Image provided by: Deschutes County Historical Society; Bend, OR
About Cloverdale courier. (Cloverdale, Tillamook County, Or.) 190?-19?? | View Entire Issue (Aug. 3, 1916)
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i have often been asked if in my de
tective work I bad sheered off from the
wrong trail when I was about to uab a
criminal through sympathy. I never
did that, but I once lost a woman
m lioiu I had under arrest because I had
become convinced that she was inno
cent. I did not tell her that she might
escape, but pretended to trust her. I
•was sorry afterward that I didn't let
her know that I was willing she should
go. for I saw her do something to gain
her freedom that made my blood cur-
A cashier o f a bank hud been con
victed of defalcation, had been sent to
the penitentiary and by means of steel
saws sent him by his wife had cut the
bars of a window of his ceil. She had
also provided him with a ripe, on
which he had lowered himself to the
ground and had then thrown it over
the prison wall, she 1 icing outside to
catch It and secure the end. lie then
climbed on to the wall, and his wife
and three o f his friends had held a
blanket, into which ho hud Jumped.
Then, getting Into a carriage, he had
been driven awuy.
The warden was quite sure that the
eaca|ied man’s w ife had se ured his
freedom, hut hud no evlden e to sup
port the charge. Some time uflor the
escape I was ordered by my chief to go
to Albany, where the wonutn was liv
ing, arrest her on u trumped up charge
and bring her to Philadelphia, where
the crime of which her husband had
been convicted wus committed. The
object was to force lier to betray Ills
whereabouts, or, rather, to force him to
give himself up to secure ids wife's
1 found the lady—she was a lady,
and u reflued lady, too living in seclu
sion. She doubtless surmised what
kind of a game was to be played on
her, for 1 saw her face set with reso
lution. I did not believe anything
could lie forced out of tier. She went
with me without making any ado, ami
1 refrained from the indignity of plac
ing handcuffs on her. I took a seat be
side her in the train, resolving to make
the Journey as easy for her ns possible.
During the ride to New York she told
me one of the most interesting stories
of how a man's ruin may lie planned
to save another that 1 ever listened to.
If the poraou who laid the scheme had
devoted his genius to writing detective
stories he might have made a large
fortune. The most ingenious part o f it
was that ho lived on an innocent man
so that there was no way that bo could
prove Ids Innocence without casting nn
aspersion on ids own wife.
Not only dkl the lady make the dif
ferent stops tn the plot plain to me,
but by the artless way sho told her
story convinced me that she had not
Invented it and was telling the truth.
And when she told me that she and
her husband had intended to start for
ltia/11 with her children In a few days
to begin life anew under a different
name I completely soured on my Job.
On reaching New York we took sup
per together in a restaurant, crossed
the river and boarded a train for Phil
adelphia. Having told me her story,
the lady sat silently weeping. Her ar
rest laid siHdlcd a plan that she and
her husband had been working ami
waiting for for several months. If her
story ami my faith lu Its truth had not
conquered me her tears would have
done so -that Is. being convinced of
licX bW -viKO After leaving Trcuton
I told her that I was going into the
“ Aren't you afraid I'll escape?’’ she
“ I don’t see how you can,” I replied.
“This train doesn't stop till we reach
Philadelphia, and before that I’ll be
I did not Intend to return to her till
we wore in the station at Philadelphia,
hoping that she would find a way of
giving me the slip there, and thought it
possible that the train might pull up on
tiio way and go slow enough for her to
I smoked several cigars. At one of
the towns through which we passed
where there were many tracks 1 no
ticed that we were running beside a
train moving in the same direction ns
ourselves and on the next track. The
two trains were so near together that 1
could put my hand in at the window of
tiie one beside us. Doth trains were
going ut pretty good speed.
Presently the other train begun to
pull ahead of mine. I was sitting in
the front Rent of the smoking car on
the side next the other train. Suddenly
as tiie platform o f the rear car o f the
other trains caught and passed tiie
platform of my car I saw my prisoner
bond forward, grasp tiie rail o f tiie
platform beside her and step on to the
other train. She missed the rail she
tried for, and I thought it was all up
with her. but she caught the rear rail
ami succeeded In clambering on to tiie
platform. That’s all I saw, for tiie
train she was on passed out of sight.
I thanked heaven that I had been
spared sending the poor woman to her
death and that she had escaped me.
Just before reaching Philadelphia 1
went into tiie car where I had left my
prisoner and, not finding her, oil reach
ing the hotel at which I put up notified
my chief of the woman's escape, telling
him exactly how she had effected It.
It is needless to say I was discharg
ed. After some difficulty I found an
other berth and never regretted what I
had done. Many years after the lady’s
husband was exonerated, and the story
Just ns she told it to me came out In
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