Mermaid - Hunting Is Sport of Sea-Sheiks

 

Puget Sound Nimrods Nab Nimble Nymph

 

 

By Carlton Fitchett

 

The sighting of mermaids off the French coast, as reported in recent press dispatches, is not the journalistic hoax it might seem to be to the ordinary reader, in the belief of J.E. Standley, proprietor of Seattle's Ye Olde Curiosity Shoppe and recognized as one of the leading authorities on marine life on Puget Sound.

 

Standley believes the curious water mammal, known by Puget Sound Indians as the "Dugong" and by fishermen as Puget Sound mermaids, may have migrated to the waters off the coast of France.  His theory is supported by the fact that the species has become very rare, if not entirely extinct, on Puget Sound in the past few years.

 

Standley has a stuffed Puget Sound mermaid on exhibition at his curio shop.  Until he gets another he declares he will not part with it.

 

DUGONG AVOIDS MAN

 

"The Indians gave the girl-fish the name of Dugong because the animal uttered a cry that sounded like that every time it saw a human being," says Mr. Standley.  "It was probably a warning cry to its mates, for the Dugong, with almost human intelligence avoided man with his nets, spears and rifles.

 

"The hardy pioneer rowing his boat home after dark was often scared almost out of his wits by the uncanny cry of dugong, coming out of the black waters.  The official name of the Puget Sound mermaid is Mare muells goeduekus Puget Soundiansis.

 

Standley declared the dugong the mermaid was considered a rare delicacy because they were so hard to capture. it was the custom of the chief when his daughter came of age to offer her hand.

 

Standley's excellent and ...... specimen was captured in Duckabush, on Hood Canal, twenty three years ago by a fisherman named Smith.  The mermaid collided with the net of his fish trap and in its excitement swam ashore instead of into deep water, crying dugong, dugong, at the top of its voice.  A rifle shot through the brain killed it instantly.

 

"Smith brought it to me to be stuffed," Standley said.  "The poor fellow almost broke down.  The dugong looked so human that he felt almost as guilty as if he had taken human life.  He tells me it was years before he got over it.

He never killed another."

 

Standley declares that the only other waters where dugong have been found is the Indian Ocean.

 

They made their appearance there within the last decade, he says, and he has photographs of them sent to him by a fellow scientist in Calcutta.

 

17-YEAR-OLD MAMMAL

 

Standley's specimen is about four feet tall with the head and features of a human being. He estimates its age at about seventeen years.  A curious fact is that both the mermaid and merman have a thick covering of hair on the upper lip almost from birth.  The arms are much like the flippers of a seal.

The animal breathers through lungs and yet is able to stay under water practically all the time.

 

The upper part of the torso is covered with a skin something like the hide of a seal, without the fur.

Ribs, like those of man, are plainly visible in the specimen.  The lower half of the body is wholly fish-like with a conventional fish tall.........................................

 

 

By Basil D. Woon

Universal Services Staff Correspondent

 

Paris, Aug. 23-More that a hundred pageants and fisherman at St. Gillea Croix-de-Visa little village on the coast of Brittany, assert that they have seen a mermaid.

 

The first to see it was Jules Cuesac, a fisherman, He was casting his nets two miles off the coast when the mermaid appeared out of the sea, fifty yards from his boat.

According to Cucsac, she was a beautiful creature, with blue eyes and green hair and a sort of phosphorescence on her body that made it glare/in ghostly fashion.

 

The next time she appeared on some rocks near where some children were at play.

 

Since then half the population of the village is said to have seen the mermaid at one time or another.

 


 

PUGET SOUND MERMAIDS

GO ON WILD SPREE

 

Dugongs, Old Time Residents of  Seattle Waters, Get Too Much of the Jettisoned Rum.

 

Prohibition may or may not be a benefit to the human race, but it is surly playing havoc with the morals and lifelong habits of the Puget Sound mermaid, commonly know as the dugong, according to Sara P. Smith, fisherman and big game hunter from Duckabush, who is a guest at the Hotel New................

 

.......of shocking debauchery.........shy and........... mammals are told by the Duckabush man.  Sacks of Canadian liquor dropped over the side of  rum-running ships at the approach of revenue cutters, are proving the undoing of the dugong, and the liquor habit may entirely destroy the strange species says Smith.  The pretty bottles with their intriguing labels, aroused the famines curiosity out of the sea maidens.  They contrive ways to break off the necks, With to warn them of the evils of strong drink, they became ready addicts.

 

 

 

SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER circa 1920

 


 

 

Ye Olde Curiosity Shoppe

 


 

 

Dugong - Skeleton

 


 

 

Dugong Like

 


 

 

Puget Sound Mermaid

 


 

 


       

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