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About Omaha daily bee. (Omaha [Neb.]) 187?-1922 | View Entire Issue (July 27, 1913)
3 SEMI-MONTHLY MAGAZINE
CORNERING MR. COBB
Continued fmm 'age )
you think you have u right to roar
about .Mr. Cobb well, roar!"
"Coinu, come, my dear." I protested.
'"Pry to be polite oven if wo tlou't
agree about Mr. Cobb. Even an uncle
is entitled to Homo of tho elementary
"Oh, I hate to have him Insulted!"
sho exclaimed, a shade apologetically.
"You are all against him, and it is
so aggravating to know what you are
going to say before you have said It."
"I nm not so sure you do," I re
torted. "I may bo middle-aged and
commonplace, but I 'm not quite a
parrot. Any way, my dear, when one
loves people ono is entitled to be a
"Oil, you are not that, Uncle Hart
ley!" she said relontlngly. "I 've been
horrid and rude, and I beg your
pardon. Hut both you and Mumsey
are both so prejudlred against poor
"I like poor Mr. Cobb well enough,
and I think he is a very presentable
young man; but If he Insists on being
a young man of niystory, whose fault
is It that wo distrust him?"
' You think I 'm an awful little
fool, don't you?" she remarked, with
the llrst glimmer of a smile.
"No," I answered, "you nro simply
young young and trustful, as a nice
girl ought to be. Hut that Is all the
more reason to listen to the watch
dog's honest bark."
"I 'm listening," she said.
"DAHK number one," I continued:
- "Tell Mr. Cobb you have a hor
rid, disagrccablo old uncle who makes
your life a burden to you with ques
tions you can not answer. Tell him
you are at your wit's end to sat
isfy this old ogre. Then If ho Is
"Of courso he is straight," she In
terrupted, with another little Hare of
resentment. "Mr. Cobb is a gentle
man through and through, and "
"And what?" I asked, as alio hesi
tated and stopped.
"Ho has his own reasons very
good reasons for hiding his real
name, nnd "
"Good heavens," I cried out. "You
mean to say he is n't nnmed Cobb
"No," sho replied. "It Is all part
of a very strange and romantic secret.
You see, ho Is liable to bo arrested
at any moment!"
My look of consternation was more
effective- than all my previous re
proaches. "I promised never to tell a soul,"
she hurried on, ns though apprehend
ing some outburst on my part, and
feverishly eager to forestall it. "But
of course that meant Mumsey, who
could n't bo expected to understand,
or or make allowances. 1 can't have
you think he Is a criminal, Uncle
Hartley, or anything of that sort.
He 'a a gun-runner."
"A what?" I demanded.
"That's what they call people who
run guns across the Mexican border
to the rebels," sho explained sweetly.
"It Is terribly dangerous, but very,
very profitable, and he was making
lota of money till finally the Federal
authorities at Kl Paso got after him
and Issued a warrant for his arrest.
Ills real name Is Marlon Joyce Car
lisle but he changed It to Montgom
ery .1. Cobb for his Initials on his
things to keep them the same, you
know. If he were arrested he would
get Into the most frightful trouble,
though he says In a year or two It
will all blow over. Hut in tho mean
time, of course, he Is in a very false
position he realizes that keenly."
"He certainly couldn't be In a
worse," I said, as crossly as I felt.
Hut if there Is a word of truth In
ibis egregious story, why doesn't he
gi-t away to Canada where he would
"He would rather stay here," she
replied. In some confusion. "Nearer
to me and all that, you know."
"Oh," I murmured. "So that's
why he slays, Is it?"
"Yes, that h why he stays," said
Viola, as if pleased at last to llnd
Komethlng we could agree on.
"Hut tell me, what was he before
he took up this highly spectacular,
moving-picture occupation?" I in
quired. "He can't have spent his
whole life in gun-running. What was
he before he gun-ran?"
The tinge In Viola's cheeks turned
"I I don't know," she replied.
"He's always been rather reticent
about himself, and n-naturally I never
liked to p-p-press him."
"Viola," I oxclalmed, "you must
drop this man like a red-hot potato
drop him quicker than scat."
"I can't," she murmured. "Or
rather I mean I won't. I may as well
confess that we are engaged."
"Engaged!" I cried out, aghast.
