The Great Depression began with the crash of the New York Times Stock Exchange in October of 1929, and no place in the western world was left untouched by the occurrence.
This included the town of Cross, Massachusetts.
While the pain of the financial collapse was not felt as keenly in Cross as in other places, it was nonetheless felt.
Mr. Otto Jones, formerly of Idaho, moved to Cross in 1930 to live with his sister on her small farm. Otto was a kind and generous man, and an avid hunter. His ability find game kept not only himself and his sister supplied with meat, but some of their neighbors as well.
Like his sister, Otto was a stranger to the town, its customs, and the places one should not tread.
While he knew that Gods’ Hollow was not a place to trespass in, he did not consider hunting to be trespassing.
In January of 1931, Otto realized great flocks of Canadian geese would spend days in Gods’ Hollow. He knew that he could fire rounds quickly enough to bring down a fair few and that the meat from those birds would go a long way to helping some of the poorer families stretch out their dinners.
On January 7, Otto went to Gods’ Hollow and shot dozens of birds. That evening, he and his sister plucked and dressed them, then on January 8, they delivered them to their Church in Pepperell. The fresh meat was gratefully received, and the birds were distributed to those families in need.
The first person who ate of the flesh was the local pastor in Pepperell when he had a bit of it for his afternoon lunch.
He was dead by four o’clock.
By the time the church realized the meat was poisonous, 19 people had died.
Remorse claimed Otto, and he blew his brains out in Gods’ Hollow that same evening.
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