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'Poon's Ibis Stolen; Humor Club Says Curse Will Strike

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The fabled ibis that normally crowns the Mt. Auburn Street building of the Harvard Lampoon was stolen early Wednesday morning.

"We're warning Cambridge and University students that whoever stole the sacred ibis shall be undone by a great curse," James M. Downey '74, Lampoon president, said yesterday. "Seven years of famine shall strike Mt. Auburn and Bow streets."

Mark D. Epstein '75 reported seeing four hooded thieves clothed in black lowering the four-foot copper bird by rope to a van parked on Mt. Auburn Street about 5 a.m. Wednesday.

"We knew something was going to happen," Downey said. "There were lots of little clues like the Mideast war, the firing of Cox and Richardson, and the rising price of submarine sandwiches at Elsie's."

Epstein, who said he saw the robbery from the window of his room in Adams House, reported that the thieves scaled the outside of the four story building, sawed through a thick copper stem, and lowered the bird to the waiting van.

A ransom note was dropped in the Lampoon mailbox yesterday, Lampoon sources said. "Yes Lampies, your goose has been tooked and you were sitting ducks while I was a robin. Aren't you blushing crimson at this sad discovery--you turkeys," the letter said. The note did not name a ransom price but hinted that a proposal might be forthcoming.

Meanwhile, the Lampoon office raged with indignation. "Until the bird is returned no Harvard freshman will be safe in his bed, especially males," said Downey excitedly.

Lampoon sources said The Crimson heads the suspects list, but Crimson members denied any involvement in the theft.

Unreliable sources reported that Elliot L. Richardson '41, a former Lampoon president who recently left his job, would head an investigation into the matter. Richardson could not be reached for comment.

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