BY ALLAN PINKERTON.
1. THE EXPRESSMAN AND THE DETECTIVE, etc.
2. CLAUDE MELNOTTE A8 A DETECTIVE, etc.
3. THE DETECTIVE & THE SOMNAMBULIST, etc.
4. THE MODEL TOWN AND DETECTIVES, etc.
These wonderful Detective Stories by Allan Pinkerton
are having an unprecedented success. Their sale is
fast approaching one hundred thousand copies.
" The interest which the reader feels from
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FRONTISPIECE. Walker declaiming in the back room./. 130.
THE MODEL TOWN
BYRON AS A DETECTIVE.
BY ALLAN PINKERTON,
"THE EXPRESSMAN AND THE DETECTIVE," " CLAUDE MELNOTTE
AS A DETECTIVE," "THE DETECTIVE AND THE
SOMNAMBULIST," ETC., ETC.
G. W. Carleton & Co., Publishers.
LONDON: S. LOW & CO.
COPYRIGHTED, 1876, BY
JOHN F. TROW & SON,
PRINTERS AND STKREOTYPKRS,
205-213 East izth Street,
THE MODEL TOWN
THE history of all places which have had a rapid
growth is full of startling incidents of crime. Par-
ticularly has this been the case in the western country, where
the incoming population has been of such a mixed char-
acter, and opportunities for criminal deeds so numerous, as
to sometimes create an epidemic of wrong-doing.
Almost every community has known one or more pe-
riods when the dissolute elements of the place have seemed
to be unusually active, and the majesty of the law so little
regarded and feared as to cause a perfect carnival of crime.
Under such circumstances, the honest portion of the popu-
lation become bewildered and disheartened, and the rogues
apparently take charge of affairs, until some sudden dis-
covery brings to punishment a number of the guilty men,
and then order returns.
Such was the experience of "The- Model Town." It
was a very pleasant and thriving inland place, the law-
abiding people far outnumbering the law-breakers; yet
previous to the time when my services were engaged there
was a period of almost total disregard of law and authority
in the place. In a few weeks my detectives were success-
ful in identifying the ringleaders of all the evil-doers of the
town, and I was able to gather them in for punishment in
small groups, without exposing my plans or alarming the
others, whose guilt was yet to be discovered. At length,
having effectually broken up all the parties of thieves,
counterfeiters, burglars, and incendiaries, I left the place to
enjoy a career of peace and prosperity.
There are many persons yet living who will remember
the circumstances herein related, and they will recall how
complete the reformation was worked by the arrest and
conviction of the criminals. From the moment it was re-
vealed that Pinkerton's detectives were at work in the town,
the orderly character of the place was assured for an indefi-
nite length of time, and the good effect lasted many years
after my men had been withdrawn.
As the story of " Byron as a Detective " may call forth
some discussion, I merely desire to say that, concerning his
being the son of Lord Byron, I have no means of determin-
ing the truth or falsity of the claim ; and only give the
facts, which were then common among his associates, to
the public for what they are worth. There were doubtless
hundreds of other men of legitimate, as well as illegitimate,
birth, each one of whom chance might have thrown into
habits of reckless adventure resulting in crime, the tempera-
ment and mental conditions of each of whom might have
given rise to the theory of being Byron's son, especially
when the claim was so persistently put forward and so com-
monly accepter* as in this case.
But I will personally vouch for the truth of this much :
that Augustus Stuart Byron claimed that Lord Byron was
his father ; was a man of good learning and manners ; was
possessed of a thorough education and more than ordinary
culture and refinement ; was addicted to those strange
bursts of brilliancy and joyousness, alternating with uttei
despondency and savage moroseness, which were such a
distinguishing affliction to the great poet, and, I might also,
add, to his friends ; that he naturally drifted into the half-
literary, wholly- vagabondish life of the journeyman printer ;
and that while such, he was himself known among the frater-
nity as a poet of no mean order. It is also true, as stated,
that Byron had been drawn into the society of young Napier
by that natural affinity, or sympathy, which brings the poor
or scalawag, relatives of great men together ; that they had
been into the far North-west, to the then wild, weird, and
almost unknown Manitoba, with its famous gipsy-like Red
River trains, its gaudy but lazy half-breeds, and hardy
Scotch and English population of two hundred years' de-
scent, and had expended nearly all their means in a series of
wild adventures ; that they had left Chicago on the eastern-
bound train, which had been shattered with the one that had
shot through it, sending from the wrecks of both trains a
score of passengers into eternity ; that the two escaped
unhurt, and finding an opportunity to suddenly acquire vast
wealth, with barely a chance of detection, had, in the very
presence of death itself, committed their first great crime, the
proceeds of which were almost as quickly wasted as gained ;
whereupon the couple returned to the locality of their first
successful exploit, and immediately began the perpetration
of the fiendish outrages which followed.
On account of the destruction of many of my records
in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, I am without the
proof of the identity of young Napier, but will state that
I was positively assured of his relationship to the Admiral
by another Napier, a well-known and highly respectable
citizen of Chicago, who, at that time, resided at No. 130
East Washington Street, in a building erected by Alexan-
der White, and who was cognizant of the relationship,
being -himself a distant relative of the Admiral, and know-
ing that the nephew's reputation was that of a profligate
among the family.
The subsequent career of the two men, and Byron's arrest
and conviction before Judge Wing of Adrian, Michigan,
with the latter' s remarks when delivering the unusual sn-
tence of ninety-nine years' imprisonment in the Michigan
Penitentiary ; Byron's incarceration in that institution as
Augustus McDonald, on September 25th, 1854, and his
final death on the iyth of July, 1857, a.re matters of record
with the Circuit Court papers of Lewanee County, Michi-
gan, and with the penitentiajy records at Jackson, in that
State, as any curious person or persons may learn by ad-
dressing a note of inquiry to the clerk of the former or to
the warden of the latter.
CHICAGO, March, 1876.
THE MODEL TOWN AND THE DETECTIVES.
CHAPTER 1 13
" II 19
III " 30
" VIII 73
" XII no
BYRON AS A DETECTIVE. "
CHAPTER I .* 163
" III 181
" IV 191
" V 200
THE LIFE OF A DETECTIVE.
CHAPTER 1 215
" II 227
" III 240
" IV 249
" V 261
vi : 272
VII. . 282
THE MODEL TOWN
IN the year 185 I was very busily engaged in the inves-
tigation of several cases of great importance, which not
only occupied nearly every minute of my time, but also
caused me great anxiety. I was thus in no mood to waste
precious moments in listening to trivial details of the rob-
beries of country stores and dwelling-houses, and I gave up
everything to my superintendent except the operations of
great magnitude which I had then in hand. One afternoon,
however, having sent my superintendent out for a short
time, I seated myself in his office to receive visitors and re-
ports. It was a raw and stormy dayin January, and I did
not anticipate that I should be called upon for any new
business in such weather; but my plans were progressing
quite satisfactorily in the most important matter in which
I was interested, and I was momentarily expecting to re-
ceive some valuable information ; hence, when i clerk
from the outer office announced that a stranger wished
14 THE MODEL TOWN AND
to see me, I admitted him at once to my own private
office. To my great disappointment, the visitor was not
the person whom I had expected, and at the first glance I
almost regretted having consented to see him. He was evi-
dently a farmer in good circumstances, and I feared that he
would wish me to listen to a long story about some case of
petty larceny or village scandal. He introduced himself as
George R. Nichols, of Mariola, Illinois, and he asked me to
spare him half an hour of my time ; he wished to engage
my services, and he would need about that length of time
to state the circumstances which needed investigation.
His direct, business-like style pleased me exceedingly, and
I requested him to proceed with his story. He then stated
that Mariola was a thriving town not many miles distant
from Chicago. It was situated on the line of a new railroad,
and its growth had been so rapid that it had been incorpo-
rated as a city. The surrounding country was thickly settled
by a population of native Americans, and the greatest pros-
perity prevailed. I knew the city and the vicinity very well
indeed, so that Mr. Nichols merely gave a hasty sketch of
it. He went on to say that there seemed to be a gang of
sneak-thieves, burglars, and incendiaries infesting the city,
and recently they had*committed so many crimes that none
of the citizens felt safe. Stores were frequently robbed,
and goods of every description were carried off : hardware,
dry-goods, groceries, liquors, and even such bulky articles
as grain and lumber, were spirited away constantly. But
the worst crime had been arson, and there could be no
doubt, Mr. Nichols said, that at least three instances of
THE DETECTIVES. 15
incendiarism had occurred : the Presbyterian church, the
public school-house, and the Baptist church had been de-
stroyed by fire under circumstances which convinced every
one that they had been intentionally fired. In addition to
these outrages, various other things had occurred : valuable
horses and stock had been stolen, to such an extent that the
farmers could hardly retain a fine animal except by the great-
est precautions ; finally, the railroad tracks had been tam-
pered with for the purpose of wrecking and plundering the
cars ; one attempt had proved successful, while several others
had been discovered just in time to prevent serious accidents.
Mr. Nichols begged me to go back to Mariola with him
in order to detect the criminals who were destroying
the peace and prosperity of the city and the adjacent coun-
try. He said that he had been appointed to convey this
request to me from a committee of the best citizens of Mari-
ola. The damages to private property had been so exten-
sive as to alarm them very seriously ; but the attacks upon
the railroad had developed a still worse state of affairs.
The officers of the railroad company whose tracks passed
through Mariola were not wholly satisfied with the direction
of the road at that point, since a considerable detour from
the straight course of the road had been necessary to carry
the tracks through the city. Still, the city was growing rap-
idly, and the company obtained enough business therefrom
to make it profitable to allow the line to remain as it was ;
but since these repeated attacks upon the railroad trains,
the company's officers had seriously contemplated a removal
of the tracks through Mariola. They could thus save abou*
10 THE MODEL, .TOWN AND
five miles, by straightening the line, while they hoped, also,
to escape the annoyances and outrages to which their trains (
were liable in that vicinity.
Of course, any such change would be most disastrous to
the future prosperity of the city, and the citizens were
determined to prevent the removal if possible. To this end
it would be necessary to protect the railroad company from
further loss and annoyance, which could be accomplished
only by capturing the men engaged in the attacks. Mr.
Nichols said further that the citizens had exhausted all their
ingenuity in trying to discover the offenders, but no clue
whatever had been obtained.
It was the prevalent opinion in Mariola that a "gang" or
society of desperate criminals existed in and about the city,
who were sworn to act in concert and to create a reign of
terror in the county. The respectable portion of the com-
munity were in such a state of alarm that no one felt safe,
and the value of all property was becoming seriously
affected. Mr. Nichols, therefore, begged me to undertake
the dispersion of this gang of villains, since the matter was
too important to admit any further delay.
I asked Mr. Nichols to give me until six o'clock, as I was
very busy. He then went away, and I sat down to think
about the facts of his story. Ny first impulse was to
decline to undertake the investigation, owing to the pressure
of other more important work. On second thoughts, how
ever, I saw several reasons why it would be well for me to
give my services to aid the citizens of Mariola in restoring
peace and safety to their homes. Moreover, one of the
THE DETECTIVES. 17
great cases on which I was engaged terminated suddenly
that afternoon in the arrest of the criminals and the recov-
ery of a large amount of property. This left me somewhat
more free than I had been previously, and I decided to
proceed to Mariola myself.
I was influenced to make this decision by two things : in
the first place, I saw that the loss of confidence on the part
of the law-abiding citizens would greatly encourage crime,
and that the actual deterioration in the value of property
would be very great; secondly, I wished to explode the
theory that there was any organized body of men at work
committing the depredations.
It often happens, especially in a newly-settled community,
that there are a number of crimes committed in quick suc-
cession, in such a manner as to lead honest people to think
an organized band has settled down to plunder the neigh-
borhood. The same thing is often stated of large cities,
and many people believe that all criminals are united in a
league against the rest of the world ; that they have pass-
words, officers, regular lodges, and degrees of crime, in the
same manner as any other secret society. This idea has
been carefully cultivated by some writers of fiction for the
purpose of adding color, life, and romantic interest to their
tales ; but the real facts, in an experience of over a quarter
of a century, warrant me in saying that no such organiza-
tion has ever existed. In the nature of things, it is an
impossibility. Criminals, as a rule, are selfish, cowardly,
and revengeful : no great number of them could ever
remain members of such a society for any length of time.
18 THE MODEL TOWN AND
The first one caught in a serious difficulty would gladly
save himself at the expense of all the rest by turning State's
evidence ; the sentiment of " honor among thieves" has no
existence in fact. Besides, crime is essentially solitary in
its tendencies, and it is never desirous of having any more
participants in its secrets than are absolutely necessary to
carry out its plans. Hence, though a few burglars, bank-
robbers, or counterfeiters may temporarily unite in the
execution of some scheme, their union is never perma-
nent, nor do they regard each other as partners except for
the time required to perform their work.
There is an expression common in England to denote the
more intelligent criminals, such as forgers, counterfeiters,
burglars, etc.: they are called the " swell-mob," and the
name is somewhat in use in the United States ; but the idea
conveyed is wholly an incorrect one. Perhaps it is partly
due to this appellation that many people have imbibed the
opinion that all criminals act in unison ; that they con-
tribute money to defend those who may be arrested ; that
they manufacture evidence to assist each other ; and, in
short, that they invariably cling together at all times.
As I saw that Mr. Nichols and the other members of the
committee of citizens at Mariola were laboring under this
delusion, I thought best to detect the perpetrators of the
outrages there, and to show them how little reason they
had to fear the presence of any organization of villains.
WHEN Mr. Nichols returned I told him that I would
undertake to clear the town of its active scoundrels,
on condition that I should be allowed to work in my own
way without interference by any one, and that my instruc-
tions be obeyed implicitly. Mr. Nichols agreed to my con-
ditions on behalf of the committee, and we then settled the
pecuniary portion of our agreement.
The first direction I gave to Mr. Nichols was that my con-
nection with- the work should be kept secret.
"But, Mr. Pinkerton, what am I to tell the committee?'*
asked Mr. Nichols.
"Tell them that I was too busy to come," I replied. " I do
not wish to have anything to do with a large committee.
There must be only two men to manage the affair on the part
of the townspeople, and they must be men above the possibil-
ity of suspicion. I will go to Mariola the first day that I have
leisure, and I will meet the two persons who are to have
charge of the case, in my room at the hotel. I shall travel
under a false name, and no one must know of my visit ex-
cept those two. You must write to me immediately on youi
return, stating the names of the gentlemen who are to meet
" Had you not better give me a letter to the committee ? "
20 THE MODEL TOWN AND
" No ; the less communication I have with them the
better. The number is too large : some of them would be
sure to let out that they had been in correspondence with
a detective agency. Then my difficulties would be greatly
" Well, it shall be as you wish, Mr. Pinkerton ; I have no
doubt you understand the matter better than I do. When
shall you come out ? "
" I cannot say exactly. You must write to me the names
of the managers, and when I am ready to come, I will drop
a note to them, giving my assumed name and the time I
shall arrive in Mariola. Then the two gentlemen must come
straight to the hotel to see me."
" Very well, Mr. Pinkerton ; I hope you will come soon,
for we do not know how soon another fire or railroad acci-
dent may happen."
" You will hear from me very soon," I replied ; " good day,
Mr. Nichols immediately returned home, and in a day or
two I received a note stating that Mr. Lincoln and Mr.
Brown would be the persons whom I should meet. As I
would be at liberty to go the third day following, I replied
in a note fixing the time, and on that day I went to Mariola
dressed as a farmer.
The city was a very neat-looking place, having a popula-
tion of about three thousand people. It contained two
banks, one church edifice the other two having been
burned a substantial railroad depot, and a large grain ele-
vator. The citizens were generally of the more respectable
THE DETECTIVES. 21
class of society, and the appearance of the town was evi-
dence of a high state of thrift and prosperity. The grain ele-
vator was an important advantage to the place, since it drew
trade from great distances. The fanners of the surrounding
country knew that they could get the highest prices at the
elevator for their grain, and they therefore preferred to
trade at Mariola, even when they lived nearer to other
I went to the Mariola House on my arrival, and I soon
received a visit from Messrs. Lincoln and Brown. They
first gave me a brief account of the various outrages which
had caused them to send for me. About two years pre-
vious the people had begun to be troubled by the loss of
small articles, such as tools, clothing, poultry, and vegeta-
bles ; then the store-keepers became the victims, and the
thefts increased in value and frequency ; these were followed
by burglaries to the extent of several thousand dollars in the
aggregate ; a railroad train was thrown from the track and
robbed about six months before, and almost immediately
thereafter the Baptist church was set on fire. These great
crimes drew attention from the smaller ones, though the
petty tkefts had grown so frequent that they alone would have
created great excitement if more serious matters had not
occupied people's minds. The Presbyterians soon sustained
the same loss as that which had befallen their Baptist breth-
ren, and, as before, there could be no doubt that the fire had
been lighted by an incendiary. These two fires had roused
the people to a keen sense of danger, since there was no
apparent object to be gained bv the incendiaries ; the
22 THE MODEL TOWN AND
chinches contained nothing worth stealing, so that no
plunder could be obtained by firing them ; hence, the only
reasonable theory was, that a spirit of pure malevolence
or possibly revenge had actuated the criminals. About six
weeks previous to my visit, the public-school building had
also been destroyed by fire, and this crowning outrage was
too much for the endurance of the community. A public
meeting was called and a vigilance committee appointed.
The members were the most active, intelligent, and respect-
able men in the city; they were watchful and attentive at
all times, some of them being on the alert every night ; but,
in spite of their care, they could not prevent the thieves
from carrying off a great deal of property from dwelling-
houses and stores. They finally sent Mr. Nichols to Chicago
with instructions to obtain my assistance in discovering the
ringleaders and officers of the "gang" who, as they be-
lieved, were banded together to destroy Mariola.
The story, as above given, convinced me that there
must be some reason for the wanton destruction of property :
the object of the railroad robbers and burglars was, of
course, to enrich themselves without labor ; but I felt
sure that the incendiaries, also, had some object which had
escaped the notice of the committee. In the course of our
conversation I learned that there had been considerable
discussion during the last year upon the question whether
liquor-selling should be permitted in the city. A revival in
religion had taken place, and the advocates of total absti-
nence had made a great effort to obtain the passage of an
ordinance forbidding the sale of spirituous liquors within
THE DETECTIVES. 23
the city limits. Of course, there had been a bitter fight,
and the result had dissatisfied both parties : the council had
tried to conciliate the liquor interest by permitting the sale
of liquor under license ; on the other hand, they had hoped
to please the teetotallers by putting the price of licenses at a
very high rate. The result was that neither party was satis-
fied, and the ill feeling was deepened. It was possible that
either of these parties was guilty : the supporters of the
saloons might have become so enraged at the church peo-
ple who opposed the liquor traffic as to cause them to resort
to fire as a means of revenge ; on the other hand, some
fanatical temperance advocate might have burned the
churches and school-house on purpose to cast suspicion on
the other party.
There were a number of saloons in proportion to the
population, and each of the hotels kept a bar-room. Mr.
Lincoln said that there were no suspicious-looking charac-
ters in town, so far as the committee could discover, though
there were a good many loafers idling about, without any
regular trade or occupation. Several persons had been
suspected of complicity in the smaller crimes, but no proof
could be obtained of their guilt. As a rule, the loafers
were so lazy that the criminals could hardly be among their
ranks, since the losses had been too great to have been
caused by any but an active, hard-working set of thieves.
Having learned all that my visitors could tell me, I made
arrangements which would enable them to correspond with
me unknown ro any other person, by giving them a fictitious
name and address in Chicago. I then cautioned them that
24 THE MODEL TOWN AND
they must not allow any person to know that I had under-
taken the investigation, and that they must be careful to
follow my instructions implicitly. They promised to obey
me in everything, and, as it was then very late, they went
The next morning I made a tour of the city, and lounged
about like a well-to-do farmer examining the place. The
Mariola House was the only public hotel of any size, but
there were two other taverns which did a fair business.
One was called the Tremont House, and the other the
The latter was kept by a man named Wolff, who had no
family. He was about fifty years of age, rather corpulent,
and red in the face. His eyes, deeply set beneath shaggy
eyebrows, were restless and wicked ; his nose was large and
discolored by the excessive use of liquor ; he wore full
beard, whiskers, and mustache, which gave his face a better
appearance than would have been the case had his large
mouth and heavy lower jaw been visible. Still, he had a
very repulsive expression, and I judged that he would not
be very scrupulous if he should be strongly tempted to be
otherwise. He had a housekeeper to attend to the domes-
tic affairs of the hotel, and I soon learned that people sus-
pected him of taking a warmer interest in this fine-looking
housekeeper than was consistent with strict propriety. She
was about forty years of age, but she did not seem to be
above thirty. Wolff had no bar-keeper, hostler, nor porter,
preferring to attend to all the work himself. There was
but one servant, a stupid German girl who could speak very
THE DETECTIVES. 25
little English. The house was well kept, however, and it
was also well patronized ; in- fact, Wolff was making
money fast, as his expenses were very light. He paid cash
for everything, and never interfered in the affairs of any
one else : hence, he was favorably regarded by many of the
best people in Mariola. There were some things about the
Wolff House which seemed to me scarcely consistent with a
legitimate hotel business, and I made a note of the informa-
tion I had gained, for future reference.
The Tremont House was not a hotel, but rather a large
boarding-house with a bar-room attached. It was very dirty,
and seemed to be doing only a moderate business. The
proprietor and his wife were equally lazy and careless, so
that I readily understood the cause of their lack of pros-
perity. The boarders were generally laboring men, and
there was nothing worthy of notice about any of them.
I made a general survey of all the business houses, and
took notes of the state of affairs. They all seemed to be
doing well, but I saw that the door-fastenings were very
slight, and that many of the stores could be entered by a
thief without any trouble. As I strolled into a watch-
maker's shop, I saw a man there whom I had previously
seen in confidential conversation with Wolff. There was
another jewelry shop in t^ie place, which seemed to be well
patronized, but the one which I entered contained no
jewelry and only a work-bench with a watch-maker's tools.
The proprietor's name was Davis, and he sat lazily in his
shop doing nothing and looking half-asleep. I sauntered in
and asked him what he would charge to clean my watch.
26 THE MODEL TOWN AND
He opened it carelessly, looked at the works, and fixed an
exorbitant charge upon it. The watch was in first-rate con-
dition, and the work would not have taken an hour ; hence
it was evident that he did not wish to do the job. Davis
was a villainous-looking fellow, and my object in entering
his store was to obtain a good look at him and his surround-
ings ; I felt a natural distrust of him, due to his appearance,
and this feeling was augmented by the fact that he seemed
intimate with Wolff.
Amongst the restaurants was one kept by a man named
Reuben Walker, and I visited it because I saw that it was a
resort for some of the worst characters in Mariola. The
proprietor himself was a tall, grizzled old man, over sixty
years of age. His head showed a great deal of strength of
character, and he impressed me at the first glance as a man
of more than the average natural ability. His nose was
long and straight ; his eyes were a piercing gray ; his mouth
was large and his lips thin ; he wore a straggling beard, but
no whiskers nor mustache ; and his long gray hairs strag-
gled about his neck, falling from a close-fitting cap of dirty
velvet, which he wore constantly. He kept his own bar,
but the restaurant was under the superintendence of
Mrs. Maxwell ; the latter did not live in the restaurant, but
spent the day there and went home in the evening. I took
a drink at Walker's bar and invited him to join me, hoping to
draw him out ; but, though he was willing to drink with me,
he would not talk very much, and I soon went out.
Having made a complete examination of the town, I had
another long talk with Messrs. Lincoln and Brown. I asked
THE DETECTIVES. 27
a great number of questions, and learned all that they could
tell me about the various people and places noticed by me
during the day. I then told them that I would commence
operations in three or four days, and that I would give them,
from time to time, such information as would satisfy them
that I was represented in Mariola by skilful subordinates ;
but they need not expect to know who my detectives were,
since I should never allow any one to be aware of their
Mr. Brown thought that secrecy was very desirable, but
that there could be no harm in letting the detectives apply
to him and Mr. Lincoln for directions and assistance.
I replied that my men could take instructions from no one
but myself, and that they would need no assistance except
such as they could obtain from each other. If it should be-
come necessary to make any arrests, my men would inform
me, and I would instantly send word to Mr. Lincoln.
" Then we shall be wholly in the dark as to your move-
ments ? " said Mr. Brown.
"Yes, gentlemen ; that is the only condition upon which
I can consent to proceed."
"Veiywell, Mr. Pinkcrton," said Mr. Lincoln, after a few
minutes' private consultation with Mr. Brown ; " we shall be
satisfied to leave the matter in your hands, and you can use
your own judgment as to the means of discovering the
' gang ' of criminals in and about our city."
Having made all the arrangements necessary, I returned
to Chicago and sent for two of my men. Paul Clark, the
elder of the t\vo : was about forty years of age ; he was a very
28 THE MODEL TOWN AND
agreeable man in conversation, though he had also great
tact, and few men could talk more, and say less, on a given
subject when it was to his interest to be uncommunicative.
Robert Hays was about thirty years old, but he appeared
to be hardly twenty-five. He seemed to be constitutionally
lazy, and his manner of speaking confirmed the impression ;
as he drawled out his words, with his eyes half open, he
always gave strangers an idea that he was on the point of
falling asleep. He had formerly been a bar-keeper, and, in
spite of his apparent laziness, he was a thorough master of
the work. He was an adroit card-player, also, and he knew
every gambling game in existence, so that I felt sure that he
would be popular among the drinking men and gamblers of
I first gave them a brief account of the condition of affairs
in Mariola, and recited the events which had led to my con-
nection with the case ; I further gave them copies of the
notes which I had made in my tour through the town. I
then instructed Hays to get employment in his old trade, if
possible, and to make the intimate acquaintance of all the
bad characters in the town. I suggested that the Tremont
House would be a good place for him to board, since it was
surrounded by a number of saloons, and it would, therefore,
be a convenient point to start from. I told Clark that I
suspected Wolff's tavern of being the rendezvous of a dan-
gerous lot of men, and that he must devote himself to Mr.
Wolft", his hotel, and his visitors. For this purpose it would
be well to take permanent board there, and endeavor to win
the confidence of the proprietor.
THE DETECTIVES. 29
Having made all necessary preparations, my men departed
by different routes for Mariola. Neither of them went
straight there, but one entered on foot from the north, while
the other worked his passage on a cattle train from the
south-west. They were both dressed meanly and had
scarcely any money, so that their first necessity was to find
a cheap place to board. Following my instructions, Hays
found accommodations at the Tremont House, where he was
able to pay his way in part by assisting the bar-keeper,
while Clark took up his quarters at the Globe Hotel.
The occurrences at Mariola were now reported to me
daily with great minuteness ; nothing escaped the notice of
my men, and every incident was mentioned with the strictest
accuracy. The story as told in the succeeding pages was
brought out little by little each day ; but, for obvious reasons,
in giving the history of the investigation, it has been neces-
sary to depart somewhat from the exact order in which each
discovery was made. Hence, it will be understood that
many of these events occurred simultaneously, and were
instantly reported to me ; but, for convenience, I have re-
lated the operations of each detective continuously in every
distinct < ase.
HAYS soon became well acquainted in many of the
saloons, and he was regarded by the " knowing
ones " among the drinking and gambling fraternity as a great
addition to their society. He sang a good song, smoked
and drank sociably, and was so expert at cards as to be a
dangerous opponent in gambling games. In fact, he was
able to hold his own with the hardest characters in town.
He became a regular visitor at Walker's restaurant, where
most of the small gambling was done, and the old man soon
showed a marked liking for him. Hays always preferred to
play for " drinks for the crowd," instead of for money, and
this fact made him especially popular with Walker, since he
was sure to profit by the game no matter who won or lost.
On the Saturday following Hays' arrival, Walker called
him up to the bar and introduced him to a friend named
Ben Leitz, whom he characterized as the best man in Colum-
bia County ; as Walker rarely praised any one, Hays felt
sure that these two old men must be on the most intimate
terms, and he felt highly pleased that Walker should have
done him the honor to give him an introduction to his
crony. In talking together, Walker said :
" Leitz is a man you can depend upon ; his word is as
good as his bond, and I do not want a better friend. 1
THE DETECTIVES. 31
have taken a fancy to you, Hays, and I want you and Leitz
to know each other."
Hays returned his acknowledgments modestly, and asked
them both to drink. After some further conversation Walker
asked him to tend bar awhile, as he and Leitz had some
private matters which they wished to discuss. Hays will-
ingly consented, and the two elder men went up-stairs.
After they had gone, he commenced clearing up the bar
and the lunch counter, and he made such an improvement
in the appearance of the place that Walker was quite aston-
ished on his return. He expressed his gratification at the
change which Hays had made, and his good opinion of that
gentleman was evidently much increased. The weather was
bitterly cold, and many customers required attention both at
the bar and the dinner-table, so that Hays remained as bar-
keeper for some time, while Walker and Mrs. Maxwell at-
tended the table. When the customers had finished dinner,
Hays sat down with Walker, Leitz, and Mrs. Maxwell ; during
their meal Walker was in very high spirits, and Lietz also.
The latter seemed quite as much pleased with Hays as
Walker was, and the whole party, it seemed, were disposed
to treat the new-comer like an old friend. It was evident
from Walker's manner that the business which he and Leitz
had transacted was mutually satisfactory to them.
After dinner Hays said that he must return to the Tre-
mont House, as he had promised to help the bar-keeper
there that afternoon. As he turned to go, he said :
" Do you keep open Sundays, Mr. Walker ? "
" Yes ; I allow my customers to come in any time, if they
32 THE MODEL TOWN AND
are the right sort The fanners have a habit of dropping in
before and after church. They like to slip off quietly
to take a sly nip, as it inspires them with great zeal in
their attacks upon the whiskey dealers. I know those to
whom I can sell with safety ; you can come any time,
day or night, but I won't sell you anything you can have
all you want free. I am a good judge of men, and I know
you are a man I can trust."
Hays thanked him and said that he should try to show
that he could be trusted.
" I am a young man," he added, " but I know a thing or
two worth knowing and if you ever want a fellow who ain't
afraid of the devil himself, just call on me ; I'm your man
" That's the sort I like," said Walker with a satisfied
nod. " Hello, Bill Morgan," he went on, as a man entered
the saloon, " come here and join us."
Morgan was a middle-aged man of low habits and lazy
disposition ; it was easily seen that he would never have the
ability to plan a scheme of any importance, though he would
serve well enough as a tool in the hands of a leader of
strong will and nerve. From the way in which Walker first
addressed Morgan, Hays knew that they were on familiar
terms ; but he also noticed a slight tinge of contempt in the
old man's tone, which implied a lack of equality between
them. Hays and Morgan were introduced to each other,
and after drinking together they stood and talked to
Walker and Leitz for some time. Although nothing of any
consequence was said, Hays learned enough of the charac-
THE DETECTIVES. 33
ters of his three companions to know that they all had strong
prejudices against working, and that they would allow no petty
scruples to prevent them from obtaining money dishonestly
if the opportunity were given them. Hays knew better than
to outstay his welcome, and he preferred that Walker and
his friends should show a partiality for his society, rather
than that he should appear anxious to have theirs, hence
he withdrew to keep his engagement at the Tremont House,
although Walker was very desirous that he should remain.
Clark, on his arrival in Mariola, idled about for half a day,
hoping to meet Wolff somewhere about town. He knew
that he would have no difficulty in recognizing his man, and
his intention was to get into conversation with him casually,
during which he would give Wolff the impression that he had
reasons for wishing to remain in Mariola for a time ; then he
would ask for some quiet place to board, where people
minded their own business ; if Wolff asked him to come to
the Globe Hotel, he would have no difficulty in settling
there as a permanent boarder. Late in the afternoon he was
successful ; he saw Wolff trying to roll a barrel of whiskey,
which he had just bought, into a wagon. He lounged up
to the wagon and said:
" Don't you want a lift, friend? "
"I wouldn't mind having a little help," replied Wolff,
looking at Clark keenly; "just take hold one side, and I'll
take the other ; now, together ! "
Having thus aided in loading the barrel, Clark turned to
go, well knowing that etiquette would require Wolff to ask
him to take a drink ; and he was not disappointed.
Zi4 . THE MODEL TOWN AND
11 Hold on a minute," said Wolff; "if you'll come rouml
to my tavern I'll give you a good drink of whiskey. Jump
in and ride with me ; it's only a little ways."
" I don't care if I do," was Clark's response ; and the two
men drove off together.
Clark improved his opportunity so well that Wolff was
very much pleased with him, and it was finally arranged
that Clark should take permanent board at four dollars per
week. He soon learned that this was a very unusual thing
for Wolff to permit : the latter, in fact, said that it never
paid to take regular boarders at less rates than transients,
and that he was not in the habit of doing so ; therefore he
asked Clark not to say anything about it outside. Clark
readily promised to be silent, and said that Wolff could trust
him to keep his mouth shut at all times.
" I can talk as much as the next man," he said, " when I
have no reason to hold my tongue ; but no man can learn
anything from me that I don't wish to tell. It isn't always
the man who talks most that tells most ; I believe, with
Talleyrand, that language was made to disguise our
"That's true," replied Wolff, approvingly; "there are
some who think it is best to say as little as possible. My
experience is that those men are sure to say the wrong thing
when they have to talk."
" You have my idea exactly," said Clark ; "but please
speak a little louder. The fact is, I was near an explosion
not long ago. and it has affected my hearing somewhat. My
physician recommended country air as very desirable," he
THE DETECTIVES. 35
added with a significant look, " and so I shall be here for
"The longer the better," answered Wolff ; "we'll make
' you comfortable as long as you choose to stay."
As Clark went out to wash his hands, he heard Wolff say
to the housekeeper in a low tone :
" He's a deep one, he is. I'll bet he's a high-toned 'crib-
cracker,' for he's too well educated to be after small game.
I shouldn't wonder if the explosion he spoke -about took
place in a safe door."
Clark's method of making Wolff's acquaintance was very
bold and risky. A criminal of first-class ability, education,
and experience would not have trusted a stranger, as
Clark appeared to trust Wolff; hence if W T olrf had been
more experienced in crime, and more cautious himself, he
would have distrusted Clark ; but the latter was a shrewd
observer, and he felt sure that he could deceive Wolff.
His success was highly gratifying, but on receiving his
report I instantly sent him instructions to be doubly
cautious in the future, and to let Wolff make all the ad-
vances toward intimacy. It was evident that Wolff had a
high opinion of Clark, and that, if he should engage in any
serious crimes, he would be apt to ask the latter' s advice
Clark remained in the hotel a great part of the time and
always muffled up his face when he went out. He discovered
nothing, however, and no incidents of note occurred until the
Saturday night after his arrival. The night was very dark and
stormy ; no railroad trains passed over the road after seven
36 THE MODEL TOWN.
o'clock on Saturday nights, and on this particular night few
persons cared to spend the evening away from home.
Hence the guests at the Globe Hotel that evening were
two stock-drovers. Clark and Wolff and these men played
cards together until eleven o'clock, at which hour they all
went to bed.
Clark stood at his window a moment and listened to the
wind as it shrieked about the chimneys and roofs ; he had
seen nothing as yet to lead him to suspect Wolff of anything
in particular, but he had an undefined feeling that Wolff
would be ready for any scheme to enrich himself, honestly
or otherwise. Avarice was his ruling passion, and he would
undoubtedly do anything for money ; but it was improbable
that he had been engaged in incendiarism, since there could
be no profit to him in such work. This train of thought led
Clark to wonder whether there would be any more cases of
arson ; and, as he rolled into bed, the thought passed through
his mind : " This would be a terrible night for a fire."
ABOUT one o'clock, Sunday morning, a hoarse voice
alarmed the town by crying: "Fire ! fire !" Clark
hastily dressed himself and rushed down-stairs, followed
shortly by Wolff. The Globe Hotel was situated only a
short distance from the railroad track, and the grain eleva-
tor was close by. On reaching the street, Clark immediately
saw that the elevator was in flames. He was one of the
first on the spot, and he tried to discover where the fire had
started ; this was a hopeless task, however, since the whole
structure was burning fiercely. It was evident that the fire
had been in progress for some time, and it was impossible
to determine its origin, except that it had been on the wind-
The citizens hurried out rapidly and brought with them the
only hand-engine belonging to the city. The extreme cold
had frozen nearly all the sources of water supply, however,
and the only object which they hoped to attain was to save
the railroad depot from destruction. But the total failure
of the water soon left them helpless, and they were able to
save only the contents of the depot by hard work. The fire
could be seen for miles around, and people came from long
distances in the hope of lending assistance in extinguishing
88 THE MODEL TOWN AND
Clark began his investigations as soon as he reached the
fire, but he could learn very little. He found that a night
watchman was employed to guard the depot and elevator,
and it was this man who had given the alarm. It was cer-
tain, however, that he must have been asleep when the
building was set on fire, since the flames were shooting up
to a great height before he saw them at all ; he confessed
that he sat down in a sheltered spot and dozed a few
moments, but he was sure that his nap had not lasted over
five minutes when the fire awoke him. Under the circum-
stances, his estimate of time was not considered very
accurate, arid there- was no doubt in the mind of any one
that the incendiaries had had ample time to do their work
thoroughly, without fear of interruption.
Wolff talked freely about the fire, and expressed his regret
at the loss in a very open, honest manner. He said that
the railroad company would now have an additional reason
for withdrawing their tracks from Mariola, and, should they
do so, his" business would be destroyed.
While Wolff was lamenting, Hays, Morgan, and Davis, the
watchmaker, came up together. They all lived some dis-
tance from the depot, and they were none of them very
active men ; hence they were among the last of the towns-
people to arrive at the fire. Davis was fully dressed and
his hair was combed, so that both of my men noticed his
appearance. Either he had not gone to bed at all, or else
he had been very deliberate in making his tflilet. None of
this party offered to do any work, and when one of the
citizens asked Hays to assist in moving the goods from the
THE DETECTIVES. 39
depot, he said insolently that he didn't owe the company
anything, and he didn't see why he should work on a cold
night without any prospect of being paid for his work.
Morgan and Davis coincided in this view, as also several
other idlers, and Hays rose considerably in their estimation.
Morgan talked a great deal about the loss the elevator and
depot would be, and said that he supposed the railroad
tracks would now be removed from Mariola. Old Walker
came up just then and o\*erheard Morgan's remarks. He
faced around toward the group of loafers and stood with his
back toward the fire. Taking off his scull-cap with one
hand, he put the other hand beneath the skirts of his coat as
if enjoying the blaze. As he listened to Morgan, he grew
very much excited, and began to harangue the crowd in a
shrill, vindictive voice.
" Let 'em move their tracks if they want to ! What do I
care ? I pay for all the liquor they carry for me, and nevei
ask any favors ; but they tap my barrels and steal from
three to five gallons from every barrel ; then they fill up
with water, and I can't get any satisfaction from them.
I don't see what use a railroad is any how. I think we
got along well enough before it came, and we shall do
better without it. Burn! burn!" he added, turning to
shake his fist at the flames ; " I dont care how much you
Morgan stepped up to the old man and said something in
a very low tone* Walker looked at him an instant with an
almost demoniac look, and then pushed him back contemp-
tuously, saying :
40 THE MODEL TOWN AND
" Morgan, if you ain't able to talk square, you might at
least have sense enough to hold your tongue."
Morgan slunk away as if anxious to avoid observation,
and Walker, seeing that he had attracted considerable atten-
tion, took Hays by the arm and walked away. The latter had
noted Walker's excitement and Morgan's attempt to quiet
him, but he had only overheard the old man's angry reply.
As they went back to the restaurant, Walker was moody and
irritable ; he muttered curses occasionally, gesticulated vio-
lently at times, and often passed his hand over his forehead,
as if trying to clear his thoughts. When they reached the
bar-room, Walker poured out a heavy drink of whiskey for
each, and seated himself near the stove in sullen silence.
At length, poking the fire viciously, he said :
"What a d d fool Morgan is!" Then he added
quickly, as if he had expressed more than he intended :
"At cards, I mean, at cards. We got beaten every time
this evening, he played so foolishly."
" I should like to be your partner," drawled Hays ;
" you have never tried me, but I think we should suit each
The old man turned a piercing look upon him, as if to de-
termine whether he had any hidden meaning in his speech.
After a prolonged gaze, which Hays bore without showing
the least embarrassment, Walker said :
" Well, we'll take a hand together some time. I think
I'd get along with you, for I've taken a fancy to you, and
I'm a good judge of human nature."
" You will learn more of meby-and-by," replied Hays, " ]
THE DETECTIVES. 41
have my faults, of course, but I never gft back on a friend
and I keep my own counsel."
"That's right, that's right, Hays ; never talk to any one
about your own affairs unless you know that you can trust
him. Some day I may talk to you about some matters
that are worth knowing, but not just now. I think you are
a true man, and I will trust you when the time comes. Now
there is that d d idiot Morgan, I don't know whether
he is a fool or a knave. Don't you think when three men
have a secret, and they agree to say certain things about
it, that it shows a mean spirit for one of them to weaken and
attempt to talk against his partners ? "
" Yes, indeed, Mr. Walker ; a man must be a worthless
coward if he cannot live up to his word. Now, I think if
you should trust me in anything, I could help you a good
Walker seemed a little disturbed by this remark, and
replied quite reservedly, as if he wished to return to the
subject of card-playing:
" The only partner I want is a man who can play his
hand for all it's worth. Perhaps you would suit me as well
as any one else, but that fellow Morgan hardly knows a.
king from a deuce."
Hays saw that he had gone too fast,, and he replied :
" Well, of course, every man plays a different kind of a
game ; some day, if you will take me for a partner in a good
game, I will show you how well we can work together. It
is after four o'clock," he continued, with a yawn ; "I guess
1 will go back to my room and finish my sleep."
