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Full text of "The spiritualists and the detectives"

ALLAN PINKERTON'S 

DETECTIVE STORIES. 



VOL. V. 

THE SPIRITUALISTS AND DETECTIVES, 



ALLAN PINKERTON'S 

GREAT DETECTIVE BOOKS 



1. MOLLIE MAGUIRES AND DETECTIVES. 

2. STRIKERS, COMMUNISTS, AND DETECTIVES. 

3. CRIMINAL REMINISCENCES AND DETECTIVES. 

4. THE MODEL TOWN AND DETECTIVES. 

5. SPIRITUALISTS AND DETECTIVES. 

6. EXPRESSMEN AND DETECTIVES. 

7. THE SOMNAMBULIST AND DETECTIVES. 

8. CLAUDE MELNOTTE AS A DETECTIVE. 

9. MISSISSIPPI OUTLAWS AND DETECTIVES. 
10. GYPSIES AND DETECTIVES. 
11. BUCHOLZ AND DETECTIVES. 
12. THE RAILROAD FORGER AND DETECTIVES. 
13. BANK ROBBERS AND DETECTIVES. 
14. BURGLAR'S FATE AND DETECTIVES. 
15. A DOUBLE LIFE AND DETECTIVES. 

These wonderful Detective Stories by Allan Pinkerton are 

having an unprecedented success. Their sale far 

exceeding one hundred thousand copies. " The 

interest which the reader feels from the outset 

is intense and resistless ; he is swept along 

by the narrative, held by it, whether 

he will or no." 



All beautifully illustrated, and published uniform with this 

volume. Price $1.50 each. Sold by all booksellers, and 

sent free by mail ; on receipt of price, by 

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



THE 



SPIRITUALISTS 



THE DETECTIVES. 




AUTHOR OF 

"THE EXPRESSMAN AND THE DETECTIVE," "CLAUDE MELNOTTE AS 

A DETECTIVE," "THE SOMNAMBULIST AND THE DETECTIVE," 

"THE MODEL TOWN AND THE DETECTIVES," ETC. 



NEW YORK: 

G. W. Dillingham, Publisher, 

SUCCESSOR TO G. W. CARLETON & Co. 

LONDON : S. LOW, SON & CO. 
MDCCCLXXXIX. 



ComacMTBo, 1876^ * 
ALLAN PINKERTOM 



TROW'S 
PRINTING AND BOOKBINDING Go., 

PRINTERS AND STEREOTYPERS, 

205-213 East i2tA St., 

NEW YORK. 



CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER I. 

M Kal'm'zoo ! "The Home of the Nettletons. Lilly Nettleton A 
wild Heart and a burning Brain 13 

CHAPTER II. 

The "Circuit-Rider." Mr. Pinkerton and these Gospel Knights-Er- 
rant in the early Days. The Rev. Mr. Bland appears. " And 
Satan came also!" A "charge" is established. A Compact 
"where the golden maple-leaves falL" Bland departs. "The 
scared form of a young Woman steals away from her Home ! ". . 19 

CHAPTER III. 

LU'.y in Detroit. First and.last Remorse. The reverend Villain and his 
Victim enjoy the Hospitality of the Michigan Exchange Hotel. A 
Scene. " Bland, am I to go to your Mother's, as you promised ? " 
The Clergyman(?) "crazed.." Everything, save Respectability. 
A Woman's Will And a Man's Cajolement 27 

CHAPTER IV. 

Tells how the Rev. Mr. Bland preached a Funeral Sermon. Shows a 
dainty Cottage, holding more than the Neighbors knew. Installs 
Lilly as a Clergyman's Mistress. Reverts to a Desolate Home. 
Introduces Dick Hosford, a returned " Forty-Niner," who begins a 
despairing Search. And shows that unholy, as well as true Love, 
does not always run smoothly 33 

CHAPTER V. 

Reckless Fancies. The " Cursed Church Interests." Eland's "little 
Bird " becomes a busy Bird. Merges into a great Raven of the 
Night. Gathers together Valuables. And while a folded Hand- 
kerchief lies across the Clergyman's Face, steals away into the 
Storm and the Night. Gone! "Are ye all dead in there?" 
Drifting together. " Don't give the Gal that Ticket! " A great- 
hearted Man. The Rev. Bland officiates at a Wedding. Compe- 
tence and Contentment 39 

CHAPTER VI. 

Mr. Pinkerton is called upon. Mr. Harcout, a ministerial-looking 
Man, with an After-dinner Voice, appears. A Case with a Woman 
in it, as is usually the case. Mr. Pinkerton hesitates. Ananxicus 
Millionaire 47 



2026976 



VI CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER VII. 

In Council. Mr. Lyon the Millionaire, with Mr. Harcout the Adven 
turer and Adviser, appear together. How Mr. Lyon became Mrs. 
Winslow's Victim. "Our blessed Faith" and the Woman's 
strange Power. A Tender Subject. Deep Games. A One 
Hundred Thousand Dollar Suit for Breach of Promise of Mar- 
riage. A good deal of Money. All li&bte to err. A racst 
magnificent Woman. The " Case " taken. .... -.. 55 

CHAPTER VIII. 

The Case begun. Mr. Pinkerton makes a preliminary Investigation at 
Rochester. Mrs. Winslow, Trance Medium. A Ride to Port Char- 
lotte. Harcout as a Barnacle. Much married. Mr. Pinkerton 
visits the Mediums. Drops in at a Washington Hall Meeting. 
Sees the naughty Woman. And returns to New York convinced 
that the Spiritualistic Adventuress is a Woman of remarkable 
Ability 65 

CHAPTER IX. 

Our Case." Harcout's Egotism and Interference. The strange 
Chain of Evidence. A Trail of Spiritualism, Lust, and Licentious- 
ness. Superintendent Bangs locates the Detectives. A pernicious 
System. Three Old Maids named Grim. Mr. Bangs baffled by 
Mr. Lyon, who won't be "worried." One Honest Spiritualistic 
Doctor. The Trail secured. A Tigress. Mr. Bangs "goes 
West" 75 

CHAPTER X. 

Rochester. A Profitable Field for Mrs. Winslow. Her sumptuous 
Apartments. The Detectives at Work. Mrs. Winslow's Cautious 
ness. Child-Training. Mysterious Drives. A dapper littla 
Blond Gentleman. Two Birds with one Stone. A French Di- 
vinity. Le Compte 87 

CHAPTER XI. 

The Half-way House. A jolly German Landlord. Detective Fox runs 
down Le Compte. A " Positive, Prophetic, Healing and Trance 
Medium." Harcout the Adviser reappears, and is anxious lest 
Mr. Lyon be drawn into some terrible Confession. Mr. Pinkerton 
decides to know more about Le Compte. And with the harassed 
Mr. Lyon interviews him. Treachery and Blackmail. " A much 
untractable Man." Light shines upon Mrs. Winslow. Another 
Man. Mr. Pinkerton mad . . , 08 

. 

CHAPTER XII. 

The Raven of the Detroit Cottage in another Character. Mrs. Winslow 
yearns for a retired Montreal Banker. Love's Rivalry. A myste- 
rious Note. The Response. Another Trip to Port Charlotte by 
four Hearts that beat as one. What Mr. Pinkerton, as one of the 
party, sees and hears. " Jones of Rochester." Le Compte and 
Mrs. Winslow resolve to fly to Paris, "the magnificent, the beau- 
tiful, the sublime 1 " " My God, are they all that way ? " 114 



CONTENTS. vii 

CHAPTER XIII. 

Mr. Pinkerton again interviews Le Compte. And veiy much desires 
to wring his Neck A Bargain and Sale. Le Compte's Story - 
" Little by Little,. Patience by Patience." A Toronto Merchant in 
Mrs. Winslow's Toils. Detective Bristol, " the retired Banker,' in 
Clover. Tabitha, Amanda, and Hannah individually and collect- 
ively woo him. Ancient Maidens full of Soul. A Signal 128 

CHAPTER XIV. 

Mr. Bangs on the Trail in the West Terre Haute and its Spiritualists. 
Mrs. Deck's Boarding-house. The Nettleton Family broken up. 
Back at the Michigan Exchange. Mother Blake's Recital.- 
Through Chicago to Wisconsin. A disheartening Story. The 
practical result of Spiritualism 141 

CHAPTER XV. 

A Chicago Divorce " Shyster." Hosford found. His pathetic Narra- 
tive. More Facts 151 

CHAPTER XVI. 

Mrs. Winslow's Signal answered. She endeavors to win Bristol, and 
shows that they are "Affinities." Detective Fox mystified. An 
Evening with the One fair Woman. Closer Intimacies. A Journey 
proposed. Detective Bristol as a Lover. ioa 

CHAPTER XVII. 

Careful Work. Bristol's Trick on the Bell-boy at Queen's Hotel 
Toronto. The old Merchant In the Toils. A Face at the Tran 
som. A cowardly Puppet .before a brazen Adventuress. The 
Horrors of Blackmail. " Furnished Rooms to Rent." 175 

CHAPTER XVIII. 

Harcout again. " Things going slow." A Bit of personal History. 
Anew Tenant. Detective Generalship. Mrs. Winslow fears she 
is watched. Mr. Pinkerton cogitates 186 

CHAPTER XIX. 

Mrs. Winslow becomes confidential Some of her Exploits. Her 
Plans. A Sample of Legal Pleading. A fishy Story. The Adven- 
turess as a Somnambulist Detective Bristol virtuously indig- 
nant. Failing to win the " Retired Banker," Mrs. Winslow 
assails Detective Fox with her Charms 197 

CHAPTER XX. 

A Female Spiritualist's Ideas of- Political and Social Economy. The 
Weaknesses of Judges. Legal Acumen of the Adventuress. An 
unfriendly Move. Harcout attacked. Lilly Nettleton and the 
Rev. Mr. Bland again together. A Whirlwind 209 

CHAPTER XXI. 

Mrs. Winslow, under the Influence of " Spirits " of an earthly Order, 
becomes romantic, religious, and poetical. A Trance. Detective 
Briitol also proves a Poet A Drama to be written. 229 



Vlil CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER XXII. 

Mr. Pinkerton decides to favor Mrs. Winslow with a Series of Annoy- 
ances. The mysterious Package. The Detectives labor under 
well-merited Suspicion. '' My God ! what's that ? " The deadly 
Phial. This Time a Mysterious Box. Its suggestive Contents. 
" The Thing she was. " Tabitha, Amanda, and Hannah assaulted. 
A Punch and Judy Show 230 

CHAPTER XXIII. 

Cast down. "Trifles." A charitable Offering. Dreariness. Going 
Crazy. An interrupted Seance. A new Form of the Devil. The 
Red-herring Expedition and its Result. A mad Dutchman. Deso- 
lation. An order for a Coffin. The sympathizing Undertaker, Mr. 
Boxem 244 

CHAPTER XXIV. 

Breaking up. Doubts and Queries. Suspected Developments. The 
Detectives completely outwitted. On the Trail again. From 
Rochester to St. Louis. A prophetic Hotel Clerk. More Detec- 
tives and more Need for them. Lightning Changes 269 

CHAPTER XXV. 

Still foiled. Mr. Pinkerton perplexed over the Character of the Ad- 
venturess. Her wonderful recuperative Powers. A lively Chase. 
Another unexpected Move. The Detectives beaten at every 
Point. From Town to Town. Mrs. Winslow's Shrewdness. 
Among the Spiritualists at Terre Haute. Plotting. The beautiful 
Belle Ruggles. A wild Night in a ramshackle old Boarding- 
House. Blood-curdling " Manifestations." Moaning and weep- 
ing for Day. Outwitted again. Mr. Pinkerton makes a chance 
Discovery. Success 285 

CHAPTER XXVI. 

Shows how Mrs. Winslow makes a new Move. Also introduces the 
famous Evalena Gray, Physical Spiritual Medium, at her sump- 
tuous Apartments on West Twenty-first Street, New York. Re- 
minds the Reader of the Aristocratic Classes deluded by Spirit- 
ualism. Describes a Seance and explains the " Rope-trick," and 
other Spiritualistic Sleight-of-hand Performances 307 

CHAPTER XXVII. 

After the Seance. Daddy, the " Accommodation Husband." The 
two fascinating Swindlers in Council. Miss Evalena's European 
Career. How the Millionaire Brewer was baited and played with. 
A Bit of Criminal History. A choice Pair. Mrs. Wirislov* s As- 
pirations and Resolves 326 

CHAPTER XXVIII. 

Mrs. Winslow demonstrates her Legal Ability. The " Breach of 
Promise Trial." A grand Rally of the Spiritualistic Friends of the 
Adventuress. The Jury disagree. Mrs. Winslow convicted at 
St Louis of Common Barratry. An honest Judge's Rebuke. A 
new Trial. The Sp'.jitualistic Swindler overthrown. Remorsj and 
Wretchedness. ,, 34! 



PREFACE. 



I WISH to anticipate any adverse criticism that may 
be made upon the following pages, by being as frank 
with the public as I trust the critics will be fair with me. 

Therefore I must say at the beginning that I expect 
many well-meaning people to differ with me as to the pro- 
priety of giving this book to the public ; but I am exceed- 
ingly hopeful that that difference will not amount to a 
serious condemnation. Nor can I think it will when I 
earnestly assert that I have caused its publication out of 
as honest a motive as I ever possessed ; and I am sure 
that whatever the American people have come to think 
of me in other respects, they are pretty certain of my 
honesty. 

The incidents related are true, though, out of a proper 
regard for my patrons and many who do not sustain that 
relation, but who unavoidably become identified in num- 
berless ways with my operations in ferreting out crime 
and criminals, I have deemed it best to locate the story 
in a city several hundred miles from the place where the 
occurrences really transpired, and, for the same reason, 

have given the characters fictitious names ; but the inci 
I* 



X PREFACE. 

dents are exact parallels of the original facts, and in many 
cases are literal transcripts of, while in every instance 
they agree with, the records of the case as minutely 
reported during its progress. 

B) way of further explanation, I desire to remind my 
readers how very difficult it is for those not familiar with 
the detective business to realize the masses of iniquity we 
are often obliged to unearth, unpalatable as the work may 
be and is. But while, from the nature of my business, 
my records are necessarily so exhaustive, and have been 
made so thoroughly minute, as to contain simply every, 
thing, good or bad, regarding an operation, and are, 
therefore, as records, reliable and true though they thus 
become repositories of much that is vile I have striven 
in every instance, while relating the truth and r othing but 
the truth, to speak of unpleasant things in as delicate a 
manner as possible, and in a way which, while plain 
enough to convey with proper force and directness the 
moral lessons that these developments cannot fail to im- 
press upon the minds of all readers, might still leave no 
unclean thought behind them ; and the only sense in 
which a charge that my " Detective Stories " were in any 
respect untrue might be sustained, would be in the fact 
that I have in numberless instances, for the very good 
leason mentioned, told immeasurably less, and never 
more, than the whole truth. 

I make no assumption of having given in this book an 
exhaustive expose of modern spiritualism, and I wish it 
as well remembered that I have no more prejudice against 



PREFACE. Xi 

the good there is in that ism than I have against the good 
there is in any other ism ; but my experience with these 
people, which has been large, has invariably been against 
their honesty or social purity. 

So far as there being anything about Spiritualism to 
compel awe or attract any but weak-minded or " weak- 
laoraled " people, the assumption is simply absurd ; for 
the few illustrations given in the following pages will show 
how utterly preposterous the claim of supernatural power 
s, as applied to the cause of these "manifestations," 
vhich are not, in themselves, first-class tricks, but which, 
when made mysterious and enshrouded with the element 
of superstitious fear which all of us in some measure 
possess lead crowds of inconsiderate people into unu- 
sual eccentricities, if not eventually into insane asylums, 
as in some painful instances of which the public are 
already well aware. 

In my exceptionally strange avocation I have been 
enabled to view this entire matter from the side which the 
public cannot reach the side where the fraud of it all is 
so apparent that it becomes disgustingly monotonous and 
common ; and as a matter of duty to those who are half 
inclined to accept Spiritualism as a divine revelation and 
blessed experience, I have given but a single case a 
sample of hundreds of others which illustrates the des- 
picable character of many, if not a majority, of Spiritual- 
ism's public champions and private disciples ; only adding 
that in this instance the picture does not show a thou- 
sandth part of the hideousness of the original. 



Xii PREFACE. 

The Judge Williams mentioned as having presided at 
Batavia, N. Y., is no myth, but an eminent jurist at pres 
ent sitting upon the bench of one of the most important 
courts in the country. He has not only furnished a copy 
of his scathing remarks to the Winslow-Lyon jury upon 
their disagreement, as related, but will vouch for the cor- 
rectness of much of this narrative, as most of the facts 
mentioned came under his personal observation. 

I have given them to the public trusting they will fill 
some good place in the world, and assist in removing 
from the minds of those who are occupying the debatable 
ground regarding the question of the genuineness of 
Spiritualism and Spiritualistic "manifestations" the super- 
stitious fear and the sensuous fascination which have here 
tofore bound and held thei i. 

A1XAN PINKERTON. 

CHICAGO, January, 1877. 



THE SPIRITUALISTS 



AND 



THE DETECTIVES. 



CHAPTER I. 

" Kal'm'zoo ! "The Home of the Nettletons. Lilly Nettleton. A 
wild Heart and a burning Brain. 

MOST commercial and uncommercial travellers filling 
the swift shuttles of transit between the East and 
the West will remember that while passing through 
Michigan, over the Central road, the brakeman has 
shrieked the legend " Kal'm'zoo ! " at them as the train 
rushed into one of the prettiest little cities in the country. 
There is nothing particularly picturesque about Kalamazoo, 
unless the wondering face of some harmless lunatic, on 
p.urole from the Asylum which stands so gloomily among 
the hills beyond the town, the solemn visage of some 
Baptist University student, who with his toast, tea and 
Thucydides, has become grave and attenuated, or the 
plump form of some " seminary girl" who will look at 



14 "KALWZOO/" 

the incoming trains, and flout her handkerchief too, ii 
spite of parents, principals, and all the proprieties, and-the 
oidinary ebb and flow of the life of a stirring provincial 
town, may be so considered. Neither is there anything 
particularly interesting about Kalamazoo, save its native, 
quiet beauty. It meets life easily, and, like a happily- 
disposed tradesman, takes its full measure of traffic and 
enjoyment with undisturbed tranquillity, cultivating neat 
fards and streets, the social graces, and occasionally the 
trts, with a lazy sort of satisfaction that is pleasant to look 
apon and contemplate. 

Standing at any street-corner of the city, you will see 
wide avenues of fine business houses or elegant residences, 
and, where the latter, a wealth of neatly-trimmed shrub- 
bery, and long lines of overarching maple trees merging 
into pretty vistas which seem to invite you beyond to the 
beautiful hills, uplands and valleys, with their murmuring 
streams, sloping farms and well-kept homes, where both 
plenty and contentment seem to be waiting to give >ou a 
right hearty welcome. 

About twenty-five years ago, when the country was 
much newer, and the sturdy farmers that have made this 
great West blossom so magically until it has become 
the whole world's storehouse, were held closely to their 
arduous work by the hard hand of necessity and toil, a 
few miles up the river from the then little village of Kala- 
inazoo might have been seen a comfortable log farm-house 
which nestled within a pretty ravine sloping down to the 
banks of the lazi'y-flowing stream. It was a plain, homely 



" KALWZOO /" IS 

sort of a place, but there was an air of thrift anj cleanli- 
ness about the locality that told of earnest toil and its 
sure reward. 

The farm was of that character generally described as 
" openings ; " here a clump of oak, beech, and maple 
trees, there a rich stretch of meadow-land ; beyond, a 
series of hills extending to the uplands, the bases of which 
were girted with groves, and whose summits were com- 
posed of a warm, rich, stony loam, where the golden seas 
of ripening grain, touched by passing zephyrs, waved and 
shimmered in the glowing summer sun ; while where the 
river wound along towards the villages below, there was 
a dense growth of elm, maple, and beech trees, standing 
there dark and sombre, save where the glintings of sun- 
light pierced their foliaged armor, like grim sentinels of 
the centuries. 

This was the home of Robert Nettleton, a plain and 
uneducated farmer, who had several years before removed 
from the East with his family, and with them was slowly 
accumulating a competence for his declining days. 

Robert Nettleton' s family consisted of himself, his wife, 
and their three children. He was looked upon by his 
neighbors as somewhat erratic and strange, being repel- 
ling in his manner, and at times sullen and reticent. He 
went about his duties in a severe way, and at all times 
compelled the strictest obedience from each member of 
his family. On the contrary, his wife was a meek-eyed 
little woman, patient and long-suffering, and was looked 
upon in the neighborhood as a nonentity from her unre- 



1 6 "KAL'M'ZOOJ" 

sisting, broken-down demeanor, save in times of sickness 
and trouble, when she was immediately in great demand, 
as she had little to say. but much to do, and had an effec* 
tive method of noiseless, tender watching and nursing at 
command, which was at all times ungrudgingly employed. 

The children consisted of one boy and two girls, the 
eldest of whom, now in her eighteenth year, little dreamed 
of the despicable commotion she was to create in after- 
life, and was the reigning belle of the community, though 
she always kept the country bumpkins at a respectful dis- 
tance and was feared by fully as many as she was admired, 
from her impetuous, imperious ways, that brooked no 
opposition or hinderance. One would have to travel a 
long distance to find a more attractive figure and face 
than those possessed by this country girl. She was some- 
what above the medium height, a living model for a 
Venus, supple and lithe as the willows that grew upon the 
banks of the winding stream, and so physically powerful 
that she had already gained some notoriety among her 
acquaintances through having soundly shaken the peda- 
gogue of the district school, and afterwards pitched him 
through the window into an adjacent snow-drift, where he 
had remained buried to his middle, his legs wildly waving 
signals of distress, until she had just as impulsively re- 
leased him. 

Although somewhat strange and unusual, her features, 
while not strikingly beautiful, were still singularly attrac- 
tive. Her head, which was large and seemingly well pro- 
vided with faculties of quick perception, was covered with 



"XAL'M'ZOO/" 17 

a wondrous wealth of black hair, so heavy and luxurious 
as to be almost unmanageable, and which, when not in 
restraint, fell about her form, hiding it completely, nearly 
to her feet. Her forehead was full and prominent, while 
her eyes, large and rather deeply set, and fringed with 
heavy lashes, were of that peculiar gray color which at 
times may be touched by all shades, while a trace of blue 
always predominates. There was nothing worth remark- 
ing about other portions of her face, save that, critically 
examined, too much of it seemed to have got into her 
chin, and her upper lip had a strange habit of hugging 
her brilliantly white teeth too closely, and then curling 
upward before meeting the lower one, where sometimes 
crimson and ashy paleness played like quick and cruel 
lightning, a key to the slumbering devils within her. At 
these times, too, there was a certain light in her eyes 
that an observing person would feel a peculiar dread of 
awakening, though usually her face showed a complete 
repose, and it would have been difficult to decide whether 
she was a very ordinary or a very extraordinary character. 
Still, with her magnificent figure and strangely attractive 
face, she was a young woman to strongly draw just two 
classes of men towards her students of character and 
students of form. The first she invariably disappointed 
and repelled, always awakening the indefinable dread I 
have mentioned, while her presence among the lattei 
class as swiftly opened the floodgates of passion to swiftlj 
sweep the better nature and all good resolves before it. 
So, with her peculiarly unfortunate construction, it if 



18 "KAL'M'ZOO/" 

not strange that, on arriving at that period of life when 
the almost omnipotent power of a self-willed woman be- 
gins to develop and hint at the possibilities beyond the 
threshold of the strange life her inexperienced, feet had 
just reached. Lilly Nettleton should have felt an oppres- 
sive sense of littleness in the quiet community in which 
she lived, and experienced a burning desire to cast these 
humble associations from her, to compel admiration and 
conquer whoever and whatever she might mf ; n the 
wide, wide world jeyonA 



CHAPTER II. 

The "Circuit-Rider." Mr. Pinkerton and those Gospel Knights-Er- 
rant in the early Days. The Rev. Mr. Bland appears. "And 
Satan came also!" A "charge" is established. A Compacl 
"where the golden maple-leaves fall." Bland departs. " Th 
scared form of a young Woman steals away from her Home 1 " 

DURING the summer the presiding elder of the Kal- 
amazoo district decided to bid for the benighted! 
si>*:ls that dwelt in Mr. Nettleton's neighborhood, and 
made arrangements to "supply" the school-house at the 
corners where Lilly had distinguished herself in giving the 
schoolmaster a cold bath in the snow-bank, with circuit- 
riders, or with young clergymen who had just graduated 
and were supposed to be in training for more extended 
fields of labor. 

At that time the system of salvation as carried on by 
the Methodist Church which must certainly be credited 
with a vast amount of push and energy in furthering its 
peculiar plan of redemption outside of the large cities 
was almost exclusively one which necessitated the emplc y- 
ment of circuit-riders, as they were then called, and are 
now called in some portions of the extreme west. They 
were usually men of great suavity of manner, personal 
bravery, unbounded zeal, and remarkable religious en- 
thusiasm. Thej trusted principally in the Lord, but also 



20 THE "CIRCUIT-RIDER." 

placed implicit confidence in the extraordinary hospitality 
of the plain pioneer people with whom they came in con- 
tact, who, if not prepared to accept everything told them, 
responded to their strenuous efforts for their sal vatic n by 
an unqualified welcome ; so that the appearance of the 
cii cuit-rider, or "supply," was not only cause for unusual 
Bible catechism and hymn reading, but also a signal for 
culinary preparations on a grand scale, to which, as a rule, 
the hen-roost materially contributed. 

Time and time again, in the early days, have I jour- 
neyed with these Gospel Knights-errant, listening to their 
interesting adventures, almost as strange as my own, and 
their simple tales of blessed experiences ; often tarrying 
with them at their " stations," and for some good purpose, 
best known to myself, joining in their efforts to sow seed 
meet unto repentance as we crossed the beautiful streams 
and broad prairies of Illinois ; and as we journeyed along 
so pleasantly together the thought that my comrade was 
giving his whole life to the work of saving sin-sick souls, 
while mine was as irrevocably devoted to bringing many 
of them to summary justice, has flashed across my mind 
with such startling force, that the dramatic nature of the 
life we live was presented to me more powerfully than I 
have since seen it shown before the footlights of any of 
the grandest theatres of the world. 

As the Nettleton family had belrnged to that chuich in 
the East, and had also attended service at the village 
when the roads and weather were favorable, they were, 
of course, leaders in the plan to secure " meetings 



THE "CIRCUIT-RIDER." 21 

nearer home ; and when the good brother made his ap- 
pearance one pleasant autumn Saturday afternoon, as 
was natural, he directed his faithful Rozinante to the 
comfortable log-house by the river, Avhere both it and its 
reverend rider were given a genuine welcome. 

The new preacher was none of your soiled, worked' 
out, toiling itinerants. He was a young clergyman, 
scarcely thirty years old, and just from college ; tall, well- 
formed, with a florid, smoothy-shaven face, and plenty of 
hair and hallelujah about him. He could tell you all 
about the stars, and just as easily point out the merits 
or demerits in your plate of mutton or porter-house ; and, 
being of this tropical nature, if there were two things 
above any other two things in life for which he had a 
penchant, they were a spirited nag and a spirited woman. 
In fact, he had accepted the ministry just the same as he 
would have accepted any other profession, merely as a 
makeshift, and had submitted to being ground through 
the theological mill, and afterwards to this backwoods 
breaking-in process, simply because his widowed mother, 
a Detroit lady, was immensely pious and also immensely 
wealthy; and if he should become a noted minister, he 
would get all her property, 'which otherwise would go to 
the good cause direct, but which, once in his hands, 
would enable him to gratify his elegant tastes and do as 
he pleased generally. 

So, being a thorough judge of women, he was at once 
more interested in Lilly Nettleton than in the welfare 
of the souls of the Nettleton neighborhood ; and after a 



22 THE "CIRCUIT-RIDER* 

bountiful s:ipper had been disposed of, and the familj 
were gathered upon the verandah for a pleasant chat with 
the minister in the long, hazy September sunset, and the 
Rev. Mr. Bland for that was the young clergyman's 
name had flattered Mr. Nettleton on the merits of his 
pretty farm, Mrs. Nettleton upon her elegant cooking, 
and the younger children upon their various degrees of 
perfection, he passed directly to the subject which most 
occupied his mind, and in a patronizing way, evidently 
with a view of attracting Lilly's attention without arousing 
the suspicions of her honest parents, said : 

" By the way, Mr. Nettleton, your beautiful daughter 
here ah, what may I call her ? thank you, Lilly ; and a 
very appropriate name, too is the perfect image of a 
very dear friend of ours my mother's and my own 
in Detroit." 

There was certainly a flush on Lilly' B face deeper than 
could have been put there by the red glow of the setting 
sun. Mr. Bland did not fail to notice it either ; and as 
there was no response to his remark, he continued, occa- 
sionally glancing at Lilly, who, though apparently only 
interested in her needle-work, drank in every word that 
fell from the reverend gentleman's lips. 

" In fact," said the minister, " the resemblance is quite 
striking, though I really think your daughter Lilly is the 
finer-looking of the two indeed, has quite an intellectual 
face, and would, I am sure, make a thorough student." 

"But she won't go to school here," interrupted Mi 
Nettleton ; while the strange light came into Lilly's eye* 



THE "CIRCUIT-RIDER." 23 

and the crimson and ashy paleness played upon the 
curled lips. 

" But, Brother NetC^^/n, you must remember that we 
aie not all similarly created. The world must have its 
hewers of wood and drawers of water, but it must also 
have its grand minds to direct " 

" I can do all the directin' necessary here," bluntly 
persisted Mr. Nettleton. 

"Of course, of course," pleasantly continued Mr. 
Bland, talking at Lilly, though answering her father; 
" but I hope Lilly can some time have those advantages 
which would certainly cause her to shine in society " 

" And despise her home ! " said Mr. Nettleton, bitterly. 

The storm was still playing fiercely over Lilly's face, 
and her heaving bosom told how hard a struggle was 
necessary to restrain her from then and there 5aying or 
doing some reckless thing, and then rushing away into 
the woods and the night to escape the restraint that set 
so heavily upon her imperious spirit. 

" No, I think not," replied Mr. Bland soothingly. rt I 
am a pretty good judge of human nature, though a young 
man, and am sure that Lilly has a kind heart and will 
prove a blessing to your later years. Our dear Detroit 
friend was also a little spirited, but she is now one of the 
leaders of Sunday-school and church society, and is much 
sought after yes, much sought after," repeated Mr. 
Bland slowly, as hs saw its effect upon Lilly. 

The clergyman's good opinion of their daughter made 
the simple parents realty happy ; but she knew as well 



24 THE "CIRCUIT-RIDER" 

as he what it was all said for, and she alreadj hated the 
flippant Mr. Bland, for her quick woman's instinct they 
never reason had analyzed him thoroughly. But her 
heart throbbed at the idea of being considered " fine-look 
ing,," and her brain burned with the desire to also become 
" sought after.' Y^s, young and inexperienced as she was, 
she was old in the crime of impure thought and unbridled 
ambition, and was ready to lend herself to any scheme, 
however questionable, that might offer release, or g : ,ve pro- 
mise of the gratification of her passion for notoriety, and 
ruling or ruining anything with which she came in contact. 

After this the evening passed pleasantly to the old 
people, who, after a time, went into the house to attend 
to their several duties ; and also to the young people, Mr. 
Bland and Lilly, who, without any effort on the part of 
either, had arrived at a thorough understanding so much 
so, indeed, that when the voice of Mr. Nettleton was heard 
apprising Mr. Bland that he would show him to his room 
whenever he desired to retire, he quietly stepped near tc 
where Lilly was sitting in the weird moonlight, and taking 
her pretty, warm hand within his own, said rapidly, but 
in a low voice : 

" My dear Lilly, I have a deep interest in you ; yout 
people cannot understand it, and, should they know it, 
would only suspect me, and watch and restrain you. 
Make an opportunity for us to be together alone. I will 
remain until you accomplish it; and " Mr. Nettleron'f 
step was now heard in the hall " quick, Lilly ! do w 
understand each other ? " 



THE "CIRCUIT-RIDER." 2$ 

She gave him a look that would have withered any but 
a lecherous villain as he was ; but he met it in kind, as 
she whispered " Yes ! " and added, disengaging herself as 
Bland stealthily stepped back and carelessly leaned against 
the door : 

" What book did you say ? " 

"Ah, yes 'hem! 'Young's Night Thoughts.' It is a 
pure book, and would not only cultivate your mind, but 
aid you in the common duties of life. I will send it to 
you, and you can read it aloud to your parents. I know 
they will enjoy it too ! Ha ! Mr. Nettleton, excuse rne 
Lilly, of course you will join us at prayers ? " 

She had been taught her first lesson, was an apt scholar, 
too ; and as the man of God on his bended knees prayed 
that all blessings might descend upon this happy home, 
however much his cursed soul might have been stung by 
the devilish hypocrisy of the hour, there was not a pang 
of remorse in her heart for the bold step she knew she 
had taken. 

Lilly did not attend service at the school-house on Sab- 
bath, and made her appearance but once or twice during 
the day, feigning illness ; but on Monday she was about 
the house fresh and rosy as ever, and the first opportunity 
that offered suggested to Eland the propriety of asking her 
out for a boat-ride on the river, which he did in the after- 
noon during Mr. Nettleton's absence, his meek wife 
thinking it a great honor to the family, and in her 
poor mother's heart, no doubt, praying that the good 
man might so soften her proud daughter's heart that she 



26 THE "CIRCUIT-RIDER? 

might be bettered, and eventually led to the source of all 
good. 

Whether he did or not, if the reader of this book could 
have followed the couple up the winding river to a seclu- 
ded spot where the golden maple-leaves fell upon the 
stream and were borne away in silence, whatever of mad 
passion or reckless guilt might have been discovered, 
just before they stepped into the boat to float with the 
tide back to the dishonored home, a certain Rev. Mr. 
Bland might have been seen placing in Lilly Nettleton's 
shameless hand a roll of bills, and heard to say to the 
same person : 

" Be sure, now next Sunday night. Row down to Kal- 
amazoo in this boat, and take the late night train for 
Detroit. Go to the Michigan Exchange Hotel, where I 
will meet you Monday evening ! " 

So the little neighborhood had had its "religious sup- 
ply," but had also had its loss ; for, as the weird moonlight 
of the next Sunday evening fell upon the quiet log farm- 
house, built strange forms among the moaning, almost 
leafless trees, and pictured upon the river's bosom a 
thousand ghostly figures, the scared form of a young 
woman stole away from her home, glided to the murmur- 
ing stream, sprang into the little boat, and was borne 
away to the hell of her future just as noiselessly but just 
as resistlessly as the river itself pushed onward to the 
great lakes, and was swept from thence to the ultimate^ 
all-absorbing sea 1 



CHAPTER III/ 

Lilly in Detroit First and last Remorse. The reverend Vill:un aid bit 
Victim enjoy the Hospitality of the Michigan Exchange Hotel A 
Scene. " Bland, am I to go to your Mother's, as you promised ? " 
The Clergyman(P) "crazed." Everything, save Respectability. 
A Woman's Will And a Man's Cajolement 

TO the imagination of the wayward country girl De- 
troit was a great city, and as she was whirled into 
the depot, where she saw the rushing river beyond, and 
was hustled hither and thither by the clamorous cabmen, 
a sense of giddiness came upon her, and for the first, and 
undoubtedly last time, she yearned for the quiet of the old 
log farm-house by the pleasant river. 

Perhaps the old forms and faces called to her implor- 
ingly, pleading with her, as only the simple things of 
home, however plain and commonplace, can plead with 
the wandering one ; and in a swift, agonized longing for 
the restfulness which the meanest virtue gives, but which 
had forever fled from her, the thought, if not the words : 

" Of all sad words of tongue or pen 
The saddest are these : It might have been " 

sped through her mind in a pitiful way ; but just as she 
had almost resolved to return to her parents, ask their for- 
giveness, and disclose the character of the reverend vil 



28 LILLY IN DETROIT. 

lain, a man approached her, who, saying he was "from 
Bland," conducted her to a carriage in waiting and con- 
veyed her to the Michigan Exchange Hotel, where she 
was fictitiously registered, and the clerk informed that her 
brother would call for her in the evening. 

She had been assigned a very pretty room, elegantly 
furnished, and the windows gave her a view of the river 
and the shipping, with Windsor and the bluff hills of Can- 
ada beyond. It was all beautiful and wonderful to her 
the hotel a palace, the river, with its great steamers, ves- 
sels, and ferries a fairy scene ; and Windsor, with the 
broken countiy beyond, all covered by the soft, blue, gos- 
samer veil of early autumn a beautiful dream ! 

With her thoroughly unprincipled nature there was a 
lazy sort of enjoyment in all this ; and when her dinner 
was brought to her room, as had been previously ordered 
by the hackman, and she was gingerly served by an ordi- 
narily nimble waiter, but who took every possible occa- 
sion to illustrate the fact that he was cultivated and she 
was not, she received the attention in as dignified a man- 
ner as though born to rule, and had been accustomed to 
the service of menials from infancy. 

The afternoon wore away, and as the gas-lights began 
to flare out upon the city, a gentle tap was heard at her 
door, and a moment after, before an invitation to enter 
had been given, the oily Bland slid into Lilly's apartment, 
closed the door after him, and turned the key in the lock. 
Then he walked right over to where Lilly was sitting upon 
the sofa, and took her in his arms, saying : 



LILLY IN DETROIT. 29 

"Well, I see my dearest Lilly has kept her word." 

She allowed him to fondle her just long enough to dare 
to repel him gently, and answered : 

" After what passed by the river, I could not do other 
wise than keep my word. Yes, your ' dearest Lilly ' ha* 
kept her word. And what now, Mr. Bland? " 

Seeing that she was disposed to ask leading questions, 
he changed the subject laughingly. 

" Why, some supper, of course," and immediately 
rang the bell, ordering of the servant, who appeared 
directly, a sumptuous spread, not forgetting a bottle of 
wine. 

During the preparation of the meal Lilly stepped to the 
window, and pressing her restless face against the panes, 
seemed intently regarding the dancing lights upon the 
broad river, while Bland whistled softly, and warmed his 
delicate, pliable hands at the coals in the fireplace, which 
gave to the chilly evening a pleasant, cheery glow. Sud- 
denly she stepped close to him, leaned her head in her 
left hand, hei elbow resting upon the marble mantel, 
while with her right hand she firmly grasped his shoulder. 
She then said, in a quiet, determined way : 

" Bland, am I to go to your mother's, as you prom- 
ised ? " 

She said this in such a resolute, icy way, and her hand 
rested upon his shoulder so heavily, that, for the first time, 
he looked at her as if satisfied that he had a beautiful 
tigress in keeping, and it might possibly require supreme 
will force to control her. 



30 LILLY IN DETROIT. 

1 No, Lilly, you will not go to my mother's. 

" Then I will go home." 

" You will not go home. You will remain here." 

"Bland, no person on God's earth shall say 'will' to 
me. That is just as certain as the course of that river ! " 
and her long, trembling forefinger swept towards the rush- 
ing stream. 

The appearance of the waiter with supper quieted the 
conversation, which was becoming stormy, and it was only 
resumed when Bland saw that Lilly was mellowing under 
the influence of the wine, which thrilled through her 
veins, pushing the rich, healthy blood to her cheeks, and 
lighting her great gray eyes with a wonderful lustre. It 
could not be said that he loved the girl, but he had a mad 
passion for her which was simply overwhelming at these 
times when, untutored and uncultivated as she was, she 
became truly queenly in appearance. 

It was a dainty little supper served upon a dainty little 
table, and they were sitting very closely together, and 
Bland, after feasting his eyes upon her magnificent form 
for a time, drew her into his arms impulsively, kissing her 
again and again, calling her endearing names, and prom- 
ising her everything that could come to the tongue of a 
talented man made wild by wine and a woman. 

" Lilly, you have crazed me ruined me ! " he said, ex- 
citedly. "You know what I profess to be a Christian 
minister ! God forgive me for my cursed weakness, but 
you have me in your power ! " 

Although her face rested against his, and their hot 



LILLY IN DETROIT. 31 

cheeks burned together, the old wicked light gleamed in 
her eyes, and the crimson and ashy paleness played upon 
the curled lip. If it all could have been seen by the rev- 
erend gentleman, it would have sobered him. The word;* 
' in ) our power " had flung the lightning into Lilly Nettle- 
ton's face. Power, power, power ! No matter how se- 
cured ; no matter what the result. The very word mad- 
dened her, made a scheming devil of her, but also made 
her ready for any proposition Bland might offer, as it 
swiftly came into her mind that the deeper she sank with 
him the greater would be her power over him. 

" Well ? " she said, reassuringly. 

J< ' Well ? ' I am at your mercy. A knowledge of what 
has passed between us would be my ruin ; your ruin also. 
We have done what cannot be undone ; yes," he contin- 
aed passionately, and drawing her closer to him, " what I 
would not undo ! ' 

" Well ? " It was tenderly said, and gave him courage. 

" I am rich, or will be, Lilly." 

"If you are careful," she added with a light laugh. 

"Exactly. I can do a great deal for you, and 
will " 

"Conditionally?** 

" Yes, conditionally. The conditions are that you live 
quietly at an elegant place to which we will shortly be 
driven. You will be mistress of the place ; that is, you 
will have everything you can desire " 

" Save respectability, Mr. Bland ? " 

She was shrewder than he in fact, his master already \ 



32 LILLY IN DETROIT. 

but hinted at the sale of her soul so heartkssly that it 
shucked even him. 

"You had 'respectability' at home, Lily; and," glanc- 
ing at her plain garments, which were a burlesque upon 
her beautiful figure, "and old clothes, and surveillance, 
and restraint, and " 

" Bland," she said, springing to her feet with such vio- 
lence as to send him sprawling to the floor, from which he 
stared in amazement at her magnificent form, which trem- 
bled like a leaf, while the wicked lightning gleamed from 
her eyes, and swift shuttles of color flashed back and 
forth upon her lips ; " Bland, be careful ! Never speak 
to me again of the meanness of my home. The mean- 
ness of your black heart is a million times greater. You 
have something more than a country girl to deal with, 
sir ; you have a woman and a woman's will. It is enough 
that I have sold my body and soul for what you can, or 
might, give me. I bargained for no contempt ; and, 
Bland," she continued, advancing towards him fiercely as 
he regained his feet and retreated from her in dismay, 
" as sure as there is a heaven, and as sure as there ought 
to be a hell for such as we, if you begin it, I will kill you ! 
Yes," she hissed, "I will kill you!" and then, woman- 
like, having passed the climax of feeling and expression, 
she threw herself on the bed for a good cry, while Bland, 
with wine and words and countless caresses, soothed her 
\vild spirit, bringing her back to pliant good nature, where 
she was as putty in his dexterous hands. 



CHAPTER IV. 

Tells how the Rev. Mr. Bland preached a Funeral Sermon. Shows 
dainty Cottage, holding more than the Neighbors knew. Installs 
Lilly as a Clergyman's Mistress. Reverts to a Desolate Home. 
Introduces Dick Hosford, a returned " Forty-Niner," who begins a 
despairing Search. And shows that unholy, as well as true Love, 
does not always run smoothly. 

S~ HORTLY afterwards a clo-fd cabriolet containing 
two persons was rapidly driven from the Michigan 
Exchange up Wisconsin street, from thence into Gris- 
wold, and out towards the suburbs, finally drawing up be- 
fore a neat cottage-house, where the lights, peeping around 
the edges of the drawn curtains, showed the place to be 
in a state of preparation. 

A man and a woman quickly alighted from the carriage, 
and as the woman, apparently a young one, though 
closely veiled, stepped to the gate, opened it and waited 
for her escort, the gentleman said in a low tone to the 
coachman : 

"James, drive to the house and inform mother that 
while down town this evening I received an unexpected 
call to Ann Arbor, to preach a funeral sermon over the 
remains of an old student-friend at the University, and 

that I may not be home until late to-morrow evening ; " 
2* 



34 REV. MR. ELAND'S FUNERAL SERMON. 

then, after handing James some coin, "you understand, 
James?" 

James thought he understood, grinned grimly, put the 
money in his pocket and drove away. 

"Remember, Lilly," said Bland, stepping to the gate 
and taking her arm, "you are Lilly Mercer here." 

"Yes, Bland." 

"And you are never to mention anything regarding 
yourself to the lady who owns this place." 

"I think I can keep my own counsel." 

" And, if any inquiries are made here, by any person 
whatever, regarding myself, you are to be innocently and 
utterly ignorant." 

" And what are you to do ? " asked Lilly, naively. 

" I ? why I am to do well by you." 

" Just so long as you do that, Bland, you are perfectly 
safe ! " 

She had taken to dictating also ; but it was a pretty 
little cottage and grounds, and a feeling of satisfaction at 
being their mistress, even if it necessitated being his mis- 
tress, came over her that made her affable and winning, 
if she did occasionally say things that hinted at a stormy 
future. 

They strolled up the broad brick walk, he thrilled with 
his magnificent capture, and she just as satisfied with the 
power she had attained over one so high socially, and 
who stood in such near prospect of obtaining vast wealth. 
Instead of entering the house at its little front door with 
its highly ornamented porch, they opened the door of a 



REV. MR. ELAND'S FUNERAL SERMON. 35 

little trellis-worked addition to the cottage, which was 
now covered by an almost leafless mass of vines, and 
passed to a side entrance, where a gentle pull of the bell 
caused the immediate appearance of a very fat and very 
flabby woman of middle age, who at once conducted {hem 
to a suite of rooms, consisting of a parlor and a large 
sleeping-room, between which, in place of the original 
folding-doors, had been substituted rich hangings suffi- 
ciently drawn apart to admit of the passage of one per- 
son, and which, with the tastefully draped windows, the 
deeply-framed pictures, the vari-colored marble mantels 
and fireplaces, the heavy, yielding carpet giving back no 
sound to the foot-fall, and the great easy-chairs into which 
one sank as into pillows of down, gave the rooms the 
hintings of such luxuriousness that Lilly was completely 
dazzled and bewildered with the unexpected elegance, 
and the, to her, never before realized splendor. 

"Mother Blake," said Bland, " this is Lilly Mercer, who 
is my friend, and whom you are to make comfortable." 

Mother Blake, as if realizing that her duties began 
whenever Bland spoke, majestically crossed the room, 
sat down beside Lilly and immediately kissed her very 
affectionately, merely remarking, "And a very nice girl 
she is, too, Mr. Bland." 

"That'll do, mother. You may get us a sma 1 bottle 
of wine, and then go to bed. If s getting late, and you 
know you need a good deal of sleep." 

Mother Blake chuckled, and shook from it as though 
b*r enjoyment of any sort of pleasantry came to the 



36 REV. MR. LAND'S FUNERAL SERMON. 

iSurface only in a scries of ripples over her great fat body, 
instead of in echoes of enjoyment from her grtat fat 
throat. But it might have been merely a habit with its 
origin in the necessities of her quiet mode of life ; and, 
doing as requested, only lingered to fasten back the 
curtain so that the low, luxurious bed came temptingly 
into view, after which she beamingly backed out of the 
room, wishing the couple " a pleasant night, and many of 
'em ! " 

If shame hovered over this pretty place, it did not pale 
the amber glow of the sparkling wine ; it came not into 
the ruddy coals upon the hearth, which gave forth their 
glowing warmth just as cheerily as from any other hearth 
in the broad land ; it never dimmed the light from the 
gilded chandeliers ; it put no crimson flush upon the 
faces which touched each other with an even flow of 
blood, nor quickened the pulses of the hands that as often 
met ; and God only knows whether, when, as sleep came 
down upon the city, and the man and woman rested in 
each other's arms upon the bed beyond the rich curtains 
(which, as the light in the fireplaces grew or waned, never 
contained one ghostly rustle or semblance), there was 
even a guilty dream to mark its presence ! 

But what of the inmates of the old log farm-house by 
the pleasant river ? 

The morning came, and the agonized parents found that 
theii daughter had gone. Robert Nettleton set his teeth 
and swore that he would never search for her, while his 
poor wife was completely broken and crushed as much 



REV. MR. ELAND'S FUNERAL SERMON. 37 

from the agonized fears that flooded into her heart as 
from the actual loss of her child. 

The most dejected member of the household, however, 
was a nev-comer, one Dick Hosford, who years before 
had drifted into the Nettleton family and had been 
brought up by them until, becoming a stout young man, 
he was borne away in the gold excitement with the 
" Forty-niners " to California, where by hard work and 
no luck whatever, being an honest, simple soul, he had 
got together a few thousand dollars ; with no announce- 
ment of his proposed return, had come back as far as 
Terre Haute, Indiana, where he had purchased a snug 
farm, and immediately turned his footsteps towards Mr. 
Nettleton's, arriving there the very morning after Lilly's 
departure, as he said, " to marry the gal, but couldn't 
find her shadder." 

He was simply inconsolable, and it took off the keen 
edge of the parents' grief somewhat to find that another 
shared it with them, and even seemed to feel that it was 
all his own. 

So it was arranged that the inquisitive neighbors should 
only know that Lilly had "gone to town for a week or 
two," while Dick Hosford should go to Chicago, and then 
back east as far as Detroit, making diligent search for 
something even more tangible than the "hadder" of the 
lost girl ; and as he said good-by to the Nettletons with 
quivering lips and suspiciously dimmed eyes, \e added : 

" Bob Nettleton, and mother for you've always been 
a half-dozen mothers to me don't ye never expect to see 



38 REV. MR. ELAND'S FUNERAL SERMON. 

me back to these yer diggin's 'thout I bring the gal. I've 
sot my heart onto her ; and " with an oath that the Re- 
cording Angel as surely blotted out as Uncle Toby's, for 
it was only the clinching of a brave determination, " I'll 

have her if I find her in a " He stopped suddenly 

as he saw the pain in their faces, shook their hands in a 
way that told them more than his simple words ever 
could have expressed, and trudged away with as little 
certainty of finding whom he sought, save by accident- 
or, if found, of securing the prize for himself, unless 
through her whim as of ever himself becoming anything 
save the honest, faithful, gullible soul that he was. 

At Detroit, Mother Blake had orders to provide Lily 
Mercer, her latest charge, with a suitable wardrobe and 
some fine pieces of jewelry, which was accordingly done; 
and in the novelty of her transformation, which really 
made her a beautiful young woman, her ardor of fondness 
for Bland was certainly sufficient to gratify both his vanity 
and passion to the fullest extent. But, to some women, 
both passion and finery must be frequently renewed in 
order to insure constancy ; and while Bland was as hope- 
lessly in her toils as ever, as she had always despised him 
and now despised his offerings, which were neither so 
numerous or costly as at first, she became almost un- 
managable, caused Mother Blake great perturbation of 
Spirit, and led Bland a deservedly stormy life. 



CHAPTER V. 

Reckless Fancies. The " Cursed Church Interests, " Bland's "litba 
Bird " becomes a busy Bird. Merges into a great Raven of tte 
Night. Gathers together Valuables. And while a folded Han-i- 
kerchief lies across the Clergyman's Face, steals away into the 
Storm and the Night. Gone! "Are ye all dead in there?" 
Drifting together." Don't give the Gal that Ticket ! "A great- 
hearted Man. The Rev. Bland officiates at a Wedding. Compe- 
tence and Contentment 

A FEW weeks later, one November evening, the first 
snow-storm of the year came hurrying and skurry- 
tng down upon the city. The streets seemed filled with 
that thrilling, electric life which comes with the first snow- 
flakes, and as they tapped their ghostly knuckles against 
the panes of Lilly Mercer's boudoir, the weird staccato 
passed into her restless spirit and filled her mind with 
wild, reckless fancies. The storm had beaten up against 
the cottage but a little time until it brought Bland with it. 

He came to tell his Lilly, he said, that the cursed church 
interests would compel him to go to the West, to be absent 
for several weeks. In mentioning the fact he sat down 
by the fireplace and gave her some money for use while 
he was away, and also counted over quite an amount 
which he had provided for his travelling expenses. 

He also told her that he should leave the next evening, 



40 RECKLESS FANCIES. 

and would, after a little time, of course, return for the 
night, as he could never go on so long a journey without 
spending the parting hours with his little bird, as he had 
come to call her. 

His little bird had sat remarkably passive during all 
this, but now fluttered about him with cooings and regrets 
innumerable, and seemed to still be in a flutter of excite- 
ment when he had gone ; for, after walking up and down 
the rooms for a time, she flung some wrappings about her, 
and quickly glided out among the pelting flakes that hid 
her among the hurrying thousands upon the streets and 
within the shops, until she as rapidly returned. 

Within the warm nest again, there was a note to be 
written, and several feathery but valuable trifles to be 
got together. In fact, Eland's little bird was a busy bird, 
until when, at a late hour, he came back to its unusually 
tender ways and wooings, and was soon slumbering be- 
side it. 

Then the little bird became a great raven of the night, 
and stole quietly about the apartments, gathering together, 
quite like any other raven, everything that pleased its 
fancy, including even the money that was to have been 
used in the " cursed church interests," and the gold watch 
that ticked away at its sleeping owner's head, but not 
loud enough to awaken him, for he slept with a peculiar 
heaviness, and, strangely enough, with a folded handker- 
chief acrcss his face. But the raven of the cottage, in a 
quiet way that ravens have, never ceased gathering whai 
pleased it, until the early hours of morning, when, kissing 



RECKLESS FANCIES. 41 

its beak to the bed and the sleeper, and flinging upon the 
bed a little note which read : 

A double expose if you like. 

LILLY " MERCER." 

took itself and its gathered treasures out into the storm 
and the night. 

The storm was gone when the chloroformed man 
awoke, and the bright sun pushed through the shutters 
upon his feverish face. Slowly and with great effort he 
groped his way back to consciousness, and with a thrill 
of fear reached out his hand for his little bird, and to 
reassure himself that what was flooding furiously into his 
mind was untrue, and was but some horrible nightmare 
that her dear touch would drive away. But the place 
where she had lain was as cold and empty as her own 
heartless heart; and as he faintly called, "Lilly! oh, 
Lilly ! " the very realistic voice of Mother Blake was heard 
in the hall, and her very realistic fists banging away against 
the door. 

" Say, Bland ! are ye all dead in there ? Lord ! it's 
broad noon ! " 

All dead ? No ; but far better so, as the Rev. Mr. 
Bland with a mighty effort sprang from the bed and saw 
the gas-light struggling with the sunlight, the dead ashes 
in the fireplace, and himself in the great mirror, a dishon- 
ored, despoiled, deserted rou6, drugged, robbed anj 
defied by the simple maiden from the log farm-house b) 
the pleasant river. 



42 RECKLESS FANCIES. 

The same evening two persons on wondei fully different 
missions drifted into the depot and transfer-house at 
Detroit, and mingled with the great throng that the east 
and the west continually throw together at this point. 
One was a handsome, apparently self-possessed young 
lady, who attended to her baggage personally, and moved 
about among the crowds with apparent unconcern; 
though, closely watched, her face would have shown anx- 
iety and restlessness. The other was a gaunt, though 
solidly built young fellow, whose clothes, although of good 
material, had the appearance of having been thrown at 
him and caught with considerable uncertainty upon his 
bony angles. He wandered about in a dejected way, 
looking hither and thither as if forever searching for some 
one whose discovery had become improbable, but who 
should lict escape if an honest search by an honest, sim- 
ple fellow as he seemed to be, could avail anything. By 
one of those unexplainable coincidences, or fatuities, as 
some are pleased to term them, these two persons the 
one desirous of avoiding a crowd, and the other anxious 
to ascertain whom every throng contained approached 
the ticket-office from different directions at the same 
moment. 

He at the gent's window heard her at the ladies' win- 
dow say to the agent, " Yes, to Buffalo, if you please ; " 
and he jumped as though he had been lifted by an explo- 
sion. He peered through the window and saw her face 
at the other window, and without waiting to step around 
to her, yelled to the agent like a madman : " Say, you, 



RECKLESS FANCIES. 43 

mister ! don't give the gal that ticket. It's a mistake 
She's going 'tother way;" and shoving his gaunt head 
and shoulders into the window and wildly gesticulating 
to the young lady, as the agent in a scared way saw the 
muscular intruder hovering over his tickets and money- 
box, he continued excitedly : 

" Say, Lil, old gal ! Lil Nettleton ! Dick Dick 
Hosford, ye know ! Ain't I tellin' the truth ? ain't it all 
a mistake, and ain't you goin' the other way with me, 
ye know yes, 'long with Dick ? " 

Lilly Nettleton, for it was no other, nodded to the 
agent who returned the money and quickly stepped 
around to help Dick disengage himself from the window, 
and then quickly drew him away from the crowd which 
the little episode had collected, sat down beside him, 
and, heartily laughing at his ludicrous appearance, said, 
"Why, Dick, where under heaven did you come 
from ? " 

" Lil, gal," said poor Dick, wiping the tears of joy 
out of his eyes, " I come all the way from Californy fur 
ye, found ye gone and the old folks all bust and banged 
up about it. Fur six weary weeks I've been huntin', 
huntin' ye up and down, here and yon, and was goin' 

back to Terre Haute, sell the d d farm I bought fut 

ye, and skip back to the Slope to kill Injuns, or some- 
thin', to drown my sorrow, fur I told the old folks I'd 
bring ye back, or never set foot in them diggin's agin' ! " 

Lilly looked at the great-hearted man beside her in a 
strange, calculating kind of a way, never touched by his 



44 RECKLESS FANCIES. 

tenderness and simple sacrifice, but moving very closely 
to him in a winsome way that quite overcame him. 

"And I come to marry ye, Lil," persisted Dick, 
anxiously. 

" To marry me, Dick ? " 

" Yes, and bought ye a purty farm at Terre Haute." 

" A farm, Dick ? " 

"Yes, Lil, a farm, with as snug a little house as ye 
ever sot eyes on." 

" But where did you get so much money ? You never 
wrote anything about it." 

" No, I wanted to kinder surprise ye ; but I got it 
honest got it honest; with these two hands, Lil, that'll 
work for ye all yer life like a nigger, if ye'll only come 
long with me and never go gallavantin' any more." 

" And won't you ask me any questions or allow them 
at home, Dick to ask any, and take me just as I 
am ? " 

" Just as ye are ; fur better, or fur vvus, Lil." 

" And marry me here, now, before we go home ? " 

" Marry ye, Lil ? I'd marry ye if I'd a found ye in a 

; I won't give it a name, Lil. I didn't to them, 

and I won't to you." 

She gave him her hand as firmly and frankly as though 
she had been a pure woman, and said, " I'm yours, Dick. 
We'll be married here, to-morrow." 

