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The Expressman and the Detective By Allan Pinkerton Characters: 14510

Updated: 2017-12-01 00:04


On the following day Mrs. Maroney called on Madam Imbert, and together they strolled through the pleasure grounds. Each narrated her sorrows, and each wanted the support and friendship of the other.

Madam Imbert's story we will let pass. Mrs. Maroney dwelt on her husband's hardships, and her conversation was largely a repetition of what she had said the day before. She spoke of her husband as a persecuted man, and said: "Wait till his trial is over and he is vindicated! Then the Adams Express will pay for this. The Vice-President has made the affair almost a personal one, but when Nat. is liberated the Vice-President will get his deserts. When he falls, mortally wounded with a ball from my husband's pistol, he will discover that Nathan Maroney is not to be trifled with. In the South we have a few friends left, and Mr. McGibony, a detective, is one of them. I think I can trust him. He was to have come North to escort my husband to Montgomery, if the Governor had granted the requisition; but he would not, and Maroney will hear of my failure to-day, as I wrote to him last evening. De Forest is a useful friend, and I think him also a very handsome man. I left Montgomery, feeling very unhappy, and was obliged to go to Athens and Danielsville. I was so exhausted that I had to stop a day at Augusta to rest. I had some valuables concealed on my person, and they were so heavy as to greatly tire me. At Augusta I was forced to alter my arrangements for carrying them, and arrived in Philadelphia completely worn out. I can assure you it was with feelings of the greatest pleasure that I met De Forest. He very kindly took charge of my baggage, and brought Flora and me out in his buggy. I am so glad to be here once more."

As both ladies were tired, they walked over to some benches placed in a summer house, and took seats. Miss Johnson and Flora had been with them, but strolled off.

Mrs. Maroney kept up the conversation, on unimportant topics, for some time, and then suddenly turned to Madam Imbert and said: "You must have had to conceal property at times! Where did you hide it?"

Madam Imbert felt that now the trying moment for her had arrived. She knew that Mrs. Maroney had the stolen money in her possession, and that if she could only prevail on her to again conceal the money on her person, she could seize and search her; but Mrs. Maroney had said she could not carry it around, and so was obliged to change its hiding place. If she endeavored to prevail on her to secrete it on her person, she might suspect her motives, and hide it where it would be hard to find, so she answered in an indifferent tone; "Oh, yes, I have often hidden valuables! Sometimes I have placed them in the cellar, and at other times, waiting until all was quiet, I have stolen out into the garden, at a late hour of the night, and secreted them."

Mrs. Maroney looked her square in the eyes, but she did not alter a muscle under the scrutiny. "Your advice is good," she said, in a musing tone.

Madam Imbert would gladly have offered to assist her, but did not, at the time, feel safe in offering her services. She determined to act as quickly as possible, and to try and discover where she would secrete the money, as, from her actions, it was evident it was not yet hidden.

As they sat talking Madam Imbert pretended to be taken with a sudden pain in the neighborhood of her heart. She was so sick that Mrs. Maroney had to assist her to Stemples's. She explained to Mrs. Maroney that she was subject to heart disease, and was frequently taken in a like manner. When they got to the tavern she requested Mrs. Maroney to send Miss Johnson to her, which she did, and then walked slowly homeward.

In about three-quarters of an hour Miss Johnson called at Cox's, and reported that the Madam was much better, and was sleeping soundly. She had become lonely, and had started out to get Flora and take a walk. As soon as she entered the sitting room at Cox's, on her return, she found no one there but the children. In a moment Mrs. Cox came up stairs and joined her. She looked quite flurried, and seemed not to be particularly pleased at Miss Johnson's presence.

Miss Johnson had just made known her desire for Flora's company, when Rivers (whom Madam Imbert had seen and instructed to find out what Josh. was doing,) came in, in his usual rollicking way, and asked Mrs. Cox where Josh. was.

"He is out in the garden at work," said Mrs. Cox.

At almost the same moment Josh. yelled up from the cellar: "That you, Rivers? I'll join you at Stemples's, by-and-by."

