Bucholz & the Detectives (Based on True Events) - Allan Pinkerton - ebook

Bucholz & the Detectives (Based on True Events) ebook

Allan Pinkerton



This eBook has been formatted to the highest digital standards and adjusted for readability on all devices.   Excerpt: "The following pages narrate a story of detective experience, which, in many respects, is alike peculiar and interesting, and one which evinces in a marked degree the correctness of one of the cardinal principles of my detective system, viz.: "That crime can and must be detected by the pure and honest heart obtaining a controlling power over that of the criminal." The history of the old man who, although in the possession of unlimited wealth, leaves the shores of his native land to escape the imagined dangers of assassination, and arrives in America, only to meet his death—violent and mysterious."The Expressman and the Detective Allan Pinkerton tells how his relatively small P.I. firm succeeded in this first big case. Tens of thousands of dollars had gone missing. The suspect was too smart for the police so the robbed company asked Pinkerton to step in. Nine detectives worked this case for ten months. The suspect did take them on a very long chase. Some of the detective travelled miles and miles following the suspect while others followed his wife.  

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Allan Pinkerton

Bucholz & the Detectives

(Based on True Events)

Published by


- Advanced Digital Solutions & High-Quality eBook Formatting -
2018 OK Publishing
ISBN 978-80-272-4624-3
Table of Contents


Table of Contents

The following pages narrate a story of detective experience, which, in many respects, is alike peculiar and interesting, and one which evinces in a marked degree the correctness of one of the cardinal principles of my detective system, viz.: "That crime can and must be detected by the pure and honest heart obtaining a controlling power over that of the criminal."

The history of the old man who, although in the possession of unlimited wealth, leaves the shores of his native land to escape the imagined dangers of assassination, and arrives in America, only to meet his death—violent and mysterious—at the hands of a trusted servant, is in all essential points a recital of actual events. While it is true that in describing the early career of this man, the mind may have roamed through the field of romance, yet the important events which are related of him are based entirely upon information authentically derived.

The strange operation of circumstances which brought these two men together, although they had journeyed across the seas—each with no knowledge of the existence of the other—to meet and to participate in the sad drama of crime, is one of those realistic evidences of the inscrutable operations of fate, which are of frequent occurrence in daily life.

The system of detection which was adopted in this case, and which was pursued to a successful termination, is not a new one in the annals of criminal detection. From the inception of my career as a detective, I have believed that crime is an element as foreign to the human mind as a poisonous substance is to the body, and that by the commission of a crime, the man or the woman so offending, weakens, in a material degree, the mental and moral strength of their characters and dispositions. Upon this weakness the intelligent detective must bring to bear the force and influence of a superior, moral and intellectual power, and then successful detection is assured.

The criminal, yielding to a natural impulse of human nature, must seek for sympathy. His crime haunts him continually, and the burden of concealment becomes at last too heavy to bear alone. It must find a voice; and whether it be to the empty air in fitful dreamings, or into the ears of a sympathetic friend—he must relieve himself of the terrible secret which is bearing him down. Then it is that the watchful detective may seize the criminal in his moment of weakness and by his sympathy, and from the confidence he has engendered, he will force from him the story of his crime.

That such a course was necessary to be pursued in this case will be apparent to all. The suspected man had been precipitately arrested, and no opportunity was afforded to watch his movements or to become associated with him while he was at liberty. He was an inmate of a prison when I assumed the task of his detection, and the course pursued was the only one which afforded the slightest promise of success; hence its adoption.

Severe moralists may question whether this course is a legitimate or defensible one; but as long as crime exists, the necessity for detection is apparent. That a murderous criminal should go unwhipt of justice because the process of his detection is distasteful to the high moral sensibilities of those to whom crime is, perhaps, a stranger, is an argument at once puerile and absurd. The office of the detective is to serve the ends of justice; to purge society of the degrading influences of crime; and to protect the lives, the property and the honor of the community at large; and in this righteous work the end will unquestionably justify the means adopted to secure the desired result.

That the means used in this case were justifiable the result has proven. By no other course could the murderer of Henry Schulte have been successfully punished or the money which he had stolen recovered.

