Chapter 146835589

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Chapter NumberXI
Chapter Title
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article146835589
Full Date1891-07-02
Page Number1
Corrections0
Word Count2204
IllustratedN
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

CHAPTER XI.

An hour after the'dapartnre of Mr. Turner, a second visitor was announced to the pri

soner.

'Hallo, Tom ! exclaimed the prisoner as

the last visitor was nshered in.

The gaoler had locked the two men in as |

usual.

4 What "brought you here?''asked O'Neil the moment an opportunity offered.

4 Well, Mac, I do not know bat what I have come on a fool's errand ; but you know in onr profession triflea sometimes become im- j

portant clues.*

4 Go on, don't waste any time on explana- j tione. What have you got to tell me ?'

4 You gave me a letter to a certain young ]

lady in Sydney ?'

4 Yes."

4 Well, I'went to the house to deliver I ' Go on, eried MDarragh, excitedly, I seemingly suspecting what be was about to

hear.

4 She was not at home.'

4 Why didn't you wait until 3he returned i

home?'

4 They did not know when she would re

turn.' _ i

* Heavens I what are yon telling me? How long had she been absent ?'

4 Since the previous afternoon.'

4 From whom did-you get your informs- ] tion ?' I

4 A Mrs. Turner, a woman who appeared j ? to be a relative of the missing lady, as she

cried and sobbed,and went on terrible while ; telling me of the girl's absence.'

4 Did the young lady leavi the house ;

alone ?'

4 S o this lady I saw, said.'

4 Did you sound her story ?'

4 No; I did not think it worth while until j I saw you ; I did not know how the land]

lay.'

That's so. Well, get away from here;! I wlil meet you in Sydney about mid- j

night.'

4 How are you going to gat out of this V Don't you. want me to see the magistrate and ? make matters straight ?' I came prepared i

with a letter from the chief.'

4 No ; this must he an escape; I may want1 to he recaptured some day ; rny game is not played out yet, bnt the best cards are all. in my hands J' O .

The men conversed for some time until ]

the gaoler returned.

Upon shoeing in a visitor, the keeper I turned up every=fifl.»eu or twenty minutes, so as to 1st them out, in case they were ready

to go.

Tom left the first time the keeper came,

and O'Neil remained to perfect some way of j

escape.

His plan was quickly formed, and when ; Mr. Purcsll made his rounds at eight o'clock, ]

he found the bird flown.

When morning arrived Purcel! went to the j magistrate's residence. |

Being admitted, and meeting the gentle

man, the gaoler said, in a laconic man-;

ner; j

4 Wall, eir, he's gone.' j 4 Who's gone?' j

4 The prisoner.'

4 Whom do mean—the murderer V •Yes, sir.'

The magistrate was greatly excited.

All his visions of fame and notoriety were j

vanishing.

* When did .you discover his escape?' he asked. \ -

4Ju8tno\v.^^~ ?

4 How-did he get out of the prison .?'

'He blew off the lock wid ? gunpowder, or j

some other divil's invention.'

You have no idea as to what hour he must

have left.'

IDivjil an idea hev l, or I would not hevlet him go.'

•• In the meantime, the hews , of the escape of -the prisoner hadgpne -abroad, and he osua! a hundred and one Etories were rife at

"once. -

The magistrate's examination at the prison did not amount to anything,

The kcep'er told a straight story.

Hate in the forenoon Mr. Turner came to togaoL

This man began to show a wonderful inte rest in the re-captnre of the escaped man.

- He antborised a reward of a hundred pounds to be offered, stamping and raving around as though he was the most interested party in the affair,

Descriptions were sent by wire in every di reetion.aud the Sydney detective office was

also notified.

So days passed, and nothing was beard of

the missing man.

Meanwhile fresh interest was added to the first sensation by a second tragedy of even

greater horror.

Before relating the incidents of the second tragedy we will follow the movements cf

O'Neil M'Darragh, the cool-headed, cunning [ man, who was on the track of the real crimi nals. 5

As to his escape from gaol, it is suffiaient to say that a man answering his description

according to one the disguises in which he j has keen presented to our readers, left the township of P—— openly on the 9 train for

Sydney.

Upon the morning after the escape, M'D&rragh was in the detective office at head

quarters.

He had been there but a few moments,and was in close consultation with the chief,when a lady entered the cfiice.

The minute O'Neii's eyes fell upon this woman a strange light shone in his eyes, and he said to the chief, aside:

4 Lieave this woman to me.'

The woman entered the room in a bold, unabashed manner.

The pretence of several men lounging around did not seem to discompose her in

the leaBt.

Advancing toward the desk behind which ! the chief was sitting, she said: |

4 Can I have a few words with the chief of the deieetive force?'

4 The inspector of the force is engeged just

now, madam, but here is a gentleman autho- j | rieed to attend to any professional business j

j for him.'

It was the inspector himself who spoke, and he pointed to our hero as the man who

would act as his substitute.

Having been assigned to the case, O'Neil ]

stepped forward and said :

4 What can I do for you, madam ?'

41 would prefer not to tell my story in the

presence of witnesses.'

4 Step this way, madam,' said M4Darragb, as he led the lady into a room specially set apart for juet such confidential interviews as

she desired.

4 Take a seat, madam,' said our hero.

The lady obeyed, and the detective occu

pied another vacant abair : and at last O'Neil I M'Darragh and Mrs. Jonathan Turner sat '

face to face.

In a quiet way he observed:

4 Now, madam, I am ready to listen to your

business.'

