Saturday, December 04, 2010

The Indian Alchemist

Allen’s Indian Mail and Register of Intelligence in its despatches in the year 1846, narrates this interesting case.

The ingenious knave who successfully contrived to defraud an unsuspecting conicopillay in the service of his Highness the Nabob of no less a sum than 425 rupees, and who almost immediately after the achievement became noninventus—has been apprehended at Chittoor, and is now there in durance vile.

It may be remembered that the fellow, a Fakeer, set himself up for an alchemist, and that having won the confidence of the conicopillay by a prefatory trick, he undertook to convert as many silver rupees as this man could furnish him with into as many gold mohurs, by a process which terminated in his own favour at the time, for it made him master of 425 rupees, and set him, thus enriched, on a felicitous tramp into the interior.

But his joys were destined to be of short duration, for a talliar of police, armed with a warrant, was sent in pursuit of the fugitive, and soon came up to the chase.

How the minion of the law came to direct himself to that especial point of the thirty-two points of the compass is problematical, and can only be solved by ascribing to the nasal organs of the officers of police that nicety of scent for carrion which distinguishes the vulture. But be this as it may, the Fakeer was apprehended and on him was found the "handkerchief" which contained the reagent, but not the reagent itself.

The Fakeer acknowledged the fraud, and said that he gave twenty rupees to each of bis accomplices. He may be expected here shortly to undergo the process of magisterial purification.—

Suckers and conmen have been around for a long time. Only the tricks have mutated and evolved over time, keeping pace with new technology


Ramesh said...

ah raj too quiet you are these days .. what is the matter man ??

Raj said...

Ramesh, thanks for the wake-up call. Will get back to the blog soon.

Raj said...

Ramesh, thanks for the wake-up call. Will get back to the blog soon.