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The San Francisco call. (San Francisco [Calif.]) 1895-1913, November 22, 1908, Image 2

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EARLY In \hf summer of ,1893 extensive alterations
were made in the building occupied by the Phila
delphia mint. The changes involved a rearrange
ment of the vaults and of their contents. In the
mint at the time* was between two and three hundred
millions of dollars, most of which was in gold bars and
gold coin. Common laborers, under guard, moved this
great gum from one part of the building to another.
A few months after the completion of the alterations j
I was In Jersey City, about to enter a train for Wash
ington, when I heard some one shouting at me. look
ing In the direction when the voice fame 1 saw my son'
•waving a. telegram that had beVnj. received in the New,
York office of the United States secret service a few
moments nft^r my departure. TH* message '^u from
Charles S. Hamlin, assistant secretary of the treasury,
and requested that 1 proceed at once to Philadelphia
and meet R. E. Preston, director of the mint, and O. C.
Bosbyshell, superintendent of the Philadelphia mint.
I had already bought a ticket to Washington, but
the urgency of the message,"though at that time I did
not understand its meaning, caused me to stop at" Phil
adelphia. It was night when I reached the city, and I
proceeded to the hotel where, by appointment. . the
gentlemen named in the telegram were to meet me.
Mr. Preston quickly informed me why *I had- been
summoned. The mint had been robbed of $130,000 In
gold. The discovery had been made only the day before.
Mr. Bosbyshell had succeeded Colonel Snowden as su
perintendent, and in the process of transferring the
office the money had been counted. Millions upon mil
lions of gold coin in boxes, sacks and kegs had been
handled, and all had come out right to a dollar until
a certain compartment In the vault had been reached.
This compartment contained $19,000,000 In gold bars.
These bars were piled up like bricks, possibly six feet
high. Each bar weighed about 14 pounds, if I remem
ber correctly, and was worth approximately $2,500; The
compartmr-nt was enclosed with wire wicker work of
the kind used to make cashiers' cakes. The door was
fastened with a combination lock and sealed with a
piece of tape* The tape was unbroken, the lock un
touched, but $130,000 was gone.
I asked ilr. Preston and Superintendent Bosbyshell if
either had a cLew to the identity of the robbers. They
had not. The compartment had not been opened, so
far as they knew, since the bars were put Into It fol
lowing the completion of the repairs to the mint. And
the only solution to the mystery that either of them
could suggest was that some of the laborers who were
engaged in moving the precious metal had stolen a
number of the bars.
I inquired who knew the combination of the lock on
the door. I was told this secret wan held by two men,
Henry S. Cochrane, chief weighing clerk, and his as
sistant, a Mr. Robbing. Mr. Cochrane had been em
ployed in the mint 42 years and was at that time a ben
evolent looking: man of 67. Five years after he entered
the service of the government he caught the chief
weighing clerk stealing, and for exposing him -was pro
moted to his position. For 37 years he has held^ the'
place, during which time he had handled billions of
dollars. Mr. Robbine, his assistant, was regarded as
equally Incorruptible. / ' ? *
At this time I had seen neither Mr. Cochrane nor Mr.
Bobbins. Superintendent Bosbyshell had •mentioned;
however, that Mr. Cochrane. prior to.the weighing of
the bars in the compartment that was found short, had
suggested the uselessness of the task. So' I said to Mr.
Bosbyshell, who had long been assistant superintendent
of the mint and knew Cochrane well: . "^-l;
"How about Cochrane? Are you sure he knows noth
ing about this robbery?" S~^
"Absolutely," he replied.' "I would as soon think of
suspecting my father."
Z made an appointment with the gentlemen to meet
me at the mint the next morning to examine the looted
compartment in the vault, and as the hour had become
late they went home.
The next morning we met at the mint and I asked
that Mr. Cochrane be summoned to show me the com
partment. The vault itself at that hour had not been
unlocked, and Mr. Cochrane. who was one -of ' the two
xnea who knew the combination, proceeded to whirl the
knob that controlled the bolts. In a few seconds I was
conscious of the fact that he was having difficulty in
unlocking- the door. He turned the knob forward and
backward, but the bolts would not turn. For a fleeting
moment I caught him looking up at me from the corner
of his eye as he bent to his task. Aft^r trying for per
haps five minutes he gave It "up and Mr.'Robbins was
called to open the door, which he did very easily. ; : . "\u25a0 I
Once Inside the vault Mr. Cochrane explained to me
that since the robbery of the compartment the door had
been removed and the place had been otherwise disar
ranged. I asked him to get the door and put it In the
position in # which It belonged. The door, by the way,
like the netting of the compartment Itself, did not
reach to the veiling of the vault nor to the flooc At
the bottom there was a space of perhaps three inches
and at the top there was an opening a foot wide.
