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IN pursuance of the intention mentioned at
the close of a former paper on "The Modern
Science of Thief-taking," we now proceed to
endeavour to convey to our readers some
faint idea of the extraordinary dexterity,
patience, and ingenuity, exercised by the
Detective Police. That our description may be
as graphic as we can render it, and may be
perfectly reliable, we will make it, so far as
in us lies, a piece of plain truth. And first,
we have to inform the reader how the
anecdotes we are about to communicate, came to
our knowledge.

We are not by any means devout believers
in the Old Bow-Street Police. To say the
truth, we think there was a vast amount of
humbug about those worthies. Apart from
many of them being men of very indifferent
character, and far too much in the habit of
consorting with thieves and the like, they
never lost a public occasion of jobbing and
trading in mystery and making the most of
themselves. Continually puffed besides by
incompetent magistrates anxious to conceal
their own deficiencies, and hand-in-glove
with the penny-a-liners of that time, they
became a sort of superstition. Although as a
Preventive Police they were utterly ineffective,
and as a Detective Police were very
loose and uncertain in their operations, they
remain with some people, a superstition to
the present day.

On the other hand, the Detective Force
organised since the establishment of the
existing Police, is so well chosen and trained,
proceeds so systematically and quietly, does its
business in such a workman-like manner, and
is always so calmly and steadily engaged in
the service of the public, that the public
really do not know enough of it, to know a
tithe of its usefulness. Impressed with this
conviction, and interested in the men
themselves, we represented to the authorities at
Scotland Yard, that we should be glad, if
there were no official objection, to have some
talk with the Detectives. A most obliging
and ready permission being given, a certain
evening was appointed with a certain Inspector
for a social conference between ourselves and
the Detectives, at our Office in Wellington
Street, Strand, London. In consequence of
which appointment the party "came off,"
which we are about to describe. And we beg
to repeat that, avoiding such topics as it
might for obvious reasons be injurious to the
public, or disagreeable to respectable
individuals, to touch upon in print, our description
is as exact as we can make it.

The reader will have the goodness to
imagine the Sanctum Sanctorum of Household
Words. Anything that best suits the reader's
fancy, will best represent that magnificent
chamber. We merely stipulate for a round
table in the middle, with some glasses and
cigars arranged upon it; and the editorial sofa
elegantly hemmed in between that stately
piece of furniture and the wall.

It is a sultry evening at dusk. The stones
of Wellington Street are hot and gritty, and
the watermen and hackney-coachmen at
the Theatre opposite, are much flushed and
aggravated. Carriages are constantly setting
down the people who have come to Fairy-
Land; and there is a mighty shouting and
bellowing every now and then, deafening us
for the moment, through the open windows.

Just at dusk, Inspectors Wield and Stalker
are announced; but we do not undertake to
warrant the orthography of any of the names
here mentioned. Inspector Wield presents
Inspector Stalker. Inspector Wield is a
middle-aged man of a portly presence, with
a large, moist, knowing eye, a husky voice,
and a habit of emphasising his conversation
by the aid of a corpulent fore-finger, which is
constantly in juxta-position with his eyes or
nose. Inspector Stalker is a shrewd, hard-
headed Scotchmanin appearance not at all
unlike a very acute, thoroughly-trained schoolmaster,
from the Normal Establishment at
Glasgow. Inspector Wield one might have
known, perhaps, for what he isInspector
Stalker, never.

The ceremonies of reception over, Inspectors
Wield and Stalker observe that they have
brought some sergeants with them. The
sergeants are presentedfive in number,
Sergeant Dornton, Sergeant Witchem,
Sergeant Mith, Sergeant Fendall, and Sergeant
Straw. We have the whole Detective Force
from Scotland Yard with one exception. They
sit down in a semi-circle (the two Inspectors
at the two ends) at a little distance from the
round table, facing the editorial sofa. Every