N&W in 1911--Holdup

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Sun Sep 5 22:46:06 EDT 2010

Bluefield Daily Telegraph
March 5, 1911

D. K. Frierson Relates Thrilling Experience in Hatfield Tunnel
D. K. Frierson has returned from the lower field and tells a thrilling story of a narrow escape from a hold-up in the Hatfield tunnel near Matewan. As is customary with traveling men, Mr. Frierson started out to go through the Hatfield tunnel on Friday morning about 7 o'clock so as to call on as much of his trade as possible before the trains came along. He had gone fully half way through the tunnel when he felt that he saw men clinging to the ribs of the tunnel. In a few seconds his fears were verified and he started to return to the entrance. The men started after him, but as he drew nearer to the tunnel entrance, he noticed that the men had started to run in an opposite direction. He secured the aid of the tunnel guard and went back and on arriving at the other end both men learned that three negroes [sic] had left the tunnel but a few minutes before. No trace of them could be found, however. Mr. Frierson feels certain that if he had not accidentally discovered the men in the tunnel another unexplained murder would have occurred, and he feels sure he would have been the victim. In the future he claims he will enter no more tunnels without a companion.
[Customary for traveling men to go though the tunnel?? Tunnel guard?? The tunnel guard let the traveling man enter the tunnel??]
Gordon Hamilton
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