Cochrane placed the door In position— or in what he
eald was the correct position, the door was bottom
side up, however, and rested on the floor Instead of
being suspended three inches in the air.
OLD RULES'FOR PURE WATER
THERK 1* nothing new under the sun!" The an
cient Greeks It now appears, were well acquaint
ed with the necessity of sterilizing drinking water,
although probably they did not realize that the process
•was nothing but the destruction of living germs of
disease.
A Prencn medical journal has been investigating
the writings of Rufus of Ephesua, who flourished
about the first, century of our era, and finds in his
works the following statement: — "The waters of rivers
and ponds are all bad, except those of the Nile.
The running water that crosses unhealthy regions
• • • stagnant water, • • • that which passes
In the neighborhood of public baths;. • • • . all
tht** kinds of water are injurious. The best water is
that which has been boiled in earthenware vessels,
then cooled and finally boiled again before drinking."
These hygienic warnings are addressed to those in
good health as -well as to the sick.* They- are applied
to armies, in the field. Says our Epheslan: "During
military \u25a0 expeditions and in the field. series of holes
must be dug from the highest to the lowest point, and
In these must be placed pure and heavy earth, such
as is used to make pottery. When this is traversed
by the .water the . water will* leave in the .holes what
ever Injurious matter It may contain."/ . '
Here we have sterilization and filtration; as plainly
and strictly enjoined as it could be in England or
Japan. One of the most curious points is what the
Ephesitn writer says In his exception of Nile water
from his general condemnation of river water for, as
a matter of fact, although this water Is so thick with
yellow mud as to look like a muddy .sauterne, It is
•inrulsxly free from bacterial contamination, * ' ' -.
TRUE DETECTIVE STORIES
THE PHILADELPHIA MINT GOLD DUST
"That is just the way the door stood before the rob
bery?" I inquired. * v * \:«
"Exactly like that," he replied. ; •
In a moment I appeared to discover that the door
was bottom side, up and standing on the floor. He
seemed somewhat confused and rectified his "mistakes.
• All this time Cochrane did not know who I was," as
I had told. Messrs .Preston, and Bosbyshell I did not
care to be Introduced'to anybody. And at this point Mr.
Preston, Mr. Bosbyshell am! myself withdrew to an
other part of the room,' where we could speak without
being overheard.
"Mr. Bosbyshell," said I, "I suspect that, Cochrane is
the thief." \u25a0, , '\u25a0>! - '..-'•\u25a0
"Impossible," said he. "He's been, here 42 years /and
is one of our most trusted employes." " "
"Be that as it may," said I, "here is what I want you
to do. We will now walk upstairs together— Cochrane
coming along, too. • When we get I to the top of the
stairs I want you to step' up to Cochrane,. point to me
and' say: That man is Mr. Drummond, chief of the
United States secret service. -He wants you to go with
him.', Don't give him a chance even to go to his desk,
but grab his coat, help him put it on' and push' him
through the door as we leave the building." •
Mr. Bosbys.hell did as_ l told him to do, and I took
Cochrane.over to the hotel where I was staying. The
manner of his departure seemed to; stun .him," but he
kept his nerve. Once in my room I talked to him in the
kindliest manner, asking him to give me'; his theory
regarding the robbery. • '/\u25a0 > '-. ; s' "
Slowly and. painfully he began to describe a method
by which the gold might have been taken, while I lis
tened, never contradicting and occasionally saying
"That's co" or - something of the ' sort. - But .he : soon
came to «a point where he saw his theory would', not
work, and said, "No, it couldn't have been/done that
Tvajr- - ' \u25a0 \u25a0\u25a0\u25a0-''• wKSMi£*s- '"\u25a0'•
Then he started .to outline a new method, .and; in this
way he suggested'half a^dozen different wip-s that, the
robbery might bave^ been committed, -each tlrhe'ending
with the admission . that 1 his theory was wrong,' be
cause It palpably would not work. -When he had ex
hausted his resources in'this line I drew close. to him
and said: "Cochrane, do you know the superintendent
suspects a certain person of having committed .tfils
crime?" \u25a0. • -;'•" \u25a0-%...•\u25a0• ;"-' ;\u25a0 \u25a0\u25a0'-
. "He doesn't suspect me, does he?" Cochrane replied,
with amazement.