42 THE MODEL TOWN AND
" Well, come in again this afternoon," said Walker, " and
I will tell you about Morgan. It won't do to trust him
too much. I am chilled through, and shall go to bed
until ten o'clock. I slept through most of the excite-
ment, and didn't wake up until the fire had nearly burned
The two men then took a parting drink together, and Hays
left the restaurant as the first signs of dawn began to appear
in the east. The clouds had cleared off, though the wind
still blew with great violence. The smouldering embers of
the fire just touched the surrounding houses with a lurid
glare, while overhead the clear, peaceful depths of the star-
lit skies contrasted strongly with the scene of confusion
below. Hays made another visit to the ruins, and, finding
nothing new to investigate, he then went toiiis room at the
Clark remained around the depot grounds until daylight ;
he assisted in removing the goods, and was thus able to keep
a sharp watch upon the whole place. If the fire had been
set in the hope of thereby obtaining an opportunity to
plunder, the villains had changed their plans, since there
were no attempts made to steal anything whatever'.
When Clark returned to the Globe Hotel, at breakfast
time, he found three strangers in confidential conversation
with Wolff. They were all of middle-age and seemed to be
partners. Wolff introduced Clark to them and said that they
were cattle drovers. Clark did not believe this story, as the
men weie much more intelligent than most di overs ; and
in the course of their talk he soon discovered fiat they did
THE DETECTIVES. 43
not pretend to keep up their assumed characters. They
went up-stairs immediately after breakfast and did not appear
,vhile any visitors were around.
The town was filled with farmers during the forenoon, and
many of them left their teams at Wolff's. They were all
greatly excited at the loss of the elevator, and threats of
lynching the incendiary, when discovered, were freely made.
In the afternoon most of the farmers went home, and at
three o'clock Wolff and his boarders had dinner. The con-
versation at dinner-time was upon the subject of the fire, and
Wolff talked very freely. He had evidently told his three
guests that Clark was trustworthy, for they all treated him
like one of themselves.
" I don't know any more about the fire than any one
else," said Wolff, "but I have my suspicions. Old man
Walker was there acting like a lunatic, and saying that he
was glad to see the depot burn. Then there was that
fellow Morgan, who is as big a scoundrel as there is out of
jail. I have heard a good deal about him, and he and old
Walker are always together. I can't see why Walker trusts
him ; for if he should ever be caught at anything, he would
' squeal ' on the whole crowd."
" I agree with you," said one of the strangers ; "if Walkei
jputs any confidence in him, he will find out his mistake too
late. Morgan played me a mean trick once, and I would
be glad to pay him off if I got a chance."
" But there is Ben Leitz," said another of the strangers ;
" he is a safe man, yet he trusts Morgan too."
' Well, that is true," said Wolff; " but probably he has
'44 THE MODEL TOWN AND
quit the business ; still, if he has given up the old game, I
dont see how he gets along so well."
"Probably he may be working 'on the quiet,' and mak-
ing it pay better than some others who don't know the ropes
so well," Clark suggested.
" Then he has some sharp assistant that I don't know of,"
They continued in conversation for some time, but noth-
ing further of any consequence was said.
In the afternoon Hays went back to Walker's restaurant,
where he found Leitz and Morgan, who had just dined with
Walker. They were all in high spirits, and Morgan seemed
to have appeased the old man's anger. He had evidently
promised to retract the expressions which had displeased
Walker in the morning , for he went out soon after Hays
entered, saying :
" I'm going to take a walk 'round town to hear what peo-
ple think about the fire. I shall talk in a different tone from
that I used this morning."
" Mind you do," answered Walker ; " if you hear anybody
whimpering at the loss of the depot, just shut 'em up, and
tell 'em it's a good thing that it was burned without destroy-
ing any other houses. Say that the railroad officers wanted
a good excuse for straightening their line, and that they
probably set fire to the elevator themselves."
" I'll talk in the right way this time," said Morgan, confi-
After his departure, the other three men played cards foi
an hour ; Hays showed such skill in playing, and such
THE DETECTIVES. 45
extraordinary luck in dealing, as to excite the admiration of
both his companions, for, as there were no bets made, they
did not mind losing the games. At length Walker and
Leitz said that they wanted to take a stroll about town, and
the former asked Hays to stay in the bar-room during their
" Don't let anybody in," said Walker, " unless you know
they are ' square ' men. Some of these canting church peo-
ple would like to prosecute me for selling liquor on Sunday
if they could get any witnesses to appear against me."
" Never fear," replied Hays; "I can tell the right sort at
a glance, and the Puritan Fathers may send as many spies
here as they please, but none of them will get a drop from
Mrs. Maxwell, the housekeeper, joined Hays after Walker
and Leitz had gone out, and they conversed together for
quite a long time. Mrs. Maxwell was a fine-looking widow,
about forty years of age, and she was quite ready to gossip
about anything she knew. Hays learned from her that
Walker had been on intimate terms with Leitz for over two
years, and that he was even more intimate with Leitz's wife,
Lucy. Mrs. Maxwell had two children, and Walker had
promised to send them to school during the next year ; but
he was strongly opposed to the manner in which the public
school had been conducted, and he had really rejoiced when
it was destroyed. There had been a strong effort made to
prevent the reading of the Bible in the public school, and
Walker had been one of the principal opponents of the
46 THE MODEL TOWN.
" One could almost imagine that the old man was a
prophet," said Mrs. Maxwell, " for he foretold that the
churches and school-house would be worsted in the struggle ;
and sure enough they have all been destroyed except one
Walker and Leitz returned at dusk, and Hays spent the
evening playing cards with them ; but they did not again
refer to the fire, and it seemed as if they had not been
pleased with the loud threats of lynching the incendiaries,
which they had heard.
MONDAY morning following the fire I was visited by
Mr. Bascom, superintendent of the railroad. I had
just received the reports of Hays and Clark, and I was,
therefore fully posted upon the recent events in Mariola.
Mr. Bascom said that he wished me to investigate the
various outrages which had been perpetrated against the
railroad, as affairs had now become so serious in the vicinity
of Mariola that public attention had been attracted, and the
road was suffering considerably. He asked me to go at
once to survey the ground, and then to put a keen, intelli-
gent man at work for the purpose of bringing the criminals
I told him that it would be unnecessary for me to go
there, as I was already well informed of the condition of
affairs in Mariola. I would send another man to assist
those already there, and they would all work in harmony.
I had no doubt whatever that the same men who had fired
the churches had also destroyed the railroad buildings. I
arranged matters satisfactorily with Mr. Bascom and then
sent for Timothy Webster, one of the best men in my
employ. I explained to him all the circumstances of the
case that were then known to me, and told him my sus-
picions and opinions. As a number of workmen would be
48 T1IE MODEL TOWN AND
required to clear away the debris of the elevator and depot,
I directed him to obtain a place in the gang. After he had
worked a short time, he could get discharged ; then it would
be easy to become acquainted with all the loafers in town.
Webster left Chicago the same evening for Mariola ; the
next morning he might have been seen vigorously shoveling
damaged grain into a wheelbarrow in the ruins of the
elevator. Here he worked about a week ; but, as he grew
more and more lazy every day, he was discharged as a
Meantime Clark was progressing rapidly toward obtain-
ing the confidence of Wolff and his housekeeper, Mrs. Black.
The three strangers disappeared the day after the fire, and
in a few days Wolff told Clark that he thought of going
away for a short time to travel. He said that he should
need some one to manage the house during his absence, and
that he would like Clark to take charge.
"I shall be gone about a week," he said, "and you will
have plenty to do. I have a great many customers, as you
know, and I want a man here who knows how to treat my
" I guess I can tell the right sort," replied Clark. " I
should expect to give some visitors much quieter accommo-
dations than others."
" That's it exactly," said Wolff ; " if any men come at
night and want to see me, tell them I am away ; if they
choose to wait for me, give them rooms and let them have
what they want. They can have their meals alone if they
wish ; Mrs. Black understands what to do. Some of them
THE DETECTIVES. 49
won't go out much, and you needn't talk about them out-
side ; you understand ? "
"Yes; I think I do," said Clark; "my idea is that if
your boarders attend to their own business and pay their
bills, you don't trouble yourself to ask them any questions ;
eh ? "
" I see that you know what I want," rejoined Wolff, with
a satisfied look. " I shall get ready immediately, so that I
can leave at nightfall."
Mrs. Black was present during the conversation, and
when he went up-stairs, she said :
" I never saw a man who could manage Wolff as well as
you can ; he never has allowed any one to take charge of
the house before. I hope you will continue to suit him, foi
then he will want you to stay. You can make it pay well
if you choose, for Wolff makes a pile of money."
" I guess I can keep things pretty straight while he is
gone," said Clark, " and I am glad he is going, for we can
have a jolly time during his absence."
Mrs. Black blushed and looked very much pleased ; but
she said nothing more, as Wolff came in all ready for his
journey. He had a small satchel in his hand, which he set
clown a moment while he put on his overcoat. Clark
helped Wolff with his coat, and in doing so he touched a
very h^avy package in the outside pocket. While profess-
ing to be engaged in pulling down the coat underneath the
overcoat he succeeded in feeling of this package ; it was
cylindrical in shape and was sealed with wax at each end.
He also lifted the satchel and found that it was very heavy,
50 THE MODEL TOWN AND
much more so than would have been the case had he sim-
ply carried his ordinary changes of clothing.
When Wolff was all ready, he went to the stable and
brought out a fine span of mares and a light driving wagon.
Clark helped him to harness them into the wagon, and then
he offered to take the team around to the front door of the
"Not much," said Wolff, in reply to Clark's offer; "I
don't propose to advertise that I'm going away any more
than is necessary. Just hold the horses until I bring out
my other span, will you ? "
So saying he went back into the stable and brought out
a second pair of matched horses. These were fastened to
the back of the wagon by strong halters, and Wolff then got
in, carefully placing his satchel between his feet. It was
quite dark by this time, but Wolff asked Clark to go to the
street and see whether there were many people in sight. He
was quite elated at something, but still he showed consid-
erable nervousness. As he passed Clark at the front gate,
he said :
" When I have sold these two teams I shall be about
ready to come home. It isn't every day that you can find
such horses as these, and I expect to get a good price.
Good-bye ; keep a good watch on your customers, arid if you
find any spies hanging 'round, give 'em a good licking to
teach them to mind their own business."
. " Good-bye, old man," said Clark ; " I shall take good care
of the hotel, and will try to fill your place in every respect."
Wolff drove off at a rapid rate, and Clark returned to the
THE DETECTIVES. 51
house to ponder over the suspicious movements and busi-
ness of the hotel-keeper and his friends. He finally came
to the conclusion that the supposed cattle-drovers were
horse-thieves, and that Wolff was engaged in selling the
horses stolen by the rest of the gang ; he must also be in
league with a set of counterfeiters, since the package which
Wolff had in his pocket was shaped exactly like a roll of
money. Clark therefore determined to direct all his ener-
gies toward discovering the place where the counterfeiting
Webster was discharged from his place as laborer about
the time Wolff went away. He had made himself well
known in all the saloons, and nearly every loafer in Mari-
ola was acquainted with him. He seemed like a lazy ne'er-
do-well who would prefer to work as little as possible if he
could live at the expense of other people.
One Saturday night he was returning from a visit to a
saloon in a neighboring town ; in fact, it was about three
o'clock in the morning before he reached the outskirts of
Mariola. As he walked along, with the noiseless tread which
was habitual with him, he saw two men hurrying down a
cross-street, carrying a large bundle between them. They
had not noticed him, and he had no difficulty in following
them without their knowledge. They walked as rapidly as
their burden would permit, and soon left the ttiickly -settled
part of the city. At length they reached a small frame cot-
tage in the suburbs, where they paused ; after glancing around
to see whether any one was stirring, they entered the house
and lighted lamps in two rooms. Webster crept up and tried
52 THE MODEL TOWN AND
to see what was going on, but the windows were all fitted
with close shades, which prevented him from discovering
anything. He decided to send a report to me by the ex-
press train which passed through Mariola at five o'clock.
I received his account therefore the same day, and was able
to inform Mr. Lincoln by the Sunday night train that a rob-
bery had probably been committed in Mariola. I told him
that if it should be discovered that any one had been robbed
he would find the stolen goods secreted in a small cottage
just outside of the city. I described the premises exactly,
and suggested that a warrant be obtained to search them.
I urged him to see in person that the search was faithfully
made, since the City Marshal might not be wholly reliable ;
or, at any rate, he might be careless and inefficient.
Mr. Lincoln received my letter early Monday morning,
just after having posted a letter informing me that a dry-
goods store had been robbed the night before of a large
amount of laces, silks, fine cloths, etc. The robbers had
selected only the best goods and had left no trace by which
to follow them. Mr. Lincoln said that he and Mr. Brown
suspected a man named Hays, who was boarding at the
Tremont House, of having committed the robbery. They
had learned that Hays was a gambler and a loafer ; he had
no regular occupation, yet he paid his board regularly and
was well received in all the saloons as a cash customer.
They had learned also that he had not returned to the hotel
until a very late hour the night before ; Mr. Lincoln there-
fore asked whether it would not be well to arrest Hays and
search his room.
THE DETECTIVES. 53
On receipt of this letter I immediately replied that it
could do no harm to arrest Hays, since if he was the rob-
ber they would be apt to discover something to fasten the
crime upon him ; but if he was innocent he would proba-
bly be able to prove his innocence, and he would then be
" It is probable," I wrote, " that he is a hard character,
and, like all habitual criminals, he will be satisfied to escape
close inquiry into his habits, and will not cause any incon-
venience to you for arresting him."
My object in having Hays arrested was to give him an
additional claim to the respect and confidence of the crim-
inal element in Mariola society, for they would be sure to
regard him as one of themselves as soon as the respectable
members of the community turned against him. I knew
that his confinement could last only a day or two, and that
after his release he would be quite a hero among Walker's
I wrote to Webster also, by the same mail, to see Hays
at once, get all his papers, and tell him that he might be
arrested at any moment. 1 preferred to write to Webster
instead of Hays, because I was afraid that Mr. Lincoln,
who was postmaster, might detain and open Hays' letter.
Immediately on receiving my letter Webster called upon
Hays and told him what to expect ; the latter instantly
turned over his papers to Webster, destroyed all evidences
of his profession, and then strolled down to Walker's res-
laurant to await arrest.
Meanwhile Mr. Lincoln had received my second letter on
54 THE MODEL TOWN.
Monday morning, and he was perfectly amazed to learn
that I had known of the robbery on Sunday evening, when
he supposed that it had been committed late Sunday night.
He then instituted a careful inquiry, and certain indications
which had been observed convinced him that the robbery
had taken place Saturday night ; but that as no one went to
the store on Sunday the loss was not discovered until early
Monday morning. Still he could not understand how I had
learned about it a day before it was known in Mariola, and
he was quite mortified that their own watchmen had been
outwitted, while a detective many miles away was aware of
MR. LINCOLN decided not to search the cottage until
after he had received my reply to his letter about
Hays. Tuesday morning, on reading my advice to have
Hays arrested, he went to see Mr. Brown, and they agreed
upon a plan of action. They then sent for the City Mar-
shal and told him that they wished him to arrest Hays on
suspicion of having robbed the dry-goods store of Sanders &
Co. The Marshal was a large, fat man, good-humored and
careless ; he was well-meaning, but lazy and easily influ-
enced. He liked to be on good terms with every one, and
was too fond of liquor to be an efficient officer.
Mr. Lincoln swore out a warrant for the arrest of Hays,
and Marshal Binford went out to search for him. Knowing
that Walker's saloon was a favorite place of resort, he went
there first, arriving a few minutes after Hays, who had just
left Webster. On entering the saloon the Marshal went
straight up to Hays and said :
" You are my prisoner ; I have a warrant for your arrest."
" I reckon you are joking," replied Hays, without show-
ing any alarm. " What do you charge me with ? "
Old Walker was well acquainted with the Marshal, and he
instantly came out from behind his bar to see what was the
56 THE MODEL TOWN AND
"What have you got against Hays, Binfoid?" he asked
" You must have mistaken the man."
" No, sir ; I am not mistaken. Here is the warrant,
issued by Justice Green ; Hays is charged with breaking
into the store of Sanders & Co., and the complaint was
made by Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Brown."
" When was the robbery committed ? " asked Hays.
" The warrant says between the hours of ten o'clock
Saturday night and seven o'clock Monday morning.
" Well, I can easily prove an alibi" said Hays, " for I
was with Mr. Walker most of the time, except when I was
abed and asleep at the Tremont House."
" I must take you in charge nevertheless," said Binford ;
" I must execute my warrant, and you can give bail before
" I'll go bail for you, Hays," said Walker ; " you've got
plenty of friends here to stand by you."
" Thank you, Mr. Walker, you are very kind, and I shall
never forget your offer," said Hays. "When I have proven
my innocence I shall make some of these fellows repent
having accused me unjustly."
"That's right, Hays," growled Walker; "sue 'em for
damages and teach 'em to be more careful in future."
By this time about a dozen persons had gathered around,
and Hays seemed to enjoy his notoriety. He told the Mar-
shal that he wished the warrant read in due form, and after
the reading he asked the Marshal and the crowd up to the
bar to drink. The Marshal had no objection, and the
crowd joined them with great satisfaction. Hays and Mar
THE DETECTIVES. 57
shal Binford then headed a procession which moved from
Walker's saloon to Justice Green's office. The arrest was
made at the busiest hour of the forenoon, and as soon as it
became known that the Marshal had made an arrest for alleged
complicity in the latest burglary, nearly every one who could
spare the time hastened to the court- room to witness the
proceedings. Consequently an immense crowd was present,
and the attention of all the spectators was concentrated on
Hays and his friends. No one in the whole assemblage was
more cool and unconcerned than the prisoner, and he ex-
changed greetings with his friends as pleasantly as if he were
receiving an ovation.
On reaching the courtroom Walker told Morgan ro run
over to see Ben Leitz and ask him to come to the Justice's
office to defend Hays. He hurried away rapidly, and very
soon Leitz joined the party.
"What is the matter ? " he asked breathlessly.
Walker informed him of the charge, and said that Hays
could easily prove an alibi.
" Of course he can," replied Leitz ? " besides, Hays is too
sharp a .nan to get himself into trouble for a little job like
"Certainly not," added Walker; "Hays will have big
game or none at all ; eh, Hays ? "
"That's my style, gentlemen," replied Hays, jauntily put-
ting his thumbs into his vest pockets and tipping his hat
forward. " If I should decide to take the hint which Messrs.
Lincoln and Brown have given me, I will make a strike foi
58 THE MODEL TOWN AND
This conversation was carried on in a low tone, being
heard by only three or four of Hays' friends. Meanwhile
the complainants were at a loss what to do ; they had
searched Hays' room, but had found nothing to incriminate
him, and they had no testimony ready. The Justice at
length called the case and asked what was the charge against
the prisoner. Mr. Lincoln gave several very trifling reasons
for suspecting Hays, and stated that he was not prepared to
go on with the examination that day ; at his request, there-
fore, Justice Green continued the case for one day and fixed
the amount of bail at five hundred dollars.
Hays, Leitz, and Walker held a consultation upon the
question of giving bail. It was finally decided that Hays
should refuse to obtain bail, although he could have easily
given bonds for treble the amount, with Walker and Leitz as
sureties. Hays said that he did not mind passing one night
in jail, as he could obtain greater damages from his per-
secutors by so doing. Leitz therefore addressed the
Court in a very extravagant speech, in which he lauded
Hays as a model of injured innocence. He concluded as
" My client can give any amount of bail, your honor ,
but I shall advise him not to do so. He would prefer to
pass the night in a noisome cell yes, even a year if neces-
sary rather than countenance the illegalities by which he
is to be deprived of his liberty. My client, your honor, is
ready to go on with the examination this moment, and he
can prove an alibi without difficulty. In the name of the
boasted freedom of our institutions I protest against the
THE DETECTIVES. 59
commitment of my client on the hearsay testimony which
has been offered."
In spite of the protest, however, Hays was remanded to
jail. He was accompanied through the streets by all his
loafer friends, and Walker, Leitz, and Morgan agreed to stay
with him most of the night. The Marshal kindly volun-
teered to take his distinguished prisoner to get his meals at
any restaurant he might prefer, and Hays, of course, chose
Walker's. As Hays expected, the result was that the
restaurant and saloon did an immense business that day,
since every one was anxious to see the man accused of
burglary. Walker sent some clean bedding to the jail and
fixed up Hays' cell quite decently, so that he was subjected
to no discomfort whatever. His three boon companions
stayed with him until nearly midnight, and they enjoyed
the evening exceedingly. The next morning the court-
room was again crowded, but no one appeared to prosecute
the prisoner, and he was therefore discharged. He
received many congratulations from the loafers present, and
he added to his popularity by treating a crowd of about
twenty-five. It was agreed among the Walker-Leitz set
that Hays should commence a suit for false imprisonment
against Mr. Lincoln, Mr. Brown, Marshal Binford, and
Immediately after Hays' discharge, Mr. Lincoln and
Mr. Brown went to Justice Green and called in the City
Marshal with them. They then stated that they had strong
reasons for believing that Sanders & Co.'s goods had been
secreted in a little frame cottage in the suburbs of the town
30 THE MO DLL TOWN AND
They thought that a search-warrant should be issued a,t once
to enable them to hunt for the goods.
Marshal Binford said that the cottage was occupied by
two men named Cook and Wallace. There was a small
piece of ground attached to the cottage, but it did not pro-
duce much, and the men were in the habit of working on
farms in the neighborhood during the summer and fall. In
winter they seemed to do very little work, yet they never
complained that they did not have steady employment.
Still the Marshal said that he had no reason to suspect them
of anything criminal, and that he should be very much averse
to searching their house. He tried to persuade Mr. Lincoln
that the affair would turn out as disastrously as the arrest of
Hays ; but the two citizens were determined to follow my
instructions, and therefore they swore out a search-warrant.
Binford was anxious to avoid the responsibility, and so lie
said that he would deputize a sharp fellow named Jim War-
den to assist him in the search.
Warden was a tall spare man, with a hook-nose, ferret-
eyes, and an insincere expression. He was a man of some
little property, but he had no visible means of support
except gambling, which he carried on in a quiet way. He
affected a dare-devil style, and was quite a braggart. Still
Mr. Lincoln did not know anything against him which
would prevent him from serving as a deputy, and so no
objections were made.
Mr. Brown and the Marshal immediately went out to look
for Warden, and they soon found him playing cards in a
saloon. They called him out quietly and iold him the busi-
THE DETECTIVES. 61
ness in which they wished his assistance. He ridiculed the
idea of searching Cook's house, and said that both Cook
and Wallace were decent, honest men.
" What reason have you for suspecting them ? " he finally
" That I cannot tell you," replied Mr. Brown ; "but I and
Lincoln have sworn out a warrant and we want you to exe-
" Oh ! come up and take a drink," said Warden. " I tell
you I know that those men are all right."
The Marshal never refused an invitation to drink, and
after having accepted he turned to Mr. Brown and said :
"You hear what Jim says, Mr. Brown. He knows all
the hard cases in town, and he thinks these men are
" You can depend upon that," said Warden, " and you will
get into serious trouble, Mr. Brown, if you act so rashly
upon wrong suspicions."
Mr. Brown's courage began to fail him, and he stood for
several minutes undecided. At length he said that he
would go back to see Mr. Lincoln, and he then left the
saloon, where Warden and the Marshal remained to await
his decision. Fortunately Webster had been in the saloon
and had overheard the whole conversation. He knew that
unless Brown acted promptly the alarm would be given to
Cook and Wallace, and the goods would be carried away
beyond the hope of recovery. He therefore followed
Brown out and kept him in sight until an opportunity
occurred to speak to him without attracting attention , I hen
03 THE MODEL TOWN AND
muffling up his face in a large scarf, he came up close be-
hind Mr. Brown and said in a clear voice :
" Don't look 'round, Mr. Brown, nor appear to notice me
in any way. You do not know me, and it is better that
you should not ; but you must act quickly on my advice.
The stolen goods are in Cook's house, and you must insist
upon having it searched immediately. Go back to the Mar-
shal and make him commence at once. Don't tell any one
where you got your information, but act without delay."
The moment Mr. Brown heard Webster's voice he turned
his head suddenly, but he instantly looked to the front again
and continued walking, although he listened attentively.
Webster darted into an alley as soon as he had finished
speaking, so that Mr. Brown was perfectly ignorant of the
personal appearance of his unknown adviser. He hurried
to Mr. Lincoln's store and told him what had occurred. Mr.
Lincoln grabbed his hat and started out, saying :
" Come along as quick as you can. We don't know nor
care who the stranger was, but he certainly gave good ad-
The two gentlemen walked rapidly to the saloon, where
they found Binford and Warden seated before the stove,
drinking and telling stories.
"Mr. Binford," said Mr. Lincoln, "we have sworn out a
search-warrant, and have placed it in your hands to be exe-
cuted ; we insist that you proceed with your duty."
" But, Mr. Lincoln, Jim Warden, my deputy, says that it
will get us all into trouble ; if Cook is innocent he will
bring suit against us for damages, as Hays is going to do."
THE DETECTIVES. 63
" You have no discretion in the matter, Marshal Binfoid,
nor does any responsibility fall upon you," replied Mr.
Lincoln. " If any wrong be done, Mr. Brown and I are the
only ones who will suffer. If your deputy is afraid to help
you, you can deputize me, aad I will make the search my-
" Who says I'm afraid ? " said Warden, with an oath. " I
ain't afraid of anything; but I can tell you that you'll get
sick of searching the houses of honest, hard-working men like
Cook. That's your own affair, however, and if you think you
can risk another suit for five thousand dollars damages come
along. You needn't think I'm afraid, by ; I'll rip up
every mattress in the house if you want the place searched."
WARDEN'S attempt to intimidate Mr. Lincoln did not
succeed, and at length they started out, accompa-
nied by a number of idlers, among whom was Webster. On
approaching the house Warden said he would go ahead to
see that nothing was disturbed ; but Mr. Lincoln had a slight
suspicion of Warden, and he followed him very closely.
Just as they entered the front door Cook and Wallace dashed
out the back way. Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Brown pursued
them instantly and succeeded in capturing them both after a
long chase. Meantime the Marshal, Warden, and one or
two of Mr. Brown's friends were engaged in searching the
cottage for the stolen goods, but without any success ;' hence
when Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Brown returned with their pris-
oners they felt very cheap to learn that nothing had been
found to warrant them in arresting Cook and Wallace.
Warden exulted openly and reminded them that he had
cautioned them against making the search. The leaders
were quite crest-fallen, as they had not only made them-
selves ridiculous in chasing. and arresting two apparently in-
nocent men, but they had laid themselves open to suits for
heavy damages. They walked a little way apart from the
rest of the party, who were now assembled in the back yard
waiting further developments.
THE DETECTIVES. 65
Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Brown stood at the front gate in a
very dissatisfied frame of mind. Webster saw that the
search would fail for want of some one of experience to con-
duct it. He determined to give them a hint, however, and
turning to Warden, whom he knew slightly, he said :
" I guess those big-bugs wish they had followed your ad-
vice now. Won't they feel sick when Cook and Wallace
sue them ? I think I shall go back to town and tell the
fellows what a mare's nest has been found."
" Yes, that's right," said Warden ; " get up a good crowd
to laugh at them when they come in."
" I will see old Walker and Leitz," added Webster ; " I
guess they can get enough fellows to make it lively."
So saying Webster strolled through the house and passed
out the front gate. As he passed the two gentlemen he
said in a low voice :
" Don't give up now ! Search the barn, and go over the
house again. The goods are here, and I know it."
He hastened away before they had time to observe him
closely, and, turning a corner, he was soon out of sight.
" That man is either one of Pinkerton's detectives or
else he wants to get us into trouble," said Mr. Brown ; " the
voice was the same as that of the man who spoke to me be-
fore. Still he may be telling the truth, and we can soon
find out by searching the barn."
" Yes ; that is what we must do," said Mr. Lincoln. " I
think there must be something wrong, for if not, why did the
men run away ? "
"That's true; I think we had better make the whole job
06 THE MODEL TOWN AND
complete. You can go into the barn and I will overhaul the
house again. I don't believe they made a very thorough
search," said Mr. Brown.
They therefore went back and told the Marshal that they
wished him to search the barn. Warden again interposed,
and said that Cook would bring double suits against them.
"All right," said Mr. Lincoln; "we may as well be hung
for a sheep as a lamb. Come along, Marshal."
He led the way to the barn at once, followed by Binford
and Warden, both of whom expostulated with him for con-
tinuing a useless search on the premises of honorable, law-
abiding citizens. At length he became angry at their lack
of zeal in the performance of their duty, and on reaching
the barn he commenced searching the place himself. He
had not been at work five minutes before he discovered a
large quantity of the stolen goods concealed in a manger ;
and further careful investigation brought to light everything
except a couple of bundles of silks and fine laces. These
were found soon afterward in the house, in one of the rooms
which Warden had searched. The latter was very much
surprised at the disclosures, and was especially astonished
that he should have overlooked anything.
Cook and Wallace were of course arrested and carried
off to jail, and the goods were returned to Sanders & Co.,
who identified all the articles. Later in the day Warden
engaged a lawyer to defend the prisoners, and he showed a
great degree of interest in providing for their comfort.
These circumstances led me to advise Webster not to lose
light of Mr. Warden, but to take a quiet interest in his
THE DETECTIVES. 67
habits ; for I began to suspect that he would soon be found
engaged in some rascality himself.
The examination of the prisoners took place the next
morning ; and at an early hour the whole town was alive with
excited groups of farmers and merchants. In a place like
Mariola, where the stores where not guarded at night, and
where the locks and bolts on the doors wereyery frail, the ar-
rest of any one for burglary was a very important matter. It
was especially exciting at this time, since so many robberies
had been committed, while no arrests had ever before been
made. The news of the arrests, therefore, spread with
great rapidity, and most of the best citizens in the whole
township, together with all the loafers and hard characters,
assembled in the vicinity of the Justice's court-room.
When the doors were opened a general rush was made, and
every foot of space was occupied by the eager throng.
The case was called at once, but it was necessary to clear
a passage for the officers and their prisoners before the latter
could be placed in the dock. At length all was ready, and
the testimony was taken. Mr. Saxiders testified that his
store had been entered and a large quantity of valuable ar-
ticles stolen ; that he afterwards found the goods in the barn
and house occupied by the prisoners ; and that he was able
to identify everything taken. The prisoners' lawyer tried
to break down his testimony on cross-examination by asking
a great many questions relative to the identification of the
property ; but Mr. Sanders' answers were very conclusive,
and the attempt to confuse him was a failure.
The remaining testimony was given by Marshal Binford
68 THE MODEL TOWN AND
and several other citizens, all of whom testified to the c ir-
cumstances attending the search, the flight of Cook and
Wallace, and their capture. Neither Mr. Lincoln nor Mr.
Brown was called as a witness by the prosecution, since their
testimony was not necessary, and they did not wish to tell
whence they had received the information which induced
them to search the cottage.
On the conclusion of the hearing the prisoners' attorney
made a violent speech in favor of his clients, claiming that
they were honest citizens who had been made the victims
of a conspiracy. He maintained that the goods found in
Cook's stable had not been conclusively shown to belong to
Sanders & Co. ; and even if the articles had been stolen, there
was no evidence to connect the prisoners with the theft ; the
goods might easily have been hidden where they were
found by some one else, in the absence of the two men
from home. He said that it was a very significant fact that
the prosecution had not called as witnesses the men who
had been most active in dragging his clients ignominiously
to jail, against the remonstrances of many other good citi-
zens. He then moved that his clients be discharged on
the ground of insufficient evidence. This being refused by
the Justices, he called several witnesses to prove that the pris-
oners had been away from home a great deal since the rob-
bery, and others to prove the previous good character of
the accused ; he then rested his case.
Justice Green, after a short consultation with the two othei
Justices sitting with him, announced that the prisoners
would be held to appear before the Grand Jury under bonds
THE DETECTIVES. 69
of two thousand dollars each. As this amount of bail was
beyond their means to furnish, they were remanded to jail.
The result of the preliminary examination was highly grati-
fying to the respectable portion of the community, though
there was much dissatisfaction expressed among the loafer
class at the large bail-bond required. Webster had been
cultivating Warden's acquaintance since he had witnessed
the latter's actions during the search, and they stood to-
gether during the trial. When the decision was announced
Webster spoke up in a voice loud enough to be heard by
several of the loafers around him :
" That is an outrageous amount of bail to require from two
poor men ; of course they cannot furnish it, and they will
have to go to jail. It is all the worse from the fact that the
goods have been recovered, and I consider the decision an
act of gross injustice."
" Well, what could you expect?" asked Warden. "The
big-bugs are down on them, and there is no justice here for
a poor man."
"You are quite right," replied Webster, "and I think you
have a very sensible idea of the way we are treated. The
only thing for us to do is to stick together as they do ;
come, let's take a drink."
The invitation was promptly accepted, and in a short time
Warden became quite pleased with Webster's style of con-
versation. When they parted it was with the understand-
ing that they should become better acquainted.
When the crowd passed out of the court-room Hays did
not accompany Walker andLeitz immediately, as he wished^
70 THE MODEL TOWN AND
to hear what was the general sentiment about Cook and
Wallace. He found that nearly every one was convinced
of their guilt, and that Mr. Lincoln was credited with having
detected them himself; no one even suggested that any de-
tectives were engaged in the affair. When most of the peo-
ple had gone home, Hays went to Walker's restaurant and
found the place crowded. He remained only a short time
and then went to the Tremont House to dinner. In the
evening he returned to the restaurant and found Walker in
high good humor. His bar had been well patronized all
day, and he had had over one hundred persons at dinner, so
that his profits had been very large. He was delighted to
see Hays, as he wished some one to talk to.
" I don't believe Cook stole those goods," he said ; "but
I know nothing about Wallace, and perhaps he did the job.
I hope Leitz will come over this evening, for I want to have
a good social talk with him. By the way, Hays, are you a
mason ? "
" No ; I am not," replied Hays cautiously, uncertain how
to reply. " I have been thinking of joining the order for
some time, but I have been prevented in various ways. To
tell the truth, I have been trying to find the right kind of a
lodge, containing such men as you and Leitz ; then I shall
perhaps take the first degrees."
" You will be better off if you have nothing to do with
the masons of any lodge. Men like Ben Leitz and me can
keep our own secrets without taking a crowd into our con-
fidence. It doesn't take me long to 'tell whom I can trust ;
and as I thought I could trust you I wanted to find out
THE DETECTIVES. 71
whether you were bound to any secret society. Now that
I know you are not, I would be willing to teli you any of
" I feel just that way toward you also," said Hays, " and
I should like to tell you something about myself, so as to
get your opinion and advice."
" Well, I shall be glad to hear it," answered Walker :
" you can wait until after I shut up for the night and tell me
your secret here."
Hays glanced around to see that he was not overheard by
any one, and then said :
" All right, Walker ; I feel that I can trust you. You
must swear not to reveal the story, and I will tell you all.
I want your advice very much, and I shall place my liberty
and life in your hands."
Walker brought his clenched fist down on the bar with an
oath, and added exultingly :
" Never fear me ; I'll stick closer to you than a brother."
Hays then strolled over to one of the tables in the saloon
and remained there all the evening gambling for small
stakes. He won two or three dollars, and still further
excited the admiration of the old habitues of the place by
his expertness as a gambler. Leitz was playing at another
table, and there were many customers present all the even-
ing. They began to go away about ten o'clock, and at
length Walker, Leitz, and Hays were left together. Walker
locked his doors, pulled down the window-shades, and put
out all the lights but one ; then he drew Hays to one side
72 THE MODEL TOWN.
" I wish you would take Leitz into your confidence, for
we are old partners, and we always work together in every-
thing. You needn't be afraid to trust him, for I would put
myself into his hands without any hesitation. He can advise
you better than I can, and he ought to know something
about you, since, if you work with me, he will be more or
less mixed up in it. What do you say ? "
" Well, I have no objection," said Hays with great delib-
eration, at the same time rolling a huge chew of tobacco
from one cheek to the other ; " if you trust Mr. Leitz your-
self, I do not ask any other guarantee."
" That's right, Hays ; you stick to me and I'll help you
to a good job," exclaimed Walker, delightedly. " Come,
now, let's take a drink and go into the back room ; we can
talk there without fear of being disturbed."
They gathered around the stove in the back room, and
Walker placed a large bottle of whiskey on a table close by.
A few lemons, a bowl of sugar, several glasses, spoons, and
a hot-water jug were at hand, and all the arrangements were
completed to spend the night in talking and drinking to-
gether. Hays then commenced his story.
" T HAD been living in Cairo for some time previous to
-*- the events I am about to relate, and I had grown tired
of working for nothing but a bare living. About six months
ago I made the acquaintance of a man named Marsh, who
owned quite a large brewery on the levee. He was doing
a fair business, but he wanted to get into something which
would pay better. He tried to sell out several times, but
as he could not get any one to pay his price, he determined
to sell out to an insurance company. For this purpose he
insured the stock and buildings for a large amount, and
then began to cultivate my acquaintance. At length he
made a plain offer to give me one-fourth of what he re-
ceived for insurance if I would set fire to his brewery. I
thought there was no risk in it, and so I consented. He
gave me a key to a side door, and said that he should go to
St. Louis for a day or two, leaving his foreman in charge.
During his absence I was to slip into the building and set
fire to it near the furnace. Everything was arranged satis-
factorily, and at the appointed time Mr. Marsh left town.
" As I was intending to burn it the next night, I was
anxious to see how the place looked in the night-time ;
therefore I went down the levee about two o'clock in the
morning. On approaching the brewery I found a large
74 THE MODEL TOWN AND
barge alongside the levee, and a number of men were busily
engaged in rolling kegs of beer into it. Every particle of
stock was thus removed, and before daylight the barge cast
off from the levee, and dropped down stream. I saw that
his object, of course, was to get the insurance in full, while
at the same time he would get the value of the stock by
selling it in Kentucky or Missouri. The insurance com-
panies would know nothing about the removal of the stock,
hence they would pay the insurance upon it as if it had
been destroyed. This did not concern me, except that I
determined to get my share of the additional profit which
he would make.
" The next night I went to my boarding-place about
nine o'clock ; I acted as if I was almost dead drunk, so that
my friends carried me to my room and put me in bed.
About midnight I dressed myself noiselessly, slipped out
of the house, and went straight to the brewery. I found
plenty of kindling stuff, and I made a large pile of it too
large, as 1 soon discovered. After lighting it I put a
blanket over it to hide it until I should be far away. I
then hurried out. The flames spread so rapidly, however,
that the whole interior ^yas in a light blaze before I could
get off the levee, and the light instantly attracted the
notice of the watchman at a neighboring warehouse. He
caught sight of me at the same moment, and he immediately
gave chase, shouting ' Stop thief ! '
" He gained rapidly upon me, and his cries soon aroused
a number of other people. By this time the flames were
burning fiercely as the brewery was very old and dry and
THE DETECTIVES. 75
the light was so great that I feared being recognized by
some one. I therefore dodged around a corner and waited
for the watchman to come up. As he passed me under full
headway I struck him a powerful blow with my fist, intend-
ing to stun him. He dropped instantly, and I escaped any
further notice. I reached my boarding-house and got into
bed without being seen or heard. The next morning the
whole city was excited over the incendiarism and probable
murder. The watchman had been struck on the jugular
vein in the neck, and his condition was very serious.
Several parties were arrested on suspicion, but they were
discharged on examination. No one suspected me, but I
learned that the case was to be put into the hands of
Pinkerton, of Chicago, and then I decided to leave.
" When Marsh came back I asked him for my share of
the insurance money. He said that I had done the job in
such a bungling way that it was doubtful whether the com-
panies would pay anything ; moreover I had killed a man,
and the result might be a hanging matter for me. He then
said that he could give me only fifty dollars, and that I had
better run away before I was arrested.
" He scared me a good deal, and I left there that night.
Since then I have learned that the watchman has partly
recovered, but his right side is wholly paralyzed, and he
cannot move about. I. have also learned that Marsh col-
lected all his insurance without difficulty, since no one sus-
pected him of having had anything to do with the fire.
The fact is, he has played a pretty sharp trick on me, and I
tvant to get even with him ; but I am afraid he will have
76 THE MODEL TOWN AND
me arrested if I make any fuss. You see I have no hold on
him at all. He got twelve thousand dollars, and I ought to
have one-fourth. Now, gentlemen, I have put my safety in
your hands, and have trusted you more than I ever trusted
any one before ; but I have the utmost confidence in you
and I wish you to give me your advice."
" Well, Hays, you're a trump," said old Walker, enthusi-
astically ; " I knew you were from the first I am never
mistaken in a man. You did just right, and we will help
you to get the money that fellow owes you, won't we,
Leitz ? "
" Yes ; I think we can manage it," said Leitz, thought-
fully. ' ; As for the watchman, I would have served him the
"Ha! ha! ha! of course, you would," laughed old
Walker. " You have done the same scores of times.
Come, let's have a good drink ; talking is dry work."
After drinking together they sat and discussed Hays'
difficulty. Leitz finally said that there was one way in
which they might be able to squeeze the money out of
Marsh : Hays might write to him that he knew all about
the way in which the brewery was emptied of its stock the
night before the fire ; that he knew how the insurance had
been obtained on property which was not burned ; and
that if Marsh still refused to pay . Hays the share agreed
upon for setting fire to the brewery, the latter would get a
friend to write a full account of the transaction to the in-
surance companies, so that they would arrest Marsh for
arson and for fraud.
THE DETECTIVES. 77
This plan was agreed upon as being the most feasible one,
and they all drank success to the scheme. By this time
both Leitz and Walker were somewhat under the influence
of liquor, and their tongues were loosened to an unusual
"Come, Leitz, tell Hays your story," said Walker; "he
has placed confidence in us, and we ought to show the same
trust in him."
"All right; I'm willing, though it isn't very interesting,"
replied Leitz, taking another drink.
