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satisfaction, for as the purchaser disappeared with his bargain, the old man turned into the apartment, and, for a somewhat longer space than before, seemed to forget that his wares were not overlooked. The neglect was fatal ; when he next surveyed the board, there was missing a pair of the best half boots on it! He looked a second time, to convince himself that his eyes had not deceived him, and the thought passed through his mind as he found their vacant place only too palpable, that he wished the thief had taken the long hidden shoes instead. He looked up the street and down the street, in order to discover some trace of the offender, but to no purpose; then began to cry aloud for the servants of the civil authority to help him, but no one seemed near. A few idlers began to form a group about the stall, asking what was the matter, but he evidently had no faith in either their aid or their sympathy, for he somewhat rudely told them to get out of the way; and then raising his voice to a woman with whom he was better acquainted in the floor above, whose head was projected from her window surveying the scene, asked her to come down and look after the shop, as he called it, till he saw what was to be done about the recovery of the stolen property
Towards the evening, and as it was beginning to get dusk, the cobbler once more got beside his stall, and in no very amiable mood, as his hopes of recovering the boots were not much elevated by the means he had adopted for the purpose. He was just thinking of lighting his oil cruise, which he was wont to place beside his stock outside for the service of the evening; while inside he contented himself, until such time as he shut up, with whatever light the small fire burning there supplied him. He had taken the cruise in his hand, and was busily trimming the wick beside the fire, when, hearing some one meddling with the shoes on the board, he looked through the window and suddenly let go his hold of the lamp, which rattled down to the floor instead of the window-sill, to the irritation of his nerves, and saw a raggedly dressed sailor, possessed as he conceived of a bad foreign countenance, with his hands upon the identical pair that had hitherto been rejected by every purchaser who had examined them. In an instant, the idea shot into his head that thief the second that day stood before him, and, rushing to the door, he laid his grasp upon the lad's arm, shouting loudly for assistance. It was easy for the lad to shake him off, and he did so ; but this time the cobbler's appeal to the preservers of public safety had
success than before. One of these guardians of the night, rendered more anxious in his duty by the approaching darkness, hearing the shout, was hobbling towards the stall, with his large lanthom swinging in one hand and a formidable bâton in the other, though, more alert than he, a neighbour of the cobbler's who was just entering the old tenement as the affray began, had already re-captured the thief,
with a stronger arm than that of the aged shoe-mender, and was struggling powerfully against the efforts made by the sailor to effect his escape. Others coming up quickly assisted him, and when the oldfashioned watchman fairly appeared on the scene, he had merely to come, see, and conquer. The sailor vehemently protested he was no thief, had no intention of stealing, was merely looking at the shoes from curiosity, and so on. But those now surrounding him knew better. they remarked, nobody ever allowed he was a thief, no one ever confessed that he intended to steal; but what business had he there in the dusk ? Who ever heard of any person looking at old shoes from curiosity, they were no world's wonder; or, if he did want to look at them, why did he not ask the owner's leave? Moreover, he could have seen them without laying his hands on them. These and other equally pertinent remarks ended, as might have been foreseen, from the determination of the cobbler not to be robbed a second time that day for nothing, by William Rigg—for the delinquent was the rescued sailor-being borne off in triumph to the place of custody for all such criminals, escorted by a crowd of both sexes and all ages, of the dwellers in the neighbourhood, and securely lodged there for the night. Yes, thrust into the common receptacle for evil-doers, to sleep or wake as might be, upon the ground, or a bench, if he could conquer the luxury from the few that were to spare, and the many that were there to occupy them, before the receptions of the night closed, at an hour much later than usual, on account of the fair. Here then, amidst the drunk and the sober, the thoughtless and the abandoned, perhaps also the poor but honest-amidst a foul atmosphere and utter darkness, noises of every kind, oaths, vociferations, drunken maunderings, and heavy breathing or snoring, did the sailor boy squat down in a corner, and, despite the alteration of his circumstances, worn out with fatigue, he shortly fell asleep.
He appeared to have been awakened by the light of the dawn, which, as the morning advanced, struggled into the crowded and reeking apartment through the only window that lighted it, small enough in itself, and made still smaller by the iron bars which crossed and recrossed it. He stretched out his cramped limbs, shook himself, yawned widely, and then began to look around to discover whether he could pilot his way towards the window, amidst the recumbent forms that were stretched across the floor in every direction, without disturbing them, and, as he knew, thereby bringing further mischief on his head. He resolved to make the attempt, and, standing up, threaded his way between the bodies of the sleepers without accident. He had gained the window, disappointed to find that it looked out only on a bare wall opposite, and had turned from a prolonged gaze at so much as he could see of the grey sky overhead, betokening a brighter day, when his eye caught sight of a torn and dirty printed paper pasted on the wall at his
side, which, in the absence of other employment, he suddenly seemed to peruse with extraordinary fascination.
