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An Adventure in London.
AN HONEST traveler la bound to re
late all that befalls lilm, Illustrative
of the manners and morals of the peo
ple among whom be sojourns, even
though he himself does not appear to
the best advantoge In the narrative; my
conscience will not permit me to with
hold from my reader the following bit
of adventure, though the simplicity of
John Hull, about which I have bad
something to say, may not be made so
apparent by it as the credfility of Jona
than. It was an attempt on the part of two
sharpers to play upon me an old London
confidence game which gave me my only
chance to see John Hull as a rogue. In
this character he proved no bungler ,but
a most consummate actor. Indeed, the
circumstance proved to me more clearly
than almost anything else, how much
we have got to learn of this people, and
bow "mellow" and considerate John
can be even In the character of a London
For some reason or other, the confidence-men
have always taken a shine to
me. About the first time I went to
New York, Peter Funk sold me a watch
though I saw what he hod done in a few
moments afterward, and went Into the
next place where watches were being
slaughtered, and advised the Innocent
bidders standing about (?) not to pur
chase, as tilings were not what they
seemed, and privately showed some of
them my own time-keeper. And In very
recent years, during a half-hour's walk
on Broadway, I have had at least three
long-forgotten acquaintances rush up to
me with extended hand and hearty ex
clamations of surprise and delight. But
on these occasions I have always been
able to command Bret Harte's famous
smile, which I have found as effective as
a policeman's badge:
The London confidence-man found
me one night at a public place of amuse
ment, and of course, knew me at a
glance. He was a German (my visor
always goes up when I see a German,)
and was a curious spectator of things in
and about London, like myself, and ex
pected soon to visit America. I hardly
knew how we got acquainted. I think
some accident In the crowd, as we stood
near each other In the area, caused us to
exchange glances and then remarks. He
evidently "took" me at once. Travelers
are quick to lj.now travelers, and always
find themselves in sympathy ; they are
in one boat, while the stay-at-home
world is In another. We were soon ex
changing notes about London and other
matters, and after the performance was
over, walked out of the theatre together.
We were a good deal jostled by the
crowd, but an empty pocket is never
afraid of being picked, and the frail
creature who did her share of the jost
ling, and who declared welooked enough
alike to be brothers, played her part well
but to little purpose. We did not sep
arate till we had exchanged cards, and
my delightful German bad made some
inquiries about my hotel; he was not
suited where he was, and was on the
lookout for a chance to improve his
quarters, and as he had an especial lik
ing for Americans, "they were so much
more like Germans than the English
were" and had so many questions to
ask about that country, he should be de
lighted to stop beneath the same roof
With me, if the locality suited him, etc.,
Accordingly, next day, at 12 M., he
called around. We had lunch together
and much Interesting conversaton. He
proved, extremely well-informed about
England and the English, and was ex
tremely entertaining. He had much to
say about a London friend of hls.a bank
er, who had lived in America,and whom
I ought to know. After an hour spent
in this way, he proposed a walk, and
said, if I wished it, he would present me
to his friend. v ,
To this, after some hesitation,! assent
ed, and we set out for King's Cross, a
part of the town I bad not yet visited.
After walking about half an hour, dur
ing which time my compani i beguiled
the way with a very lively ..jcount of a
steeple-chase he had rece- jy taken part
in through his friend the banker, at his
suggestion we stopped at one of the nu
merous ale-houses for some refreshment.
It was not a very inviting looking place
and I felt disposed to take our ale stand
ing at the bar, American fashion, and
pass on ; but my German was not going
to be so coolly matter-of-fact as that,and
led the way to the coffee-room, which,
however, we found locked ; but one of
the bar maids banded him the key, and
we went in. It was a dingy, unused
looking room, with leather-cushioned
benches around the sides, and tables in
front of them. It struek me that there
was some incongruity in our being in
such a place. It seemed better adapted
to some secret nocturnal revel. The
two windows were high, shutting out
all view of the street, and admitting but
A scanty light I sat down on'a chair
sear the door, feeling a little' constrain
ed; but my companion passed over to
the further corner of the room, and
sat down with such a hearty, masterly
air, that I followed hlra, and had soon
aimed a blow at my lamentable reserve
In a bumper of ale. While I was en
gaged in looking over some admirable
Berlin photographs which my friend
banded me, be made an excuse to go
out. Not long thereafter there entered
the room a man who drew my attention
by bis bewildered, excited manner. He
took off his hat, mopped his broW with
bis hundkerchtef, and rushing around
the room, gave each of the three bell
handles ft violent jerk.
