Meet Secret Service Operatives from G.S. Boarman’s One April After the War – Novel PASTimes

Louisville Each day Occasions reporter submitted this interview with Secret Service operatives Merritt and Argent, aboard a personal automobile on the Marietta & Cincinnati railroad.

REPORTER: Nicely, gents, how is it that two brokers of the final authorities can charge a personal automobile on this prepare? 

ARGENT: We’re merely visitors on this automobile, lodging afforded to us by Choose Stallo, in Cincinnati.

REPORTER: You’ve only recently left Louisville, have you ever not? Our readers are interested by all of your journeys to our truthful metropolis and particularly about all of your visits to the Warner farm, outdoors town.

MERRITT: We go the place we’re instructed and Louisville, being as shut as it’s to Cincinnati, is changing into extra tempting to counterfeiting gangs as a spot to flow into their queer and to maneuver it additional into the South, utilizing the L&N to take action.

REPORTER: Sure, sure. However these journeys out to the Warner farm — what’s the attract there?

ARGENT: I hardly assume our private affairs might be of any curiosity to your readers.

REPORTER: However they’re! And I need to let you know, the rumors are troubling. Right here is your probability to appropriate them. Miss Warner could also be a lunatic, however she is Louisville’s lunatic, and we shield our personal.

MERRITT: That’s the first rumor that wants correcting: Miss Warner is just not a lunatic. She could also be a recluse and a bit eccentric, however she is as sane as you or I. And I hardly know the way I actually would possibly reply to a group of grief these previous few years, as Miss Warner has needed to endure.

ARGENT:  What are these troubling rumors?

REPORTER: It’s stated that you simply each keep in her house, with out good thing about chaperone. You possibly can see how this may be troubling to the higher parts of society.

ARGENT: However we are her chaperones. Together with her brothers and father gone — might they relaxation in peace — we’re keenly conscious of her vulnerability. She — and Louisville — needn’t worry any impropriety from us. We go to her on the request of President Grant, and as representatives of the President, we’d hardly reap the benefits of the state of affairs. And, I’d add, as gents the affront to our honor is appreciable.

REPORTER:  Sure, that’s one other rumor whispered in Louisville. What’s her reference to Grant?

MERRITT:  Mr. Warner consulted for the President — then Normal Grant — throughout the struggle. Bridges and dams and railroads, that kind of factor. 

ARGENT: There was an earlier connection between the 2 males. Mr. Warner was a visitor trainer or teacher of some variety when President Grant attended West Level. Mr. Warner was a civilian engineer and, after all, President Grant graduated as an engineer from West Level. I’m given to know {that a} friendship arose between the 2 they usually stayed in contact through the years and Normal Grant engaged Mr. Warner throughout the struggle, as Mr. Merritt has stated.

REPORTER: However why does the President ship you?

MERRITT: As you already know, Miss Warner lives alone and manages the household farm on her personal. The President merely likes to know the way she is doing and if she wants something, if there’s something he may help her with.

REPORTER: Absolutely he might write her and even ship telegrams, if that’s all there’s to it.

ARGENT: Miss Warner is an abysmal correspondent. Many —


ARGENT: Lots of the President’s makes an attempt at correspondence go unanswered.

REPORTER: However the expense to ship to males, merely to collect intelligence!

ARGENT: It isn’t intelligence gathering; only a how-do-you-do between acquaintances. And there’s no added expense to the final authorities for these journeys. We go to Miss Warner solely when our work brings us to Louisville, and after we can spare the time — at our personal expense.

REPORTER: And what’s your connection to the President? Why does he ship you two to look in on Miss Warner?

MERRITT: We merely occurred to be at hand. We had been wrapping up a counterfeit case in Cincinnati final spring when the request got here to us to go to Louisville and request the glory of her accompanying us to see her father’s buddy on the White home.

REPORTER: About that journey.  Miss Warner had not been seen on the town for over a yr, at the moment final spring. It’s well-known that she avoids society normally and, if it weren’t for the occasional must replenish meals stuffs, she would by no means go away her farm. But she left with you — two strangers — and was gone for months. And it was later discovered that the primary month was spent in merely touring to Washington Metropolis, a visit that might usually take, at most, three days. What took so very lengthy? What occurred alongside the best way that brought on such a delay?

ARGENT: That will fill a guide.

MERRITT: Two books.

REPORTER: I see that I’ll get nothing extra from you as we speak, and I’ve solely room for one column of print. Maybe I might interview you additional at one other time.

MERRITT: One other time is all the time preferable. 

After the dying of G. S. Boarman, an ideal niece cleaned out the previous Kentucky household farmhouse and within the attic, amid the rusting espresso mill, the rickety outdated furnishings that was nonetheless awaiting repairs, and the stacks of vermin-eaten Harper’s Weekly’s and Police Gazette’s, she discovered a curious field marked merely “M”.

On the kitchen flooring, the steel hasps had been flipped again and the highest pried off. Mendacity on the highest of a really neat and orderly assortment of issues was a scrapbook and mendacity unfastened contained in the scrapbook was a be aware that stated merely, “Please end the story.” The scrapbook itself contained a tough define of a story with typically undecipherable glosses and cryptic references to mysterious sources.

From letters and notebooks, ledgers and calendars, prepare schedules and stockholders’ experiences, the story was slowly extracted and pieced collectively, and the small treasures, fastidiously wrapped and preserved within the field, took their place within the narrative.

Boarman’s will had already been learn, probated, and executed, however the niece, as executrix, felt obligated to meet Boarman’s final want — to breathe life into the long-ago story of a lady who held some significance to Boarman.


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