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in her present condition, if necessary. I was anxious to push off and get home, so saying good-bye, trotted away into what seemed pitch-black darkness. I knew my way, but riding through heavily wooded country I really could not see where I was going, and judged where I was by the sound of the horse's hoofs. When it sounded soft, I knew we were near the hedge; when orisp and resounding, well in the middle of the road. I met one or two market-carts, everybody on them asleep, with no light showing. The mare was nearly squeezed in between the wheels and the hedge by one of them.

I got home at last safely, and found old Tom up and about waiting for me, with a hot supper ready for the mare. I was in time for dinner, and

everybody was glad to see me, as they were beginning to get nervous. I proudly showed them my fox's pad, and waited until dinner before giving them a full account, as there was just time to get a warm bath before it was ready. I cannot see that being eaten by a lion could give one more varied sensations or greater excitement than following hounds. People who have never hunted cannot possibly understand where the sport comes in, and this is why they waste their eloquence over the death of the poor fox.

The sea calls for my time, and is my pastime too, but for all that I am glad to have had a run with a famous pack of hounds, and consider that hunting is the finest sport in England, and probably in the whole world.

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crime matters; but when I did so now, and Sir Charles Warren took advantage of my visit to come over to see me, it was at once inferred that he was spying on because I was Mr Monro's friend.


The indignation felt by the officers was great, and I had some difficulty in preventing Chief-Superintendent Williamson from sending in his resignation.

My last article brought down my story to my appointment, in September 1888, as Assistant Commissioner of Police and head of the Criminal Investigation Department. Mr Monro was not "an easy man to follow," and my difficulties in succeeding to the post were increased by the foolish ways of the Home Office, as well as by the circumstances of the times. As I have already said, Sir Charles Warren had then secured the loyal support of the Force generally. But the officers of the Criminal Investigation Department were demoralised by the treatment accorded to their late chief; and during the interval since his practical retirement sinister rumours were in circulation as to the appointment of his successor. If the announcement had been made that, on his official retirement on the 31st August, I should succeed to the office, things might have settled down. For all the principal officers knew and trusted me. But for some occult reason the matter was kept secret, and I was enjoined not to make my appointment known. I had been in the habit of frequenting Mr Monro's room, as we were working together in political Channel.

Then, again, I was at that time physically unfit to enter on the duties of my new post. For some time past I had not had an adequate holiday, and the strain of long and anxious work was telling on me. "A man is as old as he feels," and by this test I was older at that time than when I left office a dozen years later. Dr Gilbart Smith of Harley Street insisted that I must have two months' complete rest, and he added that he would probably give me a certificate for a further two months' "sick leave." This, of course, was out of the question. But I told Mr Matthews, greatly to his distress, that I could not take up my new duties until I had had a month's holiday in Switzerland. And so, after one week at Scotland Yard, I crossed the

But this was not all. The second of the crimes known as the Whitechapel murders was committed the night before I took office, and the third eocurred the night of the day on which I left London. The newspapers soon began to comment on my absence. And letters from Whitehall decided me to spend the last week of my holiday in Paris, that I might be in touch with my office. On the night of my arrival in the French capital two more victims fell to the knife of the murder-fiend; and next day's post brought me an urgent appeal from Mr Matthews to return to London -and of course I complied.

On my return I found the "Jack-the-Ripper" scare in full swing. When the stolid When the stolid English go in for a soare they take leave of all moderation and common-sense. If nonsense were solid, the nonsense that was talked and written about those murders would sink a Dreadnought. The subject is an unsavoury one, and I must write about it with reserve. But it is enough to say that the wretched victims belonged to a very small class of degraded women who frequent the East End streets after midnight, in hope of inveigling belated drunkards, or men as degraded as themselves. I spent the day of my return to town, and half the following night, in reinvestigating the

whole case, and next day I had a long conference on the subject with the Secretary of State and the Chief Commissioner of Police. "We hold you responsible to find the murderer," was Mr Matthews' greeting to


My answer was to decline the responsibility. I hold myself responsible, I said, to take all legitimate means to find him, But I went on to say that the measures I found in operation were, in my opinion, wholly indefensible and scandalous, for these wretched women were plying their trade under definite Police protection. Let the Police of that district, I urged, receive orders to arrest every known "street woman found on the prowl after midnight, or else let us warn them that the Police will not protect them. Though the former course would have been merciful to the very small class of women affected by it, it was deemed too drastic, and I fell back on the second.

