The Master Smuggler

The Disclosure of a Conspiracy Against the Government

J. D. Ronald July 1 1917

The Master Smuggler

The Disclosure of a Conspiracy Against the Government

J. D. Ronald July 1 1917

The Master Smuggler

The Disclosure of a Conspiracy Against the Government

J. D. Ronald

EDITOR’S Note.—This story is absolutely true in every detail, except in the matter of names, u hich, for obvious reason, are fictitious. The men who figured in the smuggling conspiracy are probably still following railway construction lines in some part of the continent. In the .annals of the Customs Service are stories that equal anything in the more spectacular police branches, and “The Master Smuggler" is a taste of what might be told if the records were given to the public. More articles on f'ustoms operations will appear in coming issues.

A NUMBER of years ago a band of smugglers, operating from a single point in the United States and directed by one man, worked a scheme to defraud the Canadian customs, a scheme so thorough and clever that the man who conceived and carried it through well deserves the title of the Master Smuggler. The story of this huge swindle has never been told nor did a single word find its way into print when the Canadian customs officers had finally succeeded in bringing the band to time. The secrecy in which the case has been shrouded lends double interest to the telling now.

The centre figure in the narrative is, of course, the Master Smuggler himself. Let us call him Oleson, although that is not his real name. At the time the story opens Oleson was living in Minneapolis, a prominent society man of that city, a member of the most exclusive clubs and a good fellow generally. He was a bit of a high-flier, a bon vivant. in fact, but a student as well. At that time he was about fifty years of age, and still in the prime of physical condition — standing slightly over six feet and as well-knit and athletic-looking as any man at that age that one would want to see. That he had been a hard worker and a hard liver, that he had seen life in many strange phases and places, was apparent to any judge of physiognomy. There was a grimness to the lines of his face and a suggestion of the hawk in his eyes. He was, nevertheless, mild-mannered and as charming a fellow, when he set about to please, as one would care to meet.

About thirty years before he had landed in America, a brisk, untutored lad of twenty years. He went to St. Paul, as most Scandinavians do, and took a job with a construction gang. But Oleson had no intention of making his living by the sweat of his brow nor of measuring his savings by the calouses on his hands. He soon made up his mind that there was more money in exploiting the worker than in working himself. So he became a pack pedlar.

THE construction of new railway lines through virgin country offers employment for the most part to foreigners. They get good wages and, having no other opportunity to spend their money they are easy prey for the heterogeneous class of camp followers and parasites of all kinds who soon collect. Gamblers, whiskey smugglers and pack peddlers vie for the wages of the -ignorant Galician

and the credulous Scandinavian. The railway navvy is particularly easy for the vendor of flashy jewelry and it is not hard to induce him to give orders qn the paymaster in advance of his earnings in payment for rings, scarf pins and watches. In this lucrative business Oleson did remarkably well. The profits that he could make by himself did not satisfy him for long, however. He started in to organize the business of railway pack peddling. When the time came for him to turn his attention to Canada, Oleson had in his employ a large number of carefully selected men and with characteristic thoroughness was exploiting railway construction camps in Idaho. He was reputed to be worth a quarter of a million; and probably was.

IT WAS the building of the Grand Trunk Pacific that drew Oleson’s attention to Canada. In the construction of the Transcontinental Railway from east to west there were employed by the different contractors at seasonable times, upwards of fifty thousand men. At the same time there was under construction in British Columbia, in the Fraser River Valley, branches of the Canadian Northern, and Canadian Pacific Railways. The payrolls representing the earnings of the men employed on the construction of these various lines ran close to one hundred and fifty thousand dollars per day. The open searson of construction averaged seven months in the year. This represented payment in money for labor, approximately thirty-five million dollars. To exploit and carefully follow the different camps with an organized gang of pack pedlars meant the realization of immense profits by the individual carrying to success such a scheme.