The detective, a gentleman of education and refinement, in the interests of justice assumes the garb of the criminal; endures the privations and restraints of imprisonment, and for weeks and months associates with those who have defied the law, and have stained their hands with blood; but in the end he emerges from the trying and fiery ordeal through which he has passed triumphant. The law is vindicated, and the criminal is punished.

Despite the warnings of his indefatigable counsel, and the fears which they had implanted in his mind, the detective had gained a control over the mind of the guilty man, which impelled him to confess his crime and reveal the hiding place of the money which had led to its commission.

That conviction has followed this man should be a subject of congratulation to all law-abiding men and women; and if the fate of this unhappy man, now condemned to long weary years of imprisonment, shall result in deterring others from the commission of crime, surely the operations of the detective have been more powerfully beneficial to society than all the eloquence and nicely-balanced theories—incapable of practical application—of the theoretical moralist, who doubts the efficiency or the propriety of the manner in which this great result has been accomplished.



Table of Contents


Table of Contents

The Arrival in South Norwalk.—The Purchase of the Farm.—A Miser's Peculiarities, and the Villagers' Curiosity.

About a mile and a half from the city of South Norwalk, in the State of Connecticut, rises an eminence known as Roton Hill. The situation is beautiful and romantic in the extreme. Far away in the distance, glistening in the bright sunshine of an August morning, roll the green waters of Long Island Sound, bearing upon its broad bosom the numerous vessels that ply between the City of New York and the various towns and cities along the coast. The massive and luxurious steamers and the little white-winged yachts, the tall "three-masters" and the trim and gracefully-sailing schooners, are in full view. At the base of the hill runs the New York and New Haven Railroad, with its iron horse and long trains of cars, carrying their wealth of freights and armies of passengers to all points in the East, while to the left lies the town of South Norwalk—the spires of its churches rising up into the blue sky, like monuments pointing heaven-ward—and whose beautiful and capacious school-houses are filled with the bright eyes and rosy faces of the youths who receive from competent teachers the lessons that will prove so valuable in the time to come.

Various manufactories add to the wealth of the inhabitants, whose luxurious homes and bright gardens are undoubted indications of prosperity and domestic comfort. The placid river runs through the town, which, with the heavy barges lying at the wharves, the draw-bridges which span its shores, and the smaller crafts, which afford amusement to the youthful fraternity, contribute to the general picturesqueness of the scene.

The citizens, descended from good old revolutionary sires, possess the sturdy ambitions, the indomitable will and the undoubted honor of their ancestors, and, as is the case with all progressive American towns, South Norwalk boasts of its daily journal, which furnishes the latest intelligence of current events, proffers its opinions upon the important questions of the day, and, like the Sentinel of old, stands immovable and unimpeachable between the people and any attempted encroachment upon their rights.

On a beautiful, sunny day in August, 1878, there descended from the train that came puffing up to the commodious station at South Norwalk, an old man, apparently a German, accompanied by a much younger one, evidently of the same nationality. The old gentleman was not prepossessing in appearance, and seemed to be avoided by his well-dressed fellow-passengers. He was a tall, smooth-faced man about sixty years of age, but his broad shoulders and erect carriage gave evidence of an amount of physical power and strength scarcely in accord with his years. Nor was his appearance calculated to impress the observer with favor. He wore a wretched-looking coat, and upon his head a dingy, faded hat of foreign manufacture. His shoes showed frequent patches, and looked very much as though their owner had performed the duties of an amateur cobbler.

It was not a matter of wonder, therefore, that the round-faced Squire shrugged his burly shoulders as the new-comer entered his office, or that he was about to bestow upon the forlorn-looking old man some trifling token of charity.

The old gentleman, however, was not an applicant for alms. He did not deliver any stereotyped plea for assistance, nor did he recite a tale of sorrow and suffering calculated to melt the obdurate heart of the average listener to sympathy, and so with a wave of his hand he declined the proffered coin, and stated the nature of his business.

The Squire soon discovered his error, for instead of asking for charity, his visitor desired to make a purchase, and in place of being a victim of necessity, he intended to become a land-owner in that vicinity.

The young man who accompanied him, and who was dressed in clothing of good quality and style, was discovered to be his servant, and the old gentlemen, in a few words, completed a bargain in which thousands of dollars were involved.

