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About The Albany register. (Albany, Or.) 1868-18?? | View Entire Issue (June 5, 1869)
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ALBANY, OREGON, SATURDAY, JUNE 5, 1869. NO. 39.
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SATURDAY', JliXE 5 TfTGLh
The Staring' Statue u:t the Corner.
IXSERTSD AT TBI RBQCEST OP FOCR THOUSAND
Standing on the sidewalk,
fiuking my cigar.
Nothing under heaven
My delight can war.
Staring at the laities,
Surely what a treat,
rtle.'i. tne ! this is ileiis.ut,
Lufiii on the street.
High and lowly poopls,
Men nf every station,
Kushing madly by me,
Each iu his vacation.
Look at me with envy,
Laughing for my pleasure
Wishing they were also
Happy nion of leisure.
Looks of admiration
i'roin the la-lies fair.
Speak their approbation ;
While their smiles declare
That I please their fancy,
AVith my looks so line,
Aud, iu fact, pronouuee mi
Kightly, quite divine.
Ancient maiden lady
Walking .titSy by.
Acts as if she liked not
J-'ellows such as I.
This her outward seeming.
In warily, I know
That she can but think ma
Quite a handsome beau.
Young and pretty maiden
'ripping down the streut.
Blushes when her glance
Happens mine to meet ;
Looks a little pouty
As it she'd like to say,
Impatient young fellow,
Look the other way."
All the while I'm certain
That she likes me wll :
Sure I am she's fluttered
Mure than she can tell
To recoive the homage
Cf a man s j line,
Ona who rightly boastcth
Whiskers so- divine.
Staring at the ladies,
Surely what a treat ;
Bless me ! this is pleasant.
Loafing on the street.
The Mysterious Thief.
Less than forty years ago, in a certain
country town of England, lived Mr. John
Scott, head of the constabulary, so astute
a thief-catcher, that his friends thought
it a pity he should throw his win away
upon provincial vagabonds, and not give
them broad and noble scope as a Bow
street runner. His enemies, the local
scoundrels, thought the same ; bat con
tented themselves with observing darkly ;
"that he was so sharp that he would one
day probably cut himself," or that "lie
was too clever to live." In spite of these
intellectual advantages, or in consequence
of them, Mr. Scott was as vain as a pea
cock, and made the not uncommon mis
take of imagining himself even a cleverer
fellow than lie really was. He kept the
little town (for it was a little one then)
so clear of evil doers, and got so compli
mented thereupon by the Bench of
Magistrates, that he could not conceive
that any misdemeanor could be commit
ted which his sagacity should be unable
to ferret out, or should fail to i bring it
home to the true culprit. "I don't pre
tend for to say," was one of his favorite
remarks, "as J was never puzzled in my
profession, but this I will say, as no man
ever took me in twice ;" and then he
would resume his pipe with the air of a
man who has modestly confessed to a
weakness, which no other person would
have dreamed of attributing to him.
Even his wife believed in Mr. John
"Burglary at Sir Egbert Air's last
eight,'' Baid h sentcntiously, as he sat
emoking after supper in his snug little
parlor, one summer evening, while his
wife mixed his gin punch after his own
"You have got the wretches, of course,"
observed Mrs. Scott, paring the lemon
peel so that you could Bee through it, "or
else it would not be my John."
t"Well, no," returned the great man,
rightly appropriating the last observation
as a compliment rather than an expres
sion nf doubt as to his personal identity.
"The fact is, it's very queer ; but I have
not got the wretches. I shall have them
to-morrow, but at present they are abso
lutely at large."
"Lor, John 1 I can scarcely believe
you when you tell me. Why, bow on
earth could they have got away from
you? They could not have been ordin
"You are right, ma'am," returned the
Chief Constable, with a gratified look j
"you have hit the nail exactly on the
head. They were not ordinary men ;
they were acrobats."
