Japhet, in Search of a Father eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 432 pages of information about Japhet, in Search of a Father.
I waited till the lady rose to go away, and then addressed the shopman, asking the lady’s name.  He did not know—­she was a stranger; but perhaps Mr H——­, the master, did, and he went back to answer the question.  Mr H——­ being at that moment busy, the man stayed so long, that I heard the carriage drive off.  Fearful of losing sight of the lady, I took to my heels, and ran out of the shop.  My sudden flight from the counter, covered with lace, made them imagine that I had stolen some, and they cried out, “Stop thief,” as loud as they could, springing over the counter, and pursuing me as I pursued the carriage, which was driven at a rapid pace.

A man perceiving me running, and others, without their hats, following, with the cries of “Stop thief,” put out his leg, and I fell on the pavement, the blood rushing in torrents from my nose.  I was seized, roughly handled, and again handed over to the police, who carried me before the same magistrate in Marlborough Street.

“What is this?” demanded the magistrate.

“A shoplifter, your worship.”

“I am not, sir,” replied I; “you know me well enough, I am Mr Newland.”

“Mr Newland!” replied the magistrate, suspiciously; “this is strange, a second time to appear before me upon such a charge.”

“And just as innocent as before, sir.”

“You’ll excuse me, sir, but I must have my suspicions this time.  Where is the evidence?”

The people of the shop then came forward, and stated what had occurred. 
“Let him be searched,” said the magistrate.

I was searched, but nothing was found upon me.  “Are you satisfied now, sir?” inquired I.

“By no means.  Let the people go back and look over their laces, and see if any are missing; in the meantime I shall detain you, for it is very easy to get rid of a small article, such as lace, when you are caught.”

The men went away, and I wrote a note to Major Carbonnell, requesting his attendance.  He arrived at the same time as the shopman, and I told him what had happened.  The shopman declared that the stock was not correct; as far as they could judge, there were two pieces of lace missing.

“If so, I did not take them,” replied I.

“Upon my honour, Mr B——­,” said the Major, to the magistrate, “it is very hard for a gentleman to be treated in this manner.  This is the second time that I have been sent for to vouch for his respectability.”

“Very true, sir,” replied the magistrate; “but allow me to ask Mr Newland, as he calls himself, what induced him to follow a lady into the shop?”

“Her ear-rings,” replied I.

“Her ear-rings! why, sir, the last time you were brought before me, you said it was after a gentleman’s nose—­now it appears you were attracted by a lady’s ears; and pray, sir, what induced you to run out of the shop?”

“Because I wanted particularly to inquire about her ear-rings, sir.”

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Japhet, in Search of a Father from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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