Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Nell Nicholson, Badger Game Gal – Pennsylvania, 1900

FULL TEXT: That human beings could content themselves to live in such filth and squalor as was disclosed to the eye of the police and newspapermen, who hastened to a house In Raymond court, at 3 o'clock yesterday morning, to investigate an alleged murder story, is almost beyond comprehension. Nothing of the kind that has ever been described in print could equal it, for a true and detailed description would not be printable.

It is a three-story frame structure, located near Linden street, in the rear of the 200 block of Penn avenue. The first floor and one side of these conditions are crammed full of foreigners. The other side of the second floor is tenanted by a man and woman, in appearance and of a character quite befitting their surroundings.

The woman is Nell Nicholson, who created some excitement a few months ago by leaving her infant at a stranger's house on the South Side and never calling for it. The man is an ex-sailor and he is in the county jail for thirty days, together with the Nicholson woman, for attempting to roll a drunken man whom he lured into their den.

After the drunken stranger had been gotten into the house, the pseudo husband went out, presumably to get some beer, and as soon as the sound of his footsteps had died away ,the woman inveigled the stranger into a dark, vacant room on the third floor and, according to his story, began feeling about his clothes for his pocketbook.

He was just coming to a realization of the game that was being played, when the alleged husband returned. The stranger was bent on retreating, but the husband b locked his way, and proceeded to work the finale of the old badger game, to wit: To pretend great ire at finding his guest and his wife in n a dark loom, and following with  threat t to kill him on the spot, which would be followed later by overtures for a settlement on a monetary basis.

The stranger thought his time had surely come and began to cry murder at the top of his voice. The neighbors were aroused and they yelled police, while one of them ran half-dressed down the alley and up Linden street, shouting that a man was being murdered.

When Lieutenant Davis and Patrolmen Karlus and Addyman arrived they found the victim breaking out of the house and one of them took him in tow and learned his story. A candle and lamp were secured and a search of the premises made.

The woman was found on a pallet of packing glass in the vacant room on the third floor feigning sleep. The man was unearthed half an hour later, crouched in an almost inaccessible alcove in the attic, and covered over with feedbags and old clothing. The two were escorted to their living room on the second floor to complete their toilets and then the trio were marched to the police station.

The board of health should visit the house and condemn It to total obliteration. It is a pest and to allow it to be occupied by human beings is a crime.

[“Familiar Badger Game. – An Effort Was Made to Work It in Raymond Court at an Early Hour Yesterday.” Scranton Tribune (Pa.), Jul. 29, 1900, p. 3]


[987-6/12/21; 2024-8/15/21]

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