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Chapter LVII


from Memoirs of a great detective:
incidents in the life of John Wilson Murray

compiled by Victor Speer

LONG as was the journey after Davidson, a still longer chase was in store for Murray. The man sought was a festive pianist instead of a pious organist. His name was Henry Charles Aitken. He was a private banker in Tottenham, Ontario, until he disappeared, having cleaned out his vaults and placed $90,000 or more of worthless paper in the Bank of Hamilton. Murray's chase led him past Mexico, across the Isthmus of Panama, down the west coast of South America, through Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru, and Chili, across the Andes Mountains on mule-back, through the Argentine Republic, down the Rio Plata to Montevideo, and thence past the harbour of Rio Janeiro, Brazil, thence to Germany, back to New York, and home to Canada.

  "Aitken came of good family," says Murray. "His father was a well-known Hamilton physician years ago. He trained his son for a banker. Aitken was employed for some years in the head office of the Bank of Hamilton, and later was appointed manager of the branch at Tottenham. When this branch bank closed, Aitken took over the business and opened a private bank, notes discounted by him being rediscounted by the Bank of Hamilton. He built up a thriving business. He was a bachelor, somewhat reserved, but quite popular. He was an accomplished pianist and was reputed to be an impromptu composer. Much of his leisure he spent at the piano. Like many other business men in Canada, he was tempted to dabble in Chicago stocks, and when the market went against him he endeavoured to retrieve his losses by further investments, and when these also proved a loss, he used the funds of depositors and finally resorted to forgery. He disappeared on August 2d, 1892.

  "The Bank of Hamilton sent an inspector to Tottenham to examine Aitken's books. Aitken had done what he could to save the examiner trouble. The night before he disappeared he had gone over the books thoroughly. Opposite every genuine note he had marked the word 'good.' Thus the total of the forgeries was shown at once. The vaults of his private bank had been emptied. Depositors lost every dollar they had entrusted to him. The Bank of Hamilton lost over $90,000. Naturally, following so closely on the Davidson losses, the Bank of Hamilton was determined to run Aitken to earth, if the chase led thrice around the world. The Department was notified and I took up the case. A rumour had been set afloat that Aitken had been seen at Burlington Beach on the night of his disappearance. Some of his friends attempted to establish the common report that he had committed suicide, and that his body sometime would be found floating in the water. I did not believe this talk. When I started after Davidson, in November, 1892, I determined to keep a lookout for trace of Aitken. While in Mexico, I met several men travelling through South America and I told them of Aitken. I also issued this circular:

  'H. C. AITKEN — Age, about 38 years; height, about 5 feet 9 inches; weight, about 155 or 160 lb.; hair, darkish brown, turning slightly grey; wore hair pompadour style; moustache would be lighter colour than hair, also turning grey, usually kept trimmed; blue eyes, full face, straight nose, in cold weather inclined to be red; fair complexion; laughs in a low key; very prominent dimple on chin, which may be covered with whiskers; while in conversation strokes his chin; sometimes wears full beard or goatee; when standing at desk or counter goes through motions as if jerking or pulling himself together, crowding his elbows gently to his side for a moment, then slightly throwing up his head, while at the same time biting or attempting to bite corners of his moustache with his lower lip, without any aid from his hands; neat figure; slightly knock-kneed; walks with toes turned out; when walking strikes back part of heel first; quiet manner, very reserved and very musical; will play piano for long periods, composing as he goes along; walks with hands in pants pockets; dresses neatly; usually wears sack coat and stiff hat; does clay moulding. Cut is a fairly good likeness; cut of signature is a facsimile of his original writing.'

  "A commercial traveller, fresh from the land of the Incas had told me in Mexico that Aitken was at Lima, Peru. When I returned from Mexico I took up Aitken's case again. I prepared extradition papers and the Department of Justice communicated with the Rosebery Government in England to use its good offices to assist me in my hunt. Later I saw cablegrams from Rosebery to British Ministers all over South America in reference to me. I was aware that Aitken might leave Lima long before I could arrive there. He might come north along the west coast of South America, or he might head for the east coast if he did not go inland among the mountains. But wherever he went I was to find him.