The construction of the Transcontinental began on a big scale in 1903, and some time early that year, Oleson called in his henchmen and planned a big campaign. They met in Minneapolis and one can imagine them squatting around the big mahogany desk in Oleson’s office, with a map of Canada spread out before them. There \frere ten head men, or group leaders, in all, that he summoned. There was Billy Oleson, his brother and right hand man, “Sleepy Ike” Carlstrom, “Red” Cantler and “Black Jack” Anderson, all of yphom played parts of some prominence in subsequent developments. They were all countrymen of his own and strong men. They were weather beaten, hardened to rough life ; men of the greyhound

type, fleet-footed and tenacioui, used to traveling for long distances on nowshoes with dog teams. They all had i nbounded faith in Oleson and would* so it was said, go through hell-fire if he said it ^ ras necessary. ^

Together they went over the map and laid out the line of the Transcontinental in ten sections, allotting one district to each group leader. The best methods ing central points for supplies bution were settled. These te: of Oleson’s in turn organized ous territories with distributi and in ten months from theo authorizing the construction of passed the Canadian Parliamen and his men were ready to mo construction camps. f reaehdistritrusties ir varia gents the bill e road Oleson on the

This complete organization, of some four hundred men opei the most unostentatious way; th no disturbance, but sold thei

principally watches, chains and in the various camps at noontim the evening around the camp fi ing in exchange orders on the pa; which were cashed monthly at the depots. This was good busin was no risk.

nsi sting ted in created wares, ewelry, and in' tak-


TO OLESON’S credit it mustlbe said that he handled high-class I goods, the very best grade of watches, Ifor instance, gold filled and solid gola cases, running in value all the way from! fifteen to one hundred dollars. He did not] at any time sell cheap trash under the glaise of jewelry, although his prices allowed a big margin of profit; generally as 150 per cent. Some pedlars swindled the navvies right and left. Oleson never did. The customer paid a steep prfee but he got a genuine article.

Oleson’s men were very successful. They were all jolly good fellows and made friends. The profits that the organization made were enormous.

BUT OLESON was not satisfied] Canadian customs duties heavy drain. The duty on watch* twenty-five per cent, of their value, and on the other commoditi* hft men handled thirty per cent, ol market value in the United Stat addition there was the expense and| involved in shipping the goods to points in Canada, entering them at cus-

toms and redistributing them to his head agents.

Oleson looked this matter over, spent a day or two hard thinking and decided in the end that the immense sum which he had to pay in duty on the goods required was worth taking a chance upon. In, other words,

Oleson decided to smuggle. If caught he could pay up ; if he got through free he would so much ahead. A born gambler, he took a gambler’s chance.

Accordingly he called his head men together again, and told them what he proposed to do.

They all agreed, and the die was «ast.

In this way one of the most extensive smuggling operations ever carried on between Canada and the United States was developed.

A DEFINITE plan of campaign was worked out between them. The leaders were to personally undertake the smuggling operations. One man was to work via Seattle and Vancouver, another via the Soo line to Calgary, a third via Emmerson to Winnipeg. A fourth was to work in by Fort Francis to the region north of Port Arthur and Fort William, and another via Sault Ste. Marie, distributing from Cochrane east and west. A sixth was to take the St. Lawrence River near Montreal, working in Northern Quebec. Others worked through the State of Maine into Quebec and New Brunswick, covering the construction work in New Brunswick and Eastern Quebec.

The astute Oleson laid his plans well. The Pacific coast operations were entrusted to his brother Billy Oleson. Billy was a smooth fellow with an exceedingly cool nerve. He was likeable enough and generally reliable. But he had one weakness. He was a hard drinker.

For a time Billy Oleson used pacK mules through the trails of the Rockies, slipping in with his loads by routes that left him free from all molestation. This, however, was laborious and slow and after a time he merely took the boat from Seattle to Vancouver, carrying two suit cases. One was always filled with clothing without anything of a suspicious nature whatever. All the jejvelry would be concealed in the second suit case. He managed to get through on sheer nerve. Walking up to the Customs officer at the boat landing he would cheerfully proffer the first suitcase for examination. “Is that all you want?” he would ask in an off-hand way. The ruse always succeeded. Thus he carried in thousands of.dollars worth right under the noqes of the officials.

The men entrusted with carrying goods into Saskatchewan and Manitoba took train at Minneapolis and slept across the border in the Pullman car berth with thousands of dollars worth of jeweler y under their pillows. It is a standing rule that the customs officials at the frontier do not arouse sleeping passengers, but merely examine the grips left under the berth. By adopting this plan the smugglers took a big risk; but they somehow always managed to “get away with it.”

The man on the Fort Francis route smuggled by toboggan and dog sled, cross-

ing the line at points where there was no one to molest him. At Sault Ste. Marie the head smuggler rowed himself across the river under cover of darkness, expressing his goods on to Cochrane for distribution.

In Eastern Canada the head men operated in Quebec and New Brunswick, driving over under cover of night during the summer months and by dog sled when the snow was on the ground. They then caught the C.P.R. and Intercolonial at various points.

