From Mrs. Trowbridge’s apartment I went to the Francisco Hotel. Thornburgh had been registered there from May tenth to June thirteenth, and hadn’t attracted much attention. He had been a tall, broad-shouldered, erect man of about fifty, with rather long brown hair brushed straight back; a short, pointed brown beard, and a healthy, ruddy complexion — grave, quiet, punctilious in dress and manner; his hours had been regular and he had had no visitors that any of the hotel employees remembered.

At the Seamen’s Bank — upon which Thornburgh’s check, in payment of the house, had been drawn — I was told that he had opened an account there on May fifteenth, having been introduced by W. W. Jeffers & Sons, local stockbrokers. A balance of a little more than four hundred dollars remained to his credit. The cancelled checks on hand were all to the order of various life-insurance companies; and for amounts that, if they represented premiums, testified to rather large policies. I jotted down the names of the life-insurance companies, and then went to the offices of W. W. Jeffers & Sons.

Thornburgh had come in, I was told, on the tenth of May with $15,000 worth of bonds that he had wanted sold. During one of his conversations with Jeffers he had asked the broker to recommend a bank, and Jeffers had given him a letter of introduction to the Seamen’s Bank.

That was all Jeffers knew about him. He gave me the numbers of the bonds, but tracing bonds isn’t always the easiest thing in the world.

The reply to my Seattle telegram was waiting for me at the Continental Detective Agency when I arrived. … chevronRight icon