Page:Omnibuses and Cabs.djvu/37

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17
Dishonest Conductors

Among their guests were detectives employed by Shillibeer, who repeated the confession of fraud to their employer, with the result that the first professional omnibus conductors were discharged. Shilibeer's leniency, due to his anxiety not to have his omnibuses mixed up in any scandal, encouraged succeeding conductors to steal. Shillibeer was at his wits' end what to do, when a man called on him with a patent register guaranteed to put a stop to the conductors' pilferings. The register was designed to be placed underneath the omnibus, and people entering or leaving the vehicle trod on a plate fixed in the step, the register recording every person who stepped upon it. Shillibeer liked the idea, and bought one of the registers on the condition that the inventor acted as conductor until its reliability had been proved thoroughly.

For two weeks everything went well, and the conductor was anticipating an order for a second register, when a gang of men, in sympathy with the discharged conductors, attacked the omnibus while it was standing outside the Yorkshire Stingo, smashed the patent register with sledge-hammers, and half murdered its inventor. Shillibeer, who