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   Chapter 17 No.17

The Expressman and the Detective By Allan Pinkerton Characters: 13016

Updated: 2017-12-01 00:04


In the afternoon Madam Imbert called on Mrs. Maroney, leaving Miss Johnson at home. Mrs. Maroney met her kindly, and poured into her ear a tale of sorrow. She told Madam Imbert that she was going South for a short visit, but that she would soon return, and then they could comfort each other. She did not mention where she was going, or allude in any way to Montgomery.

Madam Imbert did not deem it good policy to ask questions too closely, and, although she very much wished to get information, she remembered my strict orders against running any risk, and did not ask.

In the evening Rivers went up to Stemples's and took a seat in the bar-room, as it was the best place to gain information of what was going on. He had not been long there before Josh. Cox came in and asked for Stemples. "He is in the stable," said Rivers; "I will go and get him for you."

"No," said Cox, "don't disturb yourself," and started for the stable himself.

Rivers very politely accompanied him, but was unable to overhear what was said, as Cox drew Stemples to one side and spoke to him in a low tone. Stemples said, "All right!" and Cox started off. Rivers stopped him, and asked him to take a drink.

"I don't mind if I do," answered Josh.; and after drinking he said: "I am in a d--d hurry," and was gone. "There is one drink gone to no purpose," muttered Rivers, as he made his way to the barn. He found Stemples hurriedly harnessing up his team, and turned in to help him.

"Strange fellow, that Cox!" remarked Stemples. "He wanted to get my team and not let me know where he was going. I told him he could not have it if he did not say where he was going, and he then said he was going to Chestnut Hill, a few miles this side of Philadelphia, but I'll bet he is going into the city. He said he would have the team back before morning, so I finally consented to let him have it."

This was startling news to Rivers. There were no horses in the town that he could hire, and he had no time to harness them if there had been. He managed to see Madam Imbert, and reported to her his predicament.

"They are going into the city," said she, "and you must follow them at all hazards, even if you have to run every step of the way."

Rivers had no time to lose. Stemples's team was at the door, and in a few minutes Josh. came for it and drove down to his house. Mrs. Maroney and Flora were waiting for him, and, as he drove up, got into the wagon, while Josh. hoisted up their trunks.

Rivers had no conveyance, but he was determined not to be outdone; he was young and athletic, and as they drove off he started after them on a keen run. He knew he had a twelve-mile race before him, but felt equal to the task. The night was very dark, and he had to follow by sound. This was an advantage to him, as it compelled Cox to drive somewhat slower than he otherwise would have done, and rendered it impossible for them to see him from the wagon. On and on he plunged through the darkness, following the sound of the hoofs and the wheels. The moments seemed to have turned to hours; when would they ever reach the city? At times he felt that he must give up and drop by the way; but he forced the feeling back, and plunged on with the determination of winning. When they reached the outskirts of the city Josh. reduced his speed, so that Rivers easily followed without attracting attention. Josh. drove to the corner of Prime and Broad streets, to the depot of the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad, and assisted Mrs. Maroney and Flora to alight. As usual, there was a great crowd at the depot, and Rivers, mixing with it, followed Mrs. Maroney and Flora to the ticket-office without being observed by them, and went close enough to them to hear her ask for tickets to Montgomery. Rivers knew no time was to be lost; it was a quarter past ten, and the train left at ten minutes past eleven. He rushed out of the depot, where he saw Josh. getting the baggage checked, and hailing a hack, said to the driver: "Here is a five-dollar bill for you if you will drive me to the Merchants' Hotel and back in time to catch the train."

"On and on he plunged through the darkness, following the sound of the hoofs and the wheels; at times he felt that he must give up and drop by the way, but he forced the feeling back and plunged on with the determination of winning."-Page 145.

"All right," said the driver, and springing to his seat he put his horses to a full gallop, and whirled off toward the hotel.

Bangs had run down from New York the same evening to consult me on some matters, and he and I were sitting in a room at the Merchants', smoking our cigars, preparatory to retiring after a hard day's work, when Rivers rushed in, and gasped out: "Get Roch up. Mrs. Maroney and daughter are on the train bound for Montgomery."

We threw our cigars out of the window, and had Roch up, dressed as a Dutchman, his trunk packed, and he into the carriage with us on the way to the P., W. & B. R. R. before he was fully awake. I turned out all the money I had with me-not a great deal, as it was so late-and rapidly gave him his instructions as we drove along. We arrived at the station just in time. Roch rushed to the ticket office, said "Second-class, Montgomery," received and paid for his ticket, and sprang upon the last car of the train as it slowly drew out of the station. There were no sleeping-cars at the time, which was fortunate for him, as, if there had been, he might not have been allowed to get on the train. In a moment the train disappeared in the gloom, and Mrs. Maroney and Flora were kindly provided with an escort, in the person of Roch. Leaving them to pursue their journey, we will now return to Maroney, in the Eldridge street jail.

White and Shanks soon came on from Chicago, and Bangs gave them full instructions as to their duties. White was ordered to follow his instructions implicitly, and not to attempt to move too fast. Bangs arranged a cipher for him, to be used in his correspondence, and he learned it thoroughly, so as not to need a key.

