Newspaper Page Text
AN ADVENTURE OF PETER CREWE "THE MAN
WITH THE CAMERA EYES"
(CopTrlght,1311,br W. Q. Chapman, In
After tho adventure of th Box of
Borneos, which I have already de
scribed, and which Peter Crewo was
enabled to boIvo by his peculiar op
tical powers, wo struck up a warm
friendship. It was arranged that wo
should work together In the future for
the solution of any similar difficulties
which might come tome in tho course
of my "professional career. We had
arranged to catch tho noxt steamship
for America, but on the day beforo
she sailed there occurred in London a
robbery of such a mysterlouB charac
ter that neither of us could resist tho
temptation to remain and lend our
aid to the discovery of tho criminal.
Everybody remembers how the fa
mous Gwyn jowels were stolen from
.tho Tower of London. These emer
alds, which had n historic rather
than any especial intrinsic value, had
been presented by Charles II. to his'
famous favorite, and were preserved
in a small chamber In the Tower,
whero wero stored miscellaneous
treasures of secondary importanco
not usually placed on public exhibi
tion. They wero kept In an Isolated
building, a round turret which ran
straight up to a height of seventy
feet, and was absolutely inaccessible
from the outside, the brick walls af
fording not the slightest foothold. In
fact there was no direct access to
this tower at all, since it connected
with the main building by a series of
passageways, intricate, and entirely
unapproachable except from the cen
tra building, 200 yards away, which
was guarded by a file of soldiers.
This turret had a small barred win
dow overlooking tho road, 60 feet up.
It was too high for any thief to thyow
up a grappling hook; In short noth
ing but a fireman's ladder could have
gained access to it from the outside.
Yet in spite of this tho window was
entered from the outside, a bar was
removed from tho mortar setting, and
tho thief gained entrance, obtained
possession of the emeralds, and calm
ly descended, unobserved. The rob
bery was not discovered until the fol
lowing day, by which time the perpe
trator of the crime had got safely
The daring nature of the crlmo ex
cited all London. It was certain that
no ladder had been used to gain ad
mittance. While tho tower was un
garded, persons wero continually
passing and repassing In the road be
neath, and any such device would
havo been speedily detected, the
moro so inasmuch as' any ladder
placed against tho wall would havo
been set at such an angle that it
would havo blocked the sidewalk un
derneath. On the third day after the robbery
the emeralds were discovered In tho
pawnshop of a notorious "fence" in
Whltechapel Region. They had been
left thore by an Italian, the man con
fessed, when threatened with prose
cution. Neighbors of tho pawnbroker
confirmed this statement. An Itiner
ant organ grinder, accompanied by a
monkey, had been seen to enter tho
pawnshop on the day after tho rob
bery. His monkey seemed to be
sick, one neighbor added. It was
wrapped. In blankets and lay listlessly
on the top of the organ. It was an
extremely large animal and those who
saw it had received the impression
that It was a chimpanzee, but nothing
of it could be Been, slnco it was
swathed from head to foot.
Other witnesses confirmed this
statement. It was, furthermore,
known that an Italian organ-grinder
had been seen In the vicinity of the
tower for several days before tho rob
bery. Although he had chosen the
worst place for tho plying of his
trade, and had taken In practically
nothing, he had cheerfully ground out
his tunes day after day at tho base of
the turret. His monkey, however,
lay on tho top of tho organ, just as
the other witnesses had described,
and never stirred a muscle. Some
children, who had tried to pet It,
were angrily "shooed" away by the
organ-grinder, who asserted that the
animal was sick.
That was all that could be learned.
All the itinerant organ-grinders In
- London were promptly! Investigated
by the police, but no man with such
nn animal was found. Although the
Jowels had been recovered, fear of
other daring robberies of a similar
kind impelled the authorities to prose
cute their search in the most vigorous
"The first thing to do," said Crewo
to mo, when we had agreed to do our
best to unravel the mystery, "is to
look at the turret."
We went thither accordingly and
found a' curious crow J standing in a
solid phalanx at tho base of the
tower, gazing up at the "urlck walls,
while a couple of policemen stolidly
moved them on whenever their num
bers became too great for stre3t
traffic to pass, It seemed impossible
that anyone could have scaled those
walls without a ladder.
"Do you supposo the man sent hla
monkey up?" I hazarded.
Crewe smiled and shook his head.
"A monkey might possibly be able
to find a foothold In the brlckB," be
aid. "But how could it have sawn
at the Tower
the United States and Great Britain)
out tho Iron bar? Apart from this,
no monkey could be trained to bring
down any article Its trainer wished
for. No, Langton, Ingenious as your
theory is, we must dismiss it from the
realms of possibility."
