ユーソフの最期〜 1898.9.3 追悼記事

 NATIONAL LIBRARY OF NEW ZEALAND(ニュージーランド国立図書館)のPAPERSPAST(過去の新聞)というウェブ・サイト

YOUSOUF, THE “TERRIBLE TURK,” A VICTIM.  Taranaki Herald, 3 September, 1898



LOCKED in the iron embrace of La Bourgogne, the ill-fated French liner, Yousouf, the “Terrible Turk” wrestler, lies buried under the waves of the Atlantic. He was one of the passengers who sailed from New York on July 2nd and was not among those reported to have been rescued when the steamer collided with the Cromartyshire off Sable Islands on July 4th. Invincible as a wrestler he met a more resourceful adversary when he grappled old ocean in a fight for life. In this, his last great bout, wherein he staked his all against an unknown foe the giant of Scutari fought and lost. It is the end of a unique career.


 As in all Oriental fighters, the brute force dominated the intellect. Yousouf was not an educated man. His colossal strength was his sole boast. Of the science of wrestling as it is known to trained athletes of the Muldoon and Roeber school he was blissfully ignorant.


 And yet the Turk was never beaten. True, the Frenchman, Lamaire, and the Jap, Madochi, as well as Strangler Lewis and Ernest Roeber got decisions over him. But all were on technicalities.


 Yousouf was a magnificent animal of the Eastern type, but he lacked the reserve and generalship of a true athlete. When things did not go his way he lost all control of himself and became a wild beast. He then lost his games repeatedly on fouls.


 The Turk was a native of Scutari, a grimy and fanatical town opposite Constantinople, and commanding a magnificent view of the city of Sultans.


 He began wrestling at an early age, and having won victories over men famed in the science throughout his native districts, Yousouf was honoured with a “command” to appear before his king.


 Under imperial patronage he made little tours into neighbouring provinces, then further into Egypt, Algeria, Greece and the Ionian Islands, always returning with the green bay of the victor.


 Yousouf then undertook to become master of Europe and Asia, which he did, throwing representatives from countries all the way from Japan to Germany.


 After that he went to England. There he met with very little opposition, his only match of importance being with Memlik, another Turk, in London. Both men wore about 6 feet in height, and weighed over 22 stone. Neither man being able to throw the other, the match was declared a draw.


 Soon after he sailed for America. There he found difficulties. He found that wrestling was circumscribed by rules, and that if the wrestlers ignored them, so much the worse for them. He met Roeber at the Madison Square Garden, New York, and Roebar fell off the platform. Later on at the Metropolitan Opera House the Turk lost his temper because he could not stir Roeber from all fours and was disciplined. Then he met the spectacular Spartan, Heraklides, and strangled him into insensibility. Then to the West he went and lost to Strangler Lewis on a foul.


 During his brief sojourn there he was said to have eaten nearly twenty meals a day, and each was a royal barbecue. He drank coffee out of a soup tureen, grounds and all, Turkish style. He ate with his fingers, and worried because he had not hands enough to keep pace with the gnawings of hunger. He sailed in the steerage. It was characteristic of the man, who was a miser for the benefit of his rapacious appetite. In the ample folds of the scarf which encircled his Turkish trousers, as he lies “full fathoms deep” beneath the waves, there are sewed up no less than eight thousand dollars in American gold, the proceeds of the brief but eventful tour through the United States. He had promised to renew his engagement there in the fall.


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