Mormon Joe, the Robber by John A. Hill

I'm on intimate terms with one of the biggest robbers in this country. He's an expert at the business, but has now retired from active work. The fact of the matter is, Joe didn't know he was robbing, at the time he did it, but he got there, just the same, and come mighty nigh doing time in the penitentiary for it, too.

Maybe I'd better commence at the beginning and tell you that I first knew Joe Hogg in '79, out at the front, on the Santa Fé. Joe hailed from Salt Lake City, and had run on the Utah Central, which gave him the nickname of "Mormon Joe," a name he never resented being called, and to which he always answered. I never did really know whether he was a Mormon or not, and never cared; he was a good engineer, that's about all I cared for. Joe took good care of his engine, wore a clean shirt and behaved himself—which was doing more than the average engineer at the front did.

I remember, one night, Jack McCabe—"Whisky Jack," we used to call him—made some mean remark about the Mormons in general and Joe in particular, and Joe replied: "I don't propose to defend the Mormon faith; it's as good as any, to my mind. I don't propose to judge or misjudge any man by his belief or absence of belief. All that I have got to say is, that the Mormon religion is a practical religion. They don't give starving women a tract, or tramps jobs on the stone-pile. The women get bread, and the tramps work for pay. Their faith is based on the Christian Bible, with a book added—guess they have as big a right to add or take away as some of the old kings had—bigamy is upheld by the Bible, but has been dead in Utah, for some years. It can't live for the young people are against it. In Utah the woman has all the rights a man has, votes, and is a person. (Since cut out of new constitution.) Before the Gentiles came to Salt Lake, the Mormons had but one policeman, no jail, few saloons, no houses of prostitution—now the Gentile Christian has sway, and the town is full of them. I guess you could argue on the quality and quantity of rot-gut whisky a good engineer ought to drink, better than on theology, anyhow."

I never heard any of the gang twit Joe about the Mormons again.

I didn't take an awful sight of notice about Joe until I came in, one night, and the boys told me that Joe was arrested as an accomplice in the robbery of the Black Prince mine, in Constitution gulch.

This Black Prince was a gold placer owned by two middle-aged Englishmen. They had a small stamp-mill, run by mule power; and a large number of sluice-boxes. They always worked alone, and said they were developing the mine. No one had any idea that they were taking out much dust, until the mill and sluice-boxes were burned one night, and the story came out that they had been robbed of more than thirty thousand dollars.

Each partner accused the other of the theft. Both were arrested, and detectives commenced to follow every clue.

Joe's arrest fell like a thunder-clap among us. The Brotherhood men took it up right away, and I went to see Joe, that very night. It was said that Joe had visited the Black Prince, the day before, and had been seen carrying away a large package, the night before the robbery.

Joe absolutely refused to say a word for or against himself.

"The detectives got this scheme up and know what they are doing," said he; "I don't. When they get all through, you'll know how it'll come out."

To all questions as to his guilt or innocence, to every query about the crime or his arrest, he replied alike, to friend or foe:

"Ask the sheriff; he's doing this."

He was in jail a long time, but nothing was proven against him and he was finally released.

Neither of the Englishmen could fasten the crime on his partner, and they sold out and drifted away, one going back to England and the other to Mexico.

Joe ran awhile on the road again and then took a job as chief-engineer of a big stamp-mill in Arizona, and going there he was lost to myself and the men on the road, and finally the Black Prince robbery passed into history, and nothing remained but the tradition, a sort of a myth of the mountains, like Captain Kidd's treasures, the amount only being increased by time. I believe that the last time I heard the story, it was calmly stated that thirty million dollars was taken.

When I was out West, last time, I got off the train at Santa Fé, and when gunning through the baggage for my kiester, I saw a trunk, bearing on its end this legend:

"MRS. JOS. HOGG."

