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The Expressman and the Detective By Allan Pinkerton Characters: 12114

Updated: 2017-12-01 00:04


We will now return to the North, where we left Mrs. Maroney enjoying herself as the guest of Mr. Moore. Green shadowed her closely, and she did not make a move that was not reported to me. I thought it best to see Mrs. Maroney myself while she was North, and proceeded to Philadelphia for that purpose, bringing George H. Bangs, my General Superintendent, with me. I had concluded to give Mr. Bangs full charge of all the operatives employed in the case. He was to keep fully informed of all the movements of Maroney and his wife, receive daily reports from all the operatives, then daily report to me, and I would direct him how to proceed, and he would transmit the orders to the operatives. I had many other cases under way, and could not devote all my time to this one. Bangs was to remain in Philadelphia, where all the operatives would send their reports. He was a young man of great abilities; he had been promoted from the ranks, and I had full confidence in his capacity. He was cautious-sometimes a little too much so, or more so than I would be, but still with firmness enough to carry him through all emergencies.

The reader knows that I was determined to win. The Adams Express Company had furnished me with all the backing I wanted, and under such favorable auspices, I said, "Win, I must! Win, I shall!" I did not doubt that Maroney was the thief. The question now was How can I find the money?

Philadelphia, at that time, was where the main offices of the Adams Express were located, and the Vice-President was in charge. I held a consultation with him, and he advised us to remain in Philadelphia and see Mrs. Maroney; and while the interview was progressing, a dispatch came to me, from Green, stating that Mrs. Maroney had left New York for that place. We were all anxious to see her, but I concluded to send Bangs alone to the station, as different persons had seen us with the Vice-President, and it might excite comment if we all went.

The train arrived in Camden, opposite to Philadelphia, at eight o'clock in the evening, and Bangs, who was waiting, had Green point Mrs. Maroney out to him. He got a good look at her as Flora and she stepped into a carriage. She was a medium sized, rather slender brunette, with black flashing eyes, black hair, thin lips, and a rather voluptuously formed bust.

Bangs and Green followed her to the Washington House, on Chestnut street, above Eighth, where she and Flora went into the reception room. She sent for the landlord, who assigned them a suite of rooms, and they retired.

It will be remembered that Maroney was observed to post a letter while in Memphis. Roch managed to see the address as it lay on the rack in the hotel, and found it directed to Mrs. M. Cox, Jenkintown, Montgomery County, Penn. When I arrived in Philadelphia, I concluded it would be a good plan to find out who Mrs. M. Cox was, and accordingly detailed Mr. Fox to procure the information. "His orders were: Go slow; be careful; be sure not to excite any suspicion." Mr. Fox had been a watch and clock maker, and was a thorough hand at his trade. I provided him with a carpet-sack and the necessary tools, and also a few silver watches, of no great value, which I purchased at a pawn broker's. Thus equipped as an itinerant clock repairer, and having a few watches to "dicker" with, he started on foot for Jenkintown, a small place twelve miles from Philadelphia. He sauntered slowly along with his satchel over his shoulder, going into a farmhouse occasionally, and finally reached Jenkintown. Here he passed from house to house, enquiring if they had any clocks that needed repairing. As he was a good hand, and his charges most reasonable, only twenty-five or fifty cents for each clock, he soon had doctored several. He was of a talkative nature, and drew from the old gossips whom he encountered on his rounds, full descriptions of the members of different families who lived in or around Jenkintown; and there is no doubt but that he was much better posted as to their business and weaknesses than they were themselves.

Toward evening, having done a good day's work, he went to the tavern, kept by a man named Stemples, and made arrangements to stop with him while in town. He found that a man named Cox lived in Jenkintown, and that he was a carpenter by trade. During the evening he was much surprised to meet Cox at the tavern. Fox was a genial fellow, and, after a paying day's work always made himself agreeable to those whom he met at the tavern where he put up. He had the knack of getting easily acquainted, and soon was on the best of terms with Cox and his friends. He did not force the acquaintance, but during the evening paid much more attention to Cox's friends than to Cox.

Fox went through about the same routine the next day, and toward evening, finding that he had made a dollar and a half, he packed up his tools and went up to the tavern. Here he found Cox and his friends again. He told them how successful he had been, and received their hearty congratulations-they feeling that there was no doubt but that they would be gainers by his good fortune. Cox and his friends joined in having a good time at the tinker's expense, and pronounced him the "prince of good fellows;" though I much fear, had Fox suddenly importuned them for a small loan, they would have changed their tune; but as he did not, "all went merry as a marriage bell."

Cox and his friends joined in having a good time at the tinker's expense, and pronounced him "the prince of good fellows."-Page 86.

Cox had two bosom friends-Horton and Barclay. They were held together by ties stronger than those which bind kindred-they were fellow-topers, and could drink about equally deep. They generally concluded an evening's entertainment in somewhat the following manner:

Cox would say, "Hic, Barclay, you'r drunk; better go home, hic."

