Chapter 1: Brothers
Boyd Harris sank into the plush seat of the buggy. His feet were propped up on the cushioned footrest pulled down from the dashrail. The seat was laid back just enough of an angle to create a perfect sleeper. It was cushioned with coil springs made in Leeds England. His head was on the built-in pillow. He sank into the thick cushions also designed to soften the ride.
He slept soundly while his partner, adopted brother, and slapstick sidekick, drove the four thoroughbred Morgan horses at a mile eating 12 miles an hour.
Morgans were the harness horses that lent their speed to the ambulance, the doctor's buggy, and the paddy wagon. They could go all day at 10-13 miles an hour with a tremendous bursts of speed for well over a mile. The buggy was one designed by Loyd.
Both Loyd and Boyd's parents died when they were seven months old. They were born on August 1, 1855. Boyd's mother and daddy had been killed when a gang of thugs broke into their home. The neighbors heard Boyd crying in the house. He was left to die.
Loyd's parents were killed while trying to escape an abusive plantation owner.
They were not only adopted twin brothers, but the best of friends. They grew up and would be accusing each other good heartedly when others thought they were about to come to blows. Loyd and Boyd grew up playing with guns. They could do anything with a gun but make it talk to them. They spent hours growing up trying to outdraw and outshoot each other. Boyd used a 38 caliber and Loyd a 45 caliber. They reached the point where they would both hit the same can placed on the ground while trying to outdraw each other. When it flew away by the shots there would be a hole from each man's gun in the can. They practiced drawing together as a team. They also competed with rifles. They could both hit the bull's eye every time at 200 yards.
Their daddy owned Harris Wagon Factory one of the biggest wagon builders in the world. He was responsible for most of the wagons that transported families and their belongings west in the early to middle eighteen hundreds. He had a contract to build wagons for the Civil War. He shipped wagons all over the world. The total worth of the business was over $5,000,000.00.
Boyd went to college to learn all there was about law and law enforcement. Boyd was only five feet seven inches tall and thin. He was one of those people that when you looked at him you would say book-worm or nerd. When one got to know him, all those thoughts would go out the window, especially if he was on your side in a classroom debate.
He had that natural ability to learn. From a young age, he wanted to do just what he was doing. He planned at the beginning of college to become a lawyer and go west to practice law. He only wanted to bring justice to the fast growing west. He insisted that Loyd take all kinds of languages with him. By the time they left college they could speak six. They spoke enough different dialects of Indian languages to communicate with most of the Indians, as well as Spanish, French, and German. They would go around caring on a conversation with each other. One would speak one language and the other speaking a different one. You can imagine the looks they got with that!
The buggy was one of a kind. It was twenty inches wider than other buggies and a little over eighteen inches wider than regular wagons. Loyd knew they were going to spend a lot of time on the road. It was designed for comfort for him and Boyd. The very best of everything was used. Only the very heart of wood was used. There were no knots in the wood and the grain ran in a straight line down the wood. Secret compartments with safes were inserted to hide extra money for their needs. Both front and back seats would sit four comfortably. All eight seats would adjust separately. All the seats would fold down creating a natural king size bed. The roof and sides were of a thick piece of tin with a front overhang to keep the rain out. Flaps were attached to the roof inside. They could be pulled down to keep out the sun. A clock was in the middle of the roof line. The doors would slide back inside so when locked it was almost impossible to break in. It had springs to make the ride comfortable. It had gun racks on the roof on each side to hold a shotgun and a rifle for each man to grab as they bailed out either side. The wheels were one foot high and wider than other wagon or buggy wheels and had lightweight but strong steel spokes. The buggy had two sets of wheels about two feet apart. The wheels fit under the buggy and were also lined with two inches of a new product that began to be used around 1850 – it was called rubber. The buggy was so balanced that it set level by itself. The buggy was equipped with brackets underneath allowing the tongue to be slid back underneath and locked so no one could steal it. It had an attached trailer which could be transposed to carry passengers. It carried their clothes on hangers in special wardrobes to keep them fresh. There was a wardrobe with special carrying handles for each brother. There was also room for the rest of their belongings. When unloaded, it measured five feet by eight feet. It could be unhooked. That left them with an extremely fast buggy especially with the four Morgan horses Fox, Rock, Nell, and Dock. Rock and Dock were the two they rode.
