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The North Platte semi-weekly tribune. (North Platte, Neb.) 1895-1922, March 10, 1911, Image 6

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Repentance
st of Hartz
A TRUE STORY OF THE SECRET SERVICE
By COL. H. C. WHITLEY ""SSSKfifSn.
13
T was Boraotlmo In the
fall of 1850 that n Strang
it camo trudging along
tho turnpike Ho was
short nml fat. His round
red faco was covered with
a stubby growth of blondo
whiskers. Ho woro a
brond lint bluo cloth cap
and a long brown linen
duster a llttlo out of sea
son. A bundle tightly roll
ed In black oilcloth was strapped to
his back. Ho stopped in tho mlddlo of
tho road. Looking about, his eyes
rcstod upon a woather-boaten sign
board upon which had onco been
painted tho plcturo of a black bear
resting upon Its haunches. For morn
than a huudred years this sign board
had been swinging to and fro as If
beckoning and Inviting pasaorsby to
outer tho llttlo inn that wns standing
somo 15 or 20 feet back from tho
road. It took Mr. Herman Wolsgar
bor soveral minutes to decipher tho
inscription beneath tho fadod plcturo.
Whon ho had succeeded, as ho thought,
ho muttered audibly, "Dion Ish do
blaco. Dor black boar vas inn, und
I shust roysolf vlll walk In mlt him."
Bracing up n llttlo and stroking his
chin ho stopped with a longthoncd
ntrldo Into tho llttlo front room that
sorvod as an offlco for tho Black Bear
Tun. Hero ho found himself in tho
prosonco of n pleasant-facod woman
who smllod coquottlshly.
Ho grcotcd her in his own tongue,
In which sho ropllod, and tho conver
sation was now carried on briskly in
the Germain language It was a bux
om widow on tho ono hand and n ras
cally countorfoltor on tho othor. Ho
was a long-tlmo roguo, but sho was
honest and unsuspicious. With her
tho world was good, with him it was
dog eat dog and tho dovll tako tho
hindmost. Tho widow Hartz was al
together too unsophisticated to pene
trate tho dark recesses of the hollow
hearted man that had by chanco como
suddenly into tho affairs of her life.
She Judged him by her own heart
and little droamod of tho misery bo
soon to follow hor chanco acquaint
ance with Herman, Woisgarbor,
Her husband had died about two
years before. At this tlmo hor heart
was centered on her son; a young man
nearly twenty years of age. John
Hartz, thanks to tho training of his
father, was honest and Industrious.
The Dlack Dear Inn and tho little
farm adjoining was a 'sacred Inheri
tance from his paternal grandfather.
The Inn was now somowhat out of
date, but was still doing Us part to
wards furnishing tho mother and son
a living; and a llttlo to lay up for a
rainy day. John's father bad taught
him to stand Armly for tho right In 1
all things.1
Mr. WoUgarber's gray bluo oyos
wero shining brightly benoath his
overhanging brows art he stood ox
plaining to tho widow Hartz regarding
himself. Tho word tramp, now so
aptly applied to tho tie-path tourist,
had not been coined in that day and
men of his ltko wero llttlo understood.
He said he was just out on a ploasure
tour and that ho traveled on foot ns
a matter of choice. Ho was moving
leisurely along that ho might bottor
enjoy the lovely scenery and . pure
mountain air. His words were well
chosen and deeply impressive as he
cautiously worked his way up to the
point of ottering to remain for a time
and assist In the work about tho Inn
and farm. Ho had a smooth tongue.
The turn-pike, winding its way
along up and down the aldos, over
and across tho Alloghony mountains
was thon the popular highway for
drovers nnd wagoners upon their way
to and fro betwoon Eastern Pennsyl
vania and Pittsburg. Tho people
along this route wero principally Ger
mans, 8omo of thorn could nolthor
road nor speak English. Thoy liyod
mainly on what thoy producod nnd
had llttlo occasion to spend their
money. Almost anything that lookod
llko money would pass. In thoso
days much of tho paper money
In circulation was of the wild
cat kind, Between tho counterfeit
and gonulno issuo thoro was but llt
tlo choice Ouo paBBod from hnud to
hand almost as readily as tho othor.