  "Accordingly, Thomas W. Wilson, an English gentleman, travelling on the Western Hemisphere, sailed from New York on the City of Para on Saturday, September 30th, 1893. It was not the first time in my life I had travelled as Wilson. I arrived in Colon, Columbia, on Saturday, October 7th, one week after leaving New York. The canal a-building, the house of De Lesseps, and other sights were interesting. From Colon I took a train to Panama, crossing from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. At Panama I made inquiries concerning Aitken. No one knew of him. I had to wait five days for a steamer south. I remember there a man named Felix Hermann. He was the American Consul, a steamship agent, and a banker. Daily I endeavoured to buy a ticket from him. But he was of the race known by their names and he declined to sell me a ticket until the day the steamer came in, saying I should wait and see what solos, as he called the money, were worth. I suspected that on steamer days solos advanced in value, but there was nothing to do except wait. On October 12th the steamer arrived.

  "She was the Spanish steamer Maipo. Felix Hermann had charged me $16 too much for my ticket, and had given me a letter to the captain of the steamer, introducing Mr. Thomas W. Wilson. The captain took the letter, glanced at it and then at me.

  "'Wilson? Wilson?' said he. 'Get out, Murray! Don't you know me?' and he took off his cap.

  "I recognised him instantly as Louis Salmers, a Dane from Copenhagen, who had been a quartermaster in the United States Navy, and had served with me during part of the war. I knew I could trust him absolutely, and I told him of Aitken. He had heard nothing of him. I sat on the captain's left at table thereafter on the trip. I was not wine-bibbing in that climate, and an old Spanish lady, who sat opposite me, noting the absence of wine from my meal, was distressed greatly.

  "'Unhappy man!' she lamented, in Spanish. 'To think he is so poor he cannot afford wine! How very poor he must be!'

  "It never occurred to the gentle old lady that any one willingly would forego wine at meals. She fretted and fumed meal after meal and, finally with a brave muster of courage, she filled a glass and held it towards me.

  "'Poco vino, señor!' she said, beaming and nodding for me to take it.

  "It touched her heart to think any one should be so poor as to have to do without wine. When I declined with thanks, she was amazed and then flew into a great rage and cuffed the waiter and boxed her maid's ears and finally wept. Later she approached me on deck with a gauzy wrap about her. She smiled seductively, and suddenly drew from beneath the folds of her wrap a glass of wine.

  "'Poco vino, señor!' she pleaded.

  "Thereafter at every meal she offered me wine, with a plaintive 'Poco vino, señor!' and when I declined she invariably boxed her maid's ears. She could drink like a hart panting after a water brook.

  The Maipo arrived at Guayaquil, in Ecuador, on Monday, October 16th, and lay there a day for cargo. Yellow fever was raging. I went ashore and saw Captain Chambers, the British consul, but found no trace of Aitken. People swarmed to the water-front to get out of the city. A theatrical troupe was there, and some of them jumped into the water and tried to swim to the outer side of the Maipo to get aboard ahead of the drove of folk eager to jump the town. On October 18th, we touched at Payta, where I saw the British consul, and left him circulars of Aitken. I also left a circular at Passamayo, in Ecuador. There were no docks in Passamayo or north of Valparaiso, and we anchored off shore, while the steamer was surrounded with swarms of small boats whose owners charged pirate rates to take you ashore. We touched at Satarvary, Peru, on October 19th, and at Callao on October 20th. There was no trace of Aitken at either place. Among our passengers for Callao was a Mrs. Burk, with her two children, from Chicago. On the way down she told me she had been born in Lima, her father being an American, who had married a Spanish lady. She left Lima when she was six years old, leaving her mother and going to the United States to be educated. She had stayed in the United States, had married; her husband died, and she was on her way back to the home of her childhood, and was about to see her mother again, for the first time since she left Lima, a child six years old. I saw the meeting. The mother could not speak English, the daughter could not speak Spanish. Mother and daughter could not talk to each other, but they could hug and caress each other and cry over each other in sheer joy. They met on the dock at Callao, and those of the ship's passengers who did not cry, cheered.

