He told us that the Coonses had come into his office on June second, looking for work; and had given Mrs. Edward Comerford, 45 Woodmansee Terrace, Seattle, Washington, as reference. In reply to a letter — he always checked up the references of servants — Mrs. Comerford had written that the Coonses had been in her employ for a number of years, and had been “extremely satisfactory in every respect.” On June thirteenth, Thornburgh had telephoned the bureau, asking that a man and his wife be sent out to keep house for him, and Allis sent out two couples he had listed. Neither couple had been employed by Thornburgh, though Allis considered them more desirable than the Coonses, who were finally hired by Thornburgh.
All that would certainly seem to indicate that the Coonses hadn’t deliberately maneuvered themselves into the place, unless they were the luckiest people in the world — and a detective can’t afford to believe in luck or coincidence, unless he has unquestionable proof of it.
At the office of the real-estate agents, through whom Thornburgh had bought the house — Newning & Weed — we were told that Thornburgh had come in on the eleventh of June, and had said that he had been told that the house was for sale, had looked it over, and wanted to know the price. The deal had been closed the next morning, and he had paid for the house with a check for $14,500 on the Seamen’s Bank of San Francisco. The house was already furnished.
After luncheon, McClump and I called on Howard Henderson…