The blue eyes of the worthy Squire opened in amazement as the supposed beggar, drawing forth a well-filled but much-worn leather wallet, and taking from one of its dingy compartments the amount of the purchase-money agreed upon, afforded the astonished magistrate a glimpse of additional wealth of which the amount paid seemed but a small fraction.

The land in question which thus so suddenly and strangely changed hands was a farm of nearly thirty acres, situate upon Roton Hill, and which had been offered for sale for some time previous, without attracting the attention of an available purchaser. When, therefore, the new-comer completed his arrangements in comparatively such few words, and by the payment of the purchase-money in full, he so completely surprised the people to whom the facts were speedily related by the voluble Squire, that the miserably apparelled owner of the "Hill," became at once an object of curiosity and interest.

A few days after this event, the old gentleman, whose name was ascertained to be John Henry Schulte, formally entered into possession of his land, and with his servants took up his abode at Roton Hill.

The dwelling-house upon the estate was an unpretentious frame building, with gable roof, whose white walls, with their proverbial green painted window shutters overlooking the road, showed too plainly the absence of that care and attention which is necessary for comfort and essential to preservation. It was occupied at this time by a family who had been tenants under the previous owner, and arrangements were soon satisfactorily made by Henry Schulte by which they were to continue their residence in the white farm-house upon the "Hill."

This family consisted of a middle-aged man, whose name was Joseph Waring, his wife and children—a son and two blooming daughters, and as the family of Henry Schulte consisted only of himself and his servant, the domestic arrangements were soon completed, and he became domiciled at once upon the estate which he had purchased.

The young man who occupied the position as servant, or valet, to the eccentric old gentleman, was a tall, broad-shouldered, fine-looking young fellow, whose clear-cut features and prominent cheek-bones at once pronounced him to be a German. His eyes were large, light blue in color, and seemed capable of flashing with anger or melting with affection; his complexion was clear and bright, but his mouth was large and with an expression of sternness which detracted from the pleasing expression of his face; while his teeth, which were somewhat decayed, added to the unpleasing effect thus produced. He was, however, rather a good-looking fellow, with the erect carriage and jaunty air of the soldier, and it was a matter of surprise to many, that a young man of his appearance should occupy so subservient a position, and under such a singular master.

Such was William Bucholz, the servant of Henry Schulte.

Between master and man there appeared to exist a peculiar relation, partaking, at times, more of the nature of a protector than the servant, and in their frequent walks William Bucholz would invariably be found striding on in advance, while his aged, but seemingly robust, employer would follow silently and thoughtfully at a distance of a few yards. At home, however, his position was more clearly defined, and William became the humble valet and the nimble waiter.

The reserved disposition and retired habits of the master were regarded as very eccentric by his neighbors, and furnished frequent food for comment and speculation among the gossips which usually abound in country villages—and not in this case without cause. His manner of living was miserly and penurious in the extreme, and all ideas of comfort seemed to be utterly disregarded.

The furniture of the room which he occupied was of the commonest description, consisting of an iron bedstead, old and broken, which, with its hard bed, scanty covering and inverted camp-stool for a pillow, was painfully suggestive of discomfort and unrest. A large chest, which was used as a receptacle for food; a small deal table, and two or three unpainted chairs, completed the inventory of the contents of the chamber in which the greater portion of his time was passed when at home.

The adjoining chamber, which was occupied by Bucholz, was scarcely more luxurious, except that some articles for toilet use were added to the scanty and uninviting stock.

The supplies for his table were provided by himself, and prepared for his consumption by Mrs. Waring. In this regard, also, the utmost parsimony was evinced, and the daily fare consisted of the commonest articles of diet that he was able to purchase. Salt meats and fish, brown bread and cheese, seemed to be the staple articles of food. At the expiration of every week, accompanied by William, he would journey to South Norwalk, to purchase the necessary stores for the following seven days, and he soon became well-known to the shopkeepers for the niggardly manner of his dealings. Upon his return his purchases would be carefully locked up in the strong box which he kept in his room, and would be doled out regularly to the servant for cooking in the apartments below, with a stinting exactness painfully amusing to witness.

The only luxury which he allowed himself was a certain quantity of Rhenish wine, of poor quality and unpleasant flavor, which was partaken of by himself alone, and apparently very much enjoyed. At his meals Bucholz was required to perform the duties of waiter; arranging the cloth, carrying the food and dancing in constant attendance—after which he would be permitted to partake of his own repast, either with the family, who frequently invited him, and thus saved expense, or in the chamber of his master.

