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The Expressman and the Detective By Allan Pinkerton Characters: 11111

Updated: 2017-12-01 00:04


Time rolled on, and the third day after the trip to Philadelphia, Madam Imbert was with Mrs. Maroney, who talked incessantly about giving up the money. She alluded to Cox's idea of the question. He said that he would never give White the money; that he did not know the man, and that he would trust no one with forty thousand dollars. He declared that he had now got the money, and that he was going to keep it. She insisted that they should let her arrange the matter to suit herself. Mrs. Cox was, like her husband, bound that White should not get the money. Every thing appeared against White's chances of getting the money. At this time they were seated in a secluded part of the garden. Mrs. Maroney glanced around, saw that no one was near, and then said: "Madam Imbert, you are accustomed to attend to affairs like mine; won't you take the money, claim it as your own, and go with me to the West? You could then find your friend, and he would be willing to exchange the money for two or three thousand dollars-wouldn't he? I want to get away from here; my sister is against me, and Josh. treats me as if he was my equal, or superior."

Madam Imbert saw she must act very prudently. Mrs. Maroney must be quietly dealt with. She wished her to give the money to White, as if she took the money she would have to be a witness in the case. She wished to avoid this, but if she could not succeed in making her turn the money over to White, as a last resort she would take possession of it herself. She therefore replied:

"No, I don't like to take it; I have enough of my own to look after. If my poor husband were only out of jail he would get it changed for you in short order. I don't want any more money about me at present; it would go hard with me if I were discovered with the money on my person."

"There is little danger of that," said Mrs. Maroney. "I carried it all the way from Montgomery and was not much inconvenienced by it; you must help me."

"Mrs. Maroney, if I were in your place, I would do exactly as my husband wished."

"Yes, yes," said she, "but who knows White? I never saw him."

"We will let the matter drop for the present. I will do all I can to assist you. I wrote to my friend last night, and he will send an answer directed to you in my care."

Mrs. Maroney was greatly pleased and went home in high spirits. On the following day she got a letter from Maroney; he had seen White, and he would be in Jenkintown in a day or two. He said White was opposed to dealing with women, and if he did not get the money on his first visit, he would never come back. He finished by entreating her to give up all cheerfully, remembering that it was for the good of both. This letter arrived in the evening, and Mrs. Maroney, after perusing it, told Madam Imbert that she had made up her mind never to give up the money. "I will burn it before I will give it to White," said she. Madam Imbert was rather startled at this avowal, but on a second consideration was convinced that it was a bit of braggadocio, and that there was not the slightest fear of her carrying such a threat into execution. She found Mrs. Maroney in too unreasonable a state of mind to accomplish any thing with her that day, and she therefore returned to Stemples's.

The next day was decidedly a breezy day for all. Early in the morning Mrs. Maroney sent for Madam Imbert, who at once joined her at Cox's. Mrs. Maroney met her at the door.

"O, Madam Imbert, I am so glad you have come! Josh. has been acting in a most independent manner. I almost believe he is right, in protesting that he will not allow the money to go."

Madam Imbert appealed to Mrs. Maroney's sense of duty. She depicted in glowing terms the happiness of the wife who looks only to her husband's interests, and makes sacrifices in his behalf. She drew a touching picture of Maroney's sufferings in jail, and tried to impress upon her the conviction that it was more than probable that he had taken the money so as to be able to place her in a situation where she could command any luxury. What did Cox know about suffering, or of the steps her husband found it necessary to take in order to effect his release? When Maroney took the forty thousand dollars, he had to ship it at once down the Alabama river, and now they could see how wise he was in so doing. He had displayed consummate ability in every movement he had so far made, and was it at all likely that he had lost his cunning? "He loves you," said she, "and would do any thing for you. Your duty as a wife is plain and simple; do as your husband wishes you to do."

Madam Imbert's reasoning was unanswerable, but to Mrs. Maroney it was a bitter pill. Without saying a word, she led the way into the house, where they met Cox, just coming up from the cellar. She had informed both Josh. and his wife that she had made a confidante of Madam Imbert, and they thought she had done wisely.

"Josh., have you been moving the money?" demanded she.

"No!" he replied, in rather a surly tone. Then turning to Madam Imbert, he said: "You must have the same opinion of this matter as I! I think it folly to give the money up to White. No one knows about this would-be book peddler, and I will not give up the money to such a man. Let him come to me and I will talk to him." Josh. strutted about the room with the air of a six-footer. "I'll have it out of him in short order. I'll show him he can't pull the wool over my eyes, as he seems to have done over Nat.'s. I'll be d--d if I can understand it."