  "I arrived in Lima on Saturday, October 21st, and went to the Hotel de Français — Ingleterra. I called on Sir Charles Mansfield, the British Minister, who had received notice from Lord Rosebery concerning the case. Sir Charles communicated at once with the Peruvian Secretary for Foreign Affairs, and as a result I was put in communication with Colonel Muniz, Prefect of Lima. On advice of Sir Charles Mansfield I went to Callao and arranged for Vice-Consul Wilson to accompany me to Lima and act as interpreter. The outcome of my interview of the Peruvian officials was the issuance of an order by the Peruvian Department of State commanding any or all officials in the Republic of Peru to arrest Aitken. I then called on Manager Holcomb at the South American branch of the New York house of William R. Grace. He promised to assist me in every way possible. When he saw Aitken's photograph he said: 'Your man is here. I have seen him several times in the street, and he called here looking for a position! Holcomb then gave me several letters, including one to President Dawkins, of the Peruvian Incorporated Company, Limited, an Englishman whose company had assumed the war debt of the Government and had taken mines, railroads, and lands as security.

  "Armed with these letters and aided by Colonel Muniz, I set out to find Aitken. President Dawkins told me he knew Aitken, and had travelled on the steamer with him on one occasion from Callao to Mollando. He sent for Superintendent Aikman, of the Peruvian railroads, who recognised Aitken from his photograph, and said he had seen him frequently. All of the officials of the railroads were called in the next day, and when they saw the photograph several at once recognised it. Manager E.J. Prew, of the silver mines at Challapa, told me that Aitken had been up to the mines in the Andes, one hundred miles from Lima. Mr. Evans, a street broker in Lima, told me Aitken had called on him day after day in reference to starting an English school. At length Aitken had told Evans he had not met with much success, and intended to go to Valparaiso. I found where Aitken had boarded. He was gone; the bird had flown.

  "While in Lima on Wednesday, November 1st, I went to see the natives decorate the graves of their dead. It was a national holiday. The cemetery was one of the most beautiful I ever have seen. It was laid out like a city. The dead were buried in vaults built above ground. The cemetery rose in terraces, ten, fifteen, and twenty feet high. There were fine marble fronts and less pretentious stone fronts. There were aristocratic avenues in this city of the dead, and there were modest side streets. In some of the houses of silence generations lay asleep, with the names of the occupants carved in the marble of the front door. Each body lay in a niche, with the coffin sealed.

  "The next day I walked out of the hotel to go to the offices of the Graces. I noticed the shutters were closed on all places of business and residences, that the streets were deserted, and a strange stillness pervaded the city. At Grace's I found the big iron gates shut. Manager Holcomb saw me, and had the gates opened for me.

  "'Why, Mr. Murray, are you out to-day?' he said.

  "'Yes, it looks like another holiday,' said I.

  "'We are on the eve of an insurrection,' said he.

  I started immediately for my hotel. The streets were absolutely deserted — not a soul in sight, not a living thing to be seen. I had gone but a couple of blocks when the roar of cannon shook the city; then came the rattle of rifle-fire and the sound of galloping horses. I ran for the plaza, the shortest route to the hotel. The streets were barricaded. It reminded me of what I had read of the French Revolution. Behind me came the galloping soldiery. Firing was going on all around me. Bullets went whining by. I dodged into a doorway to escape the charge of the mounted police. The mob sallied forth, and the contending forces met in the street in front of the doorway where I stood. It was a bloody battle. The police fought with sabres and carbines. The mob fought with revolvers, knives, clubs, and stones. The police rode through them, cutting off groups, surrounding them, and dragging them away. One of the groups was surrounded and ran to cover in my doorway. The police yanked us all out. I saw that those who resisted fell dead or wounded, so I stepped out obediently, and was being dragged along with a bunch of rioters, when fortunately Colonel Muniz, the prefect, spied me, and bade two of his men rescue me and escort me to my hotel. I thanked him, and he waved gaily to me as he charged the mob. I trotted along on foot between two officers through the streets of Lima, in a roundabout way to the hotel. The gates of the hotel were locked, and the windows and doors were barred. I shouted to open and let me in. They gave no heed. Suddenly both the officers roared forth a command to open in the name of some high official of Peru. The doors flew open like magic, the gates swung wide, and I walked in, taking my escort with me. They drank my health, then returned to the scene of conflict, where the guns were belching and the fight was raging amid cheers and groans. I sat all day listening to it, and rubbing a pink spot where the flat side of a sabre had smitten me. The real cause of the rumpus, I understood, was the refusal of some office-holders, voted out by Congress, to surrender the offices. After a couple of days of fighting the offices were given up peaceably. It was said they picked up over two hundred dead in the streets after the fighting.

