// SIIA.VU ANDREWS.
By SHANG ANDREWS,
AUTHOR OF "CRANKY ANN;" ".THE MYSTERIES AND MISERIES OF
CHICAGO;" " IRISH MOLLIE" " JOE AND JENNIE," &c., &c.
'rtOWIJUL NKWS OO..
COMET PUBLISHING COMPANY,
Entered, according to act of Congress in the year 1877, by
K. H. ANDKEWS,
In the office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington, D. C.
A GAY GIRL OF THE TOWN.
On a warm summer* evening,
about two years before the fire,
Captain Hickey sat in front of the
old Armory, puffing leisurely at a
cigar, and from appearances indulg-
ing in a reverie. He was probably
calling to mind some of the strange
and startling adventures through
which he had passed while in the
discharge of his duties as a thief-
catcher. But his thoughts on that
occasion are not to be the text of
this story. They were disturbed
by the approach of an elderly
woman, whose manner indicated
that she was in deep trouble.
" Well, my good woman, what
can I do for you to-night ?" said
the Captain, motioning the woman
to a seat on a wooden bench at his
"Oh, Captain Hickey," sobbed
the woman, ' It's a sorry day that
brought me here !"
The poor creature was suffering
intense mental agony , and when
the last word was uttered she com-
pletely broke down, and wept and
moaned with an intensity of grief
that was really painful to witness.
The Captain, knowing that to
express sympathy would only make
matters worse, made no immediate
attempt to pacify the woman. Fi-
nally, however, when her burst of
impassioned sorrow had partially
subsided, he said ;
" Well, madam, if there is any-
thing I can do for you, it shall be
done willingly. If you are in
trouble, you should meet it bravely,
and not give way to your feelings
as you have done since you came
here. What is the nature of the
complaint you have to make ?"
" Oh, Captain Hickey, I haven't
the heart to tell !"
" But you must tell, if you want
" Captain my daughter!"
" Ah ! I understand it all now !
You have a daughter that has gone
astray ! Poor woman ! God knows
I pity you ! Do you know where
your girl can be found ?"
" Indeed, Captain, I do not. If I
did, I should never come here, to
bring disgrace on myself and my
own child my darling little Nell!"
" Then I understand that you
want me to hunt h#r up for you.
Is that it ?"
" That's just what I want, Cap-
tain ; and if you'll do it, sir, the
old widow will call down God Al-
mighty's blessing on your head!"
Without appearing to notice the
woman's fervent words, the Captain
" We must have a description of
" Oh, sir, she's as tidy a girl as
ever you laid eyes on !"
" That is not very definite. We
must have an accurate description
her age, height, the color of her
hair and eyes, and any peculiarities
by which she may be distinguished
from other girls. In the first place,
yom may give me her age how old
" She'll be thirteen years old next
month, sir !"
" Only thirteen! Why, you don't
think she's gone to the bad. do
"God knows I don't want to
think so, Captain, but I can't help
it I know it !"
" Have you any idea where she
can be found whether ,in a public
house, or a private place ?"
" It's a week now since she left
home. She went alone; there wasn't
a soul with her, and she wore her
eve^day dresp, without any hat or
" Had she been in the habit of
keeping company with other girls,
or with young men ?"
" She was out with 'em every
blessed night, often till twelve and
one o'clock, and sometimes as late
as two and three in the morning."
" I am afraid she is lost beyond
hope," said the Captain, " but we
will do* our best to save her you
may rely upon that. By the way,
what is your daughter's name ?"
" The neighbors call her ' WICKED
NELL,' but her right name is Nellie
O'Brien bad luck to the day that
ever brought shame upon the fami-
ly that raised her !"
" I have heard of this Wicked
Nell before," said the Captain, " but
I thought she was one of the old
settlers something like the girls
on Wells, Griswold or Sherman
" She's young in years, Captain,
but as old as any of them in
wickedness ! Why, you'll blush
when you hear her talk ! She's the
very devil !"
" I don't doubt her viciousness,
but I long since stopped blushing at
the words or actions of any of the
depraved creatures of this wicked
city. I hope I may never become hard-
hearted, or conscience-calloused,
as some officers are said to have
done ; but when one is constantly
surrounded by the most depraved
wretches that walk the streets and
skulk in the dark alleys, it is scarce-
ly to be wondered at that he should
lose confidence in humanity and
almost become a convert to the
doctrine of total depravity. But
while we are talking, time is being
lost. If you come here at eight
o'clock to-morrow morning, I have
no doubt you will find your girl."
After furnishing as perfect a de-
scription of the missing girl as she
could, the unhappy old woman went
towards her miserable home.
When the men answered to their
names at roll call, a few minutes
subsequent to the above interview,
Captain Hickey said :
" Officer Morgan will be detailed
for special duty to-night. He will
report to me in my private office."
Tramp, tramp, tramp, the boys
went marching to their beats, and
Morgan repaired to the office of
" Jim," said the Captain, " You
are pretty well posted as to the
location of the hell-holes about
town, are you not?"
"If I ain't I ought to be," was
the blunt reply.
' Well, I want you to start out
now, and never come back until
you find this old woman's girl
this Wicked Nell, as she is called."
" Oh ! if it's Wicked Nell you
want, I'll soon run her in ! I saw
her only yesterday, drinking beer
with a sailor on Jackson street. I
think I can lay my hand on her in
less than half an hour ; but if I don't,
I'll obey orders, Captain I'll not
come back without her."
"Very well. I hope you will
have speedy success, for the heart
of her poor old mother ia almost
"Running her in won't do any
.good, Cap. She's gone, head and
heels, body and soul ! Why, she's
the wickedest girl in Chicago !"
" Then she should be taken care
of, by all means. Do you believe,
Jim, that she's only thirteen years
old ? Her mother says that's her
" I don't doubt it and to my
knowledge she's been on the town,
off and on, for about three years!
People have got to look sharp after
their babies, in these days !"
" It is shocking, Jim, it's shock-
ing ! We will lock this girl up to-
night, if we get her, and to-morrow
morning she shall have her choice
she can go home to her mother, if
.she will promise to be a good girl ;
if not she gets ninety days in the
" And do you know what she'll
" I think she will go home, and
try to behave herself."
" There's where you're mistaken,
Captain ! As sure as my name is
Jim Morgan, she'll defy the Court
and go to the Bridewell! She's a
thoroughbred, every inch of her!"
When the widow O'Brien left
Captain Hickey, she did not return
to her home, on Franklin street,
two blocks from the Armory. Wild
:and wicked as she knew her daugh-
ter to be, the old lady still had a
mother's strong love in her breast,
and she could not bear to see her
Nellie go to the lock-up, even for
one night, if such a course could
be avoided. With the resolution
to prevent an arrest, if possible,
.she lingered near the Armory until
after the first platoon had left, and
then her bent figure and sorrowful
face was again seen in the doorway.
The Captain saluted her respect-
" I am just about sending a man
out in search of your daughter
a man who knows her well, and
thinks he can find her* without
trouble," he said, addressing the
" Sure, and I'm obliged to you,
Captain, but I came back to as^k a
" Name it, and it shall be grant-
" It would break my poor old
heart entirely, to see my little chick
of a child behind those bars in
those horrid ce-lls."
" If we find her, Mrs. O'Brien,
we must keep her, but she shall not
be locked up in a cell. We have a
room up stairs where she can be
" But, Captain, can't /go with
the officer, and when he finds her
won't you let her go home with me]?
I can coax the child I know I
" It shall be as you wish. You
can accompany Mr. Morgan, and
when he finds her you can have an
interview. If she consents to go
home and premises to stay there,
nothing further will be done ; but if
she refuses, and insists upon remain-
ing with her dissolute associates,
then there will be but one course to
pursue she must be arrested and
punished. She had better be in the
Bridewell, Mrs. O'Brien, than wan-
dering about the streets, associat-
ing with abandoned men and wo-
" I know it, Captain, I know it ,
and I thank you for your kindness
God bless you !"
Tears glad tears, that there was
still hope, and sorrowful ones, that
she should be forced to such a
dreadful expedient to save her
daughter coursed down the bronz-
ed cheeks of this working woman,
as she uttered these words.
" I am merely doing my duty,"
responded the Captain, who was
deeply touched by the woman's dis-
tress. u It would be a cruel act, and
an unjust one, too, if I should not
hold out every inducement for the
return of an erring but repentant
child to her home. I have been an
officer for many years, and have wit-
nessed more suffering, more sorrow,
more misery, more agony, more
heart-breakings, than I could tell
you of should we talk from now
till daylight. God knows we have
enough outcasts in Chicago to-day,
without driving down and perse-
cuting those who may be inclined
to turn from the error of their ways.
We are the protectors of socie-
ty, Mrs. O'Brien, not its persecutors.
It is our duty to sav e, not to de-
stroy. I hope your daughter will
abandon her evil associations and,
eventually become a good woman.
If by any act of mine such an end
can be attained, I shall only be too
glad to volunteer my assistance.
You can go with the officer, and
take your daughter, wherever you
can find her."
With tender and feeling acknowl-
edgment and thanks, the widow and
the officer started on their painful
ission painful to both, for Jim
organ was a father himself, and
good man, and the tears of the
ereaved mother had touched a soft
spot in his honest heart.
" Mr. Morgan," said the widow,
after they had started, " the Captain
told me you knew my little daugh-
ter are you well acquainted with
her ? "
" No I am not acquainted with
her at all ; but she has been point-
ed out to me as ' Wicked Nell/ and
I have seen her a great many times,
while I have been traveling my
" And is the such a very, very
wicked girl, Mr. Morgan ?"
" For one of her age, I should '
say that she is the worst girl that
I ever saw. It is hard to say this
to a mother, of her daughter, but
it would do no good to deceive you.
When you know the truth you can
perhaps act with more . effect for
good than you could should I at-
tempt to cover up the bad traits the
girl has adopted."
For a block, Mrs. O'Brien walked
in silence ; but the experienced of-
ficer saw tears stealing from her
eyelids, and realized that the
burden that weighed upon her
heart was so heavy as to be almost
unbearable. Hers was unspeakable
grief. With an effort that forced
a sigh, the woman rallied, and said :
" Do you think you will have any
trouble in finding my Nellie? "
"I do not," was the reply. "I
have seen her many times near the
corner of Wells and Jackson streets,
and it is my opinion that she has
found a stopping place on the latter
street, not far from the corner."
While this conversation was tak-
ing place, they had been walking at
a brisk pace, and were nearing the
A sound of coarse revelry com-
ing from a " saloon and restaurant,"
whose doors were open, greeted
their ears. There were at least a
dozen men in the place, and as many
women, and from the unnatural
tones of their voices, it was evident
that nearly' all were, more or less,
under the influence of liquor. Some
were in the public saloon, and others
were seated in stalls on the side of
the room, drinking, eating, smok-
ing, telling stories, and enjoying
themselves as fancy dictated. Heavy
curtains, capable of entirely screen-
ing the persons in the stalls from
observation, hung in front of them,
but they were parted in the mid-
dle, and evidently no ' concealment
was desired by the motley crowd.
Some of the women, depraved
though they were, would be really
handsome were it not for that brazen
look that the harlot, let her try
ever so hard, cannot banish. These
creatures, however, made no effort
to hide their calling. On the con-
trary, it looked as though special
pains had been taken, in arranging
their toilettes, to display such
charms as they had to the best ad-
vantage. The dresses of some were
so low in the neck as to be abso-
lutely indecent, while others went
to the other extreme, and let no op-
portunity slip to display to the very
best advantage, with the most out-
rageous immodesty, their lower
limbs. While this insane revelry
was at its height, while tumblers
were clinking merrily, and the en-
tire company seemed to be in a jol-
ly mood, there came flying, rather
than walking, into the room, a young
girl, whose rare beauty and mag-
nificiently moulded form dimmed
the lustre of the charms of her
frail sisters, as bright diamonds in
the sunlight make dull and unsight-
ly common glass. Her entrance
created a profound sensation, and
for a brief moment there was a hush
silence such as usually precedes
a wild demonstration of delight or
applause. But it was for a moment
only. The girl was attired in the
most gay and dashing, though not
expensive apparel. Evidently there
had been an effort made to make
her appear " stunning," without the
expenditure of any considerable
suoa of money. The silence that
her entrance produced was almost
instantaneously followed by as bois-
terous and wild a huzza as was ever
heard in Chicago. There was a rat-
tling of glasses, a clapping of hands,
a stamping of feet, and a chorus of
voices shouted :
u Hurrah ! boys and gals, here's
the pet of the petticoats! Three cheers
and a tiger for WICKED NBLL ! "
From the lips of Wicked Nell
those luscious lips, that looked as
pure as those of an angel there
came an oath that would make a
scoffer or an infidel shudder.
" Let ( s have a drink ! " she cried ;
" say, old Baldy, sling us a jolly
cocktail ! I've got the blues to-
night ! Something tells me I'm
going to have trouble, and I want
something to make me . brace up!
There's nothing like a good square
drink the real old stuff to drive
away the blue devils ! "
The beverage had been prepared
while she was speaking, and she
tossed it off as though it had been
the most delicious nectar ever pre-
pared with which to tickle the
Just at that moment Jim Mor-
gan and Mrs. O'Brien reached the
front of the saloon. The old lady
clutched his arm with a start.
" There she is ! There's my little
Nellie!" exclaimed the mother of
the wicked girl, and the poor wom-
an started for the door with a ner-
vousness that threatened hysteria.
But the strong arm of Jim Mor-
gan drew her back, and he fairly
forced her along.
So prompt was the interference
of the officer that no one in the sa-
loon noticed the occurrence.
" You came near spoiling every-
thing," he said, after the danger
had been avoided. " Had you gone
into the saloon, there would have
been a " scene," and your rebellious
daughter would have died on the
spot rather than go with you. In
such cases as these, judgment and
prudence are required. We must
use discretion resort to strategy.
The girl does not know me as an
officer ; and, as I am not dressed in
uniform, it will be easy enough for
me to coax her out of that place.
I will take her to the house where
she lives, and when once there, you
can see her, and talk with her, qui-
etly and alone."
" Your plan is the best, I can see
that now,' but nothing but force
could have prevented me from going
to my daughter, when I saw her
in that awful place, and on my kncss
begging her to come away with me !
Oh, sir, only God in heaven knows
how I love that child."
" Mrs. O'Brien," said Morgan, " I
know you love that wayward girl,
but had you gone into that saloon,
and had fallen upon your knees be-
fore the crowd, do you know what
she would have done ? Why, she
would have laughed in your face,
and called you names that would
have frozen the blood in your veins !
I have heard her swear she was
bound to be a thoroughbred, and if
you knew what that meant you
would never think of upbraiding
or pleading with her in public, be-
fore those who know her. It is
possible that* in her own room,
where there are none to hear, you
may with kind and endearing words
persuade her to go home with you
But you can't drive her an inch.
" The good Lord knows I'll speak
as gently and kindly to my Nellie
as woman ever spoke to one she
loved ! Bat you must go quick or
perhap she'll go away." ,
' ; I will go now. You remain out
of sight until I take her to the place
she calls home, and then you can
follow us in."
The officer returned to the saloon;
and found Wicked Nell sitting upon
the knee of a tipsy young man.
She was smoking a cigar a bad ci-
gar at that and held in her hand
a tumbler half filled with a poison-
ous mixture compounded from the
bottles behind the bar, and called
a " cocktail."
" Hello, Nell, old girl, how are ye?"
exclaimed Morgan, holding out his
hand, as though he were an inti-
The girl was accustomed to such
greetings from those whose faces
were not familiar, and she supposed
the officer was one of those who had
met her in some of her adventure-
some frolics in that vicinity.
Nell left the intoxicated young
man, and at once joined Morgan,
who looked as though he might be
what she would call a "monied
"Can I see you privately, Nell ?"
'You bet you can ! Come on . r
Let's go to my room around the
That was exactly what the officer
Arm in arm they hurried to their
destination a one-story wooden
building, painted white, on Jackson
street, five or six doors from the
" Come right to my room," she
said, entering the front door and
walking towards a room off the
But Jim Morgan did not go. She
heard a footstep behind her, but it
was not the officer's.
Lighting the kerosene lamp, Wick-
ed Nell turned to her (as she sup-
posed) companion, and stood face
to face with HER MOTHER !
" My daughter ! Nellie ! Darling !"
gasped the old lady, stretching out
her arms and advancing.
" How came j0# here ? " were her
first words, uttered with freezing
accents, and her dark eyes flashed
" Oh, darling, I have come to save
" If that's all you want, you 'd
better go back home ! I don't need
saving just now ! When I want hflp
from you, I'll call on you ! "
The poor old woman clasped her
hands and moaned :
" Oh, Nellie, by the memory of
your dead father, whose grave is
yet fresh and unsodded, recall those
cruel words and come home with
" My father died a drunkard, and
so will his daughter ! "
This was a heavy blow, and the
bereft widow trembled violently, but
could not speak. After a moment's
pause Nellie continued :
'* Mother, I know what you came
here for. I know now that my gal-
\axA, friend \s> an officer, and unless
I go home with you I shall be ar-
rested. Now let me tell you this :
I will never go home. I will nei>er
be what you call a good girl ! You
may throw me into your rotten Ar-
mory, but you can't kill me ! I shall
always pe Wicked Nell, a gay girl
of the town!"
With a shriek of agony that star-
tled the neighborhood, the widow
O'Brien fell prostrate upon the floor!
When Wicked Nell saw her poor
old mother fall to the floor, the
girl's heart was not touched, and
there was a sneer on her beautiful
face as she said :
" Old woman, that's played! "
" You infernal little hussey," ex-
claimed Jim Morgan, who rushed
into the room, " What have you
done to your mother ? Don't you
see that you have broken the old
lady's heart ? "
"Oh, pshaw? If you knew the
old woman as well as I do, you'd
understand her little tricks better.
That's all put on. You can just
bet your sweet life on that ! Why,
she's fainted more times than she's
got hairs in her head ! It used to
scare me once, but I've got used to
it, and I know very well that she
only makes believe, just as you tried
to make believe that you wanted to
be my friend, when the truth was
that you was running me into a
Jim looked at the girl in utter
" Well, well ! " he said, after sur-
veying her for a full minute, from
head to foot, " if you ain't the cus-
sedest little devil I ever laid eyes
on ! Why , you're worse than old
Roxey Brooks, who was on the town
before you were born ! "
" Am I ? " said the girl, excitedly;
" Oh, officer, you don't know how
proud that makes me feel ! "
" Proud ! Does that make you
proud ? Do you take pride in be-
ing the wickedest girl in Chicago?"
" I had a thousand times rather
be the wickedest girl than the best
girl ! A nybody can be good ; any-
body can put on a sweet face, and
go to school, and to church, and say
their prayers, and work, and be a
drudge and a slave, and what are
they ? Why, officer, they're just no-
body at all ! But look at me ! Ev-
erybody is talking about me ! Peo-
ple look at me and point me out on
the street, and one says to the oth-
er, ' See ! there goes that awftl
Wicked Nell ! " It's just jolly fun,
and I like it ! I love this wild .ife,
and there is no power in Chicago
that can make me leave it ! "
"We'll see about that, my fine
lass," was Jim's response.
The widow O'Brien groaned, and
Mr. Morgan, turning from the ugly
girl, gently raised the old lady's
Wicked Nell laughed.
The officer, entirely out of pa-
" You devilish brat, bring me
some water, quick ! "
" Niggers can bring water, sir !
I'm no servant I'm a lady ! "
Turning upon her heel with all
the dignity of a queen, Nell walk-
ed to the mirror and commenced
rearranging the wayward curls that
had been displaced by the evening
breezes. This done, she again faced
" You need'nt be alarmed about
the old woman," she said, " for
there's no danger of her croaking.
She'll grunt and splutter and flop
around a little, and foam some at
the month, and in about five min-
utes she '11 be ready to furnish
enough chin music to last a month.
If you '11 stand and listen, when she
comes to, she'll talk you to death."
"It's a pity she has'nt flogged
you to death, you ugly little slut,"
was all the officer said, as he again
turned his attention to the insensi-
It was as Nell had said. The pro-
cess of recovery was accompanied
by painful spasms, but these soon
subsided, and Morgan helped her to
her feet, and led her to a sofa, in
Nell remained in the bed room
and slammed 'the door shut.
" Don't attempt to go away,"
shouted Morgan, who thought she
might slip out of a window, and
" Oh, don't you ' fret," was the
defiant reply, " Wicked Nell don't
run, and she don't; scare either !
You can threaten, you can bark,
but you can't bite ! I've got good
friends in this town, who won't see
me locked up, if money can get me
out, and I guess it can.
" Nellie, darling, won't you come
to your mother? " The old lady's
voice trembled, and her bosom heav-
ed with a deep sigh.
" No, I wont !"
Short, sharp and biting were the
" One minute, Nellie, just one
minute ! "
" Oh, hush up ! I know what you
want to say ; you want to slobber
and leak water out of your eyes, and
sling in a long rigmarole that I
don't want to hear, and wont listen
" She's the wickedest girl that
ever struck this town," remarked
the indignant policeman, " and the
best thing that we can do is to let
her try the bugs and soup of tne
rotten old Bridewell for a month or
two. That'll bring her to her milk
if anything will."
There was a marked, a wonderful
change in the widow's manner. No
tears moistened her eyelids, no sob
" Nellie O'Brien," she said sternly,
" come here ! I order you to come."
" If you'll order the drinks I might
take a bowl with you, old woman,
but you can't put on any lordly
airs over me ! And don't call me
Nellie O'Brien any more ! That's
not my name ! The only name I
am going to be known by in this
town is ' Wicked Nell ! ' the gayest
girl in Chicago ! "
The door opened, and Nell came
out, with hat and shawl on.
" Nellie," said her mothe-i, " you're
going home with me ! "
" I'll see you d d first ! " was
the profane reply of thelittle wretch.
" But you shall go ! If you will
walk along peaceably, all right ; if
not, I'll drag you through the streets
by the hair of your head !"
The old woman's anger was now
fully aroused and she started tow-
ards her daughter ; but Nell was
not, apparently, in the least alarm-
ed. She stood as stiff as a post,
and bold defiance flashed from, her
dark and lustrous eyes eyes' that
could almost talk when passion
Jim Morgan stepped between
" Mrs. O'Brien," he said, " it is
my duty as an officer to arrest this
girl. You heard what the Cap-
taiin said if the girl consented to
go home with you, she could do so,
it not, I was to bring her in."
