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[ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.} JALEBERD'S BUMPS. A PHRENOLOGICAL EXPERIMENT. BY JAMES GREENWOOD. AUTHOR OP II Dick Temple," "Reuben Davidger," Wild Sports of the World," "Curiosities of Savage Life," U Fair Phyllis of Lavender Wharf" 41 Under a Cloud, < A Little Ragamuffin" "Kerrison's Crime" Three Rogues," "Humphrey Dyot," "Silas the Conjuror," etc. CHAPTERVIIr. DOCTOR FUGHT INCREASES STRENGTH OP MY MEDICINE. TuJPIiESULT. I NEBD not here discuss whether it was due en- tirely to the doctor's treatment, that up to a certain point was much as usual, or whether that long con- versation Margaret and I had together had anything to do with it, but it so happened that in little more than a fortnight afterwards a very curious change came over me. I mean as regards my views of things in general, and in particular to matters pertaining to a nice dis- crimination between vice and virtue. In a startlingly sudden way my inclination to- wards wicked in all its many phases, and of which my bumps were the index, quite deserted me, and on awaking one morning I found myself a really good young man. As I have already observed, I am in doubt whether the astonishing change in question was due entirely to the success of the'doctor's experiments; but I should do him the justice to state that the night before the great change manifested itself, and while I was supposed to be lying in bed insensible, his treatment of me was far more elaborate than on any previous occasion. He seemed to have arrived at the conclusion that the operation of merely rubbing my head all over with the magical embrocation might be improved on; and to that end, having in the customary manner effected an entry into my bed-chamber, he proceeded to deal with me as follows: As was always the case, he brought in with him a small black leather bag, but instead of the phial and the brush, he took from it a sort skull-cap made of some slightly elastic material and already heavily saturated with the strangely-smelling yellow solution. This cap he carefully fitted to my bald head, and immediately afterwards clapped over it the copper basin previously heated over the gas jet. Before he applied this latter, however, he adminis- tered to me another dose of the chloroform, or what- ever it was the sponge was soaked with, as though to guard against my recovering my senses before the more protracted process was completed. When he had finished with me and packed up his implements and made me comfortable for waking, I heard him whisper to himself: "1 should not be surprised, Master Bird, after such a dressing as you have now had, if in the morn- ing you have something further to tell me respecting the queer sensations you have already spoken of." His anticipations were realised to his satisfaction, and maybe a little beyond. The feelings with which I awoke next morning were simply incredible. I can liken them to nothing else than that by a miracle my nature was entirely changed in a single night, and that I had become almost as the angels are, and without one gross and worldly desire, or a single selfish sentiment. I so thrilled with a sense of goodness, that the moment I got out of bed I commenced singing a hymn that used to be sung at morning service in the chapel at Cold bath Fields. When I had got my clothes on and washed myself, 1 was still brimming over with benevolence and kindness of heart. Looking from my window down into the street, I saw an old crossing-sweeper with his broom on his shoulder going to his daily work. He was ragged and dirty, and opening the casement, and attracting his attention, I threw down to him the cake of brown Windsor soap I had been using, with a towel, and a tooth-brush. The doctor must have heard my hymn-singing, for he came up-stairs, and was just in time to see me bestowing the articles mentioned on the crossing- eweeper, together with my blessing. John Bird good heavens what can this mean? Have you taken leave of your senses ?" I turned about, smiling sweetly, and he was standing in the doorway without a bit of colour in his cheeks and with his eyes staring with alarm and amazement. Do you hear me, John," he repeated, are you mad ?" The smile faded from my visage, and regarding him sorrowfully, I made answer in tones of mild re- proach: Is it a proof, doctor, that I am not in my right senses because I am moved with compassion for the necessities of my destitute fellow-creatures ? Am I to blame for giving to that poor man that which, as is plain to be seen, he is most in need of ? Is it for one as poor as myself, to teach you who are rich. —rolling in may eay—your duty to the suffering and needy? Learn then a lesson from And looking again from the window, and observing the crossing-sweeper in the act of pocketing the soap and towel, I threw a hair-brush down to him. The doctor was trembling with excitement. He crossed the room, and closed and latched tin. window, and then placing both his hands on my Bhoulders, he looked fixedly into my eyes. I was made aware, in an instant, that I could not stand his penetrating gaze, and to avoid it I promptly resorted to a dodge I had become adept in during my many different periods of