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About The news-herald. (Plattsmouth, Neb.) 1909-1911 | View Entire Issue (July 15, 1909)
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The Methods of Josephine
By Ella MirJdleton Tybout
r -m ma i i m m
The material facts In this
story of circumstantial evidence
are drawn from an actual re
corded case, only such change
of names and local color being
made as to remove them from
the classification of legal re
ports to that of fiction. All the
essential points of evidence,
however, are retained.
HE Calf Skin club had as
sembled early for Its week
ly session and every mem
$UJ ber wa8 ,n his accustomed
noes place wlth Judge Grower
iii mo i-iiMir. wnen me
routine business was fin.
lshed the chairman rose and said:
"We now will hear from Judge
Stoakes who we trust has a story rela
tive to circumstantial evidence. Judge
Judge Stoakes, a large man of dig
nified presence, whose sliver hair
alone bespoke his 70 years, rose and
"My story Is of the troubled days
In Missouri following upon the civil
war, when factional rancor still ran
high and the conqueror and tho con
quered lived together In outward
amity but with secret suspicion. I
had Just hung up my shingle In a
little town in the southern part of
' the state which had been the hot-bed
of factional warfare, now captured
by Lyon, now held by Price, and re
peatedly preyed upon by the roving
bands of Irregulars of either side.
Among the most noted leaders of these
latter was Col. Jim Farrar. Among
the northern sympathizers he was
classed with Quartrell and the Youn
gers, but. when the struggle was over
he settled down quietly In the little
town of Chester, and his tall form,
his flowing moustaches, his campaign
hat and long coat became him as the
costume did many another warrior of
the lost cause.
"Col. Farrar's household consisted
of but one daughter, 17 years of age,
and of that rare type of beauty which
so often crops out In an advonturous
and warlike stock. Her name was
Luclle and she soon set the heart of
every young man in a flame. I ray
self fell at the first glance, and as I
look back down the long stretch of
years I can se9 the black hair, the
rosy lips and the flashing eyes of Lu
clle Farrar as I watched her In sllont
-adoration In the meeting house, upon
the street or flying along on her pony
which seemed as full of life and
spirits as Its fair rider.
"It was silent adoration upon the
part of us all, for never a glance did
the fair Luclle have for any of U9.
Itut when Melvln Leasure came to
Chester It was different. Something
In her woman's heart must have
drawn her toward him, for all the In
difference and all the scorn were
gone and they gave themselves up
willingly to a love that quickly ran the
gamut from passing Interest to pas
"The very mention of a suitor for
his daughter's hand was sufflcleiit to
fiend Col. Farrar Into a ra?e terrible
to witness. He noted the growing
Intimacy of Luclle and Lessure with
jealous anger. But he could not watch
her always, and many a time when he
was away looking after the Interests
of his extensive plantation near the
town we less fortunate youths saw
Lessure starting on long walks with
the fair Lucli:?.
"Melvln Lessure Inherited all the
flrey Impulsiveness of a long line of
French ancestry ai.1 was not the
youth to brook long this uncertain
entente of his lovemaklr,?. Ho had a
big plantation several Uk'les from
Chester and had moved Into town for
the social advantages that looked
large to us then. He was amply able
to support matrimony in a stylo cjual
to the best In tho community. He
was handsome, studious and courtly
In his manners and seemed to be
eligible from any point of view. The
local Madame Grundy could And no
- reason why Melvln Lessure and Luclle
Farrar were not a perfectly matched
"nut the rock on which their happi
ness seemed destined to break was
, that of factional rancor. Col. Farrar
was of the south unreconstructed and
unreconstructable. Gaspard Lessure,
Melvln's father, had cast his lot with
the north and had died at his own
doorway defending his property
against the enemies of his adopted
"Melvln Lessure was no match for
Col. Jim in brawn or bluster, but he
hesitated not to go to him with his
suit, and the storm he provoked I give
you as It was later reconstructed
through the searchlngs of the law.
"'Never, by the Almighty, never!'
roared the colonel. 'Before I would
see my daughter married to one of the
accursed assassins of my country !
would slay her with my own hands.
Get out of my sight and never dare
to raise your eyes to a daughter of
the Farrar i.'
"Melvln Lessure stood with white
face, clenched hands and gritted teeth
while Luclle threw herself at her
father's feet and weeplngly begged
and Implored him to mitigate the
harsh sentence. But he cast her
rudely from him with a curse, and,
turning to Lessure with murder in his
"'You dog! You want my daugh
teryou! Why, I shot your father
down In cold blood because he differed
with me politically. Do you think
I'll do less for you for trying to rob
me of my daughter?'
" 'So It was you who killed my
father,' , returned Lessure In a voice
beneath the quiet of which lay the
tense fixedness of a stern, unbending
resolve. 'Then, Col. Farrar, I tell you
that I will have your daughter and I
will avenge my father. Are you mine
till death, Luclle?'
