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December 9, 1908


Twelve-Year-Old Lena Pratt Had
Fired First Two Shots From
It at Police.

"Father told us he had read in the Bible that there was going to be war on our faith. He said he had a message that we were going to be attacked. He bought us all pistols, and when he gave me mine he told me that if a policeman or anybody bothered me to shoot." -- Lena Pratt, 12 years old.

Lena Pratt, aged 12 years, with her sister Edna, 4 years, and brother Dewey, 8 years, were in the very thick of the rain of bullets which were fired from a half dozen revolvers at their father, Louis Pratt, and that they escaped death or injury was indeed remarkable. When the father fell unconscious on the sidewalk, Lena picked up the empty revolver which he dropped and grasped the hands of her little brother and sister and ran north on Main to the water front. They were overtaken by Detective Eugene F. Sullivan, and hurried back to police headquarters. Lena carried in her hands the empty revolver, which was of 32 caliber.

"See what we took from her," announced Sullivan, as he displayed the revolver.

"I didn't have no gun," declared the girl.

"Yes, you had, for I saw you fire two shots from one," spoke up a bystander.

"Well, I was so excited, I do not remember what happened," conceded the girl, who chanced the remark that there would have been no trouble if the police had not interfered with "their faith."

"What is your faith?" the girl was asked.

"The Bible," she answered. It was then that she made the foregoing remark about her father reading in the Bible of an approaching war, and his arming of the whole family.

"If they hadn't stopped our singing, papa would not have shot them," whimpered little 8-year-old Dewey Pratt.

"And papa is dead," tearfully put in Lena.

Little Dewey heaved a heavy sigh, buried his face in his hands and began to weep.

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