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The Expressman and the Detective By Allan Pinkerton Characters: 11907

Updated: 2017-12-01 00:04

On the fifteenth of August, White called on Maroney in Eldridge street jail. He detailed what had transpired at Jenkintown, and told Maroney that he had the money hid in a safe place in Philadelphia. This was undoubtedly the truth, as the money was safe in the vaults of the Adams Express. I deemed it best to curtail expenses as soon as possible, and instructed White to impress upon Maroney that Jenkintown was not a safe place for his wife, and that she had better leave there. He was to endeavor to get Maroney to send her to the west, and to Chicago, if possible. He told Maroney that he was afraid some of the express men were watching his wife, and if he did not look out she might be induced to "blow" on him and tell all. He dwelt on his repugnance to being mixed up with women with such effect that Maroney was convinced that she had better go to some other part of the country, and so wrote to her at once. He told her she had better go west. She was so near the headquarters of the company that he feared they might find her out, and make trouble for her. He hinted that he was not entirely satisfied with De Forest, and wished her to go as soon as possible. White said he was having the key to the pouch made, and would be able to show it to him in a day or two. He did not wish any one in the jail to see him with the key, and wished Maroney to be careful that no prisoners were in their neighborhood when he disclosed it. When he did bring the key Maroney examined it closely and expressed himself well pleased with it.

The day set for the trial of the suit in New York was near at hand, and Maroney would have to prove that he had not taken the fifty thousand dollars. He did not much care how the suit went, as he was confident he would be acquitted at his criminal trial in Montgomery. When the suit came off, we managed to get a judgment against him for the fifty thousand dollars in such a manner that it was not necessary to let him know that the money had been recovered, or that White was working against him. He was of course the principal witness in his own behalf, and if wholesale perjury could have saved him he would have been acquitted beyond a doubt.

The day after the trial White called on him and he laughed heartily at the judgment which had been obtained against him.

"Wait till I get to Montgomery," he said, "and then they will find that their judgment does not amount to shucks. White, I wish you would settle up my matters as soon as possible."

"I am going to Charleston this evening to see if I can't pass some of the money, and must hurry off and pack my satchel, as the train leaves at four. Good-by for a time; I will write and let you know how I succeed," said White, as he prepared to leave.

"I know you will succeed," remarked Maroney, and White hurriedly walked out of jail. This was all done to blind Maroney as to White's real character. There was no necessity of White's leaving the city to accomplish his purpose. All he had to do was to write letters and send them to the agents of the Adams Express at the different points where Maroney supposed him to be, and they would mail them to Maroney. He pretended that he was having great trouble in trying to exchange the money, and wrote that he would be in New York in a few days. At the end of a week he walked down to the jail. He met Maroney with a troubled look on his face, and said that he had been frightened away from Charleston after he had exchanged about five hundred dollars. He was doing very well when he found the detectives were close after him, and he had to leave without his carpet bag.

"It is up-hill work, Maroney, trying to exchange this money. The Adams Express are keeping a sharp lookout every where, and I have had a number of detectives on my track. I have no money of my own and need all of yours. So far I have exchanged only enough to get me to Montgomery, and to pay the girl for stuffing the Express money into Chase's pocket."

Maroney gave White what money he had, and told him to go on and fix Chase as soon as possible. Mrs. Maroney had all the money, so that we had to foot all White's bills. The company had already been at heavy expense, and I was desirous of stopping all unavoidable expenditures. White remained in Philadelphia or New York, as the case might be, performing on paper a journey through the South. Maroney received letters from him from Augusta, Ga., New Orleans, Mobile and Montgomery. He seemed to meet with many adventures and reverses, but was slowly and surely accomplishing his mission. He had the girl in Montgomery, and she was rapidly winning her way to the innermost recesses of Chase's heart. In a couple of days came another letter. Chase was captivated, and had so far worked on the confiding, innocent nature of the girl as to prevail on her to consent to let him into her room that night. She had the money to put into Chase's pocket, and all was going well. Maroney could not sleep, so anxiously did he look forward for the coming of the next letter; he paced his cell all night. What would have been his feelings if he could have looked through about a mile of brick and mortar to where White was snoring in bed?

The next day no letter came. He grew almost frantic, and was so irritable and excited that his fellow prisoners wondered what had come over him. The following day the anxiously expected letter arrived. He hastily broke it open and found that the faithful White had been true to his trust. Chase had gone into the girl's room, McGibony had seized him as he came out, a search was instituted and the stolen money and a pouch key had been discovered in his pocket.

"Hurrah!" said Maroney, "I am all right now! Boys, here is five dollars, the last cent I have! We will make a jolly day of it."

We will now return to our friends in Jenkintown. It took some time for Maroney to impress upon his wife the necessity of her going West. She had little

money, for though she had pocketed the proceeds of the sale of her husband's livery stable, and other effects, in Montgomery, her expenses had been heavy, and the money had dwindled away until she was nearly penniless.