"Yes,' he .-does," I said; adding almost in" a whisper,
"and so do I suspect you. Tell me what you did with
the money."
There was a momentary pause. He . looked at: me
and I looked, at him. Neither said a word.; 'Finally I
broke the silence.
"You are an old man," I said, "67 jrears old. You
have long been In the service of the government! Your
duty has been and is to take care "of the 1 public funds
that are intrusted to your keeping. A large
of "this jnoney is missing. • I know you have; taken; It.
Do the best you can to make ;up; for' the wrong you
have done by telling me where this money is. It is
your duty— do It." ; :-'/'-•'
Tears were running down his face and mine, too,
, when I had finished. Still he hesitated, ; - ;
A.L . Drummond
formerly we U . o . oecret oenace.
\u25a0 "Tell- rne : . where • the :^gold , is," said I, looking';. him
gquarelyHn 'thejoye. v;• '. \u25a0:»"' • v
, J'Part Tor it is hidden in the mint and partfof it is at
home/'-; said he. '*•\u25a0,- ' ' -
'Then^ little by little I' dragged- this story>from him:
He had been stealing- fr£jn .the mint- for years. - It
had; been^ his > custom \to; take one '.bar,. and sometimes
two bars at a time. As each*;of Uhc'b^ars^ weighed 14 ,
pounds, i hft hadsewed on his suspender buttons with
heavy thread' and provided^hlmseif* w.ith^the^strohgaftt
suspendei^s. ' Having takenvtlie>'b'ars',-.home-:.he ? .nielted .
them, in a crucible in hia- attic: •nd;poured. the molten
metal into- receptacles that^vouldiffivV them a different
shape, from the bars ownedi by- th^e ."government, 1 while
the melting alßp obliterated all. .'marks that might be
used for identification. This done, it "was his custom to
go to some small town\in ( the vicinity and," under an
assumed name.Tsend, the gold by express to the'Phila-;
delphia \u25a0•, mint/ with the that an equivalent '. of
gbld'Coinvhe sent to h J\"Tm. > When the .gold reached.'the '~
mint' ho t 'as. the chief received, it and attended
to' tho ishipment of the coin in return, later going/ to
the smkll town from which -he' had ' originally , sent the
metal and claiming the Ragles and" double eagles
warded himself*. . '\u25a0\u25a0\u25a0'\u25a0'•.\u25a0• /\u25a0
fi: found' out , that the^y '• were" going to weigh
the ) gold barsi in the compartment from f which 1 1 1 had
been*, takfng'' money,*' ;tie said, " "1 ?knew/ the : shortage
would berdiscovered. - Upto this time 1 1 hadi taken only <
$50,0,00- or. $60,000. :. So early one ;, morning 'Ik went to
the; mint before; any one else rpacho'd; there,? took '2l :
bars from the compartment' and,: standing ; 6n?a istool,",
threw them .through, the. skylight of tho vault "into -the'
darkjehamber between the'ceiling of the vault and Uhe
floorrabove.' I did . thiSvEO that when thei shortage 'was'
discovered; the -officials ..would think vtlie- amount too
great for any one. in the mint to have;gotten away'with
it"; .;. •\u25a0\u25a0.:•.\u25a0 \u25a0.-•.„• \u25a0 ' -/, ;..-.;\u25a0 ; 'K fj - : : ; : / '\- •-, -~.^ :- ;v ;t - •; ;
;' "And, these .21 >bars are "still In the dark' place over
the vault?" I asked." y. . - ' ; : r,
"Tes.V he said. "They are there.'-- >-:Av
. v"But, how- did you get .them out. Qf the .compartment
without brealdng the seal?".' ; : *.: , ; .
