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NYPL RESEARCH LIBRARIES 



3 3433 08236547 3 



A 










BURY 





John Wilson Murray 



Memoirs of 

A Great Detective 

INCIDENTS IN THE LIFE OF 
JOHN WILSON MURRAY 

EDITED BY VICTOR SPEER 



WITH PORTRAIT 



«$? 



NEW YORK 

THE BAKER & TAYLOR CO. 

33-37 East Seventeenth Street, Union Sq., North 



Copyright, 1904, 1905, by 
• * '" "*' '") ) \ VICTOR SPEER and JOHN W. MURRAY 



CONTENTS 



I. Murray ...... 

II. From Babyhood to Battleship . 

III. The First Case : Confederate Cole's Coup 

IV. A Word by the Way .... 

V. Knapp : A Weazened Wonder 

VI. The Feminine Firm of Hall and Carroll 

VII. The Episode of Poke Soles 

VIII. How a Feud Almost Burned Erie 

IX. Two Scars, by the Blade of Napper Nichols 

and the bullet of Whitey Stokes . 

X. A King, a Lunatic, and a Burglar — Three in 

One, and none at all ... 

XI. The Box-Car Battle of Sweetman, and the 

Thrashers with the Wheat 

XII. With the Help of Jessie McLean 

XIII. The Course of a Career 

XIV. Sanctimonious Bond .... 

XV. When Ralph Findlay Lurched and Fell . 

XVI. The Tinkling House of Wellington Square 

XVII. The Driverless Team on Caledonia Road . 

XVIII. Apropos of Hunker Chisholm . 

XIX. The Whitesides of Ballinafad . 

XX. The Monaghan Murder 
The Six -Foot Needhams : Father and Son . 
Pretty Mary Ward of the Government Gardens, 

XXIII. The Fatal Robbery of the Dains 

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CONTENTS 



XXIV. "Amer! Amer ! Amer ! " . 

XXV. McPherson's Telltale Trousers . 

XXVI. When Glengarry Wrecked the Circus 

XXVII. The Disappearing Stores 

XXVIII. Mary Ann Weatherup, Coquette . 

XXIX. The Capture of Lochinvar Sproule 

XXX. The Million Dollar Counterfeiting 

XXXI. Heney, of the Welted Forehead . 

XXXII. The Tookes's Revel in Riches 

XXXIII. Big Mac of Simcoe, Young Smith, and 

Bill Nay 

XXXIV. John Dobbin, from Beyond the Quicksands 

XXXV. Luke Phipps, Who Buried Himself Alive 

XXXVI. The New Year's Murder of Stillwell of 

Bayham .... 

XXXVII. The Winter Road to Manitoulin . 

XXXVIII. The Long Point Mystery . 

XXXIX. John Stone, Gentleman 
XL. Bates of Allanburg's Funeral Pyre . 
XLI. A Spreader of Arsenic 
XLII. For a Mess of Pottage 
XLIII. "Shet-Black Herres of the Ding-Donj 

Mustachees "... 

XLIV. Baldy Drinkwater 

XLV. Old John Klippert of Waterloo . 

XLVI. The Returning of Darky George Claxton 

XL VII. Two Disappearances . 

XL VIII. The Hollowed Chocolate . 

XLIX. The Shanty City of Slabtown 

L. Why Tambly Sleeps in Georgian Bay 

LI. Reginald Birchall : Occupation, Murderer 



CONTENTS 



5 



LII. The Footmark by Langford's Bed . 

LIII. The Lady of the Piercing Black Eyes 

LIV. An Escaper of Genius 

LV. Pennyfeather of the Bank 

LVI. The Tour of Charles Hilton Davidson 

LVII. Over the Andes for Aitken . 

LVIII. The Case of Perry Weinberg 

LIX. The Four Barn Burnings of Chatham 

LX. Almeda Chattelle, the Hairy Man 

LXI. The Gangs of Burtch and Rutledge 

LXIJ. The Middlemarch Mystery . 

LXIJI. The Graded Grays 

LXIV. George Alger's Graveyard Policy . 

LXV. The Killing of James Agnew 

LXVI. The Voice of the Haunted House 

LXVII. Olive Adele Sevenpiper Sternaman 

LXVIII. Simpering Jim Allison . 

LXIX. The Turnip Pit Tragedy 

LXX. Foolish Frank Osier and Wise Sam Lindsay 

LXXI. Eddie Elliott, Boy Murderer 

LXXII. Demure Kate Pender of Emsdale . 

LXXIII. Why Humphrey Went Back to Prison 

LXXI V. Laing of Lawrason's, Thrifty Thief 

LXXV. Lee Cluey of Cathay . 

LXXVI. Melvin Hall, Freebooter . 

LXX VII. The Murder of Joseph Sifton 

LXXVIII. The Three Dynamitards 

LXXIX. The Temporary Quirk Mystery 

LXXX. Two Crooks in Clover 

LXXXI. The Crime of Charlie King . 

LXXXII. In Conclusion . . 



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Introductory 



The editing of these episodes has been a joyous task, 
undertaken for an old friend whose eventful life is 
worthy of an abler appreciation. The narrative bears 
witness to his steadfast determination that his published 
Memoirs should be a detailed record of truth. There 
was no desire to create a fanciful work of fiction out of 
the facts of an earnest and straightforward life. In the 
writing of it, one thought was uppermost, a thought of 
value, perhaps, in the reading of it, that when it was 
finished, the one who lived it should say, as he has said, 
" It is true, every word of it." 

V. S. 



Memoirs of a Great Detective 



MURRAY 

In a tangled swamp on a farm near Gait, in the county 
of Waterloo, Province of Ontario, Canada, in August, 
1897, searchers were hunting for the body of a farmer's 
wife. She had disappeared, and blood by the wood-pile 
and near the house told of a crime and the hiding of the 
body. One of the party beating the swamp came upon 
a half-dug grave. He kept silence as to his discovery, 
and, when night fell, he secreted himself in the thick 
brush near the grave and waited, in the faint hope that 
the murderer would return and finish his task, perchance 
bringing the body with him. 

It was bright moonlight overhead. In the thicket of 
the swamp all was gloom, save for a broken filtering of 
pale light where the underbrush and tall briar had been 
thinned out. It was a lonely, dismal place. An owl's 
wailing and the swamp-frog's croaking were the only 
sounds. The hours passed. Midnight came and went. 
Not even a lizard appeared by the grave. The watcher 
was about to creep closer and ease his limbs, when a 
rustle sounded in the brush, a noise like the wind swish- 
ing a bush. It ceased, then came again, then all was 
still. Suddenly, on the side of the grave farthest from the 
watcher, a figure crept swiftly out of the thicket and stood 
erect. 

The moon shone full upon him. He was tall and 
broad-shouldered, with a pose like that in the old-fash- 
ioned prints of heroic figures of the ancient wars. He 
wore knee-boots, with a long, loose coat reaching to their 



io MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

tops, and buttoned to the chin. A slouch hat, pulled 
well down on the forehead, shaded his face. In his left 
hand he held a spade. He paused by the grave, thrust 
his spade into the earth, and left it upright like a head- 
stone, then shoved back the hat, and knelt on all fours, 
with his face close to the ground, for all the world like a 
bloodhound sniffing for a scent. On hands and knees he 
crept around and around the grave. Finally, from a 
pocket of the long coat, he produced a tiny lamp, and 
turning its light full upon the ground, he resumed his 
circling of the grave, his face not five inches from the 
earth, his eyes searching every foot of ground. 

For half an hour this creeping around the grave con- 
tinued. Then the figure squatted by the mound of earth 
and sat motionless. Suddenly he arose, seized the spade, 
and swiftly tossed away the mound of earth dug from the 
grave. All was done so noiselessly, so deftly, that it 
seemed unreal, phantom-like, the antics of a ghost. As 
he neared the bottom of the pile of earth his care re- 
doubled. At length, he began to dig around the remnant 
of the pile as if making a second grave, beside the first. 
He had left about four inches of the earth from the first 
grave lying undisturbed on the site of the second grave. 
It was thick, sticky soil, that held together firmly, being 
less watery than elsewhere in the swamp, yet being full 
of heaviness and moisture. 

He dug cautiously, sinking the spade about four inches 
in the soil, then driving it under, as would a man in cut- 
ting sod. When he thus had cut under the entire rem- 
nant of earth from the first grave he cleared a space on 
the ground beside it, and as one would turn a pancake on 
the griddle, he flipped the earth out and turned it on to 
the cleared space, so that the remnant of soil from the 
first grave was underneath. He then painstakingly lifted 
away the upper layer, and thus exposed to view the soil 
from the first grave, precisely as it had formed the surface 
or top of the earth before the digging of the grave began. 
He knelt over this earth as a mother over her child. He 
turned the light of the little lamp full upon it. Then he 



MURRAY 1 1 

grunted, a subdued, deep, satisfied grunt. With the spade 
he carefully cut out a piece of the earth about a foot long 
and half as wide. He produced a measuring rule, and 
for half an hour worked over the piece of earth. Then 
he took the earth in his arms as tenderly as if it were a 
babe, picked up the spade, and vanished in the thicket. 

Like a flash it dawned on the watcher that this mys- 
terious figure had been searching for footprints. He had 
found no clear footprint around the grave. The marks 
there had been trampled by those of the watcher. But 
on the surface of the earth, where the grave had been 
dug, the footprints of the digger were certain to appear. 
So the figure in the long coat had reclaimed this surface 
undisturbed, and, judging from the one sound he made, 
the grunt of joy, he had found what he sought. 

The watcher trailed after him, ignorant of who he was 
or whence he came. The grey dawn was creeping into 
the sky as he entered his hotel at Gait. A sleepy porter 
was lolling on a table. Footsteps sounded in the hall, 
and past the office door on his way up-stairs went the 
figure of the long coat. The coat was in his arms, 
borne carefully, for it concealed the precious piece of 
earth. 

" Who is that ? " asked the watcher. 

*' That ! " said the porter, with a yawn. " That's Old 
Never-let-go." 

" Who ? " asked the watcher. 

" Old Never-let-go," answered the porter. " Murray, 
John Murray, Old Never-let-go, the greatest genuiue de- 
tective that this here or any other bloomin' country can 
produce. He's snoopin' around now a gettin' ready to 
fix a hangin' for whoever killed Mrs. Orr." 

The figure of the long coat was in his room before the 
porter finished. He had laid the piece of earth on a 
table and turned the light full on it. A footprint showed, 
distinct in every detail of the shoe's outline. He re- 
measured it carefully, noting the measurements on a slip 
of paper. When he finished he compared this slip with 
another slip. Then he went to a closet, and drew forth 



12 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

an old shoe, earth-stained and worn. He gently lowered 
this shoe into the imprint on the piece of earth. It 
matched. The clue held true. 

After locking the piece of earth in an iron box, he 
went straight to the gaol or lockup, where a suspect was 
under guard. He entered the cell, and slammed the 
door. An hour later he returned to his room at the 
hotel, glanced longingly at the bed, then at his watch, 
shook his head, and five minutes later was in a cold bath. 
When he appeared in the hotel office shortly after, the 
newspaper men and others including the watcher in the 
swamp, crowded around him. 

" Any news ? " they asked eagerly. 

" The murderer's locked up," was the reply. 

" Who is he ? " 

" Jim Allison, the chore boy. He'll confess before 
he's hanged." 

Allison was tried and convicted, and he confessed be- 
fore he was hanged. At the trial there was no inkling 
of the all-night labours in the swamp or of the fatal foot- 
print. The case was complete, without a revelation of 
the methods of the man who ran down the necessary evi- 
dence. If it had been necessary, the piece of earth with 
the tell-tale tread, a plaster cast of it to make it still 
plainer, would have been in evidence at the trial. It was 
not needed, and hence it did not appear. In a somewhat 
similar case a few years before, proof of footprints was 
needed, and it did appear. 

" You're sure Allison did it ? " asked the newspaper 
men at the Gait hotel. 

" Sure," said Murray, and he went to breakfast. 

It was the writer's first experience with John Wilson 
Murray, Chief Inspector of Criminal Investigation of the 
Department of Justice of the Province of Ontario, with 
head offices in the Parliament Buildings, Toronto. For 
almost thirty years he has been inspector, and, in that 
time, murders by the dozen, burglaries by the score, 
crimes of all kinds, totalling thousands, have been solved 
by him, and the perpetrators apprehended. His career 



MURRAY 13 

is a record of events outrivalling the detective tales of 
fiction ; for fact, in its fullest scope, is stranger far than 
fiction. He has followed men over two continents ; he 
has pursued them over land and sea, from country to 
country, from hemisphere to hemisphere, from New 
World to Old World and back again. He has travelled 
over 30,000 miles in the chase of a single man. He has 
shot and has been shot. He has been worsted in des- 
perate struggles when help came in the nick of time, and 
he has fought grim battles single-handed when defeat 
would have meant death. His prisoners have ranged 
from men of high estate to creatures of the lowest depths. 
The cases he has solved range through every variety of 
crime known to the police records of the world. He has 
run down counterfeiters of $1,000,000 and more; he has 
unravelled the mysteries of murder where life was taken 
for eighty cents. He has the counterfeiting plates, val- 
ued at $40,000, as a trophy of the one chase, and he has 
a rusty iron pipe as a souvenir of the other. 

He lives in Toronto, in a comfortable brick house in 
Brunswick Avenue. As he comes and goes, a stranger 
seeing him would regard him as a prosperous business 
man, of placid life and uneventful career. His home life 
is the antithesis of his official life. He lives alone, with 
a trusted housekeeper and discreet servants. His pleas- 
ure, apart from his work, is in outdoor life, with his dogs 
and gun, his fishing tackle, or, above all, a boat on the 
open sea. Beside his desk in the library of his house, 
are his favourite books on a separate shelf — the poems 
of Robert Burns, the works of Scott, the essays of Emer- 
son, the Count of Monte Cristo, Gulliver's Travels, and 
the Bible. He is an omnivorous reader, but these are his 
favourites. On the wall, side by side, are pictures of 
Queen Victoria and Abraham Lincoln. His den is filled 
with reminders of his life's work. There are rusty bul- 
lets that have come from the brains of murdered men ; 
there are bludgeons, knives, revolvers, sand-bags, pieces 
of pipe, jemmies, kits of burglars, outfits of counterfeiters, 
symbols of the crucial clues that fastened on criminals 



14 MEMU V ^ W A GREAT DETECTIVE 

the guilt of their crimes. Each has its history, and in the 
story of his life all have their place. 

In a gold frame on the top of his desk, in old English 
lettering on heavy paper, is the following : 

They talk about a woman's sphere 

As though it had a limit : 
There's not a place in earth or heaven, 
There's not a task to mankind given, 
There's not a blessing or a woe, 
There's not a whisper, yes or no, 
There's not a life, or death, or birth 
That has a featherweight of worth, 

Without a woman in it. 

Murray smiles when a visitor reads it. 



II 

FROM BABYHOOD TO BATTLESHIP 

Even the early years of the life of John Wilson Mur- 
ray were eventful. He was born in the city of Edin- 
burgh, Scotland, on June 25th, 1840. He is sixty-five 
years old, and looks little past fifty. He came of a sturdy 
family of seafaring men, who had been sailing the globe 
for generations before him. His father was Daniel Dun- 
can Murray, a sea captain, and his grandfather was Hec- 
tor Murray, a sea captain of some note, who owned a 
number of coasting vessels off the north of Scotland and 
in the German Ocean, and who was a rich man until a 
storm at sea swept many of his ships away. 

Murray's mother was Jeanette Wilson, daughter of Dr. 
Alex. Wilson, of Belfast, County Antrim, in the north 
of Ireland. Her father and mother died when she was 
quite young, and the lass was raised in Scotland at the 
home of a relative of Murray's godmother, named Mac- 
Donald, an Edinburgh merchant's wife. There Daniel 
Duncan Murray met her, a winsome maid, whose picture 



FROM BABYHOOD TO ' .1 .LESHIP 15 

is a gem, and married her in 1834. He sailed the seas, 
returning to Edinburgh for short visits after long voyages 
to all parts of the earth. There were two children who 
survived infancy. One was John Wilson Murray, the 
other was his sister, Mary, five years older, who died 
some years ago. 

When young Murray was five years old the family 
moved to New York. Captain Daniel Duncan Murray 
*sailed ships out of New York for a number of years. 
Among them were the Benjamin Adams, the Flying Cloud 
and the Ocean Wave, in its day a fast clipper. Young 
Murray was sent to school in New York, but in 185 1, 
when he was eleven years old, his mother's health failed, 
and she returned to Scotland, taking him with her, but 
leaving his sister, Mary, attending school in Hartford, 
Conn. The mother, on her arrival in Edinburgh, placed 
her son at the old Royal High School on the east end 
of Princess or Regent Street. A few months later she 
heard that her daughter in Hartford had been thrown 
from a horse, and that her arm had been broken. She 
immediately started for New York, leaving young John 
Wilson Murray at school in Edinburgh. The son soon 
showed the family love for roving, a trait dominant in 
his father and his father's father. He became dissatisfied ; 
he disliked his teacher. The dissatisfaction and dislike 
grew when he heard his father was due a month later in 
Liverpool. 

In 1853 this boy of thirteen ran away from school, 
shipped on a coaster and made his way to Liverpool. He 
travelled the Liverpool docks a night and a day before 
he found his father's ship. 

" I'll tack you back to Edinburgh on the morrow," 
said Captain Daniel Duncan Murray. 

" Gin you do, I'll be off again on the next morrow," 
replied his thirteen-year-old son. 

Captain Murray laughed mightily at this, and when his 
ship sailed for New York he took his son with him and 
turned him over to his mother again. Mrs. Murray took 
him to Washington and sent him to the Georgetown 



1 6 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

Academy. He stayed there until 1855, when the spirit 
of adventure seized him and he ran away a second time. 
With him went another lad of the school, who now is a 
prominent man in the business affairs of the United 
States. 

The two boys went to Baltimore. They tried to ship 
aboard a whaler. At the first shipping office they 
entered, the man in charge eyed them suspiciously as 
they glibly told of an imaginary career, since infancy, 
at sea. 

" Hold out your hands," he said suddenly. 

The astonished lads obeyed. 

" Bah ! " he roared, as he spat on the white unmarked 
palms. " Out of here, or I'll have you both arrested. Go 
back to your mas and your milk, ye pair of unweaned 
liars. Ye're dressed for a party." 

Thereupon he spanked them both soundly, and sat 
them down with a thud. They fled, not alone from the 
office, but from Baltimore, going to Philadelphia. They 
prowled around the water-front of the Quaker City look- 
ing for a whaler. After their Baltimore experience they 
had decided to steer clear of all shipping offices. After 
a week of unavailing search for a whaler that would carry 
them to the far north, where they expected to bag whales 
by the score and seals by the thousand, young Murray 
met a fruiter. She was a brig. They wanted a boy, but 
did not want two boys. Murray's companion in adven- 
ture found a berth on a Liverpool ship, and the lads sep- 
arated, not to meet again for thirty years. 

The fruiter on which Murray shipped was the Sequence. 
She went to the West Indies, Murray receiving the princely 
wage of $7 a month. The Sequence stopped at the Bar- 
badoes, Trinidad, and St. Kitts, then sailed for Boston. 
The boy, who had stepped aboard in velvet knicker- 
bockers at Philadelphia, stepped ashore in duck togs at 
Boston. He sailed on the Sequence four months ; then 
returned to Philadelphia and shipped again, this time on 
the Dauntless, a full-rigged ship bound around the Horn. 
He left Philadelphia early in October, 1855, going out for 



FROM BABYHOOD TO BATTLESHIP 17 

guano on the islands off Lima on the west coast of South 
America. She struck appalling weather off the Horn, 
and limped into Callao badly battered. In this hurricane 
young Murray was seasick for the first and last time in 
his life. On his return from the guano islands, he shipped 
on the brig Tortoise, for a short trip to San Domingo 
after logwood. He was out two months, and when he 
landed in Philadelphia he heard of a grand new vessel on 
the great lakes, and straightway started for Buffalo, and 
shipped on the Great West, at that time (1856) the biggest 
vessel on the lakes. Captain John Bampton, a giant in 
bulk and heart and voice, was her master, and Toppy 
McGee, of Oswego, was mate. She was a full-rigged 
ship, the only one on the lakes at that time. 

Murray sailed on the Great West between Buffalo and 
Chicago, and had made several trips when, one morn- 
ing at the docks in Buffalo, Captain Daniel Duncan 
Murray appeared and led his runaway offspring back to 
New York. 

" This time you go to school and you stay at school," 
said the captain. " 'Tis a profession I intend you should 
follow. From the cut of your jib you'll make a fine 
preacher-person ; or, at the worst, I'll turn you out a 
doctor-man." 

" I may go, but I will not stay," said young Murray. 

The captain placed him in school. Young Murray 
languished through the winter months, and when spring 
came, the spirit of unrest stirred within him, and away he 
went, back to the sea. In the late spring he returned to 
the Great Lakes, and on June 5th, 1857, he enlisted in 
the United States Navy, joining the U.S.S. Michigan, 
then in Chicago, although her headquarters were in Erie, 
Pa. He stayed aboard the Michigam until the Civil War 
broke out in 1861. He was twenty-one years old then, 
and the opportunity came for him to realise the ambition 
of his early years. There was a shortage of officers in 
the regular service, and Murray was picked as one of the 
likely young fellows to be sent on to the training-school 
at Washington. He worked and studied faithfully then, 



1 8 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

and when the examinations were held he passed, and 
received a commission in the United States Navy. 

Murray served through the Civil War in the Navy. 
He was in the Mississippi or Gulf Squadron a part of the 
time, under Commander Jewett, and he fought under 
Farragut, and was in a number of engagements, including 
the fight at Mobile. 

" The first time I saw Farragut was aboard the Hart- 
ford, and I can see him now, over forty years after, as 
distinctly in memory as I saw him then in reality," says 
Murray, in speaking of the great naval genius of the war. 
" Once seen, never forgotten." 

From service in the Mississippi and the Gulf, Murray 
was ordered to the Great Lakes aboard the Michigan. 
He continued aboard her until after the close of the 
war, and in December, 1866, he left the Michigan and 
the service. 

Thus, at the age of twenty-five, Murray had sailed the 
south seas and around the Horn, had stood the gruelling 
of a six months' trip to the guano fields, had been 
through the pounding life aboard the West Indies fruiters, 
had fought through the Civil War, and stood, a power- 
ful, self-reliant young giant on the lookout for his calling 
in life. 

One of those who knew Murray in these days, and who 
is a banker in Ohio now, says of him : 

" He was strong as a bull, quick as a cat, rather a silent 
fellow, slow to anger, and plenteous in vengeance once he 
was aroused. He feared neither man, gun, nor belaying 
pin. He was a faithful friend and a relentless foe. He 
was the last to pick a quarrel, but once it was picked he 
was the last to drop it. His associates liked him. He 
was a silent, sturdy, self-contained man, with a remarkable 
gift for gaining the confidence of other men." 

The war left its indelible imprint on the life of Murray, 
as it did on the life of many another man. It tended to 
mould his ambitions and direct them along the line of 
what later became his occupation. In Murray's mind it 
is a settled belief that if he had not served in the Navy 



CONFEDERATE COLE'S COUP 19 

during the Civil War he would have been a sailor until 
he died, following in the way of his ancestors, and 
traversing all the seas to all parts of the world as master 
of his own ship. His career was not cast ashore by any 
dread of hardship afloat, or by any dislike of service at 
sea. It was influenced by an event that is one of the 
important, yet little-known, episodes of the Civil War. 
It sufficed to decide finally the future work of Murray. 
He holds it, therefore, a bit apart from other excitements 
of his career, for in it the hand of fate pointed the way of 
his destiny. 



Ill 

THE FIRST CASE : CONFEDERATE COLE'S COUP 

It is a wonderful story, this narrative of the attempt of 
the Confederates, in 1864, to capture the U.S.S. Michigan, 
to take Johnson Island in Sandusky Bay in Lake Erie, 
release 4,000 Confederates imprisoned there, burn the 
island, if possible, destroy Detroit, Cleveland, and Buffalo 
by fire, and strike terror to the heart of the North. The 
man who discovered the plot was Murray, and it was he 
who unearthed the identity of the picturesque leader 
and was instrumental in frustrating the schemes so cun- 
ningly devised. 

The war was at its zenith, says Murray, in telling the 
story. It was the year 1864. Commander J. C. Carter 
of the United States Navy sent for Murray and detailed 
him to special duty. There had been talk of a Con- 
federate plot to blow up Johnson Island and liberate all 
Confederate prisoners and land them safely in Canada 
across Lake Erie. 

" ' Try to get to the bottom of the conspiracy, if there 
is one,' said Commander Carter to me, in the latter part 
of May, 1864," says Murray. "Carter added: 'Go to 
any place and every place ; you have an unlimited com- 
mission. Report to me from time to time.' " 



20 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

Murray went first to Detroit and conferred with Colonel 
Hill, who gave him what information he had. It was 
meagre. At that time, Vallandingham, a member of 
Congress from Ohio, was in exile in Windsor, Ontario, 
across the river from Detroit. Vallandingham was a 
Southern sympathiser. Murray — in the garb of a civil- 
ian, of course — crossed to Windsor, and settled down to 
learn, first of all, the ways of Vallandingham and any 
other Confederate sympathisers gathered there. He ob- 
served closely all who called on Vallandingham. Among 
them he noted a dapper, energetic, little fellow, who came 
and went at Vallandingham's headquarters. Murray, un- 
suspected, learned his name was L. C. Cole, and that he 
was reputed to be a Confederate agent. Cole was about 
thirty-eight years old, five feet seven inches tall, weighed 
a hundred and thirty-five pounds, with red hair and long 
mustachios, and grey eyes, so small and sharp and bright, 
that Murray says the first thing he noticed about Cole 
was his eyes. Murray finally caught a scrap of conver- 
sation between Cole and Vallandingham that convinced 
him Cole was an important and dangerous figure. He 
communicated with Commander Carter and made ready 
to follow Cole, if it led to the ends of the earth. 

Cole left Windsor, with Murray on his trail. He went 
first to Toronto and stopped at the Queen's Hotel, where 
he was joined by a number of other rebel sympathisers. 
Murray says a dozen or more gathered instantly to greet 
him, all being strangers. Cole clearly was the chief 
among them, as they deferred to him. After long con- 
ferences, Cole went to Montreal. Murray went on the 
same train. 

Thus the chase began. Murray was a young fellow of 
twenty-four, inexperienced as a detective, untrained in 
shadowing a man or in running down a clue or solving a 
mystery. Cole, on the contrary, was an experienced 
and trained agent, schooled in all the tricks of that branch 
of war in which he was engaged. The difficult task, 
however, seemed simple to Murray; he adjusted himself 
to it from the outset. It serves to indicate his natural 



CONFEDERATE COLE'S COUP 21 

bent towards the work of a detective. A coincidence of 
his career is that his first visit to Toronto, where later- he 
established his headquarters in his life-work, was as a de- 
tective, trailing his man. 

" I learned then the simple rule for following a man," 
says Murray. " Keep him in your sight as much as pos- 
sible, and keep yourself out of his sight as much as 
possible." 

When Cole alighted from the train in Montreal, Mur- 
ray was a car length behind him. Cole went to the St. 
Lawrence Hall Hotel and Murray followed. There Cole 
was joined by a woman. 

*' She was an elegant-looking lady," says Murray. 
" She was big and stately, a magnificent blonde, with 
clothes that were a marvel to me. I did not know her 
then, but later she turned out to be the celebrated Irish 
Lize. The contrast between her and Cole was striking. 
She was big, stout, and fine-looking ; he was a little, 
sandy, red-haired fellow, but smart as lightning." 

From Montreal, Cole and Irish Lize went to Albany. 
The impulse was strong on Murray to seize them and 
notify Commander Carter. He debated it with himself. 
He had evidence that they were Confederate sympa- 
thisers, but he had not the desired evidence as to a plot 
or their plans. He decided to follow them, half expect- 
ing they would go far South before returning to execute 
any desperate plans in the North. They stopped over 
night in Albany, then went to New York and then on to 
Philadelphia and thence to Washington. Murray trailed 
them from city to city, from hotel to hotel. Cole and 
Irish Lize met one, or sometimes two or three strangers 
in each city, evidently by previous appointment, as in 
every instance they were waiting Cole's arrival. From 
Washington, Cole and Irish Lize went to Harrisburg, 
Pennsylvania, and from Harrisburg to Buffalo, New York, 
and thence to Cleveland, Ohio. In Cleveland they were 
joined by a young man, whom they had seen in Phila- 
delphia. He was Charles Robinson, son of a former 
judge. They stayed in Cleveland two days and then 



22 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

went to Sandusky, Ohio, where Cole and Irish Lize 
stopped at the West House, and Robinson at a private 
boarding-house. They arrived at Sandusky about June 
20th, 1864. Murray arrived on the same train. 

" I learned for myself on that trip," says Murray, " the 
various ways to ascertain a man's destination before he 
boards his train. Sometimes he states it at the hotel 
when paying his bill, sometimes it can be learned when 
he buys his ticket, sometimes the conductor is obliging, 
and sometimes, when the worst comes to the worst, you 
can sit in another car, or at the other end of the same 
car, and keep an eye on the stations. All this has 
changed greatly in recent years. Cooperation among 
the police forces of all cities and of hotel, railroad, and 
other detectives has simplified this task of trailing a 
traveller.'' 

Cole posed at Sandusky as an oil prince. Irish Lize 
passed as his wife. Soon after their arrival an assistant 
joined Cole. He was known as G. C. Beal. One week 
to the day after Cole arrived at the West House, a young 
man registered as John U. Wilson of New Orleans. In 
the course of a few days he met Cole casually, as guests 
staying for long at the same hotel are apt to meet. They 
drank together, and seemed to become well acquainted. 
Cole bought fast horses and finally chartered a yacht. 
He made the acquaintance of the officers of the U.S.S. 
Michigan, then lying off Sandusky, and also of Colonel 
Hill (not the Colonel Hill whom Murray had seen in De- 
troit) and the U.S. Army officers in charge of Johnson 
Island. Cole appeared a jolly good fellow, who spent 
money like water, and was too busy having a merry time 
to give heed to the affairs of war. He became a great 
favourite with both the Naval officers aboard the Michi- 
gan and the Army officers on the Island. He sent 
baskets of wine and boxes of cigars aboard the vessel 
and over to the Island. 

Murray, meanwhile, had reported to Commander 
Carter. About the middle of July, 1864, Cole arranged 
a party to the Seven Mile House, seven miles out of San- 



CONFEDERATE COLE'S COUP 23 

dusky. He invited all the officers of the Island and the 
ship. A number of them were making preparations to 
go. Young Wilson, of New Orleans, was Cole's assistant 
in planning the details of the outing. Early that morn- 
ing Cole received a telegram from Detroit : 

" I send you sixteen shares per two messengers. — D.B." 

On this particular morning, on the steamer Philo Par- 
sons, plying between Sandusky and Detroit on daily trips, 
with a stop at Windsor, Ontario, ten men got aboard at 
Windsor, and eight more got aboard at Amherstburg, in 
Canada, at the mouth of the Detroit River. They had 
their luggage with them. They were the sixteen shares 
sent by two messengers to the merry Mr. Cole at 
Sandusky. After the steamer Parsons got well out into 
Lake Erie, these eighteen men opened their luggage 
boxes, took therefrom braces of revolvers and captured 
the Parsons, making her captain a prisoner. Then they 
steamed on to Kelly's Island, off Sandusky, where the 
steamer Island Queen was lying. They sent some of 
their men aboard the Queen, caught the few of her crew 
aboard unawares, gave orders to Engineer Richardson, 
and when he refused to obey, shot him dead. They then 
took the Island Queen out into the lake and ran her on 
to Gull Island and abandoned her there. Then they 
headed for Sandusky in the Parsons, which was due at 
six o'clock in the evening. 

While this was occurring on Lake Erie, Cole was in 
Sandusky with his plans all made for the party that would 
call practically all the officers on the Michigan and on 
Johnson Island to the Seven Mile House, well away from 
their posts of duty. They were to start from Sandusky 
in the afternoon. Cole and young Wilson waited, and 
finally Cole, becoming impatient, said to Wilson : 

" It's strange these officers are not ashore before this. 
You go off and see them." 

" They would not come for me," said Wilson. " You'd 
better go." 



24 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

Cole, who usually dressed in black or dark clothes, was 
dressed on this day in a suit of grey. He discussed the 
matter of going over for the officers with Wilson, who 
walked down to the dock with him and said : 

" Here's a boat belonging to the ship now. Go off in 
her and get them. I'll go with you." 

Cole handed a $10 bill to the coxswain of the boat's 
crew and told him to take the boys up for a drink. All 
went except the boat-keeper, who waited with Cole and 
Wilson, and James Hunter, an officer of the Michigan, 
who was ashore. When the crew returned they willingly 
pulled off to the U.S.S. Michigan, lying three miles off 
Sandusky. About half-way out, Cole, who seemed to 
have a presentiment of trouble, decided to turn back. 

" The pennant of the ship is flying," remarked young 
Wilson to the coxswain. 

" Yes, we'll have to go on and I'll bring you back as 
soon as I've reported," said the coxswain. 

They went on to the Michigan. The officers aboard 
greeted Cole cordially and invited him to have a glass 
of wine, telling him they were sorry to disarrange his 
plans or delay his party. Young Wilson called on 
Carter in his cabin. 

" I have the man," he said as he entered. 

" The right man ? " 

" Not a shadow of doubt," said Wilson. 

" Bring him up," said Carter. 

Young Wilson turned to the orderly. " Tell Mr. Cole 
Captain Carter wishes to see him," he said. 

Cole appeared, smiling and merry. Young Wilson 
met him on deck. 

" The captain wants to see you," said young Wilson. 

At the tone of his voice Cole stopped short and 
looked at him, his eyes like gimlets boring for what it 
all meant. Then he laughed and went to see Carter. 
He entered with Wilson. 

" Captain Carter, this is Mr. Cole, a rebel spy," said 
Wilson. 

" Murray, arrest him," said Carter to young Wilson. 



CONFEDERATE COLE'S COUP 25 

" I am not a spy ; I am a Confederate officer," said 
Cole, who had straightened and stiffened. 

Carter smiled. Cole thrust a hand in his grey coat 
and drew forth his commission, signed by Jeff Davis, 
showing him to be a major in the Confederate army. 
Murray took it and read it. 

" Take him and search him, Murray," said Carter. 

Cole, accompanied by his former friend, Wilson of 
New Orleans, now Murray of the Michigan, went to a 
cabin, and a sentry was placed at the door. Murray 
searched him and found $600 in currency, some letters 
and papers, and ten certified cheques for $5, 000 each, on 
the Bank of Montreal, Canada, payable to bearer. 
Murray laid them all out. Cole eyed him and laughed. 

" You served me well, Murray Wilson, or Wilson 
Murray, or whatever the deuce your name may be," he 
said. 

" I served the best I could," said Murray. 

" Sit down," said Cole. 

Murray and Cole sat down. 

" ' Now, you're a pretty smart young fellow,' said Cole 
to me," said Murray, in telling of what occurred. " ' We 
got along very well, didn't we ? You wouldn't like to 
see me hung, would you ? ' 

" I said : ' I wouldn't like to see anybody get hung.' 

" ' Well, that's what you're trying to do with me,' said 
Cole. 

" I said : ' It's a very unfortunate thing, and I hope I 
am not responsible.' 

" Cole was very cool. He had the best nerve of any 
man I ever saw. He made no fuss, his voice never 
changed, his face never lost its jolly, careless expression 
for a minute. ' I suppose I ought to shoot you,' he said, 
' and, if I had a gun and could get away, I'd probably do 
it, for business is business, Wilson, and war is hellish 
business. There is $50,000 in gold in those cheques. 
They are as good this minute as the gold in the Bank of 
Montreal. You can keep them. No one aboard here 
knows I have them. You can cash them when you wish. 



26 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

All I ask is that you won't know enough to get the rope 
around my neck and that, if the chance comes, you'll do 
me a friendly turn to get away. Once I'm out, you can 
give me $500 or enough to get South, or you needn't 
give me five cents. It's a fair bargain, isn't it, Wilson ? 
My young friend, you'll never get such a chance again in 
your life. 

" I saw the possibilities of it in a flash. It was a for- 
tune in my grasp, yet if I took those cheques, the merry 
little Mr. Cole could have sent for Carter and said : ' Let 
me suggest you search your man, Murray, or Wilson. I 
think he's the one of us who should be under arrest.' 
Or, if Cole saw that to play me false would mean his 
own death, there still was the idea of selling out your 
country ; and I wouldn't have done that for as many 
millions. I was a young fellow and $50,000 was more 
then than $500,000 would look now, but I thank the 
everlasting God that I had the sense to say : ' That may 
be, Mr. Cole. I may never get such a chance again. 
I'll do what I can consistent with my duty, but I cannot 
well make you any promises.' 

" ' Wilson, you're a fool,' he said. 

" ' Mr. Cole, would you sell out the Confederacy ? ' I 
asked, for I was vexed over the turn of affairs with him. 

" His manner changed. He put out his hand and 
shook mine. 

" ' No, Mr. Wilson, I wouldn't,' he said. ' I under- 
stand you now.' 

" We chatted pleasantly. He asked me where I first 
saw him. I told him the whole story of my trailing him, 
giving him even the numbers of the rooms in the hotels 
at which he had stopped. 

" ' You're right,' he said, ' but I could swear, on a stack 
of Bibles as high as this ship, that I never saw you be- 
fore I saw you in Sandusky.' 

" As I left him, a prisoner, he shook hands and said : 
' You won't reconsider about the cheques ? ' I shook 
my head and left him smiling in the little cabin with the 
sentry at the door." 



CONFEDERATE COLE'S COUP 27 

Carter alone had been in the secret of Murray's 
masquerade as Wilson. Officer James Hunter, of the 
Michigan, rendered valued assistance on the day of the 
arrest. Murray had arranged for the boat's crew to be 
waiting at the landing to take Cole to the ship, and 
Murray had intercepted telegrams to Cole and thus had 
learned of the telegram about the " sixteen shares." 

" My own common sense told me the sixteen shares 
meant sixteen men," said Murray. " The way they 
would come would be on the Parsons." 

With Cole a prisoner aboard the Michigan, Carter 
made ready to capture the men on the Parsons. Neither 
Murray nor Carter knew at that time that Cole had ar- 
ranged for the Parsons to stay outside until he should go 
out with his yacht and give them a signal to come in. 
He was to slip away from his guests at the Seven Mile 
House, drive swiftly to Sandusky, and go out to meet 
the Parsons while the officers were enjoying themselves 
seven miles away. 

" They had all their plans made," says Murray, " to 
meet Cole, and go in small boats to the Michigan, cap- 
ture the ship, and then run over to Johnson Island and 
release the four thousand Confederate prisoners, chiefly 
officers, imprisoned there. They planned to land them 
at Point Pelee in Canada, right across the lake. They 
were to approach the Michigan, and when asked who 
came there Cole would answer. He was well known to 
all, and relied on no one to suspect him. Once aboard, 
he believed he could carry the hatches with a rush. The 
Michigan had fourteen cannon aboard her, six parrot 
rifles, six twenty-four pound howitzers, two light how- 
itzers, and over a hundred tons of ammunition. They 
had no other heavily armed craft to fear on the lake. 
They believed they could not only liberate their four 
thousand men on Johnson Island and land them in 
Canada, but also could sail the lake without fear of 
superior vessel until they had bombarded and burned 
Detroit, Cleveland, and Buffalo. Some of the captured 
papers corroborated details of this plot." 



28 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

But the Parsons did not go in at Sandusky. Her 
Confederate crew waited in vain for the signal from 
Cole. They became alarmed, scented disaster, went 
back to the Detroit River under cover of darkness, scut- 
tled the Parsons, and landed in Amherstburg, Canada. 
The Michigan, after watching all night for the Parsons, 
went searching for her the next morning, and found her 
scuttled. 

" The rumour of the plot had spread with the arrest of 
Cole," says Murray ; " and when the Michigan returned 
to Sandusky all guns were trained on her until it was 
learned that the Confederates had not captured her. 
Some of her officers went off her, and were recognised, 
so that she would not be fired on. 

" That night, another officer went with me, and we ar- 
rested Robinson at his boarding-house in Sandusky. 
He had twenty revolvers in a trunk. A family of 
Southern Hebrews, named Rosenthal, also found them- 
selves in trouble. Quite a little colony of Southern sym- 
pathisers were clustered in Sandusky at that time. I 
next went to Irish Lize. She was infuriated. When I 
searched her trunk she seized me, and when I shook her 
off she wanted to shoot me. In one of her trunks were 
dozens of pairs of gloves. She informed me gratuitously 
that she never wore a pair of gloves a second time. I 
told her that, if she had not tried to shoot me, I would 
have believed her a perfect lady, even if I knew nothing 
about the gloves. 

" There was quite a how-de-do over the entire affair. 
Major-General Hancock and Major-General Heinzelman 
were sent on to investigate. I was sent to Cleveland to 
meet them, and accompanied them to Sandusky. They 
talked at first of trying Cole by a military commission. 
I told them what I knew of the matter, and what sort of 
chap Cole was. After hearing all the facts they returned 
to Washington. 

" Cole was transferred from the Michigan to Johnson 
Island, and thence to Fort Lafayette at New York, and 
from there to Fort Warren, in Boston, where he was held 



A WORD BY THE WAY 29 

until after Lincoln's proclamation. I had sold his horses 
for him, and closed up his business affairs at Sandusky, 
and turned over the proceeds to him. The Rosenthals 
were liberated. Beal disappeared. Robinson was held 
until after Lincoln's proclamation. Cole never was tried. 
He came to see me after his release. 

" ' Murray,' he said, ' you were a fool.' 

" I thought of Irish Lize, and concluded that while 
Cole was a little fellow he was a bigger fool than I." 



IV 

A WORD BY THE WAY 

When the war was over and Murray left the Service 
he went to Washington. It was the day before Christ- 
mas in 1866. He called at the Navy Department. 
There were officials there who remembered his work in 
the Cole case, and before . New Year arrangements had 
been made for Murray to become identified with the 
United States Service on special duty. 

" Wood was chief of the Secret Service in those days," 
says Murray. " I became, so to speak, a special agent 
in the Navy Department. For about two years I en- 
gaged in this work. It took me all over the country, 
particularly through the South. I was in New Orleans, 
Mobile, Charleston, Pensacola, and other Southern cities, 
and was on duty in New York for some time. My ex- 
perience here settled finally my determination to make 
the detective business my life-work. I realised that to 
make a success of it I would have to go to work to per- 
fect myself in it, just as does a man fitting himself for 
any other business, and advancing himself after he en- 
gages in it. 

" The detective business is the higher branch of the 
police business. A man may be an excellent policeman, 
and yet be an utter failure as a detective ; and I have 



30 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

seen many a clever detective, who was out of his element 
in the simpler lines of police duty. There is no magic 
about the detective business. A detective walking along 
the street does not suddenly hear a mysterious voice 
whisper : ' Banker John Jones has just been robbed of 
$1,000,000.' He does not turn the corner and come upon 
a perfect stranger, and then, because the stranger has a 
twisted cigar in his mouth, suddenly pounce upon him 
and exclaim : ' Aha, villain that you are ! give back to 
Banker Jones the $1,000,000 you stole ten minutes ago ! ' 
The detective business is of no such foolish and impossi- 
ble character. Detectives are not clairvoyants, or infalli- 
ble prophets, or supernatural seers. They possess no 
uncanny powers and no mantle of mysterious wonder- 
working. I remember a few years ago I was subpoenaed 
before a grand jury in the city of New York to testify on 
a matter pertaining to a prisoner, whose record I knew 
here in Canada. The foreman of that jury was a man 
prominent in New York's business life. When I was 
called he looked at me and suddenly said : 

" ' Inspector Murray, what crimes have been com- 
mitted within the past hour in New York, and who 
committed them ? ' 

" ' I have not the slightest idea,' I replied. 

" ' Oh, ho ! So you cannot go out and put your hands 
on every man who has committed a crime ? You are a 
detective, yet cannot do that ? ' he said. 

" ' I am not that kind of detective,' I replied. ' When 
I get a guilty man it usually is by hard work or good 
luck, and often by both.' 

" ' Thank the Lord we've found a detective who is not 
greater than God,' he said. 

" As a matter of fact the detective business is a plain, 
ordinary business, just like a lawyer's business, a doc- 
tor's business, a railway manager's business. It has its 
own peculiarities because it deals with crime, with the 
distorted, imperfect, diseased members of the social body, 
just as a surgeon's business deals with the distorted, im- 
perfect, diseased members of the physical body. But it 



A WORD BY THE WAY 31 

is not an abnormal or phenomenal or incomprehensible 
business. There is nothing done in it, nothing accom- 
plished by any detective, that is not the result of con- 
scientious work, the exercise of human intelligence, an 
efficient system of organisation and inter-communication 
and good luck. A good detective must be quick to 
think, keen to analyse, persistent, resourceful, and cour- 
ageous. But the best detective in the world is a human 
being, neither half-devil nor half-god, but just a man with 
the attributes or associates that make him successful in 
his occupation. 

" A wide acquaintance is one of the most valuable 
assets of a detective. The more crooks he knows the 
better. I have seen detectives visit a prison, and walk 
through it, recognising man after man — hundreds of 
them. I have seen detectives stand before photograph 
cases, and name and describe criminal after criminal, even 
to the minute eccentricities of each one. A good mem- 
ory is a great help ; in fact, it is essential to the equip- 
ment of a clever detective. A wide acquaintance of the 
proper sort is invaluable. Personal friendship, among 
detectives and police departments of different cities and 
different countries, is one of the greatest aids to efficient 
detective work. Detectives and police departments can 
help one another, for by their cooperation they create a 
detective system that covers the world. If a criminal 
escapes in one city he is apt to be captured in another, 
and times without number the perpetrators of crime in 
one community are arrested by the police of another, 
and held until called for by the police of the place where 
they are wanted. From the outset of my career I have 
made it a point to increase steadily and systematically 
my acquaintance among detectives, among criminals, 
among bankers, lawyers, business men, professional men, 
people of all sorts and conditions. Hundreds of times I 
have had occasion to be glad I did this. By knowing a 
man in the right way personally, you will find he will do 
things for you in a pinch, that he never would do for you 
otherwise, under any circumstances. 



32 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

" Personal knowledge of crooks is valuable, for many 
reasons. Often you may recognise the perpetrator of a 
crime from a witness's description of a person seen in the 
vicinity. You may recognise a certain kind of burglary 
as the work of a certain gang. In an emergency you 
may gather information from crooks that will enable you 
to lay your hands on the very man you are after. 

" Much has been written about crooks by students of 
the social problem and by scientists. At least all writers 
agree that they are a queer lot, a class by themselves, 
with a life of their own and a point of view that is pe- 
culiarly their own. They have the characteristic of grati- 
tude in perhaps a greater degree than some other classes 
of humanity. Of course, there are exceptions. But 
crooks as a whole have a code of honour, or rather a 
code of dishonour, that is always paradoxical, yet they 
adhere to it. If you do one of them a favour — that is, 
a turn that he, not you, regards as a favour to him — he 
will not forget it. More opportunities than are imagined 
present themselves where, in no way inconsistent with his 
duty, a detective may gain the favour instead of the dis- 
favour of a crook. The best crooks make the least trouble 
personally to a detective. They are the hardest to catch, 
next to unknown crooks who are on the road for the 
first time, but once they are caught they realise that the 
part of wisdom is to acquiesce. 

" Crime is a disease. It is hereditary, just as consump- 
tion is hereditary. It may skip a generation or even two 
or three generations. But it is an inherent, inherited 
weakness. I am satisfied of this. I have seen instances 
where the identical kind of crime has appeared in genera- 
tion after generation, great-grandfather down through 
grandfather, father, son, and grandson. I have known 
men whose grandfathers were horse thieves or counter- 
feiters, and whose fathers were honest, to become horse 
thieves or counterfeiters and do nothing else dishonest. 
In the oldest records of crime we find inherited crime 
traced through three hundred years, and even longer. 
The conditions of the criminal may be bettered, just as 



A WORD BY THE WAY 33 

the conditions of the consumptive may be bettered. The 
disease may be checked : in some instances it may be 
averted, but the crime-germ, if I may use the word, is 
there, lurking in the life of the victim. You have read 
of people living immaculate lives for many years and 
suddenly succumbing to crime. The disease was ever 
present, but was not manifest. Crime also is contagious. 
Constant contact with criminals often leads others to be- 
come criminals. It is the old story of ' evil associations.' 

" Once dishonest, always dishonest. That is the gen- 
eral rule. I believe in it absolutely. Reformation is the 
exception. The degree of dishonesty may vary, but the 
fact of dishonesty does not alter. I made up my mind 
slowly on this point, and I reached my decision with re- 
luctance. But I have seen it over and over again. It is 
observed more clearly about professional dishonesty than 
amateur dishonesty, if I may draw such a distinction. 
The crook who goes to prison once is apt to turn up 
again in the hands of the police. The mark of profes- 
sionalism in dishonesty is acquaintance, as a prisoner, 
with the police. There is many an amateur who belongs 
to the professional class ; and there are those in the pro- 
fessional class who belong to the amateurs. That is one 
of the vexations of the detective business. 

" The business is full of vexations. There are times 
when you know to a certainty the doer of a deed, yet 
arrest must wait until the evidence is in hand. Some- 
times the evidence never comes, and you see the years go 
by, with a guilty man enjoying the liberty denied to 
another, no more guilty, who had not the good fortune 
to lose some links in the chain of evidence that sur- 
rounded him. It is the law of chance. 

" I believe in circumstantial evidence. I have found it 
surer than direct evidence in many, many cases. Where 
circumstantial evidence and direct evidence unite, of 
course, the result is most satisfactory. There are those 
who say that circumstances may combine in a false con- 
clusion. This is far less apt to occur than the falsity of 
direct evidence given by a witness who lies point blank, 



34 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

and who cannot be contradicted save by a judgment of 
his falsity through the manner of his lying. Few people 
are good liars. Many of them make their lies too prob- 
able ; they outdo truth itself. To detect a liar is a great 
gift. It is a greater gift to detect the lie. I have known 
instances where, by good fortune, I detected the liar and 
then the lie, and learned the whole truth simply by listen- 
ing to the lie, and thereby judging the truth. There is 
no hard and fast rule for this detection. The ability 
to do it rests with the man. It is largely a matter of 
instinct. 

" The best detective, therefore, is a man who instinct- 
ively detects the truth, lost though it may be in a maze 
of lies. By instinct he is a detective. He is born to it ; 
his business is his natural bent. It would be a platitude 
to say the best detectives are born, not made. They are 
both born and made for the business. The man who, by 
temperament and make-up, is an ideal detective, must 
go through the hard years of steady work, must apply 
himself, and study and toil in making himself what he is 
born to be. Sandow was born to be a strong man, but, 
if he had not developed himself by hard work, he would 
not have become the strongest man of his time. As a 
detective advances in his business he will find that the 
more he studies and works, the stronger his powers of 
intuition, of divination, of analysis, become. A very 
simple broad illustration will prove this. If a detective 
is chasing a criminal from country to country, and has 
learned, by study of the extradition treaties, that a cer- 
tain country offers a better haven than another, he may 
save himself many a weary mile by going to the country 
where his common sense tells him his man is more likely 
to be. A mechanical knowledge of the use of tools, a 
knowledge of the effects of poisons, a knowledge of the 
ways of banking, of the habits of life of the various 
classes in various callings, a knowledge of crooks, and, 
above all, a knowledge of human nature, in whatsoever 
way manifest, are invaluable elements of the equipment 
of a good detective. 



KNAPP: A WEAZENED WONDER 35 

" In a vague way I held these opinions away back in 
1866, when, as a young fellow of twenty-six, I left the 
Service in the Navy after the war, and for about two 
years served as a special agent in the employ of the 
United States Government. I made acquaintances all 
over the country in those days, many of them being 
young fellows like myself, who were in the police busi- 
ness then, and later became heads of detective or police 
departments. I obtained my first experience then in the 
secrets of counterfeiting, in the arts of burglars, in the 
ways of the classes of thieves busy in those days in all 
parts of the United States, and more or less bothersome 
at times to the Government. It was precisely the expe- 
rience and training I needed at that time. 

" In 1868 I was persuaded to go to Erie, Pennsylvania, 
where I had made friends during my early days on the 
lakes, including prominent railroad men, and joined the 
police force there. In the four or five years I remained 
there I had plenty to do, and it fitted me further for the 
work I had outlined for myself. I became a detective 
on the force in Erie. Tom Crowley, a man I loved and 
respected, was chief at that time. 

"Sometimes, when the wind howls and the world is 
full of gusts and gales, and I am caught where the man 
next me has a pipe as old as Methuselah, and tobacco as 
strong as Samson, my mind turns back to Crowley, and 
there flit through my memory, like ghosts of long ago, 
episodes of the old days in Erie when I was a sleuth 
from Sleuthville, and mighty proud of it, too." 



V 

KNAPP: A WEAZENED WONDER 

A plague of sneak-thieving broke out in Erie in 1869, 
shortly after Murray became a detective. It grew to be 
epidemic. Furniture vanished out of houses. Cloth- 



36 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

ing seemed to fall upon the backs of invisible wearers 
and saunter into Spookland. Ploughs disappeared from 
farmers' fields, as if they had started on the shortest route 
to China. Horses trotted off into nowhere. Entire 
shelves in stores were swept bare in a single night, and 
from one of them twenty dozen pairs of shoes seemed to 
walk out of sight at midday. 

" ' We had better order the people to anchor their 
houses,' said Crowley to me," says Murray, in telling the 
story. " We watched all day and we watched all night 
for weeks, but the stealing went on just the same. 
Crowley said it must be giant rats, who had a den in 
the bowels of the earth and decided to furnish it from 
Erie. He said some one had told him that in India they 
had a plague, by which people wasted away and finally 
dried up. He concluded that the plague had spread 
from India to Erie, and had seized upon everything port- 
able in and around the town. ' They're not stolen, they 
just waste away/ said Crowley. ' It's a case of now 
you see them, now you don't.' To clinch this, one of 
the men began to lose his hair. Crowley pointed to it 
and exclaimed : ' See, it's just wasting away.' I had a 
moustache that was not flourishing just then and I shaved 
it off. When I appeared for duty the next day Crowley 
gasped : 

" « Great Scott, Murray ! They didn't steal your mous- 
tache, did they ? ' 

" Finally, a new democrat waggon disappeared. It 
belonged to James Tolwarthy, a grocer, who had left it 
in front of his store the day after he had paid $275 for 
it. The democrat had gone, as completely as if a mod- 
ern Elijah had impressed it for chariot service to the 
skies. Tolwarthy was angry. He kept his waggons 
usually in a hotel shed near his store. When he went 
there to look for his new democrat he found an old 
crackey waggon standing in its stead. It stood there 
for weeks, and every day we went to look at it, as if its 
tongue could tell us who left it there. 

" We searched every stable and every vacant building 



KNAPP: A WEAZENED WONDER 37 

in the town. Not a trace of Tolwarthy's democrat or 
of any other vanished property did we find. A little 
child can lead us, however, and I came across a boy who 
said he thought he had seen the man who left the waggon 
in Tolwarthy's shed. He described him as best he could. 
It was not much of a description, but a poor description 
is as good as a good photograph any day. I would 
rather have a fair description than a dozen photographs 
when it comes to going after a man I never saw. I took 
the lad's description and started out to visit every farm- 
house on every road leading out of* Erie. I nosed into 
all of them for a radius of several miles. I found no 
such man as the lad described, and no haymow hid any 
plunder either, for I climbed into all of them. 

" At last I found a farmer who had seen a fellow drive 
by his house in a new democrat about the time Tol- 
warthy's waggon vanished and the description of the 
democrat tallied with that of Tolwarthy's democrat, while 
the description of the man proved him the same fellow 
seen by the lad. 

" Crowley, Officer Snyder, and myself got a team and 
started to drive the road the stranger went with Tol- 
warthy's waggon. We stopped at every house along the 
way, but not a sign or trace of him could we find. For 
a dozen miles we made this farm-to-farm search. After 
fifteen miles or more we decided to put up the horses for 
a feed and rest. We turned off the main road, and in a 
secluded, out-of-the-way place, in a clearing with about 
twenty-five acres of pine-woods around it, we saw a 
house. No one was in sight. We hailed, and presently 
a buxom, blooming woman, about twenty-five years old, 
seemed to pop out of nowhere and ask us if we wanted 
anything. Crowley asked for the man of the place, as he 
wanted to feed his horses. The woman whistled and out 
from a clump of bushes near the barn came a little, 
weazened old fellow, about fifty years old. He reminded 
me of a muskrat. The moment I laid eyes on him I re- 
called the description by the lad of the man who left the 
crackey waggon. 



38 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

" We alighted and fed the horses. The old man eyed 
them keenly and looked at their teeth. 

" ' What's your name ? ' I asked him. 

" ' George Knapp,' he said. 

" ' Lived here long ? ' 

" ' Me and my wife been here about a year/ he an- 
swered. 

" ' Your wife ? ' I said. 

" • Yep, ain't she a bloomer ? ' and the old man chuck- 
led hideously as he leered at the young woman who was 
standing in the doorway of the house. 

" He was keen as a scythe. I innocently asked him 
if he had seen any stranger driving past his house in a 
new democrat waggon. 

" ' Nope ; no one ever drives past here/ said he. 
' There ain't no past. The road stops here.' 

" He parried us at every point. We searched his 
place, barn, house, and outbuildings and found nothing. 
Yet I was morally certain we had our man. As I sat in 
the shade by the barn I gazed idly at the stretch of 
cleared land running down to the creek. I noticed a 
place or two where the sod had been turned recently. It 
is the little things that point the way to big results. A 
sign-board a foot long often tells you the road for the 
next forty miles. 

" ' Knapp/ I said, ' I am going fishing in that stream.' 

" ' All right/ said Knapp. « Hope they bite.' 

" < Lend me a spade/ I said. 

" ' What for ? ' said Knapp, with a sudden sharpening 
of his glance. 

" ' I want to dig some bait/ said I. 

" Knapp hesitated, then brought a spade, and followed 
me as I set out for the stream. I halted at one of the 
spots where the sod had been turned. 

" ' No good digging here/ said Knapp. ' Come on 
farther down.' 

" ' Why ? ' said I. 

" ' This has been dug/ said Knapp. « It's worm-scarce 
right here.' 



KNAPP: A WEAZENED WONDER 39 

" ' Never mind,' said I. ' I only want a few, and it's 
easier digging.' 

" The perspiration started on Knapp's weazened, 
wrinkled face. I never dally in my garden with my 
spade but I see a vision of Knapp dripping like an April 
shower. 

" I drove in the spade. It struck something hard. I 
turned back the soil and there lay one of the wheels of 
Tolwarthy's democrat buried beneath a foot of earth. I 
looked at Knapp and he was grinning in a sickly sort of 
way. I called Crowley and Snyder and arrested Knapp. 
Then we led him down to the stream and sat down and 
informed the old man, on the edge of the water, that the 
wise thing for him to do was to confess the whole series 
of thefts. He looked at us and then at the water and 
then back at us. I think he understood. At any rate 
he stood up. 

" ' Come on,' he said, and led the way to the house. 

" The buxom woman met us at the door. 

" ' Get the shingle,' said Knapp. 

" Without a word she went indoors and returned with 
a broad shingle. It was covered with red dots, which 
Knapp explained were made with chicken blood. One 
big blotch was to show where the barn stood. The 
smaller dots spreading out beyond it showed where 
Knapp had buried the plunder. 

" We began to dig. The first thing we struck was a 
coffin. 

" ' You murderer ! ' said Snyder. ' Now we know 
why you used blood to dot the shingle.' 

" We lifted the coffin carefully out of the grave. It 
was very heavy. We prized off the lid, expecting to see 
the mutilated body of one of Knapp's victims. Instead 
of a pallid face and glazed eyes we found dozens of boxes 
of shoes. Knapp chuckled. 

" ' Coffins ain't only for corpuses,' he said. 

" We unearthed samples of everything from a needle 
to an anchor, a shroud, a toilet set, a baby carriage, forty 
silk dresses, gold watches, seven ploughs, a harrow, sur- 



4 o MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

gical instruments, a churn, a log chain, a grandfather's 
clock, a set of grocer's scales, hats, overcoats, pipes, a 
barber's pole, even a policeman's shotgun, that cost one 
of the Erie policemen $80, and that Knapp had stolen 
from his house. One of us would dig for a while, then 
Knapp would dig, and if any one dug more than his 
share it was Knapp. We uncovered ten waggon loads 
of stuff, including Tolwarthy's democrat, which Knapp 
had buried piece by piece ; even the bed or body of the 
waggon being interred behind a clump of bushes. It was 
the most wholesale thieving I had known. Old Knapp 
gloried in it, chuckling over each fresh discovery we 
made. The marvel of it all was how he had managed to 
steal the stuff. He swore to us that he had stolen it all 
single-handed, and I believe he did. 

" We took Knapp and his wife to Erie, and locked 
them up. We hired a large vacant store in the Noble 
block in Erie, hauled in the plunder from Knapp's, and 
put it on exhibition for identification. It filled the place. 
Knapp had stolen enough to equip a department store. 

" In burying his plunder he had boxed it up, preparatory 
to sending it away in the fall. He said frankly that he 
had been stealing for years. He explained that the way 
he did it was to drive into town in a waggon, pretending 
he was selling farm produce or garden vegetables, and 
seize opportunities in that way to familiarise himself with 
houses, and then sneak in later, and steal whatever he 
could carry away. No one seemed to know much about 
him, either who he was or whence he came. A year be- 
fore he had settled in the secluded tract of timber, and 
had kept entirely to himself. He told me he had preyed 
on other places before he set out to steal everything port- 
able in Erie, but never before had he been made to dig 
for two straight days uncovering his own plunder. 

" Knapp was very angry over being compelled to work 
so steadily with a spade. He vowed he would get even. 
Sometime after he had been locked up in Erie, he called 
us in and informed us, in profound confidence, that he had 
buried $2,500 in gold out on his place, and if we would 



KNAPP: A WEAZENED WONDER 41 

take him out there he would show us where it was. The 
story was plausible, and three of the fellows got a team, 
and drove out seventeen miles with Knapp to his place. 
They took three spades and a pick with them. Knapp 
began a lot of manoeuvring, pacing off distances from 
house to barn, and from barn to tree, and from tree to 
stump. They followed him, and he tramped about for an 
hour, leading them through briars and swamps, and finally 
back towards the barn again. 

" ' There is the place,' he announced. 

" They began to dig as if their hope of eternal salvation 
depended on it. Knapp encouraged them to greater ex- 
ertion, and told them he had buried the gold seven feet 
deep to have it secure. They toiled for hours, digging 
to a depth of eight feet, but finding nothing. One of 
them, who knew unbroken earth when he dug it, accused 
Knapp of tricking. The old man said he might have 
made a mistake in his measurements, and he led them off 
for another tramp through brush and wild wood, and 
ended up about ten feet from the hole they had dug just 
before. 

" ' Ah, yes, I remember. This is the place,' said the 
old man. ' There is $2,500 in gold in two canvas bags.' 

" They fell to again. It was a broiling hot day. They 
toiled until towards sundown, when the old man began to 
chuckle. 

" « That'll do,' he said. ' I'm even.' 

" ' Even for what ? ' they asked. 

" ' For the two days I had to dig,' said Knapp. 

" ' And there's no gold here ? ' they demanded wrath- 
fully. 

" * There's gold all right, but I cannot remember where 
it is,' said Knapp with a chuckle. 

" They drove him back to Erie, and locked him up 
again. He was tried, convicted, and sentenced to sixteen 
years in the Alleghany Penitentiary. His wife was re- 
leased. Knapp played insane, and beat the penitentiary. 
He was transferred to the lunatic division, and, soon after, 
he sawed the bars, escaped, and never was caught. I saw 



42 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

him several times in the Erie gaol before he was sent 
away. He always was chuckling. 

" ' Murray,' he would say on each occasion, as I was 
leaving, ' remember you are leaving a man who never met 
a man who knew enough to be his partner.' 

" What became of him no one knows. He was a 
weazened wonder." 



VI 

THE FEMININE FIRM OF HALL AND CARROLL 

A comparatively short time after Knapp was sent 
away thieving began again in Erie. It was not on quite 
the same wholesale basis, but what was lacking in quantity 
was present in quality, for the thieves made it a point to 
steal the finest silverware and jewellery. Instead of sneak- 
thieving it was burglary. The marks of jemmies on doors 
and windows were sufficient to demonstrate this. 

" Crowley thought at first that Knapp might have re- 
turned and changed his tactics," said Murray. " We 
drove out to Knapp's and made sure he was not there, 
although after his escape from the penitentiary no one 
could tell what had become of him. I was satisfied from 
the outset that Knapp had no hand in the thieving. 
Knapp prided himself on his cleverness as a sneak thief. 
Burglary would be a clumsy way of stealing, according 
to Knapp's ideas. 

" After the second or third job it was apparent that no 
lone burglar was at work. There was a gang, for some 
of the jobs necessarily called for a watcher or lookout on 
the outside while a pal was inside a house. Silverware, 
fine clothing, and jewellery began to disappear with a 
regularity that reminded us often of the day when Knapp 
was in his prime. Mr. Skinner's house was ransacked 
and a great quantity of silverware taken, and soon after 
the Skinner robbery the home of Mr. Bliss was plundered 
and a big haul of silverware and jewellery was made. 



FEMININE FIRM OF HALL AND CARROLL 43 

" Crowley was worried. So were the rest of us. We 
put in about twenty hours a day, and I verily believe we 
scrutinised every man in and around Erie. We made 
every stranger account for himself. We gathered in all 
our regulars in the suspicious character line. We re- 
doubled our patrol precautions at night. It was of no 
avail. The burglaries went on just the same. One night 
a house in one end of the town would be robbed and the 
next night the burglars would do a job in the other end 
of the town. The only clue or trace of them that I could 
get was a peculiarity in the jemmy marks, showing a 
piece had been chipped or cut out of the jemmy. But 
to tell the truth we were at our wits' end and could make 
no headway. There were so many burglaries, yet we 
could not get on to them. 

" Our last hang out at night was the Reed House. We 
would step in there regularly before going to bed. As 
we stood talking in the Reed House in the early morn- 
ing hours or shortly after midnight, I noticed by the 
merest chance a woman slip quietly down the back stairs 
and out into the night. For three or four nights I ob- 
served her doing this. The clerk told me she was a 
scrub-woman, who worked late and lived outside the 
hotel. There was nothing suspicious about that. I asked 
the clerk where she lived. He said he did not know. 
It was a pleasant night and I felt like taking a walk, and 
just for amusement I decided to follow the old scrub- 
woman. She slipped down the back stairs as usual and 
went out. I trailed after her. We had not gone five 
blocks when I lost her. She seemed to have been 
swallowed up by some hole in the earth that vanished 
after devouring her. I laughed at the joke on me, unable 
to trail an old woman, and I went to bed. 

" The next morning Crowley was glum. ' Another 
burglary last night,' he said, and named a house about 
four blocks from where I lost the old woman. I said 
nothing, but that night I was at the Reed House, waiting 
for my old scrub-woman. About one o'clock in the 
morning she appeared, a flitting figure on the back stairs, 



44 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

and darted out. I was after her in a jiffy. For about 
fifteen blocks I followed her. Then she suddenly turned 
a corner and when I came up she was gone. The next 
morning Crowley was mad as a hornet. ' Another bur- 
glary last night,' said he. I was a little hot myself. But 
that night I turned up at the Reed House, and at one 
o'clock out came my vanishing scrub-woman again and 
away she went, with me on her trail. 

" I have shadowed many people in my life, but that old 
scrub-woman was one of the most artful dodgers I ever 
knew. I followed her from one o'clock until after four 
o'clock in the morning, up streets and down streets, 
through alleys, across lots, around buildings, and then 
across lots again. But I stuck to her and there was no 
corner she turned that I was not close up to spot her 
if she dodged. Soon after we started a cat suddenly 
mewed and startled her mightily. Along about dawn she 
headed away to the outskirts of the town and stopping in 
front of a double house tossed a pebble up against a win- 
dow and a moment later went in. I sat down some dis- 
tance away and thought it all over. I was puzzled. 
Women burglars were something unknown in Erie or 
anywhere else, just then. Yet to think that an old 
woman after scrubbing for hours in an hotel would go 
out for a stroll and prowl around all night for her health 
was out of the question. I waited until broad daylight 
and when she did not come out I went to headquarters. 

" ' Another one last night, Murray,' said Crowley. 

" Then it could not have been my old scrub-woman, for 
I had her in sight every minute. However, I determined 
to pay her a visit. I took Jake Sandusky of the police 
force, who now is the Pennsylvania Railway detective, 
with headquarters at Erie, and went out to the house. 
On one side of the double house lived Mrs. O'Brien, a 
respectable woman. She knew nothing of the occupants 
of the other side of the house, beyond the fact that they 
were women and had lived there less than a year. 

" I knocked at the door. There was no answer. I 
banged again, loud and long. I heard a scurry of feet 



FEMININE FIRM OF HALL AND CARROLL 45 

inside and finally the door opened. A big, fine-looking 
girl, about twenty-three years old, stood in the doorway. 
I walked right in. 

" « What is your name ? ' I asked her. 

" ' Mary Ann Hall,' said she. 

" ' Do you live alone ? ' said I. 

" ' I live with my mother/ said Mary Ann. 

" ' Call your mother/ I said. 

" Mary Ann opened wide her mouth and let out a bawl 
like a donkey's bray. 

" ' Ma-a-a-aw ! ' she bellowed. 

" Out from the adjoining room pranced my old scrub- 
woman as sprightly and spry as any being of sixty years 
I ever saw. 

" ' What's your name ? ' I asked. 

" ' Mrs. Julia Hall/ said my old scrub-woman, and if 
ever there is a gallery for the portraits of sixty-year old 
coquettes I will contribute the picture of Julia Hall. 

" ' Who else lives here ? ' I asked. 

" The answer was the opening of Mary Ann's mouth 
in another prolonged bellow. 

" ' Ma-a-ag-gie ! ' she shouted. 

" Out from the adjoining room trotted a second old 
woman, a little bit of a body about fifty years old, with a 
face like an eagle's. She had a loose ringlet that flipped 
around her cheek, and she constantly blew at it out of the 
side of her mouth to fleck it back to her ear. 

" ' Ladies,' said I, ' sit down.' 

" To my astonishment all three promptly sat on the 
floor. I observed that the chief articles of furniture in the 
room were a cook stove, a rough kitchen table, and one 
dilapidated rocking-chair. 

" < Mrs. Julia Hall/ I said, and I can see her coy leer as 
she sat on the floor, ' you were out all night, last 
night.' 

" ' I always am/ she said. 

" ' Yes, Julia cannot sleep in the dark,' spoke up the 
eagle-faced woman, who hastened to add apologetically, 
' I am Mrs. Maggie Carroll, her friend.' 



46 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

" ' I never sleep in the night,' said Mrs. Hall. ' I work 
or walk all night, and when daylight comes I sleep.' 

" ' It's an affliction,' said Mrs. Carroll. ' She had the 
fever when she was a child.' 

" I talked on with these three strange creatures squatted 
on the floor. They puzzled me. I mentioned the bur- 
glaries to them. They knew nothing of them, they said. 
Mrs. Carroll was particularly vehement in protestations of 
ignorance. I crossed over and sat down in the dilapi- 
dated rocker beside the range. There was a kettle on the 
stove, but no fire. Suddenly the chair collapsed with a 
crash. Over I went with my heels in the air. One of 
my feet struck the kettle and it fell to the floor and the 
lid rolled off. The three women had laughed uproari- 
ously when the chair broke down ; Mary Ann haw- 
hawing, Mrs. Hall tittering, and Mrs. Carroll cackling. 
But when the kettle fell and its top rolled off there was 
sudden silence. I looked at the three women and then 
at the chair and then I saw the kettle. Its top was 
towards me and inside I observed what I thought was a 
stove lifter. I reached for it and drew it out. It was a 
jemmy ! Moreover, it was a nicked jemmy ! 

" I stood up and eyed the three women. Mrs. Carroll 
feigned weeping, but Mrs. Hall tittered and made saucer 
eyes, as if bent on conquest, even on the penitentiary's 
verge. 

" ' Mary Ann,' I said, ' you might save me the trouble 
of searching the house by hauling out the plunder.' 

" At this Mrs. Hall struck Mary Ann a resounding 
whack on the head and bade her : ' Squat where you be, 
you hussy ! ' 

" I searched the house. I found silverware, jewellery, 
linen, fine clothes in amazing quantities. The Skinner 
silverware, the Bliss silverware, the plunder from many 
houses, all was recovered. I found also a complete set 
of pass-keys and a house-breaking kit of burglar's tools. 

" We arrested the three women. All three were tried. 
Two, Mrs. Julia Hall and Mrs. Maggie Carroll, were sent 
to Alleghany for four years, and Mary Ann was let off. 



THE EPISODE OF POKE SOLES 47 

While in gaol Mary Ann gave birth to a bouncing baby. 
I asked Mrs. Hall about her tramp through the night 
when I was following her. She laughed in a flirtatious 
way that was ludicrous. From Mrs. Carroll I learned 
that she and Mrs. Carroll were to have done another job 
that night, and Mrs. Hall was to meet Mrs. Carroll at two 
o'clock in the morning. But Mrs. Carroll had spied me 
trailing Mrs. Hall, and had mewed suddenly like a cat, a 
signal to Mrs. Hall that she was being followed. That 
was the cat's cry that had startled Mrs. Hall, and caused 
her to prowl around all night and not go home till morning. 
" They were the only pair of professional women bur- 
glars working alone that I ever met red-handed. They 
had been caught first in Ireland and were sent to Aus- 
tralia, when they got into trouble again and jumped to the 
United States. Mrs. Julia Hall was the genius of the 
two. I often thought that she was foolish to use a nicked 
jemmy. Her cracked smile would have broken into almost 
anything." 



VII 

THE EPISODE OF POKE SOLES 

Poke Soles was a " shover of the queer." An epi- 
sode of his life occurred at Erie, following the capture of 
the women burglars, which reveals now for the first time 
the story of Tom Hale, a counterfeiter, who subsequently 
was a side-member of the United States Secret Service. 
Poke's duties as a shover of the queer were to pass 
counterfeit money. 

" In the winter of 1869 and 1870 some $20 bills that 
were queer, appeared in Erie," says Murray. " It was 
some time after the women burglars had been tried and 
sentenced. Fred Landers kept a restaurant in Erie, and 
one day I happened to drop in, and he told me of a fel- 
low who had been in and ordered a light lunch and paid 



48 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

for it with a $20 bill, and who bought a drink as he went 
out and offered a second $20 bill to the bartender, who 
said he could not change it. I looked at the bank-note 
Landers had taken. It was a clever one, but it was queer. 
My experience with counterfeiters in the special service 
of the United States was of instant value. Landers de- 
scribed the man. I spotted him at the railroad station 
and got him, but did not find any of the stuff or counter- 
feit money on him. He simply was a shover, one who 
passed the money, and he received only a couple of $20 
bills at a time. 

" Few classes of crime are organised so scientifically as 
counterfeiting. The man who makes the plates never 
does business with the men who pass the money. The 
plate-maker is an engraver who usually gets a lump sum 
for his work. Those who print the money are the man- 
ufacturers and they sell the queer in wholesale quantities 
to dealers, who sell to retail dealers, who have their shov- 
ers out passing the money. The man I got was a shover. 
I locked him up and in searching him I found the name 
1 Tom Hale, New York.' I reported to Crowley and sent 
a telegram addressed to Hale and reading : 

" ' Come on. I am sick. Stopping at Morton House. 
Room 84.' 

" I made all arrangements with the hotel clerk to get 
track of any one who called and asked for the man in 
room 84. No one came. I kept the shover, whose name 
was Soles, locked up in gaol. Landers and the bar- 
tender had identified him. A week passed. It was in 
the winter of 1870 and the trains were blockaded and it 
snowed and blew and delayed all traffic. On the ninth 
day a nice looking man walked into the Morton House. 
It was bitter cold and yet he had no overcoat. He asked 
for Mr. Soles in room 84. I was in the hotel at the time ; 
the clerk tipped me and I walked over and collared the 
stranger. I took him down and searched him and locked 
him up. He had several hundred dollars of good money 
on him, but no counterfeit money. I intended to hold 
him while I hunted for his baggage, for at least a man 



THE EPISODE OF POKE SOLES 49 

dressed as he was, would have an overcoat somewhere 
near. 

" The next morning Officer Snyder and I went to the 
railroad station and began, from there, a systematic 
search for trace of the stranger's overcoat. In the morn- 
ing we were in the habit of stepping into John Anthony's 
German saloon for a mug of beer. On that morning 
Anthony said : ' A funny thing happened yesterday. A 
nice looking fellow came in and washed his hands and 
went away leaving his overcoat.' 

" ' Let me see it, John,' said I. 

" Anthony produced the coat. In the first pocket in 
which I thrust my hand I found a roll of something 
wrapped in a handkerchief. I drew it out and found 
$1,000 in counterfeit $20 and $100 bills, with coupons 
attached to the ends. They were such excellent counter- 
feits that later I passed one at a bank as a joke and then 
told them of it. I took the coat to the lockup. 

" « Hello, Hale ; here's your coat,' I said. 

" ' All right. Thank you,' said the stranger, who was 
Tom Hale. 

" I said : ' That's your coat, Tom ? ' 

" ' Oh, yes,' said he. 

" Then I hauled out the counterfeit money from the 
pocket. He then said it was not his coat. I made him 
put the coat on and it fitted him perfectly. Then John 
Anthony identified him as the stranger who had left the 
coat in his saloon. 

" Soles was held for passing counterfeit money. He 
pleaded guilty and was sent to Alleghany for five years. 
The United States authorities took Hale to Pittsburg, then 
to New York, and then to Washington. He promised to 
do everything for the Secret Service Department. He 
was going to give away the whole counterfeiting business. 

" Wood, then chief of the Secret Service, appointed 
him to the United States Secret Service and sent him to 
New York. Hale never gave any one away, but a few 
shovers and small Italians. In the meantime, Wood left 
the Service. Colonel Whiteley became chief. He sent 



50 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

for Hale and told him he was doing nothing. Hale prac- 
tically told Colonel Whiteley to go to hell, which showed 
Hale was not so wise as some people seemed to think he 
was. 

" Finally Hale was arrested and taken back to Pitts- 
burg and tried. Butcher Swope was the United States 
prosecuting attorney. Hale was convicted and sentenced 
to fourteen years in the penitentiary. It was proved 
where he stood in with thieves. Butcher Swope was a 
cracking good prosecuting attorney, and a hard man 
after these crooked fellows. 

" The last time I saw Tom Hale was about 1884. He 
was keeping a dime lodging house on the Bowery in 
New York at that time. He fared far worse in his sen- 
tence than did Poke Soles who stood up like a man when 
he was caught and did his time. I understand Hale 
never set foot in Erie again and vowed he never would. 
The most disappointed man was John Anthony, when 
the owner of the overcoat was found and the $1,000 
turned out to be queer." 



VIII 

HOW A FEUD ALMOST BURNED ERIE 

A feud broke out in the Fire Department in Erie in 
1869. Crowley, Murray, and the police were busy on 
other matters, and paid no attention to it at the outset. 
It began with a contest for the position of chief of the 
Fire Department. Before the struggle was over, Erie 
was threatened with destruction by fire, and the under- 
writers refused to issue insurance. 

" There were two bodies of the City Council," says 
Murray. " The Common Council discharged the old fire 
chief, and the Select Council would not sanction the ap- 
pointment of the new chief. The Fire Department also 
promptly took sides. Part of it stood with the old chief 



HOW A FEUD ALMOST BURNED ERIE 51 

and part of it stood with the new chief. Feeling ran high 
and there was much bitterness. 

" When the fight first started, various fires occurred. 
Old houses and old barns in out-of-the-way places caught 
fire in mysterious ways, and the rival factions in the De- 
partment were kept busy. Each endeavoured to get to a 
fire first and thereby obtain an opportunity to jeer at the 
other. At length the fires began to get rather numerous. 
The crop of old houses and old barns became pretty well 
thinned out. All the rickety buildings in Erie went up 
in sparks and smoke. Then the fires seized upon build- 
ings a grade better than those destroyed in the first 
blazes. Thousands of dollars' worth of property was 
damaged. Property owners became alarmed, and finally 
sent for outside aid, and detectives were brought to Erie 
from New York and Chicago. 

" Their presence quickly became known. It enraged 
the firemen. They called indignation meetings in the 
Fire Department, and arranged to put themselves on 
guard against them. Then the fires began to blaze up in 
bigger buildings, and, despite the presence of the outside 
detectives, they burned factories. At length the under- 
writers refused to issue insurance, and Erie was at the 
mercy of the Fire Department feud. 

" They were so devilish sly about the fires that it was 
next to impossible to catch them. Neither side would 
agree to a compromise on the chiefship, and the fires 
nightly reddened the sky. 

" One night there was a fireman's ball at Uncle Sam's 
Garden. I was there, of course, and so were other 
police. I was full of hope that before the night was over, 
during the dancing and the drinking, I might get some 
stray hint that would lead to evidence sufficient to catch 
some of the firebugs. Finally I went out in what they 
called the wine garden and lay down under a bench and 
pretended to be asleep. Soon two firemen came out. 
The bench was in a secluded corner of the garden. If 
there was to be any talking done that night it would be 
done in such a place. They came over to the bench. 

" ' Hello,' said one of them, ' John has his collar full.' 



52 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

" ' Let him sleep,' said the other. 

" They whispered a moment and then chuckled softly. 
I listened intently but could hear nothing save their sub- 
dued laughter. Then suddenly I was sprinkled, de- 
liberately and thoroughly, from shoulders to shins, and 
those two firemen did it without calling the engines. 
My first impulse was to spring up and wallop them. But 
the damage had been done, so I sprawled out motionless 
and took it. In that interval I vowed ten thousand times 
that, if the chance ever came, I would get even. After 
tiring of the sport of saturating me, they sat down on 
the bench. 

" ' A great night for a blaze,' said one. 

" ' Yes,' said the other, ' and there's the nigger's barn 
on Parade Street.' 

" They were confident I was dead to the world. They 
talked over their plot, planning to slip away from the 
dance. I, under the bench, supposed to be in a stupor, 
heard all that was said. When they walked away I got 
up, shook myself and called my partner, who was in the 
dance hall. 

" ' What's happened, John ? ' he called, as he caught 
sight of me. ' Did you fall into the creek ? ' 

" ' No,' said I, ' the Fire Department has been practising 
on me.' 

" Then I told him what had occurred and what I had 
heard in the wine garden. I knew both the young fel- 
lows and they came of respectable families. It was a 
dark night, black as soot. We knew the two firemen 
had started for their fire-house or the old barn, and we 
took a short cut across a cemetery, cutting off about a 
mile. On the way we lost track of the pair of firemen, 
but we knew their fire-house and we knew the barn and 
we skipped on as fast as we could go. They had quite a 
start of us, but we got to the fire-house just in time to see 
one of them come out with a can of oil and a bunch of 
shavings wrapped up in paper. He darted over to the 
old barn on Parade Street. I followed. He set the 
shavings and sprinkled the oil over them and touched a 
match and away she went. 



HOW A FEUD ALMOST BURNED ERIE 53 

" The fire-engine was there in a jiffy. In fact, the 
flames hardly seemed to have begun to leap when the 
engine arrived. The old barn burned like a tinder-box, 
and nothing was left but a pile of ashes. When the 
engine from the other faction in the department came 
up, there was a lot of jeering because it had not arrived 
first. 

" After the fire I went to the young fellow. I knew 
him well, and was a family friend. His name was Ed, 
and he was about twenty years old. 

" ' Come on, Ed ; I want you,' I said. 

" < What for ? ' said he. 

" ' You know/ said I. ' Come on, without a fuss.' 

" « I thought you were asleep, John, or I'd never have 
disturbed you,' he said. 

" « It's not that,' said I. 

" Then I told him what I had heard and seen. We 
walked quite a distance. He sat down and began to cry. 
I advised him to tell me the whole story. He did so ; 
telling me all who were in the feud and all about it. I 
told him to go home to bed and report at police head- 
quarters at nine o'clock in the morning. He did so. 
Crowley was so tickled he chuckled off and on for a 
week. Whether it was at my getting it under the bench, 
or my getting the firebug at the darky's barn, I never 
could tell. 

" As a result of the information obtained, we arrested 
five firebugs, and all were convicted and sent to the 
penitentiary. 

" It simply was a rivalry of factions. I saw a young 
fellow, who set fire to a factory, hang on the eaves on a 
winter's night until the water froze to an ice-coating on 
his clothes, putting out the fire he had set. They had no 
desire to destroy property. What they wanted was an 
opportunity to gain glory for their faction and outdo the 
rival faction. The great trouble was the opportunities 
were too costly. When I think, even at this late day, of 
what the eavesdropping cost me, I am moved to retire 
to a Turkish bath and sojourn in the steam-room for a 
fortnight, at least. Yet a fortnight in a Turkish bath is 



54 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

better than a year in the penitentiary, and he laughs best 
who laughs last." 



IX 

TWO SCARS, BY THE BLADE OF NAPPER NICHOLS 
AND THE BULLET OF WHITEY STOKES 

Napper Nichols, a bad coon from Corry, Pa., turned 
up in Erie, in 1873, and close on his arrival clicked a 
dispatch stating he was wanted for robbery. No one 
knew his right name, but as Napper Nichols he was 
known in Erie and many other towns. 

" Napper had stolen the trunk of a Mrs. Kelly, a cook 
in an hotel at Corry," says Murray. " He had not been 
out of the penitentiary long. I was acting chief, and I 
nabbed Nichols on the street. He was a stout darky, as 
broad as he was long, with an arm on him like a horse's 
leg. He was a bad nigger in the worst sense. He 
started to buck when I nabbed him, but promptly 
changed his mind and said he would go with me. 

" I took him before Judge Phil Honiger. I stated to 
Judge Honiger what Nichols was accused of stealing, and 
I was reciting the coon's penitentiary record, preparatory 
to searching him and locking him up, for I knew the 
judge would remand him. Suddenly the coon whipped 
out a razor and slashed at me. I saw it coming and 
dodged. The blade caught me on the left shoulder. 
The coon had aimed for my throat, but missed it by 
three inches. The slash cut away the collar of my coat, 
and cut through the shirt and into the flesh. 

" I closed with him. Over we went on to the floor, 
over and over, I with one hand at his throat, closing on 
it with every ounce of strength in my grip, while my 
other hand clutched his hand that held the razor. He 
began to bellow and snort like a bull, striving to wield 
the razor and sink it into me. 

" A handsome, heavy cane had been presented to 



TWO SCARS 55 

Judge Honiger by some of his many admiring friends. 
When he saw us grapple, with the razor flashing, he 
seized the cane and vaulted over the desk and down to 
where we were struggling and pitching and tossing on 
the floor. I saw the cane whirl overhead, and I heard 
the smash as it sent the razor flying out of the coon's 
hand. Then the judge, dancing around us, planted 
crack after crack upon the coon's head. We tossed so 
much that some of the wallops landed on me. My hand- 
cuffs fell out of my pocket, and as we rolled near them I 
grabbed them and snapped them first on one wrist, and, 
after a long fight, on the other also. 

" Nichols was a desperate nigger. He lifted up his 
cuffed hands and brought them down like a pile-driver, 
aiming at my head. I simply had to roll out of the way. 
But as I rolled I pulled a billy. The momentum of the 
coon's attempt to smash the handcuffs on my head carried 
him forward, and I put the billy in. It was like beating 
a railroad tie, but I did a good job for the doctors. 

" When Nichols had his fill of the billy, I took him 
right over from the police court to the court-house. He 
was indicted within two hours, was tried within three 
hours more, and at half-past five o'clock that same day he 
was sentenced to seven years in the penitentiary, while I 
went out and got another collar and a change of clothes. 

" About six months later, Whitey Stokes, a burglar 
and all-round bad man, who had been released from the 
penitentiary, committed a robbery, and I had a warrant 
for him. I was passing Lou Shoemaker's saloon about 
twelve o'clock at night, and stepped in. It was a big 
place under a bank, with two doors leading into it. 

" ' You . You're just in time to have a 

drink,' said a voice behind me. 

" I turned. There stood Stokes, a strapping, big fel- 
low, with a revolver not three feet from my chest. As 
he fired I grabbed the revolver. The bullet bit its way 
through my hand. I bear the scar still : on my right 
hand, between the first and second fingers. As the gun 
went off we went to the floor together, and around we 
tossed like a chicken with its head off, flopping this way 



56 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

and that. Shoemaker ran outside for the police, instead 
of coming to take the gun. I stuck to the gun with my 
right hand, wrenched it from Stokes's grasp, and threw it 
across the room. I felt something tugging at my hip 
pocket. It was Stokes reaching for my gun. 

" A foot-rail ran along the front of the bar, several 
inches from the floor. I managed to slide Stokes along 
the floor until I got his head near this iron rail, and I 
jammed it under. He had been snapping and snarling 
at me like a mad dog, trying to sink his teeth in me. 
Once I got his head under the rail I drew my own re- 
volver, and used its butt so that Mr. Whitey Stokes was 
not fit to be photographed for a month. They carried 
him to the lock-up. I went with them to see him safe 
inside. 

" On my way home, about one o'clock in the morning, 
I met Dr. Spenser, who dressed my hand. Two hours 
after I went to bed it began to swell. Blood-poisoning 
had set in. My hand was as big as a boxing-glove. 
They wanted to take it off, but I refused. I needed the 
hand in my business. They prepared a bowl of diluted 
laudanum, and I used to soak the hand in it until I was 
almost stupefied. Dr. Brandes saved the hand for me, 
although for three months I carried it in a sling. 

" The hand is as good as ever ; but on cold days my 
second finger gets numb, and the scar gets red as scarlet. 
However, if the scars of that struggle turn scarlet in the 
cold, Whitey Stokes, wherever he may be, goes through 
each winter with a countenance crimson from forehead to 
chin, not forgetting behind the ears." 



A KING, A LUNATIC, AND A BURGLAR— THREE 
IN ONE, AND NONE AT ALL 

Murray had his full share of exciting experiences dur- 
ing his service in Erie. One episode in particular he 
laughs over, for in it he was mistaken for a king, a luna- 
tic, and a burglar, all in a single night. 



A KING, A LUNATIC AND A BURGLAR 57 

" In November, 1872, a Miss Julia Oliver, sister of a 
prominent man in Erie, became demented," says Murray. 
" Her family were English people. She imagined they 
had large estates in England, and one of her delusions 
was that her brother was trying to beat her out of them. 
At times she had brief lucid intervals, but gradually she 
became worse, and they decided to send her to the Dix- 
mont Asylum, up on the mountain near Pittsburg. I was 
acquainted with her, and her family, and they suggested 
that I would be the proper person to take her to the 
asylum. All the plans were made. We intended to start 
in the morning, but she locked and barred her bedroom 
door and windows, and we could not get into the room 
until after the morning train had gone. Fearing to have 
her at home another night, lest she should do some overt 
act or kill herself, the family decided I should take her on 
the afternoon train. It was an hour or two late. Miss 
Oliver and I arrived at the small asylum station long after 
dark. I remember it was a bright, cold, moonlit night in 
the latter part of November. The train steamed away, 
leaving this crazy woman and myself alone on the plat- 
form of the little station. There was not a soul around, 
no agent, no one from the asylum, not even a station 
lounger. It was as deserted as the North Pole, and al- 
most as cold. The asylum was a mile or so up on the 
mountain from the station. There was a terraced walk 
for a part of the distance. The wind was howling, and 
everything was frozen tight. I looked far up the moun- 
tain, where I could see the asylum lights shining out in 
the night. The crazy woman passively waited. 

" ' Come, Miss Oliver,' said I. ' We will have to walk. 
I am very sorry, but there is no other way.' 

" She looked at me with big, innocent, reproachful 
eyes. She had a very sweet, childlike voice. She made 
no move. 

" ' I know you are going to kill me,' she said so sor- 
rowfully, and with such sweet simplicity and directness, 
that I started guiltily at the very candour of the accusa- 
tion. « Do kill me here,' she continued. ' Do not kill 
me on the mountainside, and let me roll down the hill. 



58 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

The one thing I dread after death is to have to roll down 
long hills.' 

" There was no use to argue. She was insane. Yet 
she was so self-possessed, so gentle a lady, so frank, that 
if I had not known positively she was crazy, I would 
have believed her as sane as any other person I knew. 

" ' If you will not walk with me I must carry you,' I 
said. 

" ' I weigh over one hundred and forty pounds,' she 
said solemnly. ' I will not resist, although I prefer to be 
killed here rather than on the mountainside. Please kill 
me here.' 

" No one likes to be regarded seriously as a murderer, 
even by insane folk. So, without further ado, I picked 
up Miss Oliver in my arms and started up the mountain. 
She certainly had stated her minimum weight ! She lay 
in my arms like a sack of salt. The wind raged about 
us. Step by step I made my way up the mountain, 
heading for the lights of Dixmont. Despite the bitter 
cold I sat her down and threw off my overcoat, then 
picked her up and laboured on. It was weary, toilsome 
work. I stumbled and staggered, but ever nearer shone 
the lights. The insane girl begged piteously to be killed. 

" ' Kill me ; why don't you kill me ? ' she kept crying. 
" Oh, think how far I must roll after I am killed ! ' 

" It was useless to be angry. I trudged on. Then 
she began to resist. She kicked and screamed and 
clawed. I was compelled to put her down and sit on 
her while I threw off my undercoat. Then up the 
mountain we went, in a perambulating wrestling match. 
She fought valiantly. Once she tripped me, and we 
rolled far down the path before I could stop. She 
shrieked with delight as we rolled. Then slowly, labori- 
ously I worked our way back over the lost ground. All 
the asylum lights went out while we were on our way, 
except the few that burned all night. Finally I got her 
up to the door and rang the bell. As I rang, she 
wrenched away. I grabbed her, and she began to shriek 
so piercingly that it seemed as if her family away back 
in Erie must hear it. We were in a tangle on the ground 



A KING, A LUNATIC AND A BURGLAR 59 

when the door opened, and a flood of light poured out 
on us. 

" There I stood — hatless, coatless, dishevelled, wet — 
with a wild woman wailing piteously, struggling, and 
crying to be freed from a monster. They well might 
have wondered which of us was insane. I carried her 
inside, and the doors were closed. I knew Dr. Reed, the 
Superintendent, but he was away. They roused the as- 
sistant superintendent out of bed. He was none too 
pleased at being disturbed. I had my commitment 
papers in my shirt, and I drew them forth. They were 
as wet as if they had fallen into a basin of water. Miss 
Oliver was a pay patient, of course, and her bed was 
ready. She looked serenely around the reception room, 
noting the paintings and the furnishings. 

" ' What do you think of my castle, King George ? ' 
she said to me. ' Is it not beautiful, your majesty ? 
Pray make yourself at home, your majesty.' 

" There never was a King George who looked as I 
looked just then. Small wonder a nurse sniggered. 
They took Miss Oliver to her quarters, and I returned to 
the office. I could hear the wind whistling around the 
corners outside. I asked if I could stay all night. They 
said no, it was against the rules. 

" ' If Dr. Reed was here I could stay all night/ I re- 
torted. 

" « Dr. Reed is not here,' was the icy reply, matching 
the zero weather outdoors. 

" They showed me the door. I went out, hatless, 
coatless, into the night. I stumbled down the mountain, 
and hunted for my undercoat. I found it, and then 
found my overcoat. But my hat was nowhere around. 
The wind must have blown it away. I made my way 
down to the station. I was getting cold, and my damp 
clothes were stiffening on me. I tried to find warmth or 
shelter at the station, but there was none. I shivered 
and stamped to and fro, endeavouring to keep warm. 
There was no hotel around, none within a couple of 
miles. The only house near was a gashouse, where they 
made gas for the asylum. It was across from the sta- 



6o MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

tion. I saw a light in it, and I went over and stepped 
in. A lone man was sitting by the fire, watching the 
drafts. He turned as the door slammed, and seeing me 
hatless, with scratched face, he groaned and jumped over 
to the other side of the room. 

" ' Get out ! get out ! ' he shouted, waving his arms. 
' You cannot stop here ! Get out ; I'm closing up now ! ' 

" ' You poor fool,' said I. ' I want to get warm, that's 
all. Nobody will hurt you. Sit down.' 

" ' Go back to the asylum if you want to get warm ! ' 
he yelled, as if I were a deaf lunatic. ' I don't warm 
crazy men here.' 

" The fellow was beside himself with terror. He 
thought I was an escaped madman from Dixmont, and I 
did not blame him. I certainly must have looked the 
part. Suddenly his manner changed. 

" ' If you're really cold, my friend, I'll show you the 
new tavern that has been built right down the road/ 
said he. 

" I thanked him heartily. He put on his hat and over- 
coat, and we started out of the door. As I stepped out- 
side he slammed the heavy door behind me, and locked 
it from within. It simply was a ruse to get me out. I 
saw it was useless to try to get into the gashouse again, 
so I started on a brisk walk down the road, looking for a 
tavern or boarding-house, or place of shelter for a half- 
frozen man. I walked over two miles before I came to 
what appeared to be a boarding-house. I banged on the 
door. There was no answer. I shook the door by its 
handle. Suddenly an up-stairs window was raised, and 
a hoarse voice shouted : ' Who's there ? ' I answered 
that I was an officer who had come from the asylum and 
desired a bed for the night. 

" ' Get out of there ! ' roared the voice. 

" ' Come down and open this door ! ' I shouted in reply. 

" The answer was the bang of a shotgun, and a charge 
of buckshot bored into the woodwork about a yard from 
where I stood. I scooted around the corner of the house 
as the second barrel followed the first. I crawled along 
behind fences until I struck a bend in the road, and then 



A KING, A LUNATIC AND A BURGLAR 61 

crossed to the railroad track, and started on a fast walk 
back towards the gashouse. On my way I met the gas- 
man. When he saw me he let out a shriek of terror and 
fled across the fields. I walked fully three miles, past 
the gashouse, which was locked, before I came to a tavern. 
Profiting by my former experience I knocked, and when 
I heard a window raised up-stairs I got around to the 
other side of the house. 

Vat you vant ? ' asked a heavy German voice. 
I want to get in/ said I. 
Go away ! ' said the voice. 

" ' I want to get in ! ' I shouted. 
Bang ! bang ! went a gun. But I was around the 
corner of the house. I waited a few minutes, then 
thumped again on the door. Three times I thumped, 
and every time the old German roared. Finally I crossed 
the road and got behind a tree. 

" ' Hello, there ! ' I shouted. « You'll kill some one if 
you don't stop.' 

" ' Veil, vat you tink I am shootin' for, eh ? ' 

" I began a long palaver with him. 

" ' I want to get a bed for the night,' I said in conclu- 
sion. 

" ' So ? Why ain't you say so first ? ' said he. 

" I could hear him talking to his wife. They went 
away from the window. I waited fifteen minutes, and 
kicked again on the door. Presently a light appeared in 
the hall. Through the glass alongside the old-fashioned 
door I could see them coming down the stairs. The 
wife was ahead carrying a lighted candle. The husband 
was behind carrying the shotgun. 

" • Hello, out there ! ' he shouted, as they neared the 
door. 

" ' Hello ! ' I answered. 

" ' Who are you ? ' he asked. 

" I told him. 

" ' How do I know you are who you say you are ? ' he 
demanded. 

" I recited a long list of people I knew. 

" ' How do I know you know them ? ' he asked. 



62 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

" I pondered. The only way to convince him was to 
hit upon some man he would be sure to know well. I 
saw a whiskey sign by the door. 

" ' Do you know Fred Applebaum, of Pittsburg, the 
singer and whiskey man ? ' said I. 

" ' Freddie Applebaum ? Do I know him ? ' he said, 
and I could hear the bolt shot back. 

" I fairly leaped inside. The old German kept point- 
ing the shotgun at me. He said there had been many 
burglaries in the vicinity, some of the robberies having 
been committed by men who called late at night and said 
they wanted lodgings. His wife brought me whiskey, and 
I took a big drink. The old German meanwhile held 
the shotgun full upon me. I sat close to the fire, and 
after thawing out I went to bed. The old German fol- 
lowed me with the shotgun and a candle. He sat down 
in a corner of the room with the candle on the window 
sill and the shotgun pointed at the bed. I fell asleep. 
It was daylight when I awoke. There sat the old Ger- 
man sound asleep in his chair, with the shotgun across 
his knees and the candle down in the socket. I coughed, 
and he awoke with a snort. When I came to pay my 
bill he said, ' Fifty cents for bed, fifty cents for breakfast, 
and fifty cents for extra.' 

" « What's the extra for ? ' I asked. 

" « For keeping watch on you,' said he. « How do I 
know you ain't a burglar ? ' 

" ' Would you take in a burglar ? ' said I. 

" ' If he was half froze,' said he. 

" I took the first train for Erie, after buying a hat in 
Pittsburg, and patching my scratched face with court 
plaster. It was the only night of my life in which I had 
been invited to a palace as a king, locked out of a gas- 
house as a lunatic, shot at as a burglar, and put to bed 
with a shotgun pointed at my head." 



THE BOX-CAR BATTLE OF SWEETMAN 63 

XI 

THE BOX-CAR BATTLE OF SWEETMAN, AND THE 
THRASHERS WITH THE WHEAT 

In addition to his regular work on the Erie police force 
Murray was gradually drawn into the service of the men 
at the head of the Pennsylvania Central Railroad. His 
success in the cases he undertook attracted their atten- 
tion to such a degree that they finally urged him to 
sever his connection with the Erie Police and devote 
himself exclusively to railroad detective work. William 
L. Scott, the railroad magnate, whose home was in Erie, 
and for whom Murray had done considerable difficult 
railroad detective work, was particularly desirous of ob- 
taining Murray's undivided services. 

Mr. Scott, Milton Cartwright, who built the Dismal 
Swamp canal, and was interested in the building of the 
Elevated Railway system in New York, James Casey, 
George Ham of Boston, and others, united in the build- 
ing of the Canada Southern Railroad, now the Michigan 
Central, between Buffalo and Detroit, with its route in 
Canada from Fort Erie, opposite Buffalo, through St. 
Thomas to Windsor, opposite Detroit. They had diffi- 
culties in Canada. Station houses were burned. Trains 
were derailed. Bridges were fired. The trouble primar- 
ily grew out of the right of way. Some of the country 
folk seemed to think the railroad should make them all 
rich. The officers of the company knew Murray, and 
they held a conference and urged him to leave Erie and 
straighten matters out in the Canada Southern's troubles. 
Their offer to Murray was so flattering that he agreed to 
go for three months, with the right to return at the end 
of that time if he did not find matters satisfactory. 

In May, 1873, Murray left Erie and went to Canada as 
head of detectives of the Canada Southern Railroad of 
which William L. Scott was president and F. N. Finney 
was general superintendent. He established headquar- 
ters in St. Thomas and travelled between Buffalo and 
Detroit, and frequently Chicago. 



64 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

" The bridge-burning stopped first," says Murray. " I 
began a systematic watch of the bridge that was the 
scene of the most trouble. Night after night I lay in a 
clump of brush by the railroad track. They were hard 
to catch, but eventually the bridge-burning stopped, 
along with the firing of stations, for I gave chase in 
earnest and caught some of the incendiaries and they 
were sent to the penitentiary. 

" Soon after the bridge-burning was broken up, L. D. 
Rucker, of the Canada Southern, called my attention to 
complaints of wholesale robbery of cars. Goods con- 
signed from Boston and New York to the west were 
found to be missing on the arrival of the cars at their 
destination. The various roads over which the cars 
passed had to pay pro rata the loss to the shippers." 

The selection of Murray to run down this wholesale 
train robbing, affecting various railroads, indicates the 
reputation he had earned at that time as a clever detect- 
ive. It was a hard case. 

" I went to Boston and started over the route of the 
goods," says Murray. " I saw the cars go through un- 
broken to Black Rock at Buffalo, where customs officers 
and sealers inspected and resealed the cars, after which 
they went on west through Canada. After following the 
route of goods several times I became convinced that the 
robberies were perpetrated at Black Rock, and that car 
sealers and railroad employees were in collusion. They, 
alone, could have the necessary knowledge or oppor- 
tunity. 

" Mose Mills was Customs Officer at the International 
Bridge at that time. I put up a job with Mills. We 
made a fake manifest showing boots, shoes, silks, and 
clothing, making a fat car. We gave the number of the 
car and sent the manifest out as usual, and then had the 
car placed at the old Bathurst Street yards at Black 
Rock. I got Police Captain Dixon, of old No. 5 station 
in Buffalo, and two of his men, Joe Henderson and Andy 
Dayton, a brother of Mayor Dayton. A fence ran along 
by the tracks. We got outside the fence and lay in wait. 

" I remember the night well. It was the night of July 



THE BOX-CAR BATTLE OF SWEETMAN 65 

1 2th, 1874. It was blazing hot, breezeless, suffocating. 
We crouched alongside the fence for several hours. 
About 1.30 o'clock in the morning we saw two lanterns 
dodging in and out among the trucks. Three fellows 
slipped along silently, looking for the car numbered in 
the fake manifest. 

" ' Here it is/ said one of them. 

" They broke the seal, slid the door, climbed in and 
began to open the boxes. When they were well along 
with their work we made a break for the car. Two of 
the three ran, with Dixon, Henderson, and Dayton after 
them. I grabbed the third fellow, a powerful gaint in a 
cotton shirt and overalls. We grappled in the car and 
fell among the boxes. It was stifling hot in the box car 
and the water began to pour off us. Neither spoke a 
word. It was a silent struggle in the darkness. I recog- 
nised the fellow as one of our road's employees named 
Sweetman, counted one of the huskiest men in the busi- 
ness. He tried to strangle me to death, tried it so de- 
liberately I had to admire his coolness. I broke his hold 
and, when he tried to jam me behind the boxes where he 
could shove a big packing case on me and crush me, I 
forced him over by the car door. There we heaved and 
strained amid the big boxes. 

" I had stripped him naked in the first grapples of the 
fight. His cotton shirt and overalls had come off like 
the peeling of a banana. In his fury he tore my clothes 
off me and as we lurched towards the car door we fell 
out to the track below, two naked men, drenched with 
perspiration as if a tub of water had been emptied on us. 
We fell in a bunch and over we went on to the cinders 
and ballast and ties. There was no let up. Whichever 
man got the chance banged the other's head on the rails, 
jammed his face in the cinders or thumped his bare body 
on the ballast and ties. A free hand meant a stunning 
blow. We fought under the car and out on to the other 
tracks. All the while we were silent as two mutes. It 
was a case of which or t'other on top. He was worrying 
me. I was busy as I could be and I could not yell, and 
my gun was gone. 



66 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

" We came to a full stop on the track between the rails 
beyond the car where our fight began. Neither of us 
was on top. We were a tangled bunch. As we lay 
straining, gasping, we heard a creaking and crunching. 
Instinctively both of us looked down the track. An 
engine had backed some cars in and they were bearing 
slowly, steadily down upon us. Sweetman was a game 
man, he never flinched. ' You first ! ' he gasped, as he 
strove to roll me nearest the approaching cars. My 
answer was a heave that turned him prone between the 
rails and there I held him, panting and desperate, not 
daring to relax my hold. Nearer and nearer came the 
cars. We could hear the grind of the flange. Sweet- 
man writhed and strove to drag me down and force me 
over. 

" ' Give up ? ' I gasped. 

" Sweetman shook his head and butted me full be- 
tween the eyes. Together we reeled back on the track. 
The trucks of the nearest car were not thirty feet away, 
when Joe Henderson came running down the track, from 
the chase after the other two men, and dragged us back 
and snapped the handcuffs on Sweetman. Henderson 
had captured his man and the third escaped. I was 
somewhat disfigured and had to borrow some clothes, 
but I was mightily relieved when I saw the grim trucks 
of the freight cars go by and felt my bones safe beyond 
their reach. Sweetman was a partner of Slip Lewis. 
He was locked up, and later his attorney made a fight 
on some technicality. 

" But this stopped the car burglaries. The railroads 
thanked me, and thereafter goods went west and arrived 
at their destination unmolested." 

When Murray returned to St. Thomas, after breaking 
up the car burglaries, he found complaints of train-tap- 
ping and quickly located it at the west end of the road 
in the vicinity of Amherstburg, on the Canadian side of 
the mouth of the Detroit River. Cars laden with grain 
would lose bushels in transit, in some unknown way. 
The cars were weighed at Detroit to make sure of their 
cargo and when weighed later by the railroad they were 



THE BOX-CAR BATTLE OF SWEETMAN 67 

many bushels lighter. Murray by a plan of frequent 
weighing of the cars, narrowed the territory, where the 
thefts were committed, to the vicinity of Amherstburg. 

" The method employed by the train tappers," says 
Murray, " was to crawl under a grain car at night, bore 
holes in the floor of the car with an auger, fill as many 
bags with grain as they could cart away, and then plug 
up the auger holes, and the car would bear no visible 
outward sign of having been robbed. Hundreds of 
bushels of grain would be stolen in this way. One 
night a single train was rifled of enough grain to make 
two waggon loads of filled bags. The quantity stolen 
in such a short time satisfied me that a gang of six or 
seven did the job, and that it was not the work of only 
one or two. So I nosed around looking for sixes or 
sevens who would be apt to engage in train-tapping. I 
was puzzled to learn what became of the grain, if the 
thieves were people in the vicinity, for I could find no 
trace of any sales of grain apart from the usual barter in 
crops by farmers. 

" I arranged for a string of grain cars to be laid out 
on a siding, and the first night I spotted a figure sneak 
under some of the cars and bore holes and put in plugs. 
No attempt was made that night to steal any of the grain, 
and evidently the cars were being prepared for the next 
night's raid. I decided to follow the fellow to his home 
on the first night, and I did so. The trail led to the 
home of the five Thrashers, a father, mother, and three 
sons, whose constant companions were two fellows named 
Johnson and Mike Fox. 

