Mr. Beachy's convictions gave him no rest. Without a shadow of evidence to sustain him, or a clew to guide him, he went to work to ferret out the crime. His friends laughed at and discouraged him. The roughs of Lewiston threatened him. A few charitably attributed his conduct to mental derangement. The face of every person he met wore a quizzical expression, which seemed to imply both pity and ridicule. Often, when thwarted, he half resolved to abandon the pursuit, but a voice within whispered him on with assurance of success, and he could not, if he would, recede. Three days were spent in a fruitless search for the animals which he knew must have borne the men to town. At the close of the third day a party arrived from Bannack. The first inquiry he addressed to them after the usual salutation was,-
"Where is Magruder'?"
"Hasn't he arrived'?" was the surprised rejoinder. "He left four days before us, intending to come through as quickly as possible."
Beachy heard no more.
"He is dead," said he, "and I know the murderers."
"Tut, tut, Hill, you're too fast. He has probably gone around by Salt Lake. He'll be in all safe in a few days."
Beachy resumed his search for the animals. In a few days a man came in from some point above Lewiston, and reported having seen, on his ride down the river, a party of four men encamped in a solitary nook on the opposite bank. The thought flashed through Beachy's brain that they were the murderers, who, thwarted in their effort to leave the country at Walla Walla, had returned by a circuitous route, in search of a point more favorable.
In Tom Farrell, a harum-scarum dare-devil of the town, Beachy found one man who shared his suspicions. He consented to go with and aid him in arresting these men. It was freezing weather, and the trail was rough and mountainous. Both men were well armed and of undoubted courage. Urging their horses to their utmost speed, they rode on till past the hour of noon, when Tom descried a thin column of smoke ascending from the camp of the supposed freebooters. Securing their horses in a thicket, they crept to a point where, concealed by the willows, they could observe all parts of the camp. Alas for their hopes! The suspected robbers developed into a hunting party of honest miners, who were enjoying a little holiday sport in the mountains. Worn down with fatigue and anxiety, they returned to Lewiston, to encounter afresh the gibes and sneers of the people at the failure of this sorry expedition.
Another day of patient search was rewarded with the discovery of the rancheman who had possession of the animals. Beachy returned from a visit to his ranche, bringing with him one horse and seven mules, and the saddles, bridles, and other accoutrements, which he submitted to the inspection of the citizens. Not an article was identified as the property of Magruder. One man thought an old saddle resembled one that he had seen in Magruder's possession, but, as old saddles were plenty, this one, without any distinctive marks, was valueless as evidence.
Thus far Beachy's investigations had only involved the subject in deeper mystery; but as day after day passed, bringing no tidings of his friend, he felt an increasing conviction of the great evil that had befallen him. Reflecting upon the partial identification of the saddle, "Perhaps," thought he, "this may furnish a clew. If the saddle ever belonged to Magruder, some of his family will identify it. I have it. Jack will certainly know it. I can but try him." He suspended the saddle on a small peg attached to the stall occupied by his pacing-horse.
Jack was an Indian boy who had been Magruder's hostler for several years. Late in the afternoon Beachy met him.
"Jack," said he, accosting him, "don't you want to take a ride?"
"I am always ready for that, Mr. Beachy."
"Well, our cows haven't come home to-night. I'll have my pony in the stable in ten minutes, and you can saddle him, and have a good time hunting them. Will you go'?"
"All right," replied Jack, "I'll be there."
Beachy immediately went to the stable, and, ascending to the haymow, placed himself in a position where he could observe the actions of Jack when he saddled the pony. The boy was punctual. Leading the pony from the stall, he took down the saddle and placed it on him.
"It's a failure," reflected Beachy, as the boy fastened the girth, and seized the pommel preparatory to mounting.
Just at this moment Jack's eye caught sight of the stirrup. He paused, and, taking it in his hand, surveyed it narrowly. An expression of surprise stole over his face. Dropping the stirrup, he caught up the crupper and examined it more carefully. He then looked at the other parts of the saddle in detail. At length he mounted, and, while leaving the stable, looked back with astonished interest upon the crupper. The cows at this time were discovered on their way home. Jack rode around and drove them and, dismounting, said to Beachy, who met him at the stable door,-
"Mr. Beachy, this is Massa Magruder's saddle. He took it with him when he went to Bannack. How come it here?"
"How do you know it is his, Jack?"
"By that crupper. There's where I mended it myself with a piece of buckskin. I know it's the same old saddle. I've ridden on it a hundred times."
