Hello, Alfie W. ‘ere, with me weekly Account of my Hobservations Among The Nobs. Any words what you lads don’t know, try to guess, or ask The Missus. I am Improving Meself, and I can’t be bothered with Hexplanations.
Today, I want to warn the boys back home about Neighbors. Out ‘ere, in what you might call an isolated District, you’d think you could go about your business, your Murder or your ‘Ouse-Breaking or your little bit of Hextortion, without worrying about Witnesses. Think that, me lad, and you’ll be in the Dock, quick! Like the Vicar said to the Bishop’s wife, there are Clouds of Witnesses. I can’t say I can Account for it, but it is a bleedin’ fact all the same: the more isolated your District, the more Witnesses there seem to be, Nosing About.
Me Faithful Scribe ‘as reminded me as how this article can’t just ramble on anyhow: it has to stop, and it is already getting on. But let me make a few remarks, like, as’ll give you an idea. When I retired (on the ‘aul I made on a certain job what those who know about will know about, but what is none of the business of them as don’t know already), I bought meself a Place in the Country, with roses up the wall and that, for me and the Old Lady. I am Respectable now, and I Keep Me Nose Clean, but I still have what you might call an Eye For Crime: when I gos to a new place, I automatically looks about me, and think about if I were going to get up to something, what me chances would be.
One thing as sticks out about your isolated district is that it is full of people. People walking their dogs, or out for a stroll, or working in a garden on the other side of a hedge or fence, and liable to pop out at you at any moment. Also, they are always Calling. And if you don’t answer the door, why, they try the knob, and they stroll right in, cool as anything. Now, in The Smoke, we’d call that Cheek.
In short, me old Cock, if what you want is a bit of privacy, for doing a bit of no good in seclusion-like, I’d stay in The Smoke, where people know how to mind their own business. As I say, I ‘ave gone straight, now that I’ve made me fortune, but even so, it isn’t precisely what you would call restful out ‘ere.
Notes: I found this page tucked into a book at Blackwell’s; I wish I could trace its source! I would love to read this publication… but I fear it might be a page out of Punch or some other Comick Rag… but a Criminals’ Quarterly or whatnot would be QUITE a resource for a detective!