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The Thousand Dollar Lesson

Charles Purvis: Taking Him in Charge at a Distance Hangers on at the St. Nicholas and Other Hotel Entrances—A Colloquy, Spiced With Reminiscences of “Old Sam Colt,” Of The “Revolver,” In His Gay Days; A Party At The “Old City Hotel,” Hartford, Conn., And Other Things —Trinity College Boys “George Ellsworth”—Purvis And He Start On A Walk—”Where Can They Be Going?”—Going To See Ellsworth’s “Friend”—An Exchange Of Coats—A Survey Taken—A First-Class Gambling Saloon A New Man In The Game—Purvis Drugged—His “Friends” Take Him “Home,” But Where? —Purvis Is Returned To His Hotel In A State Of Stupefaction; Is Aroused; Misses A Thousand Dollars—Plans Laid To Catch His Late Friends—Williams Found By Accident, And Quietly Caged—The Old Irish Woman’s Appeal—Williams “Explains,” After Proper Inducement—Most Of The Money Recovered—Supplements

by George McWatters


I had just returned from a trip to Detroit, and failing to find my chief partner in town, strolled up to the St. Nicholas Hotel one night, in July, 1863, and while sauntering about there, came across a gentleman whom I had, a few days before, remarked in the cars, on the Shore Line Road. He got on board at Painesville, Ohio, and by sundry peculiarities of his dress, which was a particle “flashy,” but still neat and elegant, he attracted my attention. I was at a loss where to place, or how to classify him. Sometimes I took him for a merchant, then I thought he might be a lawyer, and again a young man of wealth and leisure. Suffice it, I allowed myself to study him—I know not why—so much that I was not likely to forget him.

Among the first persons I chanced to come across that day at the St. Nicholas, was this young man, and curiosity Read More