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enquiringly to his friend across the table,

The other shakes his head, and intimates a
hint that it is only plated. The waiter brings
the cold punch, and the party begin to enjoy
themselves. They do not drink much, but
they mix their drinks rather injudiciously.
They take sherry upon cold punch, and
champagne upon that, dashing in a little port
and bottled stout between. They are getting
merry, not to say jolly, but not at all
inebriated. The amateur of silver dish-covers
has told a capital story, and his friends are
revelling in the heartiest of laughs, when an
apparition appears at the end of the table.
You never saw such a change as his presence
causes, when he places his knuckles on the
edge of the table and looks at the diners
seriatim; the courtiers of the sleeping beauty
suddenly struck somniferous were nothing to
this change. As if by magic, the loud laugh
is turned to silent consternation. You now,
most impressively, understand the meaning of
the term " dumbfoundered." The mysterious
stranger makes some enquiry about "any

The answer is "Plenty."

"All square with the landlord, then?" asks
the same inflexible voice asto my astonishment
that which put the Frenchman to the

"To a penny," the reply.

"Quite square? " continues the querist,
taking with his busy eye a rapid inventory of
the plate.

"S' help me–––"

"Hush! " interrupts the dinner spoiler,
holding up his hand in a cautionary manner.
"Have you done anything to-day?"

"Not a thing."

Then there is some more in a low tone;
but you again distinguish the word " school,"
and "seven o'clock train." They are too
old to be the Frenchman's pupils; perhaps
they are his assistants. Surely they are not
all the victims of the same capias and the
same officer!

By this tune the landlord, looking very
nervous, arrives with his bill: then comes the
head waiter, who clears the table; carefully
counting the forks. The reckoning is paid,
and the trio steal out of the room with the
man of mystery behind them,—like sheep
driven to the shambles.

You follow to the Railway station, and there
you see the Frenchman, who complains bitterly
of being " sold for noting" by his enemy. The
other three utter a confirmative groan. In
spite of the evident omnipotence of their
persevering follower, your curiosity impels you
to address him. You take a turn on the
platform together, and he explains the whole
mystery. "The fact is," he begins, "I am
Sergeant Witchem, of the Detective police."

"And your four victims are?"—

"Members of a crack school of swell-

"What do you mean by ' school? '"

"Gang. There is a variety of gangsthat
is to say, of men who ' work ' together, who
play into one another's hands. These gentlemen
hold the first rank, both for skill and
enterprise, and had they been allowed to
remain would have brought back a considerable
booty. Their chief is the Frenchman."

"Why do they obey your orders so

"Because they are sure that if I were to take
them into custody, which I could do, knowing
what they are, and present them before a
magistrate, they would all be committed to prison
for a month, as rogues and vagabonds."

"They prefer then to have lost no
inconsiderable capital in dress and dinner, to being
laid up in jail."

"Exactly so."

The bell rings, and all five go off into the
same carriage to London.

This is a circumstance that actually
occurred; and a similar one happened when
the Queen went to Dublin. The mere
appearance of one of the Detective officers before
a "school" which had transported itself in
the Royal train, spoilt their speculation; for
they all found it more advantageous to return
to England in the same steamer with the
officer, than to remain with the certainty of
being put in prison for fourteen or twenty-
eight days as rogues and vagabonds.

So thoroughly well acquainted with these
men are the Detective officers we speak of,
that they frequently tell what they have been
about by the expression of their eyes and
their general manner. This process is aptly
termed "reckoning them up." Some days ago,
two skilful officers, whose personal acquaintance
with the swell mob is complete, were
walking along the Strand on other business,
when they saw two of the best dressed and best
mannered of the gang enter a jeweller's shop.
They waited till they came out, and, on
scrutinising them, were convinced, by a certain
conscious look which they betrayed, that they
had stolen something. They followed them,
and in a few minutes something was passed
from one to the other. The officers were
convinced, challenged them with the theft, and
succeeded in eventually convicting them of
stealing two gold eye-glasses, and several
jewelled rings. " The eye," said our informant,
"is the great detector. We can tell in a crowd
what a swell-mobsman is about by the
expression of his eye."

It is supposed that the number ot persons
who make a trade of thieving in London is
not more than six thousand; of these, nearly
two hundred are first-class thieves or swell
mobsmen; six hundred "macemen," and trade
swindlers, bill-swindlers, dog-stealers, &c.;
About forty burglars, "dancers," "garretteers,"
and other adepts with the skeleton-keys.
The rest are pickpockets, "gonophs—" mostly
young thieves who sneak into areas, and rob
tillsand other pilferers.