Mrs. T.P. O'Connor
New York: Brentanos, 1911.
One night in particular I remember. T.P. was speaking in Scotland, where I was to join him the next day, and I was alone on my floor, the servants all up above, when, about half-past two or three o'clock in the morning, I felt the quiver and grind of machinery. I looked at my clock, and was petrified with terror. It was an evening paper - the machines never began before the morning - what could have happened? Had the Queen died? I jumped out of bed, threw on my dressing-gown, and ran barefooted into the hall.
The night-watchman met me, his lantern swinging in his hand, followed by Max.
"What, oh, what has happened?" I gasped out.
"Jack the Ripper," he said, "has murdered two women to-night - not so far away from here either - and we are getting to press as early as anybody."
"Two!" I said. "Horrible! How did he manage that?"
He told me as much as he knew, and I took Max in my room to guard me, and waited for the daylight.
What an impenetrable mystery Jack the Ripper was! The wretch evidently had a sardonic sense of humour, for he used to write to the papers to say a murder would be committed the next night, and sign his letters "The Ripper" - and sure enough the murder, in spite of all vigilance, would take place neatly and deftly; and, notwithstanding his grimly humorous letter of warning, no trace would be found. All sorts of theories were advanced, but there was absolutely nothing in any of them.
One night Mr. Parnell came to see Mr. Labouchere. He was wearing a long rough overcoat with the collar well above his ears, a slouch hat well down over his eyes, and he carried a black bag just the size for instruments. Mr. Labouchere accompanied him to the door and said, "Shall I call a cab for you?"
"No," Mr. Parnell said, "I will walk."
"Where," said Mr. Labouchere "do you live?"
"Over there," said Mr. Parnell, sweeping his arm toward the darkness of the night into which he disappeared.
Mr. Labouchere returned to his library and a group of friends, and laughing, said, "I do believe that I've just parted with 'Jack the Ripper' - anyhow Parnell is the only man who answers to the description."