Sarah Graham’s sister, Abigail Breese, had written to several people trying to locate her, including Brookline Postmaster John Potter and Sheriff Francis M. Donnell. In January 1886, George responded to the numerous inquiries with a hostile letter to Abigail Breese in which he told her that he was “tired of your folks writing about the country about me” and had decided to “take a walk” so as not to be “disturbed by your heathenish letter writing.” George signed the letter, “Yours in disgust.”[ii]
George’s decision to “take a walk” may have been partially motivated by the letter writing campaign mounted by the Gorham family, but more likely it stemmed from fear of another prison term for checks he had recently forged in Springfield. His “walk” took him to Paola, Kansas, where he wrote to Emma that he planned to go to Kansas City and work for the railroad. He feared returning home because “all of Springfield and Brookline [were] against him, though he did not say why. Emma also received a letter from Cora asking her to return home and to bring George with her. When Emma found him, drunk, in Kansas City, he confessed to the forgery. She returned with him to Springfield to help him settle the checks and prevent his return to prison. Her belief that he would do nothing to again risk incarceration had been proven wrong.[iii]
[i] Missouri v. Molloy-Lee, Folder 9062, 218-229.
[ii] The Graham Tragedy, 9. George forged checks at three local banks and then left town. He did not return to Springfield until after Emma settled the checks and convinced those involved not to press charges against him.
[iii] Fort Wayne Daily News, March 3, 1886.