Logansport Pharos-Tribune from Logansport, Indiana on January 31, 1898 · Page 6
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January 31, 1898

Logansport Pharos-Tribune from Logansport, Indiana · Page 6

Logansport, Indiana
Issue Date:
Monday, January 31, 1898
Page 6
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Page 6 article text (OCR)

fc ^RgDRIGUESOTI5LENGUIi *=-.>» ' AUTHOR OF "AM ARTIST IN CRIME.,ETC. * £? ^ «>~0<X><>««>«>«>^«^^ COPYRIGHT. 1897. BY G.P.PUTKMM5 SON*. CHYPTES T—Fifteen years before the opening of the story John Lewis went to live in a plao- called bee. in New Hampshire, •with a little Klrl 6 years old. VirplD»a. the daughterot his decoded slater. He had a son wo ha • tieen loft at school, but ran away sod shipped for Colon. Five yearfi »fter Lewis went to Lee a family named Marvel also settled -here. Young Marvel met aud loved Virginia Lewis. Alice. Marvel, n alter s slater, and Harry Lucas also met and were reported to be in love with each other. A t the opening Of the story a person purporting to bo the missing- aon of John (.owls arrl es at 'Lee Walter Marvel proposes for \lrgiDias hand to her uncle, who refuses, tellinur him that his uncle, whose name he bears, was a villain and a convict. Young Marvei draws a pistol and shoots at Lewi-*, but his aim is diverted by Virginia. Boon after Lewis is found dead In Ms room wlt'1 two bullet koies In his borty. KIs death occurs simultaneously wltn the arrival of the man who claims tn be his BOH 11—Mr. Barn. a. th-) celehrated detective, ana Yom Ban- ws, another detective, take up the oa-e strongly, suspecting Virginia a* the criminal. 111-TSioy examine the pro nds about me house where the murder Is com , mitt d and find footprints of a man and woman the woman's foot prints Btrenet&enlnir their suspicions of Vioriala. They also find two pistols, one marked "Virginia Lewis, the other marked "Alice Marvel. 1 ' Virginia writes a letter and noes away w th it Barnes di-'g uised, folio vs her IV-Vlrginla gives nj-r letter to one Willie Bverly, who posts it. Barnes keeps his eyo on it. gets possession of it and thus Teurns the whereabouts of Walter Marve;. V- »li<w Murvel botravs know edge of the ur ier. VI- John Lewis, the supposed 9 on of the murdered man, produces envelopes addrtgoe'i to him to prove his i;entity. He ejccites susolcion by leaving his room at mid- ntefct VL , Vlll. IX and X-Rarneo arrives at ee with young Marvel, and an 'Uquest is hell. at wmioh Alia* Marvel teetlfles that she flr jr one of the shots th»t killed LewlB. and Vinrlmia confesses. prBsum ibiy to shield the real Murder. CHAPTER XV. MR. BAKNF.il ON HIS METTLE. Mr. Barnes and Virginia returned to Riverside farm, reaching there just as 'the people were assembling for the funeral services. The squire greeted Virginia cordially and looked interrogatively at Mr. Barnes, evidently a little confused at seeing thorn together. Virginia hastened to explain. "Squire, I hope you will be glad to hear that Mr. Barnes is now working in my interests? Ho does not believe that Walter is guilty." "Is that true?" said the squire, quickly interested. "I am glad to hear it, for, though Burrows seems to have made out a complete chain of evidence, if you, Mr. Barnes, with your experience, are unconvinced, there must be a weak spot in it. Toll me, how is it?" "Mr. Burrows is mistaken," said Mr. Barnes. "His evidence is all good arid most important. His deductions, however, are incorrect. As you say, there is a flaw. I pointed it out to him, but he is obstinate and refuses to see it. He caniiot convict Marvel without proving that Miss. Lewis here was an accomplice after the fact if not before." "God forbid thai;he should do that." "I was afraid that he would have brought ont this point before the grand jury, aud that Miss Lewis as a consequence would have been still in prison. That he has not done so shows that he secretly fears that he could not sustain the charge." "Well, but do yon think yon can clear Marvel? If so, who did kill Lewis?" "Your last query is a hard one to answer, but I must do so if I am to prove Marvel's innocence. All I can say now is that 1 hope to accomplish that Now, I wiiih to see the body again. Will you come with me?'' The squire and the detective moved toward the parlor, where was the casket containing the remains. Virginia went to her own room. The two men stood beside the coffin a, moment in silence. Mr. Barnes gazed intently at the charred face, bandaged in silk handkerchiefs to conceal the disfigurement, and the squire wondered of what he was thinking. In truth Mr. Barnes scarcely knew 'himself. He hacl a dimly denned idea •within his mind and was awaiting its development. Presently his eyes wandered down toAvlxire the crossed arms of the corpse lay upon the breast, and he noted the diamond ring. "Squire," said he, "I think a mistake will be maidc' if we do not interfere." " What do you mean?" "There is a ring on the finger of the corpse. It should not be buried." "Why not?" "Because the raaa was murdered, and anything connected with the body may become an article of value as evidence of some kind." "How can a ring amotmt to anything?" "I don't say it will, but it may. We detectives, as you