Mr. Pinkerton, in a brown study, tapping the table with his fingers, sat for some moments. Rising abruptly, he placed his hat on his head, and requesting Mr. Damsel to follow, left the room. In a short time he was in the Union Depot, and stepping up to the clerk of the parcel-room, asked for a package which had been left there October 25th, marked “J. M.,” stating that he had lost his ticket. After some search, the clerk brought forward a parcel tied in a newspaper.
“This is marked J. M., and was left here October 25th.”
“That is the one,” said Mr. Pinkerton, and paying the charges, hastened back to the hotel,
In spite of his habitual calmness and sang froid, Mr. Pinkerton’s hand trembled as he cut the string. As the paper was unwrapped, both men gave an exclamation of surprise and joy, for disclosed to view was a revolver, a billy, some shirts and papers.
“At last,” cried Mr. Pinkerton, and he eagerly scanned the various articles. The revolver was an ordinary, self-cocking Smith & Wesson. The billy was the sort called “life-preservers.” The Adams Express letter-heads were covered with the names “J. B. Barrett” and “W. H. Damsel.” Mr. Pinkerton passed these to his companions.
“They are pretty fair forgeries. Hang me, if it don’t look as though I had written that name myself.”
The detective, all this time, was scrutinizing each article, hoping to find something new.
With the papers he took out a printed ballad-sheet of the kind sold on the streets by newsboys and fakirs. Turning it over, he saw something written on it, and looking closely, read, “——, Chestnut street,”
The handwriting was the same as the handwriting of the letter. The first clew had been found.