He then gave a brief account of his early life, which was
passed near Ogdensburgh, New York. He stated that .he
was a free-and-easy kind of a fellow until the time of the
iUcKenzie rebellion in Canada, in 1838. He was then a
young man of loose habits, and his mind was fired with the
idea of becoming one of the liberators of Canada from
British rule. When McICenzie organized his expedition on
the Canada frontier, seized the steamer Caroline, and made
his raid upon Toronto, Leitz joined the rebel forces, an 1
entered the city among the first. They soon broke their
ranks and began plundering the shop-keepers and other
citizens. Leitz finally entered the house of a wealthy banker
and demanded his money ; on being told that there was only
a small sum of money in the house, Leitz again insisted on
receiving a large amount. By this time the Canadian
volunteers were driving back the straggling bands of rebels,
and Leitz told the gentleman that if at least one hundred
guineas were not immediately produced, he would kill the
whole family. At this some of the women rushed out
78 THE MODEL TOWN AND
screaming, and Leitz shot the old man dead. Before he
had time to search for money he heard the approach of the
Canadians in the street, and he was forced to escape by the
back way. He succeeded in avoiding capture and reached
the frontier in safety ; but the search became so hot for the
murderer of the Toronto banker, that he thought best to
1 javc that part of the country. He therefore travelled west
and settled at Mariola, where he was joined by his wife, and
where he had remained ever since.
".That shows you what a devil of a fellow Leitz is," said
Walker. " Besides, he never goes back on his word, and he
isn't afraid of anything. Now you shall hear my story : I
was born in New York, where I grew up like a weed until
I was about twenty-two years old. Then I was caught
' shoving the queer,' * and was ' sent up ' for five years.
Well, I served my time, and when I came out I went in
with some friends of mine who were first-class * coney '
men.f I made a heap of money and secured it by putting
all my property in my wife's name. Finally I was caught
and was ' sent up ' for ten years. I was pardoned out in
six years, however, as I was rapidly dying of consumption."
Here he paused to laugh immoderately, as if he thought
it was a good joke, and then continued :
" Well, I went at once to see my wife, but I found that
she had obtained a divorce from me, and that she utterly
* Passing counterfeit money.
f Counterfeiters are called "coney" men or " coniackers," the terms
being applied only to those who manufacture bogus coin for others to
pass. They rarely handle it themselves.
THE DETECTIVES. 79
repudiated me. I didn't mind losing her so much, but she
had secure possession of all my hard earned savings,
Walker paused to take a drink, and the expression of his
face plainly showed that he was disgusted with such a lack
of honesty on the part of his wife. He actually felt that she
had stolen from him all the money he had saved, and no
honest mechanic, who had earned his living and saved
money by the sweat of his brow, could have shown a greater
degree of virtuous indignation than was depicted in the face
of that hoary old scoundrel.
" When I found that my wife would not give up any of
my money, I went to Texas in the hope of making a fortune
in a new country. I kept the company of a wild crowd all
the time, and a mistake about a horse caused me to leave
Texas in some haste. I then started a restaurant in New
Orleans, and succeeded very well ; but I cannot endure
slavery, and so I travelled north. Most abolitionists mix
up a good deal of pious cant in their theories, but I am not
one of that sort. Finally I settled here, and I have done
well enough so far : but the teetotallers and pious people
are persecuting me worse now than the Southern fire-eaters
ever did in New Orleans for being an abolitionist. They
are all fanatics, and they will not listen to reason ; what with
their praying and preaching they are determined to ruin my
business and to prevent me from earning my living honestly.
Well, I guess I'm about even with 'em; it ain't necessary
to say anything about that," he continued, with a knowing
wink at Leitz ; " but they haven't as many churches as they
SO THE MODEL TOWN AND
once had. I was willing to cry quits with them after the
churches burned, but they began to bring the subject up in
the school. When the children passed me, they would point
at me and cry : ' There goes the wicked rum-seller ! ' and then
they would congregate around my saloon and sing temper-
ance songs and such slush. I told them they had better
leave me alone ;- but they kept it up, and now the children
haven't any place to go to school, and they don't bother me
any more. Ha ! ha ! ha ! I guess I know how to protect
" You served them just right," drawled Hays ; " they
had no right to intefere in your business."
" Of course not," said Leitz ; " Walker has a legal li-
cense, and he has as good a right to sell liquor as they have
to sell groceries or dry-goods."
"Are you doing anything in the 'coney' line now?"
" No ; I have quit that business. I can make money
fast enough by selling liquor, if these praying cusses will
leave me alone. Besides, Leitz and I have a way of making
money which we will tell you when the time comes."
"How do you suppose Cook and Wallace got those
goods ? " asked Hays.
" Well, I think they were working with Warden," said
Leitz. "They aren't smart enough to have done the job
alone. Do you like Warden, Walker ? "
" No ; I wouldn't trust him. He brags a good deal, but
he would be sure to go back on any one that trusted him, if
necessary to save himself."
THE DETECTIVES. 81
" That is my opinion too," said Hays.
"Well, I must be going," said Leitz ; "it is after one
Walker went to the door with Lietz, and cautiously closed
it after him. When he returned, Hays said :
" Leitz is a splendid fellow, but what do you think of
" Oh ! he's well enough, only he's a little soft. He has
been in the penitentiary twice," said Walker.
" Is it possible ! What was it for ? "
" Once for stealing, and the second time for passing coun
terfeit money. He hasn't any grit, and he begged out each
" Do you think he fired the elevator the other night ? I
partly though b so myself; but, as you say, he doesn't seem
to have the nerve to do such a thing."
" Oh ! I dont know," said Walker, with a yawn ; " I'll
talk about that some other time."
Well, I must go," said Hays, taking the hint. "Good-
light ; I will see you again soon." So saying he departed.
LARK made good use of his time during Wolff's ab-
sence. By cultivating the friendship of Mrs. Black,
the housekeeper, he was able to learn, with no apparent
effort, all that she knew about the hotel-keeper and his
friends. It was Wolff's custom to go away nearly every
month for two or three days, and on his return he always
had plenty of money.
It was more than a week before he returned from his trip,
and he was in high spirits. Clark rendered a full account of
all that had occurred during his stewardship, and Wolff
showed perfect satisfaction with everything.
" Has Davis been here while I was away ? " he asked,
" Oh ! yes ; he has been here nearly every day, and I had
to chalk down a great many drinks to him. He brought com-
pany several times, and they often took meals here, so that
the bill is quite large. Mrs. Black said that she thought it
was all right, and he told me that you let him have every-
thing he wanted on credit, so I made no objection."
"Yes ; that's all right ; I meant to have told you about
him before I went, but I forgot it. We have dealings
together, and I guess he will be here soon to see me."
Davis was the watchmaker whose shop I had entered,
THE DETECTIVES. 83
and who seemed so lazy and careless about getting a job.
I had told Clark to make his acquaintance, as I suspected
that he and Wolff were partners in some rascality.
In a day or two after Wolff's return, four men arrived at
night and took the best rooms in the house. They had
their meals in a separate room, and no one knew that they
were there except the three regular inmates of the hotel.
Davis came over every day, but he never stopped more than
a few minutes. He would talk to Wolff for a moment, and
then they would go up-stairs. After one drink at the bai
he wotild hurry home, as if anxious to avoid observation.
One evening Clark and Wolff were sitting by the fire,
when the former made some allusion to Davis, to which
Wolff replied that Davis was one of his best friends.
"I hope he is doing well," said Clark, "but I am afraid
his business doesn't pay very well just now."
" Oh ! yes it does," said Wolff, with a sly laugh ; " there
are not many watchmakers in the country who are making
money so fast as Davis. It takes a man of uncommon
ability to turn out such work as this," he continued, taking
a roll of counterfeit five-dollar gold pieces from his pocket.
Clark examined them carefully and exclaimed in admi-
" Did he make these ? they are the best I ever saw ! I
am pretty well posted on this kind of work, but I believe I
should have been fooled by these shiners myself."
At that moment footsteps were heard approaching, and
Clark slipped the money into his pocket just as several cus-
tomers entered the bar-room.
84 THE MODEL TOWN AND
They remained until about nine o'clock, and on their
departure Clark gave back the coin to Wolff, with the
remark that he should like to get some like it.
"Well, I will see to that by-and-by," said Wolff ; "but
don't talk to Davis about it, for he is such a nervous, faint-
hearted fellow that you might frighten him. While I was
away I sold over twelve hundred dollars in bogus coin. I
sell it as fast as Davis can make it, at fifty per cent, of its
nominal value. Those four fellows up-stairs are waiting for
a lot of it. They expected to have found it ready for them,
for they don't usually come until I have a good supply ;-but
Davis is lazy, and he will not work much while I'm away."
" I should think it would be to his interest to work
steadily," said Clark.
" Yes ; it is of course ; but his work is very hard, as he
has to do it at night in a very uncomfortable workshop. He
has a fine set of tools and dies, however, and he can turn
out a great deal in a short time. I must go up-stairs now to
see my four customers ; won't you come up and make their
acquaintance ? "
"You are sure they are all trustworthy?" asked Clark,
"Oh! yes, indeed. Come along; they will be glad to
. Clark was introduced to them all by Wolff, who vouched
for his character (or rather lack of character) in the most
flattering terms. In fact, he whispered to one of the gang
that Clark was one of the most skilful bank-robbers in the
ivhole country ; on receiving this information their ivspccl
THE DETECTIVES. 85
for him was vastly increased, and they all showed a great
anxiety to cultivate his friendship. They drank and played
cards until a late hour, and it was nearly day-break before
Clark went to bed. He remained up in order to write me
an account of the discoveries he had made, as he feared
the men would get their bogus coin next day. He did not
sleep over two hours before it was time to take his letter to
the depot in order to catch the early train.
On receiving his letter, I replied instantly, telling him to
learn the route the men intended to take, and to telegraph
to me the instant they started. I then called on the United
States Marshal and told him that I had discovered a nest of
counterfeiters, whom I desired to arrest myself at my own
discretion, as I did not wish to expose my plans in another
operation. At my request, therefore, the Marshal swore in
George H. Bangs, my superintendent, as a Deputy Mar-
shal. The latter then held himself in readiness to go at a
In two days Clark wrote that the men would start the
following day. They had received about fourteen hundred
dollars in ten and five-dollar gold pieces, and a large sum in
silver fifty-cent pieces. They intended travelling rapidly to
Tennessee, where the money could be passed without 'sus-
picion. Clark had previously sent an accurate description
of the men, so that I anticipated no difficulty in capturing
them. As I knew the road they were to take, I sent Bangs
to intercept them at the junction of another road about
twenty miles from Mariola. I also telegraphed to the
sheriff of a comity about one hundred miles further along
86 THE MODEL TOWN".
on the same road, asking him to meet Bangs on the train at
the depot of the principal town in that county. I tol'd him
that he would need several assistants, as there were foui
desperate men to be arrested.
The next day Clark telegraphed to me that the men had
left, and I soon received a despatch from Bangs stating that
he had discovered* the quartet of counterfeit-passers, and
that he should keep them in view until he reached the place
where I had decided to arrest them.
Bangs found them occupying widely distant seats, acting
as if they were totai strangers to each other. He had no
difficulty in recognizing them, however, and when the train
reached the point agreed upon, where the sheriff came on
board with three deputies, Bangs designated the four whom
he wished arrested. The arrests were made at night, and the
men offered no resistance. They were taken into a private
room at the station, and were immediately searched. Over
fifteen hundred dollars of counterfeit gold coin and about
three hundred dollars in bogus silver coin were found upon
their persons and in their satchels. They all gave fictitious
names, but my warrants were good enough to hold them,
especially in view of the discovery of the bogus coin. Bangs
brought them immediately to Chicago, and United States
Commissioner Meeker held them for trial under bonds of
fifteen hundred dollars each.
WHILE Webster was idling about town he chanced tc
make the acquaintance of a farmer named James
Curran. He was a good-natured, honest-looking, jolly
Irishman, about fifty-five years of age, and he was known far
and wide as " Jimmy." He lived on his farm about nine
miles from Mariola, and his reputation was untarnished by
even the suspicion of wrong-doing. His wife was a comely,
contented German, and they had four children. His
farm was quite small, but he seemed to work it to great
advantage, as he sold a great deal of produce to Mariola
Webster was a remarkably keen observer, and he soon
noticed that Jimmy came to town at least once a week, and
sometimes oftener. His loads usually consisted of poultry,
eggs, butter, lard, hides, etc., and the quantities of these
articles were sog^feat that Webster's attention was attracted.
He thought that probably Jimmy was all right, but still
there could be no harm in looking after him a little. He
noticed that Jimmy always came to town in the forenoon,
and after selling his load he spent the day in the saloons,
though he never became drunk. Then he would get supper
and start home a little after seven o'clock. This was rather
peculiar, since by starting two hours earlier he would have
daylight to travel by and would save the price of his supper.
88 THE MODEL TOWN AND
Webster began to interest himself in Curran's movements,,
and he frequently met the farmer at saloons ; after a time
they became quite intimate, and Curran showed a great
partiality for Webster's society. It was ( therefore easy for
Webster to keep a good watch upon him without exciting
The season was a very open one, and the water-fowl be-
gan to fly early ; Webster was fond of hunting, and he
determined to visit Curran's house while out on a shooting
expedition, as he was anxious to learn something about thr
farm which was so enormously productive. In fact, bj
this time, he had reached the conclusion that Jimmy Curran
was either a notorious thief or else the receiver of goods
stolen by others. Accordingly he left Mariola early in the
morning, and by good luck and skilful shooting he had a
well-filled game-bag on arriving at Curran's house. Jimmy
was very glad to see him, and so was Mrs. Curran, a plump,
neat German. They stayed about the house until noon,
when a fine dinner was served.
While indoors Webster was engaged in making a mental
inventory of the contents of the house, though he did not
appear to observe anything. He was particularly struck
with the furniture, knick-knacks, modern conveniences, and
ornaments which were scattered about in great profusion.
When they sat down to dinner he noticed that the table-
ware was of the finest quality, and there were several
luxuries among the dishes which seemed quite out of place
in such a household. After dinner they took a walk about
the' barn and tin- onl-houses. where Webster observed a
THE DETECTIVES. 89
number of suspicious signs. In the tool-house he saw
about four or five dozen axes, nearly as many saws, several
kegs of nails, a dozen large grind-stones, and many other
things in the same proportion. They were all new, and
most of the articles were in their original packages, just as
they were sold in the stores. The quantity of tools was so
great that Webster came to the conclusion that Curran must
be intending to start a country store of his own.
On returning to the house Curran said that he was
obliged to go to see a neighbor for an hour or two, and that
Webster must remain until his return, when he would take
him part way to Mariola in his wagon. Webster was quite
willing, and Jimmy started off. Mrs. Curran was busy with
her children and with other household affairs, so that
Webster had a fine opportunity to examine the barn, granary,
hen-house, and tool-house without interruption. A more
miscellaneous collection than the contents of these build-
ings can hardly be imagined. Under the hay were dry-
goods, groceries, furniture, kitchen utensils, crockery, and
hardware, while barrels of salt, whiskey, molasses, vinegar,
and all varieties of wet groceries were neatly hidden in
large grain bins ; these bins had false bottoms, with only a
light layer of grain on top, and admittance to the space
below was gained by a door at the back of each bin.
Webster found such a vast collection of goods that he could
not understand how they had been stolen. It was certainly
impossible that they had been pilfered in broad daylight, since
many of the articles were very bulky. He determined to
soive the mystery at the earliest opportunity, and to have
90 THE MODEL TOWN AND
Jimmy Curran arrested in the act of stealing, if possible
He did not await Curran' s return, but started away after he
made his discoveries, telling Mrs. Curran that the shooting
was too good to lose and that he would return to Mariola
After leaving the house he made quite a tour around the
country, stopping at all the farm-houses. He soon learned
that Curran was in the habit of selling all kinds of goods to
the neighboring farmers ; his prices were often lower than
those of the Mariola store-keepers, so that he was exten-
sively patronized. He did not profess to keep a store, but
he was able to furnish almost all kinds of merchandise ; he
accounted for his supply of goods by saying that he always
bought everything by wholesale for himself, and he could
afford to let his neighbors have it cheap if they wished to
save the journey to Mariola.
Webster returned to the city and awaited further devel-
opments. In a day or two Curran drove in with a load of
grain, which he sold at the building temporarily used for the
elevator. He then spent the day. with Webster, and they
had such a jovial time at the saloons, that by eight o'clock
in the evening Webster seemed wholly intoxicated.
Curran -had reached that happy stage where he
" Wasna fu', but just had plenty."
He left Webster in a maudlin condition in a low saloon
a,nd went to get his horses at the stable where they had been
left. Webster staggered out shortly afterward, and by the
time Curran had harnessed up his team Webster was near
THE DETECTIVES. 91
by in a miraculously sober condition. The night was quite
dark, and Curran drove home at only a moderate gait, so
that Webster had no difficulty in keeping up with him. On
reaching an unsettled stretch of the road he drove very
slowly, occasionally stopping as if to listen ; at length, turning
out of the highway, he went about two hundred yards from
the road and then stopped in a small grove of trees. Web-
ster crept up close and saw that he had blanketed his horses
and had rolled himself up in another blanket on some hay
in his wagon.
The situation was anything but agreeable to Webster, who
shivered and chattered in the raw night wind for over three
hours before Curran made a movement. The horses stood
perfectly still, without neighing or stamping, as if they were
quite accustomed to their duties, and not a sound was heard
except Jimmy's heavy snoring as he slept off the effects of
the liquor he had drank.
About midnight, however, he awoke with a start, raised
himself up to listen, and got out of the wagon. He cau-
tiously lit a match to enable him to look at his watch, and
he then uncovered his horses preparatory to making a start.
As he drove back to the road Webster noticed that the
wagon wheels ran almost noiselessly, and that there was no
clicking of the harness. The phantom team turned back
towards Mariola, with Webster close behind. Curran
entered the town at a walk, and drove to a large, well-
kept saloon. The whole town was wrapped in sleep, and
no sound could be heard except the whistling of the wind
and the creaking of signs and shutters ; the sky was over-
93 THE MODEL TOWN AND
cast with heavy clouds and inky darkness shrouded every-
thing, so that nothing could be distinguished at a .distance
of more than twenty feet.
Curran seemed to know his way intuitively, however, ana
passing to the rear of the saloon, he entered by a door which
was left unlocked. He soon opened the front door and
rolled out a barrel, which seemed quite heavy. He left it
standing beside his wagon and returned to the saloon, but he
came out again almost instantly and began to scrape the head
of the barrel. Webster concluded that he was removing the
names and marks, and ii afterward proved that such was the
case. Having scraped a few minutes, Curran returned to
the saloon, closed and locked the front door, and came out
as he had entered, leaving no trace of his visit except the
absence of the barrel of liquor which he rolled into his
He then drove to a marble-cutter's yard, followed by the
astonished Webster, who could not imagine what there was
worth stealing in such a place. Jimmy thought differently,
however, for he selected a fine marble slab and slid it up an
inclined board into his wagon. A neat- foot-stone was placed
beside the other, and he then turned his horses' heads home-
ward. Webster followed him about two miles, and was about
to turn back when Curran stopped near a large farm-house
and cautiously crept up to the hen-roost. He soon returned
with an armful of chickens, whose necks he had wrung so
scientificallv that not one of them had uttered a cackle or a
squawk. He then resumed his journey, and Webster
.-e turned to town.
THE DETECTIVES. 93
On receiving Webster's report I wrote to Messrs. Brown
and Lincoln that I would like them to keep a close watch
upon a man named Jimmy Curran, who lived about nine
miles from Mariola. I told them that he was in the habit of
bringing large quantities of produce to town to sell, most of
which was probably stolen from his neighbors ; that he usu-
ally left town early in the evening, but that he went only a
short distance and then hitched his horses in a grove until
about midnight, at which time he returned to Mariola and
stole anything he could lay his hands on. I advised them
to follow him on horseback at the first opportunity, and then
if he should act as I expected, they could capture him with
full evidence of his guilt in his possession.
" Well, this is strange," said Mr. Brown to Mr. Lincoln
on reading my letter ; " we have known Jimmy Curran for
several years, and have never had the slightest suspicion of
him. I can hardly believe that Mr. Pinkerton's informa-
tion is correct ; but still, you recollect how much we gained
by following his instructions with regard to Cook and Wal-
lace, and so we had better obey him implicitly in this mat-
"Yes; I agree with you," said Mr. Lincoln ; "besides,
now that I come to think about it, I recollect that Jimmy
has sold me an immense quantity of produce. I have never
given it a second thought until now, but it does seem odd
how he could have raised such crops on that little farm. I
guess we may as well follow Mr. Pinkerton's advice ; so the
next time Jimmy comes to town I will let you know, and we
will follow him in the evening."
C:4 THE MODEL TOWN AND
Two days later Jimmy drove up to Mr. Lincoln's store
and sold a large amount of butter, eggs, and live poultry.
He then spent the day with Webster in visiting the differ-
ent saloons. At eight o'clock in the evening he took his
departure for home, and Webster went to his boarding-place,
knowing that his presence would not be required.
The night was not very dark, and Messrs. Brown and Lin
coin did not dare to follow Curran very closely for fear of
being seen by him. He drove off at a rapid gait, and the two
gentlemen took the same road at a long distance in his rear.
They had made all preparations for passing the night out-
doors, and they decided to take their stations near the road,
so as to make sure of seeing Curran on his return. They
chose a spot just outside of the town, where a clump of trees
gave them shelter, and there they awaited the events which
the night might bring forth.
Shortly after midnight they saw a team coming toward
Mariola ; leaving their horses in the grove, they followed
the noiseless wagon into the city. They knew that Curran
would not dare to drive fast for fear of making a noise, and so
they preferred to follow on foot, as they could watch him with
less risk of discovery. He first stopped in front of a mer-
chant tailor's shop, which he entered by raising a side win-
dow. He then brought out several bolts of cloth and placed
them beneath the hay in the bottom of his wagon. A short
distance further down the street he walked into a butcher's
shop, the door of which was unlocked, and there he selected
a number of fine roasts and steaks, which he put into a
large market-basket : this he covered with hay as before,
THE DETECTIVES. 05
and then he stood two or three minutes in meditation. He
seemed desirous of completing his marketing in good style,
for, leaving his team standing, he went to a restaurant where
Webster had treated him to oysters that day. He had a key
which fitted a side-door, and he soon came out with a box of
canned oysters on his shoulder. Finally he drove to a lum-
ber-yard, where he took on a load of about three or four
hundred feet of choice lumber.
The lumber-yard was so situated that Messrs. Lincoln
and Brown were unable to approach close to Curran with-
out being seen by him ; hence they were some distance
away when he again took his seat. They had decided to
wait until he had completed his stealing before arresting
him, but they had not expected that he would be so soon
satisfied ; therefore when they saw him turn towards home
at a brisk trot they were not able to overtake him on foot,
and they were obliged to hasten after him as rapidly as pos-
sible until they reached the spot where they had left their
horses. Jimmy, however, had caught sight of them, and he
was already far in advance, driving at a fast trot. The mo-
ment they gained their saddles they began the pursuit in
earnest, and, although the fugitive urged his horses into a
full gallop, there was no hope for his escape. As they
gradually drew nearer and nearer, Jimmy became desperate,
as he began to feel sure that they had seen him in the city,
and that they intended to arrest him. On reaching a point
where the road passed through a piece of thick woods a bright
idea flashed into his mind : leaving his horses to gallop on
without guidance, Jimmy sprang into the rear of his wagon,
96 THE MODEL TOWN AND
and commenced to throw out the goods he had stolen ; out
went the lumber first of all, as it was the heaviest and the
most conspicuous of all his plunder. Still the pursuers
gained ; out went the oysters in a damaged heap by the
roadside, and closely following went the choice cuts of
meat in a confused mass of mud, basket, and hay ; last of
all he flung out the bolts of cloth, throwing them as far as
possible into the shrubbery on each side. Then, resum-
ing his seat, he urged on his tired and panting horses ; but
the latter were unable to keep the pace, and one of
them at length stumbled and fell. The next moment
Mr. Lincoln ranged up on one side and Mr. Brown on
" Shure, an' is it you, Mr. Lincoln ? " asked Jimmy, as he
recognized his pursuers. "Troth, thin, but it's glad I am
to see yez both. D'ye see, I've been radiu' about the
highwaymin in the ould count hry, an' I thought yez were a
pair o' Claude Duvals, mebbe. Will yez help me up with
me horse ? shure it's a divil of a fall he had."
The horse was much frightened and exhausted, but
not hurt, and in a few minutes the team was in good condi-
" Now, Jimmy," said Mr. Lincoln, " you are our prisoner,
and you must go back to Mariola with us."
"Yer prisoner, is it! Shure now, Misther Lincoln, ye
wouldn't arrest a dacint, rispectable farmer for goin' on a
bit of a shpray ? Och, I know I've taken a dhrop too much ;
but let me go this time, gintlemin, an' you'll never see me
THE DETECTIVES. 97
" It isn't on that account that we arrest you, Mr. Curran,
as you well know," replied Mr. Brown.
"Well, ye see, Misther Brown, I must ha' bin ashlape
whin me horses began to run so fast ; I thought I was goin'
home, but, be dad, I don't know whether I'm on the right
road or not."
" No ; I think not," said Mr. Lincoln ; " you are on a
very bad road, indeed. However, you must go back to
Mariola with us, and we will pick up your load on the way."
Jimmy expressed entire ignorance of Mr. Lincoln's mean-
ing, but, rinding that he could not escape, he took his seat
in the wagon with the remark :
" Oh ! well, Mr. Lincoln, ye will have yer joke, so I sup-
pose I must go to satisfy ye."
Mr. Brown led Mr. Lincoln's horse, while Mr. Lincoln
and Jimmy occupied the wagon seat. They made their
prisoner assist in picking up the various stolen articles along
the roadside, and as each new article was reached he ex-
pressed his unqualified wonder that he had not seen them
as he drove by. On entering Mariola they placed the load
in Mr. Lincoln's store, and then took their prisoner to
Marshal Binford. The latter was aroused with much diffi-
culty, and Mr. Brown told him that they had a prisoner to
be locked up.
" All right," said the Marshal from his upper window ;
" I'll be down presently. Did you arrest him on a war-
" No ; but we caught him in the act," said Mr. Brown.
" He is another of the same kind of honest men as Cook
98 THE MODEL TOWN AND
and Wallace ; you needn't be afraid that he'll sue you for
false arrest, Marshal."
Binford drew in his head quickly, as if the retort were not
pleasant to him ; in a short time he came down and gave
Curran a room in the jail.
It was now nearly daylight, and Messrs. Lincoln and
Brown ordered three or four large wagons to be made ready
to go to Curran' s farm, as I had written to them that several
teams would be necessary to move all the stolen goods.
They then roused up a magistrate and swore out 3. search-
warrant to enable them to overhaul Curran' s house, stables,
etc. It was seven o'clock by the time they readied the
farm, and Mrs. Curran had evidently been up several hours.
Finding that her husband had not returned at the usual
hour, she had suspected that something had been discovered
to cause his arrest ; she had therefore carefully hidden
everything which could lead any one to imagine there was
anything wrong about the place. There were a number of
storekeepers and leading merchants of the town in the
party, and Mrs. Curran received them so naturally and
easily that some of them began to think there mur.t be a
mistake. They looked around the buildings for a few
minutes while waiting for the arrival of Messrs. Brcim and
Lincoln, but they discovered no evidences of the presence
of stolen goods, and they almost felt like dissuading Mr.
Lincoln from searching the premises.
The two leaders had been detained some minutes late/
than the rest of the party ; but on their arrival the search
began in earnest, in spite of the cries and protestation , of the
THE DETECTIVES. 99
whole Curran family. As nest after nest was discovered,
the astonishment of the storekeepers was unbounded.
They identified goods which they had missed months
before, and there was not a single merchant present who
failed to find a portion of his stock on the Curran premises.
The whole forenoon was spent in moving the goods, and by
the time the articles known to have been stolen had been
removed, there was little left in the house.
Curran was brought before two Justices on the following
day, and was then held for trial on six different counts for
larceny. His bail was fixed at fifteen hundred dollars ,011
each count, in default of which he was committed to the
During the next week there was a daily congregation of
the Mariola storekeepers and the neighbors of Curran to
examine the stolen goods ; gradually the articles were
identified and taken away, until only a few lots remained
unclaimed, and these were eventually sold at auction.
TT 7ALKER, Morgan, Leitz, and Hays were drinking
V together early on the morning that the search was
made at Curran's. They had heard of Curran's arrest, but
they could not find out what was the charge against him.
When the first wagon-load of goods came in they went
together to hear the news. The story soon spread rapidly
that Jimmy Curran had been arrested for stealing, and that
his house had been found filled with stolen property. The
quartette above mentioned having heard all there was to be
told, returned to Walker's saloon and sat down together in
"Well, I thought I was a good judge of human nature,"
said Walker, " but this business completely upsets me. I
never thought Jimmy Curran had enough sense to do a job
so neatly as he has been doing."
"No; nor I either," said Leitz. "The beauty of his
game was, that it was so simple."
"Yes; that showed his shrewdness," said Hays; "it is
not always the most cunning trick that succeeds the best."
" That is all very true," said Morgan in a boasting man-
ner; "but if I had been smart enough to steal all those
goods, I should have hidden them so they could not be
THE DETECTIVES. 101
found. Do you suppose I would have been caught as
Jimmy was ? No, siree ! "
"You don't know what you're talking about, Morgan,"
replied Walker. " Do you think that Lincoln and Brown
caught Jimmy Curran without anybody else's help ? They
are reasonably smart, but they aren't smart enough for that.
No, sir ; they have had detectives at work I am sure of
"You don't think so ! " exclaimed Morgan, turning very
" Yes ; I do think so," replied the old man.
" So do I," said Leitz ; " the more I think about it the
more I know that Walker is right."
" Well, then, we must find out who they are," said Hays.
" Yes ; that ought to be done the first thing," said
Walker.^ "They will soon begin to blow about their suc-
cess in capturing Cook, Wallace, and Curran, and then we
shall easily find out who are engaged in spying 'round."
"I'm not afraid of 'em anyhow," Leitz remarked in alow
tone ; " I never trust any one with my secrets, and so I
have no cause to fear the best detective that ever lived."
"You can't keep everything to yourself," replied
Walker ; " you must have some one to confide in. Why,
it is only lately that you and I told our secrets to Hays."
"That is an entirely different thing," argued Leitz.
" We have Hays in our power, for we know enough about
him to settle him for life if he should attempt to inform
upon us. You see, we are all three tied together ; if one
should try to sell out the other two, he would have only
102 THE MODEL TOWN AND
his word against both of the others'*; besides, the other two
could easily prove that the other was a criminal, and thus
they would get their revenge."
"That's a fact," said Walker; "you are always right,
Leitz. But, now, who is it that is helping Lincoln and
Brown ? We must find out right away."
A crow'd came in just at this time, full of excitement
about Curran's arrest, and Hays helped Walker serve out
drinks. They were quite busy for some time, but at last
Hays had a chance to speak to Walker quietly, though
Morgan and Leitz were not far away, and several others
were in the saloon.
" Walker, I want to speak to you alone," said Hays, in
a very low tone.
"What's up now?" asked Walker.
"Never mind," replied Hays ; "get rid of Morgan if you
can, for I don't want any one to hear except you and
" All right," said Walker ; then walking to the other end
of the bar he spoke to Morgan : " I wish you would go
over to the Globe Hotel, Morgan, and hear what Wolff
thinks about this arrest. I don't like Wolff myself, but he
is a shrewd fellow, and he may know something more about
the case than we do."
" I was just thinking of that," answered Morgan, ever
ready to do anything for the " old man."
" Well, find out what he knows and -thinks about it," said
Walker, handing Morgan a parting drink.
When Morgan had left the saloon, Walker nodded to
THE DETECTIVES. 103
Leitz, and the two men joined Hays at one end of the bar.
Hays had an immense chew of tobacco in his mouth, and
by the rapidity with which he chewed he showed that he
was somewhat excited. The two older men had noticed
that this was the only way in which Hays ever showed
haste or excitement, and so they waited several minutes for
him to speak.
" Well, what is it, Hays ? " asked Walker. " I see you
have something on your mind."
"Walker, you know I trust you and Leitz perfectly,"
finally drawled out Hays; "but I have my ideas about a
certain other person, and I was sorry you talked so plainly
this morning about our secrets. It maybe that I am too sus-
picious, but I tell you I don't like Morgan. Now he
may be all right ; but there is something that looks bad :
he was the first man to know anything about Curran's
arrest, and lie knew more than anybody else. I am afraid
that he is the man that gave Curran away. Anyhow,
\\hether that is true or not, I don't like to trust him."
" I don't know but that you are right," replied Leitz,
thoughtfully ; " yet I can hardly see how he did it. He was
here playing cards until after one o'clock, and it was about
that time that the chase commenced. He might have seen
Curran on his way home, and then informed Lincoln and
" No ; it was all planned beforehand," said Walker.
" Morgp.n may have seen Curran before, and if so he
could have told Lincoln and Brown to be ready the next
time Jimmy came to town. Still, I don't feel sure
104 THE MODEL TOWN AND
about it, and so I'll tell you what we'll do : we will watch
Morgan all the time never allow him to go anywhere
except with us or watched by one of us. I tell you, if he
should blow on us we should be in a bad fix."
"All right," said Hays; "we will never lose sight of him,
and if he shows any signs of going back on us well, I guess
something will happen to him."
The three men looked at each other a moment, nodded
significantly, and then the conference broke up.
Meantime everything went along quietly at the Globe
Hotel. Clark was a great favorite with Wolff, and his intim-
acy with the handsome housekeeper progressed most satis-
factorily. They paid no attention to the arrest of Jimmy
Curran, since that was a kind of knavery which they did not
countenance. The news of the arrest of the four counter-
feiters reached them after some delay, and they were all much
alarmed for a time. Wolff, Clark, and Davis held several
consultations on the subject, and they tried to reason out a
theory to account for the arrest of the four men. On learn-
ing of this I caused a brief paragraph to be inserted in the
daily newspapers, to the effect that four men had passed
counterfeit money in payment for railroad tickets, and they
had finally been arrested on the railroad train with a large
quantity of bogus coin in their possession. This paragraph
was seen by Wolff, and he immediately showed it to Clark
" There, that accounts for the arrest," he said. " You
know that they changed cars about twenty miles south of
here and bought tickets on the other road. I should have
THE DETECTIVES. 105
supposed that they would have had better sense than to pay
out any of the stuff in these parts. Probably the ticket
agent recollected them and telegraphed to have them ar-
"Well, I'm mighty glad that we've found out how they
were caught, for I began t& be afraid that there had been
detectives at work," said Davis.
" Yes ; I feel much easier about the matter now," said
"I must acknowledge I was rather nervous myself," said
Wolff, " especially as I wanted to start off&gain to sell some
more of the shiners. How long will it take you to make
me about two thousand dollars, Davis ? "
" I don't know whether I care to do it just now," replied
Davis. " You see, if they caught you they would be sure
to catch me too."
" Oh ! I can fix that safe enough," Wolff argued
" Clark and I will manage it together. I will go ahead and
make the arrangements, while Clark follows me with the
money. He will simply deliver die bogus and receive the
genuine money, and the purchasers will not know whence he
comes nor whither he goes. We will each have a horse and
buggy, and all deliveries shall be made at specified points
on the roadside, so that there will be no danger to either of
" Yes ; that will be a good plan, and I will commence to
make the coin to-night," said Davis. " It will take me
about three weeks to make two thousand dollars, and I
must get to work as soon as possible."
" Is the work very hard ? " asked Clark.
" Not very, except that I have to do much of it at night.
I have excavated a room underneath my house, where I can
work without the least danger. There is a trap-door in my
sitting-room, and it fits so closely that it would never be
noticed even if the floor were Bare ; but I keep it always
covered by a large rug, and no one could possibly suspect
its presence. I have a set of simple signals with my wife,
and she tells me when to come out and when I must keep
" Well, you mu's t work as fast as you can," said Wolff,
" so you had better begin at once."
" All right ; I'm not afraid, now that I know those
fellows were captured by their own carelessness. You must
come over and see my place, Clark; it is as good a shop as
you ever saw, I fancy."
" I will drop in soon," replied Clark ; " but I will let
you know beforehand. Well, good-day."
After Davis had gone, Wolff laid out a plan of operations
with Clark, and all the details were fully settled.
"By the way, we must find some one to take charge of
the bar," said Wolff. " Do you know of a suitable man ? "
" No, not just now," said Clark ; " but it seems to me
that it would be well to hire a man who is a comparative
stranger in the town."
"That's a good idea," said Wolff, "and we will look
around for some such fellow."
When I received Clark's report of this conversation I
sent him instructions to make Werbster's acquaintance, and
THE DETECTIVES. 107
to introduce Wolff and Webster to each other as soon as
possible. I wrote to Webster at the same time to cultivate
Wolff's friendship in order to get installed as bar-keeper
( during the absence of Wolff and Clark.
In a day or two Clark paid his promised visit to Davis.
He was introduced to Mrs. Davis, and the three sat together
talking until a neighbor's child who was present went home.
Then Davis took a hasty glance up and down the street,
pulled the rug to one side, and then went to the side of the
room. Clark was able, on close examination, to perceive
the outline of a trap- door about two feet square, but he saw
no means of raising it.
" How do you get it up ? " he asked.
"That's the prettiest thing about it," said Davis, chuck-
ling at his own ingenuity.
He then pointed to a knob on the floor which was
apparently intended to keep the front door from striking the
wall when opened wide ; on pulling a small iron bolt out of
the side, and stepping on the knob, it yielded to his weight,
while at the same instant one side of the trap-door raised
up sufficiently to permit it to be lifted off without difficulty.
" You see," said Davis, " there is a lever under the flooi
which is worked by this knob. There is no danger of lift-
ing the trap-door by accident, for when this bolt is in place
the knob will not go down. Ain't that a pretty clever piece
of work ? "
"It is, indeed," replied Clark; "it beats anything I ever
They then descended into the secret cellar, and Mrs.
108 THE MODEL TOWN AND
Davis closed the door above them. Davis quickly lit a
lamp, and Clark had a good view of the whole place. The
room was about nine feet high, and twelve feet wide by fifteen
feet long. The floor was covered by boards laid on the
earth, so that there was no rumbling noise made by stepping
on them. They were also protected by a rag carpet to
prevent sound, and Davis, as an additional precaution,
pulled off his boots. There were two good apertures for
ventilation, and the air of the room was fresh and com-
fortably warm. The workshop was completely furnished
with every necessity for melting, moulding, filing, and cutting
metals, and all the tools were of the best character. A
large battery and trough in one corner showed the means by
which the bogus money was made to appear so much like
the genuine article, and indeed all the appliances
were such as are used by only the most scientific counter-
When they were ready to come out, Davis made a sound
like the gnawing of a rat, and Mrs. Davis immediately let
them out. After an explanation of the signals which Mrs.
Davis used to warn him of the approach of strangers and
their departure, Davis gave a practical illustration of the
way in which he worked. When engaged in the noisiest
part of the process of manufacture, no sound could be
heard outside the house, and only a faint clinking could be
distinguished indoors. At a simple signal from Mrs. Davis
everything was silent as the grave, while a second signal
was instantly followed by the resumption of work below.
Clark acknowledged that Davis had a perfect workshop and
THE DETECTIVES. 109
an unsurpassed system of labor ; having seen all there was,
he returned to the hotel.
On receiving Clark's report I wrote to the Secretary of
the Treasury describing this secret laboratory, and asking
authority to arrest the members of the partnership at my
own discreton. He sent me a document addressed to the
United States Marshal, ordering him to assist me when
called upon, but to wait for the completion of my plans
before making any move. I gave this order to Harry
Wilton, the United States Marshal for Illinois, and he
agreed to give me all the assistance necessary when I was
ready to make the arrests.
WEBSTER had become well acquainted with almost
every one in town during his stay there, and he was
generally regarded as a lazy loafer ; yet he was so good-
humored that no one seemed to think ill of him. Among
his casual acquaintances was a young fellow named William
Condon, who had about the same reputation as Webster's.
He was a jack-of-all-trades, earning his living by farm-work
in the mild weather, and by odd jobs in town during the
winter. His distinguishing characteristic was his appetite,
which was simply enormous ; it was uncontrolled by any
considerations of time, place, or quantity provided, and the
principal objects of Condon's life seemed to be to work as
little and to eat as much as possible.
One evening the weather suddenly turned very cold,
and the loafers found it necessary to congregate in the
saloons to keep warm. Webster was seated alone in a
small saloon when Condon joined him. After the usual
greetings, Condon leaned over confidentially, and said :
" Webster, do you like 'oysters ? "
" Yes, indeed ; I used to live on Long Island Sound,
where we had oysters all the year round."
"Well, would you like to get some to-night?" again
THE DETECTIVES. Ill
"Of course I should," replied Webster ; "but they cost
too much for me."
" They needn't cost you a cent," said Condon ; " if you
will come along with me I will show you where we can get
all we want for nothing."
"I'm your man," said Webster. "Just show me that
place and I sha'n't ask any questions as to who pays for
The two men passed out of the saloon and walked down
the principal street until they came in sight of a large
grocery store. In front of the store was a large case of
canned oysters exposed for sale, and Condon called Web-
ster's attention to them.
" There, do you see them cans ?" he asked, smacking his
lips in anticipation of a feast. " They leave that case out
all night, and if you'll help me, we can take the whole lot.
My wife will cook 'em up in splendid style, and for once I
shall have enough oysters for a meal."
"You can depend upon me for all the help I can give."
said Webster ; " but I strained my back yesterday, and 1
don't know whether I can lift much."
" Never mind about that," said Condon ; " I can carry
the whole box, but I want you to keep watch while I take it."
Having agreed to meet at a certain spot about midnight,
they separated for the evening. Webster soon returned to
the grocery store and dropped in to buy some crackers.
" Are the oysters good at this season ? " he asked.
" Oh ! yes they are better than usual, owing to this cold
snap," replied the proprietor.
112 THE MODEL TOWN AND
" Do you think it is safe to leave them out-doors ?" Web-
stei asked, pointing to the case on the sidewalk.
" What ! do you think I would leave them out there ?