" The worst part of the town I've been
in yet," said he, seating himself on my
side of the room. " Can't even get a
little Scotch whiskey 'ere. I went into
a place Just below 'ere and, because I
very naturally mistook the landlord for
the waiter, I was Insulted. 'Ow should
I knowV" said the unsophisticated
Englishman. "I saw a man standing
there with a hopron on, and says I,
' Walter, bring me some Scotch whis
key and 'ot water,' and he swelled up
and said, ' I'm not the waiter ; I'll 'ave
you to know I'm not the waiter; I'm
" All the same,' said I. I thought
you was, and I want some whiskey.'
" ' But you can 'ave no whiskey 'ere ;
I'll not be called a waiter in my own
'ouse.' So I told him to go to the devil
and left the room ;" and the Ingenuous
creature appealed to me If it was not a
shame and an outrage, and I replied that
it most assuredly was.
" I wonder if they know 'ow to treat
strangers any better 'ere," he said, look
ing about the room.
Just then a waiter appeared, and the
beloved "Scotch" was soon before him.
He was a fine specimen of a young
Englishman, with a round, fresh face,
bright eyes, full, rosy Hps, a beard that
had wanted the razor for three or four
days, and withal, an expression singu
larly boyish and ingenuous. He was
well-dressed In gray cheviot clothes, and
wore the Inevitable stove-pipe hat.
" It's the first time I've been up to
London, and I 'ope it's the last," he
continued. " I've seen enough of it."
Just here the German re-appeared,and
was presently as Interested as I was In
the new arrivol upon the scene, whom
the Scotch whiskey was making more
and more garrulous and confidential.
With the utmost naivete be went -on
to complain how quecrly he bad been
treated In London.
" I did not get through my business
till day before yesterday, when I thought
before I left town, and as my cose in
court had come out so well that I could
go out and 'ave a little jollification. Mr.
So-and-so, our lawyer, -.made me give
him the most of my money before I
went out; but I kept back a few bank
notes that he didn't know I 'ad. As I
was walking on the Strand a lady came
rushing up to me and said :
"' 'Ow hare you, Mr. Jones V
" Pretty near it,' said I. ' My name
is not Jones, but it's Johnson. All the
Bame ; no barm done, Miss,' and was
going on, when she aald :
" ' Is that the way you leave a lady 1"'
" Leave alady V" Baid I,a deal surpris
ed at her manner.
" ' Yes,' said she, 1 leave a. lady ; that
is not the way Mr. Jones would do.'
" Tray, how would Mr.' Jones do V"
" Why, he would have taken me in
and treated me to a bottle of wine.'
" Oh ; if that is all, you shall 'ave
two bottles,' said I. 4 Come on.'
" So we went into a place there, and
blow me if she didn't drink nearly two
bettlcs of wine. I was amazed ; I never
saw a lady drink so, and they charged
me outrageously for the wine, a guinea
for the two bottles. Why, our wine at
'ome don't cost us half that.'
" Gentlemen," said the innocent crea
ture, "you are strangers to me, but I
trust you'll never mention what I have
ityt told you ; I wouldn't 'ave my sister
Mary know it for a hundred pound."
" Here," said I to myself, "is a speci
men of my unsophisticated Englishman
of the very first water. He Is as fresh
as a new-blown rose, and never ought to
let go the apron-string of his sister
My German said something about the
danger of going about London with much
money in one's pocket.
" I am not afraid," said the verdant,
"and I always carry my money right
here, too," taking out from the breast
pocket of his coat a loose package of
Bank of England notes. " 'Ow am I
going to lose that with my coat button
ed so V"
But my friend assured him he might
easily lose it ; that he bad better have
left it with his lawyer or his banker ;
that he himself never carried but a few
pounds about him, and no prudent trav
eler ever did, and, on appealing to me, I
added my testimony to the same effect
declaring that I seldom left my hotel
with as much as a five-pound note in
" But I 'ave enough more," said the
complacent idiot, "if I lose this. You
see, me and my sister have Just come
nto a little property, about 17,000,
that Is what brought me up to London ;
it's an unpleasantsubject, a family quar
rel, but right is right, and what the law
gives one, that be may call his own,
mayn't be V Well the law case has just
given me and mo sister Mary me father's
estate, which me elder brother George
had held since me father's and mother's
death. This Is 'ow it 'appened. The
old family nurse, when she came to die,
let out that me brother George was born
out of wedlock, and so was not the legal
heir of the property. The old doctor
was referred to, his dates were looked up
and compared with the parish records,
and the nurse's story was confirmed. So
we went to law about It, and the case
has Just been decided In our favor in the
Court of Queen's Bench. It makes bad
blood, but I shall not treat me brother
George as he haB treated me and me Bis
ter Mary. After ho has had time to cool
oft' and think it over, I shall go to 'im
and say, 'Ere, George, you are me
brother, I cannot forget that, 'ere, tuke
this sum and set yourself up in busi
We both applauded this good resolu
tion, and urged him by all means to
carry it into effect.