"Well, why in h 11 don't you
take me in, then ? I've got on my
harness, I've sent word to my lov-
er, an rl I'm all ready to waltz around
to the stone house on the cor-
ner ! Come, now, Mr. Peeler, give
us your arm and let's take a prom-
enade ! You came home with me,
nd I thought you meant business !
Now, I'll go home with you, and
sing you some of the gayest songs
you ever listened to. We'll sing
all night, till broad daylight, and pay
our respects to old Milliken in the
morning. They say the old roos-
ter's a hard nut 11 rough on the girls
and boys when they get snatched!"
And thus the wild, wicked girl
rattled on, regardless of the fact
that every cruel word pierced a
widowed mother's broken heart.
" You see how it is," said the
officer, to Mrs. O'Brien ; " there's
no use in coaxing her, for she's as
stubborn as a mule and ugly as the
very devil. You'd better go home
and come down to court at 8 o'clock
in the morning. Perhaps a night
under lock and key will take some
of that wickedness out of her, and
learn her that it is better to be a
good girl than a bad one."
"Oh, cheese that ! " sneered Nell.
" Yes, take her along ! Lock her
up ! Put her in your darkest cell !
And you, Nellie O'Brien, when you
lay your head on a hard plank, and
when the big rats run over you,
and the damp walls send chills to
your very bones, remember that
your mother sent you there ! Re-
member, too, that a mother's curse
hangs over you ! May God Al-
mighty send devils to your bed side
when you sleep ! May you rot
with disease .' May your eyes fester
and fall out of your head ! May
your hair turn gray in a night !
May the roses on your cheeks with-
er and leave them sallow and
sunken ! May you become a hag
an object of scorn and 7 loathing,
so offensive that the dogs of the
street will snarl and growl at your
appv< ich ! May you fill a pauper's
grave before the snow of another
winter shall whiten the earth ! Do
you hear me, Nellie O'Brien ? Do
you hear your mother's curse ?"
The old woman had fallen on her
knees, and the words were fairly^
screamed into the ears of the erring
Wicked Nell laughed.
" Ha ! ha ! ha ! Why, this is as
good as a circus ! Go it, old gal,,
you're a trump ! Can't you do that
act over ? It was immense !" And
She clapped her hands and stamped
her feet, in imitation of the patrons
of a variety theatre.
" Come along you unfeeling
wretch, come along !" The officer
was thoroughly disgusted, and, tak-
ing the girl's arm, he started with
her towards the station.
The old lady, with a sad and
lonely heart, sought her desolated
home, to pass a night of such
horror as only those can realize
who have experienced trouble such
as was her's. Husbandless, worse
than childless, her's was indeed a
" Bye-bye, Mother O'Brien,"
shouted Wicked Nell, " I'll think of
you when the rats commence nib-
bling at my nose, and my eyes fall
out, and all those horrid dreadful
things happen ! Oh, you're a gay
old mother, you are ! You're a
sweet plum, ain't you ? Come and
see me in the morning /'// be
back on the town before midnight,
as sure as the Court House bell
strikes twelve ?"
With these threatening parting
words between mother and daughter,
the officer and his strange prisoner
wended their way to the Armory.
Captain Hickey was still at the
station when Jim Morgan arrived
with his prisoner.
The Captain gave the girl a
steady, searching look.
" So this is the Wicked Nell I
have heard so much about?" he said,
"Yes, and she's the ugliest little
cat that ever wore claws," said Mor-
g^an, by way of reply.
"Well, then, we'll try and tame
her. What's your name, sissy ?"
" My name's Wicked Nell that's
good enough for me ! What you
going to do with me, boss ?"
"What am I going to do with
you ? Oh, nothing to speak of. I
am only going to strip off that
toggery, chain you down to the
floor in the darkest cell we've got,
give you an ice water shower bath,
and then leave you alone with the
bugs, roaches and rats until morn-
ing that's all! The poor little
creatures have not had a square
meal for several days, and I fancy
they must be terrible hungry by
The Captain never looked more
serious in his life, and Nell could
not keep back a shulder as she
listened. But she was a brave as
well as a bad girl, and quickly
"Couldn't you put in a few
rattlesnakes, and one or two hy-
enas ?" She inquired, with a mock-
Captain Hickey's long experience
in his profession enabled him to
read character as readily as ordinary
men read an open book. He saw
that there was no use in attempting
to frighten or intimidate that bold
bundle of wickedness, and made no
further attempt in that direction.
" Take her up stairs, Jim, and
put her in the witness room," he
said to Mjrga'i, and the order was
obeyed without further ceremony or
talk. She was simply booked as
" inmate of a house of ill-fame."
When Wicked Nell found that
she was to be arrested, she hastily
penciled a brief note to her "friend,"
a real estate dealer then doing busi-
aess opposite the Court House, on
LaSalle street, informing him of
che fact. The shrewd girl had
anticipated something of the kind,
and had received assurances that in
case of trouble prompt assistance
wuld be at hand. This note was
placed in the hands of another
inmate of the house on Jackson
street, with full directions, and it
was not long after her arrival at
the Armory that the unwelcome
missive was placed in the hands of
the party for whom it was designed.
Tnis person was a respectable
man a married man, too and of
course it would not do for him to
figure personally in the matter.
To do so would injure his reputa-
tion, and subject him to exposures
that would be disastrous in more
ways than one. It would be ruin-
ous in a business point of view, and
would also make it uncomfortable
for his peace of mind when the news
should be conveyed, as it certainly
would be, to his wife. But he could
not afford, even if he felt so in-
clined, to neglect -the girl with
whom he had for some months been
on terms of criminal intimacy. She
was young and beautiful a flower
of uncommon sweetness and he
ha 1 no idea of abandoning her in
the hour of her peril. And if he
did, what then ? Why, she would
certainly ''squeal" on him, and thus
bring down upon his head a flood
of disgrace that he could not well
stand up under.
There are always hundreds of
expedients by which men can con-
ceal their sins, and at the same
time accomplish just as much as
though they openly braved the
storm. This highly respectable
real estate man did not intercede
with Captain Hickey for the release
of Wicked Nell. But be hurriedly
sought an interview with one of the
numerous professionals who are
always ready to put their names to
any prisoner's bond, for a con-
sideration. In this case the sum of
$25 was paid, and at about 10
o'clock the professional bailor made
his appearance at the Armory, with
an order from a Justice of the
Peace for the release of Nellie
O'Brien, a bond having been ac-
cepted for her appearance at court
in the morning.
Captain Hickey had no alterna-
tive. The law makes no distinctions,
and if Nellie O'Brien gave the
proper security, it was her privilege
to do so, even though the act was
calculated to do her irreparable
injury, and perhaps prevent a
reformation that might have been
effected had she been subjected to
such rigorous treatment as the
Her glee on being informed that
she was at liberty to go was unboun-
ded. She fairly danced with delight,
and became so extravagant in her
conduct that the bondsman felt
called upon to warn her that there
was danger of another arrest for
disorderly conduct at the station,
unless she behaved herself.
" Where are you going, Nellie ?"
asked the captain.
" I'm going to the devil !" was
the reply, as she gathered up her
ample skirts, tossed her head back
proudly, and sailed up A-iams street
in company with the man whose
autograph had proved an open
sesame to the prison door.
" The little wretch has told the
truth once," was the remark the
Captain made, as the footsteps of
the guilty twain died in the distance.
"That girl," he continued, ad-
dressing the station keeper, " will
be a wretched old bloat at twenty !
She may keep up appearances for a
year or two, but after that God
help her ! She \&friends now
what handsome girl has not ? But
when whisky gets in its dreadful
work, when dissipation and exces-
sive indulgences take the roses
from her cheeks and the sparkle
from ner eyej, when disease leaves
its horrid imprint upon her face
and form, when her white teeth rot
and her fair hair becomes matted
and tangled, and when all her beau-
ty has faded as the leaves fade
when the biting frosts come, then
where will these friends be ? Why,
they'll be looking iwc fresh victims !
They'll be searching for , other
beautiful children to lure to de-
struction and death ! Then Wicked
Nell, as she calls herself, will be a
sot a wreck a bloated, diseased,
scorned thing ! The gutter, the sta-
tion house and the Bridewell will be
her home, and ten chances to one,
the river's dark bottom will be her
final bed ! The law is powerful,
but in cases of this kind it is weak
and unavailing. The thief who
s'eals a few dollars is pounced upon
and punished ; the murderer ex-
piates his crime on the scaffold or
in a life cell ; but for the man who
steals a widow's child, who poisons
her young mind, who drags her
down to the level of a beast, there
is no punishment ! His crime is
worse than that of the assassin ; and
yet he is screened, and honored, and
trusted, and loved just the same as
though he was not a baser scoundrel
than can be found within the walls
of the penitentiary !"
The entrance of an officer with a
drunken prisoner put an end to the
Captain's soliloquy, and soon after
he left the sta f ion.
Wicked Nell enjoyed the adven-
tures of that night as she had not
enjoyed anything for a long time.
Excitement made her happy, and
there was no such thing as getting
too much of it. She was in reality
a wild girl, and wherever and
whenever she could plunge into tur-
bulent associations and participate
in wicked deeds, there and then she
was in her element. As certain
kinds of fish delight in muddy wa-
ter, so did she revel in the moral
filth that surrounded the locality
she had chosen for a home.
Her arrest and brief incarcera-
tioa therefore served to exhilarate
rather than depress her spirits.
Her heart was as light as a snow-
flake when she shook the Armory
dust from her feet. So buoyant
were her thoughts that she hum-
Hied, as she n eared Fifth Avenue
with her money-grabbing compan-
' Ob, I feel just as happy as a big tui-flower,
Tbat nods and bends in the breezes,
And my heart is as light as the wind that
The leaves from off the treeses ! "
" You feel merry after your trou-
ble," said the " professional " gen-
" "Who told you I'd had trouble,
old bow-legs ? I've only been hav-
ing a little fun I Oh, you ought
to have seen the old woman kick !
And then that boss peeler why,
he actually tried to frighten me
with his cock-and-bull stories about
rats and bugs, and dark cells, and
cold shower-baths ! I wish I'd just
slapped his face for him ! I wili
next time, as sure's my name's
Wicked Nell ! But come, old top,
let's take a drink I'm devilish
dry ain't you, old boy ? "
Her companion seemed to make
no objection to the proposal, and
the two entered one of those dis-
reputable saloons with which Wells
street was then lined. As they
were about to drink, a flashily dress-
ed loafer, who had been lounging
about the place, joined them, and
slapping Nell familiarly on the
back, said :
" So you gave the peeler the slip,
did you ? "
" I've been played for a sucker
once to-night, but I guess there's
no more danger. Have a drink,
stranger ? "
" I'm not on that lay just now>
but I could'nt refuse anything from
you ! "
" Well, if you're not on the lush
lay-out, what is your racket ? "
" I'm just trying to catch a girl
that's all, sweetness ! "
" And do you think you could
cat :h me ! "
" I can try almighty hard, daugh-
ter ! "
Nell looked at him again. He was
rather a handsome sort of a fellow,
with black hair, an elegant mous-
tache, a fashionable plug hat, pulled
well down in front, a heavy gold
watch chain, with a big seal ; a dia-
mond pin, a white vest, and neatly
fitting garments. Take him as he
stood, he was just the sort of ni
to catch a wicked girl's eye, and Nel
was at first inclined to look favor-
ably on his advances. She had
heard the other girls talk about
their " men," and although she had
been in a public house but a week,
the wild little thing considered that
she, too, must have a "man." But
this fellow was a stranger, and she
was shrewd enough not to let him
know what her thoughts might be.
"You've got a good deal of
brass," she said, after a short pause,
" and that goes a long way in this
town, but how are you off for stamps?
How are you fixed for sugar ? How
big is your roll ? If you want to
talk business with me, you must
show up the dust ! "
"This is no good place to talk
business," he replied ;" let's take
a walk, and then we can have a
talk. I saw you when the coppers
had you in tow, and I said to my-
self, says I, " there goes a stunner
that gal's a thoroughbred ! I've
been waiting and watching for you,
and now I've found you ! '
While he had been saying this,
Nell bade her former escort an ab-
rupt good-bye, and herself and the
gallus youth, whose name, even, she
did not know, were walking arm-
in-arm on the sidewalk.
"I'm going home," she said; "you
can come along, if you feel like it."
Their conversation on the way
was of a trivial nature, and before
five minutes had elapsed they were
at the house on Jackson street.
"Now, then," said Nell, after she
had thrown off her hat and shawl,
11 what's your name ?"
" They call me Nobby Tom," the
youth replied, as he surveyed him-
self in the mirror, apparently to
his own satisfaction.
Well, Nobby," she said, "I don't
think you and I can have any truck
together. You look to me like a
dead beat a bilk a masher a
rooster who travels on his shape !
If I want a plaything, or a pet, I'll
buy a poodle dog but when I get
a man, I want one who's got sand
in his gizzard! Can you fight ?
Nobby Tom did'nt like these un-
kind cuts. He turned red in the
face when Nell used the hard
names, and was half inclined to
get mad ; but the fact was, he was
not a fighter, and he was a beat.
In the confusion of the moment,
not knowing what to say, he said
nothing at all. Noticing his cow-
ardice, and despising him for it,
Wicked Nell continued :
" Do you see this gold chain
around my neck, and this diamond
cross ? The man who gave me
these is my lover he is a gentle-
man he is coming here to-night
and if he should catch you in this
room he'd scatter your brains, if
you've got any, all over the carpets
and the walls ! Hark ! I think
I hear his step now ! Yes, he's
When Nobby Tom heard the
words of Wicked Nell, a cold shiv
er ran through his frame. He waa
a big bluffer, but a rank coward,
and the idea of being found by a
girl's lover, in her room at night,
with the prospect of a shooting fes-
tival, filled him with alarm.
" For God's sake, Nell," he cried,
"where can I hide ? Tell, me quick!"
The poor fellow's voice sounded
as though he was suffering from an
Nell gave him one withering look,
so scornful that it brought a blush
of shame to his cheeks.
"Crawl under the bed!" Her
words were uttered with a con-
temptuous curl of the lip, as she
pointed her pretty finger to the
foot of the bed.
The frightened fellow needed no
second invitation. At that time
he could have crawled through a
kej hole, if no other avenue of es-
cape had been offered, for he im-
agined he stood in imminent peril.
But it was only imagination.
Wicked Nell was never so happy
as when she could cause trouble.
She was always as full of the devil
as a bloated bed-bug is full of
blood. It was true that she ex-
pected a visit from her real estate
friend that night; but she knew
him to be a timid, harmless man,
who would run his legs off rather
than engage in any dispute that
oould, by any possibility, come to
blows. She rather liked him be-
cause he was generous ; but she
could not love him, because he was
" Now, you stay where you are,
and I'll try and get you away with
a whole hide," she said, as she
opened the door, walked out, and
closed the door behind her.
" I'd like to keep the dung hill
there all night," were her thoughts,
."and I would, too, if I did'nt ex-
pect company that will pay. JJut
I'll have some fun with him any-
Nell found in the other room,
a young loafer, with whom she was
somewhat acquainted, who was
known as Freckled Jim. He was
a thick-set, red-headed bummer,
who made a living by steering cus-
tomers to the low women of Wells
and adjoining streets, and divid-
ing with them the spoils. Nell
hated him on general principles,
but at that time she had use for him.
" Jim," she whispered, " I want
you to come into my room a few
The fellow had been trying to
make love to her for a week, and
supposing she had at last yielded
to his entreaties, his rapture knew
no bounds. Sticking out a rough
and rather dirty paw, he exclaimed:
" Shake ! "
"Don't be too fast, sir," said
Nell, drawing back a little ; "I only
want you to play that you're my
lover, so that we can have a little
Jim's chop fell about three in-
ches, but he was not the kind of a
man to give way to disappointment.
Wicked Nell then, in a few words,
explained to him the situation, and
gave him instructions as to what
she wanted. Then the play began.
Opening the door just a little, she
"Please don't come in, darling !
I have particular reasons for want-
ing to be alone for half an hour."
In a harsh, deep bass voice the
pretended lover replied :
" And I have particular reasons
for coming in now ! Come, now,
either let me in peaceably arid pleas-
antly, or I'll let you know that I
can come in another way ! Do you
" Well, if you will be so mean,
I don't suppose I can help myself
so come along, and sit down, you
jealous old creatuie !"
" I don't know whether I want
to sit down or not," was the ungra-
" What's the matter with you,
darling ? What have I done ? Are
you mad because I sent for ycu to
get me out of trouble ?"
" No, not that but I have my
" Suspicions ! What in the world
do you suspect /"
" What should I suspect, when
I come here after paying twenty-
five dollars for you, and find my-
self barred out ? Nell, I believe
you've been playing dirt on me !"
The wicked girl could not help
" That's the funniest thing I
ever heard a man say," she said,
merrily, " tVho makes a living by
dealing in dirt!"
"Oh, don't try to get out of this
by making bad jokes ! That dodge
won't go down ! Come, Nell, own
up have you had a man here, since
I came !"
" Well, suppose I had, what are
you going to do about it ?"
This was uttered with a display
of spunk quite natural for a high-
" Suppose you had ! Do you
know what I'd do if I should find
a man in this room to-night ? I'd
chaw his ears off ! I'd bite of his
nose ! I'd scalp him ! I'd take
this knife out of my boot and carve
him ! I'd cut off his toes and fin-
geis ! I'd gouge out his eyes ! And
then I'd drag him down to the riv-
er, tie a big stone to his neck, and
heave him out into the middle of
the creek ! That's what I'd do ! "
Nobby Tom commenced to say
his prayers. His teeth chattered,
and he could hardly keep from
groaning, so great was his terror.
Fully appreciating this, Wicked
Nell found it quite as difficult to
restrain herself from shrieking out-
right, so full was she of cussedness
and glee. She controlled herself,
and with well- feigned distress kept
up her role.
" Oh, dear," she said, falling upon
her knees, " you will drive me cra-
zy, if you keep on in that way !
I'rn sure I couldn't help it, if a
man did come ! You know what
kind of a house this is, and what
men expect when they come here! "
With a terrible oath, that would
have raised the roof off of a house
that was not used to them, Freck-
led Jim roared :
" Then somebody is here ! I know
it ! I smell him ! Oh, let me
find him ! Let me get my hands
on him !"
" Mercy !" shrieked Wicked Nell,
"Mercy!" And she fell to the
floor, having apparently swooned.
Freckled Jim rushed to a closet,
and fumbled arouud among the
clothing, exclaiming in loud tones,
" come out of here, you cowardly
scoundrel, come out and face me
like a man ! "
'' This is my only chance," thought
Nobby Tom, and with the quickness
of a cat he crawled from his hid-
ing place, sprang for the door, suc-
ce<ied in opening it, and darted out
with lightning speed.
The opportunity had been given
bin: intentionally, and Freckled
Jim, who was on the watch, managed
to give the fleeing and frightened
sport a parting k^ck that fairly
made him grunt. Tom never
ped to look behind, neither did he
return to get his hat, which in the
haste of his departure he left be-
hind ; but he thanked his ; lucky
stars that he had his nose, and his
ears, and his fingers, and his toel /
and C:\atall his other parts, save, per-
haps, one, were rescued from the
fury of that savage, blood-thirsty
victim of love and jealousy.
Wicked Nell was just springing
from the floor, with a screaming
laugh, when who should stand be-
fore her but her real lover ! and
there was a dark frown upon his
Thus far, in this true story of real
life, no reference has been made to
events preceding the night of
Wicked Nell's arrest. There are
probably many who wonder why a
girl of acknowledged beauty, and
who would be a profitable card for
the best house of ill-fame in the
city, should seek a home in such
a low resort as she was found in on
Jackson street. In order to make
our narrative clear and consistent.,
it is necessary to take a short
Nellie O'Brien, as has already
been intimated, was a precocious
little maiden. She was, undoubt-
edly, the wickedest child ever bore
in this abominably wicked city.
Even before she was ten years of
age, her parents had no control
over her actions, and she roamed
the streets, night and day, associa-
ting with the vilest characters,
frequenting low doggeries, and par-
ticipating in orgies that even the
old prostitutes themselves shunned.
In these places she was a pet.
Profligate men and women made
much of her, treated' her with
marked consideration, and looked
upon her as nothing else than a
Little Wonder. Ueiore she was
eleven years of age she acquired
the title of Wicked Nell, and was
so proud of it that a frown settled
upon her fair brow when called by
any other name. It is horrible,
but it is true, that about this time,
when she was running bare-footed
and bare-headed about the streets,
Nellie O'Brien, the mere child, was
seduced I It was a feat easily to be
accomplished, but so dastardly that
is would seem impossible that a
wretch could be found whose black-
ened, guilty soul would not shrink
from the deed ! Let those who
doubt look . at the daily record of
crime. Let them go down to
Indianapolis, and learn the sad
story of seduction brought to light
concerning the licentious conduct
of the Superintendent of a deaf and
dumb asylum/ who did not scruple
to clasp in uiiholy embrace the un-
fortunate children whose lips never
lisped a syllable, and whose ears no
sound ever penetrated ! Let them
go down to New Jersey, and look
upon the grave of a poor young
girl who was polluted and murdereo
by an accursed wretch who dare.-
stand up before his fellow men and
preach the gospel of the thorn-
crowned Prince of Peace ! Let
them carefully peruse the long list
of unnatural crimes that every day
stares at them from the printed
pages that come damp from the
morning press; and having done
this, they can doubt r.o more.
Wicked Nell, in the course of her
wanderings, formed the acquaint-
ance of a girl of about her own age,
and whose ideas of morality were
about as loose as they could be.
The right name of this girl was
Jane Smith, but she was known by
the gang a-s " Red-headed Jennie."
This gir\,' though vulgar and de-
based, as well as debauched, could
not compare with Nell, in the
matter of cussedness, and was not a.
star, as Nell was, although her
inclinations were all in the way of
wickedness. Jennie was riot hand-
some, either, though far from being
ugly in looks.
These two girls, one day, sat
down in the shade of a doorway
for a talk.
" Jennie," said Nell, " what's the
use of our bumming around any
longer as we have ? Let's turn
out ! What do you say ?"