She took charge of all the arrangements; called a cab 
which took them to the Michigan Exchange ; sent Dick 
off to his room with orders to secure a license the first 



RECKLESS FANCIES. 45 

thing in the morning ; wrote two notes to a ceitain per- 
son, one addressed to Mother Blake, and the other to his 
post-office box, ordering them posted that night ; and 
went to her room to sleep the sleep of the just, which, 
conti iry to general belief, also often comes to the 
unjust. 

Early in the morning, Dick came with the license and 
suggested securing the services of a preacher ; but Lily 
said that she had arranged that matter already, and had 
got a clergyman who, she was sure, would not disappoint 
them ; and promptly at two o'clock in the afternoon 
courteously admitted the Rev. Mr. Bland, whom she had 
given the choice of officiating or an exposure, and who 
performed the ceremony in a pale, trembling way 
as the wicked old light gleamed in her great, gray eyes, 
and the swift shuttles of color played over her curled 
lip. 

That night found the newly-wedded couple whirling 
back to Kalamazoo, where they arrived the next morning 
and were driven out to the farm-house, where they were 
joyfully welcomed, and where Dick Hosford in his blunt 
way announced that he had " found Lil workin* away 
like a good girl, had married her and took a little bridal 

' tower,' and had come back to have no d d questions 

asked." 

So in a few days the young couple bade the Nettletons 
good-by and were soon after installed in the pleasant 
farm-house near Terre Haute, where the years passed on 
happily enough and brought them competence and con 



46 RECKLESS FANCIES. 

tentment and three children, who for a long time never 
knew the meaning of the strange light in the eyes, or the 
swift colors on the lips, of the mother who cared for them 
with an apparent full measure of kindness and affection. 



CHAPTER VI. 

Mr. Pinkerton is called upon. Mr. Harcout, a ministerial-looking 
Man, with an After-dinner Voice, appears. A Case with a Woman 
in it, as is usually the case. Mr. Pinkerton hesitates. An anxious 
Millionaire. 

ONE hot July afternoon in 186-, I was sitting in my 
private office at my New York Agency, located 
then, and now, at the corner of New Street and Exchange 
Place, in the very heart of the money and stock battles 
of Gotham, pretty well tired out from a busy day's work 
in carrying to completion some of the vast transactions 
hat had accumulated during the war, and which were in 
turn waiting for my professional services to unravel. 

It had been a terribly hot day, and the city seemed like 
a vast caldron filled with a million boiling victims ; and 
now that the day's labor was nearly over, I was prin- 
cipally employed in an attempt to keep cool, but finding 
it impossible with everybody about me, settled myself in 
my easy-chair at the window to watch the Babel of 
brokers below. 

From such an altitude, where one can look down 
soberly upon these madmen and see their wild antics, 
when for the moment they are absolutely insane in their 
thirst for gold, never halting at the most extreme reck 



48 MR. PINKERTON IS CALLED UPON. 

lessness even though they know it may compel whole- 
sale ruin, it is easy to realize how isolated cases occuf 
where the whole human nature yields to greed, and 
sweeps on to the certain accomplishment of crime for its 
satisfaction. 

Just after a par.xularly heavy "rush " had been made, 
resulting in a few broken limbs and numberless tattered 
hats and demolished garments, and the bulls and bears 
were gathered about in knots excitedly talking over their 
profit and loss, and wiping the great beads of perspiration, 
from their lobster-like faces, I noticed an important- 
looking gentleman turn into New Street from the direc- 
tion of Broadway, and after edging through the crowds, 
occa.'Honally halting to ask a question in the politest pos- 
sible manner the replies and gestures to which seemed 
to indicate that he was seeking my agency, which after- 
wards proved true this vision of precision and politeness 
passed from my sight into Exchange Place, and in a few 
moments after I was informed that a gentleman desired 
to see me on very important business. 

After ascertaining who the gentleman was, and already 
knowing him to be a harmless sort of an adventurer, and 
under the particular patronage of a wealthy Rochester 
gentleman, I admitted him and he was introduced as Mr. 
Harcout, of Rochester and New York. 

Mr. Harcout was a character in his way, and deserving 
of some notice. He was a tall, heavily-built, obese gen- 
tleman of about forty-five y. ars of age, impressive, impor- 
tant, and supremely polite. His face was a strange com* 



MR. PINKERTON IS CALLED UPON. 49 

bination of imbecility and assumption; while his head, 
which was particularly developed in the back part, indi- 
cating low instincts that were evidently only repressed as 
Occasion required, was consistent with the formation of 
his square, flat forehead, which sloped back at a suspi- 
ciously sharp angle from a pair of little, gray, expression- 
less eyes, which from the lack of intelligence behind 
them would look you out of face without blinking. His 
nose was straight and solidly set below, like some sharp 
instrument, to assist him in getting on in the world. His 
lips, though not unusually gross or sensual, had a way of 
opening and closing, during the pauses of conversation 
with a persistency of assertion that had the effect of keep- 
ing in the mind of the average listener that great weight 
should be attached to what Mr. Harcout had said, or was 
about to say ; and at the same time, as also when he 
patronizingly smiled, which was almost constantly, dis- 
closed a set of teeth of singular regularity and dazzling 
whiteness. A pair of very large ears, closely-cut and 
neatly-trimmed hair, and a whitish-olive complexion that 
suggested sluggish blood and a lack of fine organization, 
complete the sketch of his face, but could never give the 
full effect of the grandeur of his assumption and manners, 
which were a huge burlesque on ohivalric courtliness. 
As he entered the room his gloved hand swept to the rim 
of his faultless silk hat, and removed it with an inde- 
scribably graceful gesture that actually seemed to make 
the hat say, " Ah ! my very dear sir, while I belong to a 
gentleman of the vastest importance imaginable, be as- 
3 



50 MR PINKER TON IS CALLED UPON. 

sured that \ve are both inexpressibly honored by this 
interview ! " Nor were these all of his strikingly good 
points. He was a man that was always dressed in a suit 
of the finest procurable cloth, most artistically fitted to 
his commanding figure, and never a day passed when 
there was not an exquisite favor in the neat button-hole 
of his collar. When he had become seated in a most 
dignified and engaging manner, he had a neat habit of 
showing his little foot encased in patent leather so shining 
that, at a pinch, it might have answered for a mirror, by 
carelessly throwing his right leg over his left knee, so that 
he could keep up an incessant tapping upon his boot with 
the disengaged glove which his left hand contained ; and, 
with his head thrown slightly back and to one side, em- 
phasized his remarks in a graceful and convincing way 
with the digit finger of his soft white right hand. Alto- 
gether he would have passed for a person of considerable 
importance and good commercial and social standing ; 
but to one versed in character-reading he gave the im- 
pression that he might at one time have been an easy- 
going clergyman, who had lapsed into some successful 
insurance or real estate agency that had been unex- 
pectedly profitable ; or, at least, was a man who had 
thoroughly and artistically acquired the science of secur- 
ing an elegant livelihood through the confidence he could 
readily inspire in others. 

" Ah ! Mr. Pinkerton, I am very glad to see you very 
glad to see you ; in fact, I take it as a peculiar honor, 
though my business with you is of an unpleasant nature,' 



MR. PINKER TO ft IS CALLED UPON, 5 1 

said Mr. Harcout, settling into his chair with a kind of 
bland and amiable dignity. 

I saw that he was making a great effort to please me, 
and told him pleasantly that it was quite natural for peo- 
ple to visit me on unpleasant business. 

"Thank you, thank you," he replied in his rich, after- 
dinner voice, that seemed to come with his winning smile 
to his lips through a vast measure of good-fellowship and 
great-heartedness. " I feel that I am occupying a pecu- 
liar position, both painful and embarrassing to me : first, 
as the friend and agent of a wealthy man who is also an 
acquaintance of yours, and operates on the Produce Ex- 
change, here ; and second, in being obliged to ascertain 
whether you will take our case without your becoming 
too fully aware of the particulars, in the event of your 
refusal." 

"Well," said I encouragingly, highly enjoying his em- 
barrassment and assumed importance, " if you will give 
me a general outline of the matter, I will take it into con- 
sideration ; and, in any event, you can rest assured that 
our walls have no ears to what our patrons have to say 
within them." 

" Well, then," replied Harcout with a winning smik, 
"to be honest with you, Mr. Pinkerton, there's a woman 
in our case ; yes though I'm very sorry to say it the 
case is almost entirely a woman case." 

' In that event, Mr. Harcout, I must plainly say to 
you that I don't like those cases at all. I have all the 
business that I can attend to, and even more than ] 



$2 MR. PINKERTON IS CALLED UPON. 

sometimes desire ; and I really think you had better sa 
cure the services of some other person." 

"Pray don't say so ; pray don't say so, Mr. Pinkertoi . 
Ah ! what could induce you to take the case ? " 

" No sum of money," I replied, " unless I was fully as- 
sured that it was all right that is, had the right on your 
side. Almost without exception these cases with women 
in them, where men become jealous of their mistresses, 
mistresses of their men, wives of their husbands, husbands 
of their wives, or when the lively and vigorous mother-in- 
law lends spice to life, and, indeed, all those troubles 
arising from social abuses, are a disgrace to every one con- 
nected with them." 

Harcout seemed quite disappointed that I did not ex- 
press more avidity to transact the business he proffered, 
but continued in his blandest manner : 

" Still, supposing, although we were not altogether in 
the right, we were endeavoring to defend ourselves 
against a vile woman who had manipulated circumstances 
so that she had us greatly in her power ? " 

" I should still feel a great reluctance in taking the 
case. All my life I have had one steady aim before me, 
and that has been to purify and ennoble the detective 
service ; and I am sure that all this sort of business is 
degrading in the extreme to operatives engaged upon it." 

" Very good, very good. But, Mr. Pinkerton, suppos- 
ing the person pursued was worth two or three millions 
of dollars ; that after the parties had met in a casual way, 
and, through a strange and unexplainable feeling of ad 



MR. PINKER TON IS CALLED UPON. S3 

miration mingled with awe which she had compelled in 
him, she had acquired a familiarity with his habits, busi- 
ness, and vast wealth, and had from that time schemiriglj 1 
begun a plan of operations to entrap him into marrying 
her. working upon his rather susceptible temperament 
through his peculiar religious belief, in order to gain 
power over him, and then, failing to secure him as a hus- 
band, had for some time pursued a system of threats and 

quiet, persistent robbery, constantly becoming more 

jk 
brazen and impudent, until he could bear it no longer, 

when he had refused to see her or submit to further 
blackmail, whereupon she had heartlessly attempted his 
social and financial ruin, by bringing a suit against him for 
$100,000 damages for breach of promise of marriage?" 

This extended conundrum flushed Harcout, and his 
magnificent silk handkerchief came gracefully into use to 
very gently and delicately absorb the perspiration that 
had started upon his porous face. 

"Mr. Harcout," I still insisted, "I should then requir* 
to be unqualifiedly assured that the woman in question 
was not a young woman who had really been led to be 
lieve the promise of some man old enough to be he 
father, and who should accept the consequences of his ir>- 
discretion philosophically." 

" Exactly, exactly," responded Harcout, quite unea * 
ily, though with an evident endeavor at pleasantry ; anJ 
quite noble of you, too, Mr. Pinkerton ! Really, I had 
not anticipated finding such delicate honor among de 
tectives 1 " and he laughed a low, musical langl 



54 MR. PINKERTON IS CALLED UPON. 

which seemed to come gurgling up from his capacious 
middle. 

I told him he might term it " delicate honor " or what- 
ever he liked ; that I had made thorough justice a strict 
business principle, and found that it won, too ; but that, 
with the understanding that he had fairly represented the 
case, I would give it my consideration and apprise him 
of my decision the next day, giving him an appointment 
for that purpose ; after which, while verbosely expressing 
the hope that I would assist him, he bowed himself out in 
a very impressive manner, passed into the street, which 
was now nearly as quiet as the Trinity Church-yard close 
by, and immediately went to the St. Nicholas, where he 
flourishingly reported the interview to the anxious million- 
aire, who thanked fortune for such a powerful and ma* 
jestir friend. 



CHAPTER VII. 

in C ouncil. Mr. Lyon the Millionaire, with Mr. Harcout the Adven- 
turer and Adviser, appear together. How Mr. Lyon became Mrs. 
Winslow's Victim. "Our blessed Faith" and the Woman's 
strange Power. A Tender Subject. Deep Games. A One 
Hundred Thousand Dollar Suit for Breach of Promise of Mar- 
riage. A good deal of Money. All liable to err. A most 
magnificent Woman. The " Case " taken. 

IN the meantime I had a conversation on the subject 
with my General Superintendent, Mr. Bangs, in 
which we weighed the case thoroughly in all its bearings. 
I held, as I always do in such cases, if further investiga- 
tion proved that the woman was one whose youth, or even 
inexperience, was such as to make it probable that she 
had been met by a man whose position had dazzled and 
bewildered her, and who, from his wealth and opportuni- 
ties for exerting the immense influence of wealth, had 
led her to believe that he loved her, and had had such at- 
tention lavished upon her as had awakened in her heart 
Jin affection for him which should deserve some consid- 
eration, and that finally, after accomplishing his purpose, 
he had flung her from him, as was an every-day occur- 
rence, it was a case which I could under no circumstances 
touch ; its justice ought only to be determined in the 
courts. 



56 IN COUNCIL. 

On the other hand, I argued that if this troubi isome 
woman was grown in years, had arrived at a mature age, 
and had deliberately planned to secure a certain poAver 
over Harcout\s friend in the questionable manner as* 
cribed had, in fact, used the " black arts " upon him, 
and in every manner possible fascinated him irresistibly, 
and wrung from him promises and pledges which no man 
in his sane moments would give, in order through this dis- 
honorably-gained power to secure him for a husband or 
worse, in the event of failing in this, of levying upon his 
wealth for the dishonor she had herself compelled, it was 
a case where I had a right to interfere in the best inter- 
ests of society, as the professional female blackmailer is 
below pity, ought to be beyond protection of any sort 
whatever, has forfeited all the actual and poetical regard 
due her sex, and should be in every instance remorselessly 
hunted down. 

This conclusion was easily arrived at ; for at each of 
my agencies all that is necessary for a decision upon a 
desired investigation is that my local superintendent shall 
sift the matter, to prove beyond the shadow of a doubt 
that the vast power of the detective service under my 
control shall not, under any circumstances, be prostituted 
to the assistance of questionable enterprises, or the fur- 
therance of dishonorable schemes. 

Accordingly, when Mr. Harcout wafted himself into my 
office the next day, like a fragrance-laden zephyr of early 
summer, I informed him that he could depend on my 
assistance to discover the history and antecedents of the 



IN COUNCIL. 57 

woman ; but that I should have to reserve the privilege 
of discontinuing the service, should it at any time tran- 
spire that my operatives were being employed for the pur- 
pose of discouraging a defenceless woman in securing the 
justice due her. 

It was arranged that Harcout was to call the next day 
with his patron, the persecuted millionaire, and he also 
expressed a desire to defe; a settlement of the case in 
detail until that time, which was quite agreeable to me, as 
I wished to see the parties together and closely observe 
them, as well as their statements. 

The next afternoon Mr. Harcout's elegant card was 
delivered to me, with the message that his friend was also 
with him. I ordered that they should be at once admit- 
ted, and in a moment the two gentlemen were ushered 
into my private office. I immediately recognized the 
elder of the two as J. H Lyon, one of the wealthiest ele- 
vator owners and millers of Rochester, a quiet, shrewd, 
calculating business man, who had amassed vast wealth, 
or the reputation of its possession, and its consequent 
commercial respect and credit. 

He was a short, small-sized man, dressed in plain but 
rich garments, and wore no jewelry save a massive soli- 
taire diamond ring. His head, which seemed to contain 
an aveiage brain, was solidly set on a great, heavy neck, 
that actually continued to the top of the back of his 
head without a curve or depression. His hair, and beard 
which was shaven away from his lower lip to the curve 
of his chin had a shaggy sort of look, though generally 
3* 



58 ,-ff COUNCIL. 

well kept, and were considerably tinged with'gray ; while 
his eyebrows wera remarkably long, irregular, and forbid- 
ding. His eyes were medium-sized, of a grayish-brown 
color, and under the heavy shade of the brows somewhat 
keen and restless. His cheek-bones were quite promi- 
nent, and below them his cheeks sank away noticeably, 
which served to more strikingly show the upward turn 
of his nose and his full lips and broad, sensual mouth, 
which, with its half-shown, irregular teeth and ever-present 
tobacco-stains (for he smoked or chewed incessantly), 
gave him a face quite unlike those ordinarily supposed to 
be captivating to women. With his broad, bony hands, 
large, ill-shaped feet, and retiring, hesitating way, as if 
never exactly certain of anything, he was truly a great 
contrast to the pompous, elegant gentleman who seemed 
to have taken him under his fatherly protection. 

Lyon slid into his seat in a nervous, diffident way ; 
while Harcout, who had just drawn his chair between us, 
as if he desired it understood that he did not propose 
to yield his office of general manager of this vitally im- 
portant affair under any circumstances, beamed on his 
friend reassuringly. 

After a few remarks on the current topics of the day, 
and befoie they were themselves aware of it, we were 
getting along swimmingly towards an understanding of the 
subject-matter Lyon, who had removed his cigar, fairly 
eating an immense amount of fine-cut as the voluble 
Harcout rattled away about the bold, bad woman who 
had entrapped him. 



IN COUNCIL. 59 

" Why, mj dear Mr. Pinkerton, it's a terrible matter' 
an infamous affair ! My friend here, Mr. Lyon, is quite 
nettled about it I might say, quite cut up. You can see 
for yourself, sir, that it's wearing on him." This with a 
deprecating wave of his hand towards Lyon, who ner- 
vously gazed out of the window from under his shaggy 
bi ows. 

I merely said that these things were sometimes a little 
wearing. 

" But you see, Mr. Pinkerton, this is a peculiarly cruel 
case a peculiarly cruel case. Hem ! / know what is 
cruel in this respect, as I was once victimized by very 
much the same sort of a female, though she was much 
younger. Why, do you know, sir," and here the sympa- 
thetic Harcout's voice fell into a solemn murmur, " that 
my friend's beloved wife was scarcely at rest beneath the 
daisies when this Mrs. Winslow began worming herself 
into the confidence of my somewhat impressible friend 
here ? " 

I made no answer, and only took a memorandum of 
the facts developed, not forgetting Harcout's statement 
that he had once been victimized by very much the same 
sort of a female. 

" She came to Rochester as a shining light among the 
exponents of our blessed faith " 

"And what may your religion be ? " I asked. 

" We believe in the constant communication between 
mortals and the occupants of the beautiful spirit home 
beyond the river." 



60 IN COUNCIL. 

"Exactly," said I, noticing the remarkable develop 
went at the back of their heads and about their mouths. 

"And our friend here, Mr. Lyon," continued Harcout, 
with his eyes devoutly raised to the ceiling, "met her at 
one of our pleasant seances." 

I made another note at this point. 

" To be frank 'hem ! it's my nature to be frank ' 
then turning his face to me and raising his eyebrows 
inquiringly " I suppose, Mr. Pinkerton, it is quite desir- 
able that I should be so ? " To which I responded, 
" Necessarily so," when he resumed : " To be frank, 
then, Mr. Lyon was wonderfully interested in her. In 
fact, the woman has a strange power of compelling admi- 
ration and even fear shall I say fear, Mr. Lyon.?" 

" Guess that's about right," said Mr. Lyon tersely. 

"Admiration and fear," repeated Mr. Harcout, as if 
thinking of something long gone by, while Lyon chewed 
more fiercely than ever. " Indeed, Mr. Pinkerton, she's 
a superb woman a superb woman ; but a she-devil for 
all that ! " 

I noticed that Harcout's fervor seemed to have come 
from some similar experience, and I noted both it and his 
J-eated estimate of Mrs. Winslow, although he remarked 
that he had never met her. 

" Well, my friend here was irresistibly drawn to her, 
and he has told me that for a time it seemed that he had 
found his real affinity. You felt that way, didn't you, 
Lyon?" 

Lyon nodded and chewed rapidly. 



IN COUNCIL. 6l 

" But for a long time the more my friend endeavored 
to secure her favor, the more she seemed to draw away 
from and avoid him, though constantly making opportuni- 
ties to more deeply impress him with her most splendid 
physical and mental qualities. My friend recollects now, 
though he gave it no attention at the time, that she 
shrewdly drew from him much information regarding his 
family affairs, habits, business relations, and wealth ; and 
as she was, or pretended to be, a medium of great power, 
at those times when he sought her professional services 
she worked upon his feelings in such a peculiar manner as 
to completely upset him." 

Here Mr. Lyon offered an extended remark for the first 
time, and said: "The truth is, Mr. Pinkerton, this is a 
subject that I am particularly tender upon. I think 
under certain circumstances I could really have made the 
woman my wife ; " then turning to his agent, he said, 
" Harcout, cut it short." 

" But," Harcout protested, " we can't cut it short. 
Mr. Pinkerton wants facts he must have facts. Well, 
at one time Mr. Lyon felt a real affection for the woman, 
which does him honor is no disgrace to him ; but after a 
time began to suspect, and eventually to feel sure, that 
Mrs. Winslow was playing a deep game ; indeed, had 
originally come to Rochester for that purpose ; and while 
he still regarded her highly on account of her fine quali- 
ties, refrained from seeking her society, which at once 
seemed to awaken a violent and uncor trollable passion 
for him in her heart. She sought him everywhere and 



62 IN COUNCIL. 

compelled him to visit her frequently, lavishing the wildet 
affection upon him, which he delicately repelled deli- 
cately repelled ; and, as she represented herself in 
straitened circumstances, charitably assisted her just as he 
would have done any other person in want any other 
person in want ; but, you see, Mrs. Winslow presumed 
upon this, accused him of having broken her heart, and 
was now cruelly deserting her after he had taught her to 
worship him." 

Mr. Lyon's nervous face presented a singular combir 
nation of pride at his own powers, chagrin at his predica- 
ment, and a general protest that the tender privacies of a 
millionaire should be thus disclosed. 

" In this way," continued Harcout, " she so worked 
upon his kindly feelings that he really gave her large sums 
of money large sums of money." 

" A good deal of money," interrupted Mr. Lyon. 

" But finally," pursued Harcout, " my friend saw that 
he must discontinue his charity altogether, and through 
my advice hem ! through my advice, he did. Mrs. 
Winslow then became very impudent indeed, and annoyed 
my friend beyond endurance, until he was forced to 
refuse to recognize her, and gave orders that she should 
be denied admission to his office. But, being a very tal- 
ented woman " 

* ; She is talented," said Lyon, with a start. 

"She has found means to continue her operations 
gainst him incessantly, demanding still larger sums of 
money, ard has engaged counsel to act for her. Hem ! 



IN COUNCIL. 63 

undei my advice, quite recently Mr. Lyon, by paying 
her five thousand dollars, secured from her a relinquish- 
ment of all claims against him, rather than oblige a public 
scandal. But now Mrs. Winslow claims that this was 
secured by fraud, and after making another fruitless 
demand for ten thousand dollars, which hem ! Mr. Lyon 
resisted through my advice, last week began suit against 
him for one hundred thousand dollars for breach of prom- 
ise of marriage. And a hundred thousand dollars is a 
big sum of money, Mr. Pinkerton." 

"A big sum of money," echoed Lyon. 

" But of course," continued Harcout, inserting his 
thumbs in the arm-holes of his vest and looking the very 
picture of injured virtue, "Mr. Lyon cares nothing for 
that amount. It is the principle of the thing. It is the 
stain upon his good name that he desires to prevent 
and these juries are confoundedly unreliable." 

" Confoundedly unreliable," repeated Lyon, chewing 
nervously. 

" Therefore," said Harcout, " really believing, as we 
do, that we hem ! that is, Mr. Lyon, of course is the 
victim of a designing woman who really means to wrong- 
fully compel the payment of a large sum of money and 
ruin my friend in the estimation of the public, we are 
anxious that you should set about ascertainiug everything 
concerning her for use as evidence in the case." 

After asking them a few questions touching facts I 
desired to ascertain, the interview terminated with the 
understanding that Harcout should act for Mr. Lyor 



64 IN COUNCIL. 

unqualifiedly :n the matter, and call .t my offi ;e as often 
as desirable to listen to reports of the progress of my 
investigations into the life and history of Mrs. Winslow. 
I was satisfied that not half the truth had been given me, 
and I was more than ever convinced of this fact when 
Lyon called me to one side as the lordly Harcout passed 
out, and said to me hurriedly : 

" Don't be too hard upon the woman, Mr. Pinkerton. 
You know we are all liable to err ; and and, by Jupiter ! 
Mrs. Winslow is certainly a most magnificent woman a 
most magnificent woman," and then chewed himself out 
after his courtly henchman. 



CHAPTER VIII. 

rhe Cas; b 'gun. Mi. Pinkerton makes a preliminary Investigation it 
Rochester. Mrs. Winslow, Trance Medium A Ride to Port Char- 
lotte. Harcout as a Barnacle. Much married. Mr. Pinkerton 
visits the Mediums. Drops in at a Washington Hall Meeting. Sees 
the naughty Woman. And returns to New York convinced that 
the Spiritualistic Adventuress is a Woman of remarkable Ability. 

AS the interview related in the previous chapter 
occurred on Friday, and I could not attend to 
the matter at once, I was obliged to wait until the fellow- 
ing Sunday evening, when I quietly took the western- 
bound express, which brought me to Rochester the 
following noon, where I engaged rooms at the Brackett 
House under an assumed name, and immediately began 
a preliminary examination on my own account, having 
directed my New York Superintendent to inform either 
Lyon or Harcout, in the event of their calling at the 
agency, that I could not be seen regarding their matter 
for a few days, as I had suddenly been called South on 
important business. 

My object in doing this was to look over the ground 
at Rochester myself, and get an unbiased idea of the 
whole matter, so that I could properly proceed with the 
work, being satisfied that this was the only way to secure 
a basis to operate upon, as I was sure that I had not go' 



66 THE CASE BEGUN. 

at the bottom facts in the late interview. I invariably 
insist on having all the facts, and always take measures 
to secure them before any decided move is made. 

As a rule, however, in cases of this kind, it is almost 
impossible to secure what the detective absolutely needs 
fiorr. the parties from whom the information should 
come ; as it is a principle of human nature possessed 
by us all, to be very frank about our merits, and quite 
careful about mentioning anything that might be con- 
strued into either a lack of judgment or principle. 

I found that the New York papers were already pub- 
lishiv.g specials concerning the matter, with solemn edito- 
rials regarding the perfidy of man, the constancy of 
woman, and the general cussedness of both ; and that at 
Rochester the knowledge of the commencement of the 
suit had just got into the papers, and consequently, into 
everybody's mouth ; and was creating a great sensation, 
as Lyon was known to the whole city as one of its richest 
citizens, "though a little off on Spiritualism lately," as 
the talk went ; and Mrs. Winslow had also become quite 
notorious from her magnificent figure and winning man- 
ner, her equally notorious mediumistic powers, and 
through her prominent connection with the more matt' 
rial believers in spiritual phenomena; or, to be plain, 
that vast majority of so-called spiritualists whose only 
visible means of support are in excellently humbugging 
their brethren or sisters, or any other portion of the 
gullible world with whom they come in contact. 

Nearly every Rochester paper contained the advertise 



THE CASE BEGUN. 6? 

ment of Mi . Winslow, trance medium, and I concluded 
that either the lady had been unusually successful in her 
trance business, 01 that her levies upon Lyon had been 
remunerative perhaps both to pay for such extensive 
advertising. 

After dinner I took a stroll and found that the lady 
occupied very luxurious apartments on South St. Paul 
street, near Meech's Opera-house, a location well adapt- 
ed for her business. I also ordered a carriage and drove 
out to Port Charlotte a magnificent drive through a 
lovely country dotted with fine farm-houses and the 
splendid suburban residences of wealthy Rochester citi- 
zens and, as a casual stranger, inspected Lyon's ware- 
houses and elevators, the largest and most expensive at 
the Port, returning to the Brackett House in time to eat 
a hearty supper. 

After supper, without any effort, and without disclosing 
my identity, I got into conversation with the genial land- 
lord of the house, who gave me as a part of my enter- 
tainment, I presume a rich account of Lyon's business 
relations, and particularly of his personal habits, painted 
in entirely different colors than by the blarneying tongue 

of Harcout ; and also spoke of the latter as " a d d 

barnacle," who had in some unexplainable way fastened 
himself upon Lyon and was living like a prince off the 
"old fool," as he called him. He also told me ccnfi. 
dentially that he believed Mrs. Winslow to be a woman 
of questionable character ; as, when she first came to the 
city, she had stopped at his hotel, and had advertised hei 



68 THE CASE BEGUN. 

mediumistic powers so largely that it had brought a class 
of men there whom he thought, from his personal knowl- 
edge of their habits, to be more interested in inquiries 
into the mysteries of the present than of the hereafter, 
until he had become so anxious as to the reputation of 
his house that he had informed the lady of the preference 
of her absence to her company ; wherupon she had raised 
such a storm about his ears that he was only too glad to 
compromise by letting her go, bag and baggage, without 
paying her bill, which was a large one and of a month's 
standing. 

I also gained from him the opinion that she had been 
married a half-dozen times, or as often as had suited her 
convenience ; and that he had only a day or so previous 
conversed with a gentleman from some part of the West, 
who had told him that somebody in Rochester had as- 
sisted her in procuring her a divorce from her husband. 
I made a note of all these points after I had retired to 
my room, and felt quite satisfied with the day's work. 

The next day, with a gentleman at the hotel with 
whom I had become acquainted, representing myself as a 
person of means who might possibly make an investment 
at Rochester, I visited Lyon's mills, and incidentally 
became quite well informed as to his financial and social 
standing. 

The latter was a little peculiar. His wife, a most 
estimable lady, had died a few years previous, and it 
appeared that during her life the Lyon family were 
among the aristocrats of the city ; but at her death, and 



THE CASE BEGUN. 6g 

Lyon's subsequent dabbling in Spiritualism, the) had 
been gradually dropped from the visiting lists, and noth- 
ing remained of the former home circle save a gaunt, 
grim mother-in-law, who vainly waged war against the 
loose habits, laxity of morals, and general degeneracy 
that had come with the new order of things. 

I also secured the addresses of all the professional 
mediums, fortune-tellers, and astrologers of the city, and 
during that day and the next visited their rooms, claiming 
to be a devoted believer in Spiritualism, having my for- 
tune told at various places, and picking up a good deal 
of information regarding the fascinating Mrs. Winslow, 
which tended to prove her a remarkably talented woman, 
capable of not only attending to her mediumistic duties, 
but also of carrying on litigation of various kinds in 
different parts of the country. My investigations also 
showed that these different " doctors " and " doctresses," 
claiming to perform almost miraculous cures and their 
ability to foretell the fates of others through the aid of 
this supernatural spirit-power, were quite like other peo 
pie in their bickerings and jealousies, and, as a rule, they 
gave each other quite as bad names as the public gener- 
ally gave them ; and that Mrs. Winslow could not have 
been considered exactly the pink of perfection if judged 
even by those of her own persuasion, as one vaguely 
hinted at her having played the same game on other 
parties. Another was sure she had been a camp-follower 
during the war. Another assured me that she had f.imi- 
lai suits at Louisville, Cincinnati, and St. Louis. Still 



70 THE CASE BEGUN. 

another was quite certain that she was only a common 
woman. Altogether, according to these reports, which 
were easily enough secured, as her case against Lyon was 
the engrossing subject of the hour at Rochester, it 
appeared that the ravishing Mrs. Winslow held her place, 
such as it was, in the world more through her supreme 
will power, and the respect through fear she unconsciously 
inspired in others, than through any of the tenderer graces 
or a superabundance of personal purity. 

From cautious inquiries and the wonderful amount of 
street, saloon, and hotel talk which the affair was caus- 
ing, I also ascertained that Mrs. Winslow had macle hei 
appearance in Rochester some years before ; some said 
from the east, and some from the West, but the prepon- 
derance of evidence indicated that it had been from the 
West ; that she had at once allied herself with the spirit- 
ualists of the city, and Lyon had first met or seen her at 
one of their seances or lectures; that he had at once 
yielded to her charms, and begun visiting her for " ad- 
vice," as it was sarcastically reported, continuing the 
visits with such frequency and regularity as to hasten the 
death of his wife, after which event he had given his new 
affinity nearly his entire attention until she had come to 
be commonly considered as his mistress ; that she had 
frequently boasted among her friends that she was to be- 
come Lyon's wife, and was even by some called Mrs. 
Lyon, to which pleasant designation she made no mur 
mur ; that she had made a common practice of visiting 
Lyon at his offices in the Arcade, where she had been 



THE CASE BEGUN. 7 1 

treated with considerable deference and respect by his 
employees ; and that during this period Mrs. Win slow had 
made several trips to the West, evidently at Lyon's insti- 
gation, and through his financial aid. 

I fonnd also that she was as truly a believer in the 
farces others of her profession enacted for her benefit as 
she was in the mediumistic power she had persuaded her- 
self that she possessed, and was consequently a regular 
attendant at all the meetings and seances held in the 
city ; and as there was one to be held that evening at 
Washington Hall, I decided to attend for the purpose of 
getting a good view of the lady with whom, for a time, 
we should be obliged to keep close company. Accord- 
ingly, at half-past seven o'clock I found the hall, which is 
but a few blocks above the bridge on Main Street, and 
after purchasing a ticket of a sleek, long-haired individual 
with deft fingers and a restless eye, passed into the room, 
where there was already quite a number of the faithful, all 
bearing unmistakable evidences of either their peculiar 
faith, or the character of their business. 

As the exercises of the evening had not yet begun, 
those present were gathered about the hall excitedly dis- 
cussing the great sensation of the hour, which was partic- 
ularly interesting to them, as the parties to it were both of 
their number, and from what I could gather they were 
about evenly divided in their opinion as to the merits 
of the case the male portion of the assemblage warmly 
espousing the cause of Mrs. Winslow, and the femule 
poition as eagerly sympathizing with "poor dear Hr 



72 THE CASE BEGUN. 

Lyon," and roundly condemning the naughty woman who 
had ensnared him and was so relentlessly pursuing him. 

I was sure the naughty woman had now arrived, as 
thete was a sudden twisting of necks and buzzing of 
"That's her that's her!" "There's Mrs. Winslow ! " 
and " Yes, that's Mrs. Lyon ! " an.l the females that had 
given Mrs. Winslow such a bad reputation a few mo- 
ments before, now pressed around her with sympathiz- 
ing inquiries and loud protestations of regard, quite like 
other ladies under similar circumstances. But the lady 
appeared to be quite unconcerned as to their good or ill 
feeling towards her, and swept up the aisle with a regal 
air, taking a seat so near me and in such a position that 
I was able to make a perfect study of her while appar- 
ently only absorbed in the wonderful revelation that fell 
from the trance-speaker's lips. 

She appeared to be a lady of about thirty-five years of 
age, and of a very commanding appearance. She was 
not a beautiful woman, but there was an indescribable 
something about her entire face and figure that was 
strangely attractive. It was both the dignity of self-con- 
scious power and the peculiar attractiveness of a majes- 
tically formed woman. It could not be said that there 
was a single beautiful feature about her face, though it 
attracted and held every observer. Her head was large, 
well formed, and covered with a wavy mass of black hair 
marvelous in its richness of color and luxuriance. Her 
complexion was x clear, wax-like white, singularly con 
trasting with he: iair, delicately arching eyebrows, and 



THE CASE BEGUN. 73 

long, dark lashes, which heavily shaded great gray eyes 
that were sometimes touched with a shading of blue, and 
occasionally glowed with a light as keen, glittering, and 
cold as might flash from a diamond or a dagger's point, 
which seemed to work in sympathy with the rapid move- 
ment of her thin nostrils, and the swift shuttles of crimson 
and paleness that darted over her curled upper lip, 
which, notwithstanding this singularity, touched the full, 
pouting lower one with a hint of wild and riotous 
blood. 

Although Mrs. Winslow was a woman who, being met 
in the better circles of society, would have wonderfully 
interested every one with whom she came in contact, in 
the circle within which she moved, and which, uncon- 
sciously, seemed to be far beneath her, she surely com- 
manded a certain kind of respect, with a touch of fear, 
perhaps ; and in any circle of life was undoubtedly one 
in whom the ambition for power was only equalled by the 
remorseless way with which she would wield it after it had 
been gained. 

Not once during the whole evening did she by any 
movement of her person or motion of her features give 
any further indication of her character ; and I could only 
leave the hall and return to my hotel, and from thence 
immediately to New York, with the thorough conviction 
that Mrs. Winslow was a remarkably shrewd woman ; had 
systematically fastened herself upon Lyon with the view 
of beccming his wife, or compelling him to divide his im- 
mense wealth with her ; would give us plenty to attend to, 
4 



74 THE CASE BEGUN. 

and had easily gained a wonderful power over Lyon ; 
which, even after her repeated piracies upon him, and the 
evident knowledge he possessed of her villainous char- 
acter, was yet strong upon him. 



CHAPTER IX. 

M Oar Case." Harcout's Egotism and Interference. The strau^e 
Chain of Evidence. A Trail of Spiritualism, Lust, and Licentious- 
ness. Superintendent Bangs locates the Detectives. A pernicious 
System. Three Old Maids named Grim. Mr. Bangs baffled by 
Mr. Lyon, who won't be "worried." One Honest Spiritualistic 
Doctor. The Trail secured. A Tigress. Mr. Bangs "goes 
West." 

ON my return to New York I found that the splendid 
Harcout had been using the interim in a suc- 
cession of heated rushes from the St. Nicholas Hotel to 
the Agency, where he had given my superintendents and 
clerks voluminous instructions as to how the investigation 
should be conducted, and, in explaining his idea of how 
detectives should work up any case, permeated the entire 
establishment with his fragrant pomposity. He was 
also quite impatient that nothing had been done in " our 
case," as he termed it, and I could only pacify him by 
assuring him that it should be given my immediate atten- 
tion. 

As soon as I could dispose of Harcout I held anothei 
consultation with my General Superintendent, during 
which the information I had secured at Rochester was 
analyzed and recorded, and which, with some other facts 
already iu possession of the Agency bearing on the case, 



76 "OUR CASE" 

we decided to be sufficient to warrant a conclusion that 
Mrs. Winslow was not Mrs. Winslow at all, but somebody 
else altogether, and had had as many aliases as a cat is 
supposed to have lives. It was also quite evident, the 
more we looked into the matter and searched the records, 
that certain other cities of the country had suffered from 
the much-named Mrs. Winslow, and in many instances in 
a quite similar manner to that of the Rochester infliction. 

Running through all the strange chain of evidence that 
the records of our almost numberless, operations gave, 
there were also found items which told of a female not alto> 
gether unlike Mrs. Winslow, and there were in them all 
traces of a woman absolutely heartless, cold, calculating, 
cruel ; now here under one name and in one guise, now 
there under another name and in another guise, but for- 
ever upon that unrelenting search for power and with that 
remorseless greed for gold, and also showing as truly a 
trace of spiritualism, of lust, and of licentiousness. 

Of course the result of it all was only a question of 
time ; only a question of duration in villainy and shrewd 
human deviltry ; a mere question of how long supreme 
depravity would wear in a constant war upon fairness, 
purity, and the conscience of society. It never wins it 
always loses, and, as certain as life or death, good or 
evil, reaches its sure punishment here, whatever may be 
the result in that undiscovered territory of the future 
which the preachers find happiness and good incomes in 
quarrelling over. But as my long experience with crima 
and criminals had proven to me the fact that one desper- 



" OUR CASE." 77 

ately bad woman brings upon society vastly more misery 
than a hundred equally as bad men, and being equally 
as certain that Mrs. Winslo\v was an exceptionally bad 
woman, I felt no regret whatever in becoming her Neme- 
sis, and even experienced a peculiar degree of satisfaction 
in inaugurating a crusade against her as a pitiless, heart- 
less, dangerous woman, utterly devoid of conscience, and 
without a single redeeming trait of character. 

I accordingly detailed two of my operatives, Fox and 
Bristol, to proceed to Rochester in charge of Superinten- 
dent Bangs, whom I gave instructions to locate the men 
so that they could keep Mrs. Winslow under the strictest 
surveillance, and make daily reports in writing to me con- 
cerning her habits and associates, and operations of any 
character whatever, using the telegraph freely if occasion 
required. I also instructed him, after the men were loca- 
ted in Rochester, and he had followed up the clue I had 
got for him as to Mrs. Winslow' s western exploits, to pro- 
ceed to the West, taking all the time necessary, and ascer- 
tain everything possible favorable or unfavorable to the 
woman ; as I held it to be not only a matter of utmost 
importance to thorough detective work, but also a princi- 
ple of common justice, that any suspected person should 
receive the benefit of whatever good there is in them. 

For these reasons I have always fought against the sys- 
tem of rewards for the capture and conviction of supposed 
criminals. There could be nothing more absolutely 
unjust. Under that system, through a combination of 
circumstances, an innocent party is often deemed guilrj 



78 "OUR CASE? 

of crime, and the detective, anxious to secure professional 
honor and large remuneration for small work, begins with 
the presumption of guilt, and industriously piles up a 
mountain of presumptive and circumstantial evidence 
that times without number has sent innocent persons to 
the felon's cell or the hangman's noose. 

On arriving at Rochester the following Monday, Bangs 
took rooms at the National Hotel, opposite the court- 
house a house more a resort for persons in attendance 
at the courts, and people visiting Rochester from neigh- 
boring towns, than for fashionable people or commercial 
travellers ; while Fox settled himself at a little hotel 
nearly opposite Mrs. Winslow's rooms on South St. Paul 
street, and Bristol found a home at a little saloon, res- 
taurant and boarding-house, kept by three old maids 
named Grim, who were firm believers in Spiritualism 
probably from never having got any satisfaction out of 
life from any other religion under Washington Hall, on 
East Main street, a place given up to variety shows, 
masked balls, sleight-of-hand performances, seances, and 
other questionable entertainments ; so that they were all 
within easy communication, and could work to advantage. 
It was also arranged that the reports of Fox and Bristol 
should be put in Mr. Bang's hands, by a mode of commu- 
nication which would prevent their being seen together, 
before being forwarded to me, so that their observations 
might be of assistance in his securing necessary informa^ 
tion for his western tour. 

While Bristol and Fox were watching the movement* 



"OUR CASE." 79 

of the gay madam, familiarizing themselves with the city, 
and getting on an easy footing at their boarding-houses, 
Mr. Bangs set to work to ascertain if possible in what 
part of the West Mrs. Winslow had operated. 

He first visited Mr. Lyon at his office in the Arcade, 
introducing himself as Mr. Clement, one of my operatives, 
not giving his correct name, as the newspaper reporters 
were flying around at a great rate for items, and the 
appearance of a man so well known by reputation as Mr. 
Bangs would have given their overcharged imaginations 
an opportunity to flood over several columns of their 
respective papers. After being seated in Lyon's private 
office Mr. Bangs, as Mr. Clement, began the conversa- 
tion : 

" Mr Lyon, I am directed by Mr. Pinkerton to ascer- 
tain if possible from you whether Mrs. Winslow has evef 
informed you of having at any previous time resided in 
the West ? " 

Lyon gave Bangs a cigar, lighted one for himself, and 
after puffing away vigorously for a little time, replied : 
"Mr. Clement, I think she has done so, but I can't recol- 
lect what the information was." 

" Couldn't you call to mind anything that would be of 
some little assistance to us, Mr. Lyon ? " 

" No," he nervously answered ; " no, I think not 
I have put this whole matter away from me as much as 
possible." 

"We have positively ascertained," continued Bangs, 
looking searchingly into Lyon's face, "that she recentlj 



80 " OUR CASE." 

secured a divorce from a former husband. We also know 
that some one here in Rochester rendered her substantial 
assistance. That person found, tracing her history would 
be comparatively an easy matter." 

Lyon moved about uneasily, and finally through the 
clnuds of smoke about his head puffed out, " Indeed ! " 

"Yes," replied Bangs, "and, Mr. Lyon, if we could 
get at the exact truth about this part of it, I am sure it 
would not only greatly facilitate our work, but also greatly 
lessen the expense of the operation." 

Lyon sat for a little time twisting his shaggy gray whis- 
kers, and finally said : " Mr. Clement, I insist on not 
being worried about this business; perhaps Harcout 
didn't make that point quite clear. Harcout is a little 
flighty, but a noble fellow though, after all. I don't 
hardly know what I would do without Harcout, Mr. 
Clement ; he takes the whole thing off my shoulders, as 
it were." 

Bangs saw that Lyon could have given him just what 
information he needed, and also saw with equal certainty 
that he had fully decided to throw the matter off his mind 
entirely, and compel us to gain whatever necessary by 
hard work. He was also now satisfied of the truth of my 
conviction, that Lyon had assisted Mrs. Winslow in this 
divorce matter, and had been very much more intimate 
with her than he even desired us to know. So he bade 
him good-day, returned to his hotel, and telegraphed for 
instructions. I directed him to go ahead and use his 
own judgment altogether; also suggesting that he should 



" OUR CASE" 8 1 

visit the different clairvoyants and mediums, with 4. view 
of getting further information which might be secured 
from their almost ceaseless chatter upon the subject. 

As Rochester is as full of mediums as a thistle of 
thorns, this was a kind of investigation which necessitated 
the expenditure of considerable time, and three days had 
elapsed before any information of a satisfactory nature 
was secured. He had expended quite a little fortune in 
having his " horoscope cast," his fortune told, and his fate 
pointed out with such unerring certainty by male and 
female seers of every name, appearance and nature, that 
if any two of these predictions had borne the slightest 
possible resemblance to each other, he would have been 
horrified enough to have taken a last leap into the surg- 
ing Genesee like poor Sam Patch. But he persisted in 
the face of these terrible revelations until he had found a 
certain Dr. Hubbard, who proved to be one of the jolliest 
of the profession he had ever met. The Doctor was a 
pleasant gentleman, and proved more pleasant than ever 
when Mr. Bangs informed him that he did not desire any 
fortune-telling, predictions or horoscopes, but was in- 
terested in the subject of Spiritualism, and had been 
directed to him as one likely to give some information 
that could be relied on, for which he would liberally 
remunerate him. 

As Mr. Bangs had some choice cigars, which he divided 

with the Doctor, and the Doctor had some choice brandy, 

which he divided with Mr. Bangs, they at once became 

easy together, and taking seats at the window overlooking 

4* 



82 " OUR CASE " 

Main street, while watching the crowds below, were soon 
chatting away quite unlike two people very badly affected 
with spiritualistic tendencies. 

After a little time, however, the Doctor looked pretty 
sharply at Bangs, and suddenly asked: "Well, who are 
yru, anyhow?" 

"Who am I?" returned Bangs smilingly, "well, to 
be frank, I am Professor Owen, of the Indiana State Uni- 
versity." Bangs never blushed at the libel on the kind 
old man bearing that name and title, and continued, " It 
is our vacation now, and I am travelling a little in the 
East investigating this subject. My brother is an enthusi- 
astic believer in it, but I wished other testimony." 

The Doctor seemed to think that the Professor took to 
the brandy and cigars quite too familiarly for an educator, 
but the explanation satisfied him, and he asked : ' ' Pro- 
fessor, you want the whole truth, don't you?" 

" Nothing but the truth," responded Bangs. 

Doctor Hubbard blew out a long series of rings and 
expressively followed it with " Humbug ! " 

" It can't be possible," persisted Bangs. 

"It oughtn't to be possible," urged the Doctor, "for a 
man of your probable talent and position to be engaged 
in investigating what one visit to any one of us should 
'show to be the most infernal fraud ever practised upon 
the public ! " said the Doctor heatedly. 

Bangs expressed himself as surprised beyond measure. 

" Well," continued the Doctor earnestly, " you came to 
me like a man, didn't you ?" 



"OUR CASE" 83 

Bangs assured him that he was quite right. 

"And you came fair and square, without any ifs and 
ands, didn't you ?" 

"All of that," responded Bangs. 

"And," continued the Doctor helping himself to the 
brandy, then excusing himself and pushing it towards 
Bangs, who partook sparingly, "you didn't want any for 
tune told, or predictions, or horoscopes, or any other 
nonsense ? " 

" Exactly," said Bangs. 

"And you said you'd pay me liberally for information, 
didn't you?" 

"Yes, and I'll be as good as my word," replied the 
assumed professor. 

"Well, then," continued the Doctor in a burst of good 
feeling, brandy and honesty, "you see in me an unsuc- 
cessful physician, a disciple of ^Esculapius without 
followers. I graduated with high honors, hung out my 
sign, sharpened my tools, moulded my pills, drank a toast 
to disease, but waited in vain for patronage. As this be- 
came monotonous," continued the Doctor, taking another 
pull at the brandy bottle, then wiping the mouth and pass- 
ing it to Mr. Bangs, who excused himself, " I glided into a 
'specialist.' It required too much money to advertise, 
and the papers slashed me villainously besides. Then I 
became a Spiiitualist it's the record of every one of us. 
You can see," and the Doctor waved his hand towards 
the cosy appointments in a satisfied way, " I am f retty 
comfortable now." 



84 " OUR CASE." 

" Yes, quite comfortable," said Bangs ; wondering what 
the Doctor was driving at. 

" So I am an enthusiastic Spiritualist," resumed the 
happy physician, "for its profession has provided me 
with necessities, comforts, and even luxuries." 

" Do you really effect any of the marvellous cures you 
advertise ? " 

" Most assuredly," he replied. 

" And may I ask how ? " interrogated Mr. Bangs. 

" In the good old-fashioned way salts, senna, calomel, 
and the blue-pill," said the Doctor, laughing heartily. 

"And is not the aid of the spirits essential to your 
cures ?" 

"A belief, or faith, that such an agency is used, does 
the whole thing, Professor." 

" And is there no such thing ?" persisted Bangs. 

" Just as much of it as there is faith in it ; no more and 
no less." 

'*Then the whole thing's a humbug, as you say?" 

" Just as thoroughly as is that woman," said the Doctor 
stoutly, pointing to Mrs. Winslow, who at that moment 
was seen in the street below, being driven towards the 
suburbs in a neat phaeton. 

Bangs, becoming suddenly interested, though repressing 
himself, carelessly asked, " Who is she ? " 

Here the Doctor executed a grimace which might mean 
a good deal, or nothing at all, and said tersely: "She's 
a bouncer ; d?n t you know her ? " 

44 No." 



"OUR CASE." 85 

"Why, that's Mrs. "Winslow, old Lyons' soothing 
syrup; and old Lyon's one of the children 'teething,'" 
added the Doctor with a hearty laugh. " But she's a 
tigress ! " 

Mr. Bangs leaned out of the window, took a good look 
at the tigress, and then, as if endeavoring to recollect 
some former occurrence, said : " I believe I have seen 
her somewhere before." 

" Quite so, quite so ; undoubtedly you have." 

"And I think in the West, too," replied Mr. Bangs, 
trying hard to remember, and handing the doctor a fresh 
cigar. 

" Exactly Chicago, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Louisville 
everywhere, in fact. One might call her a social floater, 
and not be far out of the way either. She used to live 
at Terre Haute." 

" Terre Haute ? Why, of course ! I knew I had seen 
her somewhere." 

" Yes, she lived a few miles out, up the Wabash river, 
for years. Her husband's name was Oxford, or Hosford, 
or something of the kind." 

" Yes ? " said Bangs. 

"Yes," replied the Doctor; "I didn't know her per- 
sonally, but I knew of her there. That's where she first 
went off the hook and and became one of us." 

"Is she a remarkable character ? " asked Mr. Bangs. 

"A remarkable character? Why, sir, she's a wonder- 
ful woman a perfect Satan. I wouldn't have her get 
after me," said the Doctor, shakirg his head protestingly 



86 "OUR CASE." 

" for ten thousand dollars ! Why, sir, that woman hai 
ruined more men and broken up more families than you 
could count." 

" And is she, too, a spiritualist ? " asked Mr. Bangs. 

" A spiritualist ? Why, of course she is ; and, what is 
more, I sometimes think she really believes in her own 
mummeries." 

" What has become of her family ? " asked Bangs. 

" Oh, gone to the devil, I presume, just like everybody 
she has had anything to do with just as old Lyon is cer- 
tain to do, too." 

" Then this Oxford or Hosford is not living at Terre 
Haute now ? " 

" Couldn't tell you that," replied the Doctor ; and then, 
suddenly returning to the subject and putting the brandy- 
bottle into a little closet with a slam as footsteps were 
heard coming up the stairs, " can I be of any further 
service to you ? " 

Mr. Bangs thought not, handed the good Doctor a five- 
dollar bill while remarking that he would call again, both 
of which evidences of good feeling pleased the latter 
immensely, and took his departure quite well pleased 
with the result of his inquiries intj the wonderful subject 
of modern Spiritualism. 



CHAPTER X. 

Roch;ster. A Profitable Field for Mrs. Winslow. Her sumptaotfl 
Apartments. The Detectives at Work. Mrs. Winslow's Cautious- 
ness. Child-Training. Mysterious Drives. A dapper little 
Blond Gentleman. Two Birds with one Stone. A French Di- 
vinity. Le Compte. 

WHILE Superintendent Bangs is on his hunting 
expedition in the West, we will follow the for- 
tunes of Mrs. Winslow in the beautiful city of Rochester. 

There is hardly a city in the country better adapted for 
either the pursuit of pleasure or wealth than Rochester. 
Everything combines to make it so. It nestles in one of 
the most beautiful valleys in the world, like the nest of a 
busy bird in a luxuriant meadow. There is the sound of 
pleasant waters, the roar of a mighty cataract, the din of 
two score busy mills, the music of the spindles, the cogs 
and the reels, the clash and the clangor of the factories, 
the thunderings of the forges, and the footfalls of a hun- 
dred thousand happy, contented people who have wrung 
competence and even luxury from the hard hand of 
necessity and toil. 

From the summit of Mount Hope Observatory, an el 
vation of nearly five hundred feet above the lake, there is 
a grand picture whereon the eye may rest. At your feet, 



88 ROCHESTER. 

and to the north, lies the busy city with the noble Gene- 
see winding rapidly through it, lending its half-million 
horse-power force to the needs of labor, then plunging a 
hundred feet downwards, eddying and rushing onward, 
plunging and eddying again and again, until it sobers into 
a steady current northward towards Ontario through a 
deep, dark gorge, looking like an ugly serpent trailing to 
the lower inland sea where can be seen the city of Char- 
lotte, formerly called Port Genesee, the port of Rochester, 
beyond which, on a clear day, may be seen countless 
dreamy sails, and steamers with their trailing plumes of 
smoke, and still beyond appears the dim outlines of the 
far-off Canadian shore. To the east, as far as can be dis- 
cerned, lies a country of the nature of " openings " 
beautiful groves of trees, magnificent farms, with the 
almost palatial homes of the owners, who have become 
rich from the legacies of their ancestors with the added 
thrift of scores of fruitful years. Southward for a half 
hundred miles, stretches the beautiful valley of the Gen- 
esee, dimpled by lesser valleys and a hundred sparkling 
brooks, and dotted by field and forest and numberless 
groups of half-hidden houses, with outbuildings full to 
bursting with the fruitage of the fields ; while to the west 
along the lake are low ranges of sand-hills, and south of 
these extending nearly to Lake Erie is a beautiful prairie 
country, while with a glass can be traced the ghostly mist 
perpetually hovering above Niagara. 

If this scene be inspiring to the looker-on, the intrinsic 
beauty of the city, its unusual life, its fine public build 



ROCHESTER. 89 

ings, business houses, and splendid private residences ; its 
clean macadamized streets and broad, brick walks, shaded 
with the trees of half a century's growth as in many of the 
famous Southern cities ; its numberless little parks or 
"places," owned in common by the proprietors of the 
handsome residences which surround them, and filled 
with rare shrubs, flowers, beautiful fountain? and costly 
statuary ; the vast parterres of flowers in the suburbs, 
sending in upon every summer wind an Arabian wealth 
of exquisite fragrance ; the large summer gardens, where 
beer and Gambrinus reign supreme ; the enticing prome- 
nades, and the splendid drives in every direction from the 
city would give any one not completely at war with 
every pleasant thing in life a genuine inspiration of plea- 
sure and a more than ordinary thrill of enjoyment. 

It is little wonder, then, that Mrs. Winslow found Roch- 
ester a profitable field for' operating in her peculiar 
double capacity of a dashing adventuress and a- trance 
medium. She found there not only men of vast wealth, 
but of vast immorality, as is quite common all over the 
world, and hundreds of firm believers in spiritualism, 
which was a special peculiarity to Rochester. Among 
the first number there were many who sought her for her 
charms of figure and manners, which were certainly 
powerfully attractive, and which yielded her an ele- 
gant income without positive public degradation, as 
no man of wealth and position feels called upon to make 
known his own peccadilloes for the sake of exposing the 
sharer of them, even though she be a dangerous woman 



90 ROCHESTER. 

and consequently there was only that universal verdict of 
evil against her which society quite generally, and also 
quite correctly, pronounces on forcibly circumstantial 
evidence. 

Her apartments were elegant, and even sumptuous ; 
and though there was a quite general understanding of 
her character among the epicurean gentlemen of the city, 
she held them aloof with such freezing dignity that they 
seldom presumed upon her acquaintance, and were even 
possessed of a certain respect for her unusually rare 
shrewdness in preserving her reputation, such as it was \ 
so that her rooms, so far as the public were able to ascer- 
tain, were only frequented by those who believed her to 
be able to allay their sufferings, or open the gates of the 
undiscovered country to their anxious, yearning eyes. 

A large amount of money had been paid her by Lyon 
to prevent a scandal. The last sum was known to have 
been five thousand dollars, and it was quite probable 
that if there had been an intimacy so ripe as to have war- 
ranted the payment of this amount, still larger sums had 
doubtless been expended in maturing so tender a rela- 
tion. In any event it was ascertained by Bristol and Fox 
that Mrs. Winslow had for some time been living in ele- 
gance, though at the same time carefully, being g ven to 
no particular excesses, and it was a matter for consider- 
able speculation whether she was now in the possession 
of much money or not. 