"But George did not do right with
the property," he went on ; "you see,
part of it came from uncle William, and
uncle William In his will provided that
500 of it should be disbursed among
the poor, not the Hlngltsh poor only,but
the poor of different nations. This
brother George did not do. But this I
shall do without delay, and to get this
500 well off my 'ands according to my
bunco's will is now my chief concern.
Ilof course, I cannot go around looking
up the poor the needy cases and must
mostly depend upon others to do it for
me. I shall spend 100 of it among the
poor of my own town and neighborhood
and shall 'ope to meet trustworthy gen
tlemen now and then, whom I can rely
upon to distribute a portion of it among
the poor of their countries. I gave 50
of it yesterday to a gentleman at my
'otel, from Glasgow, to spend among his
" A Btranger to you V" said I with re
proof and astonishment In my look.
"Oh, yes; but then, he showed me
that he had money of his own and did
not need mine; that was all I required
him to do."
The German and I exchanged glances
as we finished our second ale, when the
former said, speaking my own thought :
"Well, you'll have little trouble In
finding people to take your money on
such terms. I, myself, would very glad
ly be charitable at some ono else's ex
pense, and the late war has made many
poor people in my country."
" Very well," sold the confiding stran
ger, "show me that you have 100 of
your own, and I will give you another
hundred to disburse among your poor
and take your receipt for it, requiring
you only to insert an advertisement in
1 The Times,' giving the names and
dateB, etc. AH I want is to be able to
show that my uncle's will lias been
complied with, and that I 'aven't spent
money that didn't belong tome."
How the bait took ! Whose benevo
lence would not have snapped at it V Is
it in human nature in its travels to let
such golden opportunities Blip V And
would it not instantly occur to one that
if this fool and his money must part bo
soon, that it was the duty of an honest
man to Bee to it that the money went in
to the proper channels 'i
And I too," said I, not without a
feeling of bhamc, as if I was about to be
in some way a party to the robbery of
this simpleton ; " I, too, will bear your
alms to some of the poor of my court,
try, and see that they are judicially be.
'.' What poor have you in your coun
try V" Baid be.
" rienty of them," soldi, "the freed-
men, for instance, whom I see much of,
and who areinueh in need of help."
" All right," said he. "Satisfy me that
you have money-of your own and da not
need mine, and you shall have a hundred
" I carry no money with me," I replied,
"and you will' have to comearound to
my hotel." ,
" Neither have I a hundred pounds,"
said my companion," but I hav6 some,I
hardly know how much," and he pro
ceeded to take out and unroll some Bauk
of England notes.
" Show him what you have," fold he
to me, significantly; "don't let him
think you are penniless."
"Oh, I have a little change," I said
" Not more than two guineas in all,"
and with embarrassment I produced it
in my open palm.
"Put up joar money, gentlemen,"
euld the verdant. " I have no doubt
you are both responsible men, and can
easily satisfy me that you are fit persons
to act as my agents in this matter."
"Come to my hotel," said the Ger
man, and I can show you five times the
amount, or to my banker, whose place
Is near here."
"Yes," I joined in, "meet us this
afternoon or this evening at my hotel
and we will bIiow you that we are all
" No, I must leave town to-night; me
sister Mary will be expecting me."
" Then," suggested the German; "let's
arrange it now. Where do you need to
go," lie inquired of me, "to get the
" To my hotel and to my banker's
both," I said.
" Where Is your banker V"
"On Lombard street."
" Well, that will suit me, too, as I
know a banker there, and can yet all
the money I need."
The Englishman would pledge us In
another glass before we started, though I
barely tasted my ale, the two glasses I
had already imbibed having had a very
strange effect upon me.
"Here is a sovereign," he said, "to
poy for the cab ; this is to accommodate
me, and I insist upon paying."
