A Serial Solution
Another true detective story drawn from the official records of the North West Mounted Police
T. MORRIS LONGSTRETH
NOTED in General Orders of the Mounted Police for the week ending November 6, 1908:
“Reg. No.--Sgt. Nicholson, J., of “G” Divi-
sion, was by Asst. Commissioner J. H. Mcllree at Innisfail on the 27-10-08 reduced to the rank and pay of a Constable for in that he did through negligence allow prisoner W. O. King to escape from custody on the 1.10.08.”
Writers of history need a variety of qualities, among them second sight, in order to detect the juicy kernel of romance so often covered by the shell of official jargon. Regard the commonplace entry given above. Who would suspect that it conceals a story of estimable efforts, the efforts indeed which have built up the Mounted Police reputation, a story of murder on murder, a story of detective intuitions?
It was near noon of that March Sunday in 1907 when Ferdinand Wiese swung his sleigh from the main Edmonton-Calgary highway on to the back trail which would take him to his farm, situated midway between the
Alberta settlements of Leduc and Millet. The cold was severe, the trail unbroken, and to brave so many miles of it spoke well for the German settler’s courage.
Wiese was nearly in sight of his home when a turn in the road showed two strangers ahead. One man was driving a sleigh drawn by a team of blacks, the other was walking. W’ieseglanced curiously after them, for the sight of strangers, especially on the little travelled back trail, was unusual. But they seemed to know where they were going, and disappeared as Wiese reached the fork leading off to his own place.
Two days later he had occasion to go to Millet for mail, and three miles from the settlement an object lying on the trail caught Wiese’s eye. He left his sleigh to examine it. It was somebody’s cap, of muskrat fur and of a pattern commonly used in the Northwest. There was no identifying mark. The crown was flattened as if one had trodden on it; and, though the fur was soft, the cap felt strangely rigid. Wiese inspected the lining. It was stained, saturated with something that had frozen to a boardlike stiffness. The stains had a reddish tinge against the black cloth.
Wiese felt faintly disturbed, and his eye roved the prairie as if hoping that the owner might appear. Peculiar stains caught his attention, slight rust-colored depressions in the snow on the trail before him, drawing his gaze down the trail toward Millet. He again felt the frozen lining, looked at the stains in the snow, and then with an energetic gesture cast the cap from him and hastily clambered upon the sleigh. It was too much for Wiese.
But aroused suspicions are not cast from one like a cap, and the serious-minded settler found himself following the snow stains for a quarter mile, watching for a further sign. Perhaps there would be marks of a struggle, or footsteps running from the trail. But none appeared. Only the tracks of sleigh runners and horses’ hoofs marred the even whiteness of the course. Suddenly even these ceased; a loop giving evidence of the sleigh’s turning. It had reversed its direction and driven back north.
W '«“se felt relieved, for these movements suggested an explanation: Someone had hurt himself and had turned back to see the doctor, perhaps, not knowing how close he was to Millet. Or he might have intended to make for one of the neighbors. This must have been since the last snowfall, which was on Saturday. Then there flashed into Wiese’s memory the recollection of the strange outfit he had seen coming on Sunday.
With nothing of importance to think about, the settler let his fancy play about the couple. Which was hurt? Why had one been walking? Why had the footsteps vanished? How could anyone have been injured there? It was all very mysterious and not a little disturbing, and at last Wiese, who had now reached Millet, determined to tell his friend the Justice of the Peace about it. It was just as well to be on the safe side.
C ERGEANT PHILLIPS of the Mounted Police, sum^ moned from Wetaskiwin to inspect the stains on the snow, arrived to find the trail obliterated by fresh snow. But the cap spoke for itself. Clearly the stains were blood. Whether the blood was human, and, if human, the result of foul play was another question. A few black hairs adhering to the stain told little.
Settlers along the trail were unexpectedly helpful in adding to Wiese’s story. One of them told Phillips that he had remarked the black team going south the previous Sunday morning. There were two men, one in the sleigh, one plodding behind. A few hours later the settler had seen the same team returning, this time with only the driver. The load on the sleigh had been covered, with a pair of wagon wheels resting on top. Farther along, the wife of another settler had noticed the outfit, going and coming; and had thought it queer that one of the men should have been left to finish the trip into Millet on foot on such a cold day.
A third settler had met a man driving a black team north on Sunday afternoon, and had given him the direction and distance to Leduc. The driver was obviously a foreigner, he said; more German than Norwegian, though he might have been Norwegian, with broad features and a brown mustache. This settler also remembered the pair of wheels resting on top of the covered load.
