Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Cadoxton Murder Stone

by Paul Tristram

The Stonemason worked the word
MURDER in big ominous letters
upon the top of the gravestone in 1823.
The victim was only aged twenty six
when she met her violent fate that night.
She had been beaten and strangled
and thrown down into a marshy ditch
upon the other side of The River Neath.
To lay until discovery in shallow water
with her basket and the sheep head
which she had walked into town to buy,
floating with her dress hems around her.
She was sixteen weeks pregnant at death
and for sometime had vocally attributed
fatherhood of the unborn child publicly
to the Squire’s Son whom she had been
sacked from working for a few weeks
before the gruesome events unfolded.
He was arrested almost immediately
but being wealthy and pleading ignorance
he was released through lack of evidence.
Although the locals all as one swore blind
that they knew exactly who the killer was.
In the graveyard of the Church of St Catwg's
in the quaint parish village of Cadoxton,
the bodies were finally laid down to rest.
With a ‘Murder Stone’ set big and bold
to mark the hideous –as yet- unpunished act
directly opposite the house of the Squire,
so that it may be the first thing the Son
saw each morning from the windows.
This did not last long and guilty as it looks
he left and emigrated across to America.
Some say that he fled the guilt and curse.
yet, others wisely nod and think otherwise.
For the ‘Murder Stone’ it does still stand
and for those thinking he got away free
should go read the bottom few eerie lines.
For it insists in no uncertain terms that
‘God hath set his mark upon him
either for time or eternity and the cry
of blood will assuredly pursue him to
certain and terrible but righteous judgement.’

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