The Pittsburgh Press from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on May 9, 1926 · Page 123
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The Pittsburgh Press from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania · Page 123

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Issue Date:
Sunday, May 9, 1926
Page 123
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D' X , cJ- LONDON, April 30. SHERLOCK HOLMES, the great detective of fiction, made his home in Baker street, London. And it is a furious coincidence that the best-known private detective in England, Miss Maud .West, also makes her headquarters in Baker street, not more than a stone's throw from the rooms of, the immortal Holmes. Of course, the detective of fiction accomplished rather impossible miracles of crime detection, but Miss Wert has achieved some" very remarkable results, due to her resourcefulness and daring. Like the detective of novels and in the movies, she finds it not only convenient, but quite necessary, to use disguises, and has successfully occupied room at a fashionable hotel as a titled Englishman, and has followed her suspects into their clubs, has played baccarat beside them at the Monte Carlo Casino, and no one has sus- pected that the young person in silk hat -and evening clothes wa3 a woman. Detective work, like newspaper work, will not wait upon convenience. What must be dona must often be dons instantly. And thus it happens that Miss West keeps on hand, both tn her office and in her home, a bag packed with revolver, hypo dermic syringe, a little vial of dope and a half-dozen disguises. If the telephone rings and she must catch the beat train leaving for a Channel steamer for India, or one of the great American linen, Miss West is ready for an immediate start She received instructions from a Arm of solicitors in London one day, acting on behalf of a young American woman who wished her husband kept under observation, she related. He was very wealthy, but apparently he had a bee In his bonnet and wanted to do things he shouldn't The trail began in Paris, city of Strang romances. The woman detective went across the Channel and stayed in Clar-idge's, where her quarry had taken up hie abode. She kept her eye on his every movement In the hotel she wai her natural self, but whenever the olcf fellow strayed outside she would get into disguise and follow him. She disguised best of all as a man, and with different facial make-up each time she dogged him all over the French capital. Then he made for London and the woman shadower followed him across. He carried with him one particular bag of odd shape, and when he got to Dover he entered a hotel and left this part of his luggage, saying hej would call for it on his return journey to France. Maud West was determined to get that bag. From Dover to London is about a hundred miles. She got into the train to' London, and half way on the journey she got out and sent a wire from the station telegraph office to the Dover hotel. She said she wished the bag sent to a particular address in London immediately and she signed the American's name to the message. Not long after her, the bag arrived. She took possession of it and went to the man's wife for permission to open it. This was given and the grip was opened. "Great heavens!" the wife exclaimed. "What's he up to now?" The bag contained an imposing array m Miss Trude Elaino Brionne, One Women of Vienna, Who Prettiest V y v W0 l -'wks ( Z j s V v Mf v fJ w-K. of surgeon's knives and Implement. "Oh, dear; oh, dear," she cried, "don't lose sight of him! Follow him whertver he goes." The beg was returned to Dover with appropriate explanation!- In due course the husband collected it and made for New York. The woman detective booked a berth on the same ship, and during the voyage she spent her time shadowing the eccentric passenger about the decks. Whenever he went to his stateroom she kept watch in the alleyway, like a thief in the ght He met her several times, but never knew it was the same person. One day she would be an elderly woman, another she would appear as a heavily moustached man. So the comedy went on until New York was reached. 