"Oh, that' was easy.; - 1; simply : reached-'a. bent .wire,
through; the; wicker \ work* and (pulled ..ithe- barsf off \the'!
pile, which was built up? perpendicularly. '^Vheny.the*
barstielUto the floor; I c reached 'under *the space below
the wicker work 'and pulled them' out." \u25a0, , „ .. . .
; : -;."AT»d the : rest of • the money— where»»is : it?'"' l., per-:
sisted.' ;.\u25a0•;- . \u25a0' .\u25a0 ;; . .\ '\u25a0 '\u25a0:.•'\u25a0\u25a0 •'J;'-: r\u25a0• /: -'\u25a0 - :
*"At^ my house 'in - Darby, seven miles f rom .". Phila-1
delphia.^ ' ;-.:-••• -.• ''.•'./'•..
.•:. "AH you haven't spent, you mean," I said. "How
much have you spent?"
' "Oh, 'about: ss,ooo or $6,000." i .
1 'Then Cochrane' grew confidential -and Insinuating.
.'Til go" to, prisoner '.this, won't I?' 1 he said.
"It's quite likely you -will.".
. - "Well/..wheh I come out I want to have ' a \u25a0 little' nest-,
egg to*. turn to, ;; and r here's! a . proposal ;Jj want:. to make
to you.V. l've. got $10,000 i, in gold coin ; in my. house. >' You
go-.out^with meVand^we'll' get lt.V-;You:take '$7,000- for
yourself and put away'?3,ooo where: 'l can get'it\when
I;get;out. Will youdo it?'% " ' '\ ; V. \u25a0
"Do.it?" said I. "Of course, I'll doi t. Show me .the
money,- and -we'll divide." .•:•\u25a0 : ,-' 4-;';.'.'l.-'S'~Z \u25a0'\u25a0' \u25a0''.'-\u25a0"\u25a0• l-;-
' Then I took Cochrahe'to the; secret;,serylce r office.. and
. turned^lm .over to ? Officers Lindner and vEsquirrell^i
: ! is Mr." Cochrane," =;: said V 1. . " "Take him^T feed
hiraiand^carefor him— and have him alive when I come
back." > \u25a0;\u25a0;- ",.... .:\u25a0 \u25a0;:;',. .;. \u0084, ; ..' -\u25a0 \u25a0 . '\u25a0\u25a0• ''\u25a0\u25a0'.•' ..'\u25a0' ,'- : - , ; ". * •\u25a0\u25a0•'.-.^
'I was afraid he might commit suicide if left 1 alone?,^
-It was- the task of onlylan hour: to/complete prepara
• tibns to accompany 'Cochrane to rhlsjhouse.'".l|asked7a
number, of ; persons tb\ accompany^ meT^includingrHarvey
'\u25a0\u25a0K.^Newitti* assistalit -^United - States 'district ? attorney,
md Robert Ralston;- iTow judge of one of the. high
Pennsylvania courts.- -Before starting we searched the
Jark chamber above the vault, In which Cochrane said
fie had thrown 21 bars of : gold, arid, found every one'of
them;; This discovery restored?. a' little more than' sso,ooo
of ; the missing j money, . *yet - riot . an : ounce of this I gold
would have, been' found if .Cochrane had not .told l me
what he did with It. The^bars would have remained
where/ hie hurled them until some remote v day,- whea
the tearing, down of the 'mint disclosed the treasure.
When the time came to start 'for Cochrane'* house I
took | him "with me and - let the rest of the party follow,
along by themselves. -" On the t way : out Cochrane .' told
me about his residence. \u25a0 It [ was •' a- stone house 150
years old. Most of its walls: were two feet- thick and'
pome, of them were even- thicker. He; gave me- to
understand that he had hollowed- out places in the wall
Into which he had hidden the stolen, gold.
1 When: he reached the pla£e he .was surprised to see
the rest of the party approaching. *;• :
. "Who are these people?", he sharply Inquired of me.
I told him one was the' assistant district attorney and
another was Mr. Ralston. ;'">'*.- > " * .. '
. "Whorls the lady over there?", he/ inquired, pointing
to one of the party." * "-C*i!*?~- ' '" ;
"That is Mrs. Drummond," I replied. . \u25a0..'„\u25a0
VI thought. you said, you would : not bring any one
with - you," he : Baid. '; . * ; ; ; v >» '\u25a0
"I didn't bring any one with me;' thesepeople came on
a" streetcar by themselves."V v :' \u25a0• • •
But- that did not satisfy, him. * \u25a0 '.. • t ..-
V-'l.'don't see' how we; can divide that $10,000 out here
with all these folks along," he said. '-'I don't think I'll
tell ,voo« where it is." ;"• : . - ." ; \u25a0 - "" .