While I was "gopping" at it, as they say down East, and wondering if it could be my Joe Hogg, a very nice-looking lady came in, leading a little girl, glanced along the lines of trunks, put her hand on the one I was looking at, and said:

"That's the one; yes; the little one. I want it checked to New York."

Just then, a little fellow with whiskers on his chin and a twinkle in his eye came in and took charge of the trunk, the woman and the child, and with the little one's arms around his neck, bid them good-by, and got them into their seats in the sleeper.

I watched this individual with a great deal of interest; he looked like my old friend, "Mormon Joe," only for the whiskers and the stockman clothes.

Finally he jumped off the moving train, waved his hand and stood watching it out of sight, to catch the last glimpse of (to him) precious burden-bearer; he raised his hand to shade his eyes, and as he did so, I saw that it was minus one thumb, and I remembered that "Mormon Joe" left one of his under an engine up in Colorado—I was sure of him.

There was a tear in his eye, as he turned to go away, so I stepped up to him and asked:

"Any new wives wanted down your way, Elder?"

He glanced up, half angry, looked me straight in the eye, and a smile started at the southeast corner of his phiz and ran around to his port ear.

"Well, John, old man, I don't mind being sealed to one about your size, right now. I've just sent away the best one in the wide world. Old man, you're looking plump; by the Holy Joe Smith, a sight of you is good for sore eyes!"

Well, we started, and—but there ain't no use in telling you all about it—I went home with Joe, went up a creek with a jaw-breaking Spanish name, for miles, to a very good cattle ranch, that was the property of "Mormon Joe."

Joe only quit running some three or four years ago, and the ranch and its neat little home represented the savings of Joe Hogg's life.

His wife and only child had just started for a visit to England where she was born.

The next day we rode the range to see Joe's cattle, and the next we started out for a little hunt. It was sitting by a jolly camp-fire, back in the hills of New Mexico, that "Mormon Joe" told me the true story of the robbery of the Black Prince mine and the romance of his life.

Filling his cob pipe with cut-plug, Joe sat looking away over space toward our hobbled horses and then said:

"Old man, I reckon you remember all about the Black Prince robbery. I don't forget you were the first man that came to the cooler to see me while I was doing time as a suspect. Well, coming right down to the point, I had the dust all the time! and the working out of the mystery would be rather interesting reading if it was written up, and, as you are such an accomplished liar, I wouldn't be surprised if you made it the base-line of one of them yarns of yourn—only, mind you, don't go too far with it, for it's as curious as a lie itself. I would not try to improve on it, if I was you. I'll tell it to you as it was.

"About four days before the robbery, I was introduced to Rachel Rokesby, daughter of one of the partners in the Black Prince. I met her, in what seemed to be a casual way, at Mother Cameron's hash-foundry, but I found out, a long time afterward, that she had worked for two weeks to bring about the introduction.

"I don't know as you remember seeing her, but she was a quiet, retiring, well-educated, rosy-cheeked English girl—impressed you right away as being the pure, unrefined article, about twenty-two karat. She "chinned" me about an hour, that evening, and just cut a cameo of her pretty face right on my old heart.

"Well, course I saw her home, and tried my best to be interesting, but if a fellow ever in his natural life becomes a double-barreled jackass, it's just immediately after he falls in love. Why, he ain't as interesting as the unlettered side of an ore-sack.

"But we got on amazing well; the girl did most of the talking and along toward the last, mentioned that she was in great trouble—of course I wa'n't interested in that at all. I liked to have broken my neck in getting her to tell me at once if I couldn't do something to help her, say, for instance, move Raton mountain up agin Pike's Peak.

"I went home that night, promising to call on her the next trip, not to let any one know I was coming, not to tell anybody I had been there, not for worlds to repeat or intimate what she told me, and she would tell me her trouble from start to finish, and then I could help her, if I wanted to. Well, I wanted to, bad.

