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Title: Danger! A True History of a Great City's Wiles and Temptations - The Veil Lifted, and Light Thrown on Crime and its Causes, - and Criminals and their Haunts. Facts and Disclosures.
Author: Howe, William F., 1828-1902, Hummel, Abraham H., 1849-1926
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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DANGER!

_A TRUE HISTORY OF A GREAT CITY'S_

WILES AND TEMPTATIONS

_THE VEIL LIFTED, AND LIGHT THROWN ON_

CRIME AND ITS CAUSES,

_AND_

CRIMINALS AND THEIR HAUNTS.

_FACTS AND DISCLOSURES_

BY

HOWE & HUMMEL.

BUFFALO:
THE COURIER COMPANY, PRINTERS.
1886


(Scanned by someone at Lehigh University,
Carriage return mule: Gaz,
Direct all correspondence to DIzzIE,
xcon0 @t yahoo d0.t c.0m

Copy-text page scans available at:
www.dizzy.ws/dangerscans.zip and
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PREFACE.

It may not be amiss to remark, in explanation of the startling and
sensational title chosen for this production, that logic has not yet
succeeded in framing a title-page which shall clearly indicate the
nature of a book. The greatest adepts have frequently taken refuge in
some fortuitous word, which has served their purpose better than the
best results of their analysis. So it was in the present case. "DANGER!"
is a thrilling and warning word, suggestive of the locomotive headlight,
and especially applicable to the subject matter of the following pages,
in which the crimes of a great city are dissected and exposed from the
arcanum or confessional of what we may be pardoned for designating the
best-known criminal law offices in America.

So much for the title. A few words as to the _motif_ of the publication.
Despite the efficiency of our police and the activity of our many
admirable reforming and reclaiming systems, crime still abounds, while
the great tide of social impurity continues to roll on with unabated
velocity. Optimists and philanthropic dreamers in every age have
pictured in glowing colors the gradual but sure approach of the
millennium, yet we are, apparently, still as far from that elysium of
purity and unselfishness as ever. Whenever the wolf and the lamb lie
down together, the innocent bleater is invariably inside the other's
ravenous maw. There may be--and we have reason to know that there is--a
marked diminution in certain forms of crime, but there are others in
which surprising fertility of resource and ingenuity of method but too
plainly evince that the latest developments of science and skill are
being successfully pressed into the service of the modern criminal.
Increase of education and scientific skill not only confers superior
facilities for the successful perpetration of crime, but also for its
concealment. The revelations of the newspapers, from week to week, but
too plainly indicate an undercurrent of vice and iniquity, whose depth
and foulness defy all computation.

We are not in accord with those pessimists who speak of New York as a
boiling caldron of crime, without any redeeming features or hopeful
elements. But our practice in the courts and our association with
criminals of every kind, and the knowledge consequently gained of their
history and antecedents, have demonstrated that, in a great city like
New York, the germs of evil in human life are developed into the rankest
maturity. As the eloquent Dr. Guthrie, in his great work, "The City, its
Sins and its Sorrows," remarks: "Great cities many have found to be
great curses. It had been well for many an honest lad and unsuspecting
country girl that hopes of higher wages and opportunities of fortune,
that the gay attire and gilded story of some acquaintance, had never
turned their steps cityward, nor turned them from the simplicity and
safety of their country home. Many a foot that once lightly pressed the
heather or brushed the dewy grass has wearily trodden in darkness, guilt
and remorse, on these city pavements. Happy had it been for many had
they never exchanged the starry skies for the lamps of the town, nor had
left their quiet villages for the throng and roar of the big city's
streets. Weil for them had they heard no roar but the river's, whose
winter flood it had been safer to breast; no roar but ocean's, whose
stormiest waves it had been safer to ride, than encounter the flood of
city temptations, which has wrecked their virtue and swept them into
ruin."

By hoisting the DANGER signal at the mast-head, as it were, we have
attempted to warn young men and young women--the future fathers and
mothers of America--against the snares and pitfalls of the crime and the
vice that await the unwary in New York. Our own long and extensive
practice at the bar has furnished most of the facts; some, again, are on
file in our criminal courts of record; and some, as has already been
hinted, have been derived from the confidential revelations of our
private office. With the desire that this book shall prove a useful
warning and potent monitor to those for whose benefit and instruction it
has been designed, and in the earnest hope that, by its influence, some
few may be saved from prison, penitentiary, lunatic asylum, or suicides'
purgatory, it is now submitted to the intelligent readers of America,

By the public's obedient servants,
HOWE & HUMMEL.



CONTENTS.

CHAPTER I.
Ancient and Modern Prisons--Some of the City's Ancient Prisons--How
Malefactors were Formerly Housed--Ancient Bridewells and Modern Jails,

CHAPTER II.
Criminals and their Haunts--The Past and Present Gangs of the City--How
and Where they Herd--Prominent Characters that have passed into
History,

CHAPTER III.
Street Arabs of Both Sexes--The Pretty Flower and News Girls--The Young
Wharf Rats and their eventful Lives--How they all Live, where they Come
From, and where they finally Finish their Career,

CHAPTER IV.
Store Girls--Their Fascinations, Foibles and Temptations,

CHAPTER V.
The Pretty Waiter Girl--Concert Saloons and how they are Managed--How
the Pretty Waitresses Live and upon Whom, and how the Unwary are Fleeced
and Beguiled--A Midnight Visit to one of the Dives,

CHAPTER VI.
Shoplifters--Who they are and how they are made--Their Methods of
Operating and upon whom--The Fashionable Kleptomaniac and her
Opposite--The Modern Devices of Female Thieves,

CHAPTER VII.
Kleptomania--Extraordinary Revelations--A Wealthy Kleptomaniac in the
Toils of a Black-mailing Detective,

CHAPTER VIII.
Panel Houses and Panel Thieves--The Inmates--The Victims--The
Gains--Complete Exposure of the Manner of Operation, and how
Unsuspecting Persons are Robbed,

CHAPTER IX.
A Theatrical Romance--Kate Fisher, the Famous Mazeppa, involved--Manager
Hemmings charged by Fast paced Mrs. Bethune with Larceny,

CHAPTER X.
A Mariner's Wooing--Captain Hazard's Gushing Letters--Breakers on a
Matrimonial Lee Shore--He is Grounded on Divorce Shoals,

CHAPTER XI.
The Baron and "Baroness"--The Romance of Baron Henry Arnous de Reviere,
and "The Buckeye Baroness," Helene Stille,

CHAPTER XII.
The Demi-monde,

CHAPTER XIII.
Passion's Slaves and Victims--A Matter of Untold History--The Terrible
Machinery of the Law as a Means of Persecution--Edwin James's Rascality,

CHAPTER XIV.
Procuresses and their Victims--Clandestine Meetings at Seemingly
Respectable Resorts--The "Introduction House,"

CHAPTER XV.
Quacks and Quackery--Specimen Advertisements--The Bait Held Out, and the
Fish who are Expected to Bite,

CHAPTER XVI.
Abortion and the Abortionists--The Career of Madame
Restell--Rosenzweig's Good Luck,

CHAPTER XVII.
Divorce--The Chicanery of Divorce Specialists--How Divorce Laws Vary in
Certain Slates--Sweeping Amendments Necessary--Illustrative Cases,

CHAPTER XVIII.
Black-mail--Who Practice it, How it is Perpetrated, and Upon Whom--The
Birds who are Caught, and the Fowlers who Ensnare them--With other
Interesting Matters on the same Subject,

CHAPTER XIX.
About Detectives--The "Javerts," "Old Sleuths" and "Buckets" of Fiction
as Contrasted with the Genuine Article--Popular Notions of Detective
Work Altogether Erroneous--An Ex-detective's Views--The Divorce
Detective,

CHAPTER XX.
Gambling and Gamblers--The Delusions that Control the Devotees of
Policy--What the Mathematical Chances are Against the Players--Tricks in
French Pools--"Bucking the Tiger"--"Ropers-in"--How Strangers are
Victimized,

CHAPTER XXI.
Gambling made Easy--The Last Ingenious Scheme to Fool the
Police--Flat-houses Turned into Gambling Houses--"Stud-horse Poker" and
"Hide the Heart,"

CHAPTER XXII.
Slumming--Depravity of Life in Billy McGlory's--A Three-hours' Visit to
the Place--Degraded Men and Lost Women who are Nightly in this Criminal
Whirlpool,

CHAPTER XXIII.
Our Waste Basket--Contemporaneous Records and Memoranda of Interesting
Cases,
        Miss Ruff's Tribulations,
        Astounding Degradation,
        Fall of a Youthful, Beautiful and Accomplished Wife,
        A French Beauty's Troubles,
        Life on the Boston Boats,
        An Eighty-year-old "Fence,"
        Shoppers' Perils,



AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL

It is to be presumed that the readers of this book will expect a few
words on a subject "on which," as Lord Byron somewhere remarks, "all men
are supposed to be fluent and none agreeable--self." However much the
inclination and, I might add, temptation may run in the direction of
fluency and diffuseness in this case, my utterance shall be as brief as
possible. I, William F. Howe, founder of the law firm of Howe & Hummel,
was born in Shawmut street, in Boston, Mass., on the seventh day of
July, 1828. My father was the Rev. Samuel Howe, M. A., a rather
well-known and popular Episcopal clergyman at the Hub in those days. Our
family removed to England when I was yet very young, and consequently my
earliest recollections are of London. I remember going to school, where
I speedily developed a genius for mischief and for getting into scrapes.
I received a liberal allowance of the floggings then fashionable, and I
can recall the _hwhish_ of the implement of torture to this day. We are
all young but once, and when memory calls up the lively pitched battles,
and the pummelings I got and gave at school, I am young again--only my
waist is a good deal more expansive, my step is not so elastic or my
sight so clear. I could recall the names of some of those boys with whom
I fought in those happy school days, and tell how one now adorns the
British bench, how another holds a cabinet portfolio, how another fell
bravely fighting in Africa, and how several, striving neither for name
or fame,

        "Along the cool, sequestered vale of life
        Pursue the noiseless tenor of their way";

but it would be useless, as would also my experiences at church,
listening to my good father's sermons, and falling constantly asleep.

My youthful reminiscences of events which happened, and of which I heard
or read in my youth, are mostly chaotic and incongruous; but it is
otherwise with the murders. I remember with what thrilling interest I
read the story of Greenacre, who cut up the body of his victim, carrying
the head wrapped up in a handkerchief, on his knees in the omnibus, and
who was supposed to have nearly fainted with fright when, on asking the
conductor the fare, received the answer, "Sixpence a _head!_" Then there
was the horrible Daniel Good, the coachman at Roehampton, and the
monster Courvoisier, the Swiss valet, who murdered his master, Lord
William Russell. These atrocities and the trials at Old Bailey, no
doubt, gave my mind the bent for the criminal law, not that I was in any
sense conscious of the possession of superior powers. It was merely the
selective tendency of a fresh and buoyant mind, rather vigorous than
contemplative, and in which the desire for a special field of action is
but the symptom of health.

At the age of twenty, I entered King's College, London, with the son of
the great American statesman and historian, Edward Everett, and
succeeded in graduating with some distinction. Soon after, I entered the
office of Mr. George Waugh, a noted barrister. 1 had the good fortune to
meet the commendation of Mr. Waugh, and I was consequently placed at the
head of his corps of assistants, and frequently appeared in the English
courts in place of my employer. My connection with this office lasted
about eight years, and then, in pursuance of an intention long prior
formed and never relinquished, I returned to the country of my birth. My
earliest essays at the American bar have been fairly and impartially
told by another pen, and, as the autobiographical form of narrative has
its limitations as well as its advantages, the reader will pardon me if
in this place I drop the "ego" and quote:


"On arriving here, Mr. Howe entered the office of E. H. Seeley, Esq.,
one of our oldest legal practitioners. Here he remained one year,
studying American law and practice with persistent assiduity, and
frequently appearing in our courts, 'by grace,' until he was fully
licensed. And it may be here stated that out of a list of over one
hundred candidates for admission to the bar only eighteen passed, and in
that number was included the young lawyer from London.

"His first case of importance in this city was one of extreme delicacy,
being a test question as to whether Col. Walter W. Price, a wealthy
brewer, was entitled to the position of Colonel of the First Cavalry
Regiment, N. G. S. N. Y., he having received the _second_ highest number
of votes. Mr. Howe took the ground that his client was entitled to the
office, being a resident of this city, while his competitor, Smith, the
founder of the great umbrella house, who had received the largest number
of ballots, resided in Brooklyn. This question was argued before the
Brigade Court, and, its decision being adverse, Mr. Howe carried the
case to the Court of Appeals, where a favorable decision was rendered,
and Mr. Price duly installed in the position. This was the young
lawyer's first technical victory of note, and it brought him almost at
once into considerable prominence.

"He soon after opened an office at the corner of Chambers and Centre
streets, devoted his entire time and energy to civil matters, was highly
successful, and soon achieved a considerable share of popularity. In
1859, finding himself crowded with business, he removed to his present
large suite of offices on the corner of Centre and Leonard streets,
which had formerly been occupied by the late Judge Russell, and from
that time down to the present he has made criminal matters a specialty.

"Mr. Howe's first appearance in the New York courts as a criminal lawyer
was in 1859. A man, by the name of Devine, had been tried and convicted
in the Court of Special Sessions on a charge of larceny. He took
Devine's case to the General Term of the Supreme Court, contending that
the conviction was illegal, inasmuch as the statute provides that
_three_ justices should sit, whereas at the trial of Devine but _two_
had attended. Many members of the bar laughed at him, declaring his
position untenable. In this he was opposed by Assistant District
Attorney, the present Chief Justice, Sedgwick. The Court decided the
point well taken and ordered the discharge of the prisoner, Devine.

"In defending a German named Jacob Weiler, indicted for the murder of
his wife, by shooting, in 1862, Mr. Howe took the ground that the
deceased shot herself, a discharged pistol being found by her side. This
case was very thoroughly canvassed by the entire press of the city, and
occasioned the greatest excitement among the German population. The
trial lasted eight days, and resulted in a disagreement of the jury. At
this stage of the proceedings, owing to a misunderstanding (which it
would hardly be in good taste to explain at this late day), Mr. Howe
withdrew from the defense. Other counsel were substituted, when the case
was re-tried, and the prisoner was convicted and sentenced to state
prison for life.

"Mr. Howe has tried more capital cases than any six lawyers in America
combined. There has not been a murder case of note for the past
twenty-five years in which he has not appeared as counsel. The records
of the Courts of Oyer and Terminer and General Sessions show that he has
tried more than three hundred homicide cases since the year 1860. Mr.
Howe, as a specialist in diseases of the brain, is regarded by
physicians as the peer of the most eminent alienists in practice."


The circumstances under which Mr. A. H. Hummel became associated with
me, first as an office boy, in 1863, at a salary of two dollars per
week, and subsequently, in May, 1869, as my partner, have been told more
than once in the public press. Mr. Hummel was born in Boston, July 27,
1849; came, with his parents, to this city at an early age; attended
Public School No. 15, on East Fifth street, and made my acquaintance on
a January morning before he was fourteen years old. I have at hand a
newspaper clipping, taken from the Rochester, N. Y., _Democrat and
Chronicle_ of March 25, 1877, in which is printed an elaborate notice of
the law firm of Howe & Hummel, in which the junior partner is thus
characterized:


"Soon after Mr. Howe opened his office, a bright lad, conversant with
foreign languages, applied on a cold January morning, in the year 1863,
for employment, and was accepted. His duties as office boy were to
answer questions, make fires, do errands, and do copying and
translations. Such was his winning address, his ready tact, his quick
perceptions, his prudence and discretion, that he not only performed his
duties to perfection but, in his few spare moments, learned law. While
he grew but little in stature, he made great progress in his chosen
profession. As he had fluent command of the German language--a useful
adjunct to the practice of a criminal lawyer in New York--and gave
promise of attaining a high rank as an advocate, Mr. Howe made him his
partner before he was admitted to the bar. To-day, in stature, he is
probably the smallest professional man in America; but size is not 'the
standard of the man,' and if Abe's stature were in proportion to his
merit he would be a veritable giant indeed."


With this sentiment I most cordially coincide, and at the same time
bring these somewhat rambling and discursive reminiscences to an end.

WILLIAM F. HOWE.



DANGER!



CHAPTER I.

ANCIENT AND MODERN PRISONS.

_Some of the City's Ancient Prisons--How Malefactors were Formerly
Housed--Ancient Bridewells and Modern Jails._

From old Dutch and Knickerbocker records it appears that as far back as
the year 1600 there existed a place for the confinement of malefactors
in the City of New York. At that early date in its history the town must
certainly have been restricted to a half dozen or so of narrow, crooked
streets, in the immediate vicinity of what is now known as the Bowling
Green. The population did not, probably, number more than a few
thousands; but, nevertheless, we find from these same records that, even
in that small community, criminals were so numerous and crime so rife
that a jail or Bridewell had already been established for the
safe-keeping and punishment of evildoers, and a system of citizen-police
inaugurated for the preservation of the local peace.

It was not, however, until some years later, 1642, that the "Staat Huys"
was built, a municipal building, with a portion of it erected especially
for the housing of dangerous criminals. Thus it would seem that for
upwards of two centuries crime and criminals have had their haunts in
this city, and, it is safe to say, while the more ancient cities of
Europe have, unquestionably, originated more felons of every grade,
there are few places that can rival New York in the number of actual
crimes committed during its comparatively brief existence on the earth's
map.

During the earlier history of the embryo city, the nature of the
offenses perpetrated on the then small community, and the type of men
who boldly executed the crimes, were undoubtedly of the same pattern as
those which obtain among us to-day, but with this difference, that with
the onward march of Improvement, hand-in-hand with the progress of
Science and Civilization, have also grimly stalked fashionably-clothed
and modernly-equipped Crime and the scientifically-perfected
law-breaker, with his modern and improved methods. Man's villainies,
like his other passions, remain the same to-day as when the murderous
club of Cain crushed the skull of his brother Abel, and the maiden earth
was crimsoned with the first blood that appealed for vengeance. They
differ only in the manner of commission, and the commission would appear
to be assisted by modern invention and appliances.

To expect large civilized communities dwelling together to be free from
crime would be to imagine an elysium on earth, for where poverty exists
crime will assuredly be found, and poverty will never be divorced from
civilization. It would also appear that, in accordance with the growth
and expansion of the young city in other respects, vice and crime kept
pace, while youthful depravity early began to trouble the good people
then as it worries the same class of persons to-day, for in 1824 we find
that a House of Refuge, for the reformation of juvenile delinquents, was
built, ostensibly superseding the old "Society for the Prevention of
Pauperism." To follow in detail the history of crime in this city, from
so early a date, would be of very little service here, but a simple
chronicle, referring to the periods at which prisons were found to be
necessary, may be briefly touched upon as tending to show how crime
increased and criminals multiplied, as the city grew in wealth and
population.

The new "Staat Huys," before alluded to, was erected on the corner of
Pearl street and Coenties Slip, a locality then considered the most
central in the infant town, and as offering the best facilities for
securely keeping prisoners. It served its double purposes of jail and
city hall until 1698, when it was decided by the authorities to build
another--a larger and more commodious structure; while, in the meantime,
the old military block-house in the immediate neighborhood of the
Governor's residence was conscripted and made use of, additionally to
the "Staat Huys," for the accommodation of the constantly-increasing
number of culprits.

The new building--City Hall--was erected on Broad street, on the ground
now covered by the sub-treasury building, and was finished in 1699, but
was not used as a jail until five years subsequent. In the winter of
1704 the sheriff was required to have the city jail prepared for the
reception of felons. Crime, however, would appear to have become a
monster of terrible mien in those days, far exceeding all the efforts of
the authorities to restrict or even to limit the number of malefactors,
aside from the apparent impossibility of diminishing them, for again, in
1758, another new jail was found absolutely necessary to the needs of
the inhabitants, and was erected on what was then known as "The Fields,"
now City Hall Park, and where, tradition has it, the prisoners were most
barbarously treated. This new place of confinement, together with those
previously in use, served their purpose very well until 1775, when the
new Bridewell was erected, when all were converted into military prisons
during the occupancy of the city by the British. The frightful cruelties
that were then practiced upon the patriot soldiers, unfortunate enough
to be inmates of those prisons, are too familiar to every one to need
mention here.

Shortly after the Revolution, the Penitentiary was established at
Bellevue. In 1816, a portion of the almshouse was set apart for the
punishment of felons, by the institution of the treadmill. This was on
Twenty-sixth street, near First avenue, the present site of Bellevue
Hospital, and its part occupancy as a prison somewhat relieved the
overcrowded condition of the jail. The city jail still continued in City
Hall Park, and was used as a debtors' prison, remaining so until 1832,
when it was entirely converted into the Register's Office, the present
Hall of Records, and is such to this day. It stands opposite the _Staats
Zeitung_ building in old Tryon Row.

The Penitentiary was soon found to be too small for the keeping of the
greatly-increased number of prisoners, and so, in 1836, the buildings on
Blackwell's Island were constructed, and two years later, again, the
Tombs, the sombre, miasmatic, Egyptian edifice on Centre street, was
completed; which latter had been in course of construction for some
years.

In addition to the prisons previously alluded to, there was begun, in
1796, a state prison, which was erected in the Village of Greenwich,
about West Tenth street, near the North River, and which is still in
existence to-day (1886), being occupied by, and known as, the Empire
Brewery. It was used as a state prison until the completion of the
present extensive buildings at Sing Sing, on the Hudson.

Such is, briefly, a history of the establishment of the prisons of this
city, but of the unfortunate class of criminals that have, from time to
time, occupied them, much remains to be said, and will be found in the
succeeding pages.



CHAPTER II.

CRIMINALS AND THEIR HAUNTS.

_The Past and Present Gangs of the City--How and Where They
Herd--Prominent Characters that Have Passed into History._

New York, from being the largest city on the western hemisphere; in
almost hourly communication with every part of the known world; the vast
wealth of its merchants; elegant storehouses crowded with the choicest
and most costly goods, manufactured fabrics, and every kind of valuable
representing money; with its great banks, whose vaults and safes contain
more bullion than could be transported by the largest ship afloat; its
colossal establishments teeming with diamonds, jewelry and precious
stones gathered from all parts of the known and uncivilized portions of
the globe; with all this countless wealth, these boundless riches, in
some cases insecurely guarded, in all temptingly displayed, is it any
wonder, then, that this city should always have proved the paradise of
thieves? The fact of its being the chief city of the New World, alone
caused it to be the principal magnet of attraction for all the expert
criminals of the Old World, in addition to those who were "to the manner
born."

What trouble they proved to the police of some years ago, and the
frequency with which crimes of every kind were committed, is best
evidenced by referring to the records of that time, when jails and
prisons were crowded and courts and judges were kept busy trying
offenders against the laws, while the entire police and detective force
was unable and inadequate to successfully reduce the occurrence of the
one or diminish the number of the other. It was at that time
appropriately styled the "Thieves' Paradise," for even after some daring
and expert felon had been captured by the authorities and securely
lodged in jail, the meshes of the law, as it then existed, were so
large, and the manner of administering justice (?) so loose, that the
higher class of criminal, possessed of political influence, or, better
still, of money, invariably escaped the punishment his crime deserved.
The very police themselves were, in many cases, in league with the
thieves and shared in the "swag" of the successful burglar, expert
counterfeiter, adroit pickpocket, villainous sneak and panel thief, or
daring and accomplished forger; hence crime, from being in a measure
"protected," increased, criminals multiplied and prisons were made
necessarily larger.

But this was years ago, and under a far different police system than
that now in vogue, the merits and efficacy of which it will be both a
duty and a pleasure hereafter to fully mention. The collusion between
the police and the criminals, at the times of which we speak, became a
very serious matter, in which the public early began to exhibit its
temper. So late as the year 1850 it was an anxious question whether the
authorities or the lawless classes should secure the upper hand and
possess the city, and this condition of affairs, this triangular strife
of supposed law and order on one side, protection to law-breakers on the
other, and the protests of an indignant, outraged and long-suffering
people on the third, prevailed until the year that Bill Poole was
murdered by Lew Baker on Broadway, which notable event marked an epoch
in the city's history, and to some extent improved the then existing
state of affairs, as it occasioned the dispersal of a notorious gang of
swell roughs, whose power was felt in local politics, and directed the
attention of every lover of peace and justice to the enactment of better
laws and a sterner method of executing them.

About the year 1855, two classes of "toughs," or, as they were dubbed in
those days, "rowdies," appear to have had and maintained some control of
the city, overawing the regularly constituted authorities, intimidating
the police by their numbers, and carrying things with a high hand
generally. One class consisted of the individuals comprehended in the
title of "Bowery Boy"--a term which included that certain, or rather
uncertain, element of New Yorker residing in the streets running into
the Bowery and adjacent to it, below Canal street, and the other, a
rival gang, called "Dead Rabbits," which unsavory distinction was
adopted by an equally questionable portion of humanity dwelling in the
Fourth and Sixth wards and streets in the vicinity of Catherine and
Roosevelt. There were among these two gangs of the city's representative
"toughs," materials of a far different kind from the actual felon, but
who were none the less dangerous, and among them may be classed many
leaders of ward politics and volunteer fire companies, and from which
Lew Baker and his victim, Bill Poole, "The Paudeen," "Reddy, the
Blacksmith," and numerous others were afterwards developed; but they
were oftener far more guilty than the real criminals, for they aided and
abetted, and in cases of arrest befriended them, causing their
subsequent escape from the penalties justly due for their crimes.

As a type of the veritable "Bowery Boy" may be taken the leader of that
gang of notorious "toughs," one who, from his well-earned reputation as
a bar-room and street rough-and-tumble fighter, has become a historical
personage, under the sobriquet of "Mose." His faithful lieutenant,
"Syksey," of "hold de butt" fame, will not soon be forgotten either, as
both figured prominently in the terrible pitched battles the two rival
gangs frequently indulged in, to the terror and consternation of all New
York. Of the rival mob, known as "Dead Rabbits," Kit Burns, Tommy Hedden
and "Shang" Allen are names long to be remembered by the terror-stricken
citizens who lived in the days when the fights between these notorious
aspirants for pugilistic and bloody honors were often of the deadliest
and most sanguinary character, lasting for days at a time; when entire
streets were blockaded and barricaded, and the mobs were armed with
pistols and rifles. Even cannons were sometimes used, and the police,
even when aided by the military, were powerless to suppress these
battles until many were killed and wounded on both sides. In these
desperate conflicts it was no unusual sight to see women, side by side
with men, fighting as valiantly as their husbands, sons or fathers, and
the records of the courts and prisons of those days tell dreadful
stories of murders, robberies and other crimes done under cover of these
periodical street fights.

At this time the locality known as the "Five Points" was probably the
worst spot on the face of the civilized globe. In and around it
centered, perhaps, the most villainous and desperate set of savage human
beings ever known to the criminal annals of a great city. To pass
through it in daylight was attended by considerable danger, even when
accompanied by several officers of the law. Woe to the unfortunate
individual who chanced to stray into this neighborhood after dark. A
knock on the head, a quick rifling of pockets, a stab if the victim
breathed, a push down some dark cellar, were frequently the skeleton
outlines of many a dreadful tragedy, of which the victim was never
afterwards heard. The name "Five Points," was given to that particular
spot formed by the junction or crossing of Worth, Baxter and Park
streets, but nearly embraced all the neighborhood comprised in the
locality bounded by Centre, Chatham, Pearl and Canal streets in the
Sixth ward, and was frequently afterwards mentioned as the "Bloody
Sixth," from the many daily conflicts eventuating there.

The "Five Points," from being the hiding-place and residence of the most
bloodthirsty set of criminals, vagabonds and cut-throats, has, through
the influence of the Five Points Mission House and the gradual
encroachments of business houses, become quite respectable, and while
now sheltering a large number of the foreign element, has ceased, to a
great extent, to longer excite terror in the community. Still, it has
not entirely lost its former well-merited title of "Thieves' Nest." It
is comparatively a safe thoroughfare in daylight, and after dark, if one
is on constant guard, he may safely pass unharmed.

In the Fourth ward, just beyond the locality written about, was another
terrible rendezvous for an equally desperate set of men. It was known as
Slaughter-house Point, and a criminal here was, for a time, safe from
the police, as its many intricate streets and tumble-down houses offered
a safe hiding-place for every kind of outlaw, even up to very recent
years. Here the terrible garroter dwelt for a long time; aye, and
throve, too, until our criminal judges began sentencing every one of
them convicted before them to the extreme penalty of twenty years in
Sing Sing, which largely suppressed that class of criminals in this
city.

The methods of the garroter were quick, sure and silent. At
Slaughter-house Point and its environs many a returned East India sea
captain, whose vessel was moored to one of the docks at the foot of a
contiguous street, has either strayed or been beguiled into this
neighborhood, drugged and robbed. Others, whose business or chance
brought them within the reach of this set of desperadoes, have fared
similarly. Sad has been the fate of many an individual unfortunately
falling into the clutches of these murderous villains. A stealthy step,
an arm thrown under the chin of the unsuspecting victim, a bear-like
clasp, and total unconsciousness. To rifle the pockets of the unlucky
man--sometimes stripping him and throwing him off the dock--and escape
into one of the many dark and dismal passages abounding in the
neighborhood, was but a few minutes' work, and nothing remained to tell
how the drama, perhaps tragedy, was enacted.

Another class of dangerous criminals haunted the precincts of Water and
Cherry streets, and that immediate locality. They were all frequenters
of the well-known establishments presided over by such eminent lights of
the profession as Kit Burns, Jerry McAuley, Johnny Allen, etc., but all
three of whom afterwards forswore their evil ways and died in the odor
of piety.

These various gangs inhabiting the portions of the city already
indicated were eventually succeeded by others in widely separated
localities. The succeeding gangs were quite as numerous, but not quite
as ferocious or formidable, so far as numbers were concerned, but more
dangerous and daring individually; for while the former type lived in
communities by themselves, and dwelt in certain well-known streets and
houses, using their bloodthirsty propensities occasionally against
themselves in their street fights, the latter at all times waged an
indiscriminate and perpetual war on the respectable element of society.
To the latter and more modern gangs, which were really worse, so far as
the higher classes of crimes were concerned, belonged such men as
"Reddy, the Blacksmith," "Dutch Heinrich." Chauncey Johnson, "Johnny,
the Mick," and their favorite places were "Murderers' Row," and other
notorious localities on Broadway, Houston, Crosby and adjacent streets.

The war did much to bring these latter into prominence. They made money
when money was in the hands of every one, when bounty-jumpers were as
thick as berries on the bushes, and the leading streets of the city were
a blaze of light at night, from the myriads of colored lamps displayed
by the pretty waiter-girl saloons and other notorious and questionable
dives. When the war ceased these and kindred gangs of "toughs" were
again superseded by those at present to be found in various parts of the
metropolis, but which, thanks to an excellent system of police, are all
or nearly all under complete espionage of the local authorities.

It now becomes our duty, as faithful chroniclers, to point out the
localities at present occupied by that class of the population, and tell
the secret of their lives and how they exist. The region which most
engrosses the attention of the police is that conspicuously known as
"Mackerelville," which for some years past has borne rather an unsavory
reputation. While there are many deserving and worthy persons dwelling
in the locality, quite a different type of humanity also makes its home
there. The neighborhood in question is comprised in Eleventh, Twelfth
and Thirteenth streets, and First avenue, and Avenues A, B and C. It
harbors a wild gang of lawbreakers, ready and willing to commit any kind
of lawless act, in which the chances of escape are many and detection
slight. Notwithstanding the decimation of its ranks by frequent and
well-deserved trips to the penitentiary of its members, for every crime
from murder down, it appears to survive, to the terror of the
respectable poor living in the neighborhood and the constant dread of
the police officer. It is a locality and a gang much dreaded at night,
but not nearly so much now as formerly, for when a member commits a
crime of any importance now he is invariably ferreted out, arrested and
punished.

The Tenth Avenue gang is a chance affair, owing its existence to the
successful and bold express robbery occurring some years ago, but which
is still fresh in the minds of most people from the skillful manner in
which it was executed, and from the number of prominent rascals
participating in it. The robbery referred to, at the time of its
occurrence, was current talk, and continued a subject of conversation
for many weeks afterwards. A number of ingenious, daring and
highly-cultured train robbers, under the leadership of the notorious Ike
Marsh, among whom was one who has since attained celebrity as an actor,
boarded a train on the Hudson River Railroad, near Spuyten Duyvil, the
spot immortalized by Washington Irving, and, entering the express car,
bound and gagged the messenger in charge, threw the safe off and jumped
after it. The iron box contained a large amount of greenbacks and
government bonds, which the thieves succeeded in appropriating. Some of
these daring robbers were subsequently arrested and lodged in the White
Plains jail, but on the day set for the trial, the sheriff discovered
that his prisoners of the night before, whom he imagined quite secure,
had left, without waiting to say good-bye. Some friends and confederates
came to their assistance, released them and drove them down to the city,
from whence they finally reached our sister Kingdom, recently made
famous as the abode of the fashionable defaulter.

The successful perpetration of this bold robbery suggested to a number
of idle men the idea of robbing the freight cars as they remained
apparently unguarded on the tracks in the vicinity of the West Thirtieth
street station, and led to the formation of the notorious Tenth Avenue
gang. The cars arriving from the west and other points loaded with
valuable goods and merchandise, offered facilities of a most tempting
kind to the members of this gang, and large quantities nightly
disappeared until, week after week, the goods stolen aggregated
thousands of dollars loss to the railroad company. The proximity of the
river aided the operations of this gang very materially, for much of the
goods were spirited away with the assistance of the river thieves and
their boats, both sets of thieves acting, of course, in collusion.

It is a very difficult thing to map out just the precise localities
where criminals reside now, owing, in a great measure, to the efficiency
of the present police, who keep evil-doers under constant surveillance,
preventing them remaining long in any one place. Of course, such streets
as are contained in wards of the city where the poorest people dwell
will invariably have their quota of questionable characters; but the
days when gangs of roughs, "toughs" or thieves can flourish in one
particular section, it is to be hoped, are matters of the past.

It is a matter of surprise to other nations, and of congratulation to
ourselves, that at the present such crimes against persons and property
as burglary, pocket-picking and highway robbery are much rarer in
proportion than in any other cosmopolitan city in the world.



CHAPTER III.

STREET ARABS OF BOTH SEXES.

_The Pretty Flower and News Girls--The Young Wharf Rats and their
Eventful Lives--How they all Live, where they Come From, and where they
finally Finish their Career._

To the wealthy resident of Fifth avenue and other noted fashionable
thoroughfares, the incidents of actual every-day life that are here
revealed will read like a revelation. To the merchant and the business
man they may probably read like romance. To the thrifty mechanic,
however, who occupies a vastly different social sphere, who hurries to
his work in the morning, and with equal haste seeks to reach his home at
night, this chapter may, perhaps, cause a tear to glisten in his manly
eye when the facts, here written for the first time, meet his gaze, and,
may be, are associated with some young male or female relation or friend
who has "gone wrong." But to the officers of the Society for the
Suppression of Vice, and other kindred useful societies, newspaper men,
the police, and others whose daily vocations happen to keep them out
late o' nights, the truths here unfolded are of too frequent occurrence
and are too familiar sights to need any other corroborative evidence
than is supplied by their own experience and the exercise of their own
observation.

Youthful vice and depravity, of all grades, is, unfortunately, the
natural result of that civilization which finds its outgrowth in large
and necessarily closely-packed communities. Where ground is dear, poor
people must seek rooms in dwellings where the rent is cheap, and these
dwellings are, for the most part, erected in cheap neighborhoods--and
cheap neighborhoods mean questionable companionships and associations,
and bad associations beget a familiarity with immorality of all kinds.
No one can question the truth of this. For instance, the honest and
industrious mechanic, receiving fair wages for his work, must hire
lodgings or rooms in some tenement; he goes to work during the day,
leaving his wife, if he happens to have one, at home to perform those
hard household duties which fall to the lot of her class; the
children--and there are generally several, for one of the chief luxuries
within the reach of the poor is children--are allowed to take care of
themselves as best they can between times; they naturally go to the
streets to play; they have no gardens, with shady graveled walks running
between beds of bright flowers; no nursery, no governesses, no nurses
with French caps, and, shame be it said, hardly any public parks; there
are not even trees in this great city to cast a shade for these little
creatures in summer nor to help break the force of the wind in
winter--but they play in the streets just the same, and are under no
restraint whatever, and therein lies their temptation. What wonder that
they afterwards people the gilded palaces of vice "up-town," or fill the
prisons of the city and state?

They may be approached by any one, and they are led away by many.
Sometimes the ever-watchful and lynx-eyed Chinaman singles out some
pretty little girl, on the pretense that he has some curious things to
show her in his laundry. Sometimes an old, eminently respectable
gentleman (?) has a package of candy for the little girls. Sometimes,
again, bright-eyed young girls are attracted, like butterflies to bright
flowers, to the gaudy signs of the Bowery museums. Sometimes there are
other inducements, in the way of store windows, or a chance acquaintance
(and they are always around, too, these obliging acquaintances), and the
purchase of some trinkets, then a hotel, a room, and our little friend
has eaten of the apple. But this is premature.

The unconstrained freedom of the street, therefore, is undoubtedly one
great source of danger to the young but there are many others which, in
varying degrees, conspire to ensnare and corrupt them. So that the
wonder is that so many escape rather than that so many are
contaminated.

The manner in which poor people--the very poor--live in this city is, of
itself, fearfully demoralizing in its effects upon their children.
Oftener than otherwise, a family, in some cases six or seven in number,
will occupy but _two_ rooms; one, a kitchen, the other, a _sleeping_
apartment. In the latter room are sometimes the father, mother, one or
two daughters, say ten, twelve or fifteen years of age, and as many
sons, younger or older, as the case may be. Just think of it! think of
the tender age at which these children are familiarized with what should
be as a sealed book. Think of--what frequently happens--a drunken father
reeling to the marriage bed in such a room! Think of brothers and
sisters of such ages lying side by side, and think of the mistakes that
might occur when--which is possible--the whole family may have taken
liquor and the floor is one common bed. There are hundreds of families
living in this big, charitable city in this degrading manner. Is it any
surprise that children here are bad and criminally vicious at five years
of age and upwards?

It not infrequently happens that the parents of families so
circumstanced are sent to the "Island," in which case the children are
then, indeed, upon the streets. Yet they are so precocious and
resourceful that they generally are able to take care of themselves, and
so become flower girls, news girls, wharf rats, etc.

There are yet other causes which go to affect the lives of the children
of the poor. It sometimes happens that the happy and virtuous home of a
comparatively well-to-do mechanic is broken up by unforeseen
circumstances, against which no provident provision, except a life
insurance policy, could guard. The head of the family meets with some
serious accident, incapacitating him for labor, and straightway, instead
of being the breadwinner and family support, he becomes a care and a
burden. The poor wife is thrown upon her resources, and she naturally
invokes the assistance of her children in the desperate endeavor of
maintaining a roof over their heads. In this way the ranks of the flower
and news girls are frequently recruited.

Through the cursed effects of drink, the heads of many families are
frequently sent to the "Island" for from ten days to six months, and
when the sheltering arms of some beneficent society, or the kindly
offices of some good Samaritan, are not directed to the forlorn and
destitute condition of the children, the unfortunate young creatures are
forced upon the streets to beg, steal, sell papers, flowers, etc., and
also visit the offices of bankers and brokers, doing anything, in short,
to get the means to live. They live in the streets, sleep in hallways,
alleyways, anywhere, a prey to the first evil-disposed man that meets
them. It is a common sight to see children on the streets in all parts
of the metropolis--boys and girls--aged from five to fifteen years,
selling papers, shoplifting, stealing, and,--worse. Have they parents?
Who knows, who inquires, who cares? Some of them are very pretty girls,
too. All the worse for them.

The same causes which conspire to throw girls upon their own resources
to gain a livelihood, operate with the brothers; but the latter are more
fertile in means of accomplishing that end. Girls can only sell papers,
flowers or themselves, but boys can black boots, sell papers, run
errands, carry bundles, sweep out saloons, steal what is left around
loose everywhere, and gradually perfect themselves for a more advanced
stage and higher grade of crimes, finally developing into fully-fledged
and first-class criminals.

So much for the causes which help to create this class of street Arabs,
whom it is almost a labor of supererogation to describe, especially to
those who daily hear the familiar cries, "Telegram!" "News!" "Telegram!"
"New-es!" "Mail 'n' Express!" uttered chiefly by young girls, all over
the town. Pretty girls they are, too, many of them, with large, lustrous
eyes, long, well-oiled hair, nice shoes upon their feet, short dresses,
disclosing evidences of graceful forms, ruddy complexions, and armed
with many winsome little actions calculated to conciliate patronage.
They are to be seen on Park Row, the Bowery, Chatham street, around the
post-office, hotels, elevated railroad stations, the ferries leading to
Brooklyn, Jersey City and Staten Island--everywhere, in fact, where
there is a chance of disposing of the afternoon newspaper.

The larger number of these little girls emerge from their hiding-places
about eleven o'clock in the morning. Their hiding-places may have been a
hotel, an assignation house, their parents' homes, some hallway, the
News Girls' Lodging House, resorts in North William, Bayard, Hester, New
Bowery, or any other street in which cheap rooms can be obtained. It is
not to be presumed that all news-girls are bad; on the contrary, many
are very good, respectable little things, but a few only remain so, for
their associations are bad, and many men who purchase papers from them
are constantly tempting them, so that it is very difficult for any of
them to remain good for any length of time.

Be that as it may, however, the news girl in this case arrives down-town
about noon. She strolls down among the brokers and bankers, and in many
cases is winked at, conversed with and asked to visit different offices,
which invitation is generally accepted, for a little money is to be made
by the call, with which the afternoon papers are purchased. Sometimes
the selling of papers is merely a pretext under which a better
opportunity is afforded of conversing with men. The papers are hawked in
saloons, upon the streets, in cars, and other places. If any one should
chance to buy a paper and offers a nickel, the girl invariably has no
change; when the purchaser, nine times out of ten, tells her to keep the
change. They are extremely shrewd, smart, intelligent and wide awake.

Their papers all sold, about nine or ten o'clock at night they saunter
up Chatham street, the Bowery and other thoroughfares; or, if it is the
summer season, they will be found in the City Hall park, playing,
sitting on the benches, or accosting passing pedestrians. The Battery,
too, has its frequenters, and the piers and docks at night are crowded
with them. This life they pursue until they engage regularly in a life
of shame, by becoming regular boarders in some one of the many dives in
the cellars of Chatham street, the houses of prostitution in Forsyth,
Hester, Canal, Bayard and other streets. Or, again, they may be found
in the various pretty-waiter-girl saloons of the Bowery, or such
notorious resorts as Hilly McGlory's, Owney Geoghegan's, and so on. The
public parks, however, are favorite places, and they may be found even
in Union Square and Madison Square, and sometimes in Central Park. They
enjoy themselves, too, for they are often seen on picnics in summer and
at balls during the winter. They have their favorites among the opposite
sex, too, just as have more favored and aristocratic females. For the
love of one of these little girls--Mary Maguire--a member of the
notorious Mackerelville gang met a tragic end, at the hands of a jealous
rival in City Hall park, by being stabbed to death. Little Mary was only
fourteen years of age. She was afterwards sent to the House of the Good
Shepherd.

Newsboys are largely responsible for leading girls of this class into
the tempting paths of vice. In purchasing their papers at the newspaper
offices, generally in cellars, they are subjected to many indignities
and familiarities, which, at first resented, are gradually accepted as a
matter of course. Once the descent is begun, the journey is completed by
outsiders, until the girls become corrupt and unscrupulous, with a
knowledge of the ways of the world that would surprise many a matronly
head.

In many cases, girls of five and six years are sent out as decoys by the
larger ones to "rope in" customers; for detectives and agents of the
various societies, on the lookout for depraved girls, teach those young
Messalinas caution. When one of these smaller girls has secured a
customer she pilots the way to the place where the larger ones are to be
found. In one instance this was a cellar, under ground, not fifty feet
from the corner of Chatham and William streets; outwardly an oyster
saloon, but a door opened in a wooden partition, through which one
entered another room, and in which, at one time, there were actually no
less than nine small girls, ranging in age from ten to sixteen years.

There are a few places where these girls resort in the day-time and
remain all day, and where they are visited by regular frequenters of the
houses. Here, also, may be found those young girls who, leaving home in
the morning and telling their parents they are going to work, remain all
day; returning home again in the evening with, perhaps, a couple of
dollars in their pockets, and at the end of the week hand their parents
what the old people innocently suppose is the week's wages of their
daughters, honestly obtained.

There are old-time procuresses, who, having once been news-girls
themselves, know just how to proceed to capture recruits for Hester
street boarding-houses, and they obtain them, too, from the ranks
mentioned. Parents that drive their children in the streets to get
money, and beat them if they fail to fetch it home, are generally sure
to either make prostitutes of their little ones or have them run away
entirely, particularly when a tempting offer is made them by male or
female. There are thousands of men in this city, as well as there are in
London, who employ procuresses, whose efforts and operations,
unfortunately, are not confined to news-girls, but include the pretty
daughters of well-to-do mechanics and trades people.

Many of these girls become closely identified with the lives of
Chinamen, and it is astonishing how fond some of these girls become of
their almond-eyed protectors.

Should any observant individual pass through Elizabeth, Bleecker, Canal,
Hester, Bayard, Dover, Pell, Mott, Baxter, Rose, Chambers streets, and
the other localities mentioned, at night, he will see what becomes of
the pretty news-girls. But there are instances in which they have
obtained work in various factories and wholesale houses and remained
respectable.

