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Dr. V. McKay
Digitized by the Internet Archive
in 2007 with funding from
Mrs. Drysdale and Mrs. Potter.
THE FORTUNE TELLER
By ALLAN PINKERTON,
AUTHOR OF "THE EXPRESSMAN AND THE DETECTIVE,' 1 "CLAUDE MELNOTTE.'
ETC., ETC., ETC.
fRINTBP AND BOUND
HCNTBR, R08R & CO,
IN presenting to the public my third volume of
Detective Stories, I desire to again call attention to
the fact that the stories herein contained, as in the case
of their predecessors in the series, are literally true.
The incidents in these cases have all actually occurred as
related, and there are now living many witnesses to
corroborate my statements.
Maroney, the expressman, is living in Georgia, having
been released during the war. Mrs. Maroney is also
alive. Any one desiring to convince himself of the abso-
lute truthfulness of this narrative can do so by examining
the court records in Montgomery, Ala., where Maroney
The facts stated in the second volume are well known
to many residents of Chicago. Young Bright was in the
best society during his stay at the Clifton House, and
many of his friends will remember him. His father is
now largely interested in business in New York, Chicago,
and St. Louis. The events connected with the abduc-
tion of " The Two Sisters," will be readily recalled by
W. L. Church, Esq., of Chicago, and others. The story
of " Alexander Gay," the Frenchman, will be found in
the criminal records of St. Louis, where he was sentenced
So with the stories in this volume. The characters in
"The Detective and the Somnambulist," will be easily
recognized by many readers in the South. As the family
of Drysdale are still living and holding a highly respecta-
ble place in society, the locality is not correctly given, and
fictitious names are used throughout.
By reason of the peculiar nature of the circumstances,
the facts narrated in " The Murderer and the Fortune-
Teller," are known only to a small circle, but they can
readily be substantiated. Captain Sumner was never
informed of the means employed to influence his sister,
and his first knowledge of them will be obtained in
reading this book ; but he will remember his own visit to
"Lucille," and will undoubtedly see that the affair was
managed exactly as I have stated.
In reading these stories, the reader will probably come
to the conclusion that the detection of criminals is a very
simple matter, and that any one with a moderate amount
of intelligence could have done just as well. To a
certain extent this is true, but not wholly. The plan
once adopted, it is not difficult to put it in execution ;
but experience, judgment and tact are required to form a
plan which will bring out the real facts connected with
the crime. This done, the capture of the criminal is only
a question of time.
Legitimate, honest detective business is yet in its
infancy, but the trade, as at present generally conducted,
approaches the dignity of an art — a black art, unfortu-
nately, the object being accurately to distinguish the per-
centage of plunder which will satisfy the criminals and
the real owners, the remainder being divided among the
In point of fact, these fellows are worse than the
acknowledged criminals, since they rob under the guise
of honest men, and run little or no risk, while the actual
thieves take their lives in their hands. It may safely be
said that the average detective would rather be in league
with the criminals of this city than opposed to them, and
the great majority are so leagued ; and until such a state
of affairs is broken up, the criminals who have money
will surely escape punishment.
ABOUT nineteen years ago, I was enjoying a short
relaxation from the usual press of business in Chi-
cago. I had only one or two really important cases on
hand, and I was therefore preparing to take a much needed
rest. At this time, my business was not nearly so exten-
sive as it has since become, nor was my Agency so well
known as it now is ; hence, I was somewhat surprised and
gratified to receive a letter from Atkinson, Mississippi,
asking me to go to that town at once, to investigate a
great crime recently perpetrated there. I had intended
to visit my former home in Dundee, for a week or ten
days, but, on receiving this letter, I postponed my vaca-
The letter was written by Mr. Thomas McGregor,
cashier of the City Bank, of Atkinson, and my services
were called for by all the officers of the bank. The cir-
10 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
cum stances of the case were, in brief, that the paying-
teller had been brutally murdered in the bank about three
or four months before, and over one hundred and thirty
thousand dollars had been stolen. Mr. McGregor said
that no expense should be spared to detect the criminals,
even though the money was not recovered ; that would be
an important consideration, of course, but the first object
sought was the capture of the murderers of poor George
Gordon, the late paying-teller.
Having already arranged my business for a brief ab-
sence, I was all ready for the journey, and by the next
train, I was speeding southward, toward Atkinson.
I arrived there early in the morning, of one of the
most delightful days of early spring. I had exchanged
the brown fields and bare trees of the raw and frosty
North, for the balmy airs, blooming flowers, and waving
foliage of the sunny South. The contrast was most
agreeable to me in my then tired and overworked condi-
tion, and I felt that a few days in that climate would re-
store my strength more effectually than a stay of several
weeks in the changeable and inclement weather of northern
Illinois. For sanitary, as well as business reasons, there-
fore, I had no occasion to regret my Southern trip.
My assumed character was that of a cotton speculator,
and I was thus able to make many inquiries relative to
the town and its inhabitants, without exciting suspicion.
Of course, I should have considerable business at the
bank, and thus, I could have frequent conferences with
the bank officials, without betraying my real object in
visiting them. I sent a note to Mr. McGregor, on my
arrival, simply announcing myself under a fictitious name,
THE DETECTIVE AND SOMNAMBULIST. 11
and I soon received a* reply requesting me to come to the
bank at eight o'clock that evening. I then spent the day
in walking about the town and gathering a general idea
of the surroundings of the place.
Atkinson was then a town of medium size, pleasantly
situated near ^he northern boundary of the State. The
surrounding country was well watered and wooded, con-
sisting of alternate arable land and rolling hills. The
inhabitants of the town were divided into two general
classes : the shop-keepers, mechanics, and laborers, formed
the bulk of the population ; while the capitalists, planters
and professional men were the most influential. Most of
these latter owned country residences, or plantations out-
side of the town, though they kept up their town estab-
lishments also. A small water-course, called Rocky Creek,
skirted one side of the place, and many of the most hand-
some houses, were situated on, or near this beautiful
rivulet. The whole appearance of Atkinson, and the sur-
rounding country, indicated a thrifty, well-to-do popula-
Having roamed about to my satisfaction, I spent the
latter part of the afternoon at the hotel, where I met a
number of the professional men of the county. I found
that the hotel was occupied by many of the best families
during the winter and spring, and I soon formed the ac-
quaintance of several of the gentlemen. They greeted
me with characteristic Southern hospitality, and I was
pleased to see that my role as a Scotch speculator was
quite an easy one to play ; at least, no one ever appeared
to suspect my real object in visiting Atkinson.
At the appointed hour I went to the bank, and was met
12 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
outside by Mr. McGregor, to whom I had been introduced
during the day. He took me in through the private en-
trance, and we were joined in a few minutes by Alexander
Bannatine, president, and Peter A. Gordon, vice-president,
of the bank. Mr. Bannatine was about fifty years of age,
but he looked much older, owing to his continuous and
exhausting labors as a lawyer, during the early part of his
life. Having made a large fortune by successful practice
and judicious investments, he had retired from the active
pursuit of his profession, and had joined several old
friends in the banking business. Mr. Gordon was, also,
about fifty years old. He had become wealthy by inher-
itance, and had increased his fortune by twenty years of
careful attention to business. He was unmarried, and
George Gordon, the murdered bank-teller, had stood in
the relation of a son to his uncle ; hence, there was an
additional reason for the capture and conviction of the
murderers. The recovery of the large sum of money
stolen, would, alone, have been an important consider-
ation, but Mr. Gordon was willing to spend a very ex-
travagant amount in the detection of the criminals, even
though the money might never be discovered.
We seated ourselves at a table in the cashier's room, and
I prepared to take notes of all the facts then known by
the gentlemen present.
"Now, Mr. Bannatine," I said, "please tell me every-
thing connected with the case, which may be of service
"Well, Mr. Pinkerton, I have not been connected with
the bank so long, or so closely as Mr. McGregor," said
THE DETECTIVE AND SOMNAMBULIST. 13
Mr. Bannatine, " and perhaps he had better give a short
sketch of young Gordon's connection with the bank first."
" George Gordon was taken into our employ about five
years ago," said Mr. McGregor. "He had previously
acted as our agent in one of the interior towns, and when
he became of age he was offered the place of paying-teller.
Since then his obliging disposition, courteous manners,
and faithful performance of duty, have endeared him to
all his associates, and have given him the confidence of
all persons with whom he came in contact. His charac-
ter was spotless, and his devotion to duty was superior to
all allurements ; he would never sacrifice one moment to
pleasure which should have been given to business."
" Had he any associates among the fast men and women
of the place ?" I asked.
"No, sir, not one," was the prompt reply; "we have
not been able to learn that he had any acquaintances
even, among that class."
"Well, please proceed to state all the circumstances
connected with the murder," I suggested.
"I was not at home at the time," said Mr. McGregor,
" but I can give you many facts, and Mr. Gordon can add
thereto. George was in the habit of remaining in the
bank after office hours for the purpose of writing up his
books, as he acted as book-keeper also. During the very
busy seasons, he would sometimes be kept at work until
long after dark, though this was unusual. Occasionally
customers would come to the bank after the regular hours,
and George would accommodate them, or I would do so,
when I was present. We were both very careful about
admitting outsiders after the bank had closed, and we
14 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
never allowed any one to enter except well-known busi-
ness men and old customers of the bank. We had large
sums on hand at times, and George frequently said that
we could not exercise too much care in managing our
business. I mention this to show that he was not care-
less in his habits, but that, on the contrary, he always
took trre greatest precautions against fraud or violence."
" Were there any customers who were in the habit of
coming in late ?" I asked.
" Yes, there were several," replied Mr. McGregor ; "for
instance, Mr. Flanders, the jeweler, used to bring over his
more valuable jewelry every afternoon to put into our
vault ; he would put it into a small box and leave it here
about five o'clock. Then, our county clerk, Mr. Drys-
dale, used to stop frequently to make deposits in cases
where other parties had paid money to him after banking
hours. He was very intimate with George, and he used
to stop to see him sometimes and walk out with him after
his work was finished. Walter Patterson, also, was one
of George's particular friends, and he has often stayed
with George until nine or ten o'clock in the evening.
Besides these there were several of our leading planters
who would come in as Late as eight o'clock to deposit
funds, or to obtain cash for use early the next day."
"Did young Gordon have the keys to the vault?" I
"Oh! yes," replied Mr. McGregor; "I was often
called away on business for several days, and he used to
act as cashier in my absence. He was in the habit of
carrying the keys with him at all times ; but his uncle
Advised him not to do so, as they might be taken from
THE DETECTIVE AND SOMNAMBULIST 15
him by a gang of desperate characters, and the bank
robbed. He had, therefore, given up the practice of
taking the keys home with him after night-fall. Just
about the time of the murder, we had one of the busiest
seasons ever known ; the cotton crop had been enormous,
and sales had been very rapid, so that our deposits were
unusually large. One morning I found that I must go to
Greenville for several days, on business of great impor-
tance. Before going, I gave George full instructions
upon all matters which might need attention during my
absence ; yet I felt, while on my way to the depot, that
there was something which I had forgotten. I could not
define what it was, but I hurried back to ask whether he
could think of any thing further upon which he might
wish my advice. I found him chatting with his friend,
Mr. Drysdale. Calling him to one side, I said :
" ' George, is there anything more upon which I can
advise you ? '
"'No, I guess not,' he replied; 'you will be back so
soon that if there should anything new turn up, it can
wait until you return.'
" 'Well, be very careful,' I continued, 'and don't allow
any one to come in here after dark. It may be an
unnecessary precaution, but I should feel easier if I knew
no one was admitted to the bank during my absence.'
" ' Very well,' he replied, ' I shall allow only one or two
of my personal friends to come in. There will be no
harm in admitting them, for they will be an additional
protection in case of any attempt on the bank.'
" I could offer no objection, and so we parted. I was
gone about a week, when,, having settled my business in
16 PINKERTON' S DETECTIVE STORIES.
Greenville, I returned here. The first news I received
was, that George Gordon had been found murdered in the
bank that morning, the crime having been committed the
night before. I will now let Mr. Peter Gordon, George's
uncle, tell the circumstances, so far as he knows them."
Mr. McGregor was a careful, methodical man, about
sixty years of age. He always spoke directly to the point,
and in his story, he had evidently made no attempt to
draw conclusions, or to bias my judgment in any way.
Nevertheless, he showed that he was really affected by
young Gordon's murder, and I saw that I should get more
really valuable assistance from him, than from both of the
other two. Mr. Gordon was greatly excited, and he could
hardly speak at times, as he thought of his murdered
nephew. His story was told slowly and painfully, as if
the details were almost too much for him. Still, he felt
that nothing ought to be neglected which would assist
me, and so he nerved himself to tell every little incident
of the dreadful crime.
"I remember the day of the murder very distinctly,
Mr. Pinkerton," he said. "Mr. Bannatine was obliged to
visit his plantation that morning, and Mr. McGregor
being away, as he has already told you, I spent most of
the day at the bank with George. He was perfectly com-
petent to manage all the business himself, Mr. Pinkerton,
for he was a very smart and trustworthy young man, the
very image of my dear brother, who was drowned twenty
years ago, leaving me to bring up George like my own
son ; but, as I was saying, I kept George company in the
bank that day, more as a measure of safety, than because
he needed me. Well, we received a large amount of
THE DETECTIVE AND SOMNAMBULIST. 17
money that day in bank notes and specie, and I helped
George put the money into the vault. When the bank
closed, George said that he should work until five o'clock
and then go home to dinner. I was anxious to go to my
store, as business had been very heavy that day, and I
had had no opportunity to attend to my own affairs ; I
therefore left the bank at four o'clock. George and I
boarded at the hotel, and at dinner time, he came late, so
that I finished before he did. About seven o'clock,
George came down to the store, where I had gone after
dinner. He sat a little while and smoked a cigar with
me, and then said that he . must return to the bank, as he
had a great deal of work to finish up on the books ; he
told me, also, not to sit up for him, as it might be quite
late before he came home."
" Were there any other persons present when he said
this, Mr. Gordon?" I asked.
"Yes; there was a shoemaker, named Stolz, whom
George had just paid for a pair of boots. Mr. Flanders,
the jeweler, was there also, and he had his box of jewelry
for George to lock up in the safe. There had been so
many customers in his store that afternoon that he had
not been able to take the box over before. There were
several other persons present, I recollect now that you
ask me about it, but I had not thought of the matter be-
fore, and I cannot recall their names."
"Well, I guess we can find out," I replied; "please go
on. By the way, one question : had George drank any-
thing at all during the day?"
" No, sir, nothing whatever. George used to smoke a
great deal, but he never drank at a bar in his life ; all his
18 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
young friends will tell you the same. He sometimes
drank wine at meals at his own or a friend's table, but he
never drank at any other place. He left my store about
half-past seven o'clock, and Flanders went with him to
leave his jewelry. Flanders' store is near mine, and he
soon came back and chatted with me a short time. He
has since told me that he did not enter the bank, but that
he simply handed the case of jewelry to George on the
steps of the private entrance, and George said to him:
' I won't ask you to come in, Flanders, for I have too
much work to attend to, and I can't entertain you.' These
are the last words that George is known to have spoken."
Here Mr. Gordon's agitation was so great that he could
not speak for several minutes, but at length, he continued :
"I went to bed about ten o'clock that evening, and
came down late to breakfast next morning. I did not see
George anywhere around the hotel, but I thought nothing
of that, as I supposed that he had gone to the bank.
After breakfast, I got shaved, smoked a cigar, and then
went to my store. In a few minutes, a man named Rollo,
who has an account at the bank, came in and said :
"'Mr. Gordon, what is the matter at the bank this
morning ? It is now after ten o'clock, and everything is
still shut up.'
" ' What ! ' I exclaimed, ' the bank not opened yet ! My
nephew must be sick, though he was quite well yesterday
evening. I will go to the bank with you at once, Mr.
" One of my clerks accompanied us, and on arriving at
the bank, we found a cabinet-maker named Breed, trying
to get in. I went and pounded on the front door several
THE DETECTIVE AND SOMNAMBULIST. 19
times, but no one came. I then went to the private
entrance and gave the signal by rapping, to let those
inside know that one of the bank officers was at the door.
We had a private signal known only to the officers, so
that I was sure there must be something wrong when \
found it unanswered. I had a dreadful feeling in my
heart that something horrible had happened, and I was
about to hurry away to the hotel, to see if George was
there, when I casually let my hand fall upon the knob
and turned it ; to my surprise, the door yielded.
"By this time, quite a crowd had gathered outside,
attracted by the unusual spectacle of the closed bank,
and the knocking at the doors. I therefore left Mr. Rollo
and Mr. Breed to keep the crowd from entering the side
entrance, while my clerk and I threw open the heavy
shutters of this room where we are now sitting. We then
entered the main bank through yonder door, and while I
went to open the outside blinds, which excluded every
particle of light, my clerk walked down behind the bank
counter. He suddenly stumbled over something and fell,
and as he got up, he said that the floor was wet. At this
instant, I flung open one of the shutters, and simulta-
neously I heard a cry of horror from my clerk. Running
to the counter, I looked over and saw a terrible sight.
My poor boy — "
Again Mr Gordon's feelings overcame him, and it was
some time before he could go on. Finally he was able
to resume his story, though he was frequently obliged to
pause to wipe away his tears.
" My nephew's body was lying midway between his
desk and the vault door ; he had evidently been standing
20 PINKER TON'S DE TECT1 VE STORIES.
at his desk when he was struck, as was shown by the
direction in which the blood had spirted. He had been
murdered by three blows on the back of the head, the
instrument used being a heavy canceling hammer, which
we found close by, clotted with blood and hair. The first
blow had been dealt just back of the left ear while George
was standing at his desk; he had then staggered back-
ward two or three steps before falling, and the second
and third blows had been struck as he lay on the floor.
Although it was evident that the first blow alone was
sufficient to cause death, the murderer had been anxious
to complete his work beyond any possibility of failure.
" The scene was most ghastly ; George's body lay in a
pool of blood, while the desks, chairs, table and wall,
were spattered with large drops which had spirted out as
the blows were struck. I shall never forget that terrible
morning, and sometimes I awake with a horrible choking
sensation, and think that I have just renewed the sicken-
ing experience of that day.
"Well, I immediately suspected that the murder had
been committed to enable the murderer to rob the bank.
I knew that George had no enemies who would seek his
life, and there could be no other object in killing him
inside the bank. The outer door of the vault stood
slightly ajar, and as soon as I had satisfied myself that
my nephew was dead — as indeed was evident, the body
being quite cold — I sent my clerk to call Mr. Rollo and
Mr. Breed into the bank, while he remained at the door.
I told him to send any person whom he might see outside
for the sheriff and the coroner. As I was saying, the
vault door stood slightly open, and when the other gen-
THE DETECTIVE AND SOMNAMBULIST. 21
tlemen joined me I called their attention to the position
of everything before I entered the vault. I found the
keys in the lock of the inner door, and on opening the
latter we saw that everything inside was in great con-
fusion. Without making any examination, I closed and
locked both doors, and sealed the key-holes with tape
and sealing-wax. I determined to leave everything just
as it was until the inquest should be held. The sheriff
and coroner soon arrived, and a jury was impaneled
immediately, as, by that time, the news had spread all
over town, and the bank was surrounded by nearly all
the best men in the place. In summoning the jury, the
coroner put down for foreman the name of Mr. Drysdale,
George's most intimate friend, but it was found that he
was not in the crowd outside, and when they sent for him
he begged so hard to be excused that he was let off.
" The inquest was held in this room, but nothing was
moved from the bank except the body and the canceling
hammer. The jury elicited nothing more than what I
have told you, and they therefore adjourned to await the
examination of our vault when Mr. McGregor and Mr.
Bannatine returned, in the hope that some clue might be
found therein. I forgot to mention that we found in
George's hand a bill of the Planters' Bank of Georgia,
of the denomination of one hundred dollars. It was
clutched tightly, and he had fallen on that side, so that
the murderer had not noticed it. Here it is, partly
stained with blood," and Mr. Gordon handed me a bank
note. He then continued :
"A messenger had been dispatched to inform Mr. Ban-
natine of the disaster, and he arrived in town almost
22 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
simultaneously with Mr. McGregor, who was already on
his way home when the murder occurred. As Mr. Ban-
natine is well acquainted with all the subsequent events,
I prefer that he should give the account of our action
since that time."
It was clearly very painful to Mr. Gordon to talk upon
the subject of his nephew's murder, and Mr. Bannatine
willingly took up the thread of the story. He had prac-
ticed at the bar so long that his style resembled that of a
witness under examination, and he was always careful to
give his authority whenever he stated facts outside of his
own observation. His testimony was of the greatest
importance to me, and I took very full notes as he went
I RECEIVED the intelligence of George Gordon's
murder about noon, by a messenger from Mr. Gordon.
I immediately rode into town and went to the bank,
where I arrived about two o'clock. The inquest was not
completed, but at the sheriff's suggestion the jury
adjourned until the next morning. The cause of death,
according to the testimony of Dr. Hartman and Dr. Lari-
more, was concussion of the brain, produced by three
separate blows on the back of the head ; the blows might
have been dealt with the canceling hammer, which, Mr.
Gordon said, had been found close by the body. The
latter was removed to the hotel preparatory to the
" Mr. Gordon, Mr. McGregor, and myself then pro-
ceeded to open the bank, taking the sheriff to assist us in
searching for clues to aid in the detection of the crimi-
nals. We first opened all the shutters to give as much
light as possible. We then examined the interior of the
bank ; outside of the counter nothing whatever was found,
but inside we discovered several important traces of the
murderer. The fireplace showed that something had
recently been burned in it. The grate had been per-
fectly clean all summer, and Mr. Gordon tells me such
was the case when he left the bank at four o'clock. The
character of the ashes — as I am assured by expert chem-
24 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
ists- — denoted that clothing had been burned, and while
examining them I found several buttons; here they are,"
he added, producing four or five iron buttons, and the
charred remains of two or three horn buttons.
" While feeling around in the light ashes beneath the
grate," continued Mr. Bannatine, "I found a piece of
paper twisted up and charred at one end ; its appearance
indicated that it had been used to light the fire in the
grate. On unrolling it carefully, it proved to be a frag-
ment of a note for $927.78; the signature, part of the
date, and the amount of the note were left uncharred, but
most of the upper portion was wholly burned. The sig-
nature was that of Alexander P. Drysdale, our esteemed
Mr. Bannatine here showed me this fragment pressed
out between two oblong pieces of heavy plate glass. I
glanced at it a few minutes, and then placed it beside the
buttons for future examination.
"Among the few scraps of paper found," resumed Mr.
Bannatine, " was another one, which we found under
George's body, saturated with blood. The murderer had
evidently destroyed every piece of paper that he could
find ; but this one had probably been lying on the floor,
and when George fell, it was hidden by his body. This,
and the note, were the only papers found on the desks or
about the floor of the bank which had any writing upon
them ; even the waste paper baskets and their contents
had been burned. Here is the paper, Mr. Pinkerton;
we have preserved it carefully, because we thought that
it might suggest something to a detective, though it had
no special significance to us."
THE DETECTIVE AND SOMNAMBULIST. 25
He handed me the paper, as he spoke. It was a frag-
ment of letter paper, about three by six inches in size.
It was stained a brownish red by poor young Gordon's life-
blood ; but beneath the stain, were plainly visible the pen
marks of the murdered man. It had a number of figures
on one side, arranged like examples in addition, though
they were scattered carelessly, as if he had been checking
off balances, and had used this fragment to verify his
additions. The reverse side was blank. I laid this paper
beside the note, and Mr. Bannatine continued his story :
"We then opened the safe, and counted the money;
this was easily done, for we found that all the loose money
was gone, leaving only a small quantity of coin and a
number of packages of bills. These latter were put up
in lots of five thousand dollars each, and were wrapped in
a bright red tissue paper. George had put up over one
hundred thousand dollars in this way, about a week before,
and the murderer had not touched these packages at all*,
we were thus spared a loss, which would have somewhat
crippled us. As it was, the loss in bills amounted to about
one hundred and five thousand dollars, while exactly
twenty-eight thousand dollars in gold eagles and double
eagles, were also missing. A few days after the murder,
one of Col. Garnett's slaves found two twenty-dollar gold
pieces at an old fording place on Rocky Creek, just out-
side the city, and we came to the conclusion that the
robber had dropped them there ; but of course, we could
not identify gold pieces, and so we could not be sure.
The coroner closed the inquest the following day, and the
jury found a verdict of death at the hands of a person
or persons unknown. The funeral was attended by people
26 PINKERTOWS DETECTIVE STORIES.
from miles around, and there was a general determination
shown to spare no pains to bring the murderers to justice ;
large rewards were offered by the Governor, by the bank,
and by the county officials, and some of the best detect-
ives in the country were employed, but all to no purpose.
When the gold pieces were found, a number of George's
intimate friends organized a party to search the adjoining
woods for traces of the criminals, as it was thought they
might have camped out in that vicinity, before or after
the deed. All of George's intimate friends joined in
the search, except Mr. Drysdale, who was so much
overcome at the terrible occurrence, that he was quite
prostrated. Nothing was found by this party, however ;
neither have the various detectives, professional and
amateur, who have investigated the case, made the
slightest progress toward a solution of the mystery. We
have determined to make one more effort, Mr. Pinkerton,
and therefore we have sent for you to aid us. It may be
that you will see some trace which others have overlooked ;
you can take whatever steps you choose, and you need
spare no expense. If you are successful, we will pay you
liberally, besides the rewards offered."
u One of the rules of my Agency," I replied, " forbids
the acceptance of rewards ; hence, I wish it understood
in advance, that my only charges will be according to my
regular schedule of prices, and that I expect nothing
more. This is my invariable custom, whether the case
be one of murder, arson, burglary, or simple theft ; the
number of detectives, and the time they are employed,
will determine the amount I shall charge."
We then arranged the financial portion of our agree-
THE DETECTIVE AND SOMNAMBULIST. 27
ment to our mutual satisfaction, and I began my investi-
"What detectives have you hitherto employed, Mr.
Bannatine?" I asked.
" I first laid the matter before two New York detectives,
who had been highly recommended to me," he replied;
" but they could offer no satisfactory theory to work upon,
and after staying here three or four weeks, they said that
the murder must have been committed by some member
of a gang of gamblers ; they thought the murderer would
probably go to New Orleans to exchange his money, and
that it would be easy to learn by going to that city,
whether any gambler had had an unusual amount of
money about that time. We were not very well satisfied
with this theory, and so the detectives returned to New
York. We next engaged two detectives from New
Orleans, but they were equally unsuccessful. We then
allowed the matter to rest until about a month ago, when
we heard such a favorable account of the manner in
which you had conducted a case of great difficulty, that
we began to discuss the propriety of engaging you in
investigating this affair. The more we heard of you, the
better we were satisfied, and finally, we authorized Mr.
McGregor to write to you on the subject."
" Well, Mr. Bannatine, I shall do my best," I replied,
" but you must not expect me to work miracles. Now, I
am going to ask you a number of questions, and I wish
you to answer them without regard to their apparent
drift. Who were George Gordon's intimate friends } n
" "Mr. Flanders, Mr. Drysdale, Mr. Patterson, and Mr,
28 PINKER TON'S DE TECTIVE S TORIES.
Henry Caruthers ; I think they were the only ones he was
really very intimate with ; isn't it so, Mr. Gordon ?"
"Yes; George had very few cronies," replied Mr.
"Who is Mr. Caruthers?" I asked.
" He is the son of a wealthy planter living a few miles
from town," replied Mr. Bannatine.
" Where was he the afternoon previous to the murder?"
" He came into the bank for a few minutes," said Mr.
Gordon, " and asked George to spend Sunday with him
on the plantation ; then he rode home."
" Were there any strange men in or about the bank that
" None, so far as we could learn ; nearly every person
that I can recollect having seen that day was a customer,
or a townsman whom I knew."
" When George gave up carrying the safe keys home
with him, where did he leave them ?"
" There is a secret drawer in that desk, which opens
by pressing this knob, thus," said Mr. McGregor, suiting
the action to the word ; " we used to keep the keys
" Did any one beside you four gentlemen know this
"I am sure that no one else knew it," said Mr.
" Was it necessary for George to open the safe that
night, or could he have done his work without going into
the vault at all?"
" He had work to do on the journal and ledger, and he
would have to use the keys to get them out of the vault.
THE DETECTIVE AND SOMNAMBULIST. 29
He did not need to open the inner safe where the money
" Does the outer vault key open both doors ?"
11 No ; but they were kept on the same chain for con-
" Were the ledger and journal on George's desk when
you entered the bank, Mr. Gordon ?"
" No, sir ; they were put away in their usual places in
" Did they show any marks of blood ?"
" None at all ; they were perfectly clean."
" Could you tell from their appearance whether George
had done any work upon them that night?"
" Yes ; I am sure he had done a great deal ; in fact he
had finished up all entries to date."
"Were there any papers missing besides the money?"
" Yes ; one or two bundles of old checks, drafts, etc.,
were used to assist in burning the murderer's clothes.
They were fastened in packages with fine wire, and we
found the wire in the grate."
"Then this note, signed 'Alexander P. Drysdale/
might have been pulled out of one of these packages ?"
"I suppose so; I don't know where else it came from;
do you, Mr. McGregor?" said Mr. Gordon, rather
" No ; I never thought about where it came from," said
Mr. McGregor. " I suppose the man built a fire of old
papers and the fragments of the waste paper baskets, and
then used that note to set them on fire from the lamp."
" There were no papers of any value used, then ?" I
30 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
" Oh, no ; the papers were old bundles, merely kept as
archives of the bank."
I then picked up the note and glanced at it ; as I did
so, something caught my eye which sent the blood throb-
bing through my veins at a feverish speed. Enough of the
date remained to show that it was drawn some time
during the year of the murder, hence it could hardly be
one of the archives. Besides, a note, if paid, would be
returned to the maker, canceled ; if unpaid, it would be
kept among the bills receivable, in the inner safe ; in
neither case could it have been stowed away among the
old checks and drafts. This reasoning passed through
my mind quickly, and I realized that that little piece of
paper might play an important part in the tragedy after
all. I did not form any definite theory on the instant,
but still I had a sort of presentiment that I had touched
a spring which might open the windows of this dark
mystery and let in the light of day. I did not show
what I thought to my companions, but continued to ask
" Was Mr. Patterson in the bank the day of the murder,
Mr. Gordon ?"
" Oh, no ; he was not in this part of the country at that
time; he had been in Mobile for some weeks."
" I understood you to say that Mr. Flanders went no
further than the private door with George ; did he notice
any one standing about when he came away ?"
" No ; he stopped only an instant, while George
unlocked the door, and then gave the jewel box to him to
put away. George wished him good night, w;th the
remark that he could not ask him in, as he would be too
THE DETECTIVE AND SOMNAMBULIST. 31
busy to entertain him. Mr. Flanders then came straight
back to my store ; but he said at the inquest that he heard
George lock the door behind him, and that he saw no one
around the building."
" Do you know anything about his circumstances at
that time ? Was he in need of money ?"
"No, indeed; he had a large balance to his credit.
Why, surely, you do not see any reason to suspect Mr.
Flanders ?" said Mr. McGregor.
" I don't say that I suspect anybody," I replied, "but
I wish to gather all the information possible. Now,
please tell me how large a balance Mr. Flanders had on
Mr. McGregor immediately examined the ledger for
the previous year, and reported that the balance due Mr.
Flanders at the time of the murder, was over twelve
"You see, Mr. Pinkerton," he went on to say, "we
balanced our books up to that date, and thus we know
just how each person's account stood that day."
" Well, did you find that any of those gentlemen, who
were in the habit of entering the bank after business
hours, were in debt to the bank, or that they were
cramped for money at that time?" I asked, carelessly.
" None of them were in debt to the bank, I know,"
replied Mr. McGregor ; " whether there were any of them
in need of money particularly, I cannot say."
" Had any of them tried to borrow from the bank
" No ; in fact, none of them had drawn out the balances
32 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
"Please give me a list of their balances on that day,"
I said ; "just give me a memorandum of the amounts
standing to each one's credit."
"Whose accounts shall we give you?" asked Mr.
McGregor, evidently wondering what object I had in
"Well, let me have those of Mr. Flanders, Mr.
Patterson, Mr. Drysdale, and Mr. Caruthers ; also, let me
know whether any of those gentlemen had made any loan
from the bank during that year, and if so, the amount,
date, etc., and whether a note was given, or security of
Mr. McGregor, and the other two gentlemen, were
completely mystified at my request, but they complied
with my wishes, and I noted down the amounts given me
in my note-book.
The balances were as follows: Patterson, $2,472.27;
Drysdale, $324.22; Caruthers, $817.48; and Flanders,
$12,263.03. None of them had made loans from the
bank, except Caruthers, who had once overdrawn his
account nearly three hundred dollars, but he gave no
note, as he was good for any amount. None of the others
had given a note to the bank, or to any one else, so far
as was known, for several years.
" Now, gentlemen," I said, " please take me into the
bank and show me exactly how the place appeared when
Mr. Gordon first discovered that George had been mur-
Mr. Gordon rose with great effort and opened the door
connecting the private office with the main bank. It
THE DETECTIVE AND SOMNAMBULIST. 33
was evidently very painful to him, but he did not shrink.
Turning to me, he said :
"Mr. Pinkerton, let Mr. McGregor go first, and light
the lamp; I will then proceed just as I did that morning,
and will point out the exact position of everything in the
Mr. McGregor accordingly lighted a large lamp, which
threw a soft radiance over the whole interior, and the
two moved the furniture into the position in which it had
been found on that fatal morning. Mr. Gordon then
showed me the exact position of the body, the spot
where the paper lay, the canceling hammer, and the
blood-marks. After I had been shown everything, I
stood and thought over the matter in connection with
the surroundings, and endeavored to re-enact the scene
of the murder in my own mind. Bit by bit, I brought
out some of the surroundings to my own satisfaction,
and when I went back to the private office, I had a well-
defined theory in my mind. Not that I had so narrowed
down my suspicions, as to fix them upon any particular
individual — I had not yet gone so far — but my theory
was fully established, and I felt sure that by working it
up carefully, I should soon discover some traces of the
guilty party. The officers of the bank followed me in
silence, and on resuming our seats, I said :
" Gentlemen, I wish to take a day to weigh the testi-
mony in this case, before I can give you any opinion
about it. I would like to take this note, the memorandum,
and the buttons to my room, and to-morrow evening I will
tell you what conclusions I have reached. Is that satis-
34 PINKERTON' S DETECTIVE STORIES.
" Certainly ; we do not wish to proceed in haste, Mr.
Pinkerton," said Mr. Bannatine; "we will meet you then
at the same hour to-morrow."
" I do not wish to seem impatient," said Mr. Gordon,
"but can you not tell me now whether you have obtained
any clue from what we have told you, which will enable
you to learn more ?"
Mr. Gordon's anxiety was so keen that I wished to
relieve his mind somewhat; but, on the other hand, I
did not wish to raise his hopes unnecessarily, lest some
unforeseen thing might occur to overthrow my theory
entirely. I replied, therefore :
" Mr. Gordon, I may think I have a clue now, which,
on mature reflection, may prove worthless; hence, I
should prefer to take a day, before giving my opinion."
" You are right, Mr. Pinkerton," he said ; " I should
feel worse to have my hopes raised, only to be dashed
down again, than if I had never expected anything.
Take your own time, and then let us know the result."
" There are two questions more, which I would like
answered," I said. "Was it possible for any person to
have entered the bank by force? That is, were there any
indications whatever, to show that the murderer might
have possibly gained entrance during George's absence
"No; none at all. The sheriff made a very careful
examination of all the windows, and both doors," replied
Mr. McGregor. " He thought that a gang of gamblers,
who stopped here a few weeks, might have used nippers
on the key of the side door after George had locked it,
and that they had then stolen upon George, at his desk,
THE DETECTIVE AND SOMNAMBULIST. 35
and killed him ; but, there were no evidences that such
was the case."
" Well, did any one, except you three gentlemen, know
the private signal by which those inside the bank could
tell that the person at the door, was one of the bank
" I am not sure about that," said Mr. Gordon ; "possibly
some of our well-known friends might have been with us
when we gained admittance to the bank, but I cannot say
that I think they ever learned the signal."
"You think, however, that Patterson, Drysdale, Flan-
ders, or Caruthers, might have known it?"
"Yes; in fact, on thinking it over, I feel quite sure
that Mr. Patterson and Mr. Drysdale did know it."
"Well, I don't think I have anymore questions to
ask," I said. "I shall be here promptly at eight o'clock
to-morrow evening, and if you should wish to communi-
cate with me before that time, send me a message, and I
will call at the bank. This will not attract attention, as
my business is supposed to be cotton buying, and a visit
at the bank will not be considered unusual."