know, are cautious, and I should be indebted if you will remove it." "Oh, certainly, if yon specially wish it!" The squire removed the ring with some difficulty. ' 'I wish, squire, that you would keep •that yourself. Should anything occur •which will make it useful to me, I shall know where t;o get it." "Yes, I will keep it, and it shall not leave my possession unless I let yon [know first." "I thank you, but may I look at it now for a moment; 1 " "Certainly." The squire handed it to him. Mr. BarnDS examined it closely, and, noticing; an inscription on the inside of the band, went to the light to decipher it. It proved to be "W. toM." The detective started and muttered, "The same initials as were on the locket!" Then, returning the ring to the squire, he asked: "Have yon that locket? Though that is a foolish question, as I suppose yon gave it to the authorities at Dover, with the other things in evidence," "Yes. They wore given up yester- "T. wonder,'-"Tiiouglit the detective, "if I have made 11 mistake. I may wish to see that locket once more, and I must question Miss Lewis." At this moment the minister arrived, and the ceremonies commenced. John Lewis came in 1 with him, and then went to call Virginia, but she declined to leave her room. At this there was little surprise, foi: what girl would care to show herself before so many people after such an experience? The service was brief, the main point in the discourse being to impress upon the minds of those present: the transitoriness of human life and the extreme uncertainty as to how long a man might live or how soon be called iiway from all that he holds dear on eurth, and therefore the policy and wisdom of so arranging earthly affairs that one might be ready to answer the call at any time. While the worthy man spoke nothing but truth, it is doubtful if any of his hearers even so much as made his will the nest day, so far off do most men feel from death. • . . Tie body was inferred in a private cemetery belonging to the estate, situated at one end of the farm, near a growth of timber land. After the funeral the people dispensed. Mr. Barnes approached Will Everly as he was about 1;o leave and said: "Do you remember me, Mr. Everly?" "Certainly; you are Mr. Barnes. Miss Lewis tells me that you arc now devoted to the interests o:t Mr. Marvel. Is that true?" ' 'It is, and DOW I wish to intrust to you an errand that may serve him. Will you undertake it'?" "Just give me a chance." "Have you a fast horse?" "I have, and can get a faster if there be any need." "What I wish done is very simple, but it must be dene without delay, for I wish to have word tonight, as I shall be obliged to leave here tomorrow." ' 'I can go where you wish at once." "Go then to Dover and hunt up the clerk of the court. His name is Ainsley"— "I know him. very well, and where to find him." "Ail the better. See him,.and teJl him that you wish to look at the locket which has played so conspicuous a part in this case. If he has not the custody of it, ho will be able to take you to the one who has. See the locket tonight, if possible. Look on the outside and find out what the inscription is, whether it is 'W. M.' or 'W. to M.' The word 'to,' if on the trinket, will save your friend's life. Lose no time." Everly needed no second bidding, but was off on a run at once. Mr. Barnes seemed satisfied, and turned into the house. Here he found Lucas and spoke to him. "This is a sad business, Mr. Lucas." "Indeed it is, I would gladly take the place of the prisoner for the sake of his sister, if not of himself." "Miss Marvel has passed through a trying ordeal. How is she now?" "She is very ill. Of course she was prostrated at the inquest because of the From that point he studied the apparent conditions. part which she took in it herself; so much so that we did not dare to tell her of the charges against Miss Lewis. But through the stupidity of a servant she beard today of the fact that her brother is now the accused, and she has been delirious ever since. I have waited after the others to tell Miss Lewis this, but now I am anxious about Miss Marvel and will leave you. I hope that you mtiy be successful in your defense of Walter. I cannot believe that he is really guilty." "It shall not be for want of honest endeavor if I fail." Mr. Barnes bowed courteously as Lucas retired. A moment later Miss Lewis appeared. "I am glad you are here, Mr. Barnes," said she, "for 'I want to get to work at once." "Very well. Let me ask yon a few questions. What was your mother's name?" "Matilda. I don't know her married nama Every one knows that 'Lewis' Is only the name given to me by my adopted father. That was his name, and as I am his sister's child of course she must have changed hers when she married, but to what my uncle never would tell me. So I have been Virginia J-iewis in spite of myself." "But perhaps you know your father's first name, if not his last?" "No. Whenever I asked any anes- Sons my uncle would say, 'Turn nevei bad a father.'" "Well, your mother's name was Matilda—that is, the first name has'M.' for the initial. And I feel satisfied that your father's initial was 'W.' " "Is it a matter of any importance?" "It may be. The ring that your uncle