Two or three days later we left Dunkirk for St. Omer, where I at last received my orders. I was to return secretly to Dunkirk and there take passage in a swift sailing cutter, lately captured from the English, and carry a sum of three thousand guineas, together with important despatches and letters for the Prince.


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She accompanied me to the scene of the crime At that moment Havering entered the hall, and with a quick apology his wife ran to him. I was left to undertake my investigations alone.

But there was no answer.

[pg 196]


"The overseer, Higgins, had tried to get a lawyer to help the prosecuting attorney, but he couldn't do it, and the prosecuting attorney, I tell you, had to be very careful what he said. The first witness they put on the stand was Higgins. He told a mighty straight story. He told of the quarrels between Miles Corbin and his wife, and the threats he had heard her make of killing Corbin if he continued to strike her. Then he told about my Yellow Bob waking him up in the middle of the night, and of his going up to the house and seeing Miles lying on the sofa dying, and Miles saying, 'My wife did this.' At this there was such a thundering row in the court-house that the Court was obliged to demand order. But Mrs. Corbin remarked, out loud: 'That is true. He lied about me with his last breath.' Then the overseer identified the pistol as the one he had seen in Mrs. Corbin's hands, and saw on the drawing-room table on the night of Miles Corbin's death. And altogether it made a bad showing.

It seemed an eternity until his first congé, or day of liberty, came round, and we were in waiting long before the appointed hour. We lost no time in setting out, but, to our surprise, did not take our way to the Palace direct, but went instead round by a little lane leading off the Piazza Pilotta, and so to a small wicket, whereon Mr. O'Rourke knocked in a private manner, while we held our breath in expectation. The door was opened presently by an old man, to whom Mr. O'Rourke gave some pass-word, and we were admitted, not to the Palace itself, but into the bare and mean hallway of a very ordinary house. Before we had time to betray our disappointment, however, we passed through this hall, and by means of a hidden door—hidden, that is, by a seeming closet or wardrobe—we stepped out into the sunlight again, and, to our great delight, found ourselves in what we did not doubt were the gardens of the Palace.

There they sat, as I had so often seen them, in Jack Alstrop’s luxurious bookless library (I’m sure the rich rows behind the glass doors were hollow), while beyond the windows the pale twilight thickened to blue over Long Island lawns

present profits and hinder development, but in order to rearrange these things in a saner and finer fashion. An immense work of replanning, rebuilding, redistributing lies in the foreground of the Socialist vista. We contemplate an enormous clearance of existing things. We want an unfettered hand to make beautiful and convenient homes, splendid cities, noiseless great highways, beautiful bridges, clean, swift and splendid electric railways; we are inspired by a faith in the coming of clean, wide and simple methods of agricultural production. But it is only now that Socialism is beginning to be put in these terms. So put it, and the engineer and the architect and the scientific organizer, agricultural or industrial—all the best of them, anyhow—will find it correspond extraordinarily to their way of thinking.

The fam-i-ly took break-fast and then the Pres-i-dent spent an hour with Mr. Col-fax, the Speak-er of the House. Grant came in and all were glad to see him. At 11 A. M. the Cab-i-net met.


2.It was delicious.


The names of the man who held the candle and the one who fired the shot that killed Ford were never revealed, then or thereafter. It is said that no investigation of the assassination was ever made, and, furthermore, that if official proceedings had been attempted, no evidence of any kind could have been procured.


In the midst of this period the stately steamboat age began its development. It was inaugurated in 1811 when the first steam-propelled “water-walker” made its laborious and astonishing way from Pittsburgh to New Orleans. By 1820 steamboats had become a dependable factor in traffic, and were, to river travel, what the railroad train was later to become to the slow stagecoach and freight wagon. It was inevitable that under steamboat influence flatboats of all types—arks, broadhorns, Orleans boats, keel-boats, and flat-bottomed barges—would follow the primitive pirogues, skiffs, and batteaux into retirement, except for neighborhood use. River piracy waned with the conditions it preyed upon, but not until about 1830 did it cease utterly.






[Pg 329]