THE NEW YORK FIREBUGS.
A new candidate for admission into the ranks of the New York firebugs has appeared in the shape of Martba Taylor, a negro laundress, of No, 249 West Sixtieth street. As stated last week in FIRE AND WATER a rear flat of three rooms on the second floor of No. 222 West Sixty-fourth street was discovered to be on fire, piles of rubbish and excelsior, kerosene-soaked, being a-light. The fire was soon extinguished and Deputy Fire Marshal Sullivan on inquiry found that thisnegress, who had been evicted in the morning for non-payment of rent, had been seen in the house that evening a few minutes before the fire was discovered. She borrowed pome matches front a tenant, and the next that was seen of her was her form scuttling out of the house. The fire came immediately after. She was arrested and, on being asked what she had to say, replied: “ Kcally, Judge, yo’ Honah, I doan’ honestly think I done set that flah.” She was held for the grand jury.
Louis Gordon, on trial for firing his shirt factory on Walker street, was committed to the Tombs although the testimony for the prosecution was not all in. He had previously been out on $10,000 bail. Seme thought he was sent to prison because he was frequently noticed going into various rooms of the court corridors that are not open to the public in general, much less to prisoners on trial, even though out on bail. It was also temarked that he mingled with the jurymen on several occasions when they were passing into the court from the corridors. The most probable reason for his commitment, however, was the damning nature of the evidence for the prosecution given by Mat Glueckman, the “ mechanic.” Anyhow be was a very much surprised man when he was taken to the Tombs on the order of Judge Fitzgerald. At his trial the evidence of Glueckman the informer was completed. .He testified that Adolph Ilirsehkopf made a business of supplying combustibles and explosives for incendiary fires. Ilirsehkopf had brought Glueckmun hack from Europe that he might send him to St. Louis to set fires there. Glueckman, however, was arrested when he landed in New York. He had received the same fee, $250, for setting the fire in the Cohen place on White street as he received for that in Walker street. Subsequently, he said Ilirsehkopf hired a house in South Eighth street, Brooklyn, installed the witness and another man in it, and then set it on fire. Ilirsehkopf insured Glueckman’s furniture there for $600. Glueckman received only $200 for “standing in.” This he looked upon as swindling and was consequently very indignant thereat. Ilirsehkopf led him Into the incendiary business. He did not know that he had been implicated in crimes which might send him to the electric chair. He did not know exactly how many fires Ilirsehkopf had setin NewYork; probably four or five. When the counsel had finished with Glueckman some of the jurymen took him in hand and cross-examined him on their own account. The questions they put to him showed they had not the highest possible idea of his character. Felix F. Pollock, a merchant, and George Silery, night watchman, told of the explosion in Gordon’s factory and the progress of the flames. Chief Lally also testified to a separate explosion. Their evidence, being that of men of repu’able character, was listened to with interest by the jury. Foreman Frcel of the fire department gave evidence to the same effect. In cross-examinanation he was considerably worried by the counsel for the defence who endeavored to show that the fireman was mistaken in his assumption that the fire which he helped to quench was of incendiary origin. In particular he tried to shake his testimony on the point that the unusual smell which was noticed by the firemen on the premises was due to the highly combustible nature of the chemicals used by the alleged incendiaries. All he could succeed in showing was that Foreman Freel’s nose might not be an infallible guide.