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LIFE IN LONDON. .

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[NOW FIRST PUBLISHED.] LIFE IN LONDON. BY JOHN MEIKLEJOHN, LATE INSPECTOR OF DETECTIVE POLICE, SCOTLAND YARD, AUTHOR OF Leaves from a Detective's Note Book,' "Meiklejohn's Detective Experiences," 4-c I ALL RIGHTS RESER VED.] BURGLARS' AND COINERS' TOOLS. covered ith leather to deaden sound while wedges are being driven into the doors of tafes. Among such dreadful implements it is rather amusing to note a little pin- cushion worked in hair, and to nnd that it has found a place among the horrors" on aeeouut of its having been the handiwork of a poor daughter of Eve who, without being stained with any other crime, had so given way to the demon of strong drink as to have been convicted of drunken- ness no less than two hundred and fifty times 1 The police, with whom this regular customer of their's was in some respects rather a favourite, aver that she was never known to giro any further trouble than that of being locked up when she was helplessly intoxi- cated, and that, unlike her bibulous sisters generally, she never by any chance allowed a stronger phrase than 0, please don't" to escape her lips. In the department fust referred to some of the extremely clever forging and coming de- vices are most noticeable. The great Russian counterfeiting of rouble notes will be remem- bered and some of the plates used in the carry- ing out of that gigantio conspiracy are here to be seen, carefully scratched across the sur- fftoe by the authorities, lest by any ohanoe their beautiful faces should be made to reflect themselves upon paper again. Then there are fortune telling appliances of all sorti, and dark lanterns-one very in- geniously constructed from a simple Bryant and May's tin matoh-box, etc., etc. but, per- haps the pieces of resistance of the show, as our neighbours would call them, are the "red flag," captured from the Socialists in Trafalgar-square; the black ditto taken from the mob during th& late riot-I believe out- aide the Standard orEce, when the windows there were broken-and several stout oaken staves, which the champions of free speech" had thoughtfully provided for use upon police- men's skulls. PLASTER CASTS OF CRIMINALS' HEADS. Around the room overhead are a number of planter oasts of the heads of notorious crimi- nals, and depending at full length beneath some of these are the ghastly-looking ropes whioh have been used in their exeoution. Nobody can view the "horrors," a few of vhiah I have thus pointed out, without coniing to the conclusion that were it not for its plucky and trusted guardians, the police, the trained and indefatigable pursuers of the daring criminals in our midst, armed as they are, and reckless of all consequences as so many wild animals of prey, the unarmed and unsuspicious public, which only wants to be left at peace to pursue its daily occupation without hindrance or favour, would come poorly off indeed. I have purposely refrained from mention- ing one of the great attractions of the Chamber of Horrors until the last, because I think the case of the criminal, of whom it may be said to be a souvenir, well illustrates one of the too little thought of consequences of crime, namely, the intense sufferings criminals bring their relatives and friends. DR. LAMSON'S CAREER. A little capsule, innocent-looking enough in itself, carefully preserved in a glass case, is a reminder of the notorious poisoner, Dr. Lamson. That malefactor not only murdered one of his brothers-in-law—a poor cripple- in order to get the small fortune which by the boy's death would revert to his sister, the wretohed man's wife. but was more than suspected of having done away with the unhappy victim's brother in a similarly heartless manner. The capsule in question contains one of the aconite pills which figured so prominently at the memor- able trial. The skilful assassin courted his doom by a too confident belief in a theory he had elaborated, that the deadly drug named being a vegetable poison would, by being administered in certain doses and under peculiar conditions, not only leave no trace behind in the human system, but that in its fatal workings all the symptoms of death from other and natural causes would be simulated. Fortunately, justice was more than a match for the American's cunning, and, as will be remembered, the guilt was conclusively brought home to him after a long and un- precedented trial, which was-on account of the prisoner's being a naturalised American -watched with breathieis interest on both tides of the Atlantic. After conviction and Sentence, tremendous efforts were made to obtain a commutation of the extreme penalty, no less than two separate reprieves boing granted, and many months elapsed between condemnation and the inhuman monster's Mecution. In spite of pressure from various influential quarters, of a kind never before in the history of criminal jurisprudence brought to tear upon the Home Office in favour of a dastard murderer, the Secretary of State was firm, and Lamson was duly executed at Wandsworth. Now, I happen to be in a position to make public for the first time one quarter in which the most extreme efforts on the criminal's behalf originated. It was publicly stated and generally believed at the time that it was from the United States that the most clamorous appeals for mercy came, It is true that high officials in the States, being worked upon by the same influential folk who were moving heaven and earth in Europe io prevent the scandal of an execution, did lend themselves to the dangerous appeal-for to snare a convicted poisoner would be mora fatal to the safety of sooiety in these money- saving times than would be any other act which misplaced clemency could possibly commit-and it is also true that the two reprieves were nominally granted as acts of courtesy to our good friends across the ocean, but the real reason why Lamson was twice