Thus far, the news-girl. Of the pretty flower girl--she with the
engaging manner, and interesting face above a tray of flowers--not much
remains to be said, for she has almost become an institution of the
past. Thrown upon her own resources, from like causes affecting others
of her sex, she was once to be met with in the lobby of every theatre in
town, every resort where gentlemen were supposed to frequent,
club-houses, drinking saloons, omnibuses, cars, and the streets. Even
houses of ill fame found her gently and firmly looking for trade.
Wherever there was a chance to intercept a gentleman, there was she, and
her importunities to purchase were redoubled when a lady accompanied a
gentleman. They did a thriving business in the pretty-waiter-girl
saloons, for men could hardly escape them, and nearly all bought
bouquets for their favorites in those places.

It is safe to say that very few of the flower girls were virtuous. They
remained out until all hours of the night and plied a double trade,
selling both their flowers and themselves. There was one well-known
house in Thirteenth street which these little girls made a headquarters.
It was between Broadway and University place. The proprietress had no
other "ladies" but flower girls, as she found them more profitable,
charged them higher prices for accommodations, whether by the day or
week, and as but few places would assume the risk of harboring the
waifs, they were compelled to pay her extortionate rates.

Some time since a man could hardly pass along Fourteenth street or Union
Square, at night, without his being accosted by one of these girls, who,
instead of asking him to purchase flowers, would invariably remark,
"Give me a penny, mister?" by which term, afterwards, all these girls of
loose character were known to ply their trade. Many of these girls were
so exceedingly handsome as to be taken by gentlemen of means and well
cared for, and one instance is known where a flower girl married a very
wealthy man of middle age.

As a class, they were excessively immoral. They purchased their flowers,
out and out, from the florists and made handsome profits, amounting to
as much as two and three dollars a night when the weather was fine; but
their habits and immoralities became so patent that the societies put a
stop to their selling, by sending some to the House of the Good
Shepherd, and arresting others for soliciting and other unlawful acts;
so that to-day it is very much to be doubted if there are more than half
a dozen in the city.

"Wharf rats," street gamins, Arabs, and other euphonious terms are
applied to that class of boys, who, having no homes, make one for
themselves in the streets. They black boots--some of them--in the
day-time, sell newspapers in the afternoons, lie in wait for incoming
travelers from the trains to carry satchels, etc., and make a little
money from all sources to supply themselves with food and raiment. The
balance, if any is left, they spend in going to the gallery of some
theatre, visiting some museum, or adjourning to their favorite haunt--
which frequently is a low beer-dive in some obscure street, play pool or
cards or dice for drinks, and otherwise contrive to kill time, until
their "business" of the next day begins.

It used to be a familiar sight to see the saloons of Baxter, Mott and
Mulberry streets filled with these boys. It was only a few years ago
that they had their own theatre, yclept "The Grand Duke's Theatre," at
21 Baxter street, in the cellar under a stale beer dive, where really
clever performances were given of an imitative character, by a company
of boys; and which, by the way, was the only theatre which for years
defied the efforts of the authorities to collect the license. The
admission fee was ten cents, and curiosity seekers came from all parts
of the city to witness the really laughable and, in many cases,
meritorious character-sketches given within its damp walls. It was
subsequently broken up by the police.

Boys and girls appear to be alike in one respect--the streets of the
city are full of them at all hours of the day and night. The water,
however, would appear to act like a magnet upon the needle, having
peculiar attractions for them at all times, and to which vicinity, at
night in summer, they naturally gravitate. On the piers which jut out
into the rivers on all sides of the city, any one can see troupes of
gamins every warm, pleasant day. Some are fishing, others are pitching
pennies, others, again, playing various apparently harmless games, but
all with eyes for the main chance--an opportunity to steal anything
come-at-able. To the policeman who, from curiosity or to get a sniff of
sea breeze, chances to stroll upon the pier, he finds them all engaged
as described. Ships are unloading cargoes of assorted merchandise, which
is being placed upon the dock. Bags of coffee are in one place, chests
of tea in another, hogsheads of molasses and sugar, and various other
kinds of goods are distributed all over the place. Some boys are playing
"tag," and they run around and over the bags of coffee, behind the
hogsheads of sugar, ostensibly in play, but all the while keeping a
sharp eye on the watchmen, police and people employed there. A favorable
chance occurring, a boy drops behind one of the bags of coffee and
quickly and expeditiously rips it open with a sharp knife and bounds
away. The coffee thus loosened freely discharges itself upon the dock in
a little heap. In like manner a knot in the wood forming a head in a
barrel of sugar is knocked out, leaving a round hole, into which the
Arab thrusts a long, thin stick and, dexterously withdrawing it,
contrives to pull out considerable sugar. The bung of a molasses barrel
is burst in, a stick inserted, which, when pulled out, has some of the
contents thickly adhering to it. Thus much accomplished, every boy
provides himself with an old tomato or other can, and it would surprise
anyone not familiar with these things, to see how rapidly and
ingeniously these dock rats will fill those cans to overflowing with all
kinds of goods, from the openings thus made in the vessel containing
them.

These same tactics are employed by the street gamins in front of those
grocery stores where barrels, boxes and cases are placed upon the
sidewalk, and it is almost an impossibility for any one but the sharpest
to catch them thus stealing, so clever and adroit are they. One of their
very neat tricks is for a boy to place himself in view of the proprietor
of a store, who, knowing the youth is after some of the goods outside,
keeps a sharp eye on him. Suddenly, the boy makes a dash for some
oranges and flies up the street, the proprietor in full chase. At the
distance of, perhaps, half a block, the boy stops, allowing himself to
be caught, when the irate shopkeeper roughly clutches him and, looking
for the oranges stolen, is considerably chopfallen to find the boy has
taken nothing. Upon being asked why he run away, the boy says he
"thought he saw his brother and ran after him to speak to him." It seems
plain enough, and the grocery man returns to find that, in his absence,
twenty boys have plenteously helped themselves to everything within
reach. It is now too late to re-catch the boy that he first ran after.
It is a piece of strategic cleverness that rarely fails to succeed; and
if any one underrates the _finesse_ of the street Arabs of New York, he
will stand a very good chance some day of being a sufferer from them.

The operations of these embryo professionals are not confined to any one
kind of theft. They are adepts in all the ways of petty thieving.
Sometimes, a drunken sailor or 'longshoreman will stagger out of a
saloon and, unsteadily navigating along, will fall, or seat himself on a
door-step and, either falling asleep or into a semi-conscious condition,
will be surrounded by a gang of these playful boys, while one, the
leader, probably, will sneak up to the unlucky man and relieve him of
all he has about him, when they will scamper off.

These boys are often taken in hand by professional burglars, who use
them to keep watch, posting one of them as a sentry, perhaps employing
another to squeeze through some small aperture and open the doors of the
place to be burglarized, for the fact of their whole lives being passed
upon the streets their education is of that character which tends to
make them quick, bright, smart and skillful in all things, and, when
added to natural gifts of intelligence, render them very dangerous as
thieves or thieves' assistants. Readers of Charles Dickens will recall,
in this connection, the use to which burglar Bill Sykes applied little
Oliver Twist.

Many of these gamins have houses under the docks. The floor is laid just
above high-water mark. It is boarded in on all sides with lumber stolen,
day by day, from adjoining yards. Here they pass their leisure time in
comparative safety and quiet, and considerable comfort, as the whole
gang contribute to furnishing up the club-rooms. Stoves, chairs, tables,
benches, and other evidences of taste, are to be found there, and an
occasional cheap picture, circus bill or flash theatrical poster
ornaments the sides of this not uncomfortable place. Here the members
play cards, dice and other games, drink beer, smoke and otherwise enjoy
themselves. These houses sometimes exist for years unknown to the
police, and many a boy, detected in the commission of some petty theft,
has run along the pier, pursued by the policeman, when, suddenly
scrambling over the pier, he has disappeared, leaving the wondering
officer to guess what had become of him.

In some portions of the town, garrets are made use of as club-rooms and
places of rendezvous, and are exceedingly well arranged. These places
are used as storehouses, too, for the safe-keeping of stolen articles of
all kinds.

An instance of the daring and ingenuity of these "wharf rats," as well
as an illustration of some of their methods, is furnished in the
following: Procuring a boat--loaned frequently with the owner's
knowledge of what it is to be used for--these boys will row, with
muffled oars, under some dock having valuable goods upon it. The only
sound that disturbs the silence of the night is the dull splash, splash
and swish of the waters against the dock or some vessel moored there.
Everything is quiet, while the night watchman slowly paces along his
narrow beat, at the one end of which are the dancing, moonlit waters and
at the other the sleeping city. A favorable chance offering, the heads
of the boys appear above the string-piece, and a bag or sack is
hurriedly lowered into the boat. Other goods follow until, sufficient
having been taken, the boat moves off as silently as it appeared.
Sometimes, a boat is rowed under the pier where barrels of whisky or
other spirits lie, and, by inserting an auger between the planks of the
dock, a hole is bored in the barrel, when the liquor which escapes is
guided into a barrel. In this way many goods are stolen right under the
noses, apparently, of the watchmen and guardians.

Sometimes these wharf rats are captured in the act, when fierce fights
ensue. They know there is no escaping punishment, and they fight
desperately. Having no homes or parents there is no escape for them,
for, even if not convicted of the theft, they must go to the House of
Refuge.

After all, but little blame can be attached to these unfortunate boys
and girls, for they are just precisely what their associations have made
them. They learn to swear, smoke, chew, steal, before they can walk, and
grow up to be what they are. The House of Refuge only serves to confirm
them in their viciousness and evil propensities by herding them with
other criminals; so that, by the time they are released they are ready
and willing to take greater chances in securing larger results, when the
end invariably is the State prison--probably for life.



CHAPTER IV.

STORE GIRLS.

_Their Fascinations, Foibles and Temptations._

Since the time when Mary Rogers, the beautiful cigar girl of Broadway,
met her sad fate over in Hoboken, the pretty shop girls of New York have
contributed more than their full quota to the city's contemporaneous
history. They have figured in connection with many of its social
romances and domestic infelicities, as well as with its scandals and its
crimes--secret and revealed. In Gotham's grave and gay aspects--in its
comedy, its tragedy, and its melo-drama, we are perpetually running
across the charming face, graceful form, and easy, gay demeanor of the
pretty shop girl.

As a rule, the temptress of the store is pretty--frequently quite
beautiful, and almost invariably handsomer than those fortunate
daughters of Mammon whom she is called upon to serve, and who often
treat her with such top-lofty hauteur. And how stylish she frequently
is, and how difficult it is to describe this incommunicable quality of
_style_, which those artful setters of baits--the dealers in ready-made
fabrics--understand so well! Who has not noticed how the tall,
slender-framed girls, with their graceful movements and flexible spines,
their long, smooth throats and curved waists, are drafted off to stand
as veritable decoy-ducks? Who has not observed the grace and ease with
which they wear risky patterns and unusual _façons_, and so delude the
arrogant but ungraceful customer into buying, in the belief that she
will look just as well as the pretty model? The average well-to-do
woman, with some pretensions to good looks, sees a beautiful young
creature with Junoesque air parading before her in bold
color-combinations and doubtful harmonies, and she imagines she can
venture the same thing with like effect. But alas! what a travesty the
experiment frequently is!

Many of the New Yorkers who read this page will recall the Original
Dollar Store on Broadway and its fascinating young salesladies. Some of
these were perfect sirens with their loveliness of feature and delicacy
of color; their luxuriant hair, made amenable to the discipline of the
prevailing fashion; the gown stylish and perfect, and frequently not at
all reticent in its revelations of form; the countenance calm, watchful
and intelligent--frequently mischievous; the walk something akin to the
serene consciousness of power which we are told that Phryne exemplified
before her judges, and accompanied with that grace which is the
birthright of beauty in every age and under any circumstances.

For many reasons the tone of morality, in some instances, among store
girls in this city is not high. A variety of obvious causes contribute
to this result, among which may be mentioned their generally poor
salaries: their natural levity, and the example of their companions;
their love of dress and display, coupled with a natural desire for
masculine attentions; long hours in close, impure air; sensational
literature; frequent absence of healthy or adequate home influence; and
the many temptations which beset an attractive girl in such a position.

Many of them enter stores as mere children in the capacity of cash
girls. They are the children of poor parents, and as they grow up to
young maidenhood, they acquire a sort of superficial polish in the
store, and are brightened without being educated. Some grow up and take
their places as full-blown salesladies, and begin to sigh for the gayety
of the streets, for freedom from restraint, and for amusements that are
not within their reach. Naturally _au fait_ in style, with taste and
clever fingers, they dress in an attractive manner, with the hope of
beguiling the ideal hero they have constructed from the pages of the
trashy story paper. It is a sort of voluntary species of sacrifice on
their part--a kind of suicidal decking with flowers, and making
preparation for immolation. Full of pernicious sentimentality, they are
open to the first promising flirtation. They see elegantly-dressed and
diamonded ladies, and their imagination is fed from the fountains of
vulgar literature until they dream that they, too, are destined to be
won by some splendid cavalier of fabulous wealth. Learning from the
wishy-washy literature that their face is their fortune, and so, reading
what happened to others, and how perfectly lovely and romantic it all
was, they are ready for the wiles of the first gay deceiver. Waiting in
vain for their god-like ideal, they are finally content to look a little
lower, and favorably receive the immodest addresses of some clerk in
their own store, or succeed in making a street "mash."

Sometimes the pretty girl rushes impetuously into marriage, repents and
separates from her husband. She is still good looking, and her marital
experience has given her an air of easy assurance, and she readily finds
employment as a saleslady. Her influence afterwards, among girls
comparatively innocent and without her experience, cannot but be
pernicious, and at the same time must exert a certain formative and
shaping process in determing the peculiar character of the whole class
of girls in the store.

Very frequently she does not attain even to the questionable dignity of
a marriage ceremony. Flattered by the attentions of some swell, the
pretty shop girl will be induced to accompany him to the theatre and to
supper in a concert saloon. Her vanity is kindled by his appearance. She
rejoices in the style of his clothes, in the magnificence of his
jewelry, and she thinks her mission in life is to walk beside the
splendid swell, amid rose gardens, theatres and supper rooms, for the
remainder of her life. Finally she yields to his soft solicitations, and
her prospects are forever blighted. She becomes an incorrigible flirt,
meets her "fellows" on the corner of the street near the store, spends a
certain number of evenings and nights with them at hotels where no
course of catechism takes place at the clerk's desk. She goes to Coney
Island or local beer gardens on Sundays, manifesting a vivid animal
pleasure in her enjoyment, with little manifestation of gratitude
towards her escort who is supplying the money.

Sometimes, again, an exceptionally pretty girl will fall a victim to the
proprietor, the manager or some of the superintendents of the store; and
there have been cases of this kind heard in the courts, in one of which
the proprietor not only seduced the girl, but married her, afterwards
obtaining a divorce because of her incontinence. Sometimes the lapse of
these girls from the paths of virtue is accompanied with exceptional
hardships. The young lady is beautiful as well as good perhaps, and the
pride of her idolizing parents, who have taught her that she is fit to
be the wife of a duke. She attracts the eye of a man about town, and the
process of courting and flattery--of sapping and mining--begins, with
the result that he has had in view since the inception of the
acquaintance. He is not a bad fellow as the world goes; but providence
and society have made it very hard for single men to show kindness to
single women in any way but one. He is sorry at her situation; but she
is hardly the person for him to marry, even with her blooming,
flower-like face. In such a situation--and such situations are far too
common with the class--Byron's lines, slightly altered, seem peculiarly
applicable to the pretty shop girl:


"'Twas thine own beauty gave the fatal blow,
And help'd to plant the wound that laid thee low."


Sometimes it happens that the pretty girl, wearied of waiting for her
knightly deliverer, comes across the advertisement of a gifted
seeress--the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter, perchance, or "the
only English prophetess who has the genuine Roman and Arabian talismans
for love, good luck, and all business affairs;" or the wonderful
clairvoyant who can be "consulted on absent friends, love, courtship and
marriage." Not infrequently she falls into the toils of those
advertising frauds, who frequently combine the vile trade of procuress
with the ostensible trade of fortune-telling. When the girl is drawn to
this den, the trump card offered her is, of course, the young gentleman,
rich as Crœsus and handsome as Adonis, with whom she is to fall in
love. He is generally described with considerable minuteness, and the
time and place of meeting foretold. This may be fictitious, and it is
fortunate for her if it is so. Rut the seeress too frequently needs no
powers of clairvoyance or ratiocination to make these disclosures, for
some _roue_; who has exhausted the ordinary rounds of dissipation, or
some fast young fellow seeking a change, has made a bargain with the
prophetess for a new and innocent victim--the amount of the fee to
depend on the means and liberality of the libertine and the
attractiveness of the victim. The vain, silly girl is dazzled with the
wily woman's story, and readily promises to call again. At her next
visit the man inspects her from some place of concealment, and if she
meets his views, either an introduction takes place or a rendezvous is
perfected. Thus the acquaintance begins, with the result which every
intelligent reader can see for himself. Sometimes the picture of the
scamp is shown, but in every case there is but one end in view on the
part of the seeress, and that end is almost invariably achieved. The
girl thus becomes clandestinely "gay," and spreads the influence of her
evil example and impure associations among her shopmates. Pope has told
us in four immortal lines the effects of a constant contact with vice.
In the second epistle of his Essay on Man, he writes:


"Vice is a monster of so frightful mien,
As, to be hated, needs but to be seen;
Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,
We first endure, then pity, then embrace."


In the case of the class of young girls under consideration this truth
is peculiarly applicable. In consequence of their associations they hear
and see things whose influence is almost wholly bad and pernicious.
Those disguised advertisements in the newspapers called "Personals" are
of this evil character. To young girls, with minds imperfectly
disciplined, there is a fatal fascination in the mystery of
surreptitious appointments and meetings. Mystery is so suggestive and
romantic, and the young girl who, from piqued curiosity, is tempted to
dally with a "Matrimonial" or a "Personal," is an object of
commiseration. From dallying and reading and wondering, the step is easy
to answer such notices. She believes that she has a chance of getting a
rich and handsome husband, who will take her to Europe, and, in other
respects, make her life a sort of earthly paradise. The men who write
such advertisements know this besetting female weakness and bait their
trap accordingly. And so a young girl, too frequently, walks alone and
unadvised into the meshes of an acquaintanceship which leads to her
ruin. It is perhaps as useless to ask the men who are base enough to
conceive these things to refrain from publishing them, as it is to urge
the mercenary proprietors of certain newspapers to refrain from printing
them in their columns. Yet it must be perfectly clear to all
right-thinking minds, that it is in vain for parents to warn, parsons to
preach, friends to advise, for the good to deplore, and the ignorant to
wonder, at the increasing deterioration of our metropolitan morals,
while these tempting lures to feminine destruction are so alluringly
displayed.

It would be doing very imperfect justice to this theme did we fail to
record our conviction that some of the salesladies and shop girls of the
city are thoroughly good, virtuous, honest and respectable. Many of
them, amid unhealthy influences and corroding associations, preserve the
white flower of a blameless life, and become the honored wives of
respectable citizens. But these are a small minority. At the same time
it is useless to disguise the fact that there are others whose character
needs stronger colors for proper delineation than have hitherto been
employed. There are those among pretty shop girls who simply give up
their leisure time to surreptitious appointments. This is the worst and
most dangerous form in which this prevalent vice stalks abroad, and it
more clearly stamps the character of a community than does its more open
and brazen manifestations. Many causes may lead to a woman's becoming a
professional harlot, but if a girl "goes wrong" without any very cogent
reason for so doing, there must be something radically unsound in her
composition and inherently bad in her nature to lead her to abandon her
person to the other sex, who are at all times ready to take advantage of
a woman's weakness and a woman's love. Seduction and clandestine
prostitution have made enormous strides in New York, and especially
among the young women and girls connected with stores, within the last
decade.

Not long ago a woman, who then occupied a prominent position in a Sixth
avenue store, was met up-town in the evening. She is very good
looking--strong and lithe and tall, with a cloud of handsome hair that
glistens like bronze; large dreamy eyes that flash and scintillate
witchingly; a handsome, pouting, ruddy mouth; while her neck, white and
statuesque, crowns the full bosom of a goddess. She said that she came
out evenings occasionally to make money, not for the purpose of
subsistence, but to meet debts that her extravagance had caused her to
contract. She said in substance: "You see my appetite is fastidious, and
I like good eating and drinking. I have the most expensive suppers
sometimes. I am engaged to be married to a young fellow who works on a
daily newspaper and who is busy at night. We shall be married some day,
I suppose. He does, not suspect me to be 'fast,' and you don't suppose I
am going to take the trouble to undeceive him. This is not a frequent
practice of mine; I only come out when I want money, and I always have
an appointment before I come out. I always dress well of course, and can
pick up a gentleman anywhere when I like. Yes, I know I have good feet,
and I know how to use them. I have hooked many a fifty dollars by
showing a couple of inches of my ankle. Of course, I hate being in the
store, but my fellow is rather jealous, and I keep going there as a
blind. Will I reform when I am married? Perhaps so--if he gives me heaps
of money. I am no worse than thousands of girls, single and married, who
put on airs of purity and church-going. I know plenty of ladies who pay
five hundred dollars at the store for silks and finery, which they
persuade their husbands they bought for one-fourth of the price. And,
for my part, I am going to eat well, dress well, and enjoy myself as
long as ever I can get the money, by hook or by crook."


CHAPTER V.

THE PRETTY WAITER GIRL.

_Concert Saloons and how they are Managed--How the Pretty Waitresses
Live and upon Whom, and how the Unwary are Fleeced and Beguiled--A
Midnight Visit to one of the Dives._

Readers of the works of Le Sage will recall the polite devil which the
ingenious novelist releases from his captivity in a vial, for the
purpose of disclosing to the world the true inwardness of society in
Spain. Something of the role of this communicative imp we purpose to
enact in this chapter, the subject matter of which, we may safely
venture to assert, is new to at least nine-tenths of the residents of
this great city. And if people, to the manner born, are unacquainted
with the form and manifestations of this particular phase of crime, how
much more ignorant must be those casual visitors, who only, at long
intervals, are called by business, or impelled by anticipations of
pleasure, to visit the Empire City?

The mode of life of the merchant or business man does not bring him in
contact with crime or the haunts of criminals. He may pass down Sixth
avenue, or Third avenue and the Bowery, on the Elevated railroad; or
through Greene, Wooster, and Bleecker streets, the Bowery, Fourth
avenue, Forsythe, Canal, Thirty-fourth, Houston, Twenty-third and
Chatham streets, and other thoroughfares, in a street car, knowing
nothing about the inmates of the houses lining either side of those same
streets, or their manner of life, or anything about those inhabiting the
basement beneath. It is only when the startling head-lines in his
favorite morning paper call his attention to some frightful crime
committed, that he learns either of its character, or location, or the
causes which produced it. To this lack of knowledge on the part of the
respectable portion of the community of the location of questionable
places and the haunts of felons, is to be attributed many of the
robberies which, from time to time, are chronicled in the newspapers. In
the case of "the stranger within our gates" the danger of straying into
the sloughs of vice and consequent victimization, is of course greatly
increased. And just here it is worthy of remark that there appears to be
some mysterious fatality by which strangers, greenhorns and "innocents,"
generally, contrive to wander by unerring though devious ways, straight
into the talons of vigilant night-hawks.

Concert saloons and pretty waiter girls are treacherous things to meddle
with. Neither can be depended upon and generally both have unsavory
reputations. The only thing pretty about the girls is a pretty bad
record.

During the war for the Union, when enlistments for the army were lively,
and bounty jumpers flourished, and money was nearly as plentiful as
salt, concert saloon proprietors made enormous fortunes. They were then
a new sensation in this country; indeed, it may be said the war brought
them into being. Broadway, from Fourteenth street to the Battery was
literally lined on both sides with them, and when at night the lamps in
front of these places were lighted, it rendered the street almost as
bright as day. Then, as now, they were principally confined to the
basements or cellars of buildings, but while some of them were known to
be the rendezvous of thieves and other criminals, there were a few which
enjoyed a better reputation, and were frequented by people of
comparative respectability.

The pretty waiter girl, of course, was the principal magnet used to draw
customers to these saloons. She was and is to-day, in fact, the only
attraction. Music of a coarse description is used to attract the
passer-by, who, glancing at the place from whence it proceeds, sees
flaring lights, gaudy and brilliant signs--generally the figure of some
female in tights--and is allured in by the unusual appearance, and the
picture his imagination forms of a jolly time to be had within. Still,
the girl is the feature. It is a safe conclusion, that no waiter girl in
a concert saloon is virtuous, nor was there ever a really good girl
engaged in any such saloon. They are there to be bought by any one
fancying them, and therein lies the charm--if charm it can be called--of
these places. A stranger has nothing to do but walk down the steps,
enter the saloon, seat himself at a table, and he will immediately be
besieged by a crowd of girls--if that be what he is seeking. As the
stranger knows not the locality of other places of entertainment, he
accommodates himself to circumstances and takes what he sees before him.
Hence concert saloons thrive--but chiefly upon out-of-town
people--countrymen, in fact.

There are various causes which conspire to make pretty waiter girls.
They belong to three classes: First, the young girl who, but recently
fallen into sin, is placed there by "her friend," which appellation more
frequently than otherwise stands for "her seducer"; second, the young
female who naturally seeks a position as waitress, because it pays her
best, the proprietors of some saloons paying a weekly salary, in others
a percentage upon the drinks sold; and third, an older kind of female
who, having run the gauntlet of nearly all forms of feminine
degradation, and losing most of the charms belonging to her sex, sees a
chance, upon the percentages allowed by the "boss," and the overcharge
squeezed from frequenters, of making a living, with a prospect of once
in a while finding a man so drunk as not to have any choice in a
companion for the night. To this sort of individual, all females are
beautiful and the ancient and faded siren has as good a chance for
patronage as her younger and more favored rival. Hence the concert
saloon has its advantages for all kinds of women, as well as its uses
for all kinds of men. The price of drinks in these places varies
according to the tact of the pretty waiter girl, the sobriety of the
customer, or the "rules of the house." In all cases, however, drinks are
higher than at ordinary bars, for the musicians have to be paid, the
girls to receive a percentage, as well as the proprietor to reap his
harvest. Besides, the smiles of lovely women must be reckoned at
something. In the Chatham street and Bowery dives, the worst and
cheapest of liquors and beers are dispensed to customers. In many of
these concert saloons "private rooms" have been arranged, where anyone
so disposed may choose his female companion and retire to quaff a bottle
of wine (?) at five dollars a bottle--a customer who indulges in such a
luxury as wine being too important and consequential to associate with
the common visitors. Money here as elsewhere has its worshipers.

With this preface we shall now introduce the reader to the inside of one
of these concert saloons, and show him the pretty waiter girl as his
fancy pictures her, and as she really is: Chancing to walk along the
street, the ears are assailed by the clash of music emanating from some
basement, down perhaps a half a dozen steps. A number of red globes,
surrounding as many gas jets, serve to show the entrance, on either side
of which are full length paintings of women in short skirts. The door is
of green leather or oil-cloth. Pushing this open, we enter and seat
ourselves at one of the many round tables with which the place is
plentifully supplied. In a second--not longer--several girls are beside
us, and some sit down at our table. One--perhaps two at once--will
immediately ask if we are not going to treat, and, in response, drinks
are ordered. While one of the girls proceeds to supply the order, and
before the drinks are brought, we glance around the saloon. On one side
is the bar, at which several persons are standing, drinking with some of
the sweet-voiced houris. The barkeeper and proprietor, both in their
shirt sleeves, are behind it. On one side of the bar is a
slightly-raised platform, upon which is a piano-player, a violinist and
a shrill fifer. This is the music that charms and attracts. Around the
room are men of all kinds, sailors, laboring men, seedy individuals,
lovers, thieves, a few poor gamblers, fellows in hard luck and waiting
for "something to turn up." Sprinkled over the place, talking, laughing,
joking and striving to induce them to buy drinks, are a number of the
waiter girls. The floor is plentifully and generously covered with plain
sawdust, which answers the double purpose of effectually hiding the
large cracks, and of absorbing the expectorations and spilled beer. The
time is yet early and business is not very brisk, so we chat with the
prettiest and youngest of the girls for a second only, when we are again
importuned to drink by another of the fair ones, even before the first
round is brought, for it must be understood that only the girl ordering
the drinks gets any percentage. The drinks brought, the price is asked
and the amount paid, as follows: Two beers, two lemonades with a stick
in it for two girls, and two brandies for two others; total, one dollar
and forty cents. Now the girls don't drink brandy, they have a little
colored water, but they charge for brandy all the same, and pay the
proprietor in pasteboard tickets, which are supplied by him to the girls
in packages of five dollars worth and upwards. For that which she
charged one dollar and forty cents she pays in checks forty cents, thus
making a clear one dollar--five cents each for two beers, ten cents each
for lemonades, and five cents each for the colored water. The customer
pays ten cents for each glass of beer, twenty cents each for lemonade
and forty cents each for brandy. When the customer fails to call for
drinks fast enough to suit the girls, they will leave for some other
table where they may be more liberally patronized. It is getting later,
and as we are about to leave, an unsteady and heavy foot is heard
descending the steps outside, the doors are pushed violently open and a
big, burly man reels into the place. He is not entirely intoxicated, but
just enough so not to care for anything or anybody, and as he shuffles
independently along he is approached by a couple of girls, who, taking
an arm each, affectionately guide him to a chair. Being seated, he
smiles benignly upon his fair captors and asks them to drink. He is
evidently, from his dress, a successful butcher or saloon-keeper and has
plenty of money about him. The drinks brought, he takes a roll of money
from his pocket, and, thinking it is a five-dollar bill, gives a
fifty-dollar bill to the girl. She immediately leaves and in a few
seconds returns, giving him change for a five, saying quite pleasantly,
"Here's your change," and, as he is about to place it in his pocket,
asks him for "a quarter for luck." Several girls now gather around the
man, and by smiles, caresses, and other affectionate and flattering
demonstrations, finally persuade him into one of the private rooms, when
he is lost to our sight, but we distinctly hear the order, "bottle of
wine."

Soon another man enters very drunk, and, seating himself, is soon
similarly surrounded. In about a minute one of the girls leaves and
whispers to the proprietor, who, emerging from behind his rampart,
catches the unlucky visitor by the collar, and with the aid of a club
compels him to ascend the steps again to the street. The man not having
any money was an unwelcome guest, and they had no use for him.

Several others now enter, many of whom are personally known to the
girls, and mutual glances of recognition pass between them. These pass
on down to the further and privileged part of the place and are lost to
view. The den is now pretty full and business is brisk. The bartender
and proprietor are hurriedly passing out ordered drinks. The girls are
flying around, executing orders and pocketing change. The piano-player
bangs and thumps his hideously-wiry instrument. Glasses are clinking,
chairs and tables moving, and altogether there is a discordant tumult
well calculated to bewilder the coolest kind of a head.

Suddenly there is a scream--a piercing scream. Everybody starts and
looks towards the spot from whence it proceeded. One of the girls
quickly says, "Oh, it's nothing, Jimmy is only licking Hattie." The
lover has only beaten the poor creature who is supporting him, and,
strange as it may appear, she will think all the more of him for this
brutality. It is a pretty generally known fact, so far as females of
this class are concerned, that if a man occasionally severely beats his
mistress, she regards it as a proof that he entertains for her an ardent
affection. It is now getting late, and several of the girls are leaving
for home with their new-made male friends, and indications point towards
the place being closed for the night. The butcher comes forth from his
"private room," followed by a number of the girls who have been his
companions, and is led to the door and assisted out. We leave also, and
as we ascend the steps to the street we discover our butcher in the
hands of a policeman who is dragging him off to the station, where we
shall leave him for the night.

Now, most of these girls live in what are called furnished rooms, and it
is to those that they take their male friends when they leave the
saloon, stopping on the way, of course, for "supper." In some cases the
girls are panel thieves--but that is rare. In nearly all cases they have
lovers and generally provide home comforts for their masters, but in all
cases they are for hire. The nature of the business they follow demands
their attention at night, so that they sleep nearly all the day. The
great majority of them are veritable thieves. To drug a man who carries
money, or ply him with liquor until he is unconscious and then rob him
of all he has, is a very common proceeding, particularly when afterwards
he is put out on the street and left, when the chances are more than a
hundred to one that he neither recollects the place where he was nor the
girl who stole his money or his valuables. The proprietor, if he can,
divides the stolen amount with the girl--with the lover always. Many
instances are known of half-intoxicated men leaving valuables with the
bar-tender of some of these places, for supposed security, but when
requested to be returned were met with a denial that the valuables were
ever intrusted to him. With an air of insulted innocence the bartender
declares that he never saw the articles or the man before.

We shall now return to our butcher acquaintance, and follow the incident
to its ending. So we proceed to the Tombs the next morning, and there in
the pen with the other prisoners we find our man. Upon his arraignment
in court he tells the following story, which is the truth _verbatim_:


"I was wandering through Chatham street, when my attention became
attracted by a bevy of gaudily-dressed girls, who asked me to while away
my spare hours in a concert saloon. Smitten with the charms of the
tempters I was loth to part with them, and after some preliminary
conversation they enticed me to their lair. I had at this time about
five hundred dollars in my possession, and after some hours carousal,
they robbed and sent me away penniless. This is how it was done: I
entered the saloon and was taken to a private room, when I called for
some wine, of which we all partook. I may say here that the wine, so
called, was really nothing but cider. The girls sat on the sofa in this
room with me. We continued to drink and I was the recipient of more
caresses than I ever was before in my life. After the lapse of perhaps
three hours, some of the girls left me, and when I called for more wine,
I found that my money was gone. I was not so drunk at this time that I
could not understand that I had been robbed. I asked for the girls that
had left, and was told that they had gone home. I paid ninety dollars
for wine in this room, but they gave me sometimes cider and whisky
mixed, and then when I became really unconsciously intoxicated they put
me out, after having taken all my money from my clothes.

"I had made an arrangement to go home with two of the girls, but I
suppose when they saw that some of their number had taken all my money,
they left me. There was a sofa in this room and one of the girls
intimated to me that I had assaulted her and wanted some money. Another
said she could not afford to spend her time there unless she was paid.
Another induced me to give her money to buy a hat, and then when I lost
consciousness they robbed me of all I had, my watch and chain,
scarf-pin, ring and the remainder of my money. Many times during the
hours I was there, drinks and wine were brought in that I did not order,
but the girls would insist that I had ordered it. Once in a while the
'madame' of the place would call in the room, and coming up to me would
embrace me and tell me I was a jolly fellow. I could not now recognize
any of the girls and do not know which saloon I went into. I live in
this city."


As a matter of custom, detectives were placed upon the case after the
discharge of the prisoner, but that was the last ever heard of the
matter, as he was unable to identify any of the parties arrested.

The foregoing is only a sample of hundreds of similar cases constantly
taking place, in some of which the sufferer, if he is a stranger, and
has no friends, is oftentimes sent to the Island for ten days for being
drunk, while the pretty waiter girl who has drugged, robbed and finally
discarded him is never even arrested. There are many other cases,
however, in which the pretty waiter girl does not fare so well, and
after conviction has to serve out her time, thereby losing her lover and
her liberty.

What has been written applies more especially to the concert-saloon
waiter girl, and does not in the least pertain to that other class of
girls who are found in what are called dance houses, of which latter
there are not a few in this city. There are some very peculiar kinds of
females to be found in dance houses and not to be met with outside the
abodes of Terpsichore. The term, dance house, itself, is susceptible
of various interpretations. It may mean anything from Harry Hill's, at
Crosby and Houston streets, to an Italian gathering in Mott or Mulberry
street. But the performances carried on are precisely alike in all. In
the sporting dance house, a series of boxing matches, small theatrical
sketches may be acted, a song or two interspersed, and some piano
playing, winding up afterwards with a dance, in which all so inclined
may indulge, taking either the regular girls employed in the house as
partners, or others who have strayed in from the streets.

In the regular dance houses, such as the Haymarket on Sixth avenue,
"ladies" are admitted free, but "gentlemen" are charged twenty-five
cents admittance, and here regular dancing takes place, such as
quadrilles, waltzes, etc. In the French Madame's on Thirty-first street,
which is ostensibly a restaurant, the girls come in from the street, and
while sipping black coffee, are ready to accept an engagement to dance
the _cancan_, which is performed up-stairs in rooms paid for by those
desiring to see the questionable performance. It is not infrequently
danced by the females in an entirely nude state, with various other
concomitants not to be mentioned here, but of such a nature as to
horrify any but the most _blasé roué_. There is also the well-known
Billy McGlory's, in Hester street, near the Bowery, where general
dancing is indulged in until an early hour of the morning, when a
universal _cancan_ takes place upon the public floor, and where each
female boldly exposes just enough of her person to excite desire in the
beholder. These girls dance in ordinary street costumes, and in many
cases are paid by the proprietor for their services. It is a wild
debauch, and needs but to be seen once, to be ever afterward remembered
with disgust and loathing.

There are other places, not particularly dance houses nor yet
concert saloons, such as the Empire, Star and Garter, Gould's, etc.,
which are used as general places of resort by all classes of males and
Magdalenes. Here may be found the professional prize fighter, men about
town, gamblers, merchants, clerks, politicians, bankers, officials of
all kinds, and all classes of females, mistresses, _nymphs du pave_,
inmates of assignation houses, all intent on fun and dissipation, and a
desire to not only see the elephant, but pull it by the tail. Some of
the girls-haunting these places have been pretty waiter girls, but find
it more profitable to ply their trade as Cyprians. The bars are the
chief sources of profit in these as in kindred establishments. Hence
females are encouraged to visit them, for when they congregate in force
men will follow, and men who enter these places do so for the purpose of
finding congenial temporary mates and spending money for drinks.

Of the females who make these places their resort for the best part of
the night, and participate in the recklessness and debauchery that has
its ending only in an early death and the "Potter's Field," nothing
remains to be said, except that they are the same as thousands leading
similar lives in other cities of the world. The victims first of man's
perfidy, through a too-confiding reliance on his promises, they become
so afterwards as a matter of business and livelihood. Each has her
lover, of course--what woman of the town has not?--and if she should
happen to make a little money in the way of her questionable business,
she divides it with him, for generally he has his eyes upon her during
the entire course of the evening. Very few of them will leave any of
these places with strange men without first notifying their lovers of
where they are going and how long they will be away. In return for these
services the lover sees to her, helps her to customers, prevents her
being imposed upon by others of her sex when in the dance houses or
concert saloons, and occasionally acts as her _cavalier servante_ to
various places for pleasure. There are many girls to be seen in these
dance houses who are not over fifteen years of age--and they have
lovers, too. In Billy McGlory's, one night, a desperate fight took place
there over two rival claimants for the regard of a girl not yet entered
on her teens.

It is considered one of the sights of the great city to visit these
up-town resorts. Here all the young swells who desire to show country
cousins the city, commercial travelers, chaperoned by city salesmen of
various business houses, chorus girls from the theaters, and a mixed
company generally, are to be found sitting around the various tables,
drinking. The atmosphere is foggy with cigar smoke. The saloon is all
ablaze with light. On the stage is some fourth-rate performer rendering
a popular song. There is a long lunch counter, upon which is placed the
materials for manufacturing all kinds of sandwiches. There is the flower
girl, with her tray of fresh pansies and roses, casting a reflected
bloom upon her otherwise pale face. There are the negro waiters ready to
pounce upon the first glass that is half-emptied of its contents, so
that its owner seeing no glass before him feels it incumbent to order
again. There are crowds of females--girls and women in street
costumes--some smoking cigarettes sitting poised on men's knees; others
at the tables quaffing stimulants like their male companions. There are
voices loud, mingled with the constant succession of orders for drinks
shouted out unpleasantly by the waiters. There is the sound of clinking
and jingling of glasses, the constant rapping on tables, boisterous
laughter, an occasional oath, and once in a while an hysterical scream,
as some unfortunate woman succumbs to the influence of rum. Above all
this is heard at intervals, the sound of music, as it squeezes itself
through the thick and sticky air. Men and women are continuously going
and coming, and all this drags on until daylight appears, and the
persons in the place, from sheer fatigue and exhaustion, seek some place
to sleep until the next night, when the females go through the same
scenes, with a new lot of the same kind of men. That is the up-town
place as it is to-day. The stories one hears are the same as those told
two thousand years ago. Woman's fall, man's perfidy, woman's frailty,
man's inhumanity form the themes, with drunkeness, depravity and
debauchery thrown in parenthetically.

Most of the proprietors of these up-town resorts are very prosperous and
would not countenance theft of any kind, nor permit any woman guilty of
it to come into their saloons if they knew them to be thieves. Persons
and property are comparatively as safe here as they can reasonably be
expected to be; but there are lots of persons who visit these places who
are known to be professional thieves and pickpockets, and while
apparently in the place for amusement, are really watching for some
unfortunate who, under the influence of drink, attempts to find his way
home alone. Such an individual is followed, and by one pretext or
another is robbed. Danger lurks in all these places for the man who
drinks. The temperate man is safe almost anywhere, but the temperate man
is not in the habit of visiting such places as have been described,
except--once in a while.



CHAPTER VI.

SHOP-LIFTERS.

_Who they are and how they are made--Their Methods of Operating and upon
whom--The Fashionable Kleptomaniac and her opposite--The Modern Devices
of Female Thieves._

Many persons contend that certain kinds of criminals inherit their
law-breaking propensities. There are others, less charitably disposed,
perhaps, who strenuously insist that all criminals, without exception,
are simply born with a natural desire to be bad, and would not be
otherwise if they could; that they are prone and susceptible to the
worst influences because they incline that way. There are others, again,
who as strongly and vigorously urge that felons, of whatever grade,
class or character, are made so by circumstances, in which poverty,
idleness, inability to obtain work, temptation, and a thousand other
things, conspire to be either the direct or indirect causes of the
individual falling from the straight path and entering the crooked path
of crime. But, from whatever motive, by whatever temptation, whether
forced or led, certain it is that both male and female criminals have
some peculiar ideas of crime, entertained, perhaps, for reasons only
known to themselves. The chances of escape from detection are, no doubt,
seriously weighed and carefully considered by the persons bent upon
committing felony as a mode of livelihood, and, undoubtedly, some
special line is selected, as the particular branch of the profession to
be followed, in accordance with the physical and mental fitness of the
man or woman to succeed in it.

In other words, they gradually become "specialists," like other
professional persons in the respectable walks of life. It may be safely
said, however, that a thief in one thing is a thief in all things. He
would be callow, indeed, who would predicate that a professional burglar
would hesitate to commit highway robbery because his weapon was a jimmy,
or that a panel thief would turn up his nose at picking an inviting
pocket. It is all in the line of business, and neither professional
would lose caste. No doubt both men and women select the peculiar line
of crime for which they imagine they are physically and mentally best
adapted, and which, in each particular case, seems to offer the most
facilities and immunities. For these considerations, shop-lifting has
its obvious attractions and temptations for women.

For years past, the newspapers of our large cities almost daily have
chronicled the arrests of men and women, in stores, who have been caught
in the act of appropriating articles that have been temptingly displayed
on the counters. Yet it is very doubtful if there has yet appeared one
published account of the exact manner in which such goods have been
stolen, or an explanation given of the _finesse_ by which, in spite of
the Argus eyes of the watchers, clerks, visitors and customers, the
thief generally contrives to escape detection. It goes without saying
that there are adroit and dexterous shop-lifters of both sexes, while
the manner of conducting their operations is as diverse as can well be
conceived.

The annual thefts of goods from the retail stores of this city alone
aggregate an almost fabulous sum. It is very difficult to reach a
reliable approximation of the total amount thus stolen, because
store-keepers are naturally averse to having their losses from this
source known. As a prominent Sixth-avenue gentleman once remarked, "If I
should tell how much I annually lost through thieves, or suffered by
shop-lifters, I would have the entire band occasionally paying me
visits, thinking I had not provided myself with the usual safe-guards
against them." Nevertheless, it can be stated as an absolute fact that
not less than half a million dollars' worth of goods yearly disappear
from the stores through shop-lifters, embracing all kinds of articles,
from diamonds to penny fans.

The professional diamond and jewelry thief, however, is not to be
confounded with the shop-lifter, for the former employs quite a
different _modus operandi_ in capturing his illicit goods. The diamond
thief has been known to display the most fertile ingenuity in devising
schemes to rob the unwary though generally alert jeweler. An instance is
recorded of a thief entering a jewelry store, leaving his "pal" outside
to look in through the window, asking to see some diamond rings. While
pretending to examine them with severe criticism, and keeping the
salesman engaged, he cleverly attached one end of the string, held by
his confederate outside, to several of the most valuable, and quietly
dropped them at his feet. His "pal" then quietly pulled them along the
floor, out through the door, into the street and decamped. A search of
the thief who remained behind disclosed nothing and, as proof was thus
wanting, he had to be discharged.

The female shop-lifter is generally a woman well known to the police, as
her picture will, in nearly every case, be found in the Rogues' Gallery
at Police Headquarters. Usually, when she discovers that her actions are
watched and her movements shadowed, she quietly folds her tent and
proceeds to some other city where she is comparatively a stranger, and
where, unsuspected, she can ply her nefarious occupation with less risk
of detection and capture. She is often either the wife of a gambler,
professional burglar, forger or other criminal; or she may be the wife
of some reputable mechanic whose income is insufficient to supply her
with the furbelows her vanity craves; or, again, she is one of those
women who, having a natural aversion to labor, seek to support
themselves by petty thefts.

