--On Saturday last, Malcah Robinson
, an old, decrepit negro, was brought before the Assistant Provost Marshal
of the Eastern District, charged by Mr. Simon P. Hollinsworth
, a sleek, solemn-phizzed, substantial grocer, residing on 17th street, with stealing five North Carolina
herrings, of the Digby species, (which, as our readers will please remember, are herring of a dwarfish kind,) from the store door of the said Hollinsworth
The grocer remarked in his evidence, that he had often seen old Malcah passing his door, and was struck with the ‘"diabolical, half-starved"’ expression of his countenance.
‘"Half-starved,"’ old Malcah certainly was, or he never would have thought of stealing an article of diet which, in its state of preparation for the table, has been aptly compared to a fried paper of pins.
And, as to be half-starved, as the world goes, is to be everything disreputable and wicked, we suppose the term ‘"diabolical"’ was well associated in Mr. Hollinsworth
's description of Malcah's physiognomy.
The herrings recovered from this daring and diabolical thief, by the strenuous exertion of the owner, were exhibited to the A. P. M. They
might, in the palmy days of Barnum
been exhibited by that individual as the veritable remains of a box of those salted fish dropped by Pharaoh, King
, in the Red Sea
, and afterwards fished up mummies as a memorial of the royal Egyptian
Such was the venerable appearance, not to say odor,
of the fish, that when they were displayed before the eyes and noses of the parties present at the examination, there seemed to be a respectful motion of withdrawal, accompanied by some exclamations of astonishment among the crowd.
The owner of the herrings undoubtedly had a strong scent to guide him in pursuit of the adducer, whose own natural Ethiopian fragrance (the belief in which is a ‘"vulgar error,"’ according to the Edinburg Review,
) was completely overpowered by the antique effluvia of the fish.
The precious article of provision was speedily restored to the rightful owner, who was enjoined to cover them as quickly as possible; and the horrid criminal, Malcah, who deserved hanging, at least, for ever harboring the idea of converting such herrings to purposes of nutriment, was solemnly admonished and requested to make himself scarce — an injunction he did not hesitate to obey.