Page:Omnibuses and Cabs.djvu/36

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16
Omnibuses and Cabs

proprietor was no sin. The amount of money handed in to Shillibeer grew less daily—a very suspicious decrease, considering that people living on the road which the omnibuses travelled declared that the vehicles were as well patronised as ever. Shillibeer therefore made arrangements with various trustworthy people to ride in his omnibuses, as ordinary passengers, and check the number of people carried and the amount of fares which they paid. For a few days every journey that the omnibus made there was a male or female passenger watching the conductors, and from their reports Shillibeer discovered that the two men were, between them, robbing him to the extent of £20 a week. This was corroborated by the conductors themselves, whose style of living had become decidedly luxurious. In their time of affluence they did not forget their poorer friends, and one night, after work was finished, they treated a number of them to a champagne supper at the Yorkshire Stingo. The whole party became hilariously drunk, and while in that condition the hosts threw discretion to the winds, and bragged loudly that they made £10 each a week out of the omnibuses, in excess of their pay.