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   Chapter 14 No.14

The Expressman and the Detective By Allan Pinkerton Characters: 14001

Updated: 2017-12-01 00:04


Maroney passed the time very pleasantly. Mr. Floyd, of the Exchange, was on friendly terms with him, notwithstanding the little difficulty they had had in regard to Mrs. Maroney. He had no business to attend to and passed a good deal of time in the office of the hotel, talking with Porter and furnishing him with an abundant supply of good cigars.

Porter was a thoroughly good fellow, and had an inexhaustible fund of stories and anecdotes, some of them rather "smutty," but they were just the sort that suited Maroney, so that they had become the thickest of friends. Sometimes Maroney would take a hand in a social game of euchre at Patterson's, at other times he would take Porter or May out for a drive behind "Yankee Mary," and as they drove along expatiate on her many good qualities.

He seldom went into the express office, as, although he knew the employés well, he felt that when he called they kept a sharp lookout on his movements, and he did not appreciate such courtesy. He would occasionally go into the express car to see the messenger, and it was noticed that he always looked at the money pouch, though at the time nothing special was thought of it.

He seemed never to tire of relating the incidents of his journey, and would raise a hearty laugh by the manner in which he would describe his adventures at Natchez, on the hill, or of his visit to the amphitheatre of his friends, Spaulding & Rogers, in New Orleans. He was, to all appearances, the happiest man in town. He often talked over with Porter, his plans for the future, saying that, after his trial, he intended to go into the livery stable business, and wanted Porter to become his clerk. There was very little talk about the robbery in Montgomery, and when any one would mention it to Maroney, he would say, "You will see how it will end by-and-by," and always intimated that he would sue the company for heavy damages after his vindication by trial. Very little was said about Mrs. Maroney. She had few friends, indeed, yet these few seemed to have warm feelings towards her; most of the ladies seemed pleased that she had gone, leaving Maroney still with them.

Maroney passed a good deal of time in his lawyer's office and seemed to be making elaborate preparations for his trial. He would often walk out on the plank road towards the plantations, and Porter, by great exertions, found that he was attracted by a lovely girl who lived some three miles from the city. He never came into town with her; it would have been considered improper for her to receive the attentions of a married man, and a scandal would have been the inevitable result. There appeared to be nothing wrong between them, and Porter became convinced that it was a genuine love affair. The girl must have known she was doing wrong in permitting attentions from a married man; but Maroney was most enticing when he wished to be, and in this case loved the girl with what he thought a pure love, and easily overcame any scruple she might have in this regard. He was very friendly with Gus McGibony, the Montgomery detective, and was always willing to do him a favor.

McGibony being the only known detective at Montgomery, was considered a big man in his way. Maroney always treated him as such, played cards with him and called him up to take a drink when he treated. Gus always spoke in the highest terms of Maroney, and had evidently taken sides in the case, for, when he was asked his opinion in regard to the robbery, he would say that Maroney was bound to win. In this opinion he was supported by the whole community.

Porter would sometimes talk over the case with Watts, Judd & Jackson, the legal advisers of the company. They were firmly of the opinion that Maroney had committed the robbery, yet still they must say that there was no proof by which he could be convicted when the case was brought for trial.

Roch was having an easy time of it, for as long as Maroney remained in Montgomery he had nothing to do but smoke his pipe and drink lager. He was taking a good rest after his arduous labors "shadowing" Maroney on his lengthy tour. At least the duties would have been arduous to any one but Roch, who, however, rather enjoyed them, and longed to prepare for another chase.

I knew that something decisive must soon be done, as the time set for Maroney's trial was rapidly approaching. We-the Adams Express and I-must move something.

Maroney was evidently preparing for his defense, and all was resting quietly. As the reader well knows I had a sharp watch set on the operations at Jenkintown and on all that occurred in Montgomery.

On the first of May, Maroney announced his intention of going North on a visit. He was with Porter at Patterson's at the time and seemed to have suddenly formed the resolution. He said he had consulted with his counsel and they had informed him that he might as well go if he wished, as there was nothing to detain him. He desired to see his wife and a few friends, and so had determined to make a short visit to the North. His old trunk, up in the garret of the hotel, amongst the unclaimed baggage, was never looked at.

Every one knew it was Maroney's, and even the colored porter, who sometimes went up into the garret with Porter, to look up some article that had been sent for, would say: "Dat's Massa 'Roney's trunk."

The day before Maroney started for the North he packed up everything he needed for his journey in his large trunk, and then said to Porter, who was assisting him: "Let's go up to my old trunk, I still have some cigars in it, and I think it would be well to get some of them to smoke on my journey."

Porter sent for Tom, and they all three went into the garret. Tom unbound the trunk; Maroney took out some cigars and articles of wearing apparel, and, having it tied up again, returned to his room. No further notice was taken of the trunk by any one.

To place me on my guard, Porter immediately telegraphed me, in cipher, of this intended move. The dispatch reached me in Chicago, and was indeed news to me. What he intended to do in the North I could not tell. I thought myself nearly blind in trying to solve the reasons of his movement, and in arranging plans for his reception in the North. What could we do? I was not a lawyer, but understood a good deal of the law, and felt that now was the time to work something in our favor. I soon made up my mind what course to pursue, and started the next day for Philadelphia, to lay my plans before the Vice-President personally; telegraphing Porter to get Roch ready to shadow Maroney. He was to retain his Dutch disguise, as it had done good service before, and had not been "spotted."

I arrived safely in Philadelphia, and found that I had not much preceded Maroney.

