'I ask you again,' thundered the doctor, 'are you, on your solemn oaths, able to identify that boy?'
Brittles looked doubtfully at Mr. Giles; Mr. Giles looked doubtfully at Brittles; the constable put his hand behind his ear, to catch the reply; the two women and the tinker leaned forward to listen; the doctor glanced keenly round, when a ring was heard at the gate, and at the same moment, the sound of wheels.
'It's the runners!' cried Brittles, to all appearance much relieved.
'The what?' exclaimed the doctor, aghast in his turn.
'The Bow Street officers, sir,' replied Brittles, taking up a candle; 'me and Mr. Giles sent for 'em this morning.'
'What?' cried the doctor.
'Yes,' replied Brittles; 'I sent a message up by the coachman, and I only wonder they weren't here before, sir.'
'You did, did you? Then confound your -- slow coaches down here; that's all,' said the doctor, walking away.
Involves a critical position
'WHO's that?' inquired Brittles, opening the door a little way, with the chain up, and peeping out, shading the candle with his hand.
'Open the door,' replied a man outside; 'it's the officers from Bow Street, as was sent to, to-day.'
Much comforted by this assurance., Brittles opened the door to its full width, and confronted a portly man in a great-coat; who walked in, without saying anything more, and wiped his shoes on the mat, as coolly as if he lived there.
'Just send somebody out to relieve my mate, will you, young man?' said the officer; 'he's in the gig, a-minding