" 'I am yours till death,' said the
girl as she went over and placed her
arm proudly about his neck.
"Very little was seen of Lessure
In town after that and It was whis
pered that he was Btaylng out on lis
farm and keeping out of the Irate
"About two weeks after his unsuc
cessful Interview with Farrar, which
was noised abroad as such things
are lu a small town, Luqii" Farrar
disappeared, and the tongiJb?gan to
wag in earnest. When VSi a week
she had not turned up the towns peo
ple, who had little love for Farrar at
best, were ready to believe auythlng.
His threat against his daughter was
known and the bolder ones did not
hesitate to whisper that he had put
It Into execution. These hints took
form by degrees and at last a witness
came forward who told of passing the
colonel's house, situated on the edge
of town, late at night, and of hearing
low moans and pleadings.
"At last suspicion took such fierce
root that the sheriff headed an in
vestigating party. Col. Jim was away
and they had free run of the prem
ises. "The search led to a cave In the
side of tho hill, once used as a cellar
but long since abandoned. There
they found torn pieces of a dress, a
bloody hatchet and some tangled locks
of black hair drenched with blood.
The dress and the hair were easily
Identified as belonging to Luclle Far
rar, the hatchet as the property of
"When charged with the crime his
knees tottered and he nearly fainted.
He made no direct denial but moaned
and cried like a child. During the
trial that followed he seemed stunned
and oblivious to what was going on.
"I will admit that the courts of
to-day would be loath to accept so
Inadequate a corpus delicti, but our
blood was hot In thoso times and It
seems to me we hanged more than
we do now. Service was had on Les
sure and he testified to the facts of the
quarrel and the threat. Upon this
evidence and the prisoner's failure to
deny they found their verdict of guilty
and fixed upon the death penalty.
"As the day of execution approach
ed Col. Farrar continued In a . state
of almost total insensibility. But
when the sheriff came to read the
death warrant he roused and raising
his hand to heaven, said:
"'Beforo my maker I swear that 1
am guiltless of my child's death.'
"They led him to the scaffold and
on the way he passed Melvln Lessure
who was watching tho scene like a
bird fascinated by a snake. Col. Far
rar requested the sheriff to stop, ad
extending hi3 hald to Lessure ex
claimed: 'Young man, I have wronged
you and I have no wU to leave this
earth with the 111 will of any man.
I ask your forgiven ss fw standing
between you und my poor child and
for the death of your father which I
believed to be in tho line of duty to
ward my country.'
"Lessure trembled violently but did
not reply or raiso his eyes. The
march to the scaffold continued. A
deputy was forced to support the tot
tering form of Farrar while the sheriff
adjusted tho black cap. Then the
sheriff stepped back and all was In
readiness for the fatal word when
Lessure sprang forward and cried in
an agonized voice:
"'Stop! I alone am guilty I
"The ofllcers of the law called him
forward and demanded an explanation.
He declared that Luclle was not dead
but thnt they had run oft and been
married and his wife was then living
In concealment in St. Louis, for fear
of the wrath of her father and until
he could settle up his affairs and
Join her. But he had not divulged to
BOTH STRENGTH AND BEAUTY
Proper Respiration Adds to Each, But
It Too Little Under
stood.j There will be fewer flat-chested wo
men and much less nervous prostra
tion when proper attention Is giving
to breathing. Bays an exchange. As
DclsarU has said, there should be
"strength at the renter, freedom at
the surface," and this freedom" is but
acquired by learning to use one's
lungs at will. By developing and en
larging them the thoracic cavity is In
creased, and upon the degree of this
power depends expansion.
In order to control one's nerves one
must learn to command one's Involun
tary muscles, which are diaphragm,
the heart and the Intestines. Hy
breathing deeply and controlling one's
breath and so increasing one's lung
capacity, the heart action Is stimulat
ed, and this supplies tho nerve centers
with fresh blood, and tho nerves act
upon tho muscles and the brain upon
the nerves aud muscles.
f In order not to have any waste ot
nerve force, the chest should be keat
her a plan which had formed In his
brain to revenge himself upon her
father both for his insulting words
and for the death of his own parent
He had cut off a portion of her hair
while she slept and dipped It In the
blood of a lamb. He had also sprink
led blood over pieces of her dress.
The hatchet was easily procured.
These he had placed In the cave dur
ing one of Col. Farrar's numerous ab
sences from the house and there also
he had hlmsolf emitted the moans
which had been heard. He would
have carried his hellish plot through
to the end but that the colonel's plea
for forgiveness at tho gallows un
"This confession was made partly
nt the place of execution and partly
afterward in the Jail. As soon as It
became clear that Lessure had an im
portant statement to make the sheriff
turned to the colonel to take the In
signia of death from his head. Far
rar, unobserved by all who were in
tent upon the words of Lessure, ha4
sunk into a sitting posture. The
sheriff stepped up to him and raised
the black cap. He was dead.
