Mr. Ellis clung to the chimney, shrieking,—“Save me! save me!—Help! help! Will no one save me!” His cries were unheeded by the ruffians, and the people at the surrounding windows were unable to afford him any assistance, even if they were disposed to do so.
Despite his cries and resistance, they forced him to the edge of the roof; he clinging to them the while, and shrieking in agonized terror. Forcing off his hold, they thrust him forward and got him partially over the edge, where he clung calling frantically for aid. One of the villains, to make him loose his hold, struck on his fingers with the handle of a hatchet found on the roof; not succeeding in breaking his hold by these means, with, an oath he struck with the blade, severing two of the fingers from one hand and deeply mangling the other.
With a yell of agony, Mr. Ellis let go his hold, and fell upon a pile of rubbish below, whilst a cry of triumphant malignity went up from the crowd on the roof.
A gentleman and some of his friends kindly carried the insensible man into his house. “Poor fellow!” said he, “he is killed, I believe. What a gang of wretches. These things are dreadful; that such a thing can be permitted in a Christian city is perfectly appalling.” The half-dressed family gathered around the mangled form of Mr. Ellis, and gave vent to loud expressions of sympathy. A doctor was quickly sent for, who stanched the blood that was flowing from his hands and head.
“I don’t think he can live,” said he, “the fall was too great. As far as I can judge, his legs and two of his ribs are broken. The best thing we can do, is to get him conveyed to the hospital; look in his pockets, perhaps we can find out who he is.”
There was nothing found, however, that afforded the least clue to his name and residence; and he was, therefore, as soon as persons could be procured to assist, borne to the hospital, where his wounds were dressed, and the broken limbs set.
Unaware of the impending danger, Mr. Garie sat watching by the bedside of his wife. She had been quite ill; but on the evening of which we write, although nervous and wakeful, was much better. The bleak winds of the fast approaching winter dealt unkindly with her delicate frame, accustomed as she was to the soft breezes of her Southern home.
Mr. Garie had been sitting up looking at the fires in the lower part of the city. Not having been out all that day or the one previous, he knew nothing of the fearful state into which matters had fallen.
“Those lights are dying away, my dear,” said he to his wife; “there must have been quite an extensive conflagration.” Taking out his watch, he continued, “almost two o’clock; why, how late I’ve been sitting up. I really don’t know whether it’s worth while to go to bed or not, I should be obliged to get up again at five o’clock; I go to New York to-morrow, or rather to-day; there are some matters connected with Uncle John’s will that require my personal attention. Dear old man, how suddenly he died.”