I then took charge of the papers, etc., and went to my
room at the hotel. I merely glanced at the buttons, and
bank note, hastily, as I knew they could serve only as
corroboratory evidence in the event of obtaining a weak
chain of proof. I then turned to the note, which I
studied long and carefully. I was convinced that it was
of recent date, at the time of the murder, although only
the last figure of the date was visible. I finally looked
over the blood-stained piece of paper, which George had
nearly covered with figures. I saw at a glance, that there
36 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
was no reading matter on it, but I began to go over his
figures half mechanically, mentally following his addition,
to verify it.
Suddenly my eyes caught two numbers near the bottom
of the paper. They were placed together, and their
difference was written below ; they were much fainter than
the rest, having been made in pencil, instead of in ink.
It was probably due to this fact, that they had never been
noticed before, as the deep stain made it difficult to
distinguish them clearly, without close observation.
However that may be, they acted upon me like an
electric shock, and I was obliged to walk about the room
a few minutes, to compose my nerves. It was strange
that those faint lines should have told so much, but it
seemed almost, as if the murdered man had whispered
his murderer's name to me. The numbers which were
there set down were $927.78, and $324.22. One of them
was the amount of the half burned note of Drysdale; the
other, was the amount of his balance in the bank.
I sat up until a very late hour, thinking over the
possible solution of the mystery, and when I finally went
to bed, I had satisfied myself as to the identity of the
murderer. The next day, I rose late, and spent the
afternoon in arranging the points of evidence in consecu-
tive order, so as to be able to present them to the bank
officials in the most convincing manner. I then walked
around town for exercise. During my walk, I visited Mr.
Flanders' jewelry store and the county clerk's office.
Mr. Flanders was an elderly gentlemen of very mild
and courteous manners, and his whole appearance would
THE DETECTIVE AND SOMNAMBULIST. 37
lead any one to regard it as impossible, that he should
have committed murder.
Mr. Drysdale, the county clerk, was a fine looking man,
of about forty years of age. He was of the nervous,
sanguine type ; was quiet and courteous, but haughty and
reserved to strangers ; he was looking thin and weary, as
if he worked too hard, and streaks of gray were just
visible in his hair and mustache.
I talked with him for about half an hour, representing
that I was a stranger, desirous of gaining information
about the plantations of the county. He answered my
questions politely, but as briefly as possible, and I saw
that my presence, apparently, bored him, and interfered
with his duties. As I was about to go, I asked him to
write the name and address of some reliable cotton factor
in my note-book, and he complied very willingly. I then
returned to the hotel, and patiently waited until eight
ON going to the bank I found the three gentlemen
awaiting me most anxiously. After the usual
greeting we seated ourselves at the table. I arranged my
notes for convenient reference, and began to state my
" Gentlemen, I have approached this case with a great
deal of care, and have given it much thought. Aside
from the importance of the interests involved, there are
other reasons which render me cautious in forming and
stating an opinion ; other detectives of ability and experi-
ence have been baffled; several months have elapsed
since the crimes were committed ; and, lastly, the theory
upon which I have reasoned has led me in such a direc-
tion that nothing but the strongest conviction in my own
mind would warrant me in making the statement which I
am now about to give you. Let me first, then, review the
case, and show the chain of evidence as it appears to me :
" George Gordon appears to have been a young man
of more than average ability as a bank officer ; he was
cautious in his habits, and at this particular time he had
recently been specially cautioned by Mr. McGregor;
consequently it is likely that he would have been unusu-
ally careful to admit only those with whom he was very
well acquainted. Again, the position of the furniture and
the appearance of the blood-marks, show that George
THE DETECTIVE AND SOMNAMBULIST. 39
was standing at his desk, and that he was struck from
behind. Now, he had finished his work on the books
and put them away. What, then, was he doing ? There
is but one thing which throws any light upon this subject
— the bank bill which you found in his hand. From its
presence I infer that he was engaged in handling money ;
indeed, I may say that he must have been either receiv-
ing it or paying it out. That he was receiving it is not
likely, for the murderer was probably short of funds;
hence I conclude that he was paying it out. It is also
clear that the amount must have been large, as shown by
the denomination of the bill — one hundred dollars.
"These facts and inferences lead me to believe that
the murderer was a personal friend of George, and a cus-
tomer of the bank; and I may say that I had reached
this conclusion yesterday evening, while listening to the
testimony of you three gentlemen, before I had discovered
any corroborative evidence. I will now give some of the
additional points which I have brought out since then ;
but I wish that you would first tell me whether this sig-
nature is genuine," I said, pointing to Alexander P. Drys-
dale's name on the note.
"Oh, yes; there is no doubt of that," said Mr.
McGregor ; "I am perfectly familiar with his signature,
and there is no question in my mind but that he signed
" Well, gentlemen, I will now make up a possible case,
and you can see how nearly it compares with the present
matter. I will suppose that a man of wealth, refinement,
and position, should become cramped for money to supply
present necessities ; he is intimate with the officers of a
40 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
wealthy bank; he goes there one evening and is admitted
by his friend, the acting cashier. He explains his embar-
rassment, and his friend agrees to lend him the amount
which he requires. The friend completes his work, puts
away his books, and figures up the amount needed. The
borrower has a small balance to his credit, and he gives a
note for the difference. Then the teller opens the safe,
brings out a roll of bills, and begins to count out the
amount. The safe door is left open, and the visitor sees
within the piles of bank-notes and the rouleaux of gold.
A fortune in cash is within his grasp with only a human
life standing in his way ; his perplexities and embarrass-
ments come upon him with added force as he sees the
means before him by which he may escape their power to
annoy him. Like Tantalus, dying of thirst with the water
at his very lips, this man gazes on the wealth piled up in
that safe. Glancing around, he sees his friend slowly
counting the paltry hundreds he is to receive ; close by
lies a heavy weapon, heretofore used for innocent busi-
ness purposes ; another glance into the safe and insanity
is upon him ; his brain is a perfect hell of contending
passions ; again the thought flashes into his mind — ' Only
a life between me and that money.' He seizes the heavy
hammer and deals his victim a terrible blow behind the
ear ; as the latter falls lifeless, the murderer strikes him
twice more to make sure that there shall be no witnesses
to testify in the case. The deed is done, and there
remains nothing to prevent him from seizing the contents
of the safe. But first, he must protect himself from the
danger of discovery ; to this end he carefully removes his
bloody clothing, gathers every vestige of paper within
THE DETECTIVE AND SOMNAMBULIST. 41
sight, and breaks up the waste paper baskets for fuel.
He needs more flame, however, and he takes several
packages of old papers to make the fire fiercer ; then his
eye falls on a slip of paper lying on the desk, and he
twists it nervously into a lighter to convey fire from the
lamp to the mass of material in the fire-place. The flame
is started, and soon the clothes are reduced to ashes.
Stealthily he packs the packages of bills and the rolls
of coin, and when he has taken as much as he can carry,
he slips noiselessly away, leaving no trace of his identity.
No, one has seen him enter or depart ; his position is far
above the reach of suspicion ; every clue has been
destroyed in the fire-place, and no witness to his guilt
can possibly be raised up. So he thinks ; and as month
after month passes, as detective after detective abandons
the case in despair, as the excitement dies out in the
public mind, and as the friends of the deceased appar-
ently give up the hopeless task of seeking for the mur-
derer, his confidence becomes complete, and he no longer
" But stop ! when his victim fell a bloody corpse at his
feet, was every witness destroyed? No, gentlemen;
helpless and lifeless as that body fell, it yet had the power
to avenge itself. The right hand convulsively grasps a
bank note, and it is hidden from sight by the position
assumed in falling; a slip of white paper dotted with
figures at random, is also covered, and is quickly satu-
rated with blood ; a fragment of paper is found below the
grate, twisted so tightly as to have burned only in part ;
lastly, the direction of the blood-spirts show that the first
blow was strucjc on the left side. Now, gentlemen, do
42 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
you think you can read the testimony of these dumb
" My God ! I do not know what to think," said Mr.
"I see where your suspicions lead," said Mr. Banna-
tine, " but I do not yet fully know whether I can see the
evidence in the same light that you do. Please go on
and tell us all you suspect, and your reasons."
"Yes, Mr. Pinkerton," said Mr. McGregor, "whom do
you suspect ?"
" Gentlemen," I replied, solemnly, " I have formed no
hasty conclusion in this matter, and I should not accuse
any man without the strongest reasons for believing him
guilty ; but I think that when I have connected together
the links which I have gathered, you will agree with me
in the moral certainty that George Gordon was murdered
by Alexander P. Drysdale, and no other."
" Go on, go on, Mr. Pinkerton," said Mr. Gordon, in
great excitement. "It seems impossible, yet there are
some slight fancies in my mind which seem to confirm
that theory. Tell us all your conclusions, and how you
have arrived at them."
" Well, first, I am satisfied that only a particular friend
would have been admitted to the bank by George that
night ; second, the blow was struck from behind, on the
left side, showing that the murderer was probably left-
handed. Mr. Drysdale satisfies both of these conditions ;
I visited him to-day and saw him write an address in my
note-book with his left hand. Third, I have here a note
for $927.78, signed 'Alexander P. Drysdale;' the signa-
ture, you say, is genuine, and further, you told me yester-
THE DETECTIVE AND SOMNAMBULIST. 43
day that you had not held a note of Mr. Drysdale's for
some years. On reflection you will see that this note
could not have been taken from the packages of bank
archives which were burned, for it never could have been
put there; moreover it is dated '1856,' and must have
been made some time last year. As you have no record
of such a note, I infer that it was drawn the night of the
murder. Fourthly, I have conclusive evidence of that
fact in this slip of blood-stained paper," and so saying, I
produced the slip upon which George had done his
"How! where!" exclaimed my listeners.
" Near the bottom of that paper you will find in light
pencil marks three numbers arranged like an example in
subtraction, while the rest are all additions in ink. The
figures are: first, 1,252.00; then, 324.22; and 927.78
below the line. Mr. Drysdale's balance was $324.22, and
the amount of this note bearing his signature is $927.78.
It looks to me as if he wanted to draw $1,252.00, and
that George subtracted the amount of his balance in
bank, $324.22, from the amount he wished to draw,
$1,252.00, and that Mr. Drysdale then gave his note for
the difference, $927.78. What do you think of my witness,
The three gentlemen put their heads together over the
paper long enough to convince themselves that the figures
were really there, and then they resumed their seats in
silence. I had watched their faces carefully as I drew
my conclusions, and had seen their expressions change
from incredulity to uncertainty, then to amazement,
44 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
finally turning gradually to half belief; but when they
sat down, positive conviction was evident in every face.
" How is it possible that these facts were never discov-
ered before ?" ejaculated Mr. Bannatine.
" It is very simple," I replied ; "the search has hitherto
been conducted on a wrong basis. The whole endeavor
seems to have been to guess who might have done the
deed, and then to find evidence to convict him. My
plan in all similar cases is, to first examine the evidence
before me, with a perfectly unbiased mind ; then, having
formed a theory by reasoning on general principles, as
applied to the facts in my possession, I proceed to look
about for some person who will answer the conditions of
my theory. I may find more than one, and I then am
obliged to make each such person the object of my atten-
tion until I obtain convincing proof of his innocence or
guilt. The person upon whom my theory causes suspi-
cion to fall, may have been hitherto regarded as above
suspicion ; but, that fact does not deter me in the least
degree from placing that person's circumstances, motives,
and actions under the microscope, so to speak; for
experience and observation, have taught me that the
most difficult crimes to fix upon the criminal, are those
which have been committed by men whose previous
reputation had been unspotted. Now, you have never
connected Mr. Drysdale with this affair, because it has
never entered your minds to suspect him; but, had you
gone over the ground in the same manner that I have
done, you would have been led to the same conclusion.
This is the real point, where the services of an expe-
rienced detective, are most valuable. The plan by which
THE DETECTIVE AND SOMNAMBULIST. 45
a detective operation is to be conducted, is as important
as the method of procedure. To find a man who is
hiding from justice, his criminality being well known, is
a task of little difficulty, compared with the labor involved
in mysterious cases, where there is apparently, nothing
left to identify the criminal. I claim no special credit in
this case, since the clues have proven more numerous
than had been supposed, but I have given you my idea
of the proper way to conduct an investigation, simply to
show you how I am accustomed to work. Let me now
ask, whether any of you have doubts, as to the propriety
of putting my detectives upon the trail of Mr. Drysdale,
to determine the extent of his connection, if any, in the
murder of George Gordon ?"
"None whatever," said Mr. Bannatine, emphatically;
" it seems almost impossible that he should be guilty ; but,
in the face of the strong array of accusing circumstances
cited by you, Mr. Pinkerton, I can only say : ' Go on
with your work in your own way.' The innocent have
nothing to fear, and the guilty deserve no mercy."
"Amen." said both the other gentlemen.
"What is your plan?" asked Mr. Gordon.
"Well, gentlemen," I replied, "I have been struck with
some strong points of resemblance between Drysdale
and one of Bulwer's characters, Eugene Aram. You are
aware, that the only evidence we can bring against
Drysdale, is circumstantial, and that we could hardly
obtain an indictment on the strength of it ; still less a
conviction for murder. Besides, there is a large amount
of money at stake, and it is desirable to recover that
money, as well as to convict the murderer. We must
46 PINKER TON ' S DE TE C TI VE S T0R1E S.
proceed, therefore, with great caution, lest we defeat our
own plans by premature action. I have arranged a
scheme to obtain a direct proof of Drysdale's guilt,
and with your consent, I will put it in operation imme-
I then gave the details of my plan, and the gentle-
men, though somewhat nervous as to the result, finally
acquiesced in it.
The next morning, I left Atkinson, for Chicago, where
I duly arrived, somewhat improved in health, by
my Southern trip. I immediately sent for Timothy
Webster, one of my most expert detectives, to whom
I gave full charge of the case in Atkinson. I explained
to him all the circumstances connected with it, and
instructed him in the plan I had arranged. Mrs. Kate
Warne, and a young man named Green, were assigned to
assist Webster, and all the necessary disguises and
clothing, were prepared at short notice.
Mrs. Warne was the first lady whom I had ever
employed, and this was one of the earliest operations
in which she was engaged. As a detective, she had no
superior, and she was a lady of such refinement, tact,
and discretion, that I never hesitated to entrust to her
some of my most difficult undertakings.
It will be understood by the reader, that each detective
made daily reports to me, and that I constantly directed
the operation by mail or telegraph. This has always
been my invariable custom, and no important steps are
ever taken without my order, unless circumstances should
occur which would not admit the delay.
ABOUT a week after my departure from Atkinson, a
gentleman arrived there by the evening train, and
went to the hotel. He was an intelligent, shrewd, agree-
able business man, about thirty-five years old, and he
impressed all who made his acquaintance, as a gentleman
of ability and energy. He signed the register, as ' John
M. Andrews, Baltimore,' and the landlord soon learned
from him that he had come to Atkinson to reside perma-
nently, if he could get into business there. Mr. Andrews
was evidently a man of considerable wealth, though he
made no ostentatious display, nor did he talk about his
property as though he cared to impress upon other people
the idea that he was rich. Still, it came to be generally
understood, in a few days, that he had made quite a
fortune, as a cotton broker, in Baltimore, and that he had
a considerable sum in cash to invest, when a desirable
opportunity should offer. This fact, together with his
agreeable manners, made his society quite an acquisition
to the town, and he was soon on familiar terms with all
the regular boarders in the hotel, and with many promi-
nent residents of the place.
Some days after Mr. Andrews arrived the hotel
received another equally popular guest. She gave her
name, as Mrs. R. C. Potter, and her object in visiting
Atkinson, was to improve her health. She was accom-
48 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
panied by her father, Mr. C. B. Rowell, a fine looking,
white-haired old gentleman, but he remained only long
enough to see her comfortably settled, and then returned
to their home in Jacksonville, Florida, as his business
required his immediate presence there. Mrs. Potter was
a distingushed looking brunette ; she was a widow with
no children, and she might have passed for thirty years
of age. She was tall and graceful, and her entertaining
conversation made her a general favorite among the ladies
in the hotel. She was not an invalid, strictly speaking,
but the family physician had recommended that she
should go to the dry air of northern Mississippi for a
few months, to escape the rainy, foggy weather of Florida
at that season.
About a week after her arrival, she went out with two
other ladies, Mrs. Townsend and Mrs. Richter, to explore
the beauties of Rocky Creek. They spent a pleasant
afternoon in the wooded ravines, and it was after five
o'clock, before they returned. As they sauntered down
one of the pleasantest streets of the town, they noticed
a lady standing at the gate of an elegant residence, with
" Oh ! there is Mrs. Drysdale," said Mrs Townsend.
" Have you met her, Mrs. Potter ?"
" Not yet, though I have heard of her so frequently,
that I feel almost as if 1 knew her."
"Well, I think you will like each other very much,"
said Mrs. Richter, " and we will introduce you to her."
On reaching the gate, therefore, the ladies presented
Mrs. Potter in due form.
"I have been intending to call on you, Mrs. Potter,"
THE DETECTIVE AND SOMNAMBULIST 49
said Mrs. Drysdale, " but my youngest child has not been
well, and I have not gone anywhere for several weeks.
In fact, I am quite a home body at all times, and I always
expect my friends to waive ceremony, and visit me a
great deal more than I visit them. I hope you will not
wait for me, Mrs. Potter, for my domestic affairs keep me
very busy just now; I shall be glad to see you any time
that you feel like dropping in."
"I shall be very glad to dispense with formalities,"
answered Mrs. Potter, " and you can depend upon seeing
After some further conversation, the three ladies
resumed their homeward walk, leaving Mrs. Drysdale
still waiting for her husband. He was soon seen by the
ladies, rapidly walking up the street toward his home.
He was on the opposite side, so that he merely bowed to
them, and hastened on.
"There seems to have been quite a change in Mr.
Drysdale during the last year," said Mrs. Richter. "My
husband was speaking of it the other day. He said that
Drysdale was becoming really unsociable. I hope he is
not growing dissipated, for the sake of his wife, who is a
"Yes; she seems to be a most devoted wife and
mother," said Mrs. Potter. "Possibly, the change in
Mr. Drysdale, is due to business troubles."
" Oh, no ; that is impossible," said Mrs. Townsend ;
" he is very wealthy indeed, and as he is not engaged in
any regular business, he cannot be financially embarrassed.
No, I attribute his recent peculiarities, to religious doubts ;
he has not been to church since last fall."
50 PINKER TON'S DE TECT1 VE STORIES.
"Is it as long as that?" asked Mrs. Richter.
"Yes; I recollect it, because he did not go to the
funeral of poor George Gordon, and he has not attended
service since then."
" Well, if he really is in religious trouble, the minister
ought to visit him and give him advice," said Mrs. Richter.
As they walked toward the hotel, they turned the con-
versation into a different channel without reaching any
conclusion as to the cause of Mr. Drysdale's eccen-
A few days thereafter Mrs. Potter called upon Mrs.
Drysdale and passed the afternoon very pleasantly.
When Mr. Drysdale came home he was very polite and
agreeable; he seemed glad to find his wife enjoying
herself, and when Mrs. Potter rose to go, both husband
and wife urged her warmly to come frequently.
" I am going out to my plantation in a day or two,"
said Mr. Drysdale, " and I hope you will visit my wife
while I am gone, as I am afraid she may be lonesome."
" Who are you going with ?" asked Mrs. Drysdale.
" There is a gentleman from Baltimore, staying at the
hotel," replied Mr. Drysdale, " and he talks of investing
some money in land, so I thought I would take him out
to see Bristed's old place next to mine. It is cjoing to
ruin now, but if a man like Mr. Andrews would take it, he
could make it pay. He seems very intelligent and agree-
able; I suppose you have met him, Mrs. Potter?"
" Oh, yes ; he was introduced to me the first week I
was here," replied Mrs. Potter. " He seems to me to be
a Southern gentleman with a good deal of real Yankee
THE DETECTIVE AND SOMNAMBULIST. 51
" That is my opinion, also," said Mr. Drysdale, " and
if he buys Bristed's place, he will join me in some
improvements which are much needed."
" Well, good afternoon, Mrs. Drysdale," said Mrs. Pot-
ter ; " I am going out horseback riding in a day or two, and
perhaps I will stop here a few minutes on my way back."
" Do so, Mrs. Potter ; we shall be delighted to see you.
On Mrs. Potter's return to the hotel, she stayed in the
parlor for some time, and as Mr. Andrews came in soon
after, they had a pleasant tete-a-tete before going to
The next morning Mr. Andrews went out to get a cab-
inet-maker to make a small book-case for his room, and
the hotel clerk directed him to the shop of Mr. Breed.
The latter said that he was very busy, indeed, but that he
could get a young man who was boarding with him to do
" Is he a good workman ?" asked Mr. Andrews.
" I think he is," replied Breed, " though I am not sure,
as he came here only day before yesterday from Memphis.
He has served his time at the trade, however, and he
ought to be able to make a book-case neatly."
" Well, send him over, Mr. Breed, and I will give him
a trial. By the way, who was that gentleman that just
passed ? I have seen him several times, but have never
met him in society."
" That was Mr. Peter A. Gordon," said Breed. "He
boards at the hotel, also, but he rarely mingles with other
men except in business."
" I am surprised at that," Mr. Andrews remarked, "for
52 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
he appears like a naturally genial man ; yet he has a very
" Yes ; he has never recovered from the shock of his
nephew's murder last fall ; he always used to be very
sociable and hospitable, but now he seems too much cast
down to care for society. You may have heard of the
dreadful manner in which young George Gordon was
" Oh, yes ; I recollect," said Mr. Andrews ; " the cir-
cumstances were related to me soon after I arrived here.
George Gordon seems to have been a fine young fellow,
and I don't wonder the old gentleman mourns his loss."
" He was one of the most promising young men I ever
knew," said Mr. Breed, warmly; "and speaking of poor
George, reminds me that I noticed a strong resemblance
to him in this young workman boarding with me. Ordi-
narily I would not have perceived it, but yesterday he
slipped on a coat of mine, which was just like the one
George used to wear, and the likeness was remarkable."
" You were one of the first at the bank the day after
the murder, were you not, Mr. Breed ?"
" Yes ; and it was a dreadful sight. It was wonderful
how Mr. Peter Gordon retained his presence of mind ;
he did not break down until he found that there was no
hope of discovering the murderer."
" Was no one ever suspected ?" asked Mr. Andrews.
" Oh, yes ; several persons were arrested — gamblers
and loafers — but they all proved their innocence conclu-
Mr. Andrews showed considerable interest in the
THE DETECTIVE AND SOMNAMBULIST. 53
murder, and Mr. Breed related all that was known about
it. When he was about to go, Mr. Andrews said :
"Well, it is a very mysterious affair, and I am not
surprised that Mr. Gordon is so dejected ; that horrible
scene must be always before him. By the way, don't let
your young man dress in gray, when he comes to my
room ; I should be continually haunted with a suspicion
that it was a ghost."
"Please don't speak of that to any one," said Mr.
Breed, confidentially ; " I ought not to have mentioned
it myself, for young Green was frightened nearly out of
his wits about it. As I said before, when he wears his
every-day clothes, no one would notice any special
resemblance, but in that particular style of dress, the
likeness was really alarming. He was so scared, that in
future, he will take great care not to be seen in any
clothes like those of poor George."
"Of course, I shall not mention the matter," said Mr.
Andrews ; " send him over this afternoon."
ON leaving Mr. Breed, Mr. Andrews paid a visit to
Mr. Drysdale, at the latter's office.
"I hope I shall not interfere with your work, Mr.
Drysdale," he said. " I am an idler for the present, but
I try to respect the business hours of others, and so, if
I disturb you, let me know it."
" Oh ! not at all, I assure you," said Mr. Drysdale,
warmly. " I am never very busy, and just now, there
is nothing whatever to do. Indeed, I wish I had more
to do — this lack of steady work wears upon me. I need
something to keep my mind constantly occupied."
"That is where you and I differ," said Andrews; "I
have worked pretty hard for twenty years, and now I am
willing to take a rest. I don't wish to be wholly idle, but
I like to give up a good part of my time to recreation."
"I used to feel so, too," said Drysdale, as if his
thoughts were far away; then, he added, hastily, as if
recollecting himself: " I mean that I have felt so at times,
but I always need to come back to hard work again.
Will you be ready to go out to my plantation next
" Yes ; Monday will suit me as well as any other day,"
replied Andrews. "When shall we return?"
" I had not intended to remain there more than three
THE DETECTIVE AND SOMNAMBULIST. 55
or four days, unless you should wish to stay longer. If
agreeable to you, we will return Thursday afternoon."
" That will enable me to join our riding party the next
day," said Andrews. " All right ; I will be ready to start
Monday morning. Now, I must be going ; I only stopped
to find out when you would be ready to go."
" I am sorry you cannot stay longer," said Drysdale.
" I hope that you will drop in without ceremony, when-
ever you feel like it."
In the afternoon, young Green, the cabinet-maker,
called upon Mr. Andrews, and went up to the latter's
room. The work to be done, must have required a great
deal of explanation, as Green remained nearly an hour.
As he went out, Mr. Andrews said to him :
"If we fail to return Thursday, you must be there
Friday at the same hour. You had better take a look at
the place before then."
On Monday, Mr. Drysdale called at the hotel imme-
diately after breakfast, and found Mr. Andrews all ready
for the ride to the plantation. As they rode out of town,
Mr. Drysdale's spirits seemed to rise rapidly, and he
entertained his companion so successfully, that when they
reached the plantation, they had become quite well
acquainted with each other. Drysdale was a man of
fine education, and fascinating manners ; he really had
great eloquence, and his abilities were far above the
average, but the circumstances of his life had not been
such as to develop his powers, and give play to his
ambition; hence, he was apparently becoming disap-
pointed, sour, and morose. At least, this was the impres-
sion which many of his friends had gained, and they
56 PINKER TON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
accounted for the gradual change in his manners on the
above theory; namely, that he was the victim of disap-
During their stay at the plantation, the gentlemen
usually spent their evenings together, while the mornings
were given up to business by Drysdale, and to hunting by
Andrews. The plantation required a great deal of atten-
tion just in the spring, and Drysdale's time was pretty
well occupied. Andrews easily formed the acquaintance
of the neighboring planters, and he spent much of his
time in paying visits around the country. He thought
quite favorably of buying the Bristed plantation, as
Drysdale had hoped, but the owner wished to sell
another place with it, and Andrews did not care to buy
both. Drysdale suggested that by autumn, the owner
would be willing to sell it separately, and he advised
Andrews to hold off until then.
On Thursday, Andrews started out shooting early,
agreeing to be back at noon, to make an early start for
Atkinson, as the time required to ride there, was about
four hours. He strayed so far away, however, that it
was two o'clock before he returned, and they did not
mount their horses until three o'clock. By this time,
they had become much more intimate than one would
have expected on so short acquaintance, and Drysdale
showed a marked pleasure in the company of his new
friend. During the first part of the ride, he was as
brilliant and entertaining as possible, but, as they ap-
proached the town, he began to lose his cheerfulness,
and to become almost gloomy. Both gentlemen were
THE DETECTIVE AND SOMNAMBULIST. 57
rather tired, and they soon allowed the conversation to
drop almost wholly.
It was early dusk when they reached the banks of
Rocky Creek, about a mile from Drysdale's house. From
this point, the scenery was bold and picturesque ; the road
passed through heavy masses of timber at times, and
crossed many ravines and rocky gorges, as it followed the
general direction of the winding stream. Daylight was
rapidly fading into the night, though objects could still
be distinguished quite well at a distance of one hundred
yards. As they arrived at one of the wooded hillocks,
over which the road passed, they were shut out from any
very extended view, except in one direction. Here,
Andrews reined in his horse a moment, to take a last
look at the beauty of the scene, while Drysdale passed
on a few yards in advance.
The spot was rather wild and perhaps a little weird ;
on the right was a dense forest, rising some distance
above the road, which curved around the hill-side about
mid-way to the crest ; on the left the hill descended
rapidly to the creek, along which ran a heavy belt of
timber, which permitted only an occasional gleam of
water to be seen ; the abrupt hill-side between the road
and the timber was nearly cleared of undergrowth, but it
was filled with large boulders and creeping vines ; over
the tops of the timber the country stretched away in dis-
solving views as the mists of night began to form and
spread over the landscape. Having paused an instant,
Andrews spurred his horse forward just as Drysdale
uttered an exclamation of horror. As he came up, he
saw that Drysdale had stopped and was holding his reins
58 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
in a convulsive grasp ; all color was gone from his face,
and he was trembling violently.
" What is the matter, Drysdale ?" said Andrews, drawing
up beside him.
"My God! look there !" broke from Drysdale's ashy
lips, as he pointed down the hill-side.
At the distance of about fifty yards the figure of a young
man was moving down the slope toward the timber. He
walked slowly on, with a measured pace, turning his eyes
neither to the right nor left. He was apparently about
twenty-five or twenty-six years of age, and his face was
indicative of intelligence, ability and energy. His course
was nearly parallel to the direction of the road at that
point, and only his profile could be seen. He wore a
business suit of light gray clothes, but he had no hat on
his head, and his curly hair was tossed lightly by the
evening breeze. As he moved further from the road, the
back of his head was more directly exposed, presenting a
most ghastly sight. The thick brown locks were matted
together in a mass of gore, and large drops of blood
slowly trickled down upon his coat ; the whole back of
the skull seemed to be crushed in, while the deadly pallor
of his face gave him the appearance of a corpse.
Drysdale seemed to rally his faculties a moment and
shouted in powerful but hoarse tones :
" Say ! you, sir ! Who are you, and where are you
Although his voice might have been heard at a long
distance, the figure continued its course without indica-
ting, even by a sign, that he had heard the hail.
" Why, what in the devil has got into you, Drysdale ?"
THE DETECTIVE AND SOMNAMBULIST. 59
asked Andrews. " Whom are you shouting at in such a
" Don't you see that man down the hill ?" he asked, in
a perfect agony of fear and excitement. " See ! right in
line with that pointed rock ; why, he is only a few yards
off. My God ! it can't be possible that you don't see
"Upon my word, Drysdale," said Andrews, "if you
keep on, I shall think you are going crazy. What man
are you talking about ? There is no one in sight, and
either you are trying to play a joke on me, or else your
imagination is most unpleasantly active."
" Andrews, look where I point, less than ten rods off,"
said Drysdale, in a hoarse whisper, clutching Andrews by
the arm ; " do you mean to say that you don't see a man
slowly walking toward the creek ?"
" I mean to say," replied Andrews, deliberately, "that
there is no man in sight from here, either on that hill-side
or any where else."
"God help me," muttered Drysdale, as the figure disap-
peared in the woods, " then it must have been a ghost."
" My dear fellow," said Andrews, sympathizingly, as
they continued their ride, " I am afraid you are feverish ;
you probably imagined you saw something, and you are
superstitious about the matter because I did not see it.
Tell me what it was."
By this time they had passed some distance beyond
the spot where Drysdale had seen the apparition, and he
began to recover his strength somewhat. It was evident
that he was still very much distressed, but he endeavored
to pass the matter over.
60 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
" Oh ! it was nothing of any consequence," he said,
"but I thought I saw a man crossing that clearing."
" Well, what of it ?" asked Andrews. " Was he a dan-
gerous looking fellow ?"
"Yes; very dangerous looking, indeed;" then, sud-
denly, as if struck by a plausible idea, he added : " I
thought it was a negro with a gun ; you know what my
opinions are about allowing the slaves to have fire-arms,
and this fellow looked like such a villain that I was really
alarmed. You are sure you saw no one ?"
"Quite sure," replied Andrews. "I am afraid you
have worked too hard, and that you are going to be ill.
I shall tell your wife to nurse you well for a few days to
cure you of seeing spooks and wild niggers roaming
'round with guns."
"No, indeed," said Drysdale, hastily; "please say
nothing to my wife ; it would only alarm her unneces-
" Well, take my advice and rest awhile," said Andrews.
" Your nerves are a little shaken, and you will certainly
be ill if you keep on working so steadily."
Drysdale soon relapsed into moody silence, and when
they reached his gate, he was a really pitiable object.
He asked Andrews to take supper with him, but as the
invitation was given only as a matter of form, the latter
excused himself, and rode immediately to the hotel. He
happened to meet Mrs. Potter in the parlor, but he
stopped only a few minutes to talk to her, as he was too
hungry and tired to feel like entertaining the fascinating
It was then only about seven o'clock, and Mrs. Potter
THE DETECTIVE AND SOMNAMBULIST. 61
proposed to Mrs. Townsend, and several other ladies
and gentlemen, that they take a walk. Accordingly, they
strolled through the pleasant streets, enjoying the balmy
spring air, and often stopping at the gates of their friends,
to chat a few minutes. As they passed the Drysdale
place, Mrs, Potter said :
" I want to run in to speak to Mrs. Drysdale a minute;
I promised to stop here on our riding excursion to-mor-
row, but as it is postponed, I want to tell her not to
The rest of the party stayed at the gate, while Mrs.
Potter went in. She was ushered into the library, and
Mrs. Drysdale came down at once. Having explained
her object in calling, Mrs. Potter asked whether Mr. and
Mrs. Drysdale would not join the party outside, for a
"I am sorry to say, that my husband is quite unwell,"
said Mrs. Drysdale. " He returned from the plantation
to-day, quite feverish, and excited, and now he is in a
sort of nervous delirium. He has had one or two attacks
before, but none so serious as this."
"I sincerely hope he is not going to be ill," said Mrs.
Potter. " What does the doctor think ?"
" Oh ! he won't have a doctor," replied Mrs. Drysdale ;
" he says that I am the best doctor he can have, because
I can soothe him."
Just then, Mrs. Potter heard a heavy footstep, begin-
ning to pace up and down overhead.
"There, he has arisen,' said Mrs. Drysdale, "and I
shall find him pacing the room, and muttering to himself
62 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
like a crazy man. You must excuse me, as I must go to
" Oh, certainly ; I am sorry I called you away. Please
let me know if I can do anything for you. If Mr.
Drysdale should be seriously ill, don't be afraid to call
upon me. I am an excellent nurse, and nothing would
give me greater pleasure than to assist you ; or, at least,
I could look after the children."
" You are very kind, Mrs. Potter, and I shall be glad
to accept your assistance, especially, as the children are
so fond of you ; however, I hope Aleck's illness will be
Mrs. Potter then withdrew, and the party slowly
strolled back to the hotel.
As Mrs. Drysdale surmised, her husband's illness was
very brief, and in two or three days, he returned to his
duties at the court house. He was somewhat changed
in looks, however, his face being haggard, his figure
slightly bowed, and his hand tremulous. He seemed,
more than ever before, to avoid society, and on his way
to the court house, he always chose the least frequented
streets. The change in his looks and manners, was
noticed only by a few who had formerly been intimate
with him ; in this little circle, his eccentricities were
accounted for by significant gestures of drinking, and it
was understood among those who knew him best, that
liquor was responsible for the ruin of another fine fellow.
One peculiarity that he evinced was, a great partiality
for the society of Mr. Andrews, and for the next week,
they were together every day. He frequently referred,
in conversation with Andrews, to the freak his imagination
THE DETECTIVE AND SOMNAMBULIST. 63
had played, while returning from the plantation, and,
though Andrews always made light of it, and laughed at
him, he evidently thought about it a great deal. It
seemed to be a kind of relief to him to discuss it with
Andrews, and so the latter used to humor him in it.
SEVERAL days after Drysdale's return from the plan-
tation, Mrs. Potter and several others, set out for a
horseback ride. They enjoyed the afternoon exceedingly,
and it was growing dark before they reached the town on
their return. As the party passed down the street upon
which Drysdale lived, Mrs. Potter, and another lady,
lagged behind the others, and the main body were quite
a distance in advance. Mrs. Potter suggested that they
put their horses at full speed, in order to overtake their
friends. Mrs. Robbins, her companion, assented, and
they dashed off together. The latter's horse was the
faster of the two, however, and Mrs. Potter was about
fifty or sixty yards in the rear, when they approached the
Drysdale place. There was no one in sight on the
street, and there was so much foliage on each side, that
the road was quite hidden from the view of the scattered
Suddenly, Mrs. Robbins heard a shriek and a fall
behind her; quickly reining in her horse, she turned
back, passing Mrs. Potter's riderless horse on the way.
She soon discovered Mrs. Potter lying by the roadside,
groaning, and in great pain. Mrs. Robbins did not stop
to ask any questions ; she saw that Mrs. Potter was badly
hurt, and she knew that assistance must be brought
instantly. She therefore, galloped up the drive to the
THE DETECTIVE AND SOMNAMBULIST. 65
Drysdale house, and hastily told them what had hap-
pened. In less than three minutes, Mr. Drysdale had
improvised a stretcher out of a wicker settee and a
mattress, and had summoned four stout negroes to bring
it after him, while he and his wife hurried out to the
road. There they found Mrs. Potter, and Mrs. Robbins
supporting her. She said that she was in great pain,
from severe contusion, and possible dislocation of the
knee joint, and that she had also sustained some internal
injuries. In a very few minutes, they had tenderly placed
her on the settee, and carried her up to the house. She
was carefully put to bed, and Mrs. Robbins remounted
her horse to go for a physician. The latter, on his
arrival, said that he could hardly tell the extent of Mrs.
