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Old March 23, 2008, 11:58 AM   #282
4V50 Gary
Staff
 
Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 16,594
To catch a thief.

Here's how one victim outwitted his suspect.

Quote:
The story I am going to tell is of an old and inverterate joker, one whose name has appeared often in letters and in stories from the various camps, marches and bivouacs. In days gone by, it was a humorous, a droll, or a dry saying that hwas chronicled, and set the table in a roar. Roe, however, was transferred to a different branch of the profession. Formerly he was attached to Quartermaster Haverty's department. Then he was wagon-master. Afterwards he was Captain Martin's forage-master, not an unimportant position, when you consider the great quantity of forage consumed by the animals of the Brigade, its distribution to the various parties entitled to it on requisition and otherwise, and the keeping of the accounts connected with its receipt and distribution. The job becomes more troublesome when you are told that there are always following every army a number of individuals who have animals to which they are not entitled, and others who have more horseflesh than the law allows them. Well, all the animals somehow managed to exist-and I am bound to say, in many instances, by unauthorized requisitions on the quartermaster's department. For some time past, Captain Martin and Roe had been painfully conscious of raids upon the forage-tent. Measures were taken to entrap the thieves, but without effect. Roe remained up two nights in succession, the sentries were on the qui vive: in vain. In the morning more feed was missing. The rogue must be shrewed and wary, because not a single trace was left by which to track the purloiners. They almost gave up in despair, and nearly came to the conclusion that watching, vigiliance, care, were thrown away. No results, but still the quantities missing in the morning. The next night Roe turned in to take his natural rest. The large forage-tent was carefully tied up, but in dangerous propinquity to the entrance the careless forage-master kept a tempting bag of the choicest feed: it was within easy reach of the door. Our forage-master wrapped his blanket about him and was soon in a deep sleep. He awoke early in the morning, a little after day-dawn. He looked towards the door; the tempting bag of the choicest feed had disappeared. "I thought so," said the forage-master. He sprang down from his perch, folded up his blanket, went to the door, stooped down for a moment, as if to look for something, and said, "Aha, my cock, so I've caught you at last, have I?" From the door of the forage-tent to the door of another tent there was the feed, showing the course the bag had taken. Roe had inserted a knife in the bottom of the bag before leaving it so near the door the evening before. The thoughtless thief, in the middle of the night, was unconscious that, as he was carrying off his booty, he was laying a train for his own discovery."
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