The streets of London in these modern times are rife with criminality. Grave robbery is abundant, pickpockets rifle through our undergarments willy-nilly, and drunkards urinate openly onto orphans. I declare this, the year of 1851, to be the most dangerous in all of our capital’s history. And yet, there is a deeper threat to the civilised gent; one which today’s crook has a positive fetish for. That, my dear chums, is garrotting.
As a morally respected fellow and upstanding pillar of the community, I find it abhorrent that I cannot merely walk down the street from my opium den to the local whore house without being garrotted. Just last week one of these scumsocks garrotted me and stole 17 of my 20 handkerchiefs. Those were irreplaceable hankies that only had several crusted bogeys on them. Since this incident I dare not sneeze in decent company, lest I infect them with lurgi or other ailments.
|An anti-garrotting device I am considering.|
This is not a standalone incident. Little less than a year ago I was accosted by a gentleman asking for the time. Flipping out my pocket watch, I informed him that it was 11:39 PM and, if he didn’t hurry up, Red’s brothel would be fully depleted of stock. It was then that I felt a leather strap tightening around my throat. An unseen ruffian behind me had begun his garrotte, squeezing my Adam’s Apple and rendering me ineffectual. Those scallywags took that pocketwatch, my purse, my top hat, and my moustache. I was deeply upset by this incident. That moustache took several months to cultivate.
I’m afraid to say that the situation is only getting worse. On the streets of London, many a working class man has resorted to this particular style of criminality. Garrotting is becoming more fashionable by the day, like hobnail boots. Dandies are being pulled from their carriages and garrotted in the street, and yet nothing is taken. Garrotting gangs are forming in the same manner that a man might watch the steam train at Paddington pull into the platform. It is a fad that will hopefully fade away, but in the meantime we are to be left short of breath in the street by these naughty scoundrels.
|Try and garrotte me now, bitches!|
The question is what is to be done with the garrotter? As a man at the apex of the law, I understand that this garrotting mania is only getting worse. I see men enter my dock as thieves and come out as convicts daily. A jail spell only allows the garrotter to hone his craft even further by practising on other convicts. I hear they have contests in some prisons.
So, here’s my proposal. Upon a convict’s first strike, garrotte them around the throat with a taught rope, suspended in the air. Yes, hang them on their first conviction. Then we’ll see how many reoffenders we get.
((Inspired by this wonderful page here: http://www.victorianlondon.org/crime/representations.htm))