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NEW BLOOMFIELD, TU3SSDA.Y, JANUAItY 25, 1881.
iff IW upi
in Independent Family Newspaper,
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A PRETTY CRIMINAL.
SEVERAL years ago, and shortly
after the remonetizatlon of silver,
counterfeiting received a wonderful Im
petus, and the West and South especially
were flooded with bogus coin.
The large floating population and the
wilderness of the border country render
ed the task of unearthing the coiners a
hard one, but after several seasons of
persistent and stealthy work, the United
States Detective Service became satisfied
as to the location of at least one gang of
the " Sharps and Jack Densmore, an
experienced agent, was instructed to
visit the State (Kansas), Ingratiate him
self with the counterfeiters, and learn of
their haunts and habits.
The duty was a dangerous one, but
the man selected to perform it had faced
danger, and even death, too often among
Eastern criminals to hesitate a moment;
and so it happened that, upon a certain
hazy September evening, Densmore, dis
guised as a Dutch pedlar, dropped from
the westward-bound train on the K. F.
Road, at the little station of Black Wolf,
in Kansas. For a moment he gazed
after the retreating cars, then turned,
and in broken English enquired of the
station agent the route to Wlldwood
"I vas what you call strange mit dls
part de koundry," said the pedler, smil
ing ; " but a frlent of mine up the river,
he say go to Vildwood Tavern, and you
sold lots of goods In dot koundro."
" Wall, Dutchy, I don't reckon ye'll
do much trade, but I ken tell ye the
road, If yer goln'."
So saying, the rough Westerner gave
the necessary directions, and, in the
gloaming, Densmore disappeared.
" I'll try every house from here to
Wlldwood," muttered he, when out of
hearing, "but I'll find Price's. That's
the name Price. And when that's
found, look out 1 If I can capture Dick
Price, my fortune's made."
At nine o'clock Carl for so he called
himself sought shelter at a settler's
cabin by the roadside, and paid for
supper and lodging and breakfast with
gaudy lace. At noon he paused again
to eat and trade, and again many times
during the afternoon. Before night he
had heard the name of Price ; and before
night, too, several pieces of counterfeit
coin had been passed upon him. He
was Hearing his game.
It was a little after sundown, and
with weary tread Densmore was climb
ing up a long hill, where the struggling
road was fringed with bushes and woods,
when a step startled him, and a moment
later a slender boy was at his side.
" How you vas, little feller ?" said the
detective. " Does vas a nice noight."
" Yes, sir," said the youth, looking at
him sharply. " Where are you going ? "
" Me goln'? O, I vas goin' to sell de
tings in mine pack. I vas goin' to get
rich," and the pedlar chuckled.
"No, I mean to-night. Where are
you going to say 5" said the boy. " This
road stops up in the woods here."
" De road stops ! Py shimminy I Den
dot road got himself lost at the las' turn.
' I fought dls road went through dese
voods to de place you calls de tavern,
"O, you mean Wlldwood Tavern?
That's over that way," and the boy
pointed into the darkness. " It's five
miles from here."
"Py shimminy 1" sighed poor Carl;
" five miles I I neffer get dere to-ulght.
I sleep mlt dese woods," and he began
to unstrap his pack.
The boy eyed him again sharply. Then
he said, " No, you needn't sleep In the
woods. I live at the end of this road.
Come with me. You cuu stay at our
house, I guess."
"Ah, dot was a good poy," said
Dutchy, gladly. " Dot vas nice ; und I
get some supper too, don't it?"
" I reckon," replied the boy.
Ite-shoulderlng his pack, the two con
tinued to follow the road, the youth lead
ing, until, half a mile further on, a cabin
appeared in the shadows. . (
" Here's my house," said the guide.
" Go to the door and I'll run and tell
father," and he disappeared towards the
Densmore looked sharply about him.
This was Price's. A long, low cabin,
strongly built, with small barred win
dows, a barn back of it, dreary woods
upon all skies. A regular den. The
"A bad hole; yet he's the chief. If I
can catch him, with the dies, it will
destroy the gang."
Then, with a resolution to succeed or
perish, he slowly moved towards the
As he raised his hand to knock, it was
Buddenly opened. A heavily-built,
heavily-bearded woodsman stood before
him a man with Bkill and cunning in
his fuce, and a desperate, threatening
courage in his eyes a devil to dare, a
giant to do Dick Price. He glowered
upon the pedlar, shading the flickering
torch he held with one brawny hand,
while hla piercing glance searched Dens,
"What d'ye want?"
