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The Last Crime

by Ned Buntline

Chapter I

In a deep cellar, so far below the street that the rumbling of heavy drays, and carriages, and street cars above, sounded like the low muttering of distant thunder, they were at work—four dark, [swarthy] men whose coal black eyes, jetty beards, and bronzed faces, told of birth in a foreign clime. The ground beneath, the ceiling above, and the walls around the subterranean room, were coated with water proof cement, which now was hard and dry, and the work these men were engaged upon could not have been done in a better place.

They had presses at work, and were printing off, signing, numbering, and cutting from the sheets vast numbers of counterfeit United States notes of various denominations, from fifty cent currency stamps up to Treasury notes of large amounts.

Silently, steadily they worked on, those four dark and desperate looking men, each at a different process, but all working together, for hours.

At last one who had been scrutinizing each bill carefully, putting the signatures on all which passed his critical eye, and destroying those which he deemed imperfect, gave a signal, and the other three at once ceased their work, and came to the table where he was seated.

“We have done enough for today. If we get half that we have got ready for distribution, safely out, we are all men of fortune.”

He spoke in Italian, as he said this to the other workmen.

One of them, in the the same language, said, addressing the first speaker:

“Signor Cocio, when, with… Read More