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The Expressman and the Detective By Allan Pinkerton Characters: 13250

Updated: 2017-12-01 00:04


Mr. Seward had done his work well. I had little fear that Maroney would get out, as his bail was fixed at one hundred thousand dollars-double the amount of the robbery.

The question now arose: What shall we do with Maroney? I held a consultation with the Vice-President, Seward, and Bangs, and suggested the propriety of placing one of my detectives, named White, in jail with him. White was in Chicago, but I could send for him and have him in readiness for the work in a few days. White was a shrewd, smart man to act under orders, and nothing more was required. I proposed that he be introduced to to the jail in the following way: He was to assume the character of a St. Louis pork-packer. It was to be charged against him that he had been dealing largely in hogs in the West, had come to New York with a quantity of packed pork of his own to sell; and also had had a lot consigned to him to sell on commission; he had disposed of all the pork, pocketed all the proceeds, and then disappeared, intending to leave for Europe, but had been discovered and arrested. The amount involved in the case should be about thirty-seven thousand dollars. It was part of my plan to introduce a young man, who should pretend to be a nephew of White's, and who should call on him and do his outside business. I had a good man for this work, in the person of Mr. Shanks. His duties would be to call at the jail daily, see his uncle White, carry his letters, go to his lawyers, run all his errands, etc.

White was not to force his acquaintance on Maroney, or any of the prisoners, but to hold himself aloof from them all. He was to pass a good deal of time in writing letters, hold hurried consultations with his nephew and send him off with them. Shanks was to be obliging, and if any of the prisoners requested him to do them favors, he was to willingly consent.

Very few people outside of a prison know how necessary it is to have a friend who will call on prisoners and do little outside favors for them. No matter how popular a man may be, or how many true friends he thinks he has, he will find if he is thrust into prison, that all of them will very likely desert him, and he will then keenly feel the necessity of having some one even to run his errands. If he has no friend to act for him, he will have to pay dearly for every move he makes. A man like Shanks would soon be popular with the prisoners, and have his hands full of commissions.

There were a good many objections made to my plan, but with Mr. Seward's assistance, all its weak points were cleared away, and it was made invulnerable.

I telegraphed, ordering White and Shanks to come on to New York, and, leaving Bangs in charge there, I started in a few days for Philadelphia.

Green was still employed in "shadowing" Mrs. Maroney, and kept a close watch on her movements. On the morning after Maroney's arrest she visited him in the Eldridge street jail, leaving Flora in the Astor House. They had a long, private interview, after which she enquired of the Marshal the amount of bail necessary to effect her husband's release. He informed her that the bail had been fixed at one hundred thousand dollars. She seemed surprised at the large amount, returned and conversed with Maroney, then left the jail, and getting into a carriage, was driven to Thirty-first street. Green hailed a passing cab and followed at his ease. When she stopped, he had his hackman drive on a few blocks and turn down a cross street, where he stopped him. He told the driver to await his return, and getting out of the hack, walked slowly down the street, keeping a sharp lookout on the house she went into. Mrs. Maroney remained in the house about half an hour, and then came out and was driven to Pearl street. Here she went into a large building occupied by an extensive wholesale clothing establishment, remained some time, and then came out with a gentleman who accompanied her to the Eldridge street jail. Green remained in his carriage. Mrs. Maroney and the gentleman soon came out; he bade her good-bye, and she drove to several business-houses in the city.

Maroney received several calls during the day; he was very irritable, and seemed much depressed in spirits.

Mrs. Maroney returned to the Astor House at dark, weary, depressed, and despondent.

Green reported to Bangs that it was easy to read what she had accomplished. Maroney had a number of friends in New York, and she had been to see if they would not go on his bail-bond. They had all refused, some giving one excuse, some another, and the desired bail could not be procured.

For the purpose of finding his prospects, I had some of his friends interviewed, and managed to learn that the friend on whom Maroney principally relied to furnish bail, was one whom he had met in the South when he was a drummer, but who had now become a partner in the house.

Mrs. Maroney called on him; he expressed great sympathy for Maroney and her, but could not go on his bond, as the articles of association of the firm forbade any of the partners signing bonds, etc. In two days it was discovered that Maroney had no prospects of getting the required bail. Some of his friends, whom he importuned to assist him, called at the express office to find the reasons for his incarceration. They were generally met by the President or by the General Superintendent and informed that Maroney had robbed the company of ten thousand dollars at one time and forty thousand dollars at another, and it was for this that he was now in prison. The gentlemen saw at once the risk they would run in going his bail and concluded not to venture.

I was convinced that if the public knew he had stolen fifty thousand dollars and that the company were bound to prosecute him, he could not procure bail, and so it turned out.

Mrs. Maroney called at the jail several times and did everything in her power to procure bail, but finally gave up in despair. She had a long interview with Maroney, then drove to the Astor House, paid her bill, and, getting into a carriage with Flora, went to Jersey City and took the train for Philadelphia.

I had sent Roch to New York to "shadow" her and had brought Rivers to Philadelphia with me, as no shadow was needed for Maroney. When Mrs. Maroney left New York, Green turned her over to Roch and he accompanied her to Philadelphia. I had been informed of her departure and had Rivers ready to meet her in Camden on her arrival.

She arrived safely. Rivers relieved Roch and he reported to me. I supposed she would remain for the night in Philadelphia, but was disappointed, as she

went directly to the North Pennsylvania station and took the cars for Jenkintown.

