Page:Omnibuses and Cabs.djvu/35

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Shillibeer's Conductors

endeavours were futile, they declared solemnly that Paddington Green was doomed. If they saw the neighbourhood to-day, they would consider, no doubt, that their prophecy was fulfilled, although, as a matter of fact, it was railways and not omnibuses that, from a residential point of view, ruined the neighbourhood. But the threatened doom of Paddington Green did not deter the sentimental poke-bonneted young ladies, who resided in the charming suburb, from spending a considerable amount of time in watching the omnibuses start. In the middle of the day many of them were in the habit of taking a ride to King's Cross and back, for the sole purpose of improving their French by conversing with the conductors. That praiseworthy amusement was short-lived, however, for as soon as the omnibuses were in good working order, the gentlemen-conductors relinquished their posts and were succeeded by paid officials.

The new conductors were dressed in dark velvet suits, and as far as politeness was concerned were all that could be desired. Unfortunately they became possessed of the belief, not yet quite extinct, that to rob an omnibus