"Engaged to a man with an allaB, no
nntecedentB, and escaping from the
"Yes," she returned somewhat
tremblingly, "and If you bother or
harass him or draw Mumsey into
any fuss about him I warn you It will
be a very Bhort engagement. Other
wise we intend to wait until tho hue
and cry Is over until the rebels
become federnls, and all danger Is
I rose and took my hat and cane.
"You nro twenty-live years old and
legally entitled to go to the devil,"
I said. "Only If I were you I would
make a little surer that this gentle
man Is n't married already. It
would n't bo very pleasant if lie were,
With that parting shot 1 left, after
a peck at a very averted cheek.
I doubt If there is a more detestable
position In the world than being re
lated closely related to a young
womau who Is making an Idiot of
herself. One feels so responsible and
so helpless; sho is too big to spank
and too unreasonable to argue with;
legally she is a woman, and in reality
a child. It is no pleasure, either, to
become tho cruel undo of romance;
to realize that one Is regarded as a
horrid old busybody who has no un
derstanding of youth and love.
Of course, if my sister had been a
different sort of woman, I would have
regarded all this as much more her
affair than mine. Hut Kitty Is one
of thoso Impossible people who Hy
off the tangent at anything like a
crisis, and meet It by creating an
other with unlimited tears, hyster
ics and heart failure.
HP HE next morning I decided to con
1 suit a private detective I knew,
named Bloomer. We had once em
ployed him to stop a series of petty
thefts in our warehouse, and he had
nailed the culprits In thirty-six hours.
So after telephoning for an appoint
ment I went along to Bloomer's and
unfolded my tale of woo in a dingy
office overlooking Broadway. Bloomer
was a grizzled, bovine personage, re
motely policemanllke and Irish, with
smouldering eyes and a cowing man
ner. He listened with hard-breathing
patience; took notes In a large,
greasy book and asked a number of
very searching questions.
"The fellow 's a crook," ho said at
last, In his booming voice. "Tho Idea
Is to get the goods on him and run
him out scare him out. Hey, Is
I said It was. Yes, that was It ex
actly. "It can be done slow or fast," he
went on. "Slow 's cheap and fast 's
dear which is it to be?"
"1 want results," I said, "and the
quicker the better. Money is no ob
ject if you can get results."
"I '11 get them," he declared with
a robust assurance that shook the
office, "nut understand. It means a
lot or telegraphing, a lot of oiling
of police ropes, a lot of money thing
away here, there and everywhere.
Detective work is just like fishing,
Mr. Williams the bigger your net
the surer you are of lauding your
fish, and the cost Is in proportion."
"Go ahead," 1 said. "Show me re
sults and 1 don't care what 1 pay."
A shade of misgiving suddenly ap
peared on those bovine features.
"Of course I don't guarantee he 's
a crook," he remarked. "If he ain't
a crook, he ain't, and there 's no
more to be said. But 1 take it, it's
his record you're wanting, even If
It 's clean."
"Precisely," I agreed.
"Where will you bo by five o'clock,"
he asked, reaching for some telegraph
forms. "I think I ought to be able
to report something by five."
"At my club," I returned, giving
him the telephone number. "I shall
make a point of being there from
He had already noted my hotel and
business address, and now verified
them again with an air of concluding
the Interview. He escorted mo to the
door, massively and ceremoniously,
and a party of chattering girls, de
scending from a theatrical agency
above, were very much impressed by
the sight. I stopped In the street and
looked up at tho dusty windows
where within the web was being
stretched for Cobb. I glowed with
satisfaction; I felt that the wires
were already humming; best of all,
it was my affair no longer, but
He rang nie up a little after five.
"I 'vo got some queer news for you,"
he said. "There ain't any such party
known at El Paso, nor is there any
warrant out for him !"
"No?" I exclaimed.
"Whatever our party is running
away from it certainly ain't from a
Federal warrant," ho continued.
"There ain't a warrant, Federal, state
or local out for anybody for smug
gling arms, d 'ye understand? Hey,
have you got that?"
I replied that I had.
"It looks like a blind," went on
Bloomer In his vibrating voice.
"Nearly all crooks have blinds to
throw off the police. Meantime, of
course, I have been trying to place
the Walton our party mentioned
the town he gave on the hotel regis
tor, both here and down South. Well,
and what do you think?"
t murmured my Inability to do
anything of the kind.