"You vas de lettle poy's pa? Dot
vas goot. I want some'tlngs to eat and
some'tlngs to Bleep. De lettle poy said
so." And, with simple naturalness,
Carl pushed aside the mighty doorman,
entered the cabin, threw his pack upon
the floor, and, with a sigh of relief,
dropped on to a low bench near the fire.
"Ah, dat vas goot."
For an instant anger flamed In Price's
face; but, before he could tpeak,
a woman, young, lithe and charming,
entered, and, with a glance at the
man before her, said, "Ah, this Is the
pedlar Will spoke to me of. He lost his
way, dear," she continued, going to.
Price, and laying her hand upon his
arm ; "and Will met him on the road,
and asked him to stay with us to-night.
It's all right."
The passion died from the man's face ;
the voice of the woman thrilled Carl.
This girl and the boy who had gui Jed
him were one. She was the spy of the
" So yer a pedlar, eh ?" Bald the host,
advancing, "an' lost yer way ? Wall,
yer welcome to our fare and fire; but I
tell ye a little more ceremony will be
better with Dick Price next time. I
was nigh shakin' ye 1" and he smiled
Carl smiled too, childlike and bland,
and said " Yaw." The host and his
companion were amused.
"Where's the boy ?" asked Price.
" He went to the barn," replied the
woman, as she busied herself preparing
theievening meal. " He was too tired
to eat, and will not be in to-night.
Carl was sure now that woman and
boy were one.
A plain but plentiful supper was serv
ed, after which the pedlar and his host
drew before the open fire with their
pipes. Naturally, the conversation
turned upon trade, and Dutchy very
willingly told of his success, and even
showed the silver which be had gather
ed during the day. Price picked a piece
of it from his hand.
" This ere's bad," said he.
" Vat ! Pad ?"and Carl leaned forward
excitedly. "O, you vas foolln'," he
continued, examining the coin. "Dis
" It may pass, but it's counterfeit all
the same," said Price. " I'm sure of
" Veil, neffer mind. It's good enough
for me," said the pedlar with a smile.
" I only wish I had a t'ousand dollars
" Wall, I reckon ye could git It," said
Price, resuming his pipe. " I heard a
a feller say to-day thar war lots o' It
"Py shimmlpy I Jvould like to get
it," said bis companion. "It vas goot
efl'ery vare I go."
"I know a feller what's got some of
the stuff," said Price, in a low tone;
" but he lives a mile from here. Ye
could buy It o' him, I reckon."
" For how much ?" said Carl.
" O, may be oue-half," returned the
other. "I can't say. It's bad stuff to
deal with, ye know, an' I never touch
"One-half! You mean two dollars
for one? Py shimminy 1 I vlll give
two hundred tollars for four, an' got
myself rich I" cried the pedlar.
" But how kin ye pay for It ?"
"Nevermind. I know," said Carl.
Show me de fellow what got It to sell,
und I pay him mlt it."
" Well," said the host, rising, "I'll
find him for ye In the morn In'. Do
you want to turn in ?"
" Go to bed ter sleep, I mean."
"Oh, yawl I was tired myself out
A moment's consultation with the
woman, and Price called the pedlar to
follow. Carl picked up his pack and
climbed the ladder that led into the
loft. There was a shakedown on the
"Thar! It's not the finest bedroom
in the world, but ye'll sleep," said Price
laughing. " Good-night."
"Good-night," returned Carl.
The other disappeared. Densmore
heaved a slgb.
"It's hard work playing Dutch," he
Then he opened his pack, and from it
drew two heavy revolvers, a bowle
knlfe, three pairs of handcuffs, and the
star of the United States Secret Service.
"I may have work before morning,"
be thought, "and these are good bed
fellows." He removed his coat, blew out the
caudle, and lay down, his mind busy
with the events of the day and in form
ing some plan for the morrow.
While thus engaged, the Bound of a
door stealthily opened attracted his at
tention, and a moment later he heard
men's voices below. Quietly leaving
his bed, he crept to a knot-hole in the
floor and listened.
"But the pedlar?"
It was the woman's voice.
"Never mind him," replied Price.
