+ ~ -
Please report pronunciation problems here. Select and sample other voices. Options Pause Play
Report an Error

conversation about her luggage, until she was,
with no small pains, induced to raise her
head, and turn her face towards the light.
Satisfied that she was not the object of his
search, he quietly re-embarked in the Government
steamer alongside, and steamed home
again with the intelligence.

When we have exhausted these subjects,
too, which occupy a considerable time in the
discussion, two or three leave their chairs,
whisper Sergeant Witchem, and resume their
seats. Sergeant Witchem, leaning forward a
little, and placing a hand on each of his legs,
then modestly speaks as follows:

"My brother-officers wish me to relate a
little account of my taking Tally-ho Thompson.
A man oughtn't to tell what he has done
himself; but still, as nobody was with me, and,
consequently, as nobody but myself can tell
it, I'll  do it in the best way I can, if it should
meet your approval."

We assure Sergeant Witchem that he will
oblige us very much, and we all compose
ourselves to listen with great interest and

"Tally-ho Thompson," says Sergeant
Witchem, after merely wetting his lips with
his brandy-and- water, "Tally-ho Thompson
was a famous horse-stealer, couper, and magsman.
Thompson, in conjunction with a pal
that occasionally worked with him,
gammoned a countryman out of a good round sum
of money, under pretence of getting him a
situationthe regular old dodgeand was
afterwards in the 'Hue and Cry' for a horse
a horse that he stole, down in Hertfordshire.
I had to look after Thompson, and I
applied myself, of course, in the first instance,
to discovering where he was. Now, Thompson's
wife lived, along with a little daughter, at
Chelsea. Knowing that Thompson was
somewhere in the country, I watched the house
especially at post-time in the morningthinking
Thompson was pretty likely to write to her.
Sure enough, one morning the postman comes
up, and delivers a letter at Mrs. Thompson's
door. Little girl opens the door, and takes it
in. We're not always sure of postmen, though
the people at the post-offices are always very
obliging. A postman may help us, or he may
not,—just as it happens. However, I go across
the road, and I say to the postman, after he
has left the letter, 'Good morning! how are
you?'  'How are you?' says he. 'You've just
delivered a letter for Mrs. Thompson.' 'Yes,
I have.' 'You didn't happen to remark what
the post-mark was, perhaps?' 'No,' says he,
'I didn't.' 'Come,' says I, 'I'll be plain with
you. I'm in a small way of business, and I
have given Thompson credit, and I can't afford
to lose what he owes me. I know he's got
money, and I know he's in the country, and
if you could tell me what the post-mark was,
I should be very much obliged to you, and
you'd do a service to a tradesman in a small
way of business that can't afford a loss.'
'Well,' he said, 'I do assure you that I did not
observe what the post-mark was; all I know is,
that there was money in the letterI should
say a sovereign.' This was enough for me,
because of course I knew that Thompson having
sent his wife money, it was probable she'd write
to Thompson, by return of post, to acknowledge
the receipt. So I said 'Thankee' to the
postman, and I kept on the watch. In the
afternoon I saw the little girl come out. Of
course I followed her. She went into a
stationer's shop, and I needn't say to you that I
looked in at the window. She bought some
writing-paper and envelopes, and a pen. I
think to myself, 'That'll do!'—watch her
home againand don't go away, you may be
sure, knowing that Mrs. Thompson was writing
her letter to Tally-ho, and that the letter
would be posted presently. In about an hour
or so, out came the little girl again, with the
letter in her hand. I went up, and said
something to the child, whatever it might have
been; but I couldn't see the direction of the
letter, because she held it with the seal
upwards. However, I observed that on the back
of the letter there was what we call a kissa
drop of wax by the side of the sealand again,
you understand, that was enough for me. I
saw her post the letter, waited till she was
gone, then went into the shop, and asked to
see the Master. When he came out, I told
him, 'Now, I'm an Officer in the Detective
Force; there's a letter with a kiss been
posted here just now, for a man that I'm in
search of; and what I have to ask of you, is,
that you will let me look at the direction of
that letter.' He was very civiltook a lot of
letters from the box in the windowshook
'em out on the counter with the faces
downwardsand there among 'em was the identical
letter with the kiss. It was directed, Mr.
Thomas Pigeon, Post-Office, B———, to
be left 'till called for. Down I went to
B———(a hundred and twenty miles or
so) that night. Early next morning I went
to the Post-Office; saw the gentleman in
charge of that department; told him who
I was; and that my object was to see, and
track, the party that should come for the letter
for Mr. Thomas Pigeon. He was very polite,
and said, 'You shall have every assistance
we can give you; you can wait inside the
office; and we'll take care to let you know
when anybody comes for the letter.' Well, I
waited there, three days, and began to think
that nobody ever would come. At last the
clerk whispered to me, 'Here! Detective!
Somebody's come for the letter!' 'Keep him
a minute,' said I, and I ran round to the
outside of the office. There I saw a young chap
with the appearance of an Ostler, holding a
horse by the bridlestretching the bridle
across the pavement, while he waited at the
Post-Office Window for the letter. I began
to pat the horse, and that; and I said to the
boy, 'Why, this is Mr. Jones's Mare!' 'No.
It an't.' 'No?' said I. 'She's very like Mr.
Jones's Mare!' 'She an't Mr. Jones's Mare,