AMAZING STORIES: A Pretty Girl Seeks Death - JuniperCivic.com
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Originally published in the March 2013 Juniper Berry Magazine

AMAZING STORIES: A Pretty Girl Seeks Death

Brooklyn Eagle October 28, 1896 ‒ A Middle Village girl, 17 years old after passing worthless checks given to her by the man to whom her parents thought she was wedded, tried suicide ‒ police looking for the lover.

Pretty blonde haired May Wintage, 17 years old, shot herself in the left breast ink her furnished room at 120 Ralph Avenue, shortly before 4 o'clock this morning. She said she was afraid of arrest for passing a worthless check given her by a lover who lives in New York. Her fears were well grounded for a Central Office detective was looking for her.

Miss Wintage is a well developed young woman, with regular features, blue eyes and a vivacious manner. She ran away from her home in Middle Village six months ago, ostensibly to marry a young man named E. Valentine, who lives at 1900 Lexington Avenue, New York. Since then her father, who is a farmer and cabinet maker, had heard nothing of her until a message of what occurred this morning was sent to him by the police.

Where Miss Wintage kept herself during her absence from home cannot be told until she herself is willing to explain the case or until her lover is arrested.

It is certain that on Monday she got a room in the house of B.S. Way at 120 Ralph Avenue, saying she expected soon to have her trunk there that she was to be employed in the dry goods store of Abraham & Straus on Fulton Street.

Yesterday Mr. Valentine called at the house and stayed to lunch. He was introduced as the girl's brother. Miss Wintage went out a little later, saying she had an appointment and did not expect to return to dinner. She came back toward nightfall, explaining that she had been disappointed. In the meantime a young man named Mills of 253 Schaeffer Street had called and was told that Miss Wintage had gone out with her brother. The young woman went out in the evening in response to a telegram the terms of which are not known after writing several letters, which she mailed.

She came in a little after 11 o'clock and went upstairs. Shortly after midnight she went out again, causing a little uneasiness on the part of Mr. and Mrs. Way, who began to feel distrust of the character of their new lodger. It was an hour later when Miss Wintage returned.

Mr. Way was awake when the shot was fired and he ran upstairs and forced the door in time to find a .22 caliber revolver of a cheap pattern lying on the bed beside the girl still warm. He got a policeman instead of sending for Mr. Mills, as Miss Wintage wanted him to do and she was taken to St. Mary's Hospital. The bullet had lodged in the fleshy part of the breast and the wound is not serious.

This morning Mr. Wintage, the girl's father who had been summoned from Middle Village before seeing her at the hospital called at the house where she shot herself and asked for Mrs. Valentine, being evidently under the impression that she was married to Valentine. He was told that she had given the name of Miss Wintage.

An Eagle reporter who called at the hospital was informed that the patient had been anesthetized and could not be seen. She is expected to be about in a couple of weeks. A detective who said he was employed in the dry goods store of Henry Batterman on Valentine and demands proof of his identity. He declined to tell on what charge Valentine was wanted, but the girl told the police that she had passed a worthless check given to her by Valentine and that it was because she feared arrest for this that she shot herself. The detectives at police headquarters found out that she had passed a bad check in New York but the trouble was smoothed over by her lover. Detective Sergeant Weiser was sent to get the girl a day or two ago for passing a check made by Valentine at Batterman's store for $30. She bought $15 worth of goods and got $15 change.

At 1900 Lexington Avenue it was learned that two weeks ago a man giving the name of E.F. Vantine hired a floor of five rooms and sent in a lot of expensive furniture. He introduced a good looking young woman about 18 years old as his wife. The agent of the house, W.W. Diederick, said that the rent was $30 per month but that Vantine had only paid $2 on account. The young woman left the place yesterday and later in the day Vantine sent the agent a note written on the letter head paper of the Standard Coal and Gas Company, 123 Liberty Street, to the effect that he would call today and pay the balance of his rent. Today, however, a van appeared at the house and the driver produced an order that the furniture be removed to 21 DeKalb Avenue, Booklyn. The furniture was taken away and nothing has been seen of Vantine since.

March 2013 Juniper Berry Magazine

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