Potter's injuries at once, but he thought they would not
confine her to her bed more than a week or two. She
asked if she might be moved to the hotel, as she did not
wish to trespass on Mrs. Drvsdale's hospitality. Mrs.
Drysdale, however, refused to hear of such a thing as the
removal of a sick person from her house, and she said
that she should enjoy Mrs. Potter's society enough to
compensate for the slight trouble. It was decided, there-
fore, that Mrs. Potter should remain until she was able to
go without assistance. She improved very rapidly, but
her knee seemed to pain her considerably, and she spent
most of her time in her room, or on a sofa under the
veranda, whither her stout negro nurse used to carry
A few days afterwards, Mrs. Potter was lying awake
in her room at about seven o'clock in the morning. Mr.
and Mrs. Drysdale's room was next to hers, and the
66 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES,
transom over the connecting door was open, so that
whatever was said in one room could be easily heard in
the other. Mrs. Potter heard Drysdale get up and open
the blinds to let in the morning sun. He had hardly
done so ere he gave a sharp cry and sank into a chair.
" What is the matter ?" asked Mrs. Drysdale, in great
"Oh, nothing," he replied; "I don't feel well."
" I should think you wouldn't," said Mrs. Drysdale,
"for you have had the nose-bleed terribly. Why, it is
all over the pillow and floor, and leads out of the door.
You must have gone down stairs."
"Yes, yes," he exclaimed, hastily, " I did get up in the
night. I — I don't feel very well — I guess I will lie down
" Is there anything I can do for you ?" asked his wife,
" No, nothing at present. Just go right along with
your household affairs, as usual ; I shall be all right in a
Mrs. Drysdale saw that her husband was nervous and
irritable, and so she dressed quickly and went down to
superintend her domestic duties. When Mrs. Potter's
breakfast was ready, she brought it up herself and stopped
a few minutes to talk.
" Do you know of any remedy for bleeding at the nose,
Mrs. Potter ?" she asked. " My husband had quite a
severe attack last night, and he went down on the front
veranda, and then down the gravel walk, thinking, I
suppose, that exercise would stop it. It must have bled
THE DETECTIVE AND SOMNAMBULIST. 67
frightfully, for I could see marks of blood all the way
down the path to the gate."
" I suppose he let it run instead of trying to stop the
flow," replied Mrs. Potter. " Some people think it is
good for the health occasionally, and so they allow the
nose to bleed as long as it wants to."
After a few more remarks, Mrs. Drysdale went down
stairs again. Mrs. Potter could hear Mr. Drysdale tossing
about on the bed in the next room, muttering to himself,
and occasionally speaking aloud such expressions as —
"Oh! this is horrible !" — "What does this mean?" —
" My God ! what could have done it ?"
After a time he became quieter, but he did not leave
his room until the afternoon. Soon after he got up, Mr.
Andrews called to see him, having failed to find him at
" I thought you might be sick and so I dropped in to
see you," he said.
"I am very glad you came," replied Drysdale. "I
have been a little unwell, and I need some one to cheer
" Let us take a short walk," said Andrews ; " the exer-
cise will do you good."
As they strolled out, Andrews pointed to some blood
and said :
" Any one hurt in your house ?"
" No — yes — that is, nothing serious ; one of my negroes
■cut his hand this morning," replied Drysdale, shuddering.
" I can't look at blood without feeling sick," he explained,
as he saw that Andrews was wondering at his agitation.
As they continued their walk, Andrews noticed that
68 PINKER TON ' S DE TECTIVE STORIES.
Drysdale was very self-absorbed, and so they strolled
down the street without conversing. Their course took
them past the bank, and as Mr. McGregor was standing
on the steps of the side entrance, he accosted them
" Why, how do you do, gentlemen ?" he asked.
" Won't you walk in for a few minutes ? I havn't seen
you since your illness, Mr. Drysdale ; won't you come in
and rest a while?"
On hearing McGregor's salutation, Drysdale started as
if stung, and trembled violently. He had been walking
along with his eyes down, so that he had not seen Mr.
McGregor until spoken to.
"No, thank you," he replied; "I think I won't have
time — that is, I promised my wife to come back soon.
You must excuse me this time."
He hurried on with a nervous gesture of courtesy, and
he did not recover his calmness until some minutes after-
ward. Andrews accompanied him to his home, and on
the way they agreed to go to Drysdale 's plantation for a
short visit on the following Monday. Having settled
upon the time for starting and returning, Andrews
declined an invitation to dine with Drysdale that even-
ing, and they separated. Andrews dropped into Breed's
shop on his way back to the hotel, and there he found
young Green, the man who had made his book-case.
They talked together only a few minutes, and Andrews
then went to his room, where he stayed the remainder of
On Monday, Andrews and Drysdale rode off to the
plantation at daylight, and the latter's spirits seemed to
THE DETECTIVE AND SOMNAMBULIST. 69
lighten rapidly after leaving the immediate vicinity of
Atkinson. In the afternoon, Andrews took his gun and
wandered off into the woods, but he did not seem very
desirous of shooting anything, for he soon took a position
whence he commanded a full view of the house. In
about half an hour, Drysdale came out and walked
slowly toward a small cluster of trees, about five hundred
yards from the house. Here, he leaned against a tree,
and paused to look around in every direction ; then he
began to stride with a measured step in a straight line.
When he stopped, he began to examine the ground care-
fully for some minutes, and finally, he seemed satisfied
with his inspection, and returned to the house.
During the remainder of their stay at the plantation,
Andrews and Drysdale were constantly together, and the
latter seemed to find the greatest pleasure in the former's
society. He frequently recurred to the subject of ghosts
and spooks, and always closed by discussing the char-
acter of the apparition he had seen on the roadside.
There was no doubt that it had made a deep impression
upon him, for he never tired of talking about it. Andrews
laughed at him, ridiculed his vivid imagination, cross-
questioned him, and reasoned with him upon the
absurdity of his hallucination, but all to no effect;
Drysdale maintained in the most dogged manner, that
he had seen a ghost.
On Friday, they were to return to Atkinson, and in the
morning Andrews rode over to make a short visit to a
neighbor. He was so hospitably entertained, however,
that he did not get away until after two o'clock, and it
was nearly three before they started on their homeward
70 PINKER TOJSTS DE TECT1 VE STORIES.
ride. As before, it was growing dusky, when they reached
the banks of Rocky Creek, and Drysdale was in a state
of high nervous excitement.
On reaching the spot where Drysdale had seen the
ghost before, he kept close at Andrews' side, and en-
deavored to appear unconcerned. Suddenly, he grasped
Andrews by the arm with a faint groan, and said :
"Andrews, look ! look ! for God's sake, tell me, don't
you see it?"
As he spoke, he pointed toward the same ghastly object
which he had seen before. There, right under his eyes,
passed the image of the murdered George Gordon.
" There, I was afraid you would have the same folly
again," said Andrews, soothingly, as if anxious to attract
his attention away from his ghostly friend. " What the
devil is the matter with you ?"
" Tell me, tell me, Andrews," gasped Drysdale, in such
terror that his parched throat and quivering lips could
hardly pronounce the words ; "can't you see that horrible
man close to the fence, walking toward the creek?"
" I tell you, my dear fellow," replied Andrews, earnestly,
" that you are laboring under a most unpleasant halluci-
nation. There is absolutely no person, or any moving
object in sight, except you and me."
At this moment, the sound of approaching hoof-beats
could be plainly heard, and Drysdale turned his head to
look back in the direction whence they came. On look-
ing for the ghost again, it was nowhere to be seen.
" Andrews, it is gone — the earth has swallowed it up,"
He would have fallen from his horse, if Andrews had
THE DETECTIVE AND SOMNAMBULIST. 71
not caught him around the waist, and just as he did so,
Mr. Breed and Mr. O'Fallon, the station agent, rode up,
one on each side of them.
"What's the matter with Mr. Drysdale?" asked
" Didn't you see it ? Tell me — did the ghost pass you ?"
Drysdale queried eagerly, turning toward the new comers.
" What are you talking about ? What do you mean by
'the ghost?' " asked Mr. Breed, in great wonderment.
" The ghost, I say — did neither of you see a horrible
figure pass out of sight suddenly, toward the creek
"I saw nothing, Mr. Drysdale," said O'Fallon; "did
"Well, I don't know what Mr. Drysdale means by a
ghost," said Breed, deliberately ; " but I think I did see
something down there. I couldn't say what it looked
like. Why do you call it a ghost, Mr. Drysdale ?"
" Because I have seen it twice close to me, and Mr.
Andrews has not been able to see it at all," replied Drys-
dale with great difficulty. " I began to think it must have
been imagination on my part, but now, that you have seen
it, I know that it was a ghost."
Drysdale was so helpless, that it was necessary for one
gentleman to ride on each side of him to hold him in his
saddle. On arriving at his place, they helped him into the
house, and left him in charge of his wife. He imme-
diately went to bed, and during the night, he suffered a
great deal. Mrs. Potter heard him groaning, tossing, and
muttering until nearly daylight.
The story of the ghost was soon freely circulated by
72 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
O 'Fallon and Breed, though they could not describe the
apparition at all. Still, it created quite an excitement,
and the results were not very beneficial to the neighbor-
hood, for the reason that no negro could be induced to
pass along that part of the road after dark ; indeed, there
were a great many educated white people who would not
ride past the spot alone on a dark night.
Drysdale was confined to his room for several days,
during which time he received no visitors except Andrews.
It was curious to observe what a strong preference he
showed for his new-found friend.
Just at this time I decided to re- visit Atkinson myself,
and on my arrival there I had a long interview with
Messrs. Ballantine, McGregor, and Gordon. I explained
to them all the steps I had taken, and they learned to
their great astonishment that Mr. Andrews, Mrs. Potter,
and Mr. Green were my detectives. The ghost was
Green, whose resemblance to young Gordon was a great
aid in carrying out the scheme. Mrs. Potter had volun-
tarily fallen from her horse in order to get herself carried
into Drysdale's house, and it was she who sprinkled the
blood over Drysdale's clothing and down the walk. After
settling all our plans, I returned to the hotel, where I was
easily able to obtain a private interview with Mr. Andrews
and Mr. Green.
I gave full instructions to Andrews, and he informed
Mrs. Potter of my wishes, at the same time conveying to
her another large bottle of blood.
ABOUT one o'clock that night Mrs. Potter rose,
quietly dressed herself, and stealthily left the house.
She walked to the nearest point on the creek and began
to drop blood from her bottle. She spilled small portions
of it all the way back to the house, up the front walk, in
the hall, and finally, slipping into Drysdale's room, she
scattered the crimson drops on his pillow. She then
retired to bed.
When she awoke in the morning, she found Mrs. Drys-
dale in a very uneasy state of mind. She said that her
husband had again been attacked by bleeding at the nose,
and that he was quite weak from the loss of blood. Mrs.
Potter deeply sympathized with Mrs. Drysdale, but she
could assist her only by kind and consoling words.
The family had hardly finished their breakfast when a
number of the neighbors came in in a high state of
excitement. They said that blood had been discovered
on the grass near where the ghost had been seen, and
that quite a crowd had gathered around it. They had
found other blood-marks at intervals along the road, and
on following the direction in which they traveled, it was
found that they led straight to Drysdale's house. The
question now arose, did the wounded person go from the
house to the creek, or vice versa. Drysdale was terribly
excited on learning of the discovery, and he was soon in
74 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
a species of delirium. It was known that he was quite
sick, so that the neighbors soon withdrew. Many thought
that the blood was that of a burglar or negro sneak-thief,
who might have gone to Drysdale's house to steal, but
who had been frightened off before he had secured any
plunder. The blood might have been from an old hurt.
Others, more superstitiously inclined, believed that the
ghost was in some way responsible for the blood. No
one was able to solve the mystery, however, and it added
to the terror with which the ghost story had inspired the
Drysdale was now confined to his bed, and he would
see no one except his wife and Andrews. He insisted
that he was not sick, but only run down by overwork, and
so refused to have a doctor. Andrews' influence over him
was greater than that of any one else, and it was plain that
the latter had completely secured his confidence. As I
now felt convinced that Drysdale would surely confess in
a short time, I returned to Chicago, leaving the whole
charge of the operation with Andrews.
A few nights later Mrs. Potter was troubled with the
tooth-ache, and she lay awake most of the night. Sud-
denly she heard footsteps in Drysdale's room, and then
she saw Drysdale pass her window on the veranda. He
was dressed in slippers and night-dress, and his actions
were so strange that she determined to follow him. Has-
tily putting on some dark clothes, she hurried cautiously
after him. The night was clear with no moon, and she
was able to distinguish his white figure at a considerable
distance. He walked rapidly to the creek and followed
its windings a short distance; then he paused a few
THE DETECTIVE AND SOMNAMBULIST. 75
minutes, as if reflecting. This enabled Mrs. Potter to
hide herself near by in some undergrowth, whence she
could watch him more carefully. To her great astonish-
ment, she saw him walk into the creek at a shallow spot,
and begin wading up against the current. Very soon he
stopped and leaned over with his hands in the water, as
if he were feeling for something. In a few minutes he
came out of the stream, on the opposite side from that
on which he had entered, and took a path to a foot-
bridge leading across the creek toward his house. As
soon as she saw that he was on his way back, she has-
tened home as rapidly as possible, arriving there only a
few seconds before him.
The next morning, Drysdale appeared at the breakfast
table for the first time, in several days. He remarked
that he felt much better, but he said nothing of his
midnight walk, nor did his wife, as she had slept in a
separate room; however, she was probably ignorant
Neither Mrs. Potter, nor Mr. Andrews could imagine
what Drysdale's object was in making his pilgrimage to
the creek at that time of night, especially as he had
always shown the greatest aversion to that vicinity, ever
since he had first seen the ghost. I was equally puzzled
when I was informed of his freak, but I determined to
make use of the incident, in case he should do the same
thing again. I therefore instructed Andrews to have
Green watch the house every night, dressed in his appa-
rition suit. He was then to " shadow " Drysdale, when
the latter went out, and if a favorable opportunity should
76 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
present itself, he was to appear before him in full view in
the role of the ghost.
By this time, Drysdale had recovered sufficiently, to
attend to his office duties, but he always seemed anxious
to have Andrews with him. Andrews had talked very
encouragingly to him, showing a good deal of sympathy,
and thus, they had become quite confidential friends.
He, therefore, assured Drysdale that he should be happy
to give him as much of his company, as possible, if it
would afford Drysdale any pleasure.
"You are very kind, Mr. Andrews," said Drysdale;
"you may think it strange, but I feel a sense of relief,
when I am with you, especially lately. I wonder if I
shall ever be better," he mused plaintively.
" Why, certainly ; we hope for your speedy recovery,"
said Andrews, cheerfully. " You let trivial matters prey
on your mind, and you must stop it, for your health will
not stand it."
"Well, I shall try," responded Drysdale feebly.
One evening, Mrs. Drysdale was sitting at Mrs. Potter's
side, waiting for her husband's return. By this time, Mrs.
Potter was able to sit up, and even to move about the
" My husband is failing in health, I fear," said Mrs.
" I am afraid so, too," replied Mrs. Potter, " and I feel
sorry to think that I am a burden upon you at the same
time ; but, I hope to be well soon, and then I will help
you take care of him."
" You have been no burden whatever, Mrs. Potter ; on
the contrary, your company has been a great comfort to
THE DETECTIVE AND SOMNAMBULIST. 77
me. But, I was thinking, that if my husband would try
a change of air and life, it would be a great help to him.
I should miss him sadly, but I would make any sacrifice
to see him restored to health."
At the tea table, Mrs. Drysdale said :
" I was just speaking to Mrs. Potter about your health,
Aleck, and I thought that if you would go away for a
time, the change of scenery, and habits of life, would be
very advantageous. Why don't you go down to New
Orleans with Mr. Andrews ? He is always talking of
going there, but he is too lazy to start. You could both
enjoy yourselves very much, and I know it would do you
good. You would return as healthy and happy as you
always used to be."
" I have been thinking of going there, or to some other
place," said Drysdale, "but I can't leave just now. I
think a trip would do me good, and as soon as I feel able
to do so, I will get Andrews to go with me."
Nothing of interest occurred for several days. Green
kept a close watch every night, but Drysdale did not
appear. Andrews got Drysdale to go out hunting with
him twice, but each time, Drysdale succeeded in arriving
at home before dark. Green had kept up his vigils for
over a week, and he began to think there was no use in
them. One night, however, as he lay behind a bush,
watching the house, he was suddenly aware of a white
figure gliding noiselessly by him. Forewarned, though
he was, the ghostly stillness with which it moved, gave
him quite a severe fright, before he recollected that it
was Drysdale. He immediately followed the figure and
noted his every movement. In the same way, as he had
78 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
done at first, he now proceeded, and after walking up the
stream a short distance, he reached down, felt for some-
thing at the bottom, and then came out. As he slowly
walked home, he passed within a few feet of Green, who
made a considerable noise to attract his attention ; but,
Drysdale passed straight on, looking neither to the right
nor left, and Green was unable to play ghost for the lack
of an audience.
Green's account was the exact counterpart of Mrs.
Potter's, and I was puzzled to account for this new move.
As I sat in my office, in Chicago, with Green's report
before me, the idea flashed into my mind, that possibly
some of the stolen money was hidden at the bottom of
the creek. Recollecting the gold pieces, which had been
found on the banks of the creek, I surmised that the
remainder of the gold was buried somewhere in the bed
of the stream. I had no doubt of the eventual recovery
of all the money, and so I decided to let that matter rest
until I had complete evidence of Drysdale's guilt.
A few days after the midnight walk, Drysdale invited
Andrews to make another visit to the plantation, saying,
" My overseer sends me word that he needs a great
many things, and I think I had better go out to see what
is wanted, myself. I would like to have you go with me,
for, to tell the truth, I am almost afraid to go alone."
" I shall be very glad, indeed, to go ; when shall we
" Let us start Monday, and return Friday, as before,"
"Very well," said Andrews. "I shall be ready on
THE DETECTIVE AND SOMNAMBULIST. 79
At the first opportunity, Andrews informed Green of
their intended visit, and told him that in order to insure
the success of their plan, it would be best for him to ride
out to the plantation, also, on Wednesday or Thursday.
He could thus be on hand in his ghostly capacity whenever
wanted. Green promised to be at a certain spot, near
the plantation, on Wednesday afternoon, to receive in-
structions from Andrews, and all their arrangements were
Andrews took breakfast with Drysdale before starting,
Monday morning, and at table, Mrs. Drysdale said :
" Aleck, Mrs. Potter is so far recovered, that I guess we
shall drive out to the plantation on Wednesday or Thurs-
day, and spend a day or two with you."
"That will be delightful," replied Drysdale, "and we
shall look for you with great pleasure."
"Well, if the ladies are coming at that time, I hope
they will bring our mail, for I expect an important letter,"
"Oh, certainly," said Mrs. Drysdale; "and, if anything
should prevent us from coming, I will send your letters by
Andrews had written to me of the intended visit to the
plantation, and he was anxious to receive any instructions
I might send, before he returned to town.
The two gentlemen mounted their horses and cantered
off. Drysdale appeared in better spirits than at any time
for several weeks, and by the time they reached the plan-
tation, he was quite gay and cheerful. He had a great
deal to attend to, and Andrews gave him very consider-
able assistance. They were kept quite constantly busy
80 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
until Wednesday noon, when Mrs. Drysdale and Mrs.
Potter arrived in a carriage, bringing the mail. As
Andrews had expected, there was a letter for him,
in which I instructed him to have Green appear to
Drysdale, in the small grove of trees, where he had
acted so queerly during their last visit. From Drysdale 's
manner in this grove, I had concluded that some of the
money was buried there, and I therefore, considered it a
good place for the ghost to appear.
On reading my letter, Andrews remarked that he should
be obliged to go to Atkinson, to send a telegram, as his
letter required an immediate answer, but that he should
return the same evening. This, of course, was only an
excuse to get away to meet Green, and so his horse was
brought up at once, and he rode away. Green was
punctual at the rendezvous, and Andrews gave him full
instructions ; he was to remain in sight of the house, on
the side near the little grove of trees, until an opportunity
should occur to appear before Drysdale. Andrews then
took a long ride over the country, so as to delay his return
to the plantation until after dark. During the evening,
Mrs. Potter told him that Drysdale had visited the little
grove that afternoon, but she was, of course, unable to
The next evening, after supper, Andrews proposed
taking a short walk, and they all started out together.
By chance, they took the direction of the little grove,
previously mentioned, and they were all in fine spirits.
Mrs. Potter, however, was obliged to walk very slowly,
owing to her injured knee, and Mrs. Drysdale kept her
company ; the two gentlemen were, therefore, some dis-
THE DETECTIVE AND SOMNAMBULIST. 81
tance in the advance, when they reached the edge of the
grove. Drysdale had been unusually cheerful until then,
but as they entered the shadow, he began to lose his
gayety, as if something disagreeable had been suggested
to him. It was now approaching twilight, and he turned
toward Andrews half pettishly, and. said:
" Don't go into that dismal place ; let us stay out in
the open walk. I never like to go into such "
The words died on his tongue, and he nearly fell down
from fright. There, crossing their path in the sombre
shades of the grove, was that terrible spectre with its
ghastly face, measured step, and clotted hair. It passed
into the deep recesses of the grove, while Drysdale
watched it like a condemned criminal. As it moved out
of sight, he fell to the ground like a dead man, and
Andrews called for help. Mrs. Drysdale hurried up in
great alarm, and took her husband's head in her lap,
while Mrs. Potter chafed his hands and held her vinai-
grette to his nostrils. Mr. Andrews quickly called some
negroes from the house, and they carried their uncon-
scious master to his room. He was soon restored to his
senses, but he was in a pitiable condition. The least
sound made him start like a person in the delirium
tremens, and he muttered to himself constantly. Finally
he caught Andrews by the hand and said :
" Andrews, didn't you see that horrible ghost ?"
"No, indeed; I saw no ghost," replied Andrews.
"Did either of you see it ?" he continued, turning to the
They both answered negatively.
82 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
" If there really had been such a thing we certainly
should have seen it," said Mrs. Potter.
" Well, I know that I saw it, and it is terrible to think
that I should be the only one to whom this thing appears,"
Andrews handed him a drink of brandy, which
revived his strength a great deal, and he again began to
talk about the ghost.
" I can't understand, Andrews, why you didn't see it,"
he said ; " it passed within fifty feet of us, and it was
" It is certainly very strange," replied Andrews. " Here
are three persons who did not see it, yet you insist that
you did. What did it look like ? You have never yet
described it to me."
Drysdale made no reply, but a look of renewed dread
came over his face, and he reached for more brandy,
which was given him.
" It surely must be some disease of the brain," said
Mrs. Drysdale, tearfully, " for he frequently imagines that
he sees strange sights, and I am afraid to think what will
happen. If he would only go to some watering-place,
and put himself under the care of a reliable physi-
cian, he would soon get better."
"The doctors can do me no good, my dear," he said,
controlling himself by a great effort; "do not be alarmed,
but let me go to sleep for a while, and I shall be better."
Mr. Andrews and Mrs. Potter left the room in a few
minutes, as Mr. Drysdale evidently wished to be left
alone. They had ample opportunity for consultation,
and they decided that Green had better stay near by all
night, to watch the house and the grove.
THE DETECTIVE AND SOMNAMBULIST. 83
" If that is to be done," said Mrs. Potter, " I will go
and put up a lunch which you can take to him, since if
he is to remain out there all night, he will not be able to
get anything to eat, and you know that a hungry ghost
cannot do as well as one which is well fed."
She soon prepared a large lunch, and added to it a
small bottle of wine, which she gave to Andrews. He
immediately hastened out to the grove, and found Green
at a point where they had agreed to meet. He gave the
food to Green, and told him to keep a close watch on the
house all night ; in case of anything occurring he was to
tap on the window of Andrews' room, which was on the
ground floor. Andrews then returned to the house, leav-
ing Green to eat his lunch, drink his wine and keep watch.
The night was damp and warm, and the insects were
particularly active, so that Green's duty was none of the
pleasantest. The hours slipped wearily by until after
midnight, when he saw a white figure emerge from the
house and approach the little grove. He hastily gained
an open spot where, in the bright starlight, he could be
plainly seen, and, as Drysdale advanced, he slowly
paced toward him. To Green's astonishment, Drysdale
passed within two feet of him without noticing his pres-
ence in any way ; they passed so close to each other that
Green was forced to step to one side, yet Drysdale
walked slowly on until he reached the grove. Here he
walked around a moment or two and then returned to the
house. Green immediately tapped at Andrews' window
and related what had occurred. There being no new
developments, Green returned to the wood where he had
picketed his horse, and then rode back to Atkinson.
FRIDAY morning Drysdale appeared at breakfast
and tried to appear natural and at ease. He spoke
of his peculiar hallucination, but his remarks were
simply repetitions of those he had frequently made
before. Andrews again requested him to describe the
appearance of the spectre, but Drysdale seemed averse
to continuing the conversation on that subject, and so it
Immediately after dinner they started for Atkinson, the
gentlemen on horseback, and the ladies in the carriage.
As Andrews could offer no plausible excuse for detaining
them, Mrs. Potter was obliged to try what she could do.
By making two calls on acquaintances living along the
road, she was enabled to keep back their arrival much
later than Drysdale liked, though not late enough for her
purpose. It was too early to have Green appear, as there
were so many people traveling on the road that he might
be seen by others and the trick exposed.
It was quite evident that Drysdale was in a miserable
condition. He was sure that he had seen the ghost of
George Gordon, and he was in a state of momentary
dread and suspense. He had entertained thoughts of
leaving the place, but he dared not. Like Eugene Aram,
he pictured himself as continually haunted by the spirit
of his victim, and he feared lest others should see it, and
THE DETECTIVE AND SOMNAMBULIST. 85
accuse him of the murder. His health failed rapidly ;
his form was emaciated, his cheeks hollow, his eyes
haggard and sunken. It was clearly only a question of
time how soon he confessed or went insane.
Green continued his night watches about the house,
and again one night Drysdale passed out to the creek
and acted as before. This time, however, he had his
clothes on, and as he passed Green at arms length, it
seemed almost incredible that he should have failed to
see him. Green took particular pains to identify the
exact spot where Drysdale had searched in the water,
and he marked it carefully by placing a stone on each
side of the bank opposite where Drysdale had stopped.
The following night Mrs. Potter got up and went into
Drysdale 's room, where he was sleeping alone. She then
dropped some blood on his pillow, on the floor, and
around the bed. Then passing out, she left the trail as
before from the house toward Rocky Creek. Drysdale
was horrified early next morning when he saw the blood-
stains. He groaned piteously as he walked about the
room, and then followed the spots out to the front gate.
On seeing that they continued beyond this, he came back
with a most dejected and helpless look. Mrs. Potter saw
him go into his room, and, by looking through the key-
hole of the connecting door, she was enabled to see that
he was engaged in washing out the spots on the floor and
bed clothes. He did not appear at the breakfast table,
but his wife told Mrs. Potter that he had had another
severe attack of bleeding during the night, and that he
was very weak in consequence.
During the forenoon Mrs. Potter went in to see Mr.
86 PINKER TON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
Drysdale, whom she found in great distress physically and
mentally. He was anxious to see Mr. Andrews, and his
wife sent a message to the hotel at once. In about an
hour Andrews came in.
" I am sorry to find you feeling so bad this morning,"
he said. "You were looking quite well last evening.
What is the trouble ? Wouldn't you like me to go for a
" No, thank you ; I shall get along better without
physic," replied Drysdale. "I was feeling unusually well
last evening, but I had a severe attack of bleeding last
night, and I am very weak."
" Is there anything I can do for you ?" asked Andrews.
" Well, yes ; there are some papers in my office that
should be sent to Captain Rowland, a planter in the west
end of the county, and as it is important that they should
be delivered soon, I should be greatly obliged if you
would get them and send them off."
"Certainly, certainly," said Andrews; "where shall I
find them ?"
" They are in the left-hand pigeon-hole of my upright
desk, in the office, and you can send them by Dan.
Marston, who lives near the court-house ; he is very
faithful and trustworthy. Any one can tell you where to
"Oh, I know Dan.," said Andrews, "he has done
several errands for me. Where are your keys ?"
" They are on the bureau, yonder ; but, Andrews, I
wish you would come back after you have sent the
papers. I always feel better when I hear you talking;
THE DETECTIVE AND SOMNAMBULIST 87
when I am alone I keep thinking about that spirit, and I
tell you it is terrible. You will come back, won't you?"
" Oh, certainly ; I shall be glad to keep you company
while you are under the weather."
When Andrews started off with the keys, a sudden
thought flashed into his mind, and he first went to his room,
where he obtained some blood, of which he had quite
a supply. He then went to Drysdale's private office and
dropped some blood on the desk, chairs and floor, and
also on the wrapper of Captain Rowland's papers. He
was well known to the deputy clerk, and so no one
questioned his right to go to Drysdale's desk. On leaving
the private office, he locked the door, and hurried back
to Drysdale's house with the papers. He entered Drys-
dale's room in an excited manner, and said :
" Why, Drysdale, you must have been bleeding at the
office, for there is blood on your chairs, desk, and on
these papers ; look there ! "
As he spoke, he held out the package with its dull,
crimson stain. The shock was too much for Drysdale,
and he fainted away instantly. It was sometime before
he revived, but finally, he was able to talk again.
" Please take the wrapper off those papers," he said
feebly, " and put them into another. They are copies of
papers in a law case now in court, and I would not like
them to go out in that condition."
Andrews agreed to fix them all neat and clean before
sending them, and he then went out to attend to it. On
his way down town, he met Mr. McGregor, to whom he
related what he had done, and its effect.
" Mr, McGregor," he continued, " I think it would be
88 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
a good idea to sprinkle some blood in the bank, on the
floor, and on the desk, where young Gordon used to
stand ; also, to put some blood and hair on the canceling
hammer. Do this in the evening, and arrange to have
some one enter the bank with you in the morning ; then,
the story will be circulated until Drysdale will hear it,
and it may have a powerful effect upon him. I think Mr.
Pinkerton would approve the plan, if he were here."
Mr. McGregor thought favorably of the suggestion, and
he agreed to act upon it, as soon as possible. Andrews
then went back to Drysdale's office, wiped up the blood
spots, and put Captain Rowland's papers into a new
wrapper. Having sent them off, he returned and passed
the afternoon with Drysdale.
The latter was in a terrible condition ; he seemed like
a man suffering from hydrophobia, so sensitive were his
nerves, and so depressed was his mind. His thoughts
could turn in only one direction, and that was toward
remorse and fear.
" ' Tis guilt alone,
Like brain sick frenzy in its feverish mood,
Fills the light air with visionary terrors
And shapeless forms of fear.''
Through advices from Andrews, I was aware that things
were approaching a crisis, and I therefore, went imme-
diately to Atkinson, in order to be ready for any emer-
gency. I arrived there the very morning chosen by Mr.
McGregor, to carry out his project of sprinkling blood at
the bank. He had arranged, by apparent accident, to
have two planters enter the bank with him, and in fact, it
happened that four gentlemen were present at ten o'clock
THE DETECTIVE AND SOMNAMBULIST. 89
when he opened the bank. They all entered together,
and when Mr. McGregor had taken down the blinds, he
went inside the bank railing. As he did so, he uttered a
sudden exclamation, which caused the others to follow.
"What can this mean!" he said, in an excited tone.
The other gentlemen gathered around the ghastly scene
and examined the blood, which lay in a pool on the floor,
and in spots on the furniture and wall. The canceling
hammer, stained with blood, and clotted with hair, lay
close by, and every one was reminded of the appearance
of the place, the morning after George Gordon's murder.
"What can have happened?" asked old Mr. Gordon,
who had just entered. " Surely, no one was murdered
here last night."
"Ah! I fear it is done by poor George's spirit!"
exclaimed O 'Fallon, who was a very superstitious man.
"This looks just as it did that fatal morning, except that
the body is not here. His spirit must be uneasy at the
failure to -discover his murderer."
By this time, Flanders and several others, had entered
the bank, and the appearance of things there, was soon
circulated throughout the town. The excitement about
the murder, was revived in all its original importance, and
many were the speculations about the mysterious affair.
Drysdale felt' rather strong that morning, and about
noon, he walked down to his gate. While there, some
of his neighbors passed on their way to their homes, and
they were all anxious to tell him about the new sensation
at the bank. On hearing the news, Drysdale dragged
himself into the house and went to bed. There he lay,
groaning and sobbing piteously, and when Andrews called
90 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
in the afternoon, he was so helpless that Andrews insisted
on calling a physician. In a short time he returned with
Dr. Sprague, who examined the patient, and prescribed
for him. Dr. Sprague said that Drysdale would speedily
recover with a proper amount of rest and sleep. Wake-
fulness and nervous irritation seemed to be the trouble
with him, and the doctor told Andrews that he had
prescribed morphine. He said that there was nothing
serious to fear unless fever should set in, and if any
symptoms should show themselves it would be necessary
to call him immediately.
Upon leaving Drysdale, Andrews came to me to report.
I had arranged with Mr. McGregor, to pay a visit to the
creek that night, to search the spot which had been
visited so often by Drysdale. I therefore sent Andrews
back to offer to remain with Drysdale during the night.
This arrangement pleased Drysdale very much, and he
was quite touched by Andrews kindness. I also instructed
Green to watch Drysdale's house, so as to be ready to
appear before Drysdale, in case the latter left his house.
He was to cross and re-cross Drysdale's path, until
Drysdale should take notice of him, while Andrews was
to be at hand immediately, pretending that he had fallen
asleep during his watch, and on waking up suddenly and
finding Drysdale gone, had come out in search of him.
I told Mr. Bannatine and Mr. McGregor, to bring a
wheelbarrow, pick-axe, and large shovel with them, since
we should probably need the two latter to dig up the
gold, while the wheelbarrow would be handy to carry it
home. Everything was provided for in advance, and I
felt confident of the success of our expedition.
THE night was clear and bright, and everything was
favorable for our work. At twelve o'clock, we met
as previously agreed, and hastened to the banks of Rocky
Creek, at the spot which Green had pointed out to me
that day. On reaching the designated place, I threw off
my coat and waded into the creek. I soon found a large
flat stone, which I removed to one side. I was just
beginning to dig under it, when Green hurried up and
told me that Drysdale had left the house, and that he was
only a short distance behind. We quickly hid ourselves
in the underbrush, and in a few moments Drysdale
appeared. Green passed him back and forth, several
times, but Drysdale paid no attention to him whatever.
Suddenly the thought flashed upon me, that he was
walking in his sleep, and I soon saw that such was the
case. All of his midnight promenades were now ac-
counted for, and it was not strange that he had not
noticed Green. So great was the man's anxiety and
nervous dread of discovery, that he could not rest in
quiet, and he was forced to visit the spot where his
blood-stained treasure was concealed, even in his hours
He now waded into the creek, as before, but he re-
mained a much longer time than usual, as he was unable
92 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
to find the large flat stone in its accustomed spot. Finally,
he discovered where I had thrown it, and he immediately
replaced it in the very hole whence I had taken it. He
then returned to the house, and went to bed.
I again removed the stone, and while Mr. McGregor
handled the pick-axe, I plied the shovel vigorously. In
a very few minutes, we struck a piece of wood which
gave back a hollow sound. This encouraged us to
renewed activity, and we were richly rewarded by un-
earthing a large cheese-box, whose weight gave ample
proof of the value of its contents. Having replaced the
flat stone where we first found it, we put the box on the
wheelbarrow, and took turns in wheeling it to the bank,
where we soon broke it open and discovered, as we had
expected, that it was full of gold coin in rouleaux. The
counting of this large sum of money was rather tedious,
but it was finally accomplished satisfactorily, and the
result showed that only eighty dollars were missing.
The officers of the bank were in high glee, and they
asked me whether I had any hope of recovering the
"If I am not mistaken," I replied, "I shall find the
paper money also, within twenty-four hours. I shall go
to Drysdale's plantation to-morrow night, and shall search
the ground in that group of trees of which you have
already heard so much. I think we shall find there all
the paper money."
The next day, Drysdale and Andrews remained
together constantly; indeed, Drysdale did not seem
willing to let Andrews leave his sight for a moment. He
was perfectly helpless and inert. In the evening, I met
THE DETECTIVE AND SOMNAMBULIST. 93
my companions of the night previous, and we drove out
to Drysdale's plantation, taking along the necessary tools.
