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A Talk With A Detective

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A talk with a detective is generally interesting, and often instructive. We have a very acute offlcer In the city, and fiom Iiini I learned a little regarding thedifficulty experienoed in tracklug criminal. Home years ago an extenslve forgery was reponed to the pólice; and on the evening of tlie same day a serious bargtary was carried out in a jeweller's i)remises in the city. There was not the slightest trace of tlie daringcrlmlnali. The detective departmeiit itselt heard. The detective told otV for the burglarv chanced to obtain a slight trace of some ot the missing property, suspicion having attached itsell to the inmatet of a certain house, owine to their lavish expenditure of money. Purther inqulriea only strengthened the suspicion; but althougli there was tlie strongest proof that tlie pólice were on the right trail none of the iewelry or silver plata eoukl be discovered. Tliís was exasperating, more especially as tlie detective had been assured that the property was actually taken into that house. The offlcer went to tlie station very despondent, and sought to bejruile his tliouglits by íeading a volume oi' Editar Alien Poe's stories. lic had got the length of "The Missing Letter," when he started up, blaming his own folly, und proceedud again to the suspected house. Acting on the suggestion of the tale, he determined, this time, nol to look ander carpets and into mvxu-riniis cavities, or lo tear up hollow-sounding portions of tho floor. Knowing now that the safest place to liide anything wh where people would never thlnk of looking - as in the case of the letter Iterlag 1 lie searchers in the face from tlie mantel-piece- tlie detective, accoinpanied by another offlcer, went inlo the bonae; and there, oauide one of the windows iooklng lo tlie back-ereen, and attachecl liy a siroiif; cora u iiic lintel, they found a bag ooauining all the silver píate lint, there m do trace of tbe jewels, some of wbicb were of gn-at valué. TbeoflSoen liad another look round, a little encouragpd ly Iheir partlal success. The main room was elegantly furnished, the oriel window being piy with a rich parterre of flowefs n bandiome Batauma ware rase. Jly infonnant went forward to the window, took liold of one of the plants, when it carne away in his hand, revealing tlie fact that :he earth in the pot did not reach the bottom of tlie vase. In a few minutes the whole of the property was recovered from :he several vases. An arrest and conviction followed, with a sentence of ten years' ienal servitude to each of the ingenious .hieves. While the prisoners were awaiting their trial, onc of tliem dropped a hint that rather enlightened a turnkey on the subject of the forgery, wliich, as above mentioned, had also happened on the same day as the theft. The detective was once more made a ware of the information, whioh at lirsi appeared insignifieant. Butthis "trille light as air" proved important enough. Tlie slight cue was followed up with relentless perseverance, witli the result of bringing to light the fac that the forger liS',Un?íbfe%(lí!Uins ol moncy i„ the it was easy to get infonnation from ttie inmates who had pot been turan into custody. The detective at last became aware that the man he was in search ot was betrothed to a young lady, the daughter of a very prominent citizen. Curiously enough, the crime had not renched the newspapers; while, on the other hand, the authorities had been heavily handicapped through the absence of any photograph oi the criminal, The detective called upon the young lady, when he had assured himselr of the absence of lier parents, and asked her quickly to how him her album. With great self)O8session, the gul brought the book, and ooked steadily at her visitor's face; nor lid slie cxhibit the slightest feeling when he detective, with a half smile, congratuatbd li(!ron beingacleverwoman.although ie thought she mighthave been even more so if she liad fillcd up the page from which he had taken the photograph which had aced herown. He left the house with the conviction that while the girl knew of the vhereabouts of her lover, she was a match or the cleverest of criminal ollicers. Let me teil the story in the detective's own words. "As I went about, considerably annoyed it the way we had been checkmated, I saw he girl come out of a shop. StrolHog in, purchased a small articlc, and learnad rom the garrnloui shopkeeper that he had ust sold a large trunk. Here was a m )hase. The yomig lady, H -vrno generally admitted, had a great regard lor young aan, and WOUld very probably do all in icr power to save hiin. Did slie intend to eave the city? That was the polnt to be letermined. I also learned, through proceedings which I am not called upon toexplain, that the young lady had a private account at a bank In the city- not the one wheie the forgery had been committed- and took steps to ascertain her money transaction; when, to my infinite surprise, I was told that on the previous day she had withdrawn a sum of fifteen hundred pounds, explaining that she wished to place it in an investmentofa private nature. But imagine my astonishment when I learned that on a certain day, about the time the forgery was committed, she had lodged nine hundred pounds - a hundred less than the sum obtained by the forger. I now resolved to set my knowledge and authority agatnst a woman's wits, not at all hopeful of the result. "I met her in the street, where she aflected not to recognize me. I followed ; and when we carne to a quieter thoroughfare, she turned, and at once addressed me by name. A f tor mmc cAjjicuaions of regret at the nature of my duties, I let her antierstand all I knew of the case ; at the close giving a threat to the effect that I mightbe oalled upon to arrest her as an abetter to forgery. Even tliis did not affect her. Another thought struck me when I law something white peeping from her handbasket, and I bluntly asked her forthe letter she had just received at the general postofflee. Without a pause, she hunded me a letter bearing the pnst-niark New Vork. We had suspected that the foreer was in America; butinquiries at the postofflee had satisried me that no letters had been reoelred addressed to the young lady, and I also knew that fear of her parents would prevent any communication between the parties. So, when I received this letter, my labors seetned about ended; for tliis wing the lirst epistle, and the contemplated llight being taken into account, there was every reason to believe that the letter now in my possession simply meant the speed y capture of the forger. The girl bowed and passed on; but there was sonietliintr approaching a smile on her face M Bhfl parted from me. The letter was bulky, mul tlieenvelope had a somewhat fiaycil i.pcnrane', u if it had fallen into the tratar. "With breathless speed, like a soul in cha," I tore the envelope open, on ly to lind evcry sheet of paper perfectly blank,! I looked them over and over again, went to the office, and tried sympatlictic inks, obtained microspope- in tbort, made ererj (Hort tosatisfy mytelf that I had not been doped At last, 1 confessed that the girl hud been too much for me. Fortunately for my peace of mimi. 1 had not aoüoainted any of my colleaguet Witb tlic lligbtesl Idea of my partial tucceM, o that they had no occasion to rejoice at my dUcomfltare - a discomfiture bitter; tor when I made inquirles the next day, 1 fonnd thít niy blrd had llown. I instantly linnicd to (ireeneck- this was before tlic diiys of the Atlantic cable- only to ace the large steamer sailing away to the west. A few montlis al'terwanls, Í received a li-tli'i' in a woman's hand, bearing the postniark of a little townsliip iu the Rocky Mountains. This was all it contained: ¦¦1 ou'ie ii smart fellow, bot no maten for a loving woman. An old envelope tull of blank paper is quite good enough for suc as you. Had you been more civil, I migli liave taurht you the art of re-guinming old love letters!- Farewell. I am iuit happy."- Welected.


Ann Arbor Courier
Old News