" I went back and got two constables, and told them 
to meet me at a point in the yards, where I would have 
a freight engine. I got a switch engine, but the con- 
stables failed to appear, so I went alone with the engineer, 
John Savina by name, and the fireman. The engine 
stopped opposite the Thrashers, and I went out to the 
house to arrest the five people. I told the engineer and 
fireman to be prepared to come in a jiffy. I knocked at 
the door, and no one answered. I knocked again, and 
when no response came I shoved against the door and 



68 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

walked in. No one was in sight. I passed through the 
kitchen, and was about to enter a room opening off it 
when a tremendous screech came from the room. I 
stood and listened. It was like the high, quavering note 
of a calliope or steam piano. Without further ado I 
shoved open the door and entered. All I could see was 
a big, old-fashioned bed, surmounted by a mosquito net. 
Sitting upright in this bed was one of the ugliest women 
I ever saw in my life. She would glance at me, and then 
throw back her head and screech just as a coyote howls 
when he serenades the moon. She was Mrs. Thrasher. 
I bade her get up. She answered with a series of ear- 
splitting screeches. I spent about ten minutes trying to 
persuade her to get out of bed. When words were of 
no avail I laid hold of the mosquito netting and pulled 
it out of the way. 

" ' I am palsied ! ' shrieked Mrs. Thrasher. ' I am 
paralysed, and cannot be moved ! ' 

" I approached the bed, and she dealt me such a thump 
on the head with her clenched hand as no paralytic ever 
was able to do. I sought to take her out of" bed, but she 
buried herself in the bedclothes. So I simply took the 
tick, and pulled it off the bed, and was preparing to take 
the bed apart with her in it, when she sprang out and 
fled through the kitchen. I knew I could get her later, 
and the tick had seemed very heavy in my hands. I slit 
it open, and found it filled with new boots and shoes. 
While I was emptying them out I heard a stealthy step 
behind me, and whirled around just in time to see Mrs. 
Thrasher swing an axe and aim it at me. I dodged, 
and laid violent hands on Mrs. Thrasher's ankles, and 
landed her on the floor with a thud. Before she could 
regain the axe I just rolled her into the emptied tick, and 
fastened her by one of the tall bed-posts, where she kicked 
and screeched, and probably well-nigh suffocated while I 
was searching the house. 

" They had a number of bedticks all filled with wheat. 
They also had a big chimney that was unused. They 
had stuffed this chimney full of bags of wheat. Old 
man Thrasher came out of a closet, and I arrested him. 



WITH THE HELP OF JESSIE McLEAN 69 

The engine hands helped me take the plunder away. I 
went to the place of Mike Fox, near by, and arrested 
him after finding more of the stolen stuff on his premises. 
I also arrested Johnson, and took the whole batch before 
Magistrate George Gott, who also was Canadian customs 
officer, and he committed them to Sandwich gaol for trial 
before Judge Home, who sent them to Kingston Peni- 
tentiary for four years each. 

" That broke up train-tapping. Mrs. Thrasher averred 
that after she was bagged in the tick she experienced a 
sensation similar to that caused by smiting the outside of 
the tick with the open hand. I suggested to her that 
perhaps she had wriggled and kicked so much as to bump 
herself against the bed-post. But she seemed to cling to 
the idea that she had been spanked soundly, not beaten 
or bruised, but simply spanked strenuously. What could 
a woman named Thrasher expect ? " 



XII 

WITH THE HELP OF JESSIE McLEAN 

On a bright, sunshiny day in 1874 Murray walked out 
of General-Superintendent Finney's office in the Canada 
Southern Station at St. Thomas. He had just returned 
from Cleveland, and had made a report on the arrest of a 
thief, who at one time had been bothersome to the com- 
pany. As he strolled down the platform he saw a group 
of trainmen laughing and chatting and sunning them- 
selves. They were talking of fires. 

" Sparks from Canada Southern locomotives seemed to 
become contagious, and various buildings along the line 
began to shoot sparks and to go up in smoke," says 
Murray. " It grew to be bothersome, and the insurance 
companies became considerably wrought up. The com- 
plaints, of course, came to me. 

" At that time one of the features of life in St. Thomas 
was Jessie McLean. Jessie was as bonnie a Scotch lass 



yo MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

as a man could meet in twenty counties. She was good- 
looking, with peachy cheeks and sunny hair and merry 
eyes. But, above all, Jessie weighed 250 pounds. She 
was the biggest girl in St. Thomas. Some of the fellows 
used to joke at Jessie, but I always treated her with 
courtesy, and I remember the days when I used to walk 
a quarter of a mile just to see Jessie McLean on her way 
to church. It was not a case of love, but simply a desire 
to see a 250-pound girl go by. Every man, as he looks 
back through the years into the little town where he 
lived long ago, can recall certain sights and scenes that 
stand out vividly in the vision of his memory. 'Twas 
so with Jessie McLean. I can close my eyes and see 
her still, tripping churchward, 250 pounds of graceful 
femininity. 

" But back to the burnings. The climax, of the fires 
came when the Dufferin House, in St. Thomas, burned. 
The Dufferin House was named after Lord Dufferin, then 
Governor-General of Canada. It was a large wooden 
building with sixty or more rooms, and stood on Talbert 
Street, near what is now the Michigan Central Station. 
Johnnie Hanley was the proprietor. He had $9,000 of 
mortgages on the house. The hotel was not paying, and 
Johnnie could not pay the mortgages. 

" One quiet Sunday evening in October the Dufferin 
House was burned. No lives were lost. The insurance 
people were certain the fire was incendiary in its origin. 
Mr. Westmacott, the insurance representative from 
Toronto, came to me ; and I also heard the talk that 
engine sparks caused the fire. I took charge of the case. 
I began a search for evidence. It was a difficult task. 
The evidence was not connected in its chain of circum- 
stances. Finally, I found the pastor of the Baptist Church 
could strengthen my cause; but I still lacked the desired 
clinching testimony. Where was I to get it? 

" The answer came in Jessie McLean. The 250-pound 
Scotch girl told me she had seen Johnnie Hanley as he 
came hurriedly off the back steps just before the fire. It 
completed the case, and, thanks to Jessie McLean, who 
had been on her way to church when she saw him, Johnnie 



THE COURSE OF A CAREER 71 

Hanley was convicted and sentenced to seven years' im- 
prisonment. 

" Hanley had a son-in-law, Bill Cronin, who kept the 
Detroit House ; and subsequently it was burned. Assisted 
by Chief-of-Police James Fewings, who also aided me in 
the Hanley case, I convicted Cronin of setting the house 
on fire, and he also was sent to prison for seven years. 
After Cronin had followed Hanley to prison, the sparks 
of the Canada Southern engines seemed to become harm- 
less ; for there were no more mysterious fires, and the 
insurance companies breathed easy, and Jessie McLean 
continued on her innocent, 250-pound way, and finally 
married a bouncing railroad conductor." 



XIII 

THE COURSE OF A CAREER 

After Murray had been with the Canada Southern 
Railroad for about a year, the Ontario Government be- 
gan to inquire if he was restricted exclusively to railroad 
detective work. His line of work had brought him 
under the constant and direct notice of the Department 
of Justice. 

He received requests from the Department of Justice to 
aid them, first in matters in his territory as head of the 
Canada Southern's Detective Department, and finally to 
take up a baffling case for the Crown and work it out. 
In the fall of 1874 Murray received this telegram : 

" John W. Murray. — Come to Toronto. — O. Mowat." 

The signer was Sir Oliver Mowat, at that time Attorney- 
General and head of the Department of Justice. Murray 
turned the telegram over to the railroad people. They 
told Murray to go to Toronto and see what was wanted, 
as they desired to keep on good terms with the Govern- 
ment. Thus Murray, as chief of detectives of the Canada 
Southern, went to Toronto in 1874 to see Attorney- 



72 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

General Mowat. The Attorney-General asked Murray 
to become connected with the department. Murray de- 
clined, saying he had come, in response to a telegram, to 
aid the Government in any particular matter it had in 
hand. 

" The matter was stated by the Attorney-General and 
his deputy, J. G. Scott," says Murray. " For a number 
of years counterfeiters had been at work in Owen Sound 
and vicinity. Some of them had dealt in counterfeit 
money for a long time, and had grown very wealthy and 
had influential connections. In fact, their relationships 
made it a doubly difficult matter. The Government was 
annoyed greatly by their actions, and the conditions 
finally had become such as to make it necessary to break 
up the gang, regardless of their influential connections. 
Once more I was thankful for my early training in the 
counterfeiting line. I went direct to the vicinity stated 
by the Attorney-General, and it was not long before I 
was in the confidence of the men who were handling the 
queer. The families of some were among the most 
respectable in that part of the country. I went ahead 
and obeyed my instructions. The members of the gang 
were arrested and convicted, and sent to the penitentiary. 

" One of the gang had disappeared. He forged bonds 
and mortgages on various farmers, including a $1,500 
mortgage on a farmer named Laycock, in the township 
of S;t. Vincent, county of Grey. He sold the forged 
paper in Toronto to Blaikie & Alexander and fled the 
country, leaving no trace of his whereabouts. His name 
was John C. Bond, of Owen Sound. 

" I returned to St. Thomas, after breaking up the gang 
and putting a stop to the counterfeiting, and resumed my 
duties with the Canada Southern. At intervals I re- 
ceived communications from the Department of Justice 
relative to securing my services permanently. Sir Oliver 
Mowat was Attorney-General then, and J. G. Scott, now 
Master of Titles, was Deputy Attorney-General. In the 
spring of 1875 came a formal tender of appointment as 
Detective of the Department of Justice. I conferred 
with my friends in St. Thomas. They advised me to ac- 



THE COURSE OF A CAREER 73 

cept. Mr. Finney, however, urged me to remain with 
him ; and later, when he went west and built the Wiscon- 
sin Central, he endeavoured to get me to go with him. 

" In April, 1875, I was appointed by the Ontario 
Government. When I received the notice of appoint- 
ment, I wrote at once saying it would be impossible for 
me to get away for at least three months. They replied 
that this was satisfactory. I finished the work I had then 
in hand, and in July, 1875, 1 reported for duty in Toronto 
as Detective for the Provincial Government. I was the 
only regular officer, and I succeeded a man named Smith. 
My territory was all the Province of Ontario, and also I 
was to follow criminals to any place and run them down. 
I took charge of the detective work in the Department 
of Justice, of which the Attorney-General was the head." 

Murray was thirty-five years old at this time. He 
found himself in charge of the detective work in a field 
extending practically from Montreal on the east to Mani- 
toba on the west ; from the United States on the south 
to the wastes of snow and ice above Georgian Bay on the 
north. Its total area was 101,733 square miles, and its 
division was into eighty-four counties. It was girdled by 
the Ottowa River, the Upper St. Lawrence and Lakes 
Ontario, Erie, Huron, and Superior. From southeast to 
northwest it stretched 750 miles, and from northeast to 
southwest it was 500 miles. 

In this field to which he was called, Murray found that 
the Department of Justice, otherwise the Attorney-Gen- 
eral's Department, had charge of all the criminal business 
of the Province. For the expense of the administration 
of criminal justice there is an appropriation made by the 
Legislature, or Parliament, every year. A certain pro- 
portion of this appropriation is charged up to the various 
counties for work done therein. Each county has a 
County Crown Attorney, equivalent to a District Attor- 
ney in the United States. The County Crown Attorney 
is under the direction of, and is paid by, the Department 
of Justice. The counties have their local constables ap- 
pointed by the County Judge of each county, but any 
criminal matter of importance is reported immediately to 



74 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

the Department of Justice. If the Department deems 
the case of sufficient importance, Murray takes it up 
either in person or supervises the investigation, the con- 
stables and others being subordinate to him in the 
matter. 

" It is an excellent system, and the splendid record of 
the Department of Justice for many years indicates how 
efficient it is and how well it works," says Murray. 

Murray thus entered upon the full course of his career 
over twenty-eight years ago. He brought to his work a 
rich experience and rare training. His dangerous and 
exacting duties during the Civil War were followed by 
busy years with the United States in special service and 
hard years, filled with all sorts of experiences, on the 
police force at Erie. He learned all the details of the 
lower forms of police work and gradually broadened his 
field of activity until he was graduated from the detective 
work at Erie to the duties of head of the Canada South- 
ern Railroad's detective department. He had learned 
what it meant to come in contact with desperate crimi- 
nals. He had improved the opportunities to study the 
ways of the keenest crooks. He had schooled himself in 
the details of information of every class of crime. The 
severity with which his skill and knowledge and ability 
were tested in the years to follow is shown again and 
again in the tales of the crimes whose mysteries he solved 
and whose perpetrators he ran to earth. 

His new field included cities, towns, and villages, thickly 
populated places, and vast stretches of country unsettled 
and wild. In the flock of this new shepherd were the 
keen city thieves, the riff-raff of towns, the roughs of the 
country, and the outlaws of the wilds. The people of the 
Province varied as much as did its physical geography. 
There were strong French settlements, strong German 
settlements, strong English settlements, strong Irish set- 
tlements. Each had its distinguishing characteristics. 
They were clannish in their ways. Entire counties were 
known as German counties, or French counties, or English 
counties. Scattered among the honest, peaceful folk were 
desperate and lawless men. In addition to those who had 



THE COURSE OF A CAREER 75 

sought the country from the old world as a haven wherein 
to hide, or who had grown up to disregard the law in 
the liberty which the land afforded, were those who fled 
from the United States and buried themselves in out-of- 
the-way places. There were endless opportunities for 
the perpetration of all kinds of crime. In the outlying 
villages or sparsely settled country, ruffians were able to 
outrage law and order, and escape to other remote parts 
of the Province. 

Burglaries, murders, assaults, forgeries, counterfeitings, 
all classes of crime and all classes of criminals were known 
to the Province at that time, as they have been known to 
it since. But the criminals soon were to learn the grip 
of a new master. They were to feel the iron hand of a 
man who feared none of them ; they were to hear the 
tread of footsteps in pursuit, that never ceased until the 
pursued was dead or behind prison bars ; they were to 
behold a new face and listen to a new voice, and realise 
that the old order of things had passed away, that a new 
figure had risen among them and ruled in absolute 
sway. 

Murray in 1875 was a broad-shouldered, powerful giant, 
sandy haired, sandy moustached, blue-eyed. His voice, 
then, as now, was remarkable for its wide range, and par- 
ticularly for its power to change from gentle, tender tones 
to ones so deep, so rough, so harsh, that at times the 
guilty, on hearing it in thunderous accusation, have burst 
into tears and confessed. In all the years that have 
passed since he began his work in Canada, Murray has 
changed little in appearance. Age has dealt kindly with 
him. The broad shoulders and powerful frame are giving 
their meed of deference to the fateful years that have 
gone, but the blue eyes look out upon the world, as of 
old, bright and unafraid. 



76 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

XIV 
SANCTIMONIOUS BOND 

One of Murray's first acts after becoming identified 
with the Department of Justice at Toronto, was to turn 
back to the case of John C. Bond, of the Owen Sound 
gang, who disappeared the year before when Murray, at 
Sir Oliver Mowat's request, broke up the gang, and sent 
all but Bond to prison. Bond had sold a $1,500 forged 
mortgage in Toronto, and vanished. Murray saw at the 
outset it was important he should impress upon the mind 
of all the criminal classes in Canada that, once he set out 
after them, he would land them, no matter where they 
went or how snugly they hid. So he undertook to find 
Bond. The man had over a year's start of Murray. He 
had gone, no one knew where. He had money to aid 
him, and friends to protect him. He might be in China 
or Labrador, in Australia or Russia. He might be 
dead. 

" The first thing I did was to bill him," says Murray. 
" I prepared bills or hand posters giving his description, 
his habits, his crime, and any other information of use in 
identifying him. I sent these all over the world — to 
Scotland Yard, to Paris, to Berlin, to Rome, to New 
York, to Chicago, and all the chief police departments in 
the United States, and elsewhere. This is called billing 
a man. Sometimes I do not bill them, for I prefer a still 
hunt, and I conduct it through personal letters to my 
personal friends in all these police departments. In the 
course of my life I have had occasion to make friends 
with able men in practically all the detective bureaus of 
all the great police departments. But I desired to take 
no advantage of Bond. It was to be a fair chase, with 
fair warning, his wits against mine. No tidings came 
from billing him. So I took the next step in hunting a 
man. I located his nearest kin. 

" Bond had a brother, who was chief clerk in the post- 
office in Lindsay, Ontario. That year a new postmaster 



SANCTIMONIOUS BOND 77 

was appointed. I went to Lindsay with a letter of intro- 
duction to the postmaster. I had obtained specimens of 
Bond's handwriting for purposes of comparison, and the 
next day, after my arrival, there was a new assistant clerk 
in the Lindsay post-office, who opened the bags of in- 
coming mails, and ran over the letters. Soon two letters 
came. I got a glimpse of one, but not sufficient for my 
purposes. The brother was quick and wary, and scooped 
the letters over. The second letter I saw, for the simple 
reason that some candy I offered to the brother caused 
him to rush out very frequently. He looked for a letter 
every other Thursday, and it was on a Thursday I gave 
him the candy, and he was called out about the time the 
mail arrived. The letter was postmarked Evanston, 111. 
The handwriting was unlike that of Bond, except for a 
kink in the B. I remembered his skill as a forger, and 
did not worry. When the brother reentered the office 
his letters lay in the bunch, without a sign of having 
been touched. 

" I quietly got my warrant for Bond's arrest, and 
slipped away to Chicago. Bill McGrogle was chief in 
Chicago in those days. Later, he foolishly hurried over 
into Canada for a sojourn when, as I understand, there 
was no necessity for it. From Bill I received a letter of 
introduction to the chief of police in Evanston, 111., 
whose name was Carney, and who was a deputy sheriff, 
and several other officials, as well as chief of police. 
Carney was away when I first arrived. 

" I had a good description of Bond, although I never 
had seen him, as he skipped out of Owen Sound the year 
before, when I went there to break up the gang. I also 
had a blurred photograph, but as I have said before, a 
good description is worth more than a dozen photographs. 
It gives you an accuracy in idea of how your man looks 
and acts, that no photograph can do. I began to walk 
the streets of Evanston, not much of a town in those 
days, on the lookout for a man answering the descrip- 
tion of Bond. I was smoking a big, black cigar, and was 
blowing the smoke skyward with great gusto. In fact, I 
stopped at a street corner and became absorbed in blow- 



78 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

ing smoke rings and watching them float away, expand- 
ing and fading as they went. Suddenly I heard a voice 
beside me, one of those smooth, flat, oily voices, that 
causes you to think its owner soaks it every night in a 
vat of tincture of hypocrisy. 

" ' My friend,' the voice was saying, ' are you not aware 
that smoking is a filthy and wasteful habit ? ' 

" ' It depends on the point of view,' I remarked mildly, 
for I was a stranger in a strange land, and desired to 
make friends not foes just then, to aid me in my hunt for 
Bond. 

" As I spoke I eyed him, and, while his hair decora- 
tions were different, he answered to a dot my description 
of Bond. If I could see him walk I would be sure. 
Bond had no limp, but my description was particularly 
good as to his general appearance and manner when 
walking. He was revelling in a tirade against smoking, 
and finally took up the theme of the evil of intemper- 
ance. I said just enough to keep him going, and when 
he began to pace to and fro I stepped back about fifteen 
feet and watched him. I saw him clasp his hands behind 
his back. Bond did the same thing, according to my 
description. I saw him clasp his hands in front of him. 
Bond did the same. Bond also interlaced his fingers, and 
I vowed that if this sanctimonious, hypocritical haranguer 
interlaced his fingers, I would seize him on the spot. Lo 
and behold ! he did so. I stepped forward, seized his 
right hand, and shook it heartily. 

" ' Why, Bond, old fellow, I didn't recognise you at 
first,' I said, and continued to shake his hand with in- 
creased fervour. 

" He stopped short in his sermonising on smoking. 

" ' You are mistaken,' he said, endeavouring to draw 
away his hand which, by that time, I was shaking vio- 
lently. 

" ' No,' said I, seizing both hands, and shaking them so 
that his teeth chattered. ' I met you in Hamilton, where 
you were in the sewing-machine business.' 

"' Oh, yes,' he chattered, for I had his head bobbing 
by my hand-shaking. * What name ? ' 



SANCTIMONIOUS BOND 79 

" * MacDonald,' said I, and I shook his hands until I 
warrant his arms almost fell out of their sockets. 

" This hand-shaking a man until he almost falls apart is 
not an accepted form of arresting a man, and I never had 
done it before, but I actually was glad to see Bond, and 
also, I was very fond of tobacco then, although I do not 
use it now, and I resented his interfering with my morn- 
ing smoke, particularly when the rings were floating so 
beautifully. Also I hoped to shake an acknowledgment 
of his identity out of him, if he was Bond. So I simply 
stood there and shook him. I shook his hands until his 
hat fell off. I shook his hands until he was red in the 
face and was gasping for breath. The few people who 
saw us grinned understandingly, as if witnessing the re- 
union of two long-lost brothers. I shook his hands relent- 
lessly, furiously for several minutes. Then I stopped and 
looked at him. 

" ' Bond, I am glad to see you,' I said, and I made as 
if to shake hands again. 

" ' No, no,' said Bond, hastily clasping his hands behind 
him. 

"' Will you have a drink, Bond ? ' I said. 

" The sanctimonious expression settled down over his 
face again, like a putty mask. I respect a sincere tem- 
perate man, but a hypocrite makes me feel as if I had 
mosquitoes down my back. 

" ' This is a temperance town, and I neither smoke nor 
drink,' said Bond. 

" ' Well, I tell you, Bond,' said I ; ' you may not smoke 
or drink, but I arrest you just the same. It's not because 
you neither smoke nor drink, but because you are wanted 
over in Canada for a little business you did over there.' 

" I arrested him then and there. All I had was the 
Canada warrant, and it alone was not worth the paper it 
was written on in Illinois. But the chief of police, Car- 
ney, had come home, and I handed over my letter of in- 
troduction, and after he read it I locked Bond up, and 
took him to Chicago by the next train. He was in the 
piano business, and was a temperance lecturer and or- 
ganiser. 



80 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

" ' Where am I wanted ? ' asked Bond, on his way from 
Evanston to Chicago. 

" I knew Bond relied on his ability to escape conviction 
in Owen Sound, for in those days it was a mighty diffi- 
cult task to convict a man in Owen Sound, who had 
money and friends there. So I answered : ' Owen 
Sound.' Bond smiled outwardly ; so did I smile, in- 
wardly. 

" Bond had a brother in Chicago who was a member of 
the Board of Trade. When we arrived there the brothers 
talked it over, and were satisfied Bond should return, they 
thinking it was the aftermath of the troubles of the Owen 
Sound gang. Bond came with me, and when I arrived in 
Canada I informed him we were going to Toronto, instead 
of to Owen Sound. He was one of the maddest hypo- 
crites I ever saw. He was so hot that, despite his not 
using tobacco, he almost blew rings of smoke. I landed 
him in Toronto on October 16th, 1875. He was sent to 
the penitentiary for seven years. I brought him back 
over a year after he disappeared, and a little over three 
months after I became a Government official. 

" Bond was a hypocrite. He posed as a saint, and in 
fact he was a crook. A change of countries did not work 
a change of character. To look at him as he sermonised 
on the street of Evanston, one might mistake him for a 
minister, but a second glance would tell the difference. 
However, the countenance does not always betray the 
crook. I have read often about the most accomplished 
crooks having the most clerical faces. That does not ex- 
ist, as a rule, at all. Crime leaves its traces just as con- 
sumption leaves its traces. Yet I have known desperate 
criminals who looked like ignorant bumpkins or scholarly 
ministers. The eye is the great betrayer. Some crooks 
have a hard, steady eye ; others have a small, restless eye ; 
others a large, placid eye. It is not so much the size or 
kind of eye, as it is the sudden gleam or flicker, or waver 
or droop, the barest flash of guilt, ofttimes merely frac- 
tional or intangible, yet as ample as the flare of a beacon 
light to locate the danger and reveal the true character. 
Often you instinctively know your man. It is as if some 



RALPH FINDLAY LURCHED AND FELL 81 

mysterious transmission of intelligence told you certainly : 
1 There he is/ or ' He is lying.' 

" Bond was one of the immaculate sort, so far as coun- 
tenance was concerned. But I will venture that never 
again in all his life has he approached a stranger, who 
was enjoying a quiet smoke, and poured forth upon him 
a street corner tirade against the evils of tobacco. Evans- 
ton lost a thrifty piano dealer and loquacious temperance 
lecturer, but Kingston Penitentiary gained a sanctimonious 
prisoner." 



XV 
WHEN RALPH FINDLAY LURCHED AND FELL 

In the pale moonlight of a warm night, in September, 
1875, a door opened softly in the big farmhouse of Ralph 
Findlay, in the township of Sombra, county of Lambton, 
about a hundred and fifty miles west from Toronto, and 
a man stepped out. He was clad in nightshirt and trou- 
sers. In his hand he carried a lantern, that cast a circle 
of fitful light about him as he walked. He crossed 
swiftly from the house to the barn. There were noises 
in the barn. The horses were neighing and stamping. 
The figure with the lantern paused and listened, then 
hastened to the nearest door. The noises ceased as he 
approached. He stepped forward and opened the door. 
A shot rang out in the night. He choked, swayed, and 
fell forward on the floor, the lantern in his hand. So 
he lay. 

The terrified squealing of the horses died away. Their 
stamping ceased. The minutes passed. A figure crept 
cautiously out of the barn, peering into the face of the 
man prone on the floor, and vanished in the night. The 
swish of his feet could be heard as he sneaked along in 
the shadow of the fence beyond the barn and near the 
house. Then all was still. No sound came from house 
or barn. The lantern in the stiffening hand had gone 
out. So had the life. 



82 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

The door of the house opened cautiously a second 
time. A woman stood in the doorway. She held a light 
above her head and suddenly shouted : " Get up ! Get 
up ! " Lights popped out in the house. The woman 
and three men ran out of the house and across to the 
barn. They went straight to the nearest door. They 
peered in. The light of their lamps fell upon the lifeless 
figure on the floor. 

" Oh, my God ! The horses have kicked him to death ! 
Go for my father ! " shrieked the woman. One of the 
three men ran to the horses, bridled one of them, leaped 
upon him and went galloping through the night to the 
home of Farmer Rankin, nine miles away, to tell him 
that his daughter's husband had been kicked to death by 
the horses. The other men beside the body in the barn 
knelt and looked at the dead man, then crossed to the 
horses and found them in their stalls, but with their halters 
slipped. The woman ran screaming back to the house 
and to her two little children. The two men hastened 
for some of the neighbours. They came in the night 
and bore the body into the house. The Rankins, father 
and sons, came galloping with doctors before the dawn. 
But Ralph Findlay was beyond all need of doctors. 

They started a coroner's inquest at once. Mrs. Find- 
lay told how she was in bed with her husband, and they 
heard a noise in the barn. He got up, slipped on his 
trousers, and went out. He stayed so long that she be- 
came alarmed, arose, went to the door, heard nothing, 
and then roused the inmates of the house and ran to the 
barn, where they found him dead on the barn floor. 

William Smith, the hired man, who rode away to notify 
the Rankins, told of being awakened by Mrs. Findlay's 
cries and going out to the barn and finding Findlay dead. 
The other hired men, Buchanan and Reed, told of being 
awakened and rushing out and finding the dead man. 
They were under the impression that horse thieves had 
sneaked into the barn to steal the horses, that Findlay had 
caught them in the act, and they had shot him and es- 
caped. The Department of Justice at Toronto was noti- 
fied by telegraph. Murray was near St. Thomas on 



RALPH FINDLAY LURCHED AND FELL 83 

another case. The Department telegraphed to him to go 
immediately. 

" I arrived there on the day of the funeral," says Mur- 
ray. " I never had seen such a crowd of farmers as had 
gathered there. I was a stranger to them all. Findlay 
was a highly esteemed, educated man. He had been a 
professor and had taught in various schools, and was 
considered one of the best mathematicians in the prov- 
ince. I learned from neighbours who were at the place 
for the funeral, that several years before he had bought 
the farm of two hundred and fifty or more acres, stocked 
it well, and shortly before moving on to it he married 
Sarah Rankin, daughter of a big farmer in the adjoining 
township of Dover. She was a rosy, good-looking, stout 
woman of about twenty-seven when her husband was 
killed. He was a man of gentlemanly appearance and 
about thirty-eight years old. He had three hired men, 
Smith, Buchanan, and Reed, and also a hired girl. There 
were two children, a little boy and girl. The hired man 
Smith had gone away once and spent some months in 
the lumber woods of Michigan, but returned and resumed 
his work with Findlay. 

" All was confusion and excitement around the place. 
Farmers were talking, and women were gathered in 
groups, some weeping, others full of anger or fear. I 
saw the hired girl out near the well and quietly learned 
what she knew. Smith, the hired man, had been to 
Wallaceburg, five miles away, on the evening of the 
murder, but had returned in good time and retired with 
the hired man Reed. The hired girl went to bed as 
usual, and was awakened by Mrs. Findlay's crying : 
4 Get up ! Get up ! ' I next talked with Reed, a young 
fellow about nineteen years old. He said he and Smith 
slept together, that they went to bed as usual, that he 
slept soundly until he heard Mrs. Findlay shouting: ' Get 
up ! Get up ! ' Reed jumped out of bed at once, he 
said, while Smith still was sleeping. He shook Smith, 
who was hard to waken, and they went down-stairs and 
out to the barn. Buchanan, the hired man, told me his 
story too, similar to the others. 



84 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

" I had not seen Mrs. Findlay or Smith. In fact, 
wherever I went I was followed by a throng of people, 
who dogged my footsteps and crowded forward when I 
stopped. Two of Findlay 's brothers were there. One 
of them was a Customs officer at Port Stanley, and the 
other, John Findlay, was a merchant also at Port Stanley. 
John Findlay was in a frenzy of excitement. He went 
about exclaiming that his brother was murdered, and be- 
seeching me to find the murderer. 

" I drew back from the throng of country folk and 
looked them over. My eye lighted on the keen, in- 
telligent face of an old fellow, and I walked over and 
called him aside. He said his name was McLean, and 
he lived about a mile away, his house being in plain 
view. We chatted, and suddenly the old fellow said : 

" ' This summer I was out looking for my cattle be- 
yond the woods, and I stopped here for a drink of water. 
There was no cup at the pump. I walked into the 
kitchen and Smith and Mrs. Findlay were on the floor. 
She jumped up and said Smith was taking a thorn out 
of her foot.' 

" While we were talking McLean nodded towards the 
outskirts of the crowd and said : ' You see that fellow in 
the blue shirt ? That's the hired man, William Smith.' 
I looked and saw a hangdog sort of fellow standing apart 
from the others. The minister had not arrived, so I sat 
quietly watching Smith, who chewed a piece of grass 
and paced slowly to and fro. The minister came and the 
crowd rushed around him, John Findlay shouting for 
justice. I walked through the house and out of the back 
door. I saw a stout woman back of the house, moaning 
and wringing her hands. 

" ' Oh, my God ! Oh, my God ! ' she was crying, sway- 
ing to and fro as she cried. 

" ' Are you Mrs. Findlay ? ' I asked. 

" ' Yes, yes. Oh, my God ! Oh, my God ! ' she cried. 

" ' Come here. I want you,' I said roughly. 

" ' Oh ! ' she gasped. 

" I led her well away from the house and the crowd, 
to a quiet corner where an old log lay. She sat down on 



RALPH FINDLAY LURCHED AND FELL 85 

the end of the log. I stood up. I looked at her fully 
five minutes without speaking or moving. She rocked 
to and fro, moaning and crying bitterly at first, and all 
the time exclaiming : ' Oh, my God ! Oh, my God ! ' 
But as the silence lengthened, I noticed her look at me 
through her fingers as she held her hands to her face. 
When she looked she ceased crying, but immediately 
would resume her lamentations and moans of ' Oh, my 
God ! Oh, my God ! ' 

" « You might well say : " Oh, my God ! " ' I exclaimed 
suddenly. 

" ' Oh, my God ! Oh, my God ! ' she answered, rocking 
violently. 

" I bent over her with my face close to hers. ' Are 
you not afraid to mention the name of God, you mur- 
derer ? I do not sympathise with you, but I do sym- 
pathise with your two little children. Their father mur- 
dered, and their mother hanged ! ' 

" * Oh, my God ! ' she moaned and shuddered. 

" ' Don't you dare say that,' I thundered. ' Speak 
some other name but not the name of God.' 

" Suddenly Smith came into sight near the house. 

" ' Look at that villain ! ' I said to her, and she 
raised her head and looked towards the house and saw 
Smith. 

" ' Oh, my God ! ' she shrieked. 

" ' I told you before not to call your God to witness,' 
I said, my mouth close to her ear. ' You know what 
your God knows of this ! ' 

" ' Oh, oh, oh ! ' she gasped and put up her hands as 
if to shut away a hateful sight. 

" She began to pant like a hound that is exhausted. 
She gasped and clutched at the empty air. She rocked 
and swayed and beat her clenched hands together and 
struck herself upon the forehead, temples, and bosom. I 
waited. The vision of the crime was before her, the clutch 
of the sense of guilt was choking her. She writhed in 
mental and moral agony. She shut her eyes and turned 
away her head, but turn where she would, the crime con- 
fronted her. 



86 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

" * Out with it ! ' I said. ' Tell me the truth. I want 
nothing but the truth.' 

" She looked up and her eyes were like those of an ox 
in whose throat the butcher's knife has been buried. 

" ' Oh ! ' she husked, in a hoarse whisper. ' Will you 
hang me ? ' 

" ' I am not in a position to say what will become of 
you, but I do pity your children,' I answered. 

" With a gulp she lurched back, clutched at the log, 
sat up and, dry-eyed and sobless, told me the story 
of the crime. She blamed Smith at the outset. She 
said he did it and had caused all the trouble. When he 
went to Michigan to the lumber camps it was because 
her husband had discharged him. While in Michigan, 
Smith had corresponded with her, and had brought to 
her a bottle of strychnine, with which she was to poison 
her husband. She had failed to do it, but when Smith 
returned she persuaded her husband, much against his 
will, to hire Smith again. On the evening of the murder 
she gave Smith $i to go to Wallaceburg, five miles away, 
to buy a bottle of brandy to give him courage. He 
bought the brandy and came back and went to bed as 
usual, sleeping on the outside of the bed he shared with 
young Reed. He sneaked out when he thought all were 
asleep, went to the barn, untied the horses, and began to 
slash them so that they would make a noise. Mrs. 
Findlay woke her husband and told him he'd better go 
out to the barn. He went, and Smith shot him as he 
entered. No one but Mrs. Findlay heard the shot. She 
arose when she heard it, and let Smith into the house. 
' I finished him,' said Smith, as he entered. ' Good boy,' 
she said, and closed the door. Smith had another drink 
and went up-stairs to bed, and after all was still she 
opened the door and began to cry ; ' Get up ! get up ! ' 

" As she sat on the log she told me the story. I im- 
mediately got John Findlay, the brother, and old man 
McLean. I gave Findlay a book and pencil and she told 
the story again, while he wrote it down. 

" ' Go back to the house and the crowd,' I said to 
her, when she finished. ' Don't open your mouth or say 



RALPH FINDLAY LURCHED AND FELL 87 

a word to that murderer. I am not going to arrest him 
now.' 

" She started back, tearless and no longer moaning. 

" ' Begin to sob,' I told her, and straightway she re- 
sumed her moaning and crying, with mutterings of ' Oh, 
my God ! Oh, my God ! ' 

" The minister began the service. The hearse arrived. 
The coffin was carried out. The people entered their 
waggons. The procession was about to start. I was 
watching Smith. I saw him hang back and I sent old 
man McLean to him. 

"'Smith, ain't you going to the funeral?' asked Mc- 
Lean. 

" ' No,' said Smith. ' Too much to do.' 

" ' Go on and get your coat or people will say you did 
it,' said McLean. 

" Smith got into a waggon and drove to the cemetery. 
He was placed well up towards the grave. They low- 
ered the coffin. Some clods fell on it with a rattle and a 
thud. Smith turned his back. I stood right behind 
him. As he turned I said, right in his ear : ' Go and 
ta'ke your last look at the man you murdered.' 

" He started as if he had been knifed. 

" ' I ain't murdered no one,' he said, pale as a candle. 

" ' Go, look at that coffin, going down into the grave,' 
I said. 

" He would not look. It seemed as if he could not 
look. I arrested him, and, calling the constable, had 
him taken away quietly and locked up. It did not dis- 
turb the burial. 

" Then came the battle. I foresaw the tremendous 
elements of influence that would rally to avert a convic- 
tion. I reopened the inquest, put Mrs. Findlay on the 
stand and she told her story. She and Smith were com- 
mitted to Sarnia gaol. I searched the house and found 
the strychnine in the bottle. I went to Michigan and 
made a tour of the drug stores, and in St. Louis, Michi- 
gan, I found the druggist who sold the bottle of poison 
to Smith. I proved by young Reed that the gun used 
to shoot Findlay was kept in the barn, and Reed had 



88 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

seen Smith reload it a few days before the murder. 
While Mrs. Findlay was telling her story on the stand, 
Smith burst out : ' Oh, you villain, you will hang both 
of us.' Her answer was characteristic : « Oh, my God ! ' 

" While Mrs. Findlay and Smith were in gaol awaiting 
the trial, she corresponded with Smith, writing him notes 
and lowering them from her cell window to his cell win- 
dow, by means of a thread made by unravelling her 
stocking. The gaoler finally got the correspondence, 
and it was turned over to the sheriff; but when called 
for in court it was not to be found. The failure to pro- 
duce it caused a great deal of talk. 

" Judge Moss presided at the trial. He is dead now 
and this case came in his first year on the bench. The 
Crown was represented by the present Judge MacMahon, 
a descendant of the distinguished French MacMahons. 
Smith was defended by a very able lawyer, David Glass, 
of London, now dead. Smith belonged to a prominent 
order, of which no member ever was hung in that county. 
At the assizes, in October, 1875, Smith was tried and 
convicted of murder. In Canada there are no verdicts 
of degrees of murder. A prisoner is guilty of murder or 
manslaughter, or is acquitted, or the jury disagrees. 
When a prisoner is convicted of murder, the judge has 
no alternative but to sentence him to be hanged. For 
manslaughter the sentence may be for life or for any less 
term down to three months. At the trial of Smith, Mrs. 
Findlay went on the stand and swore to her story. 

" Mr. Glass took an objection to the legality of the 
evidence. It was carried to the Court of Appeal of the 
Province, then to the Supreme Court of Canada, and 
finally to the Privy Council in England. It was a. prec- 
edent case. The Privy Council sustained the rulings of 
the trial judge, that Mrs. Findlay's evidence was admissi- 
ble under the circumstances. It was over a year after 
Smith's conviction, when the Privy Council passed on 
the case. Smith was sentenced to be hanged. Through 
the influence of his counsel, who was a very prominent 
party man at that time, his sentence was commuted to 
imprisonment for life. He died in the Penitentiary after 



WELLINGTON SQUARE 89 

serving fifteen years, or more. Mrs. Findlay was in gaol 
for a couple of years, or more, and finally was released 
without trial, and went back to her people. Smith was 
about thirty-two years old, and vastly unlike the man he 
murdered, either in appearance or education. 

" It was a case in which the countryside at first was 
united on the theory of horse thieves. To me the theory 
was worthless, for the horse thieves would not have un- 
haltered four horses and turned them loose in a barn, 
but would have haltered them and led them quietly out. 
It was a case where, the general history of all concerned, 
prior to the crime, supplied the possibility of an adequate 
motive in the form of a desire to be rid of Findlay. The 
woman's grief was sham. McLean's thirst in the sum- 
mer which caused him to walk unannounced into the 
kitchen of the Findlay house, led to the clue that caused 
me, upon seeing how unreal was the woman's sorrow, to 
crowd her for a confession. Her imagination pictured to 
her the crime when she strove in vain to shut it out. 
Imagination is the key that has unlocked the secret of 
many a crime. Imagination conjures up all the potent 
fears that the guilty dread. It causes many crimes, but 
it also betrays many a criminal." 



XVI 

THE TINKLING HOUSE OF WELLINGTON SQUARE 

Near the main road leading through Wellington 
Square, a little place twenty-five miles west of Toronto 
and a convenient drive from Hamilton, stood the farm- 
house of an old man named Pettit. Neighbours who 
passed in the night averred that at unusual hours a light 
shone and there was a tinkling sound such as they could 
not account for. They used to creep close and listen. 
They could hear the tinklety-tink, tinklety-tink, like the 
muffled tapping of a tiny bell, yet different from a bell's 
clear voice. 



90 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

The old man kept to himself. He had a son who 
lived with him, and they were uncommunicative about 
their affairs. They were industrious and thrifty. Their 
crops were good, their cattle were fat, their expenses 
were small. Finally a neighbour, bolder than the others, 
was passing the house one night and hearing the faint, 
insistent tinklety-tink, he crept close, and finally climbed 
a tree and peered into the window. The sight made him 
gasp. A candle stood on the table. Beside the candle 
was a box as big as a wash-boiler. Old man Pettit stood 
by the box. His face was beaming, his eyes were bright. 
On the table was a heap of gold, not a little heap, but a 
big pile, with gold coins scattered all over the table. 
They shone and glittered in the candle-light. The old 
man would thrust his hands into the pile, seize the gold 
coins until he could hold no more, raise his hands and 
then drop the coins in golden streams down on to the 
pile again. As they struck the yellow pyramid they 
clinked and tinkled musically. At the sound of the gold 
the old man would laugh like a little child. His gold 
was the joy of his life. 

After delving in this treasure to his heart's content, 
the old man gathered the gold pieces carefully into piles 
and placed them in the box. Then he blew out the can- 
dle and was lost in the darkness. 

The neighbour climbed down out of the tree. He had 
solved the mystery of the tinkling house. He was an 
honest man and said nothing. But gradually others 
came to know that Pettit distrusted banks, and was said 
to keep a large sum of money in his house or buried on 
his farm. 

" This talk spread until, in the country round about, 
Pettit was regarded as a man living in a treasure 
house," says Murray. " In the spring of 1875, before I 
became connected with the Government, Pettit went to 
Hamilton with a lot of fat cattle, and sold them for a good 
price. He was spotted ; and when he did not put his 
money in a bank, the spotters made sure where he lived 
and let him go unmolested. A few nights later a waggon 
drove up to a dark spot near the Pettit house. Four 



WELLINGTON SQUARE 91 

masked men alighted. They went on foot to the Pettit 
house and knocked upon the door. The old man an- 
swered the knock, and when he opened the door they 
knocked him down, while his son ran out of the house 
and across fields, and hid in the woods a mile away. 
They ransacked the house, discovered the box, and 
emptied out the gold. There was $10,500 in gold. De- 
spite the old man's pleadings they took the gold and 
went away. 

" The old man raised a great hubbub and four men 
were arrested in Hamilton, taken before a police magis- 
trate and promptly acquitted. They were very highly 
connected and a large number of the leading lawyers ap- 
peared for them. The affair ran along until November, 
1875. Politics had become mixed up in it, some alleging 
that the reason the men were not prosecuted was, that 
their friends had a large amount of political influence. 
No doubt they had. Finally a demand was made on the 
Department of Justice to have the matter investigated. I 
had become connected with the Department in July, and 
when the complaint came in I was instructed to take the 
matter up. I knew at the outset that, owing to certain 
matters, I could not look for much assistance in Hamil- 
ton. Every detective must expect such conditions oc- 
casionally to confront him. So must men in other busi- 
nesses. Friendships are friendships, and business is 
business, and there may be times when the ties of one are 
as strong as the rules of the other. 

" I set out to learn what became of the gold. I learned 
that some of it had appeared in Brantford the morning 
after the robbery, so it was probable the robbers had 
gone to Brantford and divided it. My suspicions were 
correct. They had divided the booty in Brantford and 
had bought wine there. I learned also that they had 
hired the waggon in Hamilton. I got track of one of 
the four men in the United States. He was a professional 
burglar and thief. He has reformed since, and now is 
living in Buffalo, and I would be quite as ready to trust 
him as a lot of other people who lay strenuous claim to 
respectability. I had known him of old, and had landed 



92 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

him for seven years once. That was long before he re- 
formed. He had his share in the Pettit gold, for he had 
done his part in the Pettit robbery. 

" I learned, by tracing the gold in various places where 
it was spent, that the chief figure in the robbery was 
Charles Mills, of Hamilton. He was highly connected 
with leading people and had gone to Texas. He was 
far from being a poor man, having $50,000 or so, and, in 
addition, a rich old aunt, who was expected to leave him 
a fortune. I planned various ways to get him back into 
Canada, but none worked. Finally, I got track of a girl 
in Hamilton, named Lil White, of whom he was very 
fond. I had scoured the country for miles around in 
hunt of gold that had been spent and in search of infor- 
mation about Mills. I heard of the White girl through 
an acquaintance of Mills, and through Lil White I put 
up a job on Mills, and lured him back to Canada. I 
caught him in Hamilton on Sunday night, December 
1 2th, 1875. I convicted him, too. Among the witnesses 
was Detective Patrick Mack of Buffalo, and I traced 
where they spent some of the gold there. 

" The case, of course, attracted considerable attention, 
because of the influence of the friends of some of those 
involved. The late B. B. Osier, then County Crown At- 
torney in Hamilton, prosecuted. The prisoners were de- 
fended ably by William Laidlaw, K. C, of Hamilton, now 
of Toronto, and by the present Judge Robertson. Mills 
was convicted of robbery on January 14th, 1876, at 
Milton, and was sentenced to five years' imprisonment. 
Subsequently he was pardoned through the efforts of po- 
litical friends. Politics cut no figure in the conviction, 
but it did in the pardon. Mills demanded a speedy trial 
instead of a trial by jury, and he was tried by the County 
judge without a jury. In Canada you can waive the right 
of a jury trial and demand what is termed a speedy trial. 
The Act was just passed at that time. 

" After the trial and sentence, old man Pettit began an 
action against the Mills estate for the $10,500 of his gold 
that had been stolen. He got a judgment, and collected 
all the money with interest. Then he began an action 



ON CALEDONIA ROAD 93 

against his own lawyer for overcharging, and he beat 
him, too. 

" Pettit was a man of deep-set characteristics. I remem- 
ber that, when I set to work on the case for him, I went 
to his house at Wellington Square, and went over the 
ground. From there I desired to go to Milton nine 
miles away. 

" ' I will drive you over,' said old man Pettit. 

" ' Thank you,' said I. 

" He hitched up a horse and drove me the nine miles 
to Milton. When we arrived at Milton I alighted, thank- 
ing him, and bade him good-day. 

" « Just a minute,' said he. ' I'd like #1.75, please.' 

" « What for ? ' said I. 

" ' For driving you over,' said he. 

" ' But I am working on your case,' said I. 

" ' I know that,' said he, ' so I used my son's rig and 
the bill is #1.75.' 

" I paid it. If he had made it $2 he could have put 
it into gold." 



XVII 

THE DRIVERLESS TEAM ON CALEDONIA ROAD 

A long road of many turnings leads out of the town 
of Caledonia, fifty-five miles beyond Toronto, and winds 
its way through the county of Haldimand. In parts it is 
broad and open, and in parts it is narrow and shaded. 
One evening, in December, 1875, a waggon drawn by 
two horses, moved out this road. No driver was visible. 
The horses jogged along of their own accord, the reins 
hanging loose from the seat and flapping as the horses 
went their way. Some cows passed, and the horses 
turned out to give them part of the road. Then on they 
went as if a driver handled the reins. Night fell, and in 
the darkness the waggon rumbled on. Lights flashed out 
in farmhouses along the way and voices were heard in 



94 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

the darkness. The driverless team plodded on until they 
came to a broad pathway of light shining out across the 
highway through the open door of a farmhouse, standing 
close by the road. 

The team stopped in this light. A dog rushed out, 
sniffed at the horses, then at the waggon, and fell to 
barking furiously. A farmer appeared in the doorway, 
and shouted to the dog to be silent. He saw the team 
standing in the light, and called out a cheery good-night. 
There was no answer. The dog whined, and ran to and 
fro, and darted out to the waggon, and began barking 
again, more excitedly than before. The farmer, standing 
in the doorway, shaded his eyes with his hand and peered 
out into the night. 

" Anything wrong? " he called towards the waggon. 

No answer came. He called again. When no one 
answered he walked down to the waggon, looked it over, 
saw no one, then stepped up on the hub of a wheel, and 
looked in to see what load it carried. All he saw was a 
big, black bundle lying in the bed of the waggon beneath 
the seat. He called to those in the house, and they took 
a lantern to him. He held it over the waggon bed, and 
the bundle took the form of a man, doubled over. The 
farmer clambered into the waggon, set the lantern beside 
the figure, undoubled it, and took the man's head in his 
hands. An ugly wound was slashed across the head. 
The body had a faint warmth, but the eyes were dim- 
ming fast, and, as the farmer held the injured head, the 
eyes glazed, the jaw set, and death came. 

The dead man was a stranger to the farmer. He car- 
ried the body into his house, and sent for doctors, who 
came and found the unknown dead. The team and 
waggon were not recognised by any one who looked at 
them. The dead man was past fifty years of age, evi- 
dently a well-to-do farmer of the better type. There 
was nothing in his belongings to identify him. A strange 
team had come jogging out of the darkness with a dying 
stranger, halted in the light, and waited for death to over- 
take him. 

Murray, who had been busy on the evidence in the 



ON CALEDONIA ROAD 95 

Findlay and Pettit cases, as well as travelling from one end 
to another of the province on various other matters, was 
notified through the Department of Justice by telegraph, 
and straightway went to the place where the stranger 
lay dead. 

" To learn who he was, of course, was the first thing," 
says Murray. " The country folk gathered rapidly for 
miles around, and soon there were several who knew 
him. He was Abel McDonald, a prosperous farmer, 
who lived in the township of Walpole, about eighteen 
miles away. There were some bags in the waggon, and 
the team had been travelling on the road leading out of 
Caledonia. A tour of the town of Caledonia resulted in 
learning that the old man had driven into town on the 
day of his death, with a load of wheat, had sold it, and 
started home at twilight. He had about $35 with him 
when he last was seen in Caledonia. No money was 
found on him or in his waggon. An inquest was held, 
but no evidence of value had developed. 

" The fact that Caledonia was a little place, where 
everybody knew everybody, aided me. I set out to ac- 
count for the whereabouts of almost everybody in or 
around Caledonia about the time of the murder. I went 
from house to house, talking to every one. Finally I 
learned that John Young and William James Young, his 
nephew, two farmers with none too good a reputation, 
who lived in the township of Ancaster, over the moun- 
tain five or six miles from Hamilton, were among the 
people seen on this road on the day of the murder. 
John Young was about thirty-five years old, a big, burly, 
powerful fellow, and William James Young, his nephew, 
was about twenty-two years old, and a well-built, good- 
looking young fellow. I found a man who knew them, 
who had seen them going out the road before McDonald 
started home, and I found other witnesses who had seen 
them later coming back along this road, walking. 

" The two Youngs went with two Barber girls in Cale- 
donia, and were at their house after they were seen 
coming back on the Walpole road. It was slim evidence 
on which to arrest them, but it was wiser to get them 



96 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

into gaol, so they were arrested. When arraigned before 
Magistrate John Scott they laughed and scoffed at the 
evidence. In truth, we had barely enough evidence to 
commit them for trial. But we had enough, although 
none to spare, and they were held. I saw I had an 
uphill job. The Barber girls were prepared to swear that 
the Youngs were with them, and could not have been 
near the scene of the murder. I went over the road foot 
by foot. I found the club used to kill McDonald. It 
was hid under a fence. I found also the sapling from 
which it had been cut. In fact, it was a young tree about 
two inches in diameter, and I had both the roots of the 
tree and the club itself in court at the trial. I had the 
road surveyed, and the scene of the murder located ex- 
actly. This was all very good, but it was not enough 
to convict the Youngs beyond any doubt in a jury's mind. 

" So I sent over to Buffalo in New York State, and 
brought over a friend of mine, Hugh Massey a former 
member of the Buffalo police force. I got Massey before 
Major Hugh Stewart, then warden of the county and 
justice of the peace, and had him committed to gaol for 
sixty days. He was locked up in a cell near the Youngs, 
and in due time he ingratiated himself into their confi- 
dence. I had studied the Youngs, and had come to the 
conclusion that a clever man, if unsuspected, could draw 
their story from them. I was right. Massey got the 
whole story out of them. They told him how they had 
been in Caledonia, and had seen the old man with his 
money, how they went out the road ahead of him, how 
John cut the club, with the knife found on him when he 
was arrested, how they waited about two and a half miles 
from the town, how they jumped on McDonald's waggon 
when he drove along, how John struck him over the 
head with the club, how they robbed him, left him in the 
bottom of the waggon, started the horses, jumped out, 
and returned to Caledonia. I had Mr. Lawrence, gov- 
ernor of the gaol, and the turnkey to hear the story. 

"The trial occurred in March, 1876, before Judge 
Adam Wilson, at Cayuga. John Idington, now County 
Crown Attorney of Stratford, prosecuted, and Attorney 



ON CALEDONIA ROAD 97 

Duff, of Hamilton, defended. It was a long, tedious case. 
They sought to prove an alibi by the Barber girls, just as 
I expected. The Crown swore over eighty witnesses, 
and we disproved the alibi. Massey, on the stand, told 
his story in such a straightforward way that, not only the 
jury, but every one who heard him, believed him. Late 
on the night of March 27th, 1876, the jury brought in a 
verdict of guilty. Both Youngs were sentenced to be 
hanged. John Young was a desperate man, and after 
the sentence the governor of the gaol was instructed to 
put a special guard over the two men, to make sure they 
would not escape. The governor was a well-meaning 
and honourable old fellow, but he had an idea he knew 
his business better than any one could tell him. Sure 
enough, the Youngs broke goal and got away. The 
question was, who was responsible ? I was instructed to 
investigate, in connection with the inspector of prisons. 
Governor Lawrence was removed. In those days the 
sheriff had the appointment of gaolers, but now the Gov- 
ernment appoints them. 

" The Youngs made their way by night to some re- 
mote place, beyond reach of those who tried to find 
them. I immediately thought of the Barber girls, and 
sent word to watch them. They were seen going to a 
thick wood some distance from Caledonia. They went 
to meet the Youngs, who had secreted themselves in an 
old barn in the woods. This barn was filled to the top 
with hay. The Hamilton police were notified, and they 
went out to the barn, and, after a stubborn revolver fight, 
captured the Youngs, and they were taken back to Cayuga 
gaol." 

In September, 1876, Murray went to Philadelphia, for 
a month at the Centennial, where James Tilley, of New 
York, was chief of the detective department at the 
Exposition. Tilley was a fast friend of Murray, and had 
been endeavouring to have him join the corps of de- 
tectives, culled from all over the country, and stay during 
the entire Centennial, but Murray was so busy in Canada 
that the Government spared him for only one month, 
September. 



98 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

" While I was in Philadelphia, on September 21st, 
1876, John Young was hanged at Cayuga," says Murray, 
" and James Young's sentence was commuted to im- 
prisonment for life. Sixteen years later I was in Cale- 
donia one pleasant afternoon on a matter, and had to 
wait an hour for a train. I strolled over the big bridge 
across the grand river, while waiting for the train. In 
the middle of the bridge stood a man, gazing into the 
water flowing beneath. I got just a side glance of him 
as he turned his head away, but I said to myself : ' If 
James Young was not in the Penitentiary that would be 
he.' I turned back and looked at him. He walked away. 
I went back to my hotel, and said to the landlord, ' If I 
did not know James Young was in the Penitentiary I 
would swear I saw him on the bridge.' 

" ' Yes,' said the landlord, ' he's pardoned, and is around 
looking at the old familiar places for the first time in many 
years.' 

" ' I am sorry not to have talked to him,' said I, and if 
my train had not been almost due I would have gone 
back and had a chat with him, for he seemed lonely." 



XVIII 
APROPOS OF HUNKER CHISHOLM 

When Murray arrived in Toronto his attention was 
called to a series of horse-stealings occurring in several 
adjoining counties. None but the finest horses dis- 
appeared. 

" I went to investigate," says Murray, " and I met one 
of the most picturesque old crooks I ever became ac- 
quainted with. His name was Chisholm, George Chis- 
holm, called by some of his friends, Hunker. He was an 
inveterate horse thief. He simply could not help it. In 
the many years I knew him he never stole anything else, 
but out of sixty years of life he spent about forty years in 
prison, all for stealing horses. 



APROPOS OF HUNKER CHISHOLM 99 

" Chisholm stole horses to order. Sometimes he would 
read the papers for advertisements of men who wanted to 
buy horses. He would cut out the description of a horse, 
go around the country hunting for an animal to match 
the description, and when he found such a horse he would 
steal it and go and sell it to the man who advertised. 
Sometimes he would spot or locate a fine horse, and would 
go and look him over carefully. Then he would go to some 
other county and hunt for a purchaser. He would 
describe the horse exactly as he was, and if the pros- 
pective purchaser seemed pleased and told him to bring 
the horse around, Chisholm would disappear, steal the 
horse, and in a few days reappear and sell him. He 
never stole anything else. He never was a born burglar 
except for horses. He never robbed a house. He simply 
was a horse thief. From time to time he would get 
caught and sent down to a stiff term, but at its expiration 
he would bob up serenely, and horses would begin to 
disappear again. 

" When I was investigating the horse thefts I recalled 
that a tailor named Spellman had been arrested in the 
town of Vienna, in the county of Elgin, and accused of 
arson. The chief witnesses against him were Chisholm 
and an acquaintance of his named Bloom. He was con- 
victed chiefly on their evidence, and was sentenced to 
seven years in the Penitentiary. I heard about it and 
made inquiries, and satisfied myself that Spellman was 
innocent. I interested County Judge Hughes, and finally 
had the tailor pardoned, after he served a considerable 
length of time. Meanwhile Chisholm had landed back in 
the clutches of the law himself. The same old charge 
was against him — horse-stealing. He was convicted and 
sentenced under another name. 

" About this time the Government began to receive 
letters regularly from an inmate of the Penitentiary 
regarding crimes that had been committed. A day or 
two after any big burglary or murder or other crime 
occurred, a letter would come from Kingston Penitentiary 
offering to reveal the names of the perpetrators. In 1876 
an obstruction was placed on the tracks of the Canada 



ioo MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

Southern Railroad, and in the wreck that followed 
Engineer Billy Hunt was killed. Three days later came 
a letter to the Government, and a letter also to the solicitor 
of the Canada Southern, signed James Clark, from the 
correspondent in Kingston Penitentiary. Both letters 
were turned over to me. Clark offered to reveal the 
names and get the evidence to convict those who did the 
job. I told the Government officials that I did not be- 
lieve the letter, but I went to Kingston and the warden 
sent for James Clark. Who walked in but old Chisholm ! 
I looked at him as he hopped blithesomely along, and I 
could hardly keep from laughing. 

" ' What is your name ? ' I asked. 

" ' James Clark,' said he. 

" ' This is your correspondence ? ' I asked, producing 
various letters to the Government on numerous cases. 

" ' Yes, I wrote them,' said he. 

" ' Chisholm,' said I, ' you are as big a fraud as you 
ever were.' 

" Old Chisholm stared with open mouth. Then he 
slapped me on the shoulder. 

" ' Murray, be a man ! Be a man ! ' he said. ' Liberty 
is sweet. Don't betray me.' 

" ' Chisholm,' said I, * I could forgive you everything 
if you had not sent Spellman, the tailor, to the Penitenti- 
ary for burning that barn, when you know he didn't do it.' 

" ' Oh no, oh no. He did do it,' insisted the lying old 
rascal. 

" ' Well, Chisholm, I intend to put a stop to your 
writing all over the country with these bunko letters,' 
said I. < I'll tell the warden not to send out any more of 
them. Try to get pardoned some other way, but stop 
trying to put up jobs to land innocent men in prison 
simply in hope of getting yourself out.' 

" Old Chisholm looked at me sadly. 

" ' And to think, I thought you were a man, Murray,' 
he said. ' I honestly thought you were a man. Here 
am I, in prison, giving you a chance to be a man and get 
me out, and you won't take it. Well, well, Murray. I'm 
disappointed in you.' 



THE WHITESIDES OF BALLINAFAD 101 

" I left him wagging his head in seeming sorrow. But 
he did not stop writing letters. He wrote as before, im- 
mediately after hearing of a crime. Nothing was done any- 
where in the criminal line, but old Chisholm, upon hear- 
ing of it, wrote a letter stating he knew the very man or 
men who did it. He always added a postscript after my 
visit. It read : ' Don't tell Murray about this.' 

" He got out when his term expired. He stole some 
more horses and promptly went back again. When ar- 
raigned and asked to state his residence, Chisholm an- 
swered : ' The Penitentiary.' In truth he spent two- 
thirds of his sixty years there. Even then, he was away 
from home about ten years too much. A man like 
Hunker Chisholm should stay at home indoors about 
fifty out of sixty years. 

" I met later an old, old man who had been Chisholm's 
teacher in his boyhood. He told me that at school 
Chisholm stole slate pencils from every one. He stole 
nothing but slate pencils. When kept in after school or 
about to be punished he invariably informed the school- 
master that there was a plot on foot among some of the 
other pupils to do mischief, and if he was not punished 
he would tell who the plotters were. This worked at 
first, and several times innocent boys were punished, just 
as the innocent tailor, Spellman, was sent to prison. 
But eventually the schoolmaster got on to Chisholm, al- 
though Chisholm kept it up to his last day of school life. 
The slate pencils of his boyhood symbolised the horses 
of his manhood.'' 



XIX 

THE WHITESIDES OF BALLINAFAD 

Murray's first year with the Canada Government won 
for him the praise of those in authority. He had con- 
victed the guilty, despite powerful influences exerted to 
acquit them ; he had established throughout the Province 
the understanding that a man who committed a crime 



102 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

and fled, would be followed and brought back and pun- 
ished. He had failed in no case ; he had solved every 
mystery arising ; and perpetrators of crimes had been 
brought to justice. 

" There were many more cases than those I have men- 
tioned," says Murray. " I was busy day in and day out; 
ever on the go ; always working. I remember in Au- 
gust, 1876, just after my first year had been rounded out, 
I sat down to look over again my records for the year, 
when a telegram told of the Ballinafad murder." 

Ballinafad was a mite of a hamlet in the township of 
Esquesing, county of Halton, near Georgetown, about 
forty miles from Toronto. On the finest timber-tract in 
that part of the country lived John Whiteside, an old 
man in his sixty-eighth year. He was regarded as a 
miser. Instead of gold, land was his god. All that he 
could rake or scrape or get together went to buy land. 
He worshipped his timber. He would walk through his 
woods, rubbing his hands and chuckling. He would sit 
by the base of a big tree, his cheek pressed affectionately 
against its trunk. He would fall prone upon the earth 
with limbs outstretched and murmur : " Mine, mine, 
mine." 

" Sometimes he would pause and pat a tree as if it 
were a little child," says Murray. " A broken bough 
caused him as much distress as if a child had broken a 
limb. His forest was his family, and his trees were his 
little ones. He loved them. Sometimes in the night, 
when the wind was moaning in the tree-tops, or the for- 
est was swaying in the song of the gale, the old man 
would steal out of the house, bareheaded, and listen as if 
the wind-music were a lullaby. 

" He had a wife, and sons and daughters. He seemed 
to be so engrossed in his timber and his land that he 
gave little heed to his family. A number of his children 
went away, leaving his wife and second son, Harry, and 
a daughter at home. It was alleged that the old man 
barely permitted them to have the actual necessaries of 
life. He had his house in a little clearing, with his tim- 
ber towering all around. 



THE WHITESIDES OF BALLINAFAD 103 

" One night he stepped outside, as he had done so 
often. It was a black night. He did not return. A 
neighbour, passing in the dim dawn, hailed the house, 
and when the family opened the door they saw the old 
man lying near by, dead. His head had been chopped 
open with a single blow, followed by others, in the dark. 
The axe was found near by, with some of his grey hairs 
on it. 

" The son Harry was arrested, and I also arrested the 
wife, Harry's mother. At the inquest they gave evi- 
dence that the dogs barked in the night, the old man 
went out and did not come back, and that was all they 
knew about it. The magistrate remanded them from 
time to time, and they were held in Milton gaol for a 
considerable period. 

" It was a difficult case, and there was not sufficient 
evidence for conviction then. I called from time to time 
to see them. On one of my visits, as I approached in 
the corridor I heard a hacking cough. 

" ' Who is that ? ' I asked. 

" ' Harry Whiteside,' was the reply. 

" I looked him over more carefully than on previous 
visits. His eyes were bright, and in each cheek a pink 
spot glowed. I saw the mother, and her eyes and cheeks 
were like those of her son. Nothing more was done to- 
wards convicting them. They were released. Quietly 
I made regular trips to the vicinity of their place. I 
could hear from quite a distance the coughing — dry, 
hard, and hacking — of the son. I used to stand a mo- 
ment and listen, then softly go away. One day I went 
and waited, and heard nothing. I drove to the cemetery, 
and he was there — asleep forever. 

" The mother lived on. I had gathered together what 
evidence I had been able to find, and I held it pending a 
series of occasional visits to where she was living. I 
never annoyed her by my presence. I could stand off 
some distance and listen and learn all that I desired to 
know. Occasionally I would get a glimpse of her as she 
appeared, very white and feeble, by the door in a big 
chair, to get the sunlight. She went very slowly, far 



104 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

more deliberately than her son. He had galloped from 
the gaol to the grave; she plodded along a weary way. 
But at last she, too, ceased coughing, and was borne 
away. 

" Consumption had killed both of them. The Crown 
had done its full duty, in so far as the evidence war- 
ranted. The malady was hereditary in the family, and 
seized violently upon both mother and son soon after the 
old man was murdered. I visited the vicinity, to make 
sure there was no shamming, and to ascertain whether, 
on the eve of the arrival of death, any farewell word was 
to be uttered. I remember vividly the occasions on 
which I stood in the background listening while mother 
and son coughed their lives away." 



XX 

THE MONAGHAN MURDER 

Fence-rail robberies were quite a fad in part of Can- 
ada early in 1876. The robbers selected isolated houses, 
in the farming districts, where occupants were prosperous 
and apt to have money on the premises. In the night 
the robbers would drive up near the house, take a stout 
fence-rail, batter in the door, with loud shouts, terrify the 
family into submission and ransack the rooms, after 
threatening the family with death, if they did not tell 
where the money and valuables were concealed. The 
robbers then would drive away with their plunder, noti- 
fying the family they would return and shoot them like 
dogs if they dared to give an alarm. Old folk usually 
were the victims. 

" In March, 1876," says Murray, " there were living in 
the township of Warwick, county of Lambton, two 
brothers, Patrick Monaghan and Michael Monaghan, 
sturdy old Irishmen, both over fifty, and within a few 
years of the same age. They were bachelors, prosper- 
ous and industrious. Their widowed sister, Mrs. Mc- 



THE MONAGHAN MURDER 105 

Guire, kept house for them. About March 10th a big 
snowfall came, and the Monaghan brothers went early to 
bed and soon were asleep. They occupied the one bed. 
An old rifle hung above the bed on the wall. It had 
not been fired for over five years. 

" A crash at the front door awakened them in the dead 
of night. It was followed by shouts and curses, then an- 
other crash, and the front door banged open and in rushed 
three strange men. 

" ' Get down on your knees ! ' they shouted with oaths. 

" Michael Monaghan leaped out of bed, grabbed the 
old rifle and rushed to meet them. They met face to 
face in the big room, in the darkness save for the flash of 
their lantern. They saw a figure in white, with a long 
rifle pointed at them. 

" ' Stand back and get out ! ' commanded the figure. 

" A second white figure with an axe loomed up as 
Patrick joined Michael. 

" ' Out, or I'll shoot ! ' said Michael. 

" A revolver spat a flash of flame in the darkness. 
Michael fell, shot through the leg. The robbers fled. 
Patrick bent over Michael. 

" ' Good-bye, Pat, I'm done for,' said Michael. 

" The bullet had cut an artery in Michael's leg and he 
bled to death. I was detailed by the Government at 
once. I drove to the Monaghans, and there I tramped 
all around the house and the road in the heavy snow of 
the day of the murder. I came upon the track of a cutter 
that had been hitched not far from the house. No neigh- 
bours had hitched a cutter there. Tracks led from it to 
the fence, where a rail had been taken, and thence the 
tracks led to the Monaghan house and then back to the 
cutter. 

" I took the trail of the cutter. A piece evidently had 
been broken out of the shoe of the cutter for it left a 
mark on the snow as if it had been split. I observed 
also a peculiar mark in the print of a foot of one of the 
horses. Evidently it interfered for it had been shod so 
that a cross-bar showed singularly on the shoe. With 
these two marks to identify the trail, I started at once. I 



106 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

went to Brantford and followed the tracks to London, to 
the house of a woman known as Mary Ann Taylor. I 
followed also the tracks of the cutter as it drove to the 
Monaghan farm over twenty-five miles from London. 
In Brantford I immediately set out to find the cutter. In 
the stable of Liveryman Hewitt I found a Portland cutter 
that had a split about six inches long in the hind part of 
the shoe. In searching the cutter we found the shell of 
a cartridge that fitted the bullet found in Monaghan's 
leg. I learned that three men hired a team in the even- 
ing. They wanted two good travellers. A cross- 
matched pair, one white and one black, were offered. 
They objected to taking the white horse, and a dark bay 
horse was substituted. They drove that night to Lon- 
don, over forty miles away and the horses were put up at 
Lewis's Hotel in London. 

" Mary Ann Taylor had no information to give me. 
Among the girls who lived in her house was a very pretty 
German girl named Polly Ripple. She came from Brook- 
lyn in the State of New York. I learned that three men 
had stopped at Mary Ann Taylor's and had some beer 
and then drove on along the road that led to Monaghan's. 
I found a witness who saw three men in a cutter at 
Hickory Corners, a few miles out on the way. On the 
night of the murder, Polly Ripple was late for the mid- 
night meal at Mary Ann Taylor's, and she said Mary 
Ann was serving three men. Polly swore she saw them 
and heard them mimic the Irishmen, Monaghan. 

" ' Arrah, Mike, are you shot ? ' the one was saying. 

" ' Shure, I am, Pat,' said another. 

" The upshot of all my work was the arrest in London 
of Daniel McPhee and Robert Murray, and the arrest in 
Brantford on May 15th, 1876, of Robert Greeny. On 
May 1 8th they were committed to Sarnia gaol to stand 
trial. Before the trial, Polly Ripple disappeared. I went 
to her old home in Brooklyn and through her friends 
there I located her in Rochester, where she was living 
with a Mrs. Jennings. I went to Rochester to see her, 
but pretty Polly said she would not go back to Canada 
for all the diamonds in the world. I could not take her 



THE MONAGHAN MURDER 107 

back. So I set out to get her back by strategy. I 
learned the name of a young fellow in Rochester on 
whom pretty Polly was sweet. I quickly got in with 
him and arranged for him to take pretty Polly to Niagara 
Falls on an excursion. When they arrived at the Falls 
they crossed to the Canada side to get a better view of 
the cataract, and pretty Polly was taken in charge by a 
respectable woman who made sure she would be present 
at the trial. 

" Bob Murray, who was a big fine-looking fellow, of 
respectable family, got out on bail and did not appear for 
trial. In those days I could not get them back from the 
States, as I could later. At the trial Arthur Sturgis 
Hardy, the late Premier of the Province, then a Queen's 
Counsel and a Member of Parliament, defended the pris- 
oners, and the present Judge MacMahon was prosecutor. 
Mr. Hardy and I had quite a tiff at this trial and it was 
some months before we made peace. But we became 
good friends and later he became Attorney-General and 
head of the Department of Justice. 

" When pretty Polly Ripple came to tell her story on 
the stand I cautioned her to tell the truth, the naked 
truth. She did not vary from her story of the men in 
Mary Ann Taylor's and she saw them plainly and heard 
them mimic the Monaghans. Mr. Hardy's cross-exami- 
nation of her dealt with details of her life in Mary Ann 
Taylor's, and she answered truthfully about the life of 
shame, and some of its particular degradations, and the 
judge became disgusted. I pitied poor, pretty Polly, who 
told the naked truth. Greeny and McPhee were ac- 
quitted. Bob Murray was not tried, as he was shot and 
killed in Port Huron by a fellow named Tom Britton, a 
brother of Royal Britton. Tom Britton was not con- 
victed for the shooting, and he, too, is dead. Dan Mc- 
Phee went to Australia ; he was a horseman. Greeny is 
a hotel-keeper in the United States. He is one of the 
men in this world who do not feel kindly towards me. 

" After the Monaghan affair it was a long time before 
I heard of another fence-rail robbery, and it was not in 
this part of the world at all. So far as Greeny and Mc- 



108 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

Phee were concerned their acquittal of course established, 
in the eyes of the law, their innocence. Pretty Polly 
Ripple went back to the United States, and Mary Ann 
Taylor was as uncommunicative in after years as she was 
in 1876, and compared with Mary Ann at that time an 
oyster was loquacious and a clam was a garrulous, talk- 
ative thing." 



XXI 

THE SIX-FOOT NEEDHAMS : FATHER AND SON 

While Murray was trailing the cutter in the Monaghan 
case he passed on the road near London a swarthy giant 
who waved to him as he vanished in the woods. He was 
a man of colossal build, over six feet tall, with a massive 
frame and huge head and shoulders. His skin was 
copper, and his tread, despite his great size, was light and 
panther-like. His hair was jet-black, coarse and glossy. 
When Murray waved in response the man's voice called 
back a cheery welcome, followed by a perfect imitation 
of the barking of a fox. 

" He was young Needham," says Murray, " and thereby 
hangs a tale that recurs to me every time I see an Indian 
who is fearless, or a bully that is beaten. The Need- 
hams, father and son, were Indians. Both of them were 
giants in build and strength. Either one of them could 
pick up a two hundred pound man, and toss him over 
the fence as if he were a bag of buckwheat. They lived 
in an out-of-the-way place in the county of Elgin, but 
roamed all over that part of Canada. One interesting 
feature of their appearance was they looked so much 
alike that many people mistook them for one another 
and could not tell them apart. In fact, they looked more 
like twin brothers than like father and son. Both were 
superb specimens of physical manhood, and their con- 
stant trudging about the country kept their muscles hard 
as steel. 



THE SIX-FOOT NEEDHAMS 109 

" The father was called Doc Needham. He was not a 
regular practitioner, but was an Indian herb doctor. A 
great many people believed in his medicines, and there 
were tales of marvellous cures he had wrought. One 
legend was that with three drops of the essence of a 
certain root he had restored to life a man who was about 
to be buried. The son helped the father. He dug roots 
and gathered herbs, and kept the medicine pot boiling, 
and accompanied his father on some of his trips around 
the country, particularly to county fairs. They came to 
be a feature at these fairs and their fame spread far and 
wide. Sometimes they drew crowds for their medicine- 
sellings, by short exhibitions, in which the father and son 
both displayed, in small degree, the great strength they 
possessed. They were a peaceable pair and never sought 
trouble. 

" At the township fair in Wallace, county of Elgin, in 
1874, the Needhams were present with their supply of 
herbs. Crowds gathered to see their exhibition and to 
buy their medicines. Among those at the fair was Harry 
Fitzsimmons, a big fellow, built like a bull, with thick 
neck and deep chest and heavy head. He claimed to be 
a fighter, and prided himself he could lick any man in 
the county. He had a boon companion with him that 
day, George Lipsey. Lipsey was something of a fighter 
himself, but deferred to Fitzsimmons as the king of the 
county when it came to a fight. Fitz was bent on trouble. 
He thrashed that day two or three husky country fellows 
who had thought they could fight. Then, flushed with 
his easy victories and a stranger to defeat, he came upon 
the Needhams, father and son, busy with their medicines. 
Fitz's brow clouded. He had heard of the Needhams 
and their feats of strength until he was sick of the tales 
of their prowess. He would show the countryside that 
Fitzsimmons was master. He tried to pick a fight. The 
Needhams ignored him. Fitz and Lipsey grew boister- 
ous and the Needhams moved away. They followed. 
Young Needham could be seen speaking earnestly to his 
father, who shook his head sternly. Fitz and Lipsey 
persisted in annoying the pair, and at last Doc Needham 



no MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

nodded to his son. Young Needham doffed his coat and 
slipped over to within ten feet of Fitz and Lipsey. Fitz 
spied him and bore down upon him with a rush. The 
crowd fell back and the strong arm of Doc Needham 
drew Lipsey back as if he were a child, and kept him out 
of the fray. It was a fight for gods and men. Young 
Needham, light-footed and graceful, played around the 
bull-like Fitz, dodging his blows, evading his rushes, 
until with sudden swoop of arms and stiffening of body 
he seized Fitz, banged him upon the earth with terrific 
thud, then heaved him upward and tossed him, literally 
threw him, full fifteen feet, as a man would hurl a heavy 
hammer. As he struck the earth young Needham was 
on him like a panther, and he dug a hole in the Wallace 
Fair grounds, using the face and head of Fitz as a spade. 
When he finished, he picked him up again and slammed 
him down, and the mighty Fitz lay still, with a zigzag 
gash on his cheek. 

" Doc Needham released Lipsey, who cared for his 
beaten crony, fanning his face, resuscitating him, and 
leading him away. The Needhams, amid the plaudits of 
the crowd, resumed their medicine vending. They were 
not molested again, but in the evening Fitz limped over 
to their stand with Lipsey and shook his fist at young 
Needham. 

" ' I'll get even with you,' he said. ' I'll break every 
bone in your body.' 

" Young Needham leaped at him, the whole savage in 
his being aroused, but the giant arms of Doc Needham 
closed on his boy and held him as a mother could clutch 
her child, and those who saw it beheld, for the first and 
last time, which of the two Needhams was the mightier 
man. 

" ' Go away or I'll loose him,' said Doc Needham, and 
Fitz and Lipsey limped away. 

" But for Doc Needham there would have been murder 
at the Wallace Fair that day. 

" Some time after the vanquishing of Fitz, Doc Need- 
ham and his son were in St. Thomas. They had their 
own team. They took a little fire-water before they 



THE SIX-FOOT NEEDHAMS in 

started home. They stopped, on their way home, at the 
tavern by Kittlecreek Bridge, on the outskirts of St. 
Thomas. Young Needham alighted before reaching the 
tavern and started off to see a man on business. Doc 
Needham drove up to the tavern and stopped. In a bag 
in his waggon he had an axe-head and some pork, both of 
which he had bought in St. Thomas. When he drove 
away from the tavern, Fitz and Lipsey jumped into the 
waggon, grabbed the bag containing the pork and axe- 
head, and while one tried to hold Doc Needham the 
other beat him over the head with the bag and killed him. 
They mistook him for his son and thought they were 
beating young Needham. 

" They escaped in the darkness and got out of the 
country. This had occurred before I began to work for 
the Government, but I took up the case. Doc Needham 
was popular throughout the entire country round about. 
I sent circulars all over Canada and the United States 
describing Fitz and Lipsey. Young Needham had 
marked Fitz for identification in the fight at the Wallace 
Fair. Through a stray letter I got track of Fitz out near 
Red Wing in Minnesota. I went after him, taking Gov- 
ernor John King of the St. Thomas gaol with me to 
identify him. Governor King knew Fitz well, as Fitz 
had worked for him at one time. King and I arrived in 
Red Wing late at night. We had a double-bedded room. 
It was late in November. King snored like a hippopota- 
mus and I could not sleep, so I arose at the first sign of 
dawn and went out to find a barber's shop. I walked the 
silent streets of Red Wing for about an hour, when a 
barber's shop opened and I started for it. As I crossed 
the street an enormous fellow came slouching along and 
entered the shop. He had a full beard and long hair. I 
followed him into the shop. I waited while the barber 
was cutting his hair. He sat with his eyes shut, and as I 
studied him in the mirror, the description I had of Fitz 
seemed to fit, bit by bit, to the bearded giant in the chair. 

" I recalled the zigzag scar on the cheek, and waited 
while the barber's shears snipped, snipped, snipped at the 
hair. The man fell asleep in the chair. He must have 



ii2 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

been up all night. He snored and the barber smiled. A 
voice outside began shouting : ' Joe ! Joe ! ' The barber 
answered by going to the door and calling : • Yes, in a 
minute.' The man outside yelled again, and, with a 
glance at his sleeping customer, the barber laid down his 
shears and stepped out. I waited. If I only knew 
whether there was a zigzag scar on the sleeper's cheek. 
I tiptoed to the door and looked out. The barber was 
talking busily to a man in a waggon. I tiptoed back to 
where the sleeper snored in the chair. His head was on 
one side. The scissors were within easy reach. He 
snored. I seized the scissors, moved them close to his 
cheek, snipped and quickly laid them down and resumed 
my seat. He snored on. I stood up, and there, where 
the hair had been cut away, I saw the outline of a zigzag 
scar. I arose and walked out of the shop. The barber 
called to me as I passed him. 

" ' I'll be back presently,' said I. 

" I simply located the gaol accurately and returned to 
the barber's shop. The giant was just getting out of the 
chair, and was raging at the barber for slashing his beard 
so close on the cheeks. 

" ' I said to trim it on the chin, not the cheeks,' he 
growled. 

" I walked out with him. He growled at me about 
the barber, and said I did right to leave without a 
shave. 

" * What might your name be, friend ? ' I finally asked 
him. 

" ' Church,' he said ; ' and I'm bound down the river 
instanter.' 

" It was a desperate situation. I was sure he was Fitz. 
Yet I might be mistaken. I must find some way to hold 
him until I could get Governor King to look him over. 
The giant refused an invitation to drink or breakfast. 
He was angry and determined to get out of town at 
once. An idea struck me. 

" ' Well, Church,' said I ; 'I am sorry, but I want 
you.' 

" ' Want me ? What for ? ' he roared. 



THE SIX-FOOT NEEDHAMS 113 

" * You stole a canoe and a coil of rope down river last 
night/ said I. 

" ' You're a liar,' said he, in a rage. 

" ' It's not what I say, it's what a fellow over here 
says,' said I. 

" ' Over where ? ' growled the giant. ' Show him to me.' 

" ' Come on,' said I. ' Face him, and make him face 
you.' 

" The ugly bully side of the man was aroused. For 
once in his life, whoever he was, he had been accused 
wrongfully and was innocent. He would wreak his 
vengeance on his accuser. 

" The court-house and gaol were in the centre of the 
square. A man stood in the doorway. We approached, 
I walking ahead, and I quickly said to him : ' I want the 
sheriff.' 

" ' He's just getting up,' was the reply. 

" ' Well, he'd better be quick about it,' rumbled my 
companion, who had not heard my question, and who 
thought I had asked for the man who had made the 
charge of stealing against him. 

" The man in the doorway was the turnkey. Without 
a word he opened the door and we entered, and the door 
clanged shut behind us. 

" ' Wait here,' I told my huge friend, and I went in 
and saw the sheriff. 

" Chandler was his name. He was a bachelor, a fine 
man, and was serving his third term as sheriff. I told 
him my whole story : that I was an officer from Canada, 
and that I had a man charged with murder. The sheriff 
was very nice. He called Church in, told him to step 
into the next room, and when he did so, locked him in. 
I hurried back to the hotel and awakened Governor 
King. 

" ' I've got Fitz,' said I. 

" ' Nonsense,' said he. ' You don't even know him 
when you see him.' 

" ' Come to the gaol,' said I. 

" Governor King dressed in a jiffy. On the way to 
the gaol I told him the story. I reminded him that, if it 



ii4 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

was not Fitz, all he needed to say was that he was not 
the man who stole the canoe and rope. If it was Fitz, 
he should give him a nice talk about the folks at home, 
and how the people felt, and jolly him along, as we could 
not take him back, under the circumstances, unless he 
was willing to go. We entered the gaol. We could 
hear a thunderous roaring. It was my friend Church, 
bellowing in rage over being locked in. King went to 
the door. Church spied him. 

" ' Hello, Harry,' said Governor King. 

" ' Hello, governor,' said Fitz, meek as a lamb, and no 
longer roaring. 

" They shook hands and talked for an hour. I break- 
fasted with the sheriff. Fitz consented to return to 
Canada, after talking with King. We started that night. 
The news of a murderer being arrested spread like wild- 
fire. When we left the gaol over two thousand people 
were waiting to see the murderer from Canada. The 
crowd grew rapidly, until the entire town and many from 
round about followed us to the train. A number boarded 
the train and rode to the next station. We rode in the 
smoker that night, and in the morning a fellow passenger 
told me that a lawyer from Milwaukee had heard of the 
matter and would try to make trouble for me with my 
prisoner. Fitz and King and I still were riding in the 
smoker at that time. 

" ' Harry,' said I to Fitz, ' a shyster is coming in here 
soon to make trouble for you. Give him a short an- 
swer.' 

" Presently in came the Milwaukee lawyer, with a high 
hat and lofty air. 

" ' Where is this prisoner charged with murder they 
are going to take to Canada ? ' he demanded in a loud 
voice. 

" No one answered. He spotted Harry. 

" ' My man,' he said to Fitz, ' don't you know you have 
a right in this country, and only the President can have 
you taken out ? What are you charged with ? ' 

" ' Kissing a mule's tail. Ain't you glad you found 
out ? ' said Fitz, at the top of his voice. 



THE SIX-FOOT NEEDHAMS 115 

" Everybody in the car laughed. The lawyer from 
Milwaukee grew red as a beet. 

" ' You ought to be hung ! ' he snorted, and everybody 
laughed again. 

" As our train near home crossed Kittlecreek Bridge, 
Fitz pointed out the tavern and started to tell me about 
the murder. I told him not to tell me. He was con- 
victed of manslaughter, and was sentenced to ten years 
in the Penitentiary. 

" All four men who were figures in the fight at the 
Wallace Fair came to tragic ends. Doc Needham was 
murdered ; Fitzsimmons died in the Penitentiary ; Lipsey 
was killed in a circus row in a Western State; young 
Needham was killed in 1902, up near Spring Bank, not 
far from London. Spring Bank was a picnic place near 
the Indian Reserve at Muncietown. Young Needham, 
no longer young, was there with numerous Indians on a 
holiday, in August, 1902. He was drinking at the pump. 
Big McCarter, of London, was there, and he ordered 
Needham away from the pump. Needham refused to 
go. It was about ten o'clock at night. McCarter said 
he would make him go. Needham stood off to meet 
him. Everybody fell back to make room for the fight. 
They were fighting, when suddenly Needham, who had 
been untouched, fell like a log. McCarter kicked him 
savagely as he lay, and when they picked young Need- 
ham up, he was beyond need of aid. 

" McCarter was arrested. An autopsy was held. It 
showed several of Needham's ribs had been kicked in ; 
but it showed also, according to the testimony of those 
who performed the autopsy, that the direct cause of death 
was heart failure. Big McCarter was tried at the Fall 
Assizes in 1902 and acquitted. The autopsy saved him. 
It also saved young Needham's record, and sent him to 
his grave unbeaten." 



n6 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

XXII 

PRETTY MARY WARD OF THE GOVERNMENT 
GARDENS 

A window of Murray's office in the Department of 
Justice in the old time Government building in Toronto, 
looked out on the flower gardens, the gravel walks and 
close-cropped lawns and luxuriant shade trees of the 
Government grounds. Daily, the old gardener, and his 
wife might be seen working in the grounds. Early in 
1876 a new face appeared in the gardens, amid the flow- 
ers. It was a face so winsome and sweet that it seemed 
to have caught the fragrant beauty of the flowers, with 
roses blooming in the cheeks and violets nestling in the 
big dark eyes. She came and went with her uncle and 
aunt, and gradually became a familiar figure as she delved 
in the flower beds or gathered bunches of blooms. 

The girl had come out from England in the early part 
of the year. She came to make her home in the New 
World with her aunt and uncle, who kept the Govern- 
ment gardens. Aboard ship, on the way out, she met 
Ebenezer Ward. Ward was a big, handsome, well-to-do 
cattleman, about thirty-four years old. He owned a fine 
farm in the township of Caledon, in the county of Peel, 
about thirty miles from Toronto, and his family was 
highly respected in that part of the country. They were 
prosperous farmers and came of very nice English people. 
Ebenezer was a bachelor. He was shrewd and indus- 
trious. He bought and sold cattle and also was a butcher. 
He visited England in the fall of 1875, and was on his 
way home when he met the pretty English lass on her 
way to Toronto. 

From his window Murray could see, of an occasional 
bright afternoon, the pretty girl of the flower gardens 
walking in the shady paths with a large handsome fel- 
low, and at times their happy laughter rang out, and 
once, amid the flowers, the big man took her in his arms 
and lifted her up and kissed her. Soon after, she went 
away, and Murray saw her no more. The old woman 



PRETTY MARY WARD 117 

said she had married Ward, and they were living happily 
on his farm in the county of Peel. The old woman de- 
lighted to tell of her niece Mary's fine home and farm. 
She would dwell on the beauties of the large log house, 
with a cellar the entire length, with a good barn and all 
the desired outbuildings, even to a fine modern dairy ; 
but above all was the house, with the cellar its entire 
length, and the grandest of new furniture, including a 
big, new Gurney range, bought in Toronto and sent to 
the farm. Moreover, Mary had her own maid, a girl 
named Jennie Morrison, the fifteen-year-old daughter of 
a neighbouring farmer. Mary wrote frequently to her 
aunt, telling of how devoted her husband was, how he 
spent much of his time with her, and how happy she was 
in her new home and new life. One day the old woman, 
brimful of joy, called cheerily up to Murray's window 
that Mary Ward was coming to visit her that day. The 
day passed, but Mary Ward did not come. 

About one o'clock that night a red glow lighted the 
skies in the township of Caledon. It grew and deepened 
as the great tongues of flame leaped up from the home 
of Ebenezer Ward and licked the night. A naked figure 
burst through the doorway and fled across the fields a 
half mile to his father's house. It was Ebenezer Ward. 
He rolled over at intervals as he ran and his body was 
marked with many burns. 

" My house is on fire ! " he shouted, as he fell ex- 
hausted in his father's house. 

" Where is Mary ? " they asked. 

" The last I saw of her, she was at the door, going 
out," he said, and burst into tears. 

They roused the countryside. The house was burning 
furiously. In his cellar Ward kept barrels of tallow and 
the heavy logs fell into the cellar one by one. The heat 
was intense. Mary Ward was nowhere to be found. 

" I was notified," says Murray, " and I went to the 
Ward farm. The place took a long time to burn. It 
was still burning when I arrived. The heat was so great 
that one could not get very close. We pumped the well 
dry and hauled water, and finally, on the second day 



n8 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

after, we got the fire out. I saw Ward at his father's 
house. His mother was putting goose oil on his burns. 
She told me that since his outburst of tears as he fell on 
their floor after the fire, he had spoken but little of the 
disaster. In fact I found him very reticent and disin- 
clined to talk. I sympathised with him and told him he 
had a miraculous escape. He thawed out a little and 
told me that he and his wife were awakened by the heat 
and jumped up and he got her as far as the door and had 
found the door difficult to open and when he finally 
opened it he turned for her, where she had stood beside 
him, but she was gone, and the flames were close upon 
him, their heat becoming intolerable. So he fled alone. 

" ' Poor Mary ! ' he sorrowed. ' I never can forget it.' 

" His mother continued to dress his burns. I watched 
her and my eye lighted on a deep burn on the back of 
the neck at the base of the skull. The flesh was burned 
severely, but no hair was burned. That struck me as 
very strange. I examined the burn carefully. Ward 
became uneasy. My suspicions were aroused instantly. 
I examined the other burns. They were deep, so deep 
and so similar as to strengthen my suspicions. 

" I asked about Jennie Morrison, the fifteen-year-old 
domestic. She was at her father's home. I learned from 
her that on the morning of the night on which the fire 
occurred, Mary Ward was to have gone to visit her aunt 
in Toronto. Her husband had consented, but with re- 
luctance. Before he started to drive her to the train he 
told her she had better send the Morrison girl home until 
she returned. Mary Ward said ' Nonsense,' but he in- 
sisted, saying the neighbours might talk, so Mary Ward, 
as she drove away, told Jennie Morrison she might go 
home for a few days and Jennie went. 

" Ebenezer Ward drove his wife to the Caledon Station 
of the Canadian-Pacific Railroad. I learned there that 
after arriving at the station he changed his mind and told 
his wife she better not go that day but should wait a day 
or two and he would go with her. It seemed he could 
not bear the thought of having her out of his sight. She 
remonstrated reasonably, saying she was all ready to go, 



PRETTY MARY WARD 119 

her aunt was expecting her, the train was about to arrive, 
and she should be glad to have him come that day or 
later. He insisted she should go back to the house and 
finally she obeyed and reluctantly gave up her trip that 
day and drove home again with him. They were alone 
in their house that night and at one o'clock in the morn- 
ing the fire occurred and Ward ran naked from the house 
to his father's home. 

" When the ruins had cooled so that I could go among 
them I had all the logs pulled out that were not burned. 
Then I began the supervision of a systematic sifting of 
the debris. I was hunting for traces of the remains of 
Mary Ward. I came across the stove. It was a fine 
Gurney range. I examined it and found it was burnt on 
the inside, burnt molten. I knew very well that cast iron 
could not be burned in this way except by artificial heat. 
I looked at the name on the range, Gurney. The letters 
were not molten nor had they been burned. Clearly it 
was not the heat of the burning house that had burned 
the stove inside, otherwise the outside and particularly 
the raised lettering of the name would have been burned. 
I took a piece of the stove and put it in an old bag. 
Then I had the men continue sifting the debris. 

" I found a butcher's knife. The handle had been burnt 
off. The point of the knife was bent. I put it in the 
bag. I sifted for half an hour or more, and then found 
a piece of what resembled bone of a human body. I put 
this in the bag. I sifted on and found another piece of 
bone. I found some copper that had been melted. I 
also found a piece of feather-tick, matted, as if wet. As 
you probably know wet feathers are very hard to burn. 
All these finds I arranged carefully in the old bag, and 
that night I went to Toronto and called at the School of 
Practical Science. Dr. Ellis is there now, but Professor 
Croft was there in those days. I asked him if he could 
find traces of blood, if bleeding flesh had been burned in 
a stove and had stained it. He said he could, and that it 
was possible also to tell if it was the blood of a human 
being or the blood of an animal. I produced my piece 
of the stove and asked him to make an analysis. He did 



120 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

so and later reported that he discovered traces of the 
blood of a human being, and further that it was the blood 
of one who could nurse young, a female. 

" The first piece of bone I had found was the sixth and 
seventh vertebrae of a human body. The second piece 
of bone I had found was a piece of ankle bone of a hu- 
man body. These pieces of bone I had found some dis- 
tance apart. The bent point of the butcher's knife 
seemed to say to me that it had been bent by disjointing 
Mary Ward's body after the blade had cut her into 
chunks. The matted piece of the bedtick turned out to 
be matted with human blood. In the cellar I had found 
traces of the big barrels of tallow, and a speck or tallow 
spot on the range gave me the missing link. Mary Ward 
had been murdered in her bed, and her blood soaked the 
mattress and matted the feathers. Her body then was 
cut into pieces and the bones prized apart with the 
butcher's knife. The pieces were taken to the Gurney 
range and a copper bucket of tallow was placed upon 
them, and then more tallow, and then the whole was 
lighted and the terrific heat of the tallow consumed the 
body and melted the inside of the range. To conceal the 
crime the house was set on fire. Ward was a butcher. 
Such a mannered murder would be characteristic. For 
years he had butchered cattle, and when he decided to 
kill his wife the way naturally occurring to him was to 
butcher her as he would a steer. His jealousy, manifest 
in his unwillingness to have her out of his sight, his ina- 
bility to have her go away, even for a day or two with 
her aunt, evidenced in the scene at the railroad station, 
threw light on the motive. 

" I arrested Ebenezer Ward, charged with the murder 
of Mary Ward. It created a sensation. He was tried in 
Brampton in 1876. The late Kenneth Mackenzie, later 
a judge, prosecuted. Ward was defended by eminent 
counsel, one of the brilliant men of Canada, John Hilliard 
Cameron. It was the last case he had in court. Judge 
Morse, his first case on the bench, presided at the time. 
The Crown swore eighty witnesses. The case of circum- 
stantial evidence was impregnable. The defence, after 



THE FATAL ROBBERY OF THE DAINS 121 

all else failed, fell back on a plea of insanity. Fourteen 
doctors were called by the defence to prove Ward insane. 
I had sixteen doctors and thus the Crown had the pre- 
ponderance of medical testimony. Ward, despite the 
able fight made by his counsel, was convicted on May 1 2th, 
1876, and was sentenced to be hanged. Subsequently 
the Minister of Justice commuted the sentence to impris- 
onment for life, owing to the difference of expert opinion. 

" Ward was sent to Kingston Penitentiary. He acted 
strangely, and a great many believed he still simply was 
feigning insanity. He was removed to Rockwood Asylum 
in Kingston. There he became worse and died. His 
brain was examined by famous experts from the United 
States and Canada, including Dr. MacDonald, Dr. Work- 
man, and Dr. Dickson. They found his brain was dis- 
eased. 

" The burn on Ward's neck had been made purposely 
by him with a piece of iron, red hot. He had done it too 
well. A mere blister would have aroused no suspicion, 
but he had pressed the iron in so deep that if a flame had 
inflicted so severe a burn on the back of his neck, it 
would have scorched the hair off and blistered the back 
of the head. The piece of ankle bone and the vertebrae 
were buried decently later. They were all that remained 
of pretty Mary Ward, who used to laugh among the 
flowers opposite my window." 



XXIII 

THE FATAL ROBBERY OF THE DAINS 

While crimes were occurring in the counties round 
about Toronto, the capital city was not immune. On a 
bitter cold night, in March, 1875, two men slipped noise- 
lessly along in the darker shadow of the house walls in 
Yonge Street. One was on one side of the street, the 
other was on the other side of the street. They made 
their way swiftly and silently out to the corner of Bloor 



122 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

Street, where the city limits ended in those days, and the 
district beyond was called York. On a corner of Yonge 
and Bloor Streets lived the Dains. They were rich 
drovers and butchers. Three brothers — Joseph Dain, 
James Dain, and Major Dain — lived there with their 
mother. They were good business men, and carried large 
sums of money on their person for cattle buying. 

Their house loomed silent and sombre in the night. 
The two men in the street met in its shadow, and slipped 
around to the rear. One of the two took his stand by 
the rear corner of the house, where he could see any one 
approaching. The other took off his overcoat, handed it 
to him, and approached the door. He fumbled in his 
pocket a moment and produced something that resembled 
a double-sized cigar. He pressed it close against the 
door. There was a moment's silence, then a rending 
sound, and the door swung open. He had jemmied it. 
Both men waited, but no noise from within followed the 
forcing of the door. The one man noiselessly entered 
the house, and the other moved in and stood by the door- 
way, concealed from any passer-by. Up-stairs Joseph 
Dain was asleep in his room, his trousers on the chair 
beside his bed. He stirred, opened his eyes, and saw a 
tall figure standing by his bed, rifling the pockets of his 
trousers, in which he had considerable money. Joseph 
Dain was a powerful, fearless man, and he leaped out of 
bed and grabbed the burglar. The man broke away and 
fled down-stairs, where his pal was waiting. As he 
bounded down the stairs his pal swung the door wide 
open, and as he sprang past, his pal slammed the door in 
the face of Joseph Dain, and the two burglars fled, sep- 
arating as they ran. 

Dain jerked open the door, and although there was 
snow on the ground, and it was almost zero weather, and 
he was naked, save for a nightshirt, he gave chase to the 
man who was running down Bloor Street West. It was 
the one who had rifled his trousers. Block after block 
they ran, and Dain, his feet bare and bleeding, was gain- 
ing on his man when the burglar shouted over his 
shoulder : 



THE FATAL ROBBERY OF THE DAINS 123 

" Turn back or I'll shoot ! " 

Dain leaped forward, and was closing on him when a 
shot rang out, and Dain fell with a bullet in the abdomen. 
The burglar pocketed a smoking revolver, ran on, and 
escaped. 

His pal meanwhile, as he ran across Yonge Street, 
tripped on the extra overcoat he was carrying, and fell. 
A baker going to work in the early morning hours, 
grabbed the fallen man, and held him until a policeman 
came and locked him up. Dain was carried indoors, 
surgeons were summoned, and he rallied after the opera- 
tion for the bullet. 

" I did not take up the case until later, when I looked 
the captured burglar over, and recognised him at once 
as Charles Leavitt, a desperate American burglar and 
thief," says Murray. " His home was Buffalo, although 
the police there knew him so well that it was the last 
place he could hope to stay. I took the overcoat, and 
looked it over carefully, and found in it the mark of a 
Cleveland tailor. I started for Cleveland, and, in look- 
ing up Leavitt's record in the States, I found that one of 
his friends was Frank Meagher, of Cleveland, a danger- 
ous man, a skilled burglar, a clever crook, and one of 
the ablest and worst rough-ones at large at that time. I 
knew his description well. It tallied in general outline 
with Dain's description of the burglar at his bedside. It 
tallied exactly with the tailor's description of the man 
for whom he made the coat. The escaped burglar, I was 
satisfied, was Frank Meagher. He and Leavitt, a bold 
and reckless pair, had crossed to Canada on a burglary 
tour, and had spotted the Dain house for their first job. 

" Meagher seemed to have vanished completely. I set 
out to trace him in Toronto after the shooting. I made 
the rounds of all the resorts, and finally found a young 
man named John Jake Ackermann. Jake was known in 
Toronto as Keno Billy, and was a bartender and faro 
dealer. He was at a place on King Street, known as the 
Senate saloon, kept by Mike Ganley, a United States 
refugee from justice in Indiana, when Meagher arrived 
on the day of the burglary. Jake had taken Meagher's 



124 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

valise and put it behind the bar. About an hour after 
Dain was shot, Meagher appeared at the back door of 
the Senate, and was admitted by Bill Frazer, one of 
Ganley's friends, and then the trail disappeared. Ganley's 
place was a great hang-out in those days for men of 
Meagher's stripe. 

" Leavitt was convicted, and was sentenced to Kingston 
Penitentiary for life. He took his medicine without a 
word, refused to betray his pal, and went, with sealed 
lips, to serve until death inside the prison walls. No 
trace could be found of Meagher. 

" Dain did not die immediately. He lived over one 
year and one day. Under the law in England and 
Canada, a man cannot be convicted of murder and 
hanged, if his victim lives for one year and one day 
after the crime is committed. Dain lived for a couple 
of months over the year and died. The wound inflicted 
by Meagher caused hernia of the bowls, and killed him. 
But he died too late to hang the murderer even if he 
could be found. I determined to find Meagher if it took 
twenty years. 

" Two years passed. I searched on. Whenever I 
made a trip to any big police centre I made special 
enquiries. I examined every description I could obtain 
of every prisoner sentenced to any prison in Canada 
or the States. In 1 877 I came across a description that 
fitted Meagher in almost every respect. It was of a 
man sentenced to seven years' imprisonment in the 
Northern Indiana Penitentiary for a burglary at Big Bend 
under the name of Louis Armstrong. I read it over 
and over, and the oftener I read it the surer I be- 
came that Louis Armstrong was none other than Frank 
Meagher. I prepared extradition papers, and on June 1st, 
1877, I started for Indianapolis. Detective Lou Muncie, 
of Cleveland, who knew Meagher well by sight, went out 
to the prison and identified him, and thus I made doubly 
sure that Armstrong was Meagher, for the moment I saw 
him I was satisfied of it. 

" When I arrived in Indianapolis I called on my old 
friend, General McAuley, formerly of Buffalo, and then 



THE FATAL ROBBERY OF THE DAINS 125 

Mayor of Indianapolis. General McAuley had a twin 
brother, by the way, and they looked as much like one 
another as did the Needhams. The General said to me 
that the man for me to see was ' Dan Voorhees, of Terre 
Haute, one of the best criminal lawyers in this state.' I 
also called on my friend, Senator Joseph E. MacDonald, 
who corroborated General McAuley. I went to Terre 
Haute, and stated my case to Voorhees. I told him that 
the State of Indiana had a criminal serving a sentence 
for a crime committed subsequent to the commission of 
a far graver crime in Canada, and that I wanted to take 
him back at once to pay the penalty of his prior crime. 
Voorhees took the case, and accompanied me to Indian- 
apolis, and there the fine point of law was raised. 

" Meagher was a man serving a term in a penitentiary 
in the State of Indiana, paying a penalty he owed the 
State for burglary. Could he be taken out of the State 
before he paid that penalty ? Blue Jean Williams, the 
farmer who wore Kentucky blue jean, was Governor. 
Voorhees had stumped the State for him. We called on 
him, and also on former Governor Tom Hendricks, later 
nominated for Vice-President, and on former Governor 
Baker, who agreed with Voorhees that they would sanc- 
tion Meagher's return to stand trial in the country where 
he committed the greatest offence. We called also on 
Judge Gresham, later Postmaster-General, who suggested 
to Voorhees that he should see Chief Justice Perkins of 
the Indiana Courts. We called on Chief Justice Perkins, 
who heard the statement of the case from Voorhees, and 
said that if it was laid before him in due form he would 
call in his associate judges and consult them on the 
matter. He did so, and they suggested that the Gov- 
ernor should serve a writ of habeas corpus on the Warden 
of the Northern Indiana Penitentiary to produce Meagher 
before the Supreme Court of the State. This was done. 

" The Warden produced Meagher in Indianapolis. The 
prisoner was taken before the full bench of state judges. 
I went on the stand, and was sworn as the representative 
of the Canadian Government, and stated and proved the 
case of the Crown against Meagher. A Cleveland de- 



126 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

tective identified Armstrong as Meagher. Meagher had 
counsel, and a long argument followed. Voorhees made 
the claim that the country where the first and greatest 
crime was committed should have preference in the 
custody of the prisoner. Chief Justice Perkins suggested 
that the Governor might issue a conditional pardon. 
The court sent a transcript of the proceedings to the 
State Department in Washington, and on June 19th, 
1877, a warrant of surrender was sent to me in Indian- 
apolis. The Governor had granted a conditional pardon 
on June 8th, and Meagher was ordered into my cus- 
tody. 

" Meagher was in gaol in Indianapolis, where he was 
kept pending the outcome of the case. He got wind of 
the conditional pardon and of the case going against 
him. He was a bad man, a clever and daring crook. 
Two or three times in his career he had escaped, and had 
shot and killed a deputy on one occasion. He had a 
brother, Charlie Meagher, of Cleveland, also a thief and 
burglar — a desperate, resourceful crook. He had friends ; 
and Frank Meagher, then a fine-looking, well-educated 
fellow of twenty-eight, was highly respected and much 
liked among the abler crooks for his daring and clever- 
ness. I knew that the chances were all in favour of 
complete plans having been made to rescue Frank. I 
had all my papers ready on the evening of June 19th. 
It was long after midnight when I had the last of them 
signed. I went direct to the gaol with Detective Lou 
Muncie. A train left at 4.35 o'clock in the morning, 
and I decided to get away on it with Meagher, and had 
notified the sheriff several hours before. We arrived at 
the gaol about three o'clock in the morning. 

" ' Mr. Sheriff,' said I, ' I am here after Meagher. Here 
are my papers.' 

" ' I'm afraid we're going to have trouble with Meagher,' 
said the sheriff, who was greatly perturbed. 

" ' What's the trouble with Meagher ? ' said I. 

" ' He's armed, and he's got up to the fourth floor, the 
top tier of cells, and threatens to kill any one who goes 
near him,' said the sheriff with the perspiration streaming 



THE FATAL ROBBERY OF THE DAINS 127 

down his face. ' He's a desperate man, Mr. Murray ; a 
desperate man.' 

" ' Sheriff,' said I, ' I want the prisoner. My papers 
call on you to produce the prisoner.' 

" ' But how am I to produce him ? ' exclaimed the 
worried sheriff. 

" ' That is for you to determine,' said I. ' Please pro- 
duce the prisoner.' 

" ' Well, then, come this way, please,' said the sheriff; 
and we went into the main part of the gaol, where the 
cells rose in four tiers, with iron stairways leading up from 
tier to tier. 

" The sheriff looked up to the top tier, and there, at the 
head of the stairway, sat Meagher. He had a baseball 
bat in one hand and a revolver in the other. 

" * Meagher, come down ! ' called the sheriff in nervous 
voice. 

" Meagher's answer was a volley of oaths. 

" * Come up and get me ! ' he yelled. ' I'll kill the first 
that sets foot on these stairs ! ' 

" ' There, you see ! ' said the sheriff to me. 

" « Sheriff, I want him/ said I. ' Here are the docu- 
ments. It's your duty to produce him.' 

" The sheriff was in a sad state of mind. 

" ' I know ! I know ! ' he exclaimed. ' But I don't want 
to be killed or to see anybody else get killed.' 

" I saw that the sheriff would not get Meagher. I saw 
also that Meagher was playing for time, and the purpose 
of it probably was an attempt to rescue him. From the 
fact that he had the revolver and club, I knew that some 
of his pals were at work. I decided that I must take him 
on the 4.35 train at all hazards. 

" « Open that gate,' I said to the sheriff. ' I want to 
speak to him.' 

" « Don't do it,' said the sheriff. ' He'll kill you ! ' 

" * John, I wouldn't do it,' said Muncie. 

" ' I warn you not to go,' said the sheriff. 

" I had him open the gate. I stepped in and walked 
up-stairs. When I reached the landing of the stairs, 
where Meagher was at the top, he said : 



128 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

" ' Stop, Murray ! Don't you come near me ! ' 

" I stopped. I saw the club and the revolver, and he 
had the gun pointed straight at me. I could see the 
gloom in the muzzle. 

" ' I am not coming up, Frank,' I said, as I stood on 
the stairs. ' I want to talk to you so everybody won't 
hear.' 

" He had risen, and we stood, he at the top of the 
stairs, I just below him. All was quiet. 

" ' Come down, or I'll shoot ! ' shrilly cried the sheriff 
below. 

" I heard Muncie sternly tell the sheriff to shut up. 

" ' Shoot and be ! ' yelled Meagher to the 

sheriff. ' I'd rather be shot here than hung in Can- 
ada.' 