We secured our horses in the grove, and then Green led
the way toward the spot where Drysdale had examined
the ground. On making a close examination with our
dark lanterns, we discovered a piece of sod which had
evidently been taken up, for the edges had not yet joined
with the surrounding turf. We quickly pulled it up and
began to dig beneath it; as before, our search was
rewarded after a few minutes of labor. At the depth of
two feet, we came upon a large candle-box, which we
carefully dug up and placed in one of our buggies.
There was apparently, nothing more concealed in this
spot, and so we replaced the earth, packed it down, and
put the piece of sod back into its place. We then re-
turned to Atkinson, where we arrived just before daylight.
The bank officers immediately opened the box, and
counted the paper money contained therein ; it was found
to agree exactly, with the sum stolen from the bank.
The packages of bills were replaced in the box, which
was then locked up in the vault.
I sent instructions by Andrews to Mrs. Potter to again
make use of the blood about Drysdale's house, and I
also ordered Green to keep watch during the night. The
next morning Andrews reported that Drysdale's terror on
discovering the blood had been greater than he had ever
shown before, and that he was fast breaking down. I
therefore held a consultation with the bank officers.
"Now, gentlemen," I said, "we have recovered the
money, and we have sufficient evidence to convict the
murderer. I think it is time to arrest him ; don't you ?"
94 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
To tell the truth, I was in no easy frame of mind
myself. I was morally sure of Drysdale's guilt, but I had
no legal evidence which was sufficient to convict him in
case he should maintain his innocence. Moreover I had
assumed a terrible responsibility in taking such extreme
measures with him, for there was danger that he might
go insane without confessing his guilt, and in that case
my position would have been really dangerous. I
should have been accused of driving him crazy with no
proper justification for my actions, and the result might
have been most disastrous to me. The fact that I, an
unknown man from the North, had driven a high-toned
Southern gentleman insane, would have been sufficient to
hang me by the summary process of lynch law.
The fact that part of the money had been found on his
plantation, would be only circumstantial evidence, since
another man might have buried it there as well as
Drysdale. His visits to the spots where the money was
concealed, were not conclusive of guilt, since he was a
somnambulist, and in his sleep-walking he was not
responsible for his actions. Mrs. Potter suggested to me
that he might have been sleep-walking the night of the
murder, and (while in that condition,) he might have
followed the murderer to the spot where the gold was
hidden ; it would then be nothing strange that he should
go to the same spot in his subsequent night-wanderings.
It will thus be easily understood that during the
remainder of my connection with the case, I was in a
highly wrought up frame of mind. Indeed, when I came
to make the arrest, it would have been hard to tell
whether Drysdale or I was the more excited. In reply to
THE DETECTIVE AND SOMNAMBULIST. 95
my question, Mr. Bannatine instructed me to take what-
ever course I saw fit, as they were all perfectly satisfied
with my management of the affair. I learned from
Andrews that Drysdale would visit his office that after-
noon, as there were some important matters requiring
his attention. Drysdale had told Andrews that he
intended to put the office in the charge of a deputy for a
time, so as to enable him to go off to New Orleans on a
visit of several weeks, and he desired that Andrews should
accompany him. He little thought that the toils were
closing around him so rapidly, and that he should never
start on his projected excursion.
Having decided to arrest him immediately, I went to
the office of an old friend of Mr. Bannatine, a lawyer,
who drew up the necessary affidavit upon which I pro-
posed to apply for a warrant. I then called upon the
sheriff, and asked him to go before a justice of the peace
with me, while I swore to an affidavit for a warrant which
I wished him to execute.
"What is the warrant for?" asked the sheriff, as he
walked along with me.
" It is quite an important case," I replied, " and I have
had the affidavits drawn up by Mr. Wood, the lawyer, and
you will see the charge in a few minutes."
"All right," said the sheriff; "let us go to Squire
Fortunately we found the justice alone, and having
stated that I wished to obtain a warrant, I handed him
the affidavit which I had had prepared. He carefully
adjusted his glasses and began to read the paper, but in
a moment or two he gave a sudden start and dropped the
96 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
document, in utter amazement. He looked at me keenly
and said :
" Do you mean to accuse Mr. Drysdale of murdering
At this the sheriff was equally astonished, and he said :
"Oh! nonsense; it can't be possible. Why, do you
know, my dear sir, that he is one of the finest gentlemen,
and one of the most honorable men in Atkinson ? Surely
you are joking."
" No, I am not joking at all," I replied. " I knew, of
course, that you would be greatly surprised and shocked,
but the proofs are too clear to admit of any doubt. The
matter has been carefully examined by Mr. Bannatine,
Mr. Gordon, and Mr. McGregor, and it is at their request
that I have come to get a warrant. However, I can soon
convince you of his guilt."
"Well, well, it is almost incredible," said Squire Baker,
"but if Mr. Bannatine and Mr. McGregor are convinced,
I presume there must be strong grounds for suspicion,
for they are both very careful men. I certainly hope,
however, that it may prove to have been a mistake, and
that Mr. Drysdale will be able to show his innocence."
I then made oath to the facts, and the warrant was
issued. The sheriff asked me when he should make the
arrest, and I told him that Drysdale was then at his office,
and he must be taken at once. We accordingly, went
straight to his office, where we found him with Andrews.
As the sheriff entered, Drysdale said :
"How do you do, Mr. Ringwood ? Take a chair."
" No, I thank you, Mr. Drysdale," said the sheriff in a
sympathetic tone; "the fact is, I am here on a very
THE DETECTIVE AND SOMNAMBULIST. 97
unpleasant duty, and I cannot stay long. I have a
warrant for your arrest, Mr. Drysdale."
"Warrant for me! what for?" exclaimed Drysdale,
"It is for the murder of George Gordon," replied the
"Who charges me? I "
Drysdale could only shriek the above, ere he fell back
into a chair almost lifeless. In a few minutes, he recov-
ered somewhat, and the sheriff said :
" Mr. Pinkerton here, has made an affidavit to the
charge, and he seems to be acquainted with the grounds
for accusing you ; suppose you walk down to the bank
Drysdale gazed at me steadily for a moment, and then
" Let me look at the warrant."
He was trembling like an aspen leaf, while he was
reading it, and when he had finished, he expressed a
willingness to go with us, if Andrews would go too. It
was now after banking hours, and the bank was closed,
but the officers admitted us. After the door had been
closed, I turned to Drysdale and said :
" I have the unpleasant duty, Mr. Drysdale, of charging
you with the murder of George Gordon, in this bank;
have you any denial to make?"
This was the signal to Green, and as I finished speak-
ing, he passed from behind the desk, where he had been
seated, across the spot where Gordon's body had fallen.
He was made up exactly like Gordon, as on previous
occasions, and though he was in sight only a second, it
98 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
was enough. Drysdale gave a shriek, and fell lifeless, as
the apparent ghost disappeared in the vault. It was done
so quickly, that even the sheriff was puzzled to determine
what the apparition was. Restoratives were applied, and
Drysdale soon revived.
"Great God!" he exclaimed. "Where is George
Gordon? I am sure he was here. Did you see him,
No one answered, and seeing that we were all looking
at him in amazement, he sprang to his feet, exclaiming :
" I deny the charge you have made against me ; it is
false in every particular."
"Then, Mr. Drysdale," said I, "you will probably
deny that you buried the gold, which was taken from
this bank, in the bed of Rocky Creek. Here it is," I
added, uncovering the box, which had been placed near
He said nothing, but hung his head, and drew a long
" Will you also deny that you buried the paper money
in a grove near your house, on your plantation?" I con-
tinued, showing him the candle box.
He still said nothing, and I made a motion to Andrews
to have Green ready for a re-appearance. Then I went
" This money has all been identified as that which was
stolen from the bank ; it was found as I have stated. I
also have here a partly burned note of yours, which you
used to light the fire in the grate. I have examined these
fragments of buttons, and I find that they are exactly like
those on the coat which you brought home from New
THE DETECTIVE AND SOMNAMBULIST. 99
Orleans just before the murder; they were found in the
grate yonder, where you burned your coat, but there is
enough left of them to identify them. But if you are not
satisfied with this evidence, that we can prove you are
guilty, I will even call upon the murdered man himself,
to testify against you."
As I spoke, Green slowly glided out toward us, with
his white, set face, and bloody hair. Drysdale covered
his face with his hands, dropped into a chair and
"Oh! my God! I am guilty! I am guilty!" and he
sank back, but did not faint.
Green instantly retired, whence he came, and Drysdale
continued speaking, as if he obtained relief by confessing
" Yes, I am guilty, and I have suffered the tortures of
the damned since that frightful night. I do not know
what made me do it, but I have never known a moment's
peace since then. My mind has been occupied with that
money constantly, and even in my sleep I would dream
about it. Oh ! it is terrible !"
" Have you ever gone to look for it at night, Mr.
Drysdale ?" I asked, as I wished to know whether he was
aware of his somnambulism.
" Oh, no ; I would not dare to go near it, but it has
haunted me always."
" How did you come to murder George?" I asked.
"I can't tell," he replied, in a choking voice ; "it all
occurred like a dream."
" What motive did you have I You surely could have
100 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
got money without resorting to robbery, much less
" No, I could not. People think I am wealthy, but the
fact is I lost a great deal of money in speculating when I
went to New Orleans, a few months before the murder,
and although I have a good deal of property, I had no
ready money, and I could not work my plantation
properly for want of it. I had purchased seven slaves
from a man in New Orleans, and I could not pay for
them. He was pressing me for the money, about twelve
hundred dollars, and I came down to the bank to get the
money from George. I had only three hundred dollars in
bank, and so I gave my note for the remainder. While
George was counting out the money, I was taken with a
sort of insanity, and I struck him with a large hammer
which happened to be at hand. Then I carried off the
money and buried it, since which time I have never
touched it. It has been a curse to me. This . is all I
have to say now."
I turned to Mr. Bannatine and said :
" I have now done all that I can do in this matter, I
" Yes, you have completed your task, and the law must
now take its course," he replied. " Mr. Ringwood, you
had better take charge of Mr. Drysdale."
Drysdale rose from his chair, wearily, and said :
" I am glad the end has come at last. This affair has
been killing me by inches, and I am glad I have con-
The sheriff then touched him on the shoulder and said
that he must go.
THE DETECTIVE AND SOMNAMBULIST. 101
"Yes, I am ready," he replied, "but please let me
speak a few words privately, to Mr. Andrews ; I want to
send a message to my wife," he added, with a sob.
He and Andrews then stepped into the small private
office, and Andrews closed the door behind him.
"Andrews, my friend," said Drysdale, convulsively, "I
beg you to break this news to my poor wife. God help
her and the children. Tell her that I feel better for
having confessed, and whatever happens she must keep
up her courage. Now, my dear friend, good bye. Tell
the sheriff to come here and take me to jail."
He wrung Andrews' hand warmly as the latter stepped
to the door, but before the latter had reached us, we
heard the ringing report of a pistol shot. We made a
simultaneous rush for the little room, but we were too
late. There, quivering on the floor, with a bullet in his
brain, lay the murderer of George Gordon. The crime
and the avengement had occurred in the same building,
only a few feet separating the spot where the two bodies
had fallen. The somnambulist had walked on earth for
the last time.
ONE sultry day in the summer of 185- I arrived in
Chicago, from a tour I had been making through
the Southern States. I had attended to a portion of the
accumulated business which I found awaiting me, when
a gentleman entered the outer office and asked one of
my clerks whether he could see me immediately on some
very important business. Mr. Howard saw by the gentle-
man's appearance, that the matter must be one of great
consequence, and, therefore, ushered the visitor into my
private office, without asking any questions.
" Mr. Pinkerton, I believe ?" said the gentleman, as he
advanced toward me.
"Yes, sir," I replied; "what can I do for you ?"
He took a letter from his pocket and handed it to me.
I motioned him to be seated, while I read the letter. I
found it to be from my old friend Chapman, a lawyer in
106 PTNKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
New Haven, Connecticut, introducing the bearer, Captain
J. N. Sumner. The letter stated that Captain Sumner
was a resident of Springfield, Massachusetts, near which
place he owned a farm. He had a moderate fortune, and
he was a most estimable man. Mr. Chapman had known
him for many years, during which time he had always
borne himself in an upright, straightforward manner, free
from all reproach. Lately, however, he had become
involved in some very serious difficulties in the West,
and Mr. Chapman had advised him to see me, and
obtain my assistance in extricating himself from his
troubles. Mr. Chapman concluded by saying, that he
was confident, that, if any one could aid the Captain, I
was the best person to consult.
I had not seen Mr. Chapman for some years, the last
time having been while I was attending to some business
in which he was interested. He was especially noted as
a criminal lawyer being employed quite as often for the
prosecution, as for the defense. We were the best of
friends, and had cracked many a joke at each other's
expense. He did not mention the nature of the Captain's
troubles in his letters, leaving that for the Captain to do
While I was reading the letter, I was aware that the
Captain was observing me closely, as if desirous of
reading my very thoughts. When I had finished, I
"Captain Sumner, I am glad to meet you. Anyone
bearing a letter from my old friend Chapman, is welcome."
As I spoke, I looked straight at him, and took in his
THE MURDERER AND FORTUNE TELLER. 107
He was apparently, about fifty years of age, but was
very well preserved, not a streak of gray being visible in
his dark, curly hair. He was slightly above the middle
height, and his frame was proportionally powerful, his
limbs being well knit, and muscular. His clear, hazel
eyes looked frankly out beneath heavy, straight eyebrows,
while his large Roman nose and massive chin, gave his
face great firmness and determination. His teeth were
white and regular, and his smile was unusually sweet
and expressive. His face was much tanned from long
exposure to the weather, and his hands were large and
hard. He was dressed in a quiet, neat suit of gray cloth,
well fitting but easy, and there was nothing loud or in
bad taste about him. His mly articles of jewelry were a
gold watch and chain, and a seal ring with a peculiar,
plain stone, worn on the little finger of his left hand. I
gazed steadily at him for about two minutes, which is
about as long a time as I need to obtain a correct opinion
of a man's character. I was very favorably impressed by
his appearance, and I prepared to hear his story with
more interest than I should have had, if he had been a
less honest, reliable looking man.
He opened the conversation, while I was still looking
straight into his face.
"Mr. Pinkerton," he said, "I have heard a great deal
about you from various sources, and I little thought that
I should ever require your services; but, lately, while
consulting Mr. Chapman relative to a possible flaw in the
title to my farm, I also laid before him some other
troubles which he acknowledged were so serious as to
require the advice and assistance of some one with a
108 PINKER TONS DE TECTI VE STORIES.
training and experience somewhat different from his. He
urged me so strongly to state my case to you, and obtain
your aid, that I have finally decided to follow his advice,
and here I am."
"When did you arrive?" I inquired.
" About a week ago. I looked around for a time to see
if my difficulties had diminished, " (and he passed
his hand nervously through his hair, drawing a long
breath) — " but I found they had increased, if anything.
Mr. Pinkerton, when I retired from the sea and settled
down on my farm, I thought my cares and vexations were
over, and that I could find in the peace and tranquility
of country life, a rich reward for the hardships I had
endured while earning enough to retire on. My father,
also, was a sailor many years, and, after passing the best
part of his life at sea, in like manner, he was able to live
his last twenty years in peace and content upon his farm ;
there I was reared, until I was old enough to go to sea.
I have followed his example ; but, instead of enjoying the
peace he did, I find that my serious troubles are only just
beginning. If I were at sea, I should have no fears, for
there I am perfectly at home. No matter how the wind
might blow, or the seas roll, I always brought my ship
through in safety. I could read the signs of the weather,
and could detect the approach of danger from the
elements. I knew my enemies were there, and that was
half the battle. Here, on land, I find it so different ; my
worst enemies come to me with the smiles and greetings
of friends; they express the tenderest wishes for my
welfare, and shower upon me the tokens of their affection ;
then, having fairly won my confidence, they turn upon
THE MURDERER AND FORTUNE TELLER. 109
me when I least expect it, and stab me cruelly. I am a
plain, blunt man — often irritable and unjust, I know —
still, I never flinch from danger when I can see it ; but,
the very nature of my bringing up has rendered me unfit
to cope with the wiles and subtleties of my fellow man.
You, Mr. Pinkerton, it is said, have the power to see
direct to the hearts of men through the shams and
artifices by which they seek to hide their true characters,
and you are the only man who can assist me. Oh, I wish
I were back on the sea, far away from all my troubles. I
should care but little if I never returned."
He spoke in a low voice, but the tone was clear until
the last, when his words were very pathetic. As he closed,
his head dropped forward, and he sat gazing fixedly at
his ring in an attitude of mournful retrospection.
" Perhaps you had better wait awhile before telling me
your story," I suggested.
"Yes," he replied, looking at his watch, "it is now five
o'clock, so I will defer making my statement until to-mor-
row ; though I should prefer to make it now, if I had
time. The story is a long one, and I shall have to take a
considerable portion of your valuable time in telling it.
Will you please to name the hour whe*i I can meet you
to-morrow, to give you all the facts in the case ?"
I had already become interested in the Captain, and,
after thinking for a moment how I could best arrange my
other business so as to grant him the necessary time, I
told him to come at nine o'clock next morning. He said
he would be punctual in keeping the appointment ; then
stepping forward, he took my hand and said, in a very
impressive way, " Mr. Pinkerton, I shall meet you if I am
110 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
alive. I am not afraid of death ; I have met it scores of
times, face to face, and have never flinched from it ; but
now I must take care of myself. If I don't come, just
look for me at my boarding house."
I glanced quickly at him, but could see nothing wrong
about his mind. His eyes were clear and natural ; his
whole appearance showed him to be a plain, blunt sea-
man, little disposed to invent imaginary dangers. Still,
there was in his manner, a deep melancholy, which showed
me that it was not any natural disease that he dreaded,
and which caused me to exclaim :
"Why, Captain, you fear death by violence, do you
" Yes," he replied ; " but I cannot enter into details at
present. I shall try to save myself and meet you to-mor-
row morning, but if I do not come, please send my
body to Connecticut, to be interred near the rest of my
He then said good-day and went out, leaving me to
speculate upon his peculiar behavior, and to wonder what
were the dangers which surrounded him. I was so much
pleased with his frank, manly simplicity that I was de-
termined to give him all the assistance in my power.
AT nine o'clock the next morning, Captain Sumner
walked into my private office, and I immediately-
locked the door to avoid interruption. I noticed that he
was apparently much more contented than he had been
the evening previous ; but I said nothing, preferring to
have him tell his story in his own way. He began imme-
diately, without wasting time in preliminaries :
" Mr. Pinkerton, I know that you are always busy, and
that time is money to you ; hence, I shall be as brief as
possible. In order to begin right, I must go slightly into
my family history. My father owned a farm near Spring-
field, Massachusetts, where my mother brought up the
family while he was away at sea. He was as fine a seaman
as ever trod a deck, and became Captain in one of the
regular lines of East India packet companies while I
was a mere child. I had one brother who died very
young, leaving me the only boy of the family. I had two
sisters, however, Lucy and Annie. My father took me
to sea with him when I was quite a boy, and he put me
through such a thorough course of seamanship and navi-
gation that, by the time he was ready to resign his cap-
taincy and retire to his farm, I was promoted to the posi-
tion of first mate in the same line. This was in 1836.
About this time my mother died, and my sisters took
charge of the domestic affairs of the farm. My older
113 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
sister, Lucy, now Mrs. W. R. Lucas, was twenty-two years
old. She was a girl of great firmness of character, and
she has since proved herself the best of wives, being very
domestic and fond of home pleasures. Annie, my younger
sister, was eighteen years of age, and she was then my
special pride and delight ; as, indeed, she has been all
her life. She was tall and slender, but well proportioned
and graceful. Her features were regular and expressive,
and her complexion was very delicate ; yet it has retained
its freshness until now, instead of fading, as is the case
with most clear, soft complexions. She was then, and is
still, a beautiful woman. She was very vivacious and
witty, was fond of society, and cared less for domestic
pursuits than to have a gay time in a large company.
She was petted and indulged a great deal, being the young-
est and a beauty, so that she was not often called upon
to practice self-denial. It is probably partly due to this
lack of restraint during her early years that she never has
had the strength of character and devotion to good prin-
ciples as Lucy."
Here the Captain sighed heavily, and stopped speak-
ing for a minute, or two. I handed him a glass of ice-
water, which he drank mechanically. He then continued :
" As I before stated, I became first mate when my fath-
er retired. The company was a wealthy one, owning a
number of ships, so that the chances for promotion were
very good. My most intimate friend was a young man
named Henry Thayer. We had long been ship-mates
together, and had passed through a school of navigation
at the same time. He was a thorough seaman, a careful,
considerate officer, and a true friend. He was a general
THE MURDERER AND FOR T UNE TELLER. 1 13
favorite on account of his cheerful disposition, and we
soon became like brothers. Whenever we returned from
a voyage, I would bring Henry out to the farm to spend
a few days, and, about the time of my promotion, I found
that he had become warmly attached to Annie. At every
opportunity, he would run down to see her, and in every
foreign port we entered, he would be sure to buy some
rare and curious present for her. His affection was recip-
rocated by Annie, and one day, after I had made two or
three short voyages as first mate, I returned to the farm
and found Annie wearing an engagement ring. I laugh-
ingly asked her when it was to come off, and she replied,
with many blushes, that they were to be married on Hen-
ry's return from his next voyage. I knew that Annie
was very fond of gentlemen's society, so I advised her to
try to overcome her taste for dress and company ; since,
when she was married, her husband would be away from
home a great deal, and then it would not look well for her
to receive much attention in his absence. She seemed to
acknowledge the force of my remarks, and said that she
should do all in her power to make Henry happy.
" On returning to New York, I found that Henry had
been just appointed first mate, and that I had pleased the
company so well that they wished me to take command
of a new ship which they were building. I gladly accepted
the command, and as the ship was not ready for sea, I
returned to the farm, where I spent two months. I was
somewhat annoyed at Annie's conduct occasionally, as
she received, and apparently enjoyed, the attention of
several stylish young men, more than was befitting a girl
who was engaged to be married. I frequently ran down
114 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
to New York to oversee the rigging of the new ship, so
that I did not know much about her acquaintances ; but
once, on my return, I saw a beautiful amethyst ring on
"' Where did you get that ring, Annie?' I asked.
" She laughed gaily and said :
" * Oh ! it isn't mine ; a gentleman loaned it to me to
wear a few days.'
" My impression was, however, that it had been given
to her, and I feared she was forgetting Henry ; so I said :
" * That is a strange way of acting, Annie. You are
engaged to Henry, and you ought to know that it is a
wrong and an insult to him for you to receive a present
from another young man. If Henry knew of this, it
would make trouble.'
" She recognized the truth of what I had said, but she
was determined not to acknowledge that she had done
wrong ; so she flew into a passion and said, as sneeringly
as possible :
" ' Oh ! so you are left here to watch me, are you ?
Well, then, just report to him that I can get a better
husband than he is, any day. I am not going to shut
myself up, like a nun in a convent, for any man.'
" I told her that I had no desire to act the part of a
tale-bearer, but that I spoke only for her good; her
conscience must tell her that she was doing wrong. I
concluded by asking her to stay more at home, and thus
prepare for a more domestic life. I did not see the ring
after this, but Annie was very distant in her manner
toward me ; her actions showed as plainly as if she had
spoken, that she considered me in the light of an un-
THE MURDERER AND FOR TUNE TELLER. 115
reasonable guardian, who wished to deprive her of all
enjoyment. Her giddiness and perverseness caused me
much trouble, and I greatly feared she would become
reckless after my departure. She was my favorite sister,
however, and no matter how she might treat me, I could
never lose my love for her.
" The first voyage in my new ship, was a very long one,
and, on my return, I found that there had been many
changes in my absence. Henry and Annie had been
married for sometime, and Henry was then away at sea.
As my father had died shortly after the marriage, Annie
was living alone in New York, where I called upon her.
She was pleasantly situated, and seemed to have every-
thing that could be wished. Lucy was also married, and
was living in Morristown, New Jersey. The old home-
stead had been sold at my father's death, the proceeds
being divided between my sisters. A few thousand dollars
were left to me, which I deposited in bank with my
" On my return from another long voyage, I was delighted
to find Henry at home with Annie, and they seemed more
devoted to each other than ever. After this, I saw Henry
but twice — once in Singapore, and once in Calcutta. He
was then as much in love with Annie, as when he first
married her, and he said that she made him perfectly
happy. The last time I met him, he had just been
notified that he should be given the command of a fine
ship on his return to New York ; consequently he was in
" When I next arrived in New York harbor, I made it
my first duty to call on Annie. Much to my surprise, I
116 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
found that she was teaching music in Brooklyn, at a. very
high salary. Her musical education had been very
thorough, so that she was perfectly competent; but I
could not see the necessity for her to teach. She had had
one child, but it had died in infancy, and she was living
in a fashionable boarding house. I called in the evening,
intending to ask her to accompany me for a walk, but she
was surrounded by a brilliant company, among whom
were several gentlemen, and all were paying her great
attention. She was very stylishly dressed, and, to my
great disgust, she seemed to be coquetting with several
of her admirers. When I was announced, she led me
into the library, as if anxious that the company in the
parlor should not know that a hard-fisted, weather-beaten
sailor like me, was her brother. Still, she spoke very
kindly, and seemed glad to see me. She excused herself
from going to walk with me on the ground that she had
an engagement to accompany the rest of the party to the
theatre; but she said that if I would call some other
evening, she would gladly go. I was somewhat puzzled
by her surroundings and manners, and I determined to
have a quiet talk with her as soon as possible.
" The next day, I went to Boston on very important
business, and, on my return, I found Annie plunged into
all the gayety and dissipation of New York fashionable
life. She certainly presented a very elegant and stylish
appearance; yet, my heart ached as I looked at her.
How much joy it would have given me to have found her
in a quiet little home waiting anxiously for Henry's return.
" I talked with her for sometime about her affairs, and
urged her to lead a more quiet life ; but she insisted that
THE MURDERER AND FOR TUNE TELLER. 1 17
Henry approved of her present way of living ; of course,
I could say nothing further.
" ■ Henry is not as unreasonable as you are,' she would
say. ' He knew how lonely I would be while he was
gone, and, therefore, he told me not to mope and pine,
but to get into good society, and try to be cheerful and
" Still, I had an undefined feeling that Annie was in
danger, and I wrote to Lucy about her, asking Lucy to
induce her to break away from the gay life she was
leading. Soon afterward, I went to sea again, and,
during my absence, Henry was given command of one
of the finest ships in the line. Two years passed quickly
away, but, as I was engaged during that time in making
short voyages to the West Indies and back, I frequently
saw Annie in New York. She seemed to grow more and
more estranged from me, however, and her conduct caused
me great anxiety. I had seen some things in her deport-
ment, which, though not absolutely wrong, were, to my
mind, far from proper ; besides, she showed a carelessness
of appearances not at all becoming a married woman.
" My next series of voyages were very long, and I wis
able to see Annie only once or twice in several years.
She was now thirty-two years old, and was unusually and
strikingly handsome. About this time, I returned from
a long cruise, and found Annie still teaching music in
Brooklyn. She dressed as elegantly as ever, and seemed
very complacent and contented. I invited her to take a
walk with me, and we went out toward one of the small
city parks. As she swept along beside me, her features
all animation, and her eyes sparkling with health and
118 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
pleasure, I thought I had never before seen any one so
beautiful. I did not wonder that Henry was so proud of
her, or that he should indulge her so much. We strolled
about in the park for a time, and then seated ourselves in
a quiet spot.
" ' How long is it since you have heard from Henry?' I
" ' Why, don't you know that we had a quarrel several
months ago?' she answered, with an effort, her face
turning very red.
" ' Annie, do you mean that you and Henry have sepa-
rated?' I asked, very much shocked at such news.
" ' Yes ; that is what I mean. Henry became so strict
and unjust with me that I complained to him of his treat-
ment. One word brought on another, until at last he
flew into a violent passion and left me.'
" On hearing Annie relate, in such a cool, off-hand
manner, how she had driven away one of the best hus-
bands that ever lived, I was perfectly thunderstruck. I
had feared that something of the kind might happen, but
now that it had really come to pass, I hardly knew what
to do or say.
\" ' Is it possible, Annie!' I said. 'Where did he go?'
V ' I don't know,' she replied ; ' he left his ship and
" ' But they know at the office where he went, don't
they?' I asked.
" ' No ; he left his ship at short notice. The company
tried to keep him, but he would not stay ; and, finally, he
went off without telling any one where he was going,'
answered Annie, beginning to cry.
THE MURDERER AND FOR TUNE TELLER. 1 19
" It seemed to me that she was crying more to avert
my displeasure than because she missed Henry ; but she
was my favorite sister, and I still loved her. Hence,
though I deeply regretted and condemned her actions, I
could not find it in my heart to characterize her conduct
as it deserved.
" ' Annie, are you not entirely to blame for this ?
Remember how many times I have cautioned you against
the course you were pursuing. Tell me what led to your
separation,' I asked, finally.
" At first she refused to say anything ; but, at length, I
drew out that reports had reached Henry's ears that she
was in the habit of accepting a great deal of attention
from a certain gentleman, and that he accompanied her
to the theatre very frequently.
" ' But,' she said, ' there was nothing wrong in that.'
" Then, on several occasions, Henry asked her to
attend the theatre with him ; but it so happened that she
had a severe headache each time. This made Henry
jealous, and he asked her, tauntingly, why she never had
a headache when a certain gentleman called. This sneer
led to mutual recriminations and bitter language on both
sides, until Henry went away in a towering rage.
"I could see the whole trouble. Henry loved her
passionately, and her conduct had driven him away in
despair. I determined to search for him everywhere, in
the hope of bringing them again together, and effecting a
" The day before I sailed on my next voyage, I saw a
beautiful diamond ring on Annie's finger.
" ' Annie,' I asked, sorrowfully, ' whose ring is that V
120 PINKER TON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
" ' Why, mine, of course,' she replied ; ' have you never
seen it before ?'
" ' You must have plenty of money to be able to buy
such valuable jewelry as that,' I said. ' I think you show
very bad taste to display it at this time, when you know
that your folly has driven your husband from you,' I
" She hung her head in silence, as if really ashamed,
and I went away feeling almost guilty for having spoken
so harshly to her.
" My next voyage was to the East Indies, and I made
inquiries about Henry at every port, besides * speaking '
every vessel I met at sea, but no one could tell me any-
thing about him. It became evident that he had not
only left the service of the company, but that he had
disappeared from all the localities where he was known.
" On my return to New York, 1 hurried over to see
Annie early in the evening. She was dressed for the
opera, and was evidently expecting some one. She was
quite surprised to see me, but she threw herself into my
arms and kissed me very affectionately, as she inquired
whether I had heard any news of her dear Henry. When
I told her of my poor success, she pretended to feel very
sorry, though she did not apparently allow her sorrow to
interfere with her enjoyment.
"'Well, Annie,' I said, 'you are dressed to go out
somewhere, aren't you ? Tell me all about it.'
"'Yes,' she replied, 'I intended going to the opera
with Mr. Pattmore, but if you do not wish me to go, I
will remain at home. You must stay to meet him ; he
is one of the most perfect gentlemen I have ever met.
THE M URDERER A ND FOR TUNE TELLER. 121
He belongs in Massachusetts, but he now owns a large
hotel in Greenville, Ohio. Mrs. Pattmore and I are such
good friends, and all the children think the world of me.
I have been out to visit them in Greenville twice, and
they made my stay so pleasant that I always speak of
their house as my home. Mr. Pattmore is in town on
business, and I received a note from him this morning
asking me to go to the opera.'
"Mr. Pattmore came in just then, and we were intro-
duced to each other. He was a well-built man of about
forty-five years of age, with very agreeable, easy manners.
His hair and mustache were jet black, and his features
were rather pleasing. His eyes were large and black, but
restless and snaky; I noticed that he never looked
straight into my face when speaking to me. He was
dressed in the height of the prevailing fashion, and he
showed a good deal of jewelry. They both pressed me
to accompany them to the opera, but as I was not appro-
priately dressed, I declined politely, and they went
" I had previously learned at the office of the company,
that they had not heard anything of Henry, so I sorrow-
fully returned aboard my ship, almost decided to give up
a sea-faring life. I was then fifty years of age, and I
thought of buying a farm, where I could settle down at
my ease. I knew that Annie was in a dangerous position
for a handsome woman — left alone with no one to advise
or restrain her — and I wished to take her with me, so as
to remove her from temptation. I therefore, wrote to
Lucy, asking her opinion, and requesting her to advise
Annie to give up her present mode of life.
122 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
" Lucy wrote a long letter in reply : she said that she
very much feared there was something wrong between
Annie and Pattmore ; when Annie was staying at Green-
ville, Lucy had written twice, asking her to come to
Morristown, where Lucy lived ; Annie had promised to
do so, but she had never come. Pattmore, Lucy said,
was a prominent politician in Greenville, and he was
looking forward to the nomination for congressman. Mrs.
Pattmore was a very good woman, of fine appearance and
agreeable manners ; she was very domestic in her tastes
and she delighted in taking care of her home and children.
There were three children living, the eldest son being
about twenty-one years old, and the other two being quite
young. Mr. Pattmore's hotel was very well kept and
popular, and he was supposed to be wealthy.
"Lucy's letter added greatly to the anxiety which I
felt about Annie, and I was very desirous of resigning
my command immediately, in order to settle down on a
farm with her, and thus remove her from the temptations
of a gay city. I felt sure that nothing more would be
necessary than a retired, quiet life for a few months, to
prepare her to give Henry a joyful and affectionate wel-
come on his return. Circumstances, however, made it
impossible for me to give up my ship at that time, and,
at the earnest request of the directors of the company
(in which I had invested a considerable portion of my
savings) I consented to make one or two more cruises.
Accordingly, I sailed for the East Indies for the last time,
and made a very speedy and prosperous voyage. I con-
tinued my inquiries for Henry Thayer, but was unable to
obtain any tidings of him. On my return, I called to see
THE MURDERER AND FOR TUNE TELLER. 123
Annie, and found her occupying her old position as music
teacher in Brooklyn. She said that Mrs. Pattmore had
urged her so strongly to visit them that she had accepted
the invitation twice during my absence.
" I had hardly reached New York, before I was hurried
away again ; my ship was hastily loaded with a cargo for
Rio Janeiro, and I again sailed in command. The trip
was a speculative venture, which resulted very profitably,
and, on my return, I asked to be relieved from further
service. I was then fifty-three years of age, and I needed
rest. The company treated me very handsomely, and I
sold my shares at a high valuation. Having settled my
affairs with the company, I hurried off to see Annie ; but
I was surprised to find- that she had moved to Greenville,
where she was teaching music to Mr. Pattmore's younger
" I had bought a farm near Springfield, Massachusetts,
sometime previous, and, learning that there was some
slight inaccuracy in the deed, I went to New Haven to
consult a lawyer — your friend, Mr. Chapman — relative
to the title. While there, I wrote to Annie, asking her
to come and live on the farm with me. She immediately
replied that she was under an engagement as teacher for
six months, and that she could not leave Greenville until
the end of that time. She said that Lucy had asked her
to pay a visit to Morristown, but that she had been obliged
to decline the invitation for the same reason. In con-
clusion, Annie begged me to visit her in Greenville.
"As soon, therefore, as I had settled my business affairs,
I went to Greenville to stay a few days. Annie seemed
very glad to see me, and appeared to be in excellent
124 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
health. I repeated my proposal, that she should come to
keep house for me on my farm, and she seemed favorably
disposed toward the arrangement, though she asked time
to think about it. I told her that at my death, I should
leave her all my property, and that, meantime, she should
have everything she wished. I also tried to talk to her
about Henry, but she refused to say much, and seemed
desirous to believe that he was dead.
" I found that she had very little to do as a teacher, the
children being too young to study; but she was much
attached to Greenville, as, to use her own words, * there
were so many fashionable people there.' She used to go
out driving with Mr. and Mrs. Pattmore, and sometimes
with Mr. Pattmore alone, often going as far as fifteen or
twenty miles into the country. I did not at all like the
way she was acting, and I determined to use every effort
to induce her to return to Massachusetts with me. This
visit, Mr. Pinkerton, took place about two months ago.
" After remaining in Greenville a few days, I went to
visit Lucy in Morristown. We had a long talk together
about Annie, and finally, Lucy confided to me that she
feared that Annie was enceinte.
" ' Good heavens, Lucy ! that is impossible ! ' I ex-
claimed. ' Our family has never had such a disgrace cast
upon it before ; it has always maintained its purity. No,
no; it can't be possible.'
"*I am not sure of it,' said Lucy ; ' but I know there is
something wrong with her, and I greatly fear that she is
a ruined woman.'