The fact is notorious, and easily demonstrated by the records of the
police courts, that "a shop-lifter once, a shop-lifter always." It is a
lamentable psychological idiosyncrasy that, despite the most earnest and
apparently sincere resolutions to lead an honest life, the female
shop-lifter, intent on making a legitimate purchase, is incapable of
withstanding the temptation offered by a display of fancy articles. She
will usually attempt to purloin some trinket or other and be caught
again. Perhaps the leniency with which crimes of this character have
been treated by the authorities has tended to increase the number of
persons engaged in committing them. For, heartless as man is at times,
he detests the idea of prosecuting a woman for the commission of a petty
theft, when the end, for her, means the penitentiary. In very many,
perhaps the majority of, cases he will be satisfied if his goods are
recovered, and permit the thief to go unpunished. This is very
frequently the case with that class of shop-lifters called, by courtesy,
the "kleptomaniac,"--the wealthy lady who steals what she could easily
have purchased. This is a phase of female character only accounted for
upon the Christian hypothesis that her thieving propensities are a
disease, while they are really a manifestation of the same base desires
which actuate less fortunate women who expiate their misdemeanor in the
penitentiary.

Most of the rich kleptomaniacs are well known to the various
store-keepers. A woman of this kind is watched from the moment she
enters an establishment until she leaves it. Usually, a trusty employee
or detective follows her from counter to counter, unobserved, noting all
the articles purloined. When the fair and aristocratic thief enters her
carriage and is driven to her palatial residence a bill of the goods so
"lifted," addressed to the husband, follows her and, in nearly every
case, is paid upon presentation and without questioning. Thus the
transaction ends, until another visit from the lady occasions another
bill. If the "blue-blooded" thief enters a store, however, where she is
not known, and to the proprietor of which her "disease" is unsuspected,
she often escapes with her "swag," like the unfortunate female who
adopts stealing as a means of subsistence. There should be no
distinction made between the wealthy and aristocratic female thief and
her less fortunate sister, for the crime is the same in both cases; the
only difference being that the latter cannot claim the possession of
riches in extenuation of her guilt.

The frequency with which thefts by shop-lifters occur, and the amount of
valuable goods stolen, has rendered store-keepers more suspicious and
cautious, probably, than any other class of men in the world. Nearly all
the large stores on Sixth avenue, Twenty-third street, Broadway,
Fourteenth street, and others, where ladies do most of their shopping,
and which are perfectly jammed with people nearly all day long, employ
either male or female detectives (and in some instances both are used),
who are constantly on the alert for the detection of female
shop-lifters. Such stores as McCreery's, Lord & Taylor's, O'Neill's,
Macy's, Simpson, Crawford & Simpson's, Hearn's, Altman's, Koch's,
Kaughran's, Ehrich's, Denning's, Stern's and Le Boutillier's are
examples. Some stores have had seats erected near the ceiling, where,
secreted among shawls and other pendant goods, the detectives are
securely hidden from the sight of all persons, and can thus watch the
actions of every woman making a purchase. Other detectives are posted at
the different entrances; while still others, having the appearance of
buyers, are constantly walking and circulating through the various
departments, on the lookout for thieves. During the holidays all these
precautions are doubled, and some officers are even posted on the
sidewalk, in front of the windows.

Before Christmas these stores carry enormous stocks of every kind of
fancy goods, and their lavish display, added to their crowded condition
at all times, renders theft easier than usual. So that, try as they may,
the proprietors cannot prevent a certain amount of thieving, and
thousands of dollars worth of goods are annually lost to each store by
the depredations of shop-lifters. Even the small shops of Third and
Eighth avenues, and Avenues A and B, are not free from the visits of
this class of thieves, and no stores are exempt from the imposition of
their tribute.

Before leaving home on a thieving excursion to the stores the female
shop-lifter carefully and systematically prepares her clothing, and sees
that it is in proper form and ready for business. This she does by first
putting on a corset made especially for the purpose, with broad, strong
bands which pass over the shoulders. Between her legs she arranges a
large bag or receptacle made of some extremely strong cloth, which is
suspended from the corset by a stout band running around the waist. Her
dress or frock covers this, and in front of the dress is an opening or
slit, nicely arranged in the folds so as not to be noticed, which leads
into the suspended bag. Over this, in winter, is worn a sealskin sacque,
cloth cloak, fur circular, or other garment, according to the means of
the wearer. In summer she wears a light shawl, which completely hides
the slit in the dress from view. She now takes her muff, which, to the
uninitiated eye, has nothing to distinguish it, outwardly, from
thousands of other muffs, but which is a master-piece of ingenious
contrivance. It is covered with any kind of fur, just as honest muffs
are, with the significant exception that, instead of being padded with
cotton, the fur rests upon a framework of wire. Between the fur covering
and the wire supporting frame, the space usually filled with cotton is
left vacant, thus providing accommodation for quite a stock of valuable
lace, articles of jewelry, gloves, or anything small and valuable. In
the bottom of the muff there is a small slide, on the inside, worked by
the hand of the wearer, who, after introducing the stolen article into
the muff, presses back this slide and drops the plunder into the cavity
between the frame and the fur.

With one of these muffs, shop-lifting is so easy as to be successfully
practiced by novices, as not one store-walker in a thousand would
suspect that his counters could be worked through a muff worn as these
are when in action. Thus equipped, the expert female shop-lifter sallies
out. Generally, she dresses rather expensively. Sometimes she uses a
carriage, but more frequently walks, stopping to gaze in the store
windows as she saunters along; and in no particular can she be
distinguished from others of her sex, except, perhaps, that in some
cases she is rather more richly and attractively clothed. Upon
selecting a store that suits her, she walks boldly in, going at once,
and without noticeable hesitation, to the lace or other department,
before the counter of which she seats herself, adroitly arranging her
dress and the slit. Asking the saleswoman to be shown some kinds of
lace, she examines it critically, and, laying it down upon the counter,
asks to see another kind, or some feathers, or something else, and so
contrives to have several articles just before her, one covering the
other, if possible. Having accumulated a number of articles upon the
counter in an eligible position, she points to some things high up on a
shelf behind the counter, thus getting the saleswoman's back turned
towards her for an instant, when, with soft dexterity, she conveys
anything that happens to be handily in the way through the slit in her
dress into the bag between her legs. The goods examined and priced, "not
suiting" her, and other customers coming up, she takes the opportunity
of moving to another counter, where the same tactics are repeated, and
so on, till she is satisfied with her haul or exhausted her stowage
capacity.

The muff is worked in this way: The operator rests her hand, with the
muff on it, on the goods which she proposes to sample, and a moment of
diverted attention on the part of the salesman or saleswoman is ample
for her to transfer to her ingenious warehouse such samples as she can
conveniently and quickly pick up with one hand. The movement of
concealing the stolen articles is instantaneously executed, and, however
well the muff may be stuffed, it cannot be bulged out to attract
attention. It is surprising to know the vast quantities of material
these bags and muffs will contain. At police headquarters, once, in
examining the contents of one of these bags, it was found to actually
hold a piece of satin, several cards of lace, a camel's-hair shawl, two
large china ornaments, a number of spools of silk, several elegant fans,
expensive ostrich plumes, and numberless smaller articles, feathers,
artificial flowers and some minor trinkets. Shop-lifters are the terror
of the shop-keepers, for the thefts embrace everything of convenient
character lying about. With one dexterous sweep they will frequently put
out of sight a dozen small articles.

All the articles stolen are carried home, the trade-marks upon them
destroyed, and then subsequently sold to some "fence" for about
one-third their value, to finally be resold again over the counter of
some other store in another city. It is seldom the female shop-lifter
uses a male confederate, but it frequently happens that they travel in
couples, one engaging the attention of the seller while the other fills
her bag or muff, taking turn about until both have stolen sufficient for
the day. Sometimes several trips are made to the same store, but
generally one is enough.

It often happens that store-keepers make mistakes and wrongfully accuse
respectable ladies of shop-lifting, and in such cases the over-zealous
vender suffers greatly, both in loss of custom and, oftentimes, in heavy
damages in a court of law. All stores are provided with what are called
examination rooms. When a person is suspected of being a thief, some of
the attaches of the store, or a detective, as the case may be, taps the
person lightly upon the shoulder, and politely invites them into this
examination room. Here their bundles and packages are searched and, if
warranted, their clothing is personally inspected by some female
attendant. Here is where some very curious scenes are enacted. The
professional thief will resort to tears, expostulations, explanations,
excuses of all kinds, finally begging to be allowed to depart. The
discovery of the bag or the muff, however, invariably settles the case
and the offender is marched off to jail.

In the case of a mistake, as stated, the store-keeper generally makes
the explanations, excuses, and so forth, supplementing them afterwards
by payment in a suit for damages.

Men shop-lifters--or, more properly, store thieves--pursue an entirely
different method, and confine their operations to a far different kind
of store. They go into the thieving business to make it pay, and are not
tempted by the display of merely pretty things. They prefer to operate
in the wholesale stores, and how ingeniously and systematically they
accomplish their object, under the very eyes of people, borders on the
marvelous.

It has often been said that the same amount of ingenuity, thought, care
and planning, which is bestowed by criminals upon the perpetration of
felony, if directed properly upon some legitimate business would render
them successful and rich. Undoubtedly, this is true. What inventive
faculties they must have to devise such a convenient contrivance as the
shop-lifter's muff, the various burglar's implements, the safe-robber's
tools, their delicate files, saws, etc., made from the best of steel,
and thousands of other things used in various ways, including the store
thief's satchel, must be manifest to the most ordinary comprehension.

As this latter article is used by the class of thief about to be spoken
of, a short description of it will not be amiss. To all outward
appearance it is a very unpretentious traveling-bag. It looks honest,
and does not differ, apparently, from any other bag of its kind. A
careful scrutiny hardly discloses any variation from the ordinary
valise; but, nevertheless, it has a false side, so ingeniously arranged
as to open and close noiselessly, being caught with a well-oiled spring
or fastening. The hinges of this false side are made on the iron which,
in ordinary satchels, contains the lock, and it opens upwards, when
placed in the usual manner upon a table, instead of downwards--just the
reverse of the honest one. It is the simplest thing in the world, then,
for an expert, carrying a valise of this description by the handle, to
place it over a piece of valuable cloth, open the slide, which works
with a spring; at the precise moment slip the goods in, and, taking his
valise by the handle, walk off undiscovered. To any one who may be
watching, the action of the thief is the most natural one in the world,
and if the goods themselves are not missed no one would ever suspect
they were in the valise carried by the gentleman who merely let it rest
for a second on the table. But it is captured all the same, although you
cannot see it. It has changed from one place to the other under the
magical "presto" of the thief.

The store thief saunters down-town to the dry goods district, watches
the wholesale houses, notes the interior of the stores, and carefully
makes his selection of some one suitable to his purpose. The next
morning, bright and early, he attires himself like a country
store-keeper, and, taking his satchel in his hand, he makes haste to
reach the store he intends to work, appearing to the quietly-observant
porter like an out-of-town buyer, just come off some early incoming
train. Asking the porter or clerk, who, probably, about this time, is
sweeping out, in expectation of the arrival of some of the salesmen or
proprietors, if Mr. Smith, a salesman, is in, he is informed that none
of the clerks or salesmen are down yet. Remarking in answer that he will
wait a moment or two, as he has just arrived from Schenectady, he deftly
places his gripsack upon the counter, over some valuable piece of goods,
and saunters around the store, coming back to where his valise is, when,
embracing a favorable opportunity, he slips the one, two or three pieces
of cloth through the false portion of the valise, and, taking it by the
handle in the usual careless manner, "guesses he will go to his hotel
and have a wash and return later," and leaves the store not only
undetected but entirely unsuspected. Very probably the theft remains
undiscovered until the next taking of stock, when it is impossible to
tell how the goods were lost, and in many cases some attache of the
store is discharged, never knowing for what sin of omission or
commission he was suspected. The success of this mode of theft is best
shown by the infrequency with which such cases are ever brought to light
or its perpetrator ever caught and arrested.



CHAPTER VII.

KLEPTOMANIA.

_Extraordinary Revelations--A Wealthy Kleptomaniac in the Toils of a
Black-mailing Detective._

In the issue of the New York _World_, bearing date Saturday, May 11,
1867, appeared a long article criticising, exposing, and severely
condemning the methods of the city's detective police. "A detective,"
said the writer, "is presumed to be alike active, capable and honest,
and were he such, he would be a public benefactor; but as he is too
often either ignorant, indolent, or positively dishonest, he becomes a
public pest. That detectives are in league with thieves; that they
associate with them publicly and privately on the most intimate terms;
that they occasionally 'put up' jobs with them by which the people are
alike fleeced and astonished; that although the perpetrators of great
robberies are generally known to them, the said perpetrators almost
invariably escape punishment; that far more attention is paid to the
sharing of the plunder, or the obtaining of a large percentage on the
amount of money recovered, than to the furtherance of the ends of
justice--all these statements are undeniably true."

Coming to specific charges, the writer said further on: "A handsome
female, a Broadway shop-lifter, recently testified that although she had
been desirous of reforming her life for a year past, she had been
totally prevented from so doing by the extortions of certain members of
the detective force, who threatened to reveal her former history unless
she 'came down handsomely,' and in order to 'come down,' as they styled
it, she was obliged to resort to her old disgraceful business."

The foregoing reference to a concurrent incident was presented to the
reader as coldly and curtly as a historic hailstone, striking him but to
glance off, and not like a real, breathing story, as it was, appealing
strongly to his heart. The following facts, which have been kept
inviolate in this office for nearly twenty years, and only brought to
light here because those most concerned have passed away, will show what
a stirring and pathetic narrative lay beneath the newspaper chronicler's
dry words.

Early in the spring of the year above named, an elderly gentleman of
undoubted respectability was shown into our private office. He was
exceedingly nervous and flurried, and his wan, colorless face looked
like an effaced page. In a tortuous, round-about way, he intimated that
his married daughter was in great trouble, in consequence of the
operation of a great weakness or defect in character which was
apparently hereditary. Her mother, his wife, he said, an excellent,
kind-hearted, conscientious, truthful woman, had occasionally manifested
the kleptomania impulse and had been detected. Happily the crime had
been committed under circumstances which obviated exposure; it had been
charitably overlooked upon his paying the bill for the purloined goods.
Up to the date of her marriage, he had not observed or otherwise become
cognizant of the development of the unfortunate trait in his only
daughter. Her husband was a noble-minded man who devotedly loved her,
and whom she idolized. Two years after her marriage she was caught
shop-lifting in an establishment where she was known. By a merciful
stroke of fortune, the information and the bill were sent to the father
instead of the husband. Great moral and religious influence had been
brought to bear on her, and for several years there was cause to believe
that she had overcome her weakness. Unfortunately there had been another
lapse into temptation. At present she was suffering the tortures of the
damned, but in what particular respect she had refused to explain to
him. "Father, find me an active, bold and energetic lawyer," she had
said in a paroxysm of tears, "and I will tell him what I _cannot_ tell
you."

The lady came to the office next morning, alone. She was pale as a lily,
and she bore on her forehead that shadow of melancholy which tells all
the world that a woman is suffering and unhappy. Her eyes were dark and
soft as the darkest and softest violet, and she was dressed with the
utmost simplicity. She was in a most desponding mood. She said nothing
was worth striving for any more. There was no good under the sun for
her. The splendor had gone from the grass--the glory from the flower.
Life, affection, family ties, love of good name--all these had ceased to
appeal to her.

In the _sanctum sanctorum_ of a criminal lawyer's office the extremes of
mental agony and poignant suffering are sometimes revealed in all their
phases; but it would be hard to imagine any one suffering more than this
fair, prepossessing woman, as she told how that sleepless and merciless
vulture of remorse, aided by the machinations of a licensed fiend in
human form, dogged her steps by day and made night horrible. The recital
recalled the picture suggested by the lines:


"Lean abstinence, pole grief and haggard care,
The dire attendants of forlorn despair."


With pale, quivering lips, she told the story of her humiliation.
Primarily, some two years after she became a happy wedded wife, she was
impelled by an irresistible impulse to take some article, almost
valueless in itself, from the counter of a dry-goods store. She had been
making several purchases and had plenty of money in her pocket at the
time. Afterwards, as opportunity offered, the wretched larceny was
repeated. Then came discovery, and her father's awakening to the
realization that his daughter was a thief. He summoned a minister and
some worthy Christian women--relatives of his--to talk to her and to
urge her to seek strength from that source where it is never withheld
when earnestly and penitently invoked. She became a church-member,
zealous and earnest in the path of righteousness, partaking regularly of
the Sacred Elements, visiting the sick, relieving the distressed, and
comforting the afflicted. To use Milton's language,


"Such a sacred and homefelt delight,
Such sober certainty of waking bliss,"


she had never felt till then. Under these happy conditions five years
passed, and then again during the holiday season, temptation assailed
her and was stronger than she. The person who discovered her theft was a
detective. He did not arrest and expose her. He did worse. He followed
her, obtained an interview and promised to keep her secret if she made
it worth his while. She willingly gave him a sum of money, and expected
to hear no more of him or of her transgression. But this newer edition
of Fagin, who was as vile as the sewers, and who lied like a prospectus,
dogged her movements and systematically shadowed her wherever she went,
again and again demanding money and threatening her with newspaper
publicity. She gave this rapacious vampire all the money she could
procure, even borrowing from her father. The pawnbrokers had in safe
keeping her diamonds, jewels, and some of her furs and laces. They had
been pledged to furnish this licensed black-mailer with money, and still
he was insatiate and unappeased. Her husband's suspicions meanwhile had
been aroused. She spent so much money in occult ways that he had been
impelled to ask her father what he thought L---- was doing with so much
money. Fettered thus, with the torments both of Prometheus and
Tantalus--the vulture gnawing at her vitals, and the lost joys mocking
her out of reach--she had at last in sheer desperation been driven to
request her father to procure her the assistance of a fearless lawyer.

It is not expedient to reveal the _modus operandi_ used in emancipating
this unfortunate lady from her worse than Egyptian bondage. But the
reader may rest assured that through the co-operation of the police
commissioners the shameless scoundrel was dismissed from the police
force. Afterwards, he served a term in a Western state prison, and up to
this hour has been heard no more of in New York.


CHAPTER VIII.

PANEL HOUSES AND PANEL THIEVES.

_The Inmates--The Victims--The Gains--Complete Exposure of the Manner of
Operations, and how Unsuspecting Persons are Robbed._

Some years since respectable New York was startled and horrified by the
recitals of criminal life, which, in the fulfillment of a disagreeable
public duty, the daily newspapers printed in their news columns. The
stirring appeal for the suppression of the evil then made by the press
to the moral sentiment of the community, was backed by the judiciary, by
the money and influence of wealthy and patriotic citizens, by the
various charitable organizations, and by the whole police force.
Consequently, the foul Augean stable of vice and iniquity, for the time
being, at least, was in a great degree cleansed and purified. The
leaders of that foul army of vicious men and women were gradually rooted
out and driven away from their noxious haunts. Some found a congenial
haven in the State prison, a few reformed, and many died in want. The
plague being temporarily stayed, and popular indignation a matter of
record, New York, as is its invariable custom, permitted its vigilance
to go quietly to sleep, with a fair prospect of it being rudely awakened
to find history repeating itself. That this awakening cannot safely be
much longer deferred, it is partly the mission of the present chapter to
show. For it is useless to deny that we have in this city to-day, a
condition of affairs very similar to that which aroused the indignation
and called for the severe repressional measures of our immediate
predecessors. Up-town, in many instances closely contiguous to the
dwellings of people of the highest respectability, there are dens as
vile and infamous as ever disgraced any civilized community. Hardly a
street, however apparently exclusive and fashionable, can boast that it
is free from gambling, prostitution or panel houses.

Some time since, a journalist connected with a prominent morning paper,
took great pains to collect statistics concerning houses of prostitution
in New York. The article in which the results of his investigation were
given, estimates that over $15,000,000 was invested in that business,
and that the yearly amount spent in those houses averaged over
$10,000,000. In this chapter, however, the reader's attention is more
particularly invited to the class of assignation and prostitution
bagnios, known as panel houses.

The name "panel house" was originally derived from a false impression
prevalent in the community, that the rooms occupied by the inmates were
fitted with sliding panels in the walls and partitions, through and by
means of which most of the robberies were committed. But, as will be
seen hereafter, the term is a misnomer, so far as the fact is concerned.
But they had to have some distinctive appellation, and "panel house" is
a convenient generic term.

The proprietors of panel houses, in years gone by, were nearly all
professional gamblers, a fact which is more or less true to-day, where
the real, genuine house of that character exists, but there are hundreds
of women who work the "panel game" upon their victims, who hire a simple
room in some furnished-room house. If detected the entire house has
conferred upon it the name of panel house, and is ever afterwards
described and known as such in police and court records.

The real, Simon-pure panel thief is generally a young and pretty female,
who has been initiated into the mysteries of the game by either a
gambler or a lover, and of whom she is the mistress. It is the
conception of a man's brain, needing the assistance of an attractive
woman to carry out the scheme, and was probably originally devised by
some broken-down gambler to secure enough funds wherewith to resume
play. No woman would ever have dreamt of practicing such an intricate
and bold robbery, for she could never have carried it out. There are
many women engaged in these robberies who are neither young nor
handsome, but they are adepts and make up in knowledge and experience
what they lack in charms; but the most successful are young and
attractive. They succeed better when they are winsome, for reasons which
require no explanation.

Strange as it may appear, there are instances on record in which some of
the professional females engaged in this panel game have preserved
intact their virtue, so far as men generally were concerned, and have
remained steadfast and true to their lovers, through all vicissitudes.
They have solicited and accompanied men to their rooms, yet still have
so contrived and maneuvered, as to have their male companion robbed
without indulging in any of the other apparently necessary concomitants
to the success of the undertaking. But these women are rare--very rare
indeed. The fact of their occasional existence merely proves that the
sole object of all women engaged in the nefarious game of panel thieving
is robbery--first, last and all the time.

From the well-known dislike of the victims of this game to making their
names and losses known by figuring prominently in a court of justice,
panel-house thieves escape the punishment they justly deserve and thrive
more successfully, perhaps, than other professional robbers. Besides,
the game is practiced more particularly upon the most respectable
element of the community. Men of families, strangers visiting the city,
men of advanced years, and even clergymen are sometimes caught in the
net. As may be imagined, people of this class prefer to lose their money
rather than have their names made public, and so long as such victims
are to be found, panel houses will thrive and thieves become rich.
Instances are on record where as much as eight thousand dollars have
been secured from a single victim, who, from his prominence in social
and business circles, allowed the matter to drop, although he was
acquainted with the thief.

A man and a woman are essential to the execution of the panel game. The
woman's part consists in "cruising," a term applied to walking the
streets to pick up men. The man has two parts to enact, as "runner" and
"robber." The first role consists in being on the street watching his
female decoy. If he sees a man partially under the influence of liquor,
he informs the decoy, who places herself in the way of the obfuscated
citizen. Or, in the event of the woman securing a customer herself, the
"runner" observes it, and when she and her new-found friend proceed
towards the house, the "runner" rapidly goes ahead and unobserved slips
in first to make arrangements for the second role in the drama, and
which in some cases has ended in a tragedy.

The foregoing more particularly concerns panel thieves, that is,
"couples" who adopt the business on their own account. There are regular
panel houses, by which is meant houses of ill-fame, with perhaps from
ten to twenty girl inmates, where nearly every room in the house is
perfectly arranged for systematically pursuing this kind of robbery, and
where the moment a girl retires to a room with a gentleman, the
proprietor is notified, and when the chance occurs, completely cleans
the unconscious victim of every cent he may have about him. These
houses, however, are not now as plentiful as they were immediately after
the close of the war. The victims of these houses were many, for
outwardly they did not differ from ordinary gilded palaces of sin, and,
being situated in streets well known to contain respectable seraglios,
were frequently visited in the orthodox way by gentlemen in search of
the "elephant."

The game, however, is played in precisely the same way in all cases,
whether by a "loving couple" on their own account or by one of the many
girls in a regular house instituted for the sole purpose. And this is
the way it is done: A pretty female, young, with entrancing eyes, an
elegant form, richly and fashionably attired, is noticed daintily
picking her steps on a street crossing. She is more frequently noticed
in the act of crossing a street, as it affords her an opportunity of
rendering herself still more attractive and seductive by practicing
those apparently aimless little feminine arts that prove so fascinating
to the coarser sex. The skirts are just lifted high enough to discover a
beautiful foot; perhaps a glimpse of an ankle bewitchingly smothered in
lace frills is revealed; while a warm scintillant glance of invitation
is thrown at the interested beholder, who, perhaps, follows and engages
her in conversation. More than likely he is agreeably surprised to find
how lady-like and attractive her manners are, and by his own suggestion
or her invitation he readily accompanies her to her home; not, however,
without being previously warned that she is married, that her husband is
very ugly and jealous, and a big, strong, quarrelsome fellow, to boot.

The room to which she conducts him is apparently an ordinary room,
furnished in an ordinary way. It is, however, usually a front room,
separated by folding doors from the room in the rear. It is in
connection with these folding doors that mystery and danger lurk. These
folding doors are a study. Some are so constructed that instead of
opening in the center, one of them opens upon hinges which are placed on
that portion of the doors where the lock is usually situated, so that it
opens at the woodwork on the side. If a chance visitor to one of these
rooms should have his suspicions aroused by any act of his companion,
and should closely examine the doors, he would find a bolt on the inside
securely fastened, but he would not be likely to see that it barely
rested in the socket, and thinking everything was all right, his
suspicions would be disarmed. As there would be but one other door in
the room--that by which he entered--and as he locked that himself,
privacy would apparently be insured.

In the folding doors are several minute holes, through which a person
behind them can watch all that goes on in the front room. These holes,
however, are frequently dispensed with, and a cough or other understood
signal by the female gives the thief warning when all is ready for his
entrance.

After the lapse of perhaps five minutes the female coughs or makes some
understood signal, the door noiselessly opens at the side, a man enters
unseen, secures the victims clothing, disappears into the next room,
takes the money out of a pocket-book or pocket, replaces the pocket-book
in the clothes, takes the watch, the studs out of the shirt, everything,
in fact, of any value, and replacing the clothing, softly closes the
door again. Now comes the scene: A knock is heard on the other
door--that by which the victim entered. With a slight scream the female
remarks, that the person knocking is her husband, and with great haste
proceeds to dress, all the while telling her now frightened companion
that he will kill him if he sees him, hurriedly assists him to dress and
half pushing him, forces him out of the room, down the stairs into the
street.

Another phase of this trick is when, in the absence of folding doors,
the lock or bolt is so arranged that socket and bolt are both upon the
door. Another is to fill the socket with some substance, a cork for
instance, so that when the bolt is pushed forward, it fails to enter the
socket.

An instance is related of an elderly man coming into one of these rooms,
and casually remarking to his female friend, "I hope I won't be rapped
out of this room by anyone, for I have been in two places to-night and
was rapped out of both." That gentleman was robbed in the first house he
entered, and must have remarked in the second one that he was "rapped
out" of the first, for his companion in this last affair knew what had
happened in the other cases, and that he would not have been treated in
that manner unless they had secured his money. And so his remark being
again overheard, he was unceremoniously "rapped out" of this third and
last house. Here is a case from the records which probably illustrates
the method as well as any other:

An elderly man, about sixty years of age, entered a panel-room with a
dark-haired, flashily-dressed woman, who immediately requested him to
bolt the door. This he did, but he might have saved himself the trouble,
for the door was no more closed then than it was before. These bolts are
very ingenious. The catch on the jamb of the door into which the bolt
slides has three false screw-heads in it. In reality it is not attached
to the door-casing at all, but is fastened to the body of the bolt by an
unseen plate. Consequently, when the door is opened, the catch goes
forward with the remainder of the bolt. This, of course, was not noticed
by the man, as the gas was not turned up by the woman till after the
door was closed. While the man was bolting the door the woman hurried to
the dressing-table and hastily laid her hat on one chair and her cloak
on the other. This action compelled the man to place his clothes on the
couch or on one of the chairs by the folding doors. When all was ready,
one of the operators scratched lightly on the door with his finger-nail,
to warn the woman he was about to enter the room. The next moment the
man boldly opened the door wide, removed the chair out of his way, and
glided rapidly to the other chair, on which the man's clothes lay. At
this moment the woman redoubled her fascinations, for the purpose of
distracting the attention of her companion, in which intent she was
eminently successful. The work of going through the man's pockets, and
what is technically known as "weeding" his pocket-book, was quickly
over, the chair was quietly replaced, the panel-door closed, and the
thief appeared with a roll of bills in his hand. The whole thing was
done in from twenty to twenty-five seconds. Immediately after the
closing of the door the man went outside, and, knocking on the
passage-door of the bedroom, said in a loud whisper.

"Jenny, here's Joe; hurry up."

"My God!" exclaimed the girl, jumping up, "you must get away as fast as
you can. That's my lover. He's dreadful jealous, and would shoot you as
soon as look at you."

It is needless to say that the victim required no urging. He jumped into
his clothes as fast as possible, only too glad to get out of the way
before the appearance of the terrible imaginary lover, and apparently
without the slightest notion that he had been robbed.

The victims of these thefts have really no redress. It is so hard to
find the guilty woman afterwards, or even to locate the house, for
unless the pleasure hunter suspects some trap he pays no particular
attention to the kind of house, its situation, or its number. In the
case of a stranger he never seeks the thieves again, but "pockets his
loss." If an elderly man, he does likewise. But if he be really an
obstinate man, determined upon catching the thieves and prosecuting
them, he will invariably be approached and his money and valuables will
be returned to him upon condition that he withdraws his complaint.
Convictions are very rarely obtained in any case from the difficulty of
identifying the parties.

Many of these women never see a penny of the plundered money, the man,
in most cases, retaining the whole of the loot. It sometimes happens
that a victim discovers that he has been robbed before he leaves, and
makes what is called in the vernacular a "kick"; if so, it also
sometimes happens that he is unmercifully beaten by the lover and his
pals, but it has occurred that when "the kicker" was a man about town,
that he has gotten away with his assailant in a manner calculated to
make the heart of a Sullivan beat with pleasure.

There is quite a different feature of this panel-game, but which more
properly belongs to black-mail, in which, through the peep-holes in the
doors, the face of the man or woman in the adjoining room is studied,
waited for on the outside, followed to his or her home, and in a few
days threatened with exposure, if the sum demanded is not forthcoming.

Couples have been known to ply the panel-game very successfully in some
of the most prominent hotels in the city. The lady would make her
conquest upon the streets in the ordinary manner and the game would be
worked in two rooms of the hotel as already described. This enterprise
was carried on successfully by a scoundrel and his wife at one time in
one of the best hotels, and although it was generally known, there never
was any one to complain against them. It was only by the proprietor
specially employing several detectives that they were finally
discovered, arrested and punished.



CHAPTER IX.

A THEATRICAL ROMANCE.

_Kale Fisher, the Famous Mazeppa, involved--Manager Hemmings charged
by Fast-paced Mrs. Bethune with Larceny._

A good many years since, at a fashionable boardinghouse in Philadelphia,
a handsome Adonis-shapen young man, well and favorably known by the name
of George Hemmings, became acquainted with a member of the fairer sex
who had scarcely passed "sweet sixteen," and was accredited with a
bountiful supply of beauty, named then Eliza Garrett. An intimacy at
once sprung up between the two, which at length ripened into a mutual
attachment.

A series of journeys were undertaken by Miss Garrett and Hemmings, and
for some time they lived together enjoying all the pleasures and sweets
of love; but for some cause the pair separated, and for a number of
years saw nothing of each other. Meantime, many changes had occurred in
the circumstances of both. Eliza had been transformed into Mrs. Bethune
and lived in a fashionable part of Gotham, her reputed husband, John
Bethune, Esquire, being a gentleman of wealth and sporting
proclivities.

George Hemmings, who, by the way, was very respectably connected, had
migrated from the "City of Brotherly Love" to "Gotham," and filled a
position as superintendent in a dry-goods establishment.

It was whilst in this city, when "walking down Broadway" one afternoon,
Hemmings' attention was attracted by a lady who seemed to have been
previously pleased with his acquaintance, and in whom he recognized his
former inamorata, Miss Garrett. A grand recapitulation of the
pleasantries of by-gone days ensued, and the damsel informed her "once
dear George" that she was now Mrs. Bethune, but prevailed upon him to
accompany her to her home. Here a hearty welcome was accorded him, and,
if his statement be correct, it is said that the intimacy of former
times was renewed.

Matters continued in this manner, and Hemmings was induced to leave his
former situation and take up his abode at the residence of Mrs. Bethune
as general superintendent of that household, inasmuch as Mr. Bethune
himself was occasionally absent from the city.

On one occasion, as Mr. Hemmings alleged, the beauteous Mrs. Bethune was
violently assaulted by her better-half for some alleged indiscretion,
and it was her early lover who played the part of Good Samaritan on the
occasion, comforting her as well as he was able himself, and calling in
a physician to bind up her wounds. During her sickness, the relationship
between Hemmings and the lady seems to have been of the most intimate
character. She gave him a pair of diamond ear-rings to pledge for four
hundred dollars, which money was a portion of an amount which was to be
called into requisition for the necessary engagements and other expenses
incurred at the opening of a theatre in Pittsburg, the management to be
assumed by Miss Kate Fisher, the well-known "Mazeppa" and equestrienne
actress, and George Hemmings. A troupe was thereupon engaged, and the
entire company, including Miss Fisher and Hemmings, started for
Pennsylvania, where they intended to delight the inhabitants with the
drama of the "fiery, untamed steed" order.

Soon after "Cupid George" departed for the West, Mrs. Bethune became a
prey to the "green-eyed monster." She realized the temptations that
would surely beset George as he basked in the smiles of the alluring and
classically modeled equestrienne. Other troubles beset Mrs. Bethune at
this juncture. Her husband asked her one day what had become of her
diamond ear-rings, and she was seized with confusion and dismay. To
disclose the truth would be to incur Bethune's jealousy, natural
indignation and too probable violence, and so the convenient idea seems
to have occurred to her that by accusing Hemmings of the theft of the
jewelry, she would achieve a two-fold success; namely, the one of
concealing her own frailty, and the other of snatching her beloved one
from a hated supposed rival. Bethune, believing her story, obtained a
requisition from Governor Fenton and procured Hemmings' arrest in
Pittsburg, and he was accordingly brought to this city. The services of
Howe & Hummel were called into requisition, and Hemmings brought into
court for trial.

The greatest excitement was aroused amongst theatrical and sporting
celebrities, and long before the opening of the court every seat was
filled by eager and expectant spectators, and when the prisoner was
called to the bar an immense throng surged to and fro to obtain a
glimpse at his features, and those of the accusing beauty.

City Judge Russel presided, and the Hon. Robert C. Hutchings, afterwards
Surrogate, conducted the prosecution.

Mr. Hutchings opened the case for the people in a fair and temperate
speech, stating that he was instructed that he should be enabled to
establish a clear case of larceny against the defendant, who then stood
indicted for having, on the 19th of October, 1868, at the city of New
York, feloniously stolen, taken, and carried away, one pair of diamond
ear-rings of the value of $400, the property of one James A. Lynch.

Mr. Hutchings then called Mrs. Eliza Bethune, who, amidst breathless
silence, was sworn, and testified that Hemmings was observed by her
daughter purloining the ear-rings from her boudoir drawer on the day in
question, and that immediately she was informed of the larceny she had
sought out Hemmings and ascertained that he had fled to Pittsburgh. On
inquiry, she had also traced the missing jewelry to a pawn-office kept
by Mr. Barnard, at No. 404 Third avenue, where the articles were pledged
by Hemmings. She also went to Pittsburg with Detective Young, and the
pawn-ticket of the ear-rings was found on Hemmings, which she took from
him. Mrs. Bethune further stated that the officer then handcuffed the
prisoner and brought him on to this city.

The witness was then subjected to a rigid cross-examination by Mr. Howe,
who propounded questions as follows:

Mr. Howe: Are you married to Mr. Bethune?

Mrs. Bethune (imploringly to Judge Russel): Am I compelled to answer
that question?

Judge Russel: Mr. Howe, I have already ruled that these kind of
questions are improper.

Mr. Howe (with pertinacity): Your honor, I desire to show that this
witness is not the wife of Mr. Bethune; and I contend that, in justice
to my client, the question should be answered.

Judge Russel: I rule it out.

Mr. Howe: I take exception to the ruling of the court, and will now put
another question, namely:

Is Mr. Bethune your husband? (Sensation in court.)

Judge Russel ruled the question inadmissible, and exception was taken.

Detective John Young, of the Eighteenth Precinct Police, was next
called, and deposed: I am connected with the Metropolitan Police of this
city; I was sent with a requisition issued by Governor Fenton to
Pittsburgh to arrest George Hemmings for grand larceny; I went there
with Mr. and Mrs. Bethune; I took Hemmings into custody at the
Pittsburgh Theatre; he made a violent resistance, and scuffled with me;
I was necessitated to handcuff him in the cars; he became very abusive
and threatening; in fact, so much so, that I was compelled to hit him on
the head with the butt-end of my pistol; at the time of his arrest he
had upon him the ticket of the ear-rings.

Alexander Barnard, a pawnbroker at No. 404 Third avenue, was the next
witness, and said: I know the prisoner at the bar; he pledged me with
two diamond ear-rings on the 20th of last October, which Mr. Lynch
subsequently identified as his property.

Cross-examined by Mr. Howe: Hemmings has frequently pawned articles of
jewelry with me; he pledged them in the name of Mrs. Bethune.

Mr. Howe here requested that the pawnbroker should be directed to
produce his book in order that the jury might see the dates, the
production of which the counsel insisted would entirely contradict Mrs.
Bethune's testimony.

The book was subsequently produced, and Mr. Barnard testified, on
further cross-examination by Mr. Howe, that Hemmings had pledged with
him a watch belonging to Mrs. Bethune on the 17th of November, being
_nearly one month_ after the date the ear-rings were pledged.

Mrs. Lynch proved that the ear-rings were her property, and that she had
loaned them to Mrs. Bethune.

Mrs. Bethune now took the witness stand, and she was asked by Mr. Howe
how long she had known Hemmings, the prisoner at the bar?

Mrs. Bethune: About twelve years.

Mr. Howe: Where did you first become acquainted with him?

Mrs. Bethune: At Philadelphia; I was employed in the United States Mint,
and we boarded together in the same house.

Mr. Howe: Did you subsequently come on to New York with him?

Witness (hesitatingly): I did.

Mr. Howe: Were you on terms of peculiar intimacy with him?

Mrs. Bethune: I was not (sensation in the court): we were friends.

Mr. Howe: Was it not at your solicitation that he was taken to live in
the same house with yourself and Mr. Bethune?

Mrs. Bethune: Yes, it was; but I merely took him in out of charity, as
he was poor and had no clothes (sensation in court).

Mr. Howe: Did you ever stay at the Washington Hotel in this city with
him?

Judge Russel here interposed, and informed Mrs. Bethune that she need
not answer that question.

Mr. Howe: Did you not visit him when he was employed at A. T. Stewart's
store in this city?

Mrs. Bethune: I did; but I got him employed there.

Mr. Howe (aside): Compassionate woman (laughter). Now, Mrs. Bethune,
through whom did you get him employed at that store?

Mrs. Bethune: Through Mr. Griswold, a gentleman of my acquaintance.

Mr. Howe: Did you not know at the time you had Hemmings in your house
that he was a married man?

Mrs. Bethune: I did. (Sensation.)

Mr. Howe: Have you not been to the Whitney House with Hemmings?

The court also decided that witness need not answer that question,
whereupon counsel took exception.

Mr. Howe: Have you not frequently been to the Chanler House in this city
with Mr. Hemmings?

Question overruled.

Mr. Howe: Did you not receive visits from Hemmings in East Fourth
street, in this city?

Mrs. Bethune: Am I bound to answer that question?

Judge Russel: I overrule that question, and you need not answer it.

Mr. Howe: Did you ever live in a house in Lombard street, Philadelphia,
kept by a Miss Graham, and did you ever meet Hemmings there.

Mrs. Bethune (indignantly): I did not.

Mr. Howe: Did you ever introduce Hemmings to any person at Saratoga as
your brother?

Mrs. Bethune (reluctantly): Yes, I have. (Sensation.)

Mr. Howe: How many times have you given Hemmings your jewelry to pledge
that he might have money?

Mrs. Bethune: I never gave him permission to pledge any of my jewelry.

Mr. Howe: Do you mean to swear that he has never pledged any of your
jewelry prior to the present occasion?

Mrs. Bethune: Yes, he has, but not with my consent. (Sensation.)

Mr. Howe: Was that whilst he was living in your house?

Mrs. Bethune: It was.

Mr. Howe: Why did you not have him arrested for so doing?

Mrs. Bethune: Because he cried, and I forgave him. (Sensation.)

Mr. Howe: Yes, you forgave your "BROTHER" (roars of laughter). Now,
madam! will you swear that you did not give Hemmings your watch to
pledge on the 17th of November last, nearly one month after he pledged
the ear-rings?

Mrs. Bethune: I did not; I will swear that I never gave him anything to
pledge after he pawned the ear-rings; I did not give him the ear-rings;
I paid Kate Fisher the money with which to open the theatre, and not to
Hemmings; I did not pay her in the Chanler House, in Hemmings' presence;
I paid her on the street, the reason Hemmings went to Saratoga with me,
was to take care of Mr. Bethune's horses (immoderate laughter); I will
swear that I had not seen Hemmings since he took the ear-rings until I
had him arrested; I did not arrest him right away, because I was sick;
the ear-rings were not mine, they belonged to Mr. Lynch; I borrowed them
from Mrs. Lynch.

Mr. Howe: What was your name when you became acquainted with Hemmings?

Mrs. Bethune: Eliza Garrett.

This closed the case for the prosecution, and Mr. Howe, for the defense,
called Dr. J. Kennedy, who testified as follows:

I am a physician, and reside in East Tenth street in this city; I have
seen the prisoner before. In October last, I saw him in a house in East
Fourth street.

Mr. Howe: What were you doing at that house?

Dr. Kennedy: I was attending a lady there, professionally.

Mr. Howe: Would you know that lady again?
Dr. Kennedy: I should.
Mr. Howe (to Mrs. Bethune): Madam, will you oblige me by standing up and
raising your veil?

The lady complied with Mr. Howe's request, and amidst breathless silence
Mr. Howe, addressing Dr. Kennedy, said, "Doctor, is that the lady?"

Dr. Kennedy: It is. (Flutter in the court-room.)

Mr. Howe: How many times did you visit her?

Dr. Kennedy: Eight or ten times.

Mr. Howe: Was Hemmings in the room with her?

Dr. Kennedy: He was. (Sensation.)

Mr. Howe then applied for attachments against two witnesses who had been
subpoenaed to prove that Mrs. Bethune had been at the Whitney House and
the Washington Hotel with Hemmings, but Judge Russel declined to grant
any time, and peremptorily ordered Mr. Howe to proceed with his defense
to the jury.

Mr. Howe then arose and addressed the court. He said:

Gentlemen of the Jury: I approach the consideration of this case with
some degree of embarrassment, which is necessarily forced upon me, from
the fact, that whilst discharging, as I shall endeavor to do, to the
best of my ability, my duties as an advocate to the young man accused of
this larceny, I regret that I am called upon to animadvert in terms of
censure and reproach, upon one who leaves a name which is dear and
hallowed to us all--the originator of our being--a name that we all
revere and respect when we view it in the beauteous and lovely purity
which is thrown around it. But I think, gentlemen, it is not unfair when
that name is divested of its purity, and becomes shrouded with that
which is base and vile--when the guard which we naturally and
intuitively throw around it is dispelled, and, instead of the beauteous
statue of monumental alabaster, we see a black, fœtid, loathsome thing
before us, from which we shrink with indignation and horror, knowing it
is that which drags our young men down to degradation, disgrace and
death--I say, in entering upon this prisoner's defense, such is the
distinction between pure and hallowed and virtuous women (against whom
none dare point) and her who forgets herself--forgets the holy ties due
to her sex, and her own self-respect: and who assumes the place of wife
to a man without that sanction which God has instituted and commanded,
and who, entrapping others, comes to court to-day--not the pure being to
demand your respect--but one whom we can but contemplate with loathing
and disgust, and who has proved herself utterly unworthy of belief.
Gentlemen, I simply wish to direct your attention to the proven facts. I
have thus ventured to allude to the distinction I have endeavored to
draw, not for the purpose of warping your minds, or in any degree
throwing an unfair prejudice around this case; but, in view of the
solemnity of the oaths you have taken, to do justice between the People
of the State of New York and the prisoner at the bar, and to see upon
what testimony you are asked to consign an innocent, but foolish young
man, for a long term of years to the state prison.

I find in the book before me, gentlemen, to my surprise--and when it
will be handed to you I think you will agree with me and share my
astonishment--that on the first day of October last Mr. Lynch has sworn
that _his_ diamond ear-rings were stolen. I find that from the first day
of October until the 8th day of December--a long lapse of nearly two
months--no steps are taken by those who are alleged to have sustained
the loss, and nothing is done until the latter date. I will show you why
this demand is made upon the Executive--a novel proceeding altogether,
without any indictment being preferred in this office--and a journey is
made to Pittsburgh, not by the officers alone, but as we have it on the
sworn testimony of the woman in this case, that she, without her
protector, without the man Bethune (who is with her now as her husband,
and who professed to be so then), proceeded alone to Pittsburgh, and is
subsequently followed by Mr. Bethune. That is the first era, the first
of October. We next find Mrs. Bethune detailing to you that these
ear-rings were taken (how she does not know), but only what she was told
by a little girl whom we have not seen. So her story runs. It is pretty
for the present; but I hope to destroy the poetry of it very shortly.
That this man stole, not on the first of October, but on the 19th of
October, and subsequently corrected to-day, by the lady of treacherous
memory, to the date of the 20th. At all events, it is perfectly clear,
now, according to her last amended allegation, that on the 20th of
October she claims a larceny to have been committed. But a Mr. Lynch is
supposed to be the owner of the earrings, and not Mrs. Bethune! It
transpires that she had merely borrowed them for a while, as she tells
you; and then on the 20th of October she learns the loss. Why,
gentlemen, did not Mrs. Bethune tell you, that nearly a month after that
and in November, she had met this man on the street with Miss Kate
Fisher? That they had business transactions, that she knew him--the
theatrical manager--that he was to open a theatre--that money was
supplied by her for that express purpose? Did not she know within one
month after this transaction the same state of facts which she deposes
to-day? Why not have had the prisoner arrested on the street then?

