Friday, March 26, 2010

The Incredible Ethel Finneyfrock

Miss Finneyfrock was in our local newspaper again today ---- 100 years ago. I had seen her name once before in a list, of which I cannot locate now, and found her name interesting. I'm always on the lookout for names that have a historical or humorous edge to them, and Ethel's is as good as it gets for old fashioned names.

I will add in italics a fictional account of the incident.
The clip in the section 20/50/100 years in today's Frederick News Post reads under the 100 years ago:

Catching a thief in the business office of the Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Co., East Patrick street, where she is employed as cashier, last evening, Miss Ethel Finneyfrock, daughter of Mr. Charles Finneyfrock, West Patrick street, in an effort to detain him until somebody might arrive to arrest him, struggled with the thief until he drew a big knife and threatened to kill her. When she released him, the thief jumped through a window and made his escape.

I don't think I would be as brave as this woman if a thief came into my place of employment. By the wording of the clip, Ethel got physical. She detained the thief by force. 

'Hey, put that pen back. Don't look at me as if you don't know what I mean. I saw you put it in your pocket." Ethel slammed the draw to the cash register shut and moved around the counter. She stepped right up to the man. 

Taller by four inches, his shadow fell over her face, and his tiny almond-shaped eyes stared down at her in mock bewilderment. "I came in to inquire about telephone service, Miss. How dare you accuse me of thievery. Is that how you treat all your customers? I shall not step foot in this establishment ever again!" 

He stepped to the door, but she grabbed him by the sleeve and yanked him back. Then she twisted his arm behind his back, shoved her hand into his pocket and drew out the pen. "Ah, ha! I was right. You thought you could get away with it, didn't you?" 

The man twisted and turned in an effort to free himself from Ethel's firm grip. "Let me go."

"No. You stole and you will pay." She jerked her head around to see her coworker, Mr. .... behind the counter. His eyes were wide with surprise. "Go get the sheriff. I'll hold him until he returns with you. Hurry up. I can't hold him forever."

Out the front door Mr..... bounded. Alone with the thief, Ethel shuffled across the floor to a chair, and forced the man into it. "Now, you will sit there until the sheriff arrives. You should be ashamed of yourself. Think of what your dear mother will feel when she learns of this."

"I ain't got no mother," the man shouted back. Then he drew a large knife from his coat, stood, raised it above Ethel's head and threatened to plunge it into her chest. .

"Now you've committed another crime. Attempted murder." Ethel shook her finger in his face. "You are in big trouble."

His face turned as white as Ethel's apron. He turned quick on his heels and ran toward the window, which was open for it was a warm day, and jumped through it.  

Ethel had a great deal of confidence.


A J Hawke said...

Loved it! Ms. Finneyfrock indeed.

Looking under 100 Years ago in the newspaper is a great idea. I never thought about doing that to find interesting local history.

Your little scenario was cute.

A J Hawke

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Oh dear. Miss Finneyfrock took her life in her hands trying to restrain the thief.

Great scenario you cooked up. I could see the action.

Susan :)

Amy Deardon said...

Rita, this is great! Thanks for the nostalgic clip -- and CONGRATS on your new contract. Wow! Hope we can get together again sometime.