" I hardly knew what to say or do, the mere suspicion
was such a terrible blow."
THE MURDERER AND FOR TUNE TELLER. 125
Here the Captain became greatly affected ; the perspira-
tion started on his forehead in large beads, and he often
made long pauses, as he continued. His emotion would
sometimes entirely overcome him, so that he could not
"Well," he went on, " Lucy wrote to Annie, and back
came the answer fully confirming the horrid suspicion.
Annie freely confessed that she was enceinte, and that
Pattmore was the father of her unborn child. She said
that she and Pattmore dearly loved each other, and that
she could not bear the thought of separating from him.
" My first impulse was to curse her and never see her
again ; but my old love for her could not be set aside,
and pity soon took the place of anger. I could see that
Pattmore had thrown a spell around her by his fascinat-
ing manners, and she was completely under his influence.
I determined to save her from exposure and disgrace, if
possible, and, therefore, started for Greenville immedi-
ately. I had intended to speak to Annie in a severe and
indignant tone, but she rushed to meet me with such a
glad little cry that my anger melted away, and tears
sprang unbidden to my eyes.
"'Oh! Annie! Annie!' I exclaimed, 'what have you
done ! How has this man acquired such a terrible power
over you as to make you forget your marriage vows and
live a life of infamy with him ? Have you no stings of
conscience ? Think how our sainted mother would feel
if she could see her little Annie in the power of a heart-
less libertine. Return with me at once, and I will forget
everything. In the seclusion of my farm, you need not
126 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
fear the fiery tongue of scandal, and I will be a father to
" She stood with downcast eyes while I was speaking,
but when I had finished she began a vehement defense
of her conduct, in the course of which she repeated all
the usual arguments of those who wish to ease their con-
sciences when on the downward path.
" Mr. Pattmore, she said, was a perfect gentleman ; he
loved her, and she returned his affection ; it was true,
unhappily, that they were both married, but nature had
intended them for each other, and she preferred to obey
the laws of nature to those of society ; Mrs. Pattmore
was a very fine woman, but she could not make her
" The doctrine of free-love was fully endorsed by
Annie, who had learned it all by heart, and she advanced
the most extraordinary theories in justification of her
" For years, she said, she had held the first place in
Pattmore's heart, and he had lavished his money upon
her freely ; the diamond ring I had seen, the rich dresses
she had worn, a valuable necklace, and many other
articles of jewelry were among the gifts he had showered
upon her; they loved each other as husband and wife,
and as soon as Mrs. Pattmore should die, Mr. Pattmore
would make Annie his legal wife.
" I saw that she was completely infatuated, but I
endeavored to show her how false her reasoning was, and
to what wicked conclusions it would lead. I asked if she
had forgotten Henry, who was liable to return at any
moment; she could not marry until she obtained a
THE MURDERER AND FORTUNE TELLER. 127
divorce. Besides, the fact that they were looking forward
to, and wishing for Mrs. Pattmore's death, was almost
equivalent to committing murder, since to desire any
person's death was morally as bad as to murder that
" We had a long conversation, and finally Annie agreed
to join me in Springfield in a short time. I therefore
returned to the farm and prepared to settle down. I
received no reply to several letters which I wrote to
Annie, but at last she sent me a short note saying that
she had changed her mind, and that she should stay in
Greenville. I immediately replied that I would not
permit her to remain there any longer, and I then went
to consult Mr. Chapman about the matter. He acknowl-
edged that he could do nothing, as Annie was her own
mistress ; but he advised me to see you, Mr. Pinkerton,
and obtain your advice and assistance. As it was a very
delicate matter, affecting the honor of my family, I did
not like to speak about it to a third party, as I feared that
the story might be made known publicly, and Annie's
reputation would then be ruined. I therefore told him
that I should not consult you if I could possibly avoid
" While I was inwardly debating what was best to be
done, I received a note from Annie, asking me to come
to her, as she feared that something serious was about to
happen. I went at once to Greenville, and found that
she had decided to remove the evidence of her guilt by
performing an abortion. I tried hard to dissuade her
from a step which might result in her own death, but she
was resolute in her determination not to wait for the
128 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
child's natural birth. She said that if I would stay with
her until she recovered, she would return to Springfield
with me and never see Pattmore again. She spoke very
feelingly about Henry, and she seemed so deeply and
truly penitent that I was finally won over to her wishes,
and I agreed to stay with her until she had an operation
performed. I determined to take her to stay with Lucy,
at Morristown, at first, and she accordingly prepared to
" She had a long private interview with Pattmore before
leaving, and when she came out I saw she had been
shedding bitter tears. As I stepped to the office desk to
pay my bill, I saw Pattmore in the clerk's room back of
the office, and he, too, seemed very much dejected. I
could hardly keep my hands off his throat when I recol-
lected his villainy ; but I curbed my temper by a great
effort, as I knew that a personal encounter between us
would only publish my sister's shame to the world. On
our arrival in Morristown, Lucy and I had a long talk
with Annie, which was far from satisfactory to me, as I
saw that she was still infatuated with Pattmore.
" I thought best to go some distance away from the
places where we were known during Annie's trial, and I
therefore brought her to Chicago. Here I obtained board
in a very respectable family, where there were only a few
other boarders. Annie did not show her condition in
her appearance at all, and no one could possibly have
suspected her. I found a physician named Enfield, who
was a noted operator in such cases, and Annie at once
placed herself under his treatment.
"I knew that I was about to assist in committing a
THE MURDERER A ND FOR T UNE TELLER. 1 29
great crime, yet I felt that I must shield Annie at all
hazards, and so I yielded to her wishes in the matter.
Enfield was an expert in such matters, and, in a short
time, he brought Annie through in safety. She was
recovering fast, when one day, on entering her room, I
found Pattmore there. I went out instantly, as I was
afraid to trust myself in the same room with him ; but,
when he had gone away, I besought Annie never again to
admit him to her presence. She would make no promises,
and finally, she fell back in a swoon. On recovering, she
said that she would die if she could not see Pattmore,
and I was obliged to drop the subject until she should
become stronger. Pattmore remained in town two days,
and she insisted on having him with her a great deal of
" I fear that you will consider me very weak and foolish
for permitting this ; but I have never been able to refuse
Annie anything. I knew, moreover, that, in such a case,
harsh measures would only add fuel to the flame, and so
I continued to humor her, trusting, that in time, she
would gradually recover her normal condition, and see
the folly of her conduct.
"Pattmore told her, during his visit, that he was in
great hopes of receiving the democratic nomination to
Congress; and, as the democratic party had a large
majority in that district, the nomination would be
equivalent to an election. He also said that his wife
was in failing health, and that she seemed to grow weaker
every day. I could see by Annie's manner, when she
told me this, that she hoped to be Pattmore 's partner in
130 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
enjoying the gay life of the National Capital, though she
did not say so directly.
"One day, she brought up the subject of wills, and
said that she thought every one owning property, ought
to make a will. She said that otherwise a man's property,
in case of sudden death, might be eaten up by the lawyers
and court officials. I admitted the justness of her re-
marks, and told her that I should follow her suggestion.
I was obliged to go East on business for a few days at
this time, and, on the way, I left a letter and package
with Pattmore, which Annie had asked me to deliver.
While in New Haven, I employed Mr. Chapman to draw
up my will. Lucy had asked me to leave all my property
to Annie, as she had enough for herself and children,
while Annie had no one to look to for an honest support,
except myself; accordingly, I made my will in that way.
" On my return to Chicago, I hurried to our boarding
house to see Annie, and, to my intense disgust, I found
Pattmore with her. The sight of him fondling my poor
sister, was too much for me : and, although I succeeded
in restraining myself from doing him any personal
violence, I used the most severe language possible in
characterizing his villainy, and in expressing my contempt
for him. I concluded, by telling him that the affair must
end then and there ; that he must never address my sister
again, or attempt to see her ; and that if he dared to
disregard my demand, he must take the consequences.
They both hung their heads guiltily, while I was speaking,
and when I closed, Pattmore quitted the room without a
word. I found that he left town the same day.
" I also went out of the house immediately, being too
THE MURDERER AND FOR TUNE TELLER. 131
excited to talk calmly to Annie; but I returned after
supper, and reasoned with her as gently as possible on
the impropriety and wickedness of her conduct. She
seemed to feel very sorry, and was so penitent that my
hopes of saving her, rose considerably. She promised,
with tears in her eyes, to overcome her unholy love for
Pattmore, and never to see him again. I noticed, however,
that when I spoke of my efforts to obtain tidings of
Henry, she was very indifferent; but she promised to
return to Springfield with me as soon as she was able to
travel, and matters began to look more cheerful for the
"A day or two after, she received a letter from Pattmore,
saying that his wife was seriously ill, and that the physi-
cians considered her life in danger.
"'What is the matter with her?' I asked.
" ' I don't know,' she replied ; ' Mr. Pattmore does not
state what is her disease.'
" I then spoke very harshly about Pattmore, and said
that he, above all other men, was hateful to me, because
he had ruined her. She replied in his defense, and, as
our conversation seemed likely to become bitter, I walked
out to allow time for both our tempers, to cool off. On
my return, I found that Annie had gone out for the first
time, since her illness, but she soon came in, saying that
she had taken a short walk for exercise. She had regained
her good humor, and seemed more like herself than she
had for sometime. She again brought up the subject of
wills, and I told her that I had made my will while I was
in New Haven. She asked me about it, and I told her
that I had made her my sole legatee, and that she would
132 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
be in comfortable circumstances when I died. She seemed
very much pleased at this, and said I was a dear good
brother; but she hoped it might be a long time before
she should become heiress to my property.
"'Who knows?' she said, laughing; 'perhaps I may
"'That is possible,' I said, 'but not probable. In the
course of nature, I ought to die many years before you ;
and sailors are proverbially short-lived.'
"'Oh, nonsense!' she replied, 'you are so salted and
tanned that you will last fifty years yet.'
"She then skipped gaily into the next room and
brought out a bottle of ale, to reward me, as she said, for
being good. She poured out a glass for each of us, and
we drank to each other's good health. In about half an
hour I became very sick ; I vomited and retched terribly,
while my bowels seemed to be on fire. The weather was
-very warm, and I attributed my illness to some fruit I had
eaten, which the ale had disagreed with. I suffered
agony all night, but toward morning I became quieter and
the pain gradually left me.
" At daylight I casually glanced at my ring, and I was
surprised to see that the stone had turned to a creamy
white — a sure sign that my life was in danger. You will
call me foolish and superstitious, I know, but I cannot
help it. A belief in the virtues of this ring is a part of
my very nature, and it has always been an unerring guide
to me. This ring invariably predicts my good or bad
fortune." And so speaking, the Captain held the ring out
for me to see it.
I looked him straight in the face, expecting to see some
THE M URDERER A ND FOR T UNE TELLER. 133
signs of insanity, or at least monomania, in his eyes, but
there were none. He was evidently perfectly rational,
and this belief was apparently as natural to him as a
belief in a hereafter, or in any other religious doctrine, is
to other people. After a short pause, as I glanced at the
ring, he continued :
" Now, you can see nothing strange in that stone, Mr.
Pinkerton, but I can. From its appearance I can obtain
warning of approaching good or bad fortune. Away out
at sea, when a storm is coming, the stone turns black;
when enemies are near me it turns the color of blood ;
and when I am in danger of death, it becomes a creamy
" My father once saved the life of a Sepoy soldier, and,
as a mark of gratitude, the latter presented my father
with three rings of wonderful powers. The Sepoy said
that he had obtained them from a Hindoo hermit, far out
in the jungle. I have long tried to find other rings pos-
sessing the same qualities, but have never succeeded.
One of these rings was buried with my mother, one with
my father, and I have the third."
I looked at the ring carefully, but could see nothing
remarkable about it. The stone was an opal, set in a
heavy gold band, peculiarly chased ; but, aside from the
popular superstition with regard to opals, there was
nothing which would lead me to suppose that it possessed
any exceptional powers.
"When I saw you last," continued the Captain, "I
meant to have asked you to have this ring buried with
me, in case I died; but I was afraid you would consider
134 PINKER TON 'S DETECTIVE S TORIES.
the request too foolish. I wished it buried with me
because I did not wish Annie to have it."
" But why do you think Annie would take it?" I asked.
"Because I know she wants it," replied Captain
Sumner. " She thinks that it would enable her to make
Pattmore love her always, and so she wishes to own it.
Now, I think Pattmore is a villain, and I wish to sepa-
rate her from him and destroy his influence over her.
Therefore I do not wish her to get the ring, since its pos-
session will induce her to continue her connection with
I confess that I did not know what to make of the
Captain. If he was insane, he certainly had the most
impenetrable mask over his insanity that I had ever
seen. His eyes were so bright, clear and honest, that the
most experienced physiognomist in the world would have
failed to observe the slightest trace of cunning, or want
of a balanced mind in their expression. During the
progress of his story he had continually held his ring
where he could see it, and several times had raised it to
the light, in a contemplative sort of way, as if he drew
some satisfaction from its appearance. He bowed his
head in his hands as he ceased speaking, and some
moments elapsed before he looked up, though when he
did so he was perfectly calm.
" Captain, did you find the ring of any practical value
at sea?" I asked.
u Yes; often it has apprised me of a coming storm in
time to prepare for it. I have thus passed in safety
through many sudden gales of the approach of which I
have been warned only just in time to save my ship,
THE MURDERER AND EOR TUNE TELLER. 135
My men always had perfect confidence in my ability to
weather the heaviest gale."
"Well, Captain, if you should give that ring to me,
would it be equally prophetic in my hands?" I asked.
" But I will not give it to you nor any one else ; nor
will I part with it, even in death if I can help it," replied
the Captain. " The Sepoy told my father, that he must
never allow the rings to go out of his family, as they
would then lose their powers. I know that the fancy
seems strange to you, and, no doubt, you think I am not
exactly sane ; but I have proved the power of the ring so
often, that I know its virtues, and believe in them. I may
be able to satisfy you of its value by a practical demon-
I saw that he was not insane, but terribly superstitious,
so I made no further remarks about the ring. He drew
his chair closer toward me, and said in a low, painful
" Mr. Pinkerton, I have positive knowledge that Annie
has attempted to poison me three times. She put poison in
that ale ; she afterwards gave me some in a cup of coffee ;
and, the third time, it was administered so secretly, that
I do not know when I took it. The first time, I recovered
because the dose was too large, and I vomited up the
poison so soon that it had not time to act. The second
time, I took only a sip of the coffee, and found that it
tasted bitter, so I threw it away, though the little I had
taken distressed me exceedingly. The third time, I
nearly died, and it was only by the prompt attendance of
a physician that I was saved. He said it was a metal
poison which probably came off from a copper kettle in
136 P1NKERTWS DETECTIVE STORIES.
which some fruit had been cooked. Neither he, nor any
one else, ever suspected that I had been poisoned inten-
tionally. When I recovered, I accused Annie of trying
to poison me ; she denied it vehemently at first, but I
said to her :
" ' Annie, the ring tells me that I have an enemy near
me, and you must be that enemy.'
" I spoke as if positive of her guilt, and, as she is a
firm believer in the ring, she finally burst into tears and
confessed having given me poison at three different times.
On her knees, she begged my forgiveness, and thanked
God that my life had been spared. She was so broken
down by the thought of her unnatural and wicked pur-
pose, that I feared that she would have a relapse into
sickness. She seemed so wholly contrite, that I thought
she would never undertake such a terrible crime again,
and I freely forgave her."
I looked at the Captain in perfect amazement, hardly
able to credit my own senses.
"Can it be possible," I asked, "that your sister
admitted that she had tried to poison you ? "
"Yes," replied the Captain; "and she said that
Pattmore had encouraged her to put me out of the way.
He had told her that he would marry her when his wife,
(who was now dying) was dead; that I was bitterly
opposed to him, and would never consent to their
marriage; that if she would poison me, they would be
married and go to California to live ; and, therefore, that
it would be well for her to poison me before Mrs. Pattmore
THE MURDERER AND FOR TUNE TELLER. 137
"What!" I exclaimed, "is Mrs. Pattmore dying?
What is her disease?"
" I do not know," replied the Captain ; "but I fear that
she, also, has been poisoned."
" How long is it since you had this talk with Annie?"
" About three days ago, and she has been sick abed
with excitement and remorse ever since. She says that
she expects to hear of Mrs. Pattmore 's death at any time,
and she is sure that Pattmore has poisoned her. Mr.
Chapman told me, when I last saw him, Mr. Pinkerton,
that you were the only person who could help me ; and so
I have come to you to save Mrs. Pattmore and my sister.
I feel that Mr. Chapman was right, Mr. Pinkerton, and I
beg you to give me your assistance — I will pay you
WHEN the Captain had finished his almost incredi-
ble story, I hardly knew what to make of it. It
was impossible to doubt his word ; yet it seemed almost
equally hard to believe that his sister could have tried to
murder him. Pattmore's intention of killing his wife in
order to marry Annie, was another piece of cold-blooded
villainy which was almost past belief. The question fre-
quently came into my mind : Are all the parties in their
right minds? After I had thought about the matter in
silence a few minutes, I said :
" Well, Captain Sumner, yours is certainly a strange
case, and I cannot give you any answer until I have had
time for reflection. Return in three hours and I will
then tell you my decision. I will help you if I possibly
can do so."
He rose to go, but stopped a moment as he reached
the door, and said, with the utmost simplicity and confi-
" I know you can help me if you will do so, and no one
After he had gone, I sent a man to the Captain's
boarding house with instructions to learn all he could
about the boarders. He reported that, among others,
there was a Captain Sumner boarding there with his
sister, Mrs. Annie Thayer. My detective also learned
many things about the Captain and his sister which cor-
THE MURDERER AND FOR TUNE TELLER. 139
roborated the account given by the Captain. Having
satisfied myself that the Captain's story was true — in part
at least — I sat down to reflect upon the strange medley
which he had told me.
Mrs. Thayer had, undoubtedly, committed a serious
crime against her husband, besides making the attempt
on her brother's life ; but I could not have her punished,
for her brother's object was to save her from the ruin in
which her downward course would probably end. Patt-
more, however, was a dangerous man, and it would be
necessary to proceed with caution in handling him. He
seemed to be a villain at heart, and it was probable that
he only sought Mrs. Thayer's society in order to gratify
his sensual passions. Perhaps the Captain's suspicion,
that Mrs. Pattmore's illness was caused by poison admin-
istered by her husband, was correct ; if so, it would be
necessary to act at once, before she should become his
victim. It was barely possible that he might intend to
get a divorce from his wife and then marry Annie ; but I
did not consider this supposition a very probable one.
He wished to be elected to Congress, and he would not
dare to give such an opportunity for scandal as would
ensue if he attempted that course. No; poison had
been his reliance in one case, and he would not scruple
to make use of it again. Mrs. Thayer was probably well
informed as to all his plans, but, evidently, she would not
willingly divulge anything prejudicial to her lover. Her
brother was clearly unable to compel her to confess
anything, or he would not have applied to me. More-
over he could refuse her nothing, and he would certainly
object to any attempt to force her to give evidence
140 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
against her will. He admitted that she was weak, vain
and thoughtless ; that she had been false to her husband ;
and that Pattmore had completely bewitched her; yet
the Captain resolutely stood between her and harm.
She could tell all of Pattmore's secrets if she were so
disposed, and it would be easier to get information out
of her than out of him ; the question was — how shall I
go about it ?
I reflected that she was very superstitious, as shewn by
her belief in the Captain's ring; it occurred to me that I
might take advantage of that trait of her character to
draw her secrets out. Why could I not introduce a
fortune-teller to her, and thus learn all I wished to
know ? The idea seemed to me to be admirably adapted
to the necessities of the case. I sketched out, in my
mind, a skeleton plan of operations about as follows :
I should entrust the case to one of my female detec-
tives ; she would be posted upon all the points of Mrs.
Thayer's history ; she would be required to learn enough
of astrology, clairvoyance and mesmerism, to pass for
one of the genuine tribe ; the plan would be so arranged
that Mrs. Thayer would voluntarily consult this fortune-
teller, who would soon gain a complete ascendency over
her superstitious nature by revealing to her all her past
life ; finally Mrs. Thayer could be brought to tell all she
knew of Pattmore as a means of aiding the sibyl to read
This plan seemed to me the most feasible of any, and
I therefore decided to adopt it in working up the case
against Pattmore. After all, he would be the one against
whom my efforts would be directed, Mrs. Thayer being
THE M UR DERRR A ND FOR T UNE TELLER. 1 41
only an unconscious instrument in bringing him to justice.
In case it could be shown that he had actually attempted
to murder his wife, I was determined that he should not
escape the swift vengeance of the law.
Just as I had concluded my deliberations, the Captain
hurried into my office, the perspiration standing in great
beads on his forehead.
" Mr. Pinkerton, I fear we are too late ! " he exclaimed
in a husky voice. "Annie has just received a telegram
from Mr. Pattmore, saying that his wife is dead."
11 Dead! " I repeated. " Is it possible ! When did she
" To-day," he replied.
" It will be an easy matter to discover the cause of her
death," I said, after a moment's pause. "We must have
a post mortem examination held."
"That may be possible," replied the Captain; "but
you must recollect that Pattmore has a great many friends
in Greenville ; that, in fact, he is a prominent candidate
for the Democratic Congressional nomination ; and, even
if he were supposed to be guilty, the party would make a
strong fight to protect him, as they could not afford to
have him exposed."
" Is it possible that he has so much influence as that ?"
" Oh, yes," said the Captain ; " he is a brilliant speaker,
and a very agreeable man socially, so that he makes many
friends. He is such a wily scoundrel that I fear we shall
have great difficulty in tracing any crime directly to him.
I do not care whether he is convicted or not, provided I
142 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
can rescue Annie from his clutches. He has apparently
cast a spell over her, and she is wholly controlled by him."
" If that is the fact, we must use strategy, and under-
mine his plot with a deeper one. I will accept a retainer
from you, Captain, and then we will proceed to work up
The financial part of the arrangement having been
adjusted, I gave the Captain some advice as to what he
should do. I told him that he must place implicit confi-
dence in me, and not try to interfere in any manner with
my plans. If he could not do this, I should withdraw at
once. He must come in to see me often and keep me
well informed; but he must not expect me to tell him
about my plans, any further than I should see fit. I
should try to show Pattmore's villainous character to
Annie, and if I could gather sufficient evidence that he
had poisoned his wife, I should bring him to justice. I
then told the Captain that he ought to have a quarrel with
Annie, at the end of which he should burn his will in her
presence, and leave her ; on going out, he should tell her
that he intended immediately to deposit his ready money
in bank, and make a will wholly in favor of Lucy. This
would prevent Annie from again attempting his life, as
she would have nothing to gain by his death.
The Captain was satisfied to accept my conditions, and
he said that he had full confidence in my ability. All
that he desired was to save Annie from the power of
Pattmore, and from the ruin which would inevitably
result from their further intercourse. He then went
home to have his quarrel with his sister.
I determined to send a detective named Miller, to
THE MURDERER AND FOR TUNE TELLER. 143
Greenville, to obtain board at the Pattmore House, and,
if possible, to become intimate with the proprietor. This
part of my plan would require prompt action, as Pattmore
might succeed in removing all evidences of his guilt. I
therefore, sent for Mr. Miller, and went over all the facts
of the case with him, giving him full instructions as to
his duties. He was to hail from Bangor, Maine, and to
represent that he wished to start in the lumber business
in Greenville, if the prospects were good. I told him to
post himself thoroughly upon the qualities and prices of
all kinds of lumber, lath, shingles, etc., and to read up the
local history of Bangor. To make matters easier for him,
I gave him a letter of introduction to a lumber dealer in
Greenville, with whom I was well acquainted. The next
day, Miller was ready, and he took passage to Buffalo by
steamer, going thence to Greenville by rail. He then
took a room at the Pattmore House, and soon became
acquainted with the proprietor.
The same day that I gave Miller his instructions, I sent
for Miss Seaton, one of the detectives in the female
department, and ordered her to make arrangements to
take board in the same house with Captain Sumner and
Mrs. Thayer. Miss Seaton was a brunette, about twenty-
seven years of age ; she was of agreeable appearance and
pleasing manners; she had been a school teacher, and
was a good judge of human nature. Mrs. Warne, the
superintendent of the female department, said that Miss
Seaton was very sharp, and that nothing could escape her
piercing black eye. She was to cultivate Mrs. Thayer's
acquaintance, and endeavor to win her confidence. This
would probably be a difficult task ; but I told Miss Seaton
144 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
to be patient and discreet, and not to be discouraged, if
she should not be immediately successful. By pretending
to be in poor health, she could obtain Mrs. Thayer's
sympathy, and their progress toward intimacy would be
accelerated. Miss Seaton immediately moved to the City
Hotel, whence she set out to look for a boarding place.
By a curious coincidence, she could not satisfy herself
until she came to the house where Mrs. Thayer was
boarding on the North side. There she found a pleasant
room adjoining Mrs. Thayer's, and it suited her exactly.
That evening at supper, she was introduced to her fellow
boarders, of whom there were only three besides the
Captain and his sister.
The employment of female detectives has been the
subject of some adverse criticism by persons who think
that women should not engage in such a dangerous
calling. It has been claimed that the work is unwo-
manly ; that it is only performed by abandoned women ;
and that no respectable woman who becomes a detective
can remain virtuous. To these theories, which I regret
to say are quite prevalent, I enter a positive denial.
My experience of twenty years with lady operatives is
worth something, and I have no hesitation in saying that
the profession of a detective, for a lady possessing the
requisite characteristics, is as useful and honorable
employment as can be found in any walk of life.
Previous to the early part of 1855, I had never regu-
larly employed any female detectives ; nor were women
engaged in that capacity in any part of the Union. My
first experience with them was due to Mrs. Kate Warne,
an' intelligent, brilliant, and accomplished lady. She
THE M URDERER A ND FOR TUNE TELLER. 145
offered her services to me in the early spring of that year,
and, in spite of the novelty of her proposition, I deter-
mined to give her a trial. She soon showed such tact,
readiness of resource, ability to read character, intuitive
perception of motives, and rare discretion, that I created
a female department in the agency, and made Mrs.
Warne the superintendent thereof.
The work of my female detectives is generally light.
Zeal and discretion are the principal requisites, though
conscientious devotion to duty, and rigid obedience to
orders, are also essential. They are expected to win the
confidence of those from whom information is desired,
and to lose no opportunity of encouraging them to talk
With regard to the moral influence of their duties, I
say boldly that it is in no respect different from that of
any other position where women are thrown upon their
own resources. It is an unfortunate fact in our social
system, that no single woman or widow, dependent upon
herself for support, can escape a loss of caste and posi-
tion by working in the great field of business where she
comes in competition and contact with men ; but, aside
from this general prejudice, there is nothing in the detec-
tive's duties to make her profession less respectable and
honorable than there is in the duties of a lady cashier,
book-keeper, copyist, or clerk. The detective's tempta-
tions are no greater than those of any of the foregoing
who mingle with men in their daily business ; while, on
the other hand, the safeguards of their virtue are much
more numerous, since all the detectives of my agency
know that their conduct is under constant surveillance.
146 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
There are instances of frequent occurrence where great
criminals are successful in hiding all traces of their guilt
so effectually as to make their conviction impossible
without the aid of the female detective. Most of these
men have wives or mistresses in whom they confide to a
great extent. The testimony of these women, then,
become the sole means by which to convict the criminals,
and their testimony can be obtained in only one way — a
female detective makes their acquaintance, wins their
confidence, and draws out the story of the crime. Such
an instance is given in " The Expressman and the Detect-
ive," hitherto published.
I have in my employ several ladies of unquestionable
purity of life, who are also among the most successful
operators on my whole force. I take pleasure in offering
this tribute to their ability, and their spotless characters.
The next day the Captain called to see me, and said
that, according to my advice, he had quarreled with
Annie about Pattmore, and had worked himself into a
great rage. Finally, he had torn up and burned his will,
saying that he should immediately make another, leaving
everything to Lucy.
"So far, so good," said I ; "she now will have no motive
for poisoning you, so you can rest in peace."
The Captain stated further that he had deposited in
bank a few hundred dollars which he had brought with
him, so that he felt comparatively safe for the present.
That evening Miss Seaton reported that Mrs. Thayer
had left the house shortly after the Captain. Miss Seaton
had followed her to the post-office, where Mrs. Thayer
had deposited a letter, and had received another at the
THE MURDERER AND FORTUNE TELLER. 147
ladies' window. She had immediately torn it open, read
it hastily, and crumpled it in her hand, while slowly
walking home. I was very anxious to know to whom she
had written, and also who had written to her. I immedi-
ately wrote to Miller to watch Pattmore's mail, and to
learn whether there were any letters in it from Chicago.
If so, I wished him to obtain a view of the handwriting,
and, if possible, to get possession of the letters themselves
long enough to take copies of them.
The next morning Captain Sumner came in again, but
he had nothing to report.
" Does Annie write much?" I asked.
" No, very little," he replied.
" Does she correspond with Lucy ?"
"Sometimes, but not regularly."
" Did she not write a letter two days ago ?" I inquired.
" No," answered the Captain ; " but why do you ask ?"
" Oh ! for no particular reason ; however I wish you
would w-rite to Lucy and inquire whether she has received
a letter from Annie lately ; also whether she has written
"Certainly, I will do so now," said the Captain, and,
he straightway sat down to write to Lucy.
In a few days, the Captain received a letter from Lucy
stating that no letters had passed between her and Annie
for over a month. This made it certain that Lucy was
not Annie's correspondent.
Miller sent in a report about the same time, saying that
he had become slightly acquainted with Pattmore, who
was deeply mourning the death of his wife. Even the
mere mention of her name was sufficient to draw tears
148 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
to his eyes, and her loss had so severely affected him that
his friends were afraid he would never be the same man
that he had been during her life.
Miller had expressed an intention of opening an office
in Greenville, and Pattmore had given him some valuable
advice and information relative to the lumber market in
the interior. Since getting my letter, Miller had noticed
that Pattmore had received four letters from Chicago.
Miller said that he had not been able to obtain possession
of these letters, but he should make a great effort to cap-
ture those which might come in the future. He had taken
pains to cultivate the friendship of the clerk of the hotel,
and he was on such good terms with' him as to find it con-
venient to pass a great deal of time in the office. He
had noticed that when the clerk received the mail, all of
Pattmore's letters were put into a particular box behind
the desk, and he hoped to be able to secure some of
I had devoted a large amount of thought to this singu-
lar case, and I finally decided that I would go to Green-
ville in person. I determined to see the coroner and
find out what kind of a man he was. If possible, I should
induce him to have Mrs. Pattmore's body exhumed and
an inquest held upon it.
I had previously written to Mr. Chapman to obtain
further information about the Captain and his family, and
had mentioned his superstitious belief in the ring. I
said that I was not afraid of losing money, as the Cap-
tain offered me more than my usual scale of prices ; but
the Captain's story and his great superstition led me to
THE MURDERER AND FOR TUNE TELLER. 149
think that he was a "wee bit daft," and that there was
insanity in the family.
Mr. Chapman replied that he had known the Captain's
father and mother intimately, but there had been no sign
of insanity in any of their actions. They had been, how-
ever, firm believers in their rings, and had had the rings
which they had worn buried with them. They had been
clear-headed, religious people, and it was surprising that
they should have had such a superstitious faith in the
power of those opal rings. The Captain had always been
an honorable, straight- forward man, but he and his sister
were even more superstitious than any of the others.
"Well," I thought, on reading Mr. Chapman's letter,
" the whole family are a strange medley ; but I think I
can turn their superstitious credulity to good account, in
my efforts to learn whether Pattmore poisoned his wife."
AS soon as possible, I started for Greenville, to see the
coroner; on my arrival, I was so fortunate as to
meet Mr. Wells, an old friend, who had formerly been
sheriff of the county. He offered to introduce me to his
successor, Mr. T^omlinson, who had once been his deputy.
Mr. Wells was quite wealthy, and had retired from
business. Mr. Tomlinson was an honest, hard working
carpenter, who was thoroughly reliable and zealous.
Neither of these gentlemen, however, had the shrewd-
ness nor the experience necessary to detect criminals of
the character and ability of Pattmore. They were
perfectly competent to attend to the small thieves and
swindlers of the district, but they were wholly ignorant
and unsuspicious of the means by which daring and
skillful villains carry out their plans and hide the evi-
dences of their crimes.
They knew Mr. Pattmore well, as he had resided in
Greenville for seven years. They stated that he was a
scheming politician who could not be depended upon,
and that he was trying to get the Democratic Nomination
for congressman. Probably, he would not succeed, but
he was spending money freely, and he would, therefore,
be apt to get some good office. He was not wealthy, but
he kept his hotel well, and did a large business. Mr.
Wells thought that he used all his money as fast as he
THE MURDERER AND FORTUNE TELLER. 151
made it, either in trying to get votes, or in some other
way outside of his business. His wife had been generally
esteemed by a large circle of acquaintances.
I told Mr. Tomlinson that I should like to see the
coroner, and have him investigate the causes of Mrs.
"Oh! that will be easy," he replied, "as I know Van
Valkenburgh, the coroner, very well, and we are on good
terms. He is a warm friend of Pattmore, — in fact, they
are boon companions. He spends most of his time in
idling about the Pattmore House, and only yesterday,
they went driving together."
" I am sorry to hear that," said I ; " for he will not wish
to do anything to injure his friend. How can I get an
"I don't know," said Mr. Tomlinson.
"Suppose that I should make an affidavit under an
assumed name and hand it to you, could you not serve it
on the coroner as a complaint which required his atten-
tion?" I asked.
" No ; that would not do, as it would involve me in
difficulty," replied the sheriff; "but if I should hear
people talking about the death of Mrs. Pattmore, and
hinting at foul play, it would be my duty to lay the matter
before the coroner. Then he, as a friend of Pattmore,
could not do otherwise than order an inquest."
I determined to act on this suggestion, and I therefore
telegraphed to Mr. Bangs, my General Superintendent,
directing him to send two of my detectives, Mr. Green
and Mr. Knox, to meet me at the Clarendon House in
Greenville. They left Chicago by the next train, and
152 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
when they arrived in Greenville, I instructed them to go
into the office of the hotel and begin a conversation
about Mrs. Pattmore's death ; having told them what I
wished them to say, I sent them in. I had previously
arranged that Mr. Tomlinson should be present. Accord-
ingly, they took seats in the main hall in front of the
clerk's desk, near which there was a large group of guests
and citizens, and began to talk in loud tones.
" Well," said Knox, " there are more cases of death by
poisoning than you would suppose. Now, there was a
case in this town, only a short time ago, in which I think
that poison was used."
"Oh! you mean Mrs. Pattmore," said Green. "Yes,
that was a very suspicious affair. Was anything done
about it ?"
" No," replied Knox ; " but every one, who knows any-
thing about the circumstances of her death, believes that
she was poisoned."
My men were soon surrounded by an excited crowd,
all of whom were anxious to know the grounds upon
which their suspicions were based. They replied in
vague terms and insinuations, as if they knew a great
deal more than they would tell. The news that Mr.
Pattmore was suspected of having poisoned his wife, was
soon buzzed all through the Clarendon House ; and, as
soon as the excitement had become general, my men
slipped away and joined me in my room.
Sheriff Tomlinson was immediately appealed to by
many citizens to require the coroner to investigate the
matter, and he finally went to the coroner's office, accom-
THE MURDERER AND FORTUNE TELLER. 153
panied by quite a crowd. When the coroner was informed
of the reports in circulation, he became quite indignant.
" What ! Pattmore poison his wife /" he exclaimed.
" Why, he fairly doted on her, and, since her death, he
can hardly assuage his grief. He is a gentleman in every
sense of the word, and his character ought to be a
sufficient protection against so gross a slander. This is
a contemptible invention of his political opponents. I
will soon vindicate him, however. I shall have Mrs.
Pattmore's body exhumed, and shall call an inquest.
Then, if any one has any charges to make, there will be
an opportunity for them to come forward. I will not
consent to see a friend of mine so vilely slandered."
Coroner Van Valkenburgh immediately wrote an order
to have Mrs, Pattmore's body disinterred, and, also, a call
for an inquest the following day. He had become very
indignant at the idea of connecting his friend, Pattmore,
with such a hideous crime ; he, therefore, hurried over to
tell Pattmore of the rumors, and of the prompt measures
he had taken to prove their falsity. He drew Pattmore
into a private room and told him all that he had heard
and done. He expected that Pattmore would thank him
heartily for his friendly action ; but, instead, Pattmore's
face turned very white, and he asked who it wa6 that had
spread the rumors. The coroner said that the sheriff
and several prominent citizens had called upon him to
investigate the rumors that were circulating at the hotels
and on the street. Pattmore became very much excited
when he heard this, and paced up and down in a nervous,
"Well," said Van Valkenburgh, " I will have the body
154 PINKERTOM'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
exhumed to-morrow, and when we have disproved the
calumny, this scheme of your enemies will do you more
good than harm."
