"Ah, I see; should you be murdered, we would be in position to identify the corpse."
He said it so cheerfully and cold-bloodedly that on the instant I saw my stark and mutilated cadaver stretched upon a slab where cool waters trickle ceaselessly, and him I saw bending over and sadly and patiently identifying it as the body of the insane American who would see the East End.
"No, no," I answered; "merely to identify me in case I get into a scrape with the 'bobbies.'" This last I said with a thrill; truly, I was gripping hold of the vernacular.
"That," he said, "is a matter for the consideration of the Chief Office."
"It is so unprecedented, you know," he added apologetically.
The man at the Chief Office hemmed and hawed. "We make it a rule," he explained, "to give no information concerning our clients."
"But in this case," I urged, "it is the client who requests you to give the information concerning himself."
Again he hemmed and hawed.
"Of course," I hastily anticipated, "I know it is unprecedented, but—"
"As I was about to remark," he went on steadily, "it is unprecedented, and I don't think we can do anything for you."