" What do you mean by that ?"
replied the red-head. "I should
think is was a little too late, now, to
talk of doing that. It seems to me
that both of us are already on the
" What I mean is," said Nell,
" that we go and live in a regular
house, where we can make lots of
"If you will, I will," was Jennie's
ready reply ; " but we want nice
dresses and jewelry where can we
get them ?" '
" Oh, that's easy enough. There's
been a nice gentleman after me for
six months, and I've been playing
off on him. He thinks me a wild
girl, but don't know that I'm bad.
lie's offered me money more than
a dozen times to get all the clothes
I want, if I would let him be my
lover. I'll send him a note this
afternoon, meet him to night, and
in a few days we can be rigged out
as gay as any two girls in Chicago !"
"Nell," exclaimed Jennie, enthusi-
astically, " You're a bully girl !
I'm with you J My old dad, and
the old woman, too, can both go to
the devil ! I'll be my own boss,
now ! Oh, won't it be gay ! Then
we can wear silks, we can go hack-
riding with the boys ! We can go
to the matinees, and take in the
mashers ! We can have great rolls
of greenbacks, and live as high as
real ladies !"
It was thus that the compact was
made. Wicked Nell was not mis-
taken in ner calculations. She met
the man she had been " playing off"
on, who gave her all the money nec-
essary, and early the next morning
the two wicked and giddy young
creatures made their purchases,
and engaged the services of a dress
maker. In three days they were
rigged out like .two butterflies.
When they had ' dressed for the
occasion," the two girls set out in
quest of a boarding house.
" My friend advised me to go to
Madame Herrick," said Nell, and
to the noted white frame house on
State street they directed their
The Madame answered the ring
" What do you want here, chil-
dren?" she said, eying them sharply.
"We wan't to come here to live,"
replied Nell, with bold face and un-
" Come in!"
Nell and Jennie entered, highly
elated at their success. They fol-
lowed Madame Herrick into the
front parlor, and were lost in wonder
and admiration as they gazed upon
the magnificent surroundings the
marble tables, the rich tap stry, the
oil paintings, and the evidences on
every hand of wealth and luxury.
The old lady closed the door
after them, and motioned them to a
seat on the sofa.
" Sit down, children," she said,
" I want to talk to you !"
Nell and Jennie did not relish the
idea of being called " children," but
they obeyed the directions of the
owner of the house, and awaited
her pleasure. Taking a seat in her
easy chair, directly in front of
them, Madame Herrick raised her
spectacles from their natural resting
place to her forehead, and thus
addressed them : -
' % You have come to my house for
board," she said, earnestly. "Who-
ever sent you here, could not have
known me, or they would never
have recommended you to ring my
door bell. But you are here, and it
is my duty to speak to you as I
would were you my own children.
Girls, I was once a Christian wo-
man, and I know what it is to be
good, and what it is to be bad. I
have seen so much of this world
and its wickedness, that I shudder
when I think of it. Now, then, I
want to tell you this : You two
girls are thoughtless, heedless, giddy
things. You have no idea what
you are coming to. If you enter a
douse of this kind, you will go to
wreck and ruin within five years !
Neither one of you has enough sense
to become a prostitute, even if you
feel inclined to do so. You are the
kind of girls who would drink, and.
smoke, and chew snuff, and fight
and go to the devil direct. I am an
old woman, and I can see vicious-
ness in both your faces enough of
it to ruin a dozen girls, if it could
be distributed among them. I
wouldn't have you in my house un-
der any circumstances, and God
knows I wouldn't be guilty of lead
ing to ruin any girls of your age
I want you to take my advice
and go right home to your mothers.
You ought to be in school now, in-
stead of looking for a home in a
house of ill fame ! You can go,
now, children, but remember what
old mother Herrick told you ! Re
member that Death ever lurks in
the pathway of the outcast, and
that all who travel in it go to swift
and sure destruction /"
Bold and brazen as they were,
neither Nell nor Jennie had a word
to say. They could not look that
experienced old woman in the face,
and attempt any excuses for their
Without a word, therefore they
to^k their departure.
When once on the outside Wick-
ed Nell gave a long sigh of relief
" Well ! Upon my soul, that old
woman has made a big mistake !
She was cut out for a Saint, just
as certain as I was for a devil !"
And Nell laughed immoderately at
what she considered a first-class joke.
" But what will we do now ?
Where shall we go ?" Inquired
Jennie, who felt somewhat blue over
the prospect that had looked so
bright but a few hours before.
"Do!" We'll find a boarding
house within another hour ! These
high-toned houses won't take us in,
I know where there are places where
a baby would be welcomed J I know
where they are, and I'll go there !
We're on the town now, Jennie, and
I for one will stay there ! No good
girl business for me ! No work for
Wicked Nell ! I'm bound to lead
a S a y ltf e -> an ^ 1'^ ^ i* *f " don't
last a month ! What do you say,
J.n ? Are you with me ? "
" / '// stick by you to the death ! "
" Shake on that ! You're a brave
gal ! From this time on we are
twin sisters in wickedness /"
The two bad girln, believing that
it would be useless to make farther
efforts to obtain admittance to a
house of ill-fime making any pre-
tence to decency, determined to ap-
ply to the Jackson street den, kept
by a debased woman named Annie
Davis, but more familiarly known
as Pock-marked Ann. Thither,
therefore, they directed their foot-
steps, after the unsatisfactory inter-
view with Madame Herri ck.
The place kept by Pock-marked
Asm was as low as any that could
be found in the city. It was a one-
story wooden structure, with front
door opening directly into the par-
lor, three small bed rooms, and a
rear shanty that served as i kitchen
and dining room. There was a
common cheap carpet, well-worn,
upon the floor, a few lewd pictures
upon the dirty walls, and other fur-
niture to correspond. The fre-
quenters of the place were sailors,
laboring men and the class of crea-
tures commonly denominated as
The girls both knew Pock-marked
Ann, and many times, as with bare
feet and tangled hair they had loiter-
ed about the neighborhood, she had
invited them in, for purposes the
foulest the human mind can con-
They found Ann seated in a rock-
ing chair, smoking a cigar. The af-
ternoon was warm, the neighbor-
hood was deserted, and the " ladies"
of the establishment were reclining
in different postures, more or les's
indecent. There were four girls
in the house, aside from the " land-
To look at these creatures that
we have called girls, would produce
emotions as antagonistic as fire and
water. The first feeling, as the
eye rested upon their red and wa-
tery eyes, their bloated and brazen
faces, their decayed teeth, and
their general appearance of degra-
dation, would be loathing and dis-
gust. " What man would take to
his bosom such a wretch ?" would
be the question that would force
itself to the lips, as the eye
pointed out these repulsive features.
It would seem impossible that any
human being could look upon them
and not shudder and recoil yes,
flee in fright as from the presence
of some reptile whose sting would
be certain death.
And to the young men who read
this story the author would say :
Better, far better, take a rattlesnake
to your bosom, and let its sharp
fangs, with their deadly saliva,
pierce you in a hundred places,
than take to your arms for one brief
minute any one of these ulcerated
and rotten wretches ! The poison
of the one kills quickly ; but the
equally venomous sting of the other
eats slowly into the vitals, produc-
ing lingering torture, and carries
its victim to a death-bed whose hor-
rors no pen can describe on paper,
no brush depict on canvas ! The
pages of the history of prostitution
are all blotched over with recitals
of the ravages of the peculiar di-
seases incident to the brothel, and
thousands upon thousands of robust
young men have been swept away
by the tide of corruption into which
they have recklessly and thought-
lessly plunged ! There are hun-
dreds of these low down unfortu
nates in Chicago to-day ! They
leer at you from the doors and win-
dows of their wicked homes ; they
stare at you on the walk ; they hail
you on the street; they embrace
you in the saloons of Clark street
and Pacific avenue ! Beware, young
man, beware ! They sow the seed
that sprouts in pain, grows in ag-
ony, blossoms in ulcers, and ripens
in death I
Looking at them, then, with a full
consciousness of their ugliness and
their danger, and what man could
do otherwise than turn his face away
from them in disgust and alarm ?
And yet, these out casts are hu-
man beings. Once they were pure.
Like Wicked Nell, some of them
may have resorted to the bagnio
from choice, but nine-tenths of them
have been made the victims of man's
lust and baseness ! They have been
deceived, betrayed, abandoned,
thrown upon the world ! . Sacred
vows have been disregarded, solemn
pledges have been broken the
cruel world has turned its scornful
back upon them, and they have
been driven down the broad road to
ruin, as cattle are driven to the
slaughter pen. Resistance was vain.
Their arms were weak, the current
was strong, no friendly helping
hand was held out, and on they
were carried until they found them-
selves floundering way out upon the
broad sea, rudderless, compassless,
and with the terrible knowledge
that they were cast oft 7 , scorned, re-
viled, loathed, despised, shunned !
This is the condition of those
poor creatures God help them !
As the two girls entered, Pock-
marked Ann blew a cloud of smoke
from her mouth, and looked up at
her visitors in surprise. To save
her life she could not have told who
they were, so perfectly were they
disguised. Yet she saw they were
young and pretty, and with a smil-
ing face and pleasant words she in-
vited them to come in.
" We are looking for a boarding
house," said Nell.
Her voice betrayed her, and
Anna Davis sprang from her seat.
"As I'm a sinner," she exclaim-
ed, " I believe this is Wicked Nell !"
" There's no do*ubt about your
being a sinner, and nobody ever
said I was very good" said Nell, in
reply; "but don't you know this
girl, too ? "
Pock-marked Ann looked and
shook her head, but she finally pen-
etrated the disguise, and replied :
" Red-headed Jennie, by G ! "
"Well, Mrs. Davis, are you going
to take us poor girls in ? "
This woman Davis really had no.
vacant room in the hou-e, having
but two bed rooms in all; but she
could not afford to let this golden
opportunity pass. There was money
in those two young girls, and she
would have turned every soul out of
the house, if necessary, to secure
them. Without hesitating after the
question had been asked, she said:
" Of course I will take you in !
Haven't I invited you to come more
than a dozen times ? Yes, take off
your hats, make yourselves at home,
and I'll fit up the nicest room in
the house for you ! Wouldn't you
like a glass of wine, now that you
are going to be regular boarders ? "
" Oh, I'm dying for a drink ! " and
Wicked Nell, with her partner,
drank off the sparkling fluid as
though they were old stagers, in-
stead of mere children.
They then took off their hats, and
as Nell threw herself upon a sofa in
the parlor she pulled Jennie down
also, threw her arms about her and
" Jen, we have found a home !
We are on the turf ! We are two
gay girls on the town ! " And the
foolish girl laughed so loudly that
the merry peal could be heard a
We have alluded to the real
estate dealer on LaSalle street, but
have given no name. As this is a
trlie story, it was our intention to
give genuine names to all the char-
acters ; but in this instance, we are
compelled to deviate from the rule.
Wicked Nell's first lover was then
sowing his wild oats at the time
of this writing he is a far different
man, and it would be doing him a
great wrong to rake up the dead
arid forgotten past, *nd narrate the
exploits that are now recalled by
him with the keenest regret. For
this reason we will call him Charles
Williams the first name only being
real. Wicked Nell sent for him at
once, after having found a boarding
house, and he had visited her every
day, up to the time he found her
in the questionable company of
Nell had not anticipated such a
surprise, and her usual self-posses-
sion deserted her. For the first
time in her life, the girl blushed I
Itwas not the blush of shame, but
was caused by mortification and
embarassment. Though she was
incapable of love, yet she thought a
great deal of Charley Williams,
because he was liberal, affectionate,
and kind; and to be caught in
such a predicament was painfully
"Nellie," said Charlie, with a
sober face, " what does this mean ?
What have you been doing ?"
The girl stammered, but made no
Her lover turned red in the face.
" Is this the way you 'keep your
promise ?" he continued ; " is this
the way you keep a pledge to be
faithful and true ?"
" I will explain everything, if
you will only give me time," said
Nell, who was now upon her feet,
and had partially regained her
" Before you make any further
explanation, perhaps you had better
tell me who this fellow is, and what
he is doing in your room !"
The comtempt in the man's look
and voice nettled Freckled Jim,
and assuming a belligerent attitude
he said :
" Say, you baby-faced rooster, wat
yer got to say about it, anyway ?"
" I was not talking to you, sir,"
Charlie replied, stepping back, and
turning a shade paler.
" But I'm talking to you, sir ! If
yer don't like the looks of this lay-
out, just square yourself, like a
game man, and we'll have it right
out here !"
By this time Wicked Nell had
stepped between them. The girl
was " game from the ground up," if
her lover was not.
' Young man," she said, address-
ing Fred, " I have got through
with you you have done all that I
asked you to now, git !"
Her shapely finger pointed to the
door, and her eyes blazed with
*' All right, sis, if you say so, I'm
off but if that sucker gives me any-
lip again, let him look out for his
smeller, that's all!" and with a
loaferish swagger he left the room,
and proceeded to some other haunt
in the locality.
Wicked Nell then turned to her
lover and said :
" Don't look so ugly, Charley, for
I have only been having a little fun,
and have not broken any promise.
Sit down, now, like a good man,
and let me wil you all about it."
" I will sit down, and you can tell
me what you wish but you must
allow me to believe only as much
or as little of what you say as I
" Oh, dear, what a jealous lover
}'ou are ! Why, any one would
think I had done something awful,
to judge by your looks, and your
" Yes, and you have done some-
thing awful ! You have deceived a
good solid friend, for the companion-
ship of a common loafer a dirty
pimp ! I am not soft enough to let
you pull the wool over my eyes,
after what I have seen !"
"Then you won't let me coax
you ?" Nell was getting a little
" riled," and there was a perceptible
threat in her voice, if not her words.
" I don't think you can ! I would
be a fool to let you, with your sweet
smiles, and your soft words, and
your affectionate embraces, make me
believe that black is white that
this ruffian that you called Fred
was not in this room that you are
not false as you are fair !"
" Charlie Williams, stop ! If you
have come here to abuse me, to in-
sult me, to charge me with some-
thing I have not done, you had
better take your hat and walk !"
" It might have been better for
me if I had told your messenger to
walk, when she came to me this
" I wish you had ! I had rather
be in jail, and stay there, than have
any man throw it up into my face
that he has done me a favor, and
is sorry for it !"
" Did I say I was sorry ?"
" No, but you might as well."
" Nell, you are a strange girl.
You are rightly named Wicked
" I know I am ! Suppose I had
been a good girl would I have had
anything to do with you ?"
" Probably not ; but a girl need
not be lost to all decency, totally
depraved, because she has erred in
" I told you that I had not
wronged you, a little while ago, and
you sneered at me, and might as
well have said, 'Nell, you lie /"
" I believed that you did lie ! I
think so still ! If you did not, then
circumstances lie !"
' k Well, you can believe me or
not, just as you choose ! It makes
little difference to me, for I can get
a hundred lovers before sundown
to-morrow, if I try !"
" Oh, I suppose you can ! But
such lovers ! This Fred is a good
specimen ! "
" Fred be d d ! I have used\*.\m,
sir, but there are gentlemen who
are anxious to take your place ! A
dozen of them have been writing to
me, and sending after me, and
coming here to see me, and I like a
fool have told them all to keep their
" You seem to be rather anxious
to get rid of me, Nell," he said, in
tones more kind than he had used
before ; "are you really tired of me,
so quick ?"
" You are the one who seems to
begetting tired," said Nell, "but
come now, Charlie, let's quit quarel-
ing until I can tell you all about it,
and then if you want to keep your
back up, all right."
Her lover sat down as requested,
and Nell told him the whole story,
just as it has been related in preced-
ing chapters. When she had finished,
Charlie Williams threw his arms
around the wilful, wicked girl.
" My darling," he said, " I believe
you ! I was a brute to talk to you
the way I did ! Will you forgive
me, Nell ?"
" With all my heart ! You were a
brute, I know, but you werejea/vus,
Charley, and they say that men are
rot responsible for what they do, in
The lovers had made up.
" Now, Nell," said Charley, after a
few more endearing words had been
spoken, " I want to talk to you seri-
ously, and I want you to think seri-
ously of what I say."
<k Well, fire ahead, then ; I'll be
as solemn and as sober as a parson
at a funeral."
" This is no place for you, Nell !"
" 1 expect to change my board-
ing house to-morrow."
" Where are you going ?"
" To the Bridewell !"
" Oh .nonsense ! You know that I
wouldn't let you go there ! But I
have found a nice, quiet place, where
you can go and live like a lady,
where there are very few visitors,
no exciting brawls, and people would
take you for a respectable girl.
What do you say, my darling ?"
" I won't do it !"
k 'Why not, Nell?"
*' Because I'm too wicked ! I love
excitement ! I love tto see quarrels
and fights ! I love the life and noise
of Wells street ! I should die if I
were to go off somewhere alone,
and never see anything out of the
way ! Why, I wouldn't be a decent,
nice, quiet, respectable girl, if you'd
give me all Chicago ! If you should
offer to marry me, and take- me to
your home, on the avenue, among
all the big folks, I'd laugh at you !
No, sir I'm not going to be tied
down, like a pet poodle. I am
going to make every man and
woman in this city know me, and
when they speak of me it will be as
the wickedest girl in Chicago ! Do
you understand me ?"
" I am afraid I understand you
" Then don't preach any more, if
you please. You can keep me as
long as you wish. You can shake
me when you want to. But you can't
change me one bit. I'm the gayest
girl that ever wore a. bustle."
Convinced that he could do noth-
ing or say nothing that would
accomplish anything, Charley Wil-
liams dropped the sub?ect, and
nothing further of interest to . the
reader occurred that evening.
The scene at the Police Court,
the morning succeeding the events
hereinbefore narrated, was one of
the most impressive that ever tran-
spired before that tribunal of jus-
tice. After the common drunks
and disorderlies had been called
and disposed of, and the few petty
thieves and other offenders had re-
ceived sentence, the clerk called :
" Nellie O'Brien ! "
There was no answer, but from
the crowd of spectators there arose
a flashily attired maiden, and, proud
of the fact that all eyes were fixed
admiringly, upon her, Wicked Nell
strutted forward like a young pea-
cock, her head erect, and her whole
bearing indicating obstinate and
" You are charged with being an
inmate of a house of ill-fame," said
Mr. Matson, the clerk, "are you
guilty or not guilty."
Judge Banyon looked at the pris-
oner with astonishment, not unmix-
ed with admiration. The Judge
had an eye for female beauty, and
be never had seen so handsome a
The widow O'Brien, in deep mourn-
ing, slowly made her way to the
side of her daughter.
" This is my child, Judge," she
Captain Hickey related the cir-
cumstances of the arrest, and then
turned to the girl, who had stood
like a statue, apparently entirely
" Nellie," he said, " what do you
propose to do ? "
" I propose to do as I please !"
was the impudent reply.
" She's the wickedest little wretch
I ever saw," remarked the Captain
to the Judge, " and it's my opinion
that a long term in the Bridewell
will do her more good thaa any-
thing else. The girl seems to be
" This is 'orrible ! " exclaimed
the Judge, looking upon the pris-
oner with amazement.
' Oh, no, LO ! You will not
send my little girl to that dreadful
place ! She could riot live there, I
know she couldn't, and it would
break my heart to see her die ! "
The widow's voice trembled, and
her tyes were wet with tears.
" She had better be in her grave,"
said the Captain, " than in such
hell-holes as she has been frequent-
ing for a year or more. But there
is no danger. Such wicked people
don't die easy. You couldn't kill
'em. They have as many lives as
Wicked Nell's face denoted scorn
" Don't fret, old woman," she
said, " your little girl\% big enough
to take care of herself, and she wont
go to the Bridewell ! You can bet
your sweet life on that !"
" Then you defy the Court, do
you ? " said the Judge, bristling
with indignation, and plainly show-
ing the anger he could not conceal.
Nell made no reply, but faced the
court with a brazen stare.
-'Please come home, Nellie,'
pleaded the old woman, attempting
to embrace her daughter.
Pushing her away roughly, Wick-
Nell, said scornfully
The poor widow, overcome with
emotion, staggered to a seat, and
" Oh, God ! I even wish that I
was dead "
" There's no use in making a holy
show of me here !" eaid Nell, " if
you're going to send me up, do it
right away ! You can't make me
promise anything, and if I did, I'd
break it as soon as I got on the
" Ninety days," was the sentence.
" It wont be ninety minutes be-
fore I'll be free again ! " saucily
responded the prisoner.
An officer took her roughly by the
arm, but she shook him off savagely.
" Keep your dirty hand off from
me !" she exclaimed vehemently,
I happen to know something about
this business ! I'll walk into that
pen like a lady, but I'll soon walk
out again! You cant any of you
get the best of Wicked Nell ! "
The threat made by Wicked Nell,
as like a little queen she strutted
into the " bull-pen," was not an idle
one. In less than an hour from the
time of her trial and sentence she
was at liberty, through a process
weW known to any one who has had
any experience in the police courts.
Her appeal bonds were signed by a
responsible party, and that, in real-
ity, was the end of the case. A sil-
ent friend, aided by his money, had
done his work, and once more the
wicked girl was free free to do as
she pleased to defy the law, to
heave a heavier load of sorrow upon
the shoulders of her poor old mother!
While she was walking away
from the Armory, Nell reviewed the
situation in her mind, and conclud-
ed that for a time, at least, she
would accept the offer of Charley
Williams. She knew that she could
not live at the Jackson street den
without being harassed, night and
day, by the police, and annoyed by
her mother. The idea of being tak-
en up every few days, for ever so
short a time, was not very agree-
able, and so, for the purpose of sec-
urity, she reluctantly made up her
mind to follow the wishes of her
friend, and endure quiet, retired
life as long as she could but she
knew very well it wouldn't be long.
There was a devil inside of her that
no power n earth could compel to
rest easy for any length of time. To
be good was to be miserable.
She knew where to find her lover.
The decision she had made was
quickly communicated to him, and
it is useless to say that he was pleas-
ed as nothing else could have pleas-
ed him. The man was captivated
by the girl's rare beauty, and the
thought that he could have her un-
der his eye for a large portion of
the time, and feel assured that no
other lover could claim her atten-
tion when he was away, filled him
with undefinable feelings of pleas-
The house to which he conveyed
Wicked Nell, in a hack, was located
on Harmon Court, and was consid-
ered respectable. It was kept by a
widow, as she claimed herself to be,
and the neighbors were given to un-
derstand that the neat and rathet
tony little sign, " Furnished Rooms
to Rent," was the correct index to
her occupation. But those who were
permitted to cross her threshold
knew very well what kind of ten-
ants were wanted.