"Yes," said Pattmore ; " but my love for my wife is far
above all other considerations. It is shocking to think
that her body must be torn from the grave to refute the
vile slanders of my political opponents. I do not know
what course you usually pursue in such cases, but I would
not, for the world, have her remains exposed to the gaze
of a cruel, heartless crowd of strangers."
Mr. Pattmore 's feelings quite overcame him, at the
thought of such desecration, and he wept.
"I'll take care of that," said the sympathizing coroner;
" I will have Dr. Forsythe make the examination, and his
testimony will be sufficient for the jury."
" Well, I shall be satisfied with any arrangements you
may make," said Pattmore. " I hope a good jury will be
summoned ; I do not wish my wife's body to be examined
by a lot of curiosity seekers."
"Your wishes shall be attended to," replied the coro-
ner. " I know who are your friends and I will summon
no one else to sit on the jury."
" Van Valkenburgh," exclaimed Pattmore, seizing the
coroner's hand, " I am your friend for life !"
He then led the way to the bar-room and invited the
coroner to drink.
Miller was standing in the bar-room as the coroner and
Pattmore passed, and noticing a haggard, pallid expres-
sion on the latter's face, he stepped up and said :
"Why, what's the matter Pattmore? Has anything
gone wrong with you ?"
THE M URDERER A ND FOR T UNE TELL ER. 1 55
" No, Mr. Miller, nothing very serious. Some of my
enemies have started a story that I am responsible for
my wife's death ; but, of course, there is not a word of
truth in it. The coroner has taken the matter in charge,
and his verdict will soon set at rest these scandalous lies.
There is nothing too sacred for these political harpies
and ghouls : they literally have dragged the loved dead
from the grave in the hope of injuring my reputation.
Well, time will show my innocence."
So saying, Pattmore pressed Miller's hand warmly, as
if overcome with emotion, and passed into the office.
Mr. Green and Mr. Knox were watching him, and when
he went up stairs, he was followed by Knox, who saw him
go into his room. Knox immediately came down stairs
and passed across the street to a corner where I had
agreed to wait for him. Having heard his report I said :
" Mr. Knox, you are a stranger here, so you had better
go back to see what Pattmore is doing. You can stum-
ble into his room, as if you had mistaken it for your own.
Be quick!" I added, as he started, "for we must keep
watch of him every minute until the inquest has been
" Knox rushed into the hotel, ran up stairs and hastily
entered Pattmore's room, where he found Pattmore writ-
ing a letter.
" Oh ! I beg pardon," said Knox, " I have mistaken the
room," and so saying, he withdrew and returned to me.
"So he is writing a letter, is he?" said I. "We must
learn the contents of that letter, and I have not a minute
to lose. Knox, find Green and Miller and bring them
156 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
over here at once. Thank goodness, it is getting so dark
that we shall not be noticed."
Knox was off like a shot, and in a very few minutes
all my men were with me.
" Green," I said, " go to your hotel, pay your bill, and
proceed to the Pattmore House. When you register your
name, you must hail the clerk as an old acquaintance.
This will be an easy matter, as hotel clerks are known by
hundreds of people. Miller, you must be in the office at
the same time, and you must both remain there until
Pattmore puts his letter in the mail-box. Then, Green
you must ask the clerk out to take a drink, and while you
are gone, Miller must get possession of the letter. When
you have secured it, come over to the Globe Hotel, where
I am stopping."
Green hurried off to the Clarendon House to get his
carpet-bag, and Miller returned to the Pattmore House.
I also sent Knox to watch Pattmore, and to follow him
wherever he might go, until he retired for the night.
Soon after Miller reached the office, Pattmore came
down stairs with a letter, which Miller carefully scruti-
nized, so as to be able to recognize it among a group of
"Has the mail for the West closed yet?" asked
" No," replied the clerk, "there is still about an hour
to spare." '
Pattmore then dropped his letter into the mail-box
and went out. At this moment Green stepped up to the
desk, registered his name, and asked for a room. As the
clerk was attending to his room and baggage, Green
THE MURDERER AND EORTUNE TELLER. 157
looked intently at him, as if trying to recall his name.
Then, stepping forward, he said, cordially :
" Why, how are you ? When did you come here ? Let
me see ; the last time I saw you was at a hotel in Buffalo,
This was a lucky guess, for the clerk replied :
" Havn't you seen me since then ? Why, I left there
over a year ago."
" Well, I'm right glad to see you again," said Green ;
"step into the bar-room and take a 'smile ' with me."
"I can't very well leave the office just now," said the
"Oh, yes you can," said Green; "your friend there
will look after the office for a few minutes ; come along."
" Wait here until I come back, will you ?" the clerk
asked Miller, as he went off with Green.
As soon as the clerk had left the office, Miller quietly
extracted Pattmore's letter from the box. He had
marked its appearance so well that he only needed one
glance to identify it, and he secured it so quickly that
none of the crowd outside the desk noticed any move-
ment on his part. In a few minutes the clerk returned
to the desk, and Miller lounged out into the bar-room,
whence he hurried over to meet me at the Globe Hotel.
He there gave me the letter, which was addressed :
" Mrs. Annie Thayer,
I carefully opened it by a simple process, which did
not leave any evidence that the envelope had been tam-
pered withv The letter began : " My own dear Annie,"
158 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
and the writer went on to caution Mrs. Thayer that she
must not be alarmed at the news he was about to tell her.
He said that some of his enemies had started a report
that he had poisoned his late wife. He had no doubt
that the Whig newspapers would spread and magnify
these reports ; still, he had no fears that they would be
of any permanent injury to him, since his friend, coroner
Van Valkenburgh, had agreed to hold an inquest, and
there would be no difficulty in proving his innocence.
He begged her to excuse the haste and brevity of the
note, as he only had time to dash off a few lines to assure
her that all was well, and to warn her not to become
alarmed at anything she might see in the newspapers.
The letter was signed : " Ever your, loving and devoted
husband, Alonzo Pattmore."
"Well, this is certainly strange," I meditated. ^Her
* devoted husband,' eh? How can that be? He has had
no opportunity to marry her since his wife died ; hence,
unless he committed bigamy, this title of ' husband ' is
only assumed in anticipation ; yet Mrs. Thayer is,
undoubtedly, beautiful and winning, and she may have
induced him to ease her conscience by a form of
marriage, even while his legal wife still lived. I must
look into this more closely on my return to Chicago."
I then re-sealed the letter and gave it back to Mr.
Miller, with instructions to return to the hotel and keep a
general watch on all that went on. He was not to mail
the letter until early the next morning. As Miller went
out Knox came in.
"Well, Knox, what news?" I asked.
THE MURDERER AND FOR TUNE TELLER. 159
"Mr. Pattmore has gone away in a hack," replied
"What direction did he take ?"
" He drove off at a rapid rate toward the southern part
of the town, and I could not keep up, nor get on behind.
I took the number of the hack, though," answered Knox.
u That was right," I remarked, as Knox paused to get
" It was number fifty-two, and the driver seemed to be
an Irishman. He looked like a genial, half-grown, young
fellow, and I do not think I shall have any difficulty in
pumping him when he returns, as I know where his
"Right again," I exclaimed. "Now you had better
wait around there until the hack returns ; then get into
conversation with the driver, and ask him to take a drink
in the nearest saloon ; while you are talking with him,
you can easily learn where Pattmore went."
It was ten o'clock when Knox left me, and, as I was
greatly fatigued, I went to bed immediately. Shortly after
midnight, Knox again awoke me.
"What news ?" I asked, starting up. " Did you succeed
in learning anything from the hackman ?"
"Yes," replied Knox; "he returned a little before
eleven o'clock, and I asked him whether he knew where
there were any young ladies I could visit. He said that
he knew several places. I then asked him to take a
drink while we talked about it. I said, I judged, from
his appearance, that he was just the young fellow who
could take me where I wanted to go ; that I was crossing
the street to employ him in the early part of the evening,
160 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES,
when he was taken by another gentleman, who probably
went to the same kind of a place that I wanted to find.
This had confirmed my opinion of the hackman, so I had
decided to await his return. 'By the way,' I added, 'was
I right about that gentleman ?' The driver laughed
loudly, and said that that was Mr. Pattmore, and that he
did not go to such places. He went on to say that Mr.
Pattmore's wife had been dead only a few days, and he
supposed that Mr. Pattmore had gone out to pay the
grave-digger, since his visit had been made to that
individual at the graveyard gate."
"Did the boy say whether Pattmore saw the grave-
digger ?" I asked.
"Yes," continued Knox; "I pumped out all that the
young fellow knew. The grave-digger lives in a little
shanty close by the graveyard, and, on arriving there,
Pattmore called the fellow to one side, and conversed
with him in a low tone for some time. He then paid him
some money, entered the hack, and told the boy to drive
straight back to the Pattmore House, where Pattmore
discharged the hackman. I drew this information out of
the boy very easily, without appearing to take any special
interest in the story. I then told him to drive me to
some quiet house where I could meet some young ladies.
He took me to a place near here, and I paid him off
immediately, saying that I should spend the night there.
As soon as he was out of sight, I came straight here,
without going into the house at all."
"By Jove!" I exclaimed, "we shall have some rough
work to-night, and we must be quick, too. Go over to
the Pattmore House, find out from the register what room
THE MURDERER AND FORTUNE TELLER. 161
Green is in, and wake him up as soon as possible. Tell
him to come here, being careful that no one notices him,
and to be sure to bring his pistols. You have yours, have
you not, Mr. Knox ?"
"Yes ; do you expect to need them ?"
" It is quite possible, as we shall have some risky work
to-night. I will meet you outside, and you must tell
Green to prepare for a march. Luckily we are all good
Knox hurried away, and, in a short time, both of my
detectives joined me in the street. We then hired a hack
and drove to within half a mile of the graveyard, where
I paid off the hackman, and we entered the grounds of a
residence, standing some distance back from the road.
My object in entering these grounds, was to make the
hackman believe we were stopping there ; otherwise, his
curiosity would have been excited as to my reasons for
going into the country at that hour of the night. As
soon as the hack was out of sight, we returned to the
highway, and, after a brisk walk, we reached the grave-
THE resting places of the dead are localities which I
do not much care to visit in the night. In the day
time it is different ; there is a holy calm about a cemetery
then which impresses me with a feeling of rest, and I can
really enjoy an hour or two in quiet contemplation of the
monuments and humble head-stones of a large burial
ground. But in the night, even the least superstitious
person in the world will be awed by the solemnity per-
vading our cities of the dead, and will quicken his pace
as the wind rustles mournfully through the shrubbery. I
never should care to go into a grave-yard at night, as a
matter of choice ; but business is business, and must be
transacted, no matter how unpleasant the surroundings
The first difficulty I encountered on entering the
Greenville cemetery, was, that I did not know where Mrs.
Pattmore's grave was located. We therefore separated
to the distance of about one hundred yards, and
advanced through the underbrush across the grounds.
We arranged, before starting, to meet at a certain tall
tree, which stood up against the sky in the dim starlight.
Green had gone only a few rods when he» came upon
three men. Their smoky lantern threw a ghastly light
upon their work, and they were so busily engaged in
digging that they did not notice him. He quickly with-
THE MURDERER AND FOR TUNE TELLER. 163
drew and hurried after me. It was some time after he
overtook me before we could find Knox, but we finally
met and returned to the place where the body-snatchers
were at work. It was evident that they were profession-
als, for they had worked so rapidly as to have nearly suc-
ceeded in getting the coffin out of the grave.
A thrill of horror even now goes through me as I think
of that night ; the white tomb-stones stood forth among
the foliage, by which they were surrounded, like sheeted
ghosts, and the waving leaves gave them the appearance
of weird shapes in fantastic motion. The light of the
lantern feebly glimmered in one direction, and the body-
snatchers flitted about like restless ghouls preparing for a
horrible banquet. We approached as quietly as possible,
and, on emerging from the cover of a copse of hazel
bushes, we made a general rush forward. The ghouls
were too quick for us, however, and they ran away at a
break-neck speed which we did not dare to imitate.
They had the great advantage of knowing every foot of
the ground, while we were continually obliged to dodge
around some obstruction. First, Knox stumbled head-
long over a low grave, and then I became entangled in
some trailing vines. As I regained my feet, I saw Green
rising from an encounter with a chain which had tripped
him, and we simultaneously abandoned the chase. It
was clearly useless to follow them further, but we fired at
them with our revolvers in the hope of frightening them
into a surrender. One of them instantly stopped,
returned our fire, and then continued his flight. This
satisfied me that they were old hands at the business of
grave-robbing, and that they were not to be scared by
164 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES,
long-range pistol practice. After watching for a couple
of hours, I returned with my men to the city, being con-
vinced that the body-snatchers would not make another
attempt to rob the grave. As I walked back, I tried to
account, in my own mind, for this new move of Pattmore.
I could not see the advantage to be gained by the
removal of Mrs. Pattmore's body, and I retired to rest
with that problem still unsolved.
Being greatly fatigued, it was eight o'clock next morning
before I awoke. While I was at breakfast Mr. Miller
came in, but he had nothing to report, except that Patt-
more seemed greatly troubled, and looked very haggard.
I ordered Miller to watch Pattmore closely, and to engage
him in conversation as much as possible. I then went in
search of Sheriff Tqmlinson, whom I soon found. Believ-
ing him to be a thoroughly trustworthy man, I related to
him all that had occurred the night before. He was
much astonished at my story, and said that he was sorry
I had not asked him to accompany me, as he knew the
graveyard well. If the body-snatchers had been caught,
they might have been able to give very important testi-
mony at the inquest. Pattmore might have been held to
appear before the grand jury on their testimony alone.
"Yes," I replied; "no one regrets their escape more
than I do ; but I am almost equally annoyed by the fact
that I cannot reach a satisfactory conclusion as to
Pattmore's motive in having his wife's body carried off.
Of course, if the coroner's men should have found the
body gone, every one would suspect Pattmore of having
had it removed. However, I propose to solve the mystery
THE MURDERER AND FOR TUNE TELLER. 165
in some way. By the way, Mr. Tomlinson, when do you
expect the body to arrive ?"
" It will be here by eleven o'clock, and the men having
it in charge, will take it directly to Coroner Van Valken-
"I suppose he will impanel a jury," I remarked.
"Certainly," the sheriff replied; "and it would be
well for you to be present to watch the proceedings.
Pattmore must be made to face the music in some way."
Accordingly, I watched the coroner's office until I saw
the hearse arrive, and, when the coffin was carried in, I
followed it. The coroner's assistants reported that some
body-snatchers had been at work, and had attempted to
steal Mrs. Pattmore's body, having succeeded in getting
the coffin nearly out of the grave ; but they had evidently
been interrupted, as they had left all their tools behind,
and had not tried to open the coffin. They had been
more successful in another case, however ; the body of a
woman had been taken from a grave in the Potter's Field,
(which was devoted to paupers, etc.) and had been carried
to a spot near Mrs. Pattmore's grave. The supposition
was that the robbers, wishing to procure female subjects
for dissection, had chosen those two graves as containing
the bodies of persons who had most recently died.
On hearing this story, I saw through the trick at a
glance. The sheriff was in the office, and I beckoned to
him to join me outside.
"Mr. Tomlinson," I said, "I wish you to send a man
to the graveyard to learn the name of the other woman,
whose body was found; get a description of her age,
height, size, and general appearance, as I feel sure that
166 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
Pattmore's intention was, to substitute her body for that
of his wife."
" By Jupiter ! that's so ! " exclaimed Mr. Tomlinson ;
"but I should never have thought of that. I will attend
to your request myself, while you can remain here to
watch the proceedings before the coroner. I will go to
the cemetery and make a thorough investigation. It is
my duty to become acquainted with all the facts in the
case," and he started off, accompanied by Mr. Green,
whom I sent with him.
In a siiort time, Pattmore walked into the office and
sat down. He wore a martyr-like expression, and, though
he controlled his feelings sufficiently to appear outwardly
calm, I could see that, inwardly, he was racked with fear
The coroner hastily impaneled a jury, consisting wholly
of Pattmore's personal and political friends. The coffin
was then opened, as a matter of form, and the jury merely
looked at the rapidly decaying corpse. Pattmore refused
to look at the body, on the ground that he did not wish
to mar the sweet memories of his beloved wife's features,
which he had seen only in the flush of life and beauty,
even by a glance at her merely mortal remains in their
Dr. Forsythe testified that he had attended the late
Mrs. Pattmore in her last illness, and that dysentery was
the cause of her death. He was corroborated by another
physician who had been in consultation with Dr. Forsythe
during the last day or two of the patient's life. As no
Other witnesses were called, the jury immediately returned
THE MURDERER AND FOR TUNE TELLER. 167
a verdict that Mrs. Pattmore's death had resulted from
natural causes ; namely, dysentery.
I was watching Pattmore closely during the interval
before the verdict was delivered, and I saw plainly that,
in spite of the farcical character of the inquest, he was in
a state of nervous dread lest something unforeseen should
occur to reveal his criminality. When the verdict was
read, an expression of relief and triumph came into his
face, and he received the congratulations of his friends
like a man who had just escaped a great danger. I had
too little evidence to warrant me in showing my hand at
that time, by accusing him in person ; nevertheless, I was
satisfied of his guilt, and I decided to use other means to
bring him to justice.
In about an hour, Sheriff Tomlinson returned from the
graveyard, with Mr. Wells and Mr. Green. They had
made notes of the condition in which they had found
Mrs. Pattmore's grave, and they had written out a full
description of the other corpse found near by. The body
was that of a woman of about the same size, age, and
general appearance as Mrs. Pattmore.
I had heard of an eminent physician in Greenville,
named Dr. Stuart. On inquiring for him, Mr. Tomlinson
took me to the doctor's office and introduced me. He
was a man of great ability, and he had a high reputation
throughout the West as a scientific analytical chemist.
I at once laid the facts in the Pattmore case before
him, and said that I wished him to analyze carefully the
contents of the stomach and bowels of the late Mrs.
Pattmore, in order to determine whether she had been
poisoned. I said that it was a difficult case to undertake,
168 PINKERTON' S DETECTIVE STORIES.
owing to Pattmore's political influence; but I felt sure
that a thorough investigation would establish his guilt
The Doctor replied that, under most circumstances,
he should hardly feel inclined to comply with such a
request, since he had no right to make such an analysis,
unless he had the consent of the relatives of the deceased ;
or, upon the coroner's order. Still, he had a natural
desire for fair play, and the facts which I had presented
to him seemed to point toward the possibility that a foul
crime had been committed ; hence, he would perform the
analysis, provided that his action should never be made
known to any one, until he should be called upon to
testify in court. Of course, if no trace of poison should
be found, the theory of death by that means would have
to be abandoned, and his connection with the affair need
never be disclosed.
" I have never met you before, Mr. Pinkerton," con-
cluded Dr. Stuart, " but your reputation is well known to
me, and I feel sure that you would not have made this
request unless there were strong reasons for such action.
I have full confidence in you, and I will give you all the
aid in my power. Where is Mrs. Pattmore's body now?"
" It is in the coroner's office," I replied, " and it will be
taken back to the grave in about an hour."
" Well, Mr. Pinkerton, can't you obtain possession of
it in some way? I shall only want it for a short time."
"That is what puzzles me," I replied; "I am afraid
Pattmore will follow the body to the grave."
" Then, if he should do so, can't you get two men who
THE MURDERER AND FOR TUNE TELLER. 169
know how to handle a shovel quickly, to disinter it a
second time ?" asked the Doctor.
"Yes; I will take two of my own men," I said; "I
can trust them more than any one else."
"Oh, nonsense!" exclaimed the Doctor, laughing,
"you can do better than that. You had better offer the
regular grave-diggers ten dollars to leave the body a
short time in your possession before burying it; or, if
Pattmore should insist upon seeing it buried, they can
easily disinter it for you, and it will take me only a short
time to remove the intestines. I shall then seal them up
for the present, as I am too busy to make the analysis
just now; but when I shall have finished my present
work, I will take up this case. You can depend upon
hearing from me at the earliest possible moment."
It was then arranged that Mr. Wells and sheriff Tom-
linson should be present to witness the removal of the
bowels from Mrs. Pattmore 's body; the sheriff further
decided to give an official order for the analysis, so as to
protect Dr. Stuart in case of any accident. If any signs
of poison were found, the Doctor's charges would be paid
by the county ; otherwise I should be responsible for the
amount. I then went out to see the grave-diggers, and
used such convincing arguments that they willingly agreed
to disinter the body. My arguments were brief, but
cogent, and were presented to them about in the follow-
ing way :
"Mr. Grave-digger, you look like a man of discretion,
who knows how to open his hands and shut his mouth.
I wish to obtain the body of the late Mrs. Pattmore for a
short time. I will give you several excellent reasons why
170 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
you will be willing to let me have it. In the first
place, I will give you twenty-five dollars for the job;
"Wa-al, I guess you needn't go any furder," drawled
the grave-digger, with a knowing wink ; " twenty-five
o' them reasons are enough for me; so just tell me
where you want the body, and I'll see that it's forth-
I have always found that half the argument may be
dispensed with if the matter is only presented in the proper
In accordance with the agreement, therefore, the body
was again taken from the grave in the presence of Mr.
Wells, Sheriff Tomlinson, Dr. Stuart, my detectives, and
myself; the necessary parts were removed by the Doctor,
and the body was re-buried ; finally, the Doctor placed
the portions which had been removed in a jar of alcohol,
and it was then sealed up to await the Doctor's analysis.
Of one thing I felt certain ; and that was, that the
regular grave-diggers and the body-snatchers of the night
before were the same persons ; hence, I feared that they
might give Pattmore information of our proceedings. I
communicated my opinion to the Sheriff, and suggested
that a slight hint from him might induce the men to keep
silence for their own protection. Accordingly he spoke
to them about the occurrence of the previous night, and
said that for the present he did not intend to make any
investigation to learn who were the body-snatchers on
"But," he added, significantly, "if I ever discover that
3Vtr. Pattmore, or any one else, has been informed of this
THE MURDERER AND FORTUNE TELLER. 171
action which I have just taken, I shall consider it my
duty as Sheriff, to bring to punishment immediately the
men who attempted to rob this grave last night-j-and I
don't think I shall Iiave any trouble in finding them"
While returning to the city, I impressed upon Sheriff
Tomlinson the necessity of procuring all the evidence
that could be reached relative to Mrs. Pattmore's death.
I asked him particularly to find the nurses who attended
her, and to learn all that they could tell about the symp-
toms of the patient ; the kind and amount of medicines
administered ; the effect of the doses ; and, in general, all
the particulars of Mrs. Pattmore's illness and death.
The Sheriff promised to do all in his power, and Mr.
Wells also agreed to give his assistance in bringing out
the whole truth.
On arriving at the Globe Hotel I met Miller, who gave
me a copy of a letter which Pattmore had written to Mrs.
Thayer, as soon as the coroner's jury had given their
verdict. The letter contained a brief account of the
inquest and the finding of the jury. It said that she
could understand his feelings of great relief that all had
turned out so well for him. The letter was signed, as in
the former case, "Your loving husband."
Mr. Miller said that Pattmore's manner had wholly
changed since the close of the inquest ; before he had
been morose and irritable ; now he was all vivacity and
good spirits. One of his first acts, after the verdict had
been given, was to write the above-mentioned letter,
which Miller had secured as before. Having taken a
copy of it, Miller had mailed it in the general post-office.
"You have done very well, Mr, Miller," I said, "and I
172 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
wish you to remain here to watch Pattmore's movements
and intercept his letters. I shall return to Chicago to-
night, and you must inform me by telegraph if Pattmore
Having completed all my arrangements, I returned to
Chicago, taking Knox and Green with me.
MY first action, on reaching my office, was to send
for Mrs. Kate Warne, the Superintendent of the
Female Department of my force. She made a full report
of all the work in her charge during my absence, and
brought up among other cases, that of Captain Sumner.
"Miss Seaton," said Mrs. Warne, "reports that she
has progressed somewhat toward an intimacy with Mrs.
Thayer, but that she has learned very little except by
observation. Mrs. Thayer seems to be greatly troubled
at times, but she is very reserved, and does not appear
anxious to make any one her confidant. She goes to the
post-ofhce regularly twice a day, but she rarely goes any-
where else. Once she went to a druggist's store, but,
being unable to get what she wanted, she entered another
^ one and purchased a small package."
" Has Miss Seaton been able to examine any of Mrs.
Thayer's trunks or bureau drawers?" I asked.
"Only once," replied Mrs. Warne; "she succeeded in
getting into one of her trunks, and there found an
immense quantity of letters signed ' Alonzo Pattmore,'
some of them dating back several years."
" Were they long, sentimental and — in short, were they
to be classed under the head of love letters ?" I asked,
with a smile.
174 PINKER TON ' S DE TECTIVE S TORIES.
"Yes; Miss Seaton so reports them."
"Well," I said, "let her continue to watch Mrs.
Thayer, and to seek to win the latter 's confidence. By
the way, what kind of books does Mrs. Thayer read ?"
"Oh! anything that is romantic."
" Then, tell Miss Seaton to get ' Eugene Aram' and
read it. She can make such allusions to it as will make
Mrs. Thayer wish to read it too. The effect of the story
on her mind will, perhaps, prepare her for the train of
thoughts which I wish to excite in her."
"Oh! that reminds me," said Mrs. Warne, "Mrs.
Thayer complains that she sleeps very poorly, and
dreams a great deal. She has been wondering whether
she talks in her sleep."
At this moment, one of my clerks entered and said that
Captain Sumner wished to see me. I immediately sent
word that he could come into my private office ; at the
same time, I requested Mrs. Warne to step into the next
room for a few minutes, as I should need her, as soon as
the Captain had gone. When the Captain entered, I was
busily engaged in examining some papers, and I greeted
him as if he were an old friend whom I had not seen for
" Why, how are you, Captain Sumner ?" I said, shaking
his hand, warmly. " I am delighted to see you."
"I'm pretty well," he replied; "but have you heard
"No; what news?"
"Read that," he said, handing me the Greenville Advo-
cate, and pointing to an account of the inquest on Mrs.
THE M URDERER A ND EOR T UNE TELLER. 175
The paper contained a full report of the coroner's pro-
ceedings, and an editorial on the subject. The editor
spoke in the highest terms of Pattmore, and congratulated
him on his triumphant vindication. I read all that the
Advocate contained relative to the case, and then remarked ;
" I wonder who started that investigation."
"I can't imagine," replied the Captain; "though, as
the paper says, the story might have been originated by
his enemies, for mere political effect."
"Yes; that is possible," I replied; "but there was no»
use in attempting anything of that kind. The result
must have strengthened him, even among his opponents."
"I am afraid so, too," said the Captain. "We shall
have a hard time in obtaining any proofs of his guilt, now
that he is so popular."
I saw that the Captain did not suspect that I had been
connected, in any way, with the Greenville inquest; I
therefore, changed the subject.
" Well, it will all come out right, if you have patience.
How is Mrs. Thayer?"
" Not at all well," he replied; " she is very restless, and
she complains of being nervous ; besides, she is more
reserved with me than ever. Don't you think I had
better try to induce her to go home with me ? I should
feel more comfortable if she were on the farm in Con-
necticut, as she would then be out of Pattmore 's power.
Sometimes I think there is no use in trying to reform her ;
for, she seems so infatuated with that man that I only
wonder she has not run away with him before now. I
know that she will marry him at the first opportunity."
176 PINKERTON'S DETECTJVE STORIES.
" We must prevent that," I replied ; " for the present,
I think she had better remain here."
I then asked the Captain to excuse me a moment, and,
stepping into the next room, I called my stenographer to
the door; by leaving the door ajar, the conversation
between the Captain and myself could be easily heard in
the next room. The short-hand writer, therefore, was
able to take down everything that was said. Returning
to the Captain, I commenced a friendly chat, in the course
of which, I led him on to talk about his family. I
especially desired to draw out the particulars of Annie's
history, and the honest old gentleman talked so freely
that I obtained a very full account of all that he knew
about her. In the conversation which we had about his
own affairs, the Captain gave me the following story to
account for the fact that he was an old bachelor :
"It seems somewhat strange," he said, "that I am
unmarried, as I have always been a great admirer of the
fair sex ; but, the fact is, I had one strong affection, and
that has lasted me all my life. The last time I was with
her, she promised to be my wife, and we pledged ourselves
to be eternally faithful to each other. I sailed for Singa-
pore the next day, and, on my return, I was to lead her
to the altar. I felt that I had secured a prize far beyond
my merits, for she seemed to be superior to me in every
way. The days dragged along slowly and wearily, while
on the voyage ; but, at length, we returned to New York.
I immediately hurried up from the landing-place, all
impatient to see my sweetheart. As I passed up the dock,
I met an old acquaintance.
THE MURDERER A ND FOR TUNE TELL ER 1 77
" * Where away so fast?' he asked, as he stopped me.
" ' I am going to see Miss Curtis,' I replied.
" * Why, she married a rich banker, six months ago,' he
" * Oh ! did she ?' I exclaimed ; ' I am glad she was so
" Then I returned aboard ship, feeling completely
crushed. Since that time I have never paid attention to
any other woman, for I can never forget her. Once
afterward I met her on Broadway, on her way to her
carriage. She nodded carelessly, with a ' How d'ye do,
John?' and was quickly whirled away out of my sight. I
have never heard from her since then.
After the Captain had told me everything about Annie
and himself that he could recollect, I asked him to
excuse me, pleading an important engagement at that
hour. As soon as he had gone, I requested my steno-
grapher to write out his notes in long hand as quickly
as possible, and I returned to consult with my female
" Mrs. Warne," I said, " we shall have a difficult task
in working upon Mrs. Thayer; she seems to be very
reticent and wary. I have decided to attack the super-
stitious side of her nature, which seems to be her weakest
point ; and, in order to do so successfully, I shall need
your services. How do you think you would succeed as
a fortune-teller ?"
"A fortune-teller!" she exclaimed, laughingly; "that
is certainly a new role j however, I think I might learn to
take the part after a few lessons."
"Yes," I replied, "the tricks of the trade are easily
178 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES,
learned. Here is a book which explains all the secrets
of the profession. It is called ' The Mysteries of Magic
and the Wonders of Astrology; by Dr. Roback.' You
can take it to read at your leisure ; but, after all, the cos-
tume and make-up are the principal things necessary.
You will be obliged to trust largely to your own judg-
ment and tact in working upon Mrs. Thayer's feelings.
I suppose she has some vague ideas about astrology, etc.,
but I have no doubt of your ability to mystify her
thoroughly. One thing is certain, Mrs. Warne, that we
must have a fortune-teller of our own, and I do not know
of any one so competent as yourself. I will rent an office
for you near by, and the duties will interfere very little
with your other work."
"I will undertake it," she said, decidedly, after a
moment's thought ; " I will make it a success, too, if you
will give me my own way about it."
" All right," I answered ; " success is all that I require."
Mrs. Warne then withdrew to make her preparations.
In a day or two I received a letter from Miller. He
said that the talk over the inquest was gradually sub-
siding ; that there were some few persons who were not
fully satisfied with the manner of conducting the inquiry,
but that the general effect had been favorable to Patt-
more; that the latter had began to drink a great deal,
though not enough to become intoxicated ; that he,
(Miller,) had been taken into Pattmore's confidence to a
considerable extent; and that the latter had expressed an
intention of going to Cincinnati to make a visit. In
conclusion, he said that Pattmore was doing his utmost
THE MURDERER AND FOR TUNE TELLER. 179
to appear cheerful, but that he looked very haggard, and
seemed to be in great trouble.
Miss Seaton reported to Mrs. Warne the same day,
that she was becoming more intimate with Mrs. Thayer,
though the latter manifested no desire to take any one
into her confidence. The day previous Mrs. Thayer had
gone to the post-office, where she had received a letter,
as usual. She had torn it open, as if very anxious to
learn the news it contained for her, and had then
crumpled it nervously in her hand, after reading it.
Miss Seaton also described a scene which had taken
place that morning. Mrs. Thayer was in her room about
eleven o'clock ; soon afterward Miss Seaton went to the
door and knocked. No answer being given, she went in
quietly, intending to surprise Mrs. Thayer. She found
the latter deeply absorbed in telling her own fortune with
a pack of cards. Miss Seaton laughed pleasantly, and
" So you were telling your fortune, were you ? Well,
how did it come out ?"
Mrs. Thayer looked somewhat confused at first, but she
gathered up the cards mechanically, and said :
" I don't know how to tell my fortune ; do you ?"
" Yes, indeed, I used to be a splendid fortune-teller,"
•replied Miss Seaton. " Let me try to tell your fortune."
She then shuffled the cards, dealt them in three piles,
and turned up the last card, which happened to be the
queen of hearts.
" Now let us see what your fortune has been, what it is,
and what it 7m'// be," said Miss Seaton. "You are repre-
180 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
sented by the queen of hearts ; this pile contains your
past ; that one your present ; and the third your future."
So saying, she turned up the top card of each pile. By
an odd coincidence the present and future were both
clubs, the past being a diamond.
Miss Seaton said, gravely :
"Your past has been pleasant, but your future is
" Yes, it is always so," replied Mrs. Thayer, despond-
Then, as Miss Seaton was about to go on, Mrs. Thayer
threw all the cards into a heap, saying :
"No, I don't want to hear any more; I shall have the
same luck throughout; clubs always come to me."
" Have you always had such bad fortune ?" asked Miss
" Oh ! no ; only a few years ago, I used to be as happy
as a bird ; sorrow was unknown to me, and one enjoyment
seemed to pass away only to be succeeded by another.
Now I have nothing but trouble all the time."
"Your lot seems hard," remarked Miss Seaton, in a
sympathizing tone ; " probably you feel worse since your
husband has been dead."
"Dead!" exclaimed Mrs. Thayer, springing up; then,
recovering her presence of mind, she sat down, muttering :
"yes, yes, of course, he's dead."
" What do you mean ?" said Miss Seaton. " Is it long
since he died?"
" I do not feel well to-day ; and I shall not try to read
my fortune again when I am so nervous," replied Mrs.
Thayer, evading Miss Seaton's question.
THE MURDERER AND FORTUNE TELLER. 181
Seeing that Mrs. Thayer wished to change the subject,
Miss Seaton did not press her further. The two ladies
remained together until dinner time, and Miss Seaton read
a portion of " Eugene Aram " aloud. Mrs. Thayer became
deeply interested in the book, and borrowed it to read.
Next morning I received a telegram from Miller, briefly
stating that Pattmore had left Greenville. His destination
was Chicago, though he had given out that he was going
I knew that he could not arrive that day, as the railroad
connections were not promptly made at that time ; but I
instructed Mr. Knox and Mr. Green to be prepared to
" shadow " him, on his arrival at the depot the next
morning, and to keep upon his track constantly, while he
remained in Chicago. I also sent word to Miss Seaton to
make some pretense for calling upon Mrs. Thayer early
in the forenoon, and to remain with her as long as possible.
I knew that Pattmore would communicate with Mrs.
Thayer immediately on his arrival, and my object was, to
have some one to witness their meeting.
On entering my office early the next day, I was sur-
prised to find Captain Sumner awaiting me, in a great
state of excitement.
" That man has come here again, Mr. Pinkerton," he
broke out, impetuously. " He came before breakfast and
went straight to Annie's room. I called her to the door
and expostulated with her, until she agreed to send him
away as soon as possible. I then came here directly to
"Quite right, Captain," I replied; "there is nothing
182 PINKER TON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
like taking prompt action in such cases. You can return
to the house now, and trust to me for the rest."
"But I'm afraid she will run away with that villain,"
said the Captain.
" Of course, we must prevent that," I replied; " I shall
have a plan prepared, in case they attempt to run away
together ; but, I do not think Pattmore is quite ready yet
for such a step. Keep your spirits up, Captain, and don't
"I have all confidence in you, Mr. Pinkerton," he said
us he went out ; " but I shall be much happier when I
am back on my farm."
According to instructions, Miss Seaton called on Mrs.
Thayer, though she did not gain admittance to her room.
When Mrs. Thayer opened the door, Miss Seaton saw
that she had been crying, and that she was evidently
much disturbed. She asked Miss Seaton to excuse her,
as she had .company from the East.
About noon Pattmore returned to his hotel, as the
Captain would not permit him to dine at the boarding
house. As Mrs. Thayer did not come down to dinner,
Miss Seaton again visited her, and found her dressing to
go out. She asked Miss Seaton to remain until she was
dressed, but said that she was going out driving in the
afternoon and to the theatre in the evening. In a short
time, the Captain came in, and Miss Seaton retired. The
Captain asked Mrs. Thayer what she meant by breaking
her promises not to see Pattmore again.
