HIS Christian name was Nicholas but his familiars called him Nickie the Kid. The title did not imply that Nicholas posses-sed the artless gaiety, the nimbleness, or any of the simple virtues of the young of the common goat. Kid was short for "kidder," a term that as gone out recently in favour of "smoodger," and which implies a quality of suave and ingratiating cunning backed by ulterior motives. The familiars of Mr. Nicholas Crips were a limited circle, and all "beats," that is to say, gentlemen sitting on the rail dividing honest toil from open crime. They were not workers, neither were they thieves, excepting in very special circumstances, when the opportunity made honesty almost an impertinence. The sobriquet coming from such a source acquires peculiar significance. The god-fathers of Nickie the Kid were all experts, and obtained bed and board mainly by exercising the art of dissimulation. To stand out conspicuously as a specialist in such company one needed to possess very bright and peculiar qualities.