"I went up to the Rokesby's cabin, next trip in; it was dark, and as I went up the front walk, I heard the old gentleman going out the back, bound for the village 'diggin's.' I had it all to myself—the secret, I mean.

"When I went in, I got about a forty-second squeeze of a neat little hand, and things did look so nice and clean and homelike that I had it on the end of my tongue to ask right then to camp in the place.

"After a few commonplaces, she turned around and asked me if I still wanted to help her and would keep the secret, if I concluded in the end to keep out of her troubles. You bet your life, old man, she didn't have to wait long for assurance—why I wouldn't'a waited a minute to have contracted to turn the Mississippi into the Mammoth Cave, if she had asked it.

"'Well," says she, finally, "it is not generally known, in fact, isn't known at all, that the Black Prince is a paying placer, and that papa and Mr. Sanson have been taking out lots of gold for some time. They have over fifty pounds of gold-dust and nuggets hidden under the floor of the old mill.'

"'Well,' says I, 'that hadn't ought to worry you so.'

"'But that isn't all the story,' she continued; 'we have discovered a plot on the part of Mr. Sanson to rob papa of the gold and burn the mill and sluice-boxes, to hide the crime. You will find that every tough in town is his friend, because he buys whisky for them, and they all dislike papa. If he carried out his plan, we would have no redress whatever; all the justices in town can be bribed. The plan is to take the gold, burn the mill, and then accuse papa of the crime. Now, can't you help me to fool that old villain of a Sanson, and put papa's half of the money in a safe place?'

"I thought quite a while before I answered; it seemed strange to me that the case should be as she stated, and I half feared I might be made a cat's-paw and get into trouble, but the girl looked at me so trustingly with her blue eyes and added:

"'I am afraid that I am the cause of all the trouble, too. Papa and Sanson got along well until I refused to marry him; after that, the row began—I hate him. He said I would have to marry him before he was done with me—but I won't!'

"'You bet you won't, darling,' says I, before I thought. 'Pardon me, Miss Rokesby, but if there is any marrying done around here, I want a hand in the game myself.'

"She blushed deeply, looked at the toe of her shoe a minute, and said:

"'I'm only eighteen, and am too young to think of marrying. Suppose we don't talk of that until we get out of the present difficulties.'

"'Sensible idea,' says I. 'But when we are out, suppose you and I have a talk on that subject.'

"She looked at the toe of her shoe for a minute again, turned red and white around the gills, looked up at me, shyly at first, then fully and fairly, stretched out her hand and said:

"'Yes; if you care to.'

"Course, I didn't care, or nothing—no more than a man cares for his head.

"I guess that was about a half engagement, anyhow, it's the only one we ever had. She said it would be ruinous to our plans if I was seen with her then or afterward; and agreed to leave a note at the house for me by next trip, telling me her plan—which she should talk over with her father.

"A couple of days later I got in from a round trip and made a dive for the boarding-house.

"'Any mail for me, mother?' I asked old Mrs. Cameron.

"'No, young man; I'm sorry to say there ain't'.

"'I was anxious to hear from home.'

"'Too bad; but maybe it 'll come to-morrow.'

"I was up to fever heat, but could do nothing but wait. I went to bed late, and, raising up my pillow to put my watch under it, I found a note; it read:

"'Midnight, July 17.

"'Dear Joe:

"'Just thought of that rule for changing counter-balance you wanted. There has always been a miscalculation about the weight of counter-balance; they are universally too heavy. The weights are in pieces; take out two pieces; this treatment would even improve a mule sweep. When once out, pieces should be changed or placed where careless or malicious persons cannot get hold of them and replace them. All is well; hope you are the same; will see you some time soon.

"'Jack.'

"Here was apparently a fool letter from one young railroader to another, but I knew well enough that it was from Rachel and meant something.

"I noticed that it was dated the next night; then I commenced to see, and in a few minutes my instructions were plain. The old five-stamp mill was driven by a mule, who wandered aimlessly around a never-ending circle at the end of a long, wooden sweep; this pole extended past the post of the mill a few feet, and had on the short end a box of stones as a counter-weight. I would find two packages of gold there at midnight of July 17.

