|Canadian Pacific no. 2327 leaving Windsor Station, Montreal, in 1926.|
(Canadian Pacific Corp Archives)
Following up on the Comments in my recent post about the Prince of Wales assault, Joe Notaro of HHCE has uncovered a 1926 railroad time table that may show the details of Houdini's overnight train ride from Montreal to Detroit on October 23-24. It's generally believed that it was on this journey that Houdini's inflamed appendix burst and sealed his fate. Says Joe:
"I found a 1926 Canadian Pacific Railway Time Table (snapshot attached), and according to Table 45, the Chicago Express (21) had a sleeper car that according to Table 46 was scheduled to leave at 11:00 pm from Montreal and arrive at Michigan Central Depot in Detroit at 2:20 pm traveling a distance of 569.3 miles. That is a travel time of 15 hours and 20 minutes if it was on schedule and left on time."
|Click to enlarge|
While aboard the train, Houdini's abdominal pain became so great that he finally told Bess about the dressing room punch in Montreal. When the train made a brief stop in London, Ontario, a cable was sent to the advance man in Detroit to have a doctor waiting for Houdini at his hotel. But the train arrived late and the troop had to go directly to the Garrick Theater.
There Dr. Leo Dretzka examined Houdini on the floor of his dressing room and recommend that he go to the hospital. But Houdini refused to disappoint the sold-out crowd and performed with a 104 degree temperature. His reportedly opened the show by telling the audience, "We've just made a thousand-mile journey from Montreal, and we are tired."
Thank you Joe.