"Acrobats I" auswered Mrs. Scott, j
softly ; "dear lue !'' j
She had uo very acurate idea of what
acrobats were ; they might be a religious
sect, or ihey might be a savage tribe, or,
possibly, even both. But she had long
passed for a woman of sense and sagacity,
though maintaining a discreet silence
except when her husband's talents seem
ed to demand her eulogies, and she was
not going to risk that reputation now.
She had a full share of the curiosity of
her sex, but she had more than their
ordinary patience. She waited to be in
formed upon the subject in question,
without hazarding the remark, which
occurred to her, that acrobats had white
hair and piuk eyes, and therefore could
at least be easily recognized by the con
stabulary ; and she had not to wait long.
''Yes, it must have been them tumb
lers," mused Mr. Scott, sipping his punch
out of the teaspoon ; "and less than three
and the toy could never' have done it.
It was her ladyship's dressing room
window, as looks out on the back, as they
broke in at, aud no ladder could have
been put there, because of the flower
stand. It must have been the little devil
in the tights and spangles at top of the
three others. I have measured the night
from the ground, and it just tallies.
That's what comes of allowing them itin
erants to bo in the place at all. The idea
of the mayor letting them have the Town
Hall to show their tricks in ! I'd put a
stop to everything of that sort, if I had
my way; and I will do it, too, in the
"But you will not interfere with Mr.
Shaw, John. I do hope, since he has been
so pleasant and civil."
"Xo, ma'am, no. Mr. Shaw is a man
of eminence, in his line, and what is more,
a man of substance. Mr. Shaw's exhibi
tion is itinerant, it is true, but that is
true, but that is from the necessity of the
case. Ais co'lectioa of wild animals is
interesting in a high degree, as the editor
was observing to me only yesterday. But
them acrobats is quite another matter.
However, lissom as they are, they must
run a little faster, and climb a little
higher, I can promise them, before they
can get out of the reach of John Scott."
"They stood upon one another's should
ers, and the boy clambered up them, I
"Yes, ma'am, that was their ingenious
method; and if they had to do with a
corrmon mind though I say it wLo
should not say it the manner in which
the thing was done would have remained
a mystery. If the ladder had been used,
it must needs have made some mark upon
the mignonette box. The men were all
agape when I stated that circumstance,
and began locking up in the air as though
some bird had done it. But, of course,
when I said, 'Them tumblers !' they saw
everything clear enough. Sir Robert,
who assisted our investigations in person,
was so good as to say that I reminded
him of Christopher Columbus and his
"You don't say so I" said Mrs. Scott,
admiringly, and wondering within herself
what the story was, and whether Mr?
Christopher Columbus could possibly
have been an oviparous animal. "And
did her ladyship lose much ?"
"Some ring3 and pins, and three or
four pounds in gold. Curiously enough,
there was a bundle of bank notes upon
the dressing table which entirely escaped
the young rogue's attention, or her loss
would have been much more serious."
"And yet, he was such a frank-faced,
honest looking little fellow, that I never
should have thought harm of him," said
good natured Mrs. Scott ; "but of course
"Well, most probably," observed her
lord and master with a short, dry chuckle.
"By 10 o'clock to-morrow morting.when
the justices meet, we shall have this
honest looking young gentleman and his
friends in the town hall, taking part in a
public performance of another kind than
that with which they favored the town
last week. And then we shall ee what
we shall see."
Mr. Scott arose, took his official hat
down from its peg, and prepared to go
his rounds, a nightly precaution he sel
dom omitted, notwithstanding the absence
of all native criminals from his strictly
preserved territory ; as for the acrobats,
they had Sed with the first dawn of morn
ing, and were not likely to return tiii
they were brought buck ; but he had
dispatched two of his small "force" in
pursuit of them,- and hencr there was
more need of his personal vigilance.
"I shall be back at 2, as uual, my
dear, if not before," said Mr. John Scott.
