On Monday night about 9 o'clock, a report spread that a man had been shot by a woman, and hurrying feet were heard in all quarters of people running to ascertain the particulars. Repairing to the street, and joining the crowd of anxious inquirers, after hearing the different stories of those professing to be familiar with the facts, the following particulars were gathered:
A stage driver on the Auburn road, named Albert Putnam, had sought the Palace—a house of prostitution, kept by Fanny Smith on Second street, between I and J—in company with several friends, for the purpose of spending a few moments, as he had often been wont to do on previous occasions. Fanny had been drinking, and was slightly intoxicated. In this condition she is known to be a desperate woman. A conversation arose between her and Putnam, in the course of which she insisted on his purchasing a bottle of wine. To all of her importunities on this head, he gave a negative answer, until violent words passed between them, in which he demanded her, in the cant phrase of the day, to "dry up," at the same time uttering a threat if she did not. Fanny thereupon ordered him to leave the house. He replied that he would do so if his friends approved of it, and not otherwise. one of his friends, familiar with Fanny's violent disposition, told him to go. In the meantime, Fanny repaired to a back part of the house, and procuring one of Colt's five-shooters, returned, just as he had stepped outside the door-sill. In this position, with his back towards her, she fired, the bullet entering his back, immediately under the shoulder blade.
The wounded man was carried to the City Exchange, on Second Street, near the Orleans Hotel, where his friends were ministering to his wants, and rendering his condition as tolerable as possible under the circumstances. He evinced great agony, and it is thought cannot survive the wound.
When she had shot Putnam, Fanny ran into the street, inquiring for a police officer. The Marshall having repaired to the spot, met her and taking her in charge, escorted her to the Station House. In a half hour after the affair, crowds were soon collected on the street corner, undulating to and fro, and expressed the opinion that she should be hung. A number of voices proclaimed that intention aloud, and dispersing into various groups, the sentiment found a hearty echo in yet other voices, which vociferated it more and more angrily. The dispersed portion of the crowd then reunited, and taking the direction of the Station House, augmented till it had become a multitude.
Seeing the drift of their intentions, several law abiding citizens circumvented the crowd, and reaching the Station House in advance of it, apprised Capt. Mace of their intentions; who, having a boat in readiness for the emergency, placed Fanny safely in it, and calling a policeman to his aid, effected a timely escape with her. The Marshall confronted the angry multitude and expostulated with them on their disorderly proceedings - assuring them that Fanny was securely in custody, and pledging his reputation for her safe keeping. This appeared to afford them some degree of satisfaction, and not having their plans thoroughly matured—although addressed in an inflammatory manner to take the law in their own hands and effect a summary execution—the orator did not succeed in his unlawful intentions; and the crowd, after many threats and much growling, dispersed.
We are proud of this; for, whatever may have been the atrocity of the offense—and it is pronounced to have been unprovoked—the majesty of the law should be sustained.
After justice has taken its legitimate course, it will be time enough to inflict punishment if it is deserved; and then is should only be done in a lawful manner. The comment is honorable alike to the heads and hearts of our citizens. May they never perpetrate an outrage which they might afterwards regret, and which, at best, could only stigmatize them as riotous, disorderly citizens.
Fearing an assault upon the "Palace," its frail inmates packed up their baggage with the intention of beating a hasty retreat. A strong police force was dispatched to the scene, and at the writing of this article, (Monday night at 10 o'clock,) the peace of the city remains quiet and undisturbed.
This statement, we think, may be relied upon as substantially true, as it was obtained from a spectator of the whole transaction.