"I would have her locked up and 방이오피 punished!" the reader undoubtedly exclaims as he notes our title. It is hardly likely, however, that he realizes the possible significance of such an undertaking. For the edification, therefore, of those who have cooks and teapots, and in order to be forewarned, if not fore-armed, let us suppose that the worthy Mr. Appleboy has not only the domestic necessary for our case, but also a family heirloom which is worth more than twenty-five dollars, the requisite value to make its abstraction, with felonious intent, grand larceny in the second degree.

Mr. Appleboy, after a moderately hard day's work, has been for an hour at the club, and is now ascending his front steps. As he is about to place the key in the door, he observes his cook, Maria, making her exit from the area with some large object concealed beneath her shawl. A flash from the dying sun, setting over the elevated railroad tracks of Sixth Avenue, betrays a telltale protruding spout. Maria does not perceive her master, but the latter, being of an inquiring disposition, descends the steps and follows her down the street. She hurries along upon her journey until, reaching[Pg 103] Eighth Avenue, she turns the corner and enters a pawnshop. Mr. Appleboy, puffing, follows hard, and opens the door just as Maria is in the act of receiving from the pawnbroker the sum of ten dollars. She has the money in one hand, the teapot in the other; she is caught in flagrante delicto, or, in the modern equivalent, "with the goods on."

Maria shrieks and calls upon the saints. Appleboy, purple from his exertions, pounds the floor with his gold-headed cane and fiercely inquires what she means by going off with his silver teapot. In reply Maria falls on her knees, breaks into tears, and confesses her crime, offering no excuse, and suggesting no palliating circumstance. She implores his forgiveness, but Appleboy, righteously indignant, is obdurate. She could have stolen anything but his grandmother's teapot, and he would have overlooked it. The pawnbroker, who takes but a mild interest in the proceedings, merely seizes the opportunity to remove from the cook's unresisting fingers the roll of bills.

Appleboy resolves to do his duty. He will set an example of good citizenship—he will have her arrested, locked up, and sent to prison.

"Summon a policeman!" he cries to the indifferent pawnbroker.

"Get one yourself!" replies the other.

Appleboy starts for the door, keeping one eye on the prostrate Maria. Two blocks distant he sees a stalwart officer in the act of conversing affably with a street cleaner. At this moment an urchin notices Maria couchant upon the floor. An expansive grin takes possession of his features, and, placing his fingers to his mouth, he emits a shrill whistle.[Pg 104] Instantly, like a flight of vultures, a small army of boys descend upon Appleboy, who now decides that the only way to procure the policeman is to shout for him. In his embarrassment he yells: "Stop thief! Stop thief! Police!" but the officer pays no attention. He is discussing Tommy Sullivan's chowder party of the night before.

"Say, mister, I'll get the copper for ye," shouts some little fellow, and starts on a run up the avenue. A few follow him and quickly corral the officer, who, protesting, dawdles slowly in the direction of Mr. Appleboy, swinging his club, and apparently taking little interest in their remarks. Meantime, the pawnbroker has shut and locked the door. Maria, within, is still in a state of coma. The much-annoyed old gentleman is fast being surrounded by a dense throng of loafers, tradesmen, ladies of the neighborhood and pedestrians, while the street is blocked with vagrant cabs and grocery carts. He wishes he were at home in his 방이오피 comfortable library, but realizes that he is in for it now, and must stick it out.

"Well, what do you want?" demands the officer, pushing his way through the crowd until he confronts the innocent cause of the disturbance. "What are yer makin' all this row about, and blockin' up the street fer?"

"Maria, my cook, stole my silver teapot," answers Mr. Appleboy. "I caught her trying to sell it in there. I ask that you place her under arrest."

"What's yer name?" asks the policeman. "Who are yer anyway?" The crowd cheers delightedly, for while the copper is not popular in the neighborhood, an old swell like this is "nuts" for everybody.

"I am a citizen and a taxpayer," replies Mr.[Pg 105] Appleboy stiffly, "and I insist upon your doing your duty and arresting this woman."

