
began to sink, and she fired shots, and screamed from the windows, until
some gendarmes were attracted to the house; but nothing would induce her to
open the door until the return of her father from church.





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