Tho sun was shining a rare thing
in London and Crewe, having care
fully inspected tho base of tho walls,
now fell back to some dlstanco and
proceeded to take them in as a whole.
He fixed both eyes unwlnklngly upon
tho tower, so that every detail should
Impress Itself upon cither retina.
"And now," said Crewe, "we will
take our photograph from tho other
side." And we moved round, and
once again he focusscd his eyes upon
the brick work.
"That's all," he said, as the sun
went behind a cloud. "I think the
discovery will not prove so difficult
as It appears."
"Hlndeed!" said one of tho police
men on duty, who overheard this re
mark. "May I ask, sir, If you can
furnish any clue?"
"Tell tho governor of the tower,"
said Crewe, smiling, "that the rob
bery was not committed by an Ital
ian at all, but by a South American,
whom you people would doubtless
confuse with Italians, seeing thatj
there are not moro than half a
dozen in England."
"A South American!" repeated the
other policeman stolidly. "And doubt
less, sir, his monkey was also a
South American," ho continued, with
"You are quite right," said Crewe
calmly. "His monkey was not a
monkey, but it certainly was a South
"And you get all, all this from hin
specting the brick walls, sir?" the
"Every bit," said Crewe.
"You don't 'appen to know more
about this affair than you havo told
us, sir?" said the policeman.
I pulled Crewo away. "If you
awaken suspicion In the minds of
those addle-pates you will find your
self arrested on suspicion," I whis
pered. We moved off, tho policemen follow
ing us with suspicious glances. It
was not until wo were upon the out
skirts of the crowd that I breathed
freely. "Crewe," I said, " it does not
do to prod the British policeman.
Now tell me, were you serious in
what you said about tho South Amer
ican and his monkey?"
"I was never more serious," Crewe
answered. "But I said that it was not
a monkey. Tell me, Langton, what
you saw on the tower."
"I saw a series of well-fitted
bricks," I answered, "offering good
foothold for a fly and possibly for a
small monkey, but certainly not for a
"But what did you see on the
bricks In the shape of markings?"
"A few mosses, which some scien
tist might label and classify."
"Tush!" said Crewe petulantly.
"This is what I saw." He stopped,
produced a pencil and a piece of pa
per from his pocket, and began to
trace a series of three-pointed marks
like lien's tracks.
"There was a well-ordered series
of these," said Crewe, "commencing
upon the nineteenth layer of bricks
from the bottom, and thence runnlzg,
with a slightly oblique movement,
clear up to the window." He closed
his eyes. "I am looking at them now,"
he continued. "At intervals corre
sponding, roughly, to every four of
these tracks, thero aro slight but
well-defined depressions In the sur
face having tho rough outline of a
shoe. Fragments of brick have
crumbled here and there under the
pressure of hobnails. In other words,
Langton, our South American friend
did ascend that turret, walking up Its
surface aB a fly might walk. What
is tho inference?"
"That he threw a rope up over the
bars and climbed, pulling himself up
hand over hand. Therefore ho is a
sailor," I said, with a sudden light.
Crewe looked at me In great amuse
ment. "My dear Sherlock Holmes, you are
quite wrong," ho answered., "In
genious, but speculative. We are
dealing in exactitudes and there is no
possible evidence to show that the
man threw up a rope or is a sailor."
At the Juncture a newsboy came
past yelling a special edition of an
evening newspaper. "Murder at Not
ting Hill! Murder at Nottlng Hill!
Pull description of scenes of "orror,"
the vendor called. Crewe stopped to
purchase a copy, unfolded the damp
sheet, and read from under a staring
"A dastardly murder was commit
ted in the early hours of this morn
ing at Nottlng Hill. The residence of
Mr. Waltor Deans, a retired trades
man, was entered, and valuables to
the amount of more than a thousand
pounds were taken, and the owner
was shot down while endeavoring, as
Is supposed, to defend his home. The
body of Mr. Deans was discovered by
his servants abdut eloven o'clock ly
ing across tho ' fireplace in his bed
room, which vras in confusion, as
though it had been minutely ran
sacked. No clue has yet been dis
covered as to the Identity of the mur
derer, although a foreign-looking man
had been observed lurking in the
vicinity recently. Mr. Deans' house
standB alone in extensive grounds;
it Is a perfectly plain brick structure,
and the robber appears to have en
tered through tho window of the third
story, on which is Mr. Deans' bedroom,
though how ho contrived to effect an
entrance without foothold remains for
the present a mystery."