"Aw, come on now and give us yer name," continues the officer. "You can't expec' me t'arrest a person unless I know who I'm doin' it fer. How do I know yer ain't throwin' some game into me?"

At this moment one of the boys shies a banana peel at Mr. Appleboy's tall hat. The latter, seeing his disadvantage, responds:

"My name is Silas Appleboy, and I am a taxpayer and a freeholder. I demand that you arrest this woman." The policeman, somewhat impressed by the other's vehemence and the statement that he is a freeholder (the meaning of which the official naturally does not understand), inquires a little more genially where the lady is.

"In that shop," replies her master. The crowd, with a whoop, rushes at the door, but the pawnbroker is standing inside in an attitude of defence. The policeman, closely followed by Appleboy, pushes his way through the mob, and raps loudly.

"Stand back there, now," shouts the officer, waving his club. The small boys shrink back, leaving Appleboy in the centre of the ring. The pawnbroker opens the door. Maria is upon her knees, calling vaguely upon Heaven to defend her. The silver teapot reposes upon the counter. The officer grasps Maria roughly by the shoulder and yanks her to her feet.

"Get up there and pull yerself together!" he exclaims. "What's yer name?"

"Me name is Maria Holohan," she replies hysterically.

[Pg 106]

"Do yer know that man?" continues the officer, pointing at Appleboy.

"Shure, I know him," is the answer. "Haven't I worked for him for fourteen years?"

"Did you steal his teapot?" asked the officer.

"Oh, Holy Mother! Holy Mother!" wails Maria. "I took a dhrop too much, an' shure I didn't know what I was doin' at all, at all."

"Well, the first thing you'll do," remarks the officer, "'ll be to walk to the house. Come on, now!" And forthwith he drags Maria to the door, and, holding her firmly by the wrist, marches her upon the sidewalk. Mr. Appleboy, the teapot clasped to his bosom, follows immediately behind. Their appearance is greeted with vociferous approval by the waiting crowd, who fall in and escort the group towards the police station. But Maria's strength fails her, and, presently, with a groan she collapses. Perhaps the drop too much has taken effect in her legs. At all events, despite the efforts of the officer, she refuses to move, and remains limp. The crowd has now become so dense as entirely to obstruct all traffic in the street, long lines of electric cars leading in each direction up the avenue, motor-men and conductors forming a strong adjunct to those giving gratuitous advice. Two grocery wagons get their wheels locked in the throng. Some one telephones to the station house. At last the distant clanging of the patrol is heard. The crowd scatters, the carts and cabs extricate themselves, and the "hurry-up wagon" backs to the sidewalk with a flourish, two more coppers swinging on behind. They bundle Maria unceremoniously inside, escort her erstwhile employer with hardly more courtesy[Pg 107] into the same vehicle, and toss in the teapot: the gong rings: and Mr. Appleboy starts upon his task of bringing an evil-doer to justice, and proving himself worthy of the proud title of citizen.

The drive to the station seems hours long, and the fumes of whiskey are very evident upon Maria. The officers are taciturn. The nose has been knocked off the teapot. Mr. Appleboy, holding himself tense in his seat, endeavors not to be jostled against the lady who has, previously, cooked his meals. Now and again she addresses him in no complimentary terms. She has by this time reached the belligerent stage, although she has no thought of denying her guilt.

The wagon draws up with a jerk in front of the precinct station house. Into a second crowd of gamins and loafers, Appleboy, still clutching 방이오피 the noseless teapot, emerges. He is followed by two policemen, half carrying, half supporting Maria. The doorman allows the party to enter, while repelling the inquisitive throng who would like to accompany them.

