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the value of the jewels, and the entire
execration of all your neighbours and every
private friend of your domestics. But, happily,
the Inspector promptly sends a plain, earnest-
looking man, who announces himself as one
of the two Detectives of the X division. He
settles the whole matter in ten minutes.
His examination is ended in five. As a
connoisseur can determine the painter of a
picture at the first glance, or a wine-taster
the precise vintage of a sherry by the merest
sip; so the Detective at once pounces upon
the authors of the work of art under
consideration, by the style of performance; if not
upon the precise executant, upon the " school"
to which he belongs. Having finished the
toilette branch of the inquiry, he takes a
short view of the parapet of your house, and
makes an equally cursory investigation of the
attic window fastenings. His mind is made
up, and most likely he will address you in
these words:—

"All right, Sir. This is done by one of
' The Dancing School! '"

"Good Heavens! " exclaims your
plundered partner. " Impossible, why our children
go to Monsieur Pettitoes, of No. 81, and I
assure you he is a highly respectable professor.
As to his pupils, I—"

The Detective smiles and interrupts.
"Dancers," he tells her, " is a name given
to the sort of burglar by whom she had been
robbed; and every branch of the thieving
profession is divided into gangs, which are termed
' Schools.' " From No. 82 to the end of the
street the houses are unfinished. The thief
made his way to the top of one of these, and
crawled to your garret—"

"But we are forty houses distant, and why
did he not favour one of my neighbours with
his visit? " you ask.

"Either their uppermost stories are not so
practicable, or the ladies have not such
valuable jewels."

"But how do they know that?"

"By watching and inquiry. This affair
may have been in action for more than a
month. Your house has been watched; your
habits ascertained; they have found out when
you dinehow long you remain in the dining-
room. A day is selected; while you are
busy dining, and your servants busy waiting
on you, the thing is done. Previously, many
journeys have been made over the roofs, to
find out the best means of entering your
house. The attic is chosen; the robber gets
in, and creeps noiselessly, or 'dances ' into the
place to be robbed."

"Is there any chance of recovering our
property? " you ask anxiously, seeing the
whole matter at a glance.

"I hope so. I have sent some brother
officers to watch the Fences' houses."


"Fences," explains the Detective, in reply
to your innocent wife's inquiry, "are
purchasers of stolen goods. Your jewels will
be forced out of their settings, and the gold

The lady tries, ineffectually, to suppress a
slight scream.

"We shall see, if, at this unusual hour of
the night, there is any bustle in or near any
of these places; if any smoke is coming out of
any one of their furnaces, where the melting
takes place. I shall go and seek out the
precise ' garretter 'that's another name
these plunderers give themselveswhom I
suspect. By his trying to ' sell ' your domestics
by placing the ring and toothpick in their
bed, I think I know the man. It is just in his

The next morning, you find all these
suppositions verified. The Detective calls, and
obliges you at breakfast after a sleepless
night with a complete list of the stolen
articles, and produces some of them for
identification. In three months, your wife
gets nearly every article back; her damsels'
innocence is fully established; and the thief
is taken from his " school " to spend a long
holiday in a penal colony.

This is a mere common-place transaction,
compared with the achievements of the staff
of the little army of Detective policemen at
head-quarters. Sometimes they are called
upon to investigate robberies; so executed,
that no human ingenuity appears to
ordinary observers capable of finding the thief.
He leaves not a trail or a trace. Every clue
seems cut off; but the experience of a
Detective guides him into tracks quite invisible
to other eyes. Not long since, a trunk was
rifled at a fashionable hotel. The theft was
so managed, that no suspicion could rest on
any one. The Detective sergeant who had
been sent for, fairly owned, after making a
minute examination of the case, that he could
afford no hope of elucidating the mystery.
As he was leaving the bed-room, however, in
which the plundered portmanteau stood, he
picked up an ordinary shirt-button from the
carpet. He silently compared it with those
on the shirts in the trunk. It did not match
them. He said nothing, but hung about the
hotel for the rest of the day. Had he been
narrowly watched, he would have been set
down for an eccentric critic of linen. He was
looking out for a shirt-front or wristband
without a button. His search was long and
patient; but at length it was rewarded. One
of the inmates of the house showed a
deficiency in his dress, which no one but a Detective
would have noticed. He looked as
narrowly as he dared at the pattern of the
remaining fasteners. It corresponded with
that of the little tell-tale he had picked
up. He went deeper into the subject, got a
trace of some of the stolen property,
ascertained a connexion between it and the sus-
pected person, confronted him with the owner
of the trunk, and finally succeeded in convicting
him of the theft.—At another hotel-robbery,
the blade of a knife, broken in the lock of a