The German took the gold, called a
cab, and we were ofT, being agreed that
the Englishman should wait there till
" It Is the most astonishing perform
ance I ever heard of," said I. " Can it
be possible that such a fool can be at
large twenty-four hours in London with
out being robbed "
" He runs a great risk," Bald my com
panion, " and we hod better keep an eye
on bim till he starts for home, or else
telegraph to Mary to come and look after
I found my banker, a man who had
known me long and intimately in this
country, in his private office, and I
spread out my adventure before him in
the most animated style. I felt it nec
essary to do this because I wanted to ask
the loan of 50 for a few hours, but be
I had got to that point he said he could
let me have the money if I did not bap
happen to have it by me ; it was by all
means my duty to accept the offer the
stranger had made, etc., etc. He called
his partner, a native Londoner, and re
lated the singular circumstance to him ;
he opened his eyes very wide, but said
little. As I was leaving, my banker
" You don't suppose this is, an attempt
to rob you, do you V"
" Oil, no," said I, "that Is out of the
When I regained the cab, my com
panion wus not there ; I supposed he
had not returned from his banker's yet ;
but I presently saw him emerging from
behind a near cab, whence it instantly
occurred to mo that he had been watch
ing my movements. We got in and
drove toward my hotel. Presently a
feeling came over me precisely like a
bucket of cold water, that here was a
skillfully played game to rob me. But
no, it, could not be ; the thought was too
ugly ; I was not going to give up that
hundred pounds so easily. But the feel
ing would come back in spite of me, and
gradually the scales fell from my eyes.
With what a rude shock I came down
from the seven th heaven of delight,
whither the drugged ale and the benevo
lent impulse had sent me, to the unpala
table reality I I suddenly noticed it was
raining and that London was at Its dlsa
greeablest. I glanced at my companion,
and quickly understood a peculiar look
about the eyes he had had all that day
a sort of strained, furtive, half-excited
look, such as one might have when play
ing a desperate gume. I recalled, too,
how he had approached from behind
that cab, and remembered that I had
seen his legs beneath it as I came out of
the bank. I recalled, also, with what
caution and skill the Englishman had
played his part, and the many little
touches, he had given it, such as only a
real artist would think of. Well, said I
to myself, this is my simple, pastoral
Britisher, is it 1 But how well he works
bis business ! What a master workman
and how juicy and human I
My companion talked gayly, but evi
dently noticed a change in me. When
we reached the hotel, he Invited himself
up to my room to see my quarters, etc.
As I was moving about, under one pre
tense or another, I caught his eye in the
gloss intently watching me. Having
taken the bank notes from my trunk,
that I had come up for, we went down.
I lingered in the hall long enough to
tell the porter a stout, soldierly looking
fellow that I wanted his services about
an hour, and that I wished him to take
a cab and follow us, and when we alight
ed to alight also and euter.but a few mo
ments later. I was determined to see the
play out, but I did not want to be alone
in that room again with those two men.
A we rode along, my thoughts were
busy. What should be done ? I would
give them a good hint, which I knew
such artists would appreciate more than
u kick ; so, turning to my companion, I
" Do you know, I believe this is a plan
to rob usr"'
" It can't be, can it V" he replled.with
an alarmed look.
"Yes," said I, "it is; that fellow, has
accomplices, and he means to get our
money. Do you go armed 1"' I con
tinued. " No," said he, "do you V"
" Alwavs i an American carries a tilntnl
as much as he carries a Jack-kn lfe.und he
isn't afraid to use it, either."
So I have heard." said the German.
looking wistfully out of the carriage.
But. vou wouldn't shoot a rnan.Woiilil
you V" he inquired.
" Let him try to rob me." said I. "and
you will see whether I will or not."
Just then the cab stopped at our des
tination. As we got out, I saw another
cab stop about half a square from us.
My companion made an excuse to step
across the street, and I passed into the
hall. Our simpleton was still there,
mellower than ever over his " 'ot
Scotch" He asked where my friend
was, and as he did not immediately ap
pear, said he would step out and hurry
him up. The porter had by this time
entered the room, though the bar-maid
had tried to stop him, and ordered some
some ale. He glanced at me significant
ly as the Englishman went out, and I
felt pretty sure the play was over. We
sipped our ale and waited, but no one re
turned. I went out and looked, but
could see nothing of either of them.
In about twenty minutes a large man
opened the door, looked in as if he ex
pected to find some one (I knew at a
glance that it was the "banker" friend
of the German, who had come to play
his part,) and then hastily withdrew.
We tarried some time longer, but It be
came apparent that my two confiding
friends had unceremoniously deserted
me, or had gone off and divided the poor
fund between them.
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ucutaut tier contraction.
n Penn township, May 1, 1S77.