These men were equipped with chamois skin vests containing one hundred pockets, which they invariably wore next their bodies when crossing the line. -These vests were always filled with watches before they started out. so that each man was sure of getting one hundred watches safely past the customs, whether their packs were taken or hot. The work was so well done, however, that not on any occasion was one of them molested.

, LESON directed all the work himself. He was the brains of the organization. He did all the buying and directed the operations from his office in Minneapolis. The plan that he had devised was to have his smuggling emissaries deposit the goods that-they carried into Canada with banks and trust companies at conveniently accessible points. The goods remained there until they were distributed to the peddlers starting out for the construction camps. Oleson had arranged with banks and trust companies at various points from Moncton, New Brunswiek, to Vancouver. He said himself afterwards, that at various times he had stored in his deposit vaults in various parts of Canada an aggregate of over one hundred thousand dollars worth of goods, all smuggled.

In addition to directing the intricate organization'that he had thus built up. Oleson made many trips to Canada himself and he always carried a load of goods. None of his lieutenants w’orked with the same daring and assurance as the Master Smuggler himself. He, of course, had a vest of many pockets which were always filled in addition to the jewelry that he carried over in his luggage. His colossal nerve carried him through some very tight occasions. Once he crossed the line in broad daylight, sitting in a Pullman coach with ten thousand dollars . worth of goods under the seat. When the customs officer came through, Oleson handed his grip over with a cheerful “Good Morning.” Pullman seats have a cavity underneath and the use that he made of this space on this occasion proved so successful that he passed the word on to his trusty cohorts.

On occasion, Oleson carried into Canada as much as twenty to thirty thousand dollars worth of goods on a single trip. His sang froid was equal to any emergency.

AND NOW starts the second phase of the campaign of fraud. Oleson had built up elaborate machinery to provide underground routes for getting the goods into Canada. The plan had met with won-

derful success. It seemed sheer waste of opportunity, to a man of Oleson’s type, to use the machinery the one way only. His agents were coming back into the United States empty handed. W’hy not use the same method to smuggle goods back into the United States from Canada?

Oleson tackled this new problem with his usual thoroughness and ingenuity. He decided that the most profitable field would be in handling diamonds which enter Canada duty free but are highly dutiable in the United States. Another possible line would be Swiss watch movements. which pay a duty of 10 per cent, entering Canada and 35 per cent, entering the United States.

His first step was to make arrange^ ments with a chain of stores in the United States to handle the goods. Then he went to England and arranged with a diamond house to ship diamonds to him to Canada. Each of his lieutenants in the meantime had established Canadian headquarters, so that Oleson had all these addresses dotting Canada from coast to coast to which the goods could be shipped. He then proceeded to Switzerland ar.d negotiated a contract for watch movements.

Diamonds and watch movements were accordingly shipped out to Canada in large quantities. They were entered at customs in Canada through brokers and then sent on to the addresses of the various lieutenants. The smugglers from that time on, instead of returning to Minneapolis empty handed, used their many-pocketed vests to bring back valuable loads of watch movements and precious stones.

THE business thrived for over six years. So well organized was the whole business that not a question was asked by anyone. The agent, who worked on percentage, waxed prosperous. Oleson himself, who pocketed the profits, grew immensely wealthy.

The plan might have worked indefinitely had not Oleson made one mistake. For the business in which he had engaged, he had not a single flaw; he was cool headed, a born leader, and as silent as the Sphinx. He kept his men well in hand and did not allow his suddenly acquired riches to swell his head. The mistake he made was outside the bounds of actual operations.

Oleson was a ladies’ man. His rather handsome face and striking physique had made him very popular with the fairer sex. His career had been punctuated with a long list of “affairs.”

One of his lieutenants, a married man with a family, by the way, was madly infatuated with a pretty girl in Minneapolis. The girl, who afterwards proved to be an adventuress of the most dangerous type, was not only beautiful but extremely clever and thoroughly unscrupulous. She used her relations with the infatuated lieutenant as a means of attracting the attention of the wealthy Oleson.

The Master Smuggler became very much enamored. An ardent love maker, it was his custom to brush aside all rivals without counting the cost. Without stopping to figure what the effect might be within his organization, Oleson stole the girl from his underling. He did it quite openly, probably believing that the loyalty his men had always shown him would survive even so severe a test.

The discarded lover made no protest,

but was so bitterly aggrieved that he decided then and there to sell out the Master Smuggler and his whole works. There is a resident agent of the Canadian Customs service in St. Paul. One night this agent was awakened by a late ring at his door bell. Going down he found his visitor to be a man giving his name as Johnson. (This is not the real name, but it is as good as any other for purposes of narrative. )

“I can give you information worth thousands of dollars to the Canadian Customs,” said the man.

