Sunday, November 1, 2020

Swamp Monster

 Lockport Daily Journal


Monday Evening, July 9, 1883



What Four Hunters Discovered in the

Waters of a Louisiana Bayou.

(New Orleans Times-Democrat.)

One day, recently, while Messrs. O. B.

Shaw, of Vermillion parish, and Will

Cook, Frank Hansen and Fritz, the keeper

of the Lake Catherine Club, were out

hunting on Bayou Bobb, Lake Catherine,

their attention was attracted by a

great disturbance in the waters of the

bayou. Bushing to the bank of the stream,

they saw beyond the reeds, which grow

out into the water, a reptile whose immensity

and revolting ugliness amazed

them beyond measure. As nearly as could

be judged from that portion of the monster

which was exposed above the water,

it was thirty feet long; its breast, in the

thickest part, was about three feet; its

back was rough and corrugated with mottled

and horny barbs, apparently from six

to ten inches long, studded thickly down

what was evidently the column of a vertebra.

The tail was not visible, but its length

was made apparent by the movement of

the waters as the monster used it in propelling

itself rapidly down the bayou. The

proboscis and eyes were visible, and in

shape and position seemed much like those

of an alligator. As the monster moved

great waves were raised and broke among

the reeds. The party are agreed in the

impression that just beneath the surface

and: a few feet from the great gleaming

eyes could be discovered the movement of

immense wing-like fins. Anxious to see

aa much as possible of this fearful animal,

the party as they best could followed

along the bank of the bayou the course of

this fearfully-constructed reptile. But!

finally despairing of seeing any more of

him than was already exposed, they concluded

to fire upon it. Their guns were

heavily loaded, fortunately, with buckshot.

At the first fire there was terrific

result The waters of the brood bayou

were lashed from bank to bank, and the

great waves shook the reeds as a strong

wind. The monster reared its huge, repulsive

head full six feet above the water,

and its red, glittering eyes glared fiercely

 toward its enemies. They were almost

paralyzed with the horror of the dreadful

apparition, but directly summoned the

 nerve to fire their second barrel at

the frightful muzzle of the 

monster, which, wide open, dis-

played a cavernous threat, from which

lashed a long slender tongue. As the

smoke cleared from the second discharge,

it was seen that the monster had again

subsided, and its huge back passed through

the water with incredible swiftness toward

an unusually thick and broad knap

of reeds, some score of yards down the

stream and on the opposite side. As it

disappeared the gentlemen were still further

terrified with a muffled roar. They

hastened to the spot opposite that at which

the monster had disappeared, and continued

to fire Into the reeds for a Long while

in the hope that the monster would reappear;

but it was of no avail, and none of

the party thinking the occasion demanded

a nearer approach, they departed. One of

the gentlemen says he thinks the tongue

of the monster was forked, but of this he

Is not sure, as he is somewhat Inclined to

attribute the impression to the fact that

during its hideous demonstration there

came to his mind suddenly and vividly

pictures of the winged dragons of the Jurassic

period as sketched in the cuts of the

patent medicine advertisements. Of one

thing he is more confident; the head as

seen above the water was much more like

that of a lizard or a serpent than it had

appeared in the water. The neck, as in

 typical dragon formations, showed a

great falling away from the proportions of

the head, but again there was a rapid expansion

of the body. Who shall say that

there is no possibility that this monster is

not a genuine but lonely saurian of the reputed

extinct type!

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