That same day Anderson deposited two hundred and fifty dollars to his credit in the First National Bank, saying to his wife as he walked away from the teller’s window, “I guess Rosalie cain’t starve till the bank busts, an’ maybe not then.”
Of course Tinkletown knew that a sum of money had been paid to Anderson, but no one knew that it had been handed to him in person by an interested party. Had Anderson and his wife even whispered that such a visit had occurred, the town would have gone into a convulsion of wrath; the marshal’s pedestal would have been jerked out from under him without compunction or mercy. Eva cautioned him to be more than silent on the subject for the child’s sake as well as for their own, and Anderson saw wisdom in her counselling. He even lagged in his avowed intention to unravel the mystery or die in the attempt. A sharp reminder in the shape of an item in the Banner restored his energies, and he again took up the case with a vigour that startled even himself. Anything in the shape of vigour startled his wife.
Harry Squires, the reporter, who poked more or less fun at Anderson from time to time because he had the “power of the press behind him,” some weeks later wrote the following item about the “baby mystery,” as he called it, in large type:
“There is no news in regard to the child found upon the doorstep of our esteemed fellow-citizen Anderson Crow, last February. The item concerning its discovery first appeared in the columns of the Banner, as will be remembered by our many readers. Detective Crow promised developments some time ago, but they have not showed up. It is rumoured that he has a new clew, but it cannot be substantiated. The general impression is that he does not know whether it is a boy or girl. We advise Mr. Crow to go slow. He should not forget the time when he arrested Mr. John Barnes, two years ago, for the murder of Mr. Grover, and afterward found that the young gent was merely eloping with Judge Brewster’s daughter, which was no crime. We saw the girl. Those of our readers who were alive at the time doubtless recall the excitement of that man-hunt two years ago. Mr. Barnes, as innocent as a child unborn, came to our little city engaged in the innocent pastime of getting married. At the same time it was reported that a murder had been committed in this county. Mr. Crow had his suspicions aroused and pursued Mr. Barnes down the river and arrested him. It was a fine piece of detective work. But, unfortunately for Mr. Crow, the real murderer had been caught in the meantime. Mr. Barnes was guilty only of stealing judge Brewster’s daughter and getting married to her. The last heard of them they were happy in New York. They even forgave Mr. Crow, it is reported. It is to be hoped that our clever detective will soon jump down upon the heartless parents of this innocent child, but it is also to be hoped that he think at least four times before he leaps.”
To say that the foregoing editorial disturbed the evenness of Mr. Crow’s temper would be saying nothing at all. In the privacy of his barn lot Anderson did a war dance that shamed Tecumseh. He threatened to annihilate Harry Squires “from head to foot,” for publishing the base slander.