wore bore the inscription 'W. to M.' I have sent Everly to Dover to find ont if the same is on that medallion. I may have overlooked the word 'to' when I bad it in my hand, and if it is there it will indicate that there were two of those lockets." ' 'And that would help to 'prove that Walter is innocent, would it not?" "It would help, for it would show that the one which you found in the dead man's hand was not the one which Mr. Marvel had." "God grant it. Otherwise I should never forgive myself for furnishing that evidence against him. But what about the clothes which he says he tbrew into the river? The squire told me that he and my cousin, Mr. Lewis, have had the stream dragged, but did not find anything." ' 'I mean to have a try at that myself. Now I have another point which I wish to investigate, and if yon will excuse me I will be off." "You will return and take supper with me, will you not? The proprieties will not be invaded, for Sarah is here with me and will stay as long as I wish her. Therefore yon can have a room here if you desire." "Thank you very much. Don't lose heart, Miss Lewis. If it be in the power of man, I will clear your lover from this charge." Virginia showed her gratitude in her face, and the detective went away. From the farm he went to the house of Dr. Snow and was fortunate enough to find him at home, though he had but just returned from a visit to Miss Marvel, wham be reported as slightly improved. Mr. Barnes proceeded to ask a few questions of the old physician about the people most nearly connected with the crime and its consequence*. Finally he said: "There is a question that I would like to ask, doctor. Would a man's fingers swell or would they shrink after death?" "That would depend upon the circumstances of the case. If the death were from dropsy or from some poisons, they would swell, but ordinarily of course they would shrink. Again, the time has something to do with it, for in all cases the tissues must waste eventually." "Since there is some doubt about it, I must give you a specific case. Take the body of Mr. Lewis, for example. Would yon expect any shrinking of his fingers?'' "I think I should, though they may not have dene so to any considerable extent in the' few days which have elapsed." "They would not have swollen?" "No, I am positive that they would not.'' "Thank you, doctor; you have settled an important point for me. When the trial comes on, please remember this interview, in case you should be questioned about it on the witness stand." "I will testify, of course, though as yet I cannot see what it is thai; yon are trying to prove." "Pardon me if I say no more at this time. I must think only of the interests which I am serving, and I deem it wisest to work quietly, as yet. Will you oblige me by not mentioning this to any one?" "I will be discreet, since you seem to think it is important." Leaving tho doctor's house, Mr. Barnes went to the bridge from which Marvel claimed that he had thrown the bundle of clothing. Looking over the edge, into the water, he concluded that on whichever side it had been thrown the bundle must have been, carried by tho current toward the dam; otherwise it would have been found on the banks, which were shelving on the south side of the bridge. Next he left the bridge and went to the side of tho stream north of the dam, and from that point studied the apparent conditions. "Well," thought he, "if Marvel had sought for a place to lose a thing he could not have chosen better." This conclusion was most probable, for he saw a large number of enormous bowlders of jagged rock projecting from the water, which is shallow as it passes over the stones, and these rough projections made innumerable eddies and smaller currents. A bundle of clothing might easily be caught and held among these rocks and held there against all time, or at least long enough to be of no practical value to Walter Marvel The detective saw that he had almost a hopeless task to make this river yield up its secret, -if indeed it held one. However, he was not a man easily daunted by obstacles, and he determined to make an attempt that night. He chose the night for his experiment, deeming it wisest to make the conditions as nearly as possible similar to those under which the accused had acted. He thought that the cnrrents.among these rocks might be different at night, as then tie mills would not be working. He closely examined the dam and conceived a new idea. The dam .was made of wood, and as its construction must be clear to you in order that you may understand the course pursued by Mr. Barnes it becomes necessary to describe it. The bridge is about 100 feet south of the point where the water goes over the dam. Standing on this bridge, one notices a smooth body of water flowing toward the place where it rushed over the dam, but he forms no idea of the power of the current from this point of Tiew. On the line where the stream dashes downward he sees some boards projecting above the surface from each side of the river toward the center for a distance equal to one-quarter of the width of the stream. Between these points where the dam rises above the lovel the water rushes over the daia, which is two feet lower along