Mrs. Dodge, the keeper of this
house, would have been grievously
offended, had any one dared accuse
her of keeping an assignation house
yet such was in reality the nature
of her establishment. She was an
aristocratic " lady." No stranger
could obtain admittance to her house
unless upon the recommendation of
one of her friends or patrons ; but
her elegant parlors, and luxurious
sleeping apartments were kept for
no decent purpose, as many a poor
girl who had been drugged and
ruined there could testify, to her
sorrow. Mrs. Dodge was a woman
without a heart a soulless wretch,
who looked upon gold with greedy
eyes, and closed them whenever the
gain of a few dollars would reward
a deed of villainy. All her cus-
tomers were not villains, as the
world would define the term. Her
parlors were often the rendezvous
of lovers who had no right to seek
seclusion, as will be seen in future
chapters of this romance, but who
went there under the cover of dark-
ness, sometimes in disguise, for pur-
poses that society would frown
upon, were there no secrecy in their
Wicked Nell was shown into the
parlor, and Charley Williams beck-
oned the keeper to another apart-
" Mrs. Dodge," he said, "I want
you to keep tnis girl for me."
" Anything in my house is at
your disposal, Mr. Williams."
" I knew that before, but what I
particularly desire now, is that you
will keep an eye on her !"
" Do I understand that she would
run away if she got a chance ? Is
she to stay here against her will ?"
" Oh, no, Mrs. Dodge, I hope I
am not as bad as that. This is not
an innocent girl, as you probably
supposed. On the contrary, she
delights in being called the wicked-
est girl in Chicago ! It will be
hard work for her to keep as quiet
as lodgers in your house are re-
quired to keep, and you may have
some trouble with her."
"And is she really so abominably
wicked ? "
"She is very wild, very thought-
less, very reckless in fact, I may
as well say, very wicked !"
A pleased expression rested for
an instant upon the face of Mrs.
" Mr. Williams," she said, " I
think I can manage this awful girl.
Shall you be here often ?"
" Three or four times a week, at
"All right. Leave everything to
me, and you will see how nicely I
can tame this wild flower of yours."
"May you have good luck in
your efforts," was the earnest wish
of Charley Williams, as he left the
keeper, and sought the companion-
ship of the little beauty who had
taken such a deep hojd upon his
In another hour he was gone,
and Wicked Nell and Mrs. Dodge
were alone together in the beauti-
fully furnished house.
Putting her arms around the
child, and warmly kissing her, Mrs,
Dodge said :
"I am told your name is Wicked
" You were told just right that's
my name !"
" You must be an awful wicked
girl, to want such a name ? "
" Well, I suppose. I am ! There
is nothing too wicked for Nell ! "
" Nothing ? "
The woman looked at Wicked Nell
searchingly, as though she woull
penetrate her deepest thoughts.
" I never knew anything so bad
that I would not do it, if I felt like
" Then I know I shall like you !"
Mrs. Dodge pressed the hand of
her new lodger, and after a mom eat
left the room.
" You look like a snake ! I hate
you!" muttered Nell, after the
widow had disappeared.
On the afternoon of the day Nell
entered the house on Harmon Court,
Mrs. Dodge came into the parlor
with a smile upon her face.
" Wouldn't you like to go to the
matinee, this afternoon ?" she said,
" Oh that would be bully !" ex-
claimed the girl, who had never in
her life attended a public place of
" Then I will order a carriage,
and we will take it in," was the
elderly female's rejoinder.
. On the way to the theatre, a
restaurant was visited, and the
ladies indulged in wine.
The afternoon was well worn
away. The play was approaching
its close. Wicked Nell had been
perfectly enraptured with the per-
formance, and had not paid more
than casual attention to Mrs. Dodge.
Had she noticed that woman, she
would have perceived that the move-
ments of the actors received little if
any attention from her. Her mild
blue eyes eyes that gave her such
a gentle and motherly appearance,
were fixed upon a fair young girl
in the audience, who seemed to have
come alone.' The girl was young,
very fair, and any reader of
human nature could readily per-
ceive that she was innocent.
When the performance was reach-
ing its close, Mrs. Dodge leaned
over and whispered in the ear of
Wicked NeH :
" Do you see that girl with the
black hair and eyes, a little to the
right of us ?"
Nell looked and nodded her head.
" Do you think you could get ac-
quainted with her if you should
" Of course I could ! What makes
you ask ?"
" Will you do it r
" If there was any object in doing
so, I would. But what's the use ?
She ain't bad I can tell that, by
her looks and what would be the
use in my getting acquainted with
her, just for half an hour or so,
when we should probably never
meet again ? There wouldn't be
any fun in it, nor any money,
" How do you know ? You try it,
anyway ! Scrape acquaintance.
Tell her I'm your mother, and what
a fine home we have, Ask her to
take some ice cream with you. To
start, you can step on her dress,
then make an apology, and thus
commence an acquair. . nee that can
be prolonged or shortened as you
" Well, I'll do it just for fun !
And you watch and see how slick I
pull the wool over her eyes ! Shall
I really invite her down to the
" By all means."
" What for ?"
" Leave, that to me /"
Wicked Nell felt a cold chill pass
over her. She could see the snake
plainer than ever, now !
" Oh, well, I suppose we can have
a little amusement at the expense
of the little girl, and she know noth-
ing about it."
Nell then did as directed by her
instructor, and it was but a minute
before she was in animated conver-
sation with her new and strangely
formed acquaintance. Nellie O'Brien
was a girl of unusual intelligence.
She knew that she must conduct her
self with exceptional decorum, in
her intercourse with a decent young
lady, and acting upon this knowl-
edge, her words were the most
chaste, her actions the most mod-
est and decorous.
" This is my ma," she said art-
lessly, as the woman Dodge in-
truded herself upon them.
The sly old wretch assumed a
patronizing air, and insisted that
the " dear little friend of her daugh-
ter " should go with them just for
the purpose of getting better ac-
Wicked Nell felt inclined to back
out, even after she had accom-
plished all she hiiJ undertaken.
She rather liked the innocent crea-
ture she had been deceiving, and
cordially hated the old hypocrite
she had palmed off as her " ma."
There was another thing that
made Nell hestitate. The idea
entered her head that to
decoy that young girl into an
assignation house, was no joke.
The old woman had not said that
any harm was meant, but she cer-
tainly acted very strangely, and
there at leaSt was a possibility that
serious harm might be th result.
" Oh, pshaw ! " thought Nell, " if
I rope this girl in as the old woman
wants me to, I guess I'm smart
enough to get her out again, with-
out much trouble ! I'll keep my
$ye skinned, and if any dirt is to be
played, let them look out for Wick-
The carriage was entered, and
with lively conversation the mo-
ments passed until the horses were
halted in front of the assignation
house, on Harmon Court.
The three alighted, and soon the
front door closed upon three parties,
only one of whom understood the
others. Mrs. Dodge was positive
she had an expert and willing accom-
plice in Wicked Nell ; the strange
girl did not dream that her friends
were not what they seemed ; but
Nellie O'Brien, young though she
was, comprehended everything, and
already her mind was occupied in
devising schemes by which to coun-
teract and foil the dark designs of
the meek-looking hag !
"Oh, dear, I feel thirsty, and
really, -water tastes insipid, such
sultry weather. Children, how
would you like a little lemonade? "
Wicked Nell thought a sherry
cobbler or a whisky punch would be
much preferable, but she did not
unmask herself by so saying.
" I should like nothing better,"
she replied, knowing that such an
answer was expected of her, yet
feeling apprehensive of treachery.
She had no reason to suspect any-
thing wrong, so far as she herself
was concerned, but the ominous
words, " leave that to me," still
rung in her ears, and she felt like
shu'ldering for the consequences.
The reader will perceive, when
the characters of those two are con-
sidered, that Nellie O'Brien was not
the wickedest woman in Chicago.
There was nothing malignant in her
disposition, and except for provo-
cation she would not do harm or
violence to man, woman or child.
She was wilful, wicked, reckless,
depraved, ueceitful, and bad in
many ways, but she had a white soul!
Get way down to the bottom of her
heart, and there was a germ of
goodness that evil associations had
not entirely wiped out. There was
no real meanness about her, and
she scorned to be a hypocrite. It
was this very open-hearted frank-
ness that caused her to delight in
being recognized everywhere as
" We'll just put in wine enough
to make the color rich," continued
Mrs. Dodge, smiling, and inwardly
pleased that she could so easily ac-
complish what she had undertaken.
And what was it that she sought
bo accomplish ? Only the ruin of
that confiding, that pure, that true-
hearted that innocent girl that's
Only a few days before, a villain,
as he should be called, but an ele-
gant gentleman, as he was generally
known, had called upon Madame
Dodge, and had made arrangements
with her to secure for him, on the
first opportunity, some ignorant,
innocent .young girl, with sufficient
beauty to attract the eye, and
whose personal charms should be
above the average. Mme. Dodge,
as procuress, was known to quite
a number of "highly respedja-ble "
people in this city, and whenever
any of her acquaintances desired
work of that kind done, she was
invariably called upon. For these
services she was paid handsomely,
the proceeds of one transaction
some times amounting to a sum of
money that would look big to a poor
man, but which would not be con-
sidered exorbitant to the rich spend-
thrifts of Chicago.
In this latest transaction, Mad-
ame Dodge had confidently counted
upon the assistance of Nellie
O'Brien. When Charley Williams
told her of the wickedness of the
girl, she fairly gloated over the good
fortune that had thrown such a tool
in her way, never doubting but that
Nell would prove a perfect big bo-
nanza, arid little thinking that the
wild girl would hesitate to assist
in the devilish plot she had already
concocted in her mind.
Wicked Nell rather liked this
new adventure that had been un-
expectedly thrown in her way.
There was excitement in it, and
that was the food upon which she
lived. It was more welcome to her
appetite than any delicacies that
could be obtained in any of the
markets that abound in the city.
When Mrs. Dodge made the allu-
sion to a "a little wine," Nell's
quick wit told her, as plainly as
words could tell, that there would
he something more subtle than wine
in at least one of the beverages that
would be offered.
" She counts upon me as an ac-
complice" thought our little heroine,
" but she is making a big sucker of
herself ! No ! I'll do anything that
is bad ! There's nothing that is
wicked but that I will do myself!
But when any one asks me to be a
sneak, and to lie, and to betray
anybody who trusts me, they'll find
that Wicked Nell is not that kind
of a hair pin ! I like that little girl,
though she is good ! I don't believe
there's anything mean about her;
and may I be shot as full of holes
as the cover of a pepper box if this
old hell-cat gets the best of her!"
Going up to the girl, Nell stooped
down and kissed her.
" I /0wyou," she exclaimed, with
more feeling than she had ever
before shown in her life !"
The young lady looked up in some
bewilderment, but she looked into
honest eyes, and for a moment the
two children for they were only
children in years were locked in an
Nell had intended to put the girl
on her guard, but Mrs. Dodge came
into the room before she had a
chance to speak.
The procuress looked on and
" I never saw such a wicked girl,"
she thought, but no word of that
kind escaped her lips.
" Here, children," she said, " here
is something that will make us all
feel well !"
" Thank you, ma ! " said Nell, to
the keeper of the house.
To her little friend she whispered,
as she pressed her arm :
Don't Drink /"
Madame Dodge did not suspect
Wicked Nell of treachery. The old
procuress was a shrewd, wary and
suspicious creature under ordinary
circumstances ; bnt Nell had come
to her house with the reputation of
being the very incarnation of wick-
edness, and the thought that any-
thing good could come out of such
a little wretch, never once entered
Madame Dodge's head.
When Nell whispered " don't
drink," into the ears of the strange
girl, neither her words nor the
warning glance that accompanied
them, were noticed by the procur-
ess. The girl turned deathly pale,
and her hand trembled so violently
that a portion of the contents of
the tumbler fell upon the carpet ;
and yet the old woman, in her glee
at the easy victory that had been
as good as already achieved, did
not notice the girl's alarm,
Wicked Nell did not intend that
Madame Dodge should discover the
deceit she had been practicing, and
yet she was determined that the
hag should not harm a hair of that
fair child's head. This girl loved
to be wicked, but her's was a cus
sedness that had in ifc no element
of fiendishness. She was as te*n-
der-hearted as a child, at times, and
her sympathies when once aroused,
were so powerful that no consider-
ation could induce her to abandon
the object that had excited them.
When she saw that the girl would
betray the knowledge that foul
play was being resorted to, Nell
quietly seized her arm, and pulled
her closer, saying as she did so, in
an undertone :
" You're safe I"
Then, speaking aloud, she said :
" Ma, this is the nicest lemonade
I ever drank. Don't you think it
This latter was addressed to the
girl ; but before the frightened
creature had time to reply, Nell
dexterously changed glasses with
The strange girl comprehended
everything, and drank, greatly to
the inward delight of Madame
Dodge, whose eyes shone with un-
usual brilliancy as she saw her in-
tended victim, sipping the drugged
liquid until it had all disappeared.
While the old woman was watch-
ing as a cat would watch a mouse,
the unsuspecting little one, Wicked
Nell was not idle.
"It will never do for me to drink
this," she thought, and without at-
tracting attention, she passed into
the other room, quickly threw the
"nice" lemonade out of the window,
and returned apparently uncon-
cerned, to the parlor, where the
two were seated.
" Why, what makes you look so
pale ?" exclaimed Madame Dodge,
advancing to the girl she had with
Nell's assistance enticed from the
theatre, " are you ill ? Has any-
thing happened to you !"
The girl was pale, but not from
the cause tha,t the infamous wom-
an supposed. She was frightened,
" I think I will go now," said the
strange visitor, rising.
But Madame Dodge sprang for-
ward, exclaiming :
" Not for the world would I have
any one leave my house when ill !
Why, child, you look like a corpse !
You might fall down and die before
you had gone a block ! No, no !
You cannot, you shall not go ! You
must lie down, and 1 will prepare
you restoratives that will bring you
around all right."
"No you wont, you old rip! 1 "
Wicked Nell did not say this,
but she could hardly keep her
tongue between her teeth, so vio-
lent were her emotions, so strongly
was she tempted to expose the
dark designs of the procuress.
"I am not sick, even if I am
pale, said the dark-eyed but timid
girl, " and I shall insist on going
home, right away ! You have no
right to detain me, and I shall not
stay longer !"
Mrs. Dodge stood in the door,
looking determined and threaten-
" Oh, let the girl go," said Nell,
: ' I'll go with her a short distance,
and see that no harm reaches her.
She don't look very pale to me, and
I don't believe she's any more sick
than you are !"
" Nellie, leave this room instant-
ly !" commanded Madame Dodge,
in tones of anger.
"Old woman, go to the devil!"
replied Nell, defiantly, springing to
The Madame was amazed ! She
knew it was time for the drug to
take effect, and every moment ex-
pected that her victim would be-
come insensible. She had also in-
tended to explain everything to
Wicked Nell, when the bird had
been securely caged. It only took
her a second to discover that she
had made a mistake, and that she
must " haul in her horns."
" Why, child," she said persua-
sively, ' I was merely joking with
" Oh, yes. You're a sweet old
pill to joke with, ain't you ! But
you can't come any of your funny
games on Wicked Nell ! Old wom-
an, I'm on to you ! I've tumbled
to your racket, and if you don't
cheese that sort of lay-out I'll
squeal louder than a stuck pig or
pinched kitten ! Do you hear me
talk, you old slut?"
" Slut!" shrieked the old woman,
beside herself with rage, I'll teach
you, you little hussy, to call me
such names in my own house !"
Rushing towards Nell, the Mad-
ame seized her with one hand, and
the other was raised to strike !
But she didn't succeed. Bang !
Biff ! The clenched fist of Nell got
in its work lively, and a stream of
blood spurted from the nose of the
old hag, who reeled and fell.
Nell did not propose to let the
matinee stop that way. Her blood
was up, and she was on fire with
excitement. Springing upon the
procuress, she planted her heel
squarely in her cheek, making her
false teeth rattle, and causing the
old dame to howl with pain.
" Stop ! for God's sake, stop !
You are killing me !" she pleaded.
" Yes, you old hag, and you
ought to be killed ! What was you
going to do with this girl ? What
did you dose her with a drug for ?
What did you coax me to rope he)
into your shebang for ? You
thought Wicked Nell would help
you, did you ? Now, let me tell
you, while you are lying there
on the broad of your back, that I'm
not on that racket ! That ain't my
style ! And I'll tell you, too, that
I hate you ! I hate every bone in
your rotten old carcass ! You are
an old rip ! an old sneak ! an old
devil ! an old snake ! an old slut !
d n your old soul, there's one
more for luck !"
As she shrieked these words,
Nell gave the fallen woman a final
kick, and then continued:
" Now, lay there, as quiet as a
kitten, until this girl gets ready to
go ! Your drug don't work ! Per-
haps it will kill the grass where I
threw it, though !"
Madame Dodge obeyed the com-
mands of the ungovernable Nell,
and the two girls almost instantly
At the corner of State street,
Nell bid her companion good bye.
"Where are you going ?" inquir-
ed the stranger.
" I am going back to the house,"
" Oh, no ! You surely will not
go back to that wicked woman."
" Yes, I'll go back ! And if the
old cat gives me any more of her
lip, I'll put another head on her, be-
fore I get through with her !"
Tne girl who listened did so with
wonder in her eyes.
" Who are you ?" she said, as she
involuntarily clasped the hand of
the one who had befriended her.
" Who am I ? I am not a proper
associate for you ! I'm Wicked
Nell, the gayest girl in Chicago!"
Bidding the young girl whom she
had rescued from outrage a tender
farewell, Wicked Nell slowly retrac-
ed her steps, her mind filled with
strange and conflicting thoughts.
Had any one met her then, and
praised her as a good girl, she would
have rebelled with fiery enthusiasm
and hot indignation ; yet there was
a light feeling at her wayward
heart, and an angeb whispered in
her ears words like these :
"Nellie O'Brien, you can be a
girl of the town ; you can drink,
you can carouse ; you can smoke,
you can swear ; you can be wild,
untamable, unmanagable ; you can
play all sorts of devilish pranks in
Chicago ; bad girl that you are, you
can be honorable, jou can be truth-
ful, you can be open in your shame,
and you will find lovers, admirers,
friends ; but the curse of mankind
will fall upon you with the weight
of a mountain when you sneak into
the confidence of an innocent girl,
with false friendship and mock
smiles win her affections, entice her
into a trap, and then betray her ! "
" I left the old gal in a devil of a
fix," she said, half audibly, and a
wicked, exultant smile stole over
her face; "but she had no right to
put on such airs, and order me
away as though I was a dog ! Oh,
how I do hate her ! And what
makes me hate her I wonder?
Perhaps it's because she's wickeder
than I am ! Wonder what she'll say
to me ? I can lick the stuffin' out
of her, anyhow, and I guess she
knows it, and so there won't be
much danger of her making a kick
right away. I know what I'll do !
I'll lie to the old b h ! I'll tell
her I'm awful sorry, that I was ex-
cited and crazy, and that if she'll
only forgive me I'll find another
girl for her in less than two days!"
Her pace increased when this
resolution was formed, and just
before she reached the house of
Madame Dodge there was a world
of meaning in her voice and her
face as she said to herself :
" Old woman, look out for Wicked
Nell ! She's going to put up a job
on you !"
Nell was a neat little actress. She
went around to the back door and
looked the very picture of penitence
as she entered.
Madame Dodge was sitting upon
a chair in the kitchen, and a ser-
vant was engaged in dressing her
wounds. The old woman drew back
involuntarily when she saw Nell,
and turned a trifle paler. Evidently,
she was afraid of the wicked and
" Oh, Madame," said Nell, hum-
bly, and with an attempt to shed
tears that was entirely unsuccessful,
"I'm so sorry for what has hap-
The procuress looked at her with
astonishment. She had not expected
to see such, a remarkable change in
so short a time, and she hardly knew
what to say. Nell's quick wits were
at work, she read the thoughts of
the old woman, andbeforethe latter
had opened her mouth, the girl
" You don't know what an awful
temper I've got ! When I'm mad,
I'm crazy, and don't know what
I'm doing ! If you'd only told me
what you wanted, there wouldn't
have been a bit of trouble ! It
made me jealous to think you'd try
to fool me, the wickedest girl in Chi-
cago, and I just changed glasses fur
fun, to let you know how smart I
was, intending to make it all right
afterward ! When you ordered me
out of the room, it made me mad,
and I done what I could kill myself
for now ! Please Madame, won't
you forgive me ?"
Nell was upon her knees, press-
ing the old woman's hand to her
lips, and pretending as haixl as she
could to cry.
The procuress was again deceived!
That little girl, who was just learn-
ing her first lessons in the art of
saying one thing and meaning
another, for the second time com-
pletely pulled the wool over the
eyes of an experienced old hag,
whose education in that line cov-
ered many long years.
" Don't cry, child," said the Mad-
ame, soothingly, " We shall under-
stand ourselves better hereafter,
and, I hope, be the best of friends !
Get up, now, let us * kiss and make
up,' as the girls used to say when I
Nell would much rather have
kissed an old cow, but she was
acting a part,' and the way she
hugged and slobbered over that
procuress would have deceived the
"best judge of human nature in the
"I have injured you," she said,
"but I will make it all up to you,
and more too ! I'll find another
girl for you, if you want one, just
as pretty as the other, if there's one
in the town ? I'll rope her in so
neat that she won't be a bit sus-
picious, and then you can do with
her just what you've a mind to."
" You are a dear little darling !"
exclaimed the procuress joyfully.
The old woman's face was some-
what disfigured, and the sting of
the bruises could still be felt, but
the prospect held out by Wicked
Nell was a balm that healed her
wounds as by magic, and she pulled
Nell down on her lap and kissed
her a dozen times !
" When do you think you can
find a nice little beauty for me ?"
" I'll go out to-morrow and hunt,
and if I don't find one I'll keep on
every day until I do ! I'll go to the
parks, I'll watch the schools when
they let out, and when I get my
eye upon the gal that suits me,
shes a goner /"
" Brave girl, you're a regular lit-
tle heroine ! God bless you !"
The idea of that old rip using
Gods name !
"You won't tell my lover any-
thing that has happened to-day,
will you, Madame ?" said Wicked
Nell, coaxingly. She said this for
a blind, for she didn't care "a cuss"
whether the old woman told or not.
In fact, she had made up her mind
to tell Charlie Williams all about it
" Tell ? Why, not for the world !