8he trailed her man across town to the East Side and saw him enter a tumble-down building. She followed and listemJ at the door. "Well," said the visitor, "got everything ready?" "Yes," a man's voice replied. "I paid fifty dollars for a body that was fished from the river. It's downstair in my laboratory." of the Most Beautiful Society Wort the Prize for the Back. r ' i X AS M B nrwwwi Photograph of Miss Maud Weal, London's "Sherlock Holme" at Her Desk in Her Detective Office, and Three of Her Disguises. Th woman detective drew closer to th door. t "Good for yon, Doc," said the other. "Say, I brought my implements. I bought them in Paris, at the Pasteur Clinic." The woman detective waited only a little while longer until her suspicious were confirmed. As she .had gathered, the strange American's eccentricity had turned to medical surgery and he had entered into a compact with this doctor of shady reputation to assist in the dissection of a human body. The detective went and cabled the wife, received a reply giving instructions, and the result was that th would-be amateur surgeon found himself in the hands of an alienist and later removed to a private mental home. "Once In the country In England I was keeping watch on a mansion where burglars were expected. It was night. I waited in the shadow of ime trees, through which the moon shone and made eerie outlines. I heard a twig crack. I held my breath. Next moment I got a terrible shock. Someone had come behind me, and before I realized what was happening a figure of a man dived upon ma Wins Prize for Prettiest Bac SOCIETY beautie of Austria, in extreme decollete, recently about-faced In a competition held at Vienna to determine who has the most beautiful-back in that part of the world. A committee of beauty experts, artists and sculptors, after viewing the scores of shapely feminine backs, which passed before them In stately parade, awarded the honor to Miss Trude Elaine Brionne, one of th most beautiful of the Viennese belles. In the United States, for a good many years, the Englishwoman, Kitty Gordon, held that unique honor. Miss Gordon' face was photographed less often than her back, which set ipjnal fashions until the mode changed. The generous lines of the Gordon back were charaeteriied recently as being "too mature," although It was of the type that would have thrown classic sculptors and painters into ecstasies. In a competition held in the United States some time ago, in which 40,000 A SYSTEM characterized by German insurance companies as a positively reliable burglar alarm has been invented and i3 now in general use in Germany and other parts of the world. It is claimed that it is a perfect thief trap. It consists of electrically wiring a stairway so that the pressure of the feet of even a child will make the contacts that not only ring on the spot but may be wired to ring in the nearest police station, or on nearby police boxes. . The instant the burglar steps on the stairs the alarm is sounded- The advantage of this system, as opposed to numberless others in use, is that the alarm rings before the burglar has had a chance to get into the store or house which he intends to rob. A great many devices in common operation ring alarms when the marauder has gained entry, and he is sometimes enabled to escape with hi3 booty before the arrival of the police. This new scheme may be made to ring at a distance, unknown to the thief. Science has made it increasingly diffi (C) IK. by imerlctn Weekly. Inc. IV wish m- -j, and pinned me down. I struggled free, drew my automatic and fired, wounding the man in the leg. He was carried into the house and there Identified as the suspected party." Down in the villainous Limehouse District of London she was approached by a man and hi wife, who asked her assistance in locating their daughter and restoring her to them. She had run away from home and was believed to be living with a Chinaman in Limehouse. With an assistant, the woman detective went to the very heart of that part of London where Orientals live their mysterious lives, and disguised as Chinese the pair took room. They remained In the neighborhood for some week, and the woman detective outdid even the crafty Chinese in cunning in the manner in which she went about her investigations. She frequented the Oriental haunt without fear, ,listened to every scrap of conversation in English that she could overhear. It was a long and a discouraging search, but she succeeded, a she nearly alway does. She traced the girl and the Chinaman. They were living together. women participated, Miss Virginia Pear-eon was awarded the first prize as having the most perfect back. It wa a noteworthy fact that her nearest competitor ' was a woman aged seventy years, which indicates apparently that age is the one secret which the back does not portray. Lillian Drain, of Los Angeles, widely known a a painter of beautiful women, decUred that Mae Busch, the film actress, possesses what she termed the "ideal movie bck." Miss Drain said that the perfect back of to-day is the one just plump enough to be expressive and graceful. Miss Brionne, the charming Viennese, who won the most recent contest, possesses that type of back. According to Miss Drain, a woman' back is really a test of character, because it is the one feature that cannot be disguised. A woman can have her face lifted, her nose straightened and be otherwise remodeled nearer to her heart's desire, but her back remains through life just as nature intended it to be. y Reliable Btirdlar Alarm. cult for the burglar to make a living. Burglary, which