The New Bloomfield, Pa. times. (New Bloomfield, Pa.) 1877-188?, December 04, 1877, Image 1

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    VOL. XI.
NO.. 48.
In Independent Family Newspaper,
One Yea-, . tl 5
Six Month 73
One Year. (Postage Included) f
Six Mouths, (Postage ino tided) 85
Invariably In Advance I
y Advertising rates furnished upon appli
IT WAS the evening of November 5th,
18 .
Edward Bentley, Esq., a wealthy Wall
street banker, sat in the elegantly fur
nished library of his up town mansion,
buried in thought, which if his face
could be relied upon as an index of his
mind, was not of the pleasantest de
scription. His brows were contracted
and ever and anon an expression of
keen, mental agony swept over his
"Great Heaven !" he murmured, tos
sing restlessly in his chair, " when will
this torture cease V Though ten long
years have passed since that terriblo
night, memory holds the picture before
me. In spite of my prosperity, in spite
of the favors which fortune has lavish
ed upon me, I cannot forget what I have
been what I am ! Grea spirit above ,is
there no' relief from this terriblo re
morse V"
A servant entered at this ruoment,and
handed the banker a card, upon which
was inscribed the name :
" Major George Heitii, U. S. A."
" Show the gentleman, to this room,
James," ordered the millionaire.
A moment later the visitor entered.
He was a man of medium height,
thick-set, wearing a heavy black beard
and mustache. His countenance was
not a pleasing one. Dark cye3 of strango
brilliancy, shaded by heavy brows, fixed
themselves upon the banker's face as the
man slowly sank into a chair, eaying :
"My dear Bentley, at last we meet
again ; this is indeed a pleasure."
"Really, sir," returned the banker
somewhat haughtily, for he was by no
means pleased wilu tne man s msoieni-
ly familiar air, " you have the advau-
tage of me, for I must confess I do not
recognize either your face or name."
The stranger laughed heartily.
" Really, my dear fellow," he said, " I
don't know that I blame you for not
remembering the latter, as I can't think
you ever heard it before ; but I must say
I feel somewhat hurt at your forgetful
ness of my countenauce, for we have
met more than once, and under such
circumstances as I should have thought
would have impressed my interesting
physiog upon your memory."
" Indeed, sir ?" rejoiued the banker.
" Well, I assure you, I have no recol
lection of having ever seen you before."
" I will refresh your memory, then,"
said the stranger. " I was present at a
certain gambling saloon in the Bowery
just ten years ago to-night, and, if I
mistake not, I had the pleasure of meet
ing you there."
The banker's face grew pale and his
lips trembled ; but with an effort to con
ceal his emotion, he said :
" You are mistaken, sir. I was not
The stranger laughed once more very
" Really, my dear Bentley," he said,
" it quite amuses me to see how conve
niently short your memory is. Perhaps
you have also forgotten what took place
after you left the saloon that night."
The banker trembled la every limb.
" Sir, what do you mean V" he mur
mured. "Simply this, my dear Bentley that
. I am fully aware of all your doings on
the night of November 5th, 18 : of
the crime you then committed."
" Crime, sir," rejoined the banker,
who had somewhat recovered his self
control, " that word is seldom coupled
with my name. Have a care what you
say, and make no assertions which you
cannot prove."
" I cau prove all, I state, Bentley ; and
now to insure you that 1 knownll. I will
relate briefly your adventures on the
evening in question November fith,
18 . You were not, then, a wealthy
banker; your name had never been
heard on 'change. You possessed one
thousand dollars which you wished to
invest in some business in the city. You
had a wife and daughter to labor for,and
was, consequently, anxious to invest
your capital to the best possible advan
tage. An opening presented itself to
you, by which you might perhaps in
crease your capital n hundred-fold; in
short, you contracted that most danger
ous disease, the gaming fever. You
played at a certain saloon in the Bowery
which has, since then, become extinct.