Cox was ably

seconded in his opinion by his wife.

Mrs. Maroney had very little to say.

Madam Imbert said that, in her opinion, Josh. was entirely wrong. Maroney knew better than they what was for his interest. As for her, if her husband was to tell her to give up all she had, she would cheerfully do so, as she knew he was best able to judge what was for the benefit of them both.

The day passed in a continual wrangle. Madam Imbert could hardly get away from Mrs. Maroney long enough to eat her meals. Mrs. Maroney and Josh. dealt exclusively in brandy. Toward evening Josh. proclaimed his intention of "raising" the money, and starting with it that night for the West. He would hide himself until Maroney got out of jail, when he would return and deliver the money over to him. Josh. was sublime in the purity and philanthropy of his motives. He did not want a cent of the money; not he! but he could not consent to see his brother-in-law swindled while he stood by and calmly looked on, without making an effort in his behalf. No! this he could not do. To his own serious inconvenience, he would voluntarily tear himself from his family, impose upon himself the task of becoming the watch-dog of Nat.'s treasure, and for a time lose himself in the wilderness of the West. Madam Imbert thought his would be a clear case of "Though lost to sight, to memory dear," but did not say so.

Mrs. Maroney rather took the wind out of his sails by saying: "Don't you dare to 'raise' the money until I tell you to! I am in no hurry to have it moved; the cellar has proved a safe hiding place so far, and I see no reason why it should not so remain. You will please remember that it belongs to Nat. and me. I am able to take care of it, so you may just let it alone."

Josh. said no more, but mentally washing his hands of the whole transaction, started for Stemples's. He found Rivers and Barclay there, but said nothing about what had happened, further than that he was having trouble at home.

In the evening Mrs. Maroney received a letter from her husband, stating that the book-peddler would call the next day.

The next day was to be an eventful one for me. By noon I should know the fate of my enterprise. I had no doubts about what the results would be, but I should then have the proofs in hand to show my employers that the confidence they had bestowed upon me had not been misplaced; that the theory I had advanced and worked upon was the correct one; that my profession, which had been dragged down by unprincipled adventurers until the term "detective" was synonymous with rogue, was, when properly attended to and honestly conducted, one of the most useful and indispensable adjuncts to the preservation of the lives and property of the people. The Divine administers consolation to the soul; the physician strives to relieve the pains of the body; while the detective cleanses society from its impurities, makes crime hideous by dragging it to light, when it would otherwise thrive in darkness, and generally improves mankind by proving that wrong acts, no matter how skilfully covered up, are sure to be found out, and their perpetrators punished. The great preventive of crime, is the fear of detection.

There are quacks in other professions as well as in mine, and people should lay the blame where it belongs, upon the quacks, and not upon the profession.

In the evening I received a letter from Madam Imbert, telling me of the difficulties in the way of White's receiving the money. She was full of hope, and said she thought she could manage to make Mrs. Maroney give up the money; but if all else failed she would take the money herself. It was often offered to her by Mrs. Maroney, and Josh. had said he had no objections to her receiving it. She would make arrangements so that if White did not get the money, she would. The money would be in Philadelphia the next evening if she had to walk in with it herself.

The recovery of forty or fifty thousand dollars, to-day, is considered a small operation; but in 1859, before the war, the amount was looked upon as perfectly enormous.

I showed Madam Imbert's letter to the Vice-President. He was greatly pleased to find success so near at hand, and agreed to make a little trip with me in the morning.

White was with me, in Philadelphia, and I made all my arrangements for the following day's work. I was up bright and early the next morning. The sun rose in a cloudless sky, and the weather promised to be fine. It would most likely be excessively hot by noon, but the morning was fresh and balmy. White, in his character of a book-peddler, was to go into Jenkintown on foot, so as to give the impression that he had walked out from the city. Shanks was to drive him to within about two miles of Jenkintown, where White was to get out and walk in, while Shanks would drive back and wait for him at the Rising Sun, a tavern on the road. The Vice-President and I drove over from Chestnut Hill, put up our team at the Rising Sun, and took up our position as near the probable scene of action as was prudent.

Early in the morning, just as day began to dawn, Rivers came in and reported the condition of affairs. He had watched Cox's through the night, but aside from high words there had been no demonstration. I sent a note to Madam Imbert by him, with instructions to deliver it to her as soon as she was up. I told her to be sure and do as she said she would-get the money to-day at all hazards-by storm, if necessary, as I did not like to trust Cox another day.

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