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The Bradys and the Girl Smuggler; Or, Working for the Custom House

Francis Worcester Doughty

  Produced by David Starner, Sigal Alon and the OnlineDistributed Proofreading Team at

  "Madam," said Old King Brady, "here is a warrant for thearrest of your daughter. The charge is smuggling!" Calmly taking thedocument, the lady read it. Harry opened the door and let the hall-boy go.]



  _Issued Weekly--By Subscription $2.50 per year. Entered as Second ClassMatter at the New York, N.Y., Post Office, March 1, 1899. Entered accordingto Act of Congress, in the year 1900, in the office of the Librarian ofCongress, Washington, D.C., by Frank Tousey, 24 Union Square, New York._

  No. 79. NEW YORK, July 27, 1900. Price 5 Cents.

  The Bradys and the Girl Smuggler


  Working for the Custom House.




  The Collector of the Port of New York sat in his office in the Custom Housewith a look of annoyance upon his face.

  Several of his chief inspectors were standing about the room with the mostuneasy expressions, for they were being censured unmercifully.

  "I tell you, gentlemen," the Collector was saying, angrily, "I am very muchdisgusted with the poor service your department is giving. I am determinedto stop this wholesale smuggling. If none of you are capable of doing thework for which you are liberally paid, I'll have to get somebody to do thework for you. Do you understand?"

  "But, sir," began one of the inspectors, humbly, "we've done our best--"

  "And accomplished nothing!" snapped the Collector.

  "How could we, sir? The smuggler you want us to catch does not resort tothe usual tricks such people adopt to avoid paying duty on the diamonds andother precious stones, which you say are smuggled into this country. It'sbecause he's such a sly and clever rogue, that we can't locate him. We'veresorted to every known method to discover the villain, but can't make anyheadway."

  "Then you admit you are beaten?"

  "Yes," was the hesitating reply.

  "Hum!" grunted the Collector, in tones of contempt. "A nice lot ofgovernment detectives you fellows are to admit such a defeat. However, I'vetaken the matter into my own hands now."


  "Yes! I've engaged two of the most skillful men in the Secret Service torun down this smuggler. I refer to Old and Young King Brady."

  "Indeed!" sneered the inspector, whose pride was wounded. "I'm sure if wecan't find that smuggler, they can't."

  "They can't, eh?" grimly demanded the Collector. "Well, you'll find outwhether they can or not, Andrew Gibson, for they'll be here presently totake your work right out of your hands. Do you hear me?"

  With glum looks the inspectors glanced at each other.

  It was a bitter pill for them to swallow, to have an outsider come in to dothe work they found themselves unable to cope with.

  Finally Gibson affected a mocking laugh, and said, derisively:

  "What can a Secret Service man do in a Custom House case, if we men,educated for it, can't finish a job we find too hard for us?"

  "They'll find the smuggler I'm after," replied the Collector, banging hisfist on the desk to emphasize his remark. "I've got every faith in thatremarkable man and boy. They are the most skillful detectives in theprofession. There's nothing they can't do in their own line, and you'llfind it out soon."

  "On police and criminal cases--"

  "On _any_ work!" roared the Collector, excitedly.

  "They must be marvels, indeed!" sneered Gibson.

  "So they are, sir--so they are."

  "I'd like to see these wonders!"

  Just then two men in uniform standing apart from the rest, advanced.

  They wore the costume of boarding officers, the dark-blue uniforms beinggarnished with brass buttons and on their heads were caps with bands acrossthe front bearing the word in gilt letters, "Inspector."

  One of these men was tall and muscular, with a bushy black beard, deep grayeyes and a heavy mass of dark-brown hair.

  His companion looked like a mere boy, with a handsome face, a pair of keeneyes and a dashing, aggressive air that showed he was of a bold, intrepidcharacter. He walked right up to the inspector.

  "So you want to see the Bradys, do you?" he asked Gibson, quietly.

  "Yes, I would," asserted the inspector, glaring at him in surprise.

  "Then look, for we are the Bradys!" exclaimed the boy.

  He took off his cap and his companion stripped off a wig and false beard.

  Every one in the room glanced at them in amazement.

  No one suspected their identity before.

  Old King Brady was now seen to have white hair and a clean-shaven face, inwhich a daring, determined character was shown.

  Even the Collector was astonished.