"I suspected as much," said Crowe.
"Tho fellow Is so emboldened by tho
success of his first attempt that un
less ho Is caught a scries of orlmcs
will follow. Wo must get him this
"You think it was the same man?"
"Undoubtedly," said Crowe. "But,
to make sure, let us take tho train
for Nottlng Hill 'immediately."
Wo arrived thero an hour and a
half later. The grounds wero packed
with an. immense throng, whom tho
police -wero ineffectually endeavoring
to disperse. Crewe stopped and
focussed his eyes upon the building.
"What's your business 'ere?" de
manded a policeman roughly. "Move
Crewe turned abruptly and left tho
grounds. "The same tracks," he mut
tered. "Now, Langton, we must catch
this fellow tonight."
"Will you not tell mo tho signifi
cance of tho markings?" I asked.
"Not now, Langton. I want to bend
every effort "to apprehending the mur
derer. Luckily this will not bo diffi
cult. Since the police Imagine him to
be an Italian, he will have no incen
tive to disguising his true nationality.
You know the Spanish quarter?"
"Bloomsbury," I said.
"We shall find him there. These
people would rather die than live out
side their own neighborhoods. Watch
for a man with a sack."
"A sack?" I queried,
"Yes," said Crewe Impatiently. "He
will not dare to maintain the organ-
He was hauling bimselfupftewall.
grinder fiction; nor will he venture to
leave tho creature In his room. Wo
must search the streets until we find
At Tottenham Court Road we took
an omnibus and, seated upon the roof,
observed the streets narrowly. Noth
ing escaped Crowe's observant eyes.
When he had passed through the
Bloomsbury district we descended,
Crewe hailed a hansom, and for an
hour or more we drove slowly up and
down the squalid thoroughfares,
Crewe's eyes registering every human
being among the moving mass of
pedestrians. Suddenly he signaled
to the drl.or and leaped out.
"Follow that man!" he exclaimed.
In front of us, some two hundred
yardsj distance, a swarthy fellow of
Spanish or Italian origin was strolling
leisurely through tho streets. He was
attired in the corduroys and overalls
of a working man and had a small
sack slung over one shoulder.
"We must not let him escape,"
Crewe muttered. It was growing
dark and wo hastened our footsteps
until we were almost abreast of him.
Then we followed him, now on this
side of the road, now upon that, while
he pursued his course through Bloom
bury, into Seven Dials, thence through
Covent Garden and along the waste
of half-erected buildings on Klngsway,
tho new County Council thoroughfare.
At a signal from Crewo wo fell back
"How do you know that Is the
man?" I questioned hurriedly.
"Hp bears tho mark of tho beast,"
"Look at his collar,"
I crept up more closely and sud
denly perceived, upon tho cheap cel
luloid collar that tho man wore, tho
Identical' hen-track three finger
marks, clearly outlined that vCrowe
had drawn upon tho paper. A sud
den sense of horror almost overcame
me. I fell back again and waited for
Crewo to join me.
"What aro you going to do?" 1
"Seize him at an opportune mo
ment." It was night now, and tho thorough
fare, which was not yet installed with
street lamps, was so dark that we
could discern our man only as a shad
ow moving among shadowB. He
stopped before the flank of a now
building from little cells In whose
walls lights gleamed fitfully. I knew
it to bo one of tho County Council
structures for tho housing of poor
persons, but could not imagtno for
what purpose tho robber intended
He hesitated a moment, then moved
round toward tho end of the block.
And suddenly I was enlightened. As
though emerging out of squalor Into
fairyland, I saw before me tho splen
did nsw Wemyss hotel, fronting upon
the Strand. Now the robber's pur
pose was made clear. If ho could
ascend that blank wall of the lodging
house for fifty feet and more if, like
a fly, he could climb that apparently
Impassable structure, ho could gain
tho unlit back court of the hotel and
havo each tier of rooms at his mercy,
while their occupants were dining or
enjoying themselves at some place of
entertainment. It was a daring con-
ceptlon, for the inclosed courtyard,
dominated by a bare brick wall, was
wholly unguarded, being deemed un
enterable. As we crouched in the shadows we
saw the robber glance swhftly round.
The thoroughfare was apparently de
serted; nobody was likely to pass
through on any honest purpose.