She replied that Pattmore was a man she could not help
loving; that she had tried her best to overcome her
passion, but in vain ; and that she could not break off the
THE MURDERER AND FOR TUNE TELLER. 183
connection so abruptly, but that she would endeavor to
do so gradually in the future. Then she kissed the Cap-
tain, saying that she was never so happy in her life, and
that she was going out driving with Pattmore that after-
noon. The Captain remonstrated with her without effect ;
and, seeing that he could not move her from her purpose,
he came straight to my office to report.
Pattmore came again in the afternoon and took Mrs.
Thayer out driving. She looked superb as she went
off, having recovered entirely from her illness. She was
in a perfect flutter of happiness and excitement, which
gave her a brilliant color, and added to the brightness of
her eyes. She was agitated by conflicting influences ; on
one side, was her brother, determined to separate her
from her lover, and justly blaming her course; on the
other, was Pattmore, claiming her love, and urging her to
ibandon her brother's protection.
They were gone about three hours, and, on their return,
they seemed very complacent and much less excited than
when they set out. In the evening, they went to the
theatre together, being " shadowed " by Mr. Knox. He
took a seat close behind them, in order to listen to their
conversation; but he overheard nothing of any conse-
Captain Sumner had a long talk with his sister next
morning, in relation to their return to Connecticut. He
begged her to go immediately, and thus escape from
Pattmore's influence ; but she opposed his wish, on the
ground that she was too weak to make the journey. He
then lost his temper, and replied that she was strong
enough to go around to places of amusement with
184 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
Pattmorc, and it was very strange that she could not
travel slowly home. This show of anger on the Captain's
part, caused her to commence crying, as she knew that
he could not resist so powerful an appeal to his sympathy.
The result equalled her anticipations. The Captain soon
lost all his irritation and began to console her, as if she
were a spoilt child ; finally, she induced him to go driving
with them that afternoon. The Captain told me after-
ward, that Pattmore behaved with great propriety during
the drive, and that they did not seem to be so much in
love with each other as he had supposed. I smiled
inwardly at the old sailor's simplicity; for I noticed
that they had gone out in an open barouche, (instead of
a close carriage, such as they had used the day before,)
and they had remained away only one hour, instead of
On their return from the drive, Pattmore and Annie
went to Mrs. Thayer's sitting room, and the Captain went
down town. At four o'clock, Miss Seaton knocked at
Mrs. Thayer's door ; but, receiving no answer, she tried
to enter quietly. She found that the door was locked on
the inside, however, and she was, therefore, obliged to
withdraw to her own room to watch. It was six o'clock
before Pattmore came out, having been nearly three hours
in Mrs. Thayer's room with the door locked.
Mr. Knox " shadowed " Pattmore, on his departure
from the boarding house, and saw him take the nine
o'clock train for Greenville. I immediately notified Mr.
Miller by telegraph, directing him to renew his intimacy
with Pattmore, and to remain in Greenville until further
MR. MILLER was not idle during the time that
Pattmore was away. His first action was to learn
who were the nurses attending Mrs. Pattmore in her last
illness. One of them had left the city, but the other,
being an old resident of Greenville, was soon found. She
was quite an elderly woman, with no family except one
daughter. The latter was a seamstress, and Mr. Miller
soon made her acquaintance by employing her to make
some shirts for him. He kept up friendly relations with
them by taking both mother and daughter out riding occa-
sionally in the summer evenings ; and in various ways he
ingratiated himself into the old lady's confidence. It was
not long before he was able to draw out all the particulars
of Mrs. Pattmore's illness.
He learned that when she first became seriously sick,
Mr. Pattmore began to show a very tender solicitude for
He even insisted upon preparing her medicine and
giving it to her himself. Mrs. Pattmore, however, did
not seem to appreciate his watchful care, for she told the
nurse that she did not like to take her medicine from her
husband ; she also asked very particularly whether the
medicine which she took was that which the doctor pre-
Mrs. Reed, the nurse, said that she did not like the effects
186 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
of the medicine at all. It was put up in small yellow
papers, and when Mrs. Pattmore took a dose of it she was
always taken with violent vomiting ; her bowels and
stomach would become very hot, and the pain would be
so severe as to cause her to scream terribly. Then Mr.
Pattmore would give her a dose of another kind of medi-
cine, which would soon relieve the patient and cause her
to fall into a deep sleep.
When Dr. Forsythe called, Mrs. Pattmore always
informed him very carefully about the effect of the medi-
cine, but he treated it as a case of common occurrence,
and said that those symptoms invariably accompanied an
attack of dysentery. After the Doctor had gone, Mr.
Pattmore would return to the room with the same medi-
cine, and his wife would exclaim :
" Oh ! has the Doctor ordered that horrid medicine
again ? I cannot stand it long. Oh ! what shall I do ?"
Then her husband would tell her that it pained him
almost as much as herself to see her suffer so, and that
he would willingly take it himself if he could thereby
save her from pain ; but she must recollect that she was
very dangerously sick, and that a failure to obey the
Doctor's instructions might prove fatal to her. Mrs.
Pattmore would be too feeble to protest long, and she
would take the medicine ; the same symptoms as before
would then result, and each day she seemed to grow
weaker and weaker.
The day of Mrs. Pattmore's death the Doctor was
unable to call ; hence only Mr. Pattmore and Mrs. Reed
were present when she died. Pattmore spoke very
endearingly to his wife and tried to caress her, but she
THE M URDERER A ND FOR T UNE TELLER. 1 87
pushed him away, gave him one long, reproachful look,
and fell back dead. Pattmore professed to be overcome
with grief, and tears flowed down his cheeks, as he
requested Mrs. Reed to arrange for the funeral, and to
spare no expense. He stopped at the door as he was
leaving the room and said :
" By the way, Mrs. Reed, if any one inquires about it,
you can say that dysentery was the cause of my beloved
Miller said that there was little doubt that Mrs. Reed
suspected foul play in connection with Mrs. Pattmore's
death ; but she was a very discreet woman, and would
not sptead any story which she could not prove. It was
only by very skillful management that he had been able
to induce her to talk upon the subject at all. She knew
that Pattmore was very popular, and that she would be
speedily silenced if she attempted to suggest anything
against his character ; hence she preferred to keep her
suspicions to herself.
On receiving this report from Miller, I sent him instruc-
tions to continue his acquaintance with Mrs. Reed, and to
keep a close watch upon her movements, for it was pos-
sible that she, too, might be induced to go away. As she
would be an important witness, it would be necessary not
to lose sight of her. At the end of the week I received
another report from Miller, stating that Pattmore had
called a select meeting of his political supporters in the
district, and had laid the plans for an energetic effort to
obtain the Congressional nomination. Miller had been
taken into their confidence, and he was working hard
to secure the election of Pattmore delegates to the
188 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
approaching convention. This gave him ample oppor-
tunity to become intimate with Pattmore, and he felt sure
that the latter would not take any important steps without
I was much pleased to hear this news, as it showed me
that Pattmore was no longer in fear of detection ; more-
over, it satisfied me that politics would detain him in
Greenville for some time, and there would be no immedi-
ate danger of his marriage with Mrs. Thayer. Having a
prospect that he would not return to Chicago to inter-
fere with my plan for some weeks, I decided to proceed
with my attack on Mrs. Thayer's credulity and supersti-
tion. In the afternoon, therefore, I sent for Mrs. Warne,
and asked whether she had secured rooms in which to
play the part of a fortune-teller.
"Yes," she replied, "I have rented three rooms on
Clark street, which are just suited for the purpose.
There are two entrances, so that you can slip in at any
time without being seen by my visitors."
" Well, you had better have them fitted up as soon as
possible. I will drop in to look at them to-day."
"No," she answered, "I don't wish you to come until I
have completed my preparations. The rooms are on the
second floor, and have not been occupied for some time ;
hence they will need considerable cleaning. You are too
busy to attend to the furnishing and arranging, so I will
relieve you of all the trouble ; only give me carte-blanche
for the purpose of furnishing the rooms, and I know you
will not regret it."
"All right," said I ; "you have m.y permission to do as
you please, and you can get whatever money you need
THE MURDERER AND FORTUNE TELLER. 189
from the cashier. All I ask is that everything be done in
the best manner. When you are ready to begin opera-
tions let me know, so that I can have an audience with
the great fortune-teller in advance of the general public."
During the next four days, nothing of any consequence
occurred. The Captain reported that his sister was
gaining so fast in health and strength that he thought she
was able to go back to Connecticut. Of course, I was
obliged to oppose the journey at that time, since I wished
to bring Mrs. Thayer before my fortune-teller. Miss
Seaton reported that she was on quite intimate terms
. with Mrs. Thayer ; but the latter never talked about her
own affairs. She wrote daily to Pattmore, and received
daily letters in reply.
At length, Mrs. Warne reported that her temple of
magic was in complete order, and that she would be
ready to receive me that afternoon.
"Very well," I replied; "I will drop in to have my
fortune told about three o'clock. Have you arranged it
wholly to your own satisfaction ?"
" Yes ; it is nearly perfect."
"Whom have you engaged for an usher?" I inquired.
"You must not ask questions now," she answered,
laughing. "I have taken more liberties than I ever
dared to take before ; but I think, when you consider the
object to be gained, that you will be satisfied."
"Well, I hope your rooms are as mysterious as your
answers would lead me to expect," said I. " However, I
shall be there promptly at three o'clock, so I will restrain
my curiosity for the present."
At the appointed hour, therefore, I called at the rooms,
190 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
where I was received by a young negro of the blackest
type. He was dressed in full Turkish costume, and his
actions gave me the impression that he was dumb. This
black mute first ushered me into a very large front room,
elegantly furnished in the style of a modern salon. Heavy
curtains hung in graceful folds from richly gilded cornices,
sufficiently obscuring the windows to prevent the strong
glare of the afternoon sun from penetrating directly into
the room ; arm-chairs and sofas were plentifully scattered
about, to accommodate the throng of persons who were
expected to visit the fortune-teller ; the walls were hung
with engravings and paintings ; and on the floor was a
thick Brussels carpet, into which my feet sank noiselessly,
as I walked about inspecting the pictures and furniture.
After scanning the sable usher for a few minutes, I said :
" Now, if that color would wash off, I should feel sure
of finding one of my office boys, named Jack Scott,
underneath." The mute grinned responsively, and I saw
that I had guessed correctly. " Well, Jack," I continued,
"I don't think you need fear detection. Where is Mrs.
Jack still remained mute; but he went into another
room, and soon beckoned me to follow him. As I crossed
the threshold, the door closed noiselessly behind me. It
took me several seconds to accustom my eyes to the
change in the light. Then I began to gather an idea of
the surroundings, and my surprise at Mrs. Warne's
success was equalled only by my admiration of her good
taste and judgment.
The room was nearly square, but a large mirror, at the
end opposite the entrance, gave a duplicate view of the
THE MURDERER AND FORTUNE TELLER. 191
whole; the shape of the mirror being that of a large
doorway, the effect was to give an appearance of two
rooms, instead of one. The walls and windows were
hung with some dark colored material, which wholly shut
out every ray of sunlight ; but a soft, dim radiance was
shed from five swinging lamps, one in each corner and
the fifth in the centre of the room. These lamps were
of bronzed silver, of Oriental patterns, and were all in
motion ; the corner lamps swinging back and forth toward
the centre, and the centre one, swinging slowly around in
a circle. On the walls, were hung several charts and
mystic symbols, while the floor was covered with a close
matting of white straw, upon which was painted the
common representation of the signs of the zodiac. A
number of small globes stood upon a low shelf in one
corner, and on a table in the centre of the room was a
large globe standing on a chart. With the exception of
one large easy-chair and a lounge, there were no other
articles of furniture in the room. A pair of skeletons
stood facing each other, one at each side of the mirror,
and their ghastly appearance, duplicated in the mirror,
added to the unnatural effect. Near the table was a small
portable furnace upon which stood a. t peculiarly shaped
retort, and from this, issued a pungent, aromatic incense.
While I was examining the globe and chart, Mrs.
Warne slipped into the room, through the folds of a
curtain at one side of the mirror, and swept down toward
me. I should hardly have known her, so great was her
disguise ; her face and hands were stained a clear olive,
and her hair hung down in heavy masses to her waist ;
her dress was of rich material, trimmed with Oriental
192 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
extravagance; the sleeves were large and flowing, and
the skirt trailed over a yard. In her right hand she
carried a small wand, around which two serpents twined.
Her whole appearance was dignified and imposing. The
light and atmosphere added to the general effect, and I
felt wholly satisfied with Mrs. Warne's work.
"Well, Mrs. Warne," said I, "you have certainly made
a great success; but I am afraid I shall not be so much
pleased when the bills come in."
" Don't be very much alarmed on that score," replied
Mrs. Warne. " I have been very economical. Many of
the most expensive articles have been hired for the occa-
sion, while the rest have been picked up cheap at auction
sales. The expense, I assure you, will not be great."
"All right," I rejoined; "the Captain will have to foot
the bill, whatever it may be ; but, if we succeed in our
object, he will not have any reason to regret the cost."
Mrs. Warne showed me the door through which she
had entered, and asked me to seat myself behind the
curtains. She then called her usher into the room, and
conversed with him ; though they spoke in low tones, I
was able to hear every word. The door where I was
sitting, was hung on noiseless hinges, and it led into the
last room of the suite; from this room, another door
opened on a hall leading to a pair of side stairs. I was
thus able to reach my ambush without entering by the
" Now, Mrs. Warne, nothing remains to be done but to
advertise you thoroughly," I said, after I had inspected
all her preparations.
" Very well," she replied ; " but you must recollect that
THE MURDERER AND FOR TUNE TELLER. 193
I shall not be able to oversee all my general work, unless
you make my office hours as a fortune-teller very short.
Three hours will be the longest time I can spare daily."
I then returned to my office and wrote out the following
THE GREAT ASIATIC SIBYL,
L. L. Lucille, the only living descendant of Hermes,
the Egyptian, who has traveled through all the
known parts of the world, now makes her first
appearance in Chicago. She will cast
the horoscope of all callers; will
tell them the events of their
past life, and reveal what
the future has in store
for them. She has
cast the horo-
heads of Eu-
rope, Asia, Africa,
and Oceanica ; she will
cast the horoscope, or celes-
tial map, for the hour and mo-
ment of the inquiry for any visitor
with the same care, and by the same
method as that used in the case of the Sultan
of Turkey, and the Pacha of Trincomalee. She
will remain only a short time in Chicago ; hence the
SORROWFUL AND AFFLICTED,
who wish to know what the future has in store for them,
194 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
had better Call at Once.
She will tell
Who Loves You; Who Hates You;
and who is trying to injure you.
She will show you
YOUR FUTURE HUSBAND OR WIFE.
L. L. Lucille is the
Seventh Daughter of
a Seventh Daughter.
She never fails to give satisfaction.
Visit her and learn your fate
Office hours — 10 a. m. to i p. m.
Office at the Temple of Magic,
50 SOUTH CLARK STREET.
This advertisement was inserted in the daily news-
papers for a week, and I also had a number of small
handbills printed for distribution in the street. In this
way Lucille 's name was brought before the public very
conspicuously. At that time the trade of fortune-telling
was not so common as it is now, and those engaged in it
rarely had the means to advertise themselves so exten-
sively; hence Lucille 's half column in the newspapers
attracted an unusual amount of attention.
THE next morning Miss Seaton called on Mrs.
Thayer as usual, and found her eagerly reading
Lucille's advertisement in one of the newspapers. Miss
Seaton asked Mrs. Thayer whether she was ready to go
out for their regular morning walk, and Mrs. Thayer soon
prepared to accompany her. They first went to the post-
office ; and, as they walked away, after Mrs. Thayer had
received a letter, they met a boy distributing hand-bills.
They each took one and walked along slowly in order to
read Lucille's glowing advertisement. Mrs. Thayer
folded her bill up carefully and said :
"I wonder whether this woman can do what she
claims ; if I thought so, I would call on her myself."
" Well, I don't have much faith in these people, as a
rule," replied Miss Seaton, " but it is a fact that some of
them really have a strange and inexplicable power to
foresee events. Whether it is a genuine science, or a
mere application of general rules of physiognomy to the
particular features of each visitor, I do not profess to say ;
but there is no doubt, I believe, that they have been very
successful in reading the future for some people."
" I am so glad to hear you say that," said Mrs. Thayer,
" for I was afraid that you would laugh at me. Now I
have a real desire to see this woman, just to test her
powers. The moment I read her advertisement in this
196 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
morning's paper, I had a strong presentiment that she
could help me out of my troubles, and I determined to
visit her. See, here we are, right at the door, No. 50
Clark street. Won't you go up with me while I get my
fortune told, Miss Seaton ?"
" Oh, certainly ; if you really wish to try your fortune,
to-day is as good a time as any other."
They therefore ascended to Madam Lucille's rooms
and rang a bell at the reception-room door. The sable
usher immediately admitted them and asked them to be
seated for a short time, as Madam was engaged at that
moment. He then left them alone, while he went to
inquire how soon they could have an audience with the
great sibyl. Having told Mrs. Warne who her visitors
were, the usher hurried over to my office and informed
me. I instantly called my stenographer, and we pro-
ceeded quickly to the back room, where we took our seats
behind the curtain.
A lady was already in Mrs. Warne 's room, but she was
easily dismissed with instructions to return next day.
When she retired, Mrs. Thayer was admitted, and Miss
Seaton wished to follow, but this could not be allowed,
as only one could have an audience at a time. Mrs.
Thayer entered the room with her veil down ; and, what
with her nervousness and the superstitious terror inspired
by the weird appearance of the room, she was hardly
able to walk to the visitor's chair. When she became
somewhat accustomed to the peculiar light, she saw
Madam Lucille standing beside the table. Her tall,
commanding figure struck Mrs. Thayer with awe, and
THE MURDERER AND FOR TUNE TELLER. 197
Mrs. Warne already felt sure of drawing out everything
that she knew.
"Come hither, my daughter," said Lucille, in a clear,
Mrs. Thayer advanced falteringly, and sank into the
large chair which the sibyl pointed out.
"What would you know, my child ?" continued Lucille.
"State your errand quickly; as my time is short, to
unfold the mysteries of the future. Like the Wandering
Jew, I must forever advance upon my mission. What do
you seek to know ?"
Lucille 's powerful mind, aided by her fantastic sur-
roundings, had gained a complete ascendency over Mrs.
Thayer's superstitious nature; in a voice trembling with
emotion, she replied :
"I have come to learn my future."
" Then you must unveil ; I can tell you nothing until I
see your face," said Lucille.
Mrs. Thayer slowly removed her veil and sat motion-
less, regarding the fortune-teller as a frightened bird
watches a snake.
"You wish to know your destiny, do you?" asked
Lucille, gently. " Well, I can tell it, if the stars are
propitious ; but I must first look at your hand."
She paused and waved her wand with several mysterious
gestures over Mrs. Thayer's head ; then she swept forward
and took her hand.
"Tell me the day and hour of your birth," continued
"I was born about daybreak on the eighteenth of
198 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES,
October, 1816, replied Mrs. Thayer; "I cannot tell you
the exact hour."
"That will be sufficiently accurate for the present,"
said Lucille ; " though it may cause me much trouble in
casting your horoscope."
Lucille continued to examine the lines of the hand,
and presently commenced speaking in a low, but clear
"Your parents are dead, and also one brother; your
father passed through great dangers safely — ah! I see,
he was a sailor. You have been surrounded by other
sea-faring people; still, I cannot certainly tell what
relationship they bore to you. I shall learn all when I
cast your horoscope. Your father acquired moderate
wealth, of which you have received your share ; but you
desire more, and you are not too scrupulous as to how
you get it. Why, what means this ?"*she exclaimed, start-
ing back and fixing a piercing glance on the cowering
woman before her. " You are in danger ! Yes ; there is
danger all about you, but it is impossible to tell now how
it will end. There is a man in your trouble, who claims
to love you ; and there is a woman who comes between
you. Ah! what is she doing!" she suddenly demanded
in tragical tones, starting back with a look of terror in
Mrs. Thayer fell back as if stabbed to the heart, and
her whole attitude denoted guilty fear. Lucille, fearing
that she would faint, handed her a glass of water, which
soon revived her strength.
As soon as Mrs. Thayer had sufficiently recovered,
THE MURDERER AND FOR TUNE TELLER. 199
Lucille again took her hand and carefully examined it ;
she then continued :
" I cannot do much now, but you must come again,
when I have more time ; then I will cast your horoscope,
and will be able to tell you all you can wish to know "
Breaking off suddenly, she changed her tone and de-
manded imperiously: "Who is this woman? Is she his
enemy, or yours ? Are you sure that man loves you f"
" Oh ! yes ; I am sure he does," Mrs. Thayer replied,
"Then what is the trouble between you and this
woman ?" asked Lucille. " She is older than you, yet she
constantly crosses your path." Then, closing her eyes,
Lucille broke out passionately and rapidly, like a person
in a trance : " Why does she act so ? What is the matter
with her ? She is often interfering with you, but is always
followed by that man ; he must be her enemy. See ! a
shadow falls over her ! What does it mean ! She fades
away and vanishes — it must be death / "
" Death ! " shrieked Mrs. Thayer, and then she fell back
Lucille did everything possible to revive her visitor,
but it was some minutes before she recovered sufficiently
to be able to stand alone. She finally joined Miss Seaton,
but promised to call the next day to have her horoscope
read. She left a fee of ten dollars for the prepayment of
the labor which Lucille would be forced to perform in
reading the stars. When Miss Seaton and Mrs. Thayer
left the room, the latter was scarcely able to walk, so
much was she agitated and alarmed. They reached their
200 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
boarding house in safety, however, and Mrs. Thayer at
once retired to her room.
A large crowd of visitors had already assembled in
Madam Lucille's reception room, so that there seemed to
be a fair prospect that all the expenses of the affair would
be paid out of the fortune-teller's receipts. Indeed, from
the very first, Mrs. Warne had a great many more callers
than she could attend to ; but, by granting each one a
short interview on the first day, long enough to learn what
information they desired, it was an easy matter to satisfy
them all to an exceptional extent. I put two good
detectives at work to find out everything possible about
the parties making the inquiries, and Lucille was thus
able to astonish them with the accuracy of her knowledge
as to the past. Of course, she was at liberty to exercise
her own judgment as to her predictions for the future,
since no one could tell whether they would prove true or
When every one had gone, Mrs. Warne changed her
dress and returned to my office, where we had a hearty
laugh over the superstitious folly of the many ladies who
had consulted her. She told me many amusing secrets,
which her fair visitors had confided to her, and I learned
that some of the most fashionable people in the city had
invoked her aid. She was rather fatigued by her labors,
however, as the weather was warm, and the atmosphere
of her room, at times, became almost suffocating. She
said that she had made an engagement to admit Mrs.
Thayer the first one, the next morning.
"Very well," said I, "you have succeeded in startling
her very much indeed, and to-morrow you will be able to
THE MURDERER AND FOR TUNE TELLER. 201
do much more. Be careful, however, to warn her against
informing any one else of what you have told her, until
her whole future is determined. It will not do to have
her alarm Pattmore."
" I will caution her particularly on that point," replied
Mrs. Warne ; " I think I understand pretty well about
how far I can go without terrifying her too much. I will
send for Miss Seaton, and learn how Mrs. Thayer has
acted since visiting me."
In the afternoon, Captain Sumner came in and asked
what steps I had taken in his case. I told him that I
could not tell him what I had done, nor what I was doing;
but he could rest assured that the best talent I had was
employed in his behalf; if everything worked as I hoped,
I should accomplish the object which he sought, inside
of a month.
"Well," he replied, I should like to take Annie back to
Springfield as soon as possible ; for I fear that she is again
losing her health, and for the last day or two, she has
been quite ill. Yesterday she received a letter from Patt-
more, which I tried to snatch from her ; but she was too
quick for me, and I obtained only a small part of it. Here
it is," he continued, showing me the lower corner of a
letter; "see how he signs himself."
I took the fragment and saw the same signature as that
which Pattmore had used in his former letters : " Your
affectionate husband." The Captain went on :
" My blood got up when I read this, and I told her that
if she ever saw Pattmore again, I would shoot them both ;
that I would no longer permit her to disgrace our family.
Then she also flew into a violent passion, and said that
202 PINKER TON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
she loved Pattmore, and that he intended to marry hoi
when he next came to Chicago. As usual, she finally suc-
ceeded in appeasing my anger, and she promised to leave
Pattmore forever. I also agreed to make my will in her
favor, and we thus became friends again. I may now be
able to get her away, as she has promised to go as soon
as she is able ; but I can easily destroy my will, if she
refuses to keep her promise. What do you think about
" Well, it can't do much harm, I guess, for you are prob-
ably in no particular danger just now."
" Then I will make my will to-day. By-the-by, there
is a great fortune-teller in town ; have you seen her adver-
" Yes," I replied ; " but there is nothing unusual in that.
You can find such people here at all times."
"I know that," said the Captain; "but they are gen-
erally mere humbugs, while this one appears to be of a
different class. She has been in the East Indies, and the
fortune-tellers there are not humbugs, as I know by
experience. I shall go to see her to-morrow. I had my
fortune told once by a Hindoo in Calcutta, and he was
correct in every particular as far as he went."
After the Captain had gone away, I sent for Mrs. Warne
and told her that she would receive a visit from the Cap-
tain next day, and that she could learn all about his past
history by referring to the conversation which my steno-
grapher had taken down some time before. I then looked
over a report I had just received from Miller, who was
still watching Pattmore in Greenville. There was little of
importance in it except an account of a conversation
THE MURDERER AND FORTUNE TELLER. 203
between Miller and Pattmore, in which the latter said that
he was staking everything upon the hope of getting the
congressional nomination; if he should fail in that, he
would not remain in Greenville, but would go to Kansas
to live. Miller added that Pattmore received letters daily
from Mrs. Thayer.
I immediately wrote to Miller to secure a copy of one
of Mrs. Thayer's letters ; and, if possible, to intercept
every one of them. I felt confident that she would de-
scribe her visit to the fortune-teller in part, at least, and
I was anxious to know how much she would reveal to
him. Besides if he were disposed to be superstitious, he
would probably be more or less affected by her account,
and I might use the knowledge thus gained, to good
Late in the evening, Miss Seaton came in and told Mrs.
Warne that Mrs. Thayer had been greatly agitated by her
interview with Lucille; that she had shown great dejec-
tion and grief all the way home ; and that she had imme-
diately retired to her room, where she had thrown herself
on the bed ; that she had risen, late in the evening, and
had written a very long letter, which she had asked Miss
Seaton to put in the post-office for her, being too weak to
go out herself. Of course, Miss Seaton gave the letter to
Mrs. Warne, who immediately brought it to me. I opened
it at once and hastily read it through. It began, " My
dear husband," and went on to describe her visit to Lu-
cille. She gave a full account of all that Lucille had said,
and also related the effect which the fortune-teller's reve-
lations had had upon her. She said significantly that
Pattmore could understand how much she had been
204 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
alarmed by the references to the woman who came be-
tween them, for the inference was that Lucille meant
Mrs. Pattmore. However, she was going, she said, to
have her full fortune told the following day, and she would
write all about it in her next letter.
I had the letter copied and sent to the post-office in
time for the first mail.
I HAD sent word to my New York correspondent to
make a thorough search for Henry Thayer, as I wished
to learn definitely whether he was alive or dead. By
communicating with the London board of underwriters,
my agent learned that Henry Thayer was in command of
an English whaler in the South Sea. At the latest advices
from him, he was nearly ready to sail for England, as he
needed only a few more whales to complete his cargo. I
received this information the morning after Mrs. Thayer's
first visit to Lucille, and I communicated the news to
Mrs. Warne at once, instructing her to make the best
possible use of it in her coming interview with Mrs.
Shortly before ten o'clock the next morning, I took my
place behind the curtain. In a few minutes Mrs. Thayer
and Miss Seaton arrived, and Mrs. Thayer was promptly
admitted to Lucille's presence. She removed her veil
and sank into the visitor's chair with an expression half
of longing and half of dread. Again Lucille waved her
snaky wand, and, as before, the room was filled with the
fumes of burning incense. Lucille looked at Mrs.
Thayer's face intently, and said :
" My child, I am pleased to see you ; I have worked at
your horoscope unremittingly, but it is not completed to
206 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
my satisfaction. There is some peculiar influence about
you which prevents a clear reading of your future. Even
your past, though much of it is easily determined, seems
obscured by strange inconsistencies — not to say impossi-
bilities. Some of the results were so startling as to make
it necessary for me to refuse to reveal them, until, by a
second test, I can decide whether there was no mistake in
the solution of certain calculations. To-night, therefore,
I shall do what rarely is necessary in reading the horo-
scope of ordinary humans — I must invoke the aid of my
progenitor and master, Hermes. It is a dreadful task;
one for which I must nerve myself to meet the greatest
dangers and the most frightful scenes ; but I never shrink
from the path of duty, and I have confidence that the
sanctity of my mission will give me safe conduct, even
through the hosts of demons who must be met before I
can come face to face with the great Egyptian king."
Lucille spoke with a weird earnestness, and a far-away
look in her eyes, as if she actually realized the presence
of ghouls and goblins. Mrs. Thayer fairly shivered with
terror, but said nothing, and Lucille continued :
"I wish I dared read the whole of the horoscope as
it was divulged to me in the lone watches of last night;
but I have decided to omit all those portions where there
is a possibility that the malign spirits around you have
misinterpreted your past and future. When you were
younger, you passed your days in happiness ; you were
very handsome, and you could charm the hearts of men
without difficulty. There has been with you frequently,
during your past years, a man some years older than
yourself. He appears to have been a sailor ; and, though
THE M URDERER A ND FOR T UNE TELLER. 207
often away from you, he has always sought you out on
his return. He loves you, and is undoubtedly your true
friend ; he is unmarried, yet he does not wish to make
you his wife. He wears a peculiar ring which he obtained
in the East Indies. He often consults this ring, and it
informs him whether he is in danger or the reverse. You
do not love this sailor as well as he loves you, and he
wishes to remove you from the other man. I cannot
understand the actions of the woman whom I mentioned
yesterday; I cannot tell whether she is living or dead.
The man you love has been with her ; he gave her some-
thing in a spoon which she was forced to take. Ah! I
see ! it was a medicine, a white powder — and now begins
the obscurity. Further on, I see that he visited you;
you ran to meet him and plied him with caresses. If he
were your husband it would partly clear away the cloud.
Is it so ?"
"Yes," Mrs. Thayer at length replied, "he is my
"Well, that removes much of the uncertainty; this
woman loved that man and wished to keep him away
from you ; he gave her a powder to make her sleep, so
that he could escape from her."
Then, suddenly catching Mrs. Thayer's hand, Lucille
glanced over it rapidly, and again closely examined the
chart. Drawing back from Mrs. Thayer, she eyed her
sternly and disapprovingly.
"Who is this other man?" she asked; "he, too, is a
sailor; he is handsome; he is brave; he is an officer;
yes, he commands a ship. He has been much with you,
but he is now far away. You loved him once, but now
208 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
the other man has come between you." Then, pausing a
moment, she broke forth rapidly and harshly : " Woman,
you have tried to deceive me ! This sea captain is your
Mrs. Thayer was only able to say, as she fell back,
" He is dead ! he is "
Lucille soon revived her, and then asked whether she
was strong enough to hear the remainder of her fortune.
Mrs. Thayer signified her assent, and Lucille again
examined the chart. She first said :
" You cannot deceive me ; your husband is away at sea ;
is it not so?"
" He was my husband," said Mrs. Thayer, in a half
audible voice ; " but he went away several years ago, and
I heard that he was dead. I had fallen in love with the
other man, and, on hearing of my husband's death, I
married the man I loved. It can't be possible that Henry
"Yes, he is," replied Lucille; "and I think he is about
to return to seek for you; but the horoscope again
becomes obscure. It is as I feared ; the only means of
learning the truth will be through the aid of the dread
Hermes, whose power no demon can resist. To-morrow
you shall learn all that my art can discover about your
past and your future."
" But can you tell me no more than this to-day?" asked
Mrs. Thayer, in a vexed tone. " You have given me only
bad news. How long shall I live and be happy with my
" That man is not your husband, and you cannot long
• THE MURDERER AND FOR TUNE TELLER. 209
live happily with him. As far as the cloud permits me to
see, I can discern that something terrible is about to
happen to him. You are in danger yourself; there seems
to be a strange fatality attending your fate wherever it
comes in contact with that man ; it is especially gloomy
when complicated by tbe presence of the other woman.
As I have before told you, I cannot clearly see from this
horoscope what will be your absolute future ; but I can
tell you this much : — and, woman, weigh well my words,
for the spirit of prophecy is strong within me — your
future is dependent upon your present decision. Fate is
unchangeable, and neither seer nor sibyl can alter its
least decree ; but it is sometimes permitted to us to deter-
mine the contingent future of a person and no more. We
then say, thus and thus has been the past; the future
may be thus, or it may be so ; one course of conduct
now, will lead to this result ; the other will lead to that.
Yours is such a horoscope ; and, even with the aid of my
mighty master, I cannot expect to do anything more than
to learn definitely the two alternatives which are to be
presented to you, and the consequence of your decision
each way. To-morrow I will see you again at an early
hour, and will tell you all I have learned during the
"Can you tell me no more now?" demanded Mrs.
Thayer, impatiently. " Is it then true that my first
husband is alive?"
"It is true," replied Lucille; "and he is at present
commanding a ship far away in the South Sea, which is
the reason why you could not find him."
2 10 PINKER TON ' S DE TECTIVE STORIES.
" How do you know that I ever looked for him ?" said
Mrs. Thayer, languidly.
" No ; you did not look for him ; but the other sailor
who loves you, made inquiries for a long time. I see him
plainer now ; he must be your brother."
Mrs. Thayer had been very much awed by the imposing
manners of Lucille, and by the mystic surroundings in
which she was placed. She was now quite in Lucille's
power, and I should have proceeded to force her to reveal
the truth about Pattmore's crime, had she been stronger
physically ; but I was afraid to test her endurance too far
in one day. I had arranged a series of simple signals,
which would not attract the attention of any one but
Lucille, and I therefore signalled to her that she might
close the interview. Mrs. Thayer lifted her head to look
at Lucille a few moments after the latter had spoken of
her brother, and said :
" You are the strangest woman I have ever met. You
have told me things which I believed were known only by
myself. All that you have said is the truth ; but you do
not tell me enough. I wish to know what I must do to
make amends for all the wrong I have done. I have been
very wicked, I know."
" If you really wish to do right, there is still a prospect
that you may be happy. My duty is to show you that
you are doing wrong, and to help you to change your
course of action."
" Will you not tell me about my — "
Mrs. Thayer could not complete the sentence, but she
evidently meant Pattmore, so Lucille said '•
" Yes, my child ; I will tell you all to-morrow ; but I
THE MURDERER AND FOR T UNE TELLER. 21 1
think you are unable to bear more at present. I will
point out two paths, and will show you where each one
of them leads : then, if you wish, I will give you my
advice; after that, all will depend upon yourself. You
can be happy again, if you decide to follow my counsel."
"Indeed, I will try to do so," replied Mrs. Thayer. "I
have suffered myself to be led astray ; but, hereafter, I
will be guided by you. I never before heard a fortune-
teller who could talk as you do, — you give such good
" I endeavor to use my powers for the good of man-
kind," said Lucille, solemnly. "I speak only what I
know to be true. When I have told you all, you must
decide upon your course ; and, if you choose the right
one, you will, doubtless, be very happy. Be careful that
you do not reveal to any one the knowledge you have this
day learned from me ; when you have heard all, you can
tell as much as you please. Farewell, my child; be
here promptly at ten o'clock to-morrow, for my time is
Mrs. Thayer withdrew, joined Miss Seaton in the
reception room, and they returned home. Lucille then
received in rapid succession the visitors who had made,
appointments the previous day. She had a note-book
filled with information obtained by my detectives, and
she was thus enabled to satisfy them all immediately ; or
else, to postpone telling their fortunes until the next
day. Then the new arrivals were admitted long enough
to tell what they wished to know, after which they each
received appointments for the next day. When all were
disposed of, Lucille came into the back room to change
212 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
her dress. I congratulated her upon her success, and
was about to withdraw with my stenographer, when the
usher came in and said that a gentleman desired an
audience. From his description, I felt confident that
Captain Sumner was the person who had arrived. I
therefore begged Lucille to give him a full sitting, and to
read his past for him very thoroughly.
" By the way," I added, " you recollect that while he
was away at sea, his sweetheart, Miss Curtis, married a
wealthy New York banker, named Agnew. Well, I saw
a notice the other day of the death of a banker of that
name in New York, and I feel sure that his old flame is
now a widow. I want you to refer to this fact in telling
"Oh! well," said Lucille, with some vexation, "I'm
rather tired of the business already, and I don't care to
spend the whole afternoon in that hot room ; so I shall
get rid of him as soon as he is satisfied. If you want to
tell me anything, make a sound like the gnawing of a rat,
and I will come out."