About 2 a. !., from long habit, tho
wife of the Chief Constable w:i3 accus
tomed to awake, aud pieseutly to hear
her husband's heavy footfall coming up
the stairs ; but upon the present occasion
there was no such welcome sound. She
sat up in bed with her night cap tucked
behind her cars, and listened attentively
but in vain, fur him. Notwithstanding
his precarious calling, Mr. Seott was a
model of punctuality, and as time, (which,
iii her opinion, was almost the only thing
that could do it) went on without him,
she began to be seriously alarmed lest
this admirable man, whom human inge
nuity had never yet baffled, had been
overwhelmed by envious fate. There
had been thunder in tho air that night,
and a bolt might have struck him. But
at daylight she heard the front door open,
and a slow tread come up the stairs. The
wife of a Chief Constable should be above
the suspicion of trepidation, but it was so
unlike his ordinary step, that it made her
heart go pitapat. However, it was her
husband, whose noble spirit, something
had evidently cast down. Instead of
kicking his boots across the room, as
usual, he drew them off, and theu sat in
his stockings, thinkiur.
"John," said she, in much confusion
and alarm, "what is the matter, my dear?
Have you not caught them albatrosses ?
I mean albinos."
"Yes, ma'am, they're safe enough.
But the deuce of it is that in their ab
sence there has been ancther burglary.
3Irs. Col. Pewit's house has been broken
into just in the same way through the
second floor back window. It's nothing
less than magic, for that had a mignon
ette box, and there is no mark of a ladder
to be found there neither. I've had my
bull's eye over every square inch of it."
"Lor, John !"
"There was nobody in the room," went
on the Chief Constable, musing, "and the
window was open, so that the thing might
have been done easy enough, when he
had once got there. But how did he did
he get there that's the question unless
the devil had wings."
"But the devil has wings," was Mrs.
Scott's involuntary exclamation ; the
good lady was so flustered by her late
anxiety, that for once she spoke in a hur
ry. "You will presently cause me to imag
ine that 1 have made a second mistake
in my life, ma'am in the having married
a fool," was her husband's stern rejoinder.
Then he went on soliloquizing. "The
thief, whoever he was, took the same
things rings and pins, and such like
but he also took a plated inkstand. That
looks as if he did not know his trade.
And yet, to have effected an entrance
just where nobody would have thought
such a thing practicable, he must have
been most uncommon cunning. Cunning?
No, for then I should see the thing as
plain as the church tower. It's down
right unaccountable. How it is humanly
possible that things can be stole out of a
second story floor window without a lad
der, or anything to climb up by, unless
it was a water spout, that's what I want
to know. And what's more, even if he
got up, how did he ever get down again?''
Hearing these remarks put aloud, and
in an interrogative form, Mrs. Scott
thought it incumbent on her to speak,
and the more so, as she had ingeniously
elaborated a theory of her own to account
for the whole mystery.
"If nobody could have got in from th
outside, John, people as was inside could
have done it easy enough. . It was one of
them trapesing servant girls, who dresses
so fine, and is always wanting money to
buy gew-gaws, you may take my word
for it." -, :
"I don't suppose, ma'am," returned
the Chief Constable, with supreme con
tempt, "that the Bench of Justices would
take your word for it,' even if I was
weak enough to do so which I am not.
The servants are all above suspicion, both
at Sir llobert's aud Mrs. Peewit's that
was the first thing ; as we looked to. of
course. But even if it were otherwise,
df you suppose that thieving is an epi
demic, that it should break out in one
household to-day, and in another to
morrow, "as this has done? You bad
better go to sleep, ma'am, and leave me
to think the matter out alone." Which,
accordingly, this great man, having
drawn his night cap on, the better to
consider in, proceeded to do. "Two bur
glaries on two iollowing nights, iu a town
under his personal superintendence, and
nobody yet in custody ! He had Dever
imagined such a blot could befall his
'scutcheon ! It was not impossible, in a
town so slenderly guarded, that a ladder
might have been employed without de
tection, but, most certainly, in neither of
these cases had such an instrument been
used. The flower boxes had, in both
instances, projected beyond the sill; so
that the top of any ladder must have
rested ou them aud left its mark. There
was also uo trace of the foot of it on the
soil below or sin of an attempt to
remove such trace although, in the case
of Sir Robert's house, there was a flower
bed immediately beneath the window."
