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NEW BLOOMPIELD, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 1881.
in Independent Family Newspaper,
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THE DISGUISED SERVANT.
ONE day in May, 1805, the detective
received the followlug note :
" Dear Bin : Could you make in con
venient to call at No. 340 South Bt.,
Any time after 8 P. M., to-day V If not,
I shall call at your office to-morrow
afternoon at 2. Hespectfully,
The note was penned in a neat femin
ine hand, but the name of the writer
was entirely unknown to the detective.
He called at the number mentioned in
the note, and waB met at the door by
a woman of apparently forty years of
"Is your mistress in ?" he asked of
" No, sir ; she has gone out with her
husband, Mr. Darnley," replied the
woman, eagerly regarding his features
while she spoke.
"Darnley 1" said he, "is the lady of
the house named Darnley V"
" Yes, sir. Whom did you wish to
"A lady named Margaret Vallee."
" That is my name," rejoined she,
smiling, "and you are "
44 Varnoe," said he, finishing the sen
tence for her.
" Walk In, please. I've been expect
ing you, but not having the pleasure of
an acquaintance with you, I was not
, aware it was you, sir."
She conducted him to the parlor, and
after a brief pause, said :
" My master and mistress have gone
to the opera, and we are alone in the
house. I have something to tell you
which, if naught comes of it, you must
give me your word of honor as a gentle
man, to keep a secret for life. Will you
promise this when I assure you that
there is nothing criminal in the mat
ter " On that condition, I promise, mad
am," said he, promptly.
" Do not address me by that title,
please," rejoined she. "I am a miss,
and am disguised to conceal my age.
Bee V" added she, taking a wig from her
head and removing her glasses, when
she presented the appearance of a young
lady of about twenty-three.
" Now, listen to what I have to say,"
said she, and the detective became all
" One short year ago," began she, " I
was a resident of Liverpool, England,
and had a home with a loved brother,
and as we were twins as well as orphans
we were all in all to each other.
"He formed the acquaintance of a
young lady of high connections, and
soon became warmly attached to her.
Her name was Aurelia Ducbene, of
French extraction, and a beautiful bru
nette. " They were married, and as my broth
er stipulated that I should remain with
him, I became an inmate of the little
family in their new home. My brother,
as well as myself, was independent, but
held a position la a bank notwithstand
ing. He was not a gay man, hence he
preferred an active to an idle life.
" Whether Aurelia loved my brother
or not I will not say ; but there were
periods when I doubted her affection for
her husband. She had winning ways,
like those of a child, and they were the
charm that held my brother captive to
" Before they were wedded six months
he startled me one day by telling me he
had made his will !
"A man Just married, and not yet
twenty-five, making bis will 1' exclaim,
ed I. ' Why, what put such a ridiculous
idea into your head V"
"It was Aurelia who put it there,'
laughingly answered he.
" 'Aurelia, your wife, suggesting such
a thing V cried I, a vague horror taking
possession of my soul. 4 Pray, what can
be her motive V asked I gravely notto
" Well, she used some sensible loglo
in arguing the point,' rejoined he, a
trifle discomposed at my serious tone
and air. 1 Bbe allowed (quoting Scrip
ture) that 1 In the midst of life we are in
death,' aud as a fellow has to make his
will some time or other, I concluded to
make mine and be done with it.'
" ' I hope you have not neglected your
wife In the distribution of your lega
cies 5" remarked I, in a tone of Irony.
" ' Why, of course not,' rejoined he
earnestly. He thought I made the re
mark In all sincerity, so much cau a
man be blinded by the honeymoon.
" Shortly after this my brother chang
ed in health and spirits," continued Miss
Vallee. " He did not complain, aud
possibly did not feel indisposed ; but I,
who regarded him as my other self, saw
that he grew weaker as the days sped
along. I spoke to him about it, and lie
laughed at what he was pleased to call
my foolish fancies.
" Several more months went by, and
lie resigned his position at the bank,
being no longer capable of attending to
his duties. Then I had a long talk with
his wife. Perhaps, thought I, she has
been impressed the same as myself.
" But how I had been deceived I She
laughed right in my face when I spoke
of my brother's illness. 4 He is not ill,
my dear Margaret,' said Bbe, derisively ;
'the fact is, he has overworked himself
at that nasty bank, and baa finally
yielded to my persuasion to quit it. And
because he did so you must have him ill.