4 Are you the gentleman who will be pus on to work up the case if it should appear of sufficient importance?'

1 Yes madam; having been assigned .o

listen to your story, the case will most likely j

be placed in my care.'

4 Well, it is a case of mysterious disappear

ance.

4 Your husband?' ,

4How do vcu know I have a husband? asked Mrs. Turner, sharply,

i The detective laughed gooduaturedly, and

answered, fa a perfectly natural and unsus-1 pioious manner; r>

4 Well, my dear lady, eleven out of twelve of the cases of this kind are missing hus

bands.'

Well, sir, it is not my husband vrho has i disappeared. It is a young I»dy who is not I related to me at all. Sbe is my husband's

I ward."

• Ah, an elopement case.'

' That is what we must discover,' said the cunning woman. ' If we knew ju6t the cause of her absence I would not be here to get as

I sistance to learn tho facts.'

j * What, then, are the facts of her disap

pearance 2'

•Well, eir, in the first place her home is not in Sydney.'

' Sbe left a country home, then ?'

' No, sir, not when she disappeared She | came to Sydney openly, and mysteriously

disappeared from the house where she and I were staying.'

' Can you think of any reason why she I should wish to flee away ?'

• Well, she met with a love disappointment a short time ago.'

' Under what circumstances?'

"* Her intended husband deserted her.'

' On the morning appointed for their mar riage?' • '• i 2

4 Tea, sir.'

' Ah, I see, you are Mrs. Turner.'

The woman leaped to her feet and oried, indignantly:

• May 1 ask how you happen to know who

I am ?'

1 Well, I will tell you. The police have ' information of the supposed murder of Mr.' Harry Trendall, and as the circumstances ! were so similar, I merely jumped to the con

clusion that the missing young.lady m.ust be] Miss Marian Edelin, the young lady to j wheat the young man, who was said to have j been murdered on hie wedding morn, was j

I engaged.1

f 'It's strange how you should know all of

these facts.'

4 Not at all; it is our duty to know them. You know that we have had detectives at P for the past few weeks ?'

•Howdo I know?'

' Simply because it has been well known in B ?. Why, every eou! for five miles round has been shadowed. Even yourself and Mr. Turner have been under the eloEest surveil lance.'

Mrs. Turner turned pale, and then said, in

a passionate tone:

' But why should Mr. Turner and myself be placed under surveillance ? What interest would we have in the disappearance of Mr.

Trendall ?'

' That is not a question for me to answer. All I know is that the officers appointed to this work heard the names of Mr. and Mrs. Turner coupled with a motive for the disap pearance, and they were shadowed as well as others.' : 2

' Why,thisisperfectlyhorrible. Who,pray, coupled our names with the affair 1'

4 The fact that your husband was the young lady's guardian would account for such ru

mours.'

' But what object could we have ?'

41 do not know, madam ; we have not yet been able to account for the strange fact that a certain lady would keep a midnight tryst with Buoh a suspicious character as Indian

Jack,'

Mrs. Turner turned very pale, and her head fell to one side, as though she was about to

faint.

O'Neil M'Darragh sprang for a pitcher of water, and pouring out a glass, placed it to

her lips. ^

As he did so his face was as passionless as though it were cast in steel.

Tne woman did not faint, and in a second or two she opened her eyes and said:

•It was not an appointment with Indian Jack; the meeting was accidental.' i

' You know about the meeting, then ?' said i

O'Neil.

4 You know that I do, when ycu know all

yon have stated.'

' "Well, I must say we are wandering from ? the object of your visit here,' remarked the

officer. l :

' I really cannot talk of anything else juBt ' now, I am so horrified at the thought of be ing dogged by detectives.'

' It need occasion you no alarm, Mrs. Tur ner, unless you are guilty. The innocent never experience inconvenience fro'm being

shadowed.

* Why, there are dozens of innocent book keepers. clerks and salesmen in this city who have been shadowed for months. Bank managers and cashiers have been under the eyes of detectives night and day for weeks

and weeks.

' And, besides, I believe that the murderer of Harry Trendall Is already in gaol, and that" the proofs against him are sufficient for con

viction,'

' That unfortunate fellow is innocent; no murder has been perpetrated ; Trendall is a dishonorable young msn, who deserted his iady-love, and he started these reports of his

death.'

• So your husband appears to think,'

•How do you know what my husband

thinks ?'

4 Ob, I have gathered a great many facts in

this esse.'

' And a great many falsehoods, too,' said the woman, boldly.

Be it so. But how about the second dis appearance ? Do you think that the young lady has run away and joined her recreant

over?'

•No.'

1 What do you think ?'

' Oh ! I greatly fear that she has destroyed

hesself.'

' Why do you fear eo ?'

' I think that she must have obtained some evidence that Harry Trendall was living and false, and in her chagrin I fear that she has destroyed herself.'

' Nonsense!'

j ' Why do you say " nonsense ?"'

I ' Because there does not exist sufficient motive for her to destroy herself ; besides Miss Edelin is too conscientious and sensible

a girl to commit suicide.'

Mrs. Turner rose to her feet and said:

' I came here hoping to obtain assistance; I

find I have made a mistake.'

' The mistake is, madam, that you think you cannot obtain assistance. I can tell you that already half-a-dozen detectives have been detailed to solve the mystery of Miss Edelin's strange disappearance, and any second we mBy have news of her, either dead

or alive.'

' I trust that you may not find that she is

dead.*

' I trust not 1' said M Darragh, in a signifi

cant tone.