Fox affected the quiet, well-bred gentleman, expended 
sufficient money among the boarders to make them talk 



ROCHESTER. 91 

ative, and even confidential, and in this way learned a 
great deal about the madam's habits and peculiarities 
that was afterwards useful, though of no particular mo- 
ment at that time ; while Bristol, who was a florid, well- 
kept Canadian gentleman of about forty-five years of age, 
of a literary and poetical turn, and with an easy habit of 
falling into the manner and brogue of an Englishman, 
Scotchman, or Irishman, made himself immensely popu- 
lar with the old maids under Washington Hall, who in 
turn were enamored with his good physical parts and 
blarneying tongue, and were at any time ready to confide 
to him all they knew, and, in fact, a great deal more ; so 
that, as he professed to be an ardent Spiritualist, he was 
enabled to become well informed concerning the leading 
persons of that persuasion in the city, of whom he for- 
warded a complete list, with something of a history of 
each ; and while not becoming known to or personally 
familiar with any one of them which would have de- 
stroyed his usefulness, he was yet able to keep track of 
nearly all that was said or done within the charmed cir- 
cle ; as after each lecture, or seance, the economically- 
built and antiquated maidens would retire to a little snug- 
gery behind the restaurant, to which they would invite 
the sympathetic Bristol, who was old enough to protect 
them from scandal, and then and there, while easing the ; i 
by no means ravishing forms of portions of their garments 
preparatory to the night's virtuous repose, over strong 
toast and weak tea would rattle on in such a bewildering 
tay about the events of the evening and the good or bad 



92 ROCHESTER. 

characteristics of the faithful, that Bristol figuratively, if 
not in fact, sat at the feet of a trinity of oracles. 

His reports showed that while Mrs. Winslow was ac- 
cepted among their number without question, still there 
was but little known about her previous history. I felt 
satisfied that this was true, and had only stationed Bristol 
and Fox at Rochester for the purpose of keeping me in- 
formed of her every movement, knowing well enough 
that after Bangs had got a good start he would follow up 
her trail in the West as remorselessly as I myself would 
have done. 

Mrs. Winslow seemed to be absolutely without asso- 
ciates, either from a confirmed habit of suspicion of every- 
body which she seemed to possess, or from a resolve to 
maintain as good a character as possible until the Win- 
slow-Lyon case should be heard in court, so that her evi- 
dence, and particularly her reputation, might not be im- 
peached or broken down ; and it required the constant 
attention of both Bristol and Fox to discover in her any- 
thing of even a suspicious character, as the nature of hei 
mediumistic business allowing as it did scores of visitors 
daily access to her rooms, only one being admitted to the 
trance-room of her apartments at a time gave her a vast 
advantage over them. 

It was evident that she had in a measure persuaded 
herself that she had a genuine cause of action against 
Lyon ; or, that if she had not, she had fully determined 
to make a big fight under any circumstances, as both the 
piestige secured by the presumption of some shadow of 



ROCHESTER. 93 

a claim which the mere pressing of it in court would give, 
and the assistance to her which even a tithe of the dam- 
ages she claimed would be, would not only give her a 
degree of importance and respectability which would 
greatly assist her in future operations, but would also 
yield her the means for future comfort, without this terri- 
ble continued struggle for gold and the happiness it is 
supposed to command. 

How vain such a hope ! and how strange that, with the 
bitter reminder of countless never-realized ambitions be- 
fore them, the adventurer and the criminal will go on and 
on, still clinging to the shadow of a hope that by some 
exceptional freak of fortune in their favor they may gain 
the peace and quietness they so agonizedly long for, but 
which is just as irrevocably decreed to be forever beyond 
their reach as were the luscious fruits to escape the touch 
and taste of the condemned and tortured Phrygian 
king. 

And right here, were I a preacher being only a doer, 
however I would show the criminal neglect of parents, 
teachers and preachers in forever warring for reforma- 
tion, and never battling against the numberless packs of 
little foxes of pride and covetousness of society, which 
drive weak natures into a constant struggle to excel in 
power and display, eating away at the vines until the 
life, like the fields, is left barren and desolate, or is only 
a vast waste of thorns and noxious weeds. My records 
are full of lives wrecked upon the glittering rocks built by 
false pride and vanity and the greed for gold which 



94 ROCHESTER. 

society, and even the aristocratic systems of modem 
religion compel. Whatever may be preached, all this 
cursed assumption of what is not possessed without years 
of honest, sturdy toil, is practised in the pulpit, the pew, 
the palace, and the povety-stricken hovel, permeating 
every stratum of business, society and religion, until 
honorable action is at discount, dishonesty commands 
a premium of gain and lachrymose sympathy, and the 
whole world is being swiftly driven into a surging chan- 
nel of fraud, crime and debauchery that will require gen- 
erations of something besides splendid hypocrisy and 
luxurious cant to restrain and purify. 

With this digression, which I cannot well avoid, as it 
contains the convictions based upon long years of close 
observation and peculiar experience, I will return to the 
woman whom my operatives found so difficult to analyze 
and trace out. 

Bangs' s visit to Dr. Hubbard showed that she had 
a habit of driving out. Bristol and Fox became ac- 
quainted with this fact at once and transmitted it in their 
reports. It appeared that the carriage and driver were 
secured at a livery stable near the opera house, a short 
distance from her rooms and Fox's boarding-house. I 
instructed Fox to ascertain to what points these trips 
were made, and if any one ever accompanied her. Care- 
ful inquiries at this stable elicited nothing, as Mrs. Win 
slew's custom was valuable, and even her driver proved 
close-mouthed upon the subject. Accordingly, after Fox 
had discovered the general direction taken by Mrs. Win- 



ROCHESTER. 95 

low and the Usual streets frequented at starting, he 
strolled out State Street and from thence into Lake 
View Avenue, which is but a continuation of State 
Street. After he had walked some little distance he was 
pleased to find that he had company in the perscr. of 
a dapper little blond gentleman who was somewhat in 
advance of him, but who, though apparently enjoying the 
morning air, seemed both apprehensive of being followed, 
and desirous of the appearance of some one for whom he 
was waiting. His make-up gave him something of a 
foreign air, and was the most exquisite imaginable. He 
was a slender, tender nymph of the male order of fairies, 
with a face as delicate as a woman's, with large, blue, 
expressive eyes, long, luxuriant hair, and as neat a little 
moustache as was ever waxed to keep it from melting 
away altogether. If his face and figure were neat 
enough for a millinery window, his clothing was a model 
even for a Poole. His lustrous silk hat scarcely outshone 
iii richness his faultless dress-coat, which was buttoned 
low, exposing a perfect duck vest, a spotless shirt-front 
and a low, rolling Byron collar, with a delicate flowing 
tie ; while his pantaloons, which were of a mellow laven- 
der color, seemed only to increase the effect of his shapely 
legs, and by their graceful swell at the instep only to stop 
to disclose a foot perfect enough for a model. His 
jewelry consisted of a modest solitaire diamond pin, and 
a large seal ring which he wore upon the little fingei of 
his left hand. 

For some reason Fox felt interested in him, and re 



9/5 ROCHESTER. 

solved, though looking for a quite different person, to 
watch him closely. So he passed him without giving him 
an opportunity of seeing his face, and, taking a position 
in the bar-room of a siall beer-garden a little way 
beyond, where he had a good view of the avenue, waited 
for developments which were not long in taking place, 
as the neat little fellow arrived at the garden a few 
minutes after Fox, and shortly after Mrs. Winslow's car- 
riage was seen coming from the direction of the city. 
Fox saw that he was bringing two birds down with one 
stone, and anxiously watched Mrs. Winslow and the little 
fop, feeling satisfied that their meeting at the garden was 
pre-arranged, for as soon as her carriage came in sight, 
he had noticed a look of satisfaction come over the man's 
face, and when it was driven up to the door he stepped 
out nimbly, smiling and bowing like a brisk wax figure at 
a show. 

The driver was at once discharged, and after watering 
the horse, immediately started towards town on foot, 
occasionally looking over his shoulder with a sardonic 
smile on his face, as if pleased at the loving meeting at 
the garden, as that sort of thing probably brought him 
many an honest penny ; but no sooner had the driver 
turned his back on the place than Mrs. Winslow said : 
" Come, Le Compte, get me a glass of brandy." 
Fox thought that pretty strong for a lady who had been 
damaged a hundred thousand dollars by breach of prom- 
ise of marriage, but held his peace, and a paper before 
his face, while her admirer danced into the bar and pro 



ROCHESTER. 97 

cured two glasses of brandy, which he took to the carriage 
upon a little tray. 

" My dear, you were a little late, eh ? " said Le 
Compte. 

" Ah, a French divinity," thought Fox. 

" Le Compte," replied Mrs. Winslow, handing him a 
bill with which to pay for the refreshment, and paying no 

attention to the little fellow's remark, " tell that d d 

Dutchman that if he don't get some better brandy, I'll 
never pay him another penny ! " 

Fox also thought this pretty strong for the pure, 
broken-hearted maiden Mrs. Winslow' s bill of complaint 
against Lyon showed her to be, and he accordingly made 
a note of the same, as her friend returned to the bar- 
room and paid for the liquor, while saying to the land- 
lord that the madam desired him to say that the brandy 
was perfectly exquisite in flavor. 

Presently Mrs. Winslow called out, " Come, Le 
Compte, get in here ! " when he ran out with the alacrity 
of a carriage spaniel, sprang into the carriage, took the 
reins, and drove away towards the country, looking like a 
pretty daisy in the shade of a gigantic sunflower. 

5 



CHAPTER XI. 

The Half-way Hat.se. A jolly German Landloid. Detective Fox ring 
down Le Compte. A " Positive, Prophetic, Healing and Trance 
Medium." Harcout the Adviser reappears, and is anxious lest 
Mr. Lyon be drawn into some terrible Confession. Mr. Pinkerton 
decides to know more about Le Compte. And with the harassed 
Mr. Lyon interviews him. Treachery and Blackmail. " A much 
untractable Man." Light shines upon Mrs. Winslow. Another 
Man Mr. Pinkerton mad. 

MANY other conveyances were passing to and fro, 
and Fox's first impulse was to secure a seat in 
some one of them and follow the couple in the direction 
they had taken. But he recollected that it might cause 
either Mrs. Winslow, or the little fellow at her side to 
know him again, which would prove disastrous, and he 
was consequently obliged to apply his pump to the 
important little Dutchman who owned the half-way house, 
and who was busying himself around the cool, pleasant 
bar-room, making the place as attractive as possible, and 
singing lustily in his own mother-tongue. 

" Good morning to you ! " said Fox cheerily, stepping 
to the bar in a way that indicated his desire to imbibe. 

" Good mornings mit yourself," answered the lively 
proprietor, getting behind the bar nimbly ; " Beer ? " 



THE HALF-WAY HOUSE. 99 

"Yes, thank you," replied Fox, .' a schnit, if you 
please. Won't you drink with me? " 

" Oh, ya, ya ; I dank you ; I dank you ; " and there 
were as many smiles on his honest face as bubbles upon 
his good beer. 

The glasses touched, Fox said, " Here's luck ! " and 
the landlord met it with "Best resbects, mister ! " 

In good time two more schnits followed, and as the 
landlord was each time requested to join with Fox, he 
was so pleased with his liberality and apparent good 
feeling that he beamed all over like a sunny day in 
June. 

" You have a beautiful place here," said Fox. 

" Oh, so, so ! " answered the landlord with a quick, 
deprecatory shrug which meant that he was very well 
satisfied with it. 

" I was never here before.'' 

"No? So? I guess mebby I don't ever have seen 
you. Don't you leef py Rochester ? no ?" 

" No, I live in Buffalo, and I just came over to 
Rochester on a little business. Having plenty of time, I 
thought I would stroll out a bit this morning." 

" Ya, I get a good many strollers dot same way. 
Eferypody goes out by der Bort." 

" The Bort ? " 

" Ya, ya, der Bort Bort Charlotte." 

" Is this the way to Charlotte ? " 

" To be certainly. When you come five miles auf, den 
you stand by der Bort, sure." 



IOO THE HALF-WAY HOUSE. 

" And so that is where the big woman and the little 
man were going ? " asked Fox carelessly. 

" Sure, sure," said the landlord with a knowing wink ; 
an>! then taking a very large pinch of snuff, and laying 
his forefinger the whole length of his rosy nose, added 
with an air of great importance and mystery, " I tell you, 
py Jupiter, I don't let somebody got rooms here J" 

" That's right, old fellow ! " said Fox, slapping the 
honest beer-vender on the shoulder. " Be unhappy and 
you will be virtuous ! " 

" Veil," continued the Teuton, excitedly lapsing into 
nis own vernacular, "es macht keinen ttnter schied ; I 
don't got mein leefing dot way. I I vould pe a boli- 
tician first ! " 

Fox expressed his admiration for such heroism, and 
purchased a cigar to assist the landlord in his efforts to 
avoid the necessity of either renting rooms to ladies and 
gentlemen of Mrs. Winslow's and Le Compte's standing, 
or of accepting the more unfortunate emergency of be- 
coming a " bolitician." 

Then they both seated themselves outside the house, 
underneath the shaded porch, and chatted away about 
current events, Fox all the time directing the conversa- 
tion in a manner so as to draw out the genial Teuton on 
the subject which most interested him, and was success- 
ful to the extent of learning that Le Compte was what 
the landlord termed a "luffer," evidently meaning a 
loafer j that several months before, they came there to- 
gether desiring a room, which had been refused ; but he 



THE HALF-WAY HOUSE. IOI 

had directed them to the Port, where they had evidently 
been accommodated, as they had after that, until this 
time, regularly went in that direction, always stopping at 
his place for a glass of his best brandy ; and that they haj 
also always came there together until within a few weeks^ 
since when, for some reason, this Le Compte had walked 
out to the hotel, where she had overtaken him with her 
carriage and driver, when the driver would be sent back 
to the city, and Le Compte taken in for the drive to 
Charlotte, as Fox had seen. He also learned that on 
their return, which was generally towards evening, the 
driver met them at the same place, when the latter took 
the reins, and Le Compte, somewhat soiled from his 
trip, walked into the city. 

Fox concluded that there would be no better time than 
the present to learn something further concerning La 
Compte, and after enjoying himself in the vicinity for 
a short time, came back to the hotel, took a hearty Ger- 
man dinner, and after another stroll secured a room for a 
short nap, as he told the landlord, but really for the pur- 
pose of observation. About six o'clock he saw the 
driver coming to the hotel from towards Rochester, and 
in about a half an hour afterwards noticed the carriage 
containing Mrs. Winslow and Le Compte coming down 
the road from Charlotte. The couple seemed very gay 
and lively, and drove up to the hotel with considerable 
dash and spirit. They both drank, as in the morning, 
while the driver resumed his old place by the side of Mrs. 
Winslow ; and as they were about to depart, Fox heard 



102 THE HALF-WAY HOUSE. 

the woman say to Le Compte : " No, not again until 
Saturday; I'll try to be a little earlier." Then the 
carriage went away, Le Compte loitering about for a fe n 
minutes, after which he started off on a brisk walk to- 
wards town. 

As the evening was drawing on, Fox hurried down to 
the bar-room, paid his bill, and bidding his host good-by, 
trudged on after the little fellow, keeping him well in 
sight, though remaining some distance behind to escape 
observation, but gradually closing in upon him, until, 
when they had arrived within the thickly settled portion 
of the city, they were trudging along quite convenient to 
each other. 

The lamps now began to flare out upon the town, and 
the gay shops were lighted as Fox followed his man in 
and out, up and down the streets. Le Compte first went 
to a restaurant just beyond the Arcade in Mill street, 
where he got his supper, and afterwards promenaded about 
the streets in an aimless sort of a way for some little time, 
after which he returned to the Arcade and seemingly anx- 
iously inquired for letters at the post-office. He got sev- 
eral, but was evidently either disappointed at what he had 
received, or at not receiving what he had expected. In 
any event he cautiously peered into Lyon's closed offices, 
as if hoping to find some one there. Disappointed in this 
also, he went directly to State Street, near Main, where, 
after looking about for a moment, he suddenly disap- 
peared up a stairway leading to the upper stories of a 
large brick block. Fox quickly followed, and was able to 



THE HALF-WAY HOUSE. IOJ 

catch sight of the little fellow just as he was entering a 
room at the side of the hall. He waited until everything 
was quiet, and then approached the door. The light from 
Ihe single jet in the hallway was not sufficient for the pur- 
pose, but with the aid of a lighted match he was able to 
trace upon a neat card tacked to the door the inscription : 

B. JEROME LE COMPTE, 

tOSITIVE, PROPHETIC, HEALING AND TRANCE MEDIUM. 
Psychrometrist, Clairvoyant, and Mineral Locater. 

As Fox had succeeded in "locating" his man, he re 
turned to his boarding-house, wrote out his report and 
posted it, and after carelessly dropping into the restaurant 
under Washington Hall, where he took a dish of ice-cream 
and found means to inform Bristol of the latest develop- 
ment, he returned and retired for the night well satisfied 
with his day's work, and fully resolved to be on hand for 
Saturday's sport at Charlotte. 

I received Fox's report the ne'xt noon, and not a half- 
hour afterwards the splendid Harcout cam/? rushing in. 

"Pinkerton, Pinkerton," he exclaimed excitedly, 
"here's something which we must attend to at once at 
once, mind you, or bless my soul ! I'm afraid I left it 
at the St. Nicholas. How could I be so careless ! " 

Harcou't grew red in the face and plunged into all his 
pockets wildly, utterly regardless of his exquisite make- 
up, until quite exhausted. 

" Why, Harcout, you're excited. Tell me what's the 
matter, my man," said I, reassuringly. 



104 THE HALF-WAY HOUSE. 

"Matter? matter? everything's the matter. Here's 
something which should be acted upon at once, and like 
an ass I've left it at the hotel. I'll go back and get it im 
mediately." 

" Get what ? " I asked him. 

"Get a letter that I just received from Lyon. He's 
there all by himself, and they will draw him into some 
terrible confession. But I I must get the letter," and 
Harcout grabbed his hat and gloves and started. 

"Hold on, Harcout," I called to him, "what is that 
you have, in your hand ? " 

" In my hand ? Oh, just a private note I got in the 
same mail." 

"Just look at it before you go," I suggested. 

Harcout stopped in the door, examined the letter, 
pulled another from the inside of the envelope, and 
blurted out sheepishly : "Ah, bless my soul ! Pinkerton, 
this is just what I wanted. Here, quick, read them 
both." 

I took the letters as Harcout sat down and fanned 
himself with his glove, and saw that they were dated from 
Rochester on the previous day. The first one was from 
Lyon, in which he stated that he had received the enclosed 
letter in the morning, probably shortly after Fox had 
strolled out Lake View Avenue, also expressing a desire 
that Harcout should submit it to me for advice as to the 
best course to be pursued, and have the reply telegraphed. 
The enclosed letter was from Le Compte to Lyon, insist- 
ing that he should immediately come to his rooms to re' 



THE HALF-WAY HOUSE. IOS 

ceive information of the greatest importance, t did not 
let Harcout know that I had any information concerning 
Le Compte, but I saw that that portion of Fox's report 
which stated that he had followed Le Compte to the 
Arcade the previous evening, where the latter had anx- 
iously inquired for mail, and after that had taken a peep 
into Lyon's offices, agreed with Lyon's letter as to the time 
when Le Compte probably expected an answer from him. 

T was at loss to know what the dapper little fellow was 
driving at whether he and Mrs. Winslow were after 
further blackmail, or whether he had secured some con- 
fession from her while she was lavishing her favors and 
money upon him, which the treacherous little villain was 
endeavoring to make bring a good price through Lyon's 
superstitious faith in the power of those who claimed su- 
pernatural powers and a profession of Spiritualism. 

I at once decided to go to Rochester and interview 
this new apparition in the field in company with Lyon, 
and accordingly told Harcout that I would do so, an<* 
would immediately telegraph to Lyon to that effect ; upon 
which he trotted away, announcing his determination to 
also telegraph, so that Lyon might see that he was " at- 
tending closely to our case," as he termed it. 

As soon as he had left, I indicted a dispatch to Lyor, 
asking him to make an appointment with Le Compte for 
an interview on the next afternoon, when I would be 
there to accompany him ; and after getting my suppe c, 
took the evening train and arrived at Rochester t'le ne.J 
noon. 

5* 



106 THE HALF-WAY HOUSE. 

After taking dinner at the Waverly, I immediately pro- 
ceeded to Lyon's offices. He seemed worried and anx- 
ious to see me, and felt extremely alarmed about the 
whole matter, having as yet kept it from his attorney. I 
had him send a message for him at once, and in a few 
minutes we were all three in consultation. His attorney, 
a Mr. Balingal, thought we were doing just right, and, on 
leaving, privately informed me that in no event should J 
allow any person that professed mediumistic powers to 
remain with Lyon alone, as he would be certain to do 
something which would in some way compromise the 
case. 

A few minutes after Lyon's attorney had left, we took 
different routes, arriving at the hallway leading to Le 
Compte's rooms on State street at about the same time, 
ascending the staircase together. A negro, who had borne 
a second and a more imperative message to Lyon, was in 
waiting at the top, and smilingly showed us along the hall 
in the direction of Number 28, which afterwards proved 
to be Le Compte's seance-room. The little fellow him- 
self here stepped out of an adjoining room with a very 
insinuating smile upon his face, which suddenly changed 
to a look of disappointment as he saw that Mr. Lyon had 
rather solidly-built company. 

As Mr. Lyon entered the room, this Monsieur Le 
Compte undertook to close the door in my face ; but I 
snoved myself into the room, and told the mineral locater, 
etc., that I was a friend of Mr. Lyon's, and insisted OB 
being one of the party 



THE HALF-WAY HOUSE. IO7 

Lyon began timidly looking around the gas lighted 
room though it was not after three o'clock which was 
filled with the ordinary paraphernalia for compelling awe 
and fear : " I understand you have some business with me. 
My name is Lyon." 

" Yes, yes," he replied, " I have great business with 
you. But I can only make you my one confidant, Mr. 
Lyon." 

"Oh, well, well, now," I interrupted, with some as- 
sumed bravado, " this sort of thing better play out before 
it begins. I am Mr. Lyon's friend, and whatever you 
have to say to him will have to be said before me. Isn't 
that so, Mr. Lyon ? " 

Lyon assented feebly, and Le Compte asked : " Will 
you make me the pleasure of your friend's name ?" 

" No matter, no matter," said I quickly, for I knew 
how weak Lyon was. " I am here as my friend's friend. 
He has nothing to say in this matter. You will have to 
inform me of your business with Mr. Lyon." 

Le Compte suddenly arose from his chair, locked the 
door and put the key in his pocket. He then went to the 
windows, which were slightly raised on account of the 
heat, closed them, and lowered the curtains so as to shut 
out the light completely. Just as he had completed the 
work, which took him but a moment, I said to him 
sharply : " See here, sir, you will make this room uncom- 
fortably warm for yourself as well as us, if you are not 
careful. Don't send us to perdition before our time, L 
Compte." 



108 THE HALF- WA Y HO USE. 

He made no answer, and looked exceedingly meek j 
but I saw that he was determined to endeavor to p!ay 
upon Lyon's feelings for future profit, even if the present 
interview offered none. He immediately seated himself 
at a table opposite us, and said to Lyon : " The clairvoy- 
ant state I will go into before anything I can reveal." 

" Mr. Le Compte," I interrupted, noticing that Lyon 
was already weakening before the scoundrel's assumption, 
" if you have got anything to say to Mr. Lyon, go on and 
say it with your eyes open, like a man. We won't be 
humbugged by you or any one else ! " 

He did go on now, and with his eyes open, and said : 
" Well, gentlemen, I know of this lady who troubles Mr. 
Lyon, and learn of much witnesses for his help. But the 
clairvoyant state gave it to me." 

" No, no, my young fellow," said I, " we don't pay for 
that kind of evidence. If you have any evidence in your 
possession which will be of benefit to Mr. Lyon, I am 
prepared to receive and pay for it ; but clairvoyant evi- 
dence isn't worth a cent!" 

" Well," he replied, somewhat ruffled, " I can go on the 
jury and swear clearly of this ! " 

I then told him I was satisfied that he did not know 
the first principles of law and evidence, and that the prob- 
ability was that he had no evidence in his possession at 
all. I spoke in a very loud tone of voice, and evidently 
frightened the little fellow considerably. 

" You are much intractable a much intractable man," 
be responded. "I could tell about you g: tatly to coa 



THE HALF-WAY HOUSE. log 

vince you of my power ; but it is impossib e in double 
presence." 

" All right," said I. " Mr. Lyon, I don't see as you 
have anything to do with this interview, and I want you 
to go right back to your office and remain there until I 
come ! " 

Lyon got up in a scared kind of way, and started hesi- 
tatingly towards the door, looking appealingly at me ; but 
I paid no attention to it, and the little Frenchman in- 
stantly arose and politely showed him out, saying in a low 
voice : " My dear Mr. Lyon, it will be for your great in- 
terest to make appointment without the boor." 

" Lyon will do nothing of the kind, you little villain," 
I said, as I saw he was shrewdly arranging for future busi- 
ness. " The ' boor,' as you are pleased to term me, has 
the whole charge of this business, and you will transact it 
with him or nobody." 

Le Compte flushed, closed the door without another 
word, locked it, and put the key in his pocket. 

I turned on him savagely with : " My friend, what do 
you mean ? If you make a single treacherous motion, 
you'll never get out of this room alive ! " 

I was now thoroughly mad, and am sure that the little 
jackanapes saw it and felt that I might possibly serve him 
as he deserved, for he quickly and tremblingly said, 
" Oh, if that is the case, I have no objection if you the 
key hold ; but in clairvoyant state we shal I be alone and 
locked." 

There was a bed in the room, and I suggested that he 



1 10 THE HALF-WAY HOUSE. 

looked flurried and had better take a rest upon it while 
going on with his story ; but he seated himself at the oppo- 
site side of the table, and began putting his hands upon his 
eyes and drawing them away with an indescribably grace- 
ful, though rapid gesture. This he continued for some 
little time, when he brought his hands down upon the table 
with considerable force. Then he began the old humbug 
about my having had trouble with some one, somewhere 
in the United States, at some time or other about some- 
thing; that there was another man of uncertain size, 
peculiar complexion, unusual hair, singular face, and a 
strange, general appearance ; and that this difficulty was 
about money, he thought it would amount to from five 
hundred to one thousand dollars, and that I would re- 
ceive this sum within a few weeks. As I said that this 
was absolutely true, he was greatly encouraged, and went 
on for some time in an equally silly and foolish manner. 
I stood it as long as I could, and finally said : 

" See here, my friend, you and I must talk business ! " 
upon which he was wide awake and quite ready to enter 
into earthly conversation. 

" Well, sir, what could you want ? " 

" I want this nonsense stopped," I replied rising, at 
which he also jumped up nimbly. 

"Well," he said, "this woman" evidently referring to 
Mrs. Winslow, though no name had been mentioned 
" once lived in Iowa with wrong names ! " 

" Oh, nonsense ! " I replied, " I know that already." 

" But," he continued quickly, I can furnish you the 



THE HALF- WA Y HO USE. 1 1 1 

name of another man very rich, very rich he is, too- 
who should be by law more her husband." 

" Well," said I angrily, though now fully believing the 
little fellow for the first time, " write this out fully ; give 
me the man's name, business or occupation ; his place of 
residence, his standing, etc. ; how he became acquainted 
with this woman and under what circumstances they lived 
together, and when and where ; and when you give me 
the information, if I find it reliable, I will pay liberally 
for it. If not, I won't pay you a cent. Now, do we 
understand each other ? " 

" I think we do," he answered timidly. 

" Le Compte," said I sternly, " there's no use of your 
practising this clairvoyant game any longer. You won't 
get a dollar out of it ; not a dollar. I understand all 
about it as well as you do. Now, have a care about 
yourself, sir, or one of these bright days you'll be coming 
up with a sudden turn." 

I now started towards the door ; but the persistent 
scamp seemed anxious to still keep me, on some manner 
of pretext, and stood holding the key in a confused, 
undecided way. 

" Open that door, you villain ! " I demanded ; " open 
it at once, or you'll get into trouble." 

He started suddenly, put the key in the lock, and then 
turned to me and asked : "Won't you give me opportu- 
nity to show you I do not swindle. Just let me make 
some few little passes over your head. I will sure pnt 
you to sleep quickly 1 " 



1 1 2 THE HALF- WA Y HO USE. 

'* I am not sleepy, nor do I need sleep now, thank 
you. I had a good nap about an hour since," I an 
swered, laughing at the little fellow's annoyance. " Now 
open that door ! " 

Le Compte shrugged his handsome shoulders despair- 
ingly, unlocked the door, and as I passed out of the no 
less than robber's den though under the guise of a medi- 
umistic and spiritualistic blackmailing headquarters- -he 
said : " Well, sir, I will think of this statement a great 
deal ; but you are a very untractable man ; a very un- 
tractable man what might I call your name ? " 

" Oh, anything you like, my little man ! " I replied 
pleasantly ; " but mind, we won't have any more of this 
silly business. It won't pay, and you will certainly get 
into trouble from it. You may send the statement to 
George H. Bangs, at the post-office, by Monday noon, 
and if it is what you represent it to be, and reliable, you 
will be paid for it ; but you may be very, very certain, 
Le Compte, that it will prove extremely unprofitable to 
you if you attempt any more of this humbuggery upon 
Mr. Lyon ! " 

With this admonition I left Le Compte' s, and soon 
found Lyon in his office. We arranged that he should 
pay no further attention to either Le Compte' s or any 
other person's communications concerning this case, but 
should at once turn them over to his attorneys, who 
should immediately forward them to me after reading 
them, as I was satisfied that if Le Compte had any evi- 
dence he would never swear to it when the case was 



THE HALF- WA Y HO USE. 1 1 3 

tried, and only desired to blackmail Lyon on his own 
account, while playing the necessary male friend and con- 
fidant to Mrs. Winslow, who for some reason seemed to 
have a strange and unexplainable liking for the little 
Monsieur, although exercising great care that her passion 
for him should not become a matter for public knowl> 
edge and comment 



CHAPTER XII 

The Haven of the Detroit Cottage in another Character. Mis Winston 
yearns for a retired Montreal Banker. Love's Rivalry. A myste- 
rious Note. The Response. Another Trip to Port Charlotte by 
four Hearts that beat as one. What Mr. Pinkerton, as one of the 
party, sees and hears. " Jones of Rochester." Le Compte and 
Mrs. Winslow resolve to fly to Paris, "the magnificent, the beau- 
tiful, the sublime ! " " My God, are they all that way ? " 

AT last the promised Saturday came, and there were 
at least three people in Rochester who looked 
forward to a pleasant day, and were up betimes that they 
might get an early start. Mrs. Winslow, from her sump- 
tuous apartments, looked out upon the streets and the 
glorious morning as if it had come too soon as it always 
does to those who have not clean hearts and clean lives 
and, en deshabille, gazed down through her rich lace cur- 
tains upon the early passers stepping off with a brisk 
tread to their separate labors, with a look of contempt. 

Nature had been wantonly generous with Mrs. Winslow, 
and as she stood there in her loose morning robes, the 
first soft breaths that come with the sun from the far-off 
Orient playing hide-and-seek among the sumptuous hang 
ings of her room, and giving just the least possible motion 
to her matchlessly luxuriant black hair, while the mellow 
and golden rays of the sun, which was just peeping ovei 



THE RA YEN IN A NEW CHAR A CTER. 1 1 5 

the roofs and the chimneys, shimmered upon her through 
the curtains, lighting her great gray eyes with a wondrous 
lustrousness, heightening the fine color of her face, and 
giving to her voluptuous form an added grace this uttei 
ly lone woman had not in her heart an iota of tenderness 
for, or sympathy with, the glories without, and was as 
dead to every good thing in life as though carved from 
marble by some sculptor, as she really had been carved 
from stone, or ice, by nature. As she stood there by the 
window, regarding the passers with such a wise and ogre- 
ish air that Fox, behind the blinds in his window opposite, 
could not but couple her in his thoughts with some 
pplendid beast of prey if Mother Blake or the voluble 
Rev. Bland could have seen her, the years that had passed 
would have been swept away, and in the mature woman 
and the conscienceless adventuress would have been 
recognized the raven of the Detroit cottage, that, as Lilly 
Nettleton, in a habit that ravens have, glided noiselessly 
about the other sumptuous apartments, gathering together 
what pleased its fancy not forgetting the money which 
was to have been used in the cursed church interests, and 
a gold watch, which the raven wore to this day and then, 
kissing its beak to the heavily sleeping man, for all the 
world like a raven, had passed out into the storm and the 
night. 

In a few moments she retired from the window, and 
after dressing passed out upon the street, and went to the 
falls for a short walk and an appetite, and then wer.t to 
the Washington Hall restaurant, where she had quite fre 



1 1 6 THE RA YEN IN A NEW CHAR A CTER. 

quently taken her meals since she had incidentally 
learned that Bristol was a retired Montreal banker, as 
gossip had it now among the Spiritualists ; and it was evi- 
dent that persons of that grade of recommendation weie 
of peculiar interest to Mrs. Winslow. For hours of dal- 
liance, the aristocratic though impecunious popinjay, Le 
Compte, would more than answer ; but when it came to a 
matter of serious work, and when a new source of income 
was to be sought, Mrs. Winslow, being a shrewd and able 
professor of the art of fascination which secured her an 
independent and elegant livelihood, in connection with 
her ability to compel a large number of people to pay her 
for guessing at what had befallen them and what might 
befall them, she invariably sought gentlemen on the 
shady side of life, with judgment and discretion, who knew 
a good thing when they saw it, and who were both able 
and willing to carry their bank accounts into their aged 
knight-errantry. 

Lyon was not a handsome man, but he had vast wealth. 
His weazen face, his grizzly hair, his repulsive, tobacco- 
stained mouth, were naught against him. His passion foi 
her had brought her thousands upon thousands of dollars 
would bring her, she hoped, as much more. Here was 
Bristol. He was not handsome, he was not a Canadian 
Adonis, he incessantly smoked a very ugly pipe fully as 
old as himself. But he had some way got the reputation 
of being " a retired Canadian banker " among these 
people, and Mrs. Winslow' s heart warmed towards him 
the way it had towards a hundred others when she had 



THE RA YEN IN A NEW CHAR A CTER. 1 1 7 

wanted them to walk into her parlor as the ancient spider 
had desired of the fly. 

So she had begun weaving a shining web of loving 
looks, of tender glances, of dreamy sighs, and of graceful 
manoeuvres of a general character about the unsuspecting 
Bristol, that resulted in pecuniary profit to the old maids, 
who, nevertheless, with the quick instinct of three jealous 
women of economical build and mature years, had 
already begun to hate her as a rival, and pour into Bris- 
tol's alert ears sad tales about the splendid charmer, all 
i>f which were properly reported to me by the " retired 
Montreal banker," who had suddenly found himself a prize 
worthy to be sought for, and fought for, if necessary, by 
four determined women, one of whom hungered for hig 
supposed wealth, and three of whom possessed the more 
desperate, life-long hunger whose appeasing is worth a 
severe struggle. 

After her breakfast, which, unfortunately, had not given 
her an opportunity for bestowing a graceful nod or a win- 
ning smile upon Bristol, whom the old maids had furnished 
a superb breakfast in his own apartment, Mrs. Winslow 
returned to her rooms and seated herself at her windows^ 
where she read the morning paper for a little time. She 
then disappeared from Fox s sight for a half-hour or so, 
when, just as he was about leaving his watch at his win- 
dow he noticed her descend the stairs, and. after looking 
cautiously about for a moment, deposit a card behind 
her own sign, which was attached to the frame of the outer 
doorway leading to her rooms. As soon as she had 



1 1 8 THE RA YEN IN A NEW CHAR A CTER. 

retired, and before she could have returned to her win 
dows, Fox slipped down and out across the street, and 
removing the card from its novel depository, saw writtea 
upon it : 

" Le Compte : Will be at the Garden with carriage at 

ten, prompt. 

" MRS. W." 

Fox had no more than time to return the card to its 
place when he saw the person to whom it was addressed 
turn into St. Paul street from East Main. He according- 
ly got back to his old post as rapidly as possible, and 
watched the young Frenchman saunter along towards the 
hallway as if carelessly taking his morning walk. He was 
irreproachably dressed, as usual, and was daintily siuoking 
a cigarette with that inimitable grace with only which a 
Frenchman or a Spaniard can smoke. After arriving at 
the hallway, as if undecided whether he would go farther 
up the street or not, he leaned carelessly against the sign, 
and in a moment had deftly whipped the card out of its 
hiding-place. He then started up the street saunteringly, 
and when about a half-block distant, read the card, which 
seemed to give him much pleasure, as he smilingly wrote 
something upon it, and after walking a short distance, 
turned suddenly and walked rapidly back, dexterously de- 
positing the card in its strange receptacle, without 
scarcely varying his pace or direction, and quickly passed 
on to Main street, turning down that thoroughfare. 

Fox noticed that Mrs. Winslow had witnessed tl is inci- 



THE RA VEN IN A NEW CHAR A CTER. 1 19 

dent from her windows, and at the moment when her form 
had disappeared, he swiftly stepped across the street and 
read the reply, which ran thus : 

"Your announcement makes pleasure in your lover's 
soul, and your name is saluted by the lips of 

"LE COMPTE." 

Fox had just time to slip into a tobacconist's for a cigar 
when Mrs. Winslow came down stairs, took the card out 
of its resting-place, and after going down the street for 
some slight purchase, returned to her rooms and prepared 
for the drive to Charlotte. 

At half-past nine Mrs. Winslow' s carriage arrived and 
in a few minutes after she was leisurely riding down Main 
street, and from thence out through State street and Lake 
View Avenue towards the Port. As I had nothing to do 
until Monday's interview with Le Compte, and time hung 
heavily upon my hands, I had decided to make one of the 
party. 

I knew the direction Mrs. Winslow would take, and so 
securing a position on the corner of Main and State 
streets, I had but a little time to wait before I saw the 
gay madam pass, and also noticed Fox at an opposite cor- 
ner evidently making sure of her direction ; for, as soon 
as he saw her carriage turn down State street, he imme- 
diately started for the depot, from which a train left for 
Charlotte at ten o'clock, so that he could be at that place, 
under any circumstances, some time before the happy 
and unsuspecting couple should have arrived. 



120 THE RAVEN IN A NEW CHARACTER. 

At about train-time Fox bought a cigar and took a seat 
in the smoking-car, while I purchased a cheap edition of 
one of Dicker s's stories and settled myself down in a 
ladies' car. 

The trip to Charlotte was soon made through a beauti- 
ful country where the farmers were busy stacking their 
grain, threshing, and, in some instances, turning the black 
Loam to the sun that it might early mellow for the next 
year's seed-time, and in a half-hour we were at Charlotte, 
where the beautiful lake is seen at one's feet, with its rip- 
pling waves dotted here and there by a hundred dreamy 
sails and lazy steamers from as many waiting ports. 

Fox immediately made inquiries of the villagers where 
he could find the road leading into Charlotte from Roch- 
ester, and started out towards it from the depot at a brisk 
walk, while I waited until he had got well under way, 
when I took a short stroll among the warehouses and 
shipping of the harbor, and then went to the only hotel of 
any importance the place contained, where I knew Mrs. 
Winslow and Le Compte would be likely to stop, and en- 
gaged a room in the front part of the house, where I re- 
sumed my story and waited, like Micawber, for " some- 
thing to turn up." 

I had been engaged at my book but a short time when 
I saw Fox come up the street towards the hotel at a 
rapid pace, flushed and perspiring freely as from a very 
long and rapid walk, and but a moment afterwards also 
saw the dashing Rochester turnout whirling up to the 
hotel 



THE RA VEN IN A NEW CHAR A CTER. 1 2 1 

The arrival at the hotel of the couple bore out the 
truth of the statement of the little Dutchman, contained 
in Fox's report of his trip to the half-way house, as the 
habitues of the house seemed quite accustomed to their 
presence and the employees stepped about nimbly, as 
they generally do at hotels as a greeting to good custom 
ers, and they generally do not when persons of common 
appearance arrive. 

As good luck would have it, after a few moments had 
elapsed, " Mr. and Mrs. Jones, of Rochester," as Fox saw 
they had registered, were ushered into a room adjoining 
my own, and between which, as is quite common at hotels, 
there was a door, which might be opened for the purpose 
of throwing the rooms en suite, as occasion required. 

Although I was prevented from seeing the couple, their 
voices, which were both familiar to me, could not be mis- 
taken ; and I could not restrain a smile as I listened to 
the little Frenchman's voluble and peculiarly-constructed 
expressions of endearment, and the coarser, but none the 
less tender, responses of the virtuous Mrs. Winslow, whose 
life had been shattered, heart smashed to atoms, and 
good name defamed, by the tyrant man in the person of 
the weak but wealthy Lyon, and to think how much 
nearer I was to th quarry than Fox himself, who in this 
instance was making noble efforts to bring down his game 
without " flushing " it. 

For the sake of the public whose servant I have been 
for the last thirty years, I would blush to put on paper 

what I know to have occurred in the adjoining room, and 
6 



1 22 THE RA YEN IN A NEW CHAR A CTER. 

which only served to further convince me of the depths 
of infamy to which she had sunk ; and I will pass on to 
those things only necessary to acquaint the reader with 
my plan of operation to bring her into the public notori- 
ety and scorn which she had years before only too richly 
deserved. 

But a short time had elapsed after Mrs. Winslow and 
Lc Compte had been given their room when I heard Fox's 
footsteps coming along the hall. He passed their room 
slowly, evidently locating it, and after a few moments 
stealthily returned and listened at the door. He then 
stole away, but returned again with a bold, firm step, as 
though conscious of being on legitimate business, walked 
right up to the door and gave the knob a quick turn, as if 
he had intended to at once walk into the room. 

The door did net open, however, and Fox stepped 
back as if surprised, saying : " Why, I can't be mistaken ; 
the register surely said Room 30 ! " while within there were 
quick, though smothered exclamations of surprise, fright, 
and rage of an unusually profane nature. 

Fox immediately returned to the attack as if certain 
that he was in the right, and knocked at the door sharply. 

There was no response but the quick hustlings about 
the room, from which I, as an attentive listener with my 
ear close to the key-hole, learned that the inmates were 
preparing for discovery. 

Fox knocked again, this time louder and more persist- 
ntly than at first. 

J now plainly heard Mrs. Winslow ordering Le Compt? 



THE RAVEN IN A NEW CHARACTER. 12$ 

under the bed among the dust, bandboxes, and unmention 
ables, at which he protested with innumerable " Sacr'es I " 
But she was relentless, and finally, seeing that he would 
go no other way, took him up like a recalcitrant cur and 
flung him under bodily. 

Again Fox attacked the door, shook the knob furiously, 
and knocked loud enough to raise the dead, following it 
up with : " Say you ? Jones ? Why in thunder don't 
you open the door ? " 

At this Mrs. Winslow plucked up the courage of des- 
peration, and asked in a loud and injured voice, " Who's 
there ? " 

"Why, me, of course; Barker, Jones's partner. I 
want to see Jones ! " 

" What Jones do you want ? " asked Mrs. Winslow, to 
get time to think further what to do. 

"Jones, of Rochester, of course," yelled Fox. " Two 
ship-loads of spoiled grain's just come in ; don't know 
what to do with "em." 

" Sink 'em ! " responded Mrs. Winslow, breathing 
freer. 

" Where's Jones ? " persisted Fox, banging away at the 
door again. 

"There's no Jones here, you fool!" answered the 
woman hotly. 

"Yes there is, too," insisted Fox. "Landlord told me so." 

"Well," parried the female, raising her voice agaiii, 
''Jones ain't in the wheat trade at all; he's a professor of 
music ; and besides that, he ain't in here, either." 



124 THE RA YEN IN A NEW CHARACTER. 

"Oh, beg pardon, ma'am," said Fox apologetically, 
" It isn't your Jones I want this time, then. Hope 
I haven't disturbed you, madam," and he walked 
away, having clinched the matter quite thoroughly 
enough for any twelve honest and true men under :he 
Bun. 

Mrs. Winslow stuck her head out of the door, launched 
a threat, coupled with a well-defined oath, against Fox, 
who was leisurely strolling along the hall, to the effect that 
he ought to be ashamed of himself for " insulting a 
defenceless woman in that way, and that if he came there 
again she would have him arrested." To which he cheerily 
responded, " No offence meant, ma'am ; 'fraid the wheat 'd 
spoil, ye see ; " and as he went whistling down the stairs, 
she slammed the door, locked it, drew the trembling Lei 
Compte from under the bed, and amid a chime of crock-) 
ery set him upon his feet again with a snap to it, and then 
threw herself into a rocking-chair and burst into tears, 
insisting that she was the most abused woman on the face 
of earth, and that Le Compte, with his "Sacres/" 
and " Diables /" hadn't the sense of a moth or the muscle 
of an oyster, or he would have followed the brute and 
given him a sound beating ! 

Not desiring to be seen by Fox, I ordered my dinner 
sent to my loom, as did the unhappy couple in the 
adjoining apartment, who seemed to be greatly put out 
by the intrusion, and who were for an hour after specu- 
lating as to the cause of the interruption, and as to 
whether it was accidental or not 



THE RA YEN IN A NEW CHAR A CTER. 1 2 5 

" We mustn't come here any more, Le Compte," said 
the woman dolefully. 

" And for why, my angel precious ? " anxiously asked 
the man. 

"Why, do you know," replied Mrs. Winslow with 
earnestness, "I somethiies really believe I am Deing 
watched ! " 

" No, that was impossible ! " said Le Compte, with a 
start. 

" And sometimes," she continued, paying no attention 
to him, " it seems as though I could not stand this terri- 
ble keeping up appearances any longer." 

"You should have pleasure in the appearance," re- 
sponded Le Compte insinuatingly, " it breaks him down 
already. He is now like one weak infant." 

" That's so, that's so," she answered quickly, in a tone 
of vengeful joyousness. " I'll bring the old devil to my 
feet yot. I'll crush him out and ruin his fortune, if it takes 
me all my life. I'll get the biggest part of it, too ; and 
then, Le Compte, we'll get out of this cursed country and 
enjoy ourselves the rest of our lives." 

"Yes, in Paris, the magnificent, the beautiful, the 
sublime ! Then we will live in one heaven of love. 
Oh, beautiful, beautiful ! " cried the little Frenchman 
excitedly. 

" There, Le Compte," said his companion, suddenly 
becoming practical again, " don't make a fool of your 
self! Take this bill and go down and get a bottle of 
wine ; and mind you, don't keep the change either." 



126 THE RA VEN IN A NEW CHARACTER. 

As the train returned at two, and I had but little time 
to reach it, as soon as Le Compte had come back with 
the wine and they had become sufficiently noisy to admit 
of it, I quietly left my room, paid my bill, went to the 
train, avoiding Fox entirely, and, with him, was soon 
again in Rochester, leaving the roystering couple at the 
little hotel at Charlotte building their vain dreams and air- 
castles about crushing out Lyon which would have been 
an easy matter if left to himself their beautiful, magni- 
ficent, and sublime Paris, and their " one heaven of love " 
within it. 

As soon as Fox stepped from the train I quietly 
handed him a slip of paper directing him to make his 
report to me at the Waverley House, where I was stop- 
ping under an assumed name, which he assured me he 
would do, without a word being spoken or even a look of 
recognition being passed. 

Although the public may not be aware of it, this is 
an absolute necessity in detective service. Though I 
employ hundreds of persons as detectives, preventive 
police, and in clerical duties, at my different agencies, on 
no occasion and under no circumstances is there ever on 
the street, or in any public place whatever, the slightest 
token by which the stranger might know that there had 
ever been any previous communication between any of 
my people. 

On the next day, Sunday, Lyon called to see me at the 
hotel and brought with him two notes from Le Compte 
one having been received late Saturday afternoon, and 



THE RAVEN IN A NEW CHARACTER. 12? 

the other delivered at his house that morning both im- 
peratively insisting that Lyon should come to his rooms 
and leave that " untractabie man " behind. 

I complimented him extensively on his having re* 
framed from visiting the winsome little villain \vh<J 
seemed determined to get Lyon within his power. He 
solemnly pledged his word that he would have nothing 
whatever to do with the man, and would bluff him in 
every advance that he made ; and in order to clinch it, I 
read him choice extracts from Fox's report regarding the 
Charlotte party of the day before, interspering it with a 
few of the still choicer items that had come under my 
own observation. 

" My God ! " exclaimed Lyon, as I concluded, " are 
they all that way ? " 

"Your experience and mine," I smilingly replied, 
"would almost point to the fact that a very decided 
majority of them are." 



CHAPTER XIII. 

Mr Pinker .on again interviews Le Compte.- And very much desire* 
to wring his Neck. A Bargain and Sale. Le Compte's Story. 
" Little by Little, Patience by Patience." A Toronto Merchant in 
Mrs. Winslow's Toils. Detective Bristol, " the retired Banker," in 
Clover. Tabitha, Amanda, and Hannah individually and collect- 
ively woo him. Ancient Maidens full of Soul. A Signal. 

NO jury in the land would render a verdict against a 
man on the unsupported evidence of a woman 
whose character was so vile as we had already found 
Mrs. Winslow's to be ; and I would have paid no further 
attention to the little Frenchman, had I not suspected 
from his expensive style of living, and from Mrs. Win- 
slow's injunctions to him regarding not swindling her in 
so small a matter as a bottle of wine, that his necessities 
and cupidity might cause him to make some tangible dis- 
closure regarding her, that would give us a clue to other 
information against her further than that which Bangs 
would probably secure in the West, as I- never use detec. 
tive evidence when it can be avoided, and knew that 
a perfect mountain of criminal transactions could be even, 
tually heaped up against her which could be secured from 
reliable parties, who could have no other possible interest 



A GAIN INTER VIE WS LE COMPTE. 1 29 

in her downfall than a desire to promote the personal 
good of society. 

Le Compte did not desire to see me again, and had 
made strenuous efforts to prevent it and secure a surrep- 
titious interview with Lyon instead. Failing in this, at 
the last moment, I had received a very terse note from 
him to the effect that he did not desire to transmit any 
statement by mail, but would take it as an honor, etc., if 
I would call at his place at ten o'clock, Monday morning, 
which I did, finding the little fellow in a gorgeous dress- 
ing-gown, freshly shaved, and in a neat and orderly state 
generally. 

" Well, my young friend," said I, " I suppose you 
have decided to give me some information this morning." 

" Do I get good pay ? " he asked in response. 

" You will get good pay if you have a good article for 
sale," I replied. 

" Humph ! " he responded, with a soft shrug of his 
delicate shoulders. 

" Are you ready to make such a sale ? " I asked. 

" But where comes my money ? " inquired Le Compte, 
suspiciously. 

" It is right here," I answered, slapping my pocket in 
a hearty way. 

"But suppose it shall stay there, then where is Le 
Compte ? " he persisted with a doleful look which was 
irresistibly funny. 

" It will stay there," I replied, " in case you attempt to 

play any of your tricks, my little fellow." 
6* 



1 30 A GAIN INTER VIE WS LE COMPTE. 

" How shall I then know I am to be paid?" 

" You will have to take my word for it." 

*' But I have not pleasure in your acquaintance ; how 
can I be sure ? " he continued anxiously. 

" Le Compte, swindler as you are, you know that I am 
an honest man. This quibbling is utterly foolish and sim- 
ple. I am acting entirely for Mr. Lyon in this matter, 
and should you write to him or call upon him a hundred 
times, you would get nothing from him but a bluff. Here 
are your two notes," I continued, producing them, " one 
written Saturday, the other yesterday. The only response 
you got to them was, silence and this interview. I 
thought we understood each other already." 

I saw that he was still undecided about saying what- 
ever he might have to say, and tenacious of sustaining his 
professional reputation as a clairvoyant. I might have 
easily frightened him into submission by the slightest ref- 
erence to the occurrences of the previous day, but knew 
that this would have the effect of putting Mrs. Winslow 
on her guard, as she was already becoming suspicious and 
anxious, and preferred getting at his communication in 
the ordinary way. After he had sat musing for a time he 
suddenly asked : 

" How great will be my pay ? " 

" What do you think the information is worth ? " I said. 

He looked at me as if fixing a price in his mind that I 
would stand, and replied : 

" Certain, a thousand dollars." 

"That is a good deal of money, Le Comptej" I said 



AGAIN INTER VIEWS LE COMPTE. 1 3 1 

pleasantly. " I hardly think you can divulge a thousand 
dollars' worth. But if you can give me reliable informa- 
tion of a satisfactory character, I think I could pay you 
three hundred dollars. 

" Now ? " he inquired, suddenly. 

"Oh, no, oh, no," I replied as quickly; "no, sir, not 
until we find the information you give is reliable." 

This dampened the little fellow wonderfully, but he 
finally said : " Well, the evidence is certain, but I must 
offer it to you by clairvoyance," and he immediately 
arose and began darkening the room as on the previous 
interview, which act I interrupted by stepping to the win- 
dow he had just darkened, and jerking the curtain as high 
as it would roll, opening the window, and flinging the 
blinds open with a slam. 

" You little villain ! " 1 shouted, advancing upon him 
threateningly, " I will wring your neck if you don't stop 
this contemptible nonsense ! " while he slunk into the 
corner, like the mean coward that he was. I could 
scarcely keep my hands off the little puppy ; but recol- 
lecting that I was there for quite another purpose, I 
said : 

" Le Compte, this is the last time I shall come here, 
and it is the last time you will have an opportunity of 
making a dollar out of any information you may possess. 
Now, sir," I said, savagely, starting towards the door, " you 
will give ft to me, trusting entirely to my honcr to pay 
you for it, or you will never get a cent for it on earth." 

The little fellow turned towards me imploringly, with i 



132 A GAIN INTER VIE WS LE COMPTE. 

" Please don't go. My dear sir, you are so greatly abiupt 
We have no men like you in La Belle France." 

" Heaven knows, I hope but few like you" I responded. 
" Now, which is it, yes. or no ? I will give you just thirty 
seconds in which to answer," and I timed him, thoroughly 
resolved to do as I had said. 

Before the expiration of the time mentioned, Le 
Compte sat down, and with a despairing shrug of the 
shoulders, said " Yes." 

I immediately returned, sat down in front of him, and 
said, " Well, Le Compte, now go ahead with your story 
like a man." 

"What must it be like ? " he asked innocently. 

"What must it be like?" I repeated, aghast. "Why, 
you don't intend to manufacture a story for me against 
this woman, do you ? " 

" Oh, no, no, never. But I must know first how bad 
it must be, when it is worth three hundred dollars, which 
}ou call such great money?" 

"Well," said I, all out of patience, "if you know of 
any occasion when this woman has been with any man as 
his wife, or his mistress, and can give names, dates, and 
places, and under what circumstances, and this informa- 
tion on examination proves so reliable that we can get 
other witnesses besides yourself persons of credibility 
and reputatior. to testify to it, I will pay you thrc e him 
dred dollars. Isn't that plain enough?" 

" Will you put it to paper ? " 

" No, sir, you have my word for it, that's all." 



A GAIN INTER VIE WS LE COMPTE. 1 3 3 

Le Compte tapped the floor with his delicate foot a 
moment, and I saw the impostor was in real misery. He 
had a sort of affection for the woman, which she had more 
than reciprocated. He could lean on the strong, daring 
nature she possessed, and go to her with all his troubles 
and disappointments and get help. She had promised 
him that, as soon as she had mulcted Lyon of the hun- 
dred thousand dollars, he should share it with her in his 
own beautiful Paris. All his self-interest laid in and with 
the woman ; but need for money was pressing, and there 
were a million other women as impressible to his charms 
as she had been. Here was an opportunity to make a 
few hundred dollars by betraying her ; but in doing so he 
still might not get the money, and she might at once dis- 
cover from what source the information had come, and 
he knew enough about Mrs. Winslow to be sure that she 
dared any mode of revenge that best suited her fancy, 
and he had a wholesome fear of her. I could see that 
all these things were flitting through his mind, as plainly 
as the reader can see them upon this printed page, and 
to some extent pitied his weakness and indecision. 

" Or," said I encouragingly, " as you undoubtedly know 
Mrs. Winslow intimately, and are very much in her com- 
pany, if you know of any occasion when she had, while 
here in Rochester or in the vicinity, say Batavia, Syra- 
cuse, or Port Charlotte, for instance, gone with some one 
of her many favorites, and under an assumed name 
Brown, Jones, or anything of the kind to a hotel where 
they had been assigned a room, and had occupied it to 



134 A GAIN INTER VIE WS LE COMPTE. 

gether for several hours, and you could put us on track 
of persons of reliability who would be willing to come into 
court and swear to such facts I presume there are many 
persons who could and would with whom you are acquain- 
ted I would pay you the amount named at once." 

This was cutting pretty close to a tender subject, and 
before I had half finished my remarks he started, and 
looked me in the face in a suspicious, apprehensive man- 
ner, eyeing me closely until I had finished. But my man- 
ner and looks betraying no knowledge on my part of any 
such facts hinted at, he relapsed into a puzzled, non- 
plussed look that was really ridiculous. 

" No, no," he said slowly and cautiously. " I have no 
such valuable evidence. That would be much more 
worth than a thousand dollars much more worth. But I 
can do what you first say, and rest me on the honor 
of your word." 

" Go on, then," said I. 

" Well, we shall go back almost a year. I met first Mrs. 
Winslow at Port Charlotte, when she was from Canada 
returning." 

" Did she formerly live in Canada ? " I asked. 

" No, not for a great time ; but has had much travel 
and friends there. I first see her at Charlotte. I go 
there to take a boat. She comes from the boat there. 
Lyon meets her, and I think her his wife, he is so much 
happy. I like her so much that I do not take the boat. 
I follow her back to the city here, and find her beautiful 
rooms, when I discover she is not Lyon's wife, but hii 



A GAIN INTER VIE WS LE COMPTE, 1 3 5 

mistress ; but I still have for her admiration, and one day 
she comes to me for her future in clairvoyance." 

" And then she became your mistress ? " I inquired, 
smiling at his earnestness. 

" No, no, no never ! " he replied quickly, growing red 
as a rose ; " I became her friend ! " 

Le Compte did not know how near he came to express- 
ing the truth while endeavoring to avoid it, but con- 
tinued : 

" I became her friend, and we came to each other for 
advice. She has great faith great faith," repeated Le 
Compte, with much emphasis on the expression, which 
seemed to please him, " in my clairvoyance powers. I 
give her much comfort. She gives me great confidence 
of her affairs, and shows me how rich Lyon makes her. 
I see her often very often, at the Hall and here in my 
apartments. She gives me much confidence of her affairs 
still, and 1 am informed when she makes Canada some 
visits. She goes much to Canada, and I ask her why ? 
She does not tell me, but laughs in my face, and shows 
me much money, which she ever brings back. I shake 
my finger at her so (illustrating), and say to her : ' You 
cannot hide from Le Compte,' which she answers : ' No, 
I will not. I go for money. See ! ' when she would 
shake many bills in my face ' I make him come down, 
too ! '" 

" Did she give you the man's name ? " 

" I got it," continued Le Cc-mpte proudly, " with much 
wine and clairvoyance 1 " 



AGAIN INTERVIEWS LE COMPTE. 

