They arrived in Jenkintown without arranging any decided plan. After tea they again met. Mrs. Maroney said that she was so fatigued that even her brain was so weary that she felt completely broken down, and must retire early. Rivers arrived from Philadelphia on the cars long before the women, and went down to see Josh. Josh. had remained at home all day with his wife, and was glad of the excuse Rivers's coming gave him to go down to Stemples's. He was moody and would not talk much. Even Barclay could not get a word out of him. He was willing to drink, but spoke only in monosyllables. At nine o'clock he went home. Rivers got into Cox's yard and watched the house for about two hours, when finding all quiet, he returned home and went to bed.
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.
At Jenkintown there was no lull in the fight. The battle was going on gloriously. Breakfast at Cox's was a meagre meal, even the children were neglected, as all the grown portion of the household were on the lookout for the book-peddler.
"Sister Ann! Sister Ann! do you see any one coming?" was the cry.
Every once in a while one of them would go to the gate and look anxiously down the road, in the direction of Philadelphia. Mrs. Maroney was impatiently awaiting the arrival of Madam Imbert. She did not have to wait long, as the Madam came down immediately after breakfast. Her commanding figure and decided expression made her appear like a general giving orders. She was perfectly calm, while all the rest were so excited that they did not know what to do or say. She controlled the position.
Mrs. Maroney had not slept any and was still unable to decide upon her action. She strolled out with the Madam a short distance, thinking to find relief in a quiet chat. She said she was filled with doubts and fears. She was afraid to trust Josh., and he might go off at any moment with the packages. Madam Imbert told her that there was only one thing to be done, and that was to give up the packages to White as her husband ordered.
"Are you sure," said she, "that the letter is in your husband's handwriting?"
Mrs. Maroney looked at her in a startled manner and pulled the letter from its hiding place in the bosom of her dress. She scanned it over carefully and said:
"Yes, it is Nat.'s writing."
"Then there is nothing to do but to give it up. If my husband ordered me I would gladly give up all I have in this world to please him."
They remained away from the house for some time, and when they returned it was nearly noon. On looking down the street they discovered a book-peddler slowly toiling along from the direction of Philadelphia and evidently bending his steps towards Cox's. As Mrs. Maroney saw him coming along sweltering in the sun and bending under the weight of his load of books, she gave an involuntary start, and Madam Imbert, on whose arm she leaned, felt that she was trembling with excitement. Cox stood beside his wife in the door-way with his teeth clinched. His wife looked unutterable things, but neither uttered a word.
Madam Imbert and Mrs. Maroney went into the yard and stood leaning over the gate, watching the peddler, who was rapidly drawing near. He arrived at the gate at the appointed time.
"Do you wish to buy any books?" asked he, at the same time handing Mrs. Maroney a novel to look at, which he opened so as to disclose a note. He spoke to her in a low tone and said:
"I am from prison," then glancing at the note, "I think that is for you."
She took the novel, and, holding it open as if reading it, scanned the contents of the note:
"MY DEAREST WIFE: This is the book-peddler. You will want to buy books from him. Buy what you want. Give him the packages for me. He is honest.
"All is well. NAT."
When she had read the note she stood looking at it, apparently unable to speak. Madam Imbert looked at her, and as she began to fear that some of the neighbors might notice the long stay of the peddler, said:
"Have you no message for the man? Time is precious!"
"Yes," she answered, looking up as from a trance.
Madam Imbert spoke in a low tone:
"Tell him to meet you down the lane."
"Yes," said she, "I will meet you down the lane at two o'clock and take some books from you."
The peddler left a few novels and walked off. Mrs. Maroney and Madam Imbert walked into the house. Now was the time for Madam Imbert to show her power.
"Come, Mrs. Maroney, be quick! You must act at once! Get the money for the book-peddler, quick!"
Mrs. Maroney seemed to act mechanically. Madam Imbert's strong will had asserted a power over her that she could not resist. They went into the cellar accompanied by Josh. and his wife.
"Dig the money up," commanded Mrs. Maroney still in the same mechanical tone.
"Give me the spade!" said Madam Imbert. "Show me where the money is secreted!"
Then, turning to Josh. and his wife, she said:
"You are fools! You would not only ruin Mrs. Maroney, but yourselves. Maroney knows best what is for his interest."
