1919 December 2, Toronto, AN4 332

    “Upon Dec. 2, 1919, Ambrose Small, of Toronto, Canada, disappeared. He was known to have been in his office, in the Toronto Grand Opera House, of which he was the owner, between five and six o'clock, the evening of December 2nd. Nobody saw him leave his office. Nobody—at least nobody whose testimony can be accepted—saw him, this evening, outside the building. There were stories of a woman in the case. But Ambrose Small disappeared, and left more than a million dollars behind.

    Then John Doughty, Small's secretary, vanished.

    Small's safe deposit boxes were opened by Mrs. Small and other trustees of the estate. In the boxes were securities, valued at $1,125,000. An inventory was found. According to it, the sum of $105,000 was missing. There was an investigation, and bonds of the value of $105,000 were found, hidden in the home of Doughty's sister.

    All over the world, the disappearance of Ambrose Small was advertised, with offers of reward, in acres of newspaper space. He was in his office. He vanished.

    Doughty, too, was sought. He had not only vanished: he had done all that he could to be unfindable. But he was traced to a town in Oregon, where he was living under the name of Cooper. He was taken back to Toronto, where he was indicted, charged with having stolen the bonds, and with having abducted Small, to cover the thefts.

    It was the contention of the prosecution that Ambrose Small, wealthy, in good health, and with no known troubles of any importance, had no motive to vanish, and to leave $1,125,000 behind: but that his secretary, the embezzler, did have a motive for abducting him. The prosecution did not charge that Small had been soundlessly and invisibly picked out of his office, where he was surrounded by assistants. The attempt was to show that he had left his office, even though nobody had seen him go: thinkably he could have been abducted, unwitnessed, in a street. A newsboy testified that he had seen Small, in a nearby street, between 5 and 6 o'clock, evening of December 2nd, but the boy's father contradicted this story. Another newsboy told that, upon this evening, after 6 o'clock, Small had bought a newspaper from him: but, under examination, this boy admitted he was not sure of the date.

    It seemed clear that there was relation between the embezzlement and the disappearance, which, were it not for the inventory, would have covered the thefts: but the accusation of abduction failed. Doughty was found guilty of embezzlement, and was sentenced to six years' imprisonment in the Kingston Penitentiary.” 

- The Complete Books of Charles Fort (Wild Talents), p. 844-845.