"A clew at last!" said Beachy. "I'll follow it up. Jack cannot be mistaken."
Calling to some friends who were passing, he told them the result of his experiment. The old saddle was produced, and Jack was examined. Alarmed at the skepticism of his interrogators, Jack wavered in faith, and his testimony only confirmed the belief that Beachy was crazy.
The following day a train was seen descending the mountain by the Nez Perce Trail. A tall man, seemingly the leader, who wore a peculiar hat, like Magruder's, was pointed out as the missing man. Hundreds of eyes watched the slow descent of the mules into the valley. The wife of Magruder, whose thought and feelings had been alternating between hope and fear for a week or more, awaited with delighted surprise the certain approach of her husband. Hill Beachy looked on with doubtful interest, hoping, but faithless. Alas! it was not Magruder.
"For him no more the blazing hearth shall burn
Or busy housewife ply her evening care."
When the train-master, in reply to their eager inquiries, expressed his own surprise, and told them that Magruder should have reached home ten days before, the people for the first time felt that he might have fallen a victim to robbers. Still they doubted. The crime was too great, involved too many lives, and the probability that he had changed routes and was returnin' by the way of Salt Lake was greater than that he and his large train had been destroyed.
Firm in his belief, Beachy, like a sleuth-hound, continued to follow the track leading to discovery. "They do not know the desperate character of those villains," he said, as he turned from the crowd to pursue the clew furnished by Jack. His wife, who until this time had feared for his safety at the hands of the town ruffians, now for the first time gave him encouragement.
Falling in company with the men who had just arrived from Bannack, he plied them with inquiries concerning Magruder's operations there.
"Why," observed one, "he told me on the morning he left that he should surprise his wife, for he had written her the day before that he would not leave for ten days. 'She will tell this to all inquirers,' said he, 'and the roughs of Lewiston will be thrown off their guard. I shall reach home about the time they think I will leave here'."
"Would you know any of the stock?" inquired Beachy.
"Yes; there was one large, white-faced sorrel horse belonging to some of the party, that was a very good race-horse. I saw him run one night, when some of the boys were at our camp. I think I should know him. They intended to bring him here, and make a race-horse of him."
The only horse which Beachy had found in possession of the rancheman corresponded with this description. He placed him in one of a long range of stalls in his stable, in each of which was a horse, and requested his informant to select him, if possible, from the numbers. When the man came to the sorrel, he said,-
"If this horse were two or three sizes larger, I should think he might be the one I saw; but he is too small, and I know nothing of the others."
Knowing how much the size of a horse is seemingly increased when in motion, Beachy saddled the sorrel, and told his hostler to lead him to the end of the street, mount, and run him at his best speed back to the stable. As he dashed down to the spot where Beachy and the man were standing, the latter involuntarily raised his hands and exclaimed,-
"My God! that is the identical animal."
"You are sure?" said Beachy.
"I would swear to it," was the instant reply.
"And now," thought Beachy, "I have a white man on my side. The evidence is sufficient for me. To-morrow I start for the murderers."
Armed with requisitions upon the governors of all the Pacific States and Territories, the next morning Beachy, accompanied by the indomitable Tom Farrell, made preparations for his departure. When all was ready, his wife, who had felt more keenly than he had the ridicule, sneers, indifference, and malignity with which his efforts had been regarded, with tearful eyes approached him, and, taking him by the hand, in a tone softened by the grief of parting, said to him,-
"Hill, you must either return with those villains, or look up a new wife."
"The look which emphasized these words," says Beachy, "the expression, the calm, sweet face which said stronger than words that failure would kill her, filled me with new life. They were worth more than all the taunts I had received, and I bade her adieu with the determination to succeed."
While Mr. Beachy was speaking thus fondly of his wife, whose death had occurred but a few months before he narrated to me these incidents, the tears rolled down his cheeks,-and he added in a voice broken with emotion, "I then felt that the time had come when I needed something more than human help, and I went out to the barn and got down upon my knees and prayed to the Old Father,-and that's something I haven't been much in the habit of doing in this hard country,-and I prayed for half an hour; and I prayed hard; and I promised that if He'd only help me this time in catching these villains, I'd never ask another favor of Him as long as I lived, and I never have."