" ' Shut up, sheriff,' I said, with my eyes still on 
Meagher, who, while he yelled defiance to the sheriff, had 
not swerved his glance for an instant from me. ' Frank,' I 
continued, ' you won't be hung. You know that. The 
man lived over a year. You know you've got to come. 
You could try to kill me, but you would go just the 
same.' 

" While I was speaking I mounted the stairs step by 
step until I stood within ten feet of him. He stood above 
me, with the revolver pointed full at me. 

" ' Stop ! ' he said. ' Stand where you are ! Not a 
step nearer ! ' 

" I stopped and looked him full in the eye, face to face ; 
and I have a feeling to this day that I never was nearer 
death in my entire life. He looked me over slowly from 
head to foot and back again. His eye was cold and hard, 
yet, as he glared at me, I saw that something of curi- 
osity mingled with its murderous, merciless, fine-pointed 
blaze. He eyed me thus for several minutes. Neither of 
us spoke. My hands were empty, my revolver was in my 
pocket. 

" ' Murray,' he said suddenly, but without shifting his 
eyes, ' I have no fit clothes. I am not going like a pauper 
to Canada. I am a gentleman.' 

" ' The sheriff has a suit of clothes for you, Frank,' I 



THE FATAL ROBBERY OF THE DAINS 129 

said. ' It's a pretty good suit ; but if it is not good enough, 
I will wait until you can get one.' 

" His eye lighted with satisfaction ; and I was sure then 
that he was playing for delay, and I was doubly deter- 
mined to take him on the 4.35 train. He began to curse 
Muncie, possibly hoping a row would break out then and 
there. 

" ' I don't blame you, Murray,' he said. ' But don't 
you come near me.' 

" I thought it all over. He could kill me as easy one 
way as another, so I turned my back half to him and sat 
down on the stair. If he had glanced away I could have 
slipped out my gun. He watched me like a hawk. I 
yawned and turned my back full to him. 

"'I do not want to get hurt any more than you do, 
Frank ; but I'm not afraid of anything any more than you 
are/ I remarked. 

" There was a long silence. I wondered once if he 
would reach down and smash me with the club, and I 
thought I heard a catlike tread on the step. I kept my 
eyes front, however, although I have done easier things 
in my life. Finally he spoke — softly, and in almost a 
whisper. 

" ' Murray,' he said, ' you're a game man. Get me a 
suit of clothes and I'll go with you, but not with 
Muncie.' 

" He handed me the club. 

" ' Give me the gun, Frank,' said I. 

" He handed me the gun. We walked down the stairs 
into the office side by side. He spat at the sheriff and 
swore at Muncie, and his glance flew to the clock as we 
passed it. It was four o'clock, and a smile flitted over 
his face. He donned the suit of clothes, and he really 
looked a prosperous gentleman. I put the irons on him, 
and, with him swearing all the way at Muncie, we drove 
at a gallop in a closed carriage to the station. As we 
alighted the train was making ready to go. A second 
carriage galloped up, and out jumped Red Jim Carroll, 
Joe Dubuque, and two others of their crowd. I lifted 
Meagher aboard the train, Muncie beside me. As the 



130 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

train pulled out a third carriage came up, the horses on a 
gallop ; but the carriage door evidently stuck, for the men 
inside missed the train. Red Jim and his three, how- 
ever, caught it. 

" ' See them ? ' I said to Muncie, as they entered an- 
other car. 

" He nodded. 

" ' We're going to have some trouble,' said I. 

" Meagher was very nervous. I had leg-irons as well as 
handcuffs on him. I sent for the train conductor and 
brakeman, and told them I expected trouble. 

" ' Well, I and my crew are not on this train to get 
shot, but I'll do what I can,' said the conductor. 

" We put Frank in the middle, Muncie facing one way 
and I the other, with our revolvers in our hands, well be- 
yond Frank's reach. 

" ' Frank,' I said, ' if there's any break here, some one 
will get killed before we do.' 

" I think he knew what I meant. 

" An hour passed. No one entered the car. We had 
scanned the faces of every one in it, and most of them 
had hastened into other cars after our talk with the con- 
ductor. Suddenly the front door of the car swung open 
and in stepped Red Jim Carroll. I had told Muncie if 
they started in, to jump to his feet and fight them stand- 
ing, for a man is as good a target sitting as standing. 
We both jumped up as Red Jim entered, Muncie still 
facing the other way and I facing Red Jim. The others 
of his crowd were behind him. 

" ' Stop there, Jim ! ' I ordered. 

" He stopped in the doorway, and it was a wise act. 

" « Good-morning, Mr. Murray,' he said. ' Good-morn- 
ing, Mr. Muncie.' 

" ' Are you looking for trouble, Jim ? ' said I. 

" ' No, Mr. Murray, I am not looking for trouble,' he 
answered, with a grin. ' Will you allow me to speak to 
Frank ? ' 

" ' Speak to him from right there, Jim,' said I. 

" Meagher had been watching the whole affair. I had 
reminded him that he must sit absolutely quiet in the 



THE FATAL ROBBERY OF THE DAINS 131 

seat. When Muncie and I rose up he had half risen, 
but remembered in time and sat back, watching all that 
occurred with eager, encouraging face turned towards 
Red Jim. But when Carroll halted Meagher's face grew 
sullen. 

" ' Go to hell ! ' he shouted at Red Jim. 

" Jim was about to put a hand in his pocket when I 
stopped him, for I did not know what he might draw 
forth, and Meagher's rage could easily have been feigned. 

" ' What did you want to get, Jim ? ' I said. 

" ' I wanted to give Frank a couple of hundred dollars,' 
said Red Jim. 

" ' Go to hell with your money ! ' roared Meagher, who 
seemingly was in a terrible rage over the failure, thus far, 
of the plot for his rescue. 

" Still keeping Red Jim covered, I told him to go no 
lower than his breast pocket with his hands, and to count 
out the money where he stood, and I would take it and 
see Frank got it. Meagher shouted that he wanted none 
of the dirty money of a gang of cowards that would 
stand by and see a friend dragged away. 

" Red Jim answered with a touch of dignity. 

" ' Sometimes the worst comes to the worst, Frank, 
and nothing can help it just at the time,' said Red Jim. 
' This man, Murray, is a gentleman, Frank, and he will 
take no advantage of you, and he will give you a fair 
show.' 

" So saying, Red Jim tossed the money towards my 
feet, remarking I would have to pardon him for not 
handing it to me. 

" ' Good-bye, Jim,' I said pointedly. 

" He hesitated, glanced at me with a revolver in each 
hand, then nodded. 

" « Good-bye, Mr. Murray,' he said. ' Good-bye, Frank. 
Good-bye, Mr. Muncie.' 

" He backed out of the doorway and closed the door. 
Meagher was beside himself with wrath. I picked up 
the money Red Jim had left for him, and later I gave it 
to Frank, and he found it of real use in his defence by 
able counsel. The train stopped at a junction. I had 



1 32 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

the brakeman bring our breakfast aboard. As the train 
pulled out Red Jim stood on the platform and waved 
good-bye. 

" We went through to Buffalo, and thence to Lewiston 
on the Niagara River, and thence by boat to Toronto. 
As the steamer passed Old Fort Niagara at the mouth 
of the river and glided out into Lake Ontario, Meagher 
stood on deck. The American flag was flying over Fort 
Niagara. He raised his manacled hands and saluted the 
flag. 

" ' God bless it ! ' he said. ' I suppose it's the last time 
I ever shall see it. Good-bye ! I'd rather I was dying 
for it than for what I am ! ' 

" He gazed after it until it was a mere speck against 
the sky. He still believed he could be hanged for killing 
Dain. 

" ' Don't talk like that,' I said to him. ' You won't be 
hung. English law will treat you fairly.' 

" He answered with a gloomy shake of the head. We 
arrived safely in Toronto, and he was locked up for trial. 
Dain was dead. We had to have the evidence of Leavitt 
to convict Meagher. Leavitt, however, was sentenced 
for life, and, being a life prisoner, he was not a compe- 
tent witness. He was dead in the eyes of the law, and 
could not testify. I went to Kingston and saw Leavitt. 
He yearned for liberty, and I told him we had Meagher 
beyond doubt. So I returned to Toronto, and recom- 
mended to the Government that Leavitt 's sentence should 
be commuted to imprisonment for ten years, to make 
him a competent witness. This was done. I took Leavitt 
from Kingston before the police magistrate, and also took 
the notorious Jimmy Pape, pickpocket and sneak-thief. 
Pape had told a cock-and-bull story in Kingston about 
what he knew of the case, but his evidence simply was 
that he met Meagher in Chicago, and gave him some 
money to go to South America. I hustled Jimmy Pape 
back to Kingston Penitentiary. 

" ' I got a breath of fresh air just the same,' said Jimmy 
on the way back. « I had to get it or die. I'd lie for it 
any time.' 



THE FATAL ROBBERY OF THE DAINS 133 

" Leavitt told the story of the crime, and the evidence 
corroborated it. When Meagher heard Leavitt testify he 
stood up and swore a savage oath. 

" ' You traitor ! ' he said. ' I will kill you in this world 
or the next.' 

" When it came to the trial Keno Billy, otherwise Jake 
Ackermann, who had taken Meagher's valise for him at 
the Senate, was missing. He had gone to the States. I 
went to Buffalo, and there met Bill Carney, who kept the 
Little Tammany. With Carney I went to New York, 
and used every effort to get track of Keno Billy, dead or 
alive. If he was alive, I wanted him to testify. If they 
had killed him I wanted to know it. I turned out the 
Police Department in New York, and I got the gamblers 
and sports, Billy Tracy, Arthur Stanley, and others, and 
hunted all over, but could find no trace of Keno Billy. 
Some of Leavitt's friends joined in the hunt, for they felt 
that, if Meagher was convicted Leavitt would get out. 
They all failed to find him. Keno Billy was dead to the 
world in which he had lived. 

" I finally set out alone, and came across a man named 
Ackermann, caretaker and warden for a nice little church 
on Thirty-fourth Street, not far from Broadway, in New 
York. The name was not in the City Directory, but it 
was on a name plate, and I read it as I passed. A 
drowning man will clutch at straws, and I walked into the 
basement of the church to look for Keno Billy, the faro 
dealer. I found a nice old lady, and I asked for the 
Ackermann family, and whether they had a son John 
Jake Ackermann. The old lady burst into tears. 

" ' Dear me ! dear me ! ' she sobbed. ' You are looking 
for my dear boy Billy ! ' 

" Even she called him Billy, thought I. 

" ' Yes,' I answered her. ' But I mean him no harm. 
Is he here ? ' 

" ' No,' said she, sobbing afresh. 

" ' Where is he ? ' I asked. 

" ' Dead and buried four weeks ago yesterday,' said she. 

" ' Did he die a natural death ? ' I asked. 

" ' He did,' said she. ' He just naturally died.' 



134 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

" I sat down and sympathised with her until she showed 
me the record of his death, and I then went to verify it. 
Keno Billy indeed was dead. I returned to Toronto 
without him. 

" Chief Justice Hagarty presided at Meagher's trial. 
Matthew Crooks Cameron, an able lawyer, afterwards 
judge, defended him. The defence was an alibi. They 
swore Jimmy O'Neill from Detroit, Tom Daly, and some 
women, but it did not work. Meagher was convicted of 
robbery, and on January 9th, 1878, he was sentenced to 
eighteen years in Kingston Penitentiary. He served his 
time, and the last I heard of him he was near Cleveland. 
Leavitt was pardoned, after Meagher's conviction, on my 
suggestion that it would not be safe for him to stay in 
Kingston, as other convicts probably would kill him. 
Leavitt behaved for a time, and then showed up in 
Buffalo, and Chief of Detectives Cusack promptly drove 
him out. His father was respectable, but Charlie always 
was a bad one. Of course he worshipped me after re- 
gaining his liberty. But some time in this world, or the 
next, he and Meagher will meet. What a meeting it 
will be ! " 



XXIV 

"AMER! AMER! AMER!" 

Far to the north, over three hundred miles from To- 
ronto as the crow flies, in the waters of Georgian Bay is 
Manitoulin Island. Through the township of Tekemah, 
on this island, winds a road that was famous in years past 
for the beauty of its scenery. Twenty-five years ago the 
houses along this road were few and far between. Neigh- 
bours usually were from seven to ten miles apart. Here 
and there two families lived within a mile of one another, 
but in the outlying sections of the township this was the 
exception and not the rule. The settlers cleared the land 
and wrestled with the earth, carving farms out of the 



" AMER ! AMER ! AMER ! " 1 35 

wilds. They were a rugged folk, courageous and patient 
in their struggle with untamed nature. 

One Sunday morning in 1877, a young girl of the 
family of Porters set out to attend church twelve miles 
away. It was a bright sunshiny June morning and the 
Tekemah road stretched away like a broad band of rib- 
bon upon which the sunlight and shadows beneath the 
trees flung a web of fine-spun lace. The girl was sing- 
ing as she crossed the crest of the hill and moved down 
the road where it swept in graceful curve past the home 
of William Bryan, nearest neighbour to the Porters. 
Bryan was a good neighbour, a steadfast friend and ready 
helper. He was a little, old fellow with a squeaky voice 
and hair the colour of a roan horse. He weighed less 
than one hundred and thirty-five pounds, but was wiry 
and active, and there were tales of grand battles he had 
fought in the days of his youth. He lived with his wife 
and son Charlie, a young fellow of steady habits and 
about thirty years old. Mrs. Bryan was a tot of a 
woman, a mere mite, who seemed to grow smaller year 
after year, until old age threatened to shrivel her into 
nothingness, and when she died she would vanish, leaving 
no body for burial. She was weak in her mind, and was 
given to spells of blackness, like the long, long nights a 
little farther north. Their home stood near the road, so 
situated that a passer-by could hail in easy voice those in 
the doorway or the yard. 

The Porter girl came swinging down the hill. Mrs. 
Bryan had a habit of joining in any noise she heard, and 
once or twice the girl in the road paused to hear if the 
wee woman with the troubled mind had heard her sing- 
ing and joined in. No answering voice greeted her, so 
she moved on until, in a rise in the road, she came full 
upon the Bryan home. 

In the doorway sat the faded, shrunken little woman 
of the troubled mind. Her hair was loose and dangled 
about her face and down upon her shoulders. She was 
crooning and swaying to and fro. At times she paused, 
threw back her head, shook the long hair from her face 
and laughed a cackling, merry chortle. Again, she 



136 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

bowed her head and wrung her hands and tore her hair 
and wept and moaned. Then she grew quiet again and 
mechanically swayed and crooned, and gazed vacantly 
out upon her little world. The Porter girl, still singing, 
waved to her and drew near. The little woman of the 
troubled mind began to mutter and to grin. She waved 
the singer back with frantic gesture. The girl glanced 
about the yard and beheld two figures prone and still. 
One was old man Bryan, the other was his son. The old 
man's face was upturned, and his eyes gazed dully to- 
wards the sky. The son lay face downward, arms ex- 
tended. 

The girl rushed into the yard and gazed first at the 
father, then at the son. They were dead, with blood 
dyeing the earth beneath them. The girl turned to the 
little old woman, who sat in the doorway, tangling her 
hair. 

" How did it happen ? " asked the girl. 

The little old woman gazed at her and burst into rip- 
pling laughter. 

" Amer ! Amer ! Amer ! " she laughed. 

" When did it happen ? " asked the girl. 

The little old woman laughed on. 

" Amer ! Amer ! Amer ! " she said. 

It was all that she would say. The girl questioned her 
closely but no other word passed her lips. 

"Amer! Amer! Amer!" 

Sometimes she sobbed it, sometimes she laughed it, 
sometimes she muttered it solemnly. 

Back to her own home sped the Porter girl and told 
her family of the tragedy, and back to the Bryan farm 
went the Porters ; and while some cared for the bodies, 
others hastened for the coroner and other neighbours. 
Suspicion inevitably fell upon the little old woman of the 
troubled mind. Yet her whole life was one of gentle- 
ness. She had been known to sob when a chicken was 
killed, to weep when a cat caught a mouse, or to cry out 
if her son struck one of the horses with a whip. In the 
perplexity of the affair, the Department of Justice was 
notified, and Murray, who had just returned from a trip 



"AMER! AMER! AMER!" 137 

on the Meagher case, was directed to take it up. He 
went to Manitoulin Island at once. 

" I drove out to the Bryan homestead," says Murray. 
" There sat the old woman in the doorway, her chickens 
feeding around her, a cat beside her, a dog at her feet. 
Some wild birds were fluttering about as if she had been 
feeding them, or as if they knew her and had no fear. I 
went to her gently and sat down on the step. 

" ' Amer ! Amer ! Amer ! ' she murmured softly. 

" ' And where is Amer? ' I asked very gently. 

" She looked cautiously round about, then moved the 
cat back lest it should hear, and leaned over and whis- 
pered in my ear : 

" ' Amer ! Amer ! Amer ! ' 

" I spent an hour or more with the poor little lady and 
all that she could say was this one word. The dog kept 
nosing my hand and I shoved him away and bade him 
sternly to sit down. She wept when I spoke gruffly to 
the hound. 

" The bodies had been buried. The coroner who had 
made the post-mortem was at Manitowanning. In mak- 
ing the post-mortem he had cut his hand and blood poi- 
soning set in and the results of the post-mortem were not 
satisfactory, so when the bodies were exhumed I had a 
second post-mortem made. The bodies bore the marks 
of heavy blows and both father and son had been killed 
by bullets. Clearly there had been a fight with strong 
men and it had culminated in revolver shots. It elimi- 
nated the little old woman from any part in the affair. 
Moreover, I took her muttered word as the clue to solve 
the case. 

" ' Amer ! ' she had muttered. 

" On a farm adjoining that of the Bryans lived George 
Amer and his son Reuben. Their house was less than a 
mile from the Bryan farm. I began a systematic visiting 
of all the families thereabouts. I learned that Amer and 
Bryan had trouble over their boundary line and the line 
fences, and about the Amer cattle getting in and injuring 
the Bryan crops. Amer was a big fellow, massive and 
strong. He formerly was chief constable of Owen 



138 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

Sound. His son Reub was about twenty-four years old 
and of medium build. I learned from a passing neigh- 
bour that, on the day before the Porter girl had found the 
Bryans dead in their yard, the Amer horses had broken 
into Bryan's wheat-field, and Bryan and his son im- 
pounded them, and were seen tying them up in their 
yard on that Saturday afternoon of June 8th, 1877. 
When young Amer went to look for the horses on Sat- 
urday night they were gone and he followed their trail 
from the Bryan wheat-field to the Bryan yard. He went 
home and reported to his father, who armed himself with 
a policeman's club that he kept in the house, while the 
son took a revolver. I found a neighbour who saw them 
skulking along near the Bryan yard on this Saturday 
night. 

" What happened then only the poor little old woman 
saw, and she could not testify. But afterwards I learned 
that the Amers demanded their horses. The Bryans re- 
fused to give them up, saying they were impounded. A 
fight ensued. Big Amer grappled with little Bryan and 
the wiry old fellow was getting the best of Amer, who 
called to his son Reub. Young Bryan was struggling 
with Reub, who, when he heard his father's cry, pulled 
his revolver and shot and killed both Bryans, and as they 
lay dead he emptied the revolver into them. Then the 
Amers took their horses and went home. 

" I had the Amers arrested and committed to Sault 
Ste. Marie goal for trial. The regular Assizes were held 
only once a year there, so the Government commissioned 
Judge McCrea to try the case. Amer was a man who 
was rich for that section of the country. He sent to 
Toronto and employed the Hon. Matthew Crooks Cam- 
eron, paying him a big fee and all expenses. John Ham- 
ilton, later a judge and now dead, prosecuted as the Crown 
Attorney for that district. After reading the depositions, 
Mr. Cameron told his clients the case would be thrown 
out by the grand jury. I differed from him. The case 
was wholly and purely a case of circumstantial evidence, 
but the chain of circumstances was so complete as to be 
absolutely convincing. The grand jury took this view 



McPHERSON'S TELLTALE TROUSERS 139 

and found a true bill. The motive of ill-feeling and the 
fight over the horses was shown. The evidence showing 
the Amers approaching the scene of the crime shortly 
before the murder was presented. The Amers were 
tried and convicted entirely upon circumstantial evi- 
dence. In September, 1877, they were sentenced to be 
hanged. 

" Mr. Cameron, for the Amers, filed an objection to the 
legality of the Court that tried them. He claimed the 
Government had no authority to commission a judge to 
try a case of murder. The question was carried to the 
Divisional Court and to the Court of Appeal, and it was 
held that the commission was legal and right. The sen- 
tence of the Amers was commuted to life imprisonment. 
Some years afterwards, on a strong petition, and aided by 
political frjends, father and son were released, and the last 
I heard of them they were back on the island where the 
crime occurred. 

" The little old woman, of course, was not called as a 
witness, as she was not competent. I tried to glean 
some of the details from her after the arrest of the 
Amers. I even rehearsed part of the struggle in the 
yard. She sat in the doorway and screamed with child- 
ish delight. Then her mood changed. She dropped her 
face in her hands. 

" ' Amer ! Amer ! Amer ! ' she sobbed, her hair 
hanging over her like a veil as she crouched and writhed. 

" And 'tis so I see her still, doddering in the door- 
way." 



XXV 

McPHERSON'S TELLTALE TROUSERS 

Murray was at Manitoulin Island, clearing up details 
of the Amer case, when a telegram notified him of an- 
other murder in the township of Pickering, county of 
Ontario. It was four hundred miles or more from Teke- 
mah, but the next day Murray drove up the Pickering 



i 4 o MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

Road, thirty miles from the railroad, to the house where 
the murder occurred. 

" It was a little house in a lonely part of the town- 
ship," says Murray. " A labouring farmer, named Ben- 
nett, lived there with his wife and two small children. 
Mrs. Bennett was a pretty woman about thirty years old. 
Her husband was away working in June, 1877, and she 
was alone in the house with her two little ones. About 
midnight two men broke into the house and treated her 
so horribly, in the presence of the little children, that she 
died three days later. Her children were too small to be 
able to tell about the crime. Mrs. Bennett, however, 
rallied, and described the two men minutely, and finally, 
in her ante-mortem statement, she said they were two 
young men named Burk and McPherson, sons of well- 
known farmers in that vicinity. 

" I saw at once that, with the woman dead and her 
children too young to testify, we would have nothing but 
her ante-mortem statement ; and while it was strong and 
convincing the accused had friends, and they were rally- 
ing to make a desperate fight, with scores of living 
against a dead woman's word. I laid my plans. 

" Burk and McPherson were arrested. I had them 
separated at once, and then had each state in detail his 
movements on the day and night of the murder of Mrs. 
Bennett. I accepted all they said in apparent credulity. 
Their confidence grew as they saw me seem to weaken 
in any belief that they were guilty of the crime. They 
lied beautifully, lied valiantly, lied so completely that I 
knew I had them where their word on the witness stand 
would be blasted and worthless. However, I noted care- 
fully the movements of each as he dictated them. Then 
I compared them. They vowed they were not together 
at certain hours, and were in certain places at certain 
times. I set out and spent days in following these fic- 
titious movements of these two men. I disproved them, 
step by step. I found people who saw them together 
when they averred they were apart. I found people who 
saw them in places where they stoutly maintained they 
had not been. In short, I incapacitated the pair as 



McPHERSON'S TELLTALE TROUSERS 141 

worthy witnesses. I had them ; so the word of one dead 
woman was better than the word of the two live men. 

" I searched their houses and the premises round about 
for evidence that would corroborate the dead woman's 
word. Hid away in McPherson's mother's house, John 
Hodgins, one of our Toronto officers, found a pair of his 
trousers. They were of a kind very fashionable then, 
but would appear rather ridiculous now. They were 
light woollen, washable and very baggy, in fact, balloon- 
like in their leg effects. They had been washed. I 
took them out in the sunlight, and despite the washing 
I detected what I believed were stains. McPherson's 
trousers were taken to Professor Ellis, then assistant to 
Professor Croft, at the School of Practical Science in 
Toronto. He analysed the stain and discovered it was 
blood, and further that it was the blood of a woman. 

" The trial was postponed, but finally held in May, 
1878, at Whitby. Chief Justice Harrison presided. B. B. 
Britton, now a judge, prosecuted for the Crown. The 
Hon. Matthew Crooks Cameron defended. Mr. Cam- 
eron, as in the Amer case, told his clients the grand jury 
would not find a true bill. Again he was mistaken. It 
was a tedious trial. We swore many witnesses to trace 
their movements and contradict them flatly in their story 
of where they had been on the day of the tragedy. 
When McPherson's stained trousers were produced they 
swore in rebuttal that McPherson had killed a rat, and 
that the blood stains were the stains of rat's blood, and 
not of woman's blood. Dr. Ellis positively swore the 
stains were not rat's blood. The jury so believed, and 
Burk and McPherson were found guilty and sentenced to 
be hanged on June 14th, 1878. Both sentences, how- 
ever, were commuted to life imprisonment, and after 
both had served long terms they got out. 

" Interest in this case grew and became wide-spread in 
the States and Canada, because of the point of chemical 
analysis involved. It was one of the most advanced cases 
known at that time. It was expert testimony, of course, 
but it was founded on a precise science, and therefore 
certain and accurate. Some expert testimony becomes 



142 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

largely a matter of opinion, but that opinion is based on 
trained judgment, skilled discernment, and scientific 
methods for ascertaining the truth. Experts may differ 
honestly, and here and there an expert or two may differ 
otherwise. But the testimony of competent experts, 
known to be men of ability and integrity, like Dr. Ellis, 
is as valuable as the testimony of worthless witnesses is 
valueless. 

" At this time I was opposed in three prominent cases 
by the Hon. Matthew Crooks Cameron. They were the 
Meagher case, the Amer case, and the Burk and Mc- 
Pherson case. In each case he defended. He was the 
greatest criminal lawyer in those days. Almost invaria- 
bly he appeared for the accused. Later he became a 
judge, and died in the fulness of his powers and fame. 
When a judge he seemed to feel instinctively that he was 
concerned in the prisoner's defence. Hence he was not 
always very satisfactory to the prosecution in a criminal 
case, yet he was an able man. It was force of habit as- 
serting itself unconsciously, and was not intentional par- 
tiality, for he was a man of integrity. 

" Judges run that way, just as do men in other walks 
of life. Early training asserts itself in the judge's career 
on the bench, particularly in regard to his attitude to- 
wards persons accused of crime. Perhaps I should say 
his point of view, rather than his attitude. The point of 
view of each of us is our view-point, or the position from 
which we view a matter, and that position is determined 
by our career up to the time we come to consider the 
case presented to us. We adjust our views of a criminal 
case according to our judgment, and my experience is 
that the judgment of a judge is formed on a foundation 
in which the corner-stone is the substance of his training 
prior to going upon the bench. 

" The machinery of justice makes few slips, after all. 
It has a gigantic task, for to it is assigned the perpetual 
adjustment of human rights and wrongs. If either hand 
of the blindfolded goddess were to symbolise criminal 
justice, it is the right hand with the sword. I have seen 
it strike with the swiftness of a lightning flash. I have 



GLENGARRY WRECKED THE CIRCUS 143 

seen it hover like the sword of Damocles, suspended by 
a thread for years before it falls. In these three cases in 
which the Hon. Matthew Crooks Cameron was pitted 
against us, I sometimes think that justice showed its cer- 
tainty. Years passed in one, a thread of circumstantial 
evidence held true in another, and truth prevailed in the 
third ; while in all three justice was done, and the 
heavens did not fall." 



XXVI 
WHEN GLENGARRY WRECKED THE CIRCUS 

The men from Glengarry met Murray for the first time 
in the summer of 1877, and the acquaintance formed 
then ripened into friendship, and has strengthened 
throughout the years. The Glengarry lads were famous 
fighters in the bygone days, and it was through a fight, 
that lives to this day in the history of the county, that 
Murray went among them. There are firesides in Glen- 
garry where old men sit in the winter evenings and spin, 
among their tales of prowess, the yarn of the great battle 
of 1877, when the men of Glengarry fought the travelling 
circus, and drove it, beasts and all, out of Cornwall. 
Many a scar is cherished as a souvenir of that fray. A 
thousand times beyond count have the children heard 
how Danny McLeod seized the lion by the tail and 
twisted it until the big beast roared. 

John O'Brien, of Philadelphia, was the owner of the 
circus. It was travelling through Canada, and pitched its 
tents in Cornwall, the county seat of three counties — 
Glengarry, Stormont, and Dundas, fifty miles west of 
Montreal. The lumbermen and shanty-men had come 
out of the woods with their winter's wage in their 
pockets. They were stalwart lusty fellows, and they gath - 
ered from far and near to see the circus in Cornwall. 
They strode the streets in gorgeous red or rainbow 
shirts. They saw the grand parade in the morning, and 



144 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

joked about freak features that caught their eye. There 
was no talk of trouble, no premonition of a row. The 
men of the woods were out for a jolly day, expecting to 
bother nobody, and expecting nobody to bother them. 
They formed in a long line by the ticket waggon to buy 
the red pasteboards for admission to the tent. Some fell 
out of line to wrestle or spar good-naturedly, but all were 
waiting their turn. 

A shout at the other side of the big tent steadied the 
line. It was the cry of a Glengarry man. Following it 
came the crack, crack, crack, of heavy blows, and around 
the side of the tent appeared one of their men, backing 
away, and whirling a long tent stake, as he came. Pur- 
suing him were three circus-men, each with a club. 
Blood gushed from a big slash across the Glengarry's 
face. He was shaking it off as he swung the heavy 
stake. He dared not turn his head to look for help, but 
with eyes set and arms waving he whirled his weapon so 
that the three circus-men were held at bay. A flap in 
the big tent was raised as he passed ; a fourth circus-man 
crept out behind the Glengarry, and as the stake swung 
around the newcomer dealt him a heavy blow with a 
club, and he went down like a log. 

A roar burst from the line of lumbermen, a roar like 
that of the entire circus menagerie if the beasts had 
howled in unison. The line quivered, swayed, and broke. 
In a wild rush the lumbermen sprang forward, seizing 
clubs, tearing up tent stakes, jerking out poles and pins 
and stanchions. The four circus-men yelled for help, 
and out of the big tent swarmed canvas-men, helpers, 
acrobats in tights, gymnasts in tinsel, clowns in paint and 
powder — every man the show could muster. They were 
needed, too. The lumbermen had formed in long open 
lines, like fire-fighters, and they moved into the thick of 
the tangle of men and ropes and canvas, beating right 
and left with their long clubs. The weapons rose and 
fell, whack, whack, whack, falling with terrific force, smit- 
ing whatever was within reach. When a man in the line 
fell another stepped forward into his place. 

" Herd them ! Herd them ! " was the cry. 



GLENGARRY WRECKED THE CIRCUS 145 

The lumbermen were striving to surround the circus- 
men and drive them into a huddled mass, and then — 
woe betide them ! The force of the onslaught, the im- 
pact of the furious assault, drove the circus-men back to 
the side of the big tent, so that when the lumbermen 
beat them in on three sides they had the tent behind 
them. There were mighty deeds of daring done that 
day. Shanty Donald, it is told, took five cracks on the 
skull and laid three circus-men out in a struggle where 
they had him three to one. Big McGregor seized an 
acrobat by the neck, and flung him skyward, and when 
he alighted he wildly begged for mercy. The strong 
man in the side show seized little Joe Sumac, and, when 
they fell apart, the strong man's left arm hung limp and 
useless, snapped below the elbow. One revolver flashed, 
and before it banged again, the circus-man who held it 
lay senseless, with his face trampled like a cleavered 
beefsteak. 

The circus-men retreated under the flaps of the tent as 
the lumbermen crowded them. Knotty O'Brien, of 
Glengarry, one of the foremost in the lumbermen's line, 
dived under head first. His feet suddenly flew up, his 
limbs jerked, and he lay still. The lumbermen fought up 
to where he lay, and they smote the canvas side of the 
tent with mighty blows, ripping it to shreds, and as it 
tore away they saw little O'Brien gasp, half rise, choke 
and fall back dead. None spoke, none shouted as they 
beat before them. It was like a battle of mutes. Slowly 
they fought their way into the tent, when from the 
menagerie came the keepers with the elephants, and 
rushed the great beasts to the front, and ran them to and fro. 

" 'Tis like smiting a mountain ! " quoth Big McGregor, 
as he drove his stake against the towering hulk. The 
next instant Big McGregor was flying skyward higher 
than he had tossed the tinselled acrobat. He came down 
with a thud, and plunged in again. 

" The lions ! the lions ! " shouted the circus-men, and 
it is related that sure enough, a big beast came slouching 
forward with a keeper at his side. 

In the tale as it is told, forward sprang Danny McLeod 



146 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

and faced the king of beasts. Even the men of Glen- 
garry paused. The lion shook his massive head and 
tawny mane. Danny suddenly struck the keeper full in 
the pit of the stomach with his boot, and seized the lion 
by the tail and twisted it around and around. With a 
roar of rage and pain the king of beasts wheeled and 
fled, galloping pell-mell back to his cage, and clambering 
into it. But the elephants won the day. Both sides 
drew off, and the circus left Cornwall. Little O'Brien 
was buried, and the lumbermen sat them down to nurse 
their wounds and heal their scars. 

" It was learned some time after the battle," says Mur- 
ray, " that the man who struck O'Brien was Louis Kipp, 
a canvas-man, a fellow so short, and yet so stout, that he 
seemed as broad as he was long. He was about twenty- 
eight years old, and weighed about one hundred and 
seventy pounds. He had been one of the circus-men 
who fought without flinching, blow for blow. The final 
evidence that it was he who struck O'Brien was obtained 
from a witness early in 1878, and in March, 1878, I was 
instructed to locate him. I had nothing but his name 
and a poor description. I went first to Philadelphia and 
saw John O'Brien, the circus-man. He said he knew 
nothing of Kipp, that his head canvas-man hired men 
anywhere and paid them off anywhere. I found his 
head canvas-man at Newark, in New Jersey. He remem- 
bered the fight, and remembered Louis Kipp. 

" ' He fought a good fight, too,' said the head canvas- 
man. 

" He thought Louis was a Pennsylvania Dutchman 
from Bucks County or Lancaster in Pennsylvania. He 
had heard Louis speak of this section of the country, but 
knew nothing more about him, and said he had not seen 
Louis since the fight at Cornwall. He claimed the cir- 
cus-men had fought in self-defence. I went to Easton, 
Pa., to an old friend of mine, Jake Johnson, chief of 
police. Jake knew that entire country. He had served 
in the Molly Maguire business, and was just voluntarily 
giving it up at that time. Jake agreed to go with me in 
a search of the two counties for Louis Kipp. 



GLENGARRY WRECKED THE CIRCUS 147 

" Jake and I started out on Sunday, March 17th, 1878, 
St. Patrick's Day. It was raining hard. We had a 
cracking good team. We drove all day from place to 
place, and at nightfall came to a little tavern away up in 
the mountains, and decided to stay there all night. As 
we were putting up our team we got our first trace of the 
whereabouts of Louis. A lot of fellows were in the tav- 
ern celebrating St. Patrick's Day ; and one of them told 
us that a fellow named Louis Kipp worked for a farmer 
about ten miles farther on, over the mountain. We were 
forty miles or more from Easton. We pledged every- 
body's health in the tavern, and took the fellow with us 
to show the way. It poured like a deluge for the entire 
ten miles. Finally we came to a big farm with a great 
farmhouse and tremendous barns. We banged on the 
door, and my mind went back to Dixmont at the other 
end of the same State. A nightcapped head popped out 
of a window, and asked in German who was there and 
what was wanted. We answered that we wanted to see 
Louis Kipp, if he lived there. 

" ' He lives here, but he and his girl are out together 
for a walk,' was the reply. 

" It was after midnight, and raining hard. The farmer, 
however, invited us in, and had us put up our team. 
Then he brought cider, and headcheese and gingerbread, 
and we sat in a huge room with a big fireplace, and sipped 
cider and munched headcheese and gingerbread while we 
waited for Louis. An hour passed, but no sign of Louis. 
Our host explained that Louis's girl also lived in the 
house, and that every Sunday evening they went spoon- 
ing, rain or shine. Another hour passed. It was after 
two o'clock. Our host smoked on unconcernedly. 

" ' Sometimes they spoon till dawn,' he said in German. 
' It is the way of unmarried love.' 

" He told us of some fine currant wine he had in his 
cellar, and at length he insisted on getting some of it. 
He took a candle and disappeared into the cellar. Pres- 
ently he reappeared without the wine, and in great ex- 
citement. He beckoned us to follow noiselessly. We 
did so, tiptoeing softly down the cellar stairs. It was a 



148 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

vast, cavernous place, with rows of huge hogsheads, like 
vats or cisterns. He led us among them to a remote cor- 
ner, then held up his hand and pointed to a hogshead re- 
clining on its side. We stepped silently up, and peeped 
in while he held the candle. I never will forget the sight. 
There sat Louis and his girl, their arms around one 
another, her head on his shoulder, both sound asleep, both 
with their mouths wide open, both snoring sonorously, 
inside this big hogshead. 

" ' Beautiful, is it not so ? ' said our host in German. 

" He gazed enraptured on this picture of bliss. Then 
suddenly he sneezed a loud, resounding sneeze that blew 
out the candle. Louis, in the hogshead, awoke with a 
snort, as did his girl. We bumped amid the hogsheads 
until our host relighted the candle. 

" ' Pardon ! pardon ! ' he exclaimed in German. ' Every 
time I see true love it makes me sneeze. I feel myself 
about to cry for joy, and when I would not cry, but 
almost, then I sneeze at the tickles of the nose from tears.' 

" Louis and his girl, yawning and sheepish, followed us 
up to the big room. There Louis hugged his girl until I 
thought he would crush her short ribs, kissed her with a 
resounding smack, waited while she kissed him with 
equal explosion, and then said : 

" ' Goot-night.' 

" She went to bed. In the talk that followed I must 
confess I lied a little to Louis. 

" ' Louis,' I said, ' you were with John O'Brien's circus 
last year ? ' 

" ' Yah, yah,' grunted Louis, who spoke in broken 
English. 

" ' Do you remember a fight in Cornwall, Canada?' I 
asked. 

" Louis's face lighted up. 

" ' Yah, yah,' he grunted. ' T'at vas te tamtest fight I 
efer see. Ve pull out t'e stakes und ve get t'e pest of it, 
but t'ey fight like t'e vild men ofer t'ere.' 

" I said that one fellow had been badly hurt among the 
circus-men, and some fellows were arrested, and I wanted 
Louis to come over for the trial. 



GLENGARRY WRECKED THE CIRCUS 149 

" ' I got no money,' said Louis. ' I gif it all to my 
girl.' 

" I said I would pay all the expenses. Louis was de- 
lighted. The farmer said he could go. Louis called up 
the stairs to his girl, excitedly told her of the fine trip he 
was going to take, told her to take good care of his 
money while he was gone, and then hurried out, hitched 
up our team, and we started back to Easton at dawn. 
Louis was eager to go. I have often thought since, that 
he never realised, when the frenzy of the circus fight was 
over, that he had struck a fatal blow, and he honestly 
believed he was going back to Cornwall to testify for an- 
other. He stuck to me night and day, afraid lest he should 
lose me and miss the trip. We arrived in Cornwall on 
March 20th. There I told him that it was he who was 
to be tried. 

" ' Mein Gott ! ' said Louis. ' Von't I efer git back to 
my girl and my money ? ' 

" That was all that worried him. He was very good, 
and gave me no trouble. He pleaded guilty to man- 
slaughter, and I got him off with one year in gaol. 

" ' I remember now t'e little fellow vat I hit,' he told 
me, after hearing the details of the charge against him. 
' It vas too bad he die. He vas a goot fighter. I vould 
radder it haf been one of t'e fellows who hang back and 
not fight.' 

" When Louis got out of gaol he hied himself back to 
his girl and his money in Pennsylvania. 

" Jake Johnson, of Easton, was glad to oblige me in 
the matter of finding Louis. For in January, 1878, two 
months before I started after Louis, Jake had been over 
in Canada for a man by the name of Gillard, of Easton, 
who was a refugee from justice from Pennsylvania. Gil- 
lard had come to Canada, and found employment as a 
carriage maker with a man named Dixon, of Oakville, 
twenty miles from Toronto. The crime of which he was 
accused was serious, but did not come under extradition, 
although Jake Johnson was very anxious to get him. 

" I had been laid up with typhoid fever, but in Jan- 
uary, 1878, I was able to get out, and Jake came to To- 



150 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

ronto ; and we went to Oakville and saw Mr. Dixon. 
He appeared to be quite willing to aid us after hearing 
of the serious charge against Gillard. Arrangements 
were made to land Gillard in some part of the United 
States. He would suspect if Suspension Bridge were 
chosen as the place, so Ogdensburg was selected. Mr. 
Dixon took Gillard with him, ostensibly on a business 
trip about waggons. I accompanied them. It was bitter 
cold weather. On January 23d we crossed the St. Law- 
rence River at Prescott. Jake Johnson was on the Amer- 
ican side. He had the papers for Gillard's arrest, with 
a requisition from the Governor of Pennsylvania on the 
Governor of New York. Instead of keeping these papers 
until train time, Johnson foolishly got a policeman in 
Ogdensburg, and had Gillard arrested and put in the 
lockup. I foresaw trouble. Gillard had no inkling of 
what was in store for him until he was arrested, and then 
he promptly sent for a lawyer, a prominent attorney 
named Kellogg. Gillard told Mr. Kellogg he had been 
kidnapped out of Canada. He told of my coming over, 
of Dixon's part in the matter, and of Jake Johnson. 
His lawyer caused warrants to be issued for the entire 
party. They arrested Dixon and Johnson, and were 
looking for your humble servant, but I was over the 
river. 

" The first intimation I had of what was happening to 
Johnson was when this telegram from Jake was handed 
to me aboard the Grand Trunk train : 

" * I am in the Ogdensburg gaol for kidnapping. 
What shall I do ? ' 

" I answered, ' Employ counsel and fight.' 

" At almost every station I received a frantic telegram 
from Jake, and I answered them all with the same advice. 
They had him locked up, all right. Dixon gave the 
affair away, saying he was induced to get Gillard over 
the line as a special favour to me. They released Dixon, 
but they held on to Johnson. Jake telegraphed me 
almost hourly. They committed him for the grand jury, 
and then released him on bail, and gave him no end of 
trouble. I looked into it in the meantime. When the 



THE DISAPPEARING STORES 151 

matter finally came before the grand jury they ignored 
the bill against Jake. Gillard, in the interval, had been 
discharged, but he was arrested subsequently, and was 
held. After a great deal of trouble and litigation he 
was handed over to the Pennsylvania authorities. Jake 
Johnson had the satisfaction of seeing him tried and con- 
victed. 

" Gillard was very different from Louis Kipp. He was 
quite unwilling to go back to Pennsylvania, whereas 
Louis, during his year's sojourn in Canada, dreamed con- 
stantly of the big farmhouse and his rosy-cheeked, buxom 
Dutch girl, and his money, and the big hogshead in the 
cellar, where they spooned, and slept, and snored." 



XXVII 
THE DISAPPEARING STORES 

The night express from Montreal was puffing into 
Cornwall, and Murray, who had finished with the case of 
Louis Kipp, was waiting in the station to return to To- 
ronto, when a telegram was handed to him. It was from 
George F. Marter, formerly leader of the Conservative 
or Opposition party in Parliament, and now manager of 
the Lancashire Insurance Company of Toronto. It 
simply stated that the general store at Gravenhurst had 
been cleaned out by unknown thieves. 

" A short time before," says Murray, " thieves had plun- 
dered a harness shop in Gravenhurst. All that remained 
of the shop was the frame of the building. Every scrap 
of stock had vanished in a single night ; collars, harness, 
whips, blankets, everything in the store had been taken. 
Lethbridge was a little place, six miles from Gravenhurst 
and about one hundred and thirty miles north of Toronto. 
Mr. Marter and his partner, Hull, had a timber limit and 
sawmill there. In connection with the mill in Leth- 
bridge they started a general store in Gravenhurst. The 
goods were bought at wholesale houses in Montreal and 



152 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

Toronto, and were shipped to Gravenhurst, and delivered 
into the general store. They were not unpacked, but 
were still in their boxes when they vanished as the har- 
ness shop had vanished. It was in May, 1878. I went 
on through Toronto to Gravenhurst, arriving the next 
day. Mr. Marter met me and we went to the store. It 
had been cleared out, big boxes and little boxes ; almost 
the entire stock had been stolen. My mind went back 
to the old days in Erie, and I wondered if George Knapp 
had moved to Canada and settled somewhere in the vi- 
cinity of Lethbridge. Knapp was the only man I ever 
had seen who would feel equal to stealing a harness shop 
and then a general store. 

" I asked Marter to let me talk during the day with all 
the men in his employ. I went with him to his mill at 
Lethbridge, and began with the head sawyer and the tail 
sawyer, and then the teamsters, and then the other men, 
getting their ideas and opinions, and asking if they knew 
of any strangers in the vicinity. They all passed muster 
with me except one fellow, a big teamster named George 
Rose. His eyes were too small and too quick, and his 
story was too smooth. He said nothing to cast suspicion 
on himself. On the contrary his talk was very plausible. 
But of all the men he was the one whose looks I did not 
like. I thought him over carefully, and finally I went, alone, 
to his house. He was married and lived in a house among 
the rocks, about a mile from the sawmill, in a picturesque, 
out-of-the-way, inaccessible place. He and his wife and a 
seven-year-old boy lived there. I hunted around, look- 
ing for signs of fresh digging or traces of newly-turned 
earth. I found not a sign, not a clue, not a single thread. 
Back to Toronto I went, empty handed. 

" I turned the case over in my mind night and day. 
Whenever I thought of it there seemed to rise in my 
vision the face of Rose, with the sneaky eyes. I kept 
thinking of him until my suspicion grew to a moral cer- 
tainty. Back I went to Lethbridge. I went straight to 
Rose's house and walked in. His wife was there. I 
spoke of the robbery of Marter's store. She replied it 
was wonderful to think it could be done. I called the 



THE DISAPPEARING STORES 153 

little boy. He was a nice child, with a strong English 
accent. 

" ' This is not your boy ? ' I said to Mrs. Rose, when I 
heard him speak. 

" ' Oh no,' said she. ' We adopted him from Miss Rye 
at Belleville.' 

" The lad chatted with me, telling me of the ship on 
which he came over. I lingered around the house, but 
neither there nor elsewhere in Lethbridge could I find a 
trace of the perpetrators of the robbery. It annoyed 
me. Here was a complete general store, packed in boxes 
filling many waggons, goods worth thousands of dollars 
and of great bulk, gone completely, vanished in the night, 
and not a clue even as to the road they went. They did 
not fall through the earth. They did not vanish into air. 
They must have been hauled away, and that meant many 
waggon loads, and yet there was not a single track nor 
trail nor trace of their whereabouts or of the road they 
were taken. The more I hunted for evidence against 
Rose the less I seemed to find. He and his wife lived 
happily, and were very fond of their adopted child. I 
stayed around a day or two and I went away again empty 
handed. 

" At this moment in the case, although I was bare of 
evidence, I could have sworn almost to a certainty that 
Rose stole the store. I thought and thought and thought. 
At last a plan presented itself. I wrote to Miss Rye at 
Belleville to take the child away. She sent a man at 
once to Lethbridge to take the boy away from the Roses. 
I had the man bring the boy to me. I examined him 
carefully. I found he was wearing new stockings and 
had two new pocket-handkerchiefs that never had been 
used. 

" ' Where did you get these ? ' I asked him. 

" * My mamma,' said the little fellow, meaning Mrs. 
Rose. ' She cried when I left.' 

" I bought him new stockings and handkerchiefs and 
some candy and sent him on his way to Miss Rye. I 
kept the stockings and kerchiefs given to him by Mrs. 
Rose. Several times I had mentioned Rose to Mr. 



154 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

Marter, who invariably defended and praised the team- 
ster. Time passed. Mr. Marter was worried greatly. 
No trace of his store had appeared. He came to me the 
day I saw the boy on his way to Miss Rye. 

" ' Any clue, Murray ? ' he asked. 

" ' I do not like Rose,' said I. 

" ' Nonsense,' said he. ' Rose is all right. He is a 
good man, a reliable man. He is steady and goes to 
church.' 

" ' That cuts no figure with me,' said I. ' Many a job 
has been planned by a churchman.' 

" ' You should not be swayed in your suspicions by 
dislike of a man's looks,' said he. 

" For answer I showed him the handkerchiefs and 
stockings. 

" • Did you buy such goods ? ' I asked. 

« « Why, yes, I did ! ' he exclaimed. 

" I went back to Gravenhurst. I spent a day in the 
town learning if Rose had any friends there. I found, 
from residents, that a barber named James Fuller was a 
great friend of Rose. I waited until next morning, so 
that my beard would be out, and then went to Fuller's 
shop to get shaved. Fuller was out. A half-breed 
woman, his wife, part Indian and part white, was keeping 
shop. She sat in a back room with the door half open, 
so she could see who entered the shop. She was sewing 
lace on some undergarment. A bunch of lace was on 
the floor beside her. I walked right through the shop 
into the back room. 

" ' Fuller in ? ' I asked. 

" ' No, he's gone to Cooksville,' said she. 

" ' That's pretty lace ; where did you get it ? ' I asked, 
picking up a piece of the lace and admiring it. 

" ' I bought it at Coburn's store,' said she, with a furtive 
glance at me. 

" ' How much did you pay for it ? ' I asked. 

" ' I forget,' said she. 

" ' I wonder if they have any more of it,' I said. ' How 
long ago did you get it ? ' 

" ' I don't remember,' said she. 



THE DISAPPEARING STORES 155 

" ' May I have this piece as a sample ? ' said I, pocket- 
ing the piece I had picked up. ' I want to get some 
like it.' 

" She objected. I walked out of the shop. This was 
on Saturday, July 13th, 1878. I went to Coburn's store. 
They said they had sold no lace to Fuller's woman, and 
when I showed them the piece they said they never had 
carried such lace. 

" I went before a magistrate and laid an information 
against Rose and Fuller. Fuller had gone to Cooksville. 
I went out to Lethbridge and met Marter, and told him I 
was going to arrest Rose. Marter identified the lace, and 
went with me to Rose's house amid the rocks. Rose sat 
in the doorway cleaning a breech-loading carbine. 

" ' Hello, Rose,' said I. ' What are you doing ? ' 

" ' Cleaning my gun,' said Rose. 

" ' That's a nice-looking gun,' said I. ' Let me see 
it.' 

" He handed me the gun. I laid it aside and arrested 
him. He made no resistance and I put the handcuffs on 
him. He asked what he was arrested for. I told him it 
was for robbing Marter's stores. 

" ' We'll see about this,' said Rose, with an air of in- 
jured innocence. 

" We started for Gravenhurst. We walked part of the 
way to the station in silence. 

"'Rose,' said I, 'the jig is up. See these?' and I 
drew the lace out of my pocket. ' The squaw is coming 
out in good style.' 

" ' What squaw ? ' asked Rose surlily. 

" « Mrs. Fuller,' said I. 

" Rose was mum. We walked on in silence for half a 
mile. 

" ' Rose,' said I, ' I don't think it is fair for Fuller to 
throw the responsibility for this job on you. I believe 
he knows more about it than that you gave him this lace 
as a present.' 

" Rose said nothing until we got out to the railroad 
track, a mile from his house. Then he broke silence. 
Fuller has not treated me fairly/ said Rose. ' He 



<« < 



i56 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

lied about the lace. Come on. I'll show you where the 
stuff is.' 

" We went back a mile to his house. A rod or two 
from the back of his house was a potato patch between 
two rocks, about twenty feet apart. 

" ' There it is,' said Rose. 

" I stared at the potato patch where the potatoes were 
growing and the ground was unbroken. I thought he 
was joking, like old Knapp in Erie about the buried gold. 
I sternly told him to dig it up if it was there. I loosened 
the handcuffs. Rose dug down into the potato patch 
and struck boards. He pulled up one or two of these 
boards and there, beneath the potato patch in a big hole 
or bowl in the earth, was the stolen store. Mr. Marter 
went for his men and teams while Rose cleared the 
potato patch away. It was the cleverest hiding-place I 
had ever seen. He had laid some of Marter's lumber 
across the opening or mouth of the big hole and had 
dumped dirt on to the boards and had planted potatoes 
in this earth, making a garden or potato patch as the 
covering for the goods. In the two months and more 
that had passed the potatoes had flourished. 

" In addition to finding the stolen general store, we 
found the stolen harness shop with dozens of sets of 
harness, collars, saddles, etc. It took Marter's men half 
the night, to haul the stuff back to the store. Rose 
threw the blame on Fuller, saying Fuller planned it while 
Rose simply did the hauling and helped to hide the 
goods. They had begun on a Saturday night, and spent 
Saturday and Sunday nights stealing and hauling and 
hiding the boxes of goods. I locked Rose up. 

" Fuller was in Cooksville, eighty miles away. I ar- 
ranged to block any telegram that might be sent to him 
and that night I drove over fifty miles to Barrie. There 
my horse gave out, for it was a choking hot night in 
July. I hired another team and arrived in Cooksville 
about eight o'clock in the morning. I tied the team in 
the hotel shed and turned to walk down the street. I 
met a fellow on the street by the hotel. 

" ' Can you direct me to a barber's shop ? ' I asked. 



MARY ANN WEATHERUP, COQUETTE 157 

"'I am going there,' said he. ' I am a barber my- 
self.' 

" ' Is that so ? ' said I. 

" ' Yes,' said he. ' But not here.' 

" ' Where are you from ? ' I asked. 

" ' Gravenhurst,' said he. 

" ' Oh yes,' said I. ' I think you shaved me there.' 

" ' Yes, I probably did,' said he. ' My name's Fuller.' 

" ' Oh yes, Fuller,' said I. ' Well, you'll never shave 
me again,' and I arrested him. 

" He took it very hard. He protested his innocence. 
I showed him the stockings and the handkerchiefs, but 
not the lace. 

" ' Fuller,' said I, ' I don't believe you gave these to 
George Rose as a present for his adopted boy. I believe 
Rose knows something about them himself.' 

" Thereupon Fuller, wrathful at Rose, told the whole 
story, cursing Rose while he told it. He said Rose 
planned the job and got him into it, and that he could 
not have planned it, for he did not know the country or 
the store as did Rose. After breakfast I drove with 
Fuller to Barrie and there took the train to Gravenhurst, 
arriving at one o'clock on Monday afternoon. Both 
Rose and Fuller demanded a speedy trial. Both pleaded 
guilty on Wednesday, July 17th, 1878, and were sen- 
tenced to five years each in Kingston Penitentiary. 
Fuller was the tool. Rose was a bloomer, well named." 



XXVIII 

MARY ANN WEATHERUP, COQUETTE 

Mary Ann Weatherup was a country coquette. She 
lived in the township of Hope, in the county of Dur- 
ham. She was a buxom, blooming girl, with red cheeks 
and fluffy hair and big eyes. Many a lad in the town- 
ship of Hope spent long hours in the township of De- 
spair, all on account of Mary Ann Weatherup. She 



158 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

would pick out a young fellow, spoon with him on moon- 
light nights, drive with him on Sunday afternoon, and 
when Monday came, he was left to sit on the fence and 
crack his knuckles, while Mary Ann Weatherup went 
gaily off with another swain. The youth who basked in 
Mary Ann's smile for a month plumed himself on his 
powers of attraction, for seldom did a lover outlast a fort- 
night in the good graces of Mary Ann Weatherup. 
Squeaky shoes or pomaded hair or choker collar or city 
perfume never dazzled Mary Ann Weatherup. She 
loved variety, and men came and went with unbroken 
regularity, regardless of the artificial charms with which 
they were bedecked. 

Mary Ann Weatherup's family lived on a little rented 
farm in a house scarcely large enough for the father and 
mother and three sisters, of whom Mary Ann was the 
oldest. They were poor in worldly goods, but Mary Ann 
was rich in physical beauty. She stayed at home until 
opportunities came for her to work out, and then she was 
much away, working at the house of some big farmer. 
Her admirers ever kept her whereabouts in mind, and it 
is related that there were evenings on the farm where 
Mary Ann Weatherup was employed when eleven young 
men sat moodily on different sections of the same rail 
fence waiting for Mary Ann to stroll forth in the twilight. 
It is related also that Mary Ann Weatherup would 
saunter forth and gracefully trip along the path, glancing 
at each figure on the fence until she had passed them all. 
Then, to make sure there were no others, she would call 
aloud their names and at the end would shout : 
" Are there any more, that I have missed? " 
When no answer came, Mary Ann would trip blithe- 
somely back along the path, halt by the favoured one of 
the evening and say : " Come, Donald," or " Tis you to- 
night, Thomas," or " You look fine gay this eve, Willie," 
or " Wast waiting for me, David ? " She would give no 
heed to the others apart from the one she chose. The 
lucky one would leap down from the fence and he and 
Mary Ann Weatherup would go swinging away, hand in 
hand, in the evening time. The others disappeared, 



MARY ANN WEATHERUP, COQUETTE 159 

some abruptly, some lingeringly, to reappear the next 
night and perchance be chosen. Seldom, in such 
carnivals of choosing, was the same adorer selected on 
two successive evenings. Sometimes, a week or a fort- 
night, or even three weeks, passed before David, on the 
third section of the fence, was called, while Donald or 
Willie alternated for a week. Certain sections of the 
fence came to be regarded as lucky or unlucky, and 
significance attached also to the attitude of the sitter, as 
if crossed limbs or interlaced fingers could cast a magic 
spell upon the comely Mary Ann Weatherup. 

Once or twice Mary Ann Weatherup hastened home 
and remained there in seclusion for a time. Later there 
were grandchildren but no son-in-law at the Weatherup 
family home. On the first occasion the Mother Weath- 
erup grieved and reproached Mary Ann and admon- 
ished her not to let it happen again. On the second 
occasion she upbraided Mary Ann, and said she was im- 
posing on the good nature of her parents and overtaxing 
the capacity of their home. Mary Ann went away again 
and all was serene once more. 

" Some Frenchmen were cutting cordwood in the 
township of Hope, not far from the farm of the parents 
of Mary Ann Weatherup, in November, 1879," says 
Murray. " Their dog was nosing in the brush and they 
saw him running along with something in his mouth. 
They followed the dog, thinking he had a woodchuck, 
and, as all French woodsmen at that time believed, wood- 
chuck was a splendid cure for rheumatism. They hailed 
the dog and he dropped his burden. Instead of a wood- 
chuck they found the body of a young child, roasted, 
partly devoured and frozen. They reported it to the 
authorities and I was notified. I went to the township 
of Hope. 

" The fame of Mary Ann Weatherup was not abroad 
in that immediate part of the land so much as might have 
been supposed. I began a systematic search for the 
mother of the child. In due time I came upon Mary 
Ann Weatherup and arrested her. She denied the 
motherhood of any child within a year or more. When 



160 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

she was locked up her father and mother became fright- 
ened and disappeared. They had made sworn statements 
under examination before they ran away. I had Mary 
Ann kept in gaol and went to see her there. Finally she 
told me the story. 

" ' Maw was most unjust,' said Mary Ann. « When I 
had my first child she used harsh words to me, and when 
I had my second child she accused me of imposing on her 
and paw, who had both hands full, said maw, with a 
family of their own. I went away and at length I went 
home again. " What again ? " said maw, as she looked 
at me, and she was most angry and charged me with try- 
ing to crowd her out of her own house. She called in 
paw, who swore I must get out. I sat down and folded 
my hands, and said : " Here I am and here I stay." They 
raged and stormed until I asked them what they thought 
I had them as my paw and maw for. They had not 
thought of this, for it silenced paw. He could see he 
owed me a duty. But maw she vowed she had done 
more than her duty by me when she let me grow into 
long dresses and put my hair up. Maw took after queer 
kind of people. She was not like paw. Paw could be 
subdued. I stayed despite maw. She kept vowing she 
would have a Judgment Day on earth and do some reck- 
oning. On the day the boy was born maw stirred up a 
big fire in the stove. She almost melted us, and paw he 
went out to cool himself. The stove got red hot. Maw 
she came and grabbed the baby from me and laid him on 
the stove and roasted him, and then took him out and 
threw him in the woods. She said that would be a lesson 
to me not to try to overcrowd the house.' 

" Mary Ann did not know where her parents had gone, 
when they ran away. At least she vowed she did not. 
One day a letter came addressed to her and postmarked 
away up in the Huron Peninsula. I got it and tried to 
decipher it, but it was beyond me and beyond any one 
else who tried to read it. Mary Ann said it was from 
her maw and had been written by her paw, and was in- 
tended to be an epistle of abuse, as the only other kind 
of letter her paw could write was one of praise, and his 



CAPTURE OF LOCHINVAR SPROULE 161 

commendatory notes were less full of blots and splashes 
than his condemnatory communications. 

" I went up to the wilds of Huron Peninsula and found 
Mary Ann's parents living in a remote, out-of-the-way 
place. It was easy to locate them approximately by the 
postmark on the letter, and then drive through the 
country until I found some one who knew of such a 
family. I brought them back and had them indicted for 
perjury. The mother was sent to gaol. They were 
ignorant people and very poor and ill-tutored. Mary 
Ann was kept in the common gaol for a year or so and 
then she was released. She went back to working out 
with farmers. 

" Mary Ann never quite got over her coquettish ways. 
But her sojourn in gaol made her more thoughtful and 
her folks never thereafter had cause to complain of Mary 
Ann Weatherup trying to crowd them out of their own 
house." 



XXIX 

THE CAPTURE OF LOCHINVAR SPROULE 

The paw and maw of Mary Ann Weatherup were still 
in hiding in the wilds of the Huron Peninsula when an 
elopement occurred in the county of Elgin. W. W. 
Sproule was the hero and a barber's wife from Aylmer 
was the heroine. Sproule was a spruce, sleek, dapper 
lover, and about forty years old, whose old home was in 
the maritime provinces, where his family was so influen- 
tial that it was able to throw out a helping hand to its 
romantic offspring in the county of Elgin and have him 
appointed bailiff by the county judge without even the 
formality of giving security. Sproule's love affairs proved 
costly, and when he skipped by the light of the moon 
with the barber's wife, the judge found a double reason 
for desiring him to return. 

" Sproule defaulted as bailiff," says Murray. " The 



1 62 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

barber of Aylmer was wroth and he missed his wife, for 
she was reputed to be a good housekeeper. The case 
came to me, and Sproule was wanted, both as an eloping 
defaulter and a defaulting eloper. I started for the mari- 
time provinces, for it was dollars to doughnuts that the 
festive Lothario was back among his old-time friends. 
Sure enough he was at his old home in Hampton, about 
twenty miles from St. John's, after an absence of twenty- 
five years. I made a few preliminary inquiries and 
learned that his brother was the sheriff of the county, 
that another brother was deputy-sheriff, that another 
brother was a lawyer, that another brother was clerk of 
the court, that a nephew was a conductor on the road, 
that another nephew was a brakeman, and, truth to tell, 
almost every fifth man in that part of the country was a 
Sproule. I realised at the outset that strategy alone 
would enable me to land my man. 

" I called on the old chief of police in the city of St. 
John's and told him I would like to have an officer. I 
mentioned no names. I simply said I wanted to arrest a 
Canadian near Hampton. The people in the maritime 
provinces do not call themselves Canadians, but they call 
Canada the remainder of the Dominion. The chief in- 
formed me he had an officer who had come from that 
part of the country and would send him to me the next 
day. The next morning this detective called. Weath- 
er head was his name. It was March 1st, 1880. I told 
him, as we were about to start that my man was in 
Hampton. Weatherhead said all right and asked his 
name. I foolishly told Weatherhead Sproule's name. 
The detective immediately said he had to go to the office 
a minute. He went, too. I afterwards learned that the 
chief of police and one of Sproule's brothers were per- 
sonal friends, but I did not know it then. Weatherhead 
returned and we boarded a local train, mixed passenger 
and freight, and went to Hampton. At that time I had 
to get a warrant from one province indorsed in another, 
but since then all that has been changed. Weatherhead 
told me the only magistrate there was Mr. Barnes, regis- 
trar of the county. We hunted up Barnes. One of 



CAPTURE OF LOCHINVAR SPROULE 163 

Sproule's brothers was his clerk. Weatherhead said 
again that Barnes was the sole magistrate within a radius 
of miles, and I reluctantly had to accept his word. 
Barnes was at the court-house. He dilly-dallied and 
wasted time until I took a copy of the statutes and said : 

" ' There's the law, sir, and there's the warrant issued 
by the county judge, sign it or not ! ' 

" He signed it after further delay. It was three miles 
from the court-house to the town proper. Hampton was 
a little gut of a town, stretched along one street. Weath- 
erhead said we could not get a rig to drive, and it was 
too far to walk, under the circumstances. Up to this 
time I had accepted Weatherhead in good faith. While 
I had my suspicions I was loth to believe that a fellow 
detective would betray me or sell me out. Never before 
had such a thing happened to me, and I am thankful to 
say that few times, in all the years of my experience, 
have I known one detective to play another false. I 
have found the men of the police business of the world 
honourable, fair and square in their dealings one with an- 
other, and the cases of sell-out have been the exceptions 
with me. But I was weary of Weatherhead. 

" ' I will go myself,' said I to him. • I see through this 
pretty well.' 

" « Hold on,' said Weatherhead. 

" * No, sir, I don't hold on,' said I. 'I go myself. 
Good-day to you, sir.' 

" I left him in the road, this Detective Weatherhead 
of St. John's. He followed me. I walked on to Hamp- 
ton, and on the way I met a boy and gave him a quarter 
to show me where the returned Sproule was living in the 
little town. The boy piloted me to a double house and 
showed me the door and left me. I rapped. No one 
answered. I rapped at the next door and a lady an- 
swered my knock and said that Mr. and Mrs. Sproule left 
in a great hurry a few minutes before I arrived. They 
drove away with their trunks and a fast team, she said. 
I went back to the Sproule house and got in through a 
back door. I found the dishes on the table, the stove hot 
and other signs that the people had gone in a hurry. I 



1 64 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

had missed them by a mere few moments. I was satis- 
fied then that I was sold. I was mad as a hornet, but I 
put a fair face on it and smiled. 

" ' I'm glad they're gone,' said I. ' I was not anxious 
to take them back, for it was not so serious a crime, after 
all. I had to go to Quebec and was ordered to stop here 
on the way.' 

" I went back to my hotel at St. John's. The chief of 
police called to take me for a drive and to meet the men 
of the town. I declined. I saw the sheriff of St. John's, 
whom I had met before, and I told him of the Sproule 
matter in Hampton. I told all of them that I was going 
away, and desired them not to bother about Sproule. 
Outwardly I was smiling, but inwardly I was vexed and 
determined to take Sproule, of Hampton, back to the 
county of Elgin, no matter what games were played to 
block me. 

" In St. John's, commercial travellers have to pay a 
licence to sell goods. Sometimes they leave their goods 
outside the city and take customers out to look at them. 
I told the clerk of the hotel to get me a good, lusty man, 
as I wanted to go to Sussex, twenty-five miles out, where 
I had some samples to bring in. The clerk got me a big 
Irish porter, who was not afraid of anything. 

" ' Bring two good lanterns and a stout stick,' said 1 to 
the porter. ' The scoundrels may steal my samples.' 

" The spirit of adventure stirred the porter and he was 
eager for an encounter. We took the train for Hampton 
the next evening. The conductor smiled at me. The 
porter and I walked three miles to Sproule's in the dark- 
ness. I stationed him at the front door. 

" ' Grab anybody that comes out,' said I. 

" I entered by the back door. I prowled through the 
entire house. The Sproules were not there. I left the 
house by the front door and as I stepped outside I was 
seized and whirled violently out into the road with a 
human hyena on top of me, yelling : 

" ' I've got ye ! I've got ye ! ' 

" It was my Irish porter obeying orders to seize any 
one coming out of the front door. He recognised me in 



CAPTURE OF LOCHINVAR SPROULE 165 

a moment and promptly dusted me off and we went back 
to St. John's, empty-handed again. 

" The next evening I boarded a train on which Sproules 
were part of the crew and doubled back to Moncton, one 
hundred and twenty miles. The Sproule brakeman fol- 
lowed me into the sleeper and made sure of my depar- 
ture. I crept into my berth with my clothes on and drew 
the curtains. At Moncton I met the Halifax train going 
north. I slipped out of the sleeper, boarded the Halifax 
train and rode about fifty miles to Weldford, while the 
Sproule brakeman thought I was sleeping blissfully in my 
berth on the other train going to Quebec. At Weldford 
I stayed all night in a little hotel and then drove by stage, 
twenty-five miles away from the railroad, to Kingston, 
where I stayed a day and then drove to Richibucto and 
stayed two days, and then I drove back to Weldford and 
thence by rail to Moncton, where I arrived on a storm- 
ing, blowing night in March. The clerk at the American 
House, where I stopped, said they were out of liquor and 
cigars. I told him to go out and get a supply to last a 
few days. He went out and returned with two bottles of 
beer, two cigars, and a half-pint of whiskey. It was too 
serious then to be as ludicrous as it seems to me 
now. 

" A big storekeeper named McSweeny was president 
of the Moncton Council. I called at the store and met a 
Mr. McSweeny and told him the whole story from start 
to finish. He heard me through and said his brother was 
the Council president and that there was a bold, ambi- 
tious young fellow who wanted to become chief constable, 
and whose father was sheriff of the county and who 
knew the Sproules, of Hampton. 

" ' My brother has the appointment of the chief 
constable, and I think this man can help you,' said 
McSweeny. 

" When President McSweeny came in he heard my 
story, and said : ' Murray, we'll see you do not go back 
without your man.' He sent for the candidate for chief 
constable. Vail was his name. McSweeny promised 
the appointment to him if he helped me get Sproule. I 



1 66 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

knew it was useless for me to try to run the gauntlet of 
Sproules, so I gave Vail some money and he went to 
Hampton while I waited in Moncton. He stayed with 
Sheriff Sproule in Hampton, and in a few days returned 
to Moncton empty-handed. His story was that my 
Sproule was still away, but would be home the next week. 
I gave no sign of incredulity and four days later I sent 
Vail to Hampton again, with the warrant endorsed and 
regular. The next day I received a telegram reading : 

" ' Got him ! ' 

" I took the next train to Hampton. Sure enough, 
Sproule had returned and Vail had nabbed him. The 
Sheriff Sproule was enraged at his guest, Vail, who 
grinned and said he would be a chief constable soon. I 
started back with Sproule. The conductor of the train 
was the Conductor Sproule who had given me the laugh. 
I had the pleasure, this time, of a broad smile at him. 
I left the wife of the barber of Aylmer, in Hampton. I 
handcuffed Sproule. In travelling with a handcuffed 
prisoner you have to sleep side by side with him in the 
berth. Every time Sproule thought I was asleep in the 
berth he would yank me by jerking the arm by which he 
was handcuffed to me. I had to laugh. I really enjoyed 
his wrath. I took him back to St. Thomas and turned 
him over to the authorities in the county of Elgin. 

" I never forgot the sell-out that was worked on me. 
Treachery is one of the rancid, nasty wrongs of life. 
Ingratitude is another. If in eternity there are figures 
before doorways to denote the character of the interiors, 
the Temple of Infamy will have its entrance flanked by 
a traitor and an ingrate. It is a source of pleasure to me 
that in matching my experience in my business with the 
experiences of other men in other businesses, I find that 
I have come into contact with far less treachery among 
my colleagues than they have encountered. It speaks 
well for the honour of men in the police business in so 
far as their dealings with one another are concerned. 
The Sproule case contained my first difficulty with an 
officer. I got my man just the same, and I often thought 
how much alike were the names of Mary Ann Weatherup, 



MILLION DOLLAR COUNTERFEITING 167 

of Durham, and my friend, Detective Wetherhead, of 
St. John's, whom I left standing in the Hampton road." 



XXX 

THE MILLION DOLLAR COUNTERFEITING 

The first five years of Murray's service with the Gov- 
ernment in Canada were drawing to a close in 1880. 
They had been five eventful years. He had done his 
difficult work faithfully and well. He added to the name 
and fame, not only of the Department of Justice, but of 
himself. He had handled successfully scores of cases of 
varying degrees of importance, from atrocious murders 
to petty and persistent thievings. The Government in 
no instance had called upon him in vain. But clever as 
he was, able and resourceful as he had proved himself to 
be, a still severer test of his qualities was about to come, 
and a task was to rise before him beside which all former 
cases seemed simple and insignificant. It was the Mil- 
lion Dollar Counterfeiting. 

This crime is known as one of the boldest and greatest 
of its kind ever undertaken. It was a crime of genius. 
The man who solved its mystery and ran its perpetrators 
to earth, was a detective of genuine worth. His trophy 
of the chase rests on a stand in his library, one of the 
largest hauls of counterfeit plates ever made on the 
American continent, plates that are worth over $40,000, 
plates that set in circulation bogus money totalling over 
$1,000,000 so true to the genuine currency that to this 
day some of it is in circulation, and banks could not tell 
it was counterfeit. 

" In the months of March, April, and May in 1880," 
says Murray, " Canada was flooded with the most danger- 
ous counterfeit bills ever put in circulation. Banks took 
the bogus bank-notes over their own counters, and could 
not tell they were not genuine. Officials whose signa- 
tures were forged could not tell the forged signature from 



1 68 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

the genuine. Good and bad bills were laid side by side, 
and experts had to resort to scientific methods to tell 
which were good and which were bad. The bills ap- 
peared all over Canada. It is known now that over 
$1,000,000 of them were sent out. In the far northwest 
$200,000 of this money was paid for furs that were 
shipped to England, Montreal, and New York from this 
remote country where there were no banks, and to the 
present time some of it is in circulation there, and is 
good money. The banks, as I have said, took them over 
their own counters to my positive knowledge. 

" One of the counterfeits was a United States $5 bill 
of the Government issue of 1875. It was one of the first 
to be discovered. It was detected in Washington by 
accident. An expert in connection with the Treasury 
Department happened to run across one of the new bills. 
He remarked that it was better work and a prettier bill 
than any he had ever seen. The one fault was the bill 
was too perfect. The expert took it to the Treasury 
Department to hunt up the series of numbers, and he 
found the bill was a counterfeit. Secret Service men 
were detailed at once. They set to work. Two or three 
were over here. This was before there was much talk 
of our counterfeits being in circulation. The Secret 
Service men got no trace of the counterfeiters. 

" Then came the discovery of the Canadian counter- 
feits. Numbers on new bills on this side were compared, 
after the United States Secret Service men began to work 
and stir around, and the discovery was made that whole- 
sale counterfeiting of Canada bills had occurred. The 
banks were in a stew. Everybody was stirred up. Busi- 
ness men were worried. The Government instructed me 
to get to the bottom of it, and above all to get the plates, 
and thereby stop further issue of the bills. I found the 
following Canada counterfeit bills in circulation : 

"A $10 bill on the Bank of, Commerce. 

" A $5 bill on the Bank of Commerce, whose head 
office is Toronto, with branches all over Canada. 

" A $5 bill on the Bank of British North America, of 
Toronto, with branches all over the country. 



MILLION DOLLAR COUNTERFEITING 169 

"A $10 bill on the Ontario Bank. 

" A $4 bill on the Dominion Bank. 

" A $1 bill Dominion of Canada, Government issue. 

" There is any amount of this currency out still. Har- 
rington, the signer of the Government issue, could not 
detect the forgery of his own signature. The counter- 
feiters were so bold and so daring that, as I have said, 
$200,000 was paid for furs and was accepted, and to this 
day part of it is in circulation in the northwest, and is as 
good as gold for all practical purposes out there. Even 
the banks whose bills were counterfeited accepted the 
counterfeits over their own counters. They denied that 
they ever paid any of them out again. The bills were 
afloat in all sections of the country and there was a great 
stir. 

" It was my old line of work, although I was a little 
rusty, for I had lost track of some of the details of the 
whereabouts of the various people. I started out, and I 
knew at the outset that I was tackling one of the hardest 
cases of my life. The principals, not the small fry, alone 
held the plates. I went to New York, taking with me 
specimens of the Canada bills and of the United States 
bill, for the United States bill also was in suspiciously 
large circulation in Canada. In New York I went at 
once to the cooney places, and looked for cooney men. 
I found no one who had any information. From New 
York I went to Philadelphia, and there I made the usual 
rounds of the cooney places, and also called on the offi- 
cers. I learned nothing. The Secret Service men had 
been over the ground before me without avail. From 
Philadelphia I went to Washington, and called at the 
Treasury Department. John Sherman, of Ohio, was 
Secretary of the Treasury. Jim Brooks, an old English- 
man, was chief of the Secret Service then. I talked with 
the officers, and learned nothing. Back to New York I 
went empty-handed. 

" In the old days in New York I had known some of 
the counterfeiters and ex-counterfeiters, and I got track 
of two or three of them in the cooney places or resorts 
they frequent, and finally I struck the trail of a man who 



170 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

was an expert in his day, and who was thoroughly up in 
counterfeiting and the work of counterfeiters. He had 
been a counterfeiter himself in the old days, and I had 
known him when I was working for the United States 
some years before. I showed him the bills. Counter- 
feiters often know each other's work. In using the word 
counterfeiters in this sense I mean the engravers, the 
men who make the plates. An expert engraver of coun- 
terfeit plates usually can tell within a group of men, if 
not the very man, who made the plate from which a bill 
was printed. They seem to recognise some bit of char- 
acter, some intangible trait in the work that enables them 
to identify its maker, or the group from whence it came. 

" My ex-counterfeiter in New York looked the bills 
over very carefully. 

" ' They are beauties,' he said. ' It looks very much 
like the work of old John Hill, but I think Hill has been 
locked up since he got the $ 10,000 for making those last 
plates of his. Yet it looks like Hill's work.' 

" I knew Hill. He was an old, crooked engraver 
whose home was in New York, and who had done time 
twice. He charged a fee of $10,000 for making the 
plates for bogus bills, and would have nothing to do with 
shoving the queer — that is, circulating the money. I 
went to Albany, and thence to Troy to see another old 
cooney man who had reformed. He looked at the bills. 

" « They look like Hill's,' said he, ' but I know Hill has 
not been situated in recent years so he had time to make 
them.' 

" I thought the plates, wherever they might be, were 
the handiwork of Prussian Mark Ulrich, and that Pete 
McCarthy might have aided him, they were so perfect. 

" ' No,' said my cooney acquaintance whom I saw in 
Troy, ' they look like Hill, and next to Ed Johnson, Hill 
is the best man in the world to-day. They are not 
Prussian Mark's.' 

" I ran down Hill's whereabouts, and satisfied myself 
that he had nothing to do with the Canada plates in this 
work. It required several years to make the plates, for 
a crooked engraver worked only at certain hours of the 



MILLION DOLLAR COUNTERFEITING 171 

day, in a certain light, and the plates that made the bills 
I had were masterpieces from a master's hand. 

" I decided to try Chicago, and see what I could learn 
there. I was on my way west from New York to Chi- 
cago, with Hill dropped from my consideration, when 
my mind turned to Ed Johnson. Where was he? I 
remembered the tales I had heard of him. He was an 
Englishman by birth, who was an educated man, and had 
married an educated Englishwoman. He learned the 
trade of an engraver, and the young couple moved to 
America, and he was supposed to be honest, and worked 
at his trade until, when the Civil War came on, some one 
made a fortune out of $100, $50, and $20 counterfeit 
bank-notes, and Johnson had been mixed up in it, and 
later was reported to have returned to England. My 
Troy cooney man agreed, as a matter of course, that 
Johnson was the ablest man in the business, and the 
bills were beauties created by a master. They were the 
best ever seen, and unless a greater than Johnson had 
arisen, it was Johnson. I determined to account for 
Johnson as I had accounted for Hill. So I went on to 
Chicago, and there I learned that the last trace of John- 
son in the business in that section of the country was in 
Indianapolis several years before. I learned this from 
an old time ex-counterfeiter whom I had known in 1867, 
and who had settled in Chicago. I conferred also with 
the United States authorities in Chicago. At every step 
in this case thus far, I had occasion to be thankful for 
my United States Government experience at the close of 
the Civil War, and for the acquaintance I built up at that 
time among officers and ex-counterfeiters and counter- 
feiters themselves. 

" My next move was to Indianapolis, where I was well 
acquainted. I called on United States Senator Mc- 
Donald, and others. I was on the hunt for trace of Ed 
Johnson. I learned that a family named Johnson had 
lived in Indianapolis about six years before in elegant 
style in a big house, with horses, carriages, coachman, 
footman, and quite a retinue of servants. They spent 
money lavishly, and lived luxuriously. Then came 



172 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

trouble in the form of an accusation that they were coun- 
terfeiters. The Johnsons promptly retained McDonald 
& Butler as their counsel, and I understood they paid the 
attorneys a $25,000 fee for defending them. They 
finally got clear, but the trouble had affected their posi- 
tion in Indianapolis, and they went away. 

" In the family were Mr. and Mrs. Johnson, two beau- 
tiful girls and five boys. The daughters were Jessie and 
Annie Johnson, both clever, accomplished girls. The 
boys were Tom, Charlie, Johnnie, Elijah, and David 
Henry. I knew three of them myself. I learned from 
friends of their counsel that when they left Indianapolis 
they moved to Cincinnati. I went on to Cincinnati, and 
found they had lived in Sixth Street there, and had oc- 
cupied a big house over in Covington, Ky., for a while. 
They had left there several years before, and through 
one of their acquaintances I learned they had gone to 
Hartford, Ct. I went on to Hartford, and found the 
house there where they had lived in strict seclusion, sel- 
dom being seen on the street. They had moved from 
Hartford to a big, old house near Fall River, Mass. I 
located this house, but they were gone, bag and baggage, 
almost a year before, and there I lost the trail. I worked 
like a beaver trying to get some trace of them. But they 
had burned all bridges behind them. 

" I finally went from Fall River back to New York, and 
saw the man I had seen there before. 

" ' Do you know old Johnson ? ' I asked him. 

" ' Yes, but I have not seen him in years, ' was the 
reply. ' He is as clever as they make. He used to get 
on drunks, and his family had a desperate time watching 
him.' 

" ' Where is he likely to be now ? ' I asked. 

" ' They have money, Murray,' said he. ' Old Mrs. 
Johnson is rich. In the first two or three years of the 
war they rolled in it, and the old woman always is look- 
ing out for a rainy day. I heard they had left the coun- 
try.' 

" We talked the matter over fully. It was in a little 
restaurant. I remember well the little cubby-hole in 



MILLION DOLLAR COUNTERFEITING 173 

which we sat. I told him to bring his glass next day, and 
study the bills. He did so. We had luncheon in my 
room, and he examined the bills minutely. For three 
hours or so he fussed over them, studying them under the 
glass. At last he looked up. 

" « Well ? ' said I. ' Mark Ulrich ? ' 

" ' No,' said he. ' Hill may have done the States $5 
bill, but Johnson did the Canada bills.' 

" ' Are you sure of Johnson's work ? ' I asked. 

" ' As sure as I would be of my own — in the old days,' 
said he. 

" ' And you have no idea where Johnson is ? ' I asked. 

" ' Not the slightest, Murray,' said he. ' I tried to get 
a hint of him last night, but the best I can learn is that 
he is out of the country — possibly in England, unless 
there is a job on the Continent.' 

" I dug around in New York, and was baffled. I knew 
young Dave Johnson, and Tom, who was lame, and 
Johnnie. But the whole family had vanished when they 
left Fall River. I went to Buffalo and saw a retired man 
there, but nobody knew where Johnson was. From 
Buffalo I went to Detroit, and saw a man who used to be 
an expert bank-note engraver, and who had got square. 
He had no trace of the Johnsons, but agreed, as had my 
other acquaintances, to endeavour to find some track of 
them. By this time I was becoming satisfied that the 
Johnsons had gone abroad or had moved to Canada, and 
were in personal charge of the distribution of the coun- 
terfeit money. As a rule, the engravers or plate-makers 
had little to do with shoving or passing the bogus money. 
I went up to my room in the hotel at Detroit. I intended 
to take a train' an hour later, but became so absorbed in 
contemplation of the case that I missed the train. I 
thought it all over, and it became perfectly clear to my 
mind that the Johnsons, if they were to be found any- 
where on this side of the Atlantic, were to be found in 
Canada, and probably right in or near Toronto, if they 
had not flown recently to other parts. 

" Missing the train turned out to be a godsend. I took 
the next train for Toronto. When I alighted in Toronto 



174 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

I crossed to a saloon to get a welcome-home nip. I saw 
a figure at the other end of the bar. He turned. I stood 
face to face with Johnnie Johnson! If he had dropped 
from the clouds I could not have been more astonished, 
and if he had been the Recording Angel come to write 
my title clear, I could not have been more delighted. 
Johnnie was full. He stood alone at one end of the bar 
drinking. 

" ' I'll shadow you,' said I to myself. 

" It was shortly after eleven o'clock at night. Johnnie 
finished his drink, and went out. I went out by the other 
door. I was just in time to see Johnnie jump into a cab 
and drive away. He was out of sight and sound before 
I could get a cab. I spent that night, and the next, and 
the next looking for him. On the third night I spied 
him. He was just slipping out of Mitchell & Ryan's 
saloon on King Street, between Bay and York Streets. 
He walked quickly down Bay Street, jumped in a cab, 
and drove away. I had kept a cab within hail ever since 
I lost him the first night, so I jumped into my cab, and 
away we went after Johnnie. He drove north to Bloor 
Street, and at the corner of Bloor Street and Avenue 
Road, not far from where the Parliament building is now, 
he got out of the cab, paid the man and walked away. I 
got out of my cab and followed him on foot. He went 
around six blocks to Hazelton Avenue, turned into Hazel- 
ton Avenue, and, taking out a latch-key, unlocked the 
door of a comfortable brick house and went in. 

" ' There's where the Johnsons are,' quoth I to myself, 
as I heard the door softly close. 

" It was a hard house to shadow, there being no shel- 
tered place near by. I made arrangements with the oc- 
cupants of an adjacent house, and kept the Johnson house 
under surveillance. For five days after Johnnie Johnson 
entered the house, no one passed in or out except the 
butcher and the baker and the milkman. I saw the baker 
down town, and asked who lived there. 

" ' An old lady and gentleman, two nice-looking girls, 
and a couple of sons,' he said. 

" I saw the milkman. He had seen the girls, and had 



MILLION DOLLAR COUNTERFEITING 175 

heard them play the piano and sing. The butcher saw 
the girls occasionally. I had no case on the Johnsons 
then, nothing beyond my certainty that they did the job. 
I kept watch of the house. One night lights burned in 
the parlour of the house all night, and the piano was 
played until an early morning hour. I sat watching and 
waiting. Days and nights had passed, and no one had 
appeared at the house. It was like a house where every 
one had gone away. But about seven o'clock in the 
morning, after the night of lights and music, the front 
door opened and old man Johnson himself, Edwin John- 
son, the king of counterfeiters, appeared on the door-step 
and walked jauntily down the street. I knew him the 
moment I saw him, for I had a dozen descriptions of him 
and a photograph, all of recent years. I had discarded 
the photograph, but my descriptions tallied to a dot. I 
trailed him. He stopped in almost every saloon on his 
way down town, but he paid for his drinks in genuine 
money. He got boozy, and finally he went to the rail- 
road station and bought a ticket for Markham. I sat six 
seats behind him on the train. We both got off at 
Markham. He went into a saloon, and bought a drink. 
When he came out, I went in. There was a young bar- 
tender — a saucy, smart aleck, but I had him call the pro- 
prietor, and through him I got the $1 bill that Johnson 
had given in pay for the drink. I paid silver for it, and 
had the proprietor initial it. I eyed it eagerly when I got 
it. It was a new Dominion $1 bill. I had my man at last. 

" Johnson went into place after place, buying a drink 
or cigar, and paying in bad bills. I followed him from 
place to place, buying the bills as he passed them. He 
passed one of the $4 Dominion Bank bills in a store, 
where he bought a necktie. In fact, he kept busy until 
train time, when he went back to Toronto. I went on 
the same train. When he alighted in Toronto, I stepped 
up and tapped him on the shoulder. 

" ' How do you do, Mr. Johnson ? ' said I. 

" Johnson was a gentleman. He was a very polite, 
polished old fellow, grey-haired, dapper, and of precise 
speech. 



176 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

" ' You have the advantage of me, sir/ said he. ' I do 
not know you.' 

" ' I've seen you often on the other side,' I said. 

" ' Oh,' said he, ' who might you be ? ' 

" ' I am Detective Murray,' I said. ' We might as well 
understand each other. You are my prisoner.' 

" ' All right, sir,' said old Johnson very politely, and 
not in the least flustered. ' What is the charge ? ' 

" « Counterfeiting,' said I. 

" We walked along as we talked. Edwin Johnson 
looked like a prosperous banker — as indeed he was, in 
bad money. He seemingly gave no heed to my answer. 

" ' Murray, Murray,' he mused. ' Oh yes, I've heard 
of you. This is rather unexpected. It takes me quite 
by surprise. I never had the pleasure before, sir.' 

" ' I have met several members of your family/ I 
said. 

" ' Indeed ? ' he said. ' A very fine family, sir. Do 
you not agree with me ? A fine family.' 

" We walked on to the corner. 

" ' Well, good-day, sir,' said Edwin Johnson. ' Very 
glad to have met you.' 

" ' Just a moment,' said I. ' You are my prisoner, Mr. 
Johnson. You are a counterfeiter. I have in my pocket 
the bogus money you passed at Markham, and you have 
the equivalent of my good money in your pocket.' 

" Instantly he ceased bluffing, and his manner became 
grave and earnest. He seemed to sober up. 

" ' Is there no way of arranging this ? ' he said. ' It 
appears to be a serious matter.' 

" ' We'll talk it over/ said I, and I called a cab and 
took him to the gaol. 

"This was on Friday, June nth, 1880. I held him 
without a commitment, for I wanted nothing known of 
it. In the gaol he said : 

" ' Murray, I'd like another word with you. Can we 
not arrange this matter ? Give me your terms. I have 
money. I mean good money/ he added, with a smile. 

" I searched him, and found more bad bills on him. 
Then I told the gaoler to treat him well, and left him 



MILLION DOLLAR COUNTERFEITING 177 

cigars and the like, and told him to think the matter 
over until Monday, when he would be in better condi- 
tion to discuss it. 

" « The only thing you can do with me,' I told him, on 
leaving, ' is to deliver up to me the plates and whole 
paraphernalia of counterfeiting.' 

" On Saturday, next day, he sent for me, and I went to 
the gaol. He renewed his proposition. He told me to 
name any amount. He did it in a very nice way, saying 
that his friends could raise a considerable amount. 

" « Nothing for me except the plates,' said I. 

" ' A foolish fellow,' said Edwin Johnson. 

" As I was leaving he said : ' Murray, if you ever get 
into this line of business, don't drink. A man does 
things when he is drunk that he never would dream of 
doing when he is sober.' 

" I knew he referred to passing the bills. Except 
when he was drunk Johnson never shoved or passed any 
bad bills. The shovers and the middlemen did not know 
him at all. Only the wholesale dealer knew him. 

'"If I had not been drunk this would not have hap- 
pened,' said Johnson, as I left him. 

" On Monday I called again at the gaol. Johnson was 
as polite as if he were receiving me in the Indianapolis 
mansion of several years before. 

" ' Good-morning,' said he. ' A very fine day, al- 
though a trifle hot outdoors, I should judge.' 

" We talked a few minutes. I insisted that I must 
have the plates. 

" ' All I want is the plates,' I said. 

" ' I have thought it all over, Murray,' said Edwin 
Johnson. ' I sent for no lawyer. I sent no word home. 
I am going to turn everything over to you. We will 
have to go out and get it' 

" I had a cab. I sent for Detective John Hodgins, of 
Toronto Police Headquarters, and Johnson, Hodgins, and 
I drove away together. Johnson told the way. We 
drove out to Wells Hill into a piece of woods above 
Toronto. There we got out. The old man took obser- 
vations. He spotted a large elm tree. As he sighted 



178 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

and moved around I thought of old Knapp and the 
buried plunder out of Erie. 

" < That's where they are,' announced the old man. 

" We took off our coats, got sticks, and began to dig. 
It was a blazing hot day. We dug and dug, and found 
nothing. I saw that the ground had not even been dis- 
turbed. I remembered Knapp, and told Johnson that he 
was mistaken. He went back and took another range, 
and tramped around, and finally pointed out another tree. 

" ' Here they are,' he said. 

" ' Sit down, Mr. Johnson, and cool off,' said I. « Mr. 
Hodgins, you take the cab and go get a spade.' 

" I was determined not to waste any labour on what 
might be a fool's errand. During the absence of Hodgins 
I gently reminded Johnson that it was not a propitious 
time for a practical joke. 

" « They are here, Murray,' he assured me. ' I vow 
they are here.' 

" Hodgins returned with a spade, and he set to work. 
He dug while we waited. Finally he struck them. 
Johnson sprang forward and stayed his hand. 

" ' Careful, man ! Careful ! ' said Johnson. « They 
took years to make, and are worth over forty thousand 
dollars.' 

" Johnson lifted them out as tenderly as a mother 
would raise her sick babe from a cradle. They were 
wrapped in oiled cloth, and were encased in solid cover- 
ings of beeswax. 

" ' Here they are, Murray,' said Johnson, handing them 
to me. « They cost over forty thousand dollars to make. 
I don't own all these plates. A party on the other side 
has an interest in them.' 

" They made a package the size of two big bricks, and 
were very heavy. I took Johnson back to the gaol, and 
then drove to the Attorney- General's Department with 
the plates. There I examined them, and saw they were 
the finest in the land. I marvelled at the firmness and 
precision of the strokes, the authority of the signatures, 
the beauty of the vignettes and medallions, the accuracy 
of following all the little whimsies of the engravers of 



MILLION DOLLAR COUNTERFEITING 179 

the original, genuine plates. For each bill there were 
three copper plates — one for the front, one for the back, 
and one for the wedge. Each plate was about one quar- 
ter of an inch in thickness. I scored them crisscross, 
and locked them up. Not only were the six Canada 
counterfeits in the lot, but the plates for the counterfeit 
States $5 bill were there. There were twenty-one sepa- 
rate copper pieces or plates, three each for the Bank of 
Commerce $10, the Bank of Commerce $5, the Bank of 
British North America $5, the Ontario Bank $10, the 
Dominion Bank $4, the Government issue $1, and the 
United States $5. 

" I went to the gaol and saw Johnson. 

" ' Yes,' said Johnson, when I asked him, ' Hill made 
the States $5, and I made the others. It took me years 
to do them.' 

" Johnson then told me the whole story. He made 
the plates in the States. His daughters forged the sig- 
natures. They had been trained in forging or duplicating 
signatures since childhood. They would spend hours a 
day duplicating a single signature, and would work at the 
one name for months, writing it countless thousands of 
times. Jessie was better on larger handwriting, and 
Annie was better on smaller handwriting. The boys 
were learning to be engravers, and one or two of them 
were so proficient that the old man spoke of them with 
pride. 

"' I am the best,' he said proudly, ' and one of my boys 
may become better than I.' 

" He said they had printed large quantities of the bills. 
They printed once a year. After each printing the 
plates were encased in beeswax and oilcloth and buried, 
and the other paraphernalia was destroyed. The bills 
were turned over to the wholesale dealer in the queer. 
The wholesale dealer, in turn, placed it with the retail 
dealer, who placed it with the shover. 

" ' The engraver, the man who makes the plates, is the 
only one who deserves credit or praise,' said Johnson. 
' He has the skill, the creative genius. Yet, Murray, 
every time I get drunk the debased desire comes over 



i8o MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

me to descend to the low level of a shover, a passer of 
the queer. I cannot account for it. It is my lower 
nature. When I drink I indulge in it, and because I 
drank and indulged in it you got me.' 

" I told him it was through Johnnie I came upon him, 
and he was much relieved to think that he had not been 
the first to give me the scent. Johnson said the half in- 
terest in the plates was owned in the States. He had 
lived in the Hazelton Avenue house a little over twelve 
months, and had been out comparatively seldom during 
the entire year. 

"On August 19th, 1880, I went to Washington, and 
called on the Hon. John Sherman, Secretary of the 
Treasury, and told him the story and showed to him the 
$5 bill plates of the State issue. He congratulated me, 
and said it was one of the most valuable hauls of counter- 
feit plates ever made. Secretary Sherman sent for Jim 
Brooks, chief of the Secret Service. 

" ' We want Mr. Murray used well in this matter,' said 
Secretary Sherman to Brooks. 

" I gave to Brooks the names of the parties I had ob- 
tained from Johnson. They were arrested, and gave the 
names of Howard and Swanston and others. Their right 
names were not given, and I received none of the credit 
that otherwise might have occurred. 

" Edwin Johnson was placed on trial at the Fall Assizes 
in 1880, in Toronto, before Chief Justice Hagarty. When 
he was arraigned, the Chief Justice looked down at him 
and asked : 

"' Who is your attorney? ' 

" ' Murray,' said Johnson. 

" ' What Murray ? ' asked the Chief Justice. 

" ' Your lordship, he means Detective Murray,' said 
Counsel ^milius Irving. 

" There was much laughter. Seven indictments were 
read, one after another. Johnson pleaded guilty to every 
one. The counsel for the Crown asked the Court to 
suspend sentence, and the Court did so. Johnson was 
released, and I took him and his daughters to the States, 
where the United States authorities desired to make use 



MILLION DOLLAR COUNTERFEITING 181 

of them. The family jumped out of Canada. The son 
Tom, the lame one, had started a blind tobacco store in 
King Street, Toronto. He was arrested in Erie, Pa. He 
was searched, and nothing was found. He carried a cane. 
Its top was unscrewed, and the cane was found to be stuffed 
with bogus bills. Tom went to the penitentiary for 
shoving. 

" Johnnie Johnson was arrested in Black Rock at 
Buffalo, and locked up for shoving. I called to see him 
when he was in gaol. He got counsel, and escaped con- 
viction. Six years ago Tom and Charlie were arrested 
at Sarnia, in Canada, for having counterfeit money, and 
they were convicted and sent to the penitentiary. They 
had no business to set foot in Canada. Johnnie was 
arrested here in Toronto, after getting out in Buffalo. He 
was shoving the $10 Bank of Commerce bill, and he got 
ten years in Kingston. He too should have stayed out 
of Canada. 

" After Charlie got out of the Canadian penitentiary 
for the Sarnia business, he went to Detroit, and on 
August 1 2th, 1898, he and young Ed or Elijah were 
arrested. The old man was dead. The mother and 
sisters were living at No. 106 McGraw Avenue, Detroit. 
David Henry was living at No. 795 26th Street, Detroit, 
and was married and had two children. Detectives 
Kane, Downey, and Reegan, with Webb, of the Secret 
Service, got them. They searched their houses, and 
found a hollow place in the base board which opened 
with a secret spring, and revealed a panel cabinet, in 
which was between $7,000 and $10,000 of counterfeit 
notes of the $2 Hancock issue and Windom issue of 
1 89 1 and 1893. On the bills the eyes had an upward 
stare, which was the only flaw. One of the family got 
away, and was caught at Blenheim, Ontario. The two 
girls were taken to Washington, as I had taken them in 
1880. The mother was arraigned for disposing of coun- 
terfeit money. She always did the changing with the 
wholesale dealers. 

" Old Hill in 1896 was still in prison in the United 
States, under the name of John Murphy. Part of the 



1 82 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

Johnson family is in prison, part is out and their where- 
abouts known, and part is dead. 

" They were a wonderful family. Their biggest coup 
was the Canada counterfeiting. They placed over 
$1,000,000 of the Canada bills. Up in the Hudson Bay 
district the Johnson bills to this day pass as readily as 
gold. The capture of the plates put an end to the issue 
of more bills. The banks were delighted, of course. 
They had talked of a reward. I received it — in thanks. 
A meeting was held of the bankers in the Receiver- 
General's office in Toronto, and I was thanked formally 
for what I had done. At that meeting I laid some of the 
Johnson bills side by side with some of the genuine bills. 
Some of the experts failed to tell which were good and 
which were counterfeit. 

" I treated old man Johnson fairly. The Canada 
counterfeiting was broken up, the plates were captured 
and incapacitated, and the Johnsons lived in the States, 
or if they set foot again in Canada, went to prison. Crime 
lost a genius when old man Johnson died." 



XXXI 

HENEY, OF THE WELTED FOREHEAD 

Beneath the big trees in front of the farmhouse of John 
Morrison, chief constable of the county of Russell, who 
lived near the village of Bearbrook, a score of women 
were flitting to and fro on Friday, June 25th, 1880, bear- 
ing steaming dishes or plates or pitchers to a table that 
seemed spread for the feeding of a regiment. Some were 
singing, others were jesting or gossiping as they bustled 
about. From the woods near by came the sound of 
many voices, the shouts of men, the ring of axes, and the 
crash of falling trees. It was sunset time. A horn blew. 
An answering chorus of cheers came from the woods, 
where a great clearing had been opened since the morn- 
ing. The ring of axe and crash of tree ceased. Out of 
the timber came a little host like the vanguard of a 



HENEY, OF THE WELTED FOREHEAD 183 

marching army. There were stalwart men bare-headed, 
bare-armed, bare-throated, with axes on their shoulders 
or in their belts. Teams of horses followed them, dozens 
of teams, with more men behind them. They swarmed 
into the road and came homeward enveloped in a cloud 
of dust. All halted at the barn and tended to the horses 
first, then left them and the axes and came empty-handed 
to the hoilse. 

The feast was waiting. They sat down amid laughter 
and shouts, and as they feasted they told the story of the 
day's work ; of the race between champion choppers to 
fell mighty trees ; of the rivalry between famed teams in 
the drawing of the logs ; of the tricks of toppling trees in 
unexpected directions. Between stories they sang, men 
and women joining in the choruses. John Morrison sat 
at the head of the table — a fine host, a goodly man to look 
upon. He was in merry mood ; for the axes had cut that 
day beyond his expectation, and the clearing was larger 
even than he had dared hope it would be. He pledged 
to his neighbours, that if ever they wanted five strong 
men and four stout teams, for a land-clearing bee, let 
them simply send a good word to John Morrison, who 
with his teams and men was at their command. The 
cheers that greeted this were dying away when a hoarse 
hail sounded from the roadway. Morrison stood up. 
His face grew stern. He left the table and walked down 
to his gate. 

Two men were waiting at the gate. One was a bull- 
dog faced fellow with a deep furrow across his forehead, 
between his eyes and hair ; and when he scowled, this 
furrow deepened to a purple welt. He was Bill Heney 
— Bad Bill, a tough fellow of the countryside, given to 
bullying and roystering. The man with him was his 
brother-in-law, Bud Harrison. Bill had not been seen for 
several months. In the past winter he had assaulted a 
neighbour, and a warrant for him had been placed in 
Morrison's hands with instructions to arrest Bill, if he did 
not keep out of the country. 

" Morrison," said Heney, " you've got a warrant for me. 
Why don't you execute it ? I'rrf tired staying away." 



1 84 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

" You had better go away, Heney," said Morrison. 

Heney's answer was a volley of oaths, which ended in 
the flash of a revolver shot. Morrison fell by his gate- 
way. Heney turned and fled. The neighbours at the 
feast sprang up. Some carried Morrison into the house, 
others mounted and rode for doctors, others gave chase 
to Heney. They pursued him to the Harrison woods, a 
dense tract of timber, with an area of ten miles. In the 
centre of this tract, in a little clearing, lived the Heneys, 
father and mother of the refugee ; and, since the winter- 
time, Mrs. Bill Heney had lived with them. Heney, 
with the neighbours close upon him, plunged into the 
thickets of the woods and vanished. The doctors 
worked in vain over Morrison. He died in agony. The 
neighbours set a watch on the Heney house, and mean- 
while notified the Department of Justice. 

" When I arrived at Morrison's," says Murray, " the 
neighbours reported that Heney's wife had been seen, 
day after day, sneaking from the house out into the 
thickets with a tin pail, and they were certain she was 
carrying meals to Heney. They were positive Heney 
was concealed in the woods. I decided to beat the 
woods. I called on the neighbours to rally the country- 
side. They came with a rush from every section of the 
district. I counted them off, and there were one hun- 
dred and forty-three men, with a host of boys and a 
legion of dogs. All the men had guns or revolvers. 
Some of them also had knives, axes, and clubs. A few 
had pitchforks, and I remember two had scythes. We 
divided them into squads and spread them out in a circle, 
surrounding the woods fairly well. We swore in the 
men as special constables. Every squad had a captain, 
and every captain had a separate section of the woods. 
At the word all advanced in the man-hunt, to beat the 
woods and capture Heney. I can hear them still as they 
moved forward, the dogs barking, the boys cheering. 
As they advanced they kept in touch. I left some 
watchers outside the woods on horseback ; so if Heney 
slipped past the searchers and sought to escape, the 
watchers would see him and give chase. 



HENEY, OF THE WELTED FOREHEAD 185 

" Hour by hour the circle drew in. Every yard of 
land in the Harrison woods was beaten. We travelled 
around the circle as it narrowed, and we saw the hunters 
searching even the bushes and the tree-tops. They were 
to capture Heney alive, if possible ; but if he showed 
fight, they were to shoot him like a dog. Under no 
circumstances were they to shoot until they saw him and 
knew it was Heney. The circle closed in on the little 
clearing. Rabbits and wild fowl had been driven in, but 
no trace of Heney had been found. As the cordon of 
men, boys, and dogs stepped out into the little clearing 
and closed together around the house, Bad Bill's mother 
let out one of the most awful cries of human agony I 
ever have heard. 

" ' Oh, my poor boy ! My poor boy ! They'll hang 
you ! ' she wailed. 

" She rolled over on the ground in her grief and 
howled forth her misery. We searched all the more 
diligently. The hunters stood in a solid circle around 
the house. Every man in the circle had a gun, and be- 
hind them stood the other men and boys, and on the far 
outside the dogs. We went into the house, the old 
woman begging us to spare her son's life. We searched 
in that shanty for an hour, and he was not there at all. 
I walked out, and when the old woman spied me she 
ceased wailing and began to grin. I called off the 
hunters and left the woods. 

" I set men to watch the house for weeks. Heney 
never appeared. He was not in the woods at any time, 
since before the search. I began to watch the mails, and 
intercepted a letter from Heney to his mother-in-law. He 
told her he was writing in a schoolhouse in Fort Win- 
gate, in New Mexico. He told her how he hid in the 
woods until nightfall on the day of the shooting ; how 
he crept out in the darkness and boarded a freight train 
and got away to Boston ; and how he went from Boston 
out to the southwest, where he was going to work for 
John Sullivan, a Boston contractor in the building of the 
Santa Fe Railroad. I knew a John Sullivan in Boston 
who was a railroad contractor, and I learned by telegraph 



1 86 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

that the John Sullivan I knew was the John Sullivan for 
whom Heney was going to work in New Mexico. In 
the meantime I had billed Heney all over the country ; 
and I sent to John Sullivan, in New Mexico, a copy of 
the bill. It had a picture of Heney in the upper left- 
hand corner, and read as follows, in heavy, black type : — 

#250 REWARD ! 

Is offered by authority of the Ontario Government 
for the arrest and detention of William Heney, for 
the murder of John Morrison, at Bearbrook, in the 
county of Russell, Canada, on the 25th of June, 
1880. 

William Heney is 34 years of age; about five 
feet ten inches high ; weighs about 160 lb. His com- 
plexion is very dark, and he has raven black hair and 
small dark grey eyes. His forehead is a very peculiar 
shape, and has a furrow running across it midway 
between the eyes and hair ; nose very low between 
the eyes, and then a rise, then a hollow, and the end 
rises again; one front tooth out; large dimple in 
the chin ; shoulders a little stooped ; walks with a 
shuffling gait. 

Heney is a Canadian by birth, of Irish parents, 
and used to work as a farm labourer. 

The above photograph was taken two or three years 
ago — Heney was then stouter and fuller in the face 
than he is now. 

When arrested, communicate immediately with 
J. W. Murray, 

Government Detective, 

Toronto, Canada. 

" I sent a second copy of this to my friend John 
Sullivan out in New Mexico, and early in December, 
1880, I received a reply from him that a man answering 
the description was in one of his gangs. On December 
14th I started for Fort Wingate. As I was leaving the 
office on my way to the train, I • received a telegram 
from Sam Farmer, city marshal of Fort Worth, Texas. 
It read : 

" ' Have arrested Heney here.' 



HENEY, OF THE WELTED FOREHEAD 187 

" I went through to Fort Worth, and Sam met me 
when I arrived. 

" * I've got your man, John, beyond doubt,' said 
Farmer. 

" ' Maybe so, Sam,' said I ; ' but I'm afraid it is a mis- 
take.' 

" I looked the fellow over. He was almost Heney's 
double, but he was not Heney. Sam was crestfallen. 
That was on the evening of December 22d. I was 
stopping at the El Paso Inn. A northerner came up, 
and it grew very cold. There was no adequate heating 
apparatus in my room at the hotel, and Sam sent word 
for me to meet him at Smith's saloon, a drinking place 
with a billiard-room beyond the barroom, and with swing 
doors between. The bartender was alone in the bar 
when I entered. I told him Sam Farmer had sent word 
to me to meet him there. I sat down in a chair. All 
was very quiet. Some men were playing billiards in 
the adjoining room, and I could hear the click of the 
balls. 

" ' Come, sit behind the bar,' said the bartender to me, 
after a sudden silence in the billiard-room. 

" ' No, thank you ; I'm very comfortable here,' said I, 
in my chair by the swing doors. 

" ' Come,' said the bartender abruptly. • Sam Farmer 
wouldn't like it if a guest of his got hurt.' 

" « Hurt ? ' said I. ' What's the trouble ? ' 

" ' Move over behind the bar,' said the bartender. 
' Take my word for it.' 

" He seemed a decent sort of chap, so I moved. I sat 
on a beer keg behind the bar for about five minutes. 
The stove was red hot, and I began to perspire. I 
thought it was a joke. The bartender was squatting on 
a box back of the bar. Not a sound was to be heard 
except the quiet shuffle of the feet and the click of the 
balls in the billiard-room. I was dripping with perspir- 
ation. I stood it for another five minutes, and was 
about to step out and address a few remarks to the bar- 
tender when — 

" ' Bang ! Bang ! ' went two revolver shots in quick 



1 88 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

succession in the next room, followed by a third, and 
then silence. 

