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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, November 25, 1916, LAST EDITION, Image 18

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

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1916-11-25/ed-1/seq-18/

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THE GRAFTER
By H. M. Egbert
(Copyright, 1916, W. G. Chapman.)
The case against Richard -Halstein
was damning, and it hung on one
fact That fact was the thumb
"print Here it is:
Lewis Halstein had adopted his
nephew Richard in infancy. He was
a queer old character; he had
brought the boy up in idleness, alleg
ing that work was beneath the dig
nity of a gentleman. That alone
shows that Lewis Halstein was de
cidedly eccentric. At 24, when his
nephew left college, he came home
to find his uncle a millionaire and
more eccentric than ever. Remem
ber, Richard had never been trained
to work. He was about as capable of
earning a living as a Polynesian set
down in the streets of New York.
Less so, for the Polynesian could go
on exhibition as the Wild Man of
Borneo and earn his $2 a day. Rich
ard Halstein could not He looked
the ordinary type of better-class
American, and there was. -nothing
about him that would make any man
look at him twice in the street
Richard Halstein came home to
fall in love with Mildred James, the
daughter of his uncle's neighbor.
When he heard of the engagement
he was furious. He turned his
nephew out of his home penniless.
Richard sepms to have had a ra
ther hard time. However, it was the
uncle who took the intitiative. He
asked him back, and the butler testi
fied that he heard the two quarreling
all evening in the old man's library.
He listened, as a servant will do, and
heard Lewis Halstein order .his
nephew out of the house for good.
Following this, Richard Halstein
stamped out in a rage. At 9 the next
morning Lewis Halstein was found
lying dead in his library, upon the
floor. He had evidently failed from
his chair when a shot, fired from be
hind, entered his brain. Upon the ,
table were pen and ink and paper,
and it was surmised he had intended
to alter his willf which was found to
be in his nephew's favor.
Upon the polished mahogany back
of the chair on which he had been
seated was found a thumb-print It
was Richard's. That was the one
fact against him.
The thumb-print could riot have
been made earlier in the evening, be-
I 1
"No,. Your Honor.n-
cause the butler testified that after
Richard's departure he had heard
the old man drag the chair from the
living room; it was a high chair, such.
as he used when writing at a table
instead of-at his desk
Richard was arrested and placed
on trial. There was no other evi
dence against him, but a thumb-print
is always a thumb-print. Only Miss
James believed in his innocence un
less his lawyer, Tom Fellowes, ditiVv

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