  "When the fighting ceased I endeavoured to get trace of Aitken. I learned from a steamship official that he had embarked for Valparaiso, with stop-over privilege at Iquique. He had sailed from Lima before I had arrived. I determined to stop in all the intermediate ports, and make sure he had not disembarked in one of them. On Sunday, November 5th, I sailed for Valparaiso on the steamer Pizarro. I bore letters from the Graces' house in Lima to its Iquique house. I called at Pisco, Mollando, Arica, and Pisaque. Aitken had not been in any of them. On arrival at Iquique I called on the British Consul. I learned that Aitken, in company with another Englishman supposed to be a defaulter, had stopped in Iquique while his steamer was changing cargo, and had sailed for Valparaiso. I left Iquique on the next steamer for Valparaiso, sailing on Monday, November 13th, on the Imperial. I called at Cobiga, Bolivia, Autofagasta, Caldera, and Coquimbo; but Aitken had not appeared in any of them. I arrived at Valparaiso on Saturday, November 18th, and conferred with the British Consul and the Valparaiso house of Grace Brothers. The Grace house detailed one of its best posted clerks to assist me. On the fourth day I got track of Aitken by discovering, in an English café, a waiter and another person who recognised his photograph, and said he had taken his meals there for a time, and until shortly before my arrival.

  "I took train to Santiago, two hundred miles inland from Valparaiso, on November 23d, and conferred with John Gordon Kennedy, the British Minister; and, through him, with the Minister of Foreign Relations, who directed me to his deputy, Señor Bacanaun. After a lengthy conference, Señor Bacanaun stated that his Government would not surrender the fugitive, as there was no treaty between England and Chili. While willing to reciprocate and give man for man, they could not hand over a fugitive without a quid pro quo. A man presently would be in London, he said, whom the Chilian Government wanted. If the British authorities surrendered this man, the Chilian Government might surrender Aitken. I cited the case of Hanson, alias Bushnell, who fleeced the insurance companies in New York and Chicago out of several hundred thousand dollars, and was handed over to the United States authorities, subsequently escaping from the officer in whose custody he was at Iquique. Señor Bacanaun replied that it was the Supreme Court, not the Department of Foreign Relations, that had handed over Hanson, and, he added, it cost the United States authorities $25,000 and eight months' work to secure his extradition, as he had made many friends during his residence there. The Deputy-Minister of Foreign Relations further informed me that he thought it would cost the Bank of Hamilton fully $12,000 in gold to secure the return of Aitken. I listened gravely, and at the close of the interview I enlisted the services of Marcial Martnax, a great authority on international law in Chili, and I made up my mind to extradite Aitken if I could find him. After my interview I knew how to go about it. On December 1st I returned to Valparaiso. From Santiago I learned Aitken had been there for four days, and then had returned to Valparaiso. Among those I met in Santiago was Ernest Carnot, a son of the President of France. Back in Valparaiso I learned Aitken had been stopping at Villa del Mare (village by the sea), a watering-place six miles from the city. An interpreter had seen him, and guided me to his boarding-place. The landlord recognised the picture. Aitken had left suddenly, without taking all his effects. I looked at some of the effects. I thought they might belong to Aitken. He had left Valparaiso before I arrived there.

  "Where had he gone? I learned that the same afternoon he left Villa del Mare so suddenly he was seen by an employee of a big South American house at the office of the Pacific Navigation Company, and a steamer had sailed that afternoon for Buenos Ayres, Argentine Republic. It took this steamer fifteen days to go by the Straits of Magellan to Buenos Ayres. If Aitken had sailed on this steamer he was due in Buenos Ayres in a few days. I could not hope to overtake him by boat, but there was one way left. In a week or less I could get to Buenos Ayres by going over the Andes Mountains, the Cordilleras. If his steamer were a day or two late I could be on the dock to meet him. If he had not taken the steamer, but had tried to cross the mountains, I might overtake him. I decided to try to cross the Andes Mountains. I left Valparaiso on Wednesday, December 13th, bound from the Pacific to the Atlantic, from the west coast to the east coast of South America. I set out alone.