" ' All right,' said the bartender cheerily, to me. 
* She's all over. Pretty hot back in here, wasn't it ? 
Too bad, but it was more dignified than squatting back 
of a box.' 

" While he was speaking the swing doors of the bil- 
liard-room opened and a nice-looking fellow stepped into 
the barroom with a revolver in his hand. 

" ' Has Sam Farmer got around yet ? ' he asked of the 
bartender. 

" « No sir,' said the bartender, as if nothing had hap- 
pened. ' He's due in a few minutes, as there is a friend 
waiting for him.' 

" The man with the revolver in his hand turned to me. 
I dodged behind the stove and reached for my own gun. 
He smiled and held up his hand. 

" ' No, no,' he said gently. ' Come, join me in a cigar.' 

" The bartender nodded to me. 

" ' It's all right,' he said. ' The shooting's all over.' 

" Just then Sam Farmer entered. The fellow bade 
him good-evening, and then, without an explanatory 
word, handed Sam his revolver, a 44 Colt. 

" ' Ah,' said Sam quickly. ' You've done it, have 
you?' 

" ' In the billiard-room, sir,' said the bartender briskly. 

" ' I'll have to lock you up,' said Sam, and turning to 
me, invited me to accompany him. 

" We walked to the lockup, where Sam threw open the 
door and said : « Wait for me, Charlie.' My new ac- 
quaintance went in and sat down while Sam and I re- 
turned to the saloon. They were just carrying the 
corpse out. The judge had arrived and went to the 
court-house, and a dozen men offered to go bail. The 
bonds were filled out, and Sam sent word to the lockue 
for the fellow to come out. 

" ' It was an old score,' said Sam. • They happened lo 
meet and they settled it.' 

" Business went on as usual. The next morning a 
paragraph in the paper simply stated the shooting had 



HENEY, OF THE WELTED FOREHEAD 189 

occurred. The shooter was acquitted. The dead man 
had gone back to his pistol pocket first. 

" ' There is little hanging for murder here, unless it is 
murderous robbery,' said Sam Farmer. ' But they hang 
for stealing mules.' 

" Two days later I was on my way to Albuquerque, 
and I arrived in Fort Wingate, New Mexico, on De- 
cember 29th. I learned that my man Heney had worked 
for a week there, and then had gone on to the front of 
the new railroad. I called at the United States Army 
headquarters there, and the officer in command was a 
gentleman, through and through. He said he would 
give me every assistance in his power. Lieutenant Wat- 
son, a bright, intelligent officer, was sent for. He got a 
sergeant and three horses, and we started to ride out to 
the front, where the railroad was being built across to- 
wards the coast. We rode about forty miles, and on be- 
yond where the rails had been laid, out to the farthest 
outpost gang, for Heney had kept in the van. They 
were a tough crowd, these road builders, culled from all 
parts of the country, some of them, like Heney, fled 
from justice and buried in the wilds of the southwest. 
Sullivan, of Boston, was at the front. He said Heney 
had started out alone with another fellow, the pair saying 
they were going to hoof it to Lower California. 

" The Army men and I rode on out, and stopped and 
looked ahead to where the earth and sky seemed to meet. 
In the intervening reaches of space no living man or 
beast or bird was to be seen. The heat hovered over the 
waste places as if a vast furnace lay beyond. Sullivan 
had said that one of the two men who started out had 
been shot by an Indian, and that from what he heard of 
the raven-black scalp it was Heney, as the fellow who had 
started with him had red hair. We turned and rode 
back to the rude outpost of civilisation, the shelter of the 
van-gang of road builders. On every side stretched the 
seemingly endless expanse of earth. I looked to the 
western skyline, where the strange roads went down. 

" ' Poor Heney ! ' I thought, and I turned homeward 

" He never came back." 



190 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

XXXII 

THE TOOKES'S REVEL IN RICHES 

Charlie Tookes was a school-teacher. He had a 
younger brother, George Tookes, who decided that he 
would be a millionaire. All that was necessary was to 
get $i and add $999,999 to it; the sooner he began, the 
sooner he would finish. So in the tender years of his 
youth, George Tookes set forth to accumulate seven 
figures of worldly wealth. He pottered around at odd 
jobs for a couple of years, and then struck a balance. 
He had $16 of the $1,000,000. At the rate of $8 a year 
he would be over a hundred thousand years old before 
he could sit back in his private car and gaze out upon the 
world through the window — a millionaire. 

George Tookes's father was a minister — a good man, 
of ancient family and respected name — who lived east of 
Brockville, and who gave little thought to laying up 
treasure where moth and rust would corrupt, and where 
thieves would break through and steal. He gave both 
of his boys a good education, and had taught them faith- 
fully that the love of money was the root of all evil. 
George Tookes grieved the good man by painting a 
motto for the wall, declaring that the lack of money was 
the root of all evil. When the lack fell heavy on George, 
he would fall back on his brother Charlie. On these 
visits the dead-broke George would confide in the school- 
teaching Charlie his plans to wake up some sunny morn- 
ing and have the bank telephone him he was a millionaire. 

Charlie was a bookish sort ; he would listen to George's 
dreams and would blink. Money, to Charlie, was some- 
thing to read about, with an occasional glimpse of a 
sample of it on its way to the landlady or the clothing 
store. But such a thing as having $15 in his inside 
pocket was something beyond the range of Charlie's 
imagination. When George, therefore, descended upon 
Charlie after two years' travelling on the highway to be- 
coming a millionaire and produced $16 Charlie was daz- 



THE TOOKES'S REVEL IN RICHES 191 

zled. George was affluent beyond Charlie's wildest 
dreams of riches. 

" It's very easy," said George. " Once you get money 
started your way it comes of its own accord. All money 
wants is a leader ; it follows the leader." 

Charlie blinked many times and looked again at the 
fortune of $16 in the hands of George. 

" For instance," said George, " it is very simple for you 
to make money. In your own particular line of business 
— this educating line — what do the most people want 
most at the present time ? " 

It was June, 1881. The examinations in the high 
schools and colleges were about to be held throughout all 
Canada. Charlie gravely pondered George's question. 

" Advance papers," he answered. 

" What's that ? " asked the embryonic emperor of 
finance. 

" Advance copies of the examination papers, so they 
will know what questions they will have to answer," said 
Charlie. 

George thought the matter over. 

" A good idea," he said. " A capital idea." 

" What is it ? " said the confiding Charlie. 

" Why, we'll furnish them the papers," said George. 

" But where will we get them ? " asked his brother. 

" Leave that to me," said the future millionaire. 

George went away. He visited various high schools 
and educational institutions and, by one pretext or 
another, obtained lists of those about to be graduated, 
and more particularly of those who expected to apply 
for admission. He represented himself as a book agent 
and stationery seller, and in other ways managed to get 
copies of the lists. Then he returned to Charlie, and his 
#16 had dwindled to $3. 

" It takes money to make money," he explained to 
Charlie, when the latter asked for a glimpse once more 
of the fabulous sum of $16. 

George set Charlie to work preparing a set of questions 
and answers. 

" Make them precisely as if you were preparing a set 



192 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

of examination papers, marking the standard for the high 
schools of Canada," said George. 

Charlie worked day and night on the task. George, 
meanwhile, was making scores of copies of a letter he had 
drafted. It was marked confidential, and stated that the 
writer was glad to inform the reader that a complete set 
of the questions and answers in the examination of such 
and such a school might be had for the simple pledge of 

confidence and the small amount of . George 

left the price blank, as it would vary according to the 
school or college. For some the price was $10, for others 
it ranged as high as $50. Charlie had suggested a fee of 
50 cents for high schools and $1 for colleges ; but Charlie 
was ambitious to become worth $16, while George 
aimed $999,984 higher. George's scale of prices pre- 
vailed. The letters were written, the papers prepared 
by Charlie were copied. George took a big bundle of 
envelopes to the post-office and dropped them through 
the slot. 

" In a few days you will be a rich man," said George 
to Charlie. 

" I have my doubts," said Charlie to George. 

The few days passed. Letters began to pile in ; every 
mail brought a batch, and every batch brought a bundle 
of money. Every enclosure of money was answered 
with a copy of the papers prepared by Charlie. 

" What did I tell you ? " said George, as the bank-notes 
overflowed Charlie's sack, in which they had decided to 
keep them. " Money flows in. You are worth $500 
already." 

" I feel that I have enough," said Charlie. 

George smiled pityingly on him. 

A few days later they moved on to another post-office 
address, Charlie leaving his school. From their new 
headquarters they sent out a second batch of letters and 
the answers poured in, and in a few days they moved on 
again. 

" I heard of them in the form of a dozen complaints 
from honest, straightforward, righteous folk who had sent 
them money to buy examination papers and had found the 



THE TOOKES'S REVEL IN RICHES 193 

papers worthless," says Murray. " I heard of them in 
Kingston, Belleville, Cobourg, Port Hope, and all along. I 
suppose those who bought the bogus examination papers 
did so, not to use for themselves, but to destroy them with- 
out looking at them, and thereby keep them out of the 
hands of others. However, their course did not affect the 
attitude of the law towards the Tookes brothers. I set out 
to learn their next probable headquarters. I intercepted 
some letters in Brantford, identified by the return mark and 
I sent a decoy letter to them at Paris, Ontario, in which I 
wrote as a tender young lady of high hopes and ad- 
vancing years, who did not dread the examinations, but 
nevertheless preferred to make sure. On the day I 
mailed the letter I went to Paris and secreted myself 
in the post-office to await the call of one of the Tookes 
brothers. 

" It was a rainy day, the streets were muddy, and the 
skies were pouring down a modern miniature deluge. In 
due time a fine-looking young fellow entered the post- 
office and asked for letters for Charles or George Tookes. 
The clerk asked him again for his name, and he said 
1 Charles Tookes.' Thereupon the clerk handed him my 
letter from Brantford and one or two others. Their lists 
were thinning out, and their mail was not as big as it had 
been. I moved out from where I was concealed in the 
post-office. Whether Tookes knew me or whether he 
suspected something was wrong I do not know, but he 
made a leap for the door and bolted down the street in 
the rain. I sprang after him ; he could run like a grey- 
hound. 

" Away we went through the streets of Paris, mud fly- 
ing at every leap, water splashing, Tookes running as if 
his hope of glory depended on his smashing all the 
world's records. Some dogs saw us and they dashed 
forth in pursuit ; that summoned the small boys, and 
soon there was a howling horde of dogs and youths trail- 
ing after us. I have chased many men, but Tookes was 
one of the fastest runners I ever saw. I realised I could not 
catch him by greater speed, for he was swifter than I, so I 
settled down to wear him out. Block after block we ran. 



194 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

My feet seemed to weigh two tons apiece ; the sticky- 
mud clung to them. If I was impersonating justice I 
certainly was leaden heeled. But Tookes was no better 
off than I. I could see him flounder at times and strive 
to shake his feet free. He was turning a corner when his 
feet clogged, he slipped and fell fiat in a puddle of mud 
and water. I came up panting and waited for him to 
rise. He was a sight ; mud-coated from head to foot 
with a face like a Comanche Indian's. He spluttered 
and gasped to get the muddy water out of his mouth. 
I handcuffed him, found the papers, including my letter, 
on him, and started back through the town at a proper 
gait. 

" Twice he tried to break away. The second time 1 
stopped, and, placing my mouth close to his ear, I in- 
formed him what would happen if he tried it a third 
time. He looked at my feet, big as gunboats with their 
armour of mud, and he surrendered. 

" As we walked up the street I saw a fellow on the 
other side of the highway that looked so much like him 
that instinctively I felt it was the brother. 

" ' There's your brother over there,' said I. 

" ' No,' said he. ' I never saw him.' 

" ' Oh yes it is,' said I ; and I called to the man across 
the street, * George ! Come over here ; Charlie wants you.' 

" George crossed the street, and I promptly handcuffed 
him to Charlie. 

" I took them to Brantford. Old Mr. Weymes was 
magistrate. He was a sympathetic old gentleman, with 
a tender heart, which constantly pleaded for mercy to be 
mingled with justice. They gave the name of Tookes, 
and Magistrate Weymes had heard of their father and 
mother and sisters, and he was moved to have compas- 
sion on them. Yet justice was justice, and he finally sent 
them to the Central prison for six months apiece. 

" Charlie Tookes, when liberated, resumed a sedate life 
in the rural districts. George Tookes resumed his plan- 
ning to become a millionaire. The last I heard he was 
still in the vicinity of the $16 mark. But his hopes were 
high." 



BIG MAC OF SIMCOE 195 



XXXIII 

BIG MAC OF SIMCOE, YOUNG SMITH, AND 
BILL NAY 

A mighty hunter lived in the county of Simcoe. His 
name was Henry McCormick. Everybody in those parts 
knew him as Big Mac. He was a giant, with the strength 
of two powerful men. He had been known to up-end a 
log as if it had been a barber's pole. He could shoulder 
a deer at noon and trudge till nightfall, with the burden 
on his back. At logging bees he led the gangs. In the 
early '70's in Canada some of the logging bees culmi- 
nated in carnivals of fisticuffs and sometimes in revelries 
of death. After the big supper, when the day's work 
was done, whiskey would be served like water and at 
last came murder in the moonlight. It was so in the 
case of Big Mac. At a logging bee in the county of 
Simcoe in 1870, with liquor flowing after the supper, a 
drunken row started, and a powerful fellow named John 
Pangman became involved with Big Mac. There was a 
brief struggle, then Big Mac stumbled on a stake from a 
sleigh. It was four feet long and very heavy. Big Mac 
seized it, thrust Pangman from him and smashed the 
stake down upon his head. Pangman went down in a 
heap, dead as a stone. Big Mac disappeared, taking 
with him his wife, who was at the logging bee. 

Eleven years passed. The county of Simcoe was 
divided, the county of Dufferin being cut from it. 

" After the new county was made," says Murray, " the 
old county's records were divided. The records of the 
townships in the new county went to the county of 
Dufferin. Included in them was the township of Mulmer 
in which Big Mac had killed Pangman in a drunken row. 
The new county had a new gaol, a new sheriff, and a 
new county Crown attorney, Mr. McMillan. He found 
this case of murder, eleven years old, and wanted to make 
business and communicated with the Department of Jus- 
tice. I went to Orangeville, the county seat of the new 



196 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

county, and obtained full information of the crime and 
details of the life and appearance of Big Mac. The people 
all remembered him, a mighty man, a great hunter, a 
powerful fellow of colossal frame and tremendous strength, 
and one of the swiftest men afoot that the county ever 
had known. I obtained a perfect description of Big Mac 
as he had appeared eleven years before, and I billed him 
north, south, east, and west. No answer came. I found 
at last an old-time friend of Big Mac, who told me that 
Big Mac had travelled for several years after the murder 
and then had settled down near Saginaw in Michigan. 
I prepared extradition papers and then went to Saginaw. 

" I located Big Mac near Coleman, Michigan. I got 
Officer Sutherland of Saginaw and went to Coleman. I 
knew that if Big Mac saw us first he would fight or flee. 
If he fought, it meant a desperate battle ; if he fled, it 
meant a long, hard chase. On July 15th, 1881, I arrived 
in Coleman. It was a hot day and I was wearing a blue 
serge suit. Sutherland and I went to Big Mac's house. 
No one was there. As we stood in the shade beyond 
the house I looked across the field and saw a man I 
knew at a glance was Big Mac. He was picking berries. 
He was indeed a giant. His wife was with him. We 
slipped down to the field beyond. A barbed wire fence 
was between. I hailed Big Mac and asked where some 
one lived. Sutherland was on the other side of the field. 
I started over the barbed wire fence when I hailed Big 
Mac, and in my haste to get over, my serge suit, trousers 
and coat, became hooked on the barbs. I jerked to get 
free and split my trousers from end to end and tore two 
long slits in my coat. I struggled and tore my trousers 
almost completely off. Big Mac laughed like a lion roar- 
ing and his wife pulled her sunbonnet close down over 
her head. I tied my slit coat around my waist by the 
sleeves, wearing it like an apron, and went over to where 
Big Mac was waiting. 

" ' Aren't you Henry McCormick ? ' I asked. 

" ' Yes, what of it ? ' said Big Mac, still laughing. 

" ' I'll have to arrest you and take you back to Canada,' 
said I. 



BIG MAC OF SIMCOE 197 

" Mrs. Mac let out a howl of rage and tore her sun- 
bonnet off. 

" * You naked barbarian/ she cried, ' you'll never take 
him out of Michigan alive.' 

" I thought she might mean to call me a naked barb- 
wirean ! She started at me, but Big Mac drew her back. 

" < Silence be,' said Big Mac. ' Tis a case for men, not 
women.' 

" I thought he meant a finish fight there, and I knew I 
had him with my revolver against his fists. But Big Mac 
thrust out his wrists for the handcuffs and was as docile 
as a child. We went to his house and I borrowed a pair 
of trousers, that looked on me as if an ostrich were to 
don the hide from an elephant's legs. Big Mac enjoyed 
my plight. I verily think it was the sight of me strug- 
gling on the fence, that put him in the good humour to 
submit tamely to arrest. 

" I took him to Saginaw. He employed as counsel 
the Hon. Tim Tarsney, later a member of Congress, and 
a son of Judge Gage, before whom the extradition case 
was to be argued. I employed Mr. Durand, and I had 
seen Judge Gage about the case. Naturally I felt a little 
squeamish with a son of the judge against me. Big Mac 
had friends in Michigan and one of his sons had married 
and his friends had money. I swore a number of wit- 
nesses from Canada at the extradition hearing. Judge 
Gage was strictly honest and committed Big Mac for 
extradition. I arrived in Orangeville with Big Mac on 
August 26th. He was a fascinating old fellow. Men 
liked him. Although he had been away eleven years 
he had many warm friends. He was tried at the Fall 
Assizes in 1881 and was convicted of manslaughter. The 
jury brought in a strong recommendation for mercy and 
Big Mac was sentenced to one year in the county gaol. 

" I remember one of the spectators at Big Mac's trial 
was an old man named John Smith, who had passed his 
seventieth birthday, yet farmed like a youngster and lived 
alone with a fifteen-year-old nephew, Johnnie, on his 
farm in the township of Amaranth, county of Dufferin. 
The old fellow was supposed to have money and to keep 



198 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

a snug sum hid in his house. On Saturday night, Janu- 
ary 2 1st, 1882, while Big Mac was serving his year in 
gaol, fire partly burned the house of old man Smith. 
The nephew ran to a neighbour's house, cap in hand. 
He told the neighbour that as he sat with his uncle, two 
shots were fired through an uncurtained window. One 
pierced his cap, the other, he thought, struck his uncle, 
who fell. Flames broke out and the nephew ran for 
help. 

" The neighbour, with others, went to the Smith farm- 
house. It was partly burned. The old man was found 
on the floor, dead, with part of one leg burned off. The 
doctors laid the old man out and washed him. They 
found no marks of a wound on him and no trace of any 
bullet. I arrived in the night and the doctors reported 
no marks of a wound on the body. I got a lamp and 
went to the old man's house with the doctors. He had 
not been coffined, and I went over the body carefully. I 
finally discovered a punctured wound beneath the breast, 
so located and of such size as to pass almost unnoticed. 
In fact, the doctors had failed to observe it. I pointed 
it out. They examined it. 

" ' Is that an ante-mortem or post-mortem wound ? ' I 
asked. 

" ' Ante-mortem,' they agreed. 

" We traced up the wound and found the bullet. It 
was such as would fit a thirty-two calibre revolver. I 
saw Mr. Hannah, the hardware merchant in Shelburne, 
the town nearest the Smith farmhouse, and I learned that 
young Smith, the nephew, had bought a thirty-two cal- 
ibre Smith and Wesson revolver at his store shortly be- 
fore the mysterious death of old man Smith. The revolver 
was not to be found. I searched the premises several 
times, and finally I began to drain the well. In its bot- 
tom I came upon the revolver and fished it out. Young 
Smith was arrested and held for trial. He was locked up 
in the county gaol at Orangeville, where Big Mac was 
serving his year for the murder of Pangman. The boy 
was close mouthed. 

" I had been in Big Mac's good graces ever since I first 



BIG MAC OF SIMCOE 199 

met him in the berry patch in Michigan, with my trousers 
in shreds. I instructed Big Mac to find out what he 
could from the boy. Mac made friends with young 
Smith and promised to take him to Michigan, and 
eventually got the whole story of the crime from the 
boy. Young Smith was tried in October, 1882. Big 
Mac was a witness against him. He went on the stand 
and told, under oath, the story as the boy had related it 
to him. George Galbraith was attorney for the boy and 
^milius Irving, Crown attorney, prosecuted. Galbraith 
gave Big Mac a severe cross-examination on the line that 
he was my detective. Some of the gaol officials swore 
they would not believe Big Mac under oath. The jury 
brought in a verdict acquitting young Smith. Later I 
took up the matter of the conduct of some of the gaol 
officials and attended to it. 

" Big Mac returned to Michigan after serving his year. 
I kept the revolver for some time that young Smith 
bought shortly before his uncle was murdered. The 
bullet found in his uncle's body fitted the cartridge of the 
revolver. I regarded that as quite an interesting coinci- 
dence. But coincidences occasionally fail to convict. 

" I recall one case, about the same time, that was full 
of more than coincidences. Yet the most powerful anti- 
dote to convincing evidence was present in the form of 
friends on the jury, and the result was acquittal. It was 
a crime that duplicated in marvellous accuracy of detail, 
the murder of old Abel McDonald by the Youngs. It 
occurred in 1881 and if it had been patterned after the 
McDonald tragedy it could not have fitted it more pre- 
cisely. 

" A team of horses with a waggon and no driver ran 
into a stump, on the road leading out of Barrie into the 
farming country of the county of Simcoe, and stopped. 
It was twilight on November 18th. A farmer saw the 
team standing there and climbed into the waggon and 
found an old man lying dead, with his head beaten in 
with an axe handle. The farmer recognised him as 
Thomas Sleight, an old fellow of sixty-six, who was a 
farmer in the township of West Gwillimbury. The team, 



200 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

when it stopped, was in the township of Innisfil, on the 
road leading to the township of Gwillimbury, so the crime 
became known as the Innisfil West tragedy. I took up 
the case. 

" Sleight had driven from his farm to Barrie with a load 
of cider and potatoes. He sold them and started home 
at sundown with the cash in his pocket. I skirmished 
the entire county for a clue to the perpetrator of the 
crime. I visited farmhouse after farmhouse, talking with 
all the inmates. Three or four persons were locked up 
and released after accounting for themselves. Finally, 
near the town of Bondhead, I got Bill Nay, about twenty- 
six years old, son of a farmer. Bill always was broke. 
The day after Sleight's murder Bill had money. I ar- 
rested him and searched him and found money on him, 
and Bill, at that time, was not clear as to where he got 
all of it. When the coroner's inquest was held, I had a 
strong case of circumstantial evidence against him. The 
inquest resulted in a verdict of murder against Bill and 
he was held for trial. I scoured the county for evidence. 
I found a little girl of fifteen, who saw Bill get into 
old man Sleight's waggon on the way out the Barrie 
road. I had other witnesses who saw him coming away 
along the road. 

" Bill Nay was tried at Barrie at the Spring Assizes in 
1882. He was defended by a great lawyer, an able man, 
the Hon. Dalton McCarthy, of Barrie, a Member of 
Parliament and a brilliant advocate. Colin Macdougall, 
of St. Thomas, prosecuted. Judge Strong presided and 
charged the jury strongly against Bill Nay. There was 
quite a connection of Nay's in the county and Dalton 
McCarthy was a lawyer who knew the county thoroughly 
and a man who missed no opportunities in behalf of a 
client. The jury was out a long time. Bill Nay was on 
the anxious seat in great suspense. But the jury came in 
with an acquittal, and Bill Nay's friends reminded him 
that Dalton McCarthy was an able man and that friends 
on a jury were like pearls beyond price. 

" An interesting coincidence of this case is that I heard 
Bill Nay was killed since. Big McCormick, young Smith, 



JOHN DOBBIN 201 

and Bill Nay were three vastly different individuals. The 
law dealt with each of them in its own way. Of the 
three, I like to think of Big Mac rather than of young 
Smith or, least of all, Bill Nay." 



XXXIV 
JOHN DOBBIN, FROM BEYOND THE QUICKSANDS 

Wild Dobbin was a name given by some to John 
Dobbin of Bracebridge, when he skipped out of the dis- 
trict of Muskoka and settled across the Red River in the 
western country, away out in Manitoba, seventy miles 
beyond Winnipeg. He won the nickname by flying into 
fits of rage and chasing those near him helter-skelter, 
while he pursued with club or gun or whatsoever he laid 
his hands upon. Dobbin was about fifty years old, five 
feet nine inches tall, with a sandy beard. He was a wiry 
fellow with an ungovernable temper. 

" The reason for his skipping out of the district of 
Muskoka," says Murray, " was his treatment of John 
Breckenridge, a Scotchman, who came from the old 
country. Breckenridge had some money, but knew 
nothing of farming. He went to the District of Muskoka 
and settled near Bracebridge. He wanted to buy a farm. 
John Dobbin heard of it and went to see him and sold 
him a farm. Breckenridge paid Dobbin part cash and 
gave him a note for the balance, pending the arrival of a 
remittance from the old country. When the note came 
due, Dobbin told Breckenridge he had lost it, and made 
an affidavit to that effect. Thereupon Breckenridge paid 
him the amount of the note. Dobbin went away and was 
seen no more. After he disappeared it transpired that, 
instead of losing the note, he had sold it to a man who 
gave it to another man to collect, and this man sued 
Breckenridge for the value of the note and got judgment. 
The Scotchman saw he had been swindled by Dobbin, 
and applied for assistance to the Government. He was 
directed to me. 



202 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

" I went to Dobbin's old home at Bracebridge. I could 
find no trace of him. I nosed around until I learned that 
his sister had gone away some time before and had 
bought a ticket to Winnipeg. Through a friend of the 
sister in Winnipeg I learned that she had gone to Morris, 
at that time the end of that branch of the Canadian Pacific 
Railroad, and at Morris she had disappeared. I got my 
warrant and went to Winnipeg. There I got an officer, 
Mackenzie, now a private detective, and went to Morris, 
where the railroad ended. I arrived in Morris on a 
stifling hot day in July, 1883. I inquired right and left 
for trace of John Dobbin, but no one seemed to know of 
him. I decided to try the open country beyond the Red 
River. I walked for three miles down the river, asking 
at every house if they knew John Dobbin. No one 
knew him. After trudging another mile and finding no 
way to cross the river I sat down in the shade to cool. 
The river was not so wide but you could be heard on the 
other side, so while I sat in the shade I bellowed at the 
top of my voice, at frequent intervals. I became inter- 
ested in the echoes and shouted lustily. Then I whistled 
and listened for the echoes and finally I screeched and 
roared. I was lying flat on my back. 

" Suddenly I heard an answering screech. I sat up and 
looked across the river. On the opposite bank stood a 
woman screaming to know what was the matter. 

" ' I want to cross the river,' I shouted. 

" ' How much will you give if I take you over ? ' she 
screamed. 

" ' I'll give you $1,' roared I. 

"'All right! I'll call my man from the field!' she 
shouted. 

" I waited. She moved back into a field and presently 
I saw a man at the water's edge and he pushed off in a 
boat and paddled over. He stood offshore about fifteen 
feet and I looked him over. He was a funny little French- 
man, burned almost black by the sun. 

" ' Give dollair,' he said, keeping his boat away from 
the shore. 

" I stood up, took out a paper dollar and was about to 



JOHN DOBBIN 203 

walk down the sandy shore to the water's edge, when he 
let out a terrific whoop and waved me back with frantic 
flourishes of the paddle. 

" < Queeksand ! Queeksand ! ' he yelled. 

" I stopped short on the very edge of a treacherous pit 
of quicksand. I tested it cautiously with one foot and 
while it looked like dry sand it yielded readily and sucked 
in the foot greedily. The little Frenchman all the while 
shrieked for me to keep back. He would not come 
nearer shore but motioned for me to give him the $1 
first. I cut a long stick from a tree and fastened the $1 
to an end of the stick, then climbed out on a limb of a 
tree overhanging the water and tried to hand the money 
to him in this way. The limb bent and suddenly broke 
clean off and down I went in a quicksand by the water's 
edge. I began to sink. My ankles had disappeared in 
the sand and my knees were vanishing. I had strug- 
gled to an upright position as I fell. The little French- 
man backed his boat over near me, but just beyond my 
reach. 

" ' Back in here quick and let me get hold ! ' I shouted. 

" He smiled at me with a sweetness born of the 
angels. 

" ' How much you give ? ' he asked. 

" * Back in here ! Name your price later but give me 
a grip of the boat ! ' I said, for I could feel myself set- 
tling and I knew that to struggle would involve me all 
the deeper. 

" My little Frenchman paddled a foot nearer but still 
kept beyond reach, even if I had flung myself forward 
with outstretched arms. 

" ' How much you give ? ' he asked again, with a voice 
that seemed to tremble with divine pity. Then, as a 
thought struck him, he added : ' You give to me, not to 
her,' and he nodded to the woman who calmly waited on 
the opposite shore. 

" ' Yes, yes ! ' I roared. ' Back the boat in, you fool ! ' 

" ' But how much you give ? ' he insisted, holding him- 
self just out of reach. 

" Figures flashed through my head. A goodly sum 



204 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

trembled on the tip of my tongue. I felt myself slowly 
settling. 

" ' Name your own price/ I said. 

" The little Frenchman eyed me with sparkling eyes. 

" ' It must be one dollair ! No less ! ' he cried. 

" You could have knocked me down with a feather. I 
had been thinking of hundreds. 

" ' All right ! Back in ! ' I said. 

" ' But please give it me/ he said sweetly. ' Give me 
please the dollair ! ' 

" I was sinking well up to the hips and beginning to set- 
tle fast, too, but I had to go down in my pocket and dig 
up another $i, and toss it out to the little Frenchman, 
who had rescued the first $i when the limb broke and the 
stick fell in the water. The Frenchman whirled his boat 
around and shot the light end in to where I could reach 
it. I clutched it and kicked and heaved while the little 
boatman paddled valiantly. I came up like a cork out of 
a bottle and the boat shot out into the stream with me 
dragging along in the water behind it. I clambered in 
and the little Frenchman, with the perspiration pouring 
down his shining face, paused in his paddling to take the 
two $1 bills out of his mouth. He folded one in a tiny 
wad and tucked it into his left ear. The other he rolled 
in a ball and as he was about to hide it in his mouth, 
under his tongue, he smiled to me and said : 

" ' Please, you do not tell her/ and as if to make 
doubly sure of my good will he added : ' if you had not 
been in such hurry I would have done it for feety cents 
— maybe.' 

" I smiled, and he paddled us to shore. The woman 
was waiting and the little Frenchman took the $1 out 
of his ear and gave it to her. She shouted at him to 
give her what he had in his mouth, but he darted be- 
yond reach and defied her. I told her I was buying farms. 

" ' I understand a man named Dobbin lives near here 
and has a farm to sell/ I said. 

'" Buy ours,' she said. 

" ' I'll buy a lot of farms,' said I. ' But I must see 
Dobbin's first. Where does he live ? ' 



JOHN DOBBIN 205 

" ' The only Dobbin I know is four miles back cutting 
hay,' she said. 

" ' Can your man show me ? ' I asked. 

" The commercial instinct popped out again instantly. 

" ' For $1.50/ she said. 

" I paid her the money then and there. She shouted 
to the little Frenchman and he nodded, and away we 
started to find the man Dobbin, who might or might not 
be my Dobbin. The little Frenchman walked ahead and 
I followed. We trudged along in the blazing sun for an 
hour through brush and across prairie. At last we came 
upon a man in a field cutting beaver hay. 

" ' There's Dobbin,' said the little Frenchman, keeping 
aloof, for it seemed all thereabouts feared Dobbin. 

" Dobbin stopped mowing as we drew near. He 
was dripping wet and his face was crimson from his 
labour. 

" ' Are you John Dobbin who lived near Brace- 
bridge ? ' I asked, while the little Frenchman listened 
intently. 

" ' Yes, why ? ' said Dobbin. 

" ' Dobbin,' said I, ' I have a warrant for your arrest.' 

" ' Arrest me ! ' exclaimed Dobbin, and then slowly he 
turned on the little Frenchman. ' And you brought him 
here to arrest me ? You French ! ' 

" With a roar of rage Dobbin went after the little 
Frenchman with the scythe. With a shriek of terror the 
little Frenchman sped away, Dobbin in hot pursuit and I 
after Dobbin. As the little Frenchman ran he squealed 
with fright, and as Dobbin ran he bellowed in fury. I 
began to laugh. The ludicrous side of it struck me. 
There scooted my little Frenchman like a rabbit, bound- 
ing over ditch and bush, while Dobbin thundered after 
him like a savage hound or an avenging demon. They 
ran until Dobbin dropped the scythe and settled down 
into steady chase. I trailed along for I saw that the little 
Frenchman was heading for the river. The terrific pace 
was telling on both of them, and their gait fell bit by bit 
until it was a lagging trot, then a walk, then a stagger. 
And so they trotted on, not twenty feet apart, both 



206 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

gasping and well-nigh exhausted, the Frenchman unable 
to go forward and Dobbin unable to overtake him. 
They ran themselves to a standstill. I came up and 
caught Dobbin and started him back towards his house, 
which was beyond the field where he had been mowing. 
I heard the little Frenchman crying after me piteously. 
I turned back to see if he were hurt. 

" ' The dollair ! ' he lamented. ' I did swallow it ! ' and 
his grief burst forth afresh. 

" As I started away he cried after me : « Think, oh 
think ! The queeksand ! I save you ! I do eat the 
dollair ! Give to me a dollair ! ' 

" Dobbin, furious as he was, laughed scornfully back 
at the little Frenchman. 

" Dobbin's wife was out when we arrived at his house, 
but she came in presently with her sister. She was a 
terror. The moment she spied the handcuffs on her hus- 
band she made a break for the wood-pile and the axe. 
The sister ran down in the cellar. Dobbin and I were 
in the kitchen, he on a chair in one corner and I on a 
chair in another corner. In a moment in marched Mrs. 
Dobbin, axe in hand, and up from the cellar came the 
sister with a cleaver. 

" ' What does this mean ? ' said Mrs. Dobbin to me. 
' Explain yourself, or I'll chop you into mince-meat.' 

" She was the kind of woman who could have made 
first-class mince-meat out of a man. I carefully changed 
my revolver to my left hand, and began to reason with 
her. But it seemed there was to be no such thing as 
reason. She advanced towards me with the axe. I 
drew a second gun. 

" ' Dobbin,' I said, ' call off your wife. I dislike to 
shoot a woman. I can arrest her and take her to Win- 
nipeg and lock her up and send her to prison. She's a 
fool.' 

" The woman stopped in the middle of the kitchen 
floor. There she stood, axe in hand, while her sister 
guarded the door with the cleaver. It was twilight, and 
darkness came. I could discern the three figures as they 
stood. A clock struck nine. 



JOHN DOBBIN 207 

" ' Time's up,' I said, rising. ' Strike a light ! ' 

" There was silence. I turned to Dobbin. 

" ' I've had enough of this,' I said. ' Axe or no axe, 
woman or no woman, this stops now. Call her off.' 

" Mrs. Dobbin burst into furious ragings. 

" ' I'll die before Dobbin crosses the Red River to- 
night,' she shouted. 

" ' I'll take him, you, and your sister,' I replied ; and I 
advanced, preparing to dodge the axe and seize it. 

" She raised the axe and planted herself to strike. I 
stepped forward, and with my left hand holding a revol- 
ver and my right hand free, I feinted to draw her blow. 
Dobbin, who had watched it all, saw the beginning of 
the end, and stood up and called his wife aside and tried 
to pacify her. The sister sought to slip outdoors, but I 
called her in, mindful of men who had been shot in the 
darkness through an open window. 

" ' Be quick,' I said to Dobbin. ' I've dallied too long. 
I'll get a boat three miles up the river.' 

" ' I own a boat on the river,' said Dobbin sullenly. 

" ' It's mine, not yours,' said Mrs. Dobbin. 

" I thought of the commercial instinct. 

" ' You can make some money out of your boat,' I said 
to her. ' Dobbin must go over the river with me. Some 
one will make the money.' 

" ' What will you pay ? ' she asked. 

" ' I'll give you a dollar,' I said. 

" I dropped four silver quarters on the kitchen floor, 
one by one. She leaped for a candle, lighted it, and 
gazed at the money. 

" « Who will bring the boat back ? ' she asked. 

" ' You can send for it,' said I. 

" She thought it over. 

" « For $1.50 I'll do it,' she said. 

" I dropped two more quarters on the floor. She 
clutched them eagerly, and the woman who was going 
to die before Dobbin should cross the river — and meant 
it, too — capitulated for six quarters shining in the candle- 
light on her kitchen floor. Truly, the power of money 
is magical at times. 



208 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

" I took Dobbin away in the night, and we crossed 
the river and hired a team and driver at Morris and 
drove the seventy miles to Winnipeg, getting a midnight 
meal on the way. Dobbin kicked in Winnipeg. He 
employed a lawyer, the famous Fighting Mackenzie. 
This lawyer took Dobbin before Chief Justice Walbridge 
on a writ of habeas corpus. I employed the present 
Judge McMahon to fight the writ. The Chief Justice 
dismissed the writ, and ordered the prisoner into my 
custody. I started back with Dobbin. I had to take 
him by way of the Sault Ste. Marie Canal, and the boat 
went through the American side. Fighting Mackenzie 
told Dobbin to keep quiet until the boat was in the Soo ; 
then to yell and demand protection, and he would tele- 
graph the American sheriff to be there and compel me 
to liberate Dobbin, as I had no papers authorising me to 
hold him in American territory. 

" Dobbin and I embarked on the steamer Campana at 
Port William, which at that time was Port Arthur. Cap- 
tain Anderson, now of the steamer Manitoba, was her 
commander. I got a hint of the job put up to save 
Dobbin in the Soo. I knew everybody aboardship. 
The crew and officers all were my friends. I said to 
Captain Anderson : ' Before we get to Sault Ste. Marie, 
land me with Dobbin in a small boat above the rapids, 
and I'll pull for the Canadian shore.' I told him of the job. 

" ' I know the sheriff myself,' said Captain Anderson, 
' and instead of risking it in a small boat above the 
rapids, I'll put Dobbin in the hold and shut the hatches 
before we get to the American side.' 

" John Burns of Toronto was steward of the boat. 
Captain Anderson and Burns and I talked it over, and 
the captain selected a room on the port side farthest 
from the American shore, and told me to get Dobbin in 
there and Burns would lock the door. 

" ■ He can yell like a Comanche in there and no one 
will hear him,' said Captain Anderson. 

" Dobbin was all primed for the job. As we drew near 
the locks he even cleared his throat for the yells that he 
was to pour forth. The steward came to me. 



JOHN DOBBIN 209 

" ' Mr. Murray,' he said, ' would you like a little good 
whiskey ? ' 

" ' Yes, indeed,' said I. ' Dobbin, want a drink ? ' 

" Dobbin smacked his lips. He had time, before the 
boat entered the locks. 

« ' Why, yes,' he said. 

*' We went down to the room. It was a little cubby- 
hole of a place with no window or outlet but a little 
port-hole. A decanter of whiskey and glasses were on 
the table. We went in. The steward stepped out and 
slammed the door. 

" ' What did he shut the door for ? ' asked Dobbin, 
with sudden suspicion. 

" I eyed him. 

" * Why don't you holler, Dobbin ? ' said I. 

" He glared at me. I could see the crimson dye his 
face, the veins swell, the eyes grow small, as his temper 
rose. He grabbed the decanter. I flipped out my re- 
volver. We stood face to face with the little table be- 
tween us. I eyed him, look for look. 

" ' Take a good drink, Dobbin,' I said. 

" The boat was in the locks. Dobbin drank. 

« < Why don't you holler ? ' I said. 

" He looked at me, at the locked door, at the port- 
hole ; then he sank into a chair. 

" « Murray, I've lost my voice,' said Dobbin. 

" He sat with eyes closed for an hour or more. When 
we were through the locks and out into Canada waters 
and away from shore, the steward unlocked the door and 
said : 

" ' Dinner, gentlemen ! ' 

" Dobbin awoke, as if from a dream. 

" ' I'm hungry as hell,' he said, and went in to dinner. 

" We landed in Collingwood, and went to Barrie, 
where, on August 13th, 1883, I turned Dobbin over to 
the authorities. As I bade him good-bye, he said : « Just 
wait till I get back to Red River and meet that French- 
man ! ' At times, when weird noises sound in the 
night, I think of Dobbin, and wonder if he has caught 
the little Frenchman at last." 



210 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

XXXV 
LUKE PHIPPS, WHO BURIED HIMSELF ALIVE 

Sandwich gaol, three miles from Windsor, was re- 
garded by many American crooks in the early eighties 
as a vestibule to Kingston Penitentiary. If a lawbreaker 
landed in Sandwich he was apt to end in Kingston. The 
result was constant attempts on the part of prisoners to 
break gaol. In 1884 among those locked up in Sand- 
wich awaiting trial were Luke Phipps, a wife murderer, 
and Bucky Greenfield, a professional thief. Neither 
knew the other until they met in Sandwich gaol. A 
mysterious female visited Bucky Greenfield, and for ten 
days after her call Bucky kept close in his cell. His 
friendship for Phipps had sprung up after a sight of the 
young fellow. Bucky pitied him. 

Phipps began to whistle at night. No one objected, 
although for hours at a time he would whistle furiously 
and occasionally would sing in a loud voice. During these 
nocturnal concerts Bucky Greenfield was busy in his cell. 
He had hacked a file out of a woman's corset steel and 
was sawing the bars of the window of his cell. At last the 
bars were cut through. That night Bucky tapped Phipps 
on the shoulder in silence and they slipped out. Phipps 
stuck in the window overlooking the wall. Bucky tried 
to extricate him, but he was caught fast, so Bucky fled 
alone. Phipps wrestled and struggled in the window, and 
finally tore himself free with a wrench so powerful that 
the momentum threw him over the wall, and he fell 
heavily to the ground. There he lay for some time, 
severely hurt and half conscious. He was aroused by 
hearing voices in the gaol. He dragged himself away, 
hunting for a hiding-place. He came to a graveyard, 
and as he crawled along in the darkness he fell head 
foremost into a newly dug grave. The bottom of the 
grave was covered with hay that broke the force of his 
fall. He stretched out like an uncoffined corpse in the 
grave, pulled the hay over him and waited. He heard 
the barking of the dogs and the galloping of horses and 



LUKE PHIPPS, BURIED HIMSELF ALIVE 211 

the voices of men as they searched for trace of the 
fugitives. He could see nothing but the night sky and 
the sparkling stars, through a screen of hay. Voices 
came nearer. He could hear the tread of feet and the 
sniff of hounds. Men paused by the grave, and he 
heard one instruct the others to shoot him on sight if he 
resisted or fled. The light of a lantern fell across the 
grave. One of the men held it over the hole and 
peered in, while the dogs looked over the edge and 
whined. 

" Nothing but hay for coffin bedding," said the man 
with the lantern, and gradually the footsteps and voices 
died away. 

Phipps lay still until he thought the last of them had 
gone. Then he moved slightly to ease his position, for 
he was fast growing numb and his injuries pained 
severely. He half sat up, when over the edge of the 
grave was thrust a head with shining eyes and lolling 
tongue. There was a rattle of earth, and then a loud, 
long howl. One dog had lingered and he gave the 
alarm. Back came the other dogs with a rush and hung 
over the grave barking excitedly. Phipps sank back 
beneath the hay. The men returned with the lantern 
and looked down into the grave. Phipps could see their 
features in the yellow light. 

" Nothing there, I tell you," said the man with the 
lantern. 

" Jump in and see," said one of the others. 

" Not I," quoth the lantern bearer with a shiver and a 
laugh. " 'Tis a sign of death to enter an open grave." 

Phipps heard the rattle of earth again, and one of the 
three men stood over the grave with a huge clod. 

" I'll make sure," he said, and dropped the clod into 
the grave. 

It struck Phipps a glancing blow on the head. He 
lost consciousness. When he came to, it was bright day- 
light overhead, and he lay numbed and stiff beneath the 
hay in -the grave. His head felt as big as a wash-tub and 
his legs were as heavy as two water-soaked logs. His 
hands were swollen, and the blood from the wound in his 



212 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

head had dyed his face and shoulders. It was a raw, 
bleak day. He judged it must be noon. He heard a 
bell tolling in the distance. He wondered if Bucky 
Greenfield had been killed. A long silence followed. 
Then he heard the crunch of carriage wheels and the 
even, measured tread of slowly marching feet. Nearer 
they came and still nearer, then stopped seemingly at the 
brink of the grave. He heard muffled voices in subdued 
tones. He heard the rumble and roll as of a coffin slid 
out of a hearse. A woman sobbed. Then a calm, even 
voice was lifted up, and Phipps could hear a prayer for 
the sorrowing and desolate. After the amen there was 
a silence so deep that the man in the grave could hear 
the broken murmurs of those who wept. A hymn was 
sung, " Asleep in Jesus," and Phipps drowsily listened to 
the music of the " Blessed Sleep." The singing ceased ; 
there was a sound of creaking straps, of a box bumping 
against solid earth. He shut his eyes and waited for the 
coffin to settle upon him. He heard the solemn " Dust 
to dust, ashes to ashes," and in his heart throbbed a feel- 
ing of gratitude that, at the last, he should come to know 
a Christian burial with sorrowing people around his 
grave. He felt a rush of thankfulness to the corpse in 
the coffin, who had shared the farewell to loved ones 
with him. He lay very still, with closed eyes and rigid 
body. The bumping and the creaking ceased. There 
was a rattle of clods thumping on the box. He heard it 
faintly, as if it were far away. He felt no weight and 
seemed to bear no burden. He heard the carriages de- 
part, the footsteps die away. He heard shovels grind 
into the earth and dimly he heard the bump and thud as 
the grave was filled. After all, death was a sleep, he 
thought, and he seemed to be sinking, sinking, sinking, 
on to a downy couch, as if he were whirling away into 
space on a cushion of clouds. He wished they would 
sing again about the blessed sleep. So wishing, he 
slept. 

He awoke with a start and opened his eyes. It was 
pitch dark. He tried to move. His body seemed para- 
lysed. He remembered with a rush of recollection the 



LUKE PHIPPS, BURIED HIMSELF ALIVE 213 

burial and the prayer and the singing. He moved his 
head and looked up through the hay. The stars were 
shining ! He sat up slowly, feebly, and with great pain. 
Where was the coffin ? Where were the six feet of 
earth ? He tottered to his feet. The grave was empty. 
He felt its chilly sides and the bed of hay. He laughed 
a weak, maniacal laugh. Perhaps the resurrection had 
come and they had overlooked him, hid beneath the hay, 
and he was left alone on earth, with all other souls gone 
to their judgment. He tried to clamber out. He fell 
back exhausted. He rested and tried again. It was an 
hour's task to rise from the grave. When, at last, he was 
out, he sat on its edge in the moonlight and laughed to 
the stars. Close beside the open grave was a new-made 
mound. The burial he had heard was in the grave ad- 
joining that in which he lay. 

The murderer stood up and laughed like a little child. 
Then, in the moonlight, he saw the Sandwich gaol loom- 
ing, like a gigantic shadow. He remembered then that 
it was not the resurrection, but the life. He staggered 
away from the grave that had hid him. On the new- 
made mound stood a vase of flowers. He plucked one 
and dropped it in the empty grave, then crept away out 
of the cemetery, across the road, through the fields, trav- 
elling like an injured dog, limping on all fours. He was 
hunting for the river. He came to it in the hour after 
midnight and found an old boat half full of water. He 
came upon a piece of board, crawled into the boat, shoved 
off and began to paddle. Hours later, as dawn was 
breaking, he found himself on the American shore, be- 
low Detroit, nine miles down stream, wet to the skin, 
blood-stained, wounded and faint. But he knew the 
country round about, and made his way into the city to 
the house of a friend, knocked and was taken in, clothed 
and fed. When his wounds healed he started out into a 
new life. 

" I was instructed to find Phipps," says Murray. " I 
had known him in Detroit where he kept a billiard-room 
and lived on Jefferson Avenue. He was a nice fellow ; 
quiet, peaceable, about thirty-four years old, with fair, 



214 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

brown hair and sandy moustache. He was married, and 
had a very pretty little wife and two children, a boy and 
a girl. He loved his family dearly. In the latter part 
of March, 1884, Phipps discovered his wife made frequent 
trips across the river to Windsor. On one occasion he 
followed her aboard the ferry-boat. He had been drink- 
ing. She was unaware of his presence on the boat until 
he confronted her and accused her of infidelity. She 
gave him a harsh answer, and he whipped out a revolver 
and shot and killed her on the boat. Many passengers 
saw the murder. When the boat landed at Windsor, 
Phipps was arrested and taken to Sandwich gaol, three 
miles from Windsor, and was committed for trial. W T hile 
waiting in Sandwich gaol for trial he escaped with Bucky 
Greenfield, hid in a grave a night and a day, crossed the 
river the second night and got to Detroit, where he hid 
with friends, who supplied him with money and clothes 
and started him out anew. 

" I sent his description all over the country. He was 
a billiard-room keeper, and I judged it was simply a ques- 
tion of time until his money gave out, and he would look 
for a job in a billiard-room. Every man to his trade is 
true also of fugitives from justice. My surmise was cor- 
rect. Phipps turned up in Pullman, Illinois, and obtained 
a job in a billiard-room there. I located him through 
detectives and inquiries, and prepared my papers and 
went to Illinois, and took Phipps from Pullman to Chi- 
cago. There he employed Jesse Ball, an able lawyer, 
and made a desperate fight against extradition. His 
counsel endeavoured to show the shooting was done in 
American waters. There is no hanging in Michigan. If 
the crime had been committed in American waters, Phipps 
would have been tried in Michigan, and, if convicted, he 
would not have been hanged. I proved by the captain 
of the boat and a number of its passengers that the shoot- 
ing was done in Canada waters on the Canada side of the 
river. The legal fight lasted a number of days. Both 
sides called witnesses. Phipps lost. An appeal was 
taken and a writ of habeas corpus was issued, but this 
proceeding was dismissed. 



LUKE PHIPPS, BURIED HIMSELF ALIVE 215 

" I started back to Canada with Phipps on April 1 ith. 
When I met him in the Chicago gaol to take him back, 
he raised his hands. 

" < What is it?' I asked. 

" ' Aren't you going to handcuff me ? ' he said. 

" ' Not you, Phipps,' said I. 

" He thanked me. We stopped on the way to the sta- 
tion for cigars and the like, went aboard the Pullman car, 
and started. At Ann Arbor, and other points, newspa- 
per men boarded the train in search of me to get a talk 
with Phipps. The prominence of the case in the papers 
made Phipps a figure of interest, and it was known we 
were aboard the train, At one station one of the news- 
paper men politely asked me : 

" ' Pardon me, are you Luke Phipps, the wife mur- 
derer ? ' 

" I said I was happy to say I was not. 

" At Ann Arbor two of the newspaper men, after going 
through the car, stopped in front of Phipps and whispered 
to him, as they nodded towards a well-known Detroit min- 
ister who was snoozing in a corner of the car : 

" ' Is that murderer Phipps ? ' 

" Phipps laughed over it later, although the word mur- 
derer shook him at the time. These incidents of mis- 
taken identity occurred all along the road. At Detroit a 
couple of hundred of his friends were at the station to see 
him. Phipps stepped off the car carrying my grip. 
Chief Bains, of Windsor, was there with a cab. 

" ' I'll see you fellows at the Michigan Exchange/ said 
Phipps, and we drove there on our way to Canada. ' I 
want a good-bye drink,' said Phipps, as we went in. 

" A great many of his friends gathered there to see 
him. They all were full of expressions of sorrow. 

" ' Yes, I'm sorry, too/ said I ; ' but what Phipps needs 
for his defence is money/ and I started the thing and 
everybody chipped in. 

" Phipps shook hands with all of them. I asked him 
if there was any other place to which he wanted to go. 

" ' I'd like to drive past the old home in Jefferson 
Avenue, Mr. Murray/ he said, with a gulp. 



216 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

" I have been glad many times since that I drove him 
past his old home. He looked at it out of the carriage 
window, and then through the little window in the back, 
until he could see it no longer. 

" ' I'm ready to go now,' he said. 

" We drove over to Sandwich gaol, and I left him there. 
He was tried at the Fall Assizes. Sol White, a member 
of the Provincial Parliament, defended him. He was 
found guilty, and was sentenced to be hanged. He was 
hanged in Sandwich gaol in November, and the earth, 
near the cemetery where he once had hid in a grave, 
opened for him, and he was laid to rest to cross another 
river when he should rise from this second grave. 

" I regretted it. I thought there were some extenuat- 
ing circumstances. His escape from the goal weighed 
against him. Moreover, the episode of Billy Callaghan 
in Sandwich gaol had much to do with influencing public 
opinion in the county of Essex at the time of the Phipps 
trial. Bucky Greenfield escaped to Mexico, and we had 
no extradition treaty with Mexico at that time to cover 
his case, and later he vanished. He meant well by 
Phipps, but it would have been better for Luke if he had 
not escaped. Between Bucky Greenfield and Billy 
Callaghan, Phipps's fate was sealed. 

" Callaghan belonged to Detroit. He came of a re- 
spectable family, and in his younger days he was a clerk 
in a dry-goods store, but finally turned out to be a pro- 
fessional burglar and desperate crook. At this time he 
was about twenty-eight years old, short, stout, and 
swarthy. Billy and another crook named Kennedy were 
gaoled in Sandwich for burglary. On March 16th they 
made a dash for liberty. George O'Callaghan Leech, the 
old governor of the gaol, endeavoured to intercept Billy, 
who pulled a revolver, which had been smuggled into his 
cell, and shot and killed O'Callaghan Leech, and got 
away with Kennedy. The people of the county of 
Essex were up in arms. They searched the county for 
trace of the fugitives. Callaghan got out of the country. 

" Kennedy was caught, and sent to Kingston Peniten- 
tiary for seven years. While in Kingston he became 



LUKE PHIPPS, BURIED HIMSELF ALIVE 217 

pals with Blinky Morgan. I had spotted Blinky in To- 
ronto in July of the year before. I was on my way to 
the train for Winnipeg after Dobbin, and had stopped in 
the Rosslin House barber's shop. In the chair next to 
mine sat Blinky. I had not seen him for years, but I 
knew him the moment I glanced his way. He got out 
of the chair before I did, and went to the Shakespeare 
Hotel. I left word to tell the police he was there. The 
day after I arrived in Winnipeg, I learned that Blinky 
had shot and killed a porter named Marooney in the 
Walker House on York Street. Detective Cuddy pur- 
sued Blinky, who shot twice at him, one bullet piercing 
his tunic. Cuddy bravely stuck to the chase, and cap- 
tured Blinky. Blinky 's trial was before Judge Sir Thomas 
Gait, who thought the murder was not premeditated, and 
cautioned the jury, and it brought in a verdict of man- 
slaughter. Blinky, instead of getting a life sentence, got 
only five years in Kingston. 

" Kennedy and Blinky, after becoming pals, broke out 
of Kingston Penitentiary. Morgan was traced to Reno, 
Ohio, by Detective Hoolihan and others, and in the fight 
that occurred Blinky killed Hoolihan and escaped. 
Later he was run down in Alpena, Michigan, where he 
shot the sheriff and wounded another man. He was 
captured and taken to Cleveland and hanged. Kennedy 
got away. 

" Callaghan, meanwhile, had disappeared completely 
after killing Governor O'Callaghan Leech, of Sandwich 
gaol. I sent out circulars offering a $500 reward. No 
answer came until December, 1884, when the police of 
Hannibal, Missouri, telegraphed to me : 

" ' Come at once. Callaghan in gaol ; acknowledges 
identity.' 

" I was up north on a case at the time, and I wired 
back : ' Will come ; but I do not believe it is Callaghan. 
He would not acknowledge identity.' 

" I prepared the necessary extradition papers, and was 
instructed to go to Hannibal, Missouri. I went by way 
of Windsor, and took with me Turnkey Smith, of Sand- 
wich gaol, who knew Callaghan well. We arrived in 



2i 8 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

Hannibal on the evening of December 16th, and went at 
once to the gaol. It was the roughest gaol, with the 
hardest-looking lot of pills in it that I had ever seen. 
We were told by the police that two crooks, known as 
Joe Rice and John Carr, had burglarised Banker Patter- 
son's house in Barry, Illinois, stealing his gold-mounted 
revolver, and making him get up out of bed and open 
the safe and turn over its contents. They had been 
caught in Hannibal, and Rice had the stolen revolver. 
On their way to gaol Rice whispered with Carr, and in 
the gaol he had said to a fellow prisoner, ' I wonder if 
these cops have stumbled on to who I am. They offer a 
reward for me in Canada.' The prisoner told Detective 
Sesnor, who questioned Rice, and Rice confessed he was 
Bill Callaghan. Then they telegraphed to me. 

" I was shown to the cell of the self-confessed Bill 
Callaghan. I looked in. It was gloomy, but even in the 
gloom I was confident it was not Callaghan. 

" ' That's not Callaghan,' I said. 

" The gaol people thought I was trying to beat them 
out of the reward. I told them to bring the fellow out 
into a better light. They did so, and Turnkey Smith, of 
Sandwich gaol, said it was not Callaghan. I looked at 
Rice. 

" ' No,' I said ; ' he is not Callaghan. This is Jim 
Leavitt, of New York. Jim, I have seen you at Billy 
Brown's in Bleecker Street, and at The Allen's.' 

" ' Well, you needn't get mad about it,' said Jim. 

" ' What do they charge you with ? ' said I. 

" ' They say I made a call on a banker, and some one 
stuck his revolver in my pocket and I did not throw it 
away,' said Leavitt. 

" He was a droll crook. He was no relation to my old 
friend Leavitt of the Dain affair and Frank Meagher's 
case. 

" I returned to Toronto without Callaghan. I next 
heard of him in New Mexico. Some said he was killed, 
and, later, others said he was drowned in South America. 
He never was captured, and in all probability he is dead. 
His murder of Governor O'Callaghan Leech stirred up 



LUKE PHIPPS, BURIED HIMSELF ALIVE 219 

the people of the county ; and when Luke Phipps, who 
had escaped from the same gaol, came up for trial for 
murder some months after the Leech killing, public opin- 
ion was not kindly. So Luke Phipps went to the gal- 
lows. I pitied Phipps. 

" His sentence seemed as heavy as Blinky Morgan's 
seemed light. Judge Gait, however, balanced the Morgan 
sentence soon thereafter. In the county of Durham 
lived four young men, sons of respectable farmers. Their 
names were Karsha, Kating, Armour, and Hearn. They 
were great friends, and were much together. Near Graf- 
ton, in that county, lived a Mrs. Bennett, of the same 
name as the woman in the Burk and McPherson case. 
The two women lived about fifty miles apart, but were 
not related. This Mrs. Bennett lived with her husband, 
who was a labouring farmer, and her three children (two 
girls, fourteen and twelve years old, and a little boy). 
In November, 1884, she was in a delicate condition, and 
her husband was away working. 

" Karsha, Kating, Armour, and Hearn had started out 
that day together, bent on pleasure. They had no par- 
ticular plan at the outset to violate the law. But they 
drifted along together in careless association. In my ex- 
perience, with minor crimes particularly, I have observed 
again and again how two or three or four young fellows, 
without any criminal intent at the outset, have ended a 
day together in lawlessness that landed them in prison. 
It began, perchance, in idle boast and then in banter, over 
little acts of recklessness, until by gradual advance they 
came to the boundary line of crime, and rushed across it 
with a hip-hurrah, to drown any voice that might whisper 
of open prison-doors beyond. It was in this way that 
Karsha, Kating, Armour, and Hearn drew themselves on 
until they swooped down on the little home where Mrs. 
Bennett lay ill. They beat in the door and fell upon her 
brutally, then fled. 

" The alarm was given. The woman knew them, and 
her little girls knew them. The countryside turned out 
and gave chase. Karsha, Kating, and Armour were 
caught and locked up. Hearn escaped, and made his 



220 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

way to New York. He had a mother and sister living 
at that time in Napanee. His sister was ill. Hearn was 
very fond of her, and she worried over his fate. He 
communicated with her, saying he had escaped and tell- 
ing her where he was. I intercepted the letter, and 
within an hour a telegram went to him saying that, if he 
wished to see his sister alive, he should come at once. I 
went to Napanee and watched the trains. Hearn was 
due on the night train twenty-four hours after the tele- 
gram was sent. The train arrived, but no Hearn alighted. 
I went to the house of his sister and found him. He had 
leaped from the train before it reached the station, and 
had made his way to the house by a roundabout route 
across the fields. I took him to Cobourg the next morn- 
ing, in time for him to stand trial with Karsha, Rating, 
and Armour. 

" All four were found guilty. The woman, who did 
not die, and the little girls identified them. Judge Gait, 
who had let Blinky Morgan off with five years, told the 
four young men to stand up, and he sentenced them to 
ten years apiece in Kingston Penitentiary. The sentence 
offset the comment that had arisen when Blinky, who had 
killed a man and tried to kill an officer, escaped with 
only half the sentence meted out to the four young men 
of Durham." 



XXXVI 

THE NEW YEAR'S MURDER OF STILLWELL OF 
BAYHAM 

One-eyed Ranse Forbes was considered the best shot 
in his section of the county of Elgin. Ranse lived near 
Eden, in the township of Bayham. He had a sister, 
Jennie, and the two frequently visited at the home of 
Lewis N. Stillwell, a young farmer, who lived with his 
wife and two children in the same township of Bayham. 
Ranse and Mrs. Stillwell were old acquaintances, and 



MURDER OF STILLWELL OF BAYHAM 22: 

Stillwell and Ranse's sister had known each other for a 
long time. 

" On New Year's Day, 1885," says Murray, " Ranse 
and his sister Jennie, and Albert Thomas, the son of a 
neighbouring farmer, were at the Still wells'. It was a 
jolly party. Stillwell was about thirty-five years old, 
Ranse was twenty-eight years old, and Thomas, the 
youngest of the three, was twenty-two years old. They 
had a fine dinner at the Stillwells' that day. A neigh- 
bour who asked for Stillwell that evening was told he 
had gone to his father's house. Forbes and Thomas told 
other neighbours that Stillwell had started on the after- 
noon of New Year's Day to visit his parents. The par- 
ents had seen nothing of him, so on the following Satur- 
day a searching party was organised, and fields and 
woods were beaten, and the body of Stillwell was found 
in a clump of woods some distance from his house. He 
was dead. 

" A bullet hole in the back of the head and a hole in 
the forehead showed how he had died. I went to the 
place. The shot had been a beauty. It required a 
perfect marksman to put a bullet in the head so it would 
bore, as it came out, a hole directly through the centre 
of the forehead. I learned that Ranse had borrowed a 
forty-four calibre Spencer repeating rifle on December 
26th from a man named Rutherford. I learned also by 
thorough inquiry that Forbes had bought a box of forty- 
four calibre cartridges at Golding's. I questioned young 
Thomas. He was not communicative. In fact, after I 
had left him he said to a friend, ' The authorities will 
have to stretch my neck as long as a fence rail before I'll 
squeal.' 

" No one had even suggested squealing or confessing 
to this young man, so far as I knew. But I promptly 
heard what he had said, and it decided me finally as to 
my course in the case. I learned from the women at the 
Stillwell house on New Year's Day that after dinner on 
that day Stillwell, Forbes, and Thomas went down to the 
clump of woods in which Stillwell's body was found. I 
learned also that along towards twilight Forbes and 



222 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

Thomas returned to the Stillwell house alone. They 
were committed for trial. 

" Soon after they were committed, a magistrate of the 
neighbourhood came to me, and asked if Thomas could 
tell the whole truth. Thomas's father and sister had 
called on him. I saw Judge Hughes, and Thomas 
was called in before Forbes and Mrs. Stillwell, and 
he, the young man whose neck would be stretched as 
long as a fence rail before he would squeal, voluntarily 
confessed, and told his story of what had happened. He 
said that after the three entered the woods, Forbes walk- 
ing behind, shot Stillwell in the back of the head, the 
bullet passing out through the forehead. Forbes and 
Thomas then returned to the house, leaving Stillwell dead 
in the woods. When they arrived at the house, said 
Thomas, Forbes said to Mrs. Stillwell, ' Come back to the 
kitchen.' When she went to the kitchen, said Thomas, 
Forbes told her, ' We've done the job.' 

" The trial was held at the Spring Assizes. Judge 
Matthew Crooks Cameron, of whose extensive career as 
a defender of prisoners I already have spoken, presided 
at the trial, as he had become a judge some years before. 
Macdougall and Robertson were counsel for the accused, 
and Colter, of Cayuga, prosecuted. The defence, of 
course, knew that young Thomas was to testify against 
Forbes. They set out to nullify his testimony. They 
got some one into the gaol who talked that Forbes was 
going on the stand and swear that it was Thomas, not he, 
who did the shooting. When Thomas was on the wit- 
ness-stand at the trial, he was asked in cross-examination 
if he had heard any one say that Forbes had stated he 
would swear Thomas did the shooting? Thomas replied 
that he had heard such talk. 

" ' Who was doing the talking, did you think ? ' he was 
asked. 

" ' I thought detectives were those talking it,' he an- 
swered. 

" J u dge Cameron discarded his evidence. The defence 
made an able fight, and the verdict was acquittal. 

" I was in California on another case at the time of the 



MURDER OF STILLWELL OF BAYHAM 223 

trial, and was not present during any part of it. The 
case was one of interest at the time, for the public seemed 
to have well-defined ideas as to how the death of Still- 
well had occurred. Confessions are not always effective, 
even if they should happen to be true in every detail. 
The circumstances surrounding every episode of signifi- 
cance in a case are certain to weigh heavily one way or 
the other. I have seen direct evidence, given under un- 
favourable circumstances, thrown out or rendered ineffect- 
ive by reason of these very disadvantages of circumstan- 
ces. Circumstantial evidence is harder to upset than 
direct evidence in certain respects. A positive fact, 
relying on a direct statement for its confirmation, may 
fail by reason of the statement being involved in extrane- 
ous matters damaging to its own good repute or validity. 
A positive fact, borne out by circumstances, needs no 
further confirmation. 

" The Stillwell case demonstrated clearly that some one 
was lying desperately. Thomas said Forbes shot Still- 
well. Thomas's statement was discounted because some 
one had stated Forbes said Thomas shot Stillwell. The 
accident theory, that Stillwell had shot himself, did not 
figure in the case. But the chief interest of the case, to 
my mind, was not in its mystery, for after the evidence 
was collected there was no mystery about it, but in the 
clever evasion of the effects of a damaging confession. 
And after all, young Thomas's neck was not stretched as 
long as a fence rail. 

" The results of such a trial are permanent, even where 
there is an acquittal. For instance, in the township of 
Bayham, the entire countryside does not puzzle still as to 
who killed Stillwell. The trial served some good ends. 
The verdict was < Not guilty.' The people heard it, and 
went on about their business. That was the only thing 
to do. 

" Jennie Forbes, Ranse's sister, afterwards married the 
turnkey of the St. Thomas gaol." 



224 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 
XXXVII 
THE WINTER ROAD TO MANITOULIN 

One of the exciting times in the history of the Pro- 
vincial Parliament was in 1885. It began in accusations 
of bribery and grew into a dynamite scare, in which some 
nervous members believed, as they sat in their seats, that 
the next minute they might be sailing skyward in frag- 
ments, along with the remnants of the building, all blown 
to pieces by a dynamite explosion. 

" A plot or conspiracy had been hatched," says Mur- 
ray, " to defeat the Mowat Government. Several cash 
offers were made, and it was stated that in certain in- 
stances money actually had been paid over to members 
to draw them away from the Government side. The 
Government got on to it, and there was great excitement 
in the House. Feeling ran high. There was bitterness 
on both sides. 

" On top of all the excitement came the discovery 
that dynamite was placed round the building, and there 
was talk of a terrific explosion that was planned. At 
that time the old Parliament Building at Wellington and 
Front Streets was in use. There was a great scare over 
the dynamite affair, and the excitement grew. It cul- 
minated when some of the members rose and stated the 
amount of purchase money that had been offered to 
them to vote for the Opposition. Warrants were issued 
for the arrest of parties alleged to have tried to bribe 
members. ' Big Push ' Wilkinson, a politician, and 
others were arrested. 

" One of the members, R. A. Lyon, living on Mani- 
toulin Island, was absent at his home, and I was instructed 
to serve papers on him. It was in March, 1885. Lyon 
lived far to the north, several hundred miles from Toronto. 
The time was limited. I went by rail to the end of the 
road at that time, Gravenhurst. I arrived in Gravenhurst 
on Tuesday, March 3d. A blizzard was raging. I hired 
a pair of horses and a sleigh, and struck out for the 
north, heading first for Sufferin, forty-five miles away. I 



THE WINTER ROAD TO MANITOULIN 225 

had been over the road only once before, in the summer. 
I tried to hire a man to go with me, but none was will- 
ing to go. The snow was whirling and blowing and 
drifting, and the trail was hid, for long distances, beneath 
stretches of snow that rose and curved away like sand 
dunes. Night fell shortly after I started, and I pressed 
on in the dark hoping for a brighter moon. I had stuck 
in a drift a few miles out of Gravenhurst, and had found a 
rail fence near by. I appropriated one of the rails, and 
took it with me in the sleigh. 

" About midnight I suddenly came upon the end of 
my road in a dense wood and a deep drift. The horses 
were stuck, the sleigh was fast. No house was in sight. 
I could move neither forward nor back. The snow drifted 
up against the sleigh. I seemed to have come into a 
pocket where the road ended. I tumbled out and floun- 
dered around. I had missed the main road and gone up 
a blind timber trail, and had driven into a drift. I got 
my fence rail and laboriously broke a road. Then I 
unhitched the horses, and tied them to a tree beside the 
sleigh. Then I tried to get the sleigh turned around. I 
dug the snow away from it with the rail, and finally got 
underneath it and lifted it around. In doing so, I stuck 
feet first in the snow underneath the sleigh. I struggled 
to get out, but was caught as if in a vice. The rail lay 
just beyond my reach. The wind was whirling the snow 
about me, and I was yearning for it to subside. I grimly 
calculated my chances of escape. I was up a blind trail, 
untravelled and abandoned. I could expect no help from 
passers-by, because there were no passers-by on such a 
road. As I thought it over, I was dealt a stinging blow 
across the face. It seemed to come from nowhere, yet I 
felt the burn of the welt. I began to dig with my hands 
to free my body from the drift, when a second smashing 
slash in the face made me turn in time to see the reins 
from the horses fly past in the wind. I waited, watching 
them. They whirled up again, and came swishing down. 
I grabbed and caught them. Then I began to pull and 
call to the horses to back up. They plunged a bit, then 
drew back, snapping the hitching strap that tied them to 



226 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

the tree. I drew them over close by me, and fastened 
the reins through the traces and then wrapped them 
around me. Then I shouted to the horses and pelted 
them with snowballs, and wriggled and kicked as best I 
could. They leaped forward, and at last I felt myself 
coming up out of the drift. 

" I hitched the team to the sleigh again, and beat my 
way back along the timber trail to the main trail, and 
pressed on. It was a rough, hilly, rocky country. The 
wind was howling and tearing at the trees in the forest. 
I remembered that Sufferin simply was a farmhouse with 
a barn and a big tree — a giant, standing alone near the 
barn. Every big tree that loomed up caused me to stop 
and alight and stumble through the snow in search of a 
house or barn. At half-past one in the morning I heard 
a long, loud howl. I stopped and listened. It sounded 
again, ahead of me. I drove forward, listening, and saw 
in the night another big tree. I alighted, and started 
towards it, and a dog rushed through the drifts to me. 
I followed him, and found the farmhouse of Sufferin. I 
went back for my team, brought them up, and hailed 
the house. A woman answered; the man was ill. I 
stabled the horses. They were too hot to feed, and I 
had to wait up with them until three o'clock. It was 
biting cold. I took the buffalo robes into the house, 
and laid down on the floor by the stove at three o'clock, 
and slept two hours. 

" At half-past five o'clock in the morning I started for 
Parry Sound, thirty miles from Sufferin. It was after- 
noon when my tired team dragged its weary way into 
Parry Sound. The horses were exhausted. I stabled 
them, and called on Postmaster Ainsley and Judge 
McCurry, the stipendiary magistrate. I had over one 
hundred and fifty miles by the nearest route from there 
to Manitoulin Island. I searched Parry Sound for a man 
to go. None would make the trip. It was a wild route 
over a desolate way. There was no road, no trail. There 
were stretches of ice that ended suddenly in open water, 
there were rocky trails along bits of land, there were 
yawning cracks in ice and deep chasms in snow. Some 



THE WINTER ROAD TO MANITOULIN 227 

had to be bridged with trees, others had to be circled for 
miles around. They said no team could make the trip, 
that only a dog sled could hope to get through in such 
weather. I finally found a fellow named Elliott who 
agreed to go, naming his own price. He had been a 
sailor and hunter and trapper and fisherman, and knew 
the whole country. After agreeing to go, he went out 
and came back shortly, and declined to go. 

" ' Name your own price,' said I. 

" He gave me a raise on his first figure, and agreed to 
go. He went out, came back, and declined again. 

" ' For the third and last time, name your own price,' 
said I. 

" Elliott gave me another raise, saying there were 
some bad holes in the ice that he had not remembered at 
first. He went out again, and came back and said he 
would have to buy some new snow-shoes or he could 
not go. I bought them for him. He went out and 
came back and said he would have to buy a new dog 
sled or he could not go. I bought a new dog sled for 
him. He went out, and back he came again and said he 
had to buy another dog or he could not go. I bought 
the new dog for him. He came back for two extra 
blankets. I bought them. 

"'And here are three bottles of brandy,' I said. ' Now 
will you go ? ' 

" ' It's a go this time,' said Elliott. 

" He brought up his sled and four dogs, and I gave 
him the papers and conduct money. To make sure he 
would go, I drove ten or twelve miles with him on the 
ice of Georgian Bay, as far as I could go. Then I had 
to turn back to Parry Sound, as I could go no farther. 
I saw him go singing over the ice with his dogs. He had 
chosen a route of two hundred and seventy miles. He 
slept out with his dogs on the way. He made his way 
through, too ; thanks, I suppose, to the brandy, from his 
point of view. Lyon was served with the papers. I 
made my way back to Toronto, driving to Gravenhurst 
by daylight from Sufferin. 

" The bribery cases dwindled to nothing, like all bribery 



228 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

investigations, as a rule. No one was sent to prison. 
No dynamite exploded. All grew tranquil, and the 
Mowat Government was not upset. On the road to 
Sufferin was the only time in my life when I was grate- 
ful for a slap in the face, repeated on one cheek and the 
other also." 



XXXVIII 
THE LONG POINT MYSTERY 

The lighthouse keeper on Long Point, on the north 
shore of Lake Erie, near Port Rowan, was sitting by the 
window one bitter cold morning in December, 1884. 
The waves were pounding shoreward over a fringe of 
ice. The wind was howling in a gale, and not a sign of 
life was visible over the expanse of waters. The keeper 
idly swept the shore-line with his gaze, from horizon on 
the right to horizon on the left. He saw nothing but 
tumbling waters and icy rime. He poked the fire and 
resumed his seat. As he glanced out he saw a black 
object bobbing in the water ; it rose and fell and rolled 
as the waves beat in or receded ; it was coming shore- 
wards. Thrice it was tossed up on the ice, and thrice it 
glided back and slid with a splash into the water. The 
fourth time the waters seemed to lift it up and toss it for- 
ward so that it lay a shapeless bundle on the shore. 

The keeper of the light levelled his glasses on it, and 
instantly laid them aside, donned his cap and coat, and 
hurried out. He ran down the shore to where the object 
lay, and knelt beside it. The figure was that of a man. 
The body was wound with rope, and the limbs were 
rope-bound. The hands were tied. Dickinson, the light 
keeper, picked up the icy body and carried it to the lonely 
lighthouse. He judged it was a sailor from some vessel 
of the lakes, gone to a watery grave and cast ashore long 
after death. He made a rough box, cut away the ropes 
from the body, and buried it as it was, boots and all, on 



THE LONG POINT MYSTERY 229 

Long Point. He marked the grave of the unknown 
dead with a board ; there was no clue to the man's 
identity. His features were the face of a stranger ; he 
wore no hat, his clothing was unmarked. Snow soon 
hid the grave, and Dickinson forgot about it, save for an 
occasional wondering, as he sat by the fire in the long 
winter nights, whether the man had come to his death 
by fair means or foul ; whether he had died in his bunk 
naturally or whether in the night he had been seized and 
bound and buried alive in the waters that may give up 
their dead but tell no tales of their tragedies. A para- 
graph in the newspapers some days later said simply 
that an unknown body had been washed ashore on Long 
Point and had been buried by the keeper of the light- 
house. 

" Three months later," says Murray, " John Piggott, 
of Bay City, Michigan, communicated with the Govern- 
ment about this body. For months John Piggott had 
been searching for his brother Marshall Piggott. Marshall 
was a young farmer, twenty-nine years old, who lived in 
the township of Malahyde, county of Elgin, Ontario, 
about forty miles from Port Rowan. His father, before 
he died, gave him a small farm of about fifty acres on the 
shore of Lake Erie. Piggott married Sarah Beacham, a 
neighbouring farmer's daughter, and they settled on the 
little farm. They had no children. In the early part of 
1884 Sarah died mysteriously, and one of the features of 
her death was a violent attack of retching. Marshall 
Piggott was not a bright man, but rather slow and simple 
minded. At ten o'clock on the morning of November 
17th, 1884, a few months after his wife died, Marshall was 
seen going down the road towards the lake near his 
house. That was the last known of him. Some of the 
neighbours, when he failed to appear, thought he had 
gone on a visit to his brother John in Michigan. When 
John heard of it he began a search for his brother. He 
read the newspapers carefully for tidings of unknown 
dead, and when the Long Point burial was printed he saw 
it, and once more communicated with the Government. 
This was in March, 1885, and on March 10th I went to 



230 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

St. Thomas and met John Piggott, and conferred with 
Judge Hughes. 

" John Piggott and I then went by train to Aylmer 
and thence drove to Port Rowan, and then drove on the 
ice to Long Point. We had the body dug up and the 
coffin opened. The body was decomposed, but John 
Piggott identified it positively as the body of his brother 
Marshall Piggott. He identified the boots as a pair he 
had worn and had given to Marshall. He identified a 
peculiar mark on the big toe of the right foot, and he 
also identified the peculiar pigeon-breast. William Dick- 
inson, the lighthouse keeper, said that the face, when he 
found the body, bore a strong resemblance to the face 
of John Piggott. He said John and the dead man looked 
alike. There was little face when we saw the body ; the 
head had been smashed in and the chin broken. Satis- 
fied that the body was that of Marshall Piggott we had 
it taken to Port Rowan and buried. On March 24th I 
drove the mother of Marshall Piggott from her home in 
Nilestown, county of Middlesex, to Port Rowan and had 
the body exhumed, and the mother identified the clothes 
and the body. 

" Who killed him ? The question presented itself the 
moment I saw the crushed skull and the lighthouse 
keeper told me of the way the body was bound with rope, 
and the way the hands and limbs were tied. It was not 
suicide. The rope and the wounds settled that ; no man 
could have tied himself in such a manner. I asked the 
mother when she first heard of her son going away. She 
said that the day after Marshall disappeared in November, 
Havelock Smith, a young man, twenty-eight years old, who 
lived with his widowed mother on her farm, near the farm of 
Marshall Piggott, and whose family was respected highly 
and prominent in the country, had appeared at the house 
and said he wanted to see her alone. Her son, young 
William Piggott, was with her that day, making ready to 
go to Oregon to live. William stepped outside, and 
Havelock Smith then showed her a note for $1,300 made 
to him, ostensibly by Marshall Piggott. Havelock Smith 
told her, said the mother, that Marshall had given him 



THE LONG POINT MYSTERY 231 

the note the day before in exchange for $1,300, and 
Marshall had said he was going away. The note was 
dated the day Marshall disappeared. When asked where 
he got the money to lend to Marshall, Havelock Smith 
said he borrowed it from Richard Chute. Mrs. Piggott 
said she would have to find her son, Marshall, before she 
could do anything about the note. She called her son, 
young William, and told him to go to Marshall's place 
and look after it. I saw William. He told me he had 
driven back from Nilestown to Marshall's with Havelock 
Smith, and on the way Havelock asked William to help 
him get the money. The story about borrowing the 
money from Richard Chute I found untrue. 

" I went to Marshall's place, and I looked Havelock 
Smith over. Then I visited the neighbours one by one. 
I learned from Walter Chute and from Mrs. John Han- 
kenson that on the day Marshall disappeared Havelock 
Smith went to Piggott's house about half-past nine 
o'clock in the morning. Smith and Piggott were seen 
later walking away in a southeasterly direction, towards 
Smith's farm. That was the last seen of Piggott alive. I 
learned that about four o'clock that afternoon Smith was 
seen by Walter Chute and his son, Ainslie Chute. Smith 
had been seen first going towards a gully about half a 
mile from Piggott's house, and he was seen later coming 
back from the gully. This gully led to the lake, and was 
secluded. Walter Chute spoke to Smith on his way 
back ; Smith's trousers were wet, as if he had been in the 
water. A shot had been fired while Smith was in the 
gully. Smith told Chute he had shot at a grey fox and 
missed it. 

" I learned that on the Sunday before Piggott disap- 
peared Smith went to Port Royal, six miles away, and 
hired a rowboat, and took it to his own gully and left it 
there the day Piggott disappeared. 

" I began a search for the weapon. I learned that 
some years before part of an old steamer had drifted 
ashore, and in the wreckage were some iron grate bars, 
each weighing about one hundred pounds. Walter 
Chute had found these bars. He had a maple sugar 



232 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

bush near the gully, and for arches in his sugar-boiling 
furnaces he used some of these grate bars. Shortly after 
Piggott disappeared Chute was in his maple grove and he 
missed one of these bars. 

" The theory of the prosecution was that Piggott had 
been inveigled to the gully to help launch the boat, that 
while launching the boat he was struck with a heavy, 
blunt instrument, which smashed his skull and drove his 
head down so that the chin was broken on the gunwale 
of the boat, that the iron bar was taken out in the boat, 
and tied to the body which was dropped in deep water. 
After the body was in the water some time it wanted to 
rise. The motion of the water, washing the body to and 
fro, cut the rope, the body rose and drifted forty miles to 
Long Point, near Port Rowan, where the lighthouse 
keeper found and buried it. This theory was upheld by 
the wounds on the head, the skull being smashed and the 
chin fractured. The shot heard by the Chutes was be- 
lieved by the prosecution to be a blind to account for 
Smith's presence in that vicinity, as if hunting for a grey 
fox. The rope was not a new rope. I searched the 
country for miles around, but could get no trace of 
where it was obtained. It was not an uncommon kind 
of rope. 

" We got a tug and dragged the lake in the vicinity. 
We found the bar, and a piece of rope, and Piggott 's hat. 
The hat was anchored to a stone. I learned also that 
after Piggott disappeared, Smith went to Buffalo, and on 
his return he said he had heard from Piggott while in 
Buffalo. 

" Havelock Smith was arrested on Tuesday, March 
24th. Arthur Belford, a friend of Smith, also was 
arrested, but later was discharged. The preliminary in- 
vestigation was quite lengthy. Smith was remanded for 
trial. Young William Piggott had gone to Oregon to 
live, and I went out to Portland, and brought him back 
on April 28th, and he gave evidence against Smith. 

" The trial of Havelock Smith began on Tuesday, No- 
vember 24th, 1885, at St. Thomas. Chief Justice Armour 
presided. It became a famous case. John Idington, of 



THE LONG POINT MYSTERY 233 

Stratford, prosecuted for the Crown, assisted by Donald 
Guthrie, of Guelph, and County Attorney James Coyne, 
now registrar of the county of Elgin. Colin Macdougall, 
James Robertson, and Edward Meredith defended Smith. 
The prosecution swore 108 witnesses. The defence 
swore a large number. The defence maintained that the 
body found by Dickinson, the lighthouse keeper, was not 
the body of Piggott. A Dr. McLay had obtained an 
order from the coroner, and had exhumed the body, and 
said that no one could tell whether it was the body of a 
white person or black person, man or woman. Aaron 
Dolby testified that Dr. McLay told Mrs. Dolby there 
was no doubt it was Piggott's body. The defence also 
put in an alibi with Smith's mother as the chief witness. 
An excerpt from the report of the charge of Chief Justice 
Armour to the jury will give a good idea of the trend of 
the testimony. The Chief Justice said, in part : 

" * The prisoner (Smith) had a motive and interest in 
removing Marshall Piggott. Had any other person an 
interest or motive ? If you believe that the body is that 
of Marshall Piggott and the note is a forgery, which could 
not be realised on except by the removal of the maker, 
then does not the evidence point conclusively to the 
prisoner as the perpetrator of the crimes ? Why did the 
prisoner make so many untrue statements ? What was 
the object of prisoner's visit to Buffalo ? He told several 
people he had received a letter from Marshall at Buffalo. 
Why wasn't the letter produced? Wasn't the whole 
thing a blind to throw suspicion off himself ? Who was 
it had the opportunity to kill Marshall, who had the 
motive, and who had the object ? If you have reasonable 
doubt as to the guilt of the prisoner, then it is your duty 
to acquit him. But this doubt must be a reasonable one, 
gentlemen. If, after sifting the evidence thoroughly, and 
eliminating all that you believe to be false, you think that 
the evidence is equally divided as to the guilt or the 
innocence of the prisoner, then it is your duty to acquit 
him. But, if on the other hand, the facts and circum- 
stances advanced by the Crown and the deductions to be 
drawn therefrom are, in your opinion, sufficiently strong 



234 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

to prove to you that Marshall Piggott met his death at 
the hands of an assassin, and that the prisoner was an 
active or passive participant in encompassing his death, 
then it is equally your duty to fearlessly and man- 
fully record your verdict of guilty. You may now re- 
tire.' 

" The jury deadlocked. It stood five for conviction 
and seven for acquittal, and could not agree. 

" The second trial was set for May, 1886. The defence 
was not ready, and the trial went over until September, 
1886, before Judge O'Connor, at St. Thomas. The case 
was fought out again. In selecting the jury for this 
second trial I objected strongly to certain jurors, but the 
Crown attorneys overruled me. They said they were 
satisfied the jurors were all right. They thought the de- 
fence would object to some of them. I said the de- 
fence would not object, and it then would be too late for 
the Crown. The panel was almost exhausted, and, against 
my urgent advice, they accepted two of these jurors. 
The result showed the jurors I objected to were the main- 
stay in holding out for a disagreement. The jury at this 
second trial stood seven for conviction and five for ac- 
quittal. The prisoner was released on $8,000 bonds. I 
advised a third trial, as there was no question in my mind 
as to who did it. Smith had a number of influential 
friends. His brothers, Harvey and William, were highly 
esteemed. William was a member of the County Council. 
At both trials there was great sympathy for Havelock 
Smith's family and relatives. 

" In this case the Chief Justice said to the jury : ' The 
only certainty that human affairs permits of is a high de- 
gree of probability. You are not expected to have direct 
evidence of a crime. If such were the law, ninety-nine 
out of one hundred guilty men would go unpunished. 
Criminals seek secrecy for their crimes. If a witness 
comes forward and says he saw a man kill another by a 
blow, or in any other way, there is always the possibility 
that he may be telling an untruth, and there must always 
be corroborative evidence of a circumstantial character.' 
The Chief Justice's charge, in the report, also contains 



JOHN STONE, GENTLEMAN 235 

the sentence : ' Circumstantial evidence is the best kind 
of evidence.' 

" I read a lot of praise of the circumstantial case of the 
Crown against Havelock Smith. My mind is undimmed 
by a doubt on this case. Smith, the last I heard, still 
was around in that vicinity, and Marshall Piggott lies 
buried not far away." 



XXXIX 
JOHN STONE, GENTLEMAN 

John Stone was a cynic, an atheist, and an English 
gentleman. He came of an ancient and honourable 
family. His father educated him for the Church of Eng- 
land and his mother's heart's desire was to see him a 
clergyman. He graduated from Harrow (preparatory 
school only) and was famed among his classmen for his 
brilliancy. Instead of training for the pulpit he de- 
veloped a yearning for the stage and he turned his back 
on the ministerial career planned by his parents, and 
devoted himself to the study of Shakespeare and the 
portrayal of Shakespearean roles. He married a Miss 
Morley, a relative of the Right Hon. John Morley, and 
after loitering for a year or two he suddenly packed his 
trunks and sailed, with his wife, for America. 

" He settled in Texas," says Murray, " and bought a 
large ranch not far from Dallas. Subsequently he moved 
into Dallas and was elected Mayor of Dallas and was re- 
elected. He was such a remarkable man, with such a 
command of language, that it is not strange he should 
become involved as the central figure in an affair which 
drew the attention of the President of the United States, 
the British Ambassador, the Attorney-General of the 
United States, and high officials of both Canada and the 
neighbouring country. 

" Stone had a sister, a Mrs. Asa Hodge, who came 
from England to Canada and lived in Beamsville, county 



236 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

of Lincoln, twenty miles from Suspension Bridge. > Her-' 
husband was a fruit grower. Mayor Stone of Dallas 
made occasional visits to New York, and on one of these' 
trips he called to see his sister. One of her children, 
Maude Hodge, was a beautiful girl of sixteen at thfs time^, 
John Stone, when he saw her liked her so much that hre 
took her back to Texas and kept her in his owjvframily, 
educating her with his own children. Several yeaite lajjer 
Mrs. Hodge went to Texas to visit her brother and 
daughter. She did not like the lool**of things. Maude 
had grown to a lovely young woman of nineteen, and 
John Stone regarded her with jealous affection. Mrs. 
Hodge took her daughter away from Stone and brought 
her home to Beamsville, very much against Stone's 
wishes. 4ji 

" John Stone tarried in Texas for. a short time, and 
then he, too, went to Beamsville, where Maude was liv- 
ing. He started a che^e factory, an«Kmoved his family 
from Dallas to Beamsville. Maude Hodge became his 
clerk in the factory. At that time^Stone was a man 
about forty-five years old, of remarkable personality and 
amazing command of language. He was a man of re- 
fined appearance, with sandy-brown hair and grey eyes, 
and rather classic features. One of his chief pleasures 
was to inveigh against churches and clergymen, and to 
mock at the calling for which he had been educated. 
He proclaimed himself an atheist, a believer in no church 
and in no creed. He denounced Christians as pretenders 
and the Christian life as a delusion and a sham. Con- 
sequently, when Maude, his favourite, became acquainted 
with Miss Chapman, a very fine lady and sister of the 
Rev. I. M. Chapman, pastor of the Baptist Church of 
Beamsville, John Stone was displeased greatly. As Miss 
Chapman's influence over Maude grew, the young girl 
began to weary of her uncle's employ and went to the 
factory reluctantly. At length, in January, 1886, she 
stayed away from the factory, remaining at her own 
home with her mother. John Stone waited in vain for 
her return. On January 5th he went to her house. 
Maude and her mother were sitting in the kitchen, 



ty"*Av * t ^ 



JOHN STONE, GENTLEMAN 237 

chatting, about two o'clock in the afternoon, when Stone 
walked in. 

" ' Is Asa in ? ' he asked Mrs. Hodge. 

" Asa was out. Mrs. Hodge said he would return 
presently. John Stone stepped over to Maude, opened 
his coat, drew something from an inside pocket and held 
it out to Maude. 

" ' Well, Maude, I guess you and I will close issues,' 
he said, as he opened his coat. 

" The girl saw him draw forth the revolver and offer it 
to her. She shrank back. 

" * Maude, shoot me,' said John Stone, holding out the 
revolver to her. 

" Mrs. Hodge screamed and begged her brother not to 
shoot. Stone, without a word, fired three shots at his 
favourite. Mrs. Hodge ran out of the house shrieking. 
As she ran she heard a fourth shot, John Stone had 
walked to the door, put the pistol to his head and shot 
himself. Mrs. Hodge and several of the neighbours 
hurried to the house. Maude staggered out of the door 
and fell in the yard. She was carried to the house of a 
neighbour, Mrs. Konkle, and Drs. Jessop and McLean 
attended her, locating one bullet in the left side below the 
heart and another near the left shoulder blade. Stone 
was taken to his own home. The doctors thought both 
would die. Two constables were set to guard Stone at 
his own house, night and day. He hovered on the verge 
of death for five weeks, and suddenly, to everybody's 
surprise, he began to recover. Towards the middle of 
February the doctors said he soon could be removed to 
St. Catherine's gaol. 

" I talked with him at that time and he impressed me 
as one of the most fluent talkers I ever had heard. 
Words flowed in a ceaseless, unbroken stream. His 
vocabulary was remarkable. 

" ' It was a high ambition ; these things cannot always 
be accounted for,' he said, referring to the shooting. 

" In February a stranger, giving the name of Mr. 
Matthews, arrived in Beamsville. No one knew who he 
was or whence he came. He disappeared as suddenly as 



238 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

he had appeared. John Stone also disappeared. This 
was on February 14th. One of the constables guarding 
him possibly was not so much surprised as some others 
over his escape. I went to Beamsville and traced Stone, 
where he had driven in a carriage to Suspension Bridge 
and had crossed to the States and had taken a train. 
There I lost him. I returned to Beamsville and learned 
that Mr. Matthews had a satchel with him marked 
' H.W.M., Balto.' I prepared extradition papers and 
went to Baltimore and found that Hugh W. Matthews, a 
rich manufacturer, lived in a fine mansion at No. 263, 
West Lanvale Street, and was a prominent business man 
of high standing, in that city. On inquiry I ascertained 
that he was a brother-in-law of John Stone. It was 
March 5th when I arrived in Baltimore and I called on 
Chief Jacob Frey, an old friend. He detailed Detective 
Albert Gait to assist me. On March 6th Gait and I 
went to the Matthews's house and walked in and found 
John Stone lying on a lounge in the library gazing idly 
at the ceiling. I had laid an information before United 
States Commissioner Rogers, and Gait arrested Stone. 

" In a twinkling the whole household, servants and all, 
were around us saying John Stone was ill and we could 
not take him. Dr. Bacon and Dr. Harvey hurried in, 
summoned by a member of the household, and told us 
we must not lay a hand on John Stone, as it would en- 
danger his life. Discretion was the better part of valour. 
Stone had seemed quite comfortable when we entered, 
but he seemed to sink rapidly in five minutes. It may 
have been due to his earlier love for the stage and acting. 
I was satisfied he was shamming, and I left Gait with 
him in case he tried to escape again. I went back to 
Police Headquarters and saw Chief Frey and told him 
what had happened. 

" ' All right,' said Frey. ' If there he's ill, there he stays.' 
" Frey detailed two more detectives, Tom Barringer 
and Mark Hagen, to join Gait. The three detectives ar- 
ranged their tours of duty in shifts of eight hours, and 
they watched John Stone, keeping him in actual sight 
day and night. 



JOHN STONE, GENTLEMAN 239 

" I called on Commissioner Rogers and on United 
States Marshal John McClintock. They said they could 
do nothing. I went to Washington and called on Sir 
Sackville West, then British Ambassador, and stated my 
case. Sir Sackville West called a carriage and drove me 
to the State Department. Thomas F. Bayard was Sec- 
retary of State. He was deaf as a post. We shouted 
the case to Mr. Bayard. He said he did not know what 
he could do until the case came into court. I returned 
to the British Legation with Sir Sackville, who was a 
very nice little gentleman. He advised me to get an 
American lawyer. He also gave me a letter to Dennis 
O'Donohue, at Baltimore, one of the oldest British Con- 
suls on the continent. After leaving Sir Sackville I went 
to call on my old friend Senator Daniel W. Voorhees, 
of Indiana, who had been my counsel before in various 
extradition cases including the Meagher case in Indian- 
apolis. He was living at The Portland and was indis- 
posed, but he sent word for me to come right up. 

" Three justices of the United States Supreme Court 
were calling on Senator Voorhees at the time. They 
were Justice Gray, Justice Field, and another. It was 
March 22d. Voorhees made me blush telling the judges 
of old cases and heaping flattery on me. 

" ' What is it this time, Murray ? ' he asked. ' Out with 
it. These gentlemen have heard cases stated before now 
— desperate cases, too, and desperately stated.' 

" I told the case right then and there, the whole story, 
while the four men, three justices of the United States 
Supreme Court and Senator Voorhees listened. 

" ' Is he dying ? ' they asked. 

" ' I think he is feigning,' said I. 

" ' Suppose he pleads insanity ? ' said one of the justices. 

" ' It would not be upheld,' said I. 

" ' But if the Commissioner decided against you ? ' he 
asked. 

" ' Murray would appeal, so beware, gentlemen, be- 
ware,' said Senator Voorhees. 

" The three justices departed, and I asked Senator 
Voorhees to take the case. He said he could not. 



240 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

" ' But as an old friend I'll assist you in every way,' he 
said. 

" I explained to him that Stone, through his rich 
brother-in-law, had retained William Pinckney White 
(former Governor of Maryland), ex-Judge Garey, W. M. 
Simpson, and Governor White's son, four able lawyers 
and influential men, to fight his case for him. Voorhees 
instantly told me not to be anxious, but to call the next 
morning and we would go to the Department of Justice. 
I did so, and Senator Voorhees and I called on Attor- 
ney-General A. H. Garland. 

" ' Mr. Murray is a particular friend of mine, an officer 
of Canada, who has come here after a refugee from justice 
named John Stone,' said Senator Voorhees. 

" The Attorney-General questioned me, and I told him 
I was morally certain Stone was feigning. Mr. Garland 
dictated a letter to Marshal McClintock in Baltimore, and 
suggested a commission of United States surgeons be ap- 
pointed to go to Baltimore and examine Stone, and see 
if he could be removed with safety. The letter of the 
Attorney-General of the United States to Marshal Mc- 
Clintock read : 

' Department of Justice, 

' Washington, March 23d, 1886. 
' 1 999- 1 886. 
' John McClintock, Esq., 

' United States Marshal, 

1 Baltimore, Md. 
'Sir, 

' It has been brought to my attention that John 
Stone is under arrest on an application by the Canadian 
authorities for extradition, and fears are entertained that 
Stone may make his escape, and avoid the investigation 
necessary to his extradition. I hope you will see to it, 
and take every precaution to that end, that he is safely 
kept until that examination is had. You will spare no 
pains to effect this. 

' I am more particular in this matter than ordinarily, 
because last summer, on an application by this Govern- 



JOHN STONE, GENTLEMAN 241 

merit to the Canadian authorities for the extradition of 
an offender against our laws, every facility was afforded 
us and everything done by those authorities to enable us 
to bring back the offender, which we did, and I cannot 
afford to put this Government into the attitude of lacking 
in the proper comity towards those people. If any ad- 
ditional expense is necessary to secure this man's attend- 
ance, it will be paid by this Department. 

' I have written to the Treasury Department that they 
request Surgeon Meade to make the examination which 
you desire. 

1 Very respectfully, 

' A. H. Garland, 

' Attorney-General.' 

•' Two United States surgeons proceeded to Baltimore 
after our call on the Attorney-General. I went on the 
same train. They drove to the Matthews' house. There 
they were joined by the family physicians, Dr. Bacon 
and Dr. Harvey, and two or three others. The civilian 
doctors already were in favour of the prisoner, for Stone 
was a prisoner in the Matthews' mansion. After the ex- 
amination, the opinion of all the surgeons was that the 
removal of the prisoner would be dangerous, and any 
undue excitement might cause a rush of blood to the 
head and rupture a blood vessel, causing death instantly. 
The two United States surgeons returned to Washington 
and made a report to this effect. I also returned to 
Washington and saw Voorhees, and induced him to take 
the case. We called on Attorney-General Garland again, 
and saw him and his first assistant, Heber May, of In- 
diana, a friend of Senator Voorhees. Then Senator 
Voorhees and I went to Baltimore, and the three detect- 
ives who were watching Stone night and day told Senator 
Voorhees that Stone was feigning. 

" Senator Voorhees, as counsel, had a writ of show 
cause issued on Marshal McClintock to learn why he 
could not produce John Stone in Court before Commis- 
sioner Rogers. The Marshal appeared with the affidavits 
of the doctors that Stone could not be moved. Matters 



242 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

went on, the three detectives keeping John Stone in sight 
every minute of the time. Sir Sackville West sent me a 
private note to call on him at the Legation. I did so, 
and stated what had occurred, and he was greatly pleased 
over what had been done. Senator Voorhees and I went 
to Baltimore again and again and again, for over four 
months, each time getting a show cause order, to which 
Marshal McClintock would reply with affidavits of the 
doctors. 

" In June I called on President Cleveland, whom I had 
known in Buffalo. 

" The Department of Justice ordered a second com- 
mission of United States surgeons to examine Stone. 
They did so, and reported that Stone could be moved 
with safety, from the fact that wherever the bullet was, it 
would be imbedded permanently now, and not apt to 
cause any trouble. This examination was held on Fri- 
day, July 9th, and the report was made the next day. 
Tuesday, July 20th, was set as the date for the hearing 
before Commissioner Rogers. It was a memorable hear- 
ing in the history of extradition cases. For the prosecu- 
tion appeared United States Senator Daniel W. Voor- 
hees, Assistant Attorney-General of the United States 
Heber May, Paul Jones, a nephew of Voorhees, and 
United States District Attorney Thomas Hayes. For 
the defence appeared ex-Governor William Pinckney 
White, his son, and ex-Judge Garey, and W. M. Simp- 
son. The hearing began on Tuesday, and continued 
every day until Saturday. The defence, as the Justice 
of the United States Supreme Court had foreseen, ad- 
vanced the plea of insanity. To this the prosecution 
objected, and very rightly, stating that was for a jury, 
and not for a Commissioner, to determine ; and I believe 
that the Justices of the United States Supreme Court 
would have taken this view of it. The defence brought 
witnesses and doctors all the way from Texas to prove 
John Stone did remarkable and irrational things. 

" They swore John Stone imagined at times that he 
was Napoleon, and that he rode with a cloak and sword 
on the prairies, that he reviewed imaginary armies, and 



JOHN STONE, GENTLEMAN 243 

that he delighted imaginary audiences. They swore 
Maude Hodge, the girl whom he had shot, and who had 
recovered, and her mother, Mrs. Maloma Hodge, who 
swore that on the day of the shooting John Stone's eyes 
were like those of a raving maniac. Hugh W. Matthews 
and Mrs. Matthews also were sworn. When it came to 
the arguments, a two-horse waggon would not carry off 
the law books used by counsel. I got a post-graduate 
course in extradition law that I never will forget. Com- 
missioner Rogers decided John Stone was insane. I 
went to Washington. 

" ' You'll appeal, won't you, Murray,' said Attorney- 
General Garland. 

" « Yes,' said I, ' but I must see the Attorney-General 
of Ontario first.' 

" I returned to Toronto, and conferred with Premier 
Mowat. He thought we had done all in our power, and 
it would appear too vindictive, as if we were after blood, 
to push it further. If I had foreseen this I would not 
have conferred with him. I went back to Washington 
to settle up the matter. I called on Senator Voorhees, 
and we went to see Attorney-General Garland. 

" ' Murray's come here with a pocketful of Canada 
money,' said Voorhees to Garland jokingly. « What shall 
we do ; take it away from him ? ' 

" ' Oh, no,' said Attorney-General Garland. ' In re- 
spect to our friend, we'll bear the burden of these ex- 
penses, and his Government of course will appreciate the 
splendid work he has done.' 

" Attorney-General Garland directed that all expenses, 
the Commissioner, Marshal, witnesses, doctors, and de- 
tectives, amounting to several thousand dollars, be paid 
by the United States. The three detectives were on duty 
watching Stone one hundred and thirty days. They re- 
ceived $5 each a day, or a total of $1,950. Chief Frey 
and his staff gave a banquet for me before I left. He 
and his men stood true through the entire case, and could 
not be swerved. They are of God's own people in the 
police business. 

" John Stone was discharged in Baltimore. He went 



244 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

to Texas, as well as ever. Two years later eczema broke 
out, and shortly thereafter he died. The bullet was found 
imbedded in his brain. After hearing this, I investigated 
the matter of foreign substances in the brain. I found a 
case reported in New Hampshire where a man was blast- 
ing, the charge hung fire, he tampered with it, and the 
crowbar was blown up to the top of his head, so that two 
men had to pull it out, and yet he lived. A German case 
was reported where a man, desiring to commit suicide, 
drove two chisels into his head with a mallet. They 
caused him such pain that he yelled, and help came, and 
pulled them out, and he lived. Marvellous things happen 
to the brain, and the persons still live. 

" The case of John Stone was remarkable, not alone 
for the bullet in the brain. John Stone was a remarkable 
man, with a brain full of stranger things than bullets, but 
we were entitled to a jury trial of his case, and in this I 
feel that my opinion would have been upheld by the 
Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States. I 
do not, of course, mean to say that I know whereof I 
speak. I heard Stone died in the midst of vain imagin- 
ings." 



XL 
BATES OF ALLANBURG'S FUNERAL PYRE 

Delusions of grandeur adorned the closing years of 
the life of one of the picturesque country characters of 
Canada. He was Old Bates of Allanburg. He lived in 
a comfortable house with his wife, and the old couple 
were known widely in the county of Welland. Both 
were deaf. Old Bates had heart disease, and finally 
dropsy developed. To brighten his burdensome days 
the hand of affliction mercifully touched his mind, and 
thereafter the old man's troubles fell away. 

" Dr. Blackstock, of Thorold, attended him for many 
months," says Murray. " The doctor's skill did much to 
make the old man comfortable. But he gave little heed 



BATES'S FUNERAL PYRE 245 

to the actual affairs of life. He dwelt in an imaginary 
world peopled with strange beings. He saw a neighbour- 
ing farmer passing his house one day, and invited him to 
stay to tea. The farmer reluctantly accepted, lest he 
should offend the old man. Old Bates welcomed him 
with much ceremony, and bade him feel perfectly at home 
among the distinguished guests. All were personal 
friends of Old Bates. 

" ' Napoleon,' said Old Bates, speaking to the cupboard, 
' this is a personal friend of mine ' ; and, continuing to 
the neighbour, he said : ' Shake hands with the Emperor. 
He's a little fellow, but he's ploughed a big furrow in his 
day.' 

" After laughing and patting the imaginary Napoleon 
on the back, Old Bates led the neighbour aside, and point- 
ing to a table said : ' That black moustached, handsome 
man is a villain and a scoundrel, and his weakness is slap- 
ping the faces of sunflowers. He is cruel to them.' 
Pointing to an ironing-board he said : ' That tall man is a 
gentleman. He and I often chat together for hours in 
the night. He is in love with the moon.' Turning 
towards a chair, Old Bates whispered : ' That fellow with 
the red scar on his face is an incendiary. He sets fires all 
over the world. He has stopped here on a visit to Na- 
poleon, and is going away in a day or two. He's a 
very agreeable fellow in the winter, but in the summer he 
gets oppressive. That venerable, white-bearded fellow 
beyond him is a prophet and the son of a prophet. He 
knows all that is to happen, and forgets all that has hap- 
pened. That pale-faced fellow in the corner is dying of 
fright ; he has the fear fever. He is afraid of everything 
he sees, and of everything else because he cannot see it. 
He sleeps with a lighted candle at the head of the bed. 
If the night wind blows the candle out he will die. I 
sympathise with him. It is an awful thing to die in the 
dark. You cannot see where you are going. You may 
stumble into the wrong world in the hereafter. Napo- 
leon says that he intends to make a lantern out of some 
stars when he goes.' 

" Old Bates chatted confidentially with the neighbour 



246 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

and then with members of the invisible company. He 
bade them all look well at the neighbour, so they would 
know him if they ever met him again. Old Bates laughed 
with the imaginary incendiary, had a great joke with the 
tall gentleman, and engaged in a thoughtful, earnest dis- 
cussion with the prophet. The people of his imagination 
lived and moved and had their being in his existence. 
Old Bates summoned them all to the table, and told them 
to eat, drink, and be merry. He listened intently while 
the phantom Napoleon told of great war-fires he had 
kindled, and Old Bates applauded excitedly as he seemed 
to hear the fiery tale of flames roaring on all sides of an 
advancing army, devouring the land. He shook hands 
enthusiastically with Napoleon, and declared it was too 
bad he had not been born an Englishman. 

" The neighbour humoured the old man, and after tea 
he went his way. Old Bates continued with the figures 
of his fancy, the old man ruling a motley company. He 
never was violent, but always was gentle and peaceable. 
They entertained him well, and at times they sang ; for 
Old Bates suddenly would burst into rollicking choruses 
and clasp hands with imaginary hands extended out of 
the world of unreality. The hobby of the old man was 
fire or light. He disliked the dark. He believed in 
brightness and brilliancy, and a sudden light or shining 
would delight him. 

"On the morning of February 6th, 1886, neighbours 
who passed the house observed the windows were bar- 
ricaded and all the doors were shut. There was no sign 
of Old Bates or his wife ; but smoke from the chimney 
told that they were inside, and probably getting break- 
fast. The barricading was attributed to the whims of the 
old man, who may have withstood a heavy attack on his 
home from fancied foes in the night, or who might have 
rallied with Napoleon to fight again one of the mighty 
battles of the French Empire. 

" That night the home of Old Bates burned. The 
neighbours saw the glare in the sky and hastened to the 
house, but were too late. It burned to the ground, leav- 
ing a waste of ashes and a cellar full of charred timbers. 



BATES'S FUNERAL PYRE 247 

In a corner of the cellar sat Old Bates, dead, with a 
butcher's knife in his hand. Near by lay Mrs. Bates. 
She had been stabbed from head to foot, tattooed with 
knife-jabs. There was not a spot on her body as large as 
your hand that had not been stabbed or gashed with a 
knife. 

