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to make straight for the sanctum sanctorum,
the repository of the jewels which had
been prigged from the unfortunate
Maharajah. The sturdy O'Brallaghans kept close
to his very venerable heels, but Phil had been
left at the hotel, at his own request, upon the
plea of indisposition.

The general company seemed to regard
the three visitors with an interest, if not
respect. This touched my uncle. The public
made way for them with delicacy as they
approached; and left the little room, wherein the
ornaments were disposed, almost entirely clear
for their inspection. My revered relation was
enraptured with the gorgeous appearance of
the gems. He signed to his retainers to come
nearer, and begun, with his usual condescension
to explain to them the nature and the
value of the different stones. His own fingers
were adorned with more than one costly
diamond; and, motioning with his hand, in
order to give effect to some eloquent description,
his rings grated against the glass. At
the same instant, his riverence found his
arms fast pinioned by a couple of policemen,
and his whole body impelled between them
with considerable swiftness towards the
principal entrance. He perceived, by one backward
glance that the same attentions were being
paid, by four others of the force, to his two
followers, who nevertheless, resisted stoutly.
The whole cavalcade, however, now swelled
from three to nine, were soon in progress;
and the interest of the spectators in the
movements seemed at least to have increased in
proportion.

It was now become impossible for my uncle
to conceal from himself that he was actually
in custody. He was, it was clear, the victim
of some mistake, stupendous, almost beyond
human conception.

"My good man," said he, to the right-hand
policeman, for whose enormous error he
positively felt a sort of pity, in spite of his own
wretchedness, "you little know what you do;
I am the Dean——"

"O, don't I," interrupted the official,
sardonically; "the Dean of Ballygibbooney
isn't it ? I thought as much, and it was a very
pretty plant, I must say."

"Good heavens!" thought my uncle, "then
he really knows me! I must surely therefore
be the object of some political persecution;
but what does he mean by a pretty
plant?"

Once in the police-office, and out of the
concentrated gaze of the multitude, however,
the prisoner's fortitude and good sense
returned.

"Send to the Royal Hotel to my man
Philip O'Brallagan! " said he, "and all will
be explained."

The answer from the Royal Hotel arrived
as follows:

"Mr. Philip O'Brallagan presents his best
compliments to the inspector, and begs to
say that he has never so much as set eyes on
the Dean in question; from the description
given to him by the policeman, he is led to
believe that the impostor in custody was once
concerned in the said town of Ballygibbooney
in some disreputable transaction concerning
the cathedral organ."

Cousin Phil, you see, had never forgiven
my uncle for having dispossessed him of his
musical situation, his Celtic heart had
treasured up the wrong until this opportunity of
repaying it. He had written, over night,
to the inspector, anonymously, to warn
him of a sharper dressed in the Dean's apparel,
who, accompanied by two ruffianly
associates, would make an attempt the following
morning upon the Maharajah's jewels.
Measures were therefore taken for the
apprehension of the suspected malefactors, and my
uncle's diamond ring in contact with the
glass was the supposed commencement of
the robbery, and the signal for his immediate
apprehension.

A comparison of the hand-writings of
these two communications was the first thing
that caused the inspector to look less
balefully upon his prisoners, and to guess at the
hoax which had been played upon them; nor
was it until my uncle the Dean and his
company of martyrs to Phil's practical joke had
been confined some hours that such
explanations were entered into as effected their
release. The confidential Phil had, of course,
in the mean time decamped, and my uncle
the Dean only stayed long enough in
Manchester to pack up his semi-episcopal
garments and exchange them for a less ostentatious
suit.

MR CHARLES DICKENS'S
READINGS.
MR. CHARLES DICKENS will read at LIVERPOOL on the
18th, 19th, 20th, and 21st of August; at DUBLIN on the
23rd, 24th, 25th, and 26th; at BELFAST on the 27th and 28th; at CORK on the 30th and 31st of August; at LIMERICK on the 1st and 2nd of September; at HUDDERSFIELD
on the 8th; at WAKEFIELD on the 9th; at YORK on the 10th; at HARROWGATE on the 11th; at SCARBOROUGH on the 13th; at HULL on the14th of September.

Now ready, price Five Shillings and Sixpence,
bound in cloth,
THE SEVENTEENTH VOLUME
OF
HOUSEHOLD WORDS.
Containing the Numbers issued between the Nineteenth
of December last year, and the Twelfth of June in
the present year.
To be had of all Booksellers.

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