242 The Stolen White Elephant
He dictated the following telegram to Darley:
Arrest the man and force him to name his pals. Continue to follow the
tracks—to the Pacific, if necessary.
Coney Point, Pa., 8.45 a.m.
Gas office broken open here during night and three months' unpaid gas bills taken. Have got a clue and am away.
" Heavens!" said the inspector; " would he eat gas bills?"
"Through ignorance — yes; but they cannot support life. At least, unassisted."
Now came this exciting telegram:
Ironville, N. Y., 9.30 A.M.
Just arrived. This village in consternation. Elephant passed through here at five this morning. Some say he went east, some say west, some north, some south — but all say they did not wait to notice particularly. He killed a horse; have secured a piece of it for a clew. Killed it with his trunk; from style of blow, think he struck it left-handed. From position in which horse lies, think elephant traveled northward along line of Berkley railway. Has four and a half hours' start, but I move on his track at once.
I uttered exclamations of joy. The inspector was as self-contained as a graven image. He calmly touched his bell.
" Alaric, send Captain Burns here."
" How many men are ready for instant orders?"
" Ninety-six, sir."
" Send them north at once. Let them concentrate along the line of the Berkley road north of Ironville." "Yes, sir."