24 DECEMBER 1904, Page 15


Sin,—It is unfortunate that these two interesting articles should have appeared in the Spectator on the same day. I enclose copies of the Newcastle Daily journal for the 19th and 21st inst., from which you will see that the first journalist to investigate the matter of the wolf upon the spot is con- vinced that the animal, which has now figured in headlines all over the country, has only what the journalist in question pleases to call a " literary" or " Ananias-and-Sapphira " existence, and is probably, to use a " bull," a dog.—I am,

"The wild, sheep-worrying wolf, now so much talked of in Allendale, Hexhamshire, and thereaway, has never had any existence outside newspapers and the imagination of credulous folk. He has never had any more bone, flesh, and blood in his substance than the legendary loup-garou' or demon wolf. This, at any rate, is the conclusion I have come to after my Saturday's hunt for evidence throughout the afflicted region. After reading in the 'Journal' the ingenious history of 'The Wolf ! The Wolf !' by the Messrs. Robson and Sons of Northumberland Street, New- castle, I determined to go forth, and get, if possible, at the truth. I have not a motor-car of my own, but, like John Gilpin with the horse, I have a friend who has. So I was enabled to make quick round of the nether region said to be haunted by the wolf --from Whittonstall to Slaley, round by Minsteracres, Healy Woods, Dipton, and thereaway. But neither local gentleman of the Braes of Derwent hunt, nor local doctor, nor gamekeeper, nor woodman, nor farmer, could be found giving the least credence to the tale. This is their testimony—' It is not true.' "—Newcastle Daily Journal, December 19th, 1904.