A Strange Disappearance
"Wa'al," drawled he "'taint much we know about them, yet after all it may be a
trifle too much for their necks some day. Time was when nobody thought
especial ill of them beyond a suspicion or so of their being somewhat mean
about money. That was when they kept an inn there, but when the robbery of the
Rutland bank was so clearly traced to them, more than one man about here
started up and said as how they had always suspected them Shoenmakers of
being villains, and even hinted at something worse than robbery. But nothing
beyond that one rascality has yet been proved against them, and for that they
were sent to jail for twenty years as you know. Two months ago they escaped,
and that is the last known of them. A precious set, too, they are; the father being
only so much the greater rogue than the son as he is years older."
"And the inn? When was that closed?"
"Just after their arrest."
"Has'nt it been opened since?"
"Only once when a brace of detectives came up from Troy to investigate, as they
"Who has the key?"
"Ah, that's more than I can tell you."
I dared not ask how my questions differed from those of Mr. Blake, nor indeed
touch upon that point in any way. I was chiefly anxious now to return to New York
without delay; so paying my bill I thanked the landlord, and without waiting for the
stage, remounted my horse and proceeded at once to Putney where I was
fortunate enough to catch the evening train. By five o'clock next morning I was in
New York where I proceeded to carry out my programme by hastening at once to
headquarters and reporting my suspicions regarding the whereabouts of the
Schoenmakers. The information was received with interest and I had the
satisfaction of seeing two men despatched north that very day with orders to
procure the arrest of the two notable villains wherever found.