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Title: Mississippi Outlaws and the Detectives - Don Pedro and the Detectives; Poisoner and the Detectives
Author: Pinkerton, Allan, 1819-1884
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
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.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Mississippi Outlaws and the Detectives - Don Pedro and the Detectives; Poisoner and the Detectives" ***

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                     MISSISSIPPI OUTLAWS
                           AND THE
                         DETECTIVES.



                      ALLAN PINKERTON'S

                    GREAT DETECTIVE BOOKS.

 1.--MOLLIE MAGUIRES AND DETECTIVES.
 2.--STRIKERS, COMMUNISTS, AND DETECTIVES.
 3.--CRIMINAL REMINISCENCES AND DETECTIVES.
 4.--THE MODEL TOWN AND DETECTIVES.
 5.--SPIRITUALISTS AND DETECTIVES.
 6.--EXPRESSMEN AND DETECTIVES.
 7.--THE SOMNAMBULIST AND DETECTIVES.
 8.--CLAUDE MELNOTTE AS A DETECTIVE.
 9.--MISSISSIPPI OUTLAWS AND DETECTIVES.
 10.--GYPSIES AND DETECTIVES.
 11.--BUCHOLZ AND DETECTIVES.
 12.--THE RAILROAD FORGER AND DETECTIVES.
 13.--BANK ROBBERS AND DETECTIVES.
 14.--BURGLAR'S FATE AND DETECTIVES.
 15.--A DOUBLE LIFE AND DETECTIVES.

   These wonderful Detective Stories by Allan Pinkerton are
       having an unprecedented success. Their sale far
         exceeding one hundred thousand copies. "The
       interest which the reader feels from the outset
         so intense and resistless; he is swept along
            by the narrative, held by it, whether
                       he will or no."

 All beautifully illustrated, and published uniform with this
    volume. Price $1.50 each. Sold by all booksellers, and
         sent _free_ by mail, on receipt of price, by

              G. W. CARLETON & CO., Publishers,
                          New York.



                     MISSISSIPPI OUTLAWS
                           AND THE
                         DETECTIVES.

                DON PEDRO AND THE DETECTIVES.

                 POISONER AND THE DETECTIVES.

                              BY
                       ALLAN PINKERTON,

                          AUTHOR OF

     "THE EXPRESSMAN AND THE DETECTIVE," "THE MODEL TOWN
       AND THE DETECTIVES," "THE SPIRITUALISTS AND THE
          DETECTIVES," "THE MOLLIE MAGUIRES AND THE
             DETECTIVES," "STRIKERS, COMMUNISTS,
                   TRAMPS AND DETECTIVES,"
                       ETC., ETC., ETC.

                        [Illustration]

                          NEW YORK:
                _G. W. Dillingham, Publisher_,
              SUCCESSOR TO G. W. CARLETON & CO.
                  LONDON: S. LOW, SON & CO.
                        MDCCCLXXXVII.



                          COPYRIGHT
                              BY
                       ALLAN PINKERTON,
                            1879.

                       SAMUEL STODDER,
                         STEREOTYPER,
                     90 ANN STREET, N. Y.

                             TROW
                PRINTING AND BOOK BINDING CO.
                            N. Y.



                          CONTENTS.


           MISSISSIPPI OUTLAWS AND THE DETECTIVES.

                          CHAPTER I.                                PAGE

    A daring Express Robbery.--Mr. Pinkerton appealed
          to.--Cane-brakes and cane-fed People.--Annoying delays
          and Amateur Detectives.                                      9

                         CHAPTER II.

    Difficulties.--Blind Trails and False Scents.--A Series of
          Illustrations showing the Number of Officious People
          and Confidence Men that often seek Notoriety and
          Profit through important Detective Operations.              21

                         CHAPTER III.

    "Old Hicks," a drunken Planter, is entertained by a
          Hunting-Party.--Lester's Landing.--Its Grocery-Store
          and Mysterious Merchants.--A dangerous Situation.--The
          unfortunate Escape of Two of the Robbers.                   32

                         CHAPTER IV.

    The Captured Ruffians are desired for Guides, but dare not
          join in the Search for the Outlaws.--One of the
          Robbers is Taken, but subsequently Escapes from the
          Amateur Detectives.--Another Clue suddenly fails.           44

                          CHAPTER V.

    A Rich Lead Struck at Last.                                       50

                         CHAPTER VI.

    The Mother of the Farringtons, being arrested, boasts that
          her Sons "Will never be taken Alive."--Another
          Unfortunate Blunder by Amateur Detectives.--An
          interesting Fate intended for the Detectives.--William
          A. Pinkerton captures the Murderer of a Negro in Union
          City, proving "a very good Fellow--for a Yankee."           56

                         CHAPTER VII.

    The Scene of Action transferred to Missouri.--The Chase
          becoming Hot.                                               68

                        CHAPTER VIII.

    A determined Party of Horsemen.--The Outlaws surrounded and
          the Birds caged.--A Parley.--The burning Cabin.--Its
          Occupants finally surrender.                                80

                         CHAPTER IX.

    Barton's Confession.--The Express Robberies, and the
          Outlaw's subsequent Experiences fully set forth
          therein.--A Clue that had been suddenly dropped taken
          up with so much Profit.                                     91

                          CHAPTER X.

    A terrible Struggle for Life or Death upon the Transfer-boat
          "Illinois."--"Overboard!"--One less Desperado.--Fourth
          and Last Robber taken.                                     104

                         CHAPTER XI.

    The last Scene in the Drama approaching.--A new Character
          appears.--The Citizens of Union City suddenly seem to
          have important business on hand.--The Vigilantes and
          their Work.--The End.                                      114


                DON PEDRO AND THE DETECTIVES.

                          CHAPTER I.

    A fraudulent Scheme contemplated.--A dashing Peruvian Don
          and Donna.--A regal Forger.--Mr. Pinkerton engaged by
          Senator Muirhead to unveil the mystery of his Life.        125

                         CHAPTER II.

    Madame Sevier, Widow, of Chicago, and Monsieur Lesparre, of
          Bordeaux, also arrive at Gloster.--Mr. Pinkerton, as a
          Laborer, anxious for a Job, inspects the Morita
          Mansion.                                                   143

                         CHAPTER III.

    Monsieur Lesparre, having a retentive memory, becomes
          serviceable to Don Pedro.--Diamond fields and droll
          Americans.--A pompous Judge in an unfortunate
          Predicament.--The grand Reception closes with a happy
          Arrangement that the gay Señor and Señora shall dine
          with Mr. Pinkerton's Detectives on the next evening.       159

                         CHAPTER IV.

    Madame Sevier and Her Work.--Unaccountable Coquettishness
          between Man and Wife.--A Startling Scheme,
          Illustrating the Rashness of American Business Men and
          the Supreme Assurance of Don Pedro.                        170

                          CHAPTER V.

    The third Detective is made welcome at Don Pedro's.--The
          Señor is paid the first half-million dollars from the
          great Diamond Company.--How Don Pedro is "working" his
          diamond mines.                                             189

                         CHAPTER VI.

    An unexpected Meeting and a startling Recognition. An old
          friend somewhat disturbs the Equanimity of Don Pedro.
          The Detectives fix their Attention upon Pietro
          Bernardi.                                                  205

                         CHAPTER VII.

    Pietro Bernardi and the Detective become warm Friends.--A
          Tête-à-tête worth one thousand dollars.                    219

                        CHAPTER VIII.

    Don Pedro anxious for Pietro Bernardi's absence.--"Coppering
          the Jack and playing the Ace and Queen
          open."--Bernardi Quieted, and he subsequently departs
          richer by five thousand dollars.                           232

                         CHAPTER IX.

    Important Information from the Peruvian Government.--Arrival
          In Gloster of the Peruvian Minister and Consul.--In
          Consultation.--"Robbing Peter to pay Paul."--Mr.
          Pinkerton's Card is presented.--Juan Sanchez, I arrest
          you, and you are my Prisoner.--Mr. Pinkerton not "For
          Sale."                                                     249

                          CHAPTER X.

    The Fête Champêtre.--A grand Carnival.--The disappointed
          married Lover.--A vain Request.--Unmasked!--An
          indignant Deacon.--Don Pedro taken to Peru in a
          man-of-war, where he is convicted and sentenced to
          fifteen years Imprisonment.                                265


               THE POISONER AND THE DETECTIVES.

                          CHAPTER I.

    Mr. Pinkerton at a Water-cure becomes interested in a
          Couple, one of whom subsequently causes the Detective
          Operation from which this Story is written.--A wealthy
          ship-owner and his son.--The son "Found dead."--Mr.
          Pinkerton secured to solve the Mystery.--Chicago after
          the Fire.                                                  283

                         CHAPTER II.

    The Detectives at work.--Mrs. Sanford described.--Charlie,
          the Policeman.--Mrs. Sanford develops Interest in
          Government Bonds.--Chicago Relief and Aid
          Benefits.--Mrs. Sanford's Story of Trafton's Death.        298

                         CHAPTER III.

    The dangerous Side of the Woman's Character.--Robert A.
          Pinkerton as Adamson, the drunken, but wealthy
          Stranger, has a violent Struggle to escape from Mrs.
          Sanford, and is afterwards robbed.--Detective Ingham
          arrested, but very shortly liberated.                      319

                         CHAPTER IV.

    Connecting Links.--Mrs. Sanford's Ability as an Imitator of
          Actors.--One Detective tears himself away from her,
          and another takes his Place.--Mrs. Sanford's mind
          frequently burdened with the subject of Murder.            340

                          CHAPTER V.

    A moneyed young Texan becomes one of Mrs. Sanford's
          Lodgers.--The bonds are seen and their Numbers taken
          by the Detectives.--Mrs. Sanford arrested.--She is
          found guilty of "Involuntary Manslaughter," and
          sentenced to the Illinois Penitentiary for five
          years.--Mr. Pinkerton's Theory of the Manner in which
          Trafton was murdered                                       356



                           PREFACE.


In presenting to the public another volume of my detective stories, I
would call the attention of the reader to the fact, that these stories
are literally written from facts and incidents which have come under my
own observation, or been worked up by officers acting directly under my
instructions.

The Mississippi River has for many years--more especially since the
close of the war--been infested by a class of men who never would try to
get an honest living, but would prey upon their neighbors or attack the
property of southern railroads and express companies; these marauders
could be seen any day prowling along the banks of the Mississippi, in
fact, the shores and immediate neighborhood were peopled by just such a
class, who cared not how they obtained a living; for the crimes they
committed, they often suffered infinitely worse punishment, more so than
any suffering which could have been entailed on them from leading a poor
but honest life.

The story of the "MISSISSIPPI OUTLAWS AND THE DETECTIVES" is written to
illustrate incidents which took place in the southern section of the
country at no very remote date.

"DON PEDRO AND THE DETECTIVES" is another story of detective experience,
which came under my own observation and management; it is a truthful
narrative, and shows that some men are worse than known criminals, and
can squander the money they have obtained by false pretenses, in a very
lavish manner.

"THE POISONER AND THE DETECTIVES" is a well-known bit of detective
experience, which, when read, will be recognized by any one who ever
takes an interest in crime, and the bringing to justice its
perpetrators.

The reader must remember that fictitious names are used in all of these
stories, otherwise the facts are plainly and truthfully told as they
occurred.

                              ALLAN PINKERTON.
  _April, 1879._



                   THE MISSISSIPPI OUTLAWS

                             AND

                       THE DETECTIVES.



                          CHAPTER I.

    _A daring Express Robbery.--Mr. Pinkerton appealed to.--Cane-brakes
          and cane-fed People.--Annoying Delays and Amateur Detectives._


The southern and border states, since the close of the war of the
rebellion, have been the frequent scenes of extensive and audacious
robberies. This has been largely owing to the sparsely-settled condition
of certain districts, to the disorder and lawlessness generated by the
war, and to the temptations offered by the carelessness of many persons
having large sums intrusted to their care in transit through lonely and
desolate localities.

The express companies have always been favorite objects of attack by
thieves of every grade, from the embezzling cashier to the petty
sneak-thief, and some of the operations connected with the detection of
this class of criminals are among the most difficult and dangerous that
have ever been intrusted to me. Probably a no more reckless and
desperate body of men were ever banded together in a civilized community
than those who were brought to my attention in 1871 by the Southern
Express Company's officers in Memphis; and I consider the successful
termination of my efforts in this case as of the greatest value to the
people of the South and West. The whole affair was conducted with such a
limited force, and under such adverse circumstances, that I take pride
in here recording the history of the affair and my connection with it.
Though I maintained a general supervision of the operation, my eldest
son, William A. Pinkerton, was the person having immediate charge of the
matter, and to his energy, perseverance, and sagacity is mainly
attributable our success.

Some time in the latter part of July, 1871, an express messenger on the
Mobile and Ohio Railroad was overpowered by three men at Moscow,
Kentucky, and his safe was robbed of about sixteen hundred dollars. The
manner of effecting the robbery was a very bold one, showing the
presence of men of experience in crime. The loss was not heavy, but the
company made every effort to discover the robbers, in the hope of
bringing them to a severe punishment as a warning to other criminals. In
spite, however, of the efforts of two of my men, who were immediately
sent to the scene of the robbery, the guilty parties escaped into the
almost impenetrable swamps along the Mississippi River, and the chase
was reluctantly abandoned, as it was impossible to tell where they
would come out or cross the river. The amount stolen was not
sufficiently large to warrant the expenditure of much time or money in
the pursuit of the thieves, and my men were soon wholly withdrawn from
the operation. In order, however, to guard against a repetition of such
a raid, an extra man was placed in each express car to act as guard to
the regular messenger. It was considered that two men, well armed, ought
to be surely able to protect the company against further loss, and
everything ran smoothly until October 21, 1871. At this time, the money
shipments by express were very heavy, as a rule, and orders were given
that special care should be exercised by all the employés having money
packages in charge.

The northern-bound train on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad was due at
Union City, Tennessee, about half-past seven o'clock in the evening. At
this point the northern and southern-bound trains usually passed each
other, and stopped long enough for supper, the train arriving first
being the one to take the side track ready to pull out. Saturday
evening, October 21st, the northern-bound train arrived on time, stopped
at the station long enough to let the passengers go to supper, and then
took the side track to await the arrival of the train bound south. As
soon as the side track was reached the conductor, engineer, fireman,
brakeman, and express messenger went to supper, leaving the train
deserted except by the express guard, named George Thompson, and a few
passengers. The local express agent came up at this moment, gave his
packages to Thompson, receiving his receipt therefor, and returned to
the station. This action was directly contrary to the rules of the
company, which forbade the messenger to leave the car during his whole
run, or to go to sleep; also, the guard was forbidden to transact any
business, or to have possession of the safe key. Martin Crowley, the
messenger, had given his key to Thompson, however, to enable him to
attend to the business of the local agent while Crowley was away at
supper. In accordance with Thompson's request, Crowley sent a negro
porter to the express car with Thompson's supper on a tray, and the
porter, after handing the tray to Thompson, turned to walk away. As he
did so, he saw two men spring into the partly open door of the express
car, and, almost immediately, the train began to back. The negro knew
that something was wrong, and he hurried to the station to give the
alarm. By the time he arrived there, however, the train was backing at a
moderate speed, and was well beyond the reach of pursuit on foot.

Meantime, the guard, having received his supper from the negro porter,
turned his back to the door to set the tray down. Before reaching the
desk, he heard a noise at the door, and turning, he was confronted by
two men, one of whom held a revolver at his head, while the other seized
his throat. Thompson was a young man, and, not being accustomed to meet
such hard characters, he was badly frightened. He immediately gave up
the safe key and helped one of the men to unlock the safe. Having taken
all the money out of the safe, one of the robbers took also the contents
of Thompson's pocket-book; but here the other man interfered, insisting
that the guard's money be returned to him, which was done. No
conversation took place, but when the safe had been carefully examined
and all the money it contained taken, one of the men stepped to the door
and swung a lantern once or twice. The train, which had been backing at
a moderate rate of speed, now stopped, and the two men jumped off,
telling Thompson to stay where he was and keep quiet. When the
conductor, engineer, and other persons, whom the porter had alarmed,
reached the train, they found everything in order except the safe, into
which poor Thompson was vainly peering in the hope of discovering that
some portion of the funds might have been overlooked. The men had
disappeared in the thick woods, and no trace of them was found except a
small carpet-bag containing potatoes and bread. The amount missing from
the safe was about six thousand dollars in currency.

Although the robbery was at once reported to Mr. M. J. O'Brien, the
General Superintendent, by telegraph, no action seems to have been taken
until the following Wednesday--four days later--when Mr. O'Brien sent me
a brief telegram announcing the robbery, and requesting me to come to
Union City in person, if possible, and if not, to send my eldest son,
William A. Pinkerton. The telegraph was used freely for the next two
days, and while my son was gathering clues and making his preparations,
we learned most of the facts by letter. William arrived in Union City on
Saturday, just one week after the robbery had been committed, and he
instantly began to gather information from every available source.
Except the statements of the negro porter and Thompson, the guard, as
condensed in the account heretofore given, little information could be
obtained, as so few persons were about the train when it began to move
off. While two or three had seen the men who had entered the car, no one
had seen who had run the locomotive, and there was, therefore, no
certainty as to the number of persons engaged in the job. One passenger
had seen two men walking toward the engine in a suspicious manner, and,
as his description of these two was entirely different from that given
of the men who had entered the car, it was fair to presume that they had
been a part of the gang. Still, no one had seen them get on the engine,
and it was not certain that they had had anything to do with the affair.
At the end of three days, however, William had collected sufficient
information to satisfy himself that either four or five men had been at
work together; and, by collating the various descriptions he received,
he obtained a pretty fair idea of the party.

The first thing which struck him was the similarity of this robbery to
the one which had occurred exactly three months before at Moscow,
Kentucky. The appearance of the men and their actions had been precisely
like those of the Moscow party, and it was evident that they had been
emboldened to a second venture by the ease with which they had carried
through their former scheme. One thing was imperative: the capture of
the whole gang would be necessary to insure the safety of the express
company's property in the future. Indeed, it was a mere piece of good
fortune that the loss in this instance was not irreparable, for the
amount of money carried on the southern-bound train was eighty thousand
dollars, and the robbers would have obtained this large amount if the
southern-bound train had chanced to arrive first. The robbery was
clearly one which no common tramp or sneak-thief would have dared to
attempt, and William saw immediately the difficulties of his work.
Before proceeding with the incidents of the operation, I must give some
idea of the country and the people living there, since no-one would
otherwise comprehend one-half of the obstacles and dangers which were
involved in a search for the criminals in that vicinity.

The southwestern part of Kentucky and the northwestern part of Tennessee
are about as desolate portions of the world as are inhabited by a
civilized people. There seems to have been some convulsion of the earth
at this point, which is sunk so far below the general level of the whole
country as to make it a perpetual swamp. The annual overflow of the Ohio
and Mississippi lays the country under water for a distance of many
miles, while even in the dryest season, the morasses, sunken lakes, and
dense cane-brakes, render it almost impassable, except for people who
have been thoroughly acquainted with the locality for years.

The sunken lakes are natural curiosities in themselves, and, although
they have attracted considerable attention from scientific men, no
satisfactory explanation of their causes and phenomena has been found.
The country is full of game and the water is alive with fish, so that
the necessities of life are easily obtainable. The cane-brakes are
wonderful growths of bamboo cane, and they sometimes cover strips of
country as much as seventy miles long. In the spring-time, the water
rises to such a height that a skiff can navigate freely above and
through the tops of the cane; but in dry weather, the stalks grow so
closely together that the brake becomes impenetrable to man or beast,
except by winding tortuously around the clumps through the comparatively
thin portions of the undergrowth. To search for any one wishing to
remain concealed therein is like the proverbial attempt to look for a
needle in a hay-stack, since a man can pass within ten yards of another
without seeing him or being aware of his presence. The only roads which
traverse these places are mere cattle paths, which begin at no place and
run nowhere; and, unless a man be thoroughly acquainted with the
country, he can never tell where any given path will lead him.

The people around the towns, such as Hickman, Union City, Dyersburg, and
Moscow, are a highly respectable and well-educated class; but in the
low, swampy country, in the cane brake and along the river, they are
not, as a rule, a very agreeable class to live among. Of course, here,
as in all other places, there are many intelligent, reliable, honorable
men, but the great mass of the cane-brake population are ignorant and
brutal. The term which they apply to their stock is also eminently
appropriate to designate the people: they are "cane-fed." It is the
custom to turn the cattle into the cane to feed when it is young and
tender, and, as the amount of nutriment thus obtained is not very large,
the "cane-fed" animals bear about the same relation to grain-fed stock
that the people in that vicinity bear to the residents of healthy,
prosperous, and educated communities. The larger portion of the
population may be classed as "poor whites," and they constitute a
peculiar variety of the human species. The men are tall, loose-jointed,
and dyspeptic; they bear a marked resemblance to the vegetable
productions of the vicinity, being rapid of growth, prolific, and
generally worthless. Their education consists mainly of woodcraft and
rifle-shooting; their proficiency in both of these branches is sometimes
astonishing, and it is frequently said of their most expert hunters that
they seem to have been born shot-gun or rifle in hand. Accomplishments
they have none, except the rare instances where a few tunes upon the
banjo have been learned from the negroes. Their tastes are few and
simple,--whisky, snuff, hog, and hominy being the necessities and
luxuries of life; that is, whisky and snuff are the necessities, all
other things being secondary considerations. In their sober moods, they
are frank, rough, and courageous; yet, even then, there is little about
them to excite other feelings than those of pity and aversion. When full
of bad whisky, however, they are apt to become quarrelsome and brutal,
so that no man can feel sure of his safety in their company. An affront,
real or imaginary, will then be apt to cause bloodshed, even if the
insulted party has to bushwhack his enemy from a secure covert on the
roadside as he is returning to his home. Every man goes armed, and,
though fair fights in broad daylight are rare, cold-blooded murders are
not infrequent. The law is seldom invoked to settle private differences,
and, in fact, the functions of the legal officials are practically very
limited in their influence. If a coroner ever sits upon a corpse, it is
understood that he has done his whole duty by recording a verdict that
"the deceased came to his death at the hands of some person or persons
unknown."

The women, like the men, are tall, thin, and round-shouldered. Up to the
age of sixteen they sometimes are quite pretty, though sallow and
lifeless always; after that period, they become gaunt, emaciated, and
yellow. Whisky hath charms for them, also, but their favorite
dissipation is snuff-dipping. They marry very early and bear children
nearly every year, so that the size of many of these West Tennessee
families is often enormous. The father exercises patriarchal control
over his whole household until the daughters are married and the sons
old enough and strong enough to defy the parental authority as enforced
by a hickory rod. The wife never escapes the application of this potent
instrument of marital discipline; and, indeed, should a husband fail to
make frequent use of it for the correction of his better half, he would
probably soon learn that his dutiful spouse could find a use for it on
his own person.

Throughout this whole district, the people suffer from fever and ague
for nine months of the year, and dyspepsia seems hereditary. Their
physicians, however, usually require no further education than is
requisite to attend fractured limbs and gun-shot wounds, the whole
school of medicine being limited to three specifics: quinine, calomel,
and whisky.

As before stated, it should be understood that the foregoing description
applies to the majority of the inhabitants of the low swamp lands only,
and not to the residents in and about the towns; even in the cane
country itself are to be found occasionally men of education, ability,
and good character, and to several of them William was largely indebted
for assistance and information.

There was one redeeming feature also to the character of the "cane-fed"
population; in the main they were honest, and they would do all in their
power to break up a thieving gang, even if they had to hang a few of
its members as a warning to the rest. I was thus able to trust them to a
certain extent, though the fear which they had of this band of
desperadoes rather kept their naturally honest impulses in check for a
time.

William was thoroughly acquainted with the character of the people, and
he knew what a difficult task had been set before him, especially as he
was allowed no other detectives of my force to assist him, the express
company being desirous of conducting the operation as economically as
possible. Among the large number of men employed directly by the company
were two or three good men, but the majority were even worse than
useless, and the expense of the affair was finally much greater than as
if only my own men had been employed. Besides the fact that William was
thus continually working with strange men, he was harassed by large
numbers of amateur detectives, to whose stories the company's officers
too often lent a ready ear. Indeed, every express agent in Tennessee,
Kentucky, and Missouri seemed impressed with the idea that he was a
naturally gifted detective, and many were the annoying delays which
resulted from their interference.



                         CHAPTER II.

    _Difficulties.--Blind Trails and False Scents.--A Series of
          Illustrations showing the Number of Officious People and
          Confidence Men that often seek Notoriety and Profit through
          important Detective Operations._


The art of detecting crime cannot be learned in a day, nor can the man
of business understand, without previous experience in the habits of
criminals, the expedients which the boldest class of law-breakers adopt;
hence none but skilled detectives can hope to cope with them. Yet often
my clients insist on some certain method of procedure wholly contrary to
my judgment and experience, until the total failure of their plan
convinces them that there can be but one thoroughly successful mode of
detection, namely, to submit the case to a skilled detective of
character and standing, and allow him to act according to his judgment.

The range of investigation in such a case as this robbery will often
extend from New York to San Francisco, and unless one mind gathers up
the clues, classifies the information, and determines the general plan,
there will be continual error and delay. Such a state of affairs
frequently occurred during this operation, and much time and money were
spent upon matters too trifling even for consideration.

The principal of a detective agency, from his long experience with
criminals, learns the earmarks of different classes of men, and he is
often able to determine the name of the guilty party in any given
robbery by the manner in which the job was done. He can readily see
whether a novice in crime was engaged, and also whether any collusion
existed between the parties robbed and the criminals; and so, when he
sees the traces of a bold, skillful, and experienced man, he knows that
it is useless to track down some insignificant sneak-thief, simply
because the latter happens to have been in the vicinity. Yet, neither
will he slight the smallest clue if there is a bare chance that any
valuable fact may be obtained from it. But the _sine qua non_ is that
he, and he alone, shall direct the whole affair. A divided
responsibility simply doubles the criminal's opportunities for escape.

Among the many difficulties of the detective's work, none are more
embarrassing than the early development of false clues. In the stories
heretofore published, the direct steps leading to the detection and
arrest of the criminals have been related, without referring to the
innumerable other investigations, which were progressing simultaneously,
and which, though involving the expenditure of much thought, time, and
money, proved after all to be of no value whatever in developing any
evidence in the case. In this operation, such instances were of frequent
occurrence, and I propose to mention a few of them to show how wide is
the range of the detective's inquiries, and also the annoying delays to
which he is often subjected by the inconsiderate zeal and interference
of outside parties. These latter may be--indeed, they generally
are--well meaning people, anxious to serve the cause of justice; though,
on the other hand, they are sometimes spiteful meddlers, striving to fix
suspicion upon some personal enemy.

The plan of detection which alone can insure success, must be one which
neither forgets nor neglects anything. In investigating any alleged
crime, the first questions to be considered are: 1. Has any crime been
perpetrated, and, if so, what? 2. What was the object sought thereby?

The matter of time, place, and means employed must then be carefully
noted, and finally we come to consider: 1. Who are the criminals? 2.
Where are they now? 3. How can they be taken?

The fact that a crime has been committed is generally apparent, though
there have been cases in which the determination of that point requires
as much skill as the whole remainder of the operation. Such was the case
in the detection of Mrs. Pattmore's murder, related in my story of "The
Murderer and the Fortune Teller." The object of a crime is also
sometimes obscure, and, where such are the circumstances, the detection
of the criminal is apt to be one of the most difficult of all
operations. Having once solved these two difficulties satisfactorily,
however, and having observed the relative bearings of time, place, and
means to the crime itself, the question of individuals is the important
one to be determined. It often happens that there is no concealment of
identity, the problem to be solved being simply the way to catch the
guilty parties; but, on the other hand, the greatest skill, experience,
patience, and perseverance are sometimes required to discover, first of
all, the persons engaged in the crime. Indeed, an operation is often
divisible into two distinct methods of action, the first being to find
out the identity of the criminals, the second to follow up and capture
them.

In the course of a blind trail, such as we were obliged to travel in the
case of this express robbery, it was impossible to know whence the men
had come or whither they had gone; hence, I was forced to take up every
trifling clue and follow it to the end. Even after I was satisfied in my
own mind of the identity of the criminals, the agents and officers of
the express company were continually finding mares' nests which they
wished investigated, and the operation was sometimes greatly hindered on
this account. As an example of the number of discouragements which the
detective must always expect to encounter, I propose to mention some of
the false scents which we were forced to follow during this operation.

Three or four days after William's arrival in Union City, he was
informed by the superintendent of the express company having charge of
the operation, that there was a young man in Moscow who could give
important information relative to the first robbery at that place. This
young man, Thomas Carr by name, was a lawyer who had once had fine
prospects, but he had become very dissipated, and he finally had been
taken seriously ill, so that he had lost his practice. On recovering his
health he had reformed his habits, but he had found great difficulty in
winning back clients, and his income was hardly enough to support him.
On learning that this impecunious lawyer had valuable information,
William strongly suspected that it would amount to little more than a
good lie, invented to obtain money from the express company;
nevertheless, he sent for the young man and heard his story.

According to Carr, a man named John Witherspoon had visited him about
six weeks before, and had asked him whether he would like to get a large
sum of money. Carr replied affirmatively, of course, and wished to know
how it could be obtained. Witherspoon had said that the express company
could be robbed very easily by boarding a train at any water-tank,
overpowering the messenger, and making him open the safe. Witherspoon
also had said that he and several others had robbed a train at Moscow
some weeks before, and that they had got only sixteen hundred dollars,
but that they should do better next time. He had asked Carr to go to
Cairo and find out when there would be a large shipment of money to the
South; then Carr was to take the same train and give a signal to the
rest of the party on arriving at the designated spot.

On hearing Carr's story, William sent him back to Moscow with
instructions to renew his intimacy with Witherspoon, and to report any
news he might learn at once; in case it should prove to be of any value,
the company would pay him well for his services. It is hardly necessary
to add that Mr. Carr, having failed to get, as he had hoped, a roving
commission as detective at the company's expense, was not heard from
again, his bonanza of news having run out very quickly on discovering
that no money was to be paid in advance.

The next case was a more plausible one, and William began its
investigation with the feeling that something might be developed
therefrom. It was learned that a former express messenger named Robert
Trunnion, who had been discharged several months before, had been
hanging around Columbus, Kentucky, ever since. While in conversation
with the clerk of a second-class hotel, Trunnion had spoken of the ease
with which a few determined men could board an express car, throw a
blanket over the messenger's head, and then rob the safe. The clerk said
that Trunnion had made the suggestion to him twice, and the second time
he had given Trunnion a piece of his mind for making such a proposition.
Trunnion had then said he was only fooling, and that he did not mean
anything by it. William learned that Trunnion was then engaged in
selling trees for a nursery at Clinton, Kentucky, and that he was
regarded as a half-cracked, boasting fool, who might be anything bad,
if he were influenced by bold, unscrupulous men. William therefore paid
a visit to Mr. Trunnion, whom he found to be a very high-toned youth,
too fiery-tempered and sensitive to submit to any questioning as to his
words or actions. In a very brief space of time, however, his lordly
tone came down to a very humble acknowledgment that he had used the
language attributed to him; but he protested that he had meant nothing;
in short, his confession was not only complete, but exceedingly candid;
he admitted that he was a gas-bag and a fool, without discretion enough
to keep his tongue from getting him into trouble continually; and,
having clearly shown that he was nowhere in the vicinity of either
robbery, he asked humbly not to be held responsible for being a born
idiot. William was satisfied that the fellow had told the truth, and,
after scaring him out of all his high-toned pride, he let him go, with a
severe lecture on the danger of talking too much.

On the nineteenth of November, when the identity of the robbers had been
fully established, William was called away to Iuka, Mississippi, on
information received from Mr. O'Brien, the general superintendent of the
express company, that a man named Santon had seen the leader of the
party in that place, just a week before. Santon represented that he knew
the man well, having been acquainted with him for years in Cairo, and
that he could not be mistaken, as he had spoken with him on the day
mentioned. William found that the man Santon was a natural liar, who
could not tell the truth even when it was for his interest to do so. The
descriptions of the various robbers had been scattered broadcast
everywhere, and none of them were represented as over thirty-five years
of age; yet Santon said that his man was over fifty years old, and that
he had been a pilot on the Mississippi for years. This was a case--not
an infrequent one, either--where people talk and lie about a crime for
the sole purpose of getting a little temporary notoriety. Owing to
various accidents and railway detentions, William lost three days in
going to hunt up this lying fellow's testimony.

Perhaps the most impudent of all the stories brought to the express
company's officers was that of a man named Swing, living at Columbus,
Kentucky. He sent a friend to Union City to tell them that he could give
them a valuable clue to the identity of the robbers, and William
accompanied this friend back to Columbus. On the way, William drew out
all that Swing's friend knew about the matter, and satisfied himself
that Swing's sole object in sending word to the officers of the company
was to get them to do a piece of detective work for him. It appeared
that his nephew had stolen one of his horses just after the robbery, and
he intended to tell the company's officers that this nephew had been
engaged in the robbery; then if the company captured the nephew, Swing
hoped to get back his horse. A truly brilliant scheme it was, but,
unfortunately for his expectations, William could not be misled by his
plausible story; and, if he ever recovered his horse, he did so without
the assistance of the express company. Nevertheless, he took William
away from his work for nearly a whole day, at a time when his presence
was almost indispensable.

Another peculiar phase of a detective's experience is, that while
following up one set of criminals, he may accidentally unearth the
evidences of some other crime; occasionally it happens that he is able
to arrest the criminals thus unexpectedly discovered, but too often they
take the alarm and escape before the interested parties can be put in
possession of the facts. About two weeks after the Union City robbery,
in the course of my extended inquiries by telegraph, I came across a
pair of suspicious characters in Kansas City, Missouri. I learned that
two fine-looking women had arrived in that city with about eight
thousand dollars in five, ten, and twenty dollar bills, which they were
trying to exchange for bills of a larger denomination. The women were
well dressed, but they were evidently of loose character, and the
possession of so much money by two females of that class excited
suspicion instantly in the minds of the bankers to whom they applied,
and they could not make the desired exchange. One of the women was a
blonde and the other was a brunette. They were about of the same height,
and they dressed in such marked contrast as to set each other off to the
best advantage; indeed, their dresses seemed to have attracted so much
attention that I could gain very little acquaintance with their personal
appearance. I could not connect them in any way with the robbery at
Union City, nor with any other recent crime, though I had little doubt
that the money they had with them was the proceeds of some criminal
transaction; still, having my hands full at that time, it would have
been impossible for me to look after them, even had I thought best to do
so. As it is my practice to undertake investigations only when engaged
for the purpose by some responsible person, I did not waste any time in
endeavoring to discover the source whence these women obtained their
money; though, of course, had I learned enough about them to suspect
them of complicity in any specific crime, I should have reported my
suspicions to the parties interested, to enable them to take such action
as they might have seen fit.

The most important of all the false clues brought out in this
investigation was presented by a noted confidence man and horse-thief
named Charles Lavalle, _alias_ Hildebrand. I call it the most important,
not because I considered it of any value at the time, but because it
illustrates one of the most profitable forms of confidence operation,
and because the express company, by refusing to accept my advice in the
matter, were put to a large expense with no possibility of a return.

Very shortly after the Union City robbery, a letter was received from a
man in Kansas City, calling himself Charles Lavalle. The writer claimed
that he had been with the gang who had robbed the train, but that they
had refused to divide with him, and so, out of revenge, he was anxious
to bring them to punishment. He claimed further that he was then in the
confidence of another party, who were soon going to make another raid
upon the express company somewhere between New Orleans and Mobile.

The plausibility of his story was such that he obtained quite a large
sum from the express company to enable him to follow up and remain with
the gang of thieves with whom he professed to be associated. No news was
received from him, however, and at length I was requested to put a
"shadow" upon his track. My operative followed him to St. Joseph,
Missouri, and thence to Quincy, Illinois, but, during two weeks of close
investigation, no trace of the villains in Lavalle's company could be
found, and he was never seen in the society of any known burglars or
thieves. It was soon evident that he was playing upon the express
company a well-worn confidence game, which has been attempted probably
every time a large robbery has occurred in the last fifteen years. He
became very importunate for more money while in Quincy, as he stated
that the gang to which he belonged were ready to start for New Orleans;
but, finding that his appeals were useless, and that no more money would
be advanced until some of his party were actually discovered and trapped
through his agency, he soon ceased writing.

The foregoing are only a few of the instances in which our attention was
diverted from the real criminals; and, although the efforts of my
operatives were rarely misdirected in any one affair for any length of
time, still these false alarms were always a source of great annoyance
and embarrassment.



                         CHAPTER III.

    _"Old Hicks," a drunken Planter, is entertained by a
          Hunting-party.--Lester's Landing.--Its Grocery-store and
          Mysterious Merchants.--A dangerous Situation and a desperate
          Encounter.--The unfortunate Escape of Two of the Robbers._


One of the most direct sources of information relative to the party was
found in the person of an old planter, named Hicks, who lived some
distance down the track of the railroad. He was in the habit of visiting
Union City very frequently, and he usually rounded off his day's
pleasure by becoming jovially drunk, in which condition he would start
for his home, walking down the railroad track. He had been in Union City
all of Friday before the robbery, and about ten o'clock in the evening
he was in a state of happy inebriety, ready to "hail fellow, well met,"
with any person he might encounter.

On his way home, about three-quarters of a mile west of Union City, he
saw a camp-fire burning a short distance from the track, and around it
were gathered five men. They hailed him, and asked him to take a drink;
and as this was an invitation which Hicks could not refuse, even from
the devil himself, he joined them, drank with them, and danced a
hornpipe for their edification. Hicks acknowledged in his account of
meeting them, that by the time they had made him dance for them, he was
heartily frightened at their looks and talk. He heard one of them say
that they wanted ten thousand at least, but he could not tell what the
remark referred to. He asked them why they were camping out, and one,
who seemed to be the leader of the party, said they were out hunting.

"Yes," continued another one, "I am out hunting for somebody's girl, and
when I find her we are going to run away together."

At this, they all laughed, as if there was some hidden meaning in his
words.

Hicks described all of the men, three of them quite minutely; but the
fourth was evidently the same as the second, and the fifth was lying
down asleep all the time, so that Hicks could not tell much about him.
They were armed with large navy revolvers, which they wore in belts, and
their clothing was quite good. The tall man, who seemed to be the
leader, related an account of a deer-hunt in which he had participated,
in Fayette county, Illinois, on the Kaskaskia river, and when he
mentioned the place, the others scowled and winked at him, as if to stop
him. Hicks said that they seemed to be familiar with Cincinnati,
Louisville, Evansville, and other northern cities, and that they talked
somewhat like Yankees. He remained with them until about midnight, when
a negro came down the track. Hicks and the negro then went on together
to Hicks's house, leaving the five men still camped in the woods.

Other persons reported having seen the same party in the same vicinity
several times before the night of the robbery, though some had seen only
two, others three and four; but no one, except Hicks, had seen five. The
accounts given by the persons near the train when the robbery occurred
did not show the presence of more than three persons, though possibly
there might have been a fourth. The descriptions of the suspected
parties were quite varied in some respects; yet the general tenor of
them was to the same effect, and, as no one knew who these persons were,
it was quite certain that this quartette of strangers had committed the
robbery.

In the case of the Moscow robbery, we had strongly suspected two
notorious thieves, named Jack Nelson and Miles Ogle, so that my first
action, on learning of this second affair in the same vicinity, was to
telegraph to my correspondents and agents throughout the country, to
learn whether either of these men had been seen lately. I could gain no
news whatever, except from St. Louis, whence an answer was returned to
the effect that Nelson was said to be stopping somewhere in the country
back of Hickman, Kentucky. Ogle's wife was in St. Louis, and she had
been seen by a detective walking and talking earnestly with a strange
man a short time previous. The information about Nelson was important,
since, if true, it showed that he was in the immediate neighborhood of
the points where the robberies had occurred. The man seen with Mrs. Ogle
might have been one of the party, sent by her husband to appoint a
future rendezvous. The description of the tall, dark man, mentioned by
Hicks and others, tallied very closely with Ogle's appearance. My son,
William, was well advised of these facts, and, as soon as he had
obtained the statements of every one acquainted with any of the
occurrences at the time of the robbery, he was ready for action.

His first inquiries were directed toward discovering where Nelson was
staying near Hickman, and he learned in a very short time that this
rumor had no truth in it. While making search for Nelson, however, he
heard of a low grocery-store at Lester's Landing, about twelve miles
below Hickman on the Mississippi River. The store was situated four
miles from any other house in a sparsely settled country, where the
amount of legitimate trade would hardly amount to twelve hundred dollars
per year. It was said to be the resort of a very low class of men, and
the proprietors passed for river gamblers.

On William's return to Union City from Hickman, he decided to make a
visit to this grocery-store to learn something about the men who
frequented it. Having none of his own men with him, he chose one of the
express company's detectives, named Patrick Connell, to accompany him,
and, on the last day of October, they started on horseback, with an old
resident named Bledsoe for a guide. On arriving at the house of a
well-to-do planter, named Wilson Merrick, they obtained considerable
information about the men who kept the store and the people who visited
it.

Mr. Merrick said that a man named John Wesley Lester kept a wood-yard on
the Mississippi, and the spot was called Lester's Landing. About three
or four months before, three men arrived there and obtained leave from
Lester to put up a store, which they stocked with groceries and whisky.
The men gave their names as J. H. Clark, Ed. J. Russell, and William
Barton, and they seemed to have some means, as the store did only a
limited business, except in whisky. They were all men of ability and
determination, and, as they were always well armed, the people of the
cane-brake country were rather afraid of them. Nothing positive was
known against them, but it was suspected from their looks and actions
that they were Northern desperadoes lying quiet for a time. They seemed
to be well acquainted in Cincinnati, Louisville, St. Louis, Memphis,
Vicksburg, and New Orleans, but they were careful never to give any hint
of their previous place of residence in the hearing of strangers. Mr.
Merrick had, however, heard Russell say that he had once run a
stationary engine in Missouri, and from occasional expressions by
Barton it would appear that the latter had once worked on a railroad in
some capacity. They dressed quite well, and treated strangers politely,
though not cordially. Although they were all three rather hard drinkers,
they never became intoxicated, and they seemed to understand each other
well enough not to quarrel among themselves. Clark was the oldest of the
party, but Russell seemed to be the leader, Barton being apparently
quite a young man. They stated that they intended to exchange groceries
for fish and game, and ship the latter articles to St. Louis and
Memphis.

From the description of the men, William began to suspect that they
formed a portion of the party of robbers, and he determined to push on
at once. He induced a young man named Gordon to go with him as guide and
to assist in making the arrest of these men, if he should deem it
advisable. By hard riding they succeeded in reaching Lester's Landing
before nightfall, but the twilight was fast fading as they came out of
the dense underbrush and cane-brake into the clearing around Lester's
log-cabin.

The spot was dreary and forlorn in the extreme. The river was then
nearly at low water, and its muddy current skirted one side of the
clearing at a distance of about thirty yards from the house. The
wood-yard and landing at the water's level were some ten or fifteen feet
below the rising ground upon which the house stood. The store was a
shanty of rough pine boards with one door and one window, and it stood
at the head of the diagonal path leading from the landing to the high
ground. A short distance back was a rail fence surrounding Lester's
house and cornfield, and back of this clearing, about one hundred yards
from the house, was a dense cane-brake. The corn-stalks had never been
cut, and, as they grew very high and thick within twenty feet of the
house, they offered a good cover to any one approaching or retreating
through them. A rough log barn stood a short distance inside the rail
fence, and, like the house, it was raised several feet above the ground,
on account of the annual overflow of the whole tract. The house was a
rather large building built of logs, the chinks being partly filled with
mud, but it was in a dilapidated condition, the roof being leaky and the
sides partly open, where the mud had fallen out from between the
timbers.

On entering the clearing, William's party rode up to the store and tried
to enter, but, finding the door locked, they approached the house. At
the rail fence, William and Connell dismounted, leaving Gordon and
Bledsoe to hold their horses. Up to this time, they had seen no signs of
life about the place, and they began to think that the birds had flown.
The quiet and the absence of men about the clearing did not prevent
William from exercising his usual caution in approaching the house; but
he did consider it unnecessary to take any stronger force into an
apparently unoccupied log-cabin, where at most he had only vague
suspicions of finding the objects of his search; hence, he left Gordon
and Bledsoe behind. Knowing the general construction of this class of
houses to be the same, he sent Connell to the rear, while he entered the
front door. A wide hall divided the house through the center, and the
occupants of the house were in the room on the right. William's door
leading into the room opened from this hall, while Connell's was a
direct entrance from the back porch, and there were no other doors to
the room.

As the two strangers entered simultaneously, five men, a woman, and a
girl started to their feet and demanded what they wanted. The situation
was evidently one of great danger to the detectives; one glance at the
men, coupled with the fierce tones of their inquiries, showed William
that he had entered a den of snakes without adequate force; but it was
too late to retreat, and he replied that they were strangers who, having
lost their way, desired information.

The scene was a striking one, and it remains as vividly in William's
mind to-day, as if it had occurred but yesterday. In the center of the
room, opposite him, was a broad fireplace, in which the smouldering logs
feebly burned and gave forth the only light in the room. In one corner
stood several shot-guns, and in another, four or five heavy axes.
Grouped about near the fire, in different attitudes of surprise,
defiance, and alarm, were the occupants of the cabin, while to the left,
in the half-open door stood Connell. The flickering flame of the rotten
wood gave a most unsatisfactory light, in which they all seemed nearly
as dark as negroes, so that William asked the woman to light a candle.
She replied that they had none, and at the same moment a young fellow
tried to slip by Connell, but he was promptly stopped. Another large,
powerful man, whose name afterward proved to be Burtine, again demanded,
with several oaths, what their business was.

"I've told you once that I want some information," replied William, "and
now I intend to have you stop here until I can take a look at your
faces."

While William was making them stand up in line against the wall, one of
the largest drew a navy revolver quickly and fired straight at William's
stomach, the ball just cutting the flesh on his left side. At the same
instant, the young fellow previously mentioned, darted out the door,
Connell having sprang to William's side, thinking him seriously wounded.
Connell's approach prevented William from returning the fire of the tall
man, who had jumped for the door also the moment he had fired. William
fired two shots at him through the doorway, and Connell followed him
instantly, on seeing that William was unhurt. Once outside, the tall
fellow sprang behind a large cottonwood tree and fired back at Connell
and William, who were in full view on the porch. The second shot struck
Connell in the pit of the stomach, and he fell backward. At this
moment, the powerful ruffian, Burtine, seized William from behind and
tried to drag him down, at the same time calling for a shot-gun "to
finish the Yankee------------." Turning suddenly upon his assailant,
William raised his revolver, a heavy Tranter, and brought it down twice,
with all his force, upon Burtine's head. The man staggered at the first
blow and fell at the second, so that, by leveling his revolver at the
other two, William was able to cow them into submission. The affray had
passed so quickly that it was wholly over before Gordon and Bledsoe
could reach the house, though they had sprung from their horses on
hearing the first shot.

[Illustration: _The fight at Lester's Landing._--_Page_--]

The two men had escaped by this time into the dense cane-brake back of
the house, and it was necessary to attend to those who had been secured,
and to examine the injuries of Connell and Burtine. The latter's head
was in a pretty bad condition, though no serious results were likely to
follow, while Connell had escaped a mortal wound by the merest hair's
breadth. He was dressed in a heavy suit of Kentucky jeans, with large
iron buttons down the front of the coat. The ball had struck one of
these buttons, and, instead of passing straight through his vitals, it
had glanced around his side, cutting a deep flesh furrow nearly to the
small of his back, where it had gone out. The shock of the blow had
stunned him somewhat, the button having been forced edgewise some
distance into the flesh, but his wound was very trifling, and he was
able to go on with the search with very little inconvenience. Having
captured three out of the five inmates of the cabin, William felt as
though he had done as much as could have been expected of two men under
such circumstances, and he then began a search of the premises to see
whether any evidence of their connection with the robbery could be
found. Absolutely no clue whatever was obtained in the cabin and barn,
nor did the store afford any better results so far as the robbery was
concerned, but on this point William was already satisfied, and he was
anxious to get all information possible about these so-called
storekeepers. In the store, he found bills and invoices showing that the
stock of goods had been purchased in Evansville, but there was no other
writing of any character except some scribbling, apparently done in an
idle moment, upon some fragments of paper in a drawer. On one was
written: "Mrs. Kate Graham, Farmington, Ill."; and on another, amid many
repetitions of the name, "Kate Graham," were the words, "My dear
cousin."

Having found very little of value, the party returned to the three
prisoners and closely examined them. To William's intense chagrin, he
found that these men were, undoubtedly, mere wood-choppers living with
Lester and having no connection with the proprietors of the store.
Although desperate, brutal, and reckless, ready for a fight at all
times, as shown in this affray, they were clearly not the train robbers,
while it was equally evident that the two who had escaped were the
guilty parties.

William learned that the young man who had first slipped out was Barton,
and the man who had done the shooting was Russell. Clark, they said, had
taken the steamer for Cape Girardeau, Missouri, two days before,
accompanied by a married woman, named Slaughter. The description of the
train robbers tallied so well with the appearance of Barton and Russell,
that, taking their actions into consideration, there could no longer be
any doubt of their complicity in the affair, and it was highly provoking
that these two should have escaped. Still, it was an accident which
could hardly have been avoided. The fact that the express company would
not consent to the employment of a larger force of detectives was the
principal cause of this misfortune, for it could have been prevented
easily, had William been accompanied by two more good men of my force.

As it was, two detectives, dropping unexpectedly upon a nest of five
villainous-looking men in the dark, could have hardly hoped to do better
than to secure three of them. It could not have been supposed that they
would know which were the important ones to capture, especially as they
could not distinguish one from another in the uncertain light. Indeed,
as afterward appeared, they were fortunate in having escaped alive, for
the close approach to fatal wounds, which they both received, showed how
deadly had been the intentions of the man Russell, while Burtine had
evidently intended that they should never leave the house alive.

It may be supposed that the shooting on both sides was none of the best,
but it must be remembered that it began without warning, and was over in
two minutes. It cannot be expected that snap-shooting, even at close
quarters, should be very accurate; yet it was afterward learned that
Russell's escape had been about as narrow as William's, two balls having
passed through his clothes and grazed his flesh.



                         CHAPTER IV.

    _The Captured Ruffians are desired for Guides, but dare not join in
          the Search for the Outlaws.--One of the Robbers is Taken, but
          subsequently Escapes from the Amateur Detectives.--Another
          Clue suddenly Fails._


Having searched the whole place, and satisfied himself that the men
captured had had no connection with the robbery or the robbers, William
offered them one hundred dollars to act as guides through the cane-brake
to arrest Barton and Russell. They said they could not if they would,
since no man could find his way there in broad daylight, much less at
night. They further admitted that they dare not attempt it, as Russell
would kill them if they learned of their action. It was now pitch dark,
and after a vain attempt to beat through the cane in search of the
fugitives, William decided to return to Mr. Merrick's until next day.

The next morning at daybreak he started back for Lester's, accompanied
by a number of the cane-brake population, all of whom were anxious to
secure the one hundred dollars reward. They had long suspected the men
at the store of being desperadoes, but they had had a wholesome fear of
them on account of their fierce ways and their reckless habit of drawing
their revolvers on slight provocation.

On arriving at Lester's, the party found that Lester had returned from
Hickman during the night. He was a treacherous-looking scoundrel, and
his reputation was bad, although he had never been caught in any crime
in that vicinity. His name, John Wesley Lester, showed that he must have
once belonged to a pious Methodist family, and, indeed, he claimed to
have once been a Methodist preacher himself. He had sunken eyes, milky
white, and his hair was lank and long; his complexion was dark, cheeks
hollow, chin pointed, and forehead low. His manner was fawning and
obsequious to those above him, and he looked and acted like a second
"Uriah Heap." He pretended to know nothing of Russell, Clark, and
Barton, except that they had come to his place in July, built the store
there, and had been around the landing more or less ever since. He said
that he knew nothing against them, except that they were gamblers, and
that they often went off on gambling excursions, during one of which,
according to their own statements, they had killed a man in a quarrel.

William learned from Lester's daughter that Barton had returned during
the night to get a shawl, blanket, and two shot-guns. He had told her
that Russell was hurt pretty badly, but that they intended to take the
first packet down the river. From other parties William learned that the
packet Julia had passed down during the night, and had stopped at a
point about seven miles below, having been hailed from the bank. He did
not place much faith in the theory that the men had taken passage by the
Julia, for the reason that Lester's girl was too anxious to tell the
story of the route Barton proposed taking. He discovered that Barton had
been paying lover-like attentions to the girl, and he believed that
Barton had instructed her to say that he intended taking the next
packet, in order to give them a false scent. Having set the men of the
neighborhood at work searching for Russell and Barton, William returned
to Union City.

From Hickman Connell was sent to Cape Girardeau, Missouri, to capture
Clark, who was said to have gone there three days before.

On the arrival of William in Union City, the superintendent telegraphed
to me the result of William's visit to Lester's Landing, and authorized
me to send an operative to Farmington, Illinois, to hunt up Mrs. Kate
Graham, and learn what she could tell about Russell, Clark, and Barton.
A man was sent there the next day, and he had no difficulty in finding
Mrs. Graham, who proved to be the wife of a highly respectable business
man. She was a member of the church, and was held in high esteem by
every one acquainted with her. My agent, therefore, called upon her
without any circumlocution or deception, and asked to see her on
business. She was confined to her room by illness, but she saw him for a
few minutes, and answered his questions so frankly that there was no
doubt she was telling the truth. She stated that she was not acquainted
with any one living at Lester's Landing; that she did not know, nor ever
had known, any persons of the names given (Russell, Clark, and Barton);
and that she knew no one who would answer to their descriptions. This
clue seemed to come to an end very quickly, yet it afterward proved to
be the means by which we captured one of the gang, and it was a striking
instance of the necessity for the most careful and minute inquiry upon
every point of news obtained, especially upon those received directly
from the criminals themselves.

