Daniel Palmer lasted exactly seven minutes after he was exposed to an unknown substance on March 10, 1919.
Whether he was the target or merely a victim of happenstance, Daniel died nonetheless.
The vial, the report said later, was nearly four inches long and it was believed that there was once a gaseous substance in it.
Daniel Palmer, aged 31 with the occupation of train mechanic, paused on his way home from work when the glistening of the vial – which was green and cylindrical – caught his eye. The vial looked as though it might have come from an expensive store, and perhaps it carried a rare perfume. Daniel Palmer, ever eager to deliver some small gift to his wife, may have been thinking along such lines when he held it in his hand.
Several witnesses observed him as he removed the stopper, and what happened next was hideous.
Leaning over the vial, he seemed to smell the substance. As soon as he did so, he let out a horrific scream that ended as quickly as it began.
Daniel collapsed to the ground, writhing in place and in such agony that none dared to approach him.
Witnesses watched as a foul gas expelled from his mouth and his flesh fell away. His body seemed to explode and push out the fabric of his clothing.
Daniel’s exact cause of death was never determined. No doctor would perform an autopsy.
Instead, he was gathered into a makeshift coffin, and burned on the edge of Gods’ Hollow.
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