"If It's here. 11l get It,',. said I, ; "if -I : have to .tear
this fh'ouse ' down' stone ; by stone..' But I don't - think I
shall'have^to.do that. It will be easle^ for you to .tell
meiV.v- £-{ v. '<''\u25a0\u25a0'\u25a0- '\u25a0'\u25a0\u25a0'/'.-'\u25a0 . -\u25a0' \u25a0','\u25a0: "\u25a0/ ' \u25a0. c . ;. ..-,
..The old ; man thought a moment and then chirped out:
; "Well, all; right. Come on "in." •
We,; entered , one -of the' ; rooms • on . \u25a0 the ground floor.
The room to all appearances was finished 'like any." sim
ilar- room.' There-was'no suggestion anywhere of'hid
denrtreasure.'- .. , •\u25a0' ':\u25a0\u25a0', ' '»
. '-"There's a lump of .gold worth $2,500 within 10 feet
ofiyou,".hesaid. • "I'll-bot you can't'flnd.lt" - 7' •.
' , hoK going to tryito find' it Just now," said I. .\u25a0 "1
want you to tell me where 'it. 1»." •
'Cochrane drew a penknife : from his pocket, opened
one of the 'blades 'and stooped down to a panel in the
woodwork. 'He picked awaj\ at one of the joints fora
moment. Uhen. swung, the, panel back, exposing a space
hollowedsout-of'the; solid- stonai; in; which .the lump of
gold' was j plainly visible. , •• I took , the gold, put it : In ' my
pocket and asked him where the $10,000 in coin was.
.'•'; Again" he 'hesitated. ' He had-set his heart on. having
$3,0Q0 of this mopey when . released^; from prison. I
had^tb argue wlthf.him. I told him I. "could hot give. him
this" money withou t the . consent t of the district attorney,
andithattfor 7me to.take- any; part'of : it would be as
; prreatr a : crime bh it • was I tori him to' take it in the \u25a0 first
place.,/1 also dwelt at;length:on.the:sacredness of ;hls
trust ato s /the -government; how* he had betrayed .this
trust: .that'iit ; was, his, dutyi to .make reparation to the
extent /of; his: ability. -j and, .rastly.; ; that f every dollar he
restored jto^me i would {be <. likely to lessen - the time he
: would ibe compelled; to r sefvel in: prison.
; He;*listened, in half childlike manner while T talked,
and when I: had finished, led ; the- way to a closet on
the ; ? second .-floor. '. In ..this \u25a0 closet ..were three shelves,
supported at each cnd?y by 'cleats. \ Reaching between
ohe.ofi the shelves;and?the:"cleatsj he .withdrew' a; small,
; flat |keyf<, Then" he went"Ho?'a' I ; mantel ;over.^a; fireplace
\u25a0and; removed- a heavy; iron' decoration,".exposing?a;hol<
nearly -two * feet, square," hollowed out*.of» the; rock. And
:ln : 'this hrfle^was 'a;safe, rperhaps^lßMrichesJs"quare.".H<r perhaps^lBMrichesJs"quare.".H<
Tsllpped the key 'into; the ; lock,* turned \u25a0 it,"bpened' the dooi
jantKinstantly I'saw neatTpiles of brand new $20 golc
' ; pieces.*'- - ".;.':-'v :1 '\u25a0\u25a0 V '"\u25a0'- \u25a0' \u25a0'-\u25a0 \u25a0 : " : -\'., " r'S- . '\u25a0-
. = As -I 'started to take the" money he protested -again
-HeUhTougtit. I ; ought [to- glvej him $8,000.- , And again ]
«explalned-to;him v why every ,'dollar;must^be turned ovei
- to* the f government. \u25a0:'\u25a0"". - \u25a0\u25a0 - \u25a0- -
WziJMSSr^'' '\u25a0'';-\u25a0'".•;• -\u25a0 -X-" . - . \u25a0'\u25a0'•'.'