"I was running one of those old Pittsburgh hogs then, and she had to have her throttle ground the next day, but it was more than likely that she would be ready to go out at 8:30 on her turn; but I arranged to have it happen that the stand-pipe yoke should be broken in putting it up, so that another engine would have to be fired up, and I would lay in.

"I told stories in the roundhouse until nearly ten o'clock that fateful night, and then started for the hash-foundry, dodged into a lumber yard, got onto the rough ground back of town and made a wide detour toward Constitution Gulch, the Black Prince and the mule-sweep. I crept up to the washed ground through some brush and laid down in a path to wait for midnight. I felt a full-fledged sneak-thief, but I thought of Rachel and didn't care if I was one or not, so long as she was satisfied.

"I looked often at my watch in the moonlight, and at twelve o'clock everything was as still as death. I could hear my own heart beat against my ribs as I sneaked up to that counter-balanced sweep. I got there without accident or incident, found two packages done up in canvas with tarred-string handles; they were heavy but small, and in ten minutes I had them alone with me among the stumps and stones on the little mesa back of town.

"I'll never forget how I felt there in the dark with all that money that wasn't mine, and if some one had have said 'boo' from behind a stump, I should have probably dropped the boodle and taken to the brush.

"As I approached the town, I realized that I could never get through it to the boarding-house or the roundhouse with those two bundles that looked like country sausages. I studied awhile on it and finally put them under an old scraper beside the road, and went without them to the shops. I got from my seat-box a clean pair of overalls and jacket and came back without being seen.

"I wrapped one of the packages up in these and boldly stepped out into the glare of the electric lights—I remember I thought the town too darned enterprising.

"One of the first men I met was the marshal, Jack Kelly. He was reported to be a Pinkerton man, and was mistrusted by some of the men, but tried to be friendly and 'stand in' with all of us. He slapped me on the back and nearly scared the wits out of me. He insisted on treating me, and I went into a saloon and 'took something' with him, in fear and trembling. The package was heavy, but I must carry it lightly under my arm, as if it were only overclothes.

"I treated in return, and had it charged, because I dare not attempt to get my right hand into my pocket. Jack was disposed to talk, and I feared he was just playing with me like a cat does with a mouse, but I finally got off and deposited my precious burden in my seat-box, under lock and key—then I sneaked back for the second haul. I met Jack and a policeman, on my next trip, and he exclaimed:

"'Why, ain't you gone out yet?' and started off, telling the roundsman to keep the bunkos off me up to the shop. I thought then I was caught, but I was not, and the bluecoat bid me a pleasant good-night, at the shop yard.

"When I got near my engine, I was surprised to see Barney Murry, the night machinist, with his torch up on the cab—he was putting in the newly-ground throttle.

"Just before I had decided to emerge from the shadow of the next engine, Barney commenced to yell for his helper, Dick, to come and help him on with the dome-cover.

"Dick came with a sandwich in one hand and a can of coffee in the other. This reminded Barney of his lunch, and setting his torch down on the top of the cab, he scrambled down on the other side and hurried off to the sand-dryer, where the gang used to eat their dyspepsia insurance and swap lies.

"After listening a moment, to be sure I was alone, I stepped lightly to the cab, and in a minute the two heavy and dangerous packages were side by side again.

"But just here an inspiration struck me. I opened the front door of the cab, stepped out on the running-board, and a second later was holding Barney's smoking torch down in the dome.

"The throttle occupied most of the space, but there was considerable room each side of it and a good two feet between the top of the boiler shell and the top row of flues. I took one of the bags of gold, held it down at arm's length, swung it backward and forward a time or two, and let go, so as to drop it well ahead on the flues: the second bag followed at once, and again I held down the light to see if the bags were out of sight; satisfied on this point, I got down, took my clothes under my arm, and jumped off the engine into the arms of the night foreman."

