The Stolen White Elephant 235
"Well, put it in dollars and cents, then. We must get at it somehow. The Dore costs a hundred dollars a copy, Russia leather, beveled."
"He would require about fifty thousand dollars' worth — say an edition of five hundred copies.'
"Now that is more exact. I will put that down. Very well; he likes men and Bibles; so far, so good. What else will he eat? I want particulars."
" He will leave Bibles to eat bricks, he will leave bricks to eat bottles, he will leave bottles to eat clothing, he will leave clothing to eat cats, he will leave cats to eat oysters, he will leave oysters to eat ham, he will leave ham to eat sugar, he will leave sugar to eat pie, he will leave pie to eat potatoes, he will leave potatoes to eat bran, he will leave bran to eat hay, he will leave hay to eat oats, he will leave oats to eat rice, for he was mainly raised on it. There is nothing whatever that he will not eat but European butter, and he would eat that if he could taste it."
"Very good. General quantity at a meal — say about—"
" Well, anywhere from a quarter to half a ton."
"And he drinks—"
"Everything that is fluid. Milk, water, whisky, molasses, castor oil, camphene, carbolic acid-—it is no use to go into particulars; whatever fluid occurs to you set it down. He will drink anything that is fluid, except European coffee."
" Very good. As to quantity?"
"Put it down five to fifteen barrels — his thirst varies; his other appetites do not."
" These things are unusual. They ought to furnish quite good clews toward tracing him."
He touched the bell.
" Alaric, summon Captain Burns."
Burns appeared. Inspector Blunt unfolded the whole