On the 3d of November, Connell went with a constable to the house of
Mrs. Gully, the mother of Clark's companion, Mrs. Slaughter, and there
he found them both. Clark was surprised by the officers, but he made a
bold fight, and was overpowered with difficulty. When finally handcuffed
and searched, a navy revolver and fifty dollars in money were taken
from him; he was then taken nine miles on horseback to Cape Girardeau,
where Connell obtained a light wagon to drive sixteen miles to
Allenville, on the railroad leading to Hickman. On this trip Connell
made the mistake of trusting to handcuffs alone, instead of securely
fastening his prisoner's feet with rope. The idea that one man in
handcuffs could escape from two active, unimpeded men did not, however,
occur to Connell, and so the constable drove the horse, while Clark and
Connell occupied the back seat. In justice to Connell, it should be
stated that he had been constantly in the saddle for several days in raw
and rainy weather, and had had very little sleep for two nights
previous.

About nine o'clock in the evening, when only a mile from Allenville,
Clark suddenly made a leap out of the wagon. The horse was jogging along
at a good trot, and, though Connell sprang after his prisoner instantly,
it was a couple of minutes before the constable could follow. As he ran,
Connell fired at the dim figure disappearing in the thick brush; but the
next instant he pitched headlong into a deep mud-hole, and, by the time
he got out, the cylinder of his revolver was choked with mud, and Clark
was far in advance. The chase was kept up as long as the pursuers were
able to distinguish the direction of his flight, but, in the darkness of
the gloomy woods, it was impossible to follow an athletic fellow like
Clark with any hope of success. Connell returned to Union City very
much crestfallen, and reported his misfortune. My first feeling, on
learning the news, was one of deep regret and anxiety at the loss of one
of the leaders of the gang; my second thought was one of profound
thankfulness that my men were in no way responsible for it. The
situation was an illustration of the disappointments and difficulties
which are so often met in a detective's experience; and, though I felt
somewhat discouraged, I was more than ever determined that none of these
men should eventually escape, even though it should be necessary to
follow them for months.

The desire of the express company to employ as few as possible of my
operatives embarrassed me exceedingly, for William was obliged to depend
upon strangers, and he had little confidence in their ability or
discretion. He was now satisfied of the identity of the parties he was
in search of, and all that he needed was a small force of experienced
and reliable men.

Had I been limited and interfered with in the Maroney case, described in
"The Expressman and the Detective," as I was in this, there is no doubt
that I might have failed to capture the criminal; but the cordial
coöperation and support of the Adams Express Company gave me a fair
opportunity to work to good advantage, and victory was the result.



                          CHAPTER V.

    _A Rich Lead Struck at Last._


William was quite sure, from the reputation and actions of Russell,
Clark, and Barton, that they had been the leaders in the robbery, and he
believed that Lester could give important information about them; he
therefore caused Lester to be brought to Union City, and, on November 5,
he succeeded in getting a statement of the doings of these men since
Lester had known them. The important points developed were as follows:

They came to Lester's Landing in the middle of July, and built their
store. They were rarely there together, as they would go off for two or
three weeks at a time, leaving Barton or Clark in charge, and sometimes
putting Lester in as storekeeper during the absence of all three. On one
occasion, Russell showed him a pocket-book containing nearly one
thousand dollars, which he thought he had lost, but which he found under
a rail fence where he had hidden it; the other men, also, seemed to have
plenty of money. About the middle of October, the three storekeepers
went away, and were gone until October 24, three days after the robbery,
on which day Lester met Clark and Barton walking toward his house, on
the way from Hickman. They seemed quite excited, and said that they had
been engaged in a difficulty, but they did not state what it was. They
asked him whether he had seen Russell recently, and also whether there
was a skiff at his landing; both questions were answered negatively, and
they passed on toward the store, while Lester continued his walk to
Hickman. On his return at night, he found that Clark and Barton had been
across the river all day, scouting the Missouri shore for Russell, and
that shortly after their return, Russell had come across the river in a
skiff. Russell said that he had been shot, but that he was not much
hurt, and he did not seem to act as if he had been hurt at all. Sunday
morning, October 29, Clark took passage in a steamer for Cape Girardeau,
having Mrs. Slaughter in company, and it was understood that he was
going with Mrs. Slaughter to the house of her mother, nine miles from
the Cape. Tuesday evening, William and Connell arrived at Lester's, the
fight took place, and Barton and Russell escaped. After the detectives
had gone back to Campbell's, Barton returned to the house and obtained a
shawl, blanket, and two shot-guns; he said that they would never be
taken alive, but that Russell had been badly wounded by one of the
detectives. William had left two men at the landing the next day to
capture the men if they returned, but they were afraid to attempt it,
although they had a good opportunity that night. Russell came into the
house alone, showing no signs of having been wounded, and said that he
and Barton had joined four friends, who were outside waiting for him;
that they were all well mounted and armed, and that they intended to
kill any one who should betray them or attempt their capture. He added
that they intended to make their way on horseback to Alabama, and that
they were strong enough to fight their way through, if necessary. Of
course, Russell's object was to frighten the detectives and others who
were searching for him, as he had no one with him except Barton.

Among other points of value in Lester's statement, was some incidental
information relative to the men, which he had learned during the time
they boarded with him. He had heard Clark say that his mother lived
sixty miles back of Nashville, and Russell had once run a stationary
engine in Missouri. Lester was shown the satchel found on the engine
after the robbery, and he recognized it as having been left at his house
once by a wood-chopper named Bill Taylor, who lived in the cane-brake,
some distance below him. He said that the three men each carried a navy
revolver and a derringer, while Russell had also a new, large-sized
Smith & Wesson revolver.

Meantime, the telegraph had been used constantly to learn something
about the three men, Russell, Clark, and Barton, from whatever source
information could be obtained. Barton was well known in Nashville, New
Madrid, and Union City. He was quite young, but he had been involved in
a stabbing affray in Nashville, and was regarded as a desperate
character. He had been respectably brought up by Major Landis, General
Agent of the Nashville and Northwestern Railroad, and had been given a
place in the employ of that road, with good prospects for promotion.
Having become dissipated and hardened, he had been discharged from his
position, and Major Landis had cast him off; thenceforward, his career
had been rapid in the downward direction.

With regard to the other two men, little could be learned, until a rich
lead was struck on the seventh of November. The corrected descriptions
of the different parties having been sent to all the agents of the
express company, Mr. Charles Pink, agent at Cairo, recognized Russell as
a man who had sent eight hundred dollars in currency from Cairo to Mrs.
M. Farrington, Gillem Station, Tennessee, on the eleventh of September,
and who had then started, according to his own statement, for his home
in Illinois. Mr. Pink also stated that the chief of police in Cairo
claimed to know Russell, and to be able to find him--for a sufficient
consideration. Not having any use for the services of this disinterested
officer, his offer was politely declined.

The superintendent of the express company was strongly impressed with
the belief that Russell and Barton were lurking around Lester's, and so,
while William went to Nashville to see what could be learned about
Barton and his companions, a number of men were hired to scour the
country, hunt through the brake, and guard the Mississippi ferries,
while Connell and Crowley, the express messenger, were placed on the
Missouri bank, to scout that side of the river. I may say here, _en
passant_, that, with the exception of the two named, these men were a
source not only of great unnecessary expense to the company, but of
vexation and hindrance to William. In most cases, their scouting
consisted in riding the high-roads from one tavern to another, and in
order to have something to show for their work, they would bring in
every species of wild and foolish rumor that they could discover or
invent. As the superintendent frequently desired that these reports
should be investigated, much valuable time was thus wasted. These men
were not only employed without my advice, but they were retained long
after I had urgently requested the discharge of the whole party, and I
had great difficulty in obtaining their discharge, even after I was
positively sure that the robbers had crossed the Mississippi and escaped
into Missouri.

William spent one day in Nashville, and then went to Gillem Station,
where he learned that Mrs. Farrington, to whom Russell had sent eight
hundred dollars from Cairo, lived on an old, worn-out farm, and passed
for a rich widow. She had three sons--Hillary, Levi, and Peter, the
latter being quite young. Hillary and Levi Farrington bore a very bad
reputation, having been mixed up in all kinds of fights and quarrels for
a number of years. They were suspected of horse-stealing and
counterfeiting; but most people were afraid of them, and they had never
been arrested in that vicinity. William here learned, also, that Barton
had been a frequent visitor at the Farringtons', and that he was as bad
as the others. While at Gillem Station, William met Pete Farrington, the
youngest of the three brothers, and his resemblance to Russell, whose
face William had seen by the dim firelight and the flash of his pistol
in the cabin at Lester's Landing, caused a sudden possibility to flash
across his mind. He reasoned out the connection of the different facts
about as follows:

"Russell was, undoubtedly, one of the Moscow and Union City robbers, and
he obtained a considerable share of the plunder; two months after the
first robbery, I find that he sent eight hundred dollars to Mrs.
Farrington; this establishes the connection of those two persons. Barton
was one of the actors in both robberies, also, and I find that he was
formerly intimate with Mrs. Farrington and her sons; another link. Pete
Farrington bears a strong resemblance to Russell, their peculiar Roman
noses, with a lump in the middle, being exactly alike, and this creates
a strong presumption that they belong to the same family. Now, Russell
and Clark were so similar in their general appearance, that many people
who have seen them together believe them to have been brothers. Hillary
and Levi Farrington, I am told, also closely resemble each other, and
they have not been seen about here for some months, they being,
according to their mother's account, in Texas. The chain of evidence is
very complete; what if Russell and Clark should prove to be the
Farrington brothers!"



                         CHAPTER VI.

    _The Mother of the Farringtons, being arrested, boasts that her Sons
          "Will never be taken Alive."--Another Unfortunate Blunder by
          Amateur Detectives.--An interesting Fate intended for the
          Detectives.--William A. Pinkerton captures the Murderer of a
          Negro in Union City, proving "a very good Fellow--for a
          Yankee."--An Unfortunate Publication.--Nigger-Wool Swamp and
          its Outlaws._


The more William thought about it, the more convinced he became that his
theory was correct, and he took steps to verify his suspicions by
placing a watch upon Mrs. Farrington's movements. He also made
arrangements to get possession of any letters that might come for her,
and then, being hastily recalled by the superintendent of the express
company, he hurried back to Union City.

He there learned that, during his absence, Clark had talked with both
Lester and his wife. The latter had warned him of his danger, and he had
then disappeared in the cane-brake. The men stationed at Lester's for
the express purpose of arresting any of the robbers who might come
there, had been either unaware of Clark's visit, or else they had been
afraid to attempt his capture, and he had escaped again when almost
within our grasp. William had, therefore, been called back by telegraph
to take charge of the men engaged in beating through the cane-brake, as
it had been clearly demonstrated that, without a determined leader,
these men were no more useful than a flock of sheep. The hunt went on
for several days with no results whatever, while at the same time scouts
patroled the highways, and other men kept watch upon the ferries and
fords for many miles around.

While this was going on, the express agent at Gillem Station was keeping
a close watch upon Mrs. Farrington, when suddenly she announced her
intention of going to join her sons in Texas. Instead of sending word to
William at once, the agent began operations on his own account, and when
Mrs. Farrington arrived at Waverly, Tennessee, he caused her arrest. She
had started with two new wagons and a complete outfit for an overland
journey of some length, so that her progress could not have been very
rapid, and nothing would have been lost by waiting for instructions; but
the insane desire to play detective seemed to overpower all other
considerations in the minds of the company's agents, and she was
arrested by the sheriff and a _posse_ of citizens. Her salutation to the
officer who stopped her settled the question of identity at once, for,
on being told that she would be obliged to let him search her wagons for
certain men, she replied:

"Oh! yes; I know what you want. You would like to find my two sons and
Barton for the express robbery; but you will never catch them, for they
are not now in this country, and they will never be taken alive."

This piece of information led the express agent to take the only
sensible step of his whole proceeding. Mrs. Farrington had two negro
families with her, some of whom had belonged to her before the war; and,
with the personal attachment noticeable in many of the colored people,
they were now desirous of going West with her. It occurred to the agent
that some of them, from their confidential relations to the family,
might be able to give some information as to the whereabouts of the
boys. The negroes were, therefore, taken separately and closely
examined, until one of the men was urgently persuaded to reveal what he
knew. He said that Levi, Hillary, and Barton had committed the robbery,
and that they had since been at Mrs. Farrington's together. According to
an agreement between the mother and her sons, she was to start for
Texas, passing through Nigger-Wool Swamp, on the west side of the
Mississippi, and the two eldest sons were to meet her in the swamp, when
they would determine where to go.

The agent also learned that the men had arrived at their mother's house
Friday evening, November 10, and that a man who had gone there to sell
her a wagon had been met by Hillary Farrington with a shot-gun; on
seeing that it was a neighbor, however, Hillary had lowered his gun and
allowed him to come in. It was also learned that the three desperadoes
had been seen at the house of the Farringtons' uncle, named Douglas, on
Hurricane Creek, about ten miles from Waverly; again, on Monday, they
had been noticed at Hurricane Mills, making their way to Fowler's
Landing, on the Tennessee River between Florence and Johnsonville,
fourteen miles from the last-named place. It was evident that they
intended to strike across the country below Reel's Foot Lake, and cross
the Mississippi at some point between Columbus and Memphis. The men were
all well mounted and armed, and they had changed their personal
appearance somewhat by altering the arrangement of their hair, whiskers,
and beards.

The arrest of Mrs. Farrington was a most unfortunate blunder, since it
disclosed to the criminals how close had been their pursuit, while
little really important information was obtained. It was a good
illustration of the danger of taking any decided step in a criminal
investigation before knowing to a certainty that some good result would
be obtained. The parties thus learned that we were not only aware of
their identity, but also that we were very close upon their track, and
the danger, as well as the difficulty, of the case was largely
increased. These men were desperadoes of the most reckless type, and
they would not have hesitated a moment to lie in ambush and kill their
pursuers, if they had found it possible to do so.

In order to intercept the fugitives before reaching the swampy country
near the Mississippi, the number of scouts and patrolling parties was
increased by the superintendent of the express company, and two men,
named Ball and Bledsoe, were engaged to follow Mrs. Farrington on
horseback until her sons should join her in Nigger-Wool Swamp. This
would have been a sensible and necessary move if the right kind of men
had been employed; but the selection of untrained men for the delicate
and important work of "shadowing" such an experienced gang of villains
was risky in the extreme. Had they ever met Barton and the Farringtons,
the latter would have undoubtedly murdered both of them without scruple;
but there was no danger of such a meeting, since the robbers, and Mrs.
Farrington also, were perfectly aware of the presence of their pursuers
from the start. Indeed, they afterward stated that it had been their
intention to have led the detectives on as far as the wild, unsettled
country of Western Missouri, and to have then hanged them in some
unfrequented spot, placing the inscription "Horse-thief" upon each of
the bodies. Subsequent events prevented them from carrying out this
plan, but there was no doubt that they would have taken that or some
other equally daring means of ridding themselves of pursuit. The manner
in which Ball and Bledsoe exposed their intentions wherever they went
showed the inexperience of both men in such work; for, along the whole
route over which they passed, they were known as officers tracking a
band of thieves; and we afterward learned that, while they were
innocently and unsuspectingly following Mrs. Farrington, two of the men,
Barton and Clark, were almost continually watching them. However, they
had been started on their mission by the superintendent before William
could make any other arrangements, as he was away at Lester's Landing
when the chase began.

From William's reports to me, I saw the uselessness of maintaining such
a body of men in the work of scouting, watching ferries, and beating the
cane-brake, for the reason that no good could come of it. I knew that if
the robbers could escape from Lester's Landing and make their way to
Gillem Station once, they could do it again. Clark (or Hillary
Farrington) had been at Lester's early Thursday morning, while guards
were stationed all about; yet, on Saturday morning he was at his
mother's farm, and no one had even seen him on the way. This convinced
me that they had such a knowledge of the country as to make it
impossible to stop them by any system of guards or patrols, and I
therefore wrote several letters asking that the superintendent discharge
this expensive force at once, and allow me to manage the whole operation
by my own plans and with my own men. While William, therefore, was at
work with indefatigable energy and perseverance, scouting and following
up all the reports brought in by the vast army of volunteer detectives
in the company's employ, we were both satisfied that the method adopted
was useless, and that even the ferry guards would discover nothing.
Knowing the character of the three desperadoes, I had no doubt of their
sagacity in avoiding observation and pursuit; they would never try to
cross without knowing positively whether the ferry was guarded, and if
there should be any real danger, they would undoubtedly steal a skiff
and make their horses swim across the river, a feat of no great risk in
the then low condition of the water.

About this time an incident occurred which added greatly to William's
popularity in Union City, and gained for him the respect and kindly
feeling of the community. On Sunday two roughs, having drank enough bad
whisky to be absolutely fiendish, began to beat an old and inoffensive
negro whom they happened to meet. A merchant, named Blakemore, who was
passing at the time, stopped to remonstrate with the ruffians, when one
of them turned and plunged a knife into his stomach, inflicting a wound
which caused his death next day. The murderer was the terror of the
town, and so great was the fear of him that he would have probably
escaped had not William appeared on the street as he rushed away
flourishing his bloody knife and threatening to kill any one who should
stand in his way. The sight of William's heavy revolver leveled at his
head, backed by the certainty which he saw in William's face that death
or surrender was his only alternative, caused him to choose the latter,
and he was lodged in jail to await his trial for murder. The people of
the town were quite enthusiastic over the way in which William had
brought the fellow to bay, and then compelled his surrender; and they
even went so far as to say that he was "a good fellow, a very good
fellow indeed--for a Yankee."

On the twentieth of November an unfortunate publicity was given to our
operations by the publication in the Union City _Journal_ of a long
history of the Farringtons, showing their whole career of crime, and
terminating with an account of their latest exploit, as developed by our
investigations in and about Union City. It is unnecessary to state the
source whence this information was derived, further than to say that it
was not obtained from any member of my force. It was a very dangerous
piece of news to be published, since it might have wholly overthrown all
our plans, besides involving the death of two or three men engaged in
the operation; fortunately, the robbers were undoubtedly across the
Mississippi by that time, and beyond the reach of newspapers for some
weeks at least.

On the same day that this matter was published, Mrs. Farrington crossed
the Mississippi River at Bird's Point, opposite Cairo, and the fact was
reported to William and to me by telegraph. We had previously learned
that Mrs. Farrington had relatives in Springfield, Missouri, and in Dade
County, in the same State, and the probabilities were that, instead of
going to Texas, she was going to visit in one of these places.
Meanwhile, though my opinion was that her sons intended to rejoin her
somewhere, either in Nigger-Wool Swamp or at her place of destination, I
had no certainty that such was their intention; and, bearing in mind the
warning they had received by her arrest at Waverly (and possibly by
reading the newspaper article previously mentioned), I felt that every
clue must be carefully traced, even though it might lead in an exactly
opposite direction from that in which our previous suspicions had caused
us to look. My correspondents and agents in Louisville, Cincinnati, St.
Louis, and New Orleans were, therefore, kept on the alert to capture the
men if they should venture into those cities, while I held three
determined men ready to go at once in pursuit of Mrs. Farrington, in
case she should take the route through Nigger-Wool Swamp.

It will be remembered that one of the negroes accompanying Mrs.
Farrington had stated that her sons were to join her in that swamp; now,
there were three possibilities about this statement: first, the negro
might have lied; second, he might have been so informed by the old lady
on purpose to give a false scent in case he should be questioned; and,
third, while their intention might have been to meet there, subsequent
events might have altered their plans. Still, thinking the subject over
carefully, I decided that she would not take so difficult a course
unless she really intended to meet her sons there. My reasons for so
thinking were based upon the nature of the place, and, to comprehend my
solicitude about Nigger-Wool Swamp, a description of it will be
necessary.

The swamp is more than seventy miles long by about thirty-five miles
wide, and, as a piece of bottomless ooze, its superior cannot be found
in the United States. There are just two roads crossing it, one running
from Hall's Ferry, at Point Pleasant, Missouri, and the other from
Mitchell's Ferry, thirty-five miles below. These roads are mere
bog-paths in themselves, being heavily overlaid with underbrush and
corduroy logs, yet they afford the only means of crossing this vast
morass. The period of the annual overflow turns it into a turbid,
sluggish lake, the roads being then deeply buried under water; but even
in the dryest seasons the greater portion of the swamp is a bottomless
slime of mud and putrefying vegetation. Large tracts of thickly-wooded
land are contained within the limits of the swamp, and these constitute
a semi-substantial basis for the two roads which run through them; but
even these clumps are impassable at most seasons, except along the
artificially-constructed roads. Sometimes, for miles and miles, nothing
but the rankest of swamp-vegetation is seen, growing in wild profusion
and covering the treacherous ooze with a close network of leaves and
branches, until the surface looks firm enough to be taken for solid
ground; but should any unfortunate traveler venture to cross such a
spot, his limbs would be clogged by these clinging water-plants, his
feet would find no secure resting-place, and, sinking rapidly deeper and
deeper into the mire, his bones would find a sepulcher where nothing but
a general natural convulsion would ever disturb them.

Still, there are occasional islands of firm ground through this section,
and these have become the resort of lawless characters of every
nationality and degree of crime. Over the entrance to Nigger-Wool Swamp
might be placed, with perfect truthfulness, the motto: "Who enters here
leaves hope behind." Each man is a law unto himself, and he must
maintain his rights by the strong arm and the ready shot-gun. In one
thing only are the dwellers of the swamp united, namely: a bitter and
deadly resistance to the law. No officer of justice ventures therein to
perform any of the duties of his office; unless backed by a powerful
body of determined men, he would never return alive, and, if so
accompanied, he would never succeed in catching a glimpse of any
criminal whom he might be seeking.

About the middle of the swamp, the two roads cross each other at a spot
called "The Gates," and every person traveling through either way must
pass this place. Knowing this fact, I felt sure that Mrs. Farrington
would await the arrival of her sons at "The Gates," in case she entered
the swamp, and I determined that, in such an event, I should try to
capture them there. I was fully aware of the danger of such an attempt,
but I knew that to take the bull by the horns is sometimes the safest
means of overpowering him. To send officers to that point with the
avowed purpose of arresting any one, would be equivalent to sending them
to their certain death, and I had no intention of doing anything of the
kind; but I had men of my force who could visit Nigger-Wool Swamp for
the professed purpose of hiding there from pursuit for alleged crimes,
and, when the moment came for action, I did not doubt that they would
bring out their men before the neighboring outlaws could discover their
object.

Everything depended upon the course Mrs. Farrington should take on
leaving the Mississippi River, since by striking north from the point
where she crossed, she could skirt the edge of the swamp, while if she
turned south toward Point Pleasant, I should know that she intended to
carry out her original programme. This question was quickly settled,
however, not only by the reports of the scouts, Ball and Bledsoe, who
were following Mrs. Farrington, but also by an unexpected piece of
intelligence from Gillem Station. Mrs. Farrington moved about twenty or
twenty-five miles each day, and, from the fact that she went north to
Fredericktown, there was no doubt that she had changed her plan of
meeting her sons in Nigger-Wool Swamp.



                         CHAPTER VII.

    _The Scene of Action transferred to Missouri.--The Chase becoming
          Hot._


On the twenty-second of November, William learned that a letter had
arrived at Gillem Station, postmarked Verona, Missouri, November 13, and
he immediately took measures to obtain this letter. Three days later he
learned its contents, which were of such an important character as to
give a new direction to our efforts. The letter read as follows:

                              "VERONA, MO., Nov. 13, 1871.

     "MY DEAR COUSIN:

     "I seat myself to answer your kind letter, which came to hand last
     evening, and was glad to hear from you, and hear you was well and
     doing well. I have nothing new to write, only that we are all well
     at present, hoping that when these few lines come to hand they may
     find you well and doing well as ever, as you say you have been
     doing very well. It must be a good thing if it could stay so.
     Sometimes it was well and sometimes it wasn't, but I hope it will
     stay so, as you say it is a soft thing--as soft as things gets to
     be. I would like to see something like that, you bet. You talk like
     it can't be beat. That is the thing to take in. I think, and I know
     you think it, for I saw your name. I guess I did see you. You know
     Mr. Crapmel? He is a great fellow; you bet it is so. I have nothing
     more to write at present, as you said you are going to start out
     here. You said you was coming by here. Cousin, if you do come by,
     we don't live where we did when you were here; we live two miles
     nearer Verona. Come the same road. We live now half mile off the
     road on John Ellis' place. You can find out where we live anywhere.
     Come out the same road you did when you came before. John Timothy
     has just come out here; has been out here about three weeks. He is
     well satisfied here. So I will close for this time.

                  "From your cousin,
                        "J. M. DURHAM.

     "M. F. sends her love to all of the family. Excuse my bad writing
     and bad spelling."

It was evident that Mrs. Farrington had previously written to her cousin
informing him of her intention to visit him soon, and this letter was
intended to direct her to the new location. The allusions in the letter
to the "good thing" in which she was engaged showed that the writer had
been made aware of the Farringtons' success as express robbers, and that
he quite approved of their operations.

On reading this letter, William sent a copy to me immediately, and
suggested that one or two good men be sent to Verona to get work near
this man Durham, and to get into the confidence of the family, so that,
when Mrs. Farrington should arrive, she would not be likely to suspect
any one who had come before her. I fully approved of William's plan,
and, on the last day of November, Detectives George W. Cottrell and
Arthur C. Marriott started for Verona. I inferred that the people in
that vicinity were rather lawless and desperate characters, from the
fact that Durham spoke of "John Timothy" being well satisfied there. On
the principle that "birds of a feather flock together," I judged the
Farringtons, the Durhams, and this fellow Timothy to belong to the same
type of people; hence, I concluded that, if Durham and Timothy were
satisfied with the country, the people living there must be congenial
spirits, especially since Mrs. Farrington was about to make a place of
refuge in that vicinity.

My two men were detained a day in St. Louis, and they did not arrive in
Verona until the second of December. The first thing they noticed about
the town was the total absence of liquor saloons, and a few minutes'
conversation with one or two of the citizens convinced them that no more
orderly, honest, law-abiding community existed in Missouri than the
population of Lawrence County. This discovery made a marked change in
their plans necessary, as my instructions to them had been based upon
the supposition that they would find a number of robbers, horse-thieves,
and counterfeiters around Verona, and that they would be easily able to
get Durham's confidence by appearing as reckless and desperate as any
one. They had each prepared a choice autobiography for use among the
residents, and, according to their own intended accounts of themselves,
two greater scoundrels never went unhung.

All this was necessarily useless in the changed circumstances
surrounding them. To attempt the _rôle_ of criminal characters, hiding
from justice, would quickly cause their banishment from the place, or
possibly their arrest, and a new plan was essential. Their instructions
had been that they should not put any confidence in any one, and they
were obliged to invent a plausible reason for their presence there; also
to have some business which would enable them to ride about the country,
making inquiries and scouting for Mrs. Farrington and her sons.

Finding that the railroad company had a land agent in Verona, Cottrell
decided to represent themselves as would-be purchasers of land. This
would give them an excuse for going all over the county, examining
different farms and unimproved tracts. They were introduced to Mr.
Purdy, the land agent, by the hotel clerk, and from him they obtained a
map of the county. It was then agreed that Mr. Purdy should go out with
Cottrell and Marriott on Tuesday, December 5, to look at some pieces of
property which the railroad company wished to sell. During Sunday and
Monday both of the detectives were trying to learn where Durham lived,
but no one seemed to know; neither could any one tell them anything
about John Ellis, upon whose farm Durham had said he was living. The
idea that Mrs. Farrington was rapidly pushing west, toward Durham's
place, made Cottrell very anxious to begin operations as quickly as
possible, since, if she should arrive before the detectives were
established in the vicinity, there would be great difficulty in working
into her confidence, as she would instantly suspect their true
character; whereas, if she should find them already there, she would
have no possible occasion to distrust them. They therefore thought best
to confide the real object of their visit to Mr. Purdy, the land agent,
and to ask his advice and assistance. Mr. Purdy had been an officer in
the Union army during the war of the rebellion, and had settled in
Verona at the close of the war. He was evidently an honorable man, who
would always be found on the side of law and order, and as he was very
popular in Verona, he would be able to give them a great deal of
assistance in capturing the Farrington party. On communicating with me
by telegraph on this point, they stated the facts briefly, and I
authorized them to confer with Mr. Purdy on the subject, at the same
time forwarding full instructions by letter.

On Tuesday, therefore, they told the whole story to Mr. Purdy, and
showed him their credentials. He was quite astonished at their
revelations, but he was very hearty and sincere in his expressions of
good will toward them, and he promised to aid them in every possible
way. He knew John Ellis quite well, having sold him the farm on which
he was living, and he had heard of Durham, who hired a small portion of
the Ellis farm. He said that if force should be necessary to capture the
Farrington party, he could raise fifty determined men in ten minutes to
help the officers. He said that after the war Verona had been a very bad
place for a short time, but that, as Eastern men began to settle there,
the respectable people had tried to drive out the hard cases; this had
been slow work at first, but they eventually had been completely
successful; they not only had driven out the dangerous characters, but
they had closed all the liquor saloons also; and now, having once got
rid of them, they would take care not to let any of that class of people
back again.

Mr. Purdy was called away for a day or two on business, but he promised,
on his return, to go with the detectives to Durham's place, and,
meantime, he said he would speak of them as gentlemen who intended
buying land in that section, and who wished to ride over the country
until they found a place which satisfied them. During the next three
days, therefore, they learned nothing new, their time being occupied in
scouting the road along which they expected Mrs. Farrington to come.

Thus the first week of December passed, and the operation was not
progressing very favorably anywhere. Ball and Bledsoe had reported Mrs.
Farrington's route up to the thirtieth of November, and she had moved
quite rapidly up to that date, but nothing had been learned since, and I
expected to hear of her arrival at Verona every day. She had gone from
Cairo to Frederickstown, Missouri, and thence to Ironton; then, instead
of following a direct road, she had struck up north to Potosi, in
Washington County; again taking a westerly route, she had passed through
Steelville, Crawford County, and on the thirtieth of November, she had
camped at Waynesville, Pulaski County. Beyond this we knew nothing of
her movements, although by the eighth of December she had had ample time
to reach Verona.

William had spent this week in following up a clue received from
Louisville, Kentucky. It will be remembered that about November 9, a
pair of dashing women had been reported as having visited the banks in
Kansas City, trying to get large bills for about eight thousand dollars
in small bills. I had not believed the story at that time, and therefore
had taken no steps to follow them. When William learned from Louisville,
however, that a woman named Annie Martin, whom Levi Farrington had been
in the habit of supporting on the proceeds of his robberies, had been
staying there with another woman named Lillie Baker, who had sustained
the same relations to Barton, it occurred to him that these might have
been the women who were said to have been in Kansas City with so much
money. He started at once for Louisville, at the same time telegraphing
to me his suspicions in the matter, and I began inquiries again in
Kansas City by telegraph. I could learn very little except from the
teller of one bank, who described the women as well as he could remember
their appearance; but the description was not accurate enough to
determine whether these two women had or had not been Annie Martin and
Lillie Baker. In Louisville, however, William learned that these women
had been there recently, and they had appeared to be well supplied with
money. They had not remained very long, but had gone to New Orleans,
where they were then living in good style. As Mr. O'Brien, the general
superintendent of the express company, was in New Orleans, the
information was sent to him, and he agreed to have a sharp watch kept to
discover Farrington and Barton, in case they should follow these women.

On the eighth of December, Cottrell, Marriott, and Mr. Purdy started on
horseback to visit John Ellis's farm, where the Durhams lived. About a
mile before arriving there, they met a farmer named Wisbey, who was a
neighbor of Ellis and the Durhams. Without letting him into their
confidence, they talked with him a long time, and gradually drew out a
number of important facts. The Durham family consisted of two brothers
and a young sister living with their mother, old Mrs. Durham, and they
rented a small house on a part of the Ellis farm. Nothing positive had
ever been discovered against the character of either James or Tilman
Durham, but the neighbors had a poor opinion of them, and kept a pretty
close watch upon their actions. During the previous fall a young man
had visited them for some time, and his description was exactly that of
Levi Farrington; but Wisbey could not tell his name, though he promised
to learn it, and let Mr. Purdy know Mr. Wisbey was a downright honest,
intelligent man, and Mr. Purdy asked him to learn everything possible
about the Durhams and their visitors; in case any wagons should arrive,
it was agreed that he should send word to Mr. Purdy instantly. There was
no occasion for telling him the whole story, as he was quite willing to
undertake the trust on the strength of Mr. Purdy's request, without
asking further particulars; and, as he was a thoroughly discreet man,
there was little danger that he would betray his mission by idle
talking. The detectives and Mr. Purdy then returned to Verona, it being
considered undesirable that they should visit the Durhams, lest they
might possibly excite suspicion.

The day following their visit to Wisbey, he arrived in Verona and told
Cottrell that he had sent his son-in-law, Mr. Stone, to see Jim Durham,
and the latter had said that he was expecting the arrival of some
relatives very soon. He had learned further that the young man who had
visited Durham in the latter part of the previous September had given
his name as Levi Farrington, and had passed as the beau of the young
Durham girl. In speaking of him, Jim Durham had told Mr. Stone that he
did not wish his sister to marry Farrington, as the latter was a
dangerous man, and had recently killed a man in a quarrel, while those
who stood about were too much afraid of him to arrest him. Mr. Wisbey
then returned home, with instructions to alternate with Mr. Stone in
secretly watching Durham's place, so that every occurrence might be at
once reported.

On the tenth of December I received a dispatch from Mr. O'Brien, saying
that the express agent at Springfield, Missouri, had telegraphed to him
on the eighth that the wagons of Mrs. Farrington's party had camped five
miles from Springfield, and that the three men were known to be sixty
miles south of Rolla. Mr. O'Brien therefore requested me to send a good
detective to meet Connell in St. Louis, whence they would go together to
capture the men at Rolla. I at once sent one of my best men, named
Martin Galway, with instructions to join Connell, and, in case the Rolla
report should prove to be a false alarm, they were to go on to Verona to
assist Cottrell and Marriott. I had hardly completed my instructions to
Galway, ere I received a telegram in cipher from Cottrell, as follows:

"Levi Farrington and a man calling himself George Cousins are at
Durham's. They came on Thursday evening. Shall I arrest them? I can get
all the help I need."

I immediately replied, also by a cipher dispatch, as follows:

"Are you sure it is Levi Farrington? His brother and Barton will
probably be at Verona soon. We must get the whole. I think they will
come from Douglas County. Probably Connell and Galway will be with you
by Monday or Tuesday night; they can identify the men. Mrs. Farrington
will be at Durham's by Sunday night or Monday morning. Keep a cool,
clear head, and advise with Purdy. Have written by mail to-night. Keep
me posted. William will arrive by Tuesday."

At the same time I wrote full instructions to Cottrell, ordering him to
keep a close watch upon the men at Durham's, but to take no action until
William should arrive, unless they attempted to go away. I did not alter
Galway's instructions, but I telegraphed to William to start for Verona
at once, to take charge of the operations there. The chase was now
becoming hot, and a few days would decide the question of success or
failure. I had reason to believe that the outlaws would not be taken
without a desperate resistance, and I was anxious to have William
present to direct the attack.

On Sunday, the tenth, Cottrell and Marriott rode out to see Wisbey, who
met them just outside of Verona and informed them that Levi Farrington
had arrived at Jim Durham's late Thursday night, accompanied by a young
man named George Cousins. They did not receive my reply to their
telegram announcing this fact until late that day, and so they could do
nothing toward satisfying themselves as to Levi Farrington's identity
until next morning, when they visited Wisbey at his own house. Mr.
Stone, Wisbey's son-in-law, had met a man named Smothers, who worked
for Jim Durham, and Smothers had told him all about the two men who had
just arrived. According to their own account, they had left Mrs.
Farrington at Ash Grove, in Greene County, where she was going to buy a
farm, Levi having given her five thousand dollars for that purpose; Levi
and Cousins were on their way to Kansas, where they intended to settle
down to raise cattle; Levi's brother was said to be at Lester's Landing
for the purpose of selling off a stock of groceries which they owned
there. Both men were well armed, having three navy revolvers and a
shot-gun.

When this news was transmitted to me by telegraph, I decided that this
man Cousins must be Barton, and that Hillary Farrington might possibly
be at Lester's Landing, as they said. I therefore telegraphed to
William, who I knew would be in St. Louis that day, _en route_ to
Verona, that he had better take Connell and Galway back to Lester's to
capture Hillary, while Cottrell and Marriott undertook the arrest of
Levi and Barton at Durham's. I also sent a dispatch to Cottrell to take
no steps for their arrest until after William should have captured
Hillary.

William, having previously thoroughly examined the contents of the store
at Lester's, knew that they were not worth over two hundred dollars, and
he telegraphed me to that effect, suggesting that it was improbable that
Hillary should run so much risk for so small a sum. On learning this
fact, I coincided with him, and ordered him to go on to Verona, as I had
originally intended. I desired that he should keep the Durham place
carefully watched until the arrival of the other Farrington, who, I
believed, would soon join the rest of the party; then, in case he
arrived, we should get all three together; but, if the other two should
show any signs of moving off, they could be taken at any time.

Mr. O'Brien obtained requisitions from the Governor of Tennessee on the
Governor of Missouri for the three men, and I felt that success was only
delayed a day or two at most.



                        CHAPTER VIII.

    _A determined Party of Horsemen.--The Outlaws surrounded and the
          Birds caged.--A Parley.--An affecting Scene.--The burning
          Cabin.--Its Occupants finally surrender._


While the telegrams were flying back and forth on Tuesday, the twelfth,
Cottrell and Marriott were busily engaged. Early that morning Mr. Stone
came to Verona, and told them that he had learned that Farrington and
Cousins intended to leave Durham's for the Indian Territory the next
day. The news was doubtless authentic, Stone having heard it from
Smothers, who had said that Farrington had told him so himself. It was
clearly impossible to wait for William's arrival, as, by that time, the
men might be safely hidden in the wild country to the westward. Instant
action was absolutely necessary, and Cottrell so informed Mr. Purdy, who
soon gathered a force of eight men. Very little would have been needed
to obtain even a larger number of recruits, for, had Mr. Purdy and the
detectives publicly told the story of the men whom they wished to
capture, there would have been plenty of eager volunteers, all anxious
to aid in ridding the country of such a band of outlaws. It was not
deemed advisable, however, to summon a large posse, lest the news might
spread so fast as to reach the ears of the criminals before the
detectives could surround them; on this account only a few reliable men
were let into the secret, and they left town singly and in pairs to
avoid observation, having a rendezvous outside.

Just before starting, Mr. Purdy received a dispatch from the general
land agent, ordering him to Pearce City instantly, as several purchasers
of land were awaiting him there; although he tried to have his visit
postponed one day, he was unsuccessful, his orders being imperatively
repeated by telegraph, and so he was unable to accompany the detectives
and citizens on their expedition to Durham's. The party of eight met the
detectives outside the town, and they were joined on their way by three
others, who lived on the road. They were all substantial business men
or farmers, but they were accustomed to a life in the saddle, and they
had all borne arms during the war on one side or the other. In spite of
their present peaceful occupations they were not a body who could be
trifled with, and it was evident that any gang of desperadoes would find
their match in these cool, determined, law-abiding men.

A few miles from Verona they met a young lady riding a large brown mule,
but none of the men in the party knew her. Cottrell felt sure, however,
that she was Durham's sister, and that she was riding Farrington's mule.
The descriptions he had received of the girl from Stone and Wisbey
coincided exactly with her appearance, while the mule could not be
mistaken. He therefore sent a man back to watch her, lest she should
have taken alarm at so large a cavalcade of armed men. She rode on to
Verona, however, without showing any signs of uneasiness, and the scout
soon overtook the party.

On arriving one mile from Wisbey's, Marriott went on to Stone's house
with six men, while Cottrell went to Wisbey's with the other five. Stone
and Wisbey soon gathered a number of the neighbors, among whom was John
Ellis, who owned the house and land where the Durhams were living; he
was a very highly respected citizen, and was not at all displeased at
the idea of getting rid of his semi-disreputable tenants. The management
of the affair was then unanimously voted to Cottrell, and the party
rode rapidly toward the Durham house. It was situated at the edge of a
clearing, with underbrush and woodland close to it on three sides, so
that great caution was necessary, lest the villains should see them
approaching, and escape into the woods. At a reasonable distance from
the house, therefore, the party divided, a part, under Marriott's
direction, dismounting and making their way to the rear of the house on
foot. When sufficient time had elapsed to enable the latter party to
surround the house, Cottrell, with the remainder, dashed up to the front
of the house and spread out, so as to make sure that no one should
escape. As they approached, a man, who proved to be Jim Durham, appeared
on the porch and asked what they wanted; to which Cottrell replied that
he wanted the men in the house.

The words had hardly passed his lips ere Barton sprang into the open
doorway with a navy revolver leveled at Cottrell; but, seeing that the
latter, as well as several others, had him covered, he shut the door
quickly and started for the back of the house. By this time, however,
the cordon of guards had drawn close around, and, as he emerged at the
rear, he found himself confronted by half a dozen determined men, who
ordered him to surrender. He then hastily tried to close the back door
also, and pointed his revolver through the crack; but the discharge of
several shots, which struck close to him, caused him to withdraw his
pistol and tightly close the door. It was evident that the birds were
caged at last, and it was now only a question of time when they would be
taken; as it was only one o'clock in the afternoon, there were still
four hours of daylight to conduct the siege.

Jim Durham, when he saw the rifles and revolvers of so large a force
pointed at him, was thoroughly frightened, and he begged piteously that
they would not shoot him. Cottrell placed his men behind trees, fences,
and other protections, so as to be safe from any attempt to pick them
off by the men in the house, and yet to guard every means of exit from
the place; he then called Jim Durham out and searched him, finding
nothing but a single-barreled pistol. He then sent Jim to the door of
the house to summon the men inside to surrender, telling them that he
was determined to have them--alive if possible, but if not, dead.

They refused to surrender, saying that they would kill any man who
should approach the house. When Durham brought back their answer,
Cottrell sent word that he would give them five minutes in which to
decide whether they would yield peaceably or be burned out and shot to
death. Just then Mrs. Durham, the mother of the Durham boys, begged
Cottrell to allow her to go speak to Farrington and Barton, as she
believed she could induce them to surrender. Accordingly, she went to
the front window and implored them not to have the house burned down, as
all her household goods would be destroyed. They replied that they might
as well die inside as to come out and be shot down. Cottrell sent back
word that they should be treated like all other prisoners if they would
pass out their arms and surrender quietly; but if they tried to fight or
resist, they would surely be killed.

As they still refused, Jim Durham was sent to barricade the doors with
fence rails, so that they should not be able to rush out unexpectedly.
He whined and complained that the men inside would shoot him, but he was
obliged to go, and though they did threaten him, he was able to crawl up
and lay the rails without getting within range. The house was a solid
log cabin, with only two doors and very few windows, so that it was
possible to approach it in one or two directions without exposure to a
fire from within. When the doors had been securely barricaded, Cottrell
ordered him to get on the roof, which was a common shingle roof, and set
fire to the house. Mrs. Durham was carrying on at a great rate, first
begging Farrington to surrender, and then praying to Cottrell not to
burn her property. John Ellis, to whom the house belonged, gave full
permission to burn it, and a fire was built in the open air to make
brands to set it afire.

Mrs. Durham was allowed to make one more appeal to the ruffians inside,
but they would not listen to her entreaties. They asked her, however,
what kind of a looking man Cottrell was, and what he wanted to arrest
them for. Cottrell was standing near enough to hear the question, and
after Mrs. Durham had described his appearance, he told them that he
wanted them for an express robbery; that he would treat them kindly if
they should yield peaceably; but if they should refuse this, his last
offer, he should set fire to the house and shoot them down as they ran
out. He said he had no wish to kill them, but that he was determined
they should not escape; rather than allow them to get away, he would
have them shot on sight; but they would be protected and brought to
trial if they would surrender.

To this they replied that they intended killing some of their besiegers
first, anyhow. Finding further parley useless, therefore, Cottrell gave
the order to burn the building, and Durham was forced to carry the
embers and brands to burn his own premises. Just at this time, the young
girl, whom they had met riding a mule toward Verona, rode up to the
house and asked what was the matter. As Cottrell had surmised, this was
Miss Durham, and she was very much frightened at what she saw.

The afternoon sun was buried in a deep bank of clouds, so that the
twilight was rapidly drawing on, there being just enough light to show
the barricaded doors, the deserted porch, and the determined men
scattered around, with shot-guns and rifles pointed at the low log
cabin, above which a frightened man stood out in bold relief against the
sky, tearing off the shingles and piling them upon a glowing flame at
his feet. Everything was now hushed in deathly silence, and it needed
no explanation for any one to understand that a bloody tragedy was about
to occur if that flame should be allowed to envelop the building. It was
now the prison of its two occupants, but only a short time would elapse
before it would be their tomb.

[Illustration: _Burning out the Outlaws!_]

On seeing the situation, Miss Durham asked to be allowed to speak to the
men, as she said she knew they would listen to her. On Cottrell's
refusal to hold any more parley with them, she burst into tears, threw
her arms around his neck, and implored him to let her speak to Barton
just once, if only for five minutes. Finally, seeing that most of his
party wished to give the girl a chance to speak to her sweetheart,
Cottrell said that she could have three minutes to obtain their arms; if
they surrendered immediately, the fire should be put out; but, if they
should still refuse, their last chance of saving the house and their
lives would be gone. Miss Durham then went to the window, and talked
with the men in the most imploring manner, urging them not to sacrifice
themselves, as they would surely do if they remained in the burning
house. Her entreaties did not seem to affect them at first; and, as the
flames were then beginning to gather strength, Cottrell ordered her to
come away from the house, and leave them to their fate. She made one
more appeal, and Barton handed her a navy revolver; then Farrington did
the same, and she brought them to Cottrell, saying that they would
surrender if they could be sure that their lives would be spared.
Cottrell told her to go back and get the rest of their arms, and assure
them that they should be taken to Tennessee for trial. She soon returned
with another revolver and a shot-gun, and said that the men would come
out. Cottrell therefore removed the rails, opened the front door, and
called them out--Barton coming first, and then Farrington. The latter
proved to be Hillary, not Levi, as he had called himself. It was not
known why he had used his brother's name, but it was supposed that
Hillary had taken his name to enable him to prove an _alibi_ in case he
should be arrested.

Cottrell's party first secured the prisoners with ropes, and then
assisted Jim Durham to extinguish the fire on the roof; the latter was
quite rotten, and it had burned so slowly that very little damage had
been done. The prisoners were thoroughly searched, but nothing of any
consequence was found upon them, the total of their funds being less
than three dollars. A prolonged search through the house revealed
nothing of importance, except the fact that it was quite an arsenal for
arms, there being found six navy revolvers, two double-barreled
shot-guns, and a Spencer repeating rifle. The siege had lasted nearly
three hours, and, another hour having been spent in searching the house
and saddling their animals, it was nearly dark by the time they started
for Verona. Farrington and Barton were carefully tied upon the horse and
mule respectively, and, after thanking the neighboring farmers for their
assistance, Cottrell took the road back, accompanied by the eleven men
who belonged in and about Verona. The greatest care was taken that the
prisoners should have no opportunity for escape, and they were informed
that any attempt to get away would be the signal for riddling them with
bullets.

While riding along, Cottrell learned from Barton that the party had been
very lucky in finding the two men in the house, since their usual custom
had been to spend the days in the woods, coming in only at night to
sleep. On this occasion, however, the weather was so cold that they were
spending the day indoors.

When asked why they had not surrendered before, they both made the same
reply, namely: that they believed the posse of citizens intended either
to shoot them immediately, or to hang them after a trial by lynch law.

On arriving in Verona early in the evening, the prisoners were securely
tied up with ropes, and Cottrell alternated during the night with
Marriott in watching them. A blacksmith was also called up, and shortly
after midnight he completed two pair of leg shackles, with which they
were fastened together. My men were greatly fatigued, having ridden a
large number of miles every day for a week, and the excitement of the
affair added, of course, to their prostration, but they resolutely paced
the floor in alternate four-hour watches, determined that no possible
loophole for escape should again be afforded to such daring villains as
these two.

The result of the expedition was, of course, transmitted to me in
telegraphic cipher at once; but the arrest was kept secret for the time,
in order to prevent a knowledge of it coming to Levi Farrington, who was
still at large. According to Barton, Levi was concealed somewhere in
Tennessee, but this statement was proof positive that he was not in
Tennessee at all, since Barton's object in telling anything about him
was evidently intended to mislead us; hence, no faith was put in his
story, and other steps were taken to capture Levi.

William arrived in Verona on the morning after the fight, and he
prepared to return with the prisoners to St. Louis by the noon train. It
was supposed that Levi Farrington was also on his way to the rendezvous
at Durham's farm, and that he would probably approach by the direct road
through Douglas County. Cottrell and Marriott were left, therefore, to
attend to Levi and the old lady, whose whereabouts were still uncertain.
William saw most of the citizens engaged in the affair, and heartily
thanked them for their aid; being questioned as to whether they should
receive the reward of one thousand dollars offered by the express
company for the capture of the two Farringtons and Barton, he informed
them that he considered them entitled to it, and that he should
recommend its payment, but that the matter would be decided by the
officers of the company. I may here anticipate events somewhat to state
that the company paid the citizens and farmers a liberal amount for
their services in capturing the robbers, and a settlement was made which
was satisfactory to all parties.

William left Verona about noon of the day he arrived, taking Hillary
Farrington and Barton with him, under guard of Galway and Connell. On
arriving in St. Louis, he separated the prisoners in order to induce
Barton to confess; and, after a long conversation, in which he showed
Barton how conclusive was the evidence against all three of the men, he
obtained a very full confession, of which the greater part is here given
exactly as it was taken down from Barton's lips.



                         CHAPTER IX.

    _Barton's Confession.--The Express Robberies and the Outlaws'
          subsequent Experiences fully set forth therein.--A Clue that
          had been suddenly dropped taken up with so much Profit, that,
          after a desperate Struggle, another Desperado is Captured._


"I am twenty-two years of age," said Barton, "and my native place was
Columbus, Mississippi. When quite young, I left home and took to
following the army. About five or six years ago I moved to Normandy,
Tennessee, and lived with the family of Major Landis, and two or three
years later, I went to work on the Nashville and Northwestern Railroad
as a brakeman, remaining as such over two years. About three years since
I formed the acquaintance of Hillary and Levi Farrington, at Waverly,
Tennessee. These are the men otherwise known as J. H. Clark and Edward
J. Russell. Afterward I opened a saloon in Nashville, and Levi
Farrington visited me there several times. Last April or May he was
arrested on suspicion of counterfeiting, but as there was no case
against him, he was discharged. After a short time, I went down to visit
Levi at Mrs. Farrington's; she lived at the head of Tumbling Run Creek,
twelve miles back of Gillem Station. Hillary was in jail at Memphis at
that time, charged with murder and horse-stealing. When he got out of
jail, Levi, Hillary, and myself all made a trip to Little Rock,
Arkansas, gambling by throwing three-card monte, and we won about
thirteen hundred dollars; we then returned to Gillem Station, where we
remained until the twenty-first of July, this year. During this time,
Levi, who frequently rode back and forth on the express trains, spoke of
the feasibility of robbing them.

"On the morning of July 21, Levi, Hillary, and myself left Gillem
Station for the purpose of robbing the express train at some of the
stations either on that road or on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad. At
Union City we changed cars, and arrived at Moscow just after dark. The
plan was, that we all three should enter the car and overpower the
messenger; but Levi and Hillary were the only ones who entered. I
remained on the platform of the first passenger coach and kept watch.
When the train was passing the water tank, they slacked up the speed,
and we all jumped off and struck for the woods. The messenger had
nothing whatever to do with this robbery, so far as I was ever informed.

"As I said before, we struck into the woods and reached the river just
above Hickman, where we stole a fisherman's skiff, and all three of us
started down the river. Finding that we were pursued, we left the skiff
on the Tennessee shore, near Island Number Ten. We then took the river
road and walked back as far as Lester's Landing, arriving there about
dinner-time, July 23. Levi divided the money, giving me one-third of one
thousand dollars, which was all, he said, in the safe, although I always
believed there was more.

"So far as I know, neither of the Farringtons had ever met Lester
before, and I am sure that I had never set eyes on him until we went to
his place at this time. On account of the spot being so lonely and
isolated, Hillary proposed that we put up a store there, as it would be
a good cover for our actual business. We started the store, and applied
to the postmaster to establish a post-office, to be known as Lester's
Landing; our object in this move was, of course, to give an added color
of respectability and _bona fide_ business to our transactions. From
this time until the middle of October, I remained at the store nearly
all the time; Hillary was also there most of the time, but Levi very
seldom. During one of the latter's western trips, he said he had been
out to see his Aunt Durham.

"Along in October, Levi proposed that we again strike the express
company when the train stopped for supper at Union City. Hillary had
been in the habit of riding back and forth on the engine, and he
understood how to run a train. Levi suggested that we take a man named
Bill Taylor into the robbery with us; he was then employed chopping wood
for Lester, and when Levi approached him on the subject he agreed to go.
Levi left Lester's a few days before the robbery. Hillary and I did not
leave until the nineteenth, when we went up to Columbus by steamer,
taking along a large quantity of fish. Having sold our fish, we took the
train for Union City, where we arrived the same evening. On getting off
the train, we met Levi and Bill Taylor on the platform, and the only
conversation which took place was when Levi asked why we had not arrived
sooner, to which we replied that we came as soon as we could. The next
morning we met again, having slept in separate places so as not to
attract attention, and went down the road some distance toward Hickman.
While camped in the woods that evening, about ten o'clock, an old man
named Hicks came along with a bottle of whisky and stopped at our
camp-fire quite a time. There were present Hillary, Levi, myself, and
Bill Taylor. We remained in the woods all that night. The next day we
moved further into the woods toward Hickman, and at night, just at dark,
we came back to Union City.