"'What did you call me for? That engine is not ready to go out on the extra,' I demanded, off-hand.

"'I ain't called you; you're dreaming.'

"'May be I am,' said I, 'but I would 'a swore some one came and called under my window that I got out at 2:10, on a stock-train, extra.'

"Just then, Barney and Dick came back, and I soon had the satisfaction of seeing the cover screwed down on my secret and a fire built under it—then I went home and slept.

"I guess it was four round trips that I made with the old pelter, before Kelly put this and that together, and decided to put me where the dogs wouldn't bite me.

"I appeared as calm as I could, and set the example since followed by politicians, that of 'dignified silence.' Kelly tried to work one of the 'fellow convict' rackets on me, but I made no confessions. I soon became a martyr, in the eyes of the women of the town. You boys got to talking of backing up a suit for false imprisonment; election was coming on and the sheriff and county judge were getting uneasy, and the district attorney was awfully unhappy, so they let me out.

"Nixon, the sheriff, pumped me slyly, to see what effect my imprisonment would have on future operations, and I told him I didn't propose to lose any time over it, and agreed to drop the matter for a little nest-egg equal to the highest pay received by any engineer on the road. Pat Dailey was the worst hog for overtime, and I selected his pay as the standard and took big money,—from the campaign funds. I wasn't afraid of re-arrest;—I had 'em for bribery.

"Whilst I was in hock, I had cold chills every time I heard the 313's whistle, for fear they would wash her out and find the dust; but she gave up nothing.

"When I reported for work, the old scrap was out on construction and they were disposed to put me on another mill, pulling varnished cars, but I told the old man I was under the weather and 'crummy,' and that put him in a good humor; and I was sent out to a desolate siding, and once again took charge of the steam 'fence,' for the robber of the Black Prince mine.

"On Sunday, by a little maneuvering, I managed to get the crew to go off on a trout-fishing expedition, and under pretext of grinding-in her chronically leaky throttle, I took off her dome-cover and looked in; there was nothing in sight.

"I was afraid that the cooking of two months or more had destroyed the canvas bags; then again the heavy deposit of scale might have cemented the bags to the flues. In either case, rough handling would send the dust to the bottom of the boiler, making it difficult if not impossible to recover; and worse yet, manifest itself sometime and give me dead away.

"I concluded to go at the matter right, and after two hours of hard work, managed to get the upright throttle-pipe out of the dome. I drew her water down below the flue-line, and though it was tolerably warm, I got in.

"Both of my surmises were partially correct; the canvas was rotted, in a measure, and the bags were fastened to the flues. The dust had been put up in buckskin bags, first, and these had been put into shot-sacks; the buckskin was shrunken but intact. I took a good look around, before I dared take the treasure into the sunlight; but the coast was clear, and inside of an hour they were locked in my clothes-box, and the cover was on the kettle again and I was pumping her up by hand.

"I was afraid something would happen to me or the engine, so I buried the packages in a bunch of willows near the track.

"It must have been two weeks after this that a mover's wagon stopped near the creek within half a mile of the track, and hobbled horses soon began to 'rustle' grass, and the smoke of a camp-fire hunted the clouds.

"We saw this sort of thing often, and I didn't any more than glance at it; but after supper I sauntered down by the engine, smoking and thinking of Rachel Rokesby, when I noticed a woman walking towards me, pail in hand.

"She had on a sunbonnet that hid her face and she got within ten feet of me before she spoke—she asked for a pail of drinking-water from the tank—the creek was muddy from a recent rain.

"Just as soon as she spoke, I knew it was Rachel, but I controlled myself, for others were within hearing. I walked with her to the engine and got the water; I purposely drew the pail full, which she promptly spilled, and I offered to carry it for her.