At Leduc the liveryman had no difficulty in placing the outfit described by the mounted policeman. It had arrived the previous Sunday evening. The stranger, who said his name w>as Smith and that he came from Winnipeg, had left the sleigh at the rear of the stable despite the liveryman’s assurance that no one would interfere with it out in front.
The hotel register showed an entry for March 10— A. Schmidt—and the clerk recalled the guest. From Leduc into Edmonton the sergeant continued his enquiries. Near a railway siding the black team and outfit had been observed going toward Strathcona. But no one else on the road recalled it. Sergeant Phillips carried on his research, aided now by the Police detachments in the district in a check-up for anyone missing. Finally, at Edmonton, a signature in the same handwriting as that of the hotel register at Leduc was unearthed, showing the arrival of a guest named A. Smeith, the day after Schmidt had left Leduc. The hotel people described him as of middle height with a blonde mustache. He had stayed only one night.
Meanwhile the check-up by the detachments had disclosed no one missing. Inspector Worsley, at Edmonton, was not satisfied, however; and suggested to the Attorney-General’s Department that it might be the part of thoroughness to have the blood stains on the cap analyzed. But the Attorney-General’s staff thought such zeal excessive and inadvisable, inasmuch as there was no conclusive evidence of foul play. So the cap was ordered tagged and placed away for future reference, and the Mounted Police discontinued the investigation until such time as developments should warrant its resumption.
The Missing Mr. Hotz
TT WAS a year later and the Mounted Police at
Edmonton were endeavoring to cope with a flood of complaints from angry citizens who had been defrauded in a variety of ways. Someone who rapidly shifted his name was making a systematic tour of the city, here buying a team of horses, there a wagon, now a set of harness, and now another wagon or more horses, sometimes extending his purchases to cattle. Unfortunately, the purchaser obtained these articles by means of lien
from the official records of the
notes, and the holders of the notes had suddenly discovered with excessive chagrin that their property had been immediately disposed of to other people at prices so reduced as to suggest only one thing—that their notes would never be taken up.
Unluckily for the chief actor in these transactions, his greed surpassed his ability, and without much difficulty the Mounted Police located the offender and arrested him. He gave the name of William Oscar King, the English version of his real name, Koenig.
The prisoner, a bald, middle-aged, strongly built man, possessed an assurance which partially accounted for his short success as a Get-Rich-Quick Wallingford. His ruddy blue-eyed countenance, while unattractive to look at, certainly exhibited no broken spirit, not even a depression at the prospect of a long jail sentence. He had no illusions as to his position, nor did he attempt to deny the charges against him. Perhaps he shrewdly suspected that the evidence against him was overwhelmingly conclusive. And as if it were not enough, the Police investigation had unearthed associates equally reprehensible. Both of these—August Tieman and Gus Borden—had vanished from their usual haunts, Borden after serving a four months term for false pretences at Fort Saskatchewan. It was only a question of the number of years that King would serve at the same place, and the Mounted Police relegated his case to the pile of similar ones which only awaited presentation in court to finish them.
One morning about three months later an Immigration official called at the Mounted Police barracks in Edmonton, and Sergeant Nicholson interviewed him. A German settler working in the mines at Clover Bar Ridge was anxious, it seemed, about a friend named Hotz. Hotz, who had been working at the mines but had left the previous spring to take up a job in British Columbia, had not been heard from; and Mrs. Hotz had written from Germany asking as to his whereabouts.
Sergeant Nicholson, a squarely built man of middle height, whose already greying hair exaggerated his forty years, had followed up too many enquiries of just this sort to be more than politely interested. Indifferent correspondents had caused the Force an ocean of trouble throughout its thirty years.
“Perhaps Hotz had reasons for disappearing,” Nicholson suggested.
“On the contrary,” said the Immigration official, from what I knew of Hotz and from the opinions of others, I should say that he was a model family man, one who would never let his family or friends worry about him needlessly. He had been arranging, I know, to bring his wife and family out to Canada. He had saved up money for that purpose.”
‘Where did he say he was going to in British Columbia?”
We dont know. That’s why I am here. Hotz’s friend tells me that Hotz Used to live with another German at the mines named King. King left there a few months before Hotz did, and it is King who told Hotz’s friends that he had gone to British Columbia. Hotz didn’t say good-by to anybody else apparently. Now this man King whom you’ve arrested, may not be the same King, ut Hotz s friend thinks he is and wants to know if you would ask him where Hotz is now.”
