His Career Before Being Found at Meteghan---Particulars Never Before Published.

CHIPMAN, N. B., Sept. 8.

Editor Yarmouth Herald:

DEAR SIR,--While reading the St. John Sun to-day I came across a 3 column article copied from your paper and headed “The Mystery of Meteghan,” and going on to describe a peculiar man who was left on the shore of Digby Neck some 44 years ago by a vessel reported by the simple fisher folk to have been a gunboat.

A gentleman sitting alongside me, and to whom I showed the article (and I may say this gentleman is past 70, and a man of the most trustworthy authority), told me that he knows the history of this peculiar person for some two or three years prior to his discovery on the shore of Digby Neck 44 years ago. He has no knowledge of the origin or nationality of this person, but the facts as related by him are briefly as follows:

Some 46 or 47 years ago two brothers by the name of Conroy, lumbermen, living near here, and one of whom is still living, found a strange man lying on one of their timber brows, or place where lumbermen roll logs into the stream, on the bank of the Gaspereaux River, about 20 miles from here. This person was very near perishing, both of his legs being badly frozen. They brought him here and he was taken in charge by the parish authorities. It was found that to finally save his life it would be necessary to amputate both his legs. So he was taken to Gagetown, the shire town of Queens Co., where a Dr. Peters, of local fame in those days as a surgeon, performed the operation. The man recovered, and as soon as he was in condition to be moved he was brought back here, where he was supported for a period of nearly two years as a parish charge. He lived in the home of a family named Galligher. Some member, I think he said Mrs. Galligher, is still living, about two miles from here.

It seems quite certain that the people hereabouts were not so kindly hospitable as the simple Acadian fisher folk of Digby County, for even the parish authorities were determined to be rid of the helpless unfortunate, and to this end he was taken to St. John and there an arrangement was made with some schooner captain to take him across and leave him in Nova Scotia. It is well known who took him from here, but the exact arrangement about his transporting across the Bay is not known, only the fact that he was taken and left there.

There was a strong effort made here to learn who he was and from whence he came, but he either could not or would not understand any language these people, including the parish priest, could address him in. The supposition was that he came from a foreign ship at Chatham, and was trying to make his way to St. John on an open winter harbour.

This gentleman said that it was the impression here that the man was rather gone in the head, probably as the result of the terrible experience of being lost and frozen in a strange land.

I have briefly set down the facts as related by the gentleman above mentioned and they are easily susceptible of proof by the evidence of many living witnesses. I forgot to say that the name he was known by was “Gamby,” and that was given from the fact that in trying to make himself understood he seemed often to use some word which sounded like that.

Very sincerely yours,
C.O. Foss,
Asst. Dist. Engineer,
Transcontinental Hy.,
Fredericton, N. B.

Source: C. O. Foss, "Interesting sketch of "Gerome"," Yarmouth Herald, September 5, 1905.

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