Stealthily he opened the sack, plunged
in his arm, and drew out some furry
creature of largo size a monkey, and
yet not a. monkey, for InBte'ad of
chattering and leaping this thing lay
apparently lifeless in his arms. The
man deposited ifc carefully In a re
cess between two angles of the build
ing and then began pulling out of tho
bag what seemed llko an unending
"By God, I was right!" I heard
Crowe mutter. I was trembling with
excitement; yet for the life of me I
could not seo what the man intended
Presently he appeared to como to
the end of the cord, He pulled oft his
coat and waistcoat and made It fast
around his waist. Then, picking up
the creature in his arms, he placed it
against the side of the building.
To my astonishment the thing be
gan to move. The strange black
creature climbed higher and higher
against the blank wall of tho looglng
houso. Higher and higher yet it
went, apparently walking upon the
porpondicular slbpe, until tho top
most window was attained. Then I
saw tho burglar Jerk tho rope. Tho
animal disappeared. A moment after
ward and he waB hauling himself up
tho wall, hand over hand, with per
fect easo and apparently perfect se
curity. Crewo crept forward and drew a
revolver from his pocket. "Halt!" he
said quletl: to the man in tho air.
"Halt, or I fire. Come down!"
I saw a struggle upon tho perpendic
ular wall. Tho clinging man grasped
at tho rope, missed it, seemed to lose
his foothold, and suddenly fell Bomo
twenty feet in the air. Tho loose rope
tightened with an awful shock; tho
body quivered an instant, and thou
began to swing llko a pendulum from
Bido to side along tho flank of the
building. At every turn tho ropo
roso higher around him. It was slip
ping upward from his waist, where he
had fastened It, toward his throat,
one arm having slipped through the
noose In tho struggle. At every turn
the body assumed an attitude more
and moro perpendicular; finally, with
a sudden shock tho nooso slipped
round the neck and tho corpse swung
evenly at the rope's end, tho vibra
tions gradually lessening until the
body hung limp and loose and life
less, its one free arm dangling, the
other pinned by tho rope to the neck,
tho forearm waving weakly around
tho head. Nothing that we could
havo dono could have saved him.
Twenty feet at least above our heads
that dreadful drama was enacted In
"Ho has but antclpated his fate,"
said Crewe. "Poor devil! His In
genuity undid him. Let us go, Lang
ton; thero is no purpose to bo served
by our remaining here."
On the following morning all Lon
don was agape over the latest mys
tery. A policeman, according to the
account, had found the body of man
suspended from an upper window of
a tenement house by a ropo of
prodigious length. He had cut him
down, but the suicide had evidently
been dead for several hours. The
rope was ingeniously knotted around
the window bars; yet It had not been
fastened from within, the window be
ing bolted and the room having been
unoccupied for more than a week
Another item in tho same newspa
per passed without notice; yet the
two were IndiBsolubly connected.
"Early this morning," it ran, "while
going to work, John Jarvis, a plumber,
noticed a strange beast in the Strand.
It was suspended from a window sill,
and at first seemed to be dead, but
was subsequently found to bo sleep
ing. Tho beast was noosed and taken
to the police Btatlon, where It was
discovered, after some investigation,
to be a harmless sloth of the arma
dillo type. Its final destination will
probably be the Zoological Gardens."
Crewe looked up at me,
'The greatest mystery," ho said, "Is
how tho creature contrived to knot
tho rope round tho window bars so
that it held up the body of the burglar
after it had departed upon 'its noc
turnal prowllnga in search of food,"
tr-n.n m l.i k, . i
Tilnlnnrl nnvthlni nf Vi o mi.,.!....
1. . . 1 . . i
can. nor tho meaning of tho hot
t !.- . r .
forgive me," ho pleaded. "I will d
about tho habits of tho sloth?"
T !. J M
A ilV TVt IIVJU1U Ufc (.111 1111 I III J
before today' I answered.
14 T.. J. H ....... 9 1
tfuni ov. umiiu lino w ui . Minium
hut . i ..... .!.. i .
know nothing of this animal, it
"cij ou; viiitb iivuuu; viou UUvOj U
cept, noro ana mere, some naturo
Tr. II- ,.. .--V,1 41
in other words that ho was a den
7,i in mill in jviiihiii:;i. i lit rnnrinni
in wuicii uiu Hioia nas us naDltai
A .1 1 B It,.! L 1
leal enbuch. wehave the tpsMmnr.
