Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Charles Dundas Slater -- One Way Death Cab

London Coliseum
Connected with the management of London's Empire Theatre from 1889 to 1895, Slater was also the business manager of the Alhambra before leaving in 1907 to manage the London Coliseum music hall.  Following years of faithful service, the 60 year old was dismissed on June 29, 1912 when rheumatic gout and failing eyesight prevented him from discharging his business duties.  At 4:30 P.M. on July 8, 1912, Slater flagged down a taxi cab and told the driver to take him to Charing Cross Hospital.  Minutes later, the cabbie heard what he believed was an exhaust backfire.  Arriving at the hospital, the cabbie discovered his fare lying on the back seat with a gaping wound in his head and blood flowing from his mouth.  A seven chamber revolver, with one spent round, was between his knees.  Slater died two hours later.

In a letter found on his body, Slater wrote:  "On the rocks.  No hope.  No daylight.  God forgive me for this act, but I am hopeless, and if there is one among my English and American friends who will have a friendly thought left for me let them now show it by doing all they can for my poor, faithful wife.  I have led a white man's life, but this is a degraded dog's finish,  I am broken-hearted, but not insane.--C.D.S."  On September 10, 1912, a distinguished company of artists gave a performance at the London Coliseum for the benefit of Slater's widow and children.

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