No, gentlemen, I will give you my theory of this case; I will render to
you what this man has told me, and if it be not a common-sense view of
it, no logic--no metaphysics--then discard every word uttered and
condemn this man. The pawnbroker throws additional light upon this
transaction, and, gentlemen, if you will refer to the date in his book
of the 17th of November (a month after his alleged larceny), you will
find an important fact which I beseech you to hold, pointedly, in your
own estimation. You will remember that she contradicts herself, and
stated that she had had no transactions with Hemmings after the alleged
larceny. One of the gentlemen on the jury put the very pertinent
question (seeing the force of this), whether she had transactions with
the prisoner after this alleged stealing. You will remember for
yourselves, gentlemen, and I point to it without fear of contradiction,
that at first she stated the ear-rings were taken on the 19th of
October, but, seeing, with a woman's keen perception, the fatal error
she had made in stating that admission, seeing that you, as common-sense
men, would have at once said: "Why not have had him arrested then?" she
quickly drew back, like a snail when the crashing foot is coming upon
it, and drew the horns within the shell which covered it; and,
yesterday, corrected the date. She changed the date and put it back from
November to October. I congratulate her upon the change! For all the
trickery and malice which were embodied in it, only enured to the
prisoner's benefit. It was here sworn, to-day, that on the 17th of
November last, her watch and chain (her watch and chain, gentlemen) not
Mr. Lynch's, but Eliza Bethune's, was pledged in New York at Mr.
Barnard's, the identical pawnbroker with whom the earrings were pledged.
By whom? By Mrs. Bethune? Oh no! gentlemen! but by Hemmings, the man
here. If he accomplished this ubiquitous feat, like the ghost in Hamlet,
to be in two places at one time, he is one of the most wonderful
performers of the modern day. (Laughter.) He could not be in Barnard's
pawn-shop in New York pledging Mrs. Bethune's watch on the 17th of
November, a month after the larceny, and be, as she would have you
believe, with Kate Fisher performing in Pittsburgh. Why, look at that
contradiction! I invoke that book (pointing to the pawnbroker's record),
as in other temples I appeal to the Holy one, for my protection. In your
hands I place it. Upon your altar do I offer it up; and I believe that
you will grant my prayers, that this will be taken as the strongest
evidence of the prisoner's innocence. Records cannot lie here. The
testimony is that this man had subsequent transactions with Mrs.
Bethune, supporting, beyond a doubt, my theory that she gave him the
ear-rings to pledge. Now let us see. She tells you (and there are other
circumstances of greater peculiarity still around this case)--she tells
you that she became acquainted with this man some twelve years since;
and although I was prohibited (perhaps properly) by the court from
putting other questions, I think I am not saying too much, when I urge
that I did elicit from that lady sufficient to justify any one of you in
forming an opinion as to the immoral terms of intimacy subsisting
between Hemmings and that lady who was upon the witness stand. I can
only say that I think there is not one of you composing that jury who
would be pleased to have a wife of yours detailing circumstances in any
way similar. I think that not only jealousy, but indignation of the
strongest character, would be aroused in each of you, and you would
unhesitatingly brand her as an adulteress.

Now, gentlemen, we find they have known each other for twelve years, and
what besides? Why, she takes him into her house; she gives him an
apartment there. Nay, she does more, according to her confession. She
saw that he was poor and had no clothes (to use her own expression.) I
do not think, gentlemen, that she exactly meant that, when she said it,
in its literal signification (laughter), but she certainly said that he
had no clothes, and that she clothed him and she "took him in" (loud
laughter). She went to A. T. Stewart's (kind-hearted charitable woman!)
and saw Mr. Griswold. She interceded with Griswold and got Hemmings a
situation in A. T. Stewart's. What relation was Hemmings to her, at this
time, to induce her to take this kind and charitable interest in him? I,
gentlemen, am not so charitable as she professed to be; neither do I
think you will be, gentlemen. I apprehend that the motive which actuated
the taking in, the clothing and the obtaining a situation at Stewart's,
was another motive altogether (immoderate laughter). What it was, I will
leave you to conjecture. Look a little further. Hemmings is no relation
to her, and yet we find her taking him to Saratoga! In what capacity?
Why, she tells you, to attend Bethune's horses at Saratoga (laughter).
Yes, gentlemen, and this hostler, this stable boy, in the same breath,
is introduced by this lady as what--a lover! oh, no, she dare not do
that--but as a relation--a blood relation! She makes him, for that
occasion, her brother at Saratoga! Well, so far, there is no
impropriety, you will say; but coupled with several other facts--coupled
with the act that that book (the pawnbrokers book) teems with the name
of Bethune, as pledging jewelry pledged by Hemmings, and belonging to
the lady, you must see the intimacy which unquestionably existed. She
admitted to you that time and again he had pledged what? Why, he had
pledged her studs, her brooches and God knows what all! What did she?
Why not have him arrested then? Oh! well, she says, "he cried--my
brother cried." (Loud laughter.) "I did not like to hurt my brother."
She forgave him, and I will tell you why.

You know the quotation that "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned."
Mr. Hemmings, who is a fine, healthy, fashionable, well-rounded and
vigorous, and, some women might say, good-looking young man, had
migrated from the city of New York to spend some time in Pittsburgh, and
he was in dangerous proximity to a very enticing and attractive actress,
Miss Kate Fisher. (Loud laughter).

Gentlemen, in the play of Othello, which many of you have doubtless seen
and read, you will find the episode of the handkerchief, which you will
remember belonged to Desdemona; being the gift of her husband, the Moor.
You remember Iago (in that case it was a man, however,) instigated his
wife to purloin the handkerchief, and to deposit it in the chamber of
Cassio, if I am correct; and Cassio, unfortunately, not seeing the
little trap that was prepared for him, wound that spotted piece of
cambric around his knee to stop the blood flowing from the wound he had
received in a drunken brawl. Upon Othello seeing that, he states, that
not being jealous, he "was perplexed in the extreme," and the sequel was
the murder about which we have so often heard. I say, gentlemen, if ever
there was the play of Othello reduced to private life and reacted, it is
here. These ear-rings are the handkerchief, and Mrs. Bethune is the
Iago. (Laughter.) This young man tells me, that in accordance with
ancient usage and time-honored customs existing between this gentleman
and lady, she had given him, as she narrated here, money to enable Kate
Fisher to open a theatre at Pittsburgh, and that Hemmings was to be the
manager. She had given them, from time to time, money obtained from
Barnard's pawn office, through the instrumentality of the unfortunate
Hemmings.

That is the history; that is all before you, and it cannot be gainsayed.
Then why the arrest this time more than at the others? It explains
itself. You have it in testimony that these ear-rings were the property
of Mr. Lynch, and that Mrs. Lynch had loaned them to Mrs. Bethune.
Hemmings alleges, and I believe with truth, that Mrs. Bethune, whilst
riding in a coach with him, and after a "love encounter" (laughter) gave
to him these jewels to hypothecate in the place to which he had been a
frequent visitor for Mrs. Bethune. He goes to this pawnbroker's not in
his own name, but, as the pawnbroker tells you (and I point to that fact
as one of the strong points in the defense), that he panned them with
him, telling him at the time that they belonged to Mrs. Bethune. Would a
thief who stole your property or mine go to a place where he was known,
that is if he stole them with the intention of keeping them? There was
no larceny here, no dishonest motive about the transaction. Would he go
to the pawnbroker to whom he was known and say, "Here is some property;
it is not mine, it is Mrs. Bethune's?" On the contrary, you know,
gentlemen--you must know--that there are a thousand other pawnbroker's
establishments in New York City; and if this had been a felonious taking
of these ear-rings, Hemmings could have gone to Simpson's across the way
from this court house, or to another place at the Battery, or east,
west, north or south, upon any corner in New York to a strange
pawnbroker, who did not know him, had there been any felony about the
transaction. Another point is, that a felon who steals invariably covers
up his crime. The Prosecution brought out this fact, and I appeal to it
as their own destruction, why in the name of Heaven did this man, if he
intended to appropriate these ear-rings to his own use, carry about him
the evidence of his guilt? Why, they told you when they got to
Pittsburgh, after the altercation, that he produced the pawn-ticket! Did
that look like stealing?

But to revert to the ownership. Mr. Lynch, in a moment of kindness,
loaned these ear-rings to his wife. Mrs. Lynch again loaned them to Mrs.
Bethune; and, as Hemmings says, whilst riding in a coach, she (Mrs.
Bethune) gave him those ear-rings to pledge. He did so pledge them. Mind
you, gentlemen, there has been no dispute about that since the
commencement; he has never denied the pledging. Having pledged them, as
he represents, a request was made to Mrs. Bethune for the return of the
ear-rings. She could not produce them, and for the best possible reason;
and not until nearly two months after the occurrence is the complaint
made before the police magistrate. She wished to hide from Mr. Bethune
(the gentleman who sustained the relation of husband to her) what had
become of the ear-rings; and, necessarily, she had no resort but to turn
round and say: "It is not very pleasant to tell my husband (or the man
who stands in that capacity) that I have given those ear-rings to a
lover! I cannot, without offending you, tell you the true cause of this
affair, but I must, in order to save myself, say, O, this George stole
them, and he is in Pittsburgh with Kate Fisher." This is _two months_
after the occurrence! And then, on the first of December, a requisition
is gotten out, and the more marvelous part of it is, that she goes on
alone in the first instance while Mr. Bethune followed subsequently. Now
see what occurred in Pittsburgh. She told you she did not know whether
he was arrested or not. She "believed" there was a form gone through of
getting out some papers. She "believes" she was taken before the mayor;
and what became of the case she did not know. But Mr. Bethune, who could
not shield himself in this way, very promptly answered that he was
arrested at the suit of this man; and Hemmings could not make idle
charges there. He was a theatrical manager in Pittsburgh, a public man!
and, as they told you, boasted that he was intimate with the members of
the press and police force, who were dead-heads at his theatre, and who
witnessed the performance gratuitously; so that you perceive he was very
well known. Do you believe, will any sane man of common sense credit the
statement, that a man who was as well known in Pittsburgh as G. L. Fox
is in this city, could afford to arrest a citizen and have the matter
made public unless he had reasons to do so?

I say, gentlemen, that the entire case, from the commencement to the
end, abounds in doubts suggestive of this man's innocence, especially
the fact which cannot be denied, that this lady, _she is not like
Cæsar's wife_, above suspicion, shields herself, as no honest woman
would, behind that protection which the judge afforded.

Good God, gentlemen, in a court of justice, where jurors are empanelled
to decide upon the future prospects and the life of this young man,
would your wife or mine refuse to answer such a question? Is it a
_shame_ for us to acknowledge that the holy bonds of matrimony have
united us with a being--the mother of our offspring? Would you deny that
you were the husband of a lady, placed upon the witness stand to support
a charge against a thief for having stolen your watch? Why, I think,
gentlemen, that honor, affection, duty and every obligation known to
society, demands, in imperious tones, that instead of denying the wife
of your bosom, you stand forward as her champion and say, "Thank God,
she is my wife and I am proud of it!" That is what you or I would have
answered. But the gauzy curtain that was covered over this foul tableau,
has been lifted up, and you see it in all it hideous deformity. As I
have before stated, you have seen, gentlemen, the flimsy evidence upon
which is attempted to predicate a conviction for grand larceny. I am
confident that in spite of all the attempts that have been made by a
shameless wanton and her pretended husband, to crush this man, despite
the meretricious trickery and villainous conspiracy which instigated,
concocted and carried out this _persecution_, relying as I do, on your
sense of justice, your strict integrity, and the independence of an
American jury, that you will not permit our temples erected to justice,
to be prostituted to the accomplishment of the designs of the polluted
and the infamous and that innocence will triumph, and your verdict be
"Not guilty."

At the conclusion of Mr. Howe's address, Mr. Hutchings summed up for the
people. Judge Russel proceeded to charge the jury. After recapitulating
very carefully the whole of the testimony, told them that if they were
satisfied that the prisoner Hemmings had taken these ear-rings from Mrs.
Bethune, and had pledged them without her consent, then they should
convict; but if they had any well-founded doubt arising from the
testimony itself, and not engendered by the eloquent speech of the
prisoner's counsel, then they should give the prisoner the benefit of
the doubt and acquit him.

The jury then retired, and after a quarter of an hour's absence returned
into court and rendered a verdict of NOT GUILTY.

Hemmings was accordingly discharged, and he quitted the court amidst the
congratulations of his friends.

Mrs. Bethune also brought a charge of theft against Kate Fisher, which
was heard at Essex Market Police Court. The New York _Herald_ reported
the proceedings next day as follows:

Essex Market court-room was this afternoon densely crowded with
theatrical personages of all grades, apparently deeply interested in the
progress of the case which concerns the position and honor of an actress
so well known as Kate Fisher. The seats of the court would not contain
more than half the number of the persons present, the remainder being
compelled to stand around against the walls and in the nooks of the
doors, etc. Among those present were W. B. Freligh, manager of the
Bowery Theatre; John Jones, the treasurer; Clark, the stage manager;
Deane, leader of the orchestra, and others. The court-room was at last
found to be too small, and the whole party adjourned to examine the room
on the second floor of the building, which was also found to be rather
small, but yet more convenient for the purposes of an examination.

Justice Shandley then took his seat on the bench, and the parties
concerned appeared in court. Mrs. Bethune was rather flashily dressed,
and evidently intended to make a show. Kate Fisher was quietly dressed
in black, and was very modest in her demeanor; attracting no attention,
except from those who were acquainted with her. Mr. Bethune accompanied
the complainant, and Messrs. Howe and Hummel, appeared for Miss Kate
Fisher.

Having taken their respective seats, the case of Eliza Bethune, of
Centreville, Long Island, against Kate Fisher, for the larceny of a gold
watch and chain, valued at $200, was then called on.

Mrs. Bethune, the first witness, was then examined by her counsel. She
stated that her name was Eliza Bethune, and that she resided at
Centreville, L. I. She knew Kate Fisher, and knew her on the 16th of
last November. She was then living in East Fourth street. On that day
she missed her watch, and her daughter told her that Miss Fisher had
taken it. Acting on this information, she sent for Kate Fisher on the
afternoon of that day. Mrs. Bethune then asked her where her watch was.
Kate Fisher was very much intoxicated at the time, but understood all
that was said to her. She answered that she had taken it, and had given
it to Hemmings. The watch and chain was worth $200. Mrs. Bethune
subsequently learned that the watch had been pledged. Some time after,
she, Mrs. Bethune, caused the arrest of Kate Fisher at Pittsburgh, but
the case was dismissed for want of jurisdiction.

Mr. Howe then asked if the counsel had closed his case, but received an
answer in the negative, as there were more witnesses to be examined. Mr.
Howe stated that he was sorry that the case was not closed, as before he
desired to commence a cross-examination he would take all the evidence
to be exhausted. His case was a revival of one which had already been
settled at the General Sessions, and bore on its very face the evidence
of a malicious prosecution to injure the character and spotless
reputation of a lady whose profession brought her constantly before the
public, and whose good name became thereby part of her business capital.
He regretted it, therefore, that the counsel for the complainant would
not exhaust his case, as it made it necessary to adopt a course of
procedure in his cross-examination that he should have preferred not to
have done.

The counsel for Mrs. Bethune persisting that the cross-examination of
each witness should go on in regular order as each witness appeared on
the stand, Mr. Howe then proceeded by asking the witness her name.

My name is Eliza Bethune.

Are you married?

I am.

To whom?

Mr. Bethune.

What is his first name?

That is not your business.

Counsel appealed to the court, when the magistrate said the question was
a proper one, and she answered:

My husband's name is Bethune. His first name I do not choose to give.

After further questioning, she at last replied:

My first husband's name was John Bethune.

What is the name of your present husband?

That is not your business.

Is he here in court.

He is. He represents me here.

What is his first name?

After a great deal of cross-firing the answer was elicited that it was
George Bethune.

Were you ever married to George Bethune, the one who is now in court?

Objected to by counsel.

Justice Shandley: That is a proper question, and must be answered.

That is my business. He has been my husband for over ten years.

Were you ever married to him?

Objected to. Objection overruled.

I have answered already. I have answered all I am going to do.

Justice Shandley insisted that she must answer the questions, but when
she still refused, almost in a defiant manner, he rose from the bench,
and declared the case dismissed. His action was received with rounds of
applause from the persons assembled.



CHAPTER X.

A MARINER'S WOOING.

_Captain Hazard's Gushing Letters--Breakers on a Matrimonial Lee
Shore--He is Grounded in Divorce Shoals_.

Aforetime, when the mariner was entirely dependent on the winds and the
tides to make his voyage, he was, as everybody knows, a peculiarly
impulsive, generous, faithful and credulous mortal in his love affairs.
Once ashore, he spliced the main-brace, sneered oathfully at
land-lubbers, hitched up his trousers and ran alongside the first
trim-looking craft who angled for his attentions--and his money. These
fine salt-water impulses, begotten of a twelve or fifteen-months'
voyage, have mostly vanished. Steam has greatly revolutionized Jack's
sweet-hearting. He comes to port every fortnight, or so; he wears dry
goods and jewelry of the latest mode; and he marries a wife, or divorces
a wife, with the same conventional _sangfroid_ of any mercantile
"drummer" who travels by railroad. The conjugal history of that
distinguished son of Neptune, Captain Oliver Perry Hazard, now to be
related, haply has a delectable smack of mercantile jack's old-time
methods, mingled with the shrewder utilitarianism of the steamship Jack
of to-day.

Up in the estuary called the Y, and at the mouth of the river Amstel,
lay, some years ago, the good American ship which had safely borne young
Hazard across the Atlantic. He was a handsome, a tall, and a lively
young man of five and twenty; and, with a vivacious young mariner's
curiosity, he went ashore to sample the "Holland," for which the Dutch
are so famous, to stroll across the two hundred and ninety-odd bridges,
and to take an observation of the pretty girls that loomed up in sedate
but ample old Amsterdam. There, in a saloon where the gin was a most
divine Hippocrene, and the cigars fragrant, Oliver beheld a tight little
craft, and straightway ran up his flag as a salute. She was a brunette,
with as pretty a form as the sun had ever kissed. Her dark, dark eyes
were large, lustrous and superb. Oliver shares Lord Byron's weakness for
handsome eyes. He's very fond of them. The name of the Amsterdam
divinity was Marie. He resembled the same illustrious poet in his
predilection for the name of Mary or Marie. He thought there was a
sweetness in it. And so he sank into the quicksands of Eros, right over
his tarry toplights, and, nothing loth, Marie accompanied him in the
Avernian descent. Every morning that he lay in the Dutch port our
mariner squared his yard-arms and trimmed himself for bringing-to
alongside Marie. Every night the tics were getting tauter, and when he
proposed that she should cross with him to England there was no pitching
on her part worth speaking of. And so they voyaged to Albion and to
several ports in Gaul; and there was no lee-way in their love, but still
the tics were getting tauter, evidencing strong probabilities of a life
cruise together.

A year or two after, both Oliver and Marie were in New York, and,
according to the affidavit of Captain Hazard's mother, Marie called upon
the matron and told her "that she had been living with her son Oliver;
that she had first met him in Amsterdam, and had traveled with him as
his wife in England and in France, and that he had brought her to
America." Marie assured the old lady that she loved him dearly, that she
had been faithful and true to him ever since their intimacy, and hence
she was anxious that Oliver should marry her and make her an honest
woman in the eyes of the law and of the world. Whereupon, the mother
persuaded the son to marry the pretty, young, gazelle-eyed girl, who
could speak American and write like a born citizen.

Oliver's own account of this momentous event, as chronicled in his
affidavit, is not materially different. He affirms that he first met
Marie in a liquor store in Amsterdam, "which she was in the habit of
frequenting. At this time she was of loose character;" she "lived with
him and traveled to England and France, and he was going to send her
back to Holland, when his mother urged him to marry her, which he did
reluctantly."

In what way or to what extent, if any, the relations between the young
mariner and his wife were affected after Hymen had stepped in and
chained them together, there are data for determining. If we are to
unqualifiedly accept the averments of the captain's affidavit we should
come to the conclusion that Marie's nature and disposition were woefully
transformed when she could legally designate herself, "Mrs. Captain
Oliver P. Hazard." She then discovered "a jealous disposition" and "an
ungovernable temper." When he returned from his various voyages she "did
not receive him kindly;" but, contrariwise, sometimes received him on
the side of "a poker," on the end of "a dirk" or at the muzzle of
"pistol." Moreover--and this is dolefully comic--"she repeatedly left
this deponent imprisoned in the house for hours under lock and key!"
What a situation for a foaming mariner, accustomed to roam the vastness
of the majestic, the free, the uncontrollable deep! Probably the next
arraignment is still more exasperating. "She kept a servant to act as a
spy and treat this deponent with disrespect." With the lapse of years,
and with the peculiar hue which strife assumes in its backward
prospective, his once happy-home and connubial comforts wore a jaundiced
and sickly aspect. He ceased to recall the days when his heart was
linked unto Marie's as a rosebud is linked to its stem.

Mrs. Hazard possessed some letters, written to her by her whilom amorous
husband, which will enable the reader to form a pretty correct idea of
the estimation in which, until quite recently, the captain held his
pretty wife. For example, one Fourth of July, he writes from "On board
the U. S. Steamer John Rice," from Fortress Monroe to "My own dear and
precious wife," informing her that the ship has been landing troops,
that he feels rather seedy and low-spirited, and wishes he was at home
to spend "the glorious Fourth" in her company. In a postscript he blazes
into amorous enthusiasm and exclaims, "Write your dear Olly!" and in the
bottom left-hand corner, within a sort of fairy circle, about the size
of the orifice of a quart-bottle neck, appeared the gushing invitation,
("Kiss me.")

Nearly a year afterward he writes from Havana, "On board the steamer
Liberty, May 6, 1865," to "My own dear precious wife," informing her
that he is safe from New Orleans, with other personal matters not
necessary to rehearse. He subscribes himself, "Your affectionate and
loving Olly." Over ten years afterward we find the captain writing
another letter from on board the same steamer, October 13, 1875, lying
in Savannah, to "My darling beloved wife," in which he graphically tells
her the sort of dog Jocko is. "Jocko came on board all serene," writes
the captain, "He is asleep under my sofa all the time when he is not
hunting beef, and I keep my room very warm. So that is the kind of dog
Jocko is. If he was a half decent dog I would keep him on board, but he
is asleep all the day under my sofa, and hates to be on deck. So he is
good for nix, the worse cur I ever saw. I will leave him with a good
keeper, and glad to lose sight of him."

At this period Mrs. Captain Hazard was in the habit of sub-letting a
portion of her house; and in the tail-end of the letter from which we
have just quoted reference is made thereto. "Have you advertised in the
_Tribute_ yet? Try fifty cents' worth for two days, you may catch a
sucker. May God, in his infinite mercy, ever bless, protect and make you
well and successful, my darling wife, is the prayer of your ever-loving
and affectionate husband, Oliver P. Hazard." In the usual corner appears
the magic circle, with the imperative ("Kiss me.")

In the early portion of the year 1876, he had so persistently coaled up
the fires of his love boilers that he couldn't wait until the steamer
sailed, but plunges into glowing correspondence as soon as he reaches
"Pier 2." He is now the captain of the Ocean Steam Navigation Company's
vessel, San Jacinto, and on April 22 he writes, "My own darling good
wife," before sailing, advising her to take good care of herself. The
usual circular, hieroglyphic and osculatory invitation appears at the
lower left-hand corner.

Four brief days afterwards our Strephon has reached Savannah. Again he
writes, April 26, 1876, "On board the steamship San Jacinto." To "My
blessed good darling wife," informing her that he has "no aches, no
pains," and assures her that he is "growing stronger." Then he rushes
into particulars in the following unique manner: "I still keep my
oatmeal diet and Pepson. God's blessing and infinite mercies on you, my
darling. . . . I have had all kinds of horable imaginations
about you. . . . I hope Mr. C. K. Garrison will permit you to
make next trip with me. Eat no salt smoked meats or fish, or
drink no strong tea, but cat oatmeal and what will easily digest,
to keep your bowels open. . . . I will, with God's help, be with
my dear Marie on Tuesday. I have the Harriet Beecher Stowe
and Crane family to bring North this trip, about the last of the
crowd. I wish they were landed in New York, as I don't like any of
them, but will fight through in a quiet way." This epistle occupies six
closely-written and carefully-numbered pages of note-paper, and the lip
sign-manual is emblazoned in the usual corner. It ought to be remarked
that the captain is an admirable penman, moderately seaworthy as to
syntax, but in need of overhauling in an orthographical aspect.

While we are busy with the correspondence, it may be _apropos_ to quote
the last amorous letter he penned to his Marie before a cyclonic storm
from the nor'east struck the Hymeneal ship, and carried away her masts
and rigging, leaving a pair of plunging, leaky bulk-heads on the weary
waste of the censorious world's waters. The envelope of this letter is
indorsed in a female hand--evidently the forlorn hand of Marie: "Last
letter received from my husband." It purports to have been written "On
board the steamship Herman Livingston, Savannah, Jan. 5, 1878." It
begins, in a modified form, thus: "My darling wife," and takes a
flatulent turn almost immediately, "we had a fair wind all the way; a
few passengers, and only one lady, which was Lydia. She was very
pleasant and no trouble, as she was not sea-sick, and sat in the
pilot-house most of the time. I am feeling very well now. . . . It is
not necessary to say that I have not drank any strong drinks; that, of
course, is finished. I am all right now, you know. . . . I hope, my
darling good wife, that you are feeling much better than when I left
you, and that your sore throat is quite well by this time. . . . I hope
you will take good care of yourself and not get cold. I shall take good
care of myself. Little Maria sent me a pretty mug for my New Year's. I
will not use my new napkin ring, as it is too nice to be lost or broken
here. May God ever bless and protect you, and ever make you well and
happy, is my ever prayer of your loving husband,        OLLY."

Let not the reader imagine that Olly's love was all of the
lip-and-epistolary cheap style. Even as faith without works is dead,
being alone, so professions of affection without exemplification would
be simply worth "Jocko," and that worthless creature, according to the
mariner, was good for "nix." No; the captain had presented his darling
with diamonds--a cross, for example, which cost $1,000, and a watch and
chain and other jewelry, amounting in the whole to $2,800.

The impartial reader, therefore, from the excerpts of his correspondence
and the summary of the jewelry, will be enabled to form a pretty fair
idea of the esteem in which the captain formerly held his wife. Ah! but
then the reader is not aware that Olly is very handsome, and so very,
very gay! Olly's immaculate shirt-bosom was in the habit of bristling
with diamonds, in the midst of which, like a headlight at the
mizzen-top, coruscated a diamond cluster pin.

Marie was not jealous without a cause. Of this, every lady who has read
thus far is morally convinced. Marie and her "spy" had discovered the
cause, just sixteen brief days after Olly had penned that remarkable
letter, with a benediction and a "kiss-me" lozenge at the end, Mrs.
Hazard and her maid, Esther Doerner, hied them down and across town
until they reached a boarding-house on West Ninth street. What happened
in this high-toned hash dispensary let Miss Margaret Gilman, an
eye-witness, proclaim by her affidavit:

"At half-past eight in the evening, Mrs. Hazard came in and went to a
hall bed-room in the front, and knocked at the door of said room. She
was accompanied by her maid, Esther Doerner. After she knocked, the door
was opened from within by Lena Kimball. Lena attempted to close the
door, but Mrs. Hazard's superior strength forced an opening, and she and
her maid entered." Now let lynx-eyed Esther take up the narrative for a
brief space: "Lena was but slightly clothed, having only a skirt and a
sacque on. Lena asked: 'Who is this woman?' Mrs. Hazard replied,
'I am his lawful wife--you are his mistress!'" Then ensued a scene which
Margaret and Esther are in accord in describing: "Lena attacked Mrs.
Hazard, slapped her in the face and pulled her hair, said captain,
meantime, holding his wife's hands and thus preventing her defending
herself!"

Let us hear Miss Margaret C. Gilman, who is a dressmaker, a little
further: "About the following Thursday I visited No. 106 West Sixteenth
street, at request of said Lena Kimball, to arrange about a dress for
her, when I saw said Captain Hazard enter the room of Lena. I left them
together, alone. Lena told me that the captain would commence
proceedings for a divorce from his wife."

Progressing chronologically onwards, we come to another day when Olly
and his wife were quarreling at a great rate in their home up-town. It
appeared that the captain had between $4,000 and $5,000 deposited in the
Seamen's Savings Bank, and his wife was anxious that the money should be
drawn and be equally divided between them. To this Olly demurred,
whereupon the irate wife locked her faithless lord in the house, and
kept him a close prisoner till he threw up the sponge and promised to
accede to her demands. He obtained his liberty, and ostensibly left the
house for the purpose of drawing the money and transferring $2,000 of it
to his wife's account. What he did do was to draw the cash, go to his
brother-in-law's, pay some debts, and then hand $3,000 to Lawrence
Phillips, an insurance broker, at 85 Beaver street.

Of course, Olly did not return to his "blessed and darling wife" that
night, nor the next, nor ever again. He had, no doubt, an attack of the
old "horable imaginations," and deemed it advisable to put himself on an
oatmeal diet somewhere in New Jersey. What he did do, as Marie's
detective discovered, was to proceed with Lena to Taylor's Hotel, Jersey
City, where they registered as Mr. and Mrs. James Peake, of
Philadelphia. While enjoying this voluptuous seclusion with the
fascinating young blonde, Olly was plotting mischief and otherwise
conspiring against the forlorn Marie's peace and happiness. The
following documents disclose the form their unchaste deliberations
assumed. On the eleventh of February, the ill-used Olly sent a freezing
letter to his wife, from which we quote:

"In view of the unhappy relations which exist and have for many years
existed between us, I have reached the conclusion that it is impossible
for us longer to live together as man and wife. Your manner of treating
me has been so outrageous that it is necessary, in order to live with
you that I should sacrifice my manhood, my independence and my
self-respect, as well as the respect of all the members of my family and
of my friends. While I believe your conduct would, in the eyes of the
law and society, warrant me in refusing you all support, still I am
inclined to deal liberally with you, and I have clothed Mr. Stanton, my
counsel, with power to arrange the details of a separation." He then
goes on to state that, in such an arrangement, certain considerations
should have full weight, to wit: "That I am at present suspended from my
situation, and that you assert you brought about my suspension; that you
have a very comfortable home, for which I pay the rent, with about $5000
worth of furniture, which I would be willing to turn over to you; that
you have valuable diamonds, and that I have given you a great deal of
money of late."

Marie was, no doubt, pondering over her frigid Olly's proposal, and
making up her mind how to proceed, when another letter reached her. It
was written in a bold, clear, round hand. It bore no date or
superscription, but the envelope is stamped: "New York, Feb. 12, 12
o'c." The letter might have been written by a love-crazed Cassandra. It
was as follows:


"You imagine me in Philadelphia. Not so. I am in the city, and will
remain here until I accomplish the ruin and destruction of the old fool,
your husband, and yourself. I have sworn revenge on you and I shall keep
my oath. I do not care a damn for the old man. You expect him home
to-night, but you will be disappointed. The old fool is trying to get a
divorce from you now. My vengeance being accomplished I will leave the
city, and not until then.

"With hatred and revenge, I am your enemy until death,         LINA
KIMBALL."


Mrs. Hazard had been acting under legal advice, so far as the discovery
and proof of her husband's unfaithfulness were concerned. But
determining upon a more active and aggressive warfare, she was prudently
advised to intrust her interests to Messrs. Howe & Hummel. The conflict
was speedily begun. On February 16th the first papers in the case were
served upon Captain Hazard at his lawyer's office, 198 Broadway. On the
same day Mr. Henry Stanton promptly gave notice of his appearance
in Olly's behalf. On the twentieth of February, on the application of
Howe & Hummel, an order of arrest was granted by Judge Donohue,
on the ground that the defendant intended to leave the city, and that
any order for alimony would thereby be ineffectual. On the following
day the captain did leave the city for Boston, and registered at the
Parker House. It is alleged that he was seen with Lena Kimball in
the Hub; but the captain explained afterwards that he had not
vamoosed on purpose--he had gone to inspect a ship, with the
possible intention of buying a captain's share.

On February 28th, Mr. Stanton served upon Messrs. Howe & Hummel a copy
of a petition and notice of motion returnable the third Monday in March.
On the same day the complaint was served upon defendant's lawyer.
Meantime, detectives were on the _qui vive_ for Olly. They had his
portrait on tin imperial size, and they had a lock of his hair in an
envelope. There were certain lager-beer saloons in the vicinage of Sixth
avenue and Sixteenth street he was said to frequent. A sharp lookout was
kept on his brother-in-law, Bradbury, as well. On March 19th the sheriff
tapped the distinguished son of Neptune on the shoulder and exhibited a
momentous piece of paper. The captain took an observation and hauled
down his colors as a free man. He was a prisoner and put himself
promptly in tow. After a short run and a few tackings they ran into
Ludlow Harbor, and all was made taut for the captain.

Next day the petition and motion was argued for the prisoner, by Mr.
Stanton, before Judge Lawrence. Mr. Hummel opposed on behalf of Mrs.
Hazard. It was argued that the alleged acts of adultery had been
condoned; that the defendant had no intention of leaving the state; that
when he separated from the plaintiff he went to live with his
brother-in-law and mother; and that he went to Boston for the purpose
already stated. The alleged pokerings and dirkings and pistolings were
dilated upon. Esther, the spy, was denounced. It was affirmed that "on
one occasion, when he returned," with the odor of the sea fresh upon
him, "plaintiff had a baby." It has never been claimed that he was the
father of it. Nor does he know who is the father. He has never been able
to find out the paternity of that babe, "nor does he know who the mother
is." Notwithstanding that he has been suffered to swell almost to
bursting with ignorance of these bottom facts, he "has been forced to
support it." He showed that Mrs. Hazard possessed diamonds and furniture
and twenty-one building lots on Long Island; that she had been
extravagant as to crayon portraits and carriage hire; that for the
last-mentioned item alone her expenses for February had been about
eighty-seven dollars. Wherefore, counsel argued, the court ought either
to dismiss the arrest or reduce the bail from $6,000, at which it had
been fixed. Mr. Howe had an equally affecting story to rehearse. He
showed that Mrs. Hazard had been compelled, through her husband's
neglect to provide her with money, to pay several visits to a relative
of hers, to whom the adage "Blood is thicker than water" does not apply.
With this personage she had left, for pecuniary considerations received,
her diamond cross and other valuables.

The judge took the papers and, a few days afterward, ordered the parties
to the suit to appear before a referee, who was instructed to take proof
as to the defendant's ability to pay alimony, and to determine what
amount should be paid. On the evidence taken before the referee,
Lamberson, who died before the testimony was all in, both sides agreed
on the question of alimony.

Thus far Mrs. Hazard's lawyers had carried all before them like an
irresistible flood. They now turned their attention to Lena Kimball.
Mrs. Hazard had not forgotten nor forgiven that face-slapping and
hair-pulling in Ninth street. Lena's maledictory epistle had added
brimstone to the fire. And so it came to pass that Messrs. Howe & Hummel
brought an action in the Supreme Court against Lena for the assault and
battery of their client. An order of arrest was promptly issued by the
court, holding the ravishing young blonde in bail in the sum of one
thousand dollars. After she had enjoyed the hospitalities of the warden
for two days, the captain planked down a thousand dollars in the hands
of the sheriff, and Lena was free.

Behold, now, how tribulation followed tribulation!

Two days after Lena had breathed the air of freedom, Mrs. Hazard and her
lawyers went before a police magistrate, and had the fair creature
arrested criminally for the same offense of assault and battery. Being
produced, Mrs. Kimball gave the required bail to answer at Special
Sessions. A fortnight afterwards the case came up. Lena pleaded guilty,
and was fined.

After a good deal more litigation, an order was entered in the Supreme
Court referring the many issues of the case to James P. Ledwith, Esq.,
to take testimony and report thereon to the court. Many hearings were
had before the referee, and finally his report was in favor of the
plaintiff, Mrs. Hazard, who was awarded an absolute divorce, with a
liberal allowance of alimony and costs.


CHAPTER XI.

THE BARON AND "BARONESS."

_The Romance of Baron Henri Arnous de Reviere, and "The Buckeye
Baroness," Helene Stille_.

During one October, our offices were visited by a lady who had achieved
considerable distinction, as well as notoriety, in Parisian society.
This was Mrs. Helene Cecille Stille, otherwise the "Baroness de
Reviere," and sometimes designated "The Buckeye Baroness," She came for
the purpose of prosecuting a charge against the Baron de Reviere of
"wrongful conversion and unlawful detention of personal property,"
arising from circumstances which will appear further on.

The "Baroness" was then, as she still is, a handsome woman. She was then
somewhat on the youthful side of thirty. Highly attractive and
fascinating, her every movement and gesture bespoke a vigorous physical
organization and perfect health. While the curves of her fine form
partook more of Juno's majestic frame than Hebe's pliant youth--while
the full sweep and outline of her figure denoted maturity and
completeness in every part, the charming face, the large, gazelle eyes,
the voluptuous ease of her attitude, the gentle languor of her whole
bearing, constituted a woman which few susceptible young or even mature
men could have looked on without misgivings that they might but too soon
learn to long for the glances, the smiles, the witcheries which had made
Helene Cecille Stille, in many respects, a counterpart of Helen of
Troy.

We were not acquainted with the lady's antecedents nor with her
remarkable history; but she told a plausible story, and was very fluent
and indignant, as may be gathered from the following extract from the
affidavit which was drawn under her instructions at the time:

Superior Court of the City of New York: Helene Stille, plaintiff,
against the Baron Henri de Reviere, defendant. City and County of New
York, ss.--Helene Stille, of said city being duly sworn, says that she
is the above-named plaintiff, and that she has a good cause of action
against said defendant for wrongful conversion and unlawful detention of
personal property, arising on the following facts, namely:

In the summer of 1865, in the French empire, the above-named defendant,
giving himself out to be a French nobleman of princely fortune, and then
representing himself to deponent as an unmarried man, but being in
truth, as deponent has since discovered, then a married man and a common
plebeian, swindler and common _chevalier d’ industrie;_ by divers
arts, devices, false pretences and allurements, gained this plaintiff's
affections and confidence, and did, by false, wicked and fraudulent
devices, debauch this plaintiff and induce her to live with him as his
wife; and having thus basely obtained ascendancy over her and won her
confidence, did, by trick and device, induce this plaintiff to deposit
with him for safe keeping on the tenth day of September, at the city of
Paris, in France, the sum of twenty-seven thousand five hundred francs
in gold coin, and of the value of seven thousand five hundred dollars of
American money, belonging to this deponent; and said defendant then and
there promised and agreed to return the same property to this deponent
on request.

And this deponent says, that having ascertained the defendant's real
character, she demanded the restoration to her of said money by said
defendant, when said defendant absconded from France and is now in this
City and wholly refuses to return said amount of seven thousand five
hundred dollars to deponent, or any part thereof; but said defendant has
wrongfully converted said property to his own use, and now unlawfully
detains the same from this deponent, at said city of New York, and is
now, as deponent is informed and verily believes, about to quit this
city, said defendant being only a transient boarder at the New York
Hotel in this city.

Judge Freedman granted the application for an order of arrest; the
warrant was placed in the hands of Sheriff O'Brien; and Deputy Sheriffs
Laurence, Delmore and the present elegant police court clerk, John
McGowan, proceeded to the New York Hotel, and just as the guests were
assembling for dinner, the haughty aristocrat was made a prisoner,
despite his indignant protests.

In the newspapers of the day Mrs. Stille was described as "a beautiful
woman, twenty-eight years old, who has seen more life all over the globe
than any woman of her age now living." She was born in Cincinnati, Ohio,
the daughter of respectable and well-to-do parents. Superbly developed
and precocious, at a very early age Helene began to sound the chords of
feeling and to taste the Circean cup that promises gratification and
excitement, mingled with so much after-bitterness. When she was yet
seventeen, she was married to George Stille at Philadelphia, after the
briefest kind of an acquaintance. With him she came to New York, living
in a style of careless gayety. Early in 1867, she gave birth to a child,
named George after his father, and in June of that year Mrs. Stille, and
Georgie, and his nurse, Mrs. Demard, were living in Saratoga. The
dashing young wife's flirtative proclivities led to a quarrel with her
husband, and he left her in a huff. His desertion did not perceptibly
disturb the serene elasticity of her mind. She possessed expansive
tastes and a capacious heart, and she was speedily consoling herself by
the attentions of George W. Beers in the gay watering-place. When
Helene, Mr. Beers, the baby and the nurse returned to New York in
September, they occupied a suite of rooms at the Prescott House. Not
unnaturally, the presence of the dashing woman in the hotel created a
sensation, as such a presence always will, as long as men continue to be
the weak, erring, susceptible creatures they are. So Helene was
flattered, and courted, and admired; and as usual, some she fancied,
some she liked, some she laughed at, and some she reserved for her more
precious favors. Then, of course, Beers mounted up on his ear, and there
was a quarrel, which resulted in the party leaving the Prescott House
for quarters over the club house at the corner of Prince and Mercer
streets. More quarrels for the same cause eventuated here, and then
Beers left her for a while. Not at all disconcerted, she took the child
and his nurse to the St. Denis Hotel, where Beers again returned,
magnanimous and forgiving. But alas, it was no use. Helene's craving for
admiration, masculine attention and money were insatiable. So Beers
became wildly jealous and indignant, and left her for good. When next
heard of, she was in Paris, where she had succeeded in making the
acquaintance of the Due de Morny, and sometimes figured as _la
Duchesse_.

Baron Henri Arnous de Reviere was the eldest son of Baron William Arnous
de Reviere, Counsellor-general of the Department of the Loire Inferior.
The title is hereditary; the family estate is situated at Varades; and
the ancestral records are kept in the archives of the ancient city of
Rennes in Brittany. The Baron first cropped up in this country about the
outbreak of the rebellion, when people here and in England were in great
excitement over the steps taken by the general government in securing
the arrest of Messrs. Mason and Slidell. He had apparently made one of
the elder Dumas' heroes his exalted ideal, for at the period we speak of
he had set the fashionable world of Gotham agog by making a romantic
conquest of a Mobile belle, who, after becoming thoroughly infatuated
with him, eloped to a prominent watering-place. The interference of her
friends prevented the consummation of a wedding; but his escapade formed
the subject of a book, afterwards dramatized, and acted at Wallack's
Theatre. Subsequently the Baron married Miss Blount, the daughter of a
rich Southern lawyer.

When he returned to Paris, his fame had preceded him. Society in the gay
capital under the empire was of the kind to appreciate his exploits and
to exalt him into a sort of rivalship of Monte Cristo. He assiduously
attended the theaters and salons, receiving homage everywhere-even from
the emperor himself. Finally he mounted the rostrum, and his lectures on
_L'Amour_ were the talk of the gay city.

Among those who had rushed to listen to the Baron's impassioned
eloquence was Helene Cecille Stille, now the proprietress of the
handsomest hotel on the Rue Mont-martre. It need scarcely be premised
that the wandering and appreciative eyes of the lecturer had rested on
the beautiful American, as she sat before him in an attitude expressive
of dormant passion, tinged with an imperious coquetry which was one of
the most alluring of her charms. The Hotel Montmartre was then the
fashionable resort of Louis Napoleon's dissolute nobility, and the Baron
de Reviere soon found himself a worshiper in the luxurious retreat. He
was not a man who courted by halves. He fell madly in love with the
voluptuous Helene, and yielding to an irresistible penchant, the soiled
beauty threw herself and her accumulated francs into his arms.

The Baron was one of those few men whose manners were perfect and whose
dress never strikes the eye, but which seems to have developed on them
as the natural foliage of their persons. He had a high appreciation of
the enjoyments of life--vanity, ostentation, good eating, and even the
austere joys of the family. At home with his wife he illustrated the
tender assiduity of the young husband; abroad he was the personification
of a youth just freed from parental discipline. While his wife was the
happiest woman in Paris, he was rendering Miss Stille equally
felicitous. The dinners he gave at home were unexcelled except by those
banquets which he gave at the hotel in the Rue Montmartre.

So complete had become the Baron's infatuation with the fair Helene in
September, that he took her to Biarritz, and, according to her own
story, introduced her to the Emperor Napoleon. "Then," to use her own
language when examined under oath, "I came back to Paris; stayed there
about a week, and then went to London with de Reviere. After spending
ten days in London, we went back to Paris and stopped at the Hotel de
Louvre. We then went to Bordeaux, where I remained a few days, and
whence I went to Lisbon, Portugal, staying six weeks, and went back to
Paris by way of Marseilles, traveling part of the distance in the yacht
of the Bey of Tunis. From Paris, I went with de Reviere to Nantes,
thence to Nazarre, where I stayed two days with de Review's sister."

At this time the lady described her possessions as follows: "I had two
hundred thousand francs worth of furniture, fifty thousand francs of
_objects de vertu_, nine horses, five carriages, a hundred thousand
francs worth of jewelry, many India shawls, twenty thousand francs worth
of furs of every kind and description known in the world, any quantity
of laces, twelve velvet dresses of different shades, and a toilet-set
worth eighty-thousand francs, besides an income derived from my family
in America of sixty thousand dollars," received regularly through the
hands of her banker Mr. John Monroe of 5 Rue de la Paix.