saved from the hangman's clutches was that various European sovereigns directly (but privately) implored the intercession of the English Court to save the scoundrel. But why should they have interfered? I think I can hear the innocent reader ask. I am in a I position to state the reason. In the course of an adventurous and apparently honourable career, the doctor, who was on all hands admitted to have been a remarkably clever man, attached himself to different foreign ambulance and hospital corps during several European wars. Thus he was in France in 1870-1, in Servia during the struggle between that Principality and Russia, and at Bucharest during the war between Turkey and Russia. During the two last-mentioned campaigns the young Anglo- American, who had most insinuating manners, managed to ingratiate himself with the ruling Princes and Princesses, with the result that at the close of each inter- national struggle he was deoorated with some of the highest orders it was in the power of the grateful rulers to bestow. Thus to have hanged Dr. Lamson would have been to bring a sort of slur and discredit on some half dozen foreign orders of knighthood, such as that of the Grand Cross of Takova for instance, in whose ranks as brother knights commanders half the ruling sovereigns of the Continent were enrolled. That was the reason, I repeat, why such strenuous efforts were made to save the life of one of the most dangerous crimi- nals of our time, and only the very few within the inner oircle know how nearly those efforts were successful. The public pressure was the outward and visible form to tickle the ears of the groundlings, but the inward and spiritual grace of the movement to bring about the exercise of Hoyal clemency was the influence I have stated. With the unfortunate relatives of the con- vict it would be impossible to sympathise too deeply. The father, the Rev. Dr. Lamson, was a high-minded and most popular Ameri- can divine. The mother, a lady beloved by all who ever came within the wide circle of her self-sacrificing and benevolent activity. The family resided at one time at Tweed; Mount Ventnor, in the Isle of Wight, where, by their unceasing philanthropy ^and good-neighbourship, they have left a record which will not be forgotten by the present generation. They were supremely unfortu- nate in their two children. Both bright and most promising boys, they began the world with the apparent intention of carrying every- thing before them. The eldest, a civil engineer, entered the service of the Khedive of Egypt, and was so rapidly advanced that before he was three-and-twenty he was in receipt of eighteen hundred pounds a year. Old Dr. Lamson was exceedingly proud of him and his brother, the talented young surgeon who also took the highest honours in his profession, and was a favourite wherever he went. The father was at an evening party in London, in the very act of reading a letter from his son in Egypt to a friend, when a telegram was put into his hands to say that that son had dropped down dead in Cairo! Not long afterwards the seoond son was taken up for murder. The mother died of grief during the trial, and the broken-hearted doctor sank to his rest a few months after the execution. The punish- ment for great crimes may truly be said to often fall as heavily upon innocent relatives as upon the guilty criminals themselves, THE POLICEMAN'S "NOSE-" As most people nowadays are aware, what is called a policeman's "Nose," plays an important part in the detec- tion of crime. The "Nose" is, of course, a man of shady, not to say criminal, antece- dents, who for his own purpose (sometimes to procure a little temporary immunity for himself, but chiefly to get hold of a little ready money of which, in spite of their occasional hauls," members of the criminal class usually run wofully short) is willing and anxious to cultivate the society of his fellow offenders in order to deliver them up to justice, or, as it is called, to round upon them." This class of men are a sort of two-edged sword in the hands of a detective, for if not dealt with with extreme carefulness and tact, he is as likely to mis- lead and get the officer into trouble as he is to serve him. Like the elephants, who used to be so largely engaged by the ancients in their wars, of which it is often recorded in history that they created infinitely more havoc in their own ranks than they did among the enemy, if all the scrapes and worry caused to policemen by a too confident following of their "noses" were written down it would be seen that only the most delicate handling was ever able to make the brutes" to speak anything useful to their employers. The gentry referred to are so obligingly ready to sell" anybody that it must ever be the first care of the teck re- ceiving information from them that they do not commence operations by selling him. An amusing incident of a young constable being taken in over a very trivial matter by one of these "artful cards" occurs to me while writing. SELLING A YOUNG POLICEMAN. I can tell you how you can bring yourself into notice with the 'beak' (magistrate) in your J district," said the tempter to the new hand. How ? was the innocent inqoiry. Why, look here, he's awful down on keeping the pavements clear, don't you know; it's a weak- ness of his." ness of his." There the fellow spoke the truth, for poor Mr. long since gone over to the majority, was a martyr to the gout, and he had been several times run against and tor- tured by servant girls who wheeled perambu- lators over his feet, and by costermongers trundling their barrows on the footpaths. "Now, look here," said the man, "if you will drop me a bob I'll get a cheeky coster, as I can do what I likes with, to run his barrow right up against you on the pavement in the street, just at the back of the police-court, and you run him in for it, and if the beak don't praise you for an active and intelligent man my name ain't what it is." The youngster swallowed