Three changes were made in the transmission of the mail over the route between Lewiston and Walls Walla. The log dwellings and stables at the several stations were the only evidences of settlement for the entire distance. Beachy was the proprietor of the stage line. His station-keepers had been in the habit of transporting way travellers over parts of the road, for pay, at times when the horses were unemployed. This practice had been strictly forbidden by Beachy. But when he and Tom Farrell drove up to the first station, such was his anxiety to overtake the fugitives, that he did not stop to reprimand the unfaithful employee, who had just harnessed the stage horses to a light wagon, with the intention of turning a dishonest penny. He took the wagon himself, and without delay drove to the next station, arriving there in time to hitch a pair of horses just harnessed by the hostler for his own use, to his wagon, and hurry on to another station. Here, as he and Tom alighted, a light buggy with a powerful horse came alongside. The driver was an old acquaintance. He was going to Walla Walla in haste for a physician. Beachy offered to do his errand if he would allow him to proceed in his buggy. The gentleman assented. The horse's flanks were white with foam when, at dark, Beachy and Tom Farrell rode into Walla Walla.
Before entering the town, Beachy concealed his face in a muffler, to avoid recognition. Half-way up the street he observed a man, of whom he expected to obtain information, engaged with another in conversation. Jumping from the wagon he approached him cautiously, and, by a significant grip, drew him aside and made known his business.
"They left four days ago for Portland," said the man, "with the avowed intentions of taking the first boat to San Francisco. They were here two days, lost considerable at faro, but took plenty of gold dust with them."
"Did they explain how they obtained their money?"
"Yes. Howard said that they, in company with five others, had purchased a water ditch in Boise Basin, and had been renting the water to the miners at large rates. The miners became dissatisfied with their prices, and a fight ensued. Men were killed on both sides, and they were the only members of the ditch company that escaped. They were now on their way out of the country, to escape arrest. They feared the authorities were pursuing them."
While engaged in this conversation, Captain Ruckles, the agent of the Columbia River Steamboat Company, happened to pass. Beachy hailed him, and told his story. Ruckles gave him authority to use a Whitehall boat in descending the river from Wallula, and an order upon the captain of the downward bound steamer from Umatilla, to consult his convenience on the trip to Portland.
The evening was far advanced when Beachy and Farrell started on a midnight drive of thirty miles to Wallula. Day was breaking when they drove up to the landing. The river, at all times boisterous, had been swollen by the flood into a torrent. Rousing a wharfinger, they were informed that all navigation was suspended until the waters should abate, that no steamboats had been there for several days, and to attempt the passage of Umatilla rapids in a Whitehall boat would be madness.
Fortunately, the next man Beachy met was Captain Ankeny, an old river pilot, who knew every crook and rock in the channel.
"It's a dangerous business," said the captain, after listening to his story, "but I think we can make it in a Whitehall boat. At all events, if it's murderers you're after, it's worth risk. I'll take you down if anybody can."
At daylight the three men, with the pilot at the helm, pushed out into the stream, every spectator on shore predicting disaster. It was, indeed, a lively passage, and not a few hairbreadth escapes were attributable to the skill of the man who knew the channel. The boat dashed through the rapids, and rounded to at Umatilla, twenty-two miles below, two hours after it left Wallula.
Beachy found a willing coadjutor in the captain of the steamboat at Umatilla, and, to expedite the departure of the boat, employed eighteen men to assist in discharging the cargo. When the boat had blown her last whistle and rung her last bell, two large wagons laden with emigrants, who had just arrived after a tedious journey across the plains, thundered down to the wharf to be taken aboard.
"Too late," shouted the captain. "The boat cannot he delayed. Cast off."
The spokesman for the emigrants pleaded hard for a passage. Beachy relented.
"Take them on board for luck," said he to the captain.
No other cause for detention occurring, the boat swung off, and proceeded down the river, arriving at Celilo, eighty-five miles below, late in the evening. From that point navigation is impeded by rapids for sixteen miles, which distance is travelled by railroad. The cars would not leave until the next morning,-a delay which might afford the fugitives time for escape. In this exigency Beachy applied to the emigrants, and by pledging the boat as security for the return of their horses, and paying a round sum, hired three of them to convey Captain Ankeny, Farrell, and himself to the Dalles. It was after one o'clock in the morning when they entered Dalles City. Ankeny and Farrell rode down to the hotel to reconnoitre, and report to Beachy, who awaited their return in the outskirts. It was a bright, starlight night. A man, whose form Beachy recognized, passed hurriedly by the spot where he stood. Hailing him, he unfolded the object of his mission, and learned that three of the party he was pursuing had left the Dalles on a steamboat for Portland two days before. The other, he was afterwards informed, had gone since.