"We had been there only a few minutes when the up train came along; she
stopped and backed down a little ways, when all the train hands left her
and went to supper. Hillary and Taylor then boarded the engine, and Levi
and myself jumped aboard the express car. The messenger was eating his
supper when we went in, and, seeing Levi point a Derringer at him, he
exclaimed: 'Don't shoot me! I will surrender.' Levi compelled him to
unlock the safe, and we took all the money. Levi then swung the
messenger's lantern, and the train stopped, when we all jumped off and
started down the railroad to Hickman. Our intention was to go to the
wood-yard near Union City, and steal a ride on a freight train to
Hickman. We hid under the platform at the wood-yard, and while there
Levi accidentally shot himself in the thigh; but the wound was very
slight, and it hardly interfered with his walking. As the freight train
did not stop, we were obliged to walk to Hickman, where we arrived
Sunday night. We had had some provisions when we first camped out, which
Bill Taylor had carried in a valise; but he had left the valise and all
its contents on the engine, so that we had very little to eat.

"While in the woods we divided the money, but Levi, who carried it,
showed up only twenty three hundred dollars.

"Sunday night we stole a skiff in Hickman and went down the river to
James' Bayou, and while there, on Monday morning, we saw Messenger
Cross, whose car had been robbed, making inquiries about us in a
grocery-store. We then started off on foot, going down the river on the
Missouri shore. About a mile below James' Bayou we found the skiff which
we had previously set adrift, and which had evidently been picked up by
some one. Taking this skiff again, Hillary, Taylor, and I dropped down
to a point about a mile above Lester's, leaving Levi on the Missouri
shore, where we started from. We landed on the Tennessee shore, and
walked down the river road a short distance, when Taylor left us,
remaining in the woods. Hillary and I met Lester on the road soon
afterward, and told him that we had come down on a steamboat which was
then tied up, on account of the heavy fog. Levi arrived next day, having
come across the river with a fisherman.

"The following Sunday, October 29, Hillary left on a steamboat, taking
with him a woman named Slaughter, with whom he said he was going to
Davidson's wood-yard, nine miles above Cape Girardeau. He expected to
return in a few days.

"The next thing of any importance which occurred was on the Tuesday
night following, when Messrs. Pinkerton and Connell rode up to Lester's
house. At the first glance, I thought they were officers, and Levi told
me that he thought the same. I saw him pull his pistol out of his
pocket before getting out of his chair."

[The moment Connell opened the door, Levi knew that he was a detective,
having seen him acting in that capacity in Memphis, when Hillary was
arrested for horse-stealing the previous spring.]

"When I made my escape from Lester's house," continued Barton, "I ran
right back through the cornfield; I heard all the shooting, but did not
see it. In a short time Levi joined me in the cane-brake back of the
cornfield. Levi told me that he had had a shooting match with the two
officers, but he did not know whether he had hit either of them or not;
they had not hit him, but he had had a very narrow escape.

"After awhile we slipped up to the house, and saw that the officers were
gone; so we went in, got our supper, and took our pistols, besides a
shawl and blanket. We then got an old skiff, crossed the river, and
slept in the woods on the Missouri shore. The next day we remained under
cover until nightfall, when we recrossed the river, and went through the
woods to Union City, spending Wednesday night and Thursday in the woods
on the way. On Thursday night we took the train from Union City to
Gillem Station. The conductor of the train was Conductor Roberts, on
whose run I had formerly been brakeman; and, being afraid he might
recognize me, I laid down in my seat and covered up my face, while Levi
paid both fares. We arrived at Gillem Station about three o'clock in
the morning, and reached Mrs. Farrington's house about daylight.

"I gave Mrs. Farrington five hundred and fifty dollars in money to keep
for me, this amount being the proceeds of both express robberies, and
she still has it in her possession. Before leaving Lester's, Hillary had
given most of his money to Levi to take to their mother to keep for him,
and Levi left with her nearly the whole of his share of the plunder
also.

"We had been at Mrs. Farrington's a week when Hillary arrived. Before
this, we all thought that the officers had captured him, and we were
quite surprised to see him safe. He said that Detective Connell had
arrested him at Mrs. Gully's, and that he had made his escape by jumping
out of Connell's wagon into a thicket near Allenville; he had then gone
right back to the house where he had left Mrs. Slaughter, where he got a
pistol and some money, and had his irons removed.

"At the time Hillary arrived at Mrs. Farrington's, the old lady had been
gone a day and a night on her way to Texas or Missouri. It was
understood that Levi and I were to meet her somewhere on the road, or at
Holton's farm, near the line between Lawrence and Dade Counties,
Missouri. The day after Hillary arrived, we started for Missouri; I was
riding a sorrel horse; Hillary, a chestnut-sorrel horse; and Levi, a
large brown mule. We spent two days at the house of Mr. Douglas, near
Mrs. Farrington's, and then crossed the Tennessee River at Cuba. We
crossed the Mississippi River by the last ferryboat on Friday evening,
November 10, at Hall's Ferry, opposite Point Pleasant, Missouri. We saw
no men on guard at the ferries. We struck right out through Nigger-Wool
Swamp to Bloomfield, where Levi left us. He said he was going to
Farmington, Illinois, as that was a good place to keep under cover.
After he left us, nothing important occurred until our arrest. We knew
where Mrs. Farrington was every night, and also knew all about the two
men who were following her; we did not mind letting them follow her, as
they could not have captured us, and we could have shaken them off at
any time if we had wanted to do so.

"Levi and Hillary frequently spoke of making other raids upon the
express company, and said what a soft thing it was. It was my intention
to separate from them as soon as I could get my money from the old lady,
as I wished to return to my friends below Columbus, Mississippi.

"The foregoing is all I know of the Farringtons or the express
robberies.

                (Signed),       "WILLIAM BARTON."

It will be observed how completely this confession corroborated our
investigations, there being few new points learned. The information that
Mrs. Farrington had possession of nearly all the stolen money was
valuable, and I sent instructions to Cottrell, at once, to attach all of
her property in the name of the Southern Express Company, if it could
be done. But the most important feature brought out was the hiding-place
of Levi Farrington, which was given as Farmington, Illinois. It will be
remembered that William found, at the store at Lester's Landing, some
pieces of paper, upon which was scribbled, "Kate Graham, Farmington,
Illinois;" that I sent a detective to that place to see Mrs. Graham;
that the latter answered, with every evidence of truthfulness, that she
did not know Russell, Clark, or Barton; and that the clue was dropped
immediately. From Barton, however, William learned that Mrs. Kate Graham
was a cousin of the Farringtons, and that, being a highly respectable
and conscientious woman, she knew nothing of their _aliases_, nor of
their crimes. It was there that Levi Farrington had gone to hide.
Barton's confession was made on the fourteenth, and William instantly
sent me a cipher dispatch containing the important features of it. By
the evening train of that day, my other son, Robert A. Pinkerton, took
passage for Farmington, accompanied by Detective W. T. Brown, of my
force. They arrived there about noon the next day, and soon learned that
Levi Farrington was staying with his relatives. Having presented letters
of introduction to one or two influential men, Robert obtained an
introduction to the city marshal, who promised to give all the aid in
his power to arrest Farrington.

About two o'clock they saw the latter coming down the street, and, by
previous arrangement, Robert allowed Levi to pass him, both walking
toward Brown and the marshal. Levi Farrington was a very powerful man,
standing six feet in his stockings, with a frame and muscles in
proportion to his size. Remembering the desperate character of the man,
Robert did not deem it advisable to give him any chance to draw a weapon
or show fight; he therefore followed Farrington closely until he was
about ten feet from the marshal, and then, springing at him, he pinioned
the desperado's arms by clasping him tightly around the body just at the
elbows. Farrington did not stop to question the cause of this
proceeding--he knew the reason of his seizure well enough--but,
gathering his whole strength, he made one jump away from the two
officers who were approaching in front, and landed nearly in the middle
of the street, taking Robert along with him. Robert clung to him like a
vise, however, and before he could make another such an effort, the
other two were upon him. A terrible struggle now ensued in the street,
during which both Robert and Brown were badly bruised by being rolled
upon and kicked by their powerful prisoner. Robert knew that Farrington
was desperate enough to fight to the bitter end, and that he would kill
as many as he could before being killed himself; to release his arms,
therefore, would enable him to draw a weapon, as he was undoubtedly well
armed, hence Robert never relaxed his hold. Having a professional pride
in securing his prisoner alive, moreover, he did not wish to resort to
extreme measures except to save the lives of other persons, and, as a
large crowd had gathered around the moment the struggle began, there
would have been evident danger in allowing him an instant's freedom.
Over and over they rolled together, therefore, Farrington striving with
all his strength to break Robert's clasp upon his arms, while the other
two officers were doing their best to pinion his legs. After a ten
minutes' struggle, they succeeded at length in holding him down and
sitting upon his legs until he could be tied with ropes. By this time,
the whole party were pretty thoroughly exhausted, but, after resting a
few minutes to recover their breath, the officers got handcuffs on their
prisoner's wrists, and took him to the railroad station, where he was
searched. Little money was found on his person, but he had a large
revolver, two Derringer pistols, and a large dirk concealed about him.
He was then placed in the freight office, while Brown and Mr. Graham,
Mrs. Kate Graham's husband, went to the latter's house to get Levi's
baggage. On their return, the whole party took passage for Chicago,
where they did not arrive until next day, owing to the failure to make
connections. In Levi's valise were found two revolvers, some jewelry,
and a very large sum of money.

They arrived so late on Saturday that there was no train for Cairo
before the following evening, and meantime the prisoner required the
most careful watching, as none of our handcuffs were large enough to
fit his wrists without cutting into the flesh. Robert and Brown were
completely prostrated by the strain upon their muscles and the injuries
they had received, so that they felt the effects of the struggle for
several days.

The moment that Robert arrived in Chicago with his prisoner, the latter
was taken to the First Precinct police station, where he was placed in a
cell for safe keeping. During the afternoon it was learned that he had
sent for a lawyer to obtain a writ of _habeas corpus_. The arrest had
been made without any warrant, and no requisition had been obtained for
use in Illinois, as I had expected to capture all three of the men in
Missouri. Should Farrington succeed in getting the desired writ, I
should be forced to give up my hold upon him, and, before the
requisition of the Governor of Tennessee upon the Governor of Illinois
could be received, he would be probably beyond the reach of pursuit.

I therefore procured a closed vehicle and took the prisoner out for a
drive, carefully bound, with two reliable men as guards. The afternoon
was thus spent, and, after dark, there being no longer any object in
driving around the suburbs of the city, Farrington was taken to my
office and kept all night. He behaved very well, and did not seem
anxious to get away by force. He tried, however, to induce Robert to let
him go, telling him that it would be worth a very large amount of money
to him to do so. Finding his offers disregarded, he appeared to take his
arrest very coolly, saying that he guessed he had money enough to see
him through.

On Sunday evening, Robert and Brown took him to the railroad station,
and the party embarked for Cairo.



                          CHAPTER X.

    _A terrible Struggle for Life or Death upon the Transfer-boat
          "Illinois."--"Overboard!"--One less Desperado.--The Fourth and
          Last Robber taken._


After Barton had made his confession to William in St. Louis, the
prisoners, Hillary Farrington and Barton, were kept separate, as the
latter was afraid that Hillary would find some means of killing him.
About midnight of Thursday, December fourteenth, they all took passage
by railroad for Cairo, and there they immediately went on board the
large transfer-boat to Columbus, Kentucky. All the detectives were
thoroughly worn out from excitement and loss of sleep, but they did not
for an instant relax their vigilant watch upon their prisoners. William
had been talking for some time with Hillary, trying to obtain a
confession and to learn what had been done with the money secured at the
two robberies. From the questions that William asked, Hillary soon
learned, or surmised, that Barton had confessed. He was terribly
enraged at this, and without doubt he would have killed Barton if he
could have got at him; but being unable to do so, his fury was all
turned upon his captors.

My son hoped by threatening to have Mrs. Farrington arrested and
imprisoned, to induce Hillary to give up his share of the plunder rather
than have his mother punished. This threat seemed to infuriate him
beyond anything, and he swore that he would have his revenge on William
if he had to wait twenty years for it. After sitting sullenly thinking
on the subject for a time, he said he was cold, and wanted to get a
drink. William therefore offered to go with him into the bar-room, and
they walked toward the forward end of the saloon, leaving Galway and
Barton seated together. Connell had gone into the water-closet a few
moments before, but, as there was a detective with each of the
prisoners, no attempt at escape was anticipated.

The steamer was the powerfully-built transfer-boat "Illinois," and she
was running with great speed, her ponderous wheels revolving at an
unusually rapid rate. The bar-room was situated just forward of the
saloon, after passing through the barber shop, and it could be entered
from the saloon or through a door leading upon the guards, just forward
of the paddle-box.

As they were about to enter the barber shop from the saloon, Hillary
drew back, saying that he did not want to go that way, as there were
some men in that room whom he knew. They therefore went out upon the
guards to walk along to the outer door of the bar-room. The space was
narrow, and the rail quite low, so that it would not have been at all
difficult for a man to spring overboard, even though he were in irons.
This idea occurred to William, but he did not trouble himself about it,
since he knew that the heavy strokes of the paddle-wheel would instantly
kill any one who might attempt such a thing. William wore a
loose-fitting sack coat with large pockets, in one of which he carried a
heavy army revolver, which he had taken from Hillary, his own revolver
being in his belt. In walking it was his habit to put his hand on the
butt of this army revolver, which protruded somewhat from the pocket. On
reaching the door, however, he took his right hand from the pistol to
turn the knob. This was a careless action, of which he never would have
been guilty, had he been less fatigued, mentally and physically, but,
being so used up as to act almost mechanically, his habitual
thoughtfulness was momentarily absent, and he was caught off his guard
for an instant in a manner which nearly cost him his life. It should be
understood that the scene which ensued occurred so rapidly as to occupy
less time in its passage than is required to read about it, and that
during those few seconds a struggle of life and death was going on.

Hardly had William's hand touched the doorknob ere he felt the pistol
drawn out of his coat pocket. He knew there was but one person who
could have done it, and that person was a perfect devil thirsting for
his blood. Turning like a flash, he seized Farrington by both wrists,
just as the latter was trying to cock the pistol; then there was a
terrible contest. The pistol was in Farrington's hands, which were held
so close together by the irons as to make it impossible to wrench one
away from the other; it was pointed directly at William's head, and
should Farrington succeed in cocking it, William's death would be
instantaneous. All his energies, therefore, were directed toward keeping
Farrington's hands far enough apart to prevent him from drawing back the
hammer. The space was too narrow to permit of such a struggle without
one party or the other being forced back upon the rail, and, in a
moment, William had lifted his lighter antagonist from the deck,
pressing him against the railing, and at the same time shouting for
assistance. In response to his call, Connell came running out in
_dishabille_, with his pistol in one hand and his pantaloons in the
other. At this moment the cold muzzle of the pistol was pressed against
William's temple, and he heard the click of the hammer as his desperate
prisoner succeeded in drawing it back. He made a violent plunge forward,
ducking his head as he did so, and simultaneously the pistol exploded
close to his ear, the ball ploughing a little furrow in the scalp, while
the powder scorched his neck and hair. Staggering back stunned and dizzy
for a moment, he was caught by Connell, who asked whether he was much
hurt. He soon gathered his senses, and, finding his wound to be only
trifling, he asked what had become of Farrington. Connell pointed
overboard, and no further answer was necessary; no man dropping in front
of those wheels could have lived for an instant, and, even had he not
been struck, he could not have kept himself up in the rapid current then
running filled with fine ice.

By this time the bar-room, barber shop, and saloon had been emptied of
their occupants, and the boat had been stopped to see whether the man
could be picked up; but, as this was clearly hopeless, the trip was soon
resumed. Connell's arrival had been most opportune for William, since he
had caught the weapon the moment it was discharged, and succeeded in
changing the course of the bullet sufficiently to save William's life.
Thinking, however, that William had been killed, Connell had struck
Farrington on the head with his pistol almost simultaneously with the
explosion, and the blow, aided by the plunge which William made forward
in endeavoring to dodge the pistol-shot, had sent Farrington over the
rail into the water, where he was undoubtedly killed the next instant by
the paddle-wheels.

The fact of the man's death was so absolutely certain that no person
could doubt it, if acquainted with the circumstances; yet there were not
wanting people who insinuated that he had been allowed to escape by
jumping overboard and swimming ashore. The absurdity of such a story is
manifest, for, even supposing that his irons had been removed, and that
he had escaped injury from the paddle-wheels, he never could have swam
ashore at the spot where the affair occurred. The nearest point of the
river bank was more than three hundred yards away, and the current at
that place was running off the shore; besides, the night was very cold,
and the water was covered with a film of ice, so that after five
minutes' immersion in it, a man would have become wholly numbed and
insensible.

Barton was not at all surprised when he heard of Hillary Farrington's
death, for he said that he knew Hillary so well that he had expected
nothing else from the time he was taken; he was so desperate that his
intention undoubtedly had been to have seized William and dragged him
overboard; but, seeing the pistol, another idea had probably occurred to
him. Barton said that had Hillary succeeded in killing William, he would
have gone up to the pilot-house with the revolver, and forced the pilot
to land him immediately; once on shore, his knowledge of the country
would have enabled him to escape again. Whatever had been his plans,
however, he had failed in his attempt at murder, and had paid the
penalty of his rashness with his life.

The rest of the party went on to Columbus, where they took passage for
Union City, arriving there Friday morning.

About this time, Mr. Ball, who had been sent to follow the wagon train
of Mrs. Farrington, reported, after a silence of several days, that he
had traced her into the Indian Territory. In point of fact, she was
settled at Ash Grove, near Mount Vernon, in Greene County, Missouri, and
had been there ever since Hillary and Barton had left her before their
arrest at Durham's. It will thus be seen how fortunate it was that I had
not trusted to Ball and Bledsoe to keep track of Mrs. Farrington, since
they had utterly lost the trail, and had followed another set of wagons
for several days as far as the Indian Territory; when, probably
suspecting that he had made a mistake, Ball telegraphed to the express
company's officers for instructions. He was then ordered to return at
once with Bledsoe, the whole party having been captured by that time.

While speaking of Mrs. Farrington, I may as well give an account of all
our dealings with her, irrespective of the chronological order of the
story:

Having received Barton's order upon her for all of the wagons and stock,
and for five hundred and fifty dollars in money, Cottrell endeavored to
attach her property in a civil suit. She insisted that she had none of
Barton's money--indeed, that she had no money at all--and she refused to
give up anything. At last, finding that he could not legally attach her
property, Cottrell took the bold step of arresting her for receiving
stolen goods. She was taken to Mount Vernon, where she engaged a lawyer
to defend her, and then, of course, Cottrell was also obliged to employ
a legal adviser. At length, a compromise was effected, by which Mrs.
Farrington was allowed to retain a small portion of the property;
Cottrell then took possession of the remainder as agent of the express
company, and Mrs. Farrington was discharged from custody. After selling
some of the animals, Cottrell shipped all the remaining chattels to St.
Louis, where the agent of the express company took charge of them. The
two detectives then returned to Chicago, and no further attention was
paid to Mrs. Farrington.

On Saturday, after the arrival of William's party, with Barton, in Union
City, Detectives Galway and Connell started out to arrest Bill Taylor,
the fourth one of the party of robbers.

This man was a long, lank, round-shouldered fellow, with putty face,
long, straggling hair and beard, and a vacant expression of countenance,
who lived by hunting and chopping wood, below Lester's Landing, in the
vicinity of Reel's Foot Lake. William had been satisfied of his
complicity in the robbery for some time previous to the arrest of the
others, but he had not arrested him for the reason that he was sure of
picking him up whenever he wished to do so; and, knowing Taylor to have
been merely a weak accomplice, he was anxious to secure the leaders in
the crime first. Barton's confession made the suspicion of Taylor's
guilt a certainty, and so Galway and Connell were sent to arrest him.

At Mr. Merrick's they obtained a good guide, and four other citizens
joined them, so that they had quite a formidable party. After visiting
several houses in the cane-brake, they learned where Taylor was
staying, and, on going there, they saw him looking at them from a front
window. Galway asked Taylor to come down a few minutes to give them some
information, and Taylor unsuspectingly complied. He had been allowed to
go free so long, and had so often talked with William and others about
the robbery, that he did not imagine their object on this occasion. On
coming into the yard, therefore, he greeted the men cordially, supposing
them to be a party scouting for the other robbers, of whose arrest he
had not heard. When he saw a couple of navy revolvers close to his head,
and heard an order to throw up his hands, he surrendered without a word.
He was evidently badly frightened, but he would not confess having had
any part in the robbery, and he refused to tell where his share of the
money was concealed. He was placed on Connell's horse and taken to
Merrick's, where another horse was obtained, and the party went on to
Hickman; thence he was taken by wagon to Union City, arriving there
about midnight of Saturday. Both Barton and Taylor were placed in rooms
in the hotel, where they were carefully watched night and day by my
detectives, the county jail being almost useless as a place for keeping
prisoners.

On learning that the whole party had been arrested, Taylor made a very
full confession of all the circumstances connected with the robbery, and
the movements of the robbers after it had occurred. He confirmed
Barton's account in every particular, but revealed nothing new of any
importance. His share of the stolen money had been only about one
hundred and fifty dollars, as Levi had made him believe that they had
obtained only six hundred dollars in all. About fifty dollars were found
on Taylor's person; the rest he had spent. He said that Levi Farrington
had hidden all the checks, drafts, and unnegotiable paper underneath an
old log in the woods, but that he could not tell where the log was, nor
find it, since it was not marked in any way, nor had they taken any
bearings by which to remember it. He gave an account of the evening when
Hicks, the tipsy planter, came to their camp-fire, which agreed exactly
with the previous statements of Hicks and Barton; but one slight remark
in his confession seemed to account for the fifth man mentioned by
Hicks. Taylor said that during most of the time Hicks was at their camp,
one or two of the party were lying on the ground with their feet toward
the fire, and that there was a log of wood lying beside them. Now, it is
probable that Hicks was just drunk enough to be unable to tell the
difference between a man and a log, especially as, in his description of
the men, he gave the appearance of Hillary Farrington twice as belonging
to different persons. Hicks's vision was somewhat uncertain that night,
evidently.



                         CHAPTER XI.

    _The last Scene in the Drama approaching.--A new Character
          appears.--The Citizens of Union City suddenly seem to have
          important business on hand.--The Vigilantes and their
          Work.--Their Bullets and Judge Lynch administer a quietus to
          Levi Farrington and David Towler.--The End._


The last scene in this drama seemed about to end in the complete defeat
of the whole gang of villains and the triumph of law and justice, when a
new character came upon the stage, and the curtain fell upon a bloody
tragedy. That substantial justice was done cannot be denied, though the
manner of its execution was beyond and outside all forms of law. It was
a striking instance of the manner in which an outraged community,
particularly in the West and South, will arrive at a satisfactory
settlement of important questions without the intervention of courts,
juries, or lawyers. The court of Judge Lynch makes mistakes
occasionally, but it rarely admits of an appeal from its decision.

Robert arrived in Union City with Levi Farrington on Monday, December
eighteenth, and he took his prisoner to the hotel for safe keeping, with
the others. They were kept in separate rooms, and a detective remained
with each of them constantly. William spent several hours with Levi
Farrington, trying to induce him to tell where he had hidden the stolen
papers, and also what he had done with his share of the money, of which
he had undoubtedly retained the greater part. Finally he agreed to
return all the papers, and about twenty-five hundred dollars besides, on
condition that he should receive a sentence of only five years in the
penitentiary on entering a plea of guilty. Having agreed to this
arrangement, William went to his room, which was a large one, with
several beds, occupied by Robert, Brown, and Connell. As the men of my
force were all pretty well used up, Taylor and Barton were placed in the
same room, with Galway guarding them, while Farrington, being such a
desperate fellow, was put in another room, with three of the Union City
policemen as guards.

Soon after the arrival of Robert with Levi Farrington, a man, named
David Towler, tried to get admission to Farrington's room. On being
denied, he was very insolent, and he insisted on seeing Farrington
alone. Finding that this would not be permitted, he went away cursing
the officers and swearing to be revenged. His actions naturally
attracted the attention of the police, and caused him to be regarded
with a great deal of suspicion, as a probable member of the Farrington
party of robbers. About eleven o'clock that night, a policeman, named
Benjamin Kline, discovered this man Towler with a drawn revolver,
skulking behind a car standing on the side track near the dépôt. He
immediately called for the railroad company's night watchman, and the
two approached the thief to arrest him. The man instantly shot Kline
through the lungs, and then shot Moran, the watchman. Kline's wound was
mortal, and he died in a few minutes, while Moran was supposed to be
fatally hurt also. The pistol-shots quickly drew a crowd, and a few
determined men gave chase to the murderer. After quite a long pursuit he
was captured, and brought back to the station where Kline had just died.
A justice of the peace held a preliminary examination at once, and the
prisoner, David Towler, was held for murder, without bail. He was known
to be a low, desperate fellow, who had been imprisoned for
horse-stealing and other kindred crimes, until he was regarded almost as
an outlaw. He had long lived near Reel's Foot Lake, and while there he
had become acquainted with the Farringtons. That their friendship was
more than that of two casual acquaintances was shown by an important
circumstance discovered by William. It will be remembered that when Levi
Farrington stopped in Cairo to send eight hundred dollars to his mother,
he purchased two of the largest-sized Smith & Wesson revolvers. They
were exact fac-similes of each other, and were numbered 1,278 and 1,279
respectively. At the time of Levi's arrest, only one of these revolvers
was found, and he said that he had given away the other to a friend,
retaining number 1,279 himself. When Towler was captured, William
happened to notice that his revolver was similar to the one Levi had
carried. This would have been nothing to be remarked under ordinary
circumstances, since there were, undoubtedly, many of these revolvers in
use, all exactly alike except in number; but William connected this man
Towler's appearance in Union City with the arrival of the express
robbers, and the new revolver caught his eye at once. On closely
examining it, his suspicions were fully confirmed: _it was numbered_
1,278, and was, without question, the mate to Levi's, bought by him in
Cairo and given to Towler.

When this news became known to the throng of citizens whom the shooting
of Kline and Moran had drawn together, the feeling against all the
prisoners became intense, and when Towler was committed by the justice
to the guard of the men who were watching Levi, the citizens began to
depart very suddenly, as if they either had important business
elsewhere, or were in a hurry to get home. By midnight the town was
quiet, and after a visit to the guards, to caution them to be extra
vigilant, William and Robert retired to their room, together with Brown
and Connell.

Young Kline, whom Towler had murdered, was very highly esteemed in Union
City, and his death at the hands of an outlaw would have aroused deep
indignation at any time; but just now there were additional reasons why
the affair should excite a desire for summary vengeance upon his
assassin. It had been shown that Towler must have formerly been on
intimate terms with the Farringtons, and these latter were well known
as desperadoes, whose hand was turned against every man; hence, the
crimes of the whole party were considered as a sort of partnership
affair, for which each member of the firm was individually liable. But,
besides the natural indignation of the law-abiding citizens for the
crimes committed by these men, there was a widespread sense of
insecurity so long as they were in that vicinity. Towler had remarked,
when captured, that he would soon be out again, and all the prisoners
bore themselves with an air of bravado, as if they had no fear nor
expectation of punishment. It was believed that a number of friends of
the gang among the desperadoes living in Nigger-Wool Swamp and near
Reel's Foot Lake intended to attempt the rescue of the whole party of
express robbers, before they could be consigned to a secure place of
confinement. The citizens who had risked their lives to capture Towler
and the others, who had turned out in time to see poor Kline die in
agony, were determined that nothing should occur to prevent justice from
reaching the criminals, and exacting the fullest penalty for their
numerous crimes; hence the sudden departure of the throng who had
attended Towler's preliminary examination before the justice. They did
not go to their homes, but gathered in a secluded place, and formed a
Committee of Safety. The question as to what course would best protect
the lives and property of the community was then discussed, and a
conclusion was soon reached, without a dissenting voice.

Throughout the town all was hushed in the usual stillness of a winter's
night; no lights were burning anywhere, save in an occasional
sick-chamber, and sleep seemed to have fallen alike upon the just and
unjust. In one room of the hotel were Barton and Taylor, guarded by
Galway and an employé of the express company, while near by was the room
where Levi Farrington and David Towler were watched by three of the city
policemen. A dim light burned in each room, and, while the guards paced
the floor in their stocking feet, the prisoners lay on their beds in
deep slumber. Not a memory of the past, full as it was of scenes of
crime and blood, came to break their repose; not a thought of the
future, with its possibilities of punishment, caused them to lose one
moment of their customary rest. Fear they had never known; remorse was
long since forgotten; unconscious or careless of their impending doom,
they slept the night away.

About two o'clock there was a stealthy gathering of masked men at the
door of the hotel, and, at a given signal from the leader, a certain
number slipped upstairs with little noise, and filled the corridor from
which the prisoners' rooms opened. So sudden was their appearance and so
quiet their approach that even the wakeful guards scarce heard them
until the doors were forced open. Then the policy of silence was
dropped, and a rush upon the guards was made. A battery of pistols
suddenly confronted them, and, as resistance was clearly impossible, an
unconditional surrender was at once made. The bursting in of the doors
awakened William and Robert, who hastily sprang up, and, without
stopping to put on any clothing, opened their door, pistol in hand. This
move, however, had been anticipated by the vigilantes, and a dozen or
more pistols were thrust in their faces as they appeared in the doorway.

"Go back, Pinkerton, we don't want to hurt you," said one of the men
outside, and they were pushed back into the room, while the door was
hastily closed in their faces.

To resist such a body with the few men at his command, William knew,
would be suicidal, and he did not especially care to sacrifice himself
in the interest of such a villainous band as those whom the vigilantes
were seeking. The four detectives, therefore, dressed themselves and
remained in their room awaiting further developments.

Having overpowered the guards, the leader of the vigilantes ordered the
removal of Towler, and, as the latter was hustled out of the door, Levi
Farrington knew that his hour had come. Standing up and facing the
remainder of the crowd, who had withdrawn to the further side of the
room, he defied them all, and told them to fire away. A volley of
pistol-shots was the reply to his words, and a rattling fire continued
for two or three minutes; when it ceased, Levi Farrington was no more,
his body having been struck by more than thirty balls, almost any one of
which would have been instantaneously fatal. His body was left where
it fell, and the room was soon deserted as the party hastened after the
detachment which had Towler in charge. The whole affair was over in ten
minutes, and when the detectives again left their room none of the
masked party were to be seen. Levi Farrington's body was found in his
room, but no trace of Towler could be discovered. Finding that the
excitement was over, the detectives returned to bed, leaving Barton and
Taylor still carefully guarded. The former had slept through the
confusion and noise without even a start or restless movement, but
Taylor was terribly frightened, and he fully expected to be lynched
also.

[Illustration: "_The work of the Vigilante's._"--_Page_--]

The next morning at breakfast, William was informed that the body of
Towler had been found hanging to a tree near the graveyard, and, on
going to the spot, they found him as represented. At the coroner's
inquest little testimony could be obtained further than that one man had
been shot to death and the other hung by parties unknown, and the
verdict was rendered accordingly. There was naturally considerable
excitement over the affair for two or three days, but the general
verdict was, "Served 'em right." However violent had been their taking
off, there were few who did not feel that society demanded their death,
not only as a punishment for their past crimes, but as a means of
security in the future. Believing that a sentence to the penitentiary
was wholly inadequate, and that their escape therefrom was not only
possible, but probable, the citizens preferred to take no risks of
future robberies and murders by these desperadoes, and they therefore
took the most effectual method of preventing their occurrence. Their
action was illegal, it is true, but then it was just--which is a more
important consideration sometimes.

On the following Friday, Barton and Taylor had their preliminary hearing
before a justice, when they waived examination, and were committed for
trial in default of bail in the sum of ten thousand dollars each. Upon
the representation to the justice that the county jail was an unsafe
place to confine the prisoners, permission was obtained to remove them
to the jail in Memphis; the proper papers were made out, and the
transfer was made under William's management.

The death of Levi Farrington made the recovery of the missing checks,
papers, and money an impossibility, since neither Barton nor Taylor were
able to conduct the officers to the place where they were hidden. Barton
gave the company a bill of sale of the goods in the store at Lester's
Landing, however, and an assignment of all debts due the firm, from
which about five or six hundred dollars were eventually realized. Robert
and Brown attended to this matter and returned to Chicago. William was
on duty until the two remaining prisoners were safely lodged in jail in
Memphis, and then, having settled up all the business of which he had
had charge, he also returned home.

At the next term of court in Obion County, Tennessee, Barton and Taylor
pleaded guilty of grand larceny, and were each sentenced to five years'
confinement at hard labor in the penitentiary. Thus, out of a party of
four engaged in this robbery, two were finally brought to trial and
appropriately punished, while the other two would have been so punished
also, had not a higher penalty been demanded by the circumstances of
their cases, aggravated by their own brutal and revengeful dispositions.
No reminiscence in my experience shows a more striking illustration of
the certainty of retribution for crime than does the career and fate of
these outlaws of the Southwest.

                           THE END.



                DON PEDRO AND THE DETECTIVES.



                          CHAPTER I.

    _A Fraudulent Scheme contemplated.--A Dashing Peruvian Don and
          Donna.--A Regal Forger.--Mr. Pinkerton engaged by Senator
          Muirhead to unveil the Mystery of his Life.--The Don and Donna
          Morito arrive at Gloster.--"Personnel" of Gloster's "First
          Families."_


The history of crimes against prosperity is of vital interest to the
public. The ingenuity of thieves, burglars, forgers, and confidence men
is active and incessant, so that their plans are often successful even
against the experience and precautions of men of the most wary and
cautious character. This seems to be especially true when the amounts at
stake are large, for petty attempts to defraud are so frequent, that
when a criminal plays for a large sum, the suspicion of the capitalist
is wholly allayed by the improbability that a mere swindler should
undertake an operation of such magnitude. Indeed, in many cases the
cupidity of the victim is so great that the sharper hardly offers the
bait ere it is swallowed by some confiding simpleton. Hence, as a
warning for the future, the lessons of past frauds possess no small
degree of interest and value to the world; and as there is no portion
of society free from the depredations of these schemers, their various
wiles and snares cannot be exposed too often.

More than twenty years ago, the city of Gloster was one of the most
thriving cities of the West. Controlling the interior trade to a large
extent, its interests were of the most varied character, and its
inhabitants were already distinguished as being more cosmopolitan than
those of any other city in the Union, except New York. They had imbibed,
perhaps, some of the genius of the prairies, and their scorn of petty
methods of doing business, their breadth of charity and hearty
hospitality, were as boundless as the great plains of which the city was
the business center at that time. Among such a people, a plausible
adventurer had a fine field of operation, and I was not surprised when I
was asked to go to Gloster in the latter part of the winter to
investigate the character of some persons who were living there.

The application came from Senator Muirhead, a man whom I had long known,
both in his public and private life. His suspicions were of the vaguest
possible character, and a hasty examination of the case failed to
convince me that they were well founded; yet he was convinced in his own
mind that there was a fraudulent scheme in contemplation, and his
positive conviction had great weight with me. The Senator's interest in
the case had led him to make extensive inquiries into the antecedents of
these parties, but he was unable to trace them further back than their
arrival in New York, several months before. There they had suddenly
appeared in society with a great display of wealth, stating that they
had been traveling in Europe for some time, and were gradually making
their way back to Peru, where they lived. Don Pedro P. L. de Morito and
his wife, having enjoyed life in New York for several months, now
proposed to spend at least a year in Gloster, and it was this couple
whose character was suspected by the Senator. Indeed, he felt sure that,
at least, they were traveling under assumed names, and certain
coincidences led him to believe that they were adroit swindlers of the
most capable, dangerous type. He had discovered a chain of
circumstantial evidence which needed only one link to make a clear
connection between certain crimes and these fascinating Peruvians, and
it was for the purpose of discovering this link that he had requested my
aid. In brief, his suspicions were, that after innumerable frauds in
other countries, this plausible pair had settled in Gloster to add to
their ill-gotten wealth by some new scheme of villainy. His theoretic
history of the man, derived from various sources, mainly newspapers in
which crimes had been described bearing the same style of workmanship,
was as follows.

José Gomez, a cadet of the ancient Brazilian family of that name, began
life with a fine physique, ample mental endowments, and a high social
position. He was the heir-expectant of a valuable estate, and no pains
were spared upon his education. As he grew to manhood, however, his
habits became such as to excite the gravest apprehensions as to his
future, and by the time he was thirty years of age he was a reckless
libertine, gambler, and spendthrift. Finding that his source of supplies
was about to be cut off by his family, he obtained large sums of money
by means of forged paper, with which he fled from Rio Janeiro to Lima,
Peru. His whereabouts were not discovered for a long time, but when the
information was received, the Brazilian Government made an effort to
obtain his extradition. He was living in fine style in Lima, under the
assumed name of Juan Sanchez, and, in some way, he was warned of his
danger. Before any steps had been taken to expose or arrest him, he
perpetrated another series of forgeries, by which he obtained a large
amount of money, and then wholly disappeared. The aggregate of his
forgeries was so great that a considerable notoriety attached to the
case, and the facts were published in full in the leading newspapers of
this country.

About the time of the great rush to California, after the gold
discoveries there, a gentleman known as Don José Michel appeared in San
Francisco, where he lived in regal splendor; indeed, his extravagance
was so great as to make him conspicuous even among the reckless throng
who filled the Golden City. After wasting a fortune with a prodigal
hand, however, he suddenly vanished, and, although little was known
positively on the subject, it was commonly understood that he had
swindled a number of bankers and capitalists by worthless notes, drafts,
and checks, many of which were wholly or partly forged. The men thus
defrauded kept the matter quiet, both because they were ashamed to
acknowledge how easily they had been imposed upon, and because they
hoped to facilitate the capture of the criminal by working in secret.
The incidents were related to Senator Muirhead in a casual conversation
with a friend who had recently returned from the Pacific coast, and the
description given of Don José Michel tallied exactly with that of Juan
Sanchez and José Gomez.

By an odd coincidence, the month after the departure of Don José Michel
from San Francisco, a brilliant gentleman of nearly the same name
appeared in Quito, Ecuador, where he pursued a course so exactly similar
in character to that of Gomez, Sanchez, and Michel, that it was not
difficult to imagine that that ubiquitous person was identical with the
elegant Don Pedro Michel who created such a brief excitement in Quito,
terminating with forgery and a hasty flight.

About two years previous to the time of which I write, a wealthy
Brazilian arrived in London, and became a great favorite in society. His
wife was a beautiful Spaniard, and her exquisite taste, courtesy, and
knowledge of the world were highly appreciated by the select circle of
aristocracy into which she and her husband were soon admitted. Don José
Arias was the name of this gentleman, and he was soon known in nearly
every drawing-room in Belgravia. He was introduced by the Brazilian
_chargé d'affaires_, in the absence of the Minister Resident, and this
semi-official guarantee of his position in Brazil gave him a passport
everywhere. It was not strange, therefore, that such a handsome,
refined, and agreeable couple should be cordially and hospitably
received, especially as their wealth was undoubtedly enormous, while
their manners showed that they had been born in the purple of
aristocracy. It was a sad shock to society when it was learned that Don
José and Donna Maria had absconded suddenly, taking with them about
fifty thousand pounds sterling, obtained by forgery. It was then learned
that the Brazilian legation had been the victim of forged documents
also, though the intimate acquaintance of Don José with the policy and
statecraft of Brazil in many important affairs had contributed largely
to his success in deceiving the young diplomat who was temporarily in
charge of the legation.

It was not until more than a year after this occurrence that Don Pedro
P. L. de Morito arrived in New York, with his beautiful wife, Donna
Lucia. They did not stop long in New York after their arrival, but spent
the latter part of the summer in the White Mountains in a very retired
manner, although they lived in the best style that the place afforded.
In August, they made a hasty trip to Washington and back to New York
again, where they began a more pretentious mode of life than they had
chosen theretofore. Don Pedro kept a yacht elegantly fitted up, and his
horses were the best that money could obtain. His bachelor suppers were
models of epicurean perfection, and when his wife gave a reception,
everything was in the best taste and style. While visiting Washington,
Don Pedro had met Senator Muirhead, who had gone there for a few days on
public business, and the acquaintance was renewed in New York, where the
Senator had some private interests demanding his attention. Something
had led the Senator to connect Don Pedro with Gomez, Sanchez, Michel,
and Arias, and though the idea was a vague one in his mind, it was
sufficiently fixed to cause him to institute inquiries into Señor
Morito's antecedents. As previously stated, nothing could be learned of
him previous to his arrival in New York, and the only circumstance which
could possibly be regarded as suspicious was, that both in Washington
and New York he had avoided meeting the Peruvian Minister and other
fellow-countrymen.

The peculiarity of the case interested me, and, after a long
conversation with the Senator, I agreed to unravel the slight mystery
surrounding the parties, and to make a complete review of their past
history so far as it might be possible to obtain it. No harm could
result from such a course, whether they were honest or the reverse; and
so, having decided upon a simple plan, I returned to Chicago to select
the persons to represent me in Gloster.

My preliminary survey of the field had brought me into contact with many
of the most fashionable people in Gloster; and, as I foresaw that my
operatives would be called upon to move in the best society while
engaged in this investigation, I obtained as extended information about
the members of the _crême de la crême_ as possible. Since many of them
will figure conspicuously in the incidents of this story, a brief
description of the leaders will be necessary.

One of the wealthiest men of Gloster was a bachelor, named Henry O.
Mather. He was about fifty years old, but he still retained much of the
fire of youth, and he was one of the most popular members of society. At
an early day in the history of the Great West he had settled at Gloster,
where he had invested largely in unimproved lands; and, by forethought
and good judgment in his speculations, he had rapidly increased his
property in extent and value, until, at this time, he was one of the few
millionaires west of the Alleghanies. About three years previous to the
time of which I write, he had invested largely in the new railroad
schemes then organized, and his importance as a railway magnate
was recognized throughout the whole country. His reputation as a
shrewd business man made him a species of authority among his
fellow-townspeople, and few persons would have ventured to distrust the
safety of any enterprise in which he was actively interested. Indeed,
so complete was the confidence of most men in him, that it was not
considered necessary in buying real estate to trace the title further
back than to Henry O. Mather, a deed from him being considered as secure
as a patent from the government. Personally he was a very agreeable man,
being gallant without affectation, and brilliant without priggishness.
His figure was of medium height, compactly built, and he carried himself
with an erect bearing and springy gait, which greatly aided in deceiving
strangers as to his age. His hair was brown, turning gradually to gray,
and he wore full gray side-whiskers. His features were quite pleasing
except the mouth, which was rather large and sensual. On the whole, he
was a man with uncommon ability to please when he felt disposed to exert
himself, and his great wealth was an additional charm which society was
not slow to recognize. He owned a large house, occupying the whole of a
square in the most fashionable part of the city, and his sister-in-law
was installed as its mistress.

Richard Perkins was an Englishman who had long lived in Gloster, where
he owned the largest brewery in the West. He was of middle height, but
being quite fleshy, his gait was a kind of waddle--the reverse of
elegant or dignified. His smooth, round, jovial face was strongly
expressive of an appreciation of the good things of this world, and he
rarely denied himself any indulgence that passion craved and that money
could procure.

It was while Mather and Perkins were on their annual visit to New York
that they met Señor Morito and his beautiful wife, Donna Lucia. The
distinguished foreigners soon made a complete conquest of both the
western gentlemen, who invited them in the most cordial manner to visit
Gloster at their earliest convenience.

The delights of New York society were enjoyed for several months by
these wealthy and aristocratic foreigners before they were able to keep
the promise made to Mather and Perkins; for they were entertained by the
old Knickerbocker families of Manhattan in a princely style. They were
the guests of the most exclusive circles of the city, and everywhere
they displayed such perfect courtesy, good breeding, and _savoir faire_,
that it was evident they were accustomed to wealth and high social
position. They had elegant apartments in the leading hotel of the city,
and their cash expenditures showed the possession of an unlimited
fortune. They finally tore themselves away from New York, arriving in
Gloster during the comparatively dull season of Lent. Here their fame
had become known in society through the incessant praises of Mather and
Perkins, and their reception into the highest circles was coincident
with their arrival. The unanimous verdict of those who made their
acquaintance was, that Gloster had never entertained two more thoroughly
pleasing guests than the Don and Donna Morito.

Don Pedro was about forty years of age, but he had all the brilliancy
and ease of a man of thirty. His figure was very fine, being slightly
above the medium height, erect, compact, and muscular. His hands and
feet were small and elegantly shaped, but were not effeminate. His rich
olive complexion was in admirable harmony with his soft black eyes and
deep red lips. His face was a good oval, without being unmanly, and his
black, glossy hair was beautifully curly and wavy. He wore side-whiskers
and a long moustache, beneath which his smile, the ladies said, was
faultless. Like most South Americans, he seemed too lazy to be
unamiable, and his general style was that of a man who, having possessed
wealth always, would be perfectly lost without it.

Donna Lucia was a fine specimen of Spanish beauty, education, and
refinement. It was easy to see that she possessed more force of
character than her husband, and that her passionate nature was like a
volcano, which might burst forth at any time, driving her to the most
dangerous courses if it took possession of her. A detailed description
of such a woman is an impossibility. In general, she was a beauty of the
Andalusian type, as nearly perfect in form and feature as can be
conceived; but her expression was of an infinite variety of characters,
each one giving the precise shade of meaning most applicable to the
time, place, person, and sentiment. In short, she was so near perfection
that nearly all the men she met were in love with her, and nine-tenths
of them more than half believed that she regretted her marriage for
their sake. Nevertheless, she kept all admirers at a certain distance,
which only bewitched them the more.

At the time of which I write, Don Pedro was so much pleased with
Gloster, that he had rented a large residence in a very fashionable
locality, and was making preparations to spend a year there. The
charming manner in which they had entertained their friends at the hotel
was ample guarantee that when the Don and Donna were established in
their new home, they would surpass anything in the way of festivities
ever seen in Gloster; hence, all the best society of the place rejoiced
greatly at the arrival of this new constellation in the social
firmament.

Among the bachelors most noted in _salons_ and parlors of the city were
Daniel McCarthy and Charles Sylvanus, the former a lawyer, and the
latter a journalist. McCarthy was an Irishman, of brilliant talents and
ready wit. Although still comparatively a young man, he was the county
prosecuting attorney, and was considered one of the foremost lawyers of
the city. He was very good-looking and good-hearted, and his natural
drollery made him a most entertaining companion. While speaking in
court, and often in society, he had a habit of running his fingers
through his long, thick hair, which he would also, at times, throw back
with a peculiar jerk of his head. This habit was especially frequent
when he became deeply interested in his subject, and the spectators
could always tell whether Dan was doing his best, even when they could
not hear his words.

Sylvanus was editor and part proprietor of an evening newspaper. As a
journalist he was not above mediocrity, but he was well received in
society, where even a moderate allowance of brains will suffice for
success.

A conspicuous member of society and a pillar of the Swedenborgian church
was Mr. John Preston, a banker and capitalist. With a book of
Swedenborgian revelations in one hand and a bundle of tax titles in the
other, he would frequently orate to a crowd of unbelievers, from a text
drawn from his book, in a manner calculated to quite convert them, were
it not that they knew he was only working up a fresh head of steam to
enable him to grind the faces of the poor upon whose property he held
tax titles. In fact, many people were of the opinion that this man was a
dangerous character, in spite of his pretense of piety, his ostentatious
charity, and his assumption of the _rôle_ of a professional
philanthropist. They insinuated that a man could afford to give largely
to an astronomical society, a college, an academy of sciences, and other
objects of education, when he had appropriated many thousands of dollars
belonging to the school fund to his own use; that he could easily
contribute freely to his church, when he used the church property in his
own interests and managed the society to suit himself; and that there
was no great amount of philanthropy in giving a few hundred dollars to
miscellaneous charities, when he made ten times the amount in shaving
notes at usurious interest and acquiring land by means only one remove
from actual theft; these things were becoming so notorious that a man of
less indomitable brass than John Preston would have long since been sent
to Coventry, if not to jail; but he revolved on his own center,
sublimely indifferent to the attacks of his enemies, for whom, by the
way, he used to pray with most fervent unction. His wife was a pleasant,
motherly woman, who gave liberally to charitable objects, and who
regarded her husband as one of the saints of the earth.

There were three children--a young man and two girls. The former gave no
promise of either ability, probity, or ambition, and there was about him
a noticeable air of deficiency in both mental and moral worth. The girls
were commonplace nonentities, with no pretensions to beauty or grace.

One of the most prominent citizens of Gloster was a wealthy tanner,
named Charles H. Sanders. Having foreseen at an early day the great
progress which the city would make in population and importance, he had
invested largely in tracts of unimproved land, which he held against all
offers to purchase until his real estate was more extended and valuable
than that of any other property-owner in the city. Personally he was
very thin and angular, with such a sickly look that his death seemed
possible any day, though his constitution was of that character which
might hold out much longer than that of a more robust type. His wife was
a very charming woman, and they had two young daughters, who gave
promise of considerable beauty when they should arrive at maturity.

Mr. Thomas Burke and his wife were, perhaps, the most general favorites
in Gloster society. Mr. Burke was tall and well built, and his large
head and commanding appearance made him conspicuous in any group. He had
a broad, high forehead, heavy eyebrows, deep-set black eyes, a Roman
nose, and a heavy black moustache, which completely covered his mouth.
His straight, black hair, high cheek-bones, and swarthy complexion, gave
him slightly the look of having Indian blood in his veins; but the rest
of his features were unmistakably Celtic, and the moment he spoke, the
Irishman stood confessed. He was a man of such extensive reading and
general information that few persons excelled him in conversation. His
wife was also cultivated and intelligent, so that either as guest or
hostess she was equally agreeable and popular. They had a large family
of bright and interesting children.

One of the social curiosities of the city was known as Deacon Humphrey.
He was a striking instance of the importance which self-complacent
mediocrity can obtain in a newly-settled community, in spite of
ponderous stupidity. His large head gave him his only excuse for
professing to have brains, and his air of preoccupation made him in
appearance the personification of wisdom; indeed, a witty journalist,
who had sounded the depths of Humphrey's ignorance, once said that "no
man _could_ be as wise as Humphrey _looked_." No better condensation of
this character in a few words could be made. He was part proprietor of a
morning newspaper, and at times, to the dismay of the other
stockholders, he aspired to the editorial tripod. The mighty
lucubrations of his intellect were generally assigned to the
waste-basket, and in the city it was well known that his influence in
the columns of the paper was absolutely nothing, though in the country
he was still regarded with awe by the bucolic mind. He was generally
known as "Deacon" from his honorary occupancy of that office in a
Presbyterian church. Mrs. Humphrey was seldom seen, being in poor health
almost constantly, but their only daughter, Jennie, was one of the
foremost of the fashionable of the _dilettanti_ of the city. Indeed, it
was confidently anticipated that, some day, Miss Jennie would burst
forth as a full-blown authoress, and overpower an expectant public with
the radiance of her intellect and the elegance of her style.

No description of Gloster celebrities would be complete without that of
Ethan Allen Benson, Esq., formerly Member of Congress, and late Minister
Plenipotentiary at an important European court. The suggestion having
once been made to him by some waggish diplomat that he resembled the
first Napoleon, he was ever afterward desirous of drawing attention to
this fancied resemblance. He was a vain, fussy, consequential
politician, whose principal strength was in the ward caucus and the
saloon.

Judge Peter B. Taylor was another old settler, and he was frequently
seen in social circles in spite of his age. His forehead was very broad
indeed, but his face tapered so rapidly to a pointed chin as to make his
head wedge-shaped. He had coarse, faded hair, but no whiskers nor beard,
and only a scrubby, gray moustache. He had a singular habit of working
his eyes independently of each other, and the effect upon a stranger who
was not aware of this peculiarity was sometimes startling. His mouth was
quite large, one side appearing larger than the other, and his lower lip
slightly protruded, giving him a very harsh and forbidding appearance.
He had at one time occupied a seat on the judicial bench, but few
persons could understand on what grounds he deserved the office, unless
it were that people believed the adage about a poor lawyer making a good
judge. He was quite wealthy, and his business was that of a money loaner
and real estate speculator. He was considered to be very pious and
charitable--on Sunday; during the rest of the week no Shylock ever
demanded his pound of flesh more relentlessly than he his three per cent.
a month.

It was among a society of which the foregoing were shining lights, that
I was to operate at the request of Senator Muirhead. On returning to
Chicago from Gloster, I gave a great deal of thought to the case, for
there was so little to act upon that none of the ordinary plans could be
depended upon. During his stay in this country, Don Pedro had apparently
acted in a perfectly honorable manner toward every one, and it would be
impossible to proceed against him legally in the United States for
crimes committed elsewhere, until the aggrieved parties should take the
necessary steps for his extradition; with several of the countries in
which he was supposed to have committed his crimes we had no extradition
treaty, and nothing could be done here to arrest or punish him; hence,
the task of exposing his previous career might be fruitless, even though
the Senator's suspicions should be confirmed in every particular.
Nothing whatever could be adduced against his character since his
arrival in the United States, and I was, therefore, confined to the
prevention of future frauds rather than the detection of old ones. The
primary object of my efforts was thus made to be the discovery of the
Don's intentions, as, without some slight forecast of his plans, I might
be unable to circumvent them. Accordingly, I decided that I must furnish
him with a friend who would be sufficiently intimate with him to become
his trusted companion and adviser. At the same time, it would be
essential to learn as much as possible relative to the previous career
of both the Don and Donna, for it might be desirable to use a little
moral suasion with them by showing that their history was known. This
plan would involve no injustice to them, for, if innocent of
wrong-doing, they would never know that they had been under
surveillance; while, if guilty, they deserved no consideration.