"Oh, confound your eternal clairvoyance!" said L 
" I want the facts." 

" But I got facts with clairvoyance," persisted the im- 
perturbable Le Compte. " Little by little, patience b} 
patience, at the end I got confession from her " 

" Which was ? " 

" Which was," continued Le Compte, taking his time, 
" that Mrs. Winslow had got great power over a Toronto 
merchant with much wealth and great family, by name 
Devereaux." 

" How long had she known him ? " 

" I know not that five, four, three years, I will think." 

" Did you ever see this Devereaux ? " 

" Oh, no, no never ; but it is all certain that I speak. 
Here," continued Le Compte, stepping nimbly to a sec- 
retary and producing a photograph, which he handed to 
me, " here you will find the face of Devereaux. Many, 
many times I have seen the color of his money." 

" And does Mrs. Winslow visit Canada for the purpose 
of meeting this man still ? " I asked. 

" Certain," he answered promptly ; then, after a little 
pause, as if doubtful of the propriety of what he was 
about to say, but finally resolving to earn his money, if 
possible, " and she shall go there once more in the next 
week." 

I began to think that the little Frenchman had really a 
good article for sale, and made full memoranda of all the 
main points. I asked him some further questions, the an- 
swers to which showed conclusively that Mrs. Winslow 



AGAIN INTERVIEWS LE COMPTE. 137 

had made a full confidant of him concerning the Cana- 
dian affair, at least; that she had secured a vast amount 
of money from Devereaux at the same time that Lyon 
was breaking her heart ; and that, whether Devereaux 
was fated to go through the same final experience. as Lyon, 
or not, that he had undergone and was undergoing the 
came preliminary experience. 

At the close of the interview I informed Le Compte 
that his information was quite satisfactory, and that it only 
remained for me to prove its correctness in order to per- 
mit the payment of the money, which, however, should 
necessarily be on the additional condition that he at once 
secured for us information as to the date on which the 
madam was to make her profitable little pleasure-trip to 
Toronto. 

This he agreed to do, and I left him ; not, howevei, 
until he had anxiously requested to know more about me, 
and where and when he was to receive his money. I told 
him that I was a travelling man ; that I had no permanent 
residence, was here and there all over the country ; but 
that the moment we ascertained the truth of his state- 
ments, which would be very soon, he should be compen- 
sated. 

I communicated to Lyon the facts elicited during this 
interview, which completely overwhelmed him with the 
perfidy of hximan nature in general, and woman in par- 
ticular ; but gave him considerable encouragement con- 
cerning the progress of our work ; and after directing 
Bristol, through the post, to continue playing the role of 



138 AGAIN INTERVIEWS LE COMPTE. 

the banker, and to keep himself in preparation for tele- 
graphic instructions, returned to New York. 

All this time Bristol was in clover. The three old 
maids, Tabitha, Amanda, and Hannah, had looked him 
over and saw that he was a good man to tie to. Here 
was a man, they agreed, who had come in among them a 
perfect stranger, and yet so possessed was he of a frank, 
winsome way, and such a reliable, honorable demeanor 
had he exhibited towards them, three lone and defenceless 
women as they were, that they had instinctively felt that 
they could trust him ; nay, even more, they were sure 
that they could lean upon him, as it were ; take him into 
their confidence ; share their joys with him, rely on him 
to sympathize with them in all their sorrows in fact, 
make of him a sort of an affectionate Handy Andy a 
good-natured and attractive attach^ to their affections, 
and a profitable sign-post to their business. 

Neither had any man ever before received such signs 
and tokens of a deep-seated and ineradicable affection. 

Every morning he was awakened from his virtuous 
slumbers by the delicious music of a bird -training organ, 
which was wound in turn by the maidens and set inside 
his door, where, "in linked sweetness long drawn out," it 
galloped over the harmonies with : "Then you'll remem- 
ber me," " Don't be angry with me, Darling," " Who will 
care for Mother Now ? " " Bonnie Charlie's Noo Awa'," 
" Annie Laurie," and like tender airs, until the poor man 
cursed the Three Graces of Washington Hall restaurant, 
and the detective service, threadbare. 



AGAIN INTERVIEWS LE COMPTE. 139 

After this delicious reminder of languishing love he was 
served with a breakfast fit for a king, at which Tabitha, 
Amanda, and Hannah in turn presided, and which was 
always graced by a large bouquet of flowers whose Ian 
guage and fragrance only breathed of love. 

On these occasions the conversation never failed to 
turn upon Bristol's merits, the old maids' loneliness, and 
the superiority of women without physical beauties, but 
full of soul, over those more fortunate in flesh but want- 
ing in spirituality. This was an advertisement for their 
own establishment, and a drive at Mrs. Winslow; and 
Bristol always acknowledged the force of the argument. 

Whenever Mrs. Winslow took a meal at the restaurant, 
which had now become a frequent occurrence, just so 
certain was Bristol's corresponding meal served in the 
little snuggery, where, however busy they might be, one 
of the ancient ladies kept him good company and quick- 
ened his digestion with sparkling humor and witty jest, 
such only as can course through the flowery avenues of 
an aged spinster's mind, made fresh and blooming by the 
wild fancy of the second childhood of love's young 
dream ; and at night, when the busy day was over and the 
vulgar public shut out by the well-bolted front door, the 
little snuggery always held the same wise old company, 
where Bristol, ripe in age and experience, passed an hour 
with the ladies over tea and sweetmeats, or wine and 
waffles, surrounded by the thrilled and blushing trio, who, 
preparatory to retiring, discovered to him as many ol 
theii combined charms as modesty would allow, and in 



140 AGAIN INTERVIEWS LE COMPTE. 

their tender hearts built plans for the future when they 
would bodily possess Bristol at least one of them, if the 
laws of society did prevent his making a sort of blessed 
trinity of himself for their benefit. 

This course of procedure angered Mrs. Winslow. ffff 
heart also yearned for the retired banker, and when she 
saw how securely he was being kept from her grasp by 
the wily old maids, she immediately began preparing 
a plan the execution of which would foil them, and 
eventually give her the coveted game all to herself. To 
this end she walked to and fro past the restaurant, and 
finally attracted the attention of Bristol while the old 
ladies were busily engaged elsewhere, and motioned to 
him in so imperative a way and with such earnestness, 
that he slipped out of the place, and at a careful distance 
followed her in the direction of the Falls Field Garden, 
where lovers oftsn met and where there v/as no danger of 
interruption. 



CHAPTER XIV. 

Mr. Bangs en the Trail in the West, Terre Haute and its Spit itualis'a, 
Mrs. Dock's Boarding-house. The Nettleton Family broken tp. 
Back at the Michigan Exchange. Mother Blake's Recital. 
Through Chicago to Wisconsin. A disheartening Story. Tha 
practical result of Spiritualism. 

QUPERINTENDENT BANGS arrived at Terre 
* ' Haute in good time, and found himself in one of 
the greatest centres of Spiritualism in the world. 

The very air seemed charged and surcharged with the 
permeating power. People watching incoming trains 
had a listless, far-away look, as though watching for the 
dim spirits which were constantly expected from the other 
land, but which never came. The clamorous cabmen 
raised their sing-song voices as if only expecting, though 
more than desiring, only shadowy freight. The regular 
loiterers had long hair, cadaverous faces, and large, lus- 
trous eyes, and where females appeared, they were gener- 
ally in pinched faces, flowing hair, long pantaloons and 
short gowns, as if ready for a grand Amazon-march upon 
the gullible public. 

On the way to the hotel every other stairway held the 
sign of one or more clairvoyants, mediums, or astrologists, 
and every manner of business seemed to have the ghostly 



142 BANGS ON THE TRAIL IN THE WEST. 

trail upon it. The pedestrians upon the streets, the 
men at their counters, the workmen at their trades, the 
women at their various employments, the common labor- 
ers at their most menial toil, each and every, from the 
highest to the lowest, seemed to have a weary, listless air, 
as if constant wrestling with communicating spirits health- 
ier and more robust than themselves, had left a chronic 
exhaustion upon and with them. 

At the hotel the register was thin and ghostly, the office 
was deserted and dreary, the meals were served in a list- 
less, dreamy way, as if the guests were ghosts and the 
waiters not so good. In fact, the whole place and every- 
thing in it was tinctured with the common craziness, and 
gave the healthy, wide-awake stranger the impression of 
having suddenly come upon a community of mild lunatics, 
who were quite happy in the conviction that the'y were 
directing the affairs of both earth and heaven, and estab- 
lishing pleasant, intramural relations between their chosen 
Hoosier City and the beautiful City beyond the River ; all 
of which would be very pleasant and profitable if anybody 
had ever come back from the undiscovered country to 
give us its geographical outlines, define its limits, or 
explain any profit that has accrued from becoming a 
monomaniac on a subject that has no relation whatever 
to the common needs and duties of life, and has never 
been known to give to the world or its society a single 
healthful, helpful nature or intellect. 

Mr. Bangs was neither pleased with the hotel, or able 
to get much information while there, and consequently 



BANGS ON THE TRAIL IN THE WEST. 143 

changed his quarters to Mrs. Deck's boarding-hoi se, a 
long, rambling brick building, that at one time had been 
a fine residence after the Southern style. It was covered 
with moss and vines, and had a snug, pleasant appearance, 
fchile everything about the house had an air of quaint, 
attractive restfulness. Every person who has ever been 
in Terre Haute for a few days' stay, as Bangs was, will 
remember the genial old soul who presided over the des- 
tinies of this particular boarding-house the fat, garrulous, 
whimpering, but kind-hearted Mrs. Deck ; her charming 
daughter, the blooming Belle Ruggles, by a former and 
more fortunate marriage, with her fair face and wealth of 
golden hair, flitting about the house which was also the 
abode of spirits, mysterious materializations and unex. 
plainable rappings like a good, sensible spirit that she 
was, and letting her good sense and kind ways into the 
cobwebbed rooms and dark places, like an ever-changing 
though constant flood of sunlight ; and " Old Deck," as the 
boys called him, who believed in another kind ol spirits 
still, and, when opportunity offered, became so full of 
them that he held a grand and extended " seance" on his 
own account. 

People not only sought Mrs. Deck for good board, but 
for reliable neighborhood gossip ; and Mr. Bangs, learning 
of her reputation as a repository of news as well as a lib- 
eral dispenser of creature comforts, changed his quarters 
from the hotel to her place, and found from a few days in 
her company that she was a sort of historian, having at 
her tongue's end numberless incidents connected with 



144 BANGS ON THE TRAIL IN THE WEST. 

the growth of the city and the family relations of every 
class of people in or near it. 

He learned from her where the Hosfords had lived, 
b"Jt could get nothing particular regarding the woman 
herself, as Mrs. Deck had never seen her, and only knew 
of het by reputation, which she was sure had been good. 

Mr. Bangs at once went into the country neighborhood 
where the Hosfords had lived, and found that they had 
removed to some point in Wisconsin, near Sheboygan 
Falls, the neighbors had heard, but he could not find that 
there had been a single trace of trouble at Terre Haute. 
All those who had known them spoke of them both in the 
highest terms. They had both been staunch members of 
the Methodist Church, and though plain, quiet farmers, 
had been considered prominent people in the neighbor- 
hood. 

Hosford was remembered as a slow-going, easy-condi- 
tioned, good-natured fellow, but as honest as the day was 
long ; and no one had ever known aught against his wife, 
save that some of the old gossips thought that she had 
brought too much jewelry and fine clothing into the 
neighborhood with her. This, however, she had judi- 
ciously kept out of sight as much as possible, and, as far 
as could be learned, had led in every respect an exem- 
plary life. 

From this point Mr. Bangs proceeded to Kalamazoo. 
The Nettleton family were gone, no one knew where ; 
but here he was told of the escapade to Detroit of Lilly 
Nettleton years before, enough of which had floated bach 



3ANGS OA' Chi r.hsitL /W THE WEST. 

to V,ei native p?ace coupled wi:h the old people's later 
sorrows, which were largely dilated upon to account for 
the breaking up of the family and its meiube/s being scat- 
tered broadcast. 

Accidentally at Kalamazoo, in conversation, with the 
clerk at the Kalamazoo House, who had formerly been 
employed at Detroit, and who was "up to snuff, ' as he 
termed it, Bangs learned of Mother Blake, who had in- 
formed the clerk of Eland's unfortunate experience with 
one Lilly Mercer. He also got from the clerk a descrip- 
tion of Mother Blake sufficiently comprehensive to enable 
him to find her if she were still at Detroit, where h<: at 
once proceeded. 

On arriving in that city he went to the Michigan Ex- 
change Hotel, and, through the courtesy of the proprie- 
tors, was allowed to look up the records of the house. 

It was fifteen years previous that the man who said he 
was "from Bland" met Lilly Nettleton at the depot and 
had taken her to the Michigan Exchange to meet the 
reverend circuit-rider ; but after he had got at the dusty 
records he found on the register, evidently in the hand- 
writing of a clerk : " Lilly Mercer, Buffalo,, Room 34," 
under date of August 15, 1856, and also the names of 
" R. J. Hosford, Terre Haute, Room 98," and " Lilly 
Nettleton, Kalamazoo, Room 34," in a cramped and al- 
niDst illegible hand under date of November 28th of the 
same year ; and on the next day's page, in the same 
hand : " R. J. Hosford and wife, Terre Haute, Room 34." 

The next step was to hunt up Mother Blake, which was 
7 



146 BANGS ON THE TRAIL IN THE WEST. 

not a very hard matter, as women of her character gener- 
ally run in the same noisome rut, until they are swept 
from the great highway with other pestilences of life, and 
pass from bitter existence and infamous memory ; and 
after one or two evenings running about among the 
demi-monde he found the woman quite an old lady now, 
but nearly as well-kept and quite as jolly as ever, presid- 
ing over a group of soiled divinities at a neat retreat on 
Griswold Street. 

Through the purchase of a vile bottle of wine the old 
lady's lips were opened, and her tongue began a perfect 
gallop about Bland and Lilly Mercer. 

She gave the latter the reputation of being one of the 
shrewdest women she had ever met, and laughed until the 
tears came into her eyes over the way in which she had 
" played it " on Bland, who had picked her up for a fool, 
and had himself been terribly sold. Then she launched 
into vituperations towards the young minister, who had ac- 
cused her of " standing in " with the girl in the robbery, 
when she had been as badly fooled as himself. Whatever 
she had been and was, she said, there wasn't a dishonest 
hair in her head ; which assertion Bangs had reason to 
believe to be literally true, as he noticed that she wore a 
wig. 

She then in great glee told him how she had " got 
even" with Bland by "giving him away" to the papers, 
which had soon taken the feathers out of his cap, she re- 
marked with much satisfaction, broken his mother's heart, 
who died and willed all her property to the good cause of 



BANGS ON THE TRAIL IN THE WEST. 147 

furnishing the heathen with an occasional fat missionary 
steak, and finally drove Bland out of Detroit, when he 
had gone to some Eastern city and, under another name, 
with his fine manners, airy ways, and good clothes, was 
playing it fine on some old Spiritualist millionaire out 
our way. 

When the vision of the magnificent Harcout which was 
almost a constant one, as he rushed into my office on the 
slightest pretext whatever, big with his own importance 
and unusually full of enthusiasm over " our case " 
flitted before my eyes, it gave to me. additional ro- 
mance in the work, in the sense that here, after many 
years, the man whom Mrs. Winslow in her early career 
had so magnificently duped, had unconsciously become 
one of her most relentless pursuers. 

But it was a matter for speculation whether Harcout 
knew her to be the person who had so neatly taken him 
in, or whether he had risen to this condition of fervor in 
his work merely to impress Lyon with his useful friend 
ship. I inclined to the latter opinion, however, as I was 
satisfied that if he had known with whom he was dealing 
he would have given up all expectations of continued favor 
and patronage from Lyon, and left Rochester as hastily 
as he had, as Bland, departed from Detroit. 

Bangs also asked her if she had ever seen Lilly Mercer 
since that time. 

Of course she had seen her, just at the close of t.he 
war. One day as she was crossing the river in the ferry, 
coming back from Windsor, she had met her face to face. 



148 BANGS ON THE TRAIL IN THE WEST. 

Mother Blake said that she seemed wonderfully glad to 
meet her, and wanted to borrow some money, which she 
had refused. She then gave hei her card, upon which she 
was called some Madam or other, a clairvoyant, and she 
had some* shabby rooms on Wisconsin Street, near the 
theatres. She was still young and pretty, Mother Blake 
said, and she easily persuaded her to come and live with 
her, which she did, "and," continued the old woman, 
with a withering look at the girls, " low down as she was, 
she made more money in a day than any half-dozen 
women I ever had." The old lady further said that she 
had only remained with her long enough to get some fine 
clothing and money together, when she started for the 
East. 

She had never seen her since, but she had heard that 
she had several times passed through the city towards 
Chicago, always returning to the East, however, and also 
always richly dressed, and having every appearance of 
living in clover. " Let her alone to get along," concluded 
the old lady ; " she'll live like a queen where another, a 
million times better than she, would starve." 

From Detroit, Bangs proceeded to Chicago, and from 
thence to Sheboygan Falls. Wisconsin, where it required 
but a few minutes' inquiries to put him on track of the 
Hosfords. 

Hosford had come there from Terre Haute several 
years ago, bought a fine farm a few miles out, and had, as 
far as could be ascertained, lived a comfortatle sort of life 
for about a year, when trouble began. 



BANGS ON THE TRAIL IN THE WEST. 149 

Mrs. Hosford, from the good member of society which 
she was supposed to be, or really had been, suddenly em- 
braced Spiritualism, and began running about the country 
with any old vagabond tramp of this kind that came 
along ; and from the hard-working, economical woman she 
had been, she had become a spendthrift, a drunkard, and 
a prostitute. Hosford had moved away, and after consid- 
erable time and inquiry, it was ascertained that he had 
gone to Oskaloosa, in Iowa, determined to get away from 
old associations as far as possible, and had taken their 
three children with him, which she had vainly endeav- 
ored to secure. 

Bangs spent several days here in hunting up evidence. 
There was plenty of it mountains of it. Merchants and 
other business men of the town would button-hole him, 
take him into some retired place and tell him how this 
man had been caught in flagrante delicto with Mrs. Hos- 
ford, how that man had confessed to having been caught 
in her toils, and how some other person had been made a 
suspicious person in the society of the place, through 
some peccadillo with the dashing Madam. 

All these persons referred to told of all the other per- 
sons who had divulged their weaknesses, 'until it seemed 
to Mr. Bangs, after remaining a few days in the vicinity, 
that the entire male portion of the community were im- 
plicated. But securing promises of depositions was quite 
another thing. Mr. A. was a married man, belonged to 
the church, had extensive business relations, and, while 
he would like to assist in the noble effort to show up the 



1 50 BA KGS ON THE TRAIL IN THE WEST. 

infamous woman, he really could not, you see, place hin. 
self in so delicate a position. 

Mr. B. was not a member of any church, but had the 
reputation of a high order of morality. While he could 
not but acknowledge the justice of the request, and hoped 
that Mr. Bangs would have no trouble in securing all lie 
evidence he needed, which would be a very easy matter, 
still he did not see how he could consistently compromise 
himself by going on record as a common adulterer. 

Mr. C. was neither a churchman, nor did he claim a 
high order of morality ; but if he had good luck, he would 
in the spring marry a very pretty girl of the village, and 
if she should ascertain that he had previously been so 
generous with his affections in another direction, he was 
satisfied that his dream of future bliss would be dissolved 
in thin air at once. 

And so on through the entire village directory. There 
were pointed out scores of persons who had the knowledge 
desired, were all willing to help him secure some other 
person for sacrifice, and all equally enthusiastically hoped 
that her suit against Lyon would end in an ignominious 
failure ; but declined, with thanks, the proud honor of ex- 
posing their o-;rn weaknesses, for even the extreme honor 
of assis ing in hv: downfall. 



CHAPTER XV. 

A Chicago Divorce ' Shyster." Hosford found. His pathetic Narra- 
tive. More Facts. 

MR. BANGS was in no hurry to leave Sheboygan 
Falls, as he found that he was in a fruitful field 
for information, and he continued garnering it in and 
stacking it away industriously. 

It appeared that Hosford's wife, not content with dis- 
gracing his name, had soon developed her old and never- 
satisfied greed for money and any sort of power that might 
be wielded mercilessly ; and it was evident that she had 
money, for she immediately began dressing with much ele- 
gance and travelling about the country extensively. The 
probability was that she had still retained the money 
stolen from Bland, and had also, during her years of 
economy, carefully added to it until she had secured a 
large sum, as she had occasion to use a good deal of 
money in a certain transaction, which quite thoroughly 
illustrated her unprincipled and revengeful character. 

When Hosford had removed from Indiana to Wiscon- 
sin, he had purchased a larger and a finer farm, and had 
been obliged to give a mortgage upon it for several thou- 
sand dollars, to be used in making necessary improve 



152 A CHICAGO DIVORCE " SHYSTKP? 

ments. This had been paid off with the exception ol 
about three thousand dollars, which amount, as soon ai 
Mrs. Hosford had begun making it lively for her hr.sband, 
and had left him for the purpose of wedding Spiritualism 
and all that the term implies, she immediately produced 
and bought up the mortgage, placing it in ex-Senator 
Carpenter's hands for foreclosure; but poor Hosford, 
struggling under his heavy load of desertion, disgrace and 
persecution, managed to raise the money and take it 
up, thus preventing the villainous woman from turning 
him out of his own home, which she had deserted and 
desecrated. 

This had proven too much for even the patient Hos- 
ford to endure, and he had set about getting a divorce. 
But this was a harder thing to do than he had anticipated. 
Although he was in possession of nearly as much informa- 
tion as Bangs had secured, it was impossible to obtain 
definite evidence against her. Her terrible temper, her 
unscrupulousness, her unbounded and almost Jevilish 
shrewdness, and the swift and sudden principle of re- 
venge that seemed only equalled by her greed for money, 
compelled thorough awe and fear among those from whom 
Hosford had expected assistance, and the result was ha 
did not get it, and he was obliged to let the suit for 
divorce go by default. After this every petty annoyance 
that could occur to the woman's mind was visited on him, 
She would write him threatening letters ; forward him ex 
press packages of a nature to both humiliate him and 
cause him fear ; run him in debt at every place where she 



A CHICAGO DIVORCE "SHYSTER." 153 

could force, or " confidence," merchants into trusting her ; 
hire a carriage and secure some male companion as vile 
as she, with whom she would proceed to her old home, 
and in the presence of her agonized husband and help- 
less, innocent children, threaten him with every conceiv- 
able form of punishment, including death, and engage in 
profanity and drunken orgies that would have disgraced 
the lowest brothel in the land. 

Mr. Bangs learned that after this sort of procedure for 
a considerable period, she suddenly disappeared. Hos- 
ford took this opportunity to dispose of his farm and 
remove with his motherless family to Iowa. Mr. Bangs 
could not learn at Sheboygan what the woman's history 
had been during that period, but vague rumors had 
floated back to the place that she had become an army- 
follower, which was quite probable ; but at the close of 
the war she had assumed the role of an abandoned adven- 
turess, and had wandered about the Pacific Slope until 
she had made too extensive an acquaintance for her 
safety in that section, and from thence had wandered 
through the country towards the East, seeking for any 
kind of prey ; and being hunted from place to place, 
under countless aliases, until she had in a measure 
retrieved herself, as far as money matters were concerned, 
and being careful of herself physically, had regained her 
good looks which her former terrible dissipation had 
almost destroyed, and had eventually so insinuated herself 
intc the affections of a rich somebody that she had been 
furnished money with which to secure a divorce from 
7* 



154 A CHICAGO DIVORCE "SHYSTER" 

HosOrd, which had been granted in Chicago about a 
year and a half previous ; when she had come on to 
Sheboygan Falls and while there made her boasts that she 
would soon marry one of the richest men in New York 
State, as soon as his wife died, which wouldn't be very 
long she had hoped and believed. Besides this, the 
rumors went, she had failed to marry that richest some- 
body in New York State, and papers had been seen con- 
taining an account of the woman and Lyon, her suit 
against him, and the fact, which particularly interested 
her old neighbors, that she had engaged no lawyer what- 
ever, but had drawn and filed the bill of complaint her- 
self. 

In fact, the entire community were in a state of great 
excitement over the woman who was also creating much 
excitement in the East, and each person had his or her 
story to tell of some striking peculiarity or previous 
adventure of the madam's, and it required a great 
amount of sifting and careful work for Mr. Bangs to 
secure what he came for. 

After a few days, however, he had worked so judi- 
ciously that he had got pledges from several responsible 
citizens that they would give their depositions as to her 
general character and reputation for chastity, or rather, 
want of it, whenever a commission should be forwarded 
to a certain lawyer of the city whom he engaged to take 
them, 

Fi 3m here he at once proceeded to Iowa, only stop 
ping at Chicago long enough to secure a transcript of the 



A CHICAGO DIVORCE "SHYSTER." 155 

divorce which had been granted in that city so noted for 
divorces, that one shyster alone secured seven hundred 
and seventy-seven of these desirable instruments from the 
period between the great fire and the close of the year 
1875, from whence he immediately proceeded to Oska- 
loosa, where he soon became acquainted with parties who 
had known the woman, though under as many different 
aliases as she had visited cities of that State. 

She had invariably advertised herself as a medium and 
female physician, and had swindled every one with whom 
she had come in contact, from the editor to errand-boy? 
from one end of the State to the other, and had gained 
even a worse reputation there than in Wisconsin. He 
ascertained that Hosford was not living at Oskaloosa, and 
before going through the same experience in listening to 
countless tales of the woman's depravity as he had in 
Wisconsin, he decided to proceed to his place, which was 
near Monroe, twenty-nine miles distant. He procured a 
conveyance and drove out to Hosford' s farm, arriving at 
the place about dusk, where, after he had stated his busi- 
ness, he was invited to remain over night, and made com- 
fortable. 

Although a farmer, Hosford had everything cozy and 
pleasant about him, had married into a very respectable 
family, and had secured a most agreeable wife, who was 
caring for his children two bright girls and a boy, fiom 
twelve to fifteen years of age with almost the tenderness 
and affection of an own mother. After supper Hosford 
sent his family into another part of the house, and ex- 



I5<> A CHICAGO DIVORCE "SHYSTER" 

pressed himself as ready to give any information in hii 
power. 

He had not yet heard of the suit against Lyon, and 
when Mr. Bangs told him, he seemed astonished beyond 
expression, and after a little time said that he had often 
tried to think of some Satanic scheme that the woman 
would not dare to undertake if it occurred to her, but he 
had failed to imagine any. But with the record, especially 
for personal purity, behind her that Mrs. Winslow pos- 
sessed, he could not but be particularly startled and sur- 
prised at her supreme self-possession and audacity. After 
a little further desultory conversation, Mr. Bangs told him 
that the Agency had all the necessary information regard- 
ing their early career, and of their subsequent history up 
to the time when they left Terre Haute, and probably a 
great deal after that time, and asked Hosford if he would 
be willing to go over the whole matter, giving the outlines 
of their troubles, what brought them about, and what had 
been their result. 

He was the same old Dick Hosford abrupt, kind, 
generous, with perhaps some of the old " forty-niner " 
roughness worn off and a toning-down of his whole na- 
ture, that his keen sorrows had given him ; but he was 
quite as impulsively reckless, and just as impulsively ten- 
der, and he began his story in a kind of weary way, that, 
to one knowing his history, was really sad and touching. 

" Well, sir," said Hosford, " I knew the gal had been 
doing wrong at Detroit, but for all these hard years in 
Californy I had been working, savin', and goin' thnmgb 



A CHICAGO DIVORCE " SHYSTER." 1 57 

danger with the purty pictur ahead that the bright girl I 
had left by the river would one day make me a happy 
home. I worked like a nigger, and it was sometimes up 
and sometimes down with me out thar mostly down, 
though. But I struck a good lead one day, and worked 
close till it panned dry. I didn't have much aside some 
of them fellows out thar ; but instead of runnin' it down 
my throat, givin' it to cut-throat gamblers, or flingin' it 
away on vile women, I started full chisel for the States. 
I come to Terre Haute, as you know, and spent nearly 
all my dust buyin' a little farm. Then I started fur Net- 
tle ton's, whar I expected heaven but found hell! 

" It bust me all up like, and I wandered about the old 
place jest as though I had went to sleep happy and waked 
up in a big grave that I couldn't get out of. The old 
folks themselves wasn't any more cut up than me ; but I 
thought as how I wasn't doin' anything to help matters, 
'n only making them more trouble. So I thought and 
thought what to do, and finally made up to go a-huntiu' 
her, 'n told the old folks I wouldn't come back 'thout her. 

" It all come over me then what she was doing ; but I 
only thought to get her back for the old folks' sake 
Well, sir, I went to Chicago, and hung around that dog- 
goned city fur a week 'r two ; but no Lil. Then I come 
back, lookin* everywhere, askin' everybody, an' peerin" 
into every place ; but no Lil. Fir .ally, I got to Detroit, 
and I went into every one of those places where I feared 
she might be ; but no Lil. Do you know where I found 
her ? " 



158 A CHICAGO DIVORCE " SHYSTER* 

Mr. Bangs told him he did, and how. 

" Well, sir," continued Hosford, " I was utterly dis- 
couraged, 'n was goin' to go back and sell the place, and 
get away from the country altogether ; but when I saw 
her all so rosy, fixed up so gay, and got to be such a 
grand sort of a woman, I just caved in altogether and 
wanted her for myself more 'n ever. I thought she had a 
good heart, and that I loved her enough to always be kind 
to her as God knows I was and thought that might 
keep her right. I never asked her a question, 'n wouldn't 
let the old folks. Everybody makes mistakes, ye know, 
and it kind of makes people wild to let 'em know you 
know it, and to badger 'em with questions. Well, she had 
lots of good sense, and took off her finery before we got 
to the old folks', who were 'most crazy with joy that we had 
come back together as man and wife. We stayed at Net- 
tleton's a few days, then went direct to Terre Haute. I 
don't believe a man ever had a better wife 'n she was to 
to me while we lived there. We never mentioned the old 
times, and were very happy, as the children kept comin' 
along. The silks and jewels she got at Detroit were all 
put away, 'n I never saw 'em, till one day I come home 
unexpected and found the children shut out in the yard, 
and my wife afore the lookin' -glass, all rigged out in her 
old finery, an' lookin' herself over and over, while countin* 
a big pile of money that I had never seen before. I got a 
good look at her, but went whistlin' about the house for 
a long time, so as to let on that I didn't see her, and to 
give her time to get her old clothes on agin. 



A CHICAGO DIVORCE "SHYSTER." 159 

" It seemed as if right there and then the clouds begun 
hangin' over the house. I didn't say a word about it, and 
made everything as cheery as I could ; but begur tryin' 
to think what had set her goin', and after a few days found 
that she had been attendin' some of those Spiritual meet 
ings down to town, and one of the Doctors come up to 
our place and stayed a few days, representin' himself as a 
good Methodist. 

" I knew it wouldn't do to stay there any longer, an' so 
we moved to Wisconsin, I makin' her think it was healthier 
'n where they had no ager. Well, sir, after we got there 
everything was pleasant and happy agi'n till the Spiritual- 
ists begun overrunnin' that country too, and she com- 
menced her tantrums at once. I didn't oppose her goin' 
to them meetin's, but told her I hoped she wouldn't get 
mixed up with 'em too much ; but 'twas no use. The 
devil had come into the house in that shape, and though 
I prayed hard that it might leave, it got worse and 
worse, till the children were 'most crazy with fright and 
sorrow. I didn't know what to do. She run me in 
debt, slandered me, disgraced me. She would not only 
run about the country with those terrible people, but she 
took to her old life, which was worse than everything else. 
I tried every way to reform her ; but she was bound to 
go her vile way, and I could stand it no longer. 

"You know the rest up there. After she had been 
gone some time and had got the divorce in Chicago, I 
come here with the children, to try and get away from it 
all You h~ve seen my wife. She ain't a purty woman, 



160 A CHICAGO DIVORCE "SHYSTER" 

She is pure and good though, and I prayed to God that 
the shadder would never come here. But 'twasn't an}' 
use. It seemed as though my prayin' never helped things 
much ! We hadn't more 'n got settled here, when I heard 
of her travellin' through the country you know hoi*. 
Some way she found me out here, and I haven't had much 
peace since. 

" One time she came here and left a trunk full of nice 
silk dresses and things. After a time, wife and I looked 
into it and found over two hundred keys of all kinds, be- 
sides pistols and knives. She came and took it away 
soon after, accusin' us of stealin' some of her things, and 
threatened to have us arrested. A few months afterwards 
she went up to Newton, the county-seat, and swore out 
a warrant for our arrest on the charge of assault and 
battery, and got subpoenas out for all the folks across the 
way. The Sheriff came down here to serve his warrant 
and subpoenas, and at Monroe learned something about 
the woman, so that by the time he got here and talked it 
over with us, I come to the conclusion she wanted to get 
us away and then steal the children ; so we took them all 
along, left one of the neighbors to take care of the house, 
and went to Newton to stand trial. Sure enough, she 
didn't appear agin' us, but did come here in a carriage 
fur the children, awful drunk, and come near sliootin' the 
man that was taking care of the place ! " 

Bangs here asked Hosford whether he had ever seen 
her since or had heard from her. 

" I have seen her but once," he replied. "But I bav 



A CHICAGO DIVORCE "SHYSTER." l6l 

heerd about her doin's, time and time again. She 7ome 
here one day in a carriage, dressed fit to kill ; and the first 
I see, she was tryin' to get the children into the carriage 
with her. I ordered them to come in, when, with an oath, 
she put her hand to her bosom as if to draw a pistol. 

" I got mad at this, and told her that if she had come to 
that agin, I'd have a hand in too ; and as soon as I turn- 
ed into the house as if to get a pistol I only had an old 
rusty one with a broken lock, but had an idea that I 
could some way use it she blazed away at me, the ball 
going through the front door and driving the splinters into 
my clothes. As she didn't know whether she had hit me 
or not, she drove away at full gallop, and I've never sot 
eyes on her since." 

The poor fellow seemed to say this with an inexpressi 
ble sense of satisfaction and relief. He had had more 
than his share of her general depravity forced upon him, 
and the respite from it, though short, was very dear to him. 

Bangs got from Hosford the names of parties in con- 
tiguous towns who could give him definite information 
about Mrs. Winslow, while he offered to come to Roch- 
ester himself, if his presence was required ; and after a 
good night's rest and an early breakfast, Mr. Bangs re- 
turned to Monroe. After a few days' travel and inquiry 
he secured a thousand times more information than neces- 
sary to compel the retiracy of the splendid Mrs. Winslow 
from her then public and profitable field of operations, 
after which he returned to New York, well satisfied witb 
the result of his by no means pleasant labors. 



CHAPTER XVL 

Mrs. WinsloVs Signal answered. She endeavors to ivin Bristol, and 
shows that they are "Affinities." Deteclive Fox mystified. An 
Evening with the One fairWoman. Closer Intimacies. A Journey 
proposed. Detective Bristol as a Lover. 

BACK in the streets of Rochester, Bristol followed 
Mrs. Winslow with much wonderment and some 
anxiety as to the result, not sure as to whether any of the 
three lovely women had noticed his leaving at the call of 
their hated rival, and cogitating what the woman might 
want with him. 

They soon arrived at the Garden, the woman frequent- 
ly looking back to assure herself that the retired banker 
was following her, and finally passed into the Fields and 
took a booth, where she ordered a bottle of wine, which 
gave her right to its occupancy for an indefinite period ; 
and as soon as Bristol sauntered in, she signalled him to 
join her, which he did with great apparent hesitation and 
diffidence, and the general appearance of a man guilty of 
almost his first wrong intent, but yet with strong resolu- 
tion to not let it get the better of him. 

She did not remove the delicate lace veil from her face, 
and it blended the pretty flush which the exercise had 
heightened with her naturally clear complexion in a most 



MRS. WINSLOW' S SIGNAL ANSWERED. 163 

artistic way, and toned the light in her great gray eyes in- 
to a languid lustre, very thrilling to behold when one 
knows there is a clean life behind such beauty, but as 
dangerous when transformed into a winning mask cover- 
ing the perdition in the heart of a wicked woman, as the 
dazzling power of the Prophet of Khorassan. 

Bristol was a very courtly sort of fellow, and received a 
glass of wine from the neat hand with considerable grace, 
though inwardly wondering what it all meant. Their 
wine-glasses touched, and the cheap nectar was drunk 
in silence, Mrs. Winslow only indulging in those little mo- 
tions and changes of features that some women believe 
to be attractive and fascinating, and which really are so to 
many susceptible people ; and though Bristol might ordi- 
narily have succumbed to the charms of the accomplished 
woman before him and had he been the retired banker 
she supposed him to be would probably have done so 
as the sedate, elderly, and capable detective, he only 
pretended to be smitten, and coyishly acknowledged her 
loving glances with more than ordinary ardor. 

Finally, the fair woman, after modestly biting her lips for 
a time, began tapping the table with the handle of her 
fan, and looking Bristol full in the face, suddenly said : 

" Mr. Bristol, aren't you a little curious why I wanted 
to see you ? " 

" Any man who is a man," replied Bristol earnestly, 
*' could not but have a pardonable curiosity when so fail 
a woman as Mrs. Winslow claims his attention ! " 

"There, there," said she laughing, and extending he 



1 64 MRS, WINSLOWS SIGNAL ANSWERED. 

hands across the table as if in a burst of confidence, " let 
us wave formalities; let us be friends." 

Bristol took her proffered hands rather stiffly, but held 
them as long as was necessary, as they were pretty hands, 
warm hands, and hands that could grasp another's with a 
good show of honesty, too. 

"There is no reason why we shouldn't," he said gal- 
lantly, as she poured out another glass of wine. 

" Only one," answered Mrs. Winslow archly. " The 
three Graces don't like me, and they are bound we sha'n't 
meet. Now," she continued, again tapping the table ner- 
vously with her fan, and then raising her fine eyebrows 
and looking at Bristol half anxiously, half tenderly, and 
altogether meltingly, "I feel as though we had been ac- 
quainted for years. Don't think me bold, Mr. Bristol, 
but I have had you in my thoughts much possibly too 
much," she added with the faintest trace of a blush ; " but 
if I could feel that this I was going to say attachment, 
though that would be quite improper, and I will say un- 
explainable regard I have formed for you was in the least 
measure reciprocated " 

Bristol interrupted her with : "I think I can assure you 
that it is, at least, in a proper measure." 

" Then," she continued, apparently radiant with happi- 
ness, "as I was about to say, I am sure it could be ar- 
ranged so that we could be more in each other's society. 
You know who I am ? " she abruptly and almost suspi- 
ciously asked. 

Bristol was almost put off his guard by the sudden 



MRS. WINSL O W S SIGNAL ANSWERED. 165 

change of the subject, but parried the question with : 
" Certainly not ; at least no more than through what I 
have been told at the restaurant." 

Tears started in her well-trained eyes, but she impet 
uously brushed them away and followed the pretty piece 
of acting with : " Oil, Mr. Bristol ! I fear we may never 
be to each other what we might have been if these three 
old hags I mean old maids had not poisoned your 
mind regarding me. Let me tell you," and she took hold 
of his collar and drew the reluctant detective towards her, 
" they are trying to get your money your vast wealth. 
Let a comparatively unknown friend whisper in youi ear, 
' Beware /' " 

Bristol started, adjusted his glasses, grasped Mrs. Win- 
slow's hand, and, as if very much frightened and extreme- 
ly grateful, said heartily and-with great fervor, "My dear 
madam, for this kindness I am yours to command ! " 

The woman evidently felt assured from that moment 
that she had made a conquest ; but her varied experience 
and professional tact, as well as her native shrewdness, 
prevented her from expressing too great gayety over it, 
and she proceeded to inform Bristol how keen and 
shrewd the old ladies under Washington Hall were ; how 
in confidence they had told her that they would compel 
him to marry one of them, and were going to draw cuts 
to determine which should carry off the prizv; ; and when 
that was settled, if he did not marry the fortunate person 
willingly, their combined evidence would bring him down, 
or despoil him of a great portion of his wealth, which, 



166 MRS. W1NSLOWS SIGNAL ANSWERED. 

she had no doubt, he had acquired by long years of 
honest toil. 

Bristol expressed himself aghast at the depravity of 
women, and told Mrs. Winslow that it seemed to him that 
the nearer the grave they got the more terrible their greed 
and hideousness became. 

Mrs. Winslow murmured that she was not so very, -very 
old. 

" Quite the contrary," said Bristol, gallantly, " and 
even when you become so, I am sure very sure, that you 
will prove a marked exception." 

An expression of pleasure flitted into her face, suc- 
ceeded by one of evident pain pleasure, probably, that 
she had made another dupe as she supposed ; pain, that 
in one swift moment there had flashed into her mind 
some terrible picture of her cursed, lonely, homeless old 
age, when the whole world should scoff at her and thrust 
her from it, like the vile thing that she was and the hid- 
eous thing that she would surely become ; both followed 
by the set features, where the cruel light came into her 
eyes and the swift shuttles of crimson and ashy paleness 
shot over her curled lips the outward semblance of the 
inward tigress, that, though diverted for an instant by 
some little sunlight-flash of either tenderness or regret, 
never could be won from its irrevocably awful nature ! 

But it was all gone as soon as it had come, and she sat 
there, to all appearances a handsome woman, as mod- 
estly and carefully as possible encroaching upon the 
grounds of a first after-marriage flirtation, and in a fen 



MRS. WINSLOW'S SIGNAL ANSWERED, ify 

moments pleasantly said : " I have become so interested 
in you, Mr. Bristol, that I have found myself asking the 
question : Why is it that this gentleman is continually 
in my mind ? until, do you know, I have such a curiosity 
about you that I shall be perfectly delighted to get better 
acquainted with you." 

Bristol gracefully acknowledged the compliment by 
stating to her that he himself, since he had seen her, had 
had a strange feeling that he should know more about her, 
and the presentiment was still so strong upon him that he 
was now quite sure that he should. 

" Ever since I saw you I have felt that we should be 
come intimate," continued Mrs. Winslow radiantly. 

" And I may myself confess that ever since I saw you, 
Mrs. Winslow, I really knew that I should be obliged to 
search you out and remain near you." 

Mrs. Winslow blushed and cpyishly asked : " Mr. Bris- 
tol, do you believe in affinities ? " 

" Most assuredly." 

" So do I, and as we have sat here together, it has 
seemed to me that the good spirits were hovering over 
and around us, and had been, and were even now, whis- 
pering to us the sacredness of the affinity which surely 
must exist between us." 

Mrs. Winslow said this in a kind of rhapsody of emotion, 
which betokened both an air of sincerity derived from fre- 
quent repetition and long practice, and a sort of supersti- 
tious belief in what she herself said ; and then poured out 
another glass of wine for each, while Bristol remarked a* 



168 MRS. WINSLOWS SIGNAL ANSWERED. 

he drank, that of late years these spirits had been a grea! 
source of comfort to him, and that their free circulation was 
a good thing for society. 

An hour or two was pleasantly beguiled in this mannei, 
but Bristol hardly knew what course to pursue, and began 
to feel that in the absence of instructions he might become 
altogether too familiar with the charming woman who was 
making such an effort to please him. But he dare not 
cause her to become angry at him, for that would destroy 
his usefulness, and she seemed bound that he should ad- 
mire her ; so, as he had been directed by me to continue 
the role of the " retired banker," he concluded it would 
be better to humor Mrs. Winslow in the belief that he 
was -smitten by her, as she showed great anxiety that it 
should be so. Accordingly, when she proposed that he 
should call at her apartments that evening, he acceded to 
the request with such a show of pleasure that Mrs. Wins- 
low could not restrain her gratification, but rose and ter- 
minated the interview by slapping Bristol heartily on the 
shoulder and calling him a " dear old trump, anyhow ! " 
And Fox, who was reading the morning paper over a glass of 
beer at a little table not more than ten feet distant, looked 
in blank astonishment at Bristol, as if fearing that the 
woman had really bewitched him ; while little Le Compte, 
who stood at the entrance beyond, looked the very pic- 
ture of abject jealousy as he saw his darling lavishing en- 
dearments upon a man old enough to be her father. 

Mrs. Winslow passed out of the Fields, and noticing 
Le Compte, who was retreating as rapidly as possible, 



MRS. WINSLOW'S SIGNAL ANSWERED. 169 

beckoned to him, and when he had approached her near 
enough for her to speak to him, gave him a few quick, 
angry words that sent him at a rapid pace over the rail- 
load bridge in the direction of his rooms ; while she, after 
a paiting smile at the beaming Bristol, who stood radi- 
antly in the Fields' entrance, walked into St. Paul street, 
and from thence back and forth past the restaurant, 
where the three deserted old maids might witness her 
stride of triumph ; while Bristol joined Fox at a retired 
spot under the shade of the trees overhanging the brink 
of the precipice rising from the gorge of the Genesee 
River, and explained the status of affairs which had all 
unconsciously to himself drawn him from his quiet work 
into an awful whirlpool of love and all that the term 
implied. Fox felt much relieved at this information, and 
at once proceeded home, while Bristol, with a guilty look 
in his face, returned to the little restaurant, where he 
found a dispatch from me stating that Mrs. Winslow 
intended going to Canada two days later, as I had been 
very positively informed by Le Compte, and directing him 
to in some manner keep her company and never let her 
make a move or meet a person without his knowledge. 

Bristol hardly saw how he was to do this, but concluded 
that it might be best to wait until after his interview with 
his charmer in the evening, so that he could also forward 
the result of that with his regular report ; and after ex- 
pressing unbounded regret at being obliged to part from 
the three graces and a little card-party they had ar- 
ranged, he proceeded to Mrs. Winslow's apartments, 



MRS. WINSLGW^S SIGNAL ANSWERED. 

which had seemingly been specially arranged for hii 
reception. 

The mistress of the place was most elegantly attired, 
and greeted the " retired banker " with such grace and 
marked esteem, that Fox, at his lonely window opposite, 
almost felt jealous of the attention bestowed upon his 
comrade by their mutual quarry. 

If ever a woman endeavored to make herself irresisti- 
bly winning, it was Mrs. Winslow on that night. She 
threw off all reserve at once, and was all smiles, pleasant 
words, and pretty ways. The rooms were most beauti- 
fully arranged, and where splendid flowers failed to furnish 
aroma, the delicate odors of art took their place. A very 
shrewd woman was Mrs. Winslow a woman who was 
supreme in the art of providing bijouterie to appeal to 
the sensuous in men's natures. In her conversation, 
which apparently was lady-like enough when guarded, 
there was always more suggested than said. The tone, 
the smile, the eye, the gesture, the touch every move- 
ment, glance, or sound, betokened an unexpressed some- 
thing ready at any moment to be brought forward to 
crush down a weakening resolution, and sweep from exist- 
ence so much of good or purity as might come into her 
baleful presence. She had rich game in Bristol, she 
thought. Why could she not work this with the Lyon 
case, bring to a successful termination a half-dozen other 
cases she was working up, secure a big pile of spoil at one 
time, and then with her little Le Compte glide away to 
La Belle France, where with his wit and her winning ways 



MRS. WINSLOW '5 SIGNAL ANSWERED. 1 7 1 

and wisdom, she might yet amass vast wealth in levying 
upon the personal and family pride of the thousands ot 
rich numskulls who annually throng the gay capital. 

And so to any man but a duty-doing detective that 
evening would have been a thrilling one. As it was, it 
was a hard one for Bristol, who knew that Fox's lynx 
eyes were upon him from across the street, who had to 
invent lege.id after legend regarding his life, his present 
and his imaginary future, and who was obliged under any 
circumstances not only to please the woman, but to pre- 
serve himself blameless two things to ordinary men 
quite difficult to manage. 

During the hour that Bristol remained with her she inti- 
mated to him the propriety of his securing another board- 
ing-place, so that they might enjoy each other's society 
without the annoyance to which the old maids would 
subject them both should .he remain there. He had 
wanted to make a change, Bristol said, but his long and 
varied experience had made him cautious, and he nevei 
gave up one good thing until he had secured a better. 
How would as pleasant a place as this do, Mrs. Winslow 
wanted to know ? She had been thinking of renting the 
entire flat, she said, and then re-renting it to select 
parties, like Mr. Bristol, who were willing to pay a good 
price for a really luxurious place in which to live. 

Bristol was apparently flattered by her regard for him, 
which had, of course, alone suggested the matter to he*- 
mind ; but, being an elderly gentleman of conservative 
habits, he required time to think the matter over. In an) 



172 MRS. WINSLOW' S SIGNAL ANSWERED. 

event, it couldn't but be a pleasant theme for contempla- 
tion. 

In fact, they got along famously together ; so much so, 
indeed, that before Bristol had taken his departure, Mrs. 
Winslow had pressed him to accompany her on a trip of 
both business and pleasure to Toronto, and had so 
urgently presented the request that he had half consented 
to go, and was quite sure that he would be able to do so, 
unless some unexpected business transaction should 
detain him. In any case, he would be able to inform her 
by the next afternoon, he said, as he gallantly bade her 
good-night, and observed Le Compte scowling upon him 
from the dark end of the hall beyond. 

Bristol hastened to the post-office and added the events 
of the evening to his daily report, which reached me the 
next afternoon, when I telegraphed to him to proceed 
with Mrs. Winslow, as her friend ; but while pleasing her 
by feigning extreme regard, to be discreet, and not put 
himself too much in her power, nor to allow her to ad- 
vance any of her other schemes by a sort of exhibition of 
him as her champion and protector. 

Mrs. Winslow was made very happy by Bristol's accept- 
ance of her invitation, and, at her suggestion, they took 
the train for Port Charlotte as strangers Mrs. Winslow 
informing Bristol that the " old scoundrel," meaning 
Lyon, was having her watched, she believed, but she 
would outwit him at every point ; but on arriving at the 
Port the loving couple got together quite naturally, and 
soon after were on board a steamer bound for Port Hope, 



MRS. WINSLOW' S SIGNAL ANSWERED. 1/3 

It was one of those dreamy, hazy days of early Sep- 
tember, when the disappearing shore seemed to gradually 
take upon itself a tint of blue as deep as that of the sky 
above and as pure as that of the waters below, which on 
this day was almost as smooth as a mirror, only broken 
by long, far-reaching swells that seemed to have neither 
beginning nor end, but which here and there swept away 
in endless ribbons of liquid light, while the trailing wake 
of the steamer seemed in the pleasant sun like some 
marvellous and limitless lace-work flung across the water 
in wanton richness and profusion. 

It was a lovely day for love, and to an unprejudiced 
observer Bristol and Mrs. Winslow improved it. At 
Charlotte the woman spoke of the matter in such a way 
that Bristol understood that she would not object to 
make the trip as his wife, but he innocently failed to 
catch the meaning of her covert invitation, and was only 
the attentive admirer during the entire trip. But in the 
cabin, or seated coyishly together under a huge sunshade 
upon the forward deck, they were as fine a couple as one 
would care to see, while the woman seemed unusually 
affectionate and agreeable. 

Arriving at Port Hope after a few hours, the couple 
took the night train for the West, and arrived at Toronto 
at midnight, being driven to the Queen's Hotrl. They 
had become so confidential and intimate by this t'me that 
Mrs. Winslow again suggested the propriety of travelling 
under more intimate relations than they had done, but 
was again carefully diverted from her purpose bj the 



174 MRS. WINSLOW'S SIGNAL ANSWERED. 

assumed innocence of the venerable detective, who saw 
that her real purpose was to secure evidence of having 
travelled as his wife, in order to have a future power 
over him, as she certainly believed him to be a man of 
great wealth. 

She had told him that she had business that would pre- 
vent her seeing him during the next day, at which he 
expressed extreme regret, and they retired to their sepa- 
rate apartments for the night 



CHAPTER XVII. 

Careful Work. Bristol's Trick on the Bell-boy at Queen's Hntd, 
Toronto. The old Merchant In the Toils. A Face at the Tran- 
som. A cowardly Puppet before a brazen Adventuress. Tb 
Horrors of Blackmail " Furnished Rooms to Rent." 

AS Mrs. Winslow had said, she was not to be seen 
the next morning ; and Bristol, after breakfasting 
early, came to the conclusion that he should also be 
busied for the day following my instructions to watch her 
every movement. 

He ascertained the number of her room and leisurely 
strolled through the hall until he located it, when he at 
once took a position where he could observe any move- 
ment in or out of the door. At about ten o'clock he 
noticed a waiter enter her room as if by summons, in 
a few minutes pass out smiling, and shortly afterwards 
return with a very large glass filled with some sort of 
liquor. Soon after he brought her breakfast, and about a 
half-hour later he saw that the dishes were being removed 
from the room, and, lying on one edge of the tray, an 
ordinary envelope, from its puffed condition evidently con- 
taining a note. He felt sure that this would give him the 
overture to the day's performance ; but how to secure 
it was another thing entirely. He could not take the 



1 76 CAREFUL WORK. 

letter from the tray, as it rested on the front edge which 
projected over the boy's shoulder, and was consequently 
immediately before his eyes. He probably would not be 
able to bribe him into letting him have it, for the letter 
might require an answer, and he would fear getting into 
trouble. Bristol was standing at the end of the hall, by 
the window overlooking the street, while the waiter was 
approaching the stairs which descended to the lower 
floors near him. The boy had reached the second step 
going down, and it was Bristol's last opportunity. 

" Stop ! " he said excitedly to the boy. " Here, give 
me that tray," and he pulled it from the boy's shoulder 
and rested it upon the stair-rail. " I'll take care of this. 
Run down to the street, now, quick, and get me a this 
morning's paper. There's a newsboy right in front of the 
house. Here's a half-dollar; keep the change ! " 

The boy seemed startled at the action, but Bristol had 
been so impetuous about it; that he had relinquished the 
tray and started down stairs, but, recovering himself, 
came back and reached his hand up as if to take the letter. 

"Tut, tut," said Bristol angrily, picking up the letter 
and carelessly putting it in his pocket without looking at 
the address, " I'll take care of everything until you get 
back ; get along with you now ! " 

Bristol was noted for his benign and fatherly appear- 
ance, and, after another good look at him, the waiter took 
a brisk trot down stairs, leaving the detective in posses- 
sion of the letter. He hastily put the tray upon the floor, 
and whisking the letter from his pocket, saw that it was 



CAREFUL WORK. 177 

addressed with a pencil, to " J. Devereaux, No. , Yonge 
St.," and marked " Personal." It was but the work of an 
instant to open it, and but of a moment to read it, as it 
was short and to the point, and ran as follows : 

QUEEN'S HOTEL, TORONTO, Sept. 6, 186-. 
DEVEREAUX I am hard up. I need one thousand 
dollars, though five hundred will do, but I must have that 
amount at once. You have intimated that you would not 
help me any further. I have merely to say to you that if 
you do not either call with, or send the money, during the 
day, I will cause you to reflect as to whether your busi 
ness and social reputation are not worth to you and your 
estimable family immeasurably more than the trifle 
named. Exercise your own pleasure about the matter 

however. 

MRS. W. 

Bristol copied this upon the back of the addressed en- 
velope in less than a minute, and in a minute more had 
the note enclosed in another envelope and addressed in 
a handwriting sufficiently similar to that of Mrs. Wins- 
low's to answer every purpose, and had just got into a 
calm and bland position with the tray, when the boy came 
up the stairs, three steps at a time, gave the paper a toss 
into the hall, jerked the letter out of Bristol's hand, and 
after giving him a look that had considerable resentment 
in it, strode down th 2 stairs with his tray on his shouldei 
and his letter in his pocket, in a very offended and digni 

fied manner. 

8* 



1 78 CAREFUL WORK. 

But as Bristol was on this kind of business at Toronto 
he thought he n.ight as well ascertain where the little fel 
low went ; and, taking a position a half-block distant from 
the hotel, was obliged to wait but a little time before the 
waiter came down and started off on a brisk walk down 
the street. 

He waited until the boy had passed him, and then fol- 
lowed him in and out the streets until he saw him sud- 
denly turn into a large wholesale house on Yonge street, 
when he rapidly lessened the distance between them, ar- 
riving in front of the place as he saw the boy hand the 
note to a thin old gentleman, who took him aside and 
nervously questioned him for a few minutes, after which 
he nodded to him as if assenting to something, or direct- 
ing the boy to return an affirmative answer to whoever 
had sent the note, or whatever it contained. 

The boy walked briskly back to the hotel, and Bristol 
only remained long enough to notice the old man 
who was evidently the Devereaux of whom Le Compte 
had informed me, and whose name Bristol had so recently 
written walk tremblingly towards the door as if over 
come with some sudden faintness, and in a sort of vacant, 
listless way tear the note into little bits and fling them 
piecemeal upon the stones of the street, hurling the last 
bunch of pieces upon the pavement with a violent, agon- 
ized action, as if he would to God he could dispose of the 
dark and relentless shadow across his life as quickly and 
as effectually ! 

All Bristol now had to do was to ascertain when Dev 



CAREFUL WORK. 179 

ereaux called, and, if possible, to overhear what was said 
at the interview. 

But this might not be so easy a matter to accomplish 
as securing the contents of the letter addressed to the 
latter. After studying the matter over for a little time, 
but without any definite decision what to do, he found 
himself strolling along the hall where Mrs. Winslow's 
room was located, and noticed several rooms standing 
open and being put to rights after the departure of guests. 
Among this number was one next to that occupied by 
Mrs. Winslow, and, taking the number, he immediately 
repaired to the office and had his baggage changed to that 
room, where, after dinner, with a few cigars and some 
fresh reading matter, he comfortably and leisurely waited 
for developments. 

The day dragged along, and both Bristol and Mrs. 
Winslow became anxious. . The latter paced back and 
forth in her room, and every few moments went to the 
door, and even passed out into the hall, going as far as 
the stairs and peering anxiously down, while the waiter at 
frequent intervals was summoned to provide her courage 
and patience of a liquid character. Finally, however, 
Bristol noticed that she had either concluded to take a 
short nap, or was determined to wait patiently, for quite 
a period of silence elapsed in her roDm, which he took 
advantage of to steal quietly out into the hall, leaving his 
door ajar so that he might re-enter it noiselessly as occa- 
rion required. 

It was not long before the occasion presented itself foi 



180 CAREFUL WORK. 

Bristol had got no more than to the end of the hall when 
he saw Devereaux ascending the stairs from below. He 
quietly stepped behind the curtains that trailed from the 
lambrequin over the window, and watched the old mar as 
he came up the stairs. 