At mention of King, Sergeant Nicholson instantly e t interested. He had worked on the King investiga♦v?1* de^ective instincts were ready to believe
at there might be more in this latest volunteering of information than appeared. Perhaps Hotz was another name for Tieman or Borden or a third friend of King’s named KeHner. Nicholson, showing nothing of these thoughts, assured the Immigration officer that he would take up the matter at once.
Clover Bar Ridge contributed the same facts as the n(\m°reno less. Hotz and King had lived a},thf rmnes; King quitting the job on an
Thon Hdfdud jte’uHotz stay[n« on until March of 1907. 1 hen Hotz had abruptly gone, no one could say definitely
and rePorts had him in British Columbia.
. e from Mrs. Hotz. There was no limit to the gossip and suppositions it had occasioned.
deddoîtn hyt the drTought of information, Nicholson deeded to interview King, whose cheerfulness had not
been noticeably diminished by his three months in jail.
Certainly he knew Hotz, said the prisoner.
They had lived together part of the winter, but he (King) had tired of the work first.
Hotz stayed on until March, when he had pulled out for British Columbia. At least that was where he said he was going.
“And you wrote to Mrs. Hotz in Berlin, telling her this?”
“No,” corrected King. “I wrote to a friend of Mrs. Hotz.
She must have passed on the news.” He smiled at the expression of doubt on his questioner’s face. “That woman’s in Edmonton now,” King added. “I sent her the money to come out. She’ll tell you the same if you want to ask her.”
Nicholson was unaccountably irritated by something in King’s demeanor. The prisoner was polite, even obliging, but his way of making patient explanations was condescending, even subtly contemptuous. It was as if his manner said:
“You clumsy fools; as if you could trip me up with your questions.”
“I hope you’re telling the truth,” Nicholson said. “You might just as well now as later.
You’ll be with us a good while, you know; long enough for us to check up what you say.”
If King’s lips tightened and his expression changed, he was not led to reply, and Nicholson left him.
Two weeks had
passed and nothing new had been learned about the missing man. There was practically nothing to go on. British Columbia was huge; and Hotz, if there, might be in any part of it. He might have some reason for not communicating with his friends. And if not, if anything had happened to him, it lay outside the Mounted Police jurisdiction and system of investigation. The thing looked like an impasse. And then Nicholson received word that King wanted to see him.
The prisoner had changed. He seemed to have lost something of his confidence, as if he was beginning to appreciate his lot. Instead of the almost supercilious air, he presented a new, a confidential side. He now spoke of a strong resentment against his former friends, Tieman and Borden; blaming them, indeed, for being where he was. It was time to get even. His voice lowered. Borden, he said, had killed a man; killed him for his money, and confessed it. He had even offered to show King where the body had been hidden, under a manure pile.
King as a confidant was even less attractive to Nicholson, but the mounted policeman quickly said:
“You saw the body?”
“No,” admitted King, “but Borden was telling me the truth. I can show you the place if you want to take me there.”
Nicholson felt that King also was telling the truth, and Inspector Worsley readily agreed that it would do no harm to investigate the locality. So, on September 23, a party of Police escorted the prisoner to a farm a few miles from Edmonton where King had had his cabin. Thirty yards away he pointed out a place that undoubtedly had once been a manure pile. But only the site remained; the refuse had been burned. The Police resented the fact that King, intentionally or otherwise, had led them on a wild-goose chase.
“Wait a minute,” exclaimed Nicholson, "there’s a bone.”
They began to scout about the place, turning up scraps of bone, a penknife, a piece of burnt sweater, and— dramatically at last—a skull. It was almost intact, though smashed in two places. Undoubtedly they were looking at the head of a victim. They exchanged a few words in quiet tones. King must have heard the name
of Hotz, for he denied the implication, saying that he had no notion as to whether Hotz was living or dead but that this man’s skull had belonged to a victim of Borden’s and he had helped the Police find it because he desired revenge on Borden for letting him take the blame for other charges.
The Police scoured the vicinity for every tell-tale item, and lodged King back in his cell.
The ferment of revenge began to work in King’s mind more rapidly, or else he had begun to brood over the fact that perhaps he had only brought fresh suspicion against himself. He had not enough law to know that, from the Police point of view, his act had not been very incriminating. Nothing could connect the skull or scraps of bone with Hotz; and without that actuality the hands of the prosecutor were tied. But King worried, and at length he sent again for Nicholson.