                         CHAPTER II.

    _Madame Sevier, Widow, of Chicago, and Monsieur Lesparre, of
          Bordeaux, also arrive at Gloster.--Mr. Pinkerton, as a
          Laborer, anxious for a Job, inspects the Morito Mansion.--A
          Tender Scene, resulting in Profit to the fascinating
          Señora.--Madame Sevier is installed as a Guest at Don
          Pedro's._


My first action in this affair was to detail a man to "shadow" Don Pedro
and the Donna until the detectives chosen for the more difficult
portions of the work should be in a position to take notice of all their
movements. As three detectives would require some little preparation to
gain the position I desired them to fill, I hastened to select them and
give them their instructions. For this mission I detailed a married
couple, who had been several years in my employ. Mr. and Mrs. Rosel were
natives of France, and as they had been constantly in my service almost
from the time of their arrival in this country, I felt sure they would
not be recognized as detectives by any one in the city of Gloster. They
were people of more than average intelligence and education, with a
natural refinement which would be especially desirable in the
prosecution of this case. In a few days all their preparations were
completed, and they went to Gloster by different routes.

Mrs. Rosel was not handsome, but she had a good figure, and she was very
attractive, on account of her dashing, spirited ways, and because she
could assume a deep interest in every one whom she met. She spoke
English with so slight an accent that it was only noticed as an added
charm to her winning conversation. I instructed her to represent herself
in Gloster as Madame Sevier, the widow of a lace merchant, lately of
Chicago, where he had carried on a moderate business. His death had
thrown his affairs into some confusion, but the estate would be settled
up soon, leaving a comfortable fortune to his widow. Madame Sevier did
not like the climate of Chicago, and therefore she had decided to remain
in Gloster until her business affairs were settled, when she would
probably return to her relatives in France. I intended that she should
mix in society as much as would be consistent with her character as a
widow, and that she should endeavor to become intimate with Donna Lucia.

Mr. Rosel was to make a slight detour, arriving in Gloster from the
east. He would be known as Monsieur Girard Lesparre, and his ostensible
character was to be that of a man of moderate capital from Bordeaux,
looking for a favorable opportunity to invest some of his means in a
profitable business.

I followed the Rosels in a day or two, and found that Monsieur Lesparre
was pleasantly located at a fashionable family hotel, while Madame
Sevier had taken apartments in a stylish boarding-house only a few doors
from the handsome residence which the Moritos were to occupy. This was
quite satisfactory, and I turned my attention to the examination of the
reports made by my "shadow." The reports were very monotonous in
character, except as evidences of the popularity of the Don and Donna.
The dull days of Lent had just passed, and the close of the season was
now more crowded with parties and balls than the earlier portion had
been. The presence of two such distinguished guests as Don Pedro and
Donna Lucia contributed largely to the reasons for this rush of gayety,
and they were overwhelmed with visitors and invitations. Mr. Mather had
set the example by giving a large dinner-party in their honor, followed
in the evening by a grand ball; and they had so charmed the other
leaders of society that no entertainment was considered complete without
the presence of Don Pedro P. L. de Morito and his beautiful wife.

On leaving my hotel to visit the house which Don Pedro was fitting up
for his residence, I met Charlie Morton, the United States Commissioner
of Gloster. Morton was a capable lawyer and a shrewd politician. He was
equally attentive to ladies as to gentlemen, and it was well known that
Charlie would never slight any one who could cast or influence a vote.
His acquaintance extended through all classes, from the lowest to the
highest, and few men were more generally popular. His powers of
observation were only equaled by his tact, so that, while he saw all
that went on about him, he never talked indiscreetly. He and I were
quite intimate, and we chatted for some time about various people before
I succeeded in bringing up the names of those in Gloster in whom I was
just then most interested.

"I suppose you are quite glad that the gay season is over, Charlie," I
said, interrogatively. "As usual, you will not have many social events
of any consequence after Lent, I presume?"

"Oh! yes, indeed," he replied; "we shall be more active in society for
the next month or two than ever before. You see, we have two wealthy and
aristocratic Peruvians visiting Gloster, and they are so fascinating
that they have quite taken our people by storm. They have been
accustomed to the finest society of Europe and South America, so that we
are put upon our mettle to show how well Gloster can compare in wealth,
luxury, and refinement with older cities at home and abroad."

"Are they then such remarkable lions?" I asked, "or do people run after
them simply because they are rich foreigners?"

"Of course their wealth and foreign birth would cause many people to
pay them attention," said Morton; "but their popularity is something
exceptional, and is undoubtedly due to their perfect knowledge of all
the courtesies and customs of modern society, to their charming manners,
and largely to their personal good looks. Señor Morito has fascinated
all the ladies, while nearly every man in society is in love with the
Señora."

"Well, take care of yourself, my boy," I said, jokingly. "If the lovely
Donna causes Charlie Morton to strike his colors, she must be dangerous
indeed."

After leaving Morton, I sauntered along to the house which Don Pedro had
rented, and which was now nearly ready for occupancy. It was a large
residence, with ample grounds fronting on the principal avenue, and its
imposing front of heavy columns gave it a striking appearance as
compared with the more commonplace stone fronts around it. While I was
glancing curiously about, a truck arrived laden with costly furniture. I
was rather roughly dressed, and the driver asked me if I wanted a job of
work. I accepted his offer to aid in carrying the furniture into the
house, as I was anxious to examine the interior. After finishing the
job, the furniture salesman took me over the house to show off the
elegance with which it was decorated and furnished. It was certainly a
model of good taste, while the paintings, statuary, frescoing, and
articles of _bijouterie_ were evidences of enormous expenditures. Having
obtained a thorough knowledge of the plan of the house, I withdrew,
receiving fifty cents for my labor.

The time when Don Pedro was to occupy his residence was to be signalized
by a grand reception held therein, and the invitations were already out.
Meantime entertainments were given by John Preston, Alexander McIntyre,
and Charles H. Sanders. The latter's reception was especially brilliant,
and those who knew Mr. Sanders's parsimonious character were much
surprised at his profuse expenditure for the occasion. I soon afterwards
obtained an explanation of this unusual liberality, by hearing another
banker casually remark that Don Pedro had withdrawn a part of his funds
from New York, and had deposited them in Mr. Sanders's bank. This gave
me a hint, and I immediately acted upon it. Being well acquainted with a
number of bankers, I visited several of them, and talked about various
business men of Gloster, as if I were desirous of getting information
about their commercial standing and credit. In each case I succeeded in
learning the extent to which Don Pedro had deposited money in bank. The
total amount then due him by the three houses with whom he had made
deposits was about $17,000, although his original deposits had amounted
to more than double that sum. Heavy drafts to pay his current expenses
and to furnish his house had largely reduced his available cash, though
he still had an ample sum on hand. Knowing how enormous his expenses
were, I felt sure that he would reach the end of his bank account in a
short time, unless he should have other funds, of whose existence I was
unaware. If this sum of seventeen thousand dollars represented his total
capital, however, he would soon show whether he was what he claimed to
be, or an adventurer; for, in the former case, he would draw money from
his Peruvian estates, and, in the latter, he would accomplish some great
swindle. I was, therefore, anxious to put my detectives at work as
quickly as possible to enable me to learn something definite of his
intentions.

Madame Sevier was making quite rapid progress in her new quarters. Mrs.
Courtney, the lady who kept the house, was a widow of some means, who
took boarders to enable her to educate her children in the best manner.
She was highly regarded by every one, and her visiting-list included all
the most fashionable people in the city. She soon became greatly
interested in Madame Sevier, and through her assistance the Madame made
the acquaintance of a number of the families living in the neighborhood.
As the rage for foreigners was at its height just then, Madame Sevier
soon became highly popular, and she was invited to several
entertainments, where she met Don Pedro and Donna Lucia. The latter,
finding that Madame Sevier was to be her near neighbor in her new
residence, became very intimate with her, especially as Donna Lucia was
desirous of reviving her knowledge and practice of the French language.
Consequently, when Don Pedro's arrangements were all completed and the
new house occupied, Madame Sevier used to drop in for a few minutes'
chat every day. As she was a very capable manager, she was frequently
able to give Donna Lucia valuable hints about her household affairs,
especially with reference to the approaching reception.

Ever since the arrival of the Moritos, Mr. Henry O. Mather had been a
constant attendant upon the Donna. His attentions had not been so
publicly marked as to have created scandal; but he had been so assiduous
in paying his regards, that he was much more intimate than Mrs. Grundy
would have thought strictly proper. He was in the habit of calling very
frequently, and he often took the Don and Donna out for a drive.
Sometimes the party would consist wholly of ladies, and occasionally the
Donna accompanied him alone. In short, he became a sort of intimate
friend of the family, welcome at all times, without the necessity of
invitation or ceremony.

One day, Madame Sevier went in to see Donna Lucia in the afternoon, and
was told by the servant that she would find the Donna in the library.
Without permitting the servant to announce her, she passed on toward the
room mentioned; but, as she approached the door, hearing voices within,
she paused a moment to see who was with Donna Lucia. The room was in a
very retired part of the house, and she was able to take a position
close to the partly open door without the probability of being noticed
by any one. She was thus enabled to overhear a highly interesting
conversation between the Donna and Henry O. Mather, who had evidently
arrived only a moment or two before her.

"You are not in good spirits to-day, Donna Lucia?" questioned Mather,
sympathetically.

"No, Mr. Mather; I have my troubles at times, like other people, but I
try not to let others see them."

"Then you do not care for sympathy, Señora," said Mather, with a tender
sigh; "I see that you have been in tears, and it grieves me to think
that I cannot save you from the painful things which cause you to cry."

"Oh! Mr. Mather, I do appreciate your kindness, I assure you," said the
Donna, also sighing deeply; "I am almost tempted to ask your advice, for
I feel that you are truly my friend; but I am afraid you will think I
have been naughty in having exposed myself to such annoyances."

"No, indeed, my dear Donna," replied the millionaire, quite enraptured
at this evident token of her confidence in him; "I know that you are too
lovely to be anything but an angel, and I shall be only too happy to
give you advice upon any subject that you confide to me."

As the conversation was becoming highly interesting, the tones of the
parties being of a really lover-like tenderness, Madame Sevier took a
hasty glimpse through the door, and saw that she could watch as well as
listen, unperceived. Mather was standing beside the Donna, bending over
her and looking into her face, while she had her head half turned away,
as if in coy indecision.

"Well, Mr. Mather----"

"Why do you address me always so formally? Can you not call me Henry?"
asked Mather, boldly.

"How would it sound if any one should hear me?" said the Donna, casting
down her eyes and playing with her watch-chain.

"But when we are alone no one can hear you," replied Mather. "Won't you
call me Henry when we have an occasional _tête-à-tête_?"

"Well, then you must be very discreet, Henry," answered she, looking up,
blushing and hesitating as she spoke.

"I will be discretion itself," said the now wholly infatuated Mather,
with a look of triumph; and to show that he accepted the conditions of
the agreement, he sealed it by raising her hand to his lips.

"Oh! fie! fie!" she exclaimed; "is it thus that you show your
discretion? I shall be obliged to retract my promise if you become so
rash. Now, sit down beside me, and be more polite in future."

"I will not be so hasty again, my dear Donna; but my pleasure was so
great that I was somewhat beside myself. Now tell me what it was that
caused your troubles."

"Well, Mr. Math----"

"No, no; not 'Mr. Mather;' recollect your promise," interrupted Mather,
as he saw she hesitated to call him by his first name.

"Well, then, Henry, I have been very thoughtless and extravagant, and I
do not know what to do. You see, I have always spent money for
everything I needed without regard to cost; for my own fortune was ample
for everything, and Pedro would give me any amount that I might desire.
But last month a draft for six thousand pounds, which was sent me by my
trustees, was lost on the way, and so I have used up all my own funds.
Having run up several large bills in New York, I asked Pedro to pay
them, and he did so; but he said that, having ordered his factors to
send him no more money until his arrival in Callao, he should be
somewhat embarrassed until he heard from them again. His sudden
determination to fit up and occupy a residence here has exhausted all
his available funds except a few thousand dollars for current expenses,
and he requested me not to make any large purchases until one of us
should receive a remittance from our estates. Well, you see, I expected
surely to have received a large sum before now, and so I made purchases
without regard to consequences; the result is, that I am deeply in debt,
my money has not arrived, and I am afraid to tell Pedro, because he will
not forgive me for running in debt and disobeying him. Unfortunately, I
have done both these things, and I am momentarily in fear that some of
the bills will be sent to him. Now, my dear Henry, you see that I have
good cause to look sad and cry."

As she finished, the Donna began to whimper and put her handkerchief to
her eyes in so touching a manner that Mather was quite overpowered. The
artistic expression with which she hastily called him her "dear Henry"
was the finishing touch to an already powerful attack, and he
surrendered completely.

"My dear Donna," he exclaimed, seizing her hand in both of his, "how
glad I am that you confided in me. I will see that you are not troubled
by another anxious thought in this matter. Tell me how much you need to
settle all your indebtedness."

"Indeed, Henry, I cannot let you do anything of the kind," she
protested, feebly. "Why, it is a very large sum in all, and it may be
several months before I can repay you."

"Now don't talk about payment, but just tell me how much you need,"
replied Mather.

"The large bills amount to over four thousand dollars, and there are a
number of small ones which I have not figured up," she said,
thoughtfully.

"Well, then, I will bring you around five thousand dollars to-morrow,
and you can pay the bills without any one knowing where the money comes
from," said Mather, again kissing her hand.

"Oh! you dear, good fellow!" exclaimed the Donna; and, overcome by his
generous response to her request, she threw her arms about his neck and
kissed him several times.

"There, there," she continued, releasing herself and coquettishly
tapping his lips with her hand, "I don't know how I came to do such a
thing, but you were so kind that I couldn't help it."

"If that is the case," said the overjoyed Mather, "I will add five
thousand more to have a similar expression of your gratitude."

"Will you, really? I believe I am half in love with you," she murmured,
as she allowed him to embrace her a second time, and press burning
kisses on her lips.

The ringing of the door-bell interrupted their happiness, and Madame
Sevier hastily retired to the drawing-room, into which other visitors
were shown by the servant. Donna Lucia soon entered, perfectly
self-possessed, and greeted all her friends with her usual ease and
cordiality. Mr. Mather probably passed out by the library entrance, for
he did not appear in the parlor. The ladies conversed together for some
time, one of the important subjects of their talk being the troubles of
household management. Donna Lucia complained bitterly that her servants
robbed her, and that they were careless, dirty, and impudent. She knew
very little about housekeeping, and every domestic in her employ took
advantage of her. She added that, as soon as her housewarming was over,
she intended to get, if possible, a lady who would be a member of the
family, and who would relieve her of the management of the house.

"Now," said she, in her most winning manner, "here is Madame Sevier, who
has nothing to occupy her time, who is a natural manager of other
people, and who is so agreeable that she would be a positive charm to
any household; and I have been thinking, positively, of asking her to
take charge of my whole establishment, and help me entertain my guests.
What should you think, Madame Sevier, of such a request?"

The opportunity of becoming domesticated in the Morito mansion was thus
afforded to one of my detectives, but she knew better than to accept at
once. She therefore professed to treat it as a pleasantry, and said that
she had no doubt that she should succeed as a housekeeper, but whether
she could add anything of attraction to such a charming home was greatly
to be doubted. The other ladies, however, thought the idea an admirable
one, and they all urged Madame Sevier to adopt it. Having once broached
the subject, Donna Lucia again spoke of it with the greatest interest,
showing, by her arguments and determination to coax Madame Sevier to
decide favorably, that she had thought about such a plan before, and
that she was really in earnest in her request. Finally, Madame Sevier
said that she saw no objection to accepting the offer, as she really
enjoyed taking care of a large establishment, but she was not prepared
to accept it at once, and she would wait a few days to reflect upon it.
It was then agreed that she should give her decision at the grand
reception to be given as a housewarming.

This part of my plan had worked admirably, and I felt confident of my
eventual success in learning all about the affairs of the Morito family.
The method by which Donna Lucia had obtained ten thousand dollars from
Mr. Mather was a decided confirmation of Senator Muirhead's suspicions;
though there was nothing in the transaction which could make her liable
to punishment by law, and as there was no danger that her victim would
ever appear against her, I paid no further attention to this episode.

I ordered Madame Sevier to accept Donna Lucia's offer on the following
terms: she should have full authority over all the female servants in
the house; she should have charge of the ordering of all articles for
household use; she should be considered in the same light as a guest, so
far as social intercourse went; she should go and come as she chose,
without regard to the duties of the _ménage_; and she should receive no
salary. This last point she was to insist upon, as necessary to preserve
her feeling of independence, and enable her to occupy her time as she
might see fit.

As the day approached for the Moritos' reception, all Gloster's best
society were filled with pleasurable excitement and anticipation, as the
preparations were known to be far more magnificent than those for any
similar entertainment since Gloster was settled. As Monsieur Lesparre
had already made Don Pedro's acquaintance, and had received an
invitation, I felt sure that I should be thoroughly informed as to all
the occurrences of the evening, and so I awaited developments.

The employment of detectives to penetrate into the social life and
domestic surroundings of any family is strongly repugnant to my sense of
propriety, and I rarely countenance the practice, if I can possibly
attain my object in any other way. I dislike to feel that I am
trespassing upon the privacy of any man's home, even though that man may
be a criminal. The idea of introducing a spy into a household is opposed
to the spirit of our free American institutions, violating, as it does,
the unwritten law that "a man's house is his castle;" hence, I never
resort to such a measure, except in extreme cases. I saw, however, that
there was no other means of protecting the interests of my client,
Senator Muirhead; he was acting disinterestedly in the case, to save his
constituents from being defrauded, and I could only prevent the
threatened swindle by learning in advance the exact plan of operation
proposed by the suspected person.

I was careful, however, to employ my most discreet and cautious agents,
in order that I should quickly learn whether the Senator's suspicions
were based on fact; in case I should find that the suspected parties
were innocent, I was determined to withdraw instantly. They would not
then suffer any injustice, for my employés would keep their discoveries
secret from every one except myself, and no one would ever know that
they had been the objects of suspicion.



                         CHAPTER III.

    _Monsieur Lesparre, having a retentive memory, becomes serviceable
          to Don Pedro.--Diamond Fields and droll Americans.--A pompous
          Judge in an unfortunate Predicament.--The grand Reception
          closes with the happy Arrangement that the gay Señor and
          Señora shall dine with Mr. Pinkerton's Detectives on the next
          evening._


The day of the reception was unusually pleasant, and at nightfall the
full moon rose to add her splendor to the attractiveness of the evening.
The Morito mansion was ablaze with wax candles, gaslight being
considered too common for use on such an occasion. From the street to
the door was a passageway of double canvas, with an opening at the
sidewalk to prevent interference with passers. This opening was
brilliantly lighted, and was hung with flags, pennants, and flowers,
artistically arranged so as to give the guests a charming prospect when
alighting from their carriages. The rooms of the house needed no
decoration beyond that already given by the frescoes and paintings
adorning the walls and ceilings. Nevertheless, flowers were abundantly
distributed about the spacious apartments. The beautiful conservatory
contained a superb fountain, whose jets and sprays gave forth exquisite
odor and rippling music. Everywhere throughout the house the most
artistic grouping of furniture, pictures, and statuary could be seen,
and the variety of taste displayed was only equaled by the unity of
arrangements as a whole. At ten o'clock the guests began to arrive, and
as the throng of carriages became thicker, it seemed as if the house
would be over-crowded. This did not happen to any noticeable degree,
however, as the whole of two floors were thrown open to accommodate the
guests. The music was furnished by the best musicians of the city, and
the supper was a miracle of epicurean excellence, Delmonico having sent
one of his chief assistants from New York to superintend its
preparation. Never had Gloster seen an affair where such elegance and
good taste had been displayed; even the smallest details were perfect,
and the Don and Donna received innumerable congratulations and good
wishes from their guests.

During his brief stay in Gloster, Monsieur Lesparre had been very active
in forming acquaintances, and he was already well known in society. He
had a very retentive memory, and, when once introduced to any gentleman,
he immediately took pains to learn everything possible about him. By
careful observation and perseverance, he had learned the general history
of a very large number of the leading people in society, and his droll
comments and half-sarcastic criticism of them, expressed _sotto voce_ to
the Don on various occasions, had caught the latter's attention. The Don
therefore frequently singled out Lesparre for a companion in society, in
order to obtain information about the social and business standing of
various people.

"You see, my dear Lesparre," said the Don, "I am such a poor judge of
character that I am liable to be imposed upon unless I know something
about the previous history of people who seek my friendship. And, as I
have a miserable memory for faces, names, places, and everything else,
it is a great pleasure to find some one who can keep me posted as to the
status of the people I meet. You must let me see as much of you as
possible, for, being both foreigners, we ought to have a common bond of
sympathy."

"It will give me great pleasure," replied Lesparre. "Of course our
friends here are very attentive; but then, you know, they lack the
polish one meets in European _salons_, and they are too apt to obtrude
their business into their social relations."

"Exactly; I agree with you perfectly, and it is for that reason that I
enjoy a conversation with a gentleman of Continental education and
tastes. It is wonderful how keen these Americans are in their pursuit of
the 'Almighty Dollar.' Why, only a week or two ago, I happened to
mention to Mr. Mather and a few others, that some of my estates in the
Peruvian Andes contained extensive diamond fields, when they began to
upbraid me for not working them and adding to my already ample revenue.
They seemed positively shocked when I told them, that I saw no reason
for increasing my income, as I had as much money as I could use now.
They insisted that I was doing a positive wrong to my fellow mortals in
refusing to burden myself with a new enterprise, and I assure you they
were quite in earnest in their remonstrances. Ah! how droll they are,
Monsieur Lesparre!"

"Yes, indeed, I have found the same spirit even with reference to my
humble means," replied Lesparre. "They want me to invest in something
right away, and I have very many disinterested offers of advice; but
they cannot understand my delay, and they think I am throwing away so
many good chances by waiting. Now, I should be content to settle down
for a year, before investing, just to examine at length all the openings
offered me; but I doubt whether I could afford to do that, unless I
could obtain a satisfactory salaried position, and I feel that that is
impossible. There are very few such positions as I would be willing to
accept, as I do not care to be tied down to regular duties."

The gentlemen had stepped into the supper-room while this conversation
was going on, and were about to take a glass of wine together.
Lesparre's last remark seemed to give a sudden idea to Don Pedro, and he
sipped his wine in silence for a moment or two. Then he said,
inquiringly:

"I suppose you would like a position of a responsible character, where
your knowledge of commercial and financial affairs would be available,
but where your whole time would not be absorbed?"

"Yes, that was my wish," answered Lesparre; "but, of course, I do not
expect to realize my hopes."

"Possibly you may, Monsieur Lesparre," said Don Pedro; "but let us leave
the subject of business until to-morrow, when I should like to talk with
you more fully about this matter. Now, let us return to the
drawing-room, and when you see any of my guests approaching, please,
tell me briefly who and what they are. For instance, tell me about that
stiff and military-looking person crossing the room."

"That is Captain Adrian L. Kerr, a retired army officer, who has lived
here a long time. He has been unsuccessful in business, and it would be
difficult to account for his means of livelihood were it not that his
wife, the brilliant brunette near the mantel-piece, is supposed to have
an income of her own. Some people are so ill-natured as to suggest that
Alexander McIntyre, the wealthy Scotch banker now talking to her, is the
source of her revenue, but that may be pure gossip. At any rate, she is
always elegantly dressed, and she moves in the best society."

"If people suspect her of improper intimacy with McIntyre, why do they
admit her to their houses?" asked Don Pedro.

"Well, you see, many of the merchants and business men have financial
dealings with McIntyre, and they do not dare to offend him. As an
illustration of his power, I will relate an incident that occurred
recently. The wife of a well-known merchant was about to give a large
party, and, in making out her list of invitations, she purposely left
out the name of Mrs. Kerr. Her husband, on going to the bank to obtain
the renewal of a note, found McIntyre as surly and savage as a bear, and
the renewal was refused. As he had never before had any difficulty in
obtaining such an accommodation when hard pressed for money, he could
not account for the change in McIntyre's conduct; but when his wife
informed him of her action the day previous in withholding an invitation
from Mrs. Kerr, he understood it all. His affairs were in such a
condition that he could not afford to quarrel with McIntyre, and so he
insisted that an invitation be sent to Mrs. Kerr, in spite of his wife's
assertion that Mrs. Kerr was an improper character. He was willing to
admit that fact, but he preferred to submit to her presence rather than
to be seriously crippled in business. An invitation was therefore sent
in such a way as to make the delay in its delivery appear accidental,
and in a few days Mr. McIntyre was willing to renew the merchant's
note."

"Well, she certainly does carry things with a high hand," replied Don
Pedro, smiling. "I wonder how she would have retaliated upon me if I
had struck her name off my list to-night? However, it is not my business
to question her character, and if my wife is satisfied to receive her, I
shall not interfere."

As the Don finished speaking, the music sounded the preliminary notes of
a quadrille, and he hastened to find a partner. Among the guests were
Mr. and Mrs. Arlington, whose minds were of such opposite characters as
to keep them continually quarreling. He was a wealthy banker of austere
manners and Puritanic tastes, while she was a butterfly of fashion, fit
only to be petted, kissed, and caressed. She was all gayety and life;
he, all piety and gloom. Her pleasures he considered sinful, while his
recreations were to her the most painfully melancholy observances that
could be devised. While he believed that she was a child of wrath, a
creature of the world, the flesh, and the devil, she was equally
satisfied that he was on the highway to fanaticism and hypocrisy. Under
these circumstances, it was not unnatural that she should seek her
friends among those who mingled in fashionable society, nor that her
husband should consider it necessary to follow her into the gay world in
order to keep a watch upon her. Her most attentive cavalier was a young
bachelor named Harry Bertram, who seemed infatuated with her. Indeed,
their preference for each other's society was so marked that the tongue
of scandal had already begun to wag, although no overt act could be
cited against them. The Don, on leaving Lesparre, chanced to meet Mrs.
Arlington, and she readily accorded him the pleasure of dancing with
her. In the same set were Daniel McCarthy and Donna Lucia, Charles
Sylvanus and Madame Sevier, and Mr. Mather and Mrs. Simon. In the
adjoining set were Mr. Benson and Miss Jennie Humphrey, Alexander
McIntyre and Mrs. Kerr, Harry Bertram and Mrs. Sanders, and Judge Robert
Morgan and Mrs. Middleton.

Judge Morgan was a remarkable-looking person at any time, but his
appearance was especially noticeable in a dancing-set, the incongruity
of his presence in such a scene being irresistibly comical. He was about
fifty years of age, but his face was smooth and unwrinkled; though he
was of the medium height, his great size gave him the look of a short
man, which effect was partly increased by his long arms. He was very
broad and fat, his stomach projecting to an absurd degree. At the same
time he stood very erect, so that a profile view gave him a general
resemblance to a loggerhead turtle set on end. His eyes were small and
treacherous, his cheeks were puffy and flabby, his mouth was large and
sensual. His hair and whiskers were brown and fine, but they always
seemed unkempt. He wore closely-fitting black clothes, and he was fond
of displaying an unusual amount of jewelry. He had obtained the office
of judge of the criminal court by currying favor with the very classes
most likely to be brought before him for trial, and his judicial
ermine was not considered free from the foulest stains. His private life
was, in many respects, a counterpart of his official conduct; though
married to an agreeable woman, he was a notorious libertine and
profligate. Still, he held his position in society, and was admitted to
the acquaintance of the most reputable people in the city; hence, he
frequently appeared at balls and dancing-parties, where he always tried
to act like a light and graceful youth.

[Illustration: _The Judge's downfall._]

On this occasion he was especially anxious to display his manly form in
the same set with the Donna, but being disappointed in this, he chose
the set next to hers, and acted like a playful hippopotamus. While
backing rapidly, in an attempt to balance to his partner, he came in
contact with Mrs. Simon of the next set, and, tripping on her dress, he
fell violently upon her. Her partner, Mr. Mather, tried to catch her as
she also fell, but the ponderous form of the Judge came upon them both
with crushing effect, and all three were brought to the floor at once.
Mr. Mather and Mrs. Simon were quickly on their feet again, flushed with
mortification but unhurt. But it was no such easy matter for the
corpulent Judge to raise himself erect; he lay on his back a moment
groaning, and it was thought that he might be seriously injured, as his
fall had jarred the whole house. Several gentlemen carefully lifted him
upright, and the ladies gathered about to condole with him, when it was
suddenly discovered that, if the Judge's person had not suffered, his
clothing had. His tight dress coat was split several inches down the
back, while a hasty glimpse behind his coat-tails satisfied the
spectators that his pants were in an even worse condition than his coat.
It may be imagined that the situation caused some merriment, in spite of
the efforts of the more well-bred guests to preserve their gravity; but
when the Judge, having regained his feet, vociferated in great wrath:
"You are a pack of monkeys. I don't see anything to laugh at," there was
a universal burst of laughter which could not be repressed. This so
enraged him that it was difficult to make him understand his absurd
position, but at length Don Pedro and Monsieur Lesparre induced him to
go to the dressing-room for repairs. As there was no coat in the house
large enough for him, the Don was at his wits' end to make him
sufficiently presentable to enable him to return to the drawing-room;
but at length the Judge was arrayed in one of the Don's gorgeous
dressing-gowns, which was large enough to hide most of the effects of
the fall. He soon returned to the lower rooms dressed in the most
remarkable costume ever worn at a full-dress party in Gloster.

With the exception of this accident, the evening passed off with the
most perfect success, and the unanimous verdict was that there had never
been a more thoroughly enjoyable entertainment given in the city. During
the evening, Madame Sevier informed Donna Lucia of her willingness to
take charge of the Morito establishment, and agreed to begin her reign
the next day. Donna Lucia was delighted at this news, and willingly
accepted all the conditions, though she insisted for some time on giving
Madame Sevier a liberal salary. Finding that Madame Sevier was resolute
in her refusal to receive pay, the Donna informed her friends that she
had invited Madame Sevier to live with her, and that the Madame had
kindly agreed to assist her in entertaining her numerous guests.

It was not until nearly daybreak that the more indefatigable revelers
became weary of dancing and flirting, so that the Donna was quite
exhausted when the last guest had departed. Madame Sevier remained to
the end, as she intended occupying her room in the Morito mansion at
once, instead of returning to her boarding-place. Donna Lucia left
orders that she was not to be disturbed until five o'clock in the
afternoon, but Madame Sevier decided to get up at twelve o'clock, in
order to superintend the work of clearing away the decorations and
_débris_ of the ball. The Don had invited Monsieur Lesparre to dine with
him at six o'clock, and so it was arranged that they should all meet at
that hour.



                         CHAPTER IV.

    _Madame Sevier and Her Work.--Unaccountable Coquettishness between
          Man and Wife.--A Startling Scheme, illustrating the Rashness
          and Gullibility of American Business Men and the Supreme
          Assurance of Don Pedro.--Disaster approaching the Gloster
          Capitalists.--Other Suspicions Aroused.--The Story of Mr.
          Warne, English Diplomatic Agent.--A New Move._


Madame Sevier began her work of reform in the household as soon as she
was dressed that afternoon. Finding that they now had a mistress
competent to control them, the servants showed a greater willingness to
be useful, though some of them were inclined to be lazy and impudent as
before. The Madame made mental notes of everything, took charge of the
keys to all storerooms and closets, and clearly demonstrated that she
was able to manage the house according to her own ideas. The cook,
thinking she was indispensable, and that she could act independent of
control, was very impertinent to Madame, and she evinced an
insubordinate spirit that created a good deal of trouble. Seeing that
prompt and severe measures were necessary, Madame Sevier paid this woman
her wages and discharged her without a moment's warning. The effect upon
the other servants was most satisfactory, and although the Madame was
obliged to make some minor changes afterward, she was never again
annoyed by impertinence or presumption. The dinner for that day was
prepared by the assistant cook, under Madame Sevier's direction, and
when the Don and Donna came down from their chamber, they were delighted
to find that the house was in perfect order, showing no signs of having
been the scene of revelry and dissipation the night before.

[Illustration: Madame Sevier discharging the servants.]

During dinner, at which Monsieur Lesparre was the only guest, Don Pedro,
after complimenting Madame Sevier very highly upon her success in
bringing order out of chaos, turned to his wife and said:

"Lucia, your selection of a companion and advisor has been so fortunate
that I am more than ever disposed to follow your example. What do you
think, Monsieur Lesparre, cannot you serve me as confidential secretary
and financial agent as satisfactorily as Madame Sevier assists my wife?"

"Indeed, Don Pedro," replied Lesparre, gallantly, "if you impose upon me
the task of equalling so accomplished and charming a lady as Madame
Sevier, you will probably be disappointed in everything I do."

"Bravo, bravo, Monsieur Lesparre!" cried the Donna; "you will certainly
be successful in paying delicate compliments, at least. Yes, Pedro, I
think you ought to secure Monsieur Lesparre's services at once; when you
have nothing for him to do, he will be an agreeable companion for us.
What say you, Madame Sevier?"

"I quite agree with you," replied the Madame, casting down her eyes
coquettishly; "but I prophesy that Monsieur Lesparre would find his
position an onerous one if he should be under obligations to pay me
compliments."

"Ah! the obligation would be unnecessary," said Lesparre; "the
difficulty would be to avoid doing so constantly."

The Don and Donna smiled at each other significantly, thinking that they
saw the incipient signs of a mutual attachment between these two, and
that it was not unreasonable to imagine that a wedding might result
therefrom. How little they imagined that these apparently distant
acquaintances were, in fact, already man and wife!

After dinner, the Don and Lesparre repaired to the billiard-room to
smoke, while the ladies entered the drawing-room to receive visitors.

"Monsieur Lesparre," said the Don, as they lounged back in luxuriant
easy-chairs, "what do you think of my suggestion at dinner? I should
really like to obtain your services as private secretary, and I will
gladly give you such a salary as will make you independent of other
labor. While you are attending to my affairs you will naturally become
well acquainted with many business men, and will be able to investigate
a number of enterprises, so that you will be better able a year hence to
invest your capital to advantage."

"Your offer is truly liberal," replied Lesparre, puffing his cigar
thoughtfully, "and I feel disposed to accept it. What would be my
duties?"

"Well, I will explain what I wish fully, and then you can judge how the
position would suit you," answered Don Pedro. "In the first place, I
wish a financial agent, a man whom I can trust, who will attend to all
my affairs. You see, I detest the details of business. I desire to live
free from the vexing annoyances consequent upon the providing and
disbursing of money. My estates produce as much as I can use, and I do
not trouble myself to inquire whether they might not yield more. I am
accustomed to buy whatever I wish, but I hate to bother my head to know
whether I have enough on hand to pay for my purchases; hence I want my
secretary to attend to such matters for me. There is another thing in
which you could be of the greatest service to me; for, while it is an
affair of great importance, involving large interests, I am positively
too fond of my own ease to give it the attention which it deserves. I
know I can trust you not to repeat the slightest portion of what I am
about to tell you, for it is not desirable that it should be talked
about, unless the enterprise is successfully carried out."

"Indeed, you can rest assured that I shall never mention a hint of it to
any one," replied Lesparre.

"Well, you recollect I told you last night that Mather, Perkins, and
some others were anxious to have me explore and open up the diamond
fields which, I have reason to believe, constitute a large part of one
of my estates in Peru? Some time after I spoke to you, toward the end
of the party, I missed Mather, Perkins, McIntyre, Sanders, and several
others from the rooms, and while I was wondering what had become of
them, Mather came up and asked me to go up to my dressing-room, which,
you recollect, adjoined the room used for the gentlemen's dressing-room
last night. On arriving there, I found about a dozen of the wealthiest
men of Gloster sitting around the room, with Dan McCarthy at the table
acting as secretary. Will you believe it? They had actually formed a
business meeting in my own house, and had made speeches, passed
resolutions, and voted upon two propositions, which they wished to
submit to me; they had then sent the chairman, Mr. Mather, to bring me
in, and I was expected to stand and deliver my decision at a moment's
notice. The idea was perfectly ludicrous to me, yet it did not strike
any of them that they were doing anything unusual. I believe that if a
party of these Gloster business men were to be landed suddenly in hell,
they would organize a stock exchange to deal in brimstone and ashes!"

"They certainly carry their business instincts everywhere," said
Lesparre, laughing heartily. "I suppose they had fully arranged
everything before you were sent for?"

"Yes, indeed; the very minor details were provided for, and I could not
raise an objection which had not already been discussed and removed.
Both propositions provided for the formation of a stock company for the
mining, cutting, and sale of diamonds. According to the first plan, I
was to fix a price upon my diamond fields, which the company would then
purchase, paying me three-fourths in cash, and one-fourth in stock. In
case, however, that I should be unwilling to part with my controlling
interest, the second plan provided that I should receive one-fourth the
estimated value of the land in money, giving to the company therefor the
privilege of mining for a certain length of time, and receiving also
one-half of the value of the diamonds found. The idea of disposing of
this property had never before occurred to me, and naturally I was not
prepared to give any answer on such short notice; but if I had done so
then, I should have positively rejected both propositions. In fact, I
said as much to Mather, and he then suggested to the meeting that 'Señor
Morito be given a week to decide upon the propositions submitted to
him.' The cool impudence of thus graciously giving me a week did not
seem to strike them, and the meeting broke up with great satisfaction,
every man feeling certain that I _must_ accept one proposition or the
other. It was further decided to appoint a committee to draw up a
charter and by-laws, 'so as to save time,' as one gentleman remarked.
After the gentlemen had left the room, Mather urged the matter upon me
very strongly. He apologized for having acted with such precipitation,
but, he said, the others were so eager, as soon as they heard that I
owned a vast tract of unworked diamond fields, that he could not
restrain them. He begged me to make some arrangement with the proposed
company, as the men who had become interested in it were wealthy and
enterprising, and they would surely push it to a profitable conclusion.
In answer to my remark that I was rich enough already, he said that I
ought to give others a chance to make some money who needed it, perhaps,
more than I. Finally, as he urged it as a personal favor to himself, I
agreed to give the most favorable answer that I could, and so the matter
stands."

"When are you to give your answer?" asked Lesparre.

"The committee adjourned until a week from last night," replied the Don,
"and I shall then again be summoned before them, I presume. Now,
although the first proposition would not probably pay me so well in the
end as the second, I much prefer it. You see I do not wish to keep a
controlling interest because I should have the continual annoyance of
supervising the business; and, as I have said before, I wish to be
perfectly free from cares and responsibilities. My object is to enjoy
life, and I can't be happy if I am obliged to work. Nevertheless, I do
not wish to turn over this property to a body of men who will squeeze it
like a sponge, leaving it a mere waste. There are a large body of
tenants occupying portions of it, whose rights must be respected. They
will make willing and honest laborers if properly treated, and I wish
to protect them as far as possible from cruelty and extortion. Hence, I
desire to learn all I can about the men who will create and manage the
company before I agree to put the property into their hands, no matter
what price they may be willing to pay for it; it is here, my dear
Lesparre, that you can be of great service to me. You are well
acquainted among all classes of business men in Gloster, and you can
readily learn all about the people who purpose buying stock. This will
be considered very natural and proper if you become my private
secretary, and your duties will not be severe. What do you say?"

"I think I can do what you wish," said Lesparre, "but I should like a
day for reflection. I never like to act hastily in an important matter,
even where my mind is already made up."

"You are quite right," said the Don; "but I hope your mind will remain
unchanged in regard to this matter. I will give you whatever salary you
wish, and shall expect you, of course, to live here on equal terms with
myself and wife. Now, let us join the ladies."

On receiving Lesparre's report, I saw the whole scheme at a glance, and
I was now convinced that Senator Muirhead's suspicions with regard to
Don Pedro were correct. I immediately visited the Senator, and laid the
latest developments before him. We could not help admiring the
consummate knowledge of human nature which the Don displayed; he had
baited his hook so skillfully that the gudgeons were actually fearful
lest something should prevent them from swallowing it; but there seemed
to be no probability of defeating his schemes unless we could obtain
positive proofs of his dishonesty elsewhere, or detect him in some
criminal offense in this country. We therefore decided to keep a close
watch upon all his movements, and await further developments. It was
evident that the sufferers by Don José Michel's forgeries in California
would not take any active steps against him unless they were sure of the
identity of the man, and so we had no ground of accusation against him
which we could rely upon. Both Senator Muirhead and myself were
indignant at the audacity displayed in his swindling projects, but we
did not dare to attempt his exposure without absolute proof of our
charges. The waiting game is never a pleasant one to play, but I could
not do otherwise under the circumstances.

About this time I was called back to Chicago on important business, but
I immediately sent my superintendent, Mr. Bangs, to Gloster, to take
charge of the case there. During my absence little of note occurred,
except the meeting to hear the Don's answer to the propositions to
purchase the diamond fields. At this meeting the Don was apparently
anxious to decline all offers, saying that the property had been in the
possession of his family for about two hundred years, and that he
considered himself in honor bound to retain an interest in it. Also, he
tried to cool the ardor of the would-be purchasers by telling them that
he had no positive certainty that there were valuable diamond fields on
the property, though such was probably the case. His reluctance to sell
the land only made them more determined to buy, for they argued that he
was so well satisfied with it as a means of revenue that he wished to
retain possession of it all himself. At length he found that they would
give him no peace until he yielded, and so he graciously agreed to
accept the first proposition. The question of price then remained to be
discussed, but, on this point, there was little opportunity for
disagreement. Having had so much difficulty in inducing the Don to sell
at all, they were not disposed to endanger the sale by haggling about
the price; and when the latter was fixed at one million five hundred
thousand dollars, they made no demur, although the sum rather staggered
their enthusiasm at first. This effect was only momentary, however, for
the vivid anticipations of dividends in proportion to this price quickly
banished their fears, and they hastened to subscribe the amounts
required. These facts were all reported to me immediately after my
return to Gloster, which occurred a day or two after the meeting, and I
saw that the day of disaster to the trusting capitalists of that city
was fast approaching.

Neither Monsieur Lesparre nor Madame Sevier had learned much about the
private affairs of the Moritos, for, whenever the latter had anything
important to say to each other, they usually spoke Spanish. The Don's
remaining funds amounted to only about eight thousand dollars, and at
the rate with which he had hitherto spent money, this sum would not last
much more than five or six weeks. The time might be extended to two
months by running the establishment on credit; but the Don was averse to
such a course, and all bills were paid promptly at the end of each
month. He showed no uneasiness as his cash began to run low, but merely
said that if the first installment on the mine should be paid in soon,
it would obviate the necessity of drawing upon his agents in Lima,
otherwise he should call upon them for fifty thousand dollars to carry
him through the year. There was nothing in his manner or actions to
excite suspicion, and certainly, if he intended to defraud the Diamond
Company, he had too much nerve to betray himself, even to so close an
observer as Monsieur Lesparre.

Having heard the reports, I strolled out in the evening for a walk with
Mr. Bangs, and while passing one of the leading hotels, I met a very
intimate friend, named Judge Key. The Judge was an old resident of
Gloster, and his character was highly esteemed by all who knew him. He
was a man of great ability and force; but, possessing little ambition,
he was not nearly so well known as many of those who were his inferiors
in point of intellect and morals. We had a great deal of business
between us at one time, and our relations to each other were of the
most cordial character, partaking more of the nature of personal
friendship than mere business acquaintance. I had not visited him
previously during my stay in Gloster, for the reason that, even to my
intimate friends, I never make my presence known when engaged in an
operation, if I can avoid doing so. On this occasion, the Judge
recognized me instantly, and greeted me with great warmth, at the same
time adding that I was just the man above all others whom he wished to
see. He then introduced his companion to Mr. Bangs and myself as Mr.
Edward Ashley Warne, of London, England.

"Now, Mr. Pinkerton," said the Judge, "let us step into the club close
by, and over a social glass of wine, Mr. Warne will tell you about a
peculiar case of mistaken identity, or of consummate rascality--it is
hard to know which. Possibly you may be able to understand some things
which puzzle us, and to frustrate a fraudulent scheme, if our suspicions
are correct. You both know each other by reputation, I guess, and I
presume, Mr. Warne, that you will not object to tell Mr. Pinkerton what
you have told me."

"Oh! yes, I have often heard of Mr. Pinkerton," said Mr. Warne, "and I
think, as you say, that he can clear up the mystery, if any one can. I
shall be pleased to tell him all that I know with regard to it."

Mr. Edward Ashley Warne was an _attaché_ of the British diplomatic
service, and having been entrusted with the settlement of some
questions relative to commerce between the United States and Great
Britain, he had executed his mission with such fairness, good sense, and
courtesy that he was regarded with great kindness and respect by our
people as well as by his own government. He was on a rapid tour through
the United States, previous to his return to London, and he had spent a
week in Gloster with Judge Key at the time when we met in front of the
hotel. We were soon comfortably seated in one of the private
dining-rooms of the club, and, after a few sips of wine, Mr. Warne began
his story.

"I don't know whether I am the victim of imagination, or the gentlemen
of Gloster are likely to be the victims of an impostor; but one thing is
certain, that a gentleman here known as Don Pedro P. L. de Morito is the
exact image of a man who was known in London as Don José Arias."

This information came so unawares that I almost betrayed my interest in
the case by uttering a hasty exclamation. I restrained my feelings,
however, and asked Mr. Warne to tell me all he knew about this man.

"Well, I first met him in Paris, when I was a member of the French
Legation," replied Mr. Warne. "He was then moving in the most
aristocratic society, and his wealth was reputed enormous. I saw a great
deal of him at times, and, indeed, I was better acquainted with him than
I was with many of my countrymen; but I was recalled to London about
that time, and I soon forgot all about Don José Arias."

"Pardon me," I interrupted; "was the Don married?"

"Oh! yes; he had a beautiful wife, I have been told, but I never
happened to see her. I think she was Spanish, if I recollect rightly.
One day, after my return to England, as I was entering the Foreign
Office, I met Don José coming out, and he seemed delighted to see me. He
said that he had come to spend some months in London, and he hoped to
enjoy my society frequently. I was then engaged in studying a very
difficult diplomatic question, and I was unable to give any time
whatever to society; I therefore expressed my regrets that I should be
obliged to decline all invitations, and, after some further
conversation, we separated. I often heard of him in connection with
social events in the best circles, and, on one or two occasions, I met
him in the street; but I did not renew our former degree of intimacy,
for the simple reason that I did not have the time to do so. Just before
I left London on the mission for which I had been preparing myself, I
was astonished to learn that Don José Arias had proved to be a scoundrel
of the most dangerous character. He had not hunted small game, it is
true, but this was probably a part of his whole scheme. So far as I
could learn, he had left no unpaid bills in the hands of tradesmen, but
he had taken enough out of bankers and capitalists to pay his
tradesmen's bills for half a century. The aggregate fraudulently
obtained by him was never known, for many of his victims refused to
state their loss; but it was surmised that he obtained as much as forty
or fifty thousand pounds sterling in London alone, while several Paris
bankers also suffered heavily. I was not specially interested in the
affair, and it had wholly passed from my mind, when suddenly, while
walking in the streets of this city last week, I came upon Don José
Arias again. He wore his hair differently from his old way in London and
Paris, having now full side-whiskers, whereas then he wore only
moustache and goatee; but I could not be mistaken, and I said to Judge
Key: 'There is a man who forged paper to an immense amount in London
less than two years ago.' 'Impossible!' replied the Judge; 'he is a very
wealthy man, moving in the best society in the city.' The Judge then
vouched for him with such earnestness that I began to believe that I was
mistaken; but I determined to meet him face to face, to see whether
there could be two persons so nearly resembling each other.
Unfortunately he had an opportunity to see me before I saw him when I
next met him, so that I lost the chance of surprising him into betraying
himself. He appeared to glance at me casually, as any stranger would do,
and then went on with his conversation without hesitation or
embarrassment. I have met him several times since then, and he always
acts with the same natural ease of manner, as if we had always been
perfect strangers to each other; but, Mr. Pinkerton, the more I see of
him, the more fully am I convinced that Don José Arias, of London, and
Don Pedro P. L. de Morito, of Gloster, are identical; and, believing
this, I consider it my duty to tell you these facts in order that your
citizens may be protected against him, if possible."

"Well, Mr. Pinkerton," said Judge Key, "what do you think of this
affair? Mr. Warne does not admit that he can be mistaken, and there are
some corroboratory evidences that he may be right; yet, it seems
incredible. It is a pity that Mr. Warne should have never seen Don
José's wife, because he could then compare her with Señora Morito, and
if they, too, were exact resemblances, there would be no longer any room
for doubt."

"That would certainly be a strong proof," I remarked; "but I think it is
unnecessary. The suspicion you have spoken of, Mr. Warne, has already
been raised by another gentleman in this city, and I have been requested
to discover whether or not it is correct."

"Why, you astonish me!" exclaimed Judge Key, "for Mr. Warne has not
mentioned the subject to any one but me, and I have never even hinted
anything about it except to you gentlemen."

"Nevertheless, I have suspected for some time that this Don Pedro was an
impostor, and have been trying to obtain positive proof of my opinion,
in order to save many persons here from being swindled by him. You are
acquainted with Senator Muirhead, Judge?"

"Oh! yes, quite well."

"He has taken enough interest in the affairs of his constituents to
place in my hands the task of exposing this man, Don Pedro, in his true
light."

"That seems very kind and disinterested on the part of our Senator,"
said Judge Key, with a quizzical smile; "but I will venture to say that
his interest has been excited more by the Don's marked attentions to
Mrs. Muirhead, than by the fear that some of his constituents would be
defrauded."

Of course I took no notice of this remark, although I was quite
convinced that such was the fact; but as the Senator was my client, it
would have been eminently improper for me to discuss his motives, and so
I turned to Mr. Warne.

"As you have already met this man under another name, Mr. Warne," I
said, "can you not go with me to meet Senator Muirhead, and tell him
what you know about him?"

"I must beg you to excuse me, Mr. Pinkerton," he replied. "You see, I am
in this country in an official capacity, and, while I am personally
perfectly satisfied of the truth of the statements I have made to you, I
cannot prove them; hence, I must be careful not to involve myself in a
difficulty which would compromise my position as a diplomatic agent of
Great Britain. I shall immediately give to the police, on my arrival in
London, a description of this man, and I presume that prompt action will
be taken to insure his arrest and extradition, in case his offenses
should come under the extradition treaty. But as this is a question upon
which the decision of both governments may be required, the delay may
enable this man to escape. I will use all my influence with the London
authorities; you will readily see, however, that personally I cannot
appear here as an accuser against him."

I recognized the force of Mr. Warne's objection, and did not press him
further, but Judge Key agreed to visit the Senator as soon as the latter
should return to the city. When I left Mr. Warne we had agreed that any
British official who might be sent to identify and arrest Don Pedro,
should communicate with me the moment he arrived in this country, so
that we could work together for the same object, though my whole duty in
the case would be to protect the interests of my client, Senator
Muirhead. I then returned to my room with Mr. Bangs, and made a new
move. I saw that more than two months would elapse before any news could
be expected from London, as Mr. Warne would be somewhat delayed in his
return home, and meantime, the Don would probably obtain a large advance
payment for his fictitious mines. If anything should occur to prevent us
from sending him to England, he might succeed in getting away with his
plunder before we could find any new grounds upon which to hold him. I
therefore instructed Mr. Bangs to write to the proper authorities in
Peru, Brazil, and Ecuador, describing Don Pedro and his numerous
suspected _aliases_ accurately, and asking that some steps be taken by
his victims to bring him to justice. It was true that we had no
extradition treaties with those countries, but nevertheless he might be
arrested and frightened into surrendering himself voluntarily. The
letters were dispatched at once, and duplicates were also forwarded by
the next steamer. There remained nothing further for me to do except to
keep a strict watch upon the Moritos to see that they should not slip
off suddenly with a large sum of money. The Diamond Company were in such
haste to bind the bargain with Don Pedro, by making him a large payment,
that there could be no hope of preventing the partial success of his
scheme. Whether I might not be able to force him to disgorge afterward
was uncertain, but I determined to use every means in my power to
accomplish such a result.



                          CHAPTER V.

    _The third Detective is made welcome at Don Pedro's.--The Señor is
          paid the first half-million dollars from the great Diamond
          Company.--How Don Pedro is "working" his Diamond Mines.--Very
          suspicious preparations.--The Don describes his proposed Fête
          Champêtre._


One evening, as the members of the Morito family were about to retire,
Monsieur Lesparre noticed a nervousness and abstraction in Don Pedro
such as he had never shown before. Thinking that something new might be
learned by overhearing the conversation between the Don and Donna when
they should be alone, Lesparre, instead of going to his own room,
slipped into an unused closet adjoining the Don's dressing-room, and
communicating therewith by a door, which was kept locked. There was a
transom over this door, and, by climbing to one of the shelves, Lesparre
could hear all that was said in either room of the Don's bedroom
_suite_. He had hardly taken this position when the two entered their
apartments.

"See what a handsome necklace that old fool Mather sent me to-day," said
the Donna.

"Yes, it is very elegant and valuable," said Don Pedro, with a yawn;
"but what we most need is money. However, I do not imagine we shall have
any difficulty, for I expect a large sum in a few days from the
stockholders in this Diamond Company. Still, you may as well get all you
can out of Mather and the others, for we must keep up our present style
of living to the end."

Just at this moment the shelf upon which Lesparre was sitting gave a
loud creak, and he had only just time to slip down and regain his own
room before the Don came out to see what was the matter. Fortunately,
there was a large pet cat in the hall, and she received the credit of
having made the noise.

