During the Civil War...
James Hancock was a spy who had wonderful facial expression and great powers of mimicry. While in Richmond's Castle Thunder Prison, he staggered and fell over. Witnesses rushed forward and after examining, stated he was dead. A Confederate surgeon was summoned who also examined him and pronounced him dead. Hancock's body was placed onto a wagon and driven off to the hospital where the coffins were. When the driver arrived, he turned around and discovered he had lost the body. He retraced his steps and to see where the body fell off. Unable to find Hancock, he notified the officials and Castle Thunder Prison who in turn notified the detectives (Libby had its own detectives to track down escape prisoners) and the police.
Hancock didn't leave town but registered himself at the best hotel in the city. He bought himself some new clothes and ran about town, availing himself to the sights, the food and entertainment. While running about town enjoying himself, the Provost guards stopped him. Hancock crossed his eyes and drew his mouth to one side. Confused, the provost released him. Wiser men would have fled long ago for safety but not Hancock who stayed for four more days until he was arrested at the post office. This time Hancock squinted his left and and drew his mouth to the right side and feigned deafness. Nonetheless, he was taken to back to Castle Thunder where neither the staff, the guards nor the inmates recognized him. After a while, Hancock's facial muscles tired from the contortions and he relaxed his face. Immediately he was recognized and it was only the war's quick end that saved him from the hangman's noose.
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!