" There was great excitement, of course, among the 
neighbours. They were divided as to how it had hap- 
pened. Many believed a burglar or an incendiary had 
stolen in upon the old couple and robbed them, and mur- 
dered the old woman and thrown the old man into the 
cellar and then fired the house. In fact, this view spread 
until a fellow named Neil McKeague, who had been ap- 
prehended once in Chicago, was looked on as one who 
should be arrested. I satisfied myself absolutely that he 
was not near the Bates's place, and could not have 
reached there within some hours of the tragedy. It was 
difficult to persuade or convince many of the people of 
this. They had become aroused by the crime, and it had 
stirred them out of their calmer judgment, and they were 
ready to fasten suspicion or belief of guilt on any person 
available for a culprit. But the jury took our view of it, 
and McKeague was not held after the inquest. 

" Then came an incident that served to justify fully our 
course. A son of Mrs. Bates lived at Port Rowan. He 
said that on the night of the fire he was asleep in his bed 
in his home at Port Rowan, when, in a dream, he saw his 
father barricade the doors and windows, then stealthily 
approach the bed where his wife was sleeping and drag 
her out and make her kneel on the floor while he seized 
a knife and stabbed her from head to foot. Then, in the 
dream, the old man set fire to the house, his face bright- 
ening and his eyes gleaming as he saw the tiny flame 
creep over the floor and leap up and lick the bed and 
rush roaring through the house. In the dream, the son 
said, he saw his mother die ; he heard her cry for help ; 
he saw his father, knife in hand, sit calmly back and face 
the flames, as if he were gazing upon good friends. The 
son told the dream, in the morning, to his wife. While 
he was telling it, he said, the telegram came informing 



248 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

him of the fire, and of the finding of the bodies of Mrs. 
Bates and Old Bates. The son said the bodies were 
found precisely as he had seen them in the dream. 

" This statement of the dream by the son was accepted 
as absolutely true by many of the people, and it put an 
end to any talk that an outsider had fired the house. 
Some of the country folk travelled miles to hear this 
story, and some looked upon the dream as a revelation 
to the son in order to prevent the arrest or trial of an in- 
nocent man. 

" In this case I had some remarkable illustrations of 
the inaccuracy of the average man or woman's descrip- 
tion of a person. Even when they know a person well, 
they fail to describe the person perfectly. In the Bates 
case, for instance, I had descriptions of Bates himself, in 
which he had a full beard, was smooth-shaven, had white 
hair, had black hair, was six feet tall, was four feet tall, 
walked with a crutch, had one leg, had one eye, and so 
on. Many folk are inclined to agree to your question, 
that is, to answer it in the affirmative. I remember that 
at some of the places I stopped I tried this, and the an- 
swers were ' yes ' almost invariably. 

" ' He had a black moustache, had he ? ' I asked, about 
a supposed stranger seen a week before in that part of the 
country. 

" « Yes,' was the reply. 

" ' And he had a big scar over his left eye?' I asked 
eagerly. 

" ' Yes,' was the reply. 

"'And his hair was purplish over the forehead?' I 
went on excitedly. 

" ' Yes, kind of purplish,' was the reply. 

'"On his left hand he had a sixth finger?' I ex- 
claimed. 

" ' Yes, on his left hand,' was the reply. 

" It was all imaginary, of course. They meant well, 
and probably desired to be obliging, or did not wish to 
disappoint me. This incident supplies an exaggerated 
illustration of what I mean. If you should doubt the 
accuracy of this observation, select six acquaintances 



A SPREADER OF ARSENIC 249 

whom you know fairly well — not your most intimate 
friends, but six whom you see frequently. Jot down de- 
tailed descriptions of them in their absence ; as to height, 
weight, colour of eyes and hair, and marks like visible 
scars or birth-marks. Then compare these descriptions 
with the originals. The test will be full of surprises. I 
have met people, on the other hand, who had a mere 
casual glance at a stranger, yet gave a description simply 
perfect in its accuracy and completeness of detail. 

" The Bates case had no outsider in it. Old Bates did 
it alone. He may have been in the clutches of one of 
his invisible company at the time. The incendiary who 
set fires all over the world may have overpowered him. 
The villain who slapped the faces of sunflowers may 
have seized the butcher's knife and stabbed the old 
woman. The pale-faced fellow with the fever of fear 
upon him may have appealed to Old Bates not to let him 
die in the dark. The old man may have yielded to the 
plea and summoned Napoleon, and sat back calmly to 
face death, delighted that he also did not have to die in 
the dark." 



XLI 

A SPREADER OF ARSENIC 

Cattle poisoning in Canada is a crime certain to be 
punished severely. Some of the finest cattle in the 
world are bred in Ontario, and the province is watchful 
in its protection of them. Near Cortland village, in the 
county of Norfolk, in 1886, Dr. McKay, a breeder and 
raiser of fancy stock, had a choice herd on a large tract 
of land. There were beauties in the herd, and the doctor 
justly was proud of them. 

" In the spring of that year a number of the doctor's 
fine cattle died suddenly," says Murray. " They had not 
been sick or off their feed, and their unexpected death 
immediately aroused the doctor's suspicions. A week 



250 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

later, more of the cattle died in the same manner. They 
dropped as if struck by invisible lightning. The doctor 
notified the department. I suspected poisoning, and 
went to investigate. I obtained the viscera of some of 
the cattle, and had an analysis made, and it revealed the 
presence of arsenic in large quantities. That proved 
positively the poisoning theory. The probable way for 
giving arsenic would be with the salt. Cattle love salt, 
and when it is sprinkled on the ground they will lick the 
earth to get it. The traces of salt were not easily found 
when I arrived, but I discovered one spot that still 
showed traces of it, and I carefully dug it up, and had 
the top of the earth analysed, and faint traces of arsenic 
were found. In some of the spots where the cattle had 
fallen dead the grass had been licked to the ground. 

" All that summer the cattle kept dying. They would 
go out in the morning healthy and strong, and suddenly 
drop dead in the field or by the roadside. I talked with 
Dr. McKay, and asked him if he ever had any quarrel or 
trouble with a neighbour. He recalled one man, Robert 
Morrow, who lived near, and who formerly had taken 
contracts from the doctor for draining or otherwise im- 
proving the doctor's land. On one occasion, a year or 
more before, Morrow became dissatisfied over a contract, 
and sued the doctor. Dr. McKay said he had offered to 
leave the matter to arbitration or to one or three of the 
neighbours, but Morrow wanted law, and told the doctor 
that if he did not pay him what he asked he would get 
even with him. Months passed, and suddenly the 
doctor's cattle began to die. 

" I met Morrow casually, and I did not like his looks. 
I placed two men to watch Morrow all that summer. 
The months went by, and they could not catch him. 
The cattle kept dying, and finally in December of that 
year I went to Cortland, and took up the matter of Mor- 
row's actions. There was no spot near his house con- 
venient for hiding except a tree. So I sent a man, who 
slipped up in the twilight, and climbed the tree, and 
waited. For three nights I did this unknown to any one, 
and Morrow never so much as stuck his head out of the 



A SPREADER OF ARSENIC 251 

door. On the fourth night, after one o'clock in the 
morning, my watcher heard the door open softly, and a 
figure slipped out and started along in the shadow of the 
fence. My watcher waited until he was well started, and 
then slid down out of the tree. As he began to slide his 
coat caught and held him. It was a lucky catch, for, as 
he drew himself up, he saw the figure stealthily sneaking 
round the house. It was Morrow, and he was investi- 
gating his own premises to make sure he was not being 
watched. The watcher sat silent on his perch in the tree 
and saw him enter the house, then reappear, carrying a 
small bag. He glided away in the darkness, and my man 
followed. The pursuer fancied he heard him once, but 
was careful not to crowd upon him. The result was, he 
lost him. 

" Along a fence near McKay's he disappeared, and the 
watcher crawled to and fro, looking for him in vain. At 
length he gave him up, and crept out into McKay's field, 
and there came upon newly laid salt. In fact, he had his 
hands in it before he discovered it. He carefully brushed 
up enough to fill a cup. This he put in a bag, and 
tucked away in his pocket. Then he went to McKay's, 
and told them not to turn out any cattle in that particular 
field. It was daylight when he reported to me. I started 
at once to Morrow's. 

" Morrow was standing outside when I approached the 
house. 

" ' Good-morning,' said I. 

" ' Morning to you,' said he. ' Nice day.' 

" ' Fine,' said I. ' By the way, where did this salt in 
McKay's field come from ? ' and I produced the bag. 

" Morrow gasped, then paled — I almost pitied him. 
He stared, and shook like a man with the ague. I waited. 
He twitched, and shivered, and gasped. 

" ' Are you ill ? ' I asked him. 

" • I don't feel well this morning,' said he. ' Bilious ; 
bad stomach ; indigestion.' 

" * Ah ! ' said I. « Salt's just the thing. Nothing like 
salt to fix the stomach. Have some ? ' and I held up the 
bag. 



2$2 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

" Morrow shrank as if I had offered to shoot him 
through the heart. He clapped one hand to his mouth, 
and suddenly began to hiccup. He actually grew sick, 
gulping like a landlubber in a heavy sea. I pocketed 
the salt and went over to him. 

" ' Some of this salt was on the food you ate for break- 
fast,' I said, for he was so flustered he did not know what 
was coming next. ' You must have eaten it.' 

" He writhed and moaned. He verily seemed to fear 
he had been poisoned. While he retched and groaned I 
searched his house and found arsenic. I arrested him, 
and told him to stop belching, as he was not going to 
die. He was as relieved as a man reprieved on the gal- 
lows. The black cap of death seemed lifted from his 
head when he learned he had not eaten of the salt he had 
poisoned. 

" I took Morrow to Simcoe gaol, and on December 
22d he was committed for trial. He was tried before 
Judge Matthew Crooks Cameron at the Spring Assizes in 
1887, and was sent to Kingston Penitentiary for seven 
years. I not only had the evidence of the arsenic in his 
house, but I learned also where he bought the arsenic. 
Dr. McKay lost over fifty head of cattle, but all of them 
combined did not suffer agonies equal to those endured 
by Morrow on the morning he retched and moaned in 
the belief that he had eaten of his own poisoned mess. 
It was drastic, but deserved. Morrow had an im- 
aginary taste of his own mixing. It stirred him to the 
innermost parts of his being. He almost gave up the 
ghost." 



XLII 

FOR A MESS OF POTTAGE 

Ben Hagaman was his mother's pet. She coddled 
him as a child, and pampered him as a youth. His 
father was a rich merchant of Ridgetown, Ontario, and 



FOR A MESS OF POTTAGE 253 

his brother-in-law was a prosperous, successful business 
man. His uncle was Benjamin Hagaman, the Chicago 
millionaire, who was a bachelor, and after whom young 
Ben had been named. 

" Young Ben stood to inherit old Ben's fortune," says 
Murray. " He was a sunny-tempered, merry, good- 
looking, likeable young fellow, and his shrewd, rich old 
uncle was very fond of him. All Ben needed to do was 
to learn the ways of business under his uncle's super- 
vision, and in due time he would inherit millions. Young 
Ben knew this. His uncle took him when he was of age 
and taught him something of business, and in the course 
of giving him practical experience old Ben sent young 
Ben out to Fargo, North Dakota, and made him paying 
teller in his bank there. Young Ben seemed to do well, 
but one day he unexpectedly returned to Canada and 
settled down again at the old home. No word came 
from old Ben, and no explanation was given by young 
Ben. In due time young Ben had married, and had two 
children. 

" Sir William P. Howland, of Toronto, ex-Lieutenant- 
Governor of the Province, met young Ben. Sir William 
was the head of Howland, Jones & Co., and had large 
flour mills at Thorold. He needed a bookkeeper there, 
and when young Ben, son of the rich Ridgetown mer- 
chant and nephew of the Chicago multi-millionaire, 
applied to him, he employed Ben in the capacity not 
only of bookkeeper, but confidential clerk at the Thorold 
mills. Sir William instructed young Ben to keep an eye 
on Sir William's partner, who was as honest a man as the 
sun ever shone upon. Young Ben nodded wisely, aware 
instantly that Sir William might distrust his partner 
despite their close relations. 

" Young Ben quickly familiarised himself with his 
duties. He learned that grain was bought by the car- 
load, and was paid for by cheques drawn by the book- 
keeper and signed by Mr. Jones, Sir William's partner. 
Young Ben was deft with a pen. After the arrival of a 
consignment of grain valued at $470, young Ben wrote 
out a cheque with a little interval after the * four ' in the 



254 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

* four hundred and seventy.' He took the cheque to Mr. 
Jones, who signed it as usual. Young Ben then took the 
signed cheque and added ' teen ' to the ' four,' making it 
read ' fourteen hundred and seventy,' and put a ' I ' after 
the ' $ ' before the ' 470/ making it $1,470, and thereby 
raising the cheque $1,000. He arranged the indorsement 
also, and sent it through the bank. Between September 
and December, 1886, young Ben did this sixteen times, 
getting $1,000 each time, or $16,000, apart from the 
amount actually due for grain. On December 20th he 
went away, saying he would be back on the 22d. He did 
not return, and the firm's balance at the bank showed 
$16,000 missing. Before disappearing Ben made a fare- 
well visit to Toronto, where he bought some elegant 
jewellery from W. P. Ellis, including some costly dia- 
monds. Part of the jewellery he succeeded in obtaining 
on credit. 

" Sir William was dumfounded. He could not bring 
himself to believe that young Ben had robbed him. Yet 
there were the cheques, each for $1,000 more than the 
proper amount. Mr. Jones was sure they had been 
raised after he had signed them. Finally the matter 
came to my attention, and on January 24th, 1887, I took 
it up. I first learned that old Ben, the Chicago million- 
aire, had washed his hands of his precious namesake after 
young Ben had made away with some $4,000 or $5,000 
not belonging to him in the Fargo bank. Old Ben had 
said that ended it between him and his nephew, and he 
had packed young Ben back home. If young Ben had 
straightened out and worked steadily, old Ben would have 
taken him again, for the uncle was fond of the nephew, 
and was greatly pleased when young Ben went to work 
for Sir William P. Howland. 

" I traced young Ben to Michigan, then to Chicago, 
and then to Denver. He had money, and spent it freely. 
He started out as B. Hatfield, then he became W. T. 
Schufeldt, then he called himself Frank Bruce, and next he 
was masquerading as J. Peter Sonntag. I telegraphed 
his description all over the country, and heard from him 
under these names as having been in these places. His 



FOR A MESS OF POTTAGE 255 

description was such that it was easy to identify him ; and 
so long as he had money he would be in public places, 
for he was a lavish spender, a high liver, and a gay sport. 
The love of high living was one of the roots of his evil. 
I conferred with the Pinkerton people, who also were 
looking for young Ben, and finally I prepared extradition 
papers and started for the States, and Ben was arrested 
in San Francisco as he was taking steamer to leave the 
country. Instead of J. Peter Sonntag, or any of his other 
aliases, Ben at this time gave the name of plain P. Sontag. 
" Benny Peter Sontag Hagaman had been living a 
merry life in San Francisco. He was a thoroughbred in 
the Pacific coast city. He frequented Patsy Hogan's, 
and was in with the swiftest boys in the town. He had 
hired a box in a safety vault in a trust company, and had 
deposited in it thousands of dollars in cash, and a lot of 
diamonds and jewellery. I arrived in San Francisco on 
February 1st. Sir William P. Howland had telegraphed 
to some friend of his to engage counsel. His friend had 
engaged Davis Louderback, and he did not prove very 
satisfactory. I appeared on February 2d before United 
States Commissioner Sawyer. Ben was arraigned, and 
remanded for eight days. He prepared to fight extra- 
dition, and W. W, Bishop defended him. Bishop, Ben's 
lawyer, and Louderback, my lawyer, hired by Sir 
William's friend, visited the prisoner several times in 
gaol. Everything uttered before the Commissioner was 
ordered to be taken down, until there were volumes of 
evidence. Ben was remanded for extradition, and I was 
informed the papers had gone to Washington for the 
warrant of surrender. I waited and heard nothing, and 
promptly telegraphed to the British Legation at Wash- 
ington that the forms of the treaty had been complied 
with and copies of the proceedings had been sent to the 
State Department, and I asked that the warrant of sur- 
render be sent to me as soon as possible. Sir Sackville 
West replied that inquiry at the State Department showed 
no papers had arrived there in the case, and the Depart- 
ment knew nothing of it. I called on Louderback, and 
got very little satisfaction out of him. 



256 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

" I then called on Commissioner Sawyer. He was a 
nephew of Judge Sawyer. He said the papers had not 
been sent to Washington, and had to be paid for before 
they would be transmitted. He said the charge was $\ 50. 
I told him I would pay if he would give me an itemised 
bill. He refused, but finally gave me a receipt for $150. 
The papers were so bulky that the postage on them was 
$11. The postmaster was quite unlike some of the other 
people I met in San Francisco, and he treated me most 
courteously, and franked the papers for me, which the 
Commissioner had refused to do. 

" While I was waiting for the warrant of surrender to 
arrive from- Washington, I began to puzzle over what 
further steps might be taken to get young Ben out. I 
knew that the money he had would be of great value to 
him in this emergency, and I finally concluded that it 
was quite possible for young Ben to be brought in on a 
writ of habeas corpus and discharged without my knowl- 
edge, in the event of a failure of counsel to notify me. 
So I went over the heads of all the lawyers and lesser 
officials, and called on Judges Sawyer and Hofman and 
stated the whole case to them, explaining how I consid- 
ered I was handicapped. They told me there would be 
no discharge of young Ben on a writ of habeas corpus, 
and I breathed easier. The warrant of surrender had 
arrived, and on March 26th I left San Francisco, with 
young Ben. Before leaving I began a civil suit to return 
the money and diamonds which the police meanwhile 
had taken into their keeping. I had Sir William P. 
Howland employ other counsel, and they recovered over 
$5,000. 

" When young Ben arrived home he was released on 
$8,000 bail, pending his trial. He came to Toronto 
while he was out on bail, and called on me for advice. 
He asked me what he had better do under the circum- 
stances. He wanted my honest opinion, so I gave him 
a gentle hint. 

"'Ben,' said I, 'you have spent $11,000 of another 
man's money, and you have put him to great trouble. 
Your father is rich, your brother-in-law is rich, your 



FOR A MESS OF POTTAGE 257 

uncle is a millionaire. The other man wants his money. 
If you want to go to the penitentiary, don't pay him ; 
but if you want to keep out of the penitentiary ' 

"'What! Pay old Howland $11,000?' said young 
Ben, and he laughed uproariously. ' Not on your life. 
I'll beat Sir Bill, and I'll not go to the penitentiary 
either.' 

" Foolish young man ! I told him so at the time. 
But he was at the age when all who are younger have it 
to learn, and all who are older have forgotten what they 
once knew. He went his way, pig-headed, obstinate, 
self-willed, and a fool — a pleasant, bright, intelligent, 
likeable fool. His trial came on at the Spring Assizes 
in 1888. Colin Macdougall, an able lawyer, defended 
him ; but he was prosecuted by one of the most bril- 
liant criminal lawyers Canada has produced, the late 
B. B. Osier. Young Ben was convicted, and was sent 
to the Kingston Penitentiary for seven years. 

" I saw him once or twice in the penitentiary. One of 
the old-time Sunday-school texts was ' The way of the 
transgressor is hard.' Young Ben had it on the wall of 
his cell. It certainly was true of him. He came of a 
refined, rich family, in which he was the mother's darling 
and a spoiled child. He was to inherit millions, and he 
sold his birthright for a mess of pottage. He stole 
$4,000 and then $16,000, and thereby sold more than 
$1,000,000 for $20,000, of which he had to repay over 
$5,000. So he forfeited a fortune for $15,000. There 
was no need for him to steal. He had all of life's good 
things essential to the joy of living — a happy home, a 
fine family, a lucrative position, and good health. After 
he fled his two little children died, and after he went to 
the penitentiary his wife got a divorce, and remarried ; 
and when he came out into the world and his uncle died, 
leaving no will, instead of finding himself a millionaire 
he left Canada a branded man. It was an awful lesson. 
It began simply in a love for gay company, and it ended 
in solitude in a stone-walled cell." 



258 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

XLIII 

« SHET-BLACK HERRES OF THE DING-DONG 

MUSTACHEES " 

A sing-song voiced, jet-black haired, sanctimonious 
scalawag named J. K. Herres lived near Elmira in the 
county of Waterloo. His father kept a country store, 
and was reputed to be fairly well off. When young 
Herres was not teaching a little school or singing Ger- 
man songs he was gallivanting about the country. He 
had a profuse rush of hair to the upper lip, and he 
developed a particular fondness for twirling the drooping 
ends of his mustaches. He seemed so insipid that one 
never would have imagined him to be the child of destiny 
in a stirring event where a whole town turned out to 
rescue him, while his captor, with drawn guns, backed 
against a wall with Herres at his feet, and prepared to 
sell his life as dearly as possible. 

" Herres frequently went to Gait in his Lochinvarring 
tours," says Murray. " In the summer of 1887 he walked 
into the office of John Cavers, manager of the branch of 
the Imperial Bank at Gait, and presented two notes to 
be discounted. One was signed by Peter Leweller, a 
neighbour of the Herres family, and the other by Herres's 
father. They totalled $900, and Mr. Cavers discounted 
them. Herres vanished with the money. Old man 
Herres and Peter Leweller pronounced their signatures 
forgeries. The case came to me, and on September 22d 
I went to Gait, saw Manager Cavers, and thence went to 
Berlin, the county seat of Waterloo. There I prepared 
extradition papers, and obtained from Chief Constable 
John Klippert, of Waterloo, a description of Herres. 
Klippert was one of the best constables in Canada, a 
shrewd old German. 

" ' Shon,' he said to me, ' you vill know him two ways, 
one by his shet-black hair and one by his ding-dong 
mustachees. He has some of the loftiest mustachees you 
efer see. They flow down like Niagara Falls, only they, 
too, are shet-black/ 



" THE DING-DONG MUSTACHEES " 259 

" * But suppose he has shaved them off? ' I said. 

" ' You vill know t'em by the place where they once 
used to be/ said Kiippert. ' And remember — shet- 
black ! ' 

" I telegraphed all over the country for a trace of 
Herres, and found none. I learned that he had a cousin 
who was a lawyer at White Cloud, in Minnesota, and 
Shet-black Herres, as I called him ever after hearing 
Klippert's description, had been in correspondence with 
this cousin, whose address was found in an old coat be- 
longing to Herres. I decided to visit White Cloud. On 
September 28th I started for St. Paul. On arrival there 
I called at Police Headquarters and on United States 
Commissioner Spencer, and prepared the necessary 
warrant for Herres, if I should find him. I also called 
on my friend United States Marshal Campbell, who gave 
me a letter to Congressman C. F. McDonald, of White 
Cloud, a prominent man in that part of the country. I 
went to White Cloud and looked up the cousin of Herres. 
I learned from neighbours that the cousin had a visitor 
sometime before, a dapper fellow with a remarkably fine 
mustache. He had tarried only a few days, and then 
had driven away. He had not shaved it off was my glad 
thought. I called on Congressman McDonald, and he 
gave me letters to prominent people within a radius of a 
couple of hundred miles. Part of the country round 
about was thinly settled at that time. I set out to find 
the man with the fine mustache. 

" It was like looking for a needle in a haystack. I 
travelled all around the country. I saw more smooth- 
shaven men and more men with beards than I imagined 
were in that part of the country, but not one man with 
' ding-dong mustachees ' did I see. I returned to White 
Cloud without clue or trace of my man. I learned then 
of a settlement of Germans at Little Falls, and I remem- 
bered what I had heard of Herres's fondness for German 
songs; and one man in White Cloud thought Herres's 
cousin had a relative in this settlement. Little Falls was 
several hundred miles from St. Paul, and I arrived there 
on October 4th. It was a little place of about one thou- 



260 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

sand people, and I think I saw everybody in the town. 
I found no trace of Herres and was about to give up the 
chase there, when the school-teaching side of Herres 
came again to my mind. The idea struck me to try the 
schools. I did so — no Herres. But there were country 
schools. I called on a storekeeper who was one of the 
school trustees. Yes, some teachers had been employed 
for country schools. The clerk of the school board lived 
near by, he said, and I should see him. To the clerk I 
went. He immediately wanted to know the names of 
the teachers I sought. I said I did not recall the names. 
He said two teachers had been appointed to little rural 
schools about forty miles out in the country. Both 
teachers were strangers to him. He gave me their 
names. Neither was named Herres. 

" ' One was smooth-shaven, one I did not see,' he said. 

" I decided to look at the two teachers. There was a 
big fellow named Richardson in the town, a sort of mar- 
shal or town policeman or constable. He said he knew 
the country all around there, as he had been born there. 
I hired a splendid team from a liveryman, a pair of as 
good horses as a man could wish to drive, with a light 
cracky waggon. The liveryman lent me his gun and 
shooting jacket, cartridge belt and two valuable dogs. 
I told Richardson we were going shooting. Prairie 
chickens were thicker than flies. We started on 
Wednesday, October 5th. We drove about twenty 
miles to the crossroads of nowhere. It was dark when 
we trotted out of Little Falls, and we breakfasted at a 
crossroads store on the way. I told Richardson, after 
we were well on the road, the real purpose of my trip. 
It seemed to make him as solemn as an owl. He was a 
jolly hunter, but a solemn policeman. Many men are 
that way. Their business is something awesome or 
deadly serious, but apart from it they are good fellows. 

" At length we came to the first school. The teacher 
was a little fellow, a Frenchman, and he could not speak 
German. He was not Herres, and we drove on to the 
next district school. The little Frenchman told me of 
the teacher. 



"THE DING-DONG MUSTACHEES" 261 

" ' He has ze long moostache,' he said. ' Very fine, 
oh very fine. Ze long moostache, and I haf ze no 
moostache at all,' and he clasped his hands and sighed. 

" I was sure the other teacher was Herres. When we 
came in sight of the school I unhitched the horses and 
tied them, and cut across towards the schoolhouse. 

" ' If this is the fellow, I will nod to you and you arrest 
him,' I said to Richardson. 

" ' I have no authority,' he said, ' and I will not arrest 
a man without authority,' and I saw he meant it. 

" ' Richardson,' I said solemnly, 'lama United States 
Marshal. I hereby declare you my deputy. You must 
obey the law and serve.' 

" ' But I must be sworn in,' said Richardson. 

" I pulled out a bundle of papers, ran over them, 
selected one and told him to kneel down. He knelt 
amid the briers. I mumbled the form of an oath. 

" ' I do,' he answered solemnly, to my question of, 
' Do you so swear ? ' 

" Then we went on to the schoolhouse and walked in. 
There stood the teacher, dapper and with a « ding-dong 
mustachees,' but instead of being ' shet-black ' his hair 
and mustache were brown. He was a bleached Herres. 
' It looks like him,' said I to myself, ' and yet, is it he ? ' 
Just then he twirled his mustache. That settled it. 
There were about thirty children, mostly girls, in the 
room. They eyed us curiously. 

" • Teacher, how long have you been here ? ' said I. 

" ' For some time — since school opened,' said he, and 
his voice had a little sing-song. 

" ' What is your name ? ' 

" ' John Walker,' he replied. 

" « When did you leave Canada ? ' I asked. 

" * I have never been in Canada in my life,' he said. 

" I looked at his school-books. All were marked John 
Walker. 

" ' Are you German ? ' I asked. 

" ' Yes,' said he. 

" ' John Walker is not a German name,' I said. 

" He smiled. 



262 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

" ' You are from Canada ! ' I said abruptly. 

" ' I am not ! ' he exclaimed, and turning to the 
astonished children, he told them to go out and get their 
fathers. ' Bring them quickly,' he said, speaking rapidly 
in German to the children. ' Tell them to bring their 
guns. There are robbers here.' 

" I understood him clearly, and I told Richardson to 
keep the children in. Deputy Marshal Richardson 
obeyed by standing against the door. The children be- 
gan to cry, then to scream. 

" ' That's right ! ' said the teacher to the children. 
' Shout for help ! Shout as loud as you can ! ' 

" The whole school began to yell. They ran round the 
room shrieking and screaming. 

" ' Keep your seats and scream,' said the teacher. 

" They promptly sat down and howled at the top of 
their voices for help. 

" ' Come with me,' said I to the teacher. 

" ' I will not,' said he, and he whipped off his coat. 

" I leaped for him, and down we went, upsetting the 
table and rolling over the floor. He was an active fellow, 
and I had to drag him out of the schoolhouse. 

" ' Keep the children in,' said I to Richardson, ' until I 
fire a shot, then run as fast as you can to the waggon.' 

" The teacher quieted down after I got him outside, 
but I had to drag him across to the waggon. I tied him 
to a wheel, handcuffed, while I hitched up the horses. 
Then I lifted him into the waggon and fired the gun. 
The gun scared him, and he sat quiet. I could see 
Richardson come running, and I could see the screaming 
children stream out of the schoolhouse and rush, yelling 
for help, in all directions. Richardson fell on the way 
and got tangled in some briers, and after considerable 
delay he reached the waggon and clambered in. 

" ' Drive to the nearest railroad station,' I said, and 
Richardson whipped up the horses and away we went on 
the road to Royalton, over thirty miles away. 

" We could hear the cries of the children dying away 
as we went. 

" ' You'll suffer for this, sir/ said the school-teacher to 



"THE DING-DONG MUSTACHEES" 263 

me. ' You will pay for dragging an honest man about 
like this.' 

" I looked him all over, and to tell the truth I felt 
shaky myself. We got into Royalton late in the after- 
noon. It was a German settlement of perhaps fifteen 
hundred population. We drove to the railroad station. 
The telegraph operator was a German. When the school- 
teacher spied the telegraph operator he began to yell in 
German to send a message saying he was kidnapped by 
robbers. The operator wanted to help him. The school- 
teacher shouted in German. 

" ' Save me ! Save me ! I am being kidnapped ! 
Help ! Help ! ' he shouted, as loud as he could yell. 

" A crowd gathered. It grew rapidly. All the while 
the school-teacher kept yelling with all the power of 
voice and lungs. The crowd began to murmur. I 
moved back against the side of the station, keeping the 
school-teacher beside me. 

" ' Richardson, keep the crowd back,' I said, but Rich- 
ardson decided he wanted nothing more to do with the 
affair. 

" ' I resign as deputy marshal,' he said. 

" The crowd drew in closer. I could see men gallop- 
ing into town, and I knew they were farmers who had 
been aroused by their children's tale of the struggle in 
the schoolhouse. They dismounted and told the story 
given by the children. The crowd surged in. I had 
the shotgun and a revolver, with another revolver in my 
pocket. I discarded the shotgun and drew a second re- 
volver. All the while the school-teacher kept haranguing 
the crowd, inciting them to hang me and praying to 
them to rescue him. The mob actually surrounded the 
station. 

" ' Give up that man,' demanded one of their number, a 
sturdy fellow not twenty feet from me. 

" ' The first man of you who touches him or me dies in 
his tracks,' I said, while the school-teacher begged them 
to rescue him from my clutches. 

" * Do not let him take an innocent man to be mur- 
dered,' shrieked the school-teacher. 



264 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

" The crowd surged in. I gripped both revolvers, 
thinking, ' Here she comes ; steady, old man, steady,' 
and I decided that the bleating school-teacher would be 
one of us on the other side when they picked up the 
bodies. 

" ' Stand back ! Stand back ! ' I shouted, at bay, one 
man standing off a whole town. 

" I flourished the guns, then levelled them, and just as 
I expected to have the crash come, a big fellow burst 
through the crowd. 

" ' What's up ? ' he said, as his eyes took in the braying 
school-teacher, handcuffed at my feet, the surging crowd 
and myself, up against the station wall, a revolver in each 
hand. 

" The big fellow's hands flew to his hip pockets. Out 
flipped two guns as he sprang over beside me and backed 
up against the wall. 

" ' A thousand to one,' he chuckled. ' God, but you're 
a game man.' He looked out of two fearless blue eyes 
at the crowd. ' Come on, you villains ! ' he shouted. 
' Come on ! Who'll be the first to die ? ' 

" It was superb. The man was a whirlwind in his way. 

" ' I'm Quinn, sheriff of the next county,' he said to me 
rapidly. ' What's it all about ? ' 

" ' I am an officer from St. Paul, and these people are 
after my prisoner,' I said. 

" ' So ho ! ' said Quinn. < Well, they don't get him.' 

" He eyed the crowd. 

" ' Get back ! Back up ! ' he shouted. ' Back up or 
I'll back you up ! One — two ' he counted. 

" The crowd began to give, and the space in front of 
us grew as Quinn counted one and two. He laughed 
and I laughed. I turned to the telegraph operator and 
told him to take a dispatch as I dictated it and send it at 
once. As we stood, revolvers in hand, backed up against 
the station beside the telegraph office, I sent a telegram 
to Marshal Campbell saying we would arrive in St. Paul 
by the next train. 

" ' It gets in at one o'clock in the morning,' said Quinn, 
and I put the hour in the dispatch. 



"THE DING-DONG MUSTACHEES" 265 

" Richardson came up then, and I gave him the shot- 
gun and money to pay the liveryman, and he drove 
away ; and later I wrote to the liveryman, who replied 
that all was satisfactory. Quinn stood by until the train 
arrived, and he boarded it with me and rode to the third 
station beyond, where he left me, with a hearty hand- 
shake and a laugh when I thanked him. The school- 
teacher had subsided, except to remind me occasionally 
that I would suffer for treating an innocent man in this 
way. He may have realised how close to death he was 
on that station platform. Marshal Campbell met us at 
the train at one o'clock in the morning in St. Paul. 

" ' This is Herres,' I said to Campbell. 

" Up spoke the school-teacher, as if he were about to 
shout again for a crowd of rescuers. 

" ' My name is not Herres ; my name is John Walker,' 
he said. ' Some one will pay for this.' 

" It shook Campbell. We stepped aside. 

" ' Are you certain he is Herres ? ' asked Campbell. 

" ' I am not certain, but I'm fairly sure,' said I. ' His 
hair is lighter. But I'll be responsible.' 

" Campbell locked up the school-teacher. John Walker 
immediately sent for Colonel Kerr of St. Paul, to defend 
him. He also engaged a fighting lawyer named Ryan. 
They wanted to get a change of venue. I had United 
States District-Attorney George N. Baxter as my coun- 
sel. In making the affidavit on the application for a 
change of venue they swore the school-teacher to it. 
He signed it. Campbell and I eagerly looked at it. The 
signature was J. K. Herres ! The marshal and I silently 
shook hands and went out and had a drink. It took a 
great load off me. The Court denied the change of 
venue sought on the unjust allegation that Commissioner 
Spencer was a friend of Canada officers. Then began 
the battle for extradition. 

" It was fought to a finish. Herres's cousin in White 
Cloud joined Colonel Kerr and Mr. Ryan. Herres was 
committed for extradition. His counsel applied for a 
writ of habeas corpus before Judge Nelson. It seemed 
that when Judge Nelson's father was Judge of the Su- 



266 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

preme Court a man named Kane had killed some one in 
Ireland and escaped to Minnesota. The British Govern- 
ment sought to extradite him, and the case was carried 
to the Supreme Court, which held that it was necessary 
to have the President issue an executive mandate to give 
the Commissioner power to try the case. The counsel 
for Herres claimed the proceeding in the Herres case was 
irregular, and Judge Nelson discharged Herres. We ap- 
pealed from the decision of Judge Nelson and carried it 
to the Circuit Court before Judge Brewer, now Justice 
Brewer of the Supreme Court of the United States. 
Judge Brewer wrote a long opinion reversing Judge 
Nelson's judgment and ordering the prisoner back into 
my custody. This case is an authority in extradition 
cases, and is reported in Federal Reports of the United 
States, No. 33, page 265. We fought the matter in the 
courts through November and December, 1887, and 
finally the warrant of surrender arrived ; and on January 
17th, 1888, I left St. Paul with Shet-black Herres, and 
handed him over in Berlin on Thursday, January 19th. 
He pleaded not guilty to forgery at the Spring Assizes, 
but was convicted and sentenced on March 20th to seven 
years in Kingston, where his ' ding-dong mustachee ' 
vanished before the razor of the prison barber. 

" He had dyed his ' shet-black ' hair with butternut dye. 
It made his hair a nasty yellow and seemed to me to 
symbolise the make-up of Herres. The two meanest 
prisoners I ever had were this Shet-black Herres and a 
fellow named Drinkwater. Herres was a mean cuss. 
He was not a finish fighter like some desperate, coura- 
geous men, out in the open. He was a skulker, and a 
mean one. While in gaol at St. Paul he acted so badly 
with the officials that some fellow, a little insane, was put 
in the cell with Shet-black Herres and committed all 
kinds of nuisances over him. Shet-black began an 
action against the sheriff in St. Paul, but it failed. Shet- 
black was serving seven years in Kingston instead of 
suing the good sheriff of St. Paul. But greatest of all 
his griefs was the loss of his « ding-dong mustachee ! ' " 



BALDY DRINKWATER 267 

XLIV 
BALDY DRINKWATER 

Drinkwater's first name was Archibald. His friends 
called him Baldy Drinkwater. He was a travelling 
nursery-man, and he drove from county to county doing 
business with farmers. He had a wide acquaintance. 
His speciality was selling trees and fancy shrubbery. He 
was persistent, and clung to the guileless farmer until he 
had him for a customer. Cash or notes, it was all the 
same to Baldy Drinkwater. In fact, he seemed to prefer 
notes from many of his customers. 

" He finally began to discount notes in the banks, and 
eventually he disappeared," says Murray. " When the 
signatures were investigated it was found that Baldy 
Drinkwater was a forger, and had faked the signatures to 
bogus orders and to notes. The farmers were angry, and 
it was just as well for Baldy that he was out of the coun- 
try. The case came to me, and I set out to find him. 
He had a brother-in-law in Illinois, and it was quite prob- 
able Baldy had skipped to him. Refugees frequently flee 
to relatives in other countries, instead of braving exile 
alone or apart from any one who knew them before. I 
billed Baldy all over the country, too. While I was wait- 
ing for trace of him, I prepared the necessary extradition 
papers, and when no clue to his whereabouts developed I 
started for Chicago. There I called on the United States 
Commissioner and the marshal, and he assigned a Ger- 
man deputy to assist me. The deputy and I went by 
train to the village of St. Ann's, about one hundred and 
fifty miles from Chicago. Baldy's brother-in-law lived 
near St. Ann's. 

" The German deputy was a funny fellow. He spoke 
quaint English, and was full of proverbs. Also he had a 
love affair, which demanded much of his thought, and of 
which he spoke frequently and fervidly. I remember we 
were riding serenely along, and the train passed a farm- 
house painted sea-green. My German friend grasped my 



268 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

arm and shook me out of a pleasant doze, and pointed 
excitedly out the window. 

" ' See it ! See it ! ' he cried. 

" ' That house ? What about it ? ' I asked, wondering 
if Baldy Drinkwater's face had appeared at the window. 

" ' Her eyes are yust t'at colour,' he exclaimed, and 
sank back with a happy sigh. 

" ' The colour of that house ? ' I said, craning my neck 
for another glimpse of the sea-green farmhouse. 

" ' Yah,' he said sweetly. « Heafenly blue ! ' 

" A lot of things along the road reminded him of her. 
He was not backward to tell me of them. 

" ' Say, Peter,' said I finally, ' does she ever cry ? ' 

" 4 Vunce,' said Peter sadly. 

" « What did you do ? ' I asked. 

" * I yust let her cry till she dried herself up,' said he. 

" ' Don't you know that the books tell of how the fond 
lover kisses the tears away ? ' I asked. 

" I remember Peter's expression to this day. His face 
puckered up. 

" ' Ah, yah ! ' he said. ' I yust tried it, und it was salty 
like t'e mackerel — o-o-oof ! ' and Peter spat mightily at 
the mere memory of it. ' She iss very salty, iss Katrina.' 

" But he turned out to be a brave man, did Peter. We 
arrived at St. Ann's about six o'clock in the evening, and 
I had no trouble in learning that Baldy 's brother-in-law, 
who was a county constable named Goodfellow, lived 
about twenty miles out in the country, and was quite 
well known there. I hired a team, and Peter and I 
started to drive from the little village. It was a fine road, 
and we made good time, and about ten o'clock at night 
we drove up to the crossroads saloon of a little country- 
corners town. We hitched the team and walked into the 
saloon. There were six men in the place apart from the 
bartender. The seven were drinking together, and all 
were half-drunk. The moment Peter spied them he 
whispered to me : 

" ' Tat is Big Polley, und t'e little fellow und he yust 
got out of t'e penitentiary.' 

" ' I never had seen Drinkwater, but I had a fairly 



BALDY DRINKWATER 269 

good description. The first man I spied answered the 
description to a dot — big, burly, rough, with facial marks 
to make sure. As they all turned, when we asked the 
bartender for a drink, I saw to my amazement that the 
second man was almost a duplicate of the first. Never 
have I seen such a remarkable likeness between two men. 
I was positive one of the two was Baldy, but which one ? 
I could not tell. They were playing pool, and resumed 
their game as the bartender went behind the bar to serve 
us. There was a mirror behind the bar, and I could see 
them clearly as I stood with my back to them. Peter 
ordered a whiskey. As he did so an idea struck me. 

" < What's yours ? ' asked the bartender. 

" ' I'll drink water,' I said, rapidly and distinctly ; and 
added, ' with whiskey on the side.' 

" As I spoke I watched the six men through the mir- 
ror, and saw one of the pair glance up quickly, shift un- 
easily, eye us a moment, and turn again to the game. I 
believed I had learned which was Drinkwater. Peter and 
I finished our drink. How to get the man, without a 
fight and perchance a shooting, was puzzling me. Peter 
read my thoughts. We stepped outside and untied the 
horses, and drove the team close up to the saloon and 
beyond the door. 

" ' Peter,' I said, ' you saw the two men who looked 
alike, and you know the big one with the grey hat ? ' 

" ' Ah, yah,' said Peter. 

" ' Step in and tell him a woman wants to speak to him 
at the door,' said I. ' Be sure you come out ahead of 
him, and when you get out jump for the waggon and the 
reins.' 

" Peter went in. I stood close by the door, holding 
the reins loosely and ready for the door to open. Peter 
popped out, leaped in the waggon, and caught the reins. 
Right behind him came the big fellow. 

" ' Where is she ? ' he said, as he stepped through the 
door. 

" Without a word I grabbed him and heaved. He 
was caught unawares, and landed sprawling in the light 
waggon. Peter sat on him in a jiffy, and I snapped the 



270 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

handcuffs on him and jerked his revolver out of his 
pocket. The moment he felt himself seized in the dark 
he yelled for help. Out rushed his friends. They sprang 
to the horses' heads in the interval of our struggle in the 
waggon. Two of the crowd drew revolvers. So did 
Peter and I. The bartender ran out with a light. 

" ' T'ank you, kint frent,' said Peter. • I kin see to 
shoot' 

" ' Stand back from the horses,' I said. 

" They answered with a chorus of oaths. I told them 
I was a United States Marshal from Chicago. One of 
them began to yell for a magistrate. My big fellow lay 
in the waggon swearing like a trooper and beseeching 
his friends to kill us. A man came out of the back room 
of the saloon. He seemed to be a magistrate. He told 
me to show my papers. I told him I was a United States 
Marshal, and would not show my papers to him or any 
one else. 

" ' If anything happens here, you will be held respon- 
sible,' I said to him. 

" He called three of the gang into consultation. That 
left three men. 

" ' Loose the horses' heads,' I commanded. 

" They laughed. I aimed as close as I could for an ear 
of one of the horses and fired. With a snort the two 
horses reared, tore loose from the men, and flew down 
the road at full gallop. I caught the reins while Peter 
sat on the big fellow, who raged and swore and kicked. 
The horses were headed for St. Ann's, and I gave them 
full rein, and they sped through the night like swallows. 
Peter's human cushion yelled and howled all the way, 
struggling to free himself, and calling on his friends to 
follow and kill us. As we neared St. Ann's I tied a ker- 
chief round his mouth, so he would not rouse the whole 
village. He bit and snapped at it as if he were a mad 
dog. 

" We drew up at the hotel in St. Ann's in the dead of 
night. The horses were fagged out, and stood panting, 
wet, drooping. We had to carry our prisoner, kicking 
and swearing, into the hotel and into a back room to wait 



BALDY DRINKWATER 271 

for the Chicago train. I expected pursuit, and told the 
landlord I was a United States Marshal and for him to 
lock the doors. Hardly had he shot the bolts when we 
heard the hoof-beats of galloping horses, and then we 
heard men's voices, and finally they halted outside the 
hotel and began to bang on the door and fire revolvers. 

" ' Landlord ! ' they shouted. ' Open this door in the 
name of the law. We are officers ! ' 

" The landlord wavered, and finally said he would have 
to admit them. I had sent Peter into the back room 
with the prisoner. I had two revolvers, one in each 
hand. I stood by the door, and when the third of the 
gang outside had entered I shut and locked the door and 
faced them. 

" ' Hands in front of you, please,' I said, and they 
obeyed. ' Now, who are you, and what do you want ? ' 

" ' We are officers, and want to see your authority for 
holding the prisoner you have,' said their spokesman. 

" ' I am a United States Marshal from Chicago, and I 
have a warrant from the United States Court for this pris- 
oner, and I am not obliged to show my authority to 
county constables, bailiffs, or anybody else,' I answered. 

" While this was occurring, the prisoner kept yelling 
for them to shoot me, to rescue him, to kill me like a dog. 

" ' Peter,' I called to the deputy marshal, • if you hear 
a scuffle or a shot out here, shoot the prisoner first through 
the head, and then come out.' 

" ' Ah, yah,' answered Peter from the back room. 

" The three men turned to form a group, ostensibly to 
confer. 

" ' Face me, please, and keep your hands in front,' 
said I. 

" ' May we speak to the prisoner ? ' said their spokes- 
man. 

" ' One at a time, from the doorway,' I said. 

" One of them went to the doorway, and spoke to the 
prisoner, who answered with a volley of oaths and a de- 
mand that I be killed and he rescued. 

" ' I guess that's all,' I said, when the prisoner had fin- 
ished his tirade, and the three filed out at the door. 



272 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

" As the last one went out he flung himself against the 
door. I was expecting it, and there was a moment's scuf- 
fle, then the door banged amid curses and shouts. Sud- 
denly a shot rang out in the back room, followed by a 
moan, and then all was still except for a faint ' Ah, yah,' 
from Peter. I hung on to the door, struggling to keep it 
shut and lock it. When the shot sounded, the noises 
outside ceased. I bolted the door, and sprang for the 
back room. There lay the prisoner, gagged and unhurt, 
while Peter smilingly eyed a hole in the wall which he 
had made with the bullet he fired to cause the gang out- 
side to think the prisoner had been killed. 

" The Chicago train was due in thirty minutes. I 
slipped up-stairs, and through a window I could see the 
gang drawn back down the road, and they were drinking. 
I looked out the back way and saw a rear road leading to 
the station. I softly opened a back door. I went back 
to Peter, and we took the prisoner, and lugged him out, 
and away we went to the station. We laid back by a 
fence corner near the station until the train came in, and 
then we picked up the prisoner and made a rush for it. 
We got aboard all right, and the train moved out, while 
we could see the crowd riding to and fro by the hotel, 
occasionally shooting into the darkness. 

" The prisoner was sullen. He kicked at Peter until 
finally the good-natured German got a pin, and every 
time the prisoner kicked him Peter drove the pin into 
him. About the third pin-drive the kicking ceased. 

" ' Herr Trinkvater, v'at a foony name you haf,' said 
Peter. 

" The prisoner turned to me. 

" ' I'm Drinkwater,' he said. « Now take that Dutch- 
man away.' 

" Peter instantly began to tell him of his beloved 
Katrina, and all the way to Chicago little Peter told big 
Baldy of the beauty and the goodness of his sweetheart. 

" ' Ven I sat on you in t'e vaggon, I t'ought of Katrina, 
you vas so big and soft,' said Peter. 

" Drinkwater swore. When we arrived in Chicago, 
Baldy fought extradition determinedly, but it was no use. 



OLD JOHN KLIPPERT OF WATERLOO 273 

Back he came to Owen Sound in Canada, and he was 
sent to Kingston Penitentiary for seven years. He and 
Herres, as I have said, were the meanest prisoners I ever 
had. I have thought since of the absence of any sense 
of sorrow when I heard Dutch Peter's shot ring out in 
the back room of the hotel at St. Ann's. A hole in a 
wall looks different from a hole in a man's head. But 
the temptation had been strong on Peter, and he shot as 
close as he dared. The hole in the wall was about an 
inch from Baldy Drinkwater's head. Peter was a good 
shot, too. He could miss a man closer than most marks- 
men. He reminded me, in some of his quaint ways, of 
John Klippert, who died recently, full of years, and with 
his life's work well done." 



XLV 
OLD JOHN KLIPPERT OF WATERLOO 

John Klippert was the Pooh Bah of the county of 
Waterloo. He filled many offices, and filled them ably 
too. He was chief constable and crier of the court and 
bailiff and issuer of marriage licences and deputy sheriff, 
and several other officials, all in one. He was a keen, 
shrewd fellow, abrupt in his manner and picturesque in 
his speech. He had sandy hair and a sandy mustache, 
and he used to toddle along with his head well for- 
ward, conversing amiably with himself. The county of 
Waterloo was known to him from end to end, every nook 
and corner. It is a rich county, and among its settlers 
was a colony of sturdy German loyalists who moved 
from Pennsylvania to Ontario in the early days of the 
history of the United States. Klippert was of German 
ancestry, and he reminded his hearers constantly of the 
fact by his entertaining English. 

" The farms of the county of Waterloo were well 
stocked," says Murray, "and in 1888 horses began to 
disappear. The stealing increased, until Mr. Snyder, the 



274 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

member of Parliament from Waterloo, spoke to me about 
the matter. Klippert also had written to me about it 
and described some of the horses. I knew where old 
Chisholm was, and settled first of all that he could not 
have been mixed up in it. Klippert worried me as time 
passed, and he pestered me with letters. At length I 
telegraphed him to get a warrant and come to Toronto. 
Old John arrived on the early train next day. It was 
Fair-time in Toronto. Detective Burrows had seen 
James Little, a notorious horse thief and head of a bad 
family, at the fair grounds the day before. Little had a 
son Tom, who was a highwayman. 

" I sent old John out to the fair grounds. Little had 
been trying to sell a couple of horses. Burrows spied 
him and pointed him out to old John. Klippert drew 
back about one hundred feet and carefully took out his 
handcuffs and carried them under his coat tails. 

" Then he advanced stealthily, as if about to sprinkle 
salt on a bird's tail. Old Little was gazing at the crowd, 
when suddenly a hand was thrust into his face and a 
hoarse voice said : 

" ' Surrender ! ' 

" Old John compelled old Little to hold out his wrists 
and be handcuffed. Then he led him over in triumph, 
and I met them. 

" ' I got him ! ' he exclaimed. 

" Even old Little laughed. 

" ' What is the case against me ? ' he asked. 

" That puzzled old John. He called me aside, keeping 
a watchful eye on old Little. 

" ' What case do I haf on him, Shon ? ' he asked. 

" ' You'll have to work it up,' I said, to have some fun. 
' I'm sure he's your man, but you'll have to prove it.' 

" I intended to send the witnesses to Berlin, the county 
seat of Waterloo, the next day. So I told Klippert to 
take old Little to Berlin and work out the case. The old 
constable was perplexed, but he took it seriously and bade 
me good-bye. 

" « Come on,' he said to Little. 

" What happened then I learned afterwards from both 



OLD JOHN KLIPPERT OF WATERLOO 275 

Klippert and Little. On the train old John began to talk 
of Little's hard luck. 

" ' Too bad, too bad,' said old John. < I'm sorry to haf 
to take you back. T'at Vaterloo is a bad county for 
horse stealers. T'e shuries t'ey is yust death on horse 
thieves. T'ey socks it to a man, und t'ey always asks t'e 
shudge to sock it to him. T'at is part of t'e verdict, a plea 
from t'e shury to t'e shudge to sock it to t'e stealers and 
t'e thievers.' 

" Old Little listened while honest old John told him of 
how the farmers hated a horse thief, and how they tried 
to get them sent down for twenty years, and how they 
were stirred up by recent thefts so that they were ready, 
almost, to take the thief out of gaol and string him up to 
the limb of a tree. The more old John, in his simple, 
broken way, talked of the tense state of affairs in the 
county, the more impressed was old Little over the 
dangers of his predicament. 

" ' Ven ve get to Berlin I yust will see you safe in gaol, 
and tell no one but t'e shudge who you are und vat I got 
you for,' said old John. 

" Little asked old John if it was necessary to tell the 
judge about his record. Klippert said it depended. If 
Little desired to take a jury trial, all the facts of his career 
would have to come out. If Little wished to make no 
trouble and take a speedy trial before the judge, without 
a jury, his past would not necessarily have to come out. 

" •' Of course,' said old John, * t'e case I haf on you is 
so plain t'at t'ere vill be no use to fight it. I yust show 
t'e shudge t'e evidence, und he say " guilty." ' 

" Old Little told John he would take a speedy trial if 
old John would not rake up his record, and if he would 
put in a good word with the judge to get him off. 

" « Yah, yah,' said John. ' I will fix t'e shudge. You 
vas a vise man.' 

" So old John took old Little before County Judge Da 
Costa and charged him with horse stealing. 

" ' I plead guilty,' said old Little. 

" The judge withdrew to a side room. Old John went 
in to see him a moment, and then returned to old Little. 



276 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

" ' T'e shudge he vant to know if you vas honest,' said 
old John. ' I say yah, you vas. T'e shudge he ask me 
vere you sold t'e horse. Vat shall I tell him ? Shall I 
tell him t'e right place or some wrong place ? ' 

" ' Tell him the right place,' said old Little. • You 
know — Burns's coal yard in Toronto.' 

" Old John went back, and later old Little was brought 
up for sentence. Klippert meanwhile had telegraphed to 
Toronto and located the horse, and its owner identified 
it. Then old John, when Little was to be sentenced, said 
to the judge : 

" ' Shudge, t'is man iss an old villain. His whole family 
t'ey is stealers und thievers. He ought to go to prison for 
life.' 

" Old John painted old Little so black that the notori- 
ous old horse thief did not even recognise his own record. 

" The judge sent Little to Kingston for seven years. 
Klippert was delighted. 

" ' I worked out my case ; eh, Shon ? ' he said to me, 
and chuckled. 

" Old Little was sore as a bear with the toothache. 
He blamed himself for being caught by old John's hon- 
est, blunt manner. 

" ' There's no fool like an old fool,' said Little, ' and I 
am the old one in this case.' 

" From Klippert's view-point it was all right. He 
worked up his case after he got his man. As to the change 
of front towards old Little, every man must be his own 
arbiter in such matters. The man who would achieve 
the greatest success in the detective business must keep 
his word absolutely when he gives it. Oftentimes confi- 
dence of others in his word will bring success where 
otherwise there would be failure. The detective who 
breaks his word is marked among crooks just as among 
other men — in fact, he is marked more clearly and more 
disastrously. If he does not wish to keep his word, he 
should not give it. 

" John Klippert, however, viewed the case from his 
standpoint, and his course appeared all right. He never 
saw Little before and he never expected to see him again ; 



OLD JOHN KLIPPERT OF WATERLOO 277 

and his business was to protect his county and show no 
favour to those who showed no favour to it. He used to 
chuckle over the case, and often spoke of it. Klippert 
was a faithful, efficient man. Old Little finally forgave 
him, and wrote him a letter, saying : 

"'If I had a horse I would drive to Berlin and see 
you.' 

" Old John sent word to him that if he ever set foot in 
the county of Waterloo the farmers would string him up 
by his heels and pitchfork him into eternity upside down. 
Old Little must have believed him, for he never poked 
his nose into Waterloo thereafter. 

" Klippert was with me on an occasion when I bade as 
dapper a little crook, as ever did wrong, to keep out of 
Canada. The affair began in the old days back in Erie. 
A suave, polished little fellow stepped off a train one day 
in Erie and registered at the Reed House as J. O. Flan- 
ders. He was as pleasant as could be, and made friends 
quickly. I met him and played billiards with him, and 
we became well acquainted. He said he was connected 
with the Clafiins in New York, and he soon knew the 
leading merchants of Erie. He made friends particularly 
with Church, the merchant, producing a forged letter of 
introduction, and one day he went to Currie's bank, with 
Church to identify him, and deposited a draft for $30,000. 
The next day he went to the bank alone and drew 
$25,000, and skipped with the money. The draft turned 
out to be worthless. We set out to find him. Not a 
trace of him could we get. If he had kept out of women 
troubles, we never would have landed him. But he stole 
another crook's woman, and that made the other crook 
angry ; and we were tipped that J. O. Flanders was living 
in grand style at the Spencer House at Indianapolis, in 
Indiana. Crowley and I went out there to take Flanders 
back to Erie. 

" Never had I seen such a complete change of appear- 
ance as there was in J. O. Flanders. His own mother 
would not have known him for the man who was in Erie. 
Hair, complexion, walk, manner, all were changed. He 
had plenty of money, and over $22,000 was found on 



278 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

him. He was taken before Judge Morris, who, to our 
great surprise, released him. We appealed, but Flanders 
had taken his $22,000 and was gone, and we returned to 
Erie. Nine months later he was caught in Fort Wayne. 
His $22,000 had vanished and he had $200 when ar- 
rested. Crowley and I went after him a second time and 
he was safe in gaol. The night before I was to take him 
away he thumped a gaoler on the head, stunning him, 
and escaped. I thought at the time the gaoler was in on 
the game. Then I returned to Erie in disgust, and said 
I was through monkeying with Flanders. 

" Several years later, when I was with the Canada 
Southern Railroad, F. N. Finney and I walked into 
Strong's Hotel at London, Ontario, and who should be 
back of the desk as clerk but my old friend J. O. Flan- 
ders. 

" ' Great God ! ' he whispered to me. ' Are you after 
me again ? ' 

" ' Not on your life ! ' I answered. ' I quit chasing you 
in Indiana when they let you go.' 

" ' Don't give me away, Murray,' he pleaded. ' I blew 
all the money in six months.' 

" ' I'm not going to give you away,' I said, ' but I am 
vexed still at that gaoler.' 

" Mr. Finney had gone to bed, but I sat up until three 
o'clock in the morning with Flanders, while he told me 
of himself and of crooks he had known. 

" ' You did wrong to accuse the gaoler,' he said. ' He 
did not let me go.' 

" I went away the next day, and I lost track of Flan- 
ders. Along towards 1888 I was with old John Klippert 
at Berlin, when none other than J. O. Flanders stepped 
off the train. 

" ' John,' said I to Klippert, ' tell that polite, fine gen- 
tleman over there that his presence is desired in the United 
States.' 

" Old John walked over and thumped Flanders on the 
shoulder. 

" ' You're vanted in t'e States, und vanted quick,' said 
old John. 



THE RETURNING OF GEORGE CLAXTON 279 

" ' Thank you, my deah fellah, I know it well,' said 
Flanders. 

" Old John gasped. He hastened back to me and ex- 
claimed : 

" ' He admits it, Shon ; he admits it ! Vill I jigger 
him ? Say t'e vord, Shon, und I got him.' 

" Flanders spied me and promptly came over and 
bowed. I explained to him that I had changed positions 
since seeing him in London, and perhaps, if he still con- 
templated the easy, anxious life, it would be better for 
him. to sojourn in the States. He understood, bowed 
politely, thanked me for past courtesies, and took the 
waiting train out of Berlin again. Old John gazed after 
him. 

" ' He looked a shentleman, but I could tell he vas a 
horse thiever,' said old John, and he chuckled, then looked 
at me and said, ' I can tell 'em efery time, t'e horse 
thievers, Shon,' and he shook his old head wisely. 

" I never saw Flanders again." 



XLVI 

THE RETURNING OF DARKY GEORGE CLAXTON 

George Claxton was a negro Napoleon of finance. 
His empire was Coontown, a darky suburb of the town 
of Buxton, in the county of Kent. He was a yellow fel- 
low with kinkless hair and a complexion suggesting an 
olive's greenish tan. In fact there were uncanny, absurd 
tales among some coloured folk that Darky George knew 
a five-footed rabbit and in its jaw was a shark's tooth, and 
every time the moon shone on the tooth Br'er Claxton 
turned a bottle green. If any one touched Darky George 
while he had the greens, some foolishly thought it meant 
the passing of a charm. Many of the negroes pooh- 
poohed this talk of wonder-working, but others were said 
to believe in it, and to the believers Darky George was 
said to be as sacred as the prophets of old and as much 



280 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

to be dreaded as the lightning, or a humpbacked cat with 
its tail on high. 

" I remember him well," says Murray, " a glistening 
little fellow, about forty-five years old, who walked with 
a quaint shuffle of the feet, and who seldom stood still, 
but constantly tapped with his toes. He dressed in 
wondrous fashion. Sometimes he looked the colour of a 
banana. Some alleged he actually seemed a sort of 
green, as if he were not quite ripe. He was a money- 
maker and, unlike most darkies, he was thrifty. While 
other negroes were always buying, Darky George always 
had something to sell. He was a leader among a certain 
class of darkies, and he had great influence with them. 
He had come to Canada from the States in a colony of 
negroes whose owner bought farm lands in Ontario for 
them and set them free. Darky George traded among 
them, ever bartering, and so shrewd was he that eventually 
he came to be regarded as the darky Jay Gould in that 
part of the country. 

" But he flew too high. He put some paper in the 
Chatham branch of the Merchants' Bank and before it 
came due he departed. It was alleged Darky George had 
forged the names of other negroes. He left his family 
behind him. On April 18th, 1888, I went to Chatham 
and ascertained the particulars and prepared extradition 
papers. This proceeding includes laying an information 
against the refugee, taking a deposition setting forth his 
crime, having his papers identified by the American 
Consular officer and obtaining a warrant of recipias from 
the Governor-General. This warrant of recipias is an 
authority to receive the prisoner. In the meantime I 
billed Darky George from Podunk to Timbuctoo. He 
was out of sight of the police. At length he wrote a 
letter to one of his family. It was dated Mason City, in 
Iowa. I started for Mason City that night. When I 
arrived there I found Darky George had skipped. I 
drove to various parts of the country around there look- 
ing for the yellow darky. Other negroes had heard of 
him ; some had seen him ; none knew where he had gone. 
I finally learned that he had checked a trunk to St. Paul, 



THE RETURNING OF GEORGE CLAXTON 281 

in Minnesota, and I went there and saw my police 
friends. 

" We knew that Brother Claxton would not be among 
darkies very long without doing something to their 
amazement and his profit. Sure enough, Darky George 
had established himself to become a fixture in St. Paul. 
Some said (and I did not believe it) he had a little back 
room with a green curtain, and behind it was concealed 
a lamp with a green glass ; and Darky George would lead 
a superstitious negro into this little room and make him 
kneel, and then Darky George would chant and moan 
and groan and suddenly smite the kneeling negro on the 
bowed head and bid him look up, and he would behold 
Darky George in the green light of the lamp, staring at 
him with wild eyes and making passes with his hands and 
spitting like a cat. 

" « Fsst ! Fsst ! Fsst ! ' Darky George would spit, and 
cast the magic spell. 

" Then the scared subject would bow his head, the 
chant would die away, while Darky George softly pulled 
the string to screen the lamp, and the subject withdrew 
while George pocketed $1 or $2, or whatever the fee 
might be. I did not believe all this talk, and I investi- 
gated it and put it aside. In fact, so far as I could find, 
it was entirely untrue, as well as the talk of wonder- 
working and charming. Darky George did nothing of 
the kind so far as I could ascertain. 

" I took Darky George before United States Com- 
missioner Spencer. He pleaded guilty and agreed to 
come back. Then he changed his mind, sent for a 
lawyer, and refused to go. His lawyer had him taken 
before Judge Nelson on a writ of habeas corpus in May. 
There were three postponements. J. E. Markham was 
my counsel, and finally Judge Nelson dismissed the writ. 
A vice-consul, acting as consul, had certified the papers, 
and Darky George's counsel argued that the certificate 
was irregular. The court held otherwise and the case 
became a precedent case on this point in extradition 
decisions. It is reported in the Minnesota Federal Re- 
ports, 34. Darky George was turned over to me. 



282 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

" In travelling with a prisoner for a long distance, 
involving night riding, it is necessary to sleep in the same 
berth with him, if he is the sort with whom it is safe to 
shut your eyes. He is handcuffed and has irons on his 
legs and he lies on the inside of the berth. It was June 
and the nights were warm, and I decided I did not care 
to sleep in the same berth with Brother Claxton, so I took 
a detective, a first-class man, then of the Pinkertons, now 
with a northern railroad, with me to sleep in the berth 
handcuffed with Darky George. The three of us left St. 
Paul on June 28th. It was stifling hot in the car and 
Darky George and the detective crawled into the berth 
with their clothes on. Presently I heard Darky George. 

" ' Foh de Lawd's sake ! ' he gasped, ' I'se a-melting 
away.' 

" ' Melt ! ' was the answer, and all was still. 

" The train whizzed on. I waited an hour, and tiptoed 
up the car and peeped at the berth. The detective lay 
half out of the berth, puffing and gasping for fresh air. 
Inside I could see the dark outline of Darky George. 
The curtain was up and it was moonlight. 

" ' I'se a turnin',' he was saying. 

" ' Turn, ye naygur, turn purple, turn pink, but don't 
ye turn over,' growled the detective. 

" ' I'se a turnin'. I'se a turnin',' whispered Darky 
George hoarsely. ' I kin feel it a-comin'. I'se a-goin' 
to throw. I'se a gettin' ready to throw.' 

" ' Throw any dom thing ye please except a fit/ 
snorted his keeper, who lifted his head and eyed Darky 
George, and added, as he sniffed, ' Gee, naygur, but ye 
stink. Sweat less. Do you hear me ? Stop pourin' 
perspiration out of yersilf.' 

" ' I can't help it,' said Darky George, who lay like a 
monster loaf of bread in a hot oven. « Deed, boss, I jes' 
can't help it. Dey ain't no way I knows to keep de 
sweat back. It just rolls out itself, and deed I can't 
stop it.' 

" ' Draw in your skin, ye heathen,' growled the de- 
tective. ' Pucker yersilf up. The tighter ye pucker the 
less ye sweat.' 



TWO DISAPPEARANCES 283 

" There was a long silence. Then Darky George 
gasped. 

" ' Deed I can't pucker/ he said sadly. ' I jes' can't 
help dis water a-pourin' off me.' 

" ' Lie still, naygur,' said the detective sternly. ' Ye 
stink. Them that must smell to high heaven should 
smell in silence, for their odour is loud enough.' 

" I laughed throughout the night. The detective and 
Darky George slept little. I landed George in Chatham 
gaol on Saturday, June 30th. He made restitution to the 
bank and was acquitted. The last I heard of him he was 
busy among the darkies, bartering and dickering. 

" The detective soaked himself in a bath for five hours 
after the trip. Years later I saw him, and he said : ' Go 
away, Murray. Ye remind me of a sleeping car, and 
whenever I think of a sleeping car I smell naygur,' and 
he sniffed violently." 



XLVII 
TWO DISAPPEARANCES 

In the united counties of Stormont, Dundas, and Glen- 
garry, where Louis Kipp served a year for his part in the 
big circus fight, the county treasurer was Aeneas Mac- 
donald. He held office as a nominee of the Government. 
He was one of the leading men of that part of the country, 
active in business and social affairs, and of a prominent 
and influential family. 

" Aeneas was married, and was about forty years old," 
says Murray. " He was popular, and knew everybody 
in the three counties. One evening he was rowing on 
the St. Lawrence River, opposite Cornwall. He was seen 
at sunset in the boat. When he did not return his wife 
became alarmed and a searching party was organised. 
The boat was found, capsized and floating aimlessly 
about in a little bay, and later his hat was found in the 
water. The river was dragged, and men dived for the 



284 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

body, but it could not be found. Mrs. Macdonald put 
on widow's weeds. Aeneas was mourned as lost. Several 
bodies, found at various points along the river, were held 
in the belief that one of them might be the missing man, 
but none was identified as Macdonald. He had been 
county treasurer for many years, and his death occasioned 
wide-spread sorrow. It was thought at first that a stranger 
had been with him in the boat, and that he might have 
met with foul play, and, as in the Long Point or Piggott 
case, the body would wash loose from the weights at- 
tached to it and rise to the surface. Those who last saw 
Aeneas in the boat were confident he was alone and be- 
yond the reach of any one seeking his life. Suicide was 
scouted. Aeneas loved life too well for that. 

" A new county treasurer, Mr. Mathias, who died re- 
cently, was appointed, and Aeneas passed into the history 
of the three counties as an honest man and an upright 
official, who had come to an untimely end by accidental 
drowning. Months passed. The last hopes of finding 
the body were abandoned. Then the widow notified the 
insurance companies to pay to her the amount of her late 
husband's life insurance policies. It came to light then 
that Aeneas had taken out policies for thousands of dol- 
lars. The companies refused to pay until they had more 
positive proof of the death of Macdonald. They pro- 
fessed to believe he was alive and not dead. Mrs. Mac- 
donald began an action against the insurance companies 
to get the money. In the meantime the new county 
treasurer had been verifying the accounts of the office, 
and he found that Macdonald had embezzled thousands 
of dollars from the county funds, and had committed 
forgery and other crimes. 

" In the spring of 1888 the Government instructed me 
to find Macdonald. This action was due to the requests 
of the county officials of the united counties, and the 
letters of the officers of the insurance companies. It was 
a hard case. I sent personal communications to my 
police friends throughout the continent. The search 
was conducted largely in a confidential way, for I did not 
wish to arouse the suspicions of his friends, and he had 



TWO DISAPPEARANCES 285 

many of them. I explained the circumstances of his dis- 
appearance in detail, and cautioned them to make sure 
of their man as a mistaken arrest would be unpleasant. 
About this time a body was found far down the St. 
Lawrence, and some who saw it said it was the body of 
Macdonald. The people of the united counties were 
divided as to whether Aeneas was living or dead. As 
time passed there were folk who asserted positively they 
had seen him drown. 

" From police friends in California, I heard of a man 
named Abner Holt, who, they thought, was Macdonald, 
if Macdonold were alive. Mr. Holt did not tarry long in 
California, but shortly thereafter, I heard of a James B. 
Carter, in Oregon, who was suspiciously similar to Abner 
Holt of California in appearance. Then I heard from 
police friends in Colorado of the arrival of a Walter 
Holder in Denver, and Mr. Holder was a counterpart of 
Mr. Carter of Oregon, and Mr. Holt of California, and 
all three bore more or less resemblance to the ghost of 
Aeneas Macdonald. Next I heard of a Thomas Collier 
in St. Louis, and he, too, joined the list of duplicates of 
the missing Aeneas. These mysterious strangers popped 
up at intervals that satisfied me one man was travelling 
through the western part of the United States, with a 
change of names between cities. I determined to shake 
hands with this gentleman, and give him greetings in the 
name of those solicitous of the whereabouts of Aeneas. 

" I prepared the necessary papers, properly authenti- 
cated, and at the next city where this travelling mystery 
appeared I hastened to take the trail. I fell in behind 
him in Omaha, from whence he had bought tickets to 
St. Paul, and with a glad heart I took the next train to 
see my old friends in Minnesota. Mr. Many Names was 
there ahead of me, and was running short of funds. In 
fact, the first trace of him I obtained was as an applicant 
for a job as a street car conductor. He was to return the 
next morning. When he appeared I was there. 

'"Good-morning, Aeneas/ said I, shaking hands 
heartily. ' When did you get out of the river ? ' 

" ' I never got in,' said he. 



286 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

" I took him before United States Commissioner Spen- 
cer on June 2d. He was remanded until June 15th, and 
then until June 21st. In this interval a number of tele- 
grams came to me from Cornwall and Toronto to drop 
the case. I refused to have Aeneas discharged, and I ig- 
nored the telegrams. Immediately after his arrest Aeneas 
had sent word to his friends in Canada. Finally I re- 
ceived a written communication from the then Deputy- 
Attorney-General to drop the proceedings. It was a 
matter of great surprise and disappointment to me and 
to the United States authorities that, with such a clear 
case against Macdonald, it should have been dropped. 
It is entirely unusual to drop such extradition proceedings. 
It was brought about no doubt by the refunding of some 
of the stolen money to the county officials and by the 
abandonment, of course, of the actions against the insur- 
ance companies. That is the only way I can account 
for such unprecedented instructions to drop extradition 
proceedings when the prisoner was before the United 
States Commissioner. I think it was a great miscarriage 
of justice. 

" Aeneas Macdonald was released in St. Paul and the 
proceedings for his extradition were abandoned. He 
still is absent from Canada, and he never has returned. 
There are a few folk who possibly still cling to the be- 
lief that Aeneas was drowned, and that the man arrested 
was his double or his reincarnated spirit. But there are not 
many who think this. All others in the united counties 
know that Aeneas Macdonald was not drowned, and that 
he was apprehended later in St. Paul, Minnesota, and he 
would have been brought back but for the action of the 
then Deputy-Attorney-General in directing that the ex- 
tradition proceedings be discontinued. 

" Aeneas was inclined to piety at times. That may 
account for the happenings in which he was dead and was 
alive again, was lost and was found. 

" A few weeks after my return from St. Paul and 
Aeneas, there was another disappearance. It occurred 
hundreds of miles from the old home of Aeneas. About 
five miles from Thessalon, on the shore of Georgian Bay 



TWO DISAPPEARANCES 287 

in the district of Manitoulin, lived a family of farmers 
named Gillespie. There was a pretty thirteen-year-old 
daughter, Maud Gillespie. Early in August, 1888, she 
went out to pick berries and did not return. She was 
seen last near a trout stream, and a bully good trout 
stream it is, as I happen to know. Searching parties 
went out and hunted for days, but could find no trace 
of the child. On August nth I went up to Thessalon 
and began another search. I organised parties and ap- 
portioned the territory, and sent some on foot and others 
in boats, and for days and nights we scoured the islands 
and the shores of Georgian Bay. We visited scores of 
Indian camps, and pushed on into the wilds, but could 
not find her. I knew she had no life insurance, and was 
not a county treasurer, and that her disappearance there- 
fore was not suspicious, so far as she was concerned. 
Her parents were well-nigh distracted, and I determined 
to make a final effort to find her. With a small party I 
went far up to remote Indian camps, and in one of them 
I found an old squaw, who nodded and grunted to me, 
and I went outside with her. 

" « White girl ? ' she asked. 

" I nodded. The old squaw held out her hand. 

" ' Give,' she grunted. ' Give.' 

" I drew out some money. She sniffed. I felt in my 
pockets. I had a couple of trout flies in some tinfoil ; I 
took them out. The old squaw seized the glittering tin- 
foil eagerly, taking my last trout flies with it. She 
tucked it in her jet-black hair, coarse as a horse's tail. 

" ' Me — see — white girl,' she muttered slowly. ' She 
go — so — so — so — ,' and she waved far north with her 
long arm. 

" ' Alone ? ' I asked. ' She go alone ? Indian take 
white girl ? ' 

" But the old squaw only grunted and played with the 
tinfoil and trout flies in her hair. We searched farther 
north, and twice we heard from Indians of a white girl 
who had passed that way. When further trailing was 
hopeless we turned back and made our way to Thessalon. 
It was a long, hard tramp. On the fourth day I came to 



288 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

the trout stream, where the little girl last was seen. I 
was tired, and I stretched full length on the ground and 
idly gazed at the blue sky through the trees, and then 
rolled over and stared at the water. It was a lovely 
stream. It glided beneath the overgrowth into a broad, 
deep pool, on whose placid surface the reflection of the 
waving trees rose and fell amid patches of mirrored blue. 
Farther down the stream narrowed and rippled over 
rocks, splashing and gurgling as it went. But there 
must be no drifting aside into a fish story. I lolled by 
the stream until my men came up, and we moved on. 
No further trace of little Maud Gillespie was found, and 
I returned to Toronto. Fifteen years passed. In May, 
1903, a surveying party was exploring in New Ontario 
north of Lake Superior, over four hundred miles from the 
Gillespie home. They came upon a white woman living 
with the Indians in the wilderness. She was the wife of 
a big chief. She possessed a rare beauty of the wilds, 
yet was not wholly like her associates. She lived as an 
Indian, and exposure had tanned her a deep, dark brown. 
At first she was unable to talk with the white men, then 
gradually her power of speech in English returned until 
she could talk brokenly and remember a few English 
words. She finally recalled her name, Maud Gillespie, 
and her mother. They asked her if she wished to go 
back to her mother. She said she did, and they com- 
municated with her people and she went back to them, a 
woman almost thirty years old. She had gone away a 
little girl of thirteen, fond of her mother, and constantly 
talking or singing in her childish way. She returned a 
silent, reserved woman, with the habits and manner and 
speech of an Indian. She had lost her language, she had 
become an Indian. Gradually her people are winning 
her back. It is like taming a wild creature, but eventu- 
ally the inborn instincts will assert themselves, and much 
of the Indian life will fall away. They have been teach- 
ing her to speak her own language again, and she readily 
learned anew the songs she sang as a little child. 

" This loss of language is a singular thing. I met 
an Englishman in South America who had lost his 



THE HOLLOWED CHOCOLATE 289 

language, and he was distressed almost to distraction 
because of it. I have seen other cases, too, passing 
strange." 



XLVIII 
THE HOLLOWED CHOCOLATE 

A call to Gait awaited Murray on his return from 
Thessalon and the search for Maud Gillespie. Great ex- 
citement prevailed in the county of Waterloo. Many 
people were terrified; others were infuriated. A fiend 
was among them spreading death and planning the ex- 
termination of whole families. No one had any clue to 
the mysterious one's identity. It might be a stranger, it 
might be a neighbour ; it might be a person of high 
estate or it might be a creature of low degree. None 
knew, and there were myriad suspicions. It was as if an 
avenging angel or a deadly devil were abroad in the 
county, lurking to slay and escape unseen, leaving no 
trace of the manner of death. A victim arose in the 
morning well and happy, and fell lifeless before noon 
without a sign of sickness or an intimation of the end. 

" The climax came when little Meta Cherry, the three- 
year-old daughter of John Cherry, a prominent mill- 
owner of Gait, died in a sudden and mysterious way," 
says Murray. " I went to Gait, a prosperous town near 
Berlin, in the county of Waterloo. It was September, 
1888. Several persons were sick, as if a plague were 
upon them. I looked at the little child. She seemed 
startled, even in death, as if the hand that thrust her into 
eternity had seized her roughly and scared her. I talked 
with John Cherry, and he told me of a box of chocolate 
drops that had come through the mail. He showed me 
the box. A few of the chocolates were gone. Meta 
had eaten them. I took one out, and carefully scraped 
the chocolate off with a knife-blade. I found on the 
bottom of the chocolate a spot where a cavity had been 



290 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

bored, and this had been filled with a whitish substance, 
unlike the cream candy of the chocolate, and the hole 
then had been sealed deftly by glazing over the bottom 
with more chocolate. I took the contents of the box, 
and sent the chocolates to Professor Ellis for analysis. 

" I examined the box minutely. It revealed no clue, 
simply an ordinary pasteboard box. The wrapper in 
which it came showed a label pasted over an old address. 
The address on this label was printed with a soft lead 
pencil. I steamed the label to get at the address under- 
neath it, but it had been washed out and scraped away, 
except for the one word ' Miss.' The package had been 
mailed in Gait. On inquiry I learned that similar pack- 
ages had been received by the Rev. John Ridley, minister 
of the Church of England in Gait, and by Miss May 
Lowell and Mrs. Lowell, daughter and wife of Charles 
Lowell, proprietor of the Queen's Hotel in Gait. The 
boxes were quite small, and the inscriptions were alike as 
to the soft lead pencil. The packages had been dropped 
in the mail when no one was around, and the sender had 
vanished unseen. 

" Professor Ellis reported that the cavities in the choco- 
late drops were filled with strychnine. This established 
clearly the intent of the poisoner to kill many people, and 
wipe out a number of families. 

" I spent days gathering all the gossip of the town for 
generations back, hearing all the tales of trouble, and 
searching for some secret feud or some deadly hatred that 
would supply a motive for the deed. I ransacked an- 
cestral closets for family skeletons, and I poked in all the 
after-dark affairs and twilight scandals since the days 
when the oldest inhabitants were gay young folk, fond of 
walking hand-in-hand through the gloaming. I ran 
down secrets that distressed dear old ladies, and left them 
in tears. I heard confessions of errors of youth that had 
lain locked in gentle bosoms for many kindly years ; in 
fact, for a time I was an old Paul Pry Gadabout, poking 
my nose into other folk's business, until I felt I had sifted 
the lives and winnowed the chaff from the wheat in the 
collective career of the entire community. Every town 



THE SHANTY CITY OF SLABTOWN 291 

has its chamber of horrors, where the sad episodes of in- 
discreet living are laid away to crumble in darkness, and 
the town of Gait has no more than its share of secrets of 
the passing generations. I found nothing- in the long- 
gone years to throw light on the crime. There was no 
venerable hatred sufficient to inspire the murder of a lit- 
tle child. So I turned to later years, and for entangle- 
ments of recent months. 

" In the meantime, about the middle of October, I 
arrested Hannah Boyd at Thorold. Hannah was a fine- 
looking girl, and had been living as a domestic in the 
Queen's Hotel, of which Mr. Lowell was proprietor. 
Later she removed to Thorold, and worked for a family 
there as Hannah Bond. Her home was in Hamilton. I 
kept her a week, and interviewed her thoroughly, par- 
ticularly as to the family life of the Lowells, and whether 
she knew of the receipt of the package of chocolates by 
Mrs. Lowell and Miss Lowell, and whether she ever had 
heard of any trouble with the Ridleys, the Cherrys, and 
the Lowells. I was satisfied after these interviews with 
Hannah that she had no guilty knowledge, and that she 
had nothing whatever to do with sending the packages. 

" I did develop promptly a strong suspicion as to the 
person who did send the poison packages. I searched 
the drug-stores through Canada, and examined the 
poison-books in all of them, and went so far as to de- 
scribe to some of the druggists the person I suspected ; 
but I found no clue that would hold in a trial as sufficient 
evidence to convict anybody. It is one of the most ag- 
gravating cases of my entire experience, yet I hold stead- 
fast to my first impression." 



XLIX 

THE SHANTY CITY OF SLABTOWN 

Slabtown is a sprawling settlement of shanties along 
the feeder to the Welland Canal on the outskirts of Dunn- 
ville in the county of Haldimand. It is a Government 



292 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

reserve, and the residents are squatters. They are a 
motley population, who pay no rent, and fish or loll 
through life with an occasional industrious man among 
them. They are as distinct, in their way, as a nation 
apart from Canada, for they seem to have a code of 
morals all their own, and their customs in business are 
unique. One of the flourishing features of trade in Slab- 
town is in wives. They trade wives like knives in Slab- 
town, a fair swap and so much to boot. The women do 
not object, and the families increase and multiply upon 
the bank of the canal, one mother and several fathers. 

This results in quite a tax on the memory of Slabtown 
society. Mrs. Sallie Poney, for instance, using fictitious 
names, had seven children. One was Johnnie Poney 
Scollie, another was Mickey Poney Ready, another was 
Luella Poney Stott, another was Mabelle Poney Watkins, 
another was Thomas Poney Colter, another was Samson 
Poney Pettingil, and another was Tillie Poney Scollie, for 
in the end Mrs. Sallie had been traded back to the father 
of Johnnie Poney Scollie. Tobias Stott could point, as 
could other men of Slabtown, to a fine family of sons and 
daughters scattered through the shanties. Not all the 
elite of Slabtown were of the Stott or Scollie kind, of 
course, or the population would have become hopelessly 
mixed. As it was, a man was living with his great aunt, 
while an uncle traded for his niece's daughter by his 
aunt's son. In fact, one Slabtown dame once said that 
she had become her own mother. 

" Shure, Patty Scollie is his own grandfather for he 
traded for his father's great aunt's mother's son's daugh- 
ter," said she. 

A stranger appeared in Dunnville on October 31st, 
1888. 

" He was an old gentleman," says Murray, " about 
fifty-five, well dressed, apparently respectable. He had 
money. About eleven o'clock at night John Upper, 
living near the canal bridge on the edge of Slabtown, 
heard a loud scream and a splash in the water, then a 
clatter on the bridge, as if a man ran across it to Slab- 
town. Upper spoke to several persons about it, and in 



THE SHANTY CITY OF SLABTOWN 293 

the morning they looked for signs of a struggle but 
nothing was to be seen. Nine days later a body was 
found floating in the canal west of the bridge. It proved 
to be that of the old gentleman who was in Dunnville on 
October 31st. He had been murdered before the body 
was thrown into the canal. There was no water in the 
lungs, and the base of the skull was fractured. The 
pockets were turned inside out, his money was gone, no 
papers were found on him, and there was no clue to his 
identity. He was last seen about five o'clock in the after- 
noon on his way to Slabtown, slightly under the influence 
of liquor. I sent out his picture and long afterwards I 
learned that he was a harness-maker named Lowrie, from 
Toronto. 

" The autopsy I ordered, when I had the body ex- 
humed on my arrival, showed that the man not only was 
dead when put in the water but the body was still warm. 
This was shown, said the doctors, by the fact that what a 
layman calls goose-flesh, was visible. This appears and 
remains when a warm dead body is put in the water. 
Thus it was evident that the old gentleman had been at- 
tacked, had screamed, had been struck on the head with 
a blunt instrument and killed, then had been robbed and 
the body thrown in the water. 

" I became a frequenter of Slabtown. I collected a 
marvellous mass of information. You can get all kinds 
of information in Slabtown. Anything you want to 
know, they will tell you. I learned from a Slabtowner, 
named Henry Overhold, that three hours before John 
Upper heard the scream and splash in the night, Joe 
Clemo, of Slabtown, had stopped at Overhold's, and told 
him that before morning he would be a rich man. Joe 
Clemo then went out and returned to Overhold's house 
at seven o'clock in the morning, and drew a big roll of 
bills from his pocket and slapped them down on the floor. 

" ' Hanky,' said Joe Clemo, ' I made that since I saw 
you last.' 

" Overhold told this to me solemnly. I looked up 
Joe Clemo's record and found he was a bad egg, and for 
so young a man he had spent much time in the peni- 



294 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

tentiary. I learned from an hotel man in Dunnville that, 
two days before the murder, Joe Clemo had borrowed 
five cents. He always was broke. 

" I called on the aristocracy of Slabtown. They re- 
ceived me with open arms and soapsudsy hands or fishy 
fingers. Huldy Smith led me out to the bank of the 
canal, and there told me that Joe Clemo had called on 
her when John William Smith was out. 

" ' Joey showed me the squidge of bills, and he shook 
them to me so's I smelt 'em, and he says to me: 
" Huldy, fly with me to the United States." Joey says 
it to me.' 

" ' Was that all he said ? ' I asked. 

" ' Oh, no,' said Huldy. ' He says he love me and I 
smelt the bills again. Bills has a funny smell.' 

" ' Didn't Joey tell you where he got the bills ? ' I 
asked. 

" < No ; I didn't ask,' said Huldy. 

" ' But if Joey really had loved you he would have told 
you where he got them,' said I. 

" Huldy bridled up. 

" ' Huh ! ' said she. ' So he did tell me. While I was 
smelling the bills Joey Clemo whispers to me : " Huldy, 
I love you ; fly with me ; and I killed an old man be- 
cause I had to hit him to rob him, and I hit him harder 
than I meant, so when he wouldn't come to I pitched 
him in the canal. Fly with me." I told Joey that was 
no way to get money, and for him to go on about his 
own business and fly himself, but he wouldn't fly me with 
him. I stood by for John William, who ain't hitting 
people too hard on the head and pitching bodies into the 
canal.' 

" I found Joe Clemo had skipped out a few days after 
the murder. I hunted him for months, and finally heard 
of a fellow answering his description near Essex Centre, 
in the county of Essex. I went there late in March, and 
on April 4th I arrested the man, who was Joe Clemo. 
He had stopped at a farmhouse and was on his way to 
the United States. I handcuffed him, but said nothing 
about the charge against him. 



THE SHANTY CITY OF SLABTOWN 295 

" ' What are you arrested for ? ' asked the farmer's 
wife. 

" ' Oh, I am arrested for murder, that's all,' said Joe 
Clemo. 

" He had excellent power of divination. He evidently 
expected to be arrested for a murder. Men who have 
done no murder seldom expect to be arrested for killing 
a man. I took Joe Clemo to Cayuga before Squire Win- 
termute, and I summoned a number of Slabtown wit- 
nesses, and the magistrate was satisfied of Joe Clemo's 
guilt, and on April 16th, 1889, Joe Clemo was held for 
trial. Sam Smith, who, it was said, had been seen in Joe 
Clemo's company, also was remanded. I arrested Sam 
in Dunnville, but later no bill was found against him. 

" In making ready for the trial of Joe Clemo, I found 
the Slabtowners eager to be called in the case. Every 
time they told their story they made it stronger, as if 
they feared they would be overlooked unless their testi- 
mony was sensational and positive. They seemed to 
enter into a competition to see who could tell the most 
damaging story against Joe Clemo. This rivalry became 
so keen that Joe Clemo, according to the tales of the 
witnesses, had waved the bank-notes before several women 
and while they smelt them, Joe said : « Fly with me.' 
When Huldy Smith said Joe had asked her first, another 
promptly declared Joe Clemo had asked her three times 
and had showed her how he had killed the old gentleman 
and had dived with the body to the bottom of the canal, 
and had stuck it head first in the bottom so it would not 
come up, and had robbed it under water so no one would 
see him do it. One of the women finally said that Joey 
embraced her and said : ' You need not fly with me, if 
you don't want to. I love you so that you can take the 
money and not fly.' She added that she refused the 
money. This aroused other witnesses to still greater 
efforts. 

" I conferred, finally, with Crown Prosecutor Colin 
Macdougall, and I explained the situation to him and said 
frankly that it was one of the strangest cases I ever had 
encountered. Meanwhile, the grand jury, after calling 



296 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

only a few of the witnesses, had found a true bill against 
Joe Clemo, and his trial came on before Chief Justice 
Armour. We were in an awkward position. While I 
thought Joe Clemo did the deed, I did not think the wit- 
nesses were telling the truth, as they kept changing their 
stories constantly, and finally, as I have said, got into a 
competition as to who could tell the strongest story. 
Joe Clemo was defended by an able counsel, the present 
Judge Snyder, of Hamilton. I had a conversation with 
him, and he had very little hope of getting Joe Clemo 
out of his trouble. I had another conversation with the 
Crown Prosecutor and advised him to speak to Chief 
Justice Armour about the matter. I knew there would 
be no restraining many of the witnesses, once they got 
on the stand. They simply would vie with one another 
to tell the biggest story and make the grandest appear- 
ance on the witness stand. She who carried off the hon- 
ours would be queen of Slabtown, and her various chil- 
dren would bask in her glory. However, we hit on a 
plan of our own. 

" First we proved the death of the old gentleman. 
Then we selected some of our choicest Slabtown wit- 
nesses. Sarah Scollie was one. Sarah Scollie and Sally 
Poney were not the same woman. Sarah told her story. 
It was just grand to see her swell before the Slabtowners 
on the benches. Then came her cross-examination. 

" ' Are you married, Sarah ? ' asked Mr. Snyder po- 
litely. 

" ' None of your business,' replied Sarah 

haughtily, with her nose elevated and her head held 
high, as a sign of utter disdain. 

" Sarah meant to squelch her cross-examiner. So she 
gave him the Slabtown snub. Her answer gave the 
judge and jury an idea of Sarah's character. She was 
instructed to answer the question. 

" ' Not by a sight,' said Sarah. 

" She was asked with whom she was living at that 
time. 

" ' Sam Smith,' said Sarah, sniffing. 

" « How long have you lived with Sam ? ' 



THE SHANTY CITY OF SLABTOWN 297 

" ' Two years,' said the haughty Sarah. 

" ' With whom did you live before that ? ' 

" ' Ben Hughes,' said Sarah, glaring. 

" ' How long ? ' 

" ' About a year and a half,' said Sarah. 

" ' Was there not a dicker between Sam Smith and Ben 
Hughes about your transfer ? ' 

" Sarah tossed her head and looked unutterable scorn. 

" ' What transfer ? ' she snapped. 

" ' Of you to Smith.' 

" Sarah glared. The court instructed her to answer. 

" ' Yes,' exclaimed Sarah. ' A cow and a couple of 
dollars.' 

" Sarah stepped down. Next came Mrs. McCann. 
She was of the same stripe, only she was better natured 
than Sarah. She had lived with one man after another 
and there had been bargains and barter. After a few 
more of these witnesses the judge asked Mr. Macdougall 
if that was the kind of witnesses the Crown proposed to 
produce throughout the prosecution. 

" ' We take the witnesses just as they come,' said Mr. 
Macdougall. 

" ' Well, I would not hang a dog on the testimony of 
such witnesses,' said the court. 

" We had some respectable witnesses, but they were 
not our main ones. Joe Clemo went free. He was the 
hardest-looking man in the dock I ever saw. He was 
cross-eyed, so that he seemed to hold his head sidewise 
to see you. He was so well known as a bad character 
that the jury would have been apt to convict him. I 
was under the impression he was guilty, but I did not 
think it right to convict a man on the testimony of 
people whom the Crown officers did not believe ; and, 
under the circumstances, I was glad he was acquitted. 

" Numerous unsuccessful efforts have been made to 
break up Slabtown. The ministers and county councils 
and others have tried it, but there it is and there it seems 
to stay. There are honest, industrious folk in Slabtown. 
It is not a nest of thieves or a mere place of dissolute 
people. They simply are traders, even in wives." 



298 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

L 
WHY TAMBLY SLEEPS IN GEORGIAN BAY 

High on a hill overlooking the waters of Georgian 
Bay stands a white farmhouse. It may be seen from 
afar, shining like silver in the sunlight. Mariners know 
it as the White House on the Hill. They point it out, 
across the waters, a mere white speck ; or, when nearer, 
they nod towards it, as if to the marble tomb of some 
mighty chieftain. A lad once lived at this White House 
on the Hill — a fair-haired, blue-eyed, merry lad, whose 
grandfather carved small boats for him and taught him 
to sail them, first in the watering trough, then in the 
duck pond, and finally in the creek. The old man and 
the boy were wont to sit for hours in the shade, looking 
out over the bay, where the waters shimmered and 
sparkled, where the ships came gliding up out of the no- 
where, beyond the line where the sky dipped down to 
the earth. Stories of terrible tempests, tales of phantom 
ships, yarns of gallant seamen and how they went to 
their death were spun by the old man, while the boy 
listened, wide-eyed and open-mouthed. 

" The waters rock them to sleep," the old man would 
say. " The ships that go down are the cradles in which 
the seamen sleep." 

A great love for the water came to possess the boy. 
The land seemed a hard and desert place. He yearned 
for the life of a sailor. He used to tell his mother of his 
dreams, when golden ships came sailing over shining seas 
with a ship for him on which his name glittered. He 
plodded on about the farm, toiling in the soil and dream- 
ing of the sea. 

" When he was twenty-two years old," says Murray, 
" he packed his duds in a bundle and went to Owen 
Sound, determined to be a sailor. The Baltic, a steamer 
plying on Georgian Bay, between Owen Sound and 
Sault Ste. Marie, was in port at that time. He went 
aboard. It was in September, 1889. 

" ' I want to ship as a sailor,' said he. 



TAMBLY SLEEPS IN GEORGIAN BAY 299 

" ' What's your name ? ' they asked him. 

" ' George Tambly, of the county of Grey/ said he. 

" ' Ever been afloat ? ' 

" ' No, I've lived on a farm near Wiarton.' 

" They laughed ; but they hired him. He shipped as 
a deck-hand, and it was the proudest moment of his life 
when he went ashore and sent word home that he had 
shipped and was going to be a sailor. The Baltic carried 
a crew of about ten deck-hands, four firemen, two wheels- 
men, two engineers, and a chief cook. Captain Robin- 
son was her master. Many of the crew were rough-and- 
ready fellows, hardened to the life they led, reckless and 
devil-may-care. They were a different crowd from the 
gay adventurers who manned the shining ships in the 
farmboy's golden dreams. They were no gentlemen 
with velvet coats and jewelled daggers and bags of gold. 
Instead, there were slovenly, grimy, hard-spoken toilers, 
to whom life was a stern and merciless taskmaster, to be 
greeted with a sneer or a guffaw. 

" The crew quickly learned of young Tambly 's high 
ideals, and they gibed him constantly. The green coun- 
try boy shrank from them, and sought to be alone. 
There was liquor in the cargo on this trip. It was 
alleged that some of the crew pilfered and that a group 
of them broached the cargo. Certain it is that they 
hunted out Tambly and dragged him from his hiding- 
place, and sat him down in the centre of their circle and 
bade him drain a cup of liquor. He refused. They 
seized him, to force it down his throat. He set his jaws, 
and they could not open them. So they drank around 
the circle, each draining the cup that Tambly had re- 
fused. They spat on the country boy, and kicked him 
until he broke away and hid again. 

" ' He knows of the broached cargo,' said one. 

" ' Aye, and he refused to join us,' said another. 

" They debated it in their drunken way. Their con- 
tempt for the country boy grew to dislike and deepened 
to a deadly hatred. 

" ' Let's coat him, and make him dance,' said one. 

" With a shout they leaped up to carry out the sug- 



300 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

gestion. Two went for tar ; one stole a pillow, and slit 
it open and made ready the feathers ; the others began a 
search for Tambly. They found him hid near his bunk. 
He fought and kicked, but they choaked him and 
dragged him out in the moonlight. They stripped off 
his clothes and beat him, and then the hot tar was 
brought forth and they tarred him, slapping it on with 
paddles and smearing it over his naked skin. In agony 
he broke from his tormentors and ran around the ship. 
He shouted to the ship's officers for mercy, he pleaded 
with his pursuers to have pity. He fell on the deck and 
writhed as they chased after him, slapping tar on him 
and thumping him with the paddles. He knelt in 
anguish, and begged them to desist. Their answer was 
taunts, oaths, and more tar. The captain was aware of 
the persecution, but made light of it. Then they chased 
him again. Around and around the deck he fled, a 
hunted, tortured being, the tar stiffening and smarting. 
In despair he sprang upon the rail, and struggled to 
climb beyond reach. They gathered below him like a 
pack of hungry, snarling wolves. 

" Tambly looked down at them and then out across 
the water. High on the hillside he saw a light shine out, 
bright as the evening star. It was the light of home. He 
knew the old man was there, and probably had the glad 
note spread out before him, reading of how George had 
shipped as a sailor. A door in the farmhouse opened, 
and a stream of light poured forth like a beacon to 
beckon him home. The boy, for he was only a boy, 
hesitated. The waters looked cold and dark in the night. 
The drunken crowd beneath him clamoured for him to 
come down. One started to climb up after him. The 
door in the farmhouse on the hill closed. The light went 
out. His cry rang out in the night, and he leaped. There 
was a splash, and the ship went on. 

" The bodies that go down in these waters never come 
up. The water is too cold, and the depths are far, far 
down. Tambly sank, and never rose again. Quiet fell 
aboard the Baltic. 

" A passenger who was aboard the steamer on this trip 



REGINALD BIRCHALL, MURDERER 301 

heard of the outrage. He notified the proper authorities, 
and on the next trip I boarded the Baltic at Wiarton. I 
made the trip, and I drank with some of the crew and got 
the story and the names, and I arrested six of them, in- 
cluding Russell, the second engineer ; Tripp, the chief 
cook ; a deck-hand named Jennings, and others. I took 
them to Owen Sound and locked them up, and they were 
committed for trial for manslaughter. Later four of them 
were sent to prison. The captain's licence was revoked 
for a year. 

" I went to Tambly's house. I asked what they last 
heard from the boy. They told me that they had 
received his note about shipping as a sailor ; and the old 
man had taken it out again, for the hundredth time, to 
read it, and as he read he thought he heard a cry in the 
night. 

" • I thought George was calling,' said the old man, and 
he opened the door and stepped outside and listened. 

" Far out on the water he could see a steamer's lights. 
He heard nothing and went indoors. 

" ' I thought George called,' he said, ' but I was mis- 
taken. George is where, even if he called, I could not 
hear.' 

" The old man was right. George, far down in the icy 
waters, was where, even if he called, the old man could 
not hear." 



LI 

REGINALD BIRCHALL: OCCUPATION, MURDERER 

Thick grow the briars in Blenheim Swamp. Fallen 
logs and tangled thickets mingle in a maze, impassable 
save where paths penetrate the dense underbrush. Deso- 
lation and loneliness pervade the place. The spirit of 
solitude broods over the marsh. Wild creatures are its 
only habitants. They flit to and fro, their weird cries 
echoing in the stillness. On an edge of it is a deep and 
silent pool, Pine Pond. Its inner fastnesses for many 



302 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

years were an undiscovered country, from whose bourne 
at least one traveller did not return. The bones of dead 
men had been found in the swamp ; but not until Feb- 
ruary, 1 890, did it reveal a body lately dead — a body that 
lay like a bundle, half concealed. Two woodsmen pass- 
ing came upon it and rolled it over. Two long arms 
flapped lifelessly, two glassy eyes stared vacantly, and a 
cold, white face turned skyward, with a purple blotch to 
tell where a bullet bored its fatal way. 

Only the wild creatures of the swamp had beheld the 
tragedy. From the tree-tops and the moss lands they saw 
a young man, a gentleman, come walking up an old nar- 
row trail. Gaily he came. He was smoking, and gazed 
eagerly ahead as if the bush-grown road were a golden 
highway to a promised land. They saw him point for- 
ward and press on. They saw death walking at his elbow 
— a second figure, handsome and alert, swift of move- 
ment, stealthy, noiseless. They saw the glitter of steel, 
the flash of flame, the puff of smoke, and heard the ex- 
plosion ring out through the forest. They saw the 
blithesome young gentleman lurch forward, sway and 
fall, as a second shot went echoing over the marsh. 
They saw the murderer coolly feel the pulse, quietly 
search the pockets, then deliberately produce a pair of 
scissors and clip from the dead man's clothes all telltale 
traces of his identity or of the place whence he came. 
Nothing was done hurriedly. The noise of the shots was 
the rudest part of it. All else was done softly, placidly. 
The murderer raised the body by the arms and started 
towards Pine Pond, but the way was choked with tan- 
gles, and the blood left a crimson trail. So he laid the 
body down in a lonely spot, hid it as best he could with- 
out too great exertion, washed his hands in a pool, and 
walked briskly out of the swamp, whistling softly a merry 
tune. 

The murderer neither hurried nor lagged. He cast no 
furtive glances around him. Perfect self-possession marked 
his mien. He seemed to have no fear. He skirted Pine 
Pond, whose unfathomed depths would have told no tale 
if the body had been buried there. All was silent, for 



REGINALD BIRCHALL, MURDERER 303 

picnic parties had not visited the pond since a fire and 
storm felled trees and blocked the way. He vanished 
down the picnic road, where the year before jolly parties 
journeyed on merry outings, and where Lord and Lady 
Somerset, spending some months at Woodstock, eight 
miles away, were fond of coming to explore the Blenheim 
Swamp before they returned to England. 

" The body was found," says Murray, " by the Elridge 
brothers, Joseph and George. They lived in that vicinity, 
and were out chopping on Friday, February 21st, and one 
of them, in the tangle of the bog, amid a snarl of logs, 
and vines, and briars, and brush, stepped on the body, 
slipped, and almost fell upon it. They bore it out of the 
swamp, and, in response to a telegram to the Department 
of Justice, I went immediately to the township of Blen- 
heim, in the county of Oxford, and saw the body. It 
was the body of a young man, smooth shaven, of refined 
appearance, and clearly a gentleman. The clothing was 
English in style and cut, with a check caped mackintosh. 
The underclothing was of English make, for I had 
ordered some of the same kind and make in England 
some months before. There was no clue to his identity. 
The name of his tailor and the label on his clothes had 
been cut out carefully. The label of his brown Derby 
hat had been removed. Even a possible telltale button 
had been severed. I sat down with the body, placing it 
in a sitting posture opposite me. I looked at it as if it 
were a man asleep. He was little more than a big boy, 
a gentle lad, a youth just out of his teens, a refined son of 
refined parents. In the back of his head was the purplish 
black hole of the bullet, and near the nape of the neck 
was another. He had been shot from behind ; perhaps 
he never knew who shot him. Death crashed upon him 
from the rear, and he fell without a glimpse of his 
murderer. 

" What could have brought this young Englishman of 
gentle birth to this desolate spot, and what could have 
been the motive for his murder? Possibly he had been 
murdered elsewhere, and the body taken secretly to the 
swamp and hid, to shrivel and wither and crumble away 



304 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

until only a string of dead men's bones remained to tell of 
the tragedy. 

" ' Who are you ? ' I asked the dead body as it sat 
facing me ; but, in answer, it lurched forward and fell on 
its face. 

" I had it photographed. I gave copies of the photo- 
graph to the newspapers of Canada, and requested them 
to print the picture and to ask other papers throughout 
the United States and England to reproduce it. I hoped 
that some one somewhere in the world, seeing the face 
of the unknown dead, would recognise it, and thus solve 
the mystery of his identity. Even in death he was so 
typically English, so characteristically British, that I said 
at once he was not from Canada or the States, but was 
from England. But where had he been murdered ? 

" I went to the snarl in the bog in Blenheim Swamp 
where the body had been found. I saw where it had 
lain, half hid, where only an accidental stumbling on it 
would have revealed its presence. I pondered on the 
mystery of Providence in guiding the Elridges to the 
precise spot where the body lay. A regiment of hunters 
might have tramped through the swamp and not come 
upon it, yet one of these two brothers, by favour of good 
fortune, had slipped and stepped on it, and so discovered 
it. I saw the crimson stain where the head had been. 
I crawled on hands and knees over the surrounding 
ground, and I found a crimson trail. I followed it back 
a few paces, and it stopped in a blotch of blood. Beyond 
the blotch there was no further trace of blood. Here 
the murder had been done, here the shot had been fired, 
here the victim had fallen. His murderer had borne him 
to the denser place and hid him there. I crawled about 
the scene of the crime. I went over the ground inch by 
inch. On three separate visits I did this, hoping that 
some clue, some bit of a label, some little button, some 
shred out of his past life, might be lying in the swamp- 
land. On my last search I came upon a cigar-holder 
with an amber mouthpiece marked ' F. W. B.' It was 
half buried, as if it had been stepped on. It was the 
first clue. 



REGINALD BIRCHALL, MURDERER 305 

" Five days had passed since the finding of the body. 
No identification came. The picture was in all the lead- 
ing papers in Canada, and in a few days more it would 
be published in England. The body was buried at 
Princeton, a town a few miles from Blenheim Swamp. 
On the sixth day a man and woman arrived at Princeton, 
and asked to see the body of the young man who had 
been found in a swamp, and whose picture had been 
printed in the papers. They said they had crossed from 
England recently, and on the same ship was a young 
man who resembled strongly the picture of the dead 
man. The body was dug up on March 1st. The lady 
and gentleman looked at it, and both identified it as the 
body of their fellow passenger, and both were shocked 
deeply. 

" ' His name, we think, was Benwell,' they said. ' He 
was merely a casual acquaintance aboard ship, and we 
knew nothing of him.' 

" The lady and gentleman returned to Paris, about ten 
miles from Princeton. I had been to the swamp and out 
among the people living in that section, seeing them one 
by one, and I returned in time to join the lady and gentle- 
man at Paris. We met in the hotel. I introduced my- 
self, and the three of us were alone in the parlour 
up-stairs. 

" ' I am J. W. Murray, of the Department of Criminal 
Investigation,' I said. • You are the gentleman who has 
been out looking at the body of the young man found in 
the swamp ? ' 

" The gentleman was dressed in perfect taste. He was 
handsome and easy in manner, with a certain grace of 
bearing that was quite attractive. He came towards me, 
and I saw he was about five feet nine inches tall, supple, 
clean cut, well built. His hair was dark and fashionably 
worn ; his forehead was broad and low. He wore a light 
moustache. Two dark-brown eyes flashed at me in greet- 
ing. Clearly he was a man of the world, a gentleman, 
accustomed to the good things of life, a likeable chap, 
who had lived well and seen much and enjoyed it in his 
less than thirty years on earth. The lady stood by the 



306 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

window looking out. She was a slender, pleasant-faced 
blonde, a bit weary about the eyes, but evidently a woman 
of refinement. She half turned and watched us as the 
man advanced to meet me. 

" ' Yes,' said he, in quiet, well-modulated voice ; ' my 
wife and I were out at the grave and saw the body.' 

" The lady shuddered. The man continued that he 
was very glad to meet me. 

" ' You knew the young man ? ' I asked. 

" ' Yes, very slightly,' said he. 

" ' Ah, I am very glad to hear it,' said I. ' At last we 
may know who he is. Where did you meet him ? ' 

" ' In London,' said he. 

" ' London, Ontario, or London, England?' said I. 

" ' He came from London, England,' said he. ' A 
mere casual acquaintance. I met him, don't you know, 
on the ship — aboard ship, in fact' 

" ' His name ? ' I asked. 

" ' I think it was Bentwell, or Benswell, or Benwell,' 
said he. ' I knew him very slightly.' 

" « What ship ? ' said I. 

" ' The Britannic of the White Star Line,' said he. 
* We arrived in New York on Friday, February 14th.' 

" ' When did you last see the young man alive?' I asked. 

" ' He was on his way to London, Ontario, and as we 
were travelling to the Falls our way was the same. I last 
saw him at the Falls. He had a great deal of luggage 
down there. He left some of it, in fact.' 

" • I'm very glad to know this,' said I gratefully. ' You 
will be able to point out his luggage ? ' 

" < Yes,' said he. ' I'll be very glad to aid you. I am 
returning to the Falls to-day. We came, you know, 
because we saw the picture in the paper.' 

" ' Will you take charge of the luggage for me ? ' I 
asked. 

" « Gladly,' said he. 

" ' Your name, so that I may find you at the Falls ? ' I 
asked. 

" ' Birchall,' said he. ' Reginald Birchall, of London — 
London, England.' 



REGINALD BIRCHALL, MURDERER 307 

" ' Very glad to know you, Mr. Birchall ; very glad 
indeed,' said I. 

" During our conversation he became quite familiar 
and talkative. His wife was very nervous, as if the sight 
of a dead body had upset her. She began to pace up 
and down the room. 