Accordingly, I resumed my place at the door, with
my stenographer close beside me, and the Captain was
ushered into Lucille's room. She motioned to him to be
seated, and then asked, in her most commanding tones :
" What can you learn from Lucille that you have not
already learned from the Hindoo of Calcutta?"
The Captain regarded her for an instant in reverent
amazement ; but, finally, he said :
" I see that you know my past, and that you are truly
one of those who can read the fate of others. I am in
trouble, and I wish to know when I shall escape from it,
THE MURDERER AND FOR TUNE TELLER. 213
if ever. The Hindoo told me much, but I would know
Without further conversation, except to ask the day
and hour of his birth, Lucille proceeded to pore over a
chart and to examine his hand. Finally, she gazed at
him steadily a few minutes, and said :
" What I have to say is the truth alone ; if it be painful
to you, it is because the truth is not always pleasant.
Listen calmly, therefore, to the words which the stars
declare to be true : Your parents are both dead ; your
father was a sea-captain, and he brought you up in the
same profession. On one of his cruises, a Sepoy pre-
sented him with three rings, one of which you now wear ;
its powers are very great, and it has frequently rendered
you important services; take care that you lose it not.
It has even saved your life. Yes," she continued, after
closely examining the palm of his left hand ; " your life
has been attempted three separate times lately. You
have two sisters living ; one of them is happily married
and lives in comfort in an eastern State; the other
married a sea-captain, but she does not live with her
husband. She is with you, and is in poor health. Why !
is it possible!" she exclaimed, suddenly. "It was your
sister who made the attempt on your life ! You may not
suspect that your young and charming sister, whom you
so deeply love, could have been guilty of such an act ;
but, unless my powers have failed me so that I cannot
read the stars aright, such is the fact. Wait ; lest I should
have made a mistake, I will try again. It seems too
-horrible to be believed."
21 4 PINKER TON'S DE TECT1 VE STORIES.
The Captain had buried his face in his hands ; but
now he looked up and said :
" It is unnecessary to try again ; you are right. I see
that you are one of the gifted ones of this world, and I
wish you to tell me all ; I can bear it."
Lucille continued her examination of the Captain's hand
as she went on speaking :
" Your sister still has the same kind of poison with her
which she used before. She does not intend to use it
herself — she has no motive for committing suicide ; but
she may intend to give it to you again. You must be
careful, for that is your greatest danger. Your principal
trouble for some time has been caused by that sister. She
no longer loves her husband, who has wholly disappeared
from your knowledge, and she professes to believe that
he is dead. This is not the case, however : he is now in
command of an English whaling ship in the South Sea,
and he will soon return to England."
At this, the Captain sprang up in a whirl of excitement
and joy. In relating the story to me the next day, he said
that he felt like taking Lucille in his arms and giving her
a genuine sailor hug ; but she looked so fierce and wicked
that he got the idea that she was a genuine witch ; and he
was afraid that her beautiful white hands would turn into
claws, and that she would soon make a meal of him, if
she felt so disposed.
When he sat down again, Lucille again scanned the
chart and compared it with his hand. She seemed very
much disturbed at the revelations, and, at length, she
" Your troubles are so closely interwoven with those of
THE MURDERER AND FORTUNE TELLER. 215
your sister that I cannot separate them ; but I never saw
a horoscope so full of frightful scenes — I do not wish to
go on with it."
" Please do not stop," said the Captain ; " I feel that you
have the power to tell me all, and I must know it. I will
pay you anything you ask," he added, taking out a roll of
" My fees are invariable," said Lucille, drawing herself
up haughtily. "You insult me by suggesting that I need
to be paid extra to tell the truth."
"I beg your pardon," replied the Captain excitedly;
" but I hope you will not refuse to tell me all you know.
I can bear it, I assure you."
" Know then that your sister is deeply in love with a
very bad man, who lives two or three hundred miles from
here. She became acquainted with him in the East and
he seduced her, though he was a married man, living with
his lawful wife. To quiet your sister's scruples, he had a
marriage ceremony performed ; but, of course, it had no
legal value, since both of the parties were already married.
She became enceinte by this man, and she caused the pre-
mature removal of the evidence of her shame by an abor-
tion. This crime you connived at, though you did not
advise it. But the worst is not yet told : this wicked man,
finding that you were determined to prevent him from
seeing your sister, resolved to inurder his wife, and to marry
your sister legally, supposing that her husband was dead.
He accomplished part of his design by poisoning his wife ;
but he has not yet been able to carry out the whole of his
plan. He is now in danger, but he knows it not. He
will soon be arrested and tried for murder. If you can
216 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
succeed in uniting your sister and her lawful husband,
they may be able to forget the past and live together hap-
pily. All, however, depends upon her. At present she
is in deep distress, but the effect of it will be good for her.
There is a strong hope that she may be led to see the
character of her wicked lover in its true light, and that
she may return penitently to the arms of her husband,
if he will receive her."
" Oh ! he will, I know he will," said the Captain.
" Then, when that happens, your troubles will be at an
end. Now I can tell you but little more, as I have a great
task to perform, and I must be left alone."
On hearing Lucille say this, I immediately gave the
signal, as agreed, and she made an excuse to leave the
room for a moment.
" What more do you want ?" she asked.
" You have forgotten to tell him about his old sweet-
heart, Mrs. Agnew."
"Oh! let me skip that," said Lucille impatiently, "I
am nearly exhausted, and I cannot stand the atmosphere
of that room much longer."
" Just tell the Captain about Mrs. Agnew, and then you
will be through work for the day. Try to send him off
happy," I pleaded.
" Oh ! yes ; that is always the way : provided the Cap-
tain goes away happy, you don't care what becomes of me.
Well, I suppose I must ; but I will never undertake such
a role again."
When Lucille returned to the Captain, he was sitting
with his face buried in his hands; but he looked up
THE MURDERER AND FORTUNE TELLER. 217
instantly and asked whether she had anything more to tell
She looked at the chart for a few minutes and then
" In your youth, you loved a lady of great beauty, and
she returned your love ; but while you were away at sea,
her parents made her believe that you were false to her.
They wished her to marry a wealthy banker, and, in a fit
of pique, she accepted him. She has always loved you in
secret, however, and now that her husband is dead — "
"Is that so?" ejaculated the Captain, springing up in
"Yes," replied Lucille ; " he died a short time ago, and
she is now passing her widowhood in New York. She is
stouter th;in she was, but she is still handsome, and she
has never ceased to love you. This completes the reading
of your horoscope."
The Captain rose to go, but paused to express his feel-
ings. He spoke slowly and with great emotion, since
Lucille had completely secured his confidence.
" Madam, I thank you from my heart for the revelations
you have made to me. I know that most of the things
you have told me are true, and I am satisfied of the truth
of the rest also. I should like to pay you in proportion
to the value of your words to me." So saying he went
out quickly, leaving one hundred dollars on the table.
I found that Lucille's fame was becoming uncomforta-
bly great, since the reception-room was thronged with
eager inquirers, who insisted on seeing her, even after
the close of her office hours. I, therefore, arranged
218 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
with Mr. Bangs, my general superintendent, to have a
crowd of my own employees constantly in attendance, so
that outsiders, seeing so many others waiting for an audi-
ence, would not remain. By this means, Lucille was able
thereafter, to receive as many, or as few, as she chose, and
her labors were greatly lightened.
AFTER the interview with Lucille, Mrs. Thayer
returned to her boarding-house with Miss Seaton,
and invited the latter to spend the day with her. She
said that she was low-spirited and wanted company to
keep off the "blues." She was very nervous, and she
could not take an interest in anything. She said several
times that Lucille was the most wonderful person she
had ever met, and that she had heard things which con-
vinced her of Lucille's supernatural powers ; but she
carefully avoided stating anything definite relative to the
revelations made to her. Finally she commenced to
write a long letter, and Miss Seaton became absorbed in
After some time the Captain came in, looking very
solemn, and Miss Seaton saw that he wished to have a
private talk with Mrs, Thayer. Accordingly she rose to
leave the room, remarking that she was going down town
in the evening and would like to have Mrs. Thayer
accompany her. Miss Seaton knew that it was very
improbable that Mrs. Thayer would go, on account of the
fatigue and excitement of the morning; but she hoped
that the latter would give her the letter to put in the
post-office. On hearing the approach of the Captain,
Mrs. Thayer had hastily concealed her writing materials,
thus showing that she was writing to Pattmore. On
220 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
entering her own room, Miss Seaton took a seat close by
a door which connected the two rooms. This door was
nailed up and the cracks had been rilled with cotton;
but she quickly pulled out the filling and obtained an
excellent opening to hear all the conversation in the next
The Captain first asked his sister when she would be
ready to return to Springfield with him. She replied
that she would go as soon as she felt able to stand
"Annie," said he, in an impressive manner, "I fear
that you are deceiving me, and that you intend to do me
harm. Why do you seek my life? You know that I
have done all I could for you, and that I will continue to
do so. Why, then, do you wish to poison me ? I know
that you have poison with you, and that I am the only
one for whom it can be intended."
"No, no, you are wrong," replied Mrs. Thayer, in
trembling tones ; " you are my brother, and why should I
wish to injure you?"
"Annie, I know that you have poison about you," said
the Captain, firmly, " and I am afraid to remain with you
any longer. I have forgiven you once, but now it is my
duty to cast you off; you are plotting to take my life"
" Who told you this ? What reason have I given you
for thinking so?" demanded Mrs. Thayer.
" I have been to see a wonderful fortune-teller,
The words had no more than passed her lips, when he
was interrupted by an exclamation of terror and surprise
from Mrs. Thayer, who started to her feet and then fell
THE MURDERER AND FOR TUNE TELLER. 221
back upon the sofa, fainting. The Captain was much
alarmed at the effect of his remark, and he could not
understand why she had fainted at the mere mention of
the source of his information. However, he did not
spend any time in trying to account for her terror ; his
first action was to bathe her temples with cold water, in
order to restore her to consciousness. When she had
partly revived, she lay on the sofa with her eyes closed,
as if she had no strength left. Finally she spoke in a
weak voice, without looking at her brother :
" Was it a fortune-teller who told you what you have
just accused me of?"
"Yes," replied the Captain, "and I know that she
speaks the truth." •
" My God !" exclaimed Mrs. Thayer, " how could that
woman have known that? Well, it is true that I have
some poison, though, as God is my judge, it was not meant
for you ; but, I was resolved that if I could not escape
from my present misery, I would take it myself. Never,
for an instant, did I intend it for you."
"In either case, Annie, I must have the poison."
Mrs. Thayer rose with great effort, and, going to her
trunk, produced a small package labeled " POISON," in
conspicuous letters. She handed it to the Captain, and
he said :
" I will now destroy this package and thus remove all
temptation from you ; let us both thank God that you
have been prevented from carrying out your design. O,
Annie ! may this be the last time that I ever shall have
reason to doubt you. The fortune-teller whom I men-
tioned is a wonderful woman. I learned from her many
222 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
things which I will tell you when you are strong enough
to hear them."
" I should like you to tell me very much," said Mrs.
Thayer, eagerly ; " perhaps she could tell my fortune, if
I should visit her."
"Yes, indeed; she could tell you all your past and
future; you ought to go there."
" Well, I guess I will try to go to-morrow, if I am
strong enough," said Mrs. Thayer.
The Captain kissed her tenderly, and said :
" Annie, never again follow the advice of an evil coun-
sellor ; you will never be happy while you continue in a
path which you know to be wrong. The fortune-teller
had good news for us both, and all will go well if you will
only be guided by the wishes of your true friends, who
love you and who desire to save you from sorrow."
The Captain then went out and left Mrs. Thayer dozing
on the sofa.
In the evening, after supper, Miss Seaton went to Mrs.
Thayer's room to see whether the latter wished to take a
walk. Mrs. Thayer was not able to go out, but she asked
Miss Seaton to put a letter in the post-office for her.
Miss Seaton took the letter and brought it straight to Mrs.
Warne, who delivered it to me at once. I opened it and
read it aloud to my stenographer, who took down its
contents as fast as the words fell from my lips.
The letter contained a full account of Mrs. Thayer's
second visit to Lucille, and it betrayed great fear of dis-
covery and punishment. She said that she had thought
their secret to be perfectly safe, but now she knew that
there was at least one person who could disclose their
THE MURDERER AND FOR TUNE TELLER. 233
guilt to the world, since that person had the power of
finding out everything. She begged him to come to
Chicago, to see Lucille, and have his fortune told ; he
would then learn the wonderful extent of her powers, and
would be able to decide what was the best course to
pursue. She thought he ought to fly for safety at once,
since the fortune-teller predicted that he was in great
danger. As for herself, she expected to go East soon, as
her brother was anxious to start. If Pattmore did not
come to Chicago immediately she might never see him
again ; she could not bear the idea of separation, but she
knew that it must come. It was evident that Mrs. Thayer
had wholly forgotten Lucille's injunction to maintain
silence upon the subject of her revelations, and I debated
an instant whether I should send the letter ; but I finally
decided to let it go, as he would receive it too late to
interfere with my plans, even if he should come to
Chicago. I sent a letter to Miller by the same mail,
telling him to keep a strict watch on Pattmore, as I feared
that he might leave Greenville suddenly. In case of such
a movement Miller must telegraph to me instantly.
Miller's reports for several days had been to the effect
that Pattmore was working very hard to secure the Con-
gressional nomination, but that he seemed very much
troubled about some other matter. He had changed his
mind about going West, and had asked Miller to go to
Galveston, Texas, with him, in case he failed to get the
nomination. Although he still had hosts of friends, he
did not confide his plans to any one except Miller. This
showed me that there would be but little probability that
Pattmore would come to Chicago without Miller's knowl-
234 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
edge. That same evening Miller sent me a telegram
stating that Pattmore had just received a long letter, evi-
dently from Mrs. Thayer ; on reading it he had shown
great excitement, and had afterwards become gloomy and
dejected to an unusual degree. Miller wished to know
whether I had any special instructions about the letter.
As this was the letter which Miss Seaton had secured the
day before, I replied that he need not trouble himself
about it, but that he must keep a close watch upon
Pattmore, and endeavor to retain him in Greenville as
long as possible.
By the early mail next morning I received a letter from
Dr. Stuart, of Greenville ; having finished the work upon
which he had been engaged, he had begun the analysis
of Mrs. Pattmore's bowels ; he said that he would let me
know the result within a few days.
The whole affair was now gradually drawing to a focus,
and I felt confident of a successful termination. I there-
fore instructed Mrs. Warne to describe me to Mrs. Thayer,
and to say that I was watching her movements constantly.
About nine o'clock that morning Mrs. Thayer went out
as usual with Miss Seaton, and they proceeded straight to
Lucille's rooms. They were the first arrivals, and Mrs.
Thayer was admitted to Lucille's presence at once ; but
Miss Seaton immediately went back to her boarding-
house, as I wished to have Mrs. Thayer return home
alone. Mrs. Thayer was in a more impressionable state
than ever before. The day was dark and lowering,
showing every sign of an approaching storm; outside
there had been the noisy bustle of active business life,
while within the limits of Lucille's mystic chamber all
THE MURDERER AND FOR TUNE TELLER. 225
was hushed in a deathly silence. The monotonous
swinging of the lamps, the perfume-laden air, the ghastly
skeletons, and the imperious bearing and powerful will
of Lucille — all struck upon her imagination with resist-
less force. As she sank into the seat which Lucille
pointed out, she felt like a criminal entering the prisoner's
dock for trial. She felt that she must relieve herself from
her load of guilt or she would forever suffer the torments
"Well, my child," said Lucille, in her most solemn
tones, " to-day you have come to learn all, and I trust
that you have nerved yourself to sustain the revelations
which I have to make. I have been through many diffi-
culties and terrible dangers since I last saw you, and a
very sad story has been laid before me. Your situation
is one of great peril, and upon your own decision this
day will rest your hopes of happiness hereafter. Still,
you must not be cast down ; if you will only resolve to do
what is right, your sorrows will gradually pass away,
while health and happiness will steadily return to you.
Your worst crime was the destruction of your unborn
child, for that was a sin against nature herself; but true
repentanoe will save you from the effects of that sin,
further than you have already suffered."
This was the first time Lucille had mentioned the fact
that she knew of the abortion ; yet it seemed perfectly
natural to Mrs. Thayer that Lucille should know it;
hence, beyond turning very pale at the memory of her
suffering, she did not manifest any special emotion on
hearing Lucille 's words.
226 PINKER TON'S DE TECTIVE S TORIES.
The sibyl continued speaking as she gazed, first at Mrs.
Thayer's hand, and then at the chart :
" This man, whom you so wrongly love, does not return
you the affection of a true husband ; he loves you only
for selfish, sensual purposes ; he will fondle you as a
plaything for a few years, and then he will cast you off for
a younger and more handsome rival, even as he has
already put away his first wife for your sake. If you do
not give him up now, some day he will throw you aside
or trample you under foot. Think you he will fear to do
in the future what he has done in the past ? When he
wearies of you, have you any doubt that he will murder
you as he has already murdered his wife ?"
Lucille had spoken in a rapid, sibilant whisper, lean-
ing forward so as to bring her eyes directly before Mrs.
Thayer's face, and the effect was electrical. Mrs. Thayer
struggled for a moment, as if she would rise, and then fell
back and burst into tears. This was a fortunate relief,
since she would have fainted if she had not obtained
some mode of escape for her pent-up feelings. Seeing
that there was no further danger of overpowering Mrs.
Thayer, as long as she was able to cry, Lucille con-
"Yes, the heartless villain murdered his] wife by
poisoning her. I can see it all as it occurred; it is a
dreadful scene, yet I know that it must be true — a woman
of middle age is lying in bed; she has evidently been
very handsome, but now she shows signs of a long illness ;
your lover, her husband, enters, and he wishes to give
her some medicine; but see, she motions him away,
though she is unable to speak ; she must know that he is
THE MURDERER AND FOR TUNE TELLER. 227
going to poison her ; yet she cannot help herself, and the
nurse does not suspect his design. Now he has given
her the poison, and she is writhing in an agony of pain.
He professes to be much afflicted, and, oh, heavens!
with the treachery of Judas, he attempts to kiss her !
Now it is all over ; with one last, reproachful look, she
has passed to that land where 'the wicked cease from
troubling, and the weary are at rest.' She is dead, and
her husband is her murderer."
"Oh! for God's sake, spare me, spare me!" exclaimed
Mrs. Thayer, between her sobs. " I cannot listen to the
description of such a death-bed scene without horror. I
know I have been very guilty, but I shall try to make
amends in the future. Have pity on me, I beg of you,
and do not overwhelm me with such terrible scenes."
"You must hear all," said Lucille, firmly. " There are
two more acts in this tragedy to which you must listen ;
the first is a weird scene in a church-yard by night, and
the clear starlight only half reveals the actors ; there are
three men engaged in digging at this woman's grave;
yes, even in death, her body cannot rest in peace. Near
by lies the corpse of another woman, whose cold, white
face is turned up mutely to the silent stars ; now the men
reach the coffin and try to drag it from the grave. What
is their object ? Ah ! I see ! they wish to substitute one
corpse for the other, so that the poison will never be dis-
covered in case of an inquest upon the body of the mur-
dered woman. Suddenly three other men rush upon the
grave-diggers before they have been able to pull the
coffin from the grave; a chase ensues, and pistol-shots are
fired ; but finally the resurrectionists escape, though they
228 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
have been foiled in their purpose. The last scene is the
inquest : the coffin is brought in, but the murderer dare
not look upon the face of his victim ; a sham investiga-
tion is held, and he is cleared by the verdict of the jury;
but other watchful eyes have been regarding the proceed-
ings ; keen detectives have been at work, and they now
step in, unknown to the public, and take quiet possession
of the corpse ; the stomach is removed for analysis, and
a chemist of great reputation takes charge of it ; poison
has been found ; positive proof of your lover's guilt have
been obtained, and he will suffer the penalty of his crime.
You also are in danger, but if you tell the truth, you will
As Lucille impetuously placed before Mrs. Thayer the
occurrences which my investigations had disclosed, it
seemed to the latter as if she were the victim of a horri-
ble nightmare. She felt that she was surrounded by
unseen foes, who were gradually tightening the toils in
which she and Pattmore had become entangled. She
was neither brave nor self-sacrificing; she had a sensitive
dread of exposure, trial, and punishment, which was
aggravated by a knowledge of guilt and an uncertainty
as to the extent to which she had become legally liable ;
also, she had none of the spirit of devoted affection which
sometimes prompts a woman to bear the greatest hard-
ships for the sake of the man she loves ; hence, she was
ready to do anything to save herself, even at the expense
of Pattmore's life. As Lucille concluded her terrible
recital, Mrs. Thayer shrieked in an agony of remorse and
" Oh, have mercy on me ! I am lost ! I am lost ! Tell
THE MURDERER AND FOR T UNE TELLER. 229
me what I can do to escape punishment ; I will obey you
wholly — I will do anything you tell me. Oh, save me,
save me ! I know you can if you will."
It was some time before Lucille could restore her to a
quiet state of mind, but at length her sobs ceased and
Lucille continued :
" The worst is now past, and if you will return to your
brother and confess all, he will forgive you. When you
are called upon to tell what you know about this wicked
man, you must do so without reserve. You will never
see him again except in prison. If you do as your
brother wishes, you will regain your light heart and sweet
disposition; your real husband will come back to you,
and your future will be one of happiness."
Mrs. Thayer sat motionless, with her face buried in her
shawl ; occasionally a long, choking sob would make her
whole frame quiver, but otherwise she gave hardly a sign
" Let me see your face," commanded Lucille.
As Mrs. Thayer slowly raised her tear-stained counte-
nance, Lucille gazed intently into her eyes, and again
examined the lines of her hand ; then she went on
" There is another man near you, whose presence you
do not suspect ; neither have you ever seen him ; but
he is watching you all the time. You will soon meet
him, for he wishes to talk with you. He is only of
medium height, but he is very well built and powerful;
he has a full face, ruddy complexion, brown hair, and gray
eyes ; he wears full whiskers all around his face, and his
•expression is kindly but resolute. He is a very deter-
280 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
mined man, and when he tries to do anything he never
gives up until he has accomplished his object. He has
great power, and if you follow his counsel he can save
you from harm ; but you must trijst him fully and tell
him the whole truth, for he can instantly detect any
falsehood or evasion, and he will be very dangerous to
you if you try to deceive him. This is all I have to tell
you at present, my child ; I wish you well, but I cannot
devote more time to you. I hope you will give heed to
what I have told you, and that you will decide to follow
the right path. There are many now awaiting an audi-
ence with me, and I must hasten to admit them, since I
cannot tarry long in one city. I have been here now
some time, and I must soon journey on ; the waste places
of the far West call to me — yea, even the deserts of the
barren hills. I must plunge into solitude for a time, to
commune with Nature."
Then, raising her arms, Lucille placed both hands
lightly on Mrs. Thayer's head and said, solemnly :
" May the Spirit of Eternal Truth go with thee, my
child, to guide thee forevermore ! Farewell."
When Mrs. Thayer looked up, after a few minutes of
silence, Lucille had disappeared, having slipped into the
room where I and my stenographer were listening. See-
ing that the fortune-teller had dismissed her, Mrs. Thayer
drew down her heavy veil and left the room. One of my
men was stationed .at the front door to watch her move-
ments, so that when I joined him, after a few minutes
hurried talk with Lucille, he pointed out to me the direc-
tion she had taken. I hastened down the street until I
caught sight of her ; then, seeing that she was on her way
THE MURDERER AND FOR TUNE TELLER. 231
back to her boarding-house, I decided not to speak to
her just then. The street was quite crowded, and I pre-
ferred not to risk having a scene in the presence of so
many spectators. Therefore I walked at a safe distance
behind her until she was across the bridge ; but, on
reaching a quiet neighborhood, I overtook her and said :
"Mrs. Thayer, I believe?"
It must be remembered that she had no acquaintances
in Chicago except her fellow-boarders ; hence my recog-
nition of her would have startled her, even had she never
been told to expect me. But, as it was, my appearance
gave her a great shock, since she was at that moment re-
volving in her mind the information given her by Lucille.
Therefore, when she was addressed by a stranger, whom
she at once recognized as the man about whom Lucille
had given her a forewarning, she was struck almost
speechless with fear. She could only ejaculate :
" Oh ! God help me ! that man has come !"
I saw she was nearly ready to faint, so I took her arm
and said :
" Mrs. Thayer, I wish you to accompany me to my
She was so weak that I supported her a short distance
until one of my men, who had remained within call, could
bring a hack. I then helped Mrs. Thayer into the car-
riage and told the driver to proceed at once to my office.
Mrs. Thayer said nothing, and showed no objection to
my wishes ; but she was greatly alarmed, and she could
not take her eyes off my face. She had a sort of helpless,
questioning look, which I was glad to see, since it was
evidence that she was now wholly under my control.
232 PINKERTOWS DETECTIVE STORIES.
When the carriage stopped, I assisted her to walk up
stairs into my private office, where my stenographer had
already taken a position to hear without being seen. I
gave her a comfortable chair, and handed her a glass of
water, for I saw that she was very faint. As soon as her
color began to show that she had revived I said :
" Mrs. Thayer, you perceive that I am well acquainted
with you. I am sorry that you are in trouble, and I wish
to be your friend, if you will allow me to be so ; all I ask
is that you tell me the whole truth about all your diffi-
"Are you really my friend?" she asked, in a trembling
voice ; " can I rely upon what you say, and be sure that
you will not take advantage of me ? Oh, sir, my heart
seems ready to break, and I know not what to think. I
am a poor, weak woman, completely in your power."
"You need have no fear of me," I replied, "I know
nearly everything relative to your troubles, but I wish
you to tell me all the facts ; then I shall know precisely
what to do to help you. It is possible to raise a criminal
charge against you, but it is my desire to prevent that ;
therefore, you must tell me everything, without any reser-
" Who are you ?" she asked, after a few moments of
thought. " You have not told me your name, yet I know
you ; I have heard of you before, and I know it will be
useless for me to try to hide anything from you, but I
would like to know your name."
"My name is Pinkerton," I answered, " but I cannot
tell you how I know you, nor why I take an interest in
your affairs. I wish you to give me a full account of your
THE MURDERER AND FOR TUNE TELLER. 233
relations with Pattmore ever since your first acquaintance
I then gave her a glass of wine to strengthen her, and
asked her to proceed. As she spoke at first in a very low
voice, I professed to be hard of hearing, in order that she
should speak loud enough for my stenographer to hear
She first referred to her early married life, when she
was perfectly happy in Henry's love ; then she said that
he made several very long voyages, and when he came
home he remained only a few days each time. During
one of these voyages, she met Pattmore and his wife in
Brooklyn, and they became well acquainted. Afterward
Pattmore frequently came to Brooklyn alone, and he
always spent much of his time in her society. She did
not realize the danger of his intercourse at first; but,
gradually, he began to make love to her, and, finally, he
accomplished her ruin. Thenceforward she was wholly
under his control, especially after Henry's desertion of
her. He brought her to his own hotel on the plea that
she would be company for his wife, and she lived as his
mistress, in fact, though not outwardly, until her brother
came to take her away. Her brother succeeded in
awakening her remorse, and she determined to return to
Connecticut with him. Pattmore, however, opposed this
action very strongly, and offered to marry her immedi-
ately, saying that his wife was sure to die soon from quick
consumption, since all her family had died of that disease
at about her age. They were therefore secretly married,
and she then wrote to her brother that she should not
return to Connecticut. When she discovered that she
234 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
was enceinte she was much alarmed, and she again decided
to return to her brother after the abortion had been per-
formed, but Pattmore had a strong control over her still.
As soon as she was able to go out, after her illness, Patt-
more wrote to her to get a certain prescription put up by
a druggist. She did so, and then sent the powders to
him. In a short time Pattmore came to Chicago and told
her that he had arranged to poison his wife. She was
very much shocked at first, but he told her that Mrs.
Pattmore could only live about a year anyhow, and that
she would suffer a great deal during her rapid decline ;
hence he argued that there could be no harm in hasten-
ing her death to save her from many weeks of pain. He
said that he had already commenced to poison her, using
small doses, so as to break down her system gradually.
While he was there Captain Sumner came back from the
East, and he was very angry at Mrs. Thayer for permit-
ting Pattmore to visit her. Then Pattmore told her to
poison her brother in order that she might inherit his
property. This proposition perfectly horrified her, as
she really loved her brother ; but Pattmore said that they
never could live together as long as Captain Sumner was
alive, and that he was afraid the Captain would some day
get into a passion and kill them both. In this way he
worked on her feelings until she agreed to give her brother
some of the powder which she had sent to Greenville.
Accordingly she made three attempts to poison her
brother, but fortunately she was not successful. Pattmore
then returned to Greenville, and soon afterward his wife
died. He had visited her only once since that time, but
they corresponded regularly. He was very guarded in his
THE MURDERER AND FOR TUNE TELLER. 235
letters as to what he said about his wife's death, but she
knew that he had carried out his plan, because he had
told her so distinctly when he last saw her. He said
that he had given her small doses every day until she
died ; but the doctor believed that she had died of dys-
entery, so that he was all safe.
When she had finished, I said :
"Well, Mrs. Thayer, I suppose you are aware that you
are not legally Pattmore's wife?"
"Yes, I am," she said, with a sort of blind persistency;
" his first wife is dead, and as I was legally married to
him I am now his wife."
" No, Mrs. Thayer," I replied, " I will show you that
your pretended marriage was no marriage at all ; when it
took place Pattmore's wife was alive, and he could not
contract a second legal marriage; again, you have no
evidence that your husband is dead, and it is therefore
probable that you could not marry again legally. Hence,
as he certainly committed bigamy, and as you probably
have done the same, there could be no legal marriage
"Yes, Mr. Pinkerton," she acknowledged, sadly, "I
know you are right, but still I cling to that belief. If I
could be sure that Henry was alive, I should not regard
Pattmore as my husband ; but, as his wife is dead, and
Henry is also dead to me, I shall think that I am Patt-
"Well, you can have your doubts set at rest very soon,"
said I, for I have received letters from England saying
that Henry is on his return from a whaling voyage in the
236 PINKER TON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
" Is that so ?" gasped Mrs. Thayer. " Well, I was told
that, but I could hardly believe it. Oh, what shall I do ?
It was all my fault that Henry left me; he loved me
truly, and I once loved him. Oh, if he would only forgive
me, and love me, I might hope to be happy again ; but I
fear he can never pardon the wrongs I have done him."
" Do not despair, Mrs. Thayer," I said ; " Henry may
be willing to forgive and forget if you show yourself
ready to return his affection. However, the first busi-
ness is to circumvent Pattmore, and you must lend your
"What are you going to do with me?" she asked, in a
"I shall let you go home," I replied ; "but I shall keep
a strict watch upon your actions, and if you show a spirit
of true repentance, I will shield you from the penalties
of your crimes. You will be called upon to testify in
court against Pattmore, and then your brother will take
you to his farm in Connecticut. You can go now, but
your brother must come here and become responsible for
your appearance when wanted. One thing more, Mrs.
Thayer; you are receiving letters from Pattmore every-
day ; now, I wish you to send me all his letters without
opening or answering them. If you attempt to deceive
me in anything I shall be obliged to put you in prison."
"Oh, no, no!" she said, eagerly; "you can trust me, I
assure you, for I know that I am in your power ; a fortune-
teller told me so."
"Well, well, I don't care anything about fortune-
tellers — I never saw one that wasn't a humbug — but you
may depend upon it that I cannot be deceived, and I will
THE MURDERER AND FOR TUNE TELLER. 237
not be trifled with. You can go home now and tell your
brother to come over here to become your security."
So saying, I called a carriage and sent her home in
charge of one of my men. On returning to my office, I
found Mrs. Warne awaiting me. I complimented her
very highly on her success, and told her that she need
not continue the business of fortune-telling more than a
day or two longer. I told her to be careful not to receive
Mrs. Thayer again, however, but to instruct the usher to
tell her that Madam Lucille never received any lady a
second time after having completed her horoscope.
In about half an hour Captain Sumner came in. I told
him that I was now master of the situation, and that I
would make a decided move in a day or two.
" Yes," said the Captain, " Annie has told me a great
deal, and she says that I must become responsible for
her, and guarantee that she shall not leave town. How
have you accomplished all this? I cannot understand it."
" Some day perhaps I will tell you all about it," I
replied, " but I cannot do so just now. I wish you to
bring your sister here to-morrow morning ; I will prepare
an affidavit for her to sign, and then we shall soon have
Pattmore under arrest."
"Well, if you will only have him punished as he
deserves," said the Captain, " I shall consider no reward
too great for you. He is a snake in the grass, who has
ruined my sister, and covered our family with shame.
Now I want revenge."
"I shall do all in my power to have him punished," I
said ; " and I am very well pleased to see the end so near.
238 PINKERTON'S DETECTIVE STORIES.
By the way, you might write to Mr. Chapman to inform
him of our success."
"I will, indeed," said the Captain, enthusiastically;
"if it had not been for him, I never should have thought
of coming to you, Mr. Pinkerton."
" Well, good-day, Captain ; come here with Mrs. Thayer
about ten o'clock to-morrow morning."
I immediately placed the facts before my lawyer, and
requested him to prepare an affidavit for Mrs. Thayer to
make relative to Pattmore's guilt. The next morning it
was ready, and Mrs. Thayer swore to the facts as therein
set forth. I then told the Captain to remain in Chicago
until I should send for him, and that evening I took the
train for Greenville.
On my arrival there I called on Dr. Stuart and learned
that his analysis had been finished that day. He had
found enough poison in Mrs. Pattmore's bowels to make
it certain that she had died from that cause, and not
from natural disease. I then made an affidavit, charging
Pattmore with murder, and I also filed Mrs. Thayer's
affidavit in the court. Everything was done quietly, so
that Pattmore was arrested before any one except the
sheriff and the judge knew that a warrant had been
issued. The arrest created immense excitement ; a bitter
political campaign was in progress, and it was charged,
as before, that the arrest was made for political effect.
The grand jury was in session, however, and I sent for
Captain Sumner and Mrs. Thayer at once. The testi-
mony of Mrs. Thayer, the nurse, and the grave-diggers,
made a pretty strong case; but when I clinched the
THE MURDERER AND FORTUNE TELLER. 239
whole matter with the testimony of Dr. Stuart, there was
no longer any doubt in the minds of the jury as to
Pattmore's guilt. He was immediately indicted for
murder in the first degree, and was consigned to prison
to await trial.
The trial took place very soon afterward, and the
lawyers for the defense made a very strong fight to clear
their client. They were successful to the extent of saving
him from execution, but he was sentenced to a term of ten
years in the penitentiary.
SOME years after Pattmore was sentenced, I was
walking down Broadway, New York, when I hap-
pened to meet Captain Sumner. Our greetings were
very cordial, and I invited him to visit me at my New
"I shall be very glad, indeed, to come," he said; "I
often think of you, and I can never forget how much I
am indebted to you. By the way, I should like to bring
a friend with me."
"Do so, by all means," I replied; "I shall always be
glad to see any of your friends. But how is Mrs. Thayer ?
Do you intend to bring her to see me ?"
"No; she is not in this country now," he answered,
with a pleasant smile ; " but she was in good health when
I last heard from her, and was very happy, indeed.
Henry Thayer returned to the United States about a
month after we had settled down on my farm, and he
immediately came to see me. I need not tell you how
delighted he was to find Annie waiting for him. Their
old love for each other returned with redoubled power,
and now nothing could separate them. When Annie
began to speak of her past follies and errors, Henry
stopped her instantly: 'No, Annie,' he said, Met the
dead bury the dead — we will live for the future. Our
THE M URDERER A ND FOR T UNE TELLER. 241
past shall be forgotten except such memories as are
pleasant.' They have resided for several years in China,
where Henry is a partner in a wealthy firm. They have
two lovely children, and life runs very smoothly and
pleasantly for them. I know that this great change in
her life was largely due to you, Mr. Pinkerton, and I shall
never cease to be grateful for your exertions to save her
from misery. I owe you still another debt, which I will
tell you about to-morrow, when I bring my friend to see
" I am very glad to know that Mrs. Thayer is so happy,"
I said ; " give my regards to her when you write. I must
hurry on now, Captain, as I have an important engage-
ment; so good-bye. Bring your friend any time to-
So saying, I shook his hand and passed on. The next
day he came sailing in, with a fine looking lady of middle
age leaning contentedly on his arm.
"Mr. Pinkerton," said the Captain, with a very com-
placent expression, " I'm spliced. Allow me to intro-
duce Mrs. Sumner — lately Mrs. Agnew."
The detective and the
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