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208 CHAPTER 21 Caught in the Act K id Curry didn’t waste any time getting to Mena, Arkansas, to meet his girlfriend Annie Rogers. The short time they were there, they rented a frame house using the names Mr. and Mrs. Bob Nevilles.1 On September 18 the y left for Shre veport, Louisiana, registering for a week’s stay at the Serwich Hotel. 2 Their hurried departure from Mena may have had something to do with the imminent ar rival of a Pinkerton operative. He may have picked up Curry’s trail in San Antonio, or had possibly been alerted to the appearance of Montana bills that the couple was spending. Nevertheless, within a few days the agent was in Mena, canvassing the neighborhood for an y leads. One neighbor reco gnized a photo of Curry as the man he knew to be Bob Nevilles.3 During their stay in Shreveport, the couple played cards and drank in various saloons. Curry was generous with his worthless money, and gave Annie a number of ten- dollar bills to spend. Tiring of Shreveport, they traveled to Jackson, Mississippi, and found lodging for a fe w days near the state capitol. They generally had a good time making the rounds of the saloons.4 Next, they took the train to Memphis,Tennessee, arriving in late September or early October, according to a Miss Corrine Lewis. She was the proprietress of a red light district “resort” that the couple stayed at for nearly two weeks.5 They registered as R. T. Moore and wife of St. Joseph, Missouri.6 In Memphis it was more of the same. They would patronize houses of prostitution to buy beer and pay for each round with a Bank of Montana bill. Each time the y received the change, Annie would hide it in her stocking.7 Miss Lewis later related her astonishment at the amazing amount of beer the couple could drink, without showing any effects. She also remarked on how Annie was dressed very plainly when she first arrived at her establishment.8 However, Annie soon remedied that when Caught in the Act 209 she subsequently went on a shopping spree. She spent $150 at Edw ard Hunter’s Dry Goods, buying clothing that included a b lack tailor-made suit and a black hat decorated with black plumes.9 Annie later estimated that she and Mr. Nevilles unloaded about $300 or $400 of the Montana bills on doing the town and having a good time in Memphis.10 Annie also had managed to keep $400 for herself, mostly forged money, when they left Memphis on October 10 and headed to Nashville.11 Upon arrival in Nashville the next day, they checked into the Linck’s Hotel, registering as Mr. and Mrs. R. J. Whalen of Memphis.12 They occupied room number two for three days and according to testimony from the hotel proprietor at Annie’s trial, “the couple sta yed largely isolated, took many of their meals in their room and … used se veral of the stolen bills during their stay.”13 However, according to Annie, “Nevils preferred barrooms to hotel rooms and continued to stay out late at night.”14 She received more money from her companion, and had accumulated quite a stash, o ver $500. In Lillie Da vis’ statement to the Pink ertons she said, “Maudie [Annie] had written to Fannie Porter that she had five hundred dollars, and that she was going to put it in the bank, and Fannie wrote Maudie not to put the mone y in the bank. ”15 Apparently Annie took her advice, deciding to just exchange her wad of tens and twenties for larger bills at the bank to make it easier to carry. This is probably not what Fannie had meant; she may have been warning Annie to stay away from banks altogether owing to the risk of being caught with questionable money. On Monday afternoon, October 14, with Ne villes out on the to wn, Annie walked up the steps and entered the F ourth National Bank of Nashville. The Nashville American of October 16, 1901, tells what happened next to turn Annie’s happy, carefree world upside down. Monday afternoon about 2:45 o’clock, just before the close of banking hours a well dressed woman, wearing several rings on her fingers, appeared at the Fourth National Bank. She walked up to the teller’s window, and, pulling a big bundle...


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