He was a little, gray, withered old man. Almost all 
his strength was gone, and he certainly had but a few 
more years to use what little strength was left. His hair 
was almost white, and his face was quite as colorless, 
while the weak, rheumy eyes seemed almost ready to fall 
through the flesh which had withered away to the bones 
of his face. He was a living example of the black- 
mailer's victim as he labored along, now and then catch- 
ing at the stair-rail for help, and looking behind and 
around him as if fearing some sudden discovery. Arriv- 
ing upon the hall floor, he peered anxiously at the num- 
bers upon the doors, and after settling in his mind what 
direction to take, went on tremblingly with bowed head 
towards the woman who was as remorseless as death 
itself. 

He found the room after a little trouble, and tapped at 
it apprehensively. It was at once opened and immedi- 
ately closed after, when Bristol sprang from his hiding- 
place and was in the adjoining room almost as soon as 
the next door had closed. 

During the afternoon, when Mrs. Winslow had absented 
nerself from her room, he had dragged the bureau against 
the door opening into her apartment, placed i quilt from 
his bed upon it in order that his jumping upon it might 



CAREFUL WORK. l8l 

occasion no noise, and with his knife cut a diamond 
shaped piece out of the green paper covering the glass 
transom, darkening his own room so that his eyes 
could not by any possibility be seen through the aperture 
in the piece of paper, which had a dead black appearance 
from Mrs. Winslow's room ; and by the time the poor old 
man had confronted the woman in a scared kind of a way, 
and had seated himself upon the sofa obedient to her im- 
perious gesture, the " retired banker's " eyes and eye- 
glasses looked calmly down upon a scene the whole terri- 
ble import of which, could it have been presented to the 
world in all its terrible hideousness, and in some form be- 
come eternally typical of the curse it illustrated, would 
have stood for all time a savage Cerberus frightening men 
from this kind of infamy and self-destruction. 

In all my startling experience with criminals and the 
sad incidents which have in the peculiar nature of my 
business forced themselves upon my observation, there 
has been no one thing so reprehensible as the trade of 
the blackmailer, and there is a no more terrible torture 
than that inflicted by that class of criminals ; and I am 
satisfied that could heads of families realize their terrible 
danger when heedlessly forming some unholy alliance, 
which is sure to eventually whip and scourge them until 
life is a burden, there would be less of the moral laxity 
and lechery than now burdens the world from palace 
and pulpit to poverty-stricken hovel. 

What more pitiable picture than that of a man just 
ready to pass from all that should be worth having and 



1 82 CAREFUL WORK. 

loving to the unknown country, with fear behind and aw- 
ful uncertainty beyond with the work of a whole life, 
which should now bring a reward of tenderness, gratitude, 
and reverential esteem, embittered and blasted by the 
relentless curse that ever trails after weakness and pas- 
sion fear, distrust, and apprehension between himself 
and family, and the Damoclean sword ever above him, 
ready to fall at the instant he endeavors to throw the 
horrible shadow from him to regain honesty and upright 
ness! 

There the old man sat, a cowardly puppet before a 
brazen adventuress sat there a weak, drivelling, idiotic 
wreck before one so vile that she was no longer capable 
of regret sat there ruined in everything worth the preser- 
vation of, suffering what he had for years suffered the 
regret, the remorse, the shame, and the abject fear that 
were worse than a thousand deaths ; while the utterly 
heartless woman, with her hands folded across her waist in 
a masculine sort of a way, looked at him smilingly, seem- 
ingly enjoying his efforts to recover the breath lost in the, 
to him, severe labor of getting' to her room ; as it ap- 
peared to be the custom for him to see her there rather 
than in the parlor. 

The interview was business-like, and, as it was not over- 
whelmed with sentiment, was not protracted. 

Mrs. Winslow asked Devereaux if he had brought the 
money, and he stammered that he had. Well, she wanted 
it, and didn't want any nonsense with it, either, she said, 
with a vast amount of meaning thrown into the words ; he 



CAREFUL WORK 183 

knew whether he owed her that amount or not, ?.nd, if he 
did, she didn't propose having any bickering about it. 

Then the old man slowly rose, and cursing her, himself, 
and all the world, flung her the money and said he would 
;o, as he knew that was all she wanted. 

She told him frankly that it was pretty nearly all she 
wanted, but added jocosely that he was still " a charmer," 
and that that fact, too, had its influence in periodically 
drawing her to him ; and then bade him an affectionate 
good-by as he feebly glared at her, and passed, whining, 
cursing, and tottering away. 

Mrs. Winslow was very happy and gay now, and during 
the evening and on their return to Rochester was all 
smiles and winsomeness. Her detective companion 
could scarcely enter into her unusual joyousness, but did 
the best he could, and that was well enough, as she was 
so pleased with the success of her Toronto trip that her 
mind was altogether employed with it until nearing home, 
when her eminent business ability again asserted itself, 
and she became more affectionate than ever to the retired 
banker, repeating the proposition concerning the rooms, 
which Bristol had of course reported, and which he would 
be prepared to act upon when he could secure his rr ail 
at Rochester. 

He told her he had thought favorably of it, and after he 
had ascertained whether he should remain in the city a 
stated period or not, would inform her of his decision, 
which he presumed would be favorable and permit o{ 
their continued pleasant : ntimacy; while Mrs. Winslov* 



1 84 CAREFUL WORK. 

confided to him th^t she had thought seriously of the 
course for some time. She knew Lyon was having hei 
watched, she said, and she had decided that it would be 
best to change her business to one which could not be so 
easily misinterpreted, or at least add to her present busi- 
ness something that in the eyes of those who scoffed at 
spiritualism would have a measure of respectability about 
it, and from which she could not only secure a livelihood, 
but such a pleasant companion as Mr. Bristol ; and they 
parted upon the train before arriving at the depot with a 
thorough understanding about the future, and an appoint- 
ment for another meeting at the first opportunity. 

Unknown to Bristol I had sent another operative to 
keep him and Mrs. Winslow company, and on receiving 
the reports of each I decided to put my men in her 
rooms, where one of them could constantly observe her 
actions, and never under any circumstances give her an 
opportunity to make any new move without my knc vl- 
edge. I therefore sent another man to Rochester for 
outside work, and directed Bristol to accept the woman's 
proposition and become her lodger, and, as soon after as 
possible without exciting her suspicions, appear to be- 
come acquainted with Fox, recommend him as a lodger, 
and secure his introduction to the place as M. D. Lyford, 
a book-keeper in some establishment of the city which 
they might settle upon, so that he might relieve Bristol, 
and vice versa, as occasion required. 

So the furnished rooms sign went up over the clairvoy- 
ant sign, and Mrs, Winslow added to the charms of hand 



CAREFUL WORK. 1 8$ 

some medium those of an attractive landlady, while the 
three old maids under Washington Hall lost their piize, 
who became a sort of an aged page to the castaway wo- 
man who had such luxurious rooms for rent in the 
autumn of 186-, on South St. Paul street, near Meech'a 
Opera-house, in the beautiful city of Rochester. 



CHAPTER XVIII. 

Harcout again. " Things going slow." A Bit of personal History. 
A new Tenant. Detective Generalship. Mrs. Winslow fears sh 
is watched. Mr. Pinkerton cogitates. 

IT is pleasant to realize that the world moves along 
just the same, whether the many mild lunatics it car- 
ries attempt to interfere with it or not. There are count- 
less men, precisely like Harcout, incapable of holding in 
their little brains but one idea at a time, and that idea 
invariably pushes to the surface their own supreme ego- 
tism and self-consciousness, and just as invariably displays 
their utter ignorance of what they are continually interfer- 
ing with ; and it is both a grateful and charitable thought 
that such small minds, burdened with such vast assurance, 
are merely provided by Omniscience to make us patient, 
to warn us from allowing such knowledge as we may for- 
tunately gain from developing into similar self-assertion, 
and to serve to illustrate true worth by contrast. 

Here was this fellow sweeping into my office every 
day, demanding every detail of my operations on Mrs. 
Winslow, even intimating that I should consult with him 
as to every move to be made, and submit to his consid- 
eration even the character of the men employed, the color 
of their clothing and the quality, and every item or act 



HARCOUT AGAIN, iS/ 

concerning or included in the work. He had, in some 
unexplainable way that is common to brazen assurance 
or unmitigated ignorance, fastened himself upon the weak 
old man as a sort of confidential agent, or what-not, 
worked upon his fears, his superstitions, and his foolish 
half-faith in a system of religion that has never yet made 
other than male and female prostitutes, adventurers, ot 
lunatics, until the old man, standing alone and almost 
friendless, had learned to cling to him, and almost rely 
upon his consummate bravado to extricate him from the 
meshes of the web his own vileness and a vile woman 
had woven about him ; so that in one sense he stood in 
the relation of principal to me, and I found it impossible 
to shake him off, or relieve myself to any great extent of 
his impudent presence and foolish suggestions. 

I knew that he was utterly without principle, and was 
only making a show of this extraordinary energy in order 
to appear to more than earn whatever he got from Lyon, 
and continue in the tatter's mind the feeling that he was 
utterly indispensable to him. I also knew him to be as 
mean an adventurer as Mrs. Winslow was an adventuress ; 
that he was the villain who had first unloosed this vast 
flood of vileness and lechery upon society, and who, as 
the shameless Christian minister of Detroit, had put the 
fire-brand from hell in this woman's hand, to ever after 
continue her moral incendiarism wherever she might go, 
until thrust from life and infamous memory, and it annoyed 
me that this sort of a man should dictate to me. 

I could have disposed of him at one stroke, and I am 



1 88 HARCOUT AGAIN. 

satisfied that had I on only one occasion addressed him 
as the Rev. Mr. Bland, and casually inquired concerning 
his old Detroit friends, including Mother Blake, he would 
have slunk away without a word or a protest of any kind 
whatever ; and had I gone farther, and showed him what 
he himself did not know, that this woman, whom he was 
so anxious to have brought down with some startling 
development, was none other than the one whom he had 
led into a life of sin from the pleasant Nettleton farm- 
nouse by the winding river, and that he was now playing 
guardian to a man that would have probably been free 
from the curse that was hanging over him, had it not been 
for Harcout's earlier and more rascally villainy, he would 
have disappeared altogether, but I realized that this 
would not do. It would have had the effect of put-ting 
Lyon at the mercy of a horde of new ghouls, while the 
existing one frightened all others away and was in a 
measure a protection to Lyon, for he was now only bled 
by one, where he would otherwise have been bled by 
twenty. 

Aside from this, it would have probably resulted in Mrs. 
Winslow's being put on her guard, giving her time, not 
only to cover her tracks in many criminal instances we 
had already discovered against her, but also cause her to 
prevent witnesses from giving depositions, or, where de- 
positions had already been taken, give her an opportunity 
to secure affidavits from the parties who gave them that 
they were mistaken as to the identity of the person named 
in those instruments, and in other particulars greatly de- 



HARCOUT AGAIN. 189 

stroy the effect of the work already done and that which I 
had planned ; and I was consequently obliged to bear 
the fellow's dictatorial manner and suggestions, as he in- 
sisted on doing the work this way or that way, and urged 
that I was not " pushing things " fast enough. 

"Why, Mr. Pinkerton," said he one day, his eyebrows 
elevated and the corners of his mouth drawn down, his 
whole face expressive of lofty condescension and gentle, 
though firm reproof, " things are going rather slow- 
rather slow. Hem ! When we brought this case to you, 
we depended upon expedition depended on expedition, 
Mr. Pinkerton." 

" And have you any cause to complain ? " I asked 
pleasantly. 

"Well, I don't know as we should exactly call it 'com- 
plain.' No, I dca't know as we exactly complain ; but, 
if we might be allowed the privilege hem ! we would 
beg to suggest, without giving offence beg to suggest, 
mind you, without giving offence," he repeated, in the 
most offensive way possible, " that, if I might be 
allowed ihe expression, things are not pushed quite 
enough ! " 

" On the contrary," I continued good-naturedly, " we 
have secured what any good lawyer would consider an 
overwhelming amount of evidence, and are letting the 
woman take her own course, in order to allow her to com- 
pletely unwind herself." 

" But you see, Pinkerton, we supposed when we brought 
the case to you that you would, so to speak, smash things 



190 HARCOUT AGAIN. 

break her all up and scatter her, as it were rhem I- 
disperse her, you know." 

He said this as though he had taken a contract with 
Lyon to compel me to avenge them both on the woman, 
and it heated rny blood to be considered in the light of 
any person's hired assassin ; but I controlled myself, and 
explained the matter to him. 

" Harcout," said I, " do you know anything about my 
history ? " 

" Well, nothing save what I've seen in the newspapers. 
Merely by reputation," he added lightly. 

" Well, sir, whatever that reputation may be, Harcout," 
I said, " this is the truth. I never, that I know of, did a 
dishonorable deed. I worked from a poor boy to what- 
ever position or business standing I now have worked 
hard for everything I got or gained, and I never yet found 
it necessary to do dirty work for any person." 

" Quite noble of you quite noble," said Harcout pat- 
ronizingly. 

" The detection of criminals," I continued, paying no 
attention to his moralizing, " should be as honorable and 
so far as I have been able tc do, has been made as hon- 
orable while it is certainly as necessary, as that of any 
other calling. No element of revenge can enter into my 
work. You came to me with a case which I at first ob- 
jected to take, on account of its nature. I would not 
have taken it for all the money Mr. Lyon possesses, had 
I not been assured that this Mrs. Winslow was a danger- 
ous woman. Nor, knowing that she is one, as I now do, 



HARCOUT AGAIN. 191 

would I have any connection with the case if I found 
that Mr. Lyon insisted on my using the peculiar povvei 
which I always have at command for any other purpose 
than the, in this case, legitimate one of securing evidence 
against her which actually exists. I am satisfied that a 
no more relentless and terrible woman ever lived, but 
shall leave her punishment to her disappointment in not 
securing what her whole soul is bent on getting, and that 
is Lyon's money. I have nothing whatever to do with 
punishment, sir, and no person ever did or ever can use 
my force for that nefarious purpose ! " 

" Oh, exactly exactly, " replied the oily Harcout \ 
" but, you see, we rather hem ! expected something 
startling, you know. Now, for instance," here he raised 
his eyebrows and pursed his lips in a wise way ; " suppos- 
ing you had just ascertained all about her early history, 
you would probably have found that Mrs. Winslow had 
played these games all her life. Undoubtedly you could 
point to the very first man whom she blackmailed " 

"Undoubtedly," I interrupted, " I'm sure 1 could do it 
at this moment ! " 

Harcout looked at me quickly, but as I was gazing at 
the ceiling as if in deep thought, he went on quite enthu- 
siastically : 

" Exactly. They learn it early. They will swindle at 
ixteen, lob at eighteen ; blackmail at twenty; and kill a 
man any time after that ! " 

"Why, Harcout are you a. woman-hater?" I laugh. 
higly asked, notwithstanding my annoyance. 



192 HARCOUT AGAIN. 

" Oh, no," he suddenly replied ; " but I had a friend who 
once suffered from very much the same sort of a woman 
as this Mrs. Winslow, and she was not eighteen years old 
either. But to resume : Get this point in her life, and 
the rest hem ! the rest reads right on like the chapters 
Of a book ! " 

"And then what ? " I ventured to ask. 

"Then what?" he asked indignantly; "go for her 
through the newspapers. Drive her out of the country. 
Make it impossible for her to ever return ; " and then, as 
if reflecting, "ruin her altogether. Any reporter will 
listen to you if you have anybody to ruin ! In fact, get 
up an excitement about it and show her up." 

"And try your case in the newspapers instead of in the 
courts ? " I added, " which would have the effect of 
leaving the matter at the end just where it was at the 
beginning, with nothing proven, and Mr. Lyon still at the 
mercy of any future surprise the woman might conceive a 
fancy of springing upon him." 

But there was no means of changing this lofty gentle- 
man's opinions, and these interviews were always neces- 
sarily closed by the threat on my part that I would have 
nothing further to do with the matter if I was not allowed 
to conduct my operations according to my own judgment 
in the light of my own large experience upon such matters, 
and Mr. Harcout would depart in a most dignified and 
frigid manner, as though it were a " positively last appear- 
ance," only to return the next day with more objections 
and a new batch of suggestions, which were given me few 



HARCOUT AGAIN. 193 

"what they were worth," as he would remark, and we 
would fight our battles all over again, with the stereotyped 
result. 

I saw Mr. Lyon very seldom, and he always approach- 
ed me in the timid, reluctant way in which he had come 
into my office when the case was first begun ; but, con- 
trary to what I had anticipated through Harcout's injunc- 
tions to " push things " and crush the woman out, he 
approved of my course throughout, and seemed wonder- 
fully pleased that everything had been conducted so 
quietly and yet so effectively. Of course he shrank from 
the trial and the miserable sort of publicity all such trials 
compel ; but he was more fearful of the woman's future 
unexpected and sudden sallies upon him, which both he 
and myself were satisfied would be made at her conve- 
nience or whim, and was only too glad to agree to any 
course which would compel silence and peace. 

At Rochester everything was working smoothly. After 
Bristol had become located, his first work was to secure 
the admission to Mrs. Winslow's rooms of Fox, as Lyford, 
which was done by representing that, the same day he had 
himself gone there, he had suddenly come upon a sort of 
relative of his who was a book-keeper in a wholesale 
house on Mill street, and who was boarding at the Os- 
born House, and would be glad to make some arrange- 
ment whereby he might live comfortably, be near his 
business, and take his meals when and where he pleased. 
Thinking he would be more pleasantly situated, and, at the 
same time, be able to economize somewhat, Bristol said 
9 



194 HARCOUT AGAIN. 

he had recommended Mrs. Winslow's rooms very highly 
and that Lyford had agreed to call and take a look at the 
place, which he did, making a good impression, and ar- 
ranging to have his baggage sent the next day. 

The rooms were situated so that the two detectives in 
a measure had their quarry surrounded, or, at least, com- 
pletely flanked. The halls of the floor intersected each 
other at right angles at the top of the stairs, and Mrs. 
Winslow's reception-room was at the right, as the hall was 
entered from the stairway, while her sleeping-room could 
only be reached from this sitting-room, although being 
situated next the hall running parallel with the front of the 
building, while Bristol had shrewdly secured another sleep- 
ing-room fronting on St. Paul street, similar in size to 
Mrs. Winslow's, adjoining hers, and also, like hers, open- 
ing into the reception-room, which they had agreed to use 
in common, as it seemed that the fair landlady was all of 
a sudden, for some reason, becoming close and penurious. 
Fox's room was across the hall immediately opposite Mrs. 
Winslow's, as he had expressed a strong desire to be as 
near his cousin, Mr. Bristol, as possible, so that by chance 
and a little careful work the parties were located with as 
much appropriateness as I could possibly have wished for. 
The operatives each paid a month's rent in advance, taking 
receipts for the same, and immediately began paying par- 
ticular attention to all parties who came in and out of (he 
building, circulated freely among the Spiritualists of the 
city, and got on as good terms as possible with the charm- 
ing landlady, who seemed at times to be a little suspicious 



HARCOUT AGAIN. 1 95 

of her surroundings, as it introduced altogethei too many 
strange faces to suit a person who had a no clearer con- 
science than she had. 

From the gay, dashing woman she had been she be- 
came unpleasantly suspicious. She explained this to 
Bristol and Fox as arising from unfavorable visions and 
revelations from the spirits through the different mediums 
she had employed to give her the truth about her case 
with Lyon. The rooms had filled up rapidly with people 
whom the operatives had taken pains to ascertain all 
about, and who, as a rule, were honest folks ; but Mrs. 
Winslow could not get it out of her mind that some of 
them were spies from Lyon, and were watching her in 
everything that she did. 

There had been nothing whatever done to alarm her on 
the part of my men ; but the fact alone that here were a 
dozen people all about her r any one of whom might at 
any time spring some sudden harm upon her, began to 
affect her as the fear she had all her life inspired in others 
had affected them ; and she began to form a habit of 
talking pleasantly on ordinary subjects, and then turning 
abruptly and almost fiercely upon Bristol and Fox, who 
were now the only persons left whom she would at all trust 
even distrusting them with a series of questions so 
vital, and given with such wonderful rapidity, that it re- 
quired the best efforts of the operatives to parry her home- 
thrusts and quiet her regarding them. 

It was a question in my mind whether she had laid by 
a large sum of money or not. Years before she had sev 



196 HARCOUT AGAIN. 

eral thousand dollars ; up to the time she came to Roch. 
ester she had had the reputation of never paying a bill, 
and, however hedged in she might be by justice, jury, con- 
stables, or sheriff, she not only escaped incarceration, but 
beat them all without paying any manner of tribute. She 
had done a fair business in duping Spiritualists and other 
weak-minded people while in Rochester ; she had evi- 
dently levied upon Devereaux often and largely, and to 
my certain knowledge had taken some thousands of dol- 
lars from Lyon, and I was at a loss to know why she was 
growing so grasping and exacting as the reports showed 
was true of her ; for she soon complained of being poor, 
levied additional assessment for care of the rooms, insisted 
upon her tenants receiving sittings at a good round price 
from her, and in general dropped the veneer which had 
formerly made her extremely fascinating, and became, 
save in exceptional moments of good nature, a masculine, 
repulsive shrew, who, with a slight touch of hideousness, 
might have passed for a stage witch or a neighborhood 
plague. 



CHAPTER XIX. 

Mrs. Winslow becomes confidential Some of her Exploits. (let 
Plans. A Sample of Legal Pleading. A fishy Story. The Adven- 
turess as a Somnambulist. Detective Bristol virtuously indig- 
nant. Failing to win the " Retired Banker," Mrs. WinsloW 
assails Detective Fox with her Charms. 

AFTER a time Bristol and Fox became M/s. Win. 
slew's only confidants. Their business was to be- 
come so, and they successfully accomplished their object. 
As Bristol said in one of his reports : " Only set her 
tongue wagging, and she spouts away as irresistibly as an 
artesian well." 

Had she been possessed of womanly instinct in the 
slightest degree, this would have been impossible. But 
being a male in everything save her physical structure, it 
was quite natural that she should hobnob with those most 
congenial ; 2nd as she had antagonized all her lodgers 
save my operatives, and they made a particular effort to 
keep up a good-natured familiarity, the three were cer- 
tainly on as easy terms as possible, and passed the 
autumn evenings, which were growing long now, in con- 
versation of an exceedingly varied nature, with an occa- 
sional sitting or seance, and not infrequently a visitation 
of spirits of more material character ; and the following 



1 98 MRS. W1NSLOW IS CONFIDENTIAL. 

are a few of the many facts in this way brought out, and 
by Bristol and Fox transmitted to me at New York in 
their daily mail reports. 

In one of Mrs. Winslow's peregrinations, probably for 
blackmail purposes, she secured the indictment in Craw- 
ford County, Pennsylvania, of one George Hodges, for 
swindling. He was not at that time arrested, but a year 
or so after, finding that he was in Cincinnati, and claim- 
ing that he was a non-resident, had him arrested as a fugi- 
tive from justice. When the case was called before an 
obscure justice, no prosecuting witness appeared, where- 
upon Hodges was discharged and at once secured a war- 
rant against her for perjury, but afterwards withdrew it 
Meantime the woman shook the dust of Cincinnati from 
her feet and repaired to St. Louis, where she began several 
suits against parties there, notably one against a leading 
daily newspaper of that city, from which she afterwards 
secured one thousand dollars damages for libel. She 
afterwards swung around the circle to Harrisburg, Penn- 
sylvania, where she obtained from the Governor of that 
State a requisition on the Governor of Ohio, at Columbus, 
upon whom she waited and requested him to designate her 
as the person to whom should be delegated the power un- 
der the law to convey the fugitive, Hodges, to the Key- 
stone State ; but the private secretary of the Governor of 
Ohio suspecting that the person who had presented the 
papers, and for whose benefit they had been issued, would 
make improper use of them, they were returned to the 
Governor of Pennsylvania, whereupon she had made 



MRS. WIN SLOW IS CONFIDENTIAL. 199 

Columbus ring with denunciations of gubernatorial corrup- 
tion, and threatened to cause the impeachment of Penn- 
sylvania's Executive, although those two commonwealths 
wore never completely shattered by her. 

Again in conversation regarding her case, which now 
seemed never out of her mind or off her tongue, she 
informed Bristol confidentially that she intended keeping 
Lyon in the dark altogether, giving him and his counsel 
no inkling as to what course she intended to pursue, 
which would so worry him that he would be glad to settle 
for at least twenty-five thousand dollars, rather than have 
the case come to trial and be exposed as she would ex- 
pose him ; and if he did not settle at the last moment, she 
would have subpoenas issued for Lyon's mother-in-law, all 
his children, several other women who, the spirits had re- 
vealed, had been similarly betrayed, and even Lyon him- 
self, and then she would make a sensation. 

At this stage she was positive he would settle, as she 
knew he was half worried to death about the matter; and 
besides this, he knew that she knew he had told a certain 
lawyer of the city that he had once loved her better than 
any other woman on earth, and the only reason he had 
discarded her was that he was sure her love had taken 
hold on his pocket and forsaken himself. 

She had signed a release of all claims, but she would 
Stoutly maintain that it was fraudulently secured, which 
would only further establish the fact that she had had 
a valid claim upon him. Nor did she fear the opposing 
counsel. She was lawyer enough to attend to her 



200 MRS. WINSLOW IS CONFIDENTIAL. 

she said. Her legal knowledge helped her through vnany a 
difficulty, and as she had been lawyer enough to file a iec 
laration, she could get a rejoinder in shape whenever the 
answer should appear upon the coui t records. Oh, she 
knew how to handle a jury ; she had done it before ! In 
this case she would say : " Gentlemen of the jury : 
There are many who believe that I merely seek for 
money. This is not true. I ask for a verdict that I may 
gain a husband. For all of the injury that I have 
received lost time, lost money, lost reputation, years of 
suspense and hope deferred I only ask for a verdict in 
consonance with what a man in Lyon's position should 
be compelled to give to one so grossly wronged. Gentle- 
men, if you give me a heavy verdict, you give me Mr. 
Lyon. I say this in all sincerity yes, as a proof of my 
sincerity. I want the man, not his money ; and a heavy 
verdict gives me the man, for Mr. Lyon is so penurious 
that he will marry me rather than pay the amount I claim. 
With him, he has so won my whole being, even in poverty 
I would feel richer than to live without him the possessor 
of millions ! " 

In delivering this eloquent peroration, Mrs. Winslow in 
reality rose upon a chair, and, figuratively, upon the giddy 
altitude of her dignity, and tossing back her head, elevat- 
ing her eyebrc ws, looking peculiarly fierce with her great 
gray eyes, and flinging the back of her right hand into the 
palm of her left with quick, ringing strokes, delighted her 
audience of operatives, and male and female Spiritualists, 
who on this occasion crowded the reception-room an</ 



MRS. WINSLOW IS CONFIDENTIAL. 2OI 

cheered their hostess as she descended from her impro- 
vised rostrum to order something to refill the glasses 
which had been enthusiastically emptied to her over- 
whelming success. 

When business was dull with the woman, she would b~- 
certain to retain the company of the detectives, as -. 
seemed that she was beginning to avoid being left alone 
as much as possible, and would, under no circumstances, 
allow them both to be absent at the same time. Though 
ordinarily careful of, and close with, her money, to keep 
my men at home on these, to her, dreary evenings, she 
would send for cigars, liquor, and choice fruits, and aftei 
considerable urging they would remain, when the conve* 
sation would invariably turn upon the Winslow-Lyon case, 
or some incident in the fair plaintiffs eventful life, which 
the gentlemen as invariably listened to with the closest 
interest and attention. 

On one occasion Spiritualism was being discussed, when 
Mrs. Winslow touched on her early history, and the reve- 
lation then made to her which in after-life convinced her 
of the possession of supernatural powers. Her father had 
had several boxes of honey stolen from his bee-hives, 
when she was but a little girl. Search was made for them 
in every possible direction, but no trace of them could be 
found, whereupon she conveniently went into a trance, 
the first she had ever experienced, continuing in that 
state several hours, and finally awakening from it terribly 
exhausted. But the trance brought the honey, for a 
wonderful vision came upon her, wherein spirit-forms ap- 
9* 



202 MRS. WIN SLOW IS CONFIDENTIAL. 

peared clothed in overwhelming radiance, and, after c* 
lessing her spiritual form for s.5me time, and making hei 
realize that she was an accepted child of Light, pointed 
their dazzling celestial fingers towards an old hollow 
stump standing at the side of the road leading towards 
town. So powerful and penetrating was the light which 
radiated from these spirits that it seemed to permeate the 
stump, leaving its form perfect as ever, but making it 
wholly translucent, so that she could see the boxes of 
honey piled up within the stump as clearly as though she 
had been standing beside it and it had been made of glass. 
She gave this information to her father, who ridiculed the 
revelation, but was both curious and desirous of getting 
the honey, and went to the old stump, where he found the 
boxes uninjured and piled in precisely the same mannei 
as described by his precocious child ; all of which was re- 
lated as if thoroughly believed as it Doubtless was in a 
voice as hollow and mysterious as the stump itself, while 
the operatives preserved the utmost gravity and decorum, 
and impressed her in every way with their belief in her 
varied and wonderful power. 

Her affection for Bristol continued for a few weeks 
unabated, and her most powerful arts were used in en- 
deavoring to compel him to reciprocate it. These at- 
tempts went as far as a naturally lewd and naturally 
shrewd woman dare go so far, in fact, that in one and 
the last instance they became absurdly ridiculous. There 
was no bolt upon the door of either of their sleeping- 
rooms, and, besides, it was necessary fcr Bristol to eithei 



MRS, WIN SLOW IS CONFIDENTIAL. 2O3 

retire first or step into Fox's room for a little cha', ot a 
sociable smoke, as Mrs. Winslow had an unpleasant ano 
persistent habit of disrobing for the night in the reception- 
room. 

One evening, after Mrs. Winslow ha given a seleci 
seance to a few admiring friends, including my detectives, 
Bristol had hurried off to bed, being tired of the mum- 
mery, and after being obliged to listen for some time to 
her tumblings and tappings about the room, had finally 
fallen into a peaceful doze of a few minutes' duration, 
when he was awakened by that undefinable yet irresisti- 
bly increasing sense of some sort of a presence, which 
often takes from one the power of expression, or action, 
but intensifies the mind's faculties. The gas in the re- 
ception-room had been turned low, and his door had beer, 
softly opened. The rooms were quite dark, but the light 
from the street-lamps were sufficient to show him the 
plump outlines of a form which he felt sure that if it had 
had an orthodox amount of clothing upon it he could 
recognize. It certainly seemed to be the form of a 
woman, and her long, dishevelled black hair fell all about 
her shoulders and below her waist, while her robe de nuit 
trailed behind her with fear-inspiring, tremulous rustlings. 
On came the robust ghost, and in the weird gloaming 
which filled the apartment, he saw tha rr.ysterious thing 
moving towards him, and in a sort of frenzy of excitement 
yelled : 

" Who's that ? " 

No answer ; but the slow, firm pace of the apparition 



204 MRS. WIN SLOW IS CONFIDENTIAL. 

came nearer to Bristol's bedside, and he partially rose 
upon his knees as if to defend himself. 

"Say! you!" shouted Bristol, "get get out of 
here ! " 

But the ghostly figure came on as resistless as fate until 
it reached his bedside. By this time he had risen to his 
feet and was edging along the wall to escape, when to his 
horror he saw the spectre bound into the bed he had so 
expeditiously vacated and reach for him with a very busi- 
ness-like grasp which he nimbly eluded, and with a series 
of bounds and scrambles reached the floor. He stood 
where he had struck for a moment, addressing some very 
decided and italicized remarks to the lively ghost in his 
bed, and then, in one grand burst of virtuous indignation, 
made an impetuous dive at the figure, caught it by one of 
its very plump arms, brought the ghost from the bed with 
a mighty effort, and securing its left ear with his right 
hand, trotted the animated shadow out of his room and 
into the reception-room right up to the pier-glass, and then 
turning on one of the jets at its side, said to the magnifi- 
cent ghost, in a voice husky from excitement and rage : 

" Woman ! if you ever do that thing again, I'll I'll 
aren't you ashamed of yourself, Mrs. Winslow ? " 

At the sound of her name, and after a few moments' 
apparently bewildered reflection, Mrs. Winslow opened 
her eyes, which had previously remained closed, and in an 
affectedly startled way gasped : 

" Oh ! where am I ? what have you been trpng to do 
with me, Mr. Bristol?" 



MRS. WINSLOW IS CONFIDENTIAL. 20$ 

To have seen the couple thus in the full gaslight before 
the pier-glass, which both reflected and intensified the odd 
situation the woman, held to the mirror so that she might 
more startlingly view the result of her gauzy pretence at 
somnambulism, and the man, in his night-shirt, his limp 
night-cap dangling from his neck upon his shoulder, the 
ring of stubby gray hair around his head raised by excite- 
ment until it almost hid the glistening baldness above, his 
legs bare below the knees, but with a face so full of virtu- 
ous resentment at the scandalous and shallow scheme of 
the woman to implicate him in something disgraceful, that 
his uprightness clothed him as with fine raiment would 
have been to have witnessed the apotheosis of sublimely 
triumphant virtue and the defeat of shame. 

" What have / been trying to do with you ? " shoute J 
the now enraged Bristol ; "that's all very fine ; but what 
have you been trying to do with me, madam ? " 

"Why, didn't I ever tell you that I often walk in m) 
sleep ? " she asked with apparent innocence ; and then, aa 
if noticing for the first time how meagrely both herself and 
her companion were clad, gave vent to a half-smothered 
" Oh ! shame on you, Mr. Bristol ! " and broke away 
from him, running into her own room, while Bristol, after 
walking back and forth in a state of high nervous excite- 
ment for some time, muttering, and shaking his fist towards 
her room, finally smoothed his rebellious locks so as to 
admit of the readjustment of his night-cap, and trotted 
fiercely to bed, never more to be distvrbed by sleep-walk- 
ing female Spiritualists. 



206 MRS. WIN SLOW IS CONFIDENTIAL. 

There was nothing in all this save a quite common and 
silly attempt on the part of the adventuress to get some 
of the hard-earned money of which she thought he was 
possessed, and it disgusted her that he was no more 
appreciative than to look upon her charms, that had set 
the heads of so many other men all awhirl, with such a 
cool and impressionless regard for them. 

This latter fact bothered her probably fully as much as 
in not being able to get at his bank account, and she finally 
settled into a sort of suspicious dislike of him, and turned 
tier attention to Fox, who, being a quiet sort of a fellow, 
with less brusqueness than Bristol, was not so well fitted 
to keep her at arm's length, and was consequently imme- 
diately the recipient of her torrent-like attentions, caresses, 
-and confidence. 

A book-keeper was the next thing to a retired banker 
sometimes even better off, Mrs. Winslow thought ; and, be- 
lieving that Fox was the book-keeper he represented him- 
self to be, she conceived the idea of travelling during the 
pendency of the suit, and gave Fox glowing accounts of 
the vast sums of money they could make if she only had 
so presentable a man as he for a sort of agent, manager, 
and protector. 

One afternoon Fox came in early, and said that as he 
was suffering severely from headache he had been excused 
from his duties, and had come home for rest. He passed 
into his own room and laid down upon his bed, where he 
was immediately followed by the woman, who threw her- 
self passionately into his arms, declaring that he was the 



MRS. WINSLOW IS CONFIDENTIAL. 2O/ 

only man whom she had ever really and truly lovd, and 
terminated her expressions of ardor by a proposition that 
he should " get hold of a big pile down there to the 
store," as she expressed it, and fly to some quiet spot 
where they might revel in love and all that the term 
implies. 

Had he been a book-keeper instead of what he was, 
attd able to secure any large sum of money, she would 
have probably so bedevilled him that he would have be- 
come a criminal for life for the sake of gratifying his pas- 
sion and her demands, and in a week after she would 
have had nine-tenths of the money, and Fox would have 
been a penniless fugitive from justice. 

He had more trouble than Bristol in dispossessing the 
mind of the adventuress of the idea that he was not the 
man to allow her to become his Delilah ; but when this was 
done, and she disgustedly realized that not all men were 
ready to sell themselves body and soul for her embraces, 
while she was indignant and suspicious, yet a sort of easy 
confidence was established between the mysterious three, 
whiclr brought out a good many strong points in her char- 
acter, and at the same time led to the securing of a large 
amount of evidence against her. In fact, it seemed that 
so soon as she thoroughly understood the, to her, novel 
situation of being in constant contact with two men who, 
though probably no better than average men, were still 
from the nature of their business compelled to be above 
reproach in all their association with her, her self-assertion 
and consciousness of power, which she had been able t 



208 MRS. WIN SLOW IS CONFIDENTIAL. 

assert over nearly every man with whom she came in 
contact, in a measure left her, and she became, at least to 
my operatives, an ordinary woman, whose inherent vile- 
ness, low cunning, and splendid physical perfection, were 
her only distinguishing characteristics. This was all nat- 
ural enough, for I had compelled these men to be hei 
almost constant companions, and as they had been with 
her long enough to drive away any superfluous constraint, 
and she had found both of them unassailable, though 
sociable and agreeable, her conversation, which chiefly 
concerned herself, became as utterly devoid of decency 
as her life had been, so that no incident 01 rehearsed ro- 
mance of herself lost any of its piquancy by unnecessary 
assumption of modesty in its narration. 



CHAPTER XX. 

A Female Spiritualist's Ideas of Political and Social Economy. The 
Weaknessss of Judges. Legal Acumen of the Adventuress. --An 
unfriendly Move. Harcout attacked. Lilly Nettlcton and the 
Rev. Mr. Bland again together. A Whirlwind. 

ONE evening, after Mrs. Winslow had had a very 
busy day with her spiritualistic customers, which 
had become quite unusual, she showed herself to be more 
than ordinarily communicative, undoubtedly on account 
of the spirits which had kept her such close company, 
and at once started in upon an edifying explanation of 
her political views, and confided to Bristol and Fox, as 
illustrative of her high political influence, that certain 
officers of the Government only held their lease of office 
through her leniency. 

From this she verged into political and social economy, 
stating her earnest belief to be that every man should 
have a military education, and that if they were found to 
be unfit physically to withstand the rigors of a military 
life, they should be immediately condemned to death, 
and thus be summarily disposed of. And so, too, with 
women. There should be appointed a capable examin- 
ing board, and wherever a woman was found wanting in 
physical ability to meet every demand made upon her by 



210 A FEMALE SPIRITUALISTS IDEAS. 

her affinities through life, she should also be instantly <le 
prived of existence. She maintained that there should be 
a continuous and eternal natural selection of the best of 
these mental and physical conditions, just the same as 
the stock-raiser bred and inbred the finest animals to 
secure a still finer type, and that all persons, male or 
female, failing to reach a certain fit standard of perfection 
in this regard, should be condemned to death. She 
would have no marriage save that sanctioned by the 
supreme love of one eternal moment ; and shamelessly 
claimed that passion was the real base of all love, and 
that, consequently, it was but a farce on either justice or 
purity that men and women should be by law condemned 
to lives of miserable companionship. In this connec- 
tion she held that not half the men and women were fit to 
live, and were she the world's ruler she would preside at 
the axe and the block half of her waking hours. 

These sentiments were quite in keeping with her 
expressions concerning the late war, her gratification at 
Lincoln's assassination, and her threats that she had Presi- 
dent Johnson in her power through her knowledge of 
some transactions in Tennessee. This was, of course, all 
silly talk, but it showed the woman's tendencies and dis- 
position, and enabled Bristol and Fox to gradually lead 
her into narrations of portions of her own career during 
and after the war. 

She boasted of her ability in fastening herself upon a 
command, or military post, by getting some one of the 
leading officers in her power so they dare not drive her 



A FEMALE SPIRITUALIST'S IDEAS. 211 

beyond the lines, and then, when the soldiers wei e paid 
off, getting them within her apartments, drugging them, 
xobbing them, and finally securing their arrest for absence 
without leave. She claims that in this way she often 
made over five hundred dollars daily, and would then buy 
drafts on northern banks, not daring to keep the thou- 
sands of dollars about her which would frequently accrue. 

Interspersed with these narratives were numberless tales 
of adventure wherein Mrs. Winslow, under her aliases 
of the different periods referred to, had been the heroine, 
jmd where her shrewdness and daring, she wished my 
operatives to understand, had brought utter dismay to 
each of her opponents, all of which had for its point and 
moral that she was not a person to be trifled with, as Mr. 
Lyon would eventually ascertain to his sorrow. 

To more thoroughly impress this, in another instance 
the question of being watched and annoyed by Lyon or 
his agents arose, when she insisted to Bristol that Fox was 
a detective, and to Fox that Bristol was one, and then 
abruptly accused them both of the same offence, express- 
ing great indignity at the assumed outrage ; and when they 
had succeeded in partially pacifying her, she turned on 
them savagely, saying that they had better bear in mind 
that she did not care whether they were detectives or 
not ; that she was a pure woman an innocent wo- 
man ; but still, she wanted not only them, if they wert 
detectives, but all the world, to understand that she was 
capable of taking care of herself, whoever might assail 
her. Evidently the good legal mind which the woman 



212 A FEMALE SPIRITUALIST'S IDEAS. 

certainly possessed had reverted to her criminal acts in 
other portions of the country, for she asserted very vio- 
lently that, should Lyon undertake to have her conveyed 
to any other State upon a requisition to answer to 
trumped-up charges for the purpose of weakening her 
case, she would shoot the first man that attempted her 
arrest ; and that, if finally overpowered by brute force, 
she would still circumvent him by securing a continuance 
of the trial at Rochester, and make that sort of persecu- 
tion itself tell against " the gray-headed old sinner," as 
she most truthfully called him. 

She further remarked, with a meaning leer, that she 
never had any trouble with the judges. They were 
generally old men, she had noticed, and her theory was 
that old men, even if they were judges, had a quiet way of 
looking after the interests of as fine-appearing women as 
she was ; and even if they did not have, her powers of 
divination were so wonderful that she could at any time 
go into the trance state and ascertain everything neces- 
sary to direct her to success, giving as an illustration a 
circumstance where a certain St. Louis daily newspapei 
had grossly libelled her, whereupon she had sued its pro- 
prietors for ten thousand dollars, retaining two lawyers to 
attend to her case. When it came to trial her counsel 
failed to appear. With the aid of the spirits she grasped 
the situation at once, and, showing Judge Moody a 
receipt for attorneys' fees amounting to two hundred 
dollars which she had paid them, pleaded personally for a 
continuance until the next day, which he granted, show 



A FEMALE SPIRITUALIST'S IDEAS. 213 

ing her conclusively that he was in sympathy with her, 
She then went home, and, again calling on the spirits, 
they revealed to her that she should win a victory. 

So she read all the papers in the case, in order to ac- 
quaint herself with the leading points, and then subpoe- 
naed her witnesses. Having everything well prepared, 
she proceeded to the court-room the next day, and on the 
case being called, the spirit of George Washington in 
stantly appeared. It had a beautiful bright flame about 
its head, and floated about promiscuously through the 
upper part of the room. She was certain that it was a 
good omen, but it was a long time before she could get 
any definite materialization from the blessed ministering 
angel from the other side of the river. After a time, how- 
ever, George's kind eyes beamed upon her with unmistak- 
able friendliness, and the nimbus, or flame, that shone 
from his venerable head in all directions, finally shot in a 
single incandescent jet towards the head of the judge ; 
and immediately after, the gauzy Father of his Country 
placed his hands upon the former's head, as if in benedic- 
tion. This was a heavenly revelation to her that the judge 
was with her, as afterwards proved true. 

George stayed there until the trial was ended, which she 
conducted in her own behalf, constantly feeling that she 
herself was being upheld by strong, though invisible hands. 
When the jury was being impanelled, the flame, with an 
angry, red appearance, pointed to those men who were 
pieju3iced against her, to whom she objected, and they 
were invariably thrown out of the panel ; while all through 



214 A FEMALE SPIRITUALIST'S IDEAS. 

the trial the judge insisted that there should be no advan 
rage taken of her, if she had been forsaken by her coun 
sel ; and with the aid of Washington she won a splendid 
victory, securing a judgment of one thousand dollars, 
which was paid ; and there are scores of lawyers and 
newspaper men in St. Louis who will remember this case, 
that know of the woman and her almost ceaseless litiga- 
tion in that action, and who will also recollect that she did 
get a thousand dollars from one of the leading newspapers 
there. 

Her cunning and shamelessness were largely com- 
mented upon at the time ; but it was reserved for Mrs. 
Winslow to inform the world, through my operatives, that 
George Washington ever descended to this grade of pet- 
tifogging. It can only be accounted for through a knowl- 
edge of that peculiar system of religion which gives to the 
very dregs of society a mysterious, and therefore terrible 
power, whether assumed or otherwise, over its better ele- 
ments for their annoyance, persecution, and downfall. 

There was also a poetical and religious element in the 
woman's composition which very well accorded with her 
superstitiousness. This was quite strongly developed by 
a liberal supply of liquor, which she never failed to use 
whenever she became worried and excited over the com- 
ing trial, both of which begat in her impulses for certain 
lines of conduct exactly the reverse of those counselled 
by her more quiet, calculating reflections. 

One pleasant October day, when suffering from a pecu- 
liarly severe attack of romantic fancies, she conceived the 



A FEMALE SPIRITUALIST'S IDEAS. 21$ 

idea of breaking through all her stern resolves relative to 
not seeing Lyon, and making one more effort to win him 
back to her altogether, or so affect him by her fascinating 
appearance that he would be glad to settle with her at any 
reasonable figure he might name say twenty-five or fifty 
thousand dollars. 

It was a pleasant fancy, and Bristol and Fox were ex- 
ceedingly interested as they noticed her excited prepara- 
tions for her expedition of conquest. She sang like a bird, 
and the bright color came into her face as she tripped 
about, busied in the unusual employment. All the fore- 
noon she dressed and undressed, posing and balancing 
before the pier-glass like a danseuse at practice, studying 
the effect of different colors, shades, and shapes, until at 
last, having decided in what dress she should appear the 
most bewitching, she retired for a long sleep, so as to rest 
her features and give her eyes .their old-time lustre. 

At about two o'clock she awakened, and, after dressing 
in a most elaborate and elegant manner, at once started 
out upon her novel expedition to the Arcade. 

The Arcade in Rochester is a distinct and somewhat 
noted place in that city. It has nearly the width of the 
average street, and extends the distance of a short block 
from Main Street to Exchange Place being nearly in 
tiie geographical, as well as in the actual business centre 
of the city. It is covered with a heavy glass roofing, 
filled on either side by numerous book and notion stalls, 
brokers' offices, and the offices of wealthy manufacturers 
whose business requires a down-town office, and is also, ai 



2l6 A FEMALE SPIRITUALIST'S IDEAS. 

it has been from almost time immemorial, the location of 
the post-office ; so that, as the thoroughfare leads directly 
from the Union Depot to the up-town hotels, it is con- 
stantly thronged with people, and is the spot in that city 
where the largest crowd may be collected at the slightest 
possible notice. 

Tc Mrs. Winslow's credit it should be said that up to 
tnis time she had kept so remarkably quiet that public 
scandal had nearly died away, and as she had gone into 
the different newspaper offices with some of the wicked 
old light burning in her eyes, and " warned" them con- 
cerning libelling her, both she and her suit were no longer 
causing much remark ; but now, when she was seen ma- 
jestically bearing down Main street, with considerable fire 
in her fine eyes, determination in her compressed lips, 
and the inspiration of resolve in every feature of her hand- 
some though masculine face, there were many who, 
knowing the woman, felt sure there was to be a scene, 
and by the time she had turned from Main street into the 
Arcade quite a number were unconsciously following her. 
After she had got into the Arcade she attracted a great 
deal of attention in sweeping back and forth through that 
thoroughfare, as in passing Lyon's offices she gave her 
head that peculiarly ludicrous inclination that all women 
affect when they are particularly anxious to be noticed, 
but also particularly anxious to not have it noticed that 
they wish to be noticed ; and continued her promenade, 
each time brushing the windows of Lyon's offices with hei 
ample skirts, and growing more and more indignant that 



A FEMALE SPIRITUALIST'S IDEAS. 2 1/ 

nobody appeared to be interested in her exhibition, save 
the lookers-on within the Arcade, who were increasing 
rapidly in numbers. 

This seemed to exasperate the woman beyond meas- 
ure, and finally, after casting a hurried glance or two 
through the half-open door, she apparently nerved herself 
for the worst and made a plunge into the office, while the 
crowd closed about the door. 

Bristol had of course felt it his duty to inform Mr. Lyon 
of the fair lady's intended demonstration, and the latter 
had judiciously found it convenient to transact some im- 
portant business in another part of the city on that after- 
noon ; but the elegant Harcout had bravely volunteered 
to throw himself into the breach and bear the brunt of the 
battle in other words, sacrifice himself for his friend, and 
was consequently sitting at Lyon's desk behind the railing, 
which formed a sort of a private office at one side of the 
general office, as Mrs. Winslow, pale with rage and 
humiliated to exasperation, came sweeping into the 
room. 

"Ah, how d'ye do, ma'am ?" said Harcout blandly, but 
never looking up from his desk, at which he pretended to 
be very busily engaged. " Bless my soul, you seem to be 
very much excited ! " 

" Sir ! " said Mrs. Winslow, interrupting him violently, 
" I want none of your ' madams ' or ' bless my souls.' I 
want Lyon, you puppy ! " 

"Ah, exactly, exactly," replied Mr. Lyon's protector 

with the greatest apparent placidity, though with a shade 
IO 



21 8 A FEMALE SPIRITUALIST'S IDEAS. 

ef nervousness in his voice ; u but you see, my dear> you 
can't have him ! " 

It was not the first time this man had called this woman 
' my dear," nor was it the first time he had attempted to 
beat back her overpowering passion. Had he known it 
as Mr. Harcout, or had she recognized him as Mrs. 
Winslow, it would have made the interview more dramatic 
than it was perhaps a thread of tragedy might have crept 
in; as it was, however, she only savagely retorted that 
she wouldn't have him, but she would see him if he wai 
in, whether or no. 

"Well, my dear good woman," continued Harcout 
soothingly, but edging as far from the railing and his 
caller as possible, "he isn't in, and that settles that. 
Further, you can't have, or see, him or his money, and 
that settles that. So you had best quietly go home like 
a good woman and settle all this," concluded Harcout 
winningly and yet impressively, and with the tone of a 
Christian counsellor. 

The crowd laughed and jeered at this grave and sarcas- 
tic advice, and it seemed to madden her. Raising her 
closed sunshade and hissing, "/'// settle this!" she 
rushed towards Harcout, struck at him fiercely, following 
up the attack with quick and terrific blows, which com- 
pletely demolished the parasol and drove him nimbly from 
p lace to place in his efforts to avoid the effects of her 
wrath. 

For the next few moments there was a small whirlwind 
in Lyon's offices. The railing was too high for Mrs. 



A FEMALE SPIRITUALISTS IDEAS. 2ig 

Winslow to leap, or she certainly would have scaled it. 
Harcout :ould not retreat but a certain distance, or he 
certainly would have sought safety in flight. So the 
whirlwind was created by rapid and savage leaps of Mrs. 
Winslow, as if to jump the railing and fall bodily upon 
her victim, and at every bound the woman made, the shat 
tered parasol waved aloft and came down with keen cer- 
tainty and stinging swiftness, upon such portions of the 
gilt-edged gentleman as could be most conveniently 
reached. 

It is difficult to realize what the woman would have 
done in her mad passion, had not a lucky circumstance 
occurred. She and Harcout had never met since the 
time when, in the face of her robbery of him, she had un- 
blushingly compelled him to wed her to the credulous 
Dick Hosford at the Michigan Exchange Hotel in Detroit ; 
and had she now recognized him as the villain who had 
made her what she was, it is a question whether she 
would not have made a finish of him there and then. 
But some one in the crowd raised the cry of " Police ! " 
which sobered her at once, and, giving the tattered rem- 
nant of her sunshade a wicked pitch into Harcout' s face, 
she turned quickly, shot into the Arcade as the crowd 
made way for her and quickened her speed by wild jibes 
and taunts, until she had reached the street, where, in a 
dazed, hunted sort of way, she hailed a passing cab; 
sprang into it, and was driven rapidly away. 



CHAPTER XXI. 

Mrs. Winslow, under the Influence of " Spirits " of an earthly Order, 
becomes romantic, religious, and poetical. A Trance. Detective 
Bristol also proves a Poet. A Drama to be written. 

WHEN the evening came and Mrs. Winslow came 
with it, she was observed to be in a high state of 
nervous and vinous excitement, and at such times she 
contrived to inaugurate a series of actions which proved 
not only interesting, but illustrative of her strange 
character. 

She declared to Bristol and Fox that the Lord was 
hardening Lyon's heart as in the olden times the heart of 
Pharaoh was hardened, so that he should rush upon his 
fated disgrace as the Egyptian king rushed upon his fate 
while forcing the children of Israel into deliverance, and 
destruction upon himself ; and like the unrelenting Mrs. 
Clennam in " Little Dorrit," had at command any num- 
ber of scriptural parallels to prove the righteousness of 
her sin. This sort of blasphemy is the most pitiable im- 
aginable, and to hear the woman in her semi-intoxicated, 
ser.n'-crazed condition, mingling her vile catch-words with 
scraps of spiritualistic sayings, snatches of holy songs, 
couplets of roystering ballads, and crowning the hideous- 



MRS. W1NSLOW BECOMES POETICAL. 221 

ness of the whole with countless Bible quotations, was to 
be in the presence of supreme garrulousness, temperamen- 
tal religious frenzy, and superstitious vilcness. 

It appeared that after she had escaped from the excite- 
ment she had created in the Arcade, she had been driven 
to the apartments of every clairvoyant of note in the city 
and had a " sitting " with each. In her excited condition, 
and being noted for having plenty of money, it was both 
easy to rob her and secure what was uppermost in her 
mind. Consequently, it was revealed to her by every 
medium that Lyon would settle with her for a large sum 
of money. 

One medium averred that in her vision Lyon was seen, 
as it were, bending a suppliant at her feet, and, at the last 
moment, admiring her character as much as fearing the 
nature of the testimony he knew she could bring against 
him, he declared his love for her and begged that they 
might be married in open court. 

Another depicted the sorrows she would be obliged to 
endure before her affairs culminated. She would be 
watched, annoyed, harassed ; but her way would be well 
watched by the spirit-forms which were evidently floating 
around promiscuously to protect the pests of society ; 
and, whether she got the man or not, she should share hit- 
fortune. This much could be surely promised. 

Another was wonderfully favored with divine "spirit 
light" upon the subject so favored, indeed, that time 
without number her other-life had insensibly and uncon- 
sciously wandered away in search of correct information 



222 MRS. WINSLOW BECOMES POETICAL. 

regarding the result of the Winslow-Lyon suit, and, with* 
out her volition or bidding, it had delved into the mys- 
teries for her suffering sister. She could assure her 
suffering sister, the clairvoyant said, that Lyon was spirit- 
ually at her feet. All the trouble had arisen between 
them from Mrs. Winslow's standing upon a higher spirit- 
ual plane than Mr. Lyon. He, as was natural to man, 
had more of the sensual element beclouding his spirit-life. 
Now, pleaded the clairvoyant, couldn't she adjust an 
average between them ? She was certain yes, the spirits, 
who never lie, had positively revealed to her that all that 
was needed was some one to properly discover each of 
these affinities to the other. In any case, all would event- 
ually be well, and there was peace, prosperity, and a large 
amount of money in waiting for her. 

This sort of absurdity was related by Mrs. Winslow to 
an unlimited extent that evening, as the three sipped the 
liquor she had provided, and she insisted with great fervor 
that all these revelations strongly corroborated the light 
she herself had received on the same subject. 

As a long pause ensued after one of these heated as- 
severations, Bristol ventured to ask how she had been en- 
lightened concerning the matter. 

Raising her flushed face towards the ceiling, then lift- 
ing her right arm above her head and holding it there for 
a moment, she allowed it to slowly descend with a coiling, 
serpentine motion, when she burst into a sudden ecstasy 
of speech, movement and feature, and partly as in answer 
to the inquiry, and partly as if struck with a swift and ir 



MRS. WINSLOW BECOMES POETICAL. 22$ 

resistible inspiration, she said in a low, unearthly voice, 
and with weird effect : 

" Yes, yes, I hear your angel voices calling ; I see 
your beautiful forms ; I feel your tender fingers touching 
my aching head ; I am listening to your sweet, soft whis- 
pers. Ah ! what is it you say ? yes, yes, yes ! You art 
with me. You will watch over and guard me. You will 
ward off the evil influences that surround me, and despite 
the darkness which envelops me, even as the glorious sun 
leaps from his couch of crimson and with his burnished 
lances drives the grim hosts of shadows before him with 
the speed of the light ! What ! are you now leaving ?" 

Here Mrs. Winslow gasped and kicked with her pretty 
feet alarmingly. 

"What what is that? that rosy, effulgent light that 
fills all space ? Ah, yes ! I see they beckon for me to 
look up, to not be cast down or despair. I will look up. 
See ! in their hands are long, feathery wands with which 
they sweep the flaming sky, while across its burnished 
arc I see, yes, I see in letters of purple that oft-recurring 
legend Twenty-five thousand dollars I " 

Now, although I am not arguing this question of Spirit- 
ualism, and am only giving to the public the history so 
far as I dare of an extraordinary woman and practical 
Spiritualist, I cannot resist asking the question, or putting 
forward the theory, which, during the progress of this case 
particularly, and a thousand times before and since in a 
general way, has irresistibly forced itself into my mind. 
I give it in all fairness, I am sure, and only with a view 



224 MRS. WINSLOW BECOMES POETICAL. 

that it may dispel certain feelings of squeamishness with 
which a good many people approach the subject to inves- 
tigate it. I may be accused of presenting it with too 
little delicacy ; but the public must recollect that ihe 
nature of my business compels me to get at the truth of 
things, and to do that, matters must in a majority of 
cases be handled without gloves. This is my only ex- 
cuse, and perhaps it may be a good defence ; but in any 
event this is the question : Has there ever been a so- 
called Spiritual " manifestation " that has not subse- 
quently been explained as trickery by persons more cred- 
ible of belief than its medium or originator ? After that 
has been answered in the affirmative, for it can be an- 
swered in no other way, all there is left of this Spiritual- 
istic structure is, how account for such exhibitions as that 
given by Mrs. Winslow and those given by others of her 
craft, even granting their personal purity, which is un- 
doubtedly exceptional ? 

This is the question which has oftenest come into my 
mind in my necessarily almost constant study of these 
people, and the answers, though continually varying, have 
all eventually forced upon me the conviction that this re- 
ligion, as it is sacrilegiously called, only takes hold of 
people of abnormal or diseased temperaments people 
diseased in mind, in morals, in body, or in all ; and if 
that is true, as I sincerely believe it to be, the dignifying 
of a disease or infirmity as a religion is simply an absur- 
dity too foolish for even ridicule. 