For several evenings you were there
promptly at eight o'clock ; I was there,
too, aad I watched you. You played
with varying success. One evening, I
remember, you left the place with five
thousand dollars in your pocket. It
would have been well for you had you
stopped then ; but you did not. The
next evening you entered the room again
with flushed cheek and nervous tread ;
the fever was upon you, and I, then an
experienced gamester, said to myself
that you would not quit until you had
lost all. And I was right ; before you
left the place that night you were penni
less ruined. But there was one way to
retrieve yodr fortune, one chance, and
you grasped it eagerly, thoughtless, of
all save the passion of the hour. Among
the heaviest winners of the evening was
a young man, Egbert Darrell by name,
frequenter of the place, with whom you
had a speaking acquaintance; and who
on this evening had won more than you
had lost. You had noticed his success,
and you determined, to well, my dear
Bentley, I hate to use harsh words ; but
you determined to rob and murder this
man. You followed him from the sa
loon to the extrcmest east end of tho
city; he was on his way to the Fulton
ferry. When almost there you suddenly
came behind him and dealt him a heavy
blow on the head, felling him instantly
to the sidewalk. Then you rifled his
pockets of all they contained, and tak
ing his body in your arms, ran to the
end of the pier near which the well,
excuse me, Bentley the murder had
taken place, and tossed it into the water.
The night was very dark, and a terrible
storm was raging, so you felt certain
that you had not been seen. Three
weeks after the tide brought a mutilated
corpse to tho foot of pier East river,
which was identified as the body of tho
man you had murdered. Tho coroner's
jury gave a verdict satisfactory to all
concerned ; thte man was burled by his
relatives; but, Bentley, the secret was
not as you thought, burled with him.
With the six thousand dollars of which
you thus became possessed you estab
lished a business which .has prospered
wonderfully ; and now you are a million
aire, one of New York's solid men. Ha
ha ha ! My dear Bentley, you're a
smart man and have done very" well.
No doubt you ' thought that trifling in
discretion of yours, which the law terms
murder, known only to yourself; but,
you see, I am acquainted with all the
particulars of the affair. Deny it, if you
And with a cool, audacious laugh, the
stranger leaned back in his chair and
placidly surveyed the pale and trembling
Making a great effort, Edward Bent
ley arose, and said :
" Sir, I am at a loss to know why you
have come to me with this story. It is
false from ' the beginning to the end.
Leave my house this instant, or I will
summon a servant to eject you."
" Do so, if you. think best, my dear
Bentley," returned the stranger, with a
sinister smile; "and I shall immediately
proceed to tho nearest police station and
repeat the little story with which I have
just entertained you ; and perhaps it will
be better appreciated there than it has
been by you. In fact, I don't know but
I had better have gone there in the lirst
place; but, knowing that you wero a
patron of literature and the arts, I
thought 1 would give you a chance to
make terms for my little story. But no
matter, my dear boy, no matter ; pray
accept my apologies for having thus
wearied you. Au revotr, Edward, not
udicu, for we shall meet again ere
The stranger wai leaving the room,
when the banker cried:
" Stop a moment, sir what proofs
have you of tho truth of this audacious
story V"
" My dear boy," replied the smiling
major, "I couldn't think of wearying
you with a recital of them. I shall sub
mit them to oilier persons who will ac
quaint you with them, In, doubtless, a
far more acceptable manner than I could;
for 'pon honor, I am a miserable hand
at story-telling always was. Once more
my denr Bentley, mi reroir."
Again be was leaving the apartment,
but paused, when tho banker, in an agi
tated tone, cried :
"Stop; I I was hasty. Be seated,
and let us talk over this mutter. Evi
dently you are laboring under a delu
sion." " Really, now, Bentley, I'm afraid I
shall tire you 1 I remain."
"No no. Bo seated sir bo seated."
" Oh, I'm sure I shall weary you with
my remarks. I know I'm very dull,
and must seem doubly so to ft man of
your quick perception and lively intel
ligence." The mon's eyes gleamed with ft mali
cious and sinister light as he fixed them
upon the wretched millionaire.
" No, no, sir," said the banker; "ex
cuse any hasty remarks I may have
made; but, really, sir, I'm quite unwell
and nervous this evening."
" Don't say another word, ' my dear
fellow, I beg," exclaimed the major, re
seating himself; "you're very excusable
I'm sure. IjCt me see. Where did we
leave off our Interesting conversation!1
Ah, I think I recollect ! You asked me
for my proofs of tho veracity of the little
narrative of real life with which I had
just regaled you, did you not!"'
The banker bowed his head.
"Why, my dear Bentley," said the
mnjor, " I was an eye-witness of the
whole affair. I saw it all, my boy ; I can
describe it all in ft court of justice, if ne
cessary. I can produce the keeper of the
gaming saloon and others, who saw you
playing with the man you killed; they
can testify that you left the saloon im
mediately after he did. I can produce
men who are aware that you bad in
your possession on tho sixth of Novem
berthe day following the murder the
sum of six thousand dollars. You can
not give a satisfactory account of how
you came by that money. My dear fel
low, I can do all this, and more so you
must acknowledge that the chain of evi
dence is a strong one,"
" If this be true, why have you kept
silent all these years ? Why did you not
declare oil you knew at the time r"
"For good reasons of my own, my
dear Bentley. Suffice It that I am at
last ready to make known all."