imprisonment, and which I had found of great service in deluding the chaplain. I burst into tears, and casting my arms round the doctor's neck, sobbingly addressed him. Dh, Doctor Flight 1" I cried—and all the time he 'I was backing towards the room door, and endeavour- ing to disengage himself from my tight embrace— Oh, doctor it makes my heart bleed to know that while you and I will presently be sitting down to a com- fortable breakfast—to ham and eggs, probably, and to coffee poured out from a silver-plated coffee-pot —there are thousands of poor creatures thahkfui for a slice of bread and a draught from the parish pump. Such a state of things has existed too long, doctor, and you and I will do our best to make it different. We will set about it at once—this very morn- ing. I have already made a beginning, as you wit- nessed, and we will follow it up. Say, ch, say, that it shall be so 1" "We will first have some breakfast, at all events," he made answer soothingly. "Come along down- stairs with me. We shall be less liable to interrup- tion there." A IIH made way for me to go first, as though he pre- ferred that order of descent, and on the second land- in" we encountered Deborah coming up. I was partly through with the second verse of 4. Direct and Guide my Erring Steps,' but I stopped, short on seeing her. As the reader will remember, the sour old housekeeper and myself had not got on at all well together. Indeed, the coolness between us had so much increased that, I believe, we had not exchanged more than a dozen words, and those not all civil ones, during the past three days. I now seized her hand and shook it heartily, enough almost to have dislocated her elbow joint. Good-morning, good-morning, my dear madam, I exclaimed, I hope you are well." To which cordial greeting she stiffly replied that she would "be all the better for my leaving go her hand, and she begged I would not take such a liberty again. But as I have already stated, my entire nature seemed changed, and I was not to be put off with such a rebuff. There was awakened within me a feeling of veneration for her sex to which my bosom had been a stranger now longer ago than when I stole my grandmother's Bible and spectacles. I did not let go her hand I squeezed it even harder as I remarked with emotion: Ma'am, were you ever married ? Were you ever a mother r She was about to make some spirited answer when the doctor placed his forefinger on his forehead, and with a glance at me shook his head. Bosh," mut- tured Deborah. I don't believe it!" You don't believe that you were ever a mother," I continued earnestly. Alas, then, it would be un- reasonable of me to expect you to pity me, as I yearn to be pitied—I had a mother once-Qnoe, I say! and I pressed my brow distractedly. It must have been many years since, but the veil of time departed seems strangely lifted, and, as though it were but yesterday, I can see myself kneeling at that mother's knee, a curly-headed little boy. Oh, mother, mother! You have lost me all these years, but I am coming back to you now 1" And I covered my eyes with my hand and leant my face against the wall, while Deborah escaped and hurried upstairs, and I heard her turn the key in the lock of the room she entered. The doctor was in a state of terrible agitation. He begged me to bocsIm, and we went-down to the breakfast-room together* Now," said he, when we were alone, be candid with me, and tell me what I am to understand by this strange behaviour of yours." Jfc" Sir," I replied, pressing my head with both handa t■ ns I paced the room, I wiah it was in my power to 've you a satisfactory answer. I am a changed man. t is all I know about it." Vaswer me this," aid he, sternly confronting DM, 14 are yon really changed, or are you acting the hypo- crIt.e t How can I answer you," I replied, simply, if I dont know? I did not make the change myself. I did not desire it. If a man can be a hypocrite with- out knowing it, I may be one. I shouldn't like to say. 1\.h! you poor thing you will be both scalded and drowned!" This last was not addressed to the doctor, though he could scarcely have looked more amazed if it had been. It chanced at that moment that a (tv blundered into the cup of coffee he had just poured out. With tender solicitude I fished it out with a teaspoon, and placed it on the table-cloth. The doctor laughed strangely. "Yon did not use to be so soft-hearted, my friend," he remarked; "it was only yesterday that I saw you when you were in the garden throw a piece of brick at a poor cat cross- ing the wall, and you were delighted because you hit it and made it howl; you remember that?" "Now you remind me, I remember it, sir," I replied, shuddering at the painful recollection and then, after another silent turn or two across the room, I exclaimed despairingly: Yes, that will be the worst of it. I cannot bear it, it will drive me mad What will ?" What ? Why, the crushing consciousness of the wicked wretch I have been—of the ten thousand wrongs I have done, and now can only bemoan with- out being able to remedy them. Oh the horrible— the horrible memories of the past!" But I ridiculously failed in what I intended to be a telling climax to this outburst of distraction. I made a clutch with