Loyd wasn't a man you wanted to attempt to roll in a dark alley. A few had already tried just that with disastrous consequences. He was seven feet tall and weighed two hundred and eighty pounds with probably less than twelve percent body fat. He was dangerous when it came to his hands. Boyd and Loyd grew up boxing in the boxing arenas around Philadelphia. Boyd worked hard from a young boy and learned to hold his own with Loyd boxing. He learned to stay away from that deadly blow Loyd could deliver from either hand. He could duck or dodge anything Loyd threw at him, making him a force that almost no other man could deal with. Men that were forty pounds heavier than Boyd were no match for him. Both boys became good enough that no one would challenge them. Loyd majored in detective work, and insisted Boyd do the same. They became black belts in karate together from an old Chinese man. They worked out with exercises the old Chinese man taught them. He even taught them to speak Chinese and how keep their bodies toned and hard. Boyd gained about twenty five pounds of muscle to bring his weight to one hundred and eighty five pounds.
In their senior year of college their parents died when a ship sank off the coast of Virginia. Just after this their father's business partner Jim Day told them how he was totally supportive of all they were planning and could help build the business by buying other business that would help grow theirs.
March 1, 1875 the two were in their house. When there came a knock on their door in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Boyd answered the door, "My name is Robert Pond. I'm an agent of the, Federal Reserve Bank Secret Service. May I come in?"
Boyd said, "By all means Mr. Pond we have been expecting you."
Boyd led Bob into the plush living room and said, "Find any seat and rest your bones."
Boyd then sat in the chair beside the gold lamp table and picked up the bell on the table and rung it.
A woman about forty walked into the room and said, Mr. Boyd did you need some thing?"
"Yes Mary Jane could you please send someone out to the shop and send in Loyd please?" Boyd asked.
"Yes sir, Mr. Boyd," she said.
"Would you like coffee or tea Mr. Bob?" Boyd asked.
"Black coffee will be fine," Bob answered.
"Mary Jane, after you send someone out to get Loyd would you please bring two cups of black coffee?" Boyd asked.
"Yes sir, I would be delighted," Mary Jane said and hurried away.
"Loyd will be here shortly. We received the letter from the Attorney General that you would be dropping in today. We don't have any idea what the Attorney General would want with us. Loyd will be here in a moment, so you can tell both of us at the same time," Boyd said.
He had no sooner said that, than Loyd walked into the room and said, "I saw the carriage pull up and came in as soon as I could."
He found a seat and Mary Jane walked in with a tray with 3 cups of coffee. She passed them out and left the men in the room.
"Ok Mr. Pond to what honor do we owe this meeting?" Boyd asked.
"It has come to our attention through your college and various well known people around Philadelphia of your plans. The Attorney General can not see letting a good thing go to waste. We want you to consider taking a stint with the Secret Service," Bob said.
The moment he got it out of his mouth both Boyd and Loyd shouted so loud that Mary Jane ran into the room in time to hear both say, "No way no how it is not going to happen."
"We were told this was going to happen, so what we want to do is help as much as we can. What you men are embarking on is what is needed by many men. We would love to make you honorary Members of the Secret Service. You will be under no obligation to work for us but will be able to use us to help any way we can. We want to give you badges to carry. Any time you run into a spot where we are needed to solve a problem we can help," Bob said.
"Mr. Pond, Would you excuse us a moment?" Boyd said. He stood up and motioned Loyd to follow. They went out of the room to the library.
"What do you think Loyd?" Boyd asked his Brother.
"You know this might come in handy down the road," he said.
"I was thinking the same thing. We could keep in contact and maybe use it for other people to contact us. They can contact us of things in our area. We can use them to find people who need help. Let's take it," Boyd said and walked back to the living room.
"As long as we can have a certified letter saying that we are under no contract with the Secret Service, and a certified document that we can present when we need to we will accept the offer. We will keep in contact twice a month of our location. Everything we will do will be on a voluntary basis. We would like to also use it for other people to contact us." Boyd said never really knowing how much this was going to be used.
Bob stood up and said, "Both will stand and raise you hands."
Boyd and Loyd stood and took the oath. Both then received the gold badges that would go a long way toward making their goals reach new levels.
"You are now Federal Marshalls of the Secret Service. Anytime you want any information or help from the Secret Service, memorize this encryption alphabet. Send the wire with your badge number. There will be an agent on duty 24/7.
Here is kits that will enable you to pick fingerprints off almost any surface," he said, handing them what looked like a small suitcase. There are keys that will fit almost any kind of lock. Keep this key on your person because it will fit all telegraph offices across the country."
They packed up and headed west. They had $50,000.00 or 2,500 $20 dollar gold coins hidden one of the safes in their buggy. In the other safe, they put 20 bundles of 20 $500.00 bills. They made arrangements by a special coded message to have any amount shipped to them by train if they needed it. They both made very impressive fourteen carrot gold business cards. Boyd's was a lawyer's business card. Loyd's was a detective's business card.
They also took wagon jacks and tools to work on wagons should they run across people with broken down wagons.