She sat rigid as a church-spire for a few moments, as if 



MRS. WINSLOW BECOMES POETICAL. 22$ 

the sight of so much money, even if only in purple letters 
upon a burnished sky, had transfixed her, and then, after 
a littie hysterical struggling, became as limp as a camp- 
meetirig tent after a thunder-storm ; and after a few 
passes of her long, white and deft fingers over her eyes 
in a scared way, asked, " Oh, gentlemen, where where 
am I ? " 

" On the boundaries of the spirit-land," gravely replied 
Bristol, pushing the bottle of liquor to the side of the 
table. 

The woman was certainly exhausted, for she had 
worked herself into such a state mentally precisely the 
same as in all similar demonstrations, whether visions are 
claimed to be seen, or not that she was completely en- 
ervated physically, and said in a really grateful tone, 
" Thank you, Mr. Bristol," and, pouring out a large por- 
tion of liquor, tossed it off at one gulp, like a well-prac- 
tised bar-room toper. 

"Yes, yes," she continued languidly, " I have a certain 
promise of eventually being victorious. When the good 
spirits are with one, there's no cause for fear." 

" Not the slightest," affirmed Fox sympathetically. 

" But it seems," replied Mrs. Winslow in a discouraged, 
desolate tone, " as though everybody's hand is raised 
against me as though the dreary days pass so slowly 
and that I haven't a true friend in the world ! " 

" My dear Mrs. Winslow," interrupted Bristol in a 
calm, fatherly, even affectionate tone, *' that melancholy's 

all very fine ; but we are your friends, and we will stand 
IO* 



226 MRS. WINSLOW BECOMES POETICAL. 

by you through thick and thin to the end of the suit. A 
few fast friends, you know, are better than a thousand 
sunny-weather friends." 

" Oh, yes ; oh, yes," returned the woman in a tone of 
voice that said, " I can't argue this, but I somehow know 
you are both betraying me," and then, closing her eyes, 
and clasping her hands tightly together, sang in a weird 
contralto voice, cracked and unsteady from her excite- 
ment and exhaustion, some stanza of an evidently re- 
ligious nature, the burden of which was : 

" I am weary, weary waiting 

While the shadows deeper fall ; 
I am weary, weary waiting 
For some holy voice's call ! " 

Undoubtedly the song, though desecrated by the singer, 
the place, and the occasion, was a wailing plaint from the 
depths of the woman's soul, for moments of utter deso- 
lation and absolute remorse come to even such as she. 

"Now," said Bristol, becoming suddenly interested, 
" I'm something of a poet myself. When the seat of 
government was moved from Quebec to Ottawa, I con- 
structed a lampoon on the government that set all Can- 
\da awhirl. Really, Mrs. Wioslow, I'm surprised at your 
poetical nature." 

" Poetical nature ? " repeated the woman excitedly 
' Why ! that is what Lyon loved in me most. My trance* 
sittings are wonderful exhibitions of poetical power. la 



MRS. WINSLOW BECOMES POETICAL. 22? 

that state I can compose poems of great length and 
power." 

The gentlemen of course seemed incredulous at this 
statement, and challenged her to a test of her poetical 
tiance-power, which she instantly accepted, the wager 
being a quart of the best brandy that could be had in the 
city of Rochester. 

Putting herself in position, she asked : " What sub- 
ject ? " Bristol replied, " Lyon," when she struggled a 
little in her chair, kicked the floor a little with her heels, 
rubbed up her eyes, gasped, and after a moment of rest 
began to incant in a kind of monotone tenor : 

" Oh, Lyon, Lyon ! don't you run ; 
Tke suit's begun ; we'll have our fun 
Before we're done. I'll tell your son 
That I have won, although you shun 
Your darling one ! " 

" Oh, Lyon, pray, why speed away ? 
To fight a woman is but play. 
Although you're old, and bald, and gray, 
Do right by your Amanda J. 
You'll soon be clay ! " 

Amanda J. Winslow, for this was the woman's assumed 
name in full, might have continued in this divine strain 
for an indefinite period, had not the operatives burst into 
loud and prolonged laughter at her ludicrous appearance, 
which so disgusted the woman that, though communicat- 
ing with celestial spheres, as she assumed to be, and un- 
doubtedly was doing as much as any of her craft ever did. 



228 MRS. WINSLOW BECOMES POETICAL. 

she jumped up with a bound, savagely told the men they 
were a brace of fools, and with a lively remark or two, 
which had something very like an oath in it, went to bed, 
leaving the men to finish the bottle and the poetry as 
they saw fit. 

Mrs. Win slow was a thorough church-goer, and distrib- 
uted the favor of her attendance among the orthodox 
churches and the " meetings " of the members of her own 
faith, quite fairly perhaps, as was natural, giving the 
Washington Hall Sunday evening Spiritualistic lectures 
a slight preference ; and soon after the Arcade affair, 
which had launched her into poetry, she returned to the 
rooms one Sunday evening, declaring that all her evil 
spirits had left her, and that her former passionate love 
for Lyon had also departed, her only desire now being 
for his money. 

To show how thoroughly she had been dispossessed of 
her evil spirits, she remarked that she now thoroughly 
hated Lyon, but it would not do to let this appear on 
trial, or she would lose the sympathy of the jury. Every 
effort should now be bent towards compelling him to di- 
vide his wealth with her, whom he had so deeply 
wronged. There should be no compromise ; she would 
not even be led to the altar by him now. She would 
have from him what would most anmy him, and that was 
his money. 

Having resolved on this, the darkness that surrounded 
her was dispelled and the spirits of light rallied as a sort 
of standing army ; and in this beneficent condition she 



MRS. WINSLOW BECOMES POETICAL. 229 

wished to either go into the country to recuperate foi 
a few weeks, or seek the retirement of Fox's room and 
there expend her superfluous brain and spirit power upon 
a play to be entitled " His Breach of Promise." To this 
end she proposed removing the elegant furnishings of hei 
apartments and storing them in a spare room, giving out 
to callers that she was absent from the city, and then, 
after having secured Fox's room, she would be able to 
burn the midnight oil unmolested so long as her inspi- 
ration might continue. 

She also favored Fox and Bristol with a sketch of the 
play, which was to be a sort of spectacular comedy-drama, 
which, according to the lady's description, would contain 
certainly seven acts of rive scenes each, and would be pre- 
ceded by a prologue which would play at least an hour ; 
in fact, it seemed that the great play " His Breach of 
Promise" was to be constructed on the Chinese plan, to 
be continued indefinitely, and admission only to be 
secured in the form of course tickets. Outside of these 
great aids to the popularity of the play, it was to have the 
additional startling and novel attractions of represen- 
tations of her first meeting with Lyon, his regret be- 
cause she was married, his copious tears whenever in her 
presence, his securing her divorce, the death of Lyon's 
wife, and every manner of pathetic and ludicrous incident 
connected with the case ; how they each wooed and won 
the other, including a grand transformation scene typical 
of Lyon's subsequent treachery, and her reward of virtue 
in a fifty thousand dollar verdict for damages. 



CHAPTER XXII. 

Mi, Pinkertcm decides to favor Mrs. Winslow with a Series of Annoy 
ances. The mysterious Package. The Detectives labor under 
well-merited Suspicion. '' My God ! what's that ? " The deadly 
Phial. This Time a Mysterious Box. Its suggestive Contents. 
" The Thing she was." Tabitha, Amanda, and Hannah assaulted. 
A Punch and Judy Show. 

THE reports which I had for some time received 
daily regarding Mrs. Win slew's behavior satisfied 
me that the delay in reaching the Winslow-Lyon case 
which was at the bottom of the docket of the fall term, 
and on account of a press of court business had been put 
over to the winter term the strict silence I had en- 
joined upon Mr. Lyon, and the general suspicion which 
possessed her of everybody and everything, were all 
having the natural effect of unsettling her completely, and 
I determined upon a series of surprises and annoyances 
to the woman, without in any way apprising Bristol and 
Fox of what was to be done; so that although they might 
imagine from what source the unwelcome "materializa- 
tions" came, they would still be sufficiently uninformed 
to share in the general surprise and escape the charge of 
complicity. 

I accordingly sent three additional men to Rochester 



MRS. WIN SLOW IS ANNOYED. 231 

with thorough instructions and full information as to the 
madam's residence and habits, with a description of hei 
tenants, including Bristol and Fox, who were unknown to 
the operatives sent. 

My object in doing this was a double one. I desired 
first, to test the woman's so-called spirit power ; for, should 
these annoyances prove of the nature of a persecution, 
she and her friends, the Spiritualists, would be able to 
call celestial spirits to her aid, or, better still, divine from 
whence the persecution came, and compel its discontinu- 
ance by the means provided by ordinary mortals. In 
case she could not do this, which was of course rather 
doubtful, I knew from her superstitiousness and the guilty 
fear possessed by every criminal, which she largely shared, 
that she would be quite likely to either make some con- 
fessions which would implicate her in further blackmailing 
operations, or force her into a line of conduct agreeing 
perfectly with her true character, and which would com- 
pel her to show herself thoroughly to the public; and 
further, I think I must confess to a slight desire to assist 
a little in punishing her, after I had become so fully aware 
of her villainous character. 

Accordingly, while Mrs. Winslow was still deep in the 
plot of her great drama, but before the changes suggested 
which would have made her a sort of literary nun in 
Fox's room had occurred, she was the recipient of a 
large package of railway time-tables, with the farthest ter 
minus of each road underscored, and further called at- 
tention to by a hand and index finger pointing towards if 



232 MRS. WINSLOW IS ANNOYED 

from Rochester, intimating that it was either desired of 
demanded, on the part of somebody, that she should leave 
Rochester for one of the points indicated. 

When Bristol and Fox returned " home," as they had 
come to call their lodgings, that evening, Mrs. Winslow 
was at her escritoire, completely immersed in time-tables 
and manuscript, and had all the air of an important author 
struggling for fitting expressions with which to clothe some 
suddenly inspired, though sublime idea. 

She looked at them closely a moment, as if she would 
read their very thoughts. Whether seeing anything suspi- 
cious or not, she remarked very pointedly : 

" Good deal of railroad rivalry nowadays, isn't there ?" 

"Yes, considerable," replied Bristol pleasantly, and 
then asking, " Are you going to introduce some rival rail- 
roads in your new play, Mrs. Winslow ? " 

" Not much ! " she answered tersely. 

" I wouldn't," replied Bristol, taking a seat near the 
chandelier and pulling a paper from his pocket ; " they're 
dangerous." 

Mrs. Winslow paid no attention to this, but suddenly 
eyed Fox, and sharply asked : 

" They like very much to sell through tickets, don't 
they?" 

"I believe they do ought to pay better," he promptly 
rejoined, eyeing her in return. 

" Well," said she, after a slight pause, and as if with 
something of a sigh, " it's all right, perhaps ; but if 
either of you should meet any railroad agent who seems 



MRS. WINSLOW IS ANNOYED. 233 

to be laboring under the delusion that I want to found a 
colony in some far country, just tell him to expend his 
energies in some other direction ! " 

Of course my operatives were surprised, and demanded 
an explanation ; but the recipient of the circulars was 
quite dignified, and would only clear the matter up by 
occasional little passionate bursts of confidence, as if 
finding fault with them for not being able to unravel the 
mystery to her. They protested they knew nothing about 
the matter, and she undoubtedly believed them ; but she 
ventured to inform them that if anybody mind you, any- 
body supposed they could scare her away from Roches- 
ter by any such hint as that, they were mightily mistaken, 
that's all there was about that. 

My detectives allayed her fears as much as possible, 
but it was plainly observable that she was really annoyed 
by the occurrence. There is always a hundred times 
more terror in the fear of unknown evil than in that 
which we can boldly meet, and this particularly applies to 
those who know they deserve punishment, as in Mrs. 
Winslow's case. 

The next evening they were all sitting discussing gen- 
eral topics and a pint of peach brandy, and had become 
exceedingly sociable, particularly over the railroad circu- 
lars, which Fox and Bristol had by this time induced her 
to regard in the light of a huge joke, or error, when the 
party were suddenly startled by some object which caused 
a peculiar ringing, yet deadened sound, as it struck the 
partly-opened door and then bounded upon the carpet 



234 MRS. WINSLOW IS ANNOYED. 

where it glisteningly rolled out of sight under the sofa 
where the thoroughly-scared Mrs. Winslow sat. 

" My God ! what's that ? " she screamed, rushing to the 
door and peering down the staircase, as rapidly retreating 
footsteps were distinctly heard ; but not being able to dis- 
cover anybody, scrambled back into the room, shutting 
and bolting the door behind her. 

The woman was deathly pale, the color brought to her 
face by the brandy having been driven from it as if by 
some terrible blow ; but it came back with her into the 
room, where Bristol and Fox appeared nearly as frightened 
as she. 

She looked at them a moment in a dazed, stupefied 
way, and then demanded : " What does this mean ?" 

"That's what I'd like to know!" returned Bristol, 
hunting for his quizzers, which he had lost in his jump 
from his chair. " This is all very fine, but it's pretty 
plain somebody here's sent for ! " 

" And / don't want to go ! " chimed in Fox, climbing 
down from a safe position upon the escritoire. 

The three looked at each other in an extremely suspi- 
cious way, and the woman again demanded, this time 
threateningly, what it all meant. 

" Something with a glitter, and it rolled under there," 
was all Bristol could tell her about it. 

" Let's get it, whatever it is ! " said Fox, with an appar- 
ent burst of bravery and spirit. 

So Bristol at one end and Fox at the other end of the 
sofa, rolled it out with a great show of caution, while Mra, 



MRS. WINSLOW IS ANNOYED. 23$ 

Winslow, though preserving a good position for observa- 
tion, kept nimbly out of the way. 

" What can it be ? " she persisted excitedly. 

" A vial sealed with red wax, with a string attached, 
and containing some clear liquid," said Fox, stooping to 
pick it up. 

" Don't don't, Fox ! " shouted Bristol, pushing him 
back impetuously ; " the devilish thing may burst and kill 
us all nitro-glycerine, you know ! " 

Mrs. Winslow shuddered, drew her elegant wrappings 
About her fair shoulders, as if the thought chilled her like 
the sudden opening of some cold vault, and looked ap- 
pealingly at the two men. 

" Or might contain some deadly poison," said Fox, in 
a warning tone. 

" And the fiend who threw it in here expected the bot- 
tle to break and the poison to murder us ! " said Mrs. 
Winslow indignantly. 

" Things have come to a pretty pass when attempts like 
this are made on people's lives !" said Bristol, adjusting 
his spectacles and edging towards the mysterious missile. 

" I shall move at once," stoutly affirmed Mrs. Winslow. 

" Don't do any such thing," said Fox earnestly. "That 
will only show whoever may be committing these indigni- 
ties that we are alarmed by them." 

" We ? we ? " repeated the adventuress, with a pecu- 
liar accent upon the word "we." " It isn't you men that 
is meant. It's me. This is some of that Lyon's doings 
Oh, I could cut his heart out 1 " 



236 MRS. WINSLOW IS ANNOYED. 

The detectives saw that she was getting greatly excited, 
and Bristol, with a view of quieting her as much as pos- 
sible for the night, picked up the vial by a string tied to 
it and hung it upon a nail, remarking that he was some- 
thing of a chemist himself and didn't believe it was ex- 
plosive, and also expressed a conviction that Mrs. Wins- 
low should have it analyzed. 

To this she acceded, and expressed a determination to 
" get even " with the author of these outrages, in which 
laudable resolve the detectives promised to assist her ; 
but the peach brandy seemed the only relief possible to 
Mrs. Winslow for the remainder of the evening, which 
was chiefly passed in wild speculations and theories con- 
cerning the new " manifestations, which she began to fear 
might be the result of jealous clairvoyants and vindictive 
spiritualists, who had endeavored to blackmail both her- 
self and Mr. Lyon, and, failing in this, were now perse- 
cuting her. 

The next day Mrs. Winslow went out quietly and se- 
cured the services of a chemist under the Osborne House, 
who pronounced the contents nothing but water, which 
proved a great relief to the agitated trio, but did not re- 
move from Mrs. Winslow's mind the anxiety and unrest 
that these undesired and unlooked-for materializations 
were causing. 

About noon, after Fox and Bristol had come in from a 
little stroll and they were all laughing over the scare of 
the previous evening, a step was heard on the stairs, and 
soon after a little man with a big box on his shoulder, and 



MRS. WINSLOW IS ANNOYED. 

a slouched hat on his head which hid his face pretty 
thoroughly, came to the head of the stairs, knocked at the 
door, and without waiting for an invitation to come in, 
entered, and depositing the box with the remark, " For 
Mrs. Winslow, from the Misses Grim," spryly sprang back, 
shut the door, and clattered away down the stairs and into 
the street before Mrs. Winslow could get a second look at 
him, though she sprang after him, shouting, " Here ! 
here ! come back here or I'll have you arrested ! " But he 
only clattered away the livelier, and she returned to the 
room raging and vowing that the box contained some in- 
fernal machine for the purpose of distributing minute por- 
tions of her anatomy all over the city of Rochester. 

This became more likely when Mrs. Winslow recollected 
that the Misses Grim Tabitha, Amanda, and Hannah 
were the three old maids from whom she had thought she 
had secured a wealthy old banker to pluck ; and though 
he had proven to her a very ordinary man, somewhat in- 
firm from rheumatism, and a trifle quarrelsome, though 
eminently virtuous and punctilious, she had never, of 
course, let them know how badly she had been swindled ; 
and as they yet regarded their lost boarder, Bristol, as a 
priceless treasure, lost to them through her perfidy, it was 
no more than natural, Mrs. Winslow thought, that in their 
chagrin and disappointment they should concoct some 
diabolical plan to injure her. 

But still it might not be from them. She had other 
enemies, many of them, and the Misses Grim's name 
might have been given to cover up some other person's 



238 MRS. WINSLOW IS ANNOYED. 

misdeeds. But whatever it might be, her curiosity soon 
overcame her fear, and she requested Fox to open it. 

After securing a hammer from his room, the latter pro- 
ceeded to open the mysterious box ; but after the cover 
had been partially drawn and it was evident that the box 
had not been delivered for the purpose of exterminating 
anybody, it occurred to its fair owner that there might 
be something within it not desirable for her to let the 
gentlemen see, whereupon she requested them to retire ; 
but after Bristol had grumblingly disappeared, and Fox 
had got to the door, she recalled the latter and asked 
him anxiously if he would not open it for her. He 
gallantly agreed to, and got down on his knees upon the 
carpet and began taking off the cover. 

" I do wonder what it can be ! " said Mrs. Winslow 
anxiously. 

"I can't find anything but bran," returned Fox, digging 
about the box carefully. 

" Bran ! " she exclaimed incredulously j " that box is 
too heavy for bran." 

Fox dug away for a little while longer and finally shout- 
ed, " I've got something ! " 

" And what is that something ? " 

The question was answered by the thing itself, which 
now appeared from the bottom of the box, vigorously lift- 
ed by Fox's hand and plumped through the bran upon the 
carpet. 

" Well, what is it ? " she demanded. 

" Vegetable," said Fox tersely. 



MRS. WINSLOW IS ANNOYED. 239 

* Oh, pshaw ! is that all ? " asked the disgusted woman. 

" Yes, that's all," he replied, after digging about in the 
bian for a moment. Mrs. Winslow also satisfied herself 
that it was all by searching in the bran, and the two then 
proceeded to investigate the vegetable. 

"It's a turnip, and somebody's been digging in it," 
said Mrs. Winslow. 

" I think you are mistaken," mildly interposed Fox. 
" It's something else entirely." 

" What's this ! " exclaimed the woman ; " sure as I 
live, a cross-bones and skull on one side, and on the 
other side, ' D-e-a-d' dead ! " 

" It isn't dead turnip ! " interrupted Fox. 

"Dead beet?" she asked musingly, a sudden crimson 
flooding into her face. 

" Shouldn't wonder," he answered. 

Biting her lips she glided to a window. It was a cold 
autumn day, and the panes rattled drearily as she seemed 
to shrink and hide between them and the heavy curtains, 
while the color came and went hotly in her face. It hurt 
her, wounded her, showed her to be the thing she was 
in a way that could never have been effected by ten thou- 
sand innuendoes .or direct charges ; and she pressed her 
face against the cold panes as if to force and drive away 
the hideous picture that a momentarily honest glimpse of 
herself had revealed to her, and continued standing 
thus, buried in the memories which build remorse, until, 
noticing the thing in her hand which had caused this hu- 
miliation, she flung it violently across the room, and rush- 



240 MRS. WINSLOW IS ANNOYED. 

ing into her sleeping-room, hastily prepared for going out ^ 
then dashing through the reception-room, she passed into 
the hall, and meeting Bristol, said : 

" Bristol, I want you to come with me ! " 

Bristol immediately complied, but was given a lively 
chase, for Mrs. Winslow was strong of limb, fleet of foot, 
and, on this occasion, was impelled by a burst of spirit 
which, if rightly directed, would have led a conquering 
army. 

She started directly for Main btreet, and turned up that 
thoroughfare at a pace which attracted considerable at- 
tention. After rapidly walking two blocks she swept 
across the street, and after having waited for Bristol to 
come up with her, plunged into the little restaurant under 
Washington Hall, with my operative close at her heels. 

The sudden entrance of the couple caused a great com- 
motion in the quaint little eating-room, and the drowsy 
customers smiled when they saw the unaccustomed form 
of the woman whom the Misses Grim Tabitha, Amanda 
and Hannah had taken no trouble to prevent being 
known as her deadly enemy. 

Tabitha, the most ancient, at once bristled up and took 
a position behind her neat counter, her wrinkled head 
trembling with so much excitement that her sparse curls 
created a kind of quivering nimbus about it. 

"Well, ma'am and what can /do for you? 11 asked 
Tabitha with a flaunt of her head and a sarcastic tinge in 
her voice. 

Mrs. Winslow got to the counter in two or three quick 



MRS. WINSLOW IS ANNOYED. 241 

jumps or starts, and asked, husky with rage, "I -I just 
want to know which one of you old straws sent that box 
to me ? " 

"Box to you!" jerked out Amanda, the next less 
ancient of the Misses Grim, who had just entered and at 
once stopped stock still to catch Mrs. Winslow' s remark ; 
" box to you ? Tush ! box to nobody ! " and she too 
sidled in behind the counter to reinforce, and tremble 
with, her very old sister. 

" Oh, you can't play your innocence on me ! " retorted 
Mrs. Winslow very violently. " You wear very white 
collars, and very black caps and very straight dresses, 
and look very saintly, but you're just three old witches ; 
that's what you are ! " 

"Pooh, pooh ! " snorted Tabitha and Amanda hysteri- 
cally. 

" Pooh, pooh ! if you like ; but if I find out which one 
of you sent that box, I'll I'll shake every bone in her 
old body into a match ! " shouted Mrs. Winslow, dancing 
up and down against the counter and working her fingers 
savagely. 

"Match?" responded Hannah, the least ancient and 
most fiery of the three virgins, and who entered at this 
critical moment; "match indeed! you're a match for 
anything villainous!" and then she too trotted behind 
the counter to throw the weight of her presence into the 
conflict. 

By this time the interested customers had gathered 

around, and people from the street, noticing the unwonted 
II 



242 MRS. WINSLOW IS ANNOYED. 

enthusiasm awakened in the Washington Hall restaurant, 
were rapidly collecting upon the outside and flattening 
their curious noses against the intervening panes. 

Mrs. Winslow could no more control herself than could 
the old maids, and quickened by the presence of the 
increasing crowd, burst into a screaming demand for the 
person who sent the "dead" beet to her. 

" Dead beat ! ha, ha, ha ! " laughed the three sisters 
convulsively, at once realizing the appropriateness of the 
joke and excitedly enjoying it ; " dead beat, eh ? we 
didn't doit!" "But," added Hannah, maliciously, "il 
you do find the person as did send it, Mrs. Winslow, and 
will send 'em around, we'll board 'em for a month free ! " 

There was war, direful war, imminent ; and no one 
could imagine what might have resulted had the conflict 
of tongues culminated in a conflict of hands. But to have 
seen the three ancient, prim, and trembling women on. 
the one side, and the ponderous, though handsome Mrs. 
Winslow on the other the old maids either with arms 
akimbo or with hands firmly clenched upon the counter's 
edge as if to compel restraint, their bodies weaving back 
and forth, their heads bobbing up and down, and their 
stray frills and curls wildly dancing as if each particular 
hair was in a mad ecstasy of its own ; and Mrs. Winslow, 
upon her side of the counter, in a perfect frenzy of 
excitement, stamping her feet, jumping backward and 
forward, bringing her clenched hand down upon the 
counter with terrible force for a woman, and shaking it 
furiously at the agitated row of old maids, would be to 



MRS. WIN SLOW IS ANNOYED. 243 

have witnessed a marvellous improvement upon any form 
of the Punch and Judy show ever exhibited. 

Bristol saw that unless they were separated he would 
become implicated in a case of assault and battery, and 
after great effort pacified the women sufficiently to enable 
him to pilot his landlady out of the restaurant, through 
the streets and finally into her own apartments, where she 
passed the remainder of the dreary day in weeping, 
storms of baffled rage, or protracted applications to the 
spirits which can be controlled, whether one is a spiritu- 
alist x not, so long as money lasts and total prohibition 
is no: enforced. 



CHAPTER XXIII. 

Cast down. " Trifles." A charitable Offering Dreariness. Going 
Crazy. An interrupted Seance. A new Form of the Devil. The 
Red-herring Expedition and its Result. A mad Dutchman. Deso- 
lation. An order for a Coffin. The sympathizing Undertaker, Mr. 
Boxem. 

MRS. WINSLOW now began to show great pertur- 
bation of spirits. In conversation with my 
detectives, who endeavored to cheer her up and lead her 
to regard these surprises as mere jokes not worth any 
person's notice, she constantly argued the opposite, and 
thus arguing, conjured up countless possibilities of harm, 
gradually working herself into that condition of mind 
where every little unusual noise or movement of any per- 
son in the building or upon the street was a signal for 
some querulous inquiry or complaint. 

She was also very much worried concerning her suit, 
and went about among the Spiritualists seeking their ad- 
vice and encouragement, and giving and receiving a good 
deal of scandal concerning the case. From one she 
would hear that Lyon was employing certain other medi- 
ums in his behalf, and that she had better look out for 
them. Another would inform her that Lyon had several 
other mistresses, among them a Miss Susie Roberts, and 



CAST DOWN. 245 

a Madame La Motte, both Spiritualists and mediums, 
from whom Lyon intended to prove her bad character, 
and whom she, in turn, vowed she would have subpoenaed 
in her own behalf, and impeach their testimony through 
what she could compel them to admit of both themselves 
and Lyon. At other places she learned that these perse- 
cutions were Lyon's work entirely, or rather, the wo'rk jf 
nis agents, principal among whom were the two ladies 
mentioned. And, in fact, wherever she went she heard 
or found something to give her uneasiness or cause her 
unrest. 

"Yes," she said sadly to my operatives, " I can't stand 
this sort of thing much longer." 

" Oh, nonsense ! " rejoined Bristol ; " you haven't been 
hurt, have you ? " 

" No ; but I can't tell when I shall be. That's what I 
can't bear." 

" But I thought you were a woman of too great force 
of character to allow trifles to trouble you," exclaimed 
Fox tauntingly. 

" Trifles ! " said she hotly ; " trifles ! Is expecting 
every moment to be murdered, or blown up, a trifle ? Is 
fearing that everything you taste will poison you, or every- 
thing you touch do you deadly harm, a trifle ?" 

" People will think you deserve to be annoyed if you 
show them you are annoyed," argued Fox. 

" I have long since ceased to care what people think. 
Sometimes I am sure I hate every human being ; and I 
do believe the more the world hates me, the more monej 



246 CAST DOWN. 

I make. If these things are not stopped soon, I tell you," 
she continued in a tone of voice that seemed to say the) 
could stay the annoyances if they would, " I'll go to St 
Louis- and attend to my cases there ! " 

This opened the eyes of my operatives, and they simul- 
taneously conveyed the intimation to each other that care 
ful working might secure some information about any St. 
Louis cases the woman might have which would be desir- 
able ; and in a short time, by gradually leading Mrs. 
Winslow on, they discovered that the brazen adventuress, 
according to her own story, had pending no less than 
Seven cases in the Circuit Court at St. Louis, every one 
of them being suits on some trivial, trumped-up charge. 

It seemed fated that Mrs. Winslow should leave Roch- 
ester, if her remaining depended upon these mysterious 
offerings ceasing, for while they were yet in conversation 
upon the subject, a colored porter called with a great 
basket-load of provisions, and without a word, after 
spreading a newspaper upon the carpet, began unloading 
his store. 

"In heaven's name, who sent you here with those?" 
she entreated of the colored gentleman. 

"If sail right; it's all right," he said soothingly, and 
winking hard at my operatives. 

" But it isn't all right ; it's all wrong ! " she retorted, 
warming. 

" Guess not, missus ; lemme see : Quart split peas, 
quart beans, one punking, jug m'lasses, 'n a mackerel 
Done got 'em all, jure 1 " 



CAST DOWN. 247 

"Where did they come from, you black imp? 1 ' the 
woman demanded, advancing threateningly. 

He grabbed his basket quickly, and, slowly retreating 
towards the door, winked again very knowingly at Bristol 
and Fox, tapped his forehead and shook his head deplor- 
ingly, and then nodded towards Mrs. Winslow, very 
plainly saying in pantomime, " Poor thing ! badly de- 
mented ! " and, as Mrs. Winslow, in the excess of her 
anger, made a dive at him, he sprang back through the 
door, ejaculating, " Lo'd, ain't she crazy, though!" and 
made good his escape, laughing with that expression of 
complete enjoyment which only an Ethiopian can give. 

Mrs. Winslow was now thoroughly convinced that the 
two men who had been her constant companions of late 
had had something to do with annoying her, and she cun 
ningly followed the negro to the store where he was em- 
ployed, where she at once sharply questioned the proprie- 
tor, who told her just as sharply that only a few minutes 
before, a ministerial-looking man, claiming to be city mis- 
sionary for some church up-town, called and purchased the 
goods, remarking that they were for some crazy woman 
living in the block next to Meech's opera-house, whom 
he had just visited, and found to be possessed of the 
peculiar mania that she would receive no provisions save 
in full dress in the presence of her physicians, and that it 
was his desire to so humor her. So he had entrusted the 
errand to the colored man, who had carried cut the in- 
structions given him ; and that that was all there was 
about it. 



248 CAST DOWN. 

When she returned crestfallen to the apartments, am 
Bristol and Fox had heard her story, they so derived it. 
claiming that the groceryman had fallen in love with hel 
and invented the story upon the spur of the moment, fear- 
ing to disclose his languishing affection, she now be- 
lieved that they were innocent of complicity in the 
matter and seemed to lapse into a bewildered sort of 
condition, where she would wander about the rooms, sus- 
piciously pass and repass my operatives and searchingly 
scrutinize their faces, and for long periods stand at the 
dreary window peering into the street as if into a dead 
blank, never noticing the scurrying snow-flakes which 
were coming as a silent prelude to another winter, and 
only occasionally breaking the silence by murmuring, 
" Crazy ? crazy ? Yes, I shall become so if these terri- 
ble things are not stopped ! " 

But Mrs. Winslow had seen too much of life and was 
too hard a citizen generally to be terribly borne down by 
these manifestations for any great length of time, though 
they completely overpowered her at their occurrence, and 
she was allowed to become quite cheery before being 
favored with another materialization, which came in the 
following manner. 

They were having a pleasant little seance in the rooms 
one evening soon after the colored grocery porter had 
accused Mrs. Winslow of being crazy, and the several 
ladies and gentlemen collected there were engaged in 
communing with the Spiritualistic heaven in the old and 
very common table-rapping method. They were, as 



CAST DOWN. 249 

a rule, lank, lean people, the ladies wearing short hair, 
and the gentlemen wearing long hair. This, with a few 
other affectations and irregularities, was nothing against 
them, had it not been equally as true that, according to 
my operatives' subsequent inquiries, every member of ti I 
company was either living in open adultery or practising 
all manner of lewdness without even the convenient cloak 
of an assumption or pretension that the marriage relations 
existed. But, good or bad as they were, they wore at 
the threshold of heaven, and had very appropriately 
darkened the room to get as near to it as possible with- 
out being seen, and only the faintest possible jet flick- 
ered in the chandelier. They had all, save Mrs. Win- 
slow, been served with a message, and she was now the 
inquirer, solemnly asking of another medium some infor- 
mation from the dear departed from over the river. 

" Shall I soon receive word from an absent friend ? " 
(evidently meaning Le Compte, who had disappeared 
a month or two previous). Three affirmative raps 
followed. 

" Shall I succeed in my case against Lyon ? " The 
spirits were certain that she would. 

" Shall I be rewarded for all my tiouble?" she asked, 
waiting tremblingly for an answer. 

To this inquiry three thundering raps were heard at the 
door. 

What could it mean ? 

The members of the little circle were completely un 

nerved. And it was not strange either, Here were 
II* 



2$0 CAST DOWN. 

nearly a dozen people closely huddled in the centre of a 
room so dark that only the dim, indistinct outline of any 
person, or thing, could be seen in the ghostly gloaming. 
They believed, pretended they believed, or acquiesced in 
the belief or pretension, that they were in direct commu- 
nication with the spirit-land. 

In the most ridiculous condition of mind which any 
person might enter into such a performance, the secrecy 
and mysteriousness of the seance, the hushed silence, the 
darkness, and that tension of the mind caused by a con- 
stant expectation of some startling manifestation, will 
compel in the most sceptical mind a strange feeling of 
solemnity akin to awe ; so that when Mrs. Winslow's last 
inquiry was answered so pat, as well as with such an 
alarming loudness, the entire company sprang to their 
feet, and on this occasion there was genuine surprise in 
the faces of my detectives. 

Bang, bang, bang ! came the second series of raps, 
which promised Mrs. Winslow she should be " rewarded 
for all her trouble." 

But the answer, in the way it came, didn't seem to sat- 
isfy her. Somebody stepped to the chandelier and 
turned on the light, which showed all the company to have 
been considerably startled ; but the hostess was white 
from fear. 

" Won't somebody see what new form of the devil has 
been sent here to annoy me ? " she asked passionately. 

Fox, as " somebody," stepped briskly to the door and 
turned the key just as the first " Bang ! " of another 



CAST DOWN. 251 

series of raps was begun, and opening it quickly discov- 
eied a dapper young fellow with a big black bottle held 
by the neck in his hand, which was raised for the purpose 
of giving the door bang number two. 

In response to Fox's loud and sharp inquiry as to what 
on earth was wanted, he reversed the position of the 
bottle with the dexterity of a bar-tender, took from tlu 
floor a huger basket than that brought by the colored por- 
ter, and slipping into the room, nodded familiarly to Mrs. 
Winslow, and then coolly to the company, after which he 
quietly proceeded to unload his store. 

" Great heavens ! " said she despairingly, " I dorit want 
those things left here. I have no need for anything of 
the kind. I take my meals at the Osborne House ! " 

" Gettin ' ' toney ' lately ! " responded the intruder with 
a shrug, piling the packages up neatly in one corner and 
taking no heed of her expressed wish concerning them. 

There was no response to this, and he resumed in a 

light and airy tone : " Times has changed, Mrs. : eh ? 

What was it at Memphis and Helena, anyhow ? " 

This reference to the less aristocratic, though quite as 
respectable, vocation of a female camp-follower, though 
it caused the woman to change color rapidly, only brought 
from her the remark, " I don't know what you mean, sir ! 
I'll get even with whoever is responsible for this out- 
rage ' here she glared around upon the company as if to 
ascertain whether any one present was guilty " if if 
costs me a thousand dollars ! " 

The new-comer only smiled sarcastically at this and 



252 CAST DOWN. 

checked off his packages, concluding the operation bjf 
carefully counting two dozen red herrings, whose aroma 
was sufficient to announce their presence if he had not 
exhibited them at all ; while members of the company 
looked about them and at each other as if for some ex- 
planation of the strange proceeding. 

Finally, Mrs. Winslow, with a mighty effort to restrain 
herself, advanced and asked the young man if he would 
not please give her the name of the person to whom she 
was indebted for the articles. 

He arose, and smiling blandly, remarked, " You didn't 
used to be so particular about presents and such things ! " 
Then he added with a meaning leer : " At Helena and 
St. Louis, ye know, old girl ! " 

" Old girl ! " the ladies all screamed. " Why what 
does this mean, Mrs. Winslow?" 

" Nothing, nothing ! " she replied hastily ; and then she 
hurried the too talkative young fellow away, and came 
back into the room with a show of gayety. But it broke 
up the little party, and soon after the ladies, with frigid 
excuses about not having very much time, and the gentle- 
men, with peculiar glances out of the corners of their 
eyes towards the woman who had been so familiarly term- 
ed an " old girl," took their departure, leaving Bristol, 
Fox, Mrs. Winslow and the melancholy pile of packages 
surmounted by aromatic red herrings in a state of solemn, 
moody silence. 

Bristol was first to break the stillness, wh.'ch he did by 
asking rather testily : 



CAST DOWN. 253 

" You think Fox and I have had something to do with 
this, don't you ?" 

She looked at him a moment as if she would read his 
innermost thoughts, and replied : " No, I don't ! It comes 
from some of those strumpets of mediums, and I would 
give a good deal a good deal, mind you, Bristol ! to 
know who it was. I'd I'd " 

" What would you do ? " asked Fox, putting her on her 
mettle for a savage answer. 

" I would either burn them out, poison them, push them 
over the falls, or lie in wait for them and shoot them ! " 

Mrs. Winslow said this with as much sincerity and 
coolness as if giving an estimate on any ordinary business 
transaction, and evidently meant it. 

" Oh, you wouldn't kill anybody, Winslow," replied Fox 
airily. 

" Wouldn't I, though, Mr; Fox? " she rejoined with the 
old glitter in her eyes and paleness upon her upper lip 
that had at an earlier period worried the Rev. Mr. Bland j 
"wouldn't I? If you had fifty thousand dollars in your 
trunk, I would kill you, appropriate the money, cut you 
up and pack you in the trunk and ship you to the South 
or some other hot climate by the next express ! " 

She was just as earnest about the remark as she would 
Have been in carrying out the act ; and after Fox had con- 
gratulated himself, both aloud cheerfully and in his own 
mind very thankfully, that neither his trunk, or for that 
matter his imagination, contained any such gorgeous sum, 
he went to his own room XOr the night, leaving the very ex- 



254 CAST DOWN. 

cited Mrs. Winslow and the very calm Mr. Bristol to coi* 
template the groceries and each other. 

After a few minutes' brown study she suddenly turned 
to her companion with : " Bristol, you and I are pretty 
good friends, aren't we ?" 

" Certainly," he replied. 

" And haven't I always treated you pretty well ? " 

" Yes ; with one exception." 

" What is that ? " 

" The sleep-walking you did in my room." 

u Oh, that's nothing, Bristol. Never happened but 
once, and won't occur again. Otherwise I have treated 
you pretty well, haven't I?" 

Bristol felt compelled to confess that she had. 

"Well, then," she continued wheedlingly, "will you do 
me a favor ? " 

"What is it?" 

*' I want you to take a walk with me." 

" Pretty late, Winslow, pretty late ; nearly ten o'clock, ' 
replied the detective, looking at his watch. 

" The later the better," she replied earnestly. " I want 
to use those herrings." 

" Use those herrings ! Why, there are at least two 
dozen. How on earth will you use them all ? " 

"Some of these humbug mediums," replied Mrs. Win- 
slow in a style of expression that showed her to be very 
familiar with the Spiritualists, " or old Lyon himself. 
have sent me these things. I'm going to adorn the door* 
knob of every one of their places with a string of herringa 



CAST DOWA. 255 

In that way I'll hit the right one sure. Come, won't you 
go?" 

Bristol saw that the woman would go anyhow, and fear 
ing that she might get into some trouble that would cause 
her arrest and thus expose him and Bristol to public 
notice, which a capable detective will always avoid, con- 
sented to accompany the woman, which so pleased her 
that she immediately sent out for brandy, and not only 
imbibed an inordinate amount of it herself, but also 
pressed it upon Bristol unsparingly. 

Her mind seemed filled with the idea that Lyon had 
become the " affinity" of nearly every female medium of 
prominence in the city in order to further his designs 
against her ; and to remind them that they were watched, 
she had Bristol write " Lyon-La Motte," " Lyon-Roberts," 

"Lyon ,"etc., upon about a half-dozen couples of 

herrings, and upon all the rest, save those intended for the 
Misses Grim, which were labelled "Tabitha, Amanda, and 
Hannah," she had written the names of the different 
ladies who, in her imagination, had supplanted her, and 
tied all the herrings so labelled together with one very di- 
lapidated herring marked " Lyon." It is needless to say 
that the latter bundle of sarcasm was intended for the 
ornamentation of Mr. Lyon's residence. 

Bristol felt like a very bad thief, and Mrs. Winslow 
acted like a very foolish one. The moment they gained 
the street she began a series of absurd performances that 
well nigh distracted Bristol and greatly increased the 
danger of police surveillance. She laughed hysterical!/, 



2 $6 CAST DOWN. 

chuckled, and expressed her delight in a noisy effort t< 
repress it, until the tears would roll down her face. Oc- 
casionally they would meet or pass parties who knew 
her, who would say to companions, in the tone and man 
ner with which they would have probably spoken of othel 
sensations, " There's the Winslow ! " when she would 
shrink and shudder up to Bristol's side, begging for the 
shelter and protection of his capacious cloak. Again, 
imagining she saw somebody following them, or was sure 
that loungers lingering in deserted doorways or at the 
entrance to dark hallways or alleys were detectives -on 
their trail, she would give the patient Bristol such nudges 
as nearly took his breath away, and, at his lively protest, 
would whimper and tremble like a querulous child. 

Their first work was to be done on State Street, near 
Main, and when they had arrived at a certain hallway, 
Mrs. Winslow insisted that Bristol should accompany he* 
to the rooms which she desired to decorate. This h 
datly refused to do, when she began moaning something 
about want of spirit, and then, with a sudden gathering 
of the admirable quality for her own use, stole quietly up 
stairs and in a moment after came plunging down, as if 
the inmates of the entire block had turned out to give her 
chase. But this was not the case, and the expedition 
progressed without any developments of note, Mrs. La 
Motte, Miss Susie Roberts, and the Misses Grim being 
properly remembered, until they arrived at Mr. Lyon'a 
residence, some little distance from the thickly settled 
portions of the city. 



CAST DOWN. 257 

The house was one of the rambling, moss-covered 
buildings of ancient style and structure, and was set back 
from the road some distance among a score of trees 
quite as grand and ancient as the mansion itself; and 
the old pile did have a gloomy appearance to the 
adventurous couple that paused breathlessly before the 
gates. 

"Bristol," said Mrs. Winslow shiveringly, "do you 
know that sometimes, when I see that great black pile up 
there, I'm glad he didn't marry me ?" 

" Why ? " her companion impatiently asked. He was 
getting cold and tired, and was in no condition to appre- 
ciate maudlin melancholy. 

" Because I'm sure I'd die in the old rack-o' -bones of 
a place; and besides that, I'm sure there are spooks 
there ! " 

" Pooh, pooh ! " sneered Bristol angrily ; " go along 
and attend to your business, or I'll go back and leave 
you ! " 

Thus admonished, the sentimental lady proceeded with 
her work. 

For some reason the gate was very hard to open, and 
considerable time was consumed in getting into tie 
grounds. Then it was a long walk to the house. Bristol 
anxiously watched the woman move slowly along the 
broad walk until she disappeared in the shadows which 
surrounded the house and the darkness of the night ; and 
it seemed an age to him, as he stamped his feet as hard 
as he dare upon the stone pavement and whipped his 



2$8 CAST DOWN. 

hands about his shoulders to drive away the chilliness 
which he found creeping on. 

He heard her footsteps first, then saw her emerge from 
the gloom, and finally saw her stop as if to listen. He 
also listened very intently, and thought he heard some- 
body moving about the house ; and was immediately 
satisfied of the correctness of his hearing by noticing 
that Mrs. Winslow suddenly turned towards the road 
and made remarkably good time to the gate, which, 
feeling sure of trouble, he made strenuous efforts to 
.open. 

"For heaven's sake, Bristol," she gasped, "why don't 
you open this gate. I'll be eaten up with the dogs, and 
we'll both be caught ! " 

The last clause of Mrs. Winslow's remark roused 
Bristol to a vigorous exercise of his muscle. He tugged 
away at the gate, shook it, threw himself against it from 
one side, and his companion threw herself against it from 
the other side ; but all in vain. Not a moment was to be 
lost. Lights were seen flashing to and fro in the great 
mansion, angry voices came to them, with the by nowise 
cheering short, gruff, savage responses of loosened bull- 
dogs, and in a moment more the front door was passed 
by two men and as many dogs that came dashing out in 
full pursuit. 

Matters at the gate were approaching a crisis. The 
gate could not be opened, and Mrs. Winslow must pass 
it or get captured. 

" Climb or die ! " urged Bristol, reaching through tha 



CAST DOWN. 259 

pickets of the gate, which was a high one, and lifting on 
the portly form of the excited woman. 

" I will, Bristol ! " she returned, with a gasp. 

And she did climb ! 

It was best that she did so, as a good deal of trouble 
was coming down that brick walk like a small hurricane, 
and it would logically strike her in a position and from 
a direction that would not enable her to respond; and 
if either or both of those dogs had been able to have 
grasped the situation, partially impaled as she was upon 
Jhe pickets, the fascinating Mrs. Winslow would have 
fallen an easy prey. 

She was very clumsy about it, but in her desperation 
she in some way managed to scale the gate, leaving a 
good portion of her skirts and dress flying signals of dis- 
tress upon the pickets, and finally fell into Bristol's arms. 
It was a moment when silk and fine raiment were as 
bagatelle in the estimate of chances for escape, and it was 
but the work of an instant for Bristol to tear her like a 
ship from her fastenings and make a grand rush towards 
home. 

Those portions of Mrs. Winslow's garments which were 
left flaunting upon the gate not only set the dogs wild, 
but served to detain them. The men were also halted a 
minute by the natural curiosity they awakened, after 
which they made a furious onslaught upon the gate, that 
only yielded after sufficient time had elapsed to enable 
the culprits to get some distance ahead, when the men 
and dogs started pell-mell down the street after them. 



260 CAST DOWN. 

Bristol fortunately remembered that when they were 
nearing Lyon's house, he had noticed that the door lead- 
ing to an alley in the rear of a pretentious residence had 
been blown open and was then swaying back and forth in 
the wind. With the advantage in the chase given by the 
dog's criticism upon Mrs. Winslow's wearing apparel and 
the men's hinderance at the gate, they were able to seek 
shelter here, which they did with the utmost alacrity, 
fastening the gate behind them, where they tremblingly 
listened to the pursuers tearing by. 

Mrs. Winslow insisted on immediately rushing out and 
taking the other direction, but Bristol, feeling sure that 
the party would go but a short distance, held on to her 
until the two men returned with the dogs, swearing at 
their luck, and telling each other wonderful tales of bur- 
glaries that never took place, while Bristol thoughtfully 
put in the time by making Mrs. Winslow's skirts as pre- 
sentable as possible, by the aid of the pins which every 
prudent man carries under the right-hand collar of his 
coat, and hurriedly ascertaining from her that she had un- 
fortunately tied the herrings upon the door-bell instead of 
the door-knob, thus involving pursuit. 

After everything had become quiet, and Bristol had 
made several expeditions of observation to doubly assure 
himself of the coast being clear, the couple stole cau- 
tiously out of the alley into the deserted street, and after 
much precaution and many alarms, caused by the creak- 
ing of signs, the sudden flaring of gas-lamps, and the fierce 
gusts of wind dashing after and into them around the 



CAST DOWN. 26l 

sharp corners of buildings, they at last arrived at home 
past midnight ; and, having ordered it as they neared the 
block, for a half-hour longer they sipped hot toddy by a 
rousing coal fire, recounting their exploits of the night, 
and eventually retiring with something of the spirit of 
conquerors upon them. 

Down came the snow and the wind next morning, two 
things which will usually in early winter call a whole city- 
ful out of bed, and set the human tides in a rapid motion. 
Fox and Bristol had long before got into the streets and 
had heartily enjoyed some newspaper items, one recount- 
ing racily the outrage of labeled herrings being hung to 
the door-knobs of the houses of many respectable citizens, 
and another, under glaring head-lines, giving the minutest 
details of a desperate attempt at burglary of Mr. Lyon's 
house, and a double-leaded editorial which agonizedly 
asked in every variety of form, "Where are our police?" 
But Mrs. Winslow, from her adventures and toddy of 
the previous night, slept late and long, and when she did 
come creeping out into the sleeping-room, half dressed 
and altogether unlovely in disposition and appearance, 
she looked out upon the snow-flakes and the crowds of 
people without any emotion save that of anger at being 
aroused. 

The only thing to be seen of anything like an unusual 
object was a very large load of hay standing at the en- 
trance of the building ; but of course this had no particu- 
lar interest to a Spiritualist. She had had a half-formed 
impression that she had heard knocking at the door, and 



262 CAST DOWN. 

she turned from the window to ascertain whether that im- 
pression had been correct. Throwing a shawl about hei 
head and shoulders, she unlocked the door and peered out 
cautiously. There was nobody there, and the wind whis- 
tled up the stairs so drearily that she closed the door with 
a slam, and after starting up the fire, which was slumbering 
on the hearth, she crept into bed again. 

She had no more than got at the drowsy threshold of 
dreamland than she was startled by a loud knocking, this 
time proceeding from something besides an impression of 
the mind, each knock being accompanied by some lively 
expression of German impatience. The demonstration 
was intelligible, if the words were not, and Mrs. Win slow 
bounded out of her bed and into the reception-room in 
no pleasant frame of mind. 

On protecting her form as much as her indelicate dis- 
position required and that was not much she flung tht 
door open and savagely asked : 

" What's wanted ? " 

" Ef you keep a man skivering and frozing to died mil 
der vind und schnow-vlakes, I guess mebby I charge more 
as ten dollars a don for 'em ! " 

He was all smiles at first, but he resented her brusque 
manner as swiftly and severely as he could with his broken 
brogue. He was an honest, broad-shouldered, big-headed 
German farmer, and though wrapped and wound from 
head to foot in woollens, the only thing that seemed warm 
about him was his glowing pipe and his disturbed temper. 
He shook his head at the woman, and again began a 



CAST DOWN. 263 

tammering recital of his wrongs, when she cut him short 
with : 

" You're crazy ! " 

" Grazy ? Of I make a foolishness of a fellar like as 
you do well, dot's all right ! " and he stood up very 
straight and puffed great clouds of smoke past her into 
her elegant room. 

She had got a stolid customer on hand, and she 
saw it. So she asked him civilly what he wanted at her 
door. 

" Yust told me vere ish der parn, und I don't trouble 
you no more." 

"Whose barn?" 

" Vere der hay goes." 

" Hay ? What hay ? I don't know anything about 
any hay," she replied, laughing at his perplexity. 

" I shtand here an hour already, und ven I got you 
up no satisfagtion comes. Py Shupiter, dot goes like a 
schwindle !" 

He was very mad by this time, and walked back and 
forth in front of her door, shaking his fists and gesticulat- 
ing wildly ; and to prevent a scene, which might cause a 
collection of the inmates of the building, she quieted him 
as much as possible, and ascertained that some obliging 
person, more enthusiastic about the amount than the 
character of some token of esteem, had taken the trouble 
tc order a load of hay to be delivered at her number, 
describing the place, room, and woman so minutely that 
there could be no possibility of mistake, where the ownei 



264 CAST DOWN. 

was to collect all additional charges above two dollars, 
which had been paid. 

It took Mrs. Winslovv a long time to persuade the far 
mer that she owned no barn, kept no animals, had no use 
for hay, and that there had been some mistake, or that 
some person had deliberately played a joke upon him 
but finally, after a shivering argument of fully fifteen min- 
utes, and the expenditure of a dollar bill, with the seduc- 
tive offer that she would give him ten dollars if he would 
find and bring to her the man who ordered the load, her 
obstinate visitor departed, roundly swearing in good Ger- 
man that he would have the Gottferdamter schwindler 
brought up by der city gourts and hung, to which Mrs. 
Winslow groaned a hearty approval as she shut the door 
of the to her desolate room. 

If there had previously been any doubts in her mind 
as to there being a preconcerted plan to annoy and exas- 
perate her beyond endurance, they were now entirely re- 
moved, and the woman broke down completely, wringing 
her hands in mute expression of bitter anguish. The 
storm without was not half so violent as the storm within, 
and the blinding flakes which swept from the bitter sky 
raged upon a no more barren, frozen, desolate soil than 
her own selfish heart. 

There may be a kind of pity for such a woman ; there 
should be pity for every form of human suffering, or even 
depravity ; but in my mind there should be none to verge 
from pity into palliation and excuse for this woman. 
Great as was her mental suffering, there was in it not a 



CAST DOWN. 265 

touch of remorse. Terribly as her mind was 
racked and tortured with doubt, uncertainty, fear, and 
despair, tiiere was in it no trace of the womanhood which, 
however low it may descend, is still capable of regret. 
She was not heart-sick for the life she was leading, but 
dreaded the punishment she knew it deserved. Her 
nature had never shrunk from the countless miseries she 
had entailed on others, and her heart never misgave her 
only in the absence of her kind of happiness or in the 
superstitious fear of the evils which she felt assured were 
constantly her due. She was, as far as I ever knew, or 
can conceive, a soulless woman whose troubles only pro- 
duced vindictiveness, whose utter aim in life was social 
piracy, whose injuries only begat hate, and whose suffer- 
ings only concentrated her exhaustless hunger and thirst 
for revenge. 

After the first burst of rage and passion, she settled 
down into a condition of deep study and planning, and 
about the middle of the afternoon began passing in and 
out and visiting various places, in a way which, though it 
might not particularly attract attention, yet betokened some 
business project being resolutely and quietly carried out. 

During one of the periods when she was within her 
apartments, quite a commotion was raised in the lower 
story, the stores of which were occupied by a tobacconist 
and milliner, by a call from a prominent undertaker of 
Main Street, who with a mysterious air exhibited the fol- 
lowing note, at the same time asking whispered conun- 
drums about it. 
12 



266 CAST DOWN. 

" MR. BOXEM : 

" DEAR SIR Please quietly deliver a full-sized coffin 
at No. South St. Paul Street, at the first room to the 
right of the stairway as it reaches the third floor. En- 
closed please find five dollars, in part payment. Will 
maki it an object to you to ask no questions below, and 
deliver the coffin as soon after dark as possible. 

(Signed) "MRS. A. J. W ." 

Mr. Boxem was by no means a solemn man ; but he 
had a heavy bass voice, which he used to such great effect 
in asking questions below stairs, that he succeeded in 
creating a fine horror there, so that by the time he had 
proceeded to Mrs. Winslow's rooms, it was settled in the 
minds of the tobacconist and the milliner, their employees, 
and any customers of either who had happened in during 
Mr. Boxem's preliminary investigation, that each and 
every one's previous solemn prediction as to " something 
being wrong upstairs " had now come true, as they each 
and every one reminded the other that " Oh, I told you 
so!" 

Mr. Boxem, finding Mrs. Winslow's door ajar, quietly 
stepped in and reverently removed his sombre crap? 
hat. 

" Evening, ma'am," he said politely, but with a profes 
sional shade of sympathy in the greeting. 

" And what do you want ? " she asked in a kind of doe 
peration, noticing an open letter in his hand. 

" Your order, you know, " he replied tenderly ; " thes 



CAST DOWN. 267 

things are sad and have to be borne. Can't possibly be 
helped, more 'n one can help coming into the world." 

Mrs. Winslow could not reply from rage and anger, and 
hiding her face in her hands, walked to the window. 

" No, it's the way of the world," continued Boxem, 
with a sigh ; " ah hem ! might I ask if it is in there ?' 
he concluded, producing a tape-line case. 

" It ? in God's name, what /'/ ! " sobbed the woman. 

" Why the the " stammered her visitor somewhat 
abashed, " the body the corpse, you know ! Have 
come to measure it. Painful, I know ; but business is 
business, if it's only coffin business; and I can't possibly 
do a neat job without I get a good measure. Something 
like the tailoring trade, you see !" 

" Body ? corpse ? come to measure it ? Oh, I shall 
go wild, I shall go wild," persisted the woman, half fran- 
tic at the intimation which came to her that a corpse was 
not only in her place, but in the very room where she 
slept, and that this fiend who was pursuing her this 
Nemesis, who struck her pride, her ambition, her desires, 
her very life, at every move she made, had actually sent 
an undertaker there to measure the dead body. 

It is hard to tell what would have happened if the good 
sense of the undertaker had not come to the relief of the 
situation ; and, hastily answering her that there had prob- 
ably been some mistake, that the order was probab.y 
meant for the next block, and offering other similar 
excuses while hastily apologizing for the intrusion, Mr. 
Boxem very sensibly went back to his business and hia 



268 CAST DOWN. 

coffins, five dollars ahead until more promising inquiries 
should bring to light the friend of the alleged dead, and 
the owner of the money, who, fortunately for Mr. Boxena, 
has not appeared to this day. 



CHAPTER XXIV 

Breaking up. Doubts and Queries. Suspected Eevelopments. Th 
Detectives completely outwitted. On the Trail again. From 
Rochester to St. Louis. A prophetic Hotel Clerk. More Detec- 
tives and more Need for them. Lightning Changes. 

BRISTOL and Fox happened around in time to par- 
ticipate in the general excitement which the under- 
taker's visit had awakened, and after getting as full particu- 
lars as possible from the people below, who refused to 
believe that some dark deed had not been committed up- 
stairs, they proceeded to the rooms, where they found the 
door to Mrs. Winslow's private apartment closed, and the 
two, finding no opportunity to converse with their land- 
lady, shortly went out for supper. 

On their return they found Mrs. Winslow in a remarka- 
bly pleasant frame of mind, and quite full of jokes about 
the order for a coffin so much so, in fact, that my opera- 
tives were quite surprised at the change from her previous 
demeanor under similar circumstances. Altogether they 
passed one of the pleasantest evenings since they became 
the woman's tenants. Several ladies that lived in the same 
building were invited in, refreshments of wines and some 
rare fruits out of season were served, singing, card-playing, 



270 BREAKING UP. 

and piano playing with some waltzing were indulged in, 
and it was noticed by the two men that Mrs. Winslow 
was almost hysterically happy, as if she had decided upon 
Borne exceedingly brilliant and satisfactory plan, the exe- 
cution of which was being preluded in this way. 