I'll make him believe you're a per-
fect little angel as you are !"
Nothing further of interest oc-
curred that night. Nell's lover
spent the evening with her, and
heard the story of the day's adven-
tures from the lips of the chief ac-
tress. He commended her actions
in the highest terms, and secretly
rejoiced that the beautiful girl in
whom he had taken such deep in-
terest, was not, after all, as
bad as he had supposed. Charley
Williams was a roue, a rake and a
spendthrift, but he was not a vil-
lian, and the fact that he had, in a
round-about way, been instrumental
in thwarting the dark designs of a
wretch like Madame Dodge, pleas-
ed him as nothing else could. Nell,
however, did not confide to him her
plans for the future, and he was
kept in ignorance of the scheme
that had been concocted in the
brain of the little plotter who sat
so lovingly upon his knee.
After breakfast the next morning,
Wicked Nell fitted herself up as
modestly as she could, and made
her appearance before the Madame.
"What do you think of me?" she
said, " don't I look innocent f
" You look as pure and sweet as
any girl I ever saw," was the reply,
" but where are we going, dear ?"
"Oh, I'm going out on business!"
" Then you have not forgotten
what you promised yesterday ?"
" Wicked Nell never forgets ! "
Had Madame Dodge been a mind
reader, she would have recoiled
from that sweet, innocent and pure
looking girl ! As it was she gazed
upon her with trusting admiration.
" Won't you tell me your plans,
darling ?" she said.
" I have no plans. I am merely
going out on a hunt, and whenever
1 find what I want, if I can't rope
her in, then you may call me a
" I certainly hope you will suc-
ceed, and I shall stay in the house
every minute, so as to be sure and
meet you, when you get back."
"And remember, Madame," said
Nell, " that you are my dear ma."
" Oh, I'll remember ! The old
woman always has her wits about
" Good bye, ma," said Nell,
" Good bye, and good luck, dar-
ling," was the reply.
And Wicked Nell walked away
as happy as though no cloud had
ever darkened her path.
" Yes ! You're a fine ma to have!
I'd sooner be the pup of a brindle
cur, than have you for a mother !
But look out, old gal, look out !
Wicked Nell is the spider that is
weaving the web, and you are the fly
that is to be caught in it !"
It was about 10 o'clock in the
morning when Wicked Nell left the
house of the procuress, and soon
thereafter the Madame repaired to
her darkened parlor, and indulged
in a reverie. As the reader well
knows, she was a woman entirely
devoid of principle, or of the com-
mon humanity that even the most
depraved outcasts take pleasure in
exhibiting. For years and years
she had made it her business to in-
sinuate herself into the confidence
of young and pure-minded girls, and
then, either by subtle persuasion or
more forcible means, rob them of
their virtue, through the depraved
men with whom she had dealings
None but the innocent had any at-
tractions for her. It was her trade
to destroy virtue, and to accomplish
this the old hag would take almost
any risk. The reward for this work
was munificent all the way from
one hundred to five hundred dollars.
Rich men were her only customers,
for they only could meet the exor-
bitant demands she made upon those
she had dealiags with. If the names
of all who sought her aid could be
ascertained, the exhibit would fiU
the city with consternation and hor-
ror. It is said to be a fact that, not
many years ago, a man of high
standing paid a notorious procuress
(a Mrs. Middleton, who lived on
Madison street, west of Union Park)
the sum of three hundred dollars
for securing a victim for him, and
that, when he was shown into the
room where she lay partially insen-
sible upon a bed, the horrible dis-
covery was made that the girl was
his own daughter I Instances of this
kind are, of course, very rare ; but
in every case the poor betrayed
child is somebody's daughter, and it
is to be regretted that every infamy
of this kind cannot be followed by
quick and bloody retribution at the
hands of an outraged father.
Madame Dodge sat in her easy
chair, and reviewed with calm satis-
faction the many events in her life
that had proved successful and re-
munerative. There was a quiet
smile upon her matronly face, and
could any one have stolen in upon
her privacy, they would have wag-
ered dollars to nickels that she was
a kind-hearted, benevolent, pious
old lady, whose lines had been cast
in pleasant places, and upon whose
forehead no trouble had ever plow-
ed a furrow or planted a wrinkle.
Instead of being the incarnation of
fiendishness, they would have taken
her to be the very personification of
goodness ! She thanked the lucky
star that had guided Wicked Nell
to her house, for she believed the
girl to be totally lacking in every
moral sentiment, and that she would
be a ready and willing tool to for-
ward any seheme that the villainy of
man might suggest. How correct-
ly she judged the girl, the reader
Hour followed hour, and still the
old woman remained at her post,
ready to act her part whenever the
time should arrive, if at all.
The sound of approaching foot-
steps, inside her yard, aroused Ma-
dame Dodge, and, peering through
the blinds, she saw the man for whom
she had been working for three
days, thus far unsuccessfully. The
greeting was cordial on her part so
much so that it led the man to believe
that his hopes had not been vain ones.
" Any luck, Mrs. Dodge ? " he
" Certainly ! I hope you did
not think I would fail, did you, Mr.
Brown ? "
" Then you have really secured
the prize ? " The man was so eager
and excited that he sprang from the
lounge, and advanced with out-
Mrs. Dodge waved him back with
" Don't be too impetuous ! " she
said. When a person angles for a
fish, and sees a speckled beauty nib-
bling at the bait, it is not good pol-
icy to pull madly at the line, just
as though the hook were securely
in the gills of the finny flirt ! "
" Don't talk to me in riddles, if
you please, but tell me plainly
what you have done ! "
" I have done everything that I
could do. I have sent out a decoy
duck, and it may not be tea minutes
before the wild bird is safe in the
" And who is this decoy duck
that you speak of ? "
" She's an innocent-looking little
girl, who is making my house her
home for a few days."
There was some further conver-
sation concerning Wicked Nell, and
then Mr. Brown and Madame Dodge
indulged in wine drank to the suc-
cess of their undertaking, and its
An hour or so they spent in soc-
ial convereation, and Mr. Brown
was about taking his departure,
with the understanding that he was
to call again the next day, or was
to be notified in case he was want-
ed sooner. He bid the Madame
good afternoon, and hat in hand was
approaching tbe/ront door, when it
was thrown open, and there stood
before him the most beautiful crea-
ture he had ever laid his eyes on !
"I beg your pardon," said Wicked
Nell ; " if I had known a gentleman
was in the house, I should not have
rushed in in such a rude manner."
Mr. Browu was enchanted ! He
was a passionate admirer of female
charms, and in little Nell he discov-
ered at a single glance youth, viva-
city, freshness, voluptuousness, and
such rare beauty as he had seldom
seen in woman. It was a clear case
of love at first sight !
" It is /who should beg your par-
don,' he said, gallantly, " for having
likea great boor plan ted myselfright
here in your path. But don't be
frightened, my dear young woman
I am not near so ugly as I look !"
" The old cove is dead gone on
me," thought Nell, as Madame
Dodge stepped forward.
" Ah, Nellie, darling," said the old
woman, * I see you have returned.
This is Mr. Brown, a particular-
friend of mine. And this," address-
ing herself to the gentleman, " is
Nellie Williams, who is making my
house her home for a few weeks."
Mr. Brown shook hands with
Wicked Nell, and took occasion to
press the little gloved fingers in a
manner that some maidens would
The three then entered the parlor.
" There need be no hesitation and
secrecy between us," said the Ma-
dame ; " this, Nellie, is the gentle-
man I spoke to you about, and we
are both anxious to learn the result
of your efforts to-day."
" Just sit down, then, and I'll tell
you everything !"
" Go on, go on ! But tell us first,
were you successful ?" Mrs. Dodge
was apparently more anxious than
her employer, whose ardor in the
enterprise had perceptibly cooled
since he saw Wicked Nell.
" Didn't I tell you I would be ?
Of course I was !"
Nell then proceeded to relate her
adventures. She said :
" When I went out, I took a
stroll along the lake front, as far
as Madison street, but couldn't see
anybody that suited me, and I
knew very well that they wouldn't
strike a mans eye. So I took the
Madison street cars, and rode over
to the West Side, intending to go
to Union Park. But when I got
as far as the Scammon School the
scholars were at recess, and big
and little girls were romping in the
big yard, while across over at Mon
roe street the High School girls
were promenading up and down,
some locked arms and some all
alone. Over there 1 went, and I
spotted the very girl we've been
looking for. Oh, you ought to see
her eyes ! And her shape ! And
her skin ! She blushes like a rose,
and is shy as a kitten. Thinks I
to myself, you're my meat, my fine
little lady ! I didn't rash up and
speak to her right then and there,
like a fool, but waited until two
o'clock, when school was out, and
laid for her. She took a car for
the South Side, and so did I. Then
she took a Cottage Grove car, and I
tumbled in after her, and as luck
would have it we were all alone. It
didn't take me long to get acquaint-
ed then, you can bet. I told her I
lived up in Minnesota, and was
spending a few days with my aunt,
in the city ; that I was awful lone-
some, and was so anxious to get
acquainted with somebody who
would show me about the city, and
tell me all about the wonderful
things to be seen. I was just going
down to see the Douglas Monument,
I said, and the little fool swallowed
every blessed word, and got off with
me, and we walked around on the
lake shore for more than hour, she
all the time telling me all about
the crib, and the parks, and the
churches, and everything she could
think of. Then I got in my work
beautifully. I pretended to be dead
in love with her, and asked if I
couldn't see her again to morrow.
Of course I could, she said, and the
gal has promised to go to Union
Park with me after school, and take
tea with my aunt on her way home!
Now, what do you think of that ?"
" Excellent !" said Mrs. Dodge.
" Splendid !" said Mr. Brown.
" To hell with you!" thought
Wicked Nell, but she smiled her
sweetest on them both, and neither
them dreamed of treachery !
On the forenoon of the next day,
Madame Dodge and Wicked Nell
had a consultation.
" Do you think you will be suc-
cessful, Nellie ?" inquired the pro-
" Think, I know I will be ! The
arrangements are all made, and I
don't see what is to prevent us from
caging the bird this afternoon."
" You seem so confident that it
would really be cruel to disappoint
you," responded the Madame, with
"I shall not be disappointed,''
replied Nell, derisively.
*' Now," said the Madame, " it
is better that we should under-
stand each other at the stort. As
you have said, 1 am to be your
aunt. What time do you think you
will get here ?"
" Probably about 5 o'clock. You
know I am to meet her at the High
School when it is out, at two, and
then we go out to Union Park, and
we can't very well get here before
"That will be plenty early enough.
I shall be in the front parlor, and
Mr. Brown will be here, too ; but
he will be in the bed room, where
he can see with out being seen. Do
" Of course I do ! Hecan look
at her in all her innocence, when
she does not dream that a man's
eyes are on her."
" That's it. Now, I don't suppose
we could coax her to stay all night,
could we ?"
" Oh, I guess you can prevail on
her !" Nell cast a wicked glance at
the old woman, when she said this.
" I didn't mean that I But I'll tell
you what we can do ; she is to take
tea with us. I shall not dose her
very bad, at the start just enough
to make her a little drowsy, that's
" Will this preparation be in her
" I think that would be the best
way to get it safely down her throat'
don't you ?"
"But suppose she dont drink
" I had not thought of that. In
order to make a sure thing of it, I
will doctor a piece of cake, and will
so arrange it on the plate that she
cannot miss it, when passed to her."
And thus was the shameful con-
spiracy concocted to betray and ruin
an innocent girl !
" By the way, Madame," said Nell,
" how is this man Brown fixed ?"
" Oh, he's rich got lots of dust !"
"What is his business ?"
' He is a wholesale merchant, and
does business on Lake street."
" Has he a family ?"
" Yes, a wife and four children,
" Daughters ?"
" Two, I think young ladies."
" Well, now, wouldn't it be a
good joke if somebody should rope
in one of his darlings ?"
" I don't think he would look on
it as a joke."
" But I would, and I'd do it, too,
if I had a chance !"
" You would ? Oh yeu wicked
" Is it any wickeder to decoy his
girl than it would be yours, if you
" Oh, no, but we know him, you
know, and it would make trouble
" Well, we won't talk about it
any more, but I'd just like to get
in my work on the old bloke 1"
At the appointed hour Wicked
Nell left the house of Madame
Dodge, on her mission.
But, as the reader probably sus-
pects, she did not go to the High
School. The pleasing story she
had told to tickle the ear of Mad-
ame Dodge was concocted in her
active brain, without any founda-
" The old woman thinks I'm a
darling now wonder how long it
will be before she will call me a
wolff" mused Nell, as she tripped
merrily along, as happy in her dev-
iltry as any girl in Chicago.
To the house of Anna Davis, on
Jackson street, instead of the High
School, she directed her footsteps.
She found Anna, as usual, engaged
in chewing snuff.
"Where is Red-Headed Jen?"
said Nell, after the usual greetings
had been exchanged.
" Oh, she's somewhere around the
corner filling up her keg with
booze, I s'pose."
Just then Jennie Smith made her
appearance, and the two girls went
out to "take a walk and have a
talk," as they expressed it.
" Now, Jen," said Nell, "I've got
a big thing for us to put up, if
you're only smart enough to work
" I'm smart enough to do any-
thing, if there's any stamps in it."
" That's just it ! The old cock
is loaded ! His leather's as big as
your leg !"
'' What do you want me to do ?"
" Play virgin !"
A ringing laugh was the reply.
" But I'm in earnest," continued
Nell ; " you are a High School
scholar ; I met you there, got ac-
quainted, went to the Park with
you, and roped you into the house
of my aunt, on Harmon Court."
' ; But, Nell, do you think you
can rope me in ? I'm awful inno-
cent ^ you know."
" No kidding, Jen," was the re-
ply ; " are you in for the fun ?"
" I'm in for anything that will
pan out. But don't you think it's
a little too much cheek to pass me
off for a High School girl, when I
can hardly read?"
" Oh, that's nothing. The old
cove won't be thinking about read-
ing when he sees you."
The girls perfected all their ar-
rangements satisfactorily, and
when, between four and five o'clock
in the afternoon, they started for
the house of Madame Dodge, they
really looked the characters they
represented to perfection. Jennie
wore a rather short dress, display-
ing to good advantage a robust
calf, but nevertheless her appear-
ance was modest and unassuming,
and even an expert in wickedness
would not have dreamed that she
was anything but a school girl.
A little before 5 o'clock, Wicked
Nell and her " school-girl " friend
made their appearance at the house
of Madame Dodge. The old pro-
curess met them at the door, wear-
ing one of her most saintly smiles,
and cordially welcomed her "niece"
and the "little friend" whose ac-
quaintance she had so recently
formed. They were all alone, the
Madame said, as she conducted them
into the parlor but a casual glance
at the bed-room door, which stood
ajar, convinced both girls that the
pious-looking old lady lied.
" You must make yourself quite
at home here," said the Madame,
addressing Jennie ; "we seldom have
visitors, and when one does come
we try to make their stay as agree-
able as we can,"
Red- Headed Jennie, admirably
assuming the eoyness that the char-
acter she represented required,
thanked Mrs. Dodge very politely,
as she took a seat upon the sofa,
and permitted Wicked Nell to take
charge of her hat.
The girls were then left alone,
the old woman leaving to prepare
the evening meal. At least, they
were supposed to think they were
alone, but they didn't. Both were
well aware that a pair of eager eyes
peered at them from the crack of
that door, watching every move-
ment they made, and gloating over
the coming conquest. Jennie took
especial pains to get in range, and
make as favorable display of her-
self as she could, in an accidental
"Zound!" muttered Brown, as
he gazed upon her, " she's a daisy
a perfect little angel !" But his
eye wandered from the " green "
girl to Wicked Nell, and he could
not but wish that they could, by
some strange power, change places.
Nell was a beauty, but she was
wicked ; the other was also pretty,
and innocent, too but some how
there was a charm about Nell that
the old man could not resist.
The merchant was in an ecsta-
cy of delight, and yet he was not
happy. There sat two girls, the
one having the charm of innocence
and perfection of form, the other
an acknowledged out-cast, but oh !
so ravishingly beautiful ! To choose
between these, had he the oppor-
tunity to choose, would have been
a hard task Wicked Nell was, he
thought, the most lovely girl his
eyes had ever rested upon while
her companion, fresh from the
school room, with all the coyness
of blushing maidenhood, was an at-
traction not to be overlooked by
the worldly-minded, wicked man.
Well might he exclaim, as in his
seclusion he reviewed them :
" Oh, how happy could I be with either,
Were t'other dear charmer away !"
It must not be supposed that Nell
and Red-headed Jennie were all
this time sitting quiet, like two
sleepy little mice. They, knew that
old Brown was inspecting one of
them, at least, and the bad girls were
" playing him for a sucker."
" Oh, isn't this a real nice place?"
said Jennie enthusiastically.
"Yes, it is very comfortable," re-
plied Nell; ''my aunt is a lady of
means, and spares no expense to
make her home comfortable and at-
" Oh," exclaimed Jennie, jumping
from her seat and pointing to a
painting on the wall, " what picture
is that ? "
The painting represented a love-
ly woman almost entirely nude.
" I believe that is intended to
represent an angel my aunt is a
very religious woman," replied Nell
with a wink she was careful old
Brown should not see.
" But isn't it shocking ? "
" Why, certainly not ! It is a
sacred picture !"
" Oh, my, ! Supposing a man
should come in ! I wouldn't look
at that picture for all the money
in Chicago ! It makes me blush
even before you !"
" Are you acquainted with many
men ?" asked Nell.
" Only a few. There's pa and
Uncle John, and our Minister, and
my teacher at school, and the Sun-
day school teacher, and one or
two neighbors that's all I know."
" Haven't you got a beau ?"
" Beau ! What would a little
young thing like me do with a
Deau? No, Indeed !"
" She's the most innocent little
hick I ever saw," thought Brown,
ubbing his hands gleefully. " I
enow what I'll do I'll pay the old
woman what I agreed ; I'll buy her,
and then I'll win the other darling!"
The girls continued their con-
versation at some length. Finally
Madame Dodge entered the room
and said :
" Children, I knew you must be
aungry, after your long rambles this
afternoon. Tea is all ready, and a
ood meal always makes one feel
better. We should be thankful that
a kind Providence has placed the
means in our hands to gratify our
appeti:es, while there are hundreds
of poor people who lack for the bare
necessities of life !"
The old woman sighed a sympa-
thetic sigh (the old rip !) and con
" The evening meal awaits us.
Come, dear children, come !"
Jennie affected bashfulness, and
d- clared she wasn't a bit hungry, but
a little persuasion induced her to
enter the dining room and take the
seat offered her at the table.
Closing her eyes and bowing her
head, that old hag, with a hypocrisy
that the devil himself would shrink
from, dared to ask the blessing of
Almighty God upon food, a portion
of which was poisoned ! Even the
wicked wirls who had conspired
against her, shuddered, and felt like
taking the hot tea that steamed in
the silver vessel and pouring it over
her depraved head !
" Thank you, I never drink tea
my ma says it is not good for
young girls," said Jennie, as the
Madame handed her a well filled,
" You may give me a glass of
cold water, if you please, and I'll
pass this to my friend, your niece."
This was a little hit of deviltry
that Nell had not expected, hut
she appreciated the joke, and as
she accepted the proffered cup.
with a smile, ehe jumped up and
hurried into the next room, return-
ing with a goblet of water for Jen-
nie. She did not like to trust the
old woman out of . her sight, for
fear the water, too might be " doc-
tored," and Jennie did not care
about introducing into her stomach
anything that would take away her
senses, even temporarily.
When Wicked Nell was in the
other room she called :
" Oh, aunty ! Come here a mo-
Madame Dodge hastened to an-
swer the call.
" Have you the cake all fixed ?"
she whispered to the old woman.
" It is all prepared nicely ; and I
put up a good strong dose, too. I
took an inventory of the girl, con-
cluded that she could not be coax-
ed, and thought that we would
make a sure thing.'"
"That was right. That's what
I called you in for. The particu-
lar piece is on top, isn't it ?"
" Yec, it's right where she can't
" All the others are all right, I
s'pose ? You know / don't want
any doses in mine ?"
" Oh, don't be alarmed, the
others are perfectly harmless."
With excuses for having left
their guest alone, the two return-
ed. The above conversatioflHlid
not - eqtfire more than a half
ute, but the old dame was perfectly
polite, and considered that she
ought to make an excuse, just for
There were three pieces of fruit-
cake on the dish, so arranged that
the first served must take the one
designed for her, and so on to the
second and third. The cake was
highly spiced made so for an ex-
Those little conspirators had ar-
ranged for just what has been de-
rcribed as taking place. It was all
down in their programme. The in-
stant Madame Dodge left the room,
Red-Headed Jennie transferred the
top chunk of spiced sweetness to
the third place, and when the other
two came back she was looking as
demure and child-like as the pretty
little pussy she was supposed to be.
The meal progressed satisfactori-
ly to all, and a brisk conversation
was kept up, Jennie only being
backward (as a real modest girl
would naturally be) in talk. Nell
pretended to sip the tea, but she
was very careful not to swallow
any of it, finally concluded that
she, too, would prefer a glass of
water it was so hot, she said, and
warm tea made her perspire I
When the abundance of good
things had been sampled freely,
Madame Dodge took up the ele-
gant cake basket, and with a gra-
cious smile handed it to her guest.
" Thank you," said Jennie, as
she took off the only slice she could
well get hold of.
Wicked Nell, with the proper
amount of "thanks," took the next,
while the third went to the old
" This cake is really the best 1
have ever ate," was the enthusias-
tic recommendation of Jennie, as
she proceeded to " stow away " the
liberal allowance that had been al-
loted to her.
" It is excellent aunty,;' chimed
in Wicked Nell.
" Yes, it has a pleasing flavor,"
responded the old procuress, and
she too, demolished the large piece
she had taken from the plate.
The girls could hardly conceal
the satisfaction they felt, as they
saw that pious-looking old fraud
smack her lips over the good strong
dose she had fixed for the " pure,"
the "innocent," the " bashful," the
little " school girl."
Madame Dodge entered the par-
lor in advance of the girls, and
hastened to the room where the
voluntary prisoner was confined.
- " Well, what do you think of her?"
she said, addressing Mr. Brown, who
was seated in an easy chair, puffing
a cigar, and making himself as com-
fortable as he could, under the cir-
" She is certainly a charming lit-
tle girl," he replied, " but I'm afraid
we shall have trouble with her. She
is the most innocent and child-like
girl for one of her age, that I ever
saw. Why, I don't believe an im-
pure thought ever entered her head."