Gossip in a country village travels fast and loses nothing in its passage. Over many a friendly cup of tea did the matrons and maids discuss the peculiarities of the wealthy and eccentric old man who had so suddenly appeared among them, while the male portion of the community speculated illimitably as to his history and his possessions.

He was frequently met walking along the highway with his hands folded behind his back, his head bent down, apparently in deep thought, William in advance, and the master plodding slowly after him, and many efforts were made to cultivate his acquaintance, but always without success.

This evidence of an avoidance of conversation and refusal to make acquaintances, instead of repressing a tendency to gossip, only seemed to supply an opportunity for exaggeration, and speculation largely supplied the want of fact in regard to his wealth and his antecedents.

Entirely undisturbed by the many reports in circulation about him, Henry Schulte pursued the isolated life he seemed to prefer, paying no heed to the curious eyes that were bent upon him, and entirely oblivious to the vast amount of interest which others evinced in his welfare.

He was in the habit of making frequent journeys to the City of New York alone, and on these occasions William would meet him upon his return and the two would then pursue their lonely walk home.

One day upon reaching South Norwalk, after a visit to the metropolis, he brought with him a large iron box which he immediately consigned to the safe keeping of the bank located in the town, and this fact furnished another and more important subject for conversation.

He had hitherto seemed to have no confidence in banking institutions and trust companies, and preferred to be his own banker, carrying large sums of money about his person which he was at no pains to conceal, and so, as he continued this practice, and as his possessions were seemingly increased by the portentous-looking iron chest, the speculations as to his wealth became unbounded.

Many of the old gossips had no hesitancy in declaring that he was none other than a foreign count or some other scion of nobility, who had, no doubt, left his native land on account of some political persecution, or that he had been expatriated by his government for some offense which had gained for the old man that dreadful punishment—royal disfavor.

Oblivious of all this, however, the innocent occasion of their wonderment and speculation pursued his lonely way unheeding and undisturbed.


Table of Contents

William Bucholz.—Life at Roton Hill.—A Visit to New York City.

William Bucholz, the servant of the old gentleman, did not possess the morose disposition nor the desire for isolation evinced by his master, for, instead of shunning the society of those with whom he came in contact, he made many acquaintances during his leisure hours among the people of the town and village, and with whom he soon became on terms of perfect intimacy. To him, therefore, perhaps as much as to any other agency, was due in a great measure the fabulous stories of the old man's wealth.

Being of a communicative disposition, and gifted with a seemingly frank and open manner, he found no difficulty in extending his circle of acquaintances, particularly among those of a curious turn of mind. In response to their eager questioning, he would relate such wonderful stories in reference to his master, of the large amount of money which he daily carried about his person, and of reputed wealth in Germany, that it was believed by some that a modern Crœsus had settled in their midst, and while, in common with the rest of humanity, they paid homage to his gold, they could not repress a feeling of contempt for the miserly actions and parsimonious dealings of its possessor.

With the young ladies also William seemed to be a favorite, and his manner of expressing himself in such English words as he had acquired, afforded them much interest and no little amusement. Above all the rest, however, the two daughters of Mrs. Waring possessed the greatest attractions for him, and the major part of his time, when not engaged in attending upon his employer, was spent in their company. Of the eldest daughter he appeared to be a devoted admirer, and this fact was far from being disagreeable to the young lady herself, who smiled her sweetest smiles upon the sturdy young German who sued for her favors.

Sadie Waring was a wild, frolicsome young lady of about twenty years of age, with an impulsive disposition, and an inclination for mischief which was irrepressible. Several experiences were related of her, which, while not being of a nature to deserve the censure of her associates, frequently brought upon her the reproof of her parents, who looked with disfavor upon the exuberance of a disposition that acknowledged no control.

Bucholz and Sadie became warm friends, and during the pleasant days of the early Autumn, they indulged in frequent and extended rambles; he became her constant chaperone to the various traveling shows which visited the town, and to the merry-makings in the vicinity. Through her influence also, he engaged the services of a tutor, and commenced the study of the English language, in which, with her assistance, he soon began to make rapid progress.