" Ned," he continued, apparently ad
dressing the new comer, "we've a custo
mer up stairs a Dutch pedlar and he
wants four hundred. I'll bring him to
ye in the morning. He'll buy."
The door opened a second time. Press
ing his face close to the floor, Densmore
found that he could both see and hear.
Three sharp-looking roughly dressed
" Ha ! all here," said Price in a low
tone. " That is good. I want half a
thousand o' the queer to night, for we
kin Bend to the Tavern to-morrow, and
the chap above wants some. Did you
bring the dies, Bray ?"
The man addressed shook his head.
" I haven't been home, an' jest come
from Elkborn. Send Nettie. My old
woman will give 'em to her."
Price turned to the girl.
"Are you afraid to go, Net ?"
. "Afraid?" she laughed, and touching
her bosom, Just drawing the butt of a
pistol into sight "afraid, Dick ? You
know better nor that."
" Wall, then, my gal, if you go to
Bray's an' get the dies, it will help us ;
for while the boys are coining, I will
stay on watch, and mill the hundred
we ran yesterday. Ye'll be back In an
" Yes, dear."
And throwing a heavy cloak about
her, and incasing her head in a deep
hood, the girl opened the door and dis
appeared into the night. Price turned
to the gang.
" Boys, go below, fire up, and prepare
the rest o' the metal ; I'll stay here and
when Net comes with the dies we'll
coin. I want a full load to-night, for
we're ulmost out. Here, give me a
As be ceased speakl ng, he seized a
heavy iron bar and thrust it beneath the
hearth stone. The others joined hands
with him, and, with a desperate effort,
the five slowly raised the great stone.
Beneath it appeared a door, secured by
long, iron bolts. These being shot, and
the trap raised, a flight of steps was
seen. The four strangers descended, one
carrying a lantern, and Price dropped
the door behind them. Then opening a
sort of hidden closet, be drew from it a
box of rough silver coin and a milling
machine, with which he began to work.
Densmore breathed bard.
' " Trapped !" he whispered "trapped 1
The whole gang complete I And now
Noiselessly he arose and approached
the ladder. In either pocket were his
pistols, and in his hands a pair of
bracelets, on his breast a star. At the
top of the ladder be paused, struck his
foot against the floor, and coughed.
There was a quick stir below.
"Mr. Brlce! Mr. Brlce! Vas you
A half growl from below answered
" What do you want?"
" I vas sick, Mr. Brlce I vas so hot
88 neffer vas. I vant a leette vater, Mr.
Brlce, If you please, Mr. Brlce."
"What the" then came an oath.
Lie still, ye Dutch fool, and I'll bring
ye water. Don't come here."
" O, no, Mr. Brlce! But some vater,
Mr. Brlce, for God's sake 1 I vas burned
There was a move about the room, a
patter of dipper and pall, and Price
approached the ladder. Densmore
breathed hard. The steps came nearer,
nearer; they mounted the ladder. He
crouched, waiting. An instant more
and the bearded fuce of Price appeared
above the opening in the floor, and his
right hand was raised, holding a tin cup
" Here, Dutchy ye're cursed bard to
take care of here's a drink."
Curl's arm was outstretched ; but as
he touched the dipper, there came a
sharp click and the handcuff closed
about the wrist of the coiner, and, at the
moment, the cold muzzle of a heavy
Colt's revolver pressed against his fore
bead, and the voice of the detective
hissed in his ear:
" Not a sound, or I'll kill you ! Up
with your other hand."
The man was fairly caught and he
knew it. The color fled from his bronz
ed face, leaving It asben-hued; a cold
sweat gathered in beads upon his brow;
the prison doors yawned before him ;
but one glance into the deep eyes of the
detective was enough, and with a shud
der and a groan, he allowed the handcuffs
to be clasped about bis other wrist.
" And now go down ; without noise.
too," said Densmore, " or "
Price obeyed ; and as he turned upon
the floor, below, the detective was at his
"Sit there," as he pointed toward the
table, " with your back to the door."
Again the coiner obeyed, bowiDg his
head upon his hands. Then Densmore
crept to the trap, closed it, and shot the
Without raising his head, Price whis
" They'll smother."
" They must run their chances," re
plied Densmore, coldly.
