Page:Omnibuses and Cabs.djvu/44

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
24
Omnibuses and Cabs

Horse, Haymarket, to Chelsea and Hammersmith—fares one shilling and half a crown—eclipsed Shillibeer in one respect. Shillibeer supplied his patrons with newspapers and magazines; Cloud provided his with books by well-known authors. A little bookcase, well filled, was fixed in each of his omnibuses at the end near the horses. Books were expensive in those days, and many people rode to Hammersmith and back for the sole purpose of reading a particular one which they knew to be in the omnibus library. But this admirable innovation was abused shamefully by the passengers, who appeared to consider it no sin to purloin the volumes. Disgusted at the dishonesty of his patrons, Mr. Cloud announced publicly that, in consequence of the thefts, his libraries would be discontinued. The bookcases were removed, and in place of each a seat was fixed, thereby enabling the omnibus to accommodate thirteen inside passengers instead of twelve. Other omnibus proprietors decided that their vehicles should also carry thirteen passengers, but provided no additional accommodation. A conductor would tell a person that there was room inside, but when the passenger entered he would find the six seats on either side