"The crew watched us walk away and I heard some of them mention 'mash,' but I didn't care, I wanted a word with my girl.

"When we were out of earshot, she asked without looking up:

"'Well, old coolness, are you all right?'

"'You bet! darling.'

"'Papa has sold out his half and we are going away for good. I think if we get rid of the dust without trouble, we may go to England. Just as soon as all is safe, you shall hear from me; can't you trust me, Joe?'

"'Yes, Rachel, darling; now and forever.'

"'Where's the gold?'

"'Within one hundred feet of you, in those willows; when it is dark, I will go and get it and put it on that stump by the big tree; go then and get it. But where will you put it?'

"'I'm going to pack it in the bottom of a jar of butter.'

"'Good idea, little girl! I think you'd make a good thief yourself. How's my friend, Sanson?'

"'He's gone to Mexico; says yet that papa robbed him, but he knows as well as you or I that all his bluster was because he only found half that he expected; I pride myself on getting ahead of a wicked man once, thanks to our hero, by the name of Hogg.'

"It was getting dusk and we were out of sight, so I sat down the pail and asked:

"'Do I get a kiss, this evening?'

"'If you want one.'

"'There's only one thing I want worse.'

"'What is that, Joe?'

"My arm was around her waist now, and the sunbonnet was shoved back from the face. I took a couple of cream-puffs where they were ripe, and answered:

"'That message to come and have that talk about matrimony.'

"Here a man's voice was heard calling: 'Rachel! Rachel!' and throwing her arms around my neck, she gave me one more kiss, snatched up her pail and answered:

"'Yes; I'm coming.'

"Then to me, hurriedly:

"'Good-by, dear; wait patiently, you shall hear from me.'

"I went back and put the dangerous dust on the stump and returned to the bunk-car. The next morning when I turned out, the outlines of the wagon were dimly discernible away on a hill in the road; it had been gone an hour.

"I walked down past my stump—the gold was gone.

"Well, John, I settled down to work and to wait for that precious letter that would summon me to the side of Rachel Rokesby, wherever she was; but it never came. Uncle Sam never delivered a line to me from her from that day to this."

Joe kicked the burning sticks in our fire closer together, lit his pipe and then proceeded:

"I was hopeful for a month or two; then got impatient, and finally got angry, but it ended in despair. A year passed away before I commenced to hunt, instead of waiting to be hunted; but after another year I gave it up, and came to the belief that Rachel was dead or married to another. But the very minute that such a treasonable thought flashed through my mind, my heart held up the image of her pure face and rebuked me.

"I was discharged finally, for forgetting orders—I was thinking of something else—then I commenced to pull myself together and determined to control myself. I held the job in Arizona almost a year, but the mill company busted; then I drifted down on to the Mexican National, when it was building, and got a job. A few months later, it came to my ears that one of our engineers, Billy Gardiner, was in one of their damnable prisons, for running over a Greaser, and I organized a relief expedition. I called on Gardiner, and talked over his trouble fully; he was in a loathsome dobie hole, full of vermin, and dark. As I sat talking to him, I noticed an old man, chained to the wall in a little entry on the other side of the room. His beard was grizzly white, long and tangled. He was hollow-cheeked and wild-eyed, and looked at me in a strange, fascinated way.

"'What's he in for,' I whispered to Gardiner.

"'Murdered his partner in a mining camp. Got caught in the act. He don't know it yet, but he's condemned to be shot next Friday—to-morrow. Poor devil, he's half crazy, anyhow.'

"As I got up to go, the old man made a sharp hiss, and as I turned to look at him, he beckoned with his finger. I took a step or two nearer, and he asked, in an audible whisper:

"'Mr. Hogg, don't you know me?'

"I looked at him long and critically, and then said:

"'No; I never saw you before.'

"'Yes; that's so,' said he; 'but I have seen you, many times. You remember the Black Prince robbery?'

"'Yes, indeed; then you are Sanson?'