In company with Tom Farrell, he took passage on the next steamer for Portland, arriving there twenty-four hours after the fugitives had left for San Francisco. Farrell hurried on to Astoria, the only port where the steamer stopped on its passage to the ocean, to ascertain if they had landed there, while Beachy put in execution a little scheme by which he hoped to obtain full information concerning their future movements.
A year before this time, Beachy had concealed from the pursuit of the Vigilantes at Lewiston a young man accused of stealing, whom he had known in boyhood. During his concealment, with much other information, he told Beachy of the robbery of a jewelry establishment at Victoria, in British Columbia, in which he was concerned with Howard, Lowry, and Romaine. They deposited their plunder with an accomplice at Portland. This man still resided at Portland, and had probably met with Howard and his companions during their stay. If so, he was doubtless possessed of information which would aid in their detection.
At every place where they had stopped on the trip to Portland, the guilty men had told the same story about their collision at, and flight from, Boise Basin. Acting upon the belief that they had repeated it to their old confederate at Portland, Beachy, on the same evening of his arrival, wrapped in blanket and muffler, sallied forth to a remote quarter of the town, where he resided. No one responded to his rap upon the door. He crossed the street to a clump of bushes to watch. A half-hour passed, and a woman entered the dwelling. Recrossing, he repeated the alarm. The woman met him at the door. With much simulated nervousness, and mystery of manner and tone, he inquired for the man.
"He is very busy, and will not be home until late if at all," replied the woman.
"I must see him immediately," urged Beachy, with increasing earnestness. "My life depends upon it. Here, madam," he continued, thrusting a hundred dollars into her hands, "secure me an interview as soon as possible. He is the only person here who can aid my escape. I dare not be seen, but will conceal myself in the clump until he comes."
Beachy says he never was satisfied whether it was gold or pure womanly sympathy for his apparent distress which obtained for him a speedy meeting. By assuming the character of a partner in the Boise enterprise who had miraculously escaped arrest, and was then in pursuit of his companions, he learned that the men he was pursuing intended to remain in San Francisco until they could have their dust, amounting to seventeen thousand dollars, coined, when they would go to New York by way of the Isthmus, and return to Virginia City in the spring. To make the delusion perfect, Beachy, at the close of the interview, gave his informant one hundred and fifty dollars, with which he purchased for him a horse, which he delivered to him at a late hour of the evening, at East Portland, on the opposite bank of the Willamette River. Bidding him good-by, Beachy mounted the horse, and was soon lost to view in the pine forest, his dupe believing that he had enabled him to escape the authorities of Boise. In two hours afterwards the horse was returned to its owner, and the purchasemoney restored.
How to reach San Francisco in time to arrest the fugitives before their departure for New York, was not easy of solution. No steamer would leave Portland for ten days, and an overland journey of seven hundred miles, over the muddiest roads in the world, was the only alternative. The nearest telegraph station was at Yreka, four hundred miles distant. Wearied with the unremitting travel and excitement of the previous week, Beachy hired a buggy and left Portland at midnight, intending to overtake the coach which had left the morning before his arrival. This he accomplished at Salem, late in the afternoon of the next day. When the coach reached the mountains, its progress was too slow for his impatience, and he forsook it, and, mounting a horse placed at his disposal by an old friend, rode on, hoping to come up with the advance coach. He fell asleep while riding, and, on awakening, found himself seated upon the horse in front of its owner's stable, at a village twenty miles distant from the one he left. Here he hired a buggy and overtook the coach the next morning.
Two days afterwards he arrived at Yreka. He immediately sent a telegram to the chief of the San Francisco police, and was overjoyed upon his arrival at Shasta, twenty-four hours afterwards, to receive a reply that the men he was pursuing were in prison, awaiting his arrival. At midnight of the second day following, he was admitted to the cell where the prisoners were confined.
They had been arrested by stratagem two days before. As Howard and Lowry were escaped convicts from the California penitentiary, they naturally supposed that they had been arrested upon recognition, to be returned for their unexpired term. This they were planning to escape by bribing the officers, whom they had told of their deposit in the mint, denying at the same time that Page had any interest in it.
When therefore the chief of police entered the cell and turned on the gas, disclosing the presence of Hill Beachy, had Magruder himself appeared, they would not have been more astonished. With dismay pictured upon his countenance, Howard was the first to break that ominous silence by a question intended either to confirm their worst fears, or re-animate their hopes of escape.
