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A Clovelly Mystery

Strange Disappearance of a Woman

Trewman's Exeter Flying Post or Plymouth and Cornish Advertiser (Exeter, England),
Saturday, May 21, 1898; Issue 9629

Transcribed by Brian Randell

The left hand edge of the copy used for this transcript was not legible. In most cases the missing text was reasonably obvious, so has been inserted, enclosed in square brackets.
[The] town of Clovelly was thrown into
[great] excitement on Tuesday by the
[strange] disappearance of Mrs Mills, wife of
[Mr] James Mills and proprietress of the
[town's] Refreshment Rooms. It appears
[she] left her house about five o'clock on
... morning and proceeded in the direct-
[ion] of the Park and Grounds. The first
[warning] of the fact was about nine o'clock
[The] mother of the woman about ninety
... of age saw a letter and purse on the
[table] The letter was opened and the poor
[woman] was horrified to find that her daughter
[had gone] into the park to destroy herself and
[wished] good-bye to her loved ones. She
[said] she had got so far into debt that she
... it no longer. She had struggled
[to pay] but it was no use. She was going
[to kill] herself where nobody would find
[her body] and she would not therefore be any
[further] expense to them." From particulars
[given] by the son of the deeased, it appears
[that] in October she borrowed the sum of
... their house of furniture in the name
... her mother's name. The poor
[woman] was given to understand that the
[cost would] be about 5 per cent. She had paid
[back the] sum of £30 in monthly installments,
[but being in] adverse circumstances, did not
... month's, but sent a letter saying
[she would] next time. Next day a letter
[arrived] demanding £54 and costs, and
[then] two men, presumanly bailiff's
[men] came to the house. They told the
[woman] that unless the money was forth-
[coming] Tuesday - they came on Thursday
[- the] furniture would be sold. The
[next] morning she disappeared, and left
[a note] on the table. Organising search
[parties] P.S. Hard and P.C.'s Broughton
[have] been at work ever since, but
[nothing] of the woman can be found any-
[where.]