  "I took train at 7.40 in the morning, bound mountainward, and arrived at Los Andes at twelve noon. There was not a soul there. I had a letter from the agent of the Compania Nacional de Transportes Expreso Villalonga viaje de Europa al Pacifico, viâ Cordillera, meaning the agent of a mule concern to supply you with a mount over the mountains. At length, a ragged, lazy fellow appeared, and gazed at me and my baggage.

  "'I see you all right,' he said.

  "It must have been his one bit of English, for he repeated it a score of times, and no matter what I said he answered invariably: 'I see you all right.'

  "He certainly saw me all right, all right. He went away, and returned with a carriage, and drove me to an hotel, and left me there after collecting a fat fee. I sat there for an hour and no one appeared. Then I got a hackman, and had my luggage taken back to the station. At the station I found some men making up a little train — a pony engine and dinky cars. I asked if it went up in the mountains. No one answered. Suddenly my ragged friend appeared as if from nowhere.

  "'They see you all right,' he said, and fled.

  "I boarded this train, and rode up to Salto del Soldado, a couple of hours from Los Andes. There I alighted, and the first man I saw was Ernest Carnot, son of President Carnot of France, and whom I had met in Santiago. Young Carnot was a civil engineer, and a sturdy, frank fellow, whom I liked instantly.

  "'Glad to see you again,' he said, shaking hands.

  "'Not half so glad as I am to see you,' said I.

  Carnot introduced his friend, Maurice de Jouliatt, from Paris. They were bound over the mountains. So was I. We would go together? Gladly!

  "A delegation of Frenchmen had met Camot and escorted him to the end of the road. Carnot knew how to handle the pesky muleteers, and the guides jumped to obey him. We left Salto del Soldado at four o'clock that afternoon on mule-back. My mule was a drowsy little fellow with tremendous ears, and the tip of the left ear was missing. We rode to Posada Juncal, where we had dinner at eight o'clock in the evening, and spent the night. As I was looking at the time my watch fell, and the left hind foot of my lop-eared mule smashed it to bits. Chilian currency was no good beyond Posada Juncal, and we exchanged some of our money at the hotel, where they charged a quadruple compound rate of exchange. We arose at two o'clock in the morning. It was pitch dark.

  "'The guides say we are to muffle up well as we may meet a snow-storm,' said Carnot.

  "We started. I could not see my hand in front of my face. And the road! There was no road! The mules travelled single file. We went up, up, up, and then down, down, down, and then up, up, up, and then down, down, and then up, up, up, up, until one moment I felt above the clouds and another moment in the bowels of the earth. Carnot shouted that the guides said the mules were bred from Spanish jacks and English blooded mares, and could be relied on implicitly.

  "'My guide says we will bleed from the nose and mouth, and so will the mules, but not to mind it!' gasped Carnot.

  "The evening before, the guides had explained we must start early to get beyond a point known as Cumbre, where the wind, after a certain hour, blew a gale. Dawn came with us plodding up, up, up. Then down, down, down we went, winding in and out, around comers, over narrow paths. The mules galloped where they could. Going down was the hardest. It was severe on the legs. Moreover, as you looked down, far down, where great objects you had passed appeared as mere specks, it scared you. We passed Cumbre at half-past nine in the morning, after almost eight hours in the saddle. The wind was howling, and it tore at us until we clutched our saddles and finally flung our arms around the necks of our mules. Carnot was bleeding. My head was dizzy, and I could hardly breathe. We were 27,000 feet up, said the guides. The mules were bleeding.

  "'When he stop, no touch him,' gasped the guide. 'He go on when he can.'

  "We were almost smothered. Yard by yard we plodded on. We passed Cumbre after a stern battle, the mules pausing, then moving on, low bent, straining, striving valiantly. None of us tried to talk. We simply hung on. At two o'clock in the afternoon we came to Los Cuevas Posada. It simply was a stone house, but it seemed like paradise. We breakfasted, and I was about to proffer gold in payment when Carnot said 'Do not show gold,' and he paid the bills, we settling later with him. Never will I forget this day, Thursday, December 14th. We were in the saddle all day, riding amid the mountains, with death awaiting a mule's misstep, until eight o'clock in the evening, when we arrived at Punta de Vacas, and stayed there Thursday night. An Argentine customs officer examined our baggage there. I failed to tip him promptly, and he threw every stitch of my luggage out on the ground, scattering it right and left. It taught me a lesson. We slept on beds on the floor at Punta de Vacas, and left at eight o'clock on Friday morning.

