|Newspaper Title||Alexandra and Yea Standard, Gobur, Thornton and Acheron Express (Vic. : 1877 - 1908)|
|Trove Title||Fifine of the Damp Feet: An Experience of the Phonograph|
CHaErri VI.-Fuorr. After tho prisoner had been naked his namo, ago, and addrcss, the magistrate cleared his throat, and fixing his opectrcled oyes full on John's face, began:. IWhether all vou havr told me is correct or not I fm not yet in a posi tion to say. In the manewhilo it is indilfent
to ut. W" iat i have lied you here fo this £ oruin- i4 to :ask ye what conlrectiort yOU Ihd Ioli th% ucCltt t d ncolln LealLTulreTur, aIntld with the cri:h.a for i Hlh he ui luerwetit not 1Ittr tha !I st)ri ? aoruling the cxtre:no p'nalhv of ti, law:' Looi;,. hcrte. Mr. ia'iuits,' cried Marocn, ilyiug' iiato a Ipassio. -I f hav Just as much of thlic -,,rt .f thing at I ?.' to taci . Elnugh is as. g.,udl :: ý?a:t. ,:u .:'. YIou kn:ow wh\.t I mncn. 1 din't knr v anylthing about your LI:obuar,.et c:;celt 'tat 1 iaw the beastly way i; wti i heo was butchert? yc.ter!::v. A/ fr -rt. Fauchetr and all the rest of o:I;l;e.nel no tld cCario nothing. I 1 ::ar r.spctaeLlie!,rk of the city of London. I camne over ti suic thJ Exlosition and thu Iower alta all th.it, and very nic I must say it all is. But I don't wanit any :not of your Paris ifthis iu the v:wy you trs:t foreigners. I call it?a shu '1., I dt .' * You dio not appear to realieo the position in whIe:i you areu ,lacod,' oiuainucd the magistrate. '? :lbo?t s:ri,?t 'hi:r'T has been laid agairnt you, liIhnely of Lbei?l a accoipllcph either he. ore or altetr tht ?aot of thu main who twas e*ccuted ý, ctertun morning. It is known that i?c I:d :tclul:lti+lelt, s:l-i that the jewels iant otle:roobjects which h:e stoel fronm the unhappy Sire. lFauuch,:ur were giv into the keeping of tih.e. A nI.tt lrovid.uti:ll occurrrncu put ju:.i:ote on the track ot you and your con ntleratls juo t at ' time N lihetn, the principal b,i:ing d.ad,i. youi w1.tre htping to njoy in quiet thLe fruit of hil altomiotlle explfitt.' 'iThe magiat:ate touched a bell. An usher ap peaoe,l who at a worrd iton hi:in wsent out inIt roturnedl ucciompanit.d by the b!:ack-loardcd detective and a young I:itn of respectable ap 'Yow, rc. Corlon,' sail the mnagiotrato, addressing the ldtective, ' the pri:ionor persists in dtnyiiig atl 'connurtio l iltt the ntatir wn kIow abofut. I ihall bo glad to Ihear youir statermoiet of tlhe circumatances under which you arreatoltd ih:i.' ' It is,' said the detective, 'the most extra. ori'tiry e:;.uriutceo I hatove over had. Being on holidas, y st:l'rday, I Iroliteld by miy Iitiure' to pay I vi.it to the collection of imarvels of our great IandI glorious Jxhibition. After oien ling theu morning in the ndmiration of the works of art, I went to the A,,toric:ai nection, aundhad barely entered wlhu the allegedl hlirson came in. Ile, too, was tanxiou.o to examcsti tih triluph of the genius of Il:dirol, though not I fear from the isame motives s uiutially insipire ai peacetful and in getnuutt ero,;d. ?ioumethtig in his tappearance attracted llmy attentiron. 