both hands at my hair, forget- ting in the excitement of the moment that I had none, and my wig came off in my hands. But the doctor was too seriously thoughtful to see anything funny in it. I flung myself down on to a couch and buried my face in a cushion, and so lay, giving vent to my grief for several moments. Then, as though the dreadful suspicion had at that instant flashed to my mind, I leapt up with such suddenness that he himself rose hurriedly from his chair and had made several steps towards the door before I could lay an arresting hand on his arm. Doctor I" I exclaimed imploringly, tell me the truth, is it you who have wrought this amazing change in me?" He hesitated ere he replied evasively: If you have any reasons for asking the question, I shall be glad to hear them." Only this. I cannot forget that you have already informed me that you commenced your experiments on the first day of my coming here, and that you have continued them ever since. Is this the result of them ?" "Do you regret it if it is so?" he asked calmly. I do not admit it, but, for the sake of argument, we'll say it may be so. Then comes the question, would you rather be as you were or as you are? Would. you rather, my friend," and his eyes filled with tears as he released his arm from my hand and pressed it affectionately; would you rather be the brute who yesterday laughed at the cruelty of break- a poor cat's ribs with half a brick, or the man with impulses so humane that you could not refrain from rescuing a drowning fly ?" Oh a thousand times," said I, returning the affectionate squeeze of his hand, I would rather be good than bad. If you only knew, doctor, the de- lightful sensations with which I awoke this morning, and what a delicious joy it was for me to throw those things to the poor crossing-sweeper, you would not ask me the question. I want to be good and do good." And so you shall, John Bird. But we must not be too precipitate. We must——" But I want to set about it now—to love my neigh- bour as myself, to give new suits of clothes to every- one that is ragged and shabby, and feed the hungry —I would not let even a stray dog go without a good dinner. I wish to be kind to the aged, and to make every workhouse ring with rejoicing. I should like to get together all the pleasure-vans that money could hire, and take aU the people that were getting well in the hospitals and all the crippled little children for a delightful long ride into the country. But first of all," and here my utterance became broken, first of all I should like to find the humble grave where my dear mother rests, and cover it with beautiful flowers. But itfcan never, never be I" "Why not?" the doctor asked, his dilating eyes betraying the pleasure my rhapsody afforded him; tell me why not ?" "Because, sir," I answered mournfully, and pressing my forehead, the great change that has come over me is so swift and sudden, that my brain is fairly carried away in the whirl of it. It is too much for me. My head is so stuffed full of confusion, it seems as though it must burst! Yet I will do all the good I can while reason holds her throae. I will go out now and commence. Let me have the money that is due to me, doctor-five pounds, I think it is. That will make a few poor hearts rejoice, at any rate!" But he wouldn't agree to that. Indeed, he did not like the idea of my going out at all, in my excited state of mind, but, as I could see, he was afraid of making matters worse by thwarting me; so he gave me a couple of pounds out of his own pocket to do as I pleased with, and off I went. It had often occurred to me, when I sometimes went to the play, how altogether done up and in- olined for a soothing pipe and a spell of quiet the principal actor must be, after he had been struggling and fencing, and putting himself into a violent per- spiration about one thing and another all the evening. I could realise exactly what his feelings were now. As soon as I got well away from Blooms- bury-square, I sought a quiet public-house parlour, and smoked a cigar with a cool pint of ale, after which I paid a visit to Margaret Ketch to report pro- gress. r CHAPTER IX. MABGAKET CONVINCES ME THAT I AM BUT A POOR SCHEMER, AND COACHES ME AS TO THE WAY I SHOULD GO. I DON'T think I have mentioned that I had taken a respectable lodging for Margaret in a quiet street in Soho. She had not returned to her old place of residence since the day when I found her among her companions. I naturally experienced some difficulty in per- suading her to do what I wished, especially as, from a money point of view, I was unable to convince her that up to that time I had made much by my curious adventure. All I had, in fact, was about thirty shillings, but that was sufficient for present needs. And when I had fully explained bow matters stood, concealing nothing from her, she was not long in making up her mind to share the chances With me. She pleased me very much by the quickness with which she caught at the possibilities of the case, as well as by her shrewd suggestions, which were the more unexpected because, as far as I knew, no mem- ber of her family, excepting her grandfather, was really talented. But apart from a personal liking for her, I had always looked on