" It, is useless for mo to deny this
crime," wid the banker, with deep emo
tion. " I see that you know all. Great
Heaven ! have I not been sufficiently
punished by, the pangs of conscience for
ten long years, that this blow must fall
upon me."
" My dear Bentley," said the major,
smiling, " you are really unreasonable
'pon honor, you are. The pangs of con
science of which you speak, though no
doubt very excruciating, and all that
sort of thing, are, 1 think you will al
low, not comparable with the punish
ment which the law metes to mur "
" Sir !" exclaimed the banker, " before
heaven I swear I had no intention of
taking that man's life; I only wished to
render him insensible until I could se
cure his money and escape. The mo
ment when I found he was dead was tho
bitterest of my life.',
" Well well, my dear Bentley," said
the major, somewhat impatieutly, " no
doubt your intentions were of tho most
amiable description ; but, if you please,
we will postpone our discussion of them
until some futuro time. Just now the
question Is, can we or can we not make
terms ?"
I " Name the price of your silence."
j " You have a daughter," said the ma
j Jor, abruptly.
j "If I have, sir," replied tho banker,
with some hesitation, "why mention
her in connection with such horrors as
we are discussing V"
" You have a daughter," continued
the major, without replying; " Edith is
her name, and, Bentley, she is a most
lovely creature one of the most beauti
ful girls I ever seen for I have seeu her
although she does not know me. Well,
sir, I have a sou, ; he is handsome, well-
educated, and a gentleman. My deaf
Bentley, I will keep tho secret of your
crime, if you will consent to the mar
riage of your daughter and my sou 1"
The banker started from his seat.
" Never 1" he exclaimed. "I would
sooner see her in her grave I"
" My dear sir," suid tho major, " you
are hasty 'pon honor, you are hasty !
That you do not feel great affection for
me, I can, under the circumstances,
readily understand ; but why you are so
prejudiced ogainst my son, whom you
have never seen, and cannot possibly
know anything about, I am at a loss to
" This son of yours," interrupted the
banker, " does ho does he know my
secret "
"My dear Bentley, of course not; it
is known, as I have several times in
formed you, to only you and I. But let
me once more ask you, do you agree to
the terms I have proposed V"
" Sir, I know nothing of your son,
and even if I did, I could' not urge my
daughter to marry agulnst her will."
" Are her affections already engaged?"
inquired the mnjor.
"Not to my knowledge," was the
" Well," said tho mojor, " all I re
quire is a fair chance for my son to
prosecute his suit, and I will answer
that the marriage is consummated in
due time. What I want you to do is
this: Announce to your wife and
daughter that you expect your old friend
Major IldOi, and his son, to pny you an
extended visit. Say that we have been
making the grand tour in Europe, and
will arrive iu this city next Tuesday
morning, when we will immediately
proceed to your bouse. My son and I
will perform our part by arriving at tho
appointed time and taking up our resi
dence under your hospitable roof. You
will introduce us to the ion ion as two
gentlemen of leisure, immensely wealthy
and all that sort of thing. Oh I we shall
take wonderfully, I forsee. My son will
be very altentivo to Miss Bentley; and
the winding up of It all will ben, fash
ionable wedding In Grace Church. My
dear Bentley, do you agree V"
" These aro your only terms V"
"They are."
" I agree to them since there Is no
alternative, save "
" The gallows I" concluded tho mnjor,
a fiendish smile upon his lips. " You
have decided wisely. Expect us next
Tuesday morning ; and, as in the mean
time, I shall need a little cash, suppose
you give me a cheek payablo at sight.for
sonio trilling amount."
" How much will satisfy you V" in
quired the banker, turning to his desk,
and opening a check-book.
" Well, I won't be unreasonable, Ed
ward, sny a thousand this time.'.'
Without a word, Mr. Bentley filled
out a check for that amount and handed
it to the major.
" And now, ait revoir!" said that in
dividual, folding the paper and placing
it in his vest pocket. " Next Tuesday
we shall meet again."
With these words he left the room.
The banker remained in his chair, hia
face burled in his hands, for many hours.
