Page:Omnibuses and Cabs.djvu/91

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71
Conductors' Tricks

In the year of the Great Exhibition, when London was crowded with foreigners, the number of omnibuses was increased considerably; but there were not too many, and proprietors and conductors grew rich in a few months. Many of the conductors fared better than their masters, and when the Exhibition was at an end settled down to some other business with a comfortable sum in hand to give them a good start. Of course, the conductors did not obtain the money in a legitimate manner. The way in which they did obtain it is, however, no secret. Every morning, before starting work, they provided themselves with a quantity of pence, half-pence, and small pieces of silver, for change. Then their chief aim was to fill their omnibuses with foreigners, and give them wrong change when they alighted. If a foreigner gave one of those conductors half a crown for a four-penny fare, the latter would count out two sixpences and four half-pence, put them in the man's hand, shout out "Right away, Bill!" jump on the step and drive off, leaving the poor fellow puzzling his brain to understand the change. On other occasions the conductor would tell the foreigners that they had reached their destination