Mr. Scott, in short, brought all of his
intelligence to bear upon this problem in
vain, and nothing came of it but headache.
whole town was iu
state of intense alarm. The previous
robbery had created much excitement
among the inhabitants, but not so much
on account of the crime as of the sagac
ious manner in which their Chief Con
stable had discovered the mode of depre
dation ; but now, nut only had a second
outrage been committed, but the fact of
its occurrence while the acrobats were
away had proved their innocence of this
particular offense (though the magistrate,
not knowing how else to account for their
seizure, committed them for a. month as
rogues and vagabonds), and negatived
31 r. John Scott's solution of the riddle
altogether. The Chairman of the Bench,
who had been accustomed to suck that
official's brains before addressing his au
dieuce in the Town Hall, had nothing to
say upon the subject except to recommend
the people to shut their second floor
windows, which, since it was very warm
weather, and most of them cultivated
flower boxes, did not give general satis
faction. The next, night the Mayor's own house
was robbed in a precisely similar manner.
It was on Friday, and the local papers,
which came out tho next day, published
second and third editions, to describe the
details. Besides tho burglary, a sort of
sacrilege had been committed. The thief
had actually possessed himself of the
Municipal Maca. This beautiful object,
although not intrinsically valuable, had
apparently excited his greed, for he had
dragged it out of its case as far as a
window, and thence let it fall with a
report that had alarmed the house, and
dented the grouud below. When the
door was opened, however, (which the
servants declined to do until the "proper
authorities" arrived), the marauder had
vanished, and with him this Emblem of
Authority, as well as a pair of his Lord
ship's boot-hooks. There happened to be
nothing kept in that room but the May
or's boots and the town mace. But the
incident was, of course, as distressing to
Mr. John Scott as though the regalia
had been plundered. He felt that his
great reputation was giving way under
these repeated shocks ; while the rest of
the constabulary were of course over
whelmed with disgrace ; and the Tory
newspaper openly advocated "stringent
measures" and the calling out of the
"I suppose," sighed his wife, upon this
Saturday afternoon, "there is no ehance
of your going with me to-night to the
show ? And yet it seems such a pitty,
after that civil Mr. Shaw has sent us
these tickets ; and you know I never en
joy anything let it be wild beastesses,
or what notwithout you, John. How
fine they look, with this picture of the
lion and the unicorn though the bill
says as the unicorn is dead with Shaw's
S7ioic, 'patronized by all -the crowned
heads of Europe,' and 'admit the bearer,'
with his autograph in tha corner, in red
ink ! Why. the Mayor's own invitations
are not more splendid."
that makes me' think of ine mace," re
plied, the husband with a shiver. "I
don't wish to see any show but one, and
that's the man that'stolo that mace, with
a pair of handcuffs on him, or, what
would be better still, a standing underr
neath a bit of wood, with a rope round
his neck, and a parson by his side. But
there, it's no good wishing. Upon my
life, I sometimes wonder if the devil
himself is not doing it to vex me."
"Lor, John, you make me creep !"
"Well, 1 can't make you fly, I reckon,"
replied Mr. Scott, surlily ; "and yet that's
what this fellow can do, confound him !
