Edward (Ned) Dickinson's Notebook

H bMS Am 1118.95, Box 12


His Nest Filled with Articles Stolen from Neighbors' Houses.

Caldwell, N. J., Dec. 1 (Special). - With the death of Tad, a jackdaw, which for many years belonged to the family of Walter Edwards, a farmer of Jaysville, at the foot of the Waukaw Mountain, came the disclosure that he led a dual life - a kind of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde existence. Tad was a great pet, not only in the Edwards home but with all the neighbors, and his visits to the houses of the neighborhood were frequent, especially where there were children, as he was fond of candy.

It now turns out that he was a thief. Yet in all the years that he lived in Jaysville, although many articles were missed from the homes of his friends, he never was suspected. Tad made his usual rounds on Thanksgiving eve, being feasted with nuts and candy by the young folks.

The next day he did not appear, and the little Edwardses thought he had eaten too much the night before and that he would be around the next day, as usual. Friday and Saturday passed, but Tad did not appear, and it was determined to visit the cupola this morning and see if he was there. "Tommy" Edwards climbed up to Tad's home. There lay the bird stretched out dead, and on a ledge which went around the inside of the cupola was a collection of small pasteboard boxes filled with all kinds of jewelry and bric-a-brac. On one corner of the ledge lay many love missives that had passed between the swains and lasses of the neighborhood. The boy handed down the boxes and missives to his father, and, last, the body of Tad.

An examination showed the following articles taken from the cupola: Sixteen pairs of spectacles, 72 rings of different kinds, 13 strings of beads, 11 pairs of earrings, 110 brass nails, 5 jackknives, 3 gold bracelets, 7 napkin rings, a small butter knife, 13 teaspoons, 127 love letters, 5 marriage certificates, a deed for a farm and several small articles of bric-a-brac.

The death of Tad and the articles found in his nest were the principal topics of conversation at the little Dutch Reformed Church to-day. An inventory of the goods was posted on the church door, with an invitation to the owners to call at the Edwards home and each one pick out his own goods. Not one of the articles belonged to any member of the Edwards household. One of the callers in the afternoon nearly went into hysterics when she picked up a diamond ring which she had lost five years ago. She had accused a young farmer with whom she had kept company of the theft of the ring. He denied his guilt and left the village.

While the different articles were being examined by the heads of the Edwards household "Tommy" and his two sisters were in another room, reading the love letters. Although "Tommy" promised his sisters that he would keep silent about the contents of the missives, there is evidence that he did not keep his word, as the evening services at the church were attended by only the older folk. "Tommy" said that the letters were so interesting that he had to tell his boy friends.

When Tad was opened, in preparation for mounting, an engagement ring belonging to a young woman he had visited on Thanksgiving eve was found in his throat, which caused his death.

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Transcription and commentary copyright 2000 by
Lara Vetter and Martha Nell Smith, all rights reserved
Maintained by Lara Vetter  <lvetter@uncc.edu>
Last updated on March 7, 2008

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