Chapter 146835335

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Chapter NumberI
Chapter Title
Chapter Url
Full Date1891-06-04
Page Number1
Word Count2096
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleThe Narracoorte Herald (SA : 1875 - 1954)
Trove TitleO'Neil M'Darragh, the Irish Detective; or, The Strategy of a Brave Man
article text


'UaH M l B q inn






. Can I Sad a dstective.-faere?"

. Three voids were spoken in a sweet tre nurious voice .and fell from ihe lips of a beau* ii?«I TooEjr lady.

O'Neii M-Dairagb. a new man in the force, .chanced no he sealed alone in the cfose of the chief of detectives. O ^

Tfacr.-s was a mysiery associated with this man ?<I Darragh.

He had been appointed a policemen, and j

within ibe same week ho faaa been detailed ; as a te active.

.No one appeared to know, from whence te j csn;o4 er how it wae he euoce&ded in securing j i fas promotion in a few days, which, acoord i?:g to custom, was awarded only after years ui faithful service.

Ordinarily, the old nietnb&ra of the force would have made it .unpleasant fGT a new comer thrust upon them in the manner de scribed. _

There was something, however, in the general deme&ncux and appearance of O'Neii M'Sarragh which oommanded respeot from the first moment that he had entered the oifioe. _- . -: ? ?,

It was not his physical advantages, albeit ; he was a man of splendid physique. ,

He was not large,rough and burly, being > of bat medium height j but there was ja com-,] psctness in his form and an athletic sym-1 ineiry, which betokened wonderful -physical j

power. ???:

. Every muscle seemed to he thoroughly. trained and hardened, and were most fully

developed at those points where such devel- j opment is most required to make a man phy- j sically formidable. j

As we have before mentioned, however, it

was not O Neil M'Darragh's physical powers j

that oommanded for him the respect and deference of his pomrsideB in the force.

There wasspmething In his quiet, deter

mined manners which acted with apervading j

magnetism of . reserve force.

There was a glance in his wonderful eyes

which,plainly indicated a lion-like sonl as j animating them. I

O Neil M Darragh during the time that he j

had been in the force had proven himself a

man of few words and not prone to making j


' Ha was always .courteous and friendly to : his comrades, but never' made himself on lamiliar terms with them; nevertheless they

all liked him.

_ Thelaot was, as before stated, there was a

mystery surrounding him; jandbesides,there | was that about him,also, which unequivo cally indicated to these men4, his fellow

deteetives,trained to obsefve cloBely, that ] ? he was an extraordinary man, whose powers j

would be iuily demonstrated when an oppor tunity in the way of business offered.

Upon the morning when" oar narrative:] opens, CNeil M Darragh chanced to be alone in the outer e fiica of the detective department,

when he was arousedf romhis pspsrbyheer-] ihg the words recorded in our op suing para graph. v 1 -'x

Tflo detective fixed his keen grey-eyeE. j upon the visitor, end answered in that rich- j ness of voice and tone so peculiar to some ]


" Did you wish to see one of the force, my ] Jadyr , • :

"Oh.yCs; Twse told to come here." I had : hardwoikio find the pl&oe. I wish to em

ploy an officer-for special business, and I will ] pay him." ; •

I am o detective attached to the force, caa I do anything for you?"

•• I wish to employ soma one to solve a : mystery which may require: weeks, or even j months, to accomplish; can you undertake 5 a task like that 5"

"I cap undertake the J ib if it is of KOtfi

cient importance to warrens the loss of time.": Tou know that in; cur business people .ire -: queritly r xpect ps to spend- months-' upon . ?.taeeswhiuh onr own experience teaches ua ] do nbt merit cs insiiy hours." \

"lean psy baudsomriy for the services of j anclneer.and the .par shall he risuhle ip carahe is^succdsiful in scccmpJiFhirg his

, task." /' ; \ • ? - "

/ While the Vypurig girl had been talking I to thedsteetive, he had been Etudjir.g her j

keenly.- ?- ^

The result of his etcdy proved ;ta hi mth&fc I he was in the presence of an tstraordinory womah, although at the zncet cot mere than

nineteen or twenty summers were traced i -upon-her lovely brow. , •

And she was lovely.' ixhj?

8fa9 was also handsomely dressed, and every particle of her epparelwas displayed

and arranged with that exquisite taste which j

betrays at once the real lady, and not. the 11 run ting mushroom of sudden posses

- siane.

Addressing the girl, O'Neii said :

*' It is not necessary to talk about reward until we know the nature cf the duty re

quired! itis necessary for me to hear jour j story and then 1 can-easily git myself de- j tailed on the base if I come tbVbe conclusion j ?that the services of a detective are re quired." ? ' ' '

<• Is ia a singular story I fefcve to tell; and besides, I wish to conceal certain fact, which

it would be but natural that you would wish to ascertain."

"Will you have to conceal facts bearing] npon the case we have in hand?"

" No, eir; the facte are merely those which : arise from a necessary caution for me to hide j

for the present the fact that I have under-1 taken, unaided, a certain mystery."

I understand," said the quick-witted de-' tective. " You do not wish to answer any impertinent questions concerning yourself, ormiyba yenr family?'

" Yes, eir."

" Wei!, you may be at rest on that point," ? answered the detective, with a peculiar rmile upon his bronzed lace.

The 6tnila was occasioned by ihe fact that ] the officer frit himself fully competent to

ascertain all the necessary ftiois on that Ecore j without atk:ng any questiens!

