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additions at South Kensington, he was familiar with the best pieces thien on the boards at the different theatres, he was ready with an anecdote, always apposite and telling, about a picture or an actor. In short, he proved himself a very intelligent agreeable companion, and the evening passed away most pleasantly.
The next morning the painter's apparatus, easel, canvas, etc., were placed ready in the hall, that no time might be lost before Mr. Jones commenced operations. The day began, as it had closed, with family prayers—the cook and scullery maid did not appear, but the ladies' maid, who had been absent the evening before, was now in her place.
Her appearance in the room seemed to have an instant, electric effect upon Mr. Jones. She was, no doubt, a strikingly fine looking young woman, but it was not altogether a flash of admiration that shot from his eye as it rested upon her. Major Johnson saw it, and was somewhat perplexed , Mrs. Johnson, too, noticed it-it was so marked, and she was almost scandalized at the eager manner with which the artist's eyes were fixed upon her pretty ladies' maid. She herself seemed wholly unconscious of the notice she was attracting. But what was the amazement of Major Johnson? What, the horror of Mrs. Johnson, when, at the conclusion of prayers, as the servants were filing out, Mr. Jones walked abruptly across the room and, without any ceremony, laid his hands firmly upon Miss Jemima's shoulders and exclaimed, " Jimmie, my boy, can it be you ?-have I unearthed you at last ?-we have been wanting you for the last four months, for that little affair in Eaton Place.” And without more ado he drew out of his trouser pocket a most elegant pair of handcuffs and secured his fair delinquent before she could leave the room.
Closing the door, that the other servants might not overhear, he turned to Mrs. Johnson, who he knew had not been let into the secret that the would-be animal painter was really a detective, “I must apologise," he said, "for the seeming liberty I am taking, but I confess my own surprise is scarcely less than yours. When Major Johnson reported yesterday at Scotland Yard that these pilferings were going on, I thought that probably some one of an unhappily large class, with which we are familiar, who vary their amusements between pocketpicking, shop lifting, and retiring for a time into the private life of domestic service, under a fictitious character, might have found her way into your establishment. But I was little
prepared to find this young gentleman, who would flatter himself he is of a far higher order. I can assure you, madam, he is
worth to me more than a dozen ordinary pilfering maid servants. I apprehend him on a warrant, already out, for a heavy burglary in Eaton Place. But it may be well to follow up our investigation as to his doings while in your house."
Now the murder was indeed out. Major Johnson had at once formed his plan—he would bring down “a detective" from Scotland Yard-the character of an animal painter would just suit his purpose. Of course, the letter from his friend Henderson was a harmless fiction. It was easy to account for the general artistic knowledge of Mr. Jones. In his character of detective he had, no doubt, been a constant visitor at Burlington House, South Kensington, and the leading theatres, and was thus admirably suited to carry out his artist rôle, and to sustain so effectively a conversation on general art.
Of course the young ladies were at first indignant, and utterly incredulous; they steadily refused to be convinced of their favourite's guilt, until accompanying the detective to Jemima's bedroom, her box being searched ; missing locket, ring brooch, and several other trinkets not yet missed, were found carefully stowed away. The little box in which the missing treasures were found, was so carefully closed up, that it seemed to indicate that a flitting was near; the housekeeper was sent for, the would-be ladies' maid must be searched ; then came to her confusion worst confounded, that morning's post had brought her a letter which was still in her pocket; in vain had she tried to twist her hands in that direction, but the handcuffs rendered that manœuvre impossible. The letter formed the crowning discovery, the plot was ripe for that very evening; a ladder was to be placed in a sheltered corner, at the root of some laurel bushes, the window of the young ladies room was to be slightly opened, the door to their mamma's room which adjoined, to be" on the jar"; and while the family were all unconsciously enjoying their dinners, a regular clearout was to be made.
For the present, the first thing to be done was to carry off the prisoner. But before taking him away the detective disclosed to the family his antecedents. His real name James Clark; he had been a precocious boy in a City school, eventually apprenticed to a hairdresser in Cheapside ; his pretty girl-like face and gentle ways had suggested him as a fitting tool to a band of burglars; it was easy for him to play the woman, easier still to obtain a false character. A few months before he had played this part in a very extensive burglary in Eaton Place. This time the major's energy had
ensured his capture, and prevented a second burglary being committed. The brougham was brought round, closely shut up,
and landed them at the railway station just as the up train was driving in. Out of one of the carriages sprang a young man, rather jauntily dressed, whose eye instantly fell on the fair Jemima, and passed quick as thought from her to her formidable companion ; their eyes met in mutual recognition. The young man had come up to make a preliminary survey, but the capture of his confederate told him that the game was up. That afternoon a telegram came to Major Johnson, assuring the ladies that they need fear no visitors that evening.
J. C. B.
At the County Ball.
Do you not know the Lady Fay?
She's haply found in all degrees,
Reveals to all her wish to please.
You can see at the dance to-night,
How she graciously tries to amuse
Who so likes to look at his shoes.
He's bashful, sometimes, and 'tis a work
Of merit as of charity,
His ethical disparity.
'Tis true that grace he seldom brings
To conduct or to speech,
Are p'raps beyond his reach.
'Tis true his character's not nice,
And that the old Sir Fred
And cursed him from his bed.
Pray, why should a widow with sorrow be seized
When sorrow is always in call ? The world, and herself, will not be displeased
If her cap is becoming-and small.
She's selfish, you say–P'raps 'tis so ;
But if at all analytical,
She's not au plus hypocritical.
Au moins, so it seems, Lady Fay;
But while we admit it's delicious, Your mood, fascinating, toujours gai,
May be just a trifle suspicious.
These smiles are like the sun in spring-
Not warm, though bright and beaming ; Betraying birds to pipe and sing
With all its summer seeming.