If the result of the first interview had been surprising, the second was no less amazing. King, victimized by his fears, uneasily explained that he had told only part of the tale. Tieman, too, had killed a man. At least Tieman had confessed to King that he had made another man “bite the grass;” and King believed that he could point out the spot —it would be some thirty miles west of Innisfail —where the body was hidden in a pile of brush.
Nicholson, mastering his impulse to ask King how many more murders he was privy to, accepted this revelation with less hesitation than the first.
On a very cold morning in October, Nicholson and a corporal left Innisfail in a democrat with King wearing handcuffs. At the end of the long drive the prisoner pointed out the brush piles he had spoken of. At the same time King complained of the cold and showed his hands which were blue and freezing. It was necessary to free the man, as well as helpful to have his aid in searching the brush, and so Nicholson unlocked the handcuffs.
The search took some time, as King said that he remembered only the piles of brush, not any particular one. The three men worked systematically through the lot, but there was no body. On returning to the wagon Nicholson started to put the handcuffs on the prisoner, but the key broke in the lock and King was left free.
Four miles farther on, explained King, there was a house which Tieman and Borden used to frequent. They might be there now. The place consisted of a farmhouse and stable.
Two young women appeared at the farmhouse door and seemed startled at the sight of uniforms. King spoke to one of them in German. Nicholson sharply warned him to stick to English. A few minutes search satisfied the sergeant, that there was no Tieman or Borden either on the premises. The women showed no recognition of King; and Nicholson was preparing to leave when the corporal, who was holding the horses, shouted. King had jumped from the rig. Nicholson made a leap for him, but King had reached the stable door and slammed it. With instant accord the two policemen threw their weight against it, but it held.
“Quick, the rear!” shouted Nicholson; and while the corporal raced around one end of the building, the sergeant rounded the other. Thick bush grew almost to the edge of the building, and a violent motion, disappearing, showed the course of the late prisoner.
The unhappy policemen tore through the thickets of saplings, stumbled into bog holes, and scanned the frozen ground for footprints. They saw the fugitive once but before they could come up with him he had vanished in the dusk.
The news created a commotion at Edmonton. Immediately all the machinery of the Force went into operation, and from Edmonton to the American border, from Manitoba to British Columbia, the detachments were notified to oversee all travel, to prevent the German with the ruddy complexion, blue eyes, hairy body, and varicose veins behind left knee from slipping from the country. Even in the North all patrols carried descriptions of the man.
Meanwhile Nicholson’s right sleeve showed brighter spaces of scarlet where three chevrons and a star had been removed. Discipline was discipline. There had been no gross carelessness, the authorities ruled, but the fact that a prisoner, perhaps one who might yet prove to be a murderer, had escaped, demanded an example. Nicholson took his medicine in silence, and redoubled his efforts on the case.
But a week went by, and a month, and the second month was nearly over, with King still at liberty.
With Constable Nicholson, the recovery of King had, it seemed, become a lifework. Long ago the primary and obvious methods of search had been run through. But to a determined man there are always new ways to be tried, and Nicholson fell back on the old adage, "Find the woman.” King, it had long before been discovered, was no woman-hater. At a time when $80 was a decidedly large sum to the miner, he had sent $80 to Germany that a woman of fond memories could come to Canada. She had come, Nicholson had discovered her
and had done his utmost to enlist her aid. She seemed willing, even anxious, to help, since her previous fondness for the escaped prisoner had vanished upon the discovery of a rival, a supplanter, by the name of Mrs. Beidemann. She mentioned an anonymous letter saying that King was in desperate plight without money, and she promised to notify Nicholson of any news. He threw a watch about the house for safe measure. One night an unseen person was heard to whistle as if for a signal, but nothing came of it.
With decreasing hope Nicholson turned to Mrs. Beidemann, who was surprisingly communicative. She was through with King, was afraid of him. Yes, she was convinced that King was crooked. He had amused himself by telling her how he had acquired a wagon and harness by fraud. That was back in the winter of 1907. Atter the deal King had driven off with his friend, Hinthal, who owned a team of blacks and a wagon. Three or four days later King had driven back alone and had sold the team and wagon at Strathcona. It had been a bitter cold spell, Mrs. Beidemann remembered, and Hinthal and King had had to sleep out beside a campfire. In the morning King had found Hinthal still asleep, a corpse, succumbed to the cold. The morning after his return, she had found him burning clothing on a big fire. It was stupid waste. They had had words. It was about this time that she had first become afraid of King. Mr. Beidemann never had liked him. He would carry a revolver, too.