The inspector hastily invited him in and questioned him further. Johnson told the whole story. His desire for revenge on his chief was so great that he did not even seek to profit in a monetary way from the information he gave. All he wanted was the satisfaction of “getting back” at Oleson. As he had been close to the Master Smuggler in all the operations, he was able to give practically complete details of the smuggling machinery that Oleson had built up.

The customs officer got all the information that he could and promptly wired to Ottawa, advising that a special officer be detailed to handle the case.

TWO days later Special Officer Duncan of the staff of the Chief Inspector of Customs for Canada, called quietly at the office of the Canadian agent.

“My name is Duncan, of Ottawa,” he said. “Come down and have dinner with me at the Raddison rn Minneapolis, and we’ll talk things over.” The inspector took his cue and got in touch with Johnson at once.

After dinner the two officers retired to Duncan’s room, and in half an hour Johnson knocked at the door and was admitted. He told his story again, giving further details than he had been able to place at the disposal of the Customs Service before. He brought the further information that Oleson was leaving the city that night for Edmonton, Alta., and was taking five thousand dollars worth of goods with him. on which, needless to state, he had no intention of paying duty.

The three men discussed the situation from every angle, and Duncan announced that he was convinced that it would not do to act at that juncture but to wait until it was possible “To sew Oleson up tight.” He wanted to get the Master Smuggler into a position where it would be possible to make him settle for everything that had been done during the six years that operations had been under way. He advised Johnson to say nothing and to wait and, above everything else, to retain the good-will and confidence of his chief. After the interview, which lasted three hours, it was mutually agreed that this was the best course and Johnson hurried

away to meet Oleson before the latter left on his trip north.

THIS was early in^ugust, and the only immediate result of the “Leak” was the prompt capture of Oleson in Edmonton. Duncan had wired to the Customs authorities in Edmonton advising them of the likelihood that Oleson would arrive w’ith smuggled goods. Acting on the description that Duncan sent, the officials there met Oleson on his arrival, subjected him to a search and found the jewelry. Johnson’s estimate proved correct, and they found that he had five thousand dollars worth concealed in his luggage and on his person. As he could not produce clearance papers he was forced to pay the full duty amounting to over twelve hundred dollars.

This was the first time that such a miscarriage of plans had occurred and Oleson returned to Minneapolis much chagrined and not a little suspicious. However, nothing occurred to confirm his suspicions and he accordingly allowed the full machinery to work along as usual.

In the meantime Duncan had been busy. The day after Oleson’s departure for Edmonton he took the train East and commenced an extensive investigation to confirm'the information which Johnson had given. He found that the latter, in his desire for revenge, had told not only the truth but the whole truth. By following up the information that Johnson had given. Duncan was able to locate every bank and trust company from one end of Canada to the other where the goods were held in store and also to secure complete knowledge as to the personality and the movements of each of Oleson’s agents. In the meantime, he kept Oleson under watch and was advised by wire every day of the movements of the Master Smuggler.

IT TOOK two months to complete the investigation. Duncan then advised all the banks and trust companies that the goods which Oleson and agents had been storing in their deposit vaults were smuggled. He advised the managers confidentially, that when they received instructions from him by wire, they were to hold the goods then in their possession as under seizure by the Customs of Canada. In the meantime Oleson had been lost track of. It transpired that he had gone to Idaho to look up his bibuous brother who had not been heard from for several weeks and who presumably was on an extended spree. He found Billy finally and brought him back to Minneapolis, where he gave him the rest cure for three weeks. At the end of that time Billy emerged in good shape again and was ready for action. Oleson gave him a

stipply, chiefly of watches, valued at eight thousand dollars, and started him off for Vancouver via Seattle. This information was promptly wired tol Duncan, the name of the boat on which Oleson would sail being given. Dunkan promptly wired to a special officer in Vancouver.

