The Stolen Bonds Returned.
The _New York Observer_ relates a remarkable instance of the return of
stolen property, which in its extraordinary way can be accounted for
only by the control of a Supreme Will, and all in answer to prayer.
"On February 16, 1877, United States and railroad bonds and mortgages to
the amount of $160,000, belonging to Edgar H. Richards, were stolen from
the banking house of James G. King's Sons, of this city. No clue
whatever to the robbers could be obtained. Several parties were arrested
on suspicion, but nothing could be proved, and the mystery remained
"Mr. Richards, being a member of one of our most prominent churches,
made it a subject of constant prayer, that the Lord would wholly prevent
the thieves from any use of the property and cause it to be returned to
him. When asked if he was ever incredulous, he said, 'No, I have never
lost my faith in recovering this property. I believe in prayer, and I
have made it from the first a subject of prayer, and it will be
"Meanwhile some curious influences must have been at work among the
thieves, for they acted in an extraordinary manner as follows:
"One day last week a stranger, well dressed, modest looking,
gentlemanly, walked into the office of Elliott F. Shepard, Esq., one of
Messrs. King's counsel, and tendered his services for the recovery of
the property, asserting he knew nothing about the robbery, nor the
thieves, but that he could get the treasure. He was told that a reward
would be paid for the capture of the thieves, but he earnestly protested
that it was entirely out of his power to obtain any clue to the person
or whereabouts of the thief; and no inquiries ever disclosed that this
was not a perfectly true statement. Indeed, it proved that he had been
selected as an agent to do this work, and that there were at least five
or six connecting intermediaries between him and the robbers, each
exercising that virtue which is called honor among thieves, and which on
this occasion proved a wall of adamant to every attempt to pierce it or
break it down.
"True to his word the stranger caused the delivery at Mr. Shepard's
office, at the appointed hour to a second, of an ordinary pasteboard
bandbox, wrapped in newspaper, by the hands of a little boy. He had come
in a pelting rain-storm, and part of the newspaper had become torn, and
disclosed the blue, unsuspected hat box. The boy knew nothing about it,
except that a gentleman had given him a dime in the street to bring the
"Mr. Richards being present, opened the bandbox, examined and checked
off the contents with one of Messrs. King's head clerks, and found every
single item of his missing securities, stocks, bonds, mortgages,
accounts, bank books, wills, everything. A most remarkable thing! The
parties could hardly believe their eyes."
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