  "We rode for three hours, and at half-past eleven reached Rio Blanca, where we breakfasted, and then went through in seven hours to Rio Mendoza, where I had the last of my Chilian money changed at forty per cent. discount. Everything is high in the Andes.

  "At Mendoza I met an American named Schister. He came from Ohio, and was a contractor, and lived in Buenos Ayres, having married a Spanish lady. Every one knew him, and he knew all the foreigners, particularly those speaking English, who bad been in Buenos Ayres in twenty years. So few foreigners, comparatively, get there, that a stranger is not there a day until he is spotted. Schister thought I might be a refugee, and delicately intimated as much. I did not undeceive him.

  "We left Mendoza at half-past nine that night, three hours after arriving. All day Saturday we were aboard train. It grew insufferably hot. In the coach the thermometer passed 116 degrees. I longed for a gust from the gale that swept around Cumbre. We arrived in Buenos Ayres at nine o'clock on Sunday morning, December 17th. I went to the Hotel de la Paise, and early the next morning I called on Mr. Packenham, the British Minister. I learned that an extradition treaty was pending between the English Government and the Argentine Government, but as yet it had not been signed by the President of Argentina. Inspector Froest, of Scotland Yard, was there after Jabez; Spencer Balfour, M. P., the president of the famous 'Liberator Company,' of England, who fled after involving his friends for many millions. A flourishing colony of refugees had sprung up in Buenos Ayres. Pending the ratification of the treaty a number of English refugees jumped the country, as the English Government desired to have a clause in the treaty making it retrospective to cover the case of Balfour; and other refugees feared they might be included. It was not made retrospective, yet they landed Balfour on a petition to the Courts, based on the comity of nations, and the courts ordered his arrest, and he was taken aboard an English ship.

  "One of the colony of refugees met me on the street and shook hands with me heartily.

  "'Well, Jim Thurber!' he exclaimed. 'When did you get in?'

  "'You're mistaken, sir,' said I.

  "'It's all right, Jim,' said he. 'We know all about your Boston job. You needn't deny it. You're all safe here. As for not being Thurber, you know me, and I've known you since boyhood.

  "I could not dissuade him. He was positive I was James Thurber, the Boston defaulter. He took me around to the other members of the colony. They told me Aitken had arrived there, and had been stopping with a Mrs. McGraw. Among others I saw was a Canadian, who was known as Señor Don Enrique M. Read, who was none other than A. M. Macrae, a fugitive from St. Catharine's, Ontario. He was in the American Criterion. I also met Doc Minchen, of the United States, and Tom O'Brien, both of whom I knew. They also were refugees from justice.

  "Soon after I saw Señor Don Enrique M. Read, he was on his way out of Buenos Ayres, thinking I was after him, and I was on my way to Mrs. McGraw's boarding-house after Aitken. I showed Aitken's photograph to her.

  "'He had no whuskers,' said Mrs. McGraw. 'But that's the laddybuck, the same musical laddybuck, with his pompydoory hair and his everlasting thumping on the piano.'

  "'Where is he now?' I asked.

  "'He sailed on the Margarita for Rio Janeiro,' said Mrs. McGraw.

  "It was true. Aitken had come and gone ahead of me, doubtless hearing of the pending treaty, and fearing it might be made retrospective. I knew he had not gone to the United States, for there was no line from Buenos Ayres to the United States, and no tramp steamer had left for the States since his arrival. It was Rio Janeiro or Europe for him.

  "I looked up Macrae, but could not touch him at that time, as there was no treaty and was not likely to be one, made retrospective, for some time to come, if at all. Macrae had been secretary and treasurer of the Security Loan and Savings Company of St. Catharine's, Ontario. In September, 1891, he disappeared with about $30,000 of the company's money. I had billed him as a defaulter and absconder as follows:

  'A. M. MACRAE, defaulter and absconder. Description-Age, about 35; height, about 5 feet 7 inches; has a striding walk and swings his right arm when walking; light moustache and small side-whiskers; quite bald-headed, especially on top and behind; is rather short-sighted; has a fashion in addressing a person of throwing his head rather backward and contracting his eyebrows when wearing eye-glasses.