The next day, on hearing Lesparre's report, I decided to place still
another detective in the Morito mansion, and so I instructed Lesparre to
recommend the employment of a young man to assist the butler and to do
general work about the house. As I expected, Don Pedro acquiesced in the
suggestion, and told Lesparre to engage such men-servants as he
considered necessary. Accordingly, I at once telegraphed to Chicago to
have a young fellow named George Salter sent to Gloster at once. He was
a very intelligent French Canadian, and I chose him because of his slim
build, his ingenuity, and his capacity as an eavesdropper. He could
listen to a conversation with such a stolid expression that no one would
imagine he had an idea in his head beyond the performance of his regular
tasks, and even when caught in a place where he had no right to be, he
could invent a plausible reason on the instant, which would divert all
suspicion from him. On his arrival in Gloster, he was sent to ask
employment of Monsieur Lesparre, and, of course, the latter was so
pleased with him as to engage him at once. He made himself very useful
in the house, and soon became popular with every inmate.

A few days later a meeting of the stockholders of the Diamond Company
was held, and it was agreed to make a payment of five hundred thousand
dollars at once, another like sum when the title-deeds should be
delivered, and the balance within one year from that time. This
arrangement was satisfactory to the Don, and the sum of half a million
dollars was paid over that day in the checks of the different original
subscribers. The meeting then appointed a committee of two to visit Peru
and examine the property. There was some difficulty in selecting two
gentlemen who would be willing to go, and yet who would be satisfactory
to the others; but Deacon Humphrey and John Preston were finally chosen.
Either of these gentlemen was willing to go anywhere at others' expense,
and it was believed that John Preston was too well versed in fraudulent
practices to let any one else do any cheating; hence, he was sent to
investigate the mines, and Deacon Humphrey was sent to see that John
Preston should not steal them. They were not to depart on their mission,
however, until the title-deeds were received from Peru and delivered to
the directors.

Don Pedro passed the checks over to Lesparre, and informed the meeting
that he had already sent to Peru for the deeds, and that the directors
should be informed the moment they should arrive; thereafter, all
business matters relative to his interest in the mines would be attended
to by Robert Harrington, Esq., who would be his attorney in fact. The
deeds would be directed to Mr. Harrington, and that gentleman would
deliver them to the directors, receive the second payment, and give his
receipt therefor.

This arrangement was satisfactory to all, and the meeting adjourned in
good spirits, every man feeling that the Don had done him a personal
favor in accepting his check in part payment for such a valuable
property.

The Don, having indorsed the checks, instructed Lesparre to present them
at once for payment, each at its own bank, and to bring the money to the
house; he was to obtain as much as possible in gold, as the Don
professed to have little confidence in the bills of private banks.

"They may be perfectly sound, Lesparre," he said, in an off-hand way,
"but then, you know, we foreigners are accustomed to government bills,
or gold, and so I prefer to have the latter."

Taking Don Pedro's carriage, Lesparre visited each bank, and by the time
he had cashed the last check, he had a considerable weight of gold and a
large amount of bills, about two-thirds having been paid in coin.
Lesparre and Salter carried all the money up to the Don's dressing-room,
where the Don and Donna were sitting.

"There, my dear," said Don Pedro to his wife, "this is the first
installment of the purchase money of the diamond fields, so that now it
will not be long before they will be thoroughly worked. The directors
have promised me that you shall have the finest diamond set that the
mines can produce within a year from this time, as a present from the
company, and you need no longer plague me for not having tried to work
them before."

"Oh! Pedro, how lovely!" exclaimed the Donna; "you know I have always
wanted you to open those mines, and I am so glad that you have
consented. Now I shall have a set that I shall be proud of."

"Well, I did not like to give up the old estate to strangers, I
confess," replied the Don; "but now that it is done, I do not regret it.
If you wish any money, help yourself; you can write to your agents in
Rio that they need not send any more for the present, for we shall have
as much as we can use for a year or two. George," he continued,
addressing Salter, "you will find a stout iron box in the attic, and I
think it will serve as a safe for the present. Bring it down here and
put it in this room."

The box was soon brought, and the Don checked off the packages of gold
and bills as Lesparre packed them away, the gold at the bottom.

"Now, you can check against my bank accounts for our current expenses,
Lesparre," said Don Pedro, with a complacent smile; "and when the funds
on deposit are exhausted, I will give you cash monthly to pay all bills
as heretofore. I intend to give a grand _fête champêtre_ soon, as a
lesson to these Gloster people how to enjoy life. I propose to engage
one of the islands in the river at once, and begin the necessary work of
preparing it artistically for the scene of our revelry. I shall choose
one of the large wooded islands with ridges and ravines running through
it, and it will take about two weeks to clear away the underbrush, to
clean up the grass and prepare the landing-places. Then, by the end of
another week, the weather will be delightful, and our arrangements will
be completed. I will make the place a fairy spectacle, such as the
unimaginative inhabitants of Gloster never dreamed of, and then we will
prepare for our summer trip to Newport and Saratoga. What do you think
of the plan, Monsieur Lesparre?"

"It is an admirable one, and I feel sure that the people of Gloster will
enjoy such an entertainment far more than any that has ever been given
here."

"Well, I shall rely largely upon your assistance," continued the Don,
carefully locking his safe as he spoke, "and we must divide the duties
between us, though of course my time will be somewhat taken up by
society. Suppose we issue invitations for three weeks from to-day?"

"Better say five weeks, if not six," replied Lesparre, anxious to delay
Don Pedro's departure as much as possible in order to obtain an answer
to our letters to Peru and Brazil. "You see, the people here are not
accustomed to such gayeties, and it will take some time to prepare their
minds to appreciate it."

"Yes, that is true," said the Don, reflectively; "but I do not like to
defer it so long. However, let us compromise by fixing one month hence
as the time, and we will make it a masquerade as well as an outdoor
_fête_. The guests will then have ample time to prepare their costumes,
and we can give that as a reason for issuing the invitations so long in
advance."

The Don was in no special hurry to escape with his plunder, but neither
was he desirous of remaining too long in the vicinity of his victims;
hence, although he had no suspicion that his schemes had been discovered
by any one, he fixed an earlier date than that suggested by Lesparre in
order to prevent the probability of any accident occurring to mar his
plans.

Lesparre immediately ordered the cards of invitation, and in a few days
all Gloster was in a state of pleasurable excitement over the news of
the coming event. Never had such a commotion been created in the placid
waters of society as was raised by the delicate cards of invitation to
Señora Morito's _fête champêtre_ and _bal masque_. The number who
received invitations was enormous, including every individual having any
claims to be regarded as a member of good society. From that time
forward, Lesparre was so busy with the preparations for the _fête_ that
he was able to see very little of the rest of the family except in the
evening. The Don and Donna and Madame Sevier continued their usual round
of dissipation and gayety, however, and "all went merry as a marriage
bell."

Still there were some curious features of their conduct which I regarded
with suspicion. Every day the Don gave Lesparre a large sum in
bank-bills to be exchanged for gold, and the coin was then locked up in
the iron safe. Then the Don and Donna held frequent conversations in
Spanish, during which it was easy to see by their manner that they were
discussing an affair of great importance. Madame Sevier found a
newly-purchased traveler's guide-book in the Donna's bureau, and from
various marks and turned pages it was evident that it had been carefully
consulted with reference to an ocean voyage. These things led me to the
conclusion that the Don was preparing for a journey, and the fact that
he made no mention of it, even to Lesparre, showed that he intended to
go secretly. To all his acquaintances he spoke freely of his
contemplated tour of the watering-places during the summer, but he
always promised to spend the following winter in Gloster, without fail;
hence it was clear that he was playing a double game, to deceive some
one. I could only wait further developments, and heartily wish for
advices from Peru or England.

In company with Judge Key I called upon Senator Muirhead, on the return
of that gentleman from the session of Congress, and we discussed
together the best plan to pursue, to foil the schemes of Don Pedro. The
Senator was very anxious to proceed against him immediately, with the
intention of showing him up in his true character, and thus saving his
victims from any further loss.

"Indeed, Senator Muirhead," I replied, "I am as desirous to arrest his
fraudulent operations as yourself, but I want to be sure of success
before I do anything, and I do not see my way clear to act just now. At
present we can prove nothing whatever against him; in fact, the only
charge we could make would be that of obtaining money under false
pretenses. Now, what evidence could we bring to substantiate the
accusation? There is no judge living that would hold him on my or your
individual opinion that he has sold mines which do not exist, and we
should have nothing else to offer."

"Yes, but you forget his forgeries in other countries," interrupted the
Senator.

"In the first place," I replied, "you could not charge him in this
country with crimes committed elsewhere, even though you had the
positive proof of those crimes. If you charged him here with obtaining
money under false pretenses, you could produce no testimony except such
as bore upon the specific act alleged in your complaint; all other
testimony would be ruled out. But, even suppose that such testimony were
admissible, can you produce any witness to his crimes in other
countries? Indeed, admitting again that these crimes were proven, can
we establish the identity of Don Pedro P. L. de Morito as the
perpetrator of those crimes? No, sir; we have not a single witness; I
ask you as a lawyer, Judge Key, am I not right?"

"You are correct in every particular, Mr. Pinkerton," replied the Judge.
"I confess that you present the difficulties of the case more forcibly
than I could have done myself."

"Yes, you are right, Mr. Pinkerton," said Senator Muirhead; "I do not
see that we can do anything; yet it seems shameful to sit idly doing
nothing, when we know that this scoundrel is obtaining such immense sums
from our people. What do you propose to do in the future, Mr.
Pinkerton?"

"I can hardly tell what may be possible as yet," I answered; "but I feel
sure that I shall not only prevent him from securing any more plunder,
but also wrest from him that which has already fallen into his hands. He
feels secure in the possession of this large sum, and he is in no great
hurry to get away; he will undoubtedly remain until after his _fête
champêtre_ at least. Before that time, I hope to hear something definite
from either England or Peru, and then I can act with a power in reserve
in case our own means should be insufficient to enforce our demands for
restitution. Any action against him now would only result in hastening
his departure with all the money he has gained, for I am certain that we
could not hold him."

"Well, I see that nothing can be done now," said the Senator,
despondently; "but do not lose sight of this man for a moment, Mr.
Pinkerton, for he seems an adept in all the tricks of crime."

"Never fear, Senator Muirhead," I replied, cheerfully; "I feel sure that
we shall eventually not only bring his career here to a hasty close, but
also recover the money which he has fraudulently obtained."

When we parted, the Senator was a little more hopeful, though he said
that he should not be at all surprised if Don Pedro outwitted us after
all. The loss to the Senator's friends would, of course, be very large;
but, perhaps, the lesson would not be a bad thing for them; they would
know better thereafter than to part with their money so foolishly.

That same evening the Don and Donna, Monsieur Lesparre, and Madame
Sevier, were engaged for the evening at a dancing party given by Judge
Peter B. Taylor. Knowing of their intentions to attend this party, I saw
an excellent opportunity for Salter to examine the private apartments of
the Don and Donna. Accordingly, after the family had gone away in the
carriage, Salter began to talk to the other servants about the
advantages of belonging to a family where the domestics were allowed to
do as they pleased, instead of being so carefully watched. The laundress
then related how much less pleasure they had, now that Madame Sevier was
in charge of the household.

"Why," said she, "before this French woman came, the servants here had
as good a time as any one could ask. Many a fine ribbon, or
handkerchief, or bit of a collar, they picked up unbeknownst to the
Donna; and, as for aitin', why there was niver a lock on any storeroom
in the house, so that there was lashins of good livin' in the kitchen as
well as in the dinin'-room. But when this Madame Sevyay came, she put
everything under lock and key, and she snapped off the old cook's head
in no time for sassin' her. Jist so with the men; this Lesparre, the
Don's private secretary, is as close with the men as the Madame is with
the women. The butler used to often bring a nice bottle of wine into the
kitchen for us to be merry over, but he can't do it now."

"Well, I believe I can find something to drink by a little search," said
Salter, with a knowing wink at the laundress and chambermaid. "You wait
here, and I'll see what I can do to provide a glass of wine all 'round.

"Oh! would you dare?" asked the handsome chambermaid, looking at Salter
admiringly. "Ain't you 'fraid you'll be caught?"

"No, indeed; I believe I can get a bottle of port out of one of the
rooms upstairs, without any one ever discovering its loss. Anyhow, I'm
going to try, so you all stay here while I make search."

Accordingly, Salter went straight to the Don's room, to which he had a
key. Having received from Lesparre an impression of the locks of the
house several days before, I had had a skeleton key made, which would
open almost any door about the place. While apparently engaged in
cleaning the door-knobs, it had been a very easy matter for him to take,
in wax, a complete impression of the wards of all the door-locks, with
out attracting suspicion. He now had no difficulty, therefore, in
entering the Don's room, where he found that the Don had removed his
iron chest from his dressing-room to his chamber, it being placed at the
head of the bedstead. On trying to lift the box, he found that it was
very heavy indeed, requiring all his strength to stir it. This was due,
of course, to the coin which had been put into it, and Salter's
testimony, therefore, corroborated Lesparre's. Salter then, in
accordance with my instructions, carefully bored holes through the door
leading into the closet in which Lesparre had once listened to a short
conversation between the Don and Donna. He arranged these holes so that
they would not be detected by the eye, and having thus prepared an
excellent place for listening to the occupants of the chamber suite,
Salter returned to the kitchen. On the way, he opened the dining-room
sideboard and captured a bottle of port wine, with which he entertained
the other servants in fine style.

Meanwhile, the Don and his party had been received with the utmost
cordiality by Judge Taylor and his wife, who felt quite proud to be the
first to entertain such distinguished guests after the sale of the
diamond mines, and the issue of the invitations to the Don's grand
_fête_.

Every one had talked about the affair, but no one felt exactly sure what
a _fête champêtre_ was, and so United States Commissioner Charlie Morton
determined to ask the Don himself what his entertainment would be.
Accordingly, as Don Pedro approached with Mrs. Arlington on his arm,
Morton greeted him pleasantly, and said:

"Don Pedro, every one who has received an invitation to your _fête
champêtre_ is dying of curiosity to know what it means, and so I am
going to take the liberty of asking you to explain it. I freely confess
my own ignorance, and I know that there are a great many others no
better informed than I am, who would be ashamed to admit that fact; but
I cheerfully acknowledge that I have never attended one, and I don't
know how I shall be expected to dress nor to act. So please tell me all
about it, and I will promise to spread the news among my acquaintances."

"My dear sir," replied Don Pedro, politely, "I admire your frankness,
and I shall take pleasure in explaining the principal features of our
_fête champêtre_. It was the Donna Lucia's desire and mine to devote one
day to enjoyment, and we therefore decided upon giving an entertainment
in the open air which should combine every species of gayety and social
recreation. It is our intention to embark in the forenoon and proceed by
steamer to one of the large islands in the river. There everything will
be prepared for outdoor enjoyment; there will be boats and
bathing-houses; swings and archery-grounds; billiard-tables and
bowling-alleys; in short, opportunities will be provided for the
gratification of every one's tastes. About five o'clock a dinner will be
served, the _menu_ for which will include every procurable luxury of the
table, and after dinner, the evening will be spent in dancing on the
open platforms or in enclosed ballrooms, according to the preferences of
the guests, while magnesium lights and colored lanterns will give all
possible brilliancy to the scene. Dazzling displays of fireworks will be
given at intervals during the evening, and when we finally leave the
island on our return to the city, a grand illumination of the whole
island will take place as we steam off into the darkness."

[Illustration: _Don Pedro explaining the Fête Champêtre._]

Quite a group had gathered around while the Don was speaking, and as he
closed, there was a general murmur of admiration. The whole affair was
planned on a scale of such magnificence as to appear almost too
wonderful to be believed, but the Don had shown such fertility of
invention previously, that there was no doubt he was quite equal to
creating a scene of oriental splendor such as had never before been
witnessed in this country.

"Well, I admit frankly," said Charlie Morton, "that we Americans must
learn the art of enjoying life from foreigners, and I think there is no
doubt that Don Pedro is a most adept master of its mysteries. Is there
not something said in the invitations about appearing in masks, Don
Pedro?"

"Oh, yes; I forgot to say at first that there will be much amusement in
requiring every guest to be dressed in fancy costume and to wear a mask.
The masks will not be removed until the dinner is served, and then, at a
given signal, the guests will expose themselves in their own
characters."

The Don's description of the intended programme for the _fête_ was soon
repeated through all the fashionable circles of Gloster, and the
expectation of the whole city was raised to a high pitch. No other
social event had ever created a like excitement, and it was the theme of
conversation at all times and in all places.

The day following the Taylor's party Don Pedro seemed to have determined
to get rid of as much paper money in exchange for gold as possible, and
during the day he sent more than twenty thousand dollars to be
exchanged; of this amount Lesparre and Madame Sevier handled the greater
portion, but even the young man, Salter, was entrusted with three
thousand dollars in paper, for which he obtained gold at a trifling
discount. This method of exchanging money was repeated several times, it
being evidently the Don's intention to retain nothing but gold in his
possession, and as he had already obtained the greater portion of his
plunder in coin, it was not long before he had accomplished his object.

Meantime, the preparations for the _fête_ went on apace, and the time
of the Don and Lesparre was quite fully occupied in planning and
arranging the details. The Senator called to see me daily, and his
constant urging somewhat excited me, so that I became nervous and
apprehensive myself. Still, no news came from abroad, and I could do
nothing.



                         CHAPTER VI.

    _A Mysterious Stranger.--An unexpected Meeting and a startling
          Recognition.--An old Friend somewhat disturbs the Equanimity
          of Don Pedro.--The Detectives fix their Attention upon Pietro
          Bernardi.--Pietro and his unpalatable Reminiscences.--The
          Donna shows Spirit._


"Early one forenoon Salter was called to the front door by a violent
pull at the bell, and on arriving there he confronted a rather
disreputable-looking character, who eyed him with an extremely
distrustful look. The man appeared to be about thirty years old, and he
was evidently a foreigner. He was tall, well-formed, and muscular, and
his general bearing was quite at variance with his ragged, dirty
clothing. He had black hair and moustache, a swarthy complexion, small
feet and hands, the latter soft and well-shaped, and his dark eyes were
piercing and brilliant.

"Good morning," he said to Salter, with a haughty nod; "is Don Juan at
home?"

"No such person lives here," replied Salter, partially closing the door
upon the wolfish-appearing stranger.

"I have good reasons for believing that Don Juan _is_ here," replied the
man, "and is doubtless the guest of the gentleman who resides here. At
any rate, I know that he is now in this house, and I want to see him
very much. He would be equally glad to see me if he knew I were here;"
and so saying, he pushed Salter aside and entered the hall.

This action still further prejudiced Salter against him, and he said:

"Perhaps you mean Monsieur Lesparre, who is a guest of my employer?"

"That may be," replied the man; "please say that I wish to see him
immediately."

Salter did not care to leave the stranger alone, and so he told one of
the female servants, who was dusting the parlor furniture, to call
Monsieur Lesparre. That gentleman was in Don Pedro's room, discussing
some plans for the _fête_, and, when informed that a stranger wished to
see him, he told the servant to show him to the room where he usually
transacted business. As the man passed before Don Pedro's door, however,
Lesparre stepped out to learn who it was.

"This man wishes to see you, Monsieur Lesparre," said Salter, who was
following the stranger.

"That is not the gentleman I asked for," the latter replied.

At this instant Don Pedro came into the hall, and, as his eyes fell upon
the stranger, he gave a sudden start, and became very pale. The
recognition was mutual, for the newcomer rushed forward and said:

"Ah! Don Juan, I am delighted to meet you again. I knew I was not
mistaken when I saw you yesterday and recognized----"

"There, there!" interrupted the Don, giving the speaker a warning look,
"I am glad to meet you again, Pietro; walk into my room, and sit down."

Lesparre was about to follow, but Don Pedro stopped, and whispered to
him:

"Excuse me a short time, my dear Lesparre; this is an old acquaintance
whom I knew in better circumstances years ago. He seems quite reduced
now, and he may be sensitive enough to object to telling the story of
his loss of fortune before a stranger;" and, so saying, the Don retired
to his room, leaving Lesparre and Salter outside.

The latter immediately hurried into the closet, where he could hear the
whole conversation within the room.

"Well, Pietro," began the Don, "where are you from? You have not been
fortunate, it is evident; but how did it happen?"

"You are right; I have had bad luck," replied Pietro. "It is the old
story; I have had thousands of dollars at times, and have lived like a
prince; and again I have been badly treated by Dame Fortune, and have
lived as I could; but I have never before been so very miserable and
poor as now. Positively, it is most providential that I have met you,
for I have eaten nothing for twenty-four hours."

"Indeed, Pietro, you shock me," replied the Don, sympathetically; "shall
I order some breakfast for you?"

"No; I can wait awhile, and I do not care to be seen by your servants
until I get better clothing. But tell me where you have been since we
parted in Peru. You have certainly been as fortunate as I have been the
reverse; do you make much by gambling?"

"No, Pietro; I gamble very little, except in an occasional game of cards
with gentlemen of my acquaintance; but I made a good sum--that is,"
continued the Don, checking himself a moment, "I made a wealthy
marriage, and my wife's fortune is ample for us both. By the way, how
did you happen to find me?"

"Well, I have been enjoying life in New Orleans for some time, and,
having won quite a large amount there, I decided to come North as the
mild weather began. So I started a month ago on one of those enormous
Mississippi steamboats, and, of course, I gambled whenever I could. My
luck was bad from the start, and, on arriving here, I had nothing except
my clothing and jewelry; these I pawned gradually, and soon I was
reduced to my present condition. Yesterday I met you as you were
entering the Globe Hotel with a party of gentlemen, but I did not want
to mortify you by speaking to you in company; so I waited until you came
to this house, intending then to call upon you late in the evening, when
no one would see me; but you went out in your carriage, and remained so
late, that I put off my visit until this morning. I thought that,
considering our former relations to each other, you would be willing to
set me on my feet again."

"I shall be very glad indeed to do so," replied the Don, eagerly, "and
you must tell me what you wish to do, and where you wish to go."

"Well, just now I should like to go to breakfast, Don Juan," said
Pietro, with a gaunt smile; "but I have no money to pay for my meal."

"Don't call me 'Don Juan,' my dear friend," said the Don. "I have
adopted another name for use in this country, and of course no one knows
me except as Don Pedro P. L. de Morito."

"Oh, ho! is that all there is of it?" asked Pietro, with a laugh. "Well,
I shall remember in future to call you 'Don Pedro'; but what can you do
for me in the way of money and clothes?"

"I will give you fifty dollars at once, and you can get a new outfit
yourself; then, when you call again to-morrow morning, we will talk over
your future plans. I have a very important engagement to keep in about
fifteen minutes, so I must ask you to excuse me now."

"But I can't get any respectable suit of clothes and underclothing for
fifty dollars," replied Pietro.

"Well, here are fifty dollars," said the Don handing a roll of bills to
Pietro, "and my secretary, Monsieur Lesparre, will give you an equal
amount. You will then have enough to satisfy your immediate wants, and
we will arrange the rest to-morrow."

So saying, the Don called Monsieur Lesparre and introduced the stranger
as Pietro Bernardi, a fellow-countryman in distress. The Don was quite
pale and nervous, and though he did not show any marked signs of
agitation, a close observer, like Lesparre, could readily see that his
new visitor was anything but a welcome one.

"I wish you to give Señor Bernardi fifty dollars, Monsieur Lesparre,"
said the Don, "and order breakfast for him here, if he wishes it. I am
going out immediately, as I see the carriage is waiting for me, but I
shall return at lunch-time. _Au revoir_, gentlemen; call about nine
o'clock to-morrow, Pietro."

The Don then went to his carriage, and Pietro followed Lesparre to his
business-room, where he received an additional fifty dollars. Pietro
quickly stowed the money away in his pocket, and walked abruptly out of
the house, saying:

"I'll not trouble you to prepare breakfast for me, as I can get it down
town just as well."

The moment Pietro was gone, Lesparre called Salter out of the closet,
and sent him out on an errand ostensibly; of course, his real duty was
to "shadow" Mr. Pietro Bernardi, and report the occurrences of the
morning to me. Salter kept his man in view until he was seated at a
popular restaurant table, and then, knowing that some time would be
required before the Peruvian's appetite would be satisfied, my detective
hurried to my office, and made his report. As it would not be safe to
detain Salter long away from his duties at the Morito residence, I
decided to keep a watch upon Bernardi myself until Mr. Bangs could send
me a man from Chicago. Having sent a telegram to Mr. Bangs, I went to
the restaurant at once, being joined by Judge Key on the way. Together
we entered the restaurant, and I quickly discovered Bernardi still
lingering over his breakfast. We each ordered a cup of coffee, and I
informed the Judge of the new developments in the case as brought out in
the conversation between the Don and Bernardi.

"My opinion is," I said, in a tone audible only to the Judge, "that this
man, Bernardi, knows some important facts relative to the past life of
Don Pedro, and if we can pump this information out of him, we may
thereby obtain valuable assistance in our endeavors to outwit the Don.
Now it shall be my aim to learn all that this man knows, for it may give
us the means of proceeding against Señor Morito immediately; but even if
it should not, we may need such information very much. You see, it is
not impossible that we may be forced to use threats to make him
disgorge, for I shall not let him escape with his plunder without a
struggle, even though no news whatever should come from Peru or England.
At present, however, we will devote some time to this Pietro Bernardi,
and see what he can tell us."

The Judge fully concurred with me, and said that, as I might be too busy
to see Senator Muirhead, he would call upon that gentleman and tell him
the latest news. We accordingly sipped our coffee slowly until Bernardi
was ready to go, and then I followed him at a little distance, while the
Judge went to call upon Senator Muirhead.

Bernardi slowly sauntered down the street, smoking a cigar, and soon
reached a large retail clothing store. I remained in the street watching
the entrance of the store about an hour, when, as I expected, Bernardi
came out in a neat business suit complete, but wearing the same old
boots and hat. These articles were soon replaced by new ones, and after
a bath and shave, Señor Bernardi was a very different-looking person
from the rough customer who had visited Don Pedro in the morning. In
addition to his underclothing, linen, hat, boots, and suit of clothes,
he purchased at a pawnbroker's shop some very decent jewelry and he now
appeared like a gentlemanly gambler, or a member of the Board of Trade.
He did not conclude his business arrangements until he had engaged a
boarding-place and bought a trunk, which was sent to his lodgings. He
then appeared to have relieved his mind of all care, and he spent the
afternoon playing pool and billiards in a fashionable saloon. After
dining at a restaurant, he went to a minstrel entertainment, after
which he returned to his lodgings to retire for the night. When I went
to bed at eleven o'clock, after having followed Bernardi most of the
day, I realized that the duties of a faithful "shadow" were sometimes
excessively wearying.

The next morning, however, I found that a Mr. Newton had arrived from
Chicago in response to my telegram, and I was thus relieved from any
further anxiety. He was a cool, shrewd fellow, of attractive appearance
and pleasing manners, so that he was peculiarly fitted to obtain the
confidence of a man like Bernardi, and it was on that account that I had
selected him for the work. He had no difficulty in tracking Bernardi to
Don Pedro's residence, and having seen him admitted there, Newton
hurried back to report to me. I then instructed him to follow Bernardi
until he should have an opportunity to make his acquaintance; this could
be done without difficulty in a drinking or billiard saloon, and he was
then to cultivate an intimacy with him.

On asking to see Señor Morito, Bernardi was at once admitted, and as
soon as the Don closed his door, Salter slipped into the closet to
listen.

"Ah! you are looking much better this morning," said the Don, as he
scratched a match and handed it to Bernardi to light his cigar.

"Yes, I am feeling much better too. This seems quite like old times,
doesn't it? As I sit here and puff your fragrant Havanas, I could almost
imagine you were again in the real estate business in Peru. Ha! ha! that
was a speculation that paid well, eh?"

"Pietro, you must be careful not to drop a hint of those times to any
one, or I should be ruined," replied the Don; "I am in good society
here, and I hope to make a little money out of a scheme I have on hand;
but it is still quite uncertain whether I shall succeed, and my expenses
in engineering the affair are fast eating up all my capital. Now, I
shall be happy to assist you as far as I can, but it will be on
condition that you leave town; for if you should get tipsy and begin to
talk about me, I should lose everything. Next month, I may realize my
hopes, but I am playing a risky game, and I cannot afford to jeopardize
it. What do you want? Tell me how I can serve you, and how much money
you need, and if I can help you, I will gladly do so."

"That is fair enough, Don Juan--Pedro, I mean--I only want a start, and
I shall get along without any difficulty; but to tell the truth, I don't
know where to go. I could not return to Peru--neither could you, for
that matter--and I know of only one place where I could succeed and be
satisfied to stay. I have been thinking of going to Buenos Ayres, if I
could have a fair sum to start me in good style on arriving there; but
it is a long journey, and I am in no haste to start. By the way, where
is your present señorita? or are you really married as you said? Is she
as handsome as the other was?"

"Yes, she is very handsome," replied the Don, curtly; "but she knows
nothing about my history previous to our meeting, and I do not wish
that she should; so let us leave her out of our discussion. I have some
money left, though it is decreasing rapidly, and I will assist you as
far as possible, if you will leave Gloster at once; for I am afraid that
you will begin drinking to excess again, and you know that when you are
half drunk there is nothing in the world you will not tell. How much do
you want?"

"Oh! Don Pedro, you need not fear that I shall betray you; but I can't
start off on a long journey so soon after the fatigue and hardship I
have undergone during the last month. Just let me have three or four
hundred dollars to enable me to live in good style for a week or two,
and to get some better jewelry than this cheap stuff, and I will be
ready to start for Buenos Ayres as soon as you wish."

"Well, I will give you three hundred dollars now, and as soon as you
have spent that, you must be ready to leave Gloster on your way out of
the United States."

So saying, the Don stepped to his dressing-case, opened and then closed
a drawer, and said:

"There are three rouleaux of gold pieces, each containing one hundred
dollars. When that is gone, I will buy your ticket to Buenos Ayres or
Montevideo, as you prefer, and will give you as much money as I can
possibly spare; you must be prepared to go then."

"All right, my dear Pedro," replied Bernardi, rising to go; "I shall be
ready at that time. You can trust my discretion, however, as long as I
stay here, and no one shall ever hear a word from me to your discredit.
I may call to see you occasionally?"

"Oh! certainly; come in the forenoon. By the way, Pietro, let me caution
you against gambling while you are here, for I have found that we are no
match for these Northern gamblers. They will take every dollar from you
if you venture to stake against them. You will surely lose, and then you
will want me to supply you again; but I tell you frankly I will not do
it. I have hardly money enough to carry through my scheme, and if you
choose to betray me, you can do so, but it won't do you any good
whatever; whereas, if you are faithful to me, I can spare you a
reasonable sum to start you afresh in Buenos Ayres."

"Never fear, Don Pedro, I shall be mute as an oyster," and so saying,
Bernardi took his leave.

The foregoing conversation had taken place in the Don's dressing-room,
so that Salter had no difficulty in hearing every word, even when the
speakers dropped their voices to mere whispers; but there was another
listener in the Don's bed-chamber who was equally successful in
overhearing all that had been said. The Donna, having heard of the
arrival of this mysterious Pietro Bernardi the day before, was anxious
to know who he was and what he came for. Accordingly, she placed herself
at the keyhole of their chamber door leading into the Don's
dressing-room, and when Pietro had gone, she entered the Don's
presence.

"Who was that person, Don Pedro?" she asked, with a sharp tone to her
voice, foreboding no good to her already nervous and irritated spouse.

"Oh! his name is Pietro Bernardi, and I formerly knew him in Peru. He
was quite a fine young fellow then, but he has taken to gambling,
drinking, and general dissipation, so that it is very unpleasant to have
him turn up here as an acquaintance."

"Is that the only reason why you dislike to see him, Señor Morito?"
asked the Donna, her manner becoming more clearly inquisitive and
hostile. "You are too anxious to get rid of him for that to be the sole
cause of your annoyance at his presence."

"Well, my dear Lucia, the fact is, that he knows enough about me in the
past to be a very dangerous person to have around just now, for he might
expose me to the people here, and ruin our schemes upon the Diamond
Company."

"Why did you not tell me about this? There must be no secrets which I do
not share, for I do not intend to be deserted by you as you have
deserted others before. No, no, Don Pedro," she continued, passionately,
"I heard every word of your conversation with this man, and you must
understand that you cannot treat me like a doll, to be thrown away when
you are tired of me. I am able and anxious to help you in all your
plans, but I must have your full confidence. You know that I love you,
and you say that you return my love, but sometimes I distrust you. You
deserted a señorita in Lima, and some day you may try to desert me; but
I warn you that I would follow you to the ends of the earth, and I could
easily find it in my heart to kill you if you played me false."

As the Donna uttered these words, her determined tones clearly showed
that she would have no hesitation in executing her threat. The Don had
no reply to offer, and finally the Donna closed the conversation by
saying:

"This is our first approach to a quarrel, and I hope it will be the
last. You know that I am fearfully excited by any suggestion of the
possibility of losing you, and this man's words and sneers have made me
almost beside myself. But recollect, I am not without friends, for there
are plenty of rich men here who would be delighted to obey my lightest
whims if I would permit them, and if you should ever desert me, I would
tell all I know of you, and invoke their aid to bring you to punishment.
Now let us go along together, without any secrets apart from each other
in the future, and we shall have no occasion to quarrel again."

The Donna then left the room, and went out to drive with Madame Sevier,
leaving the Don alone. Salter quickly slipped downstairs, but was
summoned back by the ringing of the Don's bell. On entering the
dressing-room, Salter found his employer seated in a large easy-chair,
looking quite pale and agitated.

"I wish you would bring me a decanter of brandy and a glass, George,"
said the Don; "I don't feel very well, and I think a sip of cognac will
do me good."

Salter obeyed orders, and then went to Lesparre's room to report the
conversations which he had overheard while concealed in the closet.
Lesparre soon went into the Don's room to talk over the plans for the
_fête_, but Don Pedro was in low spirits, and did not care to converse.
He ordered his horse to be brought to the door, and was soon galloping
down the avenue as a relief to his depressed nerves. Lesparre
immediately came to my office, reported what Salter had told him, and
then went about his duty of preparing the island to receive the guests
on the day of the _fête_.



                         CHAPTER VII.

    _Pietro Bernardi and the Detective become Warm Friends.--A
          "Tête-à-Tête" worth One Thousand Dollars._


When Pietro Bernardi left the Morito residence, he sauntered downtown in
a leisurely manner, with Newton carefully following at a safe distance.
Bernardi was evidently vain of his personal appearance, for he was
dissatisfied with his ready-made outfit, and, entering a fashionable
tailoring establishment, he was measured for a complete suit of clothes.
The rest of the forenoon was spent in buying shirts, underclothing,
trinkets, and toilet articles of quite an expensive character. After a
hasty lunch at a restaurant, Bernardi walked to the post-office, where
he met a man whose appearance indicated unmistakably the professional
gambler. They seemed to be old acquaintances, and, after taking a drink
together, they conversed for some time in low tones. Finally they
separated, and Bernardi went to his lodgings. About six o'clock he
reappeared, and Newton followed him to the post-office again, where the
gambler, who was waiting in the morning, was met apparently by
appointment. The two men walked a short distance together, and then
disappeared up a stairway, which, Newton was certain, led to gambling
rooms. He waited outside nearly an hour undecided what to do, but at
length he went upstairs among a crowd of young sports, who seemed to
know the ways of the place, and he was allowed to pass in with them
unquestioned. He found Bernardi just rising from the dinner-table, which
the proprietors of the gambling house were in the habit of setting for
their regular patrons. The faro-table was in full blast, and Bernardi
was soon seated at it with the air of an old _habitué_. He was
thenceforward so deeply interested in the game as to pay no attention to
anything else, and, as he was unusually lucky, his pile of gold pieces
rapidly increased. Newton took a position at his elbow and watched the
game in silence for some minutes. At length, seeing Bernardi win a large
stake, he said in a familiar tone:

"You are unusually lucky to-night, and I see you play for all the game
is worth."

Keeping his eyes intently fastened upon the dealer's box, Bernardi
replied carelessly:

"Yes, this is a game where a man must put down his money freely if he
wants to win."

The next turn of the cards was doubly lucky for Bernardi, and, as he
raked in his winnings, he glanced up at Newton, scanned his face a
moment, and said:

"I think I have met you in New Orleans, have I not?"

"Very likely, for I have often been there; but I do not recall your
name, though your face is quite familiar to me."

"Why, certainly," continued Bernardi, apparently quite pleased at the
idea of meeting an old New Orleans acquaintance; "my name is Pietro
Bernardi, and I have often seen you in the rooms of French Joe on
Magazine street."

"Oh! yes, I used to go there a good deal, and we must have met
frequently. Let us take something for old acquaintance' sake."

This was taking a short cut to Bernardi's friendship, and as the two
stood before the sideboard clicking glasses together, a stranger would
have supposed them to be old cronies, as indeed Bernardi actually
believed to be the case. Newton instantly saw that Bernardi's frequent
drinks during the day and his later potations in the evening had
rendered him somewhat intoxicated; he was not drunk, for he had a
perfect comprehension of his actions, but he had drunk enough to be very
happy, and he probably saw in Newton's face a hazy resemblance to some
one he had known in New Orleans. He soon returned to the faro-table,
and, taking his seat, asked Newton whether he intended to do any
betting.

"No, not to-night," Newton replied, yawning. "I am very tired and
restless, and I make it a rule never to bet when my nerves are shaky."

"Well, that is a mighty good rule," said Bernardi, as he put out a pile
of gold pieces. "If you will only stick to that plan, you will be sure
to win. I can always feel when luck is with me, and if I could only make
up my mind to stop when I know that I cannot win, I should be as
successful as could be wished; but sometimes I get obstinate when the
cards begin to run against me, and then I buck against fate until I lose
all."

Having an absorbing interest in the game, Bernardi talked very little
after this, but about eleven o'clock he counted his winnings, and,
finding that they amounted to more than two hundred dollars, he decided
to withdraw. In company with Newton, therefore, he left the room, and
entered a bar-room below. They drank and chatted together a short time,
and then separated, Bernardi going to a well-known house of ill-repute,
while Newton carefully dogged his footsteps unseen. Knowing that
Bernardi intended to spend the night where he was, Newton returned to
his own lodgings. They had agreed to meet at the post-office about
eleven o'clock next day, and Newton knew that his services would not be
required before that hour.

About eleven o'clock in the forenoon, Newton and Bernardi met at the
post-office, as agreed, and, after a morning dram together, they went to
a restaurant for breakfast.

"How did you enjoy yourself yesterday evening?" asked Newton, as they
were finishing their meal.

"Oh! very well indeed. I met a young lady whom I used to know in New
Orleans, and she was very lovely; but I shall never meet one like my
señorita. She was the most beautiful woman living;" and, as he spoke,
Bernardi sighed deeply, and became moody, silent, and abstracted.

"Yes; I recollect having seen her with you once in New Orleans," replied
Newton, on a venture; "is she dead?"

"No, ---- ---- her! I wish she was," replied Bernardi, savagely. "She
started to come North with me, and I gave her everything she could ask;
but when I had won a large sum of money at Natchez, she stole several
thousand dollars from me, and disappeared with a Mississippi gambler,
whom she had never seen but twice. I didn't care for the money, but I
loved her passionately, and I cannot think of her without becoming
enraged. Come, let us go get some brandy; I always have to drink when I
think of her."

While they were drinking together, Newton asked Bernardi if he was
always fortunate in gaming.

"Oh! no, indeed; why, less than a week ago I had not a cent to buy my
breakfast, and I did not know whether to enlist in the army or commit
suicide."

"Then your present success is marvelous, for you must have won, in all,
four or five hundred dollars," said Newton, inquiringly.

"No, I did not win it all; in fact, I could not have done so, for I did
not have a dime to start with; but I met an old friend here who gave me
a few hundreds, and who will give me more when I want it."

"That's the kind of a friend to have," said Newton, warmly; "come, let
us drink again to his health. I wish I had met you before, for I would
have been glad to divide with you. We ought always to stand by each
other, especially we Southerners, among these Yankee gamblers."

"Yes, that is true," replied Bernardi, taking an immense drink of
brandy; "they are not so generous to each other as we are down South.
Now, my friend, whom I spoke of, is one of the right sort. He gave me
enough for a new outfit, and has promised to give me a good sum when I
am ready to go South again."

"Is he a Southerner too?" asked Newton.

"Oh! yes," Bernardi replied, "he is from Peru, where I first met him,
and we have had many a gay time together. I used to keep a fine suite of
gambling rooms, which he frequented, and he used to play with the utmost
indifference to the results; he always seemed equally unmoved whether he
won or lost."

"I suppose you must have been very warm friends," said Newton, "or he
would not now be so ready to assist you?"

"Well, Don Juan is a very liberal fellow, I admit," answered Bernardi;
"but he might not be so generous were it not to his interest to be so,"
he continued, with a knowing wink.

"Oh! ho! I see," replied Newton, nodding his head expressively. "Your
friend would not care to have you talk about his past history, I
suppose?"

"Exactly; he knows that I could tell some things about him which might
spoil his pleasure here, and so he is anxious to keep on good terms with
me. However, he needn't fear me as long as he treats me decently, for I
do not wish to injure him, and when I am ready to go I shall get a good
sum from him to start me in business elsewhere."

"Suppose he should refuse to give you anything more, or have you
arrested for blackmailing him," suggested Newton.

"I'd like to see him try it," Bernardi exclaimed, with a volley of
oaths. "I guess two could play at the game of swearing out warrants, and
when the account was balanced, his imprisonment would be twenty times
as long as mine. No, no; I have no fear that he will attempt such a
thing."

"I merely spoke of it as a possibility," said Newton, "in order that you
should be on your guard. A man with wealth and position might succeed in
crushing a friendless poor man in spite of the latter's protestations.
However, if any such thing should happen, you can depend upon it that I
will work for you until you are released."

"That's right, my friend," replied Bernardi, as he called for another
drink of brandy. "If I should suddenly disappear without warning to you,
don't fail to search for me everywhere, and I will see that you are
handsomely rewarded. If Don Juan should attempt any treachery, I should
have him at my mercy as soon as I should get free, and, together, we
could squeeze a large sum out of him."

Newton spent the day with Bernardi, and they became quite inseparable.
After driving about the city for an hour or two, they attended a matinée
performance at one of the theatres, and then had a long and sumptuous
dinner at a fashionable restaurant. In the evening they went to the
gambling-rooms where they had met the night before, and Bernardi was
soon absorbed in the game of faro. His luck still clung to him, and, on
leaving the place at midnight, he had won three hundred dollars more. As
before, Bernardi went to enjoy the society of his New Orleans charmer,
and Newton went to his own lodgings.

After Newton had made his report to me, early the next morning, I told
him to continue his intimacy with Bernardi, and to pump him as
thoroughly as possible relative to Don Pedro's past history. Soon after
his departure to meet Bernardi, Senator Muirhead and Judge Key entered,
and we discussed the possibility of doing anything with this new
witness, Pietro Bernardi.

"Would it not be possible to frighten him into telling all he knows of
Don Pedro?" asked the Senator.

"I hardly think we could," I replied. "In the first place, you have no
charge whatever against Bernardi, nor any reason to suppose that he has
ever been a criminal anywhere; hence, how could we frighten him?
Moreover, he is a man of considerable nerve, and he would see that, as
against third parties, his interests would be best served by supporting,
instead of attacking, Don Pedro. No, I don't see anything to be gained
as yet by showing our hands. Our object is to recover possession of the
money paid to the Don for those bogus diamond fields, and to do that, we
must wait until we have a sure case against him for his crimes committed
elsewhere."

"I agree with you wholly," added Judge Key. "Besides, this fellow,
Bernardi, knows nothing of the Don's forgeries and frauds except those
committed in Peru, and as we have before shown, we could make no use of
those accusations until we hear from Peru. Indeed, it is questionable
how far we can proceed even then, for we have no extradition treaty with
that country."

"Well, I do not mind that very much," I replied, "for my chief
dependence is upon the moral effect upon Don Pedro. I think that we can
so work upon him as to obtain his consent to go to Peru voluntarily,
rather than to be detained here until a requisition arrives from
England. He knows that if he be sent to England, he will be transported
for a long term of years; whereas, in Peru, he may avoid conviction
altogether, or purchase his escape after conviction."

"But can we make him give up his plunder?" asked the Senator, anxiously.

"I think we can," said I. "You see that he is liable to be held here for
obtaining money under false pretenses, and during the trial the money
could be taken by attachment. Then, even though he should not be
convicted, the delay would enable us to make sure of sending him back to
London, where a heavy sentence would undoubtedly be given him. Now, by
representing these things to him, we shall induce him to hand over the
money voluntarily, and after that we shall not care whether he is taken
to Great Britain or Peru."

"If that be the case, why not arrest him now and get the advices from
London afterward?" asked the Senator, who was very anxious to hasten
matters.

"Because we could not present a sufficient case to hold him under the
preliminary examination," replied Judge Key. "When we get official news
of the fellow's character from Peru, we shall have a sure thing against
him, and then I shall feel ready to act; but I agree with Mr. Pinkerton
that there would be danger in overhaste. You see, we have him carefully
watched, and there is no probability that he intends to make off until
after this _fête champêtre_; therefore, let us wait for our foreign
advices as long as we can, and in case he prepares to go before they
arrive, it will be time enough to arrest him then."

"How about the Donna?" asked Muirhead. "Do you propose to take any steps
against her?"

"I don't see how we can," I replied. "With the exception of the sums she
has received from Mather, she has obtained nothing fraudulently; and, as
you may well suppose, we could never get Mather to testify against her;
so I guess we need not trouble ourselves to interfere with the lovely
Donna at all."

Our conference then broke up with the understanding that we should
assemble again the moment any new facts in the case should be developed.
Just after the gentlemen had left, Madame Sevier came in and reported a
scene between Mather and the Donna which had taken place the previous
evening.

The Don had remained at home entertaining various guests until nine
o'clock. He had then gone out with Lesparre and several other gentlemen,
to attend a banquet and ball given by a semi-political club at one of
the hotels. The affair was attended by many highly respectable ladies,
particularly by those whose husbands had any political aspirations, but
it was not sufficiently exclusive to satisfy the Donna, and she remained
at home. The visitors gradually dropped out until only Mr. Mather
remained, and then Madame Sevier excused herself, on the plea of
fatigue, in order to retire. Instead of going to her room, however, she
hastened to the library and hid herself behind a statue standing in a
deep bay window, which was heavily shrouded with drapery and curtains.
Thus placed, she was completely hidden from the sight of any one in the
library, though she had a perfect view herself, and she could hear every
word spoken in the room.

As she expected, the Donna soon entered, followed by Mr. Mather. The
latter seemed to consider that the Donna could refuse him nothing, for
he put his arms around her, and was about to kiss her, when he found her
fan quickly interposed between their faces.

"You are too free with your caresses, Señor Mather," she said, coldly,
slipping out of his embrace, and pointing out a chair to him at some
distance from the sofa, upon which she seated herself.

Poor Mather was quite astonished, for, having kissed her several times
before, he supposed that he could continue doing so whenever he wished;
but the Donna was an expert fisher of men, and she recognized the force
of that old proverb, "Familiarity breeds contempt;" besides, she wanted
some more money, and she knew that her elderly lover would gladly
purchase her kisses at a round price. The folly of giving them away
gratis could not be indulged in, therefore, and she kept her sighing
swain at a distance for a little time. She was too politic to give even
the slightest hint of her object in the conversation which ensued, but
she used every possible allurement to fascinate her victim, while she
would allow him no liberties nor caresses. Mather could not fail to
recollect the affectionate manner in which she had received his previous
gifts, and he therefore decided to try the same policy again.

"I saw a beautiful camel's hair shawl to-day," he said, "and I was going
to get it for you, my dear Lucia, but I did not know whether it would
suit you, and so I determined to let you select your own gift. The shawl
was worth one thousand dollars, and I made up my mind to give you the
amount that I should have paid for it, and you could then exercise your
own taste."

"Oh! my dear Henry," she exclaimed, "how thoughtful you are! How can I
sufficiently thank you?" and she made room for him on the sofa, as he
advanced holding out a roll of bills.

"You know how you can please me best," he answered, tenderly, bending
over her.

"Oh! really, Henry, you mustn't," she protested, feebly, as he showered
kisses on her cheeks and lips; "suppose any one should come in!"

As she spoke, a carriage stopped in front of the house, and their
affectionate _tête-à-tête_ was interrupted by the unexpected return of
Lesparre, who, having left his watch at home, had returned to get it. He
did not enter the parlor nor the library, but the Donna seemed very much
agitated at the mere possibility of being detected in a compromising
situation, and so Mather took his departure. The coolness with which she
counted the money, after he had gone, was in striking contrast with her
simulated embarrassment while he was present, and it was plain that,
having obtained the gift, she was quite glad to get rid of the giver.
She went immediately to her room, and Madame Sevier then retired also.



                        CHAPTER VIII.

    _Don Pedro anxious for Pietro Bernardi's Absence.--"Coppering the
          Jack and Playing the Ace and Queen open."--A Gambler that
          could not be Bought.--Splendid Winnings.--Diamond cutting
          Diamond.--Bernardi quieted, and he subsequently departs richer
          by five thousand dollars._


At eleven o'clock, Newton and Bernardi again met at the post-office, and
the latter remarked that he intended making a short call upon his
wealthy friend.

"Come along with me," he said, "and you will see what a fine place he
has. I shall not remain very long, and if you will wait for me outside,
we can pass the day together. I hate to go around alone in a strange
city."

Accordingly they strolled along until they reached Don Pedro's house,
and Newton agreed to remain near at hand until Bernardi should finish
his call. Salter was on the lookout, and when Bernardi was admitted, he
led the way to Don Pedro's room. The moment the door closed on Bernardi,
Salter took his place at the auger-holes in the adjoining closet, and
overheard the entire conversation, as before.

"Well, Pietro, have you decided how soon you will be ready to leave
town?" asked the Don. "From your clothes, jewelry, and other purchases
you have made, you must have used up most of the money I gave you, and,
if so, your departure must take place soon; for I warn you again, I
shall give you nothing more until you depart for some distant city!"

"Well, to tell the truth," replied Bernardi, in an independent,
indifferent manner, "I am in no hurry to go away just yet. You see, I
have been very lucky since I've been here, and if I keep on, I guess I
can repay you the amount you kindly loaned me."

"Do you mean that you have been gambling again?" asked the Don, in a
vexed tone.

"Yes, and I have won constantly, so that I don't like to change my luck
by making a move right away. You know gamblers are superstitious, and I
have a strong feeling that it will be for my interest to remain here for
some time yet."

"But you promised to go as soon as you felt able to travel," said the
Don.

"Well, there is no hurry. I haven't done you any harm yet, and I don't
mean to. Why are you so anxious to get rid of me?"

Of course, Don Pedro's principal fear was that Bernardi would learn how
large a sum the former had received for his bogus mines, and that he
would not be satisfied to go unless he got a large slice of the plunder.
It would not do, however, to excite his suspicions by appearing too
desirous of sending him away, so the Don changed his tone, and said:

"Oh! I'm sure I don't want to get rid of you as long as you keep sober
and don't talk about me; but you know how it is, Pietro; if you should
get drunk and talk about me, you would tell everything you know, and the
result would be that I should have to flee the town without
accomplishing my object. In that case, I should lose not only all that I
hoped to make, but also all the immense outlay I have made in preparing
my scheme. If you want to go to New Orleans again, I will start you in a
faro-bank there, and will come down there next winter to play with you;
but I confess I should feel easier if you were out of Gloster for the
present."

"Well, I will be ready to go in a few days, if you insist upon it, but I
don't see the necessity of such haste. However, I will come in again
and talk about it before the end of the week. I want to win a little
more before I go."

"How have you been betting?" asked Morito, in a conciliatory manner.

"I have been 'coppering' the jack and playing the ace and queen
'open,'[A] and I have won constantly. I left them a few times and played
other cards, but I always lost when I did so. Now I am going to stick to
that scheme right along."

   [A] These are technical terms in playing faro. The player meant
   that he was in the habit of making one bet that the jack would be a
   losing card all the time, and another that the ace and queen would be
   winning cards.

"Where are you playing?" asked the Don, carelessly.

"I generally go to Dave Carter's, in Mahogany Block, for I think he
deals a 'square' game."

"Yes, I suppose so," said Morito; "as much so as any of them; but they
are all sharpers here, and they may have been letting you win on
purpose, thinking that you had a large sum in reserve which they hope to
catch hereafter. If you will take my advice, you will stop while you are
ahead. You know, from your own experience as a banker, that the 'bank'
always wins in the end."

"Well, I shall try a few more games, and then I shall be ready to talk
with you about going South. I want to run my luck while it is good," and
so saying, Bernardi rose to go.

"All right, Pietro," said Don Pedro, "be careful not to get swindled,
and to keep silent about me."

The moment Bernardi was gone, the Don rang his bell violently, and sent
for Monsieur Lesparre. When the latter entered the Don's room, he found
his employer in a more disturbed and excited condition than he had ever
before indulged in, and evidently he meant mischief to some one.

"Lesparre, that fellow Bernardi, of whom I spoke to you the other day,
has been here again," burst out the Don. "I gave him a considerable sum
of money to set him on his feet again, for old acquaintance' sake,
expecting that he would return to his friends in the South, or, at
least, behave like a decent gentleman; but he has returned to his old
habits of gambling and drinking, so that, at any moment, he may come
here and mortify me before a party of my guests, or, worse still, claim
me as his friend when arraigned in a police court for drunkenness,
_etcetera_. He promised to leave town as soon as the money I gave him
was gone, and I was to give him then a respectable sum to start him in
business elsewhere; but he has won considerably at the faro-table, and
he is now independent of me, and therefore declines to keep his promise
until he is ready."

"Would he go, do you think, if he should lose all he has?" asked
Lesparre.

"Oh! yes, indeed; he would be forced to yield to my terms then, and I
should give him nothing until he started."

"How would it do to suggest to the proprietor of the gambling rooms that
it would be doubly for his interest to fleece this man? I think it could
easily be done, if the 'bank' were so disposed."