At the close of the evening she casually announced 
that the next time she had any company she hoped to 
show them a better place. 

Somebody at once inquired if she was going away, 
whereupon she gayly replied that instead of going away she 
was going to make better arrangements for staying. She 
had intended all along, she said, tidying up the place, but 
had been so lazy that she had kept neglecting it until it 
was really too bad, and now she had decided to begin 
tearing up things to-morrow. 

In answer to Bristol and Fox's inquiries as to what was 
to be done with them in the meantime, she said that she 
had already arranged that, and had secured a pleasant 
room at the Osborn House, where they were to remain 
without additional expense to themselves until she had 
concluded her changes. This rather dashed the opera- 
tives, but they made no further remark upon the subject 
until the company had dispersed, when they urged the 
propriety, both on the grounds of economy and convenience 
of " doubling up," as Bristol termed it, in one room until 
another was finished, and then removing to that, until their 
respective apartments had been renovated. But Mrs. 
Winslow was obdurate, alleging that on account of these 
annoyances she had be :ome weak and nervous of late, 



BREAKING UP. 2^\ 

and did not desire to be annoyed with either the argu 
ment or arrangement. 

So that early on the next morning, when Mrs. Winslow 
announced to the detectives that an express wagon was in 
waiting to convey their baggage to the Osborn House, 
there was no alternative but to go, as the persons engaged 
to do the renovating were on hand and had already begun 
their work of turning the rooms into chaos. Mrs. Win- 
slow assured them that but a few days would elapse be- 
fore they would all be together again in their old quar- 
ters; and as they grumblingly went away complaining of 
short notice and the like, she bade them a merry good- 
by, adding that she should stay about with some of her 
Spiritualistic friends in the city, and perhaps take a little 
trip down to Batavia; but in any event would let them 
know the first moment that the rooms were ready for 
occupancy. 

While Bristol and Fox were settling themselves in their 
new quarters they indulged in a very heated argument as 
to Mrs. Winslow' s object in this all but forcibly ejecting 
them from their rooms, which they had occupied so long 
that they had come to consider them something of a 
home ; as to whether Mrs. Winslow meant to do without 
their presence hereafter or not, Bristol feeling sure that 
the woman meditated some future action which war, to re- 
lieve herself of their society, if indeed it did not mean 
more than that, while Fox felt equally as certain that the 
whole affair was only one of the whiraful woman's whimsy 
that, being satisfied, would result in their early recall. 



2/2 BREAKING UP. 

In any event in this way the combination of medium 
istic and detective talent was broken up. 

I was at once informed about the turn things had 
taken, and ordered that extra diligence should be used 
in keeping the woman under notice, as I felt apprehen- 
sive that making her rooms tidy was not her object at all. 
I had no right to detain her, go wherever she might ; but 
Lyon's counsel had been for some time absent from 
Rochester, and some things in connection with the de- 
fence had not yet received proper attention. The depo- 
sitions as to the woman's character and adventures 
throughout Wisconsin, Iowa and Missouri had not yet 
been taken, nor indeed had the very necessary formula 
of serving notice upon Mrs. Winslow of the proposed 
taking of such evidence been gone through ; so that, as it 
would require some time to take this evidence after 
notice had been served, it was very desirable that sh 
should be kept in sight. 

The next development, showing her to be a very 
shrewd woman, was in her sending word over to the hotel, 
the same day that my operatives left her rooms, that she 
had been taken suddenly and severely ill, and had been 
obliged to turn over the work to a lady friend of hers, and 
might not be able to resume the supervision of :t for sev- 
eral days. 

Bristol called, ostensibly to tender his condolence, out 
was unable to find Mrs. Winslow, being met by a very smart 
little lady, who informed him that it would be impossible 
to see his former landlady, as she was extremely ill and 



BREAKING UP. 2/3 

could not be at present disturbed ; but that should any 
change in her condition occur, both he and Fox should be 
promptly informed. I had instructed them to do theit 
best in watching the premises, which I am satisfied they 
had done, and I had also put the two other men, Grey 
and Watson, on the lookout, but none of them had ob- 
served her either pass out of or into the place, and they 
began to be convinced that she really was lying ill within 
the building. 

During this condition of things, and being somewhat 
anxious about the matter, I went to Rochester myself, 
and held a consultation with my men, having the block 
further examined under various guises and pretexts, 
which proved beyond doubt that the woman was gone, 
and had probably left the building a very few minutes 
after the operatives had departed ; and, for some reason 
best known to herself, but probably on account of the 
mysterious annoyances which had been following each 
other very rapidly, had either left the city entirely or was 
hiding very closely within it, with a view to discover 
whether, with the two men out of her society, and herself 
in peaceful retiracy, she could not ascertain from what 
source her troubles came, or avoid them altogether. 

To my further annoyance, the magnificent Harcout ap- 
peared and kindly offered me countless suggestions and 
theories, which were each one considered by Mr. Harcout 
to be worthy of immediate adoption ; and in order to get 
rid of him, I was obliged to appear to acquiesce in an im- 
aginative theory of Mrs. Winslow's flight to New York, 
12* 



274 BREAKING UP. 

and represent myself as so interested in his idea of how 
she could be traced to her hiding-place, that I desired of 
him as a personal favor that he would follow the trail, 
giving him a man, and the man a wink and there never 
was a finer picture of pomposity and assumption than 
when Harcout and his man started for New York. Rid 
of him, I again turned to my work of getting upon the 
right trail. 

I was sure the woman had left the city, and further in- 
quiry at the rooms convinced me that I was correct. 
The little woman finally acknowledged flatly that she had 
gone, but would under no circumstances tell whether she 
had left the city or not. She also exhibited a bill of sale 
of the goods and a transfer of the lease, and wanted to 
know if that did not look as though she had gone ? But 
she persisted in her refusal to give further information, 
and that was the end of it. 

No one had seen any trunks or packages leave the 
place, nor could my detectives get any trace of her hav- 
ing left the city over any of the different roads. Inquiries 
made at all the leading livery stables, express and hack- 
stands, of the city, failed to discover that Mrs. Winslow 
had been conveyed to any near railroad station where she 
might have taken a train ; nor could it be by any means 
ascertained that such a person had purchased a ticket at 
any of the adjacent towns for any point to the east, west, 
or south. 

In fact, all trace of Mrs. Winslow was lost, and I was 
satisfied that she had for some time been sure of the dan- 



BREAKING UP. 2/5 

ger of her surroundings ; and, while not able to fasten 
any particular suspicious act upon Bristol or Fox, un- 
doubtedly intuitively felt that they were either directly 
responsible for her troubles, or were in some unexplain- 
able way connected with their cause ; and being enough 
of a professional litigant to be aware of the necessity of 
service of notice upon her as to the taking of evidence 
before such evidence could be taken, and that it would 
be possible by a sudden disappearance and remaining 
secreted until the case might be called, to defeat Lyon's 
attorneys from using this mountain of evidence which she 
knew existed against her, whether she knew we had col- 
lected it or not, the double motive for her mysterious 
absence was plainly apparent. 

Remembering Bristol and Fox's reports as to her threat 
to go to St. Louis and "attend to her cases" there unless 
the annoyances ceased, and knowing from previous evi- 
dence already secured that she had figured extensively in 
various capacities, but principally as Spiritualist, black- 
mailer and courtesan in that city, I finally concluded that 
she had gone there, though her mode of leaving Roches- 
ter, if she had left the city, had certainly been such as 
to demonstrate ability worthy of a better cause. 

I accordingly directed Bristol and Fo.t to return to 
New York, and detailed the two men who had made it 
lively for Mrs. Winslow, and who, of course, knew her, but 
whom she had not seen face to face, the " materializations " 
having all been done for them by other parties, to proceed 
to St. Louis in search of her, stopping at any point where 



2/6 BREAKING UP. 

railroad divergences were made from the trunk lines be- 
tween the east and the west, and make extremely diligent 
inquiries for her, while I left another man in Rochester 
for the purpose of watching for her reappearance there, 
which would undoubtedly occur as soon as her former 
tenants were gone, in the event that she was secreted in 
Rochester, instead of being at the west, and to make this 
plan more certain, caused Bristol to write a letter to Mrs. 
Winslow, stating that both he and Fox had made number- 
less efforts to see her, but, failing to ascertain either 
where she was, or the cause of her sudden disappearance, 
and both being out of active business, they had concluded 
to go on to New York, but would return to Rochester 
should she resume charge of the rooms and desire them 
for tenants. I made arrangements also at the post-office 
to ascertain whether any letters were reforwarded to her 
at any point, and also at the express office regarding 
packages, so it could be hardly possible for her to keep 
up any correspondence or relation of any kind with parties 
in Rochester without disclosing her place of retreat. 

Having completed these arrangements, I returned to 
New York and anxiously waited for some news from the 
West. 

No trace was found of the woman until Operatives 
Grey and Watson had arrived at Chicago, where they im- 
mediately circulated among the Spiritualists of that city, 
who are both numerous and of rather doubtful moral 
standing. They ascertained that a woman answering her 
description had been there, and advertised largely under 



BREAKING UP. 277 

another alias than Mrs. Winslow, but nothing Jefinitely 
could be learned until in their reports I discovered that 
the little Frenchman, Le Compte, was figuring as the 
unknown lady's companion and business manager, when 
I telegraphed to follow Le Compte and his woman, being 
morally certain that these two were Monsieur the Mineral 
Locater and the celebrated plaintiff in the Winslow- Lyon 
breach of promise suit. 

It was discovered after some trouble, and with the as- 
sistance of my Chicago Agency, that Le Compte had 
suddenly left that city for some southern or south-western 
point, possibly St. Louis, but no information could be 
gained as to what direction Mrs. Winslow had taken, it 
being evidently her plan to avoid pursuit, should there be 
any made. My conviction still being strong that her ob 
jective point was St. Louis, I ordered the men on there, 
without positively knowing that either of the parties were 
there ; but was gratified to learn that Le Compte had 
been in the city, whether he was there or not on the oper- 
atives' arrival. The operatives, Grey and Watson, at 
once searched the newspapers and found no advertise- 
ments which would cover the desired couple, or either of 
them ; but, notwithstanding, visited all the mediums, 
clairvoyants, and prominent Spiritualists of the city, but 
could find no trace of the fugitives from that generally 
very prolific source, and began to have the impression 
that her trip there, if she were in the city at all, was one 
of pleasure or of blackmail business outside of herregulai 
clairvoyant line. 



278 BREAKING UP. 

The next move made by the men was to search about 
among the hotels and boarding-houses, and really ferret 
her out. This was a tedious process, and very little 
success was made in this endeavor for two or three days, 
when one noon, as Grey was wandering about the city in 
a seemingly useless endeavor to find the woman, he 
stepped into the Denver House, formerly the old City 
Hotel, and began to search over the register. He had 
not proceeded far when the clerk, eyeing him cautiously, 
said : 

" See here, Mister, ain't you lookin' for somebody ?" 

" Certainly I am," he replied pleasantly. 

Grey looked at him a moment and saw that he would 
not drop the subject, and immediately endeavored to mis- 
lead him by answering, " Of course I am ; I came in 
from the country this morning, and I don't know what 
hotel she was going to." 

"Ah, ha," mused the clerk, as if at loss how to pro- 
ceed, "I guess you didn't know where to find her, and 
you havn't found her yet, have you ? " 

" No," Grey replied quietly. 

" Is she big or little ? " 

" Well, she ain't little," answered Grey. 

" Now, see here, my friend, that's all right ; but I'm 
pretty sure you didn't just come in from the country, and 
further, I think I can show you the woman you've been 
hunting." 

Grey smiled and intimated that he was perfectly will- 
ing to be shown the woman. 



BREAKING UP. 

" Well, you just let me have your hat; I'll put it on the 
hat-rack inside the dining-room door, then you go to the 
wash-room and pass into the dining-room as though you 
had forgotten your hat and had come back for it. Look 
at the head of the first table over by the windows, and 
if you don't find your woman with a little Frenchman, 
I'll treat ! " 

Grey was surprised at the revelation, as there could be 
no possible means for him to know of his mission ; but 
the clerk's reference to the " little Frenchman " con- 
vinced him that there was something worth following up 
in the matter, and he followed his new friend's instruc- 
tions implicitly, passed into the dining-room, took his hat 
from the rack, turned and got a good view of the fair 
Mrs. Winslow and the faultless Monsieur Le Compte, 
who were evidently enjoying life as thoroughly as perfect 
freedom from restraint, and spiritualistic free love, would 
enable them. 

He expressed no surprise, however, at seeing the 
woman, and remarked to the clerk as he passed into the 
hall, " Why, that isn't any friend of mine ! " 

"Nor anybody else's!" said the clerk with a leer. 
" But really, now," he anxiously added, " ain't you after 
her?" 

" Certainly not," Grey stoutly replied ; but as the clerk 
took him into the bar-room to treat him according to 
jjgreement, which he submitted to unblushingly, he admit' 
ted that he had a curiosity to know something about her 
as he had either s^en her, or heard of her, previously, 



280 BREAKING UP. 

Then the clerk told him a good deal about thr. woman 
unnecessary for me to recite to my readers, which only 
fnrther showed her vile character, and so worked upon 
my operative's curiosity and interest that he decided to 
come to the hotel for a few days ; but as he was informed 
that Mrs. Winslow's intentions were to remain there the 
lemainder of the week, and the clerk promised to keep a 
good lookout for her, he concluded to hunt up his com- 
panion, inform him of his good fortune, and transfer their 
baggage to that hotel. 

As it was now about two o'clock, Grey did not find 
Watson before six, and it was fully eight o'clock before 
they got settled at the Denver House. But their eyes 
were not gladdened by a sight of the fugitive on that 
evening, nor was she at breakfast next morning. The 
operatives began to be alarmed lest the bland clerk had 
taken them in, and were particularly so, when, at their re- 
quest, for the purpose of ascertaining whether she was in 
her room, he knocked at her door, and after a few minutes 
returned with a blank, scared face, saying that the Jezebel 
had left, and more than that, that she owed the hotel over 
fifty dollars for board and wine furnished on the strength 
of her elegant and dashing appearance. 

On further examination of the room it was evident that 
the woman had not occupied it at all during the previous 
night, but had left the hotel immediately after dinner 
whether from a previous decision to do so, or from one of 
those sudden impulses, quite contrary to the geneial rule 
of human action, which made her an extraordinarily diffi 



BREAKING UP. 281 

cult quarry to follow, or still, from some suspicion that she 
was being followed. 

Grey felt quite crestfallen that he had lost Mrs. Wins* 
low by one of her characteristic manoeuvres, and at once 
made inquiries concerning her baggage, ascertaining from 
the clerk that she only had a portmanteau with her at the 
hotel, but had had a trunk check which she had exhibited 
when asking some question about the arrival and depart- 
ure of trains. 

Grey sent Watson to intersections of prominent streets 
to keep a lookout for parties, while he at once proceeded 
to the " Chicago Baggage Room," as it is called, under 
the Planters' House, where he ascertained, after considera- 
ble trouble and representing himself as an employee of 
the Chicago, Alton, and St. Louis road, looking for lost 
baggage, that Mrs. Winslow had come there personally 
about two o'clock the day previous and presented the 
check for her trunk, which had been taken away by an 
expressman with " a gray horse and a covered wagon." 

The next step, of course, was to find the expressman 
with the gray horse and covered wagon, who had taken the 
woman's trunk, and this was no easy matter to do. There 
were plenty answering that description, but Grey labored 
hard and long to find the right one, and finally found it 
this way. 

Being an Irishman himself, and a pretty jolly sort of a 
fellow, he was not long in finding a compatriot the 
owner of a gray horse and a covered wagon, of whom he 
asked : 



282 BREAKING UP. 

' Did you move the big woman with the big trunk at 
two o'clock yesterday ? " 

" An' if I did ? " said the expressman, on the defensive. 

" Nothing if you did ; but did you ? " replied Grey. 

" It's chilly weather," replied the expressman, winking 
hard at a saloon opposite. 

" Yes, and I think a drop of something wouldn't hurt 
us," added Grey, following the direction of the express- 
man s wink and thought quickly. 

They stepped over to the saloon and were soon calmly 
looking at each other through the bottom of some glasses 
where there had been whiskey and sugar. They looked 
at each other twice this way, and finally they were obliged 
to take the third telescopic view of each other before they 
could resume the subject. 

Then the expressman looked very wise at Grey, re- 
marking musingly, " A big 'oman with a big trunk, eh?" 

" Yes, a pretty fine-looking woman, too." 

"Purty cranky?" 

" Yes." 

" And steps purty high wid a long sthride ? " 

" Exactly." 

" 'N has clothes that stand up sthiff wid starch 'n silk 
r. the makin' ? " 

" The very same," said Grey anxiously. 

" I didn't move her," said the expressman, shaking 
his head solemnly. 

Grey felt like " giving him one ' as he said in his re- 
ports, but repressed himself and said pleasantly that he 



BREAKING UP. 283 

was sorry he had troubled him, and turned to go away, 
knowing this would unloosen his companion's tongue, if 
anything would. 

" Sthop a bit, sthop a bit ; you didn't ax me did I know 
ef any other party moved her ? " 

" That's so," said Grey, smiling and waiting patiently 
for developments. 

" Av coorse it's so." Then looking very knowingly, he 
said mysteriously, " The man's just ferninst the Planters', 
not a sthone's throw away. He's a big Dutchman, 'n 
got a dollar fur the job." 

They were both around the corner in a moment, and 
Grey at once made inquiries of the German owner of a 
"grey horse and a covered wagon" as to what part of the 
city he had removed the trunk. 

He was very secretive about the matter, and refused 
any information whatever. 

" Come, come, me duck," said the Irishman, ""me frind 
here is an officer, 'n ef ye don't unbosom yerself in a 
howly minit, ye'll be altogether shnaked before the 
coort ! " 

He said this with such an air of pompous sincerity, as 
if he had the whole power of the government at his back, 
that the German at once began relating the circumstances 
in such a detailed manner that he would have certainly 
been engaged an entire hour in the narrative, if Grey had 
not, as he himself expressed it, " out of the tail of his eye " 
seen Mrs. Winslow, not twenty feet away, sailing down 
Fouith street, towards the Planters'. In another moment 



284 BREAKING UP. 

she would pass the corner of the court-house square, 
where she could not help but see the little crowd of ex- 
pressmen, hackmen and runners, his inquiries, and the 
statement by his companion tliat he was an officer, had 
attracted. 



CHAPTER XXV. 

Btfll foiled Mr. Pinkerton perplexed over the Character of the Ad 
venturess. Her wonderful recuperative Powers. A lively Chase. 
Another unexpected Move. The Detectives beaten at every 
Point. From Town to Town. Mrs. Winslow's Shrewdness. 
Among the Spiritualists at Terre Haute. Plotting. The beautiful 
Belle Ruggles. A wild Night in a ramshackle old Boarding- 
House. Blood-curdling " Manifestations." Moaning and weep- 
ing for Day. Outwitted again. Mr. Pinkerton makes a chance 
Discovery. Success. 

GREY took in the situation at once, and was equal 
to the emergency. He knew if the German saw 
Mrs. Winslow, and thinking him an officer who might ar- 
rest him for complicity in something wrong, he would pro- 
bably shout right out, " There she is, now ! " He was 
also just as sure that his new-found Irish acquaintance, in 
the excess of his friendliness, would rush right over to 
Fourth street and stop the woman. So in an instant he 
created a counter-attraction by calling the German a liar, 
collaring him, and backing him through the line of wag- 
ons out of sight, and as Mrs. Winslow passed farther 
down Fourth street, backed him through the line of teams 
in the opposite direction, while the German protested 
volubly that he was telling only the truth; and just 
the moment Mrs. Winslow's form was hid by the 



280" STILL FOILED. 

Planters' House, he released the now angry expressman, 
flung him a dollar for " treats," and running nimbly around 
the block, fell into a graceful walk behind Mrs. Winslovr. 
keeping at a judicious distance, and following her for sev- 
eral hours through the dry-goods stores, to the Butchers 
and Drovers' Bank, where she drew a portion of the 
amount which she had secured from the prominent St. 
Louis daily as damages, and which had remained undis- 
turbed in that bank until this time ; into several saloons, 
where she boldly went, and, in defence of the theory of 
women's rights, stood up to the counter like a man, order- 
ing and drinking liquor like one too ; to the Four Courts, 
where she at least seemed to have considerable business ; 
to numberless Spiritualist brothers and sisters, including, 
of course, the mediums ; and finally to a very elegant pri- 
vate boarding-house kept by a respectable lady named 
Gay no, whom the adventuress had so won with her oily 
words and dashing manners, accompanied by her large 
Saratoga trunk, that not only she, but a little French gen- 
tleman named Le Compte whom Grey had hard work to 
avoid, as he had followed Mrs. Winslow at a respectful 
distance, and as if with a view of ascertaining whether 
any other person besides himself was following the madam 
had managed to secure quarters in an aristocratic home 
and an aristocratic neighborhood, for all of which the ex- 
perienced female swindler had no more idea of paying, 
unless compelled to, than she had of paying her fifty-dol- 
lar hotel bill at the Denver House. 

On receipt of this information, I directed Superinten 



STILL FOILED. 287 

dent Bangs to proceed to Rochester and hurry up Lyon's 
attorneys in securing the legal papers necessary to avail 
ourselves of the large amount of evidence already discov 
ered. and serve notice upon her while she was still in 
sight, and before her suspicions of being watched and fol- 
lowed, which it was evident was now growing upon her, 
had forced her into still more artful dodges to evade us. 

It was certainly her determination to clothe all her acts 
with as much mysteriousness as possible, and in this man- 
ner work upon Lyon's feelings and fears until she would 
compel him, through actual disgust of and shame at th* 
long-continued public surveillance of his affairs, to end the 
worrying tension upon his mind by a compromise that 
would yield her a large sum of money. 

That she was able, and had the means to make these 
quick moves and sudden changes, was equally as certain, 
though it was a question in my mind then, and has been 
to this day, how much money she might have had at com- 
mand. I know that at times she must have had almost 
fabulous sums in her possession. I was also often quite 
as sure that she was absolutely penniless, when, of a sud- 
den, she would carry out some bold scheme that required 
a great deal of money, which invariably came into requi- 
sition from some mysterious source in the most mysteri- 
ous manner possible. Whatever might have been the 
woman's pecuniary resources, I must confess that in 
nearly every instance I underrated her, and in fact that, 
in every respect, the more I endeavored to analyze her 
the more of an enigma she became. 



288 STILL FOILED. 

Like nearly all women of disreputable character, she 
was terribly extravagant, reckless, and improvident ; but 
as an offset to this she was supreme in the meanness 
ordinary courtesans are above that petty but never- 
ceasing swindling so terribly annoying to the public. 

With all these things in her favor, so far as being an 
ingenious pest is concerned, she was also possessed of 
the power of physical as well as financial recuperation to 
a wonderful degree ; and to whatever depth of tempera- 
mental dejection or physical exhaustion and degradation 
she might descend, she would of a sudden reappear, fresh 
and blooming, with no perceptible trail of her vileness 
upon her, in which condition she would remain just so 
long as would conserve her interests. 

While Superintendent Bangs was on his way to St. 
Louis, Grey and Watson were being led a lively chase 
about the city by Mrs. Winslow, and the bland clerk of 
the Denver House was devoting nearly all his time in 
tracking her from place to place to enforce the collection 
of his employer's bill. 

Her first exploit was to borrow twenty dollars from 
Mrs. Gayno on her baggage, who was thus prevented 
from turning her out of doors when her true character was 
learned ; and as a further illustration of her shrewdness, 
after she had remained at the house as long as she desired, 
she left between days, without refunding the borrowed 
money or paying her bill, and in some mysterious way 
also spirited away all her baggage. 

This of course caused more trouble in finding her. and 



STILL FOILED. 289 

she was finally discovered in furnished rooms. Even here 
she suddenly made her presence so unbearable tc the 
landlord that he gladly paid her a bonus to depart, which 
she did equally as mysteriously as on the previous occa- 
sion, when she was lost again, and the third time found at 
a Spiritualistic gathering at the hall near the corner of 
Chestnut and Seventh streets, where she was one of the 
speakers of the evening and did herself and the cause 
justice. 

In this way following her while she was securing 
abstracts of her many cases against the people of St. 
Louis, the number and trivial character of which had 
become a matter of public scandal, newspaper comment, 
and universal condemnation among members of the bar, 
keeping track of her in numberless conditions and locali- 
ties, and listening to endless tales of the woman's reckless 
conduct during her previous residence in the city Mrs. 
Winslow gave the two men all they could possibly attend 
to. 

One Wednesday morning about eleven o'clock, when 
Grey had just stepped out upon the street from a late 
breakfast at the Planters' having been out until nearly 
morning the night previous on a fruitless attempt to keep 
the woman under surveillance for a few hours, that detec 
tive was looking up and down the street quite undecided 
AS to what course to pursue he saw Mrs. Winslow just 
leaving an expressman at the court-house square, who 
immediately jumped into his wagon and drove off. 

Grey ran quickly down Fourth street, and after a few 
13 



290 STILL FOILED. 

minutes' chase succeeded in overtaking the vehicle. 
Halting it he asked the driver : 

" Are you going to move that woman ? " 

He checked his horse with an air that plainly said that 
kind of interruption was neither profitable nor desirable ; 
but driving on at a brisk pace, there was jolted out of 
him the remark : " My friend, I'm working for the public. 
Sometimes it pays better to keep one's mouth shut than 
to open it, especially to strangers." 

Grey hurrying on at the side of the wagon, and holding 
to it with his left hand, with his right he found a green- 
back. Handing this to the driver, he sprang into the 
seat beside him, saying, " Sometimes it pays better to 
open one's mouth ! " 

"That's so," replied the driver stuffing the bill into 
his pocket and elevating his eyebrows as if inquiring 
what Grey wanted him to open his mouth for. 

" I want you to drive slowly enough for me to keep up 
with you. Mind, you needn't tell me anything unless you 
have a mind to." 

"Oh, I'd just as leave tell you as not," he replied. 
" She's going over to East St. Louis to try and get the 
' Alton Accommodation,' if it hasn't gone yet. The Chi- 
cago train's way behind, and the ' Alton ' don't go until 
the ' Chicago ' comes ; ye see ? " 

Grey knew this was partially true, for he had but a few 
moments before received a telegram from Mr. Bangs, 
stating that he was aboard the down train which had been 
belated ; so that the best thing to do was to take the 



STILL FOILED. 2$l 

expressman's number, so that he could fi.id him again in 
case of a mistake, or any deception being practised, 
which he did. He then returned to the Planters', paid 
hi 5 bill, wrote notes to both Watson and Superintendent 
Bangs stating how matters stood, went to the levee, and 
in a few minutes had the pleasure of seeing the trunk put 
on board the ferry, where its owner shortly followed. 

Grey went on board, taking a position near the engines, 
where he could have an unobstructed view of the stairs, 
so that if this should prove to be another ruse of the 
madam's to get him started across the river and then 
glide off the boat to take up still more retired quarters, 
he could beat her at her own game. But Mrs. Winslow 
remained on the boat, and just as it was pushing off for the 
Illinois shore the landlord of the Denver House, accom- 
panied by a constable, came rushing on board. 

Seeing Grey, he immediately applied to him for infor- 
mation as to whether the woman was on board. He 
replied by pointing her out where she was leaning over 
the guards immediately above them. The landlord and 
his man at once proceeded to interview the woman, 
threatening all sorts of things if that bill was not paid, to 
all of which she gave evasive answers until the Illinois 
shore was reached, when she reminded them that she was 
outside the jurisdiction of the State of Missouri, and that 
if either of them laid their hands upon herself or her 
property, she would feel compelled to cause a St. Louis 
funeral, as she was a good shot, and when in the right did 
not hesitate to shoot ; which so frightened the hotel man 



# STILL FOILED. 

and the little minion of Missouri law," as Mrs. Wins- 
low c lied the constable, that they retreated empty- 
handed and with a confirmed disgust at the active expo 
nents of modern Spiritualism. 

Grey was now in a quandary as to what to do. The 
Chicago train was reported as over two hours late, and 
he was informed by the conductor of the Alton Accommo- 
dation that though his train could not leave St. Louis 
until the Chicago train had arrived, yet that he dare not 
hold the train a moment after that time. This precluded 
Grey's informing Mr. Bangs of his whereabouts, as the 
train was now too near the place to admit of his being 
reached by a telegram ; and should he risk losing the 
woman to apprise Mr. Bangs, it might be impossible to 
find her again at all. Fortunately he learned that the pas- 
senger train stopped at the Baltimore and Ohio railroad 
crossing, and, interesting a brakeman in his behalf, he 
arranged with him to go up to the crossing, board the 
train, rush through it and call out for Mr. Bangs as he 
went, directing the latter to pay the brakeman two dollars 
for his trouble, then jump off the train, walk rapidly back 
to the crossing and there board the Alton train as it was 
going out, if possible ; which latter plan would have 
succeeded, no doubt, had not Mr. Bangs been chat- 
ting upon the rear platform of the rear car, and failed 
altogether to hear the extremely loud inquiries made for 
him. 

Mrs. Winslow recognized Grey as a person in some- 
body's employ who was following her, and the moment he 



STILL FOILED. 293 

seated himself in the single passenger-car attached to the 
train, the woman began such a terrible tirade of abuse 
against him that he was made to feel that the detective's 
life is not altogether one of roseate hue, and so anncyed 
the other passengers that a large-sized brakeman was se- 
lected as a delegation of one to quiet her. It was evi- 
dent she had been drinking heavily, and she kept this 
brakeman pretty well employed for some time in not only 
endeavoring to quiet her termagant tongue, but to keep 
her in her seat, as she would often rise in the ecstasy of 
her wrath and denounce poor Grey, who meekly bore it 
all with a patient smile, until the conductor again ap- 
peared, when Grey showed him his thousand-mile em- 
ployee's ticket and claimed that he was an employee of 
that road looking up lost baggage ; that it was suspected 
that Mrs. Winslow had stolen the trunk she had with her, 
and that he had been ordered to follow her for a day or 
two until he got further instructions from headquarters. 
This put him all right with the trainmen, and caused the 
conductor to compel the woman into some sort of civility 
and silence. 

At about two o'clock the train arrived in Monticello, 
where Mrs. Winslow left the train, and the detective fol- 
lowed. The agent informed Grey that it was at least 
a mile to a telegraph office uptown, but that no train 
save a " wild-train " would pass either way until after he 
would have time to send a dispatch and return. He im- 
mediately went uptown and sent a telegram to the agent 
at East St. Louis to please inquire for a Mr. Bangs about 



294 STILL FOILED. 

the depot, and if there, to have him answer ; also one to 
Mr. Bangs himself at the Planters'. 

Returning to the depot, the agent informed Grey thai 
Mrs. Winslow had also been uptown, which was quite evi 
dent, as she had donned an entirely different suit of cloth- 
ing, evidently with some inebriated sort of an idea that 
this might change her appearance enough to enable her 
to escape him. She finally bought a ticket to Brighton, 
and got her trunk checked to that point. 

On their arrival at Brighton, Grey saw several ladies 
get off the rear platform of the ladies' car, among whom 
was his unwilling travelling companion, and watched 
until they had passed into the depot. In order to make 
sure that she was to stop here, he ran rapidly to where 
the baggage was being unloaded, where he found that 
her trunk had been put off. He waited there until he 
saw the trunk wheeled into the little baggage-house, when 
he leisurely walked back to the depot and stepped i^to 
the ladies' waiting-room, to keep the company of the 
adventuress. 

What was his surprise to see it almost deserted, no 
Mrs. Win slow there, and no surety of anything at all. 
He rushed into the gentlemen's room, galloped around 
the depot, looked in every direction, only to turn towards 
the train, with the startling suspicion that he had again 
been outwitted by the shrewd Spiritualist who made her 
livelihood by villainy and shrewdness, which was quickly 
confirmed as he made an ineffectual attempt to overtake 
the departing train, only to see the face of Mrs. Winslow 



STILL FOILED: 295 

pressed hard against the rear window of the ladies' car, 
and almost white with a look of fiendish enjoyment and 
hate at the useless attempts of her relentless pursuer whom 
she had so neatly foiled. 

Mrs. Winslow had slipped a detective and a good 
detective, too again, was gone, and all Grey could do 
was to wait at Brighton until Superintendent Bangs could 
overtake and counsel with him. 

By telegrams to and from conductors it was speedily 
ascertained by Superintendent Bangs, who had come on 
to Brighton and directed Watson to report at the Chicago 
Agency, that the woman had gone to Springfield, Ills., 
and, after arranging with the station-agent at Brighton 
to send information to Chicago regarding any call that 
might be made for her trunk, or as to any orders that 
might be received to have it forwarded, Mr. Bangs and 
Grey went at once to Springfield, where a trace of the 
woman was found at the St. Nicholas Hotel. 

It was ascertained that she had remained at the hotel 
over night, and the clerks thought it probable that she 
was then at the house, her bill not having been paid ; but 
a thorough search for her only developed the fact that 
she was at least absent from the hotel, whether with an 
intention of returning or not. 

Mr. Bangs directed Mr. Grey to remain at the St. 
Nicholas, keeping on the alert for her, while he visited 
the more elegant houses of ill-repute with which that 
capital abounds during legislative sessions and which 
rere just at this time getting in readiness to receive law 



296 STILL FOILED. 

makers and lobbyists ; and also the othei and less respect 
able establishments for piracy, managed by professed 
mediums, astrologists, fortune-tellers, and all the other 
grades of female swindlers ; and after a considerable time 
spent in investigation, found a certain Madam La Vant, 
astrologist who professed to cast the horoscope of 
people's lives with all the certainty of the famous Dr. 
Roback who was descended from the vikings and jarls 
of the Scandinavian coast, but in reality kept a house of 
assignation, that most dangerous threshold to prostitution. 
Madam La Vant at once acknowledged that Mrs. 
Winslow had been there; even showed Superintendent 
Bangs a bundle she had left with her. She stated that 
she had called there early in the morning and left the 
package, with the promise to return about three o'clock in 
the afternoon, when she was to occupy a room she had 
engaged there, and had already paid in advance for its 
use. Mr. Bangs did not feel exactly at rest about the 
matter, but could not do otherwise than return to the 
hotel for his dinner, promising to call in the afternoon, 
and alleging that he had information to give the woman 
regarding certain persons who had been, and then were, 
following her ; for if she were then in the house she 
would remain there, and he had no legal authority to 
molest her or search the place without Madam La 
Vant's consent, which he could not of course get if she 
was shielding her, which she undoubtedly was and i( 
Mrs. Winslow was really away from the house, the 
madam would take some means of preventing her return. 



STILL FOILED. 297 

lie went 13 the hotel as quickly as possible, found 
Grey, whom he immediately sent to watch for the ingress 
or egress of the adventuress, took a hasty dinner, and 
then relieved my operative so that he might dine, after 
which the two watched the house until dark. 

But their closest vigils over the place failed to cause 
the discovery of Mrs. Winslow, who was doubtless by 
this time many miles away from Springfield, enjoying 
peace and quiet in some other city. Superintendent 
Bangs called on Madam La Vant as soon as the evening 
had come, and that lady expressed great surprise that he 
had not seen his " friend, Mrs. Winslow," as she express- 
ed it ; following this remark by the explanation that she 
had returned to her house not over a half-hour after he 
had left it, and had stated that she had decided to go on 
to Chicago immediately, whereupon Madam La Vant had 
refunded her the money advanced for the room, and the 
woman had taken her bundle and departure simultane- 
ously. 

The detectives were satisfied that the astrologist was 
squarely lying to them, and that she had in some way 
aided the fugitive to escape, or had effectually secreted 
her the former opinion being the most reasonable ; and 
when I had been apprised of the turn things had taken, I 
was satisfied that Mrs. Winslow was in Madam La Vant's 
house at the very time that Mr. Bangs was first there ; 
that her friend, the madam, was merely carrying out hei 
instructions in stating that she had been there, was then 
out, but would return, and that at the very moment Mr 
13* 



298 STILL FOILED. 

Bangs had started for the St. Nicholas she had left IA 
Vant's, and, as soon as possible thereafter, the city. 

I immediately concluded that as I had no authority t 
arrest or in any way detain the woman which put my r*>en 
at a great disadvantage, preventing their telegraphing in 
advance for her detention, or securing and using official 
assistance of any kind for the same purpose that I had 
better recall Mr. Bangs at once, which I did, and trust to 
Grey's doggedness in following her, instructing him par- 
ticularly to if possible prevent being seen by her, or in 
any way alarming her, hoping either for her speedy re- 
turn to Rochester, on the principle that the guilty mind 
constantly reverts and is drawn towards its chief topic 
of thought, and that strive to keep away from it as much 
as she might, she would be irresistibly drawn to it ; or 
that through the former plan I might get her into some 
little village or secluded spot, or quiet town, where, upon 
Grey's announcement, Mr. Bangs or some other depu- 
tized person might cautiously reach her before she was 
aware of her danger, and serve the notice that would 
make the legal fight not only possible, but a stormy one 
on account of the vast amount of crushing evidence I had 
secured for Mr. Lyon against her. 

It was more and more apparent that the woman's plan 
was to beat us in this way, and thus by long and unbear- 
able suspense, mysteriousness of action, and constant an. 
noyance in the shape of threatening letters, which now 
continually poured in upon Mr. Lyon, not only from 
Rochester, but from other portions of the country, com 



STILL FOILED, 299 

pel him to settlement; and I saw that the whole supreme 
and devilish ingenuity of the Spiritualistic adventuress 
was being aimed at avoiding legal process, and to the 
accomplishment of this result. 

So much time had now elapsed that it was necessary 
for Lyon's attorneys to go into court to explain the diffi- 
culties attendant upon reaching the woman, and secure 
an extension of time in serving the papers ; and by the 
time this was accomplished, Grey had tracked her from 
town to town and city to city, all through Central Illinois, 
riding on the same train with her times without number, 
doubling routes and meeting her at unexpected points, 
travelling at all hours and in all manner of conveyances, 
never sleeping for days, eating from packages and parcels, 
with scarcely time for personal cleanliness or care, which 
often debarred him from admission to places where a 
woman, by that courtesy which is due to her for what she 
ought to be, was admitted and very properly protected 
from such hard-looking citizens as Grey had become ; so 
that finally the two came into Terre Haute together, the 
adventuress as fresh as a daisy, and perfectly capable of 
another grand expedition of the same extent, and the 
detective completely worn out and entirely unfit for fur- 
ther duty. 

Anticipating something of this kind and knowing that 
the woman might quite naturally gravitate to that point, 
I had ordered Operative Pinkham to proceed from Chi- 
cago to Terre Haute, and there assist Grey, or relieve 
him altogether, as occasion required, and coijtinue the 



30 STILL FOILED. 

trail east towards Rochester, to which point the woman 
seemed gradually drifting, though evidently determined 
to prolong her journey so as to arrive in Rochester not 
more than a day or two before the time set for trial of 
the Winslow-Lyon breach of promise case. 

Arriving at Terre Haute, Mrs. Winslow immediately 
went to Mrs. Deck's boarding-house, and upon telling 
that sympathetic old lady a harrowing tale about her per- 
secutions, was received with open arms, and it was not 
long before her pitiful story had drawn a crowd of attenu- 
ated automatons to sympathize, suggest, and harangue 
against the entire orthodox world. 

So impressed were these people with the woman's 
pitiable condition, that word was immediately passed 
among them that the persecuted lady should lecture to 
them at Pence's Hall, after which a sort of a general love- 
feast should be held, to be followed by seances and a col- 
lection for the benefit of the now notorious plaintiff. 

That winter afternoon a quiet gentleman dropped into 
Mrs. Deck's and secured accommodations for a few days' 
stay, representing himself as a commercial traveller from 
Cincinnati. Mrs. Deck was absent working energeti- 
cally in the interests of her spiritualistic guest, and the 
quiet man was obliged to transact his business with the 
handsome Belle Ruggles He was a pleasant, winning 
sort of a fellow, young, shapely, and adapted to immedi- 
ately gaining confidence and esteem. 

From a little conversation with her the quiet man, who 
was none other than Detective Pinkham from my Chicago 



STILL FOILED. 3O1 

Agency, was sure that he could trust the girl, whom he at 
once saw had no sympathy with these people or their 
crazy antics. He saw that she was full of spirit, too, 
capable of carrying out any resolve she had made, and 
altogether the single oasis of good sense in this great 
desert of unbalanced minds. 

So it was not long before he had her sentiments on 
Spiritualism, on Spiritualists, and on Mrs. VVinslow, whom 
she denounced with tears of anger in her eyes as a dis- 
grace to womanhood and to their place, and he had not 
been three hours in the house before the young lady and 
himsdf had entered into a conspiracy to give the woman 
such a scare as she had not recently had, and drive her 
from the pleasant though quaint old home her presence 
was contaminating. 

The snow and the night came together, and the storm 
shook the old house until its weak, loose joints creaked, 
and every cranny and crevice wailed a dismal protest to 
the wind and the driving snow. It would take more than 
that though to keep people of one idea at home, and the 
entire household departed at an early hour for Pence's 
Hall, from which, whatever occurred there, Mrs. Deck's 
large family did not return until nearly midnight, by which 
time Operative Pinkham and Belle Ruggles had concluded 
their hasty preparations for a little dramatic entertain- 
ment of their own, and were properly stationed and ac- 
coutred to make it a brilliant success. 

" Good-night, my poor dear ! " said the kind-hearted 
old body as she ushered Mrs. Winslow into her best 



302 STILL FOILED. 

room, a long antiquated chamber, full of panels, ward 
robes set in the wall, and ghostly, creaking furniture. " I 
have to give you this room, we are so full. My first hus- 
band died there, but you don't care for anything like 
that. I never sleep there, the place scares me ; but I 
know you will like it, you are so brave ! " 

Whether brave or not, Mrs. Winslow seemed all 3f a 
shiver when she had entered the room where Mrs. Deck's 
first husband had died. 

She closed the door carefully, and putting her candle 
dpon a grim old bureau, began a thorough and seemingly 
frightened examination of the room. The storm had not 
gone down, and as it beat upon the old place with excep- 
tionally wild and powerful gusts, the feeble structure 
seemed to shrink from them and tremble in every 
portion. 

On these occasions doors to the wardrobes and closets 
of the strange room would open suddenly as if sprung 
from their fastenings by unseen hands, while panels 
would slide back and forth, cracks in the ceilings and 
walls would open alarmingly, until, in fact, to the wo- 
man's vivid imaginations every portion of the lonely old 
chamber or its weird furnishings seemed possessed of 
supernatural life or motion. The fact is, Mrs. Winslow 
was trembling like the house itself; but after a few 
moments she snuffed the waning candle which the frugal 
Mrs. Deck had given her, and in its flickering rays hastily 
began preparing for bed. 

Just as she bent over to blow out the candle, some 



STILL FOILED. 3O3 

invisible assistant did the work for her, and at the same 
moment a hissed " Beware ! " caused her to start with a 
scream and plunge for the bed, into which she scrambled 
after upsetting a chair or two, when she pulled the cover- 
ing over her head and groaned with fright 

And now the blessed materializations began. 

A sudden click and then a sliding sound above hei 
head announced that the " control " had begun opera- 
tions, and in a moment a few grains of plastering and 
some strange and weird combinations of musical sounds 
seemed to simultaneously fall into the room. The 
plaster, of course, came right down, some of it upon 
exposed parts of the trembling medium's person; but the 
music, which seemed to be badly out of harmony, 
appeared to have the power of circling in the air, which 
it did for some little time, and as suddenly ceased as it 
had begun, when from these mysterious upper regions 
came a long, low, tremulous, unearthly groan, that died 
away into a ghastly sigh as the storm clutched the 
decayed old mansion and shook it until it rattled and 
rattled again. 

" My God ! " quavered the half-smothered woman, 
" that's Mrs. Deck's first man's ghost ; he'll kill me ! 
Mur !" 

She had begun to shout " Murder ! " but a still more 
awful voice proceeding from the direction of the bureau 
bade her keep silence. 

She was silent for a moment, but the storm wailed 
about the house so dismally that the " poor dear," who, 



3<>4 STILL FOILED 

according to Mrs. Deck, was brave enough to cheerily 
retire in what had been the bed-chamber of the dead, 
could bear the horror of her position no longer, and be- 
gan a vocal lamentation which gave promise of attracting 
more than a spirit audience, when the materialized spirit 
of "Mrs. Deck's first man," or whatever owned the voice, 
laid a heavy hand upon the trembling woman, sepul- 
chrally warned her to desist from her outcries, and then 
read her such a lecture from the Other World as she had 
never transmitted in her most effective " seances ; " after 
which she was ordered, on pain of instant death, to leave 
Mrs. Deck's and Terre Haute as soon as morning should 
come, and a pledge being secured from her to the effect 
that she would, and that she would under no circumstan- 
ces leave the room for the night, the spirit which had 
very much the appearance of Detective Pinkham, the 
commercial traveller from Cincinnati left the room by the 
door in a twinkling, very like a mortal, and still very like 
a mortal, quietly stole upstairs and helped extricate Miss 
Ruggles from her gloomy position, where she had done 
" utility " business as a groaning garret ghost. 

All that dreary night the wicked woman moaned and 
wept for day. Her coward heart shrank from the evil 
she knew she deserved. The storm never ceased, but 
rose and fell as if keeping pace with her terrors, and the 
old place furnished her crazed imagination untold horrors. 

At last the dawn came, but she had found no moment's 
sleep, and before the household was astir the wretched 
woman crept out upon the street, and plodding through 



STILL FOILED. 35 

the swollen drifts, followed by a very pleasant appearing 
commercial traveller from Chicago, she staggered to the 
station, and was rapidly borne away from her sympathizing 
friends towards the east. 

Being apprised by telegraph of Pinkham's rather strange 
method of giving her an impulse in the direction of Roch- 
ester, I at once proceeded to that city with Superinten- 
dent Bangs, anticipating her arrival there shortly after 
our own; but was again disappointed, the adventuress 
having doubled on the detective, and so successfully 
avoided him, that the third day after leaving the Hoosier 
City he arrived in Rochester with a long face and in an 
extremely befogged condition. 

After having directed Mr. Bangs and Pinkham to re- 
main and watch every incoming train, one stormy evening, 
as I was about returning to New York, by the merest 
chance I espied the woman cautiously emerging from the 
Arcade, and following her I soon housed her in the apart- 
ments of an old mediumistic hag on State street. Calling 
a carriage I was rapidly driven to the Osborn House, 
where I found Mr. Bangs, and with him and the legal 
papers returned to the place in less than fifteen minutes 
from the time I had left it. 

Cautiously approaching the room, we listened and heard 
low, earnest voices within. Through the transom we 
could see that the light inside was turned veiy low, and 
rightly judged that somebody was being given a *' sitting," 
for, carefully trying the knob, I found that the place was 
secured against ordinary intrusion, and throwing ray 



306 STILL FOILED. 

weight against the door it flew from its old and rusty 
fastenings, and in an instant we were within the medium's 
room. 

"That is the woman ! " said I, pointing to Mrs. Wins- 
low, who had sprung from her chair white with fear, while 
the wretched-looking medium, though previously in the 
" ti ance state " stared at us with protruding eyes. 

" And who are you ? " she gasped, looking from one to 
the other in dismay. 

" Persons whom you will give no more trouble after 
the service of these papers," gallantly replied Mr. 
Bangs, pissing the legal documents into her hands, which 
closed upon them mechanically ; and after I had politely 
handed the medium sufficient money to repair the damage 
I had caused her door, we bade the two spiritualists a 
cheery good-night and left them to a consideration of the 
contrast between mortal and immortal " manifestations." 



CHAPTER XXVI. 

Shows Low Mrs. Winslow makes a new Move. Also introduces the 
famous Evalena Gray, Physical Spiritual Medium, at her sump- 
tuous Apartments on West Twenty-first Street, New York. Re- 
minds the Reader of the Aristocratic Classes deluded by Spirit- 
ualism. Describes a Seance and explains the " Rope-trick," and 
other Spiritualistic Sleight-of-hand Performances. 

MRS. WINSLOW was quite crushed by her failure 
to evade service of the notice to take evidence 
in just those sections of the country where she had been 
too well known for her present good, and for a few days 
seemed to be in that peculiar mental condition where one 
may be easily led, or driven, 'into committing a desperate 
act for mere relief from a too great conflict of emotions. 
She flitted about the city in a state of great unrest for 
a little time, not being able to dispossess her mind of the 
fear or feeling of being pursued ; stealing into the houses 
of those of like belief, and with an air of great secrecy 
insisting that they should give her refuge and protection 
from Lyon's minions, who, she claimed and perhaps had 
come to believe would yet in some way do her bodily 
harm ; mysteriously gliding about the Arcade and in the 
vicinity of his house, as if expecting by some occult power 
to be able to divine what might be the rich man's plana 
concerning her ; and like the very evil thing that she was, 



308 MRS. WINSL O W MAKES A NE W MO VE. 

hiding in uncanny places, scared at her own voice ol 
footsteps, until the spell had left her. 

About this time New York city dailies, and many of 
the newspapers of large circulation throughout the interioi 
of the State, were publishing the following advertisement : 

" Immense Success ! Miss Evalena Gray, the cele- 
brated Spiritual Physical Medium, lately from the Queen's 
Drawing-room, Hanover Square, London, also Crystal 
Palace, Sydenham, and assisted by Mile. Willie Leve- 
raux, from Paris, will give one of her marvellous seances 
this evening at her elegant parlors, No. 19 West Twenty- 
first street, opposite the Fifth Avenue Hotel, at 7:30 

P.M." 

New York city knew Miss Evalena Gray as a new 
aspirant to the honors and emoluments derived from her 
ability to do mysterious things very gracefully. She was 
as beautiful a woman as had ever come into New York on 
this kind of business, and those who considered her a 
true medium were in ecstasies over the magnificent con- 
tortions and superb evolutions which her "great spiritual 
power " enabled her to execute with bewildering rapidity, 
while disbelievers in the source of these phenomena 
originating in celestial spheres could not resist her fasci- 
nating powers ; and the consequence was that her adroit- 
ness and beauty had created a great sensation, so much 
so in fact that respectable people had begun arguing 
about her, which answered just the purpose sought. 

New York also knew her as a woman so full of soul 



MRS. WINSL O W MAKES A NE W MO VE. 309 

that latter-day substitute for brains and personal piuity 
as to have readily confused and silenced great throngs in 
Europe wherever she had appeared ; and she had invari 
ably challenged investigation, and that, too, with as 
much audacity as success, which had in every instance 
been wonderfully marked and complete. 

Mrs. Winslow knew her as a little sprite she had met 
three years before at Chardon, Ohio, a pleasant little 
village of about 3,000 inhabitants, twelve miles south of 
Painesville, where Mrs. Winslow had been giving seances. 
Miss Gray was then just starting in her Spiritualistic 
career, and Mrs. Winslow, seeing her aptitude and gene- 
ral fascinating qualities, endeavored to persuade her tc 
accompany her. 

Miss Gray evidently believed in her own powers, at 
feast had considered the proposition unfavorably ; but the 
two had become warm friends, and Mrs. Winslow had 
cheerfully imparted to the demure novitiate all her sup- 
ply of manifestations, which she had rapidly acquired, 
and the two had parted with the promise to meet again 
at the very first opportunity, each drifting away to fulfil 
her traitorous course against society and blasphemous 
satire upon respectability. 

So, Mrs. Winslow, being in that condition of mind 
wherein its possessor must have some person's confidence, 
saw this advertisement, and feeling sure that Miss Eva- 
lena Gray had been in clover, concluded that she could go 
to her for rest and consolation ; accordingly, she threw off 
the clouds which had seemed to settle upon he.r, gathered 



3 10 MRS. WINSL O W MAKES ANEW MO VE. 

her baggage together from various secret places where (\ 
had been deposited, took rooms at the National Hotel 
for a few days in quite a rational manner, and after a 
week of perfect rest and physical care, which told wonder- 
fully in her favor, in connection with her great recupera- 
tive powers, and having provided a wardrobe of no 
mean character, left Rochester for New York as hand- 
some and attractive a woman as one would meet in a 
day's journey. 

I was apprised of her departure by telegraph, and had 
a spry little operative at the Hudson River depot at 
Thirty-first street, ready to play the lackey to her. She at 
once proceeded in a carriage to the Fifth Avenue Hotel, 
where she secured fine apartments overlooking the en- 
trance to Miss Evalena Gray's elegant parlors at No. 19 
West Twenty -first street; and although I had no pre- 
vious information as to what called Mrs. Winslow to 
New York, I was for several reasons satisfied that it was 
for the purpose of communicating with Miss Gray, and at 
once took measures for securing the substance of the 
interview. 

As Mrs. Winslow had arrived late in the afternoon, I 
thought probably she would make no move until the fol- 
lowing day, but took the precaution to secure a room 
adjoining hers for the use of an operative, sending another 
detective to Miss Gray's seance at half-past seven, to 
ascertain whether Mrs. Winslow was at any time present, 
and also, if necessary, to devise some means to remain in 
the house until the two women had met, should they do so. 



MRS. WINSLOW MAKES A NET* MO VE. 311 

The detective sent to Miss Gray's place was barely 
able to secure admission, on account of having come on 
foot, that fact alone laying him liable to suspicion. For 
an hour's time, splendid equipages, at short intervals, 
lolled up to the mansion, and their occupants were turned 
over to a negro butler of such gigantic proportions and 
gorgeous livery as to give the ordinarily aristocratic place 
an air of oriental splendor, the interior appointments being 
fully in keeping with the promise of sumptuousness which 
the reception always gave. Once entered, my operative 
had an opportunity to study these appointments. 

The carpets were of such rich and heavy texture that 
they gave back no sound to the foot-fall, and by an inge- 
nious arrangement, beneath the lambrequins adorning tho 
windows, two noiseless fan-like blinds opened or closed 
instantly, lighting or darkening the room as suddenly, and 
evidently for use during day seances, which were some- 
times given ; while opposite, two broad parlors led away, 
en suite, to a raised dais at the rear, upon which Miss 
Evalina Gray, assisted by Mile. Leveraux, from Paris, 
gave her wonderful spiritual manifestations. 

At either side of the centre of the first room, and on 
a level with the floor, was a fountain cut in marble, 
back into the basin of which the water fell with a dreamy, 
tinkling sound which suggested poetical luxuriousness. 
Rare statuary filled every accessible niche. Heroic paint- 
ings of the olden times, and the softer, more sensual 
paintings of ths late French schools, blended together 
until they gave the walls a rosy glow. Flowers loading 



3 1 2 MRS. WINSL O W MAKES A NEW MO VE. 

the air with fragrance, warmed the room with the coloi 
and life which flowers only can give. Hidden music- 
boxes gave forth the rare and blended melodies of sunny, 
southern climes ; while rich divans, arranged with that 
pleasant kind of taste that bespeaks no arrangement at 
all, were scattered negligently about the room, now rapid- 
ly being filled with the aristocratic people who had arrived 
and were constantly arriving. 

My operative, having gained a good point for observa- 
tion, now turned his attention to the rapidly-increasing 
assemblage. Almost without exception, they were men 
and women of evident wealth and leisure, but with 
scarcely a face denoting culture and refinement They 
were representatives of that numerous class who, after the 
rapid acquirement of money, have found no good thing 
with which to occupy their minds, or, what is more proba- 
ble, have no minds to be thus occupied ; and, while not 
giving Spiritualism any public endorsement, secretly fol- 
low its, to them, fascinating superstitions and mysteries, 
and practice, in an easy way that prevents scandal or in- 
famous notoriety, the sensualities which inevitably result 
from its teachings or association with those hangers-on of 
society professing its belief, all the time building a hope 
that a lazy, sensuous heaven may be reached without ef- 
fort or struggle by merely cherishing a secret faith in what 
most satisfies their animal nature, and yearning to live 
hereafter as they most desire to live here were it not for 
the voice of society in a brutal freedom from restraint, 
utterly devoid of moral and social purity, and without the 



MRS. WINSL O W MAKES A NEW MOVE. 313 

slightest semblance of that law, written and unwritten, 
which, from the creation of man and \\oman, has built 
about the domestic relations a protection and defence of 
sacred oneness and sanctified exclusiveness which no van- 
dal dare attack without eventually receiving some just and 
certain punishment. 

A conscientious detective will allow but little to escape 
his attention, and my operative, who had already had con- 
siderable experience with these illusionists, noticed a few 
arrangements which the spirits had evidently insisted on 
being made to insure the success of Miss Gray's seances, 
which were varied in their character, and " never com- 
prised her entire repertory," as the actors would say, so 
that she was able to continue an attraction for some time 
to those persons who came to see her and witness her 
manifestations out of mere curiosity. 

The frescoing of the walls of the back parlor had been 
done in lines and angles, which admitted of any number 
of apertures being cut and filled with noiseless pantomime 
doors, so neatly as to almost defy detection. The semi- 
circular platform was raised fully three feet, sloping con- 
siderably to the front, and whether it did or not might 
have contained a half dozen " traps " such as are used for 
stage effects ; while, as is contrary to all rules for lighting 
places for public entertainment, the front parlor was 
lighted very brilliantly, the back parlor scarcely at all, 
while but a few glimmering rays fell from the chandeliers 
over the platform, where the spirits, like certain " star " 
actors, could not appear unless under certain conditions. 



3H MRS. WINSLOW MAKES A NEW MOVE. 

Shortly Mile. Leveraux conducted Miss Gray through a 
side door to the platform, and as the latter smiled recog- 
nition to the large number present, exclamations of "Isn't 
she sweet ? " " How beautiful ! " " Almost an angel as she 
is ! " and other expressions of extreme admiration, filled 
the room. 