of tho pawnbroker and his nelghboi
in fVio Vi n f Vir tvtnn wnn -
TI 1 1 1 I i I -
IU1 till DUULUUIUCIO Ul D Ul LU V fill
"Yes," I said, "granted the sloth,
-.1.1 1 11- A , 1
gave you the idea of its being
.l.tt. .1 1 j . t . it
urtti li t t --
' "fun kuvi ui iuu. nui t. u ti
UUU U1SU IX It 1 U IL1 11 Li ni l. I I
sloth has only three toes, and 1
trifirla nrA no tnitnti Itlm linn 4 1
uu mnih lit nVi "UtlUi 1 UU 11 Li
uiiuuuuicuij Detii u mum a itjeL at u
Zoological Gardens when you wero
UilUUUULUUl.T a Ulil, LUO I IlaLVCT '
tlrely escaped my recollection."
umi. i. i ii ji i. . i
us," said Crewe, smiling. "But,
cuiiuuuu, iuu siuui nas acquired ti
remarkable habit of hanging by 1
4.1, 1 a i
IV itu no ireuu UUWU, 4LD llXJiXV Y UUl
suspended by Its slender paws,
elflnnci linnntlir nil 4ttKM...t. 11. J
Diuua uuiiwiiy Lll 1 LUIUUUU LUH II 11
awakening only at night, when it pi
In Mo mnnnn- .1,l.. ... .1lt.l
it; in fact, the sloth seems able
defy tho laws of gravitation.
would not pull it downward or d
i rn ir in ith opainnr o nmhApa I
tue utuer nanu. ov unciasmnfr t
paws and pulling upward, the slo
can be easily and harmlessly
our organ-grinder had a sloth
piaco oi a monKey. ine pian ot a
brilliant conception, and shows
that nnr prlmlnnl wnn n rrtnn nf n hi
degree of mentality.
yuu v;tui nil ill lui vimrsmi. rmvi
uiBvuvmuu iuu must, uuuvmimuL uu
.51... .1 L t . 1
for his enterprise, tho burglar
uiLuca u luiin runt; iiriiuiiii tiiii i:r
turo. collincr tho other end nrnn
1.1. 1. .1 1 I L 1 1
Uur slotn. reellne; inn smnnth snrfn
beneath him, and being unable
sleep perpendicularly, conceives t
Idea that he is upon tho stem of
necunariv men ami smnnt.ii nn
tree, at wnose summit ne may no
LU HULL tl LUlilLUliaUlU llllllll'.ll 111
n 1 1 ! . . n 1.1.. I. 1.
which It is his dellglrt to feed.
wuen uo reacnes ne level or i
?tn A rTtr lit a m nninn hi n V
imnirinincr thfim in Via hrnnnhoo
otnMt nrnm nf 1 v fnctnria tilmoolf Tw i
Into a delicious slumber.
"Wo now havo our sloth firmly
fixed to the bars. No weight, pulli
from below, can dislodge him.
other words, the burglar has
1. t 1.1 J. II.. t. 7
of tho room in whlnh hn rloalrna
gain admittance. Now, aided
darkness of ono of theso nerneti
T 1. 1 il. . .
uiiiLiui; ii nunc ii iiuiiiiin . 1 1 in 11 1 i
1. V.f J 11 XI
his haul, and then rfnsnnnrtq in i
euiuu "a, unci wuru jJUiillifc5 uo
L11U LI 11 1111 til. II 1 1J IJil 111 V LllldllUU Nil
0UIS-IY11UI, ailUliUUHIVlll. IL WUH it 1111
our robber had not wroncrlv ndfnut
1 1L.1 11 1I i
iub ruyc, so mat it snppea rouna
managed to eludo us."
i iiRrn is nn Kn wn iiriiir Tiinr.
UlIU 111 LUH HUlEIlLnHL UHCrRH Lll I
and no "tissue-builder" on earth
cept food. Tho only universally
1IUU1U UIUIjUI la KAMI UltM 111 IllH 111
air and sleeping with your wlndo
uijvu, uuu iuu uuiy permanent iuu
a 4.1. t- J. a i 1 1 i
Lif luu uuu v ii iirnii iiiiii. 11-711 111
UUU KlUCU VCKCIUUIUS. 2. GUlltlr B WD
lll 11. tl a lit .... a
.1 il 1 A. . .
ttuu yuu u lmvo iiiue neea 01 em
natent foods or natant mpfllrinps. A
remedy which universally, or even
sense of exhilaration and impro
manf 4 a Tayf Attlir nnfn (n nnntnln
ti l. 1 li a. 11 m
I IIH1IIH1 Jll Mil II I H Klin 11H111IIIV Hill
l.vt.l I TTf TI..1.LI
SI. D., In tho Delineator.
iiu nuta liiu iudl liiiiii luu.1. I'.im
Into his mind.
mere are long intervals 01 time
which he says nothing."
"Meet any icebergs on your