"I have no doubt of it, especially as I know the way he intends to bet
all the time," replied the Don, eagerly; "he 'coppers' the jack and
plays the ace and queen 'open.' It must be a pretty poor dealer who
cannot 'stack' those cards, with such a stake in view. Suppose you drop
a hint to Dave Carter, or to the dealer to-night, before Bernardi goes
there."

"I will go down at once," replied Lesparre, "and I will promise him
three hundred dollars additional if he wins all that Bernardi has; that
is not too much, is it?"

"No, indeed!" exclaimed the Don; "I would gladly give five hundred, if
necessary."

Lesparre arrived at the gambling rooms about noon, and at that early
hour no one was present except the proprietor and one of the dealers.
Lesparre obtained an interview with the proprietor alone, and then asked
him if he would like to make a thousand dollars.

"Oh! yes," he replied, in an indifferent way, "I should have no
objection, although it would not be such a novelty that I need take a
great deal of trouble about it. The 'bank' often wins more than that in
a single evening."

"Well, there is a South American who has been playing here recently,
against whom I have a bitter grudge. He has about six hundred dollars
now, most of which he has won here. He has one regular system of
playing--'coppering' the jack and playing the ace and queen to win--and
you can easily fix those cards so as to clean him out in one evening.
The moment you have done that, I will give you five hundred dollars
more."

The gambler fixed a keen look upon Lesparre for a moment, and then
replied that he was no gudgeon to bite such a stale bait as that. He
added that they played a "square" game, and if a man won, he was welcome
to his winnings; but that no trickery would be resorted to against any
patron of the house. Lesparre was obliged to withdraw, feeling that he
had made a mistake in proposing the plan so openly.

That evening, after a day spent in playing billiards and driving about,
Bernardi and Newton again entered the gambling saloon. Bernardi did not
make any bets for some time, but stood watching the game in silence,
apparently guessing as to the winning and losing cards to determine
whether he was in luck. Finally he bet fifty dollars on the ace and
lost; this was followed by one hundred dollars on the same card, which
again lost. He waited a few deals and then placed two hundred dollars on
the queen to win, and one hundred dollars on the jack to lose. The cards
fell as he had hoped, and gathering in his stakes and winnings, he
began betting in earnest. His luck was wonderful, and as all his bets
were for fifty dollars or more, he soon had quite a large sum. Presently
he stopped betting, and went to the bar with Newton. They talked and
drank together for some minutes, but Bernardi was not ready to leave
just then. His winnings were already quite sufficient to cause the
proprietor to regard him with a considerable degree of interest, and
when he returned to the faro-table, a seat was given him at once. He
made no bets for some minutes, but at length he asked:

[Illustration: _This was taking a short cut to Bernardi's friendship._]

"What is your limit to-night?"

"Five hundred dollars," was the reply.

Bernardi then placed four hundred dollars on the nine spot, and, a
moment later, he was again a winner. He now seemed satisfied, for he
presented his "chips" for payment, and received cash therefor. The
proprietor then invited Bernardi and Newton to drink with him, and,
while standing at the sideboard, the proprietor asked Bernardi whether
he had many acquaintances in the city.

"No," replied Bernardi, "I have very few; why do you ask?"

"Because one of them is your enemy, or else he was trying to play a
trick on the 'bank' this morning," continued the proprietor, watching
Bernardi narrowly. "He came in about noon, and wanted the cards put up
so that you should be cleaned out of all your money."

"The devil you say!" ejaculated Bernardi; "why did he want to clean me
out?"

"That I can't say; but he told me that he had a bitter grudge against
you, and that he would give a great deal to injure you."

"I do not know any one here who could say that of me," replied Bernardi,
thoughtfully. "There is only one man in the city who knows me
intimately, and I do not see why he should wish me to lose, even if he
did hate me. Was he a South American, like myself?"

"No; he might have been a foreigner, but he was not dark-complexioned."

"Well, I cannot imagine who it could have been," mused Bernardi; "and I
guess I need not be afraid of him, if he goes to work in that roundabout
way. However, I am obliged to you for the information, and I will take
care that he does not drop on me unexpectedly. So-long."

As Bernardi walked down the street with Newton, he was evidently deeply
abstracted, for he muttered to himself in Spanish, and swore at
intervals in quite an excited manner. Finally, he said aloud:

"I don't know what to think about this story. It may be that this
gambler made it up to shake my nerves, or to cover some plot against me;
but I have a sort of feeling that Don Juan is at the bottom of it. I
don't fear him one bit, but I want to solve the mystery, and if he has
been plotting against me, I will have my revenge upon him. But, no; I
can't see what he could gain by it, and I think, perhaps, this gang
despair of breaking my luck, and are planning to rob me by force."

"That seems reasonable," replied Newton, "for then you would attribute
the act to this unknown enemy, and they would escape suspicion. Still,"
he continued, anxious to lead the conversation back to Don Pedro as a
subject, "your first supposition may be the correct one, and your
pretended friend may be scheming to ruin you."

"But why should he want me to lose money?" persisted Bernardi. "He knows
that I should come to him for more, and that he would be obliged to give
it to me."

"Perhaps he would like to get rid of your presence," cautiously
suggested Newton; "and if you were penniless, he could insist upon your
departure as a condition upon which alone he would give you money."

"Caramba! I believe you are right, my friend," Bernardi exclaimed,
furiously; "and if I find that it is so, I will make Don Juan, or Don
Pedro, as he calls himself now, regret the day he played me false."

"Don't be over-hasty," counseled Newton, "for the whole story may be a
gambler's lie after all."

"Oh! I will investigate it carefully," answered Bernardi, "and, when I
am satisfied about the truth of the matter, I will consult with you as
to the best course to pursue. It is a good thing to have a friend to
advise with, especially among such a gang of thieves as seem to hang
'round these rooms. Meet me to-morrow, as usual, and I will go see my
friend again."

The men then separated, and went to their respective lodgings for the
night.

In the morning they met, took breakfast together, and afterwards
sauntered down to visit Don Pedro. As before, Bernardi was conducted
straight to the Don's room, and Salter again stationed himself in the
closet to listen.

"So you are still successful?" was the first remark he heard.

"Yes, moderately so," replied Bernardi; "but it is strange how cards run
sometimes."

"Well, you ought not to be astonished at anything after your long
experience in gambling."

"Oh! I'm never astonished," said Bernardi, who had drunk a good deal of
brandy before and after breakfast; "but I was thinking how lucky it was
that I changed my mind last night about playing those three cards--the
jack, ace, and queen."

"How so?" asked Morito.

"Well, if I had played the jack 'coppered,' and the ace and queen
'open,' last night, all the evening, I should have been entirely cleaned
out; what do you think of that?"

"I think you were very lucky in having played elsewhere," replied the
Don; "but what's the matter with you? What makes you look at me so
strangely?"

"I want to find out whether it was you who sent a man to tell Dave
Carter, the gambler, how I was playing, and to ask him to fix the cards
so that I should lose all I had."

Bernardi's voice was husky with liquor and anger, and he had evidently
worked himself up into a great rage; but, in spite of his partial
intoxication, he was very determined, and his tones foreboded no
good-will to the Don. In a contest of words, however, he was no match
for his opponent, and Don Pedro instantly took the most effectual method
for quieting his visitor's suspicions.

"My dear Pietro," he began, contemptuously, "I gave you credit for more
common-sense than you seem disposed to claim for yourself. Why should I
want you to lose? On the contrary, I would like to see you win enough to
start in business for yourself, and repay me what I have loaned you, for
I assure you that I much prefer to have you spend your money than mine.
I have none too much for my own wants, and if you could repay me, I
should be delighted. What is the reason for your question?"

Bernardi did not reply for two or three minutes; he was evidently keenly
scrutinizing Don Pedro's face; but at length he said:

"Well, it's all right now, and I suppose I was wrong to suspect you; but
the proprietor of the place where I gamble told me that some one had
been trying to get him to play a trick on me, and I determined to find
out who it was."

"Well, Pietro, I don't think you would have thought of suspecting me if
your head had not been fuddled with liquor. Why can't you stop drinking
for a month or two?"

"What do you care about my drinking?" asked Bernardi, in a half-cowed
manner.

"Because Pietro drunk is a very different fellow from Pietro sober; and
some day you will let out some damaging reports about me, and then all
hope of making anything here will be destroyed. If I could feel sure
that you would remain sober, I would gladly start you in a good 'bank'
here."

Of course, Don Pedro had no intention of doing anything of the kind, but
he saw that Bernardi was in a dangerous mood, and that he must handle
him very skillfully if he wished to get him to leave the city. The Don
knew that to urge him to leave would be the surest way to make him stay,
but that, if left to follow his own inclinations, he would be anxious to
go South, where the climate and people were more congenial to him.
Hence, Don Pedro boldly took the ground that he was quite willing for
Bernardi to stay if he would only keep sober, and Bernardi quickly fell
into the trap.

"I don't want to start a 'bank' in this place," he said, "and I can't
get along in this climate without drinking. I have been moderately
successful here, and I am in no hurry to leave, but I should like to go
back to New Orleans, if I could fit up a good place there, and deal a
first-class game."

"How much would you need for that purpose?" asked the Don. "If I can
let you have it, I will do so, and you can stay here or go back to New
Orleans, as you may prefer; only I shall make one condition: that you
promise faithfully to drink nothing but wine while you are in this city,
until I get ready to leave. Will three thousand dollars be enough?"

"Hardly; I have won some money here, to be sure, but it will cost a good
deal to spread a handsome layout in New Orleans--as for this place,
there are not enough gentlemen gamesters here; the gamblers are all
trying to live on each other. If you will make it five thousand, I will
start for New Orleans day after to-morrow."

"That is more than I ought to pay out in my present circumstances," said
the Don, thoughtfully; "but I guess I can run the establishment on
credit for about a month, and that will help me out; so if you will go
to-morrow, I will give you five thousand when you start."

"Done!" replied Bernardi, much gratified at having obtained so large a
sum. "I have nothing to do except to get a young lady friend to go with
me, and she won't need a great while to make her preparations. So you
can have the money ready to-morrow?"

"It shall be awaiting you any time that you call for it," answered
Morito, and Bernardi then took his departure.

On joining Newton, Bernardi was in high spirits, and he talked very
freely of his intended plans.

"My friend convinced me that he had nothing to do with the trick which
the gambler said some one tried to play upon me, and as a proof of his
regard, he is going to give me a start in New Orleans. I shall leave
here to-morrow, and if you would like to go in with me, we can make a
pile of money there."

"I can't very well leave here for some time yet," said Newton, "for I
have a large sum staked in bets on the races next month, and I shall
have no money until they take place. I have a sure thing on a new horse,
and I have got such large odds that I have put up every dollar I could
reach. I shall clear about ten thousand dollars sure, and then if you
are so disposed, I will join you in New Orleans."

"All right, we'll do it; but then, you may lose everything instead of
winning. I don't care to bet on races, myself; there are too many
chances to deal from the bottom."

"There is no danger in this case, so you must let me know where I can
find you, and within a month I will join you in the Crescent City."

Bernardi then went to see his fair and frail charmer, to obtain her
company on his Southern trip, and Newton came to my room to report. I
instructed him to stay with Bernardi as much as possible while the
latter remained in the city, and to be sure to obtain his address in New
Orleans. I then called upon Senator Muirhead and informed him of the
proposed departure of Bernardi. The Senator was very anxious to detain
him in some way, in order to get his testimony, in case we should fail
to hear from England or Peru in time; but I was unable to suggest any
plan for holding this man without exposing our whole connection with the
case. Bernardi was evidently ready to act in good faith with Don Pedro,
and any endeavor to retard his departure would be regarded by him as
coming from the gang of gamblers from whom he had won money. There was
no doubt but that he would keep up a correspondence with Newton, and we
should thus know where to find him in case his presence should be
needed. We decided, therefore, to let him go as he intended.

Early in the evening, Bernardi and Newton went as usual to the
gaming-rooms. There they met a stranger, who seemed to be a Spaniard or
Cuban. Bernardi addressed him in Spanish, and after some conversation,
they sat down to play. By some freak of luck, Bernardi continually won
his small bets, but whenever he put out a large amount, he lost. The
Cuban stranger had the same experience, and at length Bernardi rose in
disgust and left the rooms with Newton, having lost about two hundred
dollars.

"Those fellows have got some kind of a 'skin-game' at work," he said,
"and they tried to beat me and that Cuban out of all our cash. I gave
him a hint in Spanish before I came away, and I hope he will stop before
they fleece him. Now let us go to the theatre."

They attended one of the theatres, and then had a glorious supper at
Bernardi's expense after the performance was over. About midnight, they
parted with mutual good wishes, and Bernardi promised to write to Newton
as soon as he should reach New Orleans.

The next morning Bernardi called upon Don Pedro and received the
promised amount of five thousand dollars, assuring him that he should
leave the city that afternoon. As soon as he left the house, the Don
asked Lesparre to keep a watch upon Bernardi to make sure of his leaving
according to promise. When Lesparre returned about three o'clock, and
reported that Bernardi was then actually on his way to Cairo,
accompanied by a young lady, the Don was overjoyed, and he expressed
himself greatly relieved thereby.

"Now we can take more interest in our _fête champêtre_, and we will make
it the most delightful affair ever known in this country," he said,
exultantly. "When it is over, my dear Lesparre, we will make a tour of
the fashionable watering-places, and enjoy life to the full."



                         CHAPTER IX.

    _Important Information from the Peruvian Government.--Arrival in
          Gloster of the Peruvian Minister and Consul.--In
          Consultation.--"Robbing Peter to pay Paul."--Mr. Pinkerton's
          card is presented.--Juan Sanchez, I arrest you, and you are my
          Prisoner.--Mr. Pinkerton not "For Sale."--A Dramatic
          Scene.--The Bubble burst._


Several days now sped by with no fresh developments, and Don Pedro was
almost constantly engaged in his preparations for the _fête champêtre_.
As the day approached, society was stirred to its very center, and
nothing was spoken of save this grand event of the season.

But four days remained before the _fête_, when I was delighted by
receiving a letter from the Secretary of State for Peru, giving full
particulars of the forgeries and frauds committed by Don Juan Sanchez in
that country, and enclosing a fine portrait of the man. One glance at
the picture was sufficient to assure me of the identity of Don Pedro P.
L. de Morito with Don Juan Sanchez, and I now felt ready to act. The
letter informed me that a Peruvian official would be dispatched to
Gloster at once, to obtain the arrest of Don Pedro, though there were a
great many difficulties in the way, owing to the lack of an extradition
treaty. Every effort would be made, however, to bring him to justice,
and the Peruvian Minister at Washington would be instructed to confer
with me.

I informed Senator Muirhead and Judge Key of this news, and they were
both much encouraged at the prospect, especially as we learned that a
Peruvian man-of-war had arrived in New York from Aspinwall, it being
doubtless intended that this vessel should take the prisoner to Peru, in
case he could be frightened into surrendering himself.

The _fête_ was to take place on Wednesday, if the weather should be
favorable, or on the first pleasant day thereafter, and everything was
already in complete order for the grand occasion. A large and elegant
steamer had been chartered to convey the guests to the island, and she
was to make several trips during the day for the convenience of business
men who could not go early. There remained nothing further to be done,
except to pray for fine weather on the important day.

On Monday morning I was told that two gentlemen were waiting to see me,
on very important business, at one of the leading hotels. I accompanied
the messenger, and was at once shown to the room of the Peruvian
Minister, who was accompanied by the Peruvian Consul at New York. Before
proceeding to business, I informed the Minister that I was acting under
the instructions of Senator Muirhead, and that I should like to send for
that gentleman, and for my legal adviser, Judge Key. The Peruvian
officials made no objection, and both Judge Key and the Senator were
soon with us, ready for consultation. As the new arrivals were tired and
dusty after their long journey, we merely exchanged information relative
to Don Pedro, and agreed to meet at ten o'clock next morning, to make
plans for his arrest.

At the appointed hour, we were all prompt in arriving at the parlor of
the Minister. The latter and the Consul, in accordance with a suggestion
I had made the day previous, had not mentioned their official rank to
any one, and had remained as secluded as possible, in order to prevent
Morito from knowing of their arrival in the city.

The Minister stated that the forgeries of Don Juan Sanchez in Peru had
been so enormous, amounting to more than seven hundred thousand dollars,
that the government had taken up the pursuit of the criminal with
unusual zeal, and no effort nor expense would be spared to bring him to
justice. Unfortunately, however, in the absence of any extradition
treaty between Peru and the United States, the chances of securing Don
Juan, even now that he had been discovered, were not bright; indeed, the
Minister acknowledged that he saw no way of accomplishing it.

"By an appeal to law," said Judge Key, "nothing _can_ be gained; but it
is possible that my friend, Mr. Pinkerton, may have a plan which will
induce Don Pedro, as he now calls himself, to surrender voluntarily
rather than stand trial here or in Great Britain. Let us hear your
opinion, then, Mr. Pinkerton."

"Well, gentlemen," I replied, "this is a case where the greatest care
must be exercised, for the criminal is a bold, skillful man, of good
education and address, with, probably, a fair knowledge of his legal
rights. We cannot afford to make any mistakes, for he would surely take
advantage of them. We must, therefore, present the case to him in such a
way that he will believe it to be to his interest to give himself up.
The presence of the Peruvian man-of-war in New York is very fortunate,
for, once under her flag, he cannot escape; but he must be induced to go
on board voluntarily, or else we shall be liable to the charge of
kidnapping."

I then explained the method by which he had had swindled the citizens of
Gloster, and showed how difficult it would be to convict him of
anything, owing to the probability that his victims would refuse to
testify against him; besides, for obtaining money under false pretenses,
a short imprisonment only could be inflicted, and then he would be free
to go where he pleased.

"However," I continued, "I think I can present to him his position in
such a light that he will regard a surrender to the Peruvian authorities
as preferable to a long trial and detention here, with the possibility
of being sent to California or Great Britain for trial on a more serious
charge. When he knows that we are fully acquainted with his past
career, he may be willing to accept our terms rather than to defy us."

"Suppose, however," said the Minister, "that he should refuse all terms,
and determine to fight it out?"

"In that case," I replied, "we should be obliged to arrest him here for
obtaining money under false pretenses, and be prepared to arrest him
again the moment he should be set free, repeating the operation as often
as we could get different victims to enter complaint against him. The
number of stockholders in this bogus company is quite large, so that we
could easily hold him until a requisition could be obtained from
California or England."

"How large a sum has he in his possession now?" asked the Consul.

"About half a million dollars," replied the Senator.

"Well," said the Consul, "that sum will go far toward reimbursing the
people whom he swindled in Peru, so I think that Mr. Pinkerton's plan is
the best that can be adopted. We might induce him to go aboard our
vessel by promising to use our influence to lighten his sentence, in
case he makes restitution to his victims in Peru."

The Consul made these remarks with a wise expression, as if he thought
he had hit upon a very easy way of solving the problem. The Senator,
Judge Key, and I exchanged looks of astonishment and amusement at this
cool proposal to take our citizens' money to reimburse the Peruvians;
it was a case of "robbing Peter to pay Paul" which we could not
appreciate. Finally, I said:

"I presume that there can be no question as to the way to dispose of
this money which Don Pedro has in his possession. Not one penny of it
came from Peru, and we cannot permit any of it to be taken there. On
arriving here Don Pedro had only a few thousand dollars, which he
obtained in England by forgery. This sum he has already used up, and the
only money in his possession has been obtained by the sale of his
fictitious diamond fields in Peru. It would be manifestly unjust to
allow this money to be taken away, and it is our intention to obtain it
at all hazards, whatever may become of the Don."

"Oh! I shall make no such claim, Mr. Pinkerton," said the Minister;
"that was only a suggestion of the Consul, who did not understand
exactly how the money referred to came into this man's hands. All that I
care for is to get Don Pedro on board our vessel, and I shall be pleased
to pay for your services in the matter. We must be careful, however,
that there shall be no opportunity to charge us with kidnapping, for we
wish to avoid any possibility of complications with the United States;
the fellow has made us trouble enough already."

"I will arrange that matter satisfactorily," I replied; "as for the
question of payment, I am acting wholly in the interest of Senator
Muirhead, and under his instructions, so that I can accept nothing
except from him."

We spent an hour or two more in preparing papers and arranging the
details of our plans, the conclusion being that we should make the
arrest that evening, about seven o'clock, when there would be few or no
visitors at Don Pedro's house. As I had supposed, there was no charge
whatever against the Donna, and my only intentions with regard to her
were to see that she did not carry off any of the money belonging to the
Diamond Company stockholders, nor assist the Don to escape. It was
decided to send Don Pedro to New York immediately, in case he yielded to
our terms, and the Donna would be at liberty to go or stay, as she might
see fit.

On returning to my office, I found Bangs and Lesparre awaiting me, and
the latter said that he believed the Don and Donna intended to take
flight immediately after the _fête_. They probably desired to finish
their career in Gloster in a blaze of glory, and, as they would not be
expected to receive visitors for two or three days after the _fête_,
they would have a good start before their departure would become known.
I told Lesparre to see that Madame Sevier and Salter kept a close watch
for the remainder of the day, and in case any attempt should be made to
remove the box containing Don Pedro's coin, he must send Salter to me
instantly with the news. I also suggested that the servants be kept out
of the way that evening, so that no one should know of our visit.
Lesparre departed to attend to his duties, and I remained to complete
the details of my plans with Mr. Bangs, who had arrived from Chicago
with two detectives, in obedience to my summons.

About six o'clock, Senator Muirhead and Judge Key arrived, and a more
nervous man than the former I never saw. In a few minutes the Peruvian
Minister and Consul arrived, and we proceeded in carriages to Don
Pedro's house, the Senator remaining at the hotel, however. We left the
carriages a short distance away, so as not to attract attention, and,
while Mr. Bangs's two men stationed themselves to watch the house, the
rest of my party ascended the steps and were admitted by Salter.

"The family are still at dinner," said Salter, "but they are finishing
the dessert, and I presume Don Pedro will go to the billiard-room after
dinner to smoke, as usual."

"Give him my card as he leaves the dining-room," I said, "and tell him
that I am waiting to see him in the drawing-room."

In a few minutes, Don Pedro and Lesparre rose from the table, and Salter
gave my card to the former.

"Pinkerton! Pinkerton! I don't know any one of that name; do I,
Lesparre?"

"Possibly it may be some gentleman having business with you in
connection with the _fête_," suggested Lesparre.

"Ah! very true; where is he, George? I will see him at once," said the
Don, unsuspectingly.

Salter led the way to the drawing-room, where I alone was waiting, the
rest of the party having waited in the vestibule. As he entered,
followed by Lesparre, I rose and said:

"Juan Sanchez, I arrest you, and you are now my prisoner!" and, so
saying, I put my hand on his shoulder.

He turned very pale, and sat down in the nearest chair, while Lesparre
quickly brought him a glass of water. I then continued:

"Juan Sanchez, or José Gomez more properly, we will retire to the
library if you wish, as we may be interrupted here by the arrival of
some of your friends, and I do not wish to expose you at present."

"What do you mean by addressing me in this manner?" he replied, trying
to regain his composure. "My name is neither Sanchez nor Gomez."

"It is a long time since you have been so called," I answered, "but your
victims in Brazil and Peru still retain the names in their memories
without difficulty. I will now present to you the Minister of Peru and
the Peruvian Consul at New York, both of whom have taken a lively
interest in your past life and actions."

Just as I spoke, the Donna and Madame Sevier entered, and the former,
seeing the abject appearance of her husband, asked what was the matter.

"Your husband is a prisoner, madam," I replied; "and as our interview
would be painful to you, I must ask you to withdraw for the present at
least."

She immediately gave an hysterical scream, and sank upon a divan sobbing
frantically. Madame Sevier succeeded in quieting her somewhat, and she
remained on the scene with her face buried in the Madame's lap. I felt
confident that much of her emotion was feigned, and that she was an
attentive listener to all that took place about her; however, I made no
objection, but requested Mr. Bangs, who was watching in the hall, to
admit the Minister and the rest of the party. As Mr. Bangs withdrew, the
Don stepped up to me and said:

"Mr. Pinkerton, I will give you five thousand dollars if you will leave
me alone for half an hour."

I smiled, and looking at my watch, said:

"It is now seven o'clock; at ten o'clock you will be on your way to New
York."

"You can have ten thousand, if you will let me go; I will pay you the
cash in coin immediately."

"Your offers are useless," I replied; "I will let no guilty man escape
if it can be avoided."

As I spoke, the Peruvian Minister, the Consul, and Judge Key entered,
and we proceeded in a body to the library, leaving the Donna in the care
of Madame Sevier. On the way thither, the Don made one more effort to
appear in the _rôle_ of an injured innocent.

"I don't understand this proceeding at all," he said, "and I claim my
liberty. What authority have you for arresting me in my own house?"

"I _have_ the authority, and that is sufficient," I replied, coolly. "If
you desire to be taken at once to jail, I have no objection to granting
your request; but I thought, perhaps, you might first prefer to hear
what these gentlemen have to say."

I have arrested and have watched a great many criminals, but I have
never seen one who, having carried out such an extensive scheme of
villainy, was so utterly broken down as this man was. I had feared that
his nerve might be firm enough to answer my threats with defiance, and
force me to bring him to trial in Gloster; but I saw that there was no
danger of such a misfortune, and so I stood aside while the Peruvian
Minister addressed him.

"Juan Sanchez," said the Minister, "I have come here to obtain your
removal to Peru, that you may be tried there for your numberless
forgeries in that country. A Peruvian war-ship is now in New York
harbor, and you will be placed on board of her for transportation to
Peru. Mr. Pinkerton's superintendent will proceed with you to-night."

The Don was speechless for a moment, and then, glancing up, he said, in
a sullen voice:

"I want to know what I am charged with, and by what right you send me to
Peru. I am entitled to a hearing, and a lawyer to defend me."

"My friend, Judge Key, who is present, is a most able lawyer," I
replied, "and you can consult with him if you wish advice; but first let
me show you your true position. Your real name, Don José Gomez, was
given you in Brazil, where it is remembered only to be cursed; Don Juan
Sanchez was your name in Peru, and your crimes there are also well
known; as Don José Michel, there are serious charges against you in San
Francisco; Don Pedro Michel is badly wanted in Quito, where he would
probably be shot, as they treat criminals there rather unceremoniously;
and Don José Arias would undoubtedly be transported for life if the
London detectives should discover his present hiding place, to say
nothing of a lively interest which the French _gens d'armes_ take in the
same person. All of these people are now informed that the person whom
they wish to find is living in Gloster as Don Pedro P. L. de Morito, and
they are at this moment hastening agents here to arrest him. By chance,
the Peruvian authorities are the first to arrive, and they have,
therefore, the happy privilege of making the arrest. Now, as you are
probably aware, the Minister will have some difficulty in obtaining an
order from Washington authorizing me to send you to Peru, for want of an
extradition treaty; but while you are under arrest here, we can easily
get warrants from either California, England, or France, and then you
can take your choice between being shot by vigilantes in California,
transported to Van Dieman's Land by England, or sent to work in the
galleys by France. This is your present situation, and I am perfectly
indifferent which course you prefer. If you decide to go with the
Peruvian Minister, you must agree to do so voluntarily, until you are
placed on board the Peruvian vessel, and you must make an assignment of
all your money and property here to reimburse the people whom you have
swindled by the sale of fictitious diamond-fields. If you are willing to
comply with these conditions, you will sign all the necessary papers at
once, and you will leave for New York to-night, before the English
extradition writ arrives; if you refuse these conditions, I shall hold
you until that writ, or one from California, arrives."

The Don was evidently in no mood for defiance: the knowledge of his past
history which I displayed had wholly cowed him, and my allusions to the
vigilantes of California, and the galleys of France, made him tremble
like a leaf. He knew perfectly well the extent of his crimes in those
places, and, also, that my hints of his probable punishment were not
fancy sketches. Finally, he asked to see me alone, but I refused to
grant his request, knowing his object. Then he wished to see the
Minister alone, and I again objected, but I accompanied the two to
another room, where they conversed in Spanish for some time. The
Minister told me that the Don offered the whole of his money and
property to allow him to escape; but, finding his offers useless, he
agreed to go to Peru for trial. No pledges were made to him to
influence his decision, though he begged so hard that the Minister would
intercede for him with the authorities in Peru, that his Excellency
finally promised, in view of the Don's consent to go willingly, to
recommend that his punishment be the lightest that the law could allow.
The Don having fully yielded to the arguments of the Minister and
myself, nothing remained to be done except to obtain his signature to
the papers which had been already prepared, and to pack his trunk for
his journey. Lesparre and Salter performed the latter task while the Don
was signing the papers, and writing out his voluntary agreement to
deliver himself up to the Peruvian authorities. The most important
document was a deed assigning his furniture, horses, carriages,
paintings, statuary, books, and, in short, all his personal property, to
Judge Key, to be disposed of at the latter's discretion, and the
proceeds, with the large amount of cash on hand, to be applied to repay
the subscribers to the Diamond Company stock. In case there should not
be sufficient to pay them in full, the payments should be made _pro
rata_; but should there be an excess, such excess should be applied to
the payment of the Don's private debts, contracted prior to that date.
This provision was, of course, necessary to shut out the bills for
supplies and services at the _fête_ on the following day. Evidently it
was too late to interfere with that interesting entertainment without
throwing a heavy loss on many persons who could not afford to be the
sufferers, and I saw only one way to prevent this, namely; to let the
_fête_ go on, and make those who danced pay the piper.

When the documents had all been signed, I said:

"José Gomez, you fully understand the meaning of this paper?" holding up
his surrender to the Peruvian authorities; "it gives me power to convey
you to New York and place you on board of a Peruvian vessel, using
force, if necessary."

The Don bowed his head submissively, and said that he so understood it.
The acknowledgment of the deeds was then made by Judge Key, who was a
notary public, and our success was complete. The Donna was then informed
that her husband would be taken East that night, and she professed to be
much affected. I told her that there was no charge against her, and that
she could go with her husband, or stay in Gloster, according to her own
wishes. She said that she would go with him if Madame Sevier could
accompany them. I had no objection to this, and the two ladies retired
to pack their trunks. There was some uncertainty in my mind whether some
of the Don's cash might not be in the Donna's possession; but I felt
rather confident that she kept her money entirely separate from his, and
that I could trust to Madame Sevier's acuteness to discover how much the
Donna had on hand. I was not disappointed, for, while packing, the Donna
told the Madame that she had about nine thousand dollars, the remains
of her gifts from Mather, but that she could secure an immense sum out
of the iron box if she could get it open. I had already made the Don
confess where he had hidden his money, and one of my detectives was
placed to guard the box; hence, the Donna was disappointed in her
attempts to make a raid on the treasury. While the packing was going on,
I sent to the railroad dépôt and bought eight railroad tickets for the
party, which was to consist of the Minister, the Consul, the Don and
Donna, Mr. Bangs, Madame Sevier, and two of my men. At half-past nine
o'clock the party was ready and the trunks were sent off. I had kept a
close watch upon the Don until now, and I saw that he hoped to escape
while traveling. When the carriages were announced, I stepped up to him
and told him that my invariable custom in such cases would require me to
put him in irons to prevent any attempt at escape.

"Shall you permit me to be treated in this manner?" he said to the
Peruvian Minister.

"You are not yet in the custody of the Peruvian authorities," I replied,
"and I am responsible for your safe delivery in New York; hence I must
take such precautions as I consider necessary. When you are on board the
Peruvian vessel, the Minister can give such orders concerning you as he
may think proper; but, until then, I alone have the right to determine
what shall be done with you."

In a moment, I had placed a light set of shackles on his feet, and
handcuffs on his wrists; he was quite submissive now, and only seemed
anxious to avoid observation.

As we passed out to the carriages, the Donna handed me a note, addressed
to Henry O. Mather, and asked me to have it delivered immediately. I
agreed to send it at once, though I sent it in such a manner that he
should not receive it until the morning after the _fête_. The party
arrived at the dépôt in time to secure seats together, and at ten
o'clock the train bore them from the city.



                          CHAPTER X.

    _The Fête Champêtre.--A Grand Carnival.--The Disappointed Married
          Lover.--A Vain Request.--Unmasked!--A Shrewd Caterer and his
          Humiliating Demands.--An Indignant Deacon.--Don Pedro taken to
          Peru in a Man-of-War, where he is Convicted and Sentenced to
          Fifteen Years' Imprisonment.--But the Donna manages to Satisfy
          her Affections in a quiet way in New York._


To the great delight of hundreds of people in Gloster, Wednesday morning
revealed all the indications of a pleasant day, and by noon the weather
was so lovely that nothing could have been more auspicious for the grand
occasion. As the hour approached for the departure of the steamer,
carriage after carriage drew up at the dock to discharge its load of
brilliantly-dressed and masked ladies and gentlemen. The only person
who was not completely protected from recognition was Monsieur Lesparre,
who stood at the gangway to receive the guests, and wore a plain evening
dress, with no mask.

In order to prevent the attendance of persons who had not been invited,
each guest was required to present his or her invitation, and, as there
were, as usual, many who had forgotten to bring their cards, Lesparre
remained at hand to pass them on board, on leaving their names. When the
hour of departure arrived, the boat swung out into the stream, amid the
laughter and merry shouts of the gay revelers that crowded her decks, as
the band flooded the air with music.

At first there was some embarrassment and reserve in the intercourse
between the masqueraders, owing to the novelty of their situation, and
the fact that the ladies at first clung closely to their own little
parties, with whom they had come and to whom they were known; but soon
this feeling wore off. They began to enter into the merry spirit of
revelry which characterizes such entertainments in the cities of the Old
World. The idea of personal identity began to be lost in the gayety of
the moment, and in its place was substituted an identification of each
person with the character which that person represented. The balmy airs
of a perfect spring day wafted to them the sounds of country life along
the shores of the river, and gave sensations both novel and pleasing
to the gay denizens of the city, who rarely experienced any change from
their routine of fashionable entertainments. During the trip by steamer
there was much speculation as to the disguises worn by the Don and
Donna, and though several persons were suspected of being the host and
hostess, there was no sufficient way of identifying them.

[Illustration: _The Fête Champêtre.--Page--_]

At length the island was reached, and the party disembarked. The scene,
as they took possession of the tents, booths, and pleasure-grounds, was
brilliant and attractive beyond anything which the guests had ever
witnessed. The island was covered with large trees, whose branches and
foliage afforded a delightful shade. The close underbrush had been
removed everywhere, except in certain ravines and other picturesque
spots, so that the island presented a fine example of the beauties of
landscape gardening. The foreground, at the place of landing, was a
level expanse of green turf, which had been laid there weeks before.
This was partly arranged for archery grounds, while rustic seats and
swings were to be found under every tree. A large platform for open-air
dancing, was placed at the foot of the first ridge from the landing,
while near by was an enclosed dancing-hall, to be used in the evening.
Two bands were in attendance to play dance music constantly, one resting
while the other played. It was understood that dinner would be served,
at four o'clock exactly, in a long dining-room near the dancing-hall,
and at that time every one was to unmask.

As the party spread over the grounds and began to enjoy all the
opportunities for pleasure afforded them, they presented a most novel
appearance. There were representatives, both male and female, of nearly
every known nationality, and all the leading characters of historical
and fictional literature were admirably delineated. Of course, among
such members there were many accidental repetitions of the same
character, but there were also instances of _fac similes_, which were
intentional. This was a frequent cause of mistakes and embarrassing
adventures, and often, when a gay cavalier was talking in tender tones
to some lovely señorita whom he believed he knew, he would be astonished
to see a second señorita, exactly like the first, passing unconcernedly
by.

The afternoon was spent in rowing, sailing, shooting, dancing, and
flirting, and all agreed that they had never known a more truly
delightful day. An elegant lunch was kept ready at all times in a large
_buffet_, adjoining the dining-room, and all kinds of wines and liquors
were served freely. The hour for dinner was fast approaching, and, of
course, by that time, many recognitions had been made, though large
numbers still carefully and successfully preserved their own secrets;
some, however, had already abandoned their masks, still retaining the
fancy costumes. Among these was Mr. Mather, who wandered over the
island half distraught. He had vainly searched for the Donna all day,
and had been unable to enjoy anything because he could not distinguish
her. Often he had believed he had found her, but again and again he had
discovered that he was mistaken; so he continued his search without his
mask, hoping that she would make herself known to him. At last he
approached Lesparre, just before four o'clock.

"My dear Lesparre," he asked, in imploring tones, "I beg that you will
tell me how to recognize Donna Lucia. I have talked with every person
who could possibly be taken for her, and I acknowledge that she is so
perfectly disguised that I cannot discover her. Won't you please tell me
how she is dressed?"

"That I do not know myself," replied Lesparre. "She was very careful to
keep the knowledge from me, for fear I might be teased into telling some
one."

"Well, how is the Don dressed, then?" asked Mather. "Perhaps he will
tell me about the Donna."

"I do not know how he is dressed, either," answered Lesparre. "He was as
secret in his preparations as his wife."

"What! haven't you seen him to speak to since the _fête_ commenced?"
inquired Mather, in astonishment.

"No, I have not seen him since last night," said Lesparre. "You see, the
Don and I made all arrangements yesterday afternoon, and I came down to
the island to superintend the placing of the fireworks in the evening. I
spent the night down here, and have not gone back to the house since I
left it after dinner yesterday evening. The Don has not spoken to me
to-day, and, for all that I know about him, he may not have come to his
own _fête_."

Lesparre said this in a jocular manner, as though he had made quite an
impossible supposition; but Mather seemed to catch an idea from it.

"By Jove! I begin to think so myself," he exclaimed, as if confirming a
thought which had already occurred to him.

Just then Judge Morgan, dressed to represent the Fat Boy of the Pickwick
Papers, rang a large bell, which could be heard all over the island, and
the guests began flocking into the dancing-hall, preparatory to
unmasking and having a grand march into the dining-room. When all were
present, the bustle and talk quieted down, and all looked expectantly
for the Don to give the signal for unmasking. Several of the intimate
friends of the host had assembled on the _dais_ at the head of the hall;
and each of these looked at the others to see which among them was the
Don. At last, Mather stepped forward and addressed the whole company:

"Ladies and gentlemen, somewhere among us are the host and hostess of
this, the most elegant entertainment ever given in Gloster; they have
been successful not only in producing here a fairy spectacle of
unequaled beauty, but also in effectually hiding themselves from
discovery in their assumed characters. So far as I know, not any person
present can state positively the disguise of either Don Pedro or Donna
Lucia. Am I right? If any one has discovered either of them, I ask him
to let us all know it before the signal for unmasking is given."

Mr. Mather waited a moment amid profound stillness, but no one replied
to his request.

"Well, now," he continued, "I respectfully call upon the Don and Donna
to come forward to the _dais_, assume their rightful positions as host
and hostess, and give the order to unmask."

Alas! he was calling upon a pair of unfortunate travelers, who were then
far on their way to New York, one in irons, and the other in tears.
There was no answer nor movement among the gay masqueraders, and
whispers of wonder began to run through the throng.

"Oh! come, Don Pedro," said Judge Morgan, whose appetite called loudly
to be satisfied, "you have shown that your disguise defies discovery;
now come forward and take your place. You can laugh at our dullness all
you please, but don't keep us in suspense any longer."

Still there was no reply, and the astonishment of all the guests began
to assume a form of vague suspicion. At length, Mather again spoke up,
in a husky voice:

"As our host is so retiring, I will take the liberty of asking those
present to unmask, and we shall then discover his disguise. Tap the
bell, Morgan."

Judge Morgan immediately pulled the bell-rope three times, and, as this
was the concerted signal, a gun was fired on board the steamer, and the
band struck up a spirited march. The confusion of unmasking was quickly
over, and the guests formed a long procession around two sides of the
hall, preparatory to marching to dinner; but on the _dais_ the confusion
only increased, as face after face was revealed, and neither host nor
hostess was to be found. Robert Harrington, Charlie Morton, Captain and
Mrs. Kerr, Alexander McIntyre, Judge Taylor, Mr. and Mrs. Benson, Mr.
and Mrs. Simon, Charles H. Sanders, wife and daughter, Deacon Humphrey
and daughter, John Preston and family, and several others, were there,
but not a trace could be seen of Don Pedro P. L. de Morito and Donna
Lucia.

"Where in the devil is the Don?" was the forcible manner in which
Charlie Morton expressed the sentiments of all present.

The absence of the host and hostess could not fail to cause great
confusion at any time, but, in this instance, there seemed to be a host
of suspicions flying about in a few minutes. Madame Sevier's absence was
also noted, and a sort of panic seized every one. No movement toward the
dining-room was made, but all stood irresolute, anxiously waiting for
some one to determine what to do, and set them an example. Lesparre was
sought for and questioned closely as to the reason for his employer's
absence, but he could give no satisfactory answer. He told all inquirers
that he had not seen the Don since the evening previous, and that he was
as ignorant of the cause of his absence as any one. Then several
questions relative to the Don's pecuniary affairs were asked, and
Lesparre told all that he knew. The fact that the Don had exhausted his
bank account, and had kept all his money in his own possession, set a
good many people to thinking about the circumstances of his arrival
there. Then the stockholders in the Diamond Company began to grow
suspicious, and it took but a few minutes to put them in such a state of
vague uneasiness, that they hardly knew what to believe of the man whom
they so lately admired and honored. At length, a consultation was held
among some of the more intimate friends of the Morito family, and it was
decided to go in to dinner as if nothing had happened. If there had been
any accidental detention of the Don and Donna, they would, of course, be
desirous that the _fête_ should proceed without them the same as if they
had been present; while if there was any trickery connected with their
absence, there would be no use of waiting for them to come Accordingly,
the procession was again formed, the band struck up another march, and
the party proceeded toward the dining-room, headed by Henry O. Mather
with Mrs. Simon, and Richard Perkins with Miss Benson.

But now occurred the most humiliating part of the changed programme:
Mr. George P. Westerfield, the caterer, refused to admit the guests to
the dining-room unless the payment of his bill was guaranteed. Mr.
Westerfield was a man of uncommon shrewdness. He had been accustomed to
furnishing the suppers at the grand entertainments of the city for
several years, and he was well acquainted with the circumstances of
every person in the social world; hence, he had seen a great deal of the
Don and Donna during their stay in the city. He had no more reason to
suspect them of having taken flight than the others, but his native
keenness and good judgment led him to protect himself, and he resolutely
declined to open the dining-room doors unless his bill was guaranteed.
An animated discussion immediately arose between Mr. Westerfield and the
hungry guests; but nothing would induce him to change his resolve. He
said that he was already out of pocket largely by the lunch he had
served during the afternoon, and he could not afford to lose his dinner
too.

"But Don Pedro will pay for everything," said Mr. Mather. "He is
immensely wealthy, and he always pays cash promptly for all he buys."

"Yes, that may have been true heretofore, but how do I know where Don
Pedro is?" queried the caterer.

"Why, he is probably accidentally detained in Gloster," replied Mather.
"I have every confidence in him, and when he explains his unfortunate
absence to-day, those who have suspected him will regret their hasty
remarks derogatory to his character."

"Well, then, Mr. Mather," said the shrewd caterer, "if you have every
confidence in Don Pedro, you can give me your guarantee that I shall be
paid in full, and then I shall be happy to serve the guests the same as
if the Don were here."

Mr. Mather hesitated a moment, and then refused to do anything of the
kind. He was, undoubtedly, so disturbed in mind that he hardly knew what
he was doing. If he had kept his wits about him, he would not have
hesitated an instant to take the whole expense of the _fête_ on his own
shoulders rather than have such a scene occur as seemed imminent, for
the sum would have been a mere bagatelle to him; but he knew not what to
think, and his suspicions ran far ahead of those of any other person
present. He had on his shoulders the whole responsibility of this man,
Don Pedro, for he had invited him to Gloster, and had largely vouched
for his character; hence, if Don Pedro should prove to be a swindler, a
great deal of blame would fall upon Mather. This feeling contributed
largely to confuse and annoy him, while his passion for the Donna was
another cause of embarrassment. He therefore acted in a most nervous,
uncertain way, and seemed quite unable to decide what to do. Mr.
Westerfield's proposition was reasonable enough, and he was willing to
accept the guarantee of any other gentleman of known responsibility; but
singularly, there was not one among all who had been intimate with the
Don who would make himself liable for the cost of the dinner;
consequently the caterer refused to admit the throng into the
dining-room. By this time every one was worked up into a state of
righteous indignation. The apprehensions of the owners of Diamond
Company stock were the first causes of the feeling against the Don, and
the disappointing termination of the long-anticipated _fête_ was another
fruitful source of bitterness. As people's appetites began to call
loudly for dinner, it became evident that the caterer's demands must be
satisfied in some way, and finally it was agreed that the dinner should
be paid for by those who partook of it at the rate of ten dollars a
plate. This amount was to include the lunch and wine already furnished,
and also all the provisions for dinner with the remainder of the wine
provided under the contract with Don Pedro. Under this agreement, the
dinner was served in the best possible style to the long array of
famished and irritated masqueraders. It was not a very cheerful meal,
for too many of the participants were preoccupied with thoughts of their
possibly lost investments in the stock of the Diamond Company; but,
under the influence of excellent viands and good wine, there was a
slight reaction in the feelings of the younger members of the party, and
when the last course had been served, they proposed to go on with the
entertainment the same as though nothing had happened.

On entering the dancing-hall, therefore, the greater portion of the
young people prepared to enjoy the evening in dancing; but here again an
obstacle presented itself: the bandsmen had taken alarm from the action
of the caterer, and they refused to play unless their account was
settled. Not a note would they sound until their demands were satisfied,
and so the gentlemen contributed, jointly, enough to pay them in full
also. The troubles and annoyances of the later portion of the _fête_
were soon forgotten by the greater number of the butterflies who formed
the assembly, and as they floated off to the strains of a beautiful
waltz, they unanimously decided to spend the evening in a delightful
dance.

Meantime, however, many of the more staid and elderly guests, having
decided to go home immediately after dinner, had gone down to the
steamboat landing to embark. To their astonishment they saw the steamer
tied up on the opposite shore, her lights being just visible across the
water. After various attempts to hail her, a reply was heard from a
small boat, which contained the captain. He pulled in near the shore,
and Judge Morgan, in an important tone, ordered him to bring his steamer
across the river and convey a party back to Gloster.

"But who is going to pay me for the use of my steamer all day?" asked
the captain, resting on his oars, within easy talking distance of the
shore. Alas! he, also, had determined to follow the example of the
caterer, and demand payment for his services before admitting the
excursionists on board his steamer.

"Pay you" exclaimed the horrified Ethan Allen Benson, who had paid so
much for his dinner that his miserly soul was already repenting having
come; "why, Don Pedro will pay you, of course."

"Well, I'd like to see him, then," said the captain.

An exciting conversation then ensued between the indignant would-be
passengers and the captain of the steamer. The latter, however, had all
the advantage, for he knew the masqueraders must eventually come to his
terms.

"What do you mean by refusing to take us on board?" demanded Deacon
Humphrey, furiously. "Don't you know that we can't stay here all night?"

"I presume not," said the captain, "and I don't suppose you will do so;
but I must have payment for the use of my steamer. You can pay me in one
sum by a check, or you can pay me at the rate of three dollars a head: I
don't care which you choose, only I must be paid."

The altercation continued at some length, and eventually the captain
said that he could not afford to waste coal in keeping steam up, and if
they did not agree to his terms, he would haul fires and let his steamer
stay where she was all night. This threat brought the party to his
terms, and he was ordered to bring his steamer over. He refused to make
more than one trip, however, and so the dancers were called away from
the ballroom at the end of the first waltz, thus spoiling their
gayety almost ere it had begun. As the motley groups gathered on shore
awaiting the steamer's approach, a more deeply disgusted and indignant
assemblage was never known in the annals of good society, and curses,
both openly and inwardly expressed against the Don, were numerous and
bitter. As they passed over the gangway, the captain and clerk were at
hand to collect fares, and no one was allowed to pass without paying
cash or giving a check for the amount, indorsed by some well-known man
of wealth and position. Finally, the whole sorrowful party was embarked,
and the steamer turned her head toward Gloster. The excitement and
continuous dancing, which most of those on board had indulged in during
the day, had left them in a state of nervous and physical fatigue little
calculated to improve their spirits, while the financial losses of many
were matters of an intensely depressing influence upon them. A more
ill-tempered, disappointed, and irritable cargo cannot be imagined.
Their troubles were not ended even on their arrival at the wharf in
Gloster, for, being so much earlier in returning than they had expected,
no carriages were in attendance, and the ladies were obliged to wait on
board while their escorts went to the livery stables to order carriages
to take them home.

[Illustration: _"What do you mean by refusing to take us on board?"
demanded Deacon Humphrey furiously.--Page--_]

Thus ended the _fête champêtre_ which had been anticipated so fondly as
a new departure in the social world of Gloster. In this, however, it was
a success; for, certainly, its like had never been seen before, and the
guests were profoundly hopeful that they never should see its like
again.

The following morning the whole city was talking of the flight of the
Peruvian adventurers. Their late residence was besieged by the holders
of Diamond Company stock, and the fact of their absence was then clearly
established. The servants had been paid off by Madame Sevier a day or
two before, and no one remained in the house except Lesparre. To all
inquirers he gave the same answer as he had given at the _fête_: he was
entirely ignorant of the whereabouts of the Don, and was as anxious as
any one else to find him, in order to obtain his last quarter's salary,
which was unpaid. The affair was a nine-days' wonder, and the mystery
was still further increased in the minds of the stockholders on
receiving a note from Judge Key requesting their attendance at a meeting
to settle their accounts with Don Pedro. The meeting was strictly
confidential, only the actual purchasers of stock being admitted. Judge
Key explained to them that Don Pedro P. L. de Morito had been arrested
and carried away for forgery and other crimes, but that, before going,
he had assigned all his property to Judge Key to satisfy the claims of
the Diamond Company stockholders.

"But how did you induce him to surrender this money and property?" was
the question which was asked in various forms nearly a score of times.

"I cannot give you any particulars," replied the Judge; "you must be
satisfied to know that he made this assignment in due legal form, and
that the amount which I shall realize will pay your claims nearly in
full. The slight loss which you will sustain will be serviceable as a
warning against throwing away your money so recklessly hereafter."

The letter of Donna Lucia to Mr. Henry O. Mather was delivered to that
gentleman early the day after the _fête_. Immediately on reading it he
packed his trunk and took the next train for New York. Meantime the
party under the charge of Mr. Bangs arrived in New York without accident
Thursday afternoon. In accordance with telegrams sent by the Peruvian
Minister, the captain of the Peruvian man-of-war had taken his vessel
down into the lower harbor, and was ready to sail at a moment's notice.
A steam-tug was in readiness at Pier 1 to take the party out to the
vessel, and Don Pedro was transferred by carriage directly from the
Hudson River Railroad dépôt to the steam-tug. The party accompanied him
on board the man-of-war, and the tug towed the war-ship through the
Narrows.

The Don and Donna had an affectionate and sorrowful parting in the
cabin, and as the ship made sail outside the bar, the tug dropped
alongside; the Minister, Consul, Donna Lucia, Madame Sevier, and the
detectives, leaving the Don in charge of the captain, then returned to
New York in the tug.

Two days later, Mr. Mather also arrived in that city, and quickly found
his way to the Donna's presence. What they said to each other may never
be known, but it is probable that the interview was satisfactory to both
parties. Thenceforward the Donna lived in New York in the best style,
though for some reason she failed to enter the same social circle that
she had known before. As long, however, as she and Mr. Mather were
contented, they considered that no one else need be troubled about their
arrangements. How long Mr. Mather's infatuation lasted, I have no means
of knowing, as I soon recalled Madame Sevier, and lost all interest in
the affair.

José Gomez was tried immediately on his arrival in Peru, and was
sentenced to fifteen years' imprisonment, but he made his escape within
two years from the time of his trial. His future career I never learned,
but it is altogether probable that he pursued, during the remainder of
his life, the same style of money-making (though perhaps on a smaller
scale) as that which rendered notorious the name of Don Pedro P. L. de
Morito.



                           THE END.



                 THE POISONER AND DETECTIVES.



                          CHAPTER I.

    _Mr. Pinkerton, at a Water-Cure, becomes interested in a Couple, one
          of whom subsequently causes the Detective Operation from which
          this Story is written.--A wealthy Ship-Owner and his Son.--The
          Son "found dead."--A Woman that knows too much and too little
          by turns.--Mr. Pinkerton secured to solve the
          Mystery.--Chicago after the Great Fire._


During the summer of 1870, I was spending a few weeks at a water-cure
for the benefit of my health. The place was one not widely advertised
nor generally known, and the number of frequenters was not large; hence,
I became somewhat acquainted with most of the visitors, and, as a matter
of habit, noticed their traits and peculiarities with more attentiveness
than a casual meeting would naturally warrant. Of course I had no idea
that I ever should make any use of my observations, but I simply kept up
a customary oversight upon everything about me. Among those whom I thus
noticed was a lady, about forty-five years of age, and her son, who was
about twenty-six years old. The mother, Mrs. R. S. Trafton, was a
pleasant woman, well preserved, and comparatively youthful in
appearance. She was afflicted by a rheumatic affection, which caused
her to visit these springs for relief; and her son accompanied her
partly to look after her comfort, and partly to obtain a vacation from
work. He was a tall, robust young man, with fine physique and strong
constitution, but he showed the effects of overwork. I always make a
point of observing the character and habits of those around me, and long
experience has given me considerable accuracy of judgment with regard to
my acquaintances, even where I am not an intimate associate with them.
The more I saw of Stanley D. Trafton, the more I was interested in him.
His mother was devoted to him, and he to her, so that they were rarely
seen apart.

Springville was a very quiet, dull place, and, aside from the invalid
visitors, there was nothing about the society to relieve the usual
monotony of an uninteresting country town; hence, I was thrown largely
upon my own resources for amusement, and I had little else to do except
to observe the different strangers and speculate about them. Among them
all there were none who afforded me a more interesting study than young
Trafton, and, although I never formed his acquaintance, I began to feel
that I understood his character quite thoroughly.

