OCR Interpretation


The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, November 04, 1916, LAST EDITION, Image 19

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1916-11-04/ed-1/seq-19/

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father's boots hurt him and pulled
them off. A few moments later he
began to complain. She ran to the
telephone and summoned the doctor,
recognizing the Bame symptoms as
those of -which her husband had died
Before the doctor arrived, Jim was
dead and dreadfully swollen.
The boots? They were a pair of
high, farmer's boots, and John- Carey
had worn them for nearly a year be
f6re his death. If there was poison
in the boots it would have taken ef
fect long before. Jim had worn them
during his four-mile tramp from
where he lived to his stepmother's
- house. It was suspected that she had
a store of poison which she had se
cretly administered. The police ran'
sacked the house from roof to cellar,
but could find nothing. It was then
that I was called in. v
Universally suspected, universally
shunned, Mrs. Carey lived a wretch'
ed life. The little boys had begun to
call out after her in the street She
would have left the house but for
, Leonard, who believed in her and to
whom she was passionately devoted.
I resided in the village, assuming the
guise of an Intending purchaser of
real estate, and in that capacity J
' visited the Carey farm, to talk over
the price. Mrs. Carey was willing to
sell, after the trouble had been
cleared up. She truck me as a sen
sible woman, and I had by doubts as
to her culpability. -
The farmer's boots., had been
thrown away In the attic, with "the
rest of his clothing. I found an op
portunity, by goiog to the house
when Mrs. Carey was away, to look
at them. It did occur to me that
there might be some snake venom in
them, but I assured myself this was
npt the case. Besides, asmost peo
. pie know, snake venom acts as a
toxic agent only when Introduced
through an abrasion. Swallowed, it
is harmless. And It seemed Improb
able in the extreme that, even, if
;there were poison in the boots,-there
would have been an abrasion on the
feet of each of the two men exactly
where the poison would be free to
enter.
And again, rattlesnakes, for all
their reputation, only inflict a maxi
mum of discomfort, not death. I
think the number of cases of fatal
rattlesnake poisoning are less than a
dozen. It would have been impossi
ble for the men to have died in so
short a time.
Quite by accident, however, I
learned that' a circus had passed
through the village six months be
fore. Among its attractions had been
a Hindu snake charmer, who had
amused and astonished the rustics
until the circus passed, to be soon
forgotten. I learned that Mrs. Carey
had attended the circus with Leon
ard and had been seen to speak to
the man.
This looked bad. After til, if it
was snake poiBon, Mrs. Carey was
the only person with a motive to"
kill. I withdrew my favorable opin
ion. I watched her more narrowly.
I had actually invested $200 in an
option on the property. This gave
me plenty of opportunity to visit
there. I was at the farm one after
noon when Leonard came but of the
house and I saw the women's face
blanch.
"Leonard!" she gasped. "Your fa
ther's boots!"
I looked and Baw that the boy was
wearing the identical boots which
the two men had worn before their
death. They were much too large
for him, but they came up toward the
knee and were very serviceable for
harvest work.
"Why that's all right, mom," he
answered. "They'll come in handy
out in the field. Why, mom, I've had
these on for nearly two hours and If
there was poison in them I guess I'd
have felt it before now."
"Take Chem off!" screamed Mrs.
Carey. And yet, agitated though she
was, there was no sound of guilty
knowledge in her voice, only of fear.
"I wish I'd burled the things!" she

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