They would spoil in no time. That box in front is my sign ;
I have plenty of empty cans, and I fill them with water,
solder them up, and arrange them neatly in a case, as if they
were really full cans of oysters. I have lots of fun, for every
little while some fellow steals a can, and runs off as if he
thought he had a prize."
"That is a mighty good sell," said Webster, and he
laughed heartily at the manner in which Condon would be
He soon went out and spent the evening in Wolff's bar-
room, where he had begun to make frequent visits. At the
appointed time and place he met Condon, and they walked
quietly to the grocery store. It was agreed that Condon
should walk off with the box, while Webster followed to
keep watch ; then they were to have their feast at supper-
time next evening. Accordingly Condon listened a fevr
minutes, to be sure that no one was coming, and, being sat-
isfied, he hurried across the street. He was a very powerful
man, but it took all his strength to raise the box to his
shoulder. He succeeded, however, and as he staggered off
toward his home, Webster sat down on a door-step and
rolled over with suppressed laughter, as he thought of Con-
don's disappointment on opening the case.
The next evening Webster went to Condon's house at
seven o'clock, and walked in without ceremony. Condon
lid not appear very glad to see him, but they conversed
THE DETECTIVES. 113
together about the weather and other topics for some min-
utes. At length Webster said :
"Come, Condon, what are you waiting for? Let's have
The expression that came into Condon's face at this
remark was almost too much for Webster's equanimity. It
was a compound of longing, disappointment, disgust, and
mortification, such as nearly drove him to distraction, and
he blurted out :
" Oysters be ! There wasn't a single one in the
whole case, and I nearly broke my back in lugging home a
lot of cans full of frozen water."
" Oh :' see here now," replied Webster, incredulously, " I
want fair play. I don't mind letting you have all you can
eat, but I don't want to be cheated out of the whole lot.
Come, give me enough for one supper, and you can eat the
rest whenever you feel like it. There ought to be enough
there to last even you two or three meals."
" I tell you there wasn't an oyster in the whole case ;
the cans were only dummies filled with water. You can
bet that I'm as much disappointed as you are."
Webster drew down his left eyelid with one finger, and said
in a most aggravating way :
" Do you see anything green in my eye ? Fetch out one
stew, and then you can eat the rest yourself."
" I swear I arn telling you the truth : there was nothing
in the cans but water," replied the exasperated gourmand ;
" see, there are the empty cans in the woodshed."
"Well, if you are such a hog as to keep all the plundei
114 THE MODEL TOWN AND
yourself, after getting me out on a cold night to help you
steal it, I don't want anything more to do with you. I
believe you've eaten the whole lot already."
So saying, Webster grabbed his hat and left the house.
Having had enough fun out of Condon to satisfy him, he
did not care to keep up his acquaintance. He knew now,
however, that Condon would steal if he had a chance, and so
he decided to watch him carefully.
As he hurried away from Condon's house he met War-
den, the braggart Deputy Marshal, coming away from the
depot with a travelling-bag in his hand. They greeted each
other very warmly, as Warden had been away for some days.
From the time they had become acquainted at the prelim-
inary examination of Cook and Wallace, they had been
much together, and Warden had formed quite an attachment
for Webster ; hence they met like old chums.
" You are just the man I want to see," said Warden, shak-
ing hands with Webster warmly ; " come along to old
Walker's and tell me the news."
They were soon seated at a quiet table, and Webster told
all about Curran's arrest and such other matters as had
occurred in Warden's absence.
" So Jimmy Curran was running a country store without
paying for his stock, was he ? " said Warden, musingly. " I
wish I had known it, for I could have helped him off with
every bit of his plunder, and we would have made a good
speculation out of it. Have Cook and Wallace got bail yet ? "
" No ; they do not seem to have any friends," said
THE DETECTIVES. 115
"Well, I would like to help them, for they are good men.
I gave their lawyer a small retainer, but I am afraid he will
lot work very hard unless I can raise some more. If I had
i couple of good men I could make a big haul," said
War-den, looking at Webster significantly.
" Speak right out if you feel like it," answered Webster.
" You ought to know by this time that I'm ready for
anything to make money."
" Well, I thought so," said Warden, looking much pleased ;
" now, if you'll help me, we can make a couple of thousand
apiece. Down at Bromfield there is a large jewelry store
osvned by a man named Bliss. I have inspected his stock,
and I am satisfied that he carries a stock of not less than
eight thousand dollars in value. The train-hands are
changed at Bromfield, and so he finds it profitable to keep a
large stock of good watches, while his miscellaneous jewelry
is quite valuable also. Now, I think we can help ourselves
there without any trouble at all."
" How is the place situated, and how much of a safe has
he ?" asked Webster.
" The store is in a business block, and no one sleeps
an \\vhere near it except Bliss's journeyman watch-mender.
He is a mild-spoken German, and he could be overpowered
easily. He sleeps in the back part of the store, and he
drinks so much beer every evening that he must sleep pretty
" How would you proceed in the affair ?"
" Well, we should need three men one to stand outside
and watch, while the other two forced open the safe. There
116 THE MODEL TOWN AND
would be little difficulty in doing that, since it is a mere iron
chest, and I could force it open in ten minutes. After
making the haul we would go to Mrs. Vreeland's tavern at
Winchester, on the canal. We could remain there in safety
until the fuss about the robbery had blown over, and then
take a canal-boat down to Bordertown ; from there we
could go to any point we pleased to dispose of our plunder."
"Who is Mrs. Vreeland?" asked Webster.
" She is a smart tavern-keeper at Winchester, and she can
be trusted more than most men. She has kept me safely
hidden two or three times, and we are the best of friends.
Well, what do you think about it ; will you go in ? "
" I think it is a first-class chance to make a good haul, and
of course I'll go in," replied Webster; "but who will be the
third man ? "
" Well, I think I can get a fellow named Condon
oh ! you know him ? "
" I should say I did," said Webster, " and if he ain't a fox
I don't know anybody who is."
" Why, what lias he been doing ? " asked Warden.
" Oh ! it wasn't much of a job, but he got me to help him
steal a whole case of canned oysters last night, and when I
went around this evening to get my share the hog had eaten
the whole lot "
"What ! a whole case of oysters in one day !" exclaimed
" Yes, sir, every one ; he never gave me even a taste.
I saw him carry off the whole box of full cans last night, and
this evening he showed me the empty cans and tried to
THE DETECTIVES. \\1
make me believe there hadn't been an oyster in them.
I have no objection to him as a partner in this job, for he i?
as strong as an ox; but I won't consent to let him carry the
plunder away, for if he does we shall not get one penny's
worth for our share."
" Well, well ; I never thought he was that kind of a
fellow ; but we can prevent him from handling the jewelry
until we give him his share."
" All right ; I didn' t really expect to have any great
amount of trouble with him, but I thought best to warn you
of his trickiness."
" Well, I will see him to-morrow, " said Warden, " and if he
is willing to join us we will make our arrangements for the
first dark night."
The next day Warden met Webster and said that Condon
was willing to help them for one-fifth of the value of the
goods obtained, the other two dividing the remainder equally.
They went to Condon's house that evening and arranged
the details of their plan. There would be no moon for
several nights, and the appearance of the weather indicated
a storm of two or three days' duration ; they therefore fixed
the second night following for the time of committing the
robbery. Warden took Webster to his room, and there pro-
duced a "jimmy," several fine steel wedges a small pair of
bellows for blowing powder into the key-hole of the safe,
and several other necessary articles. When they parted
they agreed to meet at Bromfield at ten o'clock on the night
Webster immediately sent me a telegram in cipher,
118 THE MODEL TOWN AND
giving all the particulars of the intended burglary. His own
part in the affair was to be that of watchman outside, while
Warden and Condon were to enter the store, gag the
German who slept there, and blow open the safe. I replied
by a telegram, also in cipher, instructing him to allow them
to carry out their plan in full, since I wished to break up th<
den at Mrs. Vreeland's, and I therefore preferred to capture
them in her house. I ordered Webster to take no part in
entering the store, but to remain outside all the time ; also
to take none of the stolen goods, but to suggest that they
had better separate after the burglary had been accom-
The night agreed upon was very dark, though not rainy,
and everything appeared auspicious for the success of their
scheme. They took passage by the evening train, keeping
apart from each other : the train being very crowded, they
had no fear of being noticed. Condon carried the tools in
a large carpet-bag, and Warden took a key which he thought
would fit the lock of the outside door. They did not get off
at the depot in Bromfield, as they did not want to appear
in such a public place ; accordingly when the train began
to slacken its speed they sprang off, and walked a short
distance out of town. They obtained a comfortable shelter in
a straw-stack until about midnight, and then they started for
the jewelry store. At the outskirts of the town they again
separated, and went by different routes to their destination.
On arriving at the store Webster immediately took a po-
sition to watch and listen, while Warden and Condon tried
to open the door. Warden had observed that the lock was
THE DETECTIVES. US
a very common one, the same kind apparently being in use
in a number of other stores ; he had therefore obtained a
key which he had found by experiment would fit several of
these locks. On applying it here, however, it failed to turn
the bolt the full distance, there being a slight difference in
the arrangment of this particular lock. This was a totally
unexpected obstacle to their success, and Warden stood dis-
consolate for several minutes.
" Never mind," said Condon ; " I will push the door in
by main force.
So saying he applied his shoulder and gave a tremendous
thrust ; the weak fastening yielded instantly to the enormous
pressure, and the door flew open. For two minutes not a
movement nor a sound'vvas made by the burglars : the still-
ness was so complete that the snoring of the German in the
back part of the store was the only audible sound about the
whole building. Being thus satisfied that no one had been
aroused by the noise of forcing the door, Warden and Con-
don stole in noiselessly, closed the door, and opened their
dark lantern. They slipt cautiously to the German's bed-
side, and Condon grasped him by the throat, at the same
time sitting down on his body. He had evidently been
nearly stupefied with liquor before going to bed, and he
now merely opened his mouth to gasp. Warden instantly
slipped in a large gag, tied it fast behind his head, and
then rolled him face downward on the pillow. Having
secured his arms and legs, they left him perfectly helpless
and unable even to cry out.
They then went to the safe, the outer door of which was
120 THE MODEL TOWN AND
easily forced open; but they found that the inner door
resisted both the jimmy and the wedges. They therefore
blew a quantity of fine rifle-powder into the key-hole, cov-
ered the safe with a couple of blankets taken from the
German's bed, and, applying a fuse, they exploded the
powder. There was a muffled shock, a smothered puff,
and a great gush of smoke, but the noise was very slight.
On removing the blankets it was found that the inner door
was blown completely open, and the valuable contents of
the safe were now at their disposal. They immediately
emptied the carpet-sack of its contents and refilled it with
the least bulky and most valuable articles of jewelry. They
obtained over twenty gold watches, more than double the
number of silver ones, and a very large collection of rings,
bracelets, necklaces, watch-chains, etc.
Webster meantime was quietly keeping watch outside,
and, as he made no danger signal, they worked on without
any interruption. The two workmen inside the store would
have been terribly frightened if they had known what was
taking place outside. I had given the charge of this par-
ticular operation to my superintendent, Mr. George H.
Bangs, and he was already on the scene of action when the
burglars arrived there. As soon as Warden and Condon
entered the store, Bangs slipped over silently to Webster's
side. He had a double object in being there : he wished
to learn from Webster whether there had been any change
of plan since Webster's telegram had been sent ; secondly,
he wished to be able to testify that Webster had had nothing
to do with the robbery except as a detective. After a short
T.HE DETECTIVES, 121
conference with Webster, Bangs returned to his hiding-place
to watch for the reappearance of the other two.
When Warden had selected everything worth taking, he
gave the sack to Condon to carry, and they went to the
front door together. Finding that the coast was clear out-
side, they came out and carefully closed the door. They
then joined Webster and started for the country at a rapid
pace. As soon as they had cleared the town Webster left
them, according to their previous agreement. Webster was
to remain around Mariola for a week, and then join the
other two at Bordertown, where the spoil was to be divided.
The moment that the burglars had passed out of sight
Bangs hurried into the jewelry store to make an inspection
of the place. Hearing a series of grunts and moans from
the unfortunate German, he released him from his disagree-
able situation, and laid him out in a more comfortable
position. Having noted the position of the safe and the
appearance of the whole interior, he hastened after the
thieves. He took the high road to Winchester, and soon
was close behind them ; having followed them about five
miles, he felt convinced that they were going straight to
Winchester, and he therefore let them proceed alone.
Returning to Bromfield, he went to Morengo, the county
seat, and called upon the Sheriff. He stated that, in the
course of another operation, Mr. Pinkerton had learned that
a burglary would be committed at Bromfield ; that he had
been sent to attend to the case, and that he had witnessed
the whole affair. He gave the Sheriff the full particulars
with the exception of Webster's action in the matter and
122 THE MODEL TOWN AND
told the Sheriff that he knew where the burglars were con-
cealed. Hardly had he finished speaking when a messen-
ger arrived in hot haste from Bromfield, bringing a corrobo-
ration of the story of the robbery and a request for the
Sheriff to visit the scene of action at once.
Sheriff Arkwright immediately sent a deputy to Bromfield
and called three other deputies to assist in arresting the
criminals ; the party then started for Winchester in carriages.
They reached the village about noon, and without delay
they drove to Mrs. Vreeland's tavern. To Bang's aston-
ishment the first person he met in the hall was Clark, who
was last heard from at the Globe Hotel in Mariola. Of
course they did not show any signs of recognition, and
Bangs paid no attention to Clark's presence, well-knowing
that he must be there on some other operation.
Mrs. Vreeland was well acquainted with the Sheriff and
his deputies, and she received them with great cordiality,
saying that they were just in time for dinner.
" Thank you, Mrs. Vreeland, I dont know whether we
shall have time to stay for dinner," said Mr. Arkwright.
" What people have stopped here lately ? "
" Well, not many ; you see the roads are so bad that
very few people are travelling about the county just now.
There was one gentleman spent the day here yesterday,
leaving in the evening, and two men arrived last night, but
they went away early this morning. Then Mr. Clark and
Mrs. Black, of the Globe Hotel in Mariola, arrived this
morning, and are here yet. Whom are you looking for,
THE DETECTIVES. 123
Mrs. Vreeland was very handsome, and she smiled upon
the Sheriff most bewitchingly, but he was intent on busines's,
and he heeded not her arts and blandishments ; he replied
"Well, to tell the truth, Mrs. Vreeland, I have a warrant
to search your house."
" What nonsense ! You know that you have searched my
house forty times, and you have always found everything
just as I have told you. Why, it would be impossible for
any one to hide here without my knowledge/'
" That makes no difference," replied the Sheriff, " I must
search the place again."
" Oh . l then you suspect me of hiding somebody, do you ? "
she asked, with great dignity. " Very well, if that is the
case I have no more to say; go on with your search."
" I think I will walk down to the canal," said Clark,
putting on his hat.
" You will stay where you are," said the Sheriff. " Mrs.
Vreeland, you will accompany us around the house."
One deputy was left in the sitting-room with the other
occupants of the house, and a second deputy was sent to
search the barn and outhouses. Bangs, Sheriff Arkvvright,
and the other deputies then made a thorough search of
the whole tavern, ransacking every nook and corner.
This search was conducted with great care, although Bangs
knew that the men were concealed in a room beneath the
house, similar to the one which Davis had in Mariola ; but
he did not wish to expose Webster's connection with the
case, and so he proceeded as if he knew nothing about the
124 THE MODEL TOWN AND
house. When the tavern had been overhauled from the
first floor to the garret, the Sheriff was quite disappointed at
the failure to discover anything.
" I thought you were certain those men were here," he
said to Bangs in a whisper.
" So I am," replied Bangs^ " now let us examine the
floors of the rooms down-stairs."
"Are you sure, Mrs. Vreeland, that you have no one
concealed about the house ? " asked the Sheriff.
" I have told you already that there were no other persons
here except those whom you see," she replied. " You know
I always tell the truth, and now I hope you are satisfied.
I should think, Sheriff, that you would refuse to listen to
every idle tale you hear. My house is as respectable as
any, and if I should know of any improper characters com-
ing here, I should be as anxious to give them up to you as
you would be to capture them. Now that you have seen
everything, I suppose you will let us go and attend to our
work, won't you?"
" I am sorry to refuse you," said the Sheriff, politely,
" but we must first take a look at your floors."
As he said this Mrs. Vreeland turned very pale, but she
recovered herself in a moment and answered :
" Oh ! by all means ; and then you may as well lift the
roof off anything to oblige you."
"Well, let us take up this carpet first," said the Sheriff;
" handle it carefully, boys."
The furniture was passed out quickly, and the carpet was
pulled up ; but nothing was discovered.
THE DETECTIVES. 125
" Now let us take a hasty glance at this little room," said
Bangs, well knowing that there he would find the trap-door.
"You needn't trouble that room," said Mrs Vreeland,
"for I slept there myself last night. You aren't going to
insult me by supposing that I admitted any one to my bed-
room, I hope."
"Oh! no, indeed, Mrs. Vreeland," said Bangs in- his
most sympathizing tones ; " such an idea never entered my
head ; but I think you must be mistaken about having slept
here, for there is scarcely any furniture in the room."
In fact, the room contained only two or three chairs and
a table, which were quickly carried out while Bangs was
speaking. It was then found that the carpet was not tacked
down, and on rolling it back a large trap-door was seen in
the centre of the floor. Mrs. Vreeland was very much
agitated as she looked on, but she had nothing to say.
" Dear me I " exclaimed the Sheriff, " I wonder where that
door leads to. I guess we shall need a candle to investigate
" Here is one," said Bangs, taking one from his pocket
and lighting it.
" Well, you are a walking store-house," said the Sheriff ;
" I never ask you for anything without finding that you have
it instantly ready for use."
The trap- door was immediately lifted, revealing a dark
chamber below, and simultaneously with the opening of the
door two pistol shots were fired up into the room abova.
Fortunately no one was hit, and the fire was returned by all
the officers present. Before the smoke cleared away, Bangs
126 THE MODEL TOWN AND
sprang into the hole, followed by the Sheriff and a deputy.
They found Warden and Condon in the underground
chamber, the former wounded in the head. The prisoners
were quickly secured and hoisted to the floor above. The
search was then continued for the stolen property, as only
a few watches and jewels were found on the persons of the
men. On being questioned closely, however, Condon
acknowledged that he had been engaged in the robbery, and
that they had brought all the plunder to Mrs. Vreeland's
tavern, in the hope of getting away quietly some night by
" What have you done with the jewelry? " asked Bangs.
" It is hidden in the room where you found us," replied
Condon. "Warden hid it by scratching a hole in the soft
earth deep enough to hide the carpet-sack and its con-
"Did Mrs. Vreeland know what you came for?" asked
" Oh ! yes ; she agreed to hide us and get a canal boat
to take us away, for a watch and some rings."
Pangs soon unearthed the carpet-sack, and the Sheriff took
charge of it after they had made a joint inventory of all the
recovered goods. A doctor meanwhile was engaged in
dressing Warden's wound, which was painful but not at all
dangerous. He was kept in irons all the time, as it was
evident that he was a dangerous man. who would not hesi-
tate to risk his life to escape.
After consulting together, Bangs and the Sheriff decided
not to arrest Mrs. Vreeland, since it was doubtful whether
THE DETECTIVES. 127
she could be convicted. As her character was now clearly
shown, Bangs ad\ised the Sheriff to keep a careful watch
upon her house, and possibly she might be detected in aiding
some plan of rascality more definitely than in this case, and
theji she would receive a severe sentence, as she could not
plead previous good character.
The t\vo prisoners were taken to 'Bromfield, where, in
default of bail, they were placed in jail to await trial, and the
property was returned to the jeweller to whom it belonged.
After the officers had left the house, Clark, Mrs. Black,
and Mrs. Vreeland held a consultation together. The two
former were especially sorry that the detectives had seen
them under such circumstances, for they feared that they
would now be watched as suspicious characters. They
decided to return to Mariola at once, to inform Wolff of the
unfortunate termination of their visit.
When the news of the robbery reached Mariola every one
was much excited thereat, and the general opinion was that
the gang would soon recommence operations in that city.
The speedy capture of the burglars consoled the frightened
villagers somewhat, but they were greatly surprised to think
that Warden and Condon should have set out as thieves.
The City Marshal was often joked about his favorite deputy,
who had turned out to be a desperate burglar.
Clark, Wolff, and Davis held a meeting soon after Clark's
return from Mrs. Vreeland's. Wolff was not much disturbed
by the arrests, though he was sorry that Clark and Mrs.
Black should have been seen by the officers under such
circumstances. Every one would be on the look-out for
128 THE MODEL TOWN.
thieves, and the excitement on that score would divert
attention from any other form of rascality.
" Still we must be very cautious," said Wolff, " and when
we are ready to get off some more of the stuff, I think it can
be easily managed."
" Oh ! yes," said Davis, " I am perfectly safe at my work,
for no person could ever suspect anything about my under-
" You forget," said Wolff, " that they found the trap-door
in Mrs. Vreeland's house."
" I know that, but they did not find it until they had
pulled up the carpets in two or three rooms. Besides, no
one would know I had a trap-door, even if they did pull up
the carpet, for it fits just like the rest of the floor."
" Well, we need not be alarmed yet," said Wolff, " for no
one has had any reafon to suspect us. Hereafter, we will
be doubly careful."
OLD man Walker was much disturbed at the news of
the arrest of Warden and Condon, because he
believed that detectives were at work in the affair. Hays,
Leitz, and Walker were talking the matter over one evening,
and the latter said that he was afraid they would be forced
to act very cautiously thereafter in everything they might
undertake, owing to the probable presence of detectives. |
" Oh, pshaw ! I ain't afraid," said Leitz, " and I don't
think detectives had anything to do about these arrests. It
was a rough job all the way through, and it is every way
likely that they were seen in Bromfield and tracked to Mrs.
Vreeland's. The Sheriff would naturally go to her place
Just then Morgan came in and said that he had stepped
into the Methodist prayer-meeting for a little while, and
that it was full of red-hot teetotal abstinence advocates,
who were working themselves up into a fine state of excite-
" What's the special grievance now?" asked Leitz.
" Oh ! they say that all these robberies and burglaries
ar; caused by the saloon-keepers, and that if the saloons
were not shut up there would soon be no safety for decent
people. The women particularly became greatly excited,
13C THE MODEL TOWN AND
and one of them wanted to lead a mob to destroy all the
saloons and all the liquor in the place ; but more moderate
counsel prevailed for the time, and the meeting broke up
without taking any action. There is a great feeling over
the matter, however," continued Morgan, " and I should
not be surprised some day if they attempted to carry out
" What do you think about it, Walker ? " asked Leitz.
"Don't you think it would be well to ship your stock of
liquor away, keeping a small supply on hand for immediate
use ? "
" No, never ,! " thundered the old man, drawing up his
spare figure to his full height and shaking his fist at his
imaginary foes. " Let them molest me if they dare. This
is my property and I will defend it. I have a license good
for five months, and I have a better right to my business than
other men, for I have paid for the privilege of carrying it
on. If they try to destroy me, I will show them that two
can play at that game. I will "
Leitz caught the old man's eye, made a gesture of
caution, and said :
" Yes, indeed ; you can call upon the Sheriff to protect
you. Come, let's drink."
" All right," said Walker, " I'll treat you all this time and
then shut up, for it's getting late. I guess there's no use
in being scared yet awhile, and when anything does happen,
it will be time enough to talk about what we'll do."
As they passed out after drinking together, Walker
whispered to Hays to come back after he had parted from
THE DETECTIVES. 131
Morgan. Accordingly, after leaving the latter at his house,
Hays slipped back to- the rear door of Walker's saloon, and
was quickly admitted by the old man. As he expected,
Hays found Leitz there also, and the three sat down
" Hays," said Leitz, " we have all confidence in you, and
we have decided to take you into our plan. Morgan is a
pretty good man to go 'round and pick up news, but he has
no nerve, and we want a man to lead him. We might get
other saloon-keepers to join us, but it is too risky to trust
ourselves in the power of such men. Now we are all three
bound together so that we dare not betray each other, and
we can do the work with, perhaps, Morgan's help. The
old man has a plan which he will tell you himself."
"Yes, I have a plan for revenge on these canting hypo-
crites and on the railroad company," hissed out old Walker.
" The town depends on the railroad for its very life, and if
we can drive the company away the town will fade out
like a puff of smoke. Now I propose to go over to the
embankment some dark night just before the fast train
arrives, and draw the spikes of one or two rails, so that the
train will be thrown off the track. The stoves in the cars
will certainly set them afire, and the whole train will be
destroyed. At the same time we -will place some kindling-
wood soaked in oil under the old meeting-house alongside
of a keg of gunpowder, and will set it off by a long fuse.
Then when the train and the churc^l are burning and
blowing up together, the folks will receive a lesson to mind
their own affairs."
132 THE MODEL TOWN AND
As the old wretch spoke, or rather hissed out these words,
he looked a personification of Satan himself, and the others
listened attentively without moving a muscle. For several
seconds not a word was spoken ; then Walker strode over
ro Leitz and held out his right hand, which Leitz grasped.
"Dare you do it?" Walker said to Hays, holding out
his left hand.
" I dare anything with you," replied Hays, taking the
" Then swear ! " said Walker.
" I swear to carry out your wishes and to be faithful to
you till death," said Leitz solemnly.
Hays repeated a similar oath, and Walker swore to do
nothing without their advice and to be faithful to them
forever. Then he raised a bottle of whiskey to his lips,
drank heavily, and passed it 'round.
"Now I am captain," said Walker, "and I will tell you
my whole plan. We must wait until the court meets, when
we can determine what steps our enemies are going to take.
Meantime we must get the powder and fuse."
" Lucy and I will attend to that," said Leitz. " She can
buy the fuse in Chicago when she goes there next week,
and we can buy the powder here in small quantities with-
out attracting attention." '
" We must be very careful, however," said Hays slowly.
" We must be sure to have no failure in the working of our
plan, and to leave no clues for detection."
" Yes, we must watch every one," said Walker, approv-
THE DETECTIVES. 133
" Shall you tell Morgan? " asked Hays.
" No, not just now," replied Walker. " We shall prob-
ably need him when the time comes, but there is no need
of telling him until then."
The party then broke up and left old Walker alone.
As the time for holding court approached, the excitement
was very great, and many of the citizens of Mariola went
over to Columbia, the county s,eat, while the grand jury was
sitting. At the conclusion of the session it was announced
that the jury had found indictments against Curran on twenty
different counts, and against Cook and Wallace on three
counts each. Curran was playing the insane dodge, but he
showed a remarkable amount of common-sense in his man-
agement of his property ; fearing that civil actions to recover
the value of goods stolen by him might be brought against
him, he deeded all his property to a brother, on the ground
that this brother had lent him the money to buy his farm, etc.
Besides the indictments above mentioned, the jury brought
indictments against Walker, Wolff, and all the other saloon-
keepers in Mariola, for selling liquor on Sunday. All these
cases were continued until the next term of court, to give
the accused time to prepare their defence, and the judge
then went to the adjoining county, where Warden was in
jail. In like manner their cases were continued, and the ex-
citement temporarily abated.
In a few days Clark went over to see Warden in jail, and
found him pale and weak, but determined to escape. He
asked Clark to get Wolff to smuggle in to him a steel saw
and a revolver, for he only needed to cut a few bars "to eri
134 THE MODEL TOWN AND
able him to reach the outside. Once free, with a revolver to
defend himself, he declared that he would not be retaken
alive. Claric promised to do all in his power to aid him >
and then returned to Mariola.
Wolff was the only man upon whom the prisoners could
depend, and he was frequently obliged to pay out money
on their account. First, the four counterfeiters sent to him
for enough to pay a lawyer to defend them ; then Esquire
Harvey, who had been retained by all the Mariola criminals,
applied for a large retaining fee , and in addition to these
demands Davis was continually asking for money for mate-
rials and for his own use. Wolff paid all these expenses, but
he grumbled about it, and declared that if the prisoners did
not escape before trial they would have to shift for them-
selves, as he could not afford to pay all their lawyers' fees,
Meantime Davis worked steadily in his subterranean
workshop, and by the end of April he had finished $3,200 in
gold and $1,000 in silver coin. It was of nearly the exact
weight, size, and appearance of the genuine article, and few
persons could have detected its counterfeit character, ex-
cept by cutting.
Webster had become so intimate with Wolff, that the
latter had appointed him to act as clerk while Clark and
Wolff were away getting rid of the counterfeit money.
When their plans had all been arranged, Clark wrote to
jne exactly how they were to proceed, and I immediately
arranged for their capture. Bangs obtained warrants from
the United States Commissioner, and then went quietly with
THE DETECTIVES. 135
three assistants to Winchester, where they appeared at the
Airy House as stock-drovers. Here they awaited the arrival
of their game.
On the night determined upon, Clark and Wolff prepared
for their journey. They each had a fine riding horse sad-
dled, and Clark started off at ten o'clock with all the coun-
terfeit gold coin in a pair of saddle-bags. The silver coin
was left behind, on account of its weight, and Davis took
it back to his workshop for safe keeping.
About midnight Wolff followed Clark, taking a slightly
different route. About day-break Clark reached Winchester,
after a slow ride, and went directly to Mrs. Vreeland's tavern.
After putting his horse in the stable, he walked into the
house, with his saddle-bags over his arm, as carelessly as if
they contained nothing but rubbish. Mrs. Vreeland greeted
him warmly, and said that she would take care of his saddle-
bags, as she supposed they contained valuable articles which
it would not be safe to leave around carelessly. Clark
told her that she was quite right, and that she must find a safe
place. Accordingly she carried them to her own room and
hid them underneath her dresses hanging up in her closet. In
a few hours Wolff arrived, he having gone to several places
to let the men know that they could get the counterfeit money
by calling at the tavern that night. He paid no attention to
Clark, and no one seeing them would have supposed them
to be acquainted with each other ; but they succeeded h;
meeting in Mrs. Vreeland's room and arranging their plans.
The day passed quietly, and shortly after dark the pur-
chasers of the " coney " money began to drop in. There
136 THE MODEL TOWN AND
were only four in all, but they took a good deal of time to
count, weigh, and test the coin. When they had gone,
Wolff gave Mrs. Vreeland $200, which she was to pay for
when she had disposed of it.
After Wolff had retired Clark joined Mrs. Vreeland in the
sitting-room, and they chatted together for some time, in-
deed he made love to her quite furiously. He suggested
that she would have to be very careful about handling the
bogus coin, and that she ought to have a safe place to hide
the bulk of it while she was disposing of it piece by piece,
since she would be in a bad predicament if the whole quan-
tity should be discovered. She laughed and said that there
was no danger, for she had hidden the money where no one
would ever look for it ; then taking hold of the edge of her
balmoral skirt, she showed him that she had quilted in each
piece of coin in a separate tuck.
Meantime Bangs was carefully watching the house, and
as each purchaser of the bogus money came out he was
followed to his home by the assistants whom Bangs had
with him. When all was quiet and the lights in the tavern
put out, Bangs commenced active operations. A man
named Gardner was the first of the counterfeit purchasers
to be visited, and after arresting him they found about $600
of the coin hidden away between two mattrasses. The
next victim was a well-to-do farmer, owning a large and val-
uable place of eighty acres. The remaining two were soon
raptured. The money found at each place was counted,
sealed up, and marked, and the prisoners were all taken to
the Airy House. Leaving them under a strong guard, and
THE DETECTIVES. 137
placing the bogus coin in the safe of the hotel, Bangs pre-
pared to descend upon the more important criminals at
Mrs. Vreeland's tavern. On arriving there, he stationed his
men so as to prevent the possibility of any one escaping,
and then he boldly knocked at the main door. In a few
minutes Mrs. Vreeland called out :
" Who is there ? "
" Jim Styles and two friends," responded Bangs.
" All right, Jim, I'll be down directly," and she soon
appeared at the door.
Bangs instantly seized her hands and slipped a pair of
handcuffs on her wrists before she had time to say a word
or make a motion. She had evidently expected a very dif-
ferent style of visitor, and had merely put on her balmoral
skirt and a loose sack. Bangs noticed the skirt with much
pleasure, for Clark had slipped out after leaving Mrs. Vree-
land, and had told him where she had hidden her money.
Leaving Mrs. Vreeland in charge of a detective, Bangs
hastened up to Wolff 's room, and without any ceremony
proceeded to kick the door open. As he reached the bed-
side, he found Wolff just springing up and rushing toward
the window. On finding that he was caught, however,
Wolff sullenly inquired what was the matter.
"Well, I shall have to ask you to go with me for a short
trip, so put on your clothes as quickly as possible," said
"What do you want of me?" asked Wolff. "I have
" I did not say you had done anything," replied Bangs,
138 THE MODEL TOWN AND
cooly ; " but I have orders to arrest every one found in this
house, and so you may as well come without making any
Before Bangs allowed Wolff to dress, however, he took
the precaution to search his clothes, being rewarded by
the discovery of two revolvers, a dirk knife, and two rolls of
bogus coin. Then the saddle-bags were found stowed under
the bolster, and they contained such a quantity of counter-
feit money that Wolff had nothing further to say.
" This is a remarkably good imitation of the genuine
article," said Bangs, as he looked at some of the money
before sealing it up ; " who made this for you ? "
Wolff maintained a dogged silence, but he plainly showed
that he was completely overwhelmed by his misfortune.
When he was dressed, Bangs put handcuffs on his wrists and
gave him in charge of an assistant to take down-stairs. An
idea seemed to strike Wolff's mind at this moment, and he
" I wish I could send word to Mrs. Black in Mariola, for
I shall want her to get bail for me."
" Well, I guess you can get a messenger," said Bangs,
" but there is no one about the hotel now that can go. If
you have any friends in Winchester I have no objection to
letting you see them."
"There is a man stopping here who used to board at my
hotel occasionally," said Wolff, " and I guess he would take
a message for me. He is right in the next room."
" Another man stopping here ? " queried Bangs j as if
greatly surprised. " I shall have to see about that."
THE DETECTIVES. 139
So saving he went to Clark's door, quickly forced it open,
and told Clark to consider himself under arrest. The room
was then thoroughly searched, while Clark was put into
WolfT's room to dress ; but as no counterfeit coin was found,
and as Clark protested that he was an innocent traveller,
Bangs was forced to let him go, though he pretended that he
did it very unwillingly.
"You maybe all right," said Bangs, "but you are in
mighty bad company, and I've a good notion to hold you
" You have no kind of proof against me at all," said
Clark. " I merely happened to stop at this tavern yesterday
because it was convenient, and I don't know anything about
" This man Wolff says he knows you," replied Bangs.
" Well, what of that ? " asked Clark ; " I have travelled
a good deal through this part of the country, and I have
stopped a few times at his hotel. That's all I know about
" Then you pretend to say that you didn't come here to
meet him ? "
" Of course I didn' t ; but even if I did, what right have
you to arrest me ? Where is your warrant ? ''
Bangs was obliged to admit that he had no warrant.
"Well, then, if you dare to arrest me I'll have you in-
dicted for false arrest," said Clark in high wrath. " I'll show
you that you can't arrest honest travellers for nothing."
" Don't you get impudent," replied Bangs, " or I will take
you on general suspicion. I don't believe you would care
140 THE MODEL TOWN AND
to try any suit against me. However, I have no warrant
for you, and I guess I will let you go ; but I shall keep you
here until 1 am ready to go away myself."
Clark aquiesced with a bad grace, as if he thought himself
very unjustly treated ; but he had no alternative, and so he
and Wolff were taken down to the sitting-room, where all
the other inmates of the house were confined. Meantime
all the rooms had been thoroughly searched by Bangs' as-
sistants, except Mrs. Vreeland's bed-chamber, and Bangs
" Mrs. Vreeland, I am going to search your room and
your clothing, and you can go up with us while we do so."
" You ought to be ashamed of yourself to keep me here
with these irons on," replied the indignant hostess. " If
you had not told me a lie by claiming to be Jim Styles, I
would not have let you in."
''Well, it can't be helped now," replied Bangs, good-
humoredly ; "so come along and let us see what you have
hidden in your room."
" Well, what are you looking after this time ? " she asked.
" I guess you know well enough," said Bangs, " and if you
want any further information I will give it to you after I have
finished the search."
It took nearly an hour to search Mrs. Vreeland's room
and all her dresses, for each article was carefully investi-
gated in every part, until there was not a place left unex-
amined which would hold a mouse ; but no bogus coin was
found, and Mrs. Vreeland's spirits evidently rose very high,
though she said nothing.
THE DETECTIVES. 141
After every nook and corner had been examined, Bangs
stood a moment and thought. Then he remarked, as if
" Well, I guess we have captured all they had, for we
have searched every inch of the house and all the clothes of
all the inmates."
"Then you'll let me go, won't you?" asked Mrs. Vree-
" I guess so," said Bangs, "for we haven't found any of the
counterfeit money in your possession."
"Counterfeit money! You don't suppose that I would
pass counterfeit money, do you?" exclaimed the virtuous
" Oh ! we have to suspect everybody, madam," replied
Bangs politely ; " and that reminds me I hav,en't searched
the clothes you have on. I guess we shall have to do that
simp% as a matter of form, you know, only a matter of
" You ought to be ashamed of yourself," stammered Mrs.
Vreeland, turning ghastly pale ; " you might have some re-
spect for my sex if you have none for my word."
"Really I am very sorry," said Bangs, "but my duty
must be done, and I shall have to ask you for that shawl and
skirt. Here are others that you can change them for."
" Oh ! for shame, you wretch ! have you no regard for
my modesty ? Think how you would like to have your wife,
your sister, or your mother treated in this brutal manner !
Have you no decency, man ? "
"Madam," replied Bangs, with some acerbity, "if in)
143 THE MODEL TOWN AND
wife or sister or mother kept a resort for thieves and
counterfeiters, she would have to take the consequences of
her own unlawful actions. I don't wish to shock you nor
shame your sense of decency, but your clothing I must have,
and the sooner you change it the better it will be for your
" Never ! never ! " she shrieked hysterically. " I will
die first, but you shall not expose my person on pretence
of searching my clothing."
" There is no need to do so," answered Bangs ; ' ' you can
slip one skirt over your head and let the other drop after
the first is fastened."
" No, sir ; I will not. This is an outrage I will not
" Well, Jake,''' said Bangs, tired of parleying with a
woman whose pretensions to modesty were only a cloak to
hide her from a different kind of exposure, "you pt* this
skirt over her head and I will drop the other,"
As they approached her, Mrs. Vreeland saw that resist-
ance would be useless, and therefore quieted down and
sullenly agreed to make the change herself. On receiving
the skirt, the wily Bangs carefully felt of it until he came to
one of the coins, which he cut out. He took out several
others to identify them, and then made up the skirt in a
sealed package to be used as testimony on the trial.
Having secured the objects of his search without betraying
Clark's share in the arrests, Bangs allowed Mrs. Vreeland
to enter her room alone to dress, and then put all the
prisoners in the sitting-room until daylight, which soon
THE DETECTIVES. 143
came. He then marched them all to the Airy House,
where they had breakfast before leaving for Chicago. On
taking the early train for that city, Bangs gave Clark his
liberty, saying that he ought to be more careful of his
associates in future.
Bangs soon delivered his prisoners to the United States
Marshal and immediately started for Mariola, arriving just
before Clark, who rode over from Winchester. The first
place that Bangs visited was the house of Davis the watch-
maker, and he had no difficulty in obtaining complete
evidence of his guilt. On being told that there was a war-
rant for his arrest, Davis broke down completely, and sat in
a sort of stupor after being placed in irons, taking no
interest in the search of his house. Bangs quickly found
the trap-door, but he professed to be unable to get it open
except by using an axe. Entrance was soon obtained, and
in a short time all the implements of counterfeiting were
passed out and boxed up to be used on the trial. In
addition to the moulds, dies, etc., the detectives found
the rolls of fifty-cent pieces which Wolff had sent back.
They next searched Wolff's tavern, much to Mrs. Black's
alarm, but nothing was found there. Immediately on learn-
ing that Wolff had been arrested, Mrs. Black took complete
charge of the tavern and managed it for her own benefit,
as there was no one to call her to account. She did not
seem greatly afflicted at Wolff's enforced absence, but
welcomed Clark back with the utmost cordiality.
Bangs had proceeded so quietly that his object in visiting
Mariola was not suspected until he had arrested Dans and
144 THE MODEL TOWN.
was preparing to return to Chicago with him. Then the
excitement became intense, and every one in the town
turned out to see the prisoner and the detectives. People
gathered on every street corner to discuss the great topic,
and to congratulate each other that the gang of counterfeit-
ers had been broken up. They generally agreed in attri-
buting to these men all the acts of crime the detection of
which had so baffled their efforts theretofore ; and in this
view my detectives, according to my instructions, seemed
to coincide. Thus there was great rejoicing, for it was
universally believed that the whole gang of scoundrels who
had been engaged in plundering and injuring Mariola were
now safely locked up.
In a few days the counterfeiters were arraigned before
the United States commissioner, and were held for trial,
Wolff and Davis in the sum* of $3,000 each, and the others
in the sum of $1,000 each. Failing in obtaining bondsmen,
they were all sent to jail to await trial.
MORGAN was one of the first men in Mariola to hear
of the arrest of Wolff, Davis, and the others, and he
immediately began a conversation with one of the detec-
tives. Having learned all that he could, he hurried to
Walker's restaurant to tell the news. Hays was already
there and Leitz soon dropped in. Morgan related all that
he had learned, and drew upon his imagination for a great
deal more. He said that the detectives assur^i him that
there would be no more danger of robberies and fires, for
the last of the criminals of th*e town had been captured.
King was then sent out to learn the current talk among the
townspeople, and the three men sat down to discuss the
" Now is our time to strike a blow," said old Walker.
" They are flushed with success and think that there is no
one left here to do them any injury. Ha ! ha ! we'll show
them the biggest scheme yet. They are thrown off their
guard now ; they have no suspicions of any one, and if we
act at once they will suppose our actions were done out of
revenge for Wolff's arrest. They will instantly suspect his
friends those fe lows Clark and Webster and we shall
have our revenge without any danger to ourselves."