♦"How was the young man dressed when you last saw 
him ? ' I asked. 

" I had a navy-blue overcoat on at the time. Mr. 
Birchall put his hand on the coat sleeve. There was no 
tremor in it. I noted it was rather a dainty hand. 

" ' Like that,' he said. 

" ' A whole suit of that colour ? ' I asked. 

" ' Yes,' said he. 

" ' Would he take a glass, do you know ? ' 

" ' Oh, yes, he used to get very jolly,' said he. 

" ' That London, Ontario, is a bad place,' said I. 
' They'd kill a man for a five-dollar note there. And this 
poor young man went to London, eh ? ' 

" I could see the wife's face clear with an expression 
of relief. The man reiterated his pity for the young 
man, and his desire to be of any service possible to me. 
We chatted quite cordially. 

" ' Were you ever on the continent before ? ' I asked. 

" ' Yes, New York and Niagara Falls, but never in 
Canada,' said he. 

" After further conversation I produced my note-book. 

" ' I am greatly indebted to you, my dear sir, for your 
kindness,' said I. ' This information is most valuable. It 
tells us just what we wish to know. May I trouble you to 
repeat it, so that I may note it accurately ? ' 

" The lady began to pace the floor again. The man 
told once more the story he had told to me. He made 
occasional pauses to ask the lady a question, as if his own 
memory had failed to note certain desired details of a 
casual acquaintance. She answered in a weary, anxious 
voice. 

" ' And I bade him good-bye at the Falls,' he con- 
cluded, ' and he went on to London, Ontario.' 

"' Did you hear from him ? ' I asked. 



3o8 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

" ' Just a line,' he said. 

" ' Have you got it ? ' I asked. 

" ' Have I got Fred's note, my dear ? ' he asked his 
wife. 

" ' No,' said the lady, ' but I remember seeing it.' 

" ' It was just a note to get his luggage through,' said he. 

" ' His first name was Fred ? ' I asked. 

" ' I think so,' he said quietly, as we eyed each other. 
' It was so signed in the note.' 

" His manner changed to even effusive cordiality. 

" ' Mr. Murray, come down and spend Sunday with us 
at the Falls,' he said heartily. 

" ' Delighted, but I must go to Toronto,' said I. 

" ' Toronto ! ' said he. ' I'd like to see Toronto. My 
dear, will you go to Toronto on Sunday as Mr. Murray's 
guest ? ' 

" ' Unfortunately I will not be home on Sunday,' said 
I. » Will you meet me at nine o'clock on Monday morn- 
ing at the Falls, and get all the luggage at the Customs 
House?' 

" ' Delighted to aid you,' said he. 

" We shook hands and bowed. The tired lady bowed, 
and I withdrew. I walked straight to the telegraph of- 
fice. On the way I thought it over. The man was 
lying ; I was sure of it. Yet, if he knew aught of the 
crime, why should he come to Canada at least a week 
after the deed was done and identify the body ? The au- 
topsy had shown the young man had been dead a few 
days, but not over a week ; so it was within eight or ten 
days after the murder that this suave, handsome English- 
man and his gentle wife had come from the Falls to Paris 
and thence to Princeton to view the body. Why had 
they come ? This story of seeing the picture in the pa- 
per was quite plausible. If he were telling the truth I 
could understand it, but I was satisfied he was lying. 
Yet the London, Ontario, part of it might be true. I 
wanted a few hours to investigate it and make sure. So I 
entered the telegraph office and sent a telegram to the 
Falls, describing Birchall and telling of his return to the 
Falls later that day. 



REGINALD BIRCHALL, MURDERER 309 

" ' Shadow this man,' I telegraphed. ' Do not arrest 
him unless he tries to cross the river to the States. I will 
be there Sunday night.' 

" I jumped to London, Ontario, and called on acquaint- 
ances there for trace of this young Fred Benwell. 
Among those I saw was Edward Meredith, a lawyer, to 
whom I spoke of Benwell and the steamer Britannic, and 
he told me that Barrister Hellmuth, of London, Ontario, 
had returned from England on the Britannic. I made 
sure that Benwell, or whoever the young man was, had 
not been to see Attorney Hellmuth ; in fact, I scoured 
London, and satisfied myself he had not been there 
at all. Birchall and his wife, meanwhile, had returned to 
Niagara Falls, Ontario ; and on March 2d Birchall was 
arrested, his wife being taken into custody two days later. 
They were remanded until March 12th. 

" I found that Birchall and Mrs. Birchall and a young 
man named Douglas Raymond Pelly were stopping at 
Baldwin's at Niagara Falls, and had arrived there the day 
after the murder. I saw Mr. Pelly. He was a handsome 
young fellow, about five feet nine inches tall, slight build, 
small light moustache, and a decided English accent. 
He told me he was the son of the Rev. R. P. Pelly, of 
Walton Place, Vicar of Saffron Walden, Essex, England. 
He was twenty-five years old, a graduate of Oxford, and 
a cousin of the beautiful Lady Pelly, who was one of the 
suite of Lord Lansdowne, formerly Governor-General of 
Canada. He told me he knew both the dead man, whose 
picture was in the papers, and Birchall. 

" ' Benwell, Birchall, Mrs. Birchall, and I all came out 
from England in one party,' said Pelly. ' Birchall and 
Benwell left us for a day, and Benwell never came back. 
I saw the picture of the dead man in the paper a few days 
later, and I told Birchall it was Benwell, and that he 
ought to go and identify the body and make sure.' 

" I sat down with Pelly, and for several hours he 
talked, telling me what he knew of Benwell and Birchall. 
Among Birchall's papers, found in searching his effects, 
were letters corroborative of what Pelly said. Pelly, with 
his Oxford course finished and the world before him, was 



3io MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

looking for an opening in life when, in December, 1889, 
he read an advertisement in London, England, newspa- 
pers as follows : 

' Canada. — University man — having farm — wishes 
to meet gentleman's son to live with him and learn 
the business, with view to partnership ; must invest 
five hundred pounds to extend stock ; board, lodging, 
and 5 per cent, interest till partnership arranged. — 
Address, J. R. Burchett, Primrose Club, 4, Park 
Place, St. James', London.' 

" Pelly saw this advertisement, and wrote to J. R. 
Burchett about it, asking for particulars. He received 
in reply, on December 9th, a telegram from J. R. 
Burchell, stating that he would go down to Walden 
Place, Saffron Walden, on the following Thursday. Pelly 
answered with a note, which was found with other letters 
in Birchall's effects, hoping he would stay all night as it 
was a long way to come for such a short interview, and 
also as he desired to have his father meet J. R. Burchell. 
On the appointed day J. R. Burchell arrived at Walden 
Place, and later met Pelly in London, and won over both 
Pelly and his father. He pictured to them a large farm 
one and a half miles from Niagara Falls, Ontario ; a farm 
with large brick houses and barns, the former heated by 
steam and lighted by gas and the latter by electric light, 
with lights placed around the farm. He told of the big 
and profitable business, and mentioned the fine fishing, 
shooting, and other sports to be enjoyed on the farm. 
He explained that the business carried on was buying 
horses in the rough and grooming them to sell for profit ; 
that the farm was used to raise horse feed; that during J. 
R. Burchell's absence, his overseer, a Scotchman named 
McDonald, and several hired men looked after the farm 
and business ; that he had a branch business at Wood- 
stock, and had rooms there, where he and Mrs. Burchell 
lived at times. He said a number of Englishmen lived 
around Niagara Falls, and that a club had been created 
in which the members lived in English style and had 



REGINALD BIRCHALL, MURDERER 311 

English servants. J. R. Burchell said he organised the 
club. The country was an earthly paradise, with wealth 
to be had for simply sojourning in the land. This glow- 
ing description captivated Pelly, and on January nth, 
1890, he wrote from Hollington, St. Leonard's-on-Sea, to 
J. R. Burchell, saying: 'Please consider all settled. If 
you will have the agreement drawn up, I will sign it and 
forward you a cheque for one hundred and seventy 
pounds at the same time. I shall look to meeting you 
on February 1st. When you get my steamer tickets 
would you be so kind as to forward me some steamer la- 
bels at the same time ? ' 

" References had been exchanged. Pelly had referred 
J. R. Burchell to Edward Cutler, Esq., Q.C., 12, Old 
Square, Lincoln's Inn ; Godfrey Lawford, Esq., 28, 
Austin Friars, E.C., and the Rev. Alfred Rose, Emman- 
uel College, Cambridge. J. R. Burchell referred to 
David Stevenson, Bainbridge, Maberley Road, Upper 
Norwood, master of transportation of the London and 
North-Western Railroad. J. R. Burchell drew up the 
following agreement : 



' Memorandum of agreement, made this day 

of , 1890, between J. R. Burchell, of Niagara, 

Ontario, Canada, and Bainbridge, Maberley Road, 
Upper Norwood, England, on the one part, and 
D. R. Pelly, of Walden Place, Saffron Walden, in 
the county of Essex, on the other part, to the effect 
that the said J. R. Burchell agrees to provide the 
said D. R. Pelly with board, lodging, washing, and 
household extras for one year, also with travelling 
expenses in Canada and United States, use of horses, 
carriages, sleighs, and such things as he may require 
pertaining to his business ; also for the space of one 
year : the said D. R. Pelly in consideration of the 
same, one hundred and seventy pounds, agrees to 
pay the sum of one hundred and seventy pounds 
sterling, the money to be invested in stock (horses) ; 
this sum to be repaid together with interest at five 



312 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

per cent, per annum in case the said D. R. Pelly 
does not stay beyond the year before mentioned. 
If the said D. R. Pelly should stay for a longer 
period, then the aforesaid sum to be repaid or ap- 
plied as the said D. R. Pelly shall determine. 

' The year mentioned to date from the signing of 
this agreement.' 

" A copy of this agreement I found in Birchall's hand- 
writing, and beneath it were scribbled various names, in- 
cluding A. Sloden Jones, 18, Talbot Road, Bayswater ; 
J. R. Birtwistle, Fred Beteor, H. H. Foxby, J. B. Simons, 
Dear Miss Lovett, the Rev. J. Readon, and Alfred A. 
Atkinson. 

" Pelly continuing his story, told me that he met Mr. 
and Mrs. Birchall on February 5th, and boarded the 
Britannic at Liverpool. To his surprise he found a 
fourth member of the party, a young man whom Birchall 
introduced to him as Fred C. Benwell, son of Colonel 
Benwell, of Cheltenham, England. Birchall intimated to 
Pelly that Benwell was not much of a fellow, but that he 
was simply crossing with them to a farm, and that it 
would be just as well for Pelly to have nothing to do with 
him. So Pelly treated Benwell rather distantly, and de- 
voted himself to Mrs. Birchall and Birchall on the voy- 
age. Benwell seemed to reciprocate by treating Pelly 
coolly, so Birchall deftly kept the two young men from 
becoming familiar and confidential. Finally Benwell and 
Pelly chatted together and Benwell told Pelly he, too, was 
to join Birchall in the horse business. Pelly went to 
Birchall and threatened to withdraw. Birchall pacified 
him, saying : ' Never mind, I shall find some way to get 
rid of him.' Birchall enlivened the voyage with glowing 
pictures of the profits awaiting them. 

" The Britannic arrived in New York on February 
14th. The Birchalls, Pelly, and Benwell went to the 
Metropolitan Hotel. While there they met a fellow 
from Woodstock, Neville H. Pickthall, who greeted 
Birchall and his wife. 

" ' Why, Lord Somerset and Lady Somerset,' ex- 



REGINALD BIRCHALL, MURDERER 313 

claimed Pickthall, the moment he saw them. ' De- 
lighted ! Are you on your way back to Woodstock ? ' 

" Birchall got free from Pickthall with little ceremony. 
Later some people supposed Pickthall had gone to New 
York to meet Birchall, but it turned out that green goods 
men had persuaded Pickthall to borrow $1,000, on his 
farm and go to New York to buy a lot of bogus money. 
Pickthall went, and happened to be there when the 
Birchall party appeared at the hotel. The same day the 
green goods men got Pickthall's $1,000, and sent him out 
to Denver, Colorado, on a wild-goose chase, and he 
turned up in Denver broke, and wrote to friends in 
Woodstock, and I had him back to testify at the trial. 

" Pelly said their party stayed overnight at the Metro- 
politan Hotel, and the next day, February 15th, they 
went to Buffalo, arriving there on the morning of Feb- 
ruary 1 6th, and registering at the Stafford House. Each 
young man was eager to see the mythical farm. It was 
only a couple of hours from Buffalo, said Birchall. Mrs. 
Birchall preferred to wait in Buffalo until sure everything 
was all right at the farm for her reception there. Pelly 
gallantly agreed to tarry with Mrs. Birchall while Birchall 
and Penwell went on to the farm to surprise the em- 
ployees. If all was well at the farm, Benwell would re- 
main there, and Birchall would return and take Mrs. 
Birchall and Pelly to the farm. Benwell and Birchall 
were to start at six o'clock the next morning. They did 
so, leaving the Stafford House bright and early on the 
morning of February 17th, to take a Grand Trunk train 
to the farm. 

" Birchall returned to the Stafford House in Buffalo 
alone at half-past eight that evening. He was in good 
humour, pleasant and laughing. Pelly asked where he 
had left Benwell. Birchall said he took Benwell to the 
farm and introduced him to McDonald, the overseer, and 
later in the day Benwell had told him he did not like the 
place, and did not care to associate with such people, and 
that Benwell had eaten nothing all day, but had stayed at 
the farm when Birchall left for Buffalo. Birchall said he 
gave Benwell some addresses before leaving, so he could 



314 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

visit folk in the country roundabout, including Attorney 
Hellmuth, of London, who had been a passanger on the 
ship. Pelly began to ask too many questions, and Birch- 
all said he was tired and went to bed. The next day 
they went to Niagara Falls, taking their luggage with 
them. They crossed to the Canada side and stopped at 
Mrs. Baldwin's, Birchall arranging for rooms and board 
there. 

" ' Soon after our arrival,' said Pelly to me, ' Birchall 
invited me to go for a walk. I went. We walked along 
the river road which goes from the village up to the 
Falls. I had told him about ten minutes before that he 
was failing to fulfil the representations he had made to 
me. He had replied with a shuffling explanation, and I 
mentally decided to give him another week, and if mat- 
ters did not change I would leave him. On our walk we 
came to a place where Birchall said a religious body in 
past years had held camp-meetings, and it was thought 
it would be nice to bathe in the river, so a stairway was 
built down over the cliffs with the idea that they could 
go down it to bathe, but it had been found impossible to 
bathe there because the current was too strong. Birchall 
said to me : " Oh, you have never been down here ; you 
ought to go. It is the best way to see the Falls." I 
told him I should like to go down, and he stepped aside 
for me. I went down first and soon noticed it was a 
rotten, unsafe stairway. It led down close by the Falls. 
" Birchall," said I, " this is a horrid place." He was fol- 
lowing and said : " Go on ; it will pay you." I won- 
dered afterwards that I did not slip or miss my footing. 
We landed at the bottom finally. To my great surprise, 
there stood a man gazing into the swirling water. This 
man turned and looked at me. I sprang past Birchall 
and started back up the stairs. The man turned and re- 
sumed his gazing into the water. Birchall seemed non- 
plussed when we came upon this stranger in this lonely, 
secluded spot, with the roaring waters ready to sweep a 
dead body away. Birchall followed me up the stairway, 
and all that day he was moody and silent. 

" * He invited me for another walk the next day,' con- 



REGINALD BIRCHALL, MURDERER 315 

tinued Pelly. ' He led the way down to the cliffs close to 
the cantilever bridge. Underneath this bridge you can- 
not be seen. You get in between the brickwork of the 
span and the edge. Birchall took me in there so as to get 
a better view of the rapids. He tried to persuade me to 
stand close by him at the edge, but his manner seemed 
so coldly quiet, so repellent, that instinctively I drew back 
and made my excuses for not going near the edge and 
went away. This was the second time. A little push and 
all would have been over. We returned to our rooms. 
I saw in the papers about a murder near Woodstock. 
On the next morning Birchall proposed I should go to 
Woodstock and look at the body and see if it was Ben- 
well. That alarmed me, and I got a revolver and put it 
in my pocket. Birchall and I went to the station, but the 
train had gone. I wanted to telegraph to New York, 
thinking Benwell might be there. Birchall refused to do 
this, and persuaded me to go over to the American side 
to see about some supposed matter of baggage. It began 
to rain while we were there, and he wanted to stay on the 
American side, but I said that was absurd, because his 
wife was at the Baldwin's boarding-house and would ex- 
pect us back. We started to walk back to Canada across 
the lower suspension bridge. It was storming and blow- 
ing. When out near the centre of the bridge, Birchall 
walked over by the edge and looked down at the roaring 
rapids. " Come, see the view ; it is superb," said Birchall, 
beckoning me close to the edge. I drew back. He grew 
white and walked on. I lagged behind, out of his reach. 
" Come, walk with me," he said, halting. " Your great 
coat will help keep off the rain." I shook my head. He 
repeated his invitation. I declined. He stopped, turned 
squarely and looked back. Then he advanced a step 
towards me. I stepped back and was about to run over 
the bridge when two men came walking across and 
Birchall turned and walked on to Canada. I see these 
things in a clearer light now that I know Ben well's fate. 

" ' The next day,' continued Pelly, ' Birchall went to 
Buffalo to see about some message he said was from Ben- 
well. When he returned he said Benwell had sent a 



3i6 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

message to forward all his heavy luggage to the Fifth 
Avenue Hotel in New York. The next day I saw the 
awful picture of the dead man in the paper. I took it to 
Birchall. " That looks like Benwell," I said. Birchall 
said it was impossible, as Benwell was to be in New York. 
I told him he should go and see the body, and I would 
go to New York to see if Benwell was at the Fifth 
Avenue Hotel. I saw him leave for Paris with Mrs. 
Birchall to see the body. Then I went to New York 
on the next train. I could find no trace of Benwell, so I 
returned. Birchall and his wife had been to view the 
body and it was Benwell, and the arrest followed/ 

" Pelly was telling the truth from first to last," says 
Murray. " In going through Birchall's effects I found 
this note, written in a big, boyish hand : — 



' 20, porchester gardens, 

' Bayswater, 

1 London, W. 
* December jd, i8gg. 
' Dear Sir — 

' My father thinks I had better see you as soon as 
possible. I will be at my club, " The National Con- 
servative," Pall Mall, at the corner of Waterloo Place and 
opposite the " Athenaeum " at three o'clock on Thursday 
afternoon, and will wait there till five o'clock ; or if you 
prefer it I will go down to Norwood or any place in 
London you like to name, soon, if you will drop me 
a line. ' I am, dear sir, 

' Yours faithfully, 

' F. C. Benwell. 
' J. R. Burchell, Esq.' 

" I found other letters from Benwell to Birchall, and in 
Benwell's luggage I found letters from Birchall to Ben- 
well. Here is one : 



REGINALD BIRCHALL, MURDERER 317 

' Primrose Club, 4, Park Place, St. James' ; 

' Bainbridge, Maberley Road, 

♦ Upper Norwood, S.E., 

February 2d> 1890. 
' My Dear Benwell — 

* We sail Wednesday next, February 5th, in the White 
Star S.S. Britannic. I have got you a ten-guinea berth 
for the eight pounds and ten shillings you sent me. So 
that is pretty good, I think. The ship sails in the after- 
noon early. I am going up first thing in the morning to 
ascertain the exact time of sailing. If the ship doesn't 
sail till after three, we shan't go down overnight, as there 
will be lots of time in the morning, if we leave here by 
an early train. Your heavy baggage must be taken on 
board by the tender on Wednesday, or shipped in the 
dock on Tuesday. However, I fancy it will be best to 
have it consigned to the care of the White Star Com- 
pany, per S.S. Britannic. I will wire you in the morn- 
ing, how to act. Of course, if we haven't time we must 
leave on Tuesday night. This you shall hear further of. 
Your labels shall be posted to-morrow morning. 

' I fancy the storms are gone over now and we shall 
have a good voyage. You will be able to meet us on the 
voyage. Of this I will inform you to-morrow. 

' Kind regards to Colonel Benwell and yourself. 

' Yours very sincerely, 

' J. R. BURCHELL.' 

"The letters showed conclusively that Benwell, like 
Pelly, had been caught by Birchall's advertisement, and 
that he had arranged with each without notifying the 
other. Benwell and Birchall had met and talked over the 
farm business. Young Benwell talked to his father, who 
had travelled considerably and he advised his boy to go 
and see the farm and then draw on him for what he re- 
quired. Birchall had taken Benwell with him to this 
side, Benwell paying the passage money to Birchall and 
having an ample amount of money with him for expenses 
and the authority to draw on his father. 

" I cabled and wrote at once to Scotland Yard for 



318 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

information about Birchall and his reference, David 
Stevenson, as well as Pelly and Benwell. I also adver- 
tised all over this continent for the stranger who stood at 
the foot of the old stairway by the Falls when Pelly and 
Birchall descended to the water's edge. The stranger 
never answered the advertisement. He may not have 
seen it or he may have seen it and desired to avoid 
notoriety. I doubt if he were an accomplice or acquaint- 
ance of Birchall. He probably was a sightseer enjoying 
the view. 

" The replies from my friends in England informed me 
that J. R. Birchall was none other than the younger son 
of the Rev. Joseph Birchall, late well-known Vicar of 
Church Kirk and Rural Dean of Whalley. The Birchalls 
had a sort of hereditary connection with Brasenose 
College, Oxford, where the father held a foundation 
scholarship or fellowship. Wherever the young Birchall 
had lived he achieved notoriety. In his younger days 
he was at Rossall School for some time when the Rev. 
H. James, late Dean of St. Asaph and then head of 
Cheltenham College, was head master. He left there 
suddenly and entered the Reading School, boarding with 
the Rev. Mr. Walker, head master. He earned a reputa- 
tion in these schools that preceded him to Oxford where 
he went in the autumn of 1885. His name vanished 
from Oxford's calendar in the spring of 18S8. His col- 
lege was Lincoln, and the dons remembered him with 
sad head-shakes. He was a rake and a wild one. He 
was an organiser of carousals, in and out of college, day 
and night. He had plenty of money, and kept a num- 
ber of horses at college. No one was cleverer than he 
at evading punishment for his pranks. Often merciless 
in his pursuits of mischief, he would do his fellows a turn 
with good grace. He was hail-fellow-well-met with a 
number of men, who knew little of him except that he 
was full of humour and fun and had singular conversa- 
tional gifts. His notoriety was due in no small part to 
his loud style of dress. He wore gaudy waist-coats, and 
his costume rarely lacked some adornment of flaming 
hue. He established at Oxford a club called The Black 



REGINALD BIRCHALL, MURDERER 319 

and Tan. It attained such a reputation for noisiness and 
boisterousness that it became extinct. At Oxford, Birch- 
all showed, in his class work, great powers of mind, with 
an exceptional memory. He was being educated for the 
Church. His father's church at that time was in Lan- 
cashire, and his brother had a church near Lechlade. 
His father died while he was at Oxford, and the property 
was divided between the two sons and a daughter. 
Reginald's share was over $20,000, but by the provisions 
of the will he was not to come into possession of it until 
May, 1 891. In June, 1889, he had been notified by 
Clement, Cheese, and Green, solicitors, of London, that 
his creditors proposed to throw him into bankruptcy. 
He replied that he had sold his interest in his father's 
estate for $15,000 to pay other creditors. 

" After leaving Oxford he went to London. There he 
eloped with Florence Stevenson, daughter of David 
Stevenson, for fifty years master of transportation of the 
London and North-Western Railroad. This explained 
the reference to Mr. Stevenson when Birchall exchanged 
references with Pelly. Birchall's father-in-law knew 
nothing of the use of his name. He was a respectable, 
honest man, seventy-six years old. In his daughter's 
effects were found some pathetic letters from the old man 
to his son-in-law. On November 25th, 1888, when he 
heard of the marriage, he wrote saying : ' Let me at once 
recognise your perfect right to get married in the form 
you preferred ; but we were a little grieved that we did 
not see our daughter take the most important step of her 
life.' Other letters were marked with tender solicitude. 
Birchall had dabbled in theatricals before his marriage 
and was well known to many stage-folk in London. His 
favourite club at this time was the Badminton Club, 100, 
Piccadilly, W. When he made ready to leave England 
after his marriage, he cashed cheques for £2$, or $125, 
at the Badminton Club, and C. Stewart Sproat, secretary 
of the club, wrote him on January 7th, 1890, when he 
was back in England, to send the cash without further 
delay. He and his bride sailed for America in the fall 
of 1888, after their marriage. They wrote to David 



320 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

Stevenson from America, and early in 1889 Birchall 
wrote from Woodstock, Ontario, to creditors at Oxford, 
saying he was in the employ of Somerset & Co., Brock 
Street, Woodstock, and had a lucrative position and 
would pay his debts promptly. While he was in Wood- 
stock, solicitors in England were advertising in the news- 
papers for his whereabouts. His father-in-law called on 
the solicitors and asked what such scandalous advertise- 
ments meant. When he was informed of his son-in-law's 
conduct the old man wept bitterly. In the summer of 
1889 Birchall and his wife returned to England and lived 
with Mr. Stevenson. Then it was that Birchall began 
advertising, under the name of J. R. Burchett or Bur- 
chell, address the Primrose Club, for young men with 
money to go to Canada and learn farming. 

" My information from England proved Pelly and 
Benwell to be just what Pelly had said, two victims of 
Birchall. Pelly's father was vicar of Saffron Walden, 
Essex, and Benwell's father was Colonel Benwell, of 
Cheltenham. The parents of both confirmed the stories 
told by the letters I found in the luggage. 

" At Woodstock I learned that Birchall and his wife 
had arrived there from England in the autumn of 1888 
to look over farm lands and enjoy the country life of 
Canada. His name was not Birchall then. He was 
Lord Somerset, Frederick A. Somerset, some day to be 
one of the lofty lords of England. His wife was Lady 
Somerset. They boarded at Mrs. John McKay's in 
Woodstock, lived gaily, dressed loudly, and became 
familiar figures in the country round about. They 
seemed to have money like the lord and lady they were 
supposed to be. They were fond of driving and picnics, 
and one of the spots Lord Somerset visited on various 
occasions was Pine Pond, with the Blenheim Swamp 
around it. This was eight miles from Woodstock and 
Lord Somerset came to know it well. When they left 
Woodstock to return to England, Lord and Lady Somer- 
set were called away suddenly and left numerous unpaid 
bills behind them. Lord Somerset, from across the sea, 
wrote to a Woodstock acquaintance as follows ; 



REGINALD BIRCHALL, MURDERER 321 

1 Midland Grand Hotel, 

' London, England. 
* My dear Mac, 

1 You must have been surprised to find me gone. 
I went down to New York for the wife's health and 
while there got a cable the governor was suddenly taken 
ill. I rushed off, caught the first steamer over, and 
got here just too late, the poor chap died. So I have 
been anyhow for some time. I am coming out to Wood- 
stock shortly, I hope, as soon as I settle up all my 
governor's affairs. I owe you something I know. 
Please let me know, and tell Scott, the grocer, to make 
out his bill, and any one else if I owe anybody anything. 
I was in too much of a hurry to see after them. I have 
several men to send out to you in August. Tell me all 
news and how you are. Many thanks for all your kind- 
nesses. Let me know what I owe you and I will send a 
cheque. 

' Thine ever, 

' Fredk. A. Somerset.' 

" Lord Somerset did not return to Woodstock 
promptly. The next time he sailed for America was 
under his right name with Lady Somerset under her 
proper name, Mr. and Mrs. Reginald Birchall, and they 
had with them the two young men, Pelly and Benwell, 
and the four arrived in New York on the Britannic, on 
February 14th, and the first person they saw in New 
York, by the merest accident, was the farmer Pickthall of 
Woodstock on his way to meet the green goods men. 
He recognised Lord and Lady Somerset and went his 
way to be fleeced by others. I verified at the Metropol- 
itan Hotel the date of their arrival and departure. I ver- 
ified at the Stafford House in Buffalo the fact of the ar- 
rival of the party of four on February 16th. I verified 
also at the Stafford House the fact that, the next day 
Pelly and Mrs. Birchall stayed at the hotel, while Birchall 
and Benwell were called before six o'clock and went 
away. Birchall returned in the evening. Benwell never 
returned. 



322 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

" I took up the trail of Birchall and Benwell when they 
walked out of the Stafford House about six o'clock on 
the morning of February 17th. I saw Conductor William 
H. Poole, who had the run on the Grand Trunk Railroad 
between Niagara Falls and Windsor. He had two pas- 
sengers who got off at Eastwood, a station four miles from 
Blenheim Swamp. Their description answered that of 
Birchall and Benwell. The train stopped at Eastwood at 
11.14 tnat morning. Matthew Virtue, a bailiff of Wood- 
stock, was on the train. As the train left Eastwood he 
saw two young Englishmen walking away from the sta- 
tion, one of them wearing a cape coat. Miss Lockhart, 
of Blandford, was on the train. A couple of seats ahead 
of her in the car sat two young Englishmen. As the 
train approached Eastwood her attention was drawn to 
them by the manner in which they were talking about 
the land. They were admiring fields which were in no 
way to be admired. One wore a big astrakhan cap. It 
was easy to identify him by it. She noticed the man in 
the cap was very quiet and twitched in his seat, yet 
always was attentive to his fellow traveller, the younger 
man. She saw them alight at Eastwood and start off 
briskly to the north, the man with the fur cap in the lead. 
I found others who saw the pair on the train. Alfred 
Hayward and his wife saw them leave Eastwood station. 
John Crosby, a young farmer, living in Blenheim town- 
ship, was driving in Governor's Road about noon when 
he saw the two young men walking towards Blenheim 
Swamp. Miss Allie Fallon, who lived with her mother 
a short distance from Blenheim Swamp, saw two young 
men pass the house on the road leading past the swamp. 
There was a ball at Princeton that night and she re- 
marked : ' There go two dudes to the Princeton ball.' 
One, in a cape mackintosh, walked ahead. The other 
was walking behind. She had come to know Lord Som- 
erset by sight the year before and she thought the man 
walking behind was Somerset. They were walking in 
the direction of the swamp. James Rapson, owner of a 
swamp adjoining Blenheim Swamp, was out with his men 
cutting timber about one o'clock in the afternoon, when 



REGINALD BIRCHALL, MURDERER 323 

he heard two pistol shots in quick succession in Blenheim 
Swamp. He was a little less than a mile away but heard 
the shots distinctly. 

" Thus I traced them, step by step, to the swamp and 
to the very hour of the murder. Then comes an interval 
when the murderer is alone in the swamp with his victim. 
The shots are fired about one o'clock, within about half- 
an-hour after Miss Fallon saw the two men going to the 
swamp. Birchall evidently had been pointing out land 
from the car window, as part of his farm, and had told 
Benwell they would take a short cut through the thick 
woods and surprise the men at the farmhouse. Benwell 
was a credulous young fellow and innocently entered the 
swamp and started up the abandoned winding trail, 
Birchall readily finding a pretext for dropping behind a 
moment and Benwell eagerly pressing on for a sight of 
the farm — the farm he never was to see. 

"An hour passes. At half-past two Charles Buck, a 
young farmer living on the road between Eastwood and 
Blenheim Swamp, about half a mile from the swamp, was 
driving home from Woodstock, when, at the crossroads 
leading to Eastwood, a man turned the corner from the 
Blenheim Swamp road and started for Eastwood. The 
man wore a fur cap, and he stopped and asked Mr. Buck 
the way to Gobies Corners, as he wished to get to Wood- 
stock. Buck told him he was within much less than two 
miles of Eastwood and he could get to Woodstock from 
there as easy as from Gobies Corners. The man thanked 
him and walked on towards Eastwood at a rapid pace. 
At three o'clock Miss Alice Smith arrived at the East- 
wood station to post a letter. As she was going into 
the station gate she came face to face with Lord Somer- 
set, who had been in Woodstock the year before and 
who had called at her grandfather's, John Hayward's, 
home at Eastwood. Somerset wore an astrakhan cap. 
He came up to Miss Smith and shook hands pleasantly, 
saying : ' How do you do ? Don't you remember me ? ' 
and asked after her family and the ' old governor,' mean- 
ing her grandfather. He told Miss Smith he was coming 
back later and then bought a ticket for Hamilton. Miss 



324 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

Mary Swazie, another young lady of Eastwood, also was 
at the station for the three o'clock train. She saw the 
stranger. His trousers were turned up and his shoes 
were muddy. Miss Ida Cromwell, of Eastwood, also saw 
him at the station. James Hayward, an Eastwood store- 
keeper, saw him at the station and recognised him as the 
so-called Lord Somerset. 

" At 3.38 the train for Niagara Falls arrived at East- 
wood. The stranger in the fur cap boarded the train. 
George Hay, a train brakesman, saw him and remem- 
bered him distinctly, and identified Birchall positively as 
the man. Other witnesses also identified Birchall, and I 
established a perfect chain of evidence showing his 
whereabouts from the time he left London and from the 
time he left the Stafford House on the morning of the 
murder until his return there at 8.30 that night. Wit- 
nesses identified the dead body of Benwell as that of the 
young man with Birchall on the train to Eastwood and 
on the road to the swamp. I traced them together to the 
swamp, where Benwell was found dead the next day, and 
I traced Birchall away from the swamp and back to Buf- 
falo, after the pistol shots had been fired. He had four 
hours and twenty-four minutes in which to walk the four 
miles from Eastwood to the swamp, do the murder, and 
walk back to Eastwood. He arrived at n. 14 in the 
morning and departed at £.38 in the afternoon. If he 
took three hours to walk the eight miles, he still had one 
hour and twenty-four minutes for the crime. 

" To clinch Birchall's guilt, I heard from London at 
this time that Colonel Benwell had just received from 
Birchall an undated letter, headed with the address of 
Niagara Falls. The postmark revealed its date was 
February 20th, three days after Birchall left Benwell 
dead in the swamp. In this letter Birchall asked that 
the agreement be set aside, and that $500 be sent him 
at once. ' I have been talking to your son to-day about 
arrangements, and he is so well satisfied with the pros- 
pects here that he is ready to go immediately into part- 
nership, and he is writing to you to-day on the subject,' 
wrote Birchall. This was three days after he left Benwell 



REGINALD BIRCHALL, MURDERER 325 

dead in Blenheim Swamp. The $500 was to be the first 
payment on $2,500 which Colonel Benwell was to send 
to his son for Birchall if the farm and prospects pleased 
young Benwell. Pelly identified the body found on Feb- 
ruary 1 8th as Benwell's body, and thus Birchall could 
not have been talking to him on February 20th. Instead 
of writing to his father on February 20th, Benwell lay 
dead on a slab with none to know his name. 

" I brought creditors of Lord Somerset from Wood- 
stock to see Birchall. They identified Birchall as the 
bogus Lord Somerset. One of them, William MacDon- 
ald, denounced Birchall as a dead-beat, a swindler, and a 
faker. Birchall haughtily declared that such language 
offended and insulted him. Later a lunatic in the gaol 
approached him and said : ' Tell me why you killed 
Benwell.' Birchall laughed merrily, and was neither 
offended nor insulted. I brought witnesses who said 
Birchall was the same man who, as Lord Somerset, had 
made frequent visits to Blenheim Swamp the year before, 
and had learned the path to Pine Pond, the lake in the 
swamp that is supposed to be bottomless. I studied all 
the data I had in hand, and worked out the theory on 
which I was certain we could convict this clever murderer. 

" Birchall had embarked in business as a murderer. 
He had adopted life-taking for revenue as a profession 
promising rich returns. He had become deliberately a 
professional murderer. For a year he had planned the 
crimes, and fitted himself for the practice of his pro- 
fession. While masquerading as Lord Somerset he had 
selected the bottomless lake, known as Pine Pond, for the 
grave that would tell no tales. The Blenheim Swamp he 
selected as the place of slaughter, his chamber of death. 
He was familiar with the emigration business, through 
his father-in-law's knowledge of it. He conceived the 
idea of taking rich young men instead of poor emigrants. 
He created an imaginative farm, and he went back to 
England to select a victim. He made the mistake of 
taking two instead of one. Even then his plans were 
well laid. He would kill Benwell in the swamp and 
shove Pelly into the rapids at the Falls to be pounded to 



326 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

pieces. Neither body would be found, for he would bury 
Benwell in the bottomless lake and Pelly would vanish in 
the whirlpool. If one of the Elridges had not slipped 
in the Blenheim Swamp all would have been well. He 
stepped on Benwell's body, and the crime was known. 
Birchall had not intended to leave the body where any 
one could step on it or see it. He was heading for Pine 
Pond when he killed Benwell, and meant to drag the 
body thither ; but since his last visit to the swamp, a fire 
and storm had swept it and choked the way to the bot- 
tomless lake. He was relying on water to hide both his 
victims. Neither body was to be found. The two young 
men were to vanish from the face of the earth. The 
professional murderer would have collected, by bogus 
letters to fond parents, the sum still due from the vic- 
tims, and would have gone back to England for more 
victims. 

" He had no grudge against either Benwell or Pelly. 
They never had wronged him. No flame of fury leaped 
up within him inciting him to crush out their lives. It 
was purely and simply a matter of business. The life of 
each young man represented so much ready money, and 
Birchall was a murderer for the money there was in it. 
He went about it in a practical, quiet, methodical way. 
Eventually he might become rich. No bodies could be 
found, and lost dead men are as good as live men whom 
no one can find, he reasoned. As he increased his 
capital, he might buy a farm with a bottomless lake and 
a dismal swamp, and kill his victims without trespassing 
on other people's property. He could vary his name 
and address and keep the families of his victims far apart, 
and thus minimise the risk of detection while the bottom- 
less lake swallowed the victims one by one and kept their 
bones icy cold through endless years. 

" Fate was against the murderer for revenue only. Fire 
and storm had blocked his way in the marsh. Provi- 
dence guided a woodman's step to the very spot where 
the body otherwise would have lain undiscovered, and 
crumbled away. Fate placed the stranger at the foot of 
the rotten stairway at the Falls where Pelly was to die. 



REGINALD BIRCHALL, MURDERER 327 

Fate put the two strange men on the lower suspension 
bridge the night Pelly was to be hurled into the rapids. 
Pelly lived, and he compelled Birchall to go to Princeton 
and view the body. It may be that Birchall believed he 
would brave it through, and still kill Pelly at the Falls, 
and then throw the crime of Benwell's death on the miss- 
ing Pelly. But it all failed. The hand of Fate reached 
out of the world of chance, and destroyed the whole fabric 
this professional murderer had constructed so carefully. 
He planned well, but Providence swept his plans aside. 

" The case had all the elements to make it a famous 
crime. It involved immigration, in which both England 
and Canada were interested vitally. The high connec- 
tions of young Pelly, the refined associations of young 
Benwell, the notoriety of Birchall and his previously pic- 
turesque career, combined to give it prominence. Some 
folks declared the murder of Benwell was but a part of a 
plot of wholesale killing of rich young men of England 
by an organised band of red-handed villains, who enticed 
their victims to Canada. This I never have believed. 
Birchall had no male confederates, and he acted single- 
handed. I looked up his life thoroughly, year by year. 
John Emery, a London actor, wrote to me of Birchall's 
theatrical career. He was treasurer of one company, 
and appropriated some of its funds to his own use. Later 
he was assistant manager of a company playing A Child 
of the West in the provinces in England. Emery was in 
the company, and when a difference arose over failure to 
pay salaries, Birchall and the manager called Emery into 
a room and drew a pistol, and advised him to cease being 
dissatisfied. Other episodes showed Birchall a desperate 
man if occasion demanded. His crime at Blenheim 
Swamp aroused Canada. Great crowds attended the in- 
quest at Princeton on March 8th. Pelly testified against 
Birchall. Mrs. Birchall was discharged. Public sym- 
pathy had been awakened for her. Birchall was com- 
mitted for trial. Mrs. Birchall's father, David Stevenson, 
cabled $500 to me for his daughter the day after she was 
arrested. I gave it to Mrs. Birchall and her counsel. 
Hellmuth and Ivey, of London, Ontario. 



328 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

" The trial of Birchall stands out as one of the great 
criminal trials of Canada. It attracted world-wide atten- 
tion. On September 20th the grand jury returned a true 
bill against Birchall. His trial began on Monday, Sep- 
tember 22d. It was held at Woodstock. Justice Mc- 
Mahon presided. B. B. Osier, a truly brilliant lawyer, 
prosecuted for the Crown, assisted by J. R. Cartwright, 
Deputy Attorney-General. George T. Blackstock ably 
defended Birchall, making a desperate effort to save his 
life. Cable connections led direct from the court-house 
to London, England. The English newspapers, as well as 
those of France, Germany, and Italy, printed columns upon 
columns of the trial, some of the English papers printing 
the full testimony, the lawyers' pleas, and judge's charge. 
The gist of the defence was that in the four hours and 
twenty-four minutes between his arrival at Eastwood and 
his departure on the day of the murder, Birchall could not 
have walked four miles to the Blenheim Swamp, shot a 
man, and walked four miles to the station. The verdict 
was inevitable — guilty. The evidence simply was over- 
whelming. Birchall was sentenced to be hanged on 
November 14th. 

" During his imprisonment in Woodstock gaol, Birch- 
all was the recipient of much attention from some peo- 
ple. There were people in Woodstock who bared their 
flower gardens to send him nosegays every day. Silly 
girls wrote silly letters to him. He sent me word on 
various occasions that he wished to see me. Indeed he 
became quite offended if I went to Woodstock and did 
not call and take him for a walk in the gaol yard. 

" ' I found you always a gentleman,' were his last words 
to me ; < and you did your duty, and I have no hard feel- 
ings against you.' 

" During his last months of life he wrote an autobiog- 
raphy, in which he omitted many salient facts of his 
career, and in which he did not confess the crime. 
However, I may say that, while Birchall went to his 
death without a public confession, the last possibility for 
doubt of his guilt was swept away before he was ex- 
ecuted. 



REGINALD BIRCHALL, MURDERER 329 

" He was hanged on November 14th — a cold, grey 
morning. He went to his death ghastly white, but with- 
out a tremor. He walked out in the prison yard in his 
own funeral procession, unsupported, and mounted the 
scaffold with a steady step. ' Good-bye, Flo dear ; be 
brave,' was his farewell to his wife. The D online cum 
veneris judicare noli nos condemnare — ' O Lord, when 
Thou shalt come to judge, do not Thou condemn me ' — 
was uttered by the Rev. W. H. Wade, of Old St. Paul's. 
The Lord's Prayer was said. And then — a crash, a 
creak, and a lifeless body dangled where a man had 
stood. It swayed gently to and fro in the chill November 
wind. So ended the Birchall case as it had begun — with 
a death. 

" Pelly returned to England after the trial. He had 
desired to go home after the preliminary hearing, but the 
Government decided he should remain, and he stayed 
with me until after the trial. He arrived at Saffron 
Walden at seven o'clock in the evening of October 27th. 
An English newspaper, telling of his home-coming said : 

" ' The knowledge of the arrival had become known, 
and the result was that a crowd of some thousands had 
assembled in the vicinity of the railway station in order 
to give a welcome to the returned voyager. The arrival 
of the train was signalled by a feu de joie. Mrs. Pelly, 
with Miss Geraldine and Miss Daisy Pelly, were on the 
platform when the vicar stepped out with his son, and 
the greetings between mother and son, sisters and 
brother, were very warm. These over, a move was 
made for the carriage in waiting, and as soon as Mr. 
Douglas Pelly appeared on the outside of the station he 
was received with prolonged and deafening cheers. The 
horses were unharnessed, and the car was drawn to 
Walden Place by willing hands, preceded by the Ex- 
celsior Band, playing " Rolling Home to Dear Old Eng- 
land," and men carrying lighted torches. In addition to 
the large following, crowds had assembled all along the 
line of route, and as the carriages passed along, the oc- 
cupants were repeatedly cheered. Flags were hung 
from various private houses, and the residence of Mrs. 



330 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

Bellingham was illuminated with coloured lights. At 
the entrance to Wjalden Place a triumphal arch had been 
erected, having on the front the words " Welcome 
Home." ' 

" Pelly was drawn home by a rope in many willing 
hands ; Birchall was drawn home by a rope in hands he 
did not know and never saw." 

LII 

THE FOOTMARK BY LANGFORD'S BED 

Old Dick Langford was a miser, and the pride of his 
life was a fine bay horse with a white spot on his nose. 
Old Dick was eighty years old and the horse was eight. 
They lived on Old Dick's farm in the county of Carle- 
ton, six miles from the town of Carp, ten miles from 
Stittsville, and thirty miles from Ottawa. Many a time 
the shrivelled old man and the spirited bay horse had 
done the distance to Ottawa in less than four hours. Old 
Dick's wife had left him twenty years before he got the 
bay horse. She had said Old Dick was a skinflint and a 
torturer, and she would not live in the same county with 
him. He chuckled and showed his solitary front tooth, 
and transferred his farm so that she could not claim a part 
of it. After his wife was gone, Old Dick tried to regain 
title to his farm, but the man to whom he had transferred 
it disappeared, so Old Dick bought the farm near Carp 
and settled down alone, with his bay horse with the white 
spot on his nose, and a few farm horses, cows, chickens, 
dogs, and four books. 

" Old Dick's bay horse was stolen in 1889," says 
Murray, " and the old man raised a tremendous hulla- 
baloo. About three months later the horse was re- 
covered in Ottawa and Old Dick was happy. In the fall 
of 1890 the horse was stolen again. Old Dick declared 
he knew the thief, and the adjoining counties were pla- 
carded with the following : 



THE FOOTMARK BY LANGFORD'S BED 331 

< STOP HORSE THIEF ! 

' Stolen from Richard Langford, Lot 1 3, Con- 
cession 8, Township of Huntley, County Carle- 
ton, on Friday night, October 3d, 1890, A 
DARK BROWN HORSE; age 8; height 16 
to 17 hands ; weight about 14 cwt. ; black points, 
except white spot on nose and white hind feet. 
May have traded since. Arrest 

'GEORGE GOODWIN, 

« alias St. George, alias Brennan ; height, about 
5 feet 8 or 9 inches ; age, about 24 ; fair com- 
plexion, small sandy moustache, sandy hair, 
slim build and sharp features ; grey clothes, and 
wore a cap when last seen. Take charge of any 
horse he may have and wire 

« r. McGregor, 

' County Constable, 

' Almonte, Ont' 

" Old Dick spent his time driving about with other 
horses searching for his bay horse, and declaring that the 
thief would go to prison this time. In December Old 
Dick ceased driving about and locked himself up in his 
house and devoted himself anew to his library of four 
books. The favourite was a ' History of the Siege of 
Londonderry and Defence of Inniskillen.' The other 
books were ' Meditations and Contemplations,' by the 
Rev. James Hervey ; ' A Short Defence of Old Religion 
against Certain Novelties, Recommended to the People 
of Ireland ' ; and a big family Bible. Old Dick would 
open the ' History of the Siege,' and lay it on the table. 
Then he would shout passages from it at the top of his 
voice and toddle up and down the room in the throes of 
great excitement over the deeds of the lads of London- 
derry. 

" On Saturday afternoon, December 6th, 1890, three 
weeks after Birchall was hanged, neighbours passing to 
and from the town of Carp could hear old Dick, the 



332 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

miser, roaring away over the ' Siege of Londonderry.' 
His door was locked and his windows were barred, but 
his voice could be heard while he thumped with his cane 
and trod the kitchen floor, as if leading a gallant charge. 
Robert Clark, a neighbour, whose house was in plain 
sight of the home of Old Dick, saw a light in the house 
in the early evening and at nine o'clock, when he looked 
out, Old Dick's house was dark, the light was out and the 
old miser, as was his custom, was supposed by Clark to 
have gone to bed. About half-past ten that night, as 
Clark was locking up for the night, he looked out and 
saw Old Dick's house brightly lighted, something Old 
Dick never did, because he deemed it extravagance. It 
was so unusual, that Clark was on the verge of going 
over to see if all was well with the old man ; but it was 
snowing and blowing, so he concluded to wait until the 
next morning. On Sunday Clark went over to Old 
Dick's. The house was locked. It was blowing heavily. 
Clark beat on the door, and when no answer came he 
went to the barn. Lying on the floor of the barn was 
Old Dick, sprawled out senseless, his head a mass of 
frozen blood. Clark shouted over to his own house and 
his family came and they bore the old miser to his house, 
forced in the door and endeavoured to revive him. The 
doctors were called and they worked over Old Dick, but 
he died, declaiming a passage from the ' History of the 
Siege of Londonderry,' and speaking no word as to the 
identity of his murderer. 

" I arrived before the old man breathed his last. His 
head had been beaten by a blunt, heavy instrument. I 
searched the barn and found an iron pin, thirty-seven 
inches long and weighing ten pounds. Old Dick had 
used it as a pin to fasten the barn door, but white hairs 
and blood on it showed the murderer had used it as a 
club to beat Old Dick's head almost to a pulp. The 
doctors, who examined the wounds on Sunday, said that 
Old Dick had been beaten on Saturday, and had lain all 
night in the barn. I searched the house. I found the 
* Siege of Londonderry ' open on the table, as the old 
man had left it. I found his bed had been disturbed and 



THE FOOTMARK BY LANGFORD'S BED 333 

that some one had slept in it ; a man, judging from the 
footmark, which was not Old Dick's. The footmark 
showed no shoe, but seemingly, a thick, wet sock. The 
murderer, whoever he was, called Old Dick out from his 
house to the barn on Saturday evening, either by hailing 
him or threatening to steal a horse, and as Old Dick 
entered the barn the murderer smote him with the iron 
pin and left him for dead, then quietly went to the house 
and lighted the light seen at half-past ten by Clark, who 
had thought at once that something was wrong, or Old 
Dick would not waste candles or oil. After warming 
himself at the fire, the murderer calmly went to rest in 
Old Dick's bed, and slept serenely while Old Dick lay 
dying in the barn with his wounds freezing. On Sunday 
morning the murderer had gone his way in the blinding 
snow-storm that covered his tracks. 

" I began the usual house-to-house questioning of 
everybody in that part of the county, and at the very out- 
set I was reminded of Old Dick's stolen horse and his 
belief that he knew the thief. At every house I asked if 
they had seen George Goodwin recently. Goodwin was 
known in that locality as a loose character. He chopped 
wood and did odd jobs for farmers. I found a farmer 
who had seen him early on Saturday evening about a 
mile from Old Dick's. Goodwin at that time was walk- 
ing towards the Langford farm. I found another farmer 
who saw him still nearer Old Dick's house. Later I 
found another who saw him on Sunday bound in the 
opposite direction, away from Old Dick's. I got a good 
description of Goodwin. He was twenty-four years old, 
five feet eight inches tall, weighed one hundred and forty- 
five pounds, and had sandy hair and a light sandy mous- 
tache. He was bow-legged, had watery eyes, was near- 
sighted, and a silent fellow, who seldom spoke unless 
spoken to. But what satisfied me was the description of 
his clothing given by the farmers who saw him. He wore 
a blue suit, a short, striped overcoat, an imitation of lamb- 
skin cap, and beef-skin moccasins. The moccasins settled 
it. They accounted for the footmark in Old Dick's bed- 
room as of a thick, wet, stained sock. I billed Goodwin 



334 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

for Old Dick's murder. He was known also as Brennan, 
St. George, Wilkins, and used still other names. He had 
relatives living near Ottawa, and I expected him to go to 

tu ^ore jumping to the United States. He had not 
robbed Old Dick, for I found his money 

"Goodwin did precisely as I expected. He sent to his 
relatives for money, while he hid near Ottawa. I had 
hunted him through December, 1890, and January and 
February, 1891, and in March I located him near Ottawa 

Smed F)T SG M° r r he u Spring ASSiZCS - His relatives ^ 
m1 Dalt °n McCarthy to defend him. Justice Mc- 

Mahon presided, and the trial was postponed until the Fall 
Assizes at the request of the defence. In the interval 
Goodwin got out on bail. He skipped the country and 
never came back. It was good riddance of bad rubbish. 
1 wondered often whether the murderer enjoyed 
pleasant dreams when he lay down and slept in his 
victim s bed. The prosecution's theory was, that Good- 
win had killed Old Dick, not for robbery necessarily but 
because Goodwin had stolen Old Dick's horse and Old 
Dick knew he did it, and was waiting to locate him in 
order to have him arrested and sent to prison. If our 
theory as to the murderer had been wrong, Goodwin 
would not have been apt to run away. 

" I had good luck in the Goodwin case, as indeed I 
have had in almost all cases. But about this same time I 
had a case where luck seemed wholly against me— in fact 
1 laid it away as a hard luck case. It was towards the 
close of 1890. John Brothers was the man in the case 
He manufactured agricultural implements in the town of 
Milton, in the county of Halton, about twenty miles west 
of Toronto. He took farmers' notes in part payment for 
implements. He became hard up, placed his genuine 
notes in the bank and added some forged notes to them 
In due time the manager of the bank told him to take up 
the notes. Brothers went to his brother-in-law, Amos 
Darling, an honest farmer who had a nice home earned 
by hard work. He dumped the notes on to Darling tell- 
ing him they were a good thing, paying seven and eight 
per cent, interest. Darling went to the bank and took up 



THE LADY OF PIERCING BLACK EYES 335 

the notes, giving the bank his own note for $5,000, or 
almost the value of his farm. Brothers promptly disap- 
peared, and the bank induced Darling to exchange his 
note for a mortgage on his farm, and in the end he lost 
his farm. I billed Brothers all over the country. 

" Through a letter he wrote from San Francisco, I lo- 
cated him there. He was working as a moulder in the 
Risdon foundry. I prepared extradition papers and 
started for San Francisco. While I was on my way west 
and before I arrived there, a friend of Brothers in Canada 
notified him of extradition papers having been issued, 
and Brothers disappeared the day before I alighted from 
a train in Frisco. I notified the police all over the coun- 
try, and after waiting some days and hearing nothing, I 
returned to Toronto. My train was several hours late. 
I learned that Brothers had been arrested by the chief of 
police at El Paso, Texas, on the Mexican border. The 
chief had wired me to Toronto and the telegram had 
been repeated to San Francisco and I was on my way 
back, so it missed me. I telegraphed immediately to El 
Paso, and the chief replied he had held Brothers as long 
as he could and had been compelled to release him a few 
hours before my telegram arrived, and Brothers had just 
left the town. If my train had not been late I could 
have reached the chief in El Paso in time. But luck was 
against me clear through in this case. 

" Brothers crossed into Mexico and stayed there. I 
have heard he is dead. I felt very sorry for his brother- 
in-law, Amos Darling, whose home paid the forgeries of 
Brothers. Such Brothers as this one are not desirable 
even as brothers-in-law." 



LIII 

THE LADY OF THE PIERCING BLACK EYES 

The lady of the piercing black eyes crossed Murray's 
path in 1891. She was an amazon, and Murray avers 
she was a virago as well. Her maiden name was Nettie 



336 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

Slack, and her cradle was rocked in the county of Perth. 
As a young girl she was famed for her jet-black eyes 
and raven-black hair, the eyes as shiny as the hair was 
glossy. 

" She grew to superb womanhood," says Murray. 
" She was very tall, very muscular, with big, broad 
shoulders and swinging tread, and the mien of a power- 
ful man. Her piercing black eyes were wicked looking, 
and there were few men in the county of Perth who ven- 
tured to cross humours with Nettie Slack. She was 
rather a good-looking woman. Her eyes enhanced her 
attractiveness and yet seemed to mar her beauty. This 
may seem a paradox, yet in the case of Nettie Slack it 
was perfectly true. She was one of those big, sturdy, 
almost burly, women who remind you of reincarnated 
creatures of ancient times, as if some of the white statues 
had turned to flesh and blood, with jet black tresses and 
adornings. As I looked at her the first time, I thought, 
' What a ploughman you would make ! What a wood- 
man you would be ! ' 

" She married. Her husband was her cousin, Thomas 
Blake Carruthers, a quiet, inoffensive young man, a pros- 
perous farmer, who lived near St. Mary's, in the county 
of Perth. Nettie Slack was not exactly quiet, and in 
other ways she differed from her husband. They had 
two children, and Tom Carruthers was a good father. 
He managed his stalwart wife, too, and all seemed serene 
on the Carruthers' farm. One day old Grandpa Fother- 
ingham, who was rich and lived in the township of 
Blanchard, county of Perth, died and left a goodly sum 
to his grandson, young Fotheringham, who knew Nettie 
Slack, and had gazed into her piercing black eyes. 
Young Fotheringham called on Nettie Slack after her 
marriage, and, of course, the gossips had their busy buz- 
zings over the woman with the piercing black eyes and 
the man with his grandfather's money. I could have 
pictured Nettie Slack, if she had heard this gossip, sally- 
ing forth with a flail and belabouring the backs of all 
the busybodies. The reports of alleged improprieties 
between Nettie Slack and young Fotheringham con- 



THE LADY OF PIERCING BLACK EYES 337 

tinued, and finally Tom Carruthers was said to have 
twitted his wife about it, while she flamed in fury, with 
her jet-black eyes ablaze. 

" Young Fotheringham took his money and went up 
on the Rainy River, in the wilds of the western part of 
this Province, and started a sawmill. Then he returned 
to the county of Perth and saw Tom Blake Carruthers 
and told him that on the Rainy River was the place to 
live, with the money flowing in. Fotheringham induced 
Carruthers to sell his farm and move out to the Rainy 
River and build a house and work in the sawmill. Nettie 
Slack Carruthers and the two little children, one four and 
the other two years old, accompanied Tom. They built 
a house near the mill and Carruthers worked in the mill. 
Nettie Slack kept house for Tom, and assisted a Mrs. 
Walt in the care of Fotheringham's home. Mrs. Walt 
said Nettie Slack was more like a visitor than a house- 
keeper. Fotheringham was unmarried. These condi- 
tions continued until January, 1891. On the morning of 
January 3d two shots resounded, and Nettie Slack rushed 
out of her house, shouting : ' Tom is dead ! Tom is 
dead ! ' She wrung her hands, and told those who came 
running to the house that she was down at the river after 
a pail of water when she heard the shots and ran up and 
found her husband dead on the floor. She had left him 
writing at a table. She was the principal witness at the 
inquest, and the coroner's jury brought in an open 
verdict. 

" It was over two hundred miles to civilisation. There 
were no roads ; only a dog trail in winter. But after the 
inquest Nettie Slack took her two children and started 
out with the mail carrier to get away from Rainy River. 
She slept out four nights in the snow-banks, and finally 
arrived at Rat Portage, where she took the train for her 
old home near St. Mary's, in the county of Perth. After 
navigation opened in the spring, people in the Rainy 
River district began to talk, and in July, 1891, I went up 
to Rainy River. 1 had the body of Tom Carruthers ex- 
humed and a post mortem made, and had the head cut 
off. The moment I saw where the two bullets entered 



338 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

the skull I knew it was not suicide but murder. One 
had entered well around at the back of the head, behind 
the right ear. The other entered the left temple. The 
doctor showed that either would have caused death as it 
crashed into the brain, and I saw clearly that Tom Car- 
ruthers never shot himself in the back of the head, be- 
hind the right ear, and also in the left temple. 

" Nettie Slack had said her husband had written a note 
of farewell as he sat at the table while she was out after 
a pail of water. I obtained this note. It read : 

" « I was heart-broken and tired of life and decided to 
end the awful conflict. Good-bye. 

" « Tom.' 

" I obtained specimens of Nettie Slack's handwriting. 
It was just as I suspected. The farewell note was a 
clumsy forgery written by her. I had this note photo- 
graphed. I got the thirty-eight calibre revolver. Tom 
was supposed to have written the farewell and then to 
have shot himself twice in the head and to have fallen 
dead on the floor beside the table. He fell dead, but the 
shots were fired by another. I returned to Rat Portage 
and laid an information against Nettie Slack Carruthers, 
and obtained a warrant for her arrest. I was on my way 
to St. Mary's when I learned she was in Toronto, and I 
arrested Nettie Slack Carruthers at the house of a Mrs. 
Walsh, and took her back to Rat Portage and locked her 
up. Her brothers were well-to-do, and they went to Rat 
Portage and saw her, and then engaged B. B. Osier, the 
foremost counsel in Canada, to defend her. The pre- 
liminary examination extended over a week, and Mrs. 
Carruthers was committed to the Port Arthur gaol for 
trial. All concerned knew a big legal battle would follow. 

" I talked with the five-year-old child. 

" ' Popy shot himself ; Popy shot himself,' the tot 
would repeat over and over. 

" ' Who told you to say that ? ' I asked. 

" ' Mammy,' said the child, and it began afresh, ' Popy 
shot himself; Popy shot himself.' 



THE LADY OF PIERCING BLACK EYES 339 

" Justice Armour presided at the trial. R. C. Clute 
prosecuted, and B. B. Osier defended. The trial did not 
come on until June, 1892. In the meantime, Nettie 
Slack's sister, a nice-looking girl, had gone to Port 
Arthur and stayed at the house of a merchant. Nettie 
Slack, in her girlhood, had played the organ in the coun- 
try church near St. Mary's, and her sister had an organ 
sent to the gaol and Nettie Slack played sacred music 
and sang hymns day after day. The men for jurors were 
selected by the sheriff and through some mistake the 
merchant, at whose house Nettie Slack's sister stayed, 
was drawn as a juror along with others inclined to be 
friendly to the prisoner. 

" I had handwriting experts to prove the farewell note 
a forgery. The wily Osier admitted the letter was a for- 
gery, and turning to the jury he exclaimed : ' What 
would a poor woman do in a strange country but look 
for an excuse to defend herself from an unjust accusation 
that might be made ? ' He was a great lawyer and a re- 
sourceful advocate, was Osier. I produced the skull and 
showed to the jury how impossible it was for Carruthers 
to have shot himself where the two bullets entered the 
head. Dr. Macdonnell had the skull in charge and it 
slipped and fell on the table and rolled to the floor. 
Nettie Slack laughed. Osier saw her, and quick as a 
flash he opened out his long gown like a curtain and 
stood so that the jury could not see her. Then he 
walked back to the box with his gown open and said : 

" ' You villain ! It's crying you should be instead of 
laughing ! You deserve to be hung ! ' 

" I heard him. Straightway Nettie Slack wept. 

" ' That's better,' said Osier, and he drew in his 
gown. 

" Osier and I often talked of this afterwards. 

" One of the witnesses was a woodman, named Cam- 
eron. He stumbled and mumbled and hesitated in his 
testimony, evidently having a wholesome regard for 
Nettie Slack's powerful physique. The virago eyed him. 
Mr. Clute asked Cameron if Mrs. Carruthers had shown 
any signs of grief over her dead husband. 



340 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

" ' I — I — well,' mumbled the reluctant Cameron, « 1 
don't think so.' 

" Up spoke the woman. 

" ' Say yes, Cameron,' she said. ' You know you saw 
me kissing the body.' 

" I proved where a spot of blood, some distance from 
the table and the body, had been washed up, but not suf- 
ficiently to obliterate the traces of it. I showed the 
woman was a clever shot with the pistol. I showed that 
Fotheringham was not near the house at the time, and 
that no one but Tom and the woman and the two tots were 
there. Tom and the tots could not have done the shoot- 
ing. The charge of Justice Armour emphasised this and 
clearly indicated who was guilty. The jury had a hard 
tussle, but the friends stood fast. Mrs. Carruthers was 
acquitted on Saturday, June nth, 1892. She came down 
from Port Arthur on the same boat I did. She spied me 
on deck and came over to me. 

" ' Well, Murray, you didn't hang me after all,' she 
said. 

" * I don't hang anybody/ said I. 

" She looked at me and smiled. 

" ' You were pretty decent,' she said, ' but that old 
rowdedow of a judge tried to put the black cap on me 
right in court.' 

" After the verdict Justice Armour had said to the 
jurors that their verdict was not consistent with the evi- 
dence, and had said to the woman : * Prisoner, you are 
acquitted ; I hope your conscience is acquitted.' The 
woman sneered. 

" « Murray, life's sweet, but it isn't worth much without 
liberty,' she said, as she sniffed the air aboard boat, after 
almost a year in gaol. 

" I watched her as she stood there, her eyes flashing, 
her bosom heaving, a towering creature stirred by a sight 
of water, land, and sky. 

" ' Murray,' she said, suddenly, tensely, ' it was worth it.' 

" ' What was worth what ? ' I said. 

" She laughed ; then her face, for once, seemed to be- 
come almost sad. 



AN ESCAPER OF GENIUS 341 

" ' I mean the year in gaol,' she said. ' A whole year 
out of my life.' 

" She looked full at me, then walked away. It was my 
last glimpse of the lady with the piercing black eyes." 



LIV 
AN ESCAPER OF GENIUS 

A man of many disguises appeared in Canada in 1890. 
He had wigs and beards and moustaches of varying sizes, 
shades, and shapes. He had a walk and talk, and com- 
plete change of clothes to match every alteration of hair 
aud face. Sometimes he was a French tourist, again a 
patriarchal clergyman, again a gruff, bluff Englishman, 
then a keen Yankee trader, next a quiet country gentle- 
man, then a prosperous American banker, next an inno- 
cent old farmer, until he seemed to have stepped out of 
the pages of fiction, a remarkable character who would flit 
around a corner — and, presto ! he was a different man. 

" His first appearance was in Halifax, Nova Scotia," 
says Murray. " He purported to be a yachtsman, and 
put up at the best hotel, registering as Mr. Thompson. 
He stayed a few days, getting acquainted quickly, and 
saying he expected his yacht to arrive shortly, and he had 
come on from Boston by rail. He looked the typical 
gentleman yachtsman. Finally he went to a wholesale 
liquor and supply house and bought $500 worth of wines 
and groceries for his yacht, to be delivered aboard on the 
yacht's arrival. He presented a Boston draft for $2,000, 
and they accommodatingly gave him $1,500 cash. He 
skipped. His next stop was at Moncton, one hundred 
and fifty miles north of Halifax, where he appeared as a 
gay young sport, expecting some horses to arrive. He 
finally got into the hotel for $500 on a bogus draft, and 
then flitted to the eastern townships of the Province of 
Quebec, where he did a land office business in drafts, and 
where he posed as a minister, a doctor, and a German 



342 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

globe-trotter. He seemed to have some hypnotic power 
over the hotel people and tradesmen. They cashed his 
bogus drafts without suspicion. From Quebec he 
jumped to Belleville, Ontario, where he bought a suit of 
clothes from a merchant tailor about noon on a Saturday, 
shortly before the banks closed. He gave the tailor a 
draft for $500, the tailor endorsed it, the bank cashed it, 
and away went the stranger. He skipped Toronto, 
and alighted in Listowel. There he pretended to be buy- 
ing horses, and he did buy a horse. A man named 
Laurie met him there. 

" There was a private banker in Listowel named John 
Scott, who was very rich and very close. He had a fine 
fancy team. The stranger offered to buy the team from 
Scott. They had two or three dickers over it. In the 
course of one of these horse talks the horse-buyer asked 
Scott what discount he charged on American drafts. 
Scott named a rate. The stranger said it was too much. 

" ' I don't want to pay that much,' he said. ' I've got 
them cashed at so-and-so, and so-and so, and so-and-so, 
for less,' he added, naming a number of places and banks 
and bankers. 

" At length he made an arrangement with Scott to 
cash a draft on the First National Bank of Mahanoy City, 
Pennsylvania, William L. Yoder, cashier, for $1,000. He 
got the money and skipped out. Scott was furious. 

" The next place this draftsman turned up was in 
Winnipeg. It was here he showed his first sign of drink. 
He had gone through Canada from the Atlantic Ocean 
on the east, cashing bogus drafts totalling high up in the 
thousands, without a slip-up, and he was well on his way 
towards the Pacific Ocean, when he stopped in Winnipeg 
and got a jag. He went to a bank to get a draft for 
$1,000 cashed on a Louisiana bank. Like all his drafts 
the handiwork was perfect. But his leering manner 
aroused the suspicions of the manager of the bank, who 
told him to leave the draft ' until the manager comes in,' 
and to return in three hours, and see the manager, who 
would cash it for him. The manager played it well, 
although if the stranger had not been drinking he would 



AN ESCAPER OF GENIUS 343 

not have returned. The manager telegraphed to the 
Louisiana bank, and the answer came that the draft was 
bogus. The stranger, who was going under the name 
of Hale in Winnipeg, called again at the bank after three 
hours, was arrested, convicted of attempting to pass 
bogus drafts, and sent to gaol for one year as Edward 
Hale. 

" I got after him in 1892. Some of those he fleeced 
held back for months before they notified any one of it. 
I started after him on the Scott case, and all the while he 
was in gaol in Winnipeg. I finally located him there. 
He heard I was after him, and he became very religious 
in the gaol, and at length he preached there to his fellow 
prisoners, exhorting them to reform and forsake evil 
ways. Crossley and Hunter, the evangelists, went to see 
him, and heard him preach, and thought he was reformed. 
The Rev. Mr. Crossley wrote to the Attorney-General 
and to me about him. I read the letter, and laid it away. 
I was biding my time, waiting for the expiration of Hale's 
time in Winnipeg. The day he walked out of gaol I 
intended to take him to Ontario to answer for the Listo- 
wel draft. 

" Hale sent for Fighting MacKenzie, who had acted as 
attorney for Dobbin on one of my visits to Winnipeg. 

" ' There is $1,000,000 in it if I can get out,' said Hale. 
' I was full when I did this, and I never did it before. If 
I can get free it means millions.' 

" Hale then told of a patent he had for ' manufacturing 
mosaic embroidery.' He sent for his wife, who came 
from the States, bringing a working model of this patent. 
Hale produced also forged patent rights for the United 
States and Canada, such clever forgeries that the lawyer 
did not detect them. 

" • I'll give you half the patent rights if you give me 
$1,500,' said Hale. 'It is worth $200,000 to anybody, 
but I want to get out. If I was out I would not take 
$200,000 for a quarter interest in it.' 

" The turnkey was called in. He agreed to give $500 
for half the Canada patent rights. The attorney was to 
give $1,000 for half the United States patent rights. The 



344 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

$1,500 was paid to Hale, who gave it to his wife, and she 
went away, taking the cash with her. The patent papers 
were executed. Consul Taylor was called in and wit- 
nessed the transaction. 

" Then came the question of Hale's release. He ex- 
plained that he must have his liberty to realise on the 
patents. In telling later of what happened he said the 
turnkey took a saw to his cell. 

" ' Saw the bars and get out, so I may keep my skirts 
clear,' he said. 

" Hale went down with the saw and returned almost 
immediately. 

" ' That won't saw hard butter,' said Hale, and he threw 
down the saw in disgust. 

" That night he was let out into the open yard. He 
returned to the window and hailed the turnkey. 

" ' How do I get over the wall ? ' asked Hale. 

" ' There is a loose board walk a foot wide,' said the 
turnkey. ' Put it over the wall and slide down.' 

" This is Hale's story. He did as he said the turnkey 
told him. He left a note stating nobody was to blame, 
and telling how he was supposed to have escaped. The 
escape was reported, and I set out to get Hale. With 
his disguises off he was a little, smooth-shaven, sandy- 
haired fellow, with false front teeth. I had his photo- 
graph, which had been taken as he was, without make-up 
or disguise, when he was locked up in Winnipeg. I knew 
he was a clever man. His work proved him to be as 
shrewd as any crook on the continent. I went to New 
York and saw Byrnes, and some of his officers remem- 
bered him. He had hung out in Brooklyn, and was 
known as Ed. Hayes. Those who knew him said he was 
as slick in his line as any man in America. I went to 
Winnipeg, and learned there that when the model of the 
supposed patented machine had arrived in Winnipeg with 
Hale's wife, it had been shipped by express from St. Paul, 
Minnesota. I had learned in New York that Hale's 
name was Ed. Failing. I prepared extradition papers, 
and went to Minneapolis, arriving there on Wednesday, 
April nth, 1892. I conferred with my old friend, Jim 



AN ESCAPER OF GENIUS 345 

Hankinson, for thirty years a detective. We began a 
hunt for people of the name of Failing, and we found the 
superintendent of the cattle yards near New Brighton 
was named Failing, and was a prominent and influential 
man. From neighbours of his we learned he had a 
brother, Ed. Failing. A liveryman at New Brighton, 
who was a friend of Hankinson, knew Ed., and said he 
was living in a secluded, lonely place some miles out of 
New Brighton, with his wife and two children. The 
liveryman said he came in for his mail about three times 
a week at eight o'clock in the morning. We waited, and 
on the second day he drove up to the post-office. I 
arrested him. 

" He became greatly excited, shouted that it was an 
outrage, and declared I had the wrong man, and that he 
was an honest farmer. He ranted while I snapped the 
handcuffs on him, and then he quieted down, still protest- 
ing it was a mistake, and asked to be permitted to go out 
to his home and say good-bye to his folks. I consented, 
and we drove out to his home. His wife greeted us at 
the door — a red-haired, pretty young woman of twenty- 
five. She nodded indoors, and an older, grey-haired 
woman appeared. Failing said she was his mother. 
When Failing told them of his arrest and how I had 
consented to let him say good-bye to them, one of them 
fell on my neck to embrace me. I pretended not to feel 
her hand slip into my pockets hunting for the key to the 
handcuffs, but I stepped back so quickly that her hand 
caught. I extricated it, and apologised for the clumsi- 
ness of my pocket and its rudeness in holding her hand. 

" Failing started to walk through the house. He ex- 
plained that he wanted to bid the old place good-bye. I 
bade him keep in my sight and not far from me. 

" ' I don't intend to have you mistaking me for the old 
place, and bidding us both good-bye,' said I. 

" He appeared much hurt, and said I spoke harshly to 
one who was an innocent farmer. We drove to St. Paul, 
leaving his family weeping in the doorway until they 
thought we were out of sight, but a bend in the road 
showed them without trace of tears. Failing fought ex- 



346 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

tradition. He denied being in Canada, and he called 
several witnesses to prove an alibi. I had gone east and 
arranged for my witnesses from Canada. On my trip 
east, I met my old friend Chief Cusack, of Buffalo, on the 
train, and we had a pleasant ride together, and exchanged 
some photographs of crooks, and among those he gave 
me was the picture of a fellow who, with Shell Hamilton, 
had been arrested some time before in Buffalo for at- 
tempting a sneak on Mrs. Dickinson's jewellery store. I 
had seen the pair at the Buffalo police headquarters, and 
had looked them over. I had the photographs with me 
when I returned to St. Paul for the extradition pro- 
ceedings. 

" One of the witnesses called by Failing to prove an 
alibi was a young man named Collins. He was the last 
called, following the wife, the mother, and a tailor and 
other friends, who swore Failing was in Minneapolis the 
day he foisted the bogus draft on Banker Scott at Lis- 
towel, in Canada. Collins swore he was with Failing in 
Minneapolis all that day, and that he (Collins) was con- 
nected with a Turkish bath in the West House. I pulled 
a photograph out of my pocket, and handed it to my at- 
torney, Markham. 

" ' Were you ever in Buffalo, New York, Collins ? ' 

" « No,' said he. 

" ' Ever know Shell Hamilton ? ' 

" ' No,' said he. 

" ' Is that your photograph ? ' — and Markham handed 
him the picture Cusack had given to me. 

" Collins wavered, but blurted out : ' No.' 

" I took the stand, and told of seeing Collins in a cell 
in Buffalo, and I showed the commissioner the police 
photograph. That settled the alibi. I had Bob Wood, 
a liveryman of Listowel, who identified Failing positively, 
and I had W. L. Yoder, cashier of the Mahanoy City 
bank, who swore the draft was a forgery. Commissioner 
Spencer committed Failing for extradition, and on May 
1 6th I started for Listowel with the prisoner. He pro- 
tested it was an outrage, and he was not the Failing I 
was after. Up to Stratford he denied his identity. 



AN ESCAPER OF GENIUS 347 

" ' Well,' he said, as the train left Stratford. < Listowel 
is next. I give up the ghost. I'll put you to no more 
trouble.' 

" « I don't care a cuss whether you do or not,' I an- 
swered, tartly ; for he had done all he could to block me, 
and ever was on the alert for an opportunity to escape. 

" Then he told me all about the Winnipeg business, 
and the fake patent, and the getting out of gaol. Banker 
Scott was at Listowel when we arrived. When Failing 
saw him he walked up and seized the hand of the aston- 
ished Mr. Scott, and shook it heartily before the banker 
could draw it away. 

'"Well, well! How are you, Mr. Scott? How de 
do ? ' said Failing cordially. 

" Banker Scott crimsoned with wrath, and snatched his 
hand free. 

" < Dang scoundrel ! Rascallion ! Villain ! Black- 
guard ! ' sputtered Banker Scott. ' How dare you shake 
hands with me ? ' 

" ' Between two gentlemen,' responded Failing airily. 

" He was committed for trial, and I took him to Strat- 
ford gaol, and warned the gaoler that he was a slippery 
fellow. The gaoler was an old soldier, who grew indig- 
nant over the reminder. Failing greeted him suavely, 
and bade him not be wrathful at me, as I meant well. I 
laughed to myself. Failing was to be tried at the Fall 
Assizes. A few days before the Assizes were to begin I 
received a letter from him saying he would plead guilty, 
and he hoped I would put in a good word for him. The 
next day he escaped from Stratford gaol. As in Winni- 
peg, he left a note saying no one was to blame. He also 
left a wooden key he had made from a round of a chair. 
The key was nicely made, but I had my doubts about 
his unlocking four doors with that key. I received tele- 
grams from the authorities about his escape, but I never 
made much of an effort to get him. I heard of him fre- 
quently thereafter for several years. He passed cheques 
in Salt Lake City, and escaped. He worked off some 
drafts in Ogden and escaped. I heard he beat gaol five 
times thereafter. He turned up in Carson City, Nevada, 



348 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

then in California, and later in Colorado. He was a 
clever one with the blarney, and was a great ' con ' man. 
" Professionals considered him one of the cleverest in 
the business. He was a bird, but not a gaol-bird if he 
could help it, and he usually managed to help it. I sup- 
pose there are gaolers in both the United States and 
Canada who hold him in tender remembrance." 



LV 

PENNYFEATHER OF THE BANK 

Pennyfeather's life was one long series of additions 
and subtractions. Pennyfeather was an accountant in the 
Chatham branch of the Standard Bank. He was a faith- 
ful fellow, and if $9,000 had not vanished from the Chat- 
ham branch, Pennyfeather to this day might have been 
adding columns of figures and peering at depositors 
through the cross-work of his cage in the bank. 

" There was a township fair near Chatham on October 
1st, 1892," says Murray. " The day after the fair it was 
found that $9,000 in bills had disappeared from the bank. 
The Department was notified immediately, and I went to 
Chatham. I found the bank's safe untouched. It had 
not been forced, and there had been no tampering with 
its locks. I examined Manager Rogers. He knew noth- 
ing about it. The cash that had vanished was in charge 
of Cashier Brown. I called in Cashier Brown, and ques- 
tioned him. He said he had put the $9,000 in a tin box, 
and during business hours of the bank on October 1st 
the tin box was out of the vault, as was customary with a 
cash-box, and was in its usual place in the cage. Cashier 
Brown said that, owing to his desire to get away to the 
fair, he had closed the vault hurriedly and forgot to put 
the cash-box in the vault. In fact, he had supposed it 
had been put in the vault before he closed it. 

" I went out and talked to the people across the street 
from the bank, and asked them particularly about whether 



PENNYFEATHER OF THE BANK 349 

they had seen any person in or around the bank after the 
bank closed. Cashier Brown's statement had satisfied 
me that no burglars had done the job, but some one aware 
of the fact that the tin box full of cash had been left out 
of the vault must have had a hand in it, if he was not the 
sole perpetrator of the crime. A person to have this 
knowledge of the tin box must have been in the bank 
when Cashier Brown closed the vault, or must have gone 
into the bank after it had been locked up for the day. 
No locks had been forced on any of the doors of the 
building. The people across the street had seen no 
strange persons in or around the bank after the usual 
time of closing the vault. 

" I returned to the bank. Pennyfeather, the account- 
ant, who had been out at luncheon, had returned, and I 
called him in. Pennyfeather came into the private room 
very slowly. He walked with a mincing tread, as if to 
avoid stepping on eggs. He had just been married. In 
fact, he had violated a rule of the bank, which forbade an 
employee getting married unless he was in receipt of a 
certain amount of salary from the bank. The object of 
this rule was to compel employees to incur no incum- 
brances beyond their resources, and a wife was regarded 
as an incumbrance ; and in his efforts to provide properly 
for her, the young husband, who married on insufficient 
income, might be tempted to borrow from the bank's 
funds. I have heard a variety of opinions expressed 
about this rule. Thirty years ago I knew folks who 
married on fifty cents and a horse and waggon, and some 
had nothing but hope and faith. They got along well, 
but of course they were not employed in a bank. It may 
be a wise rule, but when two young folks, with their full 
share of' gumption,' decide that in the course of human 
events it was intended they should get married, all the 
banks in Christendom are not apt to avail. Marriages are 
made in heaven, not in banks, we are told. The com- 
pound interest of happiness or misery resulting from them 
may cause us to wonder if, after all, banking rules may 
not govern the transaction. 

" Pennyfeather had broken the rules of the bank. He 



350 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

had married on a salary below the minimum fixed for 
wedding wages. He was to be discharged. He knew it 
some days before the tin box vanished. He knew that 
if he married he would lose his job with the bank. He 
knew also that it might be many a day in the bank before 
he could expect to reach the marriage sum in the salary 
line. So he decided to marry anyhow, on the theory that 
even if he did not work in a bank he would not have to 
get off the earth. Then he married, and then the $9,000 
cash in the tin box disappeared. I looked at Pennyfeather, 
the happy young husband, and I smiled. Pennyfeather 
smiled a wan smile. 

" ' 'Tis a pleasant day, Mr. Pennyfeather/ said I. ' Be 
seated.' 

" Pennyfeather sat down. Instantly he arose. 

" ' Excuse me a moment, please,' said he. ' I feel ill. 
I will return.' 

" Thereupon Pennyfeather hastened to the toilet-room, 
and presently I heard a noise as of a man in the throes of 
retching. In a few minutes Pennyfeather returned, pale 
and faint, and sank into a chair. I had been in the 
toilet-room a few minutes before, to wash the grime from 
my hands after poking around in the vault. I knew there 
was no way of escape from it, for as I lathered my hands 
with a big cake of soap I had looked for outlets from the 
room. 

" ' Now please tell me, Mr. Pennyfeather, the last you 
saw of this tin box and its contents,' said I. 

" Pennyfeather gulped and gasped. 

" ' Excuse me again, please,' said he, and he made a 
second hurried exit to the toilet-room, and once more 
I heard the noise of belching ; and presently in came 
Pennyfeather, pallid and feeble, with his voice quite weak. 

" Pennyfeather dropped into the chair, and gazed at 
me with sunken eyes, and on his lips were little flecks of 
foam. 

" ' Have you ever had fits, Mr. Pennyfeather ? ' I asked 
politely. ' I mean, to the best of your knowledge or 
recollection have you ever had fits ? ' 

" Pennyfeather closed his eyes and breathed heavily. 



PENNYFEATHER OF THE BANK 351 

I waited. Finally he opened them a wee bit and looked 
at me. 

" ' You were about to say where you last saw the tin 
box and its contents,' I resumed. 

" Up rose Pennyfeather again. 

" ' Excuse me,' said he, ' I am seized again.' 

" Away he went to the toilet-room. I noticed that he 
went with celerity, but returned with difficulty. I heard 
again the rumblings of a human volcano in a state of 
eruption. I waited, and at length Pennyfeather tottered 
in and collapsed in a chair. He was breathing like a fish 
out of water, and his lips were frothy. 

" ' My dear Mr. Pennyfeather,' I began. * Let us for- 
get the interruptions, and begin anew with your last sight 
of the contents of the tin box.' 

" But Pennyfeather staggered to the toilet, and when 
he reappeared he was ghastly white and deathly sick, 
judging from appearances. 

" ' I must go home,' he whispered. ' I am purging and 
retching myself away. I feel death in me. I will see you 
when I recover, if I ever do recover.' 

" I bowed, and Pennyfeather was escorted to his home, 
and two doctors were called in to attend him. After he 
had gone an idea struck me. I went to the toilet-room 
to wash my hands. I picked up the soap, and lo ! instead 
of the big cake I had used before Pennyfeather came in, 
there was a mere remnant of what once had been the 
cake. 

" ' Has some one eaten it ? ' I exclaimed to myself. 

" That night I called at Pennyfeather's house with 
President Cowan of the Standard Bank. Pennyfeather 
I seemingly was very ill, moaning faintly, and looking 
Ivery white. His wife was there. President Cowan got 
JDr. Brown the next morning, and the physician exam- 
ined Pennyfeather. All the doctors said he had typhoid 
fever. 

" ' Can he be suffering from soapus typhus ? ' was my 
question. 

" ' Might I ask what soapus typhus is ? ' asked one of 
the doctors. 



352 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

" ' A state of collapse superinduced by over-indulgence 
in toilet soap,' I said. 

" They held it was typhoid fever. I said that if he had 
typhoid it would be weeks before he was able to be 
out. I went away. When Pennyfeather got up from his 
sick-bed, he was arrested by Officer McKee, of Windsor. 
He was tried and acquitted while I was out of the country. 
Of course he no longer worked for the bank. He became 
a tavern keeper. 

" I never had any positive proof that Pennyfeather ate 
soap. I recall Clutch Donohue, in Kingston, who ate 
soap to break his health, and thereby gain a pardon. 
He ate too much, and after he got out he died in a 
hotel outside the penitentiary walls before he could get 
home." 



LVI 

THE TOUR OF CHARLES HILTON DAVIDSON 

While Pennyfeather was suffering, the choir of the 
Methodist Church in Burlington, nine miles east of 
Hamilton, was preparing for a rehearsal. The organist 
of the church was Charles Hilton Davidson, a prominent 
nurseryman, of the firm of John Davidson & Son. He 
was about forty years old, an accomplished musician, a 
pious man, and popular throughout the country round- 
about, where he was held in high esteem as an upright 
churchman and a conscientious Christian gentleman. 
He had proposed a song recital by the choir. Plans 
were under way for the entertainment when the pious 
organist disappeared. 

" Davidson had put forged notes in the Bank of Ham- 
ilton, some of them the notes of fictitious persons, and 
others the alleged notes of farmers who never signed 
them," says Murray. " Before the forgeries were dis- 
covered Davidson vanished. His firm failed for $40,000 
or more, and on October 15th, 1892,1 called on Manager 



TOUR OF CHARLES HILTON DAVIDSON 353 

James Turnbull, of the Bank of Hamilton, and went 
over the matter with him. The bank was anxious to 
deter forgeries in the future by having Davidson located 
and brought back and punished, even if it cost thousands 
of dollars and meant tens of thousands of miles of travel. 
Before we were through it did cost thousands of dollars, 
and I travelled over 20,000 miles. My first move was to 
locate Davidson. His wife was making ready to leave 
Canada. I intercepted a letter to her showing he was in 
Mexico. Thereupon I prepared extradition papers and 
started, following his wife's route. I departed on Novem- 
ber 8th, and was joined in Chicago by Mr. Bartlett, an 
accountant of the Bank of Hamilton, who knew David- 
son personally, and who accompanied me to El Paso, 
Texas, on the border of Mexico. I arrived at El Paso 
on November 16th, and called on my friend Manager 
Davis, of the Wells-Fargo Express Company. He gave 
me letters to several persons he knew in Mexico, among 
them being Superintendent Comfort, of the Mexican 
Central Railroad. I had known Comfort years before, 
and I called on him at Ciudad Juarez. I had located 
Davidson, under the name of Graham, down along the 
line of the road, checking cars for the railroad com- 
pany. The intercepted letter had aided me in doing 
this. 

" Mr. Comfort telegraphed to Davidson, or Graham, to 
come to Ciudad Juarez. He also sent for the mayor of 
the city, a polite, over-bowing Mexican gentleman, to 
whom I explained my desire to have Davidson taken 
into custody. The mayor bowed and smiled, and bowed 
and said he would have officers there to arrest Davidson 
when he arrived. Mr. Comfort said Davidson would be 
there in about four hours. The mayor bowed and with- 
drew. 

" Four hours later we heard the tread of marching feet 
and the rattle of arms as the marchers came to a halt. 
We looked out, and there were the mayor and the in- 
tendente and sixty men in full uniform and armed with 
carbines. I was astonished. 

" ' I only want one man,' I said. 



354 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

" The mayor and the intendente drew themselves up 
haughtily. 

" ' Sir,' said the mayor, in Spanish, with a profound 
bow, ' permit me to inform you that dignity and cere- 
mony make even arrests impressive in this country. 
Besides,' and he bowed again, ' the prisoner may be des- 
perate.' 

" I bowed profoundly, and said no more. The mayor 
bowed profoundly, and all was serene again. 

" Ten minutes later Davidson appeared. I pointed 
him out to the mayor, who whispered excitedly to the 
intendente. The intendente gave a stern, sharp com- 
mand, and the sixty soldiers swooped down upon David- 
son, formed a hollow square around him with their 
carbines levelled at him, and marched him to the 
calaboose. Never will I forget the expression on David- 
son's face as the soldiers pounced upon him. 

" ' Beautiful ! ' exclaimed the mayor, as the sixty ar- 
rested the one. ' Such courage ! Such precision ! 
Bravo ! Beautiful ! ' 

" I bowed profoundly. Words failed me. 

44 Davidson, in the calaboose, denied his identity. I 
told him I had a man from the bank waiting across the 
river. 

" ' Oh, if that's the case, I'm Davidson,' he said, and 
signed a paper to that effect. 

" The next morning I had Bartlett come over and identify 
him. Bartlett then returned to Canada by rail. David- 
son employed Mexican counsel. I told him frankly that 
the Bank of Hamilton intended to have him punished as 
a warning to others, and to put a stop to the forgeries 
which had been practised in the past. The Mexican at- 
torney said he would have Davidson discharged, and he 
mentioned the precedent case of Chanler, the Detroit 
agent for the Michigan Central Railroad, who got away 
to Mexico, where Detroit officers apprehended him, and 
he fought extradition, and after five months was dis- 
charged. Davidson also was relying on my having to 
take him back to Canada through the United States ; and 
the moment I took a prisoner, extradited from Mexico, 



TOUR OF CHARLES HILTON DAVIDSON 355 

into any other than English territory, he could demand 
and receive his release, and the chase and extradition 
would have to begin all over again. 

" I went to Chihuahua and conferred with Miguel 
Ahumada, governor of Chihuahua. I became quite well 
acquainted with his secretary, Antonio R. Urrea, to 
whom I had a letter. Governor Ahumada gave me a 
letter to the Mexican judge in Ciudad Juarez. He also 
ordered a double guard to be placed on Davidson, and 
arranged that there should be no mysterious escape or 
release of the prisoner. I then went to the city of 
Mexico and conferred with Sir Spencer St. John, the 
British Minister. For four weeks the case was pending, 
and then Davidson was handed over to me. It was im- 
possible to take Davidson back to Canada through the 
United States, as he would have claimed his liberty the 
moment we crossed the Mexican border. I decided to 
go to Vera Cruz, and embark on a steamer going to 
Jamaica or some other English port. In the city of 
Mexico I learned that there were no steamers running 
from Vera Cruz either to England or Jamaica. Arthur 
Chapman, British Consul at Vera Cruz, finally learned 
of a direct cargo boat from Vera Cruz to Santiago de 
Cuba, sailing the last week in December or early in 
January. 

" While in the city of Mexico I met the Hon. H. A. 
Cox, now of Claremont, Jamaica, one of the wealthiest 
men on the island. We were going in the same direc- 
tion, and we travelled as far as Jamaica together. There 
he had bought a large estate, called The Brambles, near 
Claremont. He built a fine mansion, and has several 
hundred natives working for him. He is raising tea, and 
is making a perfect success of it. I visited him a few 
winters ago, and spent some time as his guest. He is 
one of the most interesting gentlemen I ever met. When 
we sailed from Vera Cruz I had a letter from the British 
Ambassador in Mexico to Senor Golerando, governor of 
Cuba, then under Spanish rule, requesting him to give 
me assistance and protection while in his domain. The 
governor was a brother-in-law of the British Consul, 



356 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

Ransom, at Santiago de Cuba, both of whom entertained 
me and showed me every courtesy, so Davidson was in 
no position to make trouble there. It was a rough trip 
on the freight boat from Vera Cruz to Santiago. We 
sailed on the steamer, the Earncliff, on January 3d, 1893, 
and arrived in Santiago seven days later, on January 
10th. For several days I waited in Santiago, endeavour- 
ing to find a steamer to Jamaica ; but there seemed to be 
no communication of any kind between these two coun- 
tries. Although the nearest points between these two 
countries are only 150 miles apart, a letter posted at 
either point had to go by way of New York to reach its 
destination. I finally offered the owner of a tug $300 to 
land rhe, with Davidson, on the island of Jamaica. He 
declined to do so for less than $500. So I sat down and 
waited for a Spanish steamer which called at Santiago 
once a month on its way to Port au Prince, Hayti. I 
knew that a steamer sailed monthly from Port au Prince 
to Jamaica. I cabled to Arthur Tweedie, British Con- 
sul-General at Port au Prince, to learn what my chance 
was to keep possession of my prisoner there. He re- 
plied he could give no assurance, but would do every- 
thing in his power. I decided to chance it, and obtained 
passports for Davidson and myself. 

" I sailed on the Spanish steamer Manilla, taking 
Davidson with me, and arrived in Port au Prince on Jan- 
uary 17th. I went ashore, leaving Davidson aboard the 
steamer under guard of the only English-speaking pas- 
senger aboard, a German professor in a college at Frank- 
fort-on-the-Main, who was travelling in the West Indies 
preparing a paper on social and political conditions. 
Consul-General Tweedie called on President Hippolyte, 
who issued a special order to the authorities to see David- 
son did not escape, and I then landed my prisoner with 
the understanding that I should supply the guards and 
pay liberally for all services rendered. A revolution had 
been in full blast in Hayti just before I arrived. 

" One Sunday morning, while Hippolyte was at church, 
twenty young men went to his house in the big square, a 
large mansion, with a high stone wall topped with iron 



TOUR OF CHARLES HILTON DAVIDSON 357 

spikes. They passed the sentry at the gate as members 
of the National Guard and entered the house. There 
were a great many generals in the house — in fact, every 
tenth man in Hayti seemed to be a general. They had 
more generals in Hayti than they have colonels in Ken- 
tucky. These young men had swords under their capes, 
and when they got inside they cut off a general's head, 
and the row began. Hippolyte heard of it, hastened out 
of church, rallied his men and they began to shoot, 
shoot, shoot, until there were four hundred lying dead in 
Port au Prince. The revolutionists meanwhile had gone 
to the gaol and released all prisoners. They had a com- 
pany two hundred strong. Hippolyte pursued them. 
They fled to the mountains and then many refugees 
made a dash for the British Consul's house in the hills 
and demanded protection of Tweedie. Tweedie told 
them he could not protect them, as his flag was down 
town. While they were pleading, up came Hippolyte's 
army, commanded by his son, who died of apoplexy be- 
fore I left Hayti. The army demanded the refugees. 
Tweedie would not deliver them up, and said that if Hip- 
polyte's army touched them he would get a man-of-war 
from Port Royal and blow Port au Prince into South 
America, if necessary. The army that had marched up 
the hill saluted and marched down again. Tweedie fed 
the refugees on biscuits and they snapped them up like 
hungry dogs. 

" The Government did not feed prisoners in gaol in 
those times. If friends did not feed them or give them 
money, or if it was not for a charity fund, they would get 
no food. The gaol was awful. But there was no other 
place for Davidson. I stopped at the Central Union 
Hotel in Port au Prince. Newspaper correspondents 
were there, recently arrived from the scene of fighting in 
the insurrection. I met Dick Crain there. He is a brother 
of T. C. T. Crain, formerly City Chamberlain of New 
York. He went there to build a belt line around the 
city, and had started a livery stable with New York car- 
riages and native horses and made a fortune out of his 
ventures. Dick drove us all around that part of Hayti. 



358 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

" I remember on one of our drives out into the country 
it was wash-day. The natives go naked in parts of Hayti. 
We were driving across a bridge over a broad stream 
when we happened to look down and there were at least 
two hundred and fifty females washing clothes. We' 
were the curiosity, for we had clothes on. We stopped 
on the bridge and threw silver coins into the water. The 
females with one accord abandoned their washing and 
began diving for the coins. They reminded me of a 
school of porpoises. 

" Harry Coon, a negro who worked for Crain and who 
had been in the States, took quite a liking to me and was 
eager to be of service. He knew of my prisoner and my 
anxiety that he should not escape. One evening Harry 
Coon brought up one of the coon guard at the gaol to 
see me. He called me out mysteriously and led me 
aside. 

" ' Yo' know yo' man Davidson ? ' said Harry Coon. 

" ' Yes, has he escaped ? ' I asked anxiously. 

" ' No, but I tell yo', Mr. Murray, if this fellow of yours 
is much of a bother this yere man is a paticklar friend of 
mine and he'll shoot him for a couple of dollars,' said 
Harry Coon. 

" ' Oh, my God, no ! ' said I. ' You'll all get hung.' 

" Harry Coon repeated this to his coon soldier 
friend. 

" ' I'll shoot him for #1.50/ said the coon soldier, with 
a generous smile. 

" I shook my head. Harry and the darky guard con- 
ferred. 

" ' He says because you are my friend and because him 
and me like you, we'll jes' do the job fo' fifty cents,' said 
Harry. 

" ' But I don't want it done at all,' said I, and I em- 
phasised it. 

" The two darkies conferred again. Then the coon 
soldier walked away crestfallen. Harry shook his head 
sadly as he went. 

" ' 'Deed, Mistah Murray, yo' won't get it done no 
cheaper, an' mo'over, my paticklar friend is the patick- 



TOUR OF CHARLES HILTON DAVIDSON 359 

larest best shot in the army/ said Harry. ' His bullets 
don't mulitate. Dey jes' kills.' 

" I had to remain in Port au Prince two weeks, wait- 
ing for a steamer to Jamaica. At length the Atlas liner, 
Ardine, arrived, bound for Jamaica, and on January 29th 
I sailed on her, Davidson rejoicing to be out of the Port 
au Prince gaol. The Ardine called at Gonavis. Sharks 
swarmed in the bay. The ship's mate and I amused 
ourselves harpooning them. He got one of the largest 
specimens ever seen in the bay. They swam close 
around the steamer, snapping voraciously at any scraps 
thrown overboard. The Ardine stopped also at Jaremia 
for a coffee cargo, and at the Island of Niassa for mails 
from the New York steamers. It reminded me of the 
West Indies sailings of my youth. We arrived at Ja- 
maica early in February, and I placed Davidson at last 
in a gaol, from which I had an all-British route back to 
Canada by way of England. I did not dare to take the 
prisoner over the shorter route by way of New York, for 
if he set foot in the United States I would lose him on 
his demand to be released, because he had not been ex- 
tradited from that country. The Royal Mail steamer 
sailed for Southampton on February 8th, and when she 
cast clear of Jamaica, Davidson and I were aboard, bound 
for England. We arrived at Southampton on February 
23d, and I went direct to London with my prisoner. 

" Two Scotland Yard officers met me at Waterloo 
Station, London. Superintendent John Schore was 
head of Scotland Yard at that time. 

" ' Have you papers to hold your prisoner in England, 
Murray ? ' he asked. 

" I produced the Warrant of Recipias, signed by the 
Governor-General of Canada. 

" « They won't keep your prisoner on that here,' said 
Schore. 

" We went to the Home Office and saw the Secretary. 
He told us we could not hold the prisoner longer than 
one night. The next day we went to the Colonial Office, 
and after a lot of red tape I saw the Colonial Secretary. 
He told us the same thing, that we could hold the pris- 



360 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

oner one night and no longer. We went to see Sir John 
Bridge, Chief Magistrate of London, in regard to the 
possibility of a writ of habeas corpus. He said the law 
would be different for a prisoner extradited from one Brit- 
ish colony to another, but when extradited from another 
country to an English colony, a prisoner could be held 
in England only one night. We went to see Colo- 
nel Lemont, Governor of Holywell ; he took a similar 
view. There was only one thing left. I applied to Sir 
Charles Tupper, High Commissioner of Canada. I had 
argued against the Home Secretary, the Colonial Secre- 
tary, the Chief Magistrate, and the Governor of the 
prison. I was prepared to argue it out with Sir Charles 
Tupper. When I stated my case to Sir Charles Tupper, 
he said I was right, and he called for his carriage and we 
drove to the Home Office. He argued the matter with 
the Home Secretary and with the Colonial Secretary. 
Both decided against him. There was no steamer to 
Canada for a week. 

" As we drove away from the Colonial Office, Sir 
Charles Tupper sat back in the carriage in silence. At 
length he looked at me and smiled. 

" ' There is not a prison in England that will refuse to 
keep your prisoner one night,' said Sir Charles. ' You 
might tramp with him from prison to prison, and there 
are plenty of prisons to last until the next steamer sails 
from Liverpool. But I would advise you to go to Liver- 
pool with your prisoner. You might say the gaol was 
very dirty and that you were reluctant to have him un- 
dergo the hardships of incarceration in it, and that you 
preferred, for his sake, to keep him outside the gaol. 
Then hire a man to guard him outside the gaol. I think 
the prisoner will be pleased.' 

" Sir Charles Tupper had solved the dilemma. Schore 
telegraphed to Liverpool and Chief Inspector McConkey 
met me. The objection raised in London was not raised 
in Liverpool. I had Davidson in good hands in Liver- 
pool. I cabled home from Liverpool for ^"ioo. They 
cabled it to the Bank of Scotland. I received the advice 
but not the cheque. It seems that a superannuated de- 



TOUR OF CHARLES HILTON DAVIDSON 361 

tective, John Murray, who had bought a home in the 
country, received a cheque for £100 from the Dominion 
of Canada through the Bank of Scotland and was de- 
lighted over his good fortune, although at a loss to know 
what he ever had done for the Dominion of Canada that 
it should send him $500. One of the inspectors took me 
to the bank and they drew another cheque and stopped 
payment on the first cheque. The superannuated de- 
tective said he knew it was too good to be true when he 
first saw the £100 cheque. 

" I sailed from Liverpool with Davidson on the Sarnia 
on March 2d. Aboard ship Davidson gave a number of 
musical entertainments. All was going well, and I was 
congratulating myself that at last all was smooth sailing 
with my prisoner, when, on March nth, the Sarnia 1 s 
after crank shaft in the bearings broke just abaft the en- 
gine. We drifted for days. The delay was prolonged by 
the great difficulty in getting the couplings connected in 
order to change the forward crank to the place of the 
after crank shaft. When the repairs were finished the 
Sarnia was about sixty miles from St. Pierre. On March 
1 6th, the fifth day after the accident, we struck a terrific 
hurricane, the wind blowing eighty-five miles an hour 
and the sea running mighty high. It was the severest 
storm I ever had seen, and in my youth I had known 
some sturdy ones. Luckily the Saruia's break had been 
repaired, and instead of lying helpless in the trough of 
the sea for the hurricane to send us to Davy Jones's 
Locker, we jogged along about eight miles an hour. The 
coal tank steamer America and the Matiranda, of Pictou, 
bound for Halifax, spoke us and stood by for some time, 
but we made our repairs and declined assistance. The 
musical treats by Davidson were a godsend during these 
days of drifting. 

"On March 19th, at half-past ten in the evening, we 
saw the lights of Halifax. Three days later, on March 
22d, 1893, I handed Davidson over to the authorities in 
Milton gaol. He received a speedy trial before Judge 
Snyder, now judge in Hamilton. W. Laidlaw prosecuted 
and Davidson was defended by Wallace Nesbitt, now one 



362 MEMOIRS]OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

of the judges of the Supreme Court. He was sent to 
Kingston Penitentiary for five years. 

" I had set out on November 8th, 1892, and I returned 
with my man on March 22d, 1893. It was over four 
months and I travelled over 20,000 miles. But Davidson 
was brought back and was punished, and the case of this 
organist and nurseryman who turned forger, then fugi- 
tive, all in vain, served as a valuable deterrent and a con- 
spicuous example. Davidson is one of those temperate 
zone folk who abhor the gaols of the tropics and call 
them hell-holes. Apart from the gaols he was seasick 
all the time." 



LVII 

OVER THE ANDES FOR AITKEN 

Long as was the journey after Davidson, a still longer 
chase was in store for Murray. The man sought was a 
festive pianist instead of a pious organist. His name 
was Henry Charles Aitken. He was a private banker in 
Tottenham, Ontario, until he disappeared, having cleaned 
out his vaults and placed $90,000 or more of worthless 
paper in the Bank of Hamilton. Murray's chase led him 
past Mexico, across the Isthmus of Panama, down the 
west coast of South America, through Ecuador, Bolivia, 
Peru, and Chili, across the Andes Mountains on mule- 
back, through the Argentine Republic, down the Rio 
Plata to Montevideo, and thence past the harbour of 
Rio Janeiro, Brazil, thence to Germany, back to New 
York, and home to Canada. 

" Aitken came of good family," says Murray. " His 
father was a well-known Hamilton physician years ago. 
He trained his son for a banker. Aitken was employed 
for some years in the head office of the Bank of Hamil- 
ton, and later was appointed manager of the branch at 
Tottenham. When this branch bank closed, Aitken 
took over the business and opened a private bank, notes 



OVER THE ANDES FOR AITKEN 363 

discounted by him being rediscounted by the Bank of 
Hamilton. He built up a thriving business. He was a 
bachelor, somewhat reserved, but quite popular. He was 
an accomplished pianist and was reputed to be an im- 
promptu composer. Much of his leisure he spent at the 
piano. Like many other business men in Canada, he 
was tempted to dabble in Chicago stocks, and when the 
market went against him he endeavoured to retrieve his 
losses by further investments, and when these also proved 
a loss, he used the funds of depositors and finally resorted 
to forgery. He disappeared on August 2d, 1892. 

" The Bank of Hamilton sent an inspector to Totten- 
ham to examine Aitken's books. Aitken had done what 
he could to save the examiner trouble. The night before 
he disappeared he had gone over the books thoroughly. 
Opposite every genuine note he had marked the word 
' good.' Thus the total of the forgeries was shown at 
once. The vaults of his private bank had been emptied. 
Depositors lost every dollar they had entrusted to him. 
The Bank of Hamilton lost over $90,000. Naturally, 
following so closely on the Davidson losses, the Bank of 
Hamilton was determined to run Aitken to earth, if the 
chase led thrice around the world. The Department 
was notified and I took up the case. A rumour had been 
set afloat that Aitken had been seen at Burlington Beach 
on the night of his disappearance. Some of his friends 
attempted to establish the common report that he had 
committed suicide, and that his body sometime would be 
found floating in the water. I did not believe this talk. 
When I started after Davidson, in November, 1892, I 
determined to keep a lookout for trace of Aitken. While 
in Mexico, I met several men travelling through South 
America and I told them of Aitken. I also issued this 
circular : 

' H. C. Aitken — Age, about 38 years ; height, 
about 5 feet 9 inches ; weight, about 155 or 
160 lb. ; hair, darkish brown, turning slightly 
grey ; wore hair pompadour style ; moustache 
would be lighter colour than hair, also turning 



364 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

grey, usually kept trimmed; blue eyes, full 
face, straight nose, in cold weather inclined to 
be red; fair complexion; laughs in a low key; 
very prominent dimple on chin, which may be 
covered with whiskers ; while in conversation 
strokes his chin ; sometimes wears full beard or 
goatee ; when standing at desk or counter goes 
through motions as if jerking or pulling himself 
together, crowding his elbows gently to his side 
for a moment, then slightly throwing up his 
head, while at the same time biting or attempt- 
ing to bite corners of his moustache with his 
lower lip, without any aid from his hands ; neat 
figure ; slightly knock-kneed ; walks with toes 
turned out; when walking strikes back part of 
heel first ; quiet manner, very reserved and very 
musical ; will play piano for long periods, com- 
posing as he goes along ; walks with hands in 
pants pockets ; dresses neatly ; usually wears 
sack coat and stiff hat ; does clay moulding. 
Cut is a fairly good likeness ; cut of signature is 
a facsimile of his original writing.' 

" A commercial traveller, fresh from the land of the 
Incas had told me in Mexico that Aitken was at Lima, 
Peru. When I returned from Mexico I took up Aitken's 
case again. I prepared extradition papers and the De- 
partment of Justice communicated with the Rosebery 
Government in England to use its good offices to assist 
me in my hunt. Later I saw cablegrams from Rosebery 
to British Ministers all over South America in reference 
to me. I was aware that Aitken might leave Lima long 
before I could arrive there. He might come north along 
the west coast of South America, or he might head for 
the east coast if he did not go inland among the moun- 
tains. But wherever he went I was to find him. 

" Accordingly, Thomas W. Wilson, an English gentle- 
man, travelling on the Western Hemisphere, sailed from 
New York on the City of Para on Saturday, September 
30th, 1893. It was not the first time in my life I had 



OVER THE ANDES FOR AITKEN 365 

travelled as Wilson. I arrived in Colon, Columbia, on 
Saturday, October 7th, one week after leaving New York. 
The canal a-building, the house of De Lesseps, and other 
sights were interesting. From Colon I took a train to 
Panama, crossing from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific 
Ocean. At Panama I made inquiries concerning Aitken. 
No one knew of him. I had to wait five days for a 
steamer south. I remember there a man named Felix 
Hermann. He was the American Consul, a steamship 
agent, and a banker. Daily I endeavoured to buy a 
ticket from him. But he was of the race known by their 
names and he declined to sell me a ticket until the day 
the steamer came in, saying I should wait and see what 
solos, as he called the money, were worth. I suspected 
that on steamer days solos advanced in value, but there 
was nothing to do except wait. On October 12th the 
steamer arrived. 

" She was the Spanish steamer Maipo. Felix Her- 
mann had charged me $16 too much for my ticket, and 
had given me a letter to the captain of the steamer, intro- 
ducing Mr. Thomas W. Wilson. The captain took the 
letter, glanced at it and then at me. 

" ' Wilson ? Wilson ? ' said he. ' Get out, Murray ! 
Don't you know me ? ' and he took off his cap. 

