I am glad to have him off my hands for six months; and when he falls under them next time, seriously, I will dispose of him.
It will be remembered that Greer was a somewhat ambiguous character, about whom and whose movements some suspicions were at times afloat; but these did not much disturb him or interrupt his pleasant relations with the pleasant part of the world.
He was at Jefferson during the first term of the Court while Bart was there, and it so happened that there was a prosecution pending against a party for passing counterfeit money; who finally gave bail and never returned to take his trial; but nobody connected Greer with that matter. He was also there after Bart was admitted, and had an interview with the young lawyer, professionally, which was followed by some consequences to both, hereafter to be mentioned.
Just before this last visit, a man by the name of Myers—Dr. Myers—a young man of fine address and of fair position, was arrested in Geauga for stealing a pair of valuable horses. The arrest created great astonishment, which was increased when it was known that in default of the heavy bail demanded he had been committed to the jail at Chardon. This was followed by the rumor of his confession, in which it was said that he implicated Jim Brown, of Akron, and various parties in other places, and also Greer, and, as some said, Bart Ridgeley, all of whom belonged to an association, many members of which had been arrested. The rumors produced much excitement everywhere, and especially in the south part of Geauga; and the impression was deepened and confirmed by an article in the Geauga Gazette, issued soon after Myers was committed. With staring head-lines and exclamation points, it stated that Dr. Myers, since his imprisonment, had made a full confession, which it gave in substance, as above. Bart was referred to as a young law student at Jefferson, and a resident of the south part of the county, who, as was said, had escaped, and it was supposed that he had gone East, where the officers had gone in pursuit. Most of the others had been arrested.
Mrs. Ridgeley had caught something of the first rumor in her far off quiet home; but nobody had told her of Barton’s connection with it, nor did her neighbors seem inclined to talk with her about the general subject. As usual, one of the boys went to the Post Office on the day of the arrival of the Chardon paper; and brought in not only that journal, but the rumor in reference to Barton. His mother read and took it all in, and was standing in blank amazement and indignation, when Julia came flashing in, and found her still mutely staring at the article.
“Oh, Mrs. Ridgeley! Mrs. Ridgeley!” exclaimed the aroused girl, seizing her hands; “it is all false—every word of it—about Barton! Every single word is a lie!”