" Yes, I agree with you," said Leitz, " especially after
140 THE MODEL TOWN AND
hearing what that detective told Morgan. They are all a
set of blowhards, and the minute they succeed in the least
thing they begin to brag about it. How they will open
their eyes when we blow up the old meeting-house ! "
"That's so," echoed Hays; "I don't think we could
choose a better time. They will give up watching for any-
thing unusual, and our scheme will strike them like a
thunder-clap out of a clear sky."
" I think we have been mistaken about Morgan," said
Walker reflectively. " He has always told us the truth so
far as I know, and he came straight to us with the story
about Wolff and Davis. Don't you think we can trust him
to take part in this affair, Leitz ? "
"Well, I think we can. I don't consider that he is
worth anything as a planner, but I think he would work
faithfully under proper control. What do you think,
" I suppose I may have been mistaken," said Hays, " and
if you and Walker believe that Morgan is a good man, I
shall have no objection to him. You have both known him
longer than I, and, as Walker says, he seems to have told
the truth ; so whenever you are ready, old man, lay out the
work and I will do my share of it."
"That's the talk," said the old reprobate delightedly;
" now listen to my plan : I propose that two of us shall go
to the meeting-house, taking the shavings, oil, fuse, and gun-
powder. At the same time the other two will go to the
railroad track at the curve on the bluff. When they have
drawn the spikes and taken up the outer rail, they can
THE DETECTIVES. 147
come away and leave the train to its fate. It will get in a
little before three o'clock, and my idea is to fire the church
about half past two o'clock, so as to give the passengers a
fine scene before they make their great flying leap. Won't
it be glorious ? "
The expression on the face of the old wretch was perfectly
devilish, and one might have supposed him crazy, were it
not that his plans were laid with such carefulness as to
show him to be perfectly sane.
The three men then drank succsss to their scheme, and
Walker proceeded to give his plan in detail.
" I think, Hays, that as you and Morgan are the
youngest," he said, " you had better attend to the railroad,
while Leitz and I will fix the church. I have^a claw-bar
with which you can draw the spikes; and I have also all the
kindling-wood, oil, powder, and*fuse with which we can send
the whole affair to kingdom come. We must be careful to
finish our work and be at home in bed in time to avoid
detection. I will fix the Marshal all right by giving him a
heavy dose of whiskey early in the evening. Then when
he is roused up, he will be too stupid to take any decided
action, and half the wrath of the church hypocrites will be
expended on him for not catching us."
" At what time shall we start out ? " asked Hays.
" Well, I will see Morgan to-morrow," replied Walker,
"and then we will decide upon some day next week."
" Are you sure that Morgan will go in ? " said Hays.
" Oh ! yes, he will do anything I tell him, and will be glad
to be taken intn our confidence. Now let us break up, for we
148 THE MODEL TOWN AND
must be very careful not to attract any especial attention
to ourselves before the affair takes place."
The next day Walker told Leitz and Hays that he had
decided to carry out their scheme the following Friday
night, and a meeting of the four men was held that evening
to arrange all the details of the plan. Nothing now re-
mained to be done until the eventful night.
As the reader has probably already surmised, Hays was
one of my detectives, and every movement of the precious
trio with whom he was associated wat, instantly reported to
me. On learning the full particulars of their fiendish de-
sign I made arrangements to defeat them. I first wrote to
Mr. Lincoln an account of the plot, and cautioned him not
to frustrate jny plans by being too hasty, but to follow out
my instructions to the letter. One man with a red signal
light was to be stationed about a quarter of a mile down the
track to stop the incoming train ; several others were to
hide themselves close to the spot where the rail was to be
removed ; still another party was to be hidden around the
church, and others near Walker's and Leitz' s houses.
Then when Hays and Morgan had fairly removed the
rail they were to be captured instantly by the men in am-
bush. In like manner, after Walker and Leitz had placed
the kindling wood, the powder, and the fuse, and had
lighted the latter, the citizens were to spring upon them,
disconnect the fuse, and take the men prisoners. In case
they escaped at first, they would nevertheless fall into the
nands of the other guards watching the houses.
In compliance with Mr. Lincoln's earnest entreaty, I went
THE DETECTIVES. 149
to Mariola myself to superintend the counterplot, and
when the night came everything was in readiness. I posted
myself where I could see Walker's house, and early in the
evening I saw the three men assemble there. The hours
passed very slowly, but at length the time approached when
the attempt should be made, and we were all alert to see
the first move in the affair. But no one emerged from
Walker's house and I began to feel nervous. At length I
saw Hays and Morgan come out together, and the latter
immediately went home. Hays took the direction of a spot
where I had agreed to meet him in case of any change of
programme, and I therefore went there at once.
He then explained that old Walker had had a very severe
attack of cholera morbus, and they had been afraid he would
die. He had recovered, however, and Leitz was sitting up
with him. In consequence of this accident the attacks on
the railroad and on the church had been postponed indefin-
itely, but they were resolved to carry them out as soon as
Walker recovered. I instantly sent a messenger to call in
the man with the signal lantern, and also the other parties,
and after cautioning them not to mention their night's work
to any one, we all went to our respective beds.
It was three days before Walker felt able to undertake
the job he had planned, but Tuesday was finally selected for its
execution. He was nerved up to a state of feverish anxiety,
and his eyes were even more snaky and restless than usual.
In the afternoon Leitz came over and borrowed a suit of
clothes of Walker, as the night was likely to be rainy and
he had only one suit. Of course it would not do to get
150 THE MODEL TOWN AND
that suit wet, for in case of a search of his house after the
'accidents" had occurred, the wet clothes would betray
I had returned to Chicago Saturday morning, and my
business was so pressing that I was unable to be present
Tuesday night ; but I had given Messrs. Lincoln and
P>rown such minute instructions that I felt sure nothing
could go wrong.
The three men met as before at Walker's saloon early in
the evening, and spent the time until after midnight in
drinking and playing cards. They were careful not to drink
enough to intoxicate, but only to enliven their spirits,
The night was very dark and stormy, the rain falling in tor-
rents, but about one o'clock Hays and Morgan started out.
They soon reached the curve and began work. Hays had
the claw-bar, but he handled it so clumsily that Morgan
snatched it from him and soon drew the first spike. The
others followed in quick succession* and in a few minutes
the work was done no train could reach that point without
going over the steep embankment.
Meanwhile Walker and Leitz left the saloon, each carry-
ing a portion of the incendiary articles. They proceeded
with great caution, but they soon reached the church, the
door of which Walker kicked open with little effort. Hav-
ing arranged everything satisfactorily, they stretched out the
fuse, lit it, and hurried home. The fuse could not be extin-
guished by water, and it burned steadily on, spitting and
hissing as the water occasionally retarded the combustion
somewhat, yet never stopping nor going out. From the
THE DETECTIVES. 151
gate through the yard the fire ran, then up the steps and on
through the vestibule ; up the broad aisle it hastened more
rapidly, being dry, and finally the kindling was reached.
The oil-soaked sticks quickly blazed up and created an in-
tense heat ; then the whole interior was ablaze, a terrible
explosion followed, and the Methodist church was a thing
of the past. The incoming passengers saw from the car
windows a bright light reaching to and reddening the heavy
clouds hanging over Mariola ; and at the same time they
were rushing on toward the bluff where the rail was gone.
But the man with the red light was on hand, the danger
signal waved on the track soon caused the engineer to bring
the train to a stop, and he then moved slowly along until
the break was reached. Here the frightened passengers first
learned the terrible danger they had so narrowly escaped,
and also found a group of men guarding two desperate-
looking fellows who had been captured in the act of remov-
ing a second rail. The track was quickly repaired and the
train proceeded on its journey.
THE question naturally arises : Where were the men
who had been stationed to watch the church when
Walker and Leitz broke into it ? Why did they prove faith-
less to their trust ? Well, they were well-meaning men, and
they were highly anxious to save their church and to catch
its would-be destroyers ; but, alas ! they could not bear the dis-
comfort of getting wet, and so when the rain came and the
storm blew they took shelter in a dry place at the rear of
the building. No proper comprehension of the importance
of their trust seemed to have occurred to them, and the
first intimation they had of the presence of the villains was
the flames inside lighting up the whole building; then
knowing that there was a keg of powder in the middle of
that flame, they stood not upon the order of their going, but
scattered like a flock of sheep. Hence, long before the
explosion took place, Walker and Leitz were safely hidden
away in their beds, and no one had seen them in the vicin-
ity of the burning building.
The explosion and the glare of the fire aroused the whole
town, and the streets were soon filled with an excited crowd.
Webster was among the earliest arrivals on the scene, and
Lincoln and Brown were only a few minutes later. Web-
iter sa\v that something must be done instantly, so he hur-
THE DETECTIVES. 153
ried up to these gentlemen and told them to arrest both
Leitz and Walker without delay, and to search their pre-
mises thoroughly to find their wet clothes. It was evident
that nothing could be done to save the church, and so
Lincoln went to Leitz's house and Brown to Walker's.
Both the men were found in bed with perfectly dry clothes
close at hand ; but Walker's long locks were found to be
very damp, and a careful search finally revealed the wet
clothing of each of them.
Walker showed fight when the party entered his house,
first springing to a drawer to get a revolver and then a
knife. Fortunately he did not succeed, and after being
forced to dress he was placed in irons and taken to the
town jail, where the other prisoners were also placed. A
strict guard was placed over them, and no possible means
of escape was permitted to them.
The examination of all four of the men took place next
day, and on the testimony of the men who made the arrests
they were all held to await the action of the grand jury.
Walker and Leitz were held in the sum of $10,000 each,
Morgan $3,000, and Hays $1,000, in default of which they
were all sent to the county jail. The grand jury met soon
afterward, and indictments were found against them all.
The exciteme'nt over these two diabolical attempts, one
of which had so fully succeeded, was intense, and but for a
strong guard around the jail for the first week or two after
their arrest, the prisoners might have experienced the atten-
tions of "Judge Lynch," without even the form of a trial.
At length, however, the first flush of popular fury faded out,
154 THE MODEL TOWN AND
and people contented themselves with discussing the proba
ble result of the various trials. It was generally admitted
that Curran, Warden, Condon, Wolff, Mrs. Vreeland, Hays,
and Morgan would certainly be convicted on their respec-
tive indictments ; but there was not the same certainty in
the case of Walker and Leitz. While nearly every one was
convinced of their guilt, the known evidence was very slight,
and it was greatly feared that a sharp lawyer like 'Squire
Harvey would succeed in obtaining their acquittal. Of
course the presence of Hays as a detective was not sus-
pected by any one.
The trial of Wolff, Davis, Mrs. Vreeland, and the eight
men charged with passing counterfeit money took place
before the United States Court in Chicago in due time, and
conviction followed as a matter of course, without Clark's
testimony. Wolff, being the leader and organizer of the
gang, received the heaviest sentence, ten years in the
penitentiary. Davis was given five years, and the others one
year each. Clark left Mariola just before the trial, promis-
ing Mrs. Black to return ; but it was not convenient for him
to keep his promise, and she was soon left to run the tavern
alone, as Webster strayed away one day and never re-
The trial of Curran, Cook, Wallace, Warden, and Condon
took place next in the adjoining county, the three first named
having obtained a change of venue. All the cases were
vigorously defended by 'Squire Harvey, but it was impossi-
ble to obtain the acquittal of any one of them, in the face of
:he evidence given. Cook and Wallace each received three
THE DETECTIVES. 155
years in the penitentiary. Curran strove hard to appear
crazy, but the jury decided that there was too much method
in his madness, and he was found guilty on five counts, re-
ceiving a sentence of one year in the penitentiary on each
count. Warden and Condon were the last victims, and
their guilt was also conclusively shown. As in Wolff's case,
I did not consider it necessary to call Webster ; since I never
put my detectives in the witness-box when it is possible to
avoid it. Warden was sentenced to ten years and Condon
to two years in the penitentiary.
As the time drew near for the trial of the four conspirators,
Walker, Leitz, Hays, and Morgan, the excitement began to
revive, and when the day arrived the town was crowded,
many people having driven twenty miles to be present.
Walker and Leitz were in good spirits, and they felt so confi-
dent of a speedy acquittal that no motion was made for a
change of venue on their part, while Morgan knew there
would be no difference in the result wherever he was tried,
and so no change was asked by him.
The first case was that of Hays and Morgan, and they
were brought in heavily ironed. Before any pleas were
asked, the prosecuting attorney arose and stated to the
Court that he wished to enter a nolle prosegui in the case of
Hays, who was a detective in my employ, and who would
be the principal witness for the prosecution. He presented
the affidavits of Messrs. Brown and Lincoln and myself,
showing that it was due to the information given by Hays
that the plot was discovered and frustrated. The judge at
once ordered the clerk to make the proper entry on the
106 THE MODEL TOWN AND
records, and Hays was released. Morgan, seeing that there
was not the slightest hope to escape, pleaded guilty and was
remanded for sentence.
When Walker and Leitz were brought in, all eyes were
turned upon them, and as the old man calmly walked into
the dock he bore the appearance of a deeply injured man.
When he had taken his seat 'Squire Harvey leaned over
and said :
" Hays has turned State's evidence and he will be the
principal witness against you."
"I'm not afraid of that," replied Walker calmly; "he
won't dare to testify ,gainst me. Why, I can hang him for
jurder, if I choose to tell what I know about him. He
killed a man and set fire to a distillery down in Cairo last
" Well, they say now that he is a detective," said 'Squire
Harvey, "and he is standing over yonder with Pinkerton
" Let me speak to him," said Walker with a marked
change of manner ; " can't you call him over here ? "
" Oh ! he won't come."
" Try him ; I must speak to him. I can't believe that he
would betray me. I am perfectly calm ; there is no danger
that I will disturb the Court."
'Squire Harvey came to Hays and said :
" The old man wants to talk to you for a few mo-
" He cannot go," I replied ; " I cannot let my man talk to
a prisoner until the cae has been tried."
THE DETECTIVES. 157
'Squire Harvey conveyed ray answer to Walker, and the
latter looked keenly at me a moment, and then said :
" Well, ask Pinkerton to come himself."
I immediately complied with his request.
"Are you Pinkerton, the detective?" he asked as I
" Yes," I replied.
" Is Hays one of your men ? "
" He is."
" What do you know about him ? "
" I know that he is honest, truthful, and in every way
reliable," I answered.
" Do you know that he killed a man down in Cairo, and
that I can have him convicted of arson and murder ? " said
Walker, as if he thought his revelation would astonish me.
" No, I do not know it ; but, on the contrary, I know
just where he has been for two years, and he has been
constantly in my employ. I told him to invent a story
to gain your confidence, and he told you about an imaginary
murder, to make you think he was a criminal. There was
no truth in it whatever."
The old man seemed dazed for a moment ; and Leitz, who
was listening, dropped into his chair without a word.
Finally old Walker said :
" Well, he got my confidence, and now I shall pay the
penalty of my own folly. I believe you, Mr. Pinkerton. I
see it all now, and I have nothing more to say. Leitz, it is
useless to make any defence ; that man knows everything,
and he is a Pinkerton detective. 'Squire Harvey, 1 will
158 THE MODEL TOWN AND
not "trouble you to make any defence." Then rising to his
feet he calmly addressed the Court. " May it please your
honor, I plead guilty as charged in the indictment. I can
make no defence, and I must go to prison in my old age.
When the doors of the penitentiary close upon me the
world will see me no more. Before my sentence expires I
shall be carried to a felon's grave. I have nothing more to
say I plead guilty."
When he sat down, not a murmur nor sound was heard in
the court-room. Hardened sinner though he was, his calm
and dignified manner had touched the feelings of every one
present, and there were many who felt really sorry for the
old reprobate and thought he might not be so very bad after
Leitz was completely broken down, and he allowed a
plea of guilty to be entered, without appearing to care what
the result might be. Both prisoners were then remanded
until next morning, and the Court adjourned. As the throng
moved out of the court-room there was a general hum of
congratulation that this trio of scoundrels were now in a
fair way to receive their just punishment, and the only
regretful expression heard was that they had not been pre-
vented from destroying the Methodist church.
I received a great many thanks and good words for my
share in bringing the villains to justice, and Hays was also
warmly treated. When he had dressed himself in a neat
business suit, people wondered that they had ever thought
him to be such a vicious-looking fellow.
The following day the prisoners were brought up fo
THE DETECTIVES. 159
sentence, Morgan receiving five, Leitz twelve, and Walker
eighteen years in the penitentiary. They were soon re
moved to the State's Prison, and Mariola was left compara
lively free from hard characters. So effectual had been the
lesson, that for several years no serious crimes were com-
mitted in the vicinity, the rogues being impressed with the
idea that it was full of detectives, and that any crime would
be sure to bring me on their track. It thus became noted
as a very moral locality, and was frequently spoken of in no
sarcastic sense as " The Model Town."
AS A DETECTIVE
BYf^ON AS A DETECTIVE
IN the year 1854 I was summoned to Washington by the
Hon. James Gutlwie, Postmaster-General, who in-
formed me that he required my services, aiid requested that
1 should devote my whole time and attention to the busi-
ness with which he was about to entrust me. He said that
the matter would require skill, patience, and perseverance,
and he had no one at that time in his employ who knew
much of a detective's duties. He had plenty of politicians
in his service at this time, but he could not rely on them ;
and said that he wanted the services of just such a man as I
was reported to be, being assured that I would keep aloof
from politics and political schemes, and devote my ener-
gies to the development of matters to be placed in my
I thanked him for his kind opinion of me, feeling flattered
that so prominent a personage should have heard of my
humble efforts towards reforming society, and assured him
that I would endeavor to merit his good opinion of my-
The Postmaster-General then proceeded to give me the
lG4 BYRON AS A DETECTIVE.
facts of the case he wished me to undertake. He said that
for some time back the mails had been robbed of a large
amount of money. The stealing was principally on the
line of the Michigan Southern and Northern Indiana Rail-
road, and lately the amount abstracted was enormous ; and
in reposing confidence in my ability to ferret, out the matter
he would request me to let no one know anything about it
but himself and Mr. Oakford, his chief clerk, trusting that I
would realize all or more than he had heard reported about
me. I might rely upon the cooperation and support of the
Department in all my proceedings. He then turned me over
to Mr. Oakford, and as soon as my instructions were made
out I left Washington and returned home by Toledo.
Western railroads were then in their incipiency, and
projectors often encountered serious difficulties from the
ignorance and prejudices of settlers through whose lands
the roads ran.
The " right of way " for these great public enterprises was
then -but little understood or respected by the farmers, who
waxed morose and indignant because the arbitrators
appointed to appraise the lands required for railroad pur-
poses sometimes put them at a figure which the owners
thought too low.
A good deal of ill-feeling was thereby engendered against
railroad corporations, and the frequency of the obstructions
placed upon many of the lines caused suspicion to fall upon
these dissatisfied parties.
There were, however, other theories regarding the obstruc-
tions ; one of which was they might have been the precou-
BYRON AS A DETECTIVE. 165
certed work of regularly organized robbers, or of individuals
who had no connection with the disaffected settlers, and
whose ulterior object was the plunder of the mails.
At first I was not decided which of these theories to
accept as the most probable, although I strongly inclined
to the last, for the reason that there were great temptations
for these mail robberies.
The express system, which now takes in the whole of the
United States, did not then extend further west than Chicago ;
and the consequence was that all the money sent to and
from points West, Northwest, and part of the Southwest,
embracing Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, and a por-
tion of the Territories, including Minnesota, was carried by
mail. These were facts which expert thieves would be very
apt to take advantage of; and, reasoning from this data
alone, I concluded that the robberies in question were the
result of plans which were devised upon the spot where
they occurred, in conjunction with intelligence received
from confederates in the East, who were probably con-
nected with the Post-office Department. I strongly inclined
to this view of the case, and the sequel proved that I was
It so happened that, about a year before the present
investigation took place, there had been a collision between
the Michigan Southern and Northern Indiana Railroad
train with that of the Michigan Central, about nine miles
east of Chicago, where the tracks cross nearly at right angles,
one train running entirely through the other, killing and
wounding a great number of persons. The mails of both
166 BYRON AS A DETECTIVE.
the collided trains were found to be robbed after the
Here, then, was a case where there could have been no
premeditation by thieves, as no one could have calculated
that the trains would come in contact afthat time and place.
The presumption therefore was that the robbery was perpe-
trated by transient thieves, who were upon the trains when
the accident occurred.
I was on the ground after the collision, but I could not
determine the persons who committed the robbery and out-
rage. They were not suspected at the time, and made their
escape without discovery ; but whilst I was proceeding with
my investigation on the Michigan Southern Railroad, under
the sanction of the Government, I discovered that two
young men, Scotchmen, had been passengers on that train ;
and that when they arrived in the United States they had
considerable money in their possession, which they squan-
dered in the West, and were returning East, en route for
Scotland, when this accident took place.
They were both young men of good address and pleasing
manners. One called himself Augustus Stuart Byron, and
claimed to be a natural son of Lord Byron the poet; and
the other represented himself to be the nephew of Admiral
Napier, at that time commander of the Baltic British Naval
Squadron. Taking advantage of the confusion and terror
of the passengers who were aiding the railway officials to
remove the dead from the ruins, these young men conceived
the idea of robbing the mail, which they accomplished and
tscaped to Europe with their booty,
BYRON AS A DETECTIVE. 1G<
The amount stolen was about fourteen thousand dollars ;
but in this, as in all similar cases, where money comes easily
it was spent lavishly, and finding themselves reduced to the
last two or three hundred dollars they resolved to return
to the scene of their former success.
None of these facts were known when I began this
investigation, nor was I then aware of the existence of these
Had I known these facts at the time, much trouble,
suspicion, and anxiety would have been obviated. They were
merely remembered as old visitors, and were favorites with
their associates, but not a breath of suspicion had ever
rested upon them.
They are here introduced at this early stage of the
narrative because they strike the key-note to the whole his-
tory we are about to narrate.
I had to conduct my inquiries with the greatest circum-
spection, whilst I spread out my tentacula in all directions,
hoping and believing that sooner or later I would solve the
To facilitate operations I took lodgings at Adrian, Mich-
igan, the head-quarters of the chief officers of the railroad
company, to whom it was necessary I should now make
myself known, in order to secure their cooperation.
The General Superintendent, Joseph H. Moore, Esq.,
well known as a man of high character and ability, was the
first person to whom I introduced myself and exhibited
He was fully alive to the importance of the mission I had
168 BYRON AS A DETECTIVE.
undertaken, and manifested every disposition to give me
all the aid in his power. He introduced rm to Mr. Baker,
counsel of the company at Adrian, and Mr. Emmons, now
Judge of United States Court in Detroit, the acting counsel
for the company, who also expressed themselves pleased
that my services were secured on behalf of the Government ;
but remarked that they had already employed a detective to
act for the railway company, who represented that he had
been approached by certain members of a gang of theives,
the real obstructionists, who desired him to join their
My suspicions were aroused on hearing this extraordinary
proposition, which seemed to me like a very stale expe-
dient to extort money, and perhaps hiding a much deeper
design ; but I kept my surmises to myself.
Mr. Moore handed me a letter for my perusal which
the so-called detective had written, offering his services to
the company, and which read as follows :
"ADRIAN, March 27, 1854.
" Jos. H. MOORE, ESQ. Sir : I have for the past few
days written five or six notes to send you, but as often I
have changed my mind and concluded to let the informa-
tion that I wished to convey to you lie buried in ob-
" lint the late act of villainy that was committed, I may
say, within sight of our city, forces me to disclose to you
information that I received a few days since of the forma-
tion of a gang of rascals who have combined together to
BYRON AS A DETECTIVE. 10J
commit, I may say, wholesale murder and other criminal
acts by obstructing the passage of trains and endangering
the same on the M. S. & N. I. R. R. This gang of villains
are under the management of two men who are known to
me. The subject came to my knowledge by an offer from
those men of a large sum of money, providing I would take
part with them in their intended villainy.
" This I refused, and scornfully rejected their proposals, or
to have anything to do with them. I further threatened to
expose them should they attempt at any time to carry their
intentions into effect, whereupon one of them said if I
should ever disclose to any one their intentions it would be
certain death to me. I cannot in this note explain to you
the information that I wish to convey in full, but should
you answer this note by dropping a line in the post-office
to me, I will, if you wish, disclose to you the names of the
parties ; in fact, I will give you all the information that E
have of the parties and their intended plot, on condition
that you will give a liberal reward. I would be able to
point them out or describe them, that they might be
arrested. I am satisfied that one of them has in his trunk
documents that could disclose the whole matter.
" I hope you will keep this subject dark, as I am exposing
myself to great danger by disclosing this to you, and would
also expose the interest of the road by disclosing this sub-
ject to the public; yes, such would make the road a terror
"As I cannot write to any satisfaction, should you wish
to know* furtner about the matter, let me know,' and I will
170 BYRON AS A DETECTIVE.
go to your office any evening that may be convenient to
" For the present I remain, yours and others,
This letter did not by any means allay my suspicions.
The author seemed to know too much of the doings of the
obstructionists, and to be too wide awake to his own
interests for an honest man. Were it otherwise, and he in
possession of such information as he claimed to be able to
give, he would not probably have asked the company for a
I, however, said nothing of this to the Directors, but
simply inquired if they knew anything about the present
occupation and associates of Stuart, or of his antecedents.
They informed me that he occasionally added M.D. to
his signature, and sometimes signed himself as Augustus
Stuart Byron ; that he claimed, as before stated, to be the
natural son of Lord Byron, and was at present engaged as a
compositor on the Michigan Expositor, and was a person
of irregular habits, given to night wanderings, etc.
This was precisely the kind of man I had pictured in my
own mind, and as it was of importance for me to know
something of his antecedents, I sent a detective to get in
with him, who learned the following, although I am not
certain of its truth.
He pretended to be a natural son of Lord Byron, and in
childhood to have been thus recognized by the gallant
Lord ; that his mother, whose maiden name wd"s Mary
BYRON AS A DETECTIVE. ^ 171
Stuart, afterward married a man named McDonald ; was
born in Edinburgh, May 24th, 1817; entered the British
service as assistant surgeon in Woolwich Naval Hospital
in 1835 ; came to Quebec in 1836 ; returned to England in
1840, and from thence went to China, and in 1841 came to
his country, his mother then residing east of Kingston,
Upper Canada. In 1844 he went to Holland ; returned
to Montreal in 1845, an d during this year his mother died.
After the commencement of our war with Mexico, he was
in New Orleans, and joined the army that went to the' City
of Mexico as First Lieutenant of Dragoons, under Captain
Drew, St. Louis. In 1848 he came back to Canada, and in
1850 returned to London from Montreal with goods for the
World's Fair. Subsequently visited Glasgow and Edin-
burgh, and in 1852 returned to New York, thence to Buffalo
and to Detroit, where he worked in the Free Press office,
having somewhere picked up a knowledge of printing.
He afterwards viiited Chicago, St. Louis, Memphis, and
New Orleans, thence back to Milwaukee with the body of
a man who had died in New Orleans ; stayed awhile in
Chicago, and again visited New Orleans.
In August, 1853, he returned to St. Louis, and afterwards
was employed on the Fort Wayne Railroad. In January,
1854, he strayed back to Detroit and other places in that
I had thus gathered all the facts regarding the detec-
tii-e who was so anxious to sell his information to the
railway company, and I determined that henceforth I
would be the secret invisible shadow of this man, and never
172 BYRON AS A DETECTIVE.
leave him until I" had satisfied myself of the justice of my
suspicions concerning him.
The disclosures above mentioned confirmed me in my
previous belief that the late obstructions on the Michigan
Southern and Northern Indiana Railroads had not been
placed there by the farm ;rs, but either by a gang of thieves
living in the immediate neighborhood, or by some one or
more persons well acquainted with the localities and having
an accomplice in the Post-office Department in the East.
By a strange coincidence, and in a quarter where I least
expected to receive intelligence upon the subject, I discov-
ered a clue * a the robbery, and determined to follow it up.
AS soon as my conference with the railroad officials
was over, I strolled down the railroad track and
carefully examined the different places where the late so-
called accidents had occurred, in the forlorn hope of
making discoveries which would assist my investigations.
I conversed with the engineers and firemen who had been
on the ill-fated trains, and ascertained from them that the
character of the obstructions varied from time to time.
Now a switch had been reversed and the train run into a
gravel pit. Then one end of an iron "T" rail had been
placed under the tie so that the other end was struck by the
engine. At one time the spikes had been drawn out of the
rails, and these so moved as to form a switch on which the
whole train was whirled off. At another time a rail had
been altogether removed, and in this manner the pro-
gramme of destruction had been changed so that the en-
gineers were at a loss what to be on the look-out for as a
warning of danger.
There were, however, two coincident facts connected with
the cases. The first was that no attempt had ever been
made to obstruct any other than the night train g^ing west-
ward and carrying the heavy through mails ; and the second
was, that jn no instance had more than the foot-prints of two
174 BYRON AS A DETECTIVE.
persons been discovered when the trains had been thrown
from the tracks.
These two insignificant facts strongly impressed my mind
and started me on the trail of fresh suspicions, every one of
which pointed toward Byron, or Stuart, as he now called
I now felt sure this man was implicated in the transactions.
Slowly and obscurely there began to appear to my mind the
skeleton of a device by means of which I might perchance
bring this man's crime home to him. 1 had heard, and in two
instances seen with my own eyes, that about the scene of
the railroad catastrophe there was always one foot-print more
prominent than the other, and this was very clearly made
by a boot not manufactured in the West, the soles being well
covered with round-headed nails in double rows along the top
and down the sides and heels, whilst in the centre the same
description of nails were arranged in the diagram of a heart.
It was, in fact, an English boot, no workmanship of that
kind being turned out of the shops in this country at that time.
Here, then, was an important clue to the mystery, indicat-
ing that the owner of the boots was a foreigner. Again
the image of Stuart arose in my mind, and I had a strong
desire to see the man who so boldly pushed himself forward
in his special business. Although at present the evidenci
against him did not amount to much, still I felt certain I was
on the right track.
Shortly afterwards I returned to Adrian and had another
interview with the officers of the company. 1 this time met
Mr. Sinclair, the company's train agent, a very discreet and
BYRON AS A DETECTIVE. 175
intelligent man. I arranged with him and Mr. Moore that
my operations should be kept a profound secret from their
detective, and that an order should be privately issued to all
the conductors, engineers, and employees, that if another
accident occurred they should proceed at once to the point
and thoroughly examine the foot-marks before they could be
obliterated by the passengers of the train, who would natur-
ally rush to the spot out of curiosity to see what had brought
about the calamity. I also suggested that the locality should
be carefully guarded until one of the officials could arrive
upon the ground and make a personal inspection. I did not
tell them what my motive was, nor was it necessary. They
were now very anxious that I should see their detective ; and
happening later in the day to be in the office of Mr. Baker,
the solicitor of the company, I also urged the same thing,
they being desirous of hearing my opinion of him. An in-
terview was arranged at Baker's office. I appeared at
the appointed hour, and shortly afterwards Byron entered
the front gate, giving me barely time to step into an ad
joining room, before he entered the office and seated him-
self with his back to the door, which enabled me to hold it
slightly ajar and hear all that was said.
Byron at once opened the conversation by remarking
that two men named Dean and Napier would place an
obstruction upon the track that night, but he was not positive
as to the exact spot where it was to be done, and he asked
Baker's advice as to whether he should accompany them or
not. He expressed great indignation against the men, in
terms indicative of an educated man ; but it seemed to me
17G BYRON AS A DETECTIVE.
that he was more anxious to elicit than to communicate
The interview concluded by Baker telling him he must
consult Mr. Moore, the superintendent, before he could
answer his question as to whether he should accompany the
men when they proceeded to obstruct the track.
Directly after this, Byron left, followed by me. who made
a detour around a block and met him upon the sidewalk ;
and as he had not before seen me, it gave me a good oppor-
tunity to take the measure of this man, who was about five
feet eight inches in height, probably about thirty-three or
four years of age, rather stout, and with dark hair which
hung in profusion over his shoulders, large projecting black
eyes, nose slightly retrouse, and his complexion tanned to
nearly an olive color. I also noticed that his eyes had a
keen restless, penetrating appearance ; that his posture was
firm, but that he walked with a slight stoop of the shoulders.
Byron paid no special attention to me, as my dress and
appearance we're similar to those of the people of the town.
When the scrutiny was completed, I returned to Baker's
office, where, in consultation with the general superintend-
ent, it was decided that Byron, instead of accompanying the
men who were to obstruct the track, should be directed to
follow them and watch their movements, while at the same
time I resolved to shadow him all through. I did not make
this known to the officials, who as yet placed implicit confi-
dence in their detective.
Accordingly, as the evening approached, I went out in
search of Byron with the intention of following him until
BYRON AS A DETECTIVE. 177
he should meet the conspirators, and soon discovered him
walking slowly through the streets', occasionally stopping at
a store, as if to consume the time until the hour for the
arrival of the doomed train.
About nine o'clock he left the village in a westerly direc-
tion, which made it difficult for me to follow him, as the night
was very dark. I was, however, by the peculiar squeaking
of the man's boots, enabled to follow him until he crossed the
railroad track, where he was met by somebody with whom
he commenced talking in a low but earnest tone of voice.
I crawled along under the fence as near them as possible,
but could not distinguish what they were saying.
Soon after the voices were hushed, and I heard their feet
strike the iron rails as they crossed the road. After this [
heard nothing more, although I continued listening atten-
tively for some time for a sound that would indicate their
whereabouts, but in vain.
During this time my feelings were wrought up to the high-
est pitch of anxiety and apprehension. The train was due
at Adrian in a short time, and unless something was done at
once to avert it a terrible catastrophe was inevitable. I was
certain that the conspirators either had already or would
soon place an obstruction upon the track that would hurl a
large number cf people to destruction and death. What was
I to do ? If I left my hiding-place to follow them, the train
might pass me on the road, and I could give no warning to
the engineer, as he hurried on to" his doom.
The town of Adrian was not far off, and if I went rapidly
on the rail line I might arrive at the station in time to give
178 BYRON AS A DETECTIVE.
the alarm. In an instant I was over the fence and on the
track, and running towards the light of Adrian station. Al-
most breathless I arrived, and sprang over the platform tc
the office, where Mr. Moore was in waiting ; told him what I
had discovered, and advised him to start a hand car down
the line as quickly as possible to remove the obstruction,
carrying with them the proper signal lights and torpedos.
The car was promptly dispatched, and I returned to my hid-
ing-place behind the fence. Happily for the passengers and
the company, the obstruction was quickly discovered. It
was a tie that had been placed on the track about a mile
west of the place where I had been concealed, but of this I
was not aware at the time.
After waiting in my lair about twenty minutes, I saw a
man cross the railroad and go towards the town, whom 1
took to be Byron, and immediately followed him. After walk-
ing a short distance, the man hesitated, as if in doubt which
way he should go. He was then directly opposite the city
cemetery, a beautifully sheltered and retired spot, laid out
with walks and shrubs and decorated with flower-beds.
" Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade,
Where heaves the turf in many a mouldering heap,
Each in his narrow cell forever laid,
The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep."
But what Byron had to do with sacred enclosures I was
at a loss to conjecture, and could scarcely believe my eyes
\vli<:n 1 saw him suddenly turn aside from the main road and
climb over the churchyard fence. I have often since im
BYRON AS A DETECTIVE. 179
agined that Byron might have inherited from his father the
morbid feeling which then induced him to go to the city of
the dead for sympathy and relief. It seemed to me a strong
evidence of his being the son of the moody poet.
It was this saturnine propensity that animated Manfred
and Cain, as well as others, desperate lovers, in Byron's mor-
bid love stories. Besides, all know what ghastly companion-
ship he sought at Newstead Abbey in his drinking bouts ;
how he made a wine-cup out of an old monk's skull ; what a
mania he at times evinced for solitude, and how fond he
was when at Harrow of reading in the old graveyard as he
lay outstretched upon the marble lid of a sarcophagus.
The young man wandered about among the silent graves
for some time without any apparent aim, and finally seated
himself upon a tombstone. He remained in apparently
deep meditation until he heard the train which was fifteen
minutes late leave Adrian. He started up as he heard
the shrill whistle of the locomotive piW^e the air, with his
eyes directed towards the cars, as they tore over the road
after the ponderous engine, and in an instant passed them
with a mighty blast and vanished into the darkness. Byron
followed it with his eyes starting from their sockets ; every
moment expecting to hear a tremendous crash. Still the
train rolled onwards, and there was nothing as yet to indi-
cate that any accident had happened. The feelings of both
the men were at that moment wrought up to the highest
pitch of excitement and anxiety, as the train with its freight
of living souls was hurrying on to' what might be certain de-
struction ; and here, in the presence of the dead, and in close
180 BYRON AS A DETECTIVE.
proximity to each other, were the criminal who perpetrated
the diabolical deed and the detective lying in wait to bring
him to justice.
To the latter it was an unspeakable relief the moment
he felt that the train was out of danger, and from that moment
he was sure of his victim. He had crawled under a tomb-
stone, where he could plainly see Byron, but was completely
concealed himself. Byron remained standing for some
time upon a gravestone, apparently waiting for the smash.
It seemed to me a very long time, and although persuaded
that the train was safe, I still kept listening for the antici-
When he had satisfied myself that there would be no
tragedy that night, Byron came down from his platform, and,
winding his way slowly among the graves, passed so near (he
spot where I lay concealed, that I could have touched him
with my hand ; but I remained quiet until he passed, then fol-
lowed him to the t<^hi, where he entered a saloon and took
a drink of whiskey, still deeply absorbed in his own thoughts
and replying morosely to those who ventured to converse
with him. After repeating his drink he left the place and
slowly walked to his hotel.
ON the following day he reported to Mr. Baker that ac-
cording to instructions he had declined accompanying
the obstructionists, but had followed them until they turned
upon him with curses and imprecations and drove him back.
He however made no mention of his visit to the graveyard,
nor did I then enlighten them upon that matter : my plans
were not then sufficiently matured to permit my doing so.
Thus matters went on for some time. I was chiefly occu-
pied keeping track of Byron, in intercourse with railroad
officers, and in trips to various points along the line of road,
one of which I had extended to Chicago ; and, while there, I
was startled by the receipt of a telegram from Mr. Baker
informing me that a train had been thrown off the track
about three quarters of a mile east of Adrian by a "T"
rail having been placed across the track, and that the loco-
motive and several cars were destroyed and the engineer
I hurried off to Adrian by the next train, where I met
Mr. Sinclair, who had carried out his instructions to the letter,
and showed marked sagacity and intelligence throughout
the entire conduct of the affair.
The distance between Adrian and the place of the acci
182 BYRON AS A DETECTIVE.
dent was so short, that Mr. Sinclair, who was on duty al. the
time, heard the shrill whistle of the locomotive which the
unfortunate engineer gave for the brakeman to put on the
brakes ; too late, however, to avert the danger, for the next
moment the poor fellow was in eternity, the ponderous loco-
motive having fallen upon him. He found that the train had
stopped immediately after the whistle. Sinclair instantly
ordered out a hand-car, and rushed to the spot where the
train lay in a promiscuous ruin. He immediately stationed
the employees around the place where the obsructions were
laid, with instructions to allow no one to disturb the ground
until daylight, when he could examine it carefully. This he
did and discovered the same old boot-tracks with the marks
of round nails, -with the identical heart upon the soles,
which I discovered on the spot where the last accident oc-
The tell-tale earth being particularly soft on this occasion
related the whole story as plainly as if it had been revealed
in letter-press. Heavy "T" rail had been thrown across
the track by a single person, and the marks of the boots told
how that person had contrived to place it. Thus, he had
lifted up one end until it was fairly in place, and in doing
tliis his heels sank deep in the soft soil. He had then raised
the other end in the same manner, and with a like result.
Furthermore, the foot-prints showed how many times the man
had passed from side to side before the work was com-
It was the story of a great crime told in picture symbols;
upon the earth's surface.
BYRON AS A DETECTIVE. 183
This, in my mind, settled the question as to the guilty
party. It was true that the mails had not been robbed, but
it was also true that no opportunity was afforded for this
exploit, the train having been too well watched and guarded
through the forethought of Mr. Sinclair, who was perfectly
satisfied that the farmers had no hand in the obstruction ;
that it was not the work of organized robbers, but of one in-
dividual, and that individual was doubtless the owner of the
The inquiry was thus reduced to a very narrow com-
pass, the only question remaining to be solved being the
ownership of the boots.
On the day of my arrival in Adrian to investigate this last
sad catastrophe, Byron called upon Mr. Baker, and informed
him that he had reason for believing that Napier had perpe-
trated the deed ; that as he had been unsuccessful in getting
at the mails, and fearing pursuit, he had started to New York,
where Napier and Dean had a friend engaged in that Depart-
ment of the Post-office where the mails were made up for
the West, and that this position enabled him to advise them
when large money packages were sent through to the West ;
that he was undoubtedly in the habit of doing this, and when
heavy amounts were about to be transmitted he could tele-
graph them, sending his messages to Toledo, this giving
them twenty-four hours' notice, which enabled them to cal-
culate with accuracy at what time the packages would reach
the Michigan Sou'hern and Northern Indiana road, and be
due at Adrian.
This statement looked plausible, and in fact I believed it.
184 BYRON AS A DETECTIVE.
Byron further stated that he should write to Napier in New
York under the assumed name of Crawford. Whereupon I
resolved to secure that letter when it reached its destina-
tion and have the person who called for it secured and kept
under surveillance. This was easy for me to do, on account
of my position as special agent of the Post-office Depart-
I accordingly wrote to James Holbrook, Esq., then the
able special agent of the Post-office Department in New
York, and afterwards author of Ten Years Among the Mail
Bags, telling him what I wanted done in case such a letter
should reach that office, which it did in due course of time,
and Mr. Holbrook arranged everything very skilfully to
meet my wishes. The letter was not called for, however,
but it disappeared out of the post-office and no one could
tell how or by what agency. There was no clerk by name
of MacDonald iif the New York Post office, but there was
a young Scotchman there whom Mr. Holbrook suspected
to be the incognito, as he was employed in putting up mails
for the West ; but he had no access to the delivery depart-
ment in that office, and the delivery clerks declared that he
had not been near that department during the whole time
the letter lay there.