" I recognised him instantly as Louis Salmers, a Dane 
from Copenhagen, who had been a quartermaster in the 
United States Navy, and had served with me during part 
of the war. I knew I could trust him absolutely, and I 
told him of Aitken. He had heard nothing of him. I 
sat on the captain's left at table thereafter on the trip. 
I was not wine-bibbing in that climate, and an old 
Spanish lady, who sat opposite me, noting the absence of 
wine from my meal, was distressed greatly. 

" ' Unhappy man ! ' she lamented, in Spanish. ' To 
think he is so poor he cannot afford wine ! How very 
poor he must be ! ' 

" It never occurred to the gentle old lady that any one 
willingly would forego wine at meals. She fretted and 
fumed meal after meal and, finally, with a brave muster 
of courage, she filled a glass and held it towards me. 



.'• 



366 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

" ' Poco vino, senor ! ' she said, beaming and nodding 
for me to take it. 

" It touched her heart to think any one should be so 
poor as to have to do without wine. When I declined 
with thanks, she was amazed and then flew into a great 
rage and cuffed the waiter and boxed her maid's ears and 
finally wept. Later she approached me on deck with a 
gauzy wrap about her. She smiled seductively, and sud- 
denly drew from beneath the folds of her wrap a glass of 
wine. 

" ' Poco vino, senor ! ' she pleaded. 

" Thereafter at every meal she offered me wine, with a 
plaintive ' Poco vino, senor ! ' and when I declined she 
invariably boxed her maid's ears. She could drink like 
a hart panting after a water brook. 

" The Maipo arrived at Guayaquil, in Ecuador, on 
Monday, October 16th, and lay there a day for cargo. 
Yellow fever was raging. I went ashore and saw Captain 
Chambers, the British consul, but found no trace of Ait- 
ken. People swarmed to the water-front to get out of 
the city. A theatrical troupe was there, and some of 
them jumped into the water and tried to swim to the 
outer side of the Maipo to get aboard ahead of the drove 
of folk eager to jump the town. On October 18th, we 
touched at Payta, where I saw the British consul, and 
left him circulars of Aitken. I also left a circular at 
Passamayo, in Ecuador. There were no docks in Passa- 
mayo or north of Valparaiso, and we anchored off shore, 
while the steamer was surrounded with swarms of small 
boats whose owners charged pirate rates to take you 
ashore. We touched at Satarvary, Peru, on October 19th, 
and at Callao on October 20th. There was no trace of 
Aitken at either place. Among our passengers for Callao 
was a Mrs. Burk, with her two children, from Chicago. 
On the way down she told me she had been born in 
Lima, her father being an American, who had married a 
Spanish lady. She left Lima when she was six years old, 
leaving her mother and going to the United States to be 
educated. She had stayed in the United States, had mar- 
ried ; her husband died, and she was on her way back to 



OVER THE ANDES FOR AITKEN 367 

the home of her childhood, and was about to see her 
mother again, for the first time since she left Lima, a 
child six years old. I saw the meeting. The mother 
could not speak English, the daughter could not speak 
Spanish. Mother and daughter could not talk to each 
other, but they could hug and caress each other and cry 
over each other in sheer joy. They met on the dock at 
Callao, and those of the ship's passengers who did not 
cry, cheered. 

" I arrived in Lima on Saturday, October 21st, and 
went to the Hotel de Francais — Ingleterra. I called on 
Sir Charles Mansfield, the British Minister, who had re- 
ceived notice from Lord Rosebery concerning the case. 
Sir Charles communicated at once with the Peruvian 
Secretary for Foreign Affairs, and as a result I was put 
in communication with Colonel Muniz, Prefect of Lima. 
On advice of Sir Charles Mansfield I went to Callao and 
arranged for Vice-Consul Wilson to accompany me to 
Lima and act as interpreter. The outcome of my inter- 
view of the Peruvian officials was the issuance of an order 
by the Peruvian Department of State commanding any or 
all officials in the Republic of Peru to arrest Aitken. I 
then called on Manager Holcomb at the South American 
branch of the New York house of William R. Grace. 
He promised to assist me in every way possible. When 
he saw Aitken's photograph he said : ' Your man is here. 
I have seen him several times in the street, and he called 
here looking for a position.' Holcomb then gave me 
several letters, including one to President Dawkins, of the 
Peruvian Incorporated Company, Limited, an English- 
man whose company had assumed the war debt of the 
Government and had taken mines, railroads, and lands as 
security. 

" Armed with these letters and aided by Colonel 
Muniz, I set out to find Aitken. President Dawkins told 
me he knew Aitken, and had travelled on the steamer 
with him on one occasion from Callao to Mollando. He 
sent for Superintendent Aikman, of the Peruvian rail- 
roads, who recognised Aitken from his photograph, and 
said he had seen him frequently. All of the officials of 



368 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

the railroads were called in the next day, and when they 
saw the photograph several at once recognised it. Man- 
ager E. J. Prew, of the silver mines at Challapa, told me 
that Aitken had been up to the mines in the Andes, one 
hundred miles from Lima. Mr. Evans, a street broker in 
Lima, told me Aitken had called on him day after day 
in reference to starting an English school. At length 
Aitken had told Evans he had not met with much suc- 
cess, and intended to go to Valparaiso. I found where 
Aitken had boarded. He was gone ; the bird had flown. 

" While in Lima on Wednesday, November 1st, I went 
to see the natives decorate the graves of their dead. It 
was a national holiday. The cemetery was one of the 
most beautiful I ever have seen. It was laid out like a 
city. The dead were buried in vaults built above ground. 
The cemetery rose in terraces, ten, fifteen, and twenty 
feet high. There were fine marble fronts and less pre- 
tentious stone fronts. There were aristocratic avenues in 
this city of the dead, and there were modest side streets. 
In some of the houses of silence generations lay asleep, 
with the names of the occupants carved in the marble of 
the front door. Each body lay in a niche, with the coffin 
sealed. 

" The next day I walked out of the hotel to go to the 
offices of the Graces. I noticed the shutters were closed 
on all places of business and residences, that the streets 
were deserted, and a strange stillness pervaded the city. 
At Grace's I found the big iron gates shut. Manager 
Holcomb saw me, and had the gates opened for me. 

« < Why, Mr. Murray, are you out to-day ? ' he said. 

" ' Yes, it looks like another holiday,' said I. 

" ' We are on the eve of an insurrection,' said he. 

" I started immediately for my hotel. The streets were 
absolutely deserted — not a soul in sight, not a living thing 
to be seen. I had gone but a couple of blocks when the 
roar of cannon shook the city ; then came the rattle of 
rifle-fire and the sound of galloping horses. I ran for 
the plaza, the shortest route to the hotel. The streets 
were barricaded. It reminded me of what I had read of 
the French Revolution. Behind me came the galloping 



OVER THE ANDES FOR AITKEN 369 

soldiery. Firing was going on all around me. Bullets 
went whining by. I dodged into a doorway to escape 
the charge of the mounted police. The mob sallied forth, 
and the contending forces met in the street in front of the 
doorway where I stood. It was a bloody battle. The 
police fought with sabres and carbines. The mob fought 
with revolvers, knives, clubs, and stones. The police 
rode through them, cutting off groups, surrounding them, 
and dragging them away. One of the groups was sur- 
rounded and ran to cover in my doorway. The police 
yanked us all out. I saw that those who resisted fell 
dead or wounded, so I stepped out obediently, and was 
being dragged along with a bunch of rioters, when for- 
tunately Colonel Muniz, the prefect, spied me, and bade 
two of his men rescue me and escort me to my hotel. I 
thanked him, and he waved gaily to me as he charged the 
mob. I trotted along on foot between two officers through 
the streets of Lima, in a roundabout way to the hotel. 
The gates of the hotel were locked, and the windows and 
doors were barred. I shouted to open and let me in. 
They gave no heed. Suddenly both the officers roared 
forth a command to open in the name of some high of- 
ficial of Peru. The doors flew open like magic, the gates 
swung wide, and I walked in, taking my escort with me. 
They drank my health, then returned to the scene of con- 
flict, where the guns were belching and the fight was 
raging amid cheers and groans. I sat all day listening to 
it, and rubbing a pink spot where the flat side of a sabre 
had smitten me. The real cause of the rumpus, I under- 
stood, was the refusal of some office-holders, voted out by 
Congress, to surrender the offices. After a couple of 
days of fighting the offices were given up peaceably. It 
was said they picked up over two hundred dead in the 
streets after the fighting. 

" When the fighting ceased I endeavoured to get trace 
of Aitken. I learned from a steamship official that he 
had embarked for Valparaiso, with stop-over privilege at 
Iquique. He had sailed from Lima before I had arrived. 
I determined to stop in all the intermediate ports, and 
make sure he had not disembarked in one of them. On 



370 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

Sunday, November 5th, I sailed for Valparaiso on the 
steamer Pizarro. I bore letters from the Graces' house 
in Lima to its Iquique house. I called at Pisco, Mollando, 
Arica, and Pisaque. Aitken had not been in any of 
them. On arrival at Iquique I called on the British 
Consul. I learned that Aitken, in company with an- 
other Englishman supposed to be a defaulter, had stopped 
in Iquique while his steamer was changing cargo, and 
had sailed for Valparaiso. I left Iquique on the next 
steamer for Valparaiso, sailing on Monday, November 
13th, on the Imperial. I called at Cobiga, Bolivia, 
Autofagasta, Caldera, and Coquimbo ; but Aitken had 
not appeared in any of them. I arrived at Valparaiso on 
Saturday, November 18th, and conferred with the British 
Consul and the Valparaiso house of Grace Brothers. 
The Grace house detailed one of its best posted clerks to 
assist me. On the fourth day I got track of Aitken by 
discovering, in an English cafe, a waiter and another per- 
son who recognised his photograph, and said he had 
taken his meals there for a time, and until shortly before 
my arrival. 

" I took train to Santiago, two hundred miles inland 
from Valparaiso, on November 23d, and conferred with 
John Gordon Kennedy, the British Minister; and, 
through him, with the Minister of Foreign Relations, 
who directed me to his deputy, Senor Bacanaun. After 
a lengthy conference, Sehor Bacanaun stated that his 
Government would not surrender the fugitive, as there 
was no treaty between England and Chili. While willing 
to reciprocate and give man for man, they could not 
hand over a fugitive without a quid pro quo. A man 
presently would be in London, he said, whom the Chilian 
Government wanted. If the British authorities surren- 
dered this man, the Chilian Government might surrender 
Aitken. I cited the case of Hanson, alias Bushnell, who 
fleeced the insurance companies in New York and Chi- 
cago out of several hundred thousand dollars, and was 
handed over to the United States authorities, subse- 
quently escaping from the officer in whose custody he 
was at Iquique. Senor Bacanaun replied that it was the 



OVER THE ANDES FOR AITKEN 371 

Supreme Court, not the Department of Foreign Relations, 
that had handed over Hanson, and, he added, it cost the 
United States authorities $25,000 and eight months' work 
to secure his extradition, as he had made many friends 
during his residence there. The Deputy-Minister of 
Foreign Relations further informed me that he thought 
it would cost the Bank of Hamilton fully $12,000 in gold 
to secure the return of Aitken. I listened gravely, and 
at the close of the interview I enlisted the services of 
Marcial Martnax, a great authority on international law 
in Chili, and I made up my mind to extradite Aitken if 
I could find him. After my interview I knew how to go 
about it. On December 1st I returned to Valparaiso. 
From Santiago I learned Aitken had been there for four 
days, and then had returned to Valparaiso. Among 
those I met in Santiago was Ernest Carnot, a son of the 
President of France. Back in Valparaiso I learned 
Aitken had been stopping at Villa del Mare (village by 
the sea), a watering-place six miles from the city. An 
interpreter had seen him, and guided me to his boarding- 
place. The landlord recognised the picture. Aitken 
had left suddenly, without taking all his effects. I looked 
at some of the effects. I thought they might belong 
to Aitken. He had left Valparaiso before I arrived 
there. 

" Where had he gone ? I learned that the same after- 
noon he left Villa del Mare so suddenly he was seen by 
an employee of a big South American house at the office 
of the Pacific Navigation Company, and a steamer had 
sailed that afternoon for Buenos Ayres, Argentine Re- 
public. It took this steamer fifteen days to go by the 
Straits of Magellan to Buenos Ayres. If Aitken had 
sailed on this steamer he was due in Buenos Ayres in a 
few days. I could not hope to overtake him by boat, 
but there was one way left. In a week or less I could 
get to Buenos Ayres by going over the Andes Moun- 
tains, the Cordilleras. If his steamer were a day or two 
late I could be on the dock to meet him. If he had not 
taken the steamer, but had tried to cross the mountains, 
I might overtake him. I decided to try to cross the 



372 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

Andes Mountains. I left Valparaiso on Wednesday, 
December 1 3th, bound from the Pacific to the Atlantic, 
from the west coast to the east coast of South America. 
I set out alone. 

" I took train at 7.40 in the morning, bound mountain- 
ward, and arrived at Los Andes at twelve noon. There 
was not a soul there. I had a letter from the agent of 
the Compania Nacional de Transportes Expreso Villa- 
longa viaje de Europa al Pacifico, via Cordillera, meaning 
the agent of a mule concern to supply you with a mount 
over the mountains. At length, a ragged, lazy fellow 
appeared, and gazed at me and my baggage. 

" ' I see you all right,' he said. 

" It must have been his one bit of English, for he re- 
peated it a score of times, and no matter what I said he 
answered invariably : * I see you all right.' 

" He certainly saw me all right, all right. He went 
away, and returned with a carriage, and drove me to an 
hotel, and left me there after collecting a fat fee. I sat 
there for an hour and no one appeared. Then I got a 
hackman, and had my luggage taken back to the station. 
At the station I found some men making up a little train 
— a pony engine and dinky cars. I asked if it went up 
in the mountains. No one answered. Suddenly my 
ragged friend appeared as if from nowhere. 

" ' They see you all right,' he said, and fled. 

" I boarded this train, and rode up to Salto del Soldado, 
a couple of hours from Los Andes. There I alighted, 
and the first man I saw was Ernest Carnot, son of Presi- 
dent Carnot of France, and whom I had met in Santiago. 
Young Carnot was a civil engineer, and a sturdy, frank 
fellow, whom I liked instantly. 

" ' Glad to see you again,' he said, shaking hands. 

" ' Not half so glad as I am to see you,' said I. 

" Carnot introduced his friend, Maurice de Jouliatt, 
from Paris. They were bound over the mountains. So 
was I. We would go together ? Gladly ! 

" A delegation of Frenchmen had met Carnot and es- 
corted him to the end of the road. Carnot knew how to 
handle the pesky muleteers, and the guides jumped to 



OVER THE ANDES FOR AITKEN 373 

obey him. We left Salto del Soldado at four o'clock 
that afternoon on mule-back. My mule was a drowsy 
little fellow with tremendous ears, and the tip of the left 
ear was missing. We rode to Posada Juncal, where we 
had dinner at eight o'clock in the evening, and spent the 
night. As I was looking at the time my watch fell, and 
the left hind foot of my lop-eared mule smashed it to 
bits. Chilian currency was no good beyond Posada 
Juncal, and we exchanged some of our money at the 
hotel, where they charged a quadruple compound rate of 
exchange. We arose at two o'clock in the morning. It 
was pitch dark. 

" ' The guides say we are to muffle up well as we may 
meet a snow-storm,' said Carnot. 

" We started. I could not see my hand in front of my 
face. And the road ! There was no road ! The mules 
travelled single file. We went up, up, up, and then 
down, down, down, and then up, up, up, and then down, 
down, and then up, up, up, up, until one moment I felt 
above the clouds and another moment in the bowels of 
the earth. Carnot shouted that the guides said the mules 
were bred from Spanish jacks and English blooded 
mares, and could be relied on implicitly. 

« « My guide says we will bleed from the nose and 
mouth, and so will the mules, but not to mind it ! ' gasped 
Carnot. 

" The evening before, the guides had explained we 
must start early to get beyond a point known as Cumbre, 
where the wind, after a certain hour, blew a gale. Dawn 
came with us plodding up, up, up. Then down, down, 
down we went, winding in and out, around corners, over 
narrow paths. The mules galloped where they could. 
Going down was the hardest. It was severe on the legs. 
Moreover, as you looked down, far down, where great 
objects you had passed appeared as mere specks, it 
scared you. We passed Cumbre at half-past nine in the 
morning, after almost eight hours in the saddle. The 
wind was howling, and it tore at us until we clutched our 
saddles and finally flung our arms around the necks of 
our mules. Carnot was bleeding. My head was dizzy, 



374 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

and I could hardly breathe. We were 27,000 feet up, 
said the guides. The mules were bleeding. 

" ' When he stop, no touch him,' gasped the guide. 
' He go on when he can.' 

" We were almost smothered. Yard by yard we 
plodded on. We passed Cumbre after a stern battle, the 
mules pausing, then moving on, low bent, straining, 
striving valiantly. None of us tried to talk. We simply 
hung on. At two o'clock in the afternoon we came to 
Los Cuevas Posada. It simply was a stone house, but it 
seemed like paradise. We breakfasted, and I was about 
to proffer gold in payment when Carnot said ' Do not 
show gold,' and he paid the bills, we settling later with 
him. Never will I forget this day, Thursday, December 
14th. We were in the saddle all day, riding amid the 
mountains, with death awaiting a mule's misstep, until 
eight o'clock in the evening, when we arrived at Punta 
de Vacas, and stayed there Thursday night. An Argen- 
tine customs officer examined our baggage there. I 
failed to tip him promptly, and he threw every stitch of 
my luggage out on the ground, scattering it right and 
left. It taught me a lesson. We slept on beds on the 
floor at Punta de Vacas, and left at eight o'clock on 
Friday morning. 

" We rode for three hours, and at half-past eleven 
reached Rio Blanca, where we breakfasted, and then 
went through in seven hours to Rio Mendoza, where I 
had the last of my Chilian money changed at forty per 
cent, discount. Everything is high in the Andes. 

" At Mendoza I met an American named Schister. 
He came from Ohio, and was a contractor, and lived in 
Buenos Ayres, having married a Spanish lady. Every 
one knew him, and he knew all the foreigners, particularly 
those speaking English, who had been in Buenos Ayres 
in twenty years. So few foreigners, comparatively, get 
there, that a stranger is not there a day until he is spotted. 
Schister thought I might be a refugee, and delicately 
intimated as much. I did not undeceive him. 

" We left Mendoza at half-past nine that night, three 
hours after arriving. All day Saturday we were aboard 



OVER THE ANDES FOR AITKEN 375 

train. It grew insufferably hot. In the coach the 
thermometer passed 116 degrees. I longed for a gust 
from the gale that swept around Cumbre. We arrived 
in Buenos Ayres at nine o'clock on Sunday morning, 
December 17th. I went to the Hotel de la Paise, and 
early the next morning I called on Mr. Packenham, the 
British Minister. I learned that an extradition treaty 
was pending between the English Government and the 
Argentine Government, but as yet it had not been signed 
by the President of Argentina. Inspector Froest, of 
Scotland Yard, was there after Jabez Spencer Balfour, 
M. P., the president of the famous « Liberator Company,' of 
England, who fled after involving his friends for many 
millions. A flourishing colony of refugees had sprung 
up in Buenos Ayres. Pending the ratification of the 
treaty a number of English refugees jumped the country, 
as the English Government desired to have a clause in 
the treaty making it retrospective to cover the case of 
Balfour ; and other refugees feared they might be in- 
cluded. It was not made retrospective, yet they landed 
Balfour on a petition to the Courts, based on the comity 
of nations, and the courts ordered his arrest, and he was 
taken aboard an English ship. 

" One of the colony of refugees met me on the street 
and shook hands with me heartily. 

« < Well, Jim Thurber ! ' he exclaimed. ' When did 
you get in ? ' 

" ' You're mistaken, sir,' said I. 

" ' It's all right, Jim,' said he. ' We know all about your 
Boston job. You needn't deny it. You're all safe here. 
As for not being Thurber, you know me, and I've known 
you since boyhood. 

" I could not dissuade him. He was positive I was 
James Thurber, the Boston defaulter. He took me 
around to the other members of the colony. They told 
me Aitken had arrived there, and had been stopping 
with a Mrs. McGraw. Among others I saw was a 
Canadian, who was known as Senor Don Enrique M. 
Read, who was none other than A. M. Macrae, a fugitive 
from St. Catharine's, Ontario. He was in the American 



376 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

Criterion. I also met Doc Minchen, of the United 
States, and Tom O'Brien, both of whom I knew. They 
also were refugees from justice. 

" Soon after I saw Senor Don Enrique M. Read, he 
was on his way out of Buenos Ayres, thinking I was 
after him, and I was on my way to Mrs. McGraw's 
boarding-house after Aitken. I showed Aitken's photo- 
graph to her. 

" ' He had no whuskers,' said Mrs. McGraw. ' But 
that's the laddybuck, the same musical laddybuck, with 
his pompydoory hair and his everlasting thumping on 
the piano.' 

" ' Where is he now ? ' I asked. 

" ' He sailed on the Margarita for Rio Janeiro,' said 
Mrs. McGraw. 

" It was true. Aitken had come and gone ahead of 
me, doubtless hearing of the pending treaty, and fearing 
it might be made retrospective. I knew he had not 
gone to the United States, for there was no line from 
Buenos Ayres to the United States, and no tramp steamer 
had left for the States since his arrival. It was Rio 
Janeiro or Europe for him. 

" I looked up Macrae, but could not touch him at that 
time, as there was no treaty and was not likely to be one, 
made retrospective, for some time to come, if at all. 
Macrae had been secretary and treasurer of the Security 
Loan and Savings Company of St. Catharine's, Ontario. 
In September, 1 891, he disappeared with about $30,000 
of the company's money. I had billed him as a defaulter 
and absconder as follows : 

'A. M. Macrae, defaulter and absconder. 
Description — Age, about 35 ; height, about 5 
feet 7 inches ; has a striding walk and swings 
his right arm when walking ; light moustache 
and small side-whiskers ; quite bald-headed, es- 
pecially on top and behind ; is rather short- 
sighted ; has a fashion in addressing a person of 
throwing his head rather backward and contract- 
ing his eyebrows when wearing eye-glasses. 



OVER THE ANDES FOR AITKEN 377 

' His complexion is fair, clear, and rather 
ruddy, his accent is decidedly English, and is 
that of an educated and refined person. When 
he left St. Catharine's he wore light coloured 
clothes and stiff felt hat ; he wore a high all- 
around collar.' 

"In 1894 after I left Buenos Ayres, Macrae came 
north to the United States under the name of Gourley. 
I heard of him several years later from a druggist in 
Binghamton, New York, who formerly lived in Canada. 
As Gourley he went to work for The Trotter and Pacer, a 
periodical relating to horses. I located him in 1897, 
living in Mount Kisco, near New York, and he was ar- 
rested there and was taken before United States Commis- 
sioner Shields, was extradited, and was brought back to 
St. Catharine's, where he pleaded guilty on August 30th, 
1897 '■> an d Judge Collier sent him to Kingston Peniten- 
tiary for four years. 

" ' It might have been worse,' said Macrae, ' but oh ! 
four years is such a long time in that place.' 

" I thought of him as the gay and festive Don Enrique 
M. Read in the Criterion Garden in Buenos Ayres, back 
in December, 1893, when I was looking for a ship to Rio 
Janeiro, Brazil. 

" A rebellion was raging in Brazil at that time. The 
port of Rio Janeiro was closed. Mr. Packenham, the 
British Minister at Buenos Ayres, hearing of my efforts 
to get a boat to take me into Rio Janeiro, advised me 
strongly against it. He said it was inadvisable for me to 
try to enter the port, as a state of war existed, it was the 
hot time of year there, the British Minister had departed, 
and not only was there a blockade, but the yellow 
fever had broken out and many were dying daily. A 
report came out of Rio Janeiro that Aitken had died 
there of yellow fever. I hesitated to believe it. On 
January 1st, 1894, the German steamer Mnnchcn sailed 
from Buenos Ayres for Germany and, if feasible, would 
stop at Rio Janeiro. It was my opportunity. I sailed 
on the Munchen. We called at Montevideo, Uruguay, 



378 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

and thence sailed for Rio Janeiro, but men-of-war block- 
aded the port, the war was on and the yellow fever flag 
was flying, so the MuncJicn steamed on, and as we sailed 
away I gazed off toward the port to where my quarry 
had fled, and where he was said to be lying dead of yel- 
low fever. It was hard to let go of the chase, so near 
and yet so far. 

" The Munchen arrived at Cape de Verde Islands after 
fourteen days and coaled. We crossed the equator at 
12.40 on the morning of Saturday, January 13th. It 
was a beautiful night. I brushed up on my earlier knowl- 
edge of navigation and kept the runs and took the lati- 
tude and longitude daily. There were only four 
passengers aboard, two doctors (one a Spaniard, one an 
Italian), and a gentleman from Russia, and myself. We 
played dominoes and muggins together and the four of 
us, Italian, Spanish, Russian, and English walked the 
deck arm in arm, all four talking, each in his own lan- 
guage and none understanding a word that another was 
saying. I taught them to bow profoundly and say : 

" ' Good-morning, Carrie ! ' 

" I taught them also to place one hand on their heart 
and exclaim pathetically : 

" ' Have a nip ? ' 

"There was great satisfaction in talking to them. It 
did not matter what I said. They would listen very 
gravely and reply solemnly, ' Good-morning, Carrie,' of 
' Have a nip ? ' The chief engineer of the Munchen, 
Mr. Schulta, and I became good friends. We touched 
at Madeira, and on Thursday, January 25th, entered the 
English Channel. We passed Flushing two days later, 
and went up the River Schelde to Antwerp, arriving on 
Saturday evening, January 27th, after grounding in the 
river. I left Antwerp three days later for Bremerhaven, 
the port of Bremen, Germany, and sailed for New York on 
the steamship Lahn, of the North German Lloyd Line, 
on Tuesday, February 6th. We passed Southampton on 
Wednesday, and one week later took on a pilot on the 
American side of the Atlantic. I landed in New York 
on Thursday, February 15th, and arrived in Toronto on 



THE CASE OF PERRY WEINBERG 379 

Saturday, February 17th, 1894, at 7.15 in the evening. I 
had left Toronto on September 20th, 1893. I was absent 
three days short of five months. 

" I heard no more of Aitken. When I think of him I 
think also of the yellow fever port of Rio Janeiro. Was 
fate waving me away or beckoning me in ? Of course 
there are many cases of mistaken identity, but if I was 
mistaken in Aitken I was far from being the only one." 



LVIII 
THE CASE OF PERRY WEINBERG 

Perry Weinberg was a jeweller and a Hebrew. His 
shop was in King Street, Toronto. He was thrifty, even 
for a child of Israel. He dealt not only with the Gen- 
tile ; his specialty was to barter with the Jew. He would 
buy or sell anything. During the months Murray was 
globe-trotting after Aitken, the wily Weinberg was 
gathering in shekels from confiding Hebrews, acting as a 
private banker for some, as a borrower from others, and 
as a plain petty larceny thief from some of the least sus- 
picious. 

" It was a case of anything to get the money with 
Weinberg," says Murray. " When he had raked and 
scraped together all that he could save, borrow, or steal, 
he vamoosed. I had returned from South America some 
months before, and the case was reported to the Depart- 
ment. Weinberg's mother lived in New York and 
thither he had fled. He was located there, and before ex- 
tradition papers had been prepared he was arrested and 
locked up. I received a telegram announcing the arrest, 
and a police friend informed me, in a confidential mes- 
sage, that Weinberg's attorneys probably would ask the 
next morning that the prisoner be admitted to bail, in 
which case I could prepare to bid farewell to Weinberg, 
as he. probably would skip to the Old World and disap- 
pear in some out-of-the-way place over there where He- 
brews were plentiful and information would be scarce. 



380 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

" I took the next train for Buffalo and caught the New 
York express. I had to be in New York before court 
opened in the morning or I would lose my man. 

" The train was on time, and I walked into the District 
Attorney's office in New York an hour before court 
opened. I had a friend in the office. I had no extra- 
dition papers, for I had no time to prepare them before 
rushing to catch the train from Toronto. I knew that, 
under the law of the State of New York at that time, 
the District Attorney had forty-eight hours in which to 
examine and approve the bail bonds. My friend was 
aware of this. 

" When court opened Weinberg was represented by 
five attorneys. He was arraigned before a Justice of the 
Supreme Court of the State, and bail was offered. The 
sureties were the prisoner's mother, who offered property 
in excess of $50,000, and a friend of the mother, who of- 
fered property in excess of $100,000. Bail was fixed at 
$1,000. The District Attorney's representative took the 
sureties to examine them. Weinberg went back to the 
gaol expecting to appear the next day and be released. 
His liberty was worth far more than $1,000 to him. 

" I immediately went before a United States Com- 
missioner and swore out a new warrant, and it was placed 
in the hands of a marshal. The next day Weinberg was 
released on bail by the State Court, and as he walked out 
he was arrested on the new warrant and taken before the 
United States Commissioner and remanded. He was the 
most surprised Hebrew I ever saw when the marshal 
took him. In the meantime my papers arrived, and the 
fight for Weinberg's extradition began. He was wrathful 
over his second arrest. 

" ' Now I know for why they have so many courts,' he 
angrily exclaimed to me. ' It is so that when I get out of 
one I get into another.' 

" ' Sure,' said I. ' If you get out of this one I have 
several more courts ready for you.' 

" ' To think ! ' said Weinberg. ' Yust to think ! And 
I have all that lovely, beautiful bail, yet I stay in the 
lockup yust the same.' 



FOUR BARN BURNINGS OF CHATHAM 381 

" His five lawyers made an able fight. But Weinberg 
was so guilty that there was no defence. On August 
22d he was committed for extradition. Some of his 
counsel immediately went to Washington, where a tran- 
script of the proceedings had been sent preliminary to the 
transmission of the warrant of surrender by the Depart- 
ment of State. One of them sought to have Repre- 
sentative Tim Campbell endeavour to persuade the State 
Department to refuse the warrant of surrender, on the 
ground that Weinberg never before had been charged 
with crime, and that the complainant I named in the pro- 
ceedings, a Mrs. Stein, was unworthy of belief. Both the 
Secretary of State and Sir Julian Pauncefote, the British 
Minister, were absent from Washington at the time. The 
matter was pending for some time, during which the 
Canadian Government communicated with Sir Julian 
Pauncefote, relative to the issuance of the warrant of sur- 
render, on the ground that the forms of the extradition 
treaty had been complied with, and the man properly 
committed for extradition. 

" ' We'll spend $50,000 rather than see Weinberg taken 
back to Canada,' one of his friends informed me. 

" Precisely one month after Weinberg had been com- 
mitted for extradition I landed him in Toronto, with 
Detective Billy Black, who had accompanied me to New 
York. The State Department at Washington was unin- 
fluenced by the efforts of his friends, and the warrant of 
surrender was issued as if no such efforts had been made. 
Weinberg got three years in prison. He deserved it." 



LIX 

THE FOUR BARN BURNINGS OF CHATHAM 

Four thrifty farmers lived on four adjoining farms with 
four big barns all on the same side of the Chatham Road, 
in the township of Chatham, in the county of Kent. Be- 
yond them lived a settlement of negroes who lolled and 



382 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

laughed through life, with occasional days of labour as 
hired hands on the farms roundabout. On the night of 
October 15th, 1894, the four barns were burned to the 
ground. 

" The County Attorney, Douglas, immediately called 
my attention to it, and I went to investigate," says Mur- 
ray. " Many of the country folk were satisfied the four 
fires were accidental. I drove from farm to farm and 
learned that the four fires had occurred about the same 
hour, two o'clock in the morning. This coincidence 
settled in my mind the belief that the fires were of 
incendiary origin. I inspected the premises closely, and 
found fastened to the gate-post of each barnyard fence a 
notice, roughly scrawled in lead pencil, on slips of paper 
about the size of pages from a small memorandum book. 
They were identical in writing and read : ' We will burn 
you out from the Arthur Road to the Chatham Road for 
insults you white trash gave our coloured folks.' 

" I carefully preserved these notices. It seemed strange 
to me that if negroes had fired the barns they would have 
left such deliberately made traces of their identity. Such 
action simply would have provoked further insults. The 
notices looked like a blind to me, a false clue to cast sus- 
picion on the negroes. There had been one or two little 
incidents of friction between whites and blacks, but there 
was no bad blood and no feeling to incite arson so far as 
I could learn. 

" Beginning at the first of the four scenes of the fire, I 
went over the ground methodically, foot by foot, within 
a radius of five hundred feet of the fire. Leading into 
what had been the door of the first barn I found foot- 
prints in the earth of the barnyard. I measured them 
carefully, and covered them up and marked them so that 
none would molest them. Then I drove to the second 
barn and went over the ground carefully, and there also I 
found footprints leading to the barn. I measured them, 
and they tallied to a dot with the footprints at the first 
barn. I drove to the third barn, and after a long search 
I found, near a corner of the barn where the fire had 
started, footprints identical with those at the other two 



FOUR BARN BURNINGS OF CHATHAM 383 

barns. Then I drove to the fourth barn, and to my sur- 
prise I found many such footprints around the barn. I 
marked the tracks carefully and arranged to have plaster 
casts made of them. I was confident they were the foot- 
prints of the incendiary and that one man alone fired the 
four barns. This strengthened me in my belief that the 
notices indicating negroes had fired the barns were a 
blind. 

" Nevertheless, I visited the darky settlement and, 
armed with the accurate measurements of the tracks, I 
investigated the size of the feet and shoes of the darkies. 
Not a single foot or boot or shoe or slipper did I find to 
match the footprints. 

" I went again from farm to farm, beginning at the one 
where the first fire broke out. Each farmer talked freely, 
answering all questions, telling of waking up to find night 
turned into day with four monster fires blazing and 
throwing showers of sparks skyward, while the country 
for miles around was illuminated. The fourth farmer, 
Edward Kehoe, dwelt on the splendour of the scene. 
When I began to question him as to his idea of the 
origin of the fires he began to curse the darkies. I stood 
listening and thinking of the notices found on the gate- 
posts. 

" ' Was your barn insured ? ' I asked casually. 

" ' You're not the insurance agent, too, are you ? ' he 
answered. 

" The tone of his voice caused me to glance quickly at 
him. In so doing my eyes fell upon a pair of old ragged 
boots he was wearing. The footprints had been made 
with comparatively new boots or newly soled boots. 

" « Where are the boots you wore this morning ? ' I 
asked. 

" Kehoe started as if I had stuck a pin in him. 

" ' These are the boots,' he said shakily. 

" ' Where are the boots you wore yesterday ? ' I asked. 

" ' They were burned in the barn,' said he. 

" I told him the first farmer wished to see him about a 
clue. He started off. When he was out of sight I en- 
tered his house and began a search for the boots. I could 



384 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

not find them. As I rummaged in out-of-the-way nooks 
and corners, I came upon a small memorandum book, a 
milkman's book. I opened it, and instantly the pages 
reminded me of the notices found on the gate-posts. 
There was writing on some of the pages. I took out the 
notices and compared them. The hand that wrote in the 
book also wrote the notices. Page by page I turned the 
book from cover to cover. Pages were missing. I in- 
serted the four notices. They fitted, even to the irregu- 
larities in the edges. They had been torn out of the 
book. 

" I hunted anew for the boots. I could find no trace 
of them. An idea came to me. I went out and looked 
at a field where wheat had been sown. A farmer near 
by told me Kehoe had sown it. I went down to the 
field. There were the tracks of the sower marked in the 
soil. I measured them. They matched the footprints 
leading into Marshall's barn, one of the four that had 
been fired. They were the footprints of Kehoe. My 
case was complete. 

" I started down the road, driving. I met Kehoe com- 
ing back afoot. He was passing me by without speaking. 

" < Hold on ! ' I called. 

" ' What do you want ? ' he growled. 

" ' Whose field is that ? ' I asked. 

" ' Mine ! ' said he. 

" ' Who sowed it ? ' 

" ' I did, every foot of it,' said he. 

" ' Thank you,' said I. ' Now if you will get in I will 
drive you to Chatham gaol and lock you up.' 

" He quailed, but laughed and told me not to crack any 
more jokes like that. 

" ' I mean every word of it,' said I sternly. « Come 
here and get in.' 

" He obeyed, and I took him to Chatham and locked 
him up. I spent days hunting for those boots. I never 
found them. Kehoe must have buried them. He was 
tried for arson, and was convicted and sent to Kingston 
Penitentiary for seven years. He had insured his barn 
heavily and I guess he needed the money. He claimed 



ALMEDA CHATTELLE, THE HAIRY MAN 385 

falsely that thirty-five acres of his farm had been planted 
with peas. I rooted for the boots, but they seemed to 
have walked off the earth. If Kehoe burned them he 
must have thrown them into his own burning barn and 
then walked barefooted on the air to leave no tracks. 
But if he buried them may their soles rest in peace." 



LX 

ALMEDA CHATTELLE, THE HAIRY MAN 

Chunks of a human body were found in a clump of 
woods near Listowel, in the county of Perth, on Friday, 
October 19th, 1894. They were fitted together and 
proved to be about two-thirds of the remains of a beau- 
tiful young girl. They had been found by searchers 
hunting for trace of Jessie Keith, the fourteen-year-old 
daughter of respectable country folk living three miles 
out of Listowel. Jessie had started in the morning for 
Listowel to get some groceries. 

" Hours passed and she did not return," says Murray. 
" Her parents investigated and learned she had not ar- 
rived at the grocery. Searching parties were organised 
and they divided the country into sections. The party 
hunting beyond the Keith home came upon the pieces of 
a body lying in the woods. Newly turned earth showed 
them where parts had been buried. Other portions were 
spread out while others had been tossed into the brush. 
Tightly wrapped around the neck was a white petticoat, 
soaked crimson. The head was uncovered and the pretty 
face of Jessie Keith was revealed. The girl had been 
disembowelled and carved into pieces. The Department 
was notified instantly and I hastened to Listowel. I 
found the folk greatly excited. 

" Bands of men were scouring the country calling upon 
every man they met to give an account of himself and 
prove he was not near Elm Bush, the dense woods where 
the body had been found. One of the searching parties 
met a man beyond Listowel, and as he was a stranger to 



386 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

them they led him back and sternly bade him tell whence 
he came and by what road. The fellow answered frankly 
that he had been working near Ailsa Craig and was on 
his way to another job. They had been ready to deal 
severely with him but when he told his straightforward 
story they felt that they had wronged him and they took 
up a collection for him, and released him to go his way. 
I heard of this and started immediately to get the fellow 
and have a talk with him, but he was gone. I tele- 
graphed all over the country to keep a lookout for him 
and striking his trail on the road he had taken, I drove 
night and day for two days to overtake him. He went 
through Wallace township, then north to Palmerston, 
stole a ride on a freight train, was seen the next morning 
at six o'clock in Peel township, county of Wellington, 
twenty-six miles from Listowel. He was travelling afoot 
on the gravel road from Guelph to Port Elgin, where 
Charles Quinn gave him breakfast. From Guelph he 
went to Erin, known also as Cataract Station, forty-four 
miles from Listowel. My telegram had preceded him. 
He was heading for the United States when he was ar- 
rested and taken to Stratford gaol. 

" When I looked at him he reminded me of a gorilla. 
He was as hairy as Esau. As I studied him he seemed 
to look less like a gorilla and more like a donkey. He 
had huge ears and his face actually resembled the features 
of a jackass. He was very dark. He was not tall, but 
was broad and powerful, being under medium height, yet 
weighing one hundred and ninety pounds. He wore a 
woman's knitted jacket that had been stretched to burst- 
ing to cover his bulging muscles. On the back of his 
head was tilted a Glengarry cap. He walked with the 
peculiar swaying motion of a baboon when it rises on its 
hind legs and toddles across its cage. In fact, if the wild 
man of Borneo had been clipped close as to his hair, he 
would have been mistaken for this fellow's twin brother. 
He had a knife. I looked at it. There were stains on it 
— blood stains. He tallied exactly to the description 
given by Robert Morris, a neighbour of the Keiths, of a 
man he saw on the morning of the butchery walking to- 



ALMEDA CHATTELLE, THE HAIRY MAN 387 

wards the scene of the crime and within a mile of the 
bush. The man seen by Morris had carried a little valise. 
A small satchel had been found hid in the bush, near the 
pieces of the body. 

" ' What is your name ? ' I asked this hairy man. 

" ' Almeda Chattelle,' said he. 

" His voice was soft and low and sweet, a gentle voice. 
I was astonished. He spoke as a gentleman. 

" ' Be seated,' said I. 

" We sat down. 

" ' Where is your home ? ' I asked. 

" ' In Lower Canada,' said he. ' That is, I was born 
there. The world is my home. But I spent my boy- 
hood near St. Hyacinthe, in the Province of Quebec. I 
have travelled some. I sailed out of Boston, and I know 
the West Indies well.' 

" He spoke almost sorrowfully. He hesitated, looked 
up half timidly and smiled. 

" ' I was in a lunatic asylum in Massachusetts for a 
time,' he said. ' They sent me there from Boston. I 
thought there was no need to do it. After they had me 
there for some time they said I was all right and they let 
me go. I agreed with them, and I think I am all right 
now.' 

" I then went over his movements step by step before 
and after the crime. 

" ' Chattelle,' I repeated, ' you were walking near Lis- 
towel on Friday and you met a little girl.' 

" The hairy man looked at me wistfully. 

" ' Yes, mister, I did,' he answered as simply as a little 
child. 

" ' What did you do ? ' 

" ' I grabbed her around the waist and carried her to 
the woods,' he answered, all the while looking at me as 
a dog would look at a man it liked. ' She screamed and 
dug her heels into the ground, so I tied a white skirt 
around her neck. She still struggled, so I took out my 
knife and I cut her across this way and then down this 
way, and I threw away the parts of her I did not wish, 
and the parts I liked I treated considerately, and later I 



388 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

buried them under a tree. I was not unkind to the parts 
I liked.' 

" The hairy man told this horrible tale of butchery in 
a gentle, tender voice, illustrating on his own body how 
he had carved and hacked the body of the young girl. 

" ' You see,' he continued, « I had stopped at a house 
farther back on the road and a red-haired girl gave me a 
handout. I was all right until I met the red-haired girl. 
I looked at her red hair and then I went away, and when 
I met the pretty little girl it all came over me like a flash 
and I just grabbed her and carried her across the fields to 
the woods and cut her up. I do not think I was right 
just then, although I was all right before it, and I am all 
right now, and I remember all that I did.' 

" The hairy man paused and his eyes sought mine. 

" ' I am very sorry,' he said softly. « I know it is too 
late to be sorry, but I am very sorry. I got sorry at 
once, and I was trying to get to the other side. I was 
starting for Niagara Falls when they caught me and took 
me back ; but they accused me of it, so I lied to them 
and they believed me and gave me money and let me go.' 

" I looked at Almeda Chattelle, the hairy man. I 
looked at the big, gentle eyes, at the huge hands that 
had torn the child to pieces. He waited patiently for 
me to speak. I stepped to the door and sent for the 
County Attorney, who came in, and to him Chattelle 
repeated his confession. His memory was perfect as to 
every detail. 

" I set out to prove the crime against him precisely as 
if he never had confessed. I took the woman's knitted 
jacket that he wore and the white skirt found wrapped 
around the young girl's neck and tl; e valise found hid in 
the bush, and I undertook to find their owner or owners. 
I knew the house of Donald McLeod at Ailsa Craig had 
been robbed on Tuesday, October 2d. A valise and 
other property had been taken. I telegraphed for Mrs. 
McLeod and she came to the gaol. She looked at 
Almeda Chattelle and said at once that she had seen 
him before, that he had dug a cellar for a new house 
near Ailsa Craig. I showed to her the valise, the jacket, 



ALMEDA CHATTELLE, THE HAIRY MAN 389 

and the skirt. She identified them all as property stolen 
from her home. She pointed out also the Glengarry 
cap that the hairy man wore and said it, too, had been 
stolen from her house. 

" ' Yes, I stole the valise and what was in it,' said the 
hairy man to me. 

" Robert Morris and others proved Almeda Chattelle 
was going to the bush and later was coming from the 
bush where the crime was committed. 

" I took Almeda Chattelle to Listowel on October 25th, 
and he was held for trial. Stones were pelted through 
the windows of the place where I had him. One of the 
stones struck the hairy man. 

" ' If they are going to hang me, why do they not 
hang me now ? ' he said. ' I'd rather be hanged to death 
than stoned to death ! ' 

" I knew that some of the enraged people were aroused 
and that a crowd might try to lynch Almeda Chattelle. 
Sure enough, a crowd began to gather in the evening. 
They had a rope. A train left for Stratford at 10.25 that 
night. I had a carriage drive to the door just before 
train time and I jumped into it with the hairy man, and 
we were off at a gallop for the station. I had him out 
of the carriage and into the rear car before the crowd 
could get at him. Some of them sprang up to uncouple 
the car. I told the hairy man to get down between the 
seats if there was trouble, and then I stepped out on the 
car platform and faced the crowd. It was a delicate situ- 
ation, but the train pulled out a moment later and the 
hairy man was saved from a premature hanging. 

" Almeda Chattelle was hanged in Stratford in the 
spring of 1895. He raised no question as to his sanity, 
and his plea at his preliminary examination had been 
' Guilty.' All he said was : ' I am sorry.' From the 
moment I was satisfied that he was aware of what he was 
doing, at the time he did it and thereafter, no doubt of 
his full responsibility for his crime presented itself to me. 
He, indeed, was horrible, hairy, human, with hands like 
the paws of a bear. Yet his voice was as gentle as his 
crime was brutal." 



390 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

LXI 
THE GANGS OF BURTCH AND RUTLEDGE 

The mysteries of the codes of communication among 
inmates of penitentiaries are regarded by some as past 
finding out. To others they constitute simply a series 
of coughs, taps, foot-scrapes, and occasional whispers, all 
significant with some meaning or message understood by 
the other convicts who hear them. But the bulk of 
tangible communication is done by whispers, and the 
taps or coughs are chiefly the signals of the whereabouts 
of guards or keepers. Telegraphers who have served 
time have been known to have secret cipher codes, and 
in the night they chatted by gentle tapping or subdued 
coughing, each tap and cough equivalent to the tick of a 
telegraph instrument. Two telegraphers who worked in 
a stone yard, and later in a shop in a penitentiary talked 
all day long, the taps of their hammers answering for the 
click of the telegraph. 

" In the latter part of 1 894 a series of burglaries 
occurred in various parts of the Province, and from the 
outset I was satisfied the jobs were the work of profes- 
sionals, and daring, desperate professionals, too," says 
Murray. " I was making my best endeavour to capture 
them, and early in the chase I learned that there were 
two gangs at work, and that both of them had been 
organised in Kingston before their members had finished 
the sentences they then were serving. There was not 
much difference in the dates of their discharge, and they 
took in some pals from outside when they began to work. 
Some of the early burglaries supplied witnesses, who 
gave me good descriptions of strangers seen near the 
places robbed shortly before the jobs were done. I thus 
was able to figure out the make-up of the two gangs. 

" In one gang were Frank Rutledge, a highwayman 
and burglar ; Billy Black, a safe breaker ; Walter Irvine, 
a burglar ; and Lew Lawrence, an all-round man. In the 
second gang were old Jimmy Stull, a former telegrapher ; 
Howard Burtch, who already had done several years in 



THE GANGS OF BURTCH AND RUTLEDGE 391 

Illinois, apart from his Canada time ; and Frank Jackson, 
a Cleveland crook, who was wanted in the States for 
murder, and who had served time after I had sent his 
father down for counterfeiting. They were a fine collec- 
tion of clever, desperate crooks. Several of them had 
done murder in their time, and they cared little for 
human life. They had set out, evidently, to clean up a 
fortune by burglary in Canada. Job after job was pulled 
off. Sometimes there were two jobs in one night, both 
gangs being busy. I was able, by descriptions after the 
robberies, to trace each gang. I determined to break 
them up if I had to stay awake nights for a year. I sent 
out, very carefully, descriptions of the gangs to trusted 
friends in the States and in Canada. I also set a watch 
on the home of Rutledge. His father lived in Streets- 
ville, Ontario. 

"On November 2d, 1894, I was informed that Rut- 
ledge's gang had arrived in Streetsville. I took Detect- 
ives Davis, Cuddy, and others, and went to Streetsville, 
arriving later that evening. We prepared for a stiff 
fight. We surrounded the Rutledge house, creeping up 
to it quietly. Then we burst in the doors and entered. 
The birds had flown. They had slipped out not a min- 
ute too soon. The table was spread, the coffee on it was 
still warm. We found Rutledge's father and mother. 
They, of course, said they knew nothing of the visit of 
their son and his gang. Yet they were unable to explain 
why the table was set for six, with food and coffee for 
six. We went to a second house, where a man named 
Bill Ward lived. Ward was a friend of the Rutledges, 
and also had done time. We cracked it open, but the 
gang had gone. I was chagrined considerably, as I had 
hoped to bag the Rutledge bunch, and I knew it would 
be many a day before they would turn up in Streetsville 
again after such a close call. 

" A few nights later the banking house of Hartman & 
Wilgress, in Clarksburg, near Thornbury, in the county 
of Grey, was burglarised. The thieves made an effort to 
get into the safe, but they were foiled by circumstances, 
and succeeded in getting into the outer vanlt only. In 



392 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

this outer vault, however, was a large quantity of valua- 
ble silverware, wedding presents to Mr. and Mrs. Wil- 
gress, also a number of exceedingly rare and high-priced 
coins owned by Mr. Hartman. The burglars stole all 
this silverware and all the coins. I went to Thornbury 
the next day, and the descriptions of strangers seen near 
the town a few hours before the burglary showed that it 
was another job by my old friends, Irvine, Rutledge, and 
Black. I returned to Toronto, and laid plans to trace 
the silverware. 

" In due time Irvine walked into the back office of a 
jeweller in Toronto with a bar of silver and sold it. This 
bar had been made by melting the Wilgress wedding 
presents. Irvine also visited the Gladstone House in 
Toronto, and showed a rare Chinese coin to the bar- 
tender, and later gave the coin to him. We got Irvine 
in Toronto, and the jeweller and bartender identified 
him, and Mr. Hartman identified the coin. I took Irvine 
to Owen Sound, where he was convicted on Thursday, 
December 13th, 1894, and was sent to Kingston for five 
years. He was the first. Bud Kinney had been with 
Irvine and the gang in several of their jobs. Bud was 
shot dead at Port Dalhousie in a robbery attempted there. 
Black I got in Hamilton, caught red-handed. He got 
five years. 

" Rutledge jumped the country. He crossed to the 
United States, and turned up in Greely County, Colorado, 
where he was arrested for stealing a bicycle. In his 
pocket they found clippings about Irvine and Black, and a 
slip with my name on it. The sheriff telegraphed to me, 
and I sent him Rutledge's history. At the trial of Rut- 
ledge, in Colorado, my letter to the sheriff was read. 
Rutledge was convicted and sent down for six years. 

" ' When I get out I am going back to Canada and 
kill that Murray ! ' Rutledge declared. 

" In 1901 he reappeared in Canada at the head of 
another gang, and due notice came to me that Rutledge 
intended to kill me. His particular pal was a crook 
named Rice. They had a third bird with them. They 
were trailed on one of their first jobs, and were followed 



THE GANGS OF BURTCH AND RUTLEDGE 393 

to Chicago, caught there, extradited and tried for the 
Markham burglary. They were being taken in a carriage 
from the court-house to the Toronto gaol, when some one 
threw a package into the carriage. Constables Steward 
and Boyd were in the carriage with the prisoners. The 
package contained loaded revolvers. The prisoners 
grabbed the revolvers, and one of them shot and killed 
Boyd, who was a good officer. After the shooting the 
prisoners jumped out of the carriage, ran to a street car, 
and tried to take possession of the car. Constable 
Steward followed, and in the shooting one of the burglars 
was killed. Rutledge and Rice were recaptured, and 
were taken to gaol. Rutledge ran up to the third cor- 
ridor of the gaol, leaped over the railing, turned a com- 
plete somersault, and landed on the stone floor beneath. 
He was killed by the fall, a case of suicide. Rice was 
hanged. 

" Lew Lawrence was caught in 1894, and tried in Ber- 
lin for a burglary at Gait, where his identification was 
perfect. He was convicted, and went back to Kingston 
for seven years. So ended the first gang — Rutledge 
dead, Kinney dead, Irvine, Black, and Lawrence back in 
Kingston. 

" The second gang was led by Howard Burtch. He 
was a desperate burglar. He had served three years 
here, then had gone to Chicago, where he shot and killed 
a policeman while committing a burglary. He was sent 
to Joliet Penitentiary in Illinois for twenty years, but 
later his lawyers enabled him to get out. He came back 
here, and after a series of burglaries I got a perfect case 
against him in St. Catharine's. Burtch skipped to the 
States, and I got him in Buffalo in 1896. He had been 
sent down for larceny there, and as he came out of the 
penitentiary I took him. He fought extradition, but I 
brought him back, and he got ten years. He is in 
Kingston Penitentiary now. 

" Old Jimmy Stull, one of Burtch's pals, was a funny 
little fellow. Jimmy was past fifty, although he always 
was sensitive on the subject of his age. He had been a 
telegraph operator in earlier years, and never failed to 



394 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

give his occupation as ' a member of the profession of 
telegraphy.' When Jimmy was broke he would go to 
the nearest telegraph office, and tap with his finger a re- 
quest for a loan. He usually got it, too. Jimmy was 
slippery, and it was not until 1897 that I arrested him. 
I got him in June of that year. He made a wry face, 
and said he had hoped he never would set eyes on me in 
either this world or the next. The burglary for which 
he was tried was the robbery of James H. Goring's store 
in Wellandport. Jimmy was convicted at St. Catharine's, 
and went to Kingston for five years. 

" Frank Jackson got away to the States. He both- 
ered us no more over here. So ended the second gang. 
It took three years or more to tuck them all away, but 
in the end they were broken up. Out of the eight men, 
two were dead, five were back in prison, and one was in 
exile. 

" ' The exile is the worst off of all of us,' said old 
Jimmy Stull." 



LXII 

THE MIDDLEMARCH MYSTERY 

A clump of timber near Middlemarch, three miles 
from St. Thomas, in the county of Elgin, became known 
throughout all Canada in 1895. For years it had stood 
on the county maps as Wardell's woods. It was good 
for squirrels and fire-wood and that was about all. But 
in the closing days of 1894 came a tragedy that caused 
people to travel for miles simply to tramp through this 
fragment of a forest and gape at the scene of blood. The 
crime has passed into the records as the Middlemarch 
mystery, although its mystery long since was solved. 

" William Henry Hendershott, a name which its owner 
always wrote or pronounced in full, as if he were proud 
of its extent and its euphony, was a young man, unmar- 
ried, well known among his neighbours, and a skilled 



THE MIDDLEMARCH MYSTERY 395 

hand about a farm," says Murray. " He boarded with 
his uncle, John Hendershott, a farmer. A fellow boarder 
was young William David Welter, who was engaged to 
Mary Hendershott, the pretty daughter of John Hender- 
shott. On the morning of Friday, December 14th, 1894, 
John Hendershott and his daughter Mary drove away to 
Eden, forty miles from home, leaving his nephew and 
Welter on the farm. About three d'clock that afternoon 
Welter went to the house of his cousin, Charles Welter, 
who lived near the Hendershotts, and told his cousin that 
a tree had fallen on William Henry Hendershott, while 
they were chopping in Wardell's woods and had killed 
him. The uncle was notified by telegraph at Eden, and 
the next day he drove home, and after a post-mortem, the 
body of William Henry Hendershott was buried on Mon- 
day, December 17th. Welter told at the inquest how the 
tree had fallen and crushed his companion to death. I 
was telegraphed for the next day and I arrived on Tues- 
day night. 

" I got Drs. Gustin, Lawrence, Fulton, McCarty, and 
Wilson, and drove to Fingal cemetery and exhumed the 
body of William Henry Hendershott and looked at the 
wounds. The only marks were on the head. There was 
not a scratch on the remainder of the body. Clearly, if 
a tree fell on him it must have fallen on the head alone. 
Moreover there were various wounds on the head. In- 
stead of a complete crushing it showed numerous con- 
tusions, so that the tree would have to bounce up and 
down on the head to make them. They looked to me as 
if they had been made by many heavy blows instead of 
by the single smash of a falling tree. I had the head 
taken off and requested the doctors to preserve it. 

" We then drove to the scene of the tragedy in War- 
den's woods. I had a constable bring Welter to the 
place. Welter came striding through the woods, a mas- 
sive fellow, over six feet tall, deep-chested, broad-shoul- 
dered, powerful. We were waiting for him by the fallen 
tree. 

" ' Welter,' said I, ' show me the exact spot where 
William Henry Hendershott stood, and where you stood, 



396 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

and show me precisely where you were when the tree 
fell.' 

" Welter walked over by the stump of the tree. 

" ' I stood here,' he said. ' Hendershott had left his 
vest with his watch in it over there on the ground, and 
when he saw the tree falling that way he ran to get the 
vest out of the way, and the tree killed him.' 

" ' Show me where the vest lay,' said I. 

" Welter walked out along the fallen tree to a spot 
about forty feet from the stump. 

" ' Here it was, and here he was killed,' said Welter. 

" At this point on the tree trunk was a large knot, the 
shape of a cocoanut and bigger than a half-bushel basket. 
When the tree fell this knot had been buried in the 
springy soil. The buoyancy of the limbs had raised it 
up, leaving a hole in the ground beneath the knot. 

" ' I found Hendershott lying dead in the ground be- 
neath this knot,' said Welter. 

" • Get down on the ground and place yourself exactly 
as he was lying when you found him,' said I. 

" Welter demurred, but finally sprawled fiat, face down, 
his head in the hole beneath the knot. 

" ' Stay there now,' I said. 

" I called the doctors to take careful notice. I had 
Welter, lying on the ground, explain it all again. Then 
I bade Welter step back. 

" ' Would there not be a smashed head and a great deal 
of blood ? ' I asked the doctors. 

" ' There certainly would,' they said. 

" The doctors examined the soil, a rich loam. There 
was no blood. One by one the doctors made sure of 
this. I then took samples of the earth. Blood was on 
the knot. But it had been smeared on and had not splat- 
tered at all. The doctors examined it and said it had 
been rubbed on the knot. On the top of the tree as it 
lay, I found a large quantity of blood. 

" ' How do you account for that ? ' I asked Welter. 

" ' I don't know,' he said. 

" I began to circle the tree in ever widening circles, and 
one hundred and ninety feet from the stump I came upon 



THE MIDDLEMARCH MYSTERY 397 

a little pool of water. Around it were spots of blood, 
and a zigzag trail of blood drips led to a place fifty feet 
from the stump, and there I found a lot of blood. Hen- 
dershott had been killed there, then put under the top of 
the tree, and then removed to where the knot was. The 
murderer had washed his hands, and perchance his 
weapon, in the little pool. Thus I accounted for the 
various crimson stains. I believed the weapon used was 
the axe that chopped the tree. I searched the woods 
thrice and could not find it, but at last it was revealed. 
It had been shoved in between the bark and the log of 
an old tree trunk. It never would have been discovered 
if one of the searchers had not stumbled on the log and 
smashed the bark off so that the axe fell out. It had 
been partially washed, but there were telltale traces on 
it. John Hendershott had given me previously an old 
axe, saying it was the one used to chop the tree. It was 
not. 

" When I again came to the woods I found a lot more 
blood splattered about in confusing quantities. I inves- 
tigated and found an old dead horse in a field near by. 
During the night some of Welter's friends had drawn 
blood from this carcass and sprinkled it around in War- 
dell's woods. They were too late. I already had taken 
my samples of the stained soil. 

" I learned that Welter and John Hendershott had ne- 
gotiated $ 1 1,000 insurance on the life of the dead man. 
Several months before, they had taken out two policies, 
one for $6,000 in a Galesburg (Illinois) Company, and 
one for $5,000 in the Mutual Reserve of New York. 
Both policies were in the name of John Hendershott as 
the beneficiary. I knew many of the people in that part 
of Canada, as it was my old headquarters when I was at 
St. Thomas with the railroad. Among my acquaintances 
was a worthless fellow named Patrick Fitzpatrick, who 
was known as Paddy the Diver. He was the St. Thomas 
town drunkard. Paddy the Diver told me Welter and 
John Hendershott had spoken to him about insuring his 
life. I investigated among the insurance companies and 
found the two men had tried to insure Paddy the Diver, 



398 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

but the applications had been refused. Then they had 
taken Paddy the Diver to Aylmer before another doctor, 
and had changed his name slightly, and he passed the 
examination and the application was approved, but when 
it reached the insurance company's head office the trick 
was discovered, owing to the failure to make a greater 
change in the name, and the policy was cancelled. So 
they then effected the $11,000 insurance on Hender- 
shott's nephew. This was done several months before 
the murder. 

" These circumstances left no doubt in my mind that 
John Hendershott, the uncle, was a party to the crime. 
I went to Eden, where John Hendershott had driven, 
with his pretty daughter, on the morning of the murder, 
and where he had stayed all night. I saw those who 
were with him when he heard of his nephew's death. 

" ' It's just like that fool to leave his watch some place, 
and in going to get it he might get hurt,' said John Hen- 
dershott when the telegram came stating his nephew was 
dead. 

" This settled it. Welter had told us of the watch and 
had stated on the day of the murder the same version of 
how young Hendershott met his death. But how did 
John Hendershott, forty miles away, happen to give the 
same version as Welter, although John Hendershott knew 
nothing of how it had occurred ? They had fixed up the 
story beforehand. John Hendershott, in Eden, also 
showed the insurance policies to friends. He had taken 
the policies with him when he drove away to Eden. 
Why? When he heard his nephew was dead he pro- 
duced the policies from his coat pocket. 

" ' Will got killed, but I am not so badly off,' he told 
his friends. 

" I reopened the inquest. I arrested Welter and John 
Hendershott on December 2 1st, 1894. They were tried 
before Chief Justice Meredith. B. B. Osier prosecuted, 
ably assisted by D. J. Donahue; and Norman Macdonald 
and John A. Robinson defended. Mr. Macdonald made 
a good fight in behalf of his clients. It was a long- 
drawn-out trial. We swore eighty-five or more witnesses 



THE GRADED GRAYS 399 

for the Crown. On Friday, March 15th, 1895, both 
Welter and John Hendershott were convicted. They 
were hanged on June 18th at St. Thomas. Welter was a 
heavy man on the gallows." 



LXIII 
THE GRADED GRAYS 

David Scollie was an old man with a long white 
beard, and Tommie Gray was a tow-headed boy. David 
Scollie was six times as old as Tommie Gray, and 
Tommie was eleven years old. David Scollie lived alone 
on a little farm, in the township of Otonabee, in the 
county of Peterboro. Tommie Gray lived across the 
road with his parents. Thomas Gray, the father of 
Tommie Gray, was a farm labourer, with a wife and six 
children, the oldest being a girl of twelve. Thomas 
Gray worked for various farmers, chiefly for John Graham 
Weir. Tommie Gray spent most of his time with his 
friend David Scollie — in fact, Tommie and David spent 
most of their days together. 

" Scollie was so old that he got Mrs. Gray to do baking 
and occasionally set his house in order for him," says 
Murray. " He was very fond of young Tommie Gray. 
Finally Tommie's father struck up a bargain with old 
Scollie. They agreed that if he gave them his farm they 
would keep him and care for him as long as he lived. 
To Scollie it meant an end of worry over housekeeping, 
and above all, life with Tommie would be unbroken. 
The old man went to Peterboro and had the papers 
drawn up transferring his farm to the Grays. The deed 
was executed and the Grays moved to Scollie's house. 
Early on the morning of February 23d, 1894, the house 
was destroyed by fire. Gray had gone to Maydock, 
forty miles away, on the previous day to see his brother, 
and was absent when the fire occurred. Mrs. Gray, 
Tommie Gray, and the other children escaped and were 



4 oo MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

cared for by neighbours. Old David Scollie was found 
in the ruins dead. He was buried and soon thereafter 
the Grays sold his farm to Michael Fitzgerald for $i,ooo, 
squandered the money, and disappeared with all the 
children. 

"Months passed. Over a year later, in May, 1895, 
W. J. McGregor, a brother-in-law of Thomas Gray, told 
of a talk between Mrs. Gray and Mrs. McGregor shortly 
before the fire. 

" * If something isn't done with that old diwle of a 
Scollie he is as likely to live as long as I will,' Mrs. Gray 
said to Mrs. McGregor. 

" ' I suppose he will live as long as God will let him,' 
replied her sister. 

" < No. I'll be if he will ; I won't let him,' said 

Mrs. Gray. 

" ' Be very careful or the law will get you,' said her 
sister, Mrs. McGregor. 

" Then had come the fire, with old Scollie's body 
found in the ruins. 

" Almost sixteen months later the matter was reported 
and the Government sent me to Otonabee to investigate. 
I looked over the case. I took doctors and went to 
Peterboro, and had the body exhumed. I found the head 
completely severed or burned from the body. I was sur- 
prised to find so few traces of burns on the remainder of 
the body. A head cannot well be burned from a body 
without the trunk showing evidences of the intense heat. 
However, the body had been buried so long that it was 
very hard to make a satisfactory post-mortem. I learned 
also that the body had been found in the cellar after the 
fire in an opposite corner from that beneath Scollie's own 
room. He could not very well have fallen from overhead 
to the spot where he was found, with his head severed. 
How had he come there ? 

" It was decided to locate the Grays and bring them 
back. A letter had been received from them by one of 
their old-time neighbours, saying they were living near 
Ocala, Florida. I prepared extradition papers and went 
to Florida. I found them living in great poverty and 



THE GRADED GRAYS 401 

squalor. Their house was a shanty, some of the children 
were running around practically naked. I looked at the 
six little ones, dirty, clothesless, and hungry. I could not 
take the parents and leave the six children alone in this 
shanty. They would have starved to death or perished 
of neglect. So I took the entire family to Ocala and 
registered them at the gaol. The sheriff and his wife and 
townsfolk washed the children and made up a purse and 
bought them clothes. Tommie Gray invested five cents, 
given to him by a lady, in candy known to Tommie as 
Red Dave's jaw-bone. Tommie would begin to suck on 
a jaw-bone after breakfast, and along towards sundown it 
would melt away. 

" I can see my party now as it looked when we started 
north. I was the tallest, then came Thomas Gray, 
then Mrs. Gray, and then six little Grays. We made a 
human stairway, with my head the top landing and a 
Gray baby no taller than my knee the bottom step. 
Tommie Gray, his pockets bulging with all-day suckers, 
alias Red Dave's jaw-bones, was the fourth step from the 
top and the fourth step from the bottom. Despite all my 
efforts to form them in column of two, the Grays per- 
sisted in walking Indian file, the tallest first, the smallest 
last. I led this parade of graduated progeny through 
the streets of Ocala with a horde of shouting pickaninnies 
trailing in the wake of the procession. Tommie Gray 
sang at the top of his voice all the way to the station. 

" On the train I found the Grays still bound to arrange 
themselves according to age and size. The moment the 
train started Mrs. Gray began to boohoo, and the six 
little Grays burst forth into a chorus of caterwauling, and 
Thomas Gray blubbered, while Tommie Gray opened 
wide his cave of the winds and poured forth frantic 
howls. Of course this was not pleasant for the other 
passengers, and several men promptly left the car after 
glaring at me. A gentle old lady arose and crossed to 
the seat of the wailing Tommie. 

" ' Poor little mannie,' she said tenderly. 

" ' G'way, darn you ! ' howled Tommie. ' Don't you 
dare to try kiss me ! ' 



4 02 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

"'What ails the mannie ? What's the matter?' said 
the old lady soothingly. 

"'Can't you see I'm crying, you old fool ?' howled 
Tommie. 

" For answer, the sweet old lady suddenly reached 
down and seized the weeping Tommie, and, despite his 
kicks and struggles, lifted him up and laid him across 
her knees and spanked him soundly. To my utter 
astonishment and the amazement of the Grays, Tommie 
suddenly ceased his howling and looked up and smiled. 

" ' That's better,' said the old lady, and Tommie Gray 
grinned as he rubbed his tingling seat of chastisement. 

" At sight of Tommie grinning, all the other Grays 
promptly stopped howling. The old lady returned to 
her seat, while the eight Grays eyed her. Suddenly a 
long loud wail broke forth. It was Tommie Gray. 

" ' She bruk me jaw-bones ! ' he howled. ' She bruk 
me jaw-bones ! ' 

" The other Grays took up the wailing. They shrieked 
and bellowed. Over all could be heard Tommie Gray, 
howling : 

" ' She bruk me jaw-bones ! She bruk me jaw-bones ! ' 

" The old lady paled, then flushed. At length she 
arose and came over to me. 

" ' Sir,' she said, ' I trust you do not think I injured 
him. I did not strike him on his face, so his jaw-bone 
is unhurt. I struck him not on the face, but on his — on 
the — on the appropriate place provided therefor, sir, 
and it was — I — it was with my open hand.' 

" ' Oh, it's all right,' I answered. ' I can have his jaw 
set when I get him home.' 

" Tommie meanwhile had produced one of the broken 
jaw-bones and was sucking it contentedly. One by one 
the tribe of Grays fell asleep. The old lady dozed in her 
seat. I looked at my eight slumbering charges. I had 
travelled many miles with many prisoners, but never did 
I have such a cargo and such a trip. It was a long series 
of snorings and shriekings. When they were awake they 
howled, and when they were asleep they snored, and 
Tommie Gray kicked in his sleep and had dreams that 



GEORGE ALGER'S GRAVEYARD POLICY 403 

called for wild acrobatic feats. It was stifling hot 
weather, too, and the presence of the Grays could be 
detected, even by a blind man, if his olfactory organ did 
even half its duty. 

" I landed them in Peterboro on Friday, July 5th, 1895. 
Mrs. Gray was tried at the Fall Assizes. A seventh 
Gray child was expected soon after the trial. Tommie 
Gray went on the stand, and his testimony saved the day 
for his mother. Tommie testified her right out of it. 
Mrs. McGregor's statement of Mrs. Gray's talk with her 
duly appeared. All things being considered, including 
the expected seventh Gray, the verdict of acquittal per- 
turbed no one. Thomas Gray left his wife after the case 
was over and went his way alone. Mrs. McGregor's 
cow was poisoned by an unconvicted hand. What be- 
came of Tommie Gray, the guardian angel of freckle- 
faced, tow-headed jaw-bone-suckers only knows." 



LXIV 
GEORGE ALGER'S GRAVEYARD POLICY 

Graveyard insurance is as old as the insurance of life 
itself. On a small scale it is practised year after year 
with varying degrees of success. Occasionally a big raid 
is planned on the insurance companies ; but the larger 
the amount involved, the less apt the plan is to work out. 
In Canada, however, in the year 1895, a scheme to mulct 
the insurance companies out of many thousands of dollars 
was engineered and was beginning to materialise, when 
it was detected and broken up. A number of persons 
doomed to die were insured by fraud and misrepresenta- 
tion, through a conspiracy involving agents of some 
companies. 

" The case that brought the whole conspiracy to col- 
lapse was located in the township of Pickering, in the 
county of Ontario, ten miles from Whitby, the county 
seat," says Murray. " A farmer, named George Alger, 



404 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

and his wife lived there on a fine, big farm. Mrs. Alger 
was a delicate woman. In the same neighbourhood 
lived Dr. Charles Henry Francey, who was medical 
examiner for a number of insurance companies, one of 
them being the Equitable. In 1 894 Alger and Dr. Francey 
effected an insurance on the life of Mrs. Alger in the 
Equitable for $7,000, and on July nth of the next year 
application was made for $5,000 in the Home Life. The 
application was approved, as it was regular and favour- 
able, owing to the conspiracy. Before the policy could 
arrive Mrs. Alger was dead. She died on August 13th, 
1895, and, while she lay in her coffin in the parlour, the 
$5,000 policy on her life came to her husband. 

" Alger set out to collect the insurance. An action 
was begun, and finally came to trial in Toronto. In the 
meantime the Home Life policy, so closely connected 
with her death, led to an investigation. I had the body 
of Mrs. Alger exhumed in Brougham cemetery, and had 
it examined by Dr. Ferguson and Dr. Bingham. They 
found death had been due to consumption. She had 
been ill for several years I learned from others. Alger 
went on the stand in the trial in Toronto, and gave 
evidence clearly contrary to the facts. I was satisfied 
there was a conspiracy afoot. I arrested him and took 
him to Whitby, where he was committed for trial for 
conspiracy. Dr. Francey, who had acted in the dual 
capacity of medical examiner for the insurance com- 
panies and Alger's physician, had left the country. He 
went to Buffalo. After staying there some time I 
located him and saw him, and he was persuaded to re- 
turn and give evidence under the protection of the 
Crown. When this had been accomplished, it simplified 
the whole matter. We needed Francey to prove other 
cases. 

" We showed at the trial of Alger that Dr. Eastwood, 
in 1888, had examined Mrs. Alger, and had told Alger 
that his wife had consumption and would die in a few 
years, if she did not have a change of climate. The 
years passed. Mrs. Alger grew worse. Her husband 
sat by as she coughed her life away, and as the end drew 



GEORGE ALGER'S GRAVEYARD POLICY 405 

near took out insurance by fraud and then waited for her 
to die. It must have been a pleasant household where 
this weak woman sat suffocating day after day, each day 
being harder than the day before, while the man with 
the big farm and perfect health sat quietly by, waiting 
for her to smother to death so that he could grow richer 
by her dying ! His so-called friend came and went, but 
the woman was left to die. Instead of sending her to 
the mountains or to California to live, as he could have 
done, he speculated on her death, cheating her in her 
life and endeavouring to cheat the companies by her 
death. But, by the irony of fate, after lingering so 
many suffering years, she died too soon. She was very 
patient and brave during her agony and endeavoured to 
make her husband as little trouble as possible. She 
never knew of his villainy. 

" Alger was tried in March, 1896, and was convicted 
and sent to Kingston for seven years. Dr. Francey not 
only testified against Alger and revealed the entire das- 
tardly plot, but admitted his own part in it and acknowl- 
edged he was a rascal. He confessed also that he had 
acted with equal dishonesty in a number of other in- 
stances. There was considerable excitement over the 
revelations. 

" The result was a wholesale overhauling of a number 
of policies. The Equitable cancelled two policies on the 
life of A. E. Thornton of Whitevale ; a policy on the life 
of Donald Beaton, a policy on the life of J. H. Besse, and 
a policy on the life of James Sadler, of Greenwood. 
Other companies cancelled other policies and the conspir- 
acy collapsed. 

" Nicholas L. Brown, an Ontario agent of the Home 
Life, came to me and told me how he got into it. He 
got off. Joseph Hortop, agent for the Ontario Mutual 
Association, also got off. In the trial of the case, Crown 
Attorney Farewell prosecuted, while Alger was repre- 
sented by G. Smith Macdonald, T. Herbert Lennox, 
C. Russel Fitch, and S. Alfred Jones. The case marked 
the end in any concerted efforts in the Province to mulct 
the insurance companies on an extensive scale. Alger's 



406 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

seven years stands as a powerful deterrent to others. 
Dr. Francey left the Province. He went up into the 
Northwest, and later I heard he was practising medicine 
in the western part of the United States. 

" Mrs. Alger developed consumption in 1888 and died 
in 1895. That was seven years of suffering. Alger 
went to the penitentiary for the same length of time — 
seven years." 



LXV 

THE KILLING OF JAMES AGNEW 

" When I die I intend to die on my own land ; I 
frown on trespassing and I am agin trespassing corpses 
most of all." 

James Agnew preached this text in his life and prac- 
ticed it in his death. He was a retired farmer, an estima- 
ble old man, who lived with his wife on the outskirts of 
the town of Lindsay, in the county of Victoria, sixty 
miles east of Toronto. He kept a horse and a cow, and 
delighted to potter around the stable and the garden as 
a reminder of his many active years on a farm. 

" I want no lingering and I want no trespassing when 
I die," he declared. 

On the night of March 1 ith, 1896, the old man stepped 
out of his house to go to the stable, as was his custom, 
to make sure his horse and cow were comfortable and 
secure. It was eleven o'clock, pitch dark, and blowing 
and snowing. He left his wife knitting by the kitchen 
fire. He stumbled through the storm to the stable door 
and opened it. As he fumbled with the latch, death 
stalked through the snow, a crouching, wary figure. It 
stole close up to the old man and raised a hand as if 
pointing a finger at his white hair. There was a flash, a 
report, muffled in the gale ; the old man tumbled for- 
ward and fell. The figure stooped over him, rolled him 
over and silently vanished across the field and down the 
road. The wife knitted placidly by the kitchen fire. 



THE KILLING OF JAMES AGNEW 407 

The minutes passed. She paused in her knitting, glanced 
uneasily at the clock, listened, then resumed her knitting, 
with an eye still on the clock, and finally arose, threw 
open the kitchen door, and called : 

" James ! " 

There was no answer. She called thrice, and then, in 
alarm, ran out through the storm to the stable, and 
tripped over her husband's body in the doorway. With 
a shriek she fled to the nearest neighbour, Shannon by 
name, and the Shannons returned with her and found the 
old man dead, with a bullet hole behind the ear. 

" The murder was shrouded in mystery," says Murray. 
" I was at Whitby at the time, in the Alger insurance 
conspiracy case, and I started immediately for Lindsay. 
The railroads were blocked with snow. I rode and 
drove and walked and finally arrived. I examined the 
premises and came upon a peculiar track in the snow. 
The same track was observed by a neighbour on the 
night of the shooting. It was the track of an old rubber 
which had something fastened on the sole that made a 
mark in the snow like a small, rectangular hole. This track 
led from the door of the stable. It was lost at times be- 
neath the marks of other feet, but I found it farther away 
from the stable and followed it. The trail led to the 
house of Henry Logie, and on Logie's premises it was 
imprinted clearly in the snow. I talked with Mr. Logie. 
He had no such boot or shoe or rubber. But he had a 
young fellow working for him named John Carney, a 
big, overgrown boy of eighteen. His effects at Logie's 
were searched and an old rubber was found with a strap 
attached. I took this rubber or overshoe and strapped 
it on, so that the buckle of the strap was on the sole, and 
I stepped into the snow. The imprint was a duplicate 
of the imprint at Agnew's and of the track leading from 
the scene of the tragedy to Logie's. 

" The house of Carney's father was searched, and old 
man Agnew's watch was found in the cellar. The watch 
and a few dollars had been taken from the body when 
the old man was murdered. All his pockets had been 
rifled and his papers and his empty purse were found 



4 o8 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

lying on the floor of the stable. In addition to the watch 
a revolver was found, in Carney's house, of the calibre of 
the bullet that had crashed into Agnew's head. The 
trigger of this revolver was missing. Miss Marron found 
the trigger at Logie's, where she lived, and it was among 
young Carney's effects. 

" I talked with everybody around the place, and I 
learned from several persons that they had seen young 
Carney down town in Lindsay about ten o'clock that 
night. I ascertained he was with his brother, Patrick 
Carney, and later with two young men named Harry 
Bush and Edward Roach. In fact these young men 
were together on the road leading past Agnew's. I 
found a man named Edward Burke, who had passed the 
Agnew house and who heard a shot ring out just after 
he passed. Roach testified at the inquiry that Carney 
had fired two shots in the air from his revolver near the 
Agnews, and that, after they were fired, Roach and Bush 
went home, leaving Carney in the road near the Agnew 
house. 

" John Carney and his brother Patrick were arrested, 
and on Tuesday, March 31st, were committed for trial. 
The trial occurred at the Spring Assizes. Justice Street 
presided. The defence was conducted ably by John A. 
Barron, Q.C., now County Judge of Perth. John King, 
Q.C., prosecuted. Pat Carney proved an alibi. John 
Carney was convicted and was sentenced to be hanged. 
The sentence later was commuted to imprisonment for 
life. 

" When I finished with the Carney murder I went 
abroad for a yachting trip with friends. I sailed on the 
City of Rome on Saturday, June 6th, 1 896, for Glasgow. It 
was my first real holiday in twenty years and I was as 
tickled as a schoolboy. I landed in Glasgow on June 
1 6th and went to Edinburgh, where I spent a few days 
with relatives and old friends. On June 20th I sailed on 
the yacht Norway from Leith with a party of old-time 
friends. We cruised along the north coast of Scotland to 
Aberdeen and thence over the German Ocean to Norway, 
and went up north as far as the Lofoden Islands. On 



THE KILLING OF JAMES AGNEW 409 

the trip back we visited various places along the coast of 
Norway and Sweden. We stopped in Copenhagen on 
June 27th, and there I met a brother of Captain Salmers 
of the steamer Maipo, whom I met in the Aitken case in 
South America. On June 28th we sailed for Kiel, and 
on July 1st we arrived in Hamburg. 

" From Germany I went to London and visited friends 
at Scotland Yard and elsewhere. On July 6th I went to 
France with another party of friends, and on July 8th, I 
called on Ernest Carnot, son of President Carnot, and 
Maurice de Jouliatt, my companions in the trip across the 
Andes Mountains in South America. I met also high 
officials in the French detective service, and I am frank 
to say that, of all the detective systems in the world with 
which I am familiar, I believe the system in vogue in 
Paris to be the most efficient, the ablest in conception, 
and the most effective in execution. I speak not of the 
public idea of what this system is, but of the secret work- 
ings of it, the years of training, the culling of men from 
all walks of life for the detective service, and the con- 
sequent ability to reach any line of life, any stratum of 
society, through agents familiar with all its phases. I 
had a royal good time in Paris. Paris is an inspiration to 
mellow memories. It is the capital of the world. I left 
it on July 10th, amid many adieus, and returned to 
London, where I spent several days, and on July 14th 
went to Liverpool, where I had a pleasant visit with Chief 
Inspector McConkey. He and I laughed over Parisian 
ways and I found that I had received a thorough introduc- 
tion to life as it is lived in the city of splendid pleasures. 

" I went to Ireland on July 15th. I spent several days 
in Dublin, and thence went to Sligo, where I had an en- 
joyable time and owed much of my pleasure to the 
brother of Lord Dunraven, of yachting fame on this side 
of the Atlantic. From Sligo I went to Derry, and after 
further jaunts in Ireland I sailed on July 24th, on the 
steamer Vancouver, for Montreal. I arrived in Quebec 
on August 1st, 1896, in Montreal on August 2d, and in 
Toronto on August 3d. 

" The world is full of surprises. I was walking in Paris 



410 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

when I came face to face with one of my acquaintances 
in the Buenos Ayres colony of fugitives. He greeted me 
effusively, and said he was on his way to Russia. He 
gave me the latest news of the hunted ones in South 
America, and all the gossip of the tropics of interest to 
pursuers and pursued. He had his own establishment in 
Paris and looked like a fashionable clubman. In re- 
sponse to his cordial invitation to visit him I extended 
an equally cordial invitation to him to stay out of Canada. 
He thanked me heartily and said he never had been 
there and never expected to be. He inquired about 
several crooks. 

" ' Registered at the Hotel Kingston,' was his phrase 
for their abiding-place. 

" I was with a French detective official at the time I 
met this laugher-at-law and, as we walked on, the official, 
in casual conversation, went over the entire career of this 
man and remarked that he was expected to leave Paris 
the next day. He left. 

" I had an opportunity in Paris to observe the careful 
training given to detectives there. They are taken as 
young men and from various walks of life, from good 
families, and are placed with older, experienced men, and 
for months they go about, learning the faces and ways 
and lives of crooks of all kinds, lofty and low, convicted 
and unconvicted. They are educated, drilled, schooled 
for their work. They serve an apprenticeship as for a 
trade, they study as for a profession. This is as it should 
be. The failures are weeded out, the fittest survive. As 
the world grows and the throngs of humanity increase, 
the detection of crime will demand trained detectives, 
equipped for their career as men are equipped for other 
occupations and professions. Educated men, of trained 
intellect, will be needed as well as men whose instinctive 
bent is for the detective business regardless of any general 
knowledge of life at large. France is on the right road 
in this respect. I saw the Parisian detectives at work. 
They are clever men. They know their city like the 
alphabet. What a city it is ! Trivialities and tragedies, 
with even the tragedies ofttimes ignored as trivial." 



THE VOICE OF THE HAUNTED HOUSE 411 

LXVI 
THE VOICE OF THE HAUNTED HOUSE 

It is a far cry from Paris, in France, to Hagersville, in 
Canada, but soon after Murray's return from abroad a 
telegram called him to the little town in the county of 
Brant. The people were talking of a tragedy. There 
had been a funeral, and they believed the closed coffin 
hid the evidence of a murder. They had gathered at the 
house on the day of the burial, but few, if any, saw the 
face of the dead. The women spoke in whispers, and 
some vowed there was no body in the coffin. Others 
thought the body might be there, but in pieces. A few 
were in favour of lifting the lid boldly, but others shud- 
dered and shook their heads. Among them were those 
who said the coffin held the dead intact, and not in pieces. 
But as to the manner of death they were mute. It was a 
gruesome mystery. 

" The dead was a woman," says Murray. " I went to 
Hagersville on receipt of the telegram to the Depart- 
ment. I had the body exhumed and a post-mortem 
made. She was a young woman, but was so emaciated that 
she seemed to have been simply a yellow parchment 
drawn tight over a skeleton to masquerade as a human 
being. The body had not begun to disintegrate, and 
there were traces of a bygone beauty. I marvelled at the 
emaciation. It reminded me vividly of the pictures of the 
starved of India, found dead during the famines, with their 
bones almost protruding through their skin. The woman 
seemed literally to have wasted away to skin and bones. 
The body bore marks of brutal treatment. There was a 
gash in the abdomen, and a broad path across it showed 
where a hobnailed boot had torn its way. The bosom 
was bruised as if it had been beaten with a hammer. On 
the temples were black and blue marks. Drs. Jones, 
McDonald, and Jarvis noted these wounds. To make 
sure no poison had been administered I had the viscera 
examined by Professor Ellis, in Toronto. 



4t2 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTiVE 

" The body was that of Lillian Carpenter, a bride of 
six months. She was married to James Carpenter, who 
had a farm in the township of Tuscarora, near Hagers- 
ville. I looked up Carpenter. He was a bad lot. His 
neighbours had no liking for him, and those who knew 
him best distrusted him most. 

" There had been several incendiary fires in that sec- 
tion of the country. Farmers had lost cattle, and flocks 
of sheep had been broken up in the night and driven to 
the woods, and many stolen or killed. A midnight ma- 
rauder seemed to be living a high-handed life in the 
county. There was an Indian reserve near Carpenter's 
farm. 

" I called on Carpenter. He was a low-browed, sullen- 
faced, surly bully. 

" ' How did your wife die ? ' I asked. 

" ' None of your business,' said he. 

" It was a real pleasure to set to work on the case with 
renewed zeal and determination. 

" ' Did you see her die, Carpenter ? ' I asked. 

" ' Naw, why should I ? ' he growled. • She ought to 
have been good and glad of a chance to die. She was 
no good, anyhow.' 

" I learned from friends of the dead woman that she 
was an epileptic. Then I understood why the burly 
Carpenter regarded her as worthless or worse than 
worthless. 

" It was a difficult case in which to get specific evi- 
dence. Carpenter's neighbours were not given to visiting 
frequently at his house. They told me much about cruel 
treatment, but I wanted eye-witnesses. At length I 
went among the Indians on the reserve, and I met an old 
Indian whom I had known for some years, and he led me 
aside into the woods, and sat down with me on a log, 
and, under pledge of secrecy, told me of a haunted house 
where, in the night, screams had resounded. Some of 
the Indians had come to look upon the house as under a 
spell, and were in the habit of going to it under cover of 
darkness, and sitting in the shadow, waiting to hear the 
spirit wail. 



THE VOICE OF THE HAUNTED HOUSE 413 

" ' It wails like a woman/ he told me. ' It cries out in 
long, loud, shrill cries.' 

" ' Has no one ever seen it ? ' 

" ' Oh, yes,' said he. ' It takes the shape of a woman. 
It has been seen various times. My son has seen it rush 
out of the house all in white, with its long hair streaming 
down its back, and its feet bare. It ran through the 
woods, shrieking as it ran, and waving its arms. The 
man of the haunted house pursued it, beating it, and 
knocking it down. It begged for mercy, and would 
clasp the man's legs, and kiss his hand and his feet like 
a dog. Then it would fall over, and the spirit would 
work upon it, making it writhe, and jerking its face all 
out of shape, trying to turn it into a dog or a cow, or a 
wild beast. For hours in the night it would lie out in 
the woods, and twice it had not even the white robe on 
it. Then it would creep back into the house after the 
man who had kicked it, when it fell over, and had left it 
lying in the woods.' 

" ' When was the spirit seen last ? ' 

" ' Not for two weeks,' said the old fellow. ' They tell 
me it is buried away, and that the voice sounds out no 
more in the haunted house.' 

" ' Where is the house ? ' I asked. 

" ' I will show you myself to-night,' he said. 

" That night the old Indian led me in a roundabout 
way to the house of James Carpenter. I saw some 
shadowy figures squatting near by. 

" ' Our people ; they are listening for it,' said the old 
fellow. 

" ' It will not come again ; it is gone forever,' I said. 

" ' Not the voice," said the old fellow. ' Voices never 
die.' 

" ' But what is the voice without the spirit ? ' I asked 
him. 

" ' The voice is the spirit,' he answered. 

" I kept all this a profound secret as I had promised. 
But I set to work among the more civilised of the Indians 
to obtain competent evidence of Carpenter's beating his 
wife, and driving her out of the house. Meanwhile Car- 



4H MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

penter was locked up in gaol. After his arrest a woman 
in Petrolea wrote a letter saying she was the lawful wife 
of Carpenter, and that they had one child, then with her. 
She added that Carpenter nearly starved her to death, and 
that she still bore upon her body the marks of his 
brutality, and that she would carry them with her to the 
grave. She gave the year of their wedding as 1 888, and 
the place as Waterford. 

" Carpenter was tried in Brantford on December ioth, 
1896, for murder. He was defended by Louis Heyd, 
who made a strong fight to save him. But the evidence 
could not be upset as to his brutality. My search among 
the intelligent Indians was not fruitless. Carpenter was 
found guilty of manslaughter, and was sent to Kingston 
Penitentiary for a long term of years. The Indians 
listened in vain thereafter for the voice of the wailing 
spirit of the haunted house." 



LXVII 

OLIVE ADELE SEVENPIPER STERNAMAN. 

Olive Adele Sevenpiper was tall for her years, even 
as a child. Her childhood was spent in the township of 
Rainham, county of Haldimand, her family living near 
the Sternaman family. 

"I was born in Canada," she said, in telling in 1896 
the story of her life, " near the home of the Sternamans 
not far from Rainham Centre. I moved to Buffalo, New 
York, with my parents when twelve years old. That 
was in 1879, as I was born in 1867 and am now twenty- 
nine years old. A few years after settling in Buffalo I 
went to do general housework for a Mr. Simpson on 
Lafayette Avenue. I worked there three years and 
there I met Ezra E. Chipman, who was a carpenter and 
had come from Canada. He courted me while I worked 
for Mr. Simpson, and February 3d, 1886, we were 
married, and went to live on Hampshire Street, in Buf- 



OLIVE ADELE SEVENPIPER STERN AMAN 415 

falo. Two children were born, one in 1887 and one in 
1889. Both are living." 

Chipman was a prudent man. His life was insured, 
he took home his earnings, and all went well. George 
H. Sternaman, a son of the Sternamans who lived near 
the childhood home of Olive Adele Sevenpiper Chip- 
man, had grown up in Rainham while Miss Sevenpiper 
was growing up in Buffalo. He became a carpenter, and 
in 1892 he went to Buffalo to work, being able to obtain 
better wages there than in the county of Haldimand. 

" Sternaman secured board at the home of Olive Adele 
Sevenpiper Chipman," says Murray. " He and Ezra be- 
came fast friends. Both were carpenters and at times 
they worked together. On January 20th, 1895, Ezra 
died. George mourned for his friend and continued to 
board with the widow. On February 3d, 1896, a little 
over a year after Ezra died, George married the widow, 
who became Olive Adele Sevenpiper Chipman Sterna- 
man. On August 14th, 1896, George died. He had 
suffered, and finally had insisted on being taken home to 
his mother in the township of Rainham, and there he 
died. The mother, turning from her dead son to the 
widow, said that it was peculiar her two husbands should 
die within two years and from the same cause — paralysis. 

" ' Why, mother, do you mean to insinuate that I had 
anything to do with their deaths ? ' said the widow. 

" ' Yes,' retorted the mother. ' I blame you for poison- 
ing them, blame you until you prove yourself innocent.' 

" The mother's tongue started the talk. It spread. In 
due time the matter was brought to the attention of the 
Department, and in October, 1 896, I went to Cayuga to 
make inquiries concerning Sternaman's death. I had the 
body exhumed and the viscera sent to Professor Ellis, in 
Toronto. He found arsenical poisoning. I went to 
Buffalo and saw Dr. Rich and Dr. Parmenter, who had 
attended Ezra Chipman. Dr. Rich later testified that in 
Chipman's last illness his symptoms were gastritic vomit- 
ing, intense thirst, and later numbness and paralysis, and 
it might have been caused by arsenic or any other irritant 
poison. Dr. Parmenter, who also attended Chipman in 



416 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

his last illness, found him suffering from paralysis, and 
thought his death might possibly have been caused by 
poison. William Martin, of the Buffalo Carpenters' 
Union, and William Trandall, of Buffalo, told me and 
later testified as to Chipman eating his lunch, which was 
supposed to have contained poison. Chipman, soon after 
eating, complained of a burning sensation in the stomach, 
and ceased work and went home, never to return to work. 
I found Martin and Trandall in my search for men who 
had worked with Chipman and Sternaman. 

" I called on Dr. Frost, Dr. Phelps, and Dr. Saltsman 
in Buffalo, who had attended Sternaman in his illness. 
Dr. Frost later testified that in July he suspected arsenical 
poisoning. The doctor had informed the deceased in the 
presence of Mrs. Sternaman that there were suspicious 
symptoms of arsenical poisoning and proposed to have 
him taken to a hospital. He finally agreed to go, but 
Mrs. Sternaman objected strongly. 

" • I mentioned to her,' testified Dr. Frost later, ' that 
she had one husband die under suspicious circumstances, 
and asked her how she would like to have another die 
under suspicious circumstances. It would be better for 
her own protection that he should go, and she replied : 
" Doctor, if he dies I will have an autopsy and that will 
clear me." The patient grew worse.' 

" Dr. Frost called in Dr. Phelps, who told him to look 
for arsenic. 

" ' On being told that the patient would get better if he 
got no more arsenic, she replied that he would get no 
more,' said Dr. Frost. 

" Dr. Frost then was dismissed from treating the patient 
and Dr. Saltsman was called in. Dr. Phelps corroborated 
Dr. Frost and said he had administered arsenic to patients 
and that Sternaman's case was identical, only much worse. 
After Dr. Frost was dismissed Sternaman wanted to go 
home to Canada. His mother went over to see him and 
finally he was taken home to Rainham in August. Dr. 
Clark, of Rainham, attended him at his mother's home 
and he gave it as his opinion that death was due to 
poison. Dr. Park, of Selkirk, also attended him before 



OLIVE ADELE SEVENPIPER STERNAMAN 417 

his death in Rainham. He found the patient partially 
paralysed and totally helpless. The day before he died 
he vomited. 

" ' He was suffering from multiple neuritis, brought on 
from arsenical poisoning,' testified Dr. Park. 

" Dr. Harrison, of Selkirk, who saw Sternaman with 
Dr. Park, testified : ' I am sure he was poisoned by 
arsenic' 

" I learned that Sternaman's life was insured for $200 
in the Carpenters' Union, for $770 in the Hancock 
Mutual Insurance Company, and for $1,000 in the Metro- 
politan, this last policy being dated a few months before 
he died. J. E. Dewey, of Buffalo, a Hancock insurance 
agent, told me and testified later that he met the widow 
on Dearborn Street, in Buffalo, and asked her about her 
husband's death. She asked him not to say anything 
about the policy on Sternaman's life, as her relatives 
would get it from her if they knew of it. She received 
the $770 from the Hancock Company. 

" I learned also that the widow had a letter or state- 
ment to whom it might concern, signed by her husband 
and dated June 10th, 1896, over two months before he 
died, in which he said he hoped that the statement would 
■ convince all that they may not think that my wife had 
anything to do with such an uncommon death.' 

" Mrs. Sternaman had left Canada and returned to 
Buffalo. I had her arrested and remanded in October, 
1896, and prepared extradition papers. She was 
arraigned before Commissioner Fairchild, in Buffalo. 
Thayer and Duckwitz appeared for her. She fought ex- 
tradition. I had the evidence in shape, including the 
testimony of the undertaker who conducted the prepara- 
tion of Sternaman's body for burial, John Snyder, of 
Rainham. Undertaker Snyder made a written state- 
ment, in which he positively swore that he did not 
embalm the body. From the outset the defence fell back 
on a claim that the body had been embalmed, and that 
the embalming fluid was responsible for the result of the 
analysis, of the viscera. This was the bone of conten- 
tion throughout the entire case. The woman's counsel 



4 i 8 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

carried the case to Judge Coxe, of the United States 
Court, and then to New York on appeal, but they failed 
in their fight to prevent her extradition. In summing up 
the case for her, Attorney Thayer concluded with the 
assertion that : ' They not only have failed to prove the 
defendant's connection with Sternaman's death, but have 
failed to prove that it was caused by arsenical poisoning, 
owing to the shattered testimony of Undertaker Snyder, 
who does not know whether he embalmed the body or 
not.' Commissioner Fairchild deemed the evidence 
sufficient to sustain the charges and Judge Coxe upheld 
him and was himself upheld on appeal, and after a long 
fight, in August, 1897, a year after Sternaman's death, I 
took Mrs. Sternaman to Canada and handed her over to 
the Cayuga authorities, where she was placed in gaol. 
She was arraigned before a magistrate and committed in 
September. The grand jury indicted her for murder, and 
in November, 1897, ner trial occurred at Cayuga. Chief 
Justice Armour presided. B. B. Osier prosecuted, and 
W. M. German defended, assisted by Wallace Thayer, of 
Buffalo. 

" The evidence, as I have indicated it, was presented. 
There was a big legal battle. The fact that a woman was 
on trial for her life gave the trial wide interest and caused 
excitement as to the outcome. The defence swore a 
number of witnesses to the effect that, in their opinion, 
death was not due to arsenic. The Crown's case, how- 
ever, convinced the jury, and on November 19th Mrs. 
Olive Adele Sevenpiper Sternaman was found guilty of 
murder, and was sentenced to be hanged on Thursday, 
January 20th, 1898. 

" ' And may God have mercy on your soul/ said Chief 
Justice Armour. 

" ' Oh, Judge ! Is there no mercy in this country ? ' 
gasped the woman, grey-faced, black-gowned, dry-eyed. 

" She was led out to her cell. 

" Her counsel applied for a reserve case on the ground 
of the irrelevancy of the Chipman evidence. The 
woman's friends rallied to her support. Many people 
were opposed to the hanging of a woman. The Rev. 



SIMPERING JIM ALLISON 419 

J. D. Edgar and other ministers befriended her. The case 
was carried to Ottawa. An affidavit of Dr. Thompson, 
that embalming fluid was found in the body, was pre- 
sented, with petitions, to the authorities at Ottawa. 
Strenuous efforts were made to obtain a second trial. 

" Meanwhile the scaffold was a-building in the gaol-yard 
at Cayuga. The sound of the hammers could be heard 
by the woman in her cell. She made ready to die. The 
last week began. No word came from Ottawa. Mon- 
day passed ; Thursday she was to die. Her friends and 
their sympathisers rallied for a final effort. Tuesday 
came and went. Late on Tuesday night a telegram from 
Ottawa announced that after a long discussion by the 
Dominion Cabinet it had been decided to grant a new 
trial. 

" The second trial occurred in the spring of 1898, be- 
fore Chancellor Boyd of Cayuga. B. B. Osier prosecuted. 
At this trial the undertaker swore he had embalming 
fluid and needle with him when he prepared the body. 
It was a long trial. The jury found a verdict of not 
guilty. Mrs. Olive Adele Sevenpiper Chipman Sterna- 
man went free." 



LXVIII 

SIMPERING JIM ALLISON 

Over the hill from Gait, in the county of Waterloo, 
lies North Dumfries. The road that climbs the hill 
sweeps round in a big curve on the other side, as it 
enters the valley. Up a lane, leading from this valley 
road, stood a little white farmhouse, with a big, unpainted 
barn near by. It was screened from the main road by a 
clump of trees, although the house stood in open ground 
with its door fronting on an orchard, its kitchen window 
opening on a corn-field. The wood-pile loomed up at the 
end of the house nearest the barn. Rain-barrels stood 
in a row against the house. Milking pans shone in the 



4 20 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

sunlight. A dog dozed in the lane. Chickens scratched 
and pecked, and lazily fluffed their feathers and settled in 
the dust. It was a hot morning — August 9th, 1897. 
Out of the house stepped a woman. She was a beauty. 
The freshness of girlhood had been supplanted by the 
charm of full womanhood. Her complexion was pale 
pink and white. Her big eyes were laughing and merry. 
A tot toddled after her, yawning drowsily, then turned 
back indoors. The woman shaded her eyes and looked 
towards the barn. 

The shrill squeals of an angry pig rang out. A man's 
gruff voice sounded, and then around the corner of the 
barn came Anthony Orr, the farmer, with a big sow in 
his waggon. 

" Going, Tony ? " called the woman. 

" Yep ! " shouted Tony Orr. " Back in a couple of 
hours." 

He drove away with his nine-year-old son, Norman. 
A moment later the hired boy, Jim Allison, appeared 
with two cows, and started them down the lane. They 
were to go to the Barrie farm near by. The woman 
watched her husband until the bend in the road hid him 
from view. She saw the Allison boy in the lane with 
the cows. She began to sing softly, so as not to disturb 
her two children — Maggie, aged ten, and a-year-old baby, 
still asleep up-stairs. Half an hour passed. 

Two days before, a buggy, with an easy-going horse, 
had come up the lane. A stout, jolly-faced man had 
alighted, and had hitched his horse and had sat chatting 
and laughing with the handsome woman. They seemed 
to know and understand one another well. The man 
had entered his buggy and gone away, as he had come, 
alone. He was nowhere in sight on this morning, al- 
though he was half expected. The woman had been 
sitting with dreamy eyes and gentle smile, her hands 
clasped and lying idly in her lap. She was a pretty 
picture in the sunlight. Tony Orr had reason to be 
proud of his wife. There had been gossip of her fond- 
ness for travel and for clever companions. There even 
had been a tale of an elopement and a penitent return to 



SIMPERING JIM ALLISON 421 

Tony's arms and forgiveness. Neighbours had known 
of men callers at the white farmhouse. But Tony said 
all was well, and on the Orr farm that meant all was well. 
The woman sat still in the sunlight. 

Two hours later Tony Orr returned. The farm boy, 
Jim Allison, was standing at the side gate of the house 
fence, laughing. 

" What's the matter ? " asked Orr. 

" Oh, nothing," said Allison, laughing all the louder. 

"What's the matter?" demanded Orr. 

" Oh, nothing," laughed Allison. 

" What's up ? " roared Orr. 

" Your wife's gone," said Allison. 

The baby was lying on the front steps. The little girl, 
Maggie, was sitting on the porch. Orr hurried to the 
kitchen. The breakfast dishes had not been touched. 
Orr ran out of the house, and saw Harry Blair, an agri- 
cultural implement dealer from Gait, just getting out of 
his buggy. Harry Blair was stout and jolly-faced. 

" My wife's gone ! " shouted Orr. 

" Gone ! Gone where ? " exclaimed the disappointed 
Blair. 

Orr and Blair searched for her, and then got into 
Blair's buggy and drove to Gait, thinking she might have 
gone with Weldon Sidney Trevelyan, a medical student 
who was spending the summer in Gait, and who had 
been calling on her. They found Trevelyan, and he 
knew nothing of the woman. Orr returned home, and 
organised a search for his wife. The authorities were 
notified. 

" Many believed there had been an elopement," says 
Murray. " Mrs. Orr was good-looking, a great favourite 
with men, but had a reputation. Her maiden name was 
Emma Borland. Her parents were well-to-do and lived 
at Bright. She was thirty-seven years old, and was born 
in Innerkip. She was first married to John Arnott, of 
Innerkip, who died when she was twenty-two, and three 
years later she married Anthony Orr, to whom she bore 
three children. To her children she was a loving, care- 
ful mother. To her husband she was said to be an indif- 



422 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

ferent wife. About two years previous to this she had 
run away with a hired man named Mulholland, but her 
husband caught her and her two children at Niagara 
Falls, and took them home again. Tony Orr was a 
nervous, excitable man, who had trouble with other men 
on account of their frequent calls on his wife. A week 
passed, with no trace of the wife's whereabouts. 

" At first, before traces of blood were found, the elope- 
ment theory vied with the suicide theory. On the day 
before Mrs. Orr disappeared, Tony Orr's father was 
buried. Mrs. Orr attended the funeral, and some of the 
Orr family treated her coldly. The Orrs were an old 
family of good standing. On the way home from the 
funeral Mrs. Orr remarked that 'she was no use and 
guessed she'd get out of here.' This remark was the 
basis for the suicide talk. 

" I went to the Orr farm. The boy Allison and the 
medical student Trevelyan had been held in Gait, and 
Harry Blair, the agricultural implement agent, was under 
surveillance. I looked the house over, a one and a half 
story white brick house with a frame kitchen. It was 
situated in a tract of country that, owing to the swamps 
and marshes in which it abounds, is most desolate. 
About two hundred yards from the house was a swamp 
or marsh of about one hundred acres, and above the wet 
and rank grass and weeds and thick soil grew almost 
impenetrable shrubs and trees. In this swamp was an 
excavation eighteen inches wide and six feet long and 
eighteen inches deep. It was newly dug, and clearly 
was an unfinished grave. I visited it in the night, and 
carefully took from the upturned surface the print of a 
man's foot, a precise clue to the digger of the grave. In 
order to get this, I turned back the overturned earth after 
digging under it so as not to break its surface and destroy 
the footprint I knew must be there. I took this to my 
hotel in Gait, unknown to any one in the affair. 

" I returned to the Orr house. A picket fence sepa- 
rated the patch of garden from the corn patch adjoining 
the nouse. One of the pickets of this fence was gone. 
The paling mark was not of long exposure. I saw this 



SIMPERING JIM ALLISON 423 

was on a line between the house and the swamp, with the 
corn patch lying between. One of the furrows in this 
corn patch was raised slightly. John Orr, Tony's brother, 
poked it with his stick. Six inches beneath the surface lay 
Mrs. Orr, face down, buried amid the corn within thirty 
feet of her house. That put an end to elopement or sui- 
cide theories. When I saw the half-dug grave in the 
swamp I knew there had been murder. The grave in the 
corn patch was but temporary. The murderer intended 
to hide the body forever in the swamp. 

" Back to Gait I went. Trevelyan proved an absolute 
alibi. Harry Blair, agitated over the whole affair, was not 
at the farmhouse when the deed was done, and had noth- 
ing to do with it. Tony Orr was five miles away at a 
neighbour's, with his son and the sow. Allison — I went 
to see this boy. I had his old shoe, and it fitted the foot- 
print by the grave in the swamp. He looked almost a 
freak. He was about seventeen years old, big for his age, 
and tremendously stocky in his build. His bow legs were 
big and muscular. His hands and feet were enormous. 
His shoulders were broad, his neck was thick, his arms 
were long and powerful. His features reminded me of 
the features of a frog. The forehead was low and re- 
treating, and the face was very full at the sides. The hair 
was brown, cut close, and the eyes were a greenish brown 
— large, watery eyes, uneasy, shifting, catlike. The 
mouth was very large, and the lips were full and seemed 
to simper, giving the face a cat's expression. He walked 
with a peculiar, rolling motion, as if he would have pre- 
ferred to be on all fours. He wore heavy, clod shoes, 
blue jeans, a calico shirt, and a faded, slouch hat pulled 
well over his eyes. 

" I sat down and faced this boy. 

" ' What do you know of this murder ? ' I said. 

" * Nothing,' he answered, with a grin. 

" ' Tell me where you were on that morning,' said I. 

" ' I left Orr's, with two cows, about 7.20,' he said. ' I 
got to Barrie's farm about eight o'clock, and I left there 
about 8.50 and got back to Orr's about 9.40. When I 
got back Mrs. Orr was gone.' 



424 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

" ' How did you know she was gone ? ' 

" ' She was not anywhere around/ said the boy. 

" ' Where is your shotgun ? ' I asked. 

" * Just before I left with the cows, Mrs. Orr asked me 
to show her the gun, and she asked me how it was used, 
and I explained it, and then put it back and went on 
with the cows,' he lied glibly. 

" His gun, which always was kept in the house, was 
found hidden in the haymow in the barn. It had been 
discharged. There were blood-stains on it. 

" ' Allison,' I said slowly, ' you killed Mrs. Orr.' 

" He started up, white as flour, shaking like a man 
with ague. I waited for his confession. He mumbled, 
hesitated, and — sat down and grinned. For four hours I 
worked with him. He grinned and lied. 

" An idea previously had occurred to me. Allison's 
father, Alex Allison, was city scavenger of Gait. The 
father had seen the boy alone. That night the father 
was followed. It was before the finding of the body was 
generally known. The father had gone to the swamp to 
finish, for his son, the half-dug grave. The boy had told 
him of it. 

" ' Allison,' I said to the boy, ' your father says you 
dropped your knife at the grave in the swamp.' 

" ' No I didn't, for I left it when I went ' 

" He stopped. It was on the tip of his tongue 
trembling, quivering, almost out. 

" ' That's enough,' I said. 

" Some newspapers declaimed against my examination 
of this boy, and talked of a sweat-box system, and as- 
serted the boy's innocence. In due time their mistake 
was revealed. 

" The evidence was overwhelming when it was all col- 
lected. There was no need to use the footprint by the 
grave. Allison was proved by neighbours and fo]jk on 
the road to have the exclusive opportunity to do the 
deed. His blood-stained gun had been fired, and the 
empty cartridge found in it was one he had taken from a 
box in the house. John Orr and his family on the next 
farm had heard a gunshot after Tony left with the sow. 