Horman Welsgarbor, as ho callod
hlmsolf, hod for many years been dodg
ing about from place to pluco ma
klnB a living by shoving tho queer.
Under pretonco of his Inability to un
derstand tho English language he was
able to decolvu tho 'omcors and os
capo nrrost. It wob alwayB "Nlcht
versteho" with him. "Ho shust didn't
know nottlng 'bout baper monies."
To tho widow Hartz ho nppoarod a
man of honor. Sho measured his
character by hor own and could sea
no farthor. Six montbB had scurcoly
passed from tho Urao she mot him
until ho became her husband,
When John Hartz camo In contact
with his stop-father ho was honest,
and had ho followed in tho footsteps
of nls own father no would have ro
malnod so, It did not take long to
provo that be was ausceptlblo and
easily drawn into ways that wero dark
and fprblddlng Step by stop he was
led along and craftily initiated. Into
the mysterious doings of counterfeit
era.
Ono day a drover camo along tho
plko with n long string of oxen and
stoppod at tho Illack Dear Inn, and
engaged a pasture for his cattle over
night, Tho drover was now In thnt
pnrt of tho oountry, and for safety ho
handed his pockot book, containing
soveral hundred dollars, to John Hartz
for safo keeping, In the prcsenco of
Wolsgarbcr. 8hortly afterwards when
tho drovor was out attending to his
cnttlo, Woisgarbor suggnstod tho Idea
to John of changing tho good money
In tho pockot book for nn equal
nmount of counterfeit thnt ho had on
hnud. John wns easily persuaded. He
thought his stop-father know bost. In
tho morning tho drover received his
pocket book nnd proceeded to count
Its contents. Ho at onco saw thnt
tho bills' woro of n different kind than
thoso lib- had been cnrrylng. Ho
pulled n counterfeit detector from his
pocket and examined them. Having
satisfied himself that thoy woro bad,
ho charged John with hnvlng substi
tuted them. Tho nccused mnn'B fnco
turnod red nnd ho began to stammer,
but his stop-father who was standing
by, camo at onco to tho front and com
menced to talk In German to John.
Turning to tho drovor ho protested In
badly broken English that tho young
man was honest and hadn't evon
opened tho pocket book. Between the
two tho drover got a tongue lashing
for his accusation thnt so completely
upset him thnt ho was nono too suro
that ho ovor had any money. Ho was
now in a bad tlx; a long ways from
John. Ho now becamo dazed with
fear and cxcltcmont Ho left the homo
of his boyhood on foot and mado his
way to Philadelphia, whero ho chanced
to meot his stepfather who wns n
member of a gang of counterfeiters.
John was easily persuaded nnd ho Buf
fered himself to bo led nlong step by
step until ho was deep in tho mlro.
Our Civil war had brought n great
change In the finances of tho country.
Wild cat banks hnd gone out of ox
Istonco nnd a new kind of money was
in use. Thero wns n great doal of.
counterfeiting going on and John
Hnrtz was ono of tho number ongaged'
in it. Llko tho most of tho man of
his stamp ho was unsuccessful in ac
cumulating wealth.
A counterfeit beer stamp made
its appcaranco In Philadelphia and I
found it necessary to visit thnt city
Tho night .was dark and stormy and
it was about tho portentous hour of
1:00 a. m when ghosts nro Bald to
Btalk abroad in ghastly whlto array,
that four detectlvos loft their comfort
abla quarters in tho hotel with tho ex
pectation of making an Important
arrest. Tho man thoy sought was In
visible during tho day tlmo and n dif
ficult mnn to encountor at night. Ho
had frequently been henrd; of but had
seldom been seen by tho government
dotectlves. When tho officers roached
tho appointed placo they scattered
and took up their positions whero thoy
would attract as llttlo attention ns
posslblo. Their mysterious mission
had beon fully explained; a deal was
expected to be pulled off. Ono of tho
detectives was rotund of person. Ho
hnd, through ono of tho counterfeiting
gang, beon Introduced as a beer deal
er who said ho wns willing to tnko his
chances with bogus stamps, nnd ho
had bargained with ono of the coun
terfeiters for five thousand counter
feit lager bocr stamps, and was to
rocolvo them at a certain hour at a
designated placo.
