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Newspaper Page Text
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vWHO SHOT COL. GARRETT?
By H. M. Egbert
"Mr. Heard, you must save John
Thornton's life. He"is4nnocent!"
I looked at the young woman who
stood before me in my office, her
hands clasped, the tears streaming
down her cheeks. My first thought
was that it was just such scamps as
Thornton who find such women as
Janet Clifford to believe in them.
My second was a desire to help her
in any way that was possible. But
the murder of old Col. Garrett had
stirred the blood of every one, and
threats of lynching had been openly
The verdict had been rendered
within fifteen minutes of the jury's
retirement, and the case seemed to
"have been proved to the hilt. Thomas
Garrett had been the wealthiest man
for miles around. He had been a
slave-owner before the war, 'and he
had saved enough out of the wreck
to enable him to amass a huge for
tune when electric traction came and
created riches for the far-sighted.
John Thornton, Garrett's nephew,
had been a scapegrace. His uncle,
after repeated admonitions, had
finally ordered the young man out of
his house. He had cut him out of bis
will, leaving all his property to Ellis
Tomlinson, another nephew. That
had been two years before.
I had known that Thornton and
Janet Clifford cared for each other,
but I had not guessed at the devo
tion shown me by the girl's manner.
I promised to try and that was all I
could promise. The chance of saving
the young man from the chair
seemed infinitesimally small.
It was proved at the trial that
Thornton had suddenly come home
to plead for forgiveness. There had
been an angry interview between
him and his uncle. The negro butler,
Washington, was emphatic on this
.point, and added that he had heard
the nephew threaten the old man.
An hour later a shot had been heard.
Washington, who occupied a rebuilt
cabin .several hundred yards from the
house, had run out and had encoun
tered Ellis in the library, and they
found Garrett dying from a bullet
wound in the throat The colonel
lived just long enough to say that he
was sure Thornton was his murder
er. However, under examination the
negro admitted that the colonel had
not seen the man who shot him.
Thornton was arrested the same
night in the lodging house where he
I Saw the Huddled Body of the
was staying. Now came a series of
damning facts which clinched the
situation in the opinion of all reason
The cabin, occupied by the negro
was 700 yards from the house. Be
hind it was a clump of dense trees,
a little to one side of the compact lit
tle building. A bee line from the
library window, grazing the cabin