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An Artist In Crime

An Artist In Crime image
Parent Issue
Day
12
Month
May
Year
1899
Copyright
Public Domain
OCR Text

[Copyright, 1895, by G. P. Putnaiu's Sons.J "That, too, is an insanity, one, oí course, whieh caunot be indulged in by any save the rich. But it is not the same aswith the old stamp craze. Pictnres remiiid us oí nature and appeal to tbe senses of all mankind by recalling recollections brought into being by the gcene presented. There is therefore a legitímate use for paintings, aud a reaKonable price as cornpensation for the work and genius of the artist is perhaps permissible. Bnt shonld a man pay a fortune for a single canvas and then hang it in a room in his own house where it wil] be seen by few save himself, that man I ghonld consider demented. So witb jewels" - "Ah! Whatof them?" "Jewels have a niaikct valué, and a place in the world. Bnt when a man goes about bujing up eveiy njagnificent specimen that can be fonad, and then locks his treasuics up in a safe, he is simply a c-razy mau puio and simple." " Wiiut Las all this to do with the case in uaud:'_' "Everyfhiijg. IIy iiiciid is a crank on the subject of jewels. feusible and entertainiug cu ajuy oiiitr topic, if yon mention (lie nanje tí -a;y kind of jevcè] he is oiï in a minute, giviug a long iiistory of this or that celebrated stone. His especial craze ia Ihis connection is to relate the crimes that have snrrounded every stone cf any great prioe. Ko has made mj blood cnrdle at his ghastly tales of crnel tnurder, corumitted to gain possessiou of diamonds and rubies. " "Theu your conclusión is that byfilling his njind wiih snch thoughts he roay have aecustomed himself to the idea of crime in connection with els?" "Exactly. The worst of it is that we may begoiue habitúa ted to anythiug. For irnftance, all ordinary men are abashed in the presence of the dead. No matter how strong minded a man may be or how much he may scoff at the idea of ghosts and the like, he will prefer compauy if he must sil; up with a corpse. More than that, the slightest sound in the room, as the moving g1 the ice in the icebox, will canse a shiver to pass tbrongh hiru. Yet physicians who Btudy freqnently in the dissecting room come to have that contempt of a dead body that a butcher bas for the meat ■which he sells. ' ' "Your argument is notbad, Mr. Randolph. It is not irnpossible that your friend might be generous and gentle and yet with a mania for the possession of_ jewels, and with the knowledge of all the crimes that have been committed to gain them, the temptation to kill or Bteal would perhaps beconie overpowering, where his passion sees an opportnnity to be satisñed. It is an odd world. ' ' "Do you thiuk that in a case of that kind the man would be excusable on the plea of mania? Legally, I mean?" "Well, no, I do not! Psychologically, I admit that you may be correct, and I can eympathize with a man who became a criminal in such a way. But Jegally he would be culpable. At least I think so. The qnestion to be answered is, Did your friend stE;l tho.se jewels? You slept with him featuight. Whatdoyon think?" "I don't know what to think. He could not have left the berth without climbing over rue, and, though I sleep soundly, that onght to have awakened me. Then besides, if he did get out and take the thhigs, where could he have hidden theru, and how did they get to New Haveu? By the way, I snppose you have the description of the wan who left the satchel at the hotel? Does it tally with that of my friend?" "I can 't say. It is rat her vague. The clerk says the man was of medium 6ize, with red hair aud beard, while the porter who saw him also is equally positive that he had black hair and no beard. The last fits Mr. Jlitchel better than the first, but it is a descríption Which wonld do as well for l.uOO meu fouüd iu a walk aloug Broadway. " "I almost (hiuk that after all the thief is some oue else. " "Let us hope so, Mr. Raudolph. I ■will say this much, if tliere is any comfort in it for yem. At present there is ïiot eiiough evidence agaiust him to warrant his arrest. " The detective said this with a pnrpose. By relievisg this myi's mind he hoped to make him more eomiaunicative. After a pau&e