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146                        MEMOIKS OJB1 JOSEPH

as it was liable to many very obvious doubts and objections.
Upon the whole, they felt inclined to give far more credence to
the still more tragical, but, it is to be feared, more probable
explanation which the experience of the police-officer sug-

This man was of opinion that the unfortunate subject of their
doubts had been lured into some low infamous den, by persons
who had either previously known or suspected that he had a
large sum of money in his possession; that here he was plun-
dered, and afterwards either murdered in cold blood, or slain in
some desperate struggle to recover his gold. This conjecture
was encouraged by but too many corroboratory circumstances:
the sailor was of a temper easily persuaded: he had all the
recklessness and hardihood of a seafaring man, only increased
by the possession of prize-money and the release from hard
work: he had money, and a very large sum of money, about
him, the greater part in specie, and not in notes, or any security
which it would be difficult or dangerous to exchange: all this
was known to his brother and to Mr. "Wroughton, both eye-
witnesses of the fact.

One other circumstance deserves a word. It was, both at the
time and for a long period afterwards, a source of bitter, although
of most groundless self-reproach to Grrimaldi, that he could not
sufficiently recollect the appearance of the man who accompanied
his brother to the stage-door of the theatre, to describe his per-
son. If he could have been traced out, some intelligence re-
specting the poor fellow might perhaps have been discovered;
but Grrimaldi was so much moved by the unexpected recognition
of his brother, that he scarcely bestowed a thought or a look
upon his companion: nor, after taxing his memory for many
years, could he ever recollect more than that he was dressed in
precisely the same attire as Ms brother, even down to the white
waistcoat; a circumstance which had not only been noticed by
Jhimself, but was well remembered by the door-keeper, andf the