28 January 1889
A "Straight Tip" That He is the Cause of the Movement Against Foreign Actors.
Americans are universally credited with being shrewd, and, if not getting ahead of, to be always up with the times. This is as much so in regard to managers in the amusement line as it is in regard to those connected in trade circles. There is one gentleman in this town who considers himself in "the profession," and for real downright enterprise in getting new attractions for his ten cent museum he "gobbles the turkey." Sir Charles Warren would never have resigned his position at the head of the London police had he known of this man. Not one-third of the Whitechapel murders would ever have been committed and London and the world in general would never have been startled by the number of those horrible butcheries. For this man, be it understood, could lay his hands on the perpetrator of those crimes at any time he chose. But, alas for London! This man was an American, and above all the proud manager of a gaudy museum. To have the man known as "Jack the Ripper" arrested would do him no good, but if he could spirit him from the scenes of his crimes to his museum and exhibit him at ten cents a head there might be millions in it for him. So he thought, and he determined to act his thoughts out with all dispatch. The result was that several days ago an immense and gaudy sign was hung outside the walls of the museum notifying the public that "Jack the Ripper" was to be seen within for the small sum of one dime or ten cents. A day or two afterward another sign was hanging out containing the picture of Whitechapel's fiend, wearing a fore and aft cap and a bad look. Strange to say the British Consul never sent an emissary to arrest "Jack," and the museum man began to grow bolder. Evidently thinking that "Jack" was growing too fat with nothing to do - three meals a day and a big salary - caused him to have another sign gaudily painted showing "Jack" at work severing the throat of one of his victims. The picture was liberally sprinkled with blood red paint and looked ghastly enough to attract numerous street urchins to gaze at it and then to make them shiver at the sight. Since then the museum man has taken to diamonds and a swagger, and many of the youths who have visited his place have in turn taken to riding nightmares in their sleep. As I was standing looking at the picture yesterday afternoon a tough dressed in cloth of numerous big checks walked up to me and in a familiar tone said:--"Say, young feller, I am in the profesh. You ken see it, no doubt, in me appearance," and upon looking at his shirt I saw that he was behind heavy bars. "Now, I'll give it to you straight that dis thing"-here he pointed at the picture-"is ruining the business. 'Ned' Booth and 'Larry' Barrett saw it, and that's the reason we are making a combine to have the English actors kept at home. That 'Jack' dere is a hamfatter madding lots of dust, and for that reason we want home talent to make the money and not a blooming lot of furriners. I'm giving you the straight goods, young feller, this is the chap that broke the camel's jaw, and we-Both, Barrett, myself, of course, and a few others-will have no more of it. Avaunt, vile furrin competition, avaunt!" With this the young man assumed a dramatic attitude and strode away with a take-three-and-drop-one-stride, leaving me to think over what he had said.