PRISON PRESENT FOR PRIEST. ~ Engraving of "Last Supper" on the Handle of Knife from Greece.

June 27, 1909

Engraving of "Last Supper" on the
Handle of Knife from Greece.

A package sent here from Greece to a Greek church priest who recently came to Kansas City was stopped by the postal authorities yesterday and turned over to the custom official for inspection. If the contents prove to be subject to impost a duty will be levied.

A Greek messenger had called for the priest's mail but the custom officers demanded the presence of the man to whom the package was addressed. The priest, in his rimless stovepipe hat, long black silk robes and thick bushy whiskers, went to the customs ho use in person and claimed the package. In the presence of the treasury department he opened it and discovered a knife. It was wrapped in a letter which said the knife was sent from a prisoner to his old priest as a memento.

As a knife it did not amount to much, the blade, a thick ugly thing, evidently being part of an iron strap from a barrel and the spring made from an old key. On each side of the handle was engraved a representation of the Last Supper. The wood looked like box elder. The carving was excellent though the figures were not over half an inch in height and the distance from the first to the thirteenth only two and one-half inches. The treasury decided the knife had no commercial value and so declared it undutiable.

Edge tools are barred from all United States penitentiaries but the present to the Greek priest which arrived yesterday shows that in Athens they not only allow prisoners to have knives but teach them how to use them.

The address on the wrapper was in Greek characters. An interpreter who took the priest to the customs house accommodated the treasury men by writing the name in English. His English was more puzzling than the Greek, so the customs house does not know yet who got the knife so far as any record goes.