" We are liable to be interrupted here," said the detective, adding: We had better

goto some placa where I caa listen to J your story without the chance of iaterrup-f tion." !

" Caa yon visit me at the house where I; am stopping?" |

" I can."

" Can you come this afternoon."

" Yes."

The young lady drew a card-case from her

pocket, and on a blank card wrote a name j and address. j

Handing the card to the officer, she |


" Call at three, and I will be prr pared to ! receive yon." ,

" Is this a private residence?" asked the]


" It is a boarding-house."

" Are you a friend or acquaintance of the i landlady or a mere casual border ?" 1

Tbc lady blushed, when the detective £&id, •qtfckly;

•' You must remembsr that I am asking

questions now in your own interest-., Detectives can not proceed to work according ! to established rules of etiquc-tte — we stand now. in the relation of lawyer and


, Excuse me for my heaitancv," was the i " I never saw tbe landlady I of,.«e "ouse, or any one beneath the roof

until yeelerdsy." *

** Yob are not a resident of the city ?"

"Ho, sir."

Yon are from the country

" Yes, sir,"

"Well, we mast proceed so as not to at tract attention towards yonrfelf in your pre sent place of residence. -Wo most resort, if necpssaiy, to a little deception."

The girl was si'ent.

. "No deception is required where espcaurs ,n be long run would be injurious : but in detective matters we have to start out with great caution. You are inexperienced, p do not know yet what the nature of yonr ' business in which yon require my services may he, but under any circumstances it is better to be on the safe side. It will be as well for you to notify the servant at your hotiee, in an indifferent manner, that your old uncle may call this afternoon and you

will remain in to receive him."

Again the girl blushed, as she innocently ;


*' Bus your age would not carry out the in tended deception."

The cftiasr smiled.and remarked, in a s:g nificanttone: ? 4

" I may grow to be a very old and feeble man between this and three o'clock."

I Tbe truth Hashed upon tbe girl's


I The detective intended to come in die


After a few words farther the young lady

leittbe office.

The detective had not glanced even st the card containing the name and address; bat tbe moment she had gone he read a


" Bacfcel Dawson."

A moment he glanced at the card, and then a. smile stole over his face, as he re


"A plain name for such a lovely girl. And, .by the powers J but it's queer what strange

mortals we are."

'The smile broadened upon the detectivea's face, and merry hnmour glimmered in hjs

cyeB,as he continued:

^ " Wbat a pretty look of consternation she:

assumed when 1 told her that we must uss a little deception, as though tbe. very idea of

deception wassomething frightful ; and yet; the tantilieing little beauty has practiced a pretty broad deception upon me from the word go. Emhel Dawson, indeed 1 ah! ha J i That's not her same; and sotae day, if I necessity requires, I'll tell her so, if it's only } to see her pretty confusion."

O'Neil M'Darragh, in the little incident above recorded, fully demonstrated his keen


Tse feet which led him to the conviction that the card contained a false name was merelya tiny half drawn lino., ."i*

The young girl had first instinctively at tempt edto write her own name, and recol lected herself ere she had made more than the almost unpbservable pencil mark, and yet.£hat minute little slip of the lead told the truth to the quick-witted, observant detec tive. _

Precisely at three o'clock on that same day a very old and feeble man tottered up the steps of & fine atone front residence in tin uptown fashionable street, and pulled the


A moment later a trim, pretty-looking Irish servant girl opened the door.

. " I sm not certain that I have found the right house," eaid the.old man.

. " What house are you looking for fashed

the girl.

''The house my niece is stopping in at present.": . ?"

'f WhoiByour niece,old man?"

" Miss Bachel Dawson," replied he.

" Well, then, ye nade go no larder, for it's hereyor naiee Is staying, and she's expecting Je- Come till I shew ys into the parlour,

and I'll call lisr down."

Thc oW man was seated in the parlour,and ihe^^^nt-tb" call 'hishiece;""

,A moment later the lovely igirl who had appeared at the police effise in the morning

entorcd the room. *

The.blinds tvera opened and a bright flash . of light illuminstcd-tbe room.

As the girl's glance fell upon the old man, , »look of confused bewilderment overspread

her face.

In a dry, feeble; husky voice the old man


: ;iYch may be surprised to see me, but my

son could not ecmo tc-dcy."

'• Who is year eon 2" axfec-d tbe lady in a somewhat haughty.tone."

The old men glanced cautiously around for a moment, scd then replied in a low ton?: * 1

"The detective." ! *'W-VI, why did you come

" II' f cnl rep."

M'sk D iwson'e blue eyes fl iFhed with indig nation, a warm blush* nisnt'ed her cheek?, ana tnere a slight -trorootsr of anger in

her trijcp.asBbeeaid:

" Mr. M D <rrsgh mast have'jnisnnderstood the pu-pose of my visit to. tl\e-police head quarters ibis morning. You may return to bin?, sir, and slate that I ha-vd made ether

errsngetaente. - .

"llat you can employ no one who can do

yon. bst'er service, miss."

jfiesDiwson showed considerable annov

ace?. "

The old tnanfa psrsistanca was very trying. She was relished of her embarrassment, how ever, a moment Jaitr, when the old man rose and said, in a firm voioe and with a quiet


' I told you that I should grow much older

by three o'clock."

" Oi!" exclaimed Miss Djwson, flashing to the temples, you are tbe detective f"

The answer came:

" I am."