When tho man put In nn appear
nnco to innlte tho dellvory ho was to
bo arrested. This individual, owing to
tlio darkness of tho night, was unablo
to see tho' detoctlvos stationed about,
and ho wnlked with his carpet bag in
home with a pocket book full of coun
terfoil tnonoy ns his only wherowlth
to pay his expenses.
After everything had cooled down,
Mr. (Woisgarbor, in n burst of gener
osity1, was good onough to loan tho
drover ono or two hundred dollars to
pay his way until ho could reach
Strnsburgh, a llttlo town at tho foot
of tho Three Drother mountains. Tho
drovor was silenced but not altogether
convinced, His money was all right
tho day before, but ho wasn't qulto
suro" It was of tho right otivmp when
ho hnnded it over to the young man
for safo kooplng. Hero wns an exem
plification of tbo llttlo dltforonco bo
twoen tho truth nnd a Ho well stuck
to. Tlmo rolled on nnd John Hartz
career In crlmo becamo moro and
moro firmly fixed.
Ono day tho sheriff came with a
warrant for tho "Flying Dutchmnn,"
which meant Herman Woisgarbor.
"Qott on Hlmmolll Vot Ish dish?"
ho oxclalmod.
A long explanation ensued- nnd tho
shorlft was greatly puzzled rognrdlng
his duty. Ho was convinced that
tho accused mnn was innocent, and
ho thought it might bo a safo thing to
lcavo him at his homo nnd go buck to
tho county Boat und report beforo ma
king the arrest. Whon ho reached
thero ho was told to return at unco
und bring his man.. Whon ha got back
to tho Illack Hear Inn Mr. Woisgarbor
wns out. Ho had saddled up and
rodo awny and might not roturn for
soveral days, perhaps novor. Hut tho
good-natured sheriff didn't boo t that
way. Ho would como bnck ngaln, or
ho might present hlmsolf voluntarily
at tho shorlfra office.
Tho mother had now experienced
enough to sntlsfy hor that sho had
mado a groat mistake and that sho
was tied to a bad man, Hor llto be
camo a burden to hor. Ono day shq
suddenly dUappearod. After a long
Bearcn alio was found dead with
ropo tightly drawn about her neck
banging to a Stout hook In the amnVn
house. The scone was too much for
hand bravoly up to tho officer In wait
ing at tho placo agreed upon.
On a given signal the detectives
hurriedly closed In. Tho countorfolt
or did not readily Bubmlt and tho offl-
cers soon found they had taoklod
rough customer. For somo minutes
tho Bcuflllng and twisting was furious
and he was not fairly subdued until a
pair of- glistening handcuffs was
clipped upon his wrists. Tho cold
stoel took tho fight out of him nnd ho
was at onco escorted to tho Bingham
houso.
It was ono of tho kind of concptr
acles that are a direct fraud upon tho
government, and I was very anxious
to reach its source, which particularly
meant tho ongrnvor of tho plates from
which tho stamps wero printed. I was
not a llttlo surprised whon I learned
that tho wholesale dealer wo had
caught was John Hartz. This was tho
first tlmo I had mot him. Ho had for
soveral years maintained a roputatlon
among tho dotoctlves as a person who
could not under any circumstances bo
mado to Bqueal. I could well afford
to turn him loose If he would furnUh
tho Information loading to tho cap
turlng of tho Important men behind
him.