Helene Stille then disposed of her _maison_ and started with the Baron
de Reviere on a trip to South America. A full account of that trip would
read like a supplement to the Arabian Nights. For the purposes of this
tour the lady became the Baroness de Reviere, and the pair traveled
through the land of Cortez and Pizarro like some fabled Eastern
conquerors. A courier rode ahead, and engaged nearly the entire
apartments of every hotel at which they condescended to stop. Postilions
and outriders accompanied their entrance. In the hotels the Baron and
"Baroness" had their magnificent court dresses unpacked to impress and
bewilder and confound the guests, while the gaping domestics would
spread the news abroad until the entire population of the town would be
assembled open-mouthed in front of the Baron's hotel, watching his
movements and admiring in no stinted terms the statuesque beauty of the
"Baroness." This extensive triumphal procession cost a lot of money,
every cent of which is said to have been paid by the infatuated woman.

It was during their progress through Peru that she seems to have first
made the discovery that the Baron already possessed one legal wife. From
that hour, it is related to her credit, she stopped all marital
relations. She parted from her companion then and there, and returned to
Paris. She had two children by the Baron, as she testified in the legal
proceedings brought by her. The eldest, a boy, was named "Monsieur le
Comte Edmond Viel d'Espenilles; the girl, Santa Maria Rosa de
Lenia--names given them by the Baron; for," added the lady, "he is fond
of long and sonorous names."

After the separation the Baron and Helene Stille were at daggers drawn.
They had some virulent litigation in Paris, and when the Baron came to
New York with his family, consisting of his wife, two children, two men
servants and three maid servants, she quickly followed. The Baron and
his establishment were sojourning at the Clarendon Hotel, when he
received the following letter:


"MONSIEUR HENRI DE REVIERE:

I wish to know whether you intend doing anything toward the support of
your child? She is a poor, delicate little thing, being afflicted with
curvature of the spine. I have had her under treatment of Dr. Taylor for
the last three months and his charges are five hundred dollars, which
for me, with my other expenses, is a great deal. I hope you will
consider my claim a just one and act accordingly. Rosa de Lenia is one
of the most beautiful children in the world, and I love her with such a
love as you could never dream of.

Reply by bearer, or send reply later in the day, just as you feel
disposed; but a reply I must have. I should think your _amour proper_
would not allow you to abandon your child, as you have done for nearly
three years.

HOFFMAN HOUSE, Sept. 26        HELENE DE STILLE"


The rejoinder was insulting, and so she had him arrested in order that
"he might disclose those dreadful things he pretended to know about me."

There was a hearing of the lady's case before Judge Jones of the
Superior Court, when most of the foregoing particulars of Miss Stille's
history was drawn from her in cross-examination by the defendant's
counsel. At a subsequent hearing the Baron contributed an affidavit
containing many startling assertions accompanied by big figures.

"I left Paris in April for Madrid," he began, giving exactly the same
route already described by Miss Stille. Continuing, he said, "Further, I
have had an office as government contractor for artillery and ships of
war. I also contracted with a Liverpool ship-builder (Laird) for two
iron-clads and four steam corvettes for twelve million francs. I acted
as agent and partner of L. Arman of Bordeaux and Vous of Nantes, and
received in one year for my share eleven hundred thousand francs profit.
I sold forty guns to the Danish government, receiving as my commission
forty-five thousand francs. I sold in 1884, to the Prussian government,
an iron-clad and two steam corvettes for seven million five hundred
thousand francs, and received five per cent, commission." Then he
professed to have had gigantic contracts in Chili, Peru and other parts
of South America for artillery and guano. Altogether his story was of
the Brobdingnagian type.

The case, however, never came to trial, the friends of both parties to
the action suggesting an amicable settlement of their differences, which
being adjusted to everyone's satisfaction, the Baron went his way,
lecturing on "Love," a theme on which he was most conversant, and the
fair Helene spent her time flitting between this city and gay Paris, in
both of which cities she is thoroughly at home. And so the somewhat
famous episode ended, so far as the office of Howe and Hummel was
concerned.



CHAPTER XII.

THE DEMI-MONDE.

Reader, did you ever try to estimate the malign influence upon society
of one single fallen woman? Did you ever endeavor to calculate the evils
of such a leaven stealthily disseminating its influence in a community?
Woman, courted, flattered, fondled, tempted and deceived, becomes in
turn the terrible Nemesis--the insatiate Avenger of her sex! Armed with
a power which is all but irresistible, and stripped of that which alone
can retain and purify her influence, she steps upon the arena of life
ready to act her part in the demoralization of society. As some one has
remarked, "the _lex talionis_--the law of retaliation--is hers. Society
has made her what she is, and must now be governed by her potent
influence." Surely the weight of this influence baffles computation!
View it in shattered domestic ties, in the sacrifice of family peace, in
the cold desolation of once happy homes! See the eldest son and hope of
a proud family, educated in an atmosphere of virtue and principle, who
has given promise of high and noble qualities. He falls a victim to the
fashionable vice, and carries back to his hitherto untainted home the
lethal influence he has imbibed. Another and another, within the range
of that influence, suffers for his lapse from moral rectitude, and they
in turn become the agents and disseminators of fresh evils.

This promiscuous association is tacitly regarded as a necessary evil,
the suppression of which would produce alarming and disastrous effects
upon the community at large. The passions, indolence, and the love of
dress and display are the main agents in producing the class of women we
have under consideration. It is a vulgar error and a popular delusion,
that the life of a fallen woman is as revolting to herself as it appears
to the moralist and philanthropist. Authors of vivid imagination love to
portray the misery that is brought on an innocent and confiding girl by
the perfidy and desertion of her seducer. The stage presents the picture
with all its accessories of light, color and morbid emotion. The pulpit
takes up the theme and howls its evangelical horrors, picturing those
women as being a continuous prey to "the long-beaked, filthy vulture of
unending despair." Women who in youth have lost their virtue, often
contrive to retain their reputation, and even when this is not the case,
frequently amalgamate with the purer portion of the population, and
become, to all outward appearance, good members of society.

The love of woman is usually pure and elevated. But when she devotes her
affections to a man who realizes her ideal, she does not hesitate to
sacrifice all she holds dear for his gratification. Actuated by a noble
self-abnegation, she derives a melancholy pleasure from the knowledge
that she has utterly given up all she had formerly so zealously guarded,
and she feels that her love has reached its grand climacteric when she
abandons herself, without redemption, to the idol she has set up in the
highest place in her soul. This heroic martyrdom is one of the
recognizable causes of the immorality that insidiously permeates our
social system.

The crime of prostitution can be witnessed in New York in every phase in
which it invites or repels the passions of men. There are the splendid
parlor houses distributed in the most fashionable parts of the city;
there are the bar houses; there are the dance houses; and there are the
miserable basements where this traffic is seen in its hideous deformity,
divested of the gaslight glare and tinsel of the high-toned seraglios.
The internal arrangements of the palatial bagnios are in many instances
sumptuous, magnificent and suggestive. The walls of these seductive
arsenals, too, are frequently of a color calculated to throw the most
becoming shade over the inmates, while the pictures on the walls usually
suggest resplendent sensuality. Many of these gilded palaces are
patronized by prominent citizens, officials in the government, state and
civic employ. Many of them, already married, keep mistresses in these
establishments, while others are content to be recognized as "lovers" of
the inmates. Many of the country merchants who periodically visit New
York insist on being taken the "grand rounds," as it is termed, before
they will order goods or attend to business at all. The salesmen in our
leading houses are expect to be posted, and to act as escorts sad
chaperones in this wine-guzzling tour. Indeed, so much is this
disgraceful feature recognized in some large business houses, that the
proprietors make an allowance to their salesmen for this purpose.

The proprietresses of these houses are all impervious to shame, and
carry on their trade with the sole ambition of realizing money. Many of
them have summer establishments and suburban villas at the
watering-places, and carry on their nefarious business at Saratoga, Long
Branch, Coney Island, Newport and Cape May during the summer mouths.
Many of them own handsome equipages, in which, gorgeously attired, with
liveried menials, they show themselves in Central Park to the envy of
the virtuous and honest of womankind. It is in the places kept by these
women, where the inmates are usually handsome young girls between the
ages of fifteen and thirty, that the precocious and well-to-do young men
of this city fall an easy prey to vice, and become in time the haggard
and dissolute man of the town, or degenerate into the forger, the bank
defaulter or the swindler.

The bar and basement brothels, profusely scattered over the lower
portions of the city, present the most miserable phase of this
disgusting evil. Nearly all these places are kept by men, though
nominally under control of their mistresses and wives, who are generally
hideous specimens of womanhood, and whose features present the traits of
sensuality, cruelty and avarice as clearly expressed as if traced there
by Belial himself. The men, flashily dressed and bejeweled, their flabby
features decorated by a huge dyed mustache, frequent race courses and
other places of public resort, and loud in appearance as they are
obscene in talk, are, in the estimation of every self-respecting man,
eminently fitted by Lucifer for laboring in the State-prison quarries
for the term of their natural lives.

The inmates of these basement brothels invite the pencil of a Hogarth.
Their bloated forms, pimpled features and bloodshot eyes are suggestive
of an Inferno, while their tawdry dresses, brazen leer, and disgusting
assumption of an air of gay abandon, emphasizes their hideousness and
renders it more repulsive. Most of them have passed through the
successive grades of immorality. Some of them have been the queenly
mistress of the spendthrift, and have descended, step by step, to the
foul, degraded beings of those human charnel-houses. In some instances
fresh-looking girls will be seen, and careful inquiry will discover the
fact that they were either emigrant or innocent country girls, who have
been inveigled into these dens by the arts of procuresses or brought
there by their seducers. Unsophisticated and unacquainted with life in a
great city, without money or friends, they have been entrapped and
compelled to submit to a life of shame by the coarse words and
frequently the brutal violence of their captors.

Between the two extremes of unfortunates already described, there is
another class nomadic in their habits. Some of these are street-walkers,
some frequent dance houses like The Allen's, Billy McGlory's, Owney
Geoghegan's and Harry Hill's, while others circulate around such
up-town, west-side houses as the French Madame's, the Haymarket and Tom
Gould's. They usually live in furnished rooms, in houses owned by
wealthy and respectable citizens, let to them by agents who lease them
at exorbitant rents, paid in advance. In both the eastern, western and
central portions of the city they may be found occupying rooms on the
same floors with respectable families. These women seldom conduct the
prey that they have allured to their home, but to some assignation house
or fourth-rate hotel, of which there are a large number scattered over
the city.

Most of this class of unfortunates have a "lover"--a gambler or pimp,
who occupies their room and assumes the role of husband and protector
for the nonce, with the privilege of spending the girl's blood money in
drink or dissipation, and unmercifully beating her when he feels
inclined that way. The pair call this place their home, and as they are
shiftless in their habits, and careless of sickness, they are frequently
in a condition of chronic impecuniosity and are thus liable to be "fired
out" by the heartless agent. Many of these girls, from their association
with vicious society, become thieves, and ply their light-fingered
privateering while caressing their victim. It is a favorite dodge of
some of the more comely and shapely of this class, especially the
frequenters of such places as Gould's, the Haymarket, the French
Ma-dames, the Star and Garter, and the Empire, to ask gentlemen on whom
they have been unavailingly airing their becks and nods and other
fascinations to put a quarter into the top of their hosiery "for luck."
They usually get the quarter, and sometimes the man as well.

The assignation houses are usually located convenient to the great
arteries of travel, and, as we have already hinted, they are largely
patronized; while the number of "flash hotels" which are frequented by
the "soiled doves" and their mates, is also numerous and scarcely less
notorious than the assignation houses. The proprietors of these
"convenient" hotels invariably keep the hotel register required by law,
but agreeably fail to ask their lodgers for the time being to chronicle
either their own or even a fictitious name, thus, day after day,
violating a specific statute.

Besides these, there are assignation houses of a far different
character. By these we mean the introducing houses, such as ostensible
millinery establishments and the like in fashionable but retired
streets, where ladies meet their lovers. Married women of the _haut
ton_, with wealthy, hard-working husbands courting Mammon downtown,
imitating the custom of Messalina, not uncommonly make use of these
places. Sometimes the lady will even take along her young child as a
"blind," and the little innocent will be regaled with sweetmeats in the
parlor while the mother keeps her appointment up-stairs.

Liberally, every woman who yields to her passions and loses her virtue
is what Tom Hood would have called "one more unfortunate," but many draw
a distinction between those who live by promiscuous intercourse, and
those who merely manifest, like the ladies referred to above, a
_penchant_ for one man. There is still another denomination of this
latter kind, whom all the world has heard of as kept mistresses. These
women exercise a potent influence upon society and contribute largely to
swell the numbers of well-to-do young men who manifest an invincible
distaste to marriage. Laïs, when under the protection of a prince of
the blood; Aspasia, whose friend is one of the most influential noblemen
in the kingdom; Phryne, the _chere ami_ of a well-known officer, or a
man of wealth known on the stock exchange and in the city--have all
great influence upon the tone of morality, while the glare of their
dazzling profligacy falls upon and bewilders those who are in a lower
condition of life, and acts as an incentive to similar deeds of
licentiousness, though necessarily on a more limited scale.

The prevalence of the kept mistress surpasses the wildest imagining in
this city, although in many a home her dire influence has extinguished
the Hymeneal torch, and left nothing but ashes and desolation. It is a
great mistake to imagine that these kept women are without friends and
debarred from society. On the contrary, their acquaintance, if not
select, is numerous. They are useful, good-looking, piquant, tasteful
and vivacious. Many of them have more than one lover, and conduct their
amours with singular _finesse_, generally escaping detection. They are
rarely possessed of more than a smattering of education, because their
ranks are recruited from a class where education is not in vogue. They
are not, as a rule, disgusted with their mode of living--most of them
consider it as a means to an end, and in no measure degrading or
polluting. Most of them look forward to marriage and a certain state in
society as their ultimate lot. Many of these women reside in the most
fashionable apartment houses up-town, and successfully conceal their
shame from the inquisitive eye of the respectable matron. They may also
be seen in the most fashionable hotels and boarding houses, while they
have even crept in as members of institutions and organizations which
were incepted solely for the benefit of high-toned and virtuous women.
Moreover, they are to be seen in boxes at the theatre and the opera, and
in almost every accessible place where wealthy and fashionable people
congregate. In point of fact, through the potent influence of their more
or less wealthy protector, they possess the open sesame to all places
where admittance is not secured by vouchers, and in many instances those
apparently insuperable barriers fall before their indorser's tact and
address.



CHAPTER XIII.

PASSION'S SLAVES AND VICTIMS.

_A Matter of Untold History--The Terrible Machinery of the Law as a
Means of Persecution--Edwin James's Rascality_.

Our practice has furnished many illustrations of Thackeray's shrewd
remark, that "Most men have sailed near the dangerous isles of the
Sirens at some time of their lives, and some have come away thence
wanting a strait-waistcoat." The following is a case in point, which
occurred in the time of the Tweed _régime_. The position, wealth and
influence of the somewhat mature Lothario, backed by the more or less
corrupt judiciary of those days, prevented the ventilation of this most
remarkable and sensational scandal of our times in the newspapers. Begun
as a piquant flirtation, the intimacy, so far as the principal actor was
concerned, traversed all the stages between bliss and rapture on the one
side, and fear and remorse on the other--between garlands of roses and
the iron link, forging a clanking manacle of the past. A man of
singularly graceful presence and attractive mien; a leading member of
the bar, whose Corinthian taste and princely hospitality nominated him
as a fitting host of the Queen of England's eldest son, when he visited
this city; a prominent figure in the returning board that conferred the
Presidency on Hayes; and finally his country's representative at a
leading European court; he now sleeps the sleep which sooner or later
comes to all--to victim as well as to victimizer.

It was about sundown of a beautiful evening in the early autumn of 1865,
that the aristocratic lawyer first beheld the lady with whom he was to
become so insanely infatuated. But slightly advanced in the thirties,
the widow of a leading officer of the Confederate Army Medical Staff,
and formerly a leading Baltimore belle, she was a fascinating and
beautiful woman, when meeting the lawyer that evening on Fifth avenue,
near Delmonico's old place, she met Fate. It seems to have been a mutual
infatuation--a case of love at first sight, and in a moment of delirium,
under an impulse which was perhaps uncontrollable, she sacrificed her
virtue and her self-respect.

The story of her infatuation reads like the distempered dream of an
opium-eater. It was a case of fervent love on both sides. They met on
the avenue, looked, spoke and, without more ado, proceeded to
Delmonico's to sup. The amour thus begun soon assumed a romantic
intensity. When she left the city, he dispatched ridiculously "spoony"
telegrams to her in Baltimore, and in his daily letters indulged in a
maudlin sentimentality that might have inspired the envy of a sighing
Strephon in his teens.

During the summer of 1866, while his wife was in the country, he brought
his Baltimore inamoretta to New York, and established her in his
splendid mansion on the Avenue. With an impudence and infatuation
perfectly astounding in so shrewd a man, he took no pains to conceal his
conquest. Jauntily would he pace down Broadway with her on his arm in
the morning, and in the evening she would be in waiting to accompany him
home.

Tidings of this open _liaison_ reached the lawyer's wife in her retreat
among the Vermont hills, and she promptly came to New York and dislodged
the mistress _pro tem_. Relatives of the infatuated widow also appeared
at this juncture and strongly urged her to conquer her mad infatuation,
while a like appeal was made to the lawyer. But he was deaf to reason.
He refused to give up his idol, and the widow declared her intention, to
use her own language, "of sticking to him as long as he had a button on
his coat."

Time sped on. The lawyer's passion began to be exhausted, and the
unending insistence of her's began to excite his repugnance. As Ouida
happily remarked, "A woman who is ice to his fire, is less pain to a man
than the woman who is fire to his ice." There is hope for him in the
one, but only a dreary despair in the other. In the latter part of 1867,
the lawyer began to realize the force of this philosophy. The amorous
widow was then boarding at the Metropolitan Hotel, and he began to take
the initiatory steps to be rid of her. After two years of madness,
during which she had sacrificed the respect of every relative she had,
including her own daughter, a pretty girl in her teens, it was hardly
likely that he would evince the moral courage to declare openly and
straightforward to her that their relations must end. On the contrary,
he invoked the aid of three lawyers--two of them her own cousins, the
other bearing an historic name--to kidnap and spirit her out of the
city. First they forcibly conveyed her to police headquarters. Then, in
spite of tears and protestations, she was kept all night in a dark room.
Her screams and entreaties might have moved a heart of stone, but they
were unavailing. In the morning she saw Superintendent Kennedy, and
demanded the cause of the outrage. He informed her that she had been
brought there on a charge of being insane about the lawyer. A physician
was summoned, and by his direction, after he had submitted her to an
examination, she was sent back to her hotel. During the same afternoon,
the lawyer called and emphatically denied having had any hand in her
contemplated imprisonment, and secured her release, conveniently
imputing the conspiracy to the jealousy of his wife.

Meantime, however, the lawyer and his fellow-accomplices of the law were
plotting to get the wretched woman placed in some private asylum.
Bloomingdale and Flushing asylums were full, and as she continued to
follow her whilom lover and importune him to visit her, he found it
politic and convenient to renew his attentions and to feign a revival of
his passion. In a certain sense, he was to be pitied. Love of this kind
begins as a gift; but a woman of this temperament does not leave it so.
She promptly turned it into a debt, and the more she loved the debtor,
the more oppressively and inexorably did she extort the uttermost penny
from him. About this time she was introduced to an eminent medical
specialist in mental diseases, who, by some inexplicable means, was
induced to give a certificate of her insanity. Then her cousins took her
before a justice, and swore that she was an indigent lunatic, upon which
showing the court issued an order of committal to an asylum. A few days
before her contemplated abduction, the lawyer induced her to board at
the Astor House, and on the morning of February 26, 1868, he being
engaged in the Federal court, while she was leisurely sauntering along
Broadway looking for him, as was her wont, she was suddenly seized by
three hired ruffians, hustled into a carriage, gagged and driven rapidly
up-town to Central Park, when the bandage was removed from her mouth.
For four mortal hours she was driven about the park in the company of
her brutal captors, and afterward placed on board the afternoon train
for Albany at the old Hudson River depot. "All along the road," as she
subsequently told the writer, "I implored the conductor to furnish me
with paper and pencil so that I might telegraph to New York, but it was
only when we reached the end of the journey that he did so. I gave him
money to pay for the dispatch, but he probably never sent it. When I
reached Utica I was placed in a pretty bad ward, and when the physician,
Dr. Kellogg, saw me he went and reported to Dr. Gray, the director of
the place. When he came up he said I must not be treated so, and I was
at once removed to the well ward; I remained there two weeks, when I was
discharged." Yes, she was discharged, and was received with crocodile
congratulations by the lawyer and one of her lawyer cousins, and
triumphantly, as it were, transported back to New York.

She was now placed in elegant apartments in the Hoffman House, and her
lawyer lover resumed his visits as formerly. During the summer she went
to the country at his expense, and when, in September, 1868, she
returned to the city, he finally ceased to visit her. She was frantic
with disappointment, and her insane infatuation led her into all manner
of indelicate demonstrations. She dogged him in the streets; she
followed him into court and interrupted him in his pleadings. Sometimes
she sat on the stoop of his elegant mansion all night. Once she dressed
herself as a soldier, and tried to gain access to him. Frequently she
waylaid him, and sunk upon the pavement in real or assumed paroxysmal
fits when he approached. There were other demonstrations that no decent
pen could describe, except in a medical book for purposes of science.
Naturally the unfortunate lawyer was driven to the brink of desperation,
and at this time he never went out of doors without being accompanied by
two detectives to protect him from her indelicate approaches.

On November 16, 1868, he caused her to be arrested for disorderly
conduct and thrown into the Tombs. The lawyer with the historic name
appeared against her, and, to use her own language, "without any
examination, I was committed by Judge Dowling." Her gentle bearing and
lady-like address again stood her good stead, however, and in a few days
she was released.

She now consulted the late James T. Brady, the greatest lawyer who ever
practiced at the American bar, and after listening carefully to her
statement, he promised to see her "righted." Pending legal action that
eminent advocate died, and in the beginning of February, 1869, she took
the opinion of Edwin James, the English barrister, and a suit was
immediately instituted against her whilom lawyer lover in the Court of
Common Pleas, damages being laid at $100,000. When the defendant
received notice of the suit he hastened to see Mr. James, and during
several conversations offered any reasonable compromise to procure a
stay of proceedings. The lady's version of the suit and the subsequent
negotiations is as follows: "The suit was never placed on the calendar.
It was arranged with Mr. James to allow the case to proceed a certain
length and then obtain a release. Mr. James got no retainer, but took my
case on speculation, with the understanding that he was to have one
thousand dollars at the end of the suit, if there were any proceeds from
the same. He continuously urged me to go to Europe with my daughter for
two years, and they would advance the money; but I declined. An order
was obtained by the defendant's lawyer to examine me; whereupon Mr.
James advised me to leave the city in order to avoid the examination. On
my return Mr. James advised me to release the suit on the payment of a
certain sum by the defendant, he, the defendant, at the same time to
make an apology for what he had done and to express regret for my
sufferings."

Accordingly, on May 27, 1868, she wrote a letter by advice of her
counsel, authorizing him to withdraw the suit on these conditions, and
early in June she signed a "general release," professing afterwards to
be entirely ignorant of the nature of the instrument. Indeed the unhappy
woman cared more for an expression of regret from her enslaver than for
any pecuniary solace, and she received no money, although her lawyer
did, when the general release was signed. When she discovered the nature
of the instrument she was extremely indignant and demanded from Mr.
James the telegrams and letters in his possession which had been sent to
her by her worshiper in the heyday of their passion. The lawyer
hesitated and delayed, and finally, being pressed by a friend and
kinsman of the unhappy lady, said, "I won't give them up unless I have
an order from the court." Subsequently he claimed that he had destroyed
these tell-tale documents, and that the "general release" authorized the
proceedings.

She now consulted another law firm, but her case came to nothing, and
meantime her former adorer, now grown fiercely hostile, instituted
proceedings in the Supreme Court, for the purpose of procuring a
perpetual injunction to forever restrain her from harassing him with
such suits. This was in 1870, in the early days of March, when the
writer saw her last, and conversed with her on her wrongs. Her picture
lives in his recollection yet: The soft, large brown eyes, half sad and
half voluptuous in their tenderness; the soft, pleading face, with a
refinement--even a sort of nobleness--that had outlived the sacrifice of
her virtue and reputation. To the last she was a lady of extreme
sweetness of manner, and a fascinating and interesting conversationalist.

Another notable man, now also a member of the "great majority"--a
renowned Shakespearean critic, author and censor in the domain of
_belles-lettres_--brought great trouble and humiliation upon himself by
an amour with a ridiculously plain-looking and by no means young woman.
He had naturally, perhaps, a _penchant_ in that direction, for on the
appearance of the Lydia Thompson troupe of original British blondes in
this city, he wrought himself into a fervor of passionate folly over the
statuesque Markham, and designated her in his Erosian outpourings as
"she of the vocal velvet voice." There may have been some excuse for
this passing delirium, and many others were touched by it, Pauline
Markham was a singularly beautiful girl, and she never looked so well as
when she sang; it sent warmth into her lips and took the hardness from
her face. But the lady with whom he became involved in a scrape, with
the attendant litigation, payment of damages, danger of publicity and
total ruin of reputation in the exclusive places where his character was
respected and his judgment esteemed, was in every respect different from
the lady of burlesque opera. Bitterly did he regret his follies, for the
facts were given to a newspaper famous for its sensations, and the great
_littérateur_ was compelled literally to go down on his marrow bones to
induce the editor to withhold the particulars of his seduction of the
lady from publication. The sword of Damocles was suspended for weeks,
during which the high-toned censor's condition was sometimes pitiable to
see. His entreaties finally carried the point, and the case became one
of those scandals of the existence of which the public never dreams.



CHAPTER XIV.

PROCURESSES AND THEIR VICTIMS.

_Clandestine Meetings at Seemingly Respectable Resorts--The
"Introduction House."_

The revelations not long since published in the London _Pall Mall
Gazette_ revealed fashionable aristocratic depravity in the British
metropolis in a shamefully disreputable light, and disclosed the
services of the professional procuress in all their repulsive
loathsomeness. Although we do not possess titled libertines at elegant
leisure here, there can be no manner of doubt that the procuress plies
her vocation among us, and thrives on a liberally perennial patronage.
Whatever may be her characteristics in other respects, she is invariably
an elegantly-dressed woman, with persuasive address, suave speech and
attractive mien. In most cases procuresses possess houses of their own,
where they procure desirable ladies for their patrons. Sometimes these
establishments are termed "Introducing houses," and, as may be imagined,
are exceedingly lucrative to their proprietors. Sometimes ladies are
boarded and lodged in the house; but they are usually "independent," or,
in other words, living under the protection of some patron of the
establishment. Some of these procuresses possess a list of ladies whom
they can send a messenger for on demand. Take the case of a well-known
establishment in one of the most fashionable quarters up-town, for
example:

A wealthy broker, speculator, or attache of Uncle Sam, calls upon the
lady of the house at a fashionable afternoon hour, orders wine, and
enters into conversation about indifferent matters, until he is able
delicately to broach the subject he has in view. He explains that he
wishes to meet with a quiet lady, whose secrecy he can rely upon, and
whom he can trust in every possible way. He intimates his preference for
an elegantly-formed, young and fairly good-looking acquaintance, and
would like her, in addition, to be vivacious, witty and a little gay.
The lady of the house listens complacently, and replies that she is
acquainted with a lady who will suit him to a nicety, and offers to send
a message for her at once, if he wishes; but he must take his chance of
her being at home. Should she be out, she intimates an appointment will
be made for next day. In the meantime, a messenger is dispatched to the
lady in question, and more wine is ordered and drank. When the lady
arrives, the introduction takes place, and the business is transacted,
as far as the procuress is concerned. Sometimes the gentleman pays the
professional fee, and sometimes the lady gives half the money she
receives from the patron to the madame of the house.

Not infrequently these procuresses will write to men of means of their
acquaintance, informing them in some cipher or slang phrase that they
have a new importation in their house awaiting eligible disposition.
Large sums are often paid under such circumstances, and the fresh
importation is usually sold in this way five or six times. In other
words, she is represented as a maid and imposed upon men as a virgin;
which fabrication, as it is difficult to disprove, is believed, more
especially if the girl herself be well instructed.

To the house up-town, to which reference has been made above, both
married and unmarried ladies repair, in order to meet with and be
introduced to gentlemen. This sort of clandestine meeting is greatly on
the increase in New York, as it is also in Paris and in London. Some
curious facts have come to us in a professional way, to which we can
only refer in a general manner here. The following is a case in point:

A brilliant and handsome lady, belonging to the best society in Gotham,
married to a man of wealth, found herself unhappy in his society, and
after some time unwillingly came to the conclusion that she had formed
an alliance that was destined to make her miserable. Her passions were
naturally strong and her education had not been of the kind calculated
to enable her to control them. She had been, pampered and petted, and
had been accustomed to have every desire gratified. One day the name of
the "Introduction-house" madame came up in conversation at a lady
friend's house, and the naughtiness of the topic was discussed with the
freedom characteristic of progressive society ladies, safe from
intrusive masculine ears. A few days after, she ordered a cab and drove
to the house in question. She was received with _empressement_, and
informed that it was not necessary to explain the nature of her
business. That, she was assured, was understood. She was shown into a
handsome drawing-room, elegantly furnished and upholstered, and
requested to wait a few minutes.

After waiting, in uneasy suspense, a little time, the door opened and a
gentleman entered. The heavy curtains of the windows and the thick
blinds caused only a "dim, religious light" to pervade the apartment,
preventing the lady from seeing distinctly the features of her visitor.
He approached her with well-bred politeness, and, in a low tone of
voice, began a conversation with her about the beautiful weather New
York was then enjoying. She listened for a brief moment, and then,
with a cry of astonishment, recognized her husband's voice. He, equally
confused, discovered that he had accidentally met in a house of ill-fame
the wife whom he had sworn to love and honor, but whom he had condemned
to languish at home while he enjoyed himself abroad. This remarkable
rencontre had a happy termination, for, after a little legal sparring,
it ended in the reconciliation of husband and wife, who mutually
admitted that they were both to blame.



CHAPTER XV.

QUACKS AND QUACKERY.

_Specimen Advertisements--The Bait Held Out, and the Fish who are
Expected to Bite._

The vile practices, the monstrous impudence, the cruel rapacity and
enormous gains of the obscene tribe of quacks, together with the
mischief they do, and the ruin they work, would require much more space
to adequately ventilate than we can devote to it here. The healing art
is a noble one, and duly qualified men, interested in their profession,
are public benefactors; but the despicable race of charlatans not only
rob their victims, but frequently ruin their health, and drive them to
the verge of insanity. There is probably hardly a reader of this page
who has not met, within the circle of his or her acquaintance, some
unfortunate individual whose hopes in life have been wholly or partially
blighted by the adroitly-worded insinuations of those advertising
quacks. We all know that "fools are the game that knaves pursue," and no
well-informed member of the community needs to be informed that the
victims captured by quack advertisements are not among the wiser portion
of the community. Many of them, however, lie open to be allured into the
quack's net, not by mere congenital and absolute folly, but because of
the inexperience of youth or lack of knowledge of the world, or perhaps
in some cases from a natural deficiency in the faculty of deciphering
characteristic expression. There are some who fail to recognize a quack
advertisement when it meets their eye, from a defect in perception
similar to that which incapacitates certain persons from distinguishing
a pocket-book dropper, or a bunco steerer, or a billiard sharp, or a
sporting "gent."

Of course, there are degrees and varieties of quacks, as well as in the
character of their announcements. The street-vender of a "magic
pain-reliever," who, by dint of talk and manipulation, convinces some
credulous sufferer that his rheumatism is banished, is a quack. So are
those who advertise such preparations as sarsaparilla, blood-mixtures,
and a variety of pills, potions and lozenges too numerous to mention. So
also are those marvelous discoverers of "hair restorers," "removers of
freckles," and so on. Most of these do little harm beyond lightening the
purses of the purchasers, and in some cases the administration of an
inert substance, by exciting the victim's imagination, produces a cure.
But the great injury, so far as these innoxious preparations are
concerned, lies in the fact that they prevent the sufferer from seeking
proper professional treatment. Still this class of quacks is rather to
be reckoned among swindlers who obtain money under false pretences, than
among the _bona fide_ medical quacks that we have in view. The great aim
of this pernicious class is to get people in fair, ordinary health to
consult them by means of newspaper advertisements, almanacs, pamphlets
and circulars filled with details of the character and symptoms of
various diseases, scattered broadcast through the land. We will not
contaminate our pages in giving samples _in extenso_ of this prurient
and abominable literature, but a few of the typical advertisements to be
met in even respectable newspapers, can hardly be omitted if the
exposure is to be thorough:



*MEN ONLY*. A quick, Permanent Cure for Lost Manhood, Disability,
Nervousness and Weakness. No Quackery.



*TO WEAK MEN,*
Suffering from nervous debility, weakness of body and mind, loss of
memory, mental and physical exhaustion. On receipt of stamp we will send
you a valuable treatise upon the above diseases, also directions for
home-cure.        Address
                         * * * * * *



*ANY PART OF THE BODY*
when deprived of growth, weak and undeveloped, lacking in proper size,
form and vigor, may be enlarged, developed and strengthened by simple
scientific self-treatment. We will prove this free to any honest person.
Write for sealed circulars, description, references.



NERVOUS DEBILITATED MEN.
You are allowed a free trial of thirty days of the use of -------'s
Celebrated Voltaic Belt with Electric Suspensory Appliances, for the
speedy relief and permanent cure of nervous debility, loss of vitality
and manhood, and all kindred troubles. Also for many other diseases.
Complete restoration to health, vigor and manhood guaranteed. No risk is
incurred. Illustrated pamphlet in sealed envelope mailed free by
addressing Voltaic Belt Co.



NERVOUS DEBILITY, weakness of body and mind, loss of memory, nervous and
physical exhaustion permanently and quickly cured. I will send you a
valuable treatise upon the above diseases, also directions for
home-cure, free of charge.
        Address        * * * * * *



*WEAK MEN*
Can be promptly and lastingly cured, secretly and without nauseous
drugging, by the
FRENCH HOSPITAL TREATMENT.
Board of six regular physicians. Consultation free. Full restoration to
vigor and strength, however lost.



The list of lewd and brazen manifestoes might be indefinitely extended,
but as they all bear the same disgusting ear-marks, the foregoing must
suffice. As for the pamphlets sent through the mails in "sealed
envelopes" by these harpies, the following titles will sufficiently
indicate their character: "The Friend in Need;" "A Medical Work on
Marriage;" "The Tonic Elixir;" "The Silent Friend;" "Manhood;" "A Cure
for All;" "The Self Cure of Nervous Debility;" "The Self-adjusting
Curative;" "New Medical Guide;" "Debility, its Cause and Cure;" "A
Warning Voice;" "Second Life," and scores of others of a similar stamp.
This disgusting literature corrupts and pollutes the mind and morals of
a large class of people who have not the courage to disbelieve its
monstrous exaggerations, or the good sense to despise its revolting
indecencies. Nor is this strange, when we reflect that the reading of
even a standard medical work has a tendency to excite belief in the
reader that he is afflicted with the malady whose grim description he is
perusing. His apprehension being alarmed and his imagination excited, he
has no difficulty in detecting all or a great many of the symptoms in
himself, although at the same time none of them may exist. The quack, in
his advertisements and publications, frequently warns the reader against
quacks and quackery, as, for instance, take the following cheeky
extract:


"The object in writing these pages is to teach the public at large to
discriminate between the legitimate, duly-qualified practitioner and the
legion of charlatans who infest every important city and town of the
United States, and particularly New York. That this is a subject of the
gravest importance cannot for a moment be doubted when it is considered
that, dating from our entrance into the world, 'from the cradle to the
grave,' we too often require the valuable services of the accoucheur,
doctor, surgeon, or physician, in consequence of departing from Nature's
laws, increased state of civilization, and overtaxed condition of the
mental and bodily systems, necessitating from time to time the knowledge
and attendance of the medical man. Under these circumstances it behooves
each individual to be placed on his guard, so as to be made cognizant of
the means to detect the nefarious, unqualified, and dishonest
charlatans, in order to save the one in search of health from falling in
their meshes, and thus jeopardize the welfare of his nearest and dearest
objects. The laws of the country, public opinion, and private
information, have and are doing much to save the reputations of those
who have made choice of the medical profession, thereby exposing
themselves to be placed on a level with some with whose names we will
not soil our pages, _nor indirectly offer the advantages of publicity_,
for it has well been remarked that to be mentioned with disparagement is
to these preferable to not being mentioned at all, and thus it very
often happens that the veil to hide a motive is so flimsy that even the
uninitiated are unable to catch a glimpse at the mystery within."


Here are the strains of another disinterested Mentor in the same field,
who once had an office on West Twenty-second street in New York City:


"Country patients are informed that they can have the necessary remedies
sent to any address, or directed to be left at an Express Office _till
called for_, in a portable compass. The medicines are carefully packed,
_and free from observation_; and may be taken without confinement or any
restraint. Patients should be as _minute_ as possible in the details of
their symptoms, age, general habits of living and occupation in life.
_The Communication must be accompanied by the usual_ CONSULTATION
FEE OF FIVE DOLLARS, which may be sent in bank note, or by
Post-office order, without which no notice can be taken of the application.
In all cases _secrecy is to be considered as inviolable_, all
letters being, if requested, either returned to the writers, or destroyed.

"Dr.---- begs to impress upon patients the importance of ONE personal
interview, even when resident at a distance. The advantages are
manifold, when compared with mere correspondence. A single visit will,
in most cases, enable Dr.---- to form an instantaneous and accurate
judgment, _and thus expedite the patient's recovery_. In the first
place, many important questions affecting the patient are likely to be
suggested by a personal interview, which might be lost sight of in
correspondence. Secondly, more correct diagnosis of the disorder and a
better appreciation of the patient's constitution can be arrived at,
_whilst a microscopic examination of the urine, where necessary, will
render any mistake impossible_, especially in cases of Spermatorrhœa.
And thirdly, where the patient is laboring under urethral discharges,
which may or may not be produced by impure connection, one personal
visit with a view to a urinary examination is eminently advantageous. In
a word, the correspondent will be more than repaid for the trouble and
expense of his journey by the increased rapidity of the cure.
* * * * * * * *

"Such patients, although they may be reaping the rewards of their own
folly, are, nevertheless, the very ones who have special need of correct
counsel, and are, for the most part, in just the frame of mind to
appreciate advice fitly rendered by a judicious medical man. In my
experience, it has always appeared strange to me why the treatment of
this affection should remain abandoned by respectable members of the
profession to the benefit of quacks and those vile harpies who play on
this class of victims.

"Medical men are too apt treat the complaints of such patients lightly,
making no effort to allay their anxiety--a course which often leads them
to apply for aid in illegitimate quarters, and to become the victims of
unprincipled men."


In some instances it is a clergyman who is the reputed advertiser, who,
as in the following unabridged "Ad," widely circulated in the country
papers, wishes to communicate to suffering humanity "the recipe that
will cure you free of charge":


*A Card.*
To all who an suffering from the errors and indiscretions of youth,
nervous weakness, early decay, loss of manhood, etc., I will lend a
recipe that will cure you, FREE OF CHARGE. This great remedy was
discovered by a missionary in South America. Send a self-addressed
envelope to the Rev. * * * * Station D, New York City.


Then there are the "Retired Philanthropic Physicians," and the "Patients
Who have been Cured," _et hoc genus omne_, who, with such rare
disinterestedness, incur large weekly expenses in advertising their
willingness to forward to sufferers the means of self-cure "on receipt
of two postage stamps." In a word, one and all of these pirates have
only one common aim and aspiration--to fleece the fools who are
credulous enough to seek their aid.

The main point to attain in this business is to decoy the victim to the
advertiser's den or office. Once there, he is impressed with the
multifarious engagements of the human decoy-spider who is probably
appraising his prey through a peep-hole. By and by, the patient's
anxiety is dissipated by the appearance of the pretended Medicus, and he
proceeds to give all the painful details of his case, while the
listener, by looks and words, does everything to increase his alarm. The
history finished, questions will be asked him as to his avocations,
position and income, all apparently with the view of elucidating the
points of his case, but in fact for the purpose of estimating the "size
of his pile," with the object of ascertaining to what extent he can be
"bled." This essential information obtained, the quack at once sets his
moral rack to work. Everything will be said not only to confirm the
patient's fears, but to increase them. A pretended examination of urine
will be made, and he will be gravely told that the quack's worst fears
are confirmed, ocular demonstration being offered the dupe. The effect
of this ordeal may be imagined. The unfortunate victim believes that he
has received "confirmation, strong as proof of holy writ," of his
dangerous condition. Glibly the quack discourses on the consequences of
neglecting the terrible symptoms, and the great difficulty of combating
them. He is told that he will be liable to spinal disease, softening of
the brain, or insanity. Sometimes a collection of plates, containing
hideous representations of dreadful eruption, and sores covering all
parts of the body, are submitted to the patient's horrified inspection.
Frightened by the hideous pictures before him, and at the same time
soothed and charmed by the high-flown encomiums which the quack
pronounces on his particular "non-mercurial mode of treatment," the
patient becomes anxious to submit himself to the process. The quack is
equally ready to take the case in hand, and the only stumbling-block
likely to be in the way, may be the patients' inability to pay the large
fee demanded. When the victim, however, is manifestly pecunious, the
remedy employed in the treatment is correspondingly expensive. In some
cases "a preparation of gold" has been used, and the patient has been
instructed that it would be absolutely necessary for him to remain in
bed for the six weeks during which he would have to take the remedies,
and that he must have a nurse to sit up with him at night, in order to
wake him and give him the medicines regularly!

We presume no intelligent person need be told that the pretensions as to
the "golden" and other "secret and valuable medicines" which these
quacks boast themselves to possess, are absolutely without foundation.
They no more possess such remedies than they possess any legitimate
right to the names and medical titles which they too frequently assume.

In cases of indiscretion, the quack treatment is always with
mercury--notwithstanding denials. Sometimes serious mercurial poisoning
results, and not unfrequently, through the charlatan's ignorance of
proper treatment in complicated diseases, irreparable injury ensues.

The quack advertisements and pamphlets are the source of incalculable
evils to youths between the ages of seventeen and thirty. They are
impelled by fear to visit the quack's den, where they are "played" as
long as practicable. Sometimes exciting drugs, like cantharides, are
given in the medicine, and thus intensify the evil. The quack, of
course, ascribes the result to the patient's alarming condition, who is
growing worse, in spite of his medicines, and who can only be cured by
more powerful and costly drugs. Sometimes a seemingly candid but equally
misleading offer of "no cure no pay" is offered. In this case the
patient is usually required to sign a statement of his condition, in
which his symptoms and his previous bad habits are fully set forth. It
is stipulated that the "doctor" is to be paid a certain round sum when a
cure is effected, and while the case is under treatment the patient pays
for the medicines. If no pay is asked for the "stuff," the quack is
seldom or ever a loser. Such a document few persons, with characters to
lose, would care to run the risk of publishing, and hence they generally
acknowledge themselves cured, or pay the doctor handsomely to redeem the
document.

While wading through this dark morass of deception and fraud, the
"anatomical museums" must not be overlooked. These Priapean
establishments, in which is an exhibition of wax models of different
organs and parts of the human body, are too vile for description.
"Lectures" are delivered with the design of furnishing patients to the
quack practitioners in whose interest the place is run. Thousands--we
might have said millions--of copies of disgusting little books on
"Marriage," or the "Philosophy of Marriage," or some cognate obscenity
are distributed gratis, and it is no unusual sight to see a score of
nervous, hollow-eyed patients waiting for treatment.

We have endeavored to speak plainly and to the point in dealing with
quacks and quackery, because it is a topic of sovereign importance and
urgency. Hundreds upon hundreds of our population are plundered and
poisoned by these medical pests of society, and if we have not made it
plain that it is dangerous to have anything to do with the advertising
doctors of New York or any other place, we have failed in our purpose.
Their advertisements, their pamphlets, and their rascally little books,
penetrate the remotest corners of the land. Curiosity leads the farmer's
son or the apprentice to send for some advertised book to satisfy a
craving for information, or to pander to an already diseased
imagination, and the bad seed is sown. He is surprised, startled, and
finally alarmed; and he writes. He is told in the reply that "I seek my
remedies in far-off climes; some in the distant prairie, some in the
ever-blooming balsam; in the southern climes, where eternal summer
reigns, and on the top of the snow-clad Himalayas." Accompanying the
reply is a recipe calling for articles having no existence, or for
decoctions from plants unknown to botanists. But in whatever form the
response comes, the result is uniform. Plunder, always plunder, in the
first place; sometimes this is supplemented by murder; whole families
are destroyed, insanity is engendered, and the victims of these vile
knaves are driven headlong to destruction and an early grave.

It has always been the dearest wish of a quack doctor to possess a
diploma of some sort, no matter where or how dishonestly procured.
Sometimes it was forged; sometimes second-hand; but however or wherever
procured it was framed and conspicuously displayed in the "consulting"
room. By the recent and entirely wholesome amendment of the law,
however, those beguiling documents are no longer available. It is now
imperative that the certificate of every physician must be filed with
the County Clerk. Until this provision is observed, no doctor--no matter
how eminent or well-qualified--can practice in New York. Many a quack,
flourishing like a green bay-tree, was summarily brought to the "end of
his tether," by this most wise legislative enactment.