The San Francisco Sunday Call
"Well, all right." ha emld.'after thinking a minute. .
"Perhaps It is" best to do this way. after all.
Ctochrane .also, showed me a> secret drawer la his
desk that. contained a. few antique xolns he h *f h^^
from the. mint, although lhe : lnsisted he had exchanged
good money for all. ot them when.he took them. Alto
gether they were not* worth more than ,|-o. . :
Then-he took me to the attic. There he had cruci
bles, a bellows and. all the things that are used In
melting down-gold.' We found no money. And he in
sisted no more money was In the house.
However. Ralston, who had been an athlete in col
lege, amused himself by going around the house break
ing In doors and occasionally kicking down a parti
tion while Iwcnton a tour of exploration by myself.
In the cellar I' found a liuge iron door. I opened It and
saw a dark cavern, six feet high and four feet wldfc
It x was partly filled with dry leaves and had a bad
odor It had. evidently been used in revolutionary days,
or perhaps earlier, as a place of safety In the event of
attack by soldiers or Indians. Into this dark passage
way-I walked perhaps 100 feet without coming to the
end. But as I found no sign of hidden money I went
no farther. I did not know what moment I might fall
Into a Weil. ' . .\u25a0 -\u25a0
While I was runfmagtng around tn th« hidden pas
sageway Ralston foumTa large bundle of letters direct
ed to Cochrane. All were Jrom girls, and for the most
part .were simple acknowledgments of candy and flow
ers. In continuing'the search I found in a closet hun
dreds" of fine neckties . and \ perhaps half a bushel of
expensive pocket knives. \u0084 O n the way back to Phila
delphia I asked him about these, things. . »
Cochrane said he bought the ties and knives becauseV
he wanted to talk to^e glrja_ who . sold them and he?
could not do so unless he botigllt something from them.
"You know you can't go Into a' store and talk to the
young lady clerks except on business/* he said. "A floor
walker will come along "iri less than five minutes and
drive you out." ' . . ' \u25a0 "
I asked him if he- had ever given any presents to
these girls. \u25a0 .
"Oh, yes,'.' he said. "I gave one of them a carriage
once. It was a good one. too. I paid $400 for. It."
He declared, however, that the remalncftsx of his gifts
consisted only of candy, flowers and other similar In
expensive things. / • -' .'. .-. v.
When we reached -Philadelphia I put Cochrane In
jail and went to look up some of the' girls who had
written to him. All worked In the same store. I picked
out a letter at random and asked, for the girl whose \u25a0
name was signed to Jt. I- was directed to the counter
where she worked, told her what I wanted and made
no secret of the fact that Cochrane had been arrested.
"Oh, LJzzie," she called out to a girl across the aisle.
"what do you think? That old fool of a Cochrane. who
used to send me candy, has robbed the mint."
' In a few.minutes.th.e^jews\was all over the store, and
there was^a chorus Of exclamations about the "old fool""
who had" bought neckties... knives and. other things
from them as an excuse to talk and send flowers and
candy. , From some of the girls I also obtained letters
Cochrune had written .to them. But not one of these
missives contained a suggestion of anything improper.
For the most part they read practically as follows:
"Dear Miss' Smith: I was In the store to sco you
today, but. was told you were at home ill. I trust you
will soon b* restored to your usual good^health." .
This part of the investigation developed nothing'fur
ther, so we weighed up the gold and the coin we had
recovered from Cochrane and found it amounted to
$115,000. The government was still out $16,000. and
w Cochrane's bond, which was signed by Colonel Snowden.
former superintendent of the mint, was for only $5,000.
But Cochrane readily agreed to turn over what prop
erty he had to the government and signed what is
known in Penpsylvania as a "Judgment note," by the
terms of which the government was authorized to sell
at auction his real estate and personal property. And
by the time the auction came off so great was the pub
lic interest in. the old man, there was a crowd of buyers,
all intent upon securing some memento of "Honest
Old Henry,", who, after serving 42 years In the mint,
had robbed It of a fortune., -Chairs worth 40 or 50
cents were sold for $8, with the result t.xat Snowdfln
had to pay. only a fe.w dollars to make good the re
mainder ofj the stolen money. * "' "
• With Cochrane safely in jail and most of the money
recovered, T started to* "run him out." as detectives
say when they ni*an to examine a man's record crit
ically, from start- ta.flnish. And I found he had been
a. thief for years— not only from the government, but
from those who dealt with, the mint. I discovered he
had been robbing . dealers In old fold for 15 years. I
did. not go back any further, as It Involved* a great
deal of labor and the of my search had. already
been, more than satisfied. This Is the way Cochrane
robbed the dealers in old gold: .