Tho squealer In ensos of this kind
Is usually tho most powerful adjunct
to the detectlvo art. Whllo thoso ofll
cers have llttlo rcspoct for htm they
nro dollghted to avail themselves of
his services. I was well acquainted
with tho most prominent feature In
tho prisoner's past career. Ho lnld
claim to tho possession of a principle
to which ho had steadfastly adhered
Ho had boon arrestod soveral times
for passing counterfeit money and had
On nil occasions persistently refused
to squeal on his confederates. Ho
proferrod rather to sucrlflco hlmsolf
than to assist the government in any
manner. I had up to that tlmo novcr
met a man under llko circumstance
that, could not by somo means bo In
duced to squeal, but I pounded John
Harts up one side and down the other
until broad daylight without eliciting
tho slightest Information. I had of
fered him his liberty and $1,000 In
money as nn inducement, but ho stub
bornly rofuscd. no seemed to have
deluded himself into tho idea that
treachery among a gang of criminals
was much worso than tho unlawful
deeds performed by them.
I learned from tho prisoner that he
nnu n inmiiy. wnen tins was men-
Honed ho shuddered n little. Coming
to tbo conclusion that I could learn
nothing front him I was ready to lock
him up. Before doing this I suggested
tho Idea of taking him to bco his wife
nnd children. Early in tho morning
I procured n carriage, and after a
20 minutes' drive we stopped In front
of n largo tenement houso which wo
entered, ascending the stnlrs to tho
second floor.
Knocking at n door to our right wo
woro after somo delay admitted by a
woman wenrlng a calico wrapper, and
wo entered tho room which wns dark
nnd dismal as n tomb. Two or thrco
broken chairs, a rickety table nnd n
mattress spread upon tho floor and
covorcd with ragged quilts, consti
tuted tho furnishings. Peeping from
boncnth tho tattered covorlng I saw
tho bright eyes nnd curly heads of
two young'chlldren.
"Is this your homo, Mr. Hartz?" I
Inquired.
"This is whero I stay," ho replied.
I saw at onco that I was up against
n species of affliction for which I had
no rendy-mado speech of condolenco,
nnd I was Just a llttlo embarrassed.
Thero was a depth of sorlousness in
tho affair that I had rarely met with.
I was confronted with tho genuine
woes of humanity nnd nt n loss for
tho moment to know just what to do
or eay. After deliberating a short
tlmo I camo to tho conclusion that It
was best to explain all to his wlfo.
Sho looked like nn Intelligent woman
and I proceeded to ncqualnt her with
tho facts concerning hor husband's nr- I
rost and the punishment that was suro
to follow. I llkowlso pointed out the
door through which ho might escape.
I domanded a clean breast without
reserve I was to know nil tho partic
ulars In regard to tho conspiracy, and
ho wns to act in good faith nnd to as
sist tho detectives in plans to cap
ture tho engraver nnd all others con
nected with tho nffalr; besides, he
wns, If it becamo necessary, to go up
on tho witness stand nnd testify
ngalnst his confederates. Counterfeit
ers ns a general thing aro treacherous
towards ono another when In a tight
place; It Is anything to save them
selves. With John Hartz It was dif
ferent; ho preferred to sacrifice' hlm
solf rather than to givo away his con
federates.
When tho wlfo wns mado acquaint
ed with tho proposition thnt had been
mado to her husband she appealed to
him In languago that seemed Irresistible
Ho huntr his head. Thero was an
expression on his faco that was In
definable. A fresh link in misery's
chain hud now roached his heart.
Tho Bceno was absolutely painful and
I soon saw that ho was weakening.
A man's chnracter varies in accord-
nnco with tho position In which ho Is
placed. Criminals aro human, like
our solves, nnd If wo would learn tho
dangers lurking In bur pathway, wo
should know how thoy chanco to
stumblo nnd fall. Somo men aro
weaker and moro prono to vlco than
others. Thero Is a never-ending bat-
tlo between right nnd wrong. I novor
yet found a mnn bo bad that there
was not something In his chnracter
upon which to huso a hopo. I never
yot saw a man that was so good as to
bo freo from danger. Tliero is
thread of gold running through .the
character of tho worst of men: the
difficulty is to roach it.
Tho prlsonor"B oycB fell and wero
filled with toarB. We havo no pity for
tho tears shod by criminals. Thoy
aro dosorvod, but thoy aro'tcars Just
tho Barao, and Bomotlraes como from a
heart unjustly pierced. His wife now
approached him and said, "Whero is
tho monoy to como irom to pay tno
rent for this miserable room we are
living i"? How am I to obtain food
and clothing for our children whon
you nro In tho penltontlary?"
