This section is from the book "A History And Description Of The Modern Dogs Of Great Britain And Ireland. (Sporting Division)", by Rawdon Briggs Lee. Also available from Amazon: A History and Description of the Modern Dogs of Great Britain and Ireland: Sporting Division.
"The two then started off to the scene of the robbery, and after visiting the house and learning all particulars, they went outside. When in the grounds, Finkle said to Voltigeur, "Where are they? Seek 'em," and Voltigeur, putting his nose to the ground, took up the scent and went away at a nice pace, every now and then giving tongue. The night being calm, Voltigeur's voice was heard by many. The hound made out the line of the robbers on to the High-street leading from Boroughbridge to Catterick, and after going about three miles on the High-street he stopped suddenly at a small watercourse that ran under the road. The superintendent dismounted and looked under the bridge, where he found a bundle containing a quantity of linen and silver plate, part of the proceeds of the robbery. He waited there for a time until his man came up, then, remounting, ordered his hound on again. Voltigeur put his nose to the ground, and went back along the same road he had come for about a mile. Then through a gate he made his way to an outbarn and buildings.
"Here the bloodhound became more excited, and was baying and giving tongue freely as his owner and his man got up. The superintendent went to one door, and the constable to the other. The former demanded admittance, but all was still as death, and the doors fast. Tom looked about the buildings and found a crowbar, and was then soon into the barn, where he discovered two men concealed in the straw. They appealed for mercy, and prayed him to keep the dog off, and they would yield themselves up quietly. The prisoners were then secured and searched, and upon them was found the remainder of the stolen property. They were taken to Bedale, locked up for the night, next day brought before the magistrates and committed to the assizes, where they were sentenced to five years' penal servitude each, there being previous convictions against them. Voltigeur was of the Duke of Leeds' strain of bloodhounds, some of which were at that time kept at Hornby Castle."
A more recent instance showing in what manner bloodhounds may be of aid to the police is the following, which occurred not very many months since, but for obvious reasons the names and the locality are not mentioned. Early in 1896 a constable was out in the early morning, when about 6.30 a.m. he came across a couple of notorious poachers who were walking along a footpath through some fields. They, seeing the constable, called out in alarm as a signal to their companions, who were no doubt coming behind. Owing to the darkness, the latter escaped; but the constable took some rabbits and nets from the men he had met, for being in the possession of which under such circumstances, they were, later on, duly punished. At daybreak the constable, accompanied by a young bloodhound bitch, his own property, returned to the place, and was able to distinguish the footsteps of a number of men who had come out of a turnip field. They had separated, some going in one direction, others in another. The hound was put upon the tracks, and with her nose to the ground she hunted them across two fields, going straight up to sundry bags of game which had been hidden in a hedgerow. So far so good; but the constable was not yet satisfied, and he took his hound back to where she had originally been laid on the line. This time she went off in a fresh direction, and soon left the policeman some distance behind. He following up, ultimately found her standing at another hedgerow, where more bags of game were found concealed. These were secretly watched all day, but the poachers must have "smelled a rat," for none of themselves or their families came near. This is rather to be wondered at, for the bags were numerous and their contents valuable. At night the constable and the lessee of the shooting concealed themselves near the place where the first lot of game was discovered. Now they had not long to wait, for in about half an hour there came a sound of approaching footsteps, and two men appeared, who immediately appropriated the bags and their contents, which included nets and the usual poachers' paraphernalia. They were at once recognised, and, the spoil taken from them, were allowed to go. Summonses followed in due course, and when the case was heard a plea was set up that they had not taken the game themselves, but had been sent for it by their mates. Fines of 40s. and costs were imposed, or, failing the payment, a month's imprisonment.
Now, in the above case a comparatively untrained puppy was found to be of great use; and had it not been for her the two men would never have been caught. There is no doubt they were members of the original gang, and had taken part in the capture of the game for which they were convicted.
The hound in question is one of our ordinary bloodhounds, such as win prizes on the show bench. She is by Chaucer ex Crony. Chaucer by champion Bono, from Beppa, by Beckford out of Bianca. Crony is by Dictator out of Dainty. Chaucer was bred by Mr. E. Brough, and Crony by Mr. T. W. Markland, whilst Mr. W. H. Cooper, of Hillmorton Paddocks, near Rugby, bred the bitch who was the heroine of the adventure.
A rather funny episode comes to us from a recent New York dog show, and it bears on the same subject. A Yorkshire terrier was stolen, a man was suspected, traced to the railway, where it was found he had taken a ticket for Baltimore. A telegram beat the train, and the fellow was arrested with the dog in his possession. However, in the meantime, a happy idea struck the lady superintendent of the show (this is an innovation which has not reached us yet), who put a bloodhound, called Queen of the West, on what were supposed to be the tracks of the thief. The hound made the line out right gallantly, and ultimately "ran her man to bay." Unfortunately for the lady superintendent, the hound had got on the track of an ordinary visitor to the show, who had little difficulty in proving his innocence, and after suitable apologies the hunted man went away satisfied, gratified probably that he had been constituted a hero without the pains and penalties which are so often attached to one who is out of the ordinary run of men.