Margaret as far cleverer than any of her relations. Most women would have giggled at the many queer pranks I had played on the doctor, but she listened as grave as a judge while I was relating them to her as we walked about Hampstead heath, and laughed only once, and that was while I was telling her of the mortal funk I was in that first time when I was pretending to be asleep while the doctor was operating on me. He has got plenty of money, you say—you are sure of that ?" she remarked. There can be no doubt of it. Thousands of pounds I should judge from the style of the house and the valuable things in it." And what are your ideas. Jack, as regards the amount you may make out of him ?" All depends on how he is managed. A hundred pounds very likely." talk like a fool," said Meg impatiently; if, one hundred, why not five ?" We will go fair shares in it, whatever the amount," I replied. Why, if we are to get married, of course we shall," says she. That was the chief inducement I held out to her. She was quite positive that the rascally pianoforte tuner "had committed bigamy in marrying her, and that, consequently, she was now free to do as she pleased. She had proof, she said, that his first wife was still alive, and as we did not intend to get married yet awhile, I took her word for it. But to go back to my story. I felt ratheproud of my morning's work, and, as I have already-said, after giving myself time to cool, I went straight off to Margaret to tell her all about it, not forgett ing, you may be sure, to show her the two sovereigns in proof of the success of my bit of play acting. She listened with great attention, but when I had finished, to my great disgust and dis- appointment, she did not look even commonly pleased. Don't you think I did very well ?" I asked her rather sharply. No; I don't," she replied coolly. Well, of course I don't pretend to be as clever as some people, but I don't see that I could have done more." More says she. You shouldn't have done half as much. What could you have been thinking about trying it on with that woman ?" Oh! that's it," says I laughing. Why, you silly girl, she is an old one. Fifty, if a day, and as ugly, as sin. Uglier." I don't care," says Meg, how old or how young she is, or how pretty or plain. I was not thinking about such nonsense as that. You should have Jet her alone. The game you are playing is with the doctor. It wasn't clever to give her a chance t6cut in and spoil you/ 'j. .f .«i. How, cut in ?" Why, don't you see that you almost forced it on the doctor to talk with the old woman about you as soon as yeur back was turned? And she is not oracked, remember, if he is." "Well, leaving her out of it," (Meg shrugged her shoulders), "I did not do so bad with him." "As it turned out, p'ra'ps not. It answered oi» useful purpose at any rate." As regards the two pounds, yon mean ?" Pshaw That's your weak point, Jack, making so much of trifles. We shall have pounds enough bv- and-by if you will be advised by-me. What I meant was that his being so easily gulled proves beyond a doubt that he is fairly off his head over this phreno- logy nonsense. But you must be careful. No more pantomime tricks, Jack. Shying a towel and soap at a dirty old crossing-sweeper may be very good clown- ing, but it isn't sound business." "But you forget that I wanted to commence with a startler. Hang it all, haven't I been telling you how well it went down with him ? You don't know the man as well as I do." Don't be angry, dear, I only know him through what you have told me. Of course you should know best how to manage him. He gave you the cue as to the best way when he couldn't keep the tears out of his eyes while you was telling him that pretty story about the old granny and the sick child and the pining flower plant." And that is the pitch I have been playing up to. What is the next best move ? That's the question." "You must leave that to him." What, the move ?" No. You must leave it to the doctor to inform you how the game is going, and you will, of course, act accordingly." I thought she was joking, but she spoke quite seriously." Why, you are talking like a fool, Meg. It is likely, isn't it, that I should question him on the subject? Or that he would tell me if I did ?" There will be no need to ask him. Is there no way of getting the information you want but by word of mouth ?" What other way is there ?" "Isn't there his handwriting?" says she with a saucy laugh. Why, you simpleton, you don't mean to say that you never thought of that ?" Thought of what?" Why, the note-book, to be sure. The little volume in which he writes down the progress of your inte- resting case, with his comments on it. You know where it is kept when it is out of his possession, and how to get at it. Keep your eye on that book, Johnny dear, and how can you go wrong ? It is the key to his money-box." I remarked lightly that I had, of course, thought of the note-book. But strangely enough, it had slipped out of my memory for the time being at any rate. That she was a shrewd one this little example shows, and I was more convinced than ever that I had done a wise thing in taking her into partner- ship. (To be continued.) 1







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