Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Boy with the Brass Buttons

Years ago, there was an old-fashioned house in Stuyvesant Square. It had been vacant for a while, but in 1883, winter had settled on the city. A father bought the house and moved into it with his wife and daughter. They decided that the house needed to be renovated to better suit their needs. Years before, the attic of the house had been made into a playroom years before, so they sent their six-year-old to go play while the work took place on the floors below.

After a few weeks, the rooms were almost finished, giving the mother time to play with her daughter. However, despite this, the child kept sneaking up to the attic to play. Eventually, her mother asked her why.

Her daughter replied, "To play with the funny little boy in the attic."

"What little boy?" asked the mother.

"The little boy with the brass buttons," said the little girl.

When the mother went with the little girl to the attic playroom, it was empty, but the little girl pointed to the boarded up fireplace, stating that the boy with the brass buttons was in the fireplace.

Thinking that her daughter was telling lies, the mother told her to stop or she would be punished. When the father came home and heard the story, he gave her a stern talking-to and told her what happens if she told lies.

However, the child insisted that this little boy was there and she saw him. Her parents began to believe the vehement child. This picked the father's curiosity, so he did some research. He found that an Englishman named Cowdery lived in the house and had one little girl and two little boys. The neighbors said that the youngest boy was sweet and innocent. But his father was ashamed of him because he was mentally handicapped.

One day, the boy's cap was found in the East river. The police assumed the child had fallen in by accident and drowned. But his little body was never found. Shortly after, Mr. Cowdery decided to sell the house, and he, his wife, and surviving children moved West, never to be heard from agin and their location unknown.

The little girl's father heard the story and this made him suspicious, so he searched the attic thoroughly. He even took his daughter with him. She showed him where her friend lived, again, pointing to the boarded up fireplace. Her father tore off the boards and destroyed part of the wall. What he found prompted him to take his family and move.

Inside was the skeleton of a small boy, wearing a dark blue jacket with four rows of brass buttons. An autopsy of the body showed that this boy died from a violent blow to the back of the head.

His father had murdered him and stuffed him in the chimney! He had boarded up the fireplace and moved so no one would find out what he had done to his child!

The little boy was given a decent burial and the affair silenced.

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