He's like a bird of the air a bird of
j through the deep Summer stillness,
j sounded a humau step, which, albeit not
j that she was expectiog, seemed familiar
I to her. It was a step which, although' it
moved with quicknes, had slight liinp
such as she had noticed in , the cait of
of the Mavr, woman, for i Ml'- Shaw., lot he had hlmselt awsurea
7 ' ...
ner mat very evening limine was a man
of early habits, and always! shut ' up his
house on heel before twelve o'clock. It
was most unlikely that on the night of
his fete, of all nights, he should have
made an exception to thii salutary prac
tice ; and yet she knew uo other step than
bis like that step. It stopped beneath
the window, aud then there was a sliding,
scrambling noise, as though something
were struggling up the wafer-pipe that
ran down the side of the house, j and she
felt at once that the mystery of these
nightly thefts was about to be solved.
Siie was frightened, of course ; but she
did not shut her eyes and put her head
under the bedclothes, as most ladies
would have done under the circumstan
ces ; on the contrary, she stared so hard
at the window, that the sides seemed to
meet and have no window at all. Or
was it that the space had become obscur
ed by the presence of the "marauder.
Yes, that was it; and what a marauder 1
The face of the intruder she could not
catch ; but she saw that he was quite
black, very inadequately attired, and pro
vided with a long tail. The late impru
dent reply of hers to her husband, "But
the devil has wings," came to her mind
with terrible emphasis. No wonder that '
even the Chief Constable's vigilance had
Ah, that face ! There was no mis
taking those very strikingly marked fea
tures ? It was, without doubt, her late ad
mirer, tho ribbon-faced baboon ; and
whether from motives of delicacy or fear,
Mrs. Scott did dive under the bedclothes
then, with only her nose left out to
breathe through, like the elephant when
under water, as Mr. Shaw had instruct
ively informed her three hours ago.
She could hear a little, however, as well
as breathe , and she distinctly caught the '
quiet chuckle of her visitor, and " the
chink of her rings as he swept them off
the dressing-table with his hairy paws.
Presently there was a shrill whistle from
below, and the chuckling ceased; and theu .
came the sliding, scrambling noise again.
The ribbed-faced baboon had put the
rings in his mouth having no pocket
and slid down the water-spout to its
master with the spoil.
"John," cried Mrs. Scott, when the
Chief Constable put in his long-wished-for
appearance, and as soon as ho had
got inside of the door, "I've found it all
"Pshaw!" said her husband, contempt
uously. "Lor," cried she, "well you are a
.wonder ! How ever did you find out it
was Mr. Shaw and his ribbed-faced bab
"Never you mind, ma'm," rejoined Mr.
Scott, with his old confident air; "I
have found it out. And now let me hear
how far your testimony goes in corrobo
ration of my views."
The next day, "from information re
ceved," as he darkly hinted, the Chief
Costable apprehended the keeper of the
menagerie, and searched his house on
wheels with such effect that all tbe stol
en property was recovered. Mr. Shaw, it
appeared, had trained the ribbed-faced
baboon to climb up water-spouts and
sweep from dressing-tables all articles
that glittered, which accounted for his
taking the plated inkstand and the mu
nicipal mace. If his educatoin had been
suffered to progress, ho would doubtless,
in time have been taught to carry off
bank notes and railway dividends. But,
thanks to Mrs. Scott, his occupation was
henceforth gone. The Chief Constable,
however, got all the credit for the dis
covery, and was held by everybody, in
cluding his wife, in higher estimation for
sagacity than ever. It was true that he
had been at fault at first, and in more
than one instance ; but then, as he him
self observed : "I may say as no man
ever took me in twice for this was not
a han but a bape." '
The above eurious incident happened
at Shrewsbury in 1834, and was, without
doubt, the circumstance on which Edgar
Poe founded his famous Btory of "The
"Well, John, do you know I can't help
sometimes thinking only I would not
have mentioned it unless you had that,
perhaps, after all, it is a bird ! You
know a magpie is a thief by nature ."
"And so you suppose a magpie could
have stolen the town mace, do you?
Why, you arc a greater fool than the
"I forgot the mac, John," observed
Mrs. Scott, humbly.
