“I have the eyes in the vault.”

One of my colleagues in the Woodson has been working recently back in the vault, going through boxes that don’t get a lot of use, making sure everything stays organized. I poked into a big envelope he had out and discovered one of the strangest collections of odds and ends I’ve ever seen around here. It was just . . . weird. Envelopes inside envelopes, scrawled notes, a couple of small objects, none of it related–at least in any obvious way–to anything else.

Even the one thing that immediately made sense felt peculiar. First, you might want to go back and take a quick look at this post about the 1917 kidnapping of Sammy the Owl by some A&M cadets. If you’ll recall, all that was left of Sammy when it was over was what you can see in this photo:


So in the envelope was this note from Mr. McCants, the bursar:

Sammys eyes 2046

And sure enough, in the bottom of the envelope, the eyes:




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6 Responses to “I have the eyes in the vault.”

  1. mjthannisch says:


  2. Greg Marshall says:

    Is this the detective who gave Sammy his name by sending back the telegram using that code word? If so, I’d never heard that the owl was recovered but then recaptured (nor that the detective was detained, had his head shaved, and forced to entertain Aggie cadettes).

  3. mjthannisch says:

    I am pretty sure it is the same detective.

  4. Francis Eugene "Gene" PRATT, Institute Class of '56 says:

    Fascinating “rest of the story”.

  5. Pingback: HMRC Thursday: Aggies Return Kidnapped Sammy, 1962 | Rice History Corner

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