A deft little woman was Evalena Gray ; a sprite of a 
thing, light, airy, graceful, and with such . a gliding, 
serpentine motion when walking, glistening with jewels 
as she always did, that one instinctively thought of some 
lithe and splendid leopard trailing along the edge of a 
jungle with an occasional angry flash of sunlight upon it. 
From her feet, both of which could have rested within 
your hand, and given room for just such another pair, to 
her shoulders, which were sloping and narrow though 
beautifully symmetrical, she was as straight as an arrow. 
Then her slender, faultless neck carried her head a little 
forward, with a slight bend to the side, which gave her 
face a half-daring or wholly appealing expression, as 
people of different temperaments might look at it, 
though it always attracted and held an observer, for it 
was as strange a face as its owner was a strange woman. 
The chin stood there by itself, though shapely, and at the 
point was prettily depressed by a little dimple, just 
needed to save the lower part of the face from a shrewish 
look. Above this the lower lip curved gradually to the 
edge of the carmine point, but was stopped there by a 
sort of drawn look, which with her dazzling white, though 
slightly irregular teeth, thin upper lip quickly parting 



MRS. W1NSL O W MAKES A NEW MOVE. 3 1 5 

from the lower, at either pleasure 01 anger, rather large, 
thin nostrils, which noticeably expanded and contracted 
with the rise and fall of her not over large bosom, and her 
languid blue eyes, one a trifle more closed than the other, 
but both looking demurely from under lashes of wonder- 
ful depth of sweep and length all gave the face, which 
was witchingly attractive notwithstanding these marked 
features, either a plaintively spiritual appearance, or a 
wickedly fascinating expression beyond the power of de- 
scription ; while her hair, of that nameless color which 
might be formed of gold and silver, mingled and fell from 
her fine head, half hiding her delicate ears pretty and fault- 
less ears they were in wonderful richness and profusion. 

Never were seen more beautiful hands and fingers than 
those belonging to Miss Gray, and they had a way of 
assuming all manner of positions in harmony with the 
changes of her expressive face and the motions of her 
supple form, while her little body was a mere bundle of 
pliable bones and elastic sinews, which could compel all 
manner of contortions without change of posture, by mere 
will-power. She was not a beauty ; but altogether, with 
her real or assumed languor, her strange eyes that might 
mean lasciviousness or might arouse your pity, her 
parted lips which would seem to protest of weariness or 
be ready to whisper a naughty secret to you, with her 
elf-like form that made her appear at once a dainty in- 
nocent thing and a pretty witch she was a woman pos- 
sessing a terribly fascinating power and capable of any 
devilish human accomplishment. 



3 1 6 MRS. WINSL O W MAKES A NEW MO VE. 

When the murmurs of admiration had died away, she 
arose, and in her languid manner especially prepared for 
the public, told her audience a long, though interesting 
fabrication, of how she first discovered she was possessed 
of this blessed spirit-power : how she had at first doubted 
it, and endeavored to free herself from its possession ; 
but finally saw that it could not be forced from her. On 
thorough conviction that she was a medium she had 
begun a laborious scientific investigation into the subject, 
and finally resolved to fathom the remotest secret of 
Spiritualism. 

But even to her the blessed gates had been barred when 
she came with this spirit of unclean scepticism. Still, 
being assured that it had been given to her to walk with 
celestials, her future course was only a natural sequence. 
What had most sorely tried her in this life, she remarked, 
was to be herself morally sure of these wonderful medi- 
umistic powers, and then realize how cruelly the world 
scoffed at her as well as at all others who were anchored 
upon the same beautiful faith. To prevent this and find 
uf>e for her powers in the highest spheres, she had travelled 
in Europe from Rome to St. Petersburg, and from Vienna 
to London. 

In every instance the impossibility of any deception 
being practised in her manifestations was admitted ; but 
until she had arrived in London, she had failed to find 
anybody of repute honest enough to speak the truth. 
But there she had met a high-minded man who had 
broken through the barriers of prejudice, and, in, an 



MRS. WINSLOW MAKES A NEW MOVE. 3 1/ 

open, manly way, fearless of the sneers of the conm-on 
herd, or of his business peers, had thoroughly investi- 
gated her exhibitions, found that they had proceeded from 
supernatural power, and had publicly stated his belief in 
their genuineness. 

With such irrefutable evidence of the possession of this 
spirit- power, she was now fulfilling her mission of con- 
vincing the public of the existence of these heaven-in- 
spired phenomena, explainable upon no other possible 
theory than that of the inter-communication between this 
and the other world of ministering angels, self-determin- 
ing their actual existence by more or less perfect materi- 
alizations. 

With this and much more of the same sort, Evalena 
Gray began her revelations, all of which had previously 
been performed and exposed as ordinary tricks of an illu- 
sionary character, but which were given by the languid, 
spirituelle lady with such a show of her being on the thresh- 
old of the celestial spheres, that the very atmosphere, .al- 
ready charged with everything to provoke mystification 
and solemn curiosity, now seemed filled with some weird, 
supernatural influence and presence. 

First the little lady, who was dressed in white muslin, 
with long flowing sleeves exposing very pretty arms, came 
down from the platform and seated herself in the centre 
.of the bark parlor, inviting the forming around her of a 
circle of from twelve to fifteen persons, who should sit so 
closely together that there could be no possibility of her 
passing out of the circle, and, if the rest o/. .he audienc* 



3 1 8 MRS. WINSLO W MAKES A NEW MO VE. 

chose, they might form a circle around the inner circle sc 
that no confederates might reach her. This was done, 
when she requested some gentleman to place his feet 
upon her tiny feet to assure the audience (hat she did not 
leave her chair. 

Members of the mystic circle then clarped hands, and 
the lights were turned off completely. The stillness of 
death followed, broken only by a low, shuddering sigh 
announcing the control of the medium by the spirits, and 
immediately after came raps so loud and distinct as to 
almost give the impression that an echo followed them. 
Then the medium began patting her hands together as an 
absolute proof that none of the succeeding manifestations 
could by any possible means be produced by her. While 
this continued without interruption, in the face of some 
came a whispered " God bless you 1 " others were patted 
caressingly upon the face and head ; whiskers and mus- 
taches were delicately tweaked ; watches were taken from 
one pocket and put into another; a gent's quizzers would 
be placed upon a lady's nose, and vice versa; music 
floated about in the air over the heads of those compos- 
ing the circle ; lights were seen to glitter like fire-flies 
above the medium's head, and a score of other equally 
startling phenomena occurred. When silence, with Ihe ex- 
ception of the soft and delicate, but never-varying hand- 
patting, again fell upon the assemblage, a few raps an- 
nounced the departure of the spirits ; and when the gas 
was turned on, the dainty little medium sat in precisely 
the same position as when the circle was formed, and the 



MRS. WINSLOW MAKES A NEW MOVE. 3*9 

gentleman had taken good care to hold her neat little feel 
between his own. A sceptical lady now held Miss Gray's 
feet held them as securely as only a sceptical lady could 
when precisely the same manifestations occurred. 
Again her feet were secured as before, with the addi- 
tional precaution of their being tied. She was then tied 
to her chair securely, her hands tied firmly with a large 
handkerchief, and a delicate wine-glass filled with water 
placed upon the floor several feet from the chair. The 
lights were again turned off, the raps were heard as be- 
fore, and were in turn immediately followed by the hand- 
patting, and when the room was again lighted the 
wine-glass of water was found delicately poised upon 
Miss Evalena Gray's head. 

Many startling variations of the same general character 
were introduced, and when this portion of the seance was 
concluded, the astounded' company gathered about the 
pale and interesting medium with expressions of un- 
bounded wonder almost amounting to awe, mingled with 
terms of endearment; for she sweetly conversed with 
them for a little time, and, with rare insight into char- 
acter, gave each a pleasant word of recognition espe- 
cially fitted to every case, in a manner winning beyond 
expression. 

She now retired for a short time, while Mile. Leveraux 
entertained the assemblage with selections from her com- 
panion's exceptionally interesting European experiences 
as put in form pi obably by some enterprising, though im 
pecunious, New iTork Bohemian. 



320 MRS. WINSL O W MAKES A NE W MO VE. 

When Miss Gray returned she was attired quite differ- 
ently. Instead of wearing the white, soft muslin which 
had given her a peculiarly graceful appearance, she had 
donned a closely-fitting basque of black rep silk, heavily 
trimmed with the costliest of lace, while the skirts to her 
dress were drawn very tightly around her form into a neat 
panier. 

It might have been noticed by any other person in the 
room, as it was noticed by my operative, that her bust and 
shoulders seemed to have undergone considerable change 
during her absence. She seemed much more full across 
the breast, and her waist was certainly not so narrow and 
graceful as when she was operating in muslin within the 
circle. But then, the spirits might have caused this sud- 
den growth, and she was still physically handsome and 
shapely. 

A committee of gentlemen was then called for, and 
Miss Gray announced that she would submit to being 
tied to a chair as securely as it was in the power of the 
gentlemen selected by the audience to tie her ; where- 
upon Mile. Leveraux walked about the room and exhib- 
ited the rope to be used, which, though slender, seemed 
strong as a Mexican lasso. 

There could have been no deception or fraud about this 
rope. 

The three who had been selected to do the work then 
expressed their determination to tie Miss Gray " so 
the devil himself would have to help he," as one said, 
proceeding with the interesting operation in the bright 



MRS. WINSLOW MAKES A NEW MOVE. 321 

gaslight, while all the people gathered aoout as if anxioui 
to see that it was done properly, or curious to notice ho\* 
the little woman would bear the ordeal. They certainly 
did their work well, and as the rope was wound around 
and about her, being drawn taut in every instance, it 
seemed to sink into her delicate flesh in a cruel way that 
made her wince and tremble, the operation calling forth 
numberless sympathetic remarks from those present, 
which she acknowledged by a painful martyr-like smile as 
she patiently bore the infliction until thoroughly tied. At 
her special request, as she said, to prevent a stoppage of 
circulation, her hands were tied at the wrist over a fold of 
silk to prevent abrasion of the flesh ; and after all the 
knots had been sealed with wax, she was pronounced tied 
so securely that, without connivance of confederates, it 
would require superhuman aid to release her. 

With a pleasant smile she looked around upon the 
wondering spectators and said : 

" Good friends, I will absolutely and incontestably 
prove to you that I am possessed of that kind of aid. I 
want you all to form a circle around me. Every one in 
the room shouldjoin.it. Stand so closely together, clasping 
hands, that no living person can pass the circle either way." 

The circle was then formed as she had requested, half 
upon the platform and half upon the floor, Miss Gray 
being at least ten feet from any of the persons composing 
it. She then asked anxiously : 

" Are you all really satisfied yes, convinced, that therf 
can be no shadow or form of deception about this ? " 
14* 



322 MRS. WINSL O W MAKES A NEW MO VE. 

Some hesitated about giving a decided affirmation to 
that belief, when she swiftly singled out the doubters and 
pressed upon them not only the privilege, but the desir- 
ability and necessity, if they sought the truth, of personally 
examining the manner in which she had been tied. After 
this had been done and all scepticism had been silenced, 
she bade them a cheerful " Good-by ! " and closing her 
eyes in a weary manner, seemed to pass into a peaceful 
slumber, as the lights were gradually turned off, finally 
leaving the room in total darkness, and with no sound to 
relieve the painful stillness save the orthodox rappings 
announcing the arrival of the spirits, the hidden music 
stealing softly to the hushed circle or the still softer water- 
wimplings from the fountains making their music in the 
carved marble basins. 

It seemed a long time to the breathless people com- 
posing the circle, but probably not more than ten minutes 
had elapsed when the raps again startled the listeners, and 
in an instant the full light of the chandeliers flooded the 
room. 

There sat the marvellous Physical Spiritual Medium 
utterly free, but as if just recovering from a swoon the 
ropes, their seals unbroken, lying a few feet from the 
chair. 

There was a simultaneous rush to where she was sitting 
apparently limp and exhausted from the great struggle 
which the spirits had had through her human personality, 
to release her from bondage, during which Mile. Leveraux 
took occasion to remark that the strain upon Miss Gray 1 ! 



MRS. WINSLOW MAKES A NEW MOVE. 323 

powers had been too great, and begged that the ladies 
and gentlemen would excuse her at once, as the medium's 
condition would unfortunately necessitate the immediate 
termination of the seance for that evening; whereupon 
she left the room supporting the delicate Miss Gray in a 
manner that would have done credit to any theatre in the 
world. 

There was no illusion and could have been no collu- 
sion. 

Every one in the parlors had seen the woman tied so 
firmly that the ropes had sunk into her very flesh. The 
circle had been formed so securely as to admit of the 
passage out or in of no person whatever. They had all 
seen her sitting in the chair in a secure condition, and 
could have heard any movement on the part of any 
person within the circle who might have attempted to 
steal to her assistance. But there were the ropes with 
unbroken seals, lying there, silent but absolute evidence 
that no human agency had uncoiled them. 

In the face of all this, what were reasoning people to 
believe ? 

They could not but believe the one thing that they 
generally did believe after having visited Evalena Gray's 
seances, and that was that there does exist an intercom- 
munication between this and the "Land of the Leal;" 
thai all persons at times feel these spirit forces working 
upon or within them in different forms and with different 
degrees of intensity ; and that there are these fine organ 
isms, so free from earthly conditions or hindsrances, as to 



324 MRS. WINSLOW MAKES A NEW MOVE. 

almost permit the rehabilitation of spirit-lives which, as 
truly friendly aids and assistants, often perform what 
seem to the comprehension of ordinary mortals as past 
belief, giving in their materializations many blessed 
glimpses of the spirit-land. 

All of which would be thrillingly pleasant to believe 
and ruminate over if it was not true that there are proba- 
bly hundreds in this country alone who can do this sort 
of thing without looking pale and interesting over it ; 
without necessitating the indorsement of a millionaire 
brewer or anybody else ; and who would consider it 
hardly fair to charge two dollars admission, as Miss 
Gray did, for the utter humbug of sitting within a circle 
as a woman dexterous enough to have her feet held and 
then be able with the left hand to pat the right palm for 
a moment, then the right arm made bare from the wrist 
to the shoulder by the sudden unloosening of a delicate 
elastic, clasped into the bracelet or her cheek, forehead, 
or neck, as necessity compelled, but making this patting 
incessant and so like that of the two hands, that detec- 
tion (in the dark) would be a matter of impossibility ; 
and with this same bared right arm and hand producing 
all of these manifestations, ordinarily so marvellous, even 
to taking a little music-box out of the pocket, springing 
a catch to start the melody, "floating" it all about the 
heads of those composing the circle, shutting off the 
music, and putting the box in the pocket ; or even neatly 
balancing a wine-glass of water upon the head. 

And when this was all done, without claiming any par 



MRS. WINSL O W MAKES A NE W MOVE. 325 

ticular nearness to heaven regarding it either, I ana 
satisfied that I have lady operatives in my employ who 
can step into a room adjoining a seance-parlor, adjust 
i rubber jacket, inflate it, hiding the tube of the same 
under a closely-fitting collar, allow themselves to be tied 
so that the ropes would seem to cruelly sink into the 
flesh; and that, after a room had been darkened ten 
minutes they would be able to have allowed the air to so 
escape from the rubber jacket, that, with the contraction 
of the form possible to many, the ropes, with unbroken 
seals, would almost fall from their forms of their own 
weight. 

This is precisely how Miss Evelena Gray performed 
her tricks. 

They did not reach to the dignity of respectable 
sleight-of-hand ; and I could go on endlessly multiplying 
these farces, which are so continuously and disgustingly 
played upon the public for just what money they will 
bring and nothing more ; for who ever saw a Spiritualist 
that went about the world bringing ministering spirits 
from heaven to &arth for the good such materializations 
might do ? And further, who ever saw a Spiritualistic 
medium, preacher or lecturer that did not make his 
religious faith, assumed or otherwise, yield him his living 
and provide him his luxuries besides ? 



CHAPTER XXVII. 

After the Sean:e. Daddy, the "Accommodation Husband." The 
two fascinating Swindlers in Council. Miss Evalena's European 
Career. How the Millionaire Brewer was baited and played with. 
A Bit of Criminal History. A choice Pair. Mrs. Winslow's As- 
pirations and Resolves. 

IT appeared that Miss Evalena Gray and Mile. Leve- 
raux, and their male companions, or affinities, did not 
reside at No. 19 West Twenty-first street, but in more 
modest quarters farther down-town ; and after the assem- 
blage had dispersed, the two Misses, an attendant or two, 
a tall, gaunt, meek-looking fellow, whom the no longer 
angelical Evalena called " Daddy," and a very fascinating 
young man called in the advertisements W. Sterling Bisch- 
off, manager, were gathered in the front parlor previous 
to being driven home, when W. Sterling said quickly, and 
as if suddenly recollecting something which it would not 
be profitable for him to forget : 

"See here, Gray; 'most forgot. Here's a note sent 
ovei from the Fifth Avenue. None of your larks now I" 

The person addressed so familiarly as Gray was none 
other than the interesting Evalena, who, putting her lan- 
guor aside, and snatching the note from the " manager," 
said : 



AFTER THE SEANCE. $27 

" Give it here, now ! I'll lark if I like, and you won't 
hinder." 

"But there's Mr. Gray," persisted the manager, nodding 
towards the meek, gaunt man, whose lips seemed to move, 
though he ventured no remark. 

" Oh, Daddy don't mind, do you, Daddy ? " 

"Daddy" was Miss Evaleaa Gray's husband, but was 
under such peculiarly good spiritual " control " that he 
merely smiled a sickly smile and murmured that he be- 
lieved not. 

Miss Gray proceeded to examine the note without wait- 
ing for the timid Mr. Gray's opinion, and suddenly 
exclaimed : 

" Gracious ! I'm going right over there ! " 

"What for?" inquired Bischoff anxiously, while Mi. 
Gray's lips pursed into the form of an unspoken inquiry ; 
" man or woman, eh ?" 

" None of your business ! " she answered promptly. 
' Here, Leveraux, help me on with my wrappings. You 
drive home. A friend of mine that I haven't seen for 
all the last three years is stopping over there, and wants to 
*ee me. I may stay all night. If I shouldn't want to, I'll 
order a carriage and come down in an hour or two." 

The three, who were elegantly supported by this 
woman's juggleries, seemed to realize that there was no 
use of opposing her ; and without knowing whether it 
was a man or woman she intended visiting at that hour 
of the night, went gloomily home, while a few minutes 
later Miss Gra}, unannounced, and at the unseasonable 



328 AFTER THE SEANCE. 

hour of eleven o'clock, was knocking at the door of Mrr 
Winslovv's room. 

In a moment more, though Mrs. Winslow was on the 
point of retiring, and was in that easy deshabille in which 
women love to wander about, doing a hundred unmen- 
tionable and unimportant things before getting into bed 
for good, Miss Gray was pushing her lithe form through 
the cautiously opened door, and at once unlimbered her 
tongue and her reserve ; the result of which, as noted by 
my operative, showed the eminent vulgarity of the two 
female frauds, and illustrated the fact that whatever pre- 
tensions they might make, their conversation alone would 
serve to discover the inherent and low vileness of their 
character. 

" Oh, you dear old fraud ! " said Evalena, entering, 
after Mrs. Winslow had virtuously given herself sufficient 
time to ascertain that there was no evil-minded man at 
the door, and had gladly admitted her visitor ; " if you've 
got any other company, of course I won't come ! " 

Mrs. Winslow laughed knowingly, and then told her 
visitor how really glad she was to see her. She was 
sincere in this, and sincerity, even in a bad cause, is a 
redeeming feature. 

" Well, well, you rascal," continued Miss Gray in a 
jolly, rollicking sort of a way, "couldn't wait untL 
to-morrow. Where have you been, what have you been 
doing, and how are you, anyhow? Come, now, tell me 
all about yourself ! " 

Saying this in a kind of a rush of excitement, Misi 



AFTER THE SEANCE 329 

Gray settled herself in a corner of the luxurious sofa, 
pulled her feet under her to get a more comfortable 
position, and like an interested philosopher, waited for 
and listened to the narrative which comprised many of 
the facts I have given ; but instead of telling the whole 
truth, only gave that part of it which made her appear 
to have been eminently successful in her swindling opera- 
tions, and showed life with her to have been floating 
calmly upon one continuous, peaceful stream. 

" And now, Evalena," said Mrs. Winslow, rounding off 
her story with a great flourish over what she was to make 
out of Lyon, whom she described as still madly in love 
with her, " where have you been, and what have you been 
doing since I saw you at Chardon ? " 

The glib tongue of the marvellous Physical Spiritual 
Medium began at once, and she rattled away at a terrible 
rate. 

" Well, I've got the same husband " 

" Oh, pshaw ! " interrupted Mrs. Winslow half con 
temptuously. 

"But he's such a dear, good old fool that I can't throw 
him over. Why, I can make him shrink from six feet two 
to two feet six by just looking at him ! Money couldn't 
hire such a devoted servant anywhere. He'll do just 
anything I tell him ; and if I want him out of the way 
for a few days," she continued with a comical wink, " I 
just give him a fifty-dollar bill and say : ' Daddy, you 
don't look well ; take a run into the country, and I'll 
write for you when I want you ! ' He goes away then 



330 AFTER THE SEANCE. 

with his face about a yard long. But he goes ; and he 
never made a rumpus in his life ! " 

" Oh, that's quite another thing," said Mrs. Winslow, 
evidently relieved to know that Miss Gray had had so 
good a reason for living so long a time as three years 
with the same man. 

" Yes, he's what I call an ' accommodation husband.' 
He accommodates me, and I " here Miss Gray sighed 
piously " accommodate myself ! " 

" Exactly," remarked Mrs. Winslow, beginning to ap- 
preciate the pleasant nature of such an arrangement. 

"Well," resumed the marvellous medium, "we went 
all through the Ohio towns giving exposes ; went out 
through Chicago, and then down to St. Louis. But the 
expose business didn't pay. We found that people would 
pay more money to be humbugged than to learn how 
some other person might be deluded ! " 

" Every time ! " tersely observed Mrs. Winslow. 

" So at St. Louis we resolved to become Spiritualists. 

" The very best thing you could have done ! " said 
Mrs. Winslow approvingly. 

" And at Quincy," resumed Evalena, " we blossomed 
oul. Oh, but didn't the papers go for us, though ! called 
us everything." 

" D n the newspapers, anyhow ! " exclaimed Mrs. 

Winslow in a burst of indignation over her own wrongs. 

"Oh, no, no, no! that won't do. Make huge adver 
tis'ng bills. That's better much better. That's what 
we did, and we made big money too. By and by we 



AFTER THE SEANCE. 331 

came on here to New York, made a huge show, took in a 
vast pile, and then went to Europe. Oh, that's the only 
way to do it ! " 

" Yes," said Mrs. Winslow with a deep sigh. " I have 
often felt the want of that peculiar tone which going to 
Europe gives one." 

"Well, we did have a gay time, though," said Miss 
Gray in a dreamy way, as if ruminating over her con- 
quests ; " and at Venice oh, that delicious, ravishing, 
dreamful Venice ! I bilked a swarthy nobleman from the 
daountains out of five thousand dollars. At Rome I did 
a swell American out of everything he had. At Vienna, 
a Hungarian wine-grower fell, and I trampled upon him 
as his brutes of peasants beat out the grapes in vintage- 
time. At Berlin a German student killed himself for me ; 
and at St. Petersburg I fooled the Czar himself. But 
when I got back to London I got better game than him." 

" Bigger game than the Czar ? Oh, my ! " exclaimed 
Mrs. Winslow, thinking how she had wasted her sweet- 
ness on two detectives like Bristol and Fox. 

" Well, bigger game this way," pursued little Miss Gray, 
reasoning it out slowly. " This Spiritualistic business can 
only be played on low, ignorant people ordinarily. Get 
the recognition of so big a man as one of the wealthiest 
brewers in Great Britain, and then, if Miss Gray has 
money and can open sumptuous parlors in so fashionable 
a vicinity as Madison Square, and can own a quarter of a 
column of the New York papers every day, Miss Evalena 
Gray's fortune is made. Do you see ? " 



332 AFTER THE SEANCE. 

Mrs. Winslow did see, but wanted to know how she 
had secured such approval. 

Her companion looked at her a moment in blank as- 
tonishment ; then drawing down the corners of her mouth 
as if protesting against such verdancy on the part of so 
old a Spiritualistic soldier as Mrs. Winslow, gave a very 
expressive series of winks, broke into loud laughter, and 
then suggested that if she wanted anything like that ex- 
plained it would be no more than fair to order either 
Krug or Monopole to help her through so dreary a re- 
cital ; whereupon the latter did as requested, and after 
the two had washed down a ribald toast with wine, the 
angelic Miss Gray continued : 

" Well, you see, we came directly from St. Petersburg 
to London, and got up a big excitement there right off. 
The Times denounced us, and we replied savagely through 
the Telegraph at a half-crown a line. We kept this up 
until all London was engaged in the controversy, and oui 
rooms were constantly thronged." 

"What luck!" sighed Mrs. Winslow, sipping her 
wine. 

" By and by the 'nobbies ' got discussing the matter at the 
clubs. We challenged examination by committees every- 
where, of course, and one day a batch of M.P.s, clergy, 
men, merchants, and all that, came down upon us. I 
picked out one man named Perkins a brewer from the 
Surrey side, and one of the wealthiest men in all Eng 
land, and a man of education and standing, too for game 
right off." 



AFTER THE SEANCE. 333 

" Must be lots of fools over in London, ' remarked 
Mrs. Winslow, as if she would like to help pluck them. 

" Yes," answered Miss Gray, " and millions in this 
country. We're going to take a run over to Washington 
this winter." 

" I would if I had your talent," replied her companion. 

" Well," resumed the medium, " I saw Perkins was an 
easy-going fellow, and I wrote him, saying it was some- 
thing unusual for me to do, but as the ' spirits ' " here 
Miss Gray winked very hard at Mrs. Winslow, who snick- 
ered " had revealed to me that he was an arrant unbe- 
liever, but at the same time a fair, honorable man, mag- 
nanimous enough to be just I wished him to make a 
private investigation." 

" 'Private investigation's' good !" said Mrs. Winslow, 
laughing heartily. 

" Certainly good for me," continued the little medium 
in a self-satisfied way. " He came, though, and I gave 
him my tricks in my best possible style. I pretty nearly 
scared him to death. Then I let him tie me, and thj 
old man's hands trembled as he put the ropes around my 
waist and over my bosom. ' Miss Gray,' said he tenderly, 
' I shall injure you ! ' ' Mr. Perkins,' I replied, also ten- 
derly, ' the good spirits will protect me. Pull the ropes 
tighter ! ' 

" He pulled the ropes tighter and tighter, and finally 
got me tied. Then he darkened the room and in a few 
minutes I was entirely free of the ropes of course, and I 
told him to raise the curtain. As soon as he did so I 



334 AFTER THE SEANCE. 

left, telling him I was ill ; and as soon as I co jld change 
my dress, came back and sat down with him. I got close 
to him as close as I am to you now, Mrs. Winslow and 
then, putting my right hand on his knee, and my left hand 
on his shoulder " 

"Splendid !" interrupted Mrs. Winslow, pouring more 
wine for the ingenuous Miss Gray, and taking some herself. 

" Then," continued Miss Gray, laughing in a peculiarly 
wicked manner, " I got my face pretty close to his and 
asked : ' Mr. Perkins, I want you to give me an answer 
that you are willing to have made public. On your honor 
as a man, do you not now believe in the genuineness of 
these spiritual manifestations produced through me ? ' ' I 
do,' he said passionately, throwing his arms around me, 
and and I don't know what he would have done had not 
Leveraux entered the room at that supreme moment ! " 

"Oh, /see ! " murmured the other blackmailer. 

" Think of it, Mrs. Winslow ! " added Miss Gray 
tauntingly ; " think of it ! In the arms of a man who can 
draw his check for a million sterling and poor little me 
from Chardon, Ohio ! " 

" My ! but you are a little rascal, though ! " said Mrs. 
Winslow admiringly. " I always knew you'd make an 
impression somewhere." 

" ' Leveraux ! ' said I indignantly, and springing from 
Perkins's embrace after I had kissed him in a way that set 
him shaking again, ' if you ever breathe a word of this, 
or annoy Mr. Perkins in any manner under heaven, 1'U 
kill you ! Go 1 ' 



AFTER THE SEANCE. 335 

"Poor Leveraux knew her cue and replied hotly, ' I'(? 
kill myself before I'd do so disgraceful an act ! ' and ther 
flounced out of the room." 

" What a pair ! " exclaimed Mrs. Winslow. 

"He thought I was just perfectly splendid after that) 
kept coming and coming, indorsed me publicly, got 
wild over me ; but I held him at arm's length for months, 
until I thought the man would really go crazy ; and final- 
ly well, you know I told you Daddy was an ' accommo- 
dation husband,' and if he hadn't been one after I had 
tripped up one of the richest men in all England, I 
would have just hired somebody to have dumped him into 
the Thames, sure ! " 

The sparkling flow of Miss Gray's experience was here 
interrupted by Mrs. Winslow' s ordering another bottle otf 
wine, and after the couple had partaken of the same, the 
spicy narrative was continued : 

" But now comes the fun, Winslow. I can't tell you 
how my rope trick is done. I've got a little addition to 
it that makes it a regular sensation. It don't hurt me a 
particle, and allows the strongest men to pull away with all 
their might." 

"I'd give a thousand dollars for it, Evalena," said her 
friend warmly. 

" No good ; B o good for you," replied Miss Gray, 
critically looking over Mrs Winslow's splendid physical 
completeness. il Fact is, Winslow, you aren't built 
exactly right for that kind of work. There's too much 
of you to do the rope trick with eminent success. I 



AFTER THE SEANCE. 

played Daddy as my brother, and myself for an innocen^ 
so neatly that Perkins honestly thought he had made a 
wonderful conquest. He believed it all, for he was one of 
(hose honest fools in fact, came near being too hones? 
for me." 

"Why, how?" 

" Well, he installed me as his mistress in grand style j 
but, of course, I insisted in giving seances and compelled 
public recognition through his public recognition of my 
' wonderful spirit-power.' The man was so infatuated 
that he bored me terribly with his visits. Why, I could 
hardly get time to attend to business. You know we 
always have a stock of ropes on hand in the seance-rooms, 
so that when any one objects to the one I ordinarily use, 
there are always other ropes at hand that I can use. One 
night some fellow broke my best rope, and the next day I 
was carelessly practising with another with my door un- 
secured. Perkins had been down to Brighton for a week 
or two, and of course had to rush over to see me the 
minute he got in London to give me a ' happy surprise,' 
I suppose. There I sat when he suddenly bolted into 
the room and saw the thinness of the whole thing in an 
instant." 

" What did he see ? " asked Mrs. Winslow abruptly. 

"You are shrewd, Winslow, but you can't catch me 
that way ; no, no, no ! But he did see the whole trick as 
clear as a June day. Do you think I fainted ? " 

" Not much," said her companion tersely. 

*' No ; but he nearly did. He reeled and staggered as 



AFTER THE SEANCE. 337 

though he had been struck by a sledge-hammer, and I 
saw in his face a determination to rush from the room and 
denounce me to all London. It was make or break with 
me then, VVinslow, and with a bound I got to the door, 
turned the key, and sent it crashing through a five-pound 
pane of glass into the street below. Then I just whipped 
out this little derringer," she continued, producing a beau- 
tifully mounted, though diminutive weapon, "just run it 
right up under his eyes, and backed him into a seat." 

" ' Great God ! ' he whimpered, ' I'm undone ! I'm un- 
done ! what a very devil you are ! ' 

" My heart did go thumping to see the man used up so ; 
bi't I had to be rough, and said : ' Yes, I am a devil, Per- 
kins, and you must pledge me your word yes, you must 
take a solemn oath before that God you have called upon, 
that you will never expose me, or I will blow your brains 
out ! ' " 

"Splendid! splendid!" ejaculated Mrs. VVinslow. 
"Did he doit?" 

" I should say he did do it ! He got down on his knees 
and begged like a baby. And do you know, my blood 
was up so then, and I so despised him for his want Ot 
manliness, that I came within an ace of killing the infer- 
nal booby ! " 

" He deserved it ! " said Mrs. Winslow sympathetically. 

" After I had him nearly scared to death," resumed the 

marvellous medium, " I began reasoning with him, and, 

by being excruciatingly tender, convinced him that by 

exposing me he would gain nothing, but would lose in 

IS 



33** AFTER THE SEANCE. 

.verything that a man of spirit prided in honor, social 
reputation, and business standing, and drew a lively picture 
of his disgrace at the clubs and in social circles, and of the 
cartoons which would certainly appear in Punch and the 
other comic papers ; and the result was that I held on to 
his affection and his purse-strings by compelling him to 
feel that my detaining him in the room and threatening to 
shoot him was the only thing which prevented him from 
rashly ruining both. Altogether, Winslow, 1 got over two 
thousand pounds out of him. He wasn't deprived of a first- 
class mistress while I remained in London, and and we 
are so good friends now that every little while I get a splen- 
did remittance from him ; and if I ever should want to go 
back, I could have the very best in all England ! " 

" Well, well, well ! " murmured Mrs. Winslow for the 
want of something better with which to express hei 
admiration. 

" I do think I played it pretty well," resumed Miss 
Gray; " and I made him swallow it all, too. He really 
Relieved everything from the moment I fell into his arms 
until he caught me with the ropes. I was his spirit-wife 
another hard wink " and he my only affinity. Leveraux 
helped me in the whole thing splendidly. 

"Who is Mile. Willie Levereaux ? " inquired Mrs. 
Winslow. 

"She is a sister of Ed. Johnson, the 'bank-biuster,' 
and a keen girl, too," answered the medium. 

" How did you happen to get hold of her ? " 

"Well, you see, Ed. Johnson, Mose Wogle, Frank 



AFTER THE SEANCE. 339 

Dean 'Dago Frank' and Dave Cummings, with Chief 
of Police McGillan and Detective Royal, of Jersey Cily, 
put up a job on the First National Bank there. McGiilan 
was to keep everybody away from them ; and he, or 
Royal, was to always remain at headquarters to let the 
boys off if they got nabbed. They played it as plaster- 
workers Italians, you know and began working from a 
room over the bank down through the ceiling into the 
vault ; but an old scrub-woman about the place got sus- 
picious, and had them arrested one day when both Mc- 
Gillan and Royal happened to be in Philadelphia. They 
had promised the boys help to break jail, but they failed 
everywhere ; and Willie, thinking to get Johnson off, went 
to the bank officers and told them the whole story. They 
promised to help her brother, but said her evidence would 
have to be corroborated. So she sent for McGillan and 
Royal, got them into her rooms, then over on Thirty, 
seventh street, and had a Hoboken official in a closet, 
with a stenographer, who took all the conversation, which 
amounted to a complete confession of their complicity. 
It never did any good, though. McGillan and Royal 
got the most swearing done, and got clear; while John- 
son and the rest of the boys got fifteen years' solitary con- 
finement in the New Jersey penitentiary. It almost 
broke Willie down ; but she is splendid help now." 

Mrs. Winslow drew a long sigh, and the two drank 
again to drown the doleful feelings . raised by this recital ; 
for even high-toned and uncaught criminals do not find 
the contemplation of stone walls and iron bars by anj 



340 AFTER THE SEANCE. 

means pleasant and refreshing ; and with this lively his 
tory of herself and her companions, the " Marvellous 
Ph} sical Spiritual Medium " called a servant, ordered a 
conveyance, and was driven home, after having promised 
to call with her own carriage on the next day ; while Mrs,, 
VVinslow, after surveying her own magnificent physique as 
reflected in the pier-glass, muttered : 

'7V/ make an effort, go to Europe, and, like so many 
others, win fame too ! " 

Then with a resolute toss of her head the adventuress 
plumped into her bed, where, for aught we know, she 
carried on her vile conquests and miserable villainies in 
her dreams the whole night long. 



CHAPTER XXVIII. 

Mrs. Winslow demonstrates her Legal Ability. The " Bleach ol 

Promise Trial." A grand Rally of the Spiritualistic Friends of the 
Adventuress. The Jury disagree. Mrs. Winslow convicted at 
St. Louis of Common Barratry. An honest Judge's Rebuke. A 
new Trial. The Spiritualistic Swindler overthrown. Remorse and 

Wretchedness. 

MRS. WINSLOWS stay in New York was rather 
an interruption to Miss Evalena Gray's business, 
as those two champions of the theory that earth and 
heaven are connected by a spiritual hyphen only adjust- 
able, or to be made serviceable, by the brainless im- 
beciles or the remorseless sharks of society, to the 
exclusion of people of purity and worth, indulged in 
several lapses from sobriety, and in spiritual love-feasts ot 
such remarkable length and enthusiasm that W. Sterling 
Bischoff, Mile. Levereaux, and the mournful accommoda- 
tion husband, " Daddy," became quite alarmed for the re- 
sult, were obliged to discontinue the marvellous seances 
at No. Nineteen West Twenty-first Street on account 
of the " alarming illness of the fascinating little medium," 
as the manager was careful to see that the truthful news- 
papers annoui ced and at the close of a term of spiritu- 
ous rapture of remarkable intensity and duration, the 
three who were vitally interested in Miss Gray's recovery 



342 MRS. WINSLOW' S LEGAL ABILITY. 

from her peculiarly alarming illness, managed to part the 
loving couple, induce the languid Evalena to return to 
her fascinations and fools, and sent Mrs. Winslow to 
Rochester and her roguery. 

Although her trip to New York had been one of pro- 
longed dissipation, Mrs. Winslow had evidently gained 
courage from it from the assurance of Miss Gray's friend- 
ship, and through that ingenious little woman's recitals 
of daring and conquest now applied herself with new 
vigor and dash to her infamous work. 

During her absence in New York, Superintendent 
Bangs and a legal gentleman from Rochester had pro- 
ceeded to the West and were rapidly gathering in the har- 
vest of evidence I had reaped, and which subsequently 
became so serviceable. 

Mrs. Winslow, seeing she had been outwitted, began 
diligently arranging matters for the coming trial, and 
having lost the main point of dependence which she had 
hoped to make in our inability to use the evidence which 
she was sure Lyon's counsel could get by a liberal ex- 
penditure of money, which she also knew must be at 
hand, she began the tactics of delay, and secured a change 
of venue from Rochester to Batavia, on the ground of 
prejudice ; and, without the assistance of counsel, boldly 
manoeuvred her case nearly as carefully and judiciously 
as the most proficient of criminal lawyers. 

Ascertaining that Lyon's counsel had secured damag- 
ing evidence against her in those sections of country 
where she had previously been the spiritualistic harlot 



MRS. WINSLOW'S LEGAL ABILITY. 343 

that she was, she rapidly followed Mr. Bangs and his com- 
panion, and through her wonderful personal magnetism, 
physical force, consummate bravado, and skilful manipu- 
lations, succeeded in securing numberless affidavits not 
that she was a pure wiman, but that as far as the affiant 
knew, she was not a bad woman. 

Some, who had given Lyon's counsel depositions com- 
prel ensive enough to have crushed her in court, were 
compelled by her to depose under oath that their previous 
depositions given Mr. Bangs were made under a misap- 
prehension of facts. Others were induced to swear that 
they were mistaken in her identity, which would naturally 
have the effect of breaking the chain of evidence connect- 
ing her with her numberless different aliases, and there- 
fore with her numberless offences against the laws and 
society ; so that unless our work had been, in this respect, 
anything but faultless, Mr. Lyon would have certainly 
suffered defeat. 

As the date of trial at Batavia neared, however, 
although the woman had showed great skill in her man- 
agement of her own case, and had got things into as good 
shape for herself as nearly any lawyer in the country 
could have done, she suddenly changed her decision re- 
garding conducting the case personally, and engaged the 
services of a Rochester lawyer of good repute, who cer- 
tainly would not have pleaded her cause had he at first 
been aware of her character in the slightest degree. 

At last the case came to trial at Batavia, Judge 
presiding, and was considered of sufficient im- 



344 MRS. WINSLOW'S LEGAL ABILITY. 

portance to command the quite general attention of 
newspapers, and a large number of reporters were in at- 
tendance, while the little city had never before attracted 
such a crowd of curious people, brought there and kept 
there by the great interest which the trial had awakened. 

Mr. Lyon seldom appeared in court, being detained itt 
Rochester by the faithful and still voluble Harcout, 
where the latter busied himself in predicting Mrs. Win- 
slow' s downfall on account of the thorough manner in 
which he had conducted matters, and in constant trips to 
the newspaper and telegraph offices for the latest news 
concerning the progress of the case. 

At Batavia Mrs. Winslow had in some unexplainable 
manner worked up quite a feeling in her behalf, and had 
busily engaged herself, laboring day and night, in all the 
little things that form public opinion as well as cause the 
application of law to individual preferences, whether 
iustice enters into such decisions or not. 

Especially was her business ability shown in securing a 
jury a portion of whom she brazenly boasted dare not 
find for the defendant. She had evidently given up all 
expectation of a verdict in her favor ; but, in perfect 
accord with her line of policy to annoy her victim into a 
settlement, had arranged matters in every respect so that 
there would be delay, that as much as possible nausea- 
ting scandal should reach the public to react upon Lyon, 
and that in ever}- way the outcome of the case would be to 
belittle, bemean and disgrace him, for having had to do in 
any way with so bad a woman as she knew herself to be. 



MRS. WINSLOW*S LEGAL ABILITY. 345 

The latter was a point most people's pride would pre. 
vent them from making. She had lost that, but her 
active mind saw how revolting it all would be to him, and 
her cupidity, greed and vindictiveness made the prosecu- 
tion a persecution that had a measure of fiendish pleas- 
ure in it for her. 

Here her mental and her pecuniary resources were 
again demonstrated in a way that surprised everybody at 
all cognizant of her habits and history. The cost of 
carrying on a case of this importance was very large. 
Money had unquestionably been largely used in bribery. 
Many of the affidavits she had so expeditiously secured had 
been purchased outright. The court costs were no incon- 
siderable sum. Her lawyer, feeling somewhat doubtful of 
her character, and wholly satisfied of her irresponsibility, 
demanded his fee and it was a large one in advance. 
But every demand, save those that would not injure her 
case by refusing, was promptly met, and the mysterious 
source of supply seemed as exhaustless at the end as at the 
beginning ; though at all times she was a female combina- 
tion of the Artful Dodger and Job Trotter, capable of com- 
pelling confidence and sympathy. During the progress of 
the trial she also had time for the practice of her spiritual- 
istic mummeries, and so worked upon the ignorance, pas- 
sions, and pockets of a few wealthy farmers, who were in 
attendance at court, that she drove a thriving trade in rev- 
elations and prophecies that, whatever other effect they 
might have, certainly brought her large sums of money. 

Although the larger amount of evidence on both sides 
15* 



346 MRS. WINSLOW' S LEGAL ABILITY. 

was of a documentary character, the case occupied near 
ly a week, and public interest was wrought up to the high 
est possible pitch of excitement as day after day some 
startling episode or dramatic incident was developed j 
and finally, when Judge Williams charged the jury and 
that body retired for consultation, both sides of the case 
had been so ably conducted, such a terrible flood of vile- 
ness had been launched upon the community, and so in- 
tense was the feeling against the woman on the part of 
the public who condemn with a terrible intensity when 
once made aware of the danger in the heart and life of a 
social assassin, that the pretty city of Batavia was all 
awhirl from agitation and excitement. 

All this had been greatly increased by the following 
dispatches from St. Louis to the Rochester papers, which 
had, of course, been received and widely read in that sec- 
tion, and were all preceded by an item clipped from the 
Detroit Tribune, to the effect that the notorious female, 
Mrs. Winslow, had been indicted in St. Louis as a com- 
mon scold, and several public speakers therein named had 
better take warning. The first dispatch read : 

"The trial of Mrs. Winslow, charged with common 
barratry, has been proceeding in the Four Courts all day. 
Scores of lawyers are here from all parts of the West, as 
witnesses for the prosecution. The case excites great inter- 
est, a similar one never having occurred in St. Louis 
before." 

The second and final dispatch from St. Louis on the 
subject was : 



MRS. WINSLOW 1 S LEGAL ABILITY. 347 

" The case of the notorious Mrs. Winslow, indicted for 
common banatry, terminated to-day. The jury assessed 
her punishment to be six months' imprisonment in the 
county jail." 

These dispatches, with the editorial comments they 
evoked, had been received during the progress of the case, 
and though it was too late to offer the facts in evidence 
as to the woman's character, they had intensified the 
feeling against her until Mrs. Winslow was given an oppor- 
tunity of realizing something of the depth of human scorn. 

A day passed, but no agreement. What could it mean ? 
the public asked. The second day, being Sunday, passed 
slowly over the town, for no news of the jury could be ob- 
tained ; and though it was a raw winter's day, the streets 
were full of people anxious to learn the result. Monday 
came and went, and still the jury were out. Whispers of 
bribery now began to fly about the city, and when the 
fourth day had passed with no agreement and with repeat- 
ed requests from the jury that they might be discharged, 
the whole city was filled with indignation, while public re- 
sentment ran so high that it was with some personal risk 
that this exponent of Spiritualism passed to and fro be- 
tween the court-room and her hotel. 

Finally, it being ascertained that the jury disagreed irre- 
concilably, they were called into court for their discharge, 
and filed solemnly into their box. After a silence that 
could be felt had settled upon the vast audience, Judge 
Williams wheeled around, and, facing the jury many of 
whom shrank from his severe and penetrating glance in a 



348 MRS. WINSLOW'S LEGAL ABILITY. 

voice of quiet power, his whole bearing being one of digni 
fied scorn, he delivered with great solemnity the following 
well-deserved rebuke and protest against the corruption 
of the power of the jury, and its contempt of justice and 
the sacred dignity of the Court : 

" GENTLEMEN OF THE JURY I had hoped you would 
agree upon a verdict. The cause is a plain one, and there 
is no need of a disagreement. Another trial would be 
expensive to the county, and would occupy much time. 
A second trial would again crowd this court-room with a 
throng of auditors, who would listen day after day to the 
disgusting depositions which are on file in this caur.e. 
One trial such as this is too much for the decency and 
morality of any community, and another jury should 
never be called to pass upon this case. It is the polic} 
of all courts to secure agreements from juries, and in 
such a case as this, more than in almost any other, a disa- 
greement should not be allowed. 

" You are, after being out four days, irreconcilably di- 
vided. Some of you, I know, are determined to be only 
guided by the evidence and the law, as given to you by 
this Court. For your long and persistent resistance of 
all attempts on the part of some of your number to pre- 
vent justice, you are entitled to my sincere thanks and 
those of all right-minded men in this community. Others 
there are upon this jury who, I am bound to believe, have 
consulted only their passions and prejudices ; have delib- 
erately ignored the evidence and the instruction of the 
Court, and are anxious to perpetrate what they know 



MRS. WINSLOWS LEGAL ABILITY. 349 

or might have known, was gross injustice. If there are 
such men upon this jury, their conduct merits severest 
condemnation. I have great respect for the honest con- 
victions of jurors, even when I think they are wrong. I 
could not censure jurors for honest prejudices ; but I can 
have no respect for men who, from base and unworthy 
motives, seek to secure unworthy ends. 

" If any one was to look leniently upon the plaintiff, it 
would, of course, be her counsel. But to make twelve 
honest men ever see that she was entitled to a verdict of 
even one cent, is a work that transcends human ability. 

" One of the plainest principles of law applicable to 
all civil cases, is that the plaintiff can only recover where 
there is a fair preponderance of evidence in his favor. 
Upon the principal question in this case that is, whether 
or not there was an agreement of marriage between plain- 
tiff and defendant they were the only witnesses. Sup- 
posing both to be equally credible, how can the plaintiff 
recover when every act affirmed by her is denied by the 
defendant ? But are they equally credible ? The defend- 
ant is proved by the evidence to be a man of character, 
reputation, and social position. Who is the plaintiff? 
By her own evidence she is one who years ago deserted her 
husband and three children in Wisconsin, and commenced 
the life of an itinerant fortune-teller. Since then, as a clair- 
voyant, a mesmerist, a medium, she has perambulated the 
country, professing in her handbills to predict future events 
and to cure all manner of diseases by her occult arts. 

She has assumed in her travels those invariable proofi 



350 MRS. WINSLOW'S LEGAL ABILITY. 

of guilt, aliases. She has been proven, by her own writ 
ing, daily conversation, and every-day conduct, to br 
grossly profane and indecent. By the testimony of seveial 
unimpeached witnesses, produced by defendant, she ia 
shown to have been an inmate of a house, or houses, of 
ill-fame, and to have committed acts of the most shocking 
indecency and lewdness. And yet this is the woman 
whose testimony some of you have received with absolute 
verity, while rejecting the testimony of the defendant as 
of no value in comparison with it. The question before 
you was, whether between this woman and the defendant 
there had been a binding contract of marriage. There is 
no one of you so low that you would have entered into 
such an obligation with this woman. You would have 
started back in horror at such a proposition ; and yet you 
have been so lost to decency that you have seemed deter- 
mined, by your verdict, to thrust such a disgrace and out- 
rage upon the defendant ! 

" You were told by the Court that if the plaintiff was 
married at the time when she said the defendant agreed to 
marry her, such a promise was absolutely void. The 
plaintiff had herself sworn that the promise was made in 
1 86-, and that she was then, and had remained for nearly 
two years thereafter, a married woman. Did not the 
Court tell you that such a promise was void ? The Court 
told you that no subsequent ratification of such a promise 
could make it binding. The Court further instructed yon 
that if the plaintiff was unchaste at the time of the prom- 
ise of marriage, and her unchastity was not known to 



MRS. WIN SLOWS LEGAL ABILITY. 35 1 

defendant, that the marriage contract, if entered into, was 
not binding. The entire record in this case teems with 
the history of her licentiousness. No witness has been so 
reckless as to swear that within the last ten years she har 
had either virtuous habits or virtuous associations. Thai 
she was virtuous in t86o, or rather, that if then vicious, 
her character in this regard was then unknown to her 
neighbors in Indiana and Wisconsin, is rendered highly 
probable from the evidence. But there was a period pre- 
ceding this by many years, when the maiden merged into 
the woman, that the almost exhaustless evidence produced 
by the defendant shows to have been a time without 
shame, and when her keen shrewdness and wicked nature 
had already been developed to a degree of depravity be- 
yond human belief; and there has since been a period 
when the vilest inmate of the lowest den of prostitution 
was happy in her virgin purity in comparison with this 
woman ! 

" Previous to the first-mentioned time the plaintiff had 
followed the army of the Southwest in its weary marches 
not, however, as the evidence discloses, for any honest 
purpose. She had wandered infinitely further from purity 
than from her Northern home. And yet you have at 
tempted to render a verdict that after all these wander- 
ings, and after this incomparably vile career, she is fit to 
become the wife of a respectable citizen of Rochester, 
the mistress of his mansion, and the sharer of his large 
fortune. 

'You were further instructed that if a promise of 



552 MRS. WINSLOW'S LEGAL ABILITY. 

riage had been made, and if the plaintiff had at that time 
been virtuous, and had subsequently become unchaste 
the defendant was re-leased from the obligation of such 
a promise ; what regard, in view of the evidence in. this 
case, have you paid to that instruction ? 

Am I too severe, then, when I say that when, through 
four long days and nights in your jury -room, some of this 
jury have attempted to force a verdict in favor of the 
plaintiff, notwithstanding she was not entitled to it, and 
the defendant's witnesses had proven that she was utterly 
unworthy of it, you have been actuated by passion and 
prejudice, and have attempted to pervert justice? Had 
you been able to infect all your comrades with your 
pestilential breath, and had a verdict in her favor been 
rendered, I should certainly have set it aside immediately. 

" I cannot but express my severest censure at the result 
of this cause at your hands, knowing, as I cannot but 
know, that the same vile machinations which have left a 
hideous trail of this female monster over every portion 
of the land, have brought about this disagreement which 
is a shame and a disgrace to yourselves, to Genesetf 
County, and this Court ! " 

The suit necessarily went over to the next term of 
court, over which Judge Williams also presided, when no 
developments worthy of note occurred, the same evidence 
being introduced, the same tactics on the part of Mrs. 
Winslow who, however, had been obliged to secure new 
counsel being attempted, and the same crowd of morbid 
curiosity-seekers being in attendance. 



MRS. WIN SLOWS LEGAL ABILITY. 353 

But the woman had by this time become too well 
known for the slightest hope of success, or even to enable 
her to receive the ordinary consideration and protection 
of the Court. 

Without leaving their seats the jury found for tl^ 
defendant, and the woman, defeated yet insolent and da 
ing, passed out into the summer-decked streets of tlv 
little city of Batavia a scorned, dreaded being, driven 
from everything but infamous memory, 

I was never sufficiently interested in Le Compte to 
trace his future, but it is safe to say that he never visited 
"La belle France" and "Paris, the beautiful, the sub- 
lime, the magnificent," in company with the once fasci- 
nating Mrs. Winslow. 

Harcout is still the pompous henchman of the har- 
assed millionaire, Mr. Lyon, and quite covered himself 
with glory from having claimed the entire work of secur- 
ing the evidence that caused the overthrow of the adven- 
turess. 

Were I a novelist, rather than a detective and obliged 
to relate facts, I could have made an effective climax by 
a tragic meeting between Harcout and Mrs. Winslow, 
where Lilly Nettleton would have recognized the Rev. 
Mr. Bland and wreaked summary vengeance upon him ; 
but, so far as I am aware, they never met, and the much- 
named social scourge is now wearing out an inconceivably 
vile and wretched old age the irrevocable result of her 
course of life an outcast and a wanderer among the 
lowest classes that people portions of the Pacific Slop* 



354 MRS. WINSLOWS LEGAL ABILITY. 

cities, with remorse and wretchedness behind, and uttel 
hopelessness beyond ; while Mr. Lyon, now a feeble eld 
man, who has atoned, through regrets and humiliations, 
for his part of the wrong launched through his as well as 
her sin upon society, has at least become thoroughly 
satisfied of the thousands of evils following in the trail of 
this so-called spirit-power, his fulness of knowledge of its 
workings having been gained through this particular ex- 
perience with THE SPIRITUALISTS ANE THE DETECTIVES. 



na 



G. W. DILLINCHAM, Successor. 



1889. 



1889. 



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MRS. MARY J. HOLMES' WORKS. 



TEMPEST AND SUNSHINE. 
ENGLISH ORPHANS. 
HOMESTEAD ON HILLSIDE. 
'LENA RIVERS. 
MEADOW BROOK. 
DORA DEANE. 
COUSIN MAUDE. 
MARIAN GREY. 
EDITH LYLE. 
DAISY THORNTON. 
CHATEAU D'OR. 
QUEENIE HETHERTON. 
BESSIE'S FORTUNE. 



DARKNESS AND DAYLIGHT. 

HUGH WORTHINGTON. 

CAMERON PRIDE. 

ROSE MATHER. 

ETHELYN'S MISTAKE. 

MILLBANK. 

EDNA BROWNING. 

WEST LAWN. 

MILDRED. 

FOREST HOUSE. 

MADELINE. 

CHRISTMAS STORIES. 

GRETCHEN. (New.) 



OPINIONS OF THE PRESS. 

" Mrs. Holmes' stories are universally read. Her admirers are numberless. 
She is in many respects without a rival in the world of fiction. Her characters are 
always life-like, and she makes them talk and act like human beings, subject 
to the same emotions, swayed by the same passions, and actuated by the same 
motives which are common among men and women of every-day existence. Mrs. 
Holmes is very happy in portraying domestic life. Old and young peruse her 
stories with great delight, for she writes in a style that all can comprehend." 
New York Weekly. 

The North American Review, vol. 81, page 557, wiys of Mrs. Mary J. 
Holmes' novel "English Orphans": "With this novel of Mrs. Holmes' we 
have been charmed, and so have a pretty numerous circle of discriminating readers 
to whom we have lent it. The characterization is exquisite, especially so far as 
concerns rural ad village life, of which there are some pictures that deserve to 
be hung up in perpetual memory of types of humanity fast becoming extinct. 
The dialogues are generally brief, pointed, and appropriate. The plot seems 
simple, soeasHy and naturally is it developed and consummated. Moreover, the 
story thus gracefully constructed and written, inculcates without obtruding, not 
only pure Christian morality in general, but, with especial point and power, the 
dependence of true success on character, and of true respectability on merit." 

" Mrs. Holmes' stories are all of a domestic character, and their interest, 
therefore, is not so intense as if they were more highly seasoned with sensation- 
alism, but it is of a healthy and abiding character. The interest in her tales 
begins at once, and is maintained to the close. Her sentiments are so sound, her 
sympathies so warm and ready, and her knowledge of manners, character, and 
tke varied incidents of ordinary life is so thorough, that she would find it diffi- 
cult to write any other than an excellent tale if she were to try it." Hasten 
Banner, 

t-fT*The volumes are all handsomely printed and bound in cloth, sold every- 
where, and sent by mail, fostage free, on receipt of price [$1.50 each], by 

G. W. DILLINGHAM, Publisher, 

Successor to G. W. CARLETON & CO., 

33 W. 23d St., NEW YORK. 



CHARLES DICKENS' WORKS. 



I! 



A NEW uLO EDITION. 



Amongr the many editions of the works of this greatest of 
English Novelisis, there has not been uniil now one that entirely 
satisfies the public demand. Without exception, they earh hav* 
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sions cf the volumes are unhandy or, the fpe is small an I 
;nd : stinct or, the illustrations are unsatisfactory or, the bind- 
ing is poot or, the price is too high. 

An entirely now edition is tw-v. however, prbiished by G. W, 
Cirieton & Co., of New York, which, in every respect, COM- 
pletely satisfies the pcpinar demand. It is known as 

"Carleton's New Illnstratod Edition." 

COMPLETE IN 15 VOLUME 5. 

The size and form is rr^st convenient for 'loldinsr, the type is 
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the approval of the reading communky in other works. 

The illustrations a'e by the original ir lists chosen by Charles 
Dickens himself and the paper, printing, and binding are of an 
attractive and substantial character. 

This beautiful new edition is compile in 15 volumes at tbs 
extremely reasonable price of $1.50 per volume, as follows : 

I. PICKWICK PAPERS ANP CATALOGUE. 

2. OLIVER TWIST. UNCOMMERCIAL TRAVELLER. 

3. DAVID COPPF.K^m.D. 

4. GREAT EXf-KCTAnoNS ITALY AND AMERICA. 

E. DOMPKV AM.) SON. 

6. SARNABY Rl'DGF. A>T EDWIN DROOD. 
7. NICHOLA* NICKLIKf. 

8. CURIOSITY SHOP AiND MISCELLANEOUS. 

9. BLEAK HOUSE. 
IO. LITTLE DORR'T. 
II. MARTIN CHUZ7L2WIT. 
12. O'JR MUTUAL FRIEND. 

13. CHRISTMAS KCOKS. TALE OF TWO CITIES. 

14. SKETCHES BY BOZ AND HARD TIMES. 
15. CHILD'S FNGLAND AND MISCELLANEOUS. 

The first volume Pickwick Papers contains an alphabet :ca] 
catalogue of a'l r,t Charles Dickens' writings, with their exact 
por,ii ; ons in the vol-jmes. 

This edition IF so'd by Booksellers, everywhere and single 
epecim^n copiss will oe lonvarded by mail, postage frft, on re- 
ceipt o. price. $1.10 bv 

0. W, DILLTNGHAM. Publisher, 

Successor to <?. W. CAKLE1CN &, CO., 
33 VV. 23d St., NEW YORK. 



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