Whilst this examination was progressing in New York
1 continued my investigations at Adrian, examining the
foot-tracks in the town, and also in the neighborhood
of the railroad, hoping to find the person who wore those
peculiar boots ; and at the same time I kept track of
BYRON AS A DETECTIVE. 185
Many were the anxious hours and days I spent walking
the streets and railroads in search of the tracks.
While on one of these tours of inspection I was over-
taken by a violent thunderstorm, which forced me to retreat
to my hotel.
As soon as the storm subsided, I hurried to Baker's
office, keeping my eyes intently fixed on the ground the
whole way. Suddenly I stopped as if petrified, directly
before me was the identical impression I was in search of.
There were the double rows of round-headed nails in the
sole^ and heels, and there too the identical heart in the
centre. Long and earnestly had I looked for this revelation
by night and by day, and such vast interests were involved
that I well might be excused for becoming faint and giddy.
This passing weakness lasted but a moment however, and
the next I was myself again ; all the old activities of mind
and body returned to me with fresh energy.
I had struck a "hot" trail at last. I was near Baker's
garden gate when the 'foot-prints attracted my attention,
and here they stopped.
It was evident the man who made them had walked
towards the gate and probably gone to the office. I opened
the gate. The path had been newly strewn with a fine
sandy gravel which would have taken the impress of a dime,
and there were the suspicious footsteps leading in a direct
line up to the very door. They corresponded exactly with
the diagram made on the morning of the last catastrophe.
Every nail was distinctly visible, with the vacant spaces
1J BYRON AS A DETECTIVE.
As it was yet daylight, I did not stop to examine them
very closely, lest I might attract attention. I saw enough
however, to convince me that the footsteps were the same I
had seen before, and I now felt sure of my victim.
I found Baker in his office, and was informed that Byron
had just been there with intelligence that his correspondent
Napier had received his letter in New York, and that he
had replied cautioning him not to send any more communi-
cations, as the last one had. been watched. This news per-
plexed me not a little at the time, and I asked Mr. Baker
if he noticed what kind of boots Byron wore whefl he
He said he usually wore fine boots, but he remarked that
on this occasion he had on a pair of heavy coarse boots,
with his pantaloons inside the legs.
I then told him what I had discovered, and on whom
my suspicion rested, at which Mr. Baker was greatly
We then went out into the garden, creeping cautiously
between the bushes and examining carefully the foot-prints,
which corresponded exactly with the diagram, which con-
vinced Baker that I was on the right track, and that Byron
had been vid ently playing the double character of villain
That evening I found Byron, and followed him around
for some time. He still wore the same coarse boots. The
sidewalks were wet and soft, so that the impression would
not lie, as fox-hunters say, of the scent on a frosty morning.
He was evidently unsettled and nervous, and drank freely
BYRON AS A DETECJ^IVE. 187
of whiskey at the various saloons where lie called. He
wandered up and down the streets in an aimless way and
I was growing weary of following him, when suddenly, as if
struck by some powerful impulse, he turned on the street
which led to the graveyard, and once more betook himself
to that sacred enclosure.
What induced him to carry there the burden of his crime
I could not imagine, unless he acted in obedience to the
theory before alluded to. It will be remembered that when
Lord Byron found himself tormented by evil moods, he
generally rushed into dark and dismal scenes. He found
no relief in society for his sufferings, but banished himself
from his native land from a morbid love of notoriety, and
haunted wild scenery and lonely ruins because these
accorded with his gloomy thoughts and imaginings. That
this wild waif who had drifted into the West, far away from
his birth-place, and might have ended his life as a good
citizen instead of a thief and a murderer ; that this son of
the noble poet inherited the worst part of his father's nature
and his morbid temperament, is evident from his conduct
all through the investigation and especially in his love for
No ordinary criminal would have sought the companion-
ship of the dead in his moments of gloom and despondency ;
he would rather have rushed into scenes of dissipation and
riot, and have sought to deaden the pangs of his con-
I followed him a second time to the graveyard. He
seemed very much excited, and this may have been his
188 BYRON AS A DETECTIVE.
usual place of resort on the special occasions of his evil
On this occasion he walked to the centre of the holy
ground, and once more sat down on the same tombstone
he had previously occupied. His mind was terribly disturbed
and he talked aloud to the raging of the winds. What he
said I could not distinctly hear, as I was afraid of advancing
too near him. It was evident, however, that superstition, sc
far as the dead was concerned, gave him no apprehension.
My belief was and is, that he retired to that lonely spot to
relieve his mind of the great burden which oppressed it, as
luigene Aram did in the relation of his own story, accord-
ing to Thomas Hood's poem, to those innocent, happy
school-boys on the village green.
It was a wild night of wind, rain and darkness, but every
now and then the moon appeared for an instant, and re-
vealed the dark figure of the guilty man as he raved among
1 was hidden under a gravestone where I crawled for
shelter while listening to Byron's declaiming, and became
almost chilled with rain.
At the end of half an hour, Byron rose and stalked wildly
over the graves towards the railroad track, going east,
passing through the depot grounds, and continuing an east-
erly course until he came to the spot where the train was
wrecked and the engineer killed. Here he stood in gloomy
meditation, muttering to himself, and occasionally speaking
aloud. If at this moment I had walked boldly up to him
'jiiough the darkness, arrested him, and accused him of his
BYRON AS A DETECTIVE. 189
crime, I would in all probability have brought him at once
to confession ; but I hesitated, I thought I had not yet suffi-
cient legal evidence against him to convict him.
Byron then left the spot, and went across a field to the
highway which led to Adrian, where, as usual, the first thing
he did was to take a drink.
At daybreak next morning I was up and retraced the
whole of the ground over which Byron had led me the
night before, and examined the foot-prints at every place
where he had stopped. They were everywhere clear
enough to trace him from the grave down the railway
track, over the depot ground, and at the place of the train
wreck. I then followed them, with more or less distinctness,
across the field and on the road until I reached Adrian.
After breakfast I called on Mr. Baker and related to him
my new adventures and discoveries. Baker was perfectly
satisfied, but thought it would be safest to wait for further
evidence before arresting the man.
They then agreed to wait for the next stormy night ; and,
as soon as the rain came, Baker was to provide himself
with sufficent new soil, mixed with sand, to cover the walk
from the wicket gate in front to the office door. Sinclair
and others were to be summoned as witnesses, taking
good care that they did not tread on the gravel walk.
Then Byron was to be sent for, and the probability was
/hat, owing to the mud and wet, he would wear the same
boots which had made the foot-prints previously referred
to ; if so, there would be abundant witnesses of the fact, and
there need be no more delay in arresting the criminal.
190 BYRON AS A DETECTIVE.
As the weather was now unsettled, they had not long to
wait for another storm, which indeed came on the follow- .
ing day. The pathway was prepared, Messrs. Sinclair and
Moore were called in, and Byron sent for. The two men
and I remained in the adjoining room while Mr. Baker
talked with Byron, and as the interview was a mere pre-
tence, it was also made a very short one.
When Byron left, they all felt that his doom was sealed.
I had felt and known it long before, but I postponed action
to oblige these gentlemen who had been so invariably cour-
teous to him.
THE whole party immediately went out and examined
the foot-marks, comparing them as before with the dia-
gram, and all agreed that they were identical. Still, as the
case then stood, I had not such satisfactory and conclusive
evidence against him* as would convince a jury. It was
absolute enough as far as it went, but I felt that 1 must
have more and stronger proof before I could be sure of a
verdict, as the law stood. Although capital punishment was
abolished in Michigan, Byron would, if convicted, be im-
mured within four stone walls for the term of his natural
life. It was a fearful punishment, infinitely more to be
feared than death, which is only a momentary pang, and
more dreadful in thought than in reality. But to a sensitive
mind the perpetual confinement with no break, no relief
to it, no visitation of friendly faces, neither books nor
writing materials allowed, and no occupation of any sort ;
the criminal doomed never more to see the face of his
fellow-man ; his very bread and water thrust to him through a
hole in the wall, with no accompanying voice even to curse
him is a punishment than which the human intellect, with
all its resources, can invent none more dreadful. Time to a
man in this condition has no longer any relation to thought
or feeling. It cannot be marked or measured ; it swells it?
192 BYRON AS A DETECTIVE.
moments into eternities. From meal to meal is a period of
immeasurable duration. The mind, so fertile in presence
of objects, living or dead, now in the absence of both sinks
at last into hopeless idiocy.
Then by night and by da}-, which arc all one recordless
vacancy to this dreadful sufferer, the four black pitiless
walls of his narrow cell- resound with the cries, yells, and
ravings of madness. Still no one takes compassion on
him, no one comes to him ; he raves himself to sleep, and
dreams perchance of green fields and babbling brooks, and
the bright sunshine and the song of 4airds, dreams that he
is free and happy with those whom he loves, and wakes to
retrace only the empty cell, the bare walls, and the iron
bars which admit the air of heaven to visit him, and
occasionally a gleam, perhaps, of sunshine. Then his
mind sinks into despair ; then reaction follows, and once
more the walls resound with his yells, oaths, and blas-
phemies, until he dies blaspheming his Maker. This was
the fate in reserve for Byron in case he was convicted ; and
a jury, knowing this, would naturally and rightly demand
ample evidence, which I was equally anxious to furnish ; but
there was only one way of procuring this, so far as 1 could
sec, and that was by inducing or compelling him to confess,
and this I determined to venture upon.
Byron was frequently in the habit of going to Chicago,
and I thought it would be safest to await one of these trips ;
accordingly I arranged with the Sheriff of Chicago to place
Byron in arrest in a cell by himself, or with a person of my
selection. For this purpose I visited an officer named
BYRON AS A DETECTIVE. 193
Black, in an adjoining county, in whom I had the greatest
confidence, explained to him my desire that he should come
to Chicago and await Byron's arrival there, when, imme-
diately prior to the arrest, he was to be locked up in the cell
\vhich was reserved for Byron. He was to assume the name
of Grover, and to pretend that he had been arrested by me
for a heavy express robbery, but that there was not sufficient
evidence against him to convict him, and therefore he would
soon have to be discharged.
The object in securing Black's services was that he might
induce Byron to confess his crime, as criminals locked up
together in the same cell frequently do, as a relief to their
As soon as I had arranged this business to my satisfaction,
I returned to Adrian, where I ascertained that Byron was
anxious to go to New York, to communicate with his friends
the obstructionists. I informed Mr. Baker that I heard of
Dean in Chicago, and that it would aid my plans if he would
send Byron to Chicago to obtain an interview with him.
This Byron readily consented to.
On the following day I had the satisfaction, while standing
on the steps of his Hotel, to see Byron's trunk, with the
identical boots strapped on the outside, put on the omnibus,
while Byron took an inside seat and I mounted the box
with the driver. Arriving at the depot Byron checked his
trunk and the train started. I was well known to all the
employees on the train, and having the right to enter the
baggage car by virtue of my office, I took advantage of the
stoppage of the train at White Pigeon, where twenty min-
194 BYRON AS A DETECTIVE.
utes were allowed for dinner, and after I had seen Byron
enter the dining-room, unstrapped the boots, and carried
them off to the passenger car, where I stowed them away
under my seat.
On arriving at Chicago, Byron had his trunk sent to the
Garden City House, where he first discovered the absence
of his boots, and immediately began to curse the thief that
took them, and next day he wrote to Mr. Moore complain-
ing of his loss and claiming damages.
It was now midsummer, and the time having come for
action, I had Grover locked up in the cell, having taken the
precaution to make a handsome douceur to the jailor and his
attaches to keep the secret.
Shortly after this I met Byron on Clark street, directly
opposite the jail. There was scarcely a human being in
sight, so intense was the heat at the time. I walked up, col-
lared him, and telling him who he was, informed him that he
was a prisoner.
Byron was greatly astonished ; without a word went with
me, and in three minutes from his arrest was safely locked
up with Grover, who pretended to be unable to give him
any information as to the cause of his arrest. The turnkey
could give him no information, except that he had been
arrested by me, special agent of the Post-office Depart-
ment. Matters 'remained in this state until about the third
day, Byron being exceedingly reticent in respect to his com-
panion, evidently regarding him as a vulgar person far
beneath his notice. He then asked to see me, and inquired
why he was arrested ; when told, he of course stoutly denied
BYRON AS A DETECTIVE. 195
the charge. I then fairly and honestly detailed to him all the
evidence I had against him, reserving the abstraction of the
boots to come in hereafter as an episode, when it would
best serve my purpose. He still maintained that he was
innocent. Thus matters stood for about five weeks, varied
by occasional interviews between me and the prisoner, and
then I was no nearer my aim than on the day of the
Byron continued to treat Grover with the same reserve
he had manifested at the first ; he would talk to him, how-
ever, now and then, on casual subjects, but very seldom
about his own arrest, and when he did, he invariably as-
serted his innocence.
All this time Grover was doing his best to pass for a
very astute burglar who could not be held much longer
in durance, for want of sufficient evidence to convict him.
He expected to get out every day, when he would certainly
make some rich citizen suffer for the wrong that had been
done him by his imprisonment. And he continued to insin-
uate that he was a man of great daring, resources, and des-
peration, and that anything which he had set his mind upon
he was certain to accomplish ; nobody could escape him,
and he was equal to any emergency.
About this time Mr. Moore came to Chicago at the ear-
nest request of Byron. Called on me first of all, and was
advised by me to tell Byron that I said there could be no
doubt of his guilt, as I had a diagram made of the locali-
ties where the train was thrown off the track, and the foot-
prints discovered on the ground ; that these corresponded in
196 BYRON AS A DETECTIVE.
every particular with the boots which Byron had been in the
habit of wearing, and with which he made the tracks in
Baker's garden. I further desired him to say that I had
good reason to believe that the boots which" Byron had lost
and which he claimed compensation for were now in my
possession. This Mr. Moore did very faithfully during the
interview which he had with Byron. At first he was struck
dumb by the appalling array of evidence against him,
especially that which the boots afforded. He quickly rallied
however, and said the boots he had lost were not those I
had found, that they were coarse ones, while his boots
were made of fine calf-skin. Mr. Moore assured him that
I was firm in the belief of convicting him. At Byron's
request, Mr. Moore had another interview with me, and
again called to see the prisoner in his cell, and told
him that he could do nothing for him, and that I, acting
under the orders of the Government, had power transmitted
Byron was much excited on hearing this, and the moment
Mr. Moore left him he turned upon Grover, whom he sup-
posed was about to be liberated in a day or two, and said :
" Grover, you say you are a great man, and that whatever
you take in hand is sure to succeed. You are going to be
set at liberty in a few days, will you serve me ? "
Mr. Grover, who had been waiting for six or seven weeks
to hear these words, and had begun to think that all his
efforts were useless, answered that he would be delighted to
do any thing he could for him.
" I am in great distress," said Byron.
BYRON AS A DETECTIVE. 197
" Yes, I perceive you are," said the other dryly ; " what
is the matter ? "
" Matter enough," was the rejoinder ; " I want you to help
" I am willing," said-Grover; "but how can I help you
if you are innocent ? "
" But," said Byron, " what if I am not innocent ? We
all get on the wrong track sometimes, and are only sorry
for it when we are thrown off. Here am I in a dungeon
for a crime not proven. Will you help me out ? "
Grover replied with apparent warmth that he would be
out in a few days, and that if Byron could show him how to
serve him, he would move heaven and earth to do so.
" Then you're my man," exclaimed the delighted Byron,
" and I will make a clean breast of it to you."
This he did with a precision and accuracy as to facts
which were surprising. He drew out a chart of the whole
neighborhood, marking the railroad depot, and then the vari-
ous points east and west of it where the trains were wrecked.
He seemed familiar with every object around the site where
the last obstruction had been placed. Here was the track.
Here was the "T" rail which he had lifted, end after end,
until he accomplished his purpose. Here the locomotive
first struck, and here the engineer was killed, his body in
such and such a position, and partly covered by the engine.
Then he described the road by which he had returned to
Adrian after he had laid his traps.
The boots were his greatest trouble. All would be well
without theui ; but if I had them, all was up with him unless
198 BYRON AS A DETECTIVE.
he could prove an alibi, or contrive to get the boots on
another man's legs for that night. Now he wanted Grover
to swear that he had been in Adrian for several days before
the accident happened ; that he had become acquainted with
a man at the hotel who invited him, on the night in question,
to go with him for the purpose of stealing or burglary ; that
the man had returned with him early in the evening to his
room, and that he shortly afterwards stepped out into the
hall, and on his return brought with him a pair of boots,
which he carried in his hands; that he (Grover) examined
them and knew they were Byron's ; that he accompanied this
man to the railroad and saw him put the rail on the track.
He then asked Grover if he would do this service for him.
Grover replied that he might be induced to do this, and in-
" What am I to make by running this risk for you ? "
"Oh!" said he, "you only swear to that and get me
clear, and when I am once at liberty I will do the handsome
tiling by you. I am in the confidence of the railway people,
and shall keep it up if I get clear. Then I will introduce
you to some good fellows who do nothing but jobs of this
character, and can put you in a position where you can help
The terms were agreed upon ; and Byron, to impress more
strongly upon the mind of Grover what he wanted him to
swear on the trial, made a memorandum of it and handed it
to his friend, with an injunction to be very careful not to let
it go out of his hands.
Grover was released the next day, after bidding Byron
BYRON AS A DETECTIVE. 198
a very affectionate adieu ; at the same time he pondered
over the remarkable fact that the son of a man who had set
the whole world ablaze with his genius should be immured
in Chicago jail on a charge of destroying trains and killing
It must be acknowledged that Grover played his part
remarkably well. It certainly was no joke to spend so many
hot days in a prison heated like an oven, whilst the cholera
was raging throughout the city.
This was a part of the duty of a detective's life, however,
and he had to endure it.
Byron was very much elated at the prospect. He now felt
certain of Grover' s aid, and that he would be able to regain
the confidence of the railroad officials.
ABOUT the 2nd of August, Byron- wrote to Mr. Baker
requesting him to use his influence to have him tried
at Adrian instead of Chicago, informing that gentleman that
although he understood he had been threatened by the rail-
way employees with lynch law in case they caught him, he
had no fear of them, being innocent, and that he would be
able to clear himself of all suspicion, besides prove to the
railroad officials and all concerned that he was their true
friend, and had been so throughout these calamitous events.
He assured him he was most anxious for a speedy trial, rely-
ing of course upon Grover to prove an alibi.
Baker at once communicated the contents of the letter to
me, who was also desirous to have the trial take place at
Adrian without having recourse to the slow process of ob-
taining a requisition from the Governor of Michigan to the
Governor of Illinois to effect this object, which would have
been necessary had I determined on removing the prisoner.
I therefore very cordially agreed to Byron's proposal, and
he was removed to Adrian jail, where the Attorney-General
of the State, who was well versed in the practice of criminal
law, was retained for the defence.
We must now leave Byron for a while to his own private
meditations and go back a little in this history.
BVRON AS A DETECTIVE. 201
After Byron had been lodged as a prisoner in Chicago
jail, it became necessary for me to go to New York and en-
deavor to hunt up Napier, who had been Byron's coadjutor
in crime from the commencement. It was evident to me
that there was some employee in the New York Post-office
who was also connected with them, and who from time to
time gave them information when they might expect a train
which it would be worth while to attack; and it was reason-
able to suppose that, whoever this person was, he would be
veryJikely to know Napier's whereabouts.
As I was known in New York Post-office, I found no diffi-
culty in making the necessary investigations. I ascertained
that there was a young Scotchman there who bore in his
whole aspect the marks of a dissipated life. . This man I
caused to be watched, and was not long in learning that he
frequented a fashionable saloon in Hudson street, ^. favorite
resort both for Scotchmen and Englishmen. I went there im-
mediately, and being a Scotchman myself, was not long in
making the acquaintance of a good many of my countrymen
who were habitues of the place. The house was frequented
by respectable merchants, clerks, tradesmen, and others ;
and among my new acquaintances was a harness-maker who
had a shop near, where he was doing good business, and
bore an excellent character. I found out that this man
knew Napier, and he spoke in terms of the highest praise of
him, but said he had not seen him for some time, nor could
he tell where he boarded or lodged.
He had formerly visited the saloon every day, but lately
he had missed him, and was afraid he was sick. The frank
202 BYRON AS A DETECTIVE.
and credulous harness-maker was evidently proud of know-
ing the nephew of an English admiral, and intimated that
he was on the best terms with him.
To account for my seeming interest in Napier, I told
him, I had met him some years ago in the old country and
would like to see him again ; although it was very likely, if I
were to meet him, I should not at first recognize him.
The harness-maker seemed delighted, and offered to make
inquiries for him, and I learned through him, that Napier
was living in a respectable boarding-house on MacDougal
street. Upon calling there, I found that the landlady was not
only from Scotland but from my own native town. She
knew nothing of Napier, however, as he left her house about
a week previous and had gone, as she surmised, to Europe.
He had certainly received money from England to enable
him to do so, and had paid his board bill up to the time of
leaving. This accounted for my detention in New York,
and was a capital one for me. So, after thanking the lady for
her courtesy, I parted with her on the best of terms, and set
off at once to visit the various steam-ship offices, where I
examined the passenger register of the ships that had
lately sailed for England.
At the Cunard line office I met the purser of the steam-
ship " Britannia," who told me that he was on board the
' Asia " the day before she sailed, then about ten days pre-
vious, and that he saw there a young man whom he recog-
nized as Napier from the fact that he came out about a twelve-
month previous on the "Britannia." Being quite confident
in his own mind that he was the same man, the purser
BYRON AS A DETECTIVE. 203
accosted him, when Napier told him he was mistaken ; and
denied that he was ever aboard the " Britannia." The pur-
ser was completely nonplussed at this, but was still more
astonished when, standing by the gangway just previous to the
sailing of the " Asia," he saw Napier, who had already paid
his passage money, go ashore carrying a heavy satchel in his
hand. The purser further remarked that he remained
there until the " Asia" left, and that he was certain Napier
was not aboard.
Satisfied upon this point, I visitea the various other
steamboat offices from which vessels had sailed for Europe
since the departure of the "Asia," and searched the passen-
ger lists, but in vain, and concluded that he had taken his
passage under an assumed name. If so, this would account
for his leaving the " Asia " when he saw he was recognized by
the purser of the " Britannia." Requesting the purser to ke-ep
a good look-out for him, and promising to call upon him the
next day before he sailed, I next went to the offices of the
sailing vessels. This investigation continued for three days.
Meanwhile I had again called upon the purser, but, as I
anticipated, Napier had not appeared. On calling however
at the office of Tapscott sailing vessels, he found that a ship
named the Martha Washington had sailed a day after the
departure of the " Asia," and that Napier had left on her ;
for to his utter astonishment he beheld his name recorded in
full upon the books of the company. This was soon explained
by one of the clerks, in reply to some questions asked
him in respect to the missing man, who said that one of the
captains of Tapscott's vessels had recognized the man when
204 BYRON AS A DETECTIVE.
he entered the office, and accosted him by name. This was
after he had paid his passage money, but prior to his secur-
ing his berth and recording his name.
The opportunity for securing this wily rogue was now
ended, and nothing remained for me but to return to
Chicago and look after Byron.
As the time for the sitting of the Lewanee Circuit Court at
Adrian approached, I went there and had an interview
with Mr. Hart, special agent of the Post-office Department,
and consulted with him as to the chances of bringing on
Byron's trial at the first term of court. Mr. Hart was on
friendly terms with Byron's counsel, Judge Morey, and I
learned from him that it was his intention to apply for a con-
tinuance of the case at the approaching term of the court.
I regarded this as the ordinary course of lawyers when they
have no valid defence, to endeavor to clear their client by
wearing out the prosecution, and by causing the witnesses all
the annoyance in their power. I therefore determined to frus-
trate the design. Accordingly, I made secret arrangements
with Mr. Hart ; and as the court was to meet on the follow-
ing Monday, I sent Grover at once to Chicago to visit Byron,
and directed him, during my conversation with him to say that
he hoped his trial would come off as early in the week as
possible, because he (Grover) had a big job to do ; and if it
were successful he might leave the States for a long time.
I knew Byron relied entirely upon Grover's evidence, and
that he would do anything rather than lose it, indeed if he
c ailed him his last hope was gone. This, then, was what I
did to thwart the lawyers.
BYRON AS A DETECTIVE. 205
I did not appear in Adrian on the first day of the court,
but two bills of indictment weie found against Byron. On
the second day, I telegraphed from Chicago to Mr. Hart, in
accordance with our previous arrangement, asking him to
have Byron's case continued until next term ; adding that
1 had just received a telegram from the Postmaster-Gen-
eral ordering me to come to Washington, and that I should
leave Chicago by the first train, which indeed I did ; but
went to Adrian instead of Washington. I arrived there in
the night, and getting quietly off at the rear of the train
where I met Mr. Sinclair, and without being noticed by any
one else, went direct to that gentleman's house, where a
private room had been prepared for me. No one here saw
me, except Mr. Hart and Mr. Moore, who called to tell me
that Judge Morey had swallowed the bait ; and that in his
argument before the court that morning he had vehemently
protested against any continuance in the case, urging that
it \vas no duty of his to disregard the rights of his client by
postponing the trial until next court, because I chose to be
absent ; and especially since that man was no witness but a
mere representative of the Government. He also urged
that Byron would suffer irreparable injury, as his principal
and most important witness, a very respectable man named
Grover, would not be able to attend during the next term
of court, owing to important business which would compel
his presence in a distant State.
The counsel for the prosecution pleaded for the 'continu-
ance of course, although he was not very eloquent upon the
subject. But Judge Wing decided that the case must go
206 BYRON AS A DETECTIVE.
to trial ; and thus far my plans succeeded to my entire sat-
Being informed of these particulars, and that the case was
now progressing well, I walked down to the court ; and
when I entered, the prosecuting attorney had finished his
opening speech, and Judge Morey was addressing the
court, informing the jury what he meant to prove through
Grover by way of defence. He expatiated largely upon
the illustrious parentage of the prisoner. Lord Byron, he
said, was a name emblazoned upon the scrolls of fame all
the world over. His poems were the pride and boast of all
who spoke the great English language. He had rendered
incalculable service to the literature of his country ; and he
should prove to him that the name of the father was not
more spotless than that of the son.
As he concluded and sat down, my eyes met his, and I
made him a polite bow, at which Judge Morey appeared
completely taken by surprise. He could hardly believe that
I was there in propria persona. He removed the specta
cles from his nose, and tried the naked eye, then wiped and
placed the glasses in their position ; during the whole of
which performance the counsel for the prosecution and I
were the observed of all observers. Desirous of relieving
Mr. Morey's mind of its uncertainty respecting my iden-
tity, I advanced and held out my hand to him. Mr.
Morey started to his feet and demanded in not the most
refined language where I came from ; adding, " I under-
stood, sir, that you were in Washington. How came you
here ? "
The Surprised Lawyer./. 206.
BYRON AS A DETECTIVE. 207
I replied that, owing to some stupidity on the part of the
government officials, the dispatch which I had received came
to the wrong man ; so that, instead of going to Washington I
had come to Adrian.
I then congratulated the Judge on the eloquent speech he
had made ; but the compliment was treated with supreme
contempt. Mr. Morey turning round and addressing Byron
who sat by his side in an audible voice said : "I'm d d,
Byron, if old Pinkerton has not sold us ! "
The trial proceeded. The witnesses for the prosecution
were nearly all examined, and Mr. Morey cherished the idea
that a very weak case had been made out, and that there
was a fair chance of victory being upon his side.
As regards the boots, I was confident I could explain
that to the satisfaction of the Judge and Jury, while by means
of Grover's evidence an alibi would be proven. He was so
satisfied that he would establish the innocence of his client
by the testimony of this witness that he actually ceased any
longer to pay particular attention to the trial.
At this juncture the evidence of the prosecution was draw-
ing rapidly to a close. Only another witness remained to be
examined. He was soon summoned by the officer of the
court, and John Black was no sooner called than he was in
the witness-box. Then began a series of questions which
were answered as rapidly as they were put, like a running
fire all along the lines. Neither Morey nor Byron lifted up
their heads to honor the witness with a glance. They doubt-
less heard the name " John Black " called ; but as he did not,
as they supposed, in any way concern them, they went on
208 BYRON AS A DETECTIVE.
with a pleasant and private tete-d-tete, as if nothing par
ticular was about to happen.
" What is your name, sir ? " said the prosecuting counsel.
"John Black," was the reply.
" Where do you reside ? "
" In whose employ are you ?'"
"What are your duties?"
" I am a detective, sir."
" Where did you become acquainted with the prisoner
Byron ? "
" In Chicago jail."
" Well, sir, tell us what you have to say about him."
At this moment the greatest silence reigned throughout the
court Judge Morey and Byron raised their heads, and gazed
with astonishment upon the scene before them. Byron's
face changed in a moment from vivid life to ashy paleness of
death. His eyes seemed to dilate as if they would burst
from their sockets.
He could hardly believe that the witness was the same per-
son on whom he had so faithfully relied, and who was to come
into court and swear as he had instructed him ; but as the
witness proceeded the awful truth gradually took possession
of his mind that he must pay the penalty for his crime,
and an expression of utter horror and despair settled upon
his face. Indeed he looked like a lost soul, shivering with
terror on the margin of eternity.
In a moment Mr. Morey apprehended the scene. There,
BYRON AS A DETECTIVE. 209
in the person of Black, stood bold and upright in the witness-
box the Mr. Grover by whose testimony he had expected
to prove the prisoner's innocence.
His great bald head, his round, full-moon face, steamed
with perspiration ; his eyes rolled and flashed in agonies of
rage to find himself so absolutely baffled and cheated. Off
and on went the spectacles in rapid succession. He shifted
and twisted about in his seat, crushed his brief in his hands,
and tore it to pieces, bit by bit, as the imperturbable Black
went on with his straightforward story. When he came to
relate how he had been employed by me to induce Byron to
make a confession, the Judge could bear no more. He
bounded from his chair, capsizing it as he went, with both
hands on the top of his head, he stalked hurriedly up and
down the open space in the hall before the bar, his face
bathed with perspiration and his mouth foaming with half
inarticulate imprecations. Then he suddenly confronted
Byron, and in a voice choking with excitement said : " Is
this your witness Grover ? " Byron made no reply, but
stared at him with the vacant eyes of an idiot. Again he
approached Byron and repeated the question : " Is this your
witness Grover ? " Byron, utterly bewildered, muttered
"Yes." After telling Byron that he (Byron) had no longer
any need of his services, he added aloud, so that all the
court heard him : " We are sold, sir ! I repeat it, sir, we are
sold by that d d old Pinkerton ! "
Then seizing his hat he rushed from the court-room before
the presiding Judge was able to censure him for his con
tempt of court.
S10 BYRON AS A DETECTIVE.
The remainder of the story is soon told. Black went on
with his evidence in spite of the ludicrous scene which has
just been described, and the jury, without retiring from their
seats, found Byron guilty of the two indictments preferred
Judge Wing, in summing up the case before passing sen-
tence, spoke of the heinousness of the prisoner's crime, and
regretted that capital punishment was not in force in Mich-
igan. He sentenced him, however, only upon one of the
indictments, and sent him to Jackson Penitentiary for
ninety-nine years ; adding that at this present time he thought
this would be enough for him, and satisfy the claims of
justice. " When the prisoner," continued the learned and
somewhat facetious Judge, " has served the period prescribed
by this sentence, I shall be happy, if I am spared till then,
to sentence him on the remaining indictment."
Byron was then taken from the court-house to the jail.
The fearful revulsion of feeling produced by his suddenly
altered circumstances, from the prospect and hope of im
mediate liberty to a doom of solitary imprisonment for life,
utterly prostrated him.
On a warm, bright, and sunny morning, a few days after the
trial, while I was enjoying a walk and idmiring the beautiful
scenery around the pretty city of Adrian, I met Sheriff Ben-
nett, who had Byron in charge heavily ironed and strongly
guarded on his way to Jackson. Byron at once recognized
me, and suddenly sprang to his feet with all the fury and
malice of hell in his eyes and on his tongue.
There he stood, in spite of the efforts of the guard to
BYRON AS A DETECTIVE. 211
thrust him down, and cursed me with the most horrible
oaths and imprecations. This was the last time I saw
Byron, who died in about three years afterwards, but not
before he had sent for Mr. Baker and acknowledged that it
was he and Napier who had robbed the mails at the time
the collision occurred between the Michigan Central and
Michigan Southern trains when about ten miles from
Chicago, alluded to at the commencement of this narration.
Byron said that it was the easy manner in which they
robbed the mails on that fearful occasion, thereby putting
them into possession of a large sum of money at little risk,
that instigated him and his comrade to the perpetration of
the succeeding outrages.
HARD LIFE OF THE DETECTIVE.
THE HARD LIFE
EVERY person who may have survived the experience
has undoubtedly a lively recollection of the wild
groups of people which the building of the Union and Cen-
tral Pacific railroads brought together from -all directions,
and from all causes.
There were millions upon millions of dollars to be ex-
pended ; and as the points of construction neared each
other, and the twin bands of iron crept along the earth's
surface like two huge serpents, spanning mighty rivers,
penetrating vast mountains, and trailing through majestic
forests, creeping slowly but surely towards each other, there
was always the greatest dread at the most advanced points,
which, like the heads, of serpents, always contained dan-
ger and death ; and the vast cities of a day that then
sprang into existence, and melted away like school-chil-
dren's snow houses, were the points where such wild
scenes were enacted as will probably never again occur in
the history of railroad building.
216 THE HARD LIFE OF THE DETECTIVE.
Everything contributed to make these places typical of
Babelbic confusion or Pandemoniac contention. Foreign-
ers were told of the exhaustless work, and the exhaustless
wealth, of this new country which \vas being so rapidly de-
veloped, and they came ; men, brave men, too, who had
been on the wrong side during the late irritation, and who
had lost all, having staked all on the result of the war, saw
a possible opportunity of retrieving their fortunes rapidly,
and they came ; the big-headed youth of the village whose
smattering of books at the academy, or the seminary, had
enlarged his brain and contracted his sense so that he was
too good for the common duties and everyday drudgeries
which, with patience, lead to success, learned of the glory
and grandeur of that new land, and he came ; the specu-
lating shirk and the peculating clerk came ; the almond-
eyed sons of the Orient in herds herds of quick-witted,
patient, plodding beings who could be beaten, starved,
even murdered came ; the forger, the bruiser, the
counterfeiter, the gambler, the garroter, the prostitute, the
robber, and the murderer, each and every, came ; there was
adventure for the adventurous, gold for the thief, waiting
throats for the murderer ; while the few respectable people
quickly became discouraged and fell into the general loose-
ness of habits that the loose life engendered, and gradually
grew reckless as the most reckless, or quickly acquiesced in
the wild orgies or startling crimes which were of common oc-
currence. In fact, as in the human system, when any por-
tion of it becomes diseased and all the poison in the blood
flows to it, further corrupting and diseasing it until arrested
THE HARD LIFE OF THE DETECTIVE. L'17
by a gradual purification of the whole body, or by some
severe treatment, so from every portion of the country
flowed these streams of morally corrupt people, until nearly
every town \vest of the Missouri, or east of the mountains,
along these lines, became a terror to honest people, and
continued so until an irresistible conflict compelled a
moral revulsion, sometimes so sweeping and violent as to
cause an application of that unwritten, though often ex-
ceedingly just law, the execution of which leaves offenders
dangling to limbs of trees, lamp-posts, and other conve-
nient points of suspension.
As a rule, in these places every man, whatever his busi-
ness and condition, was thoroughly armed, the question of
self-defence being a permanent one, from the fact that laws
which governed older communities were completely a dead
letter ; and the law of might, in a few instances made some-
what respectable by a faint outline of ruffianly honor, alone
prevailed, until advancing civilization and altered condi-
tions brought about a better state of society ; so that in these
reckless crowds which pushed after the constantly changing
termini of the approaching roads, any instrument of blood-
shed was considered valuable, and stores where arms and am-
munition could be secured did quite as large a trade as
those devoted to any other branch of business ; while so
outrageous was the price extorted for these instruments of
aggressign or defence, that they have often been known to
sell for their weight in gold ; and just as, during the war, the
army "-as followed by enterprising traders who turned
many an honest penny trafficking at the heels of the weary
218 THE HARE LIFE OF THE DETECTIVE.
soldiers, so the same class of people were not slow to take
advantage of such opportunities for gigantic profits which,
though often lessened by the many risks run in. such trad-
ing, were still heavy enough to prove peculiarly attractive.
As a consequence, there were many firms engaged in this
particular business, but probably the heaviest was that of
Kuhn and Bro's., who were reported to be worth upwards
of one hundred thousand dollars, which had principally been
made along the line of the road, and who, with headquarters
at Cheyenne, had established various "stores" at different
points as the Union Pacific was pushed on, always keeping
the largest stock at the most advanced point, and with-
drawing sto*cks from the paper cities which had been left
behind, though only in those towns which had not been
altogether destroyed by the periodical exodus occasioned
by each change of terminus.
For this reason the firms were obliged to entrust their
business to the honesty of many different employes, who
were subject to the vitiating influences and temptations,
which were unusual and severe under the circumstances
already mentioned, while the distances between the points,
...ml the scarcity of secure means of safely keeping the large
sums of money which would occasionally unavoidably ac-
crue at certain points, left Kuhn and Bros., in many in-
s'ances, really dependent on those dependent on them.
In this condition of affairs, and after a slight defalcation
had occurred at one of their, smaller stores in the spring of
1867, the firm were seeking a man whom they could place
in actual charge of one or two of their establishments at
the larger towns, and give a sort of general supervision
THE HARD LIFE OF THE DETECTIVE. 210
over the others, when the senior member of the firm being
in Laramie, casually met a young gentleman, who
happened to be able to do him so great a favor that the in-
cident led to a close friendship and ultimate business rela-
tions, eventually resulting in this narrative of facts.
It was a pleasant May evening, and Mr. Kuhn had de-
cided to returned to Cheyenne in order to secure a proper
man for the superintendency nearer home. He was to have
left Laramie for the East at a late hour of the evening,
and, being at a loss how to pass the intervening time,
strolled out from the hotel with no particular destination in
view, and his mind fully occupied with the cares of his busi-
ness, only occasionally noticing some peculiarity or strange
sight more than usually striking among the thousands of
weired things, to which his frontier business had compelled
him to become accustomed, when suddenly he found him-
self in front of a mammoth dance-house, and, yielding to a
momentary impulse of curiosity, turned into the place with
the stream of gamblers, adventurers, greasers ; and, in fact,
everybody respectable or otherwise, who, so far from civili-
zation, found such a place peculiarly attractive.
The dance -house was a sort of hell's bazaar, if the term
may be allowed and it is certainly the one most befitting
it,- and was really no " house " at all, being merely a very
large board enclosure covered with a gigantic tent or series
of tents, bedecked with flags and gaudy streamers. The
entrance fee to this elegant place of amusement was one
dollar, and you had only paid an initiatory fee when you
had "air.ed admission.
220 THE HARD LIFE OF THE DETECTIVE.
On either side as you entered were immense bars built of
the roughest of boards, where every kind of liquid poison
was dispensed at the moderate sum of twenty-five cents a
drink, five-cent cigars selling at the same price, and the
united efforts of a half-dozen murderous looking bar-tenders
at each side were required to assuage the thirst of the quite
as murderous-looking crowd that swayed back and forth
within the space evidently prepared for that purpose.
Beyond this point, and to either side, as . also down the
centre for some distance, could be found almost every
known game of chance, dealt, of course, "by the house,"
while surrounding the lay-outs were every description of
men crazed with drink, flushed with success, or deathly pale
from sudden ruin ; while everywhere the revolver or the
bowie intimated with what terrible swiftness and certainty
any trifling dispute, rankling grudge, or violent insult would
be settled, one way or the other, and to be marked by the
mere pitching of an inanimate form into the street !
After these attractions came a stout partition which had
evidently been found necessary, for beyond it there was the
strikingly strange heaven of a mushroom city a vast de-
partment where there were music and women ; and it
seemed that the "management" of this grand robbers'
roost had shrewdly calculated on the fact that if a poor fool
had not been swindled out of every dollar he might have
had before he reached this point, those two elements, all
powerful for good or evil the world over, would wring the
last penny from him.
Here was another but a finer bar, where more time was
THE HARD LIFE OF THE DETECTIVE. 221
taken to prepare a drink and drug a man with some show
of artistic excellence, and where a half dollar was changed
for a single measure of poison ; women, shrewd, devilish
women who could shoot or cut, if occasion required, with
the nicety and effect of a man, " steering " every person
giving token of having money in his possession to the more
genteelly gotten up " lay-outs," and acting in the same ca-
pacity, only with far more successful results, as the ordinary
"ropers-in" of any large city ; a wild, discordant orchestra
that would have been hooted out of the lowest of i; varie-
ties " east of the Missouri ; but in this place, and to these
cars, so long unused to the music of the far-away homes
beyond the Mississippi, producing the very perfection of
enchanting harmonies ; but above all, and the crowning at-
traction before which every other thing paled and dwindled
to insignificance, a score of abandoned women, dancing and
ogling with every manner of man, robbing them while em-
bracing, cheering and drinking with them, and in ever}- way
bedeviling them ; the whole forming a scene viler than
imagination or the pen of man can conceive or picture ;
grouping of wild orgies and terrible debaucheries, such as
would put Luciefer to a blush, and compel a revolution in
the lowest depths of Hades.