Pshaw I nonsense, child I'
" I left her presence with a heavy
heart, and a sad foreboding. My darling
brother would not admit that he was ill,
and his wife laughed at my fears. What
could I do to make them tee that which
haunted my waking thoughts and my
dreams at night.
"In this, my grievous dilemma, an
old college chum of my brother came to
see him by invitation. They had not
seen each other for several years, and
when my brother languidly rose to
receive his friend, Mr. Charles Pettit,
that gentleman started in surprise, and
" ' Good heaven I Eugene, what is the
matter with you V
" ' What do you see the matter 1" ask
ed my brother, with a languid smile that
pierced my heart to witness.
44 4 Why you are but the ghost of your
former self," rejoined his friend.
" ' Nonsense,' said my brother, a faint
color rising in his pale cheeks. ' I pre
sume you imagined, now that I am a
Benedict, to see me grown fat and
weighing sixteen stone at least.'
44 4 No,' was the thoughtful response,
as the other gazed from Eugene to me,
as if mentally contrasting us, 'but I
must say that married life does not
appear to agree with you. Does it now,
Miss Vallee V said he, appealing to me.
44 4 Bo It seems to me also,' said I,
scarcely knowing what to say.
44 He looks ill, does he not 1" urged
44 4 That is ray belief, but he does not
believe so,' answered I, glancing at my
brother, with my heart aching for him.
44 4 Then you have no doctor attending
you V asked Mr. Pettit, in deep surprise,
addressing my brother.
44 4 1 do not think it necessary,' re
" 4 Not necessary,' echoed the other.
'Are you then bent on suiolde so soon
after your wedding!"
" 4 Do not talk nonsense,' said Eugene
visibly annoyed. 'Tell me about your
self and let poor me alone for the pres
ent.' 44 4 Poor me, indeed 1' returned his
friend, in a low tone as he turned to me,
then Immediately turned again to my
brother and said :
44 4 Where is Mrs. Vallee V
" 4 She Is visiting some friends In the
country,' replied my brother. 4 She
will return in a day or two.'
44 4 In that case I shall not see her,'
returned Mr. Pettit, 4 for I can remain
but a day.'
44 1 had an hour alone with my broth
er's friend," continued Margaret Vallee,
"and I freely expressed my fears in re
gard to my brother, and be urged me to
have a physician called In, if only to
examine into this case. After Mr.
Pettit had gone away I told Eugene
what he had said, and finally gained his
permission to send for Dr. lteynolds.
44 This doctor was one of the most
skillful in the profession, and I had
hopes that under his care my brother
would soon be restored to his wonted
"But, alas 1 After a most thorough
examination, Dr. Reynolds shook his
head and acknowledged that he was
completely puzzled what to make of the
case. He gave him a prescription, say
ing he would consult several of his
friends of the profession aud would call
with them on the following day.
" That night Dr. lleynolds was pros
trated by a paralytlo stroke. The next
day he died, and with him died my last
hope, for on the return of Mrs. Vallee
she persuaded her husband to go to Italy
and see what that climate could do to
restore the color to his cheeks.
"A week from thence they started for
the sunny land of Italy ; I was to keep
house until their return. What follow
ed is Boon told," continued Margaret,
"and, as I have been somewhat prolix
in my story, I will sum up the remain
" Three weeks after their departure, I
received intelligence that my beloved
brother had died when within sight of
the shores of Italy, and his disconsolate
widow was on her return to England
with his corpse in an air-tigbt metallic
" I will not dwell upon my grief and
subsequent severe Illness, but when I
was sufficiently recovered to oompre
bend my surroundings, I was Informed
that my brother's will had been read,
and that ail he possessed had been left
'hla dear wife, Aurelia,' Bftve the house
whose roof now sheltered me ; this and
this only, was all that Ire had left to his
44 Mrs. Vallee had converted all into
cash, and, leaving me to the care of a
few intimate friends, left the city and
country and came to this country,
whither I followed her as soon asI was
well enough to bear a sea voyage.