the bait and the nose," popping round the comer, bet an itinerant dealer, a II friend" of his, a Ie pint" that he daren't run his barrow against a "bobby" and then beg his pardon as if it were an accident, The wager was acoepted and the unsupect- ing" officer at that moment appearing, the little plot was carried out, but to the coster- monger's great surprise all his apologies were unavailing, and, with the assistance of the willing informant, the barrow was seized and wheeled to the court, where the magistrate was then just taking his seat. It Half-a-crown," was the stipendiary's remark, adding that the oonstable was only doing his duty, for this sort of obstruction on the public foot- paths was becoming a great nuisance and must be put down. So far the policeman was well satisfied with his bargain, but at that point the "nOfle" was to be noticed in whispered consultation with the man who was feeling about in his pockets for the amount of the fine. The hurried conference over, the costermonger begged his wuship's pardon, but was the perleece bound to 'bey the law same's poor corsters ? "Of course they are," blandly replied the magistrate. W ell, then, the officer 'ere ought to pay his half- crown, too, for arter he'd seized my barrow he wheeled it along the pavement all the way here, and I on'y wheeled it about fifty yards." Consultation between the bench and clerk ensues, after which his worship, addressing the constable, says "Well, now really you should have known better than to cause the same obstruction of which you were about to complain. I will not issue a summons against you, but I think the justice of the case will be met by your handing to de- fendant the half-crown, the amount of his fine, and taking care to be more careful in the future." Of course, this little adventure comes rather within thera-rige of practical joking or" lark- ing," but the predicaments brought about by trusting these irregular allies of the police too implicitly have oftentimes been of the gravest nature, and fraught with infinite mischief to the public as well as loss and vexation to the officers more immediately concerned. OLD TOM. One of the moat intelligent rascals I ever employed in the capacity of "pointer," who was at the same time, as I am bound to admit, one of the greatest liars, was an old fellow of some sixty winters, who stood five feet seven inches in his stockings, and was generally known as "Old Tom." Unlike most other sneaks with whom I have at different times been brought into contact, Tom had plenty of physical courage in addition to his ordi- nary bodily strength. He had, a3 the slang phrase goes, "a heart as big as a bullocks," two sides of which bulky animal he has frequently carried when acting as a butcher's porter to get among the fraternity of meat salesmen and market frequenters. To credit Tom's" own yarns-in which there was often truth when the listener least suspected it- that worthy bad taken a more or less active part in most of the sensational robberies of his time. He eertainly was instrumental in bringing some of the most daring thieves in London to justice, as, for example,the perpe- trators of the great safe robbery at Mr. Walker's in Cornhill, not to speak of others too numerous for mention here, Among his innumerable avocations had been that of a cabman, and in that line of life it is, I think, perfectly safe to say that he drove more stolen property through the streets of the Metropolis than did most of the other cabmen put together. It was his speciality, so to speak, and the oddest thing is that so artfully did the long one play his cards, that although he perhaps was the cause of more freebooters being lagged," i.e., sent to penal servitude, than any other nose" in London, the school" was many years discovering who really was the oaase of their frequent floggingi. A time, however, did at last nome to Thomas, as it generally does to policemen's helps-to most of them very speedily-whed he could no more get among the birds nor flush their colours. In the elegant phra- seology of the craft, every mobsman in town had thoroughly browned to his salve." "Old Tom could, for years before his death, no more get into the confidence of a cracks- man or magsman" of any description than the merest tyro in a long overcoat, blue trousers, and heavy bluoher boots, warranted to effectually warn a thief off at nine hun- dred yards, Tom had a long run. though, For years he was like Sairey Gamp, so beknown and be- trusted," that many of the most daring burglars in London and the neighbou. hood would employ him both in the carriage of the implements of their trade to the places of operation and the removal of the "swag" when the work was done. In the former oocupjtion the immense strength of the man made him peculiarly adapted to the pur- pose, the heavy chisels, files, and jemmies" necessary for a raid on a big safe frequently weighing over a couple of hundredweight, and a cart driving up to a place in the dead of the night would naturally have attracted too much attention. Nor was his ability to tackle enormous loads less valuable in trans- porting the plunder, for with what the vic- tims thought wonderful cunning, they have more than once had an assortment of gold watches and miscellaneous jewellery car- ried to a place of "safety" by the stal- wart butcher's man" hidden underneath the great sides of beef, staggering under which he has made his way in broad daylight through th6 orowded streets of the City. Of course his employers at such times little suspected that the loot," as weli as those who bad pro- cured it, was all the time under the strictest surveillance of the elderly child who was tak- ing notes among them for his future guidanoe in making terms for having it and them given up to the authorities. Here I must make a little digression upon the subject of THE UTILITY OF OFFERING HEW ARDS. As upon many other questions of public policy, there are two sides to this one. Home Secretaries, we