We would be derelict to the duty we owe to the public did we not here,
and in this connection, state our emphatic opinion that the editors and
proprietors of newspapers, as a rule, have hitherto looked too leniently
on this subject of quackery and its baleful announcements. Happily some
of our journals will not publish such advertisements, and no editor can
excuse himself by saying that he is ignorant of the character of such
announcements. It must be known to every man of experience that such
advertisements are unfit for the perusal of young men or women, and it
is surprising that the heads of families should permit newspapers
containing those advertisements to enter their houses. As a well-known
English author some-time since wrote:


"It is pregnant with matter for grave reflection, and this not only in
reference to patients themselves, but also in regard to the
reprehensible conduct of parents who so recklessly admit into their
family circle newspapers which insert the obscene advertisements of the
quacks. As I have said before, these advertisements are traps for their
sons and an offense to the modesty of their daughters. Well assured am I
that many cases of unaccountable suicide in youths and young men, which
cause so much surprise and misery in families, are due to these
unfortunates having become the dupes of quacks."


This is a very terrible picture of the evil wrought through the abuse of
the advertising columns of the press, but experience has shown us that
it is not by any means overdrawn. The responsibility of the health and
comfort--even of the lives--of many of the rising generation thus rests
with the newspapers. How careful, then, ought publishers to be that the
columns of their journals should in nowise assist in disseminating that
which pollutes the minds of the young, renders them unfit to fulfill the
duties of society, or to enjoy its pleasures, and, in short, makes their
whole life a burden and a misery.



CHAPTER XVI.

ABORTION AND THE ABORTIONISTS.

 _The Career of Madame Restell--Rosensweig's Good Luck_.

"Such is the fate of artless maid.
Sweet flow'ret of the rural shade!
By love's simplicity betrayed,
        And guileless trust.

Till she, like thee, all soiled, is laid
        Low in the dust."
        --Burns, "To a Mountain Daisy."

Love's young dream--the dream of the ages--has sometimes a fearful
awakening. In her "guileless trust" and unsuspecting ignorance, a young
woman weaves a light web of folly and vain hopes, which one day closes
around her like a poisoned garment, instantly changing all her
fluttering raptures into a wail of the deepest human anguish. All at
once the whole force of her nature is concentrated in the effort of
concealment, and she shrinks with irresistible dread from every course
that would tend to unveil her miserable secret. Overshadowed by a
misfortune that is worse than death, in her half-benumbed mental
condition, she hears of the professional abortionist, and braces herself
for one of those convulsive actions by which a betrayed woman will
sometimes leap from a temporary sorrow into the arms of Death.

The dark crime of abortion abounds in New York, as it does in all great
cities. Yet this crime is conducted with so much care that rarely a case
comes to light. Even when one of these ghouls is arrested and put on
trial it is but seldom that conviction follows, because it is an offense
extremely difficult to bring home to the perpetrator. Many indictments,
for inexplicable causes, from time to time have been pigeon-holed; but
as the transaction is committed in private, the victim is the only
witness, and she is naturally averse to exposure.

It is only when the remains of some beautiful victim are found packed in
a box, or jammed into a barrel, that the imagination realizes the
imminent peril dishonored women incur by trusting themselves to the
mercy of those sordid butchers. The author of her wrong usually makes
the arrangement, under cover. The wily practitioner talks blandly and
soothingly. If the operation succeeds, all is well; if not, the poor
victim's body is secretly disposed of. She is chronicled among the
mysterious disappearances, because every precaution had been taken that
her friends should know nothing whatever of her condition, or of her
whereabouts.

Naturally, the practice of child-murder hardens the hearts and petrifies
the feelings of those systematically engaged in it. The tortures
inflicted on the patient are, no doubt, in many cases unavoidable if the
end is to be achieved; but many of these operators are cruelly ignorant
and unscrupulous, and barbarously brutal and reckless. The mind shrinks
from contemplating the thrilling honors of some of the scenes enacted
within those deadened walls. Despite the tears and protestations of the
suffering woman, the operation will sometimes be repeated two or even
three times. But helpless and unprotected as she is, she is compelled to
submit, because she is terrorized by her inquisitor's threats to send
her to some hospital at once, to expose her condition to the world and
to die.

When death appears only too probable, the abortionist generally has the
victim either sent to a hospital or to some regular physician's
premises, and leaving her before her condition or their connection with
the case has been discovered. If the death occurs on their own premises,
a certificate from some doctor called in at the fast moment, and
deceived as to the cause of death, may enable a quiet little funeral to
take place. And again, the fact cannot be denied that from time to time
regular, diplomated physicians have been found who would not hesitate,
for a consideration, to give "crooked" certificates. Should it be found
impracticable to dispose of the body in such a convenient and regular
way, in some cases it is shipped by rail to a distant and fictitious
address, without any clue by which it can be traced back to the
"shipper."

The pitiable case of Miss Alice Augusta Bowlsby will occur to many
readers just here. The facts in her case were simply these: One Saturday
night towards the end of August, 1871, a trunk containing the remains of
a young and beautiful female was found at the depot of the Hudson River
Railroad, checked for Chicago. The remains were subsequently recognized
as those of Miss Bowlsby of Paterson, New Jersey, and the trunk was
traced, by means of the truckman employed to carry it, back to the
residence of Dr. Jacob Rosenzweig. It was soon discovered that the death
of the unhappy girl was caused by an operation tending to produce
abortion. Rosenzweig was a burly fellow, with a forbidding aspect, and a
bold, confident look. His large, bullet eyes looked defiantly from
behind the deep-intrenched line of wrinkles that care or conscience had
gradually drawn around them. He had, in fact, a forbidding aspect, and
when he was placed on trial before Recorder Hackett, according to a
newspaper reporter present,


"one eye was devoted to watching the Grecian bend of his vulture-hooked
nose, while the other was on duty over a precocious lock of his curling
red hair, which clung to the verandah of his left ear like a Virginia
creeper."


Rosenzweig was convicted of manslaughter while treating a woman for
abortion, and was sentenced to state prison for seven years--a sentence
so obviously out of proportion to the enormity of the crime that a howl
of public indignation went up to the skies. However, Recorder Hackett
had awarded the utmost penalty of the then existing law, and Rosenzweig
was sent to Sing Sing. Soon after, a law was enacted by the state
legislature, making the penalty of crimes like Rosenzweig's twenty years
in the state prison, with hard labor. After this law was passed, and
when the abortionist had served about a year of his sentence, another
charge of abortion was found against him, and he was brought down the
river, again put on trial and sentenced. Mr. Howe, for his defense, in
appeal, raised the natural objection that it was unfair and improper to
try Rosenzweig in two cases at once. Consequently, he got a new trial,
in which he was acquitted, because the old law under which he had been
previously convicted had been repealed. Here was a manifest miscarriage
of justice effected by a wise change in the laws. This prisoner escaped,
but such a result could hardly, within the range of possibility, occur
under the same law again.

In the majority of cases, the victims of abortion are gotten rid of by
the practitioner before they die. The operation once over, they are
hurried from the premises with all possible dispatch, even though the
fatigue and exposure may imperil their lives. Many die a few days after
reaching home, in which case the name of the abortionist is never known,
and many more linger for a few months or years, mere physical wrecks of
their former selves, till merciful Death folds them in his leaden arms.

Before the recent laws were passed, making it a punishable offense to
offer to produce abortions, either by medicine or instruments, there
were many nostrums, in the form of pills and powders, covertly
advertised for the alleged purpose of producing miscarriages. When a
person called on one of those quacks and explained the purpose for which
the medicine was needed, he was told that it was very dear--from five,
ten, to fifteen dollars a box. At the same time he would be assured that
his lady friend was merely suffering from "an obstruction arising from
cold." If he insisted on explaining, the hard face of the quack would
grow darker and harder, and a mysterious gleam of intelligence would
shoot from the speculative eye as he was told:


"I will not sell medicine for anything else but a cold; nor will I treat
any lady for anything else. Your young friend has only taken cold, and
if she is not relieved by these pills she had better come and see me
herself."


No doubt most of those medicines were deceptive, fraudulent and futile.
But they had the intended effect of advertising the person who sold
them, whose "professional" services were generally brought into request
when the pills proved inoperative. This was the secret of Madame
Restell's reputation and immense accumulated fortune. Her occupation was
that of a midwife, and in that assumed capacity she advertised her
"Female Pills." As all the world knows now, her real vocation was the
ante-natal destruction of unwelcome babies. To her gorgeous palace at
the corner of Fifth avenue and Fifty-second street went for years some
of the most wealthy and fashionable women of this metropolis. It is a
dreadful admission, and a sad commentary on our boasted civilization,
but the truth must be told. Some of her patrons were married ladies who,
finding themselves likely to become mothers, and being too heartless and
frivolous to desire the pains and cares of maternity, sought this
woman's aid and, in some instances, paid her fabulous sums to have their
innocent offspring destroyed before they saw the light. Others who
sought her services were unmarried girls, who, having sacrificed their
honor were prepared to pay any price to conceal their shame, by the
destruction of the little life which would blazon it to the world.

Madame Restell's clients were all, or nearly all women of the higher
orders of society, and of liberal means. Of this disgraceful fact there
can be no manner of doubt. Her scale of charges was so extravagant as to
positively prohibit her employment by any one unable to pay a handsome
fee for the gratification of their murderous project. Sometimes a poor
girl, ruined by some wealthy libertine, would be supplied by him with
funds to pay for the terrible operation which would conceal her folly;
but in the great majority of cases they were ladies of wealth and social
standing who went dressed in elegant apparel, loaded with jewelry, and
double veiled, to her palatial mansion to obtain her aid.

Madame Restell, whose name was a scandal and her Fifth-avenue house an
outrage upon New York for years, was a native of Painswick,
Gloucestershire. She was the daughter of a humble laborer named Trow,
and first saw the light in 1813. Her educational facilities--as indeed
were all those similarly or even better circumstanced in England seventy
years ago--were of the humblest kind. But she was made to work, taught
to use her needle, and "sent out to service" in her early teens. And so
it came to pass that, at the age of sixteeen, she was "maid of all work"
for a butcher in her native town. She was quite good-looking, with
piercing black eyes and thick, luxuriant black hair, and shapely form.
She had many candidates for her young affections among the young weavers
of the place, but a journeyman tailor named Henry Somers was the
successful wooer. A year or two after the wedding, Mr. and Mrs. Somers
emigrated and came to the city of New York, settling over on the east
side, about Oliver street. Somers was lazy, improvident and a tippler,
and after a short sojourn in America Mrs. Somers found herself a young
and blooming widow, with one child, a girl, to provide for. She had all
along industriously supplemented her husband's earnings by her needle.
She was now wholly dependent upon it for the subsistence of herself and
child.

It was while in these pinched circumstances that she made the
acquaintance of Charles R. Lohman, a printer poor as herself, and became
his wife. There was no immediate improvement in their condition. Both
were impatient of the pinchings of poverty. Neither was constitutionally
disposed to work hard and patiently for an honest competence. The
celebrated "Female Pills" formed the philosopher's stone which released
them from this condition of chafing discontent and brooding unrest. From
what source a knowledge of the ingredients requisite for the composition
of a pill for such a diabolical purpose was derived, or whether, indeed,
the pill was effective or diabolical at all, remains a mystery, inasmuch
as none of her medicine seems to have been subjected to chemical
analysis. Suffice to say that the couple rented a small room, and the
first advertisement of the female physician was printed in the old
_Sun_, and paid for with borrowed money.

Under such auspices the abortion business dawned upon this city, and in
more than one of the daily newspapers, between the years 1836 and 1840,
appeared glowing puffs of "the beautiful young female physician," as she
was termed, accompanied by elaborate advertisements setting forth her
specialty. No wonder this Upas tree flourished by the river of crime on
whose banks it was fed. No wonder that her brother Joseph, who had been
imported from madame's native English town, was kept busy in putting up
medicines and compounds for the ladies of New York. No wonder that the
Lohmans, _alias_ the Restells, waxed fat and insolent, or that, with
only thirty years actual existence, madame informed the public that she
had been for "thirty years physician in European hospitals"!

By and by her boldness attracted the attention of the Albany Solons, and
in 1846 a law was enacted which was intended to prevent the dark crime
which Madame Restell had helped to make so fashionable. In September,
1847, a minion of justice invaded her Gehenna, then at No. 146 Greenwich
street, and, upon an affidavit, she was arrested and put in prison. On
the tenth of that month she was arraigned and, pleading "Not guilty,"
was sent back to jail to await her trial. At this preliminary proceeding
it appeared that Dr. Samuel C. Smith had been called upon to attend
professionally a young woman of Orange County, by the name of Mary
Bodine, and, upon discovering evidences of foul play, communicated with
the Mayor of New York, and Madame Restell's arrest followed. Public
excitement rose to an intense pitch. A spasm of morality shook the city
to its foundations. Nothing was talked of but the hideous crimes of the
woman abortionist. People lost sight of the war, then raging in Mexico,
while listening to the stories of imaginative people about heaps of
babies' skulls supposed to be mouldering beneath the floors of the
Greenwich-street Golgotha. There were threats of mob violence, and of
incendiary proceedings. It was necessary to guard the premises, and
Lohman kept himself religiously secluded from public observation.

On the twentieth of October, 1847, the abortionist was placed in the
dock of the Court of General Sessions, before Recorder Scott and two
aldermen. For the prosecution there appeared Ogden Hoffman, John McKeon
and Jonas B. Phillips; for the defense, James T. Brady and David Graham,
Jr. The prisoner was charged in the indictment with manslaughter in the
second degree. Considerable difficulty was experienced in obtaining a
jury. Mary Bodine, herself, was the first witness. She described her
engagement as a servant with a person of the name of Cook; her seduction
three days after entering upon her duties, and the consequences that
followed her visit to Madame Restell's establishment; the conversation
that took place; her sojourn in an apartment of the dreadful den; her
diet and treatment, and all the revolting details were given with a
pre-Raphaelite sharpness of outline that carried the conviction of
truth. It was a long trial, and not before November 12th did the
Recorder sum up, when the jury, after a brief retirement, found the
prisoner "Guilty."

She was sent to the penitentiary on Blackwell's Island, and popular
excitement was allayed, while the spasm of public morality, with a soft
sigh, fell asleep. When Madame Restell's term of imprisonment expired
she came back to the city and, purchasing a new property on Chambers
street, hung out her "Midwife" shingle, and carried on her business with
nearly as much effrontery, and with quite as much success, as before her
prosecution and sentence.

A craving for pomp and ostentation was one of the peculiar phases of
Madame Restell's character. To gratify this kind of ambition, she
purchased, through a real estate agent, ten lots on Fifth avenue,
between Fifty-second and Fifty-third streets. They cost at that time
$1,000 each--$10,000 for the ten. When it became known that this woman
was the purchaser of the ten lots, a movement was at once made by
reputable citizens interested in the respectability of New York's
leading avenue to repurchase the property. Five thousand dollars were
offered for her bargain without avail. When, many years later, the
horrified residents of the fashionable thoroughfare beheld ground broken
and the abortionist's mansion gradually raising its brazen front, their
indignation knew no bounds. Large sums of money were offered the woman
to forego her intention, but she haughtily answered that "there was not
money enough in New York" to prevent her. No expense was spared, either
in the construction or decoration of this palace of infamy. The frescoed
ceilings were works of art. Two Italians worked at them for a
twelve-month, at an expense of twenty thousand dollars. The carpets and
upholstery, ordered through the house of A. T. Stewart & Co., were
manufactured specially in Paris. The paintings were selected from the
productions of the greatest artists of the period. Her stable was
erected at a cost of twenty-eight thousand dollars. The Osborne House,
another of her investments, erected on the ground adjoining her own
residence, cost about two hundred thousand dollars.

In February, 1878, evil days again fell upon Madame Restell. On the
eleventh of that month she was arrested by Anthony Comstock, of the
Society for the Prevention of Crime, and taken to Jefferson Market
Police Court, before Justice Kilbretli. She desired her release upon
bail, pending examination. The bail was fixed at $10,000, and although
she offered to deposit with the court that amount in government bonds,
Judge Kilbreth refused. Satisfactory bail not being forthcoming, she was
committed to the Tombs, and assigned to a cell on the second tier of the
women's prison. By and by, she was released on bail and, pending her
trial, some time early on the morning of April 1, 1878, she committed
suicide, by cutting her throat from ear to ear, in her bath-tub. The
scene was described in that morning's _Herald_, as follows:


"Mme. Restell's chambermaid, Maggie McGraw, went to her mistress' room
at about eight o'clock this morning, but not finding her there she went
to the bathroom, which is on the second floor. There, hanging on the
door, she saw her mistress' clothes. Thinking that she was taking a bath
the girl went down-stairs, but soon returned and, seeing the clothes
still there, she looked in. Not seeing the madame, she became alarmed. A
peculiar smell then attracted her attention and, looking in, she saw
that the bath-tub was filled with bloody water, and at the bottom of the
tub lay the body of her mistress, with her throat cut from ear to ear.
The instrument of death, a large carving-knife, was lying at her side.
The bath-room is fitted up with Oriental splendor, being frescoed and
decorated handsomely."


The suicide was buried next day, being conveyed from the Fifth-avenue
mansion to the Grand Central Depot, and thence to Tarrytown, the place
of interment. The funeral procession consisted merely of the hearse
carrying the body and one carriage. It is a strange, revolting story,
carrying its own warning and moral, besides furnishing an admirable
instance of the unexpected forms in which the great Nemesis manifests
herself.



CHAPTER XVII.

DIVORCE.

_The Chicanery of Divorce Specialists--How Divorce Laws Vary in Certain
States--Sweeping Amendments Necessary--Illustrative Cases_.

A large proportion of the marital infelicity now so alarmingly prevalent
in this country is no doubt caused by the mal-administration of our
divorce laws, and by the demoralizing discord between the legislative
statutes of the various States on the subject of divorce. While in the
middle and a portion of the Eastern and Southern States, the conditions
legally imposed, before a dissolution of marriage can be judicially
obtained, are wholesomely exacting and in accord with the strict
Scriptural standard, in certain of the Eastern, Southern and Western
States the most trifling alleged causes of disagreement or
"incompatibility" are sufficient to secure the law's disseverance of the
marriage tie. The divorce business of certain courts in Illinois, Iowa,
Utah, and some of the territories, enjoy an infamous notoriety all over
the world; while even staid old Connecticut offers a positive reward to
connubial infidelity by at once granting a full or absolute divorce upon
comparatively slight pretexts, leaving both parties legally free to
marry again as their altered fancies may elect.

He who, in New York,


        "Reads the in image act with pride
        And fancies that the law is on his side,"


may soon be taught, to his dismay, that some backwood's court in the
West has privately given his artful better-half a divorce, and
authorized her to wed at her earlier pleasure with the Lothario whom
he--the cast-off husband--had not even begun to suspect of treachery.
Or, again the lord and master whose preference has wandered from his
lawful wife to some designing female poacher on her rightful domain, may
openly give that wife the fullest justification in law for a New York
divorce, and, after the petition has been granted, go with his paramour
to any State outside the jurisdiction of the State of New York, and
there be legally joined to her for whom he has forsworn himself. One
might infer from these dangerous and disgraceful possibilities that but
few of the married ones who, from whatever cause, were discontented with
their domestic relations, would be long restrained by any other than the
highest exceptional moral considerations from availing themselves of the
relief so variously attainable. It must be borne in mind, however, that
an honorable action for divorce, openly and honestly undertaken in any
State, involves more or less public exposure with considerable pecuniary
outlay. These two considerations, in the present lax tendencies of our
divorce laws, constitute the chief bar against a wholesome "popular"
adoption of the legal remedy for domestic troubles; while their potency
has invoked a class of fraudulent practitioners whose insidious business
it is to procure dissolution of marriage for any or no cause, "without
publicity," and at a cost suited to the most limited means. In other
words, New York has been, and still is, the headquarters of a villainous
divorce ring, by the audaciously fraudulent practices of which the
solemn marital covenant is made a despised and brittle toy of the
law--to be broken and discarded at the will of the vicious and
depraved.

Lord Howell, for fifty years a judge of Doctor's Commons, pointedly said:
"A knowledge that persons uniting in marriage must continue husbands
and wives, often makes them good husbands and wives; for necessity is a
powerful master to teach the duties it imposes."

These sinister traders in domestic infamy, secret libel, and suborned
perjury announce their business and addresses in advertisements in which
"success is guaranteed," "no fee required till divorce is granted," "no
publicity," etc., while the decree is warranted to be "good in every
State,"--in confirmation of which last assertion the divorce
specialist's private circular frequently contains the following extract
from Article IV, Section I, of the Constitution of the United States:
"Full faith and credit shall be given in each State to the public acts,
records and judicial proceedings of every other State."

The question may arise, and it is pertinent, who employ these divorce
specialists? We answer: All sorts of people. They may be dissolute
actresses, seeking a spurious appearance of law to end an old alliance,
and to prepare for a new one. They may be frivolous, extravagant,
reckless, misguided wives of poor clerks or hard-working mechanics,
infatuatedly following out the first consequences of a matinee at the
theatre, and a "personal" in the daily newspaper. They may be the
worthless husbands of unsuspecting faithful wives, who, by sickness, or
some other unwitting provocation, have turned the unstable husband's
mind to dreams of new connubial pastures and the advertising divorcist.
They may be the "lovers" of married women, who come to engage fabricated
testimony and surreptitious unmarriage for the frail creatures whose
virtue is still too cowardly to dare the more honest sin. They are _not_
the wronged partners of marriage, who, by the mysterious chastising
providence of outraged hearts and homes are compelled, in bitterest
agony of soul to invoke justice of the law for the honor based upon
right and religion. The manufacture of a case of the contrabandists of
divorce is often such a marvel of unscrupulous audacity, that its very
lawlessness constitutes in itself a kind of legal security.

Another question naturally arises: What are such divorces worth? We
reply that the whole business is unblushing fraud upon the dupes who are
entrapped into patronizing the business. Not one of those divorces has
ever yet held good when ultimately contested in open court, by the
parties against whom they have been secretly obtained. Many of them,
however--perhaps thousands!--have served the whole purpose of those
purchasing them, because the husbands or wives so cruelly wronged have
either lacked the means, or the heart to take public legal measures for
exposing the fraud, and setting the divorce aside. How is the poor
clerk, or mechanic, the invalid or unfriended wife, to raise hundreds,
perhaps thousands, of dollars necessary for such a purpose?

It seldom happens that the so-called divorce specialist applies to any
of the courts in the States of New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania,
Maryland or South Carolina, because in those States the testimony given
in divorce proceedings becomes part and parcel of the written court
record. The names, residences, and occupations of the witnesses, and all
the testimony they offer, is carefully taken down by the referee, and
reported upon by him to the court. The judge takes all the papers, and
grants the decree or refuses it, upon the report and the testimony, and
the record is perpetually on file, and accessible. Consequently when a
husband or wife unexpectedly finds that their hymeneal bonds are
severed, they have the right and privilege of inspecting the record of
the case, in the court archives, and of examining the evidence upon
which the decree adverse to them was granted. These are what is termed
"dangerous States," in the parlance of the specialists; for there is
always a chance of the disbanded mate feeling aggrieved and pugnacious,
and of the cat coming with portly stare from the bag with a lively
prospect of the perjured witnesses and the specialist having to "scoot"
for parts unknown, or run the risk of dignifying the inside of the State
prison. Many readers of this page will no doubt remember with what
precipitation the notorious Monro Adams made himself "scarce" in
January, 1882, upon the discovery of the irregular Chase divorce, and
others of the same kind fraudulently procured in Brooklyn.

In the Western and Southwestern States, on the other hand, where the
population is sparser, and where no such press of business is before the
courts, divorce proceedings are mostly under the immediate control of
the court itself. The presiding judge hears the testimony as it is
presented, and decides the case on its merits, there and then. There is
no necessity for employing a referee, and there are no written records
of the case. The decision, the date, and the abstract records appear on
the court books, and that is all. And yet, by the section of the
Constitution, already quoted, this decree is regarded,--by the court
that grants it, at least,--as perfectly legal and operative all over the
Union. Although this is not the case, there are almost insuperable
obstacles to such a divorce being set aside. For there are no names of
witnesses and no records. There is the name of the lawyer; but if a
"muss is raised." he is either _non est inventus_, or his memory is
paralyzed. He has no recollection of the names of the witnesses, of the
date of the hearing, or indeed of the case. No matter what evidence the
injured party might be able to produce, he cannot get an iota of
satisfaction nor make the least progress until he knows what evidence
was presented against him when the decree was granted. Daniel McFarland
found this in Indiana, and so have scores of others. These Western and
Southwestern States are therefore not unadvisedly deemed "safe," and
hence they are very largely patronized.

In Iowa, Indiana, and Rhode Island, again, the court possesses what is
termed "discretionary power" in divorce cases. The State Constitution,
after specifying the usual prime ground--adultery--goes on to specify:
"And for any other cause for which the court shall deem it proper that a
divorce should be granted," or "when it shall appear to the satisfaction
of the court that the parties can no longer live harmoniously together."
It requires no elaborate reasoning to perceive that a decree granted
under such conditions remains tolerably secure. For the testimony has
been taken _vive voce_, and the decree pronounced in open court, after
the judge has been "satisfied" that the complainant "can no longer live
harmoniously" with her Johnny or his Jenny.

A case illustrating this point came under our notice some years ago. A
wealthy young Frenchman eloped from Bordeaux with the girl-wife of a
middle-aged wine exporter. The runaways came to New York, and in a short
time, through a specialist, the lady obtained, in an Iowa court, a
divorce from her deserted husband. The deferred rite of matrimony was
then solemnized between the pair.

About twelve months afterward, business called the happy husband back to
France. It was not deemed advisable for his charming wife to accompany
him. Neither, as a matter of fact, did she wish to undertake the voyage.
But she accompanied him on board the steamer and bade him a touching,
emotional and affectionate adieu. Mark what followed! Hardly had he got
twenty-four hours beyond Sandy Hook than she proceeded to the same
specialist, who had severed her former bonds, and employed him to
procure her another divorce. It was applied for, and duly granted by the
presiding judge of the Fourth District Court of Iowa. When this decree
came to hand, with its flash heading and big red seal, the lady was
married to a handsome young dry-goods man.

Meantime the absent husband in Paris kept up a fervent correspondence
with his wife, anathematizing his ill-luck in being so long kept from
her side. She replied regularly and kindly to these letters until her
wedding with the young dry-goods Adonis was consummated, when she
abruptly ceased to write. The Frenchman remonstrated, adjured, cursed
and cabled, but receiving no response finally hurried across the ocean
to find that he was a divorced man, and to be reminded, in the choice
phraseology of his supplanter, that "what was sauce for the goose, was
sauce for the gander."

With true Gallic impetuosity he sought for VENGEANCE! He employed
lawyers and spent considerable money in the expectation not only of
setting the divorce aside, but in bringing the lady and her paramour to
condign punishment. His efforts, however, proved perfectly impotent. The
lawyer, resident at the court, remembered nothing of the evidence, and
the court remembered the case only so far as that it was perfectly
regular and satisfactory.

Thus it will be seen that


        "Domestic happiness,
 That only bliss of Paradise which has survived the fall,"


when once perverted by cunning treachery like this, leaves the betrayed
with little chance to cover its poor grave with the ostentatious
monument of legal justice.

There are some aspects of this divorce specialist business which would
be amusing did they not furnish such a cloak and encouragement to
depravity and licentiousness. The following narrative of actual facts
illustrates a phase of the kept-mistress ethics, and shows how the
Western bogus divorce operates in lowering the tone of society and in
sapping the foundations of morality:

A few years since a young stock broker of this city, spent his summer
vacation in the sylvan glades of the country surrounding Lake Champlain.
He possessed an appreciative eye for feminine beauty, and a soul burning
for adventure. Like most men of this type, he was not apt to be
disturbed by qualms of conscience where the gratification of his
passions was concerned. In an evil hour, he made the acquaintance of a
handsome Vermont girl, just merging upon the full meridian of
exceptionally voluptuous charms. Without any special claim to mental
endowments, Sadie F----- was a superb animal. Her, our frisky broker
saw, and wooed. The girl fell madly in love with him, and, before long,
ceased to be a virgin of the vale. Lothario was much attached to her,
and by his persuasions and ornate representations of city life, backed
by aureate promises, she was induced to fly from her once happy rural
home and to live with her seducer in this city. He began by treating her
well, placing her in handsome apartments in a boarding house on the west
side, and for nearly a year the ardor of his attachment knew no
abatement. Gradually, however, the affection on his side began to wane.
She awoke from her delusive dream to the consciousness that she was
alone in a great city without friends, money, or virtue. Whither could
she flee? She could not return to her country home to look into the
sorrowful depths of her mother's tender eye, or face the stings and
sneers of the people of her native village. "A life of pleasure"--as it
is sarcastically termed--seemed her only resource. In her terrible
extremity, she made a last appeal to her deceiver, and succeeded in
touching a tender spot in his heart. Perplexed as to what disposition he
could possibly make of the girl who had loved him "not wisely but too
well," he consulted an acquaintance notorious for the number and variety
of his amours. "Oh, my dear boy, that's easily settled,"' said the
friend, "get a Western divorce through one of those advertising
fellows." The broker didn't "catch on"--he couldn't see why he should
obtain a divorce, and said as much. "But she wants the divorce!" replied
the adviser. "Let her be divorced from Frederick Brown, or Augustus
Smith, or Maximilian Johnson, and then, you see, her character will be
restored, her virtue whitewashed, and she will be corroborated and
sustained as a respectable member of society; an object of envy and
emulation on the part of her sex, and of interest, admiration and honest
courtship by ours." So a decree was duly applied for through one of
those "divorce lawyers" wherein the petitioner, Mrs. Sadie Johnson,
sought to be severed from the hated yoke of her husband, George
Frederick Johnson, who, as the petition set forth, not only treated her
with habitual brutality but continually violated the purity of the
hymeneal couch, to wit, etc., etc. The papers were duly served upon the
defendant, who assumed the name of George Frederick Johnson for the
purpose of the suit. At the expiration of the time allowed in such cases
for an answer to the petition, no defense had been set up. The lady's
lawyer thereupon moved for the appointment of a referee, as well as for
counsel fee and alimony. All went smoothly, of course, for the
petitioner, and in due course the decree of absolute divorce was granted
to this unmarried lady, with permission for her to marry again, while
the disreputable George Frederick Johnson was absolutely debarred from
any such privilege.

When the decree was recorded, Sadie returned to her family by the
peaceful waters of the lake, and was received with open arms. She was an
object of envy to the unsophisticated young ladies of the neighborhood,
and of open and unbounded admiration to the young men. She had learned
to dress and to put on flash airs, and her experience in vice, gilded
over by this divorce sham, rendered her much more attractive metal to
matrimonially-disposed Strephons than any quiet, retiring Daphne of the
rural district. She soon became the wife of a well-to-do country
store-keeper, and made his home a pandemonium, which ended by him
employing a regular lawyer to procure a divorce, when the foregoing
facts were elicited.



CHAPTER XVIII.

BLACK-MAIL.

_Who Practice it, How it is Perpetrated, and upon Whom--The Birds who
are Caught and the Fowlers who Ensnare them--With other Interesting
Matters on the same Subject_.

There is a class of crimes prevalent in the metropolis, which, from its
secret character and the apparent respectability of those engaged in it,
rarely ever sees the light of exposure. Some of these offenses are
hushed through the influence or prominence of the operators. In others
the facts are never divulged, because the victims prefer to suffer loss
rather than have their names dragged into a publicity which, to say the
least, would reflect on them discreditably. For these, and other obvious
reasons, many kinds of secret crimes flourish and abound in the esoteric
life of great cities. In New York, where money is often rapidly
acquired, and where little curiosity is manifested as to the mode of its
acquisition, there are naturally many facilities for putting
black-mailing schemes into successful operation. Scores of persons,
apparently respectable, are constantly on the alert to discover
compromising facts in connection with persons of wealth. Words dropped
from ordinary conversations, hints and allusions overheard, form a clue,
which, followed up and reported in a broadly compromising form to the
pecunious person concerned, will, in the majority of instances, induce
him to imitate the _role_ of the coon that preferred to "come down"
rather than be shot at.

Experienced New Yorkers need not be told that there has existed among us
for years a class of individuals whose only source of revenue is
black-mail. Ever on the _qui vive_ for real scandal or its counterfeit
presentment, these cormorants levy tribute upon both sexes. The high and
haughty dame, with a too appreciative and wandering eye; the wealthy
banker, with a proclivity for "little French milliners;" the Christian
husband, with a feminine peccadillo; the pew-owner at church, with a
disposition to apply St. Paul's "holy kiss" a little too literally; and
the saintly pastor with a skeleton in his closet, are all alike fish in
the tribute net of this insatiable toiler of the turbid sea of scandal.

No uninitiated person can form an idea of the large number of such cases
that are yearly silenced by the payment of hush-money in this city.
Sometimes the victim and the victimizer meet, the money demanded is paid
over, and there the matter ends. More frequently the negotiation is
conducted by means of a "go between" with the same pecuniary result. In
some cases, again, the trouble receives settlement in the office of a
lawyer, when a receipt and full release of past and future claims is
taken by the legal gentleman, who thus secures his client immunity from
further demands. It is a well-accepted axiom that under like
circumstances the same cause produces the same effect. And so the causes
which lead to black-mailing in this city are precisely similar to the
influences operating in Paris or London to produce the same ignoble
crime. A married lady may become too familiar with some gentleman who
has not the pleasure of being known to her husband; she may have been
tenderly sentimental and gushingly confidential with him, and may even
have confided her arduous imaginings to paper, when a rupture
occurs--and be sure that a rupture always does occur in such cases--the
cavalier may not only threaten to talk and "tell," but refuse to return
the amatory correspondence, unless under substantial pecuniary
inducements. This is the return she gets for what may be termed her
privateering experiences, and there are numbers of creatures, whom it
were sacrilege to call men, who make a regular business of becoming
acquainted with married women for this special purpose. Instances are on
record where a certain stipulated sum of money has been paid for years
to a professional black-mailer, who held letters written to him by a
lady whose acquaintance was made at a matinee. We were cognizant of a
case in which the bird of prey, not content with his own extortions,
handed over the lady's letters, on his death-bed, to a confederate, who
continued successfully to maintain the payment of hush-money until death
removed the weak and persecuted victim.

Ladies have no idea what risks they run when making chance
acquaintances, nor how such intimacy may end. They may be successfully
fortified against all the arts and blandishments brought to attack their
honor, and yet be seriously compromised. The handsome and fashionably
dressed street-lounger is very frequently a resourceful rascal. He may
invite the lady to take a carriage-ride, and, as has sometimes happened,
an accomplice acts in the capacity of hackman. The drive selected is
through the principal streets. Some hotel or fashionable restaurant is
visited, and if she still successfully resists wine and wiles, it is
more than likely that she will be visited the following day by a
"detective" who will calmly inform her that he "shadowed" her yesterday.
Of course he is after money, and she pays his demand rather than permit
him to carry into execution his threat of telling her husband.

Young girls, too, are frequently compromised by the professional
"masher." This vile species of the _genus homo_ affects the fashionable
streets where he saunters in solitary splendor, waiting for an
opportunity to make the acquaintance of some young girl on her way to or
from school. If her parents happen to be wealthy, the extraction of a
neat sum follows this undesirable association; far an exposure in which
her name would in any way be associated with the adventurer's, would
forever stigmatize her in society. In some instances the immature
acquaintance has developed into an elopement, and when parental
interference followed, it was discovered that the scalawag husband was
not only ready but willing to relinquish his bride when the money
agreement was made sufficiently potent. Sometimes, again, a man is
sufficiently infatuated to marry a lady with a soiled or shady
reputation, and if that circumstance becomes known to the Knight of
Black-mail, it is morally certain that potential hush-money will be
extorted. In point of fact every kind of "skeleton," social or criminal,
if once its whereabouts be discovered and its individuality established,
becomes a source of revenue to those unscrupulous pirates of society.

It occasionally happens that black-mailers will systematically weave a
web whereby they may entangle a wealthy person. The possession of wealth
confers no exemption from the weaknesses and frailties of human nature,
and in many instances indeed the unwise use of money only brings the
obliquities of its possessor into greater prominence. It is not long
since an affluent and well-known elderly merchant of this city, walking
in the neighborhood of the Fifth Avenue Hotel, had his attention
attracted by a beautiful woman of graceful carriage and voluptuous
symmetry of form, who seemed to keep just abreast of him on the inner
sidewalk, and maintained this relative position block after block. He
was not insensible to the charm of the situation, and, before he exactly
knew how, was engaged in conversation with the fair unknown. She was an
admirable conversationalist and spoke with that expressive pantomime
which gives probability to the blackest lies. Thus conversing, he
accompanied her to the residence she had been describing. The
"residence" proved to be an assignation house. He entered, unconscious
of the character of the house, and, as he had been on his way home,
remained within only a few brief moments. Bidding the lady politely
"good-day," he took his leave. As he walked rather briskly up the street
he was accosted by a gentleman, who brusquely said:


"So, sir! I have got you at last. I have had my suspicions excited for
some time past concerning the probity of my wife, but until to-day have
failed in discovering proofs of her infidelity. Now, however, I have
them! You have just left the house. I saw you and her meet on the street
and I followed you."


The respectable elderly gentleman protested with all the indignation of
maligned innocence, and was fluent and resourceful in explanation. He
had, he said, simply been doing an act of politeness that any gentleman
deserving the name would have as readily discharged, and so forth. His
interlocutor didn't see it in that light, and told him so. The following
day he was waited upon by the much-injured husband, who informed him
that he was about to institute divorce proceedings against his wife. To
demonstrate that he was dead in earnest he produced a formally drawn
complaint in which the wildly astonished and indignant merchant figured
as co-respondent. The result of this cunning maneuver may be foreseen.
The old gentleman paid a large sum of money to the "injured" husband on
the condition that he would withdraw the legal proceedings against his
wife. When the money had been spent, the leech again renewed his
black-mailing effort, and with success, although the respectable
gentleman had been guilty of no further crime than the indiscretion of
accepting the woman's invitation to step inside for a minute or two.
With the second payment, however, he obtained a promise from the
"husband" that on the receipt of the money he would start for California
and importune him no more. It is perhaps needless to state that the
scoundrel never left, but soon after made further demands, always
holding over the victim threats of exposure in divorce proceedings. This
system of extortion continued until as much as eight or nine thousand
dollars had been paid. He was then impelled, in sheer self-defense, to
consult a lawyer, when further extortion at once ceased and determined.
It subsequently transpired that the "lady" and her "husband" were two of
the most notorious panel thieves in the city.

The "anonymous letter" dodge is also sometimes successfully operated in
levying black-mail. The conspirator becomes acquainted with real or
alleged facts, and dispatches an artfully-worded communication for the
purpose of frightening the intended quarry. Very frequently silence is
obtained by the payment of a lump sum of money, especially where the
victim lacks backbone and decision of character.

Another form of black-mail is practiced by women who run fashionable
assignation houses and bagnios in this city. Gentlemen well known in
public life, fathers of families, and even clergymen, are occasionally
found in these gilded palaces of sin. It is a simple matter for the
madame of the house to inform "her friend" that Mr. This, or the
Reverend Mr. That, has been numbered among her recent visitors. The
usual machinery is set in motion forthwith--threats of exposure and
importunate demands for money. When the intended victim refuses to be
black-mailed, his family--his daughter, perchance--is notified of her
father's transgression and informed that the affair will be made public.
Under such circumstances she is very likely indeed to pay hush-money
rather than have her family's honored name dragged through the dirt of
public scandal.

It is not so long ago that a regular business of blackmail was conducted
in connection with the leading assignation houses. Ladies, as well as
gentlemen, who visited them by appointment were "shadowed" and
"spotted"; sometimes followed home and their standing and character in
the community carefully determined, preparatory to the application of
the financial thumbscrews.

A noted black-mailer of this city at one time maintained his wife in a
private house, conveniently within call of a woman who kept a house of
ill-fame. The wife promptly responded to any summons from the madame,
and when she subsequently made the acquaintance of some wealthy visitor
she would inform her husband of the gentleman's name and position. If,
as probable, he was a person of ostensible respectability and advanced
in years, with everything to lose by exposure, he "came down" promptly
and liberally. On other occasions this high-toned husband would procure,
through the offices of a mutual friend, an introduction for his wife to
some prominent member of the Stock Exchange. The lady, who was a
remarkably handsome, fascinating and wily woman, usually entangled the
intended victim in the snare. Then the Husband appeared on the scene,
boiling with indignation and "breathing threatenings and slaughter"
until money was paid. The gentleman so entrapped might afterwards
complain to his friend who introduced him to the siren, but he would
never dream of associating him in the "crooked" transaction.

We are not alarmists by any means, but simply relate facts as they have
come within our personal knowledge. The weakness of human nature,
combined with the play of the passions, especially the passion of love,
renders the existence of the black-mailer possible and often profitable.
In a city like ours, where such freedom is accorded to young wives and
demoiselles, it is not surprising that machinations against their virtue
and their honor are planned and executed.

The picture has still another side. What does the reader think, for
example, of a mother who has three daughters,--bright, beautiful little
girls, with long braided hair hanging down their shapely backs, large,
lustrous, melting eyes; childish, innocent-looking lambs, aged
respectively thirteen, fifteen and seventeen,--and sends them on the
street in the afternoons, exquisitely and temptingly dressed, in order
to capture susceptible elderly gentlemen? Yet these bewitching little
girls have been often seen in the neighborhood of Madison Square, on
Broadway, Fifth Avenue, and even down on Wall street. Their mother would
follow them at a distance, keeping them in view all the time. When
accosted by a gentleman, which happened every day, their mother would
follow them, watch the man when he came out of the house or hotel with
one of her daughters, and the next day visit him, saying he had
destroyed her young and beautiful daughter, and so on, and that she was
going to have him arrested. This species of black-mail is not so
uncommon as it would seem, even the fathers of young and prepossessing
girls are partners in these affairs.

As a fact there is nothing that devilish ingenuity can devise to entice
men and women into committing every kind of crime that is not practiced
by the blackmailers of this city, and many are the fish that are landed
and great the booty that is secured.



CHAPTER XIX.

ABOUT DETECTIVES.

_The "Javerts," "Old Sleuths" and "Buckets" of Fiction as Contrasted
with the Genuine Article--Popular Notions of Detective Work Altogether
Erroneous--An Ex-Detective's Views--The Divorce Detective_.

We are told that "all the world loves a lover," and it is, perhaps,
equally true that most people like to read the details of clever
detective exploits. The deeds of criminals naturally awaken the emotions
of horror, fear, curiosity and awe in proportion to their heinousness
and the mystery by which they are enveloped. Consequently the detective
officer who pierces the mystery--unravels it thread by thread, and by
unerring sagacity penetrates its innermost depths and lays his hand on
the criminal--is at once invested, in the popular mind, with qualities
approaching the preternatural. The vivid and fertile imagination of the
literary romancist magnifies the illusion. The detective of the
successful novel resembles the Deity in his attributes of ubiquity and
omniscience. In whatever city his functions are exercised we may be sure
that he knows every man-Jack of the criminal classes, their past and
present history, their occupation and their residence. He knows all
their names, their aliases and their soubriquets, just as Julius Cæsar,
as tradition tells, knew all the soldiers of his army. Moreover, they
are invariably individuals of remarkable personality. While endowed with
a strong spice of the world, the flesh and the devil, they are at the
same time clothed in a sort of white robe of social immaculacy. They are
half lamb and half wolf, if such a paradoxical being were possible.

Take, for instance, the Inspector Javert of Victor Hugo: A tall man,
dressed in an iron-grey great coat, armed with a thick cane, and wearing
a hat with a turndown brim; grave with an almost menacing gravity, with
a trick of folding his arms, shaking his head and raising his upper lip
with the lower as high as his nose, in a sort of significant grimace. He
had a stub nose with two enormous nostrils, toward which enormous
whiskers mounted on his cheeks. His forehead could not be seen, for it
was hidden by his hat; his eyes could not be seen because they were lost
under his eyebrows; his chin was plunged into his cravat; his hands were
covered by his cuffs, and his cane was carried under his coat. But when
the opportunity arrived there could be seen suddenly emerging from all
this shadow, as from an ambush, an angular, narrow forehead, a fatal
glance, a menacing chin, an enormous hand, and a monstrous rattan. When
he laughed, which was rare and terrible, his thin lips parted and
displayed not only his teeth but his gums, and a savage, flat curl
formed round his nose. When serious he was a bulldog, when he laughed he
was a tiger. His guiding principles--or perhaps instincts is the more
appropriate word--were respect for authority and hatred of rebellion. In
his eyes all crimes were only forms of rebellion. Give a human face,
writes Hugo, to the dog-son of a she-wolf and we shall have Javert. No
wonder that his glance was a gimlet, or that his whole life was divided
between watching and overlooking. And, as if all this analytic
rodomontade was not enough, we are told in characteristic rhetorical
vagueness that he was a pitiless watchman, a marble-hearted spy, a
Brutus contained in a Vidocq.

Readers of Dickens will remember that Mr. Bucket appears on the scene in
Bleak House in a weird and mysterious way, which suggests that Inspector
Byrne, of New York, had been a student of lawyer Tulkinghorn's methods
when he undertook to pump Alderman Jaehne. The sly lawyer is plying
Snagsby with rare old port in the dim twilight and evolving his story,
when suddenly the victim becomes conscious of the presence of "a person
with a hat and stick in his hand, who was not there when he himself came
in, and has not since entered by either of the windows." This composed
and quiet listener is "a stoutly built, steady-looking, sharp-eyed man
in black, of about middle age," and he looks at Snagsby "as if he was
going to take his portrait." When the poor, hen-pecked wretch, who has
thus been drawn into the legal confessional, learns that Mr. Bucket is a
detective officer, "there is a strong tendency in the clump of Snagsby's
hair to stand on end."