was once the favorite branch of endeavor of the criminal, has fallen into the evil days as a result, and there has been a proportionate increase in street holdups as a result. In the palmy old day a good cracksman with an acety-line torch and a small bottle of nitroglycerin could get into almost any bank safe he had hie eye on. Cracking a modern safe is the next thing to a miracle, except in some of the very small towns in remote Sections, where old-fashioned means of burglar prevention are still in use. The system illustrated in the photograph may be used in connection with a store threshold as well as on a stairway. In the photograph the steps have been elevated to show how the wiring is arranged. There is a possible domestic use for the device. Wives whose husbands are in the habit of sneaking home at all hours of the morning can keep tabs on their errant spouses by wiring their stairways in this manner. Great SrlUln Bl;ii'j Ktctnes. i "Being a detective, particularly a woman detective, has its amusing side," Miss West remarked. "I've made love to crooks before now, and this led to an incident once about which 1 still liugh. I was frequenting a hotel in the West End of London' in the hope of getting acquainted with a man whom we suspected of a will fraud. I thought I would get him, for I had studied his habits well, and I was right. He introduced himself to me and invited me to go to his chambers. I agreed, meanwhile signaling to one of my assistants, a man, to follow. "We reached his room and the man et out some drinks, and when he wasn't watching I slipped some dope into hi glass. Fie fell asleep quickly, for he had had quite sufficient to drink previously, and while he slept I searched through his papers in hi desk and discovered the document I wanted. Turning to go, I saw the man stir. "In the room was a large bearskin rug, with a great bear's head, and on the spur of the moment I took refuge under this and crept toward the door. The man must have been still too dopey to notice the strange antics of his rug, for I man ,,,,11 , i ,j , "" m" In the Photograph the Front of the Steps Has Been Elevated to Shov How the Electric Contact Wires Are Arranged to Ring the Alarm as the Burglar Steps on the Stairs. aged to get clear. Th funny part, ho ever, was that when I opened the door; with the rug still over me, I fell Into tha arms of my waiting assistant ho got the 6hock of his life. II thought his last hour had come!" , Miss West has conducted divorce shad' owings for all kinds of people, from princes and princesses to laborers. She his conducted many cases in Paris and Mont Carlo for Americans. In one case In th outh of France, she obtained a situation as a maid in a house occupied by an Ameriean, whose wife had given Mis West an assignment to watch, her husband. From tim to time he was visited by women friends, and one night the deteetlv arranged for the wife to arriv whn one of these woman acquaintances should be present The wif came and was admitted. Th husband, hearing of her arrival, began a game of hide-and 3k throughout the house, hi? wife ehaing him from room to room,' while shrieks were heard from th woman friend who had locked herself in a closet Th husband realized fc would need to get out of the house. He eouldn't go downstairs, for th xit there was g-uardad. He decided on a bold move. He would elimb down the watr pip at the basket th house. He ran out on to the balcony, hi wif in close pur-luit, nd scrambled down, and with a gasp of relief jumped down to th ground and into th arms of one of the woman detective's as-istants. The unusual part of thi ease was that both husband and wife then realited the humor of th situation. They both laughed over it until tears were streaming down their cheeks After that, of course. there could be no di-rorte, and they became happily re-united. . Her second trip to Amenta was on divorce shadowing. Another time th trial led to Nairobi, In East Africa, where he went to watch a wife. She goes to Mont Carlo regularly once a year on divorce or blackmail or theft shadowings. In her work, which has extended over eighteen years, he has employed all varieties of disguises. She has been a gypsy, a nurse, a fortune-teller, a sailor, and fef the past few months she has been frequenting a village in England disguisod as an old woman, ferreting out the fact of a will tangle. "I wouldn't have any other wort -I hilgely enjoy it I took it up when I ni a girl, for pleasure. Many of my relative are lawyer and they gave me my first assignment. Now I iget commission i from all part of the world." Th telephone bell rang in her prirat room while she wa talking. She answered. When eh had finished ah turned and said, In her pleasant voice and with her kindly eye twinkling: "You must excuse me. I've got to start for Rome in half an hour."

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