The contents of the sheet were to the effect, that a reward of one hundred pounds was offered to whoever should discover the murderer of Elizabeth, or Tibbie, Kirkpatrick, widow, resident at the Craig Cottage ; and further, minutely describing the locality, and stating the date of the committal of the deed, being the same as that on which the present reader left his foster-mother. The lad read the intimation once, twice, a third time; and then looked at the small aperture, as if he could have wrenched its bars from their weldings, and burst through it; then at the door, thick and heavy as wood could make it, and fastened by lock and bolts as formidable as itself; he next gazed at his fellowprisoners, as if even they militated against the escape he meditated ; and afterwards, flinging himself down in the corner whence he had arisen, with a loud sob, turned his face to the wall, as if to shut out the light of day which he had just sought so eagerly. A few hours passed ; the sleepers began to stir, and the wakers to talk; but the sailor lay where he had thrown himself, without motion or noise. At length, one voice louder than the rest was heard to observe, that the hour was near now when they would be examined. Rigg, on hearing this, turned his head towards the speaker, with a fixed and hopeless gaze, and then slowly resumed his former position. Shortly afterwards, a key was thrust into the lock, the bolts were withdrawn from their fastenings, and, as the massive door swung aside and a couple of officials appeared at the opening, William Rigg, starting to his feet, bounded over the benches and those who sat on them towards the entrance, with the evident intention of forcibly effecting his escape. For the moment, he had no thought, but how he was to learn outside whether the terrible words on the wall were true or false, for as yet he could scarcely be said to realise the truth of them. To the chaos of his mind, they seemed only like dreadful phantasmagoria, which certainly appeared there in characters of fire, but which were only illusions after all. But he must know further outside-out there in the open air and the fair daylight-out among the free of his fellow men; he gasped for breath; flung himself with violence upon the guardians of the den in his mad attempt to pass, and was only overpowered after a severe struggle.
By the time it came to the turn of Rigg to be examined by the presiding magistrate, that authority was more than commonly exhausted, both in body and mind, by the labours he had undergone in investigating the many cases brought under his notice, through the disorderly occurrences at the fair. He was disposed to let off the few which remained to be decided altogether, or with a summary judgment, but the constables, who now brought forward the sailor, seemed to be perversely bent the other way; they had, apparently, determined that his was a case neither to be disposed of without punishment, nor that punishment to be inflicted without lengthy examination. As they made their appearance with Rigg, one reared on each side of him, while the cobbler, shoes in hand, and some half dozen eager witnesses, stood ready to bear testimony; the magistrate divined, by the appearance of things, that the case threatened to be one of no ordinary complication, and, we fear, was not a trifle biassed against the delinquent for this very reason. He thought of a remand until the day following, but the Act did not admit of it, and, in his heart, he condemned the thoughtlessness of the legislators who had not provided for such an accumulation of business as this day brought forward. Anyhow he was determined to cut the matter as short as possible, and with that intention, desired the leading captor to state the case against the prisoner as quickly as possible.
The man began, but whether confused by the words of the magistrate, or with the complication of charges he had to make, instead of being short and concentrated in his statement, as sagely advised, he rambled slowly from one point to another, and seemed so put about to connect the thread of his tale, that the superior functionary on the bench was fain to refer to his comrade for a clearer and readier understanding of the matter. The second constable so addressed, however, seemed to afford as little relief as the other to the magisterial mind, for if the one rambled discursively, the other constantly contradicted his own statements, and all that the magistrate could make out between the two was that, besides the charge of stealing alleged against the sailor, there was also that of the important charge of violence against the persons of the said constables, and the further more doubtful charge-of nothing less, however, than murder! Here was a dilemma; postponement, even brevity, was out of the question now, and he must make up his mind to remain at his post, even till after dinner, although there was a possibility, if no more, as he had witnessed on other occasions when presiding here, that the alleged murder would turn out to be no murder at all, and in this improved view of the case his impatience took refuge for the moment. It so happened that, whatever others had heard on the way, when the prisoner was conducted from his place of habitation for the night into the presence of the magistrate, the cobbler and his evidence knew nothing that had passed to criminate the sailor thus in the minds of the officers of the law, until they now listened to the extraordinary statements made by them, which, so far as the murder was concerned, were founded upon the prisoner's own words. Upon recovering his senses, as they called his condition, when, after being overpowered, he was convinced that all attempts to evade the grasp of justice were futile, and appeared to acquiesce in the opinion, it was set forth that he informed his conductors, he would go quietly with them, if they would let him know whether it was really true that Tibby Kirkpatrick had been murdered, and on being told that it was, though they added that it was no business of his, he exclaimed, to their amazement, “ Then I killed her !” and began to cry, as they said, just like a woman; while they tightened their grasp upon him, expecting he would renew his violence now more than ever, and perhaps get beyond their reach. But he did nothing of the kind, and came along, to all appearance, as meekly as a lamb. Upon this unexpected and awful charge meeting the ear of the cobbler, the old man fidgetted much, looked as angrily at the shoes in his hand as if they could have understood his wrath, and then, heedless of all the forms of court etiquette, raising his face to that of the magistrate, he exclaimed, “Nothing but these confounded shoes, my lord, there is no other complaint against the lad;" and then he turned towards the accused as if, by the perusal of his features, to ascertain his innocence of any greater crime than that of purloining these articles. The sailor held down his head, looked neither at judge nor witness, but said, as if to himself, in a smothered voice, “I murder her! Who could think of such a thing ?”
The magistrate, paying no attention to the well intended words of the old cobbler, now held a short conversation aside with his clerk, and they were observed to read over a letter, and to examine a paper which the latter took from a depository at hand, and finally to refer to a formidable-looking entry book, conveyed from a shelf above the table at which they sat. These proceedings over, the magistrate, again confronting the prisoner, this time with a graver and less impatient air than he had shown previously, asked him his name and whence he came. Replies were given to both questions, though in a low voice. Papers were next demanded, if he had any whereby to confirm the truth of what he stated. But he answered that everything he had was lost with the vessel. Was there any one in Glasgow who knew him ? None, except the widow of a shipmate, whom he had not yet succeeded in tracing out. He was now cautioned, according to custom, while answering any further questions, that he was not bound to criminate himself, and with this warning, delivered with a weighty sense of its mercy, the interrogation continued. Was he any relation of the murdered woman? How long had he resided with her? When he saw her last upon what terms had they parted? Where had he been since ? What had he been about-and the like. The questions were answered, but in the same subdued tone, and with an unnatural calmness, as if