"'No; Rokesby.'

"'Rokesby! My God, man, where's Rachel?'

"'I thought so,' he muttered. 'Well, she's in England, but I'm here.'

"'What part of England?'

"'Sit down on that box, Mr. Hogg, and I will tell you something.'

"'Is she married?' I asked eagerly.

"'No, lad, she ain't, and what's more, she won't be till she marries you, so be easy there.'

"Just here a pompous Mexican official strode in, stepped up in front of the old man and read something in Spanish.

"'What in hell did he say?' asked the prisoner of Gardiner.

"'Something about sentence, pardner.'

"'Well, it's time they was doing something; did he say when it was?'

"'To-morrow.'

"'Good enough; I'm dead sick o' this.'

"'Can't I do anything for you, Mr. Rokesby—for Rachel's sake?'

"'No—yes, you can, too, young man; you can grant me a pardon for a worse crime nor murder, if you will—for—for Rachel's sake."

"'It's granted then.'

"'Good! that gives me heart. Now, Mr. Hogg, to business, it was me that robbed the Black Prince mine. I took every last cent there was, and I used you and Rachel to do the work for me and take the blame if caught. Sanson was honest enough, I fired the mill myself.

"'It was me that sent Rachel to you; I admired your face, as you rode by the claim every day on your engine. I knew you had nerve. If you and Rachel hadn't fallen in love with one another, I'd 'a lost though; but I won.

"'Well, I took the money I got for the claim and sent Rachel back to her mother's sister, in England. You may not know, but she is not my daughter; she thinks she is, though. Her parents died when she was small, and I provided for her. I'm her half-uncle. I got avaricious in my old age, and went into a number of questionable schemes.

"'After leaving New Mexico, I worked the dust off, a little at a time, an' wasted the money—but never mind that.

"'It was just before she got aboard the ship that Rachel sent me a letter containing another to you, to be sent when all was right—I've carried it ever since—somehow or other I was afraid it would drop a clew to send it at first, and after it got a year old, I didn't think of it much.'

"He fumbled around inside of his dirty flannel shirt for a minute, and soon fished up a letter almost as black as the shirt, and holding it up, said:

"'That's it.'

"'I had the envelope off in a second, and read:

"'Dear Joseph:

"'I am going to my aunt, Mrs. Julia Bradshaw, 15 Harrow Lane, Leicester, England. If you do not change your mind, I will be happy to talk over our affairs whenever you are ready. I shall be waiting.

"'Rachel.'

"I turned and bolted toward a door, when Gardiner yelled:

"'Where are you going?'

"'To England,' said I.

"'This door, then, sir,' said a Mexican.

"I came back to the old man.

"'Rokesby,' said I, 'you have cut ten years off my life, but I forgive you; good-by.'

"'One thing more, Mr. Hogg; don't tell 'em at home how I went—nothing about this last deal.'

"'Well, all right; but I'll tell Rachel, if we marry and come to America.'

"'I've got lots of honest relations, and my old mother still lives, in her eighties.'

"'Well, not till after she goes, unless to save Rachel in some way.'

"'Good-by, Mr. Hogg, God bless you! and—and, little Rachel.'

"'Good-by, Mr. Rokesby.'

"The next day I left Mexico for God's country, and inside of ten days was on a Cunarder, eastward bound. I reached England in proper time; I found the proper pen in the proper train, and was deposited in the proper town, directed to the proper house, and street, and number, and had pulled out about four yards of wire attached to the proper bell.

"A kindly-faced old lady looked at me over her spectacles, and I asked:

"'Does Mrs. Julia Bradshaw live here?'

"'Yes, sir; that's me.'

"'Have you a young lady here named Rachel R—'

"The old lady didn't wait for me to finish the name, she just turned her head fifteen degrees, put her open hand up beside her mouth, and shouted upstairs:

"'Rachel! Rachel! Come down here, quick! Here's your young man from America!'"