" Well, what does that signify ?
You didn't want me to get an old
thoroughbred, did you, such as you
can find on Clark or Griswold
" Certainly not, Mrs. Dodge, but
are you not afraid ? "
"Afraid of what?"
" Of the consequences !"
" I really don't think I quite un-
derstand what you are trying to
" Then let me talk plainer. This
girl is young she is innocent she
has friends. What you propose is
that she shall be ruined 'by forcible
means ! It strikes me that there
is danger in such work as that ! "
" Oh, you men are always timid.
If there is danger it will be for me
noiyou, to face. When you leave
this house, who is to know that the
eminently respectable Mr. Brown,
the wealthy merchant, the honor-
able gentleman, has been doing any-
thing that would tarnish his fair
name ? Who is to know that this
little chit of a girl has been by him
wronged ? I take it that you are
not going to publish this business
to the world ? "
" Very well, Mrs. Dodge, if you
assume the risk, I am ready to ful-
fill my part of the agreement. Let
me see I was to pay you"
" Three hundred dollars !"
" That is correct, I believe."
Mr. Brown took from his pocket
a roll of money, and counted out
the required sum.
" There is your pay, Madame,"
he said, " you see I am not as par-
ticular as some people, who never
pay for goods until they are deliv-
" The goods you allude to are
just as good as delivered. In an
hour from now that girl will be all
your own, to do with as you may
" Do I understand that you have
'" Oh, well, that would be a harsh
way of saying it, but in plain Eng-
lish it would be just about as cor-
rect. The medicine I fixed for her
is perfectly harmless, although for
several hours she will be as helpless
as an infant in its cradle."
" In a half an hour, you think,
then the lamb will be ready for the
" In a half an hour the little
lady will be in readiness to receive
While this conversation was tak-
ing place, Wicked Nell and Red-
Headed Jennie had not been idling
a^y their time. A few whispered
w*ds were uttered, and then they
sauntered into the parlor, talking
as though they were really what
they were pretending to be. But
Nell,*cautious as a cat, made her
way on tip-toe to the bed-room
door, listened attentively, and over-
heard a great part of what was
being said :
When the Madame came to the
door, she said :
"Nellie, dear, I am not feeling
well to-night, and I think a little
wine would revive me. Perhaps,
also, your little friend would like a
glass, for I am sure it would do no
one any harm."
" I never drank any wine, but if
you and Nellie say there is no harm
in it, I am sure it would not be
wrong," said Jennie, with admi-
rable hinocence of look and tone of
" Please, then, have the servant
open a bottle, ' the old woman said
" Oh, / can do it," said Wicked
Nell, bounding from the room ; " I
do love to open wine ! I'd rather
open it than drink it !"
Though she had been in the
house but a few days, Nell had made
herself fanwliar with the premises,
and knew exactly where everything
could be found. In a very short
space of time the wine bottle was
wrought from the little room where
it was kept, the goblets were in
readiness, but the bottle was not
" Two good, strong doses /" These
were the half-uttered words of
Wicked Nell, as she poured the
contents of a small vial into two
of the glasses. And then she con-
"The old gal is tough she
needs a little more, to make the
other set nicely on her stomach !
The nice old three-hundred dollar
bloke will not be hurt a
all the rest, and so here she
And that awful girl actually
emptied the little vial into the
wine glass ; and then, pop went
the cork, the sparkling fluid was
turned out, and in half a minute
Nell was in tne parlor !
" Take this one," she whispered
to Jennie, indicating the right glass
with her finger.
Into the other room she glided,
and Mr. Brown, with a smile that
was intended to be exceedingly
sweet, gracefully accepted the prof-
It required no particularly bril-
liant feat of legerdemain to dis-
pose of the wine as it was intended
to be given out. Mr. Brown se-
cured the heaviest ' dose, ' Mrs.
Dodge was favored with the smaller
quantity, while Nell and Jennie,
the base little conspirators, placed
the pure juice to their lips and
drank it off with the greatest of
The merchant touched glasses
with the procuress, and then turned
to Wicked Nell.
" You are a strange girl," he
said, attempting to pull her upon
get devilish well acquainted," she
replied, gliding away from him, with
a gay laugh. " But come ! Let's
" Here's hoping we will have a
good night's rest /"
Nell raised her glass to her lips.
"A good night's rest ! Ha, ha,
ha ! Good joke, little girl, good
joke !" exclaimed Mr. Brown, almost
convulsed with laughter.
"A good night's rest !" repeated
Madame Dodge, and she, too,
laughed merrily, punching the old
man in the ribs.
Wicked Nell left them in their
mirth, and joined her companion.
"They're both fixed!" she said,
almost betraying herself into a
shout of triumph. " The old bear
took her own medicine without
making up a face, and the bloke
swallowed his as though it was the
best drink ever sold over a bar!
In an hour from now they'll both
be enjoying a good night's rest I
Then, Jen, old girl, it will be our
turn to have fun ! Then Wicked
Nell will be in her glory ! Why,
we'll have more real solid-sport to-
night than all the rest of the peo-
ple in Chicago put together ! Oh,
how I do wish the time would fly !
wait an hour, Jen, only an
There was no happier woman in
Chicago than Wicked Nell, after she
had succeeded in "dosing " the old
procuress, and the somewhat vener-
able reprobate who had paid three
hundred dollars for the privilege of
ruining what he believed to be an
innocent little girl. Her face
beamed with excitement and pleas-
ure, her eyes were more brilliant
than the setting sun, and there was
unalloyed joy in her heart. The
cnssedness that was in her could
with difficulty be subjugated even
for the brief half hour that would
intervene. She danced around the
parlor like a frisky pup, singing the
gayest songs she knew, and every
now and then stopping to give her
fellow-conspirator a hug, such as
one friendly bear would give an-
other, when in playful mood.
In the meantime Mrs. Dodge and
Mr. Brown remained in the other
room, both of them smoking a choice
cigar, and complacently waiting for
the minutes to pass that would
intervene before their triumph over
an " innocent
child " should be
" Nellie seems to be very boister-
ous ! She is imprudent in acting in
that way, but I suppose she thinks
the game is fairly bagged, and
feels exultant over her part ia the
scheme. She is a smart girl, sir, a
very smart girl ! Why, I souWn't
have done any better myself than
she did, in capturing that innocent
Madame Dodge yawned as she
said this, and continued :
" I wonder what makes me feel so
sleepy ? It's the warm weather, I
suppose. The sultry days always
make me feel dull and drowsy !"
Another and more protracted
yawn followed, and the old woman
Looked wistfully toward the bed,
secretly wishing that she could lie
down and enjoy a comfortable nap.
Mr. Brown enthusiastically en-
dorsed the compliment that had
been bestowed upon Wicked Nell.
" She is," he said, " the prettiest,
the liveliest, the wickedest little
puss that was
parent cat !
ing two or three days to make my-
self agreeable to her, and I haven't
even got as much as a kiss for my
pains ! Am I so very ugly, Madame
Dodge, that the wild girls should fly
from me as they would from a
The old man here accompanied
the old woman in a sociable " gap."
Evidently, the disease was " catch-
ever fondled by a
But she's a perfect
Here I've been try-
Mr. Brown / can see
nothing repulsive or disagreeable in
your looks. In my eyes, you have
the appearance of a perfect gentle-
man ! Nellie is an eccentric little
creature, and if the truth were
known I believe she is merely flirt-
ing with you, with the full intention
of submitting gracefully, and nest-
ling cosily in your bosom, if you
fight hard enough and long enough
to get her. I will do a little schem-
ing myself in your behalf, Mr.
Brown, if you wish me to, and I
have no doubt of ultimate success.
I seldom fail in any of my under-
takings, you know !"
" If you will do so, Mrs. Dodge,
you will earn my everlasting grati-
tude ! I'm ' stuck ' on that girl, as
, the boys around town would say !
I really believe I could love her,
wicked and full of the devil as she
" She shall be yours, if you want
her," was the confident reply of the
mistress of the house, who felt cer-
tain that Nell was playing the old
codger for a sucker, and was only
waiting for a golden bait before she
nibbled at the hook.
" Why, what under the sun can
be the matter with me ?" exclaimed
the Madame, " I really feel as
though I shall faint ! I can't keep
my eyes open ! Mr. Brown I
think I shall have to lay
With the word " down," down the
old woman went, on the floor, as
senseless as a log of wood, or a bag
" Help ! for God's sake, help !'.
shouted Mr. Brown, rushing into the
parlor, "Mrs. Dodge has fallen to the
floor, and I'm afraid something
dreadful has happened to her !"
Nell did not exhibit the least bit
of alarm, but walked quietly into
the room, knelt down beside the old
lady, and stroked her hot brow.
"Do not fear," she said, "my
aunt is subject to these fits, and
they are not the least bit danger-
ous ! Sfte'll be all over it in fifteen
minutes ! If you will help me,
we'll lay her on the bed, and in a
quarter of an hour, Mr. Brown,
she'll be as wide awake and sensible
as yon will be /"
" I am glad of that," he said, "for
I was afraid that something alarm-
ing had happened, and that possibly
she might die!"
The old woman was then " boost-
ed," as best they could, to the bed,
but in the process Nell " accident-
all" knocked out the Madame's false
teeth, leaving the toothless old
hag's cheeks with a sadly gaunt and
hungry look about them.
"Mr. Brown," whispered Nell,
" this girl did not know that you
were here. I will introduce you."
" This is my uncle, the brother of
my aunt," said the scheming girl,
whose quick brain had already con-
cocted a plan by which the meeting
of these two would be beneficial to
herself and pal.
" I am glad to meet you, sir, and
sorry to see your sister in the condi-
tion she is now," said Jennie, with
an assumed modesty that was quite
charming, as she looked him full in
the face not brazenly, but search-
ingly and trustingly, as a child might
look into the face of its father.
The old man winced. He was
sorry she had seen him, for she
would certainly recognize him
should they ever meet again. At
the same time, be wondered why on
earth she did not show the symp-
toms of drowsiness, and mentally
cursed her for not going to sleep
like a good girl, and thus put an
end to an interview that was far
from pleasant to him.
But the girl stubbornly refused
to keel over, as the old woman had
done, and his own drowsiness began
to fill the old merchant with alarm.
He had never felt in that way before
in his life. He could not see clearly,
and every thing in the room began
to whirl around, in a confused and
" Children," he gasped, " do you
see anything peculiar in this room?
Don't you feel as though you were
going to suffocate ? Open the doors
and windows ! Quick ! I am dy-
ing ! God have mercy on me !
Water ! Wa "
The old man said no more. He
would have fallen to the floor had
not the girls apprehended some-
thing of the kind, and caught him
as he was going over.
" Laj him out tf hderly,
Handle with care I "
exclaimed Wicked Nell, as they
eased the progress of his descent,
and laid him gently on the carpet.
"Oh, Nell," said Jennie, "ain't
you afraid ? I am."
" Wicked Nell wouldn't be afraid
of the devil !" was her reply, as she
stood back, put her foot on Mr.
Brown's breast, and took a good
square look at him.
" I've a devilish good mind to put
a head on him," she said, as she
raised up her foot, and made a
movement as though to stamp in
his face with her boot heel.
"Oh, don't!" exclaimed Red-
Headed Jennie, in alarm.
" Hush, honey," said Nell, "don't
be alarmed, I was only making be-
lieve. Why, I wouldn't harm a
hair in his old gray head. But
I'll have some fun with them."
" What are you going to do? "
" Put 'em to bed T
" Where is the other room ? I
don't see any."
" No, there isn't any, and I
wouldn't use it if there was ! We'll
just chuck 'em in together !"
" Gracious ! You don't mean
that ? There'll be a terrible kick ! "
u Let 'em kick ! What do we
care ? But they won't kick much
for a few hours, not if I know my-
self .' Why, they can't even grunt."
Both girls indulged in a hearty
" Now, then, let's undress the old
woman," said Nell, as she started
for the bed room.
"You don't tell me you are
goin to undress her ?"
" Yes both of em!"
Jennie was a bad girl, but she
had not the audacious wickedness
of Nell, and the idea promulgated
by her sister in sin, seemed to her
" I don't think you'd better do it,
Nell," she said, " I'm afraid they'll
send us to the Bridewell, sure, when
it's all over."
" Why, you poor silly girl," re-
plied Nell, " don't you see we've
got the best of them ? What were
you doing here ? Didn't they think
you were an innocent little school-
girl, and hasn't she got the money
in her pocket now that was paid
for your ruin ? When they wake
up, you will not be here ! You will
be at school, vou know in their
minds. It will be me who will
have to face the music, and if I
ain't smart enough to get out of the
scrape, all right, I'll deserve to be
sent up, that's all."
" All right, go ahead, boss the
job, and I'll do my share of the
work," said Jennie, who was
strengthened by Wicked Nell's as-
It took but a few minutes to un-
dress the old woman, and stow her
away snugly and cosily under the
Mr. Brown was a rather unwieldy
subject, and it required considerable
muscle to prepare him for bed, but
the work was finally accomplished,
not without much merriment on
the part of the two girls, whose
modesty was of a fire-proof charac-
ter, and who were in no wise par-
ticular as to what they di<4 or said.
" Oh, ain't they a sweet pair !"
xclaimed Nell, dancing with de-
light. Then pushing the old man's
dead over to the old woman's face,
she said with mock affection :
"Kiss your baby?
Then both girls screamed with
Laughter, and Nell actually laiid on
the floor and rolled over, so great
uras her delight. When this par-
oxvsm was over, she got up and
" Now, Jen, old gal, we'll whack
" I don't know what you mean
I'm sure I haven't got anything,"
replied Jennie, rather ruefully, for
the girl did sadly need a few dol-
lars with which to fit herself up as
she desired to do.
" But the old woman has got
three hundred dollars of our money,
and we're going to have it ! He
didn't bargain with her for such
a companion," she said, pointing
to the bed, and again indulging
in a laugh, li and when they get
up she can make him settle !"
While she was saying this, she
was rummaging in Madame Dodge's
pockets, and the money was soon
" Don't this look like stealing ?"
inquired Jennie, who was a little
nervous, and hesitated, as Nell
counted the crisp greenbacks.
" Don't it belong to us ?"
" Well, not exactly."
" Does it belong to her 1 ?"
" It don't seem that she ought to
"Jennie," said Nell, *' I wouldn't
steal a cent you know very well
I wouldn't, Jen where it would be
mean to steal. But here this d d
old scoundrel has paid this money
to the old hag< for what ? Why be-
cause she roped in, or I did for her,
a decent girl ! That's what they
thought, any way ! Now, wasn't
that cowardly, and mean, and
contemptible ? Wicked as I am,
Jennie Smith, / wouldn't do that
for all the money in Chicago ! If
a girl wants to turn out, as you and
I did, let her do it, and I'll help her
along, but d n any manor woman
who would force a good girl, I say,
and if I can get the best of them
when trying to do it, you can bet
your life I won't throw the chance
over my shoulder, call it stealing or
whatever you will !"
Jennie made no further objec-
tions, and the money was equally
" Now what ? said Jennie, turn-
ing inquiringly to her/companion.
" Now for more fun /" exclaimed
Wicked Nell, as she turned, gaily,
upon her heel, and faced the uncon-
scious couple in the bed.
After the two girls had divided
the money that Nell had taken
from the pocket of Madame Dodge,
it would be but natural to suppose
that no more deviltry would be at-
tempted, at least so far as the
drugged man and woman were con-
cerned. It required the quick
brain and the reckless disposition
of Wicked Nell to complete the
joke that was being played on the
procuress and her customer. When
she turned to Jennie Smith, and
exclaimed: "Now for more fun,"
she meant all that the words could
possibly imply more than most
people would imagine.
"For heaven's sake, Nell," said
Jennie, " what more can you do ?"
Oh, I'm not half done yet. When
a girl as wicked as I am sets her
wits to work, on such elegant sub-
jects, they won't get off as easy
Nell left the room when she
ceased speaking, and returned in
almost a minute, with a big lump
of charcoal in her hand.
' You're not going to build a
fire, are you ?" inquired Jennie, in
"No, but I'm going to do some-
thing that will make things hot in
this neighborhood to-morrow morn-
ing," was the reply, and the mis-
' chievous light that shone in Nell's
I eye told plainer than words could
j tell that she had a remarkably bril-
liant scheme in her head.
" Go OD with the show, then,"
said Jennie, laughing, yet showing
that she had misgivings concerning
the final result of the wild adven-
tures of that night.
By this time the evening had
well advanced, and Nell turned on
the gas before proceeding to. busi-
ness. Then, advancing to the bed,
she commenced rubbing the faces
of the sleepers with charcoal, at
the same time indulging in remarks
suitable to the merry occasion.
" What kind of a pair would this
be to draw to ?" she inquired, while
artistically polishing the nose of
the merchant ; and then she added
by way of showing her familiarity
with the noble game of draw poker :
" But then it would be a spade
flush, wouldn't it ? Guess we'll have
to stand pat at the end of the deal ! "
" The old gal isn't as flush as she
was a while ago, is she ?" contin-
ued the little reprobate, still daub-
ing on charcoal.
Industry and perseverance were
soon rewarded, and in a few min-
utes, had a stranger peeped into
that bed-room, he would have taken
a Bible oath that two of the black-
est mokes ever imported from Af-
rica were snugly ensconced beneath
Nell laughed until the tears
streamed down her cheeks, but Jen-
nie did not enjoy the fun as well as
she would if she had not been fear-
ful of the consequences. She could
not help but think that there would
be a terrible awakening on the mor-
row, and she was afraid herself and
friend would be so far implicated
as to, at least, make it very un-
pleasant for them.
" Now, then, Jen," said Nell,
after enjoying the strange specta-
cle to her heart's delight, " let's run
around to the drug store on the
corner, for a minute.'*
" What in the world do you want
there, replied Jennie, completely
dumbfounded; "You're not going
to commit suicide, are you?"
" Oh, no, not so bad as that. But
I must have another dose of that
stuff that makes folks sleep/'
"Another dose ! Is it for me you
want it, or are you going to take a
long and pleasant nap yourself."
" Just wait a little. We're in
for it now, sure, and we might as
well die for a lamb as for a sheep."
" No, Nell, I won't go a step !
This thing has gone far enough,
and I'm going home ! I wish I bad
never come here, Nell ! I didn't
think you would rope me into such
a scrape as this ! "
" You? Why you are an inno-
cent school girl ! Had it not been
for me, you would have been where
the old gal is now. You can go if
you want to, though, Jen, I can tell
you the circus ain't half over !
The concluding performance will be
the best of all. But as you are so
very timid, so much afraid of being
out after sundown, 1 guess you had
better start for your ma right away.
Nell knew this would shame the
proud and daring Red-Head, and
it did. She said no more about
going home, but accompanied Nell
to State street, remaining on the
outside while her companion enter-
ed the store of the druggist.
A straighter or more solemn face
than that worn by Wicked Nell,
when she stood before the apothe-
cary, was never seen.
" What do you wish, Miss ?" said
the man behind the counter, smil-
ing pleasantly, as he came forward,
and noticing at the same time that
he was dealing with a stunning
" Please, sir," said Nellie, in rue-
ful tones, "my ma is almost crazy
with neuralgia, and she sent me here
for something that will make her
sleep. Have you any such medi-
" Oh, yes, Miss, we have drugs
that would make her sleep a day,
a week, a month, or forever! Which
do you prefer?"
" Please let me have something
that will make her sleep very
sound to-night. She's had an aw-
ful time, sir, and oh, you don't
know how bad she needs rest."
The druggist prepared a strong
" Half of this will be a dose," he
said, as he handed Nell the package.
She paid for the purchase without
pretending to take notice of the at-
tempt the drug clerk had been mak
ing to "mash" her, and hurried
The girls did not notice that they
wi^fellowedi as they tripped gaily
and rapidly along the street.
Jim Morgan was on special duty
that evening, and had spotted Wick-
ed Nell as she entered the drug
" There's deviltry of some kind
foing on," muttered the officer,
eeping a safe distance behind.
" Those ducks are bent on mischief
I'll pipe 'em, and find out their
Like a shadow the detective fol-
lowed, without being seen, nntil the
girls entered the assignation house
on Harmon Court. He then re-
turned to the drug store and in-
" What did that girl want here, a
few minutes ago ?"
" She bought a sleeping potion,
for the benefit of her old mother,
who has the neuralgia."
" The devil she did !"
The detective said no more, but
made quick time to the Armory,
where a report was made of the
circumstances to his commanding
Captain Hickey was a man of few
words. Three officers were directed
to dress themselves in citizens'
clothes and place themselves in
charge of Morgan.
Wicked Nell and Jennie returned
to the house of Madame Dodge,
they found everything as they had
left it all was lovely.
" Now, Nell, do tell me what
you are going to do with that stuff
you bought just now, at the drug
store," said Jennie, after they had
" Wait one minute, and you will
see," was Nell's reply, as she closed
the bed-room door, and rang a little
A black servant, fat and greasy
responded to the summons.
"Aunty, the Madame has gone
out for a short walk with a friend,
and while she's gone I thought you
and I, and my friend here, might
cheer ourselves up with a little of
the juice that cheers. Which would
you like best, Aunty dear, a glass of
wine, or something else ?"
" De Lorelmity bress your little
heart, missus, you can gub dis child
a little drop of old whisk ! Wine is
fust rate for de gals, but it isn't
strong enuf for de tuff stummucks
of brack folks!"
The negress rolled up her eyes to
show her pleasure, and awaited the
return of Nell with the "refresh-
ments." A good, liberal dose of
whisky was given her, and it was
swallowed with a smack of the big
black lips, and a grunt of satisfac-
tion. The wench then returned to
her quarters, and once more the
plotting girls were alone.
" Do you tumble to my racket
now ?" said Nell to her companion.
" I know that you have dosed the
black woman, but I can't imagine
what for. What has she done to
a Nothing, and I haven't done any-
thing very serious to her. I'm just
going to tumble her into that bed,
with those two other niggers !"
The proposition almost took the
breath away from Jennie, but she
made no objection, and agreed to as-
sist in toting the black gal from the
kitchen to the bed- room, as soon as
the powder had taken effect.
