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The Detective's Story

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One dark and stormy night in jnovember, 1874, when the rain was beating a dismal tattoo on the window pane, and the wind was howling an shrieking around the gables of the neighboring houses in a lonesome accompaniment to the splashing of the water in the gutters, swelled by the fast-falling rain, I sat in my cozy little office, where the ruddy fire-ligut cast a comfortable contrast to the darkness without, where the mellow light from a student's lamp barely lit up the space outside the shadow of the shade upon it, and utterly failed to dispel the darkness aud ghostly sombreness that clung to the piles o f old books, jnanuscripts, old papers, arcient pictures, and innumerable other "old things" with histories and tales attached to them ; making their dim, dull outlines take upon themselves the light and glory of romance. On the opposite side of my desk sat a life-long friend, Tom O'Hara. We had been schoolboys together, mates at college ; and the firmest of f riends in after years. Tom was a detective in the City of Kew York and one of the shrewdest men on the force, and having run down to Riverside on private business, had spent his leisure time with me. And on this evening, just mentioned, we were talking over the old scènes which had taken place lonar ago in our schooldays, and many were the laughs our pranks in younger days brought up. So vivid was memory that I almost feit myself again grasping the ball-bat or skimming over the glassy ice as we had tften done ; then there were the gay scènes attending us at college, the triumphs, the defeats, and the last vietory at graduation day. There is soinething tender and touching in thoughts of long ago, thoughts of things we will never do again, thoughts of faces aud voices long vanished from our sight, which, perhaps. we will never again behold. And we were both enjoying these thoughts as only sehool-fellows can.and Tom's deep bass voice vilrated through the rooms like a bell, broken now and then by his hearty laugh. I could not see his face for a perpetual cloud of cigar smoke enveloped it, but between the laughs, sounding so merry, were frequent sighs. It may seem strange that a whole-hearted fellow of Tom O'Hara's calibre should sigh,but yet it was so, and I don't bflieve there is any man living, who has a heart to f eel for him, who could resist sighing for "the days gone by." Fiiially I said: "Tom, you never gave me a story from your own experience as an officer. Come, now, let's have a good one to drive away the "blues." "Well, old boy," he said, "I don't mind if I do teil you of a little adventure I had in Detroit about f our years ago.and you, being in the legal profession will readily appreciate it. "All right, fire away," I said. ïom gave twoor tliree vigorous pulls at his cigar, puffing up little circlets of smoke that clustered around his head like blue halos, and then began: "You see, George, it was in the fall of '09 and old John Mather of Buffalo died ; you remember John, don't you 'i" I nodded. and he went on. Well, af ter his death, as you remember, no wülcould be found. The old man was supposed to have made one. hut it could never be brought to light, And so the wliole estáte was divided equally bet ween his nephew and niece, the only living relatives. About that time a casket of diamonds was missed from the house, and the nephew sent for me and placed the case in my hands, saying: 2iow, Mr. O'IIara, I leave the whole to your ability, and expect you to get back the casket again, any assistance which pon may need, I will furnish cordially." Well, 1 began my investigations by examining the safe where old Mather kept his valuables, and I found that it was perfectly sound, so I knew that the casket had been taken out by the safe's being opened in the regular way. 1 next questioned all the servants closely, and found that they had all been excluded from Mather's room witl the exception of the nurse ; this latter person was John's niece, who, as I said bef ore, obtained one half of the estáte. On her I flxed my suspicions, partly from the evidence on hand, and partly because 1 knew her character was not of the best. I liad an interview with jroung Mather again, and told him I suspected his cousin of taking the diamonds and asked him if I should follow ant arrest her. He told me to bring her back to the house but that he did not want he arrested, and only wanted the family diamonds back again. He also said h did not know where she was at pres ent, but thought she had gone to New York. I obtained a photograph of the gir' and learned from the ticket agent a the depot, that a woman answerin her description had bought a ticket t Detroit, Michigan, three days before. The conductor of the express conlirmd the agent's opinión, and I immediatey took the next train for the "City of he Straits." Arriving at Detroit, I put up at the Michigan Exchange on Jefferson Ave. nder an assumed name, and immeditely commenced to hunt up the girl. By careful inquines, concealing my ocation the while, I learned sufficient to convince me that she was in the city, but her name was not on any of the hotel registers. After considerable trouble, I tracked her to the Russel House, one of the best hotels in town at that time, but for a long time, I was unable to see her, or to be assured that it