A man would come to the mint with a lump of metal
representing a watchcase, "a ring or some old spectacle
bows, perhaps; that J\e had melted down. Cochrane, as
the chief weigher, would' wait on him. He would weigh
the lump and-give theman a receipt for a certain num
ber of ounces of Rold, the value of which would later
be determined by Its ..neness.
The man wouloY^gofaway. Cochrane would take the
lump of metal horn* with. him. melt It, pour In a large
quantity of alloy and take it back to the mint. Then
he would turn, It over to the assayer to be tested. The
assayer. of course,-. would find that it was far from
pure and Ox a price per ounce accordingly low. When
the dealer came In Cochrane would tell him the price
fixed by the assayer. and pay him the low price for the
amount of metal originally turned In by the dealer to
the v-miiit. pocketing the. difference himself. If the
dealer protested . Cochrane would show him the assay**
er^sv report. >
-'"Af ter^ Cochrane's. arrest the mint was overrun with
dealers- tn old gold [who said they had long known he
was a thief. One man. said Cochrane had robbed him
of $300 in one transaction. 'Another man. had his gold
.assayed before witnesses bejfore taking it to the mint,
and- when Cdchrane reported It to be of much less
fineness was on the point of prosecuting him, desisting
only because of the difficulty of fighting what ha
feared might' become the government Itself.
When Cochrane came to trial he was defended by
James 11. Beck, who later became famous In connec
tion with some of the suits Brought under the Sherman
antl- trust law. Mr. Beck came to me before court
opened and said: .
\u25a0 "Mr. Drummond, we all know this man Is an old
thief, but If :I: I were to put you on the stand as a wit
ness for . the defense, what would you say about his
mental balancer'
"I would say," said I. "that I believed he knew exact
ly what he w.as doing when he robbed the government
and that he knew It was wrong. But If asked the direct
question, I would nay that, while I did not regard him
as insane, I considered him not as well balanced men
tally as most, men are; in other words, that he has not
common . sense."
"I'll call 1 you a»f the only witness for the defense,"
Mr. . Beck replied. "I would rather have your opinion
than the testimony of all the alienists I could get."
Cochrane. by good behavior, reduced his sentence 'a
little and 'came out. if I remember correctly. In 1900.
He made his home In Philadelphia, and sometimes was
'seen wandering around the mint But he never went
in. He died In 1906 at the age of 80.
The JCext Story la Thla Series WUI Appear Heart Snndar.
THE MOON'S WHITE STREAKS
THE radiating light streaks oo the moon's surface
are explained in a new way by E G. TomUsi,
an English astronomer, who suggests that they as*
due to the salts of various minerals, brought to
the surface by evaporation. Just as v they ar« in arid
alkali tracts In -many parts of- the earth.
When beds of solid salt, or strata partially filled
with salt, exist below the surface they often dlssorv*
in subsoil water, which rises to the surface and Arias,
leaving : a white efflorescence.
The -radial arrangement Mr. Tomkins accounts for
by supposing molten matter to be thrown up from be
low, breaking, the .crust in radiating cracks and up
heaving the . strata , around the center of pressure.
Saline strata would be pushed upward with the
other's- and might thus bring them within reach of
evaporation, the efflorescence on the surface thus fol
lowing'the direction of the radial cracks. *
On th* moon the 'conditions are Just right -for such
a series* 1 of occurrences. Though water in a free
state .'does not now .exist' on the moon's surface. It
probably did so exist .at some time, and the salty de
posiV-that "would cform by evaporation .would be vera
•heavy* because ,or absence, of rain to wash It away. ii[
rain. should cease on, our own planet a similar • state
of things -would, doubtless ensue.
,:A;curlousfact about the moon's "rays" is, that they
disappear when the sun*s altitude is low. This the
advocate of "the - new meory explains by supposing
that [a; fair"; amount of .Illumination is necessary to
bring ro"ut»;thej slight difference in whiteness * between
the streaks and the surrounding country.

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