Four strong men were noticed carrying a litter along Sixth avenue, yesterday afternoon, upon which was a man in an apparently suffering condition. His head was badly bruised on one side, while his forehead bore marks of violence and his eyes were so badly swollen that sight was gone in one and through the other only a faint glimmer of light could be traced. The man was weak and exhausted, and there was much inquiry as to whom he was and what was the trouble. His name is Charles Whitehead, and from his story he was the victim of a brutal and murderous assault on the 16th inst., or a week ago last Tuesday, the time the circus was in Helena.
He is an English man, 23 years of age, and drives a wood team at Placer. He came to town to attend the circus, and while walking down Main street, in front of Steinbrenner’s saloon, the evening of the Tuesday in question, be was accosted by a stranger for the price of a meal. Whitehead gave the man 50 cents, and in doing so exposed what other money he had amounting to $36.
The stranger said he was out of work and Whitehead told him if he would go with him to Placer he might find something to do. This was agreed upon and the stranger went off, but met Whitehead later at an appointed time, and both walked to the depot intending to beat their way on a freight train to Placer.
They crawled into a box car and Whitehead soon fell asleep, but remembers that the stranger got up and left the car a couple of times. That is all he remembers of the affair, but when he awoke the following morning in the car, which had not left the depot, he seemed drowsy and noticed blood, and then saw a sock close to him in which was a heavy coupling pin. He then discovered that he had been assaulted and robbed, some brakemen noticed his condition and carried him to a lodging house, but as he had only sixty cents he did not remain there but one night and Thursday morning started for town almost blind. He says he was a whole day in reaching Main street. He wandered to the Belvidere house and was given a bed, and as the man would not say anything about himself the inference was that he was on a drunken spree.
He remained at the Belvidere and did not eat anything for several days, and finally realizing that the man was in a bad condition the affair was reported to the city physician, who visited him. It was learned Tuesday that Whitehead had two brothers at Placer, and they were telegraphed for. Meantime Dr. Atchison visited the man and said he was very seriously injured, and when the brothers arrived it was discovered the unfortunate fellow had money and property at Placer. He received good treatment at the Belvidere, and was yesterday conveyed to a hospital, while his assailant, who was one of the circus roughs, disappeared with the circus, probably conscious of the fact that he may have committed a murder.