The Stolen White Elephant 243
" Let them conduct their movements with the utmost secrecy. As fast as others are at liberty, hold them for orders."
" Yes, sir."
" Yes, sir."
Presently came another telegram:
Sage Corners, N. Y., 10.30.
Just arrived. Elephant passed through here at 8.15. All escaped from the town but a policeman. Apparently elephant did not strike at policeman, but at the lamp-post. Got both. I have secured a portion of the policeman as clew.
" So the elephant has turned westward," said the inspector. " However, he will not escape, for my men are scattered all over that region."
The next telegram said :
Just arrived. Village deserted, except sick and aged. Elephant passed through three-quarters of an hour ago. The anti-temperance mass-meeting was in session; he put his trunk in at a window and washed it out with water from cistern. Some swallowed it — since dead; several drowned. Detectives Cross and O'Shaughnessy were passing through town, but going south — so missed elephant. Whole region for many miles around in terror— people flying from their homes. Wherever they turn they meet
elephant, and many are killed.
I could have shed tears, this havoc so distressed me. But the inspector only said:
" You see — we are closing in on him. He feels our presence; he has turned eastward again."
Yet further troublous news was in store for us. The telegraph brought this:
Just arrived. Elephant passed through half an hour ago, creating wildly #»