Kuhn had strolled through the place, and now, out of
compliment to general custom, purchased a cigar and was
just turning to depart, when he suddenly found himself
being hustled back and forth among several hard-looking
fellows, who, evidenfy knowing his business, and surmising
that he carried large sums of money upon his person, had
2:22 THE HARD LIFE OF THE DETECTIVE.
determined to provoke him to resistance ; when there would
according to the social codes then in existence at Laramie,
have been a just cause for either robbing and beating him,
or murdering him outright aud robbing him afterwards ;
when a tall, finely-formed man suddenly stepped into the
crowd, and in a very decided tone of voice said :
rt I say, gentlemen, that won't do. You must stand
Then taking the terror-stricken ammunition dealer by
the coat collar with his left hand, but keeping his right
hand free for quick use and certain work, if necessary, he
trolled him through the now excited throng and out into
the open air, hastily telling him to " cut for the hotel,"
which were quite unnecessary instructions, as he made for
that point at as lively a gait as his rather dumpy legs could
The person who had thus prevented the merchant's
being robbed, and had also possibly saved his life, was a
tall, comely young man of about twenty-eight years of age,
and with a complexion as fair as a woman's, pleasant,
though determined, blue eyes, and a long, reddish, luxuri-
ant beard, all of which, with a decidedly military cut to his
grey, woollen garments, and long fair hair .falling upon his
shoulders the whole crowned, or rather slouched over, by
a white hat of extraordinary width of brim, gave him the
appearance of an ex-Confederate officer, and right good
fellow, as the term goes, perfectly capable of caring for
himself wherever his fortune, or misfortune, might lead him;
which proved the case as he turned and confronted the
THE HARD LIFE OF THE DETECTIVE. 223
desperadoes, who had immediately followed him in a threat-
ening manner, and whom he stood ready to receive with a
navy revolver half as long as his arm, mysteriously whipped
from some hiding-place, in each steady hand.
A critical examination of the man as he stood there, and
a very casual survey of him, for that matter, would have in-
stantly suggested the fact to an ordinary observer that a
very cool man at the rear ends of two navy revolvers huge
enough to have been mounted for light artillery service,
was something well calculated to check the mounting am-
bition on the part of most anybody to punish him for the
character of the interference shown ; and the leader of the
gang contented himself with remarking, "See here, Captain
Harry, if it was'nt you, there' d be a reck'ning here ;_
lively, too, I'm tellin' ye !"
"Well, but it is me; and so there won't be *any reck-
'ning. Will there, now, eh ?"
The ruffians made no answer, but sullenly returned to
the dance-house, when Captain Harry, as he had been
called, rammed the two huge revolvers into his boot legs.
which action displayed a smaller weapon of the same kind
upon each hip ; after which he nodded a pleasant " good
night " to the bystanders, and walked away leisurely in the
direction Mr. Kuhn had taken, pleasantly whistling " The
Bonnie Blue Flag," or " The Star Spangled Banner," as
best suited him.
The moment that Mr. Kuhn's protector appeared at the
hotel, the former gentleman expressed his liveliest thanks
for the opportune assistance he had been rendered, and
2'2-i THE HARD LIFE OF THE DETECTIVE.
introduced himself to the captain, who already knew of him,
and who in return gave his name as " Harry G. Taylor, the
man from somewhere," as he himself expressed it with
a pleasant laugh.
It was easy to be seen that there was a stroke of business
in Mr. Kuhn's eye, which his escape from the dance-house
had suggested, as he told Taylor that he had intended to re-
turn to Cheyenne that night ; but he further stated that as
he had so unexpectedly been befriended, he should certainly
be obliged to remain another day in order to secure a fur-
ther acquaintance with the man to whom he already owed
Mr. Kuhn then produced some choice cigars, and the gen-
tlemen secured a retired place upon the hotel-porch, at
once entering into a general conversation which, from the
merchant's evident unusual curiosity, and Taylor's quite as
evident good humored, devil-may-care disposition, caused it
to drift into the Captain's account of himself.
He told Mr. Kuhn that his family resided at that time in
Philadelphia, where they had moved after his father had failed
in business at Raleigh, N. C., but had taken so honorable a
name with him to the former city that he had been able to
retrieve his fortunes to some extent. The captain was
born at Raleigh, and had received his education in the
South, and, being unable to share in his father's regard for
the North, even as a portion of the country best adapted
for doing business, sought out some of his old college
friends in Louisville, Atlanta, and New Orleans, who had
been able to secure him a fine business position at Atlanta,
THE HARD LIFE OF THE DETECTIVE. 225
\\ here by care and economy in 1860, though but a mere boy
yet, he had accumulated property that would have satisfied
many a man twenty years his senior.
Being impulsive, and a warm admirer of Southern institu-
tions, he was one of the first men to join the Confederate
army at Atlanta, and fought in a Georgia Regiment under
Johnson and Hood during the entire war, at Jonesville and
Rough-and-ready Station seeing the smoke ascend above
the ruins of the once beautiful city, and realizing that the
most of his earthly possessions had disappeared when the
flames died away.
Having been promoted to a captaincy, he had fought as
bravely as he could against the " blue-coats," like a man
acknowledging their bravery as well as that of his com-
rades ; and at the close of the war, which of course ter-
minated disadvantageously to his interests, he had sold his
lots at Atlanta for whatever he could get for them, and
with thousands of others in like circumstances, had come
West and taken his chances at retrieving his fortunes.
This was told in a frank straightforward way, which seemed
to completely captivate Mr. Kuhn, for he at once spoke to
Taylor concerning his business in Laramie, and bluntly
asked him, in the event of mutual and satisfactory referen-
ces being exchanged, whether he would accept the engage-
ment as superintendent of his business over that portion of
the road, and take actual charge of the store in that place,
and the one about to be established at Benton City.
The result of the evening's interview was the engagement
of Taylor by the firm at a large salary ; his immediately
236 THE HARD LIFE OF TffE DETECTIVE.
taking supervision of the business without bonds or any
security whatever ; and for a time his management and
habits were so able and irreproachable that, with the grati-
. tude for his protection of Mr. Kuhn at Lamarie still fresh
and sincere, the firm felt that they had been most fortunate
in their selection of an utter stranger, and were in every
way gratified with the turn events had taken.
DURING the early morning of a blustering December
day of the same year, I was quite annoyed by the
persistence of a gentleman to see me, on what he insisted,
in the business office of my Chicago agency, on terming
" important business."
It was not later than half past eight o'clock ; and, as I
have made it a life-long practice to get at business at an
early hour, get ahead of it, and keep ahead of it during the
day, I was elbow-deep in the mass of letters, telegrams,
and "communications of a different nature which in my busi-
ness invariably accumulates during the night, and felt
anxious to wade through it before taking up any other
The gentleman, who gave the name of Kuhn, seemed
very anxious to see me, however and letting drop the state-
ments that he greatly desired to take the morning train for
Cheyenne, where he resided ; might not be able to be in
Chicago again for some time ; felt very desirous of seeing
/ne personally ; and would require but a few moments to
explain his business, which he agreed to make explicit ; I
concluded to drop everything else and see him.
On being ushered into my private apartments, he at once
hastily gave me an outline of the facts related in the prrvi-
US8 THE HARD LIFE OF THE DETECTIVE.
cms chapter, adding a new series of incidents which occa-
sioned his visit, and to the effect that the firm had made the
necessary arrangements for increasing their business undei
their new superintendent, having added largely to their stock
at Laramie, and placed about twenty thousand dollars worth
of goods at Benton City.
According to the agreement, he was required to forward
money whenever the sales had reached a stated sum at each
point, and was given authority to take charge of goods or
moneys on hand at any of the less important stations, when
convinced that things were being run loosely, or whenever
it in any way appeared for the interests of the firm for him
to do so.
It will be seen that under this arrangement, which was in
every respect injudicious, no security having been given by
Taylor, he immediately became possessed of great responsi-
bility, as well as power ; but appeared to appreciate the
unusual confidence reposed in him, and conducted the busi-
ness of Kuhn Bros, with unusual profit to them and credit
to himself. Matters progressed in this way for some time,
when suddenly, about the first of October, the firm at Chey-
enne began to receive dispatches from different employes
along the road, inquiring when Taylor was to return from
Cheyenne, and intimating that business was greatly suffering
from his absence. The members of the firm were aston-
ished. They knew nothing of Taylor's being in Cheyenne.
On the contrary, their last advices from him were to the
affect that he should be at their city on the tenth of that
month, with large collections ; and the announcement was
THE HARD LIFE OF THE DETECTIVE. 229
accompanied with glowing accounts of the prosperity of
their business under his careful management.
After the startling intelligence of Taylor's unaccountable
absence, a member of the firm immediately left for Laramie,
Kenton City, and other points, to ascertain the true condi-
tion of affairs, still unable to believe that the handsome,
chivalrous captain had wronged them, and that everything
would be found right' upon examination of matters which
was immediately and searchingly entered upon ; but the first
glance at affairs showed conclusively that they had been
swindled, and it was soon discovered that he had gathered
together at the stores under his own charge, and at differ-
ent points along the line, under various pretexts, fully four-
teen thousand dollars, and had been given two weeks in
which to escape.
Mr. Kuhn did not desire to give the case into my hands
on that morning ; but explained that he had returned from
a fruitless trip to Philadelphia in search of his former super-
intendent, and had been advised by a telegram from his
brothers to lay the case before me and request my advice
about the matter ; at the same time securing information
about the probable pecuniary outlay necessary for further
prosecution of the search, and such other items of informa-
tion as would enable him to counsel with the remainder of
the firm concerning the case, and be able to give the case
Into my hands, should they decide to do so, without further
This was given him ; and I, in turn, secured from Mr.
Kuhn all the information possible concerning Taylor, which
230 THE HARD LIFE OF THE DETECTIVE.
was scant indeed, as they had seen very little of him, could
give but a very general description of the man, and here
they had injudiciously given him over two months start,
during which time he might have safely got to the other side
of the world.
Only one item of information had been developed by
which a clue to his whereabouts could by any possibility be
imagined. He had often spoken to Mr. Kuhn in the most
glowing terms of life in both Texas and Mexico, as he had
passed, so he had said, a portion of a year in that part of
America, since the close of the war, and in connection with
the subject, he had stated that he should have remained
there had he been supplied with sufficient capital to have
enabled him to begin business.
This was all ; and I dismissed the swindled merchant with
little encouragement as to the result of a chase for a thief
who had got so much the advantage ; or, rather, intimated
to him that though I had no doubts of being able to eventu-
ally catch him, it would be rather a poor investment for the
firm to expend the amount of money which might be neces-
sary to effect his capture, unless, in looking into the matter
further, I should be able to see opportunities for securing
much better knowledge as to his present whereabouts, or
clues which could be made to lead to them.
With this not very cheering assurance, Mr. Kuhn returned
Not hearing from the firm for several days, I finally dis-
missed the matter entirely from mind ; but on arriving at
the agency one morning, I received instructions from the
THE HARD LIFE OF THE DETECTIVE. 231
Gheyenne firm to proceed in the matter, and with all expe-
dition possible endeavor to cage the flown bird for them.
I at once detailed William A. Pinkerton, my eldest son,
and at present assistant .superintendent of my Chicago'
agency, to proceed to Cheyenne, and look over the ground
thoroughly there, and also, if necessary, to proceed along
the line of the Union Pacific, and, after ascertaining who were
Taylor's friends and companions, work up a trail through
them, which would eventually bring him down.
The latter course was not necessary to be followed, how-
ever, as on arriving at Cheyenne, with some little informa-
tion gleaned from the firm, he was able to ascertain that a
young lawyer there named La Grange, also originally from
the South, had been a quite intimate friend of Taylor's so
much so, in fact, that La Grange had for the last six months
regularly corresponded with the captain's sister, who had
been described to him as not only an exceedingly beautiful
woman, but as also a lady possessed of unusual accomplish-
ments and amiability.
My son " cultivated " La Grange largely but could secure
but little information through him. He seemed to know
nothing further concerning either Taylor or his family, save
that he had incidentally met him*along the line of the Union
Pacific ; they had naturally taken a sort of liking to each
other, and in that way became friends in much the same
manner that most friendships were made in that country.
He further recollected that he had always directed his let-
ters to a certain post-office box, instead of to a street num-
ber ; but seemed perfectly mystfied concerning the action
232 THE HARD LIFE OF THE DETECTIVE.
of the brother. He had just returned from a three months
absence in Kentucky, and it was the first intimation he
had had of the Captain's crime. La Grange also said that as he
had been very busy, he had not written to Miss Lizzie (evi-
dently referring to the sister), nor had he received any com-
munication from her during that time. He had had a pho-
tograph of Harry, taken in full dress uniform while stationed
at Atlanta, which had been copied in Philadelphia, but a
thorough search among his papers failed to reveal it.
This was all that 'my son could secure, as La Grange,
evidently suspecting that, in his surprise at Taylor's crime,
he might say something to compromise himself and endan-
ger Taylor or wound his beautiful sister, to whom he seemed
greatly attached, positively refused to have anything further
to say concerning the matter ; and with what information he
had, William returned to the hotel in a brown study, deter-
mined to take time to exhaust the material at Cheyenne
before proceeding on the proposed trip along the Union
After summing up and arranging the points he had got
hold of, he telegraphed me fully, adding his own impres-
sion that Taylor was in Texas, but expressing a doubt as to
whether he had better proceed along the Union Pacific for
more information, or go on to Philadelphia at once and in
some way secure information of the family as to their son's
On the receipt of this telegram, which arrived in Chicago
about noon, I at once resolved upon a little strategy, being
myself satisfied that Taylor had proceeded via St. Loui?
THE HARD LIFE OF THE DE7ECTIVE. 233
and New Orleans into either Texas or Mexico, and was
then engaged under his own or an assumed name, in some
business agreeable to his taste, as formerly explained to Mr.
Kuhn, and immediately telegraphed to my son :
" Keep La Grange busied all day so he cannot write, or
mail letters. Study La Grange's language and modes of ex-
pression. Get LaGrange's and Taylor's handwriting,
signatures, and Miss Taylor's address, and come next
Agreeable to these instructions, he secured several letters
from Taylor to Kuhn & brothers, concerning business
matters, with the last one, containing the announcement
that he would be in Cheyenne on the tenth of October
with collections ; and immediately sent by a messenger a
courteous note to La Grange, desiring an outline of
Taylor's life so far as he might feel justified in giving it, and
requesting an answer which was politely but firmly given in
the negative over Adolph La Grange's own signature,
which completed a portion of his work neatly.
The balance was more difficult. He ordered a sleigh,
and after settling his hotel bill, but reserving his room for
the night, at once drove to La Grange's office, where he in
person thanked him for his courteous letter, even if he did
not feel justified in giving him the information desired. A
little complimentary conversation ensued during which time
my son's quick eyes noticed in the lawyer's waste-basket an
envelope evidently discarded on account of its soiled
appearance, addressed to " Miss Lizzie Taylor, Post-office
Box , Philadelphia " which on the first opportunity he
t THE HARD LIFE OF THE DETECTIVE.
Appropriated. The next move was \& prevent La Grange's
mailing any letter, as it was evident he had written several,
including one to Taylor's sister, which were only waiting to
Seeing that he had made a pleasant impression upon La
Grange, who appreciated the courtesy of the call under the
circumstances, and informing him that he had decided to
make no further inquiries there, but was to proceed west
on the following morning, he prevailed upon him to take a
ride in his company about the city and its environs.
In leaving his office, La Grange hesitated a moment as if
deciding the propriety of taking the letters with him, or
returning for them after the sleigh-ride ; but evidently de-
cided to do the "latter, as he left them, much to my son's
The drive was prolonged as much as possible, and the
outlying forts visited, where, having letters of introduction
from myself to several army-officers stationed there, both
he and his companion were so hospitably treated that the
afternoon slipped away quickly, and the two returned to
town evidently in high spirits. La Grange felt compelled
to reciprocate as far as in his power, and billiards with
frequent drinks for the lawyer and a liberal supply of water
for the detective, were in order until within a half hour
of the eastern bound train lime, when La Grange succumbed
to an accumulation of good-fellowship, and on his own sug-
gestion, as he "wash rising y'n'^ 'torny y'know ! " accepted
the hospitalities of my son's room, at the Rawlins House,
where he left him sweetly sleeping at a rate which would
THE HARD LIFE OF THE DETECTIVE. 235
prevent the mailing of the letters he had left locked in his
office for at least two days to come; as "rising young
attorneys," as a rule sober off in a carefully graduated
diminishing scale of excesses of quite similar construction
to the original.
On the arrival of my son in Chicago, I immediately
caused to be written a letter addressed to Miss Lizzie
Taylor at her post-office box in Philadelphia, of which the
following is a copy :
" SHERMAN HOUSE CHICAGO, Jan. 1868.
"My DEAR FRIEND : You know of my intended absence
from Cheyenne in the South. During that trip, I really never
had the time when I could write you so fully as I desired
and even now I am only able to send you a few words. I
am en route to Washington on business, and have now to
ask you to send the street and number of your father's
house, even if it is not a magnificent one, as you have told
me, to my address, at the Girard House, in your city, on re-
ceipt of this ; as I shall be in Washington but one day, and
would wish to see both you and your people without delay.
I not only greatly wish to see you for selfish reasons,
which our long and pleasant correspondence will suggest
to you as both reasonable and natural, but there are .other
good, reasons, which you all will readily understand when I
tell you that* I met him accidentally just before my return
to Cheyenne, and that I have a communication of a personal
2:56 THE HARD LIFE OF THE DETECTIVE.
nature to deliver. While not upholding him in the step he
has taken, I cannot forget that I am his friend, and he, yoiu
" In great haste
"Your true friend
" ADOLPH LA G "
P. S. I leave here for the East this morning. Please
answer on immediate receipt.
This was posted on the eastern-bound train not an hour
after my, son's arrival from the West ; and another note was
written upon the back of an envelope which had passed
through the mail, and had got a very much used appear-
ance, and ran thus :
" FATHER OF LIZZIE :
" Treat Adolph well, you can trust him. Give him one
of the 'photos' taken at Atlanta in my full-dress uniform;
keep one other of the same for yourselves ; but destroy all
the rest. Have been so hurried and worried that I don't
remember whether I have said anything about photographs
before. But this is a matter of imperative necessity.
Adolph will explain how he met me.
" Good bye,
" H ."
It was impossible to detect any difference between this
Handwriting and that of Captain Taylor's in his business cor-
THE HARD LIFE OF THE DETECTIVE. 237
respondence to Kuhn Brothers ; and, armed with this docu-
ment, with the assistance of the epistolary self-introduction
which had preceded it, 1 directed my son to leave for Phila-
delphia that evening, secure admission to Taylor's residence,
and the family's confidence, agreeable to the appointment
made by mail, and thus not only secure the man's photo"
graph, but other information that would be definite.
On arrival at Philadelphia, he secured the services of an
operative, from my agency in that city, to follow any member
of the Taylor family who might call for the letter, to their
residence, in the event of an answer not being received at
his hotel in due time from the one assumed to have been
sent from the hotel in Chicago from La Grange, who found
Taylor's home, an unpretentious house on Locust Street,
while my son remained at the hotel, fully expecting the cov-
eted invitation to visit the Captain's beautiful sister, which
arrived at his hotel only a half day after he did, and strongly
urged him tocall at his convenience.
He was satisfied from this that our theory regarding his
being in Texas, or Mexico, was correct, that the family had
not the slightest suspicion of his identity, and that, wherever
Captain Taylor might be, communication with his people
had been very infrequent, and that, with what he would be
able to invent after being received at Taylor's house, he
could secure at least sufficient information to put him upon
his son's trail. Not desiring to play upon their feelings and
friendship as another person any longer than necessary,
however ; and he sent word by a messenger, not daring to
trust his own handwriting, that he would call that evening,
238 THE HARD LIFE OF THE DETECTIVE.
though necessarily at a late hour ; and, accordingly,
evening, about nine o'clock, found him at the door of a
pleasant Locust street cottage, ringing for admission.
A tall, handsome young woman greeted him at the door,
and accordingly bade him enter, saying pleasantly, as ohe
ushered him into the cozy little parlor, that she was Miss
Lizzie Taylor, and presumed he was Mr. La Grange, with
whom she had had so long and so pleasant a correspond-
ence ; and of whom " poor Harry," as she said with a
shade of sadness and tenderness in her voice, _had so often,
written, before he had made his terrible mistake, and be-
come a wanderer.
After hastily satisfying her that he was the genuine La
Grange, and profusely apologizing for his not having written
for so long a time previous to his arrival at Chicago, from
Cheyenne, he took up the thread she had dropped, as quickly
as possible, and said that he felt sure that Harry would re-
trieve himself soon, and return the money, as toe had no bad
habits, and everything 'would be all right again.
" Hut, yet, Mr. La Grange," she continued, " it makes me
shudder whenever I think of all my brothers being away
off there on the Rio Grande, among those terrible people !"
" Hut,, you must remember," he replied, encouragingly,
" they are strong men, and can well defend themselves
under any circumstances."
" Harry is strong and brave, I know," answered Miss
Taylor, rather admiringly ; " but brother Robert is not fit
for such a life. Why, he is but a boy yet."
"Ah, a younger brother?" he thought, making a menta]
THE HARD LIFE OF THE DETECTIVE. 239
r^te of it, in order to assist in shaping his conversation,
after which he said aloud : " I almost forgot to give you
this note ; " and he took the piece of envelope out of his
note book, as if it had been sacredly guarded, and handed it
Miss Taylor read the hastily written lines with evident
emotion ; and after studying a moment, as if endeavoring to
reconcile matters, while her face was being searchingly read
by an experienced detective, she rose, and, apologizing to
him for the absence of her father, who was in New York, on
business, and of her mother, who was confined to her
apartment a confirmed invalid, she asked to be excused so
as to show the note to her mother.
The instant the door closed, my son had seized the al-
bum which he had located during the preceding conversa-
tion, and rapidly turned its leaves to assure himself that he
was not treading on dangerous ground. He found a half-
a-dozen different styles of pictures of the captain, including
three of the copies taken in Philadelphia of the original At-
lanta picture, and felt reassured beyond measure at the
lucky turn things had taken. He would have abstracted
one of these, but it was impossible, and had barely time to
return the album to the table, and himself to his seat, when
he heard the woman's step along the hall, and in a moment
more, she entered the room.
240 THE HARD LIFE OF THE DETECTIVE.
GIVING the door a little impulsive slam, as she closed
it, Miss Taylor at once came to where my son was
silting upon the sofa, and seated herself beside him. She
said that her mother was anxious beyond -measure to
learn how and where he had met Harry, how he was look-
ing, and what he had said.
The imagination and resources of the able detective are
fully equal to those of the most brilliant newspaper report-
ers, and a pleasant and plausible fiction was invented, how
he (as La Grange, of course,) having taken a run from.Louis-
vilFe down to New Orleans, by boat, was just landing at the
levee when he suddenly came across Harry, who had hasti-
ly told him all ; how great had been his transgression, how
deeply he had regretted it; but that now he was situated in his
business matters, so that if let alone, he would be able to
return to Kuhn & Brothers every dollar which he had taken,
and have a line business left ; how it had been necessary
for him to come to New Orleans on imperative business,
and that he should not come east of the Mississippi again
under any circumstances. He further said, that Harry
seemed hopeful; that he had stated that his younger brother,
Robert was well and enjoying the frontier life ; and that,
further than that, he had no time or disposition to talk, as
THE HARD LIFF OF -THE DETECTIVE. 241
% he was on the very eve of departure for Texas, only having
time to write the little note concerning the photographs.
Miss Taylor excused herself for a moment to convey the
truthful intelligence to her anxious mother ; and on her re-
turn suggested that they go through the album together at
once and attend to the photographs, an invitation which
was accepted with unusual readiness.
Every gentleman who has had the experience, and there
are few who have not, know that looking over an album
with a beautiful woman who has some interest in her com-
panion, is a wonderfully pleasant diversion. In this instance
it was doubly pleasant, for it meant success to my son, whose
zeal is as untiring as my own when once on the trail of a
" I wonder why," asked Miss Taylor, as if wondering as
much about Mr. La Grange as about any other subject ; " I
wonder why Harry desires those photographs destroyed ? "
He was turning the leaves for her and, as La Grange, of
course, had a perfect right to take plenty of time to explain
the matter soothingly and sympathetically.
" But do those horrid detectives track a man out and run
him down, when, if he were let alone, he might recover from
his misfortune and right the wrong he. has done ? "
Mr. LaGrange remarked that he had heard that some of
them were very much lacking in sentiment and sensibility,
and would go right forward through the very fire itself to
trace the whereabouts of a criminal; and all those little
things helped, he could assure her.
She began to see how it was, she said, but suddenly firing
242 THE HARD LIFE OF THE DEFECTIVE.
up, she shook her pretty fist at some imaginary person, ex
" Oh, I could kill the man who would thus dog my brothe
Harry." And then, after a little April shower of tears, quite
like any other woman's way of showing how very desperate
they can be under certain circumstances, began slowly tak-
ing the Captain's pictures from the album, commenting upon
them, and then handing them to the bogus La Grange to
burn, who would occasionally step to the fire-place for that
purpose, where he would quickly substitute miscellaneous
business cards which answered the purpose excellently.
An hour or two was passed with Miss Taylor in conver-
sation upon various topics which might lead the really es-
timable young lady to divulge all she knew about the Cap-
tain, or concerning his whereabouts and business, which
was certainly not much.
It appeared that, immediately after the embezzlement, and
while at St. Louis, Taylor had telegraphed to his brother
Robert to meet him at New Orleans at a certain time, as he,
was going into business in that section, and should need
his services for which he would be able to pay him hand-
somely ; the brothers had met there and had proceeded to
some other point ; the captain claiming that it would be
injudicious to make that fact known, as he had also sent a full
and complete confession to his parents regarding his em-
bezzlement from Kuhn Bros., which he had directed them to
burn, and which he finished by requesting his family not
write to either himself or his brother for some time to come ;
or at least until he should indicate to them that it would be
THE HARD LIFE OF THE DETECTIVE. 243
safe to do so ; and under no circumstances to give any per-
son an iota of information concerning himself or his brother.
My son left Miss Taylor's hospitable home with a pang of
regret for the deception which had seemed necessary in this
case ; for whatever may be the opinion of the public regard-
ing the matter, a detective has often quite as large and
compassionate a soul as men of other and apparently
more high toned professions.
So long as intelligent crime is the result of a high stan-
dard of mental culture and a low standard of moral con-
science- conditions which now exist and have for some
years existed intelligent minds must be trained to battle
criminals with their own weapons ; and these two questions
of speedy detection of crime and swift punishment of crim-
inals will be found quite as essential to a preservation of
law and society as lofty arguments or high moral disserta-
tions on the right or wrong of the expediencies necessary to
bring wrong-doers to immediate and certain justice.
As soon as I had received a full telegraphic report of the
success of the Philadelphia experiment, I directed him to
proceed to Louisville, where he would be met by Operative
Keating, from Chicago, who would bring him letters of in-
troduction from myself to Col. Wood, commanding the first
Infantry at New Orleans ; Captain White, chief of the De-
tective force of that city ; General Canby, commanding the
Department of Texas, at Austin ; Col. Hunt,Chief Quarter-
master of the Department of Texas, and other army offi-
cers, requesting them to render my son and his assistant
any aid in their power, should the necessity for such assis-
244 THE HARD LIFE OF THE DETEC'IJCA.
tance arise, the requisition from Governor Foulke, ot
Dakotah Territory, for Henry G. Taylor, upon Governor
Pease, of Texas, and general instructions concerning his
conduct of the search for the handsome captain after he had
got beyond mail and telegraphic communication.
I was sending him into a country which was at that time
in many portions utterly unsafe for the securing of a crimi-
nal should the pursuer's mission become known so as to
allow the person desired time to apprise his friends of his
danger, or give him even an opportunity to rally any num-
ber of acquaintances for defence ; for the reason that, as
Texas had become a sort of refuge for ruffians, they became
clannish through the general peril of being pursued each
experienced ; and would, as a rule, on the slightest provoca-
tion, assist in the rescue of any person under arrest, not
knowing how soon it might be their turn to cry for help ;
but I have invariably sent my sons into danger with the
same expectation that they would do their duty regardless of
consequences, as I have had when sending other men's sons
into danger. Happily I have never mistaken their metal;
and, in this instance, felt sure that I could rely upon him to
exercise both discretion and intrepidity in exigencies to
which his long experience and careful training have at all
times made him equal.
The two detectives met in Louisville, and at once pro-
ceeded to New Orleans, where they arrived early in the
morning of the yth of January, 1868, and were driven to the
St. Charles Hotel. No time was lost, and while my son
presented his letters to different parties, and made cautious
THE HARD LIFE OF THE DETECTIVE. 215
inquiries regarding the recent appearance in New Orleans
of Taylor, Keating, in the character of a provincial mer-
chant, investigated as far as possible the business houses
dealing in stock, leather, or wool, as to whether any such
person had made arrangements for consignments from the
interior or seaport Texan cities. No trace of their man
was found, however, until my son was able to get at the reg-
ister of the St. Charles Hotel for the preceding three
months, which was attended with some difficulty, on ac-
count of the crowded condition of things at that house ; and
any detective, or other expert, will understand how much
time and patience are required to discover one signature
from among ten thousand, when that one may be an as-
sumed name, and perhaps five hundred of the ten thousand
be so similar to the one sought, that a disinterested person
could scarcely be convinced it was really not the person's
handwriting desired ; but after a good deal of trouble and
searching, the names of " H. G. Taylor & clerk," were dis-
covered on the last half line at the bottom of a page under
date of November 3oth, 1867, which, by constant wear and
thumbing in turning pages, had been nearly defaced, but
which in his handwriting beyond a doubt told the story of
Further inquiry of the clerk on duty at that time, and with
his memory refreshed by a glance at Taylor's photographs,
developed the facts that he had certainly been at the St
Charles on the date shown by the register, and that he was
accompanied by a young man about nineteen years of age
who was recognized as Taylor's clerk.
2!5 THE HARD LIFE OF THE DETECTIVE.
The peculiar register then kept at the St. Charles Hotel
in New Orleans was also instrumental in assisting the detec-
tives. It gave the guest's name, residence, hour of arrival,
and hour of departure, with name of convayance at ar-
rival and departure in the following manner :
//. G. Taylor and Clerk, \ Mobile, \ 12 m. \ Fed. \
2 Dec. | 7 a.m. \ 'Bus.
Tin's told anybody curious about the matter that H. G.
Taylor and clerk, assuming to reside in Mobile, arrived at
the St. Charles Hotel, New Orleans, at noon on Saturday,
the thirtirth day November, 1867, either afoot or by some
mode of conveyance unknown to theclerk of the house
and that they left the house in an omnibus at seven 'clock
on the morning of the third day following.
Naturally the next inquiries were directed to ascertaining
to what boat or railroad lines omnibuses could be ordered at
that hour of the morning ; if to different ones, then to dis-
cover who had driven the particular omnibus which con-
veyed Taylor and his brother from the hotel ; and then
make an effort to learn to what point they had been con-
veyed. This, however, proved less difficult than had been
feared ; for it was found that on the morning in question the
omnibus had gone from the hotel to but one point, and that
was to the ferry connecting with Berwick Bay route, by the
New Orleans and Opelousas Railroad and the Gulf, to Gal-
veston, although a large number of passengers had been
THE HARD LIFE OF THE DETECTIVE. 247
booked, and it was impossible to ascertain whether Tayloi
and his brother had actually gone that route or not, though
everything was in favor of that presumption.
The death of General Rosseau had caused quite a com-
motion in New Orleans, and -it seemed a pretty hard
matter to get anything further of a definite character in that
place ; and I therefore instructed my son and Detective
Keating to proceed slowly to Galveston, stopping at
Brashear City, where Taylor might have diverged, suypos-
ing he had taken that route with the other passengers
from New Orleans, and to particularly search passenger-
lists aboard any lines of boats, and all hotel registers, before
arriving at Galveston, so as to have the work done thoroughly
nearest the base of operation ; as I knew that for any party
to get on the wrong scent in that vast State, thinly settled as
it was, with no means of quickly conveying needful intelli-
gence, was to enter upon both a needless waste of money for
my patrons, and an objectless and wearying struggle against
insurmountable obstacles for my detectives, whom, whatever
may be said to the contrary, I have never in a single
instance needlessly or injudiciously exposed to privation or
In Brashear the conductors of trains were applied to ; the
hotel and omnibus men were questioned, the postmaster
was appealed to, and even the passenger-lists of the boats
which had been in port, and to which they were able to
gain access for a period of three months, had been searched
in vain. Every trace of the man seemed lost ; and I was
appealed to for a decision as to whether they should proceed
!M8 THE HARD LIFE OF THE DTTECTIVE.
to Galveston by boat with the presumption that Taylor had
taken passage under an assumed name, or take a few days'
trip up along the line of the New Orleans and Opelousas
Railroad and seek for information of their man at different
points through Central Louisiana.
J decided on the former course, and they accordingly em-
barked from Brashear immediately after the receipt of my
telegram of instructions, on the handsome steamer Josephine,
the only boat whose books they had had no opportunity of ex-
amining ; and, having received my telegram but a few min-
utes before the steamer left, were obliged to do some lively
running to reach it ; for, in anticipation of a message from
me to take that route, my son had directed Keating to settle
the hotel bill, and with both valises in hand wait at a con-
venient corner, where, should Willliam receive a dispatch
from me of the character expected, within a certain time,
they might yet make the boat. Everything transpiring as
my son had hoped, they were just in time, after a lively run,
to be hauled up the gang plank by two stalwart negroes, and
were soon steaming down the bay and thence out to sea.
AS the two ascended to the cabin they were congratu-
lated by the officers of the boat and many of the pas-
sengers on their graceful and expeditious boarding of the
steamer ; and being something of objects of interest on ac-
count of the little incident, they concluded not to lose the
opportunity to blend the good feeling evoked into a thor-
oughly pleasant impression, and consequently took the
shortest way to accomplish that desired end by at once walk-
ing up to the bar where the assembled gentlemen, to a man,
apparently in compliance to general custom, seemed to un-
derstand that they had been invited before a word had been
uttered by either of the detectives, so that when my son
asked, " Gentlemen, won't you join us?" it was an entirely
superfluous request ; for on either side behind, and extending
a solid phalanx beyond, the " gentlemen " had already joined
and were describing the particular liquor that in their minds
would do honor to the occasion in the most lively and famil-
iar manner possible, and interspersing their demands upon
the leisurely bar-keeper with such remarks as " Gen'lemen
had narrow 'scape ; " " Gen'lemen made a right smart run of
it;" "Gen'lemen not down from Norlens (New Orleans),
reckon come down Opelousas route," and other similar com-
ments ; but invariably prefacing each and every remark with
250 THE HARD LIFE OF THE DETECTIVE.
the stereotyped word " Gen'lemen," which men were, with-
out exception, assumed to be in that country at that time, at
least in conversation ; as any neglect to preface a remark
with the word laid one liable to become immediately engaged
in a discussion regarding the propriety of the use of the term,
behind navy revolvers, rifles, double-barrelled shot-guns, or
any other available pointed or forcible means of argument.
After the thirst of the crowd, which upon a Gulf-coasting
steamer is something terrible to contemplate, had been in a
measure assuaged, my son excused himself, and with Keat-
ing repaired to the office, remarking to the clerk :
" I presume you would like to transact a little business
with us now ? "
" Any time to suit your convenience," returned the clerk,
but getting at his books with an alacrity which showed that
he would be a little more willing to attend to the matter of
fares then than at any other time.
William handed him an amount of money large enough
to pay for both the fares of himself and Keating from
Brashear to Galveston ; and, while the clerk was making
change, said by way of getting into conversation with him,
" I'm afraid we're on a fool's errand out here."
The clerk counted out the change, inked his pen to take
the names, and then elevating his eyebrows, although not
speaking a word, plainly asked, " Ah, how's that ?"
"Well, you see," replied the detective, "we're hunting a
man that's had right good luck."
"He can't be in these parts," replied the clerk with
a slightly satirical smile. " Names ? " he then asked.
THE HARD LIFE OF THE DETECTIVE. 251
"James A. Hicks and Patrick Mallory."
"Where from? J)
' "Which is which?" asked the clerk in a business tone of
" I am Hicks, and that pretty smart-looking Irishman by
the baggage-room is Mallory," was the reply.
" Your age and weight ? " asked the clerk mechanically,
at the same time looking at my son keenly and getting the
rest of his description at a glance.
These questions were properly answered and as the
clerk was noting them he asked, " Might I ask what was the
gentleman's good luck ? "
" Certainly ; he has fallen heir to a coal mine in Pennsyl-
vania, and we are endeavoring to hunt him up for the
executors of the estate."
"Ah ?" said the clerk, driving away with his pen, " will
you be so good as to ask Mr. Mallory to step this way ? "
My son stepped up to Keating and remarked aloud,
" Mr. Mallory, Mr. Mallory, the clerk would like to see
you ; " and then as Keating stepped to his side, remarked
as if for his better information, " He knows your name is
Patrick Mallory and that we are from Pittsburg, hunting Tay-
lor, so he can come home and enjoy the property the old
man left him ; but he wants your entire description."
"Quite.so ;" said the quick-witted Irishman dryly.
" You've got me now," said Keating, winking familiarly
at the clerk, " when we came over we went under ; and so
many of us was lost that those saved wasn't worth niindm'
252 THE HARD LIFE OF THE DETECTIVE.
as to age, ye see ; but concerning heft why, I'd not fear to
say I'd turn an honest scale at a hundred an' sixty."
The clerk smiled but concluded not to ask Mr. Mallory
from Pittsburg any more questions.
As soon as he had made his notes, however, William told
him that he had examined the lists of all other boats plying
between Brashear and Galveston, save those of the Jose-
phine, and requested him to look through them, concluding
by describing Taylor and stating that he might register
either as H. G. Taylor and clerk, or under an assumed name,
as he was somewhat erratic, and through family troubles not
necessary to explain, he had got into a habit of occasionally
The clerk readily complied with his request, scanning the
pages closely and repeating the name musingly as if en-
deavoring to recall where he had heard it. By the time he
had got on with the examination of a few pages, William
had selected a photograph of Taylor, and on showing it to
the clerk the latter seemed to have a certain recollection of
having seen him, but a very uncertain recollection as. to
where, or under what circumstances. He went on repeat-
ing the name, however, turning back the pages with his
right hand and tracing the names back and forth with the
index finger of his left hand, occasionally looking at the
photograph as if to assist in forcing a definite recollection,
but without any result for so long a time that Messrs. Hill
and Mallory of Pittsburg became satisfied that their last
hope before arriving at Galveston was gone, when stuldemy
(he clerk carelessly placed the picture beside a certain name
THE HARD LIFE OF THE DETECTIVE. 253
and in a manner very similar to a dry-goods clerk on
securing a successful "match," in two pieces of cloth,
quietly remarked :
" Yes, can't be mistaken. There you are ; I've got him."
" Then we've got him ! " exclaimed my son, in the excess
of his gratification shaking the hand of Mr. Mallory from
^ It's a joy," said the latter beaming.
"Think of the immense property ! " continued my son.
" And the surprise to his friends ! " murmured Keating.
"The surprise to himself, I should say," interrupted the
" Quite so," said Mr, Keating.
It appeared that Taylor and his brother had missed one
or two boats at Brashear from some cause, but had finally
taken passage on the Josephine, November seventh ; and as
the detectives had not been able to ascertain whether the
Josephine had carried the fugitives or not, on account of her
being belated by adverse weather, and was now returning to
Galveston after having had barely time to touch at Brashear,
they had felt that perhaps they might be upon the wrong
trail, which, with unknown adventures before them, had
been peculiarly discouraging ; so that now, when they ascer-
tained that his apprehension was only a question of time
and careful work, they could not repress their gratification.
Nothing further worthy of note transpired on the voyage
from Brashear to Galveston, save that the trip was a pretty
rough one, and they finally arrived in the latter city hopeful
and encouraged, notwithstanding the unusually dismaf
254 THE HARD LIFE OF THE DETECTIVE.
weather, which seemed to consist of one disconnected but
never-ending storm, the " oldest inhabitants " of the place
contending with great earnestness that "it 'peared likes
they'd never had nothin' like it befoah ! "
Arriving in Galveston early Sunday morning, they went
to the Exchange Hotel, and after breakfast set about ex-
amining the hotel registers of the place, ascertaining that
Taylor and brother had been in the city, stopped a dayT>r
two, and then, so far as could be learned, had gone on to
Houston. They were satisfied he had made no special
efforts to cover his tracks, although he had not made him-
self at all conspicuous, as the difficulty encountered in get-
ting those who would be most likely to recollect him, to
recollect him at all, clearly showed ; and it was quite evi-
dent that he had not anticipated pursuit, at least of any
nature which he could not easily compromise, and intended
going into some legitimate business under his own name and
with his brother's assistance.
Before he could be arrested in Texas, however, it would
be necessary to secure Governor Pease's warrant, which
obliged a long, tedious trip to Austin, the capital of the
State ; nearly the whole distance having to be done by stage,
which at that time seemed a forbidding piece of work, as it
had rained every day of the year, so far ; and it might be a
question of helping the stage through rather than being
helped through by it. Besides this, according to my son's
reports, which gave a true description of things in Texas at
that time, everything beyond Houston had to be paid for in
gold, as sectional sentiment and counterfeiting had pro-
THE HARD LIFE OF THE DETECTIVE. 255
nounced a ban upon greenbacks, and not only in gold, but
at exorbitant prices ; hotel rates being five dollars per day ;
single meals from one to two dollars ; railroad fares eight
cents per mile, and stage rates nearly double that amount ;
with no assurance that you would ever reach a destination
you had paid to be conveyed to ; all attended by various
kinds of danger, among which was the pleasant reflection
that you might be called upon at any time to contribute to
the, benefit of that noble relic of chivalry, the Ku Klux
Klan, who at that day were particularly busy in Texas.
All of these pleasant considerations made the departure
from Galveston for Austin, in a Pickwickian sense, unusu-
At Houston they discovered from different persons, in-
cluding the postmaster, that Taylor had been there, but had
made inquiries about points further up country ; and the
general impression was that he had gone on, though at
Brenham, the terminus of the railroad; where they arrived
Monday evening, they could find no trace of him.