In this quiet, uneventful way, the time passed on, and nothing occurred to disturb the usual serenity of their existence. No attempt was made by Henry Schulte to cultivate the land which he had purchased, and, except a small patch of ground which was devoted to the raising of a few late vegetables, the grass and weeds vied with each other for supremacy in the broad acres which surrounded the house.

Daily during the pleasant weather the old gentleman would wend his way to the river, and indulge in the luxury of a bath, which seemed to be the only recreation that he permitted himself to take; and in the evening, during which he invariably remained in the house, he would spend the few hours before retiring in playing upon the violin, an instrument of which he was very fond, and upon which he played with no ordinary skill.

The Autumn passed away, and Winter, cold, bleak, and cheerless, settled over the land. The bright and many-colored leaves that had flashed their myriad beauties in the full glare of the sunlight, had fallen from the trees, leaving their trunks, gnarled and bare, to the mercy of the sweeping winds. The streams were frozen, and the merry-makers skimmed lightly and gracefully over the glassy surface of pond and lake. Christmas, that season of festivity, when the hearts of the children are gladdened by the visit of that fabulous gift-maker, and when music and joy rule the hour in the homes of the rich—but when also, pinched faces and hungry eyes are seen in the houses of the poor—had come and gone.

To the farm-house on the "Hill," there had come no change during this festive season, and the day was passed in the ordinary dull and uneventful manner. William Bucholz and Sadie Waring had perhaps derived more enjoyment from the day than any of the others, and in the afternoon had joined a party of skaters on the lake in the vicinity, but beyond this, no incident occurred to recall very forcibly the joyous time that was passing.

On the second day after Christmas, Henry Schulte informed William of his intention to go to New York upon a matter of business, and after a scanty breakfast, accompanied by his valet, he wended his way to the station.

They had become accustomed to ignore the main road in their journeys to the town, and taking a path that ran from the rear of the house, they would walk over the fields, now hard and frozen, and passing through a little strip of woods they would reach the track of the railroad, and following this they would reach the station, thereby materially lessening the distance that intervened, and shortening the time that would be necessary to reach their destination.

Placing the old gentleman safely upon the train, and with instructions to meet him upon his arrival home in the evening, Bucholz retraced his steps and prepared to enjoy the leisure accorded to him by the absence of the master.

In the afternoon his tutor came, and he spent an hour engaged in the study of the English language, and in writing. Shortly after the departure of the teacher Mrs. Waring requested him to accompany her to a town a few miles distant, whither she was going to transact some business, and he cheerfully consenting, they went off together.

Returning in the gathering twilight Bucholz was in excellent spirits and in great good humor, and as they neared their dwelling they discovered Sadie slightly in advance of them, with her skates under her arm, returning from the lake, where she had been spending the afternoon in skating. William, with a view of having a laugh at the expense of the young lady, when within a short distance of her, drew a revolver which he carried, and discharged it in the direction in which she was walking. The girl uttered a frightened scream, but William's mocking laughter reassured her, and after a mutual laugh at her sudden fright the three proceeded merrily to the house.

It was now time for William to go to the station for his master, who was to return that evening, and he started off to walk to the train, reaching there in good time, and in advance of its arrival.

Soon the bright light of the locomotive was seen coming around a curve in the road, the shrill whistle resounded through the wintry air, and in a few minutes the train came rumbling up to the station, when instantly all was bustle and confusion.

Train hands were running hither and thither, porters were loudly calling the names of the hotels to which they were attached, the inevitable Jehu was there with his nasal ejaculation of "Kerige!" while trunks were unloaded and passengers were disembarking.

Bright eyes were among the eager crowd as the friendly salutations were exchanged, and merry voices were heard in greeting to returning friends. Rich and poor jostled each other in the hurry of the moment, and the waiting servant soon discovered among the passengers the form of the man he was waiting for.

The old gentleman was burdened with some purchases of provisions which he had made, and in an old satchel which he carried the necks of several bottles of wine were protruding. Assisting him to alight, Bucholz took the satchel, and they waited until the train started from the depot and left the trackway clear. The old man looked fatigued and worn, and directed Bucholz to accompany him to a saloon opposite, which they entered, and walking up to the bar, he requested a couple of bottles of beer for himself and servant. This evidence of unwonted generosity created considerable wonderment among those who were seated around, but the old gentleman paid no attention to their whispered comments, and, after liquidating his indebtedness, the two took up their packages and proceeded up the track upon their journey home.