In the course of hall an hour,
they visited the headquarters of the
lady from Africa, and were delight-
ed to find her sound asleep in a
" Isn't this lucky !" exclaimed
Nell, joyfully. " Why, we can draw
her along, chair and all, and roll her
right over on to the bed, without a
bit of trouble !"
Notwithstanding this assertion,
the girls found it hard work, and
when they had completed the dis-
robing process, and had arranged
the genuine wench on one side of
the lecherous merchant, and the
bogus one on the other, they were
pretty well " tuckered out."
" That's what I call nice and com-
fortable ! Just see how loving the
old coon is ! Isn't he affectionate,
though, with one arm around each
maiden fair ! But he ought to pay
double ! I guess we'll charge him
six hundred, instead of three for this
night's repose !"
Nell was only half in jest when
she said this. She had serious
thoughts about making that old rep-
robate pay dearly for his whistle.
The last words had scarcely es-
caped from her lips when there was
a violent ring of the bell, and a
loud pounding upon the door.
" Mercy ."' shrieked Jennie. "Wkat
shall we do ? Can't we run ?"
" Not much !" replied Wicked
" What, then can we do ?"
" Face the music!" replied the
brave girl, as she proceeded to open
But she was somewhat startled
when she recognized Officer Morgan,
and three other policemen, all of
whom strode unbiddea into the
Though startled when she saw
the officers, Wicked Nell's courage
did not desert her, and she de-
manded haughtily, as she placed
herself in front of the leader :
" Sir, what is your business here ?
This is a private house a respect-
able family lives here and as you
are not wanted, you had better get
" No, I don't think we are wanted
here, just now," was Jim Morgan's
laconic reply, "but if it's all the
same to you we'll stay a little while
with you. You and I are old
friends, you know, Nellie, and it
isn't the square thing to go back
on me in such an impolite manner,
when I only called to inquire after
your health !"
The four men then rudely pushed
past the girl, and walked into the
"Be seated, gentlemen," said
Nell, with mock politeness.
" Well, come to think about it, I
don't know as I care about sitting
down," said Morgan; " but let me
inquire, how's your mother? "
" You have probably seen her
since I have I left her in your
company," was the reply.
" Indeed ! Why, I thought she
was sutiering terribly with the
When Wicked Nell heard this
she knew there was no earthly es-
cape for her, but she was deter-
mined to be " game " to the last,
no matter what might be the result.
" I see that you have been
sneaking around after a poor girl
who never did you any harm," she
said, defiantly, " and since you have
discovened so much, what are you
going to do about it ?"
" I am going to arrest you, and
yeur pal, here that's all ! By
the way, who is this fine bird you
have with you ? Oho ! nobody but
Red-headed Jennie ! Oh, yes ! This
must be a private house, where re-
spectable people live !"
" What are you going to arrest
us for ? Can't a couple of poor
girls reform and live decent without
being dogged wherever they go,
and dragged to the station house
for nothing at all ?"
"Nellie O'Brien, you have the
oheek of the devil himself! You
know very well that neither myself
or Captain Hickey, nor any other
officer in the city, would lay a straw
in the way of any wicked girl who
might desire to leave off her bad ways
and turn into better paths ! You
know, too, that we would help you,
and encourage you to do right, in
every way we could ! But when
you tell rne you have reformed, you
lie ! That's the plain truth. Now,
I want you to tell me just what
you're up to, and if I find that
everything is all right, and that
you have told the truth, I'll shake
your hand like a brother, say 'God
bless you,' and go away without
troubling you in the least."
" Mr. Morga ," said Nell, " what
harm can us two girls do? We are
rhe only ones in the h~use, except
three servants, who are abed and
"And must I take your word for
'' Oh, no ; you can search the
" That will be satisfactory," said
tlie officer, " we will commence the
Sfirch now is there anybody in
here?" The detective approached
the door of the bed room.
" Yes ! The servants I spoke of
are sleeping in that bed !"
"S-ervants in the best bed in the
house ? Three in a bed, too, and
one of them a man f This is the
strangest house I ever entered be-
Nell said nothing. What could
she say ? The officer kept on in-
" Pretty nobby clothes ! Who
ever saw a nigger servant wearing
broadcloth and a gold watch ? And
this wench with a silk drees and
lace collar ! Nellie O'Brien, what
have you been doing ?"
" Nothing, sir upon my sacred
word and honor, nothing at all.
I'm sure I don't know any thing
about it. The lady of the house
is away, and left Jennie and I here
all alone !"
" Your word and honor don't go
far when such business as this is
going on, my fine girl ! But what's
this ? A lump of charcoal ! Oh !
Now I begin to see ! You have
drugged those people, and were
going to rob them !"
"Oh, no, not that! Upon my
soul, not that ! '
"Of course, not that, but I'll
search you first, and see whether I
can find any plunder."
" I will not lie to you again, Mr.
Morgan ! Here is one hundred
and fifty dollars, and Jennie has
just the same amount ! Take charge
of it, and when these people wake
up, they or rather he will tell
you whether it was stolen or not !"
At this point Jennie Smith burst
into tears. Wicked Nell turned
upon her scornfully :
"Baby!" she exclaimed, "any-
body would think that it was us
who had been committing a crime !
All the policemen in Chicago
couldn't make mt cry ! "
" Boo-hoo-hoo-hoo ! " sobbed Jen-
nie, completely overcome, burying
her face in her hands, her bdy
swaying like a willow in a gale.
" Oti, go get the booby a sugar
teat ! She acts as though she'd been
spanked," said Nell, with a forced
" Let the girl cry. It's better to
do that than act like a little devil,
as you do," said one of the officers.
Nell looked at him with a curled
lip, but made no reply.
Morgan had secured the three
hundred dollars, and had also search-
ed the pockets of the parties who
were so quietly slumbering
" You were very liberal," he said
to Nell ; " while you were about it,
why didn't you take the whole bun-
dle? Why, you left more than half!"
"1 told you before that I didn t
take any! The money you have got
belongs to us girls every cent of
it ! When that gentleman awakes,
he will tell you that he has no claim
to it ; and I don't think the lady
will say that it is hers !"
Detective Morgan then com-
menced shaking the sleepers, but he
might as well have attempted to
arouse the inmates of a graveyard.
" Oh, you needn't shake them,"
said Nell, they are sound asleep
now, but they will wake up all right
in the morning."
" Did they all three have the neu-
ralgia ? " inquired Jim, doubtfully.
" If I should tell you everything
just as it occurred, you wouldn't be-
lieve me, so I won't say another
word about it. But I will ask you
a favor : Remain here and guard
the house until these folks wake up,
and all will be explained. The
man who is blackened with char-
coal, is a rich and respectable mer-
chant, and it would be a great in-
justice to take him to the station,
for he is no more to blame than you
are. The old woman is also un-
conscious of her present predica-
ment ; while the poor wench is an
innocent victim of my own wicked-
ness. It was all done for fun
just for a joke and it would have
been all right if you hadn't inter-
fered as you did at the wrong time."
" Just at the right time, I should
judge," replied Jim.
What to do, under the circum-
stances, the detective hardly knew ;
after reflecting a short time, he con-
cluded to dismiss two of his assist-
ants, and with the other remain and
guard the house until morning, and
then, when the victims of Nell's cus-
sedness should be restored con-
sciousness take such action as the
cirmstances would warrant. A.S for
the two girls, they were already un-
der arrest, and, unless explanations
hardly possible could be m ide, they
were doomed to an examination at
the police court.
During the long aud tedious
hours of the night, nothing was
said or done that would be of inter-
est to the readers of this story.
The two girls, not being permitted
to retire they were considered too
slippery customers to be trusted
out of sight reclined upon the
sofa. Nell slept as soundly as
though nothing had occurred to
mar her peace of mind, but Jennie
was restless, uneasy, and, at times,
sighed despairingly, while tears
moistened her sleepless eyes. She
had not the recklessness, the bra-
very, the audacity of her sister in
sin. The officers, though, at times,
inclined to drowsiness, kept a faith-
ful vigil, and when, at length, day-
light came, they congratulated
themselves upon the near approach
of the explanation of the strange
mystery that the detective had dis-
Nell was wide awake before the
sun had crawled out of the lake.
" If you gentlemen would like
some breakfast," she said, " I'll
try my hand at getting up a square
" You are very kind, Nell," said
the detective, " but we -will excuse
you from an such laborious task.
Perhaps you would like to pile a
couple more lodgers into that bed."
"I hadn't thought of that," re-
plied Nell, "but I'd doit, though,
if I had a good chance. It would
be capital fun to see five of you,
like a litter of pups in one nest !"
" Oh, Nellie! Please don't be so
saucy," whispered Jennie, whose
fears had increased by long delay.
" Bah ! What do I care for peel-
ers," responded the bold, bad girl.
The officers smiled, and rather
admired the courage of their hand-
" How long do you think it will
be before these folks will get their
sleep out ;" inquired Mr. Morgan.
" Let's see they tumbled over
about 8 o'clock. I'll begin to look
for kicks, grunts and yawps at 6."
Half an hour or more elapsed, and
the big black arms of the negress
made their appearance from under-
neath the sheet, and her knuckles
dug into her eyes as though en-
deavoring to scoop the china-color-
ed orbs from out their sockets.
" Gosh !" she said, ' dis niggah
nebber did feel so funny befoah. '
Then turning half over she espied
the blackened merchant at her side.
" Lubly Moses !" she cried, spring-
ing from the bed as though she had
seen an alligator, "if dar ain't a
big brack buck niggah !"
The servant almost fainted, so
great was her fright and astonish-
ment, but the sight of Nell gave
her assurance that she was not en-
tirely friendless, and she turned im-
ploringly to the cause of her trouble.
"For de lub ob de lawd, Miss
Nellie," she cried, "what am de
mattah heah ?"
"Ob, Aunty," replied Nell, with
assumed alarm, "we are all ruined!
These men are burglars! They have
drugged everybody in the house,
and are now going to murder us."
"De Lawd hab mercy on us !' ' ex-
claimed the wench, falling on her
knees, and wildly gesticulating
with her arms, her eyes rolling in
The amused detectives explained
to the frightened creature that
there was no cause for alarm, and
Nell finally laughed, and assured
her that she was among friends.
" Don't you see Madame Dodge
over on the other side of the bed ?"
she said, after the negress had par-
tially recovered her senses.
" Missus Dodge ? Oh, no, you
can't cuoi dat on dis chicken ! Dat's
a wench, as brack as I is ! And she
ain't got any teefe eider !"
Further controversy between the
astounded servant and Wicked Nell
was cut short by manifestations of
consciousness on the part of Mad-
ame Dodge. The old lady had
twitched and twisted, and was evi-
dently not as comfortable as she
had been all night. After a little
she, too, recovered the use of her
hands, and would have rubbed the
charcoal into her eyes had not the
officer prevented. The black sub-
stance was removed with a wet
sponge, for the space of an inch or
more, and, her recovery quickened
by the application of the water, the
old hag raised up and looked around.
Madame Dodge, during a life that
had been devoted entirely to sin,
had passed through many adven-
tures of a strange and exciting na-
ture ; but in all these she had in-
variably acted the part of the
schemer, never the victim. When,
therefore, she opened her eyes, with
a racking pain in her head, and
looked up into strange faces, and
saw what she believed to be a negro
by her side in the bed, her feelings
can hardly be imagined by any
who have not at some time found
themselves in startling and unac-
countable positions. Her first im-
pulse was to shriek out in alarm,
but a single glance told her that
she was in her own house, and this
fact was so assuring as to tempo-
rarily allay her fears, and prevent
an outcry. She attempted to
speak, but alas ! her teeth were not
in their place, and the strange noise
she made was so utterly unlike a
human voice that even the officers
were compelled to smile at the rid-
iculous failure. Wicked Nell did
not attempt to conceal her mirth
and her peals of laughter could be
heard half a block away. The other
girl, however, was so thoroughly
alarmed that she stood pale and
trembling, as thoroughly frightened
as she wonld have been had she
stood under the gallows tree, with
the rope dangling above her head.
The detective saw at once the
dilemma in which the old woman
was placed, and, taking up the set
of teeth that he had noticed on the
dressing case, he handed them to
her, saying, as he did so
" Perhaps these implements of
destruction, will assist you in mak-
ing us understand you more per-
The old woman snatched them out
of his hand, and clapped them in her
mouth with astonishing agility.
" Mercy !" she cried, hysterical-
ly. " What is the matter ? What
have you been doing with me ?"
Wicked Nell did not give the
officer a chance to respond.
Rushing up to the bed-side, with
feigned distress she exclaimed :
" The good Lord help us, my dear
Madame, but we are all ruined I
These men have not even respected
your gray hairs and your venera-
ble wrinkles 1 And this (pointing
to Re'l-Headed Jennie) innocent
little girl has been most foully and
infamously wronged. Heaven bless
TO all !"
As the old woman looked at her,
a faint suspicion crept into her
mind that Nell was at the bottom
of the whole scheme of deviltry,
and the expression of her eyes
her face was black as ink was not
amiable as she turned them upon the
wicked girl, who, once before, had
rebelled against the regulations of
the house, and foiled a plot that
promised rich results.
The officer took Nell by the arm,
notvery tenderly, and led her out of
the room, remarking, as he gave her
a final shove into the parlor, " get
out of here, you impudent hussy !"
He then requested Mrs. Dodge
to get up and dress herself, when
an explanation of the mysterious
events of the night might possibly
be made, if all the parties can be
prevailed on to tell the truth.
"I'll tell the truth, and the whole
truth of it, if that old woman and
that nice bed-fellow of her's wants
m* to !" said Nell, who stuck her
head into the door, and looked de-
fiantly at Mrs:' Dodge. Having
kad her/;/;*, the girl commenced to
get mad, and was rea'ly to defend
and justify herself, should there be
an effort made to hold her respon-
sible for what had occurred.
Nothing further was said, the
door was closed, and Madame Dodge
was left to arrange here toilet, alone.
The old woman was mystified, she
was mad, and she was frightened
three uncomfortable conditions of
the mind. It took her less than a
minute to discover that it was Mr.
Brown in the bed, and that both
of them had been drugged, and dis-
figured with charcoal. Hastily ar-
ranging her clothing and washing
her face, she partially opened the
door, and in a hoarse whisper called:
" NelKe, come here ! "
Wicked Nell did not hesitate, but
promptly obeyed the summons.
She rather enjoyed the excitement
produced by the situation, and
walked into the bed-room with a
firm tread and a serene face.
The old woman glared at her
with a stare that conveyed more
than words could express.
" Is this your work ?" she said,
smothering her wrath as best she
could, yet speaking with an empha-
sis that betokened almost uncon-
" I don't know what you mean,
Mrs. Dodge," said Nell, innocently.
" You don't ? You don't know
anything that has taken place here
during the night, do you ?"
The words, and the manner in
which they were spoken, seemed to
imply a threat.
Wicked Nell faced the assigna-
tion keeper boldly.
" Yes ! I do know everything !
If you want me to explain it all,
I will call in these policemen, and
tell them the whole truth, from the
day I came here until this minute !"
" You seem to be very fond of
calling in policemen," sneered the
" You are slightly mistaken
there, said Nell, quietly, "for I have
wasted no love on the peelers ; but
you seem to think I had been com-
miting some dreadful crime, and if
I have I am willing to tell all about
it. Shall I call them ?"
44 No ! I can settle my difficulties
with you, without their aid. You
have deceived me ! You have
treated me most shamefully, but I
will make no complaint to the au-
" Indeed ! Why, you are really the
kindest old lady I ever met in my
life ! Such benevolence is rarely
to b* met with in this wicked world
we live in ! I begin to think you
are a sister of charity, or an angel
dropped down from heaven to teach
' the world the beauties of true in-
" This is no time to quarrel,"
replied the old woman, in a more
conciliatory manner. " What I
want of you now is to tell me just
what has occurred."
" Well, then, in the first place, I
will tell you that I have robbed you,
and that we are all under arrest !"
''Under arrest I Good heavens!
What do you mean ?"
" I mean that while I was in the
store buying medicine, a policeman
tracked me to this house, brought
a squad, found you asleep, thought
you had been robbed, found three
hundred dollars in my pocket, and
told me that if an explanation
could not be made, we would all be
sent to the Armory as soon as you
should wake up !"
" Then, you did steal my money!"
" No ! You stole it, and I merely
took it ! It is more mine than yours!
But still I am willing to go to the
court and tell how it all happened."
" Don't be a fool, Nellie; we will
none of us go to court. I shall
make no complaint, because I know
you will give back the money."
"And / know that I will do noth-
ing of the kind ! I wouldn't do it
if I could, and I couldn't do it if I
would, for the coppers have been
through me for every cent. They
imagined that I drugged you for
the purpose of robbing you "
'And didn't you ?"
"No, I did not!"
" Then what earthly reason did
you have for doing as you've done."
With the grace and dignity of a
queen, Wicked Nell motioned the
mistress of the house to a chair.
" Do you really want to know
why I played this trick on you,
Madame Dodge ?"
" I really should like to have you
explain what appears to me to be
a most daring and unprovoked out-
" Outrage ! Oh, yes ! It is an
awful thing to perpetrate an
outrage on such a meek and benev-
olent old lady as you are !"
The procuress bit her lips, but
maintained a calm exterior and said:
" I do not care to discuss the
merits of my character or yours, just
now. If you will tell me your rea-
sons for doing as you have done, I
will thank you !"
" You need not trouble yourself
about thanks, Mrs. Dodge, but if
you will listen I will tell you an
elegant little story. I am called
Wicked Nell I am Wicked but I
am not so lost to everything that
is sacred and honorable as you sup-
posed me to be. Wherever there
is deviltry going on, there it is my
delight to be, for I know that I am
bad, and it makes me jealous when I
see anybody that can go further ic
wickedness than I can. Were I so
inclined, I could tell you of a child-
hood's history that would make
your blood curdle in your veins i
When I came to your house I en-
deavored to make you think worse
of me than I really was. But I did
not know you then. When I found
that you had entered into a foul
conspiracy to decoy and ruin an in-
nocent girl; when I learned that
for money you would rob a virgin
of her purity ; when with your own
lips you unfolded to me the black
scheme you had concocted, then I
hated you, for I looked upon you
as a worse devil than was ever
spewed out of hell ! I pretended to
be your tool ! I did get one girl to
come here with me, but I took good
care to get her away again ! Then I
" inveigled " an old friend of mine
from Wells street you prepared
the drugs they were given to you
your " gentleman " was also dosed
even your black cook was put in-
to bed with you I took the money
that was paid you the coppers
came and you know the rest !
Steeped in wickedness as I am ;
loving everything that is wicked as
I do I would not, for all the
money there is in Chicago, do that
foul thing that you would have had
me do ! Now you know it all
what are you going to do about it ?"
While the above conversation had
been going on, Mr. Brown had
showed symptoms of returning con-
sciousness. As Wicked Nell con-
cluded, he sat bolt upright in bed,
and from a mirror's reflection, on
an opposite wall, noticed that his
face was as black as coal could make
it. He had not heard anything
that had been said, but his first
thought was that the Madame was
the cause of his disgrace. Springing
from the bed, he siezed the procur-
ess by the hair of the head and ex-
claimed, excitedly, " HAG OF HELL !"
Madame Dodge, when she felt the
clutch of an enraged man's hands in
her hair, screamed with pain and
fright, and the two officers rushed
into the room. The scene that met
their eyes had in it all the elements
of both tragedy and farce. The ter-
ror of the old woman, and the rage
of the man, suggested seriousness.
But the black face, the bare white
legs, the whole body only covered by
a single and not very long garment,
were so ludicrous to look upon that
few beholders, under the circumstan-
ces, could have kept straight faces.
Wicked Nell, who knew the Mad-
ame was innocent so far as her un-
willing bed-fellow of the night was
concerned, had julled Mr. Brown
away from her, and was hanging on
to him when the policeman came in.
" Oh, you naughty man !" she said
" how dare you jump out of bed with
only your shirt on, when there are
ladies in the room? Why you shock
my modesty you old reprobate !"
" Shock your modesty, indeed ! "
said the officer who was assisting the
detective ; " I should hate to see
anything that would make the likes
of you blush ! "
The sight of the men, who were en-
tire strangers to him, aud, having no
uniform on, were not recognized as
officers, filled Mr. Brown with
alarm, and he began to tremble.
" If you are here to rob me," he
said, " you can have all that you
can find, and I swear to you
that I will never whisper a
word of it only spare me personal
violence ! Let me go away from
here quietly and peacebly."
" I never was taken for a robber
before," said the detective, smiling;
" if it will be any comfort to you,
I will tell you that your person and
your money are safe. I am a police
officer, and I am here to protect the
innocent and arrest the guilty !"
This pretty little speech did not
have the effect anticipated by the
officer. The old man trembled
worse than before, and would have
fallen had not Wicked Nell held
"My God !" he exclaimed, cov-
ering his face with his hands, " I am
a ruined man ! "
f( And I am a ruined girl !" moan-
ed Nell, assuming a despairing tone,
and striking an attitude that would
have made many an actress envious.
Then she whispered to the sorely
distressed man :
"Brace up, old cock, brace up!
You're a little disfigured, but still in
the ring as the boys say. Don't weak-
en ! Be game and you're all right !"
The situation being somewhat
embarrassing to most of them, the
officer said :
" We will leave you, sir, until you
can dress yourself, and wash your
face, and then, perhaps, this strange
business can be explained."
He motioned the others out of the
room, and followed them, closing
the door. With one sweeping glance
of the parlor, his brow contracted.
Red-headed Jennie had flown !
Wicked Nell noticed the frown of *
the officer, and quickly reading his
mind and reaching his side she said
in an undertone :
" Don't say anything about Jen !
If you want her I'll turn her up in
ten minutes ! Just wait and see
what the old cove has to say ! "
Knowing that he would have lit-
tle trouble in capturing the escaped
girl, no attempt was made to follow
Mrs. Dodge sat in silence, gazing
through the cracks in the shutters,
secretly wishing that Wicked Nell
and the other unwelcome guests
were at the bottom of the lake.
Laboring under excitement, it
took Mr. Brown quite a long time- to
prepare himself to " receive com-
pany." When, finally, he did so, he
turned the door-knob, opened it for
the space of half an inch, and said :
" Officer, can I speak with you ?"
The detective pnt his ear to the
" I would like to confer with the
lady of the house for a moment, be-
fore I leave this room, if you will
The Madame heard the request.
" Yes, let me see him just a mo-
ment," she said.