'Younlg IaIui,' I said to myself, 'ullis not straight with jo-u. I'll kelp my eye on you.' Anti I did. All of a suhdden, I ere citi tchantge colour, anid iUiUedia. tely afterw::rd? Ilh drops t heglob.It nIdoutaioutof the kiosljte. I catch ut theo appal)ratus, fix Ilithe int ly ear, et the rmachine going. and hear-I hear voice tolying s plain llt the day: ' La caunelott,: chez lititio dles ieds.lIunides."' ' Which trtanslated into proper French,' inter rupted the tmagistr:te, glaring at John, 'r eanis 'The plunder is in the keepoing of Fifino of the )uDamp-feet,' I'iline being a notorious character wcho is generally" to be found near the open-air collco-stall know-n as tihe cafu of the D)amp-feet piullic. What sort of a voice was it?' * The voice of the prisoner before you.' * And what conclusions did you draw from lhat you hlad heard ?' ' That eomue arrangement had lion made by the gang to communicate in this original and tunexlpected manner. These ruflians have their heads full of romantic stuff from reading the hallfltenny Ipaners.' ' Very epossfde. Well, and what did you do then 1' I said, ' Carlou, my boy,yourholidayis over. I knew that Filine had been connected with the crime, aund, as you know sihe was some time under arrest on suspicion. That made me think at once that the pIlunder referred to was that of the widow Fauchour. I conjectured also that this fellow, as soon as he had left his message, haed caught sight of meo, recognised me, and sco ing that le hlend given himself away, had cut mid run. I out after him, and followed himt liko his shadow. Iright enough, at the St. AIichel's Fountain I see him go up to Fifiln and iegin talking. Doubtless to give them the tip, and to warn them to get the thiirg away. But in the meaniwhilo I had given two nolicomenthe wink, and we were down upon them like lightning, before they could concert any plan of defence.' ' Is this the phoncgraph operator?' ' At your eervice, air. ' You recogniso this man? Yes. Now set the iiacrlie going.' SI nmust illforltl 3your honour,' said the operator ' tlht the worlds in qucstion were the last spoken in the machine, you will have to loar all tlttt went boforo--sorno thousand ewords.' ' ery weoll,' said the magistrate, settlinghim self comfortably in his armt-chair; ' we have plcnty of time, slad I for my part shdll not in tie laot objcect, as I have never yet heard the voice of ehectricity enchlinetd by man. Eih? Wh't's that ?' hl cried, as the plhonogralph, now tiet iti motion, sqrueakcd forth, ' What silly Joihnies these Frencluthenl are to be sure.' ' Oh, it's only tih manthini.' Wondoerul. WVondecrful. To be sure. Not conmplitmentary, but xcesively wonloderful,' cried the lunagitrate. Suddenly Mr. Ijsculit, tiurnitg round, cried out, ' Yes, wolnderftul to be sure. BtLr Wltrl Is THE n? 0il:1ms't: All turned. Tith guard, awakened as fromn a cream, jumps forward, uand then throws him self against the door. It is locked from outside. They batter their hands against the door whilst the pllhonuigrolh toots forth, niot without irony, the tone of thuat popular song to which the words ure ' Io'll nerver conie back, ' fe'll lover cotme back, 'I lu'll never come back any more.' And he didn't. Bythe tite the door was openel d John had got a good dsart. tand w'ithotlt returning to his hotel twas able to get over to IEqlanid that afternoon by the club-train. From London he wrote to lMr. Biscuit and told himt the circulmstalnceca. ln due time he received notice tha:t anl ordlinance of inole pro. otqoi had beens delivered aguainst him Icy that tmtgitrate, its his comIplete inuoconc hilh been established by the coufeasions of E'fdinto of the l)aml.FIeet, and of Augusfe, ]tnos?V 1s the Liruper. Neither Ca:rlou, the detective, nor the magis trate, was ever able to explain the mystery of the phonograph's message ; tad, as John ihad io particular reason to give thlm tlhat or any other satisfaction, the only way I can see for it iv for them to buy a eclpy of this narra tive.--1. E. Stu;tr.tnt. in t all .'tt/ ll l-f t-lt.