The New Bloomfield, Pa. times. (New Bloomfield, Pa.) 1877-188?, February 01, 1881, Image 1
rsvl l 1 If Vv ivt If,. I f f'lMP- .-www--1 , ' t- ' T VOL XV. NEW BLOOMPIELD, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 1881. NO. 5. THE TIMES. in Independent Family Newspaper, It FDBUBHID ITBRT TCSBOAT BY F. MORTIMER & CO. TERMS t INVARIABLY IN ADVANCE. 1.30 PEU THAU, POSTAGE 1'HEE. 80 CT9. FOIl IffONTHS. To subsnrlbei-s raiding In this countt, where weJiate no postage to pay. a discount of J5 cents from Hie above terms will be made If payment Is made in aa ranee. Adrertlslng rates furnished upon appllca tlon. 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, "Margaret Vallee." 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 age. "Is your mistress in ?" he asked of the servant. " 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 see, sir. "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 attention." " 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 his bride. " 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 say indignantly. " 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 exclaimed : " ' 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 Mr. Pettit. 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 sponded Eugene. " 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 health. "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 der briefly. " 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 casket. " 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 only siBter. 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 her favor. . 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 result. " 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 asked. "I do." 44 Thank you, sir. Whenever you ad dress me in future, either in person or by note, do not forget that I am Miss Mary Morris." "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 observed : 44 1 presume that a man of your phy- slque never even dreams of making his will." 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 to me." 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. pire." " 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 ling discovery.' " 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 closet. " 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 person. " 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 victim." 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 purpose. 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 Disguised Servant."