It was immediately plain to Miss Johnson and Rivers that something was going on in the cellar which they did not want outsiders to know about. Miss Johnson remained with the children about half an hour, when Josh. and Mrs. Maroney came up from the cellar, perspiring freely, and looking as though they had been hard at work. Josh. started out to keep his appointment, evidently longing for a drink, and Miss Johnson, after a short conversation with Mrs. Maroney, went out with Flora. She did not remain long away, soon bringing Flora home, and then proceeding to the hotel to report to Madam Imbert. Rivers had already reported, and Madam Imbert was confident they were secreting the money in the cellar, so she determined to report to Bangs at once.

In the afternoon she had so far recovered as to be able to go to Philadelphia to consult her physician. At least she so informed Mrs. Maroney. Before going she walked over to see if Mrs. Maroney would not accompany her, but found her tired and weary, and in no humor for a ride. She therefore returned to Stemples's, hired his team and drove into the city alone. She reported to Bangs, and got back in time for supper. In the evening she called on Mrs. Maroney and had with her a long conversation.

What, with Rivers and De Forest, and Madam Imbert and Miss Johnson, very little happened at Cox's that was not seen and reported to Bangs.

Mrs. Maroney called the property she wished to conceal her own, but we concluded that it was the stolen money. For four days all went quietly in Jenkintown; Mrs. Maroney made no allusions to her property, and passed the greater portion of the day either with Madam Imbert or with De Forest.

On the fifth day she received a letter from her husband requesting her to come to New York, and to bring a good Philadelphia lawyer with her. She made known to Madam Imbert, and De Forest, the contents of the letter. De Forest found that he wanted to go to the city in the morning, and made arrangements to accompany her with his buggy. At her earnest request Madam Imbert accompanied them. They drove to Mitchell's, had some refreshments, and then separated.

Green, of course, was at Mitchell's when they arrived, prepared to follow Mrs. Maroney. Madam Imbert went to the Merchants's Hotel and reported to Bangs, while De Forest reported to the Vice-President. Here were two persons acting in the same cause, and yet De Forest was profoundly ignorant of Madam Imbert's true character.

Mrs. Maroney proceeded to a lawyer's office in Walnut street. Green saw the name on the door, and knew that it was the office of a prominent advocate. I will not mention his na

me, as it is immaterial. She remained in the office for over an hour, and then returned to Mitchell's, where the party had agreed to rendezvous. After dinner they drove back to Jenkintown.

The following morning the rain poured in torrents, but Mrs. Maroney took the early train and went to the city, "shadowed" by Rivers. At Philadelphia he turned her over to the watchful care of Green. In Camden she was joined by her lawyer, and on arriving in New York went directly with him to the Eldridge street jail.

All had gone well with White and Maroney. They had grown a little more friendly, though White was very unsocial, and seemed to prefer to keep by himself. Maroney had got Shanks to do several favors for him, and was very thankful for his kindness. Shanks was busily employed in carrying letters to White's lawyers, and bringing answers. The reader has already been informed with regard to the character of those communications.

White and Maroney were engaged in a social game of euchre when Mrs. Maroney and her lawyer arrived. Maroney did not have a very great regard for his wife, but any one, at such a time, would be welcome. He greeted her warmly, shook hands with the lawyer, and requested him to be seated while he held a private conversation with his wife. He drew her to one side, and they had a long, quiet conversation. In about an hour he called his lawyer over, and they consulted together for over two hours.

White was miserably situated. He could see all that went on, even to the movement of their lips as they conversed, but could not hear a word.

As soon as the interview was over Mrs. Maroney left the jail-the lawyer remaining behind-went to Jersey City, and took the train to Philadelphia.

Green telegraphed Bangs that she was returning, and he had Rivers at Camden to meet the train and relieve Green.

She arrived in Philadelphia too late for the Jenkintown train, but hired a buggy at a livery stable, and had a boy drive her out and bring the horse back.

Rivers was looking around for a conveyance, when a gardener whom he knew, and who lived a few miles beyond Jenkintown, drove along. "Going out to Jenkintown?" he asked.

"Yes," replied the gardener.