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However the fact may be explained, it is a fact that no other street murder occurred in the "Jack-the-Ripper" series." The last and the most horrible of that maniac's crimes was committed in a house in Miller's Court on the 9th November. And the circumstances of that crime disposed of all the theories of the amateur "Sherlock Holmeses" of that date.

One did not need to be a Sherlook Holmes to discover

1 I am here assuming that the murder of Alice M‘Kenzie on 17th July 1889 was by another hand. I was absent from London when it occurred, but the Chief Commissioner investigated the case on the spot. It was an ordinary murder, and not the work of a sexual maniac. 2 A


that the criminal was a sexual maniac of a virulent type; that he was living in the immediate vicinity of the scenes of the murders; and that, if he was not living absolutely alone, his people knew of his guilt, and refused to give him up to justice. During my absence abroad the Police had made a house-to-house search for him, investigating the case of every man in the district whose circumstances were such that he could go and come and get rid of his blood-stains in secret. And the conclusion we came to was that he and his people were low-class Jews, for it is a remarkable fact that people of that class in the East End will not give up one of their number to Gentile justice.

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written rule of the service. The subject will come up again, and I will only add here that the "Jack-the-Ripper" letter which is preserved in the Police Museum at New Scotland Yard is the creation of an enterprising London journalist.1

In the introduction to the 'Scarlet Letter,' Hawthorne apologises for his work, on the ground that his position in the Custom House was not a haven of rest.

And no one would thus describe the post of head of the Criminal Investigation Department, even in the most peaceful of times. But when I took charge at the close of 1888 the state of things was disquieting and depressing in the extreme. There is a strong esprit de corps in the department, and the officers, one and all, felt that their chief had been unfairly treated. The "Detective Department," moreover, has always been an object of jealousy in the Force, and this disturbing element was specially felt during 1887 and 1888. This appeared very plainly in the Commissioners' Report for 1887: it ignored the Criminal Investigation Department altogether. "Boots are a matter of great concern," the report declared, and it recorded that truncheon

1 Having regard to the interest attaching to this case, I should almost be tempted to disclose the identity of the murderer and of the pressman who wrote the letter above referred to, provided that the publishers would accept all responsibility in view of a possible libel action. But no public benefit would result from such a course, and the traditions of my old department would suffer. I will only add that when the individual whom we suspected was caged in an asylum, the only person who had ever had a good view of the murderer at once identified him, but when he learned that the suspect was a fellow-Jew he declined to swear to him.

pockets had been substituted for truncheon-cases; but not one word did it contain about the crime of the Metropolis. Now, unfortunately, neither Mr Monro nor his successor could ever realise that such matters as boots and truncheon-cases, important though they may be, are as important as the prevention and detection of crime, and the subordinate officers were equally dull-witted. And the efficieney of the Criminal Investigation Department work, unlike ordinary Police duties, cannot but be impaired by influences which discourage or demoralise the staff. The crime returns for 1887 gave proof of this; and it was still more apparent in the following year. The Commissioner's report for 1888 accordingly recorded that "crime during the year has shown a decided tendency to increase."

Such, then, was the state of affairs when I entered on my new duties. And I did not then know, what I afterwards learned, that the Home Office very soon threatened to call me to account because there was not an immediate change. But Sir Charles Warren "put down his foot with a firm hand" (as the Irishman phrased it), and would not allow any interference with me till I had had time to bring matters round. And the Commissioner's report for 1889 announced that "the criminal returns for the year showed a marked improvement

upon the statistics for 1888." Still more satisfactory was the report for the following year, which announced "that there was greater security for person and property in the Metropolis during 1890 than in any previous year included in the statistical returns.”

But I


Qui s'excuse s'accuse. have no need to offer any defence of my reign at Scotland Yard; and it is not in that sense, but as a tribute to the Police Force, and for the satisfaction of the public, that I give the following statistical table, taken from the Commissioner's report for 1898. shows at a glance what marked success attended the work of the Criminal Investigation Department during the first twenty years of its history. The figures give the average proportion of crimes against property, to each 1000 of the estimated population of the Metropolis, during the quinquennial periods specified.

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1 I may add that under the reign of my successor this low average has been maintained.

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