Nicholson’s report found a very interested reader in Inspector Worsley. A gust of memory brought back some items dimly—a black team . wagon wheels in winter . Strathcona. The officer called for the Orderly Room clerk and asked for the register of investigations during 1907. Down the neatly written pages the inspector’s finger travelled until he came to the bloodstained cap found near Millet!
The entry excited him. Eagerly he read the file, comparing its details with Mrs. Beidemann’s sketchy tale —a black team; a wagon in winter; wagon wheels on the sleigh’s hidden load; three or four days, just the time to go from Edmonton to Millet and return; the side trip to Strathcona; the remains near King’s cabin. Were they Hotz’s after all? Why not this other friend who had trusted King too far? No wonder Sergeant Phillips had found no tracks leading off the lonely trail where the blood-stained cap was found. What was under the sleigh’s cover but a body? The reluctance to leave the sleigh in front of the livery at Leduc. Detail after detail of the report and of the story clicked.
Checking Up On Hinthal
JUSTICE does occasionally indulge in poetry, for Mr.
Beidemann now enters the story. While visiting in Edmonton, he saw a certain figure in the Market Square, rushed to the telephone and informed the Edmonton chief of police that he had laid eyes on King. Inspector Worsley, similarly notified, immediately sent out the few men that were available. But King was gone.
Yet the sentimental Teuton was not quite safe. He waited till dusk before he once more loitered past Mrs. Beidemann’s familiar window, perhaps for the last time. It was the last. The woman was looking out. King passed. She rushed from the back and impressed the nearest patrolman into service. The arrested man denied his identity, but the fugitive was King, blue eyes, varicose veins, and all.
The trial of King on the several charges of horse stealing, fraud, and false pretences, was an interruption to the murder investigation, but it at least ensured the prisoner’s presence and availability for seven years in the penitentiary. And now Inspector Worsley and Constable Nicholson set to work to close up the gaps in the more serious case. These were many and wide. First there was the solitary incident of the fur cap. Then, separated by a year, the fraudulent activities for which King had just been sentenced. Still later, the incident of the missing Hotz. And now Mrs. Beidemann’s belated suppositions about Hinthal.
So once more the settlers along the back trail near Millet were interviewed, the register entries of A. Schmidt and A. Smeith were cut out for exhibits. A search of all likely places for disposing of the body was instituted. The shack where King had lived with Mrs. Beidemann was found to have been burned to the ground months before, but the ashes yielded a few' scraps of grey cloth, and its positiononly three miles from where the human remains had been found under the manure heap ascertained. But the crux of the problem remained—to identify the skull of the manure pile with Hinthal, and bridge the gap of 150 miles between it and the cap it might once have worn.
Nicholson’s tenacity had become a barracks byword; now it was to be rewarded by a chain of small but rich developments. The constable, in searching the land office records, found that a J. A. Hinthal had filed in June, 1906, on a section in the Ponoka district since abandoned. His application showed that he had come
from Minnesota. Mrs. Beidemann, consulted, thought that she remembered the place as Vermalche. The nearest approach to Vermalche w'as a small Minnesota town called Bemidji. But that was it. Joseph A. Hinthal had lived there from 1898 to 1906, then left for Canada with a team of black horses and a carload of settlers’ effects. Nicholson noted their descriptions, and the sympathetic Bemidjians added that a particular friend of Hinthal’s named Swan Borg was also in Canada, possibly near Edmonton. Nicholson returned with the first feeling of ultimate success in his bones.
"DUT four months passed. Borg was elusive, but at last he was located in an Alberta coal mine. He had known Hinthal for eighteen years, having worked with him in mines throughout the States. Hinthal, said Borg, had bank accounts in Minneapolis and a quarter section in Minnesota; in fact, he knew all about him, though he had heard nothing from him recently, to his worry and surprise. Hinthal had gone away wearing a grey suit and a ratskin cap, also a gold watch. Swan Borg produced a photograph of his friend. It confirmed Mrs. Beidemann’s description of Hinthal’s unusually small and narrow chin.
