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Jim Kershner’s This day in history » On the Web:

Tue., May 10, 2011, midnight

From our archives, 100 years ago

A small boy named Roy had the ride of his life on Jefferson Street, between Eighth and Ninth avenues.

A paving firm had left a 1,700-pound steamroller idling at the curb, “with a small head of steam in the boiler.”

Young Roy found the temptation too much to resist. He hopped onto the machine that evening and managed to get it moving. He rolled it back and forth a few times.

But then the steamroller hit a piece of timber, throwing it off course. It jumped the curb, headed toward a house and tipped over onto the lawn, just three feet from disaster.

Roy jumped off, unharmed, and ran off. The woman in the house said she was so badly frightened she “could not scream.”

Police said they knew where Roy lived and would soon be having a serious conversation with him.

From the scam beat: A man on trial for selling fraudulent mining stock was in deep trouble after the prosecution found a letter he had written to a partner in the scheme.

He wrote:

• “Once I was called the kingpin grafter of the Spokane mining community. I know the ropes.”

• “Let us keep up the semblance of fair and square. You leave the scheming to me and all will be lovely.”

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