"Well, old man," said he, gazing fixedly upon Beachy, "what brought you down here?"
"You did," was the instant reply.
"What for, pray?" persisted Howard, assuming an indifferent air.
"The murder of Lloyd Magruder and Charley Allen."
The eyes of the questioner dropped. He drew a long breath. A deadly pallor stole over his face.
"That's a rich note," said Lowry, affecting to laugh. "We left Magruder at Bannack, well and hearty."
"We shall see. Good-night, boys," said Beachy, and he offered each his hand.
Page clasped his hand heartily, and, by several scratches upon the palm, signified that he had something which he wished to communicate.
Four weeks were spent in San Francisco, in the effort to obtain the custody of the prisoners. As fast as one court would decide to surrender them, another would grant a writ of habeas corpus for a new examination. At length the Supreme Court of the State decided in favor of their surrender to the authorities of Idaho for trial. In anticipation of a series of similar legal delays in Oregon, Beachy, before leaving, obtained from General Wright, the commander of the Department of the Pacific, an order upon the military post of the Columbia, directing an escort to meet the prisoners at the mouth of the river, and deliver them with all possible despatch to the civil authorities at Lewiston.
On the voyage from San Francisco to the mouth of the Columbia, the prisoners occupied the state-room adjoining Beachy's. An orifice was made in the base of the partition between the apartments, under the berth occupied by Howard and Lowry. After they had retired, Beachy would apply his ear to it, to glean, if possible, from their conversation, any circumstances confirming their guilt. On one occasion he heard Lowry observe that "Magruder had a good many friends," and Howard reply that "all five of them had friends enough." This satisfied him that others beside Magruder had been killed, and that he was on the right track. At the mouth of the Columbia, a small steamer with a military escort received the prisoners. They were conveyed immediately to Lewiston. A large assemblage had gathered upon the wharf, intending to conduct the prisoners from the boat to the scaffold. Protected by the military, Beachy succeeded in removing them to his hotel, amid loud cries of "Hang 'em," "String 'em up," by the pursuing crowd. He then appeared in front of the building, and in a brief address informed the infuriated people that one of the conditions on which he obtained the surrender of the men was that they should have a fair trial at law. He had pledged his honor, not only to the prisoners, but to the authorities, that they should only be hanged after conviction by a jury. This pledge he would redeem with his life if necessary. He made it, believing that his fellow-citizens of Lewiston would stand by him. "And now," said he, "as many of you as will do so, will please cross to the opposite side of the street." The movement was unanimous.
"Be gorra! Mr. Beachy," exclaimed an Irishman, after he had passed over, "you're the only man in the whole congregation that votes against yourself."
The prisoners were heavily ironed and strongly guarded in an upper room of the hotel. No legal evidence of their guilt, no evidence that a murder had been committed, had yet been obtained. Page was reticent, though believed by all to have been the victim of circumstances. A week elapsed, and no disclosures were made upon which to base a hope of conviction. Tired of waiting, it was at length arranged with the district attorney that Page should be permitted to testify as State's evidence.
Beachy now concerted, with several others, a plan for getting at the truth. In a vacant room, accessible from the main passage of the building, he suspended from the ceiling four ropes with nooses, and under each placed an empty dry-goods box. Every preparation was seemingly made for a secret and summary execution.
In a room on the opposite side of the hall he spread a large table, with paper, pens, and ink, and obtained from the county clerk three plethoric legal documents, which were put in the hands of persons seated at the table. A clerk was also there, who had seemingly been engaged in writing out the confessions of Howard, Lowry, and Romaine, which were represented by the documents already referred to.
When these preparations were completed, two guards entered the room occupied by the four prisoners, and conducted Howard downstairs to a room in the basement. An hour or more elapsed, and the same ceremony was observed with Lowry, and after another hour with Romaine. The solemnity of this proceeding was intended to impress Page with the belief that his comrades had been severally executed by the Vigilantes. When, an hour later, the guards returned, they found him in a cold perspiration, and scarcely able to stand.
He was met by Beachy at the door.
"Page," said he, "I have done all in my power to save you, because I believed you less guilty than the others, but I find I can do no more. Whether you live or die now remains with yourself. Your old friend, Captain Ankeny, has worked hard for you."
As he said this, the party came to the door of the room where the ropes were suspended, which had been purposely opened. The hideous preparations glanced upon the terror-stricken vision of the trembling prisoner. Beachy slammed the door with a crash, exclaiming, with well-simulated anger, as he turned to the attendants,-
"I told you to keep that door closed," and resumed his conversation with Page.