Barclay would insist that he was never more sober in his life, but that Horton and Cox were "pos-(hic)-tively-(hic)-beasley." All three would then start off, bent

on seeing one another safely home, and, like the blind leading the blind, generally fall into the ditch. Three irate women would then make their appearance on the scene, and they would each be led home, declaring they were never more sober in their lives. Fox found that Cox was known by his friends as Josh. Cox, and he was what might be called a lazy loafer, as were also his friends, Horton and Barclay. Fox did not try to get any information from Cox, but got all he possibly could from his friends, Horton and Barclay, who proved easy talkers and kept nothing back. He now concluded it was a good time to find out about Cox. He discovered in the course of the evening that Josh. had a clock that needed repairs but did not care to go to the expense of getting it fixed. So he said: "Josh., you are a pretty good sort of a man, and I'll tell you what I will do for you; I am not going to work in the morning, and so I will come down to your house in the course of the forenoon and fix up your clock for you and not charge you a cent for the job." Cox was so much pleased at this liberal offer that he took another drink at Fox's expense and went home highly delighted. In the morning Cox called for Fox, and again drinking at his expense, conducted him to his house and gave him the clock to repair. Fox now saw Mrs. Cox for the first time. She seemed a very civil woman and a great talker. She was of middle stature, with black hair and eyes, and dark complexion. When I received this description, I immediately said she must be a relative of Mrs. Maroney's, and so she eventually proved. In the course of the conversation Fox gleaned that Mrs. Cox had some relatives living in Philadelphia, which was nothing astonishing, and he got very little information from her. Cox was out of employment, but expected work soon; his house was commodious and very neatly kept, and Mrs. Cox seemed a good housekeeper. Having finished the repairs to the clock, Fox returned to the tavern, where he found Barclay and Horton, and soon had the glasses circulating. The pleasant liquor caused all the parties to grow familiar, and Fox was regaled with many a rare bit of scandal. He finally spoke of the Coxes from whom he had just returned, and was at once given their history so far as it was known in Jenkintown. The family had been in the town about four years, and had moved there from Morrisville, N. J. Josh. was not inclined to work, and just managed to scrape enough money together to live on. They had three children, and Mrs. Cox was a native of Philadelphia. Fox concluded, from all he saw and heard, that the people of Morrisville would be able to give him full information of the antecedents of the Coxes, and came into Philadelphia on the following day to get instructions. I was perfectly satisfied with what he had done so far, and on the next day sent him to Morrisville. Fox plied his trade in Morrisville with great success, and soon got acquainted with many of its inhabitants. His disguise was a splendid one to travel with, as at that time the clock-maker was welcomed everywhere, and while engaged at his work would amuse his patrons with thrilling stories of his adventures, or with the details of city life. In this way Fox got acquainted with many people who knew the Coxes when they were living at Morrisville, and they unanimously gave Josh. the character of a "ne'er do weel," although there was nothing against him but his laziness. Josh. had lived for three years in Morrisville, and but very little was known of his previous life. His wife was known as a hard-working woman, and that was all that could be learned about her. Fox discovered, incidentally, that Josh. had a brother living at Centreville, near Camden, in the State of New Jersey. After a while he got around there, travelling all the way by the wagon road, and occasionally repairing a clock on the way. It would not do while assuming his present character to travel by rail.

On getting to Centreville he at once proceeded with his "dickering," being ready to either mend a clock or trade a watch. He found there was a Jim Cox in town who had a clock to fix, so he went to his house and got the job. He entered into conversation with Jim while engaged in repairing the clock, but found him a surly, uncommunicative, unsocial man, but Fox was a thoroughly good fellow and did not mind an occasional rebuff. So he took up the conversation, explained what was the matter with the clock, gave an interesting description on the works of clocks in general, and finally partially thawed Jim out. "By the by," said Fox, "I repaired a clock for a man of your name in Jenkintown; it was in a very bad condition, but I fixed it up as good as new; so I will this one. Do you know this Cox? they call him Josh. Cox.

"Oh, yes!" laughed Jim, "he is a brother of mine!"

"I am glad to hear it!" remarked Fox, "he is a mighty fine fellow! His wife is a very superior woman. Let me see, who was it her sister married down South? She has a sister there, hasn't she?"

"Yes," said Jim.

"Where?" enquired Fox, as he put a pin in the clock.

"I don't remember the name of the place; used to know it. Her husband is agent for the Adams Express at-at-yes-Montgomery! that's it, Montgomery! Don't remember her husband's name."

"You are like me in having a bad memory for names," said Fox, and then, having got the information he wanted, he turned the conversation to other subjects, all the time keeping busily engaged at his work.

He made a first class job of the clock, so that no enquiries should be afterwards instituted, and collecting his bill, slowly wended his way to Camden. From Camden he crossed the river to Philadelphia and reported to me at the Merchants' Hotel. Bangs and I were seated in a private room when Fox came in. After hearing his report I turned to Bangs and said:

"The plot thickens! Every day we are nearing success! We have the woman treed at last, and in the North, among our friends! Depend upon it we shall have the money ere long!"

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