he asked : "You have kuown Mr. Mitchel for a nnmber of years, I believe?" "No, not more tlian a year and a half. He has not been in New York two years. ' ' "Oh! I eee. A Boston man?" "No, I think he canie f rom New leans. ' ' A cxirious seusation passed over Mr. Barnes. There is a superstitious belief, mnch esteemed by uiauy, that a shudder or chili of this characler ineans that some one is walkiug over the spotvhere the person affected is to be btaried. Therefore au nncanny tbonght aecornpanies it. With Mr. Barnes it is dift'er. ut. He is free from all such notions, fet iuseusibly he is moved when this occnrs to him, becanse it has so often happened that at the time he jnst hit apon a clev?. Therefore he stopped to cousider. All that Mr. Randolph had said was that Mr. Mitchel, he thought, had come from New Orleaus. In a moment it fiashed across Mr. Barnes' mind that the dead voman had told him that fhe had lived ia New Orleaus. Was there auy significance in this fact? Did the man and thevfornan kuoweach other in the southern city? "How do you know that he is a sonthiiaerï" asked Mr. Barnes. "Oh, that was easily diseovered by his accent," replied Mr. Randolph. "Besides. he claims to be from the Ecmth, thongh I thinkhe is ratber inclined uot to speak of his home. I have au indistinct recollection of his telling rne once that he was bom in New Or leaiii .and that he had some painfnl recoHectoans of the place. That is the only eV6r alluded t0 i. bow"1 wonld like to ask yon a question about another man, Mr. Eandolph. I wonder whetheryou have methim. His name is Thauret. " "Alphouse Thauret? Yes, I know hiin, and I do uot like hhn. " "Why not?" "I don 't exactly know. Perhaps it is only a prejiidice. Still we are apt to form quickestimatesof men, and I have distriisted this man froin the first instant that I met him. " "Distriasted him?" "Yes. I may be entirely wrong, and perhaps I should not teil you the story, but I will do so. It was at one of my clubs about two weeks ago. Some gentlemen were playing whist, and this Thauret was of the mimber. Others were looking on. The stakes were small ; still thero was rnoney up. Thauret and his partner seemed to have a great deal of luck. Ordinarily, of course, two packs are nsed, but fcir some reason there was bnt one that night, so that the bottom card would be the truinp. Now it is pretty well küown that as the cards run in whist, each trick contaiuing four of a suit mainly, it is a matical certaiuty that i f the pack is shuffied twice ouly, and the dealer is skillfu} enoiigh to haiidle the pack so that the two halves split each other exactly both times, the result will be that the majority of trumps will go to hirnself and partner. Cutting does not alter this fact at all. Kuw what I observed ■was that Thauret dealt in that way every time. He and bis partner won abont $200 during the evening. I think he cheated. " "Who was his partner?" "I do not know. " "Was Mr. Mitchel present that night?" "Yes, and agreefa with me that the man is a card sharp. Yet of course we inay be doing him au injustice. After all we only know that he shuffled his cards twice, and played in good lnck. I have since seen him lose at the same game. ' ' "Well, I am niuch indebted to you, Mr. Bandolph, for tlie information which you have given me. I will say that if I can prove that your friend had no hand in this affair I shall be most happy." The detective arose and Mr. Randolph aecepted the action as a hint that he was dismissed. After his departnre Mr. Barues sat down agaiit. Iu his mind.he woudered whether this partner in the card game might have ' t-eu the acconiplice of Thanret in lic jewel robbery, aud whether he was the man who left the jewels in the hotel at New Haven. VVhy he should have done so, however, was a mystery. A few minutes later Mr. Barnes left the building and walked rapidly toward Third avenue, vhere he took the elevated road, getting out at Seventysixth street. üoing eastward a few houses, he rang the bell of one, and was ehown iiito a niodestly f urnished parlor. A few minutes later a coinely yoniig wonian of about 24 or 2ö entered. The two talked together in low tones for some time, and Uien the girl leffc the room, remming in street attire. ïogether tliey