Chapter 146835512

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Chapter NumberX
Chapter Title
Chapter Url
Full Date1891-06-25
Page Number1
Word Count938
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


A dim Sight only shone in the prisoner's


O'Ncii JI Darragh was seated on bis iron fcedetead in the darkest part of the cell when the two officers entered. _ .

The two officers were accustomed to just ensh duties &b they wer6 engaged in, and they proceeded in the most oool and deliberate

I manner.

j " Take a seal, Tom," said one, aa he i pointed to a stool, and squatted himself ! npon a bench.

I For a few moments they conversed on in ; different subjects, when one of them said,

I adressing the prisoner in a rongh-and-ready

tone ?

i ""Well, old man, they have got yon ina bad | bos."

I IJpon being addressed, the prisoner turned | his face towards them.

| Upon beholding that face, the visitors

| uttered suppressed exclamations of astonish

1 ment, 44

I The prisoner was certainly a bad looking


As he tamed towards the two detectives, he bore the appearance of being crossed-eyed and hie features and their expression were certainly terribly repulsive.

" He ie just the chap to commit a crime like the one charged, that is sure," whispered

one of the officers to the other.

Jerry, he's a bad one ?"

Jerry rose to bia feet, and going towards the prisoner caught him by the am, and drew him toward a lighter part of the


" Gome here," he said," I want to ask yon a few questions."

" Go ahead."

•' Did yon kill that man !

" Yes," cams the plump answer.

The two detectives gazed at each other in


'• What motive had you in killing

him ?"

" No motive."

" What did you do with the body of the

victim If"

Left it for the crows—white crows." The detectives exohanged a signal.

The signal signified that the man was try ing to hoax them.

"What did you kill the man with ?" asked


* I talked him to death, the same as yon two chaps are trying to murder me."

Ths answer threw the detectives op their beam-ends, as the saying is.

They had com to deal, as they supposed,

with a tsaiorou3 wretch, and found them selves combatting with a wretch, indeed, in appearance, but a man whose wits were -evi dently as keen as their own !

" Do you see that writing on the wall?"

said the prisoner.

Involuntarily the two officers tamed theii heads, and looked in the direction indicated by the strange prisoner.

They saw nothing, and when they turned bsek to look at the man again, an entirely different individual stood before them.

The new man's eyes were perfectly straight, and his features were pleasant and comely, although his compl-xion retained

the same dark hue.

Both the detectives sprang to their feet in


The prisoner new gave utterance to an ex pression peculiar to him when excited, and said in a pleasant, jovial manner :

" Boys, you %re badly sold J"

By the great jumping Jack of the Hima layas !' cxelaimEd Tom, " ii I am not blind, it's Q'Neil M'Darragb, for all the world I" - Oil -o

?'Hush ! not so loud, Tom 1"

" Mac, my boy, what means this 1"

"I am playing a game for the man who ought to be here in my place."

A significant ' nmph,' burst from the Hps of both officers as a lull realisation of the truth buret upon their minds.

A long conversation now followed between the three detectives, which lasted over an


From the prisoner'3 cell the detectives went straight to the district magistrate's resi


To at gentleman was awaiting their re


He was a young man, and anxious for pre


This case had thrust him prominently be

fore the public, and he was determined to. make the mcst of it. _ V} r

" Well, gentlemen," said he, what ao you

think of my ' catch

" Keep him there ; you have $he right


' " You feel assured of that, eh ?"

" Yes, sir," replied the detectives,

'? "What would you advise me to do now— or, in other words, tow do you propose to

proceed?" !

" We think that, if you just let matters rest, the evidence will develops itself suffi ciently to hang two or three men and a wo

man !"

The district magistrate did not take in the full significance of these last words; and when the officers left him he felt that they had come to the conclusion that the case had been already well worked.

Meanwhile the prisoner had remained in his cell, awaiting developments,and upon the day following the visit of the two detectives from Sydney, the gaoler ushered & visitor

into the cell.

The new corner was Jonathan Turner.

A peculiar smile flitted over the prisoner's face when ha recognised Turner.

That smile said as plainly as smile could

speak ;

• Ab, ha 1 my man, 80 you have arrived at


The gaoler looked prisoner and visitor in the cell together and went out.

The first words of Jonathan Turner were : " I am sorry for you, my good fellow, and if my counsels had prevailed you would

never have been here."

" I suppose I must say much obliged to you," answered O'Neil.

" No, you need not thank me, as I have not succeeded in doing you a ejiviee yet."

" Who may you be ?" asked the prisoner, simply, (to be coxtixped) QM 4