Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1789-1924 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the
National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. external link Learn more
Image provided by: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL
Newspaper Page Text
It must have been doped. I remem
ber going to bed and that's all, un
til 5 o'clock in the morning. Some
thing startled me. I got up and
knocked at her door. There was no
answer. The door was unlocked and
I went in. Then oh, God, Mr.
James, to think that that infernal
parrot should have called my name!"
I told him that I meant to save
him and I meant it, too. Mabel Arm
strong went to see Prank. .She was
the calmer of the two. She came
away as encouraged as I had been.
I wanted to put a private detective
on'Jad's trail, but Mabel insisted on
watching him herself. She did set
tlement work in the poor neighbor
hood where Jad was now living.
About a week later she came to me,
her eyes exultant
"We've got him!" she exclaimed.
"What, that Polish fellow?" I said.
Mabel nodded. "He lives over a
Polish barber," she said.
"I don't understand," I began, and
suddenly I saw light. "You mean
the lock of hair? But Frank never
had his hair cut in such a place as
"No, but Semplovitch worked for
Chiozzi, the barber on Main street,
three weeks before the murder."
"And he must have gathered a
lock of Frank's hair from the floor
after it was cut off and given it to
Jad. There's your clew, Mr. James."
She looked so happy and pretty
that if she had been five years young
er or I five years older, I think I
should have kissed her.
"But that isn't all," she added.
"Semplovitch is an animal trainer."
"And keeps birds?"
"Canaries, parrots and finches.
Teaches birds to talk in twelve hours
by covering their cages and using a
"Then the parrot must have been
taken out of the house! I exclaimed.
"On the evening of the murder!"
I followed up this clew. I found a 1
little girl in a Russian family resid;
ing overhead who had seen Semplo
vitch carrying a parrot in a cage a
9 o'clock on the night of the murder
The parrot lived in Mrs. Jenkins' sit
ting room, adjoining her bedroom on
one side, while Frank's room was on
The police laughed at my theory,
although the lock of hair business
impressed them. The parrot was'
being kept in the sitting room as
evidence for the prosecutidn. And
now I confess to a trick I played.
I make this admission with regrtet,
but I was morally convinced of the
guilt of Jad and his accomplice. It
was neecssary to stage the scene so
as to surprise Semplovitch into a
confession. And so well, the house
was sealed up, but even a middle
aged lawyer can climb through a
window with a loose catch upon oc
cation. And so, having visited Semplovitch
and gathered an impression a$ to his
family relations, much to his disgust
and suspicion, I took my phonograph
into the sitting room and coached
that parrot five successive nights
with the assistance of sundry sun
flower seeds. When all was ready I
induced the police chief to bring Jad
and Semplovitch into the sitting
room by day. I turned on the barber.
"You took a lock of Frank Jen
kins' hair from the floor of Chioz
zi's," I said.
Taken by. surprise, the fellow yet
managed to express blank lack of
understanding. So I removed. the
cover from the parrot's cage.'
The bird flapped its wings and be
gan to .shriek:
"Take me home! Take ne home!
Jad's going to kill my mistress! I
won't say Frank Jenkins did it!"
Which was not, of course, what it
had heard in Semplovitch's shop. But
the effect on the superstitious Pole
was electrical. He dropped on his
knees and blurted out a full confes
sion there and then.
Jad paid the full penalty of his