The pincers were closing with every fact. Mrs. Beidemann identified the photograph as that of the man who had gone away with King in March, 1907. The liveryman at Leduc repeated his assurance that King was the man who had visited him the day the two men were seen on the back treil. The hotel registers traced A. Smeith—an alias of King’s in his lien note frauds— to Edmonton. A prominent pathologist pronounced the stains on the cap as from human blood. Another medical expert certified the manure-pile skull as human and as being that of a man with a remarkably small lower jaw. There remained only to prove, for the densest jury’s sake, that King’s travelling companion was Hinthal.
And now luck was kind to Nicholson. He asked Mrs. Beidemann if she had ever seen the gold watch that Hinthal owned.
“Now, ain’t that strange,” she said. “Mr. Hinthal loaned that watch to me when mine was broke. I had it several days.”
“You have it now?” asked Nicholson breathlessly.
“No, but Mr. Beidemann has. Mr. Hinthal gave it to him that time before he left.”
“Describe it for her, Borg,” said Nicholson.
Swan Borg described it.
“The very same,” exclaimed Mrs. Beidemann, and when her husband produced it they saw that it was.
Meanwhile a letter that had come from Tenstrike, Minnesota, from a friend of Hinthal, assured Nicholson that anxiety had been felt for Hinthal for some time. He had last written in March, 1907, saying that he was going back to his homestead at Ponoka. Letters written to him had been returned.
With specimens of King’s handwriting, including his rendering of Hinthal’s signature, Nicholson hastened to Tenstrike, and under date of June 23, 1907, King’s handwriting appeared. The name this time was Herman Peterson, of Bemidji, but research work in the State House proved that it was the same old King. The copy of the deed of Hinthal’s homestead showed that a $300 mortgage had been entered in the name of S. D. Works, of Mankato, Minnesota. Nicholson, now hot on the scent, went to Mankato. Mr. Works was away, but subsequently identified, from photographs of King and Hinthal which Nicholson sent him, King as the one who had negotiated with him. He had posed as Hinthal, and the original deed showed unevasively that King’s was the hand that had penned the signature of “J. A. Hinthal.”
The long and exceedingly devious trail was ended. On the 23rd of April, 1910, more than three years after the black team of horses had been seen by the churchgoing Mr. Wiese, Constable Nicholson laid an information against William Oscar Koenig, alias King, charging him with the murder of Joseph A. Hinthal.
The murderer was amused. With his feet manacled and closely guarded, he listened to the testimony with sang-froid. Even when Mrs. Beidemann gave her damaging evidence he was not disturbed, tilting back his chair and smiling. Once, when Nicholson was calling his witnesses to prove that he had obtained the mortgage money at Bemidji by impersonating Hinthal, King shot a quick glance at his undoer to express admiration at the detective work which had bared this particular action.
But he was still confident. He had his own story still to tell. He w'as used to taking in people, he would do it once more. So he took the stand in his own defense and described how he and Hinthal had left Edmonton to go to the German-American’s homestead near Ponoka. They had stayed the first night at Strathcona and there they met Borden, Tieman and Kellner. The next day, continued King, he was not well. So he had gone to Ponoka by train, where Hinthal was to meet him. When
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Continued from page 18
two days passed and there was no Hinthal, King had returned to Strathcona. Perhaps he had not left. And at Strathcona he had found Hinthal’s team and outfit in Kellner’s possession. He asked no questions, and so that was all he knew about what had happened to Hinthal.
There was a stir in the courthouse, a murmur, a buzz of voices. It had been the old old story of the lien notes explanation, of the first explanation of the body under the manure pile: blame the absent partners.
King heard the stir, saw that he was not believed, and slowly it dawned upon him that his effrontery at last had failed. In a sudden rage he shouted out that all the witnesses who had spoken otherwise were, except Nicholson, liars.
But the net had been woven too well, the verdict of “Guilty” was pronounced, and six weeks later the too trusting Joseph
Hinthal w’as avenged. What became of Hotz, or where Tieman, Borden, and Kellner had fled to was never learned.
Commissioner Perry did not wait for the conclusion of the case to show that his disciplinary action at the time of King’s escape had not been altogether pleasant, and Nicholson appeared in court with the three chevrons and the star covering once more the scarlet wounds upon his sleeve. Everyone who knew him and had followed the case was pleased. But there was an extra surprise for his friends and for Sergeant Nicholson himself when he read, soon afterward, the following entry in the General Orders of the Force for the week ending June 24th, 1910:
The following promotion to take effect from 17.6.10: To be Staff Sergeant at $1.50 per diem while employed as detective:
Reg. No--Sergt. Nicholson, J. D.,
of “G” Division.