“Place under arrest William Oleeon, stocky build, florid complexion, fair hair and drooping moustache, carrying two suit cases, one of which contains jWwelry valued at eight thousand dollars. I Invoice will be found on his person. Search Oleson' to the skin.” »

Unfortunately the special officer, Christie by name, was absenk when this wire arrived and Oleson slipped through the skein of the law safely.^fchristie arrived back next day, however, and took-Up the case with great vigor. Hk first went to the officers of the trust qompany in Vancouver where the goods lad always been stored and found that Oleson had been there the day before. The smuggler had left instructions there thalt any Kail was to be forwarded to him to a small branch on the Canadian NortHem where construction work was under wlsy. Christie promptly jumped on a train land reached the town early the next morning. Relocated Billy Oleson without any difficulty and placed him under arrest. Oleson had his suitcase with him at the I time and the full supply of jewelry whs found. Christie wired Duncan: “Have óleson and the goods. Will hold until advised.” On receipt of this wire Duncan decided that the time had come to act. Hislfirst step was to wire each of the banks and trust companies, holding Oleson’s goons, not to deliver any further goods to I Oleson’s agents and to advise the value lof goods on hand. Inside of twenty-four (hours he’ had received advices by wire which showed that he had a total of bettfeenmfty and seventy-five thousand dollars worth of goods under seizure. In addition he had Billy Oleson under arrest in Vancouver, caught red handed on a charae which v would give him five years in thelpenitentiary unless all duties and fines limposed on account of the frauds perpetrated against the customs revenue laws) of Canada, were promptly settled.

To Duncan this looked like a binning hand for a settlement so he took pie first train for Minneapolis.

BEFORE he arrived in Min Duncan knew that word of had reached Oleson. The head smuggling trust was, according vice, in a dangerous mood. How* reaching the city, Duncan went to Oleson’s office. This was abol o’clock in the morning and Oleson down yet.

“Call Mr. Oleson up,” said Dui the office clerk, “and tell him that

Continued on page 93

The Master Smuggler

Continued from page 41

dian Customs Officer wishes to see him at once.”

The clerk looked startled and promptly called up one of the big hotels where he got in touch with Oleson.

“He wants you to go over to see him,” the clerk said after a brief colloquy with his chief. He named one of the prominent hotels.

Duncan went right over and Oleson met him in the rotunda. The Master Smuggler was quite unruffled and cheerful.

“Good morning, sir,” he said. “Arc you looking for me?”

“Iguess so,” replied Duncan. “You look like Oleson to me.”

“That’s my name,” said Oleson.

*TÏ-HEY sized each other up, for a.moÏ rnent, both smiling and apparently unconcerned. It might have been a meeting between old college chums for all the people scattered around the rotunda could have told. “This man is going to be a good loser,” said Duncan to himself. Jocularly, he asked: “Do you pla>

poker?” He knew as a matter of fact that the Norwegian was a wonderful player of the American national game. Oleson had played “stud” in the mining and railway camps and “draw” in the fashionable clubs of Milwaukee where stakes ran high ; and his perfect nerve and coolness had made him a sure winner everywhere.

OLESON now led the W’ay to the eievators and they shot up to his room on the tenth floor. He opened the door and Duncan passed in. Oleson followed.

closed the door and locked it with a quick turn of the wrist and slipped the key into his pocket. Duncan heard, but never turned his head. Instead he walked to the table and drew up a chair in which he seated himself, ready for the conference.

Oleson placed h¡3 own chair so that he j sat at the end of the table, thus manoeuvring so that the table was not beI tween the two of them.

“I suppose you know what I am here for?” asked Duncan, to start the ball rolling.

“Yes, damn you!” replied Oleson, with . a show of anger that appeared a little forced. “I’ve known you were after me * for some time. I’ve heard, too, that you are going to hold a charge of murder over my head.”

THIS was sheer bluff; and they both knew it. The incident to which the i Norwegian referred had occurred a couple j of years before and had created some newspaper talk. Oleson and one of his men had been crossing the Skeena River ! in British Columbia with a suitcase in which had been packed a valuable store of jewelry on which not a cent, of course, half been paid. It was in spring and the i ice had not cleared off entirely so that the !• passage was a dangerous one. In the course of the trip over the boat upset and 1 Oleson’s companion sank. Oleson himself I dung to the overturned boat until rescued.

; and the story ran that, when the other ! man tried to cling to the same unstable support, he was unmercifully pounded back into. the yeasty waters. However, Oleson came ashore—and brought the suitcase with him!

This story Duncan had heard in the course of his investigations. It might be true or it might not. At any rate it had no particular concern for the customs I service; and Oleson knew this.

AS OLESON spoke he took from his pocket a large clasp knife which he kept snapping open and shut after the 1 practice of bushmen. His attitude was i very threatening. His hard, piercing eye was fixed on Duncan with an intentness thát aimed at intimidation. But the Canadian never batted an eyelash. He looked smilingly at Oleson and proceeded to 1 “call” his bluff.