44 My object in coming here was to
watch her every movement," said the
spirited lady. 44 1 strongly suspected
that she encompassed the death of her
husband, for he only began to fail in
health after be had made his will. What
I wished to learn was whether she
would marry again, and if so, whether
her second husband would Bhare the fate
of the firBt, after he had made a will in
. 44 1 engaged myself to her under the
name of Mary Morris, and wear this
disguise so that she may not suspect
me. What I require of you, Mr. Varnoe,
is to endeavor to become acquainted
with Mr. Darnley, and when intimate
with him, to, ascertain if he has made
a will, and, if possible, try to learn the
substance of it. In the meantime, I
shall make it my business to watch both
husband and wife. Him, to Bee when
the firBt symptoms of falling health
appear, and her, to try and find out the
means she employs to produce such a
" Can you and will you do what I ask
of you?" asked she appeallngly. "I
have ample means to pay you for your
services. Only do this for me, I Implore
you. If the lady Is really innocent of
any criminal act, I would have it made
manifest, for I would not do her an
injustice, much as I censure her for
leaving me during my illness, and com
ing to this country without apprising
me of her intentions."
" Miss Vallee," responded the detec
tive, 44 1 shall undertake the task you
would assign me. It is my duty to
accept everything that comes in the
Hue of my profession, and as this bor
ders on the mysterious, it will have a
peculiar charm for me in my endeavors
to penetrate and unravel It."
"Then you accept the task?" she
44 Thank you, sir. Whenever you ad
dress me in future, either in person or
by note, do not forget that I am Miss
"I shall not forget."
. "And let me know occasionally how
you are progressing," she continued.
44 1 shall see you or write to you when
ever I have anything of Importance to
communicate," he replied, and shortly
after left the house.
He was deeply Impressed with what
the young lady had told him, and
heartily sympathized with her. He did
not know Mr. Darnley either personally
or by reputation, but would endeavor
that day to learn what he could about
the gentleman, and before nightfall bad
a promise of an Introduction to him on
the following day.
He was Informed that Theodore Dam-
ley was a junior partner In a wholesale
cloth establishment, and was quite
wealthy. He had lately married a rich
widow a Mrs. Vallee.
The introduction took place next day,
and the detective found Mr. Darnley a
pleasant, social young man of about
twenty-eight, full of vitality and the
picture of health. After a few weeks'
acquaintance Varnoe remarked about
the young merchant's fine health and
44 1 presume that a man of your phy-
slque never even dreams of making his
The young man gave a perceptible
start at these words, aud while he gazed
curiously at the detective, remarked :
44 What a singular coincidence, Mr.
Varnoe I for only last night my wife
Epoke about the same thing, only she
appeared to think the reverse of what
you do. She said it was never too early
to settle up our worldly affairs, that life
was full of snares and accidents, and
one could never tell when grim death
would appear; hence it was advisable
always to have our house in order."
41 She made hers, she told me," pur
sued the young man, with a smile, "and
gave me a copy of it to read. The affec
tionate creature has in it left everything
44 Thereby proving her unselfish love
for you," observed Varnoe; but he add
ed, mentally : 44 The shrewd Miss Mar
garet Vallee is not wrong in her surmise,
for the madame is evidently bent upon
the same purpose again."
He saw into her motive. In making
her own will in favor of her husband,
she shrewdly supposed that his would
be no less generous in Its tenor.
The detective took dinner with the
Darnleys one day, and was Introduced
to the lady. He confessed to himself
that she appeared as guileless as a child,
as Miss Vallee had remarked, and her
face appeared to him the reverse of what
be had expected to see in a woman
whom he regarded as a wicked creature.
44 She must be an admirable actress, if
guilty," thought he, and may tax our
ingenuity to the utmost, if we would
prove her what her sister-in-law sus
pects." A month went by', and Varnoe, who
managed to see Mr. Darnley every day,
thought the gentleman did not look as
well as formerly, and made a remark to
that effect one day.
" Oh, I'm all right enough," respond
ed he, "though the fact is, several of my
acquaintances have of late remarked
that I did not have my usual color."
44 Perhaps you have made your will
and It has had a bad effect on you," re
marked Varnoe, In a facetious manner.
44 1 did have my will drawn up, sure
enough," rejoined Darnley, laughing,
"but I do not thing it has affected me
any, as I have not given it a moment's
thought since. I did it simply because
Mrs. Darnley seemed to consider it my
duty to do so."
Varnoe wrote a note to Miss Margaret,
requesting her to call at his office at any
hour during the day.
They met, and the young lady stated
that the "vampire" Aurelia, was at
work again. 44 1 have not yet discover
ed in what manner she operates," re
marked Margaret, with a puzzled air,
"but I caa see by his appearance the
deadly work has begun. He will meet
the fate my brother did, unless we
separate him from thlt accursed vam.