"Lessure was Immediately placed
under arrest. He blew hla brains out
In his cell that night with a pistol
procured, no one knew how. Luclle
went mad on hearing of the tragedy,
and was confined some time In an
asylum. She recovered and ended hot
days in a convent.
"That, gentlemen, Is my story."
There was a Btirring of chairs and
a general lighting of pipes which had
been allowed to go out In the rapt
attention that prevailed while Judge,
Stoakes was speaking, when Judge
Grower arose and said:
"I believe I voice the sentiments of
the club In extending thanks to Judge
(Copyright. 1909. by Josoph 11. Bowles.
actlvo by deep Inhalations, thus loos
ening the tension of unemployed mem
bers. The persistent and regular prac
tice of a breathing exercise will not
only do this, but will give poise and
The movements of respiration stand
In a double relation to the nervous
system, being required to Introduce
oxygen into the blood, which takes up
the oxygen, and freeing Itself of the
carbonic acid it contains, the latter
thus acts as a powerful stimulus to
the lung nerves.
One should remember to avoid collar-bone
breathing, to cultivate the
raised and actlvo chest, and to gain
control of the diaphragm In order to
have complete mastery of breathing
It Is not necessary to take a long,
tiresome trip to somo far away place
In order to be taught to care for
oneself, for nature will come to one's
aid with joyful alacrity in ono spot as
well as another.
But knowledge Is not the only thing
required. It Is Its application that
counts, and this means steadfast U
(Copyright, by J.
I think I can truthfully say that the
first time Josephine awakened any
real Interest In my heart was when I
discovered she was In love.
One afternoon she returned with the
usuul bunch of violets and a most un
usual expression. The instant I saw
her I knew a crisis was at hand, and
rose to the occasion as a cork rises
to the surface of tho water lightly,
buoyantly, yet determinedly.
Josephine went nt once to her room
and closed the door with decision. I
hovered on the stairway, palpitating
with uncertainty, and the affectionate
solicitude which Is so far removed
from mero vulgar curiosity. Finally,
mustering all my resolution, I turned
the knob of the door and entered with
julte a Jaunty air, carelessly hum
ming a tune.
Josephine lay face downward on the
bed, the violets crushed and broken,
nd the heels of her patent lent her
shoes sticking pathetically outward.
Ahoklng, gasping sound revealed
'.hut she was crying Into the counter
pane. Gently murmuring an endear
ing epithet, I laid my hand upon her
"Oh, Aunt Gertrude!" sobbed Jose
phine, "Aunt Gertrude!"
"Poor child," I returned, responsive
ly, "1 understand I understand."
"0, no, you don't," she Interrupted,
ungratefully. "You you can't."
' "Josephine," I said, kindly but flruy
"y, "you are engaged to be married
and to a man."
It was evident she was astonished
at my perspicuity, for she raised her
head as though listening and nodded
"Furthermore," I continued, fellow
"You Go and Explain Things."
ing up my advantage and speuklng
with conviction, "you are unhappy."
Down went her head again, and the
sniffling Into the counterpane recom
menced. "Dear," I whispered with unalloyed
sweetness, "Is ho worthy of these
"Do you love him," I continued,
"deeply, truly, everlastingly?"
Josephine sat upright and pushed
the hair out of her eyes.
"Oh, Aunt Gertrude," she gasped,
"It Isn't him it's them."
"Them?" I hazarded, faintly.
"Yes," said my niece with tho calm
ness of despair, "that's the trouble.
I'm engaged all right but there's two
"Tell mo about It," . I suggested,
chiefly because I felt something was
expected of me.
"Yes," she agreed quickly, "I might
Just as well. I've got to tell some
body." "I Ignored tho last clause nnd com
posed myself to listen. Her story was
Being unable to withstand the fas
cination to two callow youths, and
finding It Impossible to preserve the
peace between them, Josephine had
formulated the scheme of taking them
on alternate days, like two varieties
of pills, as it were. She remarked
casually that she had stopped their
visits to the house, as she disliked to
see them glare at each other, and,
moreover, her evenings were thus left
free for others. She did not explain
this, however, but Insinuated parental
opposition and dally persecution of
herself, borne with angelic sweetness.
Gently, but decidedly, I laid the
facts of the case before my niece. I
told her that, as she could marry but
one man, it was manifestly improper
to be engaged to two.
"You must now," I continued ig
noring her remark, because I could
not help comprehending that such a
situation might be agreeable, albeit
sinful "you must now, dear child,
make your selection. Which of your
suitors do you love the better?".