Mrs. Maroney pointed out the spot where the money was buried. The Madam struck the spade into the ground.
"Stop, I'll do it!" said Josh.; "if you are bound to make a beggar of yourself it is no fault of mine."
The money was about eighteen inches under the level of the cellar floor, wrapped up in a piece of oil skin. It was soon unearthed and taken up stairs. Mrs. Maroney said:
"I will go and get the buggy, or—no! Josh.! you go to Stemples's and get his team; tell him it is for me."
Josh., without waiting to fill up the hole, started off. Madam Imbert wrapped the money in two newspapers, and when Josh. came with the team, which he soon did, put it into the front part of the buggy and covered it with the apron, and, getting in with Mrs. Maroney, drove down the lane.
White, when he received the message from Mrs. Maroney, returned to the Rising Sun and reported to me. We (the Vice-President and I) secreted ourselves under some magnolias growing close by the lane, and near where the meeting would take place. At the appointed time the book-peddler was seen by us coming up the lane, and at almost the same moment a buggy came in sight going down. It was a moment of breathless interest to both of us.
They met almost directly opposite to where we were concealed. Madam Imbert said: "Let us have some books!" The peddler lifted his satchel into the buggy; the Madam hurriedly emptied it of its contents, and holding it open jammed the bundle of money into it and handed it back to the peddler. Not a word more was said. Madam Imbert turned the team around and started the horses on a fast trot toward Jenkintown, while the peddler sweltered along under the broiling sun in the direction of the tavern.
Madam Imbert drove up to Stemples's, took the books, which were wrapped in papers, to her room, and invited Mrs. Maroney up to take some brandy.
Mrs. Maroney was in a passive state, and did everything Madam Imbert told her to do, as if powerless to resist. She remained for some time with Madam Imbert, but finally said, in a pitiful tone: "Well, I believe I am sick. This excitement has nearly killed me."
Madam Imbert advised her to lie down, and accompanied her to Cox's. Josh. had gone out with Rivers, and Mrs. Cox refused to be seen. Madam Imbert administered an opiate to Mrs. Maroney, and then returned to the tavern. Toward evening she hired Stemples's team and drove into Philadelphia.
The Vice-President and I remained concealed until the two women were well out of sight, when we overtook White, who was slowly toiling down the road. I received the satchel containing the money from him. From the time he received the money until he handed it over to me, I had had my eye on him—not exactly because I did not trust him, but I thought it wrong to lead the poor fellow into temptation.
We went to the Rising Sun, where we took dinner, but did not mention the subject which was uppermost in our minds. After dinner we drove into the city and placed the money in the vaults of the Express Company.
The Vice-President at once telegraphed to the President of the company to come from New York, as he did not wish to count the money until he was present.
In the evening Madam Imbert arrived at the hotel, and finding I was in consultation with the Vice-President, sent word in that she would like to see me. When I came to her she eagerly asked: "Is the money all right?"
"All right," I answered. When she heard this her strength seemed suddenly to leave her, and she nearly fainted. The victory was complete, but her faculties had been strained to the utmost in accomplishing it, and she felt completely exhausted. She had the proud satisfaction of knowing that to a woman belonged the honors of the day.
The President arrived on the third of August, and we met at the Lapier House, where we counted the money. The package proved to contain thirty-nine thousand five hundred and fifteen dollars—within four hundred and eighty-five dollars of the amount last stolen.
The officers of the Adams Express Company were much pleased at my success, and perfectly satisfied with everything. The money had been recovered, and the case had come to a stand-still.
I held a consultation with the President and Vice-President, and asked them if they had any further orders for me. The President said I had better finish the operation, and not give up until Maroney had been convicted and placed in the Penitentiary. I had done them invaluable service so far, but it still remained to "cap the climax" by bringing the guilty party to justice. This I assured him would soon be accomplished, and I left to give the necessary orders to my detectives.
I told Madam Imbert to return to Jenkintown, and ordered Rivers and Miss Johnson also to remain as before.
The Vice-President also told De Forest to remain in Jenkintown for the present. Green was to continue in Philadelphia. Roch, who had been sent back to Montgomery, was to await orders there, as was also Porter. White was to attend to Maroney, while Bangs was to continue in Philadelphia in charge of all.
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 employes 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.