At no time did the pursuers come within two days of them. This was owing to the fact that they traveled by night as well as day. At the last-mentioned point messages were exchanged with the express company with little loss of time. Banks had asked that certain points on the railway be watched in the hope of capture while crossing the country, but the effort was barren of results. In following the trail the marshal had recrossed the continuation of the first range of mountains which they had crossed to the west ten days before, or the morning after the robbery, three hundred miles southward. There was nothing difficult in the passage of this range of mountains, and now before them stretched the endless prairie to the eastward. Here Banks seriously felt the loss of his dogs. This was a country that they could be used in to good advantage. It would then be a question of endurance of men and horses. As it was, he could work only by day. Two lines of railway were yet to be crossed if the band held its course. The same tactics were resorted to as formerly, yet this vigilance and precaution availed nothing, as Peg-Leg crossed them carefully between two of the watched places. Owing to his occupation, he knew the country better by night than day.
Banks was met by the officials of the express company on one of these lines of railroad. The exhaustive amount of information that they had been able to collect regarding this interesting man with the wooden leg was astonishing. From out of the abundance of the data there were a few items that were of interest to the officer. Several of Eldridge’s haunts when not actively engaged in his profession were located. In one of these haunts was a woman, and toward this one he was heading, though it was many a weary mile distant.
At the marshal’s request the express people had brought bloodhounds with them. The dogs proved worthless, and the second day were abandoned. When the trail crossed the Gulf Railway the robbers were three days ahead. The posse had now been fourteen days on the trail. Banks followed them one day farther, himself alone, leaving his tired companions at a station near the line of the Panhandle of Texas. This extra day’s ride was to satisfy himself that the robbers were making for one of their haunts. They kept, as he expected, down between the two Canadians.
After following the trail until he was thoroughly satisfied of their destination, the marshal retraced his steps and rejoined his posse. The first train carried him and the posse back to the headquarters of the express company.