So saying, he crept near to the cabin
door and waited. He must have the
woman, the spy, the last and best of all
The moments passed; the hour was
drawing to a close, and the detective
listened with bated breath for bis com
ing victim, when suddenly without a
a sound the door opened and Nettle en
tered. As she did so Densmore stepped
forward, and would have laid his band
upon her shoulder, but, in a single
glance, the girl comprehended all, and
with a wild shriek she sprang from
him, the dies dropping from her arms
as she did so, while Price etaited from
his seat and joined her. And then again
the detective found himself facing his
enemies, one of them now armed, for
the woman had drawn a pistol.
But there was no struggle. With
nerves tense as steel, and a deadly light
In the clear blue eyes, Carl leveled bis
heavy weapons, one at each of the
figures before him, and in low, cool
tones said :
" Up with your hands I In the name
of the natioual government I arrest you
as counterfeiters. Quick!
The last word was addressed to the
woman, for in her eye, too, there gleam
ed a dangerous light ; but, before the
detective could stay her, the pistol was
turned, there rang a sharp report, and
from her Bide there welled the bright
blood, splashing the wooden floor, and
with a moaning cry, she tottered and
fell, Price half catching her In his
shackled arms as she sank.
Only once she spoke.
"Better this than a prison, Dick!
And to die with you, love."
Then came a fluttering sigh, and she
An hour later, Densmore stood before
the United States Commissioner at Wild
wood, and delivered his prisoner. Two
hours later a posse of officers secured the
others, who were dragged half dead from
their cellar furnace-room ; and the next
day, the detective alone stood by the
open grave of poor Nettie, "the bravest
and prettiest criminal be had ever
known," he said, aud heard the dull
Bound of clods as they fell upon her
coffin. Then he turned eastward again,
his duty done. 1
The coiners of Kansas were no more.
Wanted the Difference.
A good story is told of a well known
divine of New York, now dead. One day
he picked out a cheap hat In a store,
and the clerk when he named the price,
" But that Isn't good enough for you
to wear, Doctor. Here is what you
want, and I'll make you a present of it
if you'll wear it and tell your friends
whose store it came from."
" Thank you thank you," said the
doctor, his eyes gleaming with pleasure
at raising a castor so cheaply. " How
much may this beaver be worth ?"
" We sell this kind of hat for eight
"And the other?"
The man of sermons put on the beav
er, looked in the glass, then at the three
"I think, sir," said he, taking off the
beaver, and holding it in one hand, as
he donned the cheap "tile," " I think,
sir, that this hat will answer my pur
pose full as well as the best."
" But you had better take the best one,
sir, it costs you no more."
" B-u-t b-u-t," replied the parson,
hesitatingly, "I didn't know but per
haps you would as lief I would take
the cheap one, and leave the other and
perhaps you would not mind giving me
the difference In a five dollar bill."
Mr. Moody makes use of many an
ecdotes in bis addresses ; but on the
principle that every question has two
sides, let me relate an amusing story,
which Mr. Moody will probably nev
er use. He was speaking of the here
after, and the fate of those who
died unqulckened by the repentance
of the sinner. He spoke feelingly of
a dear grandmother, who had passed
away unconverted. "Although she was
good and kind, and dearly loved by
me, I fear she met the reward of all
who die not owning Christ. I know
she is in hell." At this juncture a
young man sitting near the front rose
and walked down the aisle toward the
door. Mr Moody said: "TLere is a man
going straight to hell." The young .
fellow, annoyed at being held up to no
tice, turned, and said in a clear voice:
"Well, is there any message I can take
to your grandmother ?"
An Effective Sermen.
A preacher addressed the inmates of a
lunatic asylum at Jacksonville, Illinois.
He was much gratified at the attention
paid by one lunatic to the sermon. He
watched this patient several Sundays
and became convinced that the man
was being converted and might even be
cured of his insanity thereby. So be
sought an interview with the man just
after a sermon on the way Hindoo women
throw their infants into the Ganges as a
sacrifice. The patient seemed glad to
see him, but the only remark he would
make was, "I couldn't help thinking
while you were telling that story that it
was a great pity your mother didn't
chuck you into the river when you were
(3- " I cannot conceive.my dear, what
is the matter with my watch. I think
it may want cleaning," exclaimed an
indulgent husband to his better-half the
" No, papa," said hU petted little
daughter, " I know it don't waut clean
ing, because baby and I washed it in
the basin ever so long this morning."