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Title: Where the Lost Legions Go
Author: Aidan de Brune
* A Project Gutenberg of Australia eBook *
eBook No.: 1701041h.html
Language: English
Date first posted:  October 2017
Most recent update: October 2017

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Where the Lost Legions Go
Mysteries that Will Never be Solved


Aidan de Brune

First published in Smith's Weekly, Sydney, NSW, 28 January 1928

"HE left the house and..."

These words are often the prelude to one of those mysteries the police departments of the States are coming to dread.

Where has he gone to? What were the reasons behind his action? All efforts to probe his past—to discover some clue that will place the trackers on his trail—fail.

How did he do it? In these days of the greatest freedom for the individual it is remarkably easy to disappear.

"John Smith" kissed his wife and family and walked out of his home. They watched him disappear round the corner and returned to the house, prepared to welcome him at night.

But "John Smith" did not return. He did not take his usual train, or tram, into the city. Instead, he walked to some line of communications where he was unknown. Once in some strange city he went to a big store where he was an unregarded purchasing unit. There he purchased clothes varying considerably from his usual tastes. With the change of clothing he changed his identity. He became "Tom Brown."

IN new clothes, bearing a new name, he assumed a new manner. "John Smith" may have been studious, and retiring; "Tom Brown" sought the high spots of the night life of his new city. His first object was to establish a new history; perhaps also a new means of livelihood.

Amid the unobservant masses of the city he was fairly safe, even if he could not completely discard the many little mannerisms he gathered in his former life, though these are danger-points likely to betray him to a keen watcher who knew him in his "John Smith" days.

Only occasionally man or woman seeks disguise as a member of the opposite sex. The differences in outlines are so marked that betrayal is almost certain. Briefly, a man is distinguished from a woman because the many contour lines in the male are vertical, or horizontal, while the corresponding lines in the female are oblique. Thus, a man's neck back-line is straight and vertical while a woman's shows a sweeping oblique curve. A man's lower jaw is practically a right angle, while a woman's shows an open angle with oblique lines from ear to chin.

In major outline a woman's body is built in the form of two triangles, the bases resting on the hip-line. In the man the body is enclosed in one elongated triangle the base line resting on the shoulders. In movement, a woman swings her arms through a large arc, especially in a backwards direction, the hand held palm facing outwards. A man's arms swing little, except in fast walking, and the palm inclines inwards.

WHY do men and women disappear? There can be no doubt that a majority of the disappearances are voluntary. A review of scores of cases shows that a large proportion are persons regarded by their acquaintances as unimaginative plodders. Can it be assumed that the daily grind, the unadventurous, placid existence, suddenly palled? Did a psychological reaction drive the victim out in search of a dimly-visioned adventure? Was there some sudden awakening of a long dormant subconsciousness inducing an unreasoned fear that the long-worn groove was leading to mental stagnation—at the end, the madhouse?


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