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THE fresh-complexioned, smooth-faced
officer, with the strange air of simplicity,
began, with a rustic smile, and in a soft,
wheedling tone of voice, to relate the Butcher's
Story, thus:

"It's just about six years ago, now, since
information was given at Scotland Yard of
there being extensive robberies of lawns and
silks going on, at some wholesale houses in
the City. Directions were given for the
business being looked into; and Straw, and
Fendall, and me, we were all in it."

"When you received your instructions,"
said we, "you went away, and held a sort of
Cabinet Council together?"

The smooth-faced officer coaxingly replied,
"Ye-es. Just so. We turned it over among
ourselves a good deal. It appeared, when we
went into it, that the goods were sold by the
receivers extraordinarily cheapmuch cheaper
than they could have been if they had been
honestly come by. The receivers were in the
trade, and kept capital shopsestablishments
of the first respectabilityone of 'em at the
West End, one down in Westminster. After
a lot of watching and inquiry, and this and
that among ourselves, we found that the job
was managed, and the purchases of the stolen
goods made, at a little public-house near
Smithfield, down by Saint Bartholomew's;
where the Warehouse Porters, who were the
thieves, took 'em for that purpose, don't you
see? and made appointments to meet the
people that went between themselves and
the receivers. This public-house was principally
used by journeymen butchers from
the country, out of place, and in want of
situations; so, what did we do, butha, ha, ha!
we agreed that I should be dressed up like a
butcher myself, and go and live there!"

Never, surely, was a faculty of observation
better brought to bear upon a purpose, than
that which picked out this officer for the part.
Nothing in all creation, could have suited him
better. Even while he spoke, he became a
greasy, sleepy, shy, good-natured, chuckle-headed,
unsuspicious, and confiding young
butcher. His very hair seemed to have suet
in it, as he made it smooth upon his head,
and his fresh complexion to be lubricated
by large quantities of animal food.

- "So Iha, ha, ha!" (always with
the confiding snigger of the foolish young
butcher) "so I dressed myself in the regular
way, made up a little bundle of clothes, and
went to the public-house, and asked if I could
have a lodging there? They says, 'yes, you
can have a lodging here,' and I got a bedroom,
and settled myself down in the tap.
There was a number of people about the
place, and coming backwards and forwards to
the house; and first one says, and then
another says, 'Are you from the country,
young man?' 'Yes,' I says, 'I am. I 'm
come out of Northamptonshire, and I 'm
quite lonely here, for I don't know London at
all, and it's such a mighty big town?' 'It
is a big town,' they says. 'Oh, it's a very
big town!' I says.' Really and truly I never
was in such a town. It quite confuses of
me!'—and all that, you know.

"When some of the Journeymen Butchers
that used the house, found that I wanted
a place, they says, ' Oh, we'll get you a
place!' And they actually took me to a
sight of places, in Newgate Market, Newport
Market, Clare, CarnabyI don't know where
all. But the wages washa, ha, ha!—was
not sufficient, and I never could suit myself,
don't you see? Some of the queer frequenters
of the house, were a little suspicious of me at
first, and I was obliged to be very cautious
indeed, how I communicated with Straw or
Fendall. Sometimes, when I went out, pretending
to stop and look into the shop-windows,
and just casting my eye round, I
used to see some of 'em following me; but,
being perhaps better accustomed than they
thought for, to that sort of thing, I used to
lead 'em on as far as I thought necessary or
convenientsometimes a long wayand then
turn sharp round, and meet 'em, and say,
'Oh, dear, how glad I am to come upon you
so fortunate! This London's such a place,
I'm blowed if I an't lost again!' And then
we'd go back all together, to the public-house,
andha, ha, ha! and smoke our
pipes, don't you see?
"They were very attentive to me, I am
sure. It was a common thing, while I was
living there, for some of 'em to take me out,
and show me London. They showed me the
Prisonsshowed me Newgateand when
they showed me Newgate, I stops at the place