He was about five feet ten inches in height, of compact, muscular build,
full chest, stout limbs, and erect carriage. His complexion was clear
and healthy, his features regular, his expression intelligent and open,
and his manners were very frank and attractive to most people. His
general appearance was that of an intelligent, handsome man, of more
than ordinary ability and steady character.

I learned that his father, Mr. Richard S. Trafton, of Cleveland, was a
wealthy ship-owner and merchant, and that his son attended largely to
the purchase of grain in the West for shipment in his father's vessels.
I judged that young Trafton was a good business man, with an eye to
details as well as general results, and while he had no appearance of
being small-minded, he did not despise economy in his business affairs.
He did not seem like a person who would spend money for mere display or
effect; yet, neither would he deny himself the comforts and luxuries
belonging to a man of his wealth and position in society. There was
nothing of the profligate about him, and his devotion to his mother
showed that he must have a genuine and hearty respect for the whole sex.

In the course of a few weeks I left Springville, much improved in
health, and I soon forgot all about Mrs. Trafton and her son, until the
latter was brought under my notice again amid very tragical and
sorrowful circumstances.

Early in the winter of the following year, I was deeply engrossed in
business, having an accumulation of cases on hand which taxed my
ingenuity and energies to the utmost. I therefore placed almost all of
the less important operations in the hands of my superintendent, Mr.
Francis Warner, though I kept a general supervisory control over every
case on the books of the Agency. One morning, as I was conversing with
Mr. Warner, two gentlemen were admitted to my office by my confidential
clerk, who informed me that they had suspicions of foul play as the
cause of the death of one of their friends, and they wished the
circumstances fully investigated by the Agency. The gentlemen were Mr.
John Updike, of Cleveland, and Captain Edward R. Dalton, a ship captain,
of Buffalo. They introduced themselves, produced credentials and
references, and then told me the following story:

In November previous, Mr. Stanley D. Trafton, of Cleveland, left that
city to go to Chicago. He was the son of Mr. Richard S. Trafton, a
wealthy shipper of Cleveland, and the father was anxious to keep his
vessels employed. Captain Dalton commanded one of Mr. Trafton's
schooners, and he expected to arrive in Chicago harbor about November
20. Accordingly, young Trafton was to meet the vessel there, and, in
case she did not obtain a charter at a paying rate, he was to purchase a
cargo of oats on his own account. He brought, therefore, a considerable
amount of money and negotiable paper. He had about eight hundred dollars
in currency, two thousand five hundred dollars in United States
five-twenty bonds, and a letter from his father authorizing him to draw
upon him for a large amount. The bonds were the usual coupon bonds of
the denomination of five hundred dollars each, and fortunately Mr.
Trafton, senior, had the numbers of these securities.

Stanley Trafton arrived in Chicago November 22, and found the schooner
awaiting him. He tried to obtain a room in one of the hotels, but he
soon gave this up as a hopeless task, for the reason that there was no
hotel in the city which was not already crowded almost to an unsafe
degree. He then took up his quarters on board the schooner, getting his
meals at a restaurant. This was not at all pleasant, and he finally
discovered a place where furnished rooms were to let near one of the
hotels. He therefore announced to Captain Dalton that he had taken a
room at 92 West Madison street. They met each other every day, however,
and at last, seeing no profit to be made by purchasing grain in the then
condition of the market, Mr. Trafton informed the captain that he might
sail for Cleveland on Friday, December 1. On Thursday he visited the
captain and promised to return on board again that evening; he failed to
do so, however, and the schooner sailed next morning.

Five days afterward, Captain Dalton received a dispatch, sent by a firm
of commission merchants in Chicago, announcing that Stanley D. Trafton
had been found dead in his bed. Mr. Updike, who was a warm friend of the
family, and Captain Dalton, then visited Chicago, arriving December 8.
They found the body of Mr. Trafton at the Morgue awaiting claimants,
together with a quantity of valuables which had been in his possession
when he died. There were two five-twenty bonds, one being torn in two
pieces, a set of diamond studs, a small amount of loose change, and
three one-hundred-dollar bills. A coroner's inquest had been held, and a
verdict of death by congestion of the lungs had been rendered.

The circumstances of young Trafton's death, as related by the officials
in charge of the body, created considerable suspicion in the minds of
Messrs. Updike and Dalton, who, therefore, proceeded to investigate the
affair. In the first place, they were well aware that fifteen hundred
dollars in bonds, and nearly five hundred dollars in currency, were
missing; secondly, they learned that Trafton had been found dead in bed
Friday morning, December 1, only about eighteen hours after he had left
Captain Dalton in perfect health.

Accordingly, Mr. Updike and Captain Dalton visited his late
lodging-place, which was kept by a woman named May Sanford.

The building was a two-story frame residence, which, like thousands of
others after the Great Fire, had been rearranged for business purposes.
The lower floor was occupied as a furniture store, while the second
floor was also partly occupied by business offices. A covered stairway
on the side led to the upper story, and, while the front hall bedroom,
the front parlor and the next room back, were used as offices, the rear
portion was occupied by Mrs. Sanford, who rented most of her rooms as
sleeping apartments.

[Illustration: _"He was lying in bed with froth about his mouth and a
ghastly look on his face."--Page--_]

On stating their object in calling, the two gentlemen were admitted to
Mrs. Sanford's sitting-room, and she then gave her account of the
circumstances connected with young Trafton's death. She stated that she
met him first on the street and recognized him as an old acquaintance
who had been intimate with her husband and herself when they lived in
Buffalo; that he stopped and talked with her for a time, and, learning
that she had furnished rooms to let, he said he would rent one. He
stayed there five days, and, on the sixth, which was Thursday, November
30, he came to his room in the evening and complained of feeling unwell.
He had been drinking very hard all the week, and she said that this
evening he was quite drunk. He complained that he could not keep
anything on his stomach, and asked Mrs. Sanford to cook something nice
for him. Accordingly she boiled a chicken, but he could not eat it, and
he then went to bed. During the evening, she heard him snoring very
loudly as she passed his door, but she thought nothing of it, and went
to bed at eleven o'clock. About seven o'clock next morning, she knocked
at his door, but he made no answer, and she pushed the door open, the
bolt being a very slight one. She then found Mr. Trafton lying
diagonally across the bed, with his head hanging down and froth on his
lips. Becoming alarmed at his appearance, she called in a gentleman
named Taylor G. Pratt, who occupied her back parlor as a real estate
office and sleeping-room. Mr. Pratt examined the body of Mr. Trafton and
told her that he was dead, advising her to inform the police authorities
of the fact. She immediately closed the room and went to the nearest
police station, where she reported the circumstances relative to the
death of Mr. Trafton so far as she knew them, and asked what she should
do with the body. The police sergeant promised to send the coroner as
soon as possible to make an investigation, and she was instructed to
leave the body and room untouched until the coroner should arrive. That
evening an inquest was held by the County Physician, and a verdict of
death by congestion of the lungs was rendered. Mrs. Sanford gave an
account of the finding of the money and bonds, which exactly agreed with
that given by the County Physician, whom she assisted in making search
for Trafton's valuables. In one boot, lying under his head, they found a
five-twenty bond for five hundred dollars and half of another one, the
remainder of this torn bond being found in the right-hand pocket of his
pantaloons. In his vest pocket were found three United States notes for
one hundred dollars each, and a small quantity of loose change. A set of
diamond studs still remained in his shirt, and, as the story was related
by her, there was nothing suspicious about the affair except the
suddenness of his death.

Having heard all that Mrs. Sanford and the County Physician had to say
on the subject, Mr. Updike and Captain Dalton took charge of the body,
and shipped it to Cleveland, where they placed it in the hands of four
experienced surgeons, with instructions to make a thorough and careful
examination as to the cause of death. The first thing noticed by them
was an evidence of considerable external violence on the right side,
over the liver, there being a large bruise, about the size of a saucer,
apparently caused by a blow. The coagulation of blood beneath the skin
showed that this injury must have been caused during Trafton's lifetime,
but very shortly before his death. A similar, though smaller bruise, was
found on his thigh, while several bruises on the base of the neck and
throat showed that the windpipe must have been severely compressed just
previous to death. None of these marks had been noticed by the County
Physician in making the post-mortem examination, and it seemed probable
that he had first guessed at the cause of death, and then made only a
sufficient examination to find some corroboration of his theory. The
Cleveland surgeons had great difficulty in accounting for Trafton's
death, but they were unanimous in scouting the theory of death by
congestion of the lungs. They found the body to be healthy in every
part, except the external bruises; and, while these were not of a
sufficiently serious character to account for the death of so robust a
man, they could find no other cause whatever. These facts, together
with the disappearance of fifteen hundred dollars in bonds, and about
five hundred dollars in currency, which Trafton was known to have had in
his possession, caused his relatives and friends to believe that he had
been murdered for his money, and that the murderer had been shrewd
enough to leave a large portion of the plunder to allay suspicion. The
trick had proven to be a most excellent one, for, as the County
Physician afterward acknowledged, the idea of foul play never occurred
to him, owing to the apparent lack of incentive thereto; had there been
no money, or only a small amount, found on the body, he would have made
a much more rigid examination; but no suspicion even crossed his mind,
and he acted with the haste which characterized almost all operations in
Chicago at that time.

In order, therefore, to discover all the facts in the case, and to
recover, if possible, the missing money and bonds, Mr. Trafton, senior,
had decided to put the affair in my hands for a thorough investigation,
and Mr. Opdike and Captain Dalton had called upon me for that purpose.

Having heard their statement, I asked a number of questions, which
elicited the following additional information:

On returning to Chicago the second time, they had again visited Mrs.
Sanford, and found that she had taken every particle of furniture out of
the room where Trafton had died. At the time of their call, they saw a
policeman whom she called Charlie, with whom she seemed to be very
intimate. She said that Charlie was the first person to see Trafton
after she found he was dead that morning, he having been sent over by
the sergeant as soon as she reported the fact. This story contradicted
her former statement, that she first called Mr. Pratt into the room;
moreover, the sergeant of police had told them that the policeman did
not go to the room at all, but merely took the number of the house and
went away.

At this interview, Mrs. Sanford gave them the blank power to draw upon
Mr. Trafton, senior, saying that she had found it at the foot of the bed
since their former visit. She also showed them a gold coin which she
said young Trafton had given her as a keepsake. Both gentlemen
recognized this coin as one which Trafton prized very highly for some
reason, he having refused to part with it even to his mother; it seemed
hardly possible that he should have given it to a chance acquaintance
like Mrs. Sanford.

During this conversation she claimed to have lent Mr. Trafton three
hundred and twenty-five dollars, though she did not seem greatly
disappointed when they refused to repay her that amount. Mr. Updike gave
her twenty-five dollars, however, to pay for Mr. Trafton's board and
lodging, and to recompense her for her trouble. The story that Trafton
had borrowed money of her was absurd on its face, and she acted as if
she hardly expected to be believed.

Before coming to Chicago this time, Mr. Updike had written to Mr. T. B.
Vernon, of Buffalo, asking for information relative to the antecedents
of this Mrs. Sanford. Mr. Vernon had replied that she had a very bad
reputation in Buffalo, having been divorced from her husband for
adultery, and having been arrested in March previous for being drunk and
disorderly. She had a paramour at that time, named James McSandy, a
police-station keeper, and it was supposed that he had gone West with
her.

Another circumstance had been noticed by Captain Dalton, which led him
to believe that Trafton had been murdered with his clothes on, and
afterward undressed and put to bed: the sole of one of his boots was
covered with whitewash, as if it had been violently pressed and scraped
along a wall. Now, the room where he was found had been newly
whitewashed when they arrived there, so that any marks on the wall made
by him in his struggles would be wholly obliterated.

Having learned all the facts bearing upon the case known by my visitors,
I informed them of my terms for conducting an investigation of this
character, and sketched a hasty outline of my plan of operation. As they
had already hinted their suspicions to a member of the city detective
force, who was inclined to make light of them, I suggested that they
inform him that they had changed their minds in the matter, having
learned from the Cleveland physicians that death was surely caused by
congestion of the lungs. They then took their departure, saying that
they would lay my plan before Mr. Richard S. Trafton, and he would
telegraph to me whether I should proceed with the operation. On
Christmas day, I received a telegram from Mr. Trafton, briefly
instructing me to proceed, and my plan was put in operation at once.

Before proceeding further with the history of my connection with this
case, it will be necessary to remind the reader of the anomalous
condition of social and business affairs in Chicago at the time of which
I write; for, without any explanation, he might have difficulty in
understanding many things in connection with the story.

It will be remembered that the Great Fire of Chicago occurred October 8
and 9, 1871, and this case was placed in my hands only about nine weeks
afterward. At the time of Mr. Trafton's death, a pall of smoke hung over
the city, and, at night, the still-smouldering heaps of coal throughout
the "burned district" glowed like volcanic fissures, casting a weird
fantastic light about the ruins, and illumining the clouds of smoke
overhead with a ruddy glow which was visible for miles away. The streets
were filled with dust and ashes, while the fumes of carbonic acid gas
were sometimes almost stifling. To venture, at any time, into the waste
of ruins, which stretched more than three miles in one direction,
through the formerly richest portion of the city, was not a pleasant
undertaking; but to make such an excursion at night was attended with
more hazard than most peaceably-disposed men would care to run. There
were no gaslights, no sidewalks, no street indicators; in many places,
piles of stone and brick were heaped in almost impassable barricades
from one side of the street to the other; all landmarks were gone, and
the old resident was as liable to lose his way as the stranger.

The city, moreover, was crowded with what is sometimes called "a
floating population," a species of driftwood, or scum, gathered from
every quarter of the globe; indeed, a large percentage seemed to have
come straight from the infernal regions, with all the passions and
habits incidental to a prolonged residence there. Hence, the labors of
the police force were increased to an extent which taxed their abilities
to the utmost, and made the task of protecting the respectable portion
of the community about all that could be required of them; that they
should be apt to suspect foul play, in a case where the coroner had no
suspicions, was hardly to be expected. Besides this, there was nothing
settled on any permanent foundation; business men flitted hither and
thither wherever they could best obtain accommodations for the time
being, and whence people came or whither they went was a matter which no
one had time to inquire into, much less to investigate.

The destruction of thousands of business blocks and dwellings left the
city without adequate accommodations for offices and residences, even
for its own regular population; but when the rush of strangers swelled
the aggregate nearly twenty per cent., there seemed hardly
sleeping-rooms for them all. Dwelling-houses by thousands were converted
into stores, manufactories, and offices, until fabulous prices were
offered for the merest closets in the vicinity of the new temporary
business centers. Every hotel was thronged from the basement to the
Mansard roof, and late arrivals were oftentimes happy if they could get
a straw mattress on a billiard-table, or an army cot in a hall.

I call especial attention to these things to account for certain
apparent anomalies in the action of different persons connected with
this tragedy. For instance: a young gentleman of Mr. Trafton's wealth
and respectability would never have rented a mean little room in a petty
lodging-house, if he could have found any other place equally convenient
to business; the County Physician would not have taken things so much
for granted, if he had not been so hard at work and so pressed for time,
owing to the immense army of gratuitous patients who thronged the
offices of the County Agent and the Relief and Aid Society; the police
would not have been so remiss in failing to examine into the death of
Mr. Trafton, if they had not had their hands full of other business to
an unprecedented extent; and, lastly, when I came to work up the case, I
should not have had so much difficulty in finding witnesses, if it had
not been that people came and went through Chicago like the waves of
the sea in mid-ocean, leaving no trace by which they could be followed
or identified.

These circumstances, combined with certain facts which will appear in
the course of this narrative, made the task assigned me one of unusual
difficulty. Mr. Warner was intrusted with the general management of the
case, though he frequently consulted me in relation to it; and, though
we were continually working in the dark, we never despaired of our
eventual success.



                         CHAPTER II.

_The Detectives at Work.--Mrs. Sanford Described.--Charlie, the
Policeman.--Mrs. Sanford develops Interest in Government Bonds.--Chicago
Relief and Aid Benefits.--Mrs. Sanford's Story of Trafton's Death.--A
nice little Arrangement.--Mrs. Sanford explains to the Detective her
method of "Quieting People."--Ingham "Makes a Raise."--Mrs. Sanford
fears being Haunted, but is not easily Frightened._


The day after Christmas a tall, well-built man called at No. 92 Madison
street, and asked for the lady of the house. Mrs. Sanford soon entered
the sitting-room, and the stranger said that, having seen the sign,
"Furnished Rooms to Rent," he had called to engage lodgings. He
introduced himself as John Ingham, and said that he was a bookkeeper,
temporarily out of employment. Mrs. Sanford received him with great
cordiality, and seemed much pleased to have him as a lodger. She said
that she had no suitable room just then, but that a married couple were
about to leave, and then Mr. Ingham could have their room. She then
showed him through the house. The two front rooms were occupied by an
insurance company, and the back parlor was used as a real estate office
and sleeping-room by two brothers, named Pratt. At the head of the
stairs was a small bedroom, through which it was necessary to pass to
obtain admission to the rear part of the house. The passageway from this
bedroom to the sitting-room was made by partitioning off a small entry
from the back parlor. There were four doors in this sitting-room: one
opened from the entry; at the opposite side was one which opened into
another entry; the third was adjoining this second door, and it opened
into the large bedroom occupied by the married couple; the fourth door
led into Mrs. Sanford's own room. At the end of the back entry was an
unfurnished room and a kitchen. The front bedroom was occupied by two
young women who worked in a bindery, and their accommodations could
hardly have been very agreeable, as every one was obliged to pass
through their room on the way to the other rooms in the rear.

Mrs. Sanford was a good-looking woman, about thirty-two years old. Her
features were quite pretty, and her expression was pleasing. She was
very plump, and her skin was smooth and soft. She had brown hair, a nose
slightly _retroussé_, and a pleasant smile. Her eyes, however, were a
bluish gray, cold and watchful as those of a hawk. She might have been
called handsome but for the effects of dissipation, which were plainly
visible in her face. She had a pleasant voice, and she was naturally
easy in her manners. If she was in a good humor, she could be quite
fascinating; and almost any stranger, after talking with her for a few
minutes, would feel satisfied that she had once occupied a social
station far above that in which she was now placed. She had a good
education, and very frequently she would give evidences of having had a
wide range of really good reading. At times, her recitations and
declamations, wholly from memory, were exceptionally fine, and, but for
her two ruling passions, she might have been an actress of a high rank.

She had two controlling vices, one natural, the other acquired: her
greed for money was inborn, and it seemed to absorb at times every other
faculty; while the habit of using morphine had become so fastened upon
her, that she could not shake it off. She was a most contradictory
medley of compounds, however, and while her thirst for money seemed to
overpower all other considerations with her as a general rule, on some
occasions she would be as wasteful and careless of expense as the most
prodigal woman in the world. But when she had set her mind on the
acquisition of any particular money or piece of personal property, there
was no length to which she would not go to attain her object. The mere
sight of money seemed to act upon her with an effect almost of insanity,
and she would then have no regard for consequences until after she had
secured the coveted prize.

It will be readily understood, of course, that Mr. John Ingham, usually
known as Jack, was one of my detectives, sent to obtain lodging with
Mrs. Sanford, to win her confidence and learn all that he could.

Ingham agreed to take the large room in the rear, but he wanted to come
immediately. Mrs. Sanford agreed, therefore, to make up a bed for him on
the sofa in the sitting-room until the departure of Mr. and Mrs. Graves,
who were then occupying the back room. Having agreed upon the terms,
Ingham went away, promising to return that night. Accordingly, he came
in again about nine o'clock in the evening, and found that Mrs. Sanford
was entertaining a policeman. He was a rather good-looking fellow, and
was in full uniform, except his star. He remained until nearly twelve
o'clock, and when he went out, Mrs. Sanford followed him to the door,
with many affectionate caresses and tender remarks. After he had gone,
she began to converse very confidentially with Ingham, telling him that
she was engaged to be married to Charlie, the policeman.

"Don't you think a policeman is good enough to marry?" she asked.

"Oh, yes!" replied Ingham, "and your Charlie seems to be a fine fellow."

"Well, he is awfully fond of me," she continued, "and he spends all his
time off duty with me; but I don't know whether I care to marry him.
What do you think about it, Mr. Ingham?"

"You ought not to be in any hurry about it," he replied, "for you might
see some one whom you would like better."

"Oh! I have had a number of offers lately," she said, laughing. "I have
had to work hard for a living, and have saved up quite a good sum; and,
besides that, my father sent me two thousand dollars a short time ago,
so that I have a snug little fortune. But Charlie doesn't know anything
about it, and I shan't tell him until after we are married."

After some further conversation, she said that she was hungry, and
wished she had someone to go to the nearest restaurant with. Ingham
volunteered to act as her escort, and they went out together. While
eating supper, she suddenly asked whether government bonds were good
property to invest in. Ingham replied that they were very good indeed,
since the interest was payable in gold, and there were no taxes to pay
upon them.

"Well, suppose you should lose them," she queried; "could any one who
found them make use of them without being discovered?"

"Yes, I think so," said Ingham. "There is no means of learning how they
came into the bearer's possession."

"Did you ever own any?" she inquired.

"No, but I used to cash the coupons for my employer in Louisville, and I
know a good deal about them."

"What business were you in there?" she asked, with a considerable show
of interest.

"I was bookkeeper for a wholesale liquor firm, and the senior partner
used to put all his money into government bonds."

"Why did you leave Louisville?" she continued, seemingly desirous of
learning as much as possible of his history.

"Oh! well, I got hard up," he replied, evasively, "and there was some
mistake in my accounts which I couldn't explain satisfactorily, so I
thought best to go out of town for awhile. You know we are all liable to
mistakes when we are hard up."

"Yes, indeed, I understand," she replied, in a satisfied tone of voice.
"What are you going to do here?"

"Well, I can't tell yet. I have a small job of closing up a set of books
for the year, and when that is done I shall look around for something
else. I'm not particular what I do, if it pays well."

"Perhaps you could get employment from the Relief and Aid Society," she
said, "and then you could get lots of nice things for me. This man,
Graves, whose room you are to have, is employed there, and he steals
enough to keep the woman who is with him in good style."

"Why, aren't they married?" asked Ingham.

"No, I don't believe they are married," she replied, "and I've given
them notice to leave. Mr. Graves gets hardly any pay, but he brings her
all kinds of presents, and she sells them to the pawnbrokers."

On their return to the house, Mrs. Sanford made up a bed on the sofa for
Ingham, and then went to her room.

The day following, Ingham went down to his work on the South Side, and
did not return until eight o'clock in the evening. He said that he knew
of a chance to buy a cigar stand in one of the leading hotels, and that
he would like to do it if he could raise the money. Mrs. Sanford seemed
to have taken a great fancy to her new lodger, for she told him that she
would assist him, if it did not cost too much.

"By the way, I was sorry you were not here this afternoon," she said.
"There was a very pretty young lady friend of mine here, and I would
like to have you meet her."

"What was her name?"

"Ida Musgrove."

"Have you known her long?"

"Oh! no, I have only lived in Chicago a few months. I used to live in
Cleveland before I separated from my husband, and we had a fine
stone-front house there."

"How did you happen to leave your husband?" asked Ingham.

"Well, he began running after other women, and, though I forgave him
several times, when he brought his mistress to live in the same house
with me, I left him."

"He must have been a very hard case to do such a thing as that," said
Ingham, sympathizingly.

"Yes; and then he sold the house, promising to give me half if I would
sign the deed; but he never gave me a cent, so that I have had to work
hard to support myself and my little girl, who is boarding at Riverside.
However, I am all right now, for my father sent me three thousand
dollars the other day, and I shall have plenty of money hereafter."

"Hadn't you any friends here who would have helped you?" asked Ingham.

"No, I hardly knew any one; but I met an old friend from Cleveland about
a month ago, and he died here in my house. Haven't I told you about
that?"

"No, indeed; how was it?"

"Well, you see, this Mr. Trafton was a former lover of mine in
Cleveland, and he was very rich and handsome. He came here last month
and took the back room in my house. He was very kind to me, and wanted
to marry me; but he drank hard for a week and began to show the effects
of his dissipation. Finally, he came home one evening quite drunk, and
he complained of feeling sick. I boiled a chicken for him, but he could
not eat it, and he went to bed. Next morning he did not call me as
usual, and I went to his door and knocked; there was no answer, and so I
pushed open his door. He was lying in bed with froth about his mouth and
a ghastly look on his face which frightened me terribly. Then I called
in Mr. Pratt, who roomed in the back parlor, and he said that Mr.
Trafton was dead. When the coroner came, we found twenty-five thousand
dollars in Mr. Trafton's pockets, besides his diamond studs and other
property. Oh! it was a dreadful thing for me to think that such a
handsome fellow as my Stanley should die in my house."

"What was the matter with him?" asked Ingham.

"The coroner held an inquest, and a post-mortem examination showed that
he died of congestion of the lungs."

"Did you know that he had all that money with him?" asked Ingham,
significantly lowering his voice.

"No, I did not know it until afterward," she replied; "why do you ask?"

"Oh! for no special reason; but," he added, in a determined way, "you
might have helped yourself to some of that money and no one would have
been the wiser. I tell you, I wouldn't have let such a chance as that
slip."

"Well, I know I might have taken some of it," she answered,
thoughtfully, "but I couldn't steal from him. Oh! I have mighty good
credit among people here now, for every one knows about that money, and
that I could have taken it all if I had wished. A reporter came here,
and afterward stated in the paper that there was only a small amount,
about fifteen hundred dollars, found; but I had it corrected."

She prattled on for some time about her intimacy with Mr. Trafton, until
she was interrupted by a noise in the hall bedroom. On going to see what
was the matter, she found the two bindery girls in great excitement, as
they had been awakened by a strange man in their room. Ingham also went
to the door, when Mrs. Sanford told him to get his revolver, as she
wanted to shoot any man who should try to break into her rooms. No one
was found, but the lower hall door was open, and Ingham went down to
lock it. On his return, Mrs. Sanford said that she had a revolver, and
that she knew how to use it too. It was about midnight before they
retired, but Mrs. Sanford seemed to consider it quite an early hour.

The next day Ingham was again absent until evening, and Mrs. Sanford
scolded him a little for not staying more time with her. He replied that
he had been out looking for a chance to make a raise.

"What kind of a raise?" she asked.

"Oh! any kind," he replied; "I'm not particular, provided I can get
enough to pay for the trouble. If I knew of any good hiding place, I
could get a lot of valuable goods some night without much work, and with
no danger."

"You can bring them here, and I will hide them so that they will never
be found," she replied, in a whisper.

"That will be a pretty hard thing to do, for these policemen and
detectives can find almost anything if they want to. I shouldn't like to
bring any plunder here and then have it found in your house, for you
would then be punished for receiving stolen goods.

"Never you fear about me; I know some sharp tricks if I _am_ a woman. I
can hide anything you bring, and if they get after you, I can hide you
too."

Ingham then told her about various criminal devices for obtaining money,
which he had practiced in New York several years before, and called her
attention to the ease with which they might rob strangers by the "panel"
game. She was very much interested, and said that she could easily get
hold of some fellow with plenty of money, make him drunk, and then rob
him.

"How I wish you had been here when Mr. Trafton died, for you could have
got away with ten or fifteen thousand dollars without any difficulty
whatever."

"Yes, it would have been a good chance," he replied; "but I guess we can
do nearly as well, if you will be true to me and help me."

"You can depend upon me for anything," she answered, with great
determination, but adding suddenly, in a cautious tone, "that is,
anything except murder, you know. I shouldn't like to do that. But I
would protect you even if you should kill a man--not willfully--not
willfully, you understand; but if you should be obliged to do it to save
yourself, I should not blame you very much."

"I am determined to 'make a raise,' soon," said Ingham; "but I don't
know whether I can trust you."

"How so?" she asked, as if greatly surprised.

"I am afraid you will 'give me away' to that policeman whom you think so
much of."

"You need not fear anything of the kind," she said, leaning forward, and
speaking slowly and emphatically. "I can help you a great deal, and I
would never betray you to any one. I don't think so much of Charlie as I
pretend to."

Soon afterward she had to go into the unfurnished room to get something,
and she asked Ingham to hold the light for her.

"Why can't you hold it yourself?" he asked.

"Well, to tell the truth, I don't like to go into that room alone," she
replied, trying to laugh in an unconcerned way.

"Why not? You aren't afraid of anything, are you?"

"No, not afraid; but I have never felt like going in there since Mr.
Trafton died there. I cannot help recollecting the way he looked when I
first saw him hanging over the bedside, with the froth on his lips. I
took out all the furniture on that account, but I am going to furnish
it again next week, as I can get a good rent for it."

Ingham went with her as she requested, and he noticed that all the time
she was in the room overhauling a trunk containing the things she
wanted, she was very restless and nervous. Several times when she heard
a sudden noise she would start and turn pale, as if much frightened.

Presently the two girls occupying the front room came in and said that
they should leave next day, as they were afraid of a man coming into
their room as one had done the night before. Mrs. Sanford was evidently
not sorry to have them go, and they soon went to bed.

Ingham and Mrs. Sanford then talked together about their plans for
getting money for some time. Her whole mind seemed bent upon one
object,--to obtain money; and she seemed to have no scruples whatever as
to the means employed.

"Don't you know of any wealthy fellow who carries considerable money
about with him?" asked Ingham.

"Oh! yes; I know two or three who come here to do business, and I expect
one from Canada next week. He always has plenty of money with him, so
that I have no doubt we could get a big sum out of him."

"Does he ever drink?" he asked; "I don't want to tackle a sober man, if
I can help it."

"That needn't trouble you," she replied, in a whisper; "I can give him
something to keep him quiet."

"How can you do that?" he inquired, with apparent astonishment.

She then showed him a bottle of morphine, and said that she always kept
it for her own use, and that she knew how to give just enough to produce
a deep sleep. They finally agreed to lay their plans together, and to
make a big haul at the first opportunity.

Ingham went out again on his prospecting tour next day, but when he
returned, in the evening, he had not discovered any good place for a
robbery. He told Mrs. Sanford, however, that he thought he could get a
quantity of counterfeit money at a very low price, and that they could
pass a great deal of it, if they were skillful. She liked the idea, and
said that she could pass it on a great many people who would never
recollect where they received it. She also said that she had a good
place to hide it, and that some time she would show him where she had
hidden some property, when the police were looking for it.

"Oh! how I wish you had been here when that man died with eighteen
thousand dollars in bonds in his pockets!" she exclaimed. "You could
have helped yourself to all you wanted."

"Yes, indeed," he replied, "I should have made myself rich for life."

"But could you have disposed of the bonds without being suspected?" she
asked. "Wouldn't his friends catch you if they had the numbers of the
bonds?"

"Oh! that wouldn't make any difference. There are millions of dollars
afloat of these bonds, and they cannot be traced any more than money."

"His bonds were all for five hundred dollars each, and they had little
tickets on the end, which could be cut off for the interest," she said.
"I saw them when the coroner was examining them."

"Yes, they were undoubtedly five-twenty bonds, and were worth their face
in gold."

"Well, another time, if we get such a chance," she said, "we will take
enough to make ourselves comfortable, and leave the rest to remove
suspicion."

On the following day, Ingham returned to his room at Mrs. Sanford's
about three o'clock in the afternoon, and she told him that the two
girls and Mr. and Mrs. Graves had left. She said that she had a great
fuss with the latter, and that they went away in a state of high wrath
against her; besides this, she had had a quarrel with Charlie, the
policeman, who had sided with Mrs. Graves during their quarrel. Mrs.
Sanford said, further, that Charlie had acted very meanly in not making
her any Christmas or New Year's present, and she didn't care whether he
came there again or not. She said that Mrs. Graves had left her trunk to
be called for, and that there was no doubt she had stolen some of Mrs.
Sanford's towels and other things. She then went to the trunk, opened
it, and took out a number of articles, which she said belonged to her.
She took the articles into the kitchen, and secreted them in a hole in
the floor, where she was able to take up a board. Ingham thought it
rather strange that she should hide these things, if they were her own
property, but he said nothing on the subject to Mrs. Sanford.

About five o'clock a young lady called to see Mrs. Sanford, and they
seemed very intimate with each other. When they entered the
sitting-room, Mrs. Sanford said:

"Ida, let me introduce to you Mr. Ingham; this is Miss Ida Musgrove, Mr.
Ingham."

"Mrs. Sanford has spoken of you in such complimentary terms, Miss Ida,"
said Ingham, "that I have been very anxious to meet you."

"Now, how can you be so foolish, May," said Miss Ida, addressing Mrs.
Sanford; "you always talk about me so extravagantly that people are very
much disappointed when they meet me."

"Oh! that is quite impossible," chimed in Ingham. "I am sure that Mrs.
Sanford hardly did you justice."

"I see, Mr. Ingham, that you are, like all the rest of your sex, a great
flatterer," simpered Miss Ida, who was evidently greatly pleased with
his compliments, but who wished to appear too modest to believe him to
be in earnest.

Miss Ida was a brilliant brunette of fine features and figure. She was
stylish and graceful in her appearance, and her dress showed remarkably
good taste. She was very vivacious and merry, but a close observer would
have noticed that she was not endowed with much sentiment, and a
physiognomist would have said that she was more interested in the size
of a man's fortune than in his looks or powers to please. The three
chatted together very pleasantly for some time, and when Miss Ida rose
to go, she said that she hoped to have the pleasure of seeing Mr. Ingham
again; but she did not inform him where she lived, and was apparently
rather indifferent with regard to him.

The next day Mrs. Sanford refurnished the back room where Mr. Trafton
had died, and Ingham took the room vacated by the Graveses. On the same
day, Mrs. Sanford missed her watch, and, after searching for it
everywhere, she came to the conclusion that it had been stolen. She was
greatly distressed about it, but she could not imagine who could have
taken it.

A few days after this, Ingham came hurriedly into the sitting-room
looking as if he had been running hard. He found Mrs. Sanford and Miss
Ida in the kitchen, but when the former came into the sitting-room, he
gave her a significant look, and said that he had "made a raise." Mrs.
Sanford was highly pleased, but she had no time to make inquiries, as
Miss Ida came in from the kitchen a moment later. They took supper
together, and had a very gay time, as both Ingham and Mrs. Sanford were
quite excited over the former's adventure. After Miss Ida had gone home,
Ingham gave Mrs. Sanford ten dollars, and told her that he and another
man had followed a stranger into the "Burnt District" just at dusk, and
while the other man choked the stranger, Ingham had "gone through" his
pockets. Owing to the fact that there were very few persons and no
gas-lamps in their vicinity, they had not been observed in their work of
robbery until they let the man go, when his shouts had attracted
attention. He said that some men had chased them, and that he had
escaped by running into a lumber-yard, where he had hidden the greater
part of the plunder. He said that he had obtained a roll of bills, but
that he could not tell how much money there was in all, as he had not
had time to count it. He said that he did not expect to get much out of
it, as he would be obliged to divide with his partner. The day
following, Ingham, on his return to the house in the evening, found Mrs.
Sanford standing in her room fixing her hair, while a man stood beside
her with his arm around her waist. The door of her room was open, so
that Ingham could not help seeing them, and he did not stop, but went
straight to his own room. Mrs. Sanford soon afterward came to his door
and told him that the man he had seen was Mr. Taylor G. Pratt, the real
estate agent, who occupied the back parlor; that he was one of her best
friends, and that he wanted to marry her. He had been away for the
holidays, and had only just returned. She had told him that Ingham was
her brother from Detroit, and that he was going to remain with her for
some time. Ingham was then introduced to Mr Pratt, and they talked with
each other until supper-time. Pratt was a middle-aged man, with a
mean-looking face and suspicious manner. They went to a restaurant for
supper, and the gentlemen paid the bill equally. Pratt seemed to expect
Mrs. Sanford to pay her share, and this made her angry, though she said
nothing about the matter at the time. When alone with Ingham, however,
she said that Pratt was a miserly cub, with no generosity whatever. She
borrowed five dollars from him, nevertheless, and then invented a story
about having lost the money to escape paying it back.

The next evening, when Ingham returned to his lodgings, he found Mrs.
Sanford in a sad plight; one eye was wholly closed and discolored, while
her whole face was bruised and inflamed to such an extent as to make her
an unpleasant object to look at. Charlie Stokes, the policeman, was
sitting by the stove, and Mrs. Sanford, with her head done up in wet
towels, was moaning on the sofa. She explained that Mrs. Graves had been
there, and had seized her by the throat, beaten, scratched, and kicked
her until she was perfectly helpless from her injuries. Charlie, the
policeman, was trying to condole with her, but he was evidently out of
favor, for she finally told him to go out and not bother her any longer.

Ingham told her that she certainly ought to have Mrs. Graves arrested
and punished severely, and he petted her so nicely that she said he was
her best friend, and that she would do anything for him. He prepared a
dressing for her black eye, and got some supper for her, telling her
that on Monday--that day being Saturday--she ought to get out a warrant
for the arrest of Mrs. Graves.

"Why didn't you hit her with the poker?" he asked.

"I did pick it up," she replied, "but I was afraid to hit her for fear I
should kill her."

"Well, it would have served her just right, for she had no business to
attack you first."

"I know that; but if I had killed her, just think how awful it would be!
Why, her ghost would haunt me forever after. I don't want to be haunted.
I'm afraid now to go into the room where Trafton died, and I wouldn't go
in there alone after dark for fifty dollars."

Ingham comforted her all he could, but finally he said that he must go
out for a time, and he did not return until about ten o'clock. He then
went upstairs quietly, and went to bed. Two or three hours later, a
heavy, groaning sound was heard in the house. It was difficult to tell
exactly whence it came, but Ingham heard Mrs. Sanford spring up and open
her door. He did the same, and saw her listening at the half-open door.
The groans were not exactly like those of a person in distress, but they
resembled the efforts of some stage ghost in a blood-and-thunder drama.
Suddenly Mrs. Sanford stepped out, with her revolver in her hand, and
began to walk toward the hall. He instantly overtook her and asked her,
in a whisper, what she was going to do. She made a significant motion
with her revolver, and again stopped to listen. He then took the pistol
away from her, saying that the noise was probably due to some drunken
man who had got into the hall. He told her to go back to bed, and he
would investigate. Accordingly, he went into the hall, and soon Mrs.
Sanford heard him dragging a maudlin drunken fellow downstairs. This
affair had been arranged by me, in the hope of frightening Mrs. Sanford
into making some kind of a confession, but she was not so easily alarmed
as I had hoped. The door had been left open by Ingham on his return to
the house, and another detective had been sent to the top of the stairs
to make the groans. From the determined way in which she walked out,
with her pistol in readiness, it was evident that she would not have
hesitated to shoot the unfortunate ghost on sight.

The next day Ingham showed her a fine gold watch, which he said he had
snatched out of a man's pocket in a crowd. She wanted him to steal one
for her, and he promised to do so, if possible, though it was more
difficult to get a lady's watch. She then advised him to be careful to
see that there was no private mark on the watch, lest he should be
detected thereby. Then she asked whether the numbers on government bonds
were all different. He said that there were different series, which were
exactly alike except the letter, and he tried to explain the matter to
her, but she could not understand it. She also wanted to know whether
the bonds could be sold in a foreign country, and he told her yes; that
that was the best way to sell them, if there was anything wrong about
them. After some further conversation, she said she thought of going to
Canada soon, and perhaps she would like him to take charge of her rooms
while she was away.



                         CHAPTER III.

    _The Dangerous Side of the Woman's Character.--Mr. Pinkerton makes a
          new Move.--Robert A. Pinkerton as Adamson, the drunken, but
          wealthy, Stranger.--A "funny" Game of Cards.--The drunken
          Stranger has a violent Struggle to escape from Mrs. Sanford,
          and is afterwards robbed--according to the Papers.--Detective
          Ingham arrested, but very shortly liberated._


It has already been observed by the reader that, while Ingham had
learned nothing new about the fate of poor Trafton, he had obtained a
very excellent understanding of Mrs. Sanford's character. Her most
prominent characteristic was the love of money, and this passion seemed
to overpower all others. Her language and manners at times showed that
she had once been a member of good society, while her reading and
declamations from Shakespeare and other poets gave evidence of great
natural talents. Combined with her greed for money was a strong element
of sensuality, and though she usually granted her favors only where she
expected a large pecuniary reward, still, at times, she was apparently
as prodigal in that regard as if she had no care whatever for money.

Her mind was naturally powerful, and I had little hope of breaking down
her will; she would evidently show fight to the last, and all that I
could hope would be to learn enough secretly to insure her conviction
without her confession. She was as shrewd as if all her life had been
passed in evading the toils of the law; even in her sleep, or when
pretending to sleep, she would talk with great freedom; but, as she
never gave any intelligence of importance on such occasions, I put
little faith in the soundness of her sleep. In her readiness to assist
Ingham to hide his plunder, I saw the dangerous side of this woman's
nature strongly revealed. If she were so willing to act as an accomplice
in one crime, why not in another? As she had been so successful in her
encounter with Trafton, might she not be glad to carry out the same
scheme again? At least, there would be no harm in putting an opportunity
before her, and her actions in one case might give some clue to those by
which she had succeeded in the former affair.

"Yes, that will be a good plan," I soliloquized; "I will send a young
fellow there with a large sum of money, and he will get drunk. Then, if
she tries to rob him, I shall be certain that she did the same with
young Trafton."

I therefore arranged that Ingham should pretend that he had made the
acquaintance of a stranger from the East, who had a large sum of money;
he was to tell Mrs. Sanford that he would bring the stranger to her
rooms to spend the evening; the stranger would be rather drunk when he
arrived there, and they would give him more liquor, until he should be
quite drunk; if she should then try to rob him, he would get away as
well as possible, and Ingham would go after him. In a little while,
Ingham would return and show her a package of bonds, stolen from the
stranger, and tell her that he had knocked the man down with a brick,
before robbing him. The next morning a notice would appear in the papers
to the effect that a stranger had been found in the burnt district,
lying on the ground in an insensible condition, having been knocked down
and robbed.

Ingham was instructed as to his part in the affair, and next day he told
Mrs. Sanford that there was a young fellow down town whose acquaintance
he had made, who had a large amount of money with him. Ingham said that
the man's name was Adamson, and that he was a gambler in good luck. He
wanted to bring Adamson to the house that evening, and she was very
anxious that he should come.

I intrusted the stranger's part to my son, Robert A. Pinkerton, who
assumed the name of Adamson for the occasion.

Accordingly, the two detectives met at my office, and Adamson was given
five hundred dollars in fifty dollar bonds. They then went to Mrs.
Sanford's house, and, on arriving there, Mr. Adamson was quite unsteady
on his legs. Mrs. Sanford was nicely dressed to receive the stranger,
and she made herself very agreeable to him, in spite of his apparent
drunkenness. They played cards together for a time, and then Adamson
proposed to play euchre with Ingham seven points for five dollars a
game. While they were playing, Adamson became quite reckless, and he
threw down his cards with such a look of drunken gravity as to be quite
amusing. He lost almost every game, and, at length, he wanted to go out
for a drink. Mrs. Sanford told him to go on with his game, and she would
get what he wished.

"What do you want to drink?" she asked.

"Anything excep' warrer," he replied.

"What do you know about water?" asked Ingham; "I don't believe you can
tell how it looks."

"Tha's a lie. I know how to tell warrer's well's you. I (hic) can allus
tell warrer--it looks jus' like gin. Get us some gin."

While Mrs. Sanford was gone, Ingham and Adamson arranged that the latter
should pretend to have lost all his money to the former, and that he
should insist upon playing one game for fifty dollars. This he was to
lose, and he was to become angry and go away. Adamson then gave Ingham
about fifty dollars to show as his winnings, and presently Mrs. Sanford
came in. She had been introduced to Adamson under the assumed name of
Mrs. Robertson, and he therefore addressed her by that name.

[Illustration: "_I'll play you a (hic) game f'r fiffy doll's!_"]

"Mrs. Rob'son, 'f you'd come sooner (hic), you'd ha' seen th' funniest
game 't ever was played. Never 'ad such bad luck 'n m' life, an' now
I've los' all m' money. Gimme big (hic) drink of gin."

Mrs. Sanford poured him a glass half full, and also poured a little into
two other glasses. When she turned her head, Ingham emptied the contents
of his glass into the coal-scuttle, exchanged glasses with Adamson, and
emptied his drink into the same place. When they stood up to drink, Mrs.
Sanford was the only one who really did so, the two men merely going
through the motions, with great apparent satisfaction. Adamson then
became more and more excited.

"Tell you, Miss'r Hang'em, or whatever y'r name is, I'll play you a
(hic) game f'r fiffy dolls; can beat you 't euchre any day th' week.
Wha' you say? Wan' to play?"

"No, I don't want to play for so much, but I'll play you for twenty-five
dollars."

"Fiffy or nothin'. Come, now; 'f you're 'fraid to play, say so. I c'n
play like a steam-whissle, I can."

"I'll play you for twenty-five," replied Ingham, irresolutely.

"No, sir; I won't (hic) play'ny more small games. You've won more'n
fiffy doll'rs fr'm me now, 'n I wan' m' revenge. You goin' ter gimme a
(hic) chance t'win it back?"

"All right," said Ingham; "I'll play you just one game for fifty
dollars, and then we'll stop, no matter who wins. Just wait a minute,
until I go to my room for a handkerchief."

While he was gone, Adamson pulled out a package of ten United States
bonds, of the denomination of fifty dollars each, and said that he would
put up one of them against Ingham's fifty dollars, and that he should
send the rest to his mother. When Ingham returned, he counted out fifty
dollars, and Adamson laid down one of his bonds.

"What's that?" asked Ingham. "Is that worth fifty dollars?" and picking
it up, he examined it carefully.

"Yes'r; tha's worth more'n fiffy doll'rs; tha's worth fiffy doll'rs in
gold."

"Will you guarantee that it is good and all right?" asked Ingham.

"Course I will; didn't you ever see a (hic) bond b'fore?"

"Oh! I know that's all right," said Mrs. Sanford, who was beginning to
show the effect of the gin very strongly; "I've had bon's like that,
too. Th' young man who died here had eighteen thousan' bonds like this."

"Well, all right," said Ingham; "let us cut for deal."

As the game progressed, Mrs. Sanford felt the strength of the gin more
and more, and she soon became quite sick. Ingham got her some warm
water, and she went into her own room to vomit. She soon returned,
feeling much better, and the game went on, Ingham winning by one point.
Adamson then became very angry, and said he was going out; and, although
the others begged him to stay, he put on his overcoat and insisted on
going away. Ingham finally said that he didn't care whether Adamson went
or stayed, and, so saying, he walked off to his own room. Mrs. Sanford
used every argument to induce Adamson to stay all night, but, with a
drunken man's obstinacy, he refused to remain any longer. He walked
downstairs, with Mrs. Sanford clinging to him and coaxing him all the
way, until they reached the lower landing, when she put her back against
the door and refused to let him out. They then had a violent struggle,
in the course of which she tore open his coat and vest in the endeavor
to get at the bonds in his breast pocket. Finally, he was obliged to use
all his force to get away, as she was like a tigress in her anger, and
was evidently determined to rob him. Indeed, had he not been an active,
muscular young man, she would, undoubtedly, have finished him then and
there; as it was, he barely succeeded in making his escape, by forcing
her back upon the stairs, and then springing out of the door before she
could seize him again.

Meantime, Ingham was a silent spectator of this scene from the top of
the stairs, where he stood holding the lamp. As soon as Adamson was out,
Ingham rushed down and told Mrs. Sanford that he intended to have those
bonds anyhow. He told her to sit up for him, and then ran out after
Adamson. In less than an hour, he returned and saw Mrs. Sanford watching
for him from a front window. When he went upstairs, she was still
somewhat under the influence of the liquor she had drank, but she asked
him where he had been.

"That's all right," he replied, flipping over the ends of the package of
bonds; "I guess I've made a good enough haul this time."

"Oh! you are a splendid fellow," she said, leaning on his shoulder. "I
didn't think you would dare to do it."

"I dare to do anything where there is any money to be made. You won't go
back on me, will you?"

"What do you mean?" she asked.

"I mean, that you won't give me away to the police?" he asked,
anxiously.

"Why, of course I won't," she replied. "I never yet went back on any one
who did the fair thing by me; and I know you will do that, won't you?"

"Oh! certainly I will; I will make you a nice present to-morrow."

"I don't want a present to-morrow," she said, sullenly; "I want my share
now."

"But I shall have to cash these bonds first," he said. "They would be of
no use to you in their present shape."

"I can get them cashed as well as you can," she replied. "Come, hand
over; I don't want half, but I want my share now."

"What is your hurry?" he demanded. "Can't you wait until to-morrow?"

"No, I can't; I want my share, and if you are going to be mean, I will
be mean too. You can't keep those bonds unless I say so, and if I choose
to report you, I can have them all taken from you, besides sending you
to Joliet."

"Oh! if that's the way you talk," replied Ingham, "I shall know what to
do. If you can't trust me until to-morrow, I can't trust you at all. You
can't scare me by threats, and if you want to get any of this money, you
must deal fairly with me; I'm not afraid of being arrested."

"All right, then," she answered, with a wicked look in her eye; "we'll
see whether you will 'come down' or not. If you want to keep it all, I
shall take care that you don't keep any of it. I'm going to the police
station at once."

She was, evidently, just ugly enough to do as she said; and, as Ingham
had the bonds in his possession, he did not fancy the idea of letting
her go for the officers just then; so he replied:

"You can go right along, if you want to, but, in that case, I shall go
somewhere else."

He then quickly brought his hat and overcoat into the sitting-room; and,
seeing that she was still making preparations to go out, he took a
hurried departure, taking a room at a small hotel for the night.

In the Chicago _Tribune_ of January 14, 1872, the following item
appeared:

"HIGHWAY ROBBERY.

     "At about twelve o'clock last night, an officer of Pinkerton's
     Preventive Police stumbled over the body of a man near the corner
     of State and Washington streets. Stooping down, he discovered that
     the man was half drunk, half insensible, bruised and bleeding. On
     being restored to his senses, he gave his name as Robert Adamson,
     stating that he had come from Troy, New York, having with him
     several hundred dollars in currency and bonds. The time between
     drinks was very short yesterday afternoon, and he has no clear idea
     of what happened after dark, up to the time the officer found him
     minus his money and valuables. He remembers drinking frequently
     with a stranger, who made himself very agreeable, but cannot state
     the time when they parted company. He describes the stranger as a
     tall slender man, with black side-whiskers, giving a sufficiently
     minute description of him to afford the police a valuable clue, and
     it is likely that the highwayman will soon be overhauled."

About noon of the day that the above was published, Ingham went to call
upon Mrs. Sanford, and she received him very coolly.

"How do you feel this morning?" he asked. "Does your head ache?"

"No, I feel all right," she replied. "Have you seen that fellow that was
here last night?"

"No, I have not seen him," he replied. "Why do you ask? Has he been here
looking for me?"

"Yes, he came here this morning, and asked me all kinds of questions
about you; and now, if you are arrested, it will be your own fault. I
would have shielded you, if you had done the fair thing by me; but now
you must look out for yourself."

"You are very unreasonable, Mrs. Sanford," he replied; "it would have
been very dangerous to have left any of those bonds with you, for if the
man had brought the police here, they would have searched the house, and
would have found the bonds. Then you would have been arrested, and you
would have been obliged to tell where you got the bonds. Now, as soon as
I get the bonds cashed, I will treat you handsomely, but I do not intend
to run any risks."

"There would have been no danger of their finding the bonds, if you had
left them with me; and, even if they had found them, I never would have
told where I got them. You might have been fair enough to give me one
hundred dollars at least."

"He did not have any money besides what I won from him, except the
bonds; and, as I said before, I did not dare to leave those in the
house."

"I am sorry I ever let you into my house," she said, presently. "I
thought a great deal of you, and I expected to assist you when I
received my money; but now I have lost confidence in you. I suppose, if
you got a chance at my money, you would take that too. I begin to think
I know where my watch went; the detective wanted to search you for it
two or three times, but I wouldn't let him, and this is the way you
reward my confidence."

"Mrs. Sanford, you are talking wild," he answered, angrily. "I have
always treated you well, and when I made a raise the other day, I gave
you a part of it. I intended to do the same this time, but you acted so
suspiciously that I thought best to wait awhile. Now, as soon as I get
these bonds cashed, I will give you some more money, but not till then."

"You can keep your old money," she retorted; "I don't want any of it.
You think you were very smart, yesterday, but you don't know what danger
you are in. I could have you arrested this very day if I chose."

"I know you could; but what good would it do you? I should be punished,
to be sure, but you would not get a cent; while, if you keep quiet, I
will make you a fine present."

"I don't want your present, nor you either," she replied. "I don't want
you in my house any longer." Then, as Ingham started toward his room,
she said: "Keep out of there; you can't go into that room, for I've let
it to a young couple, who are in there now."

"All right, then," replied Ingham; "I will call again to-morrow."

"You needn't take things so mighty cool," she replied, perfectly white
with anger. "You may find yourself in jail before you know it."

"I know it," he answered, carelessly; "but it's my nature to take things
cool, and so, if you want to put me in jail, you can; but you can't
scare me a bit, and you may as well understand it first as last."

The following morning, I received from Mr. Trafton, who was then in
Philadelphia, the numbers of the bonds which were missing. They were
five-twenty bonds of the issue of 1865, numbers 57,109 and 87,656,
series A, and number 37,515, series B. Information of the robbery had
been sent to the Treasury Department at Washington, and to all the
sub-treasurers in the United States, in order that, in case any of the
interest coupons should be presented for payment, they might be traced
back, possibly, to the hands of the thief.

In _The Tribune_ of Monday appeared the following item:

                     "BEATEN AND ROBBED.

    "A MAN TAKES A WALK WITH A COMPARATIVE STRANGER, AND IS KNOCKED DOWN
          AND ROBBED OF NEARLY $1,000 IN GREENBACKS.