The method of Bucket consists partly of gross flattery and of being "all
things to all men," as Saint Paul somewhere advises. "You're a man of
the world," he says to Snagsby; "a man of business and a man of sense.
That's what you are, and therefore it is unnecessary to tell you to keep
QUIET." He flatters the gorgeous flunkey at Chesney Wold by adroitly
commending his statuesque proportions, and hinting that he has a
friend--a Royal Academy sculptor--who may one of those days make a
drawing of his proportions. Further, to elicit the confidence of the
vain and empty-headed Jeames, Bucket declares that his own father was
successively a page, a footman, a butler, a steward, and an innkeeper.
As Bucket moves along London streets, young men, with shining hats and
sleek hair, evaporate at the monitory touch of his cane. When there is a
big job on the tapis "Bucket and his fat forefinger are much in
consultation together. When Mr. Bucket has a matter of this pressing
interest under consideration the fat forefinger seems to rise to the
dignity of a familiar demon. He puts it to his ears and it whispers
information; he puts it to his lips and it enjoins him to secrecy; he
rubs it over his nose and it sharpens his scent; he shakes it before a
guilty man and it charms him to his destruction. The Augurs of the
Detective Temple invariably predict that when Mr. Bucket and that finger
are much in conference a terrible avenger will be heard of before long."
Furthermore we are told that "Mr. Bucket pervades a vast number of
houses and strolls about an infinity of streets, to outward appearance
rather languishing for want of an object. He is in the friendliest
condition toward his species, and will drink with most of them. He is
free with his money, affable in his manners, innocent in his
conversation--but through the placid stream of his life there glides an
undercurrent of forefinger."

Sergeant Cuff, of The Moonstone of Wilkie Collins, is "a grizzled,
elderly man, so miserably lean that he looked as if he had not got an
ounce of flesh on his bones. He was dressed in a decent black with a
white cravat. His face was sharp as a hatchet, and the skin of it yellow
and dry like a withered autumn leaf. His eyes, of a steely, light gray,
had a very disconcerting trick, when they encountered your eyes, of
looking as if they expected something more from you than you were aware
of yourself. His walk was soft, his voice was melancholy, his long,
lanky fingers were hooked like claws. He might have been a parson, or an
undertaker, or anything else you like, except what he really was." Then
as to Cuff's methods: He is introduced to the reader with the usual air
of mystery. He makes no allusion whatever to the business he had been
hurriedly summoned to investigate, but "he admired the grounds, and
remarked that he felt the sea air very brisk and refreshing." To the
gardener's astonishment Cuff proved to be quite a mine of learning on
the trumpery subject of rose gardens. As in the case of Bucket, the
effective armor of Cuff is flattery. "You have got a head on your
shoulders and you understand what I mean," is his typical style of
address.

It is unnecessary to remind the reader that the detective of the
novelist cannot be foiled or turned aside by false scents from the
unerring pursuit of his lawful prey. If by _malice prepense_ Javert or
Cuff is temporarily beguiled, it is simply for the purpose of showing
that the writer himself is in reality a very much more ingenious person
than even the subtle detective he depicts for the delectation of his
readers. These tricks resemble those feints of failure common to
professional gymnasts and trapezists, purposely perpetrated with the
object of magnifying in the mind of the excited spectator the difficulty
or danger of the performance.

In our American literature the most popular detective stories are not
composed of the imaginary performances of fictitious characters. We have
made a great advance on that unsatisfactory and _effete_ style. To
satisfy the exacting palate of our reading people, we require a real
flesh-and-blood detective, with a popular name and reputation, to pose
as the figurehead, while an ingenious scribbler does the romancing.
There is something thrilling and realistic in this method, and it
carries an air of veracity which is irresistibly attractive and
convincing. The French people did something of the same kind for Vidocq
and Lecocq; but, as in most everything else, there is a pervading
breeziness and expansiveness of horizon about the American product that
is totally lacking in the _blazé_, frouzy, over-geometrical, Gallic
detective romance.

No doubt the popular conception of the detective has been derived from
the flash literature in which the "Old Sleuths" have formed the
pervading figure. Concerning them, a clever ex-member of that particular
branch of the force recently said:


"Now that I'm out of the business I don't mind telling you what you
perhaps already know--that the usual stories of detective work are the
veriest bosh. There is not one officer in ten thousand, for instance,
who ever disguises himself for any work he may be bent upon. The
successful detective is the man who has the largest and most accurate
knowledge of a particular class of criminals. For instance, in a
counterfeiting case there are one or two United States officers who will
look at a bill, and after a scrutiny will say, 'Now, let's see; there
are three men in the country who are capable of such work as this. Bad
Jack is doing a ten-year stretch in Sing Sing, Clever Charley is in hock
at Joliet, and Sweet William is the only one who is at large--it must be
William.' So he proceeds to locate William, and when they get him they
have the man who did the work."


As to those very interesting newspaper reports about how Detective
So-and-So, while strolling down Broadway, saw a suspicious-looking
individual whom he "piped" to the east side of the city, and eventually
arrested in possession of property supposed to have been the plunder
from a certain burglary, they are equally misleading. As the ex-officer,
quoted above, said:

"Ninety-nine out of a hundred cases are worked through the squeal of
some thief, or ex-thief, who keeps posted on the doings of others of his
class in the city. He knows some officer intimately; goes to him and
tells him that the night before One-Thumbed Charley turned a trick on
Church street, and the stuff is 'planted' at such and such a place.
Acting on this information, the officers visit the place indicated, and
just sit around and wait till their man shows up. Lots of ability about
that, isn't there? Some people have an idea, you know, that after a
burglary the detectives visit the house where it occurred, and, after
examining certain marks on the window where the man got in, immediately
say: 'This is the work of Slippery Sam; he is the only fellow who does
this sort of work in this particular style.' Nothing of the kind. It's
just as I've told you in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred. In the
other cases, some citizen gives the officers information that leads to
the capture of the man."


If the foregoing illustrations serve no other purpose, they at least
emphasize the point which might have been made at the outset of this
chapter, that detectives are a recognized necessity of our civilization.
Crime and vice permeate every rank and every profession, and just as
surely as crime and vice will always exist, so will detectives be
employed to discover wrong-doers and hand them over to justice. Crime
and vice are two terms used for the infraction of different kinds of
laws--social and moral--and detectives may be conveniently classed in
the same way. The detectives who deal with the transgression of social
laws, including such crimes as counterfeiting coin and notes, railroad
bonds, scrip, etc., forgers, embezzlers, swindlers, and the wide class
of criminals generally, are exceedingly useful members of the community
when they are inspired by a high sense of duty, and guided by principles
of truth and integrity. The other class of detectives who enact the role
of Paul Pry on breaches of the moral law, as, for example, the working
up of testimony in divorce cases, is mostly a despicable, unreliable,
corrupt being, whose methods are villainous, and whose existence is a
misfortune.

Concerning our New York detectives, a writer of some note said, as
recently as 1879:


"It is claimed that in about eight years the district attorney's office
in New York has not known of one conviction of a criminal through the
instrumentality of their detective police. And in those years the city
has been overwhelmed and startled over and over again by depredations of
almost fabulous magnitude. Still, although the scoundrels are known, and
their haunts familiar to what are called 'the detectives,' they are
never brought to justice unless they stagger up against the
representatives of some of the many detective organizations in New York.
Instead of surrounding the thieves with a net-work of evidence to
convict them, the New York headquarters' detectives furnish them with
all the facilities for escape known to modern criminal practice."


No doubt this deplorable condition of affairs was very largely due to
the prevailing practice of the victims of robberies compromising with
the felons. In this way detectives eagerly seize the opportunity of
acting as go-betweens, and hence their relations with the criminal
classes are established and maintained. They are thus largely
interested, not in the prevention and discovery of crime, but in its
perpetration and concealment. By this method they thrive, and their
large incomes and accumulated property are no doubt largely attributable
to the success of these delicate negotiations.

We are glad to bear testimony to the fact, however, that there is a
great improvement in the detective force of this city, noticeable during
its present administration. The men now engaged on the local detective
force are as a class, those who have kept their eyes open, and have
formed a wide acquaintance among criminals in the district, and are
therefore able to obtain information from these crooks about the
movements of those suspected of having been mixed up in certain criminal
work. For when the reader reflects how easily criminals keep out of the
reach of the police in St. Petersburg, Paris and Vienna, where every
concierge, every porter, every storekeeper, every housekeeper, is
required to report to the police at least once a week all the details of
strangers with whom they may have come in contact, it should be no
wonder that criminals can elude the police in New York and other
American cities.

Concerning the private detective agencies, it has been said by one of
their number:


"They are no better than the regular officers so far as skill is
concerned. The only real difference is that there is a superior
intelligence in the make-up--their disguise--of the agency people. They
are first-rate at shadowing a man, but any man with ordinary good sense,
who knows how to keep his mouth shut, will make a good shadow. If you
will watch the private agency men carefully you will find that they
associate largely with the high-toned criminal class. They are solid
with one or two leaders and all the gamblers. All thieves of any
prominence are gamblers, and as soon as they turn a big trick, they are
sure to turn up here or in some other city and 'play the bank' a little.
The agency men who are associating with the gamblers hear of this as
soon as the crook strikes town, and a little inquiry set on foot will
show where the crook came from. If, then, in the course of a few days, a
complaint is lodged with the agency people from the town where the
suspected party has been that a big confidence game has been played, or
that a forged or raised check has been worked on some bank or other
institution, it is not very hard to imagine that the thief who was
recently so flush is the one who turned the trick."


There are a great many private detective organizations in New York City,
some of which are located in elegant and commodious quarters, with a
net-work of agencies covering the whole country and extending even to
Europe. Between these reliable firms and the guttersnipe operator there
are among detectives, as among other professions, every grade of
reliability and respectability, some making a handsome living and some
earning a bare existence. There are some thousands of them, and they all
occasionally find something to do which pays. It may be watching some
money-broker's exchange down-town, for the dishonest boy of some
establishment clandestinely selling the postage stamps of his firm. It
may be shadowing a confidential clerk, whose blood-shot eyes and
generally "used-up" air have attracted the notice of his employers, who
thereupon desire to learn where and how his evenings are spent. It may
be some bank clerk, hitherto enjoying the confidence of the directors,
but who now, in consequence of certain rumors, desire to have him
watched. Or it may be any of a thousand instances in which an employee
ceases to retain the full confidence of his employer, and the convenient
private detective's services are at once put in requisition. Undoubtedly
it would greatly surprise the army of clerks, cashiers and assistants of
this and every great city to learn how many of them are thus under
detective espionage. The young fellow may have fallen into the web of
the siren. He may be down at Coney Island or at the races enjoying
himself; utterly unconscious that a pair of watchful eyes is observing
every motion and chronicling every act. Some fatal morning the reckoning
comes. He may be a bank teller, and he is requested by the board of
directors to show his books and give an account of the situation and
prospects of the bank. Despite his proficiency in bookkeeping, he will
be unable to figure up and cover the money he has squandered in gambling
houses, on the street, or at the race-course. _"Crimine ab uno disce
omnes,"_ says Virgil. From a single offense you may gather the nature of
the whole.

The detective who accepts employment for the purpose of procuring
testimony in divorce cases is undoubtedly at the nadir of his
profession. No self-respecting member of the private detective
organizations will undertake the service even when the pecuniary
inducement, as is frequently the case, is large and tempting. For
testimony so procured is regarded by the courts with suspicion. The
veracity of a person who would crawl into a house, peer through a
key-hole or crane his head through a transom window for the purpose of
witnessing an act of immorality, can hardly be considered higher than
his sense of honor, decency and self-respect. When he stoops to this
kind of business he will hardly manifest any remarkable zeal for
truth-telling, and he will be quite likely to offer to sell his evidence
to the other side--a course which invariably transpires when the other
side is willing to pay for the information.

Violations of conjugal faith are, unfortunately, not unknown, but in the
majority of cases the intrigue progresses in secure secrecy until some
wholly unforeseen accident brings it to sudden and relentless publicity.
The recent case of a Brooklyn lady, who was carried into the
city-hospital of that city about the beginning of last June, with both
legs broken, illustrates this position with singular force and aptness.
To quote from the article of the New York _Sun_ of June 7, 1886:


"Mrs. Williams is young and pretty. 'She is not bad,' her melancholy
husband said of her yesterday, 'only gay like.' She has been married
about ten years, and two little children--a boy and a girl--are now
longing for a mother's care and tenderness, which she cannot give them
perhaps ever again. The faithful husband of the unfortunate woman is a
hard-working man, honest if not dashing, devoted to his home, fond of
his wife and proud of his children. 'I have been way down,' he says,
'but I am getting good wages now and getting on top again. But Lizzie
wasn't content with these things. She was full of life, and I ought to
have watched her long ago. Then this wouldn't have happened.'

"What has happened is this: When Lizzie went down on Fulton street on
Saturday a week ago, ostensibly to make some purchases, she didn't
return that night. Her husband's anxiety was increased when on Sunday he
had no tidings of her. Day after day passed without word, and he sent
for a young woman friend of Mrs. Williams to come in and look after the
children and the household.

"On Thursday a young man from East New York, a friend of Mrs. Williams
and a relative of a certain young lady friend of hers, stuck his head in
the basement window of Fainter Williams' house and said:

"'Lizzy is in the City Hospital. She was hurt by a runaway, and both her
legs are broken.'

"Mrs. Williams had first sent word to her East New York friend, who had
thus taken the first tidings of his wayward wife to her anxious
husband. Williams went at once to the hospital and found his Lizzie. She
told him she had been driving with a friend in Fulton avenue and had
been hurt.

"'Who was he?' Williams asked eagerly, the suspicions which he had been
putting away from him for a long time suddenly becoming convictions.

"'None of your business,' said pretty Lizzie, defiantly. This reply was
calculated to satisfy her husband that all was not right. In fact, it
convinced him that everything was wrong, and in his excitement and pain
he upbraided his wife with such vehemence that she called upon the
hospital attendants to put him out of the ward unless he quieted down.

"Superintendent of Police Campbell heard of the alleged runaway in
Fulton street, and he wanted to know why it had never been reported to
him officially. He began an investigation and learned that the mishap
had occurred out on the Coney Island boulevard. Mrs. Williams was
confronted with this report. She denied its truth vehemently and
protested 'before Almighty God' and in the presence of nurses and
patients that she was run over and hurt in Fulton street. Nothing could
move her from this statement, and when fifty witnesses to her accident
sent word to the Police Superintendent of what they had seen, she was
not discomfited, but repeated her false statements with determination.

"Mr. Williams says that his wife has for a long time nodded to
sportive-looking men as they have passed his Bergen street house, and
her absences from home have been irregular and sometimes prolonged
indiscreetly into the evening. He has felt that her love of attention
and social excitement was leading her beyond the bounds of propriety,
but he had no doubt until now of her faithfulness to him and her
children.

"Who took Mrs. Williams to drive on this eventful Saturday afternoon a
week ago is her secret, shared only by her escort. Where they met is not
known by anyone, but they started about four o'clock and drove through
Prospect Park to the Coney Island boulevard. The day was fine and many
fashionable turnouts and flashy rigs were on the road. Mrs. Williams, in
her close-fitting and becoming dark habit, sat beside a young man not
over twenty-five years old, in a road wagon of approved style, and
behind a well-kept and fleet-footed horse. It was unmistakably a private
rig. Her escort was of light hair and complexion, fashionably dressed,
and of a style that is called 'giddy.'

"Down the level road they drove at a good pace toward the King's
Highway, which crosses the boulevard about two and a half miles from the
Park, and just north of John Kelly's hospitable road house. A short
distance before this point was reached ex-Alderman Ruggles of Brooklyn
came bowling along at a 2.40 gait, and he gave the young man who was
driving Mrs. Williams a brush along an open stretch of road. As they
were speeding on toward Coney Island a dog-cart suddenly loomed up,
coming from the opposite direction, and bore down upon the racers.

"Mrs. Williams and her friend were on the right side of the road and
Alderman Ruggles was in the middle. The dog-cart undertook to pass
between them, and in doing so struck the wheel of the light road wagon,
throwing Mrs. Williams' companion out. He was not hurt, and he held on
to the reins just long enough to check his horse's speed and change his
course. The spirited animal turned short across the road right in front
of Kelly's and the wagon was upset, throwing Mrs. Williams out. She fell
under the wagon and her left ankle and right thigh were fractured. A
great many people saw the upset and ran to the injured woman's
assistance . . . . . .

"When Mr. Williams was told about the accident he said, 'If that's so, I
give her up. If she has done that I am through with her. She cannot come
back to me. As long as she lies to me, to shield this other fellow, she
may go to him. She can't come to me.'"


This giddy Brooklyn woman reckoned too much on her influence over her
husband, when she expected to soothe his resentment by holding her
tongue. Those women who deceive good, indulgent husbands, frequently
discover, to their sorrow, that the most unmerciful and inexorable of
men are those who have been deceived by their idolized partners. Yet men
of this kind would be far more likely to thrash a private detective, who
had possessed himself of the particulars of the amour in a sneaking way,
than to recompense him, and properly, while the courts would absolutely
refuse to receive such testimony unless abundantly corroborated. For
those and other considerations, which will readily occur to the
thoughtful reader, the detective who engages to get up testimony in
cases of marital unfaithfulness is regarded as quite ghoulish by his
fellow-detectives, and looked upon as being entirely unworthy of
credence by lawyers and courts.

After all that has been said the press is, on the whole, the best
detective--the most reliable and efficient agent against evil-doers.
When a crime is committed the daily newspaper, with its Argus eyes,
gives such minute and circumstantial details, together with such
exhaustive particulars concerning its environment, and the details of
its perpetration and supposed authors, that the public at large, so
instructed and informed, become detectives. Hence "crooked" and wicked
people are really more afraid of the thunderbolt exposure of the
newspapers than of the slower and more uncertain action of the law.



CHAPTER XX.

GAMBLING AND GAMBLERS.

_The Delusins that Control the Devotees of Policy--What the Mathematical
Chances are Against the Players--Tricks in French Pools--"Bucking the
Tiger"--"Ropers-in"--How Strangers are Victimized_.

"And there were several offered any bet,
        Or that he would, or that he would not come;
For most men (till by losing rendered sager),
Will back their own opinions with a wager."
                                    --_Byron's "Beppo."_

Some people are born gamblers, and resemble Jim Smiley, of Mark Twain's
"Jumping Frog." Jim was "always betting on anything that turned up, if
he could get anybody to bet on the other side; and if he couldn't he'd
change sides. Any way that suited the other man would suit _him_--any
way just so's he got a bet, _he_ was satisfied." If there was a
horse-race, we are told, "you'd find him flush or you'd find him busted
at the end of it; if there was a dog-fight, he'd bet on it; if there was
a cat-fight, he'd bet on it; why, if there was two birds setting on a
fence, he would bet you which one would fly first."

Despite all efforts of repressive legislation, games of chance are in
vogue all over the country. Gambling is practiced everywhere. Tourists
to and from Europe engage in draw-poker and other games of chance, while
they make pools and lay wagers on the distance sailed per day, or the
length of the voyage, and on the number of the pilot-boat that will
first be hailed. Gambling prevails on board those splendid steamers that
ply up and down the great rivers of the country, and more than one
passenger, driven to distraction by his losses at the gaming-table, has
thrown himself overboard. Our legislators occasionally while away the
time in traveling between Albany and New York in a poker-game, and they
frequently meet each other at their lodgings around the capitol for the
same purpose. At picnics in summer, when Nature wears her most enticing
garmenture, groups of young men may be discovered separated from the
merry-making multitude, jammed into some nook with a pack of cards,
cutting, dealing, playing, revoking, scoring and snarling, wholly
engrossed in the game.

No game of chance is more extensively played in New York City than
policy. Many people are disposed to regard policy as the negro's game
exclusively, but this is a great mistake. Policy embraces all classes in
its ranks, and the white devotees of the game outnumber the colored five
to one. Among the patrons of the policy-shops which, despite police
raids and surveillance, still flourish in the district, of which the
Post Office may be considered the focus, may be seen lawyers,
journalists, advertising agents, book-keepers, mechanics,
liquor-dealers, bar-tenders, peddlers, insurance agents, etc. Gamblers,
as a class, are very superstitious, and the white policy-player is
hardly less so than his colored brother. The latter dreams a good deal,
while the former divides his time between trying to guess the lucky
numbers and avoiding evil omens. Bad luck walks arm in arm with him
beneath every ladder, and below every safe that is being hoisted to a
top-floor room. If he forgets anything when he is leaving home in the
morning, and has to turn back, he is ruined for the day. If he washes
with a piece of hard untractable soap, and it darts from his hand and
scoots along the floor, his "luck has dropped" and "slidden" likewise.
If he, by some malign fate, meets a cross-eyed person, especially the
first thing on Monday morning, he is plunged into despair.

It is estimated by an old policy-player that every dollar a man gets out
of the game costs him at least five. To show how slim is the chance of
winning, it is only necessary to explain that many men play the numbers
4, 11, 44 every day regularly, and this well-known "gig" only comes out
about once a year, or say once in every 600 drawings. This is especially
the negro's "gig." He watches for its coming day after day with fond
anticipation. He would rather "ketch dat 'ar gig" for five dollars than
receive a present of ten.

The lotteries now sold surreptitiously in New York are supposed to be
drawn in Kentucky; but years ago numbers were drawn from a wheel on the
steps at the old City Hall in the park. When the State Legislature
annulled the charter of the lottery company and declared the game
illegal, it moved over to New Jersey, where it was drawn as late as
1850.


"It was a standard joke in the old time," said an experienced operator
recently, "to find out what numbers a man had played, and then to
volunteer to stop at the City Hall and take a copy of the numbers drawn.
A false slip was invariably brought back, and when the player examined
it, seeing all the numbers he had bought, he generally dropped his work
and went to collect the winning. When the lottery was driven from New
York, interested persons used to cross over to New Jersey to witness the
drawing, and the numbers were taken from the wheel amid the greatest
noise and excitement. Some numbers were received with derisive hoots and
howls, and others applauded; and all through the drawing certain
favorites would be loudly and continually called for, and if they failed
to appear curses filled the air. After being driven out of New Jersey,
the lottery men found refuge in several other places, notably Delaware,
Maryland, and other Southern States. The principal drawings now take
place at Covington, Ky., opposite Cincinnati. The numbers from 1 to 78
inclusive are put into glass globes and placed in a wheel. This wheel is
turned until the numbers are well mixed, when a trap in the wheel is
opened and a boy, with his eyes tightly bandaged and arm bare, draws
forth one of the globes, which is unscrewed and the number in it called.
From ten to fourteen numbers are thus drawn, according to the size of
the lottery. The drawing is immediately telegraphed on to New York in
cipher, certain words standing for certain numbers. After the drawing is
translated the runners are furnished with a list of the numbers on a
'running slip,' as it is called, which they immediately take to the
various policy shops. No 'hits' are paid on the running slips, as some
of the numbers are invariably wrong. About an hour or so after the
drawings are received in New York, a printed slip is sent to every
office, and then all claims are promptly settled. The managers, being in
an unlawful business in this State, have the opportunity to swindle as
they please. The players have no redress. Ten thousand dollar 'hits'
have been made, according to tradition, and 'hits' of from $500 to
$1,500 are known of sometimes. Three-number lottery tickets are sold on
every drawing, and constitute a very lucrative branch of the business.
Prizes are supposed to range from $30,000 down, and any ticket with one
draw-number on it entitles the holder to the price originally paid for
it. The first three drawn numbers constitute the first prize, and that
ticket nobody ever gets."


The most of the money spent in policy is on "gigs" and "combinations." A
"gig" is composed of three numbers, and they must all come out of the
same lottery to entitle the player to win. Besides "gigs," there are
"saddles," "capitals," "horses," "cross-plays," and "station numbers."
In fact there are almost as many ways of playing policy as there are
numbers in the wheel. As an old gambler explained it:


"You see there are placed in the wheel 78 numbers, from which are drawn
12, 13, 14, or 15, as the case may be. The latter number will not be
drawn but once a week. Suppose 13 to be drawn. The rates--that is, the
sum the player will receive if he wins--are as follows: For day numbers,
5 for 1; for station or first numbers, 60 for l; for saddles, 32 for 1;
for gigs, 200 for 1; for capital saddles, 500 for 1; for horses, 680 for
1; and for station saddles 800 for 1. Cross plays--the numbers to come
in either lottery--may be made at the same rate, subject to a deduction
of 20 per cent. You see that some of these offer a remarkable margin for
profit. The station saddle, with its 800 for 1, seems to offer unequaled
facilities for making a fortune. But since the game was started, no one
has ever been known to hit one. To get a station saddle you must not
only guess two of the thirteen numbers drawn, but you must also guess
the position they will occupy in the slip. The chances of this is so
very remote that the policy-player, sanguine as he generally is, very
seldom attempts it. The next in order is the capital saddle, with its
500 for 1. A capital is two of the first three numbers drawn. Of course
there must be a first, second, and third number, and either two of these
three constitute a capital saddle."


The chances of playing a "capital saddle," "gig" or "horse" in policy
are easily determined by the following formulæ, well known to all
students of the advanced branches of Algebra:

The number of combinations that can be formed of _n_ things, taken two
and two together, is


_n_ * [(_n_ – 1)/2]

For _n_ things, taken three and three together, the number is

_n_ * [(_n_ – 1)/2] * [(_n_ – 2)/3]

For _n_ things, taken four and four together, the number is

_n_ * [(_n_ – 1)/2] * [(_n_ – 2)/3] * [(_n_ – 3)/4]


Applying these formulæ to policy, it will be seen that to ascertain the
number of "saddles" in any combination you multiply by the next number
under and divide by 2; for "gigs," multiply by the next two numbers
under and divide by 6; while for "horses" you multiply the next three
numbers under and divide by 24. Thus,


78 X [(78 – 1)/2] = 3,003 "saddles."

78 X [(78 – 1)/2] X [(78 – 2)/3] = 76,076 "gigs."

78 X [(78 – 1)/2] X [(78 – 2)/3] X [(78 – 3)/4] = 1,426,425
"horses."


In other words, there are 3,003 "saddles" in 78 numbers, and it follows
that any person playing a capital has two chances in his favor and 3,001
against him.

There is a joke among policy-players that the game is the best in the
world, because so many can play it at once. Different players have
various ways of picking out the numbers they think will come out. Some
go by dreams exclusively, some play chance numbers they run across in
the streets, or signs or express wagons, while others make a study of
the game and play by fixed rules.

As we have already hinted, the business of policy-playing is
insignificant in comparison to what it used to be. Still we are assured
that New York City is still spending a good many thousand dollars a day
in "policy," two-thirds of which professedly, and really more, goes to
the managers and agents. If policy-players would stop awhile and think
seriously of their ways, they would cease playing; or if they would keep
an account of all the money spent on the game for a month or two, they
would discover that they had chosen a wrong road to fortune.

Pool gambling at the various race-courses in the suburbs of New York is
now under stern interdict of the law. This feature is greatly deplored
by those who are in the habit of patronizing this exciting pastime. Of
course the business is carried on _sub rasa_ in the city, in a sort of
sporadic form. No doubt, if we are to reason from analogy, the
pool-fever, emboldened by being "winked at" and tolerated, will, by and
by, assume its noisy, epidemic manifestations.

It is hardly necessary to dwell on the familiar auction pool, with its
close, stifling, dingy room; its crowd of solemn, stupid, wide-awake
gentlemen seated in chairs before a platform, backed with a blackboard,
on which are inscribed the names of the horses expected to start; and
its alert, chattering auctioneer, gay as a sparrow, and equally active,
fishing for bids, with strident voice and reassuring manner. A few
words, however, may be spared to touch lightly on what is designated the
"Mutuel" system, which was invented by M. Joseph Oller, an ingenious
Frenchman, about 1866. Those who had the good fortune to attend Paris in
1867 may remember that M. Oller's indicators were prominent race-course
features during the Great Exposition. They are now familiar to all
frequenters of our American race-courses, and their mode of operation
needs no explanation. The pool-seller's profit is safe as in all big
gambling schemes. He subtracts a commission of five per cent., and thus
makes a handsome profit when business is at all brisk.

The "Paris Mutuel" would appear to be a pretty square arrangement, but,
according to those acquainted with its true inwardness, it has been
"easily manipulated by those in control." There are two ways of
cheating, according to one authority, and "both are practicable during
the last moments of the race, when the horses are coming up the
home-stretch. At this time everybody is anxiously intent upon the
contest and nothing else, so that it is an easy matter for the operator
to see what horse is ahead, and then quietly add five or ten tickets to
his record on the indicator; or, on the other hand, if the horse favored
by the 'ring' is away behind, he can quietly take off some of his
tickets and so save $50 or $100 out of the five. The former, however, is
the easier method and can be with difficulty detected, for very few
people keep transcripts of the French pools, more particularly that
before they are closed everybody is off trying to secure a good place to
see the race."

The prohibition placed upon pool selling naturally renders the
book-maker's occupation to be at a premium. Book-making is reckoned a
"science," and is based upon the principle of the operator betting up to
a certain limit, "play or pay," against every horse entered.
Despite all statements, official or otherwise, to the contrary, there
are a large number of "hells" or gambling houses in New York city, in
which millions of dollars are lost every year by unwary persons. The New
York _Herald_ of June 14, 1886, contains a synopsis of the experiences
of an educated and high-toned young man belonging to a good family, who
had descended from gambling to the practices of a sneak thief. According
to the story he told Inspector Byrnes, he was in love and at the same
time


"became infatuated with the gambling craze. I wanted to make my sweetheart
some presents, and hoped to make enough at the gaming table to purchase
what I wanted. My game was _rouge el noir_--"red and black"--and the
establishments that I visited were on Sixth avenue, between Twenty-eighth
and Twenty-ninth streets, and in Thirty-second street, near Jerry McAuley's
Mission House. Instead of winning I lost. I bucked the game and it
'bucked' me. Then I was penniless and became desperate. By honest
ways I knew it would take a long time to pay my debts, and as I was in
desperate straits I determined to steal. As I did not associate with
professional thieves I had no reason to fear betrayal, so I became a
rogue again."


There is this insuperable difficulty with the born gambler that he is
unteachable. The fool who ruins himself at Homburg or Monte Carlo
belongs to the same type as the young man above, whose identity was
betrayed by a love-letter. Gamblers are always discovering some
infallible system of beating the bank. The first word in La Bruyére's
famous work--"_Tout est dit_" "Everything has been said,"--is true of
gambling against the bank's system, which is to take a positive
advantage which must win in the long run. Not only has everything been
said, but everything has been done to beat the bank. Every move has been
tried, and the result is evident to all but those who are given over to
"a reprobate mind" and will not be convinced. "To gamble against the
bank," said an eminent authority, "whether recklessly or systematically,
is to gamble against a rock."

If the odds are so much against the insane gambler who, secure in an
infallible system, hastens to place his foot on the neck of chance in
what is called a "square" game, how must he inevitably fare in a "skin"
operation. And the stranger who comes within our gates, bent on backing
his methods by a wager, is almost sure to be beguiled into the "skin"
game; for he is likely to meet, lounging around his hotel, some
fashionably dressed young man who spends money freely, and who, by and
by, kindly offers to show him around. He has run across a "roper-in," as
he is well named, whose business it is to track the footsteps of
travelers visiting the metropolis for business or pleasure. It is the
engaging mission of those suave and persuasive gentlemen to worm
themselves into the confidence of strangers, with or without an
infallible system of beating the game, and introduce them to their
employers, the gambling-hell proprietors. And when the poor, misguided
pigeon is plucked, the adroit "roper-in" receives his commission on the
profits realized. This hunting after pecunious strangers is so
systematically carried on that it might be dignified by the name of a
science. Keepers of gambling-houses are necessarily particularly
wide-awake. They take care to be regularly informed of everything
transpiring in the city that may be of interest to their business, and
their agents and emissaries leave nothing to chance. They are not
impetuous. They never hurry up the conclusion of the transaction. When
the unwary stranger is in a fit condition for the sacrifice he is led to
the gaming-table with as much indifference and _sang froid_ as butchers
drive sheep to the shambles.

The reader, among other of Gotham's gambling devices, may have heard of
what is aptly designated "Skin Faro," but it is altogether unlikely that
he may be acquainted with the _modus operandi_ of the game. Skin faro is
not played at a regular establishment in which the player against the
bank is fleeced. The game is liable to drift against the stranger in his
journey to New York, or indeed on any railroad or steamboat, and the
"point" is to get the unsophisticated countryman to be banker. In this
"racket" it is the banker who is to be skinned. According to a recent
authority the ordinary process is something like this:


"After the topic has been adroitly introduced and the party worked up to
the desire to play, it is proposed that the man with the most money
shall act as banker. Now, in an ordinary square game, few would be
unwilling to stand in this position, for though the risk is
considerable, the profit is generally slow but certain. At this point
the question rises as to who has a pack of cards. The question is soon
answered; there always is a pack handy, and the swindlers have it; and
this pack, if examined, will be found to contain a neat round pin-hole
through the center of the pack. The object of this pin-hole is as
follows: the player against the bank makes his boldest play on the turn,
that is, at the end of the game, when there are only three cards out,
tarry; five, nine and all the aces, except spades, can be _guessed_ with
almost uniform certainty by any one looking on the dealer's hand just
before he is about to turn the last two cards (excluding the one left in
_hoc_). As the bank pays four for one 'on the turn,' it is a very good
thing for the player, and the faro banker, for the nonce the would-be
sport, soon finds himself cleaned out."


The people who frequent gambling-houses may be divided into two classes:
occasional gamblers and professional gamblers. Among the first may be
placed those attracted by curiosity, and those strangers already
referred to who are roped in by salaried intermediaries. The second is
composed of men who gamble to retrieve their losses, or those who try to
deceive and lull their grief through the exciting diversions that
pervade these seductive "hells."



CHAPTER XXI.

GAMBLING MADE EASY.

_The Last Ingenious Scheme to Fool the Police--Flat-Houses Turned into
Gambling Houses--"Stud-Horse Poker," and "Hide the Heart."_

The following timely article on the newest racket in gambling in the
City of New York is from the _Sunday Mercury_ of June 20, 1886:


"Since the gambling houses in the upper part of the city, where night
games flourished, have been closed and their business almost entirely
suspended, a new method of operations has been introduced. A _Mercury_
reporter a few days ago was hurrying down Broadway, near Wall street,
when he was tapped on the shoulder by a young man not yet of age, whom
he recognized as a clerk in a prominent banking house, and whose father
is also well known in financial circles. After interchanging the usual
courtesies the young clerk pulled a card-case from his pocket, and,
asking if the _Mercury_ man liked to play poker, presented a neat little
piece of white Bristol board which read:


        HARRY R . . . . N,
      _First Flat, No. -- Sixth Avenue._

"'If you want to play a nice quiet game,' remarked the promising clerk,
'you can take that card and go up there any evening, or come with me
to-night and see how the whole thing is done, but whatever you do don't
lose that card, for you can't get in without it.'

"Suspecting the nature of this 'quiet little game,' the reporter agreed
to meet the banking clerk that evening.

"'You will find a very nice set of fellows in this party,' remarked the
clerk. 'There's none of those toughs or men you see in regular gambling
houses there, but young men like myself and some of the best business
men in this town. Why, I have seen young fellows there whose fathers
have got loads of rocks. They lose a good pile once in a while, but
don't mind that, because a fellow's no blood who cries just because he
drops from ten to fifty dollars of a night.'

"The house was one of a row of French flat buildings, the ground floor
of which is occupied by stores. The clerk, on entering the vestibule,
gave an electric button a familiar push with the index finger and almost
immediately the hall door swung itself open. As soon as the head of the
first flight of stairs was reached, a colored man, wearing a white tie,
was met standing near a door. To him the clerk gave a card, and the
reporter following the example, both were ushered into what happened to
be a reception-room. Two heavy and rich Turkish curtains at one end of
this room were quickly pushed aside and the front or card parlor was
then entered. There were five round and oblong baize-covered tables in
different parts of the elegantly furnished apartment. A number of costly
oil paintings hung on the frescoed walls and a well-stocked buffet at
one side completed the furniture. The adjoining rooms consisted of two
sleeping apartments and a rear connecting kitchen, in which a colored
cook seemed quite busy.

"At the center table, where a game of draw poker was in full blast, was
noticed two celebrated professionals, a couple of race-horse owners
and two clerks in a public department office down-town. At a side table
were the sons of a prominent Hebrew merchant and property owner, two
college students and several young men whose appearance would indicate
they were employed in mercantile houses. Another side table was
surrounded by a gathering of Broadway statues and gambling house
hangers-on, who were engaged in a game called 'hide the heart,' and the
last table had a circle of big, heavy-bodied and solid-looking men about
it who were putting up on a game known as 'stud-horse poker.' The
reporter and the clerk were quickly accommodated with seats at the
center table, where 'draw poker' was in operation. The colored attendant
with the white tie was at hand, and pulling out a ten-dollar bill the
clerk gave it to the negro with the request to get him that amount of
chips in return. The reporter followed suit with a crisp five-dollar
bill. The colored man went away with the money to the further end of the
room, where he passed it over to a clean-shaven and well-dressed young
man with a big diamond in his shirt front. This, the clerk informed him,
was the proprietor of the place, who sat at a separate table, and, after
receiving the cash, handed out to the waiter several stacks of white and
red ivory chips, which were then brought back for the money. The play or
'ante' to the game was fifty cents, with no limit. The white chips
represented half a dollar each and the red ones just double that sum. In
the first two hands of cards the clerk lost his ten dollars, while the
reporter made a profit. A short time convinced the reporter the two
professionals were hard to beat.

"While an extremely close game was carried on, the house was certainly
sure never to lose, as it put up no money and as 'banker' reaped a
steady percentage deducted from the chips of all winners who cashed in.

"The clerk was broke in two hours' sitting and confessed he had lost
sixty dollars, more than three weeks' salary, and while he wore a gold
chain over his vest, he had left his watch in pledge with the game-owner
for twenty dollars' worth of chips besides. As the reporter and his
guide reached the sidewalk, one of the young men who had been in the
place was asked what he thought of the place. Not suspecting the
reporter's motive, the player answered glibly: 'Oh, that racket in
French flats is getting to be all the go now, and I tell you it's
immense. The police can't get on to it, and now as all the faro games
are closed or not making expenses, and afraid to open, it is doing well.
Then there is such a better class of people that go to these places,
people who would not care to be seen or caught in a regular concern. Now
up in Harry's you see how nice it is. There's your parlor to play in.
Then if it's an all-night play you can sleep in turns or lay off during
the day, and get anything you want to eat right there. 'Get pulled?'
Why, there ain't the ghost of a show for that in those flats. In the
first place, no one is let in without he is known or has a card; then a
'copper' can 't go in without forcing an entrance or a warrant, and if
he does, what evidence can be produced to show the place is a gambling
house? Why, gambling in the Fifth Avenue clubs is no better protected.
No one in the house up-stairs suspects what's going on. The halls are
all carpeted and so are the stairs, and you never can hear any one pass
up and down. Then if any raid is made, can't a man swear he was only
having a game of cards in his own house with a party of friends?' In
society, next to progressive euchre, poker comes the highest.

"'Are there many of these private flat games?' asked the reporter. 'Oh,
yes; there's at least half a dozen I know of. There's one on Fifty-ninth
street, one on Forty-fifth street, and several more on Sixth Avenue and
Broadway, and any quantity now in other private houses run as social
club rooms. You see, no games but poker--draw, stud-horse and straight,
and hide the heart--are allowed to be run. Now if you never was in
Harry's before, and you were seen to be all right, you would be given
some cards to pass around to your friends confidentially, which would
tell them where to go for play and would get them in without bother."



CHAPTER XXII.

SLUMMING.

_Depravity of Life in Billy McGlory's--A Three Hours' Visit to the
Place--Degraded Men and Lost Women Who are Nightly in This Criminal
Whirlpool._

The following from the Cincinnati _Enquirer_ tells its own story:

"Slumming in New York always begins with a trip to Billy McGlory's. It
is a Hester street dive. What The. Allen was thought to be in the days
when he was paraded as 'the wickedest man in New York,' and what Harry
Hill was thought to be in the days when the good old deacons from the
West used to frequent his dance hall, Billy McGlory is in New York
to-day. The. Allen and Harry Hill are both alive, but Billy McGlory
bears off the palm of wickedness amid the wickedest of Gotham. If you
want to see his place, two things are necessary, a prize-fighter for a
protector and a late start. I had both when I went there the other
night. My companions were half a dozen Western men, stopping at an
up-town hotel, and our guide was a little 'tough' who has fought half a
dozen prize fights and would fight at the drop of the hat. We had pooled
issues and one man had all the money in the party. Our wallets and
watches and jewelry were left behind. It was nearly midnight when we
started, and half an hour later when the carriage drove us up in front
of a dingy-looking double doorway, from which the light was streaming.
The walls around were black; no light anywhere except that which came
out of the open door. The entrance was a long hall, with nothing visible
at the further end from the outside. It might have served for a picture
of Milton's description of the 'Cavernous Entrance to Hell.'

"There was a policeman outside, and down the street a score of shadowy
forms flitted in and out of the shadows--prostitutes lying in wait for
victims, our guide told us. McGlory's place is a huge dance hall, which
is approached by devious ways through a bar-room. There is a balcony
fitted up with tables and seats. There are tables and seats under the
balcony. There are little boxes partitioned off in the balcony for the
best customers--that is the sight-seers--and we got one of them. A piano
is being vigorously thumped by a black-haired genius, who is accompanied
by a violinist and a cornet player. 'Don't shoot the pianist; he is
doing his best,' the motto a Western theater man hung up in his place,
would be a good thing here. Yet the pianist of one of these dance halls
is by no means to be despised. It was from a position like this that
Counselor Disbecker rose within a few years to a legal standing that
enabled him to get $70,000 out of Jake Sharpe for lawyer's fees.
Transpositions are rapid in New York, and Billy McGlory, who was on the
Island a few months ago for selling liquor without license, may be an
excise commissioner himself before he dies.

"These side thoughts have crowded in while we are looking around. There
are five hundred men in the immense hall. There are a hundred
females--it would be mockery to call them women. The first we hear from
them is when half a dozen invade our box, plump themselves in our laps,
and begin to beg that we put quarters in their stockings for luck. There
are some shapely limbs generously and immodestly shown in connection
with this invitation. One young woman startles the crowd by announcing
that she will dance the cancan for half a dollar. The music starts up
just then, and she determines to do the cancan and risk the collection
afterward. She seizes her skirts between her limbs with one hand, kicks
away a chair or two, and is soon throwing her feet in the air in a way
that endangers every hat in the box. The men about the hall are all
craning their necks to get a sight of what is going on in the box, as
they hear the cries of 'Hoop-la' from the girls there. There is a waltz
going on down on the floor. I look over the female faces. There is one
little girl, who looks as innocent as a babe. She has a pretty face, and
I remark to a companion that she seems out of place among the other poor
wretches--for there is not an honest woman in the hall. Before we leave
the place it has been demonstrated that the little girl with the
innocent face is one of the most depraved of all the habitues of the
place.

"The dance is over, and a song is being sung by a man on crutches with
only one leg. 'He is an honest fellow, is the Major,' says one of the
girls. 'Poor fellow, he has a wife and six children. He sticks to them
like a good fellow and works hard to get a living. He sells pencils in
the day-time and works here at night.' A generous shower of coin goes on
to the floor when the Major finishes. I begin to notice the atmosphere
of tobacco smoke. It is frightfully oppressive. The 'champagne' that it
has been necessary to order so as to retain the box has not been drank
very freely. The girls have been welcome to it the visitors having
discovered that it is bottled cider, with a treatment of whisky to give
it a biting tang and taste. It costs three dollars a bottle. It would
cost a man more to drink it. There was a young business man of
Cincinnati here three or four weeks ago who filled himself up on it at a
cost of $300. He had been foolish enough to go to McGlory's alone. He
was found on the Bowery at five o'clock the next morning without any hat
or overcoat. His pocket-book, watch and jewelry were gone. His only
recollection was that he had taken three or four drinks of McGlory's
'champagne.' He went to the hotel where he was a guest and was wise
enough to take the advice of the clerk. By paying $100 and no questions
asked he got back his watch and jewelry. He also got his pocket-book and
papers, but not the $200 that was in the book when he started out on his
spree. In the intervals of the dance his story has been told me as a
sample of the nightly occurrence.

"What is this that has come out for a song? It has the form of a young
man, but the simpering silliness of a school girl. Half idiot, it
jabbers out a lot of words that can not be understood, but which are
wildly applauded by the crowd on the floor, who 'pat juba' while the
creature dances. The girl who has been hanging around me to get a
quarter, whispers something like 'Oh, the beast!' in my ear. I hear the
other girls uttering similar remarks and epithets. So I look closer at
the young man on the floor--for young man it is. He has a long head and
smooth face, with a deathly white pallor over it, big mouth and lips as
thick as a negro, a conical shaped forehead, and eyes that glitter with
excitement like a courtesan's, but from which at times all signs of
intelligence have apparently fled. He has a companion whose general
appearance is like his own, but whose head is large and round, with a
high forehead and full moon face. Who are they? Well, they are part of
Billy McGlory's outfit, and that is all I can say about them. There are
four more of them in female dress, who have been serving drinks to the
customers at the tables, all the while leering at the men and practicing
the arts of the basest of women.