On the second of May, Maroney, having everything in readiness for his departure, went to the depot, accompanied by a great many friends, and took the train for the North. Roch had reached the depot before him, and

had bought a through second-class ticket to Philadelphia, via Baltimore. Nothing of any consequence took place until they reached Baltimore. Maroney came through the cars only twice, seeming to be confident that he was not followed. He took an occasional walk to stretch his legs, but kept quietly to himself the whole of the journey.

At Baltimore Roch was met by Bangs and Green, who relieved him from duty when they got the "spot" on Maroney. They found Roch pretty well exhausted, as he had not slept on the journey, and had been obliged to sit in a very cramped position.

On getting into Philadelphia, Maroney went to the Washington House, while Roch went to the Merchants' Hotel, where he immediately retired, and had a good long sleep.

At Jenkintown all went quietly. Mrs. Maroney was well loved by De Forest, well "shadowed" by Rivers and Green, and greatly benefited by the pure society of Madam Imbert. She said to Madam Imbert, a few days before the arrival of Maroney: "I am happy to state that my husband will be with me in a few days. I am so delighted at the prospect of meeting him once more, as he has been separated from me a great deal. We shall have a splendid time in Philadelphia and New York; perhaps spend the summer in Jenkintown, and then go South, via Cincinnati and Louisville; passing through Kentucky and Tennessee, into Alabama, and stopping at all the cities on the way."

On the fifth of May she packed up her trunks, and Flora and she were driven to the Jenkintown station. De Forest offered to take them into the city in his buggy, but the offer was declined, with thanks, and they left for Philadelphia without escort.

At Philadelphia she called a carriage, and, with Flora, was driven to the Washington House. In a short time Maroney arrived, entered his name on the register, and was shown to his wife's room, and the two after an eventful separation, were thus once more united.

Having no need of Rivers's services at Jenkintown, he was called to Philadelphia, to "shadow" the parties there. Madam Imbert and Miss Johnson of course remained.

On the sixth of May, Maroney mailed a letter, which the "shadow" discovered was directed to "William M. Carter, Locksmith, William st., N. Y." A note was taken of this, and as soon as possible Bangs left for New York, to interview Mr. Carter. He found that Carter was one of the best locksmiths in the city, and inclined to be a good fellow.

Bangs, representing the New York office of the Adams Express, gave him some jobs, making keys, etc.; and finally brought him a key to the lock of the pouch used by the company, and asked him to make two just like it.

Carter said he could make them, and after examining the key for some time, said: "But stop a little; a friend of mine, now in Philadelphia, sent me a draft of a key he wanted made, and it is almost exactly like this!" Producing the draft, he exclaimed, "it is exactly the same!" He handed it to Bangs, who found it a finely executed drawing of the pouch key, made by Maroney. Bangs paid no attention to this circumstance, but Carter said he would not make the key, as he did not know to what use it might be put. He would return the draft to his friend and say he could not make it. Bangs managed to get a copy of the draft before it was returned.

On discovering this, I saw through Maroney's plan at once; he wished to have a key made similar to the pouch key, and introduce it as evidence in his trial that others than the agents might have keys to the Company's pouches. Two days before Maroney met his wife in Philadelphia, I held a consultation with the Vice-President and Bangs in the office of the Express Co. I maintained that it was the Company's duty to arrest Maroney. They had a right to bring suit against an agent of theirs wherever found. I urged him to lay the matter before the Company's counsel in Philadelphia. If we could get him in prison here all would be well, and the expense and trouble of following him from place to place would be entirely avoided. It was our duty to keep him in jail, where I could introduce a detective, disguised as a fellow-prisoner, whose duty would be to get into his confidence and finally draw from him his secret and learn his plans for the future. I presented my ideas so clearly that the Vice President was convinced that the plan was a good one, and he at once saw St. George Tucker Campbell, the eminent lawyer, laid the whole case before him and asked his opinion. They looked the whole case over, and he admitted that my plan was a good one. He said we might be able to hold Maroney for a short time, but he really did not think we could long do so. He might be able to fight it out for three or four weeks, but by that time Maroney would be sure to effect his release. He would be so excited over his daily expectation of effecting his release that it would be impossible for me to make a proper effort to mould his mind to my purpose. He produced sufficient evidence to prove to me that it would be bad policy to try my plan in Philadelphia. This was a crushing blow, and I felt as if a load had been placed upon my breast. Mr. Campbell left me one ray of hope by stating that he was not fully posted in the laws of the State of New York, and that I might be enabled to carry out my purpose there. Leaving Bangs in charge at Philadelphia, the Vice-President and I started for New York. We had a meeting with the President and other officers of the Company, and determined to lay the matter before Clarence A. Seward, the Company's counsellor in New York. He had just been engaged by the Company, as I had been, and so far had attended only to some small matters for them. The Vice-President notified him to meet us at the Astor House, where the case was laid before him. After looking up the points of law involved, he decided that we could hold Maroney in New York. We then instructed him to get the papers in readiness, so that the moment Maroney stepped into New York he should be arrested. How happy did I now feel! All care was gone, the weight of sorrow had been lifted from my breast as if by the hand of magic: hope had taken the place of despair, and I returned to Philadelphia with renewed energy and firmness, bound to win beyond a peradventure.

I now assigned to Green the duty of shadowing Mrs. Maroney, and to Rivers the duty of shadowing Maroney. I gave them strict orders to keep separate, and to make a move only when the persons they were shadowing moved. After Maroney had washed himself and removed his travel-soiled garments, he had a long confidential talk with his wife, played with and caressed Flora, and then walked out with them on Chestnut street. They proceeded as far as Eighth, apparently amusing themselves by looking into the shop windows, and then returned and did not leave the hotel during the evening, passing the time in their rooms. At eleven they retired, thus allowing their "shadows," Green and Rivers to retire also.

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