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ON DUTY WITH INSPECTOR FIELD.

How goes the night? Saint Giles's clock
is striking nine. The weather is dull and
wet, and the long lines of street-lamps are
blurred, as if we saw them through tears.
A damp wind blows, and rakes the pieman's
fire out, when he opens the door of his little
furnace, carrying away an eddy of sparks.

Saint Giles's clock strikes nine. We are
punctual. Where is Inspector Field? Assistant
Commissioner of Police is already here,
enwrapped in oil-skin cloak, and standing in
the shadow of Saint Giles's steeple. Detective
Serjeant, weary of speaking French
all day to foreigners unpacking at the Great
Exhibition, is already here. Where is Inspector
Field?

Inspector Field is, to-night, the guardian
genius of the British Museum. He is bringing
his shrewd eye to bear on every corner of
its solitary galleries, before he reports " all
right." Suspicious of the Elgin marbles, and
not to be done by cat-faced Egyptian giants,
with their hands upon their knees, Inspector
Field, sagacious, vigilant, lamp in hand,
throwing monstrous shadows on the walls and
ceilings, passes through the spacious rooms.
If a mummy trembled in an atom of its dusty
covering, Inspector Field would say, " Come
out of that, Tom Green. I know you! "  If
the smallest " Gonoph " about town were
crouching at the bottom of a classic bath,
Inspector Field would nose him with a finer
scent than the ogre's, when adventurous Jack
lay trembling in his kitchen copper. But all
is quiet, and Inspector Field goes warily on,
making little outward show of attending to
anything in particular, just recognising the
Ichthyosaurus as a familiar acquaintance, and
wondering, perhaps, how the detectives did it
in the days before the Flood.

Will Inspector Field be long about this
work? He may be half-an-hour longer. He
sends his compliments by Police Constable,
and proposes that we meet at Saint Giles's
Station House, across the road. Good. It
were as well to stand by the fire, there, as in
the shadow of Saint Giles's steeple.

Anything doing here to-night? Not much.
We are very quiet. A lost boy, extremely
calm and small, sitting by the fire, whom we
now confide to a constable to take home, for
the child says that if you show him Newgate
Street, he can show you where he livesa
raving drunken woman in the cells, who has
screeched her voice away, and has hardly
power enough left to declare, even with the
passionate help of her feet and arms, that
she is the daughter of a British officer, and,
strike her blind and dead, but she'll write a
letter to the Queen! but who is soothed with a
drink of waterin another cell, a quiet woman
with a child at her breast, for beggingin
another, her husband in a smock-frock, with
a basket of watercressesin another, a
pick-pocketin another, a meek tremulous old
pauper man who has been out for a holiday
"and has took but a little drop, but it has
overcome him arter so many months in the
house "—and that's all, as yet. Presently,
a sensation at the Station House door.
Mr. Field, gentlemen!

Inspector Field comes in, wiping his forehead,
for he is of a burly figure, and has
come fast from the ores and metals of the
deep mines of the earth, and from the Parrot
Gods of the South Sea Islands, and from the
birds and beetles of the tropics, and from the
Arts of Greece and Rome, and from the Sculptures
of Nineveh, and from the traces of an
elder world, when these were not. Is Rogers
ready? Rogers is ready, strapped and
great-coated, with a flaming eye in the middle of
his waist, like a deformed Cyclops. Lead on,
Rogers, to Rats' Castle!

How many people may there be in London,
who, if we had brought them deviously
and blindfold, to this street, fifty paces from
the Station House, and within call of Saint
Giles's church, would know it for a not
remote part of the city in which their lives
are passed? How many, who amidst this
compound of sickening smells, these heaps
of filth, these tumbling houses, with all
their vile contents, animate and inanimate,
slimily overflowing into the black road, would
believe that they breathe this air? How
much Red Tape may there be, that could look
round on the faces which now hem us infor
our appearance here has caused a rush from
all points to a common centrethe lowering
foreheads, the sallow cheeks, the brutal eyes,
the matted hair, the infected, vermin-haunted
heaps of ragsand say " I have thought of
this. I have not dismissed the thing. I have

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