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Description de l’éditeur

Accounts of bank-robberies and other exploits of outlaws and desperadoes are usually supposed to belong to the criminal-news columns of the daily paper and to the writer of sensational literature. When the robber is the only or the principal actor in the scene, and his prowess or brutality the only feature worth mentioning, the less said of it the better. But when a great crime is the occasion of great heroism, courage, fidelity, intrepid resistance, and the triumph of virtue over violence, then there is a story worth telling, and a lesson worth learning.

It is such a story that is unfolded in the following pages. The attempted robbery of the Northfield bank, the refusal of Mr. Heywood to open the safe, his brutal murder by the baffled robber, the brave and successful fight made by the citizens, the flight, pursuit and capture of the bandits,—all this was familiar enough to the whole nation eighteen years ago. But such events easily pass from the recollection of men; while to a generation of young people now growing up it has never been known. To some of us it has seemed, therefore, that the time has come to tell the story again, not from the sensational point of view, but from that of heroism and loyalty to duty.

The aim of the author has been to give a correct account of the facts involved, and leave them to convey their own lesson and inspiration. Revolting details have been omitted. All important statements are made upon the authority of eye-witnesses, where such testimony was accessible, and in most cases by the collation of a number of independent accounts.

Essais et sciences humaines
1 avril
Library of Alexandria

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