"Give me a ride?"

"Of course; jump in." And he was soon being rattled over the pavement in the springless lumber-wagon. He tried to keep up a conversation, but the words were all jostled out of his mouth.

The weather had cleared up, and he had a delightful drive out to Jenkintown. He stopped the gardener twice on the road and treated him to whisky and cigars, and they arrived shortly after Mrs. Maroney. "There must be something up," thought he, "or she would not be in such a hurry to get home; what can it be?"

In Eldridge street jail, one day was nearly a repetition of another. White acted always the same, and said very little to any one except to Shanks, whom he always drew to one side when he wished to converse with him.

Maroney conversed with White a good deal, and was disappointed on finding that he could not play chess. White would occasionally join in a game of cards, but kept separate from the rest of the prisoners as much as possible. He had paid his footing, five dollars, the fee required to gain admission to "the order" as the prisoners call it. He found the "order" to be narrowed down to drinkables and smokables for all the prisoners initiated. Maroney had joined before, and said to White, "I don't think much of it. These people care for nothing but drinking and eating, while I have something else to think about."

By degrees Maroney conversed more and more with White; sometimes he would forget and talk loudly. White would look up and say, "Hush! walls have ears sometimes, don't talk so loud." At other times he would say, "Maroney, I am not a talking man; I keep my own counsel, and have discovered that the worst thing a man can do is to be noisy." Maroney would try and mollify him by saying, "Oh, pshaw! I didn't say any thing in particular."

"You can't tell who the spies are here," White would reply, "do you see those prisoners? well, how do you know but that some of them are spies? I would not trust one of them. I have a big fight under way myself; I know the men who are opposing me will take every advantage, and I propose to keep quiet and wait."

Maroney would remark, "But no one heard?"

"Hush," White would whisper, "how many times must I tell you that walls may have ears?"

In time he had Maroney afraid almost of his own shadow.

When White wanted to tell Shanks any thing, he would take him by the arm and draw him to one side; his lips would be seen to move, but not a word could be heard.

One morning Maroney said, "White, I would like to have a boy like yours to attend to my business; he is a good boy, never talks loud, and I could make him useful in many ways."

"Yes," replied White, dryly, "Shanks is a good boy, and minds what I say. Suppose they should bring him on the stand to prove I said a certain thing, Shanks would be a bad witness, because he never hears any thing I don't want him to."

"I see he is shrewd, and I like him for that," said Maroney.

The days passed slowly away, White always attending to his own business, which seemed very important. One day Maroney said to White, "I'm tired, let's take a turn in the hall?" They made several trips, conversing on general topics, when Maroney lowered his voice and said:

"White, couldn't you and I get out of this jail?"

"I have not thought of it, have you?"

"Yes," answered Maroney, eagerly; "all we need is two keys. If we were to get an impression of the lock Shanks could have them made, couldn't he?"

"Yes," replied White, "you can get almost any thing made in New York if you have the money with which to pay for it. But if we made the attempt and failed, what would be the consequences? We should be put down and not allowed out of our cells, and I should be debarred from seeing Shanks; so suppose we think it over, and watch the habits of the jailors."

Every day Maroney broached the subject, but White always had some objections to offer, and Maroney finally abandoned the project in disgust. There is no doubt but that Eldridge street jail at the time could have been easily opened.

Little by little Maroney sought to place more confidence in White, but found his advances always repelled. White would say, "Maroney, let every man keep his own secrets, I have all I can do to attend to my own affairs. My lawyer has been to see me and my prospects, as he presents them, are not very flattering. Shanks says they are likely to get the better of me if I am not careful. I feel so irritable that I can scarcely bear with any one." Maroney was more than ever desirous of talking with him, but White said: "I don't want to talk; let every man paddle his own canoe. If I were out of trouble, it would be a different thing, but my lawyer at present gives me a black lookout."

Shanks came in and White drew him to one side. They had a long talk and then White paced restlessly up and down the hall.

"What's the matter, White? have you bad news?" enquired Maroney.

"Yes, I am deeply in the mire, but let me alone and I'll wriggle myself out."

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