July 24, 1908


Walked to Edge of Steep Embank-
ment Yesterday in Kansas City,
Kas., and Deliberately
Plunged to Death.

"Old Jim," the ancient mule which has graced the George R. Brindle grading camp in Kansas City, Kas., for many a year, will no longer be ween there. Weighed down with sorrow from the loss of his mate, Baldy, sold one year ago, and perhaps still smarting from a sever beating administered to him Monday, he threw himself over a sixteen-foot embankment at Baltimore street and Pacific avenue at 5:30 o'clock yesterday afternoon. When members of the gang cutting through a street there reached "Old Jim" he was dead.

The case of the mule may be the first on record where good authorities agree that the intent of the deed was suicide. John Hartman, member of the city street department, George R. Brindle, owner of the animal, and, lastly, Dr. W. J. Guilfoil, 835 State avenue, a well known veterinarian, declare Jim knew what he was doing and that he cut the thread of his own life deliberately.

Jim was purchased by the Brindle street grading concern ten years ago, when he was a colt, 2 years old. He was found gentle and tractable, Brindle said last night. When he was large enough to take a place among the other beasts of burden in the camp he was so employed in company with Baldy, already proficient and learned to an enviable degree.

The two worked steadily together, Brindle says, until a year ago. Then the grief at separation made a different mule out of Jim and he lost all interest in work. Coupled with a lean and aged horse of plebeian parentage, judging from his mangy coat, he dragged the heavy wheel scraper about, his head bent low, his ears wagging discontentedly.

Last Saturday night Jim's driver approached Brindle and complained of the conduct of the mule.

"He isn't the mule he used to be," said he, contemplating the ragged animal munching hay from one of the racks.

"No, he isn't," Brindle says he told the driver. Then he assured him that "Old Jim" would soon be retired on full rations, dismissing the matter from his mind.

Yesterday afternoon the mule was laid off, and was noticed several times standing near the sixteen-foot embankment on Pacific avenue left by the cutting through of the street. At 5:30 o'clock he walked to the brink of the bank and carefully slid his front feet over.

Most of the laborers, tired from the day's work, were sitting around the wagons. They saw the act and realizing Jim's danger, shouted "Whoah!" in a chorus. It was too late. Before anyone could run to his rescue he had disappeared over the edge with a farewell wave of his bushy tail.

Dr. Guilfoil, who does the regular work for the camp's animals, was called by Brindle over the telephone. In regard to the case he said last night he had no doubt that it was a pure and simple case of suicide, such as occur among human beings. He stated that all the evidence heard by him seems to indicate this. He saw no plausible reason why it should not be true.