Mystery Within A Mystery: The Missing Day
A Journey of Two Hours Takes A Full Day. Commentators have cited a 'missing 24 hours' between November 23 and 24, which is far longer than the short train ride it should have taken Lottie A. Bernard to arrive in San Diego from Los Angeles. This occurred between 22-23 November 1892, when she (as Katie Logan) begged her employer in Los Angeles, Mrs. L. A. Grant, for a day off for personal reasons. During her stay with the Grants, Katie Logan had shown excellent spirit and work. She mentioned to other staff that her husband was a gambler, and that she was tired of him (this may have been part of the ruse Kate Morgan instructed her to pretend in her Katie Logan persona, which probably backfired in the sense that Spreckels' agents used the information to smear Kate and Tom Morgan. She seemed preoccupied with going to get some papers signed (perhaps a blood test for marriage, since she was about to plead desperately with the man (John Longfield) she would take a long detour to see on a westbound train. This implies that she somehow knew of the movements of Kate and John, who stayed out of sight as they also would in Coronado. The most likely reason is that she learned her trunks were coming from back east, and John Longfield along with them. Mrs. Grant agreed, but urged her to be back the next day for a wonderful Thanksgiving Dinner. Lizzie, of course, never returned.
The resolution of the Lottie A. Bernard mystery does, for several reasons, suggest she took a time-consuming side trip, by rail, from Los Angeles to Orange, and from Orange to Anaheim, and thence to San Diego. The side trip did not require exactly 24 hours, but would have exhausted the better part of a day. TOP
A passenger from Boston, Joseph E. Jones, was on the train that brought John back West from Iowa. In Iowa, Longfield had left a smallish sum ($25) with a bank manager, along with a tall tale that it was in case the money were needed by his school chum's ailing wife in Coronado. Lizzie had just left the L. A. Grant household on her way to San Diego. By now, she had a serious inkling that things were not all as Kate described them about John, but she did not yet blame Kate for being a liar and machinator. Knowing that the train was to arrive in Anaheim, Lizzie traveled several hours east and met the train in Orange. From Orange to Anaheim, she pleaded and argued with a reticent John Longfield to marry her in Coronado. She was getting cold feet about Kate's plot, and thought it would be so much simpler if John were to rescue her and marry her. But John was following Kate's orders and demurred. The result was a rising argument that ended with John storming from the train in Anaheim. It was the last time he and Lizzie would ever see each other, and the mysterious passenger Jones would describe it to bellmen at the hotel a few days later-though he avoided attending the Coroner's inquest for some reason-perhaps connected with a cover-up by the Spreckels Machine. TOP
Why did it take the woman more than a day to make the two-hour train trip from Los Angeles to San Diego? She left her employer, L.A. Grant, in Los Angeles on November 23rd, and arrives in Coronado on the afternoon of the next day. For all we know, she may have gone shopping-except that a witness, Joseph E. Jones of Boston, told a bellman at the Hotel Del that he recognized the mystery woman at the hotel as being the same woman he had seen on the train from Denver the day before, having a loud argument with a man who stormed off the train at Orange. By the way, during this tearful journey, she somehow left the tickets to her trunks with John Longfield, who never returned them to her. The ticket agents in San Diego refused to turn her three trunks over to her (which may also have been on that same train). If the latter is the case, then Lizzie and the trunks traveled to San Diego, while John Longfield went to meet Kate Morgan; we don't know if Kate was still in L.A. or if John took the next train to San Diego. We know she walked from the train station east on C Street to the Hotel Brewster, as she had no doubt been instructed. She asked for Dr. and Mrs. Anderson (code for John and Kate) but they were nowhere to be found. She was given her small medicine kit, and she walked back to the harbor for her ferry ride to Coronado. TOP
So again, the train ride south from Los Angeles to San Diego was about two hours, then as now. This is the Mystery of the Missing Day. Why did it take her a full day to make that journey? What was Katie Logan, a.k.a. Lottie A. Bernard, a.k.a. Lizzie Wyllie, a.k.a. the Beautiful Stranger doing on a train from east to west at a time when she logically would have been on a different train going from north to south? I have pieced together a plausible explanation-she was making a desperate bid to regain the affections of the man she loved, who was in the process of dumping her and betraying her in Kate Morgan's plot to blackmail John Spreckels. She traveled south from Los Angeles, then traveled a brief distance east to intercept John Longfield. She pleaded with him on the brief trip west to Orange, but his rejection of her sounded like a quarrel to the witness, Jones. Longfield jumped off the train at Orange and strode off into history, never to see her again. She continued her fateful journey south to San Diego and to her doom. TOP