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HOME > Classical Novels > A Child of the Jago37 > CHAPTER 25
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 Dicky's morning theft that day had been but a small one—he had run off with a new two-foot rule that a cabinet-maker had carelessly left on an unfinished office table at his shop door in Curtain Road. It was not much, but it might fetch some sort of a dinner at Weech's, which would be better than going home, and, perhaps, finding nothing. So about noon, all ignorant of his father's misfortune, he came by way of Holywell Lane and Bethnal Green Road to Meakin Street.  
Mr Weech looked at him rather oddly, Dicky fancied, when he came in, but he took the two-foot rule with alacrity2, and brought Dicky a rasher of bacon, and a slice of cake afterward3. This seemed very generous. More: Mr Weech's manner was uncommonly4 amiable5, and when the meal was over, of his own motion, he handed over a supplementary6 penny. Dicky was surprised; but he had no objection, and he thought little more about it.
As soon as he appeared in Luck Row he was told that his father had been 'smugged.' Indeed the tidings had filled the Jago within ten minutes. Josh Perrott was walking quietly along Meakin Street,—so went the news,—when up comes Snuffy and another split, and smugs him. Josh had a go for Weech's door, to cut his lucky out at the back, but was caught. That was a smart notion of Josh's, the Jago opinion ran, to get through Weech's and out into the courts behind. But it was no go.
Hannah Perrott sat in her room, inert7 and lamenting8. Dicky could not rouse her, and at last he went off by himself to reconnoitre about Commercial Street Police Station, and pick up what information he might; while a gossip or two came and took Mrs Perrott for consolation9 to Mother Gapp's. Little Em, unwashed, tangled10 and weeping, could well take care of herself and the room, being more than two years old.
Josh Perrott would be brought up to-morrow, Dicky ascertained11, at the North London Police Court. So the next morning found Dicky trudging12 moodily13 along the two miles of flags to Stoke Newington Road; while his mother and three sympathising friends, who foresaw an opportunity for numerous tiny drops with interesting circumstances to flavour them, took a penny cast on the way in a tramcar.
Dicky, with some doubt as to the disposition15 of the door-keeping policeman toward ragged16 boys, waited for the four women, and contrived17 to pass in unobserved among them. Several Jagos were in the court, interested not only in Josh's adventure, but in one of Cocko Harnwell's, who had indulged, the night before, in an animated18 little scramble19 with three policemen in Dalston; and they waited with sympathetic interest while the luck was settled of a long string of drunk-and-disorderlies.
At last Josh was brought in, and lurched composedly into the dock, in the manner of one who knew the routine. The police gave evidence of arrest, in consequence of information received, and of finding the watch and chain in Josh's trousers pocket. The prosecutor20, with his head conspicuously21 bedight with sticking-plaster, puffed22 and grunted23 up into the witness-box, kissed the book, and was a 'retired24 commission agent.' He positively25 identified the watch and chain, and he not less positively identified Josh Perrott, whom he had picked out from a score of men in the police-yard. This would have been a feat26 indeed for a man who had never seen Josh, and had only once encountered his fist in the dark, had it not been for the dutiful though private aid of Mr Weech: who, in giving his information had described Josh and his one suit of clothes with great fidelity27, especially indicating a scar on the right cheek-bone which would mark him among a thousand. The retired commission agent was quite sure of the prisoner. He had met him on the stairs, where there was plenty of light from a lamp, and the prisoner had attacked him savagely28, beating him about the head and flinging him downstairs. The policeman called by the prosecutor's servant deposed29 to finding the prosecutor bruised30 and bleeding. There was a ladder against the back of the house; a bedroom window had been opened; there were muddy marks on the sill; and he had found the stick—produced—lying in the bedroom.
Josh leaned easily on the rail before him while evidence was being given, and said 'No, yer worship,' whenever he was asked if he desired to question a witness. He knew better than to run the risk of incriminating himself by challenging the prosecutor's well-coloured evidence; and, as it was a certain case of committal for trial, it would have been useless in any event. H............
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