“My dear fellow,” he said, “I haven’t ; charged you with anything yet. Please ! don’t make yourself appear the bad man you say you are. Up to the present I’ve been forming a rather good opinion of you. You look like a man to me, so please let’s talk business—rationally.”

“In the first place,” he went on, “we don’t deal with murder charges. They are handled by the North West Mounted Police. I guess you know them well enough to feel that they’ll do their duty. If there was anything in this murder charge you’d have heard of them before now. You know, as the Biackfoot Indian says, ‘Dey have damn big eyes and long ears.’

“So much for that matter. We’ll drop it there, if you are agreeable. I want you to distinctly understand that we deal neither in threats nor hearsay. Our work is handled on the basis of facts, and facts alone. Now then,” and Duncan’s fist came down on the table to emphasize the fact j that he had come to his point, “what I wanted to ascertain from you first hand 1 are the facts about your smuggling! We

know that you smuggled and caused to be smuggled large quantities of watches and jewelry into Canada during the past

six years.”

Oleson did not say anything. But that he appreciated the time for bluffing was passed, was evidenced by his closing up the knife and putting it away.

“In the first place, do you deny that you have smuggled goods into Canada?” asked Duncan, looking Oleson squarely in the eye.

Oleson thought hard for a minute and then replied:

“No, I guess I won’t deny it.”

“Well, then,” said the Canadian official, “all that remains to be done is to go through your books and determine the value of all the goods you have smuggled into Canada. Then we can fix the amount of duty which you owe thereon and arrive at a basis of settlement.”

OLESON was a little taken aback at this suggestion. He had probably anticipated a demand for settlement on a fixed amount The idea of paying on all the tremendous volume of stuff that had been shipped across the line probably took his breath away. And yet, at the very moment he had a clerk in his office busily burning invoices and covering the trail generally.

“How much is this thing going to cost me?” he asked.

“That depends upon the value of the goods you’ve smuggled,” replied Duncan.

“If it is too much, I’m likely to tell you to go to the devil,” said Oleson.

“My good fellow,” replied Duncan, “that will be up to you. I suppose though you know your brother is under arrest in Vancouver? Do you want him to go to jail for five years? How much does he make for you in a year? I suppose you are likewise aware that we have every dollar’s worth of goods you have stored in the banks and trust companies in Canada under seizure?”

“Yes, I know,” replied Oleson. “I’ve had nothing but damn telegrams raining on me for two days. My brother Billy is scared stiff in Vancouver and has been burning up my money on the wires ever since they caught him. What the devil do you want, anyway? You have pretty nearly everything that I own now.”

“I want to go through your books and invoices,” replied Officer Duncan, “and establish to my satisfaction the value of the goods you have smuggled. Then we can talk turkey. In the meantime, as we appear to understand each other, let us go to your office and get busy.”

Oleson yawned sleepily as if a load had been removed from his shoulders, got up, unlocked his door and led the way out of the hotel and down town to his office.

AS THEY walked in, a man with a shoebox under his arm was walking out of the office. Duncan afterwards learned that it was “Sleepy Ike” Carlstrom, one of the trustiest lieutenants of Oleson. He appeared a little uneasy at seeing them and hesitated a moment Oleson nodded to him to return and the three stepped into the office together. At a further nod from his leader, “Sleepy Ike” laid the shoebox on the desk and quietly vanished. He stayed not on the order of his going. In fact he seemed anxious to go.

“Just to show you that I am playing fair,” said Olesou, opening the box. It

was filled with watches. “That pile is worth $2,700. My man was starting out for Canada with it. And he would have made the grade too.”

However, he had .not played as fair as he desired ta make out. The invoices were a pile of ashes down in the furnace. It was impossible, therefore, to arrive at a correct estimate of the total amount of the operations and the matter of settlement became one of force. The officer used the weapons in his hands to bring the head of the organization to time. And he finally succeeded.

rI ' HAT evening Oleson and Duncan dined together at the Radison and the following day lunched at the same place. In the afternoon of the second dav, Oleson handed Duncan a New York draft for the amount settled upon. To raise the money Oleson had beeri forced to realize on a substantial block of G.T.P. bonds that he held. They shook hands and parted on friendly terms.

“Come down to the office, Duncan,” said the Master, “I’d like to give you a little souvenir—one of the finest watches I carry. You can pay the duty on it when you cross the line.”

“Good-bye, Oleson,” said Duncan.

And the amount of the cheque?” The customs authorities refuse to tell. But it was, in Duncan’s words, a “whopper.”