The next morning, when my son arose and looked on the
vast sea of mud, a filthy, black earth below ; a dirty, black
sky above ; with nothing but driving rain and wintry gusts
between ; while the lackadaisical Texans slouched about with
their hands in their pockets, with only energy enough to
procure tobacco or " licker ; " their sallow faces, down-at-the-
heels, snuff-dipping wives desolately appearing at the doors
and windows, only to retire again with a woe-begone expres-
sion of suspended animation in their leathery faces, he
fullv realized the force of the remark attributed to General
256 THE HARD LIFE OF THE DETECTIVE.
Sheridan, and more expressive than polite : " If I owned
Texas and hell, I would live in hell and sell Texas ! "
The stage was crowded, however, and the dreary convey-
ance splashed and crunched on until noon, when dinner was
taken at Wilson's Ranche, a long, IOAV, rambling, tumble-
down structure, which, like its owner, who had at one time
been a "General" of something, and now retained the
thriving title out of compliment to his departed glory, had
gone to a genteel decay with a lazy ease worthy of its master's
copy. The dinner was one long to be remembered by the
detectives, as it was their first genuine Texan dinner, and
consisted merely of fat boiled pork, and hot bread of the con
sistence of putty cakes of the same dimensions, which, when
broken open after a mighty effort, disclosed various articles of
household furniture, such as clay pipes, old knife handles, and
various other invoices, probably playfully dumped into the
flour barrel by some one of the half-score of tow-headed, half-
clad children which the " General " and his buxom helpmeet
had seen fit to provide for torturing another generation with
rare Texan dinners at a dollar a plate.
It was an all-day's labor getting to La Grange, but thirty
five miles from Brenham, where they arrived at ten o'clock,
tired and exhausted from the day's banging about in the stage
and out of it, for they were obliged to walk many times in
order to rest the jaded horses so that they could get through
to La Grange at all ; but before retiring made all the inquires
necessary to develop the fact that their man had not been
at that point.
The next day, Wednesday, was rather more trying than
THE HARD LIFE OF THE DETECTIVE. 251
the previous one. T\vo miles out of town the stage got
" bogged," and the entire load of passengers were obliged to
get out and walk through three miles of swamps, the stage
finally sticking fast, necessitating prying it out with rails.
After this Slough of Despond was passed, the Colorado river
had to be forded three times, and then came a " dry run,"
which now, with every other ravine or depression, had be-
came a "wet run," and was "a booming" as the drunken
driver termed it between oaths. There was at least four
feet of water in the dry run, and the horses balking, the buck-
skin argument was applied to them so forcibly that they gave
a sudden start and broke the pole off short, which further
complicated matters. My son, being on the box, sprang to
the assistance of the driver, and stepping down upon the
stub of the pole, quickly unhitched the wheel horses, so that
the stage could not be overturned, and then disengaged
the head team, finally appropriating a heavy wheel horse,
with which he rode back to Keating, who was perched upon
a rear wheel to keep out of the water, which was rushing and
seething 'below, sweeping through the bottom of the stage
and at every moment seeming to have lifted the vehicle pre-
paratory to sweeping it avay like feathers, and also holding
on to the baggage which he had got safely upon the roof of
the stage ; and, taking him aboard his improvised ferry, after
securing the valises, rode to the muddy shore, forming with
his companions about as fine a picture of despairing " carpet
baggers " as the South has ever on any occasion been able
to produce. The bedraggled passengers ascertained that
the next town, Webberville, was several miles distant, and
258 THE HARD LIFE OF THE DETECTIVE.
that there was no house nearer, save on the other side of
the rapidly rising stream ; and as night had come on, the
best thing that could be done was to penetrate the woods,
build a rousing fire, and shiver and shiver through as long,
wet, and weary a night as was ever experienced.
There was never a more longed-for morning than the next
one, and the moment that the sickly light came feebly
through the mist and rain, and straggled into the dense cot-
ton-wood trees, where the discouraged passengers had a sort
of fervent out-doors prayer-meeting, they started forward
for Webberville, hungry, drenched, and so benumbed as to
be scarcely able to walk. It was five miles into town, but
one mile of that distance stretched over a quagmire known
and described in that section as "Hell's half acre;" and
the truthful inhabitants of VVebberville related of this delec-
table ground that during the^ rainy season its powers of ab-
sorption were so great that it would even retain the gigantic
Texan mosquito, should it happen to take a seat there.
This bog was impassable to the travellers, who finally bar-
tered with the owner of a hog wagon to be carried- over the
marsh for a silver half dollar each. This was far better
than remaining on the other side, and they finally trudged
into the town more dead than alive.
Fortunately for the detectives, the brother of ex- Governor
Lubbock, of Texas, was one of the party, and as they had
all become so thoroughly acquainted, as common misery
will quickly make travellers, he took my son and Keating to
the residence of Colonel Banks, a merchant of Webberville,
whose good wife never rested until she had provided the
THE HARD LIFE OF THE DETECTIVE. 259
party with a splendid meal, something with which to wash
it down, and beds which seemed to them all to have been
composed of down.
After they had a good rest, the passengers for Austin
were got together, and explained the situation of things.
The creek the other side of Webberville was a mighty river.
The driver thought he could possibly get the stage across,
but was certain he could not do so with any passengers or
baggage to makelt drag more heavily ; but he thought that
if once on the other side, they might get to Austin the same
day. William was anxious to push ahead, and looking
about town discovered a rather venturesome negro who
owned a monstrous mule, and at once entered into negotia-
tions with him for the transfer of the party and baggage,
sink or swim. So when the stage arrived at the creek, the
baggage was unloaded, and the stage successfully forded the
stream. But as the water covered so broad an expanse,
was so deep and rapid, and altogether presented such a for-
bidding appearance, the passengers refused to try the mule
experiment unless William, who had proposed the mode of
transfer, and had secured the novel ferry, which stood with
the grinning negro upon its back ready for passengers,
would first cross the Rubicon to demonstrate the conve-
nience and safety of the passage. So handing the captain
one of the valises, he mounted the mule, which, after a few
whirls, a little " bucking," several suspicious sidewise move-
ments, and a shouted " Ya-a-oop, da, Dani-el ! done quit
dis heyah foolishness ! " plunged into the current without
2(iO THE HARD LIFE OF THE DETECTIVE.
The passengers saw that Dani-el and his master were
up to a thing or two in that section of the country ; and after
seeing Keating cross the stream in safety also, they one by
one ventured upon the transfer) which was finished without
accident, but with a good deal of merriment; and the col-
ored clown paid even beyond his contract price, the stage
was enabled to go lumbering on to Austin, where it arrived
at a late hour of the same day.
THE HARD LIFE OF THE DETECTIVE. 2G1
RAIN, drizzle, and mist; mist, drizzle, and rain. It
seemed all that the country was capable of producing ;
and the same preface to the befogged condition of the
English chancery courts used by Dickens, in his introduction
to " Bleak House," with a few of the localisms expunged,
would have fitly applied to the condition of things in Texas,
which afterward culminated in a flood which swept every-
thing before it.
In Austin though the seat of the State government and
the head-quarters of the military department of Texas, full
of legislators, lobbyists, officers, and soldiers, everything
had the appearance of having been through a washing that
had lasted an age, and had been prematurely wrung out
to dry, but had been caught on the lines by an eternal
rainy day. Involuntarily, with the spatters and dashes of
rain and the morning wind, Longfellow's "Rainy Day" came
drifting into the mind, and the lines :
" The day is cold and dark and dreary ;
It rains, and the wind is never weary ;
The vine still clings to the mouldering wall,
While at every gust the dead leaves fall.
And the day is dark and dreary ! "
were never more appropriate than when applied to any
262 THE HARD LIFE OF THE DETECTIVE.
portion of Texas during the months of January and Febru-
The very first man my son met in the office of the hotel,
the next morning, was a member of the Legislature from
Kesar County, who, hearing his inquiries of the clerk con-
cerning Taylor, informed him that he had been introduced
to him in San Antonio a few weeks previous ; that he was
in company with a much younger man whom he represent-
ed as his brother, and that he had ostensibly come to San
Antonio to make some inquiries concerning the hide and
wool trade ; but whether with an idea of settling at that
point, or whether he could yet be found in San Antonio, he
was unable to state.
In any event this was cheering news ; for it assured my
detectives that their long and weary search would not
prove unavailing ; and William directed Keating to make
himself useful about the different hotels and hide and stock
dealers, as it is a detective's business to work all the time,
and the slightest cessation of vigilance after the beginning
of an operation might at the most unexpected moment cause
the beginning of a series of circumstances eventually per-
mitting a criminal's escape while he himself sought out Gen-
eral Potter who escorted him to General Canby's head-
quarters where he was most cordially received, and not
only given an order for military aid, should it be required,
but General Canby himself went with him to the Capitol
and introduced him to Governor Pease, vouching for the
reliability of any statement made in connection with the
business which had brought him so far from home ; as,
THE HARD LIFE OF THE DETECTIVE. 263
while I had charge of the secret service of the Govern
ment, during the war, with myself and sons had had an in
timate acquaintance with, and personal friendship for
Governor Pease frankly stated to William that the affi-
davits were rather weak, and that should some of the
" shysters " of that State who did a thriving business in
habeas corpus releases, get an inkling of his business and
the nature of the papers, they might give him a deal of
trouble, even if they did not get his man away from him
eventually. He said he would make the requisition as
strong as possible, however, and expressed his hope that
the reputation for ingenuity in devising and executing ex-
pedients possessed by Pinkerton's men would be more than
sustained in this instance ; and General Canby terminated
the interview by giving the document approval over his
My son thanked them both for their kindness, and with-
drew, only too anxious to get to where his man was before
any information that he was being sought for should reach
him, and either scare him beyond the Rio Grande, or ena-
ble him to act on the defensive, as only a man can act who
has plenty of money, plenty of friends, and, as we already
knew, a great plenty of bravery on his own account.
Soon after he had returned to the hotel, Keating came
in with undoubted information that Taylor had a permanent
residence at or near Corpus Christi ; that either he or his
brother owned a sheep ranche near the coast, not far from
that city ; while the other dealt in hides and wool there ;
264 THE HARD LIFE OF THE DETECTIVE,
and that one or the other penetrated into the interior as far
as San Antonio, soliciting consignments.
My son at once concluded that it was the Captain who
had done the dealing, as well as stealing, and whose money
and business ability had been brought to bear upon the trad-
ing at Corpus Chriisti, and upon the ranche in the country
near it ; the brother, though probably entirely innocent of
complicity in the robbery, or even a knowledge of the
source from whence the money had come, only being used
for a convenient repository for his ill-gotten funds in case
of Kuhn Bros, following him before he was ready to meet
He therefore decided to get through to Corpus Christi
in the very shortest time in which the trip could be made
via New Braunfels, San Antonio, Victoria, and Port Lavaca,
hoping that he might be able to pick him up along some
portion of that route, as it was quite evident he made fre-
quent trips in that direction ; and, at whatever point he
might be started, should he seem to be going much farther
into the interior, which would be improbable, as San An-
tonio at that time was quite a frontier city, arrest him at
once, and hurry him back to Galveston along the route he
was already familiar with ; but, should he be going toward
the coast, to let him take his own course, keeping him well
in hand until he had reached Corpus Christi or some other
seaport city, and, waiting a favorable opportunity, arrest
him and get him aboard a boat before he could recover from
Not a half hour b ?fore they left Austin, he fortunately
THE HARD LIFE OF THE DETECTIVE. 265
met Judge Davis of Corpus Christi, who was there attend-
ing some political convention, and who gave him a letter to
his law partner at home, should his services in any way be
needed, as I had been of some service to him on a previous
occasion ; so that when my two detectives left Austin on
the seventeenth of January, they felt perfectly satisfied of
ultimate success, though the same terrible experiences as to
staging were again encountered.
It required the entire day to traverse the few miles be-
tween Austin and Blanco Creek, where they secured a sort
of a supper ; the Onion Creek and its branches having been
waded and forded numberless times. At Manchell Springs,
the stage pole being again broken, they were only able to
proceed after improvising a tongue out of a sapling, chopped
from the roadside with a very dull hatchet. At Blanco
Springs a good rest was taken, and the driver, having the
day's experience in his mind, objected to going further that
night; but the detectives insisted that they had paid their
money to be taken to a certain destination, and, as they
had shown a disposition to more than earn their passage
besides, no excuse for their detention should be offered.
After a good deal of grumbling, fresh horses were got out,
a new pole put in the stage, and the procession again took
up its weary march over the then most horrible of roads,
crossing the innumerable brooks and runs which now
pushed torrents into York's Creek. All night long they
slushed and splashed, and tramped and cursed ; though the
the rain had ceased for a time, there was but little light
from the sky, which seemed full of black heavy clouds ready
2(56 THE HAKD LIFE OF THE DETECTIVE.
to burst asunder, to again drench them and swell the tor-
rents afresh. My son, Keating, and a man sent along from
Blanco Cre.<jk, " took turns," trudging along ahead of the
lead-team, and, with lanterns, picked out the- way. Often
they would be misled where the ground was so bad as to
almost defy a passage over it, when the patient animals
behind them, steaming from the toil of straining along with
nothing but an empty coach, would stop, as if guided by a
keener instinct, where they would quietly remain -until the
united search of the three men had discovered the road,
when the intelligent creatures docilely plodded along again.
And so, through seemingly bottomless quagmires; ovei
corduroys, where the shaky ends of timbers, struck by a
horse's hoof, would mercilessly splash those walking beside
the useless vehicle, or, suddenly relieved from the weight of
the ponderous wheel, would fly upwards to heave gallons of
slime upon the coach ; laboring around the bases of far-
extending mounds of sandy loam ; descending into unex-
pected and sometimes dangerous depressions, along coolies,
and plunging into streams, where drift, and changing, sandy
bottoms always made it a question whether the coach could
ever be got across ; they marched only as Sherman taught
soldiers to march ; or as honest detectives will crowd all
obstacles between themselves and their duty, and came
with the gray of the morning to the beautiful, forest-shaded
Fording this river without nearly the trouble represented
at some of the petty runs and coolies which had been
passed, they came to New Braunfels with the sun, which
THE HARD LIFE OF THE DETECTIVE. 267
had shown itself for the first time since their arrival in
Texas, and which also shone upon the first city which had
shown any of that wide-awake "go-aheaditi^ness" and
thrift so common to nearly all northern cities.
The reason that New Braunfels differed so materially
from the ordinary Texan towns lay in the fact that it was
almost exclusively settled by Germans ; and it was a wel-
come sight to the detectives to be able to enter a place
where, from suberb to centre, up and down long, finely-
shaded avenues, it was plain to be seen that the most had
been made of everything.
From the pleasantest cottage of the extreme suburb, and
past the more pretentious residences, every home bein^
provided with an exterior bake-oven, the same as in
Germany, Pennsylvania, or portions of Wisconsin and
Minnesota, to the shops, stores, hotels, and public buildings,
every yard, in many instances fenced with stone gleaned
and cleaned from the soil, and for that matter, ever}' spot
upon which the eye rested, showed that thrift and not
whiskey-drinking ruled that place ; and that fact alone en
titles the little German city to respectable elevation from
the obscurity which has heretofore surrounded it.
As nothing at this point could be learned regarding
Taylor, though leaving the town and its extraordinary
attractions with some reluctance, they immediately pro-
ceeded to San Antonio, the roads to which plac$ were quite
passable, and arrived at that city Friday afternoon. I had
telegraphed to Colonel Lee, of San Antonio, to hold himself
in readiness to assist my son and -Keating, on the score of
268 THE HARD LIFE OF THE DETECTIVE.
personal friendship, whenever they might arrive there, net
knowing, from the terrible condition of the roads, at what
time it woiAi be possible for them to reach that point, and
he, being ignorant from what direction they might come,
where they might stay, or under what name they might
register, had caused an advertisement to be inserted in the
San Antonio Herald, of which the following is a copy :
PERSONAL. WHENEVER THE SON OF A. P., of Chicago, may
arrive in San Antonio, he will learn of something to his advantage by
calling upon Lieut. -Col. Lee, at the Mengler House.
Keating' s sharp eyes first saw the item at the supper table
of the Mengler House, where they were stopping, and they
both learned by listening to the conversation about them
that the Colonel was sitting at the same table.
After supper William made himself known to Colonel
Lee without attracting attention, the latter kindly offer-
ing him any help needed, after which inquiries of a guarded
character were instituted for the object of their search.
The landlord of the Mengler House stated that Taylor
had called upon him about three weeks before to inquire
for letters, but as he was stopping elsewhere but little at-
tention had been paid to him or his questions ; all of which
William had reason to believe absolutely true on account
of the strong corroborative testimony which would lie in the
statement f any landlord that no civility was shown to a
man who quarters at any hostelry save his own.
The next morning he called upon Chief of Police, H. D.
Bonnet, who extended every imaginable courtesy, went
THE HARD LIFE OF THE DETECTIVE. 269
with him to the offices of the different stage-lines, and
assisted in examining their lists for some time previous with
a view to ascertaining \vhat direction Taylor had taken
when he left San Antonio ; introduced him to the Mayor and
Chief Marshal, and even went with him on an extended
tour through the old Mexican quarter of the town ; but
no other information was secured save through the German
landlady of a hotel, who was as positive as her limited
knowledge of the English language would allow her to be,
that Taylor had stopped at her house without registering at
all, and had gone directly from San Antonio to Port Lavaca
or Corpus Christi on horseback, which, after all, in the ex-
ceptional condition of the weather that year in Texas,
seemed quite probable.
It was evident nothing was to be gained by remain-
ing any longer at San Antonio, and was quite as plain that all
possible expedition should be used in getting on to the coast.
As if the fates were ordained perverse, the moment the
two left San Antonio a steady drenching rain again began
to fall, and as the stage was crowded, the discomfort of
those within could not very well be increased 4 About
twelve miles from San Antonio the driver succeeded in
tipping over the stage and giving the occupants " an
elegant mud varnish all over," as operative Keating aptly
expressed it. The driver remarked that he was "going up
the new road," but some of the more profane passengers
swore that, if so, he was hunting it three feet under the old
one. On arriving at Lavernia station the clisiral announce-
ment was made by the lean, long stage agent, who seemed
270 THE HARD LIFE OF THE DETECTIVE.
to have never done anything from time immemorial save
sit in the door of his tumble-down hovel to make dismal
announcement that "the Cibolo (pronounced there ' C'uil-
lou ') is just a scootin' and a rippin' up its banks like a mad
buffler bull ! ye'll all be back to stay at my taven all night."
It was the contemplation of this man's pure cussedness,
as he sat there doting on the big bills he would charge
when the Cibolo should drive back a stage load of hungry
travellers, that nerved them to push on and at all hazards
attempt a crossing at some point where the Cibolo " scooted
and ripped up its banks" with less ardor than across
the regular route to Victoria ; but on reaching Southerland
Springs, seven miles distant, it was found that it would
be necessary to wait until Thursday morning, when they
might possibly make a passage, as the stream was running
down to within something like ordinary bounds very fast.
Thursday afternoon came before an attempt to ford the
stream was made, when the driver agreed to land the pas.
sengers in the middle of the stream on an immense fallen
tree, from which point they could reach the other side,
when the.y might be able to get the empty stage across
The trial was made, and was successful so far as landing
the passengers was concerned, but while this was being
done the wheels of the coach sank deeper and deeper into
the mucky bed of the stream, and though but a few-
minutes had elapsed, the strange action of the water" had
caused deposits to form about the coach so rapidly that it
became firmly imbedded and could not be moved by the
THE HARD LIFE OF THE DETECTIVE. 271
four horses attached. At this juncture an old farmer came
along, who carried the evidences of some of his propensi-
ties strongly marked in his face, which was a thin one, like
his conscience, but with bright tips on his cheek-bones and
as red a nose as ever the devil-artist in alchohol tipped
with crimson. No importunities, or amount of money
could prevail on him to assist the discouraged travellers
with his fine mule train ; but a pint of good whiskey, to be
delivered the moment the stage had been drawn from its
peril, with a small drink by way of retainer, accomplished
what would not have been done in any other manner and set
the travellers joyfully on their way again. They journeyed
on at a snail's pace until one o'clock Friday morning, when
they arrived at Kelly's Ranche, kept by Bill Kelly, uncle of
the " Taylor boys," notorious for their connection with the
Ku Klux and various other gangs of villainous desperadoes.
The family were unceremoniously awakened, and at once
good humoredly proceeded to provide the ravenous passen-
gers with something to eat ; after which they made a " shake-
down " on the floor, into which substitute fora bed everybody
turned and slept late into the morning, awakening stiff in
every joint arrd scarcely able for that day's journey, which,
with its complement of accidents and delays took them safely
over Esteto Creek and into Yorktown early in the evening,
where the detectives secured certain information that Taylor
had been in Corpus Christi the week previous, and was un
doubtedly there at that time, as Texas by this time had be-
come a net-work of resistless streams, almost impassable
quagmires and far-reaching lagoons.
CHAPTER VI .
LATE the next morning they left Yorktown, having
taken on a passenger of no less importance than ex-
Confederate Governor Owens, of Arizona. He was a pleas-
ant, voluble old fellow, and my son at once fell in with his
ways, and treated him so courteously that it perhaps averted
a greater disaster than had at any previous time occurred.
Gov. Owens was largely engaged in the Rio Grande trade
of supplying frontier points with provisions and merchandise,
and was just on his way to Indianola, on the coast, where he
was to meet his Mexican freighters, comprising thirty wagons
and carts, of all characters and descriptions, driven by the
inevitable lazy greaser. Even as late as the same period,
1867-8, a vast amount of freighting was done between St.
Paul, Minnesota, and Fort Garry Manitoba, in the famed
Red River carts, driven by the inevitable, lazy half-breed.
William, knowing the position held by Gov. Owens dur-
ing a portion of the war, and realizing that an ex-office-
holder will never lose his tenderness for the political regime
which made him titled, assumed to be a Mississippian, from
Vicksburg, with an Irish acquaintance, on a trip of inspec-
tion through Texas, and, so far, terribly disappointed with
During those periods when, owing to the depth of the
THE HARD LIFE OF THE DETECTIVE. 273
mud, the passengers were oblidged to walk, they would fall
behind or svalk ahead of the stage, when they would chat
pleasantly upon general subjects. On one of these occas-
ions Gov. Owens eyed his companion sharply a moment,
and then asked :
" Can I trust you, sir?"
" On the word and honor of a gentleman ? "
" Yes, and an honest man, too," William answered.
" I believe you ; thank you. You know stages are robbed
out this way ? "
" I do."
" Did you ever see it done ? "
" No ; nor have I any desire to be around on such an
occasion," he replied, laughing.
" I reckoned you hadn't better, either," said the Governoi
earnestly. " It wouldn't make so much difference if they
would do the work a trifle genteelly, in a gentlemanly way ,
but the fact is, we have low fellows along our Texas stage
lines. They have no regard for a man's family. Why, he
continued, warmly, " they'll just pop out from behind the
trees, or up through some clumps of bushes, ram a double
barreled shot gun, loaded to the muzzel with slugs and
things, into the coach from both sides at once, and just blaze
away all that are not killed outright are scared to death.
There's nothing fair about it ! "
William expressed his curiosity to know if the drivers were
"Drivers? Never, sir, never. Why, those ruffians are too
274 THE HARD LIFE OF THE DETECTIVE.
smart for that. Let it be known that they have begun kill-
ing drivers, and there isn't a stage company in Texas that
could send a coach past the first timber. They couldn't
afford to kill stage-drivers, for the moment they began it, that
would be the end of staging."
My son expressed his thanks at learning so much of the
business principles of these land pirates, and the old gentle-
man continued :
" You see, it takes a peculiar kind of a driver for a Texas
coach. You want one, first, that can drink right smart
of whiskey, for the water isn't good along some of these
branches. You want one that can swear a hoss's head
square off, too. He's got to be a coward, or he would
help put this robbing down ; and yet, he has got to be
rather brave to drive right along up to a spot where he
knows he is to see his a passengers butchered! and that,"
continued the Govenor, earnestly, " is just what I want to
talk to you about, as I feel sure that I can trust you."
The Governor then explained to him that a certain mem-
ber of the Ku-Klux, whom he was sorry to say was too in-
timate with those roadside plunderers, had informed him
that morning, just as he was leaving Yorktown, that pre-
parations had been made to rob their stage at a point
between Clinton and Mission Valley; and that he very
much desired some organization among the passengers
for defence, as he himself had upwards of thirty thousand
dollars, to be paid out at Indianola, for goods, and to his
freighters for wages.
On the receipt of this alarming intelligence, my son took
THE HARD LIFE OF THE DETECTIVE. 27fj
the responsibility of informing the rest of the passengers
what might possibly be expected ; and, as Gov. Owens had
six fine carbines, which he was also taking down to Indian
ola for the protection of his freighters on the Rio Grande,
preparatory to any attack that might be made.
About six miles from Mission Valley the stage route
traversed a low piece of bottom-lands covered with timber,
and a considerable growth of underbrush. A corduroy road
had been built through the place, and as the coach was
obliged to be driven slowly across it, the locality offered
particularly fine inducements for a robbery of the character
described by the Governor, so that the precaution was
taken of walking along with the coach, three on either side,
with carbines ready for instant use.
Just before entering the timber, two men were seen
prowling about, and, evidently fearing their actions might
cause suspicion and frustrate the plan they had in view,
made a great effort to appear to be two respectable hunters
in search of only wild game ; and, before leaving the timber
at the other side, two more persons were seen, who, evi-
dently, not having been given any signal, had come as near
to the stage as they dared, to ascertain for themselves why
their comrades had failed in their calculations ; but skulked
away after seeing the force which grimly trudged along,
guarfling the empty vehicle, into which the passengers were
glad enough to climb when the danger was gone by, and be
carried with sound bodies and whole pockets to the supper
which had been some time in waiting when they reached
276 THE HARD LIFE OF THE DETECTIVE.
Dinner the next day was taken at Victoria, from which
city William and Keating expected to be able to go by rail-
road to Port Lavaca, only twenty-eight miles distant. They
were doomed to disappointment in this, as the railroad
had been abandoned since the war, either the Union or
Confederate soldiers having taken it up bodily and turned
it upside down, like a gigantic furrow, from Victoria to the
After many years somebody had come along and turned
it back ; but to this day the steam-engine has never thun-
dered over it again, the most that has ever been done hav-
ing been to drag an occasional freight car over the road
by the not peculiarly thrilling application of mule power ;
and so it was said a hand-car, worked by a gang of negroes,
was used for transporting passengers, the trips being made
back and forth whenever a load could be got, and not
As they were obliged to remain for this new mode of con-
veyance, their time was entirely unoccupied, and they could
not but have leisure to make something of a study ol
Texan life, as it then existed ; and on Sunday afternoon
were witnesses to one of those little episodes which some-
times make extremely lively certain periods that would
otherwise remain hum-drum and ordinary.
The bar-room of the hotel had been crowded all day, and a
good deal of liquor had been drunk, while there had also been
a large amount of money lost and won over cards, so that there
was that feverish, explosive condition of things which always
follows large winnings or losses at games of chance, although
THE HARD LIFE OF THE DETECTIVE. 277
there had as yet been no disturbance of a serious
At one of the little gaming tables, John Foster, County
Clerk of Victoria County, and another person, named Le\1
Phillips, who had been one of the Andersonville Prison-
keepers during the war, but had drifted out to Victoria and
had secured charge of a large livery-stable there, were en-
gaged at a game of poker, when Foster was heard to quietly
" See here, Lew Phillips, you stole that card ! "
"You're a liar ! " was retorted with an oath.
The two men were up over the card-table in a twinkling,
looking at each other, and both very white.
"Apologize!" demanded Foster, still quiet, but with a
terrible earnestness in his voice.
" I don't do that sort of business, you white-livered
coward ! " shouted Phillips.
Without another look or word, the two parted, one pass-
ing out one door and the other out of another, while the
crowd in the hotel canvassed the matter as coolly as though
there had been no difficulty worth mentioning, while a few
quietly laid wagers on who would get the first shot.
In about fifteen minutes more, Foster was seen returning
with a double barrelled shot-gun, and Phillips, who had
a wooden leg, came stumping up another street with
an immense navy revolver in his hand. It was noticeable
that the space between the advancing men was made very
clear, so that nothing should interfere with their sociability.
In a moment more, Phillips had fired at Foster, and
278 THE HARD LIFE OF THE DETECTIVE.
evidently hit him ; for, as he was bringing his gun to his
shoulder, his aim had been badly disturbed, and before he
had time to fire, Phillips had fired again and wounded hi?
man the second time. Foster now leaned against a porch
column, desperately resolved to get a good aim ; his
antagonist, all the while advancing, attempted to fire again,
but missed this time, the cap refusing to communicate the
deadly flash to the chamber of the revolver ; then there
was a blinding flash from Foster's gun, accompanied by a
thunderous report, and the two men fell almost instantane-
Foster had discharged both barrels of his weapon, heavily
loaded with buck-shot, at Phillips, the entire charge hav-
ing entered his wooden leg, and sent him spinning to
the ground, like the sudden jerk and whirl of a nearly spent
top, the recoil of the gun also "kicking" Foster flat as a
Tennessee "poor whites" corn pone.
The "gentlemen" who had been looking on and -quietly
criticising the little by-play, now rushed forward and
surrounded the combatants, the anxiety of each of whom
was to be assured of the other's death ; or, in case of his
being alive, to have some one be the immediate bearer of
tender regards and profuse expressions of friendship ; thus
terminating satisfactorily to all parties what the chivalrous
inhabitants of Victoria informed my detectives was called a
" stag duel," the most common and effective method known
for settling the little difficulties liable at any time to occur
among gentlemen, the only conditions imposed by custom
being that neither party shall offer to shoot in a crowded
THE HARD LIFE OF THE DETECTIVE, 279
room, or be allowed to fire at his opponent unless he is also
prepared, when other citizens who may be usi^g the streets,
at those times withdraw from them as rapidly as consistent
with the proprieties, when the occasion is immediately made
interesting to the participants, who advance and fire upon
each other as rapidly as a liberal practice in this and other
" codes " of taking human life, will permit.
As the next sensation to a "stag duel" in Victoria was the
arrival of the " train " from Lavaca, in the shape of the
hand : car manned by four burly negroes, who with the original
superintendent of the road had formed a soulless corporation
with, which nothing could compete, it was not long before
the detectives had secured seats with four other passengers,
making ten persons in all, to be conveyed twenty-eight miles
on a broken-down hand-car over probably the most
villainous excuse for a railroad ever known.
The fare was six dollars in gold for each passenger, which
might seem to have a shade of exorbitance about it when it
was considered that the accommodations consisted of two
very insecure seats, constructed over the wheels, upon
each of which three persons might cling with a constant ex-
pectation of being jolted off by the unevenness of the road,
or of falling off from sheer fatigue in endeavor to cling to
the ramshackle boards beneath them.
" All abo'd ! " shouted the negro conductor, with all the
style and unction of the diamond-pinned aristocrat of a New
York Central Train ; and then, as the "train" started out
of Victoria the passengers and the admiring lookers-on were
greeted with the following song, turned to the " Ra-ta-tat"
280 THE HARD LIFE OF THE DETECTIVE.
of the wheels upon the rails, and sturdily sung, or chanted
rather, by the jolly but powerful crew :
" Heave ho !
Away we go
Winds may wait or de winds may blow !
Heave ho !
Away we go
For to cotch de gals at Lavac o 1 "
In the sense that this mode of travelling had the charm of
novelty, and the thrilling attraction of danger combined, it
was a success. There was freshness and variety about it
too ; for, whenever one of the negroes had " done gin out,"
the conductor would call for volunteers from among the
passengers and give the demand a peculiar emphasis by
the remark, "Takes brawn 'n sinyew to pump dis hy'r train
into 'vacca ; 'n de' Lo'd never did make no men out o"
cl'ar iron'n steel ! "
The argument was so forcible that some one would work
wirh the negroes while the " clean done gone " man and
brother rested and meditated upon "catchin' the gals of
'vacca ! " which the song brought out so feelingly.
Besides this, new interest would be added to the excur-
sion whenever the wind was favorable ; for, stopping the
car, a mast, to which a sort of " mutton-lig sail," as they
termed it, would be attached ; the conductor would brace
himself and would lengthen or shorten the sail as was most
judicious, and then the hand-car ship would speed along
the billowy track like a majestic thing of life for a mile or
two, when the party were again forced into a reah/in? sense
THE HARD LIFE OF THE DETECTIVE. 281
of the plodding nature of the means of transit, which, aftel
all, at times became monotonous.
On one of these occasions of momentary fair sailing and
enthusiasm, they were also favored with a down grade of
quite a stretch ; and, as everybody was happy at the won-
derful rate of speed acquired, while the negroes were sing
ing snatches of songs in the gayest manner possible, a
" spread " of the track let the car upon the ties from which
it leaped at one bound into the swamp, completely immers-
ing several of its occupants in the muddy slime.
No damage was done, however, as the spot where every-
thing and everybody alighted was too soft to cause anything
to be broken ; and after righting the car, and repairing the
disaster as much as possible, William and Keating safely
arrived in Lavaca early in the afternoon, were at once
driven to Indianola where they cleaned up, including a most
welcome bathing and shaving, at the Magnolia House, em-
barked on a little schooner carrying the government mail
down the coast ; were becalmed in Aranzas Bay, and late
during the night of the twenty-seventh of January, the light
from a quaint seaport city danced along the waves of its
beautiful harbor, and welcomed the worn-out but indefati-
gable detectives to Corpus Christi.
GOING ashore, the two proceeded to a sort of hotel or
boarding-house on the beach, where they found Judge
Carpenter, formerly of Chicago, who had become District
Judge there, and who, on learning my son's name, inquired
if he were not a relative of Allan Pinkerton the detective.
He replied that he was very distantly related, which was
a literal truth at that time, when the Judge claiming any
acquaintance, proffered any assistance which might be de-
sired, whatever his business. The courtesy was courteously
accepted, but no questions were asked concerning Taylor.
After breakfast the next morning, they strolled up-town
with Judge Carpenter, when passing a Mr. Buckley's store,
Keating, while catching step, took occasion to nudge my
son, who carelessly 'ooked into the place, as any stranger
might, and there saw '.he object of his long search pleas-
antly chatting with one of the clerks ; but they walked on
quietly with the Judge as far as the post-oftice, when he
kindly introduced them to ano;her Mr. Taylor, the post-
After a few moments' pleasant conversation, William
asked the postmaster if he could direct him to ex-Sheriff
John McLane's residence. It proved to be but alalock dis-
tant, but on inquiring there, it was ascertained that he was
THE HARD LIFE OF THE DETECTIVE. 283
absent at his store farther down-town. He was the only
person in that city, besides Keating, whom my son felt that
he could trust, as I had not only previously rendered him
service, but also held him in the light of a friend ; and he
had already been requested by me to render him any service
in his power, should William pass that way, so that he knew
the first thing he should do was to go to him, explain his busi-
ness fully and secure his immediate advice and assistance.
Finding him, he told him that he did not feel justified in
arresting Taylor unless the mail boat in which he had ar-
rived was, in some way, detained for an hour. McLane said
he would attend to that, and brought Captain Reinhart to the
store, but not telling him why the delay was desired, arranged
or the same, and at once hunted up Sheriff Benson, to whom
my son delivered the warrant and demanded the prisoner.
Benson at first hesitated, expressing the utmost surprise,
as Taylor was a fellow-boarder, and he could not realize, so
he said, that he was other than a brave and chilvarous gentle-
man, and began to question the validity of the requisition, but
William told him that there was the order of Governor Pease
approved by General Canby, and that he did not propose to
be dallied with or imposed upon in any manner.
Seeing that my son had come too far and undergone too
many hardships to be trifled with, he went with him to Buck-
ley's store, where they found Taylor, who was given into the
detectives' hands, though utterly astounded and completely
unnerved at the idea that the strong hand of the law was
In this condition, and before he could collect his scattered
284 THE HARD LIFE OF THE DETECTIVE.
senses and decide to make a legal resistance, which would
have caused my son a vast amount of trouble, if indeed
it had not resulted in the liberation of the elegant swin-
dler, he was placed on board the schooner.
After they had left Corpus Christi behind, William began
a system of soothing argument, with the end in view of
convincing Taylor, who was now becoming nervous and
restless, and evidently ashamed of being carried away so
ingloriously, that it would be the best thing for himself, his
brother, and even his people in Philadelphia, to go along
quietly, without creating any disturbance, as, should he do
so, he would treat him like a gentleman in every instance ;
but should he give him any trouble whatever he would be
obliged to put him in irons, and not only treat him like a
criminal, but would serve him roughly in every particular.
Taylor saw that he was in my power, and that I had put
two men after him who would have gone to Cape Horn for
him, and that his only chance of escape lay in strategy.
He had the perfect freedom of the boat, and, when he
desired, chatted with the captain and the crew, who were not
apprised by my son of the character of his new compan-
ion, and everything was done to make him comfortable.
At first he kept entirely to himself, but of a sudden his
manner changed entirely, and he became particularly pleas-
ant, especially to the captain of the boat ; and as they were
nearing the little barren Saluria Island at the entrance to
Matagorda Bay, William accidentally overheard the captain
say to Taylor, "The tide is high enough, and I will be able
to run close to the island." This caused him to have nc
THE HARD LIFE OF THE DETECTIVE. 285
particular suspicion of Taylor, as the remark might equally
apply to a hundred other subjects besides the one to which
it did ; but in a few moments after, he noticed the schooner,
which had hugged the island pretty closely, now suddenly
take a still closer tack and rapidly neared the barren coast.
Feeling alarmed lest the helmsman was not attending to
his duty my son yelled :
" Captain, what under heaven do you mean ? Don't you
see that in another moment you'll have us beached ?"
He had scarcely uttered the words when Taylor was
seen to spring into the waves, and then disappear, and the
boat at the same moment stood off from the island, as if in
obedience to the warning my son had given.
The truth flashed into his mind in an instant : Here,
after this hard unremitting toil, the discomforts, the annoy-
ances, the dangers, everything through which they had
been obliged to pass, after their hopes for success, and
after they had earned it, if two men ever had earned suc-
cess, just when they were beginning to feel the pleasure of
work well done, and be able to experience the genuine sat-
isfaction it is to any man who is honest enough to acknowl-
edge it, in securing the regard of the public for assisting in
its protection, the commendation of one's employer for
good sturdy care for his interests, and the self-respect one
gains in doing one's duty, even if it has led him a hard life
O f it, they were to be cheated and outwitted. Half crazed,
my son, with anger and indignation, and a perfect flood of
humiliating thoughts filled his brain in the first great ques-
tion, "What was to be done?"
286 . THE HARD LIFE OF THE DETECTIVE,
His first impulse was to plunge in after him, and in pur.
suance of that impulse he had freed himself of hi:> boots
and coat, when, seeing Taylor rise to the surface and
make but little headway against the tide, which was ebbing
strongly, he called to the captain to round to, and began
firing with considerable rapidity, so as to strike the water
within a few feet of the man who was so unsuccessfully
struggling against the tide, but whom he could not blame foi
making so brave and desperate an effort to free himself.
He was provided with two magnificent English Trenter
revolvers, which will carry a half-ounce ball a fourth of a mile
with absolute accuracy ; and as he could use it with great
precision he could easily have killed the man in the water.
Both the captain and Taylor were terribly scared, and as
Taylor held up his hand and yelled, " I surrender ! " the balls
were cutting into the water all about him savagely, and
the captain shouted, " For God's sake, don't kill the man !
Don't you see I'm rounding to ? "
Keating, who had been almost worn out from the Texas
trip, had been sleeping in a bunk below, and who had been
roused by William's firing and the strange motion of the
schooner, now came on deck rather thinly clad, and the two
detectives covered Taylor with their revolvers ; while the
captain, himself at the wheel, handled the schooner so that
it was only necessary for him to keep himself above water
in order to float with the tide against the side of the boat,
when my son, rather too indignant to be particularly tender,
grabbed him by the hair and his luxuriant whiskers, drew
him aboard, and soundly kicked him into the cabin, where
THE HARD LIFE OF THE DETECTIVE. 287
he began crying from excitement and fright, even going to
such depths of discouragement that he begged for a revolver
with which to kill himself, which being handed him by my
son for that purpose, he very properly refused, and was put
to bed for the purpose of drying his clothes, like a truant
It was my son's intention to tak? the steamer at Indian-
ola for Galveston immediately upon arriving at the former
place ; but on account of a heavy " Norther," which had
blown all day Friday, the steamer had been obliged to put
out to sea, and the party were consequently compelled to
put up at the Magnolia House and wait there until the fol-
lowing Monday ; and it required all the detective's shrewd-
ness to keep Taylor quiet, as he had learned from some
source that the creation of Wyoming Territory, which oc-
curred a, short time before his capture, h'ad caused Cheyenne
to be a city of quite a different territory than when the
requisition was issued, which would have amounted to so
grave a technical flaw that the requisition would not have
held against a habeas corpus.
Court had just set at the place, and Indianola was full of
lawyers, hungry as vultures for just such a rich case ; but by
constant persuasions, partial promises leading to a hope, at
least, that a compromise might be effected at New Orleans,
and dark hints of irons, and that, should his brother come on
there and create any disturbance, he would be immediately
arrested as accessory both before and after the crime ; with
constant drives out into the country, rambles down the sea-
shore, and every pretext known to the mind of tke ingenious
288 THE HARD LIFE OF THE DETECTIVE.
detective, everything was managed successfully , a receipt
for nearly two thousand dollars in specie secured ; the turn-
ing over of the money to Taylor's brother stopped ; and
Taylor himself taken to New Orleans without an attempt at
rescue ; and receiving a dispatch there from me to the
effect that a compromise could not be for a moment con-
sidered, the party left" that city Thursday, February 4th,
arriving in Cheyenne six days later, my son accounting for
his prisoner to the authorities into whose hands the case
then passed, the last being seen of " Harry G. Taylor, the
Man from Somewhere," being behind the bars of the guard-
house at Fort Russell, where he had been placed for safe-
keeping previous to his trial ; and I have related these
facts, not so much to show any startling phase of crime, as
to give the public a single illustration, out of thousands
upon my records, of how men must overcome every known
obstacle while leading the hard life of the detective.