“Let me go,” roared I, struggling; but he only held me the faster. I tussled with the man until my coat and shirt were torn, but in vain; the crowd now assembled, and I was fast. The fact was, that a pickpocket had been exercising his vocation at the time that I was running past, and from my haste, and loss of my hat, I was supposed to be the criminal. The police took charge of me—I pleaded innocence in vain, and I was dragged before the magistrate, at Marlborough Street. My appearance, the disorder of my dress, my coat and shirt in ribbons, with no hat, were certainly not at all in my favour, when I made my appearance, led in by two Bow Street officers.
“Whom have we here?” inquired the magistrate.
“A pickpocket, sir,” replied they.
“Ah! one of the swell mob,” replied he. “Are there any witnesses?”
“Yes, sir,” replied a young man, coming forward. “I was walking up Bond Street, when I felt a tug at my pocket, and when I turned round, this chap was running away.”
“Can you swear to his person?”
There were plenty to swear that I was the person who ran away.
“Now, sir, have you anything to offer in your defence?” said the magistrate.
“Yes, sir,” replied I; “I certainly was running down the street; and it may be, for all I know or care, that this person’s pocket may have been picked—but I did not pick it. I am a gentleman.”
“All your fraternity lay claim to gentility,” replied the magistrate; “perhaps you will state why you were running down the street.”
“I was running after a carriage, sir, that I might speak to the person inside of it.”
“Pray who was the person inside?”
“I do not know, sir.”
“Why should you run after a person you do not know.”
“It was because of his nose.”
“His nose?” replied the magistrate, angrily. “Do you think to trifle with me, sir? You shall now follow your own nose to prison. Make out his committal.”
“As you please, sir,” replied I; “but still I have told you the truth; if you will allow any one to take a note, I will soon prove my respectability. I ask it in common justice.”
“Be it so,” replied the magistrate; “let him sit down within the bar till the answer comes.”
In less than an hour, my note to Major Carbonnell was answered by his appearance in person, followed by Timothy. Carbonnell walked up to the magistrate, while Timothy asked the officers in an angry tone, what they had been doing to his master. This rather startled them, but both they and the magistrate were much surprised when the Major asserted that I was his most particular friend, Mr Newland, who possessed ten thousand pounds per annum, and who was as well known in fashionable society, as any young man of fortune about town. The magistrate explained what had passed, and asked the Major if I was not a little deranged; but the Major, who perceived what was the cause of my strange behaviour, told him that somebody had insulted me, and that I was very anxious to lay hold of the person, who had avoided me, and who must have been in that carriage.