A knock on the door, and an employee of the office entered.
“Mr. Damsel, the entire road has been carefully searched, and no trace of the clothing can be found.”
“That’s bad,” said Mr. Pinkerton, “we should have found that.”
Mr. Damsel bade the employee to return to the office, and turning to Mr. Pinkerton, said:
“The case is in your hands. Do what you want, if any man can run that Cummings down, you can.”
“Well, I’ll take it. I should advise you first to have Fotheringham arrested as an accomplice. While I do not think he is one, he may be; at any rate it will lead the principals in the case to believe we are on the wrong track, but I must confess there don’t seem to be any track at all, wrong or right.”
“I will do that. I will swear out a warrant to-day against him.”
Mr. Damsel took his leave, and that night Fotheringham slept behind iron bars.
The detective and the messenger.
After Mr. Damsel had left the hotel, Mr. Pinkerton sat in deep thought. He had carefully re-read Fotheringham’s statement, but could find nothing that could be put out as a tracer; no little straw to tell which way the wind was blowing.
“Cummings, Cummings, Jim Cummings. By George, that can’t be the Jim Cummings that used to flock with the Jesse James gang. That Cummings was a gray-haired man, while this Cummings is young, about 26 years old. Besides he is a much larger than Jesse James’ Jim Cummings. That name is evidently assumed.
“This statement says he was dressed in a good suit of clothes, and wore a very flashy cravat. Furthermore, he bragged a good deal about what he would do with the money. Also that he would write a letter to the St. Louis Globe-Democrat exonerating the messenger. Well, a man who will brag like that, and wears flashy articles of neck-wear, is just the man that will talk too much, or make some bad break. If he writes that letter, he’s a goner. There will be something in it that will give me a hold. The paper, the ink, the hand-writing, the place and time it was mailed—something that will give him away,”
“I must see this messenger, and I must see him here; alone. He may be able to give me a little glimmer of light.”
To think with “Billy” Pinkerton was to act.
He pressed the annunciator button, and sitting down, wrote a short note to Mr. Damsel, requesting him to bring Fotheringham with him to his room.
The bell-boy who answered the call bore the note away with him, and in a short time, Mr. Pinkerton, looking out of his window, saw Mr. Damsel in his buggy drive up to the hotel accompanied by a young man, whom Mr. Pinkerton recognized from the description given him, as the unfortunate Fotheringham, who had evidently, as yet, not been arrested.