Briney Tears and a 30 Cent Diamond

   Posted by: admin   in Crime

The Fort Dodge Messenger: June 6, 1904

Briney Tears and a 30 Cent Diamond

The Bait Bitten by Worldly Wise Hotel Clerk and Bit Cost Him $10.

Woman’s Tears His Failing

Unable to Withstand Female Anguish He Proves an Easy Victim.

A certain hotel clerk in this city is mourning the loss of a “tenner” as the result of a soft heart and too much “confidence.” Now this young man is not one who will bite readily at any ordinary gold brick scheme. He is considered very capable of taking care of his own interests when dealing with men, but when a woman, a young and lovely lady approaches him in dire distress with great tears stealing from under long lashes slowly down thru a pink and cream complexion over a delicately rounded cheek, it is then his heart breaks in sympathy and he is sadly in need of a guardian. Under such circumstances he is as gullible as “the boy from Podunk.” and the merest novice could beat the poor fellow out of his eyes and convince him his grandfather’s goat was a bird of paradise. This tenderness for the fair sex is a natural failing with the young man, and he is deserving of real sympathy.

But the story:

It happened a month or more ago, and has only recently come to light and becomes public property now for the first time.

The clerk on this particular morning was voiciferating (sic) his “all  out for the north,” when the office door opened and a young lady stepped in. She was exceptionally pretty, she ordered her room and registered with such sweet grace and womanly modesty that the young man was at once very much struck with her appearance, and during the few days of her stay she was showered with all sorts of small favors. A dreamy look entered the eyes of the clerk. He forgot to call trains at the proper time and was missed from the bowling alley by his friends for two nights at a stretch. “Say,” said he to a companion,” Know how she looks to me? Well, you’ve seen a peck of green apples. You put a pretty, big ripe, rosy-cheeked one right in the center of that peck of green ones. She looks like that to me.”

On the morning of the third day of her stay she called him to her room and with a look of terrible anguish and a throb of pain in her voice told him her tale of woe that would melt the heart of a Klondike snow man.

She had stopped in the city with the expectation of receiving a check from home. The check for some unexplainable reason, failed to arrive for another reason, also inexplainable (sic), she could stay in the city no longer. Then with two great tears coursing down her rounded cheeks she told the now thoroughly distressed young man she had spent almost her last cent.

However, she had a diamond broach, an heirloom in the family placed in her hands a few months previously by a dying mother. This priceless piece of jewelry she would leave with him, knowing him to be an honorable young man, as security if he would stand good for her accommodations at the hotel and lend her the price of a ticket to Sioux City. Oh, the embarrassment and shame she felt at being thus forced to call upon an almost total stranger was terrible to bear. But his face looked so good and kind, she felt as though she could put the same trust in him she would in a brother, had she been fortunate to have had one.

With trembling fingers and a fresh shower of tears which dropped with pathetic little spats on the carpet, she unfastened the pin from her fair throat and thrust it in the hands of the clerk. The seance lasted for some minutes and at its close, the young man, himself almost dissolved in a flood of briny eyewater, shelled out the shekels asked for. He also dropped several plunks into the money drawer and put a “Pd.” after her name in the daybook. In an hour the fair Princess Distress had departed, showering blessings on his head. She would be back thru the city in two weeks and would see him again, but would return the borrowed money by mail the next day. The brooch rested in safety on the lef tinside lining of the clerk’s vest.

It was the start for as pretty a romance as ever adorned the pages of a novel, bu cruel fate! The days passed bringing no tidings of the borrowed shekels. The dreamy light gradually faded from the innocent eyes of the clerk and an expression of pained distrust o’erspread his features.

Finally the young man extracted the brooch from its hiding place next his heart and took it to a jeweler to learn its real value. “Well,” said the man, squinting at it thru a guttapercha tube. “The setting is a pretty fair quality of brass, but the stones themselves are a might poor imitation. I should think when new the thing ought to have retailed for at least 30 cents.”


This entry was posted on Monday, June 6th, 2011 at 6:00 am and is filed under Crime. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed at this time.