" Oh, yes ! Let me see him too,"
mimicked Nell, who seemed deter-
mined to have all the fun she could,
no matter what might be the conse-
" I am sorry to say that I cannot
permit any consultations just now,"
said the officer; " something wrong
has been going on here. I do not
know what it is, but I have suf-
ficient evidence to warrant me in
making a thorough investigation.
There is a mystery in this business
that must be explained !"
" Yes, and I'm the little gal that
can explain it," said Nell, viciously.
She knew that she had the old
man and woman both frightened,
' and she was bound to keep up the
scare as long as she could. For her-
self she was not the least afraid.
" Well, if I must expose myself I
must, but this is most unpleasant
business," were the words of the
unfortunate man, as he emerged
frm the room, looking as solemn
as man ever looked before.
" It seems to me the exposure took
place a few minutes ago," laughed
that wicked girl.
Jim Morgan looked at Mr. Brown
with an astonished gaze. He recog-
nized the rich merchant at a glance.
' Mr. Brown," he /said, " can it be
possible that this is you ?"
" You seem to know my name !"
was the reply, " though I fail to see
anything familiar in your face."
" There are few business men in
Chicago that I do not know when I
set my eyes on them," remarked the
detective, and continued : " I am
glad I do know you, for now I can
find out all that I have been waiting
ten or a dozen hours to learn." .
" Do I understand that you don't
know anything that has been going
on?" said the merchant, with an anx-
iety that he could not surpress.
" I know some things that have
taken place, but not all. I know that
you were drugged ; I know that you
were robbed yes, and I know who
did it, too !" looking at Wicked Nell,
who returned stare for stare.
"Robbed!" The merchant took
out his pocket book, and felt for his
watch. Both were as he left them.
" You are mistaken in one thing,"
he said; " I have not been robbed !"
" Have you as much money as
you came into this house ?"
was the query.
Mr. Brown did not want to t<-Il
the truth, and he was afraid that if
be should lie he would be caught
in it. Under such circumstances,
be evaded answering, by stating
that his financial condition was en-
tirely satisfactory just as he had
left it when the uncontrollable de-
sire to sleep overcame him.
" I have three hundred dollars
aere that has been taken from
somebody" said the detective.
"Yes ! You took it from me !"
Nell looked saucy and defiant. She
began to consider herself the biggest
toad in the puddle, because she had
the best of it. The merchant would
not own up that he had paid the
Madame the money, because he
would then be called upon to ex-
plain what he had paid it for ! Mrs.
Dodge would hardly claim it, for
the very same reason.
The officer continued, addressing
Mr. Brown :
" Whose money is this ?"
" I don't know, was the answer.
" Is it yours ?"
" I have no claim to it."
" Is it yours, Mrs. Dodge ?"
" I will take charge of it," said
the old lady, reaching out her hand,
and hoping the trouble was over.
" No you dont /"
With the agility of a cat Wicked
Nell sprang between them, and
grabbed the old woman's arm.
"If she says that is her money
she lies ! " exclaimed Nell, for the
first time losing her temper ; "every
dollar that you took from me be-
longs to me ! I claim it here and
now ! If there is any one else who
dares say that it is not mine let
them speak, and the law will decide
whose it is ! If I have stolen it, let
the owner make complaint, and the
officer do his duty !"
She looked like a queen, whn
erect and defiant, with flashing
eyes, those werds were spoken.
The merchant gazed at her in
rapt admiration, the color mount-
ing to his very temples, and, for-
getting the strange, plight in which
he was placed, he stood transfixed,
feasting his eyes until his very soul
became intoxicated with the mag-
netic influences exercised over him
by that wonderful but wicked girl.
Not so with Madame Dodge.
The only feeling that took posses-
of her heart was hate ! Blind with
the wild passion that was fast gaiH-
ing control of her, unmindful of
what would inevitably follow, she
cried out :
''Arrest that girl ! She is a thief!
The money is mine !"
"That's what I thought," said
the detective, and he continued,
without interruption :
" Oome, Nell, get on your har-
i.ess ! I've got you dead to rights
this time ! You're young, but you're
old enough for a stretch down the
Is ell would have torn out the
heart of the old procuress, had she
been permitted ; but the officer held
her with a firm grip, and Madame
Dodge very discreetly kept out of
the way. With wonderful self-con-
trol and presence of mind the girl
refrained from making an immedi-
ate reply. With a smile that was
anything but lovely, she said :
' You say you thought I was a
thief; I don't blame you; but I
know and can prove whose money
that is ! Now, take me to the sta-
tion, but take her too. I have a
charge to make against the high-
toned Madame Dodge !"
" I have no right to take her
without a warrant; but I have
found stolen money on you, and to
the jug you go ! So get ready."
In a minute N-.dl was ready.
"Good bye, ma" she said, ad-
dressing the old woman, who turned
scornfully upon her heel.
As they were going out, Mr.
Brown, who had until this time
taken no part in the quarrel, called
out, excitedly :
"OFFICER, STOP !"
It was a vividly thrilling scene, or
tableau, that was enacted in the
house of the procuress, when Mr.
Brown, trembling with excitement,
interposed in behalf of Wicked Nell.
The officer, knowing the gentleman
to be a prominent and respectable
citizen, could not well refrain from
heeding the old man's words, al-
though he was puzzled to know their
meaning. He really believed the girl
to be guilty, although as between
her and Madame Dodge, upon a point
of veracity, there would be little
choice, had there been no more tangi-
ble evidence of guilt. The Madame,
pale as a ghost, turned with a half
frightened, half bewildered look to
her confederate in crime, and waited
without speaking for an explanation
of his to her strange and incompre-
hensible conduct. Nell was also taken
somewhat by surprise, but, young as
she was, she had learned the art of
concealing her emotions, and she,
too, awaited with every appearance
of calmness for the next move in the
little drama in which she was taking
such a conspicuous part.
The silence, for a moment, was
oppressive. It was broken by the
" This business must be stepped,"
he said; " that girl is not guilty !"
Wicked Nell looked at him with
unconcealed astonishment. Of all
others, she had expected no kindness
from him. She had deceived him,
betrayed him, insulted him, and sub-
jected him to indignities that would
have provoked the bitter enmity of
the best man in the world and yet,
in the face of all this, he stood there
her champion and defender !
" I do not understand what you
mean," said the officer ; "Mrs. Dodge
claims that this girl is a thief; I
found the money in her possession ;
and under such circumstances it is
my duty to arrest her ! There is no
other course for me to pursue."
" If Mrs. Dodge claims that the
money you found is hers, Mrs. Dodge
lies" was the emphatic rejoinder ;
" the money was mine ; it was never
hers ; and I declare to you now that
this young girl has it as my free gift,
and can have as much more as she
may need ! You say, sir, that you
know me ; if you do, you perhaps
know that my word has never been
questioned in the city of Chicago,
and that I am responsible for what
I say 1 and what I do !"
The eyes of Madame Dodge shone
like two balls of fire. Her whole
frame fairly shook with rage, as she
exclaimed, threateningly :
" Do you dare stand up here in my
house and deonunce me as a liar f
Speak, sir, quick ! Unsay what you
have said, apologize, or as sure as
the sun rises, old man, you shall
suffer the terrible consequences /"
" Woman ! No, not woman, Devil /"
said the merchant, hoarsely, " your
threats are but idle words ! Let the
consequences be what they may, I
will stand between that girl and
harm! The officer can arrest her if he
must, but if she goes you go, too !"
" And if I do, what will become of
my distinguished patron the res-
pectable 'and influential voAhonorable
Mr. Brown ? What part will he take
in the investigations and exposures
that will surely follow ?"
" He will take the part of a man !
If he has erred, he will acknowledge
it, but, so long as God lets him live,
he will not permit so foul a wrong to
be perpetrated upon any human be-
ing, as this one that you are at-
tempting to commit upon a friend -
leas ani defenceless girl !"
" Yor are a fool ! a rash, crazy
fool ! Do you hear me, Mr. Brown ?
Do you know what you are doing ?"
" Yes ! I am doing right !"
"You will curse the hour that
you ever said that word, sir !"
" 1 already curse the hour that
ever brought me to your door i"
" What did you come here for ?
Did I have a rope around your neck,
or a ring in your nose, and lead you
here, against your will ? Did I force
you ? Did I entice yon ?"
" Hold ! shouted Mr. Brown, with
difficulty suppressing the passion
that was raging in his bosom; '-you
have said enough ! I will not listen
to another word."
The woman laughed scornfully.
" It is like putting salt on a raw
sore for me to talk to you," she said,
derisively ; " the truth touches the
old man on a tender spot, don't it ?"
" A halter will some day touch
your neck on a tender spot," was the
prompt and scornful reply.
While this conversation was going
on, the officer said nothing, but his
thoughts were keenly active.
" Give them rope enough and
they'll hang themselves," came into
his mind as he listened.
Wicked Nell had also remained a
quiet listener, but she had, almost
unconsciously, made her way to the
merchant's side. She clasped his hand,
and involuntarily raised it to her lips,
and there was something like a tear
that glistened in her eye as she said :
" I am sorry, sir, oh ! so sorry for
what I did last night ! I was a wick-
ed, wicked girl !"
Folding her in his arms the rich
man pressed her to his wildly beat-
" Child," he said, " it is I who
ought to be sorry ! It was I, an old
man, who performed the wicked part,
and may Heaven forgive me for it !"
" Heaven ! What do you know
about heaven? There's a hot corner
in hell that has been kept vacant for
such as you," sneered the procuress.
Nell turned with a flushed face.
" And where will your place be
there, you toothless hag you old
blister you wart of humanity! Oh,
if we are all going to hell together, I
shall coax the devil to give me a sit-
uation to poke up the coals and pile
on the brimstone that will roast your
rotten, skinny old soul ! It would do
me good to see the grease fry out, and
hiss and sputter on the hot ashes !"
" Mr. officer, take that girl away,
before I take the law into my own
hands !" hissed the hag, savagely.
" Oh, Mr. Policeman ! Please let
her take all the law she wants! Why!
she'd go and hide under the bed, if
she and I were alone for just a min-
ute ! She knows better than to lay
her bony claws on me! I taught
her a lesson a few days ago that she
won't forget if she lives to be a
thousand years old ! Say, old gal,
how did you like the thumping you
got from this child, eh ?"
Nell advanced a step or two, and
the old woman retreated Evidently
she did remember, and did not care
to have the experiment repeated.
The officer stepped between them.
" There must be no more disturb-
ance here," he said, sternly. And
them he continued :
" Mr. Brown, I do not undersand
what has been going on here, but I
am satisfied that it is not in my
power to settle the difficulties that
have resulted so unpleasantly to all
of you. As it is, I think I ought to
take Wicked Nell and Madame
Dodge both to the station. If I did
not know you, sir, I should probably
invite you to come along, too !"
" I will save you the trouble on
that score, by volunteering to go
with you,' without an invitation,"
was the quiet reply. " I have said
that I would protect that girl, and I
will do it, though ruin and disgrace
stare me in the face ! This night's
work may be a sorry one for me, but
I will not shrink from the responsi-
bility. If I have been a villian, I
will show the world that I can be a
man as well ! Come, sir, do your
duty! I am ready!"
" Mrs. Dodge, you are my prison-
er !" said the officer, laying his hand
upon her shoulder.
She shrank from his touch M
though bitten by a serpent.
" What !" she said, excitedly, "do
you dare arrest me, and without a
warrant, when I have done nothing!"
"We do not need warants when
we deal with the keepers of asssig-
nation hells," replied the officer.
" Sir," exclaimed the old womaa,
white with fear and rage, " Bewarel
If you arrest me, you do it at your
peril ! Do it, sir, and you will never
wear another star in Chicago ! Do
it, if you dare !"
" I have dared desperate men, in
my day," said the officer, smiling,
" and it requires but little courage
to put the collar on a sputtering old
woman like you. Shall I take you
by force, or will you walk along de-
cently and quietly, like a lady?"
" Take me by force ! " shrieked
the enraged procuress, throwing her-
self at full length on the sofa, clutch-
ing the carved back with both hands,
and acting like a wild woman.
" Put a star on me, and /'// make
the old Jezebel walk like a turkey
with a bunch of fire-crackers under
its tail ! " exclaimed Wicked Nell,
whose joy knew no bounds.
" I don't think we shall need your
services," replied the officer, who
continued addressing the old woman:
" Madame Dodge, I have told you
that you were my prisoner. I was in
earnest. Now, let me tell you* one
thing more: Unlessyou behave your-
self, and come along without trouble,
I will throw you across my should-
ers as I would a sheep, and carry
you all the way to the armory."
"Drag the eld cat heels first,"
put in Nell, viciously.
A moment's reflection convinced
Mrs. Dodge that she was dealing
with a man who meant what be said,
and was not to be trifled with. And
with a sigh that came near being a
groan she arose, and prepared to
obey the demands of the policeman.
" I presume you will permit me
to order a carriage," she said, with
"Yes," said Nell, "but you mu,t
get two hacks, if any, for I wouldn't
ruin my reputation by being seen
riding in her company! "
" You and I will ride together."
said Mr. Brown, " if the officer will
intrust me with the charge of so
desperate a prisoner."
" You are entirely responsible,"
he replied, "and even if you was not,
we can easily keep an eye on you."
Very soon two hacks drove up to
the house of the procuress, and the
whole party left, leaving the aston-
ished negress alone in the house.
Be-fore Nell realized what hap-
pened, the merchant had kissed her
plump on her crimson-tinted lips.
<: Nell !" he exclaimed, pressing
ker passionately to his breast,
" darling, I love you /"
" Darling ! I love you ! repeated
Mr. Brown, pressing the beautiful
^'irl to his bosom, and kissing her.
Wicked Nell was bewildered, and
knew not what to say or do. The
girl had no definite idea of the
word love. She had never loved
anybody in her life. True, she
liked her lioerai iover, Onariey Wil-
liams, because he made her presents
and gave her money, but she kne^v
that he was a married man, and
the idea of him being anything
nearer to hr than h had been fer
the past fw months, mever entered
her head. She had not been true
to him, either, and that fact showed
how shallow was even her pretend-
ed love. Never in all her life had
her heart been so touched as it was
when Mr Brown stepped between
her and the officer, and became her
champion. Knowing that he had
reasons to hate her, she expected
no mercy at his hands ; and when
she heard his words of defence for
her, and the defiance that he hurl-
ed at the procuress, to save her
life she could not keep back the
tears that forced themselves to her
eyes. She felt she had wronged
one whose heart was in the right
place, even though his passions
had prompted him to the commital
of a fearful sin. Once she had
hated him, but she now felt that he
was a true friend.
It was fully a minute before Nell
spoke, after the passionate declara-
tion of her companion. She did not
repel his advance* she did not
withdraw the hand he clasped s
warmly ; she did not resist when
he drew her to his besom and press-
ed her head against his heart.
" I do not understand you," she
finally said, raising her eyes to his;
' how you can forgive one who has
abused you so shamefully ? "
" Forgive ?" he exclaimed. ' Nev-
er say that word to me again ! The
first time I saw you I loved you !
If you should kftl me this minute,
my last act would be a kiss, my
last words a blessing ! Say that
you will let me love you, and pro-
tect you, and cherish you, and yeu
will make me happy !"
"But what weuld that three-
hundred dollar-girl say?"
There was a rouguish smfl OB
Nell's face when she asked this.
" God knows I never want t see
her again," he said, and continued :
" As GUd is my judg, M Heaven
U my kop, I intended no harm to
an innocent girl. I was tempted to
do what I did. I listened to those
more wicked than I was, and but
for you I might have yielded to
temptations that I had not the pow-
er to resist. But you have not
given me one word of encourage-
ment. Tell me, will you let me
Nell, who had completely regain-
ed her self-posession, replied :
" You mean to ask me if I will
^ you girl T
" No ! on my honor, No !"
Wicked Nell laughed, but it was
not a merry laugh.
" You're like all the rest of the
world, after all," she said ; " I had
almost believed you were honest."
" Whatever I may have been, I
am honest now I swear it."
Instinctively, she pushed him
" I did'nt think you such a vil-
lian," she .said, frowning sternly.
" What do you mean ?" exclaimed
the man, the picture of astonishment.
" If you had told me that you
wanted me for a kept woman, I
might have respected you I might
even have consented; for I entertain
for you more than friendly feelings.
But when you try to deceive me,
when you attempt to make a fool
of me, it makes me hate you again,
worse than I did before."
" In God's name what have I
Mr. Brown held up both hands,
and seemed deeply moved there
was agony on his face, and his voice
" Done? Oh, nothing! Nothing but
this : You have lied I You are a hy-
pocrite! You are making yourself a
scoundrel, when there is no neces-
sity for it ! Wicked Nell is not soft !
She is not an idiot, to be fooled by a
few empty-sounding words ! Go play
that confidence game on such inno-
cent little girls as you thought you
had trapped last night, but don't try-
it on me ! It's too thin for the wick-
edest girl in Chicago !"
" Oh, this is trouble," sighed the
astonished merchant. " If you will
only tell me why you talk ? strange-
ly, so wildly, so unjustly, then
I can defend myself ! Speak, Nellie !
Why do you thus accuse me ?"
" I ought to spit in your face !"
"For what ? Oh, God ' for what?"
" For being the boss deceiver and
champion liar of Chicago !"
" I implore you to explain !"
" I'll ask you a few questions, and
then I guess you won't want any
" Go on ! Ask anything you wish."
" You said you loved me ?"
"I did ! I do love you ! '
" And you don't want me to be
your girl your mistress ?
" No !"
" Do you want to adopt me as a
" No not that."
" Do you want me to come and
work for you as a servant?"
"Heavens ! no !"
"Then I will ask you plainly, what
do you want of me ?"
" I will tell you. I love you wild-
ly, madly, desperately, truly ! I will
take you to my heart and make yon
my honored, lawful, wedded wife !"
" Oh you villain !"
Nell screamed these words, and
she turned red in the face with anger,
while the merchant was so astonish-
ed that he could hardly speak.
" If an honorable proposal makes
a man a villain, then I confess that I
am one f the worst of villiana !"
" Honorable ? Don't say that
again ! You're a skunk ! I'm glad
I played that game last night !"
" Child, are you crazy ?"
" No ; not crazy I'm wad !"
" At what ?"
" To think you take me for a flat
a sucker a spooney !"
* Oh, I knew not what to say or do."
41 Well, if you don't, I can give you some
advice I c&i tell you what to do."
" I will do anything that you ask me to."
' Give us your hand on that I"
He held out his hand mechanically. Nell
B*. .'zed it and said:
" Go ~komt to your wife and da ffhter/"
" If y w ife ? My daughter ?' '
"Tee, you: wfe, your dawjhter I O K , what
a nice man you are, trying to pull the wool
over the eyes of Wicked Nell, with your mar
rying dodge. Ain't you ashamc. d of yourself ?"
" Who told you I was married, and that I
had a child? '
"The old woman squealed on you."
' What old womar ?' '
" The extremely virtuous and highly ac
complished Madame Dodge 1"
" Madame Dod.e liedl dhe Ved like a thief !
I war. never married, I have no child 1"
Nell lo ked at him as though she would
read hia sou).
"I swear that what I hav said is true,"
he centinue.d. " It would be folly for me to
attempt to deceive you, when the lie could be
so quickly nailed. Believe me, Nellie, dar-
ling, and n;ver doubt my word again 1'
He was about to embrace her, when the
hack drew up in front of the Armory, and
the whtlc party alighted.
It T( quired very little persuasion to induce
Madame Dodge to withdraw the oomp'.aint
she had made against Wicked Nell. The ride
to the Armory had the effect to cool down
the anger of the procuress, and she was glad
enough to escape ,so easily from what might
prove a serious charge.
' "Drive us to the Tremont House, " was
the order Mr. Brown gave to the driver, as
himself and Wicked Nell re-entered the hack.
In one of the parlors of that hotel, himself
and the girl he loved had a long and earnest
conversation. When convinced that she had
a second time wronged her benefactor, Nell's
self-accusations were as vehement as those
she had heaped upon ihe head of Mr. Brown.
Perhaps the knowledge that she had been so
uLjust and unreasonable had a favorable effect
on her heart, for she could cot but aoknowl
edge to herself that the advances of her friend
were the most pleasing that she had ever
When Mr. Brown insisted upon a reply,
Nell hung her head she was ashamed to
look him in the face.
1 ' Say yes, darling, say yes," he exclaimed
" I cannot! Oh, I cannot," she said, sadly.
" Why can you noi?".
The words almost stuck in her throat, but
the brave girl responded:
" Because, sir because because Iam
a PROSTITUTE !' '
With a wild outburst of tearful emotion,
Nell tore herseif from the embrace of her
lover, ana fell to the floor, sobbing violently.
Tenderly the stro g man picked her up, as
though she was but a child.
" What you have been cannot be recalled,"
he said, sadly; "but henceforth you can b,
you shall be, a lady / As my betrothed, or as
my wife, there are cone who would dare treat
you with anythiEg but respect. Am I
not as bad, yes worse, than you ? We
stand on equal terms. Let us pledge
to each other, here and BOW, that
henceforth and forever we will be true as
steel, one to the other 1"
His arms were open. She fell upon hi*
broad breast, and for the first time in her life
bestowed upon a man a kiss of love! 1
Three years passed quickly away. During
that time Nellie O'Brien no longer, thank
God, Wicked Nell was an assiduous pupil
at a female seminary not two ' undi ed miles
from Chicago, graduating with the highest
honors, and taking with her when she de-
parted the love of her teachers and school-
mates. The change in her appearance was
rrarvelous. She had been a beautiful girl
before now she was as lovely a woman ai
the eye of man ever rested on with admira-
tion, and as good and pure in heart as she w
comely of form.
The TV edding was a quiet one and a happy
one, and none were happier than the mother
of the beautiful bride, who had been kindly
cared for by the man who became her son in-
Jennie Smith is to-day an inmate of a house
. f ill-fame on Pacific avenue, as bad as the
worst of them. She has been at the Bride-
well time after time, and will ur questionably
die there, at no far distant day.
Madame Dodgf left the city shortly after
the exciting adventures of that night, and
has never since been heard front.
To-day, in a mag. ifioent residence on one
of the most beautiful streets of Chicago, with
a bright and beautiful girl-child upon her
knee, surrounded by every luxury that
wealth can purchase, beloved by all whe
know her, there resides she who was noe
WICKB NBLL, A GAY GIBL OF THB TOWN.
" jC~ A > ,
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