the center at the Sides. Going below the cairn —that is, to the north of it—one easi- y sees how it is constructed. Immense 3-iangles of timber are laid along the rocks, resting on the short sides. Thus :heir hypotenuses face the south, and on them are nailed the boards which :orm the dam. Therefore, as the water rushes over, there is a space under the dam where it is comparatively dry—at east, no great amounto'f water finds its ,vay there, as only what leaks through drips down. It was while looking at this space that the new idea occurred to the de- :ective. In order to turn the mill wheels, sloices are built which conduct the water in the desired direction. When these are open, it is evident that a strong current sets in the direction of the mill. This is so powerful and there is such a Faction downward that objects on the surface wo-ald be drawn below and carried into the mill, were it not that the sluice gates are furnished with gratings to keep out such jetsam. Studying this point, it became evident to the detective 'hat if the sluices were open on Sunday night, the bundle of clothing must be [coked for at these gratings. He therefore went to the mill and asked for the man who had the care of :he sluices. From him he learned that they had been closed on the night of the murder, and then persuaded him to bave them closed this evening also, so that the conditions might be the same. Leaving the vicinity of the mill, he went back to Riverside and enjoyed his supper with Miss Lewis. After the meal he said: : 'Where is Mr. Lewis? Is he not staying here?" "He accepted an invitation to visit the squire tonight." "All the better; the fewer people who know what I do tonight the more pleased I shall be. \ Now, then, I %vant a suit of your uncle's clothing; old ones will clo.'' "I will get what you want." Virginia left the room, returning a few minutes later with some clothing. The detective placed the articles in a pail of water, allowing them to become thoroughly wet before he removed them. Nest he rolled them into a compact bundle, which he tied securely. "I am now ready for my experiment. My idea is to go to the bridge and throw that bundle over, as Marvel claims that he did, and then see what becomes of it. I am sorry that I cannot ask him at just what point he did this, but, I must do the best I can without this knowledge. The probability is that he tossed the bundle over as soon as he got on the bridge and with his right hand. Therefore he would have thrown it over on the side nearest the dam. At any rate, that is what I shall do." I see what your idea is and am anxious to have the experiment tried. Shall we go at once?" ' 'No. I cannot tell what difference the hour may make ou the currents, aud so many days after they may be totally different. However, I shall go at the same hour us he did. At least it will insure our not being observed. Besides, I wish if possible to see Everly, and I think-he will return before 11 o'dock." "You will wait till that hour?" "Yes. You left Marvel at the river and reached your room at 10:30. He came here after that, then went to his own house and back to the bridge, where he must have arrived at or about 11:30." The evening passed slowly, most of the time beitig consumed by these t\vo in a discussion of the subject which absorbed their minds, until, at about a quarter to 11, a horse's hoofs sounded without, and! a moment later they were joined by Will Everly. "Well," said the detective, "what news?" ' 'I found Ainsley and through him was enabled to see the locket." "Very good! What is the inscription?" "Simply 'W. M.' The word 'to' does not appear, and the letters are so close together there is no chance that it ever was there. It occurred to me that it may have been and have become worn out, but that is impossible." As this hope was dispelled Virginia seemed much disappointed., "What do you think now, Mr. Barnes?" said she. "This is discouraging, is it not?" "Do you know if your mother had more than one name?" '' I cannot be certain, but I never heard of any other except 'Matilda.' " "Still she may have had another, and it may have been 'Winona' or some other with 'W.' for the initial. We must look that up. If the initials are hers, it will answer our purpose as well. Now we will start on tbe other errand. Mr. Everly, yon may come with us if you wish. We are going to try to recover the clothes which Marvel says he threw over the bridge." "I should like to go with you, but I doubt if you will succeed. Young Mr. Lewis inaugurated a regular search, and besides I went myself and looked thoroughly more than once after tbe inquest. I think I should have made up a bundle for them to find, only I could not supply the locket which he said is in the pocket." "No, no! We must not resort to manufacturing any evidence. If Marvel is guilty, he must suffer, but if he is innocent he must be saved. Let us work only for the truth." So saying, he took up the bundle of wet clothing and started. Virginia and Everly followed in silence, neither of them relishing the last speech of tbe detective, however just they knew it to be. The trio soon reached their destination, and Mr. Baraes stopped at a point near the rail. "Here," said he, "if