"Yes," said Josephine miserably,
"It's up to me to choose, and I've
"Let your heart guide you," I ad
"That's Just what I tried to do," re
turned Josephine, confusedly, "but the
old thing wouldn't work. So I tossed
up a ponny heads for Ned and tails
for Harry. It came down tails."
"And," she continued, quietly, "I'm
going to elope with him tonight."
"Tonight!" 1 cjnculuted, aghast.
"Yes, to-night. And, oh, Aunt Ger
trude, I don't want to ono bit. It's
not Harry, after all It's Ned. Just
as soon us the penny came down tails
up I knew it was Ned I wanted, but 1
U. Llpptnrutt Co)
was afraid to toss again, because then
If I got Ned I might want Harry
don't you see?"
I did not see. in fact, such vacilla
tion wns quite Incomprehensible tc
my well balanced mind, but I was
obliged to devote my energies to
soothing Josephine, who again turned
her face to the counterpane and wept
"And he's waiting on the corner by
Trinity church," she sobbed; "ho said
he'd wait till I came. And It's rain
Ing. And he has a cold. And 1 slm
ply can t go marry him. And he's
bought the ring. And I think Harry's
such a hideous name. And he'll wait
till I come, nnd and "
Josephine suddenly sat upright and
grasped my hand.
"You go," she said, "you go, and.
It Is needless to recount the argu
ment thnt followed. Enough to say
that I finally agreed to go and tell
the man waiting to marry my niece
that, after all, she preferred some one
Josephine produced a long, light
cloak and wrapped mo In it; she also
adorned me with a large hnt loaded
with plumes; because, she explained,
Harry would be looking for just that
costume. Over the hat and face 6he
tied a thick veil, remarking that no
one could possibly tell who was In
side It, and perhaps Harry would
marry me In spite of myself, as he
was very Impatient. Then she gig
Secure In the consciousness of my,
rectitude, I compressed my lips and
drew on my rubbers.
It was not a pleasant evening. A
fine, sleety rain fell steadily, turning
the pavements Into shining sheets of
glass, over which I shuffled carefully.
Trinity church Is situated on a side
street entirely off the main thorough
fare, where It is very quiet and se
cluded. I paused as I reached the
corner and laid my hand on my bosom,
a little to the left of the breast bone,
as described in physiologes when fa
ceting the heart. Its throbbing was
Summoning all my fortitude, t
looked in the direction of the church
There, beside the lamppost, stood a.
manly form, and drawn conveniently
close to the curbing was a herdlc cab
Suddenly an arm appeared about my
waist, a face was pressed close tc
mine, and I distinctly felt the pricking
of a mustache. I blushed beneath
the veil and was glad the street hap
pened ta bo dark and quiet.
I found myself gently but forcibly
propelled towards the cab, the door
of which stood invitingly open. Twtc
I strove to articulate, but both time)
my voice failed me.
"I'm going on the box with the
cabby," he continued, cheerfully, "to
make sure he gets the right place. It
won't do to have any mistake, you
know. Now, then, In you go." '
And I found myself picked up bodll
and deposited in the cab. The doot
slammed and we were off.
I was eloping.
My first Impulse was to Bcream, but
this I resisted firmly; my second, tc
draw the laprobe closer about me, and
to this I yielded nnd resigned myscll
to the Inevitable.
The cab stopped abruptly and th
cab door was flung eagerly open.
Strange undulations traveled up anc
down my spine.
We wero In the chapel by this time,
and the clergyman In his robes was
waiting for us with two witnesses
everything very proper and legal. At
I could not trust my voice I began
to fumble with my veil; at least '.
could uncover my face.
"Let me help you," he said, geutly
nnd untied the knot. :
I turned and faced him, and for i
moment we stared at earh other at
"The devil!" he exclaimed, very
rudely, I thought.
I made a gigantic effort to speak.
"My dear young friend," 1 said in a
voice which sounded weak and au
tomatic to my own ears, "I fear mj
presence may be somewhat of a dls
appointment as well as a sur
But I got no further, for he turned
helplessly to the clergyman as though
"Take her away," he gasped. "there 9
some mistake. Let me out of this!"
But the minister lifted his hand
"There seems to be some strange
misapprehension," he said, sternly;
"let us get to tho bottom of this mat
ter at once. Did you expect to marry
this gentleman, madam? Pray ex
plain." And I explained as well as I could.
When I reached home a long time
after, for the distance was great and
the street cars Blow I found my
wrapper and Blippers laid out in my
room and Josephine hovering anxious
iv about tho window watching for me.
I told her the whole story, and she
laughed In a way I thought ungrateful
"Josephine," I said solemnly, "I
Bhall never recover from this night's
experience. I hope you will always
remember all I have done for you."
"Oh, well," returned Josephine care
lessly, "of course it was awfully good
of you, but do you know, Aunt Ger
trude, I think you bungled the thing