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2 corrections, most recently by doug.butler - Show corrections

THE MORAL DELINQUENT.

We did not expect to have anything more to say about Mr. George Charles Eastland Platts, and our two files of Indian newspapers which he so unceremoniously "grabbed;" but he has

made a confession of the facts, in which he   admits the gravamen of our charge, namely,   that he took no step to place them in the hands of their proper owner.   The following is his "confession," — and we trust it may be also his "last dying speech"     on such a charge — inserted as an advertisement in the South Australian Gazette newspaper which issues from his shop, and in which that

is the only notice of the transaction; the pro- ceedings before the Police Commissioner and the report of the presentation of the petition to the Council being therein so designedly garbled, as wholly to mislead the reader as to the real ground of complaint. TO THE EDITOR OF THE "SOUTH AUSTRAL!AN GAZETTE." Sir— Mr. John Stephens has thought proper to bring my name before the Council connected with a mistake   made in the delivery of certain newspapers, and to im- pute to me personally the dishonest intention of appro- priating them. Mr Stephens's assertions connected with these news- papers are unfounded in truth. The papers were left by mistake at one of my shops in Hindley-street, and the covers inadvertently taken off, but were given up when   applied for. I never read the papers, or even know what they were, nor were they ever made use of. I am Sir, Your obedient Servant, C. PLATTS. And so, Mr. Geo. Chas. Eastland Alphabet Platts, these covers were taken off "inadver- tently !" Well, the term itself comes trippingly enough off the tongue, as friend Hamlet would say, and we have no right to quarrel with it, for it is daily used for glossing over all acci- dents and offences from upsetting a cup of hot tea into a lady's lap to shooting a man on her Majesty's highway! But we cannot divine - not being versed in the art of "hocus-pocus,"   or acquainted with the mysteries of "double shuffle" — how on earth Mr Alphabet Platts contrived to capsize four-and-twenty newspa- pers, so that every one should come up stern- foremost or bottom upwards, and never give   him "half a chance" to read, mark, and con-   template that the address, "Editor of the   Adelaide Observer" &c, was not the address of "Mr. Alphabet Platts. shopkeeper, Hindley   street!" There was a Turkish fatality about   it, evidently; and doubtless Mr. Alphabet Platts after tearing open seven newspapers, according to the number of the Musselman Heavens, felt himself compelled by the same irresistible "fatality" to dash his tiger claws   into the luckless covers of the whole bundle. But what will the decently-disposed, sober- judging public say of the man who with his own hands opens not one — but twenty-four posted communications — all clearly directed, takes no steps to restore them to their owner; but, ac- cording to his own confession (wrung from him more than a month after he is detected), says "he did not even know what they were," and conceals them till, after much enquiry, and the lapse of a week, they are traced to him, and     officially demanded back ? Will Mr. Alphabet Platts favour us in another advertisement by saying what he would have done with the   newspapers which he knew to be ours, if we   had never been able to discover who had them ?   Would he have allowed them to lay upon the   table of his reading room, for want of a more   convenient place ?   He may not be endowed with the science of   "special pleading;" but does he think his pre-   sent statement would have been a sufficient defence before the jury, who perhaps at this   moment might have been trying the case, had   the Post-office Act been framed in accordance   with that of England ? We have now done with the subject, so far as Mr. George Charles Eastland Alphabet Platts is concerned, for it will be his last of-   fence, if not his first. There is little doubt that whether the Act be altered or not, the Post-office messengers will be careful that the man with four fine-sounding names, at least, shall in future have the fingering of no letters   or newspapers but his own.  

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