  'His complexion is fair, clear, and rather ruddy, his accent is decidedly English, and is that of an educated and refined person. When he left St. Catharine's he wore light coloured clothes and stiff felt hat; he wore a high all-around collar.'

  In 1894 after I left Buenos Ayres, Macrae came north to the United States under the name of Gourley. I heard of him several years later from a druggist in Binghamton, New York, who formerly lived in Canada. As Gourley he went to work for The Trotter and Pacer, a periodical relating to horses. I located him in 1897, living in Mount Kisco, near New York, and he was arrested there and was taken before United States Commissioner Shields, was extradited, and was brought back to St. Catharine's, where he pleaded guilty on August 30th, 1897; and Judge Collier sent him to Kingston Penitentiary for four years.

  "'It might have been worse,' said Macrae, 'but oh! four years is such a long time in that place!

  "I thought of him as the gay and festive Don Enrique M. Read in the Criterion Garden in Buenos Ayres, back in December, 1893, when I was looking for a ship to Rio Janeiro, Brazil.

  "A rebellion was raging in Brazil at that time. The port of Rio Janeiro was closed. Mr. Packenham, the British Minister at Buenos Ayres, hearing of my efforts to get a boat to take me into Rio Janeiro, advised me strongly against it. He said it was inadvisable for me to try to enter the port, as a state of war existed, it was the hot time of year there, the British Minister had departed, and not only was there a blockade, but the yellow fever had broken out and many were dying daily. A report came out of Rio Janeiro that Aitken had died there of yellow fever. I hesitated to believe it. On January 1st, 1894, the German steamer Munchen sailed from Buenos Ayres for Germany and, if feasible, would stop at Rio Janeiro. It was my opportunity. I sailed on the Munchen. We called at Montevideo, Uruguay, and thence sailed for Rio Janeiro, but men-of-war blockaded the port, the war was on and the yellow fever flag was flying, so the Munchen steamed on, and as we sailed away I gazed off toward the port to where my quarry had fled and where he was said to be lying dead of yellow fever. It was hard to let go of the chase, so near and yet so far.

  "The Munchen arrived at Cape de Verde Islands after fourteen days and coaled. We crossed the equator at 12.40 on the morning of Saturday, January 13th. It was a beautiful night. I brushed up on my earlier knowledge of navigation and kept the runs and took the latitude and longitude daily. There were only four passengers aboard, two doctors (one a Spaniard, one an Italian), and a gentleman from Russia, and myself. We played dominoes and muggins together and the four of us, Italian, Spanish, Russian, and English walked the deck arm in arm, all four talking, each in his own language and none understanding a word that another was saying. I taught them to bow profoundly and say:

  "'Good-morning, Carrie!'

  "I taught them also to place one hand on their heart and exclaim pathetically:

  "'Have a nip?'

  "There was great satisfaction in talking to them. It did not matter what I said. They would listen very gravely and reply solemnly, 'Good-morning, Carrie,' or 'Have a nip?' The chief engineer of the Munchen, Mr. Schulta, and I became good friends. We touched at Madeira, and on Thursday, January 25th, entered the English Channel. We passed Flushing two days later, and went up the River Schelde to Antwerp, arriving on Saturday evening, January 27th, after grounding in the river. I left Antwerp three days later for Bremerhaven, the port of Bremen, Germany, and sailed for New York on the steamship Lahn, of the North German Lloyd Line, on Tuesday, February 6th. We passed Southampton on Wednesday, and one week later took on a pilot on the American side of the Atlantic. I landed in New York on Thursday, February 15th, and arrived in Toronto on Saturday, February 17th, 1894, at 7.15 in the evening. I had left Toronto on September 2oth, 1893. I was absent three days short of five months.

  "I heard no more of Aitken. When I think of him I think also of the yellow fever port of Rio Janeiro. Was fate waving me away or beckoning me in? Of course there are many cases of mistaken identity, but if I was mistaken in Aitken I was far from being the only one."

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