  When he recovered his composure, a smile crossed his face, and he rose andwarmly shook hands with the pair, saying:

  "Well, this is an agreeable surprise."

  Old King Brady smiled, took a chew of tobacco and replied:

  "You got our chief to assign us on this case and requested us to be here attwo o'clock, and here we are."

  "Ready for work?"

  "Yes, sir. Instruct us."

  "Well, all I can tell you is that this country is being flooded withprecious stones upon which no duty is being paid, and I want you to findthe party who is doing the crooked work."

  "Have you any clews upon which we can work?"

  "None, whatever. You'll have to get them yourselves from the importers inJohn street, Broadway and Maiden Lane. They may give you some points."

  "We shall follow your suggestion."

  The two detectives started for the door, then paused.

  Harry Brady, the boy, then said:

  "Mr. Gibson has some doubts about our ability to work for the Custom House.Since he has flung defiance at us, we'll accept his challenge."

  "How? growled the inspector, in ugly tones.

  "Well, we'll meet you officers and the Collector on board the steamerCampania, of the Cunard line, in one hour, when she reaches her pier fromQuarantine. If we don't show up more smugglers than you do, we'll give upthis assignment."

  "I'll go you!" eagerly exclaimed the jealous inspector.

  "And I'll be there to see that you get fair play," grimly said theCollector.

  The Bradys silently bowed and withdrew.

  When they reached the street, Old King Brady laughed and said:

  "They're all jealous of us. But we'll show them a trick or two, Harry."

  "They'll be a surprised lot," laughed the boy. "We have them beatenalready."

  They headed for the jewelry district and called upon several of the mostprominent importers and lapidaries, from whom they gained some veryvaluable information. The last importer they spoke to said:

  "Paul La Croix, a French-Canadian, was just in here with his daughter,trying to sell us some smuggled diamonds. See--there he goes now."

  He pointed out the window at a tall, thin, stylishly-clad man of forty inlight trousers, a black frock coat and high hat.

  The detectives observed that he now did not have his daughter with him.

  From where they were, they could see that La Croix had a thin, sallow face,a long, sharp nose and a closely-trimmed dark moustache.

  He turned into Broadway and disappeared in the crowd.

  "Who is he?" asked Old King Brady, of the dealer in precious stones.

  "A mystery. No one knows. He makes many
trips between New York and Havre tosmuggle diamonds which he sells here. Every jeweler in the Lane knows him.Some deal with him."

  "Where does he live?"

  "At the Fifth Avenue Hotel."

  "Thank you."

  And a moment later the detectives were gone.

  Reaching Broadway they hurried ahead intending to find La Croix and arresthim with contraband diamonds in his possession.

  But the man disappeared and they found no trace of him.

  The Bradys gave up the hunt, temporarily, for they were determined to findthe man again.

  They crossed the city, going to the west side.

  People who saw the pair paid no heed to them now, for they had made somechanges in their apparel, in a sheltering doorway, and by turning theircoats inside out, pocketing their uniform hats and putting on soft felthats, they transformed their appearance.

  They now looked like ordinary citizens.

  Each one adjusted a false moustache and a wig to hide his identity.

  They had their clothing so made that they could change to severalcharacters with but little trouble.

  This fact was well known to most of the crooks at large, and they fearedthe Bradys more than any other detectives on the force.

  Although they bore the same name, there was no relationship between them,for Harry was merely an apt pupil the old detective had chanced to meet,and was educating in his profession.

  As a team, they made themselves famous.

  When they drew near the Cunard steamship dock, Old King Brady carried hishandkerchief in his hand as a signal.

  A man was on the lookout and ran up to him.

  Handing the detective a letter he exclaimed:

  "I followed your order, Mr. Brady and went down to Quarantine to-day withthe port doctor. He took me aboard the Campania, and I found out a greatdeal. It's all written in that letter. I wrote it coming up on the CustomHouse tug."

  "Has the steamer reached her dock yet?"

  "She's swinging in now. I beat her up on the tug."

  "Very well. You may go."

  The spotter hastened away and the detectives eagerly read his letter.

  It was full of valuable information for which they sent the man and havingread the letter they hastened to the pier.

  The big trans-Atlantic steamer was just tying up to her dock and thedetectives saw the Collector and his inspectors standing on the pierwaiting for the passengers to land.