my calculations jre correct, is the place from which I think Marvel must have thrown his bundle. I will now explain to you what I expect will happen. I have soaked my bundle, becsiuse his was wet. If dry, the clothes would fioat nearer to the surface of the water aud would soon be hurried over the dam, as the current here is rery rapid. But being -wet, and therefore more weighty, this Dtmaia •v»,il float below tbe surface, if at all." His companions listened with much interest. He continued: "I will now commence my cx[)eriment Fortunately the moon is bright aud we can see easily. First, I will take a piece of wood." He looked about and soon found a, large, heaiy piece of timber near the sawmill. Approaching the rail be said, 'Now I will throw this over, aud you will see that it will be carried, .first, against the bearding which projects above the level, and then be swept toward the center and over." He let it drop and the result was exactly as he had predicted. "That much was easily foreseen. But my next may not be so accurate, for. it is but a surmise on my part. My idea is this: That wood went over readily. But with a bundle of clothing it may be different. If it is first taken against the projecting portion, and then drawn toward the center, it will go over more slowly than if carried directly. Now, if the weight is sufficient to hold it some distance below the surface, and there are any ragged edges to tbe woodwork of the dam, the cloth would rncsc likely catch on them. In that case it would not fall into the stream below, but would remain suspended awhile, finally dropping into the fipace under the dam. Mr. Everly, you will go around to the other side, so that in case it does go over you can see where the currents take it." Everly at once obeyed, and, receiving the signal that he was in his position, Mr. Barnes dropped his bundle. Virginia scarcely breathed, so great was her anxiety as to the outcome of the ferial. As in the first experiment, the bundle, which could just be seen as it floated below the surface, drifted straight •fco the projecting ridge thence slowly it went toward the center, where it remained stationary for a moment. This moment seemed an age to the girl. She almost thought that her lover's fate depended on that bundle of clothing. At '.last it moved again, and slid over, partly disappearing; but, as had been predicted, it seemed to catch and remain hanging. Virginia was about to utter an exclamation of joy when, to her dismay, it was forced from its slender hold and carried down into the rapids below. Virginia uttered a groan as she thought the experiment had failed. "Come, come," said Mr. Barnes reassuringly, "what did you expect? Surely not that my bundle ivould drop on top of the other? That would have been miraculous. Yon noticed that, as I predicted, it caught on the edge. Per- THR First National Bank CAPITAL 1250,000 A. J. MURDOCH:, PRBXTDMT, W. W. ROSS, CASHTBK, J. f. BROOKMEYEK, Asar. QtSHm. He laid before the delighted gaze of the otlicru a locket. haps the other dropped below, even though mine did not. I may have tied my parcel tighter than the other, and BO have left less chance for the cloth to be caught. Come below, and -we will search under the dam. Let us see what Everly will report." Virginia accompanied him, but when they reached the spot where Everly had last been seen by them he was nowhere in sight. His coat and hat, however, were on the bank, and from this the detective concluded that the young man, in his zeal, had entered the stream in pursuit of the bundle, and Mr. Barnes decided to await his return before proceeding further with his plan. As the minutes passed, however, first Virginia and then Mr. Barnes himself became alarmed at Everly's prolonged absence, and he was about to make some search when a lend ehont arrested their attention. It came from the direction of the dam, and Mr, Barnes realized at once that Everly, instead of following the bundle which had jnst been thrown over, had gone under the dam in search of the original one. A few moments later he was seen emerging from among the timbers which supported the dam, presenting a very wretched and bedraggled appearance. He held a large bundle in his hands and exclaimed as he came toward them: "God bless you, Mr. Barnes, yea were right. As soon as I saw your bundle catch I could not wait, but taking off my coat I went under the dani aud searched for what we were after. What is more, I found it not ten feet (he other side of where yours would buve lull- en had it dropped." "You have done well, and if this is really the bundle that ilarvel tbrew over you have repaid your debt to him and saved his life." Virginia and Everly were anxious to open the bundle at once, bat the detective would not permit it until they should reach home. "We might lose the locket here in the road," said be, "and, besides, Mr. Everly is all wet." So they were guided by him find returned to the farm, where the detective insisted on a change of garments for Everly before be would examine the bundle. When it was opened, Virginia claimed that she recognized the clothes as those worn by Marvel on the night of the murder. 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