was really she, as she took her meals in her room and seldom went out. One evening, I stood on the steps of the hotel hoping that slie might be obliged to go out for something, and then I could arrest her in a quiet way. About eight o'clock, she carne out and entered a carriage that was waiting, and, under the gaslight I saw the diamondS, WlllCll I was loouking for, ah and sparkle at lier throat and in her ears. The carriage drove to the Opera louse, hardly a square distant, and he alighted and entered. I followed, eeping in the crowd and avoiding all ctions that would lead her to suspect ïat she was watched. She passed around the circle and entered a private-box, and the door closed between her and me. I saw that she was magnificently dressed and was evidently getting rid of her lnheritenee as fast as possible. Knowing that I could not enter the box before the curtain rose without attracting general attention, I waited. W hen the audience became absorbed in what was going on before them on the stage, I walked around and entered the box, closing the door af ter me She started and turned around, hesitated and then demanded the cause of my intrusión. To which I replied that I was an offlcer, at the same time displaying the star on my breast, and thatl wanted her for robbery, also that if she did not come quietly I should have to handcuff her. I knew it would be impossible for meto arrest her in the theatre, but I wanted to f righten her into coming out. Without any rnore ado, she arose and followed me.and I was careful to keep a harp eye on her. 1 allowed her to go back to the hotel and settle her bill, and order her trunks to be sent to Bufalo by express. I then took lier to he depot just in time for the 10.30 rain eastward. During the night, she sat by my side without even uttering a word, but oeasionally she glanced across the aisle at a dark, handsome looking man, who, when these glances met his eye, lightly lif ted his brows, and went on taring out of the window. In fact he overdid himself, and was too cautious, onsequently I knew he was acquainted with my companion. Presently he turned and threw his ïand over the back of the seat, and out oL my liulf-nloa"! oyoo T watohftd 11 i 111 harply. In a moment I understood vhat he was doing. He was talking n signs to my charming prisoner. And without much of an effort, I read plainly : "I will drug him, and you must get away. We will go to Europe. Have yon got the will safe? and have you ent your trunks to Montreal? Is he a regular detective? Is he asleep now." To which she answered in the affirmative to all of the questions. I was wide awake now, you may be sure, but I did not open my eyes. The passengers were all sleeping or dozing around me, and no one was looking toward us. Quietly I took out my handcuffs and held them under my coatskirt. The fellow crossed the aisle and took the seat behind me; presently both of his hands came over my shoulders, one holding a sponge, from the peculiar odor of which, I concluded it ,o be chloroform. When the hands were f ar enough over,I quickly snapped a bracelet on one and grasped the other flrmly. and before he could recover from his surprise, 1 had the other on and he was caught. He swore and raved like a madman, and threatened me with dire vengeance, called upon the girl to shoot me, which only caused me to slip a pair of irons on her own delicate wrists. I then tookthe fellow by the coat collar, and jerked him into the seat with the girl, and sat down opposite, with my eyes watching every movement. In this way we rode to BufEalo, and 1 soon had them before John Mather's nephew. I related the conversation about the will which I had witnessed in the car ; and telegraphed to Detroit for the girl's trunks. When they came, we found the casket with all the miss ing diamonds sáíely hielden in a secre compartment, and, in the casket, wa a piece of parchment. ïhis was the last will and testament of John Math er, deceased.leaving every thingto hi nephew. ïhey recovered uil that wns possible from the girl, but she had fixed thing with her husband, the chap who triec to drug me, in such a manner that af ter all, she carried away sometliiiif, like seventy thousand dollars. I wanted to have the man sent uj but young Mather let them both go and I have never heard anything o them since, except that her husband whose name was Leone Howard, wa shot at a Baden Baden gambling house. Young Mather still lives ii the old house yet, and, I think, ha quite afamily. I received $5,000 for that bit of work besides this," showing me a magnif cent cluster diamond ring, which adorn ed the little flnger of his left hand "and I think I should lik e a few mor like it, for you know I'm only human my boy, and so earthly things posses for me a wonderful charm." "I have had many adventures in my day," was answered to my question "but I have told you this because you are familiar with the partiesoceuiing in it." At the battle of Leipsic, which last ed three days. Napoleon lost two mar shals, twenty generáis, and about CO, 000 men killed, wounded and missing The allies lost 1790 offlcers, and abou 40,000 men. At the battle or Watei loo, the allies lost 10,630 men and th French about 30,000. About 300,00 men were killed in the various battle of the world in 1855. "WUh the buds and grasses and foh age and other greenness of the season spring poetry will soon make its appearance.


Old News
Michigan Argus