Accustomed as I was to scenes of
this kind my heart was deeply touched
and my hand went almost lnvoluntarl
ly to my pockot. 1 pulled out a roll of
bills. It was tho govornraent's monoy,
"Peollmr off flvo twenties. I handed
them to tho woman. rnico tnis, ray
uood woman, I cannot .savo your hus
band, but I will give you something
with which to supply your Immediate
wnntR. Buy theso children some
clothes."
I handed hor an addltlgnnl twenty,
Tho couutorfeltor and his wlfo stood
lnnklnii earnestly Into ench other's
faces. Both Boomed well nigh broken
hearted. Ho stepped towards mo as
he sold: "You aro tho only decent
man I havo ovor seen In tho detectlvo
business nnd I am going to tell you
all about It."
I havo soon crlmo In Its many phases
and havo noted tho offect of n long
torm of Imprisonment upon men as
they received their sontonco, but John
Hartz appeared as tho most repentant
criminal I had over mot. no nau
been cauKht red-handed and could havo
boon easily convicted, but tho result
of his confession and assistance was
mnny times moro Important to tho
Kovernment It led to tho breaking
up. root nnd branch, of nn oxtenslvo
croun ot dnngerous counterfeiters
The engraver, procuror nnd six otherjs
wero arrested with tho ovldonce
of their guilt In their hands. All wore
convicted nnd sentenced to servo va
rious terms In tho penitentiary.
My promise to Hnrtz was religiously
ironL He was BUtrerea to go ni large,
What becamo ot him I am unable to
iay.
(Cepyrtlht, 1910, by W. O. Chapman.)
IMPRISONED FOR SMUGGLING
To defraud tho government of tho
United States of Us customs coming
here from tho old world has been tho
darling wish of many women ovor
since Americans havo been able to in
dulgo In tho luxury, of an ocean voy
age. Miss Multimillionaire, sccuro in
her social position, did not llko to bo
held up on tho dock nnd mado to pay
largo sums for being caught trying to
BWlndlo tho government. But when
sho is caught finally sho chafes undor
her treatment, but Boclcty stands by
her and that cncourageB others to fol
low her example, v
To remove this prop from tho faBh
ionnblo woman tho authorities havo
decided to jail thoso caught in de
frauding Undo Sam of his dues. Thin
penalty, it Ib thought, will prevent rop
utablo women from engaging In tlis
business.
Tho first to suffer tho Imprisonment
nnd tho odium which nttacfics to It Is
Mrs. Roberta O. Hill, divorced "wlfo ot
Major Hill of tho English army. Sho pleaded truilty to smuRKllnc In a sable
coat and Jewelry valued at $8,000, pleading In extcnuntion that sho was Igno
rant or tno law. Judge Martin In Now York fined her $2,000 and sentenced
her to servo thrco days in a cell In tho Tombs. Mrs. Hill becamo hysterical
when imprisonment wbb added to fine. Sho Is a daughter of MorrlB Mengcs,
a horseman of Brooklyn. Mrs. Hill 1b glvon to tho romantic. At sixteen sho
married Halsey Corwln of Brooklyn, but sho soon nftor divorced him.
Discovory after discovery of thoso nttcmntlnK to BmtiEclo valuables into
tho ports of our country, chiefly at Now York, havo resulted only In fines,
and this has failed to stop tho practlco. Exposuro and consequent disgrace
proving Ineffectual, tho courts finally determined on imprisonment. This
seemed tho only way to mnko the rich and influential and socloty bellos comq
to a realization of thlB kind of otfondlng that It wob a real crlmo.
HUNGARIAN STATESMAN HERE
Ono of tho most eminent of Euro
pean statesmen, Count Albert Appon
yl, member of tho Hungarian parlia
ment and. ex-mtnlster of public won,
ship and education of Austria-Hungary,
la now on a visit to this country in,
tho Interest of international peace. Ho
haB como to deliver a series of lec
tures on tho difficulties' of the1 ponco
problem in Europo and to urgo this
country to bocomo the world's lender,
in tho efforts to abolish war. This Is
not his first visit to the United States.