What transpired upon that homeward journey was destined to remain for a long time an inscrutable mystery, but after leaving that little inn no man among the curious villagers ever looked upon that old man's face in life again. The two forms faded away in the distance, and the weary wind sighed through the leafless trees; the bright glare of the lights of the station gleamed behind them, but the shadows of the melancholy hills seemed to envelop them in their dark embrace—and to one of them, at least, it was the embrace of death.


Table of Contents

An Alarm at the Farm-house.—The Dreadful Announcement of William Bucholz.—The Finding of the Murdered Man.

The evening shadows gathered over Roton Hill, and darkness settled over the scene. The wind rustled mournfully through the leafless branches of the trees, as though with a soft, sad sigh, while overhead the stars glittered coldly in their far-off setting of blue.

Within the farm-house the fire glowed brightly and cheerily; the lamps were lighted; the cloth had been laid for the frugal evening meal, and the kettle hummed musically upon the hob. The family of the Warings, with the exception of the father, whose business was in a distant city, were gathered together. Samuel Waring, the son, had returned from his labor, and with the two girls were seated around the hearth awaiting the return of the old gentleman and William, while Mrs. Waring busied herself in the preparations for tea.

"Now, if Mr. Schulte would come," said Mrs. Waring, "we would ask him to take tea with us this evening; the poor man will be cold and hungry."

"No use in asking him, mother," replied Samuel, "he wouldn't accept."

"It is pretty nearly time they were here," said Sadie, with a longing look toward the inviting table.

"Well, if they do not come soon we will not wait for them," said Mrs. Waring.

As she spoke a shrill, startled cry rose upon the air; the voice of a man, and evidently in distress. Breathless they stopped to listen—the two girls clinging to each other with blanched faces and staring eyes.

"Sammy! Sammy!" again sounded that frightened call.

Samuel Waring started to his feet and moved rapidly toward the door.

"It sounds like William!" he cried, "something must have happened."

He had reached the door and his hand was upon the latch, when it was violently thrown open and Bucholz rushed in and fell fainting upon the floor.

He was instantly surrounded by the astonished family, and upon examination it was discovered that his face was bleeding, while the flesh was lacerated as though he had been struck with some sharp instrument. He had carried in his hand the old satchel which contained the wine purchased by Mr. Schulte, and which had been consigned to his care on leaving the depot, and as he fell unconscious the satchel dropped from his nerveless grasp upon the floor.

Recovering quickly, he stared wildly around. "What has happened, William, what is the matter?" inquired Samuel.

"Oh, Mr. Schulte, he is killed, he is killed!"

"Where is he now?"

"Down in the woods by the railroad," cried Bucholz. "We must go and find him."

Meanwhile the female members of the family had stood wonder-stricken at the sudden appearance of Bucholz, and the fearful information which he conveyed.

"How did it happen?" inquired Samuel Waring.

"Oh, Sammy," exclaimed Bucholz, "I don't know. When we left the station, Mr. Schulte gave me the satchel to carry, and we walked along the track. I was walking ahead. Then we came through the woods, and just as I was about to climb over the stone wall by the field, I heard Mr. Schulte call out, 'Bucholz!' 'Bucholz!' It was dark, I could not see anything, and just as I turned around to go to Mr. Schulte, a man sprang at me and hit me in the face. I jumped away from him and then I saw another one on the other side of me. Then I ran home, and now I know that Mr. Schulte is killed. Oh Sammy! Sammy! we must go and find him."

Bucholz told his story brokenly and seemed to be in great distress.

"If I had my pistol I would not run," he continued, as if in reply to a look upon Samuel Waring's face, "but I left it at home."

Sadie went up to him, and, laying her hand upon his arm, inquired anxiously if he was much hurt.

"No, my dear, I think not, but I was struck pretty hard," he replied. "But come," he continued, "while we are talking, Mr. Schulte is lying out there in the woods. We must go after him."

Bucholz went to the place where he usually kept his revolver, and placing it in his pocket, he announced his readiness to go in search of his master.

"Wait till I get my gun," said Samuel Waring, going up-stairs, and soon returning with the desired article.