"There is," said he, "a bare chance remaining for you. Your comrades are still living. They have each made a confession, and now the opportunity is afforded you. If you make a clean breast of it, and tell the truth, it is possible you may escape by turning State's evidence; but if not, there is no alternative but to hang you all. One thing let me say: if you conclude to accept this possible chance for life, tell the truth."
"I certainly will do so, Mr. Beachy," said the terrified man.
He was then seated in front of the clerk at the table. Beachy sat on one side, holding one of the documents, as if to compare his testimony with it, and Captain Ankeny and another person, each with a similar document, sat opposite. The building was of logs. A gathering outside could be heard through the chinks, discussing the propriety of admitting Page to testify.
"He is as guilty as the others, and should suffer the same fate," said one.
"It's nonsense to try them," said another. "The Vigilantes should hang them all immediately."
"It'll do no harm to hear what he has to say," said a third, "but he'll probably lie."
"Not if he regards his life. He'll be easily detected in that, and then he'll be hung without mercy," remarked another.
These surroundings, terrible to a guilty conscience, were not alleviated by the frequent interruptions of Beachy and Ankeny, who, to all outward seeming, were closely comparing the statements of Page with those of his companions, The confession thus obtained bore internal evidence of truthfulness; and, when it was finished, Page entreated Beachy not to return him to the room with the other prisoners.
"They will kill me if they suspect me of betraying them," said he, "and the fact that we have all been requested to confess will make them suspicious."
Page was heavily ironed, and confined in a separate room on the side of the hall opposite the room occupied by the other prisoners, who, in the seeming severity with which he was treated, received the impression that he was singled out as the real criminal. Acting under Beachy's instructions, Page occasionally stood in the doorway of his apartment, so that the other prisoners could see him, and they improved these opportunities by making significant signs to him to be silent. Howard would break out into a song, into which he would improvise words of caution for Page to observe. At length, at their own request, the prisoners were occasionally permitted to perambulate the hall, and at those times opportunity was given to converse with Page. They finally would enter his room, and in a conversation with him, while, as he supposed, he was enjoying one of these stolen interviews, Beachy heard Lowry tell Page that the body of Brother Jonathan -meaning Magruder -could never be found, whether the others were or not. It was a great satisfaction to Beachy to learn, from this and several other little incidents that occurred while the murderers were in custody, that he had made no mistake in arresting them. Twenty-four hours before the trial, the prisoners, as required by the laws of Idaho, were served with a copy of the indictment found against them, with a list of witnesses, in which it appeared that the charge was substantiated by the testimony of Page. This was the first intimation they had that he was to be received as State's evidence. Lowry read enough of the indictment to learn this fact. Handing it to Beachy, he exclaimed with an oath,-
"I have read far enough. If old Page is to testify, the jig is up. I don't wish to know any more."
More than a hundred persons summoned as jurors were rejected in selecting an impartial jury. Good counsel was provided for the prisoners; and after a careful and protracted trial, in which no legal effort was spared both to convict and to defend, the prisoners were found guilty, and sentenced to be hanged on the fourth day of March, 1864, six weeks after the trial.
During this interval, they were confined in their old quarters, where they received every attention from Mr. Beachy and his wife. As the day of expiation drew nigh, both Lowry and Romaine confessed to their participation in the murder, and the truth of Page's testimony; but Howard denied it to the last.
The scaffold was erected in a basin encircled by abrupt hillsides, from which ten thousand people, including almost the entire Nez Perce tribe of Indians, witnessed the execution.
A few weeks afterwards, Beachy and a few friends, under the guidance of Page, visited the scene of the murder, and returned with the remains of the unfortunate victims, which were decently buried in the cemetery at Lewiston.
Page remained in the employ of Beachy several months -an object of general reproach and execration. A year had little more than elapsed when he became involved in a drunken brawl, and was killed by a shot from the pistol of his adversary.
Mr. Beachy, after repeated rebuffs, succeeded in getting the seventeen thousand dollars, which the murderers had deposited in the mint at San Francisco. This was given to the widow and heirs of Magruder. After a delay of some years, the Legislature of Idaho appropriated an amount sufficient to defray the expense he had incurred in the capture and prosecution of the murderers; and he subsequently moved to San Francisco, where he died in 1875, esteemed by all who knew him, not less for his generosity of heart, than the other manly and noble qualities of his character.