Having thoroughly posted them, Bangs turned his attention to procuring the arrest of White. He secured the services of a common, one-horse lawyer, and placed the case in his hands. The lawyer felt highly honored at being employed in a case of such magnitude, involving thirty-seven thousand dollars, and remarked that he would soon have Mr. John White secure in prison. He procured the necessary papers and placed

them in the hands of the Marshal to execute.

Bangs knew just where White was to be found, but gave the Marshal a big job before coming across him. He searched the hotels, saloons, lawyers' offices, etc., going up to the different places, peeping in, and then going off on not finding him. He was doing an immense business hunting for White. Toward evening White was discovered talking to Shanks. The Marshal took him into custody and conducted him to the Eldridge street jail. Shanks, being a stranger in New York, accompanied him, so that he might know the place afterwards. White was booked at once, and while going along with the jailer was asked whether he wished to go to the first or second-class, the jailer judging that he would not take the third-class. The first-class was composed of those fortunate mortals who had money enough to send out to the neighboring restaurants and order in their meals. Of course Maroney was in the first-class, so White followed suit. He gave the jailer the usual douceur for introducing him to the prison, and then had his cell pointed out. White sent Shanks, who had accompanied him so far, to fetch his carpet-bag and some clothes. He then retired to his cell to meditate over his painful situation.

He glanced around amongst the prisoners, and soon picked out his man. Maroney did not seem to be doing any thing particular, but sat musing by himself. In this manner, brooding over their misfortunes, White and Maroney spent the evening until the hour of retirement. The next day White kept by himself, pondering over what he should do. In the course of the day his nephew, Shanks, who was a young man of about twenty, came with the satchel, and made himself very useful to White by carrying several messages for him. Some of the prisoners noticed this and asked White if he would not let his nephew do little outside favors for them. White said "Certainly, I shall be only too happy to assist you in any way I can."

Shanks was soon such a favorite with the prisoners that he greatly reduced the perquisites of the jailor. Maroney gradually became quite familiar with White. He would bid him good morning when they were released from their cells, and take an occasional turn in the hall with him. They were shut in together, and it became necessary to get acquainted. White wrote frequent letters to his lawyer, who was Bangs, under another name, and received regular replies, Shanks being the medium of communication. This was a great convenience, as lawyers are not always able to visit their clients when they wish them to. Maroney appeared to have few friends. Mrs. Maroney had gone, and he had no one to pay him regular attention. A few friends would call occasionally, but their visits seemed prompted rather by curiosity than by a desire to assist him, they gradually grew fewer and farther between, and finally ceased altogether. He received letters from the South, from Mrs. Maroney, who was on her journey, and from Charlie May, Patterson, and Porter, at Montgomery. These friends kept him well posted. The letters sent by Porter were copies of those I sent him, and were on the general topics of the day. Porter said he was sorry to have to address him in Eldridge street jail, and wished he could be of some assistance to him. He alluded with anger to the report which had been circulated of his, (Maroney's) marriage. Of course all his friends at Patterson's knew he had been married for years, and that the report was a dodge of the Express Company to make him unpopular. Outside of his friends at Patterson's, every one in Montgomery seemed to believe the slander, and many said they always thought there was something wrong about Mrs. Maroney, and they expected nothing better from her. Many, also, said they had a poor opinion of him and believed he had committed the robbery. Porter concluded by stating that McGibony, the detective, seemed completely nonplussed, and had but little to say about the matter. He, (Porter) had conversed with him, and McGibony seemed of the opinion that it was a move of the Adams Express to place him in an odious position with the inhabitants of Montgomery.

After the receipt of this letter, Maroney appeared to be exceedingly down hearted. White noticed it, and so reported to Bangs. As Mrs. Maroney had not yet arrived in Montgomery, she was of course entirely unaware that the news of their marriage had been spread broadcast, and her letters were quite cheerful.

White was occasionally drawn into a game of cards. Euchre was the game generally played; he was well able to hold his hand, and seldom lost. The stakes were generally for the cigars, or something in a liquid shape, and the supplies were brought in by Shanks. Maroney would sometimes take a hand, but it was a careless habit with him, and he did not care how he played. As time passed away the prisoners became well acquainted, and would talk over the various reasons for their imprisonment. At certain times of the day they would be visited by their lawyers. Maroney had no lawyer engaged, but keenly watched those that came, in order to see which was the smartest, so that he might know whom to employ should he require one's services. Maroney was a smart man, and he gradually came to the conclusion that a lawyer named Joachimson would be the right man for him. White observed that he began to nod to him, and that they always exchanged the compliments of the day. This was as far as he went at present, it being evidently his intention not to employ counsel until Mrs. Maroney returned from the South. At least these were his thoughts so far as White could fathom them.

Leaving Maroney for the present, we will glance at Jenkintown. Here everything was quiet; in other words, quotations were low and no sales. Madam Imbert had little to do. She walked in the pleasure grounds with Miss Johnson, or called at Mrs. Cox's, with whom the Madam was now on the best of terms. Mrs. Cox had a number of children and the Madam often bought them little presents and exerted a kindly influence over them. Whenever Miss Johnson and she met Josh. on the street they would notice him, and the attention would make him feel quite proud. De Forest acted the same as before, and was becoming rather sweet on Miss Johnson. Madam Imbert was sad and melancholy, and repelled all his advances with quiet dignity. We will leave them to enjoy their easy times, having to make only two reports a week, while we follow Mrs. Maroney and Roch.

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