are told, have for some time come to the conclusion that or. the whole the system of offering Government rewards for the discovery of great crimes does not work well for the public interest. With that belief to guide them the high officials have not only of late refrained from proclaiming such offers themselves, but have to the best of their ability discountenanced the doing so by wealthy private people. Theoretically speaking, men of a,L callings in society should be ready to do that duty without the incentive of special money gifts over and above the amounts for which they have contraoted to fulfil such duty, Also, if a system of issuing promises of special inducements has really the effect which many people in high positions think it ha3, namely, of inducing the cleverest men in the force to hold their hands, as it were, and wait for the publication of such promises until the most favourable time for the capture of the criminals shall have passed away, it may be at onoe admitted that mischief rather than good would as a rule result, The facts, however, to my mind, writing as I do as a policeman of no inconsiderable experience, are dead against that bureaucratic view. After all is not the proof of the pudding as it were in the eating. We all know how prac- tical old Dr. Johnson solved, to his own satisfaction at all events, the question of man's free agency, and be kicked over the table, After that there was little more to be said. He willed that down the article of furniture should go, and with one tremendous exertion of that mighty foot of his over it went. So if, in spite of ingenious notions and speculations as to what might, could, or should be done without the offer of special rewards to meet special cases, it be a fact-as 1 maintain it is—that under the new system of abstention there are more undiscovered great orimes among us than there used to bo, it must be conceded that a powerful argument in favour of rewards is supplied, MODEIIX FAILURES OF JCSTRCE. It would be tedious here to give a list of the modern failures of justice in the endeavour to overtake oreat criminals, Such records will be present in any number to the mind of the reader of the least retentive memory. As for the notion that the best men among the professional pursuers of malefaotors would be likely to stay their efforts awaiting the promise of reward, that is to suppose that polioemen are not as other men, an assumption which I have already dealt with in the opening chapter. Competi- tion in the race for the most valued prize open to men in every calling, that of recogni- tion and promotion in that calling, would in itself be sufficient to dispose of that idea. If one man remained quiescent others would not. H But," says the nervous reader, you do not mean to say that you would allow the polioe as well as the general public to be open to compete for such speoial rewards. That has long ago been decided against, for all proclamations of such specially exempt members of the force from taking benefits under them." I reply that I certainly would, for unless the police are openly admitted to the benefits it is but logical to refrain from the issue of offers of reward at all, and so far the authorities are right, As I have already said, policemen, if no worse than other men, are, of course, no better. If some hundreds of pounds are to be netted by the capture of a criminal the temptation to share in such by a little private arrangement with an out- sider is very great, As for the credit to be obtained, where the sin is viewed by one's fellow-workers as such a venal one, it would be no secret among the brotherhood as to whom the thanks of the public were really due, if an officer's brother or cousin, say, were allowed to take a nominal part when it was well known which policeman had really in- spired him. The great virtuous public is quick to back public men who make proposals to carry on the affairs of the world with a lofty con- tempt for the power of the purse, but states- men in their hearts know better than to under-rate that power. No branch of Imperial expenditure is so unpopular and so keenly criticised as The Secret Service Fund," and yet if men of affairs would tell all they know, it would, 1 believe, be found that no outlay of public money gives such satisfactory results. As the wealthiest nation or. earth,why should we be debarred from the U3e of our most potent weapon—gold I Does it hurt mea more to buy them than to shoot them ? Again, is it not humane to buy some to prevent others being slaughtered ? Oh, but it is so demoralising to those who resort to such low means of attaining otherwise desirable ends. Fiddlesticks Put," says the impatient reader, our policeman ia posing as a statesman. Let the cobbler stick to his last." With all submission, however, I protest that I am but comparing great things with others which are by no means small. In dispensing secret service money with no niggardly hand, our rulers are enabled to obtain information at the risk of their informants, which is useful to the State, and so in dealing liberally with men who are likely to i know of the doings and whereabouts of the enemies of society to whom in many cases divulgence, ever so privately made, may mean a broken head or worse: that is to say, by enabling the police to deal liberally with them, information" is more likely to be received," and the human vermin in our i midst, who were then allowed a free hand, and would destroy us as effectually as ar.y foreign foe could do, more surely run to earth. To return, however, to'.our sagacious, but j somewhat tricky spaniel, The Kosa." (To be continued.) NExr PART III. OF "LIFE IN LONDON Hunting Down Sliaep and Cattle Stealers. Cattle Stealing in Loudon. The" Blue. Ribbou." On the Track. Piecing EvidAnce. Run Over in the Street. An Anxious Time. Tricks in the Witness-box, How ihc Doctor was Sold.

! LOW CUT BODICES.

!BURIED ALIVE,

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