left the house. Four days later Mr. Barnes received a note which simply saici, "Come up. " He seeined to uuderstaud it, however, and was quickly on hisway to the house on Seveuty-sixth street. Ouce more the girl joiued hiin in the parlor. "Well," eaid Mr. Barues, "have yon sncceeded?" "Why, of course, " replied the girl. "You uever knew me tomake a failure, did you? You dou't class uie with Wilson, I hope?" "Never miud abont Wilson; teil ine your story." "Very good. Dou't be impatient. You know me. I take my own way of doiug thiDgs. Well, you left me in Hadison Square park. I sat on a beuch and watched Wilson. Two hours later a man carne out of the hotel and Wilson followed him. lt made me laugh to eee the gawk skulking aloug in the rear. He's no artist. Why, auy booby could teil in a minute that he was on the trail. " "I told you to oinit remarks about Wilson." "I know, but I choose to teil you about him, because 1 ïuuke you appreciate me more. So rhere he was chasing after your man Mitchel. You see I have fonnd out nis name. You didn't te)l me, but that could uot trouble me long, you knów. It was real fun. One minute Wilson would be actually running to keep up, and all of a sudden Mitchel would stop so short that Wilson would alniost bump into him. Of course he knows Wilson by this time, and just has fun with him. I wauted to get one good square look at him myself. I juruped on a car and reached Third avenue ahead of them. I ran up stairs to the platform of the elevated station and hi'd in the waiting room. Soon up came Mitchel, and away he goes to the end of the Dlatform.. Wilsou stopped injhe middleand tried to ïook natura], which, of course, be didn't. When the train came aloug, I got aboard and walked through Kil I fouud ruy man, and down I sat rigbt opposite td him. I just studied his face, you liet. " "Yes, miss, and he stndied yours. Yon are a goose, and yon disobeyed orders. I told yon not to let that keen devil seeyo at all." "That's all right. It came ont straight enough. At Flbrty-secoud Street he got ont, and sodid Wilson, and so didn't I "' "Why not?" "Because then he niight have suspected me. No, sir ; I rode on up to Fortyseventh street, crossed over, took a train down, and was waiting ia the station when Mitchel came along the second time. This time he was alone, evidently having elnded Wilson at Thirty-fourth street, He took the down train. Sodid I, this time keeping ont oi fiight. He went straight to his lay, and I after hiin. It is a house in ïrving place. Here is the number. " She handed a card to Mr. Barnes. "You have done well," Eaid he, taking it. "But why did you not report to me at once?" "I am not throngh yet. When I take np a case, I go to the end of it. Do you euppose I wonld track that man and then let you turn Wilsou on him again? Not rnuch. Next day I called at the house and rang thebell. A servant girl opened the door. Iasked to see the mistress. She asked what I wanted, and I told her that I had been sent for to take a situation. She looked surprised, because, of conrse, she had not been notified that she was to be discharged. I quickiy went on to say that I would not ]ike to inake her lose her place, and asked what sort of people they were who lived in the house. I got her talking and soon found out thatit is a kind of private boartliug school, and that there is a child there, a girl of 14, named Rosö Mitchel, and that your man is her father. How does that strike yon?" "My girl, you are a genius. But sfcill you knew this the day before yesterday. Why duTyou uot report?" "I weut down again yesterday to try to learn more. I sat out in the park and watched the youug girls when they came out for an airing. I conld uot find a chance to speak to the girl, but ï fouud out which is she by hearing the others cali her name. I had my camera along, and I took her portrait for you. What do you say now? Have I wasted my time?" "Not at all. Yon are clever, but yon will never be great, because yon are too conceited. Bowever, I have nothing but praise for you this time. Get me the picture. " The girl went np stairs and returned with a small, rather dim photograph of a young, pretty girl, and gave it to Mr. Barnes. About half au hour later he left the house. (Toijecontinued.)