Some say it's a wild dog, but as someone else said, "If that's a wild dog, he's more'n wild, he's peculiar." Charles Cogwell of Holden (a village near Bangor) describes the thing he saw near Branch Pond as an animal five feet long, three feet high, with a tail the length of its body.
The thing's been seen all over the territory. "Ayuh," said Don Williams, a gun salesman in the L L. Bean sporting goods store at Freeport. "We've heard considerable talk about the critter. Some say it's a timber wolf or maybe a mountain lion." Mr. Williams was asked if mountain lions are common in his vicinity. "Not common, no," said Mr. Williams. "Unheard of."
Newspapers in Bangor and Portland have been trying to run down the story with no luck. Game Warden Virgil Grant and Robert Sawyer, a trainee officer, told reporters they saw the thing on the back road from Linneus to Oakfield. "Ayuh," said Grant. "It appeared to stand 30 inches off the ground and was four feet long in the body, with a 36-inch tail." He thought a moment and added, "Had red eyes, ayuh."
Norville Reid of Houlton saw not one unexplained animal but two. Bill Betterly of Dedham spotted one in a field adjoining his property. Others reported sightings around Jackman, Lincolnville and Millinocket. As more and more reports came in, Hale Joy, assistant editor of the weekly Ellsworth American, did his Yankee best to stave off panic. If some deer hunter happens to plug one of these animals, he editorialized on his front page, "the mystery will no doubt be solved." Meanwhile State of Mainers are in a state of confusion and, like mountain lions and wild dogs five feet long, where they live that's not uncommon, it's unheard of.
The Golfing Starter
One measure of the importance of the program at Washington's Laurel race track this Wednesday is the fact that Eddie Blind will turn up without his golf clubs. Eddie, an amiable 6-footer and the official starter at Laurel, is one of that small company of turfmen who care more about how a race begins than how it finishes. By the time the horses are off and running in any lesser race than the International, Eddie is apt to be thinking about another sport—his favorite—and even setting out with his golf clubs to knock a few balls around the infield before the next race starts.
Eddie got the golf habit from an aunt named Clara Tweedale about 30 years ago and in the years since has polished his game to a middle-70s average against competition ranging from Eddie Arcaro to Fred Astaire to Jock Whitney to Jim Turnesa, who made him so nervous he shot an 85.
Most of the time, however, golf calms Eddie's nerves. "I Start about 2,500 horse races a year," he says, "and the pressure is such that I've got to have a change. Otherwise I couldn't stand it. I'd go nuts.
"I've had my finger broken by War Admiral, my ankle broken by Beau Pilot, my nose broken by Pharaoh Warrior, my arm broken by Daily News, and a horse named King Saxon even bit me. This is a tough business."
Eddie has started every International since the race's inception (and 13 Preaknesses as well), and it always gives him more trouble than a sliced three-wood. Because most of the horses are foreign, a walk-up start has been used, not without difficulty. Last year, when there were four false starts, the horses "kept coming at me like the Charge of the Light Brigade," says Eddie. "The Russian horse Zaryad was so damn anxious he wanted to take my place as starter. Then he broke badly when the time came. They probably sent him to Siberia."