When at last he staggered from the
room in the silence of early morning,
the lines on his haggard face were so
deepened and distorted that it seemed as
if twenty years had been added to tiis
Two days have elapsed sinco the in
terview above chronicled.
Let us enter the Union Square Park.
The weather is quite warm and pleasant
for the season, so the park is well filled.
Seated on a bench near the Sixteenth
street entrance are two young men en
gaged in an earnest conversation. As
they will figure prominently iu my
story let mo introduce them to my read
ers as Messrs. Walter Elmore and Hen
ry Oakley. The former was connected
with a prominent literary weekly, occu
pying a responsible position upon the
editorial staff, besides being a novelist
of no little renown. Ho was one of
those persons who at once attract ull
with whom they come in coutact, and
are never without many warm personal
friends. His companion was a Using
young physician, aud ids bosom friend
and confidant. As regards their per
sonal appearance they Mere both tall,
aud well proportioned in form and feat
ure, but Elmore's complexion was light
his hair and mustache brown, and his.
eyes gray, while Oakley, was quite dark,
with black half and beard, and dark,
The two young men were warmly aU
laclied to eneh other, and were almost
inseparable. At the time when we in
troduce them to the reader, they were
engaged in a discussion regarding thols
respective prospects In life, and in thein
professions; and were so deeply inter
ested that they did not notice that two
men sitting near them. were listening to.
their conversation.
" My dear Henry," said Walter, in
quite an abrupt manner, after a short
silence, "there is one matter of deep inr
terest to mo which I have hitherto kept
secret from you, but which I will make
known to you now."
" What is it, my dear fellow ?"
', I will come to the point at once I
am in love."
" You in love V" exclaimed the young
" Even so."
"I never for a moment susKcted it.
And who is the lady ?"
" She is the only daughter of one of
the wealthiest men in New York; and,
that very fact will, I fear, prove an oh
stacle to our union ; for her parents, will
of course, desire her to marry a far
wealthier man than myself; and Henry,
I could not bear the suspicion of being
a fortune-hunter."
" If you truly love each other, and the
lady's parents truly love her, I do not
see that there need bo any objection to
your marriage. I do not see that thero
can be any great disparity in your posU
tions. You move In the best circles of
society, and, though not a millionaire,
possess a very comfortable living."
" Heaven knows I love her truly,"
said the young man, " but I am by no
means sure that I have any ground for
hoping of a return of my affection."
" You have not told me the lady's
name, Walter."
"It is Edith Bentley, daughter of
Edward Bentley, tho banker."
On hearing this the two Individuals to
whom we have alluded as listening to
the conversation, started am) looked in
each other's face, but did not speak.
" Miss Bentley is a lovely and accom
plished girl, Walter," said Henry Oak
ley, " and you have my best wishes for
your success."
"Yet, after all," exclaimed the vounir
author, bitterly, " why should I a name
less waif, a foundling, disowned by the
authors of my existence, think for a mo
ment of marriage with her? I have
not even a name wliich I can call my
own, and bestow upon the woman who
becomes my wife."
" Walter," said the doctor gravely,
" you allow that matter to weigh too
heavily upon 'your mind. Whatever
your parents were or now are, the no
ble qualities, and the rare talents pos
sessed by yourself aro known to all ; and
on them, and not on your parents'
name and position, rests your reputa
tion. No one respects you less for that
which is your misfortune, and in no
way your fault. I beg of you, my dear
Walter, to think less on this subject.
Your parentage you will probably never
discover; there is little hope that you
ever will ; so why not endeavor to dis
miss the matter from your mind J"'
" Henry, do not say that !" exclaimed
the young author. " Never, while life
lasts, can I give up the hope, desperate
as it may seem, of knowing the name to
which I am rightfully entitled ; of clasp
ing the hands of those to whom I am
indebted for existence. And, Henry, if
I ever do succeed in finding my parents,
however low their position, they shall
find a true and faithful son In me."
" My dear Walter," said Dr. Oakley.
" I know Mr. Bentley too well to sup
pose for a moment that lie thinks less of
you on account of this niisfortune,which
you feel so keenly ; you are a favorite of
his, I think."
" Yes, I believe he is friendly to me,"
Walter replied ; "but as an aspirant to
his daughter's baud perhaps he might
regard me iu a different light."
" I do not think so, Walter ; remem
ber, your reputation as an author gives
you a carte blanche Into the best society,
which wealth cannot always procure.
You are admitted to the most 'exclusive
circles;' and there is many a family in
New York which would feel honored