Ho camo horo in 1904 to attend tho
poaco conferonco held at St. Louis. Ho
has been actlvo In tho causo ot tho
world's peaco for many years and has;
attended interparliamentary confor-!
ences on the subject at Brussels,!
Chrlstianla, Paris and London. ,
Count Apponyi is a member of nJ
Hungarian aristocracy which traces!
Us descent in nn unbroken lino back
to 123D. Ho was born In 1846, was cd:
ucated in schools conducted by tho
Jesuits and has been In public llto slnco 1872. Ho was a conservative when'
ho first ontored politics, but Is now tho leader of tho nationalists, or tho Kos
suth party, In Hungary. Although nn aristocrat by birth and heredity, ho is1
noted for his democracy and years ago relinquished tho seat which waB his1
by right In tho Hungarian houso of peers in' order to sit In tho lower houso.
Tho count is tlio ownor of magnificent estates In Hungary nnd is wealthy.
His wlfo Is related to the royal family of England, hor grandmother hnvlngl
been a slBtor ot Queen, Victoria's husband, tho prlnco consort. '
IMPORTANT COMMITTEE HEAD
Ono of tho figures of tho Sixty-second
congress will bo Representative
Oscar W. Underwood of Alabama, se
lected by tho Democratic caucus to
head tho all-Important ways and means
committee. Mr. Underwood will bo
tho "Democratic floor leader, succeed
ing In that position Representative Se
reuo E. Payno of Now York, and will
givo his name to tho now tariff bill
which tho Democrats propose to put
through.
Mr. Underwood novor hold an offlco
or was a cnndldato for such a position,
until 1894. Then ho ran for congress,
tho entire issuo being tho tariff, nnd
ho had a blttor fight. Speaker Crisp
camo into tho district to help him and
whon tho votes woro counted ho hnd
won by 1,000. Slnco that tlmo ho has
novor had an opponent for tho nomi
nation. Ho has been elected to con-
ErCBB olcht tlmen. thrnn tl
a Republican opponent. Ho has always been a closo friend and confidential
udvlser of Champ Clark and Is only forty-eight yenra old. Ho was born In
Louisville, Ky. His grandfather was a colloaguo of Honry Clay in tho senate.
Young Underwood attended the University of Virginia, graduating in law In
1884. It was thero that ho began to get his Democratic ideas. Ho haB been
married twlco, his first wlfo dying in 1900. In 1904 ho remarried.
Mr. Underwood Is a prominent member of tho Birmingham Country club
and spends nil of his sparo tlmp in tho summor playing golf on tho slopes
of Red mountain.
mm
MOUNTS HIGH IN THE ARMY
Another step In his steadily upward
career has been taken by Col. Enoch
H. Crowder, whoso envlablo army rec
ord is ono to stlmulato emulation
Gen. Georgo W. Davis, Judgo ndvocato
general of tho army, was retired on
account of having 'reached tho ago
limit, and to tho vacancy thus created
Colonel Crowder has succeeded In tho
ordinary course of promotion, as ho
was tho senior colonel in tho Judgo
advocate division.
Colonel Crowdor is a nativo of Mis
souri, wnoro ho was born April
iHt'j, tno son or John Herbert
Mary (Wollor) Crowder. Ho graduat-
oa irom tno Military ncadomy In 1881
nnd In 188G ho received tho degree oft
LL. B. from tho University of Mis-1
sourl. Colonel Crowdor served In the
Philippine Islands In 1898-1901. Dur
ing tho war between Japan nnd Russia
ho becamo conspicuous ns an observer
of tho field maneuvers, being with thoi
jupaneso army irom April, 1904, until
April, 1905. In Cuba, 1906-'O7, ho acted as financial advisor of the Cuban
government, his services being- greatly valued.
Warrior that he 1b, however, thero Is ono conquest which tho colonel
has never made. No womanly heart has yet capitulated to his superior tac
tics, a willing prisoner; at least he is not married.
11.
andi

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