I was not quite prepared for this move, but by four in the morning I was in a buggy on my road to Jenkintown. When I arrived I put up at Stemples's, had an early breakfast, and seized upon a favorable opportunity to have a short conversation with Madam Imbert. I hurriedly instructed her to try and meet Mrs. Maroney, and if possible draw from her an account of what had happened and learn her plans for the future. I then got into my buggy and drove back to the city. It was a beautiful, bright morning, and the drive was very delightful.

Madam Imbert, accompanied by Miss Johnson, went for her accustomed stroll in the garden. They walked around for some time and were about returning when they met Mrs. Maroney and Flora. Miss Johnson took charge of Flora, who was her special favorite, and drew her to one side to have a romp while Mrs. Maroney and the Madam strolled along together.

Mrs. Maroney asked very anxiously about the Madam's health and seemed to be much pained when she learned that she was very poorly.

"Mrs. Maroney," said Madam Imbert, "I fear you find me poor company, indeed. Your life must be happy beyond expression. You have a kind husband, a sweet child, everything that makes life enjoyable! while I am separated from my dear husband, far away, with no one to love me! no one to care for me! I have bitter trouble, rendered all the harder to bear by the fact that I have to brood over it alone. I have not one friend in this wide world to whom I can fly for consolation. No! not one! My life is unspeakably lonely. You will forgive me for not being more gay; I cannot help it! I strive to be, but it is impossible. I often fear that my melancholy has a chilling effect on those around me, and that they think me cold and heartless!"

"Madam Imbert, my dear Madam, don't say that you are thought to be cold and heartless! Every one feels that you are suffering some great sorrow, and all are drawn towards you. As for me I have always tried to secure the sympathy of my lady friends, but I have only half succeeded. You are the first one in whom I have ever felt that I could confide, the first whom I wished to be my friend. If you are in trouble and feel the need of a friend, why not rely on me? make me your confidante."

"Mrs. Maroney, you do not know what you ask! My story is a sad one, indeed. I already value your friendship too highly to risk losing it. If you were to know my history, I fear you would turn from me in disgust."

Madam Imbert's tears flowed freely; she leaned on Mrs. Maroney for support. Mrs. Maroney turned into one of the side paths and they took a seat on a bench. After much persuasion, Madam Imbert was prevailed on to disclose her secret.

She described to Mrs. Maroney the many virtues of her husband; told how wealthy he was, and then, with many sobs, and much apparent reluctance, stated that he was enticed into committing forgeries; that he was arrested, tried, convicted and sent to the State prison for ten years, and that now she was debarred from seeing him.

She was greatly relieved when she found that Mrs. Maroney did not turn from her in horror on discovering that she was the wife of a convict. On the contrary, Mrs. Maroney said:

"It was too bad, indeed!"

She had suffered also, worse even than Madam Imbert, as her husband was innocent. Things looked bad for him at present, but all would be bright by-and-by. They had plenty of friends, but when they wanted them, they were not to be found.

She said that she was going South soon, but did not intend to stay long. She did not say that her husband was in jail, but merely that he was in some trouble.

Madam Imbert replied that it was very hard; that there seemed nothing but trouble in this world, and they were both shedding tears copiously, when who should come in sight but De Forest?

De Forest was truly in love with Mrs. Maroney. He had heard that morning that she had returned, and, finding that she was in the garden, had started in pursuit of her, and arrived at a most inopportune moment. As he came in view, Mrs. Maroney exclaimed: "Here comes that awkward fool! He is such a hateful creature! I'd like to poison him!"

De Forest came gaily along, expecting to be received with open arms, but instead found both the ladies in tears. "O ladies, what's the matter? Crying!" The ladies said nothing, but Mrs. Maroney gave him a scornful look which made him tremble. He had, however, broken up the interview, and the party separated, Madam Imbert saying that she would call in the afternoon.

De Forest walked off with Mrs. Maroney, but he found that she had changed wonderfully, and he got nothing from her but cold looks and sharp answers. He could not understand her conduct, and the next day came into the Express Office, and mournfully reported that Mrs. Maroney had acted in a manner he could not understand, and that he feared some one had cut him out.

Rivers kept a close watch on Mrs. Maroney, and in the afternoon called at the house to see Josh. He found the house in confusion, and an improvised washing of Mrs. Maroney's and Flora's clothing going on. Josh. was carrying water, and doing all he could to help the washing along. "D--d busy to-day," said he; "the old woman got an idea into her head to wash, and although I protested against it, I had to give in and haul the water."

"Oh!" said Mrs. Cox to Josh., "you are always in my way."

Rivers took this as a rather broad hint to him that he was in the way, and so asked Josh. to come up town with him. Josh. willingly acquiesced, and they started out. On the way they met Barclay and Horton, and adjourned to Stemples's. Rivers treated, and then endeavored to find out from Cox the reasons of his wife's hurry and bustle. Cox told him that his wife had taken a sudden notion to wash, and although he had strongly objected, she had impressed him into the service, and set him at work doing the chores and hauling the water.

Rivers tried to get more explicit information, but could not. Cox, with all his shiftlessness, knew when to hold his tongue; and so, after plying him with several drinks, Rivers was obliged to let him go, without finding out what he wanted. Rivers felt that something important was under way. He had followed Mrs. Maroney on her hurried journey to Jenkintown; had seen her hold a long confidential interview with Madam Imbert, which was broken up by the unwelcome appearance of De Forest, and knew of the preparations going on at Cox's. So he was on the alert.

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