28 November 1888
Sir Charles Warren has at last been replaced. Mr. James Monroe, formerly Assistant Commissioner of Police, who was obliged to retire from Scotland-yard on account of disagreement with Sir Charles Warren, now takes the vacant post, and his appointment has received the Royal sanction. It will be remembered that on Mr. Monroe's resignation from his police duties he was taken into the Home Office, where Mr. Matthews continually accepted his advice upon matters of police organization. Mr. Monroe is well acquainted with the police, their organization, and their duties, and will probably make as good a Commissioner as could be found. His influence with the Home Office will prevent or render less likely any conflict between the Commissioner and the Minister. It will also tend to sweeten official relations if Mr. Matthews does not call in any discontented colleague of Mr. Monroe's to be his private director. The position of Commissioner is not an easy one, so that every one must wish Mr. Monroe success in the execution of the many tasks he is called upon to accomplish.
(BY A LOAFER).
(BY A LOAFER).
A well known versifier has remarked that "Hope springs eternal in the human breast," and I have no doubt there is some warrant for the observation, which is more than can be said for a good many of the ideas which poets have thought fit or found profitable to put upon paper. I am inclined o think that one of the constables who frequently hangs about the police-court at Arbour-square, Stephney, is a perpetual victim o the most delusive of the three Christian graces. At least he has been ever since a substantial reward was offered for the apprehension of the Whitechapel murderer, for which inhuman monster he is continually on the look-out. It is the officer with whom I had a conversation some little while ago on the gruesome subject. At that time his chief enjoyment appeared to be the prospect of that fiendish slaughterer being brought before the "beak" at the Thames Court. But since then my friend "Robert" - like many a man in a higher rank of life - as allowed personal ambition to get the better of official loyalty, until he is now all agog to lay his hands upon the most notorious character of the age (not even excepting the Grand Old Man) and win for himself a deathless fame in the force.
A little judicious flattery will generally set the craftiest tongue wagging, and in this respect a "bobby" is about as weak as a woman, which is saying a good deal. In the incident of yesterday I found this weakness available for a good deal of quiet fun.
"I don't mind tellin' you, sir, as we've talked this yere matter over afore now, that I've got a sort of impression as it's me that'll ketch 'Jack the Ripper' whenever 'e is caught. You might hask me why I think so, and a very reasonable question it would be, too. But the funny part of it is that I could not tell you for the life o' me! It 'ave been borne in upon my mind, so to speak, and there it is.
As I had no means of disputing the permanent whereabouts of this particular idea, I wisely held my peace. I should think any idea ought to feel comfortable on that man's mind; there is so little chance of its being crowded.
"I suppose you are calculating upon the kudos that such an arrest would bring you," I ventured to remark in the most velvety tones I could command.
A shy, half-guilty look broke over his homely and expansive features as he answered:
"Well, sir, if that foreign word you've just used means 'quids,' I ain't ashamed to confess that I 'ave thought a bit about it in that there light, and so 'ave the missus, too. You see, it ain't alius as a man can make good money and a good job in one shot, like that would be. Yes, I've got that impression, and I can't shake it off."
And so I left him anticipating his celebrity and his competency with a pleasantly divided affection.