One day Mrs. Maroney said to Madam Imbert: "Wouldn't you like to go out west somewhere and settle down for a while?"

"It makes no difference to me where I go," she replied, "I have to see the gentleman who exchanges my money for me, once in a while; but no matter where I go, he is sure to come to me when I send for him. Why would it not be a good plan to go to some place in the South? Swansboro, N. C., is a good place."

"Yes," remarked Mrs. Maroney, "but it is so dull!"

"What do you say to Jackson, Mississippi? It is a beautiful place."

"No, we don't want to go South now, it is altogether too warm. Were you ever in Chicago, Madam Imbert?"

"No; but it is a good place to summer in, I understand."

"Well, let's go there; will you?"

"Yes, certainly, if you wish," said Madam Imbert; and they at once began to arrange for their departure. It was decided that Madam Imbert should go ahead to Chicago, and see if she could rent a furnished house for them. She started off, and, as a matter of course, easily accomplished her purpose.

I had a house in Chicago, where I lodged my female detectives, and as I had only two in the city at the time, I easily found them a boarding-house, and turned the house over to Madam Imbert. The servants were well trained, and understood their business thoroughly. Everything being arranged, Madam Imbert wrote to Mrs. Maroney and Miss Johnson, telling them to come on. Two weeks after, Mrs. Maroney, Miss Johnson, and Flora arrived in Chicago, and took up their quarters with Madam Imbert.

It was necessary to have a young man to run their errands, and Shanks was promptly furnished them. White did not need his services any longer, as he was able to run his own errands.

Business was crowding fast, and the time set for Maroney's trial at Montgomery was drawing near. The Governor of Alabama requested the Governor of New York to deliver Maroney for trial in Montgomery, which request was immediately acceded to.

I sent Maroney South in charge of an officer from Philadelphia, of course "shadowed" by my own men.

This was the last time that Roch was on duty in this case. He had done good service already in its early stages, and might be of service again.

The Vice-President accompanied the parties.

When they arrived in Montgomery, Maroney was not met and escorted to the Exchange by a bevy of admiring friends. On the contrary, he was led to jail. Hope never forsook him. He received letters from White, who said all was going well, and he expected to get the funds exchanged soon. Maroney wrote in reply that he hoped he would hurry up, as he wished to give a part of the money to his lawyer in New York. The lawyer was evidently expecting to reap a rich harvest at the company's expense. Little more need be said.

The Circuit Court was in session, His Honor John Gill Shorter, presiding, and Maroney would soon be tried before him. He was confident that he would be acquitted and had all his plans made as to what he would do when he was liberated. Not the shadow of a doubt had crossed his mind as to the fealty of White.

He heard that he was in Montgomery and received a note from him, saying that all was well; that the Adams Express had compelled him to come-an unwilling witness-to see if they could not force the secret from him, but they would find that they had "collared" the wrong man this time. Maroney was braced up by this note. He knew that White would not give up; he felt confident of that!

It was the morning of the trial, and before nightfall he would be a free man. It was a lovely day and the court-room was packed with spectators, among whom were many of Maroney's former friends.

He walked proudly into the court-room, between two deputies, with an air that plainly said, "I am bound to win!"

His friends clustered around him and vied with each other as to who could show him the most attention. Foremost among them was Porter, to whom he gave an extra shake of the hand. I will not dwell upon the trial. The witnesses for the prosecution were called one by one. They were the employés of the company who were in any way connected with the shipment or the discovery of the loss of the money, which ought to have been sent to Atlanta, when, in reality, it had gone down the Alabama in Maroney's old trunk.

The witnesses proved that the money had disappeared in some mysterious way; but they did not in the slightest degree fasten the guilt upon Maroney. His spirits rose as the trial progressed, and his counsel could not but smile as he heard the weak testimony he had to break down. He had expected a toughly contested case, but the prosecutors had presented no case at all.

At length, the crier of the court called "John R. White."

As John R. White did not immediately appear in answer to the call, Maroney seemed, during the brief period of silence, to suddenly realize how critical was his position. His cheek blanched with fear. He seemed striving to speak, but not a word could he articulate. As White deliberately walked up to the witness-stand, Maroney seemed at once to realize that White would never perjure himself for the sake of befriending him. His eyes were filled with horror and he gasped for breath.

A glass of water was handed to him. He gulped it down, and, vainly endeavoring to force back the tears from his eyes, in a hoarse, shaky voice, he exclaimed:

"Oh, God!" Then, turning to his counsel, he said: "Tell the court I plead guilty. He," pointing to White, "knows the whole. I am guilty!! I am gone!!!"

This ended the matter. The counsel entered a plea of guilty and the Judge sentenced Maroney to pass ten years in the Alabama Penitentiary, at hard labor.

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