"I have covered all the Waltons
In the United States and Canada, and
our party, either as Cobb or Carlisle,
or Marlon, Montgomery or Joyce
ain't to be found or recognized In any
"Perhaps my description of him
was n't good enough," I said, sud
denly troubled that the fault might
be mine. "I am afraid it would have
been better If you had seen him your
self." TDLOOMEIt burst out laughing.
- "I guess we know pretty well
what he looks like after shaderlng
him all day," he exclaimed. "Why,
you were n't gone ten minutes before
I had him under observation, with
one of my best men reporting prog
ress every hour. And here's nnother
mighty queer thing, Mr. Williams."
"It ain't gui3 he's interested in
"Yes, sir, furs!" We trailed him to
Efforts & Co., furriers, to W. H. Hall
& Co., furriers, to Paplllon Freres,
furriers. At the last place ho stayed
a long time and then took one of the
salesmen out to lunch and spent nine
dollars and forty-five cents on him at
Martanne's. Afterward, he strolled
along Fifth Avenue and ncross
Thirty-fourth Street to the depart
ment stores, stopping at every win
dow where there were furs."
1 expressed my astonishment,
though not as emphatically perhaps
as Bloomer seemed to desire.
"Hut this Is all negative," I said.
"We are still as much In the dark as
over, are n't we?"
Bloomer laughed confidently.
"Listen," he boomed, with 'a Jubi
lant note in his voice that dispelled
my latent suspicion. "I was wonder
ing about these here furs, and seeing
no daylight anywhere when ker
plunk, I got another line on our party
that put him right under the search
light. I can't be absolutely positive
till Chicago rings me up In twenty
minutes, but it 's dollars to dough
nuts, Mr. Williams, that we've landed
our man. He's Harold Spindler,
twenty-eight, married, formerly as
sistant cashier of the Grangers' and
Drovers' Bank, now a fugitive from
Justice, and wanted for forgery and
embezzlement. There is a thousand
dollars reward for his apprehension,
and as soon as we get in touch with
the officers who think they have
tracked him to Duluth, they'll be
sent on here to arrest and extradite
This was thrilling. I had a sudden
strangling feeling in my throat. We
always think of crime as something
inconceivably remote from our com
monplace, everyday life, and when
it brushes against us, concretely and
individually, wo arc stunned.
"There 's Chicago calling now on
my other wire," exclaimed Bloomer
suddenly. "Hey, hang up a moment
I '11 ring you up again aB soon as
they arc done."
A FEW minutes later, as I waited
nervously beside tho switchboard
operator, I was called again Into the
booth. It was Bloomer, resounding
"He 's our party all right," he an
nounced. "He's Harold Spindler for
sure, and the officers will be here' to
morrow with tho warrant, requisi
tion papers and fingerprints! Good
work, hey? No time wasted, hey?
Cobb 's a smart boy, but I guess he 's
cornered this time, Mr. Williams."
I had hardly breath enough to ask
him to keep the affair out of the
"Sure, it will be kept out of the
papers," said Bloomer. "The young
lady's name has to be protected; I
"Where is he now?" I asked.
"Where 's Cobb now?"
"Up at your sister's apartment,"
said Bloomer, answering my question
with a certain uneasiness. "But don't
you disturb him, Mr. Williams; keep
away fiom him, please; he'll run at
the fall of a hat, and then where
would we be?"
I murmured noncommittally that I
would be very careful. It was begin
ning to dawn on me that Bloomer and
I were at cross purposes as to Cobb's
final fate. I had no wish whatever to
have the fellow arrested, since his
name could only too easily be linked
with Viola's in an odious publicity.
I wished for nothing better, in fact,
than his complete disappearance and
obliteration. But Bloomer was so
much a policeman himself that 1 felt
he would be acutely put out to fall
his brother officers from Chicago. Be
sides, there was that thousand dol
lars reward. In which no doubt, my
burly friend expected to share. My
Increasing perception of all this
caused me to temporize.
I said good night and left the booth.
Once outside I hurriedly called up a
taxi and gave the chauffeur Kitty's
address. Cobb's knell had Bounded;
his vile masquerade was nearlng Its
end; vengeance, In a very stuffy red
box, was swiftly moving in his direc
tion to overtake and crush him,
The maid wanted to help me off
with my overcoat, but I pushed her
aside, and strode into tho sitting
room just as I was.
The first person I saw was Cobb
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