"I wish I could forget it," growled the
Chief Constable. "You had better put
on your bonnet and take my ticket round
the corner to Mrs. Jones, who will be
glad enough to go with you ; only take
care Shaw don't keep you both, and put
you in a cage for a pair of owls. There,
I am sorry to be so rude, Mrs. Scott ;
but the fact is, I feel as I shall go out of
my mind unless I tackle this mjstery ;
and I must be left alone to think it out."
So Mrs. Scott, obedient wife as she
was, attired herself in gorgeous apparel,
and accompanied by her friend and
neighbor, the parish doctor's wife, hon
ored Mr. Shaw's menagerie with her
presence. It was a sort of fete which
that practical student of Natural History
(which included some knowledge of
mankind) had given to the inhabitants
of the town, and everything was on a
very splendid scale. The show wis lit
up by rows of chandeliers, made of cir
clets of wood and candles, from the latter
of which, as they of necessity hucg very
low, the tallow dripped upon tbe heads
of the company ; but that was not found
out till the next morning.
The floor and cages had been thorough
ly swept and garnished, and some attempt
had euen been made, by means of un
guents and spices, to mitigate the odor
that hangs about all establishments - de
voted to tqe reception of wild beasts.
But it must be confessed that this last
refinement was a failure it was like the
jar of attar, which, "do what you will,
the scent of the rcscs would cling to it
still;" only in this case the perfume was
the result of a combination ; the hyena
and the muskrat, the royal Bengal tiger
and the marmoset, each contributed their
soupcon. In place of he usual showman,
Mr. Shaw, himself, with an elegant white
wand, pointed out the various objects of
interest, explained their habits, and nar
rated anecdotes of their extraordinary
sagacity. The monkey-cages, as usual,
were the chief attraction ; their innocent
gambols, and the remarkable penchant
they exhibited for biting each others
tails, were the admiration of the behold
er. Mrs. Scott, while regarding these
parodies upon mankind, with a contem
plative air, was very nearly indeed, lit
erally within half an inch or so paying
a great penalty for her philosophic ab
straction. A ribbed-faced baboon of gi
gantic size, looking not unlike one of
Mr. Cooper s Indian heroes in his war
paint, made a snatch at her fingers,
which, loaded with rings, happened to be
ungloved, for she had just been taking
"Your charms even vanquish the brute
creation, Mrs. Scott," observed the clerk
gallantly ; "the enamored' animal seeks
"Yes; but, like the rest of the male
sex, for what is in it, or on it," replied
Mrs. Jones, who had been an heiress in
a small way, till her husband removed
from her that invidious distinction by
spending all her nioney.
The ribbed-faced baboon screamed with
disappointment, and swung by his rope
headforemost, and with hb eyes shut, for
the rest of the "evening.
It was one A. M. and the Chief Con
stable's wife had been in bed since mid
night, but $he had not yet fallen asleep.
She was awaiting the arrival of Mr. Scott,
in hopes that he might have some good
news to tell her, or to comfort her with
his sympathy in case be'hadn't. It was
a beautiful night, and she had left , the
window - open, through which the soft
fresh aiif came gratefully enough after the
atmosphere of the menagerie. She would
be able' to catch the majestic footfall of
her lord while it was yet a great way off,
and she was listening for it. Presently
Murder in the Rue Morgue."
The true stories of absent men cannot
be exceeded. . We know a man who has,
more than once or twice, put on his spec
tacles to help him to look for them.
We are inclined to - believe, from the
manner in which it first reached us, the
anecdote of Sir Thomas Strange, the
Indian judge, who found on paying a
visit, that his friend was not in, and that
he had forgotten his own name. - . '
"I'll call again. J Never mind my
"Sir, master always likes to know th
names of gentlemen who call." '
"Why, to tell the truth, I have for
gotten my name." ; !
"That's strange, sir."
"So it is, my man. You've hit h."
And he went away leaving the servant
quite in the dark.
' . i
f .it . " i 1