"Some of my companions have been drawn into one of the little boxes
adjoining ours. They come back now to tell of what depravity was
exhibited to them for a fee. 'Great heavens!' exclaims one of them. 'I
feel sick. Get me out of this if you can. It is damnable.' No wonder
they are sick. The sights they have seen would sicken all humanity.
Editor Stead, of London, could find a bonanza every night for a week
right here in New-York City at Billy McGlory's Assembly Hall. 'Hist!'
says our guide. We look up and find three or four toughs around. They do
not allow any adverse criticisms to be passed aloud at Billy's. If you
begin to talk aloud what you think, out you go. There have been more
round dances. There has been more indifferent singing and some clog
dancing. It is getting late. The fumes of tobacco and of stale beer are
stifling. Four-fifths of the men have not moved from the tables since we
came in. Here and there one is lopped over asleep. But the waiter in
female clothing comes along to wake him up and induce him to order more
beer. Your glass must always be before you if you want to stay at
McGlory's.

"'What are they all waiting for?' I ask. But no one will tell me. Across
the balcony a girl is hugging her fellow in a maudlin and hysterical
manner. Another girl is hanging with her arms around the neck of one of
the creatures I described some time ago. She is pressing her lips to his
as if in ecstasy. He takes it all as a matter of course, like an
indifferent young husband after the honeymoon is over. His companion
joins him--the moon-faced fellow--and they come around to our box and
ogle us. They talk in simpering, dudish tones, and bestow the most
lackadaisical glances on different members of our party. The girls
shrink back as if contamination itself had come among them. 'We are
pretty hard,' says one of them, 'but not so hard as they.'

"The piano gives a bang and a crash. The gray light is beginning to
stream through the windows. There is a hurrying and a scurrying among
the females, and there are a precious lot of young fellows, with low
brows and plug-ugly looks gathering on the floor. There are twenty odd
women with them, mostly young, none good-looking, all bearing marks of a
life that kill. The band strikes up a fantastic air. The whole place is
attention at once. The sleepy beer-bummers rouse up. The persons on the
balcony hang over the railings. The figures on the floor go reeling off
in a mixture of dancing and by-play as fantastic as the music. The
pianist seems to get excited and to want to prove himself a Hans von
Bulow of rapid execution. The fiddler weaves excitedly over his fiddle.
The cornetist toots in a screech like a car-engine whistle. The
movements of the dancers grow licentious and more and more rapid. They
have begun the Cancan. Feet go up. Legs are exhibited in wild abandon.
Hats fly off. There are occasional exhibitions of nature that would put
Adam and Eve to shame. The draperies of modern costumes for a time
covers the wanton forms, but as the performers grow heated wraps are
thrown off. The music assumes a hideous wildness. The hangers-on about
the place pat their hands and stamp and shout. The females on the floor
are excited to the wildest movements. They no longer make any attempt to
conceal their persons. Their action is shameful beyond relation. It is
climaxed by the sudden movement of eight or ten of them. As if by
concerted arrangement they denude their lower limbs and raising their
skirts in their hands above their waists go whirling round and round in
a lascivious mixture of bullet and cancan. It is all done in an instant,
and with a bang the music stops. Several of the girls have already
fallen exhausted on the floor. The lights go out in a twinkling. In the
smoky cloud we have just enough daylight to grope our way out. The big
policeman stands in the doorway. Billy McGlory himself is at the bar, to
the left of the entrance, and we go and take a look at the man. He is a
typical New York saloon-keeper--nothing more, and nothing less. A
medium-sized man, neither fleshy nor spare; he has black hair and
mustache, and a piercing black eye. He shakes hands around as if we were
obedient subjects come to pay homage to a king. He evidently enjoys his
notoriety.

"I had a chat with an old detective, who says to me about McGlory: 'He
is a Fourth-warder by birth. He has a big pull in politics, but takes no
direct part himself. He pays his way with the police, and that ends it.
I have known him for years, and 'tough' as he is, I would take his word
as quick as I would take the note of half the bank presidents of New
York. His place is in the heart of a tenement region, where there are a
great many unmarried men. Grouped around him are the rooms and haunts of
hundreds of prostitutes, with their pimps, thieves and pick-pockets who
thrive in such atmosphere. His place is head-quarters for them. These
can not be suppressed, and it is part of the police policy to leave a
few places like McGlory's where you can lay your hands on a man at any
time, rather than scatter them indiscriminately over the city.'

"We go out on Hester street. It is a narrow, dirty, filthy street. It is
the early morning--five o'clock. We had spent nearly five hours in the
den. The air was reeking with the filthy odors of the night, but it was
refreshing compared with the atmosphere we had left.

"We get in our carriage to go home.

"Three or four blocks up-town we pass Cooper Institute and the old
Mercantile Library. A stone's throw from McGlory's are the great
thoroughfares of the Bowery and Broadway. You could stand on his
house-top and shoot a bullet into the City of Churches. I have not told
the half, no, nor the tenth, of what we saw at his place. It can not be
told. There is no newspaper would dare print it. There is no writer who
could present it in shape for publication. It can only be hinted at.
There is beastliness and depravity under his roof compared with which no
chapter in the world's history is equal.

"Involuntarily, when I reached my apartment, I turned into the bath-room
and bathed my face and hands. It was like getting a breath of heaven
after experiencing a foretaste of sheol."



CHAPTER XXIII.

OUR WASTE BASKET.

_Contemporaneous Records and Memoranda of Interesting Cases._


*Miss Ruff's Tribulations.*

Miss Louise Ruff was a tall, fair-complexioned young lady of twenty-two,
with a handsome form, lovely shoulders, handsome arms and bewitching
address. Her family was well known on the east side of the town, and she
had received a fairly liberal education. Miss Ruff, two or three years
previous to the legal proceedings here chronicled, had the good or bad
fortune to form the acquaintance of Mr. Julius Westfall, the well-to do
proprietor of a couple of restaurants. Mr. Westfall was a Teutonic
"masher" with which any Venus would have been justified in falling in
love. He was a brunette with hyacinthine locks and lustrous black eyes,
and with hands and feet too pretty, almost, for use. Mr. Julius Westfall
fell violently in love with Louise. She had dropped in with a lady
friend to drink a cup of coffee. From behind the receipt of custom he
took an observation, and then he began to prance round, as one who had
suddenly been attacked by a combination of the fire of St. Anthony and
the dance of St. Vitus. He skipped around the saloon like a grasshopper
on a gravel lot, and smiled, and smiled, and smiled--looking his
Fourth-of-July prettiest. Of course Miss Ruff nudged her companion above
the fifth rib, and whispered something complimentary to the beaming
proprietor; and when the ladies left, he bowed them out with all the
grace of a Belgravia footman.

Mr. Westfall began to watch for Louise and to trot after her like a
doppelganger. He kept a tub of ice-water in a closet, in which he
occasionally bathed his throbbing temples. He was devoured by a
consuming passion. When he beheld her at a distance, he smacked his lips
like a beautiful leopard. The heart of Miss Ruff was not of adamant. It
was not a trap-rock paving stone. She could not resist the young man's
loveliness and his innumerable fascinations. They began to walk out
together in the evening when the dandelions were being kissed by the
setting sun. They strolled into the beer gardens and listened to music's
power, while moistening their clay. The Bowery Garden, between Canal and
Hester streets, was a favorite resort. So was the Atlantic Garden and
the Viennese lady musicians. Thus, for one long twelve-month they
loved--after nature's fashion, nor thought of the crime.

Sometime in the latter part of last year--it may have been in October,
or November, or December--Mr. Julius Westfall was summoned to the German
fatherland. It became necessary to dispose of his business and to bid
adieu to Louise. Why he did not marry the young lady doth not appear. He
seems to have left suddenly, and probably the idea of matrimony did not
occur to him. Mr. Ludwig Nisson became Mr. Westfall's successor in the
restaurant business. More than that, he also became the successor of Mr.
Westfall in the affections of Miss Ruff. Now, Mr. Ludwig Nisson is a
handsome young blonde, with lovely flaxen side-whiskers and a rose-pink
complexion. Mr. Nisson's chin and upper lip are shaven clean every
morning. He wears the latest Fifth-avenue style of store clothes. An
ornamental garden of jewelry adorns his vest. His studs are diamonds;
his hay-colored hair exhibits the perfection of the barber's skill. Mr.
Nisson's lips are red and pouting. He may be seven or eight and twenty.
He is very good-looking, and he knows it. As in the case of Mr.
Westfall, Ludwig made superhuman efforts to please Miss Ruff when she
entered his saloon, in which are seats always "reserved for ladies." In
the art of soul-floralization, Ludwig was his predecessor's equal. What
could Louise do but listen to his blandishments? And when a young lady
listens once, the poet tells us, she "will listen twice." Thus it came
to pass that before Julius Westfall had been long gone--perhaps before
he was even half seas over--Mr. Nisson began to meander around with Miss
Ruff, to quaff the foaming lager, and to be on hand in the Bowery Garden
when the band began to play.

Some of these affectionate and confidential manifestations did not
eventuate amid the glare and blare of the beer garden's, but away up in
a sanctum over a drug store and in other "sweet, retired solitudes,"
where they could listen to the sweet music of their own speech. Early in
January of the present year, Louise possessed a secret which she felt
she could confide to no ear but Ludwig Nisson's. With reddening cheeks
she softly made her confession. The easiest and most economical course
under the lamentable circumstances was to offer her some advice. That is
just what Ludwig did offer--subsequently, however, backing it with a
modest fiduciary bonus. After this Mr. Ludwig Nisson sought no more to
commune with Miss Ruff. The poor, indiscreet girl was in a pitiable
dilemma. She had no mother in whose heart of hearts she could seek
forgiveness and shelter. If her family were made aware of the event
impending, she knew the explosion of indignation would be terrific. So
she professed to be tired of staying at home, and entered her name in a
registry office for servants. Fitfully occupying two or three positions,
a victim of anxiety and unrest, she finally consulted an old friend of
her family--Mr. Peter Cook, the lawyer, who wrote a letter to Mr. Nisson
for his client. In a few days a lawyer called on Mr. Cook on behalf of
the restaurateur, and stated that the case would be allowed to go for
trial, in which case, Mr. Nisson would defend it. Shortly afterward, or
to be more specific, in May last, Mr. Henry E. Von Voss, collector for a
down-town business house, called upon Miss Ruff and had a conversation
with her in regard to a possible arrangement. Mr. Von Voss was anxious
that the conversation should be private, but the lady with whom Louise
was residing counseled her to secure the presence of a witness. He
advised her to settle the matter amicably, on a pecuniary basis, and
thus avoid the scandal of publicity. This counsel was favorably
entertained, and in a few days, on the receipt of a small sum of money,
she signed what in law is known as "a general release," drawn up by a
Second Avenue lawyer, in which she exempted Mr. Nisson from all further
claims of any kind whatsoever.

Time passed on, and the money was spent. The tale of the months that
would make her a mother were being surely fulfilled. As yet her family
knew nothing of her condition. With Disgrace, his gaunt twin brother,
Starvation, threatening to assail her, what should she do? Happy
thought! There were the Commissioners of Charities and Corrections.
There was an asylum for unfortunate girls in her condition. Here would
she apply and conceal her trouble.

Before an applicant can be admitted to this humane institution certain
preliminary information must be given. Louise refused to reveal Ludwig's
name or to make a complaint against him. Thereupon she was taken before
his Honor Justice Otterbourg at Essex Market and ordered to reveal the
name of her lover, and to make complaint against him. "It is the first
case in my practice," said Mr. Cook, "where the girl was compelled to
make the complaint." Thereupon the usual order of arrest was issued, and
Ludwig was sacrilegiously thumbed by a coarse-handed sheriff. Of course
the necessary bail was immediately found, and then he was at liberty to
walk down to 89 Centre street and seek legal succor from Messrs. Howe &
Hummel.

The hearing came up in the private examination room of Judge Otterbourg
on Friday last. Judge, and clerks, and lawyers, and principals, and
witnesses were promptly on hand. The Judge smoked a cigar, and his
smooth white forehead, beneath his Hyperion curls, looked the picture of
judicial impartiality. Lawyer Cook looked like Charles the Wrestler,
waiting for a burly and muscular antagonist. Lawyer Hummel was all
brains and diamonds; and when the Judge wanted a light, Mr. Hummel
handed him a match-box of solid virgin gold dug from a California mine
by Tony Pastor. The fair plaintiff was nervous. Mr. Ludwig Nisson was
very handsome but very pale. His counsel fought for him as earnestly as
if his client had been arraigned for murder; and when opportunity
offered he whispered in his client's ear and bade him keep up his heart.
The seven witnesses for the defense sat in the rear. Four of them were
former friends of Louise. Miss Ruff took the stand and in reply to Mr.
Cook briefly told her experiences. Then Mr. Hummel took her in hand. She
answered modestly and straightforwardly, not denying the nature of her
intimacy with Mr. Julius Westfall, but stated her inability to remember
when that gentleman went to Europe.

Mr. Richard Kloeppel then perched himself gracefully on the witness
chair and smiled benignly upon the court and counsel. Mr. Kloeppel is
the bartender in the Gilbert House, and in answer to Mr. Hummel declared
that he was acquainted with Miss Ruff. He had walked in that portion of
Second Avenue known as Love Lane in the company of Miss Ruff, and he had
also sweethearted and otherwise mashed other young ladies. Nobody in
court--with the possible exceptions of Louise and her lawyer--were
surprised when Richard went into particulars about his intimacy with
Miss Ruff.

Mr. Rudolph Fuchs was the next occupant of the witness chair; a
bewilderingly pretty brunette with coal-black eyes and perfect teeth.
During the height of the season Mr. Rudolph Fuchs had been the cynosure
of all eyes at Brighton Beach, where, for a pecuniary consideration, he
condescended to fill the role of waiter. Last year he was similarly
engaged at Cable's. Next year, he will probably be the subject of fierce
rivalry among Coney Island caterers. Mr. Fuchs gave his testimony with
inimitable grace. Mr. Fuchs had also enjoyed the acquaintance and
association of Miss Ruff. He had danced with her; he had listened to the
band in her charming society; he had escorted her along the street, and
he had accompanied her to an establishment that shall be nameless here.

Then Lawyer Hummel called Joseph Neuthen. He was another exasperatingly
pretty young man, with pearl complexion and hazel eyes. He was the
fourth of the phenomenally pretty young men who had loved Miss Ruff. Mr.
Neuthen rehearsed a soft and scandalous tale. He learned to look upon
Louise with love two years since this summer. One evening he had been in
a private apartment in West Third street with Miss Ruff.

After this charming witness retired, lawyer Cook lashed himself into a
rage. Miss Ruff once more graced the witness stand. She told the
incidents connected with Mr. Neuthen's acquaintance in a different, but
in an equally interesting way. At the same time she emphatically denied
the soft impeachments of Richard Kloeppel and Rudolph Fuchs. She had
known them, she swore, as casual acquaintances; but closer relations she
positively denied. As to "Joseph," Miss Ruff remembered a certain
evening, over two years since, when he brought her tidings that Mr.
Westfall wanted to see her. She was gratified by the intelligence, and
readily adopted Joseph's suggestion, more especially as Mr. Westfall had
charged his messenger with it--to drink a glass of beer, till the
restaurateur arrived. Joseph and Louise waited and waited, but Julius
failed to appear. Then Joseph said: "Perhaps he has gone home; perchance
he slumbereth; let us go after him." They went to Third street, where
Julius was accustomed to woo Morpheus. Joseph and Louise entered a room.
Soon after he became demonstrative in his attentions. But being
comparatively a giantess, she kicked him away, and after he had gone to
sleep she put off her outer raiment and went to sleep also.

Mr. Theodore Utz, of Stapleton, L. I., an upholsterer by trade, was the
next witness. He had received letters from Miss Ruff, and was familiar
with her handwriting. He had seen a letter addressed by her to Mr.
Westfall since he left for Europe. The letter was addressed to Mr.
Westfall in Hamburg, and he was familiar with its contents.

Counsellor Hummel: "Now state the contents of that letter as near as you
can recollect."

Counsellor Cook: "I object."

Judge Otterbourg ruled out the testimony.

"Put this down on the record," said Mr. Hummel. "Counsel for defendant
excepts and insists that the question is admissible on the ground that
the complainant having sworn that she did not write a letter to Mr.
Westfall, charging him with the paternity of the child likely to be
born, the defense desires to prove by this witness, who has sworn that
he knows the handwriting of, and who has received letters from, the
complainant, that the complainant did write a letter to said Westfall
charging him with the paternity of said to-be-born child; that it is an
impossibility to secure said original letter, or said Julius Westfall,
it having been proven in evidence that due effort was made to secure the
original letter and Westfall, but Westfall is in Europe and not in the
jurisdiction of this court."

Mr. Francis L. Specht, a butcher on the east side, who supplied the
restaurants of Mr. Nisson, gave some testimony tending to prove that
Miss Ruff sometimes kept late hours. When asked by Mr. Hummel, "Do you
known her general character for virtue?" plaintiff's counsel objected,
and the objection was sustained. The result of the case, however, was
that the proceedings were eventually dismissed, the evidence
conclusively establishing the fact that Miss Ruff "loved not wisely but
too much."


*Astounding Degradation.*

A WIFE FLIES FROM HER HUSBAND'S HOME--REVOLTING HEARTLESSNESS OF A
FATHER--AN ABHORRENT TRUTH STRANGER THAN THE MOST IMAGINATIVE FICTION.

Supreme Court.--John Edward Ditmas against Olivia A. Ditmas. Such is the
title of an action for divorce instituted by Howe & Hummel, on behalf of
an injured husband, against a youthful, educated, accomplished and
fascinating wife, who had fallen from woman's high estate, violated her
marriage vows, and by her own libidinous conduct and lustful debauchery
become one of the many fallen ones of this great metropolis.

Some years previous to the action, at Perinton in this State, John E.
Ditmas, a well-to-do young farmer of Gravesend, L. I., was united in the
bonds of holy matrimony by the Rev. J. Butler, to the youthful,
beauteous defendant, whose maiden name was Olivia A. Mead. And for some
time they lived most happily together, but her father, thinking that she
was then too young--she being only sixteen years of age--to enter into
the marriage state, induced her to leave the husband and temporarily
board with him at the corner of Main and Clinton streets, in the city of
Rochester, in this State, Her father subsequently succeeded in inducing
her to enter a ladies' boarding school at Rochester, but her conduct
there in flirting with young gentlemen was so openly improper that the
proprietress was compelled to expel her from the establishment.

To the utter astonishment of every one and disclosing an unparalleled
revolting case of parental heartlessness, William B. Mead, the father of
Olivia, induced his daughter to quit the path of virtue, and to enter a
fashionable house of prostitution in Rochester, then kept by Madame
Annie Eagan; and, as the beautiful but frail defendant states, the
paternal originator of her being told her that as she was inclined to be
"gay" she might as well live in a "gay" house as not; and he took her
there, making arrangements with the proprietress for her stay, and she
became one of the inmates, conforming to the requirements and
regulations of the situation.

The plaintiff, hearing this heart-breaking intelligence, made every
effort to induce the defendant to leave her life of debauchery, and
portrayed the misery, disease, and prospects of early death consequent
upon such a life; but it appeared to be time wasted to talk to her, as
she was evidently too far gone to become awakened to any desire for
reformation.

Subsequently, learning that her devoted and much injured husband had
determined to avail himself of the law to get free from the legal
obligation which bound him to one lost past redemption, the defendant
addressed to the plaintiff two letters, of which the following are
copies, and which but too plainly admit the extent of the degradation
and crime into which the unhappy, and lost, abandoned wife had plunged
herself:


"ROCHESTER, . . . . .


"My dear husband,--With a sad and breaking heart I sit down to
communicate my thoughts and feelings to you; but oh, if I could tell you
how I feel I should be happy, but words can never express or tongue
tell. I believe that I am at present one of the most unhappy, as well as
unfortunate and miserable beings, that ever existed, but I can only feel
to say that it was God's curse upon me, and that I know that I am
deserving all, so I do not murmur. But, oh! the tears I have shed for my
past follies would make an ocean; and to-night, if I was only laid in
my grave, is my wish. John, what shall I say? In the first place, can
you ever forgive me? for God alone knows that I am penitent if there
ever was one in the world. I can hardly hope to be forgiven, for my sins
are almost beyond redemption, but God will forgive at the eleventh hour,
and I want to be forgiven and reform. I will reform. I have seen enough,
and now I want to settle down and live a virtuous and respectable life
the rest of my days and die a happy death, for I have spent many an hour
of late in deep thought, and it is not an impulse of the moment, but I
have spent hours and days and months, and conclude that this is no life
for me to lead. I am cured of my follies and I want to reform. Now,
John, I have used you like a dog. I can say nothing for myself only that
I am sorry, and have suffered enough, and have had my just dues. But,
oh, John, forgive me! I could never do enough for you, and though I
should live for years I could never wash out the stain which I have
brought upon your name, but I am willing to end my days in your service.
I am willing to do anything for you, if you are only willing to forgive
me and live with me again, for I am your wife the same as ever, although
I never filled that position or deserved the name. I am now willing to
steady down and be a wife to you the remainder of my days. I think it
was God's will that things should have been as they have; for my part, I
know that it has been the making of me. I do not think that I could ever
have settled down, and have been a woman and true wife, if I had not
passed through what I have, for now I have seen not only the ways of the
world, but the follies of my ways, and am cured, and now I am willing to
go anywhere, and live with my husband, and be to him a true wife the
rest of my days. That I am penitent and want to be forgiven by you and
all of the rest, 'though I can never expect that,' and that the words
come right from my heart, God alone knows. John, I would have written to
you long before, but my pride forbade it, for I thought I would wait and
see if you loved or cared anything for me, for I thought if you did that
you would write or send for me, but when I saw that you did not, it
worried me, too, but still I felt that I would not humble myself enough
to write. I thought if you did not care anything for me I would not let
you know I cared enough for you to write; but it was pride and pride
alone; but it had a fall, and I felt as if I had passed through a fiery
furnace and came out cleansed, for I feel like a different person.
Everybody says it has been the making of me to pass through what I have.
Many and many a time have I repented of the step I took in the month of
August, when I left the city of Brooklyn. Many a time I have prayed that
I might once again be placed back to that time. Oh! how differently
would I act. Now I can see that I was wholly to blame--alas! when too
late, I am afraid. John, you know all, you know everything that has
transpired from the time I left you up to the present time, therefore it
would be useless to say anything concerning my life for the past six
months, only that I am not past reformation, but have steadied down and
want to live a virtuous life the rest of my days, and the only one I
want to spend them with is my husband, for we are the same to each other
as on that October morning when we were pronounced man and wife. Then
let us forgive as we hope to be forgiven by that Higher One. Now, John,
I know that your mother or any of your family would never speak to me or
forgive me, but if my future life will ever be the means of restoring
the peace again that once existed between your folks and me, I am
willing to do anything, sacrifice everything to live so that they will
once more recognize me and term me their daughter and sister. I love
them all; but, oh! what hellish spirit ever took possession of me I know
not; but, oh! John, forgive me, take me back, and though they discard
me, remember I am your wife.

"Now, John, write to me, for God's sake; write for the love you once
bore me; write, let me know if you are done with me forever or not, for
suspense is killing; but, oh, if you ever hope to be forgiven by God,
forgive your wife, and let us once more live together and dwell in
harmony and peace.

"Now, John, I send my love to you, and 'Oh, forgive me!' is my prayer.

"John, forgive! But you will have to follow the directions, as no one
knows me by any other name. Nevertheless I am your wife. Good-by!

                "From your wife,
                "OLIVIA.

"Direct: Maud Coles, No. 13 Division street, Rochester."


                "ROCHESTER, . . . . .


"My dear husband,--I call you so because I have the right to, but, oh,
how I have abused that right that I am not worthy of, John. As I sit
writing to-day my heart is near breaking and my eyes are filled with
tears; and though I have written to you once and heard nothing from you,
still I cannot, will not, give you up. Oh, John, I am one of the most
miserable and unhappy beings that ever lived. I wish I were dead, and I
wish I had died before I ever used you as I did. I do from the bottom of
my heart. I shall write just I feel, and as I have felt since I left the
path of virtue and abused the only protector and friend,' for you were
mine for life.' I don't think any one, after doing as I have done, ever
has peace of mind. I am sure I do not. I dream of you most every night,
and the other night I had a fearful dream, and I will tell you some
other time what it was. John, I was talking about you to-day, and I was
saying if you would only take me back and live with me, that I would do
anything for you. I would beg on my hands and knees. I would do anything
to come back and live with you. I would be through life what you would
wish me to be. It lays in your power to determine my future end. If you
will forgive me and take me back, I will always do right, and you will
never have cause to repent it. You say to yourself that I promised once
before. This is only the second offense, and if we do not forgive each
other on earth for such trivial offense, 'as we may say,' when compared
with our wickedness in the eyes of God, how can we ever expect to be
forgiven for the manifold sins we commit daily? and, John, I am truly
repentant, and what I say is not an impulse of the moment, but I have
long thought it over, and God, who alone knows the heart, knows that I
want to be forgiven, and that I love you and want to live with you
again; and He knows that mine has been a sad and bitter experience, and
I am steadied down and profited by it. When I am in trouble and feel
unhappy, then it is that I think of you, and all that keeps me up is the
cheering thought that at some day you will forgive me and live with me
again; but if you should write that I need have no such thought, that
you were done with me forever, it would kill me; for, as I have said
before, all I care to live for is you, and I do not want to live if you
do not forgive me; but, John, you shall never be aught else to me than
my husband, and I hope in time to soften your heart towards me, for I
want to come back and live with you. I want you to forgive me, for I
love you, John, I do; and write to me and say-that I am forgiven. Write,
if it is only to say that you are done with me forever, for suspense is
killing. I am going to write to Maria and aunt Em to-day, to see how far
their influence will go. Oh, John, forgive me! I am your lawful wife,
and do not be influenced by any one, for, John, think what I was when
you married me--pure and virtuous. I will always be good, and be for the
rest of my life a fond and affectionate wife. John, I've got no friends,
nobody to love or care for me, but I have got a husband, and it grieves
me when I read over my old letters which you wrote to me before we were
married, 'as I was to-day,' to think of the words of love and promises,
and enjoyment we were to take; but, alas! the devil had possession of
me. But now I will throw all things aside but the love and interest of
my husband. Oh, John, for my sake, forgive me! for God's sake, forgive
me, and I will always be a Christian: if not I will end my days in
misery! John, write to me; do write immediately and forgive your erring
wife,

        "OLIVIA.

"Direct: Olivia, 13 Division street, Rochester. N. Y."


To the request contained in the above letters the husband felt he could
not comply, as he learned that she was really attached to the immoral
life which she was leading; and he was also deeply overcome at finding
that her own father, instead of devoting his life to his daughter's
redemption, should have actually perpetrated the horrible crime of
consigning his own child to a fashionable den of infamy. Detective
Rogers, of Rochester, by the directions of Commissioner Hebbard,
arrested the defendant in Madame Eagan's house, as being the inmate of a
house of prostitution; but she was suffered to escape on her paying a
fine of twenty-five dollars, and return to her evil associations.

The plaintiff, coming to the conclusion that his wife was irreclaimable,
through Howe & Hummel, sent on process to the sheriff of Monroe County,
who served the same on the defendant, whilst she was actually in Madame
Eagan's fashionable "Maison de joie," and lost no time ridding himself
of the unwholesome partner of his joys. Was ever stranger history of
man, wife and father recited?


*Fall of a Youthful, Beautiful and Accomplished Wife.*

For some time past, Theodore Stuyvesant, one of our most prominent and
wealthy lawyers, residing at East Seventh street, in this city, and
having a splendid country seat in Queen's County, had cause to suspect
the fidelity of his youthful, beautiful and accomplished wife, and,
unhappily, these suspicions resulted in sad reality.

It appears that for some time past Mr. Stuyvesant and his wife were in
the habit of giving magnificent entertainments to a numerous circle of
legal, literary and theatrical acquaintances, at some of which some
friends of the gentleman observed indications of undue familiarity on
the part of the lady with a repeated and oft-invited guest.

The warnings were from time to time unheeded and disregarded by the too
confiding and affectionate husband; but, on the afternoon of Thursday,
harrowing facts were whispered n his ear, which induced him to resort to
the stratagem which resulted in the detection of his wife in grossly
improper conduct.

On the day referred to, Mr. Stuyvesant informed his wife that legal
business required his absence from the city, and would detain him,
probably, ten or fifteen days; and she parted with him, bestowing so
affectionate, and apparently loving farewell, as almost to remove the
bitter and heart-rending suspicions which were then racking the breast
of the injured husband. But, resolved on carrying out his intent, he
simulated departure; but instead of leaving the city he remained at the
house of a trusty friend, deliberating upon and maturing plans for the
carrying out of that project, which was fated to reveal to him his
wife's shame and his own dishonor.

After a lapse of some hours, Mr. Stuyvesant, with two friends, repaired
to his residence, and having obtained admission through a rear
sub-entrance, proceeded to his bed-chamber, on entering which, on
tip-toe, he discovered his guilty wife in the embrace of her betrayer.
The dishonored husband stood aghast and petrified--the wife endeavored
to conceal herself--while her paramour was summarily ejected through the
window by the avenging friends.

The husband, on recovering from the shock which had temporarily
paralyzed him, left the house in solemn sadness, and absented himself
from the presence of one who had so cruelly dishonored him, and for whom
he had always evinced the warmest affection. Fearing lest reason should
leave its throne, and he commit an act which would usher the soul of one
he fondly loved un-shriven to her last account with all her
imperfections on her head, poor Stuyvesant wept and left. His cup of
bitterness was full. He repaired to the house of his friend where he
passed the remainder of the night. In the morning, depressed and
heart-broken, he returned to the home, once so happy and joyous, but now
bleak and desolate, for the purpose of winding up domestic affairs,
breaking up the house, dismissing the servants, and parting forever from
the frail and erring woman, now wife to him but in name.

But the lady, instead of expressing contrition and supplicating for
pardon for the irreparable wrong she had inflicted, assailed him with a
torrent of vituperative abuse; and on his aged mother remonstrating with
the guilty one upon the iniquity of her proceeding, she flew at her with
the passion of a tigress, and cruelly beat and maltreated the aged lady,
who is now verging on the grave. The neighbors, hearing the disturbance,
called in the police, and Mrs. Stuyvesant was arrested and taken before
Police Justice Mansfield at Essex Market Police Court, by whom she was
committed to the Tombs for trial, in which prison the guilty lady--the
lawyer's wife, the leader of fashionable society--was confined, a
degraded and fallen woman. Proceedings for a divorce were at once
instituted by Mr. Stuyvesant, and the judicial tribunal freed him from
his unfortunate alliance. He, however, became heartbroken and shortly
after died, the disgrace wrecking his home and nearly driving him
insane.


*A French Beauty's Troubles.*

A WALL STREET BROKER SUED FOR BREACH OF PROMISE AND OTHER BAD ACTS--A
HANDSOME MILLINER LAYS HER DAMAGES AT TWENTY THOUSAND DOLLARS.

Twelve months before the proceedings in court, at the City of New
Orleans, the presiding goddess of the most fashionable milliner's
establishment of the place was Mary Blanchette. She was 21 years of age,
tall, elegantly moulded, and possessed of a maturity of charms which
made her seem three or four years older than she really was--with rich
auburn hair, eyes of deep blue, large and rolling, and at times
expressing an involuntary tenderness, which gave a voluptuous languor to
her beautiful countenance. Her forehead was high and open; she had teeth
of pearly whiteness, and possessed all the accomplishments which a
French lady of _ion_ need desire. It is not surprising, therefore, that
Miss Blanchette should have captivated many admirers. Among those who
paid homage at the shrine of beauty was a wealthy New York broker named
Theodore Raub, who, possessing a handsome person, easy and elegant
address, a melodious, yet manly voice, and a fascinating style of
conversation, was received by the fair Marie with considerable favor,
and he became a daily visitor, and ultimately her acknowledged lover.

Theodore Raub was a thorough man of the world, and deeply versed in all
the mysteries and intricacies of the human heart: and especially was he
an able anatomist of the female mind, which he could dissect and
comprehend in an instant; and on the occasion of one of his visits to
the beauteous French girl, after promising her marriage, the emotions
which she experienced were not lost upon him. He perceived and
deciphered them almost as soon as they had sprung into existence, and he
saw in a moment that he had conquered. He had taken her hand, which she
had not withdrawn, and when he pressed his burning kisses on her lips,
the roseate blushes which suffused her cheeks were indicative of a deep
and burning joy, and Raub well knew by the melting voluptuousness which
beamed in her eyes that the hour had come when he could secure his
victim.

Marie, awakening as it were from a dream, struggled to extricate
herself, but he murmured impassioned words and vows and protestations in
her ear, and with kisses he stifled the remonstrances and the
beseechings which rose to her lips. But suddenly a strong sense of
danger flashed into the mind of Marie; aye, and therewith a feeling that
all this was wrong, very wrong; so that the virtuous principle which was
innate in her woman's nature, asserted its empire that very instant. The
immediate consequence was that, recovering all her presence of mind and
casting off in a moment the voluptuous languor that had come over her,
Marie tore herself from his embrace, exclaiming:

"Oh! Theodore, Theodore, is this your love for me? Would you ruin my
body and my soul? Have pity on me. Have pity on me."

"Marie," said Theodore, "you love me not; you will drive me mad," he
exclaimed, and he turned abruptly away, as if about to leave the room.

"He says that I love him not!" cried Marie, wildly, as she sprang to her
feet, and in another moment she was again clasped in her lover's arms.

Raub was not less expert in soothing the soul of Marie that was now
stricken with remorse, and in quieting the anguished alarms that
succeeded the moments of pleasure, and under reiterated promises of
marriage, poor Marie retained within her own breast the secret of her
ruin, until nature was about, in its own mysterious way, to proclaim her
shame itself. As soon as Raub became aware of the fact that Marie was
about to become a mother, he absconded from New Orleans, and instead of
carrying out his repeated promises to the injured and ruined fair one,
he came on to New York, leaving her unconscious and ignorant of his
whereabout.

Marie, with that pertinacity which belongs peculiarly to a wronged and
neglected woman, tracked him to this city, and demanded of him here the
only atonement he could make before man and before God,
namely--marriage. To all these entreaties Raub turned a deaf and defiant
ear, and, at the suggestion of the French Consulate in this city, Marie
retained the services of Howe & Hummel, and proceedings were taken which
brought the contumacious Theodore to a satisfactory fiscal arrangement
so far as Miss Blanchette was concerned.


*Life on the Boston Boats.*

A FAST WOMAN WRONGFULLY ACCUSED.

Maria Wilson is a beautiful woman, and of that age at which most women
are admired by men. She is courteous, affable and lady-like in her
manner. So far as appearances go, she is just such a woman as most men
would like to have for a wife. But appearances often deceive. Maria has
fallen from grace, just as mother Eve did before her.

Her beauty has perhaps to her been her greatest misfortune; without it
she might be virtuous; with it she certainly is not. Like many others of
her erring sisters, see desires to live like a lady; to dress well; go
to the opera in season; go to the theater and, indeed, to every other
place where woman is likely to go.

Unfortunately for Miss Wilson, though born pretty, she was not born
rich. The good things of this world were not given to her very
abundantly. Work, she wouldn't. For some reason or other, certainly not
a valid one, work appears degrading to some people. So it appeared to
Miss Wilson.

What was she to do then? To steal would be to go to the penitentiary or
the State prison. She didn't like to live in either, and yet she had
taken the first erring step to go there. She is, in short, a fast woman,
yet driven to a gay life in order to eke out a precarious existence, to
gratify her love of dress. Fearing that she might get into the hands of
the police if she staid in the city, Maria engages a passage on one of
the Boston boats every alternate day, for the purpose of affording
"noctural accommodation" to gentlemen not having their wives along. A
day or two ago Maria, in company with another "lady" of like loose
character, went on board one of the boats alluded to, each bent upon
securing a state-room, if possible, but one at least was doomed to
disappointment.

Miss Wilson's good looks made her a favorite with the officer of the
boat, and she succeeded in obtaining a stateroom. Her partner, however,
did not, and though unfortunate in this respect, she was well off in
another way. She did succeed in "picking up a man," with whom she seemed
to become suddenly in love.

After perambulating the boat decks and cabins for some time in
flirtation and social chat, Maria's friend asked her if she would be
kind enough to allow her the use of her state-room for a short time.
Maria being lonely, and not feeling any disposition to retire,
consented, when her friend and her company retired. They occupied the
room for the best part of the night, and left Maria to do the best she
could under the circumstances.

In the morning they left at an early hour, after which Maria feeling
sleepy retired to take a "nap." She was not long in the room, however,
when her friend tapped at the door and desired an interview. Though
fatigued, Maria consented, when she was astonished at being accused of
theft by one who seemed but a moment before to place the most
unsolicited confidence in her. However, her friend (whose name we have
not learned) lost her watch, and said she left it under the pillow, and
accused Maria of stealing it. This was ingratitude indeed.

Maria, of course, denied any knowledge of the missing jewel, but her
accuser was positive she left the watch under the pillow, and when the
boat returned to this city she made the charge of theft against Maria
before Justice Dowling, at the Tombs. Maria did not let her indignation
run away with her senses, but shrewdly enough kept quiet and employed
Counselor Howe to defend her.

When the case came up the attorney explained the whole circumstances to
his Honor the Judge, and added that the complainant had also accused the
colored waiter on board the boat of the theft. Of course under such a
state of things there was but one course left, and Justice Howling, not
wishing to prosecute an innocent though erring woman, allowed Maria
Wilson to go her way rejoicing.

She left the court in company with her counsel to return to the abode of
her sister, where, it is to be hoped, she will abandon her follies, live
a life of virtue, and be forever a happy woman.


*An Eighty-year-old "Fence."*

A METROPOLITAN ECHO OF A BALTIMORE BURGLARY.

Before Justice Wandell, Hirsch Lowenthal of this city, was brought up
for examination on the charge of being the receiver of $20,000 worth of
gold watches and jewelry, burglarized in Baltimore. The case has had the
attention of the court for some days, and the premises, briefly stated,
are as follows: On the January date the store of Simeon J. Rudberg, of
Baltimore, was entered by four men who secured the property in question.
For a long time nothing was heard of the goods, but, eventually, they
were traced to this city, and, following the same clew, Mr. Rudberg
proceeded to Buffalo, where he had the pleasure of confronting two of
the thieves, who were held in that lake city on a charge of
shop-lifting. He identified them, and saw, moreover, in their company a
very handsome woman who had been with them in Baltimore. The whereabouts
of the other two burglars are unknown. So is that of the female. She was
established, however, as the step-daughter of Hirsch Lowenthal, whose
alleged conversation last Wednesday in a Division street beer saloon
about the "loot" led to his arrest.

Happy thought! Division street is the place to speak about the partition
of spoils.

Bad as it looked for Mr. Lowenthal, who is aged eighty years, he had a
_petite_ consolation in the fact that he was defended by Mr. Hummel. The
prisoner came out of the pen in a tottering way and leaned against the
rail. Hirsch Lowenthal is bowed with eighty years that have dashed over
him like waves, and he seemed caught in the tangling undertow of death.
There was no evidence in his appearance of being a "fence." He looked
rather an aged Hebrew who simply wished to go his way. The white
semi-circle of whisker under his chin, the trembling hands, the bald
head, like a globular map with the veins as rivers, all attested extreme
decrepitude. He was dressed in a light suit of fluttering linen that
blew about him as if his legs were topmasts and he was a ship running in
close-reefed on a stormy coast. He has lived in this city for many
years, and has been twice married. The second wife and he did not get
along very well, and have abided apart for the last five months.
Theresa, who is the central figure in this romance, is the daughter of
the second wife by another husband. She is married to a burglar who
luxuriates in the euphonious name of "Sheeny Dave." Dave is one of the
two men identified in Buffalo, and resides now at Auburn at the expense
of the State. When they saw the Baltimore merchant in Buffalo Dave and
his companion came sagely to the conclusion that to plead guilty to the
local charge and avoid extradition for the burglary would be about the
best thing to do. They reckoned without their host. When the New York
State term is finished they will be waited upon by Maryland officials.
It is sometimes embarrassing to be popular and sought after by everyone.


Perhaps it would be a safe rule in life to avoid drinking beer if you
have had anything to do with stolen goods. On last Wednesday evening,
Mr. Lowenthal visited a Division street saloon in company with a
villainous looking man who had but lately returned from Sing Sing. They
ordered the loquacious lager and fell into an easy strain of
conversation. After touching upon the weather, crops, trade, etc., Mr.
Lowenthal fell to speaking of some goods in his house, the proceeds of a
Baltimore burglary in last January. At the next table sat Mr. Rosenberg,
who listened. It was Mr. Rosenberg who gave this damaging evidence
before Justice Wandell. He was forced to admit, however, that the aged
gentleman had not mentioned the name of the Baltimore firm, although he
had specified the quality of the goods. Mr. Hummel claimed that as the
commodity spoken of was only material in general and had not been
identified as Mr. Rudberg's particular property, and that, furthermore,
as there was no evidence tracing the stuff to the old man, who had
merely chatted pleasantly about some burglarized property to which he
had helped himself while occupying a fiduciary position, there was no
case and asked for the discharge of his client. The prosecution claimed
that the fact of Theresa being the step-daughter of Mr. Lowenthal, and
the wife of one of the identified burglars at the same time, taken in
connection with the conversation in the beer shop, during which direct
allusion was made to a burglary in Baltimore in January, made a good
foundation for procedure. Judge Wandell pondered, and then Mr. Hummell
pushed his side energetically, using tons of cold sarcasm and barrels of
withering scorn. It was the sapling shielding the blasted oak, one of
the youngest, and certainly the smallest counselor thundering forth in
behalf of the oldest prisoner.

"Oh, by all means, put the gentleman from Sing Sing on the stand," he
said, "but let's have him sworn first. It is precisely what I desire.
Nothing would charm me half so much."

So they swore the jail-bird, made him confess that he had served his
term fully, and then told him to step down and out. His evidence was not
needed. Mr. Rosenberg was raked fore and aft, but he stuck to his story.
When the diminutive counsellor intimated that he was worse than the
prisoner, the witness smiled serenely and winked at the magistrate as if
it was a good joke.

"If he talked that way to me I'd punch his head," said the Baltimore man
in a whisper.

No one could tell where Theresa was, although weeks had been spent
searching for her. And yet she is no ordinary woman. Twenty-three years
of age, elegantly formed, dark, lustrous eyes, satiny coils of black
hair, olive complexion, seed-pearl teeth, full red lips, small hands and
feet, and graceful carriage. She wears diamond drops at her ears and
sparkling rings upon her fingers. Her favorite attire, as if life were a
perpetual dressing for dinner, is a black-corded silk, fitted close to
the figure, made high in the neck, with a trembling edge of lace at the
throat clustering about a diamond catch whose brilliancy it veils. This
is not a fancy portrait, but word for word from an enthusiastic admirer
of Lowenthal's step-daughter. But where is she? It is not known. Where
is the John Sherman letter to Anderson? Where is the Boston Belting
Company's money? Where is Tom Collins? And where's Emma Collins? An
impenetrable gloom shrouds them all.

After a rather protracted lunch on his eye-glasses, Judge Wandell, in
reply to Mr. Hummel's motion, rendered his decision to the effect that
there was not sufficient evidence to hold aged Mr. Lowenthal. The
octogenarian heard it with delight, and came as near skipping like a
lamb from the court-room as is possible for one of his age.


*Shoppers' Perils.*

INTERESTING CASE TO TRADESPEOPLE--THE PERILS TO WHICH RESPECTAPLE LADIES
ARE SUBJECTED TO IN CERTAIN FASHIONABLE STORES.

Much of the time of the Court of Special Sessions was absorbed in the
trial of a case of some importance to ladies who make purchases. A
pleasant-faced looking woman, named Ellen Whalen, was arraigned for
petit larceny in having stolen an accordeon from the store of Ehrich's
on Eighth Avenue. The main evidence against her was that of Alexander G.
Sisson, the detective of that establishment, who testified that the
prisoner took the property from one of the counters while he was looking
at her, and that he followed her on the street and found it in her
possession hid under her shawl.

Mr. A. H. Hummel, who appeared as counsel for the accused,
cross-examined the detective at some length and gleaned that there were
others in close proximity at the time the property was taken, and among
them a Miss Maggie McKenna, a saleslady, who was not, however, in court.


Mrs. Whalen was next called by Counselor Hummel, and deposed that she
lived in West Seventeenth street, and went to Ehrich's to purchase the
accordeon and showed a marked receipt which she claimed was given to her
with her change. That the detective followed her out of the store,
treated her roughly on taking her into Custody, and kept her confined
fifteen minutes in a cellar before he brought a policeman to arrest her.
Mr. Doyle, her landlord, vouched for her general good character, and Mr.
Hummel then made a stirring appeal to the court for his client's
discharge. He characterized the arrest as a gross outrage, for which the
jury would render instant acquittal, and stigmatized the private
detective's testimony as unworthy of belief without corroboration,
saying that the higher courts had so decided in many cases, as it was
clearly evident the desire of such employees to secure convictions for
theft in order to retain their place. Mr. Hummel also adverted to the
negligence of the real complainants not appearing, and the absence of
the saleslady who should have been sent here by them, so that the court
might have had a full and ample investigation. With much feeling counsel
urged a dismissal of the complaint, and an honorable discharge of the
prisoner.

The court remained in consultation for some time and announced a verdict
of "not guilty," which was greeted with a round of applause from the
assembled multitude. Mrs. Whalen thanked the court and fervently pressed
Mr. Hummel's hand in gratitude and left the courtroom, accompanied by
her three children and a host of friends.

[EOF]





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