Once inside, Maria and her master, little distinction being made between them, are brought before the sergeant, who reclines behind a desk upon an elevated platform. This official interrogates Mr. Appleboy somewhat brusquely as to his name, address and the charge which he makes against the defendant, laboriously copying the answers in the "blotter." Maria, petrified with terror, absolutely refuses to answer any questions, and mutters incoherently to herself. The sergeant, satisfied of Mr. Appleboy's respectability by reason of his highly polished hat and gold-headed cane, commits the[Pg 108] prisoner to a cell to await the hearing before the magistrate on the following morning. As the charge is one of felony, and as none of her friends as yet know of her detention or arrest, the question of her release upon bail does not arise, and after the sergeant has directed Mr. Appleboy to attend at the nearest police court the next morning at half-past eight punctually, that gentleman escapes down the steps of the precinct house, feeling that he has lived through untold ages of misery. The crowd cheers him as he descends, and he hastens homeward, the joy of release tempered only by the prospective agony of the morrow. The noseless teapot remains in the custody of the sergeant at the station house.

We can imagine Appleboy telling the story to his wife and children. How heroically he figures in his own account of the proceedings! How picturesquely penitent is Maria! How dramatic her capture in the very act of disposing of the stolen property! How the policemen cower at the majestic Appleboy's approach! By the time the old fellow has taken his coffee and lighted his perfecto he is almost restored to his former condition of pompous dignity. His intention to vindicate his position as a freeholder and to see that the law shall take its course is revived, and he dreams of Maria hurtling through the abyss with dozens of silver teapots tied about her ample neck.

DELAY THE FIRST

The next morning Appleboy orders his carriage and drives in state to the police court. His tall hat secures him easy access to a long room with a[Pg 109] low ceiling, in which the air is full of strange odors.

Across the end of the court, two-thirds of the way towards the front, stretches an iron grating through which a gate admits police officers, local politicians, lawyers and the witnesses in any examination actually in progress. He enters the room exactly at eight-thirty. Already it is crowded, and, having no business inside the gate, he is forced to sit upon a bench in company with various friends of the divers defendants who have been committed during the night.

It is early as yet, and a substantial breakfast has put Mr. Appleboy in an optimistic frame of mind. Once the judge arrives how quickly the case will be disposed of and our hero receive the thanks of the magistrate for acting as he has done! But alas! Already a long file of officers is forming at the left of the desk behind the grating. Each officer has located at a safe distance one or more "drunks" or "disorderlies" whom he has gathered in during the preceding evening, and who have spent the night in the station house. The officers have recently come off post and now are waiting sleepily for the arrival of the magistrate to dispose of "The Watch."

By a quarter to nine the line has reached immense proportions. Twenty officers stand in single file and the procession of prisoners reaches to the doorway of the cells. In the meantime the jam in the room itself has become greater, and the heat and odors more oppressive. Mr. Appleboy wipes his brow with his silk handkerchief. He wishes he had brought his wife's smelling salts.

[Pg 110]

Presently he discerns amid the crowd inside the railing the now familiar features of Pat, the officer, who beckons him to come within.

Our friend rises to his feet to obey, but instantly another officer bawls: "Sit down there, you!" and Appleboy collapses.

"Hi, there, Rounds, let that old guy in, will ye?" asks Pat good-naturedly.

The roundsman condescendingly nods to the grizzled guardian of the gate, who holds it open just wide enough to allow our hero to squeeze through.

"Mornin'," remarks Pat, chewing vigorously.

"Good-morning, officer," replies Appleboy. "Where is the prisoner?"

"She came in the wagon half an hour ago," says Pat. "Step up while he makes out the complaint. After that we'll arrange her."

So Pat and his complainant join the mob which is besieging the clerk's desk, and finally secure enough of that functionary's scattered attention to induce him to draw up a brief statement of the facts in the case. Pat disappears into the cells to emerge in a few minutes, escorting the bewildered Maria. She is then "arranged," which in police parlance is to say she is arraigned. She has no counsel, and evidently supposes her interrogator to be the judge, for she insists on addressing him as "Yer onner." The clerk briefly warns her of her rights and puts the few necessary questions, which Maria answers in a quavering voice. It is obvious that she expects to be at once deported to Sing Sing or the "Island."