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205-213 East izth Street, 






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 

viii PREFACE. 

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after my men had been withdrawn.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, 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. 





" II 19 

III " 30 

IV 37 

V 47 

VI 55 

VII 64 

" VIII 73 

IX 82 

X 87 

XI 100 

" XII no 

XIII 126 

XIV 145 

XV 152 


CHAPTER I .* 163 

II 173 

" III 181 

" IV 191 

" V 200 


CHAPTER 1 215 

" II 227 

" III 240 

" IV 249 

" V 261 

vi : 272 

VII. . 282 





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 


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 


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* 


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 


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. 


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 ? " 
he asked. 


" 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." 

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 


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 


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 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 


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 
Globe Hotel. 

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 


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. 


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 


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 


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. 


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 


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 


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 
every time." 

" 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- 


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. 


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 


added with a significant look, " and so I shall be here for 
several weeks." 

"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 
and co-operation. 

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 


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- 
ward side. 

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 
the flames. 


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 


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 : 


" 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, " ] 


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." 


" 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 
Tremont House. 

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 


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 


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," 
said Wolff. 

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 


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 
Sacred Book. 


" 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 
to punishment. 

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 


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 
worthless vagabond. 

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 


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, 


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 


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 
was done. 

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 


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. 


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 


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 
the crime, 


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 


"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 
Justice Green." 

" 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 


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 
high stakes." 


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 
follows : 

" 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 


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 
Justice Green. 

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 


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- 


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- 
cute it." 

" 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 


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." 


" 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. 


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 


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 


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 


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 


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^ 


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 



whether you were bound to any secret society. Now that 

I know you are not, I would be willing to teli you any of 
my secrets." 

" 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 
and said: 


" 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 



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 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 


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 
same myself." 

"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. 


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 


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. 


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 


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?" 
asked Hays. 

" 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." 


" 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 
A [organ?" 

" 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, 


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- 
ration : 

" 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. 


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 
know you." 

. 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 


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 
moment's notice. 

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 


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. 


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 


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 


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 
on foot. 

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 


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- 


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. 




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- 
ter also." 

"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." 


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, 


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, 


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 
the other. 

" 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- 
tion again. 

" 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 
dhrunk agin." 


" 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 


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 


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 
county jail. 

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 
the bar-room. 

"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 


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 


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 


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 


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 
and Davis. 

" 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 


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 


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. 


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 


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 
queried Condon, 


"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 feast." 

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. 


" 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 
taken in. 

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 






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 
some oysters." 

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 


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 


"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 


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 


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 
fixed upon. 

Webster immediately sent me a telegram in cipher, 


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 


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 


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 


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 


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, 


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 
therefore : 

"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 


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. 


" 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 
that place." 

" 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 


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 
canal boat. 

" 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 


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 


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- 
ground workshop." 

" 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, 



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 
their threat." 

" 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 


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." 


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 
proffered hand. 

" 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- 


" 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 


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 


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 


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 


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 
done nothing." 

" I did not say you had done anything," replied Bangs, 


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 
said : 

" 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." 


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 
these folks." 

" 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 


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 
said : 

" 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. 


After every nook and corner had been examined, Bangs 
stood a moment and thought. Then he remarked, as if 
soliloquizing : 

" 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- 
land eagerly. 

" 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 
Mrs. Vreeland. 

" 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) 


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 
submit- " 

" 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 


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 


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 


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 


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 


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 


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 

o o 

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 


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 





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- 


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, 


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 


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 


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." 


'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 
stepped forward. 

" 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 


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 


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." 






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 


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- 


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 


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, 


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 
young men. 

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 
my credentials. 

He was fully alive to the importance of the mission I had 


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 


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 
to all. 

"As I cannot write to any satisfaction, should you wish 
to know* furtner about the matter, let me know,' and I will 


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 


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 


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 


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 


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 



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 


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 


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 






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 


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- 
pated disaster. 

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 


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. 


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. 


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 


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 
between them. 


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 
and detective. 

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 


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 
that graveyard. 

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 


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 
the tombs. 

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 


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. 


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? 


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 


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- 


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 



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 


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 
to me. 

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. 


" 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 


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- 
quired : 

" 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 


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. 


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 


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 


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 


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. 


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 


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. 


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 


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 Chicago." 

" In whose employ are you ?'" 

"Allan Pinkerton's." 

"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, 


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. 


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 
against him. 

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 


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. 








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. 


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 


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 



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, 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 


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. 


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 


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 


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 
back !" 

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 
carry him. 

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 


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 


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 
so much. 

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, 


\\ 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 


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- 


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 


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 


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 
to Cheyenne. 

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 


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 


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? 


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 


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 
be mailed. 

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 


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 : 


"Miss. TAYLOR, 

"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 


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 


P. S. I leave here for the East this morning. Please 
answer on immediate receipt. 

A. L. 

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 : 


" 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- 


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, 


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] 


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 
to her. 

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. 



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 


% 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 



up, she shook her pretty fist at some imaginary person, ex 
claiming : 

" 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 


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- 


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 


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 
their presence. 

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. 


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 


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 


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 


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. 


"James A. Hicks and Patrick Mallory." 

"Where from? J) 

" Pittsburg." 

' "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." 

" ;" 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' 


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 
travelling incognito. 

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 


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 


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- 


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- 
ally agreeable. 

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 


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 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 


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 


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 
further ceremony. 


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. 



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 


portion of Texas during the months of January and Febru- 
ary, 1868. 

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, 


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 
own signature. 

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 ; 


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 
the surprise. 

Not a half hour b ?fore they left Austin, he fortunately 


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 


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 


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 


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 : 

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 


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 


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 


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. 


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 
the State. 

During those periods when, owing to the depth of the 



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?" 

" Certainly." 

" 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 
ever killed. 

"Drivers? Never, sir, never. Why, those ruffians are too 



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 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 
Mission Valley. 


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 


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 


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 


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" 


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 


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 


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 
upon him. 

In this condition, and before he could collect his scattered 


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 


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?" 


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 


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 


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.