" I think we can arrange that if it
becomes necessary," rejoined Varnoe.
" I have a plan that I think will put
him on his guard."
The detective did not acquaint Mar
garet with the nature of his plan, but
wrote the following note to Darnley :
"Mb. Theodore Darnley : Of late
I have notioed that your health is appar
ently not so robust as it has been, and
this fact gives rise to a suspicion once
before entertained against Mrs. Vallee,
now vour wife. Her former husband
failed in health after they bad been mar
rien six months, and gradually sank
into his grave. After his death it was
discovered that he had left all his prop
erty to his beloved wife, Aurelia. Have
you, too, been persuaded to make a will
to that effect r If so, then I would have
you watch your wife closely. A word
to the wise, etc.
ONE WHO KNOWS."
Three days after sending this note the
detective was visited by Theodore Darn
ley, who, after being assured that they
were quite alone, made this startling
statement, after mentioning that he had
received the warning note:
" I had noticed something peculiar in
her manner at different times," said he,
"and this anonymous note has given
me the key to it. I watched her the
past two nights, and have made a start
" Last night, when she thought I was
away from home, I concealed myself in
a closet in her private apartment. She
came in after she had prepared herself
for retiring, and opened an ebony cab
inet directly opposite the closet, and I
could see all her movements through a
tiny hole I had made in the door of the
" She took a casket from the cabinet
and opened it by a concealed spring,
then took out of it a vial with a glass
stopple. Holding it before the gas jet I
could see that it contained a colorless
liquid, then she poured a few drops in a
goblet I always used when taking a glass
of wine before retiring. She had taken
it from the stand where it was usually
kept in our sleeping apartment, and
after she had thus tampered with it, she
restored It to its accustomed place.
" As soon as she left the room I hasti
ly escaped from my place of conceal
ment and also left the room, managing
to make It appear that I had just come
home when I met her in our bed-chamber.
"Before partaking of my glass of
wine, I managed to send her from the
room on a trifling errand to her own
private apartment, and during her brief
absence slipped the goblet in my coat
pocket.and replaced it by another of the
same pattern and size. That 'tampered'
article is now in the hands of a chemist
for analysis, and the vial contains pure
water, while I have its contents in an
other vial which I carry about my
" I have given her two doses of the ac
cursed stuff already," said he, a fiercer
light springing into his eyes. 44 If it is
harmless so much the better for her, but
if it is what I suspect, she shall feel its
effects as I think I have done. I shall
take my wine as before, and in her pre
sence if she so wishes, but I am deter
mined that she shall swallow the whole
of that poison if she lives long enough
to do so."
The detective was horrified, and en
deavored to make him forego his terrible
revenge, but the resolute man laughed
scornfully as he said :
44 Had I not made the discovery she
would have killed me by inches, and no
one would have been the wiser. No, Mr.
Varnoe, do not try do dissuade me. I
am actuated by a noble motive to save
my own life and to avenge her first
Varnoe would say no more. Morally,
the man was justified in retaliating as be
did, but after Darnley had left him, he
decided that it would not be justifiable
on bis part to allow this enraged man to
take the law in his own bands in such a
summary manner, and he resolved to
prevent him from carrying out his
But what was his astonishment the
next day when taking np the morning
paper, he saw the announcement that
Mrs. Aurelia Darnley, wife of Theodore
Darnley, Esq., had suddenly died after
partaking of a glass of wine. The out
raged husband must have given her suf
ficient in the last glass of wine to have
closed her guilty career.
He confided to the detective, after his
recreant wife was under the sod, that
the chemist had analyzed the few drops
of the liquid in the goblet. They had,
of course, dried but that did not matter.
He attained, his object and discovered
that it was the subtle poison known to
a few as agua Toffana, a poison suppos
ed to have been used by the Borgia.
It left no traces of its leadly work, and
defied detection when once admitted in
to the system.
With the consent of Varnoe, Margaret
Vallee acknowledged herself as having
given the Information causing the send
ing of the anonymous note, and then
related to Mr. Darnley how her brother
had been served by the iniquitous creat
ure. When attired as befitted her age, Misa
Vallee was a remarkably handsome
young woman, and in due course of time
Darnley proposed for her band and was
accepted, and after a suitable period bad
passed they were united, and the doubly
orphaned girl had fonnd a mate who
made her lonely life so happy that she
never regretted having acted aa ' TUB