     "Mention was made in yesterday's TRIBUNE of the finding of a man,
     named Robert Adamson, on the corner of State and Washington
     streets, he having been beaten and robbed of several hundred
     dollars in greenbacks. The police were looking for him yesterday,
     but failed to find him. It was ascertained that he had been
     boarding at No. 92 West Madison street, and that, on Saturday
     night, he indulged in several games of euchre with a man who also
     boarded at the place. While the game was in progress, and Adamson
     was under the influence of liquor, he displayed an express
     company's envelope full of money. At the conclusion of the game,
     the two men went out to 'take a walk.' Yesterday morning, Adamson's
     companion returned to the house, and, it is said, offered the
     landlady $500 if she would say nothing about his having played
     cards with Adamson. She refused, and would not allow the fellow to
     take his trunk away, which he wanted to do very badly. The landlady
     sent her little daughter to police headquarters for an officer, and
     one was sent over to arrest the man; but he had left previous to
     the officer's arrival. It is not known how much money Adamson had,
     but it must have been in the neighborhood of $1,000, or the man who
     took it would not have made such a munificent offer to have the
     fact of the theft kept secret."

In accordance with my instructions, Ingham went to Mrs. Sanford's house
about noon on Monday. He told her that he had read in the paper that she
had reported him to the police as being the assailant of Robert Adamson.
She denied ever having done so, and offered to swear that she had never
betrayed him. He replied that he felt sure there must be a mistake, as
he could not believe it possible that she would betray him. He felt
perfect confidence in her, and had no fears that she would try to have
him arrested.

"Besides," he continued, "I don't care now whether they arrest me or
not. I'm not afraid of being held, for I am generally shrewd enough to
cover my tracks pretty thoroughly, if I have a start of two or three
days."

"You can't prove that you didn't rob that man," she replied.

"I don't need to; all the proof must come from the other side, and they
haven't any witnesses who can swear that I did the robbery."

"I could prove it, if I choose to go against you," she said.

"No, you couldn't," he replied. "You didn't see me; and, while your
testimony would, perhaps, be circumstantial evidence, your oath would be
no better than mine, as you have no one to swear to the same thing."

"Oh! I have great credit up at the station," she said, in a boasting
manner. "They recollect the finding of eighteen thousand dollars under
the pillow of the young man who died here, and they have all confidence
in me, for they know I might have easily stolen all he had. But I think
it is best never to do anything wrong, and then there is no fear of
getting into trouble."

"That's all right, if you can do it," he replied; "but I must have a
living, and if I can't get it one way, I will another."

Just then some one knocked at the door, and presently Charlie Stokes,
the policeman, walked in. They talked together a few minutes, and then
Stokes said:

"Step this way a moment, Mr. Ingham, I wish to speak to you alone."

They walked to the head of the stairs, and Ingham then asked what he
wished to talk about.

"Well, there seems to be some kind of a misunderstanding at the police
station," said Stokes, keeping his eyes on the ground, "and they have
sent me to ask you to walk around to the office."

"A misunderstanding about what?" asked Ingham. "What do you mean?"

"Well, you know all about it," continued Stokes, in the same mysterious
way.

"I beg your pardon; I don't know what you have reference to; please
explain."

"Oh! you know well enough. You are wanted on account of that man you
robbed last Saturday night."

"I did not rob any man Saturday night, and I am surprised that you
should make such a charge against me, knowing me as well as you do,"
said Ingham, in an injured tone.

"I have nothing to do with it," replied Stokes. "I am simply obeying the
captain's order, and I have no personal feeling against you whatever;
but I have been sent to take you down to the station, and I must obey
orders."

"Then you arrest me?" inquired Ingham.

"Well, you must go to the station with me to see the captain."

"Not unless you arrest me," replied Ingham. "I want to know whether I am
to consider myself under arrest."

"Yes, you can consider yourself arrested, if you want to," replied
Stokes, who did not seem to like to take the responsibility of making
the arrest under the circumstances.

"I don't want to, and I shan't, unless you say so," persisted Ingham.

"Well, then, I _do_ say so, and we will go now. We can walk along
together like two friends, however, and no one need know that you are my
prisoner."

"I don't care who knows it," said Ingham; "but I think there is
something strange in the way of arresting me."

"Well, I hope you will come out all right," Stokes replied, adding
significantly, "and perhaps you will, if certain folks don't appear
against you."

"I'm not afraid," replied Ingham; "there is no one who can say anything
against me."

On arriving at the station, the same consideration was shown to him, and
the station-keeper asked him to make himself comfortable in the main
sitting-room.

"Am I under arrest?" he asked again.

"No, not exactly; you can take it easy for a time, and you will have an
examination soon."

"If I am not under arrest," Ingham replied, "I shall not stay here."

"Why not?" asked the station-keeper.

"Because I have no business here unless I am a prisoner," was Ingham's
reply.

"We can lock you up in a cell, if we want to," said the station-keeper;
"but we thought you would prefer to be comfortable up here."

"Then I _am_ a prisoner?" again inquired Ingham, who seemed anxious to
have his status satisfactorily explained.

"Yes, confound it; if you are determined to have it so, you are."

About five o'clock the sergeant of police came in, and asked Ingham his
name.

"Ingham," was the reply.

"Jack Ingham?"

"No; John Ingham."

"What is your business?" asked the sergeant.

"I'm not employed at all, just now."

"Have you ever had any work to do in this city?" again queried the
sergeant.

"No; not yet."

"Who was that man you were playing cards with the other night?"

"What night?" asked Ingham.

"Well, Saturday night."

"Whereabouts?"

"At your boarding place."

"Oh! I play cards with a great many fellows," Ingham replied. "I don't
know which one you mean."

"Well, we know who he was," said the sergeant.

"Then what are you asking me for?" said Ingham. "Am I under arrest?"

"I guess you will have to stay here awhile," was the sergeant's reply.

Presently a number of persons came into the room, and Ingham thought he
saw among them one of the bindery girls who had formerly lodged with
Mrs. Sanford. She looked at him very hard, and then went out into the
hall, where he could hear her talking with the station-keeper and
Stokes. He also heard the sergeant call a policeman and give him some
instructions, in which Ingham caught the words, "Pinkerton's office."
The man then put on his coat and went out. Presently the sergeant
approached him again, and, looking at him significantly, said:

"Now we know all about your playing cards with that man, and afterward
robbing him."

"I don't know what you mean," Ingham replied; "I don't know what man you
are talking about."

"Didn't you see that piece in the paper yesterday?" asked the sergeant.

"I saw a number of pieces in the paper yesterday, but I can't tell which
one you are referring to."

The sergeant then showed him the item headed "Highway Robbery," and
said:

"Now, we can prove that you came back to your landlady with a large
package of money, and offered her five hundred dollars to keep quiet
about the fact of your having played cards with this young fellow, and
then having followed him out."

"Well, if you can prove that, you had better do it," said Ingham; then,
changing his tone, and looking straight in the sergeant's face, he
added: "Now, look here, sergeant, if you have any charges against me,
just state them."

The sergeant muttered something about locking him up, and started to go
out.

"If you lock me up," replied Ingham, coolly, "I hope you are prepared to
take the consequences."

"Who the devil are you, anyhow?" asked the sergeant.

"No relation of yours, I assure you," was the reply, and the sergeant
went away.

At this time, a tall, dignified man came in and asked the station-keeper
a question. The policeman replied that there was no such man there.

"I know better than that," said the stranger, "and I must see him."

The station-keeper declared positively that they had no such man, and
the stranger then went upstairs. In a few minutes the sergeant came in
and told Ingham to follow him. As they were going upstairs, they met the
tall stranger coming down. Ingham felt confident that this man was
looking for him, and, in passing, he pinched the stranger's leg. The
pinch was returned, and the tall man stopped; but Ingham and the
sergeant went up to the captain's room. After asking Ingham his name,
the captain said:

"Where were you last Saturday night?"

"That is none of your business," said Ingham.

"Come, now, you needn't put on any airs," said the captain; "I want to
know all about this."

"Captain," Ingham replied, "if you have any charges against me, I should
like to hear them. I don't put on any airs, but I want to know what I am
under arrest for."

Turning to the sergeant, the captain said:

"How long would it take you to bring that man on here, sergeant?"

"Three or four days, at least," was the answer.

Just then the tall stranger entered, and the captain took him into a
private room, where they remained some time. When they came out, the
sergeant joined the captain for a few minutes, while the tall gentleman
introduced himself to Ingham as Judge B----, and said that the captain
would let him go. This proved true, for the captain very soon came out,
and told Ingham that he was at liberty.



                         CHAPTER IV.

    _Connecting Links.--Mrs. Sanford's Ability as an Imitator of
          Actors.--One Detective tears himself away from her, and
          another takes his Place.--Mrs. Sanford's mind frequently
          burdened with the Subject of Murder.--New Evidence
          appearing.--A Peep at the stolen Bonds.--The Shrewdness of the
          Murderess._


Ingham did not return to Mrs. Sanford's until late in the evening of the
day of his arrest. On arriving there, he was admitted by Charlie Stokes,
the policeman, who seemed very much surprised to see him. Mrs. Sanford
was also quite astonished, and turned very pale on seeing him. However,
they soon began talking in a very friendly way, expressing their regret
at his arrest and their pleasure at his release. Charlie did not remain
long, and after he was gone Mrs. Sanford made all kinds of inquiries as
to the manner of his escape.

"Why, Mrs. Sanford," he replied, "I told you they couldn't hold me.
There was absolutely no evidence against me, and they were afraid to
even lock me up. I have been ten years in this business, in New Orleans
and elsewhere, and I have never been caught yet. The only thing which
puzzles me, is to account for my being arrested at all!"

"You don't suspect that I had any hand in it, I hope?" asked Mrs.
Sanford.

"Oh, no indeed! I trust you perfectly; but I think that one of those
bindery girls may have seen me with Adamson on the street. One of them
came into the station while I was there, and looked at me very hard, as
if trying to identify me. Still, I don't see how she could have
suspected anything, unless some one put her up to it."

"Perhaps some bartender may have seen you drinking with him during the
afternoon," she suggested, "and he may have described you to the
police."

"Well, I should like to know who it was," he said, savagely, "for I
would shoot him like a dog."

As Mrs. Sanford had rented Ingham's room, there was no place for him to
stay, and he went away about midnight, telling her that he would return
next day. He did not go there, however, until after dark, as he felt
confident that the police would try to "shadow" him. He found Mrs.
Sanford quite uneasy about him, as she thought he had been arrested
again. He invited her to go to the theatre, and, on their way home, they
stopped at a restaurant to get a late supper. As there were no
accommodations for him, he was obliged to go to a hotel for the night,
but Mrs. Sanford promised to have a bed put into the unfurnished room
for him the next day. The next afternoon he called again, and Mrs.
Sanford said that Charlie had been there, and had told her all about
their visit to the theatre the night before. She said that he knew
exactly where they had been, what they had had for supper, and what
they had paid. Ingham was thus made aware that he was being watched, and
his position, therefore, became very embarrassing.

"Oh! by the way," she exclaimed, suddenly, "did I tell you that I got
back my watch?"

"No; how did you recover it?" he asked.

"Well, that man Graves had it, and I had to pay one hundred dollars to
get it back."

"That was a great shame," said Ingham, sympathetically, as if he fully
believed her.

"Yes, I got my watch and several other trinkets, which I had all
together in one box. See, here they are," she said, producing a box.

Ingham looked at them with great interest, and, among the old
sleeve-buttons, odd earrings, and other broken pieces of jewelry, he saw
two gold shirt studs, one diamond-shaped, and the other star-shaped.
This was a small matter, but it was one of the connecting links,
nevertheless, in the chain of evidence against her; for, from the
description, I felt sure that these were young Trafton's missing studs.

Ingham spent the evening with her, and she was very friendly indeed,
seeming anxious to remove any suspicion he might have that she was
responsible for his arrest. She had made no arrangements for him to
sleep there, however, and so he went to a small hotel for the night.
When he reported at my office the following day, I gave him four hundred
dollars in money, and told him to show it to Mrs. Sanford as the
proceeds of the sale of the stolen bonds. Accordingly, when he went
there in the afternoon, he counted over a large pile of bills before her
astonished eyes, and asked her if he didn't know how to make things pay
well.

"Why, where did you get all that money?" she asked.

"I sold those bonds which I showed you the other night," he replied. "I
tell you, it isn't every man who knows how to dispose of property when
it falls into his hands."

"Now you will be flush for a long time, won't you?" she said, in her
most amiable manner. "What are you going to do with all that?"

"Oh! I shall have to divide with my partner first," he replied.

"Did you have a partner in this affair?" she asked. "You did not tell me
about him."

"Oh! yes; I had the same partner as in the other case," Ingham replied.
"He held Adamson, and I struck him with a brick. However, here is a
present before I go, May," he continued, tossing two ten-dollar notes
into her lap. "I will give you some more in a day or two."

Mrs. Sanford was very much gratified, and said that she cared more for
him than for any one else, and he could depend upon her for anything.
Ingham then left her, and came to my office to return the money. In the
evening he took Mrs. Sanford and Miss Ida Musgrove to the theatre, and
the latter, evidently having heard of his improved fortunes, treated him
with great cordiality. They returned to the rooms of Miss Ida after the
theatre was out, and Mrs. Sanford gave some fine imitations of different
actors and actresses, in a way which showed great powers of mimicry, as
well as considerable dramatic force. It was very late when Ingham and
Mrs. Sanford got home, and they immediately went to bed.

The next day, Ingham went away as usual, and stayed until nearly dark.
When he saw Mrs. Sanford, he professed to be in a very sulky mood, and
said that he had been gambling all day.

"At first I won right along, and I was nearly two thousand dollars ahead
at one time; but the cursed luck changed, and I began to lose every bet;
so that, when I left, I had only ten dollars in my pocket out of all
that money I got for the bonds."

Ingham could not control his feelings as he thought of his loss, and he
swore and raved like a crazy man. Mrs. Sanford was very much
disappointed, also, but she did not say much, except that he ought to
have known better than to gamble. There were two or three new lodgers
coming in and out while he was there, so that he did not have much time
to talk to her, and he went away early in the evening.

Owing to the arrest of Ingham, and his quarrel with Mrs. Sanford, I had
decided to relieve him from this operation, and to put another man in
his place. His story about gambling was a part of my plan; and the next
day, when he called upon her, he was under instructions to announce his
intended departure from the city. Accordingly, he did so, giving as a
reason the fact that he had lost all his money, and that the police were
watching him so closely that he was afraid to attempt another robbery in
Chicago. He told her that he was going to St. Louis, and that he should
come to see her immediately, if he ever should return.

She appeared very much distressed at the thought of losing him, and told
him that when she got her money, she would let him have as much as he
wanted. She made him promise to write to her, and when he went away, she
cried with seemingly genuine sorrow.

Three days later Mrs. Sanford received a visit from a gentleman who said
he wished to rent a furnished room. Mrs. Sanford seemed to like his
appearance, and she offered him the small back room at a low rent.
Having decided to take it, he told her that his name was Henry C.
Morton, recently from England.

"Oh! I am so glad you are from the old country," said Mrs. Sanford, "as
I am from Edinboro' myself, and my father is Lord Chief Justice of the
courts there. He is very rich, and has treated me very liberally since I
left my husband; why, only last week, he sent me three thousand
dollars."

Just then a Mr. Bruce, the owner of the furniture store below, came in,
looking rather tipsy. Mrs. Sanford introduced the two men, and Mr. Bruce
said something about being an Irishman.

"Why, what a strange coincidence," said Mr. Morton. "Here are three
persons, each representing one of the three kingdoms of Great Britain.
If I had some one to send for some ale, we would drink a toast to
Britannia, God bless her!"

After talking together for some time, Mrs. Sanford and Mr. Morton went
into the sitting-room, and Mr. Bruce went down to his store. Then Morton
said that he had left his valise at the Stock Yards, and that he would
go for it at once. On his return, he found two rough-looking men at the
door trying to get in, but the bell would not ring, and so Morton went
away for half an hour, leaving the men knocking and kicking on the door.
About eight o'clock, he came back and found the door open. He went
upstairs and entered the sitting-room. Mrs. Sanford was full of
apologies for having locked him out, but she said that she had had
trouble with one of her boarders, and she had resolved to keep him out
of the house. While they were talking, the two men whom Morton had seen
at the door came in, and a quarrel immediately sprang up between Mrs.
Sanford and the younger of the two. In a short time, they both became
furiously angry, and they used the most bitterly opprobrious language
toward each other. Finally, Mrs. Sanford, who was ironing, rushed at the
young man with a flatiron in her hand, and she would undoubtedly have
seriously injured him if he had not escaped into his own room at the
head of the stairs. She then laid a heavy poker on the table beside her,
and said that she would mash his skull if he came near her again. In a
short time, he again reëntered the room, when, seizing the poker, she
rushed at him like a fury. He succeeded in avoiding her until Morton and
the other man induced her to give up the poker; and both the strangers
then went away, saying that they should be back at eleven o'clock.

After their departure, Mrs. Sanford dropped into a chair and cried for a
time, saying that she never had acted so before in her life, as no one
had ever treated her so shamefully. Then she became loquacious and
confidential, telling Morton the old story of her father being Lord
Chief Justice of Scotland, and her husband a wealthy man in Buffalo. She
recited the reasons she had for leaving her husband, and said that her
father first sent her one hundred and fifty dollars after the
separation, but that she thought so small a sum was an insult, and so
she sent it back. She added that he had promised her three thousand
dollars very soon, and that she expected to receive it in a week or two.
From this subject, she drifted to the story of young Trafton's death,
which she told with great minuteness. She said that when she found he
was dead, she fainted away, and did not recover for nearly two hours.

While she was running on in her story, a loud noise was heard, and she
explained to Morton that Mr. Bruce had been drinking all day, until he
was afraid to go home, and that now he was quite drunk in her room. She
said that he had been very kind to her in letting her have furniture on
credit, and so she wanted to make him comfortable until he was sobered
off. During the evening she recited a number of selections from Byron,
Scott, and Longfellow, and even gave several parts from Shakespeare's
plays with great force and beauty of elocution. She also talked a great
deal about Jack Ingham, a former lodger in her rooms, and she seemed to
have a very high opinion of him. She said that he was obliged to leave
town because the police were after him about something he had done,
adding, that she didn't care for that, however, and she would never go
back on a friend, but would shield him for anything except murder. It
was after two o'clock in the morning before they retired, and as she had
not fitted up Morton's room properly, she made a bed for him on the
lounge in the sitting-room. As Mr. Bruce was lying dead-drunk on her
bed, she was obliged to sleep on the floor of her room.

About four o'clock Morton was awakened by Mrs. Sanford, who said that
she could not sleep in her room, as Bruce snored so loudly, just as
Stanley Trafton did the night he died.

"Oh! it is horrible to think of," she said, shuddering. "I shall go
crazy if I stay in there any longer."

She then lay down on the table and covered herself with a bedspread she
had brought from her own room. About six o'clock they were awakened by
a loud noise at the outer door, and Mrs. Sanford said that those drunken
loafers had come back again. She immediately got up, took a revolver
from her room, and went down to the door, where she told the men to go
away, as she would not admit them at that time of night. While she was
talking Bruce began moving around, and he found his way into the hall.
Then Morton heard a great crash, as if some one had fallen downstairs,
followed by a call from Mrs. Sanford, in tragic tones, for him to come
and help her. Morton went out and found that Bruce had fallen from the
top to the foot of the stairs, and on going down he discovered the
unfortunate representative of the Emerald Isle lying in a heap against
the front door. The two men outside had evidently been scared away by
the noise, and they did not return until eight o'clock. Bruce was not
hurt, except a cut on his hand, which Morton bound up, and then quiet
reigned again until after daylight. About nine o'clock Morton went in to
see Bruce, whom he found sitting up in bed. Bruce said that his money
was gone, and that Mrs. Sanford had drugged him the night before to
enable her to steal it. Morton called Mrs. Sanford, and asked where
Bruce's money was. She said she had put it away for safe keeping, and,
lifting the mattress, she took out two pocket-books and a box containing
her watch, trinkets, etc. Having given Bruce his pocket-book, she went
out, and he then counted his money. He said he ought to have eighty-one
dollars, but that she had helped herself to ten dollars; it was not
worth while making a fuss about it, but he said that he knew she had
drugged him.

After awhile, Mr. Graves came in, and had a private interview with Mrs.
Sanford. She seemed afraid of him, while he acted as if he had some hold
upon her. When they came into the sitting-room, where Bruce and Morton
were talking together, Mrs. Sanford asked Graves to lend her a dollar,
but he refused.

"Pshaw! I don't want it," she replied. "I only asked to see whether
you'd lend it, as I have quite enough of my own;" and, so saying, she
took out her pocket-book.

Morton saw her count out nine ten-dollar bills and nine one-dollar
bills. From the fact that she showed just ninety-nine dollars,
it was probable that she had only recently changed one of the
one-hundred-dollar bills taken from young Trafton. She then opened
another compartment, and took out two pieces of folded paper, of a
creamy tint, apparently about the size of two sheets of foolscap. They
were folded several times, and were crammed in pretty tight.

"Do you know what those are?" she asked.

"No, I do not," he replied; "what are they?"

She merely laughed, and closed the pocket-book, whispering that she
didn't want Graves and Bruce to see her money. She said she did not wish
to be left alone with Graves, for fear he should rob her; so Morton
asked him to go out and play a game of billiards. Bruce was in a great
state of anxiety, lest his wife should have come down to the store to
see where he had spent the night, and he remained with Mrs. Sanford.

Morton did not return to Mrs. Sanford's until late in the evening, and
he found her dressing to go to a ball. She insisted that he should go,
offering to pay all the expenses. He pretended to be very much hurt at
her suggestion, saying that he never would permit any lady to pay
anything when he took her out. She was dressed very tastefully, and
presented a very stylish appearance, so that she attracted a good deal
of attention at the ball. Before going, she sent Morton to a drug store
for a drachm of morphine, saying that she must have it, as she used it
constantly.

The next morning, they did not get up until a late hour, and Mrs.
Sanford said that she did not feel very well. While talking together,
they drifted into a discussion about money. Morton, like a genuine John
Bull, maintaining there was no safety except in gold, or Bank of England
notes.

"But we don't have either in this country," said Mrs. Sanford; "and now,
suppose you had a large sum of money, what would you do with it?"

"That's just what I would like to know," he replied. "I expect to
receive one hundred pounds from England very soon, and I don't know
where to keep it."

"Well, I shall put my three thousand dollars into bonds," she said.
"They can be registered, so that no one can use them except the rightful
owner, and the interest is payable in gold."

"I don't know anything about bonds," said Morton, "especially these
American bonds, which sometimes depreciate very fast."

"Oh! the bonds of the United States are good anywhere," she replied,
"and they will sell for their face in England or Canada just as well as
here. They are the best securities there are. I have some now, and I
intend to get some more."

While talking, Morton picked up a card which was in her work-basket, and
saw that it was an advertisement of a gift concert or lottery. She
noticed it, and said that it had been left there by a man named Druen,
who used to come to see her. She said that he had stolen a
five-hundred-dollar bond from her, however, and he had never been there
since. Soon afterward she went to sleep again, and did not awake until
evening, as she was very tired from the effects of the ball. Morton
remained in the house all day; and, when she woke up, he got supper for
her. She seemed very much pleased at his thoughtfulness, and said that
she never had had any one so kind to her since she left her husband.

"I want you to go to the bank with me some day," she said, "as I want to
draw the interest on some of my coupons, and then you will see what good
securities American bonds are."

"I shall be very glad to go with you," said Morton; "for, if they are
really good securities, I will invest some money in them."

"Oh! there is nothing better," she replied, "and I will show you mine."

She then took out the pocket-book she had shown him before, and unfolded
one of the pieces of paper. Morton saw that it was a five-hundred-dollar
bond, of the issue of 1865, payable in 1885, with about twenty or thirty
coupons attached. He was so surprised and excited at seeing the bond,
that he could hardly tell what to do, and so he failed to notice the
most important point--the number. By the time she had opened the other
bond, however, he had his wits a little more under command, and he was
able to remember that the figures of the number were five, seven, one,
zero, and some other figure; but he could not recollect positively the
order in which they came.

"You can go to the bank to-morrow and get the coupons cashed for me,
can't you?" she asked, after putting away the bonds.

"Oh! certainly, if you wish me to do so," he replied.

Then she laughed, and said:

"You would be arrested if you should take these bonds to the bank."

"How so?" he asked, apparently in great surprise. "Why should I be
arrested?"

"Because the bonds belong to me, and you would have to give an account
of the way in which you obtained them."

"Oh! well," he replied, "you could give me an order, and that would make
it all right."

"Yes, I suppose so," she said, carelessly.

Her object, evidently, was to make Morton believe that it would not do
for him to attempt to steal the bonds; for, though she trusted him to
the extent of showing him her money and valuables, she was eternally
suspicious and careful.

Of course, on receiving Morton's report, I felt quite confident that the
two bonds he had seen were a part of those taken from young Trafton.
Still, I had no positive proof of their identity, and, in accordance
with my invariable custom, I took no hasty step, being confident that my
detective would soon elicit all the facts. I wrote to Mr. Richard S.
Trafton, however, suggesting that he have himself appointed
administrator of his son's estate, so that he could begin proceedings
instantly, the moment I was ready.

Several days passed, during which Morton gained Mrs. Sanford's
confidence more and more. She was anxious one evening that he should rob
Mr. Bruce, who came in half drunk; but Morton told her that he never
worked that way.

"Why, Jack Ingham would have killed a man to get money out of him," said
Mrs. Sanford. "Jack wasn't afraid to do anything for money."

"Well, that isn't my style," said Morton, contemptuously. "Do you
suppose I am going to have a scuffle and struggle, ending perhaps in
murder, when I can make ten times as much by a little skillful work
with my pen? I don't want the police to be snuffing 'round my heels on
account of highway robbery and such small game; when _I_ do anything to
set them after me, it will be for a big stake, and even if they catch
me, they will be mighty glad to compromise. Oh! no; not any little jobs
for me; it is only the big rascals who can work safely."

Morton succeeded in inducing her to leave Bruce alone, though she had
evidently meant to drug him, for she took a glass of beer, which she had
poured out for him, and threw it into the sink. They all drank
considerable beer, however, during the evening, and Mrs. Sanford, having
taken also a large dose of morphine, became nearly insensible. On seeing
her condition, Morton and another lodger thought they had better put her
to bed; but as Bruce was in a drunken stupor in her room, Morton
determined to try the effect of putting her into the room where young
Trafton had died. No sooner had they laid her on the bed, however,
before she sprang up, gazed around an instant, and then rushed shrieking
from the room, saying that she dare not lie there, and that she had seen
"him" lying beside her. She was then placed on the lounge in the
sitting-room, where she became quite hysterical. Morton sat beside her,
and soothed her until she became quiet, and about midnight she fell
asleep.

Morton said to me, on making one of his reports, that she would often
determine to give up morphine and liquor, and live more respectably.
Then she would become excited from the craving for the drug, and would
take a dose, which would soothe her, make her amiable, and give her
energy enough to do anything; gradually she would become wild again, and
would be almost unbearable, while the maddening effect lasted,
especially if she took any liquor to add to her temper; finally, the
influence would pass off, leaving her weak, despondent, and stupidly
affectionate. I saw that she was not likely to confess anything to any
one, and I therefore decided to bring the affair to a crisis without
delay.



                          CHAPTER V.

    _A moneyed young Texan becomes one of Mrs. Sanford's Lodgers.--The
          Bonds are seen, and their Numbers taken by the
          Detectives.--Mrs. Sanford Arrested.--Sudden and Shrewd Defense
          by the Prisoner.--She is found guilty of "Involuntary
          Manslaughter" and sentenced to the Illinois Penitentiary for
          five years.--Misdirected Philanthropy, and its Reward.--Mr.
          Pinkerton's Theory of the Manner in which Trafton was
          Murdered._


Having discussed my plan with my superintendent, Mr. F. Warner, I sent
for one of my youngest men, named Thomas Barlow, and gave him explicit
instructions as to the course which he was to pursue in connection with
Mrs. Sanford.

On the first day of February, therefore, a young fellow called at Mrs.
Sanford's about five o'clock in the afternoon, and asked if she had any
rooms to rent. She was very civil to him, and offered him the room at
the head of the stairs, for three dollars a week. While she was showing
him the rooms, she asked him a number of questions about himself; and as
he was a smooth-faced, innocent-looking young man, he told her all about
his affairs. He said that his name was Thomas Barlow, from Texas, where
his father was a great cattle-raiser; he had brought several hundred
head of cattle to the city, and had sold them at a high price; he
intended staying in Chicago for a short time, and then he should go up
the Red River of the North, in the early spring, to do some fur trading,
as he believed there was a good deal of money to be made up there, by
any one with sufficient capital; he intended to have a good time in
Chicago first, however.

As soon as Mrs. Sanford learned that he had money with him, she became
very affectionate indeed, telling him that she would make him more
comfortable than he could be anywhere else, and that she would treat him
like a prince. She introduced Morton as her brother, and said that they
would all go to the theatre together. At first, Barlow refused, but she
insisted so urgently, that he finally consented to go. He went away for
an hour to get his valise, and when he returned, Mrs. Sanford was
dressed in her most stylish clothes, as if determined to make the best
possible impression upon him. He was very good-natured and boyish,
apparently believing all she told him, and laughing at all her attempts
to be funny. After leaving the theatre, she learned that one of her old
acquaintances was to have a "grand opening" in a new saloon, and she was
obstinately determined to find the place. After walking about for an
hour, she called a hackman, and offered him five dollars to find this
new saloon, where she was anxious to take a drink, as she said, "for
good luck and old acquaintance' sake." After driving about until
midnight, she learned that the opening was postponed, and they then went
to a restaurant near her house to get supper. It was two o'clock before
they went to bed, but before going, Mrs. Sanford learned that Barlow was
to receive his pay for the cattle in a check for over four thousand
dollars. She talked with him about the risk of carrying money around on
the person, and told him that he ought to buy bonds, as then they would
not be lost even if they should be stolen. He agreed with her, and said
that he would try to buy some bonds when he got his check cashed.

The next morning they took breakfast with Mrs. Sanford, as she seemed
anxious to keep Barlow with her as much as possible. It was noticeable
that she did not, as she had usually done in all previous instances,
tell him anything about young Trafton, who had died in her house, "with
eighteen thousand dollars in bonds in his boots." She told Barlow that
she had some bonds, and he would do well to get the same kind.

"I don't know much about them," he replied, "but if _you_ think they are
good, I guess they are good enough for me. What are they like? I never
saw any."

"I will show you mine," said Mrs. Sanford. "I am going to sell one of
them soon, as my lease is up at the end of the month, and I want to buy
a house."

She then went into her bedroom, closed the door, and remained several
minutes. When she came out, she had a fat pocket-book in her hand, and
she took from it the two pieces of folded paper which she had shown to
Morton. On opening them, she spread them out, and both Barlow and Morton
saw the numbers plainly, as they looked over her shoulder.

"There, these little tickets are coupons," she explained to Barlow; "and
every six months I can get fifteen dollars in gold by cutting off one
from each bond."

"Did you say you wanted to sell one?" asked Morton. "If you do, perhaps
you might sell it to Mr. Barlow, as a sample of the kind he wants to
get."

"Yes, that would be a good idea," said Barlow; "then they can't fool me
with any other kind, when I go to buy."

"Well, I guess I will do it," said Mrs. Sanford; "at any rate, you can
see me about it before you go to buy yours."

She then put the bonds into the pocket-book again and went into her
bedroom. On her return, Barlow told her that he must go down town to
get paid for his cattle, and he asked Morton to go with him.
Accordingly, the two men went out about noon, but Mrs. Sanford called
Morton back a moment to tell him to stay with Barlow all day.

"Don't you lose sight of him for a minute," she said; "and bring him
back here with all his money."

They did not return until after four o'clock, and Barlow told her that
he had been obliged to go to the stockyards to get paid. He then went to
his room for a few minutes, and Mrs. Sanford asked Morton whether Barlow
had his money with him.

"Yes, they gave him a check for the amount, but it was too late to get
it cashed, and he will have to wait until to-morrow."

"Couldn't we get it away from him and forge his name to it?" she asked.
"We could get it cashed the first thing in the morning."

"It would be too risky," he replied, "as they probably know him at the
bank, and we should be arrested at once. But you can offer to go with
him to the bank in the morning, and he is so soft that you will not have
much trouble in getting a large sum out of him."

During the evening, Mrs. Sanford was very affectionate toward Barlow,
and she learned all about him. He told his story in such a way, that she
believed him to be an innocent country boy from Texas, whose most
dangerous experiences had hitherto consisted of hairbreath 'scapes from
steer and bull. He showed her a check on the First National Bank for
about four thousand dollars, and told her that when he got it cashed in
the morning, he would give her a nice present. It was then agreed that
she should go to the bank with him next day. The evening was spent in
reading aloud and singing, and they all retired much earlier than usual.

When Morton and Barlow left Mrs. Sanford at noon, they had, of course,
come to my office to report their discovery of the stolen bonds. There
was now no possibility of a mistake, as they had seen the two bonds of
the series A, numbered 57,109 and 87,656. I therefore instructed Mr.
Warner to obtain a warrant for her arrest, and a search warrant for her
house, both to be served the next morning before the hour appointed for
going to the bank with Barlow. Everything was prepared in advance, a
trustworthy constable was obtained to make the arrest, and a telegram
was sent to Mr. R. S. Trafton in Cleveland, asking him to come to
Chicago immediately. A reply was received the next morning, stating that
he had left by the evening train.

About eleven o'clock on Saturday, February 3, Mr. Warner and the
constable arrived at Mrs. Sanford's rooms. On knocking at the door of
the sitting-room, they were admitted by Morton, who asked what they
wanted.

"I would like to engage rooms, if there are any to rent," said Mr.
Warner.

"I will speak to the landlady," said Morton, going to the door of her
room.

"Tell the gentleman to call again," said Mrs. Sanford; "I am not
dressed, and can't see him."

"I only wish to see her a few minutes," Mr. Warner replied, addressing
Morton in a tone loud enough to be heard by Mrs. Sanford, whose door was
slightly ajar.

"Well, I can't see the gentleman until this afternoon," she replied.

"I have some important business, and I must attend to it now," answered
Mr. Warner, putting his foot in the opening and pushing the door in with
his shoulder; then he continued, addressing the constable, "This is Mrs.
Sanford, and you can arrest her now."

The constable immediately took charge of her, and she was allowed to
complete her toilet, though Mr. Warner first searched her dress, before
letting her put it on. He then made a careful search of the bedroom,
during the progress of which Mrs. Sanford was very noisy and
troublesome, crying, and pretending to go into hysterics several times.
Once, when Mr. Warner was looking very carefully through her trunk, she
said to him, in very tragic tones:

"By the way you act, one would think you were looking for a murdered
man."

"Well, perhaps if we had come a little sooner, we might have found one,"
he replied, quickly, giving her a sharp glance.

As nothing had been said to her or to any one else about any charge
except that of larceny, this remark was highly significant; and, on her
trial, it undoubtedly had great weight with the jury.

Mr. Warner soon found the pocket-book containing the bonds under the
mattress of her bed, and after examining them sufficiently to identify
them, he gave them to the constable. Mrs. Sanford was then taken to my
office, and, as Mr. Trafton had arrived from Cleveland, we tried to have
an interview with her relative to young Trafton's death. She was too
crafty, however, and she pretended to go into hysterics whenever we
began to question her.

Meantime, Morton and Barlow had accompanied her, and Morton offered to
get her a lawyer to advise her. She was very grateful to him, and said
he was her only friend. He soon brought in a lawyer well versed in
defending criminals, and the whole party then went to the justice's
courtroom. At the close of the examination, she was held to await the
action of the Grand Jury, and, in default of two thousand dollars bail,
she was sent to the county jail. She told Morton that her lawyer could
not half lie, and that she should not pay him a cent. She stood up, when
the justice's decision was announced, and made quite a speech; and the
native cunning of the woman was never more clearly shown than in this
plea, which was undoubtedly invented on the spur of the moment. She
claimed that young Trafton had given her the bonds to support her child,
whose father he was, and she spoke with so much vigor and cunning that
many persons believed her statement to be true. Thus, without
consultation or legal advice, she invented in a moment the strongest
possible defense against the charge of larceny,--the charge of murder
had not then been brought.

When she was removed to the jail, she gave Morton the keys to her rooms,
telling him to take charge of everything there, and to find a purchaser
for her furniture. He therefore informed two young men who were lodging
there that Mrs. Sanford had been arrested, and that they must find other
rooms, as he intended to sell out the furniture. After they had gone he
cleaned up the house, packed Mrs. Sanford's trunks, and made everything
look as well as possible. While she was awaiting trial, he visited her
every day and gave her various delicacies to improve the prison fare.
One day he pretended to have pawned his overcoat for five dollars, in
order to get her some lemons, tea, and sugar. She was very much touched,
and she gave him five dollars to get back his coat; but this action was
due to a momentary impulse. She had plenty of money, and was able to get
anything she wanted; but her desire to hold fast to her money was
greater than her wish for good food. Indeed, she came near jeopardizing
her cause by refusing to pay the lawyer she had engaged, but finally she
gave him a retaining fee of fifty dollars.

She was very anxious to learn who were the detectives employed in
working up the case, and she said that she believed Barlow had had
something to do with her arrest. Morton agreed with her, and, as the
papers had said that there were three engaged in the case, he suggested
that perhaps the two men whom she had turned out of doors were also
detectives. She never suspected either Ingham or Morton for a moment;
and when Ingham called upon her in jail, she was delighted to see him.
She tried to get bail from the two brothers, named Pratt, who had
occupied one of her rooms, as one of them had been very intimate with
her; but they were afraid of getting mixed up in her difficulties, and
so refused to help her obtain bail. She also asked Ingham to swear to a
number of falsehoods about her intimacy with Trafton, and when he
refused to do so, for fear of being tried for perjury, she said that she
could get "her Billy" to swear to anything. This "Billy" proved to be
one William Simpson, a barkeeper, and her former paramour. He was
tracked for some time by my detectives, but he suddenly disappeared, and
was not seen again until her trial for larceny, when, just as she said,
he was willing to swear to anything. He then disappeared again, but I
did not take much interest in following him up, as I knew that he would
not dare to repeat his perjury when the murder trial should take place.
His testimony was to the effect that he had overheard a conversation
between Mrs. Sanford and young Trafton, in which the latter acknowledged
that he was the father of Mrs. Sanford's child, having been intimate
with her in Buffalo about eighteen months before. The question of a
support for the child was discussed between them, and Trafton said that
he would give her fifteen hundred or two thousand dollars in bonds, to
enable her to bring up his child in comfort. The witness also testified
that Trafton and Mrs. Sanford were very intimate with each other, often
occupying the same room together; that Mrs. Sanford often spoke of her
former intimacy with him; and that he inferred from their conversation
that Trafton had been the cause of her separation from her husband. This
testimony was very skillfully manufactured and artistically developed,
so as to make Trafton appear in the light of a libertine and profligate,
and Mrs. Sanford as a confiding wife, led astray by the wiles of a
treacherous man. In spite of the bad character and appearance of this
fellow Simpson, his testimony had enough weight with some of the jury to
cause a disagreement, and Mrs. Sanford was remanded to jail.

Mr. Robert S. Trafton was anxious to bring her to punishment, as he felt
confident that she had caused the death of his son. The circumstances of
the case caused considerable delay, and it was not until January 27,
1873, nearly a year after her arrest, that the trial on the charge of
murder took place.

The testimony in this trial was highly interesting on many accounts. The
County Physician, who had made the first post-mortem examination of the
remains, and who had given congestion of the lungs as the cause of
death, stated that he found the deceased lying dead in Mrs. Sanford's
rooms, and that he took charge of the property found in his possession.
He stated that he should have made a closer examination if he had not
found the bonds and money; but he did not suspect foul play, and
therefore made only a hasty investigation.

By the testimony of two or three witnesses it was shown that on the
night of Trafton's death Mrs. Sanford went into two saloons about
midnight, asking for "her Billy," meaning the man Simpson, by whose
testimony she escaped conviction on the larceny charge, he being then
living on her bounty. While looking for him she was very wild and
excited, her clothes being disordered, and her watch-chain broken. To
one witness she said that she wished Billy to come to her house to look
at the "prettiest corpse she ever saw." One witness testified that she
returned to his saloon about five or six o'clock in the morning, and
induced him to go up to her rooms to look at the body; he did so, and
found the body of a man lying in bed, partly covered up. She had a large
roll of money and papers in her pocket-book.

A surgeon of the highest reputation in Cleveland was called, and gave
his testimony in the most direct and convincing manner, like a man who
knew perfectly well what he was talking about, and who was not guessing
at any of the facts as stated by him. He declared that death resulted
from the blow on the right side, aided by the violence on the throat and
neck. There was very slight congestion of the brain and of the lungs,
but he was positive that death was not the result of either of these;
indeed, leaving out of consideration the marks of external violence, he
said that he should not have been able to account for Mr. Trafton's
death. At the conclusion of his re-direct examination he said that death
could be caused by a heavy blow of the fist, followed by choking, and he
would swear positively that Trafton's death was produced by violence.
The testimony of this witness was corroborated by that of several other
surgeons of high reputation, and then a sensation was created by the
calling of John Ingham for the prosecution.

As Mrs. Sanford saw her well-beloved friend, Jack, take the stand and
acknowledge himself to be one of Pinkerton's dreaded detectives, she
broke down and cried bitterly. Ingham related the history of his
connection with the affair, stating the different stories which Mrs.
Sanford had told about Trafton's death, and also her fear of going in
the room where he died. He then gave the inside history of his arrest
for the alleged robbery of Adamson, showing that it had been planned in
advance by me to induce Mrs. Sanford to give him her confidence. After
her arrest for larceny, he had visited her in jail, and she had tried to
get him to swear that he had heard Trafton promise to give her the bonds
to support her child. When he objected, on the ground that he might be
arrested for perjury, she had told him that "her Billy," meaning William
Simpson, would swear to it anyhow.

The testimony of Mr. Warner relative to finding the bonds in Mrs.
Sanford's possession was corroborated by that of the constable; they
also repeated Mrs. Sanford's remark made during the search, before any
charge of murder had even been suggested: "By the way you act, I should
think you were looking for a murdered man."

When the testimony for the prosecution was all in, the defense had a
turn, and they produced as many medical experts to prove that Trafton
did not die of violence, as the other side had to prove that he did not
die a natural death; indeed, from the medical testimony given, there
might have been grave doubts raised as to whether he had any business to
die at all, for, according to both sides, no adequate cause of death had
been discovered. Several witnesses testified that they believed him to
have been on a long spree just before his death, but these were soon
rebutted by equally trustworthy witnesses for the prosecution.

In summing up, the counsel for the people presented a highly plausible
theory of the manner in which the murder was committed, and asked a
verdict on the following grounds:

Young Trafton, as shown by the testimony of his father and others,
visited Chicago to buy grain, and he was, therefore, under the necessity
of carrying with him a large amount of money. Being unable to get a
room at any hotel convenient to business, he probably entered the first
place where he saw the sign, "Rooms to Rent," and engaged a
sleeping-room, taking his meals at a hotel near by. While lodging with
Mrs. Sanford, he was trying to buy grain at a paying figure, and he was
daily in consultation with Captain Dalton, who commanded one of his
father's schooners. Finding that he could not buy to any advantage in
the existing condition of the grain market, he sent the schooner back to
Cleveland on the last day of November, in order that she should not be
caught in the ice in the straits at the close of navigation. He was then
ready to return himself, and, doubtless, on going to his lodgings, he so
informed Mrs. Sanford. As he had made no secret of his reason for
visiting Chicago, she was, probably, well aware of his object, and also
of the fact that he had a large amount of money with him. Seeing his
careless ways, the idea occurred to her to rob him, and, having his
expected departure in view, she knew that she would have only one more
opportunity to carry out her scheme.

On his return that evening, therefore, having just parted from Captain
Dalton in perfect health and sobriety, he was invited to eat supper with
her. Suspecting no harm, he sat down and ate a hearty supper. In some
way, either in his food or drink, a dose of morphine was given to him,
and he soon fell fast asleep. The woman's opportunity was before her,
and all the natural thirst for money which characterized her came upon
her with full force, urging her on and inciting her to any lengths
necessary to accomplish her object. Having laid him on his bed, she
began to search his pockets with the stealthy touch of a practiced hand.
Finding nothing at first to reward her search, she pulled off one of his
boots and discovered the United States bonds, which he had concealed
there. But the violence necessary to remove the boot caused him to
partly waken from his drugged sleep, and he became vaguely aware that
some one was trying to rob him. Still in a drowsy, confused state,
however, he was unable to do more than to sit up and clutch wildly at
his assailant; having caught one of the bonds, he clung to it until it
was torn in two pieces, the fragments plainly showing how they had been
wrenched asunder in the clasp of two determined hands--those of the
murderess and her victim. But she soon found that he was gaining his
senses too rapidly, and that she would be foiled in her attempted
robbery; hence, with every blinding passion aroused, her greed and her
fear equally inciting her to action, she struck him a heavy blow on the
thigh and another more powerful one on the side. Partly stunned by the
concussion, he fell back, and she then seized him by the throat. Her
round, plump hands, though powerful enough to strangle him, left only
slight marks of abrasion on the skin, and in a few minutes all was over.
His property was at her mercy, and she gave no thought to the body of
her victim until she had seized every piece of valuable paper in his
possession.

But her position was a dangerous one, and, on cooling off somewhat, she
saw that something must be done to remove any appearance of foul play.
How could it be done most effectually? Manifestly by giving no apparent
ground for suspecting that she had any object in his death; and no
course would be more effectual than to leave such an amount of property
in his possession as to make strangers believe that none of it had been
taken. It may well be imagined that this was her hardest task; for to
give up money was probably a greater hardship for her than for some
people to give up life. Still, it would never do to run the risk of
being accused of murder; so, reluctantly, she placed one bond in his
pocket, and, by accident, included with it one-half of the torn bond,
the other half being placed under his head, in the boot from which it
was taken. She then undressed the body, placed it naturally in bed, and
went out to look for "her Billy," her paramour and panderer in vice.

This was the history of the crime, as pictured by the prosecution; and
all her actions since that fatal night had been in harmony with such a
theory. Her allegations of intimacy with young Trafton were unsupported,
save by the testimony of this William Simpson, her paramour. It was
noticeable that, while this man had testified in the trial for larceny
that he had overheard Mr. Trafton's acknowledgment of being the father
of Mrs. Sanford's child, in the murder trial he was not asked to give
any such testimony, nor was the existence of such a child even hinted at
by the defense. The counsel for Mrs. Sanford were well aware that she
had never had a child, and that this fact could be proven if necessary.
On discovering, too, that Jack Ingham was a Pinkerton detective, instead
of Mrs. Sanford's best friend, they saw other reasons why it would not
be advisable to cause Mr. William Simpson to perjure himself again.

The defense contented themselves with claiming that there was no
sufficient evidence to prove that Mr. Trafton had died a violent death
at all, and that there was no evidence whatever to show that, even if
foul play had occurred, Mrs. Sanford had been the guilty person. This
plea was ably presented by the counsel, and the judge then briefly
charged the jury as to the law, and the form of their verdict. During
the early part of the trial, Mrs. Sanford behaved very badly, often
contradicting witnesses aloud, and making many audible remarks to the
jury and the Court; after the testimony for the defense began, however,
she paid very little attention to the proceedings, often dozing and
sleeping in her chair. This habit was, undoubtedly, due to the use of
morphine, of which she consumed large quantities.

The jury retired at three o'clock, and, on the first ballot, they stood
nine for conviction and three for acquittal. After discussing the
testimony for more than four hours, a compromise was reached, and the
judge having been informed that the jury had agreed upon a verdict, the
prisoner was brought in to hear the finding.

All being in readiness, the clerk read the verdict as follows:

"We, the jury, find the defendant guilty of involuntary manslaughter,
and fix her time of imprisonment at five years in the penitentiary."

At the word "guilty," Mrs. Sanford gave a violent start; but, as the
remainder of the finding was read, she seemed to feel agreeably
surprised. She asked for a glass of water in a low tone, turned very
white, and then fainted away before the water could be handed to her.

She was then removed to the jail to await the argument on a motion for a
new trial. While there, she gave one of the most effectual evidences of
her ruling passion--greed. She was the object of considerable sympathy
among a certain class of sentimentalists, and the amount of compassion
wasted upon her was remarkable to those who knew her real character and
habits; but there is no accounting for tastes, and so Mrs. Sanford was
treated with great consideration by a number of well-meaning but
unsophisticated people. Among the Good Samaritans who took the most
interest in her was a lady named Mrs. Jones, and this lady visited her
quite frequently in her cell, bringing her books and papers.

One morning, Mrs. Jones complained of feeling unwell, and Mrs. Sanford
immediately gave her a glass of water. Soon after drinking it, Mrs.
Jones became very sleepy, and in a few minutes, she was in a sound
slumber. This effect had been produced, of course, by a dose of morphine
in the water, and Mrs. Sanford then proceeded to rob Mrs. Jones of all
her valuables. Mrs. Jones was in moderate circumstances, and her purse
was not sufficiently well filled to satisfy Mrs. Sanford's avaricious
demon; hence, she made a thorough search for other plunder. It happened
that Mrs. Jones, having lost all of her upper teeth, had supplied their
place by an artificial set, mounted on a plate of solid gold. Not
content, therefore, with plundering her benefactress in other respects,
Mrs. Sanford actually took the set of teeth from Mrs. Jones's mouth, and
hid them in her own trunk.

Of course, on awakening, Mrs. Jones missed her teeth and charged Mrs.
Sanford with having taken them. The latter denied having done so, railed
and swore at Mrs. Jones, and tried to prevent the officers from
searching the cell. The teeth and other articles stolen from Mrs. Jones
were found at the bottom of Mrs. Sanford's trunk, and Mrs. Jones retired
from the jail strongly impressed with the conviction that philanthropy
had its hardships as well as rewards.

The motion for a new trial being overruled, sentence was pronounced in
accordance with the verdict of the jury, and Mrs. Sanford was consigned
to the Illinois State Penitentiary at Joliet.

In regard to the manner in which young Trafton was murdered, I have
always had a theory of my own; and, while of course I do not pretend to
any surgical learning, I give it for what it is worth, prefacing it,
however, with the remark that several eminent physicians concur in my
opinion, or, at least, admit its strong probability.

It will be remembered that Mrs. Sanford used morphine continually, and
that she boasted of her ability to administer it in just the proper
proportion to cause her victims to fall into a heavy sleep. In all
probability, as suggested by the State's Attorney, she gave young
Trafton a dose at supper; but it is also possible the effect was not
sufficient, and that when she tried to rob him, he slightly revived,
struggled, and, seizing one of the bonds in a convulsive grasp, tore it
in two.

So far, the theories are identical, but I failed to see a sufficient
cause of death in the slight blow and mild choking, especially as the
lungs did not present the conditions which would have appeared had death
resulted from strangulation or asphyxia. On searching Mrs. Sanford's
rooms, Mr. Warner found two or three small syringes, intended for making
hypodermic injections, and these led me to believe she caused Trafton's
death by morphine alone. My idea was as follows:

When she found that Trafton was not sufficiently drugged to enable her
to rob him in safety, she probably let him alone, and the drug again
took effect to the extent of putting him to sleep. She then resorted to
a subcutaneous injection of morphine, knowing that the soporific
influence of the drug would thus be made more rapid and powerful. This
operation was performed on the side, and then near the large veins of
the leg, and thus were caused the apparent bruises filled with
extravasated blood. Now, the effect of morphine varies largely,
according to the constitution, temperament, and habits of the persons to
whom it is given; but the combined result of internal and external doses
almost invariably is death.

It seems altogether probable to me, therefore, that Trafton came to his
death in that manner, and that the traces of morphine in the wounds, as
in the stomach, had wholly evaporated before the Cleveland surgeons made
their examination, twelve days after death.

Whatever may have been the means, however, there can be no doubt that
murder most foul was committed, and that Mrs. Sanford richly deserved a
greater punishment than was awarded to her. Whether she had any
accomplice will never be known, but it is probable that she had some one
in the house who was aware of the murder after it had been committed, if
not before. This would account for the absence of the fifth bond, which
was never recovered, but which was afterward traced back from the
Treasury Department, when it was presented there, to some unknown woman,
who had sold it in Milwaukee. This woman was evidently not Mrs. Sanford,
but her identity could not be discovered, and, therefore, all trace was
lost.

                           THE END.

Transcriber's Notes:

Missing hyphenation at line breaks has been assumed, e.g. "necessary"
not "neces sary" on page 81. Hyphenation has been standardized, e.g.,
"bookkeeper", "cornfield", and "housewarming". Nonstandard spellings
have been maintained, e.g. "intrusted", "dryest", "smouldering",
"patroled", "tragical", "unnegotiable", "quartette", "gayety",
"indorsed", "reëntered". Missing periods have been added at ends of
sentences. Other printers errors have been corrected as follows:

Page v - "unvail" replaced with "unveil" for internal consistency

Page 80 - "cousins" replaced with "Cousins"

Page 92 - "Harrington" replaced with "Farrington"

Page 104 - "insant" replaced with "instant"

Page 156 - "pleasantly" replaced with "pleasantry"

Page 160 - "to k" replaced with "took"

Page 202 - "out door" replaced with "outdoor"

Figure caption after page 166 - "Judges'" replaced with "Judge's"

Figure caption after page 203 - "Fete Champetre" replaced with "Fête
Champêtre" for consistency

Page 212 - "Don Pedo" replaced with "Don Pedro"

Page 321 - "bfore" replaced with "before"

Page 361 - "hairbreath" replaced with "hairbreadth"





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