THE TURNIP PIT TRAGEDY 425 

Allison had called out Mrs. Orr from the house, shot at 
her, clubbed her to death, then buried her temporarily in 
the corn-field, and at night dug the grave in the swamp. 
He had importuned her, and she refused him, and the 
murder followed. 

" The grand jury found a true bill on November 29th, 
and Allison's trial followed at once. Chief Justice Mere- 
dith presided. H. P. O'Connor, K.C., prosecuted, and 
J. R. Blake and J. J. H. Weir defended. On Friday, De- 
cember 3d, 1897, this seventeen-year-old murderer was 
found guilty, and was sentenced to be hanged in Berlin 
gaol-yard on Friday, February 4th, 1898. His father fell 
in an epileptic fit when he heard the verdict. 

" Smiling serenely, Jim Allison went up to his death. 
He mounted the scaffold unaided at eight o'clock on a 
raw, snowy morning. He shook hands politely with the 
guards, the hangman, and the minister, waited quietly 
while the black cap and noose were adjusted, stepped on 
to the trap at 8.01, and dropped into eternity. 

" Allison had learned to read and write a little in his 
six months in a cell, and he had scrawled laboriously the 
following on a piece of paper : 

" ' I am sorry for my crime. I did it out of ill-will. I 
hope those whom I wronged will forgive me, and that no 
one will turn this up to my people. My sentence is just, 
and I hope God will have mercy on me.' 

" He signed this, and read it to them when they came 
to take him out and hang him." 



LXIX 

THE TURNIP PIT TRAGEDY 

jBoys were the bane of Ephraim Convay's life. He 
detested them as a nuisance, a pest, a plague. He had a 
long nose, and when he passed a boy he turned up this 
great nose, wrinkled his forehead, and made a wry face, 
as if he had been taking castor oil. The boys for miles 



426 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

around knew of his dislike, and they seized every oppor- 
tunity to torment him. Naturally this increased his ire 
against all youth. He owned two big farms near Prince- 
ton, in the county of Oxford, within a few miles of the 
Blenheim Swamp, where Birchall murdered Benwell. 
Ephraim warned all boys to keep off his land. He 
vowed that any boy caught trespassing would be dragged 
to one of his barns and chastised until he tingled. 

" This amounted to nothing more or less than a 
challenge to all the boys around to make life miserable 
for old Ephraim," says Murray. " They teased him in a 
thousand ways. At night, when he was asleep, a fiery 
face suddenly would loom up at his bedroom window — a 
face with eyes like balls of fire, and a voracious mouth 
extending from ear to ear, and grinning hideously. A 
gentle tapping would begin on the window, made by 
clackers, otherwise a bunch of nails tied to a nail 
previously driven in the window-frame, and swayed to 
and fro by means of a long string. Ephraim would rise 
up in wrath or terror and gaze on this ghastly face. He 
would make for his gun and blaze away at the apparition, 
only to discover it was a jack-o'-lantern perched on a tall 
bean pole. At other times his door would refuse to open, 
and he would find it nailed shut. His chimney would 
refuse to draw, and would smoke him out of his house, 
investigation revealing a bag of wheat stuck in the flue. 
One evening, when he went home, he found his house 
dark and his doors fastened. He climbed in through a 
window, and found himself in pitch darkness, with 
myriad screeching, scratching figures that darted about 
and leaped over chairs and tables in wild flight, and 
dealt him stinging blows. He lighted a candle, and 
found the room filled with cats collected from the entire 
countryside. When he got into bed he alighted on 
something cold and clammy. It was a turtle lying in 
state amid a nest of eggs. 

" In the early evenings resounding knocks would 
thunder on Ephraim's front door. At length he began 
to hide inside the door with a long club, waiting to hear 
the knockers approach, when he planned to leap out and 



THE TURNIP PIT TRAGEDY 427 

belabour them. They heard him in the hall, and with- 
drew to deliberate. In the meantime a frail and very- 
respectable friend, going to call on Ephraim, walked up 
to the door and knocked. The door flew open ; out 
sprang Ephraim, and began to smite the knocker with 
the club. It was so dark Ephraim could not see who 
his captive was, and the old man went to work as if with 
a flail. There were shouts and shrieks of ' Murder ! ' and 
' Help ! ' The victim rolled over on the ground, be- 
seeching Ephraim for mercy. 

" ' I'll show you ! ' roared the excited Ephraim. ' I'll 
teach you ever to dare to pester me again ! ' 

" The friend thought Ephraim had gone crazy. When 
the old man finally paused, exhausted, and discovered the 
identity of his visitor, he was beside himself with shame, 
and grief, and anger. He vowed deep vengeance on his 
tormentors. 

" ' Hi, Ephraim ! ' they would yell. ' You were a boy 
yourself once, weren't you ? ' 

" ' If I was, I've spent over half a century trying to 
live it down and atone for it ! ' roared Ephraim. ' No 
one ought to be born into this world under thirty. So 
long as the Lord could fix it for us to be born at all, He 
might as well have made the minimum entry age at least 
twenty-five. I'd rather have erysipelas all my life than 
have a boy around for half a day. You know where 
to look for St. Anthony's fire, but a boy is nowhere 
when you want him, and everywhere when you don't 
want him.' 

" ' How about girls ? ' 

" ' They are what boys might have been,' said the old 
man, with a soft smile. ' My mother was a girl once.' 

" ' Wasn't your father a boy ? ' 

" ' Yes ; but he got over it as quick as he could,' 
snapped Ephraim. 

" Ephraim's big farm was worked on shares by Russell 
Grover. Ephraim and Grover did not get along well. 
Grover had a young fellow working for him named 
George Frost. Like others, Frost teased Ephraim. On 
the afternoon of March 26th, 1897, the boy was found 



428 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

dead on the barn floor, with a bullet hole in his body. 
The Department was notified and I went to the farm. 
Ephraim had denied any knowledge of the shooting. 
So did Grover. Ephraim said he was not about when it 
happened and threw suspicion on Grover. Grover said 
he was away at the time and he threw suspicion on 
Ephraim. I learned from others that Grover was not 
near the barn on that afternoon. There was a turnip pit 
beneath the barn. To get to it several boards in the 
barn floor had to be raised. This trap had been moved 
recently and not replaced evenly. I raised it and went 
down into the pit. I saw the turnips, and we rolled them 
back from one corner and there discovered recently 
turned earth. We dug it up and there lay a revolver. 
It was a new one. I went to Princeton and to Wood- 
stock, and finally found in Woodstock the store where 
Ephraim had bought it. I learned from some of his 
neighbours that he had said he bought it for Grover, and 
to William Kipp he had said : ' There will be murder 
down at the farm before April 1st.' I learned also that 
Ephraim had told Henry Grover, Russell Grover's 
brother, that ' Frost and I have had a little fracas, and 
he has fainted on the barn floor.' 

" I went to Ephraim again, and this time he confessed. 
He said he had gone down into his turnip pit to shovel 
up some turnips. He noticed that as fast as he shovelled 
them up and turned for another shovelful the turnips 
rolled back into the pit from the floor of the barn. Then 
he heard a spitting noise, as if a cat was facing a dog. 
He looked up and saw the boy Frost on his hands and 
knees peering into the pit and spitting at him and rolling 
the turnips back on him. Ephraim said he grabbed his 
shovel by the handle end, and gave Frost a pat with it. 
His story was that Frost then seized a plank and shoved 
it down into the pit at him, and seemed to be preparing 
to send another after it when Ephraim whipped out the 
revolver, fired, and Frost fell. At first the old man 
thought to bury him in the turnip pit, but the barn floor 
already was dyed crimson, so he left the body to lie 
where it fell. ' Before he fell he staggered over by the 



FRANK OSIER AND WISE SAM LINDSAY 429 

door,' said Ephraim. ' I stuck my head out of the pit, 
and he turned and looked at me — looked, looked, looked 
at me, and then he fell. I dodged back into the pit, and 
then crept out and stepped over the body, and later went 
to Henry Grover and told him I thought Frost must 
have fainted. I felt very sorry as I sat in the pit and 
thought of the boy lying on the barn floor.' 

" Ephraim was tried at Woodstock in September, 1897. 
He insisted on taking the stand and he fretted and fumed 
until his counsel, Wallace Nesbitt and A. S. Ball, called 
him to testify. He began slowly and calmly, but when 
he came to the story of the tragedy he grew very much 
excited and gasped for breath, swayed to and fro, 
thumped on the floor with his foot, got down on his 
hands, and graphically portrayed the scene in the turnip 
pit, and finally wept frenziedly. The defence showed 
that a brother of the prisoner had been in an insane 
asylum at Toronto, and swore witnesses to prove another 
brother was light-headed. The jury found Ephraim 
guilty of manslaughter, and Justice Meredith sent him 
to Kingston Penitentiary for seven years. 

" ' I hope there are no boys there,' said Ephraim. 
' I'd be tempted to try to escape on the way if there 
were.' 

" I advised him not to try it, and told him of what 
happened to Frank Osier a month before." 



LXX 

FOOLISH FRANK OSIER AND WISE SAM LINDSAY 

Frank Osier at one time lived in Rodney, in the 
county of Elgin. He courted Martha McCartney, the 
buxom daughter of William McCartney, a tailor. The 
tailor frowned on his suit, but the daughter beamed on 
Osier and ignored her father's warning. Osier pressed 
his suit in the hope of winning the tailor's approval, but 
McCartney shook his head. The upshot of the affair 
was the marriage of Osier and Martha McCartney. 



430 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

" He has too many trades," said William McCartney 
to his daughter. " He is a travelling barber, a sewing 
machine repairer, a clock-maker, and several other things. 
If he does all these by day, how do you know that he 
may not have a lot more trades that he practises by 
night — burglary, for instance ? " 

The daughter tossed her pretty head, and was married 
just the same. A few years later she was dead. 

" Her death occurred on August 2d, 1897," sa y s Mur- 
ray. " Her father, William McCartney, the tailor, imme- 
diately suspected foul play, and he demanded an inquest 
and communicated with the Department in an urgent re- 
quest for an investigation. I went to Rodney. Dr. Van 
Buskirk made a post-mortem examination and stated 
that, to the best of his knowledge, death was caused 
solely by an operation, performed under circumstances 
unknown, and the coroner's jury found a verdict accord- 
ingly. Mr. McCartney insisted that Osier had killed his 
wife. 

" Osier had disappeared from Rodney after his wife's 
death. There had been several burglaries before his de- 
parture. The stores of Mistele Brothers and of Martins 
Brothers and others had been robbed. William Mc- 
Cartney, on the morning after the Mistele burglary, had 
visited the store and said Osier had a hand in the deed, 
and asserted that his unwelcome son-in-law was in league 
with a gang of burglars, and travelled from place to place, 
sojourning in each town long enough to get acquainted 
and lay the plans to burglarise the richest people or 
stores in the vicinity. There was no evidence at the 
time, and the matter drifted along until the tailor's 
daughter died and Osier went away. He skipped for the 
United States and crossed to Marine City, where United 
States Customs' officers spotted him, and suspected him 
of smuggling and arrested him. He gave a fictitious 
name and was sent to gaol, as a quantity of cloth and 
other stolen stuff was recovered when he was taken. A 
search of his clothes brought to light an undertaker's 
receipt for funeral preliminaries for Martha McCartney 
Osier. This receipt revealed Osier's real name, and I 



FRANK OSIER AND WISE SAM LINDSAY 431 

was informed of his arrest. I went to Detroit and had 
Canada owners identify their stolen property. I began 
extradition proceedings, and on July 25th, 1898, Osier 
was turned over to me. 

" < I'd prefer to walk to the station, if it's all the same 
to you, Mr. Murray,' said Osier. 

" ' Certainly,' said I, and we started. 
" He had smiled when I agreed to walk and it put me 
on my guard. We were walking below the Russell 
House, when Osier made a break for liberty. He sidled 
off towards the curb and suddenly darted across the 
street. He had been shifting and side-stepping for five 
minutes before he dashed away, so I was forewarned, 
and, as he started, I put out my foot. He tripped and 
fell headlong, but jumped up and started again. I 
grabbed him, he struck at me, and down we went and 
had it out. A policeman came along and shoved the 
crowd back, and the policeman and I picked Osier up 
and carried him to the curb. When he opened his eyes 
he kicked out again. We had it out right there on the 
sidewalk in Detroit for the second time. The policeman 
called the patrol waggon. 

" ' I'll never go to Canada alive ! ' shouted Osier. 

" ' You certainly won't if you keep this up much 
longer,' I informed him. 

" Osier looked at me. 

" ' Well, I'll do my best,' he said, and he did. So did I. 

" When it was over we picked Osier up and laid him 
in the patrol waggon and drove to the station and carried 
him on to the train, and when he really roused himself 
we were in Canada and nearing St. Thomas. He said 
he felt considerably shaken up, and he looked it. He 
was tried in September, and on Wednesday, September 
2 1st, 1898, was convicted and sent to Kingston Peniten- 
tiary for four and a-half years for burglary. 

" During the past few years they have been trying the 
ticket-of-leave business to some extent at Kingston. 
Osier thus got out before his time expired, his liberty 
being dependent on his good behaviour. He married 
another wife. It was the intention of the Crown to have 



432 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

Osier answer McCartney's charge of killing his daughter, 
but owing to the diversity of opinion among the medical 
men who made the post-mortem it was considered diffi- 
cult, if not futile, to undertake to obtain a conviction on 
the evidence available at that time. 

" About this same time I had Sam Lindsay on my 
hands, too. Sam was an expert bank-breaker. He had 
a criminal record extending over a score of years. He 
had been convicted of burglary at Simcoe, and served a 
term in the common gaol, from which he promptly es- 
caped. He was captured and served a term in Kingston. 
He bobbed up in 1882, and burglarised Flamboro Post- 
Office, and again was sentenced to Kingston. On the 
way to the Penitentiary he broke away from Sheriff 
Gibson and disappeared. A few months later he was 
caught in a burglary near Windsor, Vermont, and was 
sentenced to fourteen years in the Vermont Penitentiary 
under the name of R. R. Ferguson. Between the time 
of his escape from Sheriff Gibson and his arrest in Ver- 
mont he had quarrelled with a man in a resort on St. 
Justin Street, Montreal, and had shot the man in the 
neck. He was arrested then under the name of Knox, 
and was held, but the wounded man recovered and dis- 
appeared, and Sam got away. After he was released in 
Vermont he turned up again in Montreal, and was recog- 
nised and taken for the escape from Sheriff Gibson. Sam 
was suspected also of being concerned in two robberies 
shortly before his arrest in Montreal. One was the 
Anderson's Bank robbery in Oakville, and the other was 
the Hunt's Bank robbery in Bracebridge. Sam was 
slippery and he had a good alibi for these two charges. 
So I took him to Hamilton to stand trial on the charge 
of escaping from custody in 1882. 

" Sam immediately began to talk mysteriously of 
buried treasure. It did not work. I reminded him 
that when he was in Kingston years before he had pro- 
fessed sudden piety, and in evidence of his reformation 
had told the warden that he knew a place near Hagers- 
ville, where a great quantity of counterfeit plates, genuine 
bonds, and other stolen property had been buried, and he 



EDDIE ELLIOTT, MURDERER 433 

had promised to reveal the place if taken there. I had 
no faith in this story, but Sam was taken to the spot of 
which he told. He looked around and finally said that 
the mark had been removed and he could not locate the 
booty. About that time I had given Sam my opinion of 
such monkey-business. Sam coolly answered : 

" ' I was taking my chance for liberty. How could I 
tell who would come with me ? ' 

" I refreshed Sam's memory in Hamilton of this epi- 
sode years before, and told him it would not work a 
second time. 

" ' If you were in my place, Murray, you would forget 
that first time,' said Sam. 

" Sam made a legal fight, and the Minister of Justice 
decided that Sam had to be apprehended within three 
years after the date of his escape, so he went free. 

" Sam smiled. He had a sense of humour, and some 
of his burglaries he regarded as jokes. When he es- 
caped the joke was on the other fellow ; when he was 
caught the joke was on him. Whichever way it went 
Sam smiled." 



LXXI 

EDDIE ELLIOTT, BOY MURDERER 

A few years after Eddie Elliott was big enough to 
walk, many of the cats on the outskirts of Beaverton, in 
the county of Ontario, became sightless. They groped 
about with empty sockets, from which the eyeballs ap- 
peared to have been plucked. Many of the dogs lost 
their tails and their ears. At night three or four dogs 
would rush yelping across the country, terrified by tin 
cans or agonised by turpentine. Eddie meanwhile went 
fishing, with cats' eyeballs for bait, and collected tin cans 
and stole turpentine and continued his torture of beasts 
and all animate things on which he dared lay his hands. 
He grew to be fifteen, and if he had lived a few centuries 



434 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

earlier he probably would have gone gallivanting forth as 
a red knight with a dripping sword above an eyeless head 
for his coat of arms. 

" As it was, he went to work for old William Murray, 
a retired farmer, who had turned fourscore years," says 
Murray. " Eddie did chores for old William, who lived 
alone in a little house of a single room, twenty by six- 
teen feet, standing back from the Beaverton Road. He 
had the lad come occasionally and do odd bits of work 
about the place. William's bosom friend was John 
McHattie, another old chap, who would sit the day 
through with his croney while they talked of what oc- 
curred fifty years and more ago. John McHattie could 
recite the descriptions of many farms in the counties 
roundabout, and relate in detail the course of their titles 
from the day an axe first felled a tree upon them. Old 
William was full of the events of threescore years ago. 
He would sit in a big chair and rock to and fro while 
John McHattie told again of the clearing of some one's 
farm two generations earlier. 

" On Tuesday, November 15th, 1898, old William was 
found dead in his house. The Department was notified 
and I went to the place immediately. The old man had 
been found lying in a pool of blood. Near by lay an 
iron poker, with blood and hair on it, and in poking 
about we found a cord-wood stick, about four feet long, 
with traces of the tragedy staining it. Old John 
McHattie was grieving for his dead crony. McHattie 
and I sat down together, and he told me that the last 
time he saw William alive was on the preceding Satur- 
day. McHattie had called about half-past three in the 
afternoon. Eddie Elliott was there at the time. William 
gave $1 to McHattie to get some provisions. McHattie 
went away and got them and returned, giving to William 
seventy cents change, as the provisions had cost thirty 
cents. McHattie saw William take out his pocket- 
book, put the seventy cents in it, and put it in his 
pocket. 

" ' We talked of old times when the world was not get- 
ting so crowded and then I went away,' said McHattie. 



EDDIE ELLIOTT, MURDERER 435 

' I left William sitting in his chair with Eddie Elliott 
sitting near by.' 

" ' What was Elliott doing? ' 

" ' Nothing — just sitting there, idly swinging a poker,' 
said McHattie. 

" McHattie said that the next day, Sunday, he called, 
as was his custom, but found the house locked. This 
was unusual, as he and William usually talked on Sun- 
days of sermons of years before and of big crops. 

" ' Crops and sermons, sermons and crops, were our 
Sunday talking, and they made most congenial conversa- 
tion,' said old John McHattie. 

" Sorely disappointed to find the house locked, 
McHattie went home and moped all day Sunday, and 
bright and early on Monday went again to see his friend 
William. The house still was locked, and no one 
answered the knock. On Tuesday McHattie went again 
to see William. He knew William had not gone on a 
jaunt, for he was lame and feeble, and spent his days 
chiefly in his chair. For William to go on a journey 
without telling McHattie and discussing it solemnly with 
him, would have been as unlikely as for McHattie to go 
to heaven without dying — something that has not oc- 
curred since the days of the prophets. McHattie, with 
other neighbours, thumped on William's door, and 
watched the chimney for sign of smoke, and listened at 
the door and window for sound of William. Then, see- 
ing no smoke, hearing no sound, the door was broken 
in, and William was found dead, with his head beaten in. 

" I looked for the pocketbook ; it was gone. I looked 
for tracks ; there were none. I searched for a place 
where the murderer washed his hands ; I found none. I 
hunted for the key to the door ; it could not be found. 
Common sense pointed the finger of suspicion at Eddie 
Elliott. I made full inquiries concerning him, and learnt 
of his plucking the eyes out of cats and using them for 
fish bait, and of his torturing dumb animals, of his abus- 
ing horses, of his seeming delight in cruelties and bru- 
talities. The crime, of course, had aroused the people. 
Many believed it impossible for a fifteen-year-old boy to 



436 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

have done the deed, and they scouted the idea that Eddie 
Elliott was the murderer. They asserted that a robber 
had done the murder, sneaking in upon the old man at 
night and escaping, with many miles between him and 
his victim, before the crime was discovered. I talked 
with the neighbours and with others, hearing what they 
had to offer, and all the while mindful of Eddie Elliott. 
I learned from little Beatrice Gardner, living near by, 
that she had seen Elliott leave Murray's house on Satur- 
day afternoon, some time after John McHattie had gone. 
The boy was her chum. She saw blood on his hand 
when he stopped to chat with her. 

" ' What's the matter ? ' she asked. 

" « I fell on the ice and cut it,' said Eddie Elliott. 

" David McFee later saw Elliott with the old man's 
pocketbook. McFee knew old William and young 
Eddie well. Shortly before old William was killed, 
Eddie Elliott had stolen a horse from Reeve McMillan, 
of Beaverton. He was overtaken before he sold it, and 
his explanation was he simply had borrowed it. 

" I went to see Eddie Elliott. I walked in and 
stopped short, for I seemed to see Jim Allison, the 
seventeen-year-old murderer of Mrs. Orr, near Gait. Jim 
Allison had been hanged, yet here stood Jim Allison or 
his double. 

" ' What is your name ? ' I asked. 

" ' Eddie Elliott,' he answered. 

" The voice was Jim Allison's voice. The head was 
Jim Allison's head, with the low brow and the frog-like 
face. The eyes were Jim Allison's eyes ; the hair was 
Jim Allison's hair. I had not thought there was another 
boy in the province like Allison, yet here stood simper- 
ing Jim Allison's duplicate, so like him as to seem as if 
Jim had arisen from the dead. Mentally he was Alli- 
son's duplicate, as well as physically. He was strong, like 
Jim. 

" ' How old are you ? ' I asked. 

" ' A couple of months short of sixteen,' he answered. 

" I looked at him, feeling as if I were talking to Jim 
Allison again. 



DEMURE KATE PENDER OF EMSDALE 437 

" ' You have blood on your hands,' I said abruptly. 

" He paled. He was guilty as if the whole world had 
seen him club the old man to death, as William sat in his 
chair, and then steal the seventy cents and whatever else 
was valuable. 

" Constable Smith took him to find the missing key of 
William's door. The boy had hid a key under the side- 
walk ; it was the wrong key. The right key was found 
at the boy's home. We took the youth to Whitby gaol 
to await trial. His father called to see him. 

" ' Eddie, did you kill poor old Murray ? ' asked his 
father. 

" ' Yes, I did,' said Eddie bluntly. 

" ' Who was with you ? ' 

" ' I was all alone ; I did not want anybody with me,' 
said this murderer, who was not sixteen years old. 

" The father made a deposition setting forth that his 
son had confessed himself a murderer. He cried bitterly 
as he signed the affidavit. 

" Eddie Elliott was tried at Whitby, and was convicted 
of murder on May 23d, 1899. Justice McMahon pre- 
sided, and the boy was sentenced to be hanged on 
August 17th. He took it philosophically. His parents 
strove to save his life ; he was only fifteen, they pleaded. 
Others assisted them in their efforts. Instead of being 
hanged and buried in an unmarked grave in a prison- 
yard, like Jim Allison, this boy murderer, Eddie Elliott, 
was buried alive. His sentence was commuted to im- 
prisonment for life. If he lives to the age of his victim, 
he will serve sixty-four years inside four grey walls." 



LXXII 

DEMURE KATE PENDER OF EMSDALE 

Many a country town in Canada boasts, among the 
other triumphs of its civilisation, an elaborate millinery 
store. The village of Emsdale, near Parry Sound, was no 
exception. The village milliner was Kate Pender, demure, 



438 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

yet vivacious. Her life was spotless, blameless, flawless, 
so far as the villagers knew. She went to church, lived 
quietly, had a kindly word and a cheery smile for old and 
young, and was regarded as one of those for whom 
already a crown of gold was set aside in the radiant here- 
after. She would have made a charming angel, with her 
pink cheeks and sunny smile and sparkling eyes. The 
sunlight on her hair made it golden, and there were those 
who said celestial music murmured in her voice. Like 
other country milliners, she made occasional trips to the 
centres of fashion, there to note the latest styles in hats, 
and later improve upon the novelties she had seen. Thus 
from Paris to Emsdale travelled the triumphant bewilder- 
ments of bonnets, the route being by way of Toronto and 
other intermediate points. 

" But we often cannot judge by appearances," says 
Murray. " To all appearances Kate Pender was a model 
of all the angelic virtues. Oliver Campbell Fish would 
have averred it on a stack of Bibles as high as the pyra- 
mids of Egypt. Fish managed a general store at Ems- 
dale for his brother, R. Y. Fish. He and Kate Pender 
became acquaintances, then friends, and finally they dis- 
appeared. 

" R. Y. Fish complained to the Department that his 
brother had appropriated goods to the amount of $6,000, 
together with sums of money taken at various times and 
unaccounted for. He accused the fair Kate Pender of 
taking quantities of dress goods from his establishment. 
He said he had searched for the missing pair in vain. I 
set out to find them. I went to Emsdale, and looked 
over the remaining effects of Oliver Campbell Fish and 
Kate Pender. I found nothing that would give any clue 
in Fish's effects. Among the articles left behind by Kate 
Pender was a bustle. From what I could learn in the 
village, Kate Pender had no occasion to wear a bustle, 
and, in fact, bustles had been out of style for some time, 
and Kate Pender was not given to wearing things that 
were out of fashion. I came to the conclusion, therefore, 
that the bustle did not necessarily belong to the fair Kate 
Pender. 



DEMURE KATE PENDER OF EMSDALE 439 

" I picked it up curiously and turned it over, and, to 
my surprise, a railway map fluttered to the floor. I 
dropped the bustle and picked up the folder. I glanced 
at it casually, and was about to toss it aside, when I 
noticed a pencil line drawn on the railroad map in the 
State of Iowa. I examined it minutely then, and on a 
list of trains I found a similar pencil mark drawn. The 
mark on the map stopped at Ackley, Iowa. The scratch 
on the list of trains stopped at Dubuque, Iowa. Ackley 
was not far from Dubuque. I took this for a possible 
clue, and looked up, on the railroads, any possible trace 
of the baggage of the missing pair. This line of research 
was not particularly fruitful, so I decided to go to Ackley 
and look around for the vanished couple. I arrived in 
Ackley in April, 1899. The fair Kate Pender was out 
for a promenade, and I saw her on the street. 

" Back to Dubuque I went, executed the necessary 
papers, and returned to Ackley. There I met the fair 
Kate Pender and Oliver Campbell Fish, and invited them 
to attend a legal function at Parry Sound as the guests of 
the Government. They thought it over and accepted, 
waiving the forms of extradition. I brought them back 
on April 29th, 1899, and took them to Parry Sound to 
await the action of the authorities there on this case. 

" R. Y. Fish, who had complained to the Department 
that his brother had stolen practically enough to stock a 
store, seemed to relent after a talk with his brother and 
the fair Kate Pender. I understood the matter was settled 
by the brothers, and after the settlement Oliver Campbell 
Fish went away, taking Kate Pender with him. 

" I burned the bustle. After I saw the fair Kate 
Pender I knew she had no use for it, and, moreover, it 
probably never had been worn by her at all. Yet, as I 
remarked at the outset of this case, we cannot always 
judge by appearances. 

" It was the only case in my career in which I found a 
clue in a bustle." 



440 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

LXXIII 
WHY HUMPHREY WENT BACK TO PRISON 

In the parlance of rogues, a fence is a person or place 
where disposition may be made of stolen goods with no 
questions asked. Fences usually are in cities, although 
occasionally in the country there are receivers of stolen 
property, who, in turn, transmit it at a profit to city 
buyers. In the end, stuff stolen in the country finds its 
market in the city. Most of the fences are known to 
detectives, and some of them occasionally are sources of 
valuable information. In Canada there are comparatively 
few fences. Property stolen in Canada by professional 
crooks usually is smuggled into the United States and 
disposed of in the larger cities of the Continent. 

" But there was one crook who beat the world in his 
method of disposing of stolen stuff," says Murray. " It 
puzzled me for quite a while. The robberies began in 
September, 1899. Various burglaries were committed in 
the counties of Dufferin, Halton, and Grey. Horses 
were stolen, a buggy was stolen, a load of sheep was 
stolen, hogs were stolen, household utensils were stolen, 
and to clap the climax came highway robbery and at- 
tempted murder. Then came burglaries in Georgetown, 
Cooksville, and other towns. 

" Early in September a minister in Whitby tied his 
horse in front of a house, and when he came out horse 
and buggy were gone. Shortly thereafter a team of horses 
and waggon, standing in Orangeville, eighty miles from 
the scene of the stealing of the minister's horse and 
buggy, were stolen, and vanished as if driven up into the 
clouds. Then three cows were stolen out of a field and 
driven across fields and into the woods, and there they 
vanished. A farmer driving along with a load of hogs 
stopped his team by the roadside to go up a lane and 
talk with a neighbour. When he returned his hogs were 
gone as if they had melted away, without leaving a 
grease-spot to tell what became of them. 

" A Catholic church at Dixie was entered in the night 



HUMPHREY WENT BACK TO PRISON 441 

and the chalice and other valuables were stolen by this 
mysterious hand, and were powdered up before being 
taken out of the church. A farmer named Brunskill was 
driving to Toronto, with his boy, to see the Exposition. 
At half-past four in the morning, at a lonely spot on the 
road, two men jumped out and hoarsely ordered him to 
halt. The farmer whipped up his horses. One of the 
men grabbed the horses by their heads as they sprang 
into a gallop, clung to them and brought them to a 
standstill, while the other man leaped into the waggon 
and struck the farmer over the head with a sand-bag. 
The boy had jumped out and fled. The highwayman 
was rifling the pockets of the farmer, and was preparing 
to beat him into utter unconsciousness, when two men 
with a team drove along. The two robbers fled. The 
timely arrival of the team saved the farmer's life, for the 
highwaymen were wrathful over his whipping up his 
horses to escape. 

" What was puzzling me most of all was how the rob- 
bers were secreting their plunder. They must have a 
hiding-place somewhere, for it was impossible to smuggle 
horses, waggons, buggies, hogs, and other bulky things 
away and out of the country without some trace of them 
appearing. Finally a farmer lost a load of sheep, and 
soon thereafter some sheep were sold by a stranger to a 
butcher in Barrie. From this butcher I obtained a de- 
scription of the stranger, and I knew him at once for 
Charles Humphrey, a desperate crook, who had got out 
of Kingston the day before the first robbery occurred. 
He had stolen the minister's horse and buggy, and had 
driven on from Whitby to the county of Dufferin. After 
the assault on the farmer on the road to Toronto, 
Humphrey appeared with the minister's horse and buggy, 
and tried to sell them, three counties away from where 
they were stolen. I had arranged for prompt notifica- 
tion if any strangers appeared with any horses, buggies, 
waggons, hogs, sheep, or household utensils to sell, and 
when I received word of this offer I immediately started 
to run down the mystery of the hiding-place of all this 
booty. 



442 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

" I traced the stranger along the roads he had taken, 
and up in the mountains of the county of Dufferin I 
came upon a farm, an isolated, lonely place. It had been 
rented by a stranger, and it was none other than the 
rendezvous of Charles Humphrey. He would sally forth 
from it into adjacent counties and steal right and left, 
from sneak thieving to bold burglaries or desperate hold- 
ups on the highway. Then back he would travel, under 
cover of darkness, and hide his plunder. He was stock- 
ing the farm by stealing. 

" ' I was going to land a threshing machine next week,' 
he said to me after his arrest, and when he was about to 
return to Kingston. 

" ' It would have left its tracks in the road,' said I. 

" ' Oh no,' said he. ' I had that fixed.' 

" So he had. After selecting the machine he intended 
to steal, he had measured its wheels and prepared big 
leather casings to which he had fastened tyres the width 
of ordinary tyres. He intended to fit these casings over 
the wheels, and thus leave only a waggon track in the 
road. 

" Humphrey went back to Kingston Penitentiary for 
robbery. His pal disappeared, and was none other than 
his brother. When Humphrey got out recently I had 
him tried for robbing the church, and he is back in 
Kingston Penitentiary again, with seven years to serve. 
When he gets out he can answer for one of the other 
crimes and go back again. He is too hopelessly clever 
and irresponsible to be at large." 



LXXIV 

LAING OF LAWRASON'S, THRIFTY THIEF 

Few thieves are thrifty. Most crooks are improvident. 
Many of them, after realising on their plunder, by its sale 
at a fence or by the division of stolen money, make a 
bee-line for a gambling house, or fritter it away on wine 



LAING OF LAWRASON'S, THRIFTY THIEF 443 

and women, or spend it in high living on a tour around 
the country. There are some who save the revenue from 
their booty, regarding the proceeds of their crimes as 
their income, and living not only within their means, but 
putting by a great part of it for a rainy day or old age. 
Not one in ten thousand, however, gets rich at the busi- 
ness. They earn a living at it, and their earnings go far 
easier than they come. 

" A crook, as a rule, has as little sense in the way he 
gets rid of his money as he has in the way he gets hold 
of it," says Murray. " There are crooks who make a 
living by fleecing crooks ; they steal the stealings of 
other crooks, and they say frankly that a crook is the 
easiest lamb in the human flock to shear, if you know 
how to go about it. Occasionally, however, you meet a 
thrifty thief, who is a miser with his stolen money, and 
who hoards it, and puts it out to enrich him by legitimate 
return from honest investment. 

"J. P. Lawrason was a private banker in the town of 
St. George, in the county of Brant. In the first days of 
1900 Mr. Lawrason came to Toronto, and called at the 
Department. He said there was a shortage of $8,000 or 
more in the funds of his bank. He did a large business, 
and was desirous of having the matter cleared up. I 
went to St. George, and looked at the ledgers, and suspi- 
cion pointed straight at Arthur E. Laing. Laing was a 
young man of thirty. He was a prominent church mem- 
ber, was married, had a happy home, and two little chil- 
dren, and was held in high esteem in the community. He 
had worked for Banker Lawrason for about seven years 
as accountant, and then went into business for himself. 

" ' What did you pay this man Laing ? ' I asked Banker 
Lawrason. 

" ' I paid him $35 a month.' 

" ' Your business is large ? ' 

" ' About $1,000,000 a year,' said the banker. 

" It was the same old story. Some banking institu- 
tions put a premium on crime by not paying employees 
enough to live on. A salary of $420 a year is not 
princely, and does not leave a surplus when a man tries 



444 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

to raise a family on it. Yet Laing had been raising a 
family and prospering. He could not do it on $420 a 
year. In looking over the ledger I found forty-six pages 
burned and mutilated beyond legibility. These pages 
had contained various accounts. I went to see Laing. 

" ' Mr. Laing, who mutilated the Lawrason ledger ? ' I 
asked. 

" * A lamp,' answered Laing, who was pale and trem- 
bling. 

" ' How did a lamp do it ? ' 

" ' The lamp was on the wall, and it happened to fall 
and set fire to the book,' said Laing. 

" ' But the lamp was not lighted, was it ? ' 

" ' Oh, yes, it was dark,' said Laing. 

" ' How came you in the bank after dark?' I asked. 

" ' I — I — was doing some left-over work,' said Laing. 

" I learned, in talk with townspeople of St. George, 
that Laing was in the habit, for several years, of making 
frequent trips to Hamilton. I went to Hamilton, and 
learned from people who knew him that he usually called 
at the Bank of Montreal when he was in Hamilton. I 
found Laing had kept a running account at the Hamilton 
branch of the Bank of Montreal for several years. This 
$35 a month man had been making deposits regularly of 
sums vastly in excess of his salary. The books showed, 
for instance : 

"In 1893, September 9th, $185.50; October 26th, 
$300; November 9th, $175; December 14th, $130; 
December 16th, $150. 

" The year 1894 ran the same way, the deposits vary- 
ing from $85 to $400. On May 2d, 1895, he had drawn 
out $2,693, and later deposited $2,400 more, and in 
December, 1896, withdrew $3,020. These represented 
money stolen from Banker Lawrason. Laing was saving 
his stealings. He went about it quite deliberately. To 
have stolen $20,000, or $50,000, or $100,000 at one grab 
would have meant instant discovery, and would have 
necessitated immediate flight, and a life in exile, or a sur- 
render and long term of years in the penitentiary. He 
set out to steal gradually, bit by bit, the largest amounts 



LEE CLUEY OF CATHAY 445 

possible, and still escape detection. He spread his steal- 
ings out over a number of years, and when suspicion 
seemed imminent he burned the pages in the ledger that 
would have made it difficult for him to assert his inno- 
cence. He did not squander his stolen money. He 
salted it away, put it out at interest, invested it. He 
robbed Banker Lawrason of about $8,000 in this way. 

" ' Mr. Laing,' I said, ' you made your $35 a month go 
a long way in bank deposits.' 

" He went to pieces. It was a total loss of self-control. 
He ranted at himself for being a fool. Then he abused 
banks. He said they paid their men meagre wages, and 
left them to handle thousands when they were in actual 
need of single dollars. There was quite a painful scene 
with his wife and children. I arrested him on January 
24th, and Magistrate Powell remanded him to Brantford 
gaol. He practically admitted his guilt. When he came 
up for trial he was sent to the penitentiary for three 
years. 

" ' When your family is dependent on you, and a cold 
winter is staring you in the face, and you are getting 
only $35 a month, and have nothing for a rainy day, the 
sight of thousands of dollars lying around loose is a great 
inducement,' said Laing. 

" So it is, so it is, a powerful inducement — although I 
suppose nothing should induce an honest man to steal." 



LXXV 

LEE CLUEY OF CATHAY 

Lee Cluey was a Chinese laundryman. He had a lit- 
tle shop in the village of Norwich, in the county of 
Oxford. His eyes were like beads set in almonds, and 
his skin was the colour of a brass kettle. He kept a big 
black cat, with a little silver bell tied round its neck with 
yellow ribbon. For a time he also had a green poll-par- 
rot, with a yellow head. He loved yellow, did Lee 



446 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

Gluey. His long pipe of seven puffs had yellow bands 
round it. He wore a yellow stone in a yellow ring. On 
his left arm he wore a big yellow bracelet. In fact, if 
ever there was a yellow fellow it was this amber-handed, 
saffron-faced son of Cathay. 

" His face was like the front of a yellow house," says 
Murray. " When you looked at him down went the 
blinds — he closed his eyes lest you should see inside. He 
had prospered in his little shop in Norwich, where he had 
been living for three years. He was fond of working by 
the open door and passers-by could hear the thump of 
his iron as he sang in a high falsetto, his finest arias being 
a series of jerky squeaks, as if a rat with a very bad cold 
were shouting for the police to rescue it from the clutches 
of Trap, the strangler. The poll-parrot was a finicky 
creature, for it would ruffle up when Lee Cluey sang. 

" ' Chokee off, Cluey ! Chokee off! ' it would squawk. 

" Few people knew that Lee Cluey had this parrot, as 
he kept it in a back room, and, truth to tell, its squawk- 
ings were much like Cluey 's singing, particularly the high 
notes. The parrot, however, came to know some of 
Cluey's customers by sight, as it peered out of the gloom 
of the back room, and it muttered comments on callers 
incessantly. 

" Cluey was quick to learn that his best customers were 
among the church people. So Cluey went to church. 
He would sally forth out of his little shop with clasped 
hands and waddle solemnly to worship, sitting stoically 
from beginning to end of the service. Then back to his 
shop he toddled, his duty done. In 1899 a series of 
small thefts annoyed residents of the village. Lee Cluey 
heard the talk, but sang on during week days and went 
to church on Sundays. Some hinted that Cluey might 
know something of the thefts, but others indignantly 
denied it, and said they had seen Cluey at church regu- 
larly for many Sundays. One Sunday in November Lee 
Cluey went to church as usual and trotted home briskly. 
He entered his shop, poked up the fire, took his pipe of 
seven puffs and was about to settle down in comfort, 
when he sprang up with a long, loud squawk. He rushed 



LEE CLUEY OF CATHAY 447 

out into the November night and trotted through the 
streets. 

" ' Thievee ! Thievee ! ' he repeated, over and over. 

" Then the mayor sent a complaint to the Department 
and I went to investigate. Cluey said that while he was 
at church a back window of his shop had been forced 
and a small metal trunk, in which his most precious pos- 
sessions were stored, had been stolen. He mourned par- 
ticularly the loss of money. He said he had a cigar-box 
full of it in the trunk. 

" I examined the premises and could find no clue to 
the identity of the thieves. Cluey followed me about 
and the cat rubbed up against me while the parrot turned 
away in disgust. 

" « Get out, Healy, get out,' it muttered at me, so nat- 
urally that I laughed. 

" The parrot fluffed up. 

" ' Getee hellee outee ! ' it squawked. 

" I nosed around the village and found no tangible 
traces of the thieves and then I walked back to Cluey's 
shop and looked in the window the thieves had forced. 

" « Get out, Healy, get out ! ' said the parrot vehemently. 

" I walked away. 

" ' Do you know any one named Healy ? ' I asked an 
acquaintance. 

" ' There's a young fellow named Louis Healy,' he 
answered. 

" ' Who are his friends, his favourite associates ? ' 

" ' Fred Rawlings and William Poldon,' was the reply. 

" I went after Healy. He was not pleased to see me. 

" ' A witness saw you at Lee Cluey's window,' said I. 

" Healy gasped. He and Rawlings and Poldon were 
questioned separately by me. Under examination they 
confessed the crime. They produced the cigar-box and 
turned over $45, which they said was all it contained. 
The metal trunk was recovered. They had hid it on the 
bank of a creek. Lee Cluey fell on his knees beside it 
when he saw it. 

" ' You getee $911?' he asked. 

" ' No, only #45,' said I. 



448 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

" Lee Cluey was loud in his lamentations. I ques- 
tioned Healy, Rawlings, and Poldon again. They vowed 
that $45 was all the money they had found in the trunk 
and that they had turned over all that they had stolen. 
Of course, although a liar is not always a thief, a thief 
invariably is a liar as well. But the three young fellows 
stuck earnestly to their story. I went back to Lee 
Cluey's shop. 

" « You getee my fifteen hundred dollees ? ' asked Lee 
Cluey. 

" I stared at him. Fifteen hundred ! His loss had 
grown since I last saw him. He had declared first it was 
$911. Back I went to the three prisoners. They stoutly 
averred that $45 was the total of the money in the trunk. 
I returned to Cluey's. 

" ' You getee my two thousand dollees ? ' said Cluey. 

" He never smiled. I suppose he would have raised 
it to $5,000 if I had made two or three more trips to and 
fro. 

" ' Cluey,' I said, ' you have jumped from $900 to 
$2,000.' 

" • Two thousand five hundred dollees,' interrupted Lee 
Cluey shrilly. 

" ' Chokee off, Cluey ! Chokee off! ' squawked the 
parrot. 

" I began to laugh and walked out, leaving Lee Cluey 
jargoning and lashing his queue at the parrot. The three 
thieves went to prison." 



LXXVI 

MELVIN HALL, FREEBOOTER 

Burly, brutal, and brigandish, Melvin Hall spread 
terror and ruled as a despot in a section of Canada for 
many years. He was like a border robber of old Scottish 
days, or a freebooter of the lawless times of early Eng- 
land. He plundered the countryside, he preyed on the 



MELVIN HALL, FREEBOOTER 449 

farmers, he had an organised band of ruffians and villains 
and desperadoes, he played fast and loose with the law, 
he cared not for life or property. His name was a token 
of trouble, and sight of him was regarded as an ill omen. 
He dared anything, he feared nothing. 

" Massive and powerful, a giant even among big men, 
he towered six feet four inches and weighed two hundred 
and forty pounds, with a neck like a bull's, a head like a 
bulldog's, a chest like a baboon's, and a tread like a 
panther's," says Murray. " He was forty years old. He 
rode roughshod through the counties of Stormont, Dun- 
das, and Glengarry, and spread fear along both sides of 
the St. Lawrence River. One night he would make a 
raid in the United States and escape in boats across the 
river. The next night he would sally forth into one of 
the Canada counties, pillage a farm, and ride away to a 
hiding-place with his plunder. Wherever he went a part 
of his gang always was within hail. He warned the 
country folk that those who sought to bring the law upon 
him would find their barns burned to the ground, their 
houses tumbled upon their heads, their crops destroyed, 
and their cattle killed. He had his headquarters on a 
lonely tract of land near Morrisburg. Here he planned 
his crimes. 

" Among the members of his gang were his nephew, 
Luther Hall, a medium-sized, stout young fellow of 
twenty-five ; John Stevens, a swarthy-skinned, black- 
haired, powerful Scotchman, about thirty-seven years 
old and fairly well educated ; Clarence Benstead, a bullet- 
headed, square-shouldered, lithe fellow, twenty -seven 
years old, a great runner and walker ; and William 
Markie, a sullen, blunt, gruff man of few words and 
great daring. Big Melvin was absolutely master of his 
men. He ruled like an ancient feudal lord. He held 
trials, meted out punishments, rewarded friends and per- 
secuted foes. What he wanted he took. A Frenchman 
named Jenack had a beautiful wife. They lived, with 
their two little children, on a farm. Big Melvin, driving 
through the country, saw the handsome Frenchwoman 
with a party of friends. He sent John Stevens to learn 



450 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

her name and where she lived. Three nights later Big 
Melvin drove up to the house in a sleigh. He sprang 
out and kicked the door. Jenack opened it. 

Where is your wife ? ' demanded Big Melvin. 

" The woman appeared in the background. 
1 Get your things and come with me,' said Big Melvin. 
Jenack remonstrated. Big Melvin threw him aside. 

" ' Have I got to go ? ' said the woman. 
In answer, Big Melvin picked her up and strode out 
to the sleigh. The two children ran after their mother, 
barefoot in the snow, and clung to the runners of the 
sleigh, crying for her not to leave them. Big Melvin 
lashed his horses and as they galloped away he reached 
over, tore the sobbing children loose and flung them into 
a snowdrift, whence their father rescued them. The 
woman lived with Big Melvin thereafter at his rendezvous 
near Morrisburg. 

" The people feared to incur Big Melvin's enmity. So 
he went his lawless way. Dwellings were robbed, cellars 
and granaries were looted, folk were held up on the high- 
ways. Finally Clarence Benstead stole some harness and 
was caught. The Hall gang warned the country folk not 
to testify against Benstead or any of the gang. But 
among the witnesses subpoenaed were John McPhee and 
his wife. McPhee was a farmer and a man of courage. 
He and his wife went to court to appear against the 
member of the gang. Melvin Hall was there. He never 
deserted his men, and the clan always turned out in large 
numbers with an alibi for the accused. Big Melvin 
accosted McPhee. 

" ' McPhee,' said Big Melvin, ' if you give evidence 
against Benstead, we'll blow you off the earth.' 

" ' I've stood it long enough, and danged if I don't tell 
the truth,' said McPhee. « I might as well be blown off 
it as buried into it.' 

" This was in March, 1900. McPhee testified against 
Benstead and drove home with Mrs. McPhee, arriving 
between eight and nine o'clock that night. They had 
supper, McPhee cared for his horses, and he and his wife 
sat chatting with their daughter, son-in-law, and grand- 



MELVIN HALL, FREEBOOTER 451 

child, who had come to spend the night with them. 
About eleven o'clock, as they were going to bed, the 
daughter looked out of the window. She saw two 
shadowy figures approaching the house. One of the two 
was like a phantom giant. 

" ' Mother, here come two men,' called the daughter. 

" Mrs. McPhee looked out of her window. 

" ' It's Melvin Hall,' said Mrs. McPhee. 

" John McPhee sprang for the door, but before he 
could open it there was an explosion that rocked the 
house, smashed the windows, shattered the foundations, 
knocked the inmates heels over head, and stunned the 
child lying in bed. It was a dynamite cartridge placed to 
blow up the McPhees in their room, but luckily they were 
just retiring at the time and had gone to look out of 
the window where the daughter had seen the two men. 

" All was still for an hour after the explosion. McPhee 
had crawled to his hands and knees and was sitting by 
one of the smashed windows. He saw the two figures 
step out of the gloom and approach the house again. 
One ran to the door of the house and held it while the 
other entered the milk-house. McPhee staggered to his 
feet, seized an axe, smashed his own door, and sprang 
out into the night, axe in hand, prepared to battle to the 
death. Big Melvin came out of the milk-house, his arms 
full of plunder. Evidently he thought the McPhees were 
dead or unconscious, for at sight of McPhee, a ghostly 
figure swinging an axe, Big Melvin sprang to his horses 
and away he sped, with his companion, in the night. 

" ' I know you ! I know you ! ' shouted McPhee, rest- 
ing on his axe as they disappeared. 

" Big Melvin answered with oaths, and galloped on. 
A young man named Link, who was out late that night, 
heard galloping horses and heavy curses. He surmised 
it was Big Melvin, and he darted off the road and con- 
cealed himself. Presently Big Melvin and Lu Hall went 
by, full tilt. Link recognised both of them in the bright 
moonlight. Big Melvin was swearing. Link hastened 
on to the farm where he worked, and told his employer 
that the Hall gang was riding the country again. Link's 



452 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

employer was a fearless man. He wakened his son, 
and they started after the two Halls. They came upon 
them at the place of a Mr. Emphey, and caught the 
Halls in the act of stealing and loading grain into a 
waggon. Big Melvin sprang at them. Father and son 
were armed with bludgeons. Big Melvin struck the fa- 
ther a heavy blow over the head and down he went. 
But as he fell, the son, who had put Luther Hall to flight 
with the stolen grain, turned on Big Melvin and smashed 
him full on the head with the bludgeon. The giant 
staggered, swayed, grabbed the son, and hurled him ten 
feet away, then fell. The son scrambled back, his father 
revived, and they aroused Mr. Emphey, and dragged Big 
Melvin into the house, where they dressed his wounds. 
Big Melvin opened his eyes. 

" ' I advise you not to try to hold me,' he said. ' I 
will settle for the grain.' 

" The father and son favoured holding him, but 
Emphey had a plan he deemed better. 

" ' When will you settle for the grain ? ' he asked. 

" ' I will go and get the money, and return here with 
it,' said Big Melvin. ' I keep my word.' 

" Emphey said he would be satisfied, if Hall would 
bring him the money for the grain. Big Melvin strode 
out. The moment he was gone Emphey arranged to 
have three constables notified. The three constables 
hastened to Emphey's house and secreted themselves. 
At the appointed time Big Melvin returned. He had 
kept his word. As he faced Emphey the three con- 
stables stepped out. 

" ' You are under arrest,' said one of them. 

" ' All right,' said Big Melvin, quietly. ' I'll go.' 

" He had thrown off his overcoat when he entered. 
He finished his business with Emphey, then turned to 
the constables. 

" « I'll be ready in a moment,' he said, and reached for 
his overcoat. The constables saw him edging over to- 
wards a window with the coat in his arms. They moved 
forward towards him to put on the handcuffs. With a 
sudden, mighty swoop of his huge arms, Big Melvin 



MELVIN HALL, FREEBOOTER 453 

gathered the three of them into a bunch, threw his over- 
coat over their heads, gave them a tremendous shove, 
then leaped through the window, sash, and all, alighted, 
with the swarthy John Stevens to aid him, and, with a 
loud guffaw, sped away. 

" The people of the township petitioned the Depart- 
ment for protection. I took up the case immediately. 
I found Big Melvin gone, Luther Hall gone, John 
Stevens gone, and the whole gang out of the way or 
under cover. Big Melvin had a brother back in Iroquois. 
I set a watch on the brother. He secretly sent a letter 
from Iroquois to be mailed at Waddington. I intercepted 
the letter, and thereby learned Big Melvin was hiding 
over in the United States. He has been staying on a 
farm near Watertown, in Northern New York. He was 
a saving thief, and had plenty of money. I prepared ex- 
tradition papers, and crossed the river to New York. I 
found Big Melvin on the farm, and he made a great fuss, 
denying his identity, and fighting extradition. I learned 
he had been stealing in New York as he had done in 
Canada. His fight was futile. He was handed over to 
me for trial in Canada. He raged and swore when he 
learned he had to go back. 

" I took Big Melvin back across the river to stand 
trial. I have seen crowded court-houses in my day, but 
the court-house at the trial of Big Melvin was packed to 
its utmost capacity. The country folk attended from all 
around. The evidence was overwhelming. Big Melvin 
was convicted, and he went to Kingston Penitentiary for 
ten years. 

" John Stevens, or Stevenson, was caught, convicted, 
and got seven years. Luther Hall slipped over from the 
United States on a visit, and we got him. At his trial in 
October, 1901, he had about fifteen choice witnesses to 
swear to an alibi. I showed where every one of this 
choice collection had been charged or convicted of crime 
at some time. One of them, thirty-four years before, 
had stolen a beehive. There was nothing the Hall gang 
would not steal. When Clarence Benstead skipped over 
the river, he stole from a farmer in New York. He 



454 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

sneaked back into Canada, and hid about twenty miles 
from Ottawa. During the trials of the Halls I got track 
of him, and communicated with Sheriff Harder across 
the river. Benstead was taken before Judge McTavish, 
of Ottawa, and sent to New York, where he got six 
years. Bill Markie was caught near Morrisburg, and 
joined Big Melvin, Luther, and John Stevens in Kings- 
ton Penitentiary. Big Melvin, in prison garb, saw his 
men one by one join the marching lines inside the Kings- 
ton walls. 

" ' They follow their leader/ he said grimly." 



LXXVII 

THE MURDER OF JOSEPH SIFTON 

Everybody in Canada who knew Joseph Sifton well 
called him Old Joe. He was only fifty-eight, but he was 
fond of folk younger than himself, and for a number of 
years he had been known as Old Joe. Some said that 
when he was only forty they had heard people speaking 
of him in this way. He was rich, as riches go in the 
farming section where he lived. His home was in the 
township of London, a few miles from the city of Lon- 
don, Ontario. He owned three or four farms. His wife 
was dead, and he had one child, a son, named Gerald 
Sifton, who was thirty years old and lived with his wife 
on one of the farms. 

" For some time Old Joe lived with Gerald, but could 
not get along with Gerald's wife," says Murray. " So he 
went to keep bachelor's hall on one of his other farms. 
At Gerald's lived a good-looking hired girl named Mary 
McFarlane, whose mother lived in the same township. 
Mary was an intelligent, bright girl, and Old Joe, un- 
known to Gerald or Gerald's wife, began to court Mary. 
It developed later that Mary expected to become a 
mother, and Old Joe was going to marry her before this 
would come to pass. In fact, they had set the day, with- 



THE MURDER OF JOSEPH SIFTON 455 

out telling the Siftons or the McFarlanes. It was to be 
July 1st, 1900. On the morning of June 30th, Old Joe 
was found, with bleeding head, lying on the ground in 
front of his barn, as if he had fallen out of the haymow. 
He died that afternoon. The Attorney-General hap- 
pened to be in London a few days later, and County At- 
torney Magee spoke to him about Old Joe's death, as 
there was a lot of talk. I went to investigate. 

" I began the usual round of inquiry among the family 
and neighbours. I learned that the day before Old Joe's 
death Gerald Sifton, the son, had been to London, and 
did not return until nine o'clock in the evening. Old Joe 
had bought a wedding ring, and while Gerald was away 
he took Mary McFarlane in a buggy to see her mother 
and obtain her consent to their marriage. Mrs. McFar- 
lane refused to sanction the match, saying Joe was too 
old for Mary. Then Mary told her mother that she had 
to get married, and she and Old Joe drove away. In the 
meantime Mary's brother, driving home, met a neighbour 
named John Sinker. 

" ' Congratulations ! ' said John Sinker to young 
McFarlane. ' I hear that Old Joe is going to marry 
your sister.' 

" Young McFarlane turned around, and drove back to 
Gerald Sifton's. His sister Mary was there, having re- 
turned from her mother's. Mary denied it. Her brother 
hunted up John Sinker, and told him not to spread such 
stories about his sister. Sinker replied that all he knew 
about it was that Old Joe had been to him to borrow his 
best buggy, saying he intended to marry Mary McFar- 
lane. Back to Gerald Sifton's went young McFarlane 
and saw his sister again, and Mary acknowledged it. 
Mrs. Gerald Sifton heard the talk, and when her husband 
returned from London she told him that Old Joe and 
Mary were about to be married. Gerald Sifton started 
off on his wheel. He rode to the house of James 
Morden, a neighbour. 

" ' There is the devil to pay over at our place,' James 
Morden stated Gerald said to him. ' The old man is 
going to marry Mary McFarlane. I'll see he never mar- 



456 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

ries her. If you lend me a hand and help me to kill the 
old I'll give you $1,000.' 

" ' Oh no,' said Jim Morden. ' I'll do nothing of that 
kind.' 

" Gerald argued with Jim, but it was useless, so Gerald 
rode on to the house of Edgar Morden, Jim's cousin, and 
made the same proposition. Edgar refused. Gerald 
then asked him where Martin Morden lived in London. 
Martin was Edgar's cousin, and was engaged to Mary 
McFarlane, who was about to marry Old Joe. Edgar 
told Gerald he did not know Martin's address. So Gerald 
rode back to Jim Morden and got the address, and started 
for London. After he had gone, Edgar Morden went to 
look for Old Joe to warn him to look out. The old man 
was not at home. Edgar started for Gerald's, thinking 
Old Joe might be there. It was very dark, and as he 
neared the house he came upon Old Joe and Mary 
McFarlane sitting in a buggy under a tree. He told 
them what Gerald was doing. 

" ' You had better come to my place,' said Edgar. 

" Old Joe and Mary accompanied Edgar to his home, 
and while there Old Joe drew up a will. They sat up at 
Edgar Morden's talking until almost dawn, when Old Joe 
drove to his own house, taking Mary with him. They 
arrived there shortly after five o'clock. 

" Gerald Sifton, meanwhile, had gone to London. He 
arrived there about one o'clock in the morning. He met 
Policeman Robinson, and asked him to show him the way 
to Martin Morden's boarding-house. Robinson did so, 
and Gerald went in and found Martin. He told Martin 
that Mary had betrayed him, and while engaged to him 
was planning to marry Old Joe. Martin stated later that 
Gerald then offered him $1,000 to kill the old man. 

" ' So long as Mary is doing that, I want nothing to do 
with her, and I will kill no man,' said Martin. 

" Gerald was familiar with medicines and drugs, as he 
had studied for a horse-doctor. He pulled out a phial 
before Martin. 

" ' I'll see he never gets married,' Martin stated Gerald 
said. ' You know what this is ? ' 



THE MURDER OF JOSEPH SIFTON 457 

" ' Yes, strychnine ? ' 

" ' That's it,' said Gerald. 

" Martin could not be persuaded. Gerald left him, and 
at dawn was back home. He had a hired man working 
for him, a big overgrown boy twenty years old. Walter 
Herbert was his name. Gerald called Walter aside, and 
offered him $1,000 to go over and finish the old man. 

" ' We'll say he fell out of the barn,' said Gerald to 
Walter Herbert. 

" Herbert refused. Gerald finally agreed to accompany 
him. About seven o'clock that morning Gerald and 
Herbert arrived at Old Joe's house. Old Joe and Mary 
were there, having driven over from Edgar Morden's. 
Gerald shouted for Old Joe. 

" ' Come out and show where you want this hay fork 
put ? ' he called. 

" Mary McFarlane cautioned Old Joe not to go out. 

" ' He's come to kill you,' said Mary. 

" Old Joe laughed. He was a husky old fellow, and 
could have walloped his son with ease in a fair fight. So 
Old Joe went out. When he appeared, Gerald and Wal- 
ter Herbert went up into the barn. It was a bank barn 
next the house. There was a ladder leading up through 
a little trap into the mow. 

" Walter Herbert later told what happened then. He 
said he and Gerald climbed up into the mow. Gerald 
handed him the axe and said : 

" ' When he puts his head up give it to him.' 

" They waited, this son and his hired man, for the old 
father to climb up to his death. They heard him enter 
the barn, they heard him start up the ladder, climbing 
rung after rung. The gray head appeared. Walter 
raised the axe. 

" ' I struck him once, then my heart failed me and I 
dropped the axe and reached down and grabbed him,' 
he said. ' Gerald, who had been standing back, came 
and seized the axe and struck his father several hard 
blows on the head. He fell down. We pulled him up 
into the haymow and cracked him again, and then 
pitched him out of the mow down on to bricks on the 



458 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

ground outside. A couple of boards had been knocked 
off the side of the barn, and we threw him out through 
there head first.' 

" Gerald then told Herbert to go and tell the neigh- 
bours of Old Joe's fall. 

" Mary McFarlane came out of the house. She saw 
Old Joe lying bleeding. Gerald and Herbert were there. 

" ' Oh, you done it ! ' cried Mary. 

" ' Don't say that,' answered Herbert. 

" The doctor came. Gerald urged that Old Joe be 
kept from suffering, and told the doctor he had strych- 
nine. The doctor shook his head. 

" ' Would money be any consideration ? ' said this duti- 
ful son. 

" Old Joe died that afternoon, and some days later the 
matter came to the attention of the Department. No 
inquest had been held, and Old Joe was underground. 
But Walter Herbert confessed, and repeated his confes- 
sion to his uncle and to a constable. On July 26th, 1900, 
I arrested Gerald Sifton and Walter Herbert, charged 
with murdering Gerald's father. They were held for 
trial. Gerald had one set of counsel and Walter Her- 
bert had another set of counsel. When they were 
brought in for trial, Herbert, to the consternation of Ger- 
ald, pleaded guilty. After this plea the counsel for Ger- 
ald got a postponement of the trial. In fact they ob- 
tained two postponements. 

"Finally, in September, 1 901, over a year after the 
crime, Gerald Sifton's trial began. The evidence as I 
have indicated it was presented. Walter Herbert took 
the stand, and told the whole story of the black deed. 
Justice McMahon presided at the trial, and the late Judge 
William Lount prosecuted. I had been away from Jan- 
uary to April of 1 90 1, travelling in the West Indies and 
visiting friends in Jamaica, the Barbadoes, and England, 
but I was home in ample time for the trial, even if it had 
come in the Spring instead of the Fall Assizes. To the 
amazement of those familiar with the case the jury dis- 
agreed. It stood ten for conviction and two for acquittal. 

" Over a year passed before the second trial began. 



THE THREE DYNAMITARDS 459 

In November, 1902, the second jury came in. Justice 
B. B. Britton presided at the trial, and R. C. Clute prose- 
cuted. The defence sought to discredit the Crown's 
witnesses, the defence also produced two witnesses who 
swore they saw Old Joe going to the barn with an axe 
to put up a hay fork, the defence also alleged Herbert 
was not telling the truth. Two of the Mordens, James 
and Martin, had left the country. I saw them in Daven- 
port, Iowa. The jury brought in a verdict of not guilty. 
Gerald Sifton walked out a free man so far as the law 
was concerned. There was indignation over the result. 
The next grand jury condemned the trial. 

" I say now that it was a miscarriage of justice and a 
disgrace to the country." 



LXXVIII 
THE THREE DYNAMITARDS 

Kingston Penitentiary, where the desperate criminals 
and all long-term convicts of the Province are confined, 
looms a huge mass of grey stone on the shore of the St. 
Lawrence River. One side of the grim, high walls fronts 
on the water's edge. When night falls over Kingston 
and the long lines of convicts have gone to their cells 
with bolts and locks all fastened and secure, three men 
sit alone in three widely separate cells. Along the silent 
corridors go the velvet-slippered guards, their footfalls 
noiseless in their steady patrol. Occasionally a watch- 
man stops and peers in. All is quiet ; the three men 
seemingly are asleep. When morning comes they are 
up with the sun and through the dull day they go their 
dreary way, to the stone pile where the hammers rise and 
fall, or to the workshop where mutely they toil. Each 
is known by a number. Their sentence is for life. The 
great grey prison is the receiving vault to their eternal 
tomb. They are buried alive. 

Life is over for them. The future is a blank existence, 



460 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

bounded by four grim, grey walls. Friends, family, loved 
ones, home, happiness, all are bygone. Their compan- 
ions now and through the future years are criminals who 
shuffle speechlessly, ceaselessly, on their weary road of 
punishment. The one glimpse of the world comes to 
them through the window of memory in visions of the 
vanished years. It is a living death and, saving one 
ever-cherished hope, the only change that will come will 
be a closing of the eyes, a stilling of the pulse, and then 
a creaking of the prison gates to let a hearse go by bear- 
ing them to smaller, darker cells. 

The ever-cherished hope ! When years have softened 
the hearts of men and mercy moves them to generous 
forgiveness, it is the convict's endless yearning that a bit 
of paper may arrive to open his cell and let the punished 
man go free. It is the hope of pardon shining brightly 
into desolate lives — and none ever can tell what the far 
future years may bring forth. 

" The crime for which these three men went to Kings- 
ton," says Murray, " occurred at Thorold, at seven o'clock 
on the evening of Saturday, April 21st, 1900. It re- 
sounded in two thunderous explosions that tore up solid 
rocks, tossed skyward spouts of water, shook houses and 
shattered windows, while the earth trembled. For miles 
around people paused, terrified, amazed, or dumbfounded. 
They waited, as if for the aftermath, for a descent of 
death and destruction, for the swoop of a calamity that 
would wipe them and their homes from the face of the 
earth. It did not come. But by how small a chance it 
failed, is something that to this day sends shuddering 
those who saw the dreadful crime. 

" Thorold is a Canadian hamlet. It nestles along the 
waterway of the Welland Canal, the Dominion's channel 
of commerce between Lakes Erie and Ontario. It is 
within easy walking distance of the frontier at Niagara 
Falls and is in the general vicinity of the border towns 
from St. Catharine's to Clifton on the Niagara River by 
the Falls. Lock No. 24 of the Welland Canal is at 
Thorold. Above it, in the canal, is a level about one 
mile long, forty feet wide and twenty feet deep, with a 



THE THREE DYNAMITARDS 461 

second level, No. 25, beyond it. There is a drop of six- 
teen feet in the lock, and from it on to Lake Ontario, 
there is a series of drops, each level being lower like a 
series of steps, down which the waters made their way. 
The gates of the Thorold lock hold in placid check 
twelve million cubic feet of water, and the sudden smash- 
ing of the gates would have released this miniature sea 
and transformed it from an unruffled expanse of still 
water to a rushing, roaring, seething, furious torrent, 
surging in a deadly deluge over the lock, over the lower 
levels, obliterating their gate, freeing their floods of 
waters ; raging over the Grand Trunk Railroad tracks 
and spreading out in angry, awful flood into the valley of 
Ten Mile Creek ; wiping out homes and houses, ruining 
lands, devastating property, and, worst of all, ghastliest 
of all, drowning hundreds of innocent people and obliter- 
ating the town of Merriton. It would have paralysed 
Canada's great waterway, prostrating her water trade 
from the great lakes. 

" Eye-witnesses saw the explosion. Miss Euphemia 
Constable, a pretty sixteen-year-old girl, who lived with 
her parents about three hundred yards from the lock No. 
24, was going to see a friend across the canal about 6.20. 
Near the bridge, which is by the lock, she saw two men. 
One was going down by the tool-house to the other end 
of the lock. The other was standing at the end of the 
bridge and then walked to the swing bridge. He laid 
down a valise or brown telescope he was carrying and got 
off the bridge. She passed him within five feet. He had 
one hand on the valise and the other at his face, but he 
moved the hand at his face and she saw his face clearly. 
He stepped through the side of the bridge and off the 
bridge from the middle, and took the valise to the end of 
the lock. Thus at each end of the lock stood one of the 
men and each had a valise. Miss Constable saw the man 
at the other end of the lock take a rope and tie it to the 
end of his valise. 

" ' I walked on,' said Miss Constable later, ' and then I 
heard the man farthest away cry: " Hurry on, Jack, or 
it'll go off! " and he ran down the road leading to the 



462 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

Falls. I turned and saw the second man had not tied the 
rope to his valise yet. He finally tied it on, dropped the 
valise into the lock, sprang up on to the bridge, and ran 
after the first man on the road to the Falls.' 

" Then came the explosions. After the first explosion 
the girl lost consciousness and knew nothing of the second 
explosion. The explosion was of dynamite contained in 
the valises dangled into the lock. They were not quite 
simultaneous. They were fired by fuses. They broke 
the castings on the head gate, tore up the banks on both 
sides of the lock, knocked people over who were suffi- 
ciently near and smashed windows and shook the country 
roundabout. Water rose skyward, but the gates held. 
The dynamiters had blundered by lowering the dynamite 
into the gate pits instead of into the chain holes. Experts 
later showed that there was not sufficient resistance to the 
explosive matter and that this fact alone prevented the 
dire disaster that would have followed, if the dynamite 
had done the work planned for it and had smashed the 
gates. 

" After lowering the satchels into the lock, the two 
men ran and were about twelve hundred feet from the 
lock when the first explosion occurred and the other imme- 
diately followed. They reached the Stone Road, or 
public highway, leading to Niagara Falls and hurried 
along it towards the border. The Mayor of Thorold and 
others, after the first terror and excitement had passed, 
followed in buggies along the Stone Road, other citizens 
taking other roads. The Mayor of Thorold passed the 
two men on the Stone Road, and arrived at the Falls 
ahead of them. The two men arrived at the Falls on the 
Canada side about 8.45 p. m., and were pointed out by the 
Thorold people and were arrested. A third man, who 
had been seen around with them before the explosion, 
and who was at the Rosli House at the Falls, also was 
arrested. The two men gave their names as John Nolin 
and John Walsh. The third man gave his name as Karl 
Dallman. The three men were locked up. Intense ex- 
citement followed. Wild rumours were spread about. 
The soldiery were called out. The three prisoners were 



THE THREE DYNAMITARDS 463 

taken to Welland gaol and guarded by soldiers, while 
other soldiers patrolled the canal. There were tales of 
midnight prowlers, of shots in the dark, of mysterious 
phantoms. There were various theories as to the crime. 
The excitement along the border grew. 

" I found Dallman a stout, grey-haired, full-faced, 
smooth-shaven man of about fifty. Nolin was short and 
brown moustached, and looked a prosperous mechanic. 
Walsh was tall, red faced, smooth shaven and watery 
eyed. I had them photographed in Welland gaol. 
Dallman smashed the camera and made a break for 
liberty. I pulled my revolver and we had quite a tussle. 
Dallman strove to dash through the door. I halted him 
and forced him back and then locked him in a cell. He 
was a desperate man. Nolin and Walsh stood together 
as if Dallman were a stranger to them. Dallman said he 
was fifty years old, born in England, a clerk, married, a 
Methodist, and Buffalo the last place of residence. He 
said he knew nothing of any dynamite explosion or any 
plot to do harm. 

" ' I went on a spree,' he said. ' I did no harm. I 
knew nothing of any plot to do harm, and I never knew 
Walsh or Nolin until I met them while on a spree at 
Niagara Falls.' 

" The evidence at the magistrate's hearing and at the 
trial was voluminous. Charles Lindenfield, of the Stafford 
House, in Buffalo, told of Dallman arriving there in 
March, going away, returning again on March 22d, and 
again on April nth, and again on April 14th, registering 
as Karl Dallman, of Trenton, New Jersey. On April 
15th he was joined at the Stafford House, in Buffalo, by 
Nolin and Walsh, under the names of Smith and Moore. 
Lindenfield told of their meeting. Sergeant Maloney, of 
the Niagara Falls, New York Police, told of seeing Dall- 
man, Nolin, and Walsh together in a trolley car at the 
Falls at ten o'clock on Thursday night, April 19th. 
Charles E. Lewis, a United States Secret Service man at 
the Falls, noticed the men together by reason of their 
frequent crossing of the cantilever bridge to Canada. He 
tracked Nolin, Walsh, and Dallman together to a room 



464 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

in the Dolphin House the day before the explosion. On 
the day of the explosion he saw Dallman and Nolin 
together with a package. On the night of the explosion 
he searched the room in the Dolphin House, and found 
two coils of fuse and a dynamite rubber pouch. Customs 
Officer W. F. Latta saw Nolin and Dallman with a pack- 
age the day before the explosion, and saw Walsh carry 
the satchels across the bridge into Canada, one on Friday 
with Nolin, and one on Saturday. Joe Spencer, a cab- 
man, identified Dallman, Nolin, and Walsh, as three men 
who hired him to drive them from the upper to the lower 
steel arch bridge a day or two before the explosion, Dall- 
man paying for the cab. On Thursday, two days before 
the explosion, Spencer drove Nolin and Walsh to Thorold, 
where they took a walk. While returning to Thorold 
they passed Dallman driving on the road leading past 
lock No. 24. Owen Riley, of St. Catharine's, on a train 
from Merriton to Thorold, saw and talked with Dallman, 
two days before the explosion. Dallman got off at 
Thorold, and Riley showed him where to hire a buggy. 
George Thomas, a clerk in Taylor's store at the Falls, told 
of selling to Walsh, while Nolin waited outside, the rope 
used to lower the satchels into the lock. The rope was 
bought about 8 p. m. on the day of the explosion. George 
Walters corroborated George Thomas. Miss Alma Cleve- 
land, of Thorold, saw Walsh and Nolin get off the train 
at Thorold with the satchels and the parcel containing the 
rope on the evening of the explosion. Mrs. Slingerland, 
of Catharine Street, Thorold, saw them as they walked 
from the train. William Chapel saw them pass his house 
within sight of the lock. Miss Euphemia Constable told 
of seeing them lower the satchels into the lock. Her 
mother told of seeing Dallman, Nolin, and Walsh at the 
lock on the Monday before the explosion. They were 
looking it over. Dan Parr, a watchman at the lock, 
heard a splash, and saw the men leaving, and then was 
knocked down by the explosion. Miss Mary Gregory 
and Mrs. Rebecca Gregory, her mother, passed the men 
on the Falls road after the explosion. William Pierce, a 
working man, fell in with them on the road to the Falls, 



THE THREE DYNAMITARDS 465 

and walked as far as Stamford, they saying nothing of 
the explosion. George Black saw them on the road, and 
followed them in his buggy. The Mayor of Thorold 
told of following and passing them. Alfred Burrows, of 
the Rosli House, told of Karl Dallman registering at his 
hotel from Washington, D. C, on April 12th and on 
April 16th, and of John Walsh, of Washington, D. C, 
being there on April 19th. Dr. Houseberger told of 
dressing three burns on Walsh's hand after his arrest. 
Officer Mains told of the actions of Dallman, Nolin, and 
Walsh together at the Falls on days before the explosion, 
and of their arrest after the explosion. Fred Latta, on 
the day before the explosion, walked up the street at the 
Falls behind Dallman and Walsh for two blocks. He was 
about four feet behind them. He heard Dallman say to 
Walsh : 

" ' Do you know where Jack is ? ' 

" ' I suppose he is getting drunk,' replied Walsh. 

" ' If we don't keep that sober we will never 

be able to pull off that job,' was Dallman's answer. 

" ' How are we going to keep him sober ? ' said 
Walsh. 

" ' If we can't do it any other way we will have to lock 
him in a room.' 

" They passed on, and later met Nolin, who was carry- 
ing a parcel, which he handed to Dallman, and later took 
it back. All the witnesses identified the men positively. 
The Crown showed by Edward Walker, an expert on 
dynamite, that the failure of the explosion to accomplish 
its object probably was due to lack of sufficient resistance 
against the explosive. Two engineers testified as to the 
death and destruction that would have followed the del- 
uge of 12,000,000 feet of water if the explosion had 
resulted as planned. 

" Dallman made a defence ; Nolin and Walsh made 
none. Dallman tried to prove an alibi by Charles Kin- 
ney, a cabman, attempting to show he had not been at 
the lock with Nolin and Walsh a few days before the ex- 
plosion. His alibi was a failure as Kinney became 
tangled up, and finally Chancellor Boyd remarked that 



466 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

he had made a mess of his evidence. None of the three 
prisoners went on the stand. 

" Their trial began before Chancellor Boyd at Welland 
on May 25th, 1900. The jury filed out as the clock 
struck six on the evening of May 26th. They filed in 
at 6.4. They were out just four minutes. 

" ' Guilty,' said the foreman. 

" ' All three?' asked Chancellor Boyd. 

" ' Yes,' said the foreman ; ' all three.' 

" The three prisoners arose and faced the court. They 
had been found guilty, after a fair and careful investiga- 
tion, of a crime against the State and Crown, said Chan- 
cellor Boyd. It was a novel experiment in Canada, he 
continued, to use explosives to damage a public work. 
The motive had not been disclosed, and was unknown. 
In the case of Nolin and Walsh, said the court, it prob- 
ably was one of hire and for gain. As to Dallman, said 
his lordship, he was the master spirit, more guilty than 
the others, and the motive was of hate and a blow against 
the State and civilisation. It was committed with illegal 
intent ; it had been long and deliberately planned. 

" ' I see no reason for altering the penalty of the in- 
dictment, and I sentence all three to imprisonment for 
life,' concluded the court. 

" The three prisoners were put into irons, and marched 
out and taken to Kingston Penitentiary. 

" When it came to ascertaining the details of the past 
life of the three men, I found a task involving much 
labour. I communicated with Scotland Yard, and sent 
them descriptions and photographs ; for Nolin and Walsh 
seemed unmistakably to be from across the sea, and 
Walsh particularly had the manner and speech of a man 
recently over. I went to New York and saw friends 
there, both in and out of the police business. I went 
also to Philadelphia, Washington, Virginia, and else- 
where. 

" I learned that in Dublin, Ireland, in 1894 were three 
young men who set sail for America. They were John 
Nolin, a young machinist; John Rowan, a mechanic; 
and John Merna, a mechanic. They arrived in New 



THE THREE DYNAMITARDS 467 

York, and drifted about the metropolis until, on May 
17th, 1894, Merna declared his intention to become a 
citizen of the United States, took out his first papers, and 
gave his residence as No. 41, Peck Slip, New York. 
Nolin went to Philadelphia, and obtained employment in 
the Baldwin Locomotive Works. In 1895 au three — 
Nolin, Merna, and Rowan — returned to Ireland. Merna 
got a job on the Dublin Independent, and Nolin went to 
work as a machinist in a Dublin printing-office, and for a 
time also worked at Manchester, England, and other 
points, and then returned to Dublin. In November, 1899, 
four men started from Dublin for America. They sailed 
from Liverpool, on a Red Star steamship of the Ameri- 
can line, for Philadelphia. The steamer had a hard trip, 
and was given up for lost, but finally arrived in Philadel- 
phia after nineteen days at sea. The four men from 
Dublin were four Johns, with Walsh the new one. Of 
the four men, Nolin and Walsh were reputed to be men 
of exceptional courage. Of Nolin it had been said, 
* He would not fear to go aboard a boat with a belt of 
dynamite, and blow the boat to the bottom of the sea.' 
Of Walsh it was said, ' He feared not another man, even 
with a naked knife.' Walsh left behind him a wife and 
four children, living at No. 16, St. Michael's Hill, Dublin. 
He had worked the previous year as a horse tender for 
the Dublin Electric Tramway Company, W. M. H. 
Murphy being the superintendent. Nolin left a wife, but 
no children, in Castle Street, Dublin. Merna left a wife 
at No. 88, Creaghton's Terrace, Dublin, and a sister, Mrs. 
Mary Tullman, at No. 31, Powers Street, Dublin. No 
charges of complicity in the explosions in Exchange 
Court, Dublin, had been made against any of the four 
men. 

" The four Johns, after spending a few days in Phila- 
delphia, in November, 1899, went to New York. They 
stopped at the lodging- or boarding-house, of John M. 
Kerr, at No. 45 Peck Slip, in the shipping district. 
They hung about New York until December, 1 899, when 
Rowan returned to Ireland, and went to work at his 
trade, he then being a fitter or first-class machinist in 



468 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

Dublin. In December, 1899, Nolin and Walsh applied 
to the South Brooklyn branch of the Amalgamated 
Society of Machinists, an old English Society, with off- 
shoots in America, and known in England as the Society 
of Engineers. Nolin and Walsh applied for donation 
money, which is $3 per week for those out of work. 
Nolin got donation money from John A. Shearman, 
secretary of the American Society of Machinists, who 
worked in the Pioneer Machine Works in Brooklyn, and 
to whom Nolin sent his card. 

" In the last part of December, 1899, Nolin, Walsh, 
and Merna went to Washington, D. C. Nolin remained 
there a short time, and then went on to Richmond, Vir- 
ginia, where he went to work as a fitter in a foundry. 
On December 25th, 1899 (Christmas Day), Merna got a 
job in Washington as bartender at No. 212, Ninth Street, 
N. W., working for Joe McEnerney, a saloon-keeper. 
On January 1st, 1900, Walsh also got a job as bartender 
for McEnerney. Merna and Walsh relieved each other 
at the bar, and they shared a room together over the 
saloon. They worked as bartenders for McEnerney 
through January and February, 1900, and along into 
March, while Nolin worked on in the Richmond foundry. 
Early in March Karl Dallman had registered at the 
Stafford House, in Buffalo, and then had gone away. 

" On Monday evening, March 12th, Merna was found 
dead in his room over the saloon in Washington, where 
he and Walsh worked. He was found lying on the floor 
with a bullet in his heart. The marble slab of the bureau 
was torn partly away. Beneath Merna was found a re- 
volver, a 38-calibre British bulldog. Walsh was ques- 
tioned, and he said Merna had entered the saloon in the 
evening in good spirits, laughed, chatted, went up-stairs 
to their room, and fifteen minutes later he was found 
lying on the floor, dead. Suicide was the coroner's ver- 
dict, and Merna was buried in Washington on March 
13th. Of the four Johns, two were left in America — 
Walsh in Washington and Nolin in Richmond. 

" Somewhere about April 10th, 1 900, Nolin received a 
communication from a lodge to which he belonged. 



THE THREE DYNAMITARDS 469 

The lodge was known in secret circles as the Napper 
Tandy Club. It was a Clan-na-Gael organisation. It 
met at Tom Moore's Hall, corner of Third Avenue and 
Sixteenth Street, in New York. The entrance was at 
No. 149, East Sixteenth Street. Its president was a well- 
known bookseller. Nolin and Walsh both were mem- 
bers of this lodge. They were introduced by a man 
named Jack Hand, a sailor. 

" Nolin's instructions, sent to him in Richmond, were 
for him to go to Washington, get John Walsh, and, with 
Walsh, go to Philadelphia, where, at a place specified as 
the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad Station, and a 
time fixed in the instructions at 7 p. m., on Saturday, 
April 14th, the two men, Nolin and Walsh, would meet 
a third man, who would give them further instructions as 
to what to do. Additional details were arranged for. 
Nolin obeyed the instructions as they reached him. He 
left Richmond and went to Washington, where he got 
Walsh. When McEnerney heard Walsh was to leave he 
remonstrated and offered to raise Walsh's wages $12 per 
month if he would stay. Nolin and Walsh left Washington 
and went to the railroad station in Philadelphia specified in 
the instructions. That was on Saturday, April 14th, and 
about a quarter past seven in the evening, as they stood 
in the station, a well-dressed, stout man came up and 
asked if they were so-and-so. Nolin and Walsh replied 
satisfactorily, whereupon the stranger said : ' I am the 
man you want to see/ and the three men then had an 
earnest conversation, after which the stranger took $100 
from his pocket and handed it to Nolin, along with two 
railroad tickets and two sleeping-car tickets from Phila- 
delphia to Buffalo, over the Lehigh Valley Railroad. 
The stranger left the two men in the station, and Walsh 
and Nolin went to the Lehigh Valley train for Buffalo. 

" Nolin and Walsh arrived in Buffalo at noon on Sun- 
day, April 1 5th, over the Lehigh Valley Railroad. They 
went direct to the Stafford House and registered, as they 
had been told to register, as John Smith, of New York, 
and Thomas Moore, of Washington. They were as- 
signed to room No. 88 and ordered up drinks. While 



470 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

waiting for the drinks there was a knock on the door. 
They said ' Come in.' The door opened and in stepped 
Dallman. He introduced himself and a satisfactory un- 
derstanding of one another was reached. After dinner 
they took a walk in Buffalo together, going into a certain 
concert place, among others. They returned to the Staf- 
ford House, where Dallman was registered as Karl Dall- 
man, Trenton, New Jersey. Dallman told Nolin and 
Walsh to prepare for an early start in the morning. 
After breakfast at the Stafford House on Monday morn- 
ing, April 1 6th, Dallman gave to Nolin and Walsh two 
canvas grips or telescopes. In each of these grips were 
about eighty pounds of dynamite, mixed to about the 
consistency of stiff dough. It was in the form of a cake 
or loaf. Fuses were with each cake, lying on top, but 
not connected or attached. Dallman, Nolin, and Walsh 
left Buffalo together on Monday morning, April 16th, 
and took a trolley car to Niagara Falls, New York. On 
arriving at Niagara Falls Nolin and Walsh left Dallman 
and went to the Imperial Hotel, and registered there as 
Smith and Moore. In the afternoon Dallman called for 
them, and said : ' Now we will go across.' Dallman, 
Walsh, and Nolin took a Grand Trunk train across Sus- 
pension Bridge and got off at Merriton, in Canada, and 
took a street car at Merriton, and then went to Thorold, 
where Mrs. Constable saw them near the lock. When 
Nolin and Walsh and Dallman returned to the Falls that 
night, Nolin and Walsh, at Dallman's request, arranged 
to change their lodgings, and the next day, Tuesday, 
April 17th, they left the Imperial Hotel and went to the 
Dolphin House. Dallman went to the Rosli House on 
the Canada side of the Falls. Dallman, Nolin, and 
Walsh went driving together, and on Thursday after- 
noon, April 19th, Nolin and Walsh drove to Thorold, 
meeting Dallman, also driving, on the road near Thorold. 
The cabman and the liveryman's hired man, who drove 
Dallman, identified the three men. The three met on 
the American side, Dallman calling on them at the 
Dolphin House and they crossing and seeing Dallman. 
" Walsh took the dynamite into Canada. He went 



THE THREE DYNAMITARDS 471 

from the Dolphin House to the Rosli House. At a 
quarter past three on Friday afternoon, April 20th, he 
carried one of the bags of dynamite over, and at one 
o'clock on Saturday afternoon, April 21st, the day of the 
explosion, he carried the other bag over. The first bag 
was left with Dallman over night, and the second bag 
was taken over and left with it on Saturday afternoon 
until Nolin and Walsh started for Thorold. Dallman 
gave Nolin and Walsh money for hotel bills and inci- 
dental expenses. After the explosion they were to meet 
at the Falls, or failing there, meet in Buffalo and take 
late trains away. The explosion, the arrests, the con- 
victions, and the sentence for life followed. 

" Karl Dallman clearly was the most interesting figure 
in the entire affair. I sent his picture and his description 
to trusted friends in various cities and in due time I 
learned that Karl Dallman of Trenton, New Jersey, was 
none other than Luke Dillon, of Philadelphia, Pennsyl- 
vania. At one time he was a member of the executive 
of the Clan-na-Gael, and defended it and publicly cham- 
pioned its cause, and achieved more than national prom- 
inence when, as a member of the executive committee of 
the Clan-na-Gael, he went to Chicago, at the time of the 
murder of Dr. Cronin, and denounced Alexander Sulli- 
van, raised funds for the prosecution of those accused of 
murdering Dr. Cronin ; advocated the throwing off of 
the oath of secrecy, so far as necessary to run down 
Cronin's assassins ; went on the witness stand and, by 
his testimony, revealed the secret of the Triangle, the 
chief three who had ruled as the executive of the Clan- 
na-Gael ; made public the charges against Sullivan and 
fought throughout on the side of the anti-Sullivan wing. 
The identification was made absolute and final. Men 
who knew Luke Dillon, who had worked day by day 
near him, went to see Karl Dallman and identified him 
positively as Luke Dillon. But more than all that, the 
Government knows that Karl Dallman is Luke Dillon as 
certainly and as surely as it knows that I am John W. 
Murray. 

" Dillon was a shoemaker originally. In 1881 he was 



472 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

shoemaking at No. 639, Paul Street, Philadelphia. He 
was married and for five years he lived in Paul Street, 
making a speciality of slipper-making, and in 1884 he 
added a small stock of shoes, becoming a shoe-dealer as 
well as a shoemaker. In 1877 he moved into a little 
brick house at No. 920, Passyunk Avenue. He became 
active and prominent in the Clan-na-Gael. When a 
split came he espoused the side of the Cronin faction, 
known as the United Brotherhood, which later merged 
into the Irish Revolutionary Brotherhood. Dr. Cronin 
formerly lived at St. Catharine's, near Thorold, where the 
explosion occurred. In May, 1889, he was murdered in 
Chicago. About 1901 Dillon abandoned the shoe busi- 
ness, and 1892 found him a teller in the Dime Savings 
Bank at No. 1429, Chestnut Street, Philadelphia. In 
1899 he moved, with his family, to Federal Street, Phil- 
adelphia, where he was living in 1900, when he went to 
Thorold. The bank went into other hands eventually, 
turning over its deposits and accounts to the Union 
Surety Guarantee Company, across the street. In March 
and April he made trips to Buffalo, and on April 10th, 
the day Nolin received the communication to go to 
Washington and get Walsh, Dillon started for Buffalo, 
registered as Dallman at the Stafford House the next 
day, and the day after, on April 12th, went to Canada, in 
the vicinity of Thorold, and was registered at the Rosli 
House on the Canada side, where later he stopped, while 
Walsh and Nolin were at the Dolphin House. This was 
two days before Walsh and Nolin left Philadelphia. 
Dillon returned to the United States, and on April 14th 
again was at the Stafford House to meet Walsh and 
Nolin, who left Philadelphia that night and arrived the 
next afternoon. On the following Saturday, after the 
three men had been together all the week, the explosion 
occurred. 

" For two years after the three men went to Kingston 
for life the general public knew nothing of the identity of 
Karl Dallman. Then the Buffalo Express made known 
the fact, telling the story of his life and connection with 
the Cronin affair. Some of Dillon's friends explained 



THE TEMPORARY QUIRK MYSTERY 473 

that he had gone to South Africa to fight with the Boers 
against the British, and may have been killed there. The 
truth is that Luke Dillon is in Kingston Penitentiary. 
He went there as Karl Dallman. From the moment of 
his entrance he lost all names, real or assumed, and is 
known only by a number. Inmates are numbered, not 
named, in Kingston. He is a silent figure, grey-haired, 
white-faced, prison-garbed. He works during the day 
and when night comes, he lets down his shelf or bed of 
iron from the wall, blankets it and lies down to read. 
The light overhead goes out. The velvet purr of a 
cushioned tread hovers a moment by his door and dies 
away. Then all is still — and the stillness of the night in 
Kingston is a silence as grim as the great grey walls that 
shut out the world." 



LXXIX 
THE TEMPORARY QUIRK MYSTERY 

After his long search for all the essential details of 
the past lives of the three dynamitards, Murray returned 
to find a series of systematic attempts being made to 
derail trains on the Canadian Pacific Railroad's lines 
beyond Fort William. The favourite place for these 
attempts was about seventy miles west of Fort William. 
He went to the vicinity, and after patient work and wait- 
ing enmeshed one of the ringleaders, who was convicted, 
and sent to prison, and the gang was broken up. It was 
July, 1901, when he finally landed his man. In the fol- 
lowing session of Parliament an Act was passed investing 
him with the full powers of a coroner throughout the 
entire province, with authority to hold inquests and con- 
duct official inquiries into the causes of fires. This in- 
vestiture occurred on February 8th, 1902. Less than a 
month thereafter another murder mystery arose. 

" In the city of Brantford lived James Quirk and John 
Toole," says Murray. " Quirk was a famed sport and 



474 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

sprinter, and sharper. They kept an hotel called the 
Commercial House in Brantford. Quirk was insured for 
about $14,000 on his life. He was married, and had two 
young daughters. The rooms of Quirk, Mrs. Quirk, the 
daughters and Toole were along the same hall. In fact 
Mrs. Quirk's room opened into her daughters' room, and 
her daughters' room opened into Toole's room. 

" On Sunday, March 6th, 1902, Quirk went out for the 
evening. About eleven o'clock that night he returned 
to the hotel. Toole was in the office as was a cook at 
the hotel named Ryan, who had been out with some 
friends that evening, and had returned ahead of Quirk, 
and was somewhat under the influence of liquor. Evi- 
dence given later at the inquest showed that Quirk went 
out towards the bar in the rear. Toole shortly after 
followed Quirk out towards the bar, telling a bell-boy 
named Eddie Kennedy, who was on duty, that he could 
go to bed. Kennedy went up-stairs, leaving Ryan in the 
office, and Quirk and Toole somewhere back in the rear. 
A minute or two later, George Rillis, a bartender of the 
Kirby House, walked in, and asked for Quirk. 

" « He just stepped into the bar,' said Ryan. Rillis 
walked out to the cubby-hole, where they passed out 
drinks from the bar to the front. He knocked and 
called. There was no response. Rillis walked back to 
the office. 

" ' Quirk is not there,' he said. 

" ' He may have stepped out,' said Ryan. 

" The bell-boy, Eddie Kennedy, ran down-stairs into 
the office. 

" ' Something's wrong in the stable ! ' he said excitedly. 
' I heard a noise of groaning from my room.' 

" Ryan and Rillis rose and went out into the stable, 
going to the harness-room. They found Quirk lying in 
a pool of blood, gasping his last breath. He was unable 
to speak. Ryan ran into the house, and up-stairs and 
rapped at Toole's door. There was no response. Ryan 
then knocked on Mrs. Quirk's door. The rooms of 
Toole and Mrs. Quirk opened into the room of Mrs. 
Quirk's daughters, which was between. Ryan also roused 



THE TEMPORARY QUIRK MYSTERY 475 

the people in the house. Mrs. Quirk came out of her 
room. 

" ' Jim is killed,' she was told. 

" At first it was thought she really had fainted. Mrs. 
Quirk later said that she went into Toole's room, and he 
was sitting in a chair reading a paper, and he jumped up, 
and came through the daughters' room, and out of her 
room, and went out to the stable. When Toole was seen 
by others later he was bloody, and this was explained by 
the statement that when he entered the stable and saw 
Quirk lying dead he grabbed him by the head and was 
spattered with blood. 

" The theory advanced was that Quirk had been climb- 
ing to the loft to look at some game chickens he kept 
there, and that he missed his footing, and fell head fore- 
most to the floor, where he lay moaning until Kennedy, 
the bell-boy, heard him. This theory is not tenable. The 
blood spatters showed a murder, and not an accidental 
fall. Quirk was struck with an iron bar, or an axe with 
a blunt head, or a weapon of that kind. It was a mur- 
der, not an accident. 

" The coroner's inquest was prolonged by many post- 
ponements for months. No licence for an hotel bar was 
granted to Mrs. Quirk or to Toole. The insurance com- 
panies refused to pay the policies, amounting to $14,000, 
on Quirk's life. 

" Mrs. Quirk and Toole left Brantford, and sojourned 
for a time in Buffalo, New York. 

" The case is a mystery that is a mystery only in so 
far as the formal legal solution of it is concerned. I am 
in hopes of getting at the bottom of the case eventually, 
as I am morally certain who the guilty parties are, but 
there is not sufficient evidence just yet to convict, in case 
they are arrested. In such cases the desired links in the 
chain of evidence sometimes come quite quickly and very 
unexpectedly. At other times they come deliberately 
and after some delay. But this case is one where all the 
subsequent circumstances tend to indicate that it may be 
just a matter of delay until what we are waiting for comes 
to pass. When it does there will be an arrest, and when 



476 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

there is an arrest I believe certainly there will be a con- 
viction. 

" I do not think Jimmy Quirk's murderer sleeps any too 
soundly at night during these days of anxious freedom. 
In fact I think the murderer is beginning to realise that 
in the end the full proof of guilt is doomed to come out. 
The murderer knows the very evidence desired, and it 
simply is a question of time, when some occurrence may 
leave the murderer without ability to withhold it any 
longer." 



LXXX 
TWO CROOKS IN CLOVER 

An interruption to the work of drawing out evidence 
at the Jimmy Quirk inquest in Brantford occurred in 
July, 1902, when Murray obtained a trace of the where- 
abouts of two crooks who had lived on the fat of the 
land in the counties of Kent and Essex and Elgin the 
year before, and had skipped out to no one knew where, 
when the farmers rose up and determined to put an end 
to their depredations. 

" They were a pair of gay buckos," says Murray. 
" They stole right and left. Various daring burglaries 
were committed in the counties of Kent, Essex, and 
Elgin. They were not slovenly, ordinary jobs, but were 
robberies cunningly planned and skilfully executed. 
They operated in city and country alike, plundering 
farmhouses and barns, and looting safes and stores. 
They made some good hauls of jewellery and money in 
the city of Chatham. The jobs were not the work of 
novices or of timid crooks. The thieves were men will- 
ing to take a chance and run a long risk. 

" The farmers were up in arms, and arranged for a 
systematic watch for the burglars. In due time they 
were rewarded, for the robbers were discovered in the act 
of stealing fifty bushels of clover seed. The thieves had 



TWO CROOKS IN CLOVER 477 

a team, and away they went with the stolen clover seeds, 
and with the farmers in pursuit. Over the roads they 
sped pell-mell, lickety-split. One of the thieves was a 
man past middle age. He scooted on ahead with the 
booty, while the farmers gave chase to the other crook, 
and after a mile or more of fast going they got him. 
He was winded, and they had handed him over to a 
constable in Ridgetown. No sooner did he regain his 
wind and get his bearings than he gave the constable 
the slip and was off like a flash. Pursuit was futile this 
time, for he was beyond reach, and had disappeared be- 
fore the chase could be organised. 

" The trail of the older crook, however, led to a house 
and barn near Ridgetown. When searchers arrived 
there the pair of thieves had skipped. A hunt for 
plunder failed to reveal any trace of the whereabouts of 
the clover seed. It was neither in nor under the house 
or barn. There was no sign of its having been buried, 
and it was not secreted in a chimney or in bags tied in 
the trees. Some birds were noticed flying in and flying 
out of an opening to an old well. This opening was in- 
vestigated, and the clover seed was found dumped in the 
old well. Clover seed was worth over $8 a bushel at that 
time, and the abandoned well had about $500 worth of 
seed in it. 

" From descriptions and other details, it was easy to 
identify the two crooks as Ben Reilly and John Acker. 
Reilly was thirty-eight years old, and had lived at Ridge- 
town, renting the house and barn. Acker was fifty 
years old. I billed them throughout Canada and the 
United States. In due time we heard of them, one in 
Ohio and the other in Indiana. They had separated. I 
prepared the necessary extradition papers, and went to 
Fort Wayne, Indiana, and with the assistance of De- 
tective Mahoney in Windsor, arrested Reilly in Conway, 
Ohio, and Acker in Bluffton, Indiana. When they came 
before the United States Commissioner, in July, 1902, 
their defence against extradition was an alibi. I had 
three respectable and responsible witnesses who identified 
them positively. One of the witnesses was Liveryman 



478 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

Jones, from whom they had hired a team. Another of 
the witnesses was Blacksmith David Olone, and the third 
was Constable Mills. 

" The Gaynor and Green cases had been prominent in 
Quebec about this time. Gaynor and Green were fugi- 
tives from the United States, and were living in Quebec. 
The United States failed in its efforts to extradite them. 
Officials in the United States felt they had not been 
treated fairly in the Gaynor and Green matter, and I do 
not think they were. When the evidence in the case of 
Acker and Reilly was all in, the United States Com- 
missioner held it under consideration, and finally dis- 
missed the prisoners. 

" The case clearly was in violation of extradition law. 
An alibi is for a jury to hear. All that is necessary in 
either country under the extradition law is to have the 
prisoners identified. However, a Canada official was not 
in a position to take any lofty attitude on an extradition 
case just at that time, for Gaynor and Green were enjoy- 
ing life in Quebec, and they were fugitives of far more 
public importance than Acker and Reilly. They were 
accused of matters involving hundreds of thousands of 
dollars, which was quite different from a few burglaries 
and fifty bushels of clover seed hid in an old well. 

" One of Acker's friends met me as I was leaving the 
Commissioner's office. 

" ' I think John ought to write a note to Gaynor 
thanking him for his forethought,' he said. Then he 
added, confidentially, ' You know Acker and Gaynor are 
first-namers alike, both being John, and there ain't so 
much difference in their ages. One John stays in the 
States and the other John stays in Canada. I hope the 
two countries never exchange Johns.' " 



THE CRIME OF CHARLIE KING 479 
LXXXI 
THE CRIME OF CHARLIE KING 

In the county of Elgin, one of the three counties 
where Acker and Reilly played fast and loose with the 
farmers, lived Daniel B. Freeman, a well-to-do farmer, 
whose land was in the township of Aldboro. In 1886 
he and his wife adopted a baby boy and raised him as 
their own and gave him their own name. He turned out 
to be a good boy, and in 1902, when he was sixteen, he 
had grown big and strong for his age. The Freemans 
cherished him as their own child. 

" His name was Willie B. Freeman," says Murray. 
" Ten years after he was adopted by the Freemans, 
Daniel Freeman went to the Fagan Home in Toronto, 
and got an eighteen-year-old boy to work on his farm. 
The Fagan Home imports English waifs to Canada and 
places them in honest lines of work. The boy taken by 
Daniel Freeman was named Charlie King. He was ten 
years older than Willie Freeman. Six years passed. 
Charlie King lived with the Freemans, Willie as their 
son and Charlie as the hired man. Charlie never drank, 
never smoked. He indulged in church freely, and was a 
leader of the Epworth League in the Methodist Church, 
and acted as librarian. 

" On the morning of September 6th, 1902, King put 
up a load of peaches for Daniel Freeman to take to the 
village in the afternoon. Before Mr. Freeman started, 
Willie went into the tool-house and was making a pin 
for a gate on a lathe, when his father drove away. His 
mother called and he answered her through the window of 
the drive house. Daniel Freeman had not driven far from 
his house when he heard the report of a gun. Squirrels 
were thick and annoying, and a gun was kept in the tool- 
house for shooting them. Freeman thought it was King 
shooting at squirrels, although he had been forbidden to 
use the gun, and Willie never used it. A few minutes 
after the gunshot, King entered the house and went to 
Mrs. Freeman. 



480 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

" ' Willie has shot himself,' said King. « He's lying 
dead on the shave horse in the drive house.' 

" Mrs. Freeman ran out and up-stairs in the drive house, 
and when she saw Willie she fled screaming. Daniel 
Freeman, on the road to the village, heard his wife 
scream and turned back. He went up into the drive 
house with King. Willie was dying from a gunshot 
wound in the head. Doctors came, but simply were in 
time to see him die. King told Mr. Freeman that he 
heard the gunshot, went up-stairs in the drive house and 
found Willie, shot. The inquest was held and King went 
on the stand and told his straight story. The boy was 
buried. Then Daniel Freeman thought it all over and he 
notified me through the County Attorney. On Septem- 
ber nth, 1902, I went to St. Thomas, got Dr. Lawrence 
and Dr. Duncan, and on September 1 3th drove to the 
village of Bismarck and got Dr. Webster, who attended 
the boy, and then we four drove to the cemetery and had 
the body exhumed and made a post-mortem. I saw no 
powder marks on the face. Moreover the shot had scat- 
tered over the forehead in a radius of four and a half to 
five and a half inches. The gun was not fired at close 
range or the shot would not have scattered. If it was 
not fired at close range then clearly the boy did not shoot 
himself. We drove to the Freeman house. I asked for 
Charlie King. He came out very slowly. 

" ' I want you to go over the ground with me inch by 
inch, and tell me just what happened when you found 
Willie dying,' I said. 

" ' He — he — was up — he was in the ' began King, 

who was quite excited, pointing to the drive house. 

" ' No, come with me,' I said, leading the way to the 
foot of the stairs in the drive house. ' Now show me 
where you were standing.' 

" ' I went up-stairs and saw Willie ' began King. 

" ' Go on up ; I will follow,' said I. ' Go up just as you 
went up when you found Willie.' 

" We mounted the stairs, King first, I behind. 

" ' Where was Willie ? ' I asked. 

" ' He was on the lathe/ said King. 



THE CRIME OF CHARLIE KING 481 

" ' Show me exactly where he was,' said I. « You get 
on the shave horse and show me.' 

" King shivered and then dropped limply across the 
shave horse, with his head hanging down. 

" ' Keep your head down,' I said. ' Don't move till I 
tell you.' 

" I stood for several minutes in silence. I could hear 
King breathing hard. I saw that the position of the 
body on the shave horse was quite possible, provided the 
boy had not shot himself. A man who shoots himself 
is apt to go towards the shot. If you shoot a man across 
the road he will fall towards you. 

" ' Where was the gun ? ' I asked. 

" ' It was beside him,' said King. 

" I got a long stick about the length of the gun. 

" « Call this the gun,' I said. ' You get on the lathe 
again and show me how you could shoot yourself with 
that gun.' 

" King tried to do so but it was an awkward and un- 
likely attempt. 

" ' Was any one about but you ? ' I asked. 

" ' No one,' said King. 

" ' Are you sure ? ' I asked. 

" ' Sure,' answered King. ' Mrs. Freeman was in the 
house and I was here.' 

" I eyed him, eyed him long and steadily, until he 
flushed and paled and shifted uneasily. We were alone 
in the loft of the tool-house, he and I. The doctors 
were waiting outside with the County Attorney. All 
was still. 

" • King,' I said sternly, ' you or Mrs. Freeman shot 
him.' 

" ' I didn't ! I didn't ! ' he cried. 

" ' What did you do with the gun ? ' I asked. ' What 
did you do with it after you saw Willie on the lathe, 
dying ? ' 

" ' I — I — took it down-stairs/ he said. 

" « Why ? ' I demanded. * Tell me why you took the 
gun down-stairs and left Willie up here to die ? ' 

" ' So — so — no blood would get on it,' said King. 



482 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

" He was shaken. He began to quiver and shift. I 
stood looking at him, waiting in silence. 

" ' Well ? ' I said. 

" He started, hesitated, then burst into tears. 

" « Oh ! oh ! Will I be hung ? Will I be hung ?' he 
moaned. 

" He writhed as if in physical pain. I called out of 
the window for Mr. Donohue, the County Attorney, to 
come up. He came at once. 

" ' Did you shoot Willie Freeman ? ' I asked King, in 
his presence. 

« « Oh ! oh ! I did ! Oh ! oh ! ' sobbed King. 

" I had him take the stick for a gun, and show us how 
he did it. 

" ' I went halfway up the stairs to the left,' said King, on 
the stairs. ' I stood here, and I aimed like this for his 
eye. His head was bent over, and he had on an old 
straw hat. I fired. He fell. Then I went down and 
told Mrs. Freeman.' 

" * What motive had you ? Why did you do it ? ' I 
asked. 

" ' They always made too much of him, and I had to 
do the dirty work, and I thought if I shot him I might 
get his place,' said King. 

" I called in the doctors, and made King show them 
how he killed the boy. I arrested King. He asked if 
he could go into the house a minute on his way to gaol. I 
took him in, and he asked the forgiveness of the Freemans. 

" ' Oh, Charlie, Charlie ! Why did you shoot my 
Willie ? ' moaned Mrs. Freeman. 

" ' I thought I'd get his place,' said King. 

" I took him away to gaol. He was tried in St. 
Thomas in April, 1903, a few months ago. Justice 
Street presided. King's confession to me as an officer 
was ruled out of court. The defence, however, admitted 
King did the shooting, but alleged it was accidental, and 
claimed that King was not competent to understand the 
nature of the case. He was found guilty of manslaugh- 
ter on April 23d, 1903, and at the present time is serving 
his sentence." 



IN CONCLUSION 483 

LXXXII 
IN CONCLUSION 

" When a man looks back over his life," says Murray, 
" he smiles at thought of episodes that seemed very sol- 
emn and serious in their day. Time mellows his mem- 
ory. In the recollections of my career as a detective, 
that I have cited here, I have given simply characteristic 
cases. I have passed over countless minor cases, and 
some larger ones that were counterparts of other crimes 
of which I have spoken. For crime often duplicates 
itself in monotonous reproduction of details. Death, 
for instance, comes usually along well-known thorough- 
fares, in crime. It travels the way of the shot, the knife, 
the flame, the drowning, the poison, or the strangling. 
Its means are limited, but the manner of their manifesta- 
tion is as varied as anything under the sun. There are 
few criminals of genius, and particularly there are few 
murderers with a genius for their work. 

" Few make a success of crime. Crime is a merciless, 
miserly taskmaster. It exacts all and gives little. It 
does not pay. It is a calling for fools. Yet men of in- 
tellect enter it deliberately, and here and there one of 
them may seem to succeed. If they devoted half the 
thought, energy, skill, and daring to any other line of 
business they would make a far greater success of life and 
of work. But they seem destined to pool their existence 
with the lives of the hunted. The criminal class goes its 
way, distinct and separate in itself. It has its own ideas 
of life, its own laws for its lawless business. It defies au- 
thority, and authority, in turn, pounces upon it and metes 
out punishment. 

" I suppose I should take the view that this world is a 
wicked, dangerous place, infested with masked murderers 
or desperate workers in the darkness, who rob and slay 
and well-nigh deprive us of the joy of living. But I 
hold no such opinion. This world is a grand place, life 
is a glorious thing. Crime increases, but not out of pro- 
portion to the increase in the population of our countries 



484 MEMOIRS OF A GREAT DETECTIVE 

and of the whole world. Where men and women are 
there will be found good and bad. But the bad are a 
hopeless minority. Our prisons do not hold the bulk or 
the majority of our population, and yet a fair share of 
those who ought to be in prison eventually get there. 

" As civilisation and science advance, crime also will 
advance. The detective business of the future will be 
far ahead of the detective business of the past. I hope 
that the future will see it raised to the high place of a 
profession, whose members will have a pride in their call- 
ing and a careful preparation for their duties. 

" As for me, I often think of the bygone cases, of 
quaint characters, of puzzling mysteries, of the solu- 
tions, and of the aftermath. They are the children of 
my career, and as I look over my large and flourishing 
family in the mansion of my memory, I sit back luxu- 
riously and remark to myself : 

" ' Well, Murray, you've done pretty well, after all.' " 



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