No. 448
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
November 18, 2019

Getting Above his Business.

How a too presumptuous shoe dealer’s attention to a female customer was resented by her male escort.
August 31, 2015
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Chapter 2
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Scene of the Debbins murder Walter R. Debbins was shot twice in the back, in broad daylight, on Highland Street in Medford, Massachusetts, on the afternoon of Saturday, March 27, 1897. Though no one saw the murder or heard the gunshots, there was enough traffic on Highland Street that afternoon for the police to precisely pinpoint the time of the shooting to between 1:00 and 1:05. But
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[Editor’s note: Guest writer, Peter Dickson, lives in West Sussex, England and has been working with microfilm copies of The Duncan Campbell Papers from the State Library of NSW, Sydney, Australia. The following are some of his analyses of what he has discovered from reading these papers. Dickson has contributed many transcriptions to the Jamaica Family […]
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Life on a Mississippi Steamboat. | She Liked Her Lager Beer.

Getting Above his Business.

Above His Business

How a too presumptuous shoe dealer’s attention to a female customer was resented by her male escort. [more]

What Happened to a Clerk who Tried a Pair of Shoes on a Girl.

A young man and a very pretty girl entered a shoe store in Chicago one afternoon last week. She was lately from a New England seacoast town, noted for its institutions of learning and intolerance of anything like impropriety. Her cheeks had still the color peculiar to Eastern girls. The clerk advanced briskly, and with his sweetest smile inquired her wants. She wanted a pair of high-button boots, and, having selected a pair to her liking, seated herself in a little place partitioned off for the purpose, to try them on. Her escort stood at a little distance, looking through the window into the street. The clerk was all attention. He sat down beside the girl, and proceeded to put on one of the boots. She looked a little astonished when he sat down beside her, and a moment later she uttered an exclamation of such unmistakable indignation that her escort sprang forward, and, seizing the clerk by the collar, kicked him clear across het room into a case of rubber shoes, which stood half empty.

“Take that you scoundrel,” cried the exasperated student from Yale, tossing a box of shoes on top of the clerk, “and see if you can’t wait on a lady without insulting her.”

The clerk, too much scared to move, lay doubled up in the box, when the proprietor came quickly forward.

“Call the patrol and have that man arrested,” cried the clerk feebly, as he saw his employer approaching. “He assaulted me; he’s a dangerous man.”

“Yes,” retorted the student, as he piled two more shoe boxes on the whimpering clerk, “call the patrol and have this bundle of garbage dumped into some vacant lot.”

The proprietor apologized to the young couple and assisting the humiliated clerk out of the shoebox, told him to put on his hat and leave the store.


Reprinted from the National Police Gazette, December 29, 1883.