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Newspaper Page Text
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, THE UNWRITTEN LAW
By Peter Thompson.
"Yes, he got three years for man
slaughter," said the'city editor. "The
crime was cold-blooded enough, but
you can't get even a northern jury to
convict for murder under those cir
cumstances. However, I'd better tell
you the story from the beginning.
"We happened to be short of men
when Phipps drifted into the office of
the Clarion. He claimed to be a news
paper man from Georgia, and he
"Do You Remember the Elwell
emed to understand his business, so
jave him a trial. He made good. He
asn't a showy writer, but he had the
.culty of getting news, which is a
ore yaluable art. After a month of
obation had elapsed I engaged him
a1 monthly salary of $150.
"He was a reserved sort of man.
;nly one or two of us ever got to
now him at all intimately. This may
have been partly due to the fact that
he was older than any of us verging
on forty, in fact However, I dined at
his little flat once or twice and met
"Mrs. Phipps was a very sweet
woman of about thirty-two or thre6.
Somehow she gave one the impres
sion that she had known great sor
rows during her life. She was devoted
to Phipps her eyes followed him
constantly, and she seemed almost to
hang upon his words.
"After Phipps had been with us
about eight months I called him over
to my desk one November morning.
" 'John,' I said I knew him well
enough to address him by his first
name 'do you remember the Elwell
" 'Perfectly,' he answered.
" 'Elwell, you know, ran away with
the wife of sonle man or other some
where down south,' I said, to refresh
his memory in case he hadn't remem
bered as much as he claimed, which
would be no demerit in a reporter.
'Wife of a decent planter, I believe.
He fascinated her. He took her to
New York, ran through her money
and abandoned her. He was arrested
a little later for forgery and sentenc
ed to two years in Sing Sing.'
" 'Three,' said Phipps in his expres
" 'Well, anyway,' I continued, 'the
husband came after her when he
learned that Elwell had abandoned
her, forgave her and took her back
with him. He said he was going to
kill Elwell, but the man was safe be
hind the bars by that time, so this
man by the way, what was his
" 'Let me see Benlson, wasn't it?' .
" 'That's it!" I exclaimed. 'Jim Ben
son. Well, Benson said he would get
Elwell when he came out. EJweU's
time is up next Saturday morning,
but I've had a tip that he's going to
be released just after sundown today,
so that in case Benson is anywhere in
the neighborhood he won't know
about Elwell's release until he's miles
away. So I want you to run oip to
6ing Sing and wait .round, the gate of