Concerning the Carnival of Crime in Connecticut 321
"I would give anything to see some of them! Could you bring them here? And would they be visible to me?"
" Certainly not."
" I suppose I ought to have known that without asking. But no matter, you can describe them. Tell me about my neighbor Thompson's conscience, please."
"Very well. I know him intimately; have known him many years. I knew him when he was eleven feet high and of a faultless figure. But he is very rusty and tough and misshapen now, and hardly ever interests himself about anything. As to his present size—well, he sleeps in a cigar box."
"Likely enough. There are few smaller, meaner men in this region than Hugh Thompson. Do you know Robinson's conscience?"
"Yes. He is a shade under four and a half feet high; used to be a blonde; is a brunette now, but still shapely and comely."
"Well, Robinson is a good fellow. Do you know Tom Smith's conscience?"
"I have known him from childhood. He was thirteen inches high, and rather sluggish, when he was two years old — as nearly all of us are at that age. He is thirty-seven feet high now, and the stateliest figure in America. His legs are still racked with growing-pains, but he has a good time, nevertheless. Never sleeps. He is the most active and energetic member of the New England Conscience Club; is president of it. Night and day you can find him pegging away at Smith, panting with his labor, sleeves rolled up, countenance all alive with enjoyment. He has got his victim splendidly dragooned now. He can make poor Smith imagine that the most innocent little thing he does is an odious sin; and then he sets to work and
almost tortures the soul out of him about it." 21**