All his nuts, except a few special nuts reserved for those whose generous payment made them worthy customers (the old man knew them intimately), were good nuts, excellent nuts, and could have been investigated by all the police force of London. The chosen few had been cut open, a tiny packet of the deadly powder substituted for the kernel, and stuck up again. The " clients " went on to their party or their dance laughing at the fun and cracking walnuts with youthful disregard of the conventions as they went. The old man bought his cocaine in the docks, from lascars who had secreted it in its crude state between their toes, in the lining of their coats, hi hollow pencils, unlit pipes, fake cigarettes, or rolled up in their shirt-tails.
Tales of Bohemia, Taverns and the Underworld. Stories and Sketches of People Famous, Infamous, and Obscure. By Stanley Scott, Author of "The Human Side of Crook and Convict Life". London: Hurst & Blackett, Ltd. (year?)