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Cleveland Moffett

ISBN 10: 1530024048 / ISBN 13: 9781530024049
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2016
Condition: Good Soft cover
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Title: TRUE DETECTIVE STORIES, New Edition: From ...

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Publication Date: 2016

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition:Good

About this title


About midnight on Tuesday, January 25, 1876, five masked men entered the house of John Whittelsey in Northampton, Massachusetts. Mr. Whittelsey was the cashier of the Northampton National Bank, and was known to have in his possession the keys of the bank building and the combination to the bank vault. The five men entered the house noiselessly, with the aid of false keys, previously prepared. Passing up-stairs to the sleeping-apartments, they overpowered seven inmates of the house, gagging and binding them so that resistance or alarm was impossible. These were Mr. Whittelsey and his wife, Mr. and Mrs. T. B. Cutler, Miss Mattie White, Miss Benton, and a servant-girl. The bedroom of Mr. and Mrs. Whittelsey was entered by two men who seemed to be leaders of the band. One wore a long linen duster buttoned nearly to the knees, also gloves and overshoes; the other wore a jacket and overalls. Both men had their faces concealed behind masks, and one of them carried a dark-lantern. On entering the room the two men went directly to the bed, one standing on either side, and handcuffed Mr. Whittelsey and his wife. Both carried revolvers. The proceedings were much the same in the other rooms. After some delay and whispered consultation, the robbers ordered the five women to get up and dress. When they had done so, they were roped together by ankles and wrists, and taken into a small room, where they were kept under guard by one of the band. Mr. Cutler also was imprisoned in the same way. Then the two leaders devoted themselves to Mr. Whittelsey. They told him plainly that they had come for the keys of the bank and the combination of the vault, and that they would "make it hot" for him unless he gave them what they wanted. Mr. Whittelsey replied that it was useless to attempt to break into the bank, as the locks were too strong for their efforts and he would not betray his trust. At this the man in the linen duster shrugged his shoulders and said they would see about that. Mr. Whittelsey was then taken downstairs, and again summoned to surrender the keys. Again he refused. At this the man in the overalls put his hand in the cashier's trousers-pocket and drew forth a key. "Is this the key to the bank?" he asked. "Yes, it is," answered the cashier, hoping to gain time. "You lie," said the robber, with threatening gesture, at the same time trying the key in the lock of the front door of the house, which it turned. "Don't hit him yet," said the other; "he is sick." Then he asked Mr. Whittelsey if he wanted a drink of brandy. Mr. Whittelsey shook his head no. Then the man in the linen duster renewed his demands. He wanted the combination of the vault. Mr. Whittelsey gave him some figures, which the robber wrote down on a piece of paper. These were for the outer door of the vault. He demanded the combination for the inner door, and Mr. Whittelsey gave him other figures. Having written these down also, the robber came close to his prisoner and said, "Will you swear these figures are correct?" "I will," answered Mr. Whittelsey. "You are lying again. If they are correct, let's hear you repeat them." The cashier could not do this, and so disclosed that the figures were not the right ones. "See, Number One," said the robber, addressing his comrade, "we're wasting time; we'll have to teach him to stop lying." As he spoke he struck the sharp point of his lead-pencil into Mr. Whittelsey's face so violently as to make a wound, and followed this with several blows on the body. "Will you tell us now?" he asked. Mr. Whittelsey kept silent. Then both men came at him, wringing his ears, shaking him by the throat, hurling him to the floor, and pounding their knees into his chest. For three hours this torture was continued. More than once the ruffians placed their revolvers at Mr. Whittelsey's head, declaring they would blow his brains out unless he yielded.

About the Author:

About the Author American writer Cleveland Moffett (1863 – 1926) was a born in New York and educated at Yale. He joined the staff of the New York Herald and spent time as a foreign correspondent in Europe and